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Potential biochemical indicators of long-term undernutrition in cattle, which could be used objectively, reliably and routinely, were investigated by evaluating frequently analysed metabolites in cattle. In an initial study, a meta-regression of literature data for glucose, urea, non-esterifed fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) against body condition score (BCS), body weight (BW) and its change (BWC) was conducted. The credible intervals of the gradients included zero for all regressions, showing that there were no significant relationships between any of the blood metabolites and BCS, BW or BWC across the 13 included studies. In a second study, fresh field samples from nine herds of adequately-nourished suckler cows and stored samples from two herds of suckler cows, which had experienced severe undernutrition, were analysed for serum albumin, total protein, urea, BHB, NEFA, creatinine, fructosamine and globulin. Positive regressions with BCS were obtained for albumin and creatinine, and a negative regression with fructosamine/albumin ratio. With the threshold for detecting undernutrition set at ≥ 10.75 μmol g–1, the fructosamine/albumin ratio gave sensitivity and specif city of 100%. Therefore, it is probably necessary to combine several blood measures to obtain a valid assessment of the nutritional state of ruminants, and we advise against the use of a single plasma metabolite concentration in assessing the nutritional state and welfare of individual cows.
The months that followed Beckett’s return to Paris on 26 October 1937, which would see him settle in the city until his death sixty-two years later, could not have been more tumultuous. Before the year was out he reconnected with Joyce and his circle as well as his Dublin friend Brian Coffey, heard that his novel Murphy had finally been accepted for publication by Routledge, and started an affair with Peggy Guggenheim. In November he also went back to Dublin to testify at the Oliver St. Gogarty trial. And before the first week of January 1938 was over, he had met Hemingway through Sylvia Beach, received the collected works of Kant he had ordered while in Germany, and got himself stabbed by a pimp called Prudence during one of his nightly sojourns. The subsequent period of hospitalisation, from 7 to 22 January 1938, brings together some of the protagonists that will feature in the story that follows: Brian Coffey, Peggy Guggenheim, Suzanne Déchevaux-Dumesnil, the proofs of Murphy, Verlaine (in absentia) and, here reduced to a very minor role, James Joyce. This rather intense phase of Beckett’s life, in emotional, geographic and creative terms, which continued across 1938 and 1939, resulted in a series of poems written in French, starting with the poem ‘they come’ penned (in English, however) immediately after his release from the Hôpital Broussais.1 The precise order in which these poems were written remains rather nebulous, though Seán Lawlor and John Pilling have gone as far as possible in unravelling the sequence in their critical edition of Beckett’s Collected Poems and elsewhere.2 Twelve of these poems were eventually published as ‘Poèmes 38–39’3 in the second issue of the journal Les Temps modernes in 1946, but in 1938 and 1939, as John Pilling points out, ‘Beckett’s French poems were either a private matter between him and [his friends], or at best a trial-and-error type experience to be disclosed to a circle or coterie of close friends’.4 Arguably the most personal and unusual poem of this period, however, was only discovered in 2013 by the poet Peter Manson while researching the Getty Research Institute Archives in Los Angeles.5 Entitled ‘Match Nul ou L’Amour Paisible’, the poem is part of an undated typescript that Beckett sent to E. L. T. Mesens, the Belgian surrealist who edited the short-lived London Bulletin (April 1938 – June 1940).6 It was obviously not accepted for publication by Mesens, and remains unpublished.
Pristine shale formations are limited subsurface microbial habitats owing to their limited physical space. However, the process of drilling and hydraulic fracturing to recover natural gas from these formations greatly enhances their habitability for microbial life. Drawing upon over a decade of research, this chapter introduces fractured shales as dynamic microbial ecosystems, with particular emphasis on microbial processes that negatively impact on shale gas extraction, including input fluid degradation, biogenic sulfide production and biofilm formation. Collectively, these processes have the potential to sour natural gas, corrode extraction infrastructure, restrict the flow of gas and generally increase costs of resource recovery. The use and efficacy of biocides to control these impacts is discussed. This review presents a biogeographical overview of the fractured shale formations studied to date, highlighting a paucity of information on fractured shales outside the United States, and concludes with a discussion on the remaining knowledge gap.
