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To overcome grass supply shortages on the main grazing block, some pasture-based dairy farmers are using zero-grazing (also known as ‘cut and carry’), whereby cows are periodically housed and fed fresh grass harvested from external land blocks. To determine the effect of zero-grazing on cow performance, two early-lactation experiments were conducted with autumn and spring-calving dairy cows. Cows were assigned to one of two treatments in a randomized complete block design. The two treatments were zero-grazing (ZG) and grazing (G). The ZG group were housed and fed zero-grazed grass, while the G group grazed outdoors at pasture. Both treatments were fed perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) from the same paddock. In experiment 1, 24 Holstein Friesian cows (n = 12) were studied over a 35-day experimental period in autumn and offered fresh grass, grass silage, ground maize and concentrates. In experiment 2, 30 Holstein Friesian cows (n = 15) were studied over a 42-day experimental period and offered fresh grass and concentrates. Average dry matter intake and milk yield was similar for ZG and G in both experiments. Likewise, ZG did not have an effect on milk composition, body condition or locomotion. Zero-grazing had no effect on total nitrogen excretion or nitrogen utilization efficiency in either experiment, or on rumen pH and ammonia concentration in experiment 1. While zero-grazing may enable farmers to supply fresh grass to early-lactation cows in spring and autumn, results from this study suggest that there are no additional benefits to cow performance in comparison to well-managed grazed grass.
The prediction of grass dry matter intake (GDMI) and milk yield (MY) are important to aid sward and grazing management decision making. Previous evaluations of the GrazeIn model identified weaknesses in the prediction of GDMI and MY for grazing dairy cows. To increase the accuracy of GDMI and MY prediction, GrazeIn was adapted, and then re-evaluated, using a data set of 3960 individual cow measurements. The adaptation process was completed in four additive steps with different components of the model reparameterised or altered. These components were: (1) intake capacity (IC) that was increased by 5% to reduce a general GDMI underprediction. This resulted in a correction of the GDMI mean and a lower relative prediction error (RPE) for the total data set, and at all stages of lactation, compared with the original model; (2) body fat reserve (BFR) deposition from 84 days in milk to next calving that was included in the model. This partitioned some energy to BFR deposition after body condition score nadir had been reached. This reduced total energy available for milk production, reducing the overprediction of MY and reducing RPE for MY in mid and late lactation, compared with the previous step. There was no effect on predicted GDMI; (3) The potential milk curve was reparameterised by optimising the rate of decrease in the theoretical hormone related to secretory cell differentiation and the basal rate of secretory cell death to achieve the lowest possible mean prediction error (MPE) for MY. This resulted in a reduction in the RPE for MY and an increase in the RPE for GDMI in all stages of lactation compared with the previous step; and (4) finally, IC was optimised, for GDMI, to achieve the lowest possible MPE. This resulted in an IC correction coefficient of 1.11. This increased the RPE for MY but decreased the RPE for GDMI compared with the previous step. Compared with the original model, modifying this combination of four model components improved the prediction accuracy of MY, particularly in late lactation with a decrease in RPE from 27.8% in the original model to 22.1% in the adapted model. However, testing of the adapted model using an independent data set would be beneficial and necessary to make definitive conclusions on improved predictions.
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory was constructed at the South Pole during the 2004/05 to 2010/11 austral summer seasons. IceCube transforms 1 km3 of Antarctic ice into an astrophysical particle detector composed of 86 cables (strings) of optical sensors buried deep beneath the surface. Each string required drilling a borehole ∼60 cm in diameter to a depth of 2500 m. The 5 MW Enhanced Hot Water Drill was designed and built specifically for this task, capable of producing the required boreholes at a rate of one hole per 48 hours. Hot-water drilling on this scale presented unique challenges and was rich in lessons learned, yielding a collection of notable developments and takeaways (e.g. fuel-saving measures, thermal modeling, firn drilling and closed-loop computer control). Descriptions of system functionality and of lessons learned from IceCube drilling are presented.
