The Carrier - Episode One (The Estrus Chronicles Book 1)
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Such replacement should succeed the prototype device with reduced dimensions, improved compatibility with PC, increased speed of data acquisition and transfer and extended possibilities for additional functions in future. For the future development it is proposed being attractive for practical application a new generation of multi-purpose and multi-parameter robotic system combining diverse methods of characterisation and acceptable for complex and continuous monitoring of cow's health and productivity.
Software activities SMART has led the design, development, and implementation of: - integration of data import, learning and prediction software and test scripts developed under WP3 for prototype performance optimisation; - integration of data import, prediction software and GUI developed under WP4 with Protech's data acquisition software.
Testing and validation Achievements on laboratory test report The purpose of this task has been to prepare a test protocol for the usefulness of the electronic nose in comparison with traditional techniques. Main objectives of the task have been to: - determine the moment of estrus; - determine the level of pheromone emission using gas chromatography during the oestrus cycle; - determine the level of pheromone emission using the electronic nose.
Background of the test In order to select the most suitable sensor for sex pheromone detection the source of highest emission rates had to be determined. To that end a preliminary experiment was conducted, during which it was established that pheromones can be reliably detected in faeces and urine.
However urine was not used in the laboratory and field tests of the e-nose. Two reasons led to such decision: - in preliminary experiments a clear difference between the results obtained using urine and those using faeces was detected; - collection of urine samples under field conditions is so complicated, that it was deemed too impractical. Faeces samples, on the other hand, can be collected easily.
Since faeces are easy to collect at regular intervals it was decided to use it as a main source to determine the excretion of sex pheromones during the estrus cycle. Furthermore, besides the main objective detection of estrus an important added value of the measurement of sex pheromones is the ability to determine whether cows are still in estrus after insemination, enabling accurate pregnancy state assessment. Having this in mind, the animals have been monitored after insemination as well. How it was done In order to perform laboratory testing of the device, samples of cow faeces were collected and estrus status of the cows was recorded in two farms located in Lithuania and Netherlands.
Seven and four samples were collected respectively in special plastic vessels accepted as the standard for the project experiments in the project meeting in Deventer in November. Faeces were collected before, during and after ovulation period established by standard technique based on behavioural and rectal reactions evaluated by experienced veterinarian as well as on application of ultrasound technique.
One of the sets was delivered to the KTH Sweden for the analysis by gas chromatography method. Another set of samples was delivered to the Sensors laboratory partner Protech, Vilnius. The gas sensing and sampling components were tested in experiments with these faeces samples. Two series of the samples were used in the volatile compounds tests during which the volatile compounds from the samples were injected into the sensor chamber and the response of sensors was recorded. Results To sum up the work done under the task 6.
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Regarding the detection rate - it must be noted that in large dairy farms precise estrus determination is rather complicated and often inaccurate, resulting in low insemination success rates due to untypical heat course in cows, misbalanced by specific handling and unnatural environment created in order to increase milk production capacity. Such conditions decrease the percentage of accurate ovulation detections and may negatively affect prognosis of timeframe suitable for insemination by both means standard and electronic nose.
It can be concluded that the characteristics of the BOVINOSE device and the accuracy of measurement is sufficient to obtain a set of features acceptable for discrimination between the separated faeces samples by the odour detection and pre-processing of output signals. Software related achievements Testing and validation of various methods, algorithms and prototype for both pheromone and estrus in prediction based on software developed under WP3 and WP5.
Laboratory tests: The system has been tested extensively on different batches of laboratory data i. Field tests: The tests by GC have been supported. Field evaluations The e-nose prototype was evaluated during a field trial on a dairy farm in the Netherlands. The device was tested for its capacity to predict estrus under field conditions and for its user friendliness.
The device was also evaluated against criteria that were defined in the requirements from the user viewpoint.
The results were promising. The device was in compliance with the acceptable criteria. Many of the ideal criteria were not fulfilled; however, as a result of the field test several improvements were made. The software was further developed as described in this report. Furthermore the device was made smaller and the needle was integrated in the device.
Materials And Methods
These improvements greatly enhanced the user friendliness. Several functionalities were tested under field conditions. Frozen samples were compared with fresh samples and it was shown that although both samples could be used the results could be different. Also prolonged freezing and thawing results in unreliable measurements. Predictions for field trials cannot be straightforwardly based on laboratory results. More field data are required and new training is needed to analyse the difference in the PCA plots.ryusushitalca.cl/wp-content/oakland/2103-saluggia-tuttoannunci.php
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This has lead to the following major conclusions: 1. The measurements were only done on a limited number of animals and they were used to make recommendations for the development of a second prototype.
The results showed that it is advisable to treat samples always in the same way, either frozen or fresh. Once samples have been thawed after freezing they should not be frozen again. Much time was spent on improving the software. The new software is not yet fully tested but it is a considerable improvement. This software can be the basis for further development. After insemination some cows showed pheromone peaks which make it difficult to use the pheromones as an indicator for pregnancy.
