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Provisia™ rice was developed recently by the BASF Corporation for control of grass weeds and is complementary to existing Clearfield® technology. Our previous research showed that resistance of Provisia™ rice to the ACCase herbicide quizalofop-p-ethyl (QPE) in laboratory and greenhouse environments is governed by a single dominant Mendelian gene. However, these results may not be consistent in different populations or field environments. Therefore, the first objective of the current research is to determine the inheritance of resistance to QPE in rice using different segregating populations evaluated under U.S. field environments. The second objective is to evaluate response of QPE resistant breeding lines to various herbicide concentrations at two U.S. (Louisiana) locations. Chi-square tests of 12 F2 populations evaluated in Louisiana environments during 2014 and 2015 indicated that QPE seedling resistance at 240 g ai ha−1 was governed by a single dominant Mendelian gene with no observable maternal effects. Similar results were obtained in 5 F3 populations derived from the aforementioned F2 populations. Allele-specific SNP markers for QPE resistance also followed Mendelian segregation in the five F2 populations. For the second objective, six QPE resistant inbred lines showed transient leaf injury at 1X (120 g ai ha−1) or 2X (240 g ai ha−1) field rates, 7 and 21 d after treatment (DAT). However, a trend of reduced injury (recovery) from 7 through 33 DAT was observed for all breeding material. No differences in grain yield were found between untreated QPE resistant lines and those treated with 1X or 2X QPE field rate. Single gene inheritance and good levels of QPE herbicide field resistance in different genetic populations suggest feasibility for rapid and effective development of new QPE resistant varieties and effective stewardship of the Provisia™ technology.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Background: The classic ketogenic diet is the main non-pharmacological treatment for refractory epilepsy; however, adherence is often challenging. The low glycemic index diet (LGID) is less strict, almost equally effective, and associated with improved adherence. Little is known about the quality of life of children treated with LGID. The objective of this study was to explore changes in the quality of life of children with epilepsy transitioning to the LGID. Methods: Patients on LGID and their parents filled out Pediatric Quality of Life Epilepsy Module questionnaires; one while being on the LGID, and one retrospectively for the time prior to starting the LGID. Results: Data was collected from five children ages 3-13 and their parents. Complete seizure control was seen in two children, >50% seizure reduction in one, and no change in two children. Parental reported quality of life while on the LGID increased with two participants but decreased in all child self reports. Conclusions: Although the LGID led to improved seizure control in three out of five patients, the child-reported quality of life decreased in all children. Larger prospective studies are warranted to reliably assess the impact of the LGID on the quality of life in children with epilepsy.
Background: Cannabis has been shown to be an effective therapy for epilepsy in children with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Despite the fact that many pediatric epilepsy patients across Canada are currently being treated with cannabis, little is known about pediatric neurologists’ attitudes towards it. Methods: A 26-item online survey was distributed to 148 pediatric neurologists across Canada. Results: 56/148 neurologists responded and reported that over 600 children with epilepsy are currently taking cannabinoids. 34% of neurologists authorized cannabis to children, 38% referred children for authorization, and 29% did not authorize or refer their patients. Of those neurologists who referred, 76% referred to a community-based non-neurologist. The majority of physicians authorized cannabis to patients with Dravet syndrome (68%) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (64%). Cannabis was never authorized as a first-line treatment. 54% of neurologists stated that their patients were taking CBD alone, despite this option not being available in Canada. All physicians reported having at least one hesitation regarding cannabis, the most common ones being poor evidence (66%), poor quality control (52%), and cost (50%). Conclusions: The majority of Canadian pediatric neurologists use cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy in children. However, there appear to be knowledge gaps and hesitations.
Background: Seizure monitoring via amplitude-integrated EEG (aEEG) is standard of care in many NICUs; however, conventional EEG (cEEG) is the gold standard for seizure detection. We compared the diagnostic yield of aEEG interpreted at the bedside, aEEG interpreted by an expert, and cEEG. Methods: Neonates received aEEG and cEEG in parallel. Clinical events and aEEG were interpreted at bedside and subsequently independently analyzed by experienced neonatology and neurology readers. Sensitivity and specificity of bedside aEEG as compared to expert aEEG interpretation and cEEG were evaluated. Results: Thirteen neonates were monitored for an average duration of 33 hours (range 15-94). Fourteen seizure-like events were detected by clinical observation, and 12 others by bedside aEEG analysis. None of the bedside aEEG events were confirmed as seizures on cEEG. Expert aEEG interpretation had a sensitivity of 13% with 46% specificity for individual seizure detection (not adjusting for patient differences), and a sensitivity of 50% with 46% specificity for detecting patients with seizures. Conclusions: Real-world bedside aEEG monitoring failed to detect seizures evidenced via cEEG, while misclassifying other events as seizures. Even post-hoc expert aEEG interpretation provided limited sensitivity and specificity. Considering the poor sensitivity and specificity of bedside aEEG interpretation, combined monitoring may provide limited clinical benefit.
