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The worldwide production of in vitro-produced embryos in livestock species continues to grow. The current gold standard for selecting quality oocytes and embryos is morphologic assessment, yet this method is subjective and varies based on experience. There is a need for a non-invasive, objective method of selecting viable oocytes and embryos. The aim of this study was to determine if ooplasm area, diameter including zona pellucida (ZP), and ZP thickness of artificially activated oocytes and in vitro fertilized (IVF) zygotes are indicative of development success in vitro and correlated with embryo quality, as assessed by total blastomere number. Diameter affected the probability of development to the blastocyst stage in activated oocytes on day 7 (P < 0.01) and day 8 (P < 0.001), and had a tendency to affect IVF zygotes on day 8 (P = 0.08). Zona pellucida thickness affected the probability of development on day 7 (P < 0.01) and day 8 (P < 0.001) in activated oocytes, and day 8 for IVF zygotes (P < 0.05). An interaction between ZP thickness and diameter was observed on days 7 and 8 (P < 0.05) in IVF zygotes. Area did not significantly affect the probability of development, but was positively correlated with blastomere number on day 8 for IVF zygotes (P = 0.01, conditional R2 = 0.09). Physical parameters of bovine zygotes have the potential for use as a non-invasive, objective selection method. Upon further development, methods used in this study could be integrated into embryo production systems to improve IVF success.
Late Cretaceous tracks attributable to deinonychosaurs in North America are rare, with only one occurrence of Menglongipus from Alaska and two possible, but indeterminate, occurrences reported from Mexico. Here we describe the first probable deinonychosaur tracks from Canada: a possible trackway and one isolated track on a single horizon from the Upper Cretaceous Wapiti Formation (upper Campanian) near Grande Prairie in Alberta. The presence of a relatively short digit IV differentiates these from argued dromaeosaurid tracks, suggesting the trackmaker was more likely a troodontid. Other noted characteristics of the Wapiti specimens include a rounded heel margin, the absence of a digit II proximal pad impression, and a broad, elliptical digit III. Monodactyl tracks occur in association with the didactyl tracks, mirroring similar discoveries from the Early Cretaceous Epoch of China, providing additional support for their interpretation as deinonychosaurian traces. Although we refrain from assigning the new Wapiti specimens to any ichnotaxon because of their relatively poor undertrack preservation, this discovery is an important addition to the deinonychosaur track record; it helps to fill a poorly represented geographic and temporal window in their known distribution, and demonstrates the presence of a greater North American deinonychosaur ichnodiversity than has previously been recognized.
To describe the effect of supplemental psychotropic medications, specifically anxiolytics with sedative/hypnotics (ASH) combined with lamotrigine (LTG) on stabilization of symptoms in patients with bipolar I disorder.
Symptomatic patients participating in two LTG maintenance trials were classified post-hoc as those initiating LTG as monotherapy (n=313) or as adjunctive therapy (n=814) and further characterized by supplemental add-on therapies received during an open-label treatment phase. Patients were considered stabilized if they reached a stable dose of LTG monotherapy (100–200 mg/day) and had a Clinical Global Impressions-Severity scale score ≤3 for at least 4 weeks. Stabilization rates were compared across initial- and supplemental-treatment groups.
Patients who initiated and were maintained on LTG monotherapy were stabilized at a slightly higher rate compared with those taking LTG adjunctive therapy (55% vs 48%; P=.080). Stabilization rates were numerically higher for LTG monotherapy patients who later received only ASH as supplemental medication compared with LTG monotherapy throughout, but this difference was not significant (66% vs 55%; P=.271). Stabilization rates were significantly higher for monotherapy patients who later received ASH alone versus other psychotropic medications (66% vs 28%; P=.001). For patients initiating LTG as adjunctive therapy, adding ASH alone resulted in significantly higher stabilization rates than adding another psychotropic medication (62% vs 33%; P<.001).
LTG and adjunctive treatment with ASH may be useful in the treatment of acute mood symptoms in patients with bipolar I disorder.
This study was conducted to show that catatonia is a predisposing factor for neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) and to review the nosological relationship between catatonia and NMS. Seventeen consecutive cases of NMS were analyzed prospectively with reference to clinical and investigative findings before and after exposure to a neuroleptic. The series comprised eight males and nine females, ranging in age from 18 years to 65 years. Prior to neuroleptic exposure, all patients exhibited features compatible with criteria for catatonia (mutism/excitement) according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition-Revised, (DSM-III-R). Following neuroleptic administration (single dose in nine cases), patients deteriorated into a febrile, rigid, and obtunded state accompanied by autonomic dysfunction and raised creatine phosphokinase levels. These features were consistent with a diagnosis of NMS. Neuroleptics were discontinued and supportive medical treatment instituted. Benzodiazepines were beneficial in eight cases in relieving stupor, but bromocriptine and dantrolene were generally ineffective. In all patients diagnosed with NMS in the authors' series, catatonia was an invariable prodromal state. It appears that the administration of a neuroleptic intensified the preexisting catatonic state and precipitated a malignant variant of the disorder, which is currently recognized as NMS. The authors, therefore, challenge the separate nosological status of NMS and catatonia and suggest that these syndromes are part of a unitary pathophysiological disorder.
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
Echinoderms are well represented in nearshore hard-bottom (< 100 m depth) habitats along the Antarctic Peninsula where they are presumably important contributors to benthic production, carbon flow, and determinants of community structure. The present study assesses the densities of echinoderms at shallow depths (2–15 m) at five sampling sites within three kilometres of Anvers Island on the central western Antarctic Peninsula. The asteroids Odontaster validus, Granaster nutrix, Lysasterias perrieri and Adelasterias papillosa, two ophiuroids in the Amphiuridae, the holothuroids Psolicrux coatsi and Psolus carolineae and one representative of the Cucumaridae, and the regular echinoid Sterechinus neumayeri were enumerated. Mean total echinoderm densities were high (34.9 individuals m-2) and ranged from 21.9 individuals m-2 for asteroids to 2.7 individuals m-2 for holothuroids. With the exception of a positive relationship between the abundance of the regular echinoid Sterechinus neumayeri and the biomass of the brown alga Himanthothallus grandifolius, no significant relationships were found between the abundance of asteroids, ophiuroids, or holothuroids and two species of brown algae or three algal ecotypes. The present study indicates nearshore hard-bottom echinoderms are important in the carbon cycle and their inherent vulnerability to ocean acidification may have community-level impacts.