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Dietary supplements have been increasingly used by gym users and are often consumed without the guidance of a health professional. Moreover, the indiscriminate supplements use can have adverse health effects, such as changes in liver and kidney function. The aim of this study was to verify the association between dietary supplements intake with alterations in the liver and kidney function among gym users. A cross-sectional study with 594 gym users (mean age 37±14 years, 55.2% women) from a city in southern Brazil. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the use of dietary supplements. The markers of the liver (alanine aminotransferase; ALT, aspartate aminotransferase; AST, alkaline phosphatase; AKP, gamma-glutamyltransferase; Gama-GT) and renal (creatinine and urea) function were also evaluated on a subsample of the study population. Data were analyzed by Binary Logistic Regression, adjusted for sex, age and education. The prevalence of dietary supplement intake was 36.0%. Individuals who intake dietary supplements showed a higher prevalence to present slight alterations in the AST enzyme and in the urea after adjustments for potential confounders. In conclusion, the use of dietary supplement was associated with slight alterations in AST enzyme and in the urea among gym users. These findings show the importance of using supplements correctly, especially with guidance from professionals trained to avoid possible risks to health.
The diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has improved with the search of novel antigens; however, their performance is limited when samples from VL/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-coinfected patients are tested. In this context, studies conducted to identify more suitable antigens to detect both VL and VL/HIC coinfection cases should be performed. In the current study, phage display was performed using serum samples from healthy subjects and VL, HIV-infected and VL/HIV-coinfected patients; aiming to identify novel phage-exposed epitopes to be evaluated with this diagnostic purpose. Nine non-repetitive and valid sequences were identified, synthetized and tested as peptides in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay experiments. Results showed that three (Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4) peptides showed excellent performance to diagnose VL and VL/HIV coinfection, with 100% sensitivity and specificity values. The other peptides showed sensitivity varying from 50.9 to 80.0%, as well as specificity ranging from 60.0 to 95.6%. Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4 also showed a potential prognostic effect, since specific serological reactivity was significantly decreased after patient treatment. Bioinformatics assays indicated that Leishmania trypanothione reductase protein was predicted to contain these three conformational epitopes. In conclusion, data suggest that Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4 could be tested for the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV coinfection.
Despite evidence showing that the intake of ultra-processed food has a negative impact on health, diet quality and dietary vitamin E, its impact on vitamin E nutritional status and breast milk remains unknown. This study aimed to assess the influence of the consumption of ultra-processed foods on vitamin E biomarkers of lactating women. A cross-sectional study was performed with 294 lactating women. Food consumption was obtained by 24-h dietary recall, and foods were grouped according to the NOVA classification. Levels of α-tocopherol were analysed by HPLC. Breast milk vitamin E (BMVE) adequacy was based on the quantity of the vitamin in the estimated intake volume. The Kruskal–Wallis test was used to compare the tertiles and linear regression to association between ultra-processed food consumption and biomarkers. Ultra-processed foods accounted for 16 % of energy intake and vitamin E intakes by all women were considered low. Serum α-tocopherol was 26·55 (sd 7·98) µmol/l, 5 % (n 11) showed inadequate vitamin E (< 12 µmol/l) and 78 % had an inadequate BMVE content (< 4 mg/780 ml). The regression showed that a higher dietary share of ultra-processed foods was associated with lower concentrations of serum α-tocopherol (β = –0·168, 95 % CI –0·047, 0·010, P = 0·003) and inadequate BMVE content (β = –0·144, 95 % CI = –0·505, 0·063, P = 0·012) (adjustment for income and maternal age). Thus, higher dietary shares of ultra-processed foods had an impact on vitamin E biomarkers, suggesting that inadequate dietary intake practices during lactation may reduce the supply of vitamin E to women and breast milk.
Developing health promotion activities, aimed at healthy food intake, is essential for improving quality of life and reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases. Thus, the objective of this study is to describe both dietary and nutrient intake, according to length of participation in a health promotion service (Programa Academia da Saúde – PAS).
