REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0242.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: animal-assisted interventions; animal-assisted activities; animal-assisted therapy; oncology; cancer; human-animal bond; quantitative
Online: 19 December 2019 (06:41:38 CET)
Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) use human-animal interactions to positive effect in various contexts including cancer care. This systematic literature review is the first part of a two-part paper series focusing on the research methods and quantitative results of AAI studies in oncology. We find methodological consistency in the use of canines as therapy animals, in the types of high-risk patients excluded from studies, and in the infection precautions taken with therapy animals throughout cancer wards. The investigated patient endpoints are not significantly affected by AAI, with the exceptions of improvements in oxygen consumption, quality of life, depression, mood, and satisfaction with therapy. The AAI field in oncology has progressed significantly since its inception and has great potential to positively impact future patient outcomes. To advance the field, AAI research in oncology should consistently improve the methodological design of studies, report data more completely, and focus on the therapy animal’s well-being.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0243.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: animal-assisted interventions; animal-assisted activities; animal-assisted therapy; oncology; cancer; human-animal bond; mechanisms; theoretical frameworks
Online: 19 December 2019 (06:45:23 CET)
Animal-assisted interventions (AAI) are a unique class of complementary medical treatments that can improve a patient’s quality of life, both physically and psychologically. Part I of this two-paper systematic literature review series focused on the study methods and quantitative results of researchers in this field. We continue this in-depth review here in Part II by discussing the common theories associated with AAI in the context of cancer. Of all the factors at work in human-animal interactions, researchers explicitly cite compatible animal personality, physical touch, physical movement, distraction/entertainment, and increased human interaction as the mechanisms responsible for the positive clinical outcomes observed in AAI. In various combinations, these mechanisms group under broader theoretical frameworks that attempt to fully explain the AAI context as it relates to cancer care. The social support hypothesis and the conception of a human-animal bond are the most referenced overarching frameworks. The cognitive activation theory of stress, the science of unitary human beings, and the self-object hypothesis are also referenced. We briefly consider other relevant theories commonly noted in the human-animal interactions literature that have the potential to clarify aspects of cancer-related AAI. We also discuss the neurobiological transduction mechanisms needed to connect theoretical frameworks and their mechanisms directly to the observed clinical outcomes. To advance the field, researchers should consider overarching theories with testable hypotheses when designing studies, and use consistent terminology when reporting results. This review lays a foundation for progress towards a unified theoretical framework and for effective treatment of the whole cancer patient.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0078.v1
Online: 4 September 2020 (03:29:10 CEST)
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of animal therapy in alleviation of anxiety in pre-school children.Method: The study was carried out as a quasi-experimental study with pre-test and post-test design and control group. The study population consisted of 33 anxious 5-7years old children (participated in a welfare anxiety screening plan held by Counseling Center, Tehran-Iran) between 2018 and 2019. The participants took part in the study voluntarily.The subjects were randomly divided into experimental and control groups (10 in each group). The experimental group was exposed to 8 sessions of animal therapy. The research instrument was Spence Preschool Anxiety Scale (Parent Form) and the data were analyzed on SPSS 21 software.Results: The results showed that animal therapy had a significant effect on general anxiety score after adjusting for post-test scores (f= 32.49 and p= 0.001) with the effect equal to 0.70. In addition, the effect of animal therapy on anxiety of separation (f= 5.63, p= 0.03), generalized anxiety disorder (f= 8.56, p= 0.01), social phobia (f= 14.58, p= 0.002) and specific anxiety (f= 11.63, p= 0.005) was significant with effects equal to 0.30, 0.40, 0.53, and 0.47, respectively. The results also showed that the effect of animal therapy on obsession was not significant (p>0.05).Conclusion: Therefore, it can be concluded that Animal therapy is effective in alleviating anxiety in children.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0052.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: animal-assisted interventions; child development; dog bites; dog-borne zoonoses; dog ownership; dog welfare; human-animal interactions
Online: 6 October 2022 (08:13:49 CEST)
Our wellbeing is greatly influenced by our childhood and adolescence, and the relationships that we form during those phases of our development. The human-dog bond started thousands of years ago. The higher prevalence of dog ownership around the world, especially in households including children along with the growing number of people studying dogs most likely explain the growing literature focusing on child-dog interactions. We review the potential effects of child-dog interactions on the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of both species. A scoping search of the SCOPUS database found several hundred documents meeting selection criteria. It allowed us to define the numerous ways in which children and dogs can interact, be it neutral (e.g., sharing a common area), positive (e.g., petting), or negative (e.g., biting). Then, we found evidence for an association between interacting with dogs during childhood and an array of health and mental benefits like stress relief and the development of empathy. Walking a dog and playing with one are perfect physical activity opportunities. Additionally, interacting with a dog can help lower stress and may have a role in the development of empathy. Nonetheless, a number of detrimental outcomes have also been identified in both humans and dogs. Children are the most at-risk population regarding dog bites and dog-borne zoonoses, which may lead to a subsequent fear of dogs or even death. Moreover, pet bereavement is generally inevitable when living with a canine companion and should not be trivialized. In terms of dogs, children sometimes take part in caretaking behaviors toward them which include going on walks. They are opportunities for dogs to relieve themselves outside, but also to exercise and socialize. In contrast, a lack of physical activity can lead to the onset of obesity. Dogs may present greater levels of stress when in the presence of children. Finally, the welfare of assistance, therapy, and free-roaming dogs remains underexplored. Overall, the study of the effects, positive as well as negative, on both species still requires further development. We call for more longitudinal studies and hope for cross-cultural research in the future in order to better understand the impact child-dog interactions might have.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0021.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: cerebral palsy; robot assisted therapy; EMG; kinematic
Online: 3 January 2020 (02:38:16 CET)
Aim: To develop an index for quantitative assessment of the upper limb motor function in children with cerebral palsy before and after robot-assisted therapy. Method: An upper limb motor function index was developed using kinematic, surface electromyography and three-axis inertial measurements unit data collected from 15 children with cerebral palsy (CP) and 15 typically developed children. Children with CP underwent 18 robot-assisted therapy sessions with the REAplan device. All children were evaluated, using kinematic data from the REAplan, electromyography and three-axis inertial measurements unit readings from its accelerometer. A principal component analysis was conducted to produce an evaluation index, which is able to detect the deviation from the upper limb motor function of typically developing children group. Children with CP were evaluated twice before and after the intervention with Box and Blocks test and Finger-To-Nose test. The discriminative and concurrent validity of the upper limb motor function index were investigated. Results: The upper limb motor function index was higher in children with CP post therapy (p<0.001). Finger-To-Nose test values improved after robot-assisted therapy (p<0.03). A weak but positive correlation was observed between upper limb motor function index and clinical tests (r=0.012, p=0.95 and r=0.13, p= 0.54 for Box and Blocks test and Finger-To-Nose test respectively). Interpretation: The upper limb motor function index successfully differentiated between the typically developing children and children with CP and was effective in assessing the improvement of the upper limb motor function after robot-assisted therapy. The upper limb motor function index could be extended to assess and monitor rehabilitation therapies of other populations, such as those with stroke and Parkinson’s disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0086.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: low-level laser therapy (LLLT); photobiomodulation; male infertility; sperm motility; assisted reproductive technology (ART)
Online: 8 April 2018 (08:35:22 CEST)
Infertility affects approximately 15% of couples worldwide, an estimated 30% of which is related to male factor infertility. Application of low level laser therapy (LLLT) to improve fertility status is a rapidly growing discipline in medicine. Laser therapy triggers a variety of biological processes through interaction with primary cellular photoacceptors. The present review aims at evaluating the literature available in the MEDLINE/ PubMed on cellular and molecular mechanisms of photobiomodulation in the domains of reproductive and veterinary medicine. We primarily focused on the clinical application of laser treatment on seminal quality, in particular its role in promoting spermatozoa motility, as well as the role of phototherapy in modulating assisted reproduction (ART). Additionally, we investigated the strength of evidence in support of the positive impact of photobiomodulation on facilitating ART.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0231.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Phage therapy; clinical trials; animal models; safety and toxicity; immune activation
Online: 11 May 2021 (10:30:59 CEST)
Increasing rates of infection by antibiotic resistant bacteria have led to a resurgence of interest in bacteriophage (phage) therapy. Several phage therapy studies in animals and humans have been completed over the last two decades. We conducted a systematic review of safety and toxicity data associated with phage therapy in both animals and humans reported in English-language publications from 2008 – 2021. Overall, 69 publications met our eligibility criteria including 20 animal studies, 35 clinical case reports or case series, and 14 clinical trials. After summarizing safety and toxicity data from these publications, we discuss potential approaches to optimizing safety and toxicity monitoring with the therapeutic use of phage moving forward. In our systematic review of the literature, we found few, but no serious, adverse events associated with phage therapy. Comprehensive and standardized reporting of potential toxicities associated with phage therapy has generally been lacking in the published literature. Structured safety and tolerability endpoints are necessary when phages are administered as anti-infective therapeutics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0117.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: acute compartment syndrome; negative pressure wound therapy; vacuum assisted wound closure; fasciotomy
Online: 8 April 2020 (04:50:32 CEST)
Background and Objectives: Acute compartment syndrome (ACS) is an emergency condition of the lower limb in which prophylactic fasciotomy is required to prevent complications. A negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) used to the treatment of fasciotomy wounds provide beneficial clinical results. This study aimed to exchange the authors’ experience of using the NPWT installation system on the lower limb wounds after fasciotomy in ACS. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study enrolled consecutive patients with ACS, who underwent fasciotomy and was treated with the NPWT installation system at Department of Vascular Surgery, Provincial Hospital in Kielce from April 2016 to July 2017. Results: The study enrolled 15 patients with a diagnosis of ACS (87% men, mean age 65 years old). An open four-compartment fasciotomy (87%) or two-compartment fasciotomy (13%) was performed. The NPWT was applied on the first day after fasciotomy in 87% of patients. Therapy was initiated by the negative pressure of 125 mm Hg, which maintained at this level until the therapy was finalized. In 80% of patients, the vacuum-assisted wound closure (VAC) dressing changes were performed every 3 days. The first approximation of fasciotomy wounds margins occurred on the 4th day after surgery among 67% of individuals. The average time of using VAC on fasciotomy wounds was 9 days. The average time to definitive closure edges of fasciotomy wounds was 12 days. The average time of hospital stay was 17 days. Conclusions: Our experience indicates the legitimacy of using NPWT in wound treatment after fasciotomy in ACS. The NPWT enables faster primary closure of wounds, reduces edema, as well as decreases hospitalization time.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0217.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Cognitive & Experimental Psychology Keywords: cognitive function; pet insects; animal-assisted therapy; Wisconsin Card Sorting Task; functional magnetic resonance imaging; elderly women
Online: 20 August 2019 (15:46:32 CEST)
Background: Animal-assisted therapy has positive effects on cognitive function, depression, performance ability, and social functioning in elderly patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of rearing pet insects on the cognitive function of healthy elderly participants, with fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) being used for this purpose. Methods: Community-dwelling elderly women (≥60 years) with normal cognitive function were enrolled during April 2015. They were randomized at a 1:1 ratio into two groups: insect-rearing and control (n=16) groups, with the insect-rearing group being further classified into two groups for analysis according to the subjects’ scores in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, WCST) at the first fMRI: insect-rearing group I with a relatively high score (n=13), and insect-rearing group II with a relatively low score (n=6). All subjects were educated on a healthy lifestyle for better cognitive function at every visit, and the insect-rearing groups received and reared crickets as pet insects. The fMRI was performed at baseline and after 8 weeks using the WCST as a stimulus. The WCST consisted of two variations, a high level baseline (HLB) and semi-WCST version. Results: There were no significant differences in the baseline characteristics among the three groups. There was a significant difference accuracy of the HLB–semi-WCST (p<0.05) in insect-rearing group II after 8 weeks from the baseline test. In the fMRI analysis involving the WCST reaction test, increased activation was observed in the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex in insect-rearing group II when the semi-WCST, rather than the HLB, was performed. There were no significant differences in the other groups. Conclusion: The rearing of pet insects as an animal-assisted therapy is cost-effective, easy, and occupies little space. In this study, it showed positive effects on executive functions and performance improvement in elderly women. Further larger studies on the effects of pet insects on cognitive function are warranted.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0494.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: panic disorder; animal experimentation; defensive behavior (Animal); escape behavior (animal)
Online: 22 April 2019 (11:50:13 CEST)
Panic disorder (PD) is characterized by recurrent and uncontrollable panic attacks associated with behavioral changes and/or persistent anxiety due to the attacks. The development of behavioral models in animals is important for the understanding of the psychobiological and behavioral bases of PD. The present article reviews the main models used in the current literature. Biobehavioral assays used in rats and mice include fear conditioning (which presents moderate predictive, face, and construct validities); the elevated T-maze (which presents good predictive validity, but low face and construct validities); electrical stimulation of the periaqueductal gray (which presents good face validity, but moderate construct validity); predator exposure models (which present good predictive and moderate construct validity); and hypercapnia-induced responses (which present moderate construct validity). These three approaches seek coherence with theories on fear as a way to increase its translational potential; thus, while the elevated T-maze is supported by the Deakin/Graeff theory, the mouse defense test battery relies on the concept of defensive distance, and periaqueductal gray stimulation is based on the functional neuroanatomy of fear. Moreover, to higher or lower degree the three models are supported by an “etho-experimental” approach, with careful observation of animal behavior as a way of discriminating different defensive strategies that model different aspects of anxiety, fear, and panic. These assays can be used, in conjunction with independent variables that attempt to simulate the vulnerabilities and stressors which lead to panic attacks, to produce true models of PD. Finally, an alternative/complementary model is proposed that uses zebrafish alarm reaction to study this disorder.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0074.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: animal emotions; animal welfare; sensors; animal-based measures; affective states; emotion modelling
Online: 4 February 2022 (12:20:22 CET)
Emotions or affective states recognition in farm animals is an underexplored research domain. Despite significant advances in the animal welfare research, the animal affective computing through the development and application of devices and platforms that can not only recognize but interpret and process the emotions, are in nascent stage. By capitalizing on the immense potential of biometric sensors, the artificial intelligence enabled big data methods substantially offers advancement of animal welfare standards and meet the urgent need of caretakers to respond effectively to maintain the wellbeing of their animals. Farm animals, numbering over 70 billion worldwide, are increasingly managed in large-scale, intensive farms. With both public awareness and scientific evidence growing that farm animals experience suffering, as well as affective states such as fear, frustration and distress, there is an urgent need to develop efficient and accurate methods for monitoring their welfare. At present, there are no scientifically validated ‘benchmarks’ for quantifying transient emotional (affective) states in farm animals, and no established measures of good welfare, only indicators of poor welfare, such as injury, pain and fear. Conventional approaches to monitoring livestock welfare are time consuming, interrupt farming processes and involve subjective judgments. Biometric sensors data enabled by Artificial Intelligence are an emerging smart solution to unobtrusively monitoring livestock, but their potential for quantifying affective states and groundbreaking solutions in their application are yet to be realized. This review provides innovative methods for collecting big data on farm animal emotions, which can be used to train artificial intelligence models to classify, quantify and predict affective states in individual pigs and cows. Extending this to the group level, social network analysis can be applied to model emotional dynamics and contagion among animals. Finally, ‘digital twins’ of animals capable of simulating and predicting their affective states and be-havior in real time are a near-term possibility.