Nitrogen (N) losses from dairy production systems are a cause for environmental concern. Excreted primarily as urea N in the urine, this volatile form of N can be lost as ammonia (NH3) contributing to ground-level ozone, the greenhouse effect and the deterioration of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In addition, the production of urea N places a metabolic demand for energy on the dairy cow and excessively high levels of blood urea N are known to have deleterious effects on reproductive performance. Therefore, it is of interest to develop strategies that reduce N excretion from dairy cows and to this end, dietary manipulation of N efficiency offers great potential. There are a significant number of reports in the literature on N efficiency in the lactating dairy cow, including reducing dietary CP intake, improving the balance of amino acids reaching the small intestine, optimising the forage mix and optimising the energy sources in the diet. Across these experiments, N intake ranged from 0.33 to 0.67 kg/day with N efficiency ranging from 0.21 to 0.42. This paper will report on recent N balance experiments conducted at University College Dublin, as well as reports in the literature on studies aimed at improving N efficiency in the lactating dairy cow.
Predicting the grass dry matter intake (GDMI), milk yield (MY) or milk fat and protein yield (milk solids yield (MSY)) of the grazing dairy herd is difficult. Decisions with regard to grazing management are based on guesstimates of the GDMI of the herd, yet GDMI is a critical factor influencing MY and MSY. A data set containing animal, sward, grazing management and concentrate supplementation variables recorded during weeks of GDMI measurement was used to develop multiple regression equations to predict GDMI, MY and MSY. The data set contained data from 245 grazing herds from 10 published studies conducted at Teagasc, Moorepark. A forward stepwise multiple regression technique was used to develop the multiple regression equations for each of the dependent variables (GDMI, MY, MSY) for three periods during the grazing season: spring (SP; 5 March to 30 April), summer (SU; 1 May to 31 July) and autumn (AU; 1 August to 31 October). The equations generated highlighted the importance of different variables associated with GDMI, MY and MSY during the grazing season. Peak MY was associated with an increase in GDMI, MY and MSY during the grazing season with the exception of GDMI in SU when BW accounted for more of the variation. A higher body condition score (BCS) at calving was associated with a lower GDMI in SP and SU and a lower MY and MSY in all periods. A higher BCS was associated with a higher GDMI in SP and SU, a higher MY in SU and AU and a higher MSY in all periods. The pre-grazing herbage mass of the sward (PGHM) above 4 cm was associated with a quadratic effect on GDMI in SP, on MY in SP and SU and on MSY in SU. An increase in daily herbage allowance (DHA) above 4 cm was associated with an increase in GDMI in AU, an increase in MY in SU and AU and MSY in AU. Supplementing grazing dairy cows with concentrate reduced GDMI and increased MY and MSY in all periods. The equations generated can be used by the Irish dairy industry during the grazing season to predict the GDMI, MY and MSY of grazing dairy herds.
To describe the average consumption of carbohydrate-providing food groups among study centres of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
Of the 27 redefined EPIC study centres, 19 contributed subjects of both genders and eight centres female participants only (men, n=13 031; women, n=22924, after exclusion of subjects under 35 and over 74 years of age from the original 36 900 total). Dietary data were obtained using the 24-hour recall methodology using the EPIC-SOFT software. The major sources of dietary carbohydrate were identified, and 16 food groups were examined.
The 10 food groups contributing most carbohydrate were bread; fruit; milk and milk products; sweet buns, cakes and pies; potato; sugar and jam; pasta and rice; vegetables and legumes; crispbread; and fruit and vegetable juices. Consumption of fruits as well as vegetables and legumes was higher in southern compared with northern centres, while soft drinks consumption was higher in the north. Italian centres had high pasta and rice consumption, but breakfast cereal, potato, and sweet buns, cakes and pies were higher in northern centres. In Sweden, lower bread consumption was balanced with a higher consumption of crispbread, and with sweet buns, cakes and pies. Overall, men consumed higher amounts of vegetables and legumes, bread, soft drinks, potatoes, pasta and rice, breakfast cereal and sugar and jam than women, but fruit consumption appeared more frequent in women.
