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Worldwide, there is a trend towards increased herd sizes, and the animal-to-stockman ratio is increasing within the beef and dairy sectors; thus, the time available to monitoring individual animals is reducing. The behaviour of cows is known to change in the hours prior to parturition, for example, less time ruminating and eating and increased activity level and tail-raise events. These behaviours can be monitored non-invasively using animal-mounted sensors. Thus, behavioural traits are ideal variables for the prediction of calving. This study explored the potential of two sensor technologies for their capabilities in predicting when calf expulsion should be expected. Two trials were conducted at separate locations: (i) beef cows (n = 144) and (ii) dairy cows (n = 110). Two sensors were deployed on each cow: (1) Afimilk Silent Herdsman (SHM) collars monitoring time spent ruminating (RUM), eating (EAT) and the relative activity level (ACT) of the cow, and (2) tail-mounted Axivity accelerometers to detect tail-raise events (TAIL). The exact time the calf was expelled from the cow was determined by viewing closed-circuit television camera footage. Machine learning random forest algorithms were developed to predict when calf expulsion should be expected using single-sensor variables and by integrating multiple-sensor data-streams. The performance of the models was tested using the Matthew’s correlation coefficient (MCC), the area under the curve, and the sensitivity and specificity of predictions. The TAIL model was slightly better at predicting calving within a 5-h window for beef cows (MCC = 0.31) than for dairy cows (MCC = 0.29). The TAIL + RUM + EAT models were equally as good at predicting calving within a 5-h window for beef and dairy cows (MCC = 0.32 for both models). Combining data-streams from SHM and tail sensors did not substantially improve model performance over tail sensors alone; therefore, hour-by-hour algorithms for the prediction of time of calf expulsion were developed using tail sensor data. Optimal classification occurred at 2 h prior to calving for both beef (MCC = 0.29) and dairy cows (MCC = 0.25). This study showed that tail sensors alone are adequate for the prediction of parturition and that the optimal time for prediction is 2 h before expulsion of the calf.
The ecological value of the stranding record is often challenged due to the complexity in quantifying the biases associated with multiple components of the stranding process. There are biological, physical and social aspects that complicate the interpretation of stranding data particularly at a population level. We show how examination of baseline variability in the historical stranding record can provide useful insights into temporal trends and facilitate the detection of unusual variability in stranding rates. Seasonal variability was examined using harbour porpoise strandings between 1992 and 2014 on the east coast of Scotland. Generalized Additive Mixed modelling revealed a strong seasonal pattern, with numbers increasing from February towards a peak in April. Profiling seasonality this way facilitates detection of unusual variations in stranding frequencies and permits for any change in the incidence of strandings to be quantified by evaluation of the normalized model residuals. Consequently, this model can be used to identify unusual mortality events, and quantify the degree to which they deviate from baseline. With this study we demonstrate that a described baseline in strandings allows the detection of abnormalities at an early stage and can be used as a regional framework of reference for monitoring. This methodology provides means to quantify and partition the variability associated with strandings data and is a useful first step towards improving the stranding record as a management resource.
Conner et al. have reported the sudden emergence of a strong X-ray source at 3-12 keV in a position well removed from any previously known X-ray source. This source has been confirmed by Kitamura et al. We wish to report the results of an attempt to detect the source during a balloon flight made from Mildura, Australia, on 1969 August 25.
Although television (TV) viewing is frequently paired with snacking among young children, little is known about the environment in which caregivers promote this behaviour. We describe low-income pre-schoolers’ snacking and TV viewing habits as reported by their primary caregivers, including social/physical snacking contexts, types of snacks and caregiver rationales for offering snacks. These findings may support the development of effective messages to promote healthy child snacking.
Semi-structured interviews assessed caregiver conceptualizations of pre-schoolers’ snacks, purpose of snacks, snack context and snack frequency.
Interviews occurred in Boston, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Forty-seven low-income multi-ethnic primary caregivers of children aged 3–5 years (92 % female, 32 % Hispanic/Latino, 34 % African American) described their child’s snacking in the context of TV viewing.
TV viewing and child snacking themes were described consistently across racial/ethnic groups. Caregivers described snacks offered during TV viewing as largely unhealthy. Labels for TV snacks indicated non-nutritive purposes, such as ‘time out’, ‘enjoyment’ or ‘quiet.’ Caregivers’ primary reasons for providing snacks included child’s expectations, behaviour management (e.g. to occupy child) and social time (e.g. family bonding). Some caregivers used TV to distract picky children to eat more food. Child snacking and TV viewing were contextually paired by providing child-sized furniture (‘TV table’) specifically for snacking.
Low-income caregivers facilitate pre-schoolers’ snacking and TV viewing, which are described as routine, positive and useful for non-nutritive purposes. Messages to caregivers should encourage ‘snack-free’ TV viewing, healthy snack options and guidance for managing children’s behaviour without snacks or TV.
