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The aim of this study was to test the hypotheses that differences in residual feed intake (RFI) of beef steers are related to diet sorting, diet nutrient composition, energy intake and apparent digestibility. To phenotype steers for RFI, 69 weaned Angus × Hereford steers were fed individually for 56 days. A finishing diet was fed twice daily on an ad libitum basis to maintain approximately 0.5 to 1.0 kg refusals. Diet offered and refused was measured daily, and DM intakes (DMI) were calculated by difference. Body weights were recorded at 14-day intervals following an 18-h solid feed withdrawal. The residual feed intake was determined as the residual of the regression of DMI versus mid-test metabolic BW (BW0.75) and average daily gain (ADG). Particle size distributions of diet and refusals were determined using the Penn State Particle Separator to quantify diet sorting. Sampling of diet, refusals and feces were repeated in four sampling periods which occurred during weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8 of the study. Particle size distributions of refusals and diet were analyzed in weeks 2, 4 and 6, and sampling for chemical analysis of refusals and feces occurred in all four periods. Indigestible neutral detergent fiber (288 h in situ) was used as an internal marker of apparent digestibility. We conclude that preference for the intakes of particles > 19 mm and 4 to 8 mm were negatively correlated to RFI and ADG, respectively. Although steers did sort to consume a different diet composition than offered, diet sorting did not impact intake energy, digestible energy or DM digestibility.
The objective of this WSSA Weed Loss Committee report is to provide quantitative data on the potential yield loss in sugar beet due to weed interference from the major sugar beet growing areas of the United States and Canada. Researchers and extension specialists who conducted research on weed control in sugar beet in the United States and Canada provided quantitative data on sugar beet yield loss due to weed interference in their regions. Specifically, data were requested from weed control studies in sugar beet from up to 10 individual studies per calendar year over a 15-yr period between 2002 and 2017. Data collected indicated that if weeds are left uncontrolled under optimal agronomic practices, growers in Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ontario, Oregon, and Wyoming would potentially lose an average of 79%, 61%, 66%, 68%, 63%, 75%, 83%, 78%, and 77% of the sugar beet yield. The corresponding monetary loss would be approximately US$234, US$122, US$369, US$43, US$40, US$211, US$12, US$14, and US$32 million, respectively. The average yield loss due to weed interference for the primary sugar beet growing areas of North America was estimated to be 70%. Thus, if weeds are not controlled, growers in the United States would lose approximately 22.4 million tonnes of sugar beet yield valued at approximately US$1.25 billion, and growers in Canada would lose approximately 0.5 million tonnes of sugar beet yield valued at approximately US$25 million. The high return on investment in weed management highlights the importance of continued weed science research for sustaining high crop yield and profitability of sugar beet production in North America.
Arachidonic acid (ARA) and DHA, supplied primarily from the mother, are required for early development of the central nervous system. Thus, variations in maternal ARA or DHA status may modify neurocognitive development. We investigated the relationship between maternal ARA and DHA status in early (11·7 weeks) or late (34·5 weeks) pregnancy on neurocognitive function at the age of 4 years or 6–7 years in 724 mother–child pairs from the Southampton Women’s Survey cohort. Plasma phosphatidylcholine fatty acid composition was measured in early and late pregnancy. ARA concentration in early pregnancy predicted 13 % of the variation in ARA concentration in late pregnancy (β=0·36, P<0·001). DHA concentration in early pregnancy predicted 21 % of the variation in DHA concentration in late pregnancy (β=0·46, P<0·001). Children’s cognitive function at the age of 4 years was assessed by the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence and at the age of 6–7 years by the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. Executive function at the age of 6–7 years was assessed using elements of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Neither DHA nor ARA concentrations in early or late pregnancy were associated significantly with neurocognitive function in children at the age of 4 years or the age of 6–7 years. These findings suggest that ARA and DHA status during pregnancy in the range found in this cohort are unlikely to have major influences on neurocognitive function in healthy children.
