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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

    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.

  3. Factors affecting oocyte quality and quantity in commercial application of embryo technologies in the cattle breeding industry.

    PubMed

    Merton, J S; de Roos, A P W; Mullaart, E; de Ruigh, L; Kaal, L; Vos, P L A M; Dieleman, S J

    2003-01-15

    With the introduction of multiple ovulation, embryo recovery and transfer techniques (MOET) plus embryo freeze-thaw methods in the early 1980s, the breeding industry has the tools in hand to increase the number of calves from donors of high genetic merit. In the early 1990s, the introduction of ovum pick-up followed by in vitro embryo production (OPU-IVP) opened up even greater possibilities. Using these technologies, we challenge biological mechanisms in reproduction. Where normally one oocyte per estrous cycle will develop to ovulation, now numerous other oocytes that otherwise would have degenerated are expected to develop into an embryo. Completion of oocyte growth and pre-maturation in vivo before final maturation both appear to be essential phases in order to obtain competence to develop into an embryo and finally a healthy offspring. In order to increase oocyte quality and quantity in embryo production technologies, current procedures focus primarily on improving the homogeneity of the population of oocytes with regard to growth and state of pre-maturation at the start of a treatment. In the case of MOET, dominant follicle removal (DFR) before superovulation treatment improves the number of viable embryos per session from 3.9 to 5.4 in cows but not in heifers and a prolonged period of follicle development obtained by preventing release of the endogenous LH surge increases the number of ova but not the number of viable embryos per session. In the case of OPU-IVP, the frequency of OPU clearly affects quantity and quality of the collected oocytes and FSH stimulation prior to OPU every 2 weeks resulted in 3.3 embryos per session. Analysis of 7,800 OPU sessions demonstrated that the oocyte yield is dependent on the team, in particular, the technician manipulating the ovaries. It is concluded that an increased understanding of the processes of oocyte growth, pre- and final maturation will help to improve the efficiency of embryo technologies. However, somewhere we

  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.

  6. Measuring embryo metabolism to predict embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Jeremy G; Brown, Hannah M; Sutton-McDowall, Melanie L

    2016-01-01

    Measuring the metabolism of early embryos has the potential to be used as a prospective marker for post-transfer development, either alone or in conjunction with other embryo quality assessment tools. This is necessary to maximise the opportunity of couples to have a healthy child from assisted reproduction technology (ART) and for livestock breeders to efficiently improve the genetics of their animals. Nevertheless, although many promising candidate substrates (e.g. glucose uptake) and methods (e.g. metabolomics using different spectroscopic techniques) have been promoted as viability markers, none has yet been widely used clinically or in livestock production. Herein we review the major techniques that have been reported; these are divided into indirect techniques, where measurements are made from the embryo's immediate microenvironment, or direct techniques that measure intracellular metabolic activity. Both have strengths and weaknesses, the latter ruling out some from contention for use in human ART, but not necessarily for use in livestock embryo assessment. We also introduce a new method, namely multi- (or hyper-) spectral analysis, which measures naturally occurring autofluorescence. Several metabolically important molecules have fluorescent properties, which we are pursuing in conjunction with improved image analysis as a viable embryo quality assessment methodology.

  7. MiRNA-320 in the human follicular fluid is associated with embryo quality in vivo and affects mouse embryonic development in vitro.

    PubMed

    Feng, Ruizhi; Sang, Qing; Zhu, Yan; Fu, Wei; Liu, Miao; Xu, Yan; Shi, Huijuan; Xu, Yao; Qu, Ronggui; Chai, Renjie; Shao, Ruijin; Jin, Li; He, Lin; Sun, Xiaoxi; Wang, Lei

    2015-03-03

    Previous work from our laboratory demonstrated the existence of miRNAs in human follicular fluid. In the current study, we have sought to identify miRNAs that might affect oocyte/embryo quality in patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection and to investigate their roles in in vitro fertilization outcomes in mouse oocytes. 53 samples were classified as Group 1 (high quality) if the day-3 embryos had seven and more cells or as Group 2 (low quality) if the embryos had six and fewer cells. TaqMan Human microRNAs cards and qRT-PCR were performed to verify differently expressed miRNAs. The function of the corresponding miRNA was investigated in mouse oocytes by injecting them with miRNA-inhibitor oligonucleotides. We found that hsa-miR-320a and hsa-miR-197 had significantly higher expression levels in the Group 1 follicular fluids than in Group 2 (p = 0.0073 and p = 0.008, respectively). Knockdown of mmu-miR-320 in mouse oocytes strongly decreased the proportions of MII oocytes that developed into two-cell and blastocyst stage embryos (p = 0.0048 and p = 0.0069, respectively). Wnt signaling pathway components had abnormal expression level in miR-320 inhibitor-injected oocytes. This study provides the first evidence that miRNAs in human follicular fluid are indicative of and can influence embryo quality.

  8. Embryo quality and transcervical technique are not the limiting factors in donkey embryo transfer outcome.

    PubMed

    Panzani, D; Rota, A; Crisci, A; Kindahl, H; Govoni, N; Camillo, F

    2012-02-01

    Embryo transfer (ET) in the donkey resulted in a very low recipient pregnancy rates. The aim of these studies was to investigate if nonsurgical transfer techniques or donkey embryo quality affect donkey recipient pregnancy failure. In Study 1, the impact of transfer technique was investigated by evaluating if cervical catheterization is associated with prostaglandin release and suppression of luteal function and if donkey recipients would become pregnant after nonsurgical transfer of horse embryos. Four jennies, from 5 to 8 d after ovulation, were submitted to a sham transcervical ET and to evaluation of PGFM and progesterone plasma concentrations. Five 8 d horse embryos were nonsurgically transferred into synchronized donkey recipients (HD). Cervical stimulation caused a transient PGF(2α) release in two of four jennies in the absence of a significant decrease in progesterone plasma concentration. All transferred horse embryos resulted in pregnancies in the jenny recipients. In Study 2, donkey embryo viability was investigated by 1.2 meters, 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining of 10 embryos and by the transfer of 6 and 12 donkey embryos in synchronized mare (DH) and donkey (DD) recipients, respectively, of known fertility. The estimated proportion of dead cells in DAPI stained embryos was 0.9% (range 0-3.9%) and below what is considered normal (20%) for horse embryos. Three of six and six of 12 of the DH and DD ETs, respectively resulted in pregnancies at 14 and 25 d (50%), a higher pregnancy rate than previously reported after DD ET. The overall results of this study suggest that the transcervical technique for ET and donkey embryo viability are not the reasons for the low pregnancy rates that have previously been described in donkey recipients, and that nonsurgical ET in donkeys can result in acceptable results.

  9. Cryosurvival of in vitro produced embryos as affected by health status effect of oocyte donor cow.

    PubMed

    Hosseini, S M; Hajian, M; Asgari, V; Forouzanfar, M; Ostadhosseini, S; Moulavi, F; Abedi, P; Kiani, M; Vash N, N T; Safahani-Langroodi, M; Nasr-Esfahani, M H

    2013-01-01

    In vitro embryo production and embryo vitrification of genetically superior cows that culled inevitably due to health problems can accelerate genetic progress. This study was carried out to investigate whether maternal age and health status effects of high genetic merit cows affect cryosurvival and developmental competence of IVP embryos. In this sense, the effects of ageing and four common culling causes of dairy cows [repeat breeding (RPB), udder problems (UPM), chronic endometritis (CRE), and lameness (LAM)] on in vitro embryo development, and in vivo developmental competence after embryo vitrification were evaluated. The mean number of oocytes obtained per cow did not vary significantly between donors indifferent groups. Cleavage rates in RPB (86.0+/-4.2%), SEN (81.3+/-2.5%) and CRE (77.6+/-6.3%) cows which were comparable to control (95.9+/-1.5%) but were significantly higher than the related rate of UPM donors (50.6+/-2.6%). Importantly, there was no significant difference between the blastocyst rates of different groups. Mean overall survival rate was not different between the groups and was not affected by the blastocyst production rate. There was no significant difference between pregnancy rates of different groups. The results of the present study indicated that in cattle, neither ageing, nor these four diseases affect ovarian potential in terms of the yield and quality of in vitro embryo development.

  10. Serum unconjugated bisphenol A concentrations in men may influence embryo quality indicators during in vitro fertilization

    PubMed Central

    Bloom, Michael S.; vom Saal, Frederick S.; Kim, Dongsul; Taylor, Julia A.; Lamb, Julie D.; Fujimoto, Victor Y.

    2011-01-01

    Here we assess bisphenol A (BPA) in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) and indicators of embryo quality; embryo cell number (ECN) and embryo fragmentation score (EFS). Twenty-seven couples provided serum on the day of oocyte retrieval. Unconjugated BPA was measured by HPLC with Coularray detection. Odds ratios (OR) were generated using ordinal logistic regression including female and male BPA concentrations, age and race, and day of embryo transfer for ECN. Inverse associations are suggested for male BPA with ECN (OR=0.70, P=0.069), and EFS (OR=0.54, P=0.009), but not for women. Male BPA exposure may affect embryo quality during IVF. PMID:21843814

  11. Effect of supplementation of different growth factors in embryo culture medium with a small number of bovine embryos on in vitro embryo development and quality.

    PubMed

    Ahumada, C J; Salvador, I; Cebrian-Serrano, A; Lopera, R; Silvestre, M A

    2013-03-01

    When embryos are cultured individually or in small groups, blastocyst yield efficiency and quality are usually reduced. The aim of this work was to investigate the effect of supplementation of the embryo culture medium (CM) with several growth factors (GFs) on embryo development and apoptosis rate when a reduced number of embryos were in vitro cultured. Two experimental studies (ES) were carried out. In ES 1, five treatments were tested to study the effect of GF on embryo development: Control (∼30 to 50 embryos cultured in 500 μl of CM); Control 5 (Five embryos cultured in 50 μl microdrops of CM), without addition of GF in either of the two control groups; epidermal GF (EGF); IGF-I; and transforming GF-α (TGF-α) (Five embryos were cultured in 50 μl microdrops of CM with 10 ng/ml EGF, 10 ng/ml IGF-I or 10 ng/ml TGF-α, respectively). In ES 2, following the results obtained in ES 1, four different treatments were tested to study their effect on embryo development and quality (number of cells per blastocyst and apoptotic rate): Control; Control 5; EGF, all three similar to ES 1; EGF + IGF-I group (five embryos cultured in 50 μl microdrops of CM with 10 ng/ml EGF and 10 ng/ml IGF-I). In both ESs, it was observed that a higher proportion of embryos cultured in larger groups achieved blastocyst stage than embryos cultured in reduced groups (22.6% v. 14.0%, 12.6% and 5.3% for Control v. Control 5, IGF-I, TGF-α groups in ES 1, and 24.9% v. 17.1% and 19.0% for Control v. Control 5 and EGF in ES 2, respectively; P < 0.05), with the exception of embryos cultured in medium supplemented with EGF (18.5%) or with EGF + IGF-I (23.5%), in ES 1 and ES 2, respectively. With regard to blastocyst quality, embryos cultured in reduced groups and supplemented with EGF, alone or combined with IGF-I, presented lower apoptosis rates than embryos cultured in reduced groups without GF supplementation (11.6% and 10.5% v. 21.9% for EGF, EGF + IGF-I and Control 5 groups, respectively; P

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. Cumulus and granulosa cell markers of oocyte and embryo quality

    PubMed Central

    Uyar, Asli; Torrealday, Saioa; Seli, Emre

    2013-01-01

    Lack of an objective, accurate, and noninvasive embryo assessment strategy remains one of the major challenges encountered in in vitro fertilization. Cumulus and mural granulosa cells reflect the characteristics of the oocyte, providing a noninvasive means to assess oocyte quality. Specifically, transcriptomic profiling of follicular cells may help identify biomarkers of oocyte and embryo competence. Current transcriptomics technologies include quantitative reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) for analysis of individual genes and microarrays and high-throughput deep sequencing for whole genome expression profiling. Recently, using qRT-PCR and microarray technologies, a multitude of studies correlated changes in cumulus or granulosa cell gene expression with clinically relevant outcome parameters, including in vitro embryo development and pregnancy. While the initial findings are promising, a clinical benefit from the use of identified biomarker genes remains to be demonstrated in randomized controlled trials. PMID:23498999

  15. Extracellular pancuronium affects sodium current in chick embryo sensory neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Maestrone, E.; Magnelli, V.; Nobile, M.; Usai, C.

    1994-01-01

    1. The action of pancuronium on transmembrane sodium conductance was investigated in dorsal root ganglion neurones of chick embryos. The Na+ current was measured by use of the patch-clamp technique in whole-cell configuration. 2. Externally perfused pancuronium (50 microM to 1 mM) reversibly inhibited the current by a fast mechanism of action. Inhibition was concentration-dependent (with a half-effective dose of 170 microM) but not voltage-dependent. 3. The activation and inactivation kinetics of the Na+ current were estimated in pancuronium and in control solution by fitting experimental data with a Hodgkin-Huxley theoretical model. 4. The activation time constant tau m, at negative membrane voltages, was larger in the presence of pancuronium than in the control. In contrast, the inactivation time constant tau h was smaller during drug perfusion at membrane voltages < -10 mV. The steady-state inactivation h infinity was not affected by pancuronium. 5. These results suggest that pancuronium may reduce the sodium current by interacting with the sodium channels in both the resting and open states. PMID:8012707

  16. Set up of a serum-free culture system for bovine embryos: embryo development and quality before and after transient transfer.

    PubMed

    George, F; Daniaux, C; Genicot, G; Verhaeghe, B; Lambert, P; Donnay, I

    2008-03-15

    It is well known that serum in culture medium negatively affects blastocyst quality. The objective of this work was to develop and test a serum-free culture medium which could improve embryo quality, measured by the resistance to freezing, lipid and glutathione content of the resulting blastocysts, as well as the ability of the blastocysts to elongate after transient transfer to recipient cows. In a first experiment we showed that adding a mixture of insulin, transferrin and selenium to serum-free Synthetic Oviduct Fluid medium (SOF-ITS) improved embryo development and quality. In the second experiment, the addition of BSA to SOF-ITS further improved blastocyst development. Moreover, a reduction in lipid content of morulae was observed in SOF-ITS-BSA by comparison with morulae cultured with serum (SOF-FCS). The resistance to freezing measured by hatching rates 24h post-thawing was also improved for blastocysts with a diameter between 160 and 180 microm cultured in SOF-ITS-BSA by comparison to those produced with serum. In order to evaluate the redox potential of the embryos, reduced glutathione content (GSH) was evaluated both before and after cryopreservation. A significant decrease in glutathione was observed after freezing, whatever the culture medium, but no difference was observed between culture conditions. Transient transfers were performed and elongated D-13 embryos were recovered. Elongation was more pronounced and the embryonic disk more often visible in embryos cultured in SOF-ITS-BSA than in embryos cultured with FCS. In conclusion, the serum-free system we developed to produce in vitro bovine embryos meets the developmental and qualitative requirements for a large-scale use.

  17. 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

  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. A system to evaluate the quality of frozen embryos through short-term culture.

    PubMed

    Contreras, D A; Galina, C S; Avila, J G; Aspron, M P; Moreno-Mendoza, N

    2008-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate a culture system as a non-invasive approach intended for assessing the viability of recently thawed embryos prior to transfer. Embryos (n=51) were collected seven days after insemination out of 20 cows that had been treated to synchronize estrus and induce superovulation. Embryos were classified as good, fair, and poor and frozen. All embryos were cultured in McCoy medium. Morphology was monitored for a period of 24h to register the development stage every 30 min for the first 2h, and every hour thereafter. A sample of four embryos of each classification was separated at 4h, another four at 12h, and the remaining seven at 24h and the degree of apoptosis was determined for all the embryos using the TUNEL technique. Embryos of good and fair quality did not undergo major detrimental changes in development even after 7h of incubation, whereas poor quality embryos experienced changes as early as 2h after incubation. Good quality embryos invariably had fewer numbers of apoptotic cells than those of fair and poor quality suggesting that embryo culture can be a useful method to assess viability and to confirm the quality of thawed embryos previously stored in liquid nitrogen prior to transfer.

  20. Supplementation of bovine embryo culture medium with L-arginine improves embryo quality via nitric oxide production.

    PubMed

    Santana, Priscila Di Paula Bessa; Silva, Thiago Velasco Guimarães; da Costa, Nathália Nogueira; da Silva, Bruno Barauna; Carter, Timothy Frederick; Cordeiro, Marcela da Silva; da Silva, Bruno José Martins; Santos, Simone do Socorro Damasceno; Herculano, Anderson Manoel; Adona, Paulo Roberto; Ohashi, Otávio Mitio; Miranda, Moysés dos Santos

    2014-10-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a cell-signaling molecule that regulates a variety of molecular pathways. We investigated the role of NO during preimplantation embryonic development by blocking its production with an inhibitor or supplementing in vitro bovine embryo cultures with its natural precursor, L-arginine, over different periods. Endpoints evaluated included blastocyst rates, development kinetics, and embryo quality. Supplementation with the NO synthase inhibitor N-Nitro-L-arginine-methyl ester (L-NAME) from Days 1 to 8 of culture decreased blastocyst (P < 0.05) and hatching (P < 0.05) rates. When added from Days 1 to 8, 50 mM L-arginine decreased blastocyst rates (P < 0.001); in contrast, when added from Days 5 to 8, 1 mM L-arginine improved embryo hatching rates (P < 0.05) and quality (P < 0.05) as well as increased POU5F1 gene expression (P < 0.05) as compared to the untreated control. Moreover, NO levels in the medium during this culture period positively correlated with the increased embryo hatching rates and quality (P < 0.05). These data suggest exerts its positive effects during the transition from morula to blastocyst stage, and that supplementing the embryo culture medium with L-arginine favors preimplantation development of bovine embryos.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, José C.; Passalia, Felipe; Matos, Felipe D.; Maserati Jr, Marc P.; Alves, Mayra F.; de Almeida, Tamie G.; 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

  3. 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.

  4. Epidermal growth factor improves developmental competence and embryonic quality of singly cultured domestic cat embryos

    PubMed Central

    THONGKITTIDILOK, Chommanart; THARASANIT, Theerawat; SONGSASEN, Nucharin; SANANMUANG, Thanida; BUARPUNG, Sirirak; TECHAKUMPHU, Mongkol

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the influence of EGF on the expression of EGF receptors (EGFR) and developmental competence of embryos cultured individually versus those cultured in groups. Cat oocytes were in vitro matured and fertilized (IVM/IVF), and cleaved embryos were randomly assigned to one of seven culture conditions: one group each in which embryos were subjected to group culture supplemented with or without 5 ng/ml EGF and five groups in which embryos were subjected to single-embryo culture supplemented with EGF (0, 5, 25, 50 or 100 ng/ml). Morulae, blastocysts and hatching blastocysts were assessed at days 5 and 7; post IVF, respectively, and total blastocyst cell numbers were assessed at day 7. Relative mRNA expressions of EGFR of 2–4-cell embryos, 8–16-cell embryos, morulae and blastocysts cultured in groups or singly with or without EGF supplementation were examined. OCT3/4 and Ki67 in blastocysts derived from the group or single-embryo culture systems with or without EGF supplementation were localized. A higher rate of embryos cultured in groups developed to blastocysts than individually incubated cohorts. Although EGF increased blastocyst formation in the single-embryo culture system, EGF did not affect embryo development in group culture. Expression levels of EGFR decreased in morulae and blastocysts cultured with EGF. An increased ratio of Ki67-positive cells to the total number of cells in the blastocyst was observed in singly cultured embryos in the presence of EGF. However, EGF did not affect the expression of OCT3/4. These findings indicate that EGF enhanced developmental competence of cat embryos cultured singly by stimulating cell proliferation and modulating the EGFR expression at various developmental stages. PMID:25985792

  5. Epidermal growth factor improves developmental competence and embryonic quality of singly cultured domestic cat embryos.

    PubMed

    Thongkittidilok, Chommanart; Tharasanit, Theerawat; Songsasen, Nucharin; Sananmuang, Thanida; Buarpung, Sirirak; Techakumphu, Mongkol

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the influence of EGF on the expression of EGF receptors (EGFR) and developmental competence of embryos cultured individually versus those cultured in groups. Cat oocytes were in vitro matured and fertilized (IVM/IVF), and cleaved embryos were randomly assigned to one of seven culture conditions: one group each in which embryos were subjected to group culture supplemented with or without 5 ng/ml EGF and five groups in which embryos were subjected to single-embryo culture supplemented with EGF (0, 5, 25, 50 or 100 ng/ml). Morulae, blastocysts and hatching blastocysts were assessed at days 5 and 7; post IVF, respectively, and total blastocyst cell numbers were assessed at day 7. Relative mRNA expressions of EGFR of 2-4-cell embryos, 8-16-cell embryos, morulae and blastocysts cultured in groups or singly with or without EGF supplementation were examined. OCT3/4 and Ki67 in blastocysts derived from the group or single-embryo culture systems with or without EGF supplementation were localized. A higher rate of embryos cultured in groups developed to blastocysts than individually incubated cohorts. Although EGF increased blastocyst formation in the single-embryo culture system, EGF did not affect embryo development in group culture. Expression levels of EGFR decreased in morulae and blastocysts cultured with EGF. An increased ratio of Ki67-positive cells to the total number of cells in the blastocyst was observed in singly cultured embryos in the presence of EGF. However, EGF did not affect the expression of OCT3/4. These findings indicate that EGF enhanced developmental competence of cat embryos cultured singly by stimulating cell proliferation and modulating the EGFR expression at various developmental stages.

  6. Embryo quality before and after slow freezing: Viability, implantation and pregnancy rates in 627 single frozen-thawed embryo replacement cycles following failure of fresh transfer.

    PubMed

    Capodanno, Francesco; De Feo, Gaetano; Gizzo, Salvatore; Nicoli, Alessia; Palomba, Stefano; La Sala, Giovanni Battista

    2016-06-01

    Frozen embryo transfer cycles are now common practice, however, various aspects regarding the potential of frozen embryos remain unclear. The main goal of the present study was to assess embryo quality before and after slow freezing procedure, and more specifically blastomere loss and embryo quality as indicator of viability. A single center retrospective analysis of single frozen-thawed embryo replacements (s-FER) was performed. The embryo quality before and after slow freezing and thawing, implantation, and pregnancy rates were recorded. One hundred and twenty seven s-FER were included in the final analysis. The probability of achieving an ongoing pregnancy was significantly associated with embryo quality and the percentage of blastomere loss after thawing. Considering thawed embryos, a non-significant difference in term of implantation rate was observed, regardless to their post-thawing quality and the percentage of blastomeres loss. In conclusion, current data suggest that thawed embryos are capable of implantation regardless of their morphological quality and the degree of cryoinjury sustained.

  7. Oocyte quality determines bovine embryo development after fertilisation with hydrogen peroxide-stressed spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Mohammad Bozlur; Vandaele, Leen; Rijsselaere, Tom; Zhandi, Mahdi; Maes, Dominiek; Shamsuddin, Mohammed; Van Soom, Ann

    2012-01-01

    Exposure of gametes to specific stressors at sublethal levels can enhance the gametes' subsequent performance in processes such as cryopreservation. In the present study, bull spermatozoa were subjected to H₂O₂ for 4 h at 100-, 200- and 500-μM levels; computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assay were used for evaluation of subsequent sperm motility and DNA integrity, respectively. Exposure of spermatozoa to H₂O₂ did not affect sperm motility but DNA integrity was negatively affected by 500 μM H₂O₂ compared with mock-exposed spermatozoa, whereas both motility and DNA integrity were affected compared with untreated spermatozoa. Nevertheless, insemination of oocytes with spermatozoa exposed to 200 μM H₂O₂ increased fertilisation, cleavage and blastocyst rates (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the higher blastocyst yield after fertilisation of oocytes with spermatozoa exposed to 200 μM H₂O₂ was related to oocyte diameter, with large-medium oocytes yielding higher blastocyst rates, while small-diameter oocytes consistently failed to develop into blastocysts. In conclusion, the results indicate that exposure of spermatozoa to 200 μM H₂O₂ before sperm-oocyte interaction may enhance in vitro embryo production in cattle. However, this increased embryo production is largely dependent on the intrinsic quality of the oocytes.

  8. Beneficial effect of two culture systems with small groups of embryos on the development and quality of in vitro-produced bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Cebrian-Serrano, A; Salvador, I; Silvestre, M A

    2014-02-01

    Currently, in vitro-produced embryos derived by ovum pick up (OPU) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) technologies represent approximately one-third of the embryos worldwide in cattle. Nevertheless, the culture of small groups of embryos from an individual egg donor is an issue that OPU-IVF laboratories have to face. In this work, we tested whether the development and quality of the preimplantation embryos in vitro cultured in low numbers (five embryos) could be improved by the addition of epidermal growth factor, insulin, transferrin and selenium (EGF-ITS) or by the WOW system. With this aim, immature oocytes recovered from slaughtered heifers were in vitro matured and in vitro fertilized. Presumptive zygotes were then randomly cultured in four culture conditions: one large group (LG) (50 embryos/500 μl medium) and three smaller groups [five embryos/50 μl medium without (control) or with EGF-ITS (EGF-ITS) and five embryos per microwell in the WOW system (WOW)]. Embryos cultured in LG showed a greater ability to develop to blastocyst stage than embryos cultured in smaller groups, while the blastocyst rate of WOW group was significantly higher than in control. The number of cells/blastocyst in LG was higher than control or WOW, whereas the apoptosis rate per blastocyst was lower. On the other hand, the addition of EGF-ITS significantly improved both parameters compared to the control and resulted in similar embryo quality to LG. In conclusion, the WOW system improved embryo development, while the addition of EGF-ITS improved the embryo quality when smaller groups of embryos were cultured.

  9. 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.

  10. Biopsy of embryos produced by in vitro fertilization affects development in C57BL/6 mouse strain

    PubMed Central

    Sugawara, Atsushi; Ward, Monika A.

    2012-01-01

    Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is considered highly successful in respect to its accuracy in detecting genetic anomalies but the effects of embryo biopsy on embryonic/fetal growth and development are less known, particularly in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF). Here, we compared biopsied (B) and non-biopsied (NB) mouse embryos for their developmental competence. Embryos C57BL/6 (B6) and B6D2F2 (F2) generated by IVF were subjected to single blastomere biopsy at the 4-cell stage, and were either cultured for 120 h and subjected to differential inner cell mass (ICM) and trophoblast (T) staining, or were transferred into the uterine tubes of surrogate mothers after 72 h of culture, to examine their pre- and post-implantation development, respectively. Non-biopsied embryos from the same IVF cohorts served as controls. Embryo biopsy negatively affected preimplantation development to blastocyst in C57BL/6 (69 vs 79%, P<0.01) but not in B6D2F1 mice (89 vs 91%, P=NS). Although B6 embryos had lower total cell number than F2 (B6: 47 and 61 vs. F1: 53 and 70; B and NB, respectively, P<0.05) there were no differences between B and NB blastocysts in %ICM (B6: 19.8 vs 19.8; F2: 20.9 vs 20.4, P=NS) and ICM:T ratio (B6: 4.7 vs 4.7; F2: 4.4 vs. 4.7) in both mouse strains. Post-implantation development to live fetuses of B embryos as compared to NB counterparts was impaired in C57BL/6 (6 vs 18%, P<0.001) but not in B6D2F1 mice (26 vs 35%, P=NS). We conclude that blastomere biopsy impairs embryonic/fetal development in mice known to be sensitive to in vitro culture and manipulations. Such mice model infertile couples with poor quality gametes seeking help in assisted reproduction technologies (ART) clinics. PMID:23174776

  11. Fertilization and embryo quality of mature oocytes with specific morphological abnormalities

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Eun Jeong; Ahn, Hyojeong; Lee, Jang Mi; Kim, Seok Hyun

    2015-01-01

    Objective To investigate fertilization and embryo quality of dysmorphic mature oocytes with specific morphological abnormalities obtained from intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Methods The fertilization rate (FR) and embryo quality were compared among 58 dysmorphic and 42 normal form oocytes (control 1) obtained from 35 consecutive ICSI cycles, each of which yielded at least one dysmorphic mature oocyte, performed over a period of 5 years. The FR and embryo quality of 441 normal form oocytes from another 119 ICSI cycles that did not involve dysmorphic oocytes served as control 2. Dysmorphic oocytes were classified as having a dark cytoplasm, cytoplasmic granularity, cytoplasmic vacuoles, refractile bodies in the cytoplasm, smooth endoplasmic reticulum in the cytoplasm, an oval shape, an abnormal zona pellucida, a large perivitelline space, debris in the perivitelline space, or an abnormal polar body (PB). Results The overall FR was significantly lower in dysmorphic oocytes than in normal form oocytes in both the control 1 and control 2 groups. However, embryo quality in the dysmorphic oocyte group and the normal form oocyte groups at day 3 was similar. The FR and embryo quality were similar in the oocyte groups with a single abnormality and multiple abnormalities. Specific abnormalities related with a higher percentage of top-quality embryos were dark cytoplasm (66.7%), abnormal PB (50%), and cytoplasmic vacuoles (25%). Conclusion The fertilization potential of dysmorphic oocytes in our study was lower, but their subsequent embryonic development and embryo quality was relatively good. We were able to define several specific abnormalities related with good or poor embryo quality. PMID:26815385

  12. Effect of contaminated preprocessed semen on fertilization rate and embryo quality in assisted reproductive techniques.

    PubMed

    Krissi, H; Orvieto, R; Ashkenazi, J; Gilboa, Y; Shalev, J; Moscovitch, I; Bar-Hava, I

    2004-02-01

    We aimed to identify the sources and prevalence of semen contamination from mastrubation and determine the effect of bacterospermia on fertilization rate and embryo quality in standard in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This was a prospective controlled study, in an IVF unit of a university teaching hospital, of 93 consecutive couples undergoing IVF-embryo transfer cycles. We evaluated handwashing; semen collection and processing; and assisted reproductive technology using semen provided by masturbation. The main outcome measures were presence and type of micro-organisms in the semen samples and embryo culture medium; the effect of hand washing on rate of contamination; and the effect of semen contamination on fertilization rate and embryo quality. The first consecutive 52 men of the 93 couples were not instructed to wash their hands before masturbation, and the remainder were so instructed. Forty-nine semen cultures (94.2%) in the first group were contaminated compared to only 16 (39%) in the second (p < 0.016); 27 of the 65 positive cultures (41.5%) were contaminated by more than one organism. The most common contaminators were bacteria usually found on the skin. All but four embryo medium cultures were negative. There was no significant difference in fertilization rate and embryo quality by culture findings in either the IVF or the ICSI procedures. We found that a high percentage of manually obtained semen for standard IVF or ICSI procedures was contaminated, but this had no effect on fertilization rate and embryo quality.

  13. 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).

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Passage number affects the pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells as judged by tetraploid embryo aggregation.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang-Yun; Jia, Qing; Di, Ke-Qian; Gao, Shu-Min; Wen, Xiao-Hui; Zhou, Rong-Yan; Wei, Wei; Wang, Li-Ze

    2007-03-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether the number of passages affected the developmental pluripotency of embryonic stem (ES) cells as measured by the attainment of adult fertile mice derived from embryonic stem (ES) cell/tetraploid embryo complementation. Thirty-six newborns were produced by the aggregation of tetraploid embryos and hybrid ES cells after various numbers of passages. These newborns were entirely derived from ES cells as judged by microsatellite DNA, coat-color phenotype, and germline transmission. Although 15 survived to adulthood, 17 died of respiratory failure, and four were eaten by their foster mother. From the 15 mice that reached adulthood and that could reproduce, none arose from ES cells at passage level 15 or more. All 15 arose from cells at passages 3-11. Our results demonstrate that the number of passages affects the developmental pluripotency of ES cells.

  17. Role of dehydroepiandrosterone in improving oocyte and embryo quality in IVF cycles.

    PubMed

    Zangmo, Rinchen; Singh, Neeta; Kumar, Sunesh; Vanamail, Perumal; Tiwari, Abanish

    2014-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on the number and quality of oocytes and embryos in poor responders undergoing IVF cycles. A total of 50 patients with a history of poor ovarian response in the previous cycle(s) were enrolled in a prospective cohort study. They were treated with oral micronized DHEA 25mg three times a day for 4 months. Oocyte and embryo number and quality were recorded before and after treatment. The results were analysed using Student's paired t-test. After treatment with DHEA, a significant increase in number of mature follicles was seen in the post treatment period (⩽ 35 years P<0.001; ⩾ 36 years P = 0.002). There were significant increases in numbers of oocytes retrieved, fertilization rates and, consequently, the total number of embryos available. More embryos were vitrified among patients ⩽ 35 years (P<0.001) post treatment, and clinical pregnancy rate in this group was 26.7%. DHEA treatment resulted in a higher number of oocytes retrieved, oocytes fertilized, embryos overall and of grade-I embryos. It can help in increasing pregnancy rate in poor responders. This study was performed to evaluate the role of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) treatment on the number and quality of oocytes and embryos in poor responders undergoing IVF cycles. Fifty patients with a history of poor ovarian response in the previous cycle(s) were enrolled in the study and a prospective cohort study was performed. Patients were prescribed oral micronized DHEA 25mg three times a day for 4 months. Oocytes and embryos in terms of both number and quality were measured before and after treatment. A significant increase in mean number of mature follicles was seen in the post-treatment group. There was a significant increase in the number of oocytes retrieved, fertilization rates and, consequently, in the total number of embryos available after treatment with DHEA. More embryos were vitrified post treatment and the

  18. [Some factors affecting in vitro development of porcine embryo reconstitution from somatic cells nuclear transfer].

    PubMed

    Zhang, De Fu; Wang, Ying; Chen, Yin; Wang, Kai; Schellander, Karl; Lin, Cai Lu

    2003-02-01

    In this paper, a study on reconstitution of porcine oocytes by using nuclear transfer with cumulus cells(CC) and fibroblast cells(FC) was carried out. Reconstituted oocytes which were the fusion with CC and showed a cleavage rate of 56.7%, developed to morula(11.7%) and blastocysts(6.7%) phases which were higher than those derived from the fusion with FC(p < 0.05). The results of this study also involved the effects of oocyte collection method and maturational age of recipient oocytes during the in vitro development of nuclear-transfer embryos which were reconstructed with cultured cumulus cells. The cumulus cells synchronized in G0/G1 phases through serum-starvation culture, were transferred into enucleated oocytes which were collected by aspiration or dissection method and cultured for 33 or 44 h. Reconstituted embryos were activated with a combination of calcium ionophore A23187 or electric pulsation and 6-DMAP, and cultured for 6 days. As for the oocytes collection methods, activation treatment in the presence of cytochalasin B did not affect the developmental rate of embryos reconstituted with 44-h-mature recipients. However, the development rate of reconstituted embryos with 33-h-mature recipients was significantly higher(p < 0.05) by activation with the combination of electric pulsation and 6-DMAP. These results suggest that reconstituted porcine embryos derived from cultured cumulus cells can develop to the blastocyst stage and that the development of the former could be improved by reconstruction with young oocyte cytoplast after the activation with the combination of electric pulsation and 6-DMAP.

  19. Effects of guaiazulene on in vitro bovine embryo production and on mRNA transcripts related to embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Dovolou, E; Clemente, M; Amiridis, G S; Messinis, I E; Kallitsaris, A; Gutierrez-Adan, A; Rizos, D

    2011-10-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are between the major contributors for the reduced rate of in vitro bovine embryo production. It is believed that they can cause abnormal meiosis of oocytes, developmental arrest or cell death of embryos. Reports on the effectiveness of various antioxidants on embryo yield are rather conflicting mainly due to the nature and the concentration of the substances used. Here we report the effects of guaiazulene--an exogenous antioxidant, without known properties that could interfere with the biological process of IVF--on embryo development and on the quality of the produced blastocysts. Bovine cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were aspirated from abattoir ovaries and COCs were matured in TCM199 with FCS and EGF at 39 °C under an atmosphere of 5% CO(2) in air, with maximum humidity. After 24 h oocytes were inseminated with frozen/thawed semen and co-incubated for further 24 h. Zygotes were cultured in groups of 25 in 25 μl of SOF with 5% FCS at 39 °C under an atmosphere of 5% CO(2) , 5% O(2) in air with maximum humidity. In the first experiment the maturation medium was modified with addition of 0.1 mM of G (n = 497), or 0.01 mM of guaiazulene (n = 468), 0.05% DMSO--the guaiazulene diluent (Control(+), n = 467), and 459 oocytes were used as Control(-). In the second experiment, the culture medium was modified with the addition of 0.1 mM of guaiazulene (n = 344), 0.01 mM of guaiazulene (n = 345), 0.05% DMSO (Control(+), n = 347) and 355 were the Control(-). Blastocyst yield was recorded on days 6, 7, 8 and 9. Day 7 blastocysts from each experiment and group were snap frozen and stored for mRNA extraction. Quantification of transcripts for mRNA of genes related to metabolism (AKR1B1, PTGS2, GADPH, SLC2A5, G6PD); oxidation (GPX1); and implantation (PLAC8) was carried out by real time quantitative RT-PCR. Data for embryo development and on transcript abundance were analysed by χ(2) and anova respectively. In the first experiment no differences

  20. Nickel affects gill and muscle development in oriental fire-bellied toad (Bombina orientalis) embryos.

    PubMed

    Park, Chan Jin; Song, Sang Ha; Kim, Dae Han; Gye, Myung Chan

    2017-01-01

    The developmental toxicity of nickel was examined in the embryos of Bombina orientalis, a common amphibian in Korea. Based on a standard frog embryo teratogenesis assay, the LC50 and EC50 for malformation of nickel after 168h of treatment were 33.8μM and 5.4μM, respectively. At a lethal concentration (100μM), nickel treatment decreased the space between gill filaments and caused epithelial swelling and abnormal fusion of gill filaments. These findings suggest that nickel affects the functional development of gills, leading to embryonic death. At sublethal concentrations (1-10μM), nickel produced multiple embryonic abnormalities, including bent tail and tail dysplasia. At 10μM, nickel significantly decreased tail length and tail muscle fiber density in tadpoles, indicating inhibition of myogenic differentiation. Before hatching, the pre-muscular response to muscular response stages (stages 26-31) were the most sensitive period to nickel with respect to tail muscle development. During these stages, MyoD mRNA was upregulated, whereas myogenic regulatory factor 4 mRNA was downregulated by 0.1μM nickel. Calcium-dependent kinase activities in muscular response stage embryos were significantly decreased by nickel, whereas these activities were restored by exogenous calcium. In tadpoles, 10μM nickel significantly decreased the expression of the myosin heavy chain and the 12/101 muscle marker protein in the tail. Expression was restored by exogenous calcium. Our results indicate that nickel affects muscle development by disrupting calcium-dependent myogenesis in developing B. orientalis embryos.

  1. Post-thaw culture in presence of insulin-like growth factor I improves the quality of cattle cryopreserved embryos.

    PubMed

    Makarevich, Alexander V; Kubovičová, Elena; Hegedušová, Zdena; Pivko, Juraj; Louda, František

    2012-05-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the effect of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I; added during post-thaw culture (48 h)) on the preimplantation viability and quality of cryopreserved bovine in vivo recovered embryos. The morula stage embryos, non-surgically recovered from superovulated dairy cows of Czech Fleckvieh cattle breed, had previously been cryopreserved by a slow freezing technique and stored in liquid nitrogen since 1989-1990. Following thawing, the embryos were cultured for 48 h either alone (no IGF-I) or in the presence of IGF-I (10 or 100 ng/ml); non-cultured embryos served as a control. Thereafter, the embryos were analyzed for cleavage to the blastocyst stage, apoptosis (TUNEL), embryo cell number and quality of actin cytoskeleton. Following post-thaw culture 41% of embryos developed to advanced blastocysts. IGF-I increased this per cent and, at a higher dose, essentially reduced the per cent of degenerated embryos. In cultured embryos, IGF-I at both doses elevated the cell number compared with non-cultured embryos. However, in comparison with embryos cultured without IGF-I, only the higher IGF-I dose resulted in elevating the embryo cell number. The TUNEL index was significantly lowered by IGF-I treatment. Thawed embryos were mostly of the grade III actin type and fewer (12%) had grade II actin, whilst no grade I actin embryos were noted. The addition of IGF-I resulted in the appearance of grade I actin embryos (8.33 and 6.9% for 10 and 100 ng/ml, respectively). These observations indicate that the addition of IGF-I during post-thaw culture can improve the quality of bovine cryopreserved embryos.

