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After the recent detection, by both morphology and DNA barcodes, of the larval stages of an unknown species of pea crab (Pinnotheres sp.) in European waters, adults of this crab are herein reported and described as a new species. The current known geographic distribution of the species comprises the Gulf of Cádiz in the eastern Atlantic and the adjacent Mediterranean waters of the south of the Iberian Peninsula (Alboran Sea), where this crab is well-established inside the anomiid bivalve Anomia ephippium. In the Gulf of Cádiz, the species displayed a relatively high prevalence: on average, 55.6–77.7%, in A. ephippium samples. The dominant demographic categories of the new species were soft females (61.8–77.0%) with fewer males (17.7–21.10%). Most of the host bivalves carried only one crab; in bivalves harbouring two crabs, heterosexual pairs were collected more frequently than expected by chance, which suggests that they could be mated pairs. A strong correlation between host size and soft female size was found (r = 0.73, P < 0.01) indicating that space availability within hosts seems to be relevant in determining the size of the sedentary phase of the new crab species.
Parallel manipulators, especially those with outputs as one translation and two rotations (1T2R), are being increasingly studied. The kinematic chains of parallel manipulators share the loads and make the stiffness higher than the stiffness of serial manipulators with equivalent limbs. This high stiffness ensures a minimal deformation of the limbs, allowing a high positioning accuracy of the endeffector. Thus, it is very important to be able to measure the stiffness in parallel manipulators. In this work, we present a novel 1T2R multi-axial shaking table (MAST) for automobile pieces testing purposes—the 2PRU–1PRS parallel manipulator—and focus on the analysis of its stiffness all over the useful workspace. Analysis methods based on matrix structural method need to be validated for every parallel manipulator, and we present these steps along with a comparison between experimental and analytical methods.
Household surveys are one of the most commonly used tools for generating insight into rural communities. Despite their prevalence, few studies comprehensively evaluate the quality of data derived from farm household surveys. We critically evaluated a series of standard reported values and indicators that are captured in multiple farm household surveys, and then quantified their credibility, consistency and, thus, their reliability. Surprisingly, even variables which might be considered ‘easy to estimate’ had instances of non-credible observations. In addition, measurements of maize yields and land owned were found to be less reliable than other stationary variables. This lack of reliability has implications for monitoring food security status, poverty status and the land productivity of households. Despite this rather bleak picture, our analysis also shows that if the same farm households are followed over time, the sample sizes needed to detect substantial changes are in the order of hundreds of surveys, and not in the thousands. Our research highlights the value of targeted and systematised household surveys and the importance of ongoing efforts to improve data quality. Improvements must be based on the foundations of robust survey design, transparency of experimental design and effective training. The quality and usability of such data can be further enhanced by improving coordination between agencies, incorporating mixed modes of data collection and continuing systematic validation programmes.
Implementation of an advance care planning (ACP) program for people with advanced chronic conditions is a complex process. The aims of this paper are to describe (1) the development of the ACP program in Catalonia, Spain, for patients with advanced chronic conditions and complex needs and (2) the preliminary results of the implementation of this program in health and social services.
The ACP program was developed and implemented in a four-stage process as follows: (1) design and organization of the project; (2) selection of the professionals to carry out the project; (3) creation of four working groups to develop the conceptual model, guidelines, training program, and perform a qualitative evaluation; and (4) project implementation.
The following deliverables were completed: (1) conceptual framework document; (2) practical guidelines for the application of the ACP; (3) online training course (3,763 healthcare professionals completed the online course, with an overall satisfaction rating of 8.4 on a 10-point scale); and (4) additional training activities (conferences, short courses, and seminars) in between 2015 and 2017.
Significance of results
This project was led by the Catalan Ministry of Health. The strengths of the project development include the contribution of a wide range of professionals from the entire region, approval by the Catalan Bioethics Committee and the Social Services Ethics Committee, and the ongoing validation by members of the community. A standardized online training course was offered to all primary care professionals and included as a quality indicator for continuing education for those professionals in the period 2016–2020. The main outcome of this project is the establishment of a pragmatic ACP throughout the region and training of the health and social care professionals involved in the care of advanced chronic patients.
