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This article involved a broad search of applied sciences for milestone technologies we deem to be the most significant innovations applied by the North American pork industry, during the past 10 to 12 years. Several innovations shifted the trajectory of improvement or resolved significant production limitations. Each is being integrated into practice, with the exception being gene editing technology, which is undergoing the federal approval process. Advances in molecular genomics have been applied to gene editing for control of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and to identify piglet genome contributions from each parent. Post-cervical artificial insemination technology is not novel, but this technology is now used extensively to accelerate the rate of genetic progress. A milestone was achieved with the discovery that dietary essential fatty acids, during lactation, were limiting reproduction. Their provision resulted in a dose-related response for pregnancy, pregnancy maintenance and litter size, especially in maturing sows and ultimately resolved seasonal infertility. The benefit of segregated early weaning (12 to 14 days of age) was realized for specific pathogen removal for genetic nucleus and multiplication. Application was premature for commercial practice, as piglet mortality and morbidity increased. Early weaning impairs intestinal barrier and mucosal innate immune development, which coincides with diminished resilience to pathogens and viability later in life. Two important milestones were achieved to improve precision nutrition for growing pigs. The first involved the updated publication of the National Research Council nutrient requirements for pigs, a collaboration between scientists from America and Canada. Precision nutrition advanced further when ingredient description, for metabolically available amino acids and net energy (by source plant), became a private sector nutrition product. The past decade also led to fortuitous discoveries of health-improving components in ingredients (xylanase, soybeans). Finally, two technologies converged to facilitate timely detection of multiple pathogens in a population: oral fluids sampling and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for pathogen analysis. Most critical diseases in North America are now routinely monitored by oral fluid sampling and prepared for analysis using PCR methods.
Conventional selected area diffraction patterns as obtained in the TEM present difficulties for identification of materials such as asbestifonn minerals, although diffraction data is considered to be one of the preferred methods for making this identification. The preferred orientation of the fibers in each field of measurement, and the spotty patterns that are obtained, do not readily lend themselves to measurement of the integrated intensity values for each dspacing, and even the d-spacings may be hard to determine precisely because the true center location for the broken rings requires estimation. To overcome these problems, we have implemented an automatic method for diffraction pattern measurement. It automatically locates the center of patterns with high precision, measures the radius of each ring of spots in the pattern, and integrates the density of spots in that ring.
High peak to background ratios are especially important in powder diffractometry when attempting to identify minor phases in a sample or improving the limit of detection in quantitative determinations. Instrumental techniques to improve peak to background generally involve the employment of monochromatic or partially monochromatic radiation through the use of filters, crystal monochrometers, or pulse height discriminators.
In this study, a digital pulse height discriminator, configured as a card in a personal computer (Apple IIe) with appropriate software, is used in conjunction with a scintillation detector to improve peak to background ratios. The software allows the pulse height distribution to be scanned and the optimum pulse height window to be set for a given set of sample and instrumental conditions. Results obtained by this technique are directly compared with results obtained using a pyrolytic graphite monochrometer and beta filters. Examples cited include qualitative phase identification in both fluorescent and non-fluorescent samples and semi-micro quantitative analysis (determination of airborne silica).
High definition video from a towed camera system was used to describe the deep-sea benthic habitats within an elongate depression located at the western margin of Rockall Bank in the Hatton–Rockall Basin. At depths greater than 1190 m, an extensive area (10 km long by 1.5 km wide) of what appeared to be reduced sediments, bacterial mats and flocculent matter indicated possible cold-seep habitat. Plumes of sediment-rich fluid were observed alongside raised elongate features that gave topographic relief to the otherwise flat seafloor. In the deepest section of the depression (1215 m) dense flocculent matter was observed suspended in the water column, in places obscuring the seabed. Away from the bacterial mats, the habitat changed rapidly to sediments dominated by tube-dwelling polychaete worms and then to deep-sea sedimentary habitats more typical for the water depth (sponges and burrowing megafauna in areas of gentle slopes, and coral gardens on steeper slopes).
In the tropics, fodder trees and shrubs are a very important source of nutrients, especially nitrogen. In vitro gas production methods used for food evaluation were originally developed for investigation of temperate forages and used a nitrogen-rich medium. Evaluation of fodder tree leaves in this medium may mask the effect of their nitrogen which it is important to understand. This trial studied the fermentation of a range of tropical fodder trees and shrubs in both nitrogen-rich and nitrogen-free media, in order to identify the main chemical entities contributing to gas production and the time within which such contributions were most important.
Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Steud. is widely used as a high-protein supplementary food for ruminants in many parts of the tropics. Native to Central America and Mexico, it has become widely naturalized elsewhere but the introduced populations are mostly of unknown origin and uncertain quality. Studies of the genetic resources from the native range, under a research programme at OFI, have shown great variation between populations in yield (Dunsdon and Simons, 1996). The objective of the research described here was to investigate whether there is also important genetic variation in fodder quality, to inform decisions on future distribution of ‘superior’ germplasm of G. sepium under the OFI programme.
