62,604 research outputs found

    Animal welfare science: recent publication trends and future research priorities

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    Animal welfare science is a young and thriving field. Over the last two decades, the output of scientific publications on welfare has increased by c. 10-15% annually (tripling as a proportion of all science papers logged by ISI’s Web of Science), with just under half the c. 8500 total being published in the last 4 years. These papers span an incredible 500+ journals, but around three quarters have been in 80 animal science, veterinary, ethology, conservation and specialized welfare publications, and nearly 25% are published in just two: Animal Welfare and Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Farmed animals – especially mammals – have attracted by far the most research. This broadly reflects the vastness of their populations and the degree of public concern they elicit; poultry, however, are under-studied, and farmed fish ever more so: fish have only recently attracted welfare research, and are by far the least studied of all agricultural species, perhaps because of ongoing doubts about their sentience. We predict this farm animal focus will continue in the future, but embracing more farmed fish, reptiles and invertebrates, and placing its findings within broader international contexts such as environmental and food security concerns. Laboratory animals have been consistently well studied, with a shift in recent years away from primates and towards rodents. Pets, the second largest animal sector after farmed animals, have in contrast been little studied considering their huge populations (cats being especially overlooked): we anticipate research on them increasing in the future. Captive wild animals, especially mammals, have attracted a consistent level of welfare research over the last two decades. Given the many thousands of diverse species kept by zoos, this must, and we predict will, increase. Future challenges and opportunities including refining the use of preference tests, stereotypic behaviour, corticosteroid outputs and putative indicators of positive affect, to enable more valid conclusions about welfare; investigating the evolution and functions of affective states; and last but not least, identifying which taxonomic groups and stages of development are actually sentient and so worthy of welfare concern

    Space environmental work simulator Patent

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    Space environmental work simulator with portions of space suit mounted to vacuum chamber wal

    Isolation and characterisation of Sri Lankan yeast germplasm and its evaluation for alcohol production

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    Use of inferior yeast cultures represents one of the reasons for low fermentation efficiencies in Sri Lankan alcohol distilleries that use sugarcane molasses. The present study isolated and characterised yeast strains found in natural environments in Sri Lanka and evaluated their performance under laboratory conditions in an effort to select superior strains for industrial fermentations. Yeasts were characterised based on morphological and physiological features such as sugar fermentation and nitrate assimilation. Ethanol production, alcohol tolerance and growth rate of the most promising strains were monitored following laboratory fermentations of molasses. Over a thousand yeast cultures were collected and screened for fermentative activity and a total of 83 yeast isolates were characterised as higher ethanol producers. Most of these belonged to the genus Saccharomyces. Certain strains produced over 10% (v/v) alcohol in molasses media during 72 h laboratory fermentations. Only two strains, SL-SRI-C-102 and 111, showed an appreciable fermentation efficiency of about 90%. The latter strain produced the highest level of ethanol, 11% (v/v) within a 48 h fermentation and exhibited improved alcohol tolerance when compared with the baker's yeast strains currently used in Sri Lankan alcohol distilleries. This study highlights the benefits of exploiting indigenous yeasts for industrial fermentation processes

    Contamination of stellar-kinematic samples and uncertainty about dark matter annihilation profiles in ultrafaint dwarf galaxies: the example of Segue I

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    The expected gamma-ray flux coming from dark matter annihilation in dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies depends on the so-called `J-factor', the integral of the squared dark matter density along the line-of-sight. We examine the degree to which estimates of J are sensitive to contamination (by foreground Milky Way stars and stellar streams) of the stellar-kinematic samples that are used to infer dark matter densities in `ultrafaint' dSphs. Applying standard kinematic analyses to hundreds of mock data sets that include varying levels of contamination, we find that mis-classified contaminants can cause J-factors to be overestimated by orders of magnitude. Stellar-kinematic data sets for which we obtain such biased estimates tend 1) to include relatively large fractions of stars with ambiguous membership status, and 2) to give estimates for J that are sensitive to specific choices about how to weight and/or to exclude stars with ambiguous status. Comparing publicly-available stellar-kinematic samples for the nearby dSphs Reticulum~II and Segue~I, we find that only the latter displays both of these characteristics. Estimates of Segue~I's J-factor should therefore be regarded with a larger degree of caution when planning and interpreting gamma-ray observations. Moreover, robust interpretations regarding dark matter annihilation in dSph galaxies in general will require explicit examination of how interlopers might affect the inferred dark matter density profile.Comment: 12 pages, 8 figures. New appendix A (joint light/dark matter likelihood), results unchanged. Match accepted MNRAS versio
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