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An awareness of fertility and the factors affecting it is crucial to dealing with infertility, though little research has been conducted in the context of rural India. This study assessed Indian women’s perceived causes of, and strategies for coping with, infertility and the associations with levels of reproductive health knowledge in rural areas. Primary data were collected through mapping and listing in high infertility prevalence districts of West Bengal in 2014–15. A total of 159 women aged 20–49 years who had ever experienced infertility were interviewed. A Reproductive Health Knowledge Index (RHKI) was computed to indicate respondent’s level of reproductive health knowledge, and to show its association with perceived causes of infertility and coping with infertility. The highest mean RHKI score was observed among women in the lowest age group (RHKI=5.75, p<0.001), those with a higher level of education (RHKI=9.39, p<0.001) and those who had exposure to any media (RHKI=5.88, p<0.001). Women with a poor wealth index (RHKI=2.11, p<0.01) and those from Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Other Backward Class communities (RHKI=4.20, p<0.05) had lower RHKI scores than richer women and those from General Caste communities. Women with a higher RHKI score were more likely to give biology (98.0%, p<0.001), old age (94.1%, p<0.01) and repeated abortions/accident/injury (92.2%, p<0.001) as reasons for infertility, whereas women with a low RHKI were more likely to give religious (73.2%, p<0.001) and old-age-related causes (75.0%, p<0.01) of infertility. Women with a high RHKI score were more likely to opt for modern allopathic treatments (RHKI=7.04, p<0.001), whereas those with a low RHKI score were more likely to seek treatment from religious and superstitious practitioners, use home remedies or receive no treatment at all (RHKI=1.66, p<0.001). Appropriate reproductive health knowledge is crucial if rural Indian women are to correctly assess their infertility problems and choose effective coping strategies.
Methane (CH4) consumption in agricultural soil is imperative for the mitigation of climate change. However, the effect of tillage and cropping systems on CH4 consumption is less studied. Experiments were carried out in Madhya Pradesh, India with soybean-wheat (SW), maize-wheat (MW) and maize-gram (MG) cropping systems under conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT). Soybean/maize was cultivated during the kharif season (July–October) and wheat/chickpea in the rabi season (October–March) for 9 years consecutively. Soil samples were collected during vegetative growth stages of soybean and maize from different cropping systems. Methane consumption, the abundance of methanotrophs as particulate methane monooxygenase (pmoA) gene copies, soil and crop parameters were estimated. Methane consumption rate was higher in NT and upper soil layer (0–5 cm) than CT and 5–15 cm depth. Methane consumption rate k ranged from 0.35 to 0.56 μg CH4 consumed/g soil/d in the order of MW>SW>MG in 0–5 cm. The abundance of pmoA gene copies ranged from 43 × 104/g soil to 13 × 104/g soil and was highest in MW-NT and lowest in MG-CT. Available nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were higher in 0–5 cm than in 5–15 cm depth. Soil and plant parameters and abundance of pmoA genes correlated significantly and positively with CH4 consumption rate. No-tillage stimulated CH4 consumption compared to CT irrespective of cropping system and CH4 consumption potential was highest in MW and lowest in MG. However, the magnitude of the positive effect of NT towards CH4 consumption was higher in SW and MG than MW.
Biodegradation of chlorpyrifos under the influence of fertilizer application and climate factors such as elevated CO2, temperature and moisture was studied. Soybean was grown in control, inorganic, organic and integrated (both inorganic and organic) fertilized fields. Rhizospheric soils collected during the vegetative growth phase were amended with chlorpyrifos (10 μg/g soil) and incubated under different climate factors. The climate factors were CO2 concentration (400, 800 ppm), temperature (25, 45°C) and moisture-holding capacity (60, 100%). Chlorpyrifos degradation rate varied from 0.28 to 0.65 μg/g soil/d. The abundance of 16S rRNA gene copies of eubacteria varied from 13 × 106 to 7 × 105/g soil. Actinomycetes-specific 16S rRNA gene copies were in the range of 62.5 × 105 to 18.5 × 103/g soil. Microbial abundance was high in organic amended soil and low in control soil irrespective of climate factors. Elevated CO2 and high temperature inhibited (P < 0.05) chlorpyrifos degradation rate and the abundance of 16S rRNA genes of eubacteria and actinomycetes. Chlorpyrifos degradation followed as: organic > integrated > inorganic > control. The degradation rate was positively correlated (P < 0.01) with the soil organic C, available N, water-stable aggregates and mean weight diameter of the soil aggregates of soil. Principal component analysis denoted temperature and fertilizer as the major components of variation. The study highlights that elevated CO2 and temperature affect chlorpyrifos biodegradation; however, the effect can be alleviated by the amendment of organic fertilizer.
