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Progesterone (P4) plays a key role in pregnancy establishment and maintenance; during early pregnancy, P4 stimulates the production and release of uterine secretions necessary for conceptus growth prior to implantation; therefore, exogenous P4 supplementation may improve embryo development. This study evaluated the effects of supplementation during early pregnancy with long-acting injectable progesterone or altrenogest on embryonic characteristics of sows and gilts. Thus, a total of 32 sows and 16 gilts were used. On day 6 of pregnancy sows and gilts were allocated to one of the following groups: non-supplemented; supplemented with 20 mg of altrenogest, orally, from days 6 to 12 of pregnancy; supplemented with 2.15 mg/kg of long-acting injectable progesterone on day 6 of pregnancy. Animals were killed on day 28 of pregnancy, and ovulation rate, embryo survival, embryo weight, crown-to-rump length, uterine glandular epithelium and endometrial vascularization were assessed. Treatments had no effect on pregnancy rate, embryo survival or endometrial vascular density (P > 0.05). Non-supplemented gilts presented larger and heavier embryos compared to gilts from supplemented groups (P < 0.05). Sows in the altrenogest group presented larger and heavier embryos compared to non-supplemented sows and sows supplemented with long-acting injectable progesterone. In conclusion, supplementation of sows and gilts with progestagen from day 6 of pregnancy can be used as a means to improve embryo survival without deleterious effects.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
The stress field induced by an edge dislocation or a point force located near a coated triangle-like hole in an infinite plate is provided in this paper. Based on the method of analytical continuation and the technique of conformal mapping in conjunction with the alternation technique, a series solution for the displacement and stresses in the coating layer and the matrix is obtained analytically. Examples for the interaction between an edge dislocation and a coated triangle-like hole for various material constant combinations, coating thicknesses and shape factors are discussed. The analysis discovers that the so-called trapping mechanism of dislocations is more likely to exist near a coated triangle-like hole. The result shows that the dislocation will first be repelled by the coating layer and then attracted by a hole when the coating layer is slightly stiffer than the matrix. However, when the coating layer is sufficiently thin, the dislocation will always be attracted by a hole even the coating layer is stiffer than the matrix.
Sitophilus zeamais is a key pest of stored grains. Its control is made, usually, using synthetic insecticides, despite their negative impacts. Botanical insecticides with fumigant/repellent properties may offer an alternative solution. This work describes the effects of Anethum graveolens, Petroselinum crispum, Foeniculum vulgare and Cuminum cyminum essential oils (EOs) and (S)-carvone, cuminaldehyde, estragole and (+)-fenchone towards adults of S. zeamais. Acute toxicity was assessed by fumigation and topical application. Repellence was evaluated by an area preference bioassay and two-choice test, using maize grains. LC50 determined by fumigation ranged from 51.8 to 535.8 mg L−1 air, with (S)-carvone being the most active. LD50 values for topical applications varied from 23 to 128 µg per adult for (S)-carvone > cuminaldehyde > A. graveolens > C. cyminum > P. crispum. All EOs/standard compounds reduced significantly the percentage of insects attracted to maize grains (65–80%) in the two-choice repellence test, whereas in the area preference bioassay RD50 varied from 1.4 to 45.2 µg cm−2, with cuminaldehyde, (S)-carvone and estragole being strongly repellents. Petroselinum crispum EO and cuminaldehyde affected the nutritional parameters relative growth rate, efficiency conversion index of ingested food and antifeeding effect, displaying antinutritional effects toward S. zeamais. In addition, P. crispum and C. cyminum EOs, as well as cuminaldehyde, showed the highest acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity in vitro (IC50 = 185, 235 and 214.5 µg mL−1, respectively). EOs/standard compounds exhibited acute toxicity, and some treatments showed antinutritional effects towards S. zeamais. Therefore, the tested plant products might be good candidates to be considered to prevent damages caused by this pest.
