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Conservation practitioners use a wide range of sources to inform decisions, but studies report that personal experience is usually most important; scientific papers and unpublished research are rarely referred to. For site-based conservation practitioners, day-to-day decisions are typically made within a context of earlier decisions taken at two levels: strategic decisions that define the aims and policies of the wider organisation; and management planning decisions which outline the objectives for a site and the actions needed to achieve them. Even where decisions are underpinned by scientific evidence, personal judgement is valuable in ensuring management actions are tailored to the specific site. The integration of scientific evidence into conservation decision-making could be improved. We suggest two main approaches. First, increase the synthesis, translation and exchange of scientific research into easily accessible, practical information. Second, ensure that decision-making processes involve skilled ecological advisors and scientists who keep up to date with relevant literature and are able to advise on site-specific evidence-based solutions.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
The flat oyster Ostrea edulis has declined significantly in European waters since the 1850s as a result of anthropogenic activity. Ostrea edulis was designated a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Species and Habitat in 1995, and as a Feature of Conservation Importance (FOCI) within the UK Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009. To promote the recovery of oyster beds, a greater understanding of its abundance and distribution is required. Distribution of O. edulis across the proposed Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne MCZ in Essex was determined between 2008 and 2012. Ostrea edulis were present in four estuary zones; with highest sample abundance in the Blackwater and Ray Sand zones. Size structure of populations varied, with the Ray Sand and Colne zones showing a significant lack of individuals with shell height <39 mm. Ostrea edulis occurred in highest number on shell substratum, followed by silty sediments. There were no significant associations between O. edulis abundance or size structure with water column Chl a, suspended solids, oxygen, nitrate or ammonium concentrations, temperature or pH. Highest abundance and most equitable population shell-size distribution for O. edulis were located within, or adjacent to, actively managed aquaculture zones. This suggests that traditional seabed management contributed to the maintenance or recovery of the species of conservation concern. Demonstration that the Essex estuaries were a stronghold for Ostrea edulis in the southern North sea area led to the designation of the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne estuaries Marine Conservation Zone in 2013.
We evaluated the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Incredible Years® Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) programme as a universal intervention, given schools’ important influence on child mental health.
A two-arm, pragmatic, parallel group, superiority, cluster randomised controlled trial recruited three cohorts of schools (clusters) between 2012 and 2014, randomising them to TCM (intervention) or Teaching As Usual (TAU-control). TCM was delivered to teachers in six whole-day sessions, spread over 6 months. Schools and teachers were not masked to allocation. The primary outcome was teacher-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) Total Difficulties score. Random effects linear regression and marginal logistic regression models using Generalised Estimating Equations were used to analyse the outcomes. Trial registration: ISRCTN84130388.
Eighty schools (2075 children) were enrolled; 40 (1037 children) to TCM and 40 (1038 children) to TAU. Outcome data were collected at 9, 18, and 30-months for 96, 89, and 85% of children, respectively. The intervention reduced the SDQ-Total Difficulties score at 9 months (mean (s.d.):5.5 (5.4) in TCM v. 6.2 (6.2) in TAU; adjusted mean difference = −1.0; 95% CI−1.9 to −0.1; p = 0.03) but this did not persist at 18 or 30 months. Cost-effectiveness analysis suggested that TCM may be cost-effective compared with TAU at 30-months, but this result was associated with uncertainty so no firm conclusions can be drawn. A priori subgroup analyses suggested TCM is more effective for children with poor mental health.
TCM provided a small, short-term improvement to children's mental health particularly for children who are already struggling.
Background: Acromegaly is associated with significant morbidity. The purpose of this study was to establish characteristics and outcomes of patients treated for acromegaly at The Ottawa Hospital, to compare our results with published reports from other centers and to identify opportunities to improve patient care. Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients surgically and medically treated for acromegaly between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2016 was completed. Demographic information, biochemical data, presenting features, disease comorbidities, treatment interventions, and were collected. Results: Fifty-one patients were identified using CCI/ICD-10 codes and IGF-1 levels. Similar to other centers, the majority of patients had a macroadenoma (78.4% vs 11.8%) with a high percentage invading the cavernous sinus (57.5%). While surgical intervention was performed in 90% of patients, only 23.3% of patient achieved surgical cure (IGF-1 normalization within reference range). Approximately 30% of patients were controlled with adjuvant medical therapy while more than 40 % had elevated IGF-1 levels at last follow-up. Radiotherapy was less commonly used. Conclusions: Despite a multi-modal treatment approach for acromegaly, outcomes are variable. This study highlights the need for further research to better understand factors associated with surgical cure, response to medical therapy and the role of radiotherapy.
The mental health outcomes of military personnel deployed on peacekeeping
missions have been relatively neglected in the military mental health
To assess the mental health impacts of peacekeeping deployments.
In total, 1025 Australian peacekeepers were assessed for current and
lifetime psychiatric diagnoses, service history and exposure to
potentially traumatic events (PTEs). A matched Australian community
sample was used as a comparator. Univariate and regression analyses were
conducted to explore predictors of psychiatric diagnosis.
Peacekeepers had significantly higher 12-month prevalence of
post-traumatic stress disorder (16.8%), major depressive episode (7%),
generalised anxiety disorder (4.7%), alcohol misuse (12%), alcohol
dependence (11.3%) and suicidal ideation (10.7%) when compared with the
civilian comparator. The presence of these psychiatric disorders was most
strongly and consistently associated with exposure to PTEs.
