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Sample records for affect embryo quality

  1. Undernutrition affects embryo quality of superovulated ewes.

    PubMed

    Abecia, J A; Forcada, F; Palacín, I; Sánchez-Prieto, L; Sosa, C; Fernández-Foren, A; Meikle, A

    2015-02-01

    To determine the effect of undernutrition on embryo production and quality in superovulated sheep, 45 ewes were allocated into two groups to be fed diets that provided 1.5 (control, C; n = 20) or 0.5 (low nutrition, L; n = 25) times daily requirements for maintenance, from oestrous synchronization with intravaginal sponges to embryo collection. Embryos were collected 7 days after the onset of oestrus (day 0). Low nutrition resulted in lower live weight and body condition at embryo collection (P < 0.05). Diet (P < 0.01) and day of sampling (P < 0.001) significantly affected plasma non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) and insulin concentrations. Plasma leptin concentrations decreased on day 7 only in L ewes. A significant effect of dietary treatment (P < 0.05) and day (P < 0.0001) was observed on plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I concentrations. The number of recovered oocytes and embryos did not differ between the groups (L: 15.4 ± 0.4; C: 12.4 ± 0.4). Recovery rate was lower (P < 0.05) in the L (60%) than in the C group (73%). The total number of embryos and number of viable-transferable embryos (5.0 ± 0.3 and 3.4 ± 0.3 embryos, respectively) of the L group were lower (P < 0.1) when compared with controls (8.4 ± 0.4 and 6.2 ± 0.4 embryos, respectively). Undernutrition during the period of superovulation and early embryonic development reduced total and viable number of embryos. These effects might be mediated by disruption of endocrine homeostasis, oviduct environment and/or oocyte quality.

  2. Elevated Progesterone Levels on the Day of Oocyte Maturation May Affect Top Quality Embryo IVF Cycles

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Bo; Ren, Xinling; Wu, Li; Zhu, Lixia; Xu, Bei; Li, Yufeng; Ai, Jihui; Jin, Lei

    2016-01-01

    In contrast to the impact of elevated progesterone on endometrial receptivity, the data on whether increased progesterone levels affects the quality of embryos is still limited. This study retrospectively enrolled 4,236 fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles and sought to determine whether increased progesterone is associated with adverse outcomes with regard to top quality embryos (TQE). The results showed that the TQE rate significantly correlated with progesterone levels on the day of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) trigger (P = 0.009). Multivariate linear regression analysis of factors related to the TQE rate, in conventional IVF cycles, showed that the TQE rate was negatively associated with progesterone concentration on the day of hCG (OR was -1.658, 95% CI: -2.806 to -0.510, P = 0.005). When the serum progesterone level was within the interval 2.0–2.5 ng/ml, the TQE rate was significantly lower (P <0.05) than when the progesterone level was < 1.0 ng/ml; similar results were obtained for serum progesterone levels >2.5 ng/ml. Then, we choose a progesterone level at 1.5ng/ml, 2.0 ng/ml and 2.5 ng/ml as cut-off points to verify this result. We found that the TQE rate was significantly different (P <0.05) between serum progesterone levels < 2.0 ng/ml and >2.0 ng/ml. In conclusion, the results of this study clearly demonstrated a negative effect of elevated progesterone levels on the day of hCG trigger, on TQE rate, regardless of the basal FSH, the total gonadotropin, the age of the woman, or the time of ovarian stimulation. These data demonstrate that elevated progesterone levels (>2.0 ng/ml) before oocyte maturation were consistently detrimental to the oocyte. PMID:26745711

  3. Embryo Aggregation in Pig Improves Cloning Efficiency and Embryo Quality.

    PubMed

    Buemo, Carla Paola; Gambini, Andrés; Moro, Lucia Natalia; Hiriart, María Inés; Fernández-Martín, Rafael; Collas, Philippe; Salamone, Daniel Felipe

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we analyzed the effects of the cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro embryo development and embryo quality by measuring blastocyst diameter and cell number, DNA fragmentation levels and the expression of genes associated with pluripotency, apoptosis, trophoblast and DNA methylation in the porcine. Zona-free reconstructed cloned embryos were cultured in the well of the well system, placing one (1x non aggregated group) or three (3x group) embryos per microwell. Our results showed that aggregation of three embryos increased blastocyst formation rate and blastocyst diameter of cloned pig embryos. DNA fragmentation levels in 3x aggregated cloned blastocysts were significantly decreased compared to 1x blastocysts. Levels of Oct4, Klf4, Igf2, Bax and Dnmt 1 transcripts were significantly higher in aggregated embryos, whereas Nanog levels were not affected. Transcripts of Cdx2 and Bcl-xl were essentially non-detectable. Our study suggests that embryo aggregation in the porcine may be beneficial for cloned embryo development and embryo quality, through a reduction in apoptotic levels and an improvement in cell reprogramming.

  4. Embryo Aggregation in Pig Improves Cloning Efficiency and Embryo Quality

    PubMed Central

    Buemo, Carla Paola; Gambini, Andrés; Moro, Lucia Natalia; Hiriart, María Inés; Fernández-Martín, Rafael; Collas, Philippe; Salamone, Daniel Felipe

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we analyzed the effects of the cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro embryo development and embryo quality by measuring blastocyst diameter and cell number, DNA fragmentation levels and the expression of genes associated with pluripotency, apoptosis, trophoblast and DNA methylation in the porcine. Zona-free reconstructed cloned embryos were cultured in the well of the well system, placing one (1x non aggregated group) or three (3x group) embryos per microwell. Our results showed that aggregation of three embryos increased blastocyst formation rate and blastocyst diameter of cloned pig embryos. DNA fragmentation levels in 3x aggregated cloned blastocysts were significantly decreased compared to 1x blastocysts. Levels of Oct4, Klf4, Igf2, Bax and Dnmt 1 transcripts were significantly higher in aggregated embryos, whereas Nanog levels were not affected. Transcripts of Cdx2 and Bcl-xl were essentially non-detectable. Our study suggests that embryo aggregation in the porcine may be beneficial for cloned embryo development and embryo quality, through a reduction in apoptotic levels and an improvement in cell reprogramming. PMID:26894831

  5. Embryo Aggregation in Pig Improves Cloning Efficiency and Embryo Quality.

    PubMed

    Buemo, Carla Paola; Gambini, Andrés; Moro, Lucia Natalia; Hiriart, María Inés; Fernández-Martín, Rafael; Collas, Philippe; Salamone, Daniel Felipe

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we analyzed the effects of the cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro embryo development and embryo quality by measuring blastocyst diameter and cell number, DNA fragmentation levels and the expression of genes associated with pluripotency, apoptosis, trophoblast and DNA methylation in the porcine. Zona-free reconstructed cloned embryos were cultured in the well of the well system, placing one (1x non aggregated group) or three (3x group) embryos per microwell. Our results showed that aggregation of three embryos increased blastocyst formation rate and blastocyst diameter of cloned pig embryos. DNA fragmentation levels in 3x aggregated cloned blastocysts were significantly decreased compared to 1x blastocysts. Levels of Oct4, Klf4, Igf2, Bax and Dnmt 1 transcripts were significantly higher in aggregated embryos, whereas Nanog levels were not affected. Transcripts of Cdx2 and Bcl-xl were essentially non-detectable. Our study suggests that embryo aggregation in the porcine may be beneficial for cloned embryo development and embryo quality, through a reduction in apoptotic levels and an improvement in cell reprogramming. PMID:26894831

  6. Thermal manipulation of the embryo modifies the physiology and body composition of broiler chickens reared in floor pens without affecting breast meat processing quality.

    PubMed

    Loyau, T; Berri, C; Bedrani, L; Métayer-Coustard, S; Praud, C; Duclos, M J; Tesseraud, S; Rideau, N; Everaert, N; Yahav, S; Mignon-Grasteau, S; Collin, A

    2013-08-01

    Selection in broiler chickens has increased muscle mass without similar development of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, resulting in limited ability to sustain high ambient temperatures. The aim of this study was to determine the long-lasting effects of heat manipulation of the embryo on the physiology, body temperature (Tb), growth rate and meat processing quality of broiler chickens reared in floor pens. Broiler chicken eggs were incubated in control conditions (37.8°C, 56% relative humidity; RH) or exposed to thermal manipulation (TM; 12 h/d, 39.5°C, 65% RH) from d 7 to 16 of embryogenesis. This study was planned in a pedigree design to identify possible heritable characters for further selection of broiler chickens to improve thermotolerance. Thermal manipulation did not affect hatchability but resulted in lower Tb at hatching and until d 28 post-hatch, with associated changes in plasma thyroid hormone concentrations. At d 34, chickens were exposed to a moderate heat challenge (5 h, 32°C). Greater O2 saturation and reduced CO2 partial pressure were observed (P < 0.05) in the venous blood of TM than in that of control chickens, suggesting long-term respiratory adaptation. At slaughter age, TM chickens were 1.4% lighter and exhibited 8% less relative abdominal fat pad than controls. Breast muscle yield was enhanced by TM, especially in females, but without significant change in breast meat characteristics (pH, color, drip loss). Plasma glucose/insulin balance was affected (P < 0.05) by thermal treatments. The heat challenge increased the heterophil/lymphocyte ratio in controls (P < 0.05) but not in TM birds, possibly reflecting a lower stress status in TM chickens. Interestingly, broiler chickens had moderate heritability estimates for the plasma triiodothyronine/thyroxine concentration ratio at d 28 and comb temperature during the heat challenge on d 34 (h(2) > 0.17). In conclusion, TM of the embryo modified the physiology of broilers in the long

  7. [Evaluation of environmental factors affecting embryo development in vitro].

    PubMed

    Noda, Y

    1992-08-01

    Human in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) became an indispensable modality for treating infertile patients. The principle of this method is simple: that is, recovery of gametes from the gonads of men and women and transfer of the embryos into the uterus. This method can be expected, therefore, to be applied to many patients with a variety of causes of infertility. Unfortunately, the success rates are not satisfactory in the majority of clinics in the 14 years since the first report of a test tube in 1978. In view of improving the success rate, one major issue is the protocol used for ovulation induction, which may influence the quality of eggs as well as the environmental conditions in the endometrium at the time of embryo replacement. Another major issue should be the technique for embryo culture because, in general, mammalian embryos, including humans', are known to exhibit developmental retardation in vitro. In a significant number of embryos, cleavage is arrested at the first or second cell cycle when cultured under the conventional culture conditions. This phenomenon in rodents is known as "block to development in vitro" or "two-cell block in vitro". Recently, the mouse two-cell block was found to be attenuated by the addition of superoxide dismutase (SOD) to the culture medium. SOD is the enzyme that catalyzes the dismutation reaction of superoxide anion radicals: 2O2- + 2H(+)----H2O2 + O2. This suggests that developmental retardation in vitro may be related to the potential oxygen toxicity that embryos encounter in vitro. Following to this finding, a variety of culture conditions have been found to attenuate blocking phenomenon and to increase blastulation rate in the mouse embryos. By the addition of chemicals to the culture medium such as L-Cysteine, L-Ascorbic acid, EDTA, DTPA or thiredoxine, blastulation rates could be increased overcoming blocking phenomenon. From these findings, it seemed possible to hypothesize that developmental

  8. Natural Selection of Human Embryos: Decidualizing Endometrial Stromal Cells Serve as Sensors of Embryo Quality upon Implantation

    PubMed Central

    Teklenburg, Gijs; Salker, Madhuri; Molokhia, Mariam; Lavery, Stuart; Trew, Geoffrey; Aojanepong, Tepchongchit; Mardon, Helen J.; Lokugamage, Amali U.; Rai, Raj; Landles, Christian; Roelen, Bernard A. J.; Quenby, Siobhan; Kuijk, Ewart W.; Kavelaars, Annemieke; Heijnen, Cobi J.; Regan, Lesley; Brosens, Jan J.; Macklon, Nick S.

    2010-01-01

    Background Pregnancy is widely viewed as dependent upon an intimate dialogue, mediated by locally secreted factors between a developmentally competent embryo and a receptive endometrium. Reproductive success in humans is however limited, largely because of the high prevalence of chromosomally abnormal preimplantation embryos. Moreover, the transient period of endometrial receptivity in humans uniquely coincides with differentiation of endometrial stromal cells (ESCs) into highly specialized decidual cells, which in the absence of pregnancy invariably triggers menstruation. The role of cyclic decidualization of the endometrium in the implantation process and the nature of the decidual cytokines and growth factors that mediate the crosstalk with the embryo are unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings We employed a human co-culture model, consisting of decidualizing ESCs and single hatched blastocysts, to identify the soluble factors involved in implantation. Over the 3-day co-culture period, approximately 75% of embryos arrested whereas the remainder showed normal development. The levels of 14 implantation factors secreted by the stromal cells were determined by multiplex immunoassay. Surprisingly, the presence of a developing embryo had no significant effect on decidual secretions, apart from a modest reduction in IL-5 levels. In contrast, arresting embryos triggered a strong response, characterized by selective inhibition of IL-1β, -6, -10, -17, -18, eotaxin, and HB-EGF secretion. Co-cultures were repeated with undifferentiated ESCs but none of the secreted cytokines were affected by the presence of a developing or arresting embryo. Conclusions Human ESCs become biosensors of embryo quality upon differentiation into decidual cells. In view of the high incidence of gross chromosomal errors in human preimplantation embryos, cyclic decidualization followed by menstrual shedding may represent a mechanism of natural embryo selection that limits maternal investment in

  9. Factors affecting the cryosurvival of mouse two-cell embryos.

    PubMed

    Critser, J K; Arneson, B W; Aaker, D V; Huse-Benda, A R; Ball, G D

    1988-01-01

    A series of 4 experiments was conducted to examine factors affecting the survival of frozen-thawed 2-cell mouse embryos. Rapid addition of 1.5 M-DMSO (20 min equilibration at 25 degrees C) and immediate, rapid removal using 0.5 M-sucrose did not alter the frequency (mean +/- s.e.m.) of blastocyst development in vitro when compared to untreated controls (90.5 +/- 2.7% vs 95.3 +/- 2.8%). There was an interaction between the temperature at which slow cooling was terminated and thawing rate. Termination of slow cooling (-0.3 degrees C/min) at -40 degrees C with subsequent rapid thawing (approximately 1500 degrees C/min) resulted in a lower frequency of blastocyst development than did termination of slow cooling at -80 degrees C with subsequent slow thawing (+8 degrees C/min) (36.8 +/- 5.6% vs 63.9 +/- 5.7%). When slow cooling was terminated between -40 and -60 degrees C, higher survival rates were achieved with rapid thawing. When slow cooling was terminated below -60 degrees C, higher survival rates were obtained with slow thawing rates. In these comparisons absolute survival rates were highest among embryos cooled below -60 degrees C and thawed slowly. However, when slow cooling was terminated at -32 degrees C, with subsequent rapid warming, survival rates were not different from those obtained when embryos were cooled to -80 degrees C and thawed slowly (52.4 +/- 9.5%, 59.5 +/- 8.6%). These results suggest that optimal cryosurvival rates may be obtained from 2-cell mouse embryos by a rapid or slow thawing procedure, as has been found for mouse preimplantation embryos at later stages.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  10. Factors affecting the success of a large embryo transfer program in Holstein cattle in a commercial herd in the southeast region of the United States.

    PubMed

    Ferraz, P A; Burnley, C; Karanja, J; Viera-Neto, A; Santos, J E P; Chebel, R C; Galvão, K N

    2016-10-15

    The objectives of this study were to evaluate factors affecting in vivo embryo production and pregnancy per embryo transfer (P/ET) in Holstein cattle in the southeast region of the United States. Data from a total of 516 embryo collections and 10,297 ETs performed from 2011 to 2014 were available. For embryo production, the effects of donor parity (nulliparous [N], primiparous [P], multiparous [M]), average temperature-humidity index (THI) at embryo collection, days in milk at embryo collection, occurrence of calving problems, and occurrence of metritis postpartum were evaluated. For P/ET, the effects of donor parity (N or parous), recipient parity (N, P, and M), embryo type (fresh, frozen, IVF, and IVF-frozen), embryo developmental stage (4-7), embryo quality (1-3), recipient estrous cycle day at ET (6-9), average THI at ET, days in milk at ET, milk yield at ET, occurrence of calving problems (abortion, dystocia, twins, fetal death, or retained placenta), and occurrence of metritis postpartum were evaluated. Pregnancy was diagnosed at 41 ± 3 days of gestation. Continuous and binary data were analyzed using the MIXED and GLIMMIX procedures of SAS, respectively. Parity affected embryo production; M had greater number and percentage of unfertilized embryos and lesser percentage of viable embryos than P and N. Recipient parity, embryo type, embryo stage, embryo quality, estrous cycle day at ET, and THI at ET affected P/ET. There was an interaction between recipient parity and THI at ET. P/ET was greater for N than P and greater for P than M, greater for fresh embryos than others, greater for stage 7 than others, greater for quality 1 than 2 and greater for quality 2 than 3, and greater for ET on estrous cycle Day 7 and 8 than 6. P/ET was decreased for THI ≥80 in N and THI ≥72 in P and M. Calving problems and metritis also affected P/ET in P and M and was lesser for cows that had calving problems and metritis. In conclusion, embryo production was affected by

  11. Embryo quality predictive models based on cumulus cells gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Burnik Papler, T; Verdenik, I; Fon Tacer, K; Vrtačnik Bokal, E

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Since the introduction of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in clinical practice of infertility treatment, the indicators for high quality embryos were investigated. Cumulus cells (CC) have a specific gene expression profile according to the developmental potential of the oocyte they are surrounding, and therefore, specific gene expression could be used as a biomarker. The aim of our study was to combine more than one biomarker to observe improvement in prediction value of embryo development. In this study, 58 CC samples from 17 IVF patients were analyzed. This study was approved by the Republic of Slovenia National Medical Ethics Committee. Gene expression analysis [quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)] for five genes, analyzed according to embryo quality level, was performed. Two prediction models were tested for embryo quality prediction: a binary logistic and a decision tree model. As the main outcome, gene expression levels for five genes were taken and the area under the curve (AUC) for two prediction models were calculated. Among tested genes, AMHR2 and LIF showed significant expression difference between high quality and low quality embryos. These two genes were used for the construction of two prediction models: the binary logistic model yielded an AUC of 0.72 ± 0.08 and the decision tree model yielded an AUC of 0.73 ± 0.03. Two different prediction models yielded similar predictive power to differentiate high and low quality embryos. In terms of eventual clinical decision making, the decision tree model resulted in easy-to-interpret rules that are highly applicable in clinical practice. PMID:27785402

  12. Bisphenol A affects early bovine embryo development and metabolism that is negated by an oestrogen receptor inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Bom-Ie; Harvey, Alexandra J.; Green, Mark P.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence supports an association between exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as the xenoestrogen bisphenol A (BPA), a commonly used plasticiser, and the developmental programming of offspring health. To date however animal studies to investigate a direct causal have mainly focussed on supra-environmental BPA concentrations, without investigating the effect on the early embryo. In this study we investigated the effect of acute BPA exposure (days 3.5 to 7.5 post-fertilisation) at environmentally relevant concentrations (1 and 10 ng/mL) on in vitro bovine embryo development, quality and metabolism. We then examined whether culturing embryos in the presence of the oestrogen receptor inhibitor fulvestrant could negate effects of BPA and 17β-oestradiol (E2). Exposure to BPA or E2 (10 ng/mL) decreased blastocyst rate and the percentage of transferrable quality embryos, without affecting cell number, lineage allocation or metabolic gene expression compared to untreated embryos. Notably, blastocysts exposed to BPA and E2 (10 ng/mL) displayed an increase in glucose consumption. The presence of fulvestrant however negated the adverse developmental and metabolic effects, suggesting BPA elicits its effects via oestrogen-mediated pathways. This study demonstrates that even acute exposure to an environmentally relevant BPA concentration can affect early embryo development and metabolism. These may have long-term health consequences on an individual. PMID:27384909

  13. Bisphenol A affects early bovine embryo development and metabolism that is negated by an oestrogen receptor inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Choi, Bom-Ie; Harvey, Alexandra J; Green, Mark P

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence supports an association between exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as the xenoestrogen bisphenol A (BPA), a commonly used plasticiser, and the developmental programming of offspring health. To date however animal studies to investigate a direct causal have mainly focussed on supra-environmental BPA concentrations, without investigating the effect on the early embryo. In this study we investigated the effect of acute BPA exposure (days 3.5 to 7.5 post-fertilisation) at environmentally relevant concentrations (1 and 10 ng/mL) on in vitro bovine embryo development, quality and metabolism. We then examined whether culturing embryos in the presence of the oestrogen receptor inhibitor fulvestrant could negate effects of BPA and 17β-oestradiol (E2). Exposure to BPA or E2 (10 ng/mL) decreased blastocyst rate and the percentage of transferrable quality embryos, without affecting cell number, lineage allocation or metabolic gene expression compared to untreated embryos. Notably, blastocysts exposed to BPA and E2 (10 ng/mL) displayed an increase in glucose consumption. The presence of fulvestrant however negated the adverse developmental and metabolic effects, suggesting BPA elicits its effects via oestrogen-mediated pathways. This study demonstrates that even acute exposure to an environmentally relevant BPA concentration can affect early embryo development and metabolism. These may have long-term health consequences on an individual. PMID:27384909

  14. Metabolomics: approaches to assessing oocyte and embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Singh, R; Sinclair, K D

    2007-09-01

    Morphological evaluation remains the primary method of embryo assessment during IVF cycles, but its modest predictive power and inherent inter- and intra-observer variability limits its value. Low-molecular weight metabolites represent the end products of cell regulatory processes and therefore reveal the response of biological systems to a variety of genetic, nutrient or environmental influences. It follows that the non-invasive quantification of oocyte and embryo metabolism, from the analyses of follicular fluid or culture media, may be a useful predictor of pregnancy outcome following embryo transfer, a potential supported by recent clinical studies working with specific classes of metabolites such as glycolytic intermediates and amino acids. Such selective approaches, however, whilst adhering closely to known cellular processes, may fail to harness the full potential of contemporary metabolomic methodologies, which can measure a wider spectrum of metabolites. However, an important technical drawback with many existing methodologies is the limited number of metabolites that can be determined by a single analytical platform. Vibrational spectroscopy methodologies such as Fourier transform infrared and near infrared spectroscopy may overcome these limitations by generating unique spectral signatures of functional groups and bonds, but their application in embryo quality assessment remains to be fully validated. Ultimately, a combination of evaluation criteria that include morphometry with metabolomics may provide the best predictive assessment of embryo viability.

  15. Leptin expression affects metabolic rate in zebrafish embryos (D. rerio).

    PubMed

    Dalman, Mark R; Liu, Qin; King, Mason D; Bagatto, Brian; Londraville, Richard L

    2013-01-01

    We used antisense morpholino oligonucleotide technology to knockdown leptin-(A) gene expression in developing zebrafish embryos and measured its effects on metabolic rate and cardiovascular function. Using two indicators of metabolic rate, oxygen consumption was significantly lower in leptin morphants early in development [<48 hours post-fertilization (hpf)], while acid production was significantly lower in morphants later in development (>48 hpf). Oxygen utilization rates in <48 hpf embryos and acid production in 72 hpf embryos could be rescued to that of wildtype embryos by recombinant leptin coinjected with antisense morpholino. Leptin is established to influence metabolic rate in mammals, and these data suggest leptin signaling also influences metabolic rate in fishes.

  16. Treatments affecting maturation and germination of American chestnut somatic embryos.

    PubMed

    Robichaud, Rodney L; Lessard, Veronica C; Merkle, Scott A

    2004-08-01

    The effects of amino acids, abscisic acid (ABA), polyethylene glycol (PEG), and elevated sucrose were tested on the maturation and germination of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) somatic embryos. Somatic embryos from three lines were matured over an eight week period through a two-stage process. After maturation, somatic embryos were randomly divided into three groups to measure dry weight/ fresh weight ratios, starch levels, and germination rates. Prior to transfer to germination medium, somatic embryos received a four week cold treatment. While some treatments with amino acids, elevated sucrose, PEG or ABA increased either dry weight/fresh weight ratios, starch content or both, only addition of 25mM L-asparagine significantly increased germination rate and taproot length, and this response was only obtained with one of the three lines tested. Six plants survived the transfer to potting mix, acclimatization to greenhouse conditions and field planting. PMID:15384407

  17. Treatments affecting maturation and germination of American chestnut somatic embryos.

    PubMed

    Robichaud, Rodney L; Lessard, Veronica C; Merkle, Scott A

    2004-08-01

    The effects of amino acids, abscisic acid (ABA), polyethylene glycol (PEG), and elevated sucrose were tested on the maturation and germination of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) somatic embryos. Somatic embryos from three lines were matured over an eight week period through a two-stage process. After maturation, somatic embryos were randomly divided into three groups to measure dry weight/ fresh weight ratios, starch levels, and germination rates. Prior to transfer to germination medium, somatic embryos received a four week cold treatment. While some treatments with amino acids, elevated sucrose, PEG or ABA increased either dry weight/fresh weight ratios, starch content or both, only addition of 25mM L-asparagine significantly increased germination rate and taproot length, and this response was only obtained with one of the three lines tested. Six plants survived the transfer to potting mix, acclimatization to greenhouse conditions and field planting.

  18. Effect of body condition and season on yield and quality of in vitro produced bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Chrenek, Peter; Kubovičová, Elena; Olexíková, Lucia; Makarevich, Alexander V; Toporcerová, Silvia; Ostró, Alexander

    2015-12-01

    The aim of our study was to examine the effects of cow's body condition score (BCS; scale 1-5) and season on the quality of bovine in vitro produced embryos. The proportion of good quality oocytes (Q1 and Q2) was higher (P < 0.05) in the BCS 2 (57.60%) and BCS 3 (60.90%) groups compared with the BCS 1 (43.60%) group. There were no statistical differences in embryo cleavage and blastocyst rate among the BCS groups. The highest total cell number (TCN, DAPI stain) of blastocysts (P < 0.05), recorded in BCS 1 (122.27 ± 6.90) in comparison with BCS 2 (101.8 ± 3.60) or BCS 3 (105.44 ± 3.70) groups, was related to higher dead cell (DCI, TUNEL) index in this group (7.07%) when compared with BCS 2 (6.54%) or BCS 3 (6.06%), respectively. The yield of good quality oocytes during spring was lower (P < 0.05) compared with the summer season. There were significant differences (P < 0.05) in maturation and cleavage rates between autumn and summer (73.42%, 76.2% vs. 85.0%, 41.8%, respectively). The highest (P < 0.01) blastocyst rate was noted during spring and summer months. Significant difference (P < 0.05) in the TCN among spring (99.38 ± 3.90), autumn (110.1 ± 4.58) or summer (108.96 ± 3.52) was observed. The highest proportion of embryos with the best (grade I) actin cytoskeleton (phalloidin-TRITC) quality was noted during the summer months. Our results indicate that body condition affects the initial quality of oocytes, but does not affect embryo cleavage, blastocyst rate and actin quality. This finding may suggest that development in vitro can mask the influence of BCS. The season affects yield and quality of blastocysts in the way that the autumn period is more favorable for embryo development.

  19. Quality control and standardization of embryo morphology scoring and viability markers.

    PubMed

    Lundin, Kersti; Ahlström, Aisling

    2015-10-01

    A so-called 'good-quality embryo' may be defined as an embryo that has the potential to implant into the uterine endometrium and give rise to the birth of a healthy child. A standardized and objective scoring of embryo 'quality' is therefore crucial in the classification and selection of embryos. However, embryo scoring is still being performed mainly via ocular evaluation, which often results in different interpretations of embryo quality. The addition of viability markers, such as measuring gene expression or the uptake/release of metabolites, proteins or RNA/DNA molecules in the culture media, would increase the possibility of standardized measurements. However, no single biomarker has yet been introduced into standard clinical practice, mainly due to the complexity of the techniques and the influence of biological variations and differences in culture conditions. In this paper different methods for the scoring of embryos and the possibility of standardizing and implementing quality control systems are discussed.

  20. Mixing gilts in early pregnancy does not affect embryo survival.

    PubMed

    van Wettere, W H E J; Pain, S J; Stott, P G; Hughes, P E

    2008-03-01

    There is general acceptance that mixing sows during the first 3 weeks of gestation is detrimental to embryo development and survival. However, there is a paucity of data describing the influence of group housing and remixing during the first 14 days of gestation on pregnancy outcomes. Using 96 purebred maternal (Large White)/terminal (Duroc) line gilts, the current study determined the effects of regrouping, and the timing of regrouping, during the pre-implantation period on embryo mortality. The study was conducted in 2 blocks, with 12 gilts allocated to each of 4 treatments in each block. At 175 days of age, the combination of PG600 and 20 min of daily physical boar contact was used to stimulate puberty, with boar contact resuming 12 days after first detection of oestrus and gilts receiving two artificial inseminations (AIs), 24 h apart, at their second oestrus. After their first AI gilts were allocated to one of four treatment groups (n=12 gilts/treatment). Gilts in one treatment group were housed individually in stalls (STALL). The remaining gilts continued to be housed in their pre-AI groups and were either not remixed (NOMIX), or remixed to form new groups on day 3/4 (RMIXD3/4) or day 8/9 (RMIXD8/9) of gestation (day 0=day of first detection of second oestrus and first insemination). Group-housed gilts were housed in groups of 6, with a space allowance of 2.4 m2/gilt. All gilts were fed once a day (2.2 kg/gilt). Reproductive tracts were collected on day 26.6+/-0.13 of gestation, and the number of corpora lutea (CL) and viable embryos counted. Pregnancy rate was similar across all treatments, averaging 94.5% across the four treatment groups. The number of embryos present on day 26 of gestation was unaffected by housing treatments (P>0.05); gilts in the STALL, NOMIX, RMIXD3/4 and RMIXD8/9 groups possessed 13.2+/-0.67, 12.9+/-0.66, 14.1+/-0.46 and 13.8+/-0.57 embryos, respectively. Similarly, embryo survival rates were 0.91+/-0.04, 0.85+/-0.04, 0.91+/-0.02 and 0

  1. Factors Affecting Medical Service Quality

    PubMed Central

    MOSADEGHRAD, Ali Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Background A better understanding of factors influencing quality of medical service can pinpoint better strategies for quality assurance in medical services. This study aimed to identify factors affecting the quality of medical services provided by Iranian physicians. Methods Exploratory in-depth individual interviews were conducted with sixty-four physicians working in various medical institutions in Iran. Results Individual, organizational and environmental factors enhance or inhibit the quality of medical services. Quality of medical services depends on the personal factors of the physician and patient, and factors pertaining to the healthcare setting and the broader environment. Conclusion Differences in internal and external factors such as availability of resources, patient cooperation and collaboration among providers affect the quality of medical services and patient outcomes. Supportive leadership, proper planning, education and training and effective management of resources and processes improve the quality of medical services. This article contributes to healthcare theory and practice by developing a conceptual framework for understanding factors that influence medical services quality. PMID:26060745

  2. Reproductive and nutritional management on ovarian response and embryo quality on rabbit does.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo, P L; García-García, R M; Árias-Álvarez, M; Rebollar, P G

    2014-10-01

    Rabbit does in modern rabbitries are under intensive reproductive rhythms. Females are high milk producers with high energetic expenses due to the extensive overlap between lactation and gestation. This situation leads to a negative energy balance with a mobilization of body fat especially in primiparous rabbit does. Poor body condition and poor health status severely affect the reproductive features (fertility rate and lifespan of the doe as well as ovarian physiology). This paper reviews some reproductive and nutritional approaches used in the last years to improve the reproductive performance of rabbit females, mainly focusing on the influence on ovarian response and embryo quality and with emphasis on epigenetic modifications in pre-implantation embryos and offspring consequences. PMID:25277432

  3. Factors affecting the development of somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos in Cattle.

    PubMed

    Akagi, Satoshi; Matsukawa, Kazutsugu; Takahashi, Seiya

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear transfer is a complex multistep procedure that includes oocyte maturation, cell cycle synchronization of donor cells, enucleation, cell fusion, oocyte activation and embryo culture. Therefore, many factors are believed to contribute to the success of embryo development following nuclear transfer. Numerous attempts to improve cloning efficiency have been conducted since the birth of the first sheep by somatic cell nuclear transfer. However, the efficiency of somatic cell cloning has remained low, and applications have been limited. In this review, we discuss some of the factors that affect the developmental ability of somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos in cattle.

  4. Effect of ambient light exposure of media and embryos on development and quality of porcine parthenogenetically activated embryos.

    PubMed

    Li, Rong; Liu, Ying; Pedersen, Hanne Skovsgaard; Callesen, Henrik

    2015-06-01

    Light exposure is a common stress factor during in vitro handling of oocytes and embryos that originates from both microscope and ambient light. In the current study, the effect of two types of ambient light (daylight and laboratory light) on porcine parthenogenetically activated (PA) embryos was tested in two experiments: (1) ambient light on medium subsequently used for embryo in vitro development; and (2) ambient light exposure on activated oocytes before in vitro development. The results from Experiment 1 showed that exposure of culture medium to both types of ambient light decreased the percentage of blastocysts that showed good morphology, only after 24 h exposure. The results from Experiment 2 revealed a reduction in both blastocyst formation and quality when activated oocytes were exposed to both types of ambient light. This effect was seen after only 1 h exposure and increased with time. In conclusion, exposure to ambient light can be harmful to embryo development, both when medium is exposed for a long period of time and, to a greater extent, when the embryo itself is exposed for >1 h. In practice, it is therefore recommended to protect both culture medium and porcine embryos against ambient light during in vitro handling in the laboratory.

  5. Effects of label-dose permethrin administration in yearling beef cattle: I. Reproductive function and embryo quality of superovulated heifers.

    PubMed

    Dohlman, Tyler M; Jahnke, Marianna M; West, James K; Phillips, Patrick E; Gunn, Patrick J

    2016-06-01

    follicle and E2 per total ovarian structure was greater in flush 2 (P ≤ 0.03) but did not differ because of treatment (P ≥ 0.23). In summary, these data indicate that permethrin administration at label dose in superovulated beef heifers has a tendency to reduce P4, but embryo quality is not affected. PMID:27040646

  6. Methods for assessing the quality of mammalian embryos: How far we are from the gold standard?

    PubMed

    Rocha, José C; Passalia, Felipe; Matos, Felipe D; Maserati, Marc P; Alves, Mayra F; Almeida, Tamie G de; Cardoso, Bruna L; Basso, Andrea C; Nogueira, Marcelo F G

    2016-01-01

    Morphological embryo classification is of great importance for many laboratory techniques, from basic research to the ones applied to assisted reproductive technology. However, the standard classification method for both human and cattle embryos, is based on quality parameters that reflect the overall morphological quality of the embryo in cattle, or the quality of the individual embryonic structures, more relevant in human embryo classification. This assessment method is biased by the subjectivity of the evaluator and even though several guidelines exist to standardize the classification, it is not a method capable of giving reliable and trustworthy results. Latest approaches for the improvement of quality assessment include the use of data from cellular metabolism, a new morphological grading system, development kinetics and cleavage symmetry, embryo cell biopsy followed by pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, zona pellucida birefringence, ion release by the embryo cells and so forth. Nowadays there exists a great need for evaluation methods that are practical and non-invasive while being accurate and objective. A method along these lines would be of great importance to embryo evaluation by embryologists, clinicians and other professionals who work with assisted reproductive technology. Several techniques shows promising results in this sense, one being the use of digital images of the embryo as basis for features extraction and classification by means of artificial intelligence techniques (as genetic algorithms and artificial neural networks). This process has the potential to become an accurate and objective standard for embryo quality assessment. PMID:27584609

  7. Methods for assessing the quality of mammalian embryos: How far we are from the gold standard?

    PubMed

    Rocha, José C; Passalia, Felipe; Matos, Felipe D; Maserati, Marc P; Alves, Mayra F; Almeida, Tamie G de; Cardoso, Bruna L; Basso, Andrea C; Nogueira, Marcelo F G

    2016-08-01

    Morphological embryo classification is of great importance for many laboratory techniques, from basic research to the ones applied to assisted reproductive technology. However, the standard classification method for both human and cattle embryos, is based on quality parameters that reflect the overall morphological quality of the embryo in cattle, or the quality of the individual embryonic structures, more relevant in human embryo classification. This assessment method is biased by the subjectivity of the evaluator and even though several guidelines exist to standardize the classification, it is not a method capable of giving reliable and trustworthy results. Latest approaches for the improvement of quality assessment include the use of data from cellular metabolism, a new morphological grading system, development kinetics and cleavage symmetry, embryo cell biopsy followed by pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, zona pellucida birefringence, ion release by the embryo cells and so forth. Nowadays there exists a great need for evaluation methods that are practical and non-invasive while being accurate and objective. A method along these lines would be of great importance to embryo evaluation by embryologists, clinicians and other professionals who work with assisted reproductive technology. Several techniques shows promising results in this sense, one being the use of digital images of the embryo as basis for features extraction and classification by means of artificial intelligence techniques (as genetic algorithms and artificial neural networks). This process has the potential to become an accurate and objective standard for embryo quality assessment.

  8. Characterization of microRNA in bovine in vitro culture media associated with embryo quality and development.

    PubMed

    Kropp, Jenna; Khatib, Hasan

    2015-09-01

    Dairy cattle fertility has declined over time due to factors including reduced fertilization and early embryonic loss. To counter fertility problems and better study preimplantation embryonic development, in vitro production systems have been developed. These systems largely assess embryos based on their morphology, which is not a strong indicator of developmental potential. Currently, no biomarkers can be used to noninvasively survey an embryo's potential in terms of its development and ability to establish a pregnancy. Thus, the objective of this study was to characterize and identify microRNA (miRNA) in culture media of embryos of differing developmental competence for future development as noninvasive biomarkers of embryo quality. The MiRNA sequencing of media conditioned by blastocyst and degenerate (those that failed to develop from the morula to blastocyst stage) embryos, revealed 11 differentially expressed miRNA; all were higher in concentration in degenerate conditioned media. Differential expression of mature microRNA (miR)-24, miR-191, and miR-148a was further validated using quantitative real-time PCR. Functional analysis of miR-24 revealed that addition of a mimic miRNA to culture media of morulae embryos resulted in a 27.3% decrease in development to the blastocyst stage. Furthermore, expression of miR-24 was 44.29-fold higher in blastocysts cultured with a miR-24 mimic compared with control blastocysts. Interestingly, the expression of CDKN1b, a target gene of miR-24 was repressed in embryos grown in the presence of the miRNA mimic. Mimic supplementation experiments suggest that miRNA are taken up by the embryo and that extracellular miRNA affect embryonic development. Overall, identification of a rich extracellular milieu in conditioned media sets the framework for future studies to determine the long-term predictive ability of embryo-based miRNA biomarkers on pregnancy outcome.

  9. Maternal age and in vitro culture affect mitochondrial number and function in equine oocytes and embryos.

    PubMed

    Hendriks, W Karin; Colleoni, Silvia; Galli, Cesare; Paris, Damien B B P; Colenbrander, Ben; Roelen, Bernard A J; Stout, Tom A E

    2015-07-01

    Advanced maternal age and in vitro embryo production (IVP) predispose to pregnancy loss in horses. We investigated whether mare age and IVP were associated with alterations in mitochondrial (mt) DNA copy number or function that could compromise oocyte and embryo development. Effects of mare age (<12 vs ≥12 years) on mtDNA copy number, ATP content and expression of genes involved in mitochondrial replication (mitochondrial transcription factor (TFAM), mtDNA polymerase γ subunit B (mtPOLB) and mitochondrial single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB)), energy production (ATP synthase-coupling factor 6, mitochondrial-like (ATP-synth_F6)) and oxygen free radical scavenging (glutathione peroxidase 3 (GPX3)) were investigated in oocytes before and after in vitro maturation (IVM), and in early embryos. Expression of TFAM, mtPOLB and ATP-synth-F6 declined after IVM (P<0.05). However, maternal age did not affect oocyte ATP content or expression of genes involved in mitochondrial replication or function. Day 7 embryos from mares ≥12 years had fewer mtDNA copies (P=0.01) and lower mtDNA:total DNA ratios (P<0.01) than embryos from younger mares, indicating an effect not simply due to lower cell number. Day 8 IVP embryos had similar mtDNA copy numbers to Day 7 in vivo embryos, but higher mtPOLB (P=0.013) and a tendency to reduced GPX3 expression (P=0.09). The lower mtDNA number in embryos from older mares may compromise development, but could be an effect rather than cause of developmental retardation. The general down-regulation of genes involved in mitochondrial replication and function after IVM may compromise resulting embryos. PMID:25881326

  10. Oxygen tension affects histone remodeling of in vitro-produced embryos in a bovine model.

    PubMed

    Gaspar, Roberta C; Arnold, Daniel R; Corrêa, Carolina A P; da Rocha, Carlos V; Penteado, João C T; Del Collado, Maite; Vantini, Roberta; Garcia, Joaquim M; Lopes, Flavia L

    2015-06-01

    In vitro production of bovine embryos is a biotechnology of great economic impact. Epigenetic processes, such as histone remodeling, control gene expression and are essential for proper embryo development. Given the importance of IVP as a reproductive biotechnology, the role of epigenetic processes during embryo development, and the important correlation between culture conditions and epigenetic patterns, the present study was designed as a 2 × 2 factorial to investigate the influence of varying oxygen tensions (O2; 5% and 20%) and concentrations of fetal bovine serum (0% and 2.5%), during IVC, in the epigenetic remodeling of H3K9me2 (repressive) and H3K4me2 (permissive) in bovine embryos. Bovine oocytes were used for IVP of embryos, cleavage and blastocyst rates were evaluated, and expanded blastocysts were used for evaluation of the histone marks H3K9me2 and H3K4me2. Morulae and expanded blastocysts were also used to evaluate the expression of remodeling enzymes, specific to the aforementioned marks, by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Embryos produced in the presence of fetal bovine serum (2.5%) had a 10% higher rate of blastocyst formation. Global staining for the residues H3K9me2 and H3K4me2 was not affected significantly by the presence of serum. Notwithstanding, the main effect of oxygen tension was significant for both histone marks, with both repressive and permissive marks being higher in embryos cultured at the higher oxygen tension; however, expression of the remodeling enzymes did not differ in morulae or blastocysts in response to the varying oxygen tension. These results suggest that the use of serum during IVC of embryos increases blastocyst rate without affecting the evaluated histone marks and that oxygen tension has an important effect on the histone marks H3K9me2 and H3K4me2 in bovine blastocysts.

  11. Effect of water hardness on oocyte quality and embryo development in the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis).

    PubMed

    Godfrey, Earl W; Sanders, George E

    2004-04-01

    Husbandry and health of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, greatly influences the quality of oocytes produced. One factor affecting oocyte quality is the water conditions in which females are maintained. Dechlorination and adequate salt concentration are known to affect oocytes, but water hardness has not been considered an important factor in Xenopus husbandry by the research community. We found that, when females were kept in soft water or water with marine salts alone, even when it was cooled to 17 to 18 degrees C, the quality of oocytes decreased; only 20 to 25% of resulting embryos developed to tailbud stages. Survival and normal development of embryos increased significantly within one month of addition to the laboratory housing water of salts that mimic conditions in African Rift Valley lakes. These salts greatly increased water hardness; development of embryos to tailbud stages remained high (50 to 70% on average) for more than a year after their addition to the water housing females. Water from South African ponds where X. laevis are collected, and from wells used by the major suppliers of X. laevis, also was moderately to very hard. Our results suggest that X. laevis is naturally adapted to hard water, and indicate that increasing general hardness during laboratory housing is more important for oocyte quality and embryo development than is increasing carbonate hardness (alkalinity) in the water used to house females.

  12. The impact of food intake and social habits on embryo quality and the likelihood of blastocyst formation.

    PubMed

    Braga, Daniela Paes Almeida Ferreira; Halpern, Gabriela; Setti, Amanda S; Figueira, Rita Cássia S; Iaconelli, Assumpto; Borges, Edson

    2015-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of patients' lifestyle factors and eating habits on embryo development. A total of 2659 embryos recovered from 269 patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles were included. The frequency of intake of food items and social habits were registered and its influences on embryo development evaluated. The consumption of cereals, vegetables and fruits positively influenced the embryo quality at the cleavage stage. The quality of the embryo at the cleavage stage was also negatively correlated with the consumption of alcoholic drinks and smoking habits. The consumption of fruits influenced the likelihood of blastocyst formation, which was also positively affected by the consumption of fish. Being on a weight-loss diet and consumption of red meat had a negative influence on the likelihood of blastocyst formation. The likelihood of blastocyst formation was also negatively influenced by the consumption of alcoholic drinks and by smoking habits. The consumption of red meat and body mass index had a negative effect on the implantation rate and the likelihood of pregnancy. In addition, being on a weight-loss diet had a negative influence on implantation rate. Our evidence suggests a possible relationship between environmental factors and ovary biology. PMID:25982093

  13. Capabilities and challenges of examination of gene expression for quality assessment of domestic cat embryos.

    PubMed

    Hribal, R; Braun, B C; Ringleb, J; Jewgenow, K

    2012-12-01

    Early embryos are characterized by an accurately controlled gene expression pattern that might be deregulated during in vitro culture (IVC). The expression pattern of the developmental genes may serve as markers for embryo quality. Here, we examined the temporal pattern of relative mRNA abundance of genes important for early embryonic development in embryos produced by different fertilization methods [in vitro fertilization (IVF) vs intracytoplasmic sperm cell injection (ICSI)] and sperm sources (fresh vs frozen-thawed) applying reverse transcriptase (RT) PCR. The temporal pattern of gene expression was found to be gene specific and similar in all four examined groups in a semi-quantitative assay. In morulae, higher relative mRNA levels were found in embryos generated with fresh sperm, whereas in blastocysts, mRNA abundance tended to be higher in embryos produced with cryopreserved sperm cells. This indicates an influence of sperm cryopreservation on the temporal gene expression pattern in early cat embryos. We also examined relative mRNA abundances by real-time quantitative RT-PCR in blastocysts. In this context, blastocysts produced with fresh semen tended to have lower DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) but higher gap junction protein alpha 1 (GJA1) and octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4) mRNA levels compared with those derived with frozen-thawed semen. We conclude that assessing embryo quality by measuring gene expression pattern in early embryos is challenging because of a high variability between individual embryos. PMID:23279486

  14. A formula for scoring human embryo growth rates in in vitro fertilization: its value in predicting pregnancy and in comparison with visual estimates of embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Cummins, J M; Breen, T M; Harrison, K L; Shaw, J M; Wilson, L M; Hennessey, J F

    1986-10-01

    Two systems for measuring embryo development in vitro were evaluated. One was a 1-4 scale based on a subjective evaluation of embryo quality (EQ) from microscopic appearance. In addition, a formula for scoring embryo growth rate in vitro was developed. The embryo development rating (EDR) was based on the ratio between the time at which embryos were observed at a particular stage after insemination and the time at which they would be expected to reach that stage in a hypothetical "ideal" growth rate with a cell cycle length of 11.9 hr. Using this scoring system, "normally" growing embryos scored 100. This approach was aimed at partially normalizing the data and allowed all embryos to be analyzed similarly regardless of the time of observation. Analysis of 1539 embryo replacements resulting in 232 clinical pregnancies showed that both EDR and embryo-quality scores were of value in predicting success, with clinical pregnancy most likely to eventuate from a combination of moderate to good EQ scores (2-4) coupled with average or above-average growth rates (EDR scores from 90 to 129). Poor-quality and very slowly or very rapidly growing embryos were underrepresented in cycles that proceeded to pregnancy. These inferences were based on all embryos transferred (mean, 2.73 per transfer cycle), and they were substantiated by an analysis of 33 pregnancies resulting from replacement of a single embryo and from 18 pregnancies in which all embryos scored the same with both systems. EQ and EDR were significantly associated with each other and together provide a valuable guide in predicting pregnancy, in selecting embryos for freezing, and in monitoring day-to-day performance in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) program.

  15. The impact of the embryo quality on the risk of multiple pregnancies.

    PubMed

    Braga, Daniela Paes de Almeida Ferreira; Setti, Amanda S; Figueira, Rita de Cássia S; Iaconelli, Assumpto; Borges, Edson

    2015-10-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the chance of pregnancy and the risk of multiple pregnancies taking into account the number and quality of transferred embryos in patients >36 years old or ≤36 years old. For this study, 1497 patients undergoing intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles in a private assisted reproduction centre were split into groups according to the number and quality of the transferred embryos on the third or fifth day of development. The pregnancy rate and multiple pregnancy rate were compared between the embryo quality groups in patients <36 years old or ≥36 years old. In patients <36 years old, for the day 3 embryo transfer, no significant difference was noted in the pregnancy rate when the groups were compared. However the multiple pregnancy rate was increased by the transfer of an extra low-quality embryo (17.1 versus 28.2%, P = 0.020). For day 5 embryo transfer, the transfer of an extra blastocyst significantly increased the pregnancy rate (36.0 versus 42.4%, P < 0.001) and the multiple pregnancy rate (4.4 versus 16.9%, P < 0.001). In older patients, no significant difference was noted in the pregnancy rate when the groups were compared. However, when an extra low-quality embryo was transferred, a significantly increased rate of multiple pregnancies was observed for day 3 (18.2 versus 26.4%, P = 0.049) and day 5 embryo transfers (5.2 versus 16.1%, P < 0.001). In conclusion, the transfer of an extra low-quality embryo may increase the risk of a multiple pregnancy. In younger patients, the transfer of an extra low-quality blastocyst may also increase the chance of pregnancy.

  16. Trichostatin A affects histone acetylation and gene expression in porcine somatic cell nucleus transfer embryos.

    PubMed

    Cervera, R P; Martí-Gutiérrez, N; Escorihuela, E; Moreno, R; Stojkovic, M

    2009-11-01

    Epigenetic aberrancies likely preclude correct and complete nuclear reprogramming after somatic cell nucleus transfer (SCNT) and may underlie the observed reduced viability of cloned embryos. In the current study, we tested the effects of the histone deacetylase-inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) on preimplantation development and on histone acetylation and the gene expression of nucleus transfer (NT) porcine (Sus scrofa) embryos. Our results showed that 5 nM TSA for 26 h after reconstitution resulted in embryos (NTTSA) that reached the blastocyst stage at a higher level (48.1% vs. 20.2%) and increased number of cells (105.0 vs. 75.3) than that of the control (NTC) embryos. In addition, and unlike the NTC embryos, the treated embryos displayed a global acetylated histone H4 at lysine 8 profile similar to the in vitro-fertilized (IVF) and cultured embryos during the preimplantation development. Finally, we determined that several transcription factors exert a dramatic amount of genetic control over pluripotency, including Oct4, Nanog, Cdx2, and Rex01, the imprinting genes Igf2 and Igf2r, and the histone deacetyltransferase gene Hdac2. The NT blastocysts showed similar levels of Oct4, Cdx2, and Hdac2 but lower levels of Nanog than those of the IVF blastocyst. However, the NTTSA blastocysts showed similar levels of Rex01, Igf2, and Igf2r as those of IVF blastocysts, whereas the NTC blastocysts showed significantly lower levels for those genes. Our results suggest that TSA improves porcine SCNT preimplantation development and affects the acetylated status of the H4K8, rendering acetylation levels similar to those of the IVF counterparts.

  17. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons affect survival and development of common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) embryos and hatchlings.

    PubMed

    Van Meter, Robin J; Spotila, James R; Avery, Harold W

    2006-08-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are toxic compounds found in the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We assessed the impact of PAHs and crude oil on snapping turtle development and behavior by exposing snapping turtle eggs from the Refuge and from three clean reference sites to individual PAHs or a crude oil mixture at stage 9 of embryonic development. Exposure to PAHs had a significant effect on survival rates in embryos from one clean reference site, but not in embryos from the other sites. There was a positive linear relationship between level of exposure to PAHs and severity of deformities in embryos collected from two of the clean reference sites. Neither righting response nor upper temperature tolerance (critical thermal maximum, CTM) of snapping turtle hatchlings with no or minor deformities was significantly affected by exposure to PAHs. PMID:16360251

  18. The effect of peri-conception nutrition on embryo quality in the superovulated ewe.

    PubMed

    Kakar, M A; Maddocks, S; Lorimer, M F; Kleemann, D O; Rudiger, S R; Hartwich, K M; Walker, S K

    2005-09-15

    Evidence indicates that oocyte/embryo quality in the sheep is affected by nutrient status during the cycle of conception. This study aimed to determine, in the superovulated ewe, if there are stages during the peri-conception period (-18 days to +6 days relative to the day of ovulation [Day 0]) when quality is more likely to be influenced by nutrition. In Experiment 1, ewes were provided with either a 0.5 x maintenance (L), 1.0 x maintenance (M) or 1.5 x maintenance (H) diet (in terms of daily energy requirements) during the peri-conception period. Diet did not affect the mean ovulation rate (range: 15.4+/-1.47 to 16.1+/-1.55) nor the mean number of embryos collected per ewe (range: 10.9+/-2.05 to 12.4+/-1.82) but there was an increase (P<0.05) in the mean number of cells per blastocyst in the L diet (74.7+/-1.45) compared with either the M (66.4+/-1.29) or H (62.0+/-0.84) diets. This increase was due to an increase in the number of trophectoderm (Tr) cells, resulting in a shift (P<0.05) in the Tr:inner cell mass (ICM) cell ratio (range 0.69+/-0.03 to 0.73+/-0.04). In Experiment 2, six diets (HHH, MHH, MHL, MLH, MLL and LLL) were imposed during three 6-day periods commencing 12 days before and continuing until 6 days after ovulation. Although diet had minimal effect on the superovulatory response, both the mean number of cells per blastocyst and the Tr:ICM ratio were increased (P<0.05) when the L diet was provided after Day 0 (diets MHL, MLL and LLL). It is concluded that the ewe is able to respond to acute changes in nutrition imposed immediately after ovulation, resulting in changes in embryo development including cell lineage differentiation. The significance of these findings, in terms of fetal development, embryo-maternal signalling and the nutritional management of the ewe is discussed. PMID:16125553

  19. Genetic analysis of traits affecting the success of embryo transfer in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    König, S; Bosselmann, F; von Borstel, U U; Simianer, H

    2007-08-01

    The primary aim of this study was to estimate variance components for traits related to embryo transfer (ET) by applying generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) for different distributions of traits (normal, binomial, and Poisson) in a synergistic context. Synergistic models were originally developed for traits affected by several genotypes, denoted as maternal, paternal, and direct effects. In the case of ET, the number of flushed ova (FO) only depends on a donor's maternal genetic effect, whereas paternal fertility must be considered for other embryo survival traits, such as the number of transferable embryos (TE), the number of degenerated embryos (DE), the number of unfertilized oocytes (UO), and the percentage of transferable embryos (PTE). Data for these traits were obtained from 4,196 flushes of 2,489 Holstein cows within 4 regions of northwest Germany from January 1998 through October 2004. Estimates of maternal heritability were 0.231 for FO, 0.096 for TE, 0.021 for DE, 0.135 for UO, and 0.099 for PTE, whereas the relative genetic impact of the paternal component was near zero. Estimates of the genetic correlations between the maternal and the paternal component were slightly negative, indicating a genetic antagonism. For the analysis of pregnancy after ET, 8,239 transfers to 6,819 different Holstein-Friesian recipients were considered by applying threshold methodology. The direct heritability for pregnancy in the recipient after ET was 0.056. The relative genetic impact of maternal and paternal components on pregnancy of recipients describing a donor's and a sire's ability to produce viable embryos was below 1%. The genetic correlations of the direct effect of the recipient with the sire of embryos (paternal effect) and the donor cow (maternal effect) for pregnancy after ET were -0.32 and -0.14, respectively. With the exception of FO and PTE (-0.17), estimates of genetic correlations among traits for the maternal site were distinctly positive, especially

  20. Genetic analysis of traits affecting the success of embryo transfer in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    König, S; Bosselmann, F; von Borstel, U U; Simianer, H

    2007-08-01

    The primary aim of this study was to estimate variance components for traits related to embryo transfer (ET) by applying generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) for different distributions of traits (normal, binomial, and Poisson) in a synergistic context. Synergistic models were originally developed for traits affected by several genotypes, denoted as maternal, paternal, and direct effects. In the case of ET, the number of flushed ova (FO) only depends on a donor's maternal genetic effect, whereas paternal fertility must be considered for other embryo survival traits, such as the number of transferable embryos (TE), the number of degenerated embryos (DE), the number of unfertilized oocytes (UO), and the percentage of transferable embryos (PTE). Data for these traits were obtained from 4,196 flushes of 2,489 Holstein cows within 4 regions of northwest Germany from January 1998 through October 2004. Estimates of maternal heritability were 0.231 for FO, 0.096 for TE, 0.021 for DE, 0.135 for UO, and 0.099 for PTE, whereas the relative genetic impact of the paternal component was near zero. Estimates of the genetic correlations between the maternal and the paternal component were slightly negative, indicating a genetic antagonism. For the analysis of pregnancy after ET, 8,239 transfers to 6,819 different Holstein-Friesian recipients were considered by applying threshold methodology. The direct heritability for pregnancy in the recipient after ET was 0.056. The relative genetic impact of maternal and paternal components on pregnancy of recipients describing a donor's and a sire's ability to produce viable embryos was below 1%. The genetic correlations of the direct effect of the recipient with the sire of embryos (paternal effect) and the donor cow (maternal effect) for pregnancy after ET were -0.32 and -0.14, respectively. With the exception of FO and PTE (-0.17), estimates of genetic correlations among traits for the maternal site were distinctly positive, especially

  1. Paternal benzo[a]pyrene exposure affects gene expression in the early developing mouse embryo.

    PubMed

    Brevik, Asgeir; Lindeman, Birgitte; Rusnakova, Vendula; Olsen, Ann-Karin; Brunborg, Gunnar; Duale, Nur

    2012-09-01

    The health of the offspring depends on the genetic constitution of the parental germ cells. The paternal genome appears to be important; e.g., de novo mutations in some genes seem to arise mostly from the father, whereas epigenetic modifications of DNA and histones are frequent in the paternal gonads. Environmental contaminants which may affect the integrity of the germ cells comprise the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P). B[a]P has received much attention due to its ubiquitous distribution, its carcinogenic and mutagenic potential, and also effects on reproduction. We conducted an in vitro fertilization (IVF) experiment using sperm cells from B[a]P-exposed male mice to study effects of paternal B[a]P exposure on early gene expression in the developing mouse embryo. Male mice were exposed to a single acute dose of B[a]P (150 mg/kg, ip) 4 days prior to isolation of cauda sperm, followed by IVF of oocytes from unexposed superovulated mice. Gene expression in fertilized zygotes/embryos was determined using reverse transcription-qPCR at the 1-, 2-, 4-, 8-, and blastocyst cell stages of embryo development. We found that paternal B[a]P exposure altered the expression of numerous genes in the developing embryo especially at the blastocyst stage. Some genes were also affected at earlier developmental stages. Embryonic gene expression studies seem useful to identify perturbations of signaling pathways resulting from exposure to contaminants, and can be used to address mechanisms of paternal effects on embryo development.

  2. The relationship between sperm quality in cool-shipped semen and embryo recovery rate in horses.

    PubMed

    Love, C C; Noble, J K; Standridge, S A; Bearden, C T; Blanchard, T L; Varner, D D; Cavinder, C A

    2015-12-01

    The relationship between the quality of cool-shipped stallion semen and fertility has not been adequately described. This study evaluated sperm quality of cool-shipped semen from 459 ejaculates (N = 130 stallions) that were used for insemination of 196 embryo donor mares (n = 496 estrous cycles). Embryo recovery rate (ERR; %) increased, as all sperm measures (e.g., motility, viability, DNA quality, morphology, concentration, and total number) increased. Threshold values are reported for each sperm quality measure (e.g., total sperm motility ≥ 65%) that separate two ERR groups (e.g., average: ∼50% ERR; high: ∼65% ERR). PMID:26363735

  3. Factors affecting the efficiency of embryo transfer in the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo)

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ziyi; Sun, Xingshen; Chen, Juan; Leno, Gregory H.; Engelhardt, John F.

    2007-01-01

    Embryo transfer (ET) to recipient females is a foundational strategy for a number of assisted reproductive technologies, including cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer. In an attempt to develop efficient ET in domestic ferrets, factors affecting development of transferred embryo were investigated. Unilateral and bilateral transfer of zygotes or blastocysts in the oviduct or uterus was evaluated in recipient nulliparous or primiparous females. Developing fetuses were collected from recipient animals 21 days post-copulation and examined. The percentage of fetal formation was different (P < 0.05) for unilateral and bilateral transfer of zygotes (71%) in nulliparous females with bilateral transfer (56%) in primiparous recipients. The percentage (90%) of fetal formation in nulliparous recipients following unilateral transfer of blastocysts was higher (P < 0.05) than that observed in primiparous recipients with bilateral ET (73%). Notably, the percentage of fetal formation was higher (P < 0.05) when blastocyts were transferred as compared to zygotes (90% versus 71%). Transuterine migration of embryos occurred following all unilateral transfers and also in approximately 50% of bilateral transfers with different number of embryos in each uterine horn. These data will help to facilitate the development of assisted reproductive strategies in the ferret and could lead to the use of this species for modeling human disease and for conservation of the endangered Mustelidae species such as black-footed ferret and European mink. PMID:16330092

  4. Factors affecting the efficiency of embryo transfer in the domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo).

    PubMed

    Li, Ziyi; Sun, Xingshen; Chen, Juan; Leno, Gregory H; Engelhardt, John F

    2006-07-15

    Embryo transfer (ET) to recipient females is a foundational strategy for a number of assisted reproductive technologies, including cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer. In an attempt to develop efficient ET in domestic ferrets, factors affecting development of transferred embryo were investigated. Unilateral and bilateral transfer of zygotes or blastocysts in the oviduct or uterus was evaluated in recipient nulliparous or primiparous females. Developing fetuses were collected from recipient animals 21 days post-copulation and examined. The percentage of fetal formation was different (P<0.05) for unilateral and bilateral transfer of zygotes (71%) in nulliparous females with bilateral transfer (56%) in primiparous recipients. The percentage (90%) of fetal formation in nulliparous recipients following unilateral transfer of blastocysts was higher (P<0.05) than that observed in primiparous recipients with bilateral ET (73%). Notably, the percentage of fetal formation was higher (P<0.05) when blastocyts were transferred as compared to zygotes (90% versus 71%). Transuterine migration of embryos occurred following all unilateral transfers and also in approximately 50% of bilateral transfers with different number of embryos in each uterine horn. These data will help to facilitate the development of assisted reproductive strategies in the ferret and could lead to the use of this species for modeling human disease and for conservation of the endangered Mustelidae species such as black-footed ferret and European mink. PMID:16330092

  5. Aging and the environment affect gamete and embryo potential: can we intervene?

    PubMed

    Meldrum, David R; Casper, Robert F; Diez-Juan, Antonio; Simon, Carlos; Domar, Alice D; Frydman, Rene

    2016-03-01

    Optimal maturation of the oocyte depends on its environment and determines embryo competence, because the embryonic genome is not active until the cleavage stage and new mitochondria are not produced until blastulation. Adverse environmental factors include aging, andropause, oxidative stress, obesity, smoking, alcohol, and psychologic stress, whereas androgen supplementation, a prudent diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, and psychologic interventions have beneficial effects. Mitochondrial function and energy production deteriorate with age, adversely affecting ovarian reserve, chromosome segregation, and embryo competence. In aging mice, the mitochondrial cofactor coenzyme Q10 reverses most of these changes. Early human experience has been encouraging, although only a small study using a shorter duration of intervention compared with the murine model has been carried out. Mitochondrial metabolic stress can result in an abnormal compensatory increase in mitochondrial DNA, which can be assessed in biopsied blastomeres of trophectoderm as a predictive biomarker of implantation failure. Psychologic stress may reduce oocyte competence by shifting blood flow away from the ovary as part of the classic "fight or flight" physiologic response, and methods to reduce stress or the body's reaction to stress improve pregnancy success. Enhancing oocyte competence is a key intervention that promises to reduce the number of euploid embryos failing to produce viable deliveries.

  6. Aging and the environment affect gamete and embryo potential: can we intervene?

    PubMed

    Meldrum, David R; Casper, Robert F; Diez-Juan, Antonio; Simon, Carlos; Domar, Alice D; Frydman, Rene

    2016-03-01

    Optimal maturation of the oocyte depends on its environment and determines embryo competence, because the embryonic genome is not active until the cleavage stage and new mitochondria are not produced until blastulation. Adverse environmental factors include aging, andropause, oxidative stress, obesity, smoking, alcohol, and psychologic stress, whereas androgen supplementation, a prudent diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, and psychologic interventions have beneficial effects. Mitochondrial function and energy production deteriorate with age, adversely affecting ovarian reserve, chromosome segregation, and embryo competence. In aging mice, the mitochondrial cofactor coenzyme Q10 reverses most of these changes. Early human experience has been encouraging, although only a small study using a shorter duration of intervention compared with the murine model has been carried out. Mitochondrial metabolic stress can result in an abnormal compensatory increase in mitochondrial DNA, which can be assessed in biopsied blastomeres of trophectoderm as a predictive biomarker of implantation failure. Psychologic stress may reduce oocyte competence by shifting blood flow away from the ovary as part of the classic "fight or flight" physiologic response, and methods to reduce stress or the body's reaction to stress improve pregnancy success. Enhancing oocyte competence is a key intervention that promises to reduce the number of euploid embryos failing to produce viable deliveries. PMID:26812244

  7. Crumbs Affects Protein Dynamics In Anterior Regions Of The Developing Drosophila Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Firmino, João; Tinevez, Jean-Yves; Knust, Elisabeth

    2013-01-01

    Maintenance of apico-basal polarity is essential for epithelial integrity and requires particular reinforcement during tissue morphogenesis, when cells are reorganised, undergo shape changes and remodel their junctions. It is well established that epithelial integrity during morphogenetic processes depends on the dynamic exchange of adherens junction components, but our knowledge on the dynamics of other proteins and their dynamics during these processes is still limited. The early Drosophila embryo is an ideal system to study membrane dynamics during morphogenesis. Here, morphogenetic activities differ along the anterior-posterior axis, with the extending germband showing a high degree of epithelial remodelling. We developed a Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching (FRAP) assay with a higher temporal resolution, which allowed the distinction between a fast and a slow component of recovery of membrane proteins during the germband extension stage. We show for the first time that the recovery kinetics of a general membrane marker, SpiderGFP, differs in the anterior and posterior parts of the embryo, which correlates well with the different morphogenetic activities of the respective embryonic regions. Interestingly, absence of crumbs, a polarity regulator essential for epithelial integrity in the Drosophila embryo, decreases the fast component of SpiderGFP and of the apical marker Stranded at Second-Venus specifically in the anterior region. We suggest that the defects in kinetics observed in crumbs mutant embryos are the first signs of tissue instability in this region, explaining the earlier breakdown of the head epidermis in comparison to that of the trunk, and that diffusion in the plasma membrane is affected by the absence of Crumbs. PMID:23555600

  8. Laser fusion of mouse embryonic cells and intra-embryonic fusion of blastomeres without affecting the embryo integrity.

    PubMed

    Krivokharchenko, Alexander; Karmenyan, Artashes; Sarkisov, Oleg; Bader, Michael; Chiou, Arthur; Shakhbazyan, Avetik

    2012-01-01

    Manipulation with early mammalian embryos is the one of the most important approach to study preimplantation development. Artificial cell fusion is a research tool for various biotechnological experiments. However, the existing methods have various disadvantages, first of them impossibility to fuse selected cells within multicellular structures like mammalian preimplantation embryos. In our experiments we have successfully used high repetition rate picosecond near infrared laser beam for fusion of pairs of oocytes and oocytes with blastomeres. Fused cells looked morphologically normal and keep their ability for further divisions in vitro. We also fused two or three blastomeres inside four-cell mouse embryos. The presence of one, two or three nuclei in different blastomeres of the same early preimplantation mouse embryo was confirmed under UV-light after staining of DNA with the vital dye Hoechst-33342. The most of established embryos demonstrated high viability and developed in vitro to the blastocyst stage. We demonstrated for the first time the use of laser beam for the fusion of various embryonic cells of different size and of two or three blastomeres inside of four-cell mouse embryos without affecting the embryo's integrity and viability. These embryos with blastomeres of various ploidy maybe unique model for numerous purposes. Thus, we propose laser optical manipulation as a new tool for investigation of fundamental mechanisms of mammalian development.

  9. Extracellular Vesicles from BOEC in In Vitro Embryo Development and Quality

    PubMed Central

    Lopera-Vásquez, Ricaurte; Hamdi, Meriem; Fernandez-Fuertes, Beatriz; Maillo, Verónica; Beltrán-Breña, Paula; Calle, Alexandra; Redruello, Alberto; López-Martín, Soraya; Gutierrez-Adán, Alfonso; Yañez-Mó, María

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the effect of conditioned media (CM) and Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) derived from bovine oviduct epithelial cell (BOEC) lines on the developmental capacity of bovine zygotes and the quality of embryos produced in vitro, presumptive zygotes were cultured under specific conditions. In experiment 1, zygotes were cultured either on monolayers from BOEC extended culture (E), together with fresh BOEC suspension cells, or with BOEC-CM from fresh or E-monolayers. In experiment 2, EVs were isolated from BOEC-CM and characterized (150–200 nm) by Nanosight® and electron microscopy. Zygotes were cultured in the presence of 3x105EVs/mL, 1.5x105EVs/mL or 7.5x104EVs/mL of fresh or frozen BOEC-EVs. In experiment 3, zygotes were cultured in absence of FCS but with EVs from BOEC-E that had been cultured in different culture media. In experiment 4, zygotes were cultured in SOF+5% normal-FCS, or EV-depleted-FCS. In all cases, cleavage rate (Day 2) and blastocyst development (Day 7–9) was assessed. Blastocysts on Days 7/8 were used for quality evaluation through differential cell count, cryotolerance and gene expression patterns. No differences were found among all FCS-containing groups in cleavage rate or blastocyst yield. However, embryos derived from BOEC-CM had more trophectoderm cells, while embryos derived from BOEC-EVs, both fresh and frozen, has more trophectoderm and total cells. More embryos survived vitrification in the BOEC-CM and BOEC-EV groups. In contrast, more embryos survived in the EV-depleted-FCS than in normal-FCS group. Gene expression patterns were modified for PAG1 for embryos cultured with EVs in the presence of FCS and for IFN-T, PLAC8, PAG1, CX43, and GAPDH in the absence of FCS. In conclusion, EVs from FCS have a deleterious effect on embryo quality. BOEC-CM and EVs during in vitro culture had a positive effect on the quality of in vitro produced bovine embryos, suggesting that EVs have functional communication between the oviduct and the

  10. Retinoic Acid Signaling Is Essential for Valvulogenesis by Affecting Endocardial Cushions Formation in Zebrafish Embryos.

    PubMed

    Li, Junbo; Yue, Yunyun; Zhao, Qingshun

    2016-02-01

    Retinoic acid (RA) plays important roles in many stages of heart morphogenesis. Zebrafish embryos treated with exogenous RA display defective atrio-ventricular canal (AVC) specification. However, whether endogenous RA signaling takes part in cardiac valve formation remains unknown. Herein, we investigated the role of RA signaling in cardiac valve development by knocking down aldh1a2, the gene encoding an enzyme that is mainly responsible for RA synthesis during early development, in zebrafish embryos. The results showed that partially knocking down aldh1a2 caused defective formation of primitive cardiac valve leaflets at 108 hpf (hour post-fertilization). Inhibiting endogenous RA signaling by 4-diethylaminobenzal-dehyde revealed that 16-26 hpf was a key time window when RA signaling affects the valvulogenesis. The aldh1a2 morphants had defective formation of endocardial cushion (EC) at 76 hpf though they had almost normal hemodynamics and cardiac chamber specification at early development. Examining the expression patterns of AVC marker genes including bmp4, bmp2b, nppa, notch1b, and has2, we found the morphants displayed abnormal development of endocardial AVC but almost normal development of myocardial AVC at 50 hpf. Being consistent with the reduced expression of notch1b in endocardial AVC, the VE-cadherin gene cdh5, the downstream gene of Notch signaling, was ectopically expressed in AVC of aldh1a2 morphants at 50 hpf, and overexpression of cdh5 greatly affected the formation of EC in the embryos at 76 hpf. Taken together, our results suggest that RA signaling plays essential roles in zebrafish cardiac valvulogenesis.

  11. Quality testing of three species of Tephritid fruit flies after embryo cryopreservation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluates characteristics commonly used to define insect quality or fitness by using a complement of three species of tephritid fruit flies obtained from cryopreserved embryos. The Mexican, Anastrepah ludens, Caribbean, A. suspense, and Mediterranean, Certatitis capitata, fruit flies were...

  12. Laser Fusion of Mouse Embryonic Cells and Intra-Embryonic Fusion of Blastomeres without Affecting the Embryo Integrity

    PubMed Central

    Krivokharchenko, Alexander; Karmenyan, Artashes; Sarkisov, Oleg; Bader, Michael; Chiou, Arthur; Shakhbazyan, Avetik

    2012-01-01

    Manipulation with early mammalian embryos is the one of the most important approach to study preimplantation development. Artificial cell fusion is a research tool for various biotechnological experiments. However, the existing methods have various disadvantages, first of them impossibility to fuse selected cells within multicellular structures like mammalian preimplantation embryos. In our experiments we have successfully used high repetition rate picosecond near infrared laser beam for fusion of pairs of oocytes and oocytes with blastomeres. Fused cells looked morphologically normal and keep their ability for further divisions in vitro. We also fused two or three blastomeres inside four-cell mouse embryos. The presence of one, two or three nuclei in different blastomeres of the same early preimplantation mouse embryo was confirmed under UV-light after staining of DNA with the vital dye Hoechst-33342. The most of established embryos demonstrated high viability and developed in vitro to the blastocyst stage. We demonstrated for the first time the use of laser beam for the fusion of various embryonic cells of different size and of two or three blastomeres inside of four-cell mouse embryos without affecting the embryo’s integrity and viability. These embryos with blastomeres of various ploidy maybe unique model for numerous purposes. Thus, we propose laser optical manipulation as a new tool for investigation of fundamental mechanisms of mammalian development. PMID:23227157

  13. Effects of oocyte quality, incubation time and maturation environment on the number of chromosomal abnormalities in IVF-derived early bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Demyda-Peyrás, Sebastian; Dorado, Jesus; Hidalgo, Manuel; Anter, Jaouad; De Luca, Leonardo; Genero, Enrique; Moreno-Millán, Miguel

    2013-01-01

    Chromosomal aberrations are one of the major causes of embryo developmental failures in mammals. The occurrence of these types of abnormalities is higher in in vitro-produced (IVP) embryos. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of oocyte morphology and maturation conditions on the rate of chromosomal abnormalities in bovine preimplantational embryos. To this end, 790 early cattle embryos derived from oocytes with different morphologies and matured under different conditions, including maturation period (24 v. 36h) and maturation media (five different serum supplements in TCM-199), were evaluated cytogenetically in three sequential experiments. The rates of normal diploidy and abnormal haploidy, polyploidy and aneuploidy were determined in each embryo. Throughout all the experiments, the rate of chromosomal abnormalities was significantly (P<0.05) affected by oocyte morphology and maturation conditions (maturation time and culture medium). Lower morphological quality was associated with a high rate of chromosome abnormalities (P<0.05). Moreover, polyploidy was associated with increased maturation time (P<0.01), whereas the maturation medium significantly (P<0.05) affected the rates of haploidy and polyploidy. In general, supplementing the maturation medium with oestrous cow serum or fetal calf serum resulted in higher rates of chromosomal aberrations (P<0.05) compared with the other serum supplements tested (bovine steer serum, anoestroues cow serum, bovine amniotic fluid and bovine serum albumin). On the basis of the results of the present study, we conclude that the morphological quality of oocytes and the maturation conditions affect the rate of chromosomal abnormalities in IVP bovine embryos.