  2. Embryo quality before and after surgical treatment of endometriosis in infertile patients

    PubMed Central

    Burney, Richard O.; Behr, Barry; Milki, Amin A.; Westphal, Lynn M.; Lathi, Ruth B.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose To investigate the hypothesis that surgical treatment of endometriosis in infertile patients may improve pregnancy rates by improving embryo quality. Methods We conducted a retrospective evaluation of 30 infertile patients treated with in vitro fertilization (IVF) before and after surgery for endometriosis. Patients served as their own controls and only cycles with similar stimulation protocols were compared. Results Using standard visual evaluation, embryo quality on day 3 was similar before and after surgical treatment of endometriosis. Fifty seven percent of patients had stage I–II endometriosis and 43% had stage III–IV disease. No patients had a live birth after the first IVF cycle and 43% of patients had a live birth with the IVF cycle after surgery. Conclusions Surgical treatment of endometriosis does not alter embryo quality in patients with infertility treated with IVF. PMID:19214735

  3. Effects of maternal age on embryo quality and pregnancy outcomes using testicular sperm with intracytoplasmic sperm injection

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Hye Won; Lee, Sun-Hee; Lim, Chun Kyu; Seo, Ju Tae

    2016-01-01

    Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of maternal age on fertilization, embryo quality, and clinical pregnancy in patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) using testicular sperm from partners with azoospermia. Methods A total of 416 ICSI cycles using testicular spermatozoa from partners with obstructive azoospermia (OA, n=301) and non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA, n=115) were analyzed. Female patients were divided into the following age groups: 27 to 31 years, 32 to 36 years, and 37 to 41 years. The rates of fertilization, high-quality embryos, clinical pregnancy, and delivery were compared across maternal age groups between the OA and NOA groups. Results The rates of fertilization and high-quality embryos were not significantly different among the maternal age groups. Similarly, the clinical pregnancy and delivery rates were not significantly different. The fertilization rate was significantly higher in the OA group than in the NOA group (p<0.05). Age-group analysis revealed that the fertilization and high-quality embryo rates were significantly different between the OA and NOA groups in patients aged 27 to 31 years old, but not for the other age groups. Although the clinical pregnancy and delivery rates differed between the OA and NOA groups across all age groups, significant differences were not observed. Conclusion In couples using testicular sperm from male partners with azoospermia, pregnancy and delivery outcomes were not affected by maternal age. However, women older than 37 years using testicular sperm from partners with azoospermia should be advised of the increased incidence of pregnancy failure. PMID:28090461

  4. 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.

  5. Crumbs affects protein dynamics in anterior regions of the developing Drosophila embryo.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Evaluation of embryo quality after concurrent use of ovarian stimulating hormones and gamma irradiation

    PubMed Central

    Dehghan, Tahere; Mozdarani, Hossein; Khoradmehr, Arezoo; Kalantar, Seyed Mehdi; Bakhshandeh, Mohsen; Bouzarjomehri, Fathollah; Kalantar, Seyed Milad; Sepehr Javan, Morteza

    2014-01-01

    Background: Radiotherapy has many side effects on fertilization in young women. Radiation can lead to ovarian failure in women who underwent abdomen or pelvic radiotherapy. Objective: This study helps us to investigate ovarian response of NMRI female mice to ovarian stimulating hormones (PMSG, HCG) after whole-body gamma irradiation. Materials and Methods: 45 pregnant mice were divided into two groups of control and experimental. The experimental group was classified into three sub-groups: Irradiation group (2 or 4Gy),Superovulation group (10 or 15IU),and superovulation and gamma-radiation group (2Gy & 10IU, 2Gy & 15IU, 4Gy & 10IU,4Gy & 15IU). Female mice were killed and embryos were removed from oviduct .The number of embryos cells counted and the quality of them was evaluated in each group. Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney test were used to analyze the data. Results: There was a significant difference in the number of 2-4 cells grade D embryos in 2Gy & 15IU group compared with control and 2Gy groups (p=0.01), and the number of embryos in 4Gy group was more than in 10IU and 15IU (p=0.03) and 2Gy & 15IU groups (p=0.01). It was more significantly embryos in 4Gy & 15IU group compared to 2Gy & 15IU group (p=0.01).In addition There were no significant differences in the number of 2-4 cells grades A, B and C embryos and also number of 4-8 cells grades A, B and C, D embryos in groups. Conclusion: The concurrent use of ovulation stimulating hormones and gamma rays ameliorates this problem of drastic decrease in number of living embryos due to whole-body irradiation. PMID:25408708

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Evaluation of RNA quality in fixed and unembedded mouse embryos by different methods.

    PubMed

    Mu, Yuan; Zhou, Hong; Li, Wenyan; Hu, Lichao; Zhang, Yiting

    2013-10-01

    Many miRNAs are highly expressed in spatiotemporal and precise tissue-specific patterns in development. Thus it is necessary to examine their expression pattern in mouse embryos. However, embryos from one pregnant mouse are more than enough for expression analysis such as RT-qPCR, which results in reluctant disposal of remaining embryos. Due to the limitation of short sampling time, it is vitally important to quickly preserve samples to ensure the RNA quality. Thus, it is necessary to develop appropriate methods to fix samples in advance. In this study, two fixatives [methanol/DMSO (4:1) and paraformaldehyde] were applied for embryo (12.5 dpc) fixation and two preservatives (methanol and 30% sucrose) were used for fixed embryo preservation. After storage for one month, the skin, skeletal muscle and brain tissues were dissected from the fixed and unembedded embryos. Total RNAs were extracted by TRIzol® reagent and measured by a spectrophotometer, then were subjected to amplify Actb, Hprt, Gapdh, Rnu6, Snord68 and miR-206-3p by RT-qPCR. Embryos fixed in methanol/DMSO and preserved in 100% methanol at -20°C were able to yield at least 349 bp amplifiable RNA. Although paraformaldehyde fixation and 30% sucrose preservation method only yielded amplicons less than 156 bp, it showed a remarkable ability in preserving small RNAs. Snord68 was expressed stably across skin, skeletal muscle and brain tissues like Rnu6, making its possibility as an internal control for qPCR data normalization. Using Snord68 and/or Rnu6 as internal control, we found that the miR-206-3p expression level in skin was about one quarter of its highest level in the skeletal muscle. Therefore, the techniques in this study would be useful for us to reasonably utilize and preserve precious samples.

  12. Embryo transfer day does not affect the initial maternal serum β-hCG levels: A retrospective cohort study.

    PubMed

    Dahiya, Mona; Rupani, Karishma; Yu, Su Ling; Fook-Chong, Stephanie M C; Siew Fui, Diana Chia; Rajesh, Hemashree

    2017-03-18

    The aim of this study is to compare the serum β-hCG values post transfer of a cleavage stage embryo versus a blastocyst stage embryo at equal time intervals post oocyte retrieval (OR) in clinically pregnant patients, and to ascertain a β-hCG value to predict pregnancy outcomes. This is a retrospective cohort study of 560 women with clinical pregnancy who underwent an embryo transfer performed at either the cleavage stage or the blastocyst stage of embryo development between January 2003 and June 2014 at the Center for Assisted Reproduction (CARE), Singapore General Hospital. The serum β-hCG level was measured on day 17 post OR. The β-hCG values were not significantly different in the cleavage stage versus the blastocyst stage embryos (mean±SD: 387±486IU/L D3 vs. 352±268IU/L D5, p=0.96, median value 297 in both groups). Our study suggests that the initial maternal serum β-hCG values were not affected by the day of transfer of the embryos since assessing the β-hCG at equivalent points after transfer should not lead to a significant difference assuming the progress and development of the embryos occurred as expected.

  13. 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 ...

  14. The use of cryopreserved sea urchin embryos (Paracentrotus lividus) in marine quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Paredes, E; Bellas, J

    2015-06-01

    We have established for first time an ecotoxicological bioassay using cryopreserved sea urchin embryos (Paracentotus lividus) and provided a comparison to the already standardized sea urchin embryo-larval bioassay, using selected (organic and inorganic) pollutants and sediment elutriates from 4 different locations from Ria de Vigo harbour (Galicia, NW Iberian Peninsula). A cryopreservation protocol was designed in order to enable the successful cryopreservation and cryobanking of gametes and embryos to be used for marine quality assessment and ensure the accessibility to high quality reproductive material all year round, as an option to conditioning adults for out of season reproduction. The calculated EC50 using the cryopreserved blastula was 53.7 μg L(-1) for copper, 81.0 μg L(-1) for lead, 300.6 μg L(-1) for BP-3 and 300.6 μg L(-1) for 4-MBC. The sensitivity of the classic sea urchin embryo-larval bioassay was compared with the bioassay conducted with cryopreserved blastula. The results showed that the use of cryopreserved blastula bioassay allows detecting lower concentrations of pollutants in comparison with the classic bioassay.

  15. 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.

  16. 104 FACTORS AFFECTING PREGNANCY RATES AND EMBRYO/FETAL LOSSES IN RECIPIENTS RECEIVING IN VITRO-PRODUCED EMBRYOS BY FIXED-TIME EMBRYO TRANSFER.

    PubMed

    Tribulo, A; Cedeño, A; Bernal, B; Andrada, S; Barajas, J L; Ortega, J; Oviedo, J M; Tribulo, H; Tribulo, R; Mapletoft, R J; Bó, G A

    2016-01-01

    A retrospective analysis evaluated pregnancy rates and embryo losses with in vitro-produced embryos in a commercial embryo transfer program on 15 different beef farms. Recipients were beef cows and heifers (n=1841) that were synchronized with 5 different protocols and transferred at a fixed-time (FTET). Recipients were examined by ultrasonography on Day 0, and those with a corpus luteum (CL) or a follicle ≥8mm in diameter and with body condition score 2 to 4 (1 to 5 scale) were synchronized. The synchronization treatments were as follows. (T1) Recipients received an intravaginal device with 0.5g of progesterone plus 2mg of oestradiol benzoate on Day 0; device removal, plus 500μg of cloprostenol (prostaglandin F2α), 400IU of eCG, and 0.5mg of oestradiol cypionate on Day 8; and FTET on Day 17. (T2) This treatment was similar to T1 but 1mg of oestradiol cypionate was injected at device removal instead of 0.5mg of oestradiol cypionate. (T3) This treatment was similar to T1 except that animals were tail-painted on Day 8 and observed on Day 10. Those with the tail-paint intact on Day 10 received 100μg of gonadorelin (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) and all recipients were FTET on Day 17. (T4) Recipients received a progesterone device on Day 0; device removal, prostaglandin F2α, and eCG on Day 5; gonadotropin-releasing hormone on Day 8; and FTET on Day 15. (T5) Recipients received a progesterone device and 2mg of oestradiol benzoate on Day 0; device removal, prostaglandin F2α, and eCG on Day 6; gonadotropin-releasing hormone on Day 9; and FTET on Day 16. On the day of FTET all recipients with CL ≥18mm in diameter (G1), ≥16 and <18mm in diameter (G2), and ≥14mm and <16mm in diameter (G3) received in vitro-produced fresh embryos. Pregnancy was diagnosed by ultrasonography at 30 and 60 days of gestation, and data were analysed by logistic regression. The overall proportion of recipients synchronized that were FTET was 80.8% (1487/1841), with a 30-day pregnancy

  17. Timing of cell division in human cleavage-stage embryos is linked with blastocyst formation and quality.

    PubMed

    Cruz, María; Garrido, Nicolás; Herrero, Javier; Pérez-Cano, Inmaculada; Muñoz, Manuel; Meseguer, Marcos

    2012-10-01

    Noninvasive markers of embryo quality are being sought to improve IVF success. The present study aimed to discover possible associations between embryo division kinetics in the cleavage stage, the subsequent ability of human embryos to reach the blastocyst stage and the resulting blastocyst morphology. A retrospective cohort study analysed 834 embryos from 165 oocyte donation couples using a time-lapse monitoring system that allowed the recording of the exact timings for key events related to embryo development. Timing parameters were categorized into four quartiles. The probability of an embryo developing to a blastocyst was linked to a strict chronology of development. To further evaluate the relationships between these morphokinetic parameters and subsequent blastocyst formation, the ensuing blastocyst morphology was compared with a viability score based on a hierarchical classification of the cleavage-stage morphokinetic parameters. It is concluded that the kinetics of early embryo development and the potential for human embryos to develop to the blastocyst stage on day 5 are closely related and that time-lapse-based evaluation of the exact timing of early events in embryo development is a promising tool for the prediction of blastocyst formation and quality according to the proposed model.

  18. Fish embryos: Practical indicators of environmental quality of significance to fisheries

    SciTech Connect

    Longwell, A.C. )

    1988-10-01

    Cyto-embryological analyses of fish eggs collected in nature can be a more sensitive indicator of environmental pollution than more typical assays conducted on artificially-spawned eggs. This is because uncertainties associated with artificial spawning and rearing are dispensed with, as well as because of the sensitivity of some cellular and subcellular analyses. At the same time, such measures can provide information on interannual differences in egg viability of importance in elucidating great, unexplained variability in fisheries recruitment. Extensive experience with fish embryos from ocean plankton has led to the choice of a particularly useful, practical suite of observations for different developmental stages. This includes measures of embryo mortality, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, abnormal cell differentiation, and development rate. Atlantic mackerel egg mortality has been determined to be greater in the surface waters of the New York Bight apex and along the New Jersey coast than in less polluted portions of the Bight. Chromosome abnormality of mid-stage embryos was also greater in more impacted areas of the same water mass, as well as in the somatic cells of adult mackerel and winter flounder, and in juvenile and adult windowpane flounder caught in more impacted areas. Mortality and abnormality of the mackerel embryos showed statistical associations with toxic hydrocarbons as measured in plankton, and with heavy metals as measured in sea surface waters. The sensitivity, practicality, and relevance of the cytoembryological studies to population dynamics of resource species make this an important means of monitoring environmental quality.

  19. High-quality embryos retain their implantation capability in overweight women.

    PubMed

    Farhi, Jacob; Ben-Haroush, Avi; Sapir, Onit; Fisch, Benjamin; Ashkenazi, Jacob

    2010-11-01

    To assess the effect of obesity on implantation rate, pregnancy rate and course of pregnancy in young women undergoing IVF in whom only high-quality embryos were transferred, a cohort study included women attending the IVF unit in 2006-2007 with favourable parameters to achieve pregnancy (<38years, fewer than three IVF cycles, transfer of two high-quality embryos), grouped by body mass index (BMI). Of 230 women, 160 had a BMI ⩽25kg/m(2) (mean 21.6±2.2) and 73 had BMI >25kg/m(2) (mean 29.5±3.7). The overweight group had a higher consumption of gonadotrophins during stimulation. There were no between-group differences in treatment protocols, duration of gonadotrophin stimulation, maximal oestradiol concentrations, endometrial thickness and number of oocytes retrieved/fertilized, or in rates of pregnancy (51.3%, 52.1%), implantation (34.5%, 37.5%), multiple pregnancy, and abortion. Rate of gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension was higher in the overweight group (23.3%, 8.2%; P=0.045). Within the overweight group, those with multiple pregnancies were at highest risk (31.3%, 6.9%; P=0.031). In conclusion, implantation and pregnancy rates are not compromised in overweight women when high-quality embryos are transferred. However, in overweight women, pregnancy complications remain high, mainly in those with multiple pregnancies.

  20. 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.

  1. High-quality RNA extraction from the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos.

    PubMed

    Ruocco, Nadia; Costantini, Susan; Zupo, Valerio; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Fontana, Angelo; Costantini, Maria

    2017-01-01

    The sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) is a keystone herbivore in the Mediterranean Sea due to its ability to transform macroalgal-dominated communities into barren areas characterized by increased cover of bare substrates and encrusting coralline algae, reduced biodiversity and altered ecosystem functions. P. lividus is also an excellent animal model for toxicology, physiology and biology investigations having been used for more than a century as a model for embryological studies with synchronously developing embryos which are easy to manipulate and analyze for morphological aberrations. Despite its importance for the scientific community, the complete genome is still not fully annotated. To date, only a few molecular tools are available and a few Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) studies have been performed. Here we aimed at setting-up an RNA extraction method to obtain high quality and sufficient quantity of RNA for NGS from P. lividus embryos at the pluteus stage. We compared five different RNA extraction protocols from four different pools of plutei (500, 1000, 2500 and 5000 embryos): TRIzol®, and four widely-used Silica Membrane kits, GenElute™ Mammalian Total RNA Miniprep Kit, RNAqueous® Micro Kit, RNeasy® Micro Kit and Aurum™ Total RNA Mini Kit. The quantity of RNA isolated was evaluated using NanoDrop. The quality, considering the purity, was measured as A260/A280 and A260/230 ratios. The integrity was measured by RNA Integrity Number (RIN). Our results demonstrated that the most efficient procedures were GenElute, RNeasy and Aurum, producing a sufficient quantity of RNA for NGS. The Bioanalyzer profiles and RIN values revealed that the most efficient methods guaranteeing for RNA integrity were RNeasy and Aurum combined with an initial preservation in RNAlater. This research represents the first attempt to standardize a method for high-quality RNA extraction from sea urchin embryos at the pluteus stage, providing a new resource for this

  2. High-quality RNA extraction from the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos

    PubMed Central

    Ruocco, Nadia; Costantini, Susan; Zupo, Valerio; Romano, Giovanna; Ianora, Adrianna; Fontana, Angelo; Costantini, Maria

    2017-01-01

    The sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) is a keystone herbivore in the Mediterranean Sea due to its ability to transform macroalgal-dominated communities into barren areas characterized by increased cover of bare substrates and encrusting coralline algae, reduced biodiversity and altered ecosystem functions. P. lividus is also an excellent animal model for toxicology, physiology and biology investigations having been used for more than a century as a model for embryological studies with synchronously developing embryos which are easy to manipulate and analyze for morphological aberrations. Despite its importance for the scientific community, the complete genome is still not fully annotated. To date, only a few molecular tools are available and a few Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) studies have been performed. Here we aimed at setting-up an RNA extraction method to obtain high quality and sufficient quantity of RNA for NGS from P. lividus embryos at the pluteus stage. We compared five different RNA extraction protocols from four different pools of plutei (500, 1000, 2500 and 5000 embryos): TRIzol®, and four widely-used Silica Membrane kits, GenElute™ Mammalian Total RNA Miniprep Kit, RNAqueous® Micro Kit, RNeasy® Micro Kit and Aurum™ Total RNA Mini Kit. The quantity of RNA isolated was evaluated using NanoDrop. The quality, considering the purity, was measured as A260/A280 and A260/230 ratios. The integrity was measured by RNA Integrity Number (RIN). Our results demonstrated that the most efficient procedures were GenElute, RNeasy and Aurum, producing a sufficient quantity of RNA for NGS. The Bioanalyzer profiles and RIN values revealed that the most efficient methods guaranteeing for RNA integrity were RNeasy and Aurum combined with an initial preservation in RNAlater. This research represents the first attempt to standardize a method for high-quality RNA extraction from sea urchin embryos at the pluteus stage, providing a new resource for this

  3. Quality and developmental rate of embryos produced with sex-sorted and conventional semen from superovulated dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Mikkola, M; Taponen, J

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of sex-sorted semen compared with conventional semen on the outcome of embryo recovery, placing special emphasis on the quality, and developmental stage of embryos. Data were analyzed for 443 embryo collections with sex-sorted semen (SEX group) and 1528 with conventional semen (CONV group) in superovulated dairy heifers and cows. The insemination protocol for conventional semen included two inseminations, comprising a total dose of 30 million sperm passing into the uterine body. For sex-sorted semen, two (30%) to three (70%) deep uterine inseminations were performed, the total dose ranging from eight to 12 million sperm. The data were analyzed separately for heifers and cows. The total number of recovered structures was similar among the groups. The number of viable embryos decreased in the SEX groups compared with the CONV (with 1.4 and 3.2 fewer embryos in heifers and cows, correspondingly, P < 0.001), and correspondingly the proportions of unfertilized ova and degenerated embryos increased in the SEX groups (P < 0.001). The proportion of unsuccessful collections, yielding no transferable embryos, increased in the SEX groups for both heifers (from 7.2% to 11.2%, P = 0.025) and cows (from 9.0% to 20.7%, P < 0.001). Regarding the quality of viable embryos, the quality grades were superior in the CONV group compared with the SEX group for heifers (P < 0.001) and cows (P < 0.001). The proportion of grade 1 embryos decreased by 6.5 percentage points in heifers and 11.9 percentage points in cows when sex-sorted semen was used. Correspondingly, the proportions of grade 2 and 3 embryos increased in heifers and cows when sexed semen was used. The mean developmental stages of embryo collections were numerically slightly lower in the SEX group. In heifers, the delay in developmental stage was statistically significant (P = 0.001), but in cows, there was only a tendency toward that (P = 0.067). In conclusion, sex-sorted sperm

  4. 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.

  5. Can repeated IVF-ICSI-cycles be avoided by using blastocysts developing from poor-quality cleavage stage embryos?

    PubMed

    Kaartinen, Noora; Das, Pia; Kananen, Kirsi; Huhtala, Heini; Tinkanen, Helena

    2015-03-01

    In many clinics, good-quality embryos are selected for embryo transfer and cryopreservation at the cleavage stage, and poor-quality embryos are discarded. The aim of this retrospective study was to examine how many repeated IVF cycles could be avoided by culturing the cleavage stage poor-quality embryos to blastocyst stage and transferring them after vitrification and warming (604 IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection [IVF-ICSI] cycles were included). Poor-quality cleavage stage embryos not eligible for transfer or cryopreservation were cultured until day 5 or 6, and those developing to the blastocyst stage were vitrified. The rate of vitrified blastocysts and clinical pregnancy and delivery rate of the warmed blastocysts was evaluated. The effect of the extended culture on the cumulative delivery rate, and the number of avoided new treatment cycles was calculated. The surplus blastocysts resulted in clinical pregnancy, spontaneous abortion and delivery rates of 24.6%, 27.3% and 17.2% respectively. The use of surplus blastocysts raised cumulative delivery rate from 43% to 47% and 53 repeated new cycles were avoided. This study shows that the cumulative delivery rate can be increased, and repeated IVF-ICSI treatments avoided by using blastocysts developing from poor-quality cleavage stage embryos, which otherwise would have been discarded.

  6. Active immunization with a synthetic fragment of pig inhibin alpha-subunit increases ovulation rate and embryo production in superovulated ewes but season affects its efficiency.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, A; Martemucci, G; Iaffaldano, N

    1999-01-01

    Two experiments were designed to determine the effects of active immunization against one of two synthetic peptides from humans (inhibin-like peptide) or pigs (inhibin alpha-subunit) on antibody titres, ovulation rate and embryo production in ewes superovulated with 16 U ovine FSH. In Expt 1, during the breeding season, 30 ewes were subdivided into three groups: group I served as the non-immunized control; group II was immunized against inhibin-like peptide (100 micrograms inhibin-like peptide equivalent, followed by three booster injections); group III was immunized against pig inhibin alpha-subunit conjugated to human serum albumin (96 micrograms for the primary administration and 46 micrograms for the booster). In Expt 2, the efficiency of immunization against pig inhibin alpha-subunit on ovarian response and embryo production was evaluated during the non-breeding season in two groups of ewes (n = 12): group IV was a non-immunized control; Group V was immunized against pig inhibin alpha-subunit. During the breeding season, the ewes immunized against pig inhibin alpha-subunit showed higher antibody titres compared with the group immunized against inhibin-like peptide (P < 0.01) and a significant increase in ovulation rate (12.1) compared with both the control (5.0; P < 0.05) and the inhibin-like peptide-immunized group (3.1; P < 0.01). Immunization against pig inhibin alpha-subunit increased transferable embryo yield 4.5-fold (6.7 versus 1.5; P < 0.01) and improved embryo quality (94.6 versus 40.6%; P < 0.01). During the non-breeding season, immunization against pig inhibin alpha-subunit enhanced ovulation rate from 2.6 in the controls to 9.4 (P < 0.01) but did not affect transferable embryo production (3.9 versus 2.1; P > 0.05) and significantly lowered their quality (54.1 versus 100%; P < 0.01). In conclusion, active immunization against pig inhibin alpha-subunit can improve superovulatory response during the breeding season, while it appears to be unable to

  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. Daily supplementation with ghrelin improves in vitro bovine blastocysts formation rate and alters gene expression related to embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Dovolou, Eleni; Periquesta, Eva; Messinis, Ioannis E; Tsiligianni, Theodora; Dafopoulos, Konstantinos; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; Amiridis, Georgios S

    2014-03-01

    Ghrelin is a gastric peptide having regulatory role in the reproductive system functionality, acting mainly at central level. Because the expression of ghrelin system (ghrelin and its receptor) has been detected in the bovine ovary, the objectives of the present study were to investigate whether ghrelin can affect the developmental potential of in vitro-produced embryos, and to test their quality in terms of relative abundance of various genes related to metabolism, apoptosis and oxidation. In the first experiment, in vitro-produced zygotes were cultured in the absence (control [C]) and in the presence of three concentrations of acylated ghrelin (200 pg/mL [Ghr200], 800 pg/mL [Ghr800]; and 2000 pg/mL [Ghr2000]); blastocyst formation rates were examined on Days 7, 8, and 9. In the second experiment, only the 800 pg/mL dose of ghrelin was used. Zygotes were produced as in experiment 1 and 24 hours post insemination they were divided into 4 groups; in two groups (C; without ghrelin; Ghr800 with ghrelin), embryos were cultured without medium replacement; in the remaining two groups (Control N and GhrN), the culture medium was daily renewed. A pool of Day-7 blastocysts were snap frozen for relative mRNA abundance of various genes related to metabolism, oxidation, implantation, and apoptosis. In experiment 3, embryos were produced as in experiment 2, but in the absence of serum (semi-defined culture medium). In experiment 1, no differences were detected between C, Ghr200, and Ghr2000, although fewer blastocysts were produced in group Ghr800 compared with C. In experiment 2, the lowest blastocysts yield was found in Ghr800, whereas daily renewal of ghrelin (Ghr800N) resulted to increased blastocysts formation rate, which on Day 7 was the highest among groups (P < 0.05). In experiment 3, ghrelin significantly suppressed blastocysts yield. Significant differences were detected in various relative mRNA abundance, giving an overall final notion that embryos produced in the

  9. Psammaplin A Improves Development and Quality of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Mouse Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Mallol, Anna; Santaló, Josep

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Faulty reprogramming of the donor somatic nucleus to a totipotent embryonic state by the recipient oocyte is a major obstacle for cloning success. Accordingly, treatment of cloned embryos with epigenetic modifiers, such as histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), enhances cloning efficiency. The purpose of our study was to further explore the potential effect of valproic acid (VPA), used in previous studies, and to investigate the effect of psammaplin A (PsA), a novel HDACi, on the development and quality of cloned mouse embryos. To this aim, cloned embryos were treated with 5, 10, and 20 μM PsA or 2 and 4 mM VPA for 8–9 h (before and during activation) or 16 h or 24 h (during and after activation), and their in vitro developmental potential and blastocyst quality were evaluated. Treatments with 10 μM PsA and 2 mM VPA for 16 h were selected as the most optimal, showing higher blastocyst rates and quality. These treatments had no significant effects on the expression of Nanog, Oct4, and Cdx2 or on global histone and DNA methylation levels at the blastocyst stage, but both increased global levels of histone acetylation at early developmental stages. This was correlated with a two-fold (for VPA) and four-fold (for PsA) increase in full-term development, and a 11.5-fold increase when PsA was combined with the use of latrunculin A instead of cytochalasin B. In conclusion, PsA improves mouse cloning efficiency to a higher extent than VPA. PMID:25068567

  10. The BMI of men and not sperm parameters impact on embryo quality and the IVF outcome.

    PubMed

    Anifandis, G; Dafopoulos, K; Messini, C I; Polyzos, N; Messinis, I E

    2013-01-01

    It has been reported that increased body mass index (BMI) of men influences fecundity but it is not clear if it impacts on sperm parameters. Whether or not BMI of men influence sperm parameters and subsequently in vitro fertilization (IVF) result remains to be clarified. The aim of the present study was primarily to investigate the relationship between the BMI of men and sperm parameters (volume, concentration and motility) and whether or not it impacts on embryo quality and IVF outcome. Secondly, to investigate the impact of BMI of both men and women, in combination with their age, on IVF result. Three hundred and one couples were categorized according to their BMI. Group 1 (n = 64, both men and women had BMI l ≤ 25 kg/m(2) ), group 2 (n = 79, both men and women had BMI > 25 kg/m(2) ), group 3 (n = 142, men had BMI > 25 kg/m(2) and their wives had BMI ≤ 25 kg/m(2) ) and group 4 (n = 16, men had BMI ≤ 25 kg/m(2) and their wives had BMI > 25 kg/m(2) ). Overall (n = 301) BMI and age of men did not correlate with sperm parameters. Group 1 and group 4, regardless of the BMI of their women, demonstrated the highest quality of embryos and consequently the highest percentage of pregnancy. Furthermore, the score of the combination of both BMI and age of both men and women resulted in a threshold level of less than 800 with a relative high per cent of pregnancy. BMI of men does not correlate with sperm parameters, but influences the quality of produced embryos in such a way that impacts on pregnancy rate.

  11. Endometrial Stromal Cells of Women with Recurrent Miscarriage Fail to Discriminate between High- and Low-Quality Human Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Weimar, Charlotte H. E.; Kavelaars, Annemieke; Brosens, Jan J.; Gellersen, Birgit; de Vreeden-Elbertse, Johanna M. T.; Heijnen, Cobi J.; Macklon, Nick S.

    2012-01-01

    Background The aetiology of recurrent miscarriage (RM) remains largely unexplained. Women with RM have a shorter time to pregnancy interval than normally fertile women, which may be due to more frequent implantation of non-viable embryos. We hypothesized that human endometrial stromal cells (H-EnSCs) of women with RM discriminate less effectively between high-and low-quality human embryos and migrate more readily towards trophoblast spheroids than H-EnSCs of normally fertile women. Methodology/Principal Findings Monolayers of decidualized H-EnSCs were generated from endometrial biopsies of 6 women with RM and 6 fertile controls. Cell-free migration zones were created and the effect of the presence of a high-quality (day 5 blastocyst, n = 13), a low-quality (day 5 blastocyst with three pronuclei or underdeveloped embryo, n = 12) or AC-1M88 trophoblast cell line spheroid on H-ESC migratory activity was analyzed after 18 hours. In the absence of a spheroid or embryo, migration of H-EnSCs from fertile or RM women was similar. In the presence of a low-quality embryo in the zone, the migration of H-EnSCs of control women was inhibited compared to the basal migration in the absence of an embryo (P<0.05) and compared to the migration in the presence of high-quality embryo (p<0.01). Interestingly, the migratory response H-EnSCs of women with RM did not differ between high- and low-quality embryos. Furthermore, in the presence of a spheroid their migration was enhanced compared to the H-EnSCs of controls (p<0.001). Conclusions H-EnSCs of fertile women discriminate between high- and low-quality embryos whereas H-EnSCs of women with RM fail to do so. H-EnSCs of RM women have a higher migratory response to trophoblast spheroids. Future studies will focus on the mechanisms by which low-quality embryos inhibit the migration of H-EnSCs and how this is deregulated in women with RM. PMID:22848492

  12. [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.

  13. Dose of recombinant FSH and oestradiol concentration on day of HCG affect embryo development kinetics.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Manuel; Cruz, María; Humaidan, Peter; Garrido, Nicolás; Pérez-Cano, Inmaculada; Meseguer, Marcos

    2012-10-01

    During follicular growth, the follicle is exposed to an almost ever-changing composition of isoforms of FSH and LH, which causes a number of different and divergent biological effects. Through a time-lapse system, embryo kinetics were examined following the use of FSH only (recombinant FSH, rFSH) and gonadotrophins containing LH activity (human menopausal gonadotrophin, HMG, and FSH+HMG) in oocyte donors. No significant differences were seen between the three groups (for rFSH, HMG and rFSH+HMG, t2 was 27.8h, 27.9h and 27.5h respectively). Moreover, although embryos obtained with rFSH showed an increase in the proportions of optimal timings of development, the differences observed were not significant, as shown by the percentages of embryos inside/outside these kinetic variables. In contrast, for gonadotrophin dosage and oestradiol concentration, this study observed differences in embryo development kinetics for some of the variables evaluated, which allowed the description of an optimal range of gonadotrophin dosage and oestradiol concentration. However, these kinetic differences did not translate into important distinctions in the proportion of optimal embryos with a higher implantation potential.

  14. Sperm DNA integrity testing: big halo is a good predictor of embryo quality and pregnancy after conventional IVF.

    PubMed

    Tandara, M; Bajić, A; Tandara, L; Bilić-Zulle, L; Šunj, M; Kozina, V; Goluža, T; Jukić, M

    2014-09-01

    Sperm DNA integrity is a sperm functional parameter of male fertility evaluation. Two parameters of sperm DNA integrity were observed: DNA damage expressed as DNA fragmentation index (DFI) and percentage of the DNA undamaged spermatozoa expressed as big halo. Halosperm test was used for sperm DNA integrity determination. The aim of this study was to evaluate which DNA integrity parameter is better as an embryo quality and pregnancy prognostic parameter after the conventional IVF. We evaluated two embryo groups (positive and negative group) according to the 3rd day cumulative embryo score. Big halo and DFI, as we expected, showed good correlation (r = -0.69; p < 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses show that DFI and big halo are significant (p < 0.001) as prognostic parameters of embryo quality. ROC curves comparison of DFI and big halo revealed the AUC value for big halo to be significantly higher (DFI AUC = 0.71 vs. big halo AUC = 0.83; p = 0.025) than for DFI. Big halo was found to be the only independent predictor of embryo quality. Sperm DNA integrity both parameters are good prognostic parameters of embryo quality after the conventional IVF where big halo seems to be better. ROC analyses show DFI and big halo as significant prognostic parameters for achieved pregnancy (AUC ± SE for DFI was 0.67 ± 0.06 and 0.75 ± 0.06 for big halo). To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating the correlation between sperm DNA undamaged rate expressed as big halo parameter and semen characteristics as well as the influence on fertilization rate, embryo quality and pregnancy in conventional IVF.

  15. Evaluation of different culture systems with low oxygen tension on the development, quality and oxidative stress-related genes of bovine embryos produced in vitro.

    PubMed

    Arias, Maria Elena; Sanchez, Raul; Felmer, Ricardo

    2012-08-01

    The present study was conducted to assess the development, quality and gene expression profile of oxidative stress-related genes of bovine embryos cultured in different culture systems with low oxygen tension (5% CO2, 5% O2 and 90% N2). The systems assessed included: (1) an incubator chamber; (2) a plastic bag; and (3) a foil bag. The choice of culture system had no effect on cleavage rate at 72 h. However, significant differences (P < 0.01) were observed in the rate of blastocysts registered at day 7 (29.8, 20.2 and 12.7% for incubator chamber, plastic bag and foil bag, respectively). Total number of cells did not differ between systems, although the proportion of ICM:total cells was affected particularly in the plastic bag (19.5%), compared with the incubator chamber (31.4%). In addition, significant differences were found in the apoptotic:total cell ratio (3.3, 6.5 and 8.8% for the incubator chamber, plastic bag and foil bag, respectively), with apoptotic nuclei localised mainly in the ICM compartment of the embryo. The amount of reactive oxygen species was also different between culture systems and this effect was correlated with a higher expression of SOD2, GSS and GPX1 genes in embryos cultured in the gassed bags as compared with embryos cultured in the incubator chamber. In conclusion, these results give evidence that, under low oxygen tension, the incubator chamber is more efficient and generates higher number of, and better quality, embryos than gassed bag systems evaluated here and this effect was probably due to an increased level of reactive oxygen species in the gassed bags, which upregulates the expression of some antioxidant enzymes to compensate for hyperoxia conditions.

  16. Effect of oocyte quality on the relative abundance of specific gene transcripts in bovine mature oocytes and 16-cell embryos

    PubMed Central

    Bilodeau-Goeseels, Sylvie

    2003-01-01

    Although the developmental potential of oocytes is related to oocyte quality, whether the expression of specific genes is altered in oocytes of different quality and in resulting embryos is not known. Semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used to compare the relative abundance of 2 transcripts for housekeeping proteins (β-actin and ribosomal protein L30) and 3 transcripts for growth factor ligand or receptors (platelet derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)), in mature bovine oocytes of high versus low developmental potential. The transcripts for L30, PDGFRα, and bFGF in 16-cell embryos originating from these oocytes were also examined. No significant effect of oocyte quality was detected for any of the transcripts examined from oocytes or 16-cell embryos. In conclusion, a lower developmental potential of oocytes with advanced signs of atresia, was not associated with a lower level of abundance of the transcripts examined. PMID:12760483

  17. Factors affecting the quality of cryoprecipitate

    PubMed Central

    Subramaniyan, Rajeswari; Marwaha, Neelam; Jain, Ashish; Ahluwalia, Jasmina

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Many variables affect the quality of cryoprecipitate (CRYO). We investigated the effect of freezing techniques and ABO blood groups on the quality of CRYO with respect to factor VIII: C and fibrinogen levels. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ninety-six whole blood units each collected from in-house (Group I) and blood donation camps outside the hospital premises (Group II) were processed for CRYO preparation. Within each group, half the number of plasma units was frozen using blast freezer and another half using the conventional freezer. The CRYOs from blood groups A, B, and O were equally distributed, i.e. 32 within each of the Groups I and II. The fibrinogen and factor VIII: C levels in CRYO were analyzed using single-stage clotting assay. RESULTS: In Group I, the mean ± standard deviation percentage recovery of factor VIII levels in CRYO prepared using the conventional freezer and blast freezer were 58.5% ±16.2% and 66.7% ±16.4%, respectively, and in Group II, it was 55.3% ±17.6% and 70.4% ±13.4%, respectively. Recovery of factor VIII was higher in CRYO prepared using blast freezer than that of CRYO prepared using conventional freezer (P < 0.000). In Group II, CRYOs prepared using blast freezer had higher percent recovery of fibrinogen than that of Group I. In both the groups, the mean factor VIII levels in blood group A were higher than that of factor VIII levels in the blood group O CRYO. CONCLUSION: The factor VIII recovery in CRYO improves significantly with higher baseline factor VIII: C levels, blood group A donor, and rapid freezing using blast freezer. Rapid freezing also increases the fibrinogen yield. PMID:28316438

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [Interaction between calcium and lead affects the toxicity to embryo of zebrafish (Danio rerio)].