Veteran peacekeepers had significant levels of psychiatric morbidity.
Their needs, alongside those of combat veterans, should be recognised
within military mental health initiatives.
A novel transmission line structure has been developed to facilitate the delivery of both adrenaline and microwave energy to achieve hemostasis. A proximal end impedance transformer and radiative tip have been designed and manufactured to provide good match between the novel hollow transmission line and the microwave source and tissue, respectively. Further consideration of the challenges and problems encountered along with evidence of successful microwave energy delivery at 5.8 GHz into porcine liver model providing a controlled and focused coagulation zone of approximately 5 mm.
Historically, alloy development with better radiation performance has been focused on traditional alloys with one or two principal element(s) and minor alloying elements, where enhanced radiation resistance depends on microstructural or nanoscale features to mitigate displacement damage. In sharp contrast to traditional alloys, recent advances of single-phase concentrated solid solution alloys (SP-CSAs) have opened up new frontiers in materials research. In these alloys, a random arrangement of multiple elemental species on a crystalline lattice results in disordered local chemical environments and unique site-to-site lattice distortions. Based on closely integrated computational and experimental studies using a novel set of SP-CSAs in a face-centered cubic structure, we have explicitly demonstrated that increasing chemical disorder can lead to a substantial reduction in electron mean free paths, as well as electrical and thermal conductivity, which results in slower heat dissipation in SP-CSAs. The chemical disorder also has a significant impact on defect evolution under ion irradiation. Considerable improvement in radiation resistance is observed with increasing chemical disorder at electronic and atomic levels. The insights into defect dynamics may provide a basis for understanding elemental effects on evolution of radiation damage in irradiated materials and may inspire new design principles of radiation-tolerant structural alloys for advanced energy systems.
This study investigated comparatively the pathogenicity of experimental infection of mice and guinea pigs, with Angiostrongylus mackerrasae and the closely related species A. cantonensis. Time course analyses showed that A. mackerrasae causes eosinophilic meningitis in these hosts, which suggests that the species has the potential to cause meningitis in humans and domestic animals. Both A. mackerrasae and the genetically similar A. cantonensis caused eosinophilic meningitis in mice at two time points of 14 and 21 days post infection (dpi). The brain lesions in mice infected with A. mackerrasae were more granulomatous in nature and the parasites were more likely to appear degenerate compared with lesions caused by A. cantonensis. This may indicate that the mouse immune system eliminates A. mackerrasae infection more effectively. The immunologic responses of mice infected with the two Angiostrongylus species was compared by assessing ex vivo stimulated spleen derived T cells and cytokines including interferon-gamma, interleukin 4 and interleukin 17 on 14 and 21 dpi. The results were similar for mice infected with A. cantonensis and A. mackerrasae. Serum from the infected animals with either A. cantonensis or A. mackerrasae recognized total soluble antigen of A. cantonensis female worms on Western blot.
This paper presents new AMS dating of organic finds from the Shigir (Shigirsky) peat bog, located in the Sverdlovsk Province, Kirovgrad District of the Urals. The bog is located immediately south of the river Severnaya Shuraly, with the Urals to the west. Intermittent survey and excavation has been undertaken at this location since 1879, resulting in the recovery of in excess of 3000 cultural artefacts, including oars, sculptures of birds, snake figurines, wooden skis, arrowheads, and fish hooks. The dates presented here indicate that not only is there a long duration of human use of the wetlands at Shigir, but that the artefact forms also appear to have a significant duration of use throughout the earlier prehistoric periods considered here.
An enormous effort is underway worldwide to attempt to detect gravitational waves. If successful, this will open a new frontier in astronomy. An essential portion of this effort is being carried out in Australia by the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy (ACIGA), with research teams working at the Australia National University, University of Western Australia, and University of Adelaide involving scientists and students representing many more institutions and nations. ACIGA is developing ultrastable high-power continuous-wave lasers for the next generation interferometric gravity wave detectors; researching the problems associated with high optical power in resonant cavities; opening frontiers in advanced interferometry configurations, quantum optics, and signal extraction; and is the world's leader in high-performance vibration isolation and suspension design. ACIGA has also been active in theoretical research and modelling of potential astronomical gravitational wave sources, and in developing data analysis detection algorithms. ACIGA has opened a research facility north of Perth, Western Australia, which will be the culmination of these efforts. This paper briefly reviews ACIGA's research activities and the prospects for gravitational wave astronomy in the southern hemisphere.
Social contact is one of the most effective strategies for improving inter-group relations and is supported by decades of positive evidence. Several studies specifically support social contact interventions as a way of reducing stigma against people with mental health problems. Despite the effectiveness of this approach, some social groups have few opportunities for social contact in the real world.
Using the England Time to Change anti-stigma campaign as an example, we investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of delivering social contact interventions at the mass population level to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems.
To investigate: (i) the feasibility of scaling up social contact interventions to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems and (ii) the effectiveness of mass population social contact interventions to: improve intended stigmatising behaviour, increase willingness to disclose mental health problems and to promote engagement in antistigma activities.
Two types of mass participation social contact programmes within England's Time to Change campaign were evaluated via self-report questionnaire. Participants at social contact events were asked about the occurrence and quality of contact, attitudes, readiness to discuss mental health, and intended behaviour towards people with mental health problems.
Findings on feasibility and effectiveness of social contact programmes will be presented.
This study suggests that social contact interventions can be used by anti-stigma campaigns to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems. Further investigation is needed regarding the maintenance of these changes