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Failed transfer of passive immunity (FTPI) in dairy calves – which is often due to the low amount of colostrum provided within a few hours after birth – remains a crucial issue. Enabling dairy calves to nurse colostrum from their dams could be useful in increasing intake and thus avoiding FTPI, but further potential effects on the health and welfare of both calves and dams should also be considered. In this study, 107 calf-dam pairs from two Italian dairy farms were alternately assigned to one of the following colostrum provision methods (CPMs): ‘hand-fed method’ (HFM) – the calf was separated from the dam immediately after birth and colostrum was provided by nipple-bottle (n = 50); ‘nursing method’ (NM) – the calf nursed colostrum from the dam for the first 12 h of life without farmer assistance (n = 30); and ‘mixed method’ (MM) – the nursing calf received a supplementary colostrum meal by nipple-bottle (n = 27). Serum of calves (1 to 5 days of age) and samples of their first colostrum meal were analysed by electrophoresis to assess immunoglobulin (Ig) concentration. Additionally, behavioural indicators of separation distress (calf and dam vocalisations; calf refusal of the first meal after separation; undesirable dam behaviour at milking) in the following 24 h were recorded as binary variables (Yes/No), and the health status of calves (disease occurrence and mortality) and dams (postpartum disorders and mastitis occurrence) were monitored for the first 3 months of life and 7 days after parturition, respectively. The lowest FTPI occurrence (calf serum Ig concentration <10.0 g/l) was found in the MM (11.1%) and the HFM (22.0%) compared with the NM (60.0%) (P<0.05), and the highest percentage of calves with optimal transfer of passive immunity (serum Ig concentration ≥16.0 g/l) was observed in the MM (55.6%). The lowest calf–dam separation distress was observed in the HFM (P<0.05). The highest calf disease occurrence was recorded in the HFM (64.0%) and the lowest in the NM (33.3%), with an intermediate value for the MM (44.4%) (P<0.05). No effect of the CPM was observed on dam health or calf mortality (P>0.05). The results of this study indicated that providing calves with a supplementary colostrum meal in addition to nursing from the dam (MM) is truly effective in maximizing passive immunity transfer. Anyway, specific strategies should be studied to minimise calf-dam separation distress.
In 2015, the Belgian National Reference Centre for Bordetella analyzed 4110 respiratory samples by qPCR and 4877 serum samples by serology. Whereas about 50% of respiratory samples were from infants and children below the age of five, serum samples were distributed among all age categories. A total of 394 (9·6%) cases was diagnosed as positive for Bordetella pertussis by qPCR and 844 (17·3%) cases were diagnosed as acute infection by serology (anti-pertussis toxin (PT) IgG > 125 IU/ml). Another 1042 (21·4%) sera had anti-PT IgG between 55 and 125 IU/ml reflecting a vaccination or pertussis infection during the last 1–2 years. Seventy per cent of the pertussis cases diagnosed by qPRC were in infants and children younger than 14 years old, whereas the highest number of sera with anti-PT levels >125 IU/ml was in the age group of 10–14 years old. Based on the limited data of the last vaccination (reported for only 15% of the samples), recent booster vaccination in the teenager group may have contributed only minimally to these elevated anti-PT levels. The highest number of sera with anti-PT titers between 55 and 125 IU/ml was found in the age category 50–59 years old. It is clear that pertussis continues to be a problem in Belgium and that other vaccination strategies (maternal vaccination, cocoon vaccination) and ultimately better vaccines will be needed to control this highly infectious respiratory disease.
Against the background of very limited evidence, the present study aimed to prospectively examine the impact of maternal postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms on four important areas of child development, i.e. gross motor, fine motor, communication and social–emotional development.
This study is part of the large, population-based Akershus Birth Cohort. Data from the hospital's birth record as well as questionnaire data from 8 weeks and 2 years postpartum were used (n = 1472). The domains of child development that were significantly correlated with PTSD symptoms were entered into regression analyses. Interaction analyses were run to test whether the influence of postpartum PTSD symptoms on child development was moderated by child sex or infant temperament.