Background: Emergency Department (ED) communication between patients and clinicians is fraught with challenges. A local survey of 65 ED patients revealed low patient satisfaction with ED communication and resultant patient anxiety. Aim Statement: To increase patient satisfaction with ED communication and to decrease patient anxiety related to lack of ED visit information (primary aims), and to decrease clinician-perceived patient interruptions (secondary aim), each by one point on a 5-point Likert scale over a six-month period. Measures & Design: We performed wide stakeholder engagement, surveyed patients and clinicians, and conducted a patient focus group. An inductive analysis followed by a yield-feasibility-effort grid led to three interventions, introduced through sequential and additive Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles. PDSA 1: clinician communication tool (Acknowledge-Empathize-Inform [AEI] tool), based on survey themes and a literature review, and introduced through a multi-modal education approach. PDSA 2: patient information pamphlets developed with stakeholder input. PDSA 3: new waiting room TV screen with various informational ED-specific videos. Measures were conducted through anonymous surveys: Primary aims towards the end of the patient ED stay, and the secondary aim at the end of the clinician shift. We used Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts with usual special cause variation rules. Two-tailed Mann-Whitney tests were used to assess for statistical significance between means (significance: p < 0.05). Evaluation/Results: Over five months, 232 patient and 104 clinician surveys were collected. Wait times, ED processes, timing of typical steps, and directions were reported as the most important communication gaps, they and were included in the interventions. Patient satisfaction improved from 3.28 (5 being best, all means; n = 65) to 4.15 (n = 59, p < 0.0001). Patient anxiety improved from 2.96 (1 being best; n = 65) to 2.31 (n = 59, p < 0.01). Clinician-perceived interruptions went from 4.33 (1 being best; n = 30) to 4.18 (n = 11, p = 0.98). SPC charts using Likert scales did not show special cause variation. Discussion/Impact: A sequential, additive approach undertaken with pragmatic and low-cost interventions based on both clinician and patient input led to increased patient satisfaction with communication and decreased patient anxiety due to lack of ED visit information after PDSA cycles. These approaches could easily be replicated in other EDs to improve the patient experience.
We provide the first in situ measurements of antenna element beam shapes of the Murchison Widefield Array. Most current processing pipelines use an assumed beam shape, which can cause absolute and relative flux density errors and polarisation ‘leakage’. Understanding the primary beam is then of paramount importance, especially for sensitive experiments such as a measurement of the 21-cm line from the epoch of reionisation, where the calibration requirements are so extreme that tile to tile beam variations may affect our ability to make a detection. Measuring the primary beam shape from visibilities is challenging, as multiple instrumental, atmospheric, and astrophysical factors contribute to uncertainties in the data. Building on the methods of Neben et al. [Radio Sci., 50, 614], we tap directly into the receiving elements of the telescope before any digitisation or correlation of the signal. Using ORBCOMM satellite passes we are able to produce all-sky maps for four separate tiles in the XX polarisation. We find good agreement with the beam model of Sokolowski et al. [2017, PASA, 34, e062], and clearly observe the effects of a missing dipole from a tile in one of our beam maps. We end by motivating and outlining additional on-site experiments.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
In Cameroon, there is a national programme engaged in the control of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. In certain locations, the programme is transitioning from morbidity control towards local interruption of parasite transmission. The volcanic crater lake villages of Barombi Mbo and Barombi Kotto are well-known transmission foci and are excellent context-specific locations to assess appropriate disease control interventions. Most recently they have served as exemplars of expanded access to deworming medications and increased environmental surveillance. In this paper, we review infection dynamics through time, beginning with data from 1953, and comment on the short- and long-term success of disease control. We show how intensification of local control is needed to push towards elimination and that further environmental surveillance, with targeted snail control, is needed to consolidate gains in preventive chemotherapy as well as empower local communities to take ownership of interventions.
40% of people with dementia have disturbed sleep but there are currently no known effective treatments. Studies of sleep hygiene and light therapy have not been powered to indicate feasibility and acceptability and have shown 40–50% retention. We tested the feasibility and acceptability of a six-session manualized evidence-based non-pharmacological therapy; Dementia RElAted Manual for Sleep; STrAtegies for RelaTives (DREAMS-START) for sleep disturbance in people with dementia.