The multipolar representation of the magnetic field has, for the lowest-order term, a magnetic dipole that dominates the far field. Thus the far-field representation of the magnetic field of the Earth, Sun and other celestial bodies is a dipole. Since these bodies consist of or are surrounded by plasma, which can support Alfvén waves, their propagation along dipole magnetic field lines is considered using a new coordinate system: dipolar coordinates. The present paper introduces multipolar coordinates, which are an example of conformal coordinates; conformal coordinates are orthogonal with equal scale factors, and can be extended from the plane to space, for instance as cylindrical or spherical dipolar coordinates. The application considered is to Alfvén waves propagating along a circle, that is a magnetic field line of a dipole, with transverse velocity and magnetic field perturbations; the various forms of the wave equation are linear second-order differential equations, with variable coefficients, specified by a background magnetic field, which is force free. The absence of a background magnetic force leads to a mean state of hydrostatic equilibrium, specified by the balance of gravity against the pressure gradient, for a perfect gas or incompressible liquid. The wave equation is simplified to a Gaussian hypergeometric type in the case of zero frequency, otherwise, for non-zero frequency, an extended Gaussian hypergeometric equation is obtained. The solution of the latter specifies the magnetic field perturbation spectrum, and also, via a polarisation relation, the velocity perturbation spectrum; both are plotted, over half a circle, for three values of the dimensionless frequency.
Multispectral imaging – the acquisition of spatially contiguous imaging data in a modest number (~3–16) of spectral bandpasses – has proven to be a powerful technique for augmenting panchromatic imaging observations on Mars focused on geologic and/or atmospheric context. Specifically, multispectral imaging using modern digital CCD photodetectors and narrowband filters in the 400–1100 nm wavelength region on the Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rover, Phoenix, and Mars Science Laboratory missions has provided new information on the composition and mineralogy of fine-grained regolith components (dust, soils, sand, spherules, coatings), rocky surface regions (cobbles, pebbles, boulders, outcrops, and fracture-filling veins), meteorites, and airborne dust and other aerosols. Here we review recent scientific results from Mars surface-based multispectral imaging investigations, including the ways that these observations have been used in concert with other kinds of measurements to enhance the overall scientific return from Mars surface missions.
Feral swine are known reservoirs of various pathogens, including Toxoplasma gondii. Here, we report the first national survey of viable T. gondii in feral swine in the USA. We paired serological surveys with parasite isolation and bioassay to evaluate the prevalence and genetic diversity of these parasites. From 2012–2017, sera and tissues from 1517 feral swine across the USA were collected for the isolation of viable T. gondii. Serum samples were initially screened for antibodies to T. gondii, and then the tissues of seropositive feral swine were bioassayed in mice. Antibodies were detected in 27.7% of feral swine tested by the modified agglutination test (1:25 or higher). Antibody positive rates increased significantly with age, with 10.1% of juveniles, 16.0% of sub-adults and 38.4% of adults testing seropositive. Myocardium (50 g) from 232 seropositive feral swine was digested in pepsin and bioassayed in mice. Viable T. gondii was isolated from 78 feral swine from 21 states. Twelve of the 78 isolates were pathogenic to outbred Swiss Webster mice and 76 of the 78 isolates could be propagated further in cell culture and were genotyped. For genotyping, deoxyribonucleic acid extracted from cell culture-derived tachyzoites was characterized by polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism using the genetic markers SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico. Genotyping revealed 15 ToxoDB genotypes, including 43 isolates for genotype #5 (haplogroup 12), 11 isolates for #24, four isolates for #2 (haplogroup 3), two isolates for each of genotypes #3 (haplogroup 2), #4 (haplogroup 12), #216, #221, #289 and #297 and one isolate for each