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Economic pressures continue to mount on modern-day livestock farmers, forcing them to increase herds sizes in order to be commercially viable. The natural consequence of this is to drive the farmer and the animal further apart. However, closer attention to the animal not only positively impacts animal welfare and health but can also increase the capacity of the farmer to achieve a more sustainable production. State-of-the-art precision livestock farming (PLF) technology is one such means of bringing the animals closer to the farmer in the facing of expanding systems. Contrary to some current opinions, it can offer an alternative philosophy to ‘farming by numbers’. This review addresses the key technology-oriented approaches to monitor animals and demonstrates how image and sound analyses can be used to build ‘digital representations’ of animals by giving an overview of some of the core concepts of PLF tool development and value discovery during PLF implementation. The key to developing such a representation is by measuring important behaviours and events in the livestock buildings. The application of image and sound can realise more advanced applications and has enormous potential in the industry. In the end, the importance lies in the accuracy of the developed PLF applications in the commercial farming system as this will also make the farmer embrace the technological development and ensure progress within the PLF field in favour of the livestock animals and their well-being.
It has become clear that disaster relief needs to transition from good intentions or a charity-based approach to a professional, outcome-oriented response. The practice of medicine in disaster and conflict is a profession practiced in environments where lack of resources, chaos, and unpredictability are the norm rather than the exception. With this consideration in mind, the World Health Organization (WHO; Geneva, Switzerland) and its partners set out to improve the disaster response systems. The resulting Emergency Medical Team (EMT) classification system requires that teams planning on engaging in disaster response follow common standards for the delivery of care in resource-constraint environments. In order to clarify these standards, the WHO EMT Secretariat collaborated with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC; Geneva, Switzerland) and leading experts from other stakeholder non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to produce a guide to the management of limb injuries in disaster and conflict.
The resulting text is a free and open-access resource to provide guidance for national and international EMTs caring for patients in disasters and conflicts. The content is a result of expert consensus, literature review, and an iterative process designed to encourage debate and resolution of existing open questions within the field of disaster and conflict medical response.
The end result of this process is a text providing guidance to providers seeking to deliver safe, effective care within the EMT framework that is now part of the EMT training and verification system and is being distributed to ICRC teams deploying to the field.
This work seeks to encourage professionalization of the field of disaster and conflict response, and to contribute to the existing EMT framework, in order to provide for better care for future victims of disaster and conflict.
Jensen G, Bar-On E, Wiedler JT, Hautz SC, Veen H, Kay AR, Norton I, Gosselin RA, von Schreeb J. Improving management of limb injuries in disasters and conflicts. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(3):330–334.
Objectives: Prior research has identified numerous genetic (including sex), education, health, and lifestyle factors that predict cognitive decline. Traditional model selection approaches (e.g., backward or stepwise selection) attempt to find one model that best fits the observed data, risking interpretations that only the selected predictors are important. In reality, several predictor combinations may fit similarly well but result in different conclusions (e.g., about size and significance of parameter estimates). In this study, we describe an alternative method, Information-Theoretic (IT) model averaging, and apply it to characterize a set of complex interactions in a longitudinal study on cognitive decline. Methods: Here, we used longitudinal cognitive data from 1256 late–middle aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention study to examine the effects of sex, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 allele (non-modifiable factors), and literacy achievement (modifiable) on cognitive decline. For each outcome, we applied IT model averaging to a set of models with different combinations of interactions among sex, APOE, literacy, and age. Results: For a list-learning test, model-averaged results showed better performance for women versus men, with faster decline among men; increased literacy was associated with better performance, particularly among men. APOE had less of an association with cognitive performance in this age range (∼40–70 years). Conclusions: These results illustrate the utility of the IT approach and point to literacy as a potential modifier of cognitive decline. Whether the protective effect of literacy is due to educational attainment or intrinsic verbal intellectual ability is the topic of ongoing work. (JINS, 2019, 25, 119–133)
Ventenata [Ventenata dubia (Leers) Coss.], an invasive winter annual grass, significantly reduces forage production in grassland systems and displaces species within both perennial- and annual-dominated grasslands within the Inland Northwest. The range of V. dubia is expanding into sagebrush steppe communities, an expansive habitat critical for forage production, wildlife, and recreation. Currently, there is limited knowledge of V. dubia’s distribution and abundance within sagebrush steppe communities. We performed field surveys at 15 locations in sagebrush steppe rangelands in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon to assess where V. dubia occurs, with the aim of providing insight about its niche in this new habitat. Specifically, we evaluated biotic and abiotic factors of the plant community as indicators of V. dubia presence. We also correlated species diversity measures with no, low (<12.5%), and high (>12.5%) V. dubia cover. Though widely distributed throughout the study region, V. dubia only appeared in 45% of the 225 plots, and foliar cover was typically less than 50%. It was primarily found in ephemerally wet microhabitats. Species richness and the Shannon diversity index were lowest in plots with high V. dubia cover. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis revealed that V. dubia and medusahead [Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski] were closely associated. Furthermore, chi-square indicator analysis showed that T. caput-medusae was more prevalent, while mountain big sagebrush [Artemisia tridentata Nutt. spp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle] was less prevalent, in plots containing V. dubia. Abiotic factors that explained variation in V. dubia abundance included rock cover, soil depth, and a north/south aspect. Higher V. dubia cover also correlated with higher clay content and lower phosphorus and potassium concentrations in the soil. We suggest that at this point, detection survey efforts to locate incipient infestations of V. dubia in sagebrush steppe communities should focus on moist areas and sites susceptible to invasion by T. caput-medusae.
