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The calving interval (CI) can potentially impact the economic results of dairy farms. This study highlighted the most profitable CI and innovated by describing this optimum as a function of the feeding system of the farm. On-farm data were used to represent real farm conditions. A total of 1832 accounts of farms recorded from 2007 to 2014 provided economic, technical and feeding information per herd and per year. A multiple correspondence analysis created four feeding groups: extensive, low intensive, intensive and very intensive herds. The gross margin and some of its components were corrected to account for the effect of factors external to the farm, such as the market, biological status, etc. Then the corrected gross margin (cGMc) and its components were modelled by CI parameters in each feeding system by use of GLM. The relationship between cGMc and the proportion of cows with CI<380 days in each feeding group showed that keeping most of the cows in the herd with CI near to 1 year was not profitable for most farms (for the very intensive farms there was no effect of the proportion). Moreover, a low proportion of cows (0% to 20%) with a near-to-1-year CI was not profitable for the extensive and low intensive farms. Extending the proportion of cows with CI beyond 459 days until 635 days (i.e. data limitation) caused no significant economic loss for the extensive and low intensive farms, but was not profitable for the intensive and very intensive farms. Variations of the milk and feeding components explained mainly these significant differences of gross margin. A link between the feeding system and persistency, perceptible in the milk production and CI shown by the herd, could explain the different relationships observed between the extent of CI and the economic results in the feeding groups. This herd-level study tended to show different economic optima of CI as a function of the feeding system. A cow-level study would specify these tendencies to give CI objectives to dairy breeders as a function of their farm characteristics.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
The MACHO microlensing experiment's time-sampled photometry database contains blue and red lightcurves for nearly 9 million stars in the central bar region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We have identified known LMC Planetary Nebulae (PN) in the database and find one, Jacoby 5, to be variable. We additionally present data on the “parent populations” of LMC PN, and discuss the star formation history of the LMC bar.
Introduction: Literature suggests that up to 25% of people with HIV in North America are unaware of their status and are at risk to transmit the virus unknowingly. A high proportion of HIV patients are diagnosed when the disease is more advanced, with CD4 counts < 200. This study examined the rates of HIV testing, detection, and treatment of clients at an inner city shelter and detoxification centre after the introduction of a point of care testing (POCT) program by on-site community paramedics (CP). Methods: In 2013, in collaboration with a regional HIV program, CP received training and instituted an HIV POCT program and post-test counselling initiative. A retrospective electronic database review from October 16, 2013 to October 15, 2014 of adult patients who received testing was performed. Demographic and testing details of each patient encounter were abstracted and select variables were compared to a historic population who received POC HIV testing at an inner city emergency department (ED) in the same city. Results: 1,207 HIV POC tests were performed on 997 patients during the pilot. 57% of the patients tested were less than 40 years of age (range 18-73 years) compared to 55% in the historic ED population. A total of 9 reactive cases were identified in the study population including 3 new cases, 5 previously known cases, and 1 false reactive result. The mean age of the new cases was 47 years, vs 44 in the historical control. All 3 new cases were referred to a local HIV clinic for further care and treatment. New HIV cases represented 0.25% of total tests performed, which is less than the expected prevalence rate of 1% for this population, as well as the rate of 1.4% found in the ED population. Conclusion: Despite lower than expected reactive rates, the large scale implementation of a CP HIV POCT program in an inner city shelter and detoxification centre is feasible. All patients with new reactive tests were immediately connected to care. Future research will focus on risk factors and barriers to testing.
A review of the properties of Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the Magellanic Clouds is presented. In the behaviour of their light and colour curves, the RV Tauri stars appear to be a direct extension of the Type II Cepheids to longer periods. A single P – L – C relationship describes both the Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the LMC. The derived high intrinsic magnitudes for the RV Tauri variables supports the proposition that these objects are luminous stars evolving off the AGB. Preliminary analysis of the long time-series MACHO photometry indicates one star (MACHO*05:37:45.0–69:54:16) has an obvious ‘period-quadrupled’ periodicity, which is supporting evidence for a period-doubling bifurcation transition to chaotic pulsations.