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: animal suffering; animal welfare; fires; wild animals
Online: 28 August 2020 (08:50:40 CEST)
Animals living in the wild are exposed to numerous challenges, such as fires, that can lead to animal suffering. The impacts of fire have been studied in different branches of ecology, but studies of its effects on the welfare of individual animals remain scarce. The current review aims to synthesize a sample of relevant aspects regarding fire’s negative effects on wild animals. This review provides a better understanding of how fire compromises animal welfare, providing an example of how to use the knowledge gathered in ecology studies to examine the welfare of wild animals. It can help raise concern for the situation of wild animals as individuals, and to develop the field of welfare biology, by identifying promising future lines of research. The fundamentals of carrying out future work to design protocols for rescuing animals or preventing the harms they can suffer in fires is also explored.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0196.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: crocodilian; animal welfare; animal-based measure; animal-based indicator; welfare assessment; welfare measure
Online: 10 November 2021 (08:46:54 CET)
Animal-based measures are the measure of choice in animal welfare assessment protocols as they can often be applied completely independently to the housing or production system employed. Although there has been a small body of work on potential animal-based measures for farmed crocodilians [1-3], they have not been studied in the context of an animal welfare assessment protocol. Potential animal-based measures, that could be used to reflect the welfare state of farmed crocodilians, were identified and aligned with the Welfare Quality® principles of good housing, good health, good feeding and appropriate behaviour. A consultation process with a panel of experts was used to evaluate and score the potential measures in terms of validity and feasibility. This resulted in a toolbox of measures being identified for further development and integration into animal welfare assessment on the farm. Animal-based measures related to ‘good feeding’ and ‘good health’ received the highest scores for validity and feasibility by the experts. There was less agreement on the animal-based measures that could be used to reflect ‘appropriate behaviour’. Where no animal-based measures were deemed to reliably reflect a welfare criterion nor be useful as a measure on the farm, additional measures of resources or management were suggested as alternatives. Future work in this area should focus on the reliability of the proposed measures and involve further evaluation of their validity and feasibility as they relate to different species of crocodilian and farming system.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0368.v1
Subject: Keywords: Precision Livestock Farming; Sensors; Animal Ethics; Animal Welfare; Society; Sustainability; Human-animal relationships
Online: 16 July 2021 (11:27:24 CEST)
The demand for animal products is expected to continue to rise, which requires the development of efficient livestock farming systems. Environmental, societal and economic concerns regarding this industry are however accumulating, addressing the large resource demand, pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions and health concerns that the livestock industry is responsible for. Precision livestock farming systems allow the continuous automatic monitoring of various physiological, behavioural and phenotypic parameters of animals in order to increase productivity and animal welfare while controlling and minimizing the environmental impact. There is a high potential for digital farming to be the solution for responsibly and ethically feeding the growing and urbanizing population. However, many problems and concerns are still present in this developing industry and remain relatively unaddressed, starting with the ethical aspects in regard to the animal, including its objectification, human-animal relationships and welfare and ending with the societal implications of this digitalization. Concrete frameworks, inter-disciplinary studies and global legislation need to be put in place in order to ensure the safety and protection of the animals, farmer and society. Here, implications of digital farming for the animals, farmers, society and the planet are critically reviewed with the future outlook of digital farms.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0280.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: animal welfare; animal training; applied animal behavior; behavior analysis; behavioral engineering; environmental enrichment; zoos
Online: 15 November 2022 (07:20:08 CET)
The field of applied behavior analysis has been directly involved in both research and applications of behavioral principles to improve the lives of captive zoo animals. Thirty years ago, Forthman and Ogden (1992) wrote one of the first papers documenting some of these efforts. Since that time, considerable work has been done using behavioral principles and procedures to guide zoo welfare efforts. The current paper re-examines and updates Forthman and Ogden’s original points, with attention to the five categories they detailed: (1) promotion of species-typical behavior, (2) reintroduction and repatriation of endangered species, (3) animal handling, (4) pest control, and (5) animal performances. In addition, we outline three current and future directions for behavior analytic endeavors: (i) experimental analyses of behavior and the zoo, (ii) applied behavior analysis and the zoo, and (iii) within-subject methodology and the zoo. The goal is to provide a framework that can guide future behavioral research in zoos, as well as create applications based on these empirical evaluations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0077.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: zoo; mobile zoo; mobile animal exhibits; animal display; mobile live animal programs; negative education
Online: 16 June 2017 (05:32:18 CEST)
This paper assesses whether there is intrinsic positive educational value in travelling animal presentations and exhibits, referred to here as Mobile Live Animal Programs (MLAPs). Given that educational claims serve as the basis for allowing MLAPs to operate in many jurisdictions throughout Canada and the United States, it is essential to examine whether these purported claims are valid. This study takes a twofold approach of examining first, what constitutes an MLAP and how such programs are situated within the larger context of animal observation and tourism, and second, what constitutes both positive and negative education, and how such learning can empirically be measured in these settings. This approach provokes the ethical question of whether or not MLAPs should be allowed to operate given the high price paid not only by the individual animals used, but also to our psychological, emotional, and intellectual relationship with other species when we use non-human animals for our own knowledge, pleasure or comfort. The paper concludes that we must consider that the pervasive problem of negative education, that using displaced captive wild animals as learning tools that highlights human control over them, their objectification and their exploitation, is not justified by the purported positive educational claims of MLAPs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0738.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: animal representation; animal-based foods; marketing; eggs; hen welfare
Online: 31 July 2020 (08:19:40 CEST)
How a species is represented by marketers of animal-based products both reflects and shapes how consumers think about that animal. By examining the explicit statements, and implicit messages encoded in the imagery on supermarket egg boxes, this paper explores how hens are represented by whole egg retailers. Content analysis reveals two prominent messages purveyed through eggbox graphics, namely those pertaining to hen welfare and human health. The later disenfranchises hens from their products by focusing on the nutritional value of eggs, whereas the former reflects a public concern for the welfare of egg-laying hens. Although claims of improvements in welfare practices are undoubtedly exploited as marketing tools, they serve to raise awareness and drive competitors to adopt similar practices. Welfare claims are a direct response to public concerns about the plight of hens, and may positively influence industry welfare standards. However, idyllic depictions displayed on eggboxes also lull consumers into the belief that those eggs are an ethically sound food choice, regardless of the actual standard of living experienced by the hens.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0326.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Deepfake; Animal Welfare; Animal Emotions; Artificial Intelligence; Digital Farming; Animal Based Measures; Emotion Modeling; Livestock Health
Online: 14 July 2021 (11:49:38 CEST)
Deepfake technologies are known for the creation of forged celebrity pornography, face and voice swaps, and other fake media content. Despite the negative connotations the technology bears, the underlying machine learning algorithms have a huge potential that could be applied to not just digital media, but also to medicine, biology, affective science, and agriculture, just to name a few. Due to the ability to generate big datasets based on real data distributions, deepfake could also be used to positively impact non-human animals such as livestock. Generated data using Generative Adversarial Networks, one of the algorithms that deepfake is based on, could be used to train models to accurately identify and monitor animal health and emotions. Through data augmentation, using digital twins, and maybe even displaying digital conspecifics where social interactions are enhanced, deepfake technologies have the potential to increase animal health, emotionality, sociality, animal-human and animal-computer interactions and thereby animal welfare, productivity, and sustainability of the farming industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0109.v1
Online: 5 August 2020 (05:02:17 CEST)
With the increasing societal expectation that animals are afforded greater protection in emergencies, the legal process from entering a property to rescue a companion animal, through to how to dispose of such animals if they remain unclaimed has not been well examined in New Zealand. It is hypothesised that the legal framework for such response is flawed. In this study, each phase of animal disaster rescue is evaluated against four key statues that may apply in each phase, in that does any statute provide clear end to end provisions with clear legal authority to do so. The study found that all statutes evaluated contained flaws and that the current legal provisions are insufficient to provide clear authority for the sequential process of undertaking rescue of animals during emergencies. A major flaw was discovered in the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 a key statute, that provided for the seizure of property and animals but omitted a procedure for the disposal of such seized things leaving them all in legal limbo. It is recommended that animal disaster laws are updated to be more animal inclusive. The method also may be applicable to assist evaluating animal disaster management legal frameworks in other countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0171.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Law Keywords: animal welfare legislation; animal cruelty; law enforcement; Australia; enforcement gap
Online: 12 December 2019 (10:07:56 CET)
Enforcement of animal welfare statutes are the primary protection given for the maintenance of animal welfare and prevention of cruelty. It is speculated that animal law enforcement in Australia has a number of weakness in the enforcement model. These weaknesses create a gap between the goals of animal law enforcement and the reality of the animal law justice system. This gap is defined as the ‘enforcement gap’. This paper identifies and investigates the causes of this gap. The hypothesized causes discussed are (1) the impact the public can have on reporting animal cruelty, (2) the reliance on charitable organizations as enforcement bodies, (3) the inconsistencies in animal welfare legislation, and (4) the role of the sentencing courts. Thus, the causes of the enforcement gap are multifactorial; derived from all stages of the enforcement process. Further research is needed to investigate the concepts raised in this paper. However, it is likely that a combination of structural change to enforcement agencies, legislative reform and public education is required to reduce the enforcement gap.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0084.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: euthanasia; veterinary ethics; medical ethics; end-of-life; assisted suicide; palliative care; assisted dying
Online: 7 December 2017 (05:20:50 CET)
Not a lot is known about either death or the dying process. Politicians and many in the medical profession in the UK tend to shy away from interfering with it by not allowing euthanasia as an end of life option for the patient. This is the first paper in a series of two, comparing the situation in human medicine and veterinary medicine, in which euthanasia is well practiced for relieving suffering at the end of an animal’s life. This first part takes the form of a literature review including best practice around end of life care, its deficiencies and the need for assisted dying. Veterinary surgeons are well trained in the ethics of euthanasia and put it to good use in the best interest of their animal patients. In countries which have legalized physician assisted suicide for the terminally ill reporting indicates that it works well, without increases in involuntary euthanasia and most importantly without intimidation of the vulnerable. However, there is still an ever increasing tendency to overuse sedation and opioids at the end of life, which merits further investigation. With advances in medical science able to significantly prolong the dying process, patient autonomy demands a review of the law in the UK.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0027.v2
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Zoo animal welfare; Five Domains; Validity; Animal-based; Resource-based; Scoring
Online: 22 December 2021 (11:59:32 CET)
Zoos are increasingly putting in place formalized animal welfare assessment programs to allow monitoring of welfare over time, as well as to aid in resource prioritization. These programs tend to rely on assessment tools that incorporate resource-based and observational animal- focused measures since it is rarely feasible to obtain measures of physiology in zoo-housed animals. A range of assessment tools are available which commonly have a basis in the Five Domains framework. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted to bring together recent studies examining welfare assessment methods in zoo animals. A summary of these methods is provided with advantages and limitations of the approach es presented. We then highlight practical considerations with respect to implementation of these tools into practice, for example scoring schemes, weighting of criteria, and innate animal factors for consideration. It is concluded that would be value in standardizing guidelines for development of welfare assessment tools since zoo accreditation bodies rarely prescribe these. There is also a need to develop taxon or species- specific assessment tools to inform welfare management.
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Ebola virus; rhesus macaque; animal model; FDA Animal Rule; natural history
Online: 5 February 2021 (11:34:20 CET)
Ebola virus (EBOV) is a negative-sense RNA virus that can infect humans and nonhuman primates with severe health consequences. Development of countermeasures requires a thorough understanding of the interaction between host and pathogen, and the course of disease. The goal of this study was to further characterize EBOV disease in a uniformly lethal rhesus macaque model, in order to support development of a well-characterized model following rigorous quality standards. Rhesus macaques were intramuscularly exposed to EBOV and one group was euthanized at predetermined time points to characterize progression of disease. A second group was not scheduled for euthanasia in order to analyze survival, changes in physiology, clinical pathology, terminal pathology, and telemetry kinetics. On day 3, sporadic viremia was observed and pathological evidence was noted in lymph nodes. By day 5, viremia was detected in all EBOV exposed animals and pathological evidence was noted in the liver, spleen, and gastrointestinal tissues. These data support the notion that EBOV infection in rhesus macaques is a rapid systemic disease similar to infection in humans, under a compressed time scale. Biomarkers that correlated with disease progression at the earliest stages of infection were observed thereby identifying potential “trigger--to-treat” for use in therapeutic studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0104.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Metallurgy Keywords: TRIP-assisted steel; microstructure; mechanical properties
Online: 5 November 2018 (10:37:56 CET)
: The effect that the microstructure exerts on the TRIP phenomenon and on the mechanical properties in a multiphase steel was studied. Samples of an initially cold-rolled ferrite-pearlite steel underwent different intercritical annealing treatments at 750 °C until an equal fractions of austenite/ferrite was reached; the intercritical treatment was followed by isothermal bainitic treatments before cooling the samples to room temperature. Samples in the first treatment were heated directly to the intercritical temperature, whereas other samples were heated to either 900 or 1100 °C to obtain a fully homogenized, single phase austenitic microstructure prior to the conducting the intercritical treatment. The high temperature homogenization of austenite resulted in the decrease in its stability, so a considerable austenite fraction transformed into martensite by cooling to room temperature after the bainitic heat treatment. Most of the retained austenite transformed during the tensile tests, and as a consequence, the previously homogenized steels showed the highest UTS. In turn, the steel with a ferritic-pearlitic initial microstructure, exhibited higher ductility than the other steels and texture components that favor forming processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0099.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: ethology; anthrozoology; semiotics; animal sanctuaries; captivity; anthropization; animal ethics; non invasive observation
Online: 16 October 2017 (05:42:33 CEST)
The present essay illustrates the methodological and theoretical premises of an emerging research area carrying out both ethological and (bio)ethical implications: the ethology of the freed animal (EFA). Unlike existing ethological fields, EFA focuses neither on non human (NH) animals in natural conditions of freedom in their own environment, nor on NH animals kept in conditions of “captivity”. Rather, EFA consists of a comparative study of NH animals that are released from a condition of more or less abusive captivity and instead relocated in an environment more appropriate to their species-specific and individual characteristics and inclinations. Ideal places for this study are contexts like “Animal sanctuaries” and parks/reserves provided with a camp or station for researchers, where a previously-captive NH animal can be reintroduced in his/her natural habitat. Even though EFA exists already, as a de facto practice of the specialized and/or volunteer personnel running sanctuaries and parks, the field still lacks a recognizable scholarly paradigm, and it is yet to be acknowledged at institutional/academic level. By consequence, one important aim for creating a field like this lies in the establishment of an active interaction between the two parties involved (researchers and sanctuaries/parks operators).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0373.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: metal assisted etching; metal assisted catalytic etching, silicon nanowires, porous silicon, porous powders, metal nanoparticles, deposition
Online: 14 June 2021 (15:04:41 CEST)
Electroless etching of semiconductors was elevated to an advanced micromachining process by the addition of a structured metal catalyst. Patterning of the catalyst by lithographic techniques facilitates the patterning of crystalline and polycrystalline wafer substrates. Galvanic deposition of metals on semiconductors has a natural tendency to produce nanoparticles rather than flat uniform films. This characteristic makes possible the etching of not only wafers but also particles with arbitrary shape. While it has been widely recognized that spontaneous deposition of metal nanoparticles can be used in connection with etching to porosify wafers, it is also possible to produced nanostructured powders. MACE can be controlled to produce (1) etch track pores with shapes and sizes closely related to the shape and size of the metal nanoparticle, (2) hierarchically porosified substrates exhibiting combinations of large etch track pores and mesopores, and (3) nanowires with either solid or mesoporous cores. This review discussed the mechanisms of porosification, processing advances and the properties of the etch product with special emphasis on the etching of silicon powders.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0094.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: euthanasia; veterinary ethics; medical ethics; end-of-life; assisted suicide; palliative care; assisted dying; moral stress
Online: 1 December 2017 (16:58:27 CET)
This is the second of a series of two papers comparing the end of life issues in human and veterinary medicine. We outline the main differences between human and animal patients such as patient communication, finance and ‘conflicts of interest’ between animal, owner and veterinarian. We discuss striking similarities between human and veterinary issues such as assessing quality of life and the primary role of the attending veterinarian or doctor being the welfare and care of the patient. This paper takes the form of an ethical argument in favour of allowing euthanasia in human medicine, by providing insights into end of life issues for humans from an independent veterinary perspective. Veterinary surgeons are well trained in the ethics of euthanasia and put it to good use in the best interest of their animal patients. Doctors in the UK are limited and unwilling to put forward a case for the option of euthanasia for those patients who face a slow and agonizing death. With advances in medical science being able to significantly prolong the dying process, autonomy for the patient demands a review of the law regarding patient choice in the UK.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0150.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: refinement; mouse welfare; mouse husbandry; mouse aggression; male mice; social organisation; group housing; single housing; animal husbandry; animal welfare; animal management
Online: 24 October 2017 (03:29:02 CEST)
It is widely recommended to group house male laboratory mice because they are ‘social animals’, but male mice do not naturally share territories and aggression can be a serious welfare problem. Even without aggression, not all animals within a group will be in a state of positive welfare. Rather, many male mice may be negatively affected by the stress of repeated social defeat and subordination, raising concerns about welfare and also research validity. However, individual housing may not be an appropriate solution, given the welfare implications associated with no social contact. An essential question is whether it is in the best welfare interests of male mice to be group- or singly-housed. This review explores the likely impacts, positive and negative, of both housing conditions, presents results of a survey of current practice and awareness of mouse behaviour, and includes recommendations for good practice and future research. We conclude that whether group- or single-housing is better (or less worse) in any situation is highly context-dependent according to several factors including strain, age, social position, life experiences, and housing and husbandry protocols. It is important to recognise this and evaluate what is preferable from animal welfare and ethical perspectives in each case.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0370.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Targeted drug delivery, VX2 tumor, breast cancer, cryoablation, cryo-assisted injection, cryo-assisted resection, blue dye, epirubicin.