  14. Dietary fat supplementation and the consequences for oocyte and embryo quality: hype or significant benefit for dairy cow reproduction?

    PubMed

    Leroy, J L M R; Sturmey, R G; Van Hoeck, V; De Bie, J; McKeegan, P J; Bols, P E J

    2014-06-01

    In many countries, fat supplementation in the diet has become common in the dairy industry. There are several ideas as to how dietary fat could influence reproductive performance. Saturated fatty acids, such as palm oil, can increase milk yield but may aggravate negative energy balance and thus may impair fertility when fed during the first week post-partum. However, priming the lipid oxidation in the liver by feeding saturated fats during the dry period has recently been shown to be a potentially promising strategy to mitigate fat mobilization and liver accumulation post-partum. Furthermore, polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids) are fed to reduce the 'de novo' fat synthesis in the udder and thus the milk fat content, which may be of modest benefit for overall energy balance. Furthermore, omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are reported to alter follicular growth, steroid synthesis and prostaglandin metabolism in the ovary and endometrium, respectively. Omega-6 fatty acids are believed to have pro-inflammatory and thus PGF2α-stimulating properties rendering them extra value as 'nutraceutical' early post-partum, while omega-3 fatty acids can weaken this inflammatory potency, leading to a higher chance of survival of the embryo when supplemented during the periconceptual period. Unfortunately, research results rarely provide a consensus in this perspective. The consequences of these fat-feeding strategies on oocyte and embryo quality remain an intriguing issue for debate. Fat feeding may alter the microenvironment of the growing and maturing oocyte of the early and older embryo and thus may affect reproductive outcome. We recently reported that dietary-induced hyperlipidaemic conditions can be harmful for embryo development and metabolism. However, to date, research results remain somewhat conflicting most probably due to differences in fat sources used, in diet and duration of supplementation and in experimental set

  15. Dietary fat supplementation and the consequences for oocyte and embryo quality: hype or significant benefit for dairy cow reproduction?

    PubMed

    Leroy, J L M R; Sturmey, R G; Van Hoeck, V; De Bie, J; McKeegan, P J; Bols, P E J

    2014-06-01

    In many countries, fat supplementation in the diet has become common in the dairy industry. There are several ideas as to how dietary fat could influence reproductive performance. Saturated fatty acids, such as palm oil, can increase milk yield but may aggravate negative energy balance and thus may impair fertility when fed during the first week post-partum. However, priming the lipid oxidation in the liver by feeding saturated fats during the dry period has recently been shown to be a potentially promising strategy to mitigate fat mobilization and liver accumulation post-partum. Furthermore, polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acids) are fed to reduce the 'de novo' fat synthesis in the udder and thus the milk fat content, which may be of modest benefit for overall energy balance. Furthermore, omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are reported to alter follicular growth, steroid synthesis and prostaglandin metabolism in the ovary and endometrium, respectively. Omega-6 fatty acids are believed to have pro-inflammatory and thus PGF2α-stimulating properties rendering them extra value as 'nutraceutical' early post-partum, while omega-3 fatty acids can weaken this inflammatory potency, leading to a higher chance of survival of the embryo when supplemented during the periconceptual period. Unfortunately, research results rarely provide a consensus in this perspective. The consequences of these fat-feeding strategies on oocyte and embryo quality remain an intriguing issue for debate. Fat feeding may alter the microenvironment of the growing and maturing oocyte of the early and older embryo and thus may affect reproductive outcome. We recently reported that dietary-induced hyperlipidaemic conditions can be harmful for embryo development and metabolism. However, to date, research results remain somewhat conflicting most probably due to differences in fat sources used, in diet and duration of supplementation and in experimental set

  16. Relationship of seminal traits and insemination time to fertilization rate and embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Saacke, R G; Dalton, J C; Nadir, S; Nebel, R L; Bame, J H

    2000-07-01

    The nature of subfertility due to the male or inseminate is as complex as that of the female. Fertilization failure or failure in embryogenesis are both documented to be of seminal origin. Males also differ in the numbers of sperm required to reach their maximum fertilization rate. Males requiring more sperm would be considered to have compensable seminal deficiencies. These include a number of known (viability and morphology) and unknown factors (functional or molecular traits) precluding sperm access to the ovum or ability to engage the ovum sufficiently to initiate fertilization and the block to polyspermy. Differences in fertility among males or inseminates independent of sperm dosage are considered uncompensable. These deficiencies would be associated with fertilizing sperm that are incompetent to maintain the fertilization process or subsequent embryogenesis once initiated, with most failures occurring prior to maternal recognition of pregnancy. Such sperm would preempt fertilization by competent sperm. Chromatin aberrations in morphologically normal or near normal spermatozoa from abnormal semen samples appear to be the best candidates for the uncompensable deficiency. However, recognition of uncompensable or incompetent fertilizing sperm has not been achieved. Six-day-old non-surgically recovered bovine ova/embryos have been used to evaluate compensable and uncompensable seminal deficiencies as well as to test reproductive strategies. These ova/embryos provide information on fertilization status and embryo quality as well as quantitative and qualitative data regarding associated accessory sperm. Thus, they permit the separation of reproductive failure by fertilization from that by embryonic development. Accessory sperm number is positively associated with both fertilization rate and embryonic quality. Early insemination results in low fertilization rates (low accessory sperm number), but good embryo quality, whereas, late insemination results in high

  17. Relationship of seminal traits and insemination time to fertilization rate and embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Saacke, R G; Dalton, J C; Nadir, S; Nebel, R L; Bame, J H

    2000-07-01

    The nature of subfertility due to the male or inseminate is as complex as that of the female. Fertilization failure or failure in embryogenesis are both documented to be of seminal origin. Males also differ in the numbers of sperm required to reach their maximum fertilization rate. Males requiring more sperm would be considered to have compensable seminal deficiencies. These include a number of known (viability and morphology) and unknown factors (functional or molecular traits) precluding sperm access to the ovum or ability to engage the ovum sufficiently to initiate fertilization and the block to polyspermy. Differences in fertility among males or inseminates independent of sperm dosage are considered uncompensable. These deficiencies would be associated with fertilizing sperm that are incompetent to maintain the fertilization process or subsequent embryogenesis once initiated, with most failures occurring prior to maternal recognition of pregnancy. Such sperm would preempt fertilization by competent sperm. Chromatin aberrations in morphologically normal or near normal spermatozoa from abnormal semen samples appear to be the best candidates for the uncompensable deficiency. However, recognition of uncompensable or incompetent fertilizing sperm has not been achieved. Six-day-old non-surgically recovered bovine ova/embryos have been used to evaluate compensable and uncompensable seminal deficiencies as well as to test reproductive strategies. These ova/embryos provide information on fertilization status and embryo quality as well as quantitative and qualitative data regarding associated accessory sperm. Thus, they permit the separation of reproductive failure by fertilization from that by embryonic development. Accessory sperm number is positively associated with both fertilization rate and embryonic quality. Early insemination results in low fertilization rates (low accessory sperm number), but good embryo quality, whereas, late insemination results in high

  18. Mouse embryo quality control for toxicity determination in the Norfolk in vitro fertilization program.

    PubMed

    McDowell, J S; Swanson, R J; Maloney, M; Veeck, L

    1988-06-01

    Ongoing quality control is necessary as part of the maintenance and improvement of a successful human in vitro fertilization (IVF) program. Using a mouse quality-control culture system, several instrument preparation protocols were reevaluated to determine their efficiency in the control or elimination of potential toxicity. Dilute concentrations of urine and endometrial fluid were also tested. Medium rinsed through laparoscope and aspiration needles failed to support embryo development. This effect was reversed in needles that were pretreated with rinses of Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline. Endometrial fluid demonstrated no obvious toxic effect, but urine-exposed embryos arrested in the two-cell state. The importance of periodic evaluation of materials and their pretreatment before use in in vitro fertilization of human oocytes is essential to ensure control of potentially toxic substances.

  19. Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection improves development and quality of preimplantation embryos in teratozoospermia patients.

    PubMed

    Knez, Katja; Tomazevic, Tomaz; Zorn, Branko; Vrtacnik-Bokal, Eda; Virant-Klun, Irma

    2012-08-01

    This prospective randomized study investigated whether intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcome can be improved with sperm preselection under ×6000 magnification and intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) in patients with teratozoospermia and characterized embryo development and quality regarding sperm morphology and presence of head vacuoles. Couples with isolated teratozoospermia were divided into two groups: IMSI group (n=52) and ICSI group (n=70) and fertilization, blastocyst and clinical pregnancy rates were compared. Oocytes from 30 randomly chosen patients from the IMSI group were injected with spermatozoa that had been previously classified under ×6000 magnification into four classes according to the number and size of vacuoles in the head and then cultured separately. Pronuclear morphology, embryo development and blastomere viability were estimated to investigate the influence of sperm morphology, especially vacuoles, on embryo developmental capacity. A significantly higher clinical pregnancy rate was achieved in the IMSI group compared with the ICSI group (48% versus 24%, P<0.05). Fertilization with spermatozoa without head vacuoles yielded higher number of morphologically normal zygotes, higher blastocyst rate and smaller proportion of arrested embryos than spermatozoa with vacuoles and other head defects. IMSI is a method of choice in patients with teratozoospermia.

  20. Watermelon quality traits as affected by ploidy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Growers offering high quality watermelons [Citrullus lanatus (Thumb.), Matsum & Nakai] that are also high in phytonutrients will have stronger market opportunities. In order to offer highly nutritious fruit, the industry must understand the nature of phytonutrient accumulation as it is affected by ...

  1. Factors Affecting the Quality of Staff Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purcell, Larry O.

    A review of the literature concerning the effectiveness and quality of staff development programs focuses on factors that affect the success of such programs. These factors include: individual concerns, training activities, applications, qualifications of consultants, scheduling, strategies, facilities, feedback, collaboration, and outcomes. It is…

  2. Splitting of IVP bovine blastocyst affects morphology and gene expression of resulting demi-embryos during in vitro culture and in vivo elongation.

    PubMed

    Velasquez, Alejandra E; Castro, Fidel O; Veraguas, Daniel; Cox, Jose F; Lara, Evelyn; Briones, Mario; Rodriguez-Alvarez, Lleretny

    2016-02-01

    Embryo splitting might be used to increase offspring yield and for molecular analysis of embryo competence. How splitting affects developmental potential of embryos is unknown. This research aimed to study the effect of bovine blastocyst splitting on morphological and gene expression homogeneity of demi-embryos and on embryo competence during elongation. Grade I bovine blastocyst produced in vitro were split into halves and distributed in nine groups (3 × 3 setting according to age and stage before splitting; age: days 7-9; stage: early, expanded and hatched blastocysts). Homogeneity and survival rate in vitro after splitting (12 h, days 10 and 13) and the effect of splitting on embryo development at elongation after embryo transfer (day 17) were assessed morphologically and by RT-qPCR. The genes analysed were OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, CDX2, TP1, TKDP1, EOMES, and BAX. Approximately 90% of split embryos had a well conserved defined inner cell mass (ICM), 70% of the halves had similar size with no differences in gene expression 12 h after splitting. Split embryos cultured further conserved normal and comparable morphology at day 10 of development; this situation changes at day 13 when embryo morphology and gene expression differed markedly among demi-embryos. Split and non-split blastocysts were transferred to recipient cows and were recovered at day 17. Fifty per cent of non-split embryos were larger than 100 mm (33% for split embryos). OCT4, SOX2, TP1 and EOMES levels were down-regulated in elongated embryos derived from split blastocysts. In conclusion, splitting day-8 blastocysts yields homogenous demi-embryos in terms of developmental capability and gene expression, but the initiation of the filamentous stage seems to be affected by the splitting.

  3. Factors affecting water quality in Cherokee Reservoir

    SciTech Connect

    Iwanski, M.L.; Higgins, J.M.; Kim, B.R.; Young, R.C.

    1980-07-01

    The purpose was to: (1) define reservoir problems related to water quality conditions; (2) identify the probable causes of these problems; and (3) recommend procedures for achieving needed reservoir water quality improvements. This report presents the project findings to date and suggests steps for upgrading the quality of Cherokee Reservoir. Section II presents background information on the characteristics of the basin, the reservoir, and the beneficial uses of the reservoir. Section III identifies the impacts of existing reservoir water quality on uses of the reservoir for water supply, fishery resources, recreation, and waste assimilation. Section IV presents an assessment of cause-effect relationships. The factors affecting water quality addressed in Section IV are: (1) reservoir thermal stratification and hydrodynamics; (2) dissolved oxygen depletion; (3) eutrophication; (4) toxic substances; and (5) reservoir fisheries. Section V presents a preliminary evaluation of alternatives for improving the quality of Cherokee Reservoir. Section VI presents preliminary conclusions and recommendations for developing and implementing a reservoir water quality management plan. 7 references, 22 figures, 21 tables.

  4. Effects of estradiol and ethinylestradiol on sperm quality, fertilization, and embryo-larval survival of pejerrey fish (Odontesthes bonariensis).

    PubMed

    Gárriz, Ángela; Menéndez-Helman, Renata J; Miranda, Leandro A

    2015-10-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) and synthetic 17α-Ethinylestradiol (EE2) are estrogenic compounds present in surface waters as a consequence of municipal sewage discharges. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of E2, EE2 and its mixtures on different reproductive parameters and embryo-larval survival in pejerrey fish (Odontesthes bonariensis). In order to analyze the effect of these compounds on sperm quality, fertilization%, embryo-larval survival (%), and the point of no return (PNR), different assays were performed using concentrations 175, 350, 700 and 1400 ng/L of E2; 22.5, 45, 90 and 180 ng/L of EE2 and mixtures M1 (175 E2+22.5 EE2, ng/L), M2 (350 E2+45 EE2, ng/L), M3 (700 E2+90 EE2, ng/L) and M4 (1400 E2+180 EE2 ng/L). No significant differences in motility parameters were observed between E2 and EE2 treatments and the control group. However, a significant decrease in motility% was recorded for all mixtures tested compared with the control samples. For fertilization%, only sperm activated with M4 showed a significant decrease compared with the control group. In the case of embryo survival, there was only a significant decrease in the highest concentration of EE2 compared with the control group. For the mixtures, M3 is the one that had the most adverse effect on embryo survival. In larval survival, there was a significant decrease in concentration 175 and 700 ng/L of E2 compared with the control group. In EE2 treatments, the ones with a significant reduction in larval survival were concentration 45 and 90 ng/L. And for the mixture treatments, M1, M3 and M4 had a significantly lower larval survival than the control group. In comparison to other treatments, M1 demonstrated a significant difference in PNR when compared with the control group. The results obtained demonstrated that the exposure to mixtures of E2 and EE2 affected fish sperm motility, fertilization% and, embryo and larval survival even at relevant environmental concentrations highlighting the

  5. Effects of estradiol and ethinylestradiol on sperm quality, fertilization, and embryo-larval survival of pejerrey fish (Odontesthes bonariensis).

    PubMed

    Gárriz, Ángela; Menéndez-Helman, Renata J; Miranda, Leandro A

    2015-10-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) and synthetic 17α-Ethinylestradiol (EE2) are estrogenic compounds present in surface waters as a consequence of municipal sewage discharges. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of E2, EE2 and its mixtures on different reproductive parameters and embryo-larval survival in pejerrey fish (Odontesthes bonariensis). In order to analyze the effect of these compounds on sperm quality, fertilization%, embryo-larval survival (%), and the point of no return (PNR), different assays were performed using concentrations 175, 350, 700 and 1400 ng/L of E2; 22.5, 45, 90 and 180 ng/L of EE2 and mixtures M1 (175 E2+22.5 EE2, ng/L), M2 (350 E2+45 EE2, ng/L), M3 (700 E2+90 EE2, ng/L) and M4 (1400 E2+180 EE2 ng/L). No significant differences in motility parameters were observed between E2 and EE2 treatments and the control group. However, a significant decrease in motility% was recorded for all mixtures tested compared with the control samples. For fertilization%, only sperm activated with M4 showed a significant decrease compared with the control group. In the case of embryo survival, there was only a significant decrease in the highest concentration of EE2 compared with the control group. For the mixtures, M3 is the one that had the most adverse effect on embryo survival. In larval survival, there was a significant decrease in concentration 175 and 700 ng/L of E2 compared with the control group. In EE2 treatments, the ones with a significant reduction in larval survival were concentration 45 and 90 ng/L. And for the mixture treatments, M1, M3 and M4 had a significantly lower larval survival than the control group. In comparison to other treatments, M1 demonstrated a significant difference in PNR when compared with the control group. The results obtained demonstrated that the exposure to mixtures of E2 and EE2 affected fish sperm motility, fertilization% and, embryo and larval survival even at relevant environmental concentrations highlighting the

  6. Can Supersaturation Affect Protein Crystal Quality?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, Sridhar

    2013-01-01

    In quiescent environments (microgravity, capillary tubes, gels) formation of a depletion zone is to be expected, due either to limited sedimentation, density driven convection or a combination of both. The formation of a depletion zone can: Modify solution supersaturation near crystal; Give rise to impurity partitioning. It is conjectured that both supersaturation and impurity partitioning affect protein crystal quality and size. Further detailed investigations on various proteins are needed to assess above hypothesis.

  7. Decreased Sperm Motility Retarded ICSI Fertilization Rate in Severe Oligozoospermia but Good-Quality Embryo Transfer Had Achieved the Prospective Clinical Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Jufeng; Lu, Yongning; Qu, Xianqin; Wang, Peng; Zhao, Luiwen; Gao, Minzhi; Shi, Huijuan; Jin, Xingliang

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Spermatozoa motility is the critical parameter to affect the treatment outcomes during assisted reproductive technologies (ART), but its reproductive capability remains a little informed in condition of severe male factor infertility. This retrospective cohort study aimed to evaluate the effects of reduced sperm motility on the embryological and clinical outcomes in intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment of severe oligozoospermia. Patients and Methods 966 cycles (812 couples) of severe oligozoospermia diagnosed by spermatozoa count ≤ 5 × 106/mL and motile spermatozoa ≤ 2 × 106/mL were divided into four groups in according to the number of motile spermatozoa in one ejaculate on the day of oocyte retrieval (Group B—E). The control (Group A) was 188 cycles of moderate oligozoospermia with spermatozoa count > 5 × 106/mL and motile spermatozoa > 2 × 106/mL. All female partners were younger than 35 years of age. Logistic regression analyzed embryological outcomes (the rates of fertilization, cleavage and good-quality embryo) and clinical outcomes (the rates of pregnancy, implantation, early miscarriage and live birth). Quality of embryo transfer (ET) was divided into three classes as continuous factor to test the effects of embryo quality on clinical outcomes. Results The reduction in the number of motile sperm in four groups of severe oligozoospermia gave rise to comparable inability of the fertilization (p < 0.001) and a decreased rate of good-quality embryo at Day 3 (p < 0.001) by compared to the control. The cleavage rate of the derived zygotes was similar to the control. ET classes significantly affected the clinical outcomes (p < 0.001). Class I ET gave rise to similar rates of clinical outcomes between five groups, but Class II and Class III ET retarded the rates of pregnancy, implantation and live birth and this particularly occurred in Group C, D and E. The rate of early miscarriage was not comparably different between groups

  8. Can Solution Supersaturation Affect Protein Crystal Quality?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, Sridhar

    2013-01-01

    The formation of large protein crystals of "high quality" is considered a characteristic manifestation of microgravity. The physical processes that predict the formation of large, high quality protein crystals in the microgravity environment of space are considered rooted in the existence of a "depletion zone" in the vicinity of crystal. Namely, it is considered reasonable that crystal quality suffers in earth-grown crystals as a result of the incorporation of large aggregates, micro-crystals and/or large molecular weight "impurities", processes which are aided by density driven convective flow or mixing at the crystal-liquid interface. Sedimentation and density driven convection produce unfavorable solution conditions in the vicinity of the crystal surface, which promotes rapid crystal growth to the detriment of crystal size and quality. In this effort, we shall further present the hypothesis that the solution supersaturatoin at the crystal surface determines the growth mechanism, or mode, by which protein crystals grow. It is further hypothesized that protein crystal quality is affected by the mechanism or mode of crystal growth. Hence the formation of a depletion zone in microgravity environment is beneficial due to inhibition of impurity incorporatoin as well as preventing a kinetic roughening transition. It should be noted that for many proteins the magnitude of neither protein crystal growth rates nor solution supersaturation are predictors of a kinetic roughening transition. That is, the kinetic roughening transition supersaturation must be dtermined for each individual protein.

  9. Bed rest following embryo transfer might negatively affect the outcome of IVF/ICSI: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Craciunas, Laurentiu; Tsampras, Nikolaos

    2016-04-01

    The majority of patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment will reach the stage of embryo transfer (ET), but only a small proportion of transferred embryos implant. Bed rest following ET has been recommended as a way to prevent embryo expulsion by gravity. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published prior to May 2014 reporting the effect of bed rest following ET, and irrespective of language, country of origin, blinding or sample size. Four RCTs, including 757 women met the inclusion criteria. Bed rest following ET did not improve clinical pregnancy and live birth rates, but reduced the implantation rate. The quality of the trials included was moderate because of attrition bias and possible reporting bias. The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis are concordant with previously published literature and suggest that bed rest is not beneficial following ET. Moreover, it might negatively affect the outcome of IVF/ICSI cycles via stress/anxiety mechanisms.

  10. Bed rest following embryo transfer might negatively affect the outcome of IVF/ICSI: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Craciunas, Laurentiu; Tsampras, Nikolaos

    2016-04-01

    The majority of patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmatic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment will reach the stage of embryo transfer (ET), but only a small proportion of transferred embryos implant. Bed rest following ET has been recommended as a way to prevent embryo expulsion by gravity. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published prior to May 2014 reporting the effect of bed rest following ET, and irrespective of language, country of origin, blinding or sample size. Four RCTs, including 757 women met the inclusion criteria. Bed rest following ET did not improve clinical pregnancy and live birth rates, but reduced the implantation rate. The quality of the trials included was moderate because of attrition bias and possible reporting bias. The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis are concordant with previously published literature and suggest that bed rest is not beneficial following ET. Moreover, it might negatively affect the outcome of IVF/ICSI cycles via stress/anxiety mechanisms. PMID:26986834

  11. Intrinsic quality of goat oocytes already found denuded at collection for in vitro embryo production.

    PubMed

    Souza-Fabjan, Joanna Maria Gonçalves; Locatelli, Yann; Duffard, Nicolas; Corbin, Emilie; Batista, Ribrio Ivan Tavares Pereira; de Figueirêdo Freitas, Vicente José; Beckers, Jean-François; Mermillod, Pascal

    2016-11-01

    Although cumulus cells are essential for efficient oocyte maturation, the establishment of protocols that support IVD of embryos obtained from denuded oocytes (DOCs) is important for optimizing the use of reproductive biotechnologies. Thus, this study aimed to establish a protocol for IVD of goat DOC using different strategies of IVM and methods of oocyte activation. Four experiments were performed. Similar developmental competence of slaughterhouse DOC was obtained, regardless of maturation media (complex, semidefined or simplified). However, the ability to reach the blastocyst stage was affected by the activation method. Denuded oocytes subjected to parthenogenetic activation had greater (P < 0.05) development capacity, compared with those undergoing IVF with average cleavage rate of 83% and 75%, blastocyst rate of 49% and 28%, and blastocysts in relation to the cleaved embryos of 59% and 38, respectively. In addition, the quality of embryos evaluated after vitrification/warming was similar between parthenogenetic activation and IVF. Finally, we demonstrated that the coculture of cumulus-oocyte complex (COC) with DOC increased the competence of DOC at a ratio of 1:1 and 1:9 (DOC:COC). We believe that presence of cumulus cells (CCs) is not essential to the meiotic maturation, if at the time of removal of the oocyte from follicular environment, they already acquired competence to development. However, when the oocytes still need to acquire competence, the presence of CC may significantly contribute in their developmental capacity acquisition during IVM. Thus, regardless of the source, these oocytes will require longer time in IVM, contrary to what happens in the absence of CC. In conclusion, although DOC had a lower developmental potential, especially after IVF, they were able to produce blastocysts and the coculture of DOC with COC increased this developmental capacity. PMID:27453560

  12. Intrinsic quality of goat oocytes already found denuded at collection for in vitro embryo production.

    PubMed

    Souza-Fabjan, Joanna Maria Gonçalves; Locatelli, Yann; Duffard, Nicolas; Corbin, Emilie; Batista, Ribrio Ivan Tavares Pereira; de Figueirêdo Freitas, Vicente José; Beckers, Jean-François; Mermillod, Pascal

    2016-11-01

    Although cumulus cells are essential for efficient oocyte maturation, the establishment of protocols that support IVD of embryos obtained from denuded oocytes (DOCs) is important for optimizing the use of reproductive biotechnologies. Thus, this study aimed to establish a protocol for IVD of goat DOC using different strategies of IVM and methods of oocyte activation. Four experiments were performed. Similar developmental competence of slaughterhouse DOC was obtained, regardless of maturation media (complex, semidefined or simplified). However, the ability to reach the blastocyst stage was affected by the activation method. Denuded oocytes subjected to parthenogenetic activation had greater (P < 0.05) development capacity, compared with those undergoing IVF with average cleavage rate of 83% and 75%, blastocyst rate of 49% and 28%, and blastocysts in relation to the cleaved embryos of 59% and 38, respectively. In addition, the quality of embryos evaluated after vitrification/warming was similar between parthenogenetic activation and IVF. Finally, we demonstrated that the coculture of cumulus-oocyte complex (COC) with DOC increased the competence of DOC at a ratio of 1:1 and 1:9 (DOC:COC). We believe that presence of cumulus cells (CCs) is not essential to the meiotic maturation, if at the time of removal of the oocyte from follicular environment, they already acquired competence to development. However, when the oocytes still need to acquire competence, the presence of CC may significantly contribute in their developmental capacity acquisition during IVM. Thus, regardless of the source, these oocytes will require longer time in IVM, contrary to what happens in the absence of CC. In conclusion, although DOC had a lower developmental potential, especially after IVF, they were able to produce blastocysts and the coculture of DOC with COC increased this developmental capacity.

  13. Development of bovine embryos in vitro as affected by energy substrates.

    PubMed

    Rosenkrans, C F; Zeng, G Q; MCNamara, G T; Schoff, P K; First, N L

    1993-09-01

    Simple media were developed to study the metabolic requirements of bovine embryos up to Day 7 (Day 0 = day of oocyte aspiration) in vitro. Embryos were derived from oocytes matured and fertilized in vitro. At 45 +/- 2 h post insemination, embryos (> or = 2 cells) were randomly allotted to treatments. Examined in experiments 1 and 3 was the effect of pyruvate concentration in the presence of lactate. In the presence of lactate, pyruvate (0.2-5.0 mM) had no effect (p > 0.05) on the percentage of morulae or blastocysts. However, increasing the concentration of hemicalcium L-lactate from 5 mM to 10 mM decreased (p < 0.001) the percentage of embryos reaching the morula or blastocyst stage (experiment 3). Neither magnesium sulfate (0.5 mM) nor EDTA (10 mM) improved embryo development when added to the medium CR1 (experiment 2). Increasing the calcium level to 5 mM or the lactate level to 10 mM had no effect (p > 0.05) on embryo development (experiment 4). However, the interaction of adding calcium and lactate resulted in a decreased (p < 0.05) percentage of morulae. Determined in experiment 6 were the independent effects of pyruvate, lactate, and glucose on embryo development in vitro. As pyruvate or lactate level was increased from 1 to 10 mM, the percentage of blastocysts was decreased (p < 0.05). These experiments indicate that adding pyruvate to a medium containing lactate is not necessary for development of bovine embryos in vitro. PMID:8399836

  14. Development of bovine embryos in vitro as affected by energy substrates.

    PubMed

    Rosenkrans, C F; Zeng, G Q; MCNamara, G T; Schoff, P K; First, N L

    1993-09-01

    Simple media were developed to study the metabolic requirements of bovine embryos up to Day 7 (Day 0 = day of oocyte aspiration) in vitro. Embryos were derived from oocytes matured and fertilized in vitro. At 45 +/- 2 h post insemination, embryos (> or = 2 cells) were randomly allotted to treatments. Examined in experiments 1 and 3 was the effect of pyruvate concentration in the presence of lactate. In the presence of lactate, pyruvate (0.2-5.0 mM) had no effect (p > 0.05) on the percentage of morulae or blastocysts. However, increasing the concentration of hemicalcium L-lactate from 5 mM to 10 mM decreased (p < 0.001) the percentage of embryos reaching the morula or blastocyst stage (experiment 3). Neither magnesium sulfate (0.5 mM) nor EDTA (10 mM) improved embryo development when added to the medium CR1 (experiment 2). Increasing the calcium level to 5 mM or the lactate level to 10 mM had no effect (p > 0.05) on embryo development (experiment 4). However, the interaction of adding calcium and lactate resulted in a decreased (p < 0.05) percentage of morulae. Determined in experiment 6 were the independent effects of pyruvate, lactate, and glucose on embryo development in vitro. As pyruvate or lactate level was increased from 1 to 10 mM, the percentage of blastocysts was decreased (p < 0.05). These experiments indicate that adding pyruvate to a medium containing lactate is not necessary for development of bovine embryos in vitro.

  15. Dietary omega-3 and -6 polyunsaturated fatty acids affect the composition and development of sheep granulosa cells, oocytes and embryos.

    PubMed

    Wonnacott, K E; Kwong, W Y; Hughes, J; Salter, A M; Lea, R G; Garnsworthy, P C; Sinclair, K D

    2010-01-01

    The evidence that omega-3 (n-3) and -6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have differential effects on ovarian function, oocytes and embryo quality is inconsistent. We report on the effects of n-3 versus n-6 PUFA-enriched diets fed to 36 ewes over a 6-week period, prior to ovarian stimulation and follicular aspiration, on ovarian steroidogenic parameters and embryo quality. Follicle number and size were unaltered by diet, but follicular-fluid progesterone concentrations were greater in n-3 PUFA-fed ewes than in n-6 PUFA-fed ewes. The percentage of saturated FAs (mostly stearic acid) was greater in oocytes than in either granulosa cells or plasma, indicating selective uptake and/or de novo synthesis of saturated FAs at the expense of PUFAs by oocytes. High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) fractionated from sera of these ewes increased granulosa cell proliferation and steroidogenesis relative to the FA-free BSA control during culture, but there was no differential effect of n-3 and n-6 PUFAs on either oestradiol or progesterone production. HDL was ineffective in delivering FAs to embryos during culture, although n-6 PUFA HDL reduced embryo development. All blastocysts, irrespective of the treatment, contained high levels of unsaturated FAs, in particular linoleic acid. Transcripts for HDL and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors (SCARB1 and LDLR) and stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) are reported in sheep embryos. HDL reduced the expression of transcripts for LDLR and SCD relative to the BSA control. The data support a differential effect of n-3 and n-6 PUFAs on ovarian steroidogenesis and pre-implantation development, the latter in the absence of a net uptake of FAs. PMID:19789173

  16. Estrus synchronization affects WNT signaling in the porcine reproductive tract and embryos.

    PubMed

    Kiewisz, Jolanta; Kaczmarek, Monika M; Morawska, Ewa; Blitek, Agnieszka; Kapelanski, Wojciech; Ziecik, Adam J

    2011-12-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate an effect of estrus synchronization with prostaglandin (PG) F(2α) and PMSG/hCG on WNT4, WNT5A, WNT7A, β-catenin (CTNNB1) and E-cadherin (CDH1) gene expression. The weight of the uterus, morphometrical parameters of the endometrium and the number of CL were recorded. The analysis of estradiol (E(2)), prostaglandin (PG) F(2α) and E(2) content in the uterine luminal flushings (ULFs) and progesterone (P(4)) level in the blood serum were conducted. RNA was isolated from endometrial, luteal and embryonic tissue of pregnant non-synchronized (Control; n = 15) and pregnant synchronized (PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG; n = 15) pigs. Whereas there was no change in uterine weight, differences in height of endometrial surface and glandular epithelium were found. However, height of the endometrium, number of the glands and capillaries were unaffected. The total number of the CLs was higher (P < 0.05) in animals treated with PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG. The amount of E(2) and P(4) was lower (P < 0.05, P < 0.001, respectively) in pregnant gilts administrated with PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG. The concentration of PGF(2α) in ULFs was not affected by hormonal management, while PGE(2) was higher (P < 0.01) in hormonally in comparison to non-hormonally treated pigs. The content of WNT4 mRNA in conceptuses increased on particular Days studied in Control and PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG administered animals. WNT7A and CTNNB1 were affected by PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG treatment in both conceptuses (P < 0.001, P < 0.05) and endometrial tissue (P < 0.001, P < 0.01). The PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG treatment resulted in elevated expression of WNT4 (P < 0.001) and CTNNB1 (P < 0.05) in luteal tissue in comparison to the Control gilts. Moreover, luteal amount of WNT5A mRNA was higher in PGF(2α)/PMSG/hCG animals in comparison to the Control group (P < 0.05). Presented data show that exogenous hormones administration can affect gene expression in the porcine reproductive tract and embryo.

  17. MEN’S BODY MASS INDEX IN RELATION TO EMBRYO QUALITY AND CLINICAL OUTCOMES IN COUPLES UNDERGOING IN VITRO FERTILIZATION

    PubMed Central

    Colaci, Daniela S.; Afeiche, Myriam; Gaskins, Audrey J.; Wright, Diane L.; Toth, Thomas L.; Tanrikut, Cigdem; Hauser, Russ; Chavarro, Jorge E.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the association between men’s body mass index (BMI), early embryo quality and clinical outcomes in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting Fertility clinic in an academic medical center. Patients 114 couples that underwent 172 ART cycles. Interventions None Main outcome measure Fertilization rate, embryo quality, implantation rate, clinical pregnancy rate and live birth rate. Results Fertilization rate was higher among obese men than among normal weight men (p-trend=0.04) in conventional IVF cycles. No significant associations were found between men’s BMI and the proportion of poor quality embryos on day 3 (p-trend =0.67), slow embryo cleavage rate (p-trend=0.17), or accelerated embryo cleavage rate (p-trend =0.07). Men’s BMI was unrelated to positive β-hCG rate (p-trend =0.37), clinical pregnancy rate (p-trend =0.91) or live birth rate (p-trend =0.42) per embryo transfer. Among couples undergoing ICSI, the odds of live birth in couples with obese male partners was 84% (95% CI 10%–97%) lower than the odds in couples with men with normal BMI (p-trend=0.04). Conclusion Our data suggest a possible deleterious effect of male obesity on the odds of having a live birth among couples undergoing ICSI. PMID:22884013

  18. Single-cell mass spectrometry reveals small molecules that affect cell fates in the 16-cell embryo

    PubMed Central

    Onjiko, Rosemary M.; Moody, Sally A.; Nemes, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Spatial and temporal changes in molecular expression are essential to embryonic development, and their characterization is critical to understand mechanisms by which cells acquire different phenotypes. Although technological advances have made it possible to quantify expression of large molecules during embryogenesis, little information is available on metabolites, the ultimate indicator of physiological activity of the cell. Here, we demonstrate that single-cell capillary electrophoresis-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry is able to test whether differential expression of the genome translates to the domain of metabolites between single embryonic cells. Dissection of three different cell types with distinct tissue fates from 16-cell embryos of the South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) and microextraction of their metabolomes enabled the identification of 40 metabolites that anchored interconnected central metabolic networks. Relative quantitation revealed that several metabolites were differentially active between the cell types in the wild-type, unperturbed embryos. Altering postfertilization cytoplasmic movements that perturb dorsal development confirmed that these three cells have characteristic small-molecular activity already at cleavage stages as a result of cell type and not differences in pigmentation, yolk content, cell size, or position in the embryo. Changing the metabolite concentration caused changes in cell movements at gastrulation that also altered the tissue fates of these cells, demonstrating that the metabolome affects cell phenotypes in the embryo. PMID:25941375

  19. Immune regulation of conception and embryo implantation-all about quality control?

    PubMed

    Robertson, Sarah A

    2010-05-01

    Medawar's hypotheses for explaining maternal immune tolerance of the semi-allogeneic fetus are now proven incorrect or insufficient. The mother's immune response is not passive, suppressed, indolent or physically constrained in pregnancy. Instead, her immune system is centrally engaged with all steps of the reproductive process from conception to embryo implantation and placental development. Emerging studies show that immune cells are positioned and equipped to sense antigens and other signals originating in seminal fluid, the embryo and placental trophoblast. The immune response appears competent to utilise this information to discriminate the reproductive fitness and compatibility of the male partner and the integrity and developmental competence of the conceptus tissue. Since the immune response is modulated by the individual's infectious, inflammatory, stress, nutritional and metabolic status, immune influence on progression or disruption of pregnancy may be further influenced by environmental stressors and resource availability. This opinion paper advances the view that the immune system operates in pregnancy to integrate these signals and to exert executive quality control to either accommodate or reject the conceptus. It is argued that 'immune-mediated quality control' would facilitate optimal female reproductive investment and maximise offspring fitness, and thereby explain the evolutionary advantage of maternal immune awareness of the conceptus tissue. PMID:20347158

  20. fusca3: A Heterochronic Mutation Affecting Late Embryo Development in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed Central

    Keith, K.; Kraml, M.; Dengler, N. G.; McCourt, P.

    1994-01-01

    Molecular studies of late embryogenesis and seed development have emphasized differential gene expression as a means of identifying discrete stages of embryogenesis. Little has been done to identify factors that regulate the length of a given developmental stage or the degree of overlap between adjacent developmental programs. We designed a genetic screen to identify mutations that disrupt late embryo development in Arabidopsis without loss of hormonal responses. One such mutation, fusca3 (fus3), alters late embryo functions, such as the establishment of dormancy and desiccation tolerance, and reduces storage protein levels. fus3 cotyledons bear trichomes, and their ultrastructure is similar to that of leaf primordia. Immature fus3 embryos enter germinative development, and the shoot apical meristems develop leaf primordia before seed desiccation begins. The cotyledons resemble leaf primordia, yet retain some cotyledon characteristics; thus, cotyledon- and leaf-specific functions are expressed simultaneously. Together, these observations are consistent with a heterochronic interpretation of the fus3 mutation. PMID:12244252

  1. Inhibition of Rac1 GTPase activity affects porcine oocyte maturation and early embryo development

    PubMed Central

    Song, Si-Jing; Wang, Qiao-Chu; Jia, Ru-Xia; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian oocyte asymmetric division relies on the eccentric positioning of the spindle, resulting in the polar body formation. Small signaling G protein Rac1 is a member of GTPases, which regulates a diverse array of cellular events, including the control of cell growth, cytoskeletal reorganization, and the activation of protein kinases. However, effects of Rac1 on the porcine oocyte maturation and early embryo development are not fully understood. In present study we investigated the role of Rac1 in oocyte maturation and embryo cleavage. We first found that Rac1 localized at the cortex of the porcine oocytes, and disrupting the Rac1 activities by treating with NSC 23766 led to the failure of polar body emission. In addition, a majority of treated oocytes exhibited abnormal spindle morphology, indicating that Rac1 may involve into porcine oocyte spindle formation. This might be due to the regulation of Rac1 on MAPK, since p-MAPK expression decreased after NSC 23766 treatments. Moreover, we found that the position of most meiotic spindles in treated oocytes were away from the cortex, indicating the roles of Rac1 on meiotic spindle positioning. Our results also showed that inhibition of Rac1 activity caused the failure of early embryo development. Therefore, our study showed the critical roles of Rac1 GTPase on porcine oocyte maturation and early embryo cleavage. PMID:27694954

  2. [Factors that affect inpatients' quality of sleep].

    PubMed

    da Costa, Shíntia Viana; Ceolim, Maria Filomena

    2013-02-01

    The aim of this study was to identify factors that interfere with the sleep quality of patients admitted to a university hospital in a city in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. This was an exploratory, cross sectional study using non-probability sampling. Participants were 117 patients (59% men, mean age 48.0 years, standard deviation 16.9) hospitalized for at least 72 hours in stable clinical condition. The data were collected with an identification questionnaire and the Factors Affecting Sleep Quality (FASQ) questionnaire. Data processing was performed with descriptive statistics; each item of the FASQ underwent a test and a retest. The factors most often reported were waking up early (55.6%), disrupted sleep (52.1%), excessive lighting (34.2%), receipt of care by nursing staff (33.3%) and organic disorders such as pain and fatigue (26.5%). It is suggested that nurses should plan interventions to modify factors that require intense noise and lighting at night in order to reduce disruption and, consequently, sleep deprivation among patients. PMID:23515802

  3. Proteomic analysis of early-stage embryos: implications for egg quality in hapuku (Polyprion oxygeneios).

    PubMed

    Kohn, Yair Y; Symonds, Jane E; Kleffmann, Torsten; Nakagawa, Shinichi; Lagisz, Malgorzata; Lokman, P Mark

    2015-12-01

    In order to develop biomarkers that may help predict the egg quality of captive hapuku (Polyprion oxygeneios) and provide potential avenues for its manipulation, the present study (1) sequenced the proteome of early-stage embryos using isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification analysis, and (2) aimed to establish the predictive value of the abundance of identified proteins with regard to egg quality through regression analysis. Egg quality was determined for eight different egg batches by blastomere symmetry scores. In total, 121 proteins were identified and assigned to one of nine major groups according to their function/pathway. A mixed-effects model analysis revealed a decrease in relative protein abundance that correlated with (decreasing) egg quality in one major group (heat-shock proteins). No differences were found in the other protein groups. Linear regression analysis, performed for each identified protein separately, revealed seven proteins that showed a significant decrease in relative abundance with reduced blastomere symmetry: two correlates that have been named in other studies (vitellogenin, heat-shock protein-70) and a further five new candidate proteins (78 kDa glucose-regulated protein, elongation factor-2, GTP-binding nuclear protein Ran, iduronate 2-sulfatase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase). Notwithstanding issues associated with multiple statistical testing, we conclude that these proteins, and especially iduronate 2-sulfatase and the generic heat-shock protein group, could serve as biomarkers of egg quality in hapuku.

  4. Weight gain potential affects pregnancy rates in bovine embryo recipients raised under pasture conditions.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Carlos Antonio de Carvalho; Palhao, Miller Pereira; Figueiredo, Ana Cristina Silva; Ribeiro, Josiane Rossi; Fonseca e Silva, Fabyano; Viana, Joao Henrique Moreira

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of differences in body weight gain after embryo transfer on the pregnancy rates of crossbred heifers used as recipients and raised under a grazing system. The study was performed during the dry (April to September) and the rainy (October to March) seasons. The embryos transferred were produced by in vitro fertilization. The body weight of each recipient was measured immediately before the embryo transfer and 23 to 25 days later, when the diagnosis of pregnancy was performed by ultrasonography. The associations among initial body weight (IBW), daily body weight gain (DWG), season, and pregnancy rate were evaluated using a logistic procedure that included the effect of the IBW, season, and linear and quadratic effects of the DWG. Altogether, there was no effect of season and pregnancy rates did not change between the dry and rainy seasons (42.3 vs. 45.8%, respectively; P > 0.05). However, the pregnancy rate was greater in the recipients with daily body weight gains over 250 g/day, regardless of the season. In addition, the pregnancy rate of the recipients was better (P < 0.04) explained by a logistic regression model that included the linear and quadratic effects of the DWG. The probability of each heifer to become pregnant according to DWG is explained by the follow equation: P(y = 1) = (Exp((-1.06703 + 0.0108 * DWG - 0.00002 * DWG ^ 2)))/(1 + Exp((-1.6703 + 0.0108 * DWG - 0.00002 * DWG ^ 2))). In conclusion, body weight gain potential is a critical factor for the pregnancy rates of in vitro embryo recipients managed under grazing systems. PMID:26431710

  5. Hyperglycemia-induced apoptosis affects sex ratio of bovine and murine preimplantation embryos.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Adela; Madrid-Bury, Ninoska; Fernández, Raúl; Pérez-Garnelo, Sonia; Moreira, Pedro; Pintado, Belén; de la Fuente, Julio; Gutiérrez-Adán, Alfonso

    2003-06-01

    The effect of glucose in the medium used during in vitro culture on both cell death by apoptosis and the sex ratio of bovine blastocysts derived from in vitro-matured and in vitro-fertilized oocytes was evaluated. Oocytes were matured, inseminated, and cultured in vitro in mSOF medium with 10% FCS with or without glucose supplementation. Exposure to high concentrations of glucose (10, 20, and 30 mM) during bovine embryo development in vitro from zygote to blastocyst resulted in a decrease in the number of cells per embryo and an increase in the frequency of apoptotic cells. A significantly higher proportion of females was found among those embryos that developed under hyperglycemic conditions in vitro. Moreover, both murine and bovine blastocysts incubated for 6 hr in 20 mM glucose had a significantly higher number of apoptotic cells in comparison to control. In this study, we also determined whether blastocyst production of the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) differs between the sexes. Our results show that female bovine blastocysts produce significantly higher amounts of XIAP mRNA than males and this could be crucial in explaining the higher proportion of female blastocysts observed following in vitro culture under hyperglycemic conditions which induce apoptosis. Moreover, a higher proportion of female murine blastocysts cultured under hyperglycemic conditions were implanted in the uterus (65.3 of implantations from embryos cultured with 20 mM of glucose are females vs. 49% in control). This mechanism provides an explanation for the significant reduction of male children born to diabetic mothers.

  6. Does fine sediment source as well as quantity affect salmonid embryo mortality and development?

    PubMed

    Sear, D A; Jones, J I; Collins, A L; Hulin, A; Burke, N; Bateman, S; Pattison, I; Naden, P S

    2016-01-15

    Fine sediments are known to be an important cause of increased mortality in benthic spawning fish. To date, most of the research has focussed on the relationship between embryo mortality and the quantity of fine sediment accumulated in the egg pocket. However, recent evidence suggests a) that the source of fine sediment might also be important, and b) that fitness of surviving embryos post-hatch might also be impacted by the accumulation of fine sediments. In this paper, we report an experiment designed to simulate the incubation environment of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). During the experiment, the incubating embryos were exposed to different quantities of fine (<63 μm) sediment derived from four different sources; agricultural topsoils, damaged road verges, eroding river channel banks and tertiary level treated sewage. Results showed that mass and source are independently important for determining the mortality and fitness of alevin. Differences between species were observed, such that brown trout are less sensitive to mass and source of accumulated sediment. We demonstrate for the first time that sediment source is an additional control on the impact of fine sediment, and that this is primarily controlled by the organic matter content and oxygen consumption of the catchment source material. PMID:26473698

  7. Does fine sediment source as well as quantity affect salmonid embryo mortality and development?

    PubMed

    Sear, D A; Jones, J I; Collins, A L; Hulin, A; Burke, N; Bateman, S; Pattison, I; Naden, P S

    2016-01-15

    Fine sediments are known to be an important cause of increased mortality in benthic spawning fish. To date, most of the research has focussed on the relationship between embryo mortality and the quantity of fine sediment accumulated in the egg pocket. However, recent evidence suggests a) that the source of fine sediment might also be important, and b) that fitness of surviving embryos post-hatch might also be impacted by the accumulation of fine sediments. In this paper, we report an experiment designed to simulate the incubation environment of brown trout (Salmo trutta) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). During the experiment, the incubating embryos were exposed to different quantities of fine (<63 μm) sediment derived from four different sources; agricultural topsoils, damaged road verges, eroding river channel banks and tertiary level treated sewage. Results showed that mass and source are independently important for determining the mortality and fitness of alevin. Differences between species were observed, such that brown trout are less sensitive to mass and source of accumulated sediment. We demonstrate for the first time that sediment source is an additional control on the impact of fine sediment, and that this is primarily controlled by the organic matter content and oxygen consumption of the catchment source material.

  8. Use of novel silver nanoparticles with Hyaluronan as potential biological labels for determining the quality of embryos development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syrvatka, Vasyl J.; Slyvchuk, Yurij I.; Rozgoni, Ivan I.; Hevkan, Ivan I.; Bilyi, Oleksandr I.; Osypchuk, Oleksandr S.; Zyuzyun, Aza B.

    2013-09-01

    In reproductive medicine it is important to determine the quality of embryo development without interference in their function and viability. The surface plasmon resonance of silver nanoparticles makes them promising candidates for optical sensing, molecular labeling and imaging applications. Furthermore unique optical properties of silver nanoparticles provide an opportunity to use them as real time analytic tools in living state especially for observation of dynamic processes in gametes and embryos. The main aim of the study was to investigate the physicochemical properties and biological activities of novel silver nanoparticles with prospect of their use for the determining the quality of embryo development. For this purpose, we investigated the optical properties of new silver nanoparticles in biological mediums during cultivation and their influence on rabbit's embryos development in vitro. The physicochemical and biological properties of novel silver nanoparticles were compared with silver nanoparticles identical in size and shapes but with different chemical surfaces modifications by polyvinylpyrrolidone and bovine serum albumin. The results suggest that silver nanoparticles with hyaluronic acid were disintegrated with the formation of new complexes with proteins in biological mediums. This property with strong optical surface plasmon resonance of novel silver nanoparticles with hyaluronan makes them promising candidates in diagnostic area and gives reasons to explore them as biomarkers of target molecules. Nevertheless novel silver nanoparticles with hyaluronan at the concentrations of 0.1-1 μg/ml have no toxic effect on rabbit's embryos development and can be successfully applied in reproductive medicine.

  9. A minimally invasive methodology based on morphometric parameters for day 2 embryo quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Molina, Inmaculada; Lázaro-Ibáñez, Elisa; Pertusa, Jose; Debón, Ana; Martínez-Sanchís, Juan Vicente; Pellicer, Antonio

    2014-10-01

    The risk of multiple pregnancy to maternal-fetal health can be minimized by reducing the number of embryos transferred. New tools for selecting embryos with the highest implantation potential should be developed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of morphological and morphometric variables to predict implantation by analysing images of embryos. This was a retrospective study of 135 embryo photographs from 112 IVF-ICSI cycles carried out between January and March 2011. The embryos were photographed immediately before transfer using Cronus 3 software. Their images were analysed using the public program ImageJ. Significant effects (P < 0.05), and higher discriminant power to predict implantation were observed for the morphometric embryo variables compared with morphological ones. The features for successfully implanted embryos were as follows: four cells on day 2 of development; all blastomeres with circular shape (roundness factor greater than 0.9), an average zona pellucida thickness of 13 µm and an average of 17695.1 µm² for the embryo area. Embryo size, which is described by its area and the average roundness factor for each cell, provides two objective variables to consider when predicting implantation. This approach should be further investigated for its potential ability to improve embryo scoring.

  10. Human amniotic epithelial cells as feeder layer to derive and maintain human embryonic stem cells from poor-quality embryos.

    PubMed

    Ávila-González, Daniela; Vega-Hernández, Eva; Regalado-Hernández, Juan Carlos; De la Jara-Díaz, Julio Francisco; García-Castro, Irma Lydia; Molina-Hernández, Anayansi; Moreno-Verduzco, Elsa Romelia; Razo-Aguilera, Guadalupe; Flores-Herrera, Héctor; Portillo, Wendy; Díaz-Martínez, Néstor Emmanuel; García-López, Guadalupe; Díaz, Néstor Fabián

    2015-09-01

    Data from the literature suggest that human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines used in research do not genetically represent all human populations. The derivation of hESC through conventional methods involve the destruction of viable human embryos, as well the use of mouse embryonic fibroblasts as a feeder layer, which has several drawbacks. We obtained the hESC line (Amicqui-1) from poor-quality (PQ) embryos derived and maintained on human amniotic epithelial cells (hAEC). This line displays a battery of markers of pluripotency and we demonstrated the capacity of these cells to produce derivates of the three germ layers.

  11. Factors affecting commercial application of embryo technologies in New Zealand: a modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Smeaton, D C; Harris, B L; Xu, Z Z; Vivanco, W H

    2003-01-15

    New reproductive technologies include sexed sperm and embryo-based technologies. The technology of sperm sexing, for various reasons, is not available in New Zealand and its use has not been modelled. Embryo technologies are however already in use on a limited scale and various scenarios for their use in both the dairy and beef industries in New Zealand have been modelled. This review briefly discusses the various technologies available and some of their potential strengths and weaknesses. In the dairy industry, modelling has been used to simulate the production of breeding bulls for large breeding companies and the production of replacement heifers in dairy herds. For the beef industry, similar modelling has been carried out to determine the opportunities for more efficient beef production. All the models confirmed that at current levels of performance, embryo-based reproductive technologies are usually not profitable in New Zealand except in niche market situations where the returns from the resulting offspring are significantly greater than can be obtained from natural mating or artificial insemination (AI) reproduction systems. This is confirmed by the low uptake of these technologies in this country to date. Even if performance lifts to levels similar to AI, profitability is likely to occur only if the costs of pregnancies to embryo-based reproductive technologies can occur at prices less than two to four times greater than AI or natural mating. This break-even requirement depends on the returns that can be achieved and the advantages that can be captured by the technology over and above those available from AI or natural mating. Two new uses for reproductive technologies in dairy cattle could be the proliferation of novel or rare genotypes from gene discovery programs and improving the female reproductive rate for optimal marker assisted selection. In both these uses the technology is not at present competing with AI or natural mating. The challenge exists

  12. Variable breeding phenology affects the exposure of amphibian embryos to ultraviolet radiation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, P.S.; Muths, E.

    2002-01-01

    Reduced water depth in dry years has been proposed to interact with ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation and pathogenic fungus to cause episodes of high mortality of amphibian embryos. Observations of breeding phenology of boreal chorus frogs (Pseudacris maculata) in Colorado from 1986-2001 show that dry years result in earlier breeding. The earliest and latest dates of maximum calling activity by males were 20 May and 16 June, and the date of maximum calling was strongly related to the amount of snow accumulation during the winter. Surface UV-B flux, estimated from satellite-based measurements, was positively related to date of maximum calling. In dry years, surface UV-B during calling was reduced by an amount similar to that attributed to reduced depth. Although there was a significant trend of increasing UV-B from 1978-2001 on the average date (2 June) of maximum calling activity, there was no relationship between year and surface UV-B at actual dates of maximum calling. Exposure to extreme temperatures is an alternative explanation for increased mortality of amphibian embryos in shallow water.

  13. Variable breeding phenology affects the exposure of amphibian embryos to ultraviolet radiation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, P.S.; Muths, E.

    2002-01-01

    Reduced water depth in dry years has been proposed to interact with ultraviolet- B (UV-B) radiation and a pathogenic fungus to cause episodes of high mortality of amphibian embryos. Observations of breeding phenology of boreal chorus frogs (Pseudacris maculata) in Colorado from 1986 to 2001 show that dry years result in earlier breeding. The earliest and latest dates of maximum calling activity by males were 20 May and 16 June, and the date of maximum calling was strongly related to the amount of snow accumulation during the winter. Surface UV-B flux, estimated from satellite-based measurements, was positively related to date of maximum calling. In dry years, surface UV-B during calling was reduced by an amount similar to that attributed to reduced depth. Although there was a significant trend of increasing UV-B from 1978 to 2001 on the average date (2 June) of maximum calling activity, there was no relationship between year and surface UV-B at actual dates of maximum calling. Exposure to extreme temperatures is an alternative explanation for increased mortality of amphibian embryos in shallow water.

  14. Elective single-embryo transfer: persuasive communication strategies can affect choice in a young British population.

    PubMed

    van den Akker, O B A; Purewal, S

    2011-12-01

    This study tested the effectiveness of the framing effect and fear appeals to inform young people about the risks of multiple births and the option of selecting elective single-embryo transfer (eSET). A non-patient student sample (age (mean±SD) 23±5.5 years; n=321) were randomly allocated to one of seven groups: (1) framing effect: (1a) gain and (1b) loss frame; (2) fear appeal: (2a) high, (2b) medium and (2c) low fear; or (3) a control group: (3a) education and (3b) non-education. The primary outcome measure was the Attitudes towards Single Embryo Transfer questionnaire, before exposure to the messages (time 1) and immediately afterwards (time 2). Results revealed participants in the high fear, medium fear and gain condition demonstrated the most positive and significant differences (P<0.001 to P<0.05) in their knowledge, hypothetical intentions and modest changes in attitudes towards eSET than the low fear, loss frame and education and non-education messages. The results demonstrate that the use of complex persuasive communication techniques on a student population to promote immediate and hypothetical eSET preferences is more successful at promoting eSET than merely reporting educational content. Future research should investigate its application in a clinical population. A multiple pregnancy is a health risk to both infant and mother following IVF treatment. The aims of this study were to test the effectiveness of two persuasive communication techniques (the framing effect and fear appeals) to inform young people about the risks of multiple births and the hypothetical option of selecting elective single-embryo transfer (eSET) (i.e., only one embryo is transferred to the uterus using IVF treatment). A total of 321 non-patient student sample (mean age 23) were randomly allocated to read a message from one of seven groups: (1) framing effect: (1a) gain and (1b) loss frame; (2) fear appeal: (2a) high, (2b) medium and (2c) low fear; or (3) a control group

  15. Functional delineation of rice MADS29 reveals its role in embryo and endosperm development by affecting hormone homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Kapoor, Sanjay

    2013-01-01

    Rice MADS29 has recently been reported to cause programmed cell death of maternal tissues, the nucellus, and the nucellar projection during early stages of seed development. However, analyses involving OsMADS29 protein expression domains and characterization of OsMADS29 gain-of-function and knockdown phenotypes revealed novel aspects of its function in maintaining hormone homeostasis, which may have a role in the development of embryo and plastid differentiation and starch filling in endosperm cells. The MADS29 transcripts accumulated to high levels soon after fertilization; however, protein accumulation was found to be delayed by at least 4 days. Immunolocalization studies revealed that the protein accumulated initially in the dorsal-vascular trace and the outer layers of endosperm, and subsequently in the embryo and aleurone and subaleurone layers of the endosperm. Ectopic expression of MADS29 resulted in a severely dwarfed phenotype, exhibiting elevated levels of cytokinin, thereby suggesting that cytokinin biosynthesis pathway could be one of the major targets of OsMADS29. Overexpression of OsMADS29 in heterologous BY2 cells was found to mimic the effects of exogenous application of cytokinins that causes differentiation of proplastids to starch-containing amyloplasts and activation of genes involved in the starch biosynthesis pathway. Suppression of MADS29 expression by RNAi severely affected seed set. The surviving seeds were smaller in size, with developmental abnormalities in the embryo and reduced size of endosperm cells, which also contained loosely packed starch granules. Microarray analysis of overexpression and knockdown lines exhibited altered expression of genes involved in plastid biogenesis, starch biosynthesis, cytokinin signalling and biosynthesis. PMID:23929654

  16. Modifications to the translational apparatus which affect the regulation of protein synthesis in sea urchin embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Scalise, F.W.

    1988-01-01

    Protein synthesis can be regulated at a number of cellular levels. I have examined how modifications to specific components of the protein synthetic machinery are involved in regulating the efficiency of initiation of translation during early sea urchin embryogenesis. It is demonstrated that Ca{sup 2+} concentrations exceeding 500 uM cause the inhibition of protein synthesis in cell-free translation lysates prepared from sea urchin embryos. Specific changes in the state of phosphorylation of at least 8 proteins occur during this Ca{sup 2+}-mediated repression of translation. Analysis of these proteins has indicated that, unlike mammalian systems, there is no detectable level of Ca{sup 2+}-dependent phosphorylation of the {alpha}subunit eIF-2. Two of the proteins which do become phosphorylated in response to Ca{sup 2+} are calmodulin and an isoelectric form of sea urchin eIF-4D. In addition, 2 proteins which share similarities with kinases involved in the regulation of protein synthesis in mammalian cells, also become phosphorylated. I have investigated the consequences of changes in eIF-4D during sea urchin embryogenesis because it has been proposed that a polyamine-mediated conversion of lysine to hypusine in this factor may enhance translational activity. It is demonstrated that ({sup 3}H) spermidine-derived radioactivity is incorporated into a number of proteins when sea urchin embryos are labeled in vivo, and that the pattern of individual proteins that become labeled changes over the course of the first 30 hr of development.

  17. Quality improvement of transgenic cloned bovine embryos using an aggregation method: Effects on cell number, cell ratio, embryo perimeter, mitochondrial distribution, and gene expression profile.

    PubMed

    Bang, J I; Jin, J I; Ghanem, N; Choi, B H; Fakruzzaman, M; Ha, A N; Lee, K L; Uhm, S J; Ko, D H; Koo, B C; Lee, J G; Kong, I K

    2015-09-01

    The production of cloned embryos using conventional methods has extremely low success rates owing to low embryo quality. To improve the quality of cloned bovine embryos expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), we applied an aggregation culture method. The EGFP gene was transfected into bovine fetal fibroblasts using a retroviral vector system. Somatic cell nuclear transfer was performed using these cells, and the resulting embryos were cultured in aggregates or individually. Gene expression was analyzed by a microarray, and differentially expressed genes were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The total number of cells per blastocyst and the ratio of inner cell mass cells to trophectoderm cells were higher in aggregated transgenic cloned blastocysts (agBL; 368.7 ± 109.6 and 1:4.8, respectively) than in in vitro-fertilized blastocysts (ivfBL; 189.8 ± 65.8 and 1:2.6, respectively) and nonaggregated transgenic cloned blastocysts (sBL; 113.1 ± 36.3 and 1:1.5, respectively; P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). Moreover, the blastocyst perimeter was larger in the agBL group than in the ivfBL and sBL groups (1168.8 ± 200.23 vs. 887.33 ± 187.62 and 678 ± 226.1 μm; P < 0.05). In addition, mitochondrial fluorescence intensity was higher in the agBL group than in the ivfBL and sBL groups (P < 0.05). The number of apoptotic cells per blastocyst was lower in the ivfBL and agBL groups than in the sBL group (3.7 ± 2.2 and 3.4 ± 2.1 vs. 6.7 ± 6.8; P < 0.05). The genes identified in the microarray belonged to 18 categories. Expression of the Krüppel-like factor 4 gene, which is associated with cell proliferation, development, and transcription, was 7.2-fold higher in the agBL group than in the ivfBL group (P < 0.05) but did not differ between the sBL and ivfBL groups (P > 0.05). Expression of the heat shock 70-kDa protein 1A gene, which is associated with apoptosis, was 12-fold higher in the s

  18. Factors affecting enhanced video quality preferences

    PubMed Central

    Satgunam, PremNandhini; Woods, Russell L; Bronstad, P Matthew; Peli, Eli

    2013-01-01

    The development of video quality metrics requires methods for measuring perceived video quality. Most such metrics are designed and tested using databases of images degraded by compression and scored using opinion ratings. We studied video quality preferences for enhanced images of normally-sighted participants using the method of paired comparisons with a thorough statistical analysis. Participants (n=40) made pair-wise comparisons of high definition (HD) video clips enhanced at four different levels using a commercially available enhancement device. Perceptual scales were computed with binary logistic regression to estimate preferences for each level and to provide statistical inference of the differences among levels and the impact of other variables. While moderate preference for enhanced videos was found, two unexpected effects were also uncovered: (1) Participants could be broadly classified into two groups: those who preferred enhancement ("Sharp") and those who disliked enhancement ("Smooth"). (2) Enhancement preferences depended on video content, particularly for human faces to be enhanced less. The results suggest that algorithms to evaluate image quality (at least for enhancement) may need to be adjusted or applied differentially based on video content and viewer preferences. The possible impact of similar effects on image quality of compressed video needs to be evaluated. PMID:24107400

  19. Systems Genetics Implicates Cytoskeletal Genes in Oocyte Control of Cloned Embryo Quality

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yong; Gaughan, John; Midic, Uros; Han, Zhiming; Liang, Cheng-Guang; Patel, Bela G.; Latham, Keith E.

    2013-01-01

    Cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer is an important technology, but remains limited due to poor rates of success. Identifying genes supporting clone development would enhance our understanding of basic embryology, improve applications of the technology, support greater understanding of establishing pluripotent stem cells, and provide new insight into clinically important determinants of oocyte quality. For the first time, a systems genetics approach was taken to discover genes contributing to the ability of an oocyte to support early cloned embryo development. This identified a primary locus on mouse chromosome 17 and potential loci on chromosomes 1 and 4. A combination of oocyte transcriptome profiling data, expression correlation analysis, and functional and network analyses yielded a short list of likely candidate genes in two categories. The major category—including two genes with the strongest genetic associations with the traits (Epb4.1l3 and Dlgap1)—encodes proteins associated with the subcortical cytoskeleton and other cytoskeletal elements such as the spindle. The second category encodes chromatin and transcription regulators (Runx1t1, Smchd1, and Chd7). Smchd1 promotes X chromosome inactivation, whereas Chd7 regulates expression of pluripotency genes. Runx1t1 has not been associated with these processes, but acts as a transcriptional repressor. The finding that cytoskeleton-associated proteins may be key determinants of early clone development highlights potential roles for cytoplasmic components of the oocyte in supporting nuclear reprogramming. The transcriptional regulators identified may contribute to the overall process as downstream effectors. PMID:23307892

  20. Melatonin treatment of embryo donor and recipient ewes during anestrus affects their endocrine status, but not ovulation rate, embryo survival or pregnancy.

    PubMed

    McEvoy, T G; Robinson, J J; Aitken, R P; Robertson, I S

    1998-04-01

    Thirty-two Border Leicester x Scottish Blackface ewes that lambed in March were individually penned with their lambs from April 16th and given daily an oral dose of 3 mg melatonin at 1500 h (Group M). A further 32 acted as controls (Group C). Within each group half were used as embryo donors (Group D) following superovulation and half received embryos (Group R) following an induced estrus. Prior to weaning on 21 May ewes received ad libitum a complete diet providing 9 megajoules (MJ) of metabolizable energy and 125 g/kg crude protein. Thereafter each received 1.6 kg of the diet daily. In early June each ewe received an intravaginal device (300 mg progesterone) inserted for 12 d. Donors were superovulated with 4 i.m. injections of porcine FSH 12 h apart, commencing 24 h before progesterone withdrawal. Ovulation in recipients was induced with 800 IU PMSG injected i.m. at progesterone removal. Donor ewes were inseminated 52 h after progesterone withdrawal. Embryos were collected 4 d later and transferred to recipients. Melatonin suppressed plasma prolactin (P < 0.001) and advanced estrus (P < 0.05) and timing of the LH peak (P < 0.05). These events also occurred earlier in donors than in recipients (P < 0.01). Mean (+/- SEM) ovulation rates for melatonin-treated and control donors were 5.5 +/- 0.71 and 4.7 +/- 0.66, respectively (NS). Corresponding recipient values were 3.3 +/- 0.40 and 3.4 +/- 0.39 (NS). Mean (+/- SEM) embryo yields were 2.9 +/- 0.64 and 2.6 +/- 0.73 for melatonin-treated (n = 15) and control (n = 16) donors, respectively, and for the 12 ewes per treatment that supplied embryos, corresponding numbers classified as viable were 2.7 +/- 0.47 and 2.3 +/- 0.61 (NS). Following transfer, 57% of embryos developed to lambs when both donor and recipient received melatonin, 86% when only the donor received melatonin, 91% when only the recipient received melatonin, and 67% when neither received melatonin (NS). Thus, embryo survival following transfer was not

  1. Factors Affecting School Quality in Florida

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thornton, Barry; Arbogast, Gordon

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the factors that are theorized to be determinants of school quality in the 67 counties of Florida from 2000 to 2011. The model constructed for this purpose is comprised of a mix of independent variables that include county educational attainment (number of high school graduates and State University System enrollees) and…

  2. Bis-GMA affects craniofacial development in zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Kramer, Alexander G; Vuthiganon, Jompobe; Lassiter, Christopher S

    2016-04-01

    Estrogen is a steroid hormone that is vital in vertebrate development and plays a role in a variety of developmental processes including cartilage and craniofacial formation. The effects of estrogen can be mimicked by other compounds found in the environment known as xenoestrogens. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a known xenoestrogen and is combined with glycidyl methacrylate to make Bisphenol A glycidyl methacrylate (Bis-GMA), a major component in dental resin based composites (RBCs). Bis-GMA based RBCs can release their components into the saliva and bloodstream. Exposure to 1μM and 10μM Bis-GMA in Danio rerio embryos results in increased mortality of approximately 30% and 45% respectively. Changes to gross morphology, specifically craniofacial abnormalities, were seen at concentrations as low as 10nM. While the molecular pathways of Bis-GMA effects have not been studied extensively, more is known about one of the components, BPA. Further research of Bis-GMA could lead to a better understanding of xenoestrogenic activity resulting in improved public and environmental health. PMID:26994444

  3. Affective Quality of Family Relations and Adolescent Identity Exploration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papini, Dennis R.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Examined relationship between adolescent pubertal status, the affective quality of family relations, and the early adolescent's exploration of a sense of ego identity in families (N=51) with seventh-grade adolescents. Results revealed that affective quality of parent-child relationships and pubertal status of adolescent appeared to influence…

  4. Sterol Methyl Oxidases Affect Embryo Development via Auxin-Associated Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xia; Sun, Shuangli; Nie, Xiang; Boutté, Yohann; Grison, Magali; Li, Panpan; Kuang, Susu; Men, Shuzhen

    2016-05-01

    Sterols are essential molecules for multiple biological processes, including embryogenesis, cell elongation, and endocytosis. The plant sterol biosynthetic pathway is unique in the involvement of two distinct sterol 4α-methyl oxidase (SMO) families, SMO1 and SMO2, which contain three and two isoforms, respectively, and are involved in sequential removal of the two methyl groups at C-4. In this study, we characterized the biological functions of members of the SMO2 gene family. SMO2-1 was strongly expressed in most tissues during Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) development, whereas SMO2-2 showed a more specific expression pattern. Although single smo2 mutants displayed no obvious phenotype, the smo2-1 smo2-2 double mutant was embryonic lethal, and the smo2-1 smo2-2/+ mutant was dwarf, whereas the smo2-1/+ smo2-2 mutant exhibited a moderate phenotype. The phenotypes of the smo2 mutants resembled those of auxin-defective mutants. Indeed, the expression of DR5rev:GFP, an auxin-responsive reporter, was reduced and abnormal in smo2-1 smo2-2 embryos. Furthermore, the expression and subcellular localization of the PIN1 auxin efflux facilitator also were altered. Consistent with these observations, either the exogenous application of auxin or endogenous auxin overproduction (YUCCA9 overexpression) partially rescued the smo2-1 smo2-2 embryonic lethality. Surprisingly, the dwarf phenotype of smo2-1 smo2-2/+ was completely rescued by YUCCA9 overexpression. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis revealed a substantial accumulation of 4α-methylsterols, substrates of SMO2, in smo2 heterozygous double mutants. Together, our data suggest that SMO2s are important for correct sterol composition and function partially through effects on auxin accumulation, auxin response, and PIN1 expression to regulate Arabidopsis embryogenesis and postembryonic development. PMID:27006488

  5. Microgravity in the STS-29 space shuttle discovery affected the vestibular system of chick embryos

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fermin, C. D.; Martin, D.; Jones, T.; Vellinger, J.; Deuser, M.; Hester, P.; Hullinger, R.

    1996-01-01

    Out of 32 embryos flown (16 @ E2 + 16 @ E9) for 5 days, 16 survived. All sixteen E2 were dead at landing. Eight were opened and eight were incubated at 1.0G. Autopsy showed that 4 E2 survived over 24 hours in space. Eight E14 hatched without anatomical malformations, and 8 E14 were fixed. The height of the macular epithelia was 31 mu m (mean) in control and 26 mu m in flight chicks. The cross-sectional area of macular nuclei of control was 17 mu m(2) for hair cells and 14 mu m(2) in supporting cells. In flight, cross-sectional area was 17 mu m(2) in hair cells and 15 mu m(2) in supporting cells (n=250). The shape factor of cartilage cells (1.0 = perfect circle) between control (mean = 0.70) and flight (mean = 0.72), and the area of cartilaginous cells between controls (mean = 9 mu m(2)) and flight (mean = 9 mu m(2)) did not differ (n=300). The nuclei of support cells were closer to the basement membrane in flight than in control chicks. The immunoreactivity of otoconia with anti keratan, fibronectin or chrondroitin sulfate was not different between flight and control ears. There were more afferent fibers inside the macular epithelia of flight (p<0.05) than control. Three of 8 flight animals had elevated vestibular thresholds (VT), with normal mean response amplitudes and latencies. Modified afferent innervation patterns requiring weeks to compensate are sufficient to elevate VT, and should be investigated further. Other reversible (sublethal) microgravity effects on sensory epithelia (vacuoles, swelling, etc) require quantification.

  6. Factors affecting spontaneous reduction of corpora lutea and twin embryos during the late embryonic/early fetal period in multiple-ovulating dairy cows.