Ethanol ablation for the treatment of thyroid cysts has been well documented in the literature as a safe, effective treatment option in the elective setting. This study demonstrates the use of ethanol ablation in the emergency setting.
Three patients presenting with airway-threatening compressive symptoms secondary to a thyroid cyst were treated with ethanol ablation within 24 hours of presentation to hospital.
All patients had symptom resolution at a median of nine months follow up post procedure. Sixty-six per cent of patients required only one treatment. There was a median of 100 per cent radiological resolution of the cystic component. The median Glasgow Benefit Inventory score was +27.7, similar to that for tonsillectomy.
Ethanol ablation is a safe, cost-effective and efficient treatment option for thyroid cysts in the acute setting.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database and the Vermont Oxford Network Expanded Database are both large, international, well-established quality and outcomes databases with high penetration in their respective fields of congenital heart surgery and neonatology. Previous studies have shown the value of combining large databases for research purposes. Our aim was to examine the feasibility and value of combining these databases on a local level.
We included patients from both databases, cared for at our centre and born from 2015–2020, who had cardiac surgery as neonates or during the birth hospitalisation. We examined the number of patients from each database and overlap between the two. We compared cardiac diagnoses, surgeries performed, pre-operative factors, mortality, and length of stay between databases.
Of the 255 patients meeting criteria, 209 (81.9%) had records in both databases. The most common diagnoses in both were hypoplastic left heart syndrome, coarctation, and transposition of the great arteries. Surgical data were incompletely recorded in Vermont Oxford. Gestational age, birth weight, multiple gestation, mortality, and length of stay did not differ significantly between the databases, while the percentage of patients with an extracardiac malformation or genetic syndrome recorded was higher in the Society for Thoracic Surgeons group.
Larger-scale matching and comparison studies using these databases are feasible and desirable; for some variables, a record with data from both databases may be more complete. Specific attention should be given to inclusion criteria, reconciling different schema of diagnoses, and formulating questions relying on each database’s relative strengths.
Pangolins are some of the most overexploited but least studied mammals. The giant pangolin Smutsia gigantea is the largest of the eight pangolin species, measuring up to 180 cm in length and weighing up to 40 kg. It is a nocturnal, solitary species that occurs at low densities and little is known regarding its biology and ecology. It is distributed widely across the rainforests and forest savannah mosaics of equatorial Africa but its exact range extent is unknown. Apart from a single record in Kenya predating 1971, the eastern limit of its range was thought only to extend to central Uganda and western Tanzania. Here we present three spatially separate records confirming the presence of this species in Kenyan Afromontane forests. The three records are c. 120 km apart and c. 500 km east of the nearest confirmed giant pangolin population in Uganda. These records represent a significant range extension for the species and highlight the biodiversity and conservation importance of the Afromontane forests of western Kenya.
Quality assurance and enhancement exercises are important in higher education. Curriculum assurance and enhancement exercise, relied in the past primarily on raw assessment data and self-reported, which lacked follow-up mechanisms gauging its effectiveness. This paper reports on an impact study of a curriculum review exercise using both digitalised data and self-reported data. Both the original review and its impact study were conducted on an English Programme in a Hong Kong university taken by around 6,000 students each year. Both adopted a learning analytics approach with digitalised behavioural and assessment data. Results of the impact study, which is the focus of this paper, demonstrate the strength of using learning analytics, including its capability of inter-course and intra-course investigations. Learning analytics can also empirically confirm and/or refute concerns reported by teachers and students. The use of digitalised data for learning analytics offers opportunities to implement and follow-up on quality assurance measures.