of genotypes #1 (haplogroup 2), #39, #66, #260, #261 and #299. Genotype #5 was the most frequently isolated, accounted for 57% (43/76) of the isolates, followed by #24, accounted for 14% (11/76). Genotypes #260, #289, #297 and #299 are new types. Genotype #289 was highly virulent to mice and originated from feral swine collected in Louisiana on the same day at the same location. Genotype #216 was previously demonstrated to be highly virulent to mice. Our results indicate moderate genetic diversity of T. gondii in feral swine in the USA, with the genotype #5 (haplogroup 12) dominant in the continental USA, whereas genotype #24 (10/14) was dominant in Hawaii, suggesting different population structures of the parasites among the two distinct geographical locations.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an electronically steered low-frequency (<300 MHz) radio interferometer, with a ‘slew’ time less than 8 s. Low-frequency (∼100 MHz) radio telescopes are ideally suited for rapid response follow-up of transients due to their large field of view, the inverted spectrum of coherent emission, and the fact that the dispersion delay between a 1 GHz and 100 MHz pulse is on the order of 1–10 min for dispersion measures of 100–2000 pc/cm3. The MWA has previously been used to provide fast follow-up for transient events including gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), fast radio bursts (FRBs), and gravitational waves, using systems that respond to gamma-ray coordinates network packet-based notifications. We describe a system for automatically triggering MWA observations of such events, based on Virtual Observatory Event standard triggers, which is more flexible, capable, and accurate than previous systems. The system can respond to external multi-messenger triggers, which makes it well-suited to searching for prompt coherent radio emission from GRBs, the study of FRBs and gravitational waves, single pulse studies of pulsars, and rapid follow-up of high-energy superflares from flare stars. The new triggering system has the capability to trigger observations in both the regular correlator mode (limited to ≥0.5 s integrations) and using the Voltage Capture System (VCS, 0.1 ms integration) of the MWA and represents a new mode of operation for the MWA. The upgraded standard correlator triggering capability has been in use since MWA observing semester 2018B (July–Dec 2018), and the VCS and buffered mode triggers will become available for observing in a future semester.
Cipo Canastero Asthenes luizae is a relict ovenbird restricted to rocky outcrops at high elevations within the campo rupestre vegetation of the Espinhaço Range in the state of Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. This poorly known species is considered ‘Near Threatened’, but recent studies have suggested that it should be listed under a higher category of threat. To contribute to the knowledge of this species and its conservation assessment and related planning, we compiled all literature records of the species distribution (n = 16 locations), collected new data on its occurrence (n = 72 locations), and calculated its geographic range using four different approaches. First, we defined the sky islands where the species occurs (nine units) using the lowest elevation value recorded (1,100 m asl) as a cut-off. Second, we performed species distribution modelling (SDM) across the sky islands and identified an area of 2,225.21 km2. Third, we measured the species’ extent of occurrence (EOO = 24,555.85 km2) and used SDM to estimate its upper limit (EOOup = 30,697.58 km2). Fourth, we measured the area of occupancy (AOO = 228 km2) and used SDM to estimate its upper limit (AOOup = 1,827.39 km2). We analysed the Cipo Canastero sky islands in terms of landscape metrics including size, isolation, protected area coverage, shape index, core area index, and proportion covered by SDM. We observed a very fragmented distribution, especially in the North sector of the species distribution, composed of small and isolated populations (separated by up to 112 km); the South sector is the core of its distribution and is composed of larger, more connected patches with differences in shape complexity that are not strongly influenced by an edge effect. The range sizes calculated, along with other reported information regarding population and habitat trends, justifies the inclusion of the species in at least the ‘Vulnerable’ category.