An effective method for enhancing milk production efficiency in dairy cows is to increase milk yield and significant progress has been achieved through intense selection, assisted by the application of new reproductive techniques. However this increased milk yield has been accompanied by a slow but steady decline in dairy cow fertility. The two main reasons for this reducing level of fertility appear to be selection for increased milk yield and large herd sizes, although the affect of the introduction of Holstein genes needs to be investigated. In addition, other negative consequences such as an increase in the incidence of metabolic diseases and lameness have been observed. This has given rise to public concern that the high-yielding dairy cow may be under a state of metabolic stress during peak lactation and therefore the welfare and performance of other body functions are compromised.
The reason for this decline in fertility is not well understood, although a nutritional influence on the initiation of oestrous cycles, follicular growth, oocyte quality and early embryonic development has been implicated. In early lactation dietary intake is unable to meet the demands of milk production and most cows enter a period of negative energy balance. Negative energy balance has a broadly similar effect to undernutrition leading to a mobilization of body reserves. Furthermore diets high in rumen degradable protein lead to an excess of rumen ammonia, which before it is converted to urea by the liver and excreted in the urine, may cause an alteration in the reproductive tract environment reducing embryo survival. Such major changes in the metabolic and endocrine systems can therefore influence fertility at a number of key points.
Possible reproductive sites where inadequate nutrition may have detrimental effects include: (i) the hypothalamic/pituitary gland where gonadotropin release may be impaired; (ii) a direct effect on the ovaries, where both follicular growth patterns and corpus luteum function may be directly influenced; (iii) the quality of the oocyte prior to ovulation may be reduced and coupled with an inadequate uterine environment will result in reduced embryo survival and (iv) there may be effects on subsequent embryo development. The initiation of normal oestrous cycles post partum is usually delayed in dairy cows with a higher genetic merit for milk production, confirming that intense selection towards high milk yield can compromise reproductive function. In addition, the effects of increased milk yield may include changes in circulating GH and insulin concentrations, which in turn alter both insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and IGF binding protein production. Nutrition has recently been shown to have a direct effect at the level of both the ovaries and the uterus to alter the expression of these growth factors.
In conclusion, further knowledge is required to determine how the metabolic changes associated with high milk output reduce fertility. Identification and understanding of the mechanisms involved and the key sites of action responsible for compromised reproductive function, will enable the identification of possible indices for future multiple-trait selection programmes.
We present first results from a coordinated multiwavelength study of the neutron star low-mass X-ray binary EXO 0748 676. Fast UV, X-ray, and optical data were obtained including both spectral and timing information. We discuss how this study allows us to probe the temperature distribution within the binary and hence the geometry and efficiency of X-ray irradiation.
Extrapolate (EX-ante Tool for RAnking POLicy AlTErnatives) is a decision support tool to assess the impact of policy measures on different target groups. It is designed to serve as a “filter” that, given the broad characteristics of the population, allows the user to sift through different policy measures to assess ex ante the broad potential impacts of these before deciding to look at particular policy options in more detail. Extrapolate models, in a very simple way, the impact of changes on constraints facing potential beneficiary groups, and how these may affect outcomes and their livelihood status. Extrapolate now makes use of mapping facilities from another decision-support tool, PRIMAS (Poverty Reduction Intervention Mapping in Agricultural Systems), that allows the user to match characteristics of particular technological options and constraints with the spatial characteristics of particular target groups in the landscape.
Prenatal hurricane exposure may be an increasingly important contributor to poor reproductive health outcomes. In the current literature, mixed associations have been suggested between hurricane exposure and reproductive health outcomes. This may be due, in part, to residual confounding. We assessed the association between hurricane exposure and reproductive health outcomes by using a difference-in-difference analysis technique to control for confounding in a cohort of Florida pregnancies.
We implemented a difference-in-difference analysis to evaluate hurricane weather and reproductive health outcomes including low birth weight, fetal death, and birth rate. The study population for analysis included all Florida pregnancies conceived before or during the 2003 and 2004 hurricane season. Reproductive health data were extracted from vital statistics records from the Florida Department of Health. In 2004, 4 hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne) made landfall in rapid succession; whereas in 2003, no hurricanes made landfall in Florida.