We present the novel task of understanding multi-sentence entity-seeking questions (MSEQs), that is, the questions that may be expressed in multiple sentences, and that expect one or more entities as an answer. We formulate the problem of understanding MSEQs as a semantic labeling task over an open representation that makes minimal assumptions about schema or ontology-specific semantic vocabulary. At the core of our model, we use a BiLSTM (bidirectional LSTM) conditional random field (CRF), and to overcome the challenges of operating with low training data, we supplement it by using BERT embeddings, hand-designed features, as well as hard and soft constraints spanning multiple sentences. We find that this results in a 12–15 points gain over a vanilla BiLSTM CRF. We demonstrate the strengths of our work using the novel task of answering real-world entity-seeking questions from the tourism domain. The use of our labels helps answer 36% more questions with 35% more (relative) accuracy as compared to baselines. We also demonstrate how our framework can rapidly enable the parsing of MSEQs in an entirely new domain with small amounts of training data and little change in the semantic representation.
Duck production has the potential to play a major role in agricultural economy. Asian countries alone contribute 84.2% of total duck meat produced in the world. Driven by the demand of processed foods among consumers, the global duck meat market is expected to grow at a steady pace, reaching a value of about $11.23 billion in the coming years. Duck meat has higher muscle fibre content in breast meat compared to chicken, and is considered as red meat. Moreover, due to a higher fat content (13.8%) than chicken and a stronger gamey flavour, duck meat can be less appreciated by the consumer. Development and diversification of ready-to-eat duck meat products is expected to increase consumption levels. Hence, the status of duck meat production, physicochemical properties, processing, including traditional products, and development of novel value-added ready-to-eat products from spent duck meat is discussed in detail to explore its importance as an alternative to chicken.
Background: Patients with anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive (AChR+) generalized myasthenia gravis (MG) unresponsive to conventional treatment experience greater disease burden than responsive patients. This is partly due to exacerbations, which may result in significant healthcare resource utilization. Eculizumab is well tolerated and gives clinically meaningful benefits in these patients. We evaluated the effect of long-term eculizumab treatment on exacerbations, hospitalizations and rescue therapy in the REGAIN study and its open-label extension. Methods: Exacerbations were defined as clinical worsening/deterioration, MG crises or rescue therapy usage; pre-study exacerbations/hospitalizations were defined from patient records. Event rates adjusted for patient-years were calculated for all patients in the pre-study year, patients receiving placebo during REGAIN, and patients receiving eculizumab during REGAIN and its open-label extension (median exposure, 27.5 months [range, 22 days–42.8 months]); rates were compared using a Poisson regression model. Results: Eculizumab treatment reduced exacerbations by 65% (p=0.0057), hospitalizations by 71% (p=0.0316) and rescue therapy use by 66% (p=0.0072) versus placebo. Eculizumab treatment reduced exacerbations by 74% and hospitalizations by 83% (both p<0.0001) versus the pre-study year. Conclusions: Long-term eculizumab treatment reduces disease burden and healthcare resource utilization, demonstrating continuing improvements in clinical endpoints that lead to additional meaningful outcomes for patients with AChR+ generalized MG. (NCT01997229, NCT02301624).