Online: 30 May 2019 (13:44:41 CEST)
Background: We assess locoregional drug targeting effectiveness of intraoperative (IO) cryoprobe-assisted injection of blue dye (BD) and cytotoxic-tracer mixture (TTM), in VX2 tumor model, and its translational value to cryo-assisted breast tumor surgery with BD alone. Methods: Under computed tomography (CT) guidance, we injected two ml TTM in five aliquots in the margin of 16 frozen or normothermic VX2 tumors. We evaluated the IO and post-operative drug targeting and therapeutic efficacy in tumor-host interface (T-HI) by CT, gross examination, and histopathology. In twenty-six T1 to T4 primary breast cancer (BRCA) we performed ultrasound-guided (US) cryoprobe-assisted tumor freezing, BD guided lymphatic mapping, and surgery. We evaluated, IO and in freshly resected specimen, BD distribution pattern in T-HI, lymph node(s), breast parenchyma, and resection cavity. Results: Fluids-impervious frozen VX2 or breast tumor transported drug(s) an arc-like pattern at T-HI regardless of freeze dose, number of freeze-thaw cycles, drug dose fractionation, tumor characteristics or dimensions. During melting, TTM spread within fifty percent VX2 tumor mirrored that of T-HI; it was massive in normothermia. In VX2 twenty percent focal margin necrosis at pathology coincided with CT gap; in both studies, BD dose-staining spread in T-HI and tumor was linear. Eighty-four patients had one to twelve stained axillary lymph nodes; sixty-nine percent and all respectively, had another quadrant and resection cavity stained. Conclusion: Intraoperative freezing-assisted drug delivery and targeting techniques during cryoablation of VX2 tumor translate successfully to locoregional BD targeting, lymphatic mapping during cryo-assisted surgery of breast cancer.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0057.v1
Online: 5 July 2022 (04:36:30 CEST)
Zoonoses are diseases transmitted from (vertebrate) animals to humans. Control and prevention of these diseases require an appropriate way to measure health for prudent and well-balanced decisions in public health. We propose a framework that aims to explore, understand and open up a conversation about the non-monetary value of animals through environmental and normative ethics. As an example of its application, participants can choose what they are willing to give in exchange for curing an animal in hypothetical scenarios selecting a human health condition to suffer, the amount of money, and lifetime as a tradeoff. We believe that considering animals beyond their monetary value in public health decisions will contribute to a more rigorous assessment of the burden of zoonotic diseases, among other health decisions. This method might help us complement the existing metrics in health, adding more comprehensive values for animal and human health for the “One Health” approach.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0343.v1
Online: 27 June 2022 (03:18:28 CEST)
Adolescence represents a critical period for the programming of future adult behaviours. Neurogenesis is particularly active during adolescence, with increased number of granule cells and increased hippocampal volume both in animals and humans. Among the factors which can affect neurogenesis during adolescence, stress is considered a major one. Indeed, adolescence is known to be a particularly stressful period in life, with some adolescents suffering from mood disorders and anxiety. While there is increasing interest on the neurogenic changes occurring during the adolescent period, evidence is sparse. We conducted a systematic review summarising changes in hippocampal neurogenesis, neuroplasticity and hippocampal-dependent cognitive functions and behavioural outcomes in stress-induced adolescent animal models of depression, and investigating long-term stress effects on the same outcomes assessing the same animals in adulthood. Overall, the results show a significant reduction in hippocampal cell proliferation, and a concomitant increase in depressive-like behaviours in adolescent animals exposed to stress challenges, however reduction in the number of surviving neurons was accompanied by no changes in both cognition and behaviour. Studies also observed altered neuroplasticity, including a stress-induced decrease in markers of pre- and post-synaptic plasticity, dendritic spine length and density, and long-term potentiation. These changes in neuroplasticity were accompanied by cognitive impairments and depressive-like behaviours. Overall, some of the negative effects observed during adolescence, especially on cell proliferation, neuroplasticity, cognition and behaviour either persisted or worsened during adulthood. Interestingly, treatment during adolescence with antidepressants, glutamate receptor inhibitors, glucocorticoid antagonists, or a healthy diet consisting of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A, were able to reverse or prevent these detrimental effects. Future research should aim to investigate the translational impact of these preclinical findings, developing novel tools for the measurement of hippocampal neurogenesis directly in depressed adolescents, and subsequently assessing neurogenic changes in response to stress as well as pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0152.v1
Online: 11 April 2018 (13:54:56 CEST)
Mycobacterium ulcerans is the causative agent of the Buruli ulcer, also known, in Australia, as Daintree ulcer or Bairnsdale ulcer. This destructive skin disease is characterized by extensive and painless necrosis of the skin and soft tissue with the formation of large ulcers, commonly on the leg or arm. To date, 33 countries with tropical, subtropical and temperate climates in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Western Pacific have reported cases of Buruli Ulcer. The disease is rarely fatal, although it may lead to permanent disability and/ or disfigurement if not treated appropriately or in time. It is the third most common mycobacterial infection in the world after tuberculosis and leprosy. The precise mode of transmission of M. ulcerans is yet to be elucidated. Nevertheless, it is possible that the mode of transmission varies with different geographical areas and epidemiological settings. The knowledge about the possible route of transmission and potential animal reservoir of M. ulcerans is poorly understood and still remains patchy. We conducted a systematic review with selected key words on PubMed and INFORMIT databases to aggregate available published data on animal reservoirs of M. ulcerans. After certain inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 17 studies were included in the review. A variety of animals, e.g rodents, shrews, possums (ringtail and brush tail), horses, dogs, alpacas, koalas and Indian flap-shelled turtles have been recorded as being infected with M. ulcerans around the world. The majority of studies included in this review identified animal reservoirs, either aquatic or terrestrial, as predisposing for the emergence and reemergence of M. ulcerans infection. Taken together, the selected studies in this systematic review and discussed so far, it is clear that exotic wildlife, aquatic animals and native mammals play a significant role as reservoirs for M. ulcerans.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0228.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: vegetables; high throughput phenotyping; genomic assisted breeding
Online: 26 April 2022 (06:00:45 CEST)
Conventional phenotyping breeding approaches for vegetable crops like Solanaceae, Bulb, Root crops, have made a significant contribution by developing many varieties. Despite this, conventional phenotyping approaches are not sufficient due to the longer time taken to develop a variety, low genetic gain, environmental factors and some other externalities that affect the phenotype-based selection. To address the challenges of conventional phenotype, a new recent method of high throughput phenotyping (HTP) is considered a promising tool. The development of high-throughput phenotyping technology began in the preceding decade as advancements in sensor, computer vision, automation, and advanced machine learning technologies. HTP platforms are being utilized to undertake non-destructive assessments of the complete plant system in a range of crops. HTP provides the precise measurements and suggests the collection of high-quality and accurate data which is necessary for standardizing phenotyping for the collection of genetic dissection and genomic assisted breeding such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS), linkage mapping, marker-assisted selection (MAS), genomic selection (GS). The remainder of this chapter discusses how high-throughput phenotyping technologies can be used in genomic-assisted breeding for vegetable crops
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0599.v1
Online: 29 January 2021 (06:03:03 CET)
Objective: The study aimed to explore the experiences of women undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technologies namely; Invitro Fertilization and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection at the Finney Hospital and Fertility Centre, New Bortianor, Ghana. Method: A qualitative research design was employed to analyse and describe the experiences of the women seeking Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Fifteen women were invited and interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. The responses were transcribed verbatim and analysed using content analysis. Results: Three themes emerged from the study: the women’s experiences, challenges and the roles and contributions of significant others. The women were anxious, stressed-up, exhausted and financially burdened. Spouses and health professionals played significant roles by providing social, emotional and financial support for these women. Significant others such as spouses and close relatives were supportive and provided encouragement to the women. Conclusion: The experiences of women undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technologies are multi-dimensional. Thus psychosocial intervention as part of ART services with health insurance cover may be client-centered and more appropriate for these group of women.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0132.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: bio-phosphate; ABC Animal-Bone-Char; 3R pyrolysis; phosphorus recovery; animal by-products; apatite
Online: 10 April 2018 (16:28:11 CEST)
Disrupted nutrient recycling is a significant problem for Europe, while phosphorus and nitrogen are wasted instead of being used for plant nutrition. Mineral phosphate is critical raw material, which contains environmentally hazardous elements such as cadmium and uranium. Therefore, phosphorus recovery from agricultural by-product streams is critically important key priority. Phosphorus recovery from food grade animal bone by-products have been applied researched since 2002 with objective driven evolution progress towards specialized pyrolysis processing technology and animal bone char product (ABC) developments in economical industrial scale. Different animal bone by-products tested under different conditions at 400 kg/h throughput capacity in the continuously operated 3R zero emission autothermal carbonization system. The different material core treatment temperatures (between >300°C and <850°C) were combined with different residence times under industrial productive processing conditions. It has been industrial demonstrated that material core treatment temperature <850°C with 20 minutes residence time is necessary to achieve high quality ABC with useful agronomic value. The output ABC product having concentrated >30% phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5) and specific quality innovative fertilizer for agronomical efficient organic and low input farming applications as functional organic fertilizer, soil improver, growing medium and/or fertilizing product blend with high mineral phosphate fertiliser replacement value.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0341.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: microfoming; energy field assisted micro/nanoforming; ultrasonic vibration
Online: 21 December 2021 (13:53:15 CET)
Excitation of the acoustic field leading to the Blaha effect affects the plasticity of the material significantly in ultrasonic vibration-assisted forming. In a micro-forming field, the effects are more significant in the deformation in surface of materials -, in which reduction of the surface roughness based on the increasing of plastic deformation of surface asperity was effective . On the other hand, the effect on deformation behavior of the bulk region indicted reduction in the yield stress of materials, and not only acoustic effect , but also impact effect is found to generate a large amount of dislocation and produce plastic deformation . However, the effect on the bulk is more significant as that on the surface. Differences in the effect on the surface and the bulk are not clarified. In this study, the mechanism of the deformation in the surface of the material with ultrasonic vibration assistance is investigated and compared with that in the bulk. Forging tests using a newly developed ultrasonic vibrator were carried out on pure Cu foils with various process conditions. The longitudinal vibration frequency of the ultrasonic transducer is 60∓2kHz, and the vibration amplitude is in an adjustable range of 0~10μm. Forging test was carried out at different initial stress, specimen size and amplitude. The difference in acoustic softening and impact effects on the surface and the bulk was discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0471.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & Plastics Keywords: Biodegradable polymers; Nanocomposite; Ultrasound-assisted; Mechanical properties; Montmorillonite
Online: 28 September 2021 (12:27:17 CEST)
The preparation of new materials based on starch for the development of biodegradable packaging is increasing, however, the poor properties of this biopolymer for this application causes an area of opportunities for the improvement of water vapour permeability (WVP), mechanical properties, thermal properties, hydrophilicity, water absorption, among others. Hence, starch has been combined with other polymers such as polyvinyl alcohol, which has shown an improvement in the mechanical properties of starch, also, the use of clays suggests that the properties of response to water can be improved. Therefore, in this work, the preparation and characterization of starch-PVA-nanoclay films prepared by solvent casting is reported. The results obtained suggest that the sonication of nanoclay is necessary to reach a good dispersion, which promotes a strong interaction among starch-PVA-nanoclay. In addition, the properties of WVP and mechanical properties of films improved with incorporation of nanoclay, the concentration of 0.5% w/v of nanoclay showed to be the best concentration due to concentrations of 1.0 and 1.5% w/v were poorer than 0.5% w/v. Accordingly, the successful incorporation of nanoclays into the matrix starch-PVA suggests that this material is a good candidate for use as packaging.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0234.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Applied Chemistry Keywords: cannabis; THC; CBD; microwave assisted extraction; continuous flow
Online: 11 July 2020 (09:04:17 CEST)
Cannabis is a flowering plant that has long been used for medicinal, therapeutic, and recreational purposes. Cannabis contains more than 500 different compounds, including a unique class of terpeno-phenolic compounds known as cannabinoids; Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most prevalent cannabinoids and have been associated with the therapeutic and medicinal properties of the cannabis plant. In this paper, continuous flow microwave assisted extraction (MAE) is presented and compared with other methods for commercial cannabis extraction. The practical issues of each extraction method are discussed. The main advantages of MAE are: continuous-flow method which allows for higher volumes of biomass to be processed in less time than existing extraction methods, improved extraction efficiency leading to increased final product yields, improved extract consistency and quality because the process does not require stopping and restarting material flows, and ease of scale-up to industrial scale without the use of pressurised batch vessels. Moreover, due to the flexibility of changing the operation conditions, MAE eliminates additional steps required in most extraction methods, such as biomass decarboxylation, winterisation, which typically adds at least a half day to the extraction process. Another factor that sets MAE apart is the ability to achieve high extraction efficiency even at the industrial scale. Whereas the typical recovery of active compounds using supercritical CO¬2 remains around 70-80%, via MAE up to 95% of the active compounds from cannabis biomass can be recovered at the industrial scale.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0158.v1
Online: 12 December 2019 (03:52:07 CET)
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) supplies nourishment to about half of the population of the world's inhabitants. Of them, more than 2 billion people suffer from "hidden hunger" in which they are unable to meet the recommended nutrients or micronutrients from their daily dietary intake. Bio-fortification refers to developing micronutrient-rich diet foods using traditional breeding methods and modern biotechnology, a promising approach to nutrition enrichment as part of an integrated strategy for food systems. To improve the profile of rice grain for the biofortification related traits, understanding the genetics of important biofortification traits is required. Moreover, these attributes are quantitative in nature and are influenced by several genes and environmental variables. In the course of past decades, several endeavours such, as finding the important quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for improving the nutrient profile of rice seeds were successfully undertaken. In this review, we have presented the information regarding the QTLs identified for the biofortification traits in the rice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0232.v2
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: microfluidic; microelectrodes; negatively charged; TiO2; assisted reproductive technology
Online: 18 September 2018 (10:34:00 CEST)