Overall models using the difference-in-difference analysis showed no association between exposure to hurricane weather and reproductive health.
The inconsistency of the literature on hurricane exposure and reproductive health may be in part due to biases inherent in pre-post or regression-based county-level comparisons. We found no associations between hurricane exposure and reproductive health. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:407–411)
Current calibration methods for single and replicate 14C dates are compared. Various forms of tabular and graphic output are discussed. Results from all the methods show reasonable agreement but further methodological development and improvements in computer output are required. Comparison of existing techniques for a series of non-contemporaneous dates showed less agreement amongst participants on this issue. We recommend that calibrated dates should be presented as a combination of graphs and ranges, in preference to mean and standard deviation.
This study aimed to determine whether age at introduction of solid foods was associated with feeding difficulties at 3 years of age. The present study was carried out using data from the Southampton Women’s Survey (SWS). Women enrolled in the SWS who subsequently became pregnant were followed-up during pregnancy and postpartum, and the offspring have been studied through childhood. Maternal socio-demographic and anthropometric data and child anthropometric and feeding data were collected through interviews and self-administered questionnaires. When the children were 3 years of age, mothers/carers rated six potential child feeding difficulty questions on a four-point Likert scale, including one general question and five specific feeding difficulty questions. Age at introduction of solids as a predictor of feeding difficulties was examined in 2389 mother–child pairs, adjusting for child (age last breast fed, sex, gestation) and maternal characteristics (parity, pre-pregnancy BMI, age, education, employment, parenting difficulties, diet quality). The majority of mothers/carers (61 %) reported some feeding difficulties (general feeding difficulty question) at 3 years of age, specifically with their child eating enough food (61 %), eating the right food (66 %) and being choosy with food (74 %). Children who were introduced to solids ≥6 months had a lower risk of feeding difficulties (RR 0·73; 95 % CI 0·59, 0·91, P=0·004) than children who were introduced to solids between 4 and 6 months. No other significant associations were found. There were few associations between feeding difficulties in relation to age at introduction of solid foods. However, general feeding difficulties were less common among infants introduced to solid foods ≥6 months of age.
I describe a project to survey ∼ 13 square degrees of the sky at 15μm and 90μm with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). The European Large Area ISO Survey (ELAIS) is a collaboration involving 19 European institutes (in addition to the authors and others at their institutes the following people and others their institutes are involved I. Gonzalez-Serrano, E. Kontizas, K. Mandolesi, J. Masegosa, K. Mattila, H. Norgaard-Nielsen, I. Perez-Fournon, M. Ward) and is the largest open time project being undertaken by ISO. We expect to detect at least 1000 extra-galactic objects and a similar number of Galactic sources.
Since the discovery of fading X-rays from Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) with BeppoSAX (Piro et al. 1997, Costa et al. 1997), world-wide follow-up observations in optical band have achieved the fruitful results. The case of GRB 970228, there was an optical transient, coincides with the BeppoSAX position and faded (Paradijs et al. 1997, Sahu et al. 1997). These optical observations also confirmed the extended component, which was associated with the optical transient. The new transient are fading with a power-law function in time and the later observation of HST confirmed the extended emission is stable (Fruchter et al. 1997). This extended object seems to be a distant galaxy and strongly suggests to be the host.
GRS1915+105 is an extraordinary X-ray transient which exhibits superluminal radio jets. In this paper, ASCA observations of the GRS1915+105 conducted from 1994 to 1997 are reported. Observations are carried out on the following dates each for ~ 20 ksec exposure; Sep 27 1994, April 20 1995, Oct 23 1996 and Apr 25 1997.