There is an overabundance of microswimmers in nature, including bacteria, algae, mammalian cells and so on. They use flagellum, cilia or global shape changes (amoeboid motion) to move forward. In the presence of confining channels, these swimmers exhibit often non-trivial behaviours, such as accumulation at the wall, navigation and so on, and their swimming speed may be strongly influenced by the geometric confinement. Several numerical studies have reported that the presence of walls either enhances or reduces the swimming speed depending on the nature of the swimmer, and also on the confinement. The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical explanation of several previously obtained numerical results. We treat the case of amoeboid swimmers and the case of squirmers having either a tangential (the classical situation) or normal velocity prescribed at the swimmer surface (pumper). For amoeboid motion we consider a quasi-circular swimmer which allows us to tackle the problem analytically and to extract the equations of the motion of the swimmer, with several explicit analytical or semi-analytical solutions. It is found that the deformation of the amoeboid swimmer as well as a high enough order effect due to confinement are necessary in order to account for previous numerical results. The analytical theory accounts for several features obtained numerically also for non-deformable swimmers.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
Dietary protein adjustments can reduce environmental impact and economic losses in production systems. However, we lack information regarding nitrogen (N) metabolism and protein requirements for maintenance of crossbred animals such as Red Norte breed, precluding a precise dietary management. The objective was to evaluate the effect of increasing dietary CP levels (9%, 11%, 13%, 15% and 17%) on intake, digestibility and N balance, as well as to estimate the metabolizable protein requirements for maintenance (MPm) of growing Red Norte bulls. Thirty five animals averaging 280 ± 4.0 kg BW were fed during 45 days in a 60 : 40 forage : concentrate ratio diet in which the last 5 days were used for the digestibility trial. Intakes of CP and non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFCs) and feed efficiency linearly increased (P < 0.05) as CP levels increased, while DM, NDF, nitrogen efficiency use and ether extract were not influenced by CP levels (P > 0.05). Digestibilities of DM, organic matter, ether extract, NFC and CP as well as metabolizable energy intake linearly increased (P < 0.05), and true digestibility of CP was not affected (P > 0.05) by treatments. Urinary N and retained N linearly increased (P < 0.05) with the increase in dietary N. The MPm were estimated as 4.46 g/BW0.75 and the efficiency of use of MPm was 0.673. In conclusion, obtained MPm requirements of growing Red Norte bulls are greater than the values reported in literature for Zebu cattle and dietary CP levels of 15% and 17% exhibited great responses for growing Red Norte cattle. However, a cost-benefit evaluation should be done before its use.
This study proposed the application of a novel immersed boundary method (IBM) for the treatment of irregular geometries using Cartesian computational grids for high speed compressible gas flows modelled using the unsteady Euler equations. Furthermore, the method is accelerated through the use of multiple Graphics Processing Units – specifically using Nvidia’s CUDA together with MPI - due to the computationally intensive nature associated with the numerical solution to multi-dimensional continuity equations. Due to the high degree of locality required for efficient multiple GPU computation, the Split Harten-Lax-van-Leer (SHLL) scheme is employed for vector splitting of fluxes across cell interfaces. NVIDIA visual profiler shows that our proposed method having a computational speed of 98.6 GFLOPS and 61% efficiency based on the Roofline analysis that provides the theoretical computing speed of reaching 160 GLOPS with an average 2.225 operations/byte. To demonstrate the validity of the method, results from several benchmark problems covering both subsonic and supersonic flow regimes are presented. Performance testing using 96 GPU devices demonstrates a speed up of 89 times that of a single GPU (i.e. 92% efficiency) for a benchmark problem employing 48 million cells. Discussions regarding communication overhead and parallel efficiency for varying problem sizes are also presented.
To better understand hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology in Punjab state, India, we estimated the distribution of HCV antibody positivity (anti-HCV+) using a 2013–2014 HCV household seroprevalence survey. Household anti-HCV+ clustering was investigated (a) by individual-level multivariable logistic regression, and (b) comparing the observed frequency of households with multiple anti-HCV+ persons against the expected, simulated frequency assuming anti-HCV+ persons are randomly distributed. Village/ward-level clustering was investigated similarly. We estimated household-level associations between exposures and the number of anti-HCV+ members in a household (N = 1593 households) using multivariable ordered logistic regression. Anti-HCV+ prevalence was 3.6% (95% confidence interval 3.0–4.2%). Individual-level regression (N = 5543 participants) found an odds ratio of 3.19 (2.25–4.50) for someone being anti-HCV+ if another household member was anti-HCV+. Thirty households surveyed had ⩾2 anti-HCV+ members, whereas 0/1000 (P < 0.001) simulations had ⩾30 such households. Excess village-level clustering was evident: 10 villages had ⩾6 anti-HCV+ members, occurring in 31/1000 simulations (P = 0.031). The household-level model indicated the number of household members, living in southern Punjab, lower socio-economic score, and a higher proportion having ever used opium/bhuki were associated with a household's number of anti-HCV+ members. Anti-HCV+ clusters within households and villages in Punjab, India. These data should be used to inform screening efforts.