This research was presented the special designed microfluidic device generated for sperm separation based on assumption of different surface electrical charged of sperms X and Y. However, to avoid ethical problem, the microfluidic chip has been tested with the mimic electrical charged particles, TiO2-coated Polystyrene beads, (TiO2-coated Ps-beads), instead of spermatozoa. The work has been separated into three main parts. Firstly, the simply but efficient fabrication of negatively charged TiO2-coated Ps-beads has been presented. In addition, various characterization techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), Tungsten Scanning Electron Microscopy (W-SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) mode, and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS), have been reported in this work to elucidate the reasons behind the persistence of negatively charged on the surface of TiO2-coated Ps-beads. Results show that the fabricated TiO2-coated Ps-beads was partly coated in the mixed forms of amorphous Ti4+ and had caused a negatively charge to appear on the surface after fabrication and had sustained its electrical charged for long. Secondly, process of simulation and fabrication of microfluidic device was presented. Finally the negatively charged TiO2-coated Ps-beads were tested in this microfluidic devices. For design of microfluidic devices integrated with a couple of microelectrodes, the simulated structures were fabricated by photolithographic technique and tested with the Ps-beads. Percentage of validation for Ps-beads separation indicated that the 100 mm-distance-between-electrodes microfluidic device exhibits to be the highest performance prototype at 86.96%. For further confirmation, another model so called the single path prototype has been established. It is confirmed by 92.59% of validation for the utilization of the device. The successfully designed microfluidic devices can be examined with actual spermatozoa later. Furthermore, process to fabricate the negatively charged TiO2-coated Ps-beads can be established as testified samples for development of other microfluidic devices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0335.v1
Online: 22 July 2022 (09:57:40 CEST)
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), etiological agent of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread since December 2019, resulting in massive health and economic crisis worldwide. While efforts to stop the pandemic are crucial, collecting epidemiological data to help manage current and future pandemics will be important. In addition to humans, serological and molecular based studies have demonstrated SARS CoV-2 exposure in several wild, domestic and farmed animals. For examples Shriner and the team showed serologically an exposure of 40% to the white deer living in close proximity to urban centers. Additional reports have also emerged of susceptibility of animal’s species like cats, ferrets, raccoon dogs, cynomolgus macaques, rhesus macaques, white-tailed deer, rabbits, Egyptian fruit bats, and Syrian hamsters to SARS-CoV-2 infection.. It’s worth emphasizing that these reports are based on experimental data mostly derived from Europe, USA, South America and parts of Asia. In limited instances natural infections of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported in pet dogs, cats, tigers, lions, snow leopards, pumas, gorillas at zoos and farmed mink and ferrets. The presence of the virus in animal species and an understanding of whether these are natural or recent human to animal transmissions is important. It’s possible that such transmission could passage the virus or subject the virus to a different immunological pressure thereby helping with the development of viral variants in addition to being a host for future reservoirs of the virus. In Kenya SARS-CoV-2 was first detected on March 12th 2020 from imported human cases of persons who had travelled from the United States. This was followed by detection of imported cases majorly from China, Sweden and United Kingdom. Later infections were confirmed in Nairobi and Mombasa suggesting further cases of disease importations through the major ports of entry. However, no comparable data on animal exposure have hitherto been generated in Kenya. To address this key concern, we focused on three objectives; 1) development of a robust antibody ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate. 2) SARS-CoV-2 serology of domestic animals in Kenya. 3) Corroboration of the crude lysate based seroprevalence data and a commercial ELISA kit based on the Spike receptor binding domain (RBD) antigen. Our sample set included camel sera (both pre- & post outbreak sera), as well as sera from cats and dogs collected at the peak of the pandemic. Our results using the ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate indicated SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in camels (71%, N=145), cats 11% (N=16) and dogs (81%, N=36) with varying titer levels. These findings were comparable to those obtained using the commercial ELISA kit based on the spike RBD antigens. In summary, the data warrants two key conclusions: (i) we have demonstrated that the crude lysate ELISA allows for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection, and given its potential to offer robust detection could be applied for initial mass screening (ii) although the current study cannot disentangle the relative contributions of antigenic cross-reactivity, pre-pandemic exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or human-animal transmission, it nonetheless demonstrates for the first time the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 like antibodies in domestic and wild animals in Kenya. Our findings set the scene for further research into the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic and wild animals to understand their potential epidemiological implications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0375.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: melanin; extraction; isolation; animal; plant; microbes
Online: 27 May 2022 (09:07:30 CEST)
Melanins are phenolic biopolymers synthesised by most of the living organism mainly for photoprotection or surviving in harsh conditions. Melanin is localised in different areas or complexed with different other biomolecules when observed from animals to microbes. This makes the melanin extraction procedure different in animal, plant and microbial tissues. Basically, the alkali-acid extraction is used in most protocols of which slight variations are there depending on the tissue used. This review will try to compile melanin extraction procedures from different cells and tissues ranging from animals to bacteria.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0083.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: stroke; antioxidant; co-drug; animal model
Online: 20 October 2016 (08:46:38 CEST)
Background: Previously, our laboratory has provided evidence that pre-administration of the antioxidant, lipoic acid covalently bonded to various naturally occurring antioxidants, enhanced neuroprotective capacity compared to the administration of lipoic acid on its own. The naturally occurring compound scopoletin, a coumarin derivative, has been shown in various in vitro studies to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanism of actions. To date, the effect of scopoletin on neuronal cell death in an in vivo model of ischemia or ischemia-reperfusion has not been investigated. Therefore, the present investigation was designed to determine if scopoletin on its own, or a co-drug consisting of lipoic acid and scopoletin covalent bond, named UPEI-400, would be capable of demonstrating a similar neuroprotective efficacy. Methods: Using a rodent model of stroke in male rats (anesthetized with Inactin®; 100 mg/kg, iv), the middle cerebral artery was permanently occluded for 6 hours (pMCAO), or in separate animals, occluded for 30 min followed by 5.5 hrs of reperfusion (ischemia/reperfusion; I/R). Results: Pre-administration of either scopoletin or UPEI-400 significantly decreased infarct volume in the I/R model (p<0.05), but not in the pMCAO model of stroke. However, UPEI-400 was ~1000 times more potent as compared to scopoletin on its own. The optimal dose of UPEI-400 was then injected during the occlusion and at several time points during reperfusion and significant neuroprotection was observed for up to 150 mins following the start of reperfusion (p<0.05). Conclusion: The data suggest that synthetic combination of scopoletin with lipoic acid (UPEI-400) is a more effective neuroprotectant that either compound on their own. Also, since UPEI-400 was only effective in a model of I/R, it is possible that it may act to enhance neuronal antioxidant capacity and/or upregulate anti-inflammatory pathways to prevent the neuronal cell death.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0253.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: airborne pathogens; animal production; infectious animal disease; livestock health; mass balance; swine diseases; viral aerosol; virus isolation
Online: 10 February 2021 (11:41:43 CET)
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infections cause significant economic losses to swine producers every year. Aerosols containing infectious PRRSV are an important route of transmission, and proper treatment of air could mitigate the airborne spread of the virus within and between barns. Previous bioaerosol studies focused on the microbiology of PRRSV aerosols; thus, the current study addressed the engineering aspects of virus aerosolization and collection. Specific objectives were to (1) build and test a virus aerosolization system, (2) achieve a uniform and repeatable aerosol generation and collection throughout all replicates, (3) identify and minimize sources of variation, (4) verify that the collection system (impingers) performed similarly. The system for virus aerosolization was built and tested (Obj. 1). The uniform airflow distribution was confirmed using a physical tracer (<12% relative standard deviation) for all treatments and sound engineering control of flow rates (Obj. 2). Theoretical uncertainty analyses and mass balance calculations showed <3% loss of air mass flow rate between the inlet and outlet (Obj. 3). A comparison of TCID50 values among impinger fluids showed no statistical difference between any two of the three trials (p-value = 0.148, 0.357, 0.846) (Obj. 4). These results showed that the readiness of the system for research on virus aerosolization and treatment (e.g., by ultraviolet light), as well as its potential use for research on other types of airborne pathogens and their mitigation on a laboratory scale.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0418.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: CAST; Lgr5; WNT; Gastric cancer; Machine assisted searching; macrophage
Online: 20 August 2021 (14:00:27 CEST)
Background: Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the leading malignancy diseases worldwide, especially in Asian. CAST is a potential oncogene in GC carcinogenesis process. The character of macrophage infiltration in GC microenvironment was also unaddressed. Methods: We first applied machine searching in gene candidate evaluation of GC. CAST expression was analyzed via the Human Protein Atlas (HPA) and Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis 2 (GEPIA2) database. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was downloaded from STRING. We investigated the impact of CAST on clinical prognosis using Kaplan-Meier plotter. The correlations between CAST and Lgr5 and macrophage infiltration in GC was surveyed via TIMER 2.0. Finally, GeneMANIA was also used to evaluate the possible functional linkage between genes. Results: After machine-assisted searching, CAST expression was found signicant difference in the overall survival of GC patients. STRING revealed CAST related proteomics and transcriptomics associations, mainly about CAPN family. Moreover, CAST significantly impacts the prognosis of GC from other datasets validation. Notably, high CAST expression was correlated with worse overall survival in GC patients (hazard ratio = 1.59; logrank P = 9.4 x 10-8). CAST and Lgr5 expressions were both positively correlated with WNT 2 and WNT 2B. Among GC patients in several datasets, CAST and macrophage infiltration evaluated together showed no obvious trend toward poor clinical overall survival. Conclusion: CAST plays an important role in GC clinical prognosis and is associated with WNT 2/WNT 2B/Lgr5. Our study denmostrated that CAST in GC overall survival is regulated by macrophage infiltration.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0390.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Hybrid Vigor; Heterosis; Bulked Segregant Analysis; Marker Assisted Selection
Online: 13 November 2020 (15:47:40 CET)
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is a perennial, outcrossing legume crop predominantly grown for hay, silage, or pasture. Intensive selection has resulted in dramatic improvement in fitness traits, including winter survival and disease resistance. However, there has been minimal improvement in other economically important traits, such as hay yield, which is still comparable to 30 years ago. Intensive phenotyping costs on this type of trait hinder high selection pressure to identify superior outcross individuals. Severe inbreeding depression inhibits the development of inbred lines with accumulated favorable alleles that exhibit heterosis. This review highlights the outcomes of inbreeding depression as well as the causes, including unmasking deleterious alleles and triggering self-incompatibility. We tracked the research efforts that unveil the genetic bases underlying deleterious alleles and self-incompatibility. The magnitudes of inbreeding depression were compared with the rate of heterozygous halved time in diploid and tetraploid organisms. To fill in the gaps between the controversy and existing hypotheses, we theorized a dosage dominant model of inheritance. The dosage dominant model is similar to the Mendelian dominance model, in which a genotype exhibits a dominant phenotype if there is a dominant allele (alphabet dominant). The difference is that in the dosage dominant model, a genotype will result in a dominant phenotype if the number of dominant alleles is equal to or greater than the number of recessive alleles. This review also includes a discussion on the development of pseudo inbreds and a hypothesis to identify deleterious alleles using bulked segregant analysis and consequently to purge deleterious alleles using marker-assisted selection, to progress toward the successful development of pure inbred lines in alfalfa.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0088.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Gene pyramiding; marker assisted selection; stress resistance; crop improvement
Online: 4 August 2020 (11:10:22 CEST)
Sustainable agricultural production is endangered by several ecological factors such as drought, extreme temperatures, excessive salts, parasitic ailments, and insect pest infestation. These challenging environmental factors may have adverse effects on future agriculture production in many countries. In modern agriculture, conventional crop breeding techniques alone are inadequate for achieving the increasing population’s food demand on a sustainable basis. The advancement of molecular genetics and related technologies are promising tools for the selection of new crop species. Gene pyramiding through marker assisted selection (MAS) and other techniques have accelerated the development of durable resistant/tolerant lines with high accuracy in the shortest possible period of time for agricultural sustainability. Gene stacking has not been fully utilized for biotic stress resistance development and quality improvement in most of the major cultivated crops. This review emphasizes on gene pyramiding techniques that are being successfully deployed in modern agriculture for improving crop tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses for sustainable crop improvement.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0111.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Animal reservoirs; Leptospirosis; recreational area; rodents; Malaysia
Online: 10 October 2022 (02:56:52 CEST)
Leptospirosis is an important zoonotic disease that is transmitted worldwide through infected small mammals such as rodents. In Malaysia, there is paucity of information on the animal reservoirs that are responsible for leptospirosis transmission, with only few studies focusing on leptospirosis risk in recreational areas. Therefore, in this study, we characterized the species composition and the prevalence of pathogenic Leptospira spp. in non-volant small mammals of Hutan Lipur Sekayu, Terengganu. We performed ten trapping sessions totaling 3,000 trapping efforts between September 2019 and October 2020. Kidney samples from captured individuals were extracted for the PCR detection of pathogenic Leptospira spp. Overall, we captured 45 individuals from 8 species (1.56% successful trapping effort), with 9 individuals testing positive for pathogenic Leptospira, that is 20% (n = 9/45) prevalence rate. Rattus tiomanicus (n = 22) was the most dominant captured species and was found to harbour the highest positive individual with pathogenic Leptospira (44.4%, n = 4/9). Despite the low successful trapping effort in this study, the result shows that the non-volant small mammals of Hutan Lipur Sekayu are capable of maintaining and transmitting pathogenic Leptospira, thus making this recreational area a potential infestation ground for leptospirosis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0264.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: choanoflagellates; multicellularity; animal origins; genome editing; electroporation
Online: 15 September 2021 (14:39:19 CEST)
Choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of animals, have the potential to reveal the genetic and cell biological foundations of complex multicellular development in animals. Here we describe the history of research on the choanoflagellate Salpingoeca rosetta. From its original isolation in 2000 to the establishment of CRISPR-mediated genome editing in 2020, S. rosetta provides an instructive case study in the establishment of a new model organism.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0033.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: Campylobacter; Antimicrobial Resistance; Foodborne Pathogen; Animal Source
Online: 5 May 2021 (11:05:37 CEST)