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhong-Zhi; Zhu, Lin; Yao, Kun; Wang, Xiu-Juan; Ding, Jun-Nan

    2009-04-15

    This study tested the hypothesis that increased Ca2+ content increases the sensitivity of the developing embryos and larvae of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to Pb. And the aim of the study was to investigate the extent to which calcium can individually mitigate lead ion toxicity based on the concept of biotic ligand model (BLM). Embryos of the zebrafish were exposed to various Pb concentrations. Chemical characteristics of water and representative toxicological endpoints of zebrafish embryo were recorded. And general growth retardation as a major toxicological endpoint was used for analysis at 72 h due to its sensitivity and facility. The BLM software of Visual MINTEQ (Version 2.5.2) was employed to calculate the chemical speciation in the solution. The results showed that when Ca2+ concentration increased from 0.25 mmol/L to 2.00 mmol/L, the toxicity of lead on embryos of zebrafish (Danio rerio) decreased markedly after 72 h. And a large part of these decrease can be explained by the positive linear relations between EC50{Pb2+}/EC50[Pb]T (expressed as lead ion activity/dissolved total concentration) and activity/total concentration of Ca2+, through which the influence of Ca2+ on toxicity could be predicted. The results support the assumptions of the BLM and associated with competition between lead and calcium for binding on transport and toxic action sites on biological surfaces. However, when Ca2+ concentration increased from 2.00 mmol/L to 4.00 mmol/L, the toxicity of lead on embryos of zebrafish (Danio rerio) seemed to be constant at 72 h.

  1. Transporters involved in pH and K+ homeostasis affect pollen wall formation, male fertility, and embryo development

    DOE PAGES

    Padmanaban, Senthilkumar; Czerny, Daniel D.; Levin, Kara A.; ...

    2017-02-23

    Flowering plant genomes encode multiple cation/H+ exchangers (CHXs) whose functions are largely unknown. AtCHX17, AtCHX18, and AtCHX19 are membrane transporters that modulate K+ and pH homeostasis and are localized in the dynamic endomembrane system. Loss of function reduced seed set, but the particular phase(s) of reproduction affected was not determined. Pollen tube growth and ovule targeting of chx17chx18chx19 mutant pollen appeared normal, but reciprocal cross experiments indicate a largely male defect. Although triple mutant pollen tubes reach ovules of a wild-type pistil and a synergid cell degenerated, half of those ovules were unfertilized or showed fertilization of the egg ormore » central cell, but not both female gametes. Fertility could be partially compromised by impaired pollen tube and/or sperm function as CHX19 and CHX18 are expressed in the pollen tube and sperm cell, respectively. When fertilization was successful in self-pollinated mutants, early embryo formation was retarded compared with embryos from wild-type ovules receiving mutant pollen. Thus CHX17 and CHX18 proteins may promote embryo development possibly through the endosperm where these genes are expressed. The reticulate pattern of the pollen wall was disorganized in triple mutants, indicating perturbation of wall formation during male gametophyte development. Lastly, as pH and cation homeostasis mediated by AtCHX17 affect membrane trafficking and cargo delivery, these results suggest that male fertility, sperm function, and embryo development are dependent on proper cargo sorting and secretion that remodel cell walls, plasma membranes, and extracellular factors.« less

  2. L-ergothioneine supplementation during culture improves quality of bovine in vitro-produced embryos.

    PubMed

    Zullo, G; Albero, G; Neglia, G; De Canditiis, C; Bifulco, G; Campanile, G; Gasparrini, B

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate whether supplementation of bovine culture medium with the natural antioxidant L-ergothioneine (LE), improves in vitro blastocyst development and quality, assessed as resistance to cryopreservation, total cells number, cellular differentiation, and apoptosis index. Abattoir-derived oocytes were matured and fertilized in vitro according to standard procedure. Twenty hours after IVF, presumptive zygotes were cultured in synthetic oviduct fluid with 0, 0.05 mM, 0.1 mM, 0.5 mM, and 1 mM of LE (experiment 1) at 39 °C under humidified air with 5% CO2, 7% O2, and 88% N2. On the basis of the results of this dose-response trial, the range of concentrations to test was reduced in experiment 2, in which presumptive zygotes were cultured with 0, 0.05 mM, and 0.1 mM of LE. On Day 7, embryo yields were assessed, and the blastocysts (BL) were vitrified by Cryotop method in 16.5% ethylene glycol, 16.5% DMSO and 0.5 M sucrose. Finally, BL produced on Day 8 in the absence (control) and presence of 0.1 mM LE were used for transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling and differential staining to evaluate, respectively the apoptotic rate and the allocation of cells into inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm lineages (experiment 3). Despite similar blastocyst yields, supplementation of culture medium with 0.1 mM LE improved the cryotolerance of in vitro-produced (IVP) embryos compared to the control group, as indicated by higher (P < 0.05) hatching rates recorded after 48-hour post-warming culture (48.5%, 50.0%, and 63.8%, respectively with 0, 0.05, and 0.1 mM LE). Interestingly, when embryos were cultured in the presence of 0.1 mM LE, the percentage of BL with the most physiological ICM:total cells ratio (20%-40%) increased (85.1 vs. 66.0%, P < 0.05), confirming a beneficial effect on embryo quality. Furthermore, 0.1 mM LE decreased (P < 0.01) both the average number (4.3 ± 0.2 vs. 9.1 ± 0.3) and the proportion (3.6 ± 0.3 vs. 8.1 ± 0.5) of

  3. Effect of fat source differing in fatty acid profile on metabolic parameters, fertilization, and embryo quality in high-producing dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Cerri, R L A; Juchem, S O; Chebel, R C; Rutigliano, H M; Bruno, R G S; Galvão, K N; Thatcher, W W; Santos, J E P

    2009-04-01

    The objectives were to evaluate the effects of source of fatty acids (FA) on embryo quality of dairy cows. A total of 154 Holstein cows were assigned randomly to 1 of 2 sources of FA supplemented at 2% of the dietary dry matter as calcium salts of either palm oil (PO) or linoleic and trans-octadecenoic acids (LTFA) from 25 d prepartum to 80 d in milk (DIM). Cows were presynchronized beginning at 30 +/- 3 DIM and then subjected to the Ovsynch protocol beginning on d 39 +/- 3 postpartum. Timed artificial insemination was performed 12 h after the final GnRH of the Ovsynch protocol with semen from a single sire of proven fertility. The uteri of cows were nonsurgically flushed at 5 d after artificial insemination for collection of embryos-oocytes. Ovaries were examined by ultrasonography throughout the synchronization protocol. Blood was sampled and plasma was analyzed for concentrations of metabolites and hormones. The body condition score and yields of milk and milk components were measured throughout the first 90 DIM. Treatment did not affect concentrations of nonesterified FA, beta-hydroxybutyrate, glucose, and progesterone in plasma. Body condition was similar between treatments. Milk production was similar between treatments, but concentrations of fat in milk and yields of fat and 3.5% fat-corrected milk decreased in cows fed LTFA, whereas concentration of true protein increased. Source of dietary FA did not influence ovulatory responses, diameter of the ovulatory follicle, and diameter of the corpus luteum during synchronization. Embryo-oocyte recovery relative to the number of corpora lutea did not differ between treatments. Fertilization tended to increase in cows fed LTFA compared with cows fed PO. Feeding LTFA improved the proportion of excellent-, good-, and fair-quality embryos, and embryos from cows fed LTFA had a greater number of blastomeres than embryos from cows fed PO. Feeding a more unsaturated source of FA improved fertilization and embryo

  4. Estradiol and endocrine disrupting compounds adversely affect development of sea urchin embryos at environmentally relevant concentrations.

    PubMed

    Roepke, Troy A; Snyder, Mark J; Cherr, Gary N

    2005-01-26

    Environmental endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are a wide variety of chemicals that typically exert effects, either directly or indirectly, through receptor-mediated processes, thus mimicking endogenous hormones and/or inhibiting normal hormone activities and metabolism. Little is known about the effects of EDCs on echinoderm physiology, reproduction and development. We exposed developing sea urchin embryos (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus anamesus) to two known EDCs (4-octylphenol (OCT), bisphenol A (BisA)) and to natural and synthetic reproductive hormones (17beta-estradiol (E2), estrone (E1), estriol (E3), progesterone (P4) and 17alpha-ethynylestradiol (EE2)). In addition, we studied two non-estrogenic EDCs, tributyltin (TBT) and o,p-DDD. Successful development to the pluteus larval stage (96 h post-fertilization) was used to define EDC concentration-response relationships. The order of compound potency based on EC50 values for a reduction in normal development was as follows: TBT(L. anamesus)>OCT>TBT(S. purpuratus)>E2>EE2>DDD>BisA>P4>E1>E3. The effect of TBT was pronounced even at concentrations substantially lower than those commonly reported in heavily contaminated areas, but the response was significantly different in the two model species. Sea urchin embryos were generally more sensitive to estrogenic EDCs and TBT than most other invertebrate larvae. Stage-specific exposure experiments were conducted to determine the most sensitive developmental periods using blastula, gastrula and post-gastrula (pluteus) stages. The stage most sensitive to E2, OCT and TBT was the blastula stage with less overall sensitivity in the gastrula stage, regardless of concentration. Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) were added to the experiments individually and in combination with estrogenic EDCs to interfere with potential receptor-mediated actions. Tamoxifen, a partial ER agonist, alone inhibited development at concentrations as low as 0.02 ng

  5. Loss of LORELEI function in the pistil delays initiation but does not affect embryo development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Tsukamoto, Tatsuya; Palanivelu, Ravishankar

    2010-11-01

    Double fertilization, uniquely observed in plants, requires successful sperm cell delivery by the pollen tube to the female gametophyte, followed by migration, recognition and fusion of the two sperm cells with two female gametic cells. The female gametophyte not only regulates these steps but also controls the subsequent initiation of seed development. Previously, we reported that loss of LORELEI, which encodes a putative glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein, in the female reproductive tissues causes a delay in initiation of seed development. From these studies, however, it was unclear if embryos derived from fertilization of lre-5 gametophytes continued to lag behind wild type during seed development. Additionally, it was not determined if the delay in initiation of seed development had any lingering effects during seed germination. Finally, it was not known if loss of LORELEI function affects seedling development given that LORELEI is expressed in eight-day-old seedlings. Here, we showed that despite a delay in initiation, lre-5/lre-5 embryos recover, becoming equivalent to the developing wild-type embryos beginning at 72 hours after pollination. Additionally, lre-5/lre-5 seed germination, and seedling and root development are indistinguishable from wild type indicating that loss of LORELEI is tolerated, at least under standard growth conditions, in vegetative tissues.

  6. Loss of LORELEI function in the pistil delays initiation but does not affect embryo development in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Tsukamoto, Tatsuya

    2010-01-01

    Double fertilization, uniquely observed in plants, requires successful sperm cell delivery by the pollen tube to the female gametophyte, followed by migration, recognition and fusion of the two sperm cells with two female gametic cells. The female gametophyte not only regulates these steps but also controls the subsequent initiation of seed development. Previously, we reported that loss of LORELEI, which encodes a putative glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein, in the female reproductive tissues causes a delay in initiation of seed development. From these studies, however, it was unclear if embryos derived from fertilization of lre-5 gametophytes continued to lag behind wild-type during seed development. Additionally, it was not determined if the delay in initiation of seed development had any lingering effects during seed germination. Finally, it was not known if loss of LORELEI function affects seedling development given that LORELEI is expressed in eight-day-old seedlings. Here, we showed that despite a delay in initiation, lre-5/lre-5 embryos recover, becoming equivalent to the developing wild-type embryos beginning at 72 hours after pollination. Additionally, lre-5/lre-5 seed germination, and seedling and root development are indistinguishable from wild-type indicating that loss of LORELEI is tolerated, at least under standard growth conditions, in vegetative tissues. PMID:21051955

  7. Does the Presence of Blood in the Catheter or the Degree of Difficulty of Embryo Transfer Affect Live Birth?

    PubMed

    Plowden, Torie C; Hill, Micah J; Miles, Shana M; Hoyt, Benjamin; Yauger, Belinda; Segars, James H; Csokmay, John M; Chason, Rebecca J

    2016-09-21

    The technique used for embryo transfer (ET) can affect implantation. Prior research that evaluated the effect of postprocedural blood of the transfer catheter tip have yielded mixed results, and it is unclear whether this is actually a marker of difficulty of the transfer. Our objective was to estimate the effect of blood at the time of ET and the difficulty of ET on live birth rates (LBR). This retrospective cohort study utilized generalized estimating equations (GEEs) with nesting for repeated cycles for all analyses. Univariate modeling was performed and a final multivariate (adjusted) GEE model accounted for all significant confounders. Embryo transfers were subjectively graded (easy, medium, or hard) by a physician at the time of transfer. The presence of blood at ET was associated with more difficult ETs, retained embryos, and presence of mucous in the catheter. In the univariate analysis, ET with blood was not associated with live birth, while the degree of difficulty for ET had a negative impact on LBR. In the final multivariate GEE model, which accounts for repeated cycles from a patient, the only factors associated with an increased LBR were the degree of difficulty of the ET, female age, and blastocyst transfer. After controlling for confounding variables, the presence of blood in the transfer catheter was not associated with the likelihood of pregnancy and thus was not an independent predictor of cycle outcome. This indicates that the difficulty of the transfer itself was a strong negative predictor of pregnancy.

  8. Amino-modified polystyrene nanoparticles affect signalling pathways of the sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) embryos.

    PubMed

    Pinsino, Annalisa; Bergami, Elisa; Della Torre, Camilla; Vannuccini, Maria Luisa; Addis, Piero; Secci, Marco; Dawson, Kenneth A; Matranga, Valeria; Corsi, Ilaria

    2017-03-01

    Polystyrene nanoparticles have been shown to pose serious risk to marine organisms including sea urchin embryos based on their surface properties and consequently behaviour in natural sea water. The aim of this study is to investigate the toxicity pathways of amino polystyrene nanoparticles (PS-NH2, 50 nm) in Paracentrotus lividus embryos in terms of development and signalling at both protein and gene levels. Two sub-lethal concentrations of 3 and 4 μg/mL of PS-NH2 were used to expose sea urchin embryos in natural sea water (PS-NH2 as aggregates of 143 ± 5 nm). At 24 and 48 h post-fertilisation (hpf) embryonic development was monitored and variations in the levels of key proteins involved in stress response and development (Hsp70, Hsp60, MnSOD, Phospho-p38 Mapk) as well as the modulation of target genes (Pl-Hsp70, Pl-Hsp60, Pl-Cytochrome b, Pl-p38 Mapk, Pl-Caspase 8, Pl-Univin) were measured. At 48 hpf various striking teratogenic effects were observed such as the occurrence of cells/masses randomly distributed, severe skeletal defects and delayed development. At 24 hpf a significant up-regulation of Pl-Hsp70, Pl-p38 Mapk, Pl-Univin and Pl-Cas8 genes was found, while at 48 hpf only for Pl-Univin was observed. Protein profile showed different patterns as a significant increase of Hsp70 and Hsp60 only after 48 hpf compared to controls. Conversely, P-p38 Mapk protein significantly increased at 24 hpf and decreased at 48 hpf. Our findings highlight that PS-NH2 are able to disrupt sea urchin embryos development by modulating protein and gene profile providing new understandings into the signalling pathways involved.

  9. Effect of dietary organic zinc, manganese, copper, and cobalt supplementation on milk production, follicular growth, embryo quality, and tissue mineral concentrations in dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Hackbart, K S; Ferreira, R M; Dietsche, A A; Socha, M T; Shaver, R D; Wiltbank, M C; Fricke, P M

    2010-12-01

    This study evaluated potential effects of organic trace mineral supplementation on reproductive measures in lactating dairy cows. Cows were blocked by breed and randomly assigned at dry-off to receive inorganic trace mineral supplementation (control; n = 32) or to have a portion of supplemental inorganic Zn, Cu, Mn, and Co replaced with an equivalent amount of the organic forms of these minerals (treatment; n = 31). Trace minerals were provided through control or treatment premixes fed at 100 g·cow(-1)·d(-1). Premixes were fed to dry cows (range = 40 to 72 d before calving) in 1.8 kg·cow(-1)·d(-1) concentrate pellets through a computer feeder to provide 40, 26, 70, and 100% of supplemented Zn, Mn, Cu, and Co, respectively, and to lactating cows (range = 69 to 116 d after calving) in a total mixed ration to provide 22, 14, 40, and 100% of supplemented Zn, Mn, Cu, and Co, respectively. Treatment increased milk production at wk 14 (P = 0.047) postcalving, milk urea N content (P = 0.039), and BW loss from calving to 1 mo postcalving (P = 0.040), and decreased milk fat percentage (P = 0.045) and BCS (P = 0.048). Treatment tended to increase milk production at wk 13 (P = 0.089) postcalving and endometrial tissue concentrations of Fe (P = 0.070), BW at mo 1 (P = 0.056), and milk protein percentage (P = 0.064). Treatment did not affect (P > 0.1) DMI, health events, first-wave follicular dynamics, first cycle luteal measures, embryo quality, liver trace mineral concentrations, or luteal trace mineral concentrations. Cows with a rectal temperature ≥39°C at the time of AI had a smaller percentage of fertilized entities (P < 0.001). However, of the entities that were fertilized, the percentage of viable embryos, embryo quality, accessory sperm number, and embryo cell number were not affected (P > 0.1) by treatment. We conclude that replacing a portion of inorganic supplemental trace minerals with an equivalent amount of these organic trace minerals (Zn, Mn, Cu, and Co

  10. Grafting of Beads into Developing Chicken Embryo Limbs to Identify Signal Transduction Pathways Affecting Gene Expression.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, Rabeea H; Sweetman, Dylan

    2016-01-17

    Using chicken embryos it is possible to test directly the effects of either growth factors or specific inhibitors of signaling pathways on gene expression and activation of signal transduction pathways. This technique allows the delivery of signaling molecules at precisely defined developmental stages for specific times. After this embryos can be harvested and gene expression examined, for example by in situ hybridization, or activation of signal transduction pathways observed with immunostaining. In this video heparin beads soaked in FGF18 or AG 1-X2 beads soaked in U0126, a MEK inhibitor, are grafted into the limb bud in ovo. This shows that FGF18 induces expression of MyoD and ERK phosphorylation and both endogenous and FGF18 induced MyoD expression is inhibited by U0126. Beads soaked in a retinoic acid antagonist can potentiate premature MyoD induction by FGF18. This approach can be used with a wide range of different growth factors and inhibitors and is easily adapted to other tissues in the developing embryo.

  11. 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.

  12. Effect of peroxiredoxin II on the quality and mitochondrial activity of pre-implantation bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Fakruzzaman, Md; Ghanem, Nasser; Bang, Jae-Il; Ha, A-Na; Lee, Kyeong-Lim; Sohn, Sea-Hwan; Wang, Zhongde; Lee, Dong-Seok; Kong, Il-Keun

    2015-08-01

    Endogenous peroxiredoxin II (PRDX II) protein plays a vital role in early embryonic development. This study assessed the beneficial effects of exogenous PRDX II on bovine embryo development at the cellular and molecular levels. To this end, in vitro maturation (IVM) medium was supplemented with various concentrations of PRDX II (0, 6.25, 12.5, 25, 50, and 100μg/mL). Of these, 12.5μg/mL PRDX II was the most effective and significantly promoted embryonic development. Therefore, this concentration of PRDX II was used in subsequent experiments. The percentage of embryos that developed into Day 8 blastocysts and the total number of cells per blastocyst (38.2% and 150.6±5.1) was higher in the PRDX II-treated group than in the control (26.4% and 128.9±3.9, respectively). Moreover, the percent of TUNEL positive cells was higher (P<0.05) in the control than in the PRDX II-treated. Furthermore, PRDX II added to the IVM media increased mitochondria content in blastocysts and decreased the intracellular ROS levels in oocytes and blastocysts compared with the control (P<0.05). The expression of genes associated with blastocyst quality (CDX2 and IFNτ), antioxidant activity (SOD2), and mitochondrial activity (TFAM) was higher, whereas the expression of a gene involved in the apoptotic pathway (c-FOS) was lower, in the PRDX II-treated than in the control group. In conclusion, supplementation of IVM medium with PRDX II promotes development to the blastocyst stage and improves blastocyst quality through reducing ROS, enhancing embryonic mitochondrial activity, and modulating development- related target genes expression.

  13. 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.

  14. 141 BOVINE EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT RATES ARE AFFECTED WHEN OOCYTES ARE MATURED IN DIFFERENT VIALS CONTAINING HEPES/BICARBONATE BUFFERED MEDIUM.

    PubMed

    Hashem, N; Secher, J O; Pryor, J H; Long, C R; Looney, C R; Avery, B; Hyttel, P; Stroebech, L

    2016-01-01

    Laboratory ware for the in vitro-produced embryos is generally made from embryo-tested plastic instead of glass. The quality of the plastic is crucial for the outcome because plastic is often toxic to gametes (Nijs et al. 2009 Fertil. Steril. 92, 527-535). In addition, gas molecules permeate through the plastic at a rate that depends on a variety of factors, such as diffusion coefficient and thickness of the plastic. In an incubator with appropriate concentration of CO2 and vented culture vessels, the gas permeability of the plastic is not important. When oocytes are transported outside a controlled atmosphere, gas permeability, toxicity, and oocyte cumulus cell CO2 metabolism could perturb the outcome. Medium containing bicarbonate buffer increases pH outside of a controlled atmosphere within minutes, whereas medium buffered with HEPES maintains suitable pH for hours. Previously, we tested that gas permeability differs among plastic vials and glass vials with no cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) by measuring pH after 2, 5, and 24h at the same temperature. The objective of this study was to compare pH post-maturation, blastocyst development rates on Day 8 post-IVF (Day 0=IVF) between 2 different 1.2-mL polypropylene cryovials (A: VWR DK, 479-1219; B: Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA, CLS430289), glass vial (VWR DK, NSCAC4015-96), and 4-well plate (4WP) as control (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, MA, USA, 144444). A total of 1135 abattoir-derived COC in Exp. 1 and 133 in Exp. 2 were divided equally between the treatments (20-25 COC per vessel). Vials/4WP contained 0.8/0.5mL of BO-IVM HEPES, a HEPES/bicarbonate medium (IVF Bioscience; BO-HEPES-IVM, UK). Maturation lasted 22 to 24h at 38.8°C in an incubator with either a humidified atmosphere of 5.5% CO2 in air (Exp. 1) or with no CO2 contact (Exp. 2). In Exp. 1, oocyte vials were matured without a vial lid while in Exp. 2 vial lids were closed. Statistical analysis was performed with chi-square and mean±SD. In Exp

  15. 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

    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 the consent to the donation of

  16. Dimethylsulfoxide and conjugated linoleic acids affect bovine embryo development in vitro.

    PubMed

    Stinshoff, Hanna; Wilkening, Sandra; Hanstedt, Ana; Bollwein, Heinrich; Wrenzycki, Christine

    2014-01-01

    Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) are employed to overcome the bovine periparturitional negative energy balance. Especially of interest are trans10,cis12 -linoleic acid (t10c12-CLA) and cis9,trans11-linoleic acid (c9t11-CLA). Their impact on embryonic development, though, is not clear. Here, effects of both above-mentioned CLA on bovine in vitro-produced embryos were assessed. Zygotes (n=2098) were allocated to one of seven groups: cultured with 50 or 100µM of either c9t11-CLA or t10c12-CLA, with 14 or 28mM DMSO or without supplement (control). Messenger RNA analysis of target gene transcripts (IGF1R, IGFBP2, IGFBP4, CPT2, ACAA1, ACAA2, FASN, SCD) via RT-qPCR was performed in single blastocysts. Cleavage rates did not differ, whereas development rates were decreased in both t10c12-supplemented groups in comparison to the unsupplemented group (31.7% ±2.2 control vs 20.2% ±2.0 50µM t10c12 vs 21.0% ±2.8 100µM t10c12). Compared with the unsupplemented group, SCD was expressed at a lower level in embryos cultured with 50µM c9t11-CLA. The relative amount of several transcripts was increased in embryos cultured with 14mM DMSO in comparison to those that developed in the presence of 50µM t10c12-CLA (IGFBP2, ACAA1, CPT2, FASN, SCD) or 50µM c9t11-CLA (IGF1R, IGFBP2, ACAA1, CPT2, FASN, SCD). The molecular analyses show that CLA influence embryonic fat metabolism.

  17. 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.

  18. The impact of male age on embryo quality: a retrospective study using time-lapse imaging

    PubMed Central

    Rosário, Guilherme R. F.; Vidal, Diana S.; Silva, Adriana V.; Franco, Antônio C. C.

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study aimed to correlate male age with embryo morphokinetic parameters on D3 considering the timing and the exact moment of embryo cleavage. Methods Time-lapse imaging was used to produce an ideal cleavage curve for the embryos analyzed. The percentage of embryos under the curve was analyzed and correlated with male age. Results 32.6% of the embryos from patients aged 28-33 years were under the curve; 36.2% of the embryos from patients aged 34-39 years were under the curve; 41.3% of the embryos from patients aged 40-45 years were under the curve; and 26.3% of the embryos fro patients aged 46-57 years were under the curve. Conclusions a statistically non-significant decrease was observed in the percentage of embryos under the optimal cleavage curve on D3 in the group of men aged between 40 and 45 years. Further studies looking into embryos in the blastocyst stage (D5 or D6) are required. PMID:28050955

  19. 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.

  20. Poor Prognosis with In Vitro Fertilization in Indian Women Compared to Caucasian Women Despite Similar Embryo Quality

    PubMed Central

    Shahine, Lora K.; Lamb, Julie D.; Lathi, Ruth B.; Milki, Amin A.; Langen, Elizabeth; Westphal, Lynn M.

    2009-01-01

    Background Disease prevalence and response to medical therapy may differ among patients of diverse ethnicities. Poor outcomes with in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment have been previously shown in Indian women compared to Caucasian women, and some evidence suggests that poor embryo quality may be a cause for the discrepancy. In our center, only patients with the highest quality cleavage stage embryos are considered eligible for extending embryo culture to the blastocyst stage. We compared live birth rates (LBR) between Indian and Caucasian women after blastocyst transfer to investigate whether differences in IVF outcomes between these ethnicities would persist in patients who transferred similar quality embryos. Methodology/Principal Findings In this retrospective cohort analysis, we compared IVF outcome between 145 Caucasians and 80 Indians who had a blastocyst transfer between January 1, 2005 and June 31, 2007 in our university center. Indians were younger than Caucasians by 2.7 years (34.03 vs. 36.71, P = 0.03), were more likely to have an agonist down regulation protocol (68% vs. 43%, P<0.01), and were more likely to have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), although not significant, (24% vs. 14%, P = 0.06). Sixty eight percent of Indian patients had the highest quality embryos (4AB blastocyst or better) transferred compared to 71% of the Caucasians (P = 0.2). LBR was significantly lower in the Indians compared to the Caucasians (24% vs. 41%, P<0.01) with an odds ratio of 0.63, (95%CI 0.46–0.86). Controlling for age, stimulation protocol and PCOS showed persistently lower LBR with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.56, (95%CI 0.40–0.79) in the multivariate analysis. Conclusions/Significance Despite younger age and similar embryo quality, Indians had a significantly lower LBR than Caucasians. In this preliminary study, poor prognosis after IVF for Indian ethnicity persisted despite limiting analysis to patients with high quality embryos transferred

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Arsenic exposure affects embryo development of sea urchin, Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816).

    PubMed

    Gaion, Andrea; Scuderi, Alice; Pellegrini, David; Sartori, Davide

    2013-11-01

    Toxicity tests were performed with embryos of Paracentrotus lividus to investigate the toxicological effect of two arsenic species: arsenate (As(V)), expected to be more toxic, and dimethyl-arsinate (DMA) expected to be less toxic. Exposures to toxicants were performed at different developmental stages in order to identify the most sensitive phase of embryological development. Statistical analysis revealed a high significance of each factor (Molecule, Concentration and Time of exposure) and their interaction for the dependent variable "Percentage of normal-shaped plutei". In particular, the 8 cell stage was the most sensitive to arsenic; at a concentration of 50 μg L(-1) DMA proved to be more toxic than As(V), resulting in nearly 50 % of normal-shaped plutei against the 74 % recorded for As(V). Starting the administration of arsenic at the morula stage, arsenate proved to be significantly more toxic when compared to DMA.

  7. Cadmium but not lead exposure affects Xenopus laevis fertilization and embryo cleavage.

    PubMed

    Slaby, Sylvain; Lemière, Sébastien; Hanotel, Julie; Lescuyer, Arlette; Demuynck, Sylvain; Bodart, Jean-François; Leprêtre, Alain; Marin, Matthieu

    2016-08-01

    Among the toxicological and ecotoxicological studies, few have investigated the effects on germ cells, gametes or embryos, while an impact at these stages will result in serious damage at a population level. Thus, it appeared essential to characterize consequences of environmental contaminant exposures at these stages. Therefore, we proposed to assess the effects of exposure to cadmium and lead ions, alone or in a binary mixture, on early stages of Xenopus laevis life cycle. Fertilization and cell division during segmentation were the studied endpoints. Cadmium ion exposures decreased in the fertilization rates in a concentration-dependent manner, targeting mainly the oocytes. Exposure to this metal ions induced also delays or blockages in the embryonic development. For lead ion exposure, no such effect was observed. For the exposure to the mixture of the two metal ions, concerning the fertilization success, we observed results similar to those obtained with the highest cadmium ion concentration.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Oocyte quality in mice is affected by a mycotoxin-contaminated diet.

    PubMed

    Hou, Yan-Jun; Xiong, Bo; Zheng, Wei-Jiang; Duan, Xing; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Wang, Qiang; Xu, Yin-Xue; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2014-05-01

    Mycotoxins, such as deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN), and aflatoxin (AF), are commonly found in many food commodities and may impair the growth and reproductive efficiency of animals and humans. We investigated the effects of a mycotoxin-contaminated diet on mouse oocyte quality. Maize contaminated with DON (3.875 mg/kg), ZEN (1,897 μg/kg), and AF (806 μg/kg) was incorporated into a mouse diet at three different levels (0, 15, and 30% w/w). After 4 weeks, ovarian and germinal vesicle oocyte indices decreased in mycotoxin-fed mice. Oocytes from these mice exhibited low developmental competence with reduced germinal vesicle breakdown and polar body extrusion rates. Embryo developmental competence also showed a similar pattern, and the majority of embryos could not develop to the morula stage. Actin expression was also reduced in both the oocyte cortex and cytoplasm, which was accompanied by decreased expression of the actin nucleation factors profilin-1 and mDia1. Moreover, a large percentage of oocytes derived from mice that were fed a mycotoxin-contaminated diet exhibited aberrant spindle morphology, a loss of the cortical granule-free domain, and abnormal mitochondrial distributions, which further supported the decreased oocyte quality. Thus, our results demonstrate that mycotoxins are toxic to the mouse reproductive system by affecting oocyte quality.

  11. Determinants of embryo development and quality in beef cattle: Effect of pre-ovulatory follicle size, CL volume, and serum concentrations of progesterone

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous research indicates cows ovulating a small dominant follicle (<_ 12 mm) had lower pregnancy rates than cows ovulating a large follicle (> 12 mm). We hypothesized cows ovulating a small follicle would have delayed embryo development and decreased embryo quality. Objectives of this study wer...

  12. Mind wandering, sleep quality, affect and chronotype: an exploratory study.

    PubMed

    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 important in

  13. Sea-urchin Embryo Bioassay for in situ Evaluation of the Biological Quality of Coastal Seawater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beiras, R.; Vázquez, E.; Bellas, J.; Lorenzo, J. I.; Fernández, N.; Macho, G.; Mariño, J. C.; Casas, L.

    2001-01-01

    The Paracentrotus lividus sea-urchin embryo bioassay, consisting of incubation of fertilized eggs in test water and measurement of the percentage of four-armed plutei larvae developed after the incubation period (2-3 days), has been adapted for in situ evaluation of seawater quality in coastal areas. Mature sea-urchins are dissected in situ and fertilization is performed in the field; fertilized eggs are delivered into screw lid 50-ml cylinders with 20 μm nylon mesh in both ends filled with sieved local seawater. The cylinders, tied to 60-cm ropes with weights on one end and buoys in the other one, are placed by scuba divers in the test sites at subtidal level and recovered after the incubation period. The contents of each cylinder are then transferred into a vial, fixed with formalin and observed directly under an inverted microscope to record the percentage ( N=100) and size (length, N=25) of four-arm pluteus larvae. Our results show that the bioassay can discriminate between well known polluted and unpolluted sites, but further improvement is needed in order to: (1) take into account differences of temperature between sites; (2) minimize larval mortality due to reasons other than pollution.

  14. Telomere-interactive agents affect proliferation rates and induce chromosomal destabilization in sea urchin embryos.

    PubMed

    Izbicka, E; Nishioka, D; Marcell, V; Raymond, E; Davidson, K K; Lawrence, R A; Wheelhouse, R T; Hurley, L H; Wu, R S; Von Hoff, D D

    1999-08-01

    Cationic porphyrins, which interact with guanine quadruplex (G4) telomeric folds, inhibit telomerase activity in human tumor cells. In this study, we have further examined effects of porphyrins and other telomere- and telomerase-interactive agents on proliferation rates and chromosome stability in a novel in vivo model, developing sea urchin embryos. We studied two porphyrins: (i) TMPyP4, a potent telomerase inhibitor; and (ii) TMPyP2, an isomer of TMPyP4 and an inefficient telomerase inhibitor, azidothymine (AZT), the reverse transcriptase inhibitor, antisense phosphorothioate oligonucleotide to telomerase RNA (TAG6) and a control scrambled sequence (ODN). TMPyP4, AZT and TAG6 (but not TMPyP2 or ODN) decreased the rates of cell proliferation and increased the percentage of cells trapped in mitosis. Nuclear localization of TAG6, but not of ODN, was demonstrated with 5'-fluoresceinated analogs of TAG6 and ODN. Formation of elongated chromosomes incapable of separating in anaphase, induced by TMPyP4, AZT and TAG6, closely resembled phenotypes resulting from telomerase template mutation or dominant negative TRF2 allele. Our data suggest that G4-interactive agents exert their antiproliferative effects via chromosomal destabilization and warrant their further development as valuable anticancer tools.

  15. Assessment of the environmental quality of French continental Mediterranean lagoons with oyster embryo bioassay.

    PubMed

    Galgani, F; Senia, J; Guillou, J L; Laugier, T; Munaron, D; Andral, B; Guillaume, B; Coulet, E; Boissery, P; Brun, L; Bertrandy, M C

    2009-10-01

    In order to better understand environmental disturbances in the French coastal Mediterranean lagoons, we used an ecotoxicological approach based on the measurement of the toxicity of the sediments using oyster embryo bioassay that provides a basis for assessing the effects on the fauna of contaminants adsorbed on the sedimentary particles. The study covers all of the main lagoons of the French Mediterranean coasts of Languedoc Roussillon, Camargue, and Provence (Berre and Bolmon lagoons), where 188 stations were sampled. The toxicity tests provide evidence of variable levels of toxicity in sediments. Contaminated lagoons such as La peyrade, Le canet, and Ingrill and locally affected lagoons such as Bages-Sigean, Vaccares, Bolmon, and Berre have sampling stations with 100% of larval abnormalities during 24-h development. In all of the lagoons, the toxicity was mainly located close to local harbors and rivers. Salses Leucate (Languedoc roussillon) lagoon was found very clean, with no important toxicity. The results are discussed in terms of environmental disturbances of the coastal lagoons and with regard to the long-term monitoring of the impact of contaminants on the coastal environment.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Effect of different methods of cryopreservation on the cytoskeletal integrity of dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) embryos.

    PubMed

    Skidmore, J A; Schoevers, E; Stout, T A E

    2009-07-01

    This study examined the effect of different methods of cryopreservation on the cytoskeletal integrity of camel embryos. A total of 32 embryos were recovered on Days 6 and 7 after ovulation and measured before being frozen using either a conventional slow-cooling technique (n=12: six Day 6 and six Day 7 embryos) or vitrification (n=12: four Day 6 and eight Day 7). The remaining 8 'control' embryos (four Day 6 and four Day 7) were not cryopreserved but instead incubated in holding medium for 30 min. After thawing, warming or incubation, the embryos were stained with 4,6-diamino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) to identify dead cells. Subsequently, the embryos were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde, permeabilized and labelled with Alexa Fluor 488-Phalloidin to enable assessment of cytoskeleton integrity. Vitrified-warmed embryos contained a significantly higher percentage of dead cells than either conventionally frozen embryos or controls (P<0.05). Although the proportion of dead cells in conventionally frozen embryos tended to be higher than in controls, the difference was not significant (P> or =0.07). Whereas embryo size did not affect the number of dead cells in conventionally frozen embryos, vitrified-warmed embryos >300 microm in diameter had a significantly higher percentage of dead cells than embryos < or =300 microm (P=0.01). Cytoskeleton integrity was also affected by both freezing method and embryo diameter. All 8 control embryos had a Grade I cytoskeleton, compared with only 2/24 (8.3%) frozen or vitrified embryos. Of the 8 slow-frozen or vitrified embryos with a Grade III cytoskeleton post-thaw, 7 had been vitrified and 6 were larger (Day 7) embryos. These results indicate that while both slow-freezing and vitrification of camel embryos lead to cytoskeleton disruption and cell death, embryo quality is better preserved by slow-freezing.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Melatonin improves the quality of in vitro produced (IVP) bovine embryos: implications for blastocyst development, cryotolerance, and modifications of relevant gene expression.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Tian, XiuZhi; Zhou, YanHua; Tan, DunXian; Zhu, ShiEn; Dai, YunPing; Liu, GuoShi

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the potential effects of melatonin on the kinetics of embryo development and quality of blastocyst during the process of in vitro bovine embryo culture. Bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were fertilized after in vitro maturation. The presumed zygotes were cultured in in vitro culture medium supplemented with or without 10(-7) M melatonin. The cleavage rate, 8-cell rate and blastocyst rate were examined to identify the kinetics of embryo development. The hatched blastocyst rate, mortality rate after thawing and the relevant transcript abundance were measured to evaluate the quality of blastocyst. The results showed that melatonin significantly promoted the cleavage rate and 8-cell embryo yield of in vitro produced bovine embryo. In addition, significantly more blastocysts were observed by Day 7 of embryo culture at the presence of melatonin. These results indicated that melatonin accelerated the development of in vitro produced bovine embryos. Following vitrification at Day 7 of embryo culture, melatonin (10(-7) M) significantly increased the hatched blastocyst rate from 24 h to 72 h and decreased the mortality rate from 48 h to 72 h after thawing. The presence of melatonin during the embryo culture resulted in a significant increase in the gene expressions of DNMT3A, OCC, CDH1 and decrease in that of AQP3 after thawing. In conclusion, melatonin not only promoted blastocyst yield and accelerated in vitro bovine embryo development, but also improved the quality of blastocysts which was indexed by an elevated cryotolerance and the up-regulated expressions of developmentally important genes.

  2. Effect of embryo density on in vitro developmental characteristics of bovine preimplantative embryos with respect to micro and macroenvironments.

    PubMed

    Hoelker, M; Rings, F; Lund, Q; Phatsara, C; Schellander, K; Tesfaye, D

    2010-10-01

    To overcome developmental problems as a consequence of single embryo culture, the Well of the Well (WOW) culture system has been developed. In this study, we aimed to examine the effect of embryo densities with respect to both microenvironment and macroenvironment on developmental rates and embryo quality to get a deeper insight into developmentally important mechanisms. WOW diameter and depth significantly affected developmental rates (p < 0.05). WOWs with diameter of 500 μm reached significantly higher blastocyst rates (32.5 vs 21.1% vs 20.3%) compared to embryos cultured in WOWs of 300 μm diameter or plain cultured controls. Embryos cultured in WOWs with 700 μm depth reached significant higher developmental rates compared with embryos cultured in WOWs of 300 μm depth and control embryos (30.6 vs 22.6% vs 20.3%). Correlation of the embryo per WOW volume with developmental rates was higher (r(2) = 0.92, p = 0.0004) than correlation of WOW diameter or WOW depth with developmental rates. However, the embryo per WOW volume did not affect differential cell counts. An embryo per culture dish volume of 1 : 30 μl was identified to be optimal when the embryo per WOW volume was 1 : 0.27 μl increasing developmental rates up to the level of mass embryo production. Giving the opportunity to track each embryo over the complete culture period while keeping high developmental rates with normal mitotic dynamics, the results of this work will provide benefit for the single culture of embryos in human assisted reproduction, mammalian embryos with high economic interest as well as for scientific purpose.