    PubMed

    López-Gatius, F; García-Ispierto, I; Hunter, R H F

    2010-02-01

    Spontaneous reduction of advanced twin embryos has been described in high-producing, Holstein-Fresian (Bos taurus) dairy herds. The first objective of the current study was to determine whether management and cow factors could have an effect on such a reduction in twin pregnancies during the early fetal period. Because loss of a corpus luteum was noted in cows suffering twin reduction, we expanded our study to include multiple-ovulating cows carrying singletons. Pregnancy was diagnosed and confirmed from Days 28 to 34 and 56 to 62 postinsemination. Sixty-nine (23.5%) of 293 pregnant cows with two corpora lutea carrying singletons and 132 (28.4%) of 464 twin pregnancies recorded on first pregnancy diagnosis subsequently lost one of the corpora lutea or one of the embryos, respectively. Thirty-four (25.8%) of the 132 twin pregnancies suffering embryo reduction lost one corpus luteum along with the embryo. Corpus luteum reduction always occurred in the ovary ipsilateral to the gravid horn suffering embryo reduction. Binary logistic regressions were performed considering corpus luteum and embryo reduction as dependent variables in single and twin pregnancies, respectively, and several management- and cow-related factors as independent variables. In cows carrying singletons, the risk of corpus luteum reduction was 14.3 (1/0.07) times lower for a given herd, whereas the interaction season by laterality significantly affected corpus luteum reduction such that in cows with two corpora lutea ipsilateral to the horn of pregnancy, the risk of reduction decreased during the winter period. In cows carrying twins, ipsilateral twin pregnancies were 3.45 (1/0.29) times more likely to undergo the loss of one embryo than bilateral twin pregnancies. As an overall conclusion, both corpora lutea and embryos were vulnerable to the effects of stress factors during the early fetal period in cows maintaining their pregnancies. A strong unilateral relationship between the corpus luteum and

  7. Prospective Randomized Study on the Influence of Myoinositol in PCOS Women Undergoing IVF in the Improvement of Oocyte Quality, Fertilization Rate, and Embryo Quality

    PubMed Central

    Lesoine, Bernd

    2016-01-01

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the pathological factors involved in the failure of in vitro fertilization (IvF). The aim of the present study was to investigate if the combination of myoinositol + folic acid was able to improve the oocyte quality, the ratio between follicles and retrieved oocytes, the fertilization rate, and the embryo quality in PCOS patients undergoing IvF treatments. 29 patients with PCOS underwent IvF protocols for infertility treatment and were randomized prospectively into two groups. Group A (placebo) with 15 patients and group B (4000 mg myoinositol + 400 μg folic acid per day) with 14 patients. The patients of group B used for two months myoinositol + folic acid before starting the IvF protocol and data were obtained concerning number of follicles, number of oocytes, quality of oocytes, fertilization rates, and embryo quality in both groups. The ratio follicle/retrieved oocyte was better in the myoinositol group (= group B). Out of the 233 oocytes collected in the myoinositol group 136 were fertilized, whereas only 128 out of 300 oocytes in the placebo group were fertilized. More metaphase II and I oocytes were retrieved in relation to the total amount of oocytes in the myoinositol. More embryos of grade I quality were obtained in the myoinositol. The duration of stimulation was 9,7 days (±3,3) in the myoinositol group and 11,2 (±1,8) days in the placebo group and the number of used FSH units was lower in the myoinositol group: 1750 FSH units (mean) versus 1850 units (mean). Our evidence suggests that myoinositol therapy in women with PCOS results in better fertilization rates and a clear trend to a better embryo quality. As the number of retrieved oocytes was smaller in the myoinositol group, the risk of hyper stimulation syndrome can be reduced in these patients.

  8. Prospective Randomized Study on the Influence of Myoinositol in PCOS Women Undergoing IVF in the Improvement of Oocyte Quality, Fertilization Rate, and Embryo Quality.

    PubMed

    Lesoine, Bernd; Regidor, Pedro-Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the pathological factors involved in the failure of in vitro fertilization (IvF). The aim of the present study was to investigate if the combination of myoinositol + folic acid was able to improve the oocyte quality, the ratio between follicles and retrieved oocytes, the fertilization rate, and the embryo quality in PCOS patients undergoing IvF treatments. 29 patients with PCOS underwent IvF protocols for infertility treatment and were randomized prospectively into two groups. Group A (placebo) with 15 patients and group B (4000 mg myoinositol + 400 μg folic acid per day) with 14 patients. The patients of group B used for two months myoinositol + folic acid before starting the IvF protocol and data were obtained concerning number of follicles, number of oocytes, quality of oocytes, fertilization rates, and embryo quality in both groups. The ratio follicle/retrieved oocyte was better in the myoinositol group (= group B). Out of the 233 oocytes collected in the myoinositol group 136 were fertilized, whereas only 128 out of 300 oocytes in the placebo group were fertilized. More metaphase II and I oocytes were retrieved in relation to the total amount of oocytes in the myoinositol. More embryos of grade I quality were obtained in the myoinositol. The duration of stimulation was 9,7 days (±3,3) in the myoinositol group and 11,2 (±1,8) days in the placebo group and the number of used FSH units was lower in the myoinositol group: 1750 FSH units (mean) versus 1850 units (mean). Our evidence suggests that myoinositol therapy in women with PCOS results in better fertilization rates and a clear trend to a better embryo quality. As the number of retrieved oocytes was smaller in the myoinositol group, the risk of hyper stimulation syndrome can be reduced in these patients. PMID:27635136

  9. Prospective Randomized Study on the Influence of Myoinositol in PCOS Women Undergoing IVF in the Improvement of Oocyte Quality, Fertilization Rate, and Embryo Quality

    PubMed Central

    Lesoine, Bernd

    2016-01-01

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the pathological factors involved in the failure of in vitro fertilization (IvF). The aim of the present study was to investigate if the combination of myoinositol + folic acid was able to improve the oocyte quality, the ratio between follicles and retrieved oocytes, the fertilization rate, and the embryo quality in PCOS patients undergoing IvF treatments. 29 patients with PCOS underwent IvF protocols for infertility treatment and were randomized prospectively into two groups. Group A (placebo) with 15 patients and group B (4000 mg myoinositol + 400 μg folic acid per day) with 14 patients. The patients of group B used for two months myoinositol + folic acid before starting the IvF protocol and data were obtained concerning number of follicles, number of oocytes, quality of oocytes, fertilization rates, and embryo quality in both groups. The ratio follicle/retrieved oocyte was better in the myoinositol group (= group B). Out of the 233 oocytes collected in the myoinositol group 136 were fertilized, whereas only 128 out of 300 oocytes in the placebo group were fertilized. More metaphase II and I oocytes were retrieved in relation to the total amount of oocytes in the myoinositol. More embryos of grade I quality were obtained in the myoinositol. The duration of stimulation was 9,7 days (±3,3) in the myoinositol group and 11,2 (±1,8) days in the placebo group and the number of used FSH units was lower in the myoinositol group: 1750 FSH units (mean) versus 1850 units (mean). Our evidence suggests that myoinositol therapy in women with PCOS results in better fertilization rates and a clear trend to a better embryo quality. As the number of retrieved oocytes was smaller in the myoinositol group, the risk of hyper stimulation syndrome can be reduced in these patients. PMID:27635136

  10. Effects of acute feed restriction combined with targeted use of increasing luteinizing hormone content of follicle-stimulating hormone preparations on ovarian superstimulation, fertilization, and embryo quality in lactating dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Bender, R W; Hackbart, K S; Dresch, A R; Carvalho, P D; Vieira, L M; Crump, P M; Guenther, J N; Fricke, P M; Shaver, R D; Combs, D K; Wiltbank, M C

    2014-02-01

    Multiple metabolic and hormonal factors can affect the success of protocols for ovarian superstimulation. In this study, the effect of acute feed restriction and increased LH content in the superstimulatory FSH preparation on numbers of ovulations, fertilization, and embryo quality in lactating dairy cows was evaluated. Two experiments were performed using a Latin square design with treatments arranged as a 2 × 2 factorial: feed restriction (FR; 25% reduction in dry matter intake) compared with ad libitum (AL) feeding, combined with high (H) versus low (L) LH in the last 4 injections of the superstimulatory protocol. As expected, FR decreased circulating insulin concentrations (26.7 vs. 46.0 μU/mL). Two analyses were performed: one that evaluated the complete Latin square in experiment 2 and a second that evaluated only the first periods of experiments 1 and 2. For both analyses, follicle numbers, ovulation rates, and corpora lutea on d 7 were not different. In the first period analysis of experiments 1 and 2, we observed an interaction between feed allowance and amount of LH on fertilization rates, percentage of embryos or oocytes that were quality 1 and 2 embryos, and number of embryos or oocytes that were degenerate. Fertilization rates were greater for the AL-L (89.4%) and FR-H (80.1%) treatments compared with the AL-H (47.9%) and FR-L (59.9%) treatments. Similarly, the proportion of total embryos or oocytes designated as quality 1 and 2 embryos was greater for AL-L (76.7%) and FR-H (73.4%) treatments compared with AL-H (35.6%) and FR-L (47.3%) treatments. In addition, the number of degenerate embryos was decreased for AL-L (1.3) and FR-H (0.4) treatments compared with the AL-H (2.6) and FR-L (2.3) treatments. Thus, cows with either too low (FR-L) or too high (AL-H) insulin and LH stimulation had lesser embryo production after superstimulation because of reduced fertilization rate and increased percentage of degenerate embryos. Therefore, interaction of the

  11. Mind Wandering, Sleep Quality, Affect and Chronotype: An Exploratory Study

    PubMed Central

    Carciofo, Richard; Du, Feng; Song, Nan; Zhang, Kan

    2014-01-01

    Poor sleep quality impairs cognition, including executive functions and concentration, but there has been little direct research on the relationships between sleep quality and mind wandering or daydreaming. Evening chronotype is associated with poor sleep quality, more mind wandering and more daydreaming; negative affect is also a mutual correlate. This exploratory study investigated how mind wandering and daydreaming are related to different aspects of sleep quality, and whether sleep quality influences the relationships between mind wandering/daydreaming and negative affect, and mind wandering/daydreaming and chronotype. Three surveys (Ns = 213; 190; 270) were completed with Chinese adults aged 18–50, including measures of sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, mind wandering, daydreaming, chronotype and affect (positive and negative). Higher frequencies of mind wandering and daydreaming were associated with poorer sleep quality, in particular with poor subjective sleep quality and increased sleep latency, night-time disturbance, daytime dysfunction and daytime sleepiness. Poor sleep quality was found to partially mediate the relationships between daydreaming and negative affect, and mind wandering and negative affect. Additionally, low positive affect and poor sleep quality, in conjunction, fully mediated the relationships between chronotype and mind wandering, and chronotype and daydreaming. The relationships between mind wandering/daydreaming and positive affect were also moderated by chronotype, being weaker in those with a morning preference. Finally, while daytime sleepiness was positively correlated with daydream frequency, it was negatively correlated with a measure of problem-solving daydreams, indicating that more refined distinctions between different forms of daydreaming or mind wandering are warranted. Overall, the evidence is suggestive of a bi-directional relationship between poor sleep quality and mind wandering/daydreaming, which may be

  12. Replication of cytopathic and noncytopathic bovine viral diarrhea virus in zona-free and zona-intact in vitro-produced bovine embryos and the effect on embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Vanroose, G; Nauwynck, H; Van Soom, A; Vanopdenbosch, E; de Kruif, A

    1998-03-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine whether or not cytopathic (CP) and noncytopathic (NCP) bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) are able to replicate within in vitro-produced embryos and to investigate whether inoculation of embryos with BVDV affects their normal development. Zona pellucida (ZP)-free oocytes, zygotes, 8-cell-stage embryos, morulae, and hatched blastocysts (HB) were incubated for 1 h in 1 ml of Minimal Essential Medium containing 10(6.00) tissue culture infectious dose (TCID)50/ml NCP BVDV isolate 22,146 or 10(6.25) TCID50/ml CP BVDV strain Oregon C24V. At 0, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 h postinoculation (hpi), groups of embryos were collected for virus titration. A small amount of newly produced virus was detected in 8-cell embryos at 60 hpi (10(1.8) TCID50/100 cells), but only for CP BVDV. For ZP-free morulae and HB, maximal intracellular virus titers were, respectively, 10(1.47) and 10(2.33) TCID50/100 cells at 48 hpi for the CP biotype and 10(0.64) and 10(0.84) TCID50/100 cells at 72 hpi for the NCP biotype. Only an infection with CP BVDV had a significant inhibitory effect on further development of ZP-free morulae. It can be concluded that ZP-free in vitro-produced embryos are permissive to an infection with BVDV, with increasing susceptibility of the embryos in accordance with their developmental stage. In contrast to observations in ZP-free in vitro-produced embryos, no virus replication or signs of embryonic degeneration were detected in ZP-intact in vitro-derived embryos.

  13. Choosing GnRH Antagonist Protocol Shows Improved Oocyte and Embryo Quality, Coherent with the Perifollicular Vascularity (PFV) in Assisted Reproductive Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, Amar; Kumar, Pratap

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The parent oocyte from which the embryo is derived, determines its quality and the perifollicular vascularity (PFV) determines the micro-environment of the developing ovum. The PFV correlates well with the follicular oxygenation, oocyte maturation and embryo viability. PFV is imaged with Power Doppler Ultrasound. Aim To study and compare the association of the PFV of follicles with the quality of the oocytes and embryos in agonist and antagonist protocol, employed in Assisted Reproductive techniques (ART). Study Design A prospective observational study was conducted on 75 patients, who were recruited for ART cycles, out of which 25 were given the Agonist protocol and the remaining 50 received the Antagonist protocol. Materials and Methods The patients underwent the stimulation protocol. The PFV of preovulatory follicles were studied with Transvaginal Power Doppler and graded. Each oocyte retrieved carried the same label of its parent follicle. Embryos were cultured. The embryologist was blinded. The oocyte and embryo quality were assessed and compared with the PFV of parent follicle. Results Follicles with grade 1 and 2 PFV were predominantly observed. The yield of oocytes was independent of PFV. The mean yield of good quality embryos in conjunction with the PFV of the parent follicle was found to be highly significant in both the groups. The antagonist group had statistically significant yield of mature oocytes and embryos, compared to the agonist group. Conclusion Antagonist protocol had favourable outcomes compared with the agonist protocol. The retrieval of oocytes, even the mature ones and the yield of high grade embryos were found higher. As the PFV increased, the yield and overall pregnancy rates were higher. PFV as assessed by Power Doppler is a useful non-invasive biomarker of embryo quality and can be employed in conjunction with other biomarkers in ART to predict successful outcome. PMID:26674932

  14. Improvements in histological quality and signal retention following in situ hybridization in early chick embryos using plastic resin and recolorization.

    PubMed

    Sawitzke, A L; Chapman, S C; Bleyl, S B; Schoenwolf, G C

    2005-01-01

    We describe a novel method that allows reliable detection of in situ hybridization signals in thin sections of plastic embedded embryos. Sections from plastic embedded embryos are thinner and have superior histological quality compared to paraffin, gelatin, agarose embedded sections or cryosections; however, plastic resin traditionally has not been used as an embedding medium following in situ hybridization because of loss of signal. When signal is detected with alkaline phosphatase and NBT/BCIP, the resulting colored precipitate is subject to fading when samples are exposed to organic compounds. The colored precipitate can be redeposited by repeating the NBT/BCIP reaction following plastic sectioning. This recolorization shows no loss of specificity, because signal is detected only where the anti-digoxigenin/alkaline phosphatase conjugated antibody is bound to the riboprobe. Strong signals can be detected without recolorization; however, weaker signals require the recolorization step. This novel method of re-depositing colored precipitate after processing and sectioning allows accurate determination of the location of gene expression and study of this expression in high quality histological sections of early chick embryos.

  15. The fertilization-induced zinc spark is a novel biomarker of mouse embryo quality and early development

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Nan; Duncan, Francesca E.; Que, Emily L.; O’Halloran, Thomas V.; Woodruff, Teresa K.

    2016-01-01

    Upon activation, mammalian eggs release billions of zinc ions in an exocytotic event termed the “zinc spark.” The zinc spark is dependent on and occurs coordinately with intracellular calcium transients, which are tightly associated with embryonic development. Thus, we hypothesized that the zinc spark represents an early extracellular physicochemical marker of the developmental potential of the zygote. To test this hypothesis, we monitored zinc exocytosis in individual mouse eggs following parthenogenetic activation or in vitro fertilization (IVF) and tracked their development. Retrospective analysis of zinc spark profiles revealed that parthenotes and zygotes that developed into blastocysts released more zinc than those that failed to develop. Prospective selection of embryos based on their zinc spark profile significantly improved developmental outcomes and more than doubled the percentage of embryos that reached the blastocyst stage. Moreover, the zinc spark profile was also associated with embryo quality as the total cell number in the resulting morulae and blastocysts positively correlated with the zinc spark amplitude (R = 0.9209). Zinc sparks can thus serve as an early biomarker of zygote quality in mouse model. PMID:26987302

  16. DONATION OF ‘SPARE’ FRESH OR FROZEN EMBRYOS TO RESEARCH: WHO DECIDES THAT AN EMBRYO IS ‘SPARE’ AND HOW CAN WE ENHANCE THE QUALITY AND PROTECT THE VALIDITY OF CONSENT?

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Rosamund; Williams, Clare; Ehrich, Kathryn; Farsides, Bobbie

    2012-01-01

    This paper analyses elements of the legal process of consent to the donation of ‘spare’ embryos to research, including stem-cell research, and makes a recommendation intended to enhance the quality of that process, including on occasion by guarding against the invalidity of such consent. This is important in its own right and also so as to maximise the reproductive treatment options of couples engaged in in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment and to avoid possible harms to them. In Part 1, with reference to qualitative data from three UK IVF clinics, we explore the often delicate and contingent nature of what comes to be, for legal purposes, a ‘spare’ embryo. The way in which an embryo becomes ‘spare’, with its implications for the process of consent to donation to research, is not addressed in the relevant reports relating to or codes of practice governing the donation of embryos to research, which assume an unproblematic notion of the ‘spare’ embryo. Significantly, our analysis demonstrates that there is an important and previously unrecognised first stage in the donation of a ‘spare’ embryo to research, namely: consent to an embryo being ‘spare’ and so, at the same time, to its disuse in treatment. This is not explicitly covered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 1990, as amended by the HFE Act 2008. Having identified this important initial stage in the process of consent to the donation of a ‘spare’ embryo to research in conclusion to Part 1, in Part 2 we analyse the idea of consent to an embryo's disuse in treatment on the basis that it is ‘spare’ with reference to the legal elements of consent, namely information as to nature and purpose, capacity, and voluntariness. We argue that there are in fact three related consent processes in play, of which the principal one concerns consent to an embryo's disuse in treatment. If the quality of this first consent is compromised, in turn this will impact on the quality of

  17. Genetic Analysis of Human Preimplantation Embryos.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Herrero, S; Cervero, A; Mateu, E; Mir, P; Póo, M E; Rodrigo, L; Vera, M; Rubio, C

    2016-01-01

    Preimplantation development comprises the initial stages of mammalian development, before the embryo implants into the mother's uterus. In normal conditions, after fertilization the embryo grows until reaching blastocyst stage. The blastocyst grows as the cells divide and the cavity expands, until it arrives at the uterus, where it "hatches" from the zona pellucida to implant into the uterine wall. Nevertheless, embryo quality and viability can be affected by chromosomal abnormalities, most of which occur during gametogenesis and early embryo development; human embryos produced in vitro are especially vulnerable. Therefore, the selection of chromosomally normal embryos for transfer in assisted reproduction can improve outcomes in poor-prognosis patients. Additionally, in couples with an inherited disorder, early diagnosis could prevent pregnancy with an affected child and would, thereby, avoid the therapeutic interruption of pregnancy. These concerns have prompted advancements in the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Genetic testing is applied in two different scenarios: in couples with an inherited genetic disorder or carriers of a structural chromosomal abnormality, it is termed PGD; in infertile couples with increased risk of generating embryos with de novo chromosome abnormalities, it is termed preimplantation genetic screening, or PGS. PMID:27475859

  18. Local activation of uterine Toll-like receptor 2 and 2/6 decreases embryo implantation and affects uterine receptivity in mice.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier Arturo; Caballero, Ignacio; Montazeri, Mehrnaz; Maslehat, Nasim; Elliott, Sarah; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Raul; Calle, Alexandra; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; Fazeli, Alireza

    2014-04-01

    Embryo implantation is a complex interaction between maternal endometrium and embryonic structures. Failure to implant is highly recurrent and impossible to diagnose. Inflammation and infections in the female reproductive tract are common causes of infertility, embryo loss, and preterm labor. The current work describes how the activation of endometrial Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and 2/6 reduces embryo implantation chances. We developed a morphometric index to evaluate the effects of the TLR 2/6 activation along the uterine horn (UH). TLR 2/6 ligation reduced the endometrial myometrial and glandular indexes and increased the luminal index. Furthermore, TLR 2/6 activation increased the proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1beta and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 in UH lavages in the preimplantation day and IL-1 receptor antagonist in the implantation day. The engagement of TLR 2/6 with its ligand in the UH during embryo transfer severely affected the rate of embryonic implantation (45.00% ± 6.49% vs. 16.69% ± 5.01%, P < 0.05, control vs. test, respectively). Furthermore, this interference with the embryo implantation process was verified using an in vitro model of human embryo implantation where trophoblast spheroids failed to adhere to a monolayer of TLR 2- and TLR 2/6-activated endometrial cells. The inhibition of TLR receptors 2 and 6 in the presence of their specific ligands restored the ability of the spheroids to bind to the endometrial cells. In conclusion, the activation of the innate immune system in the uterus at the time of implantation interfered with the endometrial receptivity and reduced the chances of implantation success.

  19. Local activation of uterine Toll-like receptor 2 and 2/6 decreases embryo implantation and affects uterine receptivity in mice.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier Arturo; Caballero, Ignacio; Montazeri, Mehrnaz; Maslehat, Nasim; Elliott, Sarah; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Raul; Calle, Alexandra; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; Fazeli, Alireza

    2014-04-01

    Embryo implantation is a complex interaction between maternal endometrium and embryonic structures. Failure to implant is highly recurrent and impossible to diagnose. Inflammation and infections in the female reproductive tract are common causes of infertility, embryo loss, and preterm labor. The current work describes how the activation of endometrial Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and 2/6 reduces embryo implantation chances. We developed a morphometric index to evaluate the effects of the TLR 2/6 activation along the uterine horn (UH). TLR 2/6 ligation reduced the endometrial myometrial and glandular indexes and increased the luminal index. Furthermore, TLR 2/6 activation increased the proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1beta and monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-1 in UH lavages in the preimplantation day and IL-1 receptor antagonist in the implantation day. The engagement of TLR 2/6 with its ligand in the UH during embryo transfer severely affected the rate of embryonic implantation (45.00% ± 6.49% vs. 16.69% ± 5.01%, P < 0.05, control vs. test, respectively). Furthermore, this interference with the embryo implantation process was verified using an in vitro model of human embryo implantation where trophoblast spheroids failed to adhere to a monolayer of TLR 2- and TLR 2/6-activated endometrial cells. The inhibition of TLR receptors 2 and 6 in the presence of their specific ligands restored the ability of the spheroids to bind to the endometrial cells. In conclusion, the activation of the innate immune system in the uterus at the time of implantation interfered with the endometrial receptivity and reduced the chances of implantation success. PMID:24621922

  20. Factors affecting water quality in the releases from hydropower reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Ruane, R.J.; Hauser, G.E. )

    1990-01-01

    Typical water quality concerns with releases from hydropower reservoirs include low dissolved oxygen, inappropriate temperature for downstream uses, supersaturation of total dissolved gases, and water quality constituents associated with low dissolved oxygen. Except for supersaturation of total dissolved gases, which is usually caused by by-passing turbines and spilling water, all of these concerns are related to the limnology of the upstream reservoir. Various limnological factors affect water quality, particularly dissolved oxygen (DO) in turbine releases. This paper describes three groups of reservoirs, thermal stratification characteristics for each group, DO effects for each group, the main factors that affect DO in TVA turbine releases, and other water quality constituents that are related to low DO.

  1. Embryo loss in cattle between Days 7 and 16 of pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Berg, D K; van Leeuwen, J; Beaumont, S; Berg, M; Pfeffer, P L

    2010-01-15

    Embryo loss between embryonic Days 7 and 16 (Day 0=day of IVF) in nonlactating cattle, Bos taurus, was analyzed using transfer of 2449 (in groups of 3 to 30) in vitro-produced (IVP) blastocysts. In 152 transfers, pregnancy losses attributable solely to recipient failings amounted to between 6% (beef heifers) and 16% (parous dairy cows), of which 3% were caused by uterine infections. Neither season, year, nor the age of the embryos on retrieval affected pregnancy rates. The latter observation indicated that the reason that a recipient failed to retain embryos was already present at the time of transfer. Notably, the proportion of embryos recovered decreased (P=0.03) as more embryos were transferred, particularly at later stages (Day 14, P<0.01). The average length of embryos decreased by approximately 5% for every additional embryo transferred (P<0.0001). These effects may be linked to embryonic migration. Embryo mortality inherent to the embryo during the second week of pregnancy was 24%. Additionally, 9% of Day 14 embryos were of inferior quality, as they did not contain an epiblast. Combining embryo and recipient causes but excluding infection effects, embryonic loss of IVP embryos during the second week of pregnancy amounted to 26% (heifers) or 34% (parous dairy cows). The length of embryos doubled every day between Days 9 and 16, with a 4.4-fold range in sizes representing two thirds of the variation in length. Embryos retrieved from heifers were twice the size of those incubated in parous cows (P<0.0001), indicating faster embryonic development/trophoblast proliferation in heifers. Whereas season did not affect embryo recoveries, length was lower (50%) in winter (winter-autumn, P<0.05; winter-spring, P<0.001). Lastly, transuterine migration in cattle, when transferring multiple embryos, commenced at Day 14 (4%) and had occurred in all recipients by Day 16 (38% of embryos found contralaterally).

  2. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist for oocyte triggering in endometrial preparation of letrozole stimulation protocols does not affect clinical outcome of frozen-thawed embryo transfer

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Pin-Xiu; Wei, Ji-Hong; Wei, Li-Hong

    2015-01-01

    Objective: This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of GnRH agonist in comparison with hCG for triggering final oocyte maturation in endometrial preparation of letrozole stimulation protocols for frozen-thawed embryo transfer. Methods: The frozen-thawed embryo transfer cycles (FET) that use the letrozole stimulation protocols for endometrial preparation were divided into two groups according the different method of triggering final oocyte maturation. The serum LH and E2 levels, and the endometrial thickness on the day of triggering, the clinical pregnancy rates, the miscarriage rates and live birth rates were compared. Results: There were no significant differences in the age, the endometrial thickness, the number of embryos transferred between the two groups. The clinical pregnancy rate, abortion rate and live birth rates of the group A were similar compared with the group B, P<0.05. Conclusion: Using GnRH agonist for oocyte triggering in endometrial preparation of letrozole stimulation protocols for frozen-thawed embryo transfer does not affect the clinical outcome compared with hCG under the same luteal phase support. PMID:26770535

  3. Affecting the Affective: Affective Outcomes in the Context of School Effectiveness, School Improvement and Quality Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonard, Carl; Bourke, Sid; Schofield, Neville

    2004-01-01

    The late 20th Century saw the rapid rise of quality assurance and effectiveness measures in most industries and organisations. These trends were very much reflected in education at all levels. An associated emergent trend in primary and secondary education in Australia was growth in the use of standardised measures of student achievement that…

  4. Neighborhood Perceptions Affect Dietary Behaviors and Diet Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keita, Akilah Dulin; Casazza, Krista; Thomas, Olivia; Fernandez, Jose R.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: The primary purpose of this study was to determine if perceived neighborhood disorder affected dietary quality within a multiethnic sample of children. Design: Children were recruited through the use of fliers, wide-distribution mailers, parent magazines, and school presentations from June 2005 to December 2008. Setting:…

  5. Quality of Affectional Bonding, Learned Helplessness, and Clinical Depression.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kessler, Ronald P.

    John Bowlby's theory of affectional bonding and the reformulated learned helplessness theory of depression were integrated into a multivariate model in order to expand the breadth of current attributional theories of depression. This retrospective study focused upon the quality of parent-child relations, the types of discipline parents employed,…

  6. Factors Affecting Quality Enhancement Procedures for E-Learning Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jara, Magdalena; Mellar, Harvey

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This paper reports on an empirical study exploring the way in which campus-based higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK apply their internal quality assurance and enhancement (QA/QE) procedures to their e-learning courses. The purpose of this paper is to identify those characteristics of e-learning courses which affected the…

  7. Anti-Müllerian Hormone Levels in the Follicular Fluid of the Preovulatory Follicle: A Predictor for Oocyte Fertilization and Quality of Embryo

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    This prospective study investigated the relationship between anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) level in the follicular fluid (FF) and the quality of the oocyte and embryo. A total of 65 FF samples from 54 women were included in this study. FF was collected from the largest preovulatory follicle sized≥20 mm of mean diameter from each ovary. Samples were divided into 3 groups according to the FF AMH levels: below the 33th percentile (low group, FF AMH<2.1 ng/mL, n=21), between the 33th and the 67th percentile (intermediate group, FF AMH=2.1-3.6 ng/mL, n=22), and above the 67th percentile (high group, FF AMH>3.6 ng/mL, n=22). The quality of the ensuing oocytes and embryos was evaluated by fertilization rate and embryo score. FF AMH levels correlated positively with the matched embryo score on day 3 after fertilization (r=0.331, P=0.015). The normal fertilization rate was significantly lower in the low group than in the intermediate group (61.9% vs. 95.5% vs. 77.3%, respectively, P=0.028). Our results suggest that the FF AMH level could be a predictor of the ensuing oocyte and embryo quality. Graphical Abstract PMID:25246746

  8. Clinical efficacy of macrophage-activating Chinese mixed herbs (MACH) in improvement of embryo qualities in women with long-term infertility of unknown etiology.

    PubMed

    Ushiroyama, Takahisa; Yokoyama, Noriko; Hakukawa, Midori; Sakuma, Kou; Ichikawa, Fumio; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2012-01-01

    Despite the recent technological advances in in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET), a significant proportion of women still do not become pregnant after long-term infertility, whether it is originally due to older age or other undetermined factors. In the present study, macrophage activating Chinese herbs (MACH) were evaluated for their effects on embryo qualities in women who were undergoing repeated IVF-ET because of long-term infertility. Thirty women, who had significantly low rates of developing good quality cleaved embryos and did not become pregnant after three or more cycles of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedure, were included in the study. Oral administration of MACH significantly increased the percentage of good quality early stage blastocysts (the number of grade 1 or grade 2 cleaved embryos/the number of retrieved oocytes) from 18.7 ± 16.2% to 36.1 ± 27.1% (1.9-fold increase, p < 0.01). The rate of good quality early stage blastocysts increased in all patients. In 19 patients who desired embryo transfer using late stage blastocysts, MACH significantly increased the percentage of late stage blastocysts from the initial value of 14.8 ± 11.2% to 21.1 ± 23.1% (1.4-fold increase, p < 0.05). The rate of embryonic progress into late stage blastocyst increased in 52.6% (10/19) of the patients. Furthermore, treatment with MACH significantly decreased the plasma follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) concentration on the day of oocyte retrieval from 14.4 ± 3.2 to 10.5 ± 2.4 mIU/ml (p < 0.05). No adverse events were observed with MACH supplementation, and there was no patient dropout. Administration of MACH resulted in improved embryo quality in the difficult cases. The present study demonstrates a new benefit of this herbal blend in women with refractory infertility of unknown etiology. PMID:22298444

  9. Colored plastic mulch microclimates affect strawberry fruit yield and quality.

    PubMed

    Shiukhy, Saeid; Raeini-Sarjaz, Mahmoud; Chalavi, Vida

    2015-08-01

    Significant reduction of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa, Duch.) fruit yield and quality, as a consequence of conventional cultivation method, is common in the Caspian Sea region, Iran. Recently, growers started using plastic mulches to overcome these shortcomings. Plastic mulches have different thermal and radiation properties and could affect strawberry fruit yield and quality. In the present study, the effect of different colored plastic mulches (black, red, and white) along with conventional practice was tested on yield and quality of strawberry Camarosa cultivar, in a completely randomized block design. Colored plastic mulches had highly significant effect on fruit weight, size, and phytochemical contents. In the most harvest times, mean fruit weight was significantly higher in red plastic relative to white and control treatments. Total fruit weight of plastic mulches was not significantly different, while all were statistically higher than that of control. Fruit size significantly increased over red plastic mulch. Total fruit numbers over plastic mulches were significantly higher than that of control treatment. The content of phenolic compounds was similar between treatments, while anthocyanin content, IC(50) value, and flavonoid content significantly were affected by colored plastics. In conclusion, colored plastic mulches could affect strawberry fruit weight and quality through altering strawberry thermal and radiation environment. PMID:25348886

  10. Colored plastic mulch microclimates affect strawberry fruit yield and quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiukhy, Saeid; Raeini-Sarjaz, Mahmoud; Chalavi, Vida

    2015-08-01

    Significant reduction of strawberry ( Fragaria × ananassa, Duch.) fruit yield and quality, as a consequence of conventional cultivation method, is common in the Caspian Sea region, Iran. Recently, growers started using plastic mulches to overcome these shortcomings. Plastic mulches have different thermal and radiation properties and could affect strawberry fruit yield and quality. In the present study, the effect of different colored plastic mulches (black, red, and white) along with conventional practice was tested on yield and quality of strawberry Camarosa cultivar, in a completely randomized block design. Colored plastic mulches had highly significant effect on fruit weight, size, and phytochemical contents. In the most harvest times, mean fruit weight was significantly higher in red plastic relative to white and control treatments. Total fruit weight of plastic mulches was not significantly different, while all were statistically higher than that of control. Fruit size significantly increased over red plastic mulch. Total fruit numbers over plastic mulches were significantly higher than that of control treatment. The content of phenolic compounds was similar between treatments, while anthocyanin content, IC50 value, and flavonoid content significantly were affected by colored plastics. In conclusion, colored plastic mulches could affect strawberry fruit weight and quality through altering strawberry thermal and radiation environment.

  11. Colored plastic mulch microclimates affect strawberry fruit yield and quality.

    PubMed

    Shiukhy, Saeid; Raeini-Sarjaz, Mahmoud; Chalavi, Vida

    2015-08-01

    Significant reduction of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa, Duch.) fruit yield and quality, as a consequence of conventional cultivation method, is common in the Caspian Sea region, Iran. Recently, growers started using plastic mulches to overcome these shortcomings. Plastic mulches have different thermal and radiation properties and could affect strawberry fruit yield and quality. In the present study, the effect of different colored plastic mulches (black, red, and white) along with conventional practice was tested on yield and quality of strawberry Camarosa cultivar, in a completely randomized block design. Colored plastic mulches had highly significant effect on fruit weight, size, and phytochemical contents. In the most harvest times, mean fruit weight was significantly higher in red plastic relative to white and control treatments. Total fruit weight of plastic mulches was not significantly different, while all were statistically higher than that of control. Fruit size significantly increased over red plastic mulch. Total fruit numbers over plastic mulches were significantly higher than that of control treatment. The content of phenolic compounds was similar between treatments, while anthocyanin content, IC(50) value, and flavonoid content significantly were affected by colored plastics. In conclusion, colored plastic mulches could affect strawberry fruit weight and quality through altering strawberry thermal and radiation environment.

  12. Factors affecting pregnancy rates after ovum pick up-derived embryo transfer in lactating Holstein recipients under tropical conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    High milk production, heat, physiological status and management impair reproduction in Holstein cows. The use of in vivo-produced embryos has been reported as an alternative to enhance pregnancy outcome in the tropics; however there are several limitations for its production, especially from variati...

  13. Factors affecting quality and safety of fresh-cut produce.

    PubMed

    Francis, G A; Gallone, A; Nychas, G J; Sofos, J N; Colelli, G; Amodio, M L; Spano, G

    2012-01-01

    The quality of fresh-cut fruit and vegetable products includes a combination of attributes, such as appearance, texture, and flavor, as well as nutritional and safety aspects that determine their value to the consumer. Nutritionally, fruit and vegetables represent a good source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, and fresh-cut produce satisfies consumer demand for freshly prepared, convenient, healthy food. However, fresh-cut produce deteriorates faster than corresponding intact produce, as a result of damage caused by minimal processing, which accelerates many physiological changes that lead to a reduction in produce quality and shelf-life. The symptoms of produce deterioration include discoloration, increased oxidative browning at cut surfaces, flaccidity as a result of loss of water, and decreased nutritional value. Damaged plant tissues also represent a better substrate for growth of microorganisms, including spoilage microorganisms and foodborne pathogens. The risk of pathogen contamination and growth is one of the main safety concerns associated with fresh-cut produce, as highlighted by the increasing number of produce-linked foodborne outbreaks in recent years. The pathogens of major concern in fresh-cut produce are Listeria monocytogenes, pathogenic Escherichia coli mainly O157:H7, and Salmonella spp. This article describes the quality of fresh-cut produce, factors affecting quality, and various techniques for evaluating quality. In addition, the microbiological safety of fresh-cut produce and factors affecting pathogen survival and growth on fresh-cut produce are discussed in detail.

  14. Equine cloning: in vitro and in vivo development of aggregated embryos.

    PubMed

    Gambini, Andrés; Jarazo, Javier; Olivera, Ramiro; Salamone, Daniel F

    2012-07-01

    The production of cloned equine embryos remains highly inefficient. Embryo aggregation has not yet been tested in the equine, and it might represent an interesting strategy to improve embryo development. This study evaluated the effect of cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro and in vivo equine embryo development. Zona-free reconstructed embryos were individually cultured in microwells (nonaggregated group) or as 2- or 3-embryo aggregates (aggregated groups). For in vitro development, they were cultured until blastocyst stage and then either fixed for Oct-4 immunocytochemical staining or maintained in in vitro culture where blastocyst expansion was measured daily until Day 17 or the day on which they collapsed. For in vivo assays, Day 7-8 blastocysts were transferred to synchronized mares and resultant vesicles, and cloned embryos were measured by ultrasonography. Embryo aggregation improved blastocyst rates on a per well basis, and aggregation did not imply additional oocytes to obtain blastocysts. Embryo aggregation improved embryo quality, nevertheless it did not affect Day 8 and Day 16 blastocyst Oct-4 expression patterns. Equine cloned blastocysts expanded and increased their cell numbers when they were maintained in in vitro culture, describing a particular pattern of embryo growth that was unexpectedly independent of embryo aggregation, as all embryos reached similar size after Day 7. Early pregnancy rates were higher using blastocysts derived from aggregated embryos, and advanced pregnancies as live healthy foals also resulted from aggregated embryos. These results indicate that the strategy of aggregating embryos can improve their development, supporting the establishment of equine cloned pregnancies.

  15. How Integrated Management Strategies Promote Protein Quality of Cotton Embryos: High Levels of Soil Available N, N Assimilation and Protein Accumulation Rate

    PubMed Central

    Yang, HongKun; Meng, YaLi; Chen, BingLin; Zhang, XingYue; Wang, YouHua; Zhao, WenQing; Zhou, ZhiGuo

    2016-01-01

    Cottonseed is widely used as a source of ruminant feed and for industrial purposes. Therefore, there is a tremendous need to improve the nutritional value of cotton embryos. In this study, a conventional management (CM) and two integrated cotton management strategies (IMS1, IMS2) were performed at two soil fertility levels to study the relationships among soil N, N assimilation, embryonic protein accumulation and protein quality. The levels of proteins, essential amino acids, and semi-essential amino acids, especially those of glutamate, lysine, and methionine, were higher in IMS1 and IMS2 embryos than in CM embryos. These changes were significantly positively correlated with the soil-available N content, glutamine synthetase activity and peak value of protein accumulation rate and were negatively correlated with the free amino acid level. These results illustrated that integrated management strategies, especially the rates and timing of N application, raise the level of soil available N, which is beneficial for N assimilation in developing cotton embryos. The protein content was limited by the rate of protein accumulation rather than by the free amino acid content. The combination of target yield fertilization, a growth-driven N application schedule, a high plant density and the seedling raising with bio-organic fertilizer can substantially improve protein quality in cotton embryos, especially at a soil with low soil organic matter and total nitrogen. PMID:27532007

  16. How Integrated Management Strategies Promote Protein Quality of Cotton Embryos: High Levels of Soil Available N, N Assimilation and Protein Accumulation Rate.

    PubMed

    Yang, HongKun; Meng, YaLi; Chen, BingLin; Zhang, XingYue; Wang, YouHua; Zhao, WenQing; Zhou, ZhiGuo

    2016-01-01

    Cottonseed is widely used as a source of ruminant feed and for industrial purposes. Therefore, there is a tremendous need to improve the nutritional value of cotton embryos. In this study, a conventional management (CM) and two integrated cotton management strategies (IMS1, IMS2) were performed at two soil fertility levels to study the relationships among soil N, N assimilation, embryonic protein accumulation and protein quality. The levels of proteins, essential amino acids, and semi-essential amino acids, especially those of glutamate, lysine, and methionine, were higher in IMS1 and IMS2 embryos than in CM embryos. These changes were significantly positively correlated with the soil-available N content, glutamine synthetase activity and peak value of protein accumulation rate and were negatively correlated with the free amino acid level. These results illustrated that integrated management strategies, especially the rates and timing of N application, raise the level of soil available N, which is beneficial for N assimilation in developing cotton embryos. The protein content was limited by the rate of protein accumulation rather than by the free amino acid content. The combination of target yield fertilization, a growth-driven N application schedule, a high plant density and the seedling raising with bio-organic fertilizer can substantially improve protein quality in cotton embryos, especially at a soil with low soil organic matter and total nitrogen. PMID:27532007

  17. How Integrated Management Strategies Promote Protein Quality of Cotton Embryos: High Levels of Soil Available N, N Assimilation and Protein Accumulation Rate.

    PubMed

    Yang, HongKun; Meng, YaLi; Chen, BingLin; Zhang, XingYue; Wang, YouHua; Zhao, WenQing; Zhou, ZhiGuo

    2016-01-01

    Cottonseed is widely used as a source of ruminant feed and for industrial purposes. Therefore, there is a tremendous need to improve the nutritional value of cotton embryos. In this study, a conventional management (CM) and two integrated cotton management strategies (IMS1, IMS2) were performed at two soil fertility levels to study the relationships among soil N, N assimilation, embryonic protein accumulation and protein quality. The levels of proteins, essential amino acids, and semi-essential amino acids, especially those of glutamate, lysine, and methionine, were higher in IMS1 and IMS2 embryos than in CM embryos. These changes were significantly positively correlated with the soil-available N content, glutamine synthetase activity and peak value of protein accumulation rate and were negatively correlated with the free amino acid level. These results illustrated that integrated management strategies, especially the rates and timing of N application, raise the level of soil available N, which is beneficial for N assimilation in developing cotton embryos. The protein content was limited by the rate of protein accumulation rather than by the free amino acid content. The combination of target yield fertilization, a growth-driven N application schedule, a high plant density and the seedling raising with bio-organic fertilizer can substantially improve protein quality in cotton embryos, especially at a soil with low soil organic matter and total nitrogen.

  18. Long-term, six-dimensional live-cell imaging for the mouse preimplantation embryo that does not affect full-term development.

    PubMed

    Yamagata, Kazuo; Suetsugu, Rinako; Wakayama, Teruhiko

    2009-06-01

    Mammalian preimplantation embryonic development is achieved by tightly coordinated regulation of a great variety of temporal and spatial changes. Therefore, it would be valuable to analyze these events three-dimensionally and dynamically. We have previously developed a live-cell imaging method based on the expression of fluorescent proteins, using mRNA injection and time-lapse florescence microscopy. However, with conventional fluorescent microscopy, three-dimensional images could not be obtained due to the thickness of the embryos and the optical problem in which ;out-of focus blur' cannot be eliminated. Moreover, as the repeated exposure of intense excitation light to the cell yields phototoxicity, long-term observation was detrimental to embryonic development. Here, we improved our imaging system to enable six-dimensional live-cell imaging of mouse preimplantation embryos (x, y and z axes, time-lapse, multicolor and multisample). Importantly, by improving the imaging devices and optimizing the conditions for imaging, such as intensity of excitation and time intervals for image acquisition, the procedure itself was not detrimental to full-term development, although it is a prolonged imaging process. For example, live pups were obtained from embryos to which two different wavelengths of excitation (488 and 561 nm) were applied at 7.5-min intervals for about 70 h, and 51 images were acquired in the z axis at each time point; thus, a total of 56,814 fluorescent images were taken. All the pups were healthy, reproductively normal and not transgenic. Thus, this live-cell imaging technology is safe for full-term mouse development. This offers a novel approach for developmental and reproductive research in that it enables both retrospective and prospective analyses of development. It might also be applicable to assessment of embryo quality in fields such as human reproductive technology and production animal research.

  19. The type B brevetoxin (PbTx-3) adversely affects development, cardiovascular function, and survival in Medaka (Oryzias latipes) embryos.

    PubMed Central

    Colman, Jamie R; Ramsdell, John S

    2003-01-01

    Brevetoxins are produced by the red tide dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. The toxins are lipophilic polyether toxins that elicit a myriad of effects depending on the route of exposure and the target organism. Brevetoxins are therefore broadly toxic to marine and estuarine animals. By mimicking the maternal route of exposure to the oocytes in finfish, we characterized the adverse effects of the type B brevetoxin brevetoxin-3 (PbTx-3) on embryonic fish development and survival. The Japanese rice fish, medaka (Oryzias latipes), was used as the experimental model in which individual eggs were exposed via microinjection to various known concentrations of PbTx-3 dissolved in an oil vehicle. Embryos injected with doses exceeding 1.0 ng/egg displayed tachycardia, hyperkinetic twitches in the form of sustained convulsions, spinal curvature, clumping of the erythrocytes, and decreased hatching success. Furthermore, fish dosed with toxin were often unable to hatch in the classic tail-first fashion and emerged head first, which resulted in partial hatches and death. We determined that the LD(50) (dose that is lethal to 50% of the fish) for an injected dose of PbTx-3 is 4.0 ng/egg. The results of this study complement previous studies of the developmental toxicity of the type A brevetoxin brevetoxin-1 (PbTx-1), by illustrating in vivo the differing affinities of the two congeners for cardiac sodium channels. Consequently, we observed differing cardiovascular responses in the embryos, wherein embryos exposed to PbTx-3 exhibited persistent tachycardia, whereas embryos exposed to PbTx-1 displayed bradycardia, the onset of which was delayed. PMID:14644667

  20. Resource quality affects carbon cycling in deep-sea sediments

    PubMed Central

    Mayor, Daniel J; Thornton, Barry; Hay, Steve; Zuur, Alain F; Nicol, Graeme W; McWilliam, Jenna M; Witte, Ursula F M

    2012-01-01

    Deep-sea sediments cover ∼70% of Earth's surface and represent the largest interface between the biological and geological cycles of carbon. Diatoms and zooplankton faecal pellets naturally transport organic material from the upper ocean down to the deep seabed, but how these qualitatively different substrates affect the fate of carbon in this permanently cold environment remains unknown. We added equal quantities of 13C-labelled diatoms and faecal pellets to a cold water (−0.7 °C) sediment community retrieved from 1080 m in the Faroe-Shetland Channel, Northeast Atlantic, and quantified carbon mineralization and uptake by the resident bacteria and macrofauna over a 6-day period. High-quality, diatom-derived carbon was mineralized >300% faster than that from low-quality faecal pellets, demonstrating that qualitative differences in organic matter drive major changes in the residence time of carbon at the deep seabed. Benthic bacteria dominated biological carbon processing in our experiments, yet showed no evidence of resource quality-limited growth; they displayed lower growth efficiencies when respiring diatoms. These effects were consistent in contrasting months. We contend that respiration and growth in the resident sediment microbial communities were substrate and temperature limited, respectively. Our study has important implications for how future changes in the biochemical makeup of exported organic matter will affect the balance between mineralization and sequestration of organic carbon in the largest ecosystem on Earth. PMID:22378534

  1. Resource quality affects carbon cycling in deep-sea sediments.

    PubMed

    Mayor, Daniel J; Thornton, Barry; Hay, Steve; Zuur, Alain F; Nicol, Graeme W; McWilliam, Jenna M; Witte, Ursula F M

    2012-09-01

    Deep-sea sediments cover ~70% of Earth's surface and represent the largest interface between the biological and geological cycles of carbon. Diatoms and zooplankton faecal pellets naturally transport organic material from the upper ocean down to the deep seabed, but how these qualitatively different substrates affect the fate of carbon in this permanently cold environment remains unknown. We added equal quantities of (13)C-labelled diatoms and faecal pellets to a cold water (-0.7 °C) sediment community retrieved from 1080 m in the Faroe-Shetland Channel, Northeast Atlantic, and quantified carbon mineralization and uptake by the resident bacteria and macrofauna over a 6-day period. High-quality, diatom-derived carbon was mineralized >300% faster than that from low-quality faecal pellets, demonstrating that qualitative differences in organic matter drive major changes in the residence time of carbon at the deep seabed. Benthic bacteria dominated biological carbon processing in our experiments, yet showed no evidence of resource quality-limited growth; they displayed lower growth efficiencies when respiring diatoms. These effects were consistent in contrasting months. We contend that respiration and growth in the resident sediment microbial communities were substrate and temperature limited, respectively. Our study has important implications for how future changes in the biochemical makeup of exported organic matter will affect the balance between mineralization and sequestration of organic carbon in the largest ecosystem on Earth. PMID:22378534

  2. Neighborhood Perceptions Affect Dietary Behaviors and Diet Quality

    PubMed Central

    Keita, Akilah Dulin; Casazza, Krista; Thomas, Olivia; Fernandez, Jose R.

    2009-01-01

    Objective The primary purpose of this study was to determine if perceived neighborhood disorder affected dietary quality within a multiethnic sample of children. Design Children were recruited through the use of fliers, wide-distribution mailers, parent magazines, and school presentations from June 2005 to December 2008. Setting Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama metropolitan area. Participants Sample of 100 children aged 7 to 12. Main Outcome Measure Dietary quality was assessed using the average of two 24 hour recalls and analyzed using the Nutrition Data System for Research. Analysis Multivariate linear regression analyses were conducted to assess the relationship between neighborhood disorder and dietary quality. Results Perceived neighborhood disorder was associated with increased iron intake (P = .031) and lower potassium levels (P = .041). Perceived neighborhood disorder was marginally associated with increased energy intake (P = .074) and increased sodium intake (P = .078). Conclusions and Implications Perceived neighborhood disorder was significantly related to differences in dietary quality. This indicates that subjective neighborhood characteristics may pose barriers to healthful eating behaviors for children. Future research efforts and policy should address sociostructural factors and ways to manipulate and improve food environments and individual’s perceptions of their neighborhoods. PMID:20880752

  3. Rotation of Boar Semen Doses During Storage Affects Sperm Quality.

    PubMed

    Schulze, M; Rüdiger, K; Waberski, D

    2015-08-01

    It is common practice to rotate boar semen doses during storage for prevention of sperm sedimentation. In this study, the effect of rotation of boar semen doses during storage on sperm quality was investigated. Manual turning twice daily and automatic rotation five times per hour resulted in the following effects: alkalinization of the BTS-extender, loss of membrane integrity at day 3, and loss of motility and changes in sperm kinematics during a thermoresistance test at day 5. Using a pH-stabilized variant of BTS extender, sperm motility and velocity decreased in continuously rotated samples, whereas membrane integrity and mitochondrial activity remain unaffected. It is concluded that rotation of semen samples adversely affects sperm quality and, therefore, should no longer be recommended for AI practice. PMID:25974759

  4. Factors affecting quality of dried low-rank coals

    SciTech Connect

    Karthikeyan, M.; Kuma, J.V.M.; Hoe, C.S.; Ngo, D.L.Y.

    2007-07-01

    The chemical and physical properties of coal are strongly affected by the upgrading process employed. For high-moisture coals, upgrading involves thermal dehydration to improve the calorific value of the coal on mass basis. This study evaluates the feasibility of upgrading a low-rank/grade coal using the oven drying method. The objective of this research work is to study the drying characteristics of low-rank coals and to understand the factors affecting the quality of dried low-rank coals. This article describes laboratory experiments conducted on the characterization of the low-rank coals before and after the drying process. The results on drying kinetics, re-absorption of coal samples, and proximate analysis of coal samples before and after drying are discussed. It was found that the upgrading process produced coal with better heating value and combustion characteristics than those of the raw coal samples.

  5. Green tea polyphenols added to IVM and IVC media affect transcript abundance, apoptosis, and pregnancy rates in bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhengguang; Fu, Chunquan; Yu, Songdong

    2013-01-01

    Three experiments were conducted to examine the effects of green tea polyphenols (GTP) during IVM and IVC on apoptosis and relative transcript abundance (RA) of three genes controlling antioxidant enzymes, as well as subsequent pregnancy rates. In experiment 1, oocytes were matured in the presence of 0, 10, 15, or 25 μM GTP for 24 hours. The GTP dose applied to IVM medium was followed by the same dose supplemented to IVC medium, so oocytes and embryos of a given group were cultured in similar conditions. This resulted in a total of four groups (three experimental groups and the control). After IVF, presumptive zygotes were cultured in medium containing 0 to 25 μM GTP for 8 days. The addition of 15 μM GTP during IVM and IVC increased RA of SOD1, CAT, and GPX genes in blastocysts compared with the control (P < 0.05). Increase in GTP doses from 15 to 25 μM did not further increase the transcript level. In experiment 2, effects of GTP doses on apoptosis were investigated in bovine blastocysts. Two of the applied GTP doses (10 and 15 μM) decreased the apoptotic index (AI) in blastocysts (7.4% and 6.2% respectively) compared with the control (9.3%; P < 0.05). However, the highest GTP dose used (25 μM) caused an increase in AI compared with a dose of 15 μM (P < 0.05). Considering the results of experiment 1 and 2, the effects of 15 μM GTP treatment during IVM and IVC on pregnancy rate was evaluated after embryo transfer in experiment 3. Cows receiving embryos treated with 15 μM GTP had higher pregnancy rates on Day 30 (34.8% vs. 28.6%) and Day 60 (34.8% vs. 23.9%) than those receiving control embryos (P < 0.05). In conclusion, addition of 15 μM GTP during IVM and IVC improved pregnancy rates; this improvement seemed to be associated with the increase of RA of antioxidant enzyme genes and the decrease in AI in bovine blastocysts.

  6. Plastic hatching timing by red-eyed treefrog embryos interacts with larval predator identity and sublethal predation to affect prey morphology but not performance.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin C; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2014-01-01

    Many animals respond to predation risk by altering their morphology, behavior, or life-history. We know a great deal about the cues prey respond to and the changes to prey that can be induced by predation risk, but less is known about how plastic responses to predators may be affected by separate plastic responses occurring earlier in life, particularly during the embryonic period. Embryos of a broad array of taxa can respond to egg- or larval-stage risks by altering hatching timing, which may alter the way organisms respond to future predators. Using the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), a model for understanding the effects of plasticity across life-stages, we assessed how the combined effects of induced variation in the timing of embryo hatching and variation in the larval predator community impacted tadpole morphology, pigmentation and swimming performance. We found that A. callidryas tadpoles developed deeper tail muscles and fins and darker pigmentation in response to fish predators, either when alone or in diverse community with other predators. Tadpoles altered morphology much less so to dragonfly naiads or water bugs. Interestingly, morphological responses to predators were also affected by induced differences in hatching age, with early and late-hatched tadpoles exhibiting different allometric relationships between tail height and body length in different predator environments. Beyond induced morphological changes, fish predators often damaged tadpoles' tails without killing them (i.e., sublethal predation), but these tadpoles swam equally quickly to those with fully intact tails. This was due to the fact that tadpoles with more damaged tails increased tail beats to achieve equal swimming speed. This study demonstrates that plastic phenotypic responses to predation risk can be influenced by a complex combination of responses to both the embryo and larval environments, but also that prey performance can be highly resilient to sublethal predation.

  7. Plastic hatching timing by red-eyed treefrog embryos interacts with larval predator identity and sublethal predation to affect prey morphology but not performance.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin C; Wojdak, Jeremy M

    2014-01-01

    Many animals respond to predation risk by altering their morphology, behavior, or life-history. We know a great deal about the cues prey respond to and the changes to prey that can be induced by predation risk, but less is known about how plastic responses to predators may be affected by separate plastic responses occurring earlier in life, particularly during the embryonic period. Embryos of a broad array of taxa can respond to egg- or larval-stage risks by altering hatching timing, which may alter the way organisms respond to future predators. Using the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), a model for understanding the effects of plasticity across life-stages, we assessed how the combined effects of induced variation in the timing of embryo hatching and variation in the larval predator community impacted tadpole morphology, pigmentation and swimming performance. We found that A. callidryas tadpoles developed deeper tail muscles and fins and darker pigmentation in response to fish predators, either when alone or in diverse community with other predators. Tadpoles altered morphology much less so to dragonfly naiads or water bugs. Interestingly, morphological responses to predators were also affected by induced differences in hatching age, with early and late-hatched tadpoles exhibiting different allometric relationships between tail height and body length in different predator environments. Beyond induced morphological changes, fish predators often damaged tadpoles' tails without killing them (i.e., sublethal predation), but these tadpoles swam equally quickly to those with fully intact tails. This was due to the fact that tadpoles with more damaged tails increased tail beats to achieve equal swimming speed. This study demonstrates that plastic phenotypic responses to predation risk can be influenced by a complex combination of responses to both the embryo and larval environments, but also that prey performance can be highly resilient to sublethal predation

  8. Plastic Hatching Timing by Red-Eyed Treefrog Embryos Interacts with Larval Predator Identity and Sublethal Predation to Affect Prey Morphology but Not Performance

    PubMed Central

    Touchon, Justin C.; Wojdak, Jeremy M.

    2014-01-01

    Many animals respond to predation risk by altering their morphology, behavior, or life-history. We know a great deal about the cues prey respond to and the changes to prey that can be induced by predation risk, but less is known about how plastic responses to predators may be affected by separate plastic responses occurring earlier in life, particularly during the embryonic period. Embryos of a broad array of taxa can respond to egg- or larval-stage risks by altering hatching timing, which may alter the way organisms respond to future predators. Using the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), a model for understanding the effects of plasticity across life-stages, we assessed how the combined effects of induced variation in the timing of embryo hatching and variation in the larval predator community impacted tadpole morphology, pigmentation and swimming performance. We found that A. callidryas tadpoles developed deeper tail muscles and fins and darker pigmentation in response to fish predators, either when alone or in diverse community with other predators. Tadpoles altered morphology much less so to dragonfly naiads or water bugs. Interestingly, morphological responses to predators were also affected by induced differences in hatching age, with early and late-hatched tadpoles exhibiting different allometric relationships between tail height and body length in different predator environments. Beyond induced morphological changes, fish predators often damaged tadpoles’ tails without killing them (i.e., sublethal predation), but these tadpoles swam equally quickly to those with fully intact tails. This was due to the fact that tadpoles with more damaged tails increased tail beats to achieve equal swimming speed. This study demonstrates that plastic phenotypic responses to predation risk can be influenced by a complex combination of responses to both the embryo and larval environments, but also that prey performance can be highly resilient to sublethal predation

  9. Bovine Oviduct Epithelial Cells Dedifferentiate Partly in Culture, While Maintaining their Ability to Improve Early Embryo Development Rate and Quality.

    PubMed

    Schmaltz-Panneau, B; Locatelli, Y; Uzbekova, S; Perreau, C; Mermillod, P

    2015-10-01

    There are convincing arguments to suggest that the success of early reproductive events is reliant on a satisfactory dialogue between gametes-embryo and the oviduct epithelium. The aim of this study was to develop and characterize an in vitro model to study these interactions. Cattle zygotes produced in vitro were cultured in either SOF or TCM-199 in the presence or absence of bovine oviduct cell monolayers (BOEC), under 20% or 5% O2 . The embryonic development rate and its quality (cell numbers, cryosurvival) were evaluated, as were the BOEC contents in 11 candidate transcripts (real-time PCR) at different time points. A BOEC co-culture did indeed increase the rate of development in both media under 5% O2 (41 vs 27% and 28 vs 10% of Day 8 blastocysts in SOF and TCM-199, respectively; p < 0.05). The effect of BOEC on the developmental rate was more pronounced under 20% O2 (35 vs 6% and 27 vs 4% of Day 8 blastocysts in SOF and TCM-199, respectively; p < 0.05). BOEC significantly increased the embryonic cell count in TCM-199 (122.5 ± 11.1 vs 70.3 ± 9.6; p < 0.05) and embryonic cryosurvival in both media. The expression levels of SOD, FGF2 and TGF-β1 in BOEC remained steady during culture, although mRNA levels of OGP, C3, PGR and ESR2 were clearly reduced, suggesting a dedifferentiation of BOEC during culture. However, SSP1 and GPX4 transcripts were slightly increased during culture, this rise becoming significant by the end of the culture period. In conclusion, our co-culture system with bovine oviduct epithelial cells used for the development of bovine zygotes produced in vitro enhanced blastocyst formation and above all the quality of the resulting embryos, which was associated with specific transcriptomic changes.

  10. Examining the Effects of Altered Water Quality on Sea Urchin Fertilization Success and Embryo Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haverkort-Yeh, Roxanne Dominique; Tamaru, Clyde S.; Gorospe, Kelvin Dalauta; Rivera, Malia Ana J.

    2013-01-01

    As a result of shifting marine environmental conditions caused by global climate change and localized water pollution, marine organisms are becoming increasingly exposed to changing water quality conditions. For example, they are exposed to more extreme salinity fluctuations as a result of heavier rainfall, melting polar caps, or extreme droughts.…

  11. Effective vitrification and warming of porcine embryos using a pH-stable, chemically defined medium

    PubMed Central

    Cuello, Cristina; Martinez, Cristina A.; Nohalez, Alicia; Parrilla, Inmaculada; Roca, Jordi; Gil, Maria A.; Martinez, Emilio A.

    2016-01-01

    The use of pH-stable media would simplify embryo vitrification and the warming of porcine embryos and might facilitate the application of embryo transfer in practice. In this work, we investigated whether a pH-stable basal medium constituted of Tyrode’s lactate medium, polyvinyl alcohol, and HEPES for buffering was suitable for porcine embryo vitrification warming in place of the conventional gas-equilibrated media. A high percentage (>90%) of embryos survived vitrification and warming in this medium, achieving in vitro survival rates similar to embryos vitrified-warmed using the conventional protocol and their fresh counterparts. The pH-stable medium did not affect the in vivo developmental competence of the vitrified-warmed embryos. A farrowing rate of 71.4% (5/7) with 10.4 ± 3.1 piglets born was obtained for the embryos vitrified and warmed in this medium and transferred to selected recipients. This medium will enable the use of simple, safe and standardized protocols for the vitrification and warming of porcine embryos for optimal embryo survival and quality when applied under field conditions. This study opens new possibilities for the widespread use of embryo transfer in pigs. PMID:27666294

  12. Effects of a high-energy diet on oocyte quality and in vitro embryo production in Bos indicus and Bos taurus cows.

    PubMed

    Sales, J N S; Iguma, L T; Batista, R I T P; Quintão, C C R; Gama, M A S; Freitas, C; Pereira, M M; Camargo, L S A; Viana, J H M; Souza, J C; Baruselli, P S

    2015-05-01

    The effects of different dietary energy levels [100 and 170% for maintenance (M) and high energy (1.7M), respectively] on metabolic, endocrine, and reproductive parameters were evaluated in nonlactating Bos indicus (Gir; n=14) and Bos taurus (Holstein; n=14) cows submitted to ultrasound-guided ovum pick-up followed by in vitro embryo production. The oocyte donor cows were housed in a tiestall system and fed twice daily (0800 and 1600 h). Twenty-one days before the beginning of the experiment, the animals were fed with a maintenance diet for adaptation followed by the experimental diets (M and 1.7M), and each cow underwent 9 ovum pick-up procedures 14 d apart. The recovered oocytes were cultured in vitro for 7 d. We measured glucose and insulin concentrations and performed glucose tolerance tests and the relative quantification of transcripts (PRDX1, HSP70.1, GLUT1, GLUT5, IGF1R, and IGF2R) from the oocytes recovered at the end of the experimental period. No interactions were observed between the effects of genetic groups and dietary energy level on the qualitative (viable oocytes, quality grade, and oocyte quality index) and quantitative (oocytes recovered) oocyte variables. There were no effects of dietary energy level on the qualitative and quantitative oocyte variables. However, Bos indicus cows had greater numbers of recovered structures, viable oocytes, and A and B oocyte grades as well as better oocyte quality index scores and lower DNA fragmentation rates compared with Bos taurus donors. In vitro embryo production (cleavage and blastocyst rates and number of embryos) was similar between diets, but the 1.7M diet reduced in vitro embryo production in Bos indicus cows after 60 d of treatment. Moreover, Bos indicus cows on the 1.7M diet showed lower transcript abundance for the HSP70.1, GLUT1, IGF1R, and IGF2R genes. All cows fed 1.7M diets had greater glucose and insulin concentrations and greater insulin resistance according to the glucose tolerance test. In

  13. Pre-fertilization zona pellucida hardening by different cross-linkers affects IVF in pigs and cattle and improves embryo production in pigs.

    PubMed

    Canovas, Sebastian; Romar, Raquel; Grullon, Luis Alberto; Aviles, Manuel; Coy, Pilar

    2009-05-01

    Zona pellucida (ZP) hardening (resistance to proteolysis) has been classically identified as a post-fertilization event that contributes to the block to polyspermy. Di-(N-succinimidyl)-3,3'-dithiodipropionate (DSP), a permeable amine-reactive cross-linker, was recently shown to induce pre-fertilization ZP hardening and to improve porcine IVF productivity. The objectives of this study were to investigate i) how DSP affects pre-fertilization ZP hardening and IVF in cattle, ii) if a non-permeable amine-reactive cross-linker such as bis(sulfosuccinimidyl) suberate (BS3) affects ZP hardening and IVF in cattle and pigs, and iii) whether DSP or BS3, if improvement in IVF productivity was demonstrated in either species, affects in vitro embryo development. Bovine and porcine in vitro matured oocytes were incubated with the cross-linkers (0.06, 0.3, and 0.6 mg/ml) for 30 min. Then they were subjected to ZP digestion or IVF. In cattle, both DSP and BS3 induced ZP hardening and decreased the penetration rate, although monospermy, penetration, or male pronuclear formation was not affected. In pigs, BS3 treatment induced ZP hardening, decreased penetration and male pronuclear formation, and increased monospermy. IVF productivity only improved when porcine oocytes were exposed to DSP. When porcine zygotes derived from this treatment were further cultured in vitro, the cleavage and blastocyst formation rates increased. These results support the idea that mechanisms involved in the prevention of polyspermic fertilization in cattle and pigs have different efficiencies, and ZP hardening induced by DSP cross-linker may be useful for improving porcine embryo production.

  14. EphrinB2 affects apical constriction in Xenopus embryos and is regulated by ADAM10 and flotillin-1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Yon Ju; Hwang, Yoo-Seok; Mood, Kathleen; Cho, Hee-Jun; Lee, Hyun-Shik; Winterbottom, Emily; Cousin, Hélène; Daar, Ira O.

    2014-03-01

    The Eph/ephrin signalling pathways have a critical function in cell adhesion and repulsion, and thus play key roles in various morphogenetic events during development. Here we show that a decrease in ephrinB2 protein causes neural tube closure defects during Xenopus laevis embryogenesis. Such a decrease in ephrinB2 protein levels is observed on the loss of flotillin-1 scaffold protein, a newly identified ephrinB2-binding partner. This dramatic decline in ephrinB2 protein levels on the absence of flotillin-1 expression is specific, and is partly the result of an increased susceptibility to cleavage by the metalloprotease ADAM10. These findings indicate that flotillin-1 regulates ephrinB2 protein levels through ADAM10, and is required for appropriate neural tube morphogenesis in the Xenopus embryo.

  15. Expression Profile of Genes as Indicators of Developmental Competence and Quality of In Vitro Fertilization and Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Bovine Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Monteleone, Melisa Carolina; Mucci, Nicolas; Kaiser, German Gustavo; Brocco, Marcela; Mutto, Adrián

    2014-01-01

    Reproductive biotechnologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) enable improved reproductive efficiency of animals. However, the birth rate of in vitro-derived embryos still lags behind that of their in vivo counterparts. Thus, it is critical to develop an accurate evaluation and prediction system of embryo competence, both for commercial purposes and for scientific research. Previous works have demonstrated that in vitro culture systems induce alterations in the relative abundance (RA) of diverse transcripts and thus compromise embryo quality. The aim of this work was to analyze the RA of a set of genes involved in cellular stress (heat shock protein 70-kDa, HSP70), endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress (immunoglobulin heavy chain binding protein, Bip; proteasome subunit β5, PSMB5) and apoptosis (BCL-2 associated X protein, Bax; cysteine aspartate protease-3, Caspase-3) in bovine blastocysts produced by IVF or SCNT and compare it with that of their in vivo counterparts. Poly (A) + mRNA was isolated from three pools of 10 blastocysts per treatment and analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. The RA of three of the stress indicators analyzed (Bax, PSMB5 and Bip) was significantly increased in SCNT embryos as compared with that of in vivo-derived blastocysts. No significant differences were found in the RA of HSP70 and Caspase-3 gene transcripts. This study could potentially complement morphological analyses in the development of an effective and accurate technique for the diagnosis of embryo quality, ultimately aiding to improve the efficiency of assisted reproductive techniques (ART). PMID:25269019

  16. Establishment of Trophectoderm Cell Lines from Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) Embryos of Different Sources and Examination of In Vitro Developmental Competence, Quality, Epigenetic Status and Gene Expression in Cloned Embryos Derived from Them

    PubMed Central

    Mohapatra, Sushil Kumar; Sandhu, Anjit; Singh, Karn Pratap; Singla, Suresh Kumar; Chauhan, Manmohan Singh; Manik, Radheysham; Palta, Prabhat

    2015-01-01

    Despite being successfully used to produce live offspring in many species, somatic cell nuclear transfer (NT) has had a limited applicability due to very low (>1%) live birth rate because of a high incidence of pregnancy failure, which is mainly due to placental dysfunction. Since this may be due to abnormalities in the trophectoderm (TE) cell lineage, TE cells can be a model to understand the placental growth disorders seen after NT. We isolated and characterized buffalo TE cells from blastocysts produced by in vitro fertilization (TE-IVF) and Hand-made cloning (TE-HMC), and compared their growth characteristics and gene expression, and developed a feeder-free culture system for their long-term culture. The TE-IVF cells were then used as donor cells to produce HMC embryos following which their developmental competence, quality, epigenetic status and gene expression were compared with those of HMC embryos produced using fetal or adult fibroblasts as donor cells. We found that although TE-HMC and TE-IVF cells have a similar capability to grow in culture, significant differences exist in gene expression levels between them and between IVF and HMC embryos from which they are derived, which may have a role in the placental abnormalities associated with NT pregnancies. Although TE cells can be used as donor cells for producing HMC blastocysts, their developmental competence and quality is lower than that of blastocysts produced from fetal or adult fibroblasts. The epigenetic status and expression level of many important genes is different in HMC blastocysts produced using TE cells or fetal or adult fibroblasts or those produced by IVF. PMID:26053554

  17. Mechanisms affecting water quality in an intermittent piped water supply.

    PubMed

    Kumpel, Emily; Nelson, Kara L

    2014-01-01

    Drinking water distribution systems throughout the world supply water intermittently, leaving pipes without pressure between supply cycles. Understanding the multiple mechanisms that affect contamination in these intermittent water supplies (IWS) can be used to develop strategies to improve water quality. To study these effects, we tested water quality in an IWS system with infrequent and short water delivery periods in Hubli-Dharwad, India. We continuously measured pressure and physicochemical parameters and periodically collected grab samples to test for total coliform and E. coli throughout supply cycles at 11 sites. When the supply was first turned on, water with elevated turbidity and high concentrations of indicator bacteria was flushed out of pipes. At low pressures (<10 psi), elevated indicator bacteria were frequently detected even when there was a chlorine residual, suggesting persistent contamination had occurred through intrusion or backflow. At pressures between 10 and 17 psi, evidence of periodic contamination suggested that transient intrusion, backflow, release of particulates, or sloughing of biofilms from pipe walls had occurred. Few total coliform and no E. coli were detected when water was delivered with a chlorine residual and at pressures >17 psi.

  18. Parameters affecting greywater quality and its safety for reuse.

    PubMed

    Maimon, Adi; Friedler, Eran; Gross, Amit

    2014-07-15

    Reusing greywater (GW) for on-site irrigation is becoming a common practice worldwide. Alongside its benefits, GW reuse might pose health and environmental risks. The current study assesses the risks associated with on-site GW reuse and the main factors affecting them. GW from 34 households in Israel was analyzed for physicochemical parameters, Escherichia coli (as an indicator for rotavirus), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Each participating household filled out a questionnaire about their GW sources, treatment and usages. Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) was performed based on the measured microbial quality, and on exposure scenarios derived from the questionnaires and literature data. The type of treatment was found to have a significant effect on the quality of the treated GW. The average E. coli counts in GW (which exclude kitchen effluent) treated by professionally-designed system resulted in acceptable risk under all exposure scenarios while the risk from inadequately-treated GW was above the accepted level as set by the WHO. In conclusion, safe GW reuse requires a suitable and well-designed treatment system. A risk-assessment approach should be used to adjust the current regulations/guidelines and to assess the performance of GW treatment and reuse systems.