Campylobacter is one of the major foodborne pathogens of concern in its growing trend of antimicrobial resistance. C. jejuni and C. coli are the major causative agents, with C. jejuni contributing to most of the cases in approximately 90% in the world. Infection is transmitted to humans due to consumption of contaminated food and water. Campylobacteriosis caused by C. jejuni is commonly presented with severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting with some extreme cases resulting in Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) and acute flaccid paralysis. Symptoms are severe in cases of children below 5 years, elderly and individuals who are immunocompromised. The infection is usually sporadic, and self-limiting and thus does not require antibiotics for treatment. Still, the antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter is a major concern because of the transmission of resistance from animal sources to humans. This review highlights the recent epidemiology, geographical impact, resistance mechanisms, spread of Campylobacter spp. and the strategies to control the transmission of Campylobacter from veterinary sources and its antimicrobial resistance.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0118.v1
Online: 6 October 2020 (10:53:17 CEST)
Here we review and describe a set of research priorities to meet present and future challenges posed to farmed animal production that build on progress, successes and resources from the Functional Annotation of ANimal Genomes (FAANG) project.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0376.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: fullerene; fish; daphnia; toxicity; aquatic animal; nanomaterial
Online: 17 September 2020 (05:51:49 CEST)
Fullerene molecules are composed of carbon in forms of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. Fullerenes have attracted considerable attention in different fields of science since their discovery in 1985. The unique carbon cage structure of fullerene provides immense scope for derivatization, rendering potential for various industrial applications. The prospective applications of fullerenes thus have led to assorted fullerene derivatives. The unique chemical structure also provides ease for fullerene to be synthesized through various kinds of conjugating techniques, where fullerene can be located either on the backbone or the branch chain. Here in this review, we have compiled the toxicity and biosafety aspects of fullerene in aquatic organisms. The frequent use of fullerene is likely to come in contact and interact with the aquatic environment and aquatic organisms. According to the current understanding, waterborne exposure to fullerene-based nanomaterials indeed triggers toxicities at cellular, organic, molecular as well as neurobehavioral levels.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0249.v1
Online: 23 August 2019 (11:59:00 CEST)
We evaluated progress towards animal biodiversity research in Georgia, a key area in the Caucasus biodiversity hotspot. By reviewing recently (1990-2018) published articles in all areas of animal diversity research, we unmasked the trends in biodiversity inventory, ecological and biogeographical studies, and conservation issues in Georgia. We concluded that species inventory and biodiversity research in Georgia has significantly increased during the last ten years, however the rate and extent of investigation is far from satisfactory. Major gaps remain in all branches of animal diversity research in Georgia, and consequently existing knowledge is inadequate to address modern challenges related to species and ecosystem conservation. We urge local governmental authorities and international scientific societies to support development of stronger research facilities and cultivate interest in biodiversity inventory and research in Georgia as an important step towards maintaining globally important biodiversity in the Caucasus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0204.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: Fear; Zebrafish; Alarm substance; Animal model; Serotonin
Online: 11 July 2018 (14:10:24 CEST)
Fear can sometimes paralyze us, and it can sometimes be exciting; for some people, fear is so crippling it can significantly mix up their lifes! We understand a little bit about how the brain acts when we are afraid, mainly by studying the brains of animals. Recently, surprising findings were made using a humble animal, the zebrafish – a small aquarium fish that in the past has helped scientists figure out how our organs develop. Zebrafish are useful because they develop quickly, reproduce richly, and have brains which are similar to ours. They also produce what we call an “alarm substance” that alerts shoalmates when one of them has been injured; when they smell this substance in the water they act as if they are very scared. When this happens, they release serotonin in their brains, a neurotransmitter that acts as a light switch, making them less afraid but more cautious – as if trying to figure out if a predator is there or not. Hopefully, finding more about how the zebrafish brains process this serotonin signal can help scientists develop better treatments for mental disorders that are associated with fear.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0048.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: animal welfare; attitudes; chicken; knowledge; consumption; poultry
Online: 8 March 2017 (07:35:54 CET)
Little is known about public knowledge of meat chicken production and how it influences attitudes to birds’ welfare and consumer behaviour. We interviewed 506 members of the public in SE Queensland, Australia, to investigate this. Knowledge was assessed from 15 questions, and low scores were supported by respondents’ self-assessed report of low knowledge levels and agreement that their knowledge was insufficient to form an opinion about which chicken products to purchase. Older respondents and single people without children were most knowledgeable. There was uncertainty about whether chicken welfare was adequate, particularly in those with little knowledge. There was also evidence that lack of empathy towards chickens related to lack of knowledge, since those that thought it very acceptable that some birds are inadequately stunned at slaughter had low knowledge scores. More knowledgeable respondents ate chicken more frequently and were less likely to buy products with accredited labelling. Approximately half of the respondents thought the welfare of the chicken to be more important than the cost. It is concluded that the public’s knowledge has an important connection to their attitudes and consumption of meat chickens. Respondents with little knowledge demonstrated that they had both lack of empathy and intolerance to religious slaughter practices.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0040.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Bone fracture fixation; Osteosynthesis; Preoperative planning; Computer-assisted; Virtual surgery
Online: 2 September 2022 (15:30:04 CEST)
Background Bone fracture fixation surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the orthopedic field. However, fracture healing complications occur frequently, and the choice of the most optimal surgical approach often remains challenging. In the last years, computational tools have been developed with the aim to assist preoperative planning procedures of bone fracture fixation surgery. Objectives The aims of this review are (1) to provide a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art in computer-assisted preoperative planning of bone fracture fixation surgery, (2) to assess the clinical feasibility of the existing virtual planning approaches, and (3) to assess their clinical efficacy in terms of clinical outcomes as compared to conventional planning methods. Methods A literature search was performed in the MEDLINE-PubMed, Ovid-EMBASE, Ovid-EMCARE, Web of Science, and Cochrane libraries to identify articles reporting on the clinical use of computer-assisted preoperative planning of bone fracture fixation. Results 79 articles were included to provide an overview of the state-of-the art in virtual planning. While patient-specific geometrical model construction, virtual bone fracture reduction, and virtual fixation planning are routinely applied in virtual planning, biomechanical analysis is rarely included in the planning framework. 21 of the included studies were used to assess the feasibility and efficacy of computer-assisted planning methods. The reported total mean planning duration ranged from 22 to 258 minutes in different studies. Computer-assisted planning resulted in reduced operation time (Standardized Mean Difference (SMD): -2.19; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): -2.87, -1.50), less blood loss (SMD: -1.99; 95% CI: -2.75, -1.24), decreased frequency of fluoroscopy (SMD: -2.18; 95% CI: -2.74, -1.61), shortened fracture healing times (SMD:-0.51; 95% CI: -0.97, -0.05) and less postoperative complications (Risk Ratio (RR): 0.64, 95% CI: 0.46, 0.90). No significant differences were found in hospitalization duration. Some studies reported improvements in reduction quality and functional outcomes but these results were not pooled for meta-analysis, since the reported outcome measures were too heterogeneous. Conclusions Current computer-assisted planning approaches are feasible to be used in clinical practice and have been shown to improve clinical outcomes. Including biomechanical analysis into the framework has the potential to further improve clinical outcome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0546.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: chemical graph theory; computational chemistry; CASE; computer-assisted structure elucidation
Online: 29 November 2021 (15:35:43 CET)
The chemical graph theory is a subfield of mathematical chemistry which applies classic graph theory to chemical entities and phenomena. Chemical graphs are main data structures to represent chemical structures in cheminformatics. Computable properties of graphs lay the foundation for (quantitative) structure activity and structure property predictions - a core discipline of cheminformatics. It has a historic relevance for natural sciences, such as chemistry, biochemistry and biology, and is in the heart of modern disciplines, such as cheminformatics and bioinformatics. This review first covers the history of chemical graph theory, then provides an overview of its various techniques and applications for CASE, and finally summarises modern tools using chemical graph theory for CASE.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0454.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Review; Electric Field; Ionic wind; Electric assisted combustion; Soot emission
Online: 22 October 2020 (09:54:38 CEST)
Electric field assisted combustion is an important means to improve fuel combustion efficiency. This paper conducts extensive research on flame characteristics under different forms and different application methods of electric fields, emission of soot particles and simulation status. Different flame parameter measurement methods will lead to different degrees of error, and perfect numerical simulation can make simple predictions on experimental data. Most of the current numerical simulations are in two dimensions, and it is necessary to develop a complete and accurate three-dimensional model to simulate and predict the characteristics of the flame under an electric field. The emission of soot particles is also affected by the electric field, and reasonable electric field parameters can greatly reduce the emission of soot particles. It is recommended to conduct centralized measurement of different fuels under the electric field under high pressure and temperature conditions, so as to be able to develop a wider and more accurate flame dynamics and chemical model under the electric field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0315.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: adaptive streaming; HTTP/2; server push; unfairness; network-assisted; proxy
Online: 20 March 2020 (10:13:07 CET)
HTTP/2 video streaming has caught a lot of attentions in the development of multimedia technologies over the last few years. In HTTP/2, the server push mechanism allows the server to deliver more video segments to the client within a single request in order to deal with the requests explosion problem. As a result, recent research efforts have been focusing on utilizing such a feature to enhance the streaming experience while reducing the request-related overhead. However, current works only optimize the performance of a single client, without necessary concerns of possible influences on other clients in the same network. When multiple streaming clients compete for a shared bandwidth in HTTP/1.1, they are likely to suffer from unfairness, which is defined as the inequality in their bitrate selections. For HTTP/1.1, existing works have proven that the network-assisted solutions are effective in solving the unfairness problem. However, the feasibility of utilizing such an approach for the HTTP/2 server push has not been investigated. Therefore, in this paper, a novel proxy-based framework is proposed to overcome the unfairness problem in adaptive streaming over HTTP/2 with the server push. Experimental results confirm the outperformance of the proposed framework in ensuring the fairness, assisting the clients to avoid rebuffering events and lower bitrate degradation amplitude, while maintaining the mechanism of the server push feature.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0092.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Internet-assisted; English reading teaching; innovative designs; impact; constructivism theory
Online: 9 September 2019 (07:55:44 CEST)
With the development of Internet technology, teachers are constantly seeking innovative teaching methods to match the potential of enhanced technology. Although many studies have been performed before , they aren’t enough in this field. The purpose of this paper is to explore innovative teaching designs and examine the impact of Internet-assisted English teaching of reading based on constructivism. The case is carried out in NO.9 middle school of Bengbu, a underdeveloped area of China, most of students aren’t interested in learning English .We compared Internet-assisted with traditional textbook literature methods to improve the reading proficiency of students, using a questionnaire survey,pre-test and post-tests comparisons. The result showed Internet-assisted English reading teaching is better than textbook. It can arouse students' interest and motivation,reading proficiency and exam result of students have been improved significantly, created a positive learning situation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0105.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: MAPLE; Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation; microemulsion; lipase; thin film
Online: 21 September 2017 (17:10:01 CEST)
MAPLE (matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation) depositions of Candida Rugosa lipase were carried out from ice matrices whose composition is optimized in order to minimize conformational damage of the protein, which strongly influences its catalytic activity. To induce lid opening and to protect lipase during the MAPLE process, pentane and m-DOPA amino acid were added to the liquid matrix giving a target formed by a frozen water-lipase-pentane microemulsion. FTIR and AFM were used to investigate the structure of MAPLE deposited lipase films. The ability of MAPLE films to promote transesterification was determined by thin layer chromatography. It was shown that m-DOPA has influence on the aggregation but not on the unfolding of lipase induced by MAPLE, while the microemulsion formed by the addition of pentane to the target composition is effective in protecting lipase during the MAPLE process. MAPLE deposited lipases showed a modified specificity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0012.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: animal welfare; welfare range; comparative cognition; interspecies comparisons
Online: 3 October 2022 (13:03:23 CEST)
The number of animals bred, raised, and slaughtered each year is on the rise, resulting in increasing impacts to welfare. Farmed animals are also becoming more diverse, ranging from pigs to bees. The diversity and number of species farmed invites questions about how best to allocate currently limited resources towards safeguarding and improving welfare. This is of the utmost concern to animal welfare funders and effective altruism advocates, who are responsible for targeting the areas most likely to cause harm. For example, is tail docking worse for pigs than beak trimming is for chickens in terms of their pain, suffering, and general experience? Or are the welfare impacts equal? Answering these questions requires making an interspecies welfare comparison; a judgment about how good or bad different species fare relative to one another. Here, we outline and discuss an empirically-based methodology that aims to improve our ability to make interspecies welfare comparisons by investigating welfare range, which refers to how good or bad animals can fare. We begin our proposal with a theory of welfare. We operationalize that theory of welfare by identifying metrics that are defensible proxies for measuring welfare, including cognitive, affective, behavioral, and neuro-biological measures. We assign differential weights to those proxies that reflect their evidential value for the determinants of welfare, such as the “Delphi'' structured deliberation method with a panel of experts. Then we review the evidence and score its quality to ascertain whether a particular taxa may possess the proxies in question to construct a taxa-level welfare range profile. Finally, we use a Monte Carlo simulation to generate an overall estimate of comparative welfare range relative to our hypothetical index species - humans. Interspecies welfare comparisons will help facilitate empirically informed decision-making to streamline the allocation of resources and to ultimately better prioritize and improve animal welfare.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0048.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: craniofacial; laboratory animal; mental foramen; mental nerve; polecat
Online: 3 June 2022 (11:18:03 CEST)
In order to analyse asymmetries between hemimandibles, a sample of 24 mandibles from ferrets was studied by means of geometric morphometric methods, using a set of 3 landmarks and 14 semilandmarks, on the lateral aspect. Results showed that both size and shape played a significative role in mandibular asymmetry. For shape, there appeared significative fluctuating and directional asymmetries, with an especially high level for this latter. Landmarks corresponding to muscular attachments showed greater landmark asymmetry. This it is supported the hypothesis of a chewing side preference, e.g., a mastication-related driver for mandibular shape asymmetry.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0425.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Goat; Sheep; Small Ruminants; Animal Models; Regenerative Medicine.