We conducted a parallel, two-armed, single-blind randomized trial and randomized 2:1 to intervention: Treatment as Usual. Eligible participants had dementia and sleep disturbances (scoring ≥4 on one Sleep Disorders Inventory item) and a family carer and were recruited from two London memory services and Join Dementia Research. Participants wore an actiwatch for two weeks pre-randomization. Trained, clinically supervised psychology graduates delivered DREAMS-START to carers randomized to intervention; covering Understanding sleep and dementia; Making a plan (incorporating actiwatch information, light exposure using a light box); Daytime activity and routine; Difficult night-time behaviors; Taking care of your own (carer's) sleep; and What works? Strategies for the future. Carers kept their manual, light box, and relaxation recordings post-intervention. Outcome assessment was masked to allocation. The co-primary outcomes were feasibility (≥50% eligible people consenting to the study) and acceptability (≥75% of intervention group attending ≥4 intervention sessions).
In total, 63out of 95 (66%; 95% CI: 56–76%) eligible referrals consented between 04/08/2016 and 24/03/2017; 62 (65%; 95% CI: 55–75%) were randomized, and 37 out of 42 (88%; 95% CI: 75–96%) adhered to the intervention.
DREAM-START for sleep disorders in dementia is feasible and acceptable.
The study of parasites typically crosses into other research disciplines and spans across diverse scales, from molecular- to populational-levels, notwithstanding promoting an understanding of parasites set within evolutionary time. Today, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) help frame much of contemporary parasitological research, since parasites can be found in all ecosystems, blighting human, animal and plant health. In recognition of the multi-disciplinary nature of parasitological research, the 2017 Autumn Symposium of the British Society for Parasitology was held in London to provide a forum for novel exchange across medical, veterinary and wildlife fields of study. Whilst the meeting was devoted to the topic of parasitism, it sought to foster mutualism, the antithesis perhaps of parasitism, by forging new academic connections and social networks to exchange novel ideas. The meeting also celebrated the longstanding career of Professor David Rollinson, FLS in the award of the International Federation for Tropical Medicine Medal for his efforts spanning 40 years of parasitological research. Indeed, David has done so much to explore and promote the fascinating biology of parasitism, as exemplified by the 15 manuscripts contained within this Special Issue.
Hydatigera (Cestoda: Taeniidae) is a recently resurrected genus including species seldom investigated in sub-Saharan Africa. We surveyed wild small mammal populations in the areas of Richard Toll and Lake Guiers, Senegal, with the objective to evaluate their potential role as intermediate hosts of larval taeniid stages (i.e. metacestodes). Based on genetic sequences of a segment of the mitochondrial DNA gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI), we identified Hydatigera parva metacestodes in 19 out of 172 (11.0%) Hubert's multimammate mice (Mastomys huberti) and one out of six (16.7%) gerbils (Taterillus sp.) and Hydatigera taeniaeformis sensu stricto metacestodes in one out of 215 (0.5%) Nile rats (Arvicanthis niloticus). This study reports epidemiological and molecular information on H. parva and H. taeniaeformis in West African rodents, further supporting the phylogeographic hypothesis on the African origin of H. parva. Our findings may indicate significant trophic interactions contributing to the local transmission of Hydatigera spp. and other parasites with similar life-cycle mechanisms. We therefore propose that further field investigations of rodent population dynamics and rodent-borne infectious organisms are necessary to improve our understanding of host–parasite associations driving the transmission risks of rodent parasites in West Africa.
Human fascioliasis infection sources are analysed for the first time in front of the new worldwide scenario of this disease. These infection sources include foods, water and combinations of both. Ingestion of freshwater wild plants is the main source, with watercress and secondarily other vegetables involved. The problem of vegetables sold in uncontrolled urban markets is discussed. Distinction between infection sources by freshwater cultivated plants, terrestrial wild plants, and terrestrial cultivated plants is made. The risks by traditional local dishes made from sylvatic plants and raw liver ingestion are considered. Drinking of contaminated water, beverages and juices, ingestion of dishes and soups and washing of vegetables, fruits, tubercles and kitchen utensils with contaminated water are increasingly involved. Three methods to assess infection sources are noted: detection of metacercariae attached to plants or floating in freshwater, anamnesis in individual patients, and questionnaire surveys in endemic areas. The infectivity of metacercariae is reviewed both under field conditions and experimentally under the effects of physicochemical agents. Individual and general preventive measures appear to be more complicated than those considered in the past. The high diversity of infection sources and their heterogeneity in different countries underlie the large epidemiological heterogeneity of human fascioliasis throughout.
Monitoring vectors is relevant to ascertain transmission of lymphatic filariasis (LF). This may require the best sampling method that can capture high numbers of specific species to give indication of transmission. Gravid anophelines are good indicators for assessing transmission due to close contact with humans through blood meals. This study compared the efficiency of an Anopheles gravid trap (AGT) with other mosquito collection methods including the box and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention gravid, light, exit and BioGent-sentinel traps, indoor resting collection (IRC) and pyrethrum spray catches across two endemic regions of Ghana. The AGT showed high trapping efficiency by collecting the highest mean number of anophelines per night in the Western (4.6) and Northern (7.3) regions compared with the outdoor collection methods. Additionally, IRC was similarly efficient in the Northern region (8.9) where vectors exhibit a high degree of endophily. AGT also showed good trapping potential for collecting Anopheles melas which is usually difficult to catch with existing methods. Screening of mosquitoes for infection showed a 0.80–3.01% Wuchereria bancrofti and 2.15–3.27% Plasmodium spp. in Anopheles gambiae. The AGT has shown to be appropriate for surveying Anopheles populations and can be useful for xenomonitoring for both LF and malaria.