The study supports the established idea that carbohydrate-rich foods chosen in northern Europe are different from those in the Mediterranean region. When comparing and interpreting diet–disease relationships across populations, researchers need to consider all types of foods.
The aim of this study was to describe the variation of soy product intake in 10 European countries by using a standardised reference dietary method. A subsidiary aim was to characterise the pattern of soy consumption among a sub-group of participants with a habitual health-conscious lifestyle (HHL), i.e. non-meat eaters who are fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans.
A 24-hour dietary recall interview (24-HDR) was conducted among a sample (5–12%) of all cohorts (n = 36 900) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Study participants totalled 35 955 after exclusion of subjects younger than 35 or older than 74 years of age. Soy products were subdivided into seven sub-groups by similarity. Distribution of consumption and crude and adjusted means of intake were computed per soy product group across countries. Intake of soy products was also investigated among participants with an HHL.
In total, 195 men and 486 women reported consuming soy products in the 24-HDR interview. Although soy product intake was generally low across all countries, the highest intake level was observed in the UK, due to over-sampling of a large number of participants with an HHL. The most frequently consumed soy foods were dairy substitutes in the UK and France and beans and sprouts among mid-European countries. For both genders, the sub-group of soy dairy substitutes was consumed in the highest quantities (1.2 g day−1 for men; 1.9 g day−1 for women). Participants with an HHL differed substantially from others with regard to demographic, anthropometric and nutritional factors. They consumed higher quantities of almost all soy product groups.
Consumption of soy products is low in centres in Western Europe. Soy dairy substitutes are most frequently consumed. Participants with an HHL form a distinct sub-group with higher consumptions of fruit, vegetables, legumes, cereals and soy products compared with the other participants.
To describe the trends of self-reported past consumption of alcoholic beverages and ethanol intake from 1950 to 1995 within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
Data on consumption of beer/cider, wine and liqueur/spirits were obtained retrospectively at age 20, 30 and 40 years to calculate average consumption and ethanol intake for the time periods 1950–1975 (at age 20), 1960–1985 (at age 30) and 1970–1995 (at age 40). Regression analysis was conducted with the time period data to assess trends in past alcoholic beverage consumption and ethanol intake with time.
The EPIC project.
In total, 392 064 EPIC participants (275 249 women and 116 815 men) from 21 study centres in eight European countries.
Generally, increases in beer/cider consumption were observed for most EPIC centres for 1950–1975, 1960–1985 and 1970–1995. Trends in wine consumption differed according to geographical location: downward trends with time were observed for men in southern European EPIC centres, upward trends for those in middle/northern European study centres. For women, similar but less pronounced trends were observed. Because wine consumption was the major contributor to ethanol intake for both men and women in most study centres, time trends for ethanol intake showed a similar geographical pattern to that of wine consumption.
The different trends in alcoholic beverage consumption and ethanol intake suggest that information depicting lifetime history of ethanol intake should be included in analyses of the relationship between ethanol and chronic diseases, particularly in multi-centre studies such as EPIC.
To describe the diversity in dietary patterns existing across centres/regions participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
Design and setting:
Single 24-hour dietary recall measurements were obtained by means of standardised face-to-face interviews using the EPIC-SOFT software. These have been used to present a graphic multi-dimensional comparison of the adjusted mean consumption of 22 food groups.
In total, 35 955 men and women, aged 35–74 years, participating in the EPIC nested calibration study.
Although wide differences were observed across centres, the countries participating in EPIC are characterised by specific dietary patterns. Overall, Italy and Greece have a dietary pattern characterised by plant foods (except potatoes) and a lower consumption of animal and processed foods, compared with the other EPIC countries. France and particularly Spain have more heterogeneous dietary patterns, with a relatively high consumption of both plant foods and animal products. Apart from characteristics specific to vegetarian groups, the UK ‘health-conscious’ group shares with the UK general population a relatively high consumption of tea, sauces, cakes, soft drinks (women), margarine and butter. In contrast, the diet in the Nordic countries, The Netherlands, Germany and the UK general population is relatively high in potatoes and animal, processed and sweetened/refined foods, with proportions varying across countries/centres. In these countries, consumption of vegetables and fruit is similar to, or below, the overall EPIC means, and is low for legumes and vegetable oils. Overall, dietary patterns were similar for men and women, although there were large gender differences for certain food groups.