Online: 21 January 2021 (15:01:17 CET)
Medical and translational scientific research requires the use of animal models as an initial approach to the study of new therapies and treatments, but when the objective is an exploration of translational potentialities, classical models fail to adequately mimic problems in humans. Among the larger animal models that have been explored more intensely in recent decades, small ruminants, namely sheep and goats, have emerged as excellent options. The main advantages associated to the use of these animals in research works are related to their anatomy and dimensions very similar to those of humans in most physiological systems, in addition to their low maintenance and feeding costs, tendency to be docile, long life expectancies and few ethical complications raised in society. The most obvious disadvantages are the significant differences in some systems such as the gastrointestinal, and the reduced amount of data that limits the comparison between works and the validation of the characterization essays. Despite everything, recently these species have been increasingly used as animal models for diseases in different systems, and the results obtained open doors for their more frequent and advantageous use in the future. The purpose of this review is to summarize the general principles related to the use of small ruminants as animal models, with focus on regenerative medicine, to group the most relevant works and results published recently and to highlight the potentials for the near future in medical research.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0192.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: animal; COVID-19; intermediate host; SARS-COV-2
Online: 16 May 2020 (18:06:34 CEST)
A novel coronavirus has been reported as the causative pathogen of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak Wuhan city, China in December 2019. Due to the rapid spreading of COVID-19 worldwide, it has been announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Hospitalized patients in Wuhan are associated with the Huanan seafood wholesale market where live animals, such as poultry, bats, snakes, frogs, rabbits, marmots, and hedgehogs are sold in that market which suggests a possible zoonotic infection. Therefore, it is essential to identify the potential animal reservoir, and the possibility of infection for other animal species. This short review aims to provide an overview on the relation between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) infection and animals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0322.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: virtual reality in education; virtual reality assisted simulation; intelligent transportation systems
Online: 19 December 2022 (04:12:24 CET)
Simulation-based education is a part of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) education. The paper discusses the experimental success of using Virtual Reality (VR) technology in simulation-based ITS education to improve the quality of education while increasing immersion and motivation. The study documents the application of VR technology to a microscopic simulation model and the methodology to capture and evaluate student experiences. The study discusses findings and ways to improve the planned VR technology implementation in the ITS laboratory.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0377.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization; bioimpedance analysis; thoracolumbar fascia; water content
Online: 25 October 2022 (03:47:47 CEST)
Background: Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is thought to alter fluid dynamics in human soft tissue. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of IASTM on the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF) on the water content of the lumbar myofascial tissue. Methods: 21 healthy volunteers were treated with IASTM. Before and after the procedure and 5 and 10 minutes later, lumbar bioimpedance was measured by bioimpedance analysis (BIA) and TLF stiffness by indentometry. Tissue temperature was recorded at the measurement time points using an infrared thermometer. Results: Bioimpedance increased significantly from 58.3 to 60.4 Ω (p < 0.001) at 10-minute follow-up after the treatment. Temperature increased significantly from 36.3 to 36.6° Celsius from 5 to 10 minutes after treatment (p = 0.029), while lumbar myofascial stiffness did not change significantly (p = 0.84). Conclusions: After the IASTM intervention, there was a significant increase in bioimpedance, likely due to a decrease in water content in myofascial lumbar tissue. Further studies in a randomized control trial design are needed to extrapolate the results in healthy subjects to a symptomatic population as well and to confirm the reliability of BIA in myofascial tissue.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0311.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: robot-assisted gait training; rehabilitation; stroke; cardiorespiratory fitness; robotics; disability; locomotion
Online: 23 March 2022 (08:40:16 CET)
Robot-assisted gait training (RAGT) is a promising treatment for stroke rehabilitation. Although the coordination between the upper and lower limbs is important for locomotor training, commercially available robotics for gait training mainly focus on the restoration of lower limb function. We aimed to evaluate the feasibility and usability of complex upper and lower limb RAGT in stroke patients using the GTR-A®, end effector-type robotic device. Patients with subacute stroke (N=9) received 30-minute RAGT thrice a week for two weeks (six sessions). Functionally, the hand grip strength (HGS), Functional Ambulatory Categories, modified Barthel Index, muscle strength test sum score, Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go test, and Short Physical Performance Battery were used. The heart rate and a structured questionnaire were used to evaluate cardiorespiratory fitness and the usability of RAGT. Among the nine patients, all functional parameters between the baseline and post-training were significantly improved after RAGT, except for HGS and the muscle strength test. The questionnaire’s mean scores for each domain were as follows: safety 4.40±0.35, effects 4.23±0.31, efficiency 4.22±0.77, and satisfaction 4.41±0.25. The GTR-A® is a feasible and safe robotic device for patients with gait impairment after stroke. It showed functional improvement with endurance training effects.
Subject: Materials Science, Surfaces, Coatings & Films Keywords: stress; plasma ion-assisted deposition; TiO2 film; SiO2 film; annealing treatment.
Online: 17 July 2020 (09:27:49 CEST)
Optical and mechanical properties of multilayer coatings depend on the selected layer materials and the deposition technology; therefore, knowledge of the performances of thin films is essential. In the present work, titanium dioxide (TiO2) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) thin films have been prepared by plasma ion-assisted deposition (PIAD). The optical, structural, and mechanical properties of thin films have been investigated using spectrometer/ellipsometer, X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and laser interferometer. The results show that TiO2 film fabricated by PIAD induces a high refractive index, wide optical band gap, amorphous structure, smooth surface, and tensile stress. In the case of SiO2 film, high bias voltage leads to dense structure and compressive stress. As an application, a three-wavelength high reflectance at 632.8, 808, and 1550nm is optimized and deposited. The dependence of total stress in the multilayer on the substrate temperature is studied as well. In conclusion, it is demonstrated that PIAD is an effective method for the preparation of ultralow stress TiO2/SiO2 multilayer films. The achieved stress is as low as 1.4Mpa. The result could provide guidance to the stress optimization of most optical components without prefiguring, backside coating, and post-deposition treatments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0101.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Anesthesiology Keywords: chronic pain; epigenetics; neuropathic pain; postoperative pain; thoracic surgery; video-assisted
Online: 10 November 2019 (09:29:13 CET)
Background: Elucidation of epigenetic mechanisms correlating with neuropathic pain in humans is crucial for the prevention and treatment of this treatment-resistant pain state. In the present study, associations between neuropathic pain characteristics and DNA methylation of the transient receptor potential ankyrin 1(TRPA1) gene were evaluated in chronic pain patients and preoperative patients. Methods: Pain and psychological states were prospectively assessed in patients who suffered chronic pain or were scheduled for thoracic surgery. Neuropathic characteristics were assessed using the Douleur Neuropathique 4 (DN4) questionnaire. DNA methylation levels of the CpG island in the TRPA1 gene were examined using whole blood. Results: Forty-eight adult patients were enrolled in this study. Increases in DNA methylation rates at CpG -51 showed positive correlations with increases in the DN4 score both in preoperative and chronic pain patients. Combined methylation rates at CpG -51 also significantly increased together with increase in DN4 scores. Conclusions: Neuropathic pain characteristics are likely associated with methylation rates at the promoter region of the TRPA1 gene in human peripheral blood.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0170.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: topic modelling; latent dirichlet allocation; text mining; assisted reproduction; ART; IVF
Online: 15 April 2019 (12:25:12 CEST)
Study question: What are the current trends of research in Human Assisted Reproduction around the world? Summary answer: USA is the leading country, followed by the UK, China, France and Italy. The largest research area is “laboratory techniques”, although other areas such as “public health”, “quality, ethics and law” and “female factor” are gaining ground worldwide. What is known already: Scientific research, especially in health and medical sciences, aims at addressing specific needs that society (and, especially, patients) perceives as pressing. One of the main challenges for policymakers and research funders alike is therefore to align research priorities to societal needs. We can thus think of research agendas in terms of a demand side (societal needs) and a supply side (research outputs). Research output in Human Assisted Reproduction has expanded in the past years, as indicated by the increasing number of scientific publications in indexed journals in this area. Nevertheless, no map of research related to assisted reproduction has been produced so far, hindering the identification of potential areas of improvement and need. Study design, size, duration: 26,000+ scientific publications (articles, letters, and reviews) on Human Assisted Reproduction produced worldwide between 2005 and 2016 were analyzed. These publications were indexed in PubMed or obtained from reference list of indexed publications included in the analysis.Participants/materials, setting, methods: The corpus of publications was obtained by combining the MeSH terms: “Reproductive techniques”, “Reproductive medicine”, “Reproductive health”, “Fertility”, “Infertility”, and “Germ cells”. Then it was analyzed by means of text mining algorithms (Topic Modeling (TM) based on Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA)), in order to obtain the main topics of interest. Finally, these categories were analyzed across world regions and time. Main results and the role of chance: We identified 44 main topics, which were further grouped in 11 macro categories, form larger to smaller: “laboratory techniques”, “male factor”, “quality, ethics and law”, “female factor”, “public health and infectious diseases”, “basic research and genetics”, “pregnancy complications and risks”, “general infertility and ART”, “psychosocial aspects”, “cancer”, and “research methodology”. The USA was the leading country in number of publications, followed by the UK, China, France and Italy. Interestingly, research contents in high income countries is fairly homogeneous across macro-categories, and it is dominated by “laboratory techniques” in Western and Southern Europe, and by “quality, ethics and law” in North America, Australia and New Zealand. In middle income countries we observe that research is mainly performed on “male factor”, and noticeably less on “female factor”. Finally, research on “public health and infectious diseases” predominates in low-income countries. Regarding temporal evolution of research, “laboratory techniques” is the most abundant topic on a yearly basis, and relatively constant over time. However, since production in most of the other categories is increasing, the relative contribution of this research category is actually decreasing. Publication is especially increasing in “public health and infectious diseases” (in all world regions, but especially in low income countries), “quality, ethics and law” (high income countries), and “female factor” (middle income countries). Limitations, reasons for caution: Three main factors might limit the robustness of our work: the textual corpus analyzed is based on abstract and titles, the reproducibility of the stochastic algorithms applied, which may produce slightly differing results at each run, and the interpretation of the topics obtained. Wider implications of the findings: This study should prove beneficial in the design of research strategies and policies that foster the alignment between supply (assisted reproduction research) and demand (society). Study funding/competing interest(s): PTQ-14-06718 of the Spanish MINECO Torres Quevedo programme (FAM).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0170.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: context-aware; UAV-assisted networks; communication probability; cache content; potential game
Online: 10 September 2018 (12:45:40 CEST)
This paper investigates the problem of the optimal arrangement for both UAVs’ caching contents and service locations in UAV-assisted networks based on the context awareness, which considers the influence between users and environment. In the existing work, users within the coverage of UAVs are considered to be served perfectly, which ignores the communication probability caused by line-of-sight (LOS) and non- line-of-sight (NLOS) links. However, the links are related to UAV deployment. Moreover, the transmission overhead should be taken into account. To balance the tradeoff between these two factors, we design the ratio of users’ probability and transmission overhead as the performance measure mechanism to evaluate the performance of UAV-assisted networks. Then, we formulate the objective for maximizing the performance of UAV-assisted networks as a UAV-assisted caching game. It is proved that the game is an exact potential game with the performance of UAV-assisted networks serving as the potential function. Next, we propose the log-linear caching algorithm (LCA) to achieve the Nash equilibrium (NE). Finally, related simulation results reflect the great performance of the proposed algorithm.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0283.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: 24-hour recall; nutrition assessment; technology assisted dietary assessment; gestational diabetes
Online: 16 July 2018 (12:12:42 CEST)
myfood24 is a comprehensive self-completed online 24-hour dietary recall tool currently used for nutritional assessments in epidemiological research. However, its clinical application has been unexplored. This mixed methods prospective observational study explores the acceptability and usability of myfood24 in a clinical population, women with gestational diabetes (GDM). Women were recruited at their first diabetes antenatal clinic appointment. To assess acceptability and usability, they were asked to complete five 24-hour dietary recalls using myfood24 over two weeks and a user experience questionnaire; with a subset invited to participate in a one-to-one semi-structured interview. Of the 199 participants, mean maternal age was 33 years, mean booking BMI 29.7kg/m2, 36% primiparous, 57% White, 33% Asian. Of these 121 (61%) completed myfood24 at least once and 73 (37%) completed the user questionnaire; 15 were interviewed. Usability of myfood24 was measured using the System Usability Scale (SUS) and found to be good (mean 70.9, 95%CI 67.1, 74.6). Interviews identified several areas for improvement, including optimising its use for mobile devices. myfood24 appears to be acceptable and have potential to support self-management and behaviour change for women with GDM but requires adaptation to record blood glucose results alongside real-time tracking of diet.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0143.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Anthropozoology; social network; human-animal bond; herd synchronization; biologging
Online: 8 December 2022 (03:23:14 CET)
Herdsmen use different techniques, as per varying geographies and cultures, to keep the cohesion within herds and avoid animals getting lost or predated. However, there is no study on the social behaviour of yaks and on herdsmen management practices. Therefore, this ethology study was initiated by ethnographic inquiries. In Manang, the success of the shepherd is dictated by his personal attribute of “Khula man” or open-heartedness. This attribute refers to good intentions and emotions such as empathy that allows the shepherd to focus more on others than on ownself. This cultural method of assessing the skills required to become a successful and knowledgable shepherd guided us to study the effect of cultural values on the herd’s social behavior. We collected data from two herds living at the same settlement (Yak kharka, 4,100 m altitude, Nepal) by equipping them with loggers. One of the herdsman used the tether rope while other did not. Moreover, the Thaku herd had a more proactive shepherd than the Phurba one. In each herd, 17 animals were equipped with one actigraph wgt3x-BT to measure activity using accelerometer and spatial associations using proximity recorder. One of the herds was equipped with GPS (N=11) as well. Using GPS locations and activity, we showed that the two herds were cohesive and synchronised their activities but the herd with the tether rope was more cohesive. The shepherds also have personal knowledge of the social relationships of their herds and use these relationships to keep the group cohesive and to well manage cattle.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0405.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: caffeine; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; impulsivity; ADHD; animal models
Online: 24 December 2021 (11:34:52 CET)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity. Neurobiologically, ADHD impairments arise from abnormalities in different circuits involving the prefrontal cortex. In face of high rates of diagnosis, alternative/complementary pharmacological therapeutic approaches for ADHD are needed. Although the number of publications that study the potential effects of caf-feine consumption on ADHD treatment have been accumulating over the last years, and caffeine has recently been used in ADHD research in the context of animal models, an updated evi-dence-based systematic review on the effects of caffeine on ADHD-like symptoms in animal stud-ies is missing. To provide insight and value at the preclinical level, a systematic review based on PRISMA guidelines was performed for all publications available up to September 1, 2021. Caffeine treatment increases attention, improves learning, memory and olfactory discrimination, without altering blood pressure and body weight. These results are supported at the neuronal level. Nonetheless, the implication of caffeine in modulating ADHD-like symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity is contradictory, raising discrepancies that require further clarification. Our results strengthen the hypothesis that caffeine cognitive effects found in animal models could be trans-lated to human ADHD, particularly during adolescence.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0231.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; magnetic resonance imaging; animal model; amyloid-beta