Adult schistosomes live in the blood vessels and cannot easily be sampled from humans, so archived miracidia larvae hatched from eggs expelled in feces or urine are commonly used for population genetic studies. Large collections of archived miracidia on FTA cards are now available through the Schistosomiasis Collection at the Natural History Museum (SCAN). Here we describe protocols for whole genome amplification of Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosome haematobium miracidia from these cards, as well as real time PCR quantification of amplified schistosome DNA. We used microgram quantities of DNA obtained for exome capture and sequencing of single miracidia, generating dense polymorphism data across the exome. These methods will facilitate the transition from population genetics, using limited numbers of markers to population genomics using genome-wide marker information, maximising the value of collections such as SCAN.
A diverse Permian crinoid fauna is reported from the Taiyuan Formation, Dajian Member (Asselian) at Anyang, northeastern Henan Province of the North China Craton. The specimens are well preserved, including articulated crowns and cups. The fauna contains representatives of each of the major Paleozoic crinoid clades: Cladida (including the Flexibilia), Disparida, and Camerata. Identified genera suggest a greater affinity with North American faunas than with Tethyan faunas. Four new species, Neoprotencrinus anyangensis, Ulocrinus qiaoi, Artichthyocrinus limani, and Synbathocrinus chenae, are proposed herein.
Forecasting the future is fun but futile since most forecasts are wrong. The only constructive strategy is to plan for the unknown. Therefore this talk will contain (almost) no predictions. It will simply consider how we may best cope with the shock of the new; the information explosion, the accelerating pace of change and its bewildering changes of direction. To do this we need to hold fast to a small number of big, lasting truths. I can survive on four, two of which are humanistic, two simply biological. These are:
Biological systems evolve through modification by natural selection. The word ‘modification’ does not imply new creation but redesign from a relatively small range of standard parts and processes to meet changing needs.
The application of reason is an effective and honest approach to the process of discovery and understanding. Almost all issues can benefit from application of the scientific method (reason challenged by experiment). However, almost all issues also contain elements that transcend science but these too are amenable to reason.
Humans are sentient animals. In common with other sentient animals, we are powerfully motivated by how we feel (as distinct from what we think) and most powerfully motivated by the need to feel good. This need may be physical or spiritual. The physical need to enjoy comfort, the satisfaction of a good meal, or sex, ensures our genetic survival. The emotional need for security, or spiritual satisfaction ensures the stability of our communities, since in a stable community, discretion and goodness have survival value.
All life forms have value. Moral philosophy argues that a life form such as a tree has an intrinsic value independent of its extrinsic value to us (e.g. for its beauty, utility or as a carbon sink). While I accept the concept of intrinsic value, I suggest that it is more useful to redefine the concept of extrinsic value in a less anthropocentric way (e.g. a tree has extrinsic value to a squirrel).
The ingestion of creep feed by piglets depends upon them displaying suitable exploratory behaviours away from the sows udder. However, sows milk has an excellent FCR and it may be argued that, where the udder is available, exploration away from it is a failure to optimise the use of available food resources. A corrolary to this is that those piglets displaying exploratory behaviour away from the sows udder will be those piglets for which further udder massage shows no net gain i.e. those exploiting the maximum potential of the udder and those for whom the udder shows very little benefit. The former group will be characterised by heavier weights and faster growth rates. The latter group will be characterised by lighter weights and slower growth rates. It may be assumed that animals exist on a continuum between these two states. In commercial conditions the latter group is typically fostered off or culled. This project tested the hypothesis that, in healthy litters (thus excluding the latter group), exploratory behaviour away from the udder will be displayed proportional to the weight of the piglet.
Many cases of food-borne illness in the UK are related to the consumption of contaminated meat products. This has highlighted the importance of adopting hygienic procedures throughout the meat production chain, including the farm environment (Pennington, 2000). Many factors are known to affect the hygienic condition of finished cattle (Davies et al., 2000) and various husbandry practices may be used to improve cleanliness at slaughter. Feed withdrawal, for example, may be used to reduce faecal output and improve the visible cleanliness of hides. However, the extent to which this impacts upon microbiological contamination of the hide, and its effects on pathogen levels following transport to the abattoir remain to be determined. This study investigated the interactive effects of feeding a straw-only diet prior to transport and journey time on the microbiological status of cattle faeces and hides.