We studied trends in the incidence of health care-associated infections (HAIs) in LTCFs between 2009 and 2015 and determined the effect of participation in our network. Elder-care physicians reported weekly the number of cases of influenza-like illness, gastroenteritis, (probable) pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and all-cause mortality. Trends in the incidence of infection and mortality in relation to LTCF characteristics were calculated using multilevel univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Thirty LTCF participated for 3 years or more, 16 for 2 years and the remaining 12 LTCF for 1 year. During the study period, the median number of beds decreased from 158 to 139, whereas the percentage of residents with private bedrooms increased from 14% to 87%. UTIs were the most frequently reported infections, followed by (probable) pneumonia and gastroenteritis. Adjusted for calendar year and season, we observed a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of influenza-like illness (odds ratio (OR) = 0.8, P < 0.01) and (probable) pneumonia (OR = 0.8, P < 0.01) for each extra year an LTCF participated. Although there are other likely contributors, such as more private rooms and enhanced infection control measures, the decreasing trend of HAI in LTCFs participating in surveillance implies that surveillance is a valuable addition to current strategies to optimise infection control.
Global warming and the associated glacier retreat recently revealed the entrance to an ice–rock tunnel, at an altitude of ~3600 m a.s.l., in the uppermost portion of the Forni Glacier in the Central Italian Alps. The tunnel served as an entrance to an Austro-Hungarian cableway station excavated in the rocks during the Great War just behind the frontline. A comprehensive geophysical survey, based on seismic and ground-penetrating radar profiling, was then undertaken to map other possible World War I (WWI) remains still embedded in the ice. The ice–rock interface was reconstructed over the entire saddle and in the uppermost portion of the glacier. A prominent linear reflector was surprisingly similar to the common response of buried pipes. The reflector orientation, almost longitudinal to the slope, does not seem to be compatible with a glacial conduit or with other natural features. Numerical simulations of a series of possible targets constrained interpretation to a partly water-filled rounded shape cavity. The presence of a preserved WWI tunnel connecting Mount Vioz and Punta Linke could be considered a realistic hypothesis. The Forni glacier could be still considered polythermal and comprised of cold ice without basal sliding in its top portion.
In Canada, recreational use of cannabis was legalized in October 2018. This policy change along with recent publications evaluating the efficacy of cannabis for the medical treatment of epilepsy and media awareness about its use have increased the public interest about this agent. The Canadian League Against Epilepsy Medical Therapeutics Committee, along with a multidisciplinary group of experts and Canadian Epilepsy Alliance representatives, has developed a position statement about the use of medical cannabis for epilepsy. This article addresses the current Canadian legal framework, recent publications about its efficacy and safety profile, and our understanding of the clinical issues that should be considered when contemplating cannabis use for medical purposes.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
We provide an update on diagnostic methods for the detection of urogenital schistosomiasis (UGS) in men and highlight that satisfactory urine-antigen diagnostics for UGS lag much behind that for intestinal schistosomiasis, where application of a urine-based point-of-care strip assay, the circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) test, is now advocated. Making specific reference to male genital schistosomiasis (MGS), we place greater emphasis on parasitological detection methods and clinical assessment of internal genitalia with ultrasonography. Unlike the advances made in defining a clinical standard protocol for female genital schistosomiasis, MGS remains inadequately defined. Whilst urine filtration with microscopic examination for ova of Schistosoma haematobium is a convenient but error-prone proxy of MGS, we describe a novel low-cost sampling and direct visualization method for the enumeration of ova in semen. Using exemplar clinical cases of MGS from our longitudinal cohort study among fishermen along the shoreline of Lake Malawi, the portfolio of diagnostic needs is appraised including: the use of symptomatology questionnaires, urine analysis (egg count and CCA measurement), semen analysis (egg count, circulating anodic antigen measurement and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis) alongside clinical assessment with portable ultrasonography.