Research has shown that bilinguals can perform similarly, better or poorly on verbal fluency task compared to monolinguals. Verbal fluency data for semantic (animals, fruits and vegetables, and clothing) and letter fluency (F, A, S) were collected from 25 Bengali–English bilinguals and 25 English monolinguals in English. The groups were matched for receptive vocabulary, age, education and non-verbal intelligence. We used a wide range of measures to characterize fluency performance: number of correct, fluency difference score, time-course analysis (1st RT, Sub-RT, initiation, slope), clustering, and switching. Participants completed three executive control measures tapping into inhibitory control, mental-set shifting and working memory. Differences between the groups were significant when executive control demands were higher such as number of correct responses in letter fluency, fluency difference score, Sub-RT, slope and cluster size for letter fluency, such that bilinguals outperform the monolinguals. Stroop performance correlated positively with the slope only for the bilinguals.
Weedy rice species exhibit differential competitive ability and cause significant losses to rice yield. The present study was conducted to evaluate the competing ability of weedy rice accessions collected from foothills of eastern Himalayas and coastal Odisha grown in the presence of cultivated indica rice var. Swarna. The competitive ability of Swarna and weedy rices were estimated on the basis of (i) Swarna yield reduction under different durations of competition with weedy rice; and (ii) nutrient uptake by Swarna and weedy rice in competitive environment. There was significant yield reduction (18%) when competition was allowed until 6 weeks after emergence (WAE) compared to competition until 2 WAE, which was due to vigorous growth of weedy rice at early vegetative stage. The biomass accumulation and tiller number of weedy rice were significantly higher compared to Swarna. Odisha weedy rice accession recorded about 18, 57 and 24% higher N, P and K uptake, respectively, than Swarna. The highest yield reduction (22%) in Swarna was recorded when grown with OA1 and the lowest impact (7.7%) was recorded with AA2. As conclusion, management practices should be implemented within 2–4 weeks of emergence considering 5–10% acceptable yield loss of Swarna, and grain yield of cultivated rice was reduced significantly by high N and K uptake by weedy rice under a competitive environment.
Trait-specific characterization of rice landraces has significant potential for germplasm management, varietal identification and mining of novel gene/allele for various traits. In the current study, we have characterized 98 unique rice landraces collected from coastal regions of India, affected by submergence and salinity, based on Sub1 and Saltol quantitative trait loci (QTL) linked microsatellite markers. Among these genotypes, four genotypes (IC536558, IC536559, IC536604 and IC536604-1) collected from Kerala and two genotypes (AC34902 and IC324589) collected from West Bengal were identified with tolerance to submergence and salinity stress. A high level of genetic diversity of He = 0.349 and 0.529 at Sub1 and Saltol QTL region was detected by QTL-linked microsatellite markers, respectively. At Sub1 region one genotype, AC34902, was detected with maximum allelic similarity with FR13A, a known submergence tolerant variety. Besides, five genotypes (IC211188-1, IC536604-1, IC536604, IC536558 and IC536559) showed comparatively close genetic relationship with the salt tolerant variety FL478 for Saltol QTL and were clustered together in the neighbour joining dendrogram. Considering the haplotype structure, five genotypes (IC203801, IC203778, IC324584, IC413608 and IC413638) were identified which did not contain any common allele similar to FR13A but were still tolerant to submergence. These individuals need further characterization for identification of new alleles responsible for their tolerance.
Although the disaster reduction effects of forest braking have long been known empirically, they have not been known in detail down to recent. In this study, we ascertained forest braking effect by numerical simulations using the avalanche dynamics program, TITAN2D, to model large-scale avalanches. One of these avalanches occurred in the Makunosawa valley, Myoko, and damaged a cedar forest; the others occurred on Mt. Iwate and damaged a subalpine forest. All avalanches damaged many trees and terminated within the forests. In our simulations, the resistance of the forests to avalanches is simulated using a larger bed friction angle. Fitting the observations from the Makunosawa avalanche by trial and error, a bed friction angle of 13–14° in the non-forested area and of 25° in the forested area is obtained. We conducted simulations of the Mt. Iwate avalanches using the same method as for the Makunosawa valley avalanche, and obtained good agreement between observations and simulations. Simulations reveal that without the forest, the avalanche would have traveled at least 200 m farther than the forest's actual end in the Makunosawa valley, and at least 200 m and possibly up to 600 m farther on Mt. Iwate. This study therefore clearly shows that forests provide a braking effect for avalanches.