Online: 15 October 2021 (15:06:55 CEST)
Amyloid-beta plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Aberrant amyloid-beta and tau accumulation induce neuroinflammation, cerebrovascular alterations, synaptic deficits, functional deficits, and neurodegeneration, leading to cognitive impairment. Animal models recapitulating the amyloid-beta pathology such as transgenic, knock-in mouse and rat models have facilitated the understanding of disease mechanisms and development of therapeutics targeting at amyloid-beta. There is a rapid advance in high-field MR in small animals. Versatile high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequences such as diffusion tensor imaging, arterial spin labelling, resting-state functional MRI, anatomical MRI, MR spectroscopy as well as contrast agents have been developed for the applications in animal models. These tools have enabled high-resolution in vivo structural, functional, and molecular readouts with a whole brain field-of-view. MRI have been utilized to visualize non-invasively the amyloid-beta deposits, synaptic deficits, regional brain atrophy, impairment in white matter integrity, functional connectivity, cerebrovascular and glymphatic system in animal models of amyloidosis. Many of the readouts are translational in clinical MRI in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In this review, we summarize the recent advance of using MRI for visualizing the pathophysiology in amyloidosis animal model. We discuss the outstanding challenges in brain imaging using MRI in small animal and propose future outlook in visualizing amyloid-beta-related alterations in brain of animal models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0573.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: fluorescence microscopy; fluorescence emission, malignant tumor, diagnosis, animal experiment
Online: 21 April 2021 (11:47:14 CEST)
A surgical microscope is large in size, which makes it impossible to be portable. The distance between the surgical microscope and the observation tissue is 15–30 cm, and the adjustment range of the right and left of the camera is a maximum of 30°. Therefore, the surgical microscope is generated attenuation (above 58%) of irradiation optical source owing to the long working distance. Moreover, the observation of tissue is affected because of dazzling by ambient light as the optical source power is strong (55 to 160 mW/cm2). Further, observation blind spot phenomena will occur due to the limitations in adjusting the right and left of the camera. Therefore, it is difficult to clearly observe the tumor. In this study, a compact pen-type probe with a portable surgical microscope is presented. The proposed surgical microscope comprises a small and portable pen-type probe that can adjust the working distance between the probe and the observed tissue. In addition, it allows the adjustment of the viewing angle and fluorescence brightness. The proposed probe has no blind spots or optical density loss.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0557.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: fluorescence microscopy; fluorescence emission; malignant tumor; diagnosis; animal experiment
Online: 21 April 2021 (08:30:11 CEST)
A surgical microscope is large in size, making portability impossible. The distance between the surgical microscope and the observation tissue is 15 to 30 cm, while the maximum adjustment range of the camera to the right and left is 30°. Therefore, surgical microscopes cause attenuation (above 58%) of the irradiation optical source owing to the long working distance. Moreover, the observation of tissue was dazzled with ambient light because the optical power source was strong (50 to 160 mW/cm2). Owing to the limited ability to adjust the camera to the right and left, a blind spot occurs with a surgical microscope. Therefore, it is difficult to clearly observe a tumor. In this study, a compact pen-type probe with a portable surgical microscope is proposed. The pen-type probe is small with a portable shape, and is capable of adjusting the working distance between itself and the observed tissue. It is also possible to adjust the viewing angle and fluorescence brightness. The proposed pen-type probe has no blind spots or optical density loss.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0109.v1
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: Leptin, Animal Communication, Electric Fish, Singing Mice, Metabolism, Energetics
Online: 5 April 2021 (12:11:15 CEST)
Animal communication signals are regulated by multiple hormonal axes that ensure appropriate signal targeting, timing, and information content. The regulatory roles of steroid hormones and many peptide hormones are well understood and documented across a wide range of vertebrate taxa. Two recent studies have reported a novel function for leptin, a peptide hormone central to energy balance regulation: regulating communication signals of weakly electric fish and singing mice. With only limited evidence available at this time, a key question is just how widespread leptinergic regulation of communication signals is within and across taxa. A second important question is what features of communication signals are subject to leptinergic regulation. Here we consider the functional significance of leptinergic regulation of animal communication signals in the context of both direct and indirect signal metabolic costs. Direct costs arise from metabolic investment in signal production, while indirect costs arise from the predation and social conflict consequences of the signal’s information content. We propose a preliminary conceptual framework for predicting which species will exhibit leptinergic regulation of their communication signals and which signal features leptin will regulate. This framework suggests a number of directly testable predictions within and across taxa. Accounting for additional factors such as life history and reproductive strategies will likely require modification or elaboration of this model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0555.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Fungal chitosan; animal chitosan; wine clarification; dissolving acid comparison.
Online: 24 February 2021 (16:38:23 CET)
Chitosan is a chitin-derived fiber, extracted from the shellfish shells, a by-product of fish industry, or from fungi grown in bioreactors. In oenology, it is used for the control of Brettanomyces spp., for the prevention of ferric, copper and protein casse and for clarification. The International Organisation of Vine and Wine established the exclusive utilization of fungal chitosan to avoid the eventuality of allergic reactions. This work focuses on the differences between two chitosan categories, fungal and animal chitosan, characterizing several samples in terms of chitin content and degree of deacety-lation. In addition, different acids were used to dissolve chitosans, and their effect on viscosity and on the efficacy in wine clarification were observed. Results demonstrated that, even if fungal and animal chitosans shared similar chemical properties (deacetylation degree and chitin content), they showed different viscosity depending on the acid used to dissolve them. A significant difference was discovered on their fining properties, as animal chitosans showed a faster and greater sedimentation compared to the fungal, independently from the acid used for their dissolution. This suggests that physic-chemical differences in the molecular structure occur between the two chitosan categories and that this affect significantly their technologic (oenological) properties.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0487.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: Memory reconsolidation; Animal models; Alcohol addiction; Nicotine; relapse; tobacco
Online: 22 February 2021 (15:29:50 CET)
Alcohol and nicotine are widely-abused legal substances worldwide. Relapse to alcohol or tobacco seeking and consumption after abstinence is a major clinical challenge, and is often evoked by cue-induced craving. Therefore, disruption of the memory for the cue-drug association is expected to suppress relapse. Memories have been postulated to become labile shortly after their retrieval, during a “memory reconsolidation” process. Interference with the reconsolidation of drug-associated memories has been suggested as a possible strategy to reduce or even prevent cue-induced craving and relapse. Here, we surveyed the growing body of studies in animal models and in humans assessing the effectiveness of pharmacological or behavioral manipulations in reducing relapse by interfering with the reconsolidation of alcohol and nicotine/tobacco memories. Our review points to the potential of targeting the reconsolidation of these memories as a strategy to suppress relapse to alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking. However, we discuss several critical limitations and boundary conditions, which should be considered to improve the consistency and replicability in the field, and for development of an efficient reconsolidation-based relapse prevention therapy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0417.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: adaptation physiology; sensors; precision livestock farming; wearable animal sensors
Online: 19 July 2020 (18:27:52 CEST)
Despite recent scientific advancements, there is a gap in the use of technology to measure signals, behaviors, and processes of adaptation physiology of farm animals. Sensors present exciting opportunities for sustained, real-time, non-intrusive measurement of farm animal behavioral, mental, and physiological parameters with the integration of nanotechnology and instrumentation. This paper critically reviews the sensing technology and sensor data-based models used to explore biological systems such as animal behavior, energy metabolism, epidemiology, immunity, health, and animal reproduction. The use of sensor technology to assess physiological parameters can provide tremendous benefits and tools to overcome and minimize production losses while making positive contributions to animal welfare. Of course, sensor technology is not free from challenges; these devices are at times highly sensitive and prone to damage from dirt, dust, sunlight, colour, fur, feathers, and environmental forces. Rural farmers unfamiliar with the technologies must be convinced and taught to use sensor-based technologies in farming and livestock management. While there is no doubt that demand will grow for non-invasive sensor-based technologies that require minimum contact with animals and can provide remote access to data, their true success lies in the acceptance of these technologies by the livestock industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0092.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Bacterial resistance; Animal venom; Purification; Antibacterial and antibiofilm activity
Online: 6 July 2020 (04:00:43 CEST)
Introduction: Bacterial resistance is a worldwide public health problem, requiring new therapeutic options. An alternative approach to this problem is the use of animal toxins, such as phospholipases (PLA2) isolated from snake venom, which have important biological activities. Bothrops erythromelas is one of the snake species in the Northeast of Brazil that attracts great medical-scientific interest. Here we aimed to purify and characterize a PLA2 from B. erythromelas, searching for heterologous activities against bacterial biofilm. Methods: Venom extraction and quantification were followed by RP-HPLC in C18 column, MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry and sequencing by Edman degradation. All experiments were monitored by specific activity using 4-nitro-3 (octanoyloxy) benzoic acid (4N3OBA) substrate. In addition, hemolytic tests and anti-bacterial tests including action against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii, were carried out. Moreover, tests of antibiofilm action against A. baumannii were also performed. Results: PLA2, after one purification step, presented 31 N-terminal amino acid residues, and molecular weight of 13656.4 Da with enzymatic activity confirmed in 0.06 µM concentration. Antibacterial activity against S. aureus (IC50 = 30.2 µM) and antibiofilm activity against A. baumannii (IC50 = 1.1 µM) were observed. Conclusions: This is the first time that PLA2 purified from B. erythromelas venom has appeared as an alternative candidate in studies of new antibacterial medicines.
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; companion animal; cross-infection
Online: 14 May 2020 (11:54:31 CEST)
Since the COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 break out in Wuhan China from Dec. 2019, it has spread to hundreds of countries up to now. Scientists from all over the world have paid tremendous efforts to research and try to control the disease. Previous studies suggested that some of the wild animals could be intermediate hosts between humans and origination of SARS-CoV-2, and some companion animals of humans can be infected by SARS-CoV-2, which raised our curiosity about cross-infection of SARS-CoV-2 between animals and humans. Thus, we select some kinds of animals that might have contact with humans to estimate the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 in different animals by evolutionary analysis of their receptors for SARS-CoV-2. The results show that some companion animals of the Felidae family like the cat has a higher infection possibility while the species of the Rodent family like the rat and mouse having close contact with humans show an opposite result, which consist with recent animal experiments and researches. These should raise concerns about cross-infection between human and companion animals or animals to have close contact with humans which might grow into depositaries of the virus after control of SARS-CoV-2 spreading and cause second or more infection wave after social reopening. Another side of our results stands by the opinion that bioinformatic analysis can be consistent with practical experiments in some respects so that we can prevent unnecessary sacrifice of laboratory animals in future experiments.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0204.v1
Online: 12 May 2020 (05:45:58 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of CoV disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly pathogenic and transmissible CoV that is presently plaguing the global human population and economy. No proven effective anti-viral therapy or vaccine currently exist, and supportive care remains to be the cornerstone treatment. Through previous lessons learned from SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV studies, scientific groups worldwide have rapidly expanded the knowledge pertaining to SARS-CoV-2 virology that included in vitro and in vivo models for testing of anti-viral therapies, and randomized clinical trials. In the present narrative, we review SARS-CoV-2 virology, clinical features, pathophysiology, and animal models with a specific focus on anti-viral and adjunctive therapies currently being tested or require testing in animal models and randomized clinical trials.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0286.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: diversity; conservation; animal genetic resources; indigenous pigs; southern Africa
Online: 24 November 2019 (14:47:39 CET)
Pig genetic resources in Africa originate from different regions. Genetic analysis has shown a strong phylogeographic pattern with the pigs on the eastern parts showing a high frequency of alleles from the Far East while the ones on the western parts show a strong European influence. This highlights the influence of trade routes on the genetic legacy of African pigs. They have, however, since adapted to the local environments to produce unique populations with unique attributes. Most of the pigs are now reared in resource-constrained smallholdings under free-range conditions. They are largely owned by women who spread ownership of the resource through kinship networks. Very little work has been done to characterize, conserve and sustainably utilize pig genetic resources in Southern Africa. The risk status of the breeds together with population numbers, distribution and other attributes are largely unknown. This paper proposes several strategies for the sustainable utilization of the pig genetic resources: a market-driven in situ conservation program and two complementary ex situ strategies. In addition, the possibility of community-based breed improvement programs is discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0146.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: species richness; latitudinal gradients; water-energy; habitat; animal richness
Online: 11 April 2018 (11:24:46 CEST)
Species data of 249 National Nature Reserves in China was used to identify potential underlying drivers of latitudinal gradients in plant diversity. We used generalized linear models (GLMs) to assess the correlations between predictor and response variables. We also used SAM (Spatial Analysis in Macroecology) to eliminate autocorrelation along each of the 249 studied locations. We used the Akaike information criterion (AICc; Montoya et al. 2007) to select the independent variables were those included in the best models from different combinations of climate, habitat and animal variables. Variance partitioning was used to decompose the variation in plant richness across different taxonomic levels among the three groups of predictors. We found that: Total plant species, gymnosperms, angiosperms and ferns showed significant latitudinal trends in richness (p < 0.001). Water-energy and habitat variables generally explained more variation in richness across different plant groups than did animal richness. Annual precipitation was selected as the best water-energy variable across different taxonomic plants groups, soil PH and elevation range were selected as the best habitat variables across different taxonomic plant groups. The independent effects of habitatvariables were higher than that of water-energy and animal variables across different taxonomic plants groups. Water-energy, habitat heterogeneity, and animal variables explain 48.8% of the variation in total species richness, 28.2% in gymnosperm richness, 44.2% in angiosperm richness, and 38.9% in fern richness.Plants showed significant latitudinal trends in richness (p < 0.001). Water-energy and habitat variables generally explained more variation in richness across different taxonomic plants groups than did animal variables. The independent effects of habitat variables were higher than those of water-energy and animal variables across different taxonomic plants groups.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0223.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: animal protein; plant protein; elderly; obesity; glomerular filtration rate
Online: 27 March 2018 (11:23:20 CEST)