The immediate postweaning period in pigs is often characterised by a reduced and variable food intake, digestive disorders and poor growth and development. Historically such effects were reduced by the use of in-feed antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs), copper sulphate and zinc oxide to enhance the efficiency of feed conversion and hence maximise nutrient capture. However from January 2006 the routine use of in-feed AGPs was banned and, due to concern over environmental pollution, levels of inclusion of heavy metals are limited by regulation and likely to be further reduced in the future. Weaning pigs at a later age has been suggested as an approach to reduce the potentially negative effects of the AGP ban on the national herd. The objective of the AGEWEAN programme of research was to investigate the effects of weaning age (4, 6 and 8 weeks) in both an indoor and outdoor lactation environment on the biological and economic efficiency of production where diets contain no AGPs and lower levels of copper (<25ppm added) and zinc (<100ppm added).
We report on evidence for weak large scale (r ≥ 6 arcmin) X-ray emission from Cassiopeia A. We investigate several mechanisms for producing such an X-ray halo. Further observations will be required to determine which mechanism is operative.
Although political scientists have begun to investigate the properties of Internet surveys, much remains to be learned about the utility of the Internet mode for conducting major survey research projects such as national election studies. This paper addresses this topic by presenting the results of an extensive survey comparison experiment conducted as part of the 2005 British Election Study. Analyses show statistically significant, but generally small, differences in distributions of key explanatory variables in models of turnout and party choice. Estimating model parameters reveals that there are few statistically significant differences between coefficients generated using the in-person and Internet data, and the relative explanatory power of rival models is virtually identical for the two types of data. In general, the in-person and Internet data tell very similar stories about what matters for turnout and party preference in Britain. Determining if similar findings obtain in other countries should have high priority on the research agenda for national election studies.
Ballot initiatives and referendums are increasingly popular methods for addressing important political issues. Studies of voting in these events has found that people rely on party leader and candidate image heuristics when deciding how to cast their ballots. Some analysts have argued that these effects are heterogeneous, being larger for people with lower levels of political knowledge. However, research in experimental economics and political psychology suggests that the impact of heuristics may be greater among more knowledgeable individuals. This paper investigates these rival hypotheses using survey data on voting in a ballot initiative to repeal California’s climate change legislation. Analyses using methods appropriate for studying interaction effects in nonlinear multivariate models demonstrate that candidate heuristics are stronger among more knowledgeable people.
The Laser Intensity Modulation Method, LIMM, has been used to investigate the poling state of ceramic piezoelectric thin films. The frequency of the system has been extended to 70MHz to enable films of thicknesses down to 100nm to be measured. A unique development has been to sweep the DC bias applied to the sample whilst performing the LIMM measurement, thus giving pseudo PE loops. These PE loops are unique in that they represent the polarization state within a distinct depth of the film, whereas normally PE loops are a result of the complete film. This allows us to investigate processes occurring within different regions of the film.
Despite elevated risk profiles for depression among South Asian and Black Caribbean people in the UK, prevalences of late-life depressive symptoms across the UK's three major ethnic groups have not been well characterized.
Data were collected at baseline and 20-year follow-up from 632 European, 476 South Asian and 181 Black Caribbean men and women (aged 58–88 years), of a community-based cohort study from north-west London. The 10-item Geriatric Depression Scale was interviewer-administered during a clinic visit (depressive symptoms defined as a score of ⩾4 out of 10), with clinical data (adiposity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cognitive function) also collected. Sociodemographic, psychosocial, behavioural, disability, and medical history information was obtained by questionnaire.
Prevalence of depressive symptoms varied by ethnic group, affecting 9.7% of White European, 15.5% of South Asian, and 17.7% of Black Caribbean participants. Compared with White Europeans, South Asian and Black Caribbean participants were significantly more likely to have depressive symptoms (odds ratio 1.79, 95% confidence interval 1.24–2.58 and 1.80, 1.11–2.92, respectively). Adjustment for co-morbidities had most effect on the excess South Asian odds, and adjustment for socioeconomic position had most effect on the elevated Black Caribbean odds.
Higher prevalence of depressive symptoms observed among South Asian people were attenuated after adjustment for physical health, whereas the Black Caribbean increased prevalence was most explained by socioeconomic disadvantage. It is important to understand the reasons for these ethnic differences to identify opportunities for interventions to address inequalities.
This study aimed to monitor the microbiological effect of cleaning near-patient sites over a 48-hour period with a novel disinfectant, electrolyzed water.
One ward dedicated to acute care of the elderly population in a district general hospital in Scotland.
Lockers, left and right cotsides, and overbed tables in 30 bed spaces were screened for aerobic colony count (ACC), methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) before cleaning with electrolyzed water. Sites were rescreened at varying intervals from 1 to 48 hours after cleaning. Microbial growth was quantified as colony-forming units (CFUs) per square centimeter and presence or absence of MSSA and MRSA at each site. The study was repeated 3 times at monthly intervals.
There was an early and significant reduction in average ACC (360 sampled sites) from a before-cleaning level of 4.3 to 1.65 CFU/cm2 at 1 hour after disinfectant cleaning (P <.0001). Average counts then increased to 3.53 CFU/cm2 at 24 hours and 3.68 CFU/cm2 at 48 hours. Total MSSA/MRSA (34 isolates) decreased by 71% at 4 hours after cleaning but then increased to 155% (53 isolates) of precleaning levels at 24 hours.
Cleaning with electrolyzed water reduced ACC and staphylococci on surfaces beside patients. ACC remained below precleaning levels at 48 hours, but MSSA/MRSA counts exceeded original levels at 24 hours after cleaning. Although disinfectant cleaning quickly reduces bioburden, additional investigation is required to clarify the reasons for rebound contamination of pathogens at near-patient sites.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(12):1505–1510