We derive an evolution equation for the free-surface dynamics of a thin film of a second-grade fluid over an unsteady stretching sheet using long-wave theory. For the numerical investigation of the viscoelastic effect on the thin-film dynamics, a finite-volume approach on a uniform grid with implicit flux discretization is applied. The present results are in excellent agreement with results available in the literature for a Newtonian fluid. We observe that the fluid thins faster with the rapid stretching rate of the sheet, but the second-grade parameter delays the thinning behaviour of the liquid film.
Nine out of the last ten recessions in the United States have been preceded by an increase in the price of oil as noted by Hamilton [Palgrave Dictionary of Economics]. Given the small share of energy in gross domestic product this phenomenon is difficult to explain using standard models. In this paper, I show that firm entry can be an important transmission and amplifying channel for energy price shocks. The results from the baseline dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model predict a drop in output that is two times the impact in a model without entry. The model also predicts an increase in energy prices would lead to a decline in real wages, investment, consumption, and return on investment. Additionally, using US firm level data, I demonstrate that a rise in energy prices has a negative impact on firm entry as predicted by the DSGE model. This lends further support toward endogenizing firm entry when analyzing the effects of energy price shocks.
Origanum vulgare is a natural, less toxic, residue free feed supplement for poultry when compared to other synthetic ingredients. It contains key bioactive components, including as thymol and carvacrol. O. vulgare as a poultry feed supplement has had an antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, immunomodulatory and antiparasitic effect. The potential advantages of utilising oregano extracts, in poultry diets include improved feed intake and feed conversion, enhanced digestion, expanded productive performance, down-regulated disease incidence and economic losses. From the available literature, average inclusions of oregano essential oil up to 600 mg/kg in broiler diets increased body weight gain. Using 1% oregano oil in broiler diets improved feed conversion ratio and feed utilisation. Moreover, oregano can induce a marked improvement on the intestinal microbiota and ileal villus height of broilers when combine with attapulgite by ratio 15 mg/kg of oregano. Broilers fed 300 ppm oregano oil in their diet display higher IgG titres relative to those reared on control (without supplementation) diet. Including 240 mg oregano supplementation per kg diet appears to give an optimum level for protecting broiler chickens from C. perfringens infections. Bioactive components extracted from O. vulgare parts could be used in poultry diets levels of 10 to 30 g/kg. This review includes information on the use of O. vulgare and its derivatives in poultry nutrition. To maximise the overall productivity of poultry, oregano may be used as a natural alternative to antibiotics and drugs due to the absence of side effects and residues.
In this paper, we study the relative perturbation bounds for joint
eigenvalues of commuting tuples of normal
matrices. Some Hoffman–Wielandt-type relative perturbation
bounds are proved using the Clifford algebra technique. We also extend a
result for diagonalisable matrices which improves a relative perturbation
bound for single matrices.
Designer foods of animal origin are produced either by feeding specific diets, or using new techniques like genetic engineering, cross-breeding. Designer eggs are an important type of functional foods. With the advancement of poultry industry, there is a rising interest in poultry biotechnology for altering the egg composition by genetic and nutritional manipulations for human health. This can be done by modifying cholesterol concentration and its fractions, lipid profile, fatty acids, amino acids and minerals or through adding therapeutic pharmaceutical molecules. Designer eggs provide vegetarian, safe, immune powered, specialty or organic foodstuffs which can have improved vitamins, minerals, balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, lowered total cholesterol, additional boost of antibodies and essential pigments such as carotenoids. From the relevant scientiﬁc literature, functional eggs can be considered as human designer food. This review describes the concepts of designer eggs and their health benefits and nutritional values.