Pharmacological antioxidant vitamins have previously been investigated for a prophylactic effect against exercise-induced oxidative stress. However, large doses are often required and may lead to a state of pro-oxidation and oxidative damage. Watercress contains an array of nutritional compounds such as β-carotene and α-tocopherol which may increase protection against exercise-induced oxidative stress. The present randomised controlled investigation was designed to test the hypothesis that acute (consumption 2 h before exercise) and chronic (8 weeks consumption) watercress supplementation can attenuate exercise-induced oxidative stress. A total of ten apparently healthy male subjects (age 23 (sd 4) years, stature 179 (sd 10) cm and body mass 74 (sd 15) kg) were recruited to complete the 8-week chronic watercress intervention period (and then 8 weeks of control, with no ingestion) of the experiment before crossing over in order to compete the single-dose acute phase (with control, no ingestion). Blood samples were taken at baseline (pre-supplementation), at rest (pre-exercise) and following exercise. Each subject completed an incremental exercise test to volitional exhaustion following chronic and acute watercress supplementation or control. The main findings show an exercise-induced increase in DNA damage and lipid peroxidation over both acute and chronic control supplementation phases (P< 0·05 v. supplementation), while acute and chronic watercress attenuated DNA damage and lipid peroxidation and decreased H2O2 accumulation following exhaustive exercise (P< 0·05 v. control). A marked increase in the main lipid-soluble antioxidants (α-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol and xanthophyll) was observed following watercress supplementation (P< 0·05 v. control) in both experimental phases. These findings suggest that short- and long-term watercress ingestion has potential antioxidant effects against exercise-induced DNA damage and lipid peroxidation.
Tympanostomy tube (grommet) insertion is a common procedure, with little guidance in the current literature regarding post-operative surveillance. Our institution implemented a protocol to follow up post-surgical grommet patients via audiology at six weeks.
A retrospective audit of all patients less than 16 years old who had undergone grommet insertion during a three-month period.
A total of 149 patients had grommets inserted. Exclusion criteria left a cohort of 123 individuals; 82 (67 per cent) were followed up by audiology. Of these, 13 (11 per cent) did not attend follow up, and were discharged; 53 (43 per cent) were discharged from audiology with normal thresholds; and 16 (13 per cent) were referred back to a consultant. Therefore, the overall reduction in patients followed up by an otolaryngologist was 54 per cent.
We recommend a six-week follow up with audiology following grommet insertion, allowing for referral back to ENT services in the event of related complications.
Impaired endothelial vasodilatation may contribute to the exaggerated blood pressure (BP) responses to exercise in individuals who are overweight/obese. The present study investigated whether consumption of cocoa flavanols, which improve endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), can modify BP responsiveness to exercise. Twenty-one volunteers (eight females and thirteen males, 54·9 (se 2·2) years, BMI 31·6 (se 0·8) kg/m2, systolic BP 134 (se 2) mmHg, diastolic BP (DBP) 87 (se 2) mmHg) were randomised to consume single servings of either a high-flavanol (HF, 701 mg) or a low-flavanol (LF, 22 mg) cocoa beverage in a double-blind, cross-over design with 3–7-d washout between treatments. Two hours after cocoa consumption, FMD was measured, followed by continuous beat-to-beat assessment (Finapres™) of BP before and during 10 min of cycling at 75 % of age-predicted maximum heart rate. Averaged data from two assessments on each type of beverage were compared by analysis of covariance using pre-exercise BP as the covariate. Pre-exercise BP was similar after taking LF and HF (153 (se 3)/88 (se 3) v. 153 (se 4)/87 (se 2) mmHg, respectively, P>0·05). However, the BP response to exercise (area under BP curve) was attenuated by HF compared with LF. BP increases were 68 % lower for DBP (P = 0·03) and 14 % lower for mean BP (P = 0·05). FMD measurements were higher after taking HF than after taking LF (6·1 (se 0·6) % v. 3·4 (se 0·5) %, P < 0·001). By facilitating vasodilation and attenuating exercise-induced increases in BP, cocoa flavanols may decrease cardiovascular risk and enhance the cardiovascular benefits of moderate intensity exercise in at-risk individuals.