  19. High Aneuploidy Rates Observed in Embryos Derived from Donated Oocytes are Related to Male Aging and High Percentages of Sperm DNA Fragmentation

    PubMed Central

    García-Ferreyra, Javier; Luna, Daniel; Villegas, Lucy; Romero, Rocío; Zavala, Patricia; Hilario, Roly; Dueñas-Chacón, Julio

    2015-01-01

    CAPSULE Male aging effects on aneuploidy rates in embryos. OBJECTIVE Paternal age is associated with decreasing sperm quality; however, it is unknown if it influences chromosomal abnormalities in embryos. The objective of this study is to evaluate if the aneuploidy rates in embryos are affected by advanced paternal age. METHODS A total of 286 embryos, obtained from 32 in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles with donated oocytes in conjunction with preimplantation genetic diagnosis, were allocated according to paternal age in three groups: Group A: ≤39 years (n = 44 embryos); Group B: 40–49 years (n = 154 embryos); and Group C: ≥50 years (n = 88 embryos). Fertilization rates, embryo quality at day 3, blastocyst development, and aneuploidy embryo rates were then compared. RESULTS There was no difference in the seminal parameters (volume, concentration, and motility) in the studied groups. Fertilization rate, percentages of zygotes underwent cleavage, and good quality embryos on day 3 were similar between the three evaluated groups. The group of men ≥50 years had significantly more sperm with damaged DNA, low blastocyst development rate, and higher aneuploidy rates in embryos compared to the other two evaluated groups (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS Our findings suggest that advanced paternal age increases the aneuploidy rates in embryos from donated oocytes, which suggests that genetic screening is necessary in those egg donor cycles with sperm from patients >50 years old. PMID:26604851

  20. Contemporary Quality of Life Issues Affecting Gynecologic Cancer Survivors

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Jeanne; Penson, Richard; Barakat, Richard; Wenzel, Lari

    2015-01-01

    Gynecologic cancers account for approximately 11% of the newly diagnosed cancers in women in the United States and 18% in the world.1 The most common gynecologic malignancies occur in the uterus and endometrium (53%), ovary (25%), and cervix (14%).2 Cervical cancer is most prevalent in premenopausal women, during their childbearing years, whereas uterine and ovarian cancers tend to present in the perimenopausal or menopausal period. Vaginal and vulvar cancers and malignancies arising from gestation, or gestational trophoblastic neoplasms, occur to a lesser extent. Regardless of cancer origin or age of onset, the disease and its treatment can produce short- and long-term sequelae (ie, sexual dysfunction, infertility, or lymphedema) that adversely affect quality of life (QOL). This article outlines the primary contemporary issues or concerns that may affect QOL and offers strategies to offset or mitigate QOL disruption. These contemporary issues are identified within the domains of sexual functioning, reproductive issues, lymphedema, and the contribution of health-related QOL (HRQOL) in influential gynecologic cancer clinical trials. PMID:22244668

  1. Clinical factors affecting quality of life of patients with asthma

    PubMed Central

    Uchmanowicz, Bartosz; Panaszek, Bernard; Uchmanowicz, Izabella; Rosińczuk, Joanna

    2016-01-01

    Background In recent years, there has been increased interest in the subjective quality of life (QoL) of patients with bronchial asthma. QoL is a significant indicator guiding the efforts of professionals caring for patients, especially chronically ill ones. The identification of factors affecting the QoL reported by patients, despite their existing condition, is important and useful to provide multidisciplinary care for these patients. Aim To investigate the clinical factors affecting asthma patients’ QoL. Methods The study comprised 100 patients (73 female, 27 male) aged 18–84 years (mean age was 45.7) treated in the Allergy Clinic of the Wroclaw Medical University Department and Clinic of Internal Diseases, Geriatrics and Allergology. All asthma patients meeting the inclusion criteria were invited to participate. Data on sociodemographic and clinical variables were collected. In this study, we used medical record analysis and two questionnaires: the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) to assess the QoL of patients with asthma and the Asthma Control Test to measure asthma control. Results Active smokers were shown to have a significantly lower QoL in the “Symptoms” domain than nonsmokers (P=0.006). QoL was also demonstrated to decrease significantly as the frequency of asthma exacerbations increased (R=−0.231, P=0.022). QoL in the domain “Activity limitation” was shown to increase significantly along with the number of years of smoking (R=0.404; P=0.004). Time from onset and the dominant symptom of asthma significantly negatively affected QoL in the “Activity limitation” domain of the AQLQ (R=−0.316, P=0.001; P=0.029, respectively). QoL scores in the “Emotional function” and “Environmental stimuli” subscale of the AQLQ decreased significantly as time from onset increased (R=−0.200, P=0.046; R=−0.328, P=0.001, respectively). Conclusion Patients exhibiting better symptom control have higher QoL scores. Asthma patients’ Qo

  2. A Genetic Screen for Mutations Affecting Cell Division in the Arabidopsis thaliana Embryo Identifies Seven Loci Required for Cytokinesis

    PubMed Central

    Gillmor, C. Stewart; Roeder, Adrienne H. K.; Sieber, Patrick; Somerville, Chris; Lukowitz, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Cytokinesis in plants involves the formation of unique cellular structures such as the phragmoplast and the cell plate, both of which are required to divide the cell after nuclear division. In order to isolate genes that are involved in de novo cell wall formation, we performed a large-scale, microscope-based screen for Arabidopsis mutants that severely impair cytokinesis in the embryo. We recovered 35 mutations that form abnormally enlarged cells with multiple, often polyploid nuclei and incomplete cell walls. These mutants represent seven genes, four of which have previously been implicated in phragmoplast or cell plate function. Mutations in two loci show strongly reduced transmission through the haploid gametophytic generation. Molecular cloning of both corresponding genes reveals that one is represented by hypomorphic alleles of the kinesin-5 gene RADIALLY SWOLLEN 7 (homologous to tobacco kinesin-related protein TKRP125), and that the other gene corresponds to the Arabidopsis FUSED ortholog TWO-IN-ONE (originally identified based on its function in pollen development). No mutations that completely abolish the formation of cross walls in diploid cells were found. Our results support the idea that cytokinesis in the diploid and haploid generations involve similar mechanisms. PMID:26745275

  3. Post-hatching development of bovine embryos in vitro: the effects of tunnel preparation and gender.

    PubMed

    Machado, Grazieli Marinheiro; Caixeta, Ester Siqueira; Lucci, Carolina Madeira; Rumpf, Rodolfo; Franco, Maurício Machaim; Dode, Margot Alves Nunes

    2012-05-01

    The objective of this study was to compare morphological characteristics, kinetics of development, and gene expression of male and female IVP embryos that were cultured until day (D)15 (fertilization = D0), using either phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or Milli-Q water (MQW) to dilute the agarose gel used for tunnel construction. On D11, embryos (n = 286) were placed in agarose gel tunnels diluted in PBS and MQW. Embryos were evaluated for morphology, and embryo size was recorded on D11, D12.5, D14 and D15. Then, embryos were sexed and used for gene expression analyses (G6PD, GLUT1, GLUT3, PGK1, PLAC8, KRT8, HSF1 and IFNT). The percentage of elongated embryos at D15 was higher (p < 0.05) in the PBS (54%) than in the MQW (42%) gel. However, embryos produced in MQW were bigger (p < 0.05) and had a lower expression of GLUT1 (p = 0.08) than those cultured in PBS. There was a higher proportion of male than female embryos at D15 in both treatments, MQW (65% vs. 35%; p < 0.05) and PBS (67% vs. 33%; p < 0.05); however, embryo size was not significantly different between genders. Moreover, D15 female embryos had greater expression of G6PD (p = 0.05) and KRT8 (p = 0.03) than male embryos. In conclusion, the diluent used for tunnel construction affected embryo development in the post-hatching development (PHD) system, and the use of MQW was the most indicative measure for the evaluation of embryo quality. Male and female embryos cultured from D11 to D15, either in an MQW or PBS agarose gel, demonstrated similar development but different gene expression.

  4. Mitochondrial DNA Assessment to Determine Oocyte and Embryo Viability.

    PubMed

    Fragouli, Elpida; Wells, Dagan

    2015-11-01

    Mitochondria are the key regulators of multiple vital cellular processes, including apoptosis, calcium homeostasis, and the generation of ATP via the metabolic pathway known as oxidative phosphorylation. Unlike other cellular organelles, mitochondria contain one or more copies of their own genome (mtDNA). The mtDNA encodes a total of 13 genes with critical functions in cellular metabolism. The energy required to support the normal progress of preimplantation embryo development is provided in the form of ATP generated by the mitochondria. It has been suggested that cellular bioenergetic capacity and suboptimal levels of mitochondria-generated ATP could contribute to a variety of embryo developmental defects, and therefore adversely affect in vitro fertilization success rates. During this review, we discuss the role of mitochondria and their genome during oogenesis and early embryo development. We also assess whether analysis of mitochondria and their genome could be used as biomarkers to determine oocyte quality and embryo viability. PMID:26565384

  5. Biosolids applications affect runoff water quality following forest fire.

    PubMed

    Meyer, V F; Redente, E F; Barbarick, K A; Brobst, R

    2001-01-01

    Soil erosion and nutrient losses are great concerns following forest wildfires. Biosolids application might enhance revegetation efforts while reducing soil erodibility. Consequently, we applied Denver Metro Wastewater District composted biosolids at rates of 0, 40, and 80 Mg ha(-1) to a severely burned, previously forested site near Buffalo Creek, CO to increase plant cover and growth. Soils were classified as Ustorthents, Ustochrepts, and Haploborols. Simulated rainfall was applied for 30 min at a rate of 100 mm h(-1) to 3- x 10-m paired plots. Biosolids application rates did not significantly affect mean total runoff (p < 0.05). Sediment concentrations were significantly greater (p < 0.05) from the control plots compared with the plots that had received the 80 Mg biosolids ha(-1) rate. Biosolids application rate had mixed effects on water-quality constituents; however, concentrations of all runoff constituents for all treatment rates were below levels recommended for drinking water standards, except Pb. Biosolids application to this site increased plant cover, which should provide erosion control.

  6. Optimizing the culture environment and embryo manipulation to help maintain embryo developmental potential.

    PubMed

    Swain, Jason E; Carrell, Doug; Cobo, Ana; Meseguer, Marcos; Rubio, Carmen; Smith, Gary D

    2016-03-01

    With increased use of comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS), the question remains as to why some practices do not experience the same high levels of clinical success after implementation of the approach. Indeed, the debate surrounding the efficacy and usefulness of blastocyst biopsy and CCS continues. Importantly, several variables impact the success of an assisted reproductive technology cycle. Transfer of a euploid embryo is but one factor in an intricate system that requires numerous steps to occur successfully. Certainly, the culture environment and the manipulations of the embryo during its time in the laboratory can impact its reproductive potential. Environmental stressors ranging from culture media to culture conditions and even culture platform can impact biochemical, metabolic, and epigenetic patterns that can affect the developing cell independent of chromosome number. Furthermore, accompanying procedures, such as biopsy and vitrification, are complex and, when performed improperly, can negatively impact embryo quality. These are areas that likely still carry room for improvement within the IVF laboratory.

  7. How Does Premarital Cohabitation Affect Trajectories of Marital Quality?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tach, Laura; Halpern-Meekin, Sarah

    2009-01-01

    We investigate the link between premarital cohabitation and trajectories of subsequent marital quality using random effects growth curve models and repeated measures of marital quality from married women in the NLSY-79 (N = 3,598). We find that premarital cohabitors experience lower quality marital relationships on average, but this is driven by…

  8. Immature embryo rescue and culture.

    PubMed

    Shen, Xiuli; Gmitter, Fred G; Grosser, Jude W

    2011-01-01

    Embryo culture techniques have many significant applications in plant breeding, as well as basic studies in physiology and biochemistry. Immature embryo rescue and culture is a particularly attractive technique for recovering plants from sexual crosses where the majority of embryos cannot survive in vivo or become dormant for long periods of time. Overcoming embryo inviability is the most common reason for the application of embryo rescue techniques. Recently, fruit breeding programs have greatly increased the interest in exploiting interploid hybridization to combine desirable genetic traits of complementary parents at the triploid level for the purpose of developing improved seedless fruits. However, the success of this approach has only been reported in limited number of species due to various crossing barriers and embryo abortion at very early stages. Thus, immature embryo rescue provides an alternative means to recover triploid hybrids, which usually fail to completely develop in vivo. This chapter will provide a brief discussion of the utilization of interploid crosses between a monoembryonic diploid female with an allotetraploid male in a citrus cultivar improvement program, featuring a clear and comprehensive illustration of successful protocols for immature embryo rescue and culture. The protocols will cover the complete process from embryo excision to recovered plant in the greenhouse and can easily be adapted to other plant commodities. Factors affecting the success and failure of immature embryo rescue to recover triploid progeny from interploid crosses will be discussed.

  9. Maternal effects mediated by egg quality in the Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis in relation to laying order and embryo sex

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Maternal effects mediated by egg size and quality may profoundly affect offspring development and performance, and mothers may adjust egg traits according to environmental or social influences. In avian species, context-dependency of maternal effects may result in variation in egg composition, as well as in differential patterns of covariation among selected egg components, according to, for example, position in the laying sequence or offspring sex. We investigated variation in major classes of egg yolk components (carotenoids, vitamins and steroid hormones) in relation to egg size, position in the laying sequence and embryo sex in clutches of the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis). We also investigated their covariation, to highlight mutual adjustments, maternal constraints or trade-offs in egg allocation. Results Laying sequence-specific patterns of allocation emerged: concentration of carotenoids and vitamin E decreased, while concentrations of androgens increased. Vitamin A, estradiol and corticosterone did not show any change. There was no evidence of sex-specific allocation or covariation of yolk components. Concentrations of carotenoids and vitamins were positively correlated. Egg mass decreased along the laying sequence, and this decrease was negatively correlated with the mean concentrations of carotenoids in clutches, suggesting that nutritionally constrained females lay low quality clutches in terms of carotenoid content. Finally, clutches with smaller decline in antioxidants between first- and last-laid eggs had a larger increase in yolk corticosterone, suggesting that a smaller antioxidant depletion along the laying sequence may entail a cost for laying females in terms of increased stress levels. Conclusions Since some of the analyzed yolk components (e.g. testosterone and lutein) are known to exert sex-specific phenotypic effects on the progeny in this species, the lack of sex-specific egg allocation by mothers may either result from

  10. Human-animal interaction, stress, and embryo production in Bos indicus embryo donors under tropical conditions.

    PubMed

    Macedo, Gustavo Guerino; Zúccari, Carmem Estefânia Serra Neto; de Abreu, Urbano Gomes Pinto; Negrão, João Alberto; da Costa e Silva, Eliane Vianna

    2011-08-01

    This study investigated the effect of human-animal interaction (HAI) and the stress response on the quality of embryo production in superovulated Nelore (Bos indicus) cattle, under tropical conditions. Thirty-two females underwent a superovulation protocol for 5 days. Cortisol concentrations were determined in blood plasma collected on days 0, 4, and 5. Artificial insemination was performed on days 4 and 5, and nonsurgical embryo flushing on day 11. Embryo production and viability were determined. Human stimulation, animal behaviors, accidents, and handling time were recorded to assess HAI. Cattle age was negatively correlated with accidents, frequency of aversive behaviors, and negative stimuli by stockperson during transit through corral compartments to receive superovulation treatments. The factor analysis revealed two distinct groups. The first group was called stressed and had higher cortisol concentration than the nonstressed group, 16.0 ± 2.1 and 12.5 ± 1.0 ng/mL, respectively. Comparisons between these groups showed that the frequency of voice emissions by the stockperson and the number of accidents were higher in the stressed group, and also, the mean handling time was longer in the stressed group than for the nonstressed. As a result, viability rate of the embryos was 19% lower in the stressed group (P < 0.05). This indicates that intensive negative HAI is likely related to stress, which affects embryo production in a superovulation program.

  11. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide in agroecosystems affects groundwater quality

    SciTech Connect

    Torbert, H.A.; Prior, S.A.; Rogers, H.H.; Schlesinger, W.H.; Mullins, G.L.; Runion, G.B.

    1996-07-01

    Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) concentration has led to concerns about global changes to the environment. One area of global change that has not been addressed is the effect of elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} on groundwater quality below agroecosystems. Elevated CO{sub 2} concentration alterations of plant growth and C/N ratios may modify C and N cycling in soil and affect nitrate (NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}) leaching to groundwater. This study was conducted to examine the effects of a legume (soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]) and a nonlegume (grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]) CO{sub 2}-enriched agroecosystems on NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}} movement below the root zone in a Blanton loamy sand (loamy siliceous, thermic, Grossarenic Paleudults). The study was a split-plot design replicated three times with plant species (soybean and grain sorghum) as the main plots and CO{sub 2} concentration ({approximately}360 and {approximately}720 {mu}L L{sup {minus}1} CO{sub 2}) as subplots using open-top field chambers. Fertilizer application was made with {sup 15}N-depleted NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3} to act as a fertilizer tracer. Soil solution samples were collected weekly at 90-cm depth for a 2-yr period and monitored for NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}-N concentrations. Isotope analysis of soil solution indicated that the decomposition of organic matter was the primary source of No{sub 3}{sup {minus}}-N in soil solution below the root zone through most of the monitoring period. Significant differences were observed for NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}-N concentrations between soybean and grain sorghum, with soybean having the higher NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}-N concentration. Elevated CO{sub 2} increased total dry weight, total N content, and C/N ratio of residue returned to soil in both years. Elevated CO{sub 2} significantly decreased NO{sub 3}{sup {minus}}-N concentrations below the root zone in both soybean and grain sorghum. 37 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  12. Influence of culture medium composition on relative mRNA abundances in domestic cat embryos.

    PubMed

    Hribal, R; Jewgenow, K; Braun, B C; Comizzoli, P

    2013-04-01

    Different culture conditions have been used to produce domestic cat embryos. As part of the in vitro procedures, the medium composition significantly affects the quality of the embryo development also. Quality assessments based on cleavage kinetics and blastomere symmetry are useful, but embryos also can differ in their relative gene expression patterns despite similar morphological characteristics. The aim of this study was to compare cat embryos produced with two different in vitro culture systems routinely used in two different laboratories [Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington D.C., USA (SCBI) and Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin, Germany (IZW)]. Specifically, relative mRNA expression patterns of critical genes for pre-implantation embryo development were assessed in both conditions. Embryos were produced in parallel in both culture systems by IVF using frozen-thawed ejaculated semen in the United States and fresh epididymal sperm in Germany. Success of embryo development in vitro was recorded as well as relative mRNA abundances [DNA methyltransferases 1 and 3A (DNMT1, DNMT3A), gap junction protein alpha 1 (GJA1), octamer-binding transcription factor 4 [OCT4], insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 receptors (IGF1R, IGF2R), beta-actin (ACTB)] in pools of days 4-5 morulae by semi-quantitative RT-PCR assay. Percentages of cleaved embryos were similar (p > 0.05) between both culture systems, regardless of the location. OCT4 mRNA abundance was higher (p < 0.05) in embryos derived in the SCBI culture system compared with those from the IZW system when epididymal sperm was used for IVF. No clear correlation between the expression pattern and the culture system could be found for all other genes. It is suggested that OCT4 expression might be affected by the media composition in some conditions and can be the indicator of a better embryo quality.

  13. Insights into Embryo Defenses of the Invasive Apple Snail Pomacea canaliculata: Egg Mass Ingestion Affects Rat Intestine Morphology and Growth

    PubMed Central

    Gimeno, Eduardo J.; Heras, Horacio

    2014-01-01

    Background The spread of the invasive snail Pomacea canaliculata is expanding the rat lungworm disease beyond its native range. Their toxic eggs have virtually no predators and unusual defenses including a neurotoxic lectin and a proteinase inhibitor, presumably advertised by a warning coloration. We explored the effect of egg perivitellin fluid (PVF) ingestion on the rat small intestine morphology and physiology. Methodology/Principal Findings Through a combination of biochemical, histochemical, histopathological, scanning electron microscopy, cell culture and feeding experiments, we analyzed intestinal morphology, growth rate, hemaglutinating activity, cytotoxicity and cell proliferation after oral administration of PVF to rats. PVF adversely affects small intestine metabolism and morphology and consequently the standard growth rate, presumably by lectin-like proteins, as suggested by PVF hemaglutinating activity and its cytotoxic effect on Caco-2 cell culture. Short-term effects of ingested PVF were studied in growing rats. PVF-supplemented diet induced the appearance of shorter and wider villi as well as fused villi. This was associated with changes in glycoconjugate expression, increased cell proliferation at crypt base, and hypertrophic mucosal growth. This resulted in a decreased absorptive surface after 3 days of treatment and a diminished rat growth rate that reverted to normal after the fourth day of treatment. Longer exposure to PVF induced a time-dependent lengthening of the small intestine while switching to a control diet restored intestine length and morphology after 4 days. Conclusions/Significance Ingestion of PVF rapidly limits the ability of potential predators to absorb nutrients by inducing large, reversible changes in intestinal morphology and growth rate. The occurrence of toxins that affect intestinal morphology and absorption is a strategy against predation not recognized among animals before. Remarkably, this defense is rather similar to

  14. Clinical outcomes of vitrified-thawed embryo transfer using a pull and cut straw method

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Joon Gyo; Heo, Young Tae; Min, Seung Gi; Min, Byeong Yeol; Uhm, Sang Jun

    2013-01-01

    Objective To compare the clinical outcomes of patients with vitrified-thawed embryos transferred using either the 0.25 mL straw method and the pull and cut straw (PNC) method. To evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients with transferred embryos that underwent assisted hatching at the cleaved embryo (day 3) or the blastocyst (day 5) stage. Methods The study population consisted of women who underwent vitrified-warmed embryo transfer between May 2000 and December 2011 and assisted hatching was performed after warming of embryos. Cycles of thawing between assisted hatching treated and non treated groups were compared for survival and pregnancy rates. Results The PNC vitrification method improved survival and pregnancy rates in partial lysed embryos. While assisted hatching did not affect the developmental and clinical pregnancy rates of the vitrified-warmed blastocyst group, it did increase the pregnancy rate of poor quality vitrified-warmed cleaved embryos. Conclusion These results suggest that PNC may increase the number of clinical pregnancies via the vitrification of both cleaved embryos and blastocysts. In addition, selective assisted hatching treatment of embryos that show a poor prognosis after warming may increase the rate of clinical pregnancy. PMID:24327999

  15. Rice stripe virus affects the viability of its vector offspring by changing developmental gene expression in embryos

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shuo; Wang, Shijuan; Wang, Xi; Li, Xiaoli; Zi, Jinyan; Ge, Shangshu; Cheng, Zhaobang; Zhou, Tong; Ji, Yinghua; Deng, Jinhua; Wong, Sek-Man; Zhou, Yijun

    2015-01-01

    Plant viruses may affect the viability and development process of their herbivore vectors. Small brown planthopper (SBPH) is main vector of Rice stripe virus (RSV), which causes serious rice stripe disease. Here, we reported the effects of RSV on SBPH offspring by crossing experiments between viruliferous and non-viruliferous strains. The life parameters of offspring from different cross combinations were compared. The hatchability of F1 progeny from viruliferous parents decreased significantly, and viruliferous rate was completely controlled by viruliferous maternal parent. To better elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms, the morphology of eggs, viral propagation and distribution in the eggs and expression profile of embryonic development genes were investigated. The results indicated that RSV replicated and accumulated in SBPH eggs resulting in developmental stunt or delay of partial eggs; in addition, RSV was only able to infect ovum but not sperm. According to the expression profile, expression of 13 developmental genes was regulated in the eggs from viruliferous parents, in which two important regulatory genes (Ls-Dorsal and Ls-CPO) were most significantly down-regulated. In general, RSV exerts an adverse effect on SBPH, which is unfavourable for the expansion of viruliferous populations. The viewpoint is also supported by systematic monitoring of SBPH viruliferous rate. PMID:25601039

  16. Effect of Lipid Partitioning on Predictions of Acute Toxicity of Oil Sands Process Affected Water to Embryos of Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas).

    PubMed

    Morandi, Garrett D; Zhang, Kun; Wiseman, Steve B; Pereira, Alberto Dos Santos; Martin, Jonathan W; Giesy, John P

    2016-08-16

    Dissolved organic compounds in oil sands process affected water (OSPW) are known to be responsible for most of its toxicity to aquatic organisms, but the complexity of this mixture prevents use of traditional bottom-up approaches for predicting toxicities of mixtures. Therefore, a top-down approach to predict toxicity of the dissolved organic fraction of OSPW was developed and tested. Accurate masses (i.e., m/z) determined by ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry in negative and positive ionization modes were used to assign empirical chemical formulas to each chemical species in the mixture. For each chemical species, a predictive measure of lipid accumulation was estimated by stir-bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) to poly(dimethyl)siloxane, or by partitioning to solid-supported lipid membranes (SSLM). A narcosis mode of action was assumed and the target-lipid model was used to estimate potencies of mixtures by assuming strict additivity. A model developed using a combination of the SBSE and SSLM lipid partitioning estimates, whereby the accumulation of chemicals to neutral and polar lipids was explicitly considered, was best for predicting empirical values of LC50 in 96-h acute toxicity tests with embryos of fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Model predictions were within 4-fold of observed toxicity for 75% of OSPW samples, and within 8.5-fold for all samples tested, which is comparable to the range of interlaboratory variability for in vivo toxicity testing. PMID:27420640

  17. Fresh and frozen-thawed sperm quality, nuclear DNA integrity, invitro fertility, embryo development, and live-born offspring of N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mice.

    PubMed

    Yildiz, Cengiz; Fleming, Craig; Ottaviani, Palma; McKerlie, Colin

    2008-10-01

    Efficient collection, freezing, reliable archiving of sperm, and re-derivation of mutant mice are essential components for large-scale mutagenesis programs in the mouse. Induced mutations (i.e. transgenes, targeted mutations, chemically induced mutations) in mice may cause inherited or temporary sterility, increase abnormal sperm values, or decrease fertility. One purpose of this study was to compare the effect(s) on fresh and frozen-thawed sperm quality, spermatozoa DNA integrity, unassisted in vitro fertility (IVF) rate, in vitro embryo development rate to blastocysts, and live-born offspring rates in non-ENU (control) animals and the F1-generation of N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-treated male mice (765mg/kg C57BL6/J or 600mg/kg 129S1/SvImJ total dose). The second purpose was to determine the effect(s) of parental oocyte donor strain on in vitro fertilization, in vitro embryo development to blastocysts, and live-born offspring rates using sperm and unassisted IVF to re-derive animals from non-ENU control and ENU mice. Sperm assessment parameters included progressive motility, concentration, plasma membrane integrity, membrane function integrity, acrosome integrity, and DNA integrity. There were no significant differences in fresh sperm assessment parameters, DNA integrity, unassisted in vitro fertility rate, in vitro embryo development rate to blastocysts, and live-born offspring rates between non-ENU and C3B6F1/J or B6129S1F1/J ENU mice. In addition, there were no significant differences in frozen-thawed sperm assessment parameters and DNA integrity rates for non-ENU control and ENU C3B6F1/J or B6129SF1/J mice. In vitro fertilization and in vitro embryo development to blastocysts were effected from strain genetic variability (P<0.05). However, the cryopreservation process caused an increase of DNA fragmentation in non-ENU control and ENU C3B6F1/J or B6129S1F1/J hybrid mice compared to fresh control sperm (P<0.01). Unlike the combinations of hybrid sperm and hybrid

  18. The PBDE metabolite 6-OH-BDE 47 affects melanin pigmentation and THRβ MRNA expression in the eye of zebrafish embryos

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Wu; Macaulay, Laura J; Kwok, Kevin WH; Hinton, David E; Ferguson, P Lee; Stapleton, Heather M

    2015-01-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and their hydroxyl-metabolites (OH-BDEs) are commonly detected contaminants in human serum in the US population. They are also considered to be endocrine disruptors, and are specifically known to affect thyroid hormone regulation. In this study, we investigated and compared the effects of a PBDE and its OH-BDE metabolite on developmental pathways regulated by thyroid hormones using zebrafish as a model. Exposure to 6-OHBDE 47 (10–100 nM), but not BDE 47 (1–50 μM), led to decreased melanin pigmentation and increased apoptosis in the retina of zebrafish embryos in a concentration-dependent manner in short-term exposures (4 – 30 hours). Six-OH-BDE 47 exposure also significantly decreased thyroid hormone receptor β (THRβ) mRNA expression, which was confirmed using both RT-PCR and in situ hybridization (whole mount and paraffin- section). Interestingly, exposure to the native thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine (T3) also led to similar responses: decreased THRβ mRNA expression, decreased melanin pigmentation and increased apoptosis, suggesting that 6-OH-BDE 47 may be acting as a T3 mimic. To further investigate short-term effects that may be regulated by THRβ, experiments using a morpholino gene knock down and THRβ mRNA over expression were conducted. Knock down of THRβ led to decreases in melanin pigmentation and increases in apoptotic cells in the eye of zebrafish embryos, similar to exposure to T3 and 6-OH-BDE 47, but THRβ mRNA overexpression rescued these effects. Histological analysis of eyes at 22 hpf from each group revealed that exposure to T3 or to 6-OH-BDE 47 was associated with a decrease of melanin and diminished proliferation of cells in layers of retina near the choroid. This study suggests that 6-OH-BDE 47 disrupts the activity of THRβ in early life stages of zebrafish, and warrants further studies on effects in developing humans. PMID:25767823

  19. Comparison of embryo physiological parameters during incubation, chick quality, and growth performance of three lines of broiler breeders differing in genetic composition and growth rate.

    PubMed

    Tona, K; Onagbesan, O M; Jego, Y; Kamers, B; Decuypere, E; Bruggeman, V

    2004-03-01

    In broiler breeder management, stringent feed restriction is practiced to reduce body size in order to improve egg production and meet broiler production demand, but this practice has raised welfare issues. The potential for the dwarfing (dw) gene to reduce feed intake and body size of breeders under ad libitum feeding or less stringent restriction while maintaining improved egg production has been reported. In this study, we compared embryo physiology, quality of chicks, and performance of broilers from eggs of dwarf breeders with those from a standard broiler breeder. Hatching eggs from 3 commercial lines of broiler breeders were compared for incubation parameters, 1-d-old chick weight, chick quality, and broiler growth to 41 d of age. The lines included a standard heavy (S) line, an experimental (E) line, and a label-type (L) line. The E and L line breeders carry the sex-linked dw gene and are being used to assess the potential for dw to reduce feed intake or lower feed restriction and improve reproductive performance in heavy female broiler parent stock. Two separate experiments were conducted. All female parent stocks were mated to Cornish males, and fertile eggs were collected. In the first experiment, eggs were incubated for 21 d under standard conditions to determine, during final stages of incubation, corticosterone and thyroid hormone levels (triiodothyronine, T3; thyroxine, T4) in embryos and hatchlings, CO2 partial pressure (pCO2), and O2 partial pressure (pO2) in air cells, heat production by eggs and 1-d-old weights. In the second experiment, eggs were incubated for 21 d to compare chick quality, chick weights at 1 d of age, and broiler growth to 7 and 41 d. Average egg weights were higher for the S and L lines than the E line, but weight loss during incubation was lowest for the E line. Plasma T3 and T3/T4 ratio was similar between lines at IP, but corticosterone was higher in the S line. At hatch, T3/T4 ratio was higher in the S line compared with

  20. Embryo splitting: a role in infertility?

    PubMed

    Wood, C

    2001-01-01

    Embryo splitting may be used to increase the potential fertility of couples requiring IVF. Using cattle as a model, it is possible to increase pregnancy rates from 70% per transfer of good quality in-vivo-produced embryos, to 110% by transferring the two demi-embryos resulting from the bisection of one embryo. The 30-40% greater chance of conception would reduce costs for the government, health authorities and patients, and reduce stress, time and complications for women having IVF treatment. Embryo splitting may also provide donor embryos for infertile couples that cannot conceive naturally or with IVF. The shortage of children for adoption and donor embryos may be overcome by the production of demi-embryos.

  1. Exposure time to caffeine affects heartbeat and cell damage-related gene expression of zebrafish Danio rerio embryos at early developmental stages.

    PubMed

    Abdelkader, Tamer Said; Chang, Seo-Na; Kim, Tae-Hyun; Song, Juha; Kim, Dong Su; Park, Jae-Hak

    2013-11-01

    Caffeine is white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is naturally found in some plants and can be produced synthetically. It has various biological effects, especially during pregnancy and lactation. We studied the effect of caffeine on heartbeat, survival and the expression of cell damage related genes, including oxidative stress (HSP70), mitochondrial metabolism (Cyclin G1) and apoptosis (Bax and Bcl2), at early developmental stages of zebrafish embryos. We used 100 µm concentration based on the absence of locomotor effects. Neither significant mortality nor morphological changes were detected. We monitored hatching at 48 h post-fertilization (hpf) to 96 hpf. At 60 and 72 hpf, hatching decreased significantly (P < 0.05); however, the overall hatching rate at 96 hpf was 94% in control and 93% in caffeine treatment with no significant difference (P > 0.05). Heartbeats per minute were 110, 110 and 112 in control at 48, 72 and 96 hpf, respectively. Caffeine significantly increased heartbeat - 122 and 136 at 72 and 96 hpf, respectively. Quantitative RT-PCR showed significant up-regulation after caffeine exposure in HSP70 at 72 hpf; in Cyclin G1 at 24, 48 and 72 hpf; and in Bax at 48 and 72 hpf. Significant down-regulation was found in Bcl2 at 48 and 72 hpf. The Bax/Bcl2 ratio increased significantly at 48 and 72 hpf. We conclude that increasing exposure time to caffeine stimulates oxidative stress and may trigger apoptosis via a mitochondrial-dependent pathway. Also caffeine increases heartbeat from early phases of development without affecting the morphology and survival but delays hatching. Use of caffeine during pregnancy and lactation may harm the fetus by affecting the expression of cell-damage related genes.

  2. Investigation of factors affecting the quality of americium electroplating.

    PubMed

    Trdin, M; Benedik, L; Samardžija, Z; Pihlar, B

    2012-09-01

    Four different electrolyte solutions were used in the electrodeposition of americium and their influences on the quality of the thin layer of deposited americium isotopes in combination with three different cathode disc materials were investigated. The relations between alpha spectral resolution and disc surface properties were established.

  3. How Do Our Actions Affect Water Quantity and Quality?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Jessica

    2008-01-01

    Water is an essential resource for all living things. How we live on our watershed can impact water quantity and quality. It is important to recognize how humans alter watershed dynamics, but students often find it challenging to visualize watershed processes and understand how decisions that they make as individuals and together as a community…

  4. RICE BREAD QUALITY AS AFFECTED BY YEAST AND BRAN

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Whole rice bread (WRB) has been developed in our laboratory for people suffering from Celiac disease and other food allergies. The WRB has texture and related qualities comparable with white or whole wheat breads. This paper reports the results of three levels of yeast, defatted rice bran on the t...

  5. Magnitude of genotype x environment interactions affecting tomato fruit quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There is a growing interest by consumers to purchase fresh tomato with improved quality traits including lycopene, total soluble solids (TSS), vitamin C and titratable acid (TA) content. Therefore, there are considerable efforts by tomato breeders to improve tomato for these traits. However, suitabl...

  6. Oocyte-secreted factors in oocyte maturation media enhance subsequent development of bovine cloned embryos.

    PubMed

    Su, Jianmin; Wang, Yongsheng; Zhang, Lei; Wang, Bo; Liu, Jun; Luo, Yan; Guo, Zekun; Quan, Fusheng; Zhang, Yong

    2014-04-01

    Successful in vitro maturation (IVM) and oocyte quality both affect the subsequent development of cloned embryos derived from somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Developmental competence is usually lower in oocytes matured in vitro compared with those that matured in vivo, possibly due to insufficient levels of oocyte-secreted factors (OSFs) and disrupted oocyte-cumulus communication. This study investigated the effects of OSFs secreted by denuded oocytes (DOs) during IVM on the subsequent developmental competence of cloned bovine embryos. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) from antral follicles of slaughtered-cow ovaries collected from an abattoir were divided into four groups: COCs co-cultured with and without DOs in maturation media used for SCNT, as well as COCs co-cultured with and without DOs in maturation media used for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Based on the developmental competence and embryo quality of bovine embryos generated from these four groups, we found that co-culturing the COCs with DOs enhanced the in vitro development of IVF and cloned bovine embryos, and potentially generated more high-quality cloned blastocysts that possessed locus-specific histone modifications at levels similar to in vitro-fertilized embryos. These results strongly suggest that co-culturing COCs with DOs enhances subsequent developmental competence of cloned bovine embryo.

  7. Natural and anthropogenic factors affecting the groundwater quality in Serbia.

    PubMed

    Devic, Gordana; Djordjevic, Dragana; Sakan, Sanja

    2014-01-15

    Various chemometric techniques were used to analyze the quality of groundwater data sets. Seventeen water quality parameters: the cations Na, K, Ca, Mg, the anions Cl, SO4, NO3, HCO3 and nine trace elements Pb, As, Mn, Ni, Cu, Cd, Fe, Zn and Cr were measured at 66 different key sampling sites in ten representative areas (low land-Northern Autonomous Province of Serbia, Vojvodina and central Serbia) for the summer period of 2009. HCA grouped the sample sites into four clusters based on the similarities of the characteristics of the groundwater quality. DA showed two parameters, HCO3 and Zn, affording more than 90% correct assignments in the spatial analysis of four/three different regions in Serbia. Factor analysis was applied on the log-transformed data sets and allowed the identification of a reduced number of factors with hydrochemical meaning. The results showed severe pollution with Mn, As, NO3, Ni, Pb whereby anthropogenic origin of these contaminants was indicated. The pollution comes from both scattered point sources (industrial and urban effluent) and diffuse source agricultural activity. These samples may not be suitable for human consumption; the water quality belongs to class III/IV (contaminated). The Fe anomalies (7.1mg/L) in the water from the Vetrnica site can be attributed to natural sources, such as the dissolution of rock masses and rock fragments. The serious groundwater contamination with As (25.7-137.8 μg/L) in the area of Banat (Northern Autonomous Province of Serbia, Vojvodina) and a sample No. 9 at the Great Morava River requires urgent attention.

  8. Natural and anthropogenic factors affecting the groundwater quality in Serbia.

    PubMed

    Devic, Gordana; Djordjevic, Dragana; Sakan, Sanja

    2014-01-15

    Various chemometric techniques were used to analyze the quality of groundwater data sets. Seventeen water quality parameters: the cations Na, K, Ca, Mg, the anions Cl, SO4, NO3, HCO3 and nine trace elements Pb, As, Mn, Ni, Cu, Cd, Fe, Zn and Cr were measured at 66 different key sampling sites in ten representative areas (low land-Northern Autonomous Province of Serbia, Vojvodina and central Serbia) for the summer period of 2009. HCA grouped the sample sites into four clusters based on the similarities of the characteristics of the groundwater quality. DA showed two parameters, HCO3 and Zn, affording more than 90% correct assignments in the spatial analysis of four/three different regions in Serbia. Factor analysis was applied on the log-transformed data sets and allowed the identification of a reduced number of factors with hydrochemical meaning. The results showed severe pollution with Mn, As, NO3, Ni, Pb whereby anthropogenic origin of these contaminants was indicated. The pollution comes from both scattered point sources (industrial and urban effluent) and diffuse source agricultural activity. These samples may not be suitable for human consumption; the water quality belongs to class III/IV (contaminated). The Fe anomalies (7.1mg/L) in the water from the Vetrnica site can be attributed to natural sources, such as the dissolution of rock masses and rock fragments. The serious groundwater contamination with As (25.7-137.8 μg/L) in the area of Banat (Northern Autonomous Province of Serbia, Vojvodina) and a sample No. 9 at the Great Morava River requires urgent attention. PMID:24080418

  9. Quality of Visual Cue Affects Visual Reweighting in Quiet Standing

    PubMed Central

    Moraes, Renato; de Freitas, Paulo Barbosa; Razuk, Milena; Barela, José Angelo

    2016-01-01

    Sensory reweighting is a characteristic of postural control functioning adopted to accommodate environmental changes. The use of mono or binocular cues induces visual reduction/increment of moving room influences on postural sway, suggesting a visual reweighting due to the quality of available sensory cues. Because in our previous study visual conditions were set before each trial, participants could adjust the weight of the different sensory systems in an anticipatory manner based upon the reduction in quality of the visual information. Nevertheless, in daily situations this adjustment is a dynamical process and occurs during ongoing movement. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of visual transitions in the coupling between visual information and body sway in two different distances from the front wall of a moving room. Eleven young adults stood upright inside of a moving room in two distances (75 and 150 cm) wearing a liquid crystal lenses goggles, which allow individual lenses transition from opaque to transparent and vice-versa. Participants stood still during five minutes for each trial and the lenses status changed every one minute (no vision to binocular vision, no vision to monocular vision, binocular vision to monocular vision, and vice-versa). Results showed that farther distance and monocular vision reduced the effect of visual manipulation on postural sway. The effect of visual transition was condition dependent, with a stronger effect when transitions involved binocular vision than monocular vision. Based upon these results, we conclude that the increased distance from the front wall of the room reduced the effect of visual manipulation on postural sway and that sensory reweighting is stimulus quality dependent, with binocular vision producing a much stronger down/up-weighting than monocular vision. PMID:26939058

  10. Wind resource quality affected by high levels of renewables

    DOE PAGES

    Diakov, Victor

    2015-06-17

    For solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind resources, the capacity factor is an important parameter describing the quality of the resource. As the share of variable renewable resources (such as PV and wind) on the electric system is increasing, so does curtailment (and the fraction of time when it cannot be avoided). At high levels of renewable generation, curtailments effectively change the practical measure of resource quality from capacity factor to the incremental capacity factor. The latter accounts only for generation during hours of no curtailment and is directly connected with the marginal capital cost of renewable generators for a givenmore » level of renewable generation during the year. The Western U.S. wind generation is analyzed hourly for a system with 75% of annual generation from wind, and it is found that the value for the system of resources with equal capacity factors can vary by a factor of 2, which highlights the importance of using the incremental capacity factor instead. Finally, the effect is expected to be more pronounced in smaller geographic areas (or when transmission limitations imposed) and less pronounced at lower levels of renewable energy in the system with less curtailment.« less

  11. Wind resource quality affected by high levels of renewables

    SciTech Connect

    Diakov, Victor

    2015-06-17

    For solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind resources, the capacity factor is an important parameter describing the quality of the resource. As the share of variable renewable resources (such as PV and wind) on the electric system is increasing, so does curtailment (and the fraction of time when it cannot be avoided). At high levels of renewable generation, curtailments effectively change the practical measure of resource quality from capacity factor to the incremental capacity factor. The latter accounts only for generation during hours of no curtailment and is directly connected with the marginal capital cost of renewable generators for a given level of renewable generation during the year. The Western U.S. wind generation is analyzed hourly for a system with 75% of annual generation from wind, and it is found that the value for the system of resources with equal capacity factors can vary by a factor of 2, which highlights the importance of using the incremental capacity factor instead. Finally, the effect is expected to be more pronounced in smaller geographic areas (or when transmission limitations imposed) and less pronounced at lower levels of renewable energy in the system with less curtailment.

  12. Methyl parathion inhibits the nuclear maturation, decreases the cytoplasmic quality in oocytes and alters the developmental potential of embryos of Swiss albino mice

    SciTech Connect

    Nair, Ramya; Singh, Vikram Jeet; Salian, Sujith Raj; Kalthur, Sneha Guruprasad; D'Souza, Antony Sylvan; Shetty, Pallavi K.; Mutalik, Srinivas; Kalthur, Guruprasad; Adiga, Satish Kumar

    2014-09-15

    Methyl parathion (MP) is one of the most commonly used and extremely toxic organophosphorous group of pesticide. A large number of studies in the literature suggest that it has adverse effects on the male reproductive system. However, there is limited information about its toxicity to the female reproductive system. In the present study we report the toxic effects of methyl parathion on the female reproductive system using Swiss albino mice as the experimental model. The female mice were administered orally with 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg of MP. One week later, the mice were superovulated with pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) to study the quality of the oocytes, spindle organization, developmental potential of early embryos and the DNA integrity in blastocysts. MP exposure resulted in a non-significant decrease in the number of primordial follicles and increased DNA damage in granulosa cells. Though MP did not have any effect on the ovulation it had a significant inhibitory effect on the nuclear maturity of oocytes which was associated with spindle deformity. In addition, the oocytes had higher cytoplasmic abnormalities with depleted glutathione level. Even though it did not have any effect on the fertilization and blastocyst rate at lower doses, at 20 mg/kg MP it resulted in a significant decrease in blastocyst hatching, decrease in cell number and high DNA damage. While low body weight gain was observed in F1 generation from 5 mg/kg group, at higher dose, the body weight in F1 generation was marginally higher than control. Post-natal death in F1 generation was observed only in mice treated with 20 mg/kg MP. In conclusion, we report that MP has adverse effects on the oocyte quality, developmental potential of the embryo and reproductive outcome. - Highlights: • Methyl parathion induces severe cytoplasmic abnormalities in oocytes. • Inhibits nuclear maturation and spindle damage • Poor blastocyst quality and high DNA

  13. Fish embryo tests with Danio rerio as a tool to evaluate surface water and sediment quality in rivers influenced by wastewater treatment plants using different treatment technologies.

    PubMed

    Thellmann, Paul; Köhler, Heinz-R; Rößler, Annette; Scheurer, Marco; Schwarz, Simon; Vogel, Hans-Joachim; Triebskorn, Rita

    2015-11-01

    In order to evaluate surface water and the sediment quality of rivers connected to wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with different treatment technologies, fish embryo tests (FET) with Danio rerio were conducted using native water and sediment samples collected upstream and downstream of four WWTPs in Southern Germany. Two of these WWTPs are connected to the Schussen River, a tributary of Lake Constance, and use a sand filter with final water purification by flocculation. The two others are located on the rivers Schmiecha and Eyach in the area of the Swabian Alb and were equipped with a powdered activated carbon stage 20 years ago, which was originally aimed at reducing the release of stains from the textile industry. Several endpoints of embryo toxicity including mortality, malformations, reduced hatching rate, and heart rate were investigated at defined time points of embryonic development. Higher embryotoxic potentials were found in water and sediments collected downstream of the WWTPs equipped with sand filtration than in the sample obtained downstream of both WWTPs upgraded with a powdered activated carbon stage. PMID:25391229

  14. Fish embryo tests with Danio rerio as a tool to evaluate surface water and sediment quality in rivers influenced by wastewater treatment plants using different treatment technologies.

    PubMed

    Thellmann, Paul; Köhler, Heinz-R; Rößler, Annette; Scheurer, Marco; Schwarz, Simon; Vogel, Hans-Joachim; Triebskorn, Rita

    2015-11-01

    In order to evaluate surface water and the sediment quality of rivers connected to wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with different treatment technologies, fish embryo tests (FET) with Danio rerio were conducted using native water and sediment samples collected upstream and downstream of four WWTPs in Southern Germany. Two of these WWTPs are connected to the Schussen River, a tributary of Lake Constance, and use a sand filter with final water purification by flocculation. The two others are located on the rivers Schmiecha and Eyach in the area of the Swabian Alb and were equipped with a powdered activated carbon stage 20 years ago, which was originally aimed at reducing the release of stains from the textile industry. Several endpoints of embryo toxicity including mortality, malformations, reduced hatching rate, and heart rate were investigated at defined time points of embryonic development. Higher embryotoxic potentials were found in water and sediments collected downstream of the WWTPs equipped with sand filtration than in the sample obtained downstream of both WWTPs upgraded with a powdered activated carbon stage.

  15. Effect of three pFSH doses on superovulation and embryo quality in goats during two breeding seasons in north-eastern mexico.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Dávila, F; Ledezma-Torres, R A; Padilla-Rivas, G; Del Bosque-González, A S; González Gómez, A; Bernal-Barragán, H

    2014-08-01

    The aim of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of three pFSH doses (80 mg; 145 mg and 215 mg) on ovarian response and on quantity and quality of transferable embryos of goats during the breeding and the non-breeding seasons. Ovary structures were exposed (laparatomy under general anaesthesia) and numbers of follicles and corpora lutea were registered. Surgical embryo flushing was conducted to count and classify embryos. There were more follicles (3.4 ± 1.1) in does administered 80 mg of pFSH (p < 0.05) than in goats administered 145 mg of pFSH (2.2 ± 1.1) and 215 mg of pFSH (0.9 ± 0.6). Numbers of corpora lutea, blastocysts, and recovered and transferable embryos of goats administered 145 mg pFSH (13.4 ± 3.7, 2.42 ± 1.0, 3.4 ± 1.2 and 3.2 ± 1.1, respectively) and those of goats administered 215 mg pFSH (11.6 ± 2.6, 3.2 ± 0.9, 5.7 ± 1.5, and 5.6 ± 1.5) were greater (p < 0.05) than values obtained from goats administered 80 mg pFSH (4.0 ± 1.5, 0.5 ± 0.3, 1.0 ± 0.5, and 0.8 ± 0.5). Numbers of morula of does administered 80 and 145 mg pFSH (0.4 ± 0.4 and 0.8 ± 0.3) were lower (p < 0.05) than those obtained from animals treated with 215 mg pFSH (2.4 ± 0.9). There was no effect of season upon the analyzed variables. In conclusion, under the prevalent conditions in north-eastern Mexico, administration of 145 or 215 mg pFSH in a decreasing dose schedule over 3.5 days to bred goats provided a satisfactory superovulatory result.

  16. Domestic cooking methods affect the nutritional quality of red cabbage.

    PubMed

    Xu, Feng; Zheng, Yonghua; Yang, Zhenfeng; Cao, Shifeng; Shao, Xingfeng; Wang, Hongfei

    2014-10-15

    The aim of this work is to investigate the effects of domestic cooking methods, including steaming, microwave heating, boiling and stir-frying on the nutritional quality of red cabbage. Compared with fresh-cut red cabbage, all cooking methods were found to cause significant reduction in anthocyanin and total glucosinolates contents. Moreover, steaming resulted in significantly greater retention of vitamin C and DPPH radical-scavenging activity, while stir-frying and boiling, two popular Chinese cooking methods, led to significant losses of total phenolic, vitamin C, DPPH radical-scavenging activity, and total soluble sugar as well as reducing sugars. Normally, red cabbage consumed fresh in salads could maintain the highest nutrition. However, considering the habits of Asian cuisine, it is recommended to use less water and less cooking time, such as steaming based on our present results, so as to retain the optimum benefits of the health-promoting compounds.

  17. Gray level Co-occurrence Matrices (GLCM) to assess microstructural and textural changes in pre-implantation embryos.

    PubMed

    Tan, Tiffany C Y; Ritter, Lesley J; Whitty, Annie; Fernandez, Renae C; Moran, Lisa J; Robertson, Sarah A; Thompson, Jeremy G; Brown, Hannah M

    2016-08-01

    The preimplantation embryo is extraordinarily sensitive to environmental signals and events such that perturbations can alter embryo metabolism and program an altered developmental trajectory, ultimately affecting the phenotype of the adult individual; indeed, the physical environment associated with in vitro embryo culture can attenuate development. Defining the underlying metabolic changes and mechanisms, however, has been limited by the imaging technology used to evaluate metabolites and structural features in the embryo. Here, we assessed the impact of in vitro fertilization and culture on mouse embryos using three metabolic markers: peroxyfluor 1 (a reporter of hydrogen peroxide), monochlorobimane (a reporter of glutathione), and Mitotracker Deep Red (a marker of mitochondria). We also evaluated the distribution pattern of histone 2AX gamma (γH2AX) in the nuclei of 2- and 8-cell embryos and blastocysts to investigate the degree of DNA damage caused by in vitro embryo culture. In vitro-fertilized embryos, in vivo-developed embryos, and in vivo-fertilized embryos recovered and cultured in vitro were compared at the 2-, 8-cell, and blastocyst stages. In addition to assessments based on fluorescence intensity, textural analysis using Gray Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM), a statistical approach that assesses texture within an image, was used to evaluate peroxyfluor 1, monochlorobimane, and Mitotracker Deep Red staining in an effort to develop a robust metric of embryo quality. Our data provide strong evidence of modified metabolic parameters identifiable as altered fluorescence texture in embryos developed in vitro. Thus, texture-analysis approach may provide a means of gaining additional insight into embryo programming beyond conventional measurements of staining intensity for metabolic markers. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 83: 701-713, 2016 © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27409576

  18. Reduced Height (Rht) Alleles Affect Wheat Grain Quality.

    PubMed

    Casebow, Richard; Hadley, Caroline; Uppal, Rajneet; Addisu, Molla; Loddo, Stefano; Kowalski, Ania; Griffiths, Simon; Gooding, Mike

    2016-01-01

    The effects of dwarfing alleles (reduced height, Rht) in near isogenic lines on wheat grain quality are characterised in field experiments and related to effects on crop height, grain yield and GA-sensitivity. Alleles included those that conferred GA-insensitivity (Rht-B1b, Rht-B1c, Rht-D1b, Rht-D1c) as well as those that retained GA-sensitivity (rht(tall), Rht8, Rht8 + Ppd-D1a, Rht12). Full characterisation was facilitated by including factors with which the effects of Rht alleles are known to interact for grain yield (i.e. system, [conventional or organic]; tillage intensity [plough-based, minimum or zero]; nitrogen fertilizer level [0-450 kg N/ha]; and genetic backgrounds varying in height [cvs Maris Huntsman, Maris Widgeon, and Mercia]. Allele effects on mean grain weight and grain specific weight were positively associated with final crop height: dwarfing reduced these quality criteria irrespective of crop management or GA-sensitivity. In all but two experiments the effects of dwarfing alleles on grain nitrogen and sulphur concentrations were closely and negatively related to effects on grain yield, e.g. a quadratic relationship between grain yield and crop height manipulated by the GA-insensitive alleles was mirrored by quadratic relationships for nitrogen and sulphur concentrations: the highest yields and most dilute concentrations occurred around 80cm. In one of the two exceptional experiments the GA-insensitive Rht-B1b and Rht-B1c significantly (P<0.05) reduced grain nitrogen concentration in the absence of an effect on yield, and in the remaining experiment the GA-sensitive Rht8 significantly reduced both grain yield and grain nitrogen concentration simultaneously. When Rht alleles diluted grain nitrogen concentration, N:S ratios and SDS-sedimentation volumes were often improved. Hagberg falling number (HFN) was negatively related to crop height but benefits from dwarfing were only seen for GA-insensitive alleles. For HFN, therefore, there was the

  19. Reduced Height (Rht) Alleles Affect Wheat Grain Quality

    PubMed Central

    Casebow, Richard; Hadley, Caroline; Uppal, Rajneet; Addisu, Molla; Loddo, Stefano; Kowalski, Ania; Griffiths, Simon; Gooding, Mike

    2016-01-01

    The effects of dwarfing alleles (reduced height, Rht) in near isogenic lines on wheat grain quality are characterised in field experiments and related to effects on crop height, grain yield and GA-sensitivity. Alleles included those that conferred GA-insensitivity (Rht-B1b, Rht-B1c, Rht-D1b, Rht-D1c) as well as those that retained GA-sensitivity (rht(tall), Rht8, Rht8 + Ppd-D1a, Rht12). Full characterisation was facilitated by including factors with which the effects of Rht alleles are known to interact for grain yield (i.e. system, [conventional or organic]; tillage intensity [plough-based, minimum or zero]; nitrogen fertilizer level [0–450 kg N/ha]; and genetic backgrounds varying in height [cvs Maris Huntsman, Maris Widgeon, and Mercia]. Allele effects on mean grain weight and grain specific weight were positively associated with final crop height: dwarfing reduced these quality criteria irrespective of crop management or GA-sensitivity. In all but two experiments the effects of dwarfing alleles on grain nitrogen and sulphur concentrations were closely and negatively related to effects on grain yield, e.g. a quadratic relationship between grain yield and crop height manipulated by the GA-insensitive alleles was mirrored by quadratic relationships for nitrogen and sulphur concentrations: the highest yields and most dilute concentrations occurred around 80cm. In one of the two exceptional experiments the GA-insensitive Rht-B1b and Rht-B1c significantly (P<0.05) reduced grain nitrogen concentration in the absence of an effect on yield, and in the remaining experiment the GA-sensitive Rht8 significantly reduced both grain yield and grain nitrogen concentration simultaneously. When Rht alleles diluted grain nitrogen concentration, N:S ratios and SDS-sedimentation volumes were often improved. Hagberg falling number (HFN) was negatively related to crop height but benefits from dwarfing were only seen for GA-insensitive alleles. For HFN, therefore, there was the

  20. Gastroesophageal Reflux Affects Sleep Quality in Snoring Obese Children

    PubMed Central

    Woodley, Frederick W; Skaggs, Beth; Di Lorenzo, Carlo; Eneli, Ihuoma; Splaingard, Mark; Mousa, Hayat

    2016-01-01

    Purpose This study was performed to evaluate the quality of sleep in snoring obese children without obstructive sleep apnea (OSA); and to study the possible relationship between sleep interruption and gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in snoring obese children. Methods Study subjects included 13 snoring obese children who were referred to our sleep lab for possible sleep-disordered breathing. Patients underwent multichannel intraluminal impedance and esophageal pH monitoring with simultaneous polysomnography. Exclusion criteria included history of fundoplication, cystic fibrosis, and infants under the age of 2 years. Significant association between arousals and awakenings with previous reflux were defined by symptom-association probability using 2-minute intervals. Results Sleep efficiency ranged from 67-97% (median 81%). A total of 111 reflux episodes (90% acidic) were detected during sleep, but there were more episodes per hour during awake periods after sleep onset than during sleep (median 2.3 vs. 0.6, p=0.04). There were 279 total awakenings during the sleep study; 56 (20.1%) of them in 9 patients (69.2%) were preceded by reflux episodes (55 acid, 1 non-acid). In 5 patients (38.5%), awakenings were significantly associated with reflux. Conclusion The data suggest that acid GER causes sleep interruptions in obese children who have symptoms of snoring or restless sleep and without evidence of OSA. PMID:27066445

  1. Fibroblast growth factor 17 and bone morphogenetic protein 15 enhance cumulus expansion and improve quality of in vitro-produced embryos in cattle.

    PubMed

    Machado, Mariana Fernandes; Caixeta, Ester Siqueira; Sudiman, Jaqueline; Gilchrist, Robert B; Thompson, Jeremy G; Lima, Paula Fernanda; Price, Christopher A; Buratini, José

    2015-08-01

    Bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) and members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family are expressed by the oocyte and are involved in the control of cumulus cell function. We tested the hypothesis that FGF17, alone or combined with BMP15 in the maturation medium, enhances cumulus expansion, meiosis progression, embryonic development, and expression of mRNA encoding key genes regulating expansion (prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 [PTGS2], hyaluronan synthase 2 [HAS2], tumor necrosis factor-stimulated gene 6 [TNFAIP6], and pentraxin 3 [PTX3]) and markers of oocyte developmental competence (phosphofructokinase [PFKP], gremlin [GREM1], versican [VCAN], and the genomic progesterone receptor [nPR]) in cumulus cells. Fibroblast growth factor 17 and BMP15 increased the percentage of fully expanded cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs), but there was no additive effect when both were combined. Neither FGF17 nor BMP15 altered the percentage of oocytes reaching meiosis II at the end of COC culture or cleavage and blastocyst rates after IVF. However, embryo quality, as assessed by the number of cells in the inner cell mass, was improved by the combination of FGF17 with BMP15. Fibroblast growth factor 17 alone did not alter gene expression in cumulus cells at the end of IVM, whereas BMP15 increased PTGS2 and PTX3 mRNA levels. The combination of FGF17 and BMP15 increased nPR mRNA abundance in cumulus cells but did not change the expression of other markers of developmental competence. This study provides novel evidence that FGF17 enhances cumulus expansion in bovine COCs submitted to IVM and that the supplementation of the IVM medium with FGF17 and BMP15 may improve embryo quality.

  2. The effect of thalidomide in chicken embryos.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Trent D

    2009-08-01

    Early in the history of the thalidomide disaster, chick embryos were "eliminated" as useful in the study of thalidomide. One reason for that conclusion was that many of the early experiments were flawed. We employed a number of experiments to expose chick embryos to thalidomide. Our data show that thalidomide does cause limb reduction defects in chick embryos as long as the embryos are directly exposed to the drug. The most useful techniques are implanting thalidomide-soaked beads into the embryo immediately adjacent to the limb territory or soaking presumptive chick limb territories in thalidomide and then grafting the explants to a host embryo celom. Thalidomide affects the chick limb grafted to a host embryo in a dose response fashion. Furthermore, S-thalidomide and S-EM12 are more teratogenic than R-thalidomide and R-EM12.

  3. HVAC SYSTEMS AS EMISSION SOURCES AFFECTING INDOOR AIR QUALITY: A CRITICAL REVIEW

    EPA Science Inventory

    The study evaluates heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems as contaminant emission sources that affect indoor air quality (IAQ). Various literature sources and methods for characterizing HVAC emission sources are reviewed. Available methods include in situ test...

  4. Soil moisture affects fatty acids and oil quality parameters in peanut

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Drought affects yield of peanut, but its effect on oleic and linoleic acids that influence its oil quality of peanut genotypes with different levels of drought resistance has not been clearly investigated. Therefore, the aims of this research were to determine whether soil water levels could affect...

  5. Trichostatin A alters the expression of cell cycle controlling genes and microRNAs in donor cells and subsequently improves the yield and quality of cloned bovine embryos in vitro.

    PubMed

    Saini, M; Selokar, N L; Revey, T; Singla, S K; Chauhan, M S; Palta, P; Madan, P

    2014-10-15

    Trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, has been used to improve nuclear reprogramming in somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos. However, the molecular mechanism of TSA for the improvement of the pre- and postimplantation embryonic development is unknown. In the present study, we investigated mechanism of cell cycle arrest caused by TSA and also determined embryo quality and gene expression in cloned bovine embryos produced from TSA-treated donor cells compared with embryos produced by in vitro fertilization or parthenogenetic activation. We observed that, 50 nM TSA-treated cells were synchronized at G0/G1 stage with concomitant decrease in the proportion of these cells in the S stage of the cell cycle, which was also supported by significant changes in cell morphology and decreased proliferation (P<0.05). Measurement of relative expression using real-time polymerase chain reaction of a some cell cycle-related genes and microRNAs in treated donor cells showed decreased expression of HDAC1, DNMT1, P53, CYC E1, and CDK4 and increased expression of DNMT3a, CDKN1A, CDK2, CDK3, miR-15a, miR-16, and miR-34a (P<0.05). No change in the relative expression of miR-449a was noticed. Trichostatin A treatment of donor cells significantly improved both cleavage and blastocyst rate (P<0.05) compared with the control embryos, also apoptotic index in treated cloned blastocysts was significantly decreased compared with the nontreated blastocysts (P<0.05) and was at the level of IVF counterpart. Relative expression of HDAC1 and DNMT3a was significantly lower in treated cloned and parthenogenetic embryos than that of nontreated and IVF counterpart, whereas in case of P53, expression level between treated and IVF embryos was similar, which was significantly lower than nontreated cloned and parthenogenetic embryos. In conclusion, our data suggested that TSA improves yield and quality of cloned bovine embryos by modulating the expression of G0/G1 cell cycle stage

  6. Trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid reduces neutral lipid content and may affect cryotolerance of in vitro-produced crossbred bovine embryos

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Due to high neutral lipids accumulation in the cytoplasm, in vitro-produced embryos from Bos primigenius indicus and their crosses are more sensitive to chilling and cryopreservation than those from Bos primigenius taurus. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on the development and cryotolerance of crossbred Bos primigenius taurus x Bos primigenius indicus embryos produced in vitro, and cultured in the presence of fetal calf serum. Bovine zygotes (n = 1,692) were randomly assigned to one of the following treatment groups: 1) Control, zygotes cultured in Charles Rosenkrans 2 amino acid (CR2aa) medium (n = 815) or 2) CLA, zygotes cultured in CR2aa medium supplemented with 100 μmol/L of trans-10, cis-12 CLA (n = 877). Embryo development (cleavage and blastocyst rates evaluated at days 3 and 8 of culture, respectively), lipid content at morula stage (day 5) and blastocyst cryotolerance (re-expansion and hatching rates, evaluated 24 and 72 h post-thawing, respectively) were compared between groups. Additionally, selected mRNA transcripts were measured by Real–Time PCR in blastocyst stage. Results The CLA treatment had no effect on cleavage and blastocyst rates, or on mRNA levels for genes related to cellular stress and apoptosis. On the other hand, abundance of mRNA for the 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate 0-acyltransferase-encoding gene (AGPAT), which is involved in triglycerides synthesis, and consequently neutral lipid content, were reduced by CLA treatment. A significant increase was observed in the re-expansion rate of embryos cultured with trans-10, cis-12 CLA when compared to control (56.3 vs. 34.4%, respectively, P = 0.002). However, this difference was not observed in the hatching rate (16.5 vs. 14.0%, respectively, P = 0.62). Conclusions The supplementation with trans-10, cis-12 CLA isomer in culture medium reduced the lipid content of in vitro produced

  7. Negative affect improves the quality of memories: trading capacity for precision in sensory and working memory.

    PubMed

    Spachtholz, Philipp; Kuhbandner, Christof; Pekrun, Reinhard

    2014-08-01

    Research has shown that negative affect reduces working memory capacity. Commonly, this effect has been attributed to an allocation of resources to task-irrelevant thoughts, suggesting that negative affect has detrimental consequences for working memory performance. However, rather than simply being a detrimental effect, the affect-induced capacity reduction may reflect a trading of capacity for precision of stored representations. To test this hypothesis, we induced neutral or negative affect and concurrently measured the number and precision of representations stored in sensory and working memory. Compared with neutral affect, negative affect reduced the capacity of both sensory and working memory. However, in both memory systems, this decrease in capacity was accompanied by an increase in precision. These findings demonstrate that observers unintentionally trade capacity for precision as a function of affective state and indicate that negative affect can be beneficial for the quality of memories.

  8. Vitrification of buffalo oocytes and embryos.

    PubMed

    Parnpai, Rangsun; Liang, Yuanyuan; Ketudat-Cairns, Mariena; Somfai, Tamas; Nagai, Takashi

    2016-07-01

    During the past decade, vitrification has been acknowledged as an efficient alternative to traditional slow-rate freezing in both human and animal embryology. The buffalo is the major milk and meat producing farm animal in many developing countries. Cryopreservation of buffalo oocytes and embryos is very important in preserving this species for future use. This review discusses the recent buffalo oocytes and embryos vitrification procedures, different types of cryoinjuries, and other factors affecting the vitrification of buffalo oocytes and embryos.

  9. Decreased maternal and fetal cholesterol following maternal bococizumab (anti-PCSK9 monoclonal antibody) administration does not affect rat embryo-fetal development.

    PubMed

    Campion, Sarah N; Han, Bora; Cappon, Gregg D; Lewis, Elise M; Kraynov, Eugenia; Liang, Hong; Bowman, Christopher J

    2015-11-01

    Bococizumab is a humanized monoclonal IgG2Δa antibody against proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) for the treatment of hyperlipidemia. The evaluation of potential effects on embryo-fetal development was conducted in the rat. In a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic study bococizumab was administered intravenously to pregnant Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats (n = 8/group) at 0, 10, 30, and 100 mg/kg during organogenesis. Maternal and fetal bococizumab, total cholesterol and HDL concentrations were determined. Bococizumab was well tolerated and there were no effects on ovarian or uterine parameters. Maternal and fetal bococizumab exposure increased with increasing dose, with a corresponding dose-dependent decrease in fetal cholesterol levels. Maternal cholesterol levels were decreased significantly, with reductions that were of a similar magnitude regardless of dose. In the definitive embryo-fetal development study bococizumab was administered to pregnant SD rats (n = 20/group) at 0, 10, 30, and 100 mg/kg and no adverse maternal or developmental effects were observed up to 100 mg/kg. These studies have provided an appropriate and relevant safety assessment of bococizumab in pregnant rats to inform human risk assessment, demonstrating no adverse effects on embryo-fetal development at magnitudes greater than anticipated clinical exposure and in the presence of maximal reductions in maternal cholesterol and dose-dependent reductions in fetal cholesterol.

  10. The effects of superovulation of donor sows on ovarian response and embryo development after nonsurgical deep-uterine embryo transfer.

    PubMed

    Angel, M A; Gil, M A; Cuello, C; Sanchez-Osorio, J; Gomis, J; Parrilla, I; Vila, J; Colina, I; Diaz, M; Reixach, J; Vazquez, J L; Vazquez, J M; Roca, J; Martinez, E A

    2014-04-01

    demonstrated the efficiency of eCG superovulation treatments in decreasing the donor-to-recipient ratio. Compared with nonsuperovulated sows, the number of transferable embryos was increased in superovulated sows without affecting their quality and in vivo capacity to develop to term after transfer. The results from this study also demonstrate the effectiveness of the NsDU ET procedure used, making possible the commercial use of ET technology by the pig industry.

  11. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Using DNA-Fragmented Sperm in Mice Negatively Affects Embryo-Derived Embryonic Stem Cells, Reduces the Fertility of Male Offspring and Induces Heritable Changes in Epialleles

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-González, Raúl; Laguna-Barraza, Ricardo; Pericuesta, Eva; Calero, Antonia; Ramírez, Miguel Ángel; Gutiérrez-Adán, Alfonso

    2014-01-01

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in mice using DNA-fragmented sperm (DFS) has been linked to an increased risk of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities both in embryos and offspring. This study examines: whether embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from DFS-ICSI embryos reflect the abnormalities observed in the DFS-ICSI progeny; the effect of DFS-ICSI on male fertility; and whether DFS-ICSI induces epigenetic changes that lead to a modified heritable phenotype. DFS-ICSI-produced embryos showed a low potential to generate ESC lines. However, these lines had normal karyotype accompanied by early gene expression alterations, though a normal expression pattern was observed after several passages. The fertility of males in the DFS-ICSI and control groups was compared by mating test. Sperm quantity, vaginal plug and pregnancy rates were significantly lower for the DFS-ICSI-produced males compared to in vivo-produced mice, while the number of females showing resorptions was higher. The epigenetic effects of DFS-ICSI were assessed by analyzing the phenotype rendered by the Axin1Fu allele, a locus that is highly sensitive to epigenetic perturbations. Oocytes were injected with spermatozoa from Axin1Fu/+ mice and the DFS-ICSI-generated embryos were transferred to females. A significantly higher proportion of pups expressed the active kinky-tail epiallele in the DFS-ICSI group than the controls. In conclusion: 1) ESCs cannot be used as a model of DFS-ICSI; 2) DFS-ICSI reduces sperm production and fertility in the male progeny; and 3) DFS-ICSI affects the postnatal expression of a defined epigenetically sensitive allele and this modification may be inherited across generations. PMID:24743851

  12. Different intervals of ovum pick-up affect the competence of oocytes to support the preimplantation development of cloned bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Ding, Li-Jun; Tian, Hai-Bin; Wang, Jing-Jun; Chen, Juan; Sha, Hong-Ying; Chen, Jian-Quan; Cheng, Guo-Xiang

    2008-12-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of different frequencies of transvaginal ovum pick-up (OPU) on the quantity of recovered cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) and subsequently the competence of matured oocytes to support the preimplantation development of cloned bovine embryos. The COCs were aspirated from the ovaries of 6 Chinese Holstein cows by transvaginal follicle aspiration twice a week (every 3 or 4 days) (Group I), every 5 days (Group II), once a week (every 7 days) (Group III), every 10 days (Group IV), and once every 2 weeks (every 14 days) (Group V). The developmental stages of the follicles were confirmed by the diameter of the dominant follicle (DF) and harvested COCs, and the dynamics of the follicular wave were clarified. In addition, extrusions of the first polar body (PB I) from the oocytes were observed at different time intervals after the initiation of in vitro maturation (IVM) to identify the appropriate culture time window for somatic cell nuclear transfer. Matured oocytes were used to produce cloned bovine embryos that were subsequently cultured in the goat oviduct. After 7 days, the embryos were flushed out, and the developmental rates of the blastocysts were compared among the five groups. The results showed that the aspirations of all follicles >or=3 mm in diameter (D1) induced and synchronized the dynamics of the follicular wave, and the subordinate follicles became atretic after 4 days (D5). Another follicular wave started between D7 and D10, and atresia in the subordinate follicles in the second follicular wave began on D14. The timing of meiotic progression (from the initiation of IVM to the extrusion of PB I) in the oocytes obtained by OPU was later than that of the oocytes obtained from the abattoir. Between 20 and 24 hr after the initiation of IVM, 20% of the oocytes extruded their PB I. Further, 80% (520/650) of the harvested COCs were arrested at metaphase II (MII) by 22 hr of the initiation of IVM and were used

  13. Factors Affecting Parent's Perception on Air Quality-From the Individual to the Community Level.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yulin; Liu, Fengfeng; Lu, Yuanan; Mao, Zongfu; Lu, Hanson; Wu, Yanyan; Chu, Yuanyuan; Yu, Lichen; Liu, Yisi; Ren, Meng; Li, Na; Chen, Xi; Xiang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    The perception of air quality significantly affects the acceptance of the public of the government's environmental policies. The aim of this research is to explore the relationship between the perception of the air quality of parents and scientific monitoring data and to analyze the factors that affect parents' perceptions. Scientific data of air quality were obtained from Wuhan's environmental condition reports. One thousand parents were investigated for their knowledge and perception of air quality. Scientific data show that the air quality of Wuhan follows an improving trend in general, while most participants believed that the air quality of Wuhan has deteriorated, which indicates a significant difference between public perception and reality. On the individual level, respondents with an age of 40 or above (40 or above: OR = 3.252; 95% CI: 1.170-9.040), a higher educational level (college and above: OR = 7.598; 95% CI: 2.244-25.732) or children with poor healthy conditions (poor: OR = 6.864; 95% CI: 2.212-21.302) have much more negative perception of air quality. On the community level, industrial facilities, vehicles and city construction have major effects on parents' perception of air quality. Our investigation provides baseline information for environmental policy researchers and makers regarding the public's perception and expectation of air quality and the benefits to the environmental policy completing and enforcing.

  14. Factors Affecting Parent's Perception on Air Quality-From the Individual to the Community Level.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yulin; Liu, Fengfeng; Lu, Yuanan; Mao, Zongfu; Lu, Hanson; Wu, Yanyan; Chu, Yuanyuan; Yu, Lichen; Liu, Yisi; Ren, Meng; Li, Na; Chen, Xi; Xiang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    The perception of air quality significantly affects the acceptance of the public of the government's environmental policies. The aim of this research is to explore the relationship between the perception of the air quality of parents and scientific monitoring data and to analyze the factors that affect parents' perceptions. Scientific data of air quality were obtained from Wuhan's environmental condition reports. One thousand parents were investigated for their knowledge and perception of air quality. Scientific data show that the air quality of Wuhan follows an improving trend in general, while most participants believed that the air quality of Wuhan has deteriorated, which indicates a significant difference between public perception and reality. On the individual level, respondents with an age of 40 or above (40 or above: OR = 3.252; 95% CI: 1.170-9.040), a higher educational level (college and above: OR = 7.598; 95% CI: 2.244-25.732) or children with poor healthy conditions (poor: OR = 6.864; 95% CI: 2.212-21.302) have much more negative perception of air quality. On the community level, industrial facilities, vehicles and city construction have major effects on parents' perception of air quality. Our investigation provides baseline information for environmental policy researchers and makers regarding the public's perception and expectation of air quality and the benefits to the environmental policy completing and enforcing. PMID:27187432

  15. The North Atlantic Oscillation affects the quality of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine).

    PubMed

    Real, Raimundo; Báez, José Carlos

    2013-05-01

    This study explores the possible effects of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) on the quality of Spanish Cava. We found a significant negative relationship between the mean NAO for the months of March through August of each year between 1970 and 2008 and the probability of obtaining a top quality Cava. The NAO is associated with temperature and rainfall variations in the Cava region, which affect vine physiological processes during grape maturity. The probability of obtaining a top quality Cava was highest when the mean value of the NAO was negative, which causes the mean temperature in the Cava area to decrease, with positive consequences on Cava quality. Although the overall discrimination capacity and explanatory power of the model were low, 80% of clearly favorable years were classified correctly as corresponding to top quality Cava, and 70% of clearly unfavorable years were classified correctly as non top quality Cava.