In the field setting, more data are needed to confirm this result. The prototype device performed under field conditions equally well as under laboratory conditions, however predictions for field trials cannot be straightforwardly based on laboratory results. Evaluation and recommendations Technical performance assessment Technical aspects of design, functioning, manufacturing and application were investigated for the first and second versions prototype devices of pheromone detection in the faeces samples of diary cows.
The findings of the laboratory tests and the field trials were analysed and readiness of the device for practical application was evaluated. It was recognised that some technical shortages existed in the design and functioning of the device and solutions for major issues were provided.
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The laboratory tests were accomplished under well controlled working conditions. The field trials were performed for the same prototype device at a dairy farm under realistic conditions. The results of both tests were used for evaluation of technical aspects in functioning of the device. Major conclusions: 1. The first version prototype of the BOVINOSE device is a table-top instrument with semi-automatic sampling-injection subsystem acceptable for detection of pheromone components, namely propionic acid and acetic acid, at amounts below 1 ppm in air.
The prototype device is adapted for detection of pheromones in the faeces samples of cows. In each experiment, the same faeces samples were probed with the device under typical laboratory room conditions.
Regulation and Function of Gonadotropins Throughout the Bovine Oestrous Cycle
It is demonstrated by these long term tests that the long term stability, reproducibility and repeatability of functioning of the BOVINOSE device are acceptable for practical application. The influences of external factors, namely surrounding temperature T , relative humidity of surrounding air RH , presence of NH3 in the atmosphere PNH3 , were analysed by the laboratory tests with a special container. It was also demonstrated that the unexpected deviations between the output signals occur for some faeces samples that cannot be explained only by the technical aspects of device functioning.
Model predictions of estrus based on BOVINOSE measurements on faeces samples from diary cows correlate in general strongly with observations of estrus by human experts. A disadvantage of the current models is that 1 the pheromone prediction basically only makes sense if a whole series is measured to reveal the pattern of the series - since individual predictions make no sense due to scaling , and 2 the estrus prediction needs to be calibrated per cow by initial data from samples taken when the cow is not in heat, nor pregnant.
Numerical prediction results of laboratory tests as well as of field trials have been extensively analyzed and evaluated, and discussed and reported. Following strong and weak points have been identified: Strong points: - the strong, robust correlation of eNose pheromone predictions with the actual pheromone data in the laboratory tests; - the quite good correlation of eNose estrus predictions with the actual estrus data according to human experts.
Weak points for further research and improvements: - the need of a reliable baseline determination. The required measurements needed for this baseline determination; the sensitivity of predictions to an erroneous baseline determination; - deviations of field trial data compared to laboratory data however, more field trials are needed for definite conclusions. Economic assessment Cost price calculations have been made and analysed for the latest prototype. The outcome of these activities has been described in deliverable D7.
Value analysis techniques were used to identify potential for cost reductions of the first prototype while maintaining functionality, and to guide further product development and improvements. Costs are meaningless without the context of revenues generated profits , so, to support future exploitation, a customer value proposition has been included, in this case based on payback time and Internal Rate of Return calculations.
These have been made for several dairy herd sizes.
Allopregnanolone alters follicular and luteal dynamics during the estrous cycle
The analysis reveals that both for the customer mainly the farmer, but also veterinary doctors and AI stations and for the device manufacturer the device is highly attractive in terms of annual returns. For a relatively small herd size of 15 dairy cows the payback time is with about 26 months still very acceptable.
This implies a great market outlook. All results have been listed in D7. For the cost price analysis the relevant data sections have been used as inputs. These surveys were also useful input for the deliverable D8. Recommendations for further research In cows, the e-nose detects an estrus by measuring volatile chemical pheromone components which quantitatively correlates with ovulation time and in that way allows determination of optimal insemination time.
The fact that domestic animals like horses, sheep and goats use olfactory signals to obtain information about reproduction status of partner, indicates that electronic nose could be applied for detection of ovulation time and consequently for determination of optimal insemination time.
In addition, e-nose could be used in forestry and agriculture when rapid, sensitive and reliable method of volatile chemical marker s detection is needed. Major conclusion Electronic nose could be used in farming, forestry and agriculture when rapid, sensitive and reliable method of certain odour detection is essential for resolving tasks.
This document integrates both stages of the development on the PUDF. A policy of wide dissemination of project results will be pursued in particular focused on potential end users of the project results, i. This second group plays an important role as they have usually strong working relationships with the farmers, and their opinion bears a lot of weight to the farmer. Therefore, scientifically sound proof of the working principle will in particularly disseminated to veterinary doctors and agricultural consultants who are active in the dairy value chain.
Peer-reviewed articles Preparations have been made for four peer-reviewed texts for publication in scientific journals or as stand-alone publications in line with editorial and other requirements as requested by the publisher. These publications will contribute to disseminate research findings.
SMEs have been formally asked for approval.