The daily time series Flare Index (FI) data of Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere and Total Disk for Solar Cycle 21- 23 and 24 up to Dec. 2014 has been pre-processed using a 2nd order exponential smoothing algorithm to remove orthogonal noise. The smoothed data in each case is processed for scaling analysis using Rescaled-Range Analysis as well as Finite Variance Scaling Method in order to search for the Hurst exponent. As the value of H obtained from our analysis lies in between 0 and 1, so it can be said that the signal may behave like Fractional Brownian Motion. Also, it is observed that H is less than 0.5 which indicates the data is anti-persistent in nature and it has a strong negative correlation within the signal. The value of H also indicates the oscillating features of the signal which might have some fundamental periodicities in the Suns atmosphere.
Artificial Neural Network based Nonlinear Autoregressive Model is designed to reconstruct and predict Forbush Decrease (FD) Data obtained from Izmiran, Russia. Result indicates that the model seems adequate for short term prediction of the FD data.
Zinc (Zn) is an essential component in animal and poultry metabolism of various biochemical pathways. It serves as a nutrient and also as a feed additive for improving reproductive functions, productive indices, cellular immunity, normal growth and the maintenance of feathers, bone tissues as well as appetite. Furthermore, Zn has many roles as an antioxidant agent. This mineral is essential for hormone function, including pancreatic (insulin and glucagon), sex and growth hormones. It is a part of more than 300 enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of protein, energy, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. Previous studies demonstrated many beneficial impacts of supplemental Zn on different physiological and immunological functions above the established concentration in diets, including alleviating heat stress. Zinc supplementation in layer diets increases albumen weight, and may alter egg shell thickness and total egg weight. Zinc deficiency can cause a fraying of the feathers and retardation in growth of broilers. Different Zn sources (organic or inorganic) positively impact health and performance in poultry including meat or egg production, feed intake and conversion efficiency, carcass traits, blood parameters and apparent nutrient digestibility. This review compares and provides a review of the nutritional and physiological aspects of different Zn sources.
Animals experiencing thermal stress tend to reduce heat production by limiting feed intake, with subsequent detrimental impacts on productive performance and health status. Heat stress as an environmental stressor has been an important concern among researchers, poultry producers and scientists for many decades, especially in tropical (wet and hot round the year) and arid (dry and hot round the year) regions of the world. It has been implicated in adverse marked impacts on productive and reproductive performance of quail. Several studies have investigated the negative impacts of heat stress on quail production and it has been shown that heat stress adversely affects both productivity and welfare of birds. The deleterious impacts of heat stress on different quail breeds such as Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica), bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), scaled quail (Callipepla californica) and Gambel's quail (Colinus gambelii) range from decreased body weight (7.7 to 13.2%), growth rate (11.0 to 14.5%), feed intake (6.1 to 21.6%), feed efficiency (4.3 to 8.6%), egg production (6.6 to 23.3%) and egg mass. Furthermore, the detrimental effects of heat stress on reproductive performance and welfare of quail have recently attracted awareness. However, further studies are required to increase the levels of information into basic mechanisms associated with the consequences of heat stress on quail. This review covers the published evidence available on the negative role of heat stress on growth performance, feed utilisation, egg production and mass, meat and egg quality and carcass traits as well as reproductive performance of quail.
Nigella sativa L. (black cumin), an aromatic plant, is used as a natural remedy due to the presence of antimicrobial, antioxidant and other pharmacological properties. The presence of large number of essential nutrients and a variety of pharmacologically active compounds make black cumin seeds (BCS) potentially suitable for the use in poultry diets as a feed ingredient. Many studies have been conducted to investigate the possibility of introducing BCS as a natural feed additive for better productive performance under normal or stress conditions in birds. Supplementation of BCS in poultry diets increased growth performance, daily feed intake and feed efficiency in several studies. Nutrient utilisation also increased as a result of BCS inclusion in the diets. The population of some pathogenic bacteria were decreased by BCS. Antibody titres against viral diseases after vaccination increased owing to supplementation of BCS in the diets. The inclusion of BCS in poultry diets showed pronounced cholesterol lowering effect in blood. There is limited information on the chemical composition and antioxidant properties in meat and eggs from chickens fed with BCS diet. However, few studies reported that BCS may increase polyunsaturated fatty acid content and antioxidant properties in meat. The present paper reviews the effect of BCS as an alternative to growth promoters in poultry nutrition.