Postpartum PTSD symptoms had a prospective relationship with poor child social–emotional development 2 years later. This relationship remained significant even when adjusting for confounders such as maternal depression and anxiety or infant temperament. Both child sex and infant temperament moderated the association between maternal PTSD symptoms and child social–emotional development, i.e. with increasing maternal PTSD symptom load, boys and children with a difficult temperament were shown to have comparatively higher levels of social–emotional problems.
Examining four different domains of child development, we found a prospective impact of postpartum PTSD symptoms on children's social–emotional development at 2 years of age. Our findings suggest that both boys and children with an early difficult temperament may be particularly susceptible to the adverse impact of postpartum PTSD symptoms. Additional studies are needed to further investigate the mechanisms at work.
During an excavation of 1986 and 1987, a joint team from Utrecht, Siena and the Soprintendenza di Sassari e Nuoro, found a pre-Neolithic lithic industry in Corbeddu Cave, Oliena, Sardinia, which was dated to 8000–17,000 bp. The artifact typology is different from that of the mainland of the same period. The lithic and bone artifacts suggest an endemic isolated economy of the Upper Pleistocene in Sardinia.
We show how estimates of parameters characterizing inflation-based theories of structure formation localized over the past year when large scale structure (LSS) information from galaxy and cluster surveys was combined with the rapidly developing cosmic microwave background (CMB) data, especially from the recent Boomerang and Maxima balloon experiments. All current CMB data plus a relatively weak prior probability on the Hubble constant, age and LSS points to little mean curvature (Ωtot = 1.08±0.06) and nearly scale invariant initial fluctuations (ns = 1.03±0.08), both predictions of (non-baroque) inflation theory. We emphasize the role that degeneracy among parameters in the Lpk = 212 ± 7 position of the (first acoustic) peak plays in defining the Ωtot range upon marginalization over other variables. Though the CDM density is in the expected range (Ωcdmh2 = 0.17 ± 0.02), the baryon density Ωbh2 = 0.030 ± 0.005 is somewhat above the independent 0.019 ± 0.002 nucleosynthesis estimates. CMB+LSS gives independent evidence for dark energy (ΩΛ = 0.66 ± 0.06) at the same level as from supernova (SN1) observations, with a phenomenological quintessence equation of state limited by SN1+CMB+LSS to wQ < −0.7 cf. the wQ=−1 cosmological constant case.
BOOMERanG has recently resolved structures on the last scattering surface at redshift ˜ 1100 with high signal to noise ratio. We review the technical advances which made this possible, and we focus on the current results for maps and power spectra, with special attention to the determination of the total mass-energy density in the Universe and of other cosmological parameters.
To discover the anatomist who first identified the upper oesophageal sphincter.
The authors searched dozens of antique anatomy textbooks kept in the old section of the ‘Vincenzo Pinali’ Medical Library of Padua University, looking for descriptions of the upper oesophageal sphincter.
The oesophageal sphincter was drawn correctly only in 1601, by Julius Casserius, in the book De vocis auditusque organis historia anatomica… (which translates as ‘An Anatomical History on the Organs of Voice and Hearing …’), and was properly described by Antonio Maria Valsalva in 1704 in the book De aure humana tractatus… (‘Treatise on the Human Ear …’).
Anatomists Casserius and Valsalva can be considered the discoverers of the ‘oesophageal sphincter’.
Toxoplasmosis is one of the five parasitic diseases considered as a priority for public health action. The consumption of raw milk products represents a possible risk, in particular for certain categories of people. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible effects of Toxoplasma gondii on milk yield and quality in sero-positive animals with parasitemia. Eighteen healthy lactating Amiata jennies, between 90 and 180 days were included in the study. Four donkeys scored positive for immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT), and each IFAT positive donkey presented parasitic DNA both in the blood and milk. No significant differences were found between milk yield in PCR-positive donkeys compared with the negative cases, however the former tended to have a greater production. Milk quality in the positive donkeys showed a significantly lower percentage of casein (0.72% v. 0.81%) and ash (0.32% v. 0.37%). Positive cases had a highly significant larger average diameter of globules (2.35 µm) and fewer globules/ml (2.39×108). Somatic cell and bacterial counts were normal and in agreement with the literature. Toxoplasma gondii did not seem to present clinical forms in lactating jennies. Further in vivo studies are needed to further assess the risk of T. gondii transmission through donkey milk, together with the impact of different stages of infection on milk quality.