  16. Moderating role of marital quality in older adults' depressed affect: beyond the main-effects model.

    PubMed

    Bookwala, Jamila; Franks, Melissa M

    2005-11-01

    We examine the role of three indicators of marital quality (marital disagreement, marital happiness, and time spent together) as moderators of the association between physical disability and depressed affect among married older individuals (N=1,044). We found support for the moderating role of marital disagreement wherein the detrimental effect of disability on depressed affect was significantly heightened among older adults with more disagreements with their spouse; a moderating effect was not detected for marital happiness or time spent together. We conclude that, in addition to its main effect on older adults' depressed affect, marital quality (as indicated by marital disagreement) plays a significant stress-moderating role in the physical disability-depressed affect link.

  17. In vitro culture of feline embryos increases stress-induced heat shock protein 70 and apoptotic related genes.

    PubMed

    Sananmuang, Thanida; Phutikanit, Nawapen; Nguyen, Catherine; Manee-In, Sukanya; Techakumphu, Mongkol; Tharasanit, Theerawat

    2013-01-01

    Developmental competence and quality of in vitro produced embryos has been demonstrated to be lower than in vivo derived embryos. This study aimed specifically to determine the effects of in vitro culture of feline embryos using various culture densities on developmental competence and expression of stress- and apoptotic-related genes in terms of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and apoptotic-related (BAX and BCL-2) gene expressions. In experiment 1, we characterized the inducible form of a feline-specific HSP70 mRNA sequence, as it has not been previously reported. The primers for feline HSP70 mRNA were synthesized and tested on heat-treated cat fibroblasts. In experiment 2, feline embryos were cultured at different culture densities (embryo:culture volume; 1:1.25, 1:5 and 1:20). The developmental competence was determined along with HSP70, BAX and BCL-2 transcript abundances using quantitative RT-PCR. In vivo derived embryos were used as a control group. A partial cat HSP70 mRNA sequence (190 bp) was characterized and exhibited high nucleotide identity (93 to 96%) with other species. Cleaved embryos cultured at high density (1:1.25) developed to blastocysts at a lower rate than those generated from lower densities. Irrespective of the culture densities used, in vitro cultured blastocysts showed increased levels of HSP70 and BAX transcripts compared with in vivo counterparts. Blastocysts derived from the highest culture density (1:1.25) showed higher levels of upregulation of HSP70 and BAX transcripts than those cultured at lower culture densities (1:5 and 1:20). In conclusion, increased levels of pro-apoptotic (BAX) and stress-response (HSP70) transcripts correlated with developmental incompetence of embryos cultured at high embryonic density, indicating that stress accumulated during in vitro embryo culture affected the fate for embryo development and quality.

  18. Impact of pro-oxidant agents on the morula-blastocyst transition in bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Feugang, Jean-Magloire; Donnay, Isabelle; Mermillod, Pascal; Marchandise, Joelle; Lequarre, Anne-Sophie

    2005-07-01

    Exposing day 5 bovine morulae to reactive oxygen species induces a delayed degeneration of some blastocysts on day 8 post-insemination (pi) but without affecting the blastocyst rates. The aim of this study was to characterize the resisting and the degenerating population of blastocysts. The kinetics of degeneration of the embryos exposed to the two pro-oxidant agents: 2,2'-azobis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH) and buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) was evaluated using time-lapse cinematography. With both agents the first signs of degeneration appeared at day 7.5 pi but the duration of the degeneration process was shorter in presence of AAPH than BSO (4.2 vs. 12.5 hr, ANOVA, P < 0.05). The resisting blastocysts derived from morulae with a larger diameter (mean diameter: 161 vs. 154 microm, ANOVA, P < 0.05) and showed an earlier cavitation (135 vs. 142 hpi, P < 0.05) than the degenerating ones. The profile of protein neosynthesis at day 7 was not affected by the treatment. The proportion of male embryos was more important in the resisting than in the degenerating population (70 vs. 55%, chi2, P < 0.05) especially when the stress was induced by AAPH. The quality of the resisting embryos, measured by the total cell number and the rate of apoptosis, did not seem to be affected when compared to control embryos. In conclusion, resistance to oxidative stress seems related to the kinetics of development and/or the sex of the embryos. Resisting embryos apparently display a quality similar to untreated embryos. PMID:15806560

  19. Association between seasonal affective disorder and subjective quality of the sleep/wake cycle in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Tonetti, Lorenzo; Fabbri, Marco; Erbacci, Alex; Martoni, Monica; Natale, Vincenzo

    2014-03-30

    The relationship between seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and subjective quality of sleep/wake cycle in adolescents was explored. The Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (SPAQ-CA) and Mini Sleep Questionnaire (MSQ) were administered to 345 adolescents living in the city of Cesena (Emilia-Romagna region, Italy) (299 females; age range: 14-18 years), to determine SAD and perceived quality of the sleep/wake cycle. The response rate was 92% for females and 90.2% for males. The MSQ includes two factors, sleep and wake, with lower scores corresponding to a lower quality of sleep and wake. The MSQ includes cut-off criteria to detect a good or bad sleep and wake quality. Adolescents with SAD (16 ± 5.7) scored significantly lower than those not affected on wake factor (19.5 ± 4.3), while no effect has been observed on sleep factor. SAD was the only one significant predictor of good/bad wake quality, while it did not reach significant level with reference to good/bad sleep quality. Present results are indications of a possible influence of SAD on wake quality and further studies are necessary to confirm them.

  20. Evaluation of human sperm chromatin status after selection using a modified Diff-Quik stain indicates embryo quality and pregnancy outcomes following in vitro fertilization.

    PubMed

    Tavares, R S; Silva, A F; Lourenço, B; Almeida-Santos, T; Sousa, A P; Ramalho-Santos, J

    2013-11-01

    Sperm chromatin/DNA damage can be measured by a variety of assays. However, it has been reported that these tests may lose prognostic value in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) cycles when assessed in post-prepared samples, possibly due to the normalizing effect promoted by sperm preparation procedures. We have recently implemented a modified version of the Diff-Quik staining assay that allows for the evaluation of human sperm chromatin status in native samples, together with standard sperm morphology assessment. However, the value of this parameter in terms of predicting in vitro fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcomes after sperm selection is unknown. In this study, data from 138 couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) or Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatments showed that sperm chromatin integrity was significantly improved after density gradient centrifugation and swim up (p < 0.001), but no correlations were found with fertilization or embryo development rates (p > 0.05). However, sperm samples presenting lower percentages of damaged chromatin were associated with better quality (Grade I) embryos in both ART procedures (p < 0.05) and clinical pregnancy among IVF couples (p < 0.05). Furthermore, regression analysis confirmed the clinical value of Diff-Quik staining in predicting IVF (but not ICSI) clinical pregnancy (OR: 0.927, 95% CI: 0.871-0.985, p = 0.015), and a threshold value of 34.25% for this parameter was established. The proportion of IVF couples achieving a clinical pregnancy was reduced 1.9-fold when the percentage of abnormal dark staining was ≥34.25% (p = 0.05). In conclusion, the Diff-Quik staining assay provides useful information regarding ART success, particularly in IVF cycles, where some degree of 'natural' sperm selection may occur; but not in ICSI, where sperm selection is operator dependent. This quick and low-cost assay is suggested as an alternative method to detect

  1. Factors Affecting Perceived Learning, Satisfaction, and Quality in the Online MBA: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sebastianelli, Rose; Swift, Caroline; Tamimi, Nabil

    2015-01-01

    The authors examined how six factors related to content and interaction affect students' perceptions of learning, satisfaction, and quality in online master of business administration (MBA) courses. They developed three scale items to measure each factor. Using survey data from MBA students at a private university, the authors estimated structural…

  2. A School Principal's Perceptions Regarding Personal Qualities and Pedagogical Qualifications Affecting Teacher Candidate Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Pamela Thayer

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the procedures used and the perceptions of a principal as to the personal qualities and pedagogical qualifications affecting the selection of teacher candidates. The approach examined one principal's procedures used to choose which candidates to interview, the process she used to conduct the interviews, the professional…

  3. HVAC SYSTEMS AS EMISSION SOURCES AFFECTING INDOOR AIR QUALITY: A CRITICAL REVIEW

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper discusses results of an evaluation of literature on heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems as contaminant emission sources that affect indoor air quality (IAQ). The various literature sources and methods for characterizing HVAC emission sources are re...

  4. A Case Study Showing Parameters Affecting the Quality of Education: Faculty Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumari, Neeraj

    2014-01-01

    The study aims to examine the faculty members' perspective (age Wise, Gender Wise and Work Experience wise) of parameters affecting the quality of education in an affiliated Undergraduate Engineering Institution in Haryana. It is a descriptive type of research. The data has been collected with the help of 'Questionnaire Based Survey'. The sample…

  5. WebCT--The Quasimoderating Effect of Perceived Affective Quality on an Extending Technology Acceptance Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanchez-Franco, Manuel J.

    2010-01-01

    Perceived affective quality is an attractive area of research in Information System. Specifically, understanding the intrinsic and extrinsic individual factors and interaction effects that influence Information and Communications Technology (ICT) acceptance and adoption--in higher education--continues to be a focal interest in learning research.…

  6. Superovulatory response and embryo development in ewes treated with two doses of bovine somatotropin.

    PubMed

    Carrera-Chávez, J M; Hernández-Cerón, J; López-Carlos, M A; Lozano-Domínguez, R R; Molinar, F; Echavarría-Cháirez, F G; Bañuelos-Valenzuela, R; Aréchiga-Flores, C F

    2014-12-30

    This study evaluated whether the administration of 50 and 100mg bovine somatotropin (bST) at the start of synchronization and at the time of natural mating in ewes improves the ovulation rate, embryonic development and pregnancy rate of transferred embryos. Forty-eight donors were assigned to three treatments: the bST-100 treatment (n=15) received 100mg bST at the start of synchronization and at natural mating, the bST-50 treatment (n=15) received 50mg bST on the same schedule as the previous group, and the control (n=18) did not receive any bST. Two embryos were transferred to each recipient (n=121): 35 received embryos from bST-100; 50 received embryos from bST-50, and 36 received embryos from the control. The superovulatory rate, percentage of recovered structures, cleavage rate, percentage of transferable embryos, embryo quality and development and pregnancy rate were analyzed using the GENMOD procedure of SAS. The number of corpora lutea and the cell number were analyzed using the GLM procedure of SAS. The insulin and IGF-1 concentrations were analyzed with ANOVA for repeated measures. The bST application did not affect the superovulatory rate, number of corpora lutea and recovered structures (P>0.05). The numbers of transferable embryos and embryos reaching the blastocyst were higher (P≤0.01) in the bST-50 (96.4±3.6% and 69.0±7.8%) than the bST-100 (93.0±4.5% and 27.2±38.9%) and control (87.7±5.4% and 50.4±6.4%) groups. The insulin and IGF-1 concentrations were higher (P<0.05) in the bST-treated groups, but the insulin concentration was higher (P<0.05) in the bST-100 group than in the bST-50 group. The pregnancy rate was similar (P=0.21) in ewes receiving embryos from the two treatments [bST-50, (70.0%); bST-100, (62.5%), and control, (56.6%)]. The administration of 50mg bST at the start of synchronization and at natural mating in superovulated ewes was concluded to enhance the proportion and development of transferable embryos. However, bST did not

  7. Treatment of porcine donor cells and reconstructed embryos with the antioxidant melatonin enhances cloning efficiency.

    PubMed

    Pang, Yun-Wei; An, Lei; Wang, Peng; Yu, Yong; Yin, Qiu-Dan; Wang, Xiao-Hong; Xin-Zhang; Qian-Zhang; Yang, Mei-Ling; Min-Guo; Wu, Zhong-Hong; Tian, Jian-Hui

    2013-05-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effect of melatonin during the culture of donor cells and cloned embryos on the in vitro developmental competence and quality of cloned porcine embryos. At concentrations of 10(-6 )M or 10(-8) M, melatonin significantly enhanced the proliferation of porcine fetal fibroblasts (PFFs), and the blastocyst rate was significantly increased in the 10(-10) M melatonin-treated donor cell group. Cloned embryo development was also improved in embryo culture medium that was supplemented with 10(-9) M or 10(-12) M melatonin. When both donor cells and cloned embryos were treated with melatonin, the cleavage rate and total cell number of blastocysts were not significantly affected; however, the blastocyst rate was increased significantly (20.0% versus 11.7%). TUNEL assays showed that combined melatonin treatment reduced the rate of apoptotic nuclei (3.6% versus 6.1%). Gene expression analysis of the apoptosis-related genes BAX, BCL2L1, and p53 showed that the expression of BCL2L1 was significantly elevated 2.7-fold relative to the control group, while the expression of BAX and p53 was significantly decreased by 3.7-fold and 23.2-fold, respectively. In addition, we detected the expression of two melatonin receptors (MT1 and MT2) in PFFs but not in porcine cloned embryos. We conclude that exogenous melatonin enhances the development of porcine cloned embryos and improves embryo quality by inhibiting p53-mediated apoptotic pathway. The proliferation of PFFs may be mediated by receptor binding, but the beneficial effects of melatonin on embryonic development may be receptor-independent, possibly through melatonin's ability to directly scavenge free radicals.

  8. Fish embryos on land: terrestrial embryo deposition lowers oxygen uptake without altering growth or survival in the amphibious fish Kryptolebias marmoratus.

    PubMed

    Wells, Michael W; Turko, Andy J; Wright, Patricia A

    2015-10-01

    Few teleost fishes incubate embryos out of water, but the oxygen-rich terrestrial environment could provide advantages for early growth and development. We tested the hypothesis that embryonic oxygen uptake is limited in aquatic environments relative to air using the self-fertilizing amphibious mangrove rivulus, Kryptolebias marmoratus, which typically inhabits hypoxic, water-filled crab burrows. We found that adult mangrove rivulus released twice as many embryos in terrestrial versus aquatic environments and that air-reared embryos had accelerated developmental rates. Surprisingly, air-reared embryos consumed 44% less oxygen and possessed larger yolk reserves, but attained the same mass, length and chorion thickness. Water-reared embryos moved their opercula ∼2.5 more times per minute compared with air-reared embryos at 7 days post-release, which probably contributed to the higher rates of oxygen uptake and yolk utilization we observed. Genetically identical air- and water-reared embryos from the same parent were raised to maturity, but the embryonic environment did not affect growth, reproduction or emersion ability in adults. Therefore, although aspects of early development were plastic, these early differences were not sustained into adulthood. Kryptolebias marmoratus embryos hatched out of water when exposed to aerial hypoxia. We conclude that exposure to a terrestrial environment reduces the energetic costs of development partly by reducing the necessity of embryonic movements to dispel stagnant boundary layers. Terrestrial incubation of young would be especially beneficial to amphibious fishes that occupy aquatic habitats of poor water quality, assuming low terrestrial predation and desiccation risks. PMID:26491194

  9. Fish embryos on land: terrestrial embryo deposition lowers oxygen uptake without altering growth or survival in the amphibious fish Kryptolebias marmoratus.

    PubMed

    Wells, Michael W; Turko, Andy J; Wright, Patricia A

    2015-10-01

    Few teleost fishes incubate embryos out of water, but the oxygen-rich terrestrial environment could provide advantages for early growth and development. We tested the hypothesis that embryonic oxygen uptake is limited in aquatic environments relative to air using the self-fertilizing amphibious mangrove rivulus, Kryptolebias marmoratus, which typically inhabits hypoxic, water-filled crab burrows. We found that adult mangrove rivulus released twice as many embryos in terrestrial versus aquatic environments and that air-reared embryos had accelerated developmental rates. Surprisingly, air-reared embryos consumed 44% less oxygen and possessed larger yolk reserves, but attained the same mass, length and chorion thickness. Water-reared embryos moved their opercula ∼2.5 more times per minute compared with air-reared embryos at 7 days post-release, which probably contributed to the higher rates of oxygen uptake and yolk utilization we observed. Genetically identical air- and water-reared embryos from the same parent were raised to maturity, but the embryonic environment did not affect growth, reproduction or emersion ability in adults. Therefore, although aspects of early development were plastic, these early differences were not sustained into adulthood. Kryptolebias marmoratus embryos hatched out of water when exposed to aerial hypoxia. We conclude that exposure to a terrestrial environment reduces the energetic costs of development partly by reducing the necessity of embryonic movements to dispel stagnant boundary layers. Terrestrial incubation of young would be especially beneficial to amphibious fishes that occupy aquatic habitats of poor water quality, assuming low terrestrial predation and desiccation risks.

  10. Smoking and reproduction: gene damage to human gametes and embryos.

    PubMed

    Zenzes, M T

    2000-01-01

    Assisted conception is a useful methodology for detecting disturbances in clinical outcome, meiotic maturation, and genetic integrity of human gametes. Germinal cells are vulnerable to genetic damage from smoking, but can repair damage during meiosis. In ejaculated spermatozoa, repair capacity declines drastically. Smoking alters the meiotic spindle of oocytes and spermatozoa, leading to chromosome errors which affect reproductive outcomes. Smoking is associated with reduced numbers of retrieved oocytes, leading to early age of menopause. Oocyte elimination occurs preferentially during meiosis I, a period sensitive to genetic damage. Smoking inhibits embryo fragmentation; inhibition may confer survival advantage to embryos genetically altered. Smoking is associated with low sperm quality, but clinical effects are not recognized. Cadmium (a heavy metal), nicotine (a toxic alkaloid), and its metabolite cotinine, are detectable in gonadal tissues and fluids in association with smoking. Cotinine incorporates into ovarian granulosa-lutein cells, compromising the developmental potential of follicles. Benzo[a]pyrene is a carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon resulting from cigarette combustion. Its reactive metabolite binds covalently to DNA, forming adducts. Smoking-related adducts were detectable in ovarian granulosa-lutein cells, oocytes, spermatozoa and preimplantation embryos. Transmission of altered DNA from smoking by spermatozoa was demonstrated in preimplantation embryos and in association with increased risk of childhood cancer. PMID:10782570

  11. Embryo aggregation does not improve the development of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos in the horse.

    PubMed

    Gambini, Andrés; De Stéfano, Adrián; Jarazo, Javier; Buemo, Carla; Karlanian, Florencia; Salamone, Daniel Felipe

    2016-09-01

    The low efficiency of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) makes it necessary to investigate new strategies to improve embryonic developmental competence. Embryo aggregation has been successfully applied to improve cloning efficiency in mammals, but it remains unclear whether it could also be beneficial for iSCNT. In this study, we first compared the effect of embryo aggregation over in vitro development and blastocyst quality of porcine, bovine, and feline zona-free (ZF) parthenogenetic (PA) embryos to test the effects of embryo aggregation on species that were later used as enucleated oocytes donors in our iSCNT study. We then assessed whether embryo aggregation could improve the in vitro development of ZF equine iSCNT embryos after reconstruction with porcine, bovine, and feline ooplasm. Bovine- and porcine-aggregated PA blastocysts had significantly larger diameters compared with nonaggregated embryos. On the other hand, feline- and bovine-aggregated PA embryos had higher blastocyst cell number. Embryo aggregation of equine-equine SCNT was found to be beneficial for embryo development as we have previously reported, but the aggregation of three ZF reconstructed embryos did not improve embryo developmental rates on iSCNT. In vitro embryo development of nonaggregated iSCNT was predominantly arrested around the stage when transcriptional activation of the embryonic genome is reported to start on the embryo of the donor species. Nevertheless, independent of embryo aggregation, equine blastocyst-like structures could be obtained in our study using domestic feline-enucleated oocytes. Taken together, these results reported that embryo aggregation enhance in vitro PA embryo development and embryo quality but effects vary depending on the species. Embryo aggregation also improves, as expected, the in vitro embryo development of equine-equine SCNT embryos; however, we did not observe positive effects on equine iSCNT embryo development. Among oocytes

  12. Factors Affecting Quality of Emergency Service in Iran’s Military Hospitals: A Qualitative Study

    PubMed Central

    Zaboli, Rouhollah; Shokri, Mohamad; Javadi, Maryam Seyed; Teymourzadeh, Ehsan; Ameryoun, Ahmad

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Quality is a key factor for the success of any organization. Moreover, accessing quality in the emergency department is highly significant due to the sensitive and complex role of this department in hospitals as well as the healthcare and medical treatment system. This study aimed to identify, from the perspective of medical experts and nurses serving in the military health and medical treatment system, the factors that affect the quality of emergency service provided in selected military hospitals in Iran. Methods This qualitative research was performed in Valiaser Hospital of Tehran (Iran) in 2015, using the framework analysis method. The purposive sampling technique was used for data collection. A total of 14 participants included two emergency medicine specialists, four general physicians, two senior nurses (holding M.Sc. degrees), and six nurses (holding B.Sc. degree). Data were collected through semistructured interviews. Sampling continued until data saturation occurred. The Atlas/Ti software was employed for data analysis. Results Four basic themes emerged as the effective factors on the quality of emergency services, namely, structural themes, process/performance themes, outcome themes, and environmental/contextual themes. Moreover, through a framework analysis, 47 subthemes were specified and summarized as indicators of the different aspects of the main themes. Conclusion The factors affecting the quality of emergency services in Iran’s selected military hospitals are especially complicated due to the diversity of the missions involved; thus, different factors can influence this quality. Therefore, an effort should be made to tackle the existing obstacles, facilitate the identification of these effective factors, and promotion of the quality of healthcare services. PMID:27790355

  13. Factors affecting computed tomography image quality for assessment of mechanical aortic valves.

    PubMed

    Suh, Young Joo; Kim, Young Jin; Hong, Yoo Jin; Lee, Hye-Jeong; Hur, Jin; Hong, Sae Rom; Im, Dong Jin; Kim, Yun Jung; Choi, Byoung Wook

    2016-06-01

    Evaluating mechanical valves with computed tomography (CT) can be problematic because artifacts from the metallic components of valves can hamper image quality. The purpose of this study was to determine factors affecting the image quality of cardiac CT to improve assessment of mechanical aortic valves. A total of 144 patients who underwent aortic valve replacement with mechanical valves (ten different types) and who underwent cardiac CT were included. Using a four-point grading system, the image quality of the CT scans was assessed for visibility of the valve leaflets and the subvalvular regions. Data regarding the type of mechanical valve, tube voltage, average heart rate (HR), and HR variability during CT scanning were compared between the non-diagnostic (overall image quality score ≤2) and diagnostic (overall image quality score >2) image quality groups. Logistic regression analyses were performed to identify predictors of non-diagnostic image quality. The percentage of valve types that incorporated a cobalt-chrome component (two types in total) and HR variability were significantly higher in the non-diagnostic image group than in the diagnostic group (P < 0.001 and P = 0.013, respectively). The average HR and tube voltage were not significantly different between the two groups (P > 0.05). Valve type was the only independent predictor of non-diagnostic quality. The CT image quality for patients with mechanical aortic valves differed significantly depending on the type of mechanical valve used and on the degree of HR variability.

  14. Culture of bovine embryos in polyester mesh sections: the effect of pore size and oxygen tension on in vitro development.

    PubMed

    Somfai, T; Inaba, Y; Aikawa, Y; Ohtake, M; Kobayashi, S; Akai, T; Hattori, H; Konishi, K; Imai, K

    2010-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of polyester mesh culture for the in vitro production of bovine embryos, as polyester mesh is an alternative way for tracking individual embryos throughout culture using time-lapse cinematography (TLC). Bovine embryos were isolated during in vitro culture using sections of three different polyethylene terephthalate (PET) mesh products. In vitro matured and fertilized bovine oocytes were cultured in the 217 × 217, 230 × 230 or 238 × 238-μm openings of PET mesh sections or in simple micro-drops (control) for 7 days under either 20% or 5% O(2) tensions. No difference in embryo developmental rates was found between the culture groups in terms of cleavage, blastocyst formation and blastocyst expansion irrespective of O(2) tension. In contrast, under 20% O(2) tension, blastocysts that developed in PET mesh with 217 × 217-μm opening had significantly higher numbers of total and trophectoderm (TE) cells than control embryos; however, the numbers and proportions of inner cell mass (ICM) cells did not differ. Under 5% O(2) tension, no difference was found among the culture groups in the numbers of total, ICM and TE cells in embryos. All three PET mesh products investigated in this study were proven to be effective to prevent embryo movement. The results demonstrate that bovine embryos can be cultured in PET mesh sections without negative side-effects and suggest that embryo distance determined by the mesh affects embryo quality at atmospheric oxygen tension. Polyethylene terephthalate mesh with 217 × 217-μm openings was found to be the most suitable for further application in TLC. PMID:19845884

  15. Embryos, microscopes, and society.

    PubMed

    Maienschein, Jane

    2016-06-01

    Embryos have different meanings for different people and in different contexts. Seen under the microscope, the biological embryo starts out as one cell and then becomes a bunch of cells. Gradually these divide and differentiate to make up the embryo, which in humans becomes a fetus at eight weeks, and then eventually a baby. At least, that happens in those cases that carry through normally and successfully. Yet a popular public perception imagines the embryo as already a little person in the very earliest stages of development, as if it were predictably to become an adult. In actuality, cells can combine, pull apart, and recombine in a variety of ways and still produce embryos, whereas most embryos never develop into adults at all. Biological embryos and popular imaginations of embryos diverge. This paper looks at some of the historical reasons for and social implications of that divergence.

  16. The ART of studying early embryo development: progress and challenges in ruminant embryo culture.

    PubMed

    Lonergan, Pat; Fair, Trudee

    2014-01-01

    The study of preimplantation mammalian embryo development is challenging due to difficulties in accessing in vivo-derived embryos in large numbers at the early stages and the inability to culture embryos in vitro much beyond the blastocyst stage. Nonetheless, embryos exhibit an amazing plasticity and tolerance when it comes to adapting to the environment in which they are cultured. They are capable of developing in media ranging in composition from simple balanced salt solutions to complex systems involving serum and somatic cells. At least a proportion of the blastocysts that develop in culture are developmentally competent as evidenced by the fact that live offspring have resulted following transfer. However, several studies using animal models have shown that such embryos are sensitive to environmental conditions that can affect future pre- and post-natal growth and developmental potential. This review summarises some key aspects of early embryo development and the approaches taken to study this important window in early life.

  17. Sourcing human embryos for embryonic stem cell lines: Problems & perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Rajvi H.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to successfully derive human embryonic stem cells (hESC) lines from human embryos following in vitro fertilization (IVF) opened up a plethora of potential applications of this technique. These cell lines could have been successfully used to increase our understanding of human developmental biology, transplantation medicine and the emerging science of regenerative medicine. The main source for human embryos has been ‘discarded’ or ‘spare’ fresh or frozen human embryos following IVF. It is a common practice to stimulate the ovaries of women undergoing any of the assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and retrieve multiple oocytes which subsequently lead to multiple embryos. Of these, only two or maximum of three embryos are transferred while the rest are cryopreserved as per the decision of the couple. In case a couple does not desire to ‘cryopreserve’ their embryos then all the embryos remaining following embryo transfer can be considered ‘spare’ or if a couple is no longer in need of the ‘cryopreserved’ embryos then these also can be considered as ‘spare’. But, the question raised by the ethicists is, “what about ‘slightly’ over-stimulating a woman to get a few extra eggs and embryos? The decision becomes more difficult when it comes to ‘discarded’ embryos. As of today, the quality of the embryos is primarily assessed based on morphology and the rate of development mainly judged by single point assessment. Despite many criteria described in the literature, the quality assessment is purely subjective. The question that arises is on the decision of ‘discarding’ embryos. What would be the criteria for discarding embryos and the potential ‘use’ of ESC derived from the ‘abnormal appearing’ embryos? This paper discusses some of the newer methods to procure embryos for the derivation of embryonic stem cell lines which will respect the ethical concerns but still provide the source material. PMID:25673530

  18. Evaluation of variations and affecting factors of eco-environmental quality during urbanization.

    PubMed

    Cui, Erqian; Ren, Lijun; Sun, Haoyu

    2015-03-01

    Regional eco-environmental quality is the foundation of economic sustainable development and rational utilization of resources. It is necessary to understand and evaluate the regional eco-environmental quality correctly. Based on national remote sensing land use data, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data and some other statistical data, this paper established an eco-environmental quality index (EQI) model to evaluate the ecological status of Jinan from 2000 to 2011. The results of eco-environmental quality showed little variation, with EQI values ranged from 62.00 to 69.01. EQI of each region in Jinan firstly decreased sharply and then increased slowly with the development of local economy. Besides the spatial and temporal variations analysis, affecting factors of eco-environmental quality was also discussed in this article. According to the results of correlation and regression analysis, meteorological conditions (rainfall and sunshine duration) and industrial structure (the proportion of primary industry) had relatively high correlations with eco-environmental quality. To summarize, a better eco-environmental status is associated with increasing rainfall, shorter sunshine duration, and lower proportion of primary industry. This article aims to giving supporting data and decision-making bases to restore the ecological environment and promote the sustainable development of Jinan.

  19. [Readers' beliefs about text comprehension affect the quality of their summaries of a scientific article].

    PubMed

    Wada, Yuri; Ueda, Kazuhiro

    2013-04-01

    Readers' beliefs about text comprehension affect how they read texts. A previous study showed two types of readers' beliefs; one is a "transmission belief' which emphasizes the importance of understanding an author's intended meaning, while the other is a "transaction belief' which emphasizes the importance of reader-generated meaning. We expect that these beliefs also affect summarization, where readers need to effectively elicit important information from the text and reconstruct it. The present study examined how readers' beliefs were related to the quality of summaries they made for a scientific article. We used the followings as indicators of the quality of the summaries: how information from a scientific article was elicited and reconstructed, and to what extent the summaries were comprehensible. The results suggest that the stronger the transmission belief of a reader was, the less effectively the reader elicited and reconstructed information and the less comprehensible the summary was. Although it cannot reveal the relationships between the transaction belief and the quality of summaries, the present study suggests that readers' beliefs about text comprehension affect summarization.

  20. Effects of Fluoxetine on Human Embryo Development.

    PubMed

    Kaihola, Helena; Yaldir, Fatma G; Hreinsson, Julius; Hörnaeus, Katarina; Bergquist, Jonas; Olivier, Jocelien D A; Åkerud, Helena; Sundström-Poromaa, Inger

    2016-01-01

    The use of antidepressant treatment during pregnancy is increasing, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed antidepressants in pregnant women. Serotonin plays a role in embryogenesis, and serotonin transporters are expressed in two-cell mouse embryos. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate whether fluoxetine, one of the most prescribed SSRI antidepressant world-wide, exposure influences the timing of different embryo developmental stages, and furthermore, to analyze what protein, and protein networks, are affected by fluoxetine in the early embryo development. Human embryos (n = 48) were randomly assigned to treatment with 0.25 or 0.5 μM fluoxetine in culture medium. Embryo development was evaluated by time-lapse monitoring. The fluoxetine-induced human embryo proteome was analyzed by shotgun mass spectrometry. Protein secretion from fluoxetine-exposed human embryos was analyzed by use of high-multiplex immunoassay. The lower dose of fluoxetine had no influence on embryo development. A trend toward reduced time between thawing and start of cavitation was noted in embryos treated with 0.5 μM fluoxetine (p = 0.065). Protein analysis by shotgun mass spectrometry detected 45 proteins that were uniquely expressed in fluoxetine-treated embryos. These proteins are involved in cell growth, survival, proliferation, and inflammatory response. Culturing with 0.5 μM, but not 0.25 μM fluoxetine, caused a significant increase in urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) in the culture medium. In conclusion, fluoxetine has marginal effects on the timing of developmental stages in embryos, but induces expression and secretion of several proteins in a manner that depends on dose. For these reasons, and in line with current guidelines, the lowest possible dose of SSRI should be used in pregnant women who need to continue treatment. PMID:27378857

  1. Effects of Fluoxetine on Human Embryo Development

    PubMed Central

    Kaihola, Helena; Yaldir, Fatma G.; Hreinsson, Julius; Hörnaeus, Katarina; Bergquist, Jonas; Olivier, Jocelien D. A.; Åkerud, Helena; Sundström-Poromaa, Inger

    2016-01-01

    The use of antidepressant treatment during pregnancy is increasing, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed antidepressants in pregnant women. Serotonin plays a role in embryogenesis, and serotonin transporters are expressed in two-cell mouse embryos. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate whether fluoxetine, one of the most prescribed SSRI antidepressant world-wide, exposure influences the timing of different embryo developmental stages, and furthermore, to analyze what protein, and protein networks, are affected by fluoxetine in the early embryo development. Human embryos (n = 48) were randomly assigned to treatment with 0.25 or 0.5 μM fluoxetine in culture medium. Embryo development was evaluated by time-lapse monitoring. The fluoxetine-induced human embryo proteome was analyzed by shotgun mass spectrometry. Protein secretion from fluoxetine-exposed human embryos was analyzed by use of high-multiplex immunoassay. The lower dose of fluoxetine had no influence on embryo development. A trend toward reduced time between thawing and start of cavitation was noted in embryos treated with 0.5 μM fluoxetine (p = 0.065). Protein analysis by shotgun mass spectrometry detected 45 proteins that were uniquely expressed in fluoxetine-treated embryos. These proteins are involved in cell growth, survival, proliferation, and inflammatory response. Culturing with 0.5 μM, but not 0.25 μM fluoxetine, caused a significant increase in urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) in the culture medium. In conclusion, fluoxetine has marginal effects on the timing of developmental stages in embryos, but induces expression and secretion of several proteins in a manner that depends on dose. For these reasons, and in line with current guidelines, the lowest possible dose of SSRI should be used in pregnant women who need to continue treatment. PMID:27378857

  2. Effects of Fluoxetine on Human Embryo Development.

    PubMed

    Kaihola, Helena; Yaldir, Fatma G; Hreinsson, Julius; Hörnaeus, Katarina; Bergquist, Jonas; Olivier, Jocelien D A; Åkerud, Helena; Sundström-Poromaa, Inger

    2016-01-01

    The use of antidepressant treatment during pregnancy is increasing, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed antidepressants in pregnant women. Serotonin plays a role in embryogenesis, and serotonin transporters are expressed in two-cell mouse embryos. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate whether fluoxetine, one of the most prescribed SSRI antidepressant world-wide, exposure influences the timing of different embryo developmental stages, and furthermore, to analyze what protein, and protein networks, are affected by fluoxetine in the early embryo development. Human embryos (n = 48) were randomly assigned to treatment with 0.25 or 0.5 μM fluoxetine in culture medium. Embryo development was evaluated by time-lapse monitoring. The fluoxetine-induced human embryo proteome was analyzed by shotgun mass spectrometry. Protein secretion from fluoxetine-exposed human embryos was analyzed by use of high-multiplex immunoassay. The lower dose of fluoxetine had no influence on embryo development. A trend toward reduced time between thawing and start of cavitation was noted in embryos treated with 0.5 μM fluoxetine (p = 0.065). Protein analysis by shotgun mass spectrometry detected 45 proteins that were uniquely expressed in fluoxetine-treated embryos. These proteins are involved in cell growth, survival, proliferation, and inflammatory response. Culturing with 0.5 μM, but not 0.25 μM fluoxetine, caused a significant increase in urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) in the culture medium. In conclusion, fluoxetine has marginal effects on the timing of developmental stages in embryos, but induces expression and secretion of several proteins in a manner that depends on dose. For these reasons, and in line with current guidelines, the lowest possible dose of SSRI should be used in pregnant women who need to continue treatment.

  3. Quality of shrimp analogue product as affected by addition of modified potato starch.

    PubMed

    Remya, S; Basu, S; Venkateshwarlu, G; Mohan, C O

    2015-07-01

    The present study was aimed to investigate the effects of addition of modified potato starch on the biochemical and textural properties of shrimp analogue/imitation shrimp, a popular value-added product prepared from surimi. Three batches of shrimp analogues were prepared with 0 % (NPS), 50 % (CPS) and 100 % (MPS) of modified starch incorporation and various quality attributes were monitored at regular intervals during frozen storage (-20 °C). Loss of myofibrillar protein was least for the shrimp analogue sample added with 100 % modified potato starch. The expressible moisture content of MPS (2.48 %) was less affected by long term storage compared to CPS (3.38 %) and NPS (3.99 %). During extended low temperature storage, the textural quality of sea food analogue was highly influenced by the type of starch added to it. The percentage of modified potato starch added to shrimp analogue significantly (p ≤ 0.05) affected its hardness and fracturability. MPS samples did not show significant changes in hardness during storage as compared to other two samples. Springiness of shrimp analogue increased 2.57, 1.5 and 1.77 times with the storage period for samples with NPS, CPS and MPS, respectively. Addition of modified potato starch improved the sensory quality and textural properties of shrimp analogue and reduced the quality degradation during frozen storage as compared to NPS which contained only native potato starch.

  4. Neural network classification of sweet potato embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molto, Enrique; Harrell, Roy C.

    1993-05-01

    Somatic embryogenesis is a process that allows for the in vitro propagation of thousands of plants in sub-liter size vessels and has been successfully applied to many significant species. The heterogeneity of maturity and quality of embryos produced with this technique requires sorting to obtain a uniform product. An automated harvester is being developed at the University of Florida to sort embryos in vitro at different stages of maturation in a suspension culture. The system utilizes machine vision to characterize embryo morphology and a fluidic based separation device to isolate embryos associated with a pre-defined, targeted morphology. Two different backpropagation neural networks (BNN) were used to classify embryos based on information extracted from the vision system. One network utilized geometric features such as embryo area, length, and symmetry as inputs. The alternative network utilized polar coordinates of an embryo's perimeter with respect to its centroid as inputs. The performances of both techniques were compared with each other and with an embryo classification method based on linear discriminant analysis (LDA). Similar results were obtained with all three techniques. Classification efficiency was improved by reducing the dimension of the feature vector trough a forward stepwise analysis by LDA. In order to enhance the purity of the sample selected as harvestable, a reject to classify option was introduced in the model and analyzed. The best classifier performances (76% overall correct classifications, 75% harvestable objects properly classified, homogeneity improvement ratio 1.5) were obtained using 8 features in a BNN.

  5. Bovine viral diarrhea virus in embryo and semen production systems.

    PubMed

    Givens, M Daniel; Waldrop, Julie G

    2004-03-01

    Although BVDV-free offspring have been produced from persistently infected bulls and heifers via advanced reproductive techniques, embryos and semen can potentially transmit the virus. Due to this potential for transmission, appropriate testing is necessary to ensure freedom of semen and embryos from BVDV. In the future, less constraining quality control measures may ensure freedom of embryos and semen from BVDV. These quality control measures require additional research to be validated. PMID:15062472

  6. Culture systems: embryo density.

    PubMed

    Reed, Michael L

    2012-01-01

    Embryo density is defined as the embryo-to-volume ratio achieved during in vitro culture; in other words, it is the number of embryos in a defined volume of culture medium. The same density can be achieved by manipulating either the number of embryos in a given volume of medium, or manipulating the volume of the medium for a given number of embryos: for example, a microdrop with five embryos in a 50 μl volume under oil has the same embryo-to-volume ratio (1:10 μl) as a microdrop with one embryo in a 10 μl volume under oil (1:10 μl). Increased embryo density can improve mammalian embryo development in vitro; however, the mechanism(s) responsible for this effect may be different with respect to which method is used to increase embryo density.Standard, flat sterile plastic petri dishes are the most common, traditional platform for embryo culture. Microdrops under a mineral oil overlay can be prepared to control embryo density, but it is critical that dish preparation is consistent, where appropriate techniques are applied to prevent microdrop dehydration during preparation, and results of any data collection are reliable, and repeatable. There are newer dishes available from several manufacturers that are specifically designed for embryo culture; most are readily available for use with human embryos. The concept behind these newer dishes relies on fabrication of conical and smaller volume wells into the dish design, so that embryos rest at the lowest point in the wells, and where putative embryotrophic factors may concentrate.Embryo density is not usually considered by the embryologist as a technique in and of itself; rather, the decision to culture embryos in groups or individually is protocol-driven, and is based more on convenience or the need to collect data on individual embryos. Embryo density can be controlled, and as such, it can be utilized as a simple, yet effective tool to improve in vitro development of human embryos. PMID:22829380

  7. Assessment of processes affecting low-flow water quality of Cedar Creek, west-central Illinois

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Arthur R.; Freeman, W.O.; McFarlane, R.D.

    1989-01-01

    Water quality and the processes that affect dissolved oxygen, nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus species), and algal concentrations were evaluated for a 23.8-mile reach of Cedar Creek near Galesburg, west-central Illinois, during periods of warm-weather, low-flow conditions. Water quality samples were collected and stream conditions were measured over a diel (24 hour) period on three occasions during July and August 1985. Analysis of data from the diel-sampling periods indicates that concentrations of iron, copper, manganese, phenols, and total dissolved-solids exceeded Illinois ' general-use water quality standards in some locations. Dissolved-oxygen concentrations were less than the State minimum standard throughout much of the study reach. These data were used to calibrate and verify a one-dimensional, steady-state, water quality model. The computer model was used to assess the relative effects on low-flow water quality of processes such as algal photosynthesis and respiration, ammonia oxidation, biochemical oxygen demand, sediment oxygen demand, and stream reaeration. Results from model simulations and sensitivity analysis indicate that sediment oxygen demand is the principal cause of low dissolved-oxygen concentrations in the creek. (USGS)

  8. Single-embryo transfer versus multiple-embryo transfer.

    PubMed

    Gerris, Jan

    2009-01-01

    Despite the progress made in assisted reproductive technology, live birth rates remain disappointingly low. Multiple-embryo transfer has been an accepted practice with which to increase the success rate. This has led to a higher incidence of multiple-order births compared with natural conception, which not only increase the risk of mortality and morbidity to both mother and children but are also associated with social and economic consequences. Elective single-embryo transfer (eSET) was developed in an effort to increase singleton pregnancies in assisted reproduction. Studies comparing eSET with multiple-embryo transfer highlight the benefit of this approach and suggest that, with careful patient selection and the transfer of good-quality embryos, the risk of a multiple-order pregnancy can be reduced without significantly decreasing live birth rates. Although the use of eSET has gradually increased in clinical practice, its acceptance has been limited by factors such as availability of funding and awareness of the procedure. An open discussion of eSET is warranted in an effort to enable a broader understanding by physicians and patients of the merits of this approach. Ultimately, eSET may provide a more cost-effective, potentially safer approach to patients undergoing assisted reproduction technology. PMID:19406034

  9. Single-embryo transfer versus multiple-embryo transfer.

    PubMed

    Gerris, Jan

    2009-01-01

    Despite the progress made in assisted reproductive technology, live birth rates remain disappointingly low. Multiple-embryo transfer has been an accepted practice with which to increase the success rate. This has led to a higher incidence of multiple-order births compared with natural conception, which not only increase the risk of mortality and morbidity to both mother and children but are also associated with social and economic consequences. Elective single-embryo transfer (eSET) was developed in an effort to increase singleton pregnancies in assisted reproduction. Studies comparing eSET with multiple-embryo transfer highlight the benefit of this approach and suggest that, with careful patient selection and the transfer of good-quality embryos, the risk of a multiple-order pregnancy can be reduced without significantly decreasing live birth rates. Although the use of eSET has gradually increased in clinical practice, its acceptance has been limited by factors such as availability of funding and awareness of the procedure. An open discussion of eSET is warranted in an effort to enable a broader understanding by physicians and patients of the merits of this approach. Ultimately, eSET may provide a more cost-effective, potentially safer approach to patients undergoing assisted reproduction technology.

  10. Pollination and embryo development in Brassica rapa L. in microgravity.

    PubMed

    Kuang, A; Popova, A; Xiao, Y; Musgrave, M E

    2000-03-01

    Plant reproduction under spaceflight conditions has been problematic in the past. In order to determine what aspect of reproductive development is affected by microgravity, we studied pollination and embryo development in Brassica rapa L. during 16 d in microgravity on the space shuttle (STS-87). Brassica is self-incompatible and requires mechanical transfer of pollen. Short-duration access to microgravity during parabolic flights on the KC-135A aircraft was used initially to confirm that equal numbers of pollen grains could be collected and transferred in the absence of gravity. Brassica was grown in the Plant Growth Facility flight hardware as follows. Three chambers each contained six plants that were 13 d old at launch. As these plants flowered, thin colored tape was used to indicate the date of hand pollination, resulting in silique populations aged 8-15 d postpollination at the end of the 16-d mission. The remaining three chambers contained dry seeds that germinated on orbit to produce 14-d-old plants just beginning to flower at the time of landing. Pollen produced by these plants had comparable viability (93%) with that produced in the 2-d-delayed ground control. Matched-age siliques yielded embryos of equivalent developmental stage in the spaceflight and ground control treatments. Carbohydrate and protein storage reserves in the embryos, assessed by cytochemical localization, were also comparable. In the spaceflight material, growth and development by embryos rescued from siliques 15 d after pollination lagged behind the ground controls by 12 d; however, in the subsequent generation, no differences between the two treatments were found. The results demonstrate that while no stage of reproductive development in Brassica is absolutely dependent upon gravity, lower embryo quality may result following development in microgravity.

  11. Pollination and embryo development in Brassica rapa L. in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuang, A.; Popova, A.; Xiao, Y.; Musgrave, M. E.

    2000-01-01

    Plant reproduction under spaceflight conditions has been problematic in the past. In order to determine what aspect of reproductive development is affected by microgravity, we studied pollination and embryo development in Brassica rapa L. during 16 d in microgravity on the space shuttle (STS-87). Brassica is self-incompatible and requires mechanical transfer of pollen. Short-duration access to microgravity during parabolic flights on the KC-135A aircraft was used initially to confirm that equal numbers of pollen grains could be collected and transferred in the absence of gravity. Brassica was grown in the Plant Growth Facility flight hardware as follows. Three chambers each contained six plants that were 13 d old at launch. As these plants flowered, thin colored tape was used to indicate the date of hand pollination, resulting in silique populations aged 8-15 d postpollination at the end of the 16-d mission. The remaining three chambers contained dry seeds that germinated on orbit to produce 14-d-old plants just beginning to flower at the time of landing. Pollen produced by these plants had comparable viability (93%) with that produced in the 2-d-delayed ground control. Matched-age siliques yielded embryos of equivalent developmental stage in the spaceflight and ground control treatments. Carbohydrate and protein storage reserves in the embryos, assessed by cytochemical localization, were also comparable. In the spaceflight material, growth and development by embryos rescued from siliques 15 d after pollination lagged behind the ground controls by 12 d; however, in the subsequent generation, no differences between the two treatments were found. The results demonstrate that while no stage of reproductive development in Brassica is absolutely dependent upon gravity, lower embryo quality may result following development in microgravity.

  12. Seasonal variations in maternal provisioning of Crepidula fornicata (Gastropoda): fatty acid composition of females, embryos and larvae.

    PubMed

    Leroy, Fanny; Meziane, Tarik; Riera, Pascal; Comtet, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    Recruitment success of marine invertebrate populations not only depends on the number of recruits but also on their quality which affects their survival. In species characterized by a mixed development (encapsulated embryonic development and release of planktotrophic larvae), the offspring quality depends on both maternal provisioning and larval feeding. Here, we investigated potential changes of maternal provisioning over the whole reproductive period in a gastropod with a mixed development: Crepidula fornicata. In its introduction area, C. fornicata reproduces from February to October, which implies that both adults and larvae are exposed to different food availabilities. Maternal provisioning was assessed by measuring the fatty acid (FA) composition of females, encapsulated embryos and larvae, in February, May, July and September 2009. FA are essential resources for the development of embryos and larvae, and are key biomarkers of offspring quality. Our results showed differences in FA composition between muscles, visceral masses, and encapsulated embryos. In particular, FA composition of embryos was similar to that of the visceral mass. Seasonal variations in FA composition were observed: in the middle of the reproductive season (May and July), female tissues and embryos showed a higher proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids and especially ω3, as compared to the beginning and end of the reproductive season (February and September). This showed that through maternal provisioning the quality of C. fornicata offspring was higher in the middle of the reproductive season. Whether this would result in an increase of recruitment success and juvenile performance would require further investigations.

  13. Seasonal Variations in Maternal Provisioning of Crepidula fornicata (Gastropoda): Fatty Acid Composition of Females, Embryos and Larvae

    PubMed Central

    Leroy, Fanny; Meziane, Tarik; Riera, Pascal; Comtet, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    Recruitment success of marine invertebrate populations not only depends on the number of recruits but also on their quality which affects their survival. In species characterized by a mixed development (encapsulated embryonic development and release of planktotrophic larvae), the offspring quality depends on both maternal provisioning and larval feeding. Here, we investigated potential changes of maternal provisioning over the whole reproductive period in a gastropod with a mixed development: Crepidulafornicata. In its introduction area, C. fornicata reproduces from February to October, which implies that both adults and larvae are exposed to different food availabilities. Maternal provisioning was assessed by measuring the fatty acid (FA) composition of females, encapsulated embryos and larvae, in February, May, July and September 2009. FA are essential resources for the development of embryos and larvae, and are key biomarkers of offspring quality. Our results showed differences in FA composition between muscles, visceral masses, and encapsulated embryos. In particular, FA composition of embryos was similar to that of the visceral mass. Seasonal variations in FA composition were observed: in the middle of the reproductive season (May and July), female tissues and embryos showed a higher proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids and especially ω3, as compared to the beginning and end of the reproductive season (February and September). This showed that through maternal provisioning the quality of C. fornicata offspring was higher in the middle of the reproductive season. Whether this would result in an increase of recruitment success and juvenile performance would require further investigations. PMID:24086505

  14. Effects of incubational humidity and hen age on embryo composition in broiler hatching eggs from young breeders.

    PubMed

    Peebles, E D; Burnham, M R; Gardner, C W; Brake, J; Bruzual, J J; Gerard, P D

    2001-09-01

    There is a paucity of information regarding the influence of incubational humidity on the characteristics of broiler embryos from young hens that often produce chicks of marginal quality. Therefore, the effects of broiler breeder age (26, 28, and 30 wk) in young broiler breeders and incubator humidity (43, 53, and 63% RH) on embryonic growth between 16 and 21 d of incubation, hatching chick weight, and embryo and chick body compositions were evaluated. Hatching broiler chick BW at 21 d was lower for 26-wk-old breeders compared to those at 28 and 30 wk, and the lowest RH decreased relative wet embryo weight. Embryonic growth, on wet and DM bases, was increased in eggs from the youngest hens. Embryo moisture content (EM) was lower at 16, 17, and 19 d of incubation in eggs from breeders at 26 wk when compared to those at 28 wk of age. The effects of RH on embryo crude protein and fat composition were not consistent and varied with breeder age and length of incubation. It was demonstrated that broiler breeder age affects embryogenesis and hatching chick BW. Furthermore, EM was influenced by breeder age, and changes in incubational RH between 43 and 63% affected embryogenesis without having associated effects on EM or consistent effects on embryo crude fat and protein content. Nevertheless, a depression in embryogenesis with a reduction in incubational RH to 43% may accentuate poor posthatch performance of chicks from young breeders.

  15. BPA exposure during in vitro oocyte maturation results in dose-dependent alterations to embryo development rates, apoptosis rate, sex ratio and gene expression.

    PubMed

    Ferris, Jacqueline; Mahboubi, Kiana; MacLusky, Neil; King, W Allan; Favetta, Laura A

    2016-01-01

    Alterations in the oocyte's environment can negatively affect embryo development. Oocyte quality, which can determine embryonic viability, is easily perturbed, thus factors affecting normal oocyte maturation are a concern. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical that elicits a variety of reproductive effects. BPA has previously been found to disrupt meiosis, however the embryonic effects in mammals are not well documented. Here, bovine oocytes were matured in vitro with and without BPA treatment. Resulting embryos exhibited decreased embryonic development rates, increased apoptosis, and a skewed sex ratio. Gene expression in blastocysts was not altered, whereas treatment with 15ng/mL BPA resulted in increased expression of several of the genes studies, however this increase was largely due to a vehicle effect. BPA exposure during oocyte maturation in vitro can therefore, in a dose-dependent way, decrease oocyte and embryo quality and developmental potential and affect gene expression of developmentally important transcripts.

  16. Factors affecting the quality of sound recording for speech and voice analysis.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Adam P; Morgan, Angela T

    2009-01-01

    The importance and utility of objective evidence-based measurement of the voice is well documented. Therefore, greater consideration needs to be given to the factors that influence the quality of voice and speech recordings. This manuscript aims to bring together the many features that affect acoustically acquired voice and speech. Specifically, the paper considers the practical requirements of individual speech acquisition configurations through examining issues relating to hardware, software and microphone selection, the impact of environmental noise, analogue to digital conversion and file format as well as the acoustic measures resulting from varying levels of signal integrity. The type of recording environment required by a user is often dictated by a variety of clinical and experimental needs, including: the acoustic measures being investigated; portability of equipment; an individual's budget; and the expertise of the user. As the quality of recorded signals is influenced by many factors, awareness of these issues is essential. This paper aims to highlight the importance of these methodological considerations to those previously uninitiated with voice and speech acoustics. With current technology, the highest quality recording would be made using a stand-alone hard disc recorder, an independent mixer to attenuate the incoming signal, and insulated wiring combined with a high quality microphone in an anechoic chamber or sound treated room.

  17. Genetic and management factors affecting beef quality in grazing Hereford steers.

    PubMed

    Melucci, L M; Panarace, M; Feula, P; Villarreal, E L; Grigioni, G; Carduza, F; Soria, L A; Mezzadra, C A; Arceo, M E; Papaleo Mazzucco, J; Corva, P M; Irurueta, M; Rogberg-Muñoz, A; Miquel, M C

    2012-12-01

    Attributes contributing to differences in beef quality of 206 Hereford steers finished on pasture were assessed. Beef quality traits evaluated were: Warner-Bratzler meat tenderness and muscle and fat color at one and seven days after slaughter and trained sensory panel traits (tenderness, juiciness, flavor, and marbling) at seven days. Molecular markers were CAPN1 316 and an SNP in exon 2 on the leptin gene (E2FB). Average daily live weight gain, ultrasound monthly backfat thickness gain and rib-eye area gain were estimated. Molecular markers effects on meat quality traits were analyzed by mixed models. Association of meat quality with post weaning growth traits was analyzed by canonical correlations. Muscle color and marbling were affected by CAPN1 316 and E2FB and Warner-Bratzler meat tenderness by the former. The results confirm that marker assisted selection for tenderness is advisable only when beef aging is a common practice. The most important sources of variation in tenderness and color of meat remained unaccounted for. PMID:22818350

  18. Factors Affecting the Quality of Life and the Illness Acceptance of Pregnant Women with Diabetes.

    PubMed

    Bień, Agnieszka; Rzońca, Ewa; Kańczugowska, Angelika; Iwanowicz-Palus, Grażyna

    2015-12-22

    The paper contains an analysis of the factors affecting the quality of life (QoL) and the illness acceptance of diabetic pregnant women. The study was performed between January and April, 2013. It included 114 pregnant women with diabetes, hospitalized in the High Risk Pregnancy Wards of several hospitals in Lublin, Poland. The study used a diagnostic survey with questionnaires. The research instruments used were: The WHOQOL-Bref questionnaire and the Acceptance of Illness Scale (AIS). The women's general quality of life was slightly higher than their perceived general health. A higher quality of life was reported by women with a very good financial standing, very good perceived health, moderate self-reported knowledge of diabetes, and also by those only treated with diet and stating that the illness did not interfere with their lives (p < 0.05). Women with a very good financial standing (p < 0.009), high self-reported health (p < 0.002), and those treated with by means of a diet (p < 0.04) had a higher acceptance of illness. A higher acceptance of illness contributes to a higher general quality of life and a better perception of one's health.

  19. Lead level in seminal plasma may affect semen quality for men without occupational exposure to lead

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Infertility affects approximately 10–15% of reproductive-age couples. Poor semen quality contributes to about 25% of infertile cases. Resulting from the direct effect on testicular function or hormonal alterations, heavy metals exposure has been related to impaired semen quality. The objective of this study was to assess the level of lead in the seminal plasma in men without occupational exposure to lead, and to determine the relationship between semen quality and lead concentration in the semen. Methods This is a prospective and nonrandomized clinical study conducted in University infertility clinic and academic research laboratory. Three hundred and forty-one male partners of infertile couples undergoing infertility evaluation and management were recruited to the study. Semen samples collected for the analyses of semen quality were also used for the measurement of lead concentrations. Semen samples were evaluated according to the WHO standards. Results All subjects were married and from infertile couples without occupational exposure to lead. There is a significant inverse correlation between the lead concentration in seminal plasma and sperm count. A higher semen lead concentration was correlated with lower sperm count, but not with semen volume, sperm motility or sperm morphology as assessed by simple linear regression. Conclusions We found that semen lead concentration was significantly higher among the patients with lower sperm count. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that a high level of lead accumulation in semen may reduce the sperm count contributing to infertility of men without occupational exposure to lead. PMID:23137356

  20. Quality and safety aspects of meat products as affected by various physical manipulations of packaging materials.

    PubMed

    Lee, Keun Taik

    2010-09-01

    This article explores the effects of physically manipulated packaging materials on the quality and safety of meat products. Recently, innovative measures for improving quality and extending the shelf-life of packaged meat products have been developed, utilizing technologies including barrier film, active packaging, nanotechnology, microperforation, irradiation, plasma and far-infrared ray (FIR) treatments. Despite these developments, each technology has peculiar drawbacks which will need to be addressed by meat scientists in the future. To develop successful meat packaging systems, key product characteristics affecting stability, environmental conditions during storage until consumption, and consumers' packaging expectations must all be taken into consideration. Furthermore, the safety issues related to packaging materials must also be taken into account when processing, packaging and storing meat products.

  1. Quality of life domains affected in children with developmental coordination disorder: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Zwicker, J G; Harris, S R; Klassen, A F

    2013-07-01

    The quality of life (QOL) of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is largely unknown, but evidence suggests that multiple QOL domains are affected by the disorder. While DCD is primarily considered a motor disorder, multiple studies have reported psychological and social concerns in children with this condition. Our primary aim was to present the current state of the evidence regarding the physical, psychological, and social QOL domains that can be affected in children with DCD. Systematic review of articles from seven databases through November 2010 (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ERIC, CDSR, DARE) was conducted. Search terms included developmental coordination disorder, dyspraxia, quality of life, life satisfaction, well-being, activities of daily living, and participation. Two independent reviewers screened titles, abstracts, and full-text articles. Studies meeting the following criteria were selected: (1) sample comprised solely of individuals with coordination difficulties consistent with DCD; (2) outcome measures related to physical, psychological, or socials domains of QOL; and (3) articles published in English. Data were extracted by one author and verified by a second. Outcomes were categorized according to physical, psychological and social domains of QOL and study quality was rated by case definitions of DCD based on diagnostic criteria as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - 4th edition. Forty-one articles were included. Most studies reported significantly poorer results in physical, psychological and social functioning in children with DCD compared with peers. Despite the impact of DCD on multiple domains, only one study used a QOL measure as an outcome. Although DCD impacts several QOL domains, the QOL of children with this disorder remains largely unknown. The next critical step is for clinicians and researchers to use QOL measures to gather information on how DCD may affect the QOL of children with this disorder.

  2. Neuropathic pain in neuromyelitis optica affects activities of daily living and quality of life.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Sizheng; Mutch, Kerry; Elsone, Liene; Nurmikko, Turo; Jacob, Anu

    2014-10-01

    Though pain in neuromyelitis optica (NMO) has been described in two recent reports, the proportion with true neuropathic pain (NP), its features, impact on activities of daily living (ADL) and quality of life has not been well characterised. A cross-sectional study of 50 NMO patients with transverse myelitis was performed using Douleur Neuropathique 4, Brief Pain Inventory, Extended Disability Status Scale and Short Form 36. NP was identified in 62% of patients. Pain was constant in 68% affecting most ADL. Pain was associated with significant reduction of the SF36 Mental Composite Score. The high prevalence of NP and associated disability necessitates an in-depth enquiry in patients with NMO.

  3. Oocyte aging-induced Neuronatin (NNAT) hypermethylation affects oocyte quality by impairing glucose transport in porcine

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Ying-Ying; Chen, Li; Wang, Tao; Nie, Zheng-Wen; Zhang, Xia; Miao, Yi-Liang

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation plays important roles in regulating many physiological behaviors; however, few studies were focused on the changes of DNA methylation during oocyte aging. Early studies showed that some imprinted genes’ DNA methylation had been changed in aged mouse oocytes. In this study, we used porcine oocytes to test the hypothesis that oocyte aging would alter DNA methylation pattern of genes and disturb their expression in age oocytes, which affected the developmental potential of oocytes. We compared several different types of genes and found that the expression and DNA methylation of Neuronatin (NNAT) were disturbed in aged oocytes significantly. Additional experiments demonstrated that glucose transport was impaired in aged oocytes and injection of NNAT antibody into fresh oocytes led to the same effects on glucose transport. These results suggest that the expression of NNAT was declined by elevating DNA methylation, which affected oocyte quality by decreasing the ability of glucose transport in aged oocytes. PMID:27782163

  4. Effects of sperm pretreatment and embryo activation methods on the development of bovine embryos produced by intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jai-Wei; Chang, Hsun-Chung; Wu, Hung-Yi; Liu, Shyh-Shyan; Wang, Chih-Hua; Chu, Chun-Yen; Shen, Perng-Chih

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the study was to examine the effects of different embryo activation methods and sperm pretreatments on the activation and development of bovine embryos produced by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Four activation agents, i.e., calcium ionophore (A23187), ionomycin (Ion), electric pulse (EP) and ethanol (Eth) were used in various combinations to activate bovine ICSI embryos. The normal fertilization rate was similar in bovine ICSI embryos activated by A23187+Eth, Ion+Eth, Ion+EP+Eth, and 2-Ion (Ion administered two times)+Eth. Increasing the frequency of ionomycin stimulation from two (2-Ion+Eth) to three times (3-Ion+Eth) significantly (p<0.05) increased the cell number per embryo at the blastocyst stage. In addition, spermatozoa were pretreated with dithiothreitol (DTT), glutathione (GSH) or GSH+lysolecithin (LL) and used for producing bovine ICSI embryos. The blastocyst rate of bovine ICSI embryos produced from sperm pretreated with GSH was significantly (p<0.05) higher than those of embryos produced from sperm pretreated with DTT and GSH+LL. In conclusion, the embryo activation methods and sperm pretreatments examined in the present study did not affect the normal fertilization rate of bovine ICSI embryos. However, activation with 3-Ion+Eth and sperm pretreatment with GSH increased the cell number per embryo at blastocyst stage and the blastocyst rate, respectively, in bovine ICSI embryos.

  5. Embryo survival from gossypol-fed heifers after transfer to lactating cows treated with human chorionic gonadotropin.

    PubMed

    Galvão, K N; Santos, J E P; Coscioni, A C; Juchem, S O; Chebel, R C; Sischo, W M; Villaseñor, M

    2006-06-01

    Objectives were to determine the effects of gossypol exposure during early embryo development on embryonic survival after transfer of frozen and thawed embryos to lactating dairy cows treated with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Holstein cows (n = 269) were either treated or not treated with 3,300 IU of hCG on d 5 of the estrous cycle and received an embryo collected from heifers fed or not fed gossypol. Embryo donor heifers consumed either 0 or 12 g/d of free gossypol for 76 d prior to embryo collection, resulting in mean plasma gossypol concentrations of 0 and 7.38 microg/mL, respectively. Embryos were transferred on d 7 of the estrous cycle and pregnancy diagnosed 21 and 35 d later. Progesterone was analyzed in plasma collected on d 5 and 12 of the estrous cycle. Treatment with hCG increased the total luteal area on d 12 (818.0 vs. 461.1 mm2) because of increased number of corpora lutea (2.0 vs. 1.0) and increased area of the original corpora lutea (522.7 vs. 443.5 mm2). Plasma progesterone concentrations were similar between treatments on d 5, but increased by d 12 in hCG-treated cows (6.46 vs. 4.78 ng/ mL). Pregnancy rates on d 28 and 42 were not affected by hCG. However, after transfer into lactating cows, embryos collected from heifers not fed gossypol resulted in higher pregnancy rates at 28 d (33.3 vs. 23.1%) and 42 d (29.6 vs. 20.2%) of gestation compared with embryos collected from heifers fed gossypol. Our data suggest that the negative effects of gossypol on fertility are mediated by changes in embryo viability in spite of similar grade quality at transfer. PMID:16702269

  6. Ecological soil quality affected by land use and management on semi-arid Crete

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Leeuwen, J. P.; Moraetis, D.; Lair, G. J.; Bloem, J.; Nikolaidis, N. P.; Hemerik, L.; de Ruiter, P. C.

    2015-03-01

    Land use and soil management practice can have strong effects on soil quality, defined in terms of soil fertility, carbon sequestration and conservation of biodiversity. In this study, we investigate whether ecological soil quality parameters are adequate to assess soil quality under harsh conditions, and are able to reflect different land uses and intensities of soil management practices. We selected three sites as main representatives for the dominant types of land use in the region: an intensively cultivated olive orchard (annually tilled), an extensively used olive orchard (not tilled) and a heavily grazed pasture site in the Koiliaris catchment (Crete/Greece). Soil quality was analysed using an ecosystem approach, studying soil biological properties such as soil organism biomass and activity, and taxonomic diversity of soil microarthropods, in connection to abiotic soil parameters, including soil organic matter contents, and soil aggregate stability. The intensively cultivated olive orchard had a much lower aggregate water stability than the extensive olive orchard and the pasture. Contents of soil organic C and N were higher in the extensively used olive orchard than in the intensively cultivated orchard, with intermediate concentrations in the pasture. This was mainly caused by the highest input of organic matter, combined with the lowest organic matter decomposition rate. Soil organism biomasses in all sites were relatively low compared to values reported from less harsh systems, while microarthropod richness was highest in the pasture compared to both the intensive and extensive olive orchards. From the present results we conclude that microarthropod taxonomic richness is a very useful indicator for ecological soil quality, because it is not only able to separate harsh sites from other systems, but it is also sensitive enough to show differences between land management practices under harsh conditions. Microbial biomass and especially microarthropod

  7. Laying performance and egg quality of blue-shelled layers as affected by different housing systems.

    PubMed

    Wang, X L; Zheng, J X; Ning, Z H; Qu, L J; Xu, G Y; Yang, N

    2009-07-01

    Blue-shelled eggs are gaining popularity as the consumption demand diversifies in some countries. This study was carried out to investigate the laying performance and egg quality of the blue-shelled egg layers as well as the effects of different housing systems on egg production and quality traits. One thousand pullets from Dongxiang blue-shelled layers were divided into 2 even groups and kept in different housing systems (outdoor vs. cage). Daily laying performance was recorded from 20 to 60 wk of age. External and internal egg quality traits were examined at 26, 34, 42, and 50 wk. Yolk cholesterol concentration and whole egg cholesterol content were measured at 40 wk of age. Average laying rate from 20 to 60 wk for the cage (54.7%) was significantly higher than that of outdoor layers (39.3%). Among all of the egg quality traits, only eggshell color was affected by housing system. Interaction between housing system and layer age was found in egg weight, eggshell color, eggshell ratio, yolk color, and yolk weight. Meanwhile, cholesterol concentration in yolk was 8.64 +/- 0.40 mg/g in the outdoor eggs, which was significantly lower than that of eggs from the cage birds (10.32 +/- 0.48 mg/g; P < 0.05). Whole egg cholesterol content in the outdoor eggs (125.23 +/- 6.32 mg/egg) was also significantly lower than that of eggs from the caged layers (158.01 +/- 8.62 mg/egg). The results demonstrated that blue-shelled layers have lower productivity in the outdoor system than in the cage system. Blue-shelled layers have lower egg weight, larger yolk proportion, and lower cholesterol content compared with commercial layers. In a proper marketing system, lower productivity could be balanced by a higher price for the better quality of blue-shelled eggs. PMID:19531721

  8. Factors Affecting Source-Water Quality after Disturbance of Forests by Wildfire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, S. F.; Martin, D. A.; McCleskey, R. B.; Writer, J. H.

    2015-12-01

    Forests yield high-quality water supplies to communities throughout the world, in part because forest cover reduces flooding and the consequent transport of suspended and dissolved constituents to surface water. Disturbance by wildfire reduces or eliminates forest cover, leaving watersheds susceptible to increased surface runoff during storms and reduced ability to retain contaminants. We assessed water-quality response to hydrologic events for three years after a wildfire in the Fourmile Creek Watershed, near Boulder, Colorado, and found that hydrologic and geochemical responses downstream of a burned area were primarily driven by small, brief convective storms that had relatively high, but not unusual, rainfall intensity. Total suspended sediment, dissolved organic carbon, nitrate, and manganese concentrations were 10-156 times higher downstream of a burned area compared to upstream, and water quality was sufficiently impaired to pose water-treatment concerns. The response in both concentration and yield of water-quality constituents differed depending on source availability and dominant watershed processes controlling the constituent. For example, while all constituent concentrations were highest during storm events, annual sediment yields downstream of the burned area were controlled by storm events and subsequent mobilization, whereas dissolved organic carbon yields were more dependent on spring runoff from upstream areas. The watershed response was affected by a legacy of historical disturbance: the watershed had been recovering from extensive disturbance by mining, railroad and road development, logging, and fires in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and we observed extensive erosion of mine waste in response to these summer storms. Therefore, both storm characteristics and historical disturbance in a burned watershed must be considered when evaluating the role of wildfire on water quality.

  9. Maternal organism and embryo biosensoring: insights from ruminants.

    PubMed

    Sandra, Olivier; Constant, Fabienne; Vitorino Carvalho, Anais; Eozénou, Caroline; Valour, Damien; Mauffré, Vincent; Hue, Isabelle; Charpigny, Gilles

    2015-04-01

    In terms of contribution to pregnancy, the mother not only produces gametes, but also hosts gestation, whose progression in the uterus is conditioned by early events during implantation. In ruminants, this period is associated with elongation of the extra-embryonic tissues, gastrulation of the embryonic disk and cross-talk with the endometrium. Recent data have prompted the need for accurate staging of the bovine conceptus and shown that asynchrony between elongation and gastrulation processes may account for pregnancy failure. Data mining of endometrial gene signatures has allowed the identification of molecular pathways and new factors regulated by the conceptus (e.g. FOXL2, SOCS6). Interferon-tau has been recognised to be the major signal of pregnancy recognition, but prostaglandins and lysophospholipids have also been demonstrated to be critical players at the conceptus-endometrium interface. Interestingly, up-regulation of interferon-regulated gene expression has been identified in circulating immune cells during implantation, making these factors a potential source of non-invasive biomarkers for early pregnancy. Distinct endometrial responses have been shown to be elicited by embryos produced by artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation or somatic cell nuclear transfer. These findings have led to the concept that endometrium is an early biosensor of embryo quality. This biological property first demonstrated in cattle has been recently extended and associated with embryo selection in humans. Hence, compromised or suboptimal endometrial quality can subtly or deeply affect embryo development, with visible and sometimes severe consequences for placentation, foetal development, pregnancy outcome and the long-term health of the offspring.

  10. Maternal organism and embryo biosensoring: insights from ruminants.

    PubMed

    Sandra, Olivier; Constant, Fabienne; Vitorino Carvalho, Anais; Eozénou, Caroline; Valour, Damien; Mauffré, Vincent; Hue, Isabelle; Charpigny, Gilles

    2015-04-01

    In terms of contribution to pregnancy, the mother not only produces gametes, but also hosts gestation, whose progression in the uterus is conditioned by early events during implantation. In ruminants, this period is associated with elongation of the extra-embryonic tissues, gastrulation of the embryonic disk and cross-talk with the endometrium. Recent data have prompted the need for accurate staging of the bovine conceptus and shown that asynchrony between elongation and gastrulation processes may account for pregnancy failure. Data mining of endometrial gene signatures has allowed the identification of molecular pathways and new factors regulated by the conceptus (e.g. FOXL2, SOCS6). Interferon-tau has been recognised to be the major signal of pregnancy recognition, but prostaglandins and lysophospholipids have also been demonstrated to be critical players at the conceptus-endometrium interface. Interestingly, up-regulation of interferon-regulated gene expression has been identified in circulating immune cells during implantation, making these factors a potential source of non-invasive biomarkers for early pregnancy. Distinct endometrial responses have been shown to be elicited by embryos produced by artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation or somatic cell nuclear transfer. These findings have led to the concept that endometrium is an early biosensor of embryo quality. This biological property first demonstrated in cattle has been recently extended and associated with embryo selection in humans. Hence, compromised or suboptimal endometrial quality can subtly or deeply affect embryo development, with visible and sometimes severe consequences for placentation, foetal development, pregnancy outcome and the long-term health of the offspring. PMID:25617112

  11. Exposure of wood in floodplains affects its chemical quality and its subsequent breakdown in streams.

    PubMed

    del Campo, Rubén; Gómez, Rosa

    2016-02-01

    In stream ecosystems, coarse organic matter from the riparian vegetation, a key food resource, is often retained in the floodplains before reaching the channel. During floodplain exposure, organic matter can be affected by abiotic and biotic processes ("preconditioning"), which alter its quality and affect its subsequent decomposition in streams. We analyzed the effect of floodplain preconditioning on wood quality (lignin, C, N, P, K, among others), and its subsequent aquatic breakdown, paying special attention to microbial activity. We simulated preconditioned standard wooden sticks on one arid stream floodplain for 3 and 4 months, and then monitored their breakdown in three different streams, together with control (non-preconditioned) sticks. Preconditioning reduced lignin mass and C:N and lignin:N ratios, caused the leaching of soluble nutrients such as P and K, as well as N immobilization by microbes. These changes enhanced the breakdown of wood in the first week of immersion, but had no effect on breakdown rates after 4 months of incubation in the streams, although N immobilization was diminished. Our results suggest that terrestrial preconditioning could alter the role of wood as a long-lasting nutrients and energy source for freshwater ecosystem.