Oral supplementation with bovine colostrum (COL) has been shown to enhance immunity in human subjects. However, there is limited research on the use of bovine COL supplementation to counter exercise-induced immunodepression, as a model of stress-induced immunodepression, and previous research has focused primarily on salivary IgA. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of bovine COL supplementation on exercise-induced changes in innate immunity (neutrophil function and salivary lysozyme) in addition to salivary IgA. Twenty healthy, active men cycled for 2 h at approximately 64 % maximal oxygen uptake after 4 weeks of daily bovine COL (n 10) or placebo (PLA, n 10) supplementation. Blood and saliva samples were obtained before and after supplementation, before and after exercise. Exercise induced significant increases in markers of physiological stress and stress to the immune system (circulating neutrophils, neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio, immature granulocytes, atypical lymphocytes and plasma cortisol), but there were no differences between the COL and PLA groups. Significant group × time interactions (two-way mixed model ANOVA) were observed for neutrophil function (stimulated degranulation) and salivary lysozyme concentration and release (P < 0·05). Significant exercise-induced decreases were observed in these parameters, and bovine COL supplementation either speeded the recovery (neutrophil function) or prevented the decrease (salivary lysozyme) in these measures of innate immunity. These results suggest that 4 weeks of bovine COL supplementation limits the immunodepressive effects induced by an acute prolonged physical stressor, such as exercise, which may confer some benefits to host defence.
Using data from a cohort study conducted by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), evidence of spatial clustering at distances up to 30 km was found for S. Agama and S. Dublin (P values of 0·001) and borderline evidence was found for spatial clustering of S. Typhimurium (P=0·077). The evolution of infection status of study farms over time was modelled using a Markov Chain model with transition probabilities describing changes in status at each of four visits, allowing for the effect of sampling visit. The degree of geographical clustering of infection, having allowed for temporal effects, was assessed by comparing the residual deviance from a model including a measure of recent neighbourhood infection levels with one excluding this variable. The number of cases arising within a defined distance and time period of an index case was higher than expected. This provides evidence for spatial and spatio-temporal clustering, which suggests either a contagious process (e.g. through direct or indirect farm-to-farm transmission) or geographically localized environmental and/or farm factors which increase the risk of infection. The results emphasize the different epidemiology of the three Salmonella serovars investigated.
We investigate the entrainment, deposition and motion of coarse spherical particles within a turbulent shallow water stream down a steep slope. This is an idealization of bed-load transport in mountain streams. Earlier investigations have described this kind of sediment transport using empirical correlations or concepts borrowed from continuum mechanics. The intermittent character of particle transport at low-water discharges led us to consider it as a random process. Sediment transport in this regime results from the imbalance between entrainment and deposition of particles rather than from momentum balance between water and particles. We develop a birth–death immigration–emigration Markov process to describe the particle exchanges between the bed and the water stream. A key feature of the model is its long autocorrelation times and wide, frequent fluctuations in the solid discharge, a phenomenon never previously explained despite its ubiquity in both nature and laboratory experiments. We present experimental data obtained using a nearly two-dimensional channel and glass beads as a substitute for sediment. Entrainment, trajectories, and deposition were monitored using a high-speed digital camera. The empirical probability distributions of the solid discharge and deposition frequency were properly described by the theoretical model. Experiments confirmed the existence of wide and frequent fluctuations of the solid discharge, and revealed the existence of long autocorrelation time, but theory overestimates the autocorrelation times by a factor of around three. Particle velocity was weakly dependent on the fluid velocity contrary to the predictions of the theoretical model, which performs well when a single particle is moving. For our experiments, the dependence of the solid discharge on the fluid velocity is entirely controlled by the number of moving particles rather than by their velocity. We also noted significant changes in the behaviour of particle transport when the bed slope or the water discharge was increased. The more vigorous the stream was, the more continuous the solid discharge became. Moreover, although 90% of the energy supplied by gravity to the stream is dissipated by turbulence for slopes lower than 10%, particles dissipate more and more energy when the bed slope is increased, but surprisingly, the dissipation rate is nearly independent of fluid velocity. A movie is available with the online version of the paper.
Behaviour therapy, sometimes also called behaviour modification, developed initially during the 1950s through the work of people like B.F. Skinner (1953) and Joseph Wolpe (1958). The attempt was to create an approach to intervention that relied on experimentally tested principles of learning. In its earliest years the emphasis in behaviour therapy was on classical and operant conditioning and throughout the 1960s and thereafter a number of therapeutic techniques were developed that purportedly rested on these experimental foundations. The word ‘purportedly’ is used intentionally here because an ongoing scientific controversy has surrounded the extent to which behaviour therapy techniques truly derive their effectiveness from learning principles developed primarily from infrahuman experimentation. Suffice it to say that the most innovative techniques came from practising clinicians whose thinking was guided and enriched by their awareness of certain learning principles and by their creative attempts to apply them in the complex and often chaotic domain of clinical intervention. There is considerable evidence from numerous research settings worldwide that many of these techniques are helpful for dealing with a wide range of psychological disorders (see Davison et al., 2004). This chapter will provide a historical overview of the development on behaviour therapy, followed by a description of some of the techniques encompassed by this approach, and conclude with a consideration of some conceptual issues in behaviour therapy.
An early behaviour therapy effort was by Andrew Salter (1949), whose book Condition reflex therapy represented an attempt to rationalize assertion training in Pavlovian conditioning terms.