The objective was to compare the performance of the updated Charlson comorbidity index (uCCI) and classical CCI (cCCI) in predicting 30-day mortality in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB). All cases of SAB in patients aged ⩾14 years identified at the Microbiology Unit were included prospectively and followed. Comorbidity was evaluated using the cCCI and uCCI. Relevant variables associated with SAB-related mortality, along with cCCI or uCCI scores, were entered into multivariate logistic regression models. Global model fit, model calibration and predictive validity of each model were evaluated and compared. In total, 257 episodes of SAB in 239 patients were included (mean age 74 years; 65% were male). The mean cCCI and uCCI scores were 3.6 (standard deviation, 2.4) and 2.9 (2.3), respectively; 161 (63%) cases had cCCI score ⩾3 and 89 (35%) cases had uCCI score ⩾4. Sixty-five (25%) patients died within 30 days. The cCCI score was not related to mortality in any model, but uCCI score ⩾4 was an independent factor of 30-day mortality (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–3.74). The uCCI is a more up-to-date, refined and parsimonious prognostic mortality score than the cCCI; it may thus serve better than the latter in the identification of patients with SAB with worse prognoses.
Dual-purpose (milk and beef) farms in the tropics are characterised by 1) a high variability of nutritional management systems, and 2) their flexibility to adapt to changing conditions. An appropriate characterisation and classification of these systems is necessary to determine efficient and sustainable resource management strategies according to the different goals or productive orientation of the farms. A prospective study for characterising the nutritional management systems of dual purpose farms in Costa Rica was carried out. The dynamics of the farms, in terms of management intensity and productive orientation, are described and discussed.
The aim of using any in vitro method is to obtain a good description of the nutritional value of forages as they are fed, which in most cases is on a fresh basis. The in vitro gas production technique has the potential to characterise fermentation pattern of the carbohydrate fractions of forages, and has been used extensively with forage material that has been dried and ground through a 1mm screen. The objective of the present study was to compare the fermentation patterns of fresh and dry forage.
The growth performance of youngstock has a double effect on the general productivity of dual purpose farms. First, it directly influences the beef outputs of the farm, and second; it has an indirect effect on the length of the non-productive period of the replacement heifers and their subsequent milk production ability. The latter effect has been well documented on dairy heifers in both temperate and tropical conditions. The growth performance of youngstock is dependent of the management intensity and productive orientation of the farm. This paper shows the effect of a series of nutritional factors and farming characteristics on the pre-weaning growth performance of youngstock in eighteen dual purpose farms in Costa Rica.
The timing of the late Middle Paleolithic and late disappearance of Neanderthals in the Iberian Peninsula are hotly debated subjects in Paleolithic archeology. Several studies suggested a late survival in South and Central Iberia until about 32 ka, but were probably subject to significant age underestimation due to contamination of dating samples, undiagnostic lithic assemblages, and/or lack of stratigraphic integrity. We conducted a radiocarbon and luminescence-dating study backed by detailed sedimentological and micromorphological investigations at the newly discovered rock shelter sequence of Abrigo del Molino (Central Spain). Accumulation of the sediment sequence was rapid. It started with deposition of paleoflood slack-water deposits at around 48 ka and continued until about 41 ka with deposition of colluvial and detrital sediments. These contain two Mousterian levels, which place the latest Neanderthal occupation at around 45 to 41 ka, i.e., between Heinrich Stadials 5 and 4, and probably during a time of climate amelioration. Abrigo del Molino thus provides a detailed and chronologically well-constrained record of Late Neanderthal presence and morphodynamic change in Central Iberia during times of millennial-scale climate changes. The site gives further evidence for an early disappearance of Neanderthals in Central Iberia.