  12. Exposure of wood in floodplains affects its chemical quality and its subsequent breakdown in streams.

    PubMed

    del Campo, Rubén; Gómez, Rosa

    2016-02-01

    In stream ecosystems, coarse organic matter from the riparian vegetation, a key food resource, is often retained in the floodplains before reaching the channel. During floodplain exposure, organic matter can be affected by abiotic and biotic processes ("preconditioning"), which alter its quality and affect its subsequent decomposition in streams. We analyzed the effect of floodplain preconditioning on wood quality (lignin, C, N, P, K, among others), and its subsequent aquatic breakdown, paying special attention to microbial activity. We simulated preconditioned standard wooden sticks on one arid stream floodplain for 3 and 4 months, and then monitored their breakdown in three different streams, together with control (non-preconditioned) sticks. Preconditioning reduced lignin mass and C:N and lignin:N ratios, caused the leaching of soluble nutrients such as P and K, as well as N immobilization by microbes. These changes enhanced the breakdown of wood in the first week of immersion, but had no effect on breakdown rates after 4 months of incubation in the streams, although N immobilization was diminished. Our results suggest that terrestrial preconditioning could alter the role of wood as a long-lasting nutrients and energy source for freshwater ecosystem. PMID:26613519

  13. Both diet and gene mutation induced obesity affect oocyte quality in mice

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Yan-Jun; Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Duan, Xing; Liu, Hong-Lin; Wang, Qiang; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2016-01-01

    Obesity was shown to cause reproductive dysfunctions such as reduced conception, infertility and early pregnancy loss. However, the possible effects of obesity on oocyte quality are still not fully understood. In this study we investigated the effects of both diet and gene mutation induced obesity on impairments in mouse oocyte polarization, oxidative stress, and epigenetic modifications. Our results showed that high-fat diet induced obesity (HFD) and gene mutation induced obesity (ob/ob) could both impair oocyte meiotic maturation, disrupt spindle morphology, and reduce oocyte polarity. Oocytes from obese mice underwent oxidative stress, as shown by high DHE and ROS levels. Abnormal mitochondrial distributions and structures were observed in oocytes from obese groups of mice and early apoptosis signals were detected, which suggesting that oxidative stress had impaired mitochondrial function and resulted in oocyte apoptosis. Our results also showed that 5 mC levels and H3K9 and H3K27 methylation levels were altered in oocytes from obese mice, which indicated that DNA methylation and histone methylation had been affected. Our results showed that both HFD and ob/ob induced obesity affected oocyte maturation and that oxidative stress-induced early apoptosis and altered epigenetic modifications may be the reasons for reduced oocyte quality in obese mice. PMID:26732298

  14. Glassfrog embryos hatch early after parental desertion

    PubMed Central

    Delia, Jesse R. J.; Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio; Summers, Kyle

    2014-01-01

    Both parental care and hatching plasticity can improve embryo survival. Research has found that parents can alter hatching time owing to a direct effect of care on embryogenesis or via forms of care that cue the hatching process. Because parental care alters conditions critical for offspring development, hatching plasticity could allow embryos to exploit variation in parental behaviour. However, this interaction of parental care and hatching plasticity remains largely unexplored. We tested the hypothesis that embryos hatch early to cope with paternal abandonment in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni (Centrolenidae). We conducted male-removal experiments in a wild population, and examined embryos' response to conditions with and without fathers. Embryos hatched early when abandoned, but extended development in the egg stage when fathers continued care. Paternal care had no effect on developmental rate. Rather, hatching plasticity was due to embryos actively hatching at different developmental stages, probably in response to deteriorating conditions without fathers. Our experimental results are supported by a significant correlation between the natural timing of abandonment and hatching in an unmanipulated population. This study demonstrates that embryos can respond to conditions resulting from parental abandonment, and provides insights into how variation in care can affect selection on egg-stage adaptations. PMID:24789892

  15. In vitro bovine embryo production in a synthetic medium: embryo development, cryosurvival, and establishment of pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Moreno, D; Neira, A; Dubreil, L; Liegeois, L; Destrumelle, S; Michaud, S; Thorin, C; Briand-Amirat, L; Bencharif, D; Tainturier, D

    2015-10-15

    The aim of this study was to develop an in vitro embryo culture medium without either fetal calf serum or BSA, using various growth factors and cytokines (GFs-CYKs; IGF-I, IGF-II, bFGF, LIF, GM-CSF, TGF-β1, and PDGF-BB), and other molecules with surfactant and embryotrophic properties, such as recombinant albumin (RA) and hyaluronan (HA). The first part of the study was dedicated to define the best combination of GFs-CYKs + RA + HA for optimal embryonic development. Next, we compared development rates and embryo quality (inner cell mass [ICM]-to-total cell number [TCN] ratio), and postthaw survival and hatching rates using this synthetic medium (T1) and a control medium: synthetic oviduct fluid + BSA + ITS (insulin, transferrin, and selenium). The blastocyst rates were significantly higher with T1 than those with the control at 7 and 8 days after fertilization. There was no significant difference in TCN or the ICM/TCN ratio between the two treatments. Survival and hatching rates 48 hours after thawing were similar for both treatments. Finally, nine embryo transfers were conducted using fresh and previously frozen Day-7 blastocysts to evaluate the in vivo viability of embryos produced in this synthetic medium; four gestations were obtained from six fresh embryos and one gestation from three frozen embryos. In conclusion, the fetal calf serum and BSA-free medium, supplemented with GFs-CYKs + RA + HA, improved embryo development and gave comparable ICM/TCN ratios and postthaw survival rates to the control with BSA. Fresh and frozen embryos produced in this medium are viable for embryo transfer. This fully synthetic method of embryo culture is a useful means of reducing the risk of disease transmission via embryo transfer.

  16. Beyond air quality--factors that affect prevalence estimates of sick building syndrome.

    PubMed

    Mikatavage, M A; Rose, V E; Funkhouser, E; Oestenstad, R K; Dillon, K; Reynolds, K D

    1995-11-01

    If the prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS) is estimated before intervention begins, then a reduction in the estimate may later be used to measure success of the intervention, and in particular, those efforts toward improving air quality. However, the measure of success will be distorted if factors other than air quality affect the SBS prevalence estimate. In this study the background prevalence of SBS was estimated and study factors identified that alone affected the estimate. Two symptom questionnaires were randomly administered to workers from 39 offices before routine physical examinations; one questionnaire described the SBS study, the other did not. SBS was defined as a symptom in the prior 24-hour or 7-day recall period that was more severe at work and not related to suspected confounders--allergy, cold, flu. Prevalence and prevalence ratios were estimated along with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Symptoms were reported by 45% of 1088 workers surveyed, but most reported them as more severe outside work or related them to confounders. SBS prevalence was 5%. It was 3.2 times higher (95% CI: 1.8, 5.7) among workers cognizant of the study relative to those blinded, 2.2 times higher (95% CI: 1.2, 4.1) for the 7-day relative to the 24-hour recall period, and 2.5 times higher (95% CI: 1.4, 5.0) for females. SBS prevalence did not differ by workday or age. Since study factors alone affected prevalence estimates, a standardized assessment method seems necessary for SBS.

  17. Development of a porcine (Sus scofa) embryo-specific microarray: array annotation and validation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The domestic pig is an important livestock species and there is strong interest in the factors that affect the development of viable embryos and offspring in this species. A limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in early embryonic development has inhibited our ability to fully elucidate these factors. Next generation deep sequencing and microarray technologies are powerful tools for delineation of molecular pathways involved in the developing embryo. Results Here we present the development of a porcine-embryo-specific microarray platform created from a large expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis generated by Roche/454 next-generation sequencing of cDNAs constructed from critical stages of in vivo or in vitro porcine preimplantation embryos. Two cDNA libraries constructed from in vitro and in vivo produced preimplantation porcine embryos were normalized and sequenced using 454 Titanium pyrosequencing technology. Over one million high-quality EST sequences were obtained and used to develop the EMbryogene Porcine Version 1 (EMPV1) microarray composed of 43,795 probes. Based on an initial probe sequence annotation, the EMPV1 features 17,409 protein-coding, 473 pseudogenes, 46 retrotransposed, 2,359 non-coding RNA, 4,121 splice variants in 2,862 genes and a total of 12,324 Novel Transcript Regions (NTR). After re-annotation, the total unique genes increased from 11,961 to 16,281 and 1.9% of them belonged to a large olfactory receptor (OR) gene family. Quality control on the EMPV1 was performed and revealed an even distribution of ten clusters of spiked-in control spots and array to array (dye-swap) correlation was 0.97. Conclusions Using next-generation deep sequencing we have produced a large EST dataset to allow for the selection of probe sequences for the development of the EMPV1 microarray platform. The quality of this embryo-specific array was confirmed with a high-level of reproducibility using current Agilent microarray technology

  18. National Beef Quality Audit-2011: Harvest-floor assessments of targeted characteristics that affect quality and value of cattle, carcasses, and byproducts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The National Beef Quality Audit-2011(NBQA-2011) was conducted to assess targeted characteristics on the harvest floor that affect the quality and value of cattle, carcasses, and byproducts. Survey teams evaluated approximately 18,000 cattle/carcasses between May and November 2011 in 8 beef processin...

  19. Water quality and processes affecting dissolved oxygen concentrations in the Blackwater River, Canaan Valley, West Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waldron, M.C.; Wiley, J.B.

    1996-01-01

    The water quality and environmental processes affecting dissolved oxygen were determined for the Blackwater River in Canaan Valley, West Virginia. Canaan Valley is oval-shaped (14 miles by 5 miles) and is located in the Allegheny Mountains at an average elevation of 3,200 feet above sea level. Tourism, population, and real estate development have increased in the past two decades. Most streams in Canaan Valley are a dilute calcium magnesium bicarbonate-type water. Streamwater typicaly was soft and low in alkalinity and dissolved solids. Maximum values for specific conductance, hardness, alkalinity, and dissolved solids occurred during low-flow periods when streamflow was at or near baseflow. Dissolved oxygen concentrations are most sensitive to processes affecting the rate of reaeration. The reaeration is affected by solubility (atmospheric pressure, water temperature, humidity, and cloud cover) and processes that determine stream turbulence (stream depth, width, velocity, and roughness). In the headwaters, photosynthetic dissolved oxygen production by benthic algae can result in supersaturated dissolved oxygen concentrations. In beaver pools, dissolved oxygen consumption from sediment oxygen demand and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand can result in dissolved oxygen deficits.

  20. A protocol for storage and long-distance shipment of Mediterranean fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) eggs. 1. Effect of temperature, embryo age , and storage time on survival and quality

    SciTech Connect

    Caceres, C.; Wornoayporn, V.; Islam, S.M.; Ahmad, S.

    2007-03-15

    The operational use of Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), genetic sexing strains in Sterile Insect Technique applications can be maximized by developing methods for effective shipment of eggs. This would enable a central production facility to maintain the relevant mother stocks and large colonies to supply eggs to satellite centers that would mass produce only males for irradiation and release. In order to achieve this, the survival of medfly embryos of different ages was assessed after storage at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 deg. C in water for different periods of time. Survival was affected by all 3 variables, i.e., embryo age, water temperature, and length of storage. Storage of embryos at any temperature for 120 h resulted in almost no survival. Controlling the age of the embryo at the time of the temperature treatment is crucial for the success of this procedure. Embryos collected between 0 to 12 h after oviposition and pre-incubated at 25 deg. C for 12 h provide a suitable 72 h window for shipment when maintained between 10 to 15 deg. C. Under these conditions, no significant reductions in survival during all the developmental stages were observed. (author) [Spanish] El uso operacional de cepas de la mosca del mediterraneo Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) en las cuales es posible separar los sexos a traves de mecanismos geneticos para su utilizacion en la Tecnica del Insecto Esteril (TIE), puede ser maximizado con el desarrollo de metodos efectivos para el envio y transporte de huevos. Esto permite que un laboratorio de produccion centralizada mantenga las respectivas colonias responsables por la produccion de huevos para este abastecer laboratorios satelites responsables por la produccion masiva de solamente machos para subsiguiente irradiacion y liberacion. Para ser posible esta alternativa fue evaluada la supervivencia de embriones de diferentes edades despues de su almacenamiento en agua a 5, 10, 15, 20 y 25 deg. C por diferentes

  1. Myocardial performance index correlates with the BODE index and affects quality of life in COPD patients

    PubMed Central

    Tannus-Silva, Daniela Graner Schuwartz; Masson-Silva, João Batista; Ribeiro, Lays Silva; Conde, Marcus Barreto; Rabahi, Marcelo Fouad

    2016-01-01

    Background and objective COPD, a systemic illness associated with the impairment of different organs, affects patient prognosis and quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between right ventricle (RV) function, the BODE (body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnea, and exercise capacity) index (a multifunctional scale for the assessment of mortality risk), and quality of life in patients with COPD. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out in 107 outpatients presenting with stable COPD who underwent clinical assessment, spirometry, arterial blood gas analyses, a 6-minute walk test, electrocardiography, and echocardiogram and who responded to the Saint George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Results Among the study subjects, 53% (57/107) were males, and the mean age was 65.26±8.81 years. A positive correlation was observed between RV dysfunction measured by the myocardial performance index using tissue Doppler (MPIt) and the BODE index, even after adjustment for age and partial pressure of oxygen (r2=0.47; P<0.01). Patients with alterations in the MPIt had worse quality of life, and a statistically significant difference was found for different domains of the SGRQ. Patients with a normal MPIt had a mean total score of 46.2±18.6, whereas for those with MPIt alterations, the mean total score was 61.6±14.2 (P=0.005). These patients had a 1.49-fold increased risk of exhibiting SGRQ total score above the upper limit of the 95% CI (P=0.01). Conclusion The findings of this study suggest that RV dysfunction as measured by the MPIt was associated with impairment in quality of life and a worse BODE index in COPD patients, irrespective of age and hypoxemia status.

  2. Myocardial performance index correlates with the BODE index and affects quality of life in COPD patients

    PubMed Central

    Tannus-Silva, Daniela Graner Schuwartz; Masson-Silva, João Batista; Ribeiro, Lays Silva; Conde, Marcus Barreto; Rabahi, Marcelo Fouad

    2016-01-01

    Background and objective COPD, a systemic illness associated with the impairment of different organs, affects patient prognosis and quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between right ventricle (RV) function, the BODE (body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnea, and exercise capacity) index (a multifunctional scale for the assessment of mortality risk), and quality of life in patients with COPD. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out in 107 outpatients presenting with stable COPD who underwent clinical assessment, spirometry, arterial blood gas analyses, a 6-minute walk test, electrocardiography, and echocardiogram and who responded to the Saint George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Results Among the study subjects, 53% (57/107) were males, and the mean age was 65.26±8.81 years. A positive correlation was observed between RV dysfunction measured by the myocardial performance index using tissue Doppler (MPIt) and the BODE index, even after adjustment for age and partial pressure of oxygen (r2=0.47; P<0.01). Patients with alterations in the MPIt had worse quality of life, and a statistically significant difference was found for different domains of the SGRQ. Patients with a normal MPIt had a mean total score of 46.2±18.6, whereas for those with MPIt alterations, the mean total score was 61.6±14.2 (P=0.005). These patients had a 1.49-fold increased risk of exhibiting SGRQ total score above the upper limit of the 95% CI (P=0.01). Conclusion The findings of this study suggest that RV dysfunction as measured by the MPIt was associated with impairment in quality of life and a worse BODE index in COPD patients, irrespective of age and hypoxemia status. PMID:27695314

  3. Factors Affecting Water Quality in Selected Carbonate Aquifers in the United States,1993-2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindsey, Bruce D.; Berndt, Marian P.; Katz, Brian G.; Ardis, Ann F.; Skach, Kenneth A.

    2009-01-01

    Carbonate aquifers are an important source of water in the United States; however, these aquifers can be particularly susceptible to contamination from the land surface. The U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program collected samples from wells and springs in 12 carbonate aquifers across the country during 1993-2005; water-quality results for 1,042 samples were available to assess the factors affecting ground-water quality. These aquifers represent a wide range of climate, land-use types, degrees of confinement, and other characteristics that were compared and evaluated to assess the effect of those factors on water quality. Differences and similarities among the aquifers were also identified. Samples were analyzed for major ions, radon, nutrients, 47 pesticides, and 54 volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Geochemical analysis helped to identify dominant processes that may contribute to the differences in aquifer susceptibility to anthropogenic contamination. Differences in concentrations of dissolved oxygen and dissolved organic carbon and in ground-water age were directly related to the occurrence of anthropogenic contaminants. Other geochemical indicators, such as mineral saturation indexes and calcium-magnesium molar ratio, were used to infer residence time, an indirect indicator of potential for anthropogenic contamination. Radon exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 300 picocuries per liter in 423 of 735 wells sampled, of which 309 were drinking-water wells. In general, land use, oxidation-reduction (redox) status, and degree of aquifer confinement were the most important factors affecting the occurrence of anthropogenic contaminants. Although none of these factors individually accounts for all the variation in water quality among the aquifers, a combination of these characteristics accounts for the majority of the variation. Unconfined carbonate aquifers that had high

  4. Impact of PCOS on early embryo cleavage kinetics.

    PubMed

    Wissing, M L; Bjerge, M R; Olesen, A I G; Hoest, T; Mikkelsen, A L

    2014-04-01

    This study investigated whether polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affected early embryo development assessed by time-lapse analysis of embryo kinetics from fertilization to the blastocyst stage. This was a prospective cohort study of two pronuclei (2PN) embryos from 25 hyperandrogenic PCOS patients (110 2PN embryos), 26 normoandrogenic PCOS patients (140 2PN embryos) and 20 healthy, regularly cycling women (controls, 97 2PN embryos). Patients underwent the same baseline evaluation and the same ovarian stimulation from April 2010 to February 2013. Oocytes were fertilized by intracytoplasmic sperm injection and incubated in an EmbryoScope with pictures taken every 20 min in seven focal planes. Time to 2PN breakdown, first cleavage and cleavage to 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 cells, morula and blastocyst (t₂, t₃, t₄, t₅, t₆, t₇, t₈, t(M), t(B)) were annotated. Differences in embryo kinetics between groups were assessed by mixed modelling. Compared with controls, embryos from hyperandrogenic PCOS patients were significantly delayed at 2PN breakdown, t₂, t₃, t₄ and t₇ but not at t₅, t₆, t₈, t(M) or t(B). Embryos from hyperandrogenic PCOS women had developed slower from fertilization to the 8-cell stage compared with embryos from controls.

  5. Degradation of some pesticides in avian embryos.

    PubMed

    Várnagy, L

    1999-01-01

    On day 9 or 12 of the hatching period different pesticides (parathion, methyl-parathion, carbendazim, 2,4-D-amine Na, phosmethylane) were applied in ecotoxicological trials. The formulations were either injected into the air space of pheasant, quail or hen eggs or hen eggs were treated by the immersion technique. The residues of pesticides were measured in samples on days 13, 14 and 16 of incubation of chicken and pheasant embryos, while the Japanese quail embryos were analysed on days 10-14 of incubation. Analytical chemistry data showed a varying degradation rate of the compounds in avian embryos of the same species. The residues directly affect the embryos, disturbing their normal development and causing pathophysiological and morphological changes.

  6. Preimplantation embryo programming: transcription, epigenetics, and culture environment.

    PubMed

    Duranthon, Veronique; Watson, Andrew J; Lonergan, Patrick

    2008-02-01

    Preimplantation development directs the formation of an implantation- or attachment-competent embryo so that metabolic interactions with the uterus can occur, pregnancy can be initiated, and fetal development can be sustained. The preimplantation embryo exhibits a form of autonomous development fueled by products provided by the oocyte and also from activation of the embryo's genome. Despite this autonomy, the preimplantation embryo is highly influenced by factors in the external environment and in extreme situations, such as those presented by embryo culture or nuclear transfer, the ability of the embryo to adapt to the changing environmental conditions or chromatin to become reprogrammed can exceed its own adaptive capacity, resulting in aberrant embryonic development. Nuclear transfer or embryo culture-induced influences not only affect implantation and establishment of pregnancy but also can extend to fetal and postnatal development and affect susceptibility to disease in later life. It is therefore critical to define the basic program controlling preimplantation development, and also to utilize nuclear transfer and embryo culture models so that we may design healthier environments for preimplantation embryos to thrive in and also minimize the potential for negative consequences during pregnancy and post-gestational life. In addition, it is necessary to couple gene expression analysis with the investigation of gene function so that effects on gene expression can be fully understood. The purpose of this short review is to highlight our knowledge of the mechanisms controlling preimplantation development and report how those mechanisms may be influenced by nuclear transfer and embryo culture. PMID:18239045

  7. Quality of life and mental health status of arsenic-affected patients in a Bangladeshi population.

    PubMed

    Syed, Emdadul H; Poudel, Krishna C; Sakisaka, Kayako; Yasuoka, Junko; Ahsan, Habibul; Jimba, Masamine

    2012-09-01

    Contamination of groundwater by inorganic arsenic is one of the major public-health problems in Bangladesh. This cross-sectional study was conducted (a) to evaluate the quality of life (QOL) and mental health status of arsenic-affected patients and (b) to identify the factors associated with the QOL. Of 1,456 individuals, 521 (35.78%) were selected as case and control participants, using a systematic random-sampling method. The selection criteria for cases (n=259) included presence of at least one of the following: melanosis, leucomelanosis on at least 10% of the body, or keratosis on the hands or feet. Control (nonpatient) participants (n=262) were selected from the same villages by matching age (±5 years) and gender. The Bangladeshi version of the WHOQOL-BREF was used for assessing the QOL, and the self-reporting questionnaire (SRQ) was used for assessing the general mental health status. Data were analyzed using Student's t-test and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), and the WHOQOL-BREF and SRQ scores between the patients and the non-patients were compared. The mean scores of QOL were significantly lower in the patients than those in the non-patients of both the sexes. Moreover, the mental health status of the arsenic-affected patients (mean score for males=8.4 and females=10.3) showed greater disturbances than those of the non-patients (mean score for males=5.2 and females=6.1) of both the sexes. The results of multiple regression analysis revealed that the factors potentially contributing to the lower QOL scores included: being an arsenic-affected patient, having lower age, and having lower annual income. Based on the findings, it is concluded that the QOL and mental health status of the arsenic-affected patients were significantly lower than those of the non-patients in Bangladesh. Appropriate interventions are necessary to improve the well-being of the patients.

  8. Dysautonomia Differentially Influences the Effect of Affective Pain Perception on Quality of Life in Parkinson's Disease Patients.

    PubMed

    Rada, D; Seco, J; Echevarría, E; Tijero, B; Abecia, L C; Gómez-Esteban, J C

    2016-01-01

    Background. Our aim was to evaluate the real effect of dysautonomic symptoms on the influence of affective pain perception on quality of life in PD patients. Methods. An observational cross-sectional study was carried out using 105 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients of the Movement Disorders Unit, Hospital de Cruces (Bilbao, Spain) [men 59 (56.2%), women 46 (43.85%)]. Statistical analysis was made in order to evaluate the possible association of pain with life quality. Results. Quality of life measured by PDQ-39 (Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire for quality of life) was statistically associated with affective dimension of pain (PRIA, affective pain rating index). However, the influence of this dimension on PDQ-39 was different in the specific case of PD patients that experimented a high score (>12) in SCOPA-AUT (Scale for Outcomes in PD-Autonomic scale). Conclusions. These results confirm the effect of affective perception of pain in life quality of PD patients, indicating the critical role of autonomic symptoms in the modulation of the influence of pain on quality of life and showing the possible utility of dysautonomia as clinical prognostic indicator of quality of life in PD patients affected by pain.

  9. Dysautonomia Differentially Influences the Effect of Affective Pain Perception on Quality of Life in Parkinson's Disease Patients

    PubMed Central

    Rada, D.; Seco, J.; Tijero, B.; Abecia, L. C.; Gómez-Esteban, J. C.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Our aim was to evaluate the real effect of dysautonomic symptoms on the influence of affective pain perception on quality of life in PD patients. Methods. An observational cross-sectional study was carried out using 105 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients of the Movement Disorders Unit, Hospital de Cruces (Bilbao, Spain) [men 59 (56.2%), women 46 (43.85%)]. Statistical analysis was made in order to evaluate the possible association of pain with life quality. Results. Quality of life measured by PDQ-39 (Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire for quality of life) was statistically associated with affective dimension of pain (PRIA, affective pain rating index). However, the influence of this dimension on PDQ-39 was different in the specific case of PD patients that experimented a high score (>12) in SCOPA-AUT (Scale for Outcomes in PD-Autonomic scale). Conclusions. These results confirm the effect of affective perception of pain in life quality of PD patients, indicating the critical role of autonomic symptoms in the modulation of the influence of pain on quality of life and showing the possible utility of dysautonomia as clinical prognostic indicator of quality of life in PD patients affected by pain. PMID:27239367

  10. Maternal diabetes and oocyte quality

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qiang; Moley, Kelle H.

    2016-01-01

    Maternal diabetes has been demonstrated to adversely affect preimplantation embryo development and pregnancy outcomes. Emerging evidence has implicated that these effects are associated with compromised oocyte competence. Several developmental defects during oocyte maturation in diabetic mice have been reported over past decades. Most recently, we further identified the structural, spatial and metabolic dysfunction of mitochondria in oocytes from diabetic mice, suggesting the impaired oocyte quality. These defects in the oocyte may be maternally transmitted to the embryo and then manifested later as developmental abnormalities in preimplantation embryo, congenital malformations, and even metabolic disease in the offspring. In this paper, we briefly review the effects of maternal diabetes on oocyte quality, with a particular emphasis on the mitochondrial dysfunction. The possible connection between dysfunctional oocyte mitochondria and reproductive failure of diabetic females, and the mechanism(s) by which maternal diabetes exerts its effects on the oocyte are also discussed. PMID:20226883

  11. Natural control of bacteria affecting meat quality by a neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) cake extract.

    PubMed

    Del Serrone, P; Failla, S; Nicoletti, M

    2015-01-01

    The antibacterial activity of an ethylacetate neem cake extract (NCE) against bacteria that affect meat quality, namely Campylobacter jejuni, Carnobacterium spp., Lactobacillus curvatus, Lactobacillus sakei and Leuconostoc sp., is reported. The antibacterial activity was detected using standardised disc diffusion and macrodilution methods. The bacterial growth inhibition zone ranged from 11.33 ± 0.58 to 22.67 ± 0.58 mm (100 μL NCE). There is significant difference between the growth inhibition zone of NCE and the control (ciprofloxacin 100 μg). The percent of bacterial growth reduction range was 79.75 ± 1.53 to 90.73 ± 1.53 (100 μg NCE) as compared with control (without NCE). NCE in different amounts counteracted the growth of all tested bacteria.

  12. Factors affecting handling qualities of a lift-fan aircraft during steep terminal area approaches

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerdes, R. M.; Hynes, C. S.

    1975-01-01

    The XV-5B lift-fan aircraft was used to explore the factors affecting handling qualities in the terminal area. A 10 deg ILS approach task was selected to explore these problems. Interception of the glide slope at 457.2 m, glide slope tracking, deceleration along the glide slope to a spot hover were considered. Variations in airplane deck angle, deceleration schedule, and powered-lift management were studied. The overall descent performance envelope was identified on the basis of fan stall, maximum comfortable descent rate, and controllability restrictions. The collective-lift stick provided precise glide slope tracking capability. The pilot preferred a deck-parallel attitude for which he used powered lift to control glide slope and pitch attitude to keep the angle of attack near zero. Workload was reduced when the deceleration schedule was delayed until the aircraft was well established on the glide slope, since thrust vector changes induced flight path disturbances.

  13. An offspring signal of quality affects the timing of future parental reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Mas, Flore; Kölliker, Mathias

    2011-01-01

    Solicitation signals by offspring are well known to influence parental behaviour, and it is commonly assumed that this behavioural effect translates into an effect on residual reproduction of parents. However, this equivalence assumption concerning behavioural and reproductive effects caused by offspring signals remains largely untested. Here, we tested the effect of a chemical offspring signal of quality on the relative timing and amount of future reproduction in the European earwig (Forficula auricularia). We manipulated the nutritional condition of earwig nymphs and exposed females to their extract, or to solvent as a control. There were no significant main effects of exposure treatment on 2nd clutch production, but exposure to extracts of well-fed nymphs induced predictable timing of the 2nd relative to the 1st clutch. This result demonstrates for the first time that an offspring signal per se, in the absence of any maternal behaviour, affects maternal reproductive timing, possibly through an effect on maternal reproductive physiology. PMID:21208942

  14. Natural control of bacteria affecting meat quality by a neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) cake extract.

    PubMed

    Del Serrone, P; Failla, S; Nicoletti, M

    2015-01-01

    The antibacterial activity of an ethylacetate neem cake extract (NCE) against bacteria that affect meat quality, namely Campylobacter jejuni, Carnobacterium spp., Lactobacillus curvatus, Lactobacillus sakei and Leuconostoc sp., is reported. The antibacterial activity was detected using standardised disc diffusion and macrodilution methods. The bacterial growth inhibition zone ranged from 11.33 ± 0.58 to 22.67 ± 0.58 mm (100 μL NCE). There is significant difference between the growth inhibition zone of NCE and the control (ciprofloxacin 100 μg). The percent of bacterial growth reduction range was 79.75 ± 1.53 to 90.73 ± 1.53 (100 μg NCE) as compared with control (without NCE). NCE in different amounts counteracted the growth of all tested bacteria. PMID:25272067

  15. Micromanipulation of mammalian embryos.

    PubMed

    Sugawara, S

    1988-11-01

    Micromanipulation of embryos provide a new and valuable biological tool for animal agriculture and medical fields. Current techniques for embryo manipulation are in practice but some of techniques is still way off for application. The present status in new biotechnology applying to animal science and medicine is reviewed and its future is also discussed. PMID:3072425

  16. Overhydration Negatively Affects Quality of Life in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients: Evidence from a Prospective Observational Study

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Hye Eun; Kwon, Young Joo; Song, Ho Cheol; Kim, Jin Kuk; Song, Young Rim; Shin, Seok Joon; Kim, Hyung Wook; Lee, Chang Hwa; Lee, Tae Won; Kim, Young Ok; Kim, Byung Soo; Moon, Kyoung Hyoub; Chang, Yoon Kyung; Kim, Seong Suk; Bang, Kitae; Cho, Jong Tae; Yun, Sung Ro; Na, Ki Ryang; Kim, Yang Wook; Han, Byoung Geun; Chung, Jong Hoon; Lee, Kwang Young; Jeong, Jong Hyeok; Hwang, Eun Ah; Kim, Yong-Soo

    2016-01-01

    Backgound: This study evaluated whether the hydration status affected health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during 12 months in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. Methods: The hydration status and the HRQOL were examined at baseline and after 12 months using a bioimpedance spectroscopy and Kidney Disease Quality of Life-Short Form, respectively in PD patients. Four hundred eighty-one patients were included and divided according to the baseline overhydration (OH) value; normohydration group (NH group, -2L≤ OH ≤+2L, n=266) and overhydration group (OH group, OH >+2L, n=215). Baseline HRQOL scores were compared between the two groups. The subjects were re-stratified into quartiles according to the OH difference (OH value at baseline - OH value at 12 months; <-1, -1 - -0.1, -0.1 - +1, and ≥+1L). The relations of OH difference with HRQOL scores at 12 months and the association of OH difference with the HRQOL score difference (HRQOL score at baseline - HRQOL score at 12 months) were assessed. Results: The OH group showed significantly lower baseline physical and mental health scores (PCS and MCS), and kidney disease component scores (KDCS) compared with the NH group (all, P<0.01). At 12 months, the adjusted PCS, MCS, and KDCS significantly increased as the OH difference quartiles increased (P<0.001, P=0.002, P<0.001, respectively). In multivariate analysis, the OH difference was independently associated with higher PCS (β = 2.04, P< .001), MCS (β=1.02, P=0.002), and KDCS (β=1.06, P<0.001) at 12 months. The OH difference was independently associated with the PCS difference (β = -1.81, P<0.001), MCS difference (β=-0.92, P=0.01), and KDCS difference (β=-0.90, P=0.001). Conclusion: The hydration status was associated with HRQOL and increased hydration status negatively affected HRQOL after 12 months in PD patients.

  17. Mouse Embryo Compaction.

    PubMed

    White, M D; Bissiere, S; Alvarez, Y D; Plachta, N

    2016-01-01

    Compaction is a critical first morphological event in the preimplantation development of the mammalian embryo. Characterized by the transformation of the embryo from a loose cluster of spherical cells into a tightly packed mass, compaction is a key step in the establishment of the first tissue-like structures of the embryo. Although early investigation of the mechanisms driving compaction implicated changes in cell-cell adhesion, recent work has identified essential roles for cortical tension and a compaction-specific class of filopodia. During the transition from 8 to 16 cells, as the embryo is compacting, it must also make fundamental decisions regarding cell position, polarity, and fate. Understanding how these and other processes are integrated with compaction requires further investigation. Emerging imaging-based techniques that enable quantitative analysis from the level of cell-cell interactions down to the level of individual regulatory molecules will provide a greater understanding of how compaction shapes the early mammalian embryo. PMID:27475854

  18. Invited review: Genetic contributions underlying the development of preimplantation bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Kropp, J; Peñagaricano, F; Salih, S M; Khatib, H

    2014-03-01

    In recent years, it has become evident that genetic selection to improve milk production has resulted in a decline in dairy cattle fertility. Growing evidence suggests that the greatest loss occurs early in pregnancy around the time of embryo implantation. As a means to make genetic improvements and to assist in reproductive performance, use of artificial reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination and in vitro production of embryos have been widely used. Both of these technologies rely on the competence and quality of gametes for successful development of embryos. Often, selection of animals is based on the genetic merit of the animal, although specific fertility markers are relatively underdeveloped compared with markers for production traits. Similarly, current in vitro fertilization systems could benefit from a uniform method for selection of the best quality embryos to transfer into recipients for successful implantation and delivery of healthy offspring. As genetics underlie biological processes such as fertility, the need exists to further identify and characterize genes that affect fertility and development within both the parental gametes and the embryo. Furthermore, the magnitude of the contribution of each parental genome to the success of embryo development and pregnancy is not clear. As such, the objective of this review is to provide an overview of studies relating to genetic markers at the DNA level, parental and embryonic gene expression, and the effects of epigenetics on embryonic development. Future studies should exploit advances in molecular technologies to identify and classify genes underlying fertility and development to establish biomarkers and predictors for improved genetic selection. PMID:24377798

  19. Factors Affecting Image Quality in Near-field Ultra-wideband Radar Imaging for Biomedical Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curtis, Charlotte

    Near-field ultra-wideband radar imaging has potential as a new breast imaging modality. While a number of reconstruction algorithms have been published with the goal of reducing undesired responses or clutter, an in-depth analysis of the dominant sources of clutter has not been conducted. In this thesis, time domain radar image reconstruction is demonstrated to be equivalent to frequency domain synthetic aperture radar. This reveals several assumptions inherent to the reconstruction algorithm related to radial spreading, point source antennas, and the independent summation of point scatterers. Each of these assumptions is examined in turn to determine which has the greatest impact on the resulting image quality and interpretation. In addition, issues related to heterogeneous and dispersive media are addressed. Variations in imaging parameters are tested by observing their influence on the system point spread function. Results are then confirmed by testing on simple and detailed simulation models, followed by data acquired from human volunteers. Recommended parameters are combined into a new imaging operator that is demonstrated to generate results comparable to a more accurate signal model, but with a 50 fold improvement in computational efficiency. Finally, the most significant factor affecting image quality is determined to be the estimate of tissue properties used to form the image.

  20. The quality of our Nation's waters: factors affecting public-supply-well vulnerability to contamination: understanding observed water quality and anticipating future water quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eberts, Sandra M.; Thomas, Mary Ann; Jagucki, Martha L.

    2013-01-01

    As part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program, a study was conducted from 2001 to 2011 to shed light on factors that affect the vulnerability of water from public-supply wells to contamination (referred to hereafter as “public-supply-well vulnerability”). The study was designed as a follow-up to earlier NAWQA studies that found mixtures of contaminants at low concentrations in groundwater near the water table in urban areas across the Nation and, less frequently, in deeper groundwater typically used for public supply. Beside the factors affecting public-supply-well vulnerability to contamination, this circular describes measures that can be used to determine which factor (or factors) plays a dominant role at an individual public-supply well. Case-study examples are used throughout to show how such information can be used to improve water quality. In general, the vulnerability of the water from public-supply wells to contamination is a function of contaminant input within the area that contributes water to a well, the mobility and persistence of a contaminant once released to the groundwater, and the ease of groundwater and contaminant movement from the point of recharge to the open interval of a well. The following measures described in this circular are particularly useful for indicating which contaminants in an aquifer might reach an individual public-supply well and when, how, and at what concentration they might arrive: * Sources of recharge—Information on the sources of recharge for a well provides insight into contaminants that might enter the aquifer with the recharge water and potentially reach the well. * Geochemical conditions—Information on the geochemical conditions encountered by groundwater traveling to a well provides insight into contaminants that might persist in the water all the way to the well. * Groundwater-age mixtures—Information on the ages of the different waters that mix in a well

  1. Light treatment improves sleep quality and negative affectiveness in high arctic residents during winter.

    PubMed

    Paul, Michel A; Love, Ryan J; Hawton, Andrea; Brett, Kaighley; McCreary, Donald R; Arendt, Josephine

    2015-01-01

    The seasonal extremes of photoperiod in the high Arctic place particular strain on the human circadian system, which leads to trouble sleeping and increased feelings of negative affect in the winter months. To qualify for our study, potential participants had to have been at Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Alert (82° 30' 00″ N) for at least 2 weeks. Subjects filled out questionnaires regarding sleep difficulty, psychological well-being and mood and wore Actigraphs to obtain objective sleep data. Saliva was collected at regular intervals on two occasions, 2 weeks apart, to measure melatonin and assess melatonin onset. Individuals with a melatonin rhythm that was in disaccord with their sleep schedule were given individualized daily light treatment interventions based on their pretreatment salivary melatonin profile. The light treatment prescribed to seven of the twelve subjects was effective in improving sleep quality both subjectively, based on questionnaire results, and objectively, based on the actigraphic data. The treatment also caused a significant reduction in negative affect among the participants. Since the treatment is noninvasive and has minimal associated side effects, our results support the use of the light visors at CFS Alert and other northern outposts during the winter for individuals who are experiencing sleep difficulty or low mood. PMID:25580574

  2. Positive affect and pain: mediators of the within-day relation linking sleep quality to activity interference in fibromyalgia.

    PubMed

    Kothari, Dhwani J; Davis, Mary C; Yeung, Ellen W; Tennen, Howard A

    2015-03-01

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain condition often resulting in functional impairments. Nonrestorative sleep is a prominent symptom of FM that is related to disability, but the day-to-day mechanisms relating the prior night's sleep quality to next-day reports of disability have not been examined. This study examined the within-day relations among early-morning reports of sleep quality last night, late-morning reports of pain and positive and negative affect, and end-of-day reports of activity interference. Specifically, we tested whether pain, positive affect, and negative affect mediated the association between sleep quality and subsequent activity interference. Data were drawn from electronic diary reports collected from 220 patients with FM for 21 consecutive days. The direct and mediated effects at the within-person level were estimated with multilevel structural equation modeling. Results showed that pain and positive affect mediated the relation between sleep quality and activity interference. Early-morning reports of poor sleep quality last night predicted elevated levels of pain and lower levels of positive affect at late-morning, which, in turn, predicted elevated end-of-day activity interference. Of note, positive affect was a stronger mediator than pain and negative affect was not a significant mediator. In summary, the findings identify 2 parallel mechanisms, pain and positive affect, through which the prior night's sleep quality predicts disability the next day in patients with FM. Furthermore, results highlight the potential utility of boosting positive affect after a poor night's sleep as one means of preserving daily function in FM. PMID:25679472

  3. Oxygen concentration and cysteamine supplementation during in vitro production of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) embryos affect mRNA expression of BCL-2, BCL-XL, MCL-1, BAX and BID.

    PubMed

    Elamaran, G; Singh, K P; Singh, M K; Singla, S K; Chauhan, M S; Manik, R S; Palta, P

    2012-12-01

    This study examined the effects of O(2) concentration (5% vs 20%) during in vitro maturation (IVM), fertilization (IVF) and culture (IVC) or supplementation of IVM and IVC media with cysteamine (50 and 100 μm, respectively; IVM, IVF and IVC carried out in 20% O(2)), on blastocyst rate and relative mRNA abundance of some apoptosis-related genes measured by real-time qPCR in immature and in vitro-matured buffalo oocytes and in embryos at 2-, 4-, 8- to 16-cell, morula and blastocyst stages. The blastocyst rate was significantly higher (p < 0.05) while the percentage of TUNEL-positive cells was significantly lower (p < 0.05) under 5% O(2) than that under 20% O(2). The mRNA expression of anti-apoptotic genes BCL-2 and MCL-1 was significantly higher (p < 0.05) and that of pro-apoptotic genes BAX and BID was lower (p < 0.05) under 5% O(2) than that under 20% O(2) concentration at many embryonic stages. Following cysteamine supplementation, the blastocyst rate and the relative mRNA abundance of BCL-XL and MCL-1 was significantly higher (p < 0.05) and that of BAX but not BID was lower (p < 0.05) at many stages of embryonic development, although it did not affect the percentage of TUNEL positive cells in the blastocysts significantly. The mRNA expression pattern of these genes during embryonic development was different in 5% vs 20% O(2) groups and in cysteamine supplemented vs controls. At the 8- to 16-cell stage, where developmental block occurs in buffalo, the relative mRNA abundance of BCL-2 and MCL-1 was highest under 5% O(2) concentration and that of BAX and BID was highest (p < 0.05) under 20% O(2) concentration. These results suggest that one of the mechanisms through which beneficial effects of low O(2) concentration and cysteamine supplementation are mediated during in vitro embryo production is through an increase in the expression of anti-apoptotic and a decrease in the expression of pro-apoptotic genes. PMID:22452597

  4. Factors Affecting Oral Health–Related Quality of Life Among Elderly Croatian Patients

    PubMed Central

    Kranjčić, Josip; Mikuš, Anja; Peršić, Sanja; Vojvodić, Denis

    2014-01-01

    Objective of work Oral health–related quality of life (OHRQoL) as a multidimensional concept is affected by many factors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine which demographic and subjective factors are significantly affecting the OHRQoL among the elderly people wearing complete removable dental prostheses (CRDP). Materials and Methods This questionnaire-based study included 301 participants, residents of elderly care homes (in Zagreb and Slavonski Brod, Croatia) wearing maxillary and/or mandibular CRDP. The questionnaire used in this study consisted of two sections; the first section included questions giving general information and in the second section the Croatian version of Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP)-49 questionnaire with 49 items representing seven OHIP domains was used. Results Participants were aged between 60–99 years, with average age of 74 ± 12.1 years. OHIP summary score was 26.5. The highest average OHIP mean values in the domain of functional limitation amounted to 6.7, physical pain 5.1, and physical disability 5.9. The participants’ age, education, profession, residence place size, type of CRDP, and the time of denture wearing period all statistically significantly affected OHRQoL (p < 0.05). Conclusions General and sociodemographic factors had a significant influence on the participant’s subjective perception of oral health and OHRQoL. Younger participants, participants from rural places, those with lower levels of education, and shorter period of denture wearing demonstrated a higher impact on OHRQoL.

  5. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, A C; Brown, C S

    1997-02-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  6. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, A. C.; Brown, C. S.; Sager, J. C. (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  7. Spectral quality affects disease development of three pathogens on hydroponically grown plants.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, A C; Brown, C S

    1997-02-01

    Plants were grown under light-emitting diode (LED) arrays with various spectra to determine the effects of light quality on the development of diseases caused by tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), powdery mildew [Sphaerotheca fuliginea (Schlectend:Fr.) Pollaci] on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum Smith) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One LED (660) array supplied 99% red light at 660 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height) and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. A second LED (660/735) array supplied 83% red light at 660 nm and 17% far-red light at 735 nm (25 nm bandwidth at half-peak height). A third LED (660/BF) array supplied 98% red light at 660 nm, 1% blue light (BF) between 350 to 550 nm, and 1% far-red light between 700 to 800 nm. Control plants were grown under broad-spectrum metal halide (MH) lamps. Plants were grown at a mean photon flux (300 to 800 nm) of 330 micromoles m-2 s-1 under a 12-h day/night photoperiod. Spectral quality affected each pathosystem differently. In the ToMV/pepper pathosystem, disease symptoms developed slower and were less severe in plants grown under light sources that contained blue and UV-A wavelengths (MH and 660/BF treatments) compared to plants grown under light sources that lacked blue and UV-A wavelengths (660 and 660/735 LED arrays). In contrast, the number of colonies per leaf was highest and the mean colony diameters of S. fuliginea on cucumber plants were largest on leaves grown under the MH lamp (highest amount of blue and UV-A light) and least on leaves grown under the 660 LED array (no blue or UV-A light). The addition of far-red irradiation to the primary light source in the 660/735 LED array increased the colony counts per leaf in the S. fuliginea/cucumber pathosystem compared to the red-only (660) LED array. In the P. solanacearum/tomato pathosystem, disease symptoms were less severe in plants grown under the 660 LED array, but the

  8. Increasing histone acetylation of cloned embryos, but not donor cells, by sodium butyrate improves their in vitro development in pigs.

    PubMed

    Das, Ziban Chandra; Gupta, Mukesh Kumar; Uhm, Sang Jun; Lee, Hoon Taek

    2010-02-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that increased histone acetylation in donor cells or cloned embryos, by applying a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) such as trichostatin A (TSA), significantly enhances their developmental competence. However, its effect may vary with the type of HDACi and the target species, with some research showing nonsignificant or detrimental effects of TSA on in vitro and in vivo development of embryos. In this study, we show that sodium salt of butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid produced naturally in the body by bacterial degradation of dietary fibers in the colon and rectum, increases histone acetylation in pig fibroblast and embryos at a concentration of 1.0 and 5.0 mM, respectively. However, treatment of donor cells with NaBu did not affect the rate of blastocyst formation or embryo quality in terms of histone acetylation and total nuclei per blastocyst (p > 0.05). On the contrary, treatment of cloned pig embryos with NaBu for 4 h significantly enhanced (p < 0.01) the rate of blastocyst formation (18.3 +/- 2.1 vs. 11.2 +/- 3.0%), although the total nuclei number per blastocyst did not differ. More importantly, blastocysts generated from NaBu-treated cloned embryos had increased levels of histone acetylation that was comparable to those of in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos (36.7 +/- 3.6 vs. 45.9 +/- 2.5). In conclusion, our data suggest that histone hyperacetylation by NaBu treatment of cloned embryos, but not donor cell, enhances their in vitro development up to blastocyst stage.

  9. Quality of Life and Mental Health Status of Arsenic-affected Patients in a Bangladeshi Population

    PubMed Central

    Syed, Emdadul H.; Poudel, Krishna C.; Sakisaka, Kayako; Yasuoka, Junko; Ahsan, Habibul

    2012-01-01

    Contamination of groundwater by inorganic arsenic is one of the major public-health problems in Bangladesh. This cross-sectional study was conducted (a) to evaluate the quality of life (QOL) and mental health status of arsenic-affected patients and (b) to identify the factors associated with the QOL. Of 1,456 individuals, 521 (35.78%) were selected as case and control participants, using a systematic random-sampling method. The selection criteria for cases (n=259) included presence of at least one of the following: melanosis, leucomelanosis on at least 10% of the body, or keratosis on the hands or feet. Control (non-patient) participants (n=262) were selected from the same villages by matching age (±5 years) and gender. The Bangladeshi version of the WHOQOL-BREF was used for assessing the QOL, and the self-reporting questionnaire (SRQ) was used for assessing the general mental health status. Data were analyzed using Student's t-test and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), and the WHOQOL-BREF and SRQ scores between the patients and the non-patients were compared. The mean scores of QOL were significantly lower in the patients than those in the non-patients of both the sexes. Moreover, the mental health status of the arsenic-affected patients (mean score for males=8.4 and females=10.3) showed greater disturbances than those of the non-patients (mean score for males=5.2 and females=6.1) of both the sexes. The results of multiple regression analysis revealed that the factors potentially contributing to the lower QOL scores included: being an arsenic-affected patient, having lower age, and having lower annual income. Based on the findings, it is concluded that the QOL and mental health status of the arsenic-affected patients were significantly lower than those of the non-patients in Bangladesh. Appropriate interventions are necessary to improve the well-being of the patients. PMID:23082628

  10. Terroir et vignoble: how the farming management can affect the production of a quality wine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallo, Alba; Bini, Claudio

    2016-04-01

    added to soil as fertilizer. In grape leaves, Al concentration is releated to Al content in soil, Cu could derive from foliar fungicides and no signs of toxicity from high content of Fe and Zn are visible. LPO test values are below the reference value, therefore vegetation in the study area is not affected by oxidative stress. Concerning the biological soil quality, 3 different classes (4, 5 and 6) were recorded (with noteworthy microarthropods adaption to soil conditions. This result suggest that the study area presents good grade ecosystem stability and limited stress evident. In conclusion, it is possible to assert that the study area is characterized by not polluted soils of good quality and without environmental stress. It is likely that the agronomic practices do not produce any negative effect on plant growth and, thus, on quality of wine.

  11. The mitochondrial genome in embryo technologies.

    PubMed

    Hiendleder, S; Wolf, E

    2003-08-01

    The mammalian mitochondrial genome encodes for 37 genes which are involved in a broad range of cellular functions. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) molecule is commonly assumed to be inherited through oocyte cytoplasm in a clonal manner, and apparently species-specific mechanisms have evolved to eliminate the contribution of sperm mitochondria after natural fertilization. However, recent evidence for paternal mtDNA inheritance in embryos and offspring questions the general validity of this model, particularly in the context of assisted reproduction and embryo biotechnology. In addition to normal mt DNA haplotype variation, oocytes and spermatozoa show remarkable differences in mtDNA content and may be affected by inherited or acquired mtDNA aberrations. All these parameters have been correlated with gamete quality and reproductive success rates. Nuclear transfer (NT) technology provides experimental models for studying interactions between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Recent studies demonstrated (i) a significant effect of mtDNA haplotype or other maternal cytoplasmic factors on the efficiency of NT; (ii) phenotypic differences between transmitochondrial clones pointing to functionally relevant nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions; and (iii) neutral or non-neutral selection of mtDNA haplotypes in heteroplasmic conditions. Mitochondria form a dynamic reticulum, enabling complementation of mitochondrial components and possibly mixing of different mtDNA populations in heteroplasmic individuals. Future directions of research on mtDNA in the context of reproductive biotechnology range from the elimination of adverse effects of artificial heteroplasmy, e.g. created by ooplasm transfer, to engineering of optimized constellations of nuclear and cytoplasmic genes for the production of superior livestock. PMID:12887568

  12. Nutritional effects on oocyte and embryo development in mammals: implications for reproductive efficiency and environmental sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Ashworth, Cheryl J.; Toma, Luiza M.; Hunter, Morag G.

    2009-01-01

    The environment in which a breeding female lives prior to conception and during the early stages of her pregnancy has striking effects on oocytes developing in the ovarian follicle and on early embryos in the reproductive tract. Of the various environmental factors known to affect oocyte and embryo development, altered nutrition during this critical period has been particularly well studied. Alterations in the quantity of food consumed or the composition of the diet imposed solely during the pre-mating period affect oocyte maturity, blastocyst yield, prenatal survival and the number of offspring born alive. Importantly, nutrition at this time also affects the quality of embryos and resultant offspring, with increasing evidence from a variety of species showing that peri-conception nutrition can alter behaviour, cardiovascular function and reproductive function throughout post-natal life. In livestock species, it is important to devise nutritional strategies that improve reproductive efficiency and the quality of offspring but that do not add to the environmental footprint of the production system and which recognize likely changes in feedstuff availability arising from predicted changes in climate. PMID:19833647

  13. Overhydration Negatively Affects Quality of Life in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients: Evidence from a Prospective Observational Study

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Hye Eun; Kwon, Young Joo; Song, Ho Cheol; Kim, Jin Kuk; Song, Young Rim; Shin, Seok Joon; Kim, Hyung Wook; Lee, Chang Hwa; Lee, Tae Won; Kim, Young Ok; Kim, Byung Soo; Moon, Kyoung Hyoub; Chang, Yoon Kyung; Kim, Seong Suk; Bang, Kitae; Cho, Jong Tae; Yun, Sung Ro; Na, Ki Ryang; Kim, Yang Wook; Han, Byoung Geun; Chung, Jong Hoon; Lee, Kwang Young; Jeong, Jong Hyeok; Hwang, Eun Ah; Kim, Yong-Soo

    2016-01-01

    Backgound: This study evaluated whether the hydration status affected health-related quality of life (HRQOL) during 12 months in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. Methods: The hydration status and the HRQOL were examined at baseline and after 12 months using a bioimpedance spectroscopy and Kidney Disease Quality of Life-Short Form, respectively in PD patients. Four hundred eighty-one patients were included and divided according to the baseline overhydration (OH) value; normohydration group (NH group, -2L≤ OH ≤+2L, n=266) and overhydration group (OH group, OH >+2L, n=215). Baseline HRQOL scores were compared between the two groups. The subjects were re-stratified into quartiles according to the OH difference (OH value at baseline - OH value at 12 months; <-1, -1 - -0.1, -0.1 - +1, and ≥+1L). The relations of OH difference with HRQOL scores at 12 months and the association of OH difference with the HRQOL score difference (HRQOL score at baseline - HRQOL score at 12 months) were assessed. Results: The OH group showed significantly lower baseline physical and mental health scores (PCS and MCS), and kidney disease component scores (KDCS) compared with the NH group (all, P<0.01). At 12 months, the adjusted PCS, MCS, and KDCS significantly increased as the OH difference quartiles increased (P<0.001, P=0.002, P<0.001, respectively). In multivariate analysis, the OH difference was independently associated with higher PCS (β = 2.04, P< .001), MCS (β=1.02, P=0.002), and KDCS (β=1.06, P<0.001) at 12 months. The OH difference was independently associated with the PCS difference (β = -1.81, P<0.001), MCS difference (β=-0.92, P=0.01), and KDCS difference (β=-0.90, P=0.001). Conclusion: The hydration status was associated with HRQOL and increased hydration status negatively affected HRQOL after 12 months in PD patients. PMID:27647998

  14. Histology, composition, and quality traits of chicken Pectoralis major muscle affected by wooden breast abnormality.

    PubMed

    Soglia, F; Mudalal, S; Babini, E; Di Nunzio, M; Mazzoni, M; Sirri, F; Cavani, C; Petracci, M

    2016-03-01

    Only a few years ago, the poultry industry began to face a recent abnormality in breast meat, known as wooden breast, which frequently overlaps with white striping. This study aimed to assess the impact of wooden breast abnormality on quality traits of meat. For this purpose, 32 normal (NRM), 32 wooden (WB), and 32 wooden and white-striped (WB/WS) Pectoralis major muscles were selected from the same flock of heavy broilers (males, Ross 708, weighing around 3.7 kg) in the deboning area of a commercial processing plant at 3 h postmortem and used to assess histology, proximate (moisture, protein, fat, ash, and collagen) and mineral composition (Mg, K, P, Na and Ca), sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar protein patterns, and technological traits of breast meat. Compared to the normal group, WB/WS fillets showed more severe histological lesions characterized by fiber degeneration, fibrosis, and lipidosis, coupled with a significantly harder texture. With regard to proximate and mineral composition, abnormal samples exhibited significantly (P < 0.001) higher moisture, fat, and collagen contents coupled with lower (P < 0.001) amounts of protein and ash. Furthermore, increased calcium (131 vs. 84 mg kg(-1); P < 0.05) and sodium (741 vs. 393 mg kg(-1); P < 0.001) levels were found in WB/WS meat samples. The SDS-PAGE analysis revealed a significantly lower amount of calcium-ATPase (SERCA, 114 kDa), responsible for the translocation of Ca ions across the membrane, in normal breasts compared to abnormal ones. As for meat quality traits, fillets affected by wooden abnormality exhibited significantly (P < 0.001) higher ultimate pH and lower water-holding/water-binding capacity. In particular, compared to normal, abnormal samples showed reduced marinade uptake coupled with increased drip loss and cooking losses as well. In conclusion, this study revealed that meat affected by wooden breast or both wooden breast and white striping abnormalities exhibit poorer nutritional value, harder

  15. Histology, composition, and quality traits of chicken Pectoralis major muscle affected by wooden breast abnormality.

    PubMed

    Soglia, F; Mudalal, S; Babini, E; Di Nunzio, M; Mazzoni, M; Sirri, F; Cavani, C; Petracci, M

    2016-03-01

    Only a few years ago, the poultry industry began to face a recent abnormality in breast meat, known as wooden breast, which frequently overlaps with white striping. This study aimed to assess the impact of wooden breast abnormality on quality traits of meat. For this purpose, 32 normal (NRM), 32 wooden (WB), and 32 wooden and white-striped (WB/WS) Pectoralis major muscles were selected from the same flock of heavy broilers (males, Ross 708, weighing around 3.7 kg) in the deboning area of a commercial processing plant at 3 h postmortem and used to assess histology, proximate (moisture, protein, fat, ash, and collagen) and mineral composition (Mg, K, P, Na and Ca), sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar protein patterns, and technological traits of breast meat. Compared to the normal group, WB/WS fillets showed more severe histological lesions characterized by fiber degeneration, fibrosis, and lipidosis, coupled with a significantly harder texture. With regard to proximate and mineral composition, abnormal samples exhibited significantly (P < 0.001) higher moisture, fat, and collagen contents coupled with lower (P < 0.001) amounts of protein and ash. Furthermore, increased calcium (131 vs. 84 mg kg(-1); P < 0.05) and sodium (741 vs. 393 mg kg(-1); P < 0.001) levels were found in WB/WS meat samples. The SDS-PAGE analysis revealed a significantly lower amount of calcium-ATPase (SERCA, 114 kDa), responsible for the translocation of Ca ions across the membrane, in normal breasts compared to abnormal ones. As for meat quality traits, fillets affected by wooden abnormality exhibited significantly (P < 0.001) higher ultimate pH and lower water-holding/water-binding capacity. In particular, compared to normal, abnormal samples showed reduced marinade uptake coupled with increased drip loss and cooking losses as well. In conclusion, this study revealed that meat affected by wooden breast or both wooden breast and white striping abnormalities exhibit poorer nutritional value, harder

  16. Herbal drug quality and phytochemical composition of Hypericum perforatum L. affected by ash yellows phytoplasma infection.

    PubMed

    Bruni, Renato; Pellati, Federica; Bellardi, Maria Grazia; Benvenuti, Stefania; Paltrinieri, Samanta; Bertaccini, Assunta; Bianchi, Alberto

    2005-02-23

    Qualitative/quantitative phytochemical variations were observed in dried flowering tops of cultivated Hypericum perforatum L. cv. Zorzi infected by phytoplasmas of the "ash yellows" class, identified by direct and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR); this is the first report of ribosomial group 16SrVII phytoplasmas in St. John's Wort. Methanolic extracts of healthy and infected plants were separated by reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography to quantify naphthodianthrones and flavonoids, while essential oils were analyzed by means of gas chromatography (GC)-GC/MS. The affected plants exhibited decreased amounts of rutin (1.96 +/- 0.23 vs 4.96 +/- 0.02 mg/g), hyperoside (2.38 +/- 0.21 vs 3.04 +/- 0.05 mg/g), isoquercitrin (1.47 +/- 0.04 vs 3.50 +/- 0.08 mg/g), amentoflavone (0.12 +/- 0.01 vs 0.39 +/- 0.02 mg/g), and pseudohypericin (1.41 +/- 0.23 vs 2.29 +/- 0.07 mg/g), whereas the chlorogenic acid content was doubled (1.56 +/- 0.11 vs 0.77 +/- 0.02 mg/g). Hypericin, quercitrin, and quercetin contents were not severely affected. The essential oil yield was drastically reduced in infected material (0.11 vs 0.75% in healthy material) and revealed an increased abundance of sesquiterpenes (beta-caryophyllene, delta-elemene, and germacrene D, in particular) and a matching decrease in monoterpene hydrocarbons and aliphatics. The consequences that the phytopathological condition of cultivated H. perforatum plants has on the commercial quality, market value, and therapeutic efficacy are outlined. PMID:15713006

  17. Dialysis-related factors affecting quality of life in patients on hemodialysis.

    PubMed

    Anees, Muhammad; Hameed, Farooq; Mumtaz, Asim; Ibrahim, Muhammad; Saeed Khan, Muhammad Nasir

    2011-01-01

    INTRODUCTION. Treatment modalities for end-stage renal disease affect quality of life (QOL) of the patients. This study was conducted to assess the QOL of patients on hemodialysis and compare it with caregivers of these patients. Cause of ESRD and dialysis-related factors affecting QOL were also examined. MATERIALS AND METHODS. This cross-sectional study was conducted on patient on maintenance hemodialysis for more than 3 months at 3 dialysis centers of Lahore. Fifty healthy individuals were included as controls from among the patients' caregivers. The QOL index was measured using the World Health Organization QOL questionnaire, with higher scores corresponding to better QOL of patients. RESULTS. Eighty-nine patients (71.2%) were men, 99 (79.2%) were married, 75 (60.0%) were older than 45 years, and 77 (61.6%) were on dialysis for more than 8 months. Patients on hemodialysis had a poorer QOL as compared to their caregivers in all domains except for domain 4 (environment). There was no difference in the QOL between the three dialysis centers of the study, except for domain 3 (social relationship) of the patients at Mayo Hospital (a public hospital), which was significantly better. Nondiabetic patients had a better QOL in domain 1 (physical health) as compared to diabetic patients. Duration of dialysis had a reverse correlation with the overall QOL. CONCLUSIONS. We found that QOL of hemodialysis patients was poor as compared to caregivers of the patients, especially that of diabetics. Also, duration of dialysis had a reverse correlation with QOL. PMID:21189427

  18. The use of fresh embryos in stem cell research: ethical and policy issues.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Cynthia B; Brandhorst, Bruce; Nagy, Andras; Leader, Arthur; Dickens, Bernard; Isasi, Rosario M; Evans, Donald; Knoppers, Bartha M

    2008-05-01

    Fresh embryos resulting from in vitro fertilization, including many of poor quality, can provide sources of human embryonic stem cell lines. We consider why some donate such embryos for this research, address relevant ethical and policy issues, and present core guidelines for fresh embryo donation based on those of Canada.

  19. Delivering high-quality family planning services in crisis-affected settings I: program implementation.

    PubMed

    Curry, Dora Ward; Rattan, Jesse; Nzau, Jean Jose; Giri, Kamlesh

    2015-02-04

    In 2012, about 43 million women of reproductive age experienced the effects of conflict. Provision of basic sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, is a recognized right and need of refugees and internally displaced people, but funding and services for family planning have been inadequate. This article describes lessons learned during the first 2.5 years of implementing the ongoing Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care in Emergencies (SAFPAC) initiative, led by CARE, which supports government health systems to deliver family planning services in 5 crisis-affected settings (Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Mali, and Pakistan). SAFPAC's strategy focuses on 4 broad interventions drawn from public health best practices in more stable settings: competency-based training for providers, improved supply chain management, regular supervision, and community mobilization to influence attitudes and norms related to family planning. Between July 2011 and December 2013, the initiative reached 52,616 new users of modern contraceptive methods across the 5 countries (catchment population of 698,053 women of reproductive age), 61% of whom chose long-acting methods of implants or intrauterine devices. Prudent use of data to inform decision making has been an underpinning to the project's approach. A key approach to ensuring sustained ability to train and supervise new providers has been to build capacity in clinical skills training and supervision by establishing in-country training centers. In addition, monthly supervision using simple checklists has improved program and service quality, particularly with infection prevention procedures and stock management. We have generally instituted a "pull" system to manage commodities and other supplies, whereby health facilities place resupply orders as needed based on actual consumption patterns and stock-alert thresholds. Finally, reaching the community with mobilization

  20. Delivering High-Quality Family Planning Services in Crisis-Affected Settings I: Program Implementation

    PubMed Central

    Curry, Dora Ward; Rattan, Jesse; Nzau, Jean Jose; Giri, Kamlesh

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT In 2012, about 43 million women of reproductive age experienced the effects of conflict. Provision of basic sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, is a recognized right and need of refugees and internally displaced people, but funding and services for family planning have been inadequate. This article describes lessons learned during the first 2.5 years of implementing the ongoing Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care in Emergencies (SAFPAC) initiative, led by CARE, which supports government health systems to deliver family planning services in 5 crisis-affected settings (Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Mali, and Pakistan). SAFPAC's strategy focuses on 4 broad interventions drawn from public health best practices in more stable settings: competency-based training for providers, improved supply chain management, regular supervision, and community mobilization to influence attitudes and norms related to family planning. Between July 2011 and December 2013, the initiative reached 52,616 new users of modern contraceptive methods across the 5 countries (catchment population of 698,053 women of reproductive age), 61% of whom chose long-acting methods of implants or intrauterine devices. Prudent use of data to inform decision making has been an underpinning to the project's approach. A key approach to ensuring sustained ability to train and supervise new providers has been to build capacity in clinical skills training and supervision by establishing in-country training centers. In addition, monthly supervision using simple checklists has improved program and service quality, particularly with infection prevention procedures and stock management. We have generally instituted a “pull” system to manage commodities and other supplies, whereby health facilities place resupply orders as needed based on actual consumption patterns and stock-alert thresholds. Finally, reaching the community with

  1. Delivering high-quality family planning services in crisis-affected settings I: program implementation.

    PubMed

    Curry, Dora Ward; Rattan, Jesse; Nzau, Jean Jose; Giri, Kamlesh

    2015-03-01

    In 2012, about 43 million women of reproductive age experienced the effects of conflict. Provision of basic sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, is a recognized right and need of refugees and internally displaced people, but funding and services for family planning have been inadequate. This article describes lessons learned during the first 2.5 years of implementing the ongoing Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care in Emergencies (SAFPAC) initiative, led by CARE, which supports government health systems to deliver family planning services in 5 crisis-affected settings (Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Mali, and Pakistan). SAFPAC's strategy focuses on 4 broad interventions drawn from public health best practices in more stable settings: competency-based training for providers, improved supply chain management, regular supervision, and community mobilization to influence attitudes and norms related to family planning. Between July 2011 and December 2013, the initiative reached 52,616 new users of modern contraceptive methods across the 5 countries (catchment population of 698,053 women of reproductive age), 61% of whom chose long-acting methods of implants or intrauterine devices. Prudent use of data to inform decision making has been an underpinning to the project's approach. A key approach to ensuring sustained ability to train and supervise new providers has been to build capacity in clinical skills training and supervision by establishing in-country training centers. In addition, monthly supervision using simple checklists has improved program and service quality, particularly with infection prevention procedures and stock management. We have generally instituted a "pull" system to manage commodities and other supplies, whereby health facilities place resupply orders as needed based on actual consumption patterns and stock-alert thresholds. Finally, reaching the community with mobilization

  2. Treatment Factors Affecting Longitudinal Quality of Life in New Onset Pediatric Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Ingerski, Lisa M.; Rausch, Joseph R.; Glauser, Tracy A.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives Recognizing the importance of patient-reported outcomes, this longitudinal, prospective study examined: Changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) over seven months following antiepileptic drug (AED) initiation and the relationship of seizures, AED side-effects, and AED type to HRQOL. Method Parents of 124 children with newly diagnosed epilepsy completed measures of HRQOL and side-effects at each clinic visit. Treatment information was also collected. Results HRQOL remained stable over time; however, seizures and AED side-effects significantly affected multiple HRQOL domains. Higher seizure activity was associated with decreased Physical HRQOL. Side-effects were negatively associated with all HRQOL domains. Children taking carbamazepine who experienced higher side-effects early in therapy demonstrated declining emotional functioning compared to children experiencing no/some side-effects. Conclusions AED side-effects, AED type, and seizure frequency were associated with longitudinal HRQOL in children with newly-diagnosed epilepsy. Routine assessment of AED side-effects and HRQOL may be useful for clinical decision making. PMID:21278379

  3. Developmental changes in carbon and nitrogen metabolism affect tea quality in different leaf position.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhi-Xin; Yang, Wei-Jun; Ahammed, Golam Jalal; Shen, Chen; Yan, Peng; Li, Xin; Han, Wen-Yan

    2016-09-01

    Leaf position represents a specific developmental stage that influences both photosynthesis and respiration. However, the precise relationships between photosynthesis and respiration in different leaf position that affect tea quality are largely unknown. Here, we show that the effective quantum yield of photosystem II [ΦPSⅡ] as well as total chlorophyll concentration (TChl) of tea leaves increased gradually with leaf maturity. Moreover, respiration rate (RR) together with total nitrogen concentration (TN) decreased persistently, but total carbon remained unchanged during leaf maturation. Analyses of major N-based organic compounds revealed that decrease in TN was attributed to a significant decrease in the concentration of caffeine and amino acids (AA) in mature leaves. Furthermore, soluble sugar (SS) decreased, but starch concentration increased with leaf maturity, indicating that source-sink relationship was altered during tea leaf development. Detailed correlation analysis showed that ΦPSⅡ was negatively correlated with RR, SS, starch, tea polyphenol (TP), total catechins and TN, but positively correlated with TChl; while RR was positively correlated with TN, SS, TP and caffeine, but negatively correlated with TChl and starch concentrations. Our results suggest that biosynthesis of chlorophyll, catechins and polyphenols is closely associated with photosynthesis and respiration in different leaf position that greatly influences the relationship between primary and secondary metabolism in tea plants. PMID:27380366

  4. Meat quality traits in the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) as affected by muscle type and animal age.

    PubMed

    Berge, P; Lepetit, J; Renerre, M; Touraille, C

    1997-02-01

    Meat quality traits were determined in the major muscles of the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) at different slaughter ages (6, 10, 14, 17 or ≥20 months). A mean ultimate pH value of 5.5 was reached within around 3 h post mortem, but this value was 6.1 in animals that had suffered a preslaughter stress (transportation and fasting). The collagen and pigment contents varied widely among the muscles. The protein and pigment contents increased with animal age, but this effect was perceptible only between 6 and 14 months. The other chemical constituents were little affected by muscle type or animal age. The intense red colour of emu meat, due to a high pigment content, was very sensitive to oxidation, thus limiting the storage of fresh meat under aerobic conditions to short periods of time. Despite a rapid post-mortem tenderization (≤24 h), the residual myofibrillar strength obtained after extended ageing remained intermediate between those reported for chicken and beef. The tenderness of meat, cooked to 60 °C, differed between muscles and decreased with increasing age, thus reflecting the changes occuring in the concentration and in the heat stability of the intramuscular connective tissue.

  5. Exploring the High-Resolution Spectroscopy of Molecules that can Affect the Quality of your Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Terry A.

    2014-06-01

    Few things affect your quality of life more than the air you breathe and the temperature of your immediate environment. Since more than 80% of the energy used in the industrialized world today is still derived from fossil fuels, these two quantities are not unrelated. Most organic molecules injected into the troposphere are degraded via oxidative processes involving free radical intermediates, and many of these intermediates are the same as the ones involved in the combustion of fossil fuels. Key oxidizing intermediates are hydroxyl, OH (day), and nitrate, NO_3 (night), and early intermediates of oxidized organic compounds include the alkoxy (RO) and peroxy (RO_2) families of radicals. Recently we have explored the spectroscopy of RO, RO_2, and NO_3 radicals both for diagnostic purposes and to characterize their molecular properties and benchmark quantum chemistry calculations. We have utilized moderate resolution cavity ringdown spectroscopy (CRDS) to study ambient temperature radicals and high resolution CRDS and laser induced fluorescence (LIF) to study jet-cooled radicals. Peroxy radicals and NO_3 have weak tilde{A}-tilde{X} electronic transitions in the near infrared which we have studied with CRDS. Comparable LIF measurements have been made for the alkoxy species in the UV. Both vibrational and rotational resolution of the electronic spectra is observed. Data obtained from the spectral observations provide information about both the geometric and electronic structure of these radicals as well as their dynamics and also provide the capability for unambiguous diagnostics of their concentrations and reactions.

  6. Developmental changes in carbon and nitrogen metabolism affect tea quality in different leaf position.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhi-Xin; Yang, Wei-Jun; Ahammed, Golam Jalal; Shen, Chen; Yan, Peng; Li, Xin; Han, Wen-Yan

    2016-09-01

    Leaf position represents a specific developmental stage that influences both photosynthesis and respiration. However, the precise relationships between photosynthesis and respiration in different leaf position that affect tea quality are largely unknown. Here, we show that the effective quantum yield of photosystem II [ΦPSⅡ] as well as total chlorophyll concentration (TChl) of tea leaves increased gradually with leaf maturity. Moreover, respiration rate (RR) together with total nitrogen concentration (TN) decreased persistently, but total carbon remained unchanged during leaf maturation. Analyses of major N-based organic compounds revealed that decrease in TN was attributed to a significant decrease in the concentration of caffeine and amino acids (AA) in mature leaves. Furthermore, soluble sugar (SS) decreased, but starch concentration increased with leaf maturity, indicating that source-sink relationship was altered during tea leaf development. Detailed correlation analysis showed that ΦPSⅡ was negatively correlated with RR, SS, starch, tea polyphenol (TP), total catechins and TN, but positively correlated with TChl; while RR was positively correlated with TN, SS, TP and caffeine, but negatively correlated with TChl and starch concentrations. Our results suggest that biosynthesis of chlorophyll, catechins and polyphenols is closely associated with photosynthesis and respiration in different leaf position that greatly influences the relationship between primary and secondary metabolism in tea plants.

  7. Genetic diagnosis of human embryos.

    PubMed

    Bonnicksen, Andrea

    1992-01-01

    For all the worried talk about genetic engineering over the last two decades, it is surprising how quietly plans for the genetic diagnosis of human embryos have developed. The issues raised warrant careful examination: what needs are met through embryo diagnosis? Who bears responsibility for monitoring this technique? Under what overarching ethic should embryo diagnosis and, eventually, embryo therapy, be applied? What are the broader social implications raised by the genetic diagnosis of human embryos?

  8. State-of-the-art embryo technologies in cattle.

    PubMed

    Lonergan, P

    2007-01-01

    Over the past 30 years, basic and applied studies on classical and advanced embryo technologies have generated a vast literature on factors regulating oocyte and embryo development and quality. In addition, over this period, commercial bovine embryo transfer has become a large international business. It is well recognised that bovine embryos derived in vivo are of superior quality to those derived from in vitro maturation, fertilization and culture. Relatively little has changed in the techniques of producing embryos in vivo although there is increasing evidence of the importance of, for example, peripheral and follicular endocrine profiles for the subsequent developmental competence of the embryo. The in vitro production of ruminant embryos is a three-step process involving oocyte maturation, oocyte fertilization and in vitro culture. Only 30-40% of such oocytes reach the blastocyst stage, at which they can be transferred to a recipient or frozen for future use. We know now that the quality of the oocyte is crucial in determining the proportion of immature oocytes that form blastocysts while the post-fertilization culture environment has a major influence on the quality of the blastocyst. Use of sexed-sorted sperm in conjunction with in vitro embryo production is a potentially efficient means of obtaining offspring of the desired sex. Concerns regarding the use of sexed semen technology include the apparent lower fertility of sorted sperm, the lower survival of sorted sperm after cryopreservation and the reduced number of sperm that could be separated in a specified time period. Assessment of embryo quality is a challenge. Morphological assessment is at present the most popular method for embryo selection prior to transfer. Other non-invasive assessment methods include the timing of the first cleavage division which has been linked to developmental ability. Quantitative examination of gene expression is an additional valuable tool to assess the viability of

  9. Buffalo embryos produced by handmade cloning from oocytes selected using brilliant cresyl blue staining have better developmental competence and quality and are closer to embryos produced by in vitro fertilization in terms of their epigenetic status and gene expression pattern.