  3. Prolonged oral treatment with an essential amino acid L-leucine does not affect female reproductive function and embryo-fetal development in rats.

    PubMed

    Mawatari, Kazunori; Katsumata, Toyohisa; Uematsu, Masanobu; Katsumata, Tomoyoshi; Yoshida, Junichi; Smriga, Miro; Kimura, Takeshi

    2004-09-01

    L-leucine, an essential amino acid, is one of the most popular ingredients in dietary supplements. To investigate a possibility of its embryo-fetal toxicity in rats, 11- to 12-week old dams were orally administered an aqueous solution of L-leucine at doses of 300 or 1000 mg/kg body weight on gestational days 7-17. Body weight and feed intake was evaluated throughout the whole course of pregnancy (days 0-20). L-Leucine did not influence body weight, but at a dose of 1000 mg/kg, slightly enhanced feed intake on days 14 and 18 of pregnancy. Caesarean section (day 20) revealed no influences on the litter size and weight of live-born fetuses, the number of corpora lutea, implantation index or the quality of placenta, and the minor increase in feed intake was considered irrelevant to the pregnancy outcomes. Fetuses were evaluated in a battery of external, visceral and skeletal examinations. No effects of L-leucine on gender ratio and external abnormalities, and no significant treatment-related variations in visceral and skeletal pathologies were observed. These results suggested that L-leucine, administered orally during organogenesis at doses up to 1000 mg/kg body weight, did not affect the outcome of pregnancy and did not cause fetotoxicity in rats.

  4. Effect of resveratrol supplementation during culture on the quality and cryotolerance of bovine in vitro produced embryos.

    PubMed

    Salzano, A; Albero, G; Zullo, G; Neglia, G; Abdel-Wahab, A; Bifulco, G; Zicarelli, L; Gasparrini, B

    2014-12-30

    The aim of the study was to evaluate whether resveratrol supplementation of bovine culture medium improves in vitro blastocyst development, embryo cryotolerance and cell numbers. Abattoir-derived oocytes were matured and fertilized in vitro according to standard procedure. Twenty hours after IVF, zygotes were cultured in SOF medium, supplemented with 0 (control, n=439), 0.25μM (n=422), 0.5μM (n=447) and 1μM resveratrol (n=416). On Day 7 (IVF=Day 0) blastocysts were vitrified by cryotop in 16.5% ethylene glycol, 16.5% dimethyl sulfoxide and 0.5M sucrose. Development rate, i.e. the percentage of embryos resuming development to reach a more advanced stage, and hatching rate were evaluated after 24 and 48h culture. Blastocysts cultured with (0.5μM) and without resveratrol underwent differential staining to count inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) cells. Resveratrol during culture did not increase blastocyst yields (57.1, 57.7, 59.2 and 46.6%, respectively in 0, 0.25, 0.5 and 1μM resveratrol). However, 0.5μM resveratrol improved embryo cryotolerance compared to the control, as indicated by higher development rates (67.3% vs 50.3%, respectively; P<0.01) and hatching rates (58.9% vs 30.9%, respectively; P<0.01) recorded after 48h post-warming culture. Blastocysts produced in the control and in 0.5μM resveratrol groups had similar numbers of ICM (34.1 and 36.4, respectively), TE (88.1 and 85.3, respectively) and total (122.2 and 121.7, respectively) cells. In conclusion, low levels of resveratrol during in vitro culture improve the quality of IVP bovine embryos, as indicated by their increased resistance to cryopreservation.

  5. Impact of proximal cytoplasmic droplets on quality traits and in-vitro embryo production efficiency of cryopreserved bull spermatozoa

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Proximal cytoplasmic droplets (PCDs), a remnant of germ cell cytoplasm, are common non-specific morphological defects in bovine semen. This study evaluated the effect of higher percentages of PCDs on the quality of frozen-thawed bovine semen, embryo production and early embryo development. Methods Three ejaculates from each of five (group 1: PCD ≤ 1%, control) and eight adult Bos indicus bulls (group 2: PCD ≥ 24%) were analysed. Semen samples were examined for: post-thaw motility, vigour of movement, concentration, sperm morphology, slow thermoresistance test (STT), membrane integrity, acrosome status, mitochondrial function using fluorescent probes association (FITC-PSA, PI and JC-1) and sperm chromatin integrity using acridine orange assay. Two bulls from group 2, with 28.5% and 48.5% PCD, respectively, and three bulls from the control group, each with 0% PCD, were selected for IVF (in vitro fertilisation). Results Semen analyses revealed a significant correlation (P < 0.01) between increased rates of PCD and sperm quality traits. Nevertheless, no differences were observed in sperm motility and vigour either before or after the STT or in the percentage of intact acrosomes (analysed by differential interference contrast microscopy (DIC) after STT), but membrane integrity, acrosome status (evaluated with FITC-PSA staining method after thawing) and mitochondrial function were reduced, when compared with group 1 (P < 0.05). The higher incidence of PCD was positively correlated to chromatin damage, especially after three hours of incubation at 37°C. IVF showed similar results for bull C2 (group 1, control) and bull P2 (group 2, group with higher PCDs). Conclusion Higher PCD levels influenced spermatozoa quality traits. IVF and embryo development data showed that cleavage, blastocyst formation and blastocyst hatching may have been influenced by the interaction of morphology traits and individual bull effects. PMID:22240071

  6. Sperm chromatin structure assay results after swim-up are related only to embryo quality but not to fertilization and pregnancy rates following IVF.

    PubMed

    Niu, Zhi-Hong; Shi, Hui-Juan; Zhang, Hui-Qin; Zhang, Ai-Jun; Sun, Yi-Juan; Feng, Yun

    2011-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) results after swim-up are related to fertilization rates, embryo quality and pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilization (IVF). A total of 223 couples undergoing IVF in our hospital from October 2008 to September 2009 were included in this study. Data on the IVF process and sperm chromatin structure assay results were collected. Fertilization rate, embryo quality and IVF success rates of different DNA fragmentation index (DFI) subgroups and high DNA stainability (HDS) subgroups were compared. There were no significant differences in fertilization rate, clinical pregnancy or delivery rates between the DFI and HDS subgroups. However, the group with abnormal DFI had a lower good embryo rate. So, we concluded that the SCSA variables, either DFI or HDS after swim-up preparation, were not valuable in predicting fertilization failure or pregnancy rate, but an abnormal DFI meant a lower good embryo rate following IVF.

  7. 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.

  8. 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:…

  9. Preslaughter factors affecting poultry meat quality chapter 2.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Poultry meat quality is affected by numerous antemortem factors, in particular those occurring during the last 24 hours that the bird is alive. These short term factors influence carcass yield (live shrink), carcass defects (bruising, broken/dislocated bones), carcass microbiological contamination, ...

  10. Association between Number of Formed Embryos, Embryo Morphology and Clinical Pregnancy Rate after Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.

    PubMed

    Luz, Caroline Mantovani da; Giorgi, Vanessa Silvestre Innocenti; Coelho Neto, Marcela Alencar; Martins, Wellington de Paula; Ferriani, Rui Alberto; Navarro, Paula Andrea

    2016-09-01

    Introduction Infertility has a high prevalence in the general population, affecting ∼ 5 to 15% of couples in reproductive age. The assisted reproduction techniques (ART) include in vitro manipulation of gametes and embryos and are an important treatment indicated to these couples. It is well accepted that the implantation rate is positively influenced by the morphology of transferred embryos. However, we question if, apart from the assessment of embryo morphology, the number of produced embryos per cycle is also related to pregnancy rates in the first fresh transfer cycle. Purpose To evaluate the clinical pregnancy rate according to the number of formed embryos and the transfer of top quality embryos (TQEs). Methods In a retrospective cohort study, between January 2011 and December 2012, we evaluated women who underwent intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), aged < 40 years, and with at least 1 formed embryo fresh transferred in cleavage stage. These women were stratified into 3 groups according to the number of formed embryos (1 embryo, 2-3 and ≥ 4 embryos). Each group was divided into 2 subgroups according to the presence or not of at least 1 transferred TQE (1 with TQE; 1 without TQE; 2-3 with TQE, 2-3 without TQE; ≥ 4 with TQE; ≥ 4 without TQE). The clinical pregnancy rates were compared in each subgroup based on the presence or absence of at least one transferred TQE. Results During the study period, 636 women had at least one embryo to be transferred in the first fresh cycle (17.8% had 1 formed embryo [32.7% with TQE versus 67.3% without TQE], 42.1% of women had 2-3 formed embryos [55.6% with TQE versus 44.4% without TQE], and 40.1% of patients had ≥ 4 formed embryos [73.7% with TQE versus 26.3% without TQE]). The clinical pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the subgroup with ≥ 4 formed embryos with at least 1 transfered TQE (45.2%) compared with the subgroup without TQE (28.4%). Conclusions Having at

  11. Effects of flunixin meglumine and prostaglandin F2 α treatments on the development and quality of bovine embryos in vitro.

    PubMed

    Kim, S-S; Bang, J-I; Fakruzzaman, M; Lee, K-L; Ko, D-H; Ghanem, N; Wang, Z; Kong, I-K

    2014-12-01

    Assisted reproduction procedures, such as embryo transfer (ET) and artificial insemination (AI), in cattle could induce the secretion of prostaglandin F2 -alpha (PGF2 α) from uterine horns which may in turn interrupt embryo development and implantation. This study investigated the effect of flunixin meglumine (FM), prostaglandin F2 alpha (PGF2α) and FM combined with PGF2α supplementation in culture medium (IVC-II) on the development and quality of in vitro produced bovine embryos. The development rate of embryos was significantly higher in the FM group (33.3%) than in control (24.3%), PGF2 α (23.9%) and FM + PGF2 α groups (24.5%). The percentage of hatched blastocysts was also higher (p < 0.05) in the FM group (41.2%) than in the control (27.8%) and PGF2 α groups (19.8%). While, there was no significant difference in total cell number in all experimental groups, the number of apoptotic cells was significantly higher in the PGF2 α group (8.2 ± 6.6) than in the control (4.7 ± 3.2), FM (4.7 ± 2.5) and FM + PGF2 α (4.9 ± 3.4) groups. Detected by real-time PCR, secreted vesicle seminal protein 1 (SSLP1) and prostaglandin G/H synthase 2 (PTGS2) gene expression decreased (p < 0.05) in the PGF2 α group. However, SSLP1 and PTGS2 gene expression in the FM + PGF2 α group returned to their baseline levels, similar to the control and FM groups. Caspase 3 (CAPS3) gene expression increased in the PGF2 α group compared with other groups (p < 0.05). In conclusion, addition of FM in vitro culture significantly improved embryo development as well as alleviated the negative impact of PGF2 α.

  12. Refrigeration of rainbow trout gametes and embryos.

    PubMed

    Babiak, Igor; Dabrowski, Konrad

    2003-12-01

    Prolonged access to early embryos composed of undifferentiated, totipotent blastomeres is desirable in situations when multiple collections of gametes are not possible. The objective of the present study is to examine whether the refrigeration of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss gametes and early embryos would be a suitable, reliable, and efficient tool for prolonging the availability of early developmental stages up to the advanced blastula stage. The study was conducted continuously during fall, winter, and spring spawning seasons. In all, more than 500 experimental variants were performed involving individual samples from 26 females and 33 males derived from three strains. These strains represented three possible circumstances. In optimal one, gametes from good quality donors were obtained soon after ovulation. In the two non-optimal sources, either donors were of poor genetic quality or gametes were collected from a distant location and transported as unfertilized gametes. A highly significant effect of variability of individual sample quality on efficiency of gamete and embryo refrigeration was revealed. The source of gametes significantly affected viability of refrigerated oocytes and embryos, but not spermatozoa. On average, oocytes from optimal source retained full fertilization viability for seven days of chilled storage, significantly longer than from non-optimal sources. Spermatozoa, regardless of storage method, retained full fertilization ability for the first week of storage. Refrigeration of embryos at 1.4+/-0.4 degrees C significantly slowed the development. Two- week-old embryos were still in blastula stage. Average survival rate of embryos refrigerated for 10 days and then transferred to regular incubation temperatures of 9-14 degrees C was 92% in optimal and 51 and 71% in non-optimal source variants. No effect of gamete and embryo refrigeration on the occurrence of developmental abnormalities was observed. Cumulative refrigeration of oocytes and

  13. The endocrine interface of environmental and egg factors affecting chick quality.

    PubMed

    Decuypere, E; Bruggeman, V

    2007-05-01

    Day-old chicks are the endproduct of the hatchery industry and form important starting material for the broiler farms. The major objective is to obtain a high hatchability of marketable chicks and a low spread of hatch. For the farmers, these chicks have to perform well, which is translated in high viability, high growth rate, high breast meat yield, and low feed conversion. A good-quality 1-d-old chick is hence a crucial hinge between the hatchery and the broiler farm. Moreover, maximal hatchability is not always synonymous with maximal posthatch viability and growth potential of the chick. Quantitative and qualitative scoring of chick quality is assessed. We will briefly discuss some recently developed scoring systems, which will convert differences in qualitative parameters into a quantitative score. Preincubation factors such as egg storage duration and age of broiler breeders, as well as incubation conditions, affect day-old chick quality and subsequent broiler performance. Heat production and metabolism, hormonal balances of thyroid hormones and corticosterone, and gas exchange (O(2), CO(2)) are of fundamental importance for embryonic development and survival during incubation. Results from our studies indicated that embryos with higher pCO(2) levels in the air cell and higher triiodothyronine-thyroxine ratios at internal pipping or in the newly hatched chicks had higher hatchability, chick quality, and posthatch chick growth until 7 d of age. Incubation factors such as temperature, turning conditions, or gaseous environment also affect development, change concentrations of hormones related to metabolism and growth of the embryo, and in this way affect 1-d-old chick quality. Moreover, the spread of the hatch process is affected by incubation conditions as well as by the aforementioned preincubation factors. Depending on the spread of the hatching curve together with the place in the sequence of hatching (early or late) and in interaction with quality of the

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Crocetin improves the quality of in vitro-produced bovine embryos: Implications for blastocyst development, cryotolerance, and apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Zullo, G; De Canditiis, C; Pero, M E; Albero, G; Salzano, A; Neglia, G; Campanile, G; Gasparrini, B

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this work was to assess the effect of supplementation of bovine culture medium with the natural antioxidant crocetin on in vitro blastocyst development and quality. This was evaluated as cryotolerance, apoptosis index, and total cells number and allocation. Abattoir-derived oocytes were matured and fertilized in vitro according to standard procedure. Twenty hours after IVF, presumptive zygotes were cultured in synthetic oviduct fluid medium, supplemented with 0, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM crocetin (experiment 1) at 39 °C under humidified air with 5% CO2, 7% O2, and 88% N2. On Day 7, embryo yields were assessed and the blastocysts were vitrified by Cryotop method in 16.5% ethylene glycol, 16.5% DMSO, and 0.5 M sucrose. Finally, blastocysts produced on Day 8 in the absence (control) and presence of 1 μM crocetin were used for terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling and differential staining to evaluate, respectively, the apoptotic rate and the allocation of cells into inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) lineages (experiment 2). Embryo development was higher in the 1 μM crocetin group compared to the control, both in terms of total embryo output (37.7 ± 4.2%, 52.9 ± 6.3%, 40.9 ± 7.6%, and 42.4 ± 8.7%, respectively, with 0, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM; P < 0.01) and grade 1 and 2 blastocysts (33.6 ± 4.9%, 46.1 ± 7.3%, 37.8 ± 7.9%, and 39.4 ± 7.9%, respectively, with 0, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM; P < 0.05). Moreover, the percentage of fast-developing embryos increased in 1 μM crocetin group compared to the control (23.4 ± 4.7%, 32.7 ± 6.6%, 27.2 ± 6.6%, and 30.1 ± 7.2%, respectively, with 0, 1, 2.5, and 5 μM; P < 0.05). In addition, the enrichment of culture medium with 1 μM crocetin improved embryo cryotolerance compared to the control, as indicated by higher hatching rates recorded after 48 hours postwarming culture (46.5% vs. 60.4%; P < 0.05). Furthermore, 1 μM crocetin decreased

  18. Effects of addition of tissue-type plasminogen activator in in vitro fertilization medium on bovine embryo development and quality.

    PubMed

    Krania, F; Dovolou, E; Rekkas, C A; Theodosiadou, E K; Pappas, I; Amiridis, G S

    2015-02-01

    Plasminogen activators/Plasmin system plays pivotal role in regulating reproductive functions of mammals. Here, we examined the effects of modification of in vitro fertilization medium (IVF medium) with the addition of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), on bovine embryo development and quality, assessed by quantification of expression of various genes related to metabolism, oxidation, implantation and apoptosis. In addition, plasminogen activator activity (PAA) and plasminogen activator inhibition (PAI) were measured in the spent media. After conventional IVM, 2016 cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were divided into four groups with modified composition of the IVF medium containing t-PA and/or its inhibitor epsilon-aminocaproic acid (control, t-PA, t-PA+ε-ACA, ε-ACA). Presumptive zygotes were cultured for 8 days in synthetic oviductal fluid (SOF) medium; gene expression studies were carried out on morulae and blastocysts. t-PA alone significantly suppressed cleavage and blastocyst formation rates, but this effect was neutralized by the addition of ε-ACA. PAA in the treated group was significantly reduced by ε-ACA, but without total elimination. Significant differences were detected in the expression of genes related to apoptosis and/or cell cycle arrest (BAX, BCL2L1, KAT2B) between embryos produced in t-PA-modified media and controls, giving an overall notion that the inferior developmental competence of treated embryos may be attributed to apoptotic phenomena induced by t-PA. In conclusion, it appears that excessive t-PA content in the IVF media, suppresses blastocyst formation rate, possibly due to induction of apoptotic phenomena.

  19. Poor sleep quality affects spatial orientation in virtual environments.

    PubMed

    Valera, Silvana; Guadagni, Veronica; Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Ferrara, Michele; Campbell, Tavis; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is well known to have a significant impact on learning and memory. Specifically, studies adopting an experimentally induced sleep loss protocol in healthy individuals have provided evidence that the consolidation of spatial memories, as acquired through navigating and orienteering in spatial surroundings, is negatively affected by total sleep loss. Here, we used both objective and subjective measures to characterize individuals' quality of sleep, and grouped participants into either a poor (insomnia-like) or normal (control) sleep quality group. We asked participants to solve a wayfinding task in a virtual environment, and scored their performance by measuring the time spent to reach a target location and the number of wayfinding errors made while navigating. We found that participants with poor sleep quality were slower and more error-prone than controls in solving the task. These findings provide novel evidence that pre-existing sleep deficiencies in otherwise healthy individuals affects negatively the ability to learn novel routes, and suggest that sleep quality should be accounted for among healthy individuals performing experimental spatial orientation tasks in virtual environments.

  20. 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...

  1. A mutation in Arabidopsis seedling plastid development1 affects plastid differentiation in embryo-derived tissues during seedling growth.

    PubMed

    Ruppel, Nicholas J; Logsdon, Charles A; Whippo, Craig W; Inoue, Kentaro; Hangarter, Roger P

    2011-01-01

    Oilseed plants like Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) develop green photosynthetically active embryos. Upon seed maturation, the embryonic chloroplasts degenerate into a highly reduced plastid type called the eoplast. Upon germination, eoplasts redifferentiate into chloroplasts and other plastid types. Here, we describe seedling plastid development1 (spd1), an Arabidopsis seedling albino mutant capable of producing normal green vegetative tissues. Mutant seedlings also display defects in etioplast and amyloplast development. Precocious germination of spd1 embryos showed that the albino seedling phenotype of spd1 was dependent on the passage of developing embryos through the degreening and dehydration stages of seed maturation, suggesting that SPD1 is critical during eoplast development or early stages of eoplast redifferentiation. The SPD1 gene was found to encode a protein containing a putative chloroplast-targeting sequence in its amino terminus and also domains common to P-loop ATPases. Chloroplast localization of the SPD1 protein was confirmed by targeting assays in vivo and in vitro. Although the exact function of SPD1 remains to be defined, our findings reveal aspects of plastid development unique to embryo-derived cells.

  2. Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) SCNT embryos produced from somatic cells isolated from frozen-thawed semen: effect of trichostatin A on the in vitro and in vivo developmental potential, quality and epigenetic status.

    PubMed

    Selokar, Naresh L; Saini, Monika; Agrawal, Himanshu; Palta, Prabhat; Chauhan, Manmohan S; Manik, Radheysham; Singla, Suresh K

    2016-08-01

    This study examined the effects of trichostatin A (TSA) treatment of reconstructed buffalo embryos, produced by hand-made cloning using somatic cells isolated from over a decade old frozen-thawed semen, on their in vitro and in vivo developmental competence, quality and epigenetic status. Following treatment of reconstructed embryos with TSA (0, 50 or 75 nM) for 10 h prior to culture, the cleavage (100.0 ± 0, 94.5 ± 2.3 and 96.1 ± 1.2%, respectively) and blastocyst rate (50.6 ± 2.3, 48.4 ± 2.7 and 48.1 ± 2.6%, respectively), total cell number (275 ± 17.4, 289 ± 30.1 and 317 ± 24.2, respectively) and apoptotic index (5.6 ± 0.7, 3.4 ± 0.9 and 4.5 ± 1.4, respectively) were not significantly different among the three groups. However, TSA treatment increased (P < 0.05) the global level of H4K5ac and decreased (P < 0.05) that of H3K27me3 in blastocysts whereas the global level of H3K18ac was not affected significantly. Transfer of embryos treated with 75 nM TSA (n = 10) to recipients resulted in two pregnancies (20%), one out of which was aborted in the second and the other in the third trimester whereas transfer of control embryos (n = 20) or those treated with 50 nM TSA (n = 12) did not result in any pregnancy. In conclusion, these results suggest that TSA treatment of cloned buffalo embryos produced using somatic cells isolated from frozen-thawed semen improved their epigenetic status but not the in vitro developmental potential and offspring rate.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Product design enhancement using apparent usability and affective quality.

    PubMed

    Seva, Rosemary R; Gosiaco, Katherine Grace T; Santos, Ma Crea Eurice D; Pangilinan, Denise Mae L

    2011-03-01

    In this study, apparent usability and affective quality were integrated in a design framework called the Usability Perception and Emotion Enhancement Model (UPEEM). The UPEEM was validated using structural equation modeling (SEM). The methodology consists of four phases namely product selection, attribute identification, design alternative generation, and design alternative evaluation. The first stage involved the selection of a product that highly involves the consumer. In the attribute identification stage, design elements of the product were identified. The possible values of these elements were also determined for use in the experimentation process. Design of experiments was used to identify how the attributes will be varied in the design alternative stage and which of the attributes significantly contribute to affective quality, apparent usability, and desirability in the design evaluation stage. Results suggest that product attributes related to form are relevant in eliciting intense affect and perception of usability in mobile phones especially those directly related to functionality and aesthetics. This study considered only four product attributes among so many due to the constraints of the research design employed. Attributes related to aesthetic perception of a product enhance apparent usability such as those related to dimensional ratios.

  6. 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.

  7. A modified culture medium increases blastocyst formation and the efficiency of human embryonic stem cell derivation from poor-quality embryos.

    PubMed

    FAN, Yong; LUO, Yumei; CHEN, Xinjie; SUN, Xiaofang

    2010-10-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (HESCs) are defined as self-renewing cells that retain their ability to differentiate into all cell types of the body. They have enormous potential in medical applications and as a model for early human development. There is a need for derivation of new HESC lines to meet emerging requirements for their use in cell replacement therapies, disease modeling, and basic research. Here, we describe a modified culture medium containing human recombinant leukemia inhibitory factor and human basic fibroblast growth factor that significantly increases the number of human blastocysts formed and their quality, as well as the efficiency of HESC derivation from poor-quality embryos. Culturing poor-quality embryos in modified medium resulted in a two-fold increase in the blastocyst formation rate and a seven-fold increase over the derivation efficiency in conventional medium. We derived 15 HESC lines from poor-quality embryos cultured in modified culture medium and two HESC lines from quality embryos cultured in conventional culture medium. All cell lines shared typical human pluripotent stem cell features including similar morphology, normal karyotypes, expression of alkaline phosphatase, pluripotency genes, such as Oct4, and cell surface markers (SSEA-4, TRA-1-60, TRA-1-81), the ability to form teratomas in SCID mice, and the ability to differentiate into cells of three embryonic germ layers in vitro. Our data suggest that poor-quality embryos that have reached the blastocyst stage in our modified culture medium are a robust source for normal HESC line derivation.

  8. 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.

  9. Potentiality and human embryos.

    PubMed

    Lizza, John P

    2007-09-01

    Consideration of the potentiality of human embryos to develop characteristics of personhood, such as intellect and will, has figured prominently in arguments against abortion and the use of human embryos for research. In particular, such consideration was the basis for the call of the US President's Council on Bioethics for a moratorium on stem cell research on human embryos. In this paper, I critique the concept of potentiality invoked by the Council and offer an alternative account. In contrast to the Council's view that an embryo's potentiality is determined by definition and is not affected by external conditions that may prevent certain possibilities from ever being realized, I propose an empirically grounded account of potentiality that involves an assessment of the physical and decisional conditions that may restrict an embryo's possibilities. In my view, some human embryos lack the potentiality to become a person that other human embryos have. Assuming for the sake of argument that the potential to become a person gives a being special moral status, it follows that some human embryos lack this status. This argument is then used to support Gene Outka's suggestion that it is morally permissible to experiment on 'spare' frozen embryos that are destined to be destroyed.

  10. Reduced heart rate and cardiac output differentially affect angiogenesis, growth, and development in early chicken embryos (Gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Branum, Sylvia R; Yamada-Fisher, Miho; Burggren, Warren

    2013-01-01

    An increase in both vascular circumferential tension and shear stress in the developing vasculature of the chicken embryo has been hypothesized to stimulate angiogenesis in the developing peripheral circulation chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). To test this hypothesis, angiogenesis in the CAM, development, and growth were measured in the early chicken embryo, following acute and chronic topical application of the purely bradycardic drug ZD7288. At hour 56, ZD7288 reduced heart rate (f(H)) by ~30% but had no significant effect on stroke volume (~0.19 ± 0.2 μL), collectively resulting in a significant fall in cardiac output (CO) from ~27 ± 3 to 18 ± 2 μL min(-1). Mean f(H) at 72 h of development was similarly significantly lowered by acute ZD7288 treatment (250 μM) to 128 ± 0.3 beats min(-1), compared with 174.5 ± 0.3 and 174.7 ± 0.8 beats min(-1) in control and Pannett-Compton (P-C) saline-treated embryos, respectively. Chronic dosing with ZD7288-and the attendant decreases in f(H) and CO-did not change eye diameter or cervical flexion (key indicators of development rate) at 120 h but significantly reduced overall growth (wet and dry body mass decreased by 20%). CAM vessel density index (reflecting angiogenesis) measured 200-400 μm from the umbilical stalk was not altered, but ZD7288 reduced vessel numbers-and therefore vessel density-by 13%-16% more distally (500-600 μm from umbilical stalk) in the CAM. In the ZD7288-treated embryos, a decrease in vessel length was found within the second branch order (~300-400 μm from the umbilical stock), while a decrease in vessel diameter was found closer to the umbilical stock, beginning in the first branch order (~200-300 μm). Paradoxically, chronic application of P-C saline also reduced peripheral CAM vessel density index at 500 and 600 μm by 13% and 7%, respectively, likely from washout of local angiogenic factors. In summary, decreased f(H) with reduced CO did not slow development rate but reduced embryonic

  11. Comparative performances of eggs and embryos of sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) in toxicity bioassays used for assessment of marine sediment quality.

    PubMed

    Khosrovyan, A; Rodríguez-Romero, A; Salamanca, M J; Del Valls, T A; Riba, I; Serrano, F

    2013-05-15

    The potential toxicity of sediments from various ports was assessed by means of two different liquid-phase toxicity bioassays (acute and chronic) with embryos and eggs of sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. Performances of embryos and eggs of P. lividus in these bioassays were compared for their interchangeable applicability in integrated sediment quality assessment. The obtained endpoints (percentages of normally developed plutei and fertilized eggs) were linked to physical and chemical properties of sediments and demonstrated dependence on sediment contamination. The endpoints in the two bioassays were strongly correlated and generally exhibited similar tendency throughout the samples. Therein, embryos demonstrated higher sensitivity to elutriate exposure, compared to eggs. It was concluded that these tests could be used interchangeably for testing toxicity of marine sediments. Preferential use of any of the bioassays can be determined by the discriminatory capacity of the test or vulnerability consideration of the test subject to the surrounding conditions.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.…

  16. Optimizing the culture environment in the IVF laboratory: impact of pH and buffer capacity on gamete and embryo quality.

    PubMed

    Swain, Jason E

    2010-07-01

    Supplying and maintaining appropriate culture conditions is critical to minimize stress imposed upon gametes and embryos and to optimize the in-vitro environment. One parameter that requires close scrutiny in this endeavour is pH. Though embryos have a limited ability to regulate their internal pH (pH(i)), oocytes lack robust mechanisms. Thus, careful attention to external pH (pH(e)) of culture media is imperative in IVF. Ability to withstand deviations in hydrogen ion concentration varies depending on culture conditions, as well as laboratory procedures. Cryopreserved--thaw--thawed embryos, as well as denuded oocytes, are especially susceptible to perturbations in pH(e). Therefore, proper setting, monitoring and stabilizing of pH(e) during IVF laboratory procedures is a crucial component of a rigorous quality control programme. Here, importance of both pH(i) and pH(e) in respect to gamete and embryo quality are discussed. Furthermore, factors influencing selection of pH(e), as well as emerging methods to stabilize pH(e) in the IVF laboratory are detailed.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. EphrinB2 Affects Apical Constriction in Xenopus Embryos and is Regulated by ADAM10 and Flotillin-1

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The Eph/ephrin signaling 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 upon the loss of flotillin-1 scaffold protein, a newly identified ephrinB2-binding partner. This dramatic decline in ephrinB2 protein levels upon 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. PMID:24662724

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Morphological and cytogenetic assessment of cleavage and blastocyst stage embryos.

    PubMed

    Fragouli, E; Alfarawati, S; Spath, K; Wells, D

    2014-02-01

    Morphological assessments are the main way in which fertility clinics select in vitro generated embryo(s) for transfer to the uterus. However, it is widely acknowledged that the microscopic appearance of an embryo is only weakly correlated with its viability. Furthermore, the extent to which morphology is affected by aneuploidy, a genetic defect common in human preimplantation embryos, remains unclear. Aneuploidy is of great relevance to embryo selection as it represents one of the most important causes of implantation failure and miscarriage. The current study aimed to examine whether morphological appearance can assist in identifying embryos at risk of aneuploidy. Additionally, the data produced sheds light on how chromosomal anomalies impact development from the cleavage to the blastocyst stage. A total of 1213 embryos were examined. Comprehensive chromosome analysis was combined with well-established criteria for the assessment of embryo morphology. At the cleavage stage, chromosome abnormalities were common even amongst embryos assigned the best morphological scores, indicating that aneuploidy has little effect on microscopic appearance at fixed time points up until Day 3 of development. However, at the blastocyst stage aneuploidies were found to be significantly less common among embryos of optimal morphological quality, while such abnormalities were overrepresented amongst embryos considered to be of poor morphology. Despite the link between aneuploidy and blastocyst appearance, many chromosomally abnormal embryos were able to achieve the highest morphological scores. In particular, blastocysts affected by forms of aneuploidy with the greatest capacity to produce clinical pregnancies (e.g. trisomy 21) were indistinguishable from euploid embryos. The sex ratio was seen to be equal throughout preimplantation development. Interestingly, however, females were overrepresented amongst the fastest growing cleavage-stage embryos, whereas a sex-related skew in the

  5. Navy Shipbuilding: Opportunities Exist to Improve Practices Affecting Quality

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-11-01

    Organization for Standardization’s ISO 9001 ( quality ), 14001 (environmental), and 18001 (occupational health and safety) series of management systems... ISO 9000 quality management standards. Page 52 GAO-14-122 Navy Shipbuilding commercial shipbuilders we visited did not report having...leading commercial shipbuilders have strong quality management processes that track quality problems to the worker or supervisor level. Navy

  6. Estrous cycle staging before mating led to increased efficiency in the production of pseudopregnant recipients without negatively affecting embryo transfer in mice.

    PubMed

    Heykants, Malte; Mahabir, Esther

    2016-03-15

    The goal was to increase pseudopregnant mice production by estrous cycle staging by visual examination before pairing and to determine the effect of such pseudopregnant recipients on embryo transfer. To compare methods of estrous cycle staging over 14 days, groups consisted of 10 females in proestrus-estrus and 10 vasectomized males; group 1: only daily visual observation; group 2: daily visual observation and cytological examination on day 1; group 3: daily visual observation and daily cytological examination. The average time to first vaginal plug was 1.8 days in group 1, 2.7 days in group 2, and 3.2 days in group 3, whereas the average time between consecutive vaginal plugs was 9.2 days (group 1), 10 days (group 2), and 9.25 days (group 3). The average time between consecutive estrous cycles was 9.7 days (group 1), 11.8 days (group 2), and 9.4 days (group 3). The congruence between visual and cytological examination in determining proestrus-estrus in group 2 was 100% and that for the four stages in group 3 was 79% with a range of 44% to 100%. From 162 plug-positive females originally selected in proestrus-estrus, 49%, 30%, 19%, and 2% were plug-positive on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4, respectively, showing that pseudopregnant mice production was significantly increased on the first 2 days. From 192 plug-positive females originally selected randomly, these values were 31%, 21%, 35%, 10%, and 3% on d1, d2, d3, d4, and d5, respectively. No significant differences were observed between groups with respect to embryo transfers with fresh or cryopreserved embryos although the number of pups born per litter was higher in group A with fresh (7.57 vs. 6.39) and cryopreserved-thawed embryos (5.0 vs. 4.38). Furthermore, the sex ratio and the genotype of the pups were not significantly affected.

  7. Constitutive activation of ectodermal β-catenin induces ectopic outgrowths at various positions in mouse embryo and affects abdominal ventral body wall closure.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xuming; Huang, Sixia; Zhang, Lingling; Wu, Yumei; Chen, Yingwei; Tao, Yixin; Wang, Yushu; He, Shigang; Shen, Sanbing; Wu, Ji; Li, Baojie; Guo, Xizhi; He, Lin; Ma, Gang

    2014-01-01

    Vertebrate limbs originate from the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) and the overlying ectoderm. While normal limb formation in defined regions has been well studied, the question of whether other positions retain limb-forming potential has not been fully investigated in mice. By ectopically activating β-catenin in the ectoderm with Msx2-cre, we observed that local tissue outgrowths were induced, which either progressed into limb-like structure within the inter-limb flank or formed extra tissues in other parts of the mouse embryo. In the presumptive abdominal region of severely affected embryos, ectopic limb formation was coupled with impaired abdominal ventral body wall (AVBW) closure, which indicates the existence of a potential counterbalance of limb formation and AVBW closure. At the molecular level, constitutive β-catenin activation was sufficient to trigger, but insufficient to maintain the ectopic expression of a putative limb-inducing factor, Fgf8, in the ectoderm. These findings provide new insight into the mechanism of limb formation and AVBW closure, and the crosstalk between the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and Fgf signal.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. Financial Health of Child Care Facilities Affects Quality of Care.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brower, Mary R.; Sull, Theresa M.

    2003-01-01

    Contends that child care facility owners, boards of directors, staff, and parents need to focus on financial management, as poor financial health compromises the quality of care for children. Specifically addresses the issues of: (1) concern for providing high quality child care; (2) the connection between quality and money; and (3) strengthening…

  11. 78 SUPPLEMENTATION WITH CARNOSINE DURING IN VITRO CULTURE IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF IN VITRO-PRODUCED BOVINE EMBRYOS.

    PubMed

    Le Bourhis, D; Verachten, M; Salvetti, P; Hochet, M; Schibler, L

    2016-01-01

    .1±2.0v. 24.0±6.5, P=0.6; respectively). After thawing, the re-expansion at +24h was not different between groups (74.1v. 48.0% for carnosine and control groups, respectively; P=0.06). However, at +48h and +72h, the survival rate of carnosine treated blastocysts was significantly higher than that of blastocysts in the control group: 70.4±4.5% v. 40.0±3.8% and 59.3±3.8% v. 24.0±3.6%, respectively. Results from Experiment 2 indicated no difference between control and carnosine groups for C1 (32.1±3.9 v. 33.8±6.1; P=0.3), C2 (8.2±8.9 v. 8.9±0.9; P=0.07), and B4 (147.0±9.5 v. 145.4±11.6; P=0.6), whereas C3 was significantly different within groups: 59.9±9.6v. 51.8±6.7 (P=0.008). In conclusion, bovine blastocysts derived from zygotes cultured in the presence of 5μgmL(-1) carnosine possess a significantly faster kinetic from 4-cell stage to compaction and show a higher post-thawing viability. However, further analyses are still needed to clarify the relationship between the reactive oxygen species intracellular levels after carnosine treatment and in vitro bovine embryo quality.

  12. Global proteomic characterization of uterine histotroph recovered from beef heifers yielding good quality and degenerate day 7 embryos.

    PubMed

    Beltman, M E; Mullen, M P; Elia, G; Hilliard, M; Diskin, M G; Evans, A C; Crowe, M A

    2014-01-01

    The objective was to analyze the proteomic composition of uterine flushes collected from beef heifers on day 7 after insemination. Estrus was synchronized in crossbred beef heifers by using a protocol with a controlled intravaginal drug releasing device. Heifers detected in standing estrus (within 24-48 h after removal of controlled intravaginal drug releasing device) were inseminated (estrus = day 0) with frozen-thawed semen from a single ejaculate of a bull with proven fertility. Heifers from which an embryo was recovered (after slaughter on day 7) were classified as either having a viable embryo (morula/blastocyst stage) or a degenerate embryo (arrested at the 2- to 16-cell stage). The overall recovery rate (viable and degenerate combined) was 64%. Global liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry proteomic analysis of the histotroph collected identified 40 high-confidence proteins present on day 7; 26 proteins in the viable group, 10 in the degenerate group, and 4 shared between both groups. Five proteins (platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase IB subunit γ [PAFAH1B3], tubulin α-1D chain, tubulin β-4A chain, cytochrome C, and dihydropyrimidinase-related protein-2) were unique or more abundant in the histotroph collected from animals with a viable embryo, and 1 protein (S100-A4) was more abundant in the histotroph collected from animals with a degenerate embryo. Of interest, PAFAH1B3, detected only in histotroph from the group yielding viable embryos, belongs to the group of platelet-activating factors that are known to be important for the development of the pre-implantation embryo in other species. To our knowledge this is the first report of PAFAH1B3 in relation to bovine early embryonic development.

