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The partition of the total genetic variance into its additive and non-additive components can differ from trait to trait, and between purebred and crossbred populations. A quantification of these genetic variance components will determine the extent to which it would be of interest to account for dominance in genomic evaluations or to establish mate allocation strategies along different populations and traits. This study aims at assessing the contribution of the additive and dominance genomic variances to the phenotype expression of several purebred Piétrain and crossbred (Piétrain × Large White) pig performances. A total of 636 purebred and 720 crossbred male piglets were phenotyped for 22 traits that can be classified into six groups of traits: growth rate and feed efficiency, carcass composition, meat quality, behaviour, boar taint and puberty. Additive and dominance variances estimated in univariate genotypic models, including additive and dominance genotypic effects, and a genomic inbreeding covariate allowed to retrieve the additive and dominance single nucleotide polymorphism variances for purebred and crossbred performances. These estimated variances were used, together with the allelic frequencies of the parental populations, to obtain additive and dominance variances in terms of genetic breeding values and dominance deviations. Estimates of the Piétrain and Large White allelic contributions to the crossbred variance were of about the same magnitude in all the traits. Estimates of additive genetic variances were similar regardless of the inclusion of dominance. Some traits showed relevant amount of dominance genetic variance with respect to phenotypic variance in both populations (i.e. growth rate 8%, feed conversion ratio 9% to 12%, backfat thickness 14% to 12%, purebreds-crossbreds). Other traits showed higher amount in crossbreds (i.e. ham cut 8% to 13%, loin 7% to 16%, pH semimembranosus 13% to 18%, pH longissimus dorsi 9% to 14%, androstenone 5% to 13% and estradiol 6% to 11%, purebreds-crossbreds). It was not encountered a clear common pattern of dominance expression between groups of analysed traits and between populations. These estimates give initial hints regarding which traits could benefit from accounting for dominance for example to improve genomic estimated breeding value accuracy in genetic evaluations or to boost the total genetic value of progeny by means of assortative mating.
In product design engineering (PDE), ideation involves the generation of technical behaviours and physical structures to address specific functional requirements. This differs from generic creative ideation tasks, which emphasise functional and technical considerations less. To advance knowledge about the neural basis of PDE ideation, we present the first fMRI study on professional product design engineers practising in industry. We aimed to explore brain activation during ideation, and compare activation in open-ended and constrained tasks. Imagery manipulation tasks were contrasted with ideation tasks in a sample of 29 PDE professionals. The key findings were: (1) PDE ideation is associated with greater activity in left cingulate gyrus; (2) there were no significant differences between open-ended and constrained tasks; and (3) a preliminary association with activity in the right superior temporal gyrus was also observed. The results are consistent with existing fMRI work on generic creative ideation, suggesting that PDE ideation may share a number of similarities at the neural level. Future work includes: functional connectivity analysis of open-ended and constrained ideation to further investigate potential differences; investigating the effects of aspects of design expertise/training on processing; and the use of novelty measures directly linked to the designer’s internal processing in fMRI analysis.
Probiotic yogurt and milk supplemented with probiotics have been investigated for their role in ‘low-grade’ inflammation but evidence for their efficacy is inconclusive. This study explores the impact of probiotic yogurt on metabolic and inflammatory biomarkers, with a parallel study of gut microbiota dynamics. The randomised cross-over study was conducted in fourteen healthy, young men to test probiotic yogurt compared with milk acidified with 2 % d-(+)-glucono-δ-lactone during a 2-week intervention (400 g/d). Fasting assessments, a high-fat meal test (HFM) and microbiota analyses were used to assess the intervention effects. Baseline assessments for the HFM were carried out after a run-in during which normal milk was provided. No significant differences in the inflammatory response to the HFM were observed after probiotic yogurt compared with acidified milk intake; however, both products were associated with significant reductions in the inflammatory response to the HFM compared with the baseline tests (assessed by IL6, TNFα and chemokine ligand 5) (P<0·001). These observations were accompanied by significant changes in microbiota taxa, including decreased abundance of Bilophila wadsworthia after acidified milk (log 2-fold-change (FC)=–1·5, Padj=0·05) and probiotic yogurt intake (FC=–1·3, Padj=0·03), increased abundance of Bifidobacterium species after acidified milk intake (FC=1·4, Padj=0·04) and detection of Lactobacillus delbrueckii spp. bulgaricus (FC=7·0, Padj<0·01) and Streptococcus salivarius spp. thermophilus (FC=6·0, Padj<0·01) after probiotic yogurt intake. Probiotic yogurt and acidified milk similarly reduce postprandial inflammation that is associated with a HFM while inducing distinct changes in the gut microbiota of healthy men. These observations could be relevant for dietary treatments that target ‘low-grade’ inflammation.