    PubMed

    Mohapatra, Sushil K; Sandhu, Anjit; Neerukattu, Venkata S; Singh, Karn P; Selokar, Naresh L; Singla, Suresh K; Chauhan, Manmohan S; Manik, Radhey S; Palta, Prabhat

    2015-04-01

    We compared handmade cloned (HMC) buffalo blastocysts produced from oocytes stained with Brilliant Cresyl Blue (BCB) and classified into those with blue (BCB+) or colorless cytoplasm (BCB-). The blastocyst rate was higher (p<0.001) for BCB+ than for BCB- oocytes (43.41 ± 2.54 vs. 22.74 ± 1.76%). BCB+ blastocysts had inner cell mass (ICM) cell number, ICM-to-trophectoderm ratio, global level of H3K18ac, apoptotic index, and expression level of BCL-XL, but not that of CASPASE-3, similar to that of blastocysts produced through in vitro fertilization (IVF), which was higher (p<0.05) than that of BCB- blastocysts. The global level of H3K9me2, which was similar in BCB+ and BCB- blastocysts, was higher (p<0.01) than that in IVF blastocysts. The expression level of OCT4 and SOX2 was higher (p<0.05) and that of GATA2 was lower (p<0.05) in BCB+ than that in BCB- blastocysts, whereas that of DNMT1, DNMT3a, NANOG, and CDX2 was not significantly different between the two groups. The expression level of DNMT1, OCT4, NANOG, and SOX2 was lower (p<0.05) and that of CDX2 was higher (p<0.05) in BCB+ than in IVF blastocysts. In conclusion, because BCB+ blastocysts have better developmental competence and are closer to IVF blastocysts in terms of quality, epigenetic status, and gene expression than BCB- blastocysts, BCB staining can be used effectively for selection of developmentally competent oocytes for HMC.

  10. Meteorological Processes Affecting Air Quality – Research and Model Development Needs

    EPA Science Inventory

    Meteorology modeling is an important component of air quality modeling systems that defines the physical and dynamical environment for atmospheric chemistry. The meteorology models used for air quality applications are based on numerical weather prediction models that were devel...

  11. Factors affecting quality of life and fatigue in patients with leukemia under chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Musarezaie, Amir; Khaledi, Firuz; Esfahani, Homayoon Naji; Ghaleghasemi, Tahere Momeni

    2014-01-01

    Background: The goal of treating chronic diseases, including hematologic malignancies, is to increase patients’ life span and to improve their capabilities as much as possible; so that patients could maintain an appropriate level of quality of life (QoL) and continue their lives. Most studies performed to evaluate the treatment of various diseases were mostly focused on the increase of life expectancy regardless of the QoL and treatment issues. Furthermore, fatigue is one of the most common and distressing side effects of cancer and treatments related to it, which can affect a patient's QoL, and be followed by many problems. This study was designed and implemented with the aim to determine the factors affecting the QoL and fatigue in patients with leukemia undergoing chemotherapy. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional correlation descriptive-analytical study. One hundred and fifteen patients with leukemia referred to Sayyed-Al-Shohada Hospital were enrolled in the study through convenient sampling method. To collect data, a three-part questionnaire was used: The first part was related to demographic characteristics and disease-related data and the second part was the fatigue check list and the third part was the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) related to QoL. The data were analyzed after collection and coding through Software SPSS version 18 and descriptive and analytical statistics (analysis of variance test, independent t test, Pearson's and Spearman's correlation coefficient) with 95% confidence interval. Results: The results showed that there was a significant correlation between QoL in Physical Component Summary with gender (P = 0.03), educational level (P = 0.09), and marital status (P = 0.004), Also there was a significant correlation between QoL in Mental Component Summary with educational level (P = 0.01) and economic status (P = 0.02). Findings showed that there was a significant correlation between fatigue and marital status (P = 0

  12. Scion-rootstock interaction affects the physiology and fruit quality of sweet cherry.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Berta; Moutinho-Pereira, José; Santos, Alberto; Silva, Ana Paula; Bacelar, Eunice; Correia, Carlos; Rosa, Eduardo

    2006-01-01

    Water relations, leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll a fluorescence, light canopy transmittance, leaf photosynthetic pigments and metabolites and fruit quality indices of cherry cultivars 'Burlat', 'Summit' and 'Van' growing on five rootstocks with differing size-controlling potentials that decrease in the order: Prunus avium L. > CAB 11E > Maxma 14 > Gisela 5 > Edabriz, were studied during 2002 and 2003. Rootstock genotype affected all physiological parameters. Cherry cultivars grafted on invigorating rootstocks had higher values of midday stem water potential (Psi(MD)), net CO(2) assimilation rate (A), stomatal conductance (g(s)), intercellular CO(2) concentration (C(i)) and maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) (F(v)/F(m)) than cultivars grafted on dwarfing rootstocks. The Psi(MD) was positively correlated with A, g(s) and C(i). Moreover, A was positively correlated with g(s), and the slopes of the linear regression increased from invigorating to dwarfing rootstocks, indicating a stronger regulation of photosynthesis by stomatal aperture in trees on dwarfing Edabriz and Gisela 5. The effect of rootstock genotype was also statistically significant for leaf photosynthetic pigments, whereas metabolite concentrations and fruit physicochemical characteristics were more dependent on cultivar genotype. Among cultivars, 'Burlat' leaves had the lowest concentrations of photosynthetic pigments, but were richest in total soluble sugars, starch and total phenols. Compared with the other cultivars, 'Summit' had heavier fruits, independent of the rootstock. 'Burlat' cherries were less firm and had lower concentrations of soluble sugars and a lower titratable acidity than 'Van' cherries. Nevertheless, 'Van' cherries had lower lightness, chroma and hue angle, representing redder and darker cherries, compared with 'Summit' fruits. In general, Psi(MD) was positively correlated with fruit mass and A was negatively correlated with lightness and chroma. These results

  13. Variable abattoir conditions affect Salmonella enterica prevalence and meat quality in swine and pork.

    PubMed

    Hurd, H S; Gailey, J K; McKean, J D; Griffith, R W

    2005-01-01

    Research suggests that abattoir holding pens pose significant Salmonella enterica risk to swine immediately preharvest. The goal of this study was to evaluate those factors related to holding that increased the prevalence of S. enterica in swine at slaughter. To accomplish this goal, we focused on holding time and flooring. Our objectives were to (1) compare Salmonella enterica prevalence among pigs held for short (15-45 min) versus long (up to 4 h) periods before slaughter; and (2) determine the impact of flooring (slatted vs. concrete) as it relates to the prevalence of S. enterica. The study consisted of seven repetitions at a large volume (11,000 head/day) Midwest abattoir. Each repetition consisted of one truck load of pigs (n = 170) sorted into one of three groups: (1) animals held for a short time (15-45 min) on solid floors (short-hold); (2) animals held for 4 +/- 0.5 h on slatted floors; and (3) animals held for 4 +/- 0.5 h on solid concrete floors. At slaughter, samples were collected from 30 pigs in each group. Cecal contents (20 mL), feces (20 g), and the ileocecal lymph node were cultured for S. enterica. Additionally, the effect of holding time on meat quality parameters (loin pH at 35 min and 6 h, color, drip loss) was evaluated for the first four replicates. The proportion of S. enterica-positive samples was highest (p < 0.05) in the cecum of pigs held on solid concrete floors (72.4%), and slightly less for pigs held on slatted floors (63.3%). Animals held for less than 45 min before slaughter demonstrated the lowest proportion of S. enterica-positive samples (52.9%). The pig prevalence, as measured by any one of the three samples being positive, was significantly different (p < 0.05) between animals held on solid floors (81%) and those animals held for 45 min or less before slaughter (69%). Meat quality, as measured by multiple parameters, was adversely affected by lack of a rest period. The mean 24-h pH was significantly lower for the short

  14. CO2-induced shift in microbial activity affects carbon trapping and water quality in anoxic bioreactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirk, Matthew F.; Santillan, Eugenio F. U.; Sanford, Robert A.; Altman, Susan J.

    2013-12-01

    Microbial activity is a potentially important yet poorly understood control on the fate and environmental impact of CO2 that leaks into aquifers from deep storage reservoirs. In this study we examine how variation in CO2 abundance affected competition between Fe(III) and SO42--reducers in anoxic bioreactors inoculated with a mixed-microbial community from a freshwater aquifer. We performed two sets of experiments: one with low CO2 partial pressure (∼0.02 atm) in the headspace of the reactors and one with high CO2 partial pressure (∼1 atm). A fluid residence time of 35 days was maintained in the reactors by replacing one-fifth of the aqueous volume with fresh medium every seven days. The aqueous medium was composed of groundwater amended with small amounts of acetate (250 μM), phosphate (1 μM), and ammonium (50 μM) to stimulate microbial activity. Synthetic goethite (1 mmol) and SO42- (500 μM influent concentration) were also available in each reactor to serve as electron acceptors. Results of this study show that higher CO2 abundance increased the ability of Fe(III) reducers to compete with SO42- reducers, leading to significant shifts in CO2 trapping and water quality. Mass-balance calculations and pyrosequencing results demonstrate that SO42- reducers were dominant in reactors with low CO2 content. They consumed 85% of the acetate after acetate consumption reached steady state while Fe(III) reducers consumed only 15% on average. In contrast, Fe(III) reducers were dominant during that same interval in reactors with high CO2 content, consuming at least 90% of the acetate while SO42- reducers consumed a negligible amount (<1%). The higher rate of Fe(III) reduction in the high-CO2 bioreactors enhanced CO2 solubility trapping relative to the low-CO2 bioreactors by increasing alkalinity generation (6X). Hence, the shift in microbial activity we observed was a positive feedback on CO2 trapping. More rapid Fe(III) reduction degraded water quality, however, by

  15. Tradeoffs between Price and Quality: How a Value Index Affects Preference Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Creyer, Elizabeth H.; Ross, William T., Jr.

    1997-01-01

    Some of a group of 143 consumers were given a choice between higher-priced, higher-quality items and items with lower price and quality but higher value index (benefit/cost tradeoff); others were given price and quality information only. Consumers were more likely to choose lower-priced, higher-value options when the index information was…

  16. Does High School Facility Quality Affect Student Achievement? A Two-Level Hierarchical Linear Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowers, Alex J.; Urick, Angela

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to isolate the independent effects of high school facility quality on student achievement using a large, nationally representative U.S. database of student achievement and school facility quality. Prior research on linking school facility quality to student achievement has been mixed. Studies that relate overall…

  17. Effective Use of Discovery Learning to Improve Understanding of Factors That Affect Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mukherjee, Arup

    2015-01-01

    Undergraduate business majors are required to take a course in operations management. In this course, a great deal of emphasis is put on developing a good understanding of quality because this is likely to be the only required course that covers this important topic. Quality of output exhibits a great deal of variation. To produce high quality on…

  18. Does Teacher Quality Affect Student Achievement? An Empirical Study in Indonesia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sirait, Swando

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study is to examine the relationship between teacher qualities in relation to student achievement in Indonesia. Teacher quality in this study defines as teacher evaluation score, in the areas of professional and pedagogic competency. The result of this study consonant to previous study that teacher quality, in term of teacher…

  19. Delivering high-quality family planning services in crisis-affected settings II: results.

    PubMed

    Curry, Dora Ward; Rattan, Jesse; Huang, Shuyuan; Noznesky, Elizabeth

    2015-03-01

    An estimated 43 million women of reproductive age experienced the effects of conflict in 2012. Already vulnerable from the insecurity of the emergency, women must also face the continuing risk of unwanted pregnancy but often are unable to obtain family planning services. The ongoing Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care (SAFPAC) initiative, led by CARE, has provided contraceptives, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), to refugees, internally displaced persons, and conflict-affected resident populations in Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Mali, and Pakistan. The project works through the Ministry of Health in 4 key areas: (1) competency-based training, (2) supply chain management, (3) systematic supervision, and (4) community mobilization to raise awareness and shift norms related to family planning. This article presents data on program results from July 2011 to December 2013 from the 5 countries. Project staff summarized monthly data from client registers using hard-copy forms and recorded the data electronically in Microsoft Excel for compilation and analysis. The initiative reached 52,616 new users of modern contraceptive methods across the 5 countries, ranging from 575 in Djibouti to 21,191 in Chad. LARCs have predominated overall, representing 61% of new modern method users. The percentage of new users choosing LARCs varied by country: 78% in the DRC, 72% in Chad, and 51% in Mali, but only 29% in Pakistan. In Djibouti, those methods were not offered in the country through SAFPAC during the period discussed here. In Chad, the DRC, and Mali, implants have been the most popular LARC method, while in Pakistan the IUD has been more popular. Use of IUDs, however, has comprised a larger share of the method mix over time in all 4 of these countries. These results to date suggest that it is feasible to work with the public sector in fragile, crisis-affected states to deliver a wide range of quality

  20. Delivering high-quality family planning services in crisis-affected settings II: results.

    PubMed

    Curry, Dora Ward; Rattan, Jesse; Huang, Shuyuan; Noznesky, Elizabeth

    2015-02-04

    An estimated 43 million women of reproductive age experienced the effects of conflict in 2012. Already vulnerable from the insecurity of the emergency, women must also face the continuing risk of unwanted pregnancy but often are unable to obtain family planning services. The ongoing Supporting Access to Family Planning and Post-Abortion Care (SAFPAC) initiative, led by CARE, has provided contraceptives, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), to refugees, internally displaced persons, and conflict-affected resident populations in Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Mali, and Pakistan. The project works through the Ministry of Health in 4 key areas: (1) competency-based training, (2) supply chain management, (3) systematic supervision, and (4) community mobilization to raise awareness and shift norms related to family planning. This article presents data on program results from July 2011 to December 2013 from the 5 countries. Project staff summarized monthly data from client registers using hard-copy forms and recorded the data electronically in Microsoft Excel for compilation and analysis. The initiative reached 52,616 new users of modern contraceptive methods across the 5 countries, ranging from 575 in Djibouti to 21,191 in Chad. LARCs have predominated overall, representing 61% of new modern method users. The percentage of new users choosing LARCs varied by country: 78% in the DRC, 72% in Chad, and 51% in Mali, but only 29% in Pakistan. In Djibouti, those methods were not offered in the country through SAFPAC during the period discussed here. In Chad, the DRC, and Mali, implants have been the most popular LARC method, while in Pakistan the IUD has been more popular. Use of IUDs, however, has comprised a larger share of the method mix over time in all 4 of these countries. These results to date suggest that it is feasible to work with the public sector in fragile, crisis-affected states to deliver a wide range of quality

  1. Biosecurity and the various types of embryos transferred.

    PubMed

    Thibier, M

    2006-08-01

    The aim of the present paper was to review some features related to the risk analysis of three types of embryos to be transferred, namely the in vivo derived, the in vitro produced and the cloned ones. For in vivo-collected embryos, a considerable number of experiments and scientific investigations have been performed and hundreds of thousands of embryos are transferred annually with no contamination of associated diseases. Provided that the code of practice such as that published by the International Embryo Transfer Society is strictly followed by the embryo transfer practitioners, the statement made some 17 years ago saying that the in vivo-derived embryo transfer was the safest way of exchanging genes remains entirely true, thanks to the professionalism of the embryo transfer industry. For the in vitro-produced embryos, some particular rules have to be followed because of specific risks for some pathogens to strongly adhere to the zona pellucida of such embryos. There are some means to monitor and control those effects, and the transfer of in vitro-produced embryos can also be a very safe way to exchange genes around the world. The third type of embryos, the cloned ones, is a quite different category and the risk analysis to be soundly made still needs a lot of investigations so as to characterize the potential risks if there are, in terms not only of disease transmission but also in terms of public health, zoonotic risks as well as those related to quality and safety of food. The problem in this regard, is more directly addressed for offspring of clones than to the cloned embryos themselves. Published data on this issue are increasing in numbers so that progress in that area is expected in the few years to come.

  2. Characterization of somatic embryo attached structures in Feijoa sellowiana Berg. (Myrtaceae).

    PubMed

    Correia, Sandra M; Canhoto, Jorge M

    2010-06-01

    The presence of an attached organ to somatic embryos of angiosperms connecting the embryo to the supporting tissue has been a subject of controversy. This study shows that 67% of the morphologically normal somatic embryos of Feijoa sellowiana possess this type of organ and that its formation was not affected by culture media composition. Histological and ultrastructural analysis indicated that the attached structures of somatic embryos displayed a great morphological diversity ranging from a few cells to massive and columnar structures. This contrast with the simple suspensors observed in zygotic embryos which were only formed by five cells. As well as the suspensor of zygotic embryos, somatic embryo attached structures undergo a process of degeneration in later stages of embryo development. Other characteristic shared by zygotic suspensors and somatic embryo attached structures was the presence of thick cell walls surrounding the cells. Elongated thin filaments were often associated with the structures attached to somatic embryos, whereas in other cases, tubular cells containing starch grains connected the embryo to the supporting tissue. These characteristics associated with the presence of plasmodesmata in the cells of the attached structures seem to indicate a role on embryo nutrition. However, cell proliferation in the attached structures resulting into new somatic embryos may also suggest a more complex relationship between the embryo and the structures connecting it to the supporting tissue.

  3. Event-based stormwater quality and quantity loadings from elevated urban infrastructure affected by transportation.

    PubMed

    Sansalone, John J; Hird, Jonathan P; Cartledge, Frank K; Tittlebaum, Marty E

    2005-01-01

    Urban-rainfall runoff affected by transportation is a complex matrix of a very wide gradation of particulate matter (< 1 to > 10 000 microm) and dissolved inorganic and organic constituents. Particulate matter transported by rainfall runoff can be a significant vector for many reactive particulate-bound constituents, particularly metal elements. The water quality and hydrology of nine events from a representative elevated section of Interstate 10 (I-10) (eastbound average daily traffic load of 70 400 vehicles) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were characterized and compared with respect to the passage of each hydrograph. Residence time on the paved concrete surface was less than 30 minutes for all events. Results indicate that event-mean concentrations (EMCs) of particulate matter as total-suspended solids (TSS) (138 to 561 mg/L) and chemical-oxygen demand (COD) (128 to 1440 mg/L) were greater than those found in untreated municipal wastewater from the same service area. Particulate-matter dissolution and COD partitioned as a function of pH, pavement residence time, and organic content. In general, delivery of mass for aggregate indices, such as particulate matter (measured as TSS) and COD mass, were driven by the hydrology of the event, while concentrations of aggregate-constituent measurements, such as total-dissolved solids (TDS), illustrated an exponential-type decline during the rising limb of the hydrograph. Despite the short residence times, wide solids gradation, partitioning, and complexity of the rainfall-runoff chemistry, conductivity and dissolved solids were strongly correlated. Characterization of the transport and loads of constituents in urban-rainfall runoff, as a function of hydrology, is a necessary first step when considering treatability, structural or nonstructural controls, and mass trading for discharges from paved infrastructure. PMID:16121503

  4. Does the Reporting Quality of Diagnostic Test Accuracy Studies, as Defined by STARD 2015, Affect Citation?

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Young Jun; Chung, Mi Sun; Koo, Hyun Jung; Park, Ji Eun; Yoon, Hee Mang

    2016-01-01

    Objective To determine the rate with which diagnostic test accuracy studies that are published in a general radiology journal adhere to the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (STARD) 2015, and to explore the relationship between adherence rate and citation rate while avoiding confounding by journal factors. Materials and Methods All eligible diagnostic test accuracy studies that were published in the Korean Journal of Radiology in 2011–2015 were identified. Five reviewers assessed each article for yes/no compliance with 27 of the 30 STARD 2015 checklist items (items 28, 29, and 30 were excluded). The total STARD score (number of fulfilled STARD items) was calculated. The score of the 15 STARD items that related directly to the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS)-2 was also calculated. The number of times each article was cited (as indicated by the Web of Science) after publication until March 2016 and the article exposure time (time in months between publication and March 2016) were extracted. Results Sixty-three articles were analyzed. The mean (range) total and QUADAS-2-related STARD scores were 20.0 (14.5–25) and 11.4 (7–15), respectively. The mean citation number was 4 (0–21). Citation number did not associate significantly with either STARD score after accounting for exposure time (total score: correlation coefficient = 0.154, p = 0.232; QUADAS-2-related score: correlation coefficient = 0.143, p = 0.266). Conclusion The degree of adherence to STARD 2015 was moderate for this journal, indicating that there is room for improvement. When adjusted for exposure time, the degree of adherence did not affect the citation rate. PMID:27587959

  5. Primary factors affecting water quality and quantity in four watersheds in Eastern Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, Sheila F.; Stallard, Robert F.

    2009-01-01

    As part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Water, Energy, and Biogeochemical Budgets (WEBB) program, four small watersheds in eastern Puerto Rico were monitored to identify and evaluate the effects of geology, landcover, atmospheric deposition, and other factors on stream water quality and quantity. Two catchments are located on coarse-grained granitic plutonic rocks, which weather to quartz- and clay-rich, sandy soils, and two are located on fine-grained volcanic rocks and volcaniclastic sediments, which weather to quartz-poor, fine-grained soils. These differing soil materials result in different hydrologic regimes. Soils on the granitic rocks have greater permeability than those developed on the volcaniclastic rocks, allowing more water infiltration and potentially greater landslide erosion rates. For each bedrock type, one catchment was covered with mature rainforest, and the other catchment was affected by agricultural practices typical of eastern Puerto Rico. These practices led to the erosion of much of the original surface soil in the agricultural watersheds, which introduced large quantities of sediment to stream channels. The agricultural watersheds are undergoing natural reforestation, like much of Puerto Rico. Eastern Puerto Rico receives large atmospheric inputs of marine salts, pollutants from the Northern Hemisphere, and Saharan Desert dust. Marine salts contribute over 80 percent of the ionic charge in precipitation, with peak inputs in January. Intense storms, mostly hurricanes, are associated with exceptionally high chloride concentrations in stream waters. Temperate pollution contributes nitrate, ammonia, and sulfate, with maximum inputs during northern cold fronts in January, April, and May. Pollution inputs have increased through time. Desert dust peaks in June and July, during times of maximum dust transport from the Saharan Desert across the Atlantic Ocean.

  6. Quantity and quality of nocturnal sleep affect morning glucose measurement in acutely burned children.

    PubMed

    Mayes, Theresa; Gottschlich, Michele M; Khoury, Jane; Simakajornboon, Narong; Kagan, Richard J

    2013-01-01

    Hyperglycemia after severe burn injury has long been recognized, whereas sleep deprivation after burns is a more recent finding. The postburn metabolic effects of poor sleep are not clear despite reports in other populations demonstrating the association between sleep insufficiency and deleterious endocrine consequences. The aim of this study was to determine whether a relationship between sleep and glucose dynamics exists in acutely burned children. Two overnight polysomnography runs (2200 to 0600) per subject were conducted in 40 patients with a mean (± SEM) age of 9.4 ± 0.7 years, 50.1 ± 2.9% TBSA burn, and 43.2 ± 3.6% full-thickness injury. Serum glucose was drawn in the morning (0600) immediately after the sleep test. Insulin requirements during the 24-hour period preceding the 0600 glucose measurement were recorded. Generalized linear models were used by the authors to evaluate percent time in each stage of sleep, percent wake time, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and morning serum glucose, accounting for insulin use. Increased time awake (P = .04, linear; P = .02, quadratic) and reduced time spent in stage 1 sleep (P = .03, linear) were associated with higher glucose levels. Sleep efficiency (P = .01, linear; P = .02, quadratic) and total sleep time (P = .01 linear; P = .02, quadratic) were inversely associated with glucose level. Morning glucose levels appear to be affected by the quality and quantity of overnight sleep in children who have sustained extensive burn injuries. Future research is needed to elucidate the metabolic and neuroendocrine consequences of sleep deprivation on metabolism after burns.

  7. Assessment of well water quality in Tsunami affected regions of south-west coast of Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Nair, G Achuthan; Chandran, R Pratap; Sukumar, B; Santhosh, S; Vijayamohanan; Sobha, V

    2013-07-01

    The quality of well waters, based on 23 parameters of water, at 12 stations of south-west coast of Kerala, India, was assessed during monsoon, 2009 and summer, 2010, to determine their suitability for drinking and other domestic purposes. The stations selected were grouped into four regions viz. least, slightly, moderately and severely affected ones based on the severity of 2004 Asian Tsunami at each station. The depths of wells showed variations depending on the seasons and on their distance from the seacoast. The average water temperatures during monsoon and summer seasons were 28.5 degrees C and 30.2 degrees C respectively. The pH of well waters were below 6.5 in least and slightly affected regions and above this value in moderately and severely affected regions. In all the four regions, the well water parameters of electrical conductivity, hardness, fluoride, free chlorine, copper, zinc, calcium and nickel were below, and phosphorus, lead, iron cadmium and manganese were above the standard permissible levels set for them in drinking water. The values of salinity, sodium and potassium in the well waters of moderately and severely affected regions, and the values of nitrate-nitrogen, nitrate and magnesium in the well waters of severely affected regions were above the permissible limits set for them in drinking water. Water quality index calculated on the basis of drinking water standards revealed that the well waters of least and slightly affected regions were moderately polluted in both monsoon and summer seasons and the same of moderately affected region were excessively polluted during monsoon and severely polluted during summer seasons, whereas the well waters of severely affected regions were severely polluted in both seasons. Suitable recommendations were made to improve the quality of well waters of least and slightly affected regions.

  8. Analysis of factors influencing morphokinetic characteristics of embryos in ART cycles.

    PubMed

    Gryshchenko, Mykola Grygorievich; Pravdyuk, Alexey Igorovich; Parashchyuk, Valentin Yurievich

    2014-10-01

    In this article, some factors were evaluated for their impact on embryo morphokinetics during assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles. We detected significant differences in the fourth cell division time (t5) of embryos obtained after controlled ovarian stimulation in long GnRH agonists and GnRH antagonist protocols. We also found that higher gonadotropin dose may slow down the development of embryos. However, both male and female age, the number of oocytes and number of normal forms of sperm in the ejaculate did not affect the kinetic parameters of embryo development. Further research is needed to identify all the spectrum of factors, which can affect the rate of embryo development.

  9. N-acetyl-L-cysteine pre-treatment protects cryopreserved bovine spermatozoa from reactive oxygen species without compromising the in vitro developmental potential of intracytoplasmic sperm injection embryos.

    PubMed

    Pérez, L; Arias, M E; Sánchez, R; Felmer, R

    2015-12-01

    Excess of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on in vitro embryo production systems negatively affects the quality and developmental potential of embryos, as result of a decreased sperm quality and increased DNA fragmentation. This issue is of major importance in assisted fertilisation procedures such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), because this technique does not allow the natural selection of competent spermatozoa, and therefore, DNA-damaged spermatozoa might be used to fertilise an egg. The aim of this study was to investigate a new strategy to prevent the potential deleterious effect of ROS on cryopreserved bovine spermatozoa. We evaluated the effect of a sperm pre-treatment with different concentrations of N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) on ROS production, viability and DNA fragmentation and assessed the effect of this treatment on the in vitro developmental potential and quality of embryos generated by ICSI. The results show a strong scavenging effect of 1 and 10 mm NAC after exposure of spermatozoa to a ROS inducer, without compromising the viability and DNA integrity. Importantly, in vitro developmental potential and quality of embryos generated by ICSI with spermatozoa treated with NAC were not affected, confirming the feasibility of using this treatment before an ICSI cycle.

  10. Toxicity of urban highway runoff in Shanghai to Zebrafish (Danio rerio ) embryos and luminous bacteria (Vibrio qinghaiensis.Q67).

    PubMed

    Wu, Lingling; Jiang, Yue; Zhang, Lili; Chen, Ling; Zhang, Haiping

    2014-02-01

    Pollution from urban highway runoff has been identified as one of the major causes of the deterioration of receiving water quality. The purpose of this study is to assess the toxicity of urban storm water samples in Shanghai using the zebrafish (Danio rerio ) embryo test and the bacterial luminescence (Vibrio qinghaiensis ) assay. The toxicity of highway runoff from seventeen storm events was investigated in both grab and composite samples. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to the runoff samples and development parameters including lethality, spontaneous movements in 20 s, heart beat rate, hatching rate, and abnormality of zebrafish embryos were observed after 24, 48, 72, and 96 h of exposure. Inhibition rates of luminescence intensity were also recorded. The results showed that in the zebrafish embryo toxicity tests, both grab and composite samples increased the lethality, reduced the percentage with spontaneous movements and heart beats, inhibited the hatching of embryos, and induced morphological abnormalities. In the Vibrio qinghaiensis toxicity test, all the grab samples inhibited the luminescence, while some of the composite samples promoted it, which indicated that different types of toxicants might have been affecting the species. The multivariate statistics analysis indicated that heavy metal (zinc, manganese, and copper) and PAHs might mainly contribute to the toxicity of runoff samples.

  11. Singleton Pregnancy Outcomes after In Vitro Fertilization with Fresh or Frozen-Thawed Embryo Transfer and Incidence of Placenta Praevia

    PubMed Central

    Korosec, Sara; Kladnik, Urska; Kotar, Vanja; Virant-Klun, Irma; Vrtacnik Bokal, Eda

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the study was to compare the single pregnancy and neonate outcome after fresh and frozen-thawed embryo transfer in the in vitro fertilization programme (IVF). The study focused on clinical and laboratory factors affecting the abnormal placentation, especially placenta praevia, in patients conceiving in the IVF programme. The results confirm that neonates born after frozen-thawed embryo transfer had significantly higher mean birth weight than after fresh embryo transfer (ET). Moreover, the birth weight distribution in singletons was found to shift towards “large for gestation” (LGA) after frozen-thawed ET. On the other hand, the pregnancies after fresh ET were characterized by a higher incidence of placenta praevia and 3rd trimester bleeding. Placenta praevia was more common in IVF patients with fresh ET in a stimulated cycle than in patients with ET in a spontaneous cycle. It occurred more frequently in patients with transfer of 2 embryos. From this point of view, single ET and ET in a spontaneous cycle should be encouraged in good prognosis patients in the future with more than two good quality embryos developed. An important issue arose of how the ovarian hormonal stimulation relates to abnormal placentation and if the serum hormone levels interfere with in the IVF treatment results. PMID:24822209

  12. Impact of ketorolac administration around ovarian stimulation on in vivo and in vitro fertilization and subsequent embryo development.

    PubMed

    Jee, Byung Chul; Youm, Hye Won; Lee, Jae Ho; Kim, Jee Hyun; Suh, Chang Suk; Kim, Seok Hyun

    2013-05-01

    We performed this study to investigate the effect of ketorolac (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) administration around ovarian stimulation on in vivo and in vitro fertilization process. Sixty-four female mice (ICR) were injected with ketorolac (0, 7.5, 15 and 30 µg/d) for 3 d starting from the day of eCG treatment. In experiment 1, 41 mice were triggered by hCG and then mated; two-cell embryos were obtained and in vitro development up to blastocyst was observed. In experiment 2, 23 mice were triggered by hCG and mature oocytes were collected; in vitro fertilization rate and subsequent embryo development up to blastocyst was recorded. In experiment 1, the blastocyst-forming rates per in vivo fertilized two-cell embryo showed an inverse relationship with a dosage of ketorolac (97.6%, 64.2%, 35.4% and 25.9%). In experiment 2, degenerated oocytes were frequently observed in a dose-dependent manner (4.3%, 22.9%, 22.4% and 75.0%). Lower fertilization rates were noted in all the three ketorolac-treating groups; blastocyst-forming rate was significantly lower in 30-µg-treating group when compared with the control group. Administration of ketorolac around ovarian stimulation significantly affects the development of in vivo fertilized embryo in a dose-dependent manner. High-dose ketorolac could result in a poor oocyte quality and decreased embryo developmental competence.

  13. Future increase in temperature more than decrease in litter quality can affect microbial litter decomposition in streams.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Verónica; Chauvet, Eric

    2011-09-01

    The predicted increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentration for this century is expected to lead to increases in temperature and changes in litter quality that can affect small woodland streams, where water temperature is usually low and allochthonous organic matter constitutes the basis of the food web. We have assessed the individual and interactive effect of water temperature (5 and 10°C) and alder litter quality produced under ambient CO(2) levels (ambient litter) or under CO(2) concentrations predicted for 2050 (elevated litter) on litter decomposition and on fungal activity and assemblage structure. Litter decomposition rates and fungal respiration rates were significantly faster at 10 than at 5°C, but they were not affected by litter quality. Litter quality affected mycelial biomass accrual at 5 but not at 10°C, while increases in temperature stimulated biomass accrual on ambient but not on elevated litter. A similar pattern was observed for conidial production. All variables were stimulated on elevated litter at 10°C (future scenario) compared with ambient litter at 5°C (present scenario), but interactions between temperature and litter quality were additive. Temperature was the factor that most strongly affected the structure of aquatic hyphomycete assemblages. Our results indicate that if future increases in atmospheric CO(2) lead to only slight modifications in litter quality, the litter decomposition and fungal activities and community structure will be strongly controlled by increased water temperature. This may have serious consequences for aquatic systems as faster litter decomposition may lead to food depletion for higher trophic levels. PMID:21461934

  14. Consumer perceptions of pork eating quality as affected by pork quality attributes and end-point cooked temperature.

    PubMed

    Moeller, S J; Miller, R K; Edwards, K K; Zerby, H N; Logan, K E; Aldredge, T L; Stahl, C A; Boggess, M; Box-Steffensmeier, J M

    2010-01-01

    The study evaluated the interactive and individual effects of fresh pork loin (n=679) ultimate pH (pH), intramuscular fat (IMF), Minolta L* color (L*), Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS), and four cooked temperatures (62.8 degrees C, 68.3 degrees C, 73.9 degrees C, and 79.4 degrees C) on consumer (n=2280) perception of eating quality (n=13,265 observations). Data were analyzed using ordered logistical regression. Predicted mean responses were consistently near or under five on the 1-8-point end-anchored scale, indicating a neutral perception of pork eating quality regardless of fresh quality or cooked temperature. Responses improved as IMF and pH increased and WBS decreased, whereas L* did not contribute significantly to variation in responses. Increasing IMF resulted in a very small incremental improvement in responses, but was of practical size only when comparing the least (1%) to the greatest (6%) levels. Loin pH and WBS were primary contributors to consumer perceptions, whereby an incremental increase in pH (0.20 unit) and decrease in WBS (4.9 N) resulted in a 4-5% reduction in the proportion of consumers rating pork as >or= 6 (favorable) on the 8-point scale. No interactions between quality and temperature effects were observed. Increased cooked temperature was negatively (P<0.05) associated with Overall-Like and Tenderness ratings, but the incremental effect was small. Juiciness-Like and Level responses decreased by 0.50 units as temperature increased across the range. Consumer responses favor pork with lower WBS, greater pH and IMF, and pork cooked to a lower temperature.

  15. Consumer perceptions of pork eating quality as affected by pork quality attributes and end-point cooked temperature.

    PubMed

    Moeller, S J; Miller, R K; Edwards, K K; Zerby, H N; Logan, K E; Aldredge, T L; Stahl, C A; Boggess, M; Box-Steffensmeier, J M

    2010-01-01

    The study evaluated the interactive and individual effects of fresh pork loin (n=679) ultimate pH (pH), intramuscular fat (IMF), Minolta L* color (L*), Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBS), and four cooked temperatures (62.8 degrees C, 68.3 degrees C, 73.9 degrees C, and 79.4 degrees C) on consumer (n=2280) perception of eating quality (n=13,265 observations). Data were analyzed using ordered logistical regression. Predicted mean responses were consistently near or under five on the 1-8-point end-anchored scale, indicating a neutral perception of pork eating quality regardless of fresh quality or cooked temperature. Responses improved as IMF and pH increased and WBS decreased, whereas L* did not contribute significantly to variation in responses. Increasing IMF resulted in a very small incremental improvement in responses, but was of practical size only when comparing the least (1%) to the greatest (6%) levels. Loin pH and WBS were primary contributors to consumer perceptions, whereby an incremental increase in pH (0.20 unit) and decrease in WBS (4.9 N) resulted in a 4-5% reduction in the proportion of consumers rating pork as >or= 6 (favorable) on the 8-point scale. No interactions between quality and temperature effects were observed. Increased cooked temperature was negatively (P<0.05) associated with Overall-Like and Tenderness ratings, but the incremental effect was small. Juiciness-Like and Level responses decreased by 0.50 units as temperature increased across the range. Consumer responses favor pork with lower WBS, greater pH and IMF, and pork cooked to a lower temperature. PMID:20374749

  16. Ethics for embryos.

    PubMed

    Parker, C

    2007-10-01

    This paper responds to DW Brock's technically strong case for the use of human embryonic stem cells in medical research. His main issue in this context is the question of whether it is moral to destroy viable human embryos. He offers a number of reasons to support his view that it is moral to destroy them, but his use of conceptual arguments is not adequate to secure his position. The purpose and scope of this paper is wholly concerned with his arguments rather than with the conclusion that it is justifiable to destroy human embryos. The author proceeds through his variety of arguments and offers reasons for rejecting them. The author concludes that Brock has not shown that it is moral to destroy viable human embryos.

  17. FUNGAL POPULATIONS ASSOCIATED TO NETTING TISSUE OF GALIA MELONS AFFECTING QUALITY DURING STORAGE.

    PubMed

    Parra, M A; Aguilar, F W; Martínez, J A

    2015-01-01

    Galia melons are produced in southeast Spain and exported to other European countries. The main problem of melons during transport and storage consists of the development of epiphytic populations of fungi living inside the netting areas located on fruit surface. These areas are natural wounds which are covered by local suberin and lignin secretion induced by the plant in response to the natural skin wounds which occurs during fruit growing. These fungi are growing from the scarce organic matter and nutrients that are either deposited or segregated from the fruit. Several genera of fungi have commonly been associated to those areas such as some species of Fusarium, Cladosporium sp. and Alternaria sp. and a few others. All microorganisms were living in an ecological equilibrium. However, when water was present inside the netting areas, the growth of Cladosporium sp. was exacerbated and then, the ecological equilibrium was broken, therefore these grey areas turned to green-dark colour due to hyphal development of this fungus. This process deteriorated visual quality of fruits, therefore the increase of losses during transport and storage were noticeable. A relative humidity very high, round 100% or a thinner layer of water condensed in these areas were sufficient to increase epiphytic development of Cladosporium without causing decay, even at refrigeration temperature. However, when relative humidity was lower than about 98%, no growth of aerial hyphae of Cladosporium was observed. In contrast, some brown stains round netting areas were developed due to the growth of the fungus through skin layers causing severe decay after 32 days of storage at 7 degrees C. When the affected fruits were transferred at ambient temperature, aerial mycelium of Cladosporium emerged from those brown skin areas exacerbating the losses. In conclusion, water condensation should be avoided to prevent epiphytic development of Cladosporium. If washing treatment of fruits is carried out during

  18. Quality of buffalo milk as affected by dietary protein level and flaxseed supplementation.

    PubMed

    Santillo, A; Caroprese, M; Marino, R; Sevi, A; Albenzio, M

    2016-10-01

    The aim of the present research was to evaluate the effects of protein level and flaxseed supplementation on the yield and quality of buffalo milk. In particular, the fatty acid profile of milk from buffalo cows subjected to different diets has been investigated. A 2×3 factorial design was tested with buffalo cows receiving 2 dietary crude protein (CP) and 3 flaxseed (FS) supplementation levels. Treatments were (1) low dietary CP level [12% of dry matter (DM)] and no flaxseed supplementation (LP); (2) low dietary CP level (12% of DM) and low flaxseed supplementation (500g/d) (LPFS500); (3) low dietary CP level (12% of DM) and moderate flaxseed supplementation (1,000g/d) (LPFS1000); (4) moderate dietary CP level (15% of DM) and no flaxseed supplementation (MP); (5) moderate dietary CP level (15% of DM) and low flaxseed supplementation (500g/d) (MPFS500); and (6) moderate dietary CP level (15% of DM) and moderate flaxseed supplementation (1,000g/d) (MPFS1000). Milk protein and casein were affected by flaxseed supplementation being higher in MP, intermediate in LP, and lower in flaxseed-supplemented diets. However, the results from the present study highlighted that low protein diets sustained milk yield, protein, and casein synthesis in milk when whole flaxseed was administered. Short-chain fatty acids, in particular C8:0 and C10:0, were the lowest in milk from buffalo cows fed the highest level of flaxseed supplementation. Medium-chain fatty acids were the lowest in FS1000, intermediate in FS500, and the highest in the HP and LP groups. Long-chain fatty acids were the highest in FS1000, intermediate in FS500 groups, and the lowest in milk from buffalo receiving no flaxseed supplementation. Protein level of the diet influenced the percentage of C18:0, which was higher in MP than LP groups. Total conjugated linoleic acid content evidenced the same trend of long-chain fatty acids, with an increase of about 7% in FL500 and of 22% in FL1000 than the control. Apart from

  19. Quality of buffalo milk as affected by dietary protein level and flaxseed supplementation.

    PubMed

    Santillo, A; Caroprese, M; Marino, R; Sevi, A; Albenzio, M

    2016-10-01

    The aim of the present research was to evaluate the effects of protein level and flaxseed supplementation on the yield and quality of buffalo milk. In particular, the fatty acid profile of milk from buffalo cows subjected to different diets has been investigated. A 2×3 factorial design was tested with buffalo cows receiving 2 dietary crude protein (CP) and 3 flaxseed (FS) supplementation levels. Treatments were (1) low dietary CP level [12% of dry matter (DM)] and no flaxseed supplementation (LP); (2) low dietary CP level (12% of DM) and low flaxseed supplementation (500g/d) (LPFS500); (3) low dietary CP level (12% of DM) and moderate flaxseed supplementation (1,000g/d) (LPFS1000); (4) moderate dietary CP level (15% of DM) and no flaxseed supplementation (MP); (5) moderate dietary CP level (15% of DM) and low flaxseed supplementation (500g/d) (MPFS500); and (6) moderate dietary CP level (15% of DM) and moderate flaxseed supplementation (1,000g/d) (MPFS1000). Milk protein and casein were affected by flaxseed supplementation being higher in MP, intermediate in LP, and lower in flaxseed-supplemented diets. However, the results from the present study highlighted that low protein diets sustained milk yield, protein, and casein synthesis in milk when whole flaxseed was administered. Short-chain fatty acids, in particular C8:0 and C10:0, were the lowest in milk from buffalo cows fed the highest level of flaxseed supplementation. Medium-chain fatty acids were the lowest in FS1000, intermediate in FS500, and the highest in the HP and LP groups. Long-chain fatty acids were the highest in FS1000, intermediate in FS500 groups, and the lowest in milk from buffalo receiving no flaxseed supplementation. Protein level of the diet influenced the percentage of C18:0, which was higher in MP than LP groups. Total conjugated linoleic acid content evidenced the same trend of long-chain fatty acids, with an increase of about 7% in FL500 and of 22% in FL1000 than the control. Apart from

  20. Factors Affecting University Music Students' Perceptions of Lesson Quality and Teacher Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamann, Donald L.; Baker, Dawn S.; McAllister, Peter A.; Bauer, William I.

    2000-01-01

    Examines the effects of music teacher delivery skills, lesson content, and student academic standing on 511 university music students' perceptions of lesson quality or teacher appeal. Indicates that student interest and preference varied by academic standing, teacher delivery, and lesson quality. Includes references. (CMK)

  1. Psychosocial Predictors of Life Quality: How Are They Affected by Infertility, Gender, and Parenthood?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abbey, Antonia; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Longitudinally examined effects of infertility on marital and global life quality with 174 infertile couples and 74 fertile couples. By third interview, 42% of infertile couples and 36% of fertile couples were parents. Psychosocial predictors of life quality were highly similar for members of infertile and fertile couples and for couples with and…

  2. How Attendance and Quality of Participation Affect Treatment Response to Parent Management Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nix, Robert L.; Bierman, Karen L.; McMahon, Robert J.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined whether attendance and quality of participation in parent management training predicted treatment response. Data were from 445 parents (55% minority, 62% single; almost all of low socioeconomic status) who had 1st-grade children with severe conduct problems. Quality of participation in weekly parent groups was based on group…

  3. Mothers' Perceptions of the Quality of Childhood Sibling Relationships Affected by Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allison, Melissa; Campbell, Marilyn

    2015-01-01

    The quality of the sibling relationship has an important role in the development of psychosocial skills throughout childhood. While the literature suggests that the significance of sibling relationships is heightened when one sibling has a disability, empirical findings about the quality of these relationships are few and inconsistent. The present…

  4. The interval between the emergence of pharmacologically synchronized ovarian follicular waves and ovum pickup does not significantly affect in vitro embryo production in Bos indicus, Bos taurus, and Bubalus bubalis.

    PubMed

    Gimenes, Lindsay U; Ferraz, Márcio L; Fantinato-Neto, Paulo; Chiaratti, Marcos R; Mesquita, Lígia G; Sá Filho, Manoel F; Meirelles, Flávio V; Trinca, Luzia A; Rennó, Francisco P; Watanabe, Yeda F; Baruselli, Pietro S

    2015-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the optimal phase of the follicular wave to perform ovum pickup (OPU) for in vitro embryo production (IVEP) in various genetic groups. For this purpose, 27 heifers-nine Bos taurus (Holstein), nine Bos indicus (Nelore), and nine Bubalus bubalis (Mediterranean)-were maintained under the same nutritional, management, and environmental conditions. Heifers within each genetic group were submitted to six consecutive OPU trials with 14-day intersession intervals, at three different phases of the pharmacologically synchronized follicular wave (Day 1, 3, or 5 after follicular wave emergence), in a 3 × 3 crossover design. When OPU was performed at different phases of the pharmacologically synchronized follicular wave (Day 1, 3, or 5), no differences were found in the percent of oocytes recovered (70.5 ± 3.1%, 75.0 ± 3.1%, 76.0 ± 3.2%, respectively; P = 0.41) or blastocyst production rates (19.4 ± 2.9%, 16.6 ± 2.9%, 15.9 ± 2.6%, respectively; P = 0.36). Comparing genetic groups, B indicus showed a higher blastocyst rate (28.3(a) ± 2.8%; P < 0.01) than B taurus and B bubalis (14.1(b) ± 2.9% and 10.2(b) ± 2.0%, respectively). However, only B indicus heifers showed a variation in the number of visualized follicles and the total and viable oocytes along consecutive OPU sessions. In conclusion, different phases of the pharmacologically synchronized ovarian follicular wave did not affect OPU-IVEP in B indicus, B taurus, and B bubalis heifers. Additionally, B indicus heifers showed greater OPU-IVEP efficiency than did the other genetic groups, under the same management conditions.

  5. The interval between the emergence of pharmacologically synchronized ovarian follicular waves and ovum pickup does not significantly affect in vitro embryo production in Bos indicus, Bos taurus, and Bubalus bubalis.

    PubMed

    Gimenes, Lindsay U; Ferraz, Márcio L; Fantinato-Neto, Paulo; Chiaratti, Marcos R; Mesquita, Lígia G; Sá Filho, Manoel F; Meirelles, Flávio V; Trinca, Luzia A; Rennó, Francisco P; Watanabe, Yeda F; Baruselli, Pietro S

    2015-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the optimal phase of the follicular wave to perform ovum pickup (OPU) for in vitro embryo production (IVEP) in various genetic groups. For this purpose, 27 heifers-nine Bos taurus (Holstein), nine Bos indicus (Nelore), and nine Bubalus bubalis (Mediterranean)-were maintained under the same nutritional, management, and environmental conditions. Heifers within each genetic group were submitted to six consecutive OPU trials with 14-day intersession intervals, at three different phases of the pharmacologically synchronized follicular wave (Day 1, 3, or 5 after follicular wave emergence), in a 3 × 3 crossover design. When OPU was performed at different phases of the pharmacologically synchronized follicular wave (Day 1, 3, or 5), no differences were found in the percent of oocytes recovered (70.5 ± 3.1%, 75.0 ± 3.1%, 76.0 ± 3.2%, respectively; P = 0.41) or blastocyst production rates (19.4 ± 2.9%, 16.6 ± 2.9%, 15.9 ± 2.6%, respectively; P = 0.36). Comparing genetic groups, B indicus showed a higher blastocyst rate (28.3(a) ± 2.8%; P < 0.01) than B taurus and B bubalis (14.1(b) ± 2.9% and 10.2(b) ± 2.0%, respectively). However, only B indicus heifers showed a variation in the number of visualized follicles and the total and viable oocytes along consecutive OPU sessions. In conclusion, different phases of the pharmacologically synchronized ovarian follicular wave did not affect OPU-IVEP in B indicus, B taurus, and B bubalis heifers. Additionally, B indicus heifers showed greater OPU-IVEP efficiency than did the other genetic groups, under the same management conditions. PMID:25447149

  6. Effect of embryo density on in vitro development and gene expression in bovine in vitro-fertilized embryos cultured in a microwell system.

    PubMed

    Sugimura, Satoshi; Akai, Tomonori; Hashiyada, Yutaka; Aikawa, Yoshio; Ohtake, Masaki; Matsuda, Hideo; Kobayashi, Shuji; Kobayashi, Eiji; Konishi, Kazuyuki; Imai, Kei

    2013-01-01

    To identify embryos individually during in vitro development, we previously developed the well-of-the-well (WOW) dish, which contains 25 microwells. Here we investigated the effect of embryo density (the number of embryos per volume of medium) on in vitro development and gene expression of bovine in vitro-fertilized embryos cultured in WOW dishes. Using both conventional droplet and WOW culture formats, 5, 15, and 25 bovine embryos were cultured in 125 μl medium for 168 h. The blastocysts at Day 7 were analyzed for number of cells and expression of ten genes (CDX2, IFN-tau, PLAC8, NANOG, OCT4, SOX2, AKR1B1, ATP5A1, GLUT1 and IGF2R). In droplet culture, the rates of formation of >4-cell cleavage embryos and blastocysts were significantly lower in embryos cultured at 5 embryos per droplet than in those cultured at 15 or 25 embryos per droplet, but not in WOW culture. In both droplet and WOW culture, developmental kinetics and blastocyst cell numbers did not differ among any groups. IFN-tau expression in embryos cultured at 25 embryos per droplet was significantly higher than in those cultured at 15 embryos per droplet and in artificial insemination (AI)-derived blastocysts. Moreover, IGF2R expression was significantly lower in the 25-embryo group than in the 5-embryo group and in AI-derived blastocysts. In WOW culture, these expressions were not affected by embryo density and were similar to those in AI-derived blastocysts. These results suggest that, as compared with conventional droplet culture, in vitro development and expression of IFN-tau and IGF2R in the microwell system may be insensitive to embryo density. PMID:23154384

  7. Effect of Embryo Density on In Vitro Development and Gene Expression in Bovine In Vitro-fertilized Embryos Cultured in a Microwell System

    PubMed Central

    SUGIMURA, Satoshi; AKAI, Tomonori; HASHIYADA, Yutaka; AIKAWA, Yoshio; OHTAKE, Masaki; MATSUDA, Hideo; KOBAYASHI, Shuji; KOBAYASHI, Eiji; KONISHI, Kazuyuki; IMAI, Kei

    2012-01-01

    Abstract To identify embryos individually during in vitro development, we previously developed the well-of-the-well (WOW) dish, which contains 25 microwells. Here we investigated the effect of embryo density (the number of embryos per volume of medium) on in vitro development and gene expression of bovine in vitro-fertilized embryos cultured in WOW dishes. Using both conventional droplet and WOW culture formats, 5, 15, and 25 bovine embryos were cultured in 125 µl medium for 168 h. The blastocysts at Day 7 were analyzed for number of cells and expression of ten genes (CDX2, IFN-tau, PLAC8, NANOG, OCT4, SOX2, AKR1B1, ATP5A1, GLUT1 and IGF2R). In droplet culture, the rates of formation of >4-cell cleavage embryos and blastocysts were significantly lower in embryos cultured at 5 embryos per droplet than in those cultured at 15 or 25 embryos per droplet, but not in WOW culture. In both droplet and WOW culture, developmental kinetics and blastocyst cell numbers did not differ among any groups. IFN-tau expression in embryos cultured at 25 embryos per droplet was significantly higher than in those cultured at 15 embryos per droplet and in artificial insemination (AI)-derived blastocysts. Moreover, IGF2R expression was significantly lower in the 25-embryo group than in the 5-embryo group and in AI-derived blastocysts. In WOW culture, these expressions were not affected by embryo density and were similar to those in AI-derived blastocysts. These results suggest that, as compared with conventional droplet culture, in vitro development and expression of IFN-tau and IGF2R in the microwell system may be insensitive to embryo density. PMID:23154384

  8. Embryo development in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Lonergan, Pat; Fair, Trudee; Forde, Niamh; Rizos, Dimitrios

    2016-07-01

    During the past 50 years, the fertility of high-producing lactating dairy cows has decreased, associated with intensive selection for increased milk production. The physiological and metabolic changes associated with high milk production, including decreased (glucose, insulin, IGF-I) or increased (nonesterified fatty acids, ketone bodies) concentrations of circulating metabolites during nutrient partitioning associated with negative energy balance as well as uterine and nonuterine diseases have been linked with poor reproductive efficiency. Fertilization is typically above 80% and does not seem to be the principal factor responsible for the low fertility in dairy cows. However, early embryonic development is compromised in high-producing dairy cows, as observed by most embryonic losses occurring during the first 2 weeks after fertilization and may be linked to compromised oocyte quality due to a poor follicular microenvironment, suboptimal reproductive tract environment for the embryo, and/or inadequate maternal-embryonic communication. These and other factors related to embryo development will be discussed.

  9. The First Human Cloned Embryo.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cibelli, Jose B.; Lanza, Robert P.; West, Michael D.; Ezzell, Carol

    2002-01-01

    Describes a process known as parthenogenesis which produces cloned, early-stage embryos and human embryos generated only from eggs. Speculates that this technology puts therapeutic cloning within reach. (DDR)

  10. Food quality affects secondary consumers even at low quantities: an experimental test with larval European lobster.

    PubMed

    Schoo, Katherina L; Aberle, Nicole; Malzahn, Arne M; Boersma, Maarten

    2012-01-01

    The issues of food quality and food quantity are crucial for trophic interactions. Although most research has focussed on the primary producer-herbivore link, recent studies have shown that quality effects at the bottom of the food web propagate to higher trophic levels. Negative effects of poor food quality have almost exclusively been demonstrated at higher food quantities. Whether these negative effects have the same impact at low food availability in situations where the majority if not all of the resources are channelled into routine metabolism, is under debate. In this study a tri-trophic food chain was designed, consisting of the algae Rhodomonas salina, the copepod Acartia tonsa and freshly hatched larvae of the European lobster Homarus gammarus. The lobster larvae were presented with food of two different qualities (C:P ratios) and four different quantities to investigate the combined effects of food quality and quantity. Our results show that the quality of food has an impact on the condition of lobster larvae even at very low food quantities. Food with a lower C:P content resulted in higher condition of the lobster larvae regardless of the quantity of food. These interacting effects of food quality and food quantity can have far reaching consequences for ecosystem productivity. PMID:22442696

  11. Food quality affects secondary consumers even at low quantities: an experimental test with larval European lobster.

    PubMed

    Schoo, Katherina L; Aberle, Nicole; Malzahn, Arne M; Boersma, Maarten

    2012-01-01

    The issues of food quality and food quantity are crucial for trophic interactions. Although most research has focussed on the primary producer-herbivore link, recent studies have shown that quality effects at the bottom of the food web propagate to higher trophic levels. Negative effects of poor food quality have almost exclusively been demonstrated at higher food quantities. Whether these negative effects have the same impact at low food availability in situations where the majority if not all of the resources are channelled into routine metabolism, is under debate. In this study a tri-trophic food chain was designed, consisting of the algae Rhodomonas salina, the copepod Acartia tonsa and freshly hatched larvae of the European lobster Homarus gammarus. The lobster larvae were presented with food of two different qualities (C:P ratios) and four different quantities to investigate the combined effects of food quality and quantity. Our results show that the quality of food has an impact on the condition of lobster larvae even at very low food quantities. Food with a lower C:P content resulted in higher condition of the lobster larvae regardless of the quantity of food. These interacting effects of food quality and food quantity can have far reaching consequences for ecosystem productivity.

  12. WATER QUALITY IN THE NEAR COASTAL WATERS OF THE GULF OF MEXICO AFFECTED BY HURRICANE KATRINA: BEFORE AND AFTER THE STORM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Water quality was assessed following Hurricane Katrina in the affected waters of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Post-landfall water quality was compared to pre-hurricane conditions using indicators assessed by EPA's National Coastal Assessment program and additional indicat...

  13. Accurate and noninvasive embryos screening during in vitro fertilization (IVF) assisted by Raman analysis of embryos culture medium Accurate and noninvasive embryos screening during IVF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, A. G.; Peng, J.; Zhao, Q. H.; Su, L.; Wang, X. H.; Hu, J. M.; Yang, J.

    2012-04-01

    In combination with morphological evaluation tests, we employ Raman spectroscopy to select higher potential reproductive embryos during in vitro fertilization (IVF) based on chemical composition of embryos culture medium. In this study, 57 Raman spectra are acquired from both higher and lower quality embryos culture medium (ECM) from 10 patients which have been preliminarily confirmed by clinical assay. Data are fit by using a linear combination model of least squares method in which 12 basis spectra represent the chemical features of ECM. The final fitting coefficients provide insight into the chemical compositions of culture medium samples and are subsequently used as criterion to evaluate the quality of embryos. The relative fitting coefficients ratios of sodium pyruvate/albumin and phenylalanine/albumin seem act as key roles in the embryo screening, attaining 85.7% accuracy in comparison with clinical pregnancy. The good results demonstrate that Raman spectroscopy therefore is an important candidate for an accurate and noninvasive screening of higher quality embryos, which potentially decrease the time-consuming clinical trials during IVF.

  14. Identification of bovine embryos cultured in groups by attachment of barcodes to the zona pellucida.

    PubMed

    Novo, Sergi; Morató, Roser; Penon, Oriol; Duran, Sara; Barrios, Leonardo; Nogués, Carme; Plaza, José Antonio; Pérez-García, Luisa; Mogas, Teresa; Ibáñez, Elena

    2014-06-01

    The low number of oocytes collected from unstimulated donors by ovum pick-up means that embryos produced from each individual female have to be cultured individually or in very small groups. However, it has been demonstrated that single-embryo culture is less efficient than embryo culture in groups. To overcome this limitation, we developed a direct embryo-tagging system, which allows the collective culture of embryos from different origins whilst preserving their pedigree. Presumptive bovine zygotes were tagged with eight wheat-germ agglutinin biofunctionalised polysilicon barcodes attached to the outer surface of the zona pellucida (ZP). Four different barcodes were used to encode groups of 20-25 embryos, which were then cultured in the same drop. Cleavage, Day-7 and Day-8 blastocysts and barcode retention rates were assessed. In addition, Day-7 blastocysts were vitrified and warmed. Barcode attachment to the ZP of bovine embryos affected neither in vitro embryo development nor post-warming survival of the tagged embryos. All the embryos maintained barcodes attached until Day 8 of culture (3.63±0.37 barcodes per embryo) and could be identified. In conclusion, identification of embryos by barcodes attached to the ZP is feasible and will allow the culture of embryos from different donors in the same drop. PMID:24942183

  15. Identification of bovine embryos cultured in groups by attachment of barcodes to the zona pellucida.

    PubMed

    Novo, Sergi; Morató, Roser; Penon, Oriol; Duran, Sara; Barrios, Leonardo; Nogués, Carme; Plaza, José Antonio; Pérez-García, Luisa; Mogas, Teresa; Ibáñez, Elena

    2014-06-01

    The low number of oocytes collected from unstimulated donors by ovum pick-up means that embryos produced from each individual female have to be cultured individually or in very small groups. However, it has been demonstrated that single-embryo culture is less efficient than embryo culture in groups. To overcome this limitation, we developed a direct embryo-tagging system, which allows the collective culture of embryos from different origins whilst preserving their pedigree. Presumptive bovine zygotes were tagged with eight wheat-germ agglutinin biofunctionalised polysilicon barcodes attached to the outer surface of the zona pellucida (ZP). Four different barcodes were used to encode groups of 20-25 embryos, which were then cultured in the same drop. Cleavage, Day-7 and Day-8 blastocysts and barcode retention rates were assessed. In addition, Day-7 blastocysts were vitrified and warmed. Barcode attachment to the ZP of bovine embryos affected neither in vitro embryo development nor post-warming survival of the tagged embryos. All the embryos maintained barcodes attached until Day 8 of culture (3.63±0.37 barcodes per embryo) and could be identified. In conclusion, identification of embryos by barcodes attached to the ZP is feasible and will allow the culture of embryos from different donors in the same drop.

  16. High incubation temperatures enhance mitochondrial energy metabolism in reptile embryos

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bao-Jun; Li, Teng; Gao, Jing; Ma, Liang; Du, Wei-Guo

    2015-01-01

    Developmental rate increases exponentially with increasing temperature in ectothermic animals, but the biochemical basis underlying this thermal dependence is largely unexplored. We measured mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities of turtle embryos (Pelodiscus sinensis) incubated at different temperatures to identify the metabolic basis of the rapid development occurring at high temperatures in reptile embryos. Developmental rate increased with increasing incubation temperatures in the embryos of P. sinensis. Correspondingly, in addition to the thermal dependence of mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities, high-temperature incubation further enhanced mitochondrial respiration and COX activities in the embryos. This suggests that embryos may adjust mitochondrial respiration and metabolic enzyme activities in response to developmental temperature to achieve high developmental rates at high temperatures. Our study highlights the importance of biochemical investigations in understanding the proximate mechanisms by which temperature affects embryonic development. PMID:25749301

  17. Vitamin C supplementation enhances compact morulae formation but reduces the hatching blastocyst rate of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.

    PubMed

    Li, Qian; Wang, Yong-Sheng; Wang, Li-Jun; Zhang, Hui; Li, Rui-Zhe; Cui, Chen-Chen; Li, Wen-Zhe; Zhang, Yong; Jin, Ya-Ping

    2014-08-01

    Vitamin C, an antioxidant that reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells, is capable of significantly improving the developmental competence of porcine and mouse somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, both in vitro and in vivo. In the present study, the effects of vitamin C on the developmental competence of bovine SCNT embryos were investigated. The results indicated that vitamin C (40 μg/mL) positively affected the scavenging of intracellular ROS, cleavage rate at 24 h (76.67 vs. 68.26%, p<0.05), compact morulae formation (60.83 vs. 51.30%, p<0.05), and the blastomere apoptosis index (3.70 ± 1.41 vs. 4.43% ± 1.65, p<0.05) of bovine SCNT embryos. However, vitamin C supplementation did not significantly affect the blastocyst formation rate and proportion of inner cell mass over total cells per blastocyst on day 7. Moreover, vitamin C supplementation obviously impaired the total cell numbers per blastocyst (97.20 ± 11.35 vs. 88.57 ± 10.43, p<0.05) on day 7 and the hatching blastocysts formation rate on day 9 (26.51 vs. 50.65%, p<0.05) compared with that of the untreated group. Vitamin C supplementation preferentially improved the viability of bovine SCNT embryos prior to the blastocyst stage, but did not enhance the formation and quality of blastocysts in vitro. In conclusion, the effect of vitamin C on the development of bovine SCNT embryos is complex, and vitamin C is not a suitable antioxidant chemical for the in vitro culture of bovine SCNT embryos.

  18. Urban-rural status affects associations between domains of environmental quality and adverse birth outcomes

    EPA Science Inventory

    The relationship between environmental conditions and human health varies by environmental domain and urbanicity. To account for multiple ambient environmental conditions, we constructed an Environmental Quality Index (EQI) for health research. We used U.S. county level data rep...

  19. Near-Road Air Quality Monitoring: Factors Affecting Network Design and Interpretation of Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    The growing number of health studies identifying adverse health effects for populations spending significant amounts of time near large roadways has increased the interest in monitoring air quality in this microenvironment. Designing near-road air monitoring networks or interpret...

  20. Urban-rural status affects associations between overall environmental quality and cancer incidence

    EPA Science Inventory

    The relationship between environmental conditions and human health varies by urbanicity. To estimate ambient environmental conditions, an Environmental Quality Index (EQI) for 2000-2005 was constructed by the Environmental Protection Agency using county-level data representing fi...

  1. Quantitative protein composition and baking quality of winter wheat as affected by late sulfur fertilization.

    PubMed

    Zörb, Christian; Steinfurth, Dorothee; Seling, Simone; Langenkämper, Georg; Koehler, Peter; Wieser, Herbert; Lindhauer, Meinolf G; Mühling, Karl H

    2009-05-13

    Increasing prices for wheat products and fertilizers, as well as reduced sulfur (S) contributions from the atmosphere, call for an improvement of product quality and agricultural management. To detect the impact of a time-dependent S fertilization, the quantitative protein composition and the baking quality of two different wheat cultivars, Batis and Turkis, were evaluated. The glutathione concentration in grains serves as a reliable marker of the need for added S fertilizer. The quantitation of gliadins and glutenin subunits by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography confirmed that S-rich proteins significantly increased with S fertilization, whereas the S-poor proteins significantly decreased. Proteome analysis by means of high-resolution protein profiles detected 55 and 37 proteins from Batis and Turkis changed by late S fertilization. A microscale baking test using wholemeal flour was implemented for the evaluation of baking quality, and late S fertilization was found to improve the composition of gluten proteins and baking quality.

  2. Hope as a Psychological Factor Affecting Quality of Life in Patients With Psoriasis.

    PubMed

    Szramka-Pawlak, Beata; Hornowska, Elżbieta; Walkowiak, Hanna; Zaba, Ryszard

    2014-01-01

    Clinical observations and medical reports indicate that psoriasis has a tremendous impact on patients' lives, lowering their quality in many important areas. However, the vast majority of research deals only with health-related issues. This study aimed to compare the general quality of life of psoriasis patients and healthy volunteers by examining psychological variables thought to modify the quality of life. 42 patients with psoriasis and 42 healthy volunteers matched for gender, age and education level were tested. Flanagan Quality of Life Scale was used to evaluate general quality of life. Basic hope level was assessed with Basic Hope Inventory. Trait hope was estimated using Trait Hope Scale. Psoriasis Area Severity Index was used to assess the severity of the disease. Psoriasis patients have a significantly lower overall quality of life (p = 0.05), modified by Physical and Material Well-being (p = 0.01), Personal Development and Fulfillment (p = 0.03), and Recreation (p = 0.04). They also have lower levels of trait hope (p = 0.04) and its agency component (p = 0.01). There were moderate, negative significant correlations with basic hope and such components of quality of life as Physical and Material Well-being (p = 0.03, r = - 0.34) and Relations with other People (p = 0.02, r = - 0.35). These results support the hypothesis of a reduced general quality of life and trait hope in psoriatics. Thus, psychological help for people suffering from dermatological disorders might be as important as medical intervention. Basic hope can be treated as a resource in coping with these disorders and trait hope as a resource conducive to well-being.

  3. Benthic invertebrate population characteristics as affected by water quality in coal-bearing regions of Tennessee

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradfield, A.D.

    1986-01-01

    Benthic invertebrate and water quality data collected during previous U.S. Geological Survey studies to provide background hydrologic information on streams draining Tennessee coal reserves, were evaluated to identify possible relations between stream biota and water quality. Linear regressions produced low correlation coefficients relating the number of taxa/sample, total number of organisms/sample, sample diversity, and percentage composition of selected orders of invertebrates, with average water quality parameter values available at sampling stations (r is < 0.62 at p=0.05). Analyses of these data by linear regressions explained little of the variability in benthic invertebrate samples primarily because the distributions of benthic organisms along environmental gradients are nonlinear. Variability in substrate characteristics in the study area and seasonal insect emergence patterns also complicated interpretation of these data. However, analysis of variance tests did indicate significant trends towards reduced number of taxa, number of organisms, and sample diversity at stations with relatively poor water quality conditions. Decreasing percentage composition of Ephemeroptera was generally accompanied by an increase in percent Diptera at stations with higher water quality constituent concentrations and acidic pH ( > than 0.6 units). These trends indicate significant differences in benthic communities at sites with evidence of more severe land use impacts. Additional data on benthic invertebrates, water quality , and physical habitat conditions, along with analyses of data using multivariate statistical methods are needed to define ecological relations between specific groups of invertebrates and environmental conditions. (Author 's abstract)

  4. How does litter quality affect the community of soil protists (testate amoebae) of tropical montane rainforests?

    PubMed

    Krashevska, Valentyna; Maraun, Mark; Scheu, Stefan

    2012-06-01

    Litter quality and diversity are major factors structuring decomposer communities. However, little is known on the relationship between litter quality and the community structure of soil protists in tropical forests. We analyzed the diversity, density, and community structure of a major group of soil protists of tropical montane rainforests, that is, testate amoebae. Litterbags containing pure and mixed litter of two abundant tree species at the study sites (Graffenrieda emarginata and Purdiaea nutans) differing in nitrogen concentrations were exposed in the field for 12 months. The density and diversity of testate amoebae were higher in the nitrogen-rich Graffenrieda litter suggesting that nitrogen functions as an important driving factor for soil protist communities. No additive effects of litter mixing were found, rather density of testate amoebae was reduced in litter mixtures as compared to litterbags with Graffenrieda litter only. However, adding of high-quality litter to low-quality litter markedly improved habitat quality, as evaluated by the increase in diversity and density of testate amoebae. The results suggest that local factors, such as litter quality, function as major forces shaping the structure and density of decomposer microfauna that likely feed back to decomposition processes.

  5. The Virtual Embryo Project

    EPA Science Inventory

    The v-Embryo™ is a far reaching new research program at the US EPA to develop a working computer model of a mammalian embryo that can be used to better understand the prenatal risks posed by environmental chemicals and to eventually predict a chemical’s potential developmental to...

  6. Physical-Chemical Factors Affecting the Low Quality of Natural Water in the Khibiny Massif

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazukhina, Svetlana; Masloboev, Vladimir; Chudnenko, Konstantin; Maksimova, Viktoriia; Belkina, Natalia

    2014-05-01

    One peculiarity of the Khibiny Massif is its spatial location. Rising over 1000 m above the surrounding hilly land and thus obstructing the passage of air masses, it promotes condensation and accumulation of surface and underground water. Annual precipitation here amounts to 600-700 mm in the valleys and up to 1600 mm on mountainous plateaus. Using this water for drinking and household purposes is problematic due to excess Al and F concentrations and high pH values. Now it is known that in its profile, the Massif is represented by three hydrogeological subzones: the upper (aerated), medium and lower ones. The upper subzone spreads throughout the Massif and is affected by the local drainage network and climatic conditions. The medium subzone is permanently saturated with underground water flowing horizontally to sites of discharge at the level of local river valleys and lakes. The fissure-vein water in the lower subzone is confined to tectonic fractures and faults in the so far underexplored, deeper parts of the Massif. Being abundant, this water ascends under high pressure. At places, water has been observed spurting from as deep as 700 m, and even 960 m. In the latter case, the temperature of ascending water was higher than 18 centigrade (Hydrogeology of the USSR, V. 27, 1971). This work was undertaken to reveal the nature of the low quality of water in the Khibiny by using physical-chemical modeling (software package Selector, Chudnenko, 2010). Processes of surface and underground water formation in the Khibiny were examined within a physical-chemical model (PCM) of the "water-rock-atmosphere-hydrogen" system. In a multi-vessel model used, each vessel represented a geochemical level of the process interpreted as spatiotemporal data - ξ (Karpov, 1981). The flow reactor consisted of 4 tanks. In the first tank, water of the Kuniok River (1000 L) interacted with atmosphere and an organic substance. The resulting solution proceeded to tanks 2-4 containing with

  7. Autoimmunity affects health-related quality of life in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

    PubMed

    Bektas Uysal, Hilal; Ayhan, Mediha

    2016-08-01

    Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) is the most common endocrine disorder leading to hypothyroidism. HT is characterized by the presence of elevated circulating antibodies, especially anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) and anti-thyroglobulin (anti-Tg). In our study, we aimed to reveal the effects of autoimmunity on health-related quality of life of euthyroid HT patients. Patients who were admitted to the Adnan Menderes University Outpatient Clinic were enrolled. The medical records of the patients were surveyed and their demographical data were collected. By using communication data, the patients were invited to our clinic, to inform them about our study and to fill out the health-related quality of life questionnaire. A total of 84 euthyroid HT patients older than 18 years who completed the short form-36 questionnaire, were enrolled. As all patients were euthyroid, there was a significant negative correlation between each domain score and the antibody levels, individually. Patients who had higher anti-TPO and anti-Tg levels had significantly lower quality of life domain scores (p < 0.001). There was statistically no significant correlation between the antibody levels and thyroid function tests (p > 0.05). Additionally, all dimension scores were significantly higher both in the anti-Tg and anti-TPO negative groups, indicating a better quality of life than that in the antibody positive groups. Our study revealed that higher thyroid antibody levels were negatively correlated with life quality scores. Thus, patients who had higher anti-TPO and anti-Tg levels had significantly lower quality of life domain scores. We believe that apart from hypothyroidism, a high antibody level was one of the contributing factors for the development of HT-associated symptoms, leading to a lower quality of life. Other probable contributing factors such as selenium deficiency, thyroid hormone fluctuation, and disease awareness should keep in mind. PMID:27523457

  8. Fresh embryo donation for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research: the experiences and values of IVF couples asked to be embryo donors

    PubMed Central

    Haimes, E.; Taylor, K.