We present the first results of the analysis of 22 Blazhko stars. We find: 1) Blazhko RRab stars that are nearly pure amplitude modulators; 2) Blazhko RRab stars that have both amplitude and phase modulation; 3) A Blazhko RRab star that has an abrupt period change; 4) Proof of the Blazhko effect in RRc stars. Our data show the character of the amplitude and phase modulations of the light curves over the Blazhko cycles far better than has been previously possible.
We present the first massive frequency analysis of the 1200 first overtone RR Lyrae stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud observed in the first 4.3 yr of the MACHO project. Besides the many new double-mode variables, we also discovered stars with closely spaced frequencies. These variables are most probably nonradial pulsators.
We present the largest homogeneous survey of redshift > 4.4 damped Lyα systems (DLAs) using the spectra of 163 quasars that comprise the Giant Gemini GMOS (GGG) survey. With this survey we make the most precise high-redshift measurement of the cosmological mass density of neutral hydrogen, ΩHI. After correcting for systematic effects using a combination of mock and higher-resolution spectra, we find ΩHI= 0.98+0.20-0.18 × 10−3 at 〈z〉 = 4.9, assuming a 20% contribution from lower column density systems below the DLA threshold. By comparing to literature measurements at lower redshifts, we show that ΩHI can be described by the functional form ΩHI(z) ∝ (1 + z)0.4. This gradual decrease from z = 5 to 0 suggests that in the galaxies which dominate the cosmic star formation rate, Hi is a transitory gas phase fuelling star formation which must be continually replenished by more highly-ionized gas from the intergalactic medium, and from recycled galactic winds.
Estimates of the proportion of illness transmitted by food for different enteric pathogens are essential for foodborne burden-of-disease studies. Owing to insufficient scientific data, a formal synthesis of expert opinion, an expert elicitation, is commonly used to produce such estimates. Eleven experts participated in an elicitation to estimate the proportion of illnesses due to food in Australia for nine pathogens over three rounds: first, based on their own knowledge alone; second, after being provided with systematic reviews of the literature and Australian data; and finally, at a workshop where experts reflected on the evidence. Estimates changed significantly across the three rounds (P = 0·002) as measured by analysis of variance. Following the workshop in round 3, estimates showed smoother distributions with significantly less variation for several pathogens. When estimates were combined to provide combined distributions for each pathogen, the width of these combined distributions reflected experts’ perceptions of the availability of evidence, with narrower intervals for pathogens for which evidence was judged to be strongest. Our findings show that the choice of expert elicitation process can significantly influence final estimates. Our structured process – and the workshop in particular – produced robust estimates and distributions appropriate for inclusion in burden-of-disease studies.
A new thermoelectric concept using large area silicon PN junctions is experimentally demonstrated. In contrast to conventional thermoelectric generators where the n-type and p-type semiconductors are connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel, we demonstrate a large area PN junction made from densified silicon nanoparticles that combines thermally induced charge generation and separation in a space charge region with the conventional Seebeck effect by applying a temperature gradient parallel to the PN junction. In the proposed concept, the electrical contacts are made at the cold side eliminating the need for contacts at the hot side allowing temperature gradients greater than 100K to be applied. The investigated PN junction devices are produced by stacking n-type and p-type nanopowder prior to a densification process. The nanoparticulate nature of the densified PN junction lowers thermal conductivity and increases the intraband traps density which we propose is beneficial for transport across the PN junction thus enhancing the thermoelectric properties. A fundamental working principle of the proposed concept is suggested, along with characterization of power output and output voltages per temperature difference that are close to those one would expect from a conventional thermoelectric generator.