Replacing dairy components from milk replacer (MR) with vegetable products has been previously associated with decreased protein and fat digestibility in milk-fed calves resulting in lower live weight gain. In this experiment, the major carbohydrate source in MR, lactose, was partly replaced with gelatinized corn starch (GCS) to determine the effect on protein and fat digestibility in milk-fed calves. In total, 16 male Holstein-Friesian calves received either MR with lactose as the carbohydrate source (control) or 18% GCS at the expense of lactose. In the adaptation period, calves were exposed to an increasing dose of GCS for 14 weeks. The indigestible marker cobalt ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid was incorporated into the MR for calculating apparent nutrient digestibility, whereas a pulse dose of chromium (Cr) chloride was fed with the last MR meal 4 h before slaughter as an indicator of passage rates. The calves were anesthetized and exsanguinated at 30 weeks of age. The small intestine was divided in three; small intestine 1 and 2 (SI1 and SI2, respectively) and the terminal ileum (last ~100 cm of small intestine) and samples of digesta were collected. Small intestinal digesta was analysed for α-amylase, lipase and trypsin activity. Digestibility of protein was determined for SI1, SI2, ileum and total tract, whereas digestibility of fat was determined for SI1, SI2 and total tract. Apparent protein digestibility in the small intestine did not differ between treatments but was higher in control calves at total tract level. Apparent crude fat digestibility tended to be increased in SI1 and SI2 for GCS calves, but no difference was found at total tract level. Activity of α-amylase in SI2 and lipase in both SI1 and SI2 was higher in GCS calves. Activity of trypsin tended to be higher in control calves and was higher in SI1 compared with SI2. A lower recovery of Cr in SI2 and a higher recovery of Cr in the large intestine suggest an increased rate of passage for GCS calves. Including 18% of GCS in a milk replacer at the expense of lactose increased passage rate and decreased apparent total tract protein digestibility. In the small intestine, protein digestion did not decrease when feeding GCS and fat digestion even tended to increase. Overall, effects on digestion might be levelled when partially replacing lactose with GCS, because starch digestion is lower than that of lactose but fat digestion may be slightly increased when feeding GCS.
We determined prescribing rates of neuraminidase inhibitors (NIs) for influenza in UK primary care since 2009 in relation to national prescribing guidelines. All NI prescriptions issued during the influenza seasons between October 2010 and May 2013 were extracted from The Health Improvement Network (THIN), a large UK primary-care database. We calculated NI prescribing rates per 100 000 person-weeks (pw) by age group, sex, deprivation level, influenza season and presence of chronic conditions with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and used negative binomial regression models to determine the independent association between these variables and NI prescribing. NI prescribing was rare. The prescribing rate was 1·7/100 000 pw (95% CI 1·7–1·8) during influenza-active periods, and 0·1/100 000 (95% CI 0·1–0·1) during non-active periods. Prescribing rates were highest in 25- to 44-year-olds in 2010/2011 and in persons aged ⩾85 years in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013. Individuals with chronic conditions had significantly higher prescribing rates than persons without (rate ratio 2·62, 95% CI 2·27–3·03). GPs are more likely to prescribe NIs to high-risk individuals and during influenza active periods, as per national guidelines. We could not assess the proportion of patients with influenza-like illness who were prescribed an NI.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
Calf milk replacers (MR) commonly contain 40% to 50% lactose. For economic reasons, starch is of interest as a lactose replacer. Compared with lactose, starch digestion is generally low in calves. It is, however, unknown which enzyme limits the rate of starch digestion. The objectives were to determine which enzyme limits starch digestion and to assess the maximum capacity for starch digestion in milk-fed calves. A within-animal titration study was performed, where lactose was exchanged stepwise for one of four starch products (SP). The four corn-based SP differed in size and branching, therefore requiring different ratios of starch-degrading enzymes for their complete hydrolysis to glucose: gelatinised starch (α-amylase and (iso)maltase); maltodextrin ((iso)maltase and α-amylase); maltodextrin with α-1,6-branching (isomaltase, maltase and α-amylase) and maltose (maltase). When exceeding the animal’s capacity to enzymatically hydrolyse starch, fermentation occurs, leading to a reduced faecal dry matter (DM) content and pH. Forty calves (13 weeks of age) were assigned to either a lactose control diet or one of four titration strategies (n=8 per treatment), each testing the stepwise exchange of lactose