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND This article reports on an investigation of the views of IVF couples asked to donate fresh embryos for research and contributes to the debates on: the acceptability of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, the moral status of the human embryo and embryo donation for research. METHODS A hypothesis-generating design was followed. All IVF couples in one UK clinic who were asked to donate embryos in 1 year were contacted 6 weeks after their pregnancy result. Forty four in-depth interviews were conducted. RESULTS Interviewees were preoccupied with IVF treatment and the request to donate was a secondary consideration. They used a complex and dynamic system of embryo classification. Initially, all embryos were important but then their focus shifted to those that had most potential to produce a baby. At that point, ‘other’ embryos were less important though they later realise that they did not know what happened to them. Guessing that these embryos went to research, interviewees preferred not to contemplate what that might entail. The embryos that caused interviewees most concern were good quality embryos that might have produced a baby but went to research instead. ‘The’ embryo, the morally laden, but abstract, entity, did not play a central role in their decision-making. CONCLUSIONS This study, despite missing those who refuse to donate embryos, suggests that debates on embryo donation for hESC research should include the views of embryo donors and should consider the social, as well as the moral, status of the human embryo. PMID:19502616

  9. Affects of different tillage managements on soil physical quality in a clayey soil.

    PubMed

    Sağlam, Mustafa; Selvi, Kemal Çağatay; Dengiz, Orhan; Gürsoy, Fatma Esra

    2015-01-01

    This study, conducted in 2011, researches the effects of different tillage practices on the physical soil quality of clayey soil. This soil quality index (SQI) assessment was made by studying the changes in physical soil functions such as suitability for root development, facilitation for water entry, movement and storage, and resistance against surface degradation based on tillage management. When compared with the control parcel, statistically significant decreases were seen in the SQI with different tillage practices (p < 0.05). Among the tillage practices, the highest SQI was seen with the plow + rotary tiller + direct seeding machine, while the lowest SQI was seen with the direct drilling practice. On the other hand, the statistically insignificant effects of tillage practices on the soil quality of the study area were considered to be a result of either the study period or the joint effect of soil texture and climatic features. Thus, long-term tillage practices were recommended in order to get healthier information about soil quality by considering soil and climatic conditions. In addition, for heavy clayey soils, reduced tillage practices, which included plowing, were thought to develop physical soil qualities of root development and water movement.

  10. Soil quality index as affected by different cropping systems in northwestern Himalayas.

    PubMed

    Sofi, J A; Bhat, A G; Kirmai, N A; Wani, J A; Lone, Aabid H; Ganie, Mumtaz A; Dar, G I H

    2016-03-01

    Soil quality assessment provides a tool for evaluating the sustainability of soils under different crop cafeterias. Our objective was to develop the soil quality index for evaluating the soil quality indicators under different cropping systems in northwest Himalaya-India. Composite soil samples were taken from the study area from different cropping systems which include T1 (forest soil control), T2 (rice-oilseed, lower belts), T3 (rice-oilseed, higher belts), T4 (rice-oats), T5 (rice-fallow), T6 (maize-oats), T7 (maize-peas), T8 (apple), T9 (apple-beans), and T10 (apple-maize). Physical, chemical, and biological soil indicators were determined, and it was found that soil enzyme activities involved in nutrient cycling were significantly higher in forest soils, which were reflected in higher levels of available pool of nutrients. Carbon stocks were found significantly higher in forest soil which was translated in improved soil physical condition. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to reduce multidimensionality of data followed by scoring by homothetic transformation of the selected indicators. Pearson's interclass correlation was performed to avoid redundancy, and highly correlated variables were not retained. Inclusion of legumes in the apple orchard floor recorded highest soil quality rating across the treatments. Cereal-based cropping systems were found in lower soil quality rating; however, the incorporation of peas in the system improved soil health.

  11. Correlates of the Quality of life of Adolescents in families affected by HIV/AIDS in Benue State, Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Akpa, Onoja Matthew; Bamgboye, Elijah Afolabi

    2015-01-01

    It was estimated that over 260,000 children are living with HIV/AIDS while close to 2 million are directly or indirectly affected by the disease in Nigeria. Improvements in treatments for infected children have been documented in the literature but there is a gross knowledge gap on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the quality of life and psychosocial functioning (PSF) of affected children in Nigeria. We comparatively explored the association of quality of life with PSF and other factors among adolescents in families affected by HIV/AIDS (FAHA) and in families not affected by HIV/AIDS (FNAHA). Data was extracted for 960 adolescents from a State wide cross-sectional study in which participants were selected through multistage sampling techniques. Data was collected using questionnaires consisting of demographic information, adapted WHO-QOL BREF and the Strength & Difficulty Questionnaire (SDQ). The quality of life scores were categorized into Poor, Moderate and High based on the amount of standard deviation away from the mean while the SDQ scores were categorized into normal, borderline and abnormal based on the SDQ scoring systems. Chi-square test and independent t-test were used for bivariate analyses while logistic regression was used for multivariate analyses at 5% level of significance. Proportion with poor quality of life (27.0%) was significantly higher among adolescents in FAHA than in FNAHA (p=0.0001). Adolescents in FAHA (OR:2.32; 95%CI:1.67-4.09) were twice more likely to have poor quality of life than those in FNAHA. In FAHA, adolescents on the borderline of PSF (OR:2.19; 95%CI:1.23-3.89) were twice more likely to have poor quality of life than those with normal PSF. Adolescents in FAHA have poorer quality of life than those in FNAHA and also face additional burdens of psychosocial dysfunctions. Interventions focusing on functional social support and economic empowerment will benefit adolescents in FAHA in the studied location. PMID:26587049

  12. Quality and antioxidant properties on sweet cherries as affected by preharvest salicylic and acetylsalicylic acids treatments.

    PubMed

    Giménez, María José; Valverde, Juan Miguel; Valero, Daniel; Guillén, Fabián; Martínez-Romero, Domingo; Serrano, María; Castillo, Salvador

    2014-10-01

    The effects of salicylic acid (SA) or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) treatments during on-tree cherry growth and ripening on fruit quality attributes, especially those related with the content on bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity were analysed in this research. For this purpose, two sweet cherry cultivars, 'Sweet Heart' and 'Sweet Late', were used and SA or ASA treatments, at 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0mM concentrations, were applied at three key points of fruit development (pit hardening, initial colour changes and onset of ripening). These treatments increased fruit weight and ameliorated quality attributes at commercial harvest, and led to cherries with higher concentration in total phenolics and in total anthocyanins, as well as higher antioxidant activity, in both hydrophilic and lipophilic fractions. Thus, preharvest treatments with SA or ASA could be promising tools to improve sweet cherry quality and health beneficial effects for consumers. PMID:24799232

  13. Organoleptic and chemical quality of farmed meagre (Argyrosomus regius) as affected by size.

    PubMed

    Giogios, Ioannis; Grigorakis, Kriton; Kalogeropoulos, Nick

    2013-12-01

    Two fish groups differing in size (average weighing 830±220 and 1600±350 g, respectively) were evaluated for their sensory, somatometric and chemical quality characteristics. No differences were found in the yields and fillet proximate composition of the two groups. Although taste panels indicated high acceptability for both groups, the large fish received significantly better hedonic rates for their overall acceptance. Differences were also observed in the fatty acid profiles of the two groups with the large fish having significantly higher 18:2n-6 and total n-6 contents. Their volatile compounds also differed, with small fish containing higher total amount, as well as more total aldehydes, furans and pyrazines. All these findings indicate size-dependent quality alterations, but also sufficient quality for small fish to be commercialised.

  14. Quality and antioxidant properties on sweet cherries as affected by preharvest salicylic and acetylsalicylic acids treatments.

    PubMed

    Giménez, María José; Valverde, Juan Miguel; Valero, Daniel; Guillén, Fabián; Martínez-Romero, Domingo; Serrano, María; Castillo, Salvador

    2014-10-01

    The effects of salicylic acid (SA) or acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) treatments during on-tree cherry growth and ripening on fruit quality attributes, especially those related with the content on bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity were analysed in this research. For this purpose, two sweet cherry cultivars, 'Sweet Heart' and 'Sweet Late', were used and SA or ASA treatments, at 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0mM concentrations, were applied at three key points of fruit development (pit hardening, initial colour changes and onset of ripening). These treatments increased fruit weight and ameliorated quality attributes at commercial harvest, and led to cherries with higher concentration in total phenolics and in total anthocyanins, as well as higher antioxidant activity, in both hydrophilic and lipophilic fractions. Thus, preharvest treatments with SA or ASA could be promising tools to improve sweet cherry quality and health beneficial effects for consumers.

  15. Autologous Graft Thickness Affects Scar Contraction and Quality in a Porcine Excisional Wound Model

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Lloyd F.; Wu, Jesse C.; Tucker, David I.; Chan, Maren M.; Christy, Robert J.; Hale, Robert G.; Leung, Kai P.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Texture, color, and durability are important characteristics to consider for skin replacement in conspicuous and/or mobile regions of the body such as the face, neck, and hands. Although autograft thickness is a known determinant of skin quality, few studies have correlated the subjective and objective characters of skin graft healing with their associated morphologic and cellular profiles. Defining these relationships may help guide development and evaluation of future skin replacement strategies. Methods: Six-centimeter-diameter full-thickness wounds were created on the back of female Yorkshire pigs and covered by autografts of variable thicknesses. Skin quality was assessed on day 120 using an observer scar assessment score and objective determinations for scar contraction, erythema, pigmentation, and surface irregularities. Histological, histochemical, and immunohistochemical assessments were performed. Results: Thick grafts demonstrated lower observer scar assessment score (better quality) and decreased erythema, pigmentation, and surface irregularities. Histologically, thin grafts resulted in scar-like collagen proliferation while thick grafts preserves the dermal architecture. Increased vascularity and prolonged and increased cellular infiltration were observed among thin grafts. In addition, thin grafts contained predominately dense collagen fibers, whereas thick grafts had loosely arranged collagen. α-Smooth muscle actin staining for myofibroblasts was observed earlier and persisted longer among thinner grafts. Conclusions: Graft thickness is an important determinant of skin quality. High-quality skin replacements are associated with preserved collagen architecture, decreased neovascularization, and decreased inflammatory cellular infiltration. This model, using autologous skin as a metric of quality, may give a more informative analysis of emerging skin replacement strategies. PMID:26301157

  16. Yield and quality grade outcomes as affected by molecular breeding values for commercial beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Thompson, N M; DeVuyst, E A; Brorsen, B W; Lusk, J L

    2015-05-01

    Although genetic tests for many economically important beef cattle traits are commercially available, additional information is needed to help the industry better understand how the results from these tests translate into phenotypic outcomes. This information has important implications for marker-assisted management. The objective of this research was to determine the relationship between molecular breeding values (MBV) characterizing yield grade and marbling and distributions of phenotypic outcomes for yield grade and quality grade. Using data collected from commercially-fed cattle, mixed-model regression equations were estimated for yield grade and quality grade outcomes for both the full sample of commercial cattle (n= 8,995) and a subsample of black-hided steers (n = 4,790). Significant yield grade (P < 0.01) and marbling (P < 0.01) MBV effects were found. However, the yield grade MBV held up better at predicting phenotypic outcomes than the marbling MBV. Estimated conditional probability mass functions of yield and quality grade outcomes for the general population and black-hided steers were similar. Since distributions for black-hided steers were expected to be more applicable from a management perspective, we focused our analysis on these animals. For example, black-hided steers with "low" genetic potential for yield grade and marbling had about a 29% chance of achieving the base price or better on a price grid (yield grade 3 or lower and quality grade Low Choice or better). Increasing genetic potential for marbling increased the likelihood of achieving this same outcome. However, increasing genetic potential for yield grade was unlikely to increase overall carcass quality given its large deleterious effect on quality grade outcomes. Instead, simultaneous improvements in genetic potential for yield grade and marbling offered much more reliable improvements in overall carcass quality. For example, an animal with "moderate" genetic potential for both yield

  17. Quality of casein based Mozzarella cheese analogue as affected by stabilizer blends.

    PubMed

    Jana, A H; Patel, H G; Suneeta, Pinto; Prajapati, J P

    2010-03-01

    Suitability of xanthan gum (XG)-locust bean gum (LBG), carrageenan (CAR)-LBG, and XG-CAR in 1:1 proportion at 0.42% in the formulation was assessed in the manufacture of Mozzarella cheese analogue. The stabilizer blends did not significantly influence the composition, texture profile, organoleptic, baking qualities and pizza-related characteristics of cheese analogues. Considering the influence of stabilizer blend on the sensory quality of analogue and sensory rating of pizza pie, XG-LBG blend (1:1) was preferred over XG-CAR and CAR-LBG.

  18. Do reports on drinking water quality affect customers' concerns? Experiments in report content.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Branden B

    2003-10-01

    The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 required U.S. utilities to report on drinking water quality to their customers annually, beginning in fall 1999, on the assumption that such reports would alert them to quality problems and perhaps mobilize pressure for improvement. A random sample of New Jersey customers read alternative versions of a water quality report, in an experiment on reactions to water quality information under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) rules. Experiment design was 2 x 3 + 1: two versions each--one with, one without, a violation of a health standard--of a report that was (1) Qualitative (without water quality numbers, thus not meeting USEPA rules); (2) Basic, with minimal information meeting the rules; or (3) Extended, adding reading aids and utility performance information; plus a control instrument without any hypothetical report. Results of ANOVA suggest the reports will have less effect than hoped or feared. These manipulations were successful: people reading the Qualitative versions were less likely to say that the report gave the amounts of substances found in the water, and those reading Violation versions were more likely to report a violation of a health standard. The main differences in responses to the report involved the judged adequacy of the information, and to a lesser extent responses on a Concern scale (constructed from measures of concern, judged risk, clean-up intentions, distrust of utility information, and doubt that the utility was doing all it could to improve water quality). Overall judgments of water quality and utility performance did not change, either relative to the controls or in before versus after responses. Qualitative reports performed worse than others, confirming the decision to have utilities report actual contaminant levels. Extended reports did only slightly better than the Basic versions on these measures. Many respondents had trouble identifying the presence or absence of substance

  19. Different sperm sources and parameters can influence intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes before embryo implantation*

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yue-hong; Gao, Hui-juan; Li, Bai-jia; Zheng, Ying-ming; Ye, Ying-hui; Qian, Yu-li; Xu, Chen-ming; Huang, He-feng; Jin, Fan

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate the effects of sperm with different parameters and sources on the outcomes of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), 1972 ICSI cycles were analyzed retrospectively. Groups 1 to 5 were composed of cycles using ejaculated sperm and were grouped according to sperm quantity, quality, and morphology into normal (288 cycles), or mild (329 cycles), moderate (522 cycles), severe (332 cycles), and extremely severe (171 cycles) oligozoospermia and/or asthenozoospermia and/or teratozoospermia (OAT) groups. Group 6 was composed of 250 cycles using testicular or epididymal sperm, and Group 7 consisted of 80 cycles using frozen-thawed sperm. We found that fertilization rates were gradually reduced from Groups 1 to 6, and reached statistical difference in Groups 5 and 6 (P<0.05). The high-quality embryo rate was higher in Group 1 than in Groups 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 (P<0.05). No statistical differences were observed in the rates of embryo cleavage, clinical pregnancy, miscarriage, live-birth, premature birth, low birth weight, weeks of premature birth, average birth weight, or sex ratio for all seven groups (P>0.05). A total of nine cases of malformation were observed, with a malformation rate of 1.25% (9/719). In conclusion, different sperm sources and parameters can affect ICSI outcomes before embryo implantation. A full assessment of offspring malformation will require further study using a larger sample size. PMID:22205614

  20. Difficult embryo transfers or blood on catheter and assisted reproductive outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Phillips, James A S; Martins, Wellington P; Nastri, Carolina O; Raine-Fenning, Nicholas J

    2013-06-01

    We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine whether a difficult embryo transfer or the presence of blood on the transfer catheter affects assisted reproduction outcomes. We searched the following databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Literatura Latino-Americana e do Caribe em Ciências da Saúde (LILACS). We aimed to determine the risk ratio (RR) associated with difficult embryo transfer or the presence of blood on the transfer catheter for the following outcomes: live birth, clinical pregnancy, and miscarriage. We identified 3066 papers, of which 194 were reviewed and nine were included. The outcome of live birth was not reported in any of the included studies and the effect on miscarriage was too imprecise for any conclusions. Pooled analysis of five studies demonstrated lower clinical pregnancy rates following a non-easy embryo transfer (RR=0.75; 95% CI=0.66-0.86). This included three studies showing subjectively difficult transfers reducing clinical pregnancies (RR=0.67; 95% CI=0.51-0.87) and two studies in which the need for additional manoeuvers reduced clinical pregnancies (RR=0.78; 95% CI=0.67-0.91). The presence of blood on the transfer catheter did not affect clinical pregnancy rates (RR=0.96; 95% CI=0.82-1.14) in five studies. We concluded that low quality evidence suggests that a difficult embryo transfer but not a bloody catheter reduces the chance of achieving a clinical pregnancy. More good quality studies are needed to evaluate the effect of difficult embryo transfer and the presence of blood on the catheter on the main outcomes of assisted reproduction.

  1. Dryland malt barley yield and quality affected by tillage, cropping sequence, and nitrogen fertilization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information is needed on the effects of management practices on dryland malt barley (Hordeum vulgaris L.) and pea (Pisum sativum L.) yields and quality. We evaluated the effects of tillage and cropping sequence combination and N fertilization on dryland malt barley and pea yields, grain characterist...

  2. Children of Incarcerated Mothers and Their Caregivers: Factors Affecting the Quality of Their Relationship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mackintosh, Virginia H.; Myers, Barbara J.; Kennon, Suzanne S.

    2006-01-01

    We examined the quality of the relationship between children of incarcerated mothers and their kinship caregivers, to investigate whether perceived levels of warmth and acceptance were related to assessments of the children's behaviors. The sample consisted of 69 children (6 to 12 years) with currently incarcerated mothers who attended a…

  3. Student as Customer: Factors Affecting Satisfaction and Assessments of Institutional Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Browne, Beverly A.; Kaldenberg, Dennis O.; Browne, William G.; Brown, Daniel J.

    1998-01-01

    A survey of 736 college students investigated satisfaction with a university's business education program, with attention to ratings of services and educational quality, and their relationship to students' global satisfaction, willingness to recommend the institution, and satisfaction with educational value received. Results suggest institutions…

  4. Parents as a Resource: Communication Quality Affects the Relationship between Adolescents' Internet Use and Loneliness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Appel, Markus; Holtz, Peter; Stiglbauer, Barbara; Batinic, Bernad

    2012-01-01

    The authors examined the influence of parent-adolescent communication quality, as perceived by the adolescents, on the link between adolescents' Internet use and loneliness, controlling for perceived family support in general terms. Adolescents (N = 216, M[subscript age] = 15.80 years) provided data on Internet use, loneliness, Internet-related…

  5. Fungicide applications affect fruit diseases and quality of muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungicides can significantly reduce losses due to disease in the yield and quality of muscadine grapes. In three studies fungicides were applied individually or as part of a full season schedule from early bloom until harvest of three muscadine cultivars. The objective was to compare the effect of a...

  6. Factors Affecting Quality Discourse and Knowledge Construction in an Online University Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutton, Lourdes M.

    2012-01-01

    Asynchronous discussion boards are an important element of online courses in higher education settings. Currently, questions persist about the quality of online interaction and discussions in which students are engaged. In addition, online instructors may not be utilizing instructional strategies that are appropriate for web-based learning…

  7. Does Specific Instruction during Collecting from Several Sources Affect the Quality of the Written Text Product?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hilbig, Annemarie; Proske, Antje

    2014-01-01

    Although academic writing is a complex interplay of comprehending and producing text the aspect of collecting information from source texts is hardly addressed in writing research. This study examined the impact of instructions supporting the collection process on writing quality, as well as the role of prior motivation and computer experience.…

  8. Surface and ground water quality in a restored urban stream affected by road salts

    EPA Science Inventory

    In 2001 research began in Minebank Run, MD to examine the impact of restoration on water quality. Our research area was to determine if road salts in the surface and ground waters are detrimental to the stream channel restoration. The upstream reach (UP), above the Baltimore I-...

  9. Factors affecting quality of temperature models for the pre-appearance interval of forensically useful insects.

    PubMed

    Matuszewski, Szymon; Mądra, Anna

    2015-02-01

    In the case of many forensically important insects an interval preceding appearance of an insect stage on a corpse (called the pre-appearance interval or PAI) is strongly temperature-dependent. Accordingly, it was proposed to estimate PAI from temperature by using temperature models for PAI of particular insect species and temperature data specific for a given case. The quality of temperature models for PAI depends on the protocols for PAI field studies. In this article we analyze effects of sampling frequency and techniques, temperature data, as well as the size of a sample on the quality of PAI models. Models were created by using data from a largely replicated PAI field study, and their performance in estimation was tested with external body of PAI data. It was found that low frequency of insect sampling distinctly deteriorated temperature models for PAI. The effect of sampling techniques was clearly smaller. Temperature data from local weather station gave models of poor quality, however their retrospective correction clearly improved the models. Most importantly, current results demonstrate that sample size in PAI field studies may be substantially reduced, with no model deterioration. Samples consisting of 11-14 carcasses gave models of high quality, as long as the whole range of relevant temperatures was studied. Moreover, it was found that carcasses exposed in forests and carcasses exposed in early spring are particularly important, as they ensure that PAI data is collected at low temperatures. A preliminary best practice model for PAI field studies is given. PMID:25541074

  10. Does Change in Functional Performance Affect Quality of Life in Persons with Orthopaedic Impairment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ostir, Glenn V.; Berges, Ivonne-Marie; Smith, Pamela M.; Smith, David; Rice, Janida L.; Ottenbacher, Kenneth J.

    2006-01-01

    Background and Purpose: Examine the association between change in functional status and quality of life for individuals with orthopaedic impairments approximately 90 days after discharge from in-patient medical rehabilitation. Methods: A retrospective study from 2001 to 2002 using information from the IT HealthTrack database. The study included…

  11. Factors affecting quality of batter-based gluten-free bread

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    While wheat bread has been extensively studied, the quality basis for gluten-free bread remains controversial. Common gluten-free breads are prepared from soft batters, and in such systems, intact and damaged starch, pentosans, added hydrocolloids like xanthan gum and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (...

  12. Management as a Factor Affecting the Quality of Institutional Performance: The Experience of Kaunas College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spudyte, Irma; Misiunas, Mindaugas

    2004-01-01

    The article deals with the necessity of the development of higher education institutions, improvement of their performance and management in the context of constant changes and reforms. The outcomes of the research carried out at Kaunas College in 2003 while implementing the college performance quality improvement plan are presented. Research…

  13. Benthic invertebrate population characteristics as affected by water quality in coal-bearing regions of Tennessee

    SciTech Connect

    Bradfield, A.D.

    1986-01-01

    Linear regressions produced low correlation coefficients relating the number of taxa/sample, total number of organisms/sample, sample diversity, and percentage composition of selected orders of invertebrates, with average water quality parameter values available at sampling stations. Analyses of these data by linear regressions explained little of the variability in benthic invertebrate samples primarily because the distributions of benthic organisms along environmental gradients are nonlinear. Variability in substrate characteristics in the study area and seasonal insect emergence patterns also complicated interpretation of these data. However, analysis of variance tests did indicate significant trends towards reduced number of taxa, number of organisms, and sample diversity at stations with relatively poor water quality conditions. Decreasing percentage composition of Ephemeroptera was generally accompanied by an increase in percent Diptera at stations with higher water quality constituent concentrations and acidic pH. These trends indicate significant differences in benthic communities at sites with evidence of more severe land use impacts. Additional data on benthic invertebrates, water quality, and physical habitat conditions, along with analyses of data using multivariate statistical methods are needed to define ecological relations between specific groups of invertebrates and environmental conditions. 44 refs., 1 fig., 8 tabs.

  14. Temperature abuse timing affects the quality deterioration of commercially packaged ready-to-eat baby spinach

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Temperature abuse of fresh-cut products occurs routinely during transportation and retail store display. However, the stage of product shelf life during temperature abuse and its impact on sensory attributes and product quality have not been studied. This study evaluated the effect of temperature ab...

  15. Simulated browsing affects leaf shedding phenology and litter quality of oak and birch saplings.

    PubMed

    Palacio, S; Hester, A J; Maestro, M; Millard, P

    2013-04-01

    Herbivore effects on leaf litter can have a strong impact on ecosystem nutrient cycling. Although such effects are well described for insect herbivory, research on the impacts of browsing by mammalian herbivores on leaf litter dynamics and nutrient cycling has been more limited, particularly at the level of the individual plant. Clipping treatments (66% shoot removal twice, plus unclipped) were applied to analyse the effect of browsing on the phenology (start date and pattern of leaf shedding) and leaf litter quality (nitrogen (N), soluble sugars, starch and total non-structural carbohydrate concentrations, plus C : N ratios) of Betula pubescens Ehrh. and Quercus petraea [Matt.] Liebl. saplings. Clipping decreased leaf litter biomass and delayed leaf senescence and shedding, but did not change the phenological timing of litterfall between senescence and shedding. The quality of leaf litter of both species was increased by simulated browsing, through an increase in N and carbohydrate concentrations (mainly soluble sugars) and a decreased C : N ratio. This is the first evidence we are aware of that browsing may cause changes in leaf shedding phenology, delaying the process without altering its pattern. Our results also indicate that simulated browsing increases the quality of leaf litter. However, the potential positive effect of browsing on N cycling through litter quality may be offset by its negative impact on the amount of N shed per tree.

  16. Does Rurality Affect Quality of Life Following Treatment for Breast Cancer?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid-Arndt, Stephanie A.; Cox, Cathy R.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The present research examined the extent to which rural residence and social support seeking are associated with quality of life (QOL) among breast cancer patients following chemotherapy. Methods: Female breast cancer patients (n = 46) from communities of varying degrees of rurality in a Midwestern state completed psychological and QOL…

  17. Dairy manure and plant nutrient management issues affecting water quality and the dairy industry.

    PubMed

    Lanyon, L E

    1994-07-01

    Specific requirements for dairy manure management to protect water quality from nutrient pollution depend on the organization of individual farms. Further, the management requirements and options are different for point (farmstead) and nonpoint (field-applied) sources of pollution from farms. A formal management process can guide decisions about existing crop nutrient utilization potential, provide a framework for tracking nutrients supplied to crops, and identify future requirements for dairy manure management to protect water quality. Farm managers can use the process to plan daily activities, to assess annual nutrient management performance, and to chart future requirements as herd size increases. Agronomic measures of nutrient balance and tracking of inputs and outputs for various farm management units can provide the quantitative basis for management to allocate better manure to fields, to modify dairy rations, or to develop alternatives to on-farm manure application. Changes in agricultural production since World War II have contributed to a shift from land-based dairy production to a reliance on capital factors of production supplied by the dairy industry. Meanwhile, management of dairy manure to meet increasingly stringent water quality protection requirements is still a land-based activity. Involving the dairy industry and off-farm stakeholders as participants in the management process for field, farm, and regional dairy production can be the basis for decision-making to reconcile the sometimes conflicting demands of production and water quality protection. PMID:7929961

  18. The effect of embryo catheter loading technique on the live birth rate

    PubMed Central

    Omidi, Marjan; Halvaei, Iman; Mangoli, Esmat; Razi, Mohammad Hossein

    2015-01-01

    Objective Embryo loading (EL) is a major step in embryo transfer (ET) and affect on the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF). This study aimed to compare the effect of two different EL techniques on the rates of pregnancy and delivery in IVF/ET cycles. Methods 207 fresh ET and 194 Frozen-thawed ET (FET) cycles were included in this retrospective study. Two groups (A and B) were defined based on the EL technique used. In group A, the entire catheter was flushed with Ham's F-10 medium. The embryos were then drawn into the catheter using one air bracket. In group B, 70 µL of air was aspirated into the syringe and the catheter was flushed using Ham's F10 medium. The medium, air, embryos, air, and finally another layer of medium were then sequentially drawn into the catheter. The main outcome measures were the pregnancy and delivery rates. Results The groups did not differ with respect to the etiology of infertility, the source of spermatozoa, the quality of the embryos, the type of EL catheter, and the ease of transfer. The pregnancy rate was similar between two groups. In fresh ET cycles, a higher delivery rate was observed in group B than it group A (78.1% vs. 60%, p=0.1). In FET cycles, the rate of delivery was significantly higher in group B than in group A to a nonsignificant extent (88.9% vs. 58.8%, p=0.06). Conclusion EL techniques did not have a significant impact on the delivery rate in either fresh or FET cycles. PMID:26815646

  19. Does Body Image Affect Quality of Life?: A Population Based Study.

    PubMed

    Nayir, Tufan; Uskun, Ersin; Yürekli, Mustafa Volkan; Devran, Hacer; Çelik, Ayşe; Okyay, Ramazan Azim

    2016-01-01

    Body image (BI) can be described as the assessment of both positive and negative emotion for one's own body parts and their characteristics by himself or herself. Current research has concentrated mostly on the status of negative BI as a risk factor for mental health problems rather than as a public health problem, thereby little is known about the effects of BI on quality of life. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess the BI and Quality of Life (QoL) of individuals and to investigate the relationship between the two. Individuals over 15 living in Isparta city center constitute the universe of this cross-sectional analytical study, carried out in 2014. The BI of individuals was measured by the Body Image Scale and The QoL of individuals was measured using the World Health Organization (WHO) Quality of Life Scale Short Form. The mean age of the participants was 31.9 ± 13.0 and 56.0% were female, 36.8% were married and 81.7% had education above high school. 25.7% had at least one chronic disease and 17.7% received medication regularly. Having good-very good health perception, having higher income than expenses, making regular exercises were predictors in enhancing the quality of life in certain aspects, however having a good body image came out as a predictor enhancing the quality of life in all sub-domains. BI was found closely related with QoL in all sub-domains. Our findings suggest that greater attention should be to be given to BI as a strong predictor of QoL. PMID:27649389

  20. Does Body Image Affect Quality of Life?: A Population Based Study

    PubMed Central

    Nayir, Tufan; Uskun, Ersin; Yürekli, Mustafa Volkan; Devran, Hacer; Çelik, Ayşe; Okyay, Ramazan Azim

    2016-01-01

    Body image (BI) can be described as the assessment of both positive and negative emotion for one’s own body parts and their characteristics by himself or herself. Current research has concentrated mostly on the status of negative BI as a risk factor for mental health problems rather than as a public health problem, thereby little is known about the effects of BI on quality of life. Thus, the purpose of this study was to assess the BI and Quality of Life (QoL) of individuals and to investigate the relationship between the two. Individuals over 15 living in Isparta city center constitute the universe of this cross-sectional analytical study, carried out in 2014. The BI of individuals was measured by the Body Image Scale and The QoL of individuals was measured using the World Health Organization (WHO) Quality of Life Scale Short Form. The mean age of the participants was 31.9 ± 13.0 and 56.0% were female, 36.8% were married and 81.7% had education above high school. 25.7% had at least one chronic disease and 17.7% received medication regularly. Having good-very good health perception, having higher income than expenses, making regular exercises were predictors in enhancing the quality of life in certain aspects, however having a good body image came out as a predictor enhancing the quality of life in all sub-domains. BI was found closely related with QoL in all sub-domains. Our findings suggest that greater attention should be to be given to BI as a strong predictor of QoL. PMID:27649389

  1. Effect of Dehydration Prior to Cryopreservation of Large Equine Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Barfield, JP; McCue, PM; Squires, EL; Seidel, GE

    2009-01-01

    Cryopreservation of equine embryos > 300 μm in diameter results in low survival rates using protocols that work well for smaller equine embryos. These experiments tested the potential benefit of incorporating a dehydration step prior to standard cryopreservation procedures. Forty-six, d 7–8, grade 1, equine embryos ≥ 400 μm in diameter were subjected to one of the following treatments: (A) 2-min in 0.6 M galactose, 10 min in 1.5 M glycerol, slow freeze (n=21); (B) 10 min in 1.5 M glycerol, slow freeze (n=15); (C) 2 min in 0.6 M galactose, 10 min in 1.5 M glycerol, followed by exposure to thaw solutions, then culture medium (n=5); (D) transferred directly to culture medium (n=5). Frozen embryos were thawed and subjected to a 3-step cryoprotectant removal. Five embryos from each treatment were evaluated morphologically after 24 and 48 h culture (1=excellent, 5=degenerate/dead). All treatments had at least 4/5 embryos with a quality score ≥ 3 at these time points except treatment B (2/5 at 24 h, 1/5 at 48 h). Subsequent embryos from treatment A (n=16) or B (n=10) were matched in sets of two for size and treatment, thawed, and immediately transferred in pairs to 13 recipients. Only two recipient mares were pregnant; one received two 400 μm embryos from treatment A, and the other one 400 μm and one 415 μm embryo from treatment B. There was no advantage of incorporating a 2 min dehydration step into the cryopreservation protocol for large equine embryos. PMID:19375416

  2. Embryo apoptosis identification: Oocyte grade or cleavage stage?

    PubMed Central

    Bakri, Noraina Mohd; Ibrahim, Siti Fatimah; Osman, Nurul Atikah; Hasan, Nurhaslina; Jaffar, Farah Hanan Fathihah; Rahman, Zulaiha Abdul; Osman, Khairul

    2015-01-01

    Apoptosis is a programed cell death that is vital for tissue homeostasis. However, embryo apoptosis had been known to be related to embryo fragmentation which should be avoided in in vitro fertilization (IVF). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship of embryo apoptosis with the grade of immature oocytes and cleavage stage of in vitro produced (IVP) cattle embryos. This study consisted of 345 oocytes collected through ovary slicing. Immature oocytes were graded as A, B and C. This grading was based on cumulus cell thickness and compactness. All oocytes then underwent an in vitro maturation (IVM) procedure. An IVF was done 24 h after IVM culture. Prior to staining, stage of cleaved embryos was determined and classified as either 2, 4, 8 or >8-cell embryo stage. Apoptosis status of cleaved IVP embryos was determined by using annexin V-FITC staining technique at 48 and 72 h post insemination (hpi). Apoptosis status for each embryo was classified as either early or late. The result showed that there was no significant difference (p > 0.05) of apoptosis status among grade A, B and C embryos. All grades of oocytes showed embryo apoptosis where 1.5% late apoptosis for grade A, 4.5% and 10.4% of early and late apoptosis for grade B and grade C. Early apoptosis was not seen in grade A embryo. We also noted no significant difference (p > 0.05) of apoptosis status between 2, 4, 8 and >8-cell embryo stage. Early apoptosis was also not seen in >8-cell stage. Even though there were no differences in apoptosis expression between the three classes, the cleavage rate of grade A oocytes was significantly higher (p < 0.01) than grade B and grade C. In conclusion, the apoptosis expression in the embryo can occur regardless of the oocyte quality and the cleavage stage of the embryo produced. PMID:26858565

  3. Environmental influences on the production of pre-implantation embryos.

    PubMed

    Diercks, Ann-Kathrin; Schwab, Anna; Rittgen, Werner; Kruspel, Andreas; Heuss, Edgar; Schenkel, Johannes

    2010-06-01

    Generation and cryopreservation of transgenic mice depend on reliable and continuous production of pre-implantation embryos. To suppress circannual and circadian rhythms driving the physiological and sexual behaviour of free living animals, laboratory animals are housed under standardized conditions. It remains to be elucidated if the artificial climate can cover all environmental effects. Here, we report that the humidity in an animal facility affects the embryo yield. The weather at the location of the facility, especially the temperature, influences the climate within an animal facility; weather peaks are obviously covered in part only, even if the facility is equipped with a powerful air-conditioning supply. Subsequently, external weather changes interact with the environment within the facility, influencing the production of embryos. Furthermore, noise and/or vibrations as generated by construction works, negatively affect the embryo yield. PMID:20171725

  4. Factors affecting the incidence of first-quality wheels of Trentingrana cheese.

    PubMed

    Bittante, G; Cecchinato, A; Cologna, N; Penasa, M; Tiezzi, F; De Marchi, M

    2011-07-01

    Trentingrana (or Grana Trentino) is a Protected Designation of Origin hard cheese produced in the eastern Italian Alps by small cooperative dairy factories. To obtain the certification of quality, wheels are evaluated at 9±1 mo of ripening and those classified as first quality are revaluated at 18±1 mo. Traditionally, the assessment is based on 2 sensory features: namely, the external aspect of the wheel and the internal texture; the latter is evaluated through the sound produced by beating the wheel with a special hammer. Traits considered in the study were the percentage of first-quality wheels of total wheels examined at 9±1 (QW(9 mo)) and 18±1 (QW(18 mo)) mo of ripening, and their combination [i.e., the percentage of first-quality wheels at 18±1 mo of ripening of the number of wheels evaluated at 9±1 mo (QW(tot))]. The experimental unit was the batch of 2 mo of production of each of 10 cooperative dairy factories from 2002 to 2008. Data were analyzed with a model that included fixed effects of dairy factory, year and season of production, and interactions between dairy factory and year, and dairy factory and season. The coefficients of determination of the models were 0.57, 0.68, and 0.67 for QW(9mo), QW(18 mo), and QW(tot), respectively. All factors significantly influenced the traits, with dairy factory being the most important source of variation, followed by season and year of production. Remarkable differences were found between the best and the worst dairy factory for QW(9 mo) (11.5%), QW(18 mo) (21.1%), and QW(tot) (25.6%). The first 4 yr of production had a negative effect on the percentage of wheels labeled as first quality and QW(tot) decreased from 74 to 64%; nevertheless, a complete recovery was detected in the following years. The season of production strongly influenced the studied traits with the best results in spring and summer, and the worst in autumn and winter. Compared with average, the 3 best dairy factories were smaller, with

  5. Bioeconomic evaluation of embryo transfer in beef production systems: III. Embryo lines for producing bulls.

    PubMed

    Ruvuna, F; Taylor, J F; Walter, J P; Turner, J W; Thallman, R M

    1992-04-01

    A model was developed for the economic evaluation of embryos for producing bull lines for use in commercial beef production. The fundamental concept underlying the model is that a cloned and sexed embryo of known genetic characteristics for beef traits is used to produce a bull. After reaching physiological maturity, the bull is used in natural matings. Equations relating feed energy requirements and growth rates based on NRC requirements and costs and returns discounted to present value allow investigation of expected economic merits of progeny from different embryo bull lines. The model has the flexibility to determine optimal embryo characteristics for different production environments. Model sensitivity to variation in progeny sex ratios, growth rates, yield and quality grades, and herd fertility characteristics was examined. Net present values (NPV) per embryo transferred were determined at the optimal marketing age of progeny produced from mating the bull to 30 cows per year for 5 yr. Relative to the lowest NPV of $18,209 for progeny with an expected quality grade of Select and yield grade of 4 at 400 d, increments in NPV ranged from $329 to $22,708 depending on differences in expected progeny carcass grade characteristics. The difference between NPV for 100% male and 40% male sex ratios was $7,518. The NPV differences between progeny growth rates of 1.6 and .9 kg/d holding herd conception rate constant at .9 and .5 were $8,311 and $4,611, respectively. The model evaluates relative economic values of embryo lines for producing bulls, accommodating interactions among progeny characteristics, and environments.

  6. Amending greenroof soil with biochar to affect runoff water quantity and quality.

    PubMed

    Beck, Deborah A; Johnson, Gwynn R; Spolek, Graig A

    2011-01-01

    Numbers of greenroofs in urban areas continue to grow internationally; so designing greenroof soil to reduce the amount of nutrients in the stormwater runoff from these roofs is becoming essential. This study evaluated changes in extensive greenroof water discharge quality and quantity after adding biochar, a soil amendment promoted for its ability to retain nutrients in soils and increase soil fertility. Prototype greenroof trays with and without biochar were planted with sedum or ryegrass, with barren soil trays used as controls. The greenroof trays were subjected to two sequential 7.4cm/h rainfall events using a rain simulator. Runoff from the rain events was collected and evaluated. Trays containing 7% biochar showed increased water retention and significant decreases in discharge of total nitrogen, total phosphorus, nitrate, phosphate, and organic carbon. The addition of biochar to greenroof soil improves both runoff water quality and retention.

  7. Pre-freezing raw hams affects quality traits in cooked hams: potential influence of protein oxidation.

    PubMed

    Utrera, M; Armenteros, M; Ventanas, S; Solano, F; Estévez, M

    2012-12-01

    The influence of protein carbonylation and lipid oxidation on colour and texture changes in cooked hams from fresh and pre-frozen (frozen/thawed) raw material was studied. Samples from three muscles, biceps femoris (BF) quadriceps femoris (QF) and semimembranosus (SM) were analysed for the gain of specific protein carbonyls, α-aminoadipic and γ-glutamic semialdehydes, the gain of TBA-RS and their colour and texture properties by instrumental and sensory techniques. The formation of protein carbonyls occurred concomitantly with an intense loss of redness and increase of hardness. Both phenomena were found to be more intense in QF and SM muscles in cooked hams elaborated from frozen material. Lipid oxidation played a negligible role on the impaired quality traits observed in cooked hams as a result of pre-freezing. Plausible mechanisms by which protein carbonylation may be implicated in the loss of quality in cooked hams produced from pre-frozen material are discussed.

  8. How process design affects quality of semi-solid metalworking parts

    SciTech Connect

    Khan, P.A.A.; Dax, F.R.

    1996-10-01

    Semi-Solid Metalworking (SSM) incorporates elements of both casting and forging for the manufacture of near-net-shape discrete parts. Parts produced by SSM have higher structural integrity, quality and soundness than castings, yet can be produced at lower cost than parts produced by fully-solid processes. In addition, SSM is capable of producing parts which are essentially free of the porosity associated with high pressure die casting. A carefully designed, systematic experimental approach was used to analyze the SSM process. This paper examines billet structure, induction heating variables, die design, die temperature, die lubricant, venting, ram speed and pressure and correlates these with their effect on improvement in part quality.

  9. Information quantity and quality affect the realistic accuracy of personality judgment.

    PubMed

    Letzring, Tera D; Wells, Shannon M; Funder, David C

    2006-07-01

    Triads of unacquainted college students interacted in 1 of 5 experimental conditions that manipulated information quantity (amount of information) and information quality (relevance of information to personality), and they then made judgments of each others' personalities. To determine accuracy, the authors compared the ratings of each judge to a broad-based accuracy criterion composed of personality ratings from 3 types of knowledgeable informants (the self, real-life acquaintances, and clinician-interviewers). Results supported the hypothesis that information quantity and quality would be positively related to objective knowledge about the targets and realistic accuracy. Interjudge consensus and self-other agreement followed a similar pattern. These findings are consistent with expectations based on models of the process of accurate judgment (D. C. Funder, 1995, 1999) and consensus (D. A. Kenny, 1994). PMID:16834483

  10. Did Budget Cuts in Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital Payment Affect Hospital Quality of Care?

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Hui-Min; Bazzoli, Gloria J.; Chen, Hsueh-Fen; Stratton, Leslie S.; Clement, Dolores G.

    2014-01-01

    Background Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments are one of the major sources of financial support for hospitals providing care to low-income patients. However, Medicaid DSH payments will be redirected from hospitals to subsidize individual health insurance purchase through US national health reform. Objectives The purpose of this study is to examine the association between Medicaid DSH payment reductions and nursing-sensitive and birth-related quality of care among Medicaid/uninsured and privately insured patients. Research Design and Method Economic theory of hospital behavior was used as a conceptual framework, and longitudinal data for California hospitals for 1996–2003 were examined. Hospital fixed effects regression models were estimated. The unit of analysis is at the hospital-level, examining two aggregated measures based on the payer category of discharged patients (i.e., Medicaid/uninsured and privately insured). Principal Findings The overall study findings provide at best weak evidence of an association between net Medicaid DSH payments and hospital quality of care for either Medicaid/uninsured or the privately insured patients. The magnitudes of the effects are small and only a few have significant DSH effects. Conclusions Although this study does not find evidence suggesting that reducing Medicaid DSH payments had a strong negative impact on hospital quality of care for Medicaid/uninsured or privately insured patients, the results are not necessarily predictive of the impact national health care reform will have. Research is necessary to monitor hospital quality of care as this reform is implemented. PMID:24714580

  11. Quality of carrots as affected by pre- and postharvest factors and processing.

    PubMed

    Seljåsen, Randi; Kristensen, Hanne L; Lauridsen, Charlotte; Wyss, Gabriela S; Kretzschmar, Ursula; Birlouez-Aragone, Inès; Kahl, Johannes

    2013-08-30

    The aim of this review is to provide an update on factors contributing to quality of carrots, with special focus on the role of pre- and postharvest factors and processing. The genetic factor shows the highest impact on quality variables in carrots, causing a 7-11-fold difference between varieties in content of terpenes, β-carotene, magnesium, iron and phenolics as well as a 1-4-fold difference in falcarindiol, bitter taste and sweet taste. Climate-related factors may cause a difference of up to 20-fold for terpenes, 82% for total sugars and 30-40% for β-carotene, sweet taste and bitter taste. Organic farming in comparison with conventional farming has shown 70% higher levels for magnesium and 10% for iron. Low nitrogen fertilisation level may cause up to 100% increase in terpene content, minor increase in dry matter (+4 to +6%) and magnesium (+8%) and reduction in β-carotene content (-8 to -11%). Retail storage at room temperature causes the highest reduction in β-carotene (-70%) and ascorbic acid (-70%). Heat processing by boiling reduces shear force (-300 to -1000%) and crispiness (-67%) as well as content of phenolics (-150%), terpenes (-85%) and total carotenes (-20%) and increases the risk of furan accumulation. Sensory and chemical quality parameters of carrots are determined mainly by genetic and climate-related factors and to a minor extent by cultivation method. Retail temperature and storage atmosphere as well as heating procedure in processing have the highest impact in quality reduction.

  12. Immunization against inhibin improves in vivo and in vitro embryo production.

    PubMed

    Yan, Leyan; Li, Hui; Shi, Zhendan

    2015-12-01

    The multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) technique has become an important breeding method in modern animal selection programs and a reproductive technique that can bypass ovarian dysfunction caused by heat stress to maintain reproductive performances in dairy cows. However, oocyte and embryo development often suffer from defects following repeated superovulation protocols. This phenomenon might be attributed to high levels of circulating inhibin, which is secreted by the supra-normal numbers of developing follicles during the process of superovulation. Through inhibin's negative impact on ovarian follicle development, high concentrations of inhibin might reduce oocyte quality and embryo developmental competence. Neutralizing endogenous inhibin bioactivities by active or passive immunizations against inhibin has been demonstrated to stimulate extra follicle development and induce multiple ovulations in both rodents and ruminants. Combined with conventional superovulatory protocols, immunization against inhibin further enhances follicle development and embryo yield. Furthermore, immunization against inhibin not only enhanced embryo quantity but also embryo quality in studies conducted in cows, sheep and water buffaloes. Similar beneficial effects on enhancing embryo development quality have been demonstrated in in vitro studies, where treatment with inhibin α subunit antibody enhances oocyte maturation and development of IVF or parthenogenically activated embryos. Thus, immunization against inhibin in combination with a conventional superovulation protocol can become a new technique to improve embryo production efficiency in vivo, as well as to develop a new oocyte IVM/IVF technique that can improve embryo IVP production efficiency. PMID:26573762

  13. A chemical signal of offspring quality affects maternal care in a social insect

    PubMed Central

    Mas, Flore; Haynes, Kenneth F.; Kölliker, Mathias

    2009-01-01

    Begging signals of offspring are condition-dependent cues that are usually predicted to display information about the short-term need (i.e. hunger) to which parents respond by allocating more food. However, recent models and experiments have revealed that parents, depending on the species and context, may respond to signals of quality (i.e. offspring reproductive value) rather than need. Despite the critical importance of this distinction for life history and conflict resolution theory, there is still limited knowledge of alternative functions of offspring signals. In this study, we investigated the communication between offspring and caring females of the common earwig, Forficula auricularia, hypothesizing that offspring chemical cues display information about nutritional condition to which females respond in terms of maternal food provisioning. Consistent with the prediction for a signal of quality we found that mothers exposed to chemical cues from well-fed nymphs foraged significantly more and allocated food to more nymphs compared with females exposed to solvent (control) or chemical cues from poorly fed nymphs. Chemical analysis revealed significant differences in the relative quantities of specific cuticular hydrocarbon compounds between treatments. To our knowledge, this study demonstrates for the first time that an offspring chemical signal reflects nutritional quality and influences maternal care. PMID:19439438

  14. Plunger Kinematic Parameters Affecting Quality of High-Pressure Die-Cast Aluminum Alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiorese, Elena; Bonollo, Franco

    2016-07-01

    The selection of the optimal process parameters in high-pressure die casting has been long recognized as a complex problem due to the involvement of a large number of interconnected variables. Among these variables, the effect of the plunger motion has been proved to play a prominent role, even if a thorough and exhaustive study is still missing in the literature. To overcome this gap, this work aims at identifying the most relevant plunger kinematic parameters and estimates their correlation with the casting quality, by means of a statistically significant sample manufactured with different plunger motion profiles. In particular, slow and fast shot velocities and switching position between two stages have been varied randomly in accordance with design of experiment methodology. The quality has been assessed through the static mechanical properties and porosity percentage. As a further proof, the percentage of oxides has been estimated on the fracture surfaces. These measurements have been correlated to novel parameters, representing the mechanical energy and the inertial force related to the plunger motion, that have been extracted from the time-history of the displacement curves. The application of statistical methods demonstrates that these novel parameters accurately explain and predict the overall quality of castings.

  15. Do weaver ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) marks affect mango internal quality and storage life?

    PubMed

    Peng, Renkang; Christian, Keith

    2013-02-01

    In implementing the integrated pest management mango (Mangifera indica L.) program using weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina F.) as a major component in the Northern Territory of Australia, we received a number of questions from farmers and extension officers asking whether weaver ant marks reduce internal fruit quality and induce fruit rot, which is economically important. However, this issue has not been investigated. Soluble sugar content in fruits with and without weaver ant marks and observations on the storage of fruits with the ant marks were recorded in 2002 and 2003. The sugar contents were, in general, higher on the side of the fruit with a relatively large area of ant marks than on the side with a smaller area of ant marks, irrespective of whether fruits were exposed to the sun or not. The field experiment showed that sugar content was generally higher in the treatment with weaver ants plus soft chemicals than in the insecticide treatment. For the storage of fruits bearing weaver ant marks, no signs of diffuse rot from any ant marks were observed, but fruit skin without the ant marks developed a considerable number of dark open lenticels, most of which developed to rot marks and patches. These results suggest that weaver ant marks are positively correlated with internal fruit quality, do not induce fruit rot and can be used as an indicator of better fruit quality and safety. PMID:23448044

  16. Quality of dissolved organic matter affects planktonic but not biofilm bacterial production in streams.

    PubMed

    Kamjunke, Norbert; Herzsprung, Peter; Neu, Thomas R

    2015-02-15

    Streams and rivers are important sites of organic carbon mineralization which is dependent on the land use within river catchments. Here we tested whether planktonic and epilithic biofilm bacteria differ in their response to the quality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Thus, planktonic and biofilm bacterial production was compared with patterns of DOC along a land-use gradient in the Bode catchment area (Germany). The freshness index of DOC was positively related to the proportion of agricultural area in the catchment. The humification index correlated with the proportion of forest area. Abundance and production of planktonic bacteria were lower in headwaters than at downstream sites. Planktonic production was weakly correlated to the total concentration of DOC but more strongly to quality-measures as revealed by spectra indexes, i.e. positively to the freshness index and negatively to the humification index. In contrast to planktonic bacteria, abundance and production of biofilm bacteria were independent of DOC quality. This finding may be explained by the association of biofilm bacteria with benthic algae and an extracellular matrix which represent additional substrate sources. The data show that planktonic bacteria seem to be regulated at a landscape scale controlled by land use, whereas biofilm bacteria are regulated at a biofilm matrix scale controlled by autochthonous production. Thus, the effects of catchment-scale land use changes on ecosystem processes are likely lower in small streams dominated by biofilm bacteria than in larger streams dominated by planktonic bacteria. PMID:25460970

  17. Do weaver ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) marks affect mango internal quality and storage life?

    PubMed

    Peng, Renkang; Christian, Keith

    2013-02-01

    In implementing the integrated pest management mango (Mangifera indica L.) program using weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina F.) as a major component in the Northern Territory of Australia, we received a number of questions from farmers and extension officers asking whether weaver ant marks reduce internal fruit quality and induce fruit rot, which is economically important. However, this issue has not been investigated. Soluble sugar content in fruits with and without weaver ant marks and observations on the storage of fruits with the ant marks were recorded in 2002 and 2003. The sugar contents were, in general, higher on the side of the fruit with a relatively large area of ant marks than on the side with a smaller area of ant marks, irrespective of whether fruits were exposed to the sun or not. The field experiment showed that sugar content was generally higher in the treatment with weaver ants plus soft chemicals than in the insecticide treatment. For the storage of fruits bearing weaver ant marks, no signs of diffuse rot from any ant marks were observed, but fruit skin without the ant marks developed a considerable number of dark open lenticels, most of which developed to rot marks and patches. These results suggest that weaver ant marks are positively correlated with internal fruit quality, do not induce fruit rot and can be used as an indicator of better fruit quality and safety.

  18. Immunization against inhibin improves in vivo and in vitro embryo production.

    PubMed

    Yan, Leyan; Li, Hui; Shi, Zhendan

    2015-12-01

    The multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) technique has become an important breeding method in modern animal selection programs and a reproductive technique that can bypass ovarian dysfunction caused by heat stress to maintain reproductive performances in dairy cows. However, oocyte and embryo development often suffer from defects following repeated superovulation protocols. This phenomenon might be attributed to high levels of circulating inhibin, which is secreted by the supra-normal numbers of developing follicles during the process of superovulation. Through inhibin's negative impact on ovarian follicle development, high concentrations of inhibin might reduce oocyte quality and embryo developmental competence. Neutralizing endogenous inhibin bioactivities by active or passive immunizations against inhibin has been demonstrated to stimulate extra follicle development and induce multiple ovulations in both rodents and ruminants. Combined with conventional superovulatory protocols, immunization against inhibin further enhances follicle development and embryo yield. Furthermore, immunization against inhibin not only enhanced embryo quantity but also embryo quality in studies conducted in cows, sheep and water buffaloes. Similar beneficial effects on enhancing embryo development quality have been demonstrated in in vitro studies, where treatment with inhibin α subunit antibody enhances oocyte maturation and development of IVF or parthenogenically activated embryos. Thus, immunization against inhibin in combination with a conventional superovulation protocol can become a new technique to improve embryo production efficiency in vivo, as well as to develop a new oocyte IVM/IVF technique that can improve embryo IVP production efficiency.

  19. Quality of dissolved organic matter affects planktonic but not biofilm bacterial production in streams.

    PubMed

    Kamjunke, Norbert; Herzsprung, Peter; Neu, Thomas R

    2015-02-15

    Streams and rivers are important sites of organic carbon mineralization which is dependent on the land use within river catchments. Here we tested whether planktonic and epilithic biofilm bacteria differ in their response to the quality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Thus, planktonic and biofilm bacterial production was compared with patterns of DOC along a land-use gradient in the Bode catchment area (Germany). The freshness index of DOC was positively related to the proportion of agricultural area in the catchment. The humification index correlated with the proportion of forest area. Abundance and production of planktonic bacteria were lower in headwaters than at downstream sites. Planktonic production was weakly correlated to the total concentration of DOC but more strongly to quality-measures as revealed by spectra indexes, i.e. positively to the freshness index and negatively to the humification index. In contrast to planktonic bacteria, abundance and production of biofilm bacteria were independent of DOC quality. This finding may be explained by the association of biofilm bacteria with benthic algae and an extracellular matrix which represent additional substrate sources. The data show that planktonic bacteria seem to be regulated at a landscape scale controlled by land use, whereas biofilm bacteria are regulated at a biofilm matrix scale controlled by autochthonous production. Thus, the effects of catchment-scale land use changes on ecosystem processes are likely lower in small streams dominated by biofilm bacteria than in larger streams dominated by planktonic bacteria.

  20. Source characterization of volatile organic compounds affecting the air quality in a coastal urban area of South Texas.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Marciano; Karnae, Saritha; John, Kuruvilla

    2008-09-01

    Selected Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emitted from various anthropogenic sources including industries and motor vehicles act as primary precursors of ozone, while some VOC are classified as air toxic compounds. Significantly large VOC emission sources impact the air quality in Corpus Christi, Texas. This urban area is located in a semi-arid region of South Texas and is home to several large petrochemical refineries and industrial facilities along a busy ship-channel. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has setup two continuous ambient monitoring stations (CAMS 633 and 634) along the ship channel to monitor VOC concentrations in the urban atmosphere. The hourly concentrations of 46 VOC compounds were acquired from TCEQ for a comprehensive source apportionment study. The primary objective of this study was to identify and quantify the sources affecting the ambient air quality within this urban airshed. Principal Component Analysis/Absolute Principal Component Scores (PCA/APCS) was applied to the dataset. PCA identified five possible sources accounting for 69% of the total variance affecting the VOC levels measured at CAMS 633 and six possible sources affecting CAMS 634 accounting for 75% of the total variance. APCS identified natural gas emissions to be the major source contributor at CAMS 633 and it accounted for 70% of the measured VOC concentrations. The other major sources identified at CAMS 633 included flare emissions (12%), fugitive gasoline emissions (9%), refinery operations (7%), and vehicle exhaust (2%). At CAMS 634, natural gas sources were identified as the major source category contributing to 31% of the observed VOC. The other sources affecting this site included: refinery operations (24%), flare emissions (22%), secondary industrial processes (12%), fugitive gasoline emissions (8%) and vehicle exhaust (3%). PMID:19139530

  1. Source Characterization of Volatile Organic Compounds Affecting the Air Quality in a Coastal Urban Area of South Texas

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Marciano; Karnae, Saritha; John, Kuruvilla

    2008-01-01

    Selected Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emitted from various anthropogenic sources including industries and motor vehicles act as primary precursors of ozone, while some VOC are classified as air toxic compounds. Significantly large VOC emission sources impact the air quality in Corpus Christi, Texas. This urban area is located in a semi-arid region of South Texas and is home to several large petrochemical refineries and industrial facilities along a busy ship-channel. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has setup two continuous ambient monitoring stations (CAMS 633 and 634) along the ship channel to monitor VOC concentrations in the urban atmosphere. The hourly concentrations of 46 VOC compounds were acquired from TCEQ for a comprehensive source apportionment study. The primary objective of this study was to identify and quantify the sources affecting the ambient air quality within this urban airshed. Principal Component Analysis/Absolute Principal Component Scores (PCA/APCS) was applied to the dataset. PCA identified five possible sources accounting for 69% of the total variance affecting the VOC levels measured at CAMS 633 and six possible sources affecting CAMS 634 accounting for 75% of the total variance. APCS identified natural gas emissions to be the major source contributor at CAMS 633 and it accounted for 70% of the measured VOC concentrations. The other major sources identified at CAMS 633 included flare emissions (12%), fugitive gasoline emissions (9%), refinery operations (7%), and vehicle exhaust (2%). At CAMS 634, natural gas sources were identified as the major source category contributing to 31% of the observed VOC. The other sources affecting this site included: refinery operations (24%), flare emissions (22%), secondary industrial processes (12%), fugitive gasoline emissions (8%) and vehicle exhaust (3%). PMID:19139530

  2. Superovulation, collection and transfer of embryos and demi-embryos from Boran(Bos indicus ) cows and heifers.

    PubMed

    Jordt, T; Lorenzini, E

    1988-08-01

    Twenty-three Boran(Bos indicus ) cows and heifers were superovulated with pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG); a total of four embryos and 4.1 +/- 0.3 (mean +/- SEM) ova per ova-producing donor resulted. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH-P) was then used to superovulate 49 Boran cows for a total of 106 superovulations, of which 63 (59.4%) produced an average of 3.7 +/- 0.4 (mean +/- SEM) embryos. The embryo production was not influenced by either the season or the number of times(one to five) the cows were superovulated. A higher pregnancy rate was obtained when the selection of Boran recipients was based on their plasma-progesterone values (overall 52.5%, single embryos 63.3%, twin demi-embryos 45.8%) than when they were selected by palpation per rectum only (overall 43.8%, single embryos 50%, twin demi-embryos 36.4%). The twinning rate of twin demiembryos was 62.5%, whereas only single calves were born after transfer of two embryos per recipient. No pregnancies were produced following transfer of twin demi-embryos without zonae pellucidae. Transferring single demi-embryos gave a low pregnancy rate (13.3%). Twelve donor Boran cows (21 superovulations) bred with their fathers resulted in a high rate of early embryonic death; additionally, only 20.9% (overall) of the recipients became pregnant. Estrus synchronization of Boran cows with a progesterone releasing intravaginal device (PRID) for a short period (7 d) combined with one injection of prostaglandin (Day 6) produced a larger number of good quality recipients (70.5%) than using double prostaglandin injections (60%). PMID:16726476

  3. 'Beauty is no quality in things themselves': epistemic motivation affects implicit preferences for art.

    PubMed

    Chirumbolo, Antonio; Brizi, Ambra; Mastandrea, Stefano; Mannetti, Lucia

    2014-01-01

    Art preferences are affected by a number of subjective factors. This paper reports two studies which investigated whether need for closure shapes implicit art preferences. It was predicted that higher need for closure would negatively affect implicit preferences for abstract art. In study one, 60 participants were tested for dispositional need for closure and then completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) task to measure their implicit preference for abstract (vs. figurative) paintings. In study two, 54 participants completed the same IAT task. In this experiment need for closure was both manipulated by cognitive load and tapped as a dispositional trait. Results of the studies converged in showing that after controlling for other important individual factors such as participants'expertise and cognitive ability, need for closure, both as a dispositional trait and as a situationally induced motivational state, was negatively associated with implicit preference for abstract art.

  4. ‘Beauty Is No Quality in Things Themselves’: Epistemic Motivation Affects Implicit Preferences for Art

    PubMed Central

    Chirumbolo, Antonio; Brizi, Ambra; Mastandrea, Stefano; Mannetti, Lucia

    2014-01-01

    Art preferences are affected by a number of subjective factors. This paper reports two studies which investigated whether need for closure shapes implicit art preferences. It was predicted that higher need for closure would negatively affect implicit preferences for abstract art. In study one, 60 participants were tested for dispositional need for closure and then completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) task to measure their implicit preference for abstract (vs. figurative) paintings. In study two, 54 participants completed the same IAT task. In this experiment need for closure was both manipulated by cognitive load and tapped as a dispositional trait. Results of the studies converged in showing that after controlling for other important individual factors such as participants'expertise and cognitive ability, need for closure, both as a dispositional trait and as a situationally induced motivational state, was negatively associated with implicit preference for abstract art. PMID:25360697

  5. Corn silage hybrid type and quality of alfalfa hay affect dietary nitrogen utilization by early lactating dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Holt, M S; Neal, K; Eun, J-S; Young, A J; Hall, J O; Nestor, K E

    2013-10-01

    This experiment was conducted to determine the effects of corn silage (CS) hybrids and quality of alfalfa hay (AH) in high-forage dairy diets on N utilization, ruminal fermentation, and lactational performance by early-lactating dairy cows. Eight multiparous Holstein cows were used in a duplicated 4 × 4 Latin square experiment with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of dietary treatments. The 8 cows (average days in milk = 23 ± 11.2) were surgically fitted with ruminal cannula, and the 2 squares were conducted simultaneously. Within square, cows were randomly assigned to a sequence of 4 diets: conventional CS (CCS) or brown midrib CS (BMR) was combined with fair-quality AH [FAH: 46.7% neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and 18.4% crude protein (CP)] or high-quality AH (HAH: 39.2% NDF and 20.7% CP) to form 4 treatments: CCS with FAH, CCS with HAH, BMR with FAH, and BMR with HAH. Diets were isonitrogenous across treatments, averaging 15.9% CP. Each period lasted a total of 21 d, with 14 d for treatment adaptation and 7d for data collection and sampling. Intake of DM and milk yield did not differ in response to CS hybrids or AH quality. Although feeding BMR-based diets decreased urinary N output by 24%, it did not affect fecal N output. Feeding HAH decreased urinary N output by 15% but increased fecal N output by 20%. Nitrogen efficiency [milk N (g/d)/intake N (g/d)] tended to increase for BMR treatments. Ruminal ammonia-N concentration was lower for cows fed BMR-based diets than for those fed CCS-based diets but was not affected by quality of AH. Feeding BMR-based diets or HAH decreased milk urea N concentration by 23 or 15%, respectively, compared with CCS-based diets or FAH. Total volatile fatty acid concentration increased with HAH but was not influenced by CS hybrids. Feeding BMR-based diets decreased urinary N-to-fecal N ratio (UN:FN), and it was further reduced by feeding HAH. Although cows fed the BMR-based diets tended to increase milk N-to-manure N ratio, the

  6. Effect of Maternal Age on the Ratio of Cleavage and Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number in Early Developmental Stage Bovine Embryos

    PubMed Central

    TAKEO, Shun; GOTO, Hiroya; KUWAYAMA, Takehito; MONJI, Yasunori; IWATA, Hisataka

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Age-associated deterioration in both the quality and quantity of mitochondria occurs in older women. The main aim of this study was to examine the effect of age on mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNA number) in early developmental stage bovine embryos as well as the dynamics of mtDNA number during early embryo development. Real-time PCR was used to determine mtDNA number. In vitro-produced embryos 48 h after insemination derived from Japanese black cows, ranging in age from 25 to 209 months were categorized based on their cleavage status. There was an overall negative relationship between the age of the cow and cleavage status, to the extent that the ratio of embryos cleaved over the 4-cell stage was greater in younger cows. The mtDNA number did not differ among the cleaved status of embryos. In the next experiment, oocytes collected from each donor cow were divided into 2 groups containing 10 oocytes each, in order to compare the mtDNA number of mature oocytes and early developmental stage embryos within individuals. Upon comparing the mtDNA number between oocytes at the M2 stage and early developmental stage 48 h post insemination, mtDNA number was found to decrease in most cows, but was found to increase in some cows. In conclusion, age affects the cleaving ability of oocytes, and very old cows (> 180 months) tend to have lower mtDNA numbers in their oocytes. The change in mtDNA number during early development varied among individual cows, although overall, it showed a tendency to decrease. PMID:23269452

  7. Biofouling of inlet pipes affects water quality in running seawater aquaria and compromises sponge cell proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Benjamin; Vermeij, Mark J.A.; van der Geest, Harm H.G.

    2015-01-01

    Marine organism are often kept, cultured, and experimented on in running seawater aquaria. However, surprisingly little attention is given to the nutrient composition of the water flowing through these systems, which is generally assumed to equal in situ conditions, but may change due to the presence of biofouling organisms. Significantly lower bacterial abundances and higher inorganic nitrogen species (nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium) were measured in aquarium water when biofouling organisms were present within a 7-year old inlet pipe feeding a tropical reef running seawater aquaria system, compared with aquarium water fed by a new, biofouling-free inlet pipe. These water quality changes are indicative of the feeding activity and waste production of the suspension- and filter-feeding communities found in the old pipe, which included sponges, bivalves, barnacles, and ascidians. To illustrate the physiological consequences of these water quality changes on a model organism kept in the aquaria system, we investigated the influence of the presence and absence of the biofouling community on the functioning of the filter-feeding sponge Halisarca caerulea, by determining its choanocyte (filter cell) proliferation rates. We found a 34% increase in choanocyte proliferation rates following the replacement of the inlet pipe (i.e., removal of the biofouling community). This indicates that the physiological functioning of the sponge was compromised due to suboptimal food conditions within the aquarium resulting from the presence of the biofouling organisms in the inlet pipe. This study has implications for the husbandry and performance of experiments with marine organisms in running seawater aquaria systems. Inlet pipes should be checked regularly, and replaced if necessary, in order to avoid excessive biofouling and to approach in situ water quality. PMID:26664799

  8. Biofouling of inlet pipes affects water quality in running seawater aquaria and compromises sponge cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Brittany E; Mueller, Benjamin; Vermeij, Mark J A; van der Geest, Harm H G; de Goeij, Jasper M

    2015-01-01

    Marine organism are often kept, cultured, and experimented on in running seawater aquaria. However, surprisingly little attention is given to the nutrient composition of the water flowing through these systems, which is generally assumed to equal in situ conditions, but may change due to the presence of biofouling organisms. Significantly lower bacterial abundances and higher inorganic nitrogen species (nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium) were measured in aquarium water when biofouling organisms were present within a 7-year old inlet pipe feeding a tropical reef running seawater aquaria system, compared with aquarium water fed by a new, biofouling-free inlet pipe. These water quality changes are indicative of the feeding activity and waste production of the suspension- and filter-feeding communities found in the old pipe, which included sponges, bivalves, barnacles, and ascidians. To illustrate the physiological consequences of these water quality changes on a model organism kept in the aquaria system, we investigated the influence of the presence and absence of the biofouling community on the functioning of the filter-feeding sponge Halisarca caerulea, by determining its choanocyte (filter cell) proliferation rates. We found a 34% increase in choanocyte proliferation rates following the replacement of the inlet pipe (i.e., removal of the biofouling community). This indicates that the physiological functioning of the sponge was compromised due to suboptimal food conditions within the aquarium resulting from the presence of the biofouling organisms in the inlet pipe. This study has implications for the husbandry and performance of experiments with marine organisms in running seawater aquaria systems. Inlet pipes should be checked regularly, and replaced if necessary, in order to avoid excessive biofouling and to approach in situ water quality. PMID:26664799

  9. Urban cultivation in allotments maintains soil qualities adversely affected by conventional agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Edmondson, Jill L; Davies, Zoe G; Gaston, Kevin J; Leake, Jonathan R

    2014-01-01

    Modern agriculture, in seeking to maximize yields to meet growing global food demand, has caused loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) and compaction, impairing critical regulating and supporting ecosystem services upon which humans also depend. Own-growing makes an important contribution to food security in urban areas globally, but its effects on soil qualities that underpin ecosystem service provision are currently unknown. We compared the main indicators of soil quality; SOC storage, total nitrogen (TN), C : N ratio and bulk density (BD) in urban allotments to soils from the surrounding agricultural region, and between the allotments and other urban greenspaces in a typical UK city. A questionnaire was used to investigate allotment management practices that influence soil properties. Allotment soils had 32% higher SOC concentrations and 36% higher C : N ratios than pastures and arable fields and 25% higher TN and 10% lower BD than arable soils. There was no significant difference between SOC concentration in allotments and urban non-domestic greenspaces, but it was higher in domestic gardens beneath woody vegetation. Allotment soil C : N ratio exceeded that in non-domestic greenspaces, but was lower than that in garden soil. Three-quarters of surveyed allotment plot holders added manure, 95% composted biomass on-site, and many added organic-based fertilizers and commercial composts. This may explain the maintenance of SOC, C : N ratios, TN and low BD, which are positively associated with soil functioning. Synthesis and applications. Maintenance and protection of the quality of our soil resource is essential for sustainable food production and for regulating and supporting ecosystem services upon which we depend. Our study establishes, for the first time, that small-scale urban food production can occur without the penalty of soil degradation seen in conventional agriculture, and maintains the high soil quality seen in urban greenspaces. Given the

  10. Efficient reproduction of cynomolgus monkey using pronuclear embryo transfer technique.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qiang; Dong, Juan; Yang, Wenting; Jin, Yujuan; Yang, Mingying; Wang, Yan; Wang, Philip L; Hu, Yinghe; Tsien, Joe Z

    2008-09-01

    One of the technical bottlenecks in producing nonhuman primate models is that current assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro culture and frozen conservation of multicell-stage embryos, often result in poor embryo quality and subsequently lead to low birth rates. We investigated whether pronuclear embryo transfer can be used as an effective means for improving pregnancy and live birth rates of nonhuman primates. We collected 174 metaphase II oocytes by laparoscopy from 22 superovulated mature females and then fertilized these eggs using either in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, resulting in a 33.3% and a 50% fertilization rate, respectively. These 66 fertilized pronuclear-stage embryos were then tubally transferred to 30 recipients and led to 7 births and 1 abortion. Importantly, we observed that the highest live birth rate of approximately 64% was obtained when the transfer of pronuclear embryos was performed in the presence of new corpus luteum in the ovary of recipients between 24 h and 36 h after estradiol peak. Therefore, our experiments demonstrate that by matching the critical time window in the recipient's reproductive cycle for achieving optimal embryo-uterine synchrony, pronuclear embryo transfer technology can significantly improve the pregnancy rate and live birth of healthy baby monkeys. This efficient method should be valuable to the systematic efforts in construction of various transgenic primate disease models. PMID:18725640

  11. Efficient reproduction of cynomolgus monkey using pronuclear embryo transfer technique

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Qiang; Dong, Juan; Yang, Wenting; Jin, Yujuan; Yang, Mingying; Wang, Yan; Wang, Philip L.; Hu, Yinghe; Tsien, Joe Z.

    2008-01-01

    One of the technical bottlenecks in producing nonhuman primate models is that current assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro culture and frozen conservation of multicell-stage embryos, often result in poor embryo quality and subsequently lead to low birth rates. We investigated whether pronuclear embryo transfer can be used as an effective means for improving pregnancy and live birth rates of nonhuman primates. We collected 174 metaphase II oocytes by laparoscopy from 22 superovulated mature females and then fertilized these eggs using either in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, resulting in a 33.3% and a 50% fertilization rate, respectively. These 66 fertilized pronuclear-stage embryos were then tubally transferred to 30 recipients and led to 7 births and 1 abortion. Importantly, we observed that the highest live birth rate of ≈64% was obtained when the transfer of pronuclear embryos was performed in the presence of new corpus luteum in the ovary of recipients between 24 h and 36 h after estradiol peak. Therefore, our experiments demonstrate that by matching the critical time window in the recipient's reproductive cycle for achieving optimal embryo-uterine synchrony, pronuclear embryo transfer technology can significantly improve the pregnancy rate and live birth of healthy baby monkeys. This efficient method should be valuable to the systematic efforts in construction of various transgenic primate disease models. PMID:18725640

  12. Mutations in Durum Wheat SBEII Genes affect Grain Yield Components, Quality, and Fermentation Responses in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Hazard, Brittany; Zhang, Xiaoqin; Naemeh, Mahmoudreza; Hamilton, M. Kristina; Rust, Bret; Raybould, Helen E.; Newman, John W.; Martin, Roy; Dubcovsky, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Increased amylose in wheat (Triticum ssp.) starch is associated with increased resistant starch, a fermentable dietary fiber. Fermentation of resistant starch in the large intestine produces short-chain fatty acids that are associated with human health benefits. Since wheat foods are an important component of the human diet, increases in amylose and resistant starch in wheat grains have the potential to deliver health benefits to a large number of people. In three replicated field trials we found that mutations in starch branching enzyme II genes (SBEIIa and SBEIIb) in both A and B genomes (SBEIIa/b-AB) of durum wheat [T. turgidum L. subsp. durum (Desf.) Husn.] resulted in large increases of amylose and resistant starch content. The presence of these four mutations was also associated with an average 5% reduction in kernel weight (P = 0.0007) and 15% reduction in grain yield (P = 0.06) compared to the wild type. Complete milling and pasta quality analysis showed that the mutant lines have an acceptable quality with positive effects on pasta firmness and negative effects on semolina extraction and pasta colo