  13. ICSI treatment of severe male infertility can achieve prospective embryo quality compared with IVF of fertile donor sperm on sibling oocytes

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Ju-Fen; Chen, Xiao-Bao; Zhao, Lei-Wen; Gao, Min-Zhi; Peng, Jie; Qu, Xian-Qin; Shi, Hui-Juan; Jin, Xing-Liang

    2015-01-01

    Azoospermia, cryptozoospermia and necrospermia can markedly decrease the ability of males to achieve pregnancy in fertile females. However, patients with these severe conditions still have the option to be treated by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to become biological fathers. This study analyzed the fertilization ability and the developmental viabilities of the derived embryos after ICSI treatment of the sperm from these patients compared with in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment of the proven-fertile donor sperm on sibling oocytes as a control. On the day of oocyte retrieval, the number of sperm suitable for ICSI collected from two ejaculates or testicular sperm extraction was lower than the oocytes, and therefore, excess sibling oocytes were treated by IVF with donor sperm. From 72 couples (73 cycles), 1117 metaphase II oocytes were divided into 512 for ICSI and 605 for IVF. Compared with the control, husbands’ sperm produced a lower fertilization rate in nonobstructive azoospermia (65.4% vs 83.2%; P < 0.001), crytozoospermia (68.8% vs 75.5%; P < 0.05) and necrospermia (65.0% vs 85.2%; P < 0.05). The zygotes derived in nonobstructive azoospermia had a lower cleavage rate (96.4% vs 99.4%; P < 0.05), but the rate of resultant good-quality embryos was not different. Analysis of the rates of cleaved and good-quality embryos in crytozoospermia and necrospermia did not exhibit a significant difference from the control. In conclusion, although the sperm from severe male infertility reduced the fertilization ability, the derived embryos had potential developmental viabilities that might be predictive for the expected clinical outcomes. PMID:25652630

  14. ICSI treatment of severe male infertility can achieve prospective embryo quality compared with IVF of fertile donor sperm on sibling oocytes.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Ju-Fen; Chen, Xiao-Bao; Zhao, Lei-Wen; Gao, Min-Zhi; Peng, Jie; Qu, Xian-Qin; Shi, Hui-Juan; Jin, Xing-Liang

    2015-01-01

    Azoospermia, cryptozoospermia and necrospermia can markedly decrease the ability of males to achieve pregnancy in fertile females. However, patients with these severe conditions still have the option to be treated by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to become biological fathers. This study analyzed the fertilization ability and the developmental viabilities of the derived embryos after ICSI treatment of the sperm from these patients compared with in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment of the proven-fertile donor sperm on sibling oocytes as a control. On the day of oocyte retrieval, the number of sperm suitable for ICSI collected from two ejaculates or testicular sperm extraction was lower than the oocytes, and therefore, excess sibling oocytes were treated by IVF with donor sperm. From 72 couples (73 cycles), 1117 metaphase II oocytes were divided into 512 for ICSI and 605 for IVF. Compared with the control, husbands' sperm produced a lower fertilization rate in nonobstructive azoospermia (65.4% vs 83.2%; P< 0.001), crytozoospermia (68.8% vs 75.5%; P< 0.05) and necrospermia (65.0% vs 85.2%; P< 0.05). The zygotes derived in nonobstructive azoospermia had a lower cleavage rate (96.4% vs 99.4%; P< 0.05), but the rate of resultant good-quality embryos was not different. Analysis of the rates of cleaved and good-quality embryos in crytozoospermia and necrospermia did not exhibit a significant difference from the control. In conclusion, although the sperm from severe male infertility reduced the fertilization ability, the derived embryos had potential developmental viabilities that might be predictive for the expected clinical outcomes.

  15. 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.

  16. Organisational factors affecting the quality of hospital clinical coding.

    PubMed

    Santos, Suong; Murphy, Gregory; Baxter, Kathryn; Robinson, Kerin M

    2008-01-01

    The influence of organisational factors on the quality of hospital coding using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems, 10th Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM) was investigated using a mixed quantitative-qualitative approach. The organisational variables studied were: hospital specialty; geographical locality; structural characteristics of the coding unit; education, training and resource supports for Clinical Coders; and quality control mechanisms. Baseline data on the hospitals' coding quality, measured by the Performance Indicators for Coding Quality tool, were used as an independent index measure. No differences were found in error rates between rural and metropolitan hospitals, or general and specialist hospitals. Clinical Coder allocation to "general" rather than "specialist" unit coding resulted in fewer errors. Coding Managers reported that coding quality can be improved by: Coders engaging in a variety of role behaviours; improved Coder career opportunities; higher staffing levels; reduced throughput; fewer time constraints on coding outputs and associated work; and increased Coder interactions with medical staff.

  17. 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.

  18. N-Acetylcysteine improves oocyte and embryo quality in polycystic ovary syndrome patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection: an alternative to metformin.

    PubMed

    Cheraghi, Ebrahim; Mehranjani, Malek Soleimani; Shariatzadeh, Mohammad Ali; Esfahani, Mohammad Hossein Nasr; Ebrahimi, Zahra

    2016-04-01

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with low-quality oocytes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of metformin (MET), N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and their combination on follicular fluid parameters, oocytes and embryo quality in PCOS patients. A prospective randomised placebo-controlled pilot study on 60 Iranian women with PCOS (aged 25-35 years) undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was designed. Women were divided into four groups (n=15 in each): (1) an MET, administered 1500mg day(-1) MET; (2) an NAC group, administered 1800mg day(-1) NAC; (3) an NAC + MET group; and (4) a placebo group. Drugs were administered from the 3rd day of previous cycle until the day of oocyte aspiration (6 weeks treatment in total). Data were analysed by one-way ANOVA, with significance set at P<0.05. The number of immature and abnormal oocytes decreased significantly in the NAC compared with placebo group, with a concomitant increase in the number of good-quality embryos in the NAC group (P<0.05). Malondialdehyde levels decreased significantly in the NAC and NAC + MET groups compared with the placebo-treated group (P<0.02). In addition, there were significant decreases in leptin levels in the NAC, MET and NAC + MET groups compared with the placebo group (P<0.001). Insulin and LH levels were significantly lower in the MET and NAC groups compared with the placebo-treated group (P<0.02). We concluded that NAC improves oocyte and embryo quality and could be administered as an alternative to MET.

  19. Certain Organizational Characteristics Affect ACO Preventive Care Quality Performance.

    PubMed

    Ticse, Caroline

    2016-06-01

    Key findings. (1) ACOs at provider workforce extremes--few primary care providers or many specialists--performed worse on measures of preventive care quality relative to those with more PCPs and fewer specialists. (2) Upfront investment in ACO formation is associated with higher performance in preventive care quality. (3) ACOs with a higher proportion of minority beneficiaries performed worse on disease prevention measures than did ACOs with a lower proportion of minority beneficiaries. (4) ACOs facing barriers to quality performance may benefit from organizational characteristics such as electronic health record capabilities and hospital inclusion in the ACO.

  20. Animal factors affecting the meat quality of Australian lamb meat.

    PubMed

    Jacob, R H; Pethick, D W

    2014-02-01

    This paper integrates the key industry findings from the twelve preceding papers in this special edition of Meat science. In so doing, various animal factors important for the quality of Australian lamb meat are highlighted for sensory, visual appeal and human health attributes. Intramuscular fat concentration (IMF) was found to be a key element of eating quality that interacts both positively and negatively with a range of other factors. Shear force, IMF, colour stability and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) will likely respond to genetic selection whilst other omega-3 fatty acids require nutritional intervention. Australian lamb meat can generally be regarded as a good source of the minerals iron and zinc; and a source of omega 3 fatty acids when finished on green pasture. Breeding priorities for meat quality will likely depend on breed type with improvement of meat colour stability more important for the wool focused Merino breed and improvement of sensory quality for the terminal sire breeds.

  1. Yield performance and bean quality traits of cacao propagated by grafting and somatic embryo-derived cuttings

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Twelve cacao (Theobroma cacao) clones propagated by grafting and orthotropic rooted cuttings of somatic embryo-derived plants were grown on an Ultisol soil at Corozal, Puerto Rico and evaluated for six years of production under intensive management. Year, variety, year x variety and propagation tre...

  2. Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease Affects Health Related Quality of Life

    PubMed Central

    Goreishi, Abolfazl; Shajari, Zahra; Mohammadi, Zeinab

    2012-01-01

    Background Chronic diseases endanger not only physical health but also psychological and social health of patient. Thus, evaluation of such patients for psychological treatment decisions is very important. Method This is a descriptive study that was performed with 50 chronic patients (ischemic heart disease) selected from Valiasr and Mousavi at cardiac wards in Zanjan Province. They were given three types of questionnaire: demographic, WHOQOL, and Zung depression and anxiety index. The information was statically analyzed by frequency chart, central indexes, dispersion, Chi-Square and t tests, Pearson’s correlation index (P < 0.05). Results The average of quality of life in all patients were calculated as was respectively 12.19, 11.98, 12.08, and 12.4 in physical, psychological, social and environmental domains respectively, 68 percent of total number of the patients had various degrees of anxiety and 78 percent of them had various degrees of depression. There was a significant relationship between the life quality average in all domains and anxiety intensity and depression intensity (P < 0.05) and there was a significant relationship between life quality average in all domains and income (P < 0.05). Conclusion As the level of depression and anxiety goes up, quality of life decreases pointing out that they have a reverse relationship. Depression and anxiety are one of the most significant factors of quality of life among other variables. Regarding specific conditions of the treatment, it is necessary to pay special attention to psychological aspects.

  3. Quality properties of fruits as affected by drying operation.

    PubMed

    Omolola, Adewale O; Jideani, Afam I O; Kapila, Patrick F

    2017-01-02

    The increasing consumption of dried fruits requires further attention on the quality parameters. Drying has become necessary because most fruits are highly perishable owing to their high moisture content and the need to make them available all year round and at locations where they are not produced. In addition to preservation, the reduced weight and bulk of dehydrated products decreases packaging, handling and transportation costs. Quality changes associated with drying of fruit products include physical, sensory, nutritional, and microbiological. Drying gives rise to low or moderate glycemic index (GI) products with high calorie, vitamin and mineral contents. This review examines the nutritional benefits of dried fruits, protective compounds present in dried fruits, GI, overview of some fruit drying methods and effects of drying operations on the quality properties such as shrinkage, porosity, texture, color, rehydration, effective moisture diffusivity, nutritional, sensory, microbiological and shelf stability of fruits.

  4. Effect of the microenvironment and embryo density on developmental characteristics and gene expression profile of bovine preimplantative embryos cultured in vitro.

    PubMed

    Hoelker, Michael; Rings, Franka; Lund, Qamaruddin; Ghanem, Nasser; Phatsara, Chirawath; Griese, Josef; Schellander, Karl; Tesfaye, Dawit

    2009-03-01

    The Well of the Well (WOW) system has been developed to culture embryos in small groups or to track the development of single embryos. In the present study, we aimed to examine the effects of the microenvironment provided by the WOW system and embryo density on developmental rates, embryo quality and preimplantative gene expression profile of the resulting embryos. Embryos cultured in a group of 16 reached the blastocyst stage at a significantly lower level than zygotes cultured in a group of 50 (22.2 vs 30.3%), whereas zygotes cultured in WOW were able to compensate against low embryo densities, reaching a blastocyst rate as high as embryos cultured in a group of 50 (31.3 vs 30.3%). Moreover, embryos derived from WOW culture did not differ in terms of differential cell counts and apoptotic cell index compared with controls. The gene expression analysis revealed 62 transcripts to be upregulated and 33 transcripts to be downregulated by WOW culture. Comparing the in vivo derived blastocysts with the blastocysts derived from WOW culture, and group culture, expression of ATP5A1, PLAC8 and KRT8 was more similar to the embryos derived from WOW culture, whereas expression of S100A10 and ZP3 genes was more similar to blastocysts cultured in a group. In conclusion, microenvironment as well as embryo density significantly affected developmental rates. While subsequent blastocysts did not differ in terms of differential cell counts and apoptotic cell index, significant differences were observed in terms of the relative abundance of transcripts in the resulting embryos.

  5. 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...

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 182 MATURATION OF BOVINE CUMULUS-OOCYTE COMPLEXES WITH FOLLICLE FLUID VARYING IN ESTRADIOL CONTENT AFFECTS CUMULUS CELL EXPANSION WITHOUT AFFECTING SUBSEQUENT EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT IN VITRO.

    PubMed

    Harl, A W; Larimore, E L; Al Naib, A; Wooldridge, L K; Ealy, A D; Perry, G A; Rhoads, M L

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this work was to determine how characteristics of bovine follicle fluid (FF; especially oestradiol content) affect cumulus cell expansion and oocyte competence. In the first study, FF was collected from abattoir-derived ovaries and pooled separately for large follicles (≥10mm) and small follicles (≤3mm). A portion of the FF from each category was charcoal stripped. These 4 types of FF were then used as the primary ingredient (75% vol/vol) in oocyte maturation media. A separate control group lacking FF but containing BSA was included to monitor potential impacts of protein on outcomes (control; without FF). Some of the cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC; n=250) were matured in individual drops for analysis of cumulus expansion (photographed and measured at 0 and 21h of maturation). Other COC (n=770) were matured in groups of 12 to 25 in the previously described media, and then subjected to IVF procedures. Cleavage rates were recorded on Day 3, and blastocyst rates were recorded on Day 8 post-fertilization. Cumulus cell expansion was greatest when COC were matured in medium containing FF from large follicles, wherein it even exceeded the controls (P<0.02). Maturation in FF from small follicles resulted in cumulus expansion that was intermediate between large and control. Maturation in charcoal-stripped FF severely restricted cumulus cell expansion (P<0.05) compared with those matured in untreated FF. Despite the observed improvement in cumulus cell expansion, COC that had been matured in media containing FF were less likely to cleave (P<0.05) and also less likely to develop to the blastocyst stage (P<0.01) than those matured in control medium. Cleavage and blastocyst rates did not differ among any of the maturation media containing FF. In the second study, oestrous cycles of 9 crossbred cows were synchronized and FF samples were collected 36 to 42h after prostaglandin F2α injection. Samples from individual cows were categorized as having high

  17. 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.

  18. Fresh pasta quality as affected by enrichment of nonstarch polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Brennan, C S; Tudorica, C M

    2007-11-01

    Nonstarch polysaccharides (NSPs), both soluble and insoluble, were added to pasta doughs at levels of 2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, and 10% levels. The cooking and textural characteristics of the pastas were evaluated using a range of analytical techniques. Generally, NSP addition was found to increase the cooking losses, and reduce the protein and starch contents of the pasta. This effect was dependent on the level of NSP added and also the type (soluble or insoluble). Pasta firmness was generally reduced in relation to the level of NSP addition, although some gel-forming NSPs resulted in higher firmness values. Pasta stickiness, adhesiveness, and elasticity were also affected. The results indicate that careful selection of NSP addition is needed to ensure optimum textural and cooking characteristics in NSP enriched pasta products.

  19. Comparison of three embryo culture methods for derivation of human embryonic stem cells from discarded embryos.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ying; Li, Yang; Hwang, Andrew; Wang, Shu-yu; Jia, Chan-wei; Yu, Lan; Li, Jian

    2011-06-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are self-renewing and pluripotent cells that hold great promise. Our objective was to compare the effect of three different embryo culture methods for derivation of human embryonic stem cells from discarded embryos. A prospective and randomized trial was conducted using 381 discarded human embryos at days 2-3 postfertilization in Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital IVF center. After removal of the zona pellucida, discarded human embryos were cultured by three different methods as multiple embryo aggregates, single embryo, and blastomeres. Outgrowth of embryos and hESC derivation were observed. The outgrowth rate of embryos cultured as multiple embryo aggregates was higher than that of those cultured as single embryos or blastomeres (p < 0.05). Three propagating hESC lines were derived from poor quality day 2-3 postfertilization nonblastocyst embryos cultured as multiple embryo aggregates. Derived hESC lines expressed hESC-specific markers of pluripotency and had normal diploid karyotype. The cells were able to form derivatives of all three germ layers in vivo as teratomas. Our results demonstrate that culturing these discarded embryos as multiple embryo aggregates was more profitable for outgrowth and derivation of ESC line than culturing these as single embryo or blastomeres.

  20. Quality and developmental ability of dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) embryos obtained by IVM/IVF, in vivo matured/IVF or in vivo matured/fertilized oocytes.

    PubMed

    Khatir, H; Anouassi, A; Tibary, A

    2007-06-01

    The effect of source of cumulus-oocytes-complexes (COCs), maturation and fertilization conditions on developmental competence of dromedary embryos was examined. Thirty-six adult females were superovulated with equine Chorionic Gonadotropin (eCG) injection (3500 IU, IM) and divided in three groups of 12 females each. Group 1 provided 138 COC's collected from follicles >or= 5 mm 10 days after stimulation prior hCG treatment and matured in vitro for 30 h. Group 2 provided 120 in vivo matured oocytes which were aspirated from their follicles 20 h after hCG (3000 IU, IV) given on day 10 follow eCG injection. Group 3 provided 65 in vivo matured/fertilized oocytes. Females in Group 3 received hCG on day 10 following eCG treatment and then were mated 24 h later. Fertilized oocytes were collected from the oviducts of females 48-h post-mating. Quality of the oocytes was assessed after in vitro maturation (IVM), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and in vitro culture (IVC) of COCs. All cultures were performed in three replicates (n = 3) at 38.5 degrees C, under 5% CO(2) and high humidity (>95%). Only COCs with cumulus and homogenous (dark) cytoplasm were used. Nuclear maturation rate for Groups 1 and 2 was determined by epifluorescence microscopy in a sample of COCs (n = 30) denuded, fixed and stained with Hoechst 33342. To study the viability of obtained embryos, hatched blastocysts from each group were transferred to recipients followed by pregnancy diagnosis using ultrasonography at 15, 60 and 90 days. The percentage of COCs reaching metaphase II (MII) after 30 h of maturation was slightly but not significantly higher for in vivo matured oocytes (28/30; 93%) than those in vitro matured (25/30; 84%). The total rate of cleavage (2 cells to blastocyst stage) was not different for the three groups. However, significantly (p < 0.05) more blastocyst and hatched blastocysts were obtained from in vivo matured and in vivo fertilized oocytes (Group 3; 52% and 73%) than from in vitro

  1. 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

  2. Yeast mutants affecting possible quality control of plasma membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Li, Y; Kane, T; Tipper, C; Spatrick, P; Jenness, D D

    1999-05-01

    Mutations gef1, stp22, STP26, and STP27 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae were identified as suppressors of the temperature-sensitive alpha-factor receptor (mutation ste2-3) and arginine permease (mutation can1(ts)). These suppressors inhibited the elimination of misfolded receptors (synthesized at 34 degrees C) as well as damaged surface receptors (shifted from 22 to 34 degrees C). The stp22 mutation (allelic to vps23 [M. Babst and S. Emr, personal communication] and the STP26 mutation also caused missorting of carboxypeptidase Y, and ste2-3 was suppressed by mutations vps1, vps8, vps10, and vps28 but not by mutation vps3. In the stp22 mutant, both the mutant and the wild-type receptors (tagged with green fluorescent protein [GFP]) accumulated within an endosome-like compartment and were excluded from the vacuole. GFP-tagged Stp22p also accumulated in this compartment. Upon reaching the vacuole, cytoplasmic domains of both mutant and wild-type receptors appeared within the vacuolar lumen. Stp22p and Gef1p are similar to tumor susceptibility protein TSG101 and voltage-gated chloride channel, respectively. These results identify potential elements of plasma membrane quality control and indicate that cytoplasmic domains of membrane proteins are translocated into the vacuolar lumen.

  3. Production of good-quality blastocyst embryos following IVF of ovine oocytes vitrified at the germinal vesicle stage using a cryoloop.

    PubMed

    Moawad, Adel R; Zhu, Jie; Choi, Inchul; Amarnath, Dasari; Chen, Wenchao; Campbell, Keith H S

    2013-01-01

    The cryopreservation of immature oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage would create an easily accessible, non-seasonal source of female gametes for research and reproduction. The present study investigated the ability of ovine oocytes vitrified at the GV stage using a cryoloop to be subsequently matured, fertilised and cultured in vitro to blastocyst-stage embryos. Selected cumulus-oocyte complexes obtained from mature ewes at the time of death were randomly divided into vitrified, toxicity and control groups. Following vitrification and warming, viable oocytes were matured in vitro for 24 h. Matured oocytes were either evaluated for nuclear maturation, spindle and chromosome configuration or fertilised and cultured in vitro for 7 days. No significant differences were observed in the frequencies of IVM (oocytes at the MII stage), oocytes with normal spindle and chromatin configuration and fertilised oocytes among the three groups. Cleavage at 24 and 48 h post insemination was significantly decreased (P<0.01) in vitrified oocytes. No significant differences were observed in the proportion of blastocyst development between vitrified and control groups (29.4% v. 45.1%, respectively). No significant differences were observed in total cell numbers, the number of apoptotic nuclei or the proportion of diploid embryos among the three groups. In conclusion, we report for the first time that ovine oocytes vitrified at the GV stage using a cryoloop have the ability to be matured, fertilised and subsequently developed in vitro to produce good-quality blastocyst embryos at frequencies comparable to those obtained using fresh oocytes.

  4. 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

  5. Inositol and In Vitro Fertilization with Embryo Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Simi, G.; Genazzani, A. R.; Obino, M. E. R.; Papini, F.; Pinelli, S.; Cela, V.

    2017-01-01

    Recently, studies on inositol supplementation during in vitro fertilization program (IVF) have gained particular importance due to the effect of this molecule on reducing insulin resistance improving ovarian function, oocyte quality, and embryo and pregnancy rates and reducing gonadotropin amount during stimulation. Inositol and its isoforms, especially myoinositol (MYO), are often used as prestimulation therapy in infertile patients undergoing IVF cycle. Inositol supplementation started three months before ovarian stimulation, resulting in significant improvements in hormonal responses, reducing the amount of FSH necessary for optimal follicle development and serum levels of 17beta-estradiol measured the day of hCG injection. As shown by growing number of trials, MYO supplementation improves oocyte quality by reducing the number of degenerated and immature oocytes, in this way increasing the quality of embryos produced. Inositol can also improve the quality of sperm parameters in those patients affected by oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. PMID:28348586

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Sensory Hypersensitivity Predicts Reduced Sleeping Quality in Patients With Major Affective Disorders.

    PubMed

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Gonda, Xenia; Walker, Muffy; Rihmer, Zoltan; Pompili, Maurizio; Amore, Mario; Serafini, Gianluca

    2017-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the sensory profile (expressed as hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity) of patients with major affective disorders and its relative contribution to the prediction of sleep quality while considering affective temperaments and depression, which may impact sleep quality. We recruited 176 participants (mean age, 47.3 y), of whom 56.8% had a diagnosis of unipolar major depressive disorder and 43.2% a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Reduced sleep quality was evaluated using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Affective temperaments were assessed using the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego. Sensory hypersensitivity, assessed using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile, significantly distinguished between poor and good sleepers. Sleep quality was mainly predicted by the Beck Depression Inventory-II total score and anxious temperament. Sensory hypersensitivity contributed to this prediction mainly with regard to sleep efficiency and related daytime dysfunction.

  10. Mutation in the Arabidopisis thaliana DEK1 calpain gene perturbs endosperm and embryo development while over-expression affects organ development globally.

    PubMed

    Lid, Stein Erik; Olsen, Lene; Nestestog, Ragnhild; Aukerman, Milo; Brown, Roy C; Lemmon, Betty; Mucha, Mark; Opsahl-Sorteberg, Hilde-Gunn; Olsen, Odd-Arne

    2005-06-01

    A T-DNA insertion in the Arabidopsis thaliana DEK1 gene, encoding a calpain-like cysteine proteinase with a predicted membrane anchor, causes unorganized embryo development displaying irregular mitotic divisions in the embryo proper and suspensor. Embryo development is arrested at the globular stage, and the embryo proper lacks a defined protoderm. In the endosperm, the aleurone-like peripheral cell layer is partly or completely lacking. The Arabidopsis DEK1 wild-type transcript is expressed evenly throughout the endosperm and the embryo in developing seed as determined using in situ hybridization. The conclusion that the observed phenotype is caused by a T-DNA insertion in the Arabidopsis DEK1 gene is confirmed by complementation with the Arabidopisis DEK1 genomic sequence, as well as analysis of a second T-DNA insertion allele. Over-expression of the Arabidopsis DEK1 gene coding sequence under the control of the 35S promoter causes a number of developmental phenotypes, including a global lack of trichomes, leaves exhibiting improper dorsiventral symmetry and aberrant cell organization in flowers. We interpret the data to suggest a role for DEK1 in providing cells with positional clues for an appropriate developmental context within plant tissues.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. The Effect of Four Different Gonadotropin Protocols on Oocyte and Embryo Quality and Pregnancy Outcomes in IVF/ICSI Cycles; A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Parsanezhad, Mohammad Ebrahim; Jahromi, Bahia Namavar; Rezaee, Solmaz; Kooshesh, Leila; Alaee, Sanaz

    2017-01-01

    Background: Despite the large number of papers published on the efficiency of different exogenous gonadotropins, no confirmed protocol exists. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of 4 exogenous gonadotropins in IVF/ICSI cycles. Methods: This study, performed from January 2014 to May 2014, recruited 160 women referred to Ghadir Mother and Child Hospital and Dena Hospital, Shiraz, Iran. The patients underwent standard downregulation and were randomly divided into 4 groups of A, B, C, and D and were administered hMG, hFSH, rFSH, and combined sequential hFSH/rFSH, respectively. Then, the duration of stimulation, number of oocytes and embryos as well as their quality, implantation rate, biochemical and clinical pregnancy rate, and live birth rate in each group were evaluated. Results: Group D patients required significantly fewer ampoules of FSH than did the women in groups A, B, and C (P=0.004). The duration of stimulation was significantly longer in group C than in groups A and D (P=0.030). The serum estradiol level was significantly higher in group D than in groups B and C (P=0.005). A significantly higher number of large-sized follicles was observed in group D than in group B (P=0.036). Conclusion: Our data revealed no statistically significant differences in the mean oocyte number, embryo quality, clinical pregnancy rate, or live birth rate between the hMG, hFSH, rFSH, and sequential hFSH/rFSH protocols. However, several differences in the duration of stimulation, serum estradiol levels, and number of large-sized follicles were detected between the groups. Trial Registration Number: IRCT201408116541N7 PMID:28293051

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

    PubMed

    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 20mg/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 5mg/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 20mg/kg MP. In conclusion, we report that MP has adverse effects on the oocyte quality, developmental potential of the embryo and reproductive outcome.

  16. A prospective randomized comparison of early embryo cleavage kinetics between two media culture systems

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Huan; Zheng, Yi; Wu, Yonggen; Ye, Danna; Huang, Xuefeng

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To investigate whether early embryo cleavage kinetics were affected by type of culture media. Methods: In this prospective sibling-split study, 620 oocytes from 37 patients were randomly allocated into two groups: Cook group and Vitrolife group. Oocytes/embryos in Cook group, would be cultured with Cook sequential culture medium, while oocytes/embryos in Vitrolife group, would be cultured with Vitrolife sequential culture medium. Time-lapse imaging technology was used to calculate exact timing of early embryo cleavage events which included time to 2PN breakdown, cleavage to 2-, 3-, 4-, 5- cell and the time duration in the 2-,3-cell stage. Then these timing of early embryo cleavage events were compared between Cook group and Vitrolife group. Moreover, fertilization rate, cleavage rate, high quality embryo rate, usable blastocyst rate, pregnancy rate and implantation rate of these two groups were also analyzed. Results: The results showed there were no differences in all timing of early embryo cleavage events between the two groups. In addition, the two groups were similar in fertilization rate (Cook 71.0% vs. Vitrolife 71.3%, P>0.05), cleavage rate (Cook 98.1% vs. Vitrolife 98.2%, P>0.05), high quality embryo rate (Cook 52.1% vs. Vitrolife 52.7%, P>0.05), usable blastocyst rate (Cook 29.7% vs. Vitrolife 28.0%, P>0.05), pregnancy rate (Cook 46.7% VS. Vitrolife 50.0%, P>0.05) and implantation rate (Cook 30.3% VS. Vitrolife 29.0%, P>0.05). Conclusions: Morphokinetics used for embryo selection are not affected by the two different culture media. PMID:28083029

  17. Ethanol Disrupts Chondrification of the Neurocranial Cartilages in Medaka Embryos without Affecting Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1A2 (Aldh1A2) Promoter Methylation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Medaka (Oryzias latipes) embryos at different developmental stages were exposed to ethanol for 48 h, then allowed to hatch. Teratogenic effects were evaluated in hatchlings after examining chondrocranial cartilage deformities. Ethanol disrupted cartilage development in medaka in a dose and developme...

  18. 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

    2016-05-12

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  20. Nutrition and maternal metabolic health in relation to oocyte and embryo quality: critical views on what we learned from the dairy cow model.

    PubMed

    Leroy, Jo L M R; Valckx, Sara D M; Jordaens, Lies; De Bie, Jessie; Desmet, Karolien L J; Van Hoeck, Veerle; Britt, Jack H; Marei, Waleed F; Bols, Peter E J

    2015-05-01

    Although fragmented and sometimes inconsistent, the proof of a vital link between the importance of the physiological status of the mother and her subsequent reproductive success is building up. High-yielding dairy cows are suffering from a substantial decline in fertility outcome over past decades. For many years, this decrease in reproductive output has correctly been considered multifactorial, with factors including farm management, feed ratios, breed and genetics and, last, but not least, ever-rising milk production. Because the problem is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach, it is hard to formulate straightforward conclusions leading to improvements on the 'work floor'. However, based on remarkable similarities on the preimplantation reproductive side between cattle and humans, there is a growing tendency to consider the dairy cow's negative energy balance and accompanying fat mobilisation as an interesting model to study the impact of maternal metabolic disorders on human fertility and, more specifically, on oocyte and preimplantation embryo quality. Considering the mutual interest of human and animal scientists studying common reproductive problems, this review has several aims. First, we briefly introduce the 'dairy cow case' by describing the state of the art of research into metabolic imbalances and their possible effects on dairy cow reproduction. Second, we try to define relevant in vitro models that can clarify certain mechanisms by which aberrant metabolite levels may influence embryonic health. We report on recent advances in the assessment of embryo metabolism and meantime critically elaborate on advantages and major limitations of in vitro models used so far. Finally, we discuss hurdles to be overcome to successfully translate the scientific data to the field.

  1. 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

  2. Factors affecting the quality of life of homebound elderly hemiparetic stroke patients with cognitive impairment

    PubMed Central

    Takemasa, Seiichi; Nakagoshi, Ryoma; Uesugi, Masayuki; Inoue, Yuri; Gotou, Makoto; Koeda, Hideki; Naruse, Susumu

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] This study examined the quality of life of homebound elderly hemiparetic stroke patients with cognitive impairment and the factors affecting their quality of life. [Subjects and Methods] The subjects of the study were 17 home-based elderly hemiparetic stroke patients with cognitive impairment (8 males and 9 females, average age: 76.3 ± 10.5 years old). Their physical and psychological conditions, quality of life and other items were investigated. Nishimura’s Mental State Scale for the Elderly was used for the cognitive impairment assessment. The Functional Independence Measure was used to assess activities of daily living, and the Japanese Quality of Life Inventory for the Elderly with Dementia was used to assess quality of life. [Results] The subjects’ quality of life was affected by their cognitive impairment level and independence of activities of daily living. However, no correlations were observed between the quality of life of the homebound elderly hemiparetic stroke patients with cognitive impairment, age, gender or care-need level. [Conclusion] In order to improve the quality of life of homebound elderly hemiparetic stroke patients with cognitive impairment, assistance helping them to maintain their cognitive abilities and on-going rehabilitation for improving activities of daily living independence are required. PMID:28174455

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Impact of Sleep Quality on Amygdala Reactivity, Negative Affect, and Perceived Stress

    PubMed Central

    Prather, Aric A.; Bogdan, Ryan; Ahmad R. Hariri, PhD

    2013-01-01

    Objective Research demonstrates a negative impact of sleep disturbance on mood and affect; however, the biological mechanisms mediating these links are poorly understood. Amygdala reactivity to negative stimuli has emerged as one potential pathway. Here, we investigate the influence of self-reported sleep quality on associations between threat-related amygdala reactivity and measures of negative affect and perceived stress. Methods Analyses on data from 299 participants (125 men, 50.5% white, mean [standard deviation] age = 19.6 [1.3] years) who completed the Duke Neurogenetics Study were conducted. Participants completed several self-report measures of negative affect and perceived stress. Threat-related (i.e., angry and fearful facial expressions) amygdala reactivity was assayed using blood oxygen level–dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Global sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Results Amygdala reactivity to fearful facial expressions predicted greater depressive symptoms and higher perceived stress in poor (β values = 0.18–1.86, p values < .05) but not good sleepers (β values = −0.13 to −0.01, p values > .05). In sex-specific analyses, men reporting poorer global sleep quality showed a significant association between amygdala reactivity and levels of depression and perceived stress (β values = 0.29–0.44, p values < .05). In contrast, no significant associations were observed in men reporting good global sleep quality or in women, irrespective of sleep quality. Conclusions This study provides novel evidence that self-reported sleep quality moderates the relationships between amygdala reactivity, negative affect, and perceived stress, particularly among men. PMID:23592753

  7. In vitro culture and embryo metabolism of cattle and sheep embryos - a decade of achievement.

    PubMed

    Thompson, J G

    2000-07-02

    At the beginning of the 1990s, co-culture of cattle and sheep embryos was the most favoured method to support embryo development, but the use of this system has hampered progress in raising the efficiency of embryo production. Furthermore, little was known of the requirements of embryos and the biochemistry of early embryo development. As the decade progressed, energy metabolism studies improved our understanding of the energy substrate requirements for embryo development. Furthermore, an appreciation of the reproductive tract environment increased. This resulted in more "defined" systems, which have evolved further in the development of "sequential" media systems, where components change in accordance to the needs of the embryo. Nevertheless, wholly defined systems, such as the replacement of albumin with PVA, are less able to support similar levels of development as protein-containing medium, and the resulting embryos are metabolically compromised. This highlights the nutritive role of albumin. One area in which much work has been conducted, but yet no unifying theory has emerged, is that of the interactive roles of growth factors (including autocrine/paracrine), cytokines and extra-cellular matrix molecules in the development of a viable embryo. A new concept is that of regulation of energy metabolism. Compounds such as ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), NaN(3) and 2,4-dinitrophenol have been shown to increase embryo development and quality of resulting embryos. This demonstrates that the process of ATP production is a key regulator of in vitro embryo development.

  8. Melatonin significantly improves the developmental competence of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.

    PubMed

    Su, Jianmin; Wang, Yongsheng; Xing, Xupeng; Zhang, Lei; Sun, Hongzheng; Zhang, Yong

    2015-11-01

    Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a promising technology, but its application is hampered by its low efficiency. Hence, the majority of SCNT embryos fail to develop to term. In this study, the antioxidant melatonin reduced apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in bovine SCNT embryos. It also increased cell number, inner cell mass (ICM) cell numbers, and the ratio of ICM to total cells while improving the development of bovine SCNT embryos in vitro and in vivo. Gene expression analysis showed that melatonin suppressed the expression of the pro-apoptotic genes p53 and Bax and stimulated the expression of the antioxidant genes SOD1 and Gpx4, the anti-apoptotic gene BCL2L1, and the pluripotency-related gene SOX2 in SCNT blastocysts. We also analyzed the epigenetic modifications in bovine in vitro fertilization, melatonin-treated, and untreated SCNT embryos. The global H3K9ac levels of melatonin-treated SCNT embryos at the four-cell stage were higher than those of the untreated SCNT embryos. We conclude that exogenous melatonin affects the expression of genes related to apoptosis, antioxidant function, and development. Moreover, melatonin reduced apoptosis and ROS in bovine SCNT embryos and enhanced blastocyst quality, thereby ultimately improving bovine cloning efficiency.

  9. 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…

  10. 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...

  11. Marital Quality, Maternal Depressed Affect, Harsh Parenting, and Child Externalising in Hong Kong Chinese Families

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Lei; Lansford, Jennifer E.; Schwartz, David; Farver, Joann M.

    2004-01-01

    The present study used a family systems approach to examine harsh parenting, maternal depressed affect, and marital quality in relation to children's externalising behaviour problems in a sample of 158 Hong Kong primary school children. At two time points, peers and teachers provided ratings of children's externalising behaviours, and mothers…

  12. Time on Task and Other Variables Affecting the Quality of Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latham, Glenn

    Through a literature review and classroom observations, several variables affecting the quality of education were studied, focusing on processes related to student placement in special education and to instruction after placement. The study found that: (1) A dynamic interaction is needed among the referral, assessment, placement, and instruction…

  13. 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.…

  14. 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…

  15. Toxicity potential of residual ethylene oxide on fresh or frozen embryos maintained in plastic straws.

    PubMed

    Schiewe, M C; Schmidt, P M; Pontbriand, D; Wildt, D E

    1988-01-01

    The toxic effects of residual ethylene oxide (EtO), a frequently used gas-sterilant, on embryos either frozen for long-term purposes or stored acutely for 30 min to 9 hr in a fresh condition in 0.25-ml straw containers were evaluated. In Experiment 1, fresh embryos were frozen (using conventional technology) in straws previously aerated for 0 hr to 8 mo after EtO sterilization. With the exception of the 8-mo group in which survival and quality ratings were depressed, embryo viability was not affected significantly by short-term prefreeze and post-thaw exposure to EtO residues. Experiment 2 was conducted to analyze the influence of prefreeze exposure to EtO residues on embryo development in vitro for embryos temporarily stored in previously sterilized straws aerated for different intervals. Compared to non-EtO-sterilized control straws, the development, quality, and viability of embryos exposed to EtO-treated straws were compromised (p less than 0.05) as the aeration interval decreased and the exposure interval increased. The combined results of both experiments indicate that EtO-treated straws can be used to cryopreserve gametes efficiently, but only if the aeration interval is greater than or equal to 72 hr and the prefreeze duration of exposure is less than or equal to 3 hr.

  16. Miscanthus as a feedstock for fast-pyrolysis: does agronomic treatment affect quality?

    PubMed

    Hodgson, E M; Fahmi, R; Yates, N; Barraclough, T; Shield, I; Allison, G; Bridgwater, A V; Donnison, I S

    2010-08-01

    The objectives of the experiment were to assess the impact of nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) fertiliser application on the cell wall composition and fast-pyrolysis conversion quality of the commercially cultivated hybrid Miscanthus x giganteus. Five different fertiliser treatments were applied to mature Miscanthus plants which were sampled at five intervals over a growing season. The different fertiliser treatments produced significant variation in concentrations of cell wall components and ash within the biomass and affected the composition and quality of the resulting fast-pyrolysis liquids. The results indicated that application of high rates of N fertiliser had a negative effect on feedstock quality for this conversion pathway: reducing the proportion of cell wall components and increasing accumulation of ash in the harvested biomass. No exclusive effect of potassium fertiliser was observed. The low-N fertiliser treatment produced high quality, low ash-high lignin biomass most suitable as a feedstock for thermo-chemical conversion.

  17. Blastocyst viability and generation of transgenic cattle following freezing of in vitro produced, DNA-injected embryos.