for one SP. Dietary inclusion of each SP was increased weekly by 3% at the expense of lactose and faecal samples were collected from the rectum weekly to determine DM content and pH. The increase in SP inclusion was stopped when faecal DM content dropped below 10.6% (i.e. 75% of the average initial faecal DM content) for 3 consecutive weeks. For control calves, faecal DM content and pH did not change over time. For 87% of the SP-fed calves, faecal DM and pH decreased already at low inclusion levels, and linear regression provided a better fit of the data (faecal DM content or pH v. time) than non-linear regression. For all SP treatments, faecal DM content and pH decreased in time (P<0.001) and slopes for faecal DM content and pH in time differed from CON; P<0.001 for all SP), but did not differ between SP treatments. Faecal DM content of SP-fed calves decreased by 0.57% and faecal pH by 0.32 per week. In conclusion, faecal DM content and pH sensitively respond to incremental inclusion of SP in calf MR, independently of SP characteristics. All SP require maltase to achieve complete hydrolysis to glucose. We therefore suggest that maltase activity limits starch digestion and that fermentation may contribute substantially to total tract starch disappearance in milk-fed calves.
In milk-fed calves, quantification of the milk that enters the rumen (ruminal milk volume, RMV) because of malfunction of the esophageal groove reflex may explain part of the variability observed between animals in their growth performance. The RMV can directly be quantified by adding an indigestible marker to the diet and measuring its recovery in the rumen at slaughter, but this technique cannot be repeated in time in the same animal. The objective of the study was to evaluate three indirect methods for estimating RMV. The first method was based on the assumption that ruminal drinking delays and limits acetaminophen appearance in blood after ingestion of milk supplemented with acetaminophen. The second method was based on a negative linear relationship between RMV and urinary recovery of non-metabolizable monosaccharides (3-O-methylglucose, l-rhamnose and d-xylose) added to the milk, owing to rumen fermentation. In the third method, RMV was calculated as the difference between total milk intake and the increase in abomasal milk volume (AMV) at feeding, measured through ultrasonography shortly after feeding, or estimated from the mathematical extrapolation of AMV to feeding time, based on consecutive measurements. These methods were tested in three experiments where calves (n=22, 10 and 13) were bucket fed or partly tube fed (i.e. by inserting milk replacer into the rumen via a tube to mimic ruminal drinking). In addition, Co-EDTA and Cr-EDTA were used as an indigestible marker in one experiment to trace bucket-fed or tube-fed milk replacer, respectively, to measure RMV. The relationship between AMV measured by ultrasonography and AMV measured at slaughter improved when kinetics of AMV were extrapolated to the time of slaughter by mathematical modeling (error between predicted and measured AMV equaled 0.49 l). With this technique, RMV during feeding averaged 17% and 24% of intake in Experiments 2 and 3, respectively. Plasma acetaminophen kinetics and recovery of non-metabolizable monosaccharides in urine were partly associated with ruminal drinking, but these techniques are not considered quantitatively accurate without further information of rumen degradation and absorption. The recovery of indigestible marker measured at slaughter gave a quantitative estimate of RMV (2% in Experiment 3), but improper measurement of emptying rate of fluid from the rumen may lead to underestimation. In conclusion, measuring changes in AMV by ultrasonography, in response to milk feeding, was the most promising indirect method to quantify RMV in veal calves.
There is limited research on factors that influence the rate of progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD). A history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with an increased risk for AD, but its role on the rate of dementia progression after the onset of AD has not been examined.
A population-based cohort of 325 persons with incident AD was followed for up to 11 years. The sample was 65% female with a mean (SD) age of dementia onset = 84.4 (6.4) years. History of TBI was categorized as number, severity (with or without loss of consciousness), and timing in relation to dementia onset (within ten years or more than ten years). Cognition was assessed by the Consortium to Establish a Registry of AD battery, and functional ability was assessed by the Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes.
In linear mixed models, a history of TBI within ten years of onset showed faster progression of functional impairment (LR x2 = 10.27, p = 0.006), while those with TBI more than ten years before dementia onset had higher scores on a measure of list learning (β = 1.61, p = 0.003) and semantic memory (β = 0.75, p = 0.0035).
History of TBI and its recency may be a useful factor to predict functional progression in the course of AD.