In the last decades many techniques have been proposed to manufacture thin (<50µm) silicon solar cells. The main issues in manufacturing thin solar cells are the unavailability of a reliable method to produce thin silicon foils with contained material losses (kerf-losses) and the difficulties in handling and processing such fragile foils. A way to solve both issues is to grow an epitaxial foil on top of a weak sintered porous silicon layer. The porous silicon layer is formed by electrochemical etching on a thick silicon substrate and then annealed to close the top surface. This surface is employed as seed layer for the epitaxial growth of a silicon layer which can be partially processed while attached on the substrate that provides mechanical support. Afterward, the foil can be bonded on glass, detached and further processed at module level. The efficiency of the final solar cell will depend on the quality of the epitaxial layer which, in turn, depends on the seed layer smoothness.
Several parameters can be adjusted to change the morphology and, hence, the properties of the porous layer, both in the porous silicon formation and the succeeding thermal treatment. This work focuses on the effect of the parameters that control the porous silicon formation on the structure of the porous silicon layer after annealing and, more specifically, on the roughness of the top surface. The reported analysis shows how the roughness of the seed layer can be reduced to improve the quality of the epitaxial growth.
Urtica dioica and Convolvulus arvensis are the main host plants of Hyalesthes obsoletus and play an important role in the epidemiology of Bois noir of grapevines. The earliest survey, which was carried out to compare the phenology of nymphal instars on U. dioica and C. arvensis, had highlighted some problems in the identification of the instars. Therefore, the correct identification of nymphs to species and instar level became a preliminary aim of this research. Adults and nymphs attributable to H. obsoletus were collected during 2008–2010 in three flatland vineyard habitats of northern Italy on U. dioica, C. arvensis and Artemisia verlotorum. Nymphs and morphologically identified adults of H. obsoletus were submitted to molecular identification. Morphometric and morphological studies were carried out on nymphs collected in the field or obtained in laboratory rearings. Molecular methods not only confirmed the identity of adults, but also allowed the assignment of the nymphs to this species. Morphometric and morphological characteristics (e.g. body and head-thoracic lengths, number of thoracic pits) showed the existence of five nymphal instars. Morphometric differences between newly hatched and older first-instar nymphs were observed. A key to distinguish the five instars was proposed. Evident differences between H. obsoletus nymphs studied here and elsewhere were identified. According to differences in adult-flight period, an earlier phenology of nymphs on C. arvensis than on U. dioica was observed. In particular, the typical overwintering instar was the second on U. dioica and the third on C. arvensis.
We present elastic He-beam scattering data of the Pd(111)/H system. Diffraction intensities were measured as a function of surface temperature in the range 140°K–320°K. Two remarkable features are observed : the first is the presence of C3v symmetry at (1 × 1) saturation coverage (140°K) and its transformation to C6v symmetry at lower coverages (270°K). The second feature is the anomalous attenuation of the specular He beam accompanying this transformation. Taken together these features provide strong evidence of a fundamental change in the surface charge density corrugation. A classical interpretation of the motion of hydrogen either fails to reproduce the measured attenuation or leads to contradictory and unphysical conclusions regarding the H-metal bond length or surface equilibrium. An alternative quantum mechanical interpretation is developed and is shown to provide consistent and satisfactory explanation of the measurements.
We suggest a new application for elastic scattering of a metastable spin-polarized atomic helium beam at thermal energy. We demonstrate how angle-resolved measurements of the Bragg peaks of scattered surviving metastable atoms can give information about the spin-ordering of an antiferromagnetic (AF) transition metal oxide surface. In this paper, we discuss the feasibility of such measurements for NiO(100) and MnO(100), based on available information about their electronic structure and the properties of spin-polarized metastable helium. On impact with a surface, the survival probability of metastables is generally very low (<10-2). There are two possible decay mechanisms for metastables, a resonance ionization followed by auger neutralization, or an auger de-excitation process. For AF surfaces which fulfill certain requirements on their electronic structure, spin-selection rules will inhibit the decay of the metastable atoms from a favourably aligned magnetic sublattice. The survival probability will then be dramatically enhanced from the chosen sublattice, and the coherently scattered surviving metastables will reflect the periodicity of that magnetic sublattice. In contrast to other methods currently applied to magnetic systems, this method does not rely on difference spectra. Consequently, reversal of spinorientation is not necessary for the observation of magnetic ordering.