A cross-sectional study was carried out with a representative sample of PAS units in vulnerable areas of the city. Dietary and nutrient intake were assessed, using the average of two 24-h recalls. Food was categorised according to the NOVA (a systematic grouping of all foods according to the nature, extent and purpose of the industrial processes they undergo) classification. The length of participation in PAS is presented in months and is then examined in tertiles for analysis.
Belo Horizonte – Brazil.
3372 adults (≥20 years).
Users in the third tertile of PAS (24·4–61·6 months) experienced less energy intake, lipids and ultra-processed foods, and more culinary preparations, compared to others. Users in the second (10·1–24·3 months) and third tertiles of PAS had higher carbohydrate intake, Ca and vitamin C v those in the first tertile (0–10 months).
Results suggest that greater participation in PAS can improve dietary and nutrient intake, showing its potential to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent chronic diseases and offer longitudinal health care.
Maternal nutrition is critical in mammalian development, influencing the epigenetic reprogramming of gametes, embryos, and fetal programming. We evaluated the effects of different levels of sulfur (S) and cobalt (Co) in the maternal diet throughout the pre- and periconceptional periods on the biochemical and reproductive parameters of the donors and the DNA methylome of the progeny in Bos indicus cattle. The low-S/Co group differed from the control with respect to homocysteine, folic acid, B12, insulin growth factor 1, and glucose. The oocyte yield was lower in heifers from the low S/Co group than that in the control heifers. Embryos from the low-S/Co group exhibited 2320 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) across the genome compared with the control embryos. We also characterized candidate DMRs linked to the DNMT1 and DNMT3B genes in the blood and sperm cells of the adult progeny. A DMR located in DNMT1 that was identified in embryos remained differentially methylated in the sperm of the progeny from the low-S/Co group. Therefore, we associated changes in specific compounds in the maternal diet with DNA methylation modifications in the progeny. Our results help to elucidate the impact of maternal nutrition on epigenetic reprogramming in livestock, opening new avenues of research to study the effect of disturbed epigenetic patterns in early life on health and fertility in adulthood. Considering that cattle are physiologically similar to humans with respect to gestational length, our study may serve as a model for studies related to the developmental origin of health and disease in humans.
The retention of human milk (HM) fat in nasogastric probes of infusion pumps can be observed during the feed of infants unable to suck at the mother’s breast. The lack of homogenisation of HM could contribute to the fat holding. Therefore, the present study evaluated (i) the influence of homogenisation on milk fat retaining in infant feeding probes and (ii) the in vivo effect of the homogenisation on lipid absorption by Wistar rats. The animals were fed with HM treated following two processing conditions, that is, pasteurised and homogenised–pasteurised. The animals were randomly subdivided into four experimental groups: water-fed (control), pasteurised milk, homogenised–pasteurised milk and pasteurised–skimmed milk. The results of food consumption, mass body gain, corporate metrics and plasma blood levels of total cholesterol did not show any difference (P < 0·05) among the three types of HM used in the experiments. The liver, intestine and intra-abdominal adipose tissue of the four groups of animals presented normal and healthy histology. The composition of fatty acids in the brain tissue of animals fed with homogenised HM increased when compared with the groups fed with non-homogenised HM. These values were 11·08 % higher for arachidonic acids, 6·59 % for DAH and 47·92 % for nervous acids. The ingestion of homogenised HM promoted higher absorption of milk nutrients. Therefore, the addition of the homogenisation stage in HM processing could be an alternative to reduce fat retention in probes and to improve the lipids’ absorption in the body.