Our aim was to describe the efficacy and tolerability of pimavanserin, a highly selective serotonin 5-HT2A receptor inverse agonist/antagonist indicated for the treatment of hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis (PDP), using the metrics of number needed to treat (NNT) and number needed to harm (NNH).
Categorical efficacy and tolerability data were extracted from the clinical trial databases of the double-blind placebo-controlled studies of pimavanserin in persons with PDP. NNT and NNH values were calculated with their respective 95% confidence intervals. The likelihood to be helped or harmed (LHH) was then calculated contrasting therapeutic response versus discontinuation because of an adverse event.
NNT values for pimavanserin 34 mg/d versus placebo for several definitions of clinical response are <10, and as robust as 4. NNH values for tolerability outcomes for pimavanserin 34 mg/d (as well as for doses that range from 8.5 to 51 mg/d) are >10, and/or are not statistically significant, and/or show an advantage for pimavanserin over placebo (such as for postural hypotension). In terms of LHH, pimavanserin 34 mg/d is about five times more likely to result in clinical response (as measured by a ≥3 point decrease from baseline on the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms adapted for Parkinson’s disease) versus discontinuation due to an adverse event.
Using the metrics of NNT, NNH, and LHH, pimavanserin 34 mg/d for the treatment of PDP appears to have a compelling benefit/risk profile.
Berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.) is an important forage legume and is the primary winter forage crop in Pakistan. There are significant gaps in yield potential among varieties of berseem clover, as well as yields obtained at research stations and on-farm. To address this problem a survey of farmers was undertaken in the districts of Kasur and Okara, Punjab, Pakistan to determine the level of knowledge and understanding of berseem forage cultivation and seed production. The study comprised 44% smallholder (<3 ha), 26% medium (3–5 ha) and 30% large farmers (>5 ha) with average age of 42 years. Most farmers had little or no knowledge of the role of seed quality, inoculation with rhizobium, pollination, fertiliser use, irrigation management and the importance of forage nutritional value in improving livestock productivity. Most farmers (56%) had received no input from the government or private sector to improve forage production, relying instead on traditional knowledge. Knowledge of the importance of land preparation (95%), sowing rate (98%) and insect and pest management (75%) was higher than seed selection and fertilisation. Adoption of improved varieties (3%) and production technologies (14%) was low due to various constraints including ignorance, high cost of inputs, lack of availability of inputs in the market and a perceived high level of financial risk. Almost 100% of the respondents agreed that seed of improved varieties was a pre-requisite for higher forage and seed production as well as essential to start village-based forage seed enterprises.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
We present infrared spectra of 4 Be/X-ray binaries in the K band, and 4 spectra in the J, H and K bands of 2 more sources. The HI IR emission lines are useful determinators of the conditions in the inner regions of the circumstellar disk about the Be star, due to optical depth effects. These are preliminary results, and hope to be followed up by high resolution echelle spectra, where we wish to estimate the velocity field, temperature and density structure of the circumstellar material.