    PubMed

    Han, Y M; Kim, S J; Park, J S; Park, I Y; Kang, Y K; Lee, C S; Koo, D B; Lee, T H; Yu, D Y; Kim, Y H; Lee, K J; Lee, K K

    2000-10-02

    This study examined whether the viability, determined in vitro, of DNA-injected bovine embryos produced in vitro was affected by freezing, and if the frozen embryos developed to term following transfer to recipients. In vitro fertilized zygotes were injected with the pBL1 gene and then co-cultured with mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) in CR1aa medium. Embryos were prepared for cryopreservation by exposure to a 10% (v/v) glycerol solution, loaded into 0.25 ml straws and then frozen by conventional slow freezing. Thawing was by rapid warming in water (37 degrees C) and embryos were rehydrated in PBS diluents of 6%, 3% and 0% (v/v) glycerol supplemented with 0.25 M sucrose and 0.5% (w/v) BSA. In Experiment 1, blastocysts that developed from DNA-injected embryos were individually classified into three morphological groups and three stages of development prior to freezing. DNA-injected blastocysts of excellent quality at freezing showed a higher survival rate (78.8+/-10.6%) after thawing than those of good (60. 9+/-16.4%) or fair (12.5+/-5.9%) quality (P<0.05). Post-thaw survival rate, judged in vitro, increased with more advanced stage of blastocyst development at freezing (early 48.8+/-15.9%, mid 52. 1+/-12.6% and expanded 71.2+/-1.1; P<0.05). In Experiment 2, the frozen/thawed embryos were transferred to recipients to examine in vivo viability. Following transfer of one or two embryos per recipient, pregnancy rates at 60 days of gestation were 13.6% (13/96) for frozen embryos and 26.5% (43/162) for fresh embryos (P<0. 05). Of the 12 live calves born from the frozen/thawed embryos, two males (18.3%) were transgenic. None of the live-born calves derived from fresh embryos exhibited the transgene. One of transgenic bulls did not produce transgenic sperm. Three out of 23 calves (13.0%) produced from cows inseminated with semen of the other bull were transgenic, suggesting that this animal was a germ-line mosaic. These studies indicated that the viability of in vitro

  18. The effect of molybdenum on the in vitro development of mouse preimplantation embryos.

    PubMed

    Bi, Cong-Ming; Zhang, Yu-Ling; Liu, Feng-Jun; Zhou, Tie-Zhong; Yang, Zi-Jun; Gao, Shen-Yang; Wang, Shu-De; Chen, Xiao-Li; Zhai, Xiao-Wei; Ma, Xue-Gang; Jin, Li-Jun; Wang, Shen

    2013-04-01

    The object of this study was to investigate the effect of molybdenum on the development of mouse preimplantation embryos cultured in vitro. Zygotes were flushed from one outbred mouse strain (Kunming), and then were cultured in potassium simplex optimized medium (KSOM) containing 0, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 120, and 160 µg/ml of molybdenum for 5 days until the mid-blastocyst stage. The addition of ≤ 20 µg/ml molybdenum did not affect the blastocyst and birth rates. Molybdenum at doses of 40 µg/ml and higher significantly decreased the cleavage, blastocyst and birth rates, the average cell number, and significantly increased the proportion of degenerative blastocysts. At 120 µg/ml molybdenum inhibited the blastocysts development to birth. At 160 µg/ml molybdenum caused overall developmental arrest (up to 16-cells) of embryos and their massive degeneration. In conclusion, molybdenum negatively affected the development of embryos in a dose-dependent manner. With lower doses (≤ 20 µg/ml), mouse embryos were not apparently damaged. With very high doses (≥ 40 µg/ml), embryo quality significantly decreased. This assessment of the effect of molybdenum on the preimplantation embryo is an initial survey of toxicological risk.

  19. 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

  20. Quality control for bone quality parameters affected by subject motion in high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography.

    PubMed

    Pauchard, Yves; Liphardt, Anna-Maria; Macdonald, Heather M; Hanley, David A; Boyd, Steven K

    2012-06-01

    Subject motion during high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) causes image artifacts that affect morphological analysis of bone quality. The aim of our study was to determine effectiveness of techniques for quality control in the presence of motion in vivo including automated and manual approaches. First, repeatability of manual grading was determined within and between laboratories. Given proper training using a standardized scale and training images (provided by the manufacturer), we found that manual grading is suitable for repeatable image quality grading within and across sites (ICC>0.7). Both a new automated technique providing motion measures based on projection moments, and traditional manual grading (1=best, 5=worst) were subsequently used to assess subject data for motion in N=137 image pairs (scan/re-scan) from the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos) Calgary cohort. High quality image pairs were selected and measurement precision was estimated by calculating the coefficient of variation (CV). Consistent with previous data, density parameters (e.g. total bone mineral density) are more robust than structural (e.g. trabecular number) or finite element parameters (e.g. failure load). To obtain acceptable measurement precision, images should not exceed a manual grading of 3 (on a scale from 1 to 5) or an automatic (ε(T)) grading of 1.2. Automatic and manual grading provide comparable quality control, but the advantage of the automated technique is its ability to provide a motion value at scan time (providing a basis for real time decision regarding re-scan requirements), and the assessment is objective. Notably, automatic motion measurement can be performed retrospectively based on original scan data, and is therefore well suited for multi-center studies as well as any research where objective quality control is paramount.

  1. Planar embryos have poor prognosis in terms of blastocyst formation and implantation.

    PubMed

    Ebner, T; Maurer, M; Shebl, O; Moser, M; Mayer, R B; Duba, H C; Tews, G

    2012-09-01

    Normally, day-2 embryos show a crosswise arrangement of four cells with three blastomeres lying side by side. Cleavage anomalies include embryos that are characterized by a particular planar constellation of four blastomeres with presumed incomplete cleavage. Since little is known on the developmental fate of such conceptuses, within a 10-month period all consecutive patients were screened for day-2 planar embryos. A total of 64/2070 embryos with suboptimal blastomere configuration were detected (3.1%). In conventional IVF, planar embryos were significantly less frequent (0.7%) as compared with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (2.8%; P<0.05) and cases of testicular sperm extraction (5.4%; P<0.01). Interestingly, embryos with a cleavage anomaly showed better morphology both on day 2 (P<0.005) and day 3 (P<0.001). In contrast, blastocyst formation (P<0.001) and blastocyst quality (P=NS) was higher in tetrahedral embryos. There was a significant increase in implantation rate if tetrahedral embryos could be transferred compared with when planar embryos had to be transferred (P<0.01). It may be postulated that, in planar embryos, the mitotic spindle might have been affected, e.g. sperm centrosome composition or function, which in turn might have led to the observed cleavage anomaly. Normally, day-2 embryos show a crosswise arrangement of four cells with three blastomeres lying side by side. Cleavage anomalies include more planar embryos that are characterized by a particular flat constellation of four blastomeres with presumed premature cleavage (like a tetrafoliate clover). Since little is known on the developmental fate of such embryos within a 10-month study period, all consecutive patients were screened for the presence of day-2 planar embryos (study group). A total of 64 (out of 2070) embryos with abnormal blastomere configuration were detected (3.1%). Interestingly, in conventional IVF (0.7%), the presence of planar embryos was significantly less frequent as

  2. 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.

  3. Factors Affecting Cirrus-HD OCT Optic Disc Scan Quality: A Review with Case Examples

    PubMed Central

    Hardin, Joshua S.; Taibbi, Giovanni; Nelson, Seth C.; Chao, Diana; Vizzeri, Gianmarco

    2015-01-01

    Spectral-domain OCT is an established tool to assist clinicians in detecting glaucoma and monitor disease progression. The widespread use of this imaging modality is due, at least in part, to continuous hardware and software advancements. However, recent evidence indicates that OCT scan artifacts are frequently encountered in clinical practice. Poor image quality invariably challenges the interpretation of test results, with potential implications for the care of glaucoma patients. Therefore, adequate knowledge of various imaging artifacts is necessary. In this work, we describe several factors affecting Cirrus HD-OCT optic disc scan quality and their effects on measurement variability. PMID:26351574

  4. Factors Affecting Cirrus-HD OCT Optic Disc Scan Quality: A Review with Case Examples.

    PubMed

    Hardin, Joshua S; Taibbi, Giovanni; Nelson, Seth C; Chao, Diana; Vizzeri, Gianmarco

    2015-01-01

    Spectral-domain OCT is an established tool to assist clinicians in detecting glaucoma and monitor disease progression. The widespread use of this imaging modality is due, at least in part, to continuous hardware and software advancements. However, recent evidence indicates that OCT scan artifacts are frequently encountered in clinical practice. Poor image quality invariably challenges the interpretation of test results, with potential implications for the care of glaucoma patients. Therefore, adequate knowledge of various imaging artifacts is necessary. In this work, we describe several factors affecting Cirrus HD-OCT optic disc scan quality and their effects on measurement variability.

  5. 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

  6. Quality of social experience explains the relation between extraversion and positive affect.

    PubMed

    Smillie, Luke D; Wilt, Joshua; Kabbani, Rachel; Garratt, Claire; Revelle, William

    2015-06-01

    The personality trait extraversion is associated with higher positive affect, and individuals who behave in an extraverted way experience increased positive affect. Across 2 studies, we examine whether the positive affectivity of extraverts can be explained in terms of qualitative aspects of social experience resulting from extraverted (i.e., bold, assertive) behavior. In our first study (N = 225, 58% female), we found that social well-being, a broad measure of quality of social life (Keyes, 1998) was a significant mediator of the relation between trait extraversion and trait positive affect. This effect was specific to 1 aspect of social well-being-social contribution, one's sense of making an impact on one's social world. In our second study (N = 81, 75% female), we found that a momentary assessment of social well-being mediated the effect of experimentally manipulated extraverted behavior (in the context of 2 brief discussion tasks) on state positive affect. Furthermore, perceived contribution to the discussion tasks accounted for up to 70% of the effect of enacted extraversion on positive affect. This is the first identified mediator of the effect of enacted extraversion on positive affect. Implications and suggestions for extensions of this research are discussed.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Paternal exposure to testis cancer chemotherapeutics alters sperm fertilizing capacity and affects gene expression in the eight-cell stage rat embryo.

    PubMed

    Maselli, J; Hales, B F; Robaire, B

    2014-03-01

    Treatment of testicular cancer includes the coadministration of bleomycin, etoposide and cis-platinum (BEP); however, along with its therapeutic benefit, BEP exposure results in extensive reproductive chemotoxic effects, including alterations to sperm chromatin integrity. As an intact paternal genome is essential for successful fertilization and embryogenesis, we assessed the effect of paternal exposure to BEP on sperm fertilization capacity and the resulting consequences on early embryonic gene expression. Adult male Brown Norway rats received a 9-week treatment with BEP or saline and then were sacrificed immediately or subject to a 9-week recovery period. HSP90AA1, HSP90B1 and PDIA3, involved in spermatozoa-egg interactions, were overexpressed in BEP-exposed spermatozoa after the 9-week treatment period; overexpression was also observed in spermatozoa from BEP-treated rats after 9 weeks of recovery. These proteins were localized to the plasma membrane of the sperm head; this localization may facilitate their role in spermatozoa-egg interactions as the highest staining intensities were observed in capacitated spermatozoa. The fertilization potential of spermatozoa was determined by in vitro fertilization with oocytes from unexposed naturally cycling female rats. Interestingly, the fertilization potential of spermatozoa following a 9-week recovery period from BEP treatment was significantly enhanced compared with controls. Moreover, stem cell transcription factors, involved in the regulation of a plethora of early embryonic events, were upregulated by more than twofold in eight-cell stage embryos sired by BEP recovery males compared with controls; this suggests that there are potential deleterious effects on embryo development well after termination of BEP exposure.

  10. Plant Litter Submergence Affects the Water Quality of a Constructed Wetland.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xu; Ping, Yunmei; Cui, Lijuan; Li, Wei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhou, Jian; Yu, Fei-Hai; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Plant litter is an indispensable component of constructed wetlands, but how the submergence of plant litter affects their ecosystem functions and services, such as water purification, is still unclear. Moreover, it is also unclear whether the effects of plant litter submergence depend on other factors such as the duration of litter submergence, water source or litter species identity. Here we conducted a greenhouse experiment by submerging the litter of 7 wetland plant species into three types of water substrates and monitoring changes in water nutrient concentrations. Litter submergence affected water quality positively via decreasing the concentration of nitrate nitrogen and negatively via increasing the concentrations of total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus. The effects of litter submergence depended on the duration of litter submergence, the water source, the litter species identity, and the plant life form. Different plant species had different effects on the water nutrient concentrations during litter submergence, and the effects of floating plants might be more negative than that of emergent plants. These results are novel evidence of how the submergence of different plant (life form) litter may affect the purification function of constructed wetlands. For water at low eutrophication levels, submerging a relative small amount of plant litter might improve water quality, via benefiting the denitrification process in water. These findings emphasized the management of floating plant litter (a potential removal) during the maintenance of human-controlled wetland ecosystems and provided a potential tool to improve the water quality of constructed wetlands via submerging plant litter of different types.

  11. 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.

  12. Hearing the patient's voice? Factors affecting the use of patient survey data in quality improvement

    PubMed Central

    Davies, E; Cleary, P

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To develop a framework for understanding factors affecting the use of patient survey data in quality improvement. Design: Qualitative interviews with senior health professionals and managers and a review of the literature. Setting: A quality improvement collaborative in Minnesota, USA involving teams from eight medical groups, focusing on how to use patient survey data to improve patient centred care. Participants: Eight team leaders (medical, clinical improvement or service quality directors) and six team members (clinical improvement coordinators and managers). Results: Respondents reported three types of barriers before the collaborative: organisational, professional and data related. Organisational barriers included lack of supporting values for patient centred care, competing priorities, and lack of an effective quality improvement infrastructure. Professional barriers included clinicians and staff not being used to focusing on patient interaction as a quality issue, individuals not necessarily having been selected, trained or supported to provide patient centred care, and scepticism, defensiveness or resistance to change following feedback. Data related barriers included lack of expertise with survey data, lack of timely and specific results, uncertainty over the effective interventions or time frames for improvement, and consequent risk of perceived low cost effectiveness of data collection. Factors that appeared to have promoted data use included board led strategies to change culture and create quality improvement forums, leadership from senior physicians and managers, and the persistence of quality improvement staff over several years in demonstrating change in other areas. Conclusion: Using patient survey data may require a more concerted effort than for other clinical data. Organisations may need to develop cultures that support patient centred care, quality improvement capacity, and to align professional receptiveness and leadership with

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. Embryo transfer in domestic South American camelids.

    PubMed

    Sumar, Julio B

    2013-01-10

    Intraspecific and interspecific embryo transfer in domestic South American camelids is developing into a well-established technique. Reports reveal many benefits of using reproductive biotechnologies to allow rapid propagation of alpacas and llamas of high genetic merit (e.g., high fiber quality, preserve color variation). The objective of this review is to provide up-to-date information about embryo transfer in domestic South American camelids. Specific information is provided on criteria for male selection, donor and recipient synchronization, the practice of single- vs. super-ovulation protocols, embryo recovery and transfer techniques, advances in cryopreservation of embryos, results of intra- and inter-specific transfer, and the future of the embryo transfer in domestic South American camelids.

  17. Environmental and genetic factors affecting milk yield and quality in three Italian sheep breeds.

    PubMed

    Selvaggi, Maria; D'Alessandro, Angela Gabriella; Dario, Cataldo

    2017-02-01

    The aims of the study described in the Research Communication were to determine the level of influence of some environmental factors on milk yield and quality traits, including lactose, and lactation length in ewes belonging to three different Italian breeds and to estimate the heritability for the same traits. A total of 2138 lactation records obtained from 535 ewes belonging to three different Italian breeds (Comisana, Leccese, and Sarda) were used. Breed significantly affected all of the considered traits. Moreover, year of lambing affected milk yield and lactation length without influence on milk quality traits. Parity affected significantly only the milk yield, whereas type of birth showed its effect on milk yield, fat, protein, and lactose yield. On the whole, the presently reported heritability estimates are within the range of those already obtained in other dairy breeds by other authors, with values for lactation length being very low in all the investigated populations. Considering the heritability estimates for lactose content and yield, to the best of our knowledge, there is a lack of information on these parameters in ovine species and this is the first report on heritability of lactose content and yield in dairy sheep breeds. Our results suggest that genetic variability for milk traits other than lactation length is adequate for selection indicating a good response to selection in these breeds.

  18. 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.

  19. Sourcing human embryos for embryonic stem cell lines: problems & perspectives.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Rajvi H

    2014-11-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Plant Litter Submergence Affects the Water Quality of a Constructed Wetland

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Lijuan; Li, Wei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Zhou, Jian; Yu, Fei-Hai; Prinzing, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Plant litter is an indispensable component of constructed wetlands, but how the submergence of plant litter affects their ecosystem functions and services, such as water purification, is still unclear. Moreover, it is also unclear whether the effects of plant litter submergence depend on other factors such as the duration of litter submergence, water source or litter species identity. Here we conducted a greenhouse experiment by submerging the litter of 7 wetland plant species into three types of water substrates and monitoring changes in water nutrient concentrations. Litter submergence affected water quality positively via decreasing the concentration of nitrate nitrogen and negatively via increasing the concentrations of total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen and total phosphorus. The effects of litter submergence depended on the duration of litter submergence, the water source, the litter species identity, and the plant life form. Different plant species had different effects on the water nutrient concentrations during litter submergence, and the effects of floating plants might be more negative than that of emergent plants. These results are novel evidence of how the submergence of different plant (life form) litter may affect the purification function of constructed wetlands. For water at low eutrophication levels, submerging a relative small amount of plant litter might improve water quality, via benefiting the denitrification process in water. These findings emphasized the management of floating plant litter (a potential removal) during the maintenance of human-controlled wetland ecosystems and provided a potential tool to improve the water quality of constructed wetlands via submerging plant litter of different types. PMID:28129405

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Methionine requirements for the preimplantation bovine embryo.

    PubMed

    BONILLA, Luciano; LUCHINI, Daniel; DEVILLARD, Estelle; HANSEN, Peter J

    2010-10-01

    The early embryo's nutritional environment plays an important role in establishing its developmental potential. However, little is known about the specific nutrient requirements of the embryo. The objective of the present study was to determine requirements of the in vitro produced bovine embryo for the essential amino acid methionine. In addition to serving as a precursor for polypeptides, methionine plays roles in regulation of translation, DNA methylation, and antioxidant balance. In the first experiment, embryos were cultured in potassium simplex optimized medium - bovine embryo modification 2 containing 0, 35, 50, 100, 200 or 400 µmol/l L-methionine for 8 days. There was no effect of methionine concentration on cleavage rate. The percent of oocytes that developed to blastocyst was lower for embryos without methionine at Day 7 and 8 than other groups but was similar for embryos cultured with 35-400 µmol/l. Neither total cell number, allocation of cells to trophectoderm or inner cell mass, or frequency of apoptosis was affected by methionine concentration. In the second experiment, embryos were cultured with 0, 7, 14, 21, 28 or 35 µmol/l methionine. There was no effect of methionine concentration on cleavage rate. The percent of oocytes that developed to blastocyst was lower for embryos without methionine at Day 7 and 8 but was not different between embryos cultured with 7-35 µmol/l methionine. However, the proportion of blastocysts that were expanded, hatching or hatched on Day 7 was reduced at lower concentrations of methionine (7 and 14). DNA methylation of blastocyst nuclei was unaffected by methionine concentration but intracellular glutathione content was higher for embryos cultured without methionine. In conclusion, the methionine requirement for preimplantation development is between 14 and 21 µmol/l. These concentrations are lower or similar to those found in the reproductive tract and suggest that methionine deficiency is not a common cause of

  7. Pigs' aggressive temperament affects pre-slaughter mixing aggression, stress and meat quality.

    PubMed

    D'Eath, R B; Turner, S P; Kurt, E; Evans, G; Thölking, L; Looft, H; Wimmers, K; Murani, E; Klont, R; Foury, A; Ison, S H; Lawrence, A B; Mormède, P

    2010-04-01

    Pre-slaughter stress has a negative impact on animal welfare and on meat quality. Aggressive behaviour when pigs are mixed together for transportation to, or on arrival at, the abattoir is an important factor in pre-slaughter stress. Aggressiveness of pigs varies between individuals in the population, and this study investigated its effects on stress and meat quality at slaughter. We mixed pigs at a young age to identify individuals of high (H) or low (L) aggressive temperament using the previously validated approach of lesion scoring. To contrast extremes of social stress single-sex groups of eight pigs were mixed according to their aggressiveness in HH, HL or LL combinations or left unmixed (U) prior to transport and slaughter (n = 271). Each treatment was replicated in at least two groups in each of four slaughter batches. Mixing per se had little effect, but mixed groups composed of aggressive pigs (HH) had more carcass skin lesions and higher levels of plasma cortisol at slaughter and had loin muscle samples with higher pH at 24 h, and lower redness (a*) and yellowness (b*) compared to the other treatments. Females had higher levels of plasma cortisol at slaughter, a more rapid decline in pH post-slaughter and greater lean content of meat. Lactate and creatine kinase (CK) levels and meat pH were affected by the interaction of sex and treatment. Genetic factors, dam and sire line composition, and halothane locus (ryanodine receptor 1, RYR1) genotype, also affected a number of production and meat quality parameters as expected. Additionally, 'commercially normal' levels of social stress were studied in four further slaughter batches with no manipulation of group composition (n = 313). In these pigs, the proportion of unfamiliar pigs and group size of lairage groups explained limited variation in lesion scores at slaughter, but earlier aggressiveness did not. High numbers of skin lesions on the carcass were associated with high levels of cortisol and lactate and

  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. Factors affecting the quality of anticoagulation with warfarin: experience of one cardiac centre

    PubMed Central

    Ciurus, Tomasz; Cichocka-Radwan, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The risk of complications in anticoagulation therapy can be reduced by maximising the percentage of time spent by the patient in the optimal therapeutic range (TTR). However, little is known about the predictors of anticoagulation control. The aim of this paper was to assess the quality of anticoagulant therapy in patients on warfarin and to identify the factors affecting its deterioration. Material and methods We studied 149 patients who required anticoagulant therapy with warfarin due to non-valvular atrial fibrillation and/or venous thromboembolism. Each patient underwent proper training regarding the implemented treatment and remained under constant medical care. Results The mean age of the patients was 68.8 ± 12.6 years, and 59% were male. A total of 2460 international normalised ratio (INR) measurements were collected during the 18-month period. The mean TTR in the studied cohort was 76 ± 21%, and the median was 80%. The level at which high-quality anticoagulation was recorded for this study was based on TTR values above 80%. Seventy-five patients with TTR ≥ 80% were included in the stable anticoagulation group (TTR ≥ 80%); the remaining 74 patients constituted the unstable anticoagulation group (TTR < 80%). According to multivariate stepwise regression analysis, the independent variables increasing the risk of deterioration of anticoagulation quality were: arterial hypertension (OR 2.74 [CI 95%: 1.06-7.10]; p = 0.038), amiodarone therapy (OR 4.22 [CI 95%: 1.30-13.70]; p = 0.017), and obesity (OR 1.11 [CI 95%: 1.02-1.21]; p = 0.013). Conclusions The presence of obesity, hypertension, or amiodarone therapy decreases the quality of anticoagulation with warfarin. High quality of anticoagulation can be achieved through proper monitoring and education of patients. PMID:26855650

  10. 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.

  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. Risk factors affecting chemical and bacteriological quality of bulk tank milk in Kerman, Iran.

    PubMed

    Mansouri-Najand, Ladan; Rezaii, Zeinab

    2015-01-01

    Milk is often described as a complete food because it contains protein, sugar, fat, vitamins, and minerals. This study was performed to investigate risk factors affecting chemical and bacteriological quality of bulk tank milk. According to the following conducted experiments, the milk was divided into two standard and non-standard groups. Then, effect of risk factors on making the samples non-standard was studied. Risk factors such as type of milk delivery unit, distance of cattle farm from plant, size of herd, education level of stockbreeders, capacity of milk transport tank, capacity of cooler device, and number of workers employed in cattle farms were evaluated in this study. Microbial and chemical evaluations were performed. Beta-lactam antibiotic residues and somatic cell count were specified. At the same time, the stockbreeders who referred to the plant were given some questionnaires and the mentioned primary questions were asked. After collecting the data, logistic regression model was used. According to the obtained results and comparison with Iran's national standard, 26 out of 109 samples were determined to be at standard level and 83 ones had at least one out-of-standard factor. The results obtained from the model demonstrated significant effect of education of stockbreeders and capacity of cooler devices on the milk quality. Education of stockbreeders could greatly affect management of a cattle farm unit.

  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. Mobile phones affect multiple sperm quality traits: a meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Dama, Madhukar Shivajirao

    2013-01-01

    As mobile phone usage is growing rapidly, there is a need for a comprehensive analysis of the literature to inform scientific debates about the adverse effects of mobile phone radiation on sperm quality traits. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis of the eligible published research studies on human males of reproductive age. Eleven studies were eligible for this analysis. Based on the meta-analysis, mobile phone use was significantly associated with deterioration in semen quality (Hedges’s g = -0.547; 95% CI: -0.713, -0.382; p < 0.001). The traits particularly affected adversely were sperm concentration, sperm morphology, sperm motility, proportion of non-progressive motile sperm (%), proportion of slow progressive motile sperm (%), and sperm viability. Direct exposure of spermatozoa to mobile phone radiation with in vitro study designs also significantly deteriorated the sperm quality (Hedges’s g = -2.233; 95% CI: -2.758, -1.708; p < 0.001), by reducing straight line velocity, fast progressive motility, Hypo-osmotic swelling (HOS) test score, major axis (µm), minor axis (µm), total sperm motility, perimeter (µm), area (µm 2), average path velocity, curvilinear velocity, motile spermatozoa, and  acrosome reacted spermatozoa (%). The strength of evidence for the different outcomes varied from very low to very high. The analysis shows that mobile phone use is possibly associated with a number of deleterious effects on the spermatozoa. PMID:24327874

  15. Chronic environmental exposure to lead affects semen quality in a Mexican men population

    PubMed Central

    Morán-Martínez, Javier; Carranza-Rosales, Pilar; Morales-Vallarta, Mario; A. Heredia-Rojas, José; Bassol-Mayagoitia, Susana; Denys Betancourt-Martínez, Nadia; M. Cerda-Flores, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

    Background: Male infertility is affected by several factors. Lead is one of the heavy metals more bioavailable than usually modifies the sperm quality in humans. Objective: The aim of this study was to establish the role of lead in semen quality in environmentally exposed men. Materials and Methods: Semen and blood samples were obtained from two groups: the exposed group (EG=20) and the non-exposed group (NEG=27). Two semen aliquots were used, one to evaluate spermatic quality and the other for lead determination. Blood (PbB) and semen lead (PbS) determination was performed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Results: The PbB concentration was significantly greater in the EG, 10.10±0.97 µgdL-1 than in the NEG, 6.42±0.38 µgdL-1 (p<0.01), as well as the PbS concentration, with 3.28±0.35 and 1.76±0.14µgdL-1 in the EG and NEG respectively (p=0.043). A significant correlation between PbS and PbB concentration in the EG was found (r=0.573, p=0.038). Overall, the spermatic quality was lower in the EG than in the NEG. Specifically, there were significant differences in the spermatic concentration [EG=43.98±6.26 and NEG=68.78±8.51X106 cellmL-1 (p<0.01)], motility [EG=49±7 and NEG=67±4% (p=0.029)], viability [EG=36.32±3.59 and NEG=72.12±1.91% (p<0.01)] and abnormal morphology [EG=67±18 and NEG=32±12% (p<0.01)]. In the immature germ cells (IGC) concentration differences were found only for A cells (EG=8.1±1.1x100 and NEG=3.2±1.9X100 spermatozoa) (p<0.01) and for Sab cells (EG=3.4±2.2x100 and NEG=1.1±1.0X100 spermatozoa) (p=0.041). Conclusion: These results suggest that chronic environmental exposure to low levels of lead adversely affect the spermatic quality. PMID:24639755

  16. [Relationships of positive and negative affectivity to sleep quality in Japanese civil servants: 3-year follow-up study].

    PubMed

    Saeki, Urara; Nasermoaddeli, Ali; Sekine, Michikazu; Kagamimori, Sadanobu

    2008-11-01

    We conducted this longitudinal study to evaluate the relationships of positive and negative affectivity (Affect Balance Scale) to sleep quality among civil servants. For this study we evaluated 827 civil servants of T city in Toyama prefecture in the springs of 2001 (Baseline) and 2004 with complete information in both phases of the study. Based on the median score at each phase, we divided Affect Balance Scale (ABS) scores into high and low groups. We conducted logistic regression analysis to determine the odds ratios (OR) of 3-yr follow-up sleep quality by baseline and follow-up ABS scores. After adjusting for baseline sleep quality scores, age, sex, employment, job strain, and exercise habits, participants who had high ABS scores were more likely (OR: 3.13, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.78-5.53) to have better sleep quality than those with low ABS scores at both phases. In addition, participants with low ABS scores at baseline and high ABS scores 3 yr later had better sleep quality (OR: 1.81, 95%CI: 1.02-3.20) than those with low ABS scores at both phases. These findings substantiate the relationships of positive and negative affectivity to sleep quality. Improving the affect balance condition as well as maintaining good affect balance condition may be important determinants of sleep quality in civil servants.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  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. Human embryo culture media comparisons.

    PubMed

    Pool, Thomas B; Schoolfield, John; Han, David

    2012-01-01

    Every program of assisted reproduction strives to maximize pregnancy outcomes from in vitro fertilization and selecting an embryo culture medium, or medium pair, consistent with high success rates is key to this process. The common approach is to replace an existing medium with a new one of interest in the overall culture system and then perform enough cycles of IVF to see if a difference is noted both in laboratory measures of embryo quality and in pregnancy. This approach may allow a laboratory to select one medium over another but the outcomes are only relevant to that program, given that there are well over 200 other variables that may influence the results in an IVF cycle. A study design that will allow for a more global application of IVF results, ones due to culture medium composition as the single variable, is suggested. To perform a study of this design, the center must have a patient caseload appropriate to meet study entrance criteria, success rates high enough to reveal a difference if one exists and a strong program of quality assurance and control in both the laboratory and clinic. Sibling oocytes are randomized to two study arms and embryos are evaluated on day 3 for quality grades. Inter and intra-observer variability are evaluated by kappa statistics and statistical power and study size estimates are performed to bring discriminatory capability to the study. Finally, the complications associated with extending such a study to include blastocyst production on day 5 or 6 are enumerated.

  4. 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

  5. Evaluation of developmental changes in bovine in vitro produced embryos following exposure to bovine Herpesvirus type 5

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Bovine Herpesvirus type-5 (BoHV-5) is a neurovirulent α-Herpesvirus which is potentially pathogenic for cows and suspected to be associated with reproductive disorders. Interestingly, natural transmission of BoHV-5 by contaminated semen was recently described in Australia. Additionally, BoHV-5 was also isolated from the semen of a healthy bull in the same country and incriminated in a natural outbreak of reproductive disease after artificial insemination. In contrast with BoHV-1, experimental exposure of in vitro produced bovine embryos to BoHV-5 does not affect embryo viability and seems to inhibit some pathways of apoptosis. However, the mechanisms responsible for these phenomena are poorly understood. In this study, we examined mitochondrial activity, antioxidant protection, stress response and developmental rates of in vitro produced bovine embryos that were exposed and unexposed to BoHV-5. Methods For this purpose, bovine embryos produced in vitro were assayed for cell markers after experimental infection of oocytes (n = 30; five repetitions), in vitro fertilization and development. The indirect immunofluorescence was employed to measure the expression of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), anti-oxidant like protein 1 (AOP-1), heat shock protein 70.1 (Hsp 70.1) and also viral antigens in embryos derived from BoHV-5 exposed and unexposed oocytes. The determination of gene transcripts of mitochondrial activity (SOD1), antioxidant protection (AOP-1) and stress response (Hsp70.1) were evaluated using the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). MitoTracker Green FM, JC-1 and Hoechst 33342-staining were used to evaluate mitochondrial distribution, segregation patterns and embryos morphology. The intensity of labeling was graded semi-quantitatively and embryos considered intensively marked were used for statistical analysis. Results The quality of the produced embryos was not affected by exposure to BoHV-5. Of the 357 collected oocytes

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Carbon-activated gas filtration during in vitro culture increased pregnancy rate following transfer of in vitro-produced bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Merton, J S; Vermeulen, Z L; Otter, T; Mullaart, E; de Ruigh, L; Hasler, J F

    2007-04-15

    Many environmental conditions for in vitro embryo production (IVP) systems for cattle have been relatively standardised, e.g. media composition, temperature, pH, water quality, and atmospheric composition. However, little attention has been paid to the quality of ambient laboratory air and the gas environment in incubators. Although a few studies have examined the effects of chemical air contamination on IVP of human embryos, there are no published accounts for domestic animal embryos. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of an intra-incubator carbon-activated air filtration system (CODA) during in vitro culture (IVC) on embryonic development and subsequent pregnancy rate of bovine embryos. Immature cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COCs) were obtained twice-weekly by ultrasonic-guided transvaginal oocyte aspiration. The COCs were matured in TCM199/FCS/LH/FSH, fertilized with frozen-thawed Percoll-separated semen, and subsequently cultured for 7 day in SOFaaBSA. Day 7 embryos were transferred either fresh or frozen/thawed. The experimental design was a 2 x 2 factorial; presumptive zygotes were placed either in a conventional CO(2)-O(2)-N(2) incubator (Control group) or in an identical CO(2)-O(2)-N(2) incubator with a CODA intra-incubator air purification unit (CODA group) for IVC. The embryo production rate at Day 7 was not affected by the CODA air purification unit (23.4 and 24.7% morulae and blastocysts per oocyte for control and CODA, respectively) nor was there any significant effect on embryo stage or quality. However, the pregnancy rate was improved (P=0.043) for both fresh (46.3% versus 41.0%) and frozen/thawed embryos (40.8% versus 35.6%). In conclusion, atmospheric purification by the CODA intra-incubator air purification unit significantly increased pregnancy rate following transfer of in vitro-produced bovine embryos.

  10. Broiler breeder semen quality as affected by trace minerals in vitro.

    PubMed

    Barber, S J; Parker, H M; McDaniel, C D

    2005-01-01

    Research has shown that trace elements, such as Se, Mn, and Zn, can alter reproductive functions. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the sperm quality index (SQI) and sperm viability as affected by various levels and sources of Se, Mn, and Zn when added in vitro to broiler breeder semen. In vitro treatments consisted of the following sources and levels of minerals: Control, no minerals added to sperm; seleno L-methionine, 4 levels ranging from 8.78 to 7,896 microg/L; sodium selenite, 4 levels ranging from 8.78 to 7,896 microg/L; MnSO4, 8 levels ranging from 6,500 to 65,000 mg/L; Zn 180 (Zinpro Corporation), 4 levels ranging from 0.65 to 650 mg/L; and ZnSO4, 4 levels ranging from 0.65 to 650 mg/L. The addition of 7,896 microg of sodium selenite/L to semen was detrimental to sperm motility. Also, MnSO4 adversely affected SQI and sperm viability at concentrations of 6,500 mg/L and greater. Sperm viability was decreased when 650 mg/L of Zn 180 was added to semen. Sperm motility was depressed by exposure to Zn 180 at 650 mg/L and ZnSO4 at 65 and 650 mg/L. Our results suggest that these trace minerals must act at the reproductive tissue level during spermatogenesis to improve semen quality. Direct in vitro application of these elements to semen appears to be detrimental to spermatozoa.

  11. 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

  12. Lighting Quality Affects Eyestrain of Operators at Sorting Station in Beverage Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anizar; Erwin

    2017-03-01

    This study observes sorters’ performance in two beverage industries whose job is to separate defect products found. Sorters observe bottles quality and beverage quality continuously, therefore requiring more focused eyes which makes eyes’ load heavier. Sorters’ eyestrain causes more defect products pass the selection. In this study, measurement is conducted toward ilumintation, operators’ time response, and defect products that pass the selection. Measurement is hold in 2 beverage industries for four days with four measurements per day, twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. Ilumination is measured with 4 in 1 environmental meter in grid 1m x 1m, while operators’ time response is measured with Flicker Fusion. Illuminance is generally higher in the morning than in the evening, but still under the standard of Indonesia. Overall, sorters’ time response is higher in the morning than in the afternoon. Higher time response shows that operators experiencing lower fatigue than lower time response. The sorting duration also affects operators’ time response and defect products which pass the selection.

  13. 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.

  14. How does study quality affect the results of a diagnostic meta-analysis?

    PubMed Central

    Westwood, Marie E; Whiting, Penny F; Kleijnen, Jos

    2005-01-01

    clinical stages assessed by the review. The results of regression analyses were also affected by whether or not a weighting (by sample size) was applied. Our analysis was severely limited by the completeness of reporting and the differences between the index tests evaluated and the reference standards used to confirm diagnoses in the primary studies. Few tests were evaluated by sufficient studies to allow meaningful use of meta-analytic pooling and investigation of heterogeneity. This meant that further analysis to investigate heterogeneity could only be undertaken using a subset of studies, and that the findings are open to various interpretations. Conclusion Further work is needed to investigate the influence of methodological quality on the results of diagnostic meta-analyses. Large data sets of well-reported primary studies are needed to address this question. Without significant improvements in the completeness of reporting of primary studies, progress in this area will be limited. PMID:15943861

  15. 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

  16. Glassfrog embryos hatch early after parental desertion.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-22

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. VERDANDI Is a Direct Target of the MADS Domain Ovule Identity Complex and Affects Embryo Sac Differentiation in Arabidopsis[W

    PubMed Central

    Matias-Hernandez, Luis; Battaglia, Raffaella; Galbiati, Francesca; Rubes, Marco; Eichenberger, Christof; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Kater, Martin M.; Colombo, Lucia

    2010-01-01

    In Arabidopsis thaliana, the three MADS box genes SEEDSTICK (STK), SHATTERPROOF1 (SHP1), and SHP2 redundantly regulate ovule development. Protein interaction studies have shown that a multimeric complex composed of the ovule identity proteins together with the SEPALLATA MADS domain proteins is necessary to determine ovule identity. Despite the extensive knowledge that has become available about these MADS domain transcription factors, little is known regarding the genes that they regulate. Here, we show that STK, SHP1, and SHP2 redundantly regulate VERDANDI (VDD), a putative transcription factor that belongs to the plant-specific B3 superfamily. The vdd mutant shows defects during the fertilization process resulting in semisterility. Analysis of the vdd mutant female gametophytes indicates that antipodal and synergid cell identity and/or differentiation are affected. Our results provide insights into the pathways regulated by the ovule identity factors and the role of the downstream target gene VDD in female gametophyte development. PMID:20581305

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Factors affecting the psychophysical image quality evaluation of mobile phone displays: the case of transmissive liquid-crystal displays.

    PubMed

    Kim, Youn Jin; Luo, M Ronnier; Choe, Wonhee; Kim, Hong Suk; Park, Seung Ok; Baek, Yeseul; Rhodes, Peter; Lee, Seongdeok; Kim, Chang Yeong

    2008-09-01

    Display manufacturers require new data and computational models that consider the effect of ambient illumination in order to develop higher-quality displays. In this study, typical variations of small-sized mobile LCDs that exist in the real world were first simulated using a device characterization technique. In addition, psychophysical attributes (e.g., naturalness, clearness, sharpness, contrast, colorfulness, and preference) affecting the image quality evaluation process were analyzed. Consequently, naturalness and clearness were found to be the most statistically significant psychophysical attributes for modeling image quality. As the ambient-illumination level was increased, the image quality was exponentially impaired and the contribution of clearness increased.

  3. 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.

  4. Microspore-derived embryos from Quercus suber anthers mimic zygotic embryos and maintain haploidy in long-term anther culture.