There are considerable differences in food group consumption and dietary patterns among the EPIC study populations. This large heterogeneity should be an advantage when investigating the relationship between diet and cancer and formulating new aetiological hypotheses related to dietary patterns and disease.
5-HT2A receptor antagonism may be crucial to the action of atypical antipsychotics. Previous work has related 5-HT2A receptor blockade to clinical efficacy and protection from extrapyramidal side-effects.
We developed a SPET imaging protocol for assessing 5-HT2A receptor binding using the selective ligand 1231-5-1-R91150. Six healthy volunteers, five clozapine- and five risperidone-treated subjects with DSM–IV schizophrenia were studied. Multi-slice SPET was performed on each subject.
Cortex: cerebellum ratios were significantly lower in both clozapine-and risperidone-treated subjects compared with the healthy volunteers in all cortical regions. There was no difference in occupancy between the two drug-treated groups. No correlation was found between the percentage change in the Global Assessment Scale (GAS) and 5-HT2A receptor binding indices in the drug-treated groups.
Clozapine and risperidone potently block 5-HT2A receptors in vivo. The lack of relationship between receptor binding indices and change in GAS suggests that 5-HT2A receptor blockade may be unrelated to clinical improvement. Future studies will substantiate this finding by studying 5-HT2A receptor binding in large groups of patients treated with both typical and novel atypical antipsychotics.
It has been suggested that cattle have a greater ability to digest fibrous feeds and a lower ability to digest non-fibrous feeds than sheep (Mc Donald et al., 1995). This statement applies mainly to forages and few direct comparisons have been conducted using concentrate ingredients. The digestibility of concentrate ingredients may be influenced by the level of consumption since an increase in intake of a complete diet resulted in a decrease in digestibility (El Khidir and Vestergaard Thomsen, 1983). The aims of this study were (a) to determine the effect of level of consumption by cattle and (b) to examine the effect of animal species (sheep and cattle) on the digestibility of concentrate ingredients.
The Psychogeriatric Assessment Scales (PAS) provide an assessment of the clinical changes seen in dementia and depression. Principal components analysis and latent trait analysis were used to develop a set of scales to summarize these clinical changes. There are three scales derived from an interview with the subject (Cognitive Impairment, Depression, Stroke) and three from an interview with an informant (Cognitive Decline, Behaviour Change, Stroke). Results are reported on the reliability and validity of these scales using data from clinical samples in Sydney and Geneva and a population sample from Canberra. The scales were found to have excellent validity when judged against clinical diagnoses of dementia and depression and could distinguish Alzheimer's from vascular dementia. Cut-off points were developed to indicate correspondence between scale scores and clinical diagnoses. Percentile rank norms were developed from the Canberra population sample. The PAS is easy to administer and score and can be used by lay interviewers after training. It is intended for application both in research and in services for the elderly.
1.1 This paper owes its existence on two counts to the late Jim Souness whose term of office as President of the Faculty coincided with the bulk of our research. Firstly, as President, he encouraged Faculty research groups to be active and to produce material worthy of sessional papers. More directly it was the late President who funnelled our general investigations of life office management (which had continued after the Group's 1987 sessional paper) towards the issue of demutualisation.
There have been several notable demutualisations of life offices in recent years, yet there is little published research in the UK other than case studies into the actuarial issues which these restructurings raise for the profession. Furthermore much of what has been published pertains to overseas regimes not subject to UK-style regulation. However at the time of writing we are aware that another paper (reference 20) was being written concurrently, and it relates specifically to the UK.