EXO2030+375 consists of a neutron star in an eccentric 46 day orbit around a 20th magnitude Be-star companion (Coe et al., 1988; Parmar et al., 1989; Stollberg et al., 1993). The Be-star is thought to be surrounded by a shell/disc of material which is responsible for the infrared excess and Balmer emission lines which are characteristic of Be-stars in general. At periastron, the neutron star passes through this circumstellar material, giving rise to enhanced accretion onto the neutron star surface. As a result of this, the X-ray emission (pulsed at the neutron star spin period of 41.8s) increases dramatically, so producing the transient, outburst behaviour which is commonly seen in Be-star / X-ray binaries.
The Be massive X-ray binary LSI+61°303 is a 26.5 days periodic radiosource (Taylor & Gregory, 1984), exhibiting radio outbursts maxima between phases 0.6–0.8. Evidence of a photometric period of similar value has also been reported (Paredes & Figueras, 1986; Mendelson & Mazeh, 1989). The previous spectroscopic radial velocity observations of Hutchings & Crampton (1981) are in agreement with the radio period, and give support to the presence of a companion. We present new optical and infrared photometric observations and high resolution Hα spectra of LSI+61°303.
Red Bull Stratos was a commercial program that brought a test parachutist, protected by a full-pressure suit, in a stratospheric balloon with pressurized capsule to over 127,582 ft (38,969 m), from which he free fell and subsequently parachuted to the ground. Given that the major risks to the parachutist included ebullism, negative Gz (toe-to-head) acceleration exposure from an uncontrolled flat spin, and trauma, a comprehensive plan was developed to recover the parachutist under nominal conditions and to respond to any medical contingencies that might have arisen. In this report, the project medical team describes the experience of providing emergency medical support and crew recovery for the manned balloon flights of the program.
The phases of flight, associated risks, and available resources were systematically evaluated.
Six distinct phases of flight from an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) standpoint were identified. A Medical Support Plan was developed to address the risks associated with each phase, encompassing personnel, equipment, procedures, and communications.
Despite geographical, communications, and resource limitations, the medical team was able to implement the Medical Support Plan, enabling multiple successful manned balloon flights to 71,615 ft (21,828 m), 97,221 ft (29,610 m), and 127,582 ft (38,969 m). The experience allowed refinement of the EMS and crew recovery procedures for each successive flight and could be applied to other high altitude or commercial space ventures.
BlueRS, NortonSC, LawJ, PattariniJM, AntonsenEL, GarbinoA, ClarkJB, TurneyMW. Emergency Medical Support for a Manned Stratospheric Balloon Test Program. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014;29(5):1-6.
There is limited research on factors that influence the rate of progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD). A history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with an increased risk for AD, but its role on the rate of dementia progression after the onset of AD has not been examined.
A population-based cohort of 325 persons with incident AD was followed for up to 11 years. The sample was 65% female with a mean (SD) age of dementia onset = 84.4 (6.4) years. History of TBI was categorized as number, severity (with or without loss of consciousness), and timing in relation to dementia onset (within ten years or more than ten years). Cognition was assessed by the Consortium to Establish a Registry of AD battery, and functional ability was assessed by the Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes.
In linear mixed models, a history of TBI within ten years of onset showed faster progression of functional impairment (LR x2 = 10.27, p = 0.006), while those with TBI more than ten years before dementia onset had higher scores on a measure of list learning (β = 1.61, p = 0.003) and semantic memory (β = 0.75, p = 0.0035).
History of TBI and its recency may be a useful factor to predict functional progression in the course of AD.
Environmental influences on the rate of Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression have received little attention. Our objective was to test hypotheses concerning associations between caregiver personality traits and the rate of AD progression.
Care receivers (CR) were 161 persons with AD from a population-based dementia progression study; 55 of their caregivers were spouses and 106 were adult children. Cognitive status of the CR was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination every six months, over an average of 5.6 (range: 1–14) years. Linear mixed models tested rate of cognitive decline as a function of caregiver personality traits from the NEO Five-Factor Inventory.
Significantly faster cognitive decline was observed with higher caregiver Neuroticism overall; however, in stratified models, effects were significant for adult child but not spouse caregivers. Neuroticism facets of depression, anxiety, and vulnerability to stress were significantly associated with faster decline. Higher caregiver Extraversion was associated with slower decline in the CR when caregivers were adult children but not spouses.
For adult child caregivers, caregiver personality traits are associated with rate of cognitive decline in CRs with AD regardless of co-residency. Results suggest that dementia caregiver interventions promoting positive care management strategies and ways to react to caregiving challenges may eventually become an important complement to pharmacologic and other approaches aimed at slower rate of decline in dementia.