The infection status of angiostrongylosis in Jamaica was assessed in wild rats and molluscs in the 5 years following the major outbreak of eosinophilic meningitis (EM) in 2000. Parasitological analyses of 297 Rattus rattus and 140 Rattus norvegicus, and 777 terrestrial molluscs from all 14 Parishes on the island revealed Angiostrongylus cantonensis in 32·0% of the rats and in 12·5% of the molluscs. Multivariate analyses confirmed that A. cantonensis occurred significantly more frequently in R. rattus (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1·76), while mean infection intensity in R. rattus was also significantly higher (16·8) than R. norvegicus (11·3) (Mann–Whitney U-test: P = 0·01). Third-stage larvae of A. cantonensis were detected in 29% of 86 Pleurodonte spp.; in 20% of five Poteria spp.; in 18·7% of 369 Thelidomus asper; in 11% of 18 Sagda spp.; and in 6% of 24 veronicellid slugs. Most rodent infections occurred in Northeastern Jamaica (OR = 11·66), a region where infected molluscs were also abundant. Given the prevalence of A. cantonensis infection in rats has significantly increased since the 2000 outbreak, and that a survey of human infections revealed at least ten autochthonous cases in the last 15 years, angiostrongylosis persists as an important zoonosis in Jamaica.
The 71-s modulation in the light curve of the old nova DQ Her has a mean semi-amplitude of 1.8% at 2180 Å, although the amplitude varies by at least a factor of two from orbit to orbit. The disturbance in the amplitude and phase of the modulation during eclipses is similar to that observed at visual wavelengths. We conclude that at 2180 Å, as at visual wavelengths, the modulated flux is reprocessed and comes from the accretion disk.
Phenomenological archaeologists and GIS scholars have turned much attention
to visibility—who can see whom, and what can be seen—across ancient
landscapes. Visible connections can be relatively easy to identify, but they
present challenges to interpretation. Ancient peoples created intervisible
connections among sites for purposes that included surveillance, defense,
symbolism, shared identity, and communication. In the American Southwest,
many high places are intervisible by virtue of the elevated topography and
the open skies. The Chaco phenomenon, centered in northwestern New Mexico
between A.D. 850 and 1140, presents an ideal situation for visibility
research. In this study, we use GIS-generated viewsheds and viewnets to
investigate intervisible connections among great houses, shrines, and
related features across the Chacoan landscape. We demonstrate that a Chacoan
shrine network, likely established during the mid-eleventh century,
facilitated intervisibility between outlier communities and Chaco Canyon. It
is most likely that the Chacoans created this network to enable meaningful
connections for communication and identity. We conclude that the boundaries
of the Chaco phenomenon are defined in some sense by intervisibility.
Surveys with ISO (Kessler et al 1996), in particular with the CAM (Cesarsky et al 1996) and PHOT (Lemke et al 1996) instruments, will greatly extend our understanding of extra-galactic populations and their cosmological evolution. The main advantages that ISO surveys have over e.g IRAS are increased sensitivity/depth and wavelength coverage. Within the Guaranteed and Open Time programmes there are many field surveys which will efficiently map the limits in these parameters. In this talk I will briefly overview those surveys before concentrating in more detail on one survey in particular, the ISO survey of the Hubble Deep Field (HDF), to illustrate the kind of results that can be expected.
We examine the roles of actuaries in UK life offices, along with trends, challenges to and opportunities for actuaries. We carry out an analysis of senior roles in life offices, a questionnaire survey and interviews with relevant senior personnel. We find that actuaries occupy many important roles in life offices and are regarded as having good industry knowledge and technical skills, especially in financial modelling. There are fewer executive directors and more non-executive directors of life offices who are actuaries compared with the position in 1990. A higher proportion of reserved roles is outsourced to consultants than was the case in 1990. Only a small number of Actuarial Function Holders are directors. Actuaries are more siloed than was the case in the past, although actuaries are well represented in the finance and risk functions of many offices. Although actuarial work in connection with the preparation for Solvency II will decline, there will be important ongoing requirements for actuaries following Solvency II implementation. We also see opportunities for actuaries in four areas: in risk management, in financial analysis and management based on Solvency II and international financial reporting standards, in connection with “big data”, and in product development and the customer proposition. There are implications for the examination syllabus, continuing professional development and research.