EMU is a wide-field radio continuum survey planned for the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The primary goal of EMU is to make a deep (rms ∼ 10 μJy/beam) radio continuum survey of the entire Southern sky at 1.3 GHz, extending as far North as +30° declination, with a resolution of 10 arcsec. EMU is expected to detect and catalogue about 70 million galaxies, including typical star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 1, powerful starbursts to even greater redshifts, and active galactic nuclei to the edge of the visible Universe. It will undoubtedly discover new classes of object. This paper defines the science goals and parameters of the survey, and describes the development of techniques necessary to maximise the science return from EMU.
The structure of TiAlN and other thin films depends on the coating method, parameter variation and an eventual treatment of the coating after deposition. Concerning the coating process, reactive sputter and evaporation parameters influence structure formation as well as plasma driven chemical reaction on the substrate surface. Besides, crystal formation and agglomeration depends on energetic level and flow rates in the coating system, the kind and number of reactive partners, temperature and specific parameters of the coating plant.
Post-deposition treatments on the other hand may influence the formation of residual stresses but not the crystallization of different phases within the complete coating. Besides, mechanical treatment may change the coating's morphology which may be important depending on the application since sometimes a columnar structure is to be optimized in size, amount and location. Thus a homogeneous coating is not always the optimum solution. In the experiments presented here we investigated the wear properties of thin TiAlN films. They were post-treated by sandblasting and heating in order to reduce frictional forces between the contacting bodies or analyze the effects of elevated temperatures respectively. These wear properties were evaluated by turning of 42CrMo4V at low cutting speed.
Attempts to reduce high utilisation of mental health inpatient care by targeting the critical time of hospital discharge are rare. In this study, we test the effect of a needs-oriented discharge planning intervention on number and duration of psychiatric inpatient treatment episodes (primary), as well as on outpatient service use, needs, psychopathology, depression and quality of life (secondary).
Four hundred and ninety-one adults with a defined high utilisation of mental health care gave informed consent to participate in a multicentre RCT carried out at five psychiatric hospitals in Germany (Düsseldorf, Greifswald, Regensburg, Ravensburg and Günzburg). Subjects allocated to the intervention group were offered a manualised needs-led discharge planning and monitoring intervention with two intertwined sessions administered at hospital discharge and 3 months thereafter. Outcomes were assessed at four measurement points during a period of 18 months following discharge.
Intention-to-treat analyses showed no effect of the intervention on primary or secondary outcomes.
Process evaluation pending, the intervention cannot be recommended for implementation in routine care. Other approaches, e.g. team-based community care, might be more beneficial for people with persistent and severe mental illness.
We have developed a new cluster ion source that can generate intense beams of metal and semiconductor clusters of a very wide-size range. With the source, we have observed intense beams of carbon clusters with mean cluster sizes of up to 4000 atoms/clusters. However, we have found that for generating small fullerenes, such as C60 and C70, the recently discovered technique by Kraetschmer et al. is much more efficient. By improving the technique, we have generated gram quantities of C60 and C70 and systematically investigated their thermal desorption properties. During the heating process, we have discovered that at high temperatures the bulk fullerenes, fullerite, transformed to another form of carbon, which still evaporates at temperatures above 700 C, but does not dissolve in benzene.
Endohedral fullerenes were first observed in molecular beams produced in laser vaporizations sources. Since the discovery of the arc method  of producing large quantities of fullerenes several laboratories have been searching for methods to produce and isolate sufficient quantities of endohedral fullerenes to permit the study of their unique material properties.
Examples of the mass spectrometry of sputtered or evaporating neutral species obtained by SALI are presented for NBS Glass 610 (primarily a silicate), and an anodic oxide of HgCdTe. For the NBS glass, a SIMS spectra was recorded for comparison with SALI using the same apparatus. The raw SALI spectra of the glass is in semiquantitative accord with the known composition, in contrast to SIMS. Relative secondary ion yields can be determined for unknown complex materials by comparing SALI and SIMS spectra. Depth profiling measurements on the anodic oxides of Hg1−xCdxTe show a significant though depleted concentration of Hg in the oxide in contrast to numerous other analyses; this result is corroborated by RBS studies. Hg and also Te evaporation is monitored in real-time by SALI with large dynamic range capabilities.