State of the art CMOS devices have been scaled to such dimensions that we need take atomistic approach to understand their operation for nano-electronics. From a bottoms-up perspective, the smallest functional element within a nano-device would be a single (dopant) atom itself. Control and understanding of the eigenenergies and wavefunctions of a single dopant in Si is a key ingredient for device technology beyond-CMOS like quantum-information processing. Here, we will discuss the eigenlevels of a single As donor in a three terminal configuration. The donor is incorporated in the channel of prototype transistors called FinFETs. The measured eigenlevels are shown to consist of levels associated with the donors Coulomb potential, levels associated with a triangular well at the gate interface and hybridized combinations of the two. The theoretical framework in which we describe this system (NEMO-3D) is based on a tight-binding approximation.
The aims of this study were to determine adherence to the perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis (PAP) protocol used at a large Italian teaching hospital during a 6-year period, to assess the variables associated with inappropriate administration, and to measure the impact on surgical site infection (SSI) rates. There were 28 621 patients surveyed of which 74·6% received PAP. An improvement in adherence to the PAP protocol was registered for 58·8% of patients. Significant risk factors were an American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score ⩾2 [odds ratios (OR) from 1·28 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1·19–1·37) to 1·87 (95% CI 1·43–2·44)], prolonged duration of surgery (OR 1·68, 95% CI 1·56–1·82) and urgent surgery (OR 2·16, 95% CI 1·96–2·37). During the study period, a significant reduction in SSIs rates was detected. We concluded that the global reduction of inadequate PAP administration signifies the efficacy of a multidisciplinary quality improvement initiative on antimicrobial utilization, and this is supported by the observed reduction of the SSI rate.
The impacts of logging on Amazonian ecosystems has been the focus of considerable attention both within and outside of Amazonia. However, the impacts of logging on individual timber species has not been at all adequately investigated. Logging affects timber species by: (1) removing mature individuals that are important sources of seeds; (2) damaging seedlings and saplings (i.e future generations of canopy adults); and (3) creating conditions that favour fire by opening the canopy and leaving slash as fuel on the forest floor.
In this study we summarize information on the ecological characteristics of 305 timber species in Brazilian Amazonia. We identify seven ecological parameters that are useful in evaluating a species' ability to resist the negative impacts of logging. These characteristics are: (1) effective long-distance dispersal ability; (2) abundance of saplings in forest regeneration; (3) rapid growth; (4) ability to resprout; (5) capacity to withstand fire; (6) broad geographic distribution; and (7) high density of adults. We hypothesize thai species with characteristics opposed to these parameters and subjected to intense logging pressure will have difficulty in maintaining their populations in logging regions.
We use a simple scoring system to rank species with regard to their hypothesized ability to withstand logging impacts. Among the species that are potentially susceptible to logging impacts are Euxylophora paraensis (‘Pau Amarelo’) and Swietenia macrophylla (American Mahogany). The sawn lumber from these two species goes principally to European and North American buyers, revealing a direct link between First World consumption and possible biodiversity impoverishment in the Brazilian rain-forest. These two species, and others that might experience population reductions as a result of logging, merit special study.
While characterization of the MBH–σ* relationship in AGNs has improved due to the increase in available data and the improvement in accuracy of both MBH and σ* measurements, additional data at the high-luminosity end of the distribution of quasars are needed, as recent studies indicate that perhaps the relation steepens in this regime. To this end, we present three new measurements in objects at the high-luminosity end of the relation.
Thirty-eight Salmonella typhimurium strains isolated from December 1987 to March 1988 in Isernia, Central Italy, were characterized on the basis of their phage type, resistance to antimicrobials and plasmid profiles. According to their phage types, the isolates could be assigned to one of six groups, the prevalent one being PT 195 which accounted for 73·6% of isolates.