This paper discusses some of the unique aspects of the interactions of livestock with the natural resources base. It argues the nature of these interactions make the use of a systems approach of particular importance when planning and executing livestock research if it is to be of any relevance to farmers in developing countries. The key issues are illustrated in two contrasting case studies.
In Nepal, shifts in land use patterns have led to marked changes in the availability and use of fodder resources. Farmers indicate that they are no longer able to use these optimally. Fodder from at least 90 different types of tree (some of which have yet to be properly classified botanically) are used to supplement the diets of buffalo, cattle and goats during dry seasons when food is in short supply. The nutritive value of each of these is affected by a wide range of management and environmental factors. Furthermore, diet selectivity means that fractions consumed differ markedly amongst both tree species and classes of livestock. It is clearly not feasible for researchers to evaluate this diversity using existing in vitro or in vivo indicators of nutritive value. Initial studies suggest that this variability is implicitly catered for in farmers' own assessments of relative nutritive values. A mechanistic understanding of this indigenous technical knowledge and the development of appropriate techniques for integrating it with models of the biological responses of animals to nutrients might, therefore, allow more effective assessment of strategies for tree fodder utilization.
Highland dairy systems in the humid tropics of Costa Rica (3000+ mm/year rainfall) could be very productive but suffer from a substantial dependence on imported inputs. Concentrate use is very high causing substantial underutilization of grazed pasture (the local resource), which is available year-round under these high-rainfall conditions. Over-supplementation with protein, which is the most expensive nutrient in the diet, at levels in excess of 200% of the requirement has been reported widely in these regions. Farmers want new strategies that enable them to manage their land and other resources in an alternative way, in order to be less dependent on grains and other imports. A decision-support system based on simulation and multiple criteria models representing a dairy farm has enabled the design and development of such strategies. Using this approach, farmers' objectives can be incorporated with a holistic understanding of the farming system in terms of management practices that will permit demand-driven animal production research at the farm level.
Smallholder dairy production in Kenya is one of the developing world’s success stories. Kenya's improved dairy cattle herd of more than 3 million is the largest in Africa, and significantly is held mostly by smallholders. As a result, dairy production is a major part of the agricultural sector and an important source of livelihoods for at least an estimated 600,000 smallholder farm families in Kenya (Omore et al., 1999). Compared to its neighbours, the country has a welldeveloped dairy production and processing industry, and the country has broadly managed to be self-reliant in dairy products, so that except during extreme dry years, imports are negligible.
In order to understand and ultimately predict the voluntary intake and performance of ruminants, it is necessary to know the nutritional value of foods. Most recent systems for predicting nutrient supply are dynamic in nature and characterize foods in terms of the quantities of available nutrients and their potential rates of supply. The in vitro gas production system has been used to characterize the carbohydrate fraction of foods in this manner. For the technique to be able to do this, two assumptions must be satisfied. First, that the rate of fermentation is limited by characteristics of the food and secondly that the pattern of gas production correlates closely with the pattern of food fermentation.Low microbial activity within the system could invalidate both assumptions since it could (i) limit the rate of food fermentation, thus not allowing the potential rate determined by the physical and chemical nature of the food to be measured and (ii) result in partition of food carbohydrate into new microbial matter, thus reducing the amount of volatile fatty acids and hence gas produced per unit of food fermented.
The aims of this study were mathematically to simulate food fermentation within an in vitro system and to use this representation to investigate the potential effects of variation in microbial activity on the characterization of foods.
There is increasing demand to obtain fast and accurate dynamic nutritional information from forages. Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) offers the possibility for obtaining such information for a range of nutritional constituents of foods. Herrero et al. (1996 and 1997) calibrated in vitro gas production measurements of a single grass species by NIRS. There would be greater practical benefit if the gas production predictions could be obtained using calibrations derived from a wide range of plant species, since a single equation could be used for all forages. The objective of this study was to investigate if in vitro gas production measurements of a broad based sample population could be calibrated by NIRS.