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The fetal membranes (FM) are comprised of the amniotic membrane (AM), chorionic membrane (CM), and underlying maternal decidua. Together they provide a barrier towards ascending infection and enable amniotic fluid (AF) homeostasis. Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) can occur spontaneously and complicates around 2% of all pregnancies, leading to preterm birth, chorioamnionitis, neonatal sepsis, limb position defects, respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary hypoplasia, and chronic lung disease. Membrane separation is a common finding after open fetal surgery that leads to iatrogenic PPROM (iPPROM) and intrauterine infection, complicating over 30% of