On the basis of their plasmid content, the isolates could be assigned to one of ten groups. The prevalent plasmid profile (60·0; 6·0; 4·3; 4·0; 3·2 megadaltons) was found in 60·4% of isolates.
All the isolates from a particular food (salsicce), and as most of isolates from humans who had consumed this food belonged to phage type 195 and were of the same plasmid profile.
The combined use of phage typing and DNA plasmid analysis proved to be a useful tool in identifying epidemiologically related isolates in this investigation.
The canopy disturbance regime and the influence of gap methods on the interpretation of forest structure and dynamics were evaluated in a tropical semi-deciduous forest in south-eastern Brazil. We encountered a gap density of 11.2 gaps ha−1 and an average size which varied from 121 to 333 m2 depending on the gap delimitation method considered (minimum gap size was 10 m2). Although average size was slightly higher, the median value obtained (78 m2) was comparable to other tropical forest sites and the gap size-class distribution found supported the pattern described for such forest sites. Among 297 gap makers, snapping and uprooting were the most common modes of disturbance. The number and basal area of gap makers were good predictors of gap size. Almost 25% of all gaps suffered from repeated disturbance events that brought about larger gap sizes. Such processes, along with delimitation methods, strongly influenced the estimation of turnover rate and therefore the interpretation of forest dynamics. These results demonstrated the importance of further studies on repeated disturbances, which is often neglected in forest studies.
SPARC and SPARX are two different initiatives toward an Italian
Free Electron Laser (FEL) source
operating in the Self Amplified Spontaneous
Emission (SASE) mode, in which several national
research institutions are involved. SPARC is a high gain FEL project
devoted to provide a source of visible and VUV radiation while
exploiting the SASE mechanism. An advanced Photo-Injector system,
emittance compensating RF-gun plus a 150 MeV Linac, will inject a high
quality e-beam into the undulator to generate high brilliance FEL
radiation in the visible region at the fundamental wavelength,
(∼500 nm). The production of flat top drive laser beams, high peak
current bunches, and emittance compensation scheme will be investigated
together with the generation of higher harmonic radiation in the VUV
region. SPARX is the direct evolution of such a high gain SASE FEL
toward the 13.5 and 1.5 nm operating wavelengths, at 2.5 GeV. To get
the required value for the bunch peak current, Ipeak ≈
2.5 kA, the “hybrid” scheme, RF-compression stage plus
magnetic chicane, is analyzed and compared with the more standard
double stage of magnetic compression. The two options are reviewed
considering the tolerance to the drive laser pulse phase jitter.
The present study investigated how increasing silica content modifies the chemical and morphological characteristics and microbial degradation of rice straw. Two rice straws grown on culture media with different silica contents were collected and analysed for chemical and morphological composition and ultrastructure. Silica content (g/kg DM) of the two straws was high (98·0, straw H) and low (0·0, not detected, straw L). The ground (2 mm) straws were incubated in the rumen of three ruminally cannulated cows for 4, 8, 16, 24, 48 and 96 h for in sacco degradability measurements. The main fractions (stem, leaf sheath and blade) of each straw were incubated for 24 h. Kinetics were fitted to an exponential model with lag time. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine intact fragments of stems and fragments incubated for 6, 24, 72 and 96 h in cow rumen. X-ray analysis was carried out on non-incubated fragments for silica mapping. A reduction of stem content from 320 to 270 g/kg straw, and an increase in leaf sheath content from 360 to 400 g/kg straw, were found for an increase in silica content from 0 to 100 g/kg DM. Chemical composition differed little between straws H and L, except for ash and silica contents. The ash originated mainly from the leaves and increased with silica content from 70 to 140 g/kg DM. The DM degradability was lower in the H than in the L straw. This reduction came mainly from a lower non-NDF component degradation in straw H. Stems were more degraded than leaf fractions for DM, NDF and non-NDF components; their degradation was depressed in the H straw. X-ray analysis showed that the deposition of silica on the stem epidermis was different, with a thick layer on H stems and no deposition on L stem surfaces. As a consequence, microbial colonization and degradation were faster on the epidermis of straw L. Epidermal silica did not hinder degradation from the internal cavity.