Controversy exists on whether animal and plant proteins influence obesity differently. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between total, animal, and plant protein intake with the obesity index and renal function in Korean adults. Study participants included Korean adults aged 60 years or older from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2013-2014. Height, weight, and waist circumference (WC) were measured and the body mass index (BMI) was calculated. One-day 24-hour recall data were used to estimate the daily total, animal, and plant protein intake. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was calculated by using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation. General linear modellings were used to assess the relationships between protein intake, BMI and WC. The mean age was 69.2 ± 0.2 years, 44.2% were male. The total daily protein intake was 1.1 ± 0.02 g/kg/d and 0.9 ± 0.02 g/kg/d for males and females, respectively. Only one third of protein intake was from animal sources. In males, BMI (p < 0.001, p = 0.016, p < 0.001 respectively) and WC (p < 0.001, p = 0.010, p < 0.001, respectively) decreased as daily intake of plant protein (g/kg/d), animal protein (g/kg/d) and total protein (g/kg/d) increased. Similar associations were shown in Korean female. GFR was not associated with protein intake regardless of protein source in both sexes. In Korean adults aged 60 years or older, the protein intake was associated with a favorable obesity index without decrease in renal function. The effect was similar in both male and females, with both animal and plant proteins.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0388.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: microwave assisted extraction (MAE); canolol; sinapine; high temperature; de-oiled canola; processing
Online: 21 November 2022 (11:45:34 CET)
Canola is the major oilseed crop of Canada. The de-oiled material is an important by-product due to its rich phenolic profile and high protein content. This co-processing stream from canola is primarily utilized as animal feed but represents an invaluable source of nutraceuticals. Microwave-assisted solvent extraction (MAE), as a green extraction method, has received considerable attention in recent times. The ease of use and application of many solvents at the same time makes the MAE one of the best methods for studying multiple solvents at the same time. The formation of canolol, from sinapine and sinapic acid, is primarily dependant on temperature which favors the decarboxylation reaction. Hence, MAE using green extractants can be used to enhance the yield of canolol. This study examined the effects of different pre-treatment temperature-time combinations of 140, 150, 160, and 170℃ for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes on the extraction of canolol and other canola endogenous phenolic compounds. Three antioxidant assays assessed the antioxidant activity of the different extracts obtained by MAE confirming the microwave as a novel and versatile instrument for enhancing the yield of canolol. Improvements in the antioxidant activity of the different extracts further established the efficacy of the current method for isolating important natural phenolic derivatives for utilization by the nutraceutical industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0493.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: water-assisted laser desorption/ionization; SpiderMass; cannabinoids; mass spectrometry; plants; in vivo
Online: 30 December 2021 (19:02:18 CET)
In the recent years, Cannabis and hemp-based products have become increasingly popular for various applications ranging from recreational use, edibles, beverages to health care products and medicines. The rapid detection and differentiation of phytocannabinoids is, therefore, essential to assess the potency, therapeutic and nutritional values of cannabis cultivars. Here, we implemented the SpiderMass technology for the in vivo detection of cannabidiol acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) and other endogenous organic plant compounds to access distribution gradients within the plants and differentiate cultivars. The SpiderMass system is composed of an IR- laser handheld microsampling probe connected to the mass spectrometer through a transfer tube. The analysis was performed in situ on different plant organs from freshly cultivated Cannabis plants in only a few seconds. SpiderMass analysis easily discriminated the two acid phytocannabinoid isomers by MS/MS and the built statistical models differentiated between four Cannabis cultivars. Different abundancies of acid phytocannabinoids were also found along the plant as well as between different cultivars. All together, these results introduce the direct analysis by SpiderMass as a compelling analytical alternative for forensic and hemp industrial analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0108.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Capacitation; Computer-assisted sperm analysis; Hyperactivation; Sex-sorted semen; Sperm motility subpopulation
Online: 5 April 2021 (12:08:43 CEST)
We attempted to establish an objective method to accurately evaluate the motility of bull sperm and examined the effects of media for sperm suspensions and frame rates on data of computer-assisted sperm motility analysis (CASA). Sperm incubated in Brackett and Oliphant medium (BO) more clearly showed hyperactivation-like motility than those in synthetic oviductal fluid. Sperm images captured at 150 frames per second (fps) showed a trajectory that was closer to the real pathway than those at other frame rates (30, 50, and 75 fps). We then examined the characteristics of sex-sorted and non-sorted semen using a cluster analysis followed by a discriminant analysis of sperm motility in BO at 150 fps. The results indicated that sex-sorted semen contained sperm with hyperactivation-like motility as the main subpopulation immediately after thawing and this subpopulation decreased after 2-h incubation. The main subpopulation in non-sorted semen had progressive motility that was maintained during incubation. In conclusion, usage of BO for sperm suspensions and capturing sperm motility at 150 fps by CASA were appropriate for evaluating bovine sperm motility. A discriminant analysis using data from a cluster analysis of motile sperm has the ability to accurately describe differences in the structures of sperm motility subpopulations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0132.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Wine yeast; malic acid; pH; breeding; Malo Lactic Fermentation; Marker Assisted Selection
Online: 3 March 2021 (12:43:08 CET)
Background Natural Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains exhibit very large genotypic and phe-notypic diversity. Breeding programs taking advantage of this characteristic, are widely used for yeast selection in the wine industry, especially in the recent years when winemakers need to adapt their production to climate change. The aim of this work was to evaluate a Marker Assisted Se-lection (MAS) program to improve malic acid consumption capacity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in grape juice. Methods Optimal individuals of two unrelated F1-hybrids were crossed to get a new genetic background carrying many “malic consumer” loci. Then, eleven QTLs already identified were used for implementing the MAS breeding program. Results By this way, extreme individuals able to consume more than 70% of malic acid in grape juice were selected. These individuals were tested in different enological matrixes and compared to their original parental strains. They greatly reduced the malic acid content at the end of alcoholic fermentations, they appeared to be robust to the environment and accelerate the ongoing of malo-lactic fermentations by Oenococcus oeni. Conclusions This study illustrates how MAS can be efficiently used for selecting industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with outlier properties for winemaking.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0176.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Acoustics Keywords: lithium niobate microring resonator; silicon nitride waveguide; photolithography assisted chemo-mechanical etching
Online: 4 November 2020 (08:45:06 CET)
We demonstrate hybrid integration of a lithium niobate microring resonator with a silicon nitride waveguide in the vertical configuration to achieve efficient light coupling. The microring resonator is fabricated on a lithium niobate on insulator (LNOI) substrate using photolithography assisted chemo-mechanical etching (PLACE). A fused silica cladding layer is deposited on the LNOI ring resonator. The silicon nitride waveguide is further produced on the fused silica cladding layer by first fabricating a trench in the fused silica using focused ion beam (FIB) etching for facilitating the evanescent coupling, followed by formation of the silicon nitride waveguide on the bottom of the trench. The FIB etching ensures the required high positioning accuracy between the waveguide and the ring resonator. We achieve Q-factors as high as 1.4*10^7 with the vertically integrated device.
Subject: Chemistry, Food Chemistry Keywords: dried Chinese sausage; fat replacement; mango peel pectin; microwave-assisted extraction technique
Online: 11 March 2020 (03:07:13 CET)
In this research, low-fat dried Chinese sausage was formulated with mango peel pectin (MPP) extracted by microwave assisted extraction (MAE) (0%, 5%, 10% and 15% (w/w). The extractable yield of pectin attained from peel of Nam Dok Mai variety was achieved at 13.85% using 700-watt power. The extracted MPP were of high equivalent weight (1,485.78 mg/mol), degree esterification (77.19%) and methoxyl content (19.33%) with the structure of more porosity as compared to that of the conventional method. Spectrum scans by Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer (FT-IR) advised that the extracted MPP gave the similar wave number profiles as the commercial pectin. Quality attributes of the Chinese sausages were accessed and compared with the control formula (CTRL). At higher concentrations of MPP, the product had positively increased colour intensity. The texture profile of the sausage illustrated that only the hardness value was comparable with the CTRL, while springiness, cohesiveness, gumminess and chewiness were statistically lower (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the sensory evaluation by experienced panellists (n=12) indicated that 5% MPP similarly represented overall acceptability with the CTRL. Consequently, MPP can be effectively applied at low level as fat replacement in Chinese sausage allowing colour improvement and product of healthier option.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0166.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: DArTseq; Groundnut; Linkage disequilibrium; Marker assisted selection; Marker trait association; Physiological traits
Online: 12 July 2019 (11:42:33 CEST)
In order to integrate genomics in breeding and development of drought tolerant groundnut genotypes, identification of genomic regions/genetic markers for drought surrogate traits is essential. We used SNP markers for a genetic analysis of the ICRISAT groundnut minicore collection for genome wide marker-trait association for some physiological traits and to determine the magnitude of linkage disequilibrium (LD) present in the genetic resources. The LD analysis showed that about 36% of loci pairs were in significant LD (P < 0.05 and r2 > 0.2) and 3.14% of the pairs were in complete LD. There was rapid decline in LD with distance and the LD was <0.2 at a distance of 41635 bp. The marker trait association (MTAs) studies revealed 20 significant MTAs (p <0.001) with 11 markers for leaf area index (4), canopy temperature (13), chlorophyll content (1) and NDVI (2). The markers explained 2 to 21% of the phenotypic variation observed. Most of the MTAs identified on the A subgenome were also identified on the respective homeologous chromosome on the B subgenome. The duplications of effect observed could be due to common ancestor of the A and B genome which explains the linkage detected between markers lying on different chromosomes seen in the current study. The present study identified a total of 20 highly significant marker trait associations with 11 markers for four physiological traits of importance in groundnut; LAI, CT, SCMR and NDVI. The markers identified in this study can serve as useful genomic resources to initiate marker-assisted selection and trait introgression of groundnut for drought tolerance. The identified markers in this study may be useful for marker assisted selection after further validation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0227.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: digital aerial photogrammetry; SAR; model-assisted; biomass estimation; Copernicus; unmanned aerial vehicles
Online: 19 December 2018 (02:56:20 CET)
Due to the increasing importance of mangroves in climate change mitigation projects, more accurate and cost-effective aboveground biomass (AGB) monitoring methods are required. However, field measurement of AGB may be a challenge because of its remote location and the difficulty to walk in these areas. This study is based on the Livelihoods Fund’ Oceanium project of 10,000 hectare mangrove plantations monitoring. In a first step, the possibility of replacing traditional field measurements of sample plots in a young mangrove plantation by a semiautomatic processing of UAV-based photogrammetric point clouds was assessed. In a second step, Sentinel-1 radar and Sentinel-2 optical imagery were used as auxiliary information to estimate AGB and its variance for the entire study area under a model-assisted framework. AGB was measured using UAV imagery in a total of 95 sample plots. UAV plot data was used in combination with non-parametric Support Vector Regression (SVR) models for the estimation of the study area AGB using model-assisted estimators. Purely UAV-based AGB estimates and their associated standard error (SE) were compared with model-assisted estimates using (1) Sentinel-1, (2) Sentinel-2 and (3) a combination of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data as auxiliary information. The validation of the UAV-based individual tree height and crown diameter measurements showed a root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.21 m and 0.32 m respectively. Relative efficiency of the three model-assisted scenarios ranged between 1.61 and 2.15. Although all SVR models improved the efficiency of the monitoring over UAV-based estimates, the best results were achieved when a combination of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data was used. Results indicated that the methodology used in this research can provide accurate and cost-effective estimates of AGB in mangrove young plantations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0509.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: Sinapis alba L.; Sinapis nigra L.; ultrasound-assisted extraction; antiproliferative; proapoptotic; antimicrobial.
Online: 22 October 2018 (16:04:24 CEST)
High Brassicaceae consumption reduces the risk of developing several cancer types, probably due to their glucosinolate amount. Extracts from Sinapis nigra L. and Sinapis alba L. have been obtained from leaves and seeds under different conditions using ethanol/water mixtures because well accepted by food industry. The EtOH/H2O 8:2 mixture gives better yields in glucosinolate amounts from grinded seeds, mainly sinalbin in S. alba and sinigrin in S. nigra. The highest antiproliferative activity in both non-tumour and tumour cell lines was induced by S. alba seeds extract. To evaluate whether Sinapis spp effect was only due to glucosinolate content or it was influenced by the extracts’ complexity, cells were treated with extracts or glucosinolates, in the presence of myrosinase. Pure sinigrin did not modify cell proliferation, while pure sinalbin was less effective than the extract. The addition of myrosinase increased the antiproliferative effects of the S. nigra extract and sinigrin. Antiproliferative activity was correlated to MAPKs modulation, which was cell and extract-dependent. Cell-cycle analysis evidenced a proapoptotic effect of S. alba on both tumour cell lines and of S. nigra only on HCT 116. Both extracts showed good antimicrobial activity in disc diffusion tests and on ready-to-eat fresh salad. These results underline the potential effects of Sinapis spp in chemoprevention and food preservation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0129.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control & Systems Engineering Keywords: Topological-entropy; Chaos; Fractional-order; Computer-assisted proof; Topological Horseshoe Analysis; FPGA
Online: 10 April 2018 (15:41:39 CEST)
This paper first discusses a fractional-order Liu system of order as low as 2.7 and shows its chaotic characteristics by carrying out numerical simulations such as Lyapunov exponents, bifurcation diagrams and phase portraits. Then, by using the topological horseshoe theory and computer-assisted proof, the existence of chaos in the system is verified theoretically. Finally, the fractional-order system is implemented on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and the results obtained show that the fractional-order Liu system is indeed chaotic.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0500.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: Abdominal wall; Transversus abdominis plane block; Comparative anatomy; Animal models
Online: 26 November 2021 (10:47:30 CET)
With the increased use of simulation based training using animal models for the education of surgical and anaesthetic techniques, an increased understanding of the anatomy of such models and how they compare to humans is required. The transversus abdominis plane block is a regional anaesthetic technique that requires an understanding of the abdominal wall anatomy along with proficient ultrasound use. The current review aims to compare the anatomy of the abdominal wall across species, particularly focussing on the pertinent differences within the class of mammals, and secondarily, it aims to address the implications of these differences for simulation based training of the transversus abdominis plane block. To achieve this, the PubMed, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases were searched for relevant literature. The mammalian abdominal wall differs in its musculature, vasculature or innervation from that of amphibians, birds or reptiles, however, among species of mammals, the structure of the abdominal wall follows a similar framework. Particular differences among mammals include the additional muscular layer of the panniculus carnosus found in most mammals other than humans, the variable arterial origins and dominant vascular supply of the abdominal wall and the number of thoracolumbar nerves innervating the abdominal wall. When using animal models for simulation based training, the pig is recommended for the transversus abdominis plane block given its closely homologous abdominal wall structure, availability and larger comparative size.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; animal models; vaccines; future prospects
Online: 2 August 2021 (13:15:48 CEST)
The worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become an unprecedented challenge to global public health. With the intensification of the COVID-19 epidemic, the development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs against the etiological agent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are also widespread. To prove the effectiveness and safety of these preventive vaccines and therapeutic drugs, available animal models that faithfully recapitulate clinical hallmarks of COVID-19 are urgently needed. Currently, animal models including mice, golden hamsters, ferrets, nonhuman primates and other susceptible animals have been involved in the study of COVID-19. 92 vaccine candidates have entered clinical trials after the primary evaluation in animal models, of which inactivated vaccines, subunit vaccines, virus-vectored vaccines and mRNA vaccines are promising vaccine candidates. In this review, we summarize the landscape of animal models and advanced vaccines with efficacy range from about 50% to more than 95%. In addition, we point out future directions for animal models and vaccine development, aiming at providing valuable information and accelerating the breakthroughs confronting SARS-CoV-2.