The role of fire in the management of degraded areas remains strongly debated. Here we experimentally compare removal and infestation of popcorn kernels (Zea mays L. – Poaceae) and açaí fruits (Euterpe oleracea Mart. – Arecaceae) in one burned and two unburned savanna habitats in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. In each habitat, a total of ten experimental units (five per seed type) were installed, each with three treatments: (1) open access, (2) vertebrate access, and (3) invertebrate access. Generalized linear models showed significant differences in both seed removal (P < 0.0001) and infestation (P < 0.0001) among seed type, habitats and access treatments. Burned savanna had the highest overall seed infestation rate (24.3%) and invertebrate access increased açaí seed infestation levels to 100% in the burned savanna. Increased levels of invertebrate seed infestation in burned savanna suggest that preparation burning may be of limited use for the management and restoration of such habitats in tropical regions.
This study aimed to (1) evaluate the effects of flint maize processing methods on the estimation of the readily soluble fraction (a), the potentially degradable fraction (b) and the rate of degradation of b (c) for dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM) and starch in the rumen; and (2) verify whether two different applications of in situ technique can be used to estimate in vivo DM, OM and starch digestibilities. Five ruminally cannulated Nellore bulls (265 ± 18.2 kg; 8 ± 1.0 mo) were distributed in a 5 × 5 Latin square. Three experimental diets were composed of 0.30 whole-plant maize silage, 0.10 supplement and 0.60 of one of the following processing methods: dry ground maize grain (DMG); high-moisture maize (HMM); reconstituted maize grain silage (RMG). Two additional diets were composed of 0.10 supplement, 0.80 snaplage and 0.10 stalklage (SNAP-80); or 0.10 supplement and 0.90 snaplage (SNAP-90). Digestibilities were estimated using in vivo procedure or predicted from in situ technique using a single 24 h incubation point or an equation proposed in previous literature. Diets based on ensiled grains presented greater (P < 0.05) fraction a and c and lower (P < 0.05) fraction b of DM, OM and starch compared to DMG. Both alternative use of in situ technique accurately estimated (P > 0.05) in vivo DM, OM and starch digestibilities. The results suggest that ensilage process may increase the availability of nutrients. The two different applications of in situ technique showed precision and accuracy to estimate in vivo digestibility.
Accurate estimates of methane (CH4) production by cattle in different contexts are essential to developing mitigation strategies in different regions. We aimed to: (i) compile a database of CH4 emissions from Brazilian cattle studies, (ii) evaluate prediction precision and accuracy of extant proposed equations for cattle and (iii) develop specialized equations for predicting CH4 emissions from cattle in tropical conditions. Data of nutrient intake, diet composition and CH4 emissions were compiled from in vivo studies using open-circuit respiratory chambers, SF6 technique or the GreenFeed® system. A final dataset containing intake, diet composition, digestibility and CH4 emissions (677 individual animal observations, 40 treatment means) obtained from 38 studies conducted in Brazil was used. The dataset was divided into three groups: all animals (GEN), lactating dairy cows (LAC) and growing cattle and non-lactating dairy cows (GCNL). A total of 54 prediction equations available in the literature were evaluated. A total of 96 multiple linear models were developed for predicting CH4 production (MJ/day). The predictor variables were DM intake (DMI), gross energy (GE) intake, BW, DMI as proportion of BW, NDF concentration, ether extract (EE) concentration, dietary proportion of concentrate and GE digestibility. Model selection criteria were significance (P < 0.05) and variance inflation factor lower than three for all predictors. Each model performance was evaluated by leave-one-out cross-validation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2006) Tier 2 method performed better for GEN and GCNL than LAC and overpredicted CH4 production for all datasets. Increasing complexity of the newly developed models resulted in greater performance. The GCNL had a greater number of equations with expanded possibilities to correct for diet characteristics such as EE and NDF concentrations and dietary proportion of concentrate. For the LAC dataset, equations based on intake and animal characteristics were developed. The equations developed in the present study can be useful for accurate and precise estimation of CH4 emissions from cattle in tropical conditions. These equations could improve accuracy of greenhouse gas inventories for tropical countries. The results provide a better understanding of the dietary and animal characteristics that influence the production of enteric CH4 in tropical production systems.