    PubMed

    Bueno, Maria A; Gomez, Arancha; Sepulveda, Federico; Seguí, José M; Testillano, Pilar S; Manzanera, José A; Risueño, Maria-Carmen

    2003-08-01

    Microspore-derived embryos produced from cork oak anther cultures after long-term incubations (up to 10-12 months) were analysed in order to determine the genetic variability and ploidy level stability, as well as morphology, developmental pattern and cellular organisation. Most of the embryos from long-term anther cultures were haploid (90.7%), corresponding to their microspore origin. The presence of a low percentage of diploid embryos (7.4%) was observed. Microsatellite analysis of haploid embryos, indicated different microspores origins of the same anther. In the diploid embryos, homozygosity for different alleles was detected from anther wall tissues, excluding the possibility of clonal origin. The maintenance of a high proportion of haploid embryos, in long-term anther cultures, is similar in percentage to that reported in embryos originating after 20 days of plating (Bueno et al. 1997). This suggests that no significant alterations in the ploidy level occurred during long incubations (up to 12 months). These results suggest that ploidy changes are rare in this in vitro system, and do not significantly increase during long-term cultures. Microscopical studies of the microspore embryos in various stages revealed a healthy and well developed anatomy with no aberrant or chimeric structures. The general morphology of embryos appearing at different times after plating, looked similar to that of earlier embryos, as well as the zygotic embryos, indicating that they represent high quality material for cork oak breeding.

  5. In vivo and in vitro maturation of rabbit oocytes differently affects the gene expression profile, mitochondrial distribution, apoptosis and early embryo development.

    PubMed

    Arias-Álvarez, M; García-García, R M; López-Tello, J; Rebollar, P G; Gutiérrez-Adán, A; Lorenzo, P L

    2016-09-28

    In vivo-matured cumulus-oocyte complexes are valuable models in which to assess potential biomarkers of rabbit oocyte quality that contribute to enhanced IVM systems. In the present study we compared some gene markers of oocytes and cumulus cells (CCs) from immature, in vivo-matured and IVM oocytes. Moreover, apoptosis in CCs, nuclear maturation, mitochondrial reallocation and the developmental potential of oocytes after IVF were assessed. In relation to cumulus expansion, gene expression of gap junction protein, alpha 1, 43 kDa (Gja1) and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (Ptgs2) was significantly lower in CCs after in vivo maturation than IVM. In addition, there were differences in gene expression after in vivo maturation versus IVM in both oocytes and CCs for genes related to cell cycle regulation and apoptosis (V-Akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homologue 1 (Akt1), tumour protein 53 (Tp53), caspase 3, apoptosis-related cysteine protease (Casp3)), oxidative response (superoxide dismutase 2, mitochondrial (Sod2)) and metabolism (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6pd), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (Gapdh)). In vivo-matured CCs had a lower apoptosis rate than IVM and immature CCs. Meiotic progression, mitochondrial migration to the periphery and developmental competence were higher for in vivo-matured than IVM oocytes. In conclusion, differences in oocyte developmental capacity after IVM or in vivo maturation are accompanied by significant changes in transcript abundance in oocytes and their surrounding CCs, meiotic rate, mitochondrial distribution and apoptotic index. Some of the genes investigated, such as Gja1, could be potential biomarkers for oocyte developmental competence in the rabbit model, helping improve in vitro culture systems in these species.

  6. Steroidal alkaloid toxicity to fish embryos.

    PubMed

    Crawford, L; Kocan, R M

    1993-02-01

    Embryos of two species of fish were evaluated for their suitability as model systems for steroidal alkaloid toxicity, the Japanese rice fish, medaka (Oryzius latipes) and the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Additionally, the equine neurotoxic sesquiterpene lactone repin, was also tested. A PROBIT program was used to evaluate the EC1, EC50 and EC99 as well as the associated confidence limits. The steroidal alkaloids tested were the Solanum potato glycoalkaloids alpha-chaconine, alpha-solanine, the aglyclones solanidine and solasodine and the Veratrum alkaloid, jervine. Embryo mortality, likely due to structural or functional abnormalities in the early development stages of the embryo, were the only response observed in both species. The rainbow trout exhibited a toxic response to chaconine, solasidine, repin and solanine but the medaka embryos were only affected by the compounds, chaconine and solanine. Rainbow trout may indeed serve as a good lower vertebrate model for studying the toxicity of steroidal alkaloids.

  7. Smoking affects quality of life in patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Krüskemper, Gertrud; Handschel, Jörg

    2012-10-01

    Smoking is a causative factor in oral squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). Unfortunately, only poor data exist regarding the quality of life of smokers vs non-smokers with SCC. The purpose of this study is to show a correlation between variables for comprehensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation and better patient quality of life (LQ). A total collective of 1,761 patients from 38 hospitals within the German-language area of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DÖSAK-REHAB-STUDIE) yielding 1,652 patients' questionnaires containing 147 items were evaluated. They refer to the periods before (t1) and immediately after surgery (t2), as well as at least 6 months later (t3). LQ was determined by the patient and ranges from 0% to 100%. Significant differences were found between smokers (80%) and non-smokers (20%) with respect to diagnosis, therapy and rehabilitation. Disabilities and impairments in speech, appearance, chewing/swallowing, pain and LQ were examined. Smokers were more often and more severely affected. Differences were found in the size of the tumour, scar tissue, ingestion, functionality of the facial muscles and a numb feeling in the head and shoulder area. Smoking has a severe effect on the oral cavity. Non-smokers suffer far less from the effects of SCC and the ensuing therapy. During therapy and rehabilitation, the LQ is much higher in non-smokers. This supports the importance of enhanced efforts to inform people about the consequences of smoking so as to prevent them from smoking. Moreover, psychological support might be helpful to give up smoking.

  8. Quality of life and functional capacity are adversely affected in osteoarthritis patients with neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Aşkın, Ayhan; Özkan, Ayten; Tosun, Aliye; Demirdal, Ümit Seçil; İsnaç, Fethi

    2017-03-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the neuropathic pain component of knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients and to investigate the relationship between neuropathic pain, disease stage, functional state, depression, anxiety, and quality of life. This study included 60 patients with knee OA. All demographic data and radiological results were recorded. Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Timed Up and Go Test, Chair Stand Test, Western Ontario and McMasters Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), PainDETECT questionnaire, DN4 questionnaire, Short form-36 questionnaire, and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale were performed for each patient. Neuropathic pain was detected in 66.7% of patients based on the PainDETECT scale and in 46.7% of patients based on DN4 scale. VAS-resting, OA grade, WOMAC scores, and SF-scores showed a significant difference in patients that detected neuropathic pain with PainDETECT (p<0.05). Based on the DN4 scale, patients with neuropathic pain had significantly higher WOMAC scores and significantly lower SF-36 scores (p<0.05). The PainDETECT questionnaire scores showed positive correlations with Timed Up-and-go Test, VAS-resting, WOMAC scores, Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale scores, and a negative correlation with all SF-36 scores (p<0.05). DN4 questionnaire scores showed a negative correlation with SF-36 scores and positive correlation with WOMAC scores (p<0.05). To conclude, it should be kept in mind that patients with knee OA who describe intense pain may have a neuropathic component involved in the clinical condition. Quality of life and functional capacity are adversely affected in patients with knee OA who have neuropathic pain. This should be taken into account while planning the treatment of these patients.

  9. Apple quality, storage, and washing treatments affect patulin levels in apple cider.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Lauren S; Beacham-Bowden, Tina; Keller, Susanne E; Adhikari, Chaitali; Taylor, Kirk T; Chirtel, Stewart J; Merker, Robert I

    2003-04-01

    Patulin is a mycotoxin produced primarily by Penicillium expansum, a mold responsible for rot in apples and other fruits. The growth of this fungus and the production of patulin are common in fruit that has been damaged. However, patulin can be detected in visibly sound fruit. The purpose of this project was to determine how apple quality, storage, and washing treatments affect patulin levels in apple cider. Patulin was not detected in cider pressed from fresh tree-picked apples (seven cultivars) but was found at levels of 40.2 to 374 microg/liter in cider pressed from four cultivars of fresh ground-harvested (dropped) apples. Patulin was not detected in cider pressed from culled tree-picked apples stored for 4 to 6 weeks at 0 to 2 degrees C but was found at levels of 0.97 to 64.0 microg/liter in cider pressed from unculled fruit stored under the same conditions. Cider from controlled-atmosphere-stored apples that were culled before pressing contained 0 to 15.1 microg of patulin per liter, while cider made from unculled fruit contained 59.9 to 120.5 microg of patulin per liter. The washing of ground-harvested apples before pressing reduced patulin levels in cider by 10 to 100%, depending on the initial patulin levels and the type of wash solution used. These results indicate that patulin is a good indicator of the quality of the apples used to manufacture cider. The avoidance of ground-harvested apples and the careful culling of apples before pressing are good methods for reducing patulin levels in cider.

  10. 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

  11. Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics of chlorpyrifos is altered in embryos of Japanese medaka exposed to oil sands process-affected water: evidence for inhibition of P-glycoprotein.

    PubMed

    Alharbi, Hattan A; Alcorn, Jane; Al-Mousa, Ahmed; Giesy, John P; Wiseman, Steve B

    2016-10-24

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is generated during extraction of bitumen in the surface mining oil sands industry in Alberta, Canada. Studies were performed in vitro by use of Caco-2 cells, and in vivo with larvae of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) to determine if organic compounds from the aqueous phase of OSPW inhibit ATP binding cassette protein ABCB1 (permeability-glycoprotein, P-gp). Neutral and basic fractions of OSPW inhibited activity of P-gp in Caco-2 cells by 1.9- and 2.0-fold, respectively, while the acidic fraction had the least effect. The organophosphate pesticides chlorpyrifos (a substrate of P-gp) and malathion (not a substrate of P-gp), were used as model chemicals to investigate inhibition of P-gp in larvae. Co-exposure to chlorpyrifos and an extract of OSPW containing basic and neutral compounds reduced survival of larvae to 26.5% compared to survival of larvae exposed only to chlorpyrifos, which was 93.7%. However, co-exposure to malathion and the extract of OSPW did not cause acute lethality compared to exposure only to malathion. Accumulation and bioconcentration of chlorpyrifos, but not malathion, was greater in larvae co-exposed with the extract of OSPW. The terminal elimination half-life of chlorpyrifos in larvae exposed to chlorpyrifos in freshwater was 5 days compared with 11.3 days in larvae exposed to chlorpyrifos in OSPW. Results suggest that in non-acute exposures, basic and neutral organic compounds in the water-soluble fraction of OSPW inhibit activity of P-gp, which suggests that OSPW has the potential to cause adverse effects by chemosensitization. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Individual, Organizational, and Job Factors Affecting the Quality of Work Life Among Navy Nurse Corps Officers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-03-01

    predicted performance, job satisfaction, turnover, and perceived quality of nursing care in the Navy. The majority of nurses were dissatisfied or ambivalent...with the quality of nursing care delivered in the Navy, and they were dissatisfied or ambivalent with the quality of their work lives. Keywords: Job satisfaction, Job performance, Quality of nursing care .

  13. Evaluating yield quality and quantity of garlic as affected by different farming systems and garlic clones.

    PubMed

    Mirzaei, R; Liaghati, H; Damghani, A Mahdavi

    2007-07-01

    In order to study the effects of different farming systems and garlic (Allium sativum L.) clones on yield quality and quantity of garlic, an experiment was conducted with split plot arrangement with three completely randomized blockes in the 2005 growing season at the experimental research station of Shahid Beheshti University at Zirab, north of Iran. Two factors were involved in the experiment: farming systems in three levels (intensive, conventional and organic farming), as main plots and garlic clones in three levels (Atoo, Hamedani and Khorassani) as sub-plots. The studied factors in this experiment consisted of leaf number, LAI, stem height and diameter, bulb yield, weight of bulbs, number of cloves, weight of cloves and level of allicin. Results showed that the farming systems had significant effect (p<0.05) on LAI, number of plant and bulb yield, but the effect on the other factors was not significant. The highest and lowest bulb yields were obtained in intensive (9.5 ton ha(-1)) and organic (7.4 ton ha(-1)) systems, respectively. All of the top factors were significantly (p< or =0.01) affected by garlic clones. Maximum and minimum yields were obtained from Hamedani, Atoo (9.2 ton ha(-1)) and Virani (7.1 ton ha(-1)) clones, respectively. Level of allicin was not significantly affected by farming systems but, differences among garlic clones were significant. Maximum and minimum allicin yields were obtained from Hamedan (5.96 mg g(-1)) and Virani (4.52 mg g(-1)) clones, respectively. As a result, however, organic farming systems can not influence the yield in short term, but can increase it by applying crop rotation, use of organic fertilizer and cover crops in the long term.

  14. Forskolin effect on the cryosurvival of in vitro-produced bovine embryos in the presence or absence of fetal calf serum.

    PubMed

    Paschoal, Daniela Martins; Sudano, Mateus José; Guastali, Midyan Daroz; Dias Maziero, Rosiára Rosária; Crocomo, Letícia Ferrari; Oña Magalhães, Luis Carlos; da Silva Rascado, Tatiana; Martins, Alicio; da Cruz Landim-Alvarenga, Fernanda

    2014-05-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the viability and cryotolerance of zebu embryos produced in vitro with or without the addition of fetal calf serum (FCS) and forskolin (F). Embryos produced in vivo were used as a control. Presumptive zygotes were cultured in modified synthetic oviductal fluid supplemented with amino acids (SOFaa), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and with (2.5%) or without (0%) FCS. On day 6 of growth, the embryos from each group were divided into treatments with or without 10 μM F to induce embryonic lipolysis, comprising a total of four experimental groups: 2.5% FCS, 0% FCS, 2.5% + F and 0% + F. For vitrification, embryos were exposed to vitrification solution 1 (5 M EG (ethylene glycol)) for 3 min and then transferred to vitrification solution 2 (7 M EG, 0.5 M galactose solution and 18% (w/v) Ficoll 70) before being introduced to liquid nitrogen. The presence of FCS in the culture medium resulted in the production of embryos with a similar rate of damaged cells compared with in vivo-produced embryos. After vitrification, the 2.5% FCS group had a significantly higher rate of damaged cells when compared with the other groups (P < 0.05). The results of this experiment indicated that the omission of FCS and the addition of forskolin do not have deleterious effect on embryo production rates. In addition, embryos produced in the presence of FCS had greater sensitivity to cryopreservation, but this effect was reversed when forskolin was added to the medium, which improved embryo survival without affecting embryo development and quality after vitrification.

  15. Treatment of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) donor cells with trichostatin A and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine alters their growth characteristics, gene expression and epigenetic status and improves the in vitro developmental competence, quality and epigenetic status of cloned embryos.

    PubMed

    Saini, M; Selokar, N L; Agrawal, H; Singla, S K; Chauhan, M S; Manik, R S; Palta, P

    2016-04-01

    We examined the effects of treating buffalo skin fibroblast donor cells with trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, and 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5azadC), a DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor, on the cells and embryos produced by hand-made cloning. Treatment of donor cells with TSA or 5azadC resulted in altered expression levels of the HDAC1, DNMT1, DNMT3a, P53, CASPASE3 and CASPASE9 genes and global levels of acetylation of lysine at position 9 or 14 in histone 3 (H3K9/14ac), acetylation of lysine at position 5 in histone 4 (H4K5ac), acetylation of lysine at position 18 in histone 3 (H3K18ac) and tri-methylation of lysine at position 27 in histone 3 (H3K27me3). Moreover, global levels of DNA methylation and activity of DNMT1 and HDAC1 were decreased, while global acetylation of H3 and H3K9 was significantly increased in comparison to untreated cells. Simultaneous treatment of donor cells with TSA (50nM) and 5azadC (7.5nM) resulted in higher in vitro development to the blastocyst stage, reduction of the apoptotic index and the global level of H3K27 me3 and altered expression levels of HDAC1, P53, CASPASE3, CASPASE9 and DNMT3a in cloned blastocysts. Transfer of cloned embryos produced with donor cells treated with TSA led to the birth of a calf that survived for 21 days. These results show that treatment of buffalo donor cells with TSA and 5azadC improved developmental competence and quality of cloned embryos and altered their epigenetic status and gene expression, and that these beneficial effects were mediated by a reduction in DNA and histone methylation and an increase in histone acetylation in donor cells.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [Quality of life two years after myocardial infarction. 2. Examination of affecting factors].

    PubMed

    Arendarczyk, M; Loboz-Grudzień, K

    2000-02-01

    This study aimed at determining these factors--ventricular fibrillation (VF) in acute phase of myocardial infarction MI), thrombolytic therapy, beta-blockers after MI, cardiac rehabilitation--affect quality of life (QOL) during the follow-up. The study involved 100 patients (mean age 45.5 years), on the average 2 years after MI, MI has complicated VF in 50 patients. Questionnaire of QOL after MI developed internally, taking into account 26 features (clinical, emotional and social status), and estimating anxiety level (STAI) were used. Computer medical diagnostics "SyntMED" (Krefft's method) was used. In both groups after MI (complicated and not complicated VF) beneficial effect of: thrombolytic treatments in acute phase MI (0.65 vs conventional 0.45, p > 0.05), use of beta-blockers after MI (0.56 vs 0.41 p < 0.05), and cardiac rehabilitation (0.64 vs 0.44 p < 0.05) on value QOL were noted. Patients after MI complicated VF had higher level of anxiety. Patients who returned to work had higher index QOL (0.62 vs 0.39). Ventricular fibrillation complicated the acute phase of MI had no significant effect on follow-up QL.

  1. The quality of sperm preparation medium affects the motility, viability, and DNA integrity of human spermatozoa

    PubMed Central

    Anbari, Fatemeh; Halvaei, Iman; Nabi, Ali; Ghazali, Shahin; Khalili, Mohammad Ali; Johansson, Lars

    2016-01-01

    AIM: The goal was to compare the effects of three different sperm preparation media on sperm motility, viability, and DNA integrity of semen samples from normozoospermic men. METHODS: A total of 15 normozoospermic males were included in the study. The semen analysis (SA) was performed in accordance with the WHO guidelines (2010). After SA, each sample was divided into three aliquots, and swim-up was performed with three different sperm preparation media (Sperm Preparation Media, Origio, Denmark; Ham's F10, Biochrome, Berlin, Germany; and VitaSperm™, Innovative Biotech, Iran). Sperm motility, viability, and DNA fragmentation were evaluated at 0, 1, 2, and 24 h after swim-up. RESULTS: There were no significant differences, at any time intervals, in the total sperm motility between the different sperm preparation media. However, the rate of progressive motility was significantly higher in spermatozoa prepared using the media from Origio in comparison with VitaSperm™ (P = 0.03), whereas no significant difference was found against Ham's F10 medium. No significant differences in sperm viability were seen between the media products. However, 1 h after swim-up, the extent of sperm DNA fragmentation was lower in the medium from Origio versus VitaSperm™ (P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: The data showed that the quality of medium for preparation of semen samples from normozoospermic men significantly affects the performance of spermatozoa in assisted conception programs. PMID:28216914

  2. Does personality affect health-related quality of life? A systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Huang, I-Chan; Lee, Joy L.; Ketheeswaran, Pavinarmatha; Jones, Conor M.; Revicki, Dennis A.; Wu, Albert W.

    2017-01-01

    Background Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is increasingly measured as an outcome for clinical and health services research. However, relatively little is known about how non-health factors affect HRQOL. Personality is a potentially important factor, yet evidence regarding the effects of personality on HRQOL measures is unclear. Methods This systematic review examined the relationships among aspects of personality and HRQOL. Eligible studies were identified from Medline and PsycINFO. The review included 76 English-language studies with HRQOL as a primary outcome and that assessed personality from the psychological perspective. Individuals with various health states, including ill (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular disorders), aging, and healthy, were included in this review study. Results Some personality characteristics were consistently related to psychosocial aspects more often than physical aspects of HRQOL. Personality characteristics, especially neuroticism, mastery, optimism, and sense of coherence were most likely to be associated with psychosocial HRQOL. Personality explained varying proportions of variance in different domains of HRQOL. The range of variance explained in psychosocial HRQOL was 0 to 45% and the range of explained variance in physical HRQOL was 0 to 39%. Conclusions Personality characteristics are related to HRQOL. Systematic collection and analysis of personality data alongside HRQOL measures may be helpful in medical research, clinical practice, and health policy evaluation. PMID:28355244

  3. Factors affecting the relationship between psychological status and quality of life in COPD patients

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background This study aims to (i) evaluate the association between anxiety and depressive symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL); and (ii) identify the effect modifiers of this relationship in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods A total of 337 clinically stable COPD patients answered the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) (assessing HRQoL) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Socio-demographic information, lung function, and other clinical data were collected. Results Most patients (93%) were male; they had a mean (SD) age of 68 (9) years and mild to very severe COPD (post-bronchodilator FEV1 52 (16)% predicted). Multivariate analyses showed that anxiety, depression, or both conditions were associated with poor HRQoL (for all SGRQ domains). The association between anxiety and total HRQoL score was 6.7 points higher (indicating a worse HRQoL) in current workers than in retired individuals. Estimates for patients with "both anxiety and depression" were 5.8 points lower in stage I-II than in stage III-IV COPD, and 10.2 points higher in patients with other comorbidities than in those with only COPD. Conclusions This study shows a significant association between anxiety, depression, or both conditions and impaired HRQoL. Clinically relevant factors affecting the magnitude of this association include work status, COPD severity, and the presence of comorbidities. PMID:20875100

  4. Self-Construal, Affective Valence of the Encounter, and Quality of Social Interactions: within and Cross-Culture Examination.

    PubMed

    Kafetsios, Konstantinos; Hess, Ursula; Nezlek, John B

    2017-03-15

    In two samples, one from Greece and another from Germany, we examined relationships between self-construal, emotional experience, and the quality of social interactions. In Greece, a more collectivistic culture, the negative affect people experienced in social interactions was more weakly related to the quality of social interactions for those higher in interdependent self-construal than it was for those lower in interdependent self-construal. In Germany, a more independent culture, a contrasting pattern was observed such that the positive affect people experienced in social interaction was more strongly related to the quality of social interactions for those higher in independent self-construal than it was for those lower in independent self-construal. These findings suggest that positive and negative affect in social encounters can have different effects for persons with independent and interdependent cultural orientations within different cultural settings.

  5. Variable imprinting of the MEST gene in human preimplantation embryos

    PubMed Central

    Huntriss, John D; Hemmings, Karen E; Hinkins, Matthew; Rutherford, Anthony J; Sturmey, Roger G; Elder, Kay; Picton, Helen M

    2013-01-01

    There is evidence that expression and methylation of the imprinted paternally expressed gene 1/mesoderm-specific transcript homologue (PEG1/MEST) gene may be affected by assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and infertility. In this study, we sought to assess the imprinting status of the MEST gene in a large cohort of in vitro-derived human preimplantation embryos, in order to characterise potentially adverse effects of ART and infertility on this locus in early human development. Embryonic genomic DNA from morula or blastocyst stage embryos was screened for a transcribed AflIII polymorphism in MEST and imprinting analysis was then performed in cDNA libraries derived from these embryos. In 10 heterozygous embryos, MEST expression was monoallelic in seven embryos, predominantly monoallelic in two embryos, and biallelic in one embryo. Screening of cDNA derived from 61 additional human preimplantation embryos, for which DNA for genotyping was unavailable, identified eight embryos with expression originating from both alleles (biallelic or predominantly monoallelic). In some embryos, therefore, the onset of imprinted MEST expression occurs during late preimplantation development. Variability in MEST imprinting was observed in both in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection-derived embryos. Biallelic or predominantly monoallelic MEST expression was not associated with any one cause of infertility. Characterisation of the main MEST isoforms revealed that isoform 2 was detected in early development and was itself variably imprinted between embryos. To our knowledge, this report constitutes the largest expression study to date of genomic imprinting in human preimplantation embryos and reveals that for some imprinted genes, contrasting imprinting states exist between embryos. PMID:22763377

  6. 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...

  7. Stimulus-triggered enhancement of chilling tolerance in zebrafish embryos

    PubMed Central

    Szabó, Katalin; Budai, Csilla; Losonczi, Eszter; Bernáth, Gergely; Csenki-Bakos, Zsolt; Urbányi, Béla; Pribenszky, Csaba; Horváth, Ákos; Cserepes, Judit

    2017-01-01

    Background Cryopreservation of zebrafish embryos is still an unsolved problem despite market demand and massive efforts to preserve genetic variation among numerous existing lines. Chilled storage of embryos might be a step towards developing successful cryopreservation, but no methods to date have worked. Methods In the present study, we applied a novel strategy to improve the chilling tolerance of zebrafish embryos by introducing a preconditioning hydrostatic pressure treatment to the embryos. In our experiments, 26-somites and Prim-5 stage zebrafish embryos were chilled at 0°C for 24 hours after preconditioning. Embryo survival rate, ability to reach maturation and fertilizing capacity were tested. Results Our results indicate that applied preconditioning technology made it possible for the chilled embryos to develop normally until maturity, and to produce healthy offspring as normal, thus passing on their genetic material successfully. Treated embryos had a significantly higher survival and better developmental rate, moreover the treated group had a higher ratio of normal morphology during continued development. While all controls from chilled embryos died by 30 day-post-fertilization, the treated group reached maturity (~90–120 days) and were able to reproduce, resulting in offspring in expected quantity and quality. Conclusions Based on our results, we conclude that the preconditioning technology represents a significant improvement in zebrafish embryo chilling tolerance, thus enabling a long-time survival. Furthermore, as embryonic development is arrested during chilled storage this technology also provides a solution to synchronize or delay the development. PMID:28166301

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Media composition: macromolecules and embryo growth.

    PubMed

    Meintjes, Marius

    2012-01-01

    Most embryo culture media are still supplemented with proteins rather than with nonprotein macromolecules or recombinant protein products. HSA is probably the most common supplement followed by globulin-enriched preparations. Serum supplementation and Co-Culture of embryos belong to the past. Defined nonprotein or recombinant protein supplements are becoming a viable alternative during gamete and embryo manipulation procedures. Biological protein supplements are still preferred for any extended period of embryo culture. Understanding the goals and purpose of supplemented macromolecules in embryo culture media during each step of the laboratory IVF process should assist us in choosing the safest and most consistent macromolecule for each step, but also selecting a product that has the capability of delivering the best clinical outcome. Each batch of biological protein supplement is unique, even if supplied by the same manufacturer. Each lot of protein supplement typically contains many lot-specific, potentially harmful, and unintended hormone and protein contaminants. Macromolecular embryo culture medium supplements should be identified as one of the highest risk factors in an IVF laboratory that may contribute towards clinical compromise. All efforts should be made to use a proven batch of supplement for as long as the expiration date will allow. The beneficial effect of more complex protein supplements is evident after the activation of the embryonic genome and probably due to the presence of growth factors. Lower live-birth rates due to suboptimum protein supplementation may be a direct result of the preferential loss of female embryos. When deciding on a culture system, thought should be given specifically to the interaction between the culture medium and the macromolecular supplement. Ready-to-use pre-supplemented culture media may be advisable over a more complex product if a comprehensive macromolecular quality management program is not feasible. However, the

  14. Water quality of a reservoir as affected by agriculture in the east of Thailand: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Tonmanee, N; Wada, H

    2001-01-01

    A preliminary study on the water quality of a reservoir, affected by agriculture, in the east of Thailand was conducted during 1996-1997. Monitoring water quality of a reservoir is important because the sloping lands surrounding the reservoirs are mainly utilized for cultivating cash crops (pineapple, cassava, etc). A lot of fertilizers and agrochemicals were applied to soil and crops which can polluted the water. The results from the preliminary studied will be applied for the monitoring of the water quality in other reservoirs in the 16 pilot areas.

  15. Delivering High-Quality Family Planning Services in Crisis-Affected Settings II: Results

    PubMed Central

    Curry, Dora Ward; Rattan, Jesse; Huang, Shuyuan; Noznesky, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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

  16. Low Dose Gamma Irradiation Does Not Affect the Quality or Total Ascorbic Acid Concentration of "Sweetheart" Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis).

    PubMed

    Golding, John B; Blades, Barbara L; Satyan, Shashirekha; Spohr, Lorraine J; Harris, Anne; Jessup, Andrew J; Archer, John R; Davies, Justin B; Banos, Connie

    2015-08-26

    Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis, Sims, cultivar "Sweetheart") were subject to gamma irradiation at levels suitable for phytosanitary purposes (0, 150, 400 and 1000 Gy) then stored at 8 °C and assessed for fruit quality and total ascorbic acid concentration after one and fourteen days. Irradiation at any dose (≤1000 Gy) did not affect passionfruit quality (overall fruit quality, colour, firmness, fruit shrivel, stem condition, weight loss, total soluble solids level (TSS), titratable acidity (TA) level, TSS/TA ratio, juice pH and rot development), nor the total ascorbic acid concentration. The length of time in storage affected some fruit quality parameters and total ascorbic acid concentration, with longer storage periods resulting in lower quality fruit and lower total ascorbic acid concentration, irrespective of irradiation. There was no interaction between irradiation treatment and storage time, indicating that irradiation did not influence the effect of storage on passionfruit quality. The results showed that the application of 150, 400 and 1000 Gy gamma irradiation to "Sweetheart" purple passionfruit did not produce any deleterious effects on fruit quality or total ascorbic acid concentration during cold storage, thus supporting the use of low dose irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment against quarantine pests in purple passionfruit.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Do Physical Therapy Interventions Affect Urinary Incontinence and Quality of Life in People with Multiple Sclerosis?

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Monica; Melnick, Marsha; Allen, Diane D.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) presents with many debilitating symptoms, including urinary incontinence (UI), that physical therapy (PT) may address; UI is widely prevalent, but PT management of symptoms lacks consensus. A meta-analysis of long-term nonsurgical and nonpharmaceutical treatment options may supply this deficiency. We analyzed the current evidence for effectiveness of PT to decrease UI and improve quality of life (QOL) in people with MS. Methods: An electronic search conducted through November 26, 2013, included the following search terms: incontinence, bladder dysfunction, urinary incontinence, multiple sclerosis, MS, physical therapy, physiotherapy, therapy, and rehabilitation. Criteria for inclusion were as follows: MS diagnosis, intervention involved PT for UI or bladder dysfunction, outcomes assessed QOL or UI, and at least a 4 of 10 on the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale or a 2b level of evidence. Outcomes were combined across studies, and effect sizes are depicted in forest plots. Results: Six studies met the inclusion criteria. Between-group analysis revealed statistically significant differences in incontinence episodes and QOL, but did not reach significance for functional control mechanisms (eg, electromyography data on strength of contraction, relaxation, and endurance). Incontinence leakage episodes and QOL participation improved within groups. Conclusions: Meta-analysis indicates support for PT for minimizing incontinence compared with pretreatment and affecting incontinence and QOL more than control in people with MS. Protocols were heterogeneous regarding duration and type of PT intervention and were applied in different types of MS. Further research may reveal the most effective combination and variety of PT interventions for people with MS. PMID:26300703

  1. Factors Affecting Quality of Life Among Spinal Cord Injury Patients in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sang Woon; Jee, Sang Hyun; Kim, Joon Chul; Choi, Jong Bo

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Complaints from spinal cord injury (SCI) patients are typically related to physical disability affecting activities of daily life. However, difficulties with voiding and defecation and/or sexual function can also be major concerns. The general population and even physicians are generally unaware of these complaints; therefore, this study focuses on surveying SCI patients regarding challenges that are faced in daily life. Methods A questionnaire was administered randomly and anonymously to SCI patients who visited the Korea Spinal Cord Injury Association and several rehabilitation hospitals in the Republic of Korea in 2013. All participants gave their consent prior to filling out the questionnaire. Results A total of 299 patients answered the questionnaire; the male to female ratio was 5.8:1 and common vectors for injury were motor vehicle accidents, industrial accidents, and falling down. Of the 169 patients who answered the ‘most troublesome’ and ‘wish would improve’ complaints questionnaire properly, urinary problems were most common, specifically incontinence and urinary tract infection. Among all patients, 67% were using clean intermittent catheterization, 63% were taking voiding-related medications, 83% had sexual desires, and among the 122 patients who did not have offspring, 27% had future plans for children. Conclusions From this questionnaire, we discovered that SCI patients in the South Korea suffer not only from physical disability but also many other quality-of-life-related problems. When managing SCI patients, physicians should show greater concern and educate patients about problems related to voiding and sexual activity, rather than just physical disability. PMID:28043106

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. How couples who have undergone in vitro fertilization decide what to do with surplus frozen embryos.

    PubMed

    Nachtigall, Robert D; Mac Dougall, Kirstin; Harrington, Jennifer; Duff, Julia; Lee, Matthew; Becker, Gay

    2009-12-01

    In a qualitative interview study of 77 families with stored frozen embryos, we found that while embryo disposition decision making was influenced by individual life circumstances, embryo quantity/quality, personal values, embryo conceptualization, and clinic information, it was a stepwise process that could be represented as three sequential questions: (1) Will the embryos be used for additional attempts at conception? If not, (2) Will the embryos remain in storage? And if not, (3) Will the embryos be donated to other people or to science, or will they be destroyed? While almost two-thirds (63%) of participants kept their embryos in storage after 5 years, either passively through disagreement or indecision or actively to maintain embryo potential, avert feelings of loss, or as psychological or genetic "insurance," IVF clinic support and detailed information about options motivated families to make disposition decisions.

  5. Identifying Maternal Constraints on Fetal Growth and Subsequent Perinatal Outcomes Using a Multiple Embryo Implantation Model

    PubMed Central

    Cozzubbo, Tyler; Cheung, Stephanie; Rosenwaks, Zev; Neri, Queenie V.

    2016-01-01

    spontaneously reduced. Failure of the implanted embryo to progress was not related to maternal age. Singleton newborns resulting from multiple implantation sites had lower birth weights (P<0.01) and shorter gestational ages (P<0.01) than those from a single implanted embryo. The number of embryos transferred did not affect the gestational length of singleton newborns. Although the birth weights of singletons from multiple implantation sites (virtual singletons) were lower than true singletons, the birth weight of virtual singletons were comparable to the birth weights of true twin, triplet, and quadruplet live births. Multiple logistic regression revealed that virtual singletons were an independent risk factor for PTB (odds ratio: 4.55, 95% CI 2.23–9.29) and LBW (odds ratio: 3.61, 95% CI 1.78–7.32), even after controlling for the number of oocytes, stimulation protocol type, sperm source, total gonadotropins administered, age, embryo quality, and day of embryo transfer. Conclusions Our study highlights that embryonic implantation sites during early gestation set the growth profile of each embryo, dictating later growth patterns. Specifically, spontaneous reduction of an embryo after multiple embryo implantations can confer greater perinatal risk in the form of LBW and PTB to the surviving fetus. Our findings suggest that maternal constraints or physiologic adaptations maybe one of the mechanisms mediating adverse perinatal outcomes when multiple embryo implantation occurs. PMID:27824942

  6. 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.

  7. Developmental kinetics of in vitro-produced bovine embryos: An aid for making decisions.

    PubMed

    Carrocera, S; Caamaño, J N; Trigal, B; Martín, D; Díez, C

    2016-03-15

    Embryo developmental kinetics and embryo survival after cryopreservation have been correlated with embryo quality and viability. The main objectives of this work were to analyze developmental ability and quality of in vitro-produced bovine embryos in relation to their kinetics and to establish a criterion of quality to predict further viability. Embryos were classified and grouped by their specific stage of development (2, 3-4, or ≥ 5 cells) at 44 hours post insemination (hpi) and cultured separately up to Day 8. On Days 7 and 8, good quality expanded blastocysts were vitrified or frozen. Cryopreserved surviving hatched embryos were stained for cell counts. Embryos at a more advanced stage (3-4 cells, and ≥5 cells) developed to morulae (P < 0.001) and blastocysts (P < 0.01) at higher rates than those embryos that had cleaved once by 44 hpi. Vitrification improved the hatching rates of blastocysts at 48 hours (P < 0.001) when compared with slow-rate freezing within each group of embryos (3-4 cells and ≥5 cells). After vitrification/warming, blastocysts coming from 3- to 4-cell embryos had higher hatching rates at 48 hours than those that came from ≥5-cell embryos. With regard to differential cell counts, no effect of the initial developmental stage was observed after warming/thawing. However, trophectoderm and total cells were higher in vitrified/warmed than in the frozen/thawed embryos (P < 0.001). These data show that selecting IVF embryos at 44 hpi, after the evaluation of their in vitro embryo development, could be used as noninvasive markers of embryo developmental competence and may help to select IVF embryos that would be more suitable for cryopreservation.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. The Quest for Quality: How YoungStar Is Affecting Child Care in Milwaukee County

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mueller, Betsy; Peterangelo, Joe; Henken, Rob

    2016-01-01

    The State of Wisconsin's YoungStar system was created by the Legislature and Governor in 2010 to "drive quality improvement in child care throughout the state." YoungStar uses a five-star system to rate child care providers based on several measures of quality, including staff education levels, learning environment, business methods, and…

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. In vitro fertilization and embryo development in pigs.

    PubMed

    Abeydeera, L R

    2001-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in the in vitro production of pig embryos using improved methods for in vitro maturation (IVM) and fertilization (IVF). Despite the progress, polyspermic penetration remains a problem for in vitro-matured oocytes. Variation among boars, ejaculates and IVF protocols used in different laboratories appears to influence the incidence of polyspermy. Recent studies indicate that oviduct cells and their secretions play a role in reducing polyspermy. Very early attempts to culture in vivo-derived pig embryos met with little success and most were arrested at the four-cell stage. At present, many culture media are available that can overcome the four-cell block and support development to the blastocyst stage. In contrast, blastocyst development of in vitro-produced (IVP) embryos in these culture media varies significantly. Significant differences in morphology and numbers of cells have been observed in in vitro-produced blastocysts compared with in vivo-derived blastocysts. Surgical transfer of in vitro-produced embryos to recipient animals has resulted in acceptable pregnancy rates with moderate litter sizes. Although several systems are available for the generation of in vitro-produced embryos, the problems of polyspermy and poor embryo survival prevent large-scale production of embryos. Further research should be directed to improve oocyte and embryo quality, and to develop methods to minimize polyspermy through development of better IVM, IVF and embryo culture techniques.

  16. Chamber QoE: a multi-instrumental approach to explore affective aspects in relation to quality of experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Moor, Katrien; Mazza, Filippo; Hupont, Isabelle; Ríos Quintero, Miguel; Mäki, Toni; Varela, Martín.

    2014-02-01

    Evaluating (audio)visual quality and Quality of Experience (QoE) from the user's perspective, has become a key element in optimizing users' experiences and their quality. Traditionally, the focus lies on how multi-level quality features are perceived by a human user. The interest has however gradually expanded towards human cognitive, affective and behavioral processes that may impact on, be an element of, or be influenced by QoE, and which have been underinvestigated so far. In addition, there is a major discrepancy between the new, broadly supported and more holistic conceptualization of QoE proposed by Le Callet et al. (2012) and traditional, standardized QoE assessment. This paper explores ways to tackle this discrepancy by means of a multi-instrumental approach. More concretely, it presents results from a lab study on video quality (N=27), aimed at going beyond the dominant QoE assessment paradigm and at exploring affective aspects in relation to QoE and in relation to perceived overall quality. Four types of data were collected: `traditional' QoE self-report measures were complemented with `alternative', emotional state- and user engagement-related self-report measures to evaluate QoE. In addition, we collected EEG (physiological) data, gazetracking data and facial expressions (behavioral) data. The video samples used in test were longer in duration than is common in standard tests allowing us to study e.g. more realistic experience and deeper user engagement. Our findings support the claim that the traditional QoE measures need to be reconsidered and extended with additional, affective staterelated measures.

  17. 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...

  18. Urban-rural status affects associations between domains of environmental quality and childhood cancer

    EPA Science Inventory

    Childhood cancer is associated with individual ambient environmental exposures such as hazardous air pollutants and pesticides. However, the role of cumulative ambient environmental exposures is not well-understood. An Environmental Quality Index (EQI) for 2000-2005 was construct...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  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. 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. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Singleton pregnancy outcomes after in vitro fertilization with fresh or frozen-thawed embryo transfer and incidence of placenta praevia.

    PubMed

    Korosec, Sara; Ban Frangez, Helena; Verdenik, Ivan; 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Anthrax Vaccine does not affect semen Parameters, Embryo Quality, or Pregnancy Outcome in Couples with a Vaccinated Male Military Service Member

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-02-01

    concern that accination of predominantly reproductive-aged service- embers may result in deleterious effects on fertility or etal health (6). There are...argument was used to justify vaccination in ilitary service-members. However, the long-term effects eceived April 16, 2004; revised and accepted July 27...of vaccination, ncluding adverse effects on reproduction. Walter Reed rmy Medical Center’s Assisted Reproductive Technolo- ies program is ideally

  11. The origin, effects and control of air pollution in laboratories used for human embryo culture.

    PubMed

    Hall, J; Gilligan, A; Schimmel, T; Cecchi, M; Cohen, J

    1998-12-01

    Testing shows that most laboratories conducting human gamete and embryo culture have air quality and sources of contamination that exceed the levels measured in homes, businesses and schools. The sources of these contaminants have been shown to be either from activities outside the laboratory, or emitted from materials used in the facility, such as compressed gas, cleaning and sterilizing agents, plastic and stored materials. Both the laboratory structure and the air handling systems may affect the air composition. The significance of these findings is being validated by the accumulation of field case studies and now by assay procedures. Products given off by road sealant were shown to have accumulated in one of the examined laboratories, adjacent to a large re-surfaced parking area. Aldehydes such as acrolein, hexanal, decanal, pentanal and others were detected at elevated concentrations that were statistically significant. Since it is not appropriate to add potentially suspect chemicals to human embryos, we used a mouse-model to study the effect of acrolein. The growth of mouse embryos was significantly affected after acrolein was added at different concentrations to the culture environment. The physiological effect was noted at concentrations in the low ppm range. The testing end-point of embryo death must still be considered to be a crude basis for evaluating toxicological effects, since it involves addition of compounds to culture media and unprotected growth until the blastocyst stage. The findings may, however, support observations of decreased pregnancy rate following exposure of human embryos to aldehydes or other adverse conditions. With proper engineering and material selection, it is possible to reduce such contamination. The usefulness of this approach for controlling aldehydes has been demonstrated by decreasing levels in the laboratory to below those of the outside air.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Biosensors for detecting stress in developing embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purdey, Malcolm S.; Saini, Avishkar; McLennan, Hanna J.; Pullen, Benjamin J.; Schartner, Erik P.; Sutton-McDowall, Melanie L.; Thompson, Jeremy G.; Monro, Tanya M.; Nicholls, Stephen J.; Abell, Andrew D.

    2016-12-01

    Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) cause DNA damage and defective function in sperm and also affects the developmental competence of embryos. It is therefore critical to monitor ROS in sperm, oocytes and developing embryos. In particular, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a ROS important to normal cell function and signalling as well as its role in oxidative stress. Here we report the development of a fluorescent sensor for H2O2 using carboxyperoxyfluor-1 (CPF1) in solution and attached to a glass slide or multi-mode optical fibre. CPF1 increases in fluorescence upon reaction with H2O2 to non-invasively detect H2O2 near developing embryos. These probes are constructed by immobilising CPF1 to the optical fibre tip a polyacrylamide layer. Also reported is a new dual optical fibre sensor for detecting both H2O2 and pH that is functional at biologically concentrations of H2O2 and can sense pH to 0.1 units. This research shows promise for the use of optical fibre sensors for monitoring the health of developing embryos. Furthermore, these sensors are applicable for use beyond embryos such as detecting stress in endothelial cells involved in cardiovascular dysfunction.

  15. 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.

  16. Breakfast frequency and quality may affect glycemia and appetite in adults and children.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Mark A; Erickson, Elizabeth; McKee, Patricia; Schrankler, Karilyn; Raatz, Susan K; Lytle, Leslie A; Pellegrini, Anthony D

    2011-01-01

    Observational studies of breakfast frequency in children and adults suggest an inverse (protective) association between the frequency of eating breakfast and the risk for obesity and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. More prospective studies with stronger designs are needed, as are experimental studies on this topic. In addition, above and beyond breakfast frequency, the roles of dietary quality and composition need to be studied in the context of eating or skipping breakfast. Experimental studies are also necessary to rigorously test causality and biological mechanisms. Therefore, we conducted 2 pilot experimental studies to examine some of the effects of breakfast skipping and breakfast composition on blood glucose and appetite in children and adults. Our results suggest that breakfast frequency and quality may be related in causal ways to appetite controls and blood sugar control, supporting the hypothesis that the breakfast meal and its quality may have important causal implications for the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

  17. How Attendance and Quality of Participation Affect Treatment Response to Parent Management Training

    PubMed Central

    Nix, Robert L.; Bierman, Karen L.; McMahon, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    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 leader ratings. Parent outcomes were based on interviewer ratings, behavioral observations, parent reports, and teacher ratings. Results of hierarchical linear models suggested that few family characteristics predicted attendance in this efficacy trial and that attendance was not related to changes in parenting over the year. However, several family characteristics predicted quality of participation in parent management training, and this in turn predicted changes in parental perceptions, warmth, physical punishment, and school involvement. From a clinical perspective, these findings suggest that it is not enough to get parents to attend sessions; it is also necessary to facilitate their active engagement in the therapeutic process. PMID:19485585

  18. How attendance and quality of participation affect treatment response to parent management training.

    PubMed

    Nix, Robert L; Bierman, Karen L; McMahon, Robert J

    2009-06-01

    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 leader ratings. Parent outcomes were based on interviewer ratings, behavioral observations, parent reports, and teacher ratings. Results of hierarchical linear models suggested that few family characteristics predicted attendance in this efficacy trial and that attendance was not related to changes in parenting over the year. However, several family characteristics predicted quality of participation in parent management training, and this in turn predicted changes in parental perceptions, warmth, physical punishment, and school involvement. From a clinical perspective, these findings suggest that it is not enough to get parents to attend sessions; it is also necessary to facilitate their active engagement in the therapeutic process.

  19. Long-term and transgenerational effects of in vitro culture on mouse embryos.

    PubMed

    Calle, Alexandra; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Raul; Ramos-Ibeas, Priscila; Laguna-Barraza, Ricardo; Perez-Cerezales, Serafin; Bermejo-Alvarez, Pablo; Ramirez, Miguel Angel; Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso

    2012-03-01

    The mouse is a convenient model to analyze the impact of in vitro culture (IVC) on the long-term health and physiology of the offspring, and the possible inheritance of these altered phenotypes. The preimplantation period of mammalian development has been identified as an early 'developmental window' during which environmental conditions may influence the pattern of future growth and physiology. Suboptimal culture media can cause severe alterations in mRNA expression in the embryo, which are associated with embryo quality reduction. In addition, the embryonic epigenetic reprogramming may also be severely affected by IVC, modifying epigenetic marks particularly in imprinted genes and epigenetically sensitive alleles. These altered epigenetic marks can persist after birth, resulting in adult health problems such as obesity, increased anxiety and memory deficits. Furthermore, some epigenetic modifications have been found to be transmitted to the offspring (epigenetic transgenerational inheritance), thereby providing a suitable model to asses risks of cross-generational effects of perturbing early embryo development. This review will highlight how preimplantation environment changes can not only affect developmental processes taking place at that time, but can also have an impact further, affecting offspring health and physiology; and how they may be transmitted to the next generation. We will also analyze the emerging role of epigenetics as a mechanistic link between the early environment and the later phenotype of the developing organism.

  20. Early developmental 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin exposure decreases chick embryo heart chronotropic response to isoproterenol but not to agents affecting signals downstream of the beta-adrenergic receptor.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Rebecca J; Hume, Adam J; Ciak, Jessica M; Vannostrand, John J; Friggens, Megan; Walker, Mary K

    2005-02-01

    2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) causes cardiovascular toxicity in laboratory animals, including alteration in several processes in which beta-adrenergic receptor (beta-AR) signaling plays important roles. Thus, our laboratory investigated the effects of TCDD on beta-AR expression and signal transduction. Fertile chicken eggs were injected with vehicle (corn oil), 0.24 or 0.3 pmol TCDD/g egg on incubation day 0 (D0) or D5. On D10, heart function was assessed by ECG in ovo. Exposure to TCDD increased the incidence of arrhythmias and decreased the positive chronotropic responsiveness of the heart to isoproterenol. The reduced beta-AR responsiveness was, in part, independent of any overt morphological changes in the heart as chick embryos exposed to TCDD on D5 displayed an intermediate responsiveness to beta-AR agonist in the absence of the dilated cardiomyopathy observed in chick embryos exposed to TCDD on D0. TCDD did not decrease the chronotropic response of the heart to agents that stimulate signals downstream of the beta-AR. In fact, TCDD-exposed embryos were more sensitive than controls to forskolin, increasing heart rates (HR) 21.8 +/- 3.5 beats per min (bpm) above baseline versus control values at 6.3 +/- 2.7 bpm above baseline. TCDD exposure also augmented the negative chronotropic response of the heart to verapamil, decreasing HR -23.2 +/- 7.4 bpm relative to baseline versus control embryos at -12.7 +/- 5.9 bpm below baseline. Finally, the mean cardiac beta1-AR mRNA expression in D10 embryos was not significantly altered by exposure to TCDD on D0. These findings establish that a functional end point of the developing chick heart is sensitive to TCDD exposure and that the TCDD-induced reduction in beta-AR responsiveness may result from alterations in signal transduction upstream of adenylyl cyclase.

  1. 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

  2. Ethics for embryos

    PubMed Central

    Parker, C

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:17906062

  3. Why we should not select the faster embryo: lessons from mice and cattle.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez-Adan, Alfonso; White, Carlee R; Van Soom, Ann; Mann, Mellissa R W

    2015-06-01

    Many studies have shown that in vitro culture can negatively impact preimplantation development. This necessitates some selection criteria for identifying the best-suited embryos for transfer. That said, embryo selection after in vitro culture remains a subjective process in most mammalian species, including cows, mice and humans. General consensus in the field is that embryos that develop in a timely manner have the highest developmental competence and viability after transfer. Herein lies the key question: what is a timely manner? With emerging data in bovine and mouse supporting increased developmental competency in embryos with moderate rates of development, it is time to question whether the fastest developing embryos are the best embryos for transfer in the human clinic. This is especially relevant to epigenetic gene regulation, including genomic imprinting, where faster developing embryos exhibit loss of imprinted methylation, as well as to sex selection bias, where faster developmental rates of male embryos may lead to biased embryo transfer and, in turn, biased sex ratios. In this review, we explore evidence surrounding the question of developmental timing as it relates to bovine embryo quality, mouse embryo quality and genomic imprint maintenance, and embryo sex.

  4. 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...

  5. Elevation, rootstock, and soil depth affect the nutritional quality of mandarin oranges

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of elevation, rootstock, and soil depth on the nutritional quality of mandarin oranges from 11 groves in California were investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy by quantifying 29 compounds and applying multivariate statistical data analysis. A comparison of the juic...

  6. 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…

  7. 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-...

  8. How can varieties and rain-fed production environments affect malting quality in spring barley?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rain-fed barley production environments can be highly variable across a region and across years. Almost all malting barley production in Washington State is under rain-fed conditions. The industry has noticed that in some cases malt beta-glucan levels and other malting quality parameters have been u...

  9. 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 (...

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.…

  14. Neonatal interventions differently affect maternal care quality and have sexually dimorphic developmental effects on corticosterone secretion.

    PubMed

    Couto-Pereira, Natividade de Sá; Ferreira, Charles Francisco; Lampert, Carine; Arcego, Danusa Mar; Toniazzo, Ana Paula; Bernardi, Juliana Rombaldi; da Silva, Diego Carrilho; Von Poser Toigo, Eduardo; Diehl, Luisa Amalia; Krolow, Rachel; Silveira, Patrícia Pelufo; Dalmaz, Carla

    2016-12-01

    Neonatal handling (H) and maternal separation (MS) both induce changes in maternal care, but the contribution of these changes to the behavioral and neurochemical outcomes of the offspring remains unclear, as studies often find opposite results concerning the frequency of maternal behaviors, particularly in the MS paradigm. In this study, behavior displayed by H, MS and non-handled (NH) Wistar rat dams were observed during the first 10days after birth. A tentative assessment of the quality of maternal care was made, using a previously reported score that reflects behavior fragmentation and inconsistency. Central oxytocin levels and hippocampal synaptic plasticity markers were also evaluated in dams, immediately after litter weaning. In adulthood, male and female offspring were subjected to a contextual stress-induced corticosterone challenge to provide further information on the impact of early interventions on neuroendocrine parameters. We found that while both H and MS interventions induced an increase in the amount of pup-directed behavior, MS dams displayed a more fragmented and inconsistent pattern of care, reflecting poorer maternal care quality. Interestingly, an increase in oxytocin levels was observed only in H dams. While H offspring did not differ from NH, MS males and females showed marked differences in corticosterone secretion compared to controls. Our results suggest that briefly removing the pups from the nest alters maternal care quantity but not quality and increases central oxytocin, while long separations appear to increase low quality maternal care and change neuroendocrine responses in adult offspring in a sex-specific manner.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Quality parameters for alpaca (Vicugna pacos) semen are affected by semen collection procedure.

    PubMed

    Morton, K M; Thomson, P C; Bailey, K; Evans, G; Maxwell, W M C

    2010-08-01

    Artificial insemination (AI) is poorly developed in camelids owing to the difficulty in collecting high quality semen and the highly viscous nature of the semen. Semen collected by artificial vagina (AV) is often of low quality and must be improved before any further development of AI technology can occur. The present study investigated the effects of adding a cervix-like stricture to the AV, presence of females, collecting semen into Androhep, skim-milk or Tris diluents, and catalase supplementation (0, 100, 200 or 600 units/ml) of Tris diluent on alpaca semen quality parameters. The addition of a cervix-like stricture increased mating length (p < 0.05), whilst the presence of females during semen collection did not improve semen quality parameters (p > 0.05). Collection of semen into Tris diluent improved sperm motility (58.0 +/- 11.9%) compared with the control (34.0 +/- 10.8%; p < 0.05), Androhep (33.5 +/- 10.7%) and skim-milk diluents (28.2 +/- 10.4%). Semen viscosity was reduced by collection into Androhep (4.6 +/- 1.7 mm) and skim-milk diluents (3.6 +/- 1.3 mm) compared with Tris diluent (5.7 +/- 2.1 mm) and no collection medium (9.3 +/- 3.5 mm; p < 0.05). Tris diluent supplemented with 100, 200 or 600 units/ml catalase increased semen viscosity (5.0 +/- 3.2 and 4.9 +/- 3.2 mm). Collection of alpaca semen by AV into Tris diluent increased semen quality facilitating further development of AI technology in alpacas.

  18. Self-Management and Quality of Life in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): The Mediating Effects of Positive Affect

    PubMed Central

    Benzo, Roberto P.; Abascal-Bolado, Beatriz; Dulohery, Megan M.

    2015-01-01

    Objective This study aimed to increase our understanding of general self-management (SM) abilities in COPD by determining if SM can predict disease specific quality of life (QoL), by investigating whether specific SM domains are significant in COPD and by exploring the mediating effect of the positive/negative affect in the association between SM and QoL. Methods Cross-sectional study based on 292 patients with COPD. Measures included demographics, lung function, gait speed, health care utilization, positive/negative affect, SM abilities, breathlessness and disease specific QoL. We performed, correlation, multiple regression models and mediation analysis (positive/negative affect being mediator between SM and QoL association). Results After controlling for breathlessness, living alone, marital status, hospitalization history, age and lung function, SM related to QoL (p< 0.0001). Investment in behaviors (hobbies and social relationships) and self-efficacy are SM domains independently related to QoL in COPD. Positivity measured by the positive/negative affect ratio completely mediates the relationship of SM with QoL. Conclusion SM is independently associated with disease specific QoL in COPD after adjustment significant covariates but positive/negative affect ratio completely mediates the relationship of SM with QoL. Practice implications Measuring positive/negative affect and addressing investment behavior and self-efficacy are important in implementing COPD-SM programs. PMID:26632024

  19. Comparison of gene expression in fresh and frozen-thawed human preimplantation embryos.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Lisa; Sneddon, Sharon F; Brison, Daniel R; Kimber, Susan J

    2012-11-01

    Identification and characterisation of differentially regulated genes in preimplantation human embryonic development are required to improve embryo quality and pregnancy rates in IVF. In this study, we examined expression of a number of genes known to be critical for early development and compared expression profiles in individual preimplantation human embryos to establish any differences in gene expression in fresh compared to frozen-thawed embryos used routinely in IVF. We analysed expression of 19 genes by cDNA amplification followed by quantitative real-time PCR in a panel of 44 fresh and frozen-thawed human preimplantation embryos. Fresh embryos were obtained from surplus early cleavage stage embryos and frozen-thawed embryos from cryopreserved 2PN embryos. Our aim was to determine differences in gene expression between fresh and frozen-thawed human embryos, but we also identified differences in developmental expression patterns for particular genes. We show that overall gene expression among embryos of the same stage is highly variable and our results indicate that expression levels between groups did differ and differences in expression of individual genes was detected. Our results show that gene expression from frozen-thawed embryos is more consistent when compared with fresh, suggesting that cryopreserved embryos may represent a reliable source for studying the molecular events underpinning early human embryo development.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Effect of antioxidants during bovine in vitro fertilization procedures on spermatozoa and embryo development.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, F S; Barretto, L S S; Arruda, R P; Perri, S H V; Mingoti, G Z

    2010-02-01

    Increased amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during in vitro fertilization (IVF) may cause cytotoxic damage to gametes, whereas small amounts of ROS favour sperm capacitation. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of antioxidants [50 microm beta-mercaptoethanol (beta-ME) and 50 microm cysteamine (Cyst)] or a pro-oxidant (5 mm buthionine sulfoximine) on the quality and penetrability of spermatozoa into bovine oocytes and on the subsequent embryo development and quality when added during IVF. Sperm quality, evaluated by the integrity of plasma and acrosomal membranes, and mitochondrial function, was diminished (p < 0.05) after 4-h culture in the presence of antioxidants. Oocyte penetration rates were similar between treatments (p > 0.05), but antioxidants adversely affected the normal pronuclear formation rates (p < 0.05). The incidence of polyspermy was high for beta-ME (p < 0.05). No differences were observed in cleavage rates between treatments (p > 0.05). However, the developmental rate to the blastocyst stage was adversely affected by Cyst treatment (p < 0.05). The quality of embryos that reached the blastocyst stage, evaluated by total, inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm cell numbers and ICM/total cell ratio was unaffected (p > 0.05) by treatments. The results indicate that ROS play a role in the fertilizing capacity in bovine spermatozoa, as well as in the interaction between the spermatozoa and the oocytes. It can be concluded that supplementation with antioxidants during IVF procedures impairs sperm quality, normal pronuclear formation and embryo development to the blastocyst stage.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. Does a "continuous care model" affect the quality of life of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting?

    PubMed

    Razmjoee, Nasrin; Ebadi, Abbas; Asadi-Lari, Mohsen; Hosseini, Marziyeh

    2017-03-01

    The physical and mental needs of patients with coronary heart disease are affected by both the disease and the heart surgery in different ways. Such diverse needs require different approaches. A continuous care model, which involves orientation, sensitization, control, and evaluation, may favorably influence patient outcomes following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). We were interested to ascertain whether a continuous care model might lead to improved quality of life, compared with a routine care model, in patients undergoing CABG. A total of 66 patients scheduled for CABG were identified and randomized to receive either continuous care (based on the continuous care model) or routine postoperative management for 2 months. The subjects' quality of life and its physical and mental dimensions were measured by the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey. Each dimension was scored between 0 and 100, and higher scores indicated better quality of life. One and 2 months after the intervention, the scores of quality of life and its two dimensions were significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group (P < .001). The application of the continuous care model can promote health-related quality of life in patients after CABG.

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. Researchers Create Artificial Mouse 'Embryo'

    MedlinePlus

    ... news/fullstory_163881.html Researchers Create Artificial Mouse 'Embryo' Experiment used two types of gene-modified stem ... they've created a kind of artificial mouse embryo using stem cells, which can be coaxed to ...

  10. Parents as a resource: communication quality affects the relationship between adolescents' internet use and loneliness.

    PubMed

    Appel, Markus; Holtz, Peter; Stiglbauer, Barbara; Batinic, Bernad

    2012-12-01

    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(age) = 15.80 years) provided data on Internet use, loneliness, Internet-related parent-adolescent communication, and perceived family support. Moderated regression analyses showed that Internet-related communication quality determined whether more extensive Internet use was associated with more loneliness. This moderation effect remained significant when perceived family support in general terms was controlled for. Gender and age of the participants did not influence the findings. Implications for successful Internet-related parenting strategies are discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Flavopiridol reduces the impedance of neural prostheses in vivo without affecting recording quality.

    PubMed

    Purcell, Erin K; Thompson, David E; Ludwig, Kip A; Kipke, Daryl R

    2009-10-15

    We hypothesized that re-entry into the cell cycle may be associated with reactive gliosis surrounding neural prostheses, and that administration of a cell cycle inhibitor (flavopiridol) at the time of surgery would reduce this effect. We investigated the effects of flavopiridol on recording quality and impedance over a 28-day time period and conducted histology at 3 and 28 days post-implantation. Flavopiridol reduced the expression of a cell cycle protein (cyclin D1) in microglia surrounding probes at the 3-day time point. Impedance at 1 kHz was decreased by drug administration across the study period compared to vehicle controls. Correlations between recording (SNR, units) and impedance metrics revealed a small, but statistically significant, inverse relationship between these variables. However, the relationship between impedance and recording quality was not sufficiently strong for flavopiridol to result in an improvement in SNR or the number of units detected. Our data indicate that flavopiridol is an effective, easily administered treatment for reducing impedance in vivo, potentially through inhibiting microglial encapsulation of implanted devices. This strategy may be useful in stimulation applications, where reduced impedance is desirable for achieving activation thresholds and prolonging the lifetime of the implanted power supply. While improvements in recording quality were not observed, a combination of flavopiridol with a second strategy which enhances neuronal signal detection may enhance these results in future studies.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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%).

  20. ‘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

  1. '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.

  2. 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...

  3. Effects of embryo-derived exosomes on the development of bovine cloned embryos

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Pengxiang; Qing, Suzhu; Liu, Ruiqi; Qin, Hongyu; Wang, Weiwei; Qiao, Fang; Ge, Hui; Liu, Jun; Zhang, Yong; Wang, Yongsheng

    2017-01-01

    The developmental competence of in vitro cultured (IVC) embryos is markedly lower than that of their in vivo counterparts, suggesting the need for optimization of IVC protocols. Embryo culture medium is routinely replaced three days after initial culture in bovine, however, whether this protocol is superior to continuous nonrenewal culture method under current conditions remains unclear. Using bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos as the model, our results showed that compared with routine renewal treatment, nonrenewal culture system significantly improved blastocyst formation, blastocyst quality (increased total cell number, decreased stress and apoptosis, enhanced Oct-4 expression and ratio of ICM/TE), as well as following development to term. Existence and function of SCNT embryo-derived exosomes were then investigated to reveal the cause of impaired development induced by culture medium replacement. Exosomes were successfully isolated through differential centrifugation and identified by both electron microscopy and immunostaining against exosomal membrane marker CD9. Supplementation of extracted exosomes into freshly renewed medium significantly rescued not only blastocyst formation and quality (in vitro development), but also following growth to term (in vivo development). Notably, ratio of ICM/TE and calving rate were enhanced to a similar level as that in nonrenewal group. In conclusion, our results for the first time indicate that 1: bovine SCNT embryos can secrete exosomes into chemically defined culture medium during IVC; 2: secreted exosomes are essential for SCNT blastocyst formation, blastocyst quality, and following development to term; 3: removal of exosomes induced by culture medium replacement impairs SCNT embryo development, which can be avoided by nonrenewal culture procedure or markedly recovered by exosome supplementation. PMID:28350875

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Urban cultivation in allotments maintains soil qualities adversely affected by conventional agriculture.

    PubMed

    Edmondson, Jill L; Davies, Zoe G; Gaston, Kevin J; Leake, Jonathan R

    2014-08-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. Growth hormone inhibits apoptosis in in vitro produced bovine embryos.

    PubMed

    Kölle, Sabine; Stojkovic, Miodrag; Boie, Gudrun; Wolf, Eckhard; Sinowatz, Fred

    2002-02-01

    Growth hormone (GH) has recently been shown to exert distinct effects on the differentiation and metabolism of early embryos. Up to now, however, it is not clear whether GH is able to modulate apoptosis during early embryogenesis. Differential cell staining of 8-day-old bovine embryos cultured with 100 ng bovine recombinant GH (rbGH) per ml medium (synthetic oviduct fluid-polyvinylalcohol) demonstrated that GH significantly increased the number of inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm cells in bovine expanded blastocysts. As shown by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP labeling (TUNEL) supplementation of bGH decreased the percentage of 8-day-old embryos showing at least one apoptotic cell from 58 to 21%. The percentage of apoptotic cells in one blastocyst was significantly (P < 0.01) reduced from 4.6 to 1.1% by GH treatment. Incubation of the embryos with 150 mM vanillylnonanamide induced apoptosis in all embryos. Whereas in control embryos 14% of the embryonic cells were TUNEL-positive, the percentage of apoptotic cells declined to 2.7% in the GH treated embryos. Expression of immunoreactive bcl-2 in blastocysts was not affected by GH treatment. Synthesis of the bax protein which is known to promote apoptosis was reduced in embryos cultured with GH. Our results suggest that GH acts as survival factor during in vitro culture and reduces apoptosis by altering the bax to bcl-2 ratio during early embryogenesis.

  9. Mutations in Durum Wheat SBEII Genes affect Grain Yield Components, Quality, and Fermentation Responses in Rats.

    PubMed

    Hazard, Brittany; Zhang, Xiaoqin; Naemeh, Mahmoudreza; Hamilton, M Kristina; Rust, Bret; Raybould, Helen E; Newman, John W; Martin, Roy; Dubcovsky, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    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 color. Positive fermentation responses were detected in rats (Rattus spp.) fed with diets incorporating mutant wheat flour. This study quantifies benefits and limitations associated with the deployment of the SBEIIa/b-AB mutations in durum wheat and provides the information required to develop realistic strategies to deploy durum wheat varieties with increased levels of amylose and resistant starch.

  10. Growth and quality of soybean sprouts (Glycine max L. Merrill) as affected by gamma irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, Juan; Li, Xihong; Fan, Xuetong; Li, Weili; Jiang, Yuqian

    2013-01-01

    In this study, soybean seeds and sprouts (Glycine max L. Merrill) were exposed to radiation doses up to 3.0 kGy. The irradiated and non-irradiated seeds were germinated, and then germination rate, sprouts length, vitamin C content, antioxidants and visual and olfactory quality were determined after irradiation. Results indicated that there was no significant difference in the germination rate and sprouts length between the control and 0.3 kGy treated soybeans, however, the reductions in sprouts length of the 1.0 kGy and 3.0 kGy treated samples were quite significant with reductions of 20.4% and 58.8%, respectively. Irradiated sprouts had similar visual and olfactory quality as the non-irradiated one. Therefore, irradiation of seeds alone would have limited value in terms of commercial use due to reduced germination and length of sprouts. However, irradiation of sprouts at doses up to 3.0 kGy was feasible to enhance microbial safety of sprouts.

  11. 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 color. Positive fermentation responses were detected in rats (Rattus spp.) fed with diets incorporating mutant wheat flour. This study quantifies benefits and limitations associated with the deployment of the SBEIIa/b-AB mutations in durum wheat and provides the information required to develop realistic strategies to deploy durum wheat varieties with increased levels of amylose and resistant starch. PMID:27134286

  12. Demographic and psychological variables affecting test subject evaluations of ride quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duncan, N. C.; Conley, H. W.

    1975-01-01

    Ride-quality experiments similar in objectives, design, and procedure were conducted, one using the U.S. Air Force Total In-Flight Simulator and the other using the Langley Passenger Ride Quality Apparatus to provide the motion environments. Large samples (80 or more per experiment) of test subjects were recruited from the Tidewater Virginia area and asked to rate the comfort (on a 7-point scale) of random aircraft motion typical of that encountered during STOL flights. Test subject characteristics of age, sex, and previous flying history (number of previous airplane flights) were studied in a two by three by three factorial design. Correlations were computed between one dependent measure, the subject's mean comfort rating, and various demographic characteristics, attitudinal variables, and the scores on Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. An effect of sex was found in one of the studies. Males made higher (more uncomfortable) ratings of the ride than females. Age and number of previous flights were not significantly related to comfort ratings. No significant interactions between the variables of age, sex, or previous number of flights were observed.

  13. Quality of fresh organic matter affects priming of soil organic matter and substrate utilization patterns of microbes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hui; Boutton, Thomas W.; Xu, Wenhua; Hu, Guoqing; Jiang, Ping; Bai, Edith

    2015-01-01

    Changes in biogeochemical cycles and the climate system due to human activities are expected to change the quantity and quality of plant litter inputs to soils. How changing quality of fresh organic matter (FOM) might influence the priming effect (PE) on soil organic matter (SOM) mineralization is still under debate. Here we determined the PE induced by two 13C-labeled FOMs with contrasting nutritional quality (leaf vs. stalk of Zea mays L.). Soils from two different forest types yielded consistent results: soils amended with leaf tissue switched faster from negative PE to positive PE due to greater microbial growth compared to soils amended with stalks. However, after 16 d of incubation, soils amended with stalks had a higher PE than those amended with leaf. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) results suggested that microbial demand for carbon and other nutrients was one of the major determinants of the PE observed. Therefore, consideration of both microbial demands for nutrients and FOM supply simultaneously is essential to understand the underlying mechanisms of PE. Our study provided evidence that changes in FOM quality could affect microbial utilization of substrate and PE on SOM mineralization, which may exacerbate global warming problems under future climate change. PMID:25960162

  14. Quality of fresh organic matter affects priming of soil organic matter and substrate utilization patterns of microbes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hui; Boutton, Thomas W.; Xu, Wenhua; Hu, Guoqing; Jiang, Ping; Bai, Edith

    2015-05-01

    Changes in biogeochemical cycles and the climate system due to human activities are expected to change the quantity and quality of plant litter inputs to soils. How changing quality of fresh organic matter (FOM) might influence the priming effect (PE) on soil organic matter (SOM) mineralization is still under debate. Here we determined the PE induced by two 13C-labeled FOMs with contrasting nutritional quality (leaf vs. stalk of Zea mays L.). Soils from two different forest types yielded consistent results: soils amended with leaf tissue switched faster from negative PE to positive PE due to greater microbial growth compared to soils amended with stalks. However, after 16 d of incubation, soils amended with stalks had a higher PE than those amended with leaf. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) results suggested that microbial demand for carbon and other nutrients was one of the major determinants of the PE observed. Therefore, consideration of both microbial demands for nutrients and FOM supply simultaneously is essential to understand the underlying mechanisms of PE. Our study provided evidence that changes in FOM quality could affect microbial utilization of substrate and PE on SOM mineralization, which may exacerbate global warming problems under future climate change.

  15. Quality of fresh organic matter affects priming of soil organic matter and substrate utilization patterns of microbes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Boutton, Thomas W; Xu, Wenhua; Hu, Guoqing; Jiang, Ping; Bai, Edith

    2015-05-11

    Changes in biogeochemical cycles and the climate system due to human activities are expected to change the quantity and quality of plant litter inputs to soils. How changing quality of fresh organic matter (FOM) might influence the priming effect (PE) on soil organic matter (SOM) mineralization is still under debate. Here we determined the PE induced by two (13)C-labeled FOMs with contrasting nutritional quality (leaf vs. stalk of Zea mays L.). Soils from two different forest types yielded consistent results: soils amended with leaf tissue switched faster from negative PE to positive PE due to greater microbial growth compared to soils amended with stalks. However, after 16 d of incubation, soils amended with stalks had a higher PE than those amended with leaf. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) results suggested that microbial demand for carbon and other nutrients was one of the major determinants of the PE observed. Therefore, consideration of both microbial demands for nutrients and FOM supply simultaneously is essential to understand the underlying mechanisms of PE. Our study provided evidence that changes in FOM quality could affect microbial utilization of substrate and PE on SOM mineralization, which may exacerbate global warming problems under future climate change.

  16. Dietary green tea polyphenols do not affect vitamin E status, antioxidant capacity and meat quality of growing pigs.

    PubMed

    Augustin, K; Blank, R; Boesch-Saadatmandi, C; Frank, J; Wolffram, S; Rimbach, G

    2008-12-01

    Supplementation of pigs with vitamin E, the most important lipid-soluble antioxidant, has been shown to improve meat quality and animal health. Previous studies in cultured cells and laboratory animals indicate synergistic effects between polyphenols and vitamin E. The present feeding trial was undertaken to investigate the effects of dietary green tea polyphenols (GTP) on vitamin E status, antioxidative capacity and parameters of meat quality in growing pigs. Eighteen castrated, crossbred, male pigs received a flavonoid-poor diet based on corn starch, caseinate and rapeseed oil with a total vitamin E content of 17 IU/kg diet over a period of 5 weeks. This basal diet was supplemented with green tea extract to provide daily doses of 0 (control), 10 and 100 mg GTP/kg body weight. Dietary supplementation of growing pigs with GTP did not affect serum, liver, lung and muscle vitamin E (alpha- and gamma-tocopherol) concentrations, plasma antioxidant capacity (ferric reducing ability of plasma, trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity) or parameters of meat quality including meat temperature, pH, conductivity, colour and drip loss. In conclusion, supplementation of pig diets with green tea catechins is not associated with improved antioxidant status and meat quality under practice-oriented conditions.

  17. Determination of processes affecting groundwater quality in the coastal aquifer beneath Puri city, India: a multivariate statistical approach.

    PubMed

    Mohapatra, P K; Vijay, R; Pujari, P R; Sundaray, S K; Mohanty, B P

    2011-01-01

    Variability of groundwater quality parameters is linked to various processes such as weathering, organic matter degradation, aerobic respiration, iron reduction, mineral dissolution and precipitation, cation exchange and mixing of salt water with fresh water. Multivariate statistical analyses such as principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) were applied to the standardized data set of eleven groundwater quality parameters (i.e. pH, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Fe3+, alkalinity, NO3-, Cl-, SO4(2-), TDS) collected during the post-monsoon and the summer seasons in order to elicit hydrologic and biogeochemical processes affecting water quality in the unconfined aquifer beneath Puri city in eastern India. The application of PCA resulted in four factors explaining 73% variance in post-monsoon and 81% variance in summer. The HCA using Ward's method and squared Euclidean distance measure classified the parameters into four clusters based on their similarities. PCA and HCA allowed interpretation of processes. During both post-monsoon and summer seasons, anthropogenic pollution and organic matter degradation/Fe(III) reduction were found dominant due to contribution from on-site sanitation in septic tanks and soak pits in the city. Cation exchange and mineral precipitation were possible causes for increase in Na+ and decrease in Ca2+ concentration in summer. Fresh water recharge during monsoon and Sea water intrusion in summer are attributed as significant hydrologic processes to variations of the groundwater quality at the study site.

  18. Catchment process affecting drinking water quality, including the significance of rainfall events, using factor analysis and event mean concentrations.

    PubMed

    Cinque, Kathy; Jayasuriya, Niranjali

    2010-12-01

    To ensure the protection of drinking water an understanding of the catchment processes which can affect water quality is important as it enables targeted catchment management actions to be implemented. In this study factor analysis (FA) and comparing event mean concentrations (EMCs) with baseline values were techniques used to asses the relationships between water quality parameters and linking those parameters to processes within an agricultural drinking water catchment. FA found that 55% of the variance in the water quality data could be explained by the first factor, which was dominated by parameters usually associated with erosion. Inclusion of pathogenic indicators in an additional FA showed that Enterococcus and Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) were also related to the erosion factor. Analysis of the EMCs found that most parameters were significantly higher during periods of rainfall runoff. This study shows that the most dominant processes in an agricultural catchment are surface runoff and erosion. It also shows that it is these processes which mobilise pathogenic indicators and are therefore most likely to influence the transport of pathogens. Catchment management efforts need to focus on reducing the effect of these processes on water quality.

  19. From producer to consumer: greenhouse tomato quality as affected by variety, maturity stage at harvest, transport conditions, and supermarket storage.

    PubMed

    Verheul, Michèl J; Slimestad, Rune; Tjøstheim, Irene Holta

    2015-05-27

    Possible causes for differences in quality traits at the time of buying were studied in two widely different red tomato types. Three maturity stages were harvested from commercial greenhouses and transferred immediately to controlled environments simulating different storage, transport, and supermarket conditions. Results show significant differences in development of color, fruit firmness, contents of soluble solids (SSC), titratable acids (TTA), phenolics, and carotenoids from harvest to sale, as related to postharvest conditions. Fruit firmness, SSC, and TTA of vine-ripened red cherry tomatoes was 30, 55 and 11% higher than for those harvested at breakers and ripened to red. Temperature, light, UVC radiation, or ethylene during 4 days transport affected tomato quality traits, and differences persisted during 3 weeks of supermarket storage. Ethylene exposure gave a 3.7-fold increase in lycopene content in cherry tomatoes, whereas UVC hormesis revealed a 6-fold increase compared with the control. Results can be used to update recommendations concerning optimal handling.

  20. Factors affecting the quality of fish caught by Native Americans in the Zone 6 fishery 1991 through 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Abernethy, C.S.

    1994-09-01

    A program to monitor the salmon and steelhead (Oncorhynchus spp.) fishery in the lower Columbia River (Zone 6 fishery) was initiated in 1991 to respond to questions and comments frequently made by Native Americans at public meetings. Native Americans were concerned that the quality of the Columbia River had deteriorated and that the poor environmental conditions had affected the health and quality of fish they relied on for subsistence, ceremonial, religious, and commercial purposes. They also feared that eating contaminated fish might endanger the health of their children and future generations. Operations at the Hanford Site were listed as one of many causes of the deteriorating environment. Fisheries pathologists concluded that most of the external symptoms on fish were related to bacterial infection of gill net abrasions and pre-spawning trauma, and were not caused by pollution or contamination of the Columbia River. The pathologists also stated that consumption of the fish posed no threat to human consumers.

  1. Effect of insulin-transferrin-selenium (ITS) and l-ascorbic acid (AA) during in vitro maturation on in vitro bovine embryo development.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, A L S; Pereira, S A; Diógenes, M N; Dode, M A N

    2016-12-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of adding a combination of insulin, transferrin and selenium (ITS) and l-ascorbic acid (AA) during in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro culture (IVC) on in vitro embryo production. To verify the effect of the supplements, cleavage and blastocyst rates, embryo size and total cell number were performed. Embryonic development data, embryo size categorization and kinetics of maturation were analyzed by chi-squared test, while the total cell number was analyzed by a Kruskal-Wallis test (P < 0.05). When ITS was present during IVM, IVC or the entire culture, all treatments had a cleavage and blastocyst rates and embryo quality, similar to those of the control group (P < 0.05). Supplementation of IVM medium with ITS and AA for 12 h or 24 h showed that the last 12 h increased embryo production (51.6%; n = 220) on D7 compared with the control (39.5%; n = 213). However, no improvement was observed in blastocyst rate when less competent oocytes, obtained from 1-3 mm follicles, were exposed to ITS + AA for the last 12 h of IVM, with a blastocyst rate of 14.9% (n = 47) compared with 61.0% (n = 141) in the control group. The results suggest that the addition of ITS alone did not affect embryo production; however, when combined with AA in the last 12 h of maturation, there was improvement in the quantity and quality of embryos produced. Furthermore, the use of ITS and AA during IVM did not improve the competence of oocytes obtained from small follicles.

  2. Does host pl