The farrowing process is one of the most energy-demanding activities for the modern hyperprolific sow. This study evaluated the effects of supply of energy on the expected date of farrowing on the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance during the first 24 h after birth. A total of 80 sows were used. The sows and their respective litters were considered as the experimental unit. On the expected day of farrowing, the sows were allocated to one of the following groups: sows that did not have access to feed from farrowing induction until the end of the farrowing process (CON, n = 40); sows fed 500 g of energetic supplement, which consisted of 250 g of the basal lactation diet plus 250 g of cane sugar, 18 h after farrowing induction (SUP, n = 40). The farrowing duration, farrowing assistance, birth interval, number of total born, stillborn and mummified piglets were recorded for each sow. Piglets were weighed individually at birth and 24 h later. The interval from birth to first suckle was evaluated individually for each piglet in 16 randomly selected litters (eight litters per treatment group). Blood glucose concentrations of six sows were measured shortly after expulsion of the first piglet. Farrowing duration, farrowing assistance and stillborn rate tended to be greater (P = 0.06, P = 0.09 and P = 0.07, respectively) in sows from the CON group compared to sows from the SUP group. However, there was no difference (P > 0.05) between the groups for birth interval. Colostrum intake was greater (P < 0.05) for piglets from the SUP group compared to piglets from the CON group. Additionally, BW gain of the piglets suckling the SUP group was greater (P < 0.05) than those suckling the CON group at 24 h after birth. The blood glucose concentrations during the expulsive stage of farrowing were greater (P < 0.05) in the SUP group than for sows from the CON group. In conclusion, supplying modern hyperprolific sows energy on the expected day of farrowing is a valuable nutritional intervention to improve the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance in early life.
The rate of passage (ROP) in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) influences the exposure time of food to the digestion and absorption processes. Consequently, ROP affects the efficiency of nutrient utilization and energy from the diet. This study aimed to determine the physiological parameters that characterize the digestive response, such as first appearance time (FAT), ROP, mean retention time (MRT) and transit time (TT) in adult Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica), and to evaluate the effects of sex, apparent metabolizable energy corrected for nitrogen balance (AMEn) content in the diet and different types of markers on these parameters. In the first trial, we investigated the effects of sex and AMEn level (high- and low-energy diet) on the FAT parameter. Thirty-two male and 32 female Japanese quail were randomly allocated to 8 battery cages and assigned to 4 treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design with 4 replicates of 4 birds for each treatment. To determine the FAT, ferric oxide (1%) was added to the diet, and the excreta of the quail was monitored until the first appearance of the marker. The results indicated significant differences (P < 0.05) in the FAT between males (100 min) and females (56 min), regardless of the AMEn content. In the second trial, thirty-two 32-week-old female Japanese quail in the laying phase were assigned to four treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design, in which the main independent variables were type of marker (Cr or Ti) and AMEn level (high- and low-energy diets). In order to determine ROP (ET1%), MRT and TT (ET100%), the markers (0.5%: Cr2O3 and 0.5%: TiO2) were added to the diets, and the excreta were collected for 750 min. The excretion times for 1% (ET1%), 25% (ET25%), 50% (ET50%), 75% (ET75%) and 100% (ET100%) were estimated using cumulative excretion curves. No effect was detected for the AMEn level (P > 0.05); however, the effect of different marker types was significant (P < 0.05). This difference increased with time and ET100% was estimated to occur at 59 min. The ROP was estimated to be 68 min. The TT was estimated to be 540 min using Cr and 599 min using Ti, with an average MRT value of 0930 h. Taken together, our findings support the hypothesis that Japanese quail digestion through the GIT can be dynamic and differ based on sex or marker type.
The description of the growth of the Japanese quails is necessary to characterize the genetic potential of these birds raised in different countries. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe the genetic potential of Japanese quails by conducting a meta-analysis considering studies conducted in different countries. Only data about the subspecies Coturnix coturnix japonica were considered; studies regarding Coturnix coturnix coturnix were not examined. The criteria investigated were BW (W), age (t), year of publication and location of the study. Each set of genetic material within a publication was coded as one study. The Gompertz function was used to interpret the growth of laying quails; thus, each study was represented by Gompertz parameters. The W and t data were applied to estimate the values of Gompertz growth parameters, including BW at maturity (Wm), BW at birth (Wi), maturity rate (B) and inflection point (IP). The age at which the maximum growth rate was achieved (t*) was calculated considering the parameters Wm, Wi and B. To estimate these parameters, random regression was used to randomize the parameter Wm. The parameters estimated for each assay were used in exploratory, grouping, and principal component analyses. The values of Wi ranged from 4.1 to 11.6 g. The values of B ranged from 0.0393 to 0.1039/day, and consequently, the values of t* and IP ranged from 14 to 31 days and 9.21 to 31.03 g, respectively. These results show that there is considerable variability in the growth potential of Japanese quails. To better understand this variation, two groups were examined: Brazil and other countries, according to the grouping of Wi, Wm, B and t*; parameter B was the variable that presented the highest specificity, indicating that both groups modified the maturity rate. For the principal component analysis, the year of publication showed a relationship with the growth parameters but only for studies performed in Brazil. For studies carried out in other countries, the changes in growth parameters were not related to the year of publication. In Brazilian studies, there was a decrease in the maturity rate, but the weight at maturity was higher. Therefore, it appears that different strategies of genetic selection were adopted in Brazil compared to other countries.
Nutrient requirements in cattle are dependent on physiological stage, breed and environmental conditions. In Holstein × Gyr crossbred dairy heifers, the lack of data remains a limiting factor for estimating energy and protein requirements. Thus, we aimed to estimate the energy and protein requirements of Holstein × Gyr crossbred heifers raised under tropical conditions. Twenty-two crossbred (½ Holstein × ½ Gyr) heifers with an average initial BW of 102.2 ± 3.4 kg and 3 to 4 months of age were used. To estimate requirements, the comparative slaughter technique was used: four animals were assigned to the reference group, slaughtered at the beginning of the experiment to estimate the initial empty BW (EBW) and composition of the animals that remained in the experiment. The remaining animals were randomized into three treatments based on targeted rates of BW gain: high (1.0 kg/day), low (0.5 kg/day) and close to maintenance (0.1 kg/day). At the end of the experiment, all animals were slaughtered to determine EBW, empty body gain (EBG) and body energy and protein contents. The linear regression parameters were estimated using PROC MIXED of SAS (version 9.4). Estimates of the parameters of non-linear regressions were adjusted through PROC NLIN of SAS using the Gauss–Newton method for parameter fit. The net requirements of energy for maintenance (NEm) and metabolizable energy for maintenance (MEm) were 0.303 and 0.469 MJ/EBW0.75 per day, respectively. The efficiency of use of MEm was 64.5%. The estimated equation to predict the net energy requirement for gain (NEg) was: NEg (MJ/day) = 0.299 × EBW0.75 × EBG0.601. The efficiency of use of ME for gain (kg) was 30.7%. The requirement of metabolizable protein for maintenance was 3.52 g/EBW0.75 per day. The equation to predict net protein requirement for gain (NPg) was: NPg (g/day) = 243.65 × EBW−0.091 × EBG. The efficiency of use of metabolizable protein for gain (k) was 50.8%. We observed noteworthy differences when comparing to ME and protein requirements of Holstein × Gyr crossbred heifers with other systems. In addition, we also observed differences in estimates for NEm, NEg, NPg, kg and k. Therefore, we propose that the equations generated in the present study should be used to estimate energy and protein requirements for Holstein × Gyr crossbred dairy heifers raised in tropical conditions in the post-weaning phase up to 185 kg of BW.
To estimate the nutritional requirements of hair sheep, knowledge about the animal’s weight and its relationships with growth performances is essential. A study was carried with the objective to establish the relationships between BW, fasting BW (FBW), empty BW (EBW), average daily gain (ADG) and empty BW gain (EBWG) for hair sheep in growing and finishing phases in Brazilian conditions. Databases were obtained from 32 studies, for a total of 1145 observations; there were 3 sex classes (non-castrated male, castrated male and female) and 2 feeding systems (pasture and feedlot). The most representative breeds in the database were Santa Ines (n = 473), Morada Nova (n = 70) and Brazilian Somali (n = 47). The other animals in the database were crossbreeds (n = 555). The FBW (kg), EBW and EBWG (kg/day) were estimated according to linear regression. A random coefficient model was adopted, considering the study as a random effect and including the possibility of covariance between the slope and the intercept. The coefficients obtained from the linear regression of the FBW against the BW, EBW against the FBW and EBWG against the ADG did not differ between sex class (P > 0.05) and genotype (P > 0.05). The equations generated to estimate FBW from the BW, EBW from the FBW and EBWG from the ADG are as follows: FBW = −0.5470 (±0.2025) + 0.9313(±0.019) × BW, EBW = −1.4944 (±0.3639) + 0.8816 (±0.018) × FBW and EBWG = 0.906 (±0.019) × ADG, respectively. The low mean squared error values found in the cross-validation confirmed the reliability of these equations. Considering a sheep with a BW of 30 kg and a 100 g ADG, the estimated FBW, EBW and EBWG calculated using the generated equations are 27, 22.65 and 0.090 kg, respectively. In conclusion, the generated equations can be used in growing hair sheep. The validation procedure applied to the generated equations showed that its use for hair sheep seems to be appropriate.
Tropical soils tend to harden during drying due to the generally low content of free-iron and organic carbon, combined with high fine sand and silt proportions. It was hypothesized that the change in soil physical condition induced by the addition of a leguminous mulch in cohesive tropical soil enriched with calcium may mitigate soil hardening through wetting and drying cycles by rain or irrigation, thereby improving the soil rootability. A leguminous mulch was added in different concentrations to a structurally fragile tropical soil enriched with calcium, which then had different irrigation intervals. The treatments were with or without mulch (10 t/ha), with or without added nitrogen (100 kg/ha at 2 intervals) and two irrigation intervals. In 2015 the irrigation intervals were either 4 or 8 days, and in 2016 they were either 6 or 9 days. Two years were used in the attempt to achieve greater differences, as for tested variables, between treatments. Maize planted in these soil treatments was measured for physiological performance, water use efficiency and yield. Mulch used on structurally fragile tropical soil enriched with calcium was found to delay increased penetration resistance from hardening by wet/dry cycles. In this context, an improved soil rootability led to an enlargement of the leaf area index, greater nitrogen uptake and increased CO2 assimilation. This had important physiological consequences due to the positive effect on increased dry matter production and maize yield. In addition, these results suggested that mulch, used with urea, can delay the water supply for 3 or 4 days due to improvements in soil rootability caused by calcium and organic matter interactions. This may be crucial to a region where small intervals without rain are increasingly common due to global climate change. Therefore, due to a greater water use efficiency, this strategy may be a profitable way to increase crop productivity in tropical conditions rather than increasing water and nutrient application alone.
Human neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a worldwide neglected disease caused by Taenia solium metacestode and responsible for various complications and neurological disorders. This study aimed to evaluate the use of specific immunoglobulin Y (IgY) produced by laying hens immunized with a hydrophobic fraction of Taenia crassiceps metacestodes (hFTc) in NCC diagnosis. Egg yolk IgY antibodies were fractionated, purified and characterized. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was carried out to evaluate the production kinetics and avidity maturation of anti-hFTc IgY antibodies throughout the IgY obtention process. Antigen recognition tests were carried out by Western blotting and immunofluorescence antibody test using purified and specific anti-hFTc IgY antibodies for detection of parasitic antigens of T. crassiceps and T. solium metacestodes. Sandwich ELISA was performed to detect circulating immune complexes formed by IgG and parasitic antigens in human sera. The results showed high diagnostic values (93.2% sensitivity and 94.3% specificity) for immune complexes detection in human sera with confirmed NCC. In conclusion, specific IgY antibodies produced from immunized hens with hFTc antigens were efficient to detect T. solium immune complexes in human sera, being an innovative and potential tool for NCC immunodiagnosis.
Semiconducting nanostructures such as nanowires (NWs) have been used as building blocks for various types of sensors, energy storage and generation devices, electronic devices and for new manufacturing methods involving printed NWs. The response of these sensing/energy/electronic components and the new fabrication methods depends very much on the quality of NWs and for this reason it is important to understand the growth mechanism of 1D semiconducting nanostructures. This is also important to understand the compatibility of NW growth steps and tools used in the process with these unconventional substrates such as plastic that are used in flexible and large area electronics. Therefore, this Element presents at length discussion about the growth mechanisms, growth conditions and the tools used for the synthesis of NWs. Although NWs from Si, ZnO and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are included, the discussion is generic and relevant to several other types of NWs as well as heterostructures.
Dietary protein adjustments can reduce environmental impact and economic losses in production systems. However, we lack information regarding nitrogen (N) metabolism and protein requirements for maintenance of crossbred animals such as Red Norte breed, precluding a precise dietary management. The objective was to evaluate the effect of increasing dietary CP levels (9%, 11%, 13%, 15% and 17%) on intake, digestibility and N balance, as well as to estimate the metabolizable protein requirements for maintenance (MPm) of growing Red Norte bulls. Thirty five animals averaging 280 ± 4.0 kg BW were fed during 45 days in a 60 : 40 forage : concentrate ratio diet in which the last 5 days were used for the digestibility trial. Intakes of CP and non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFCs) and feed efficiency linearly increased (P < 0.05) as CP levels increased, while DM, NDF, nitrogen efficiency use and ether extract were not influenced by CP levels (P > 0.05). Digestibilities of DM, organic matter, ether extract, NFC and CP as well as metabolizable energy intake linearly increased (P < 0.05), and true digestibility of CP was not affected (P > 0.05) by treatments. Urinary N and retained N linearly increased (P < 0.05) with the increase in dietary N. The MPm were estimated as 4.46 g/BW0.75 and the efficiency of use of MPm was 0.673. In conclusion, obtained MPm requirements of growing Red Norte bulls are greater than the values reported in literature for Zebu cattle and dietary CP levels of 15% and 17% exhibited great responses for growing Red Norte cattle. However, a cost-benefit evaluation should be done before its use.
Light competition increases and plants’ growth pattern change to optimize light utilization when the leaf area index increases. It has been previously shown that using 95% canopy light interception (LI) as a grazing frequency criterion resulted in a greater proportion of leaves and a lower proportion of stem. The objective of the study was to characterize the forage production, morphological composition and nutritive value of Panicum maximum cv Mombaça. The experiment was carried out during summer, autumn–winter and spring. Treatments corresponded to combinations of two pre-grazing conditions (95% and maximum LI at pre-grazing; LI95% and LIMax, respectively) and two post-grazing heights (PGHs; 30 and 50 cm). The statistical design was a randomized complete block, with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Swards managed with LI95% had greater proportions of leaves and lower proportions of stems compared to LIMax. Leaf proportion was lower during autumn–winter compared to summer and spring. The LI95% had greater crude protein (CP) and digestibility (IVOMD), and lower acid detergent fibre (ADF) concentrations than LIMax. The 50 cm PGH pastures had greater CP content and IVOMD, and lower ADF content than 30 cm PGH pastures. Lower IVOMD was observed during autumn–winter than summer and spring. The variability observed on morphological characteristics was primarily associated with seasonality, whilst the nutritive value was primarily affected by grazing management. The pre-grazing target of LI95% combined with 50 cm PGH was the combination that resulted in an increased proportion of leaves, decreased stems in basal stratum and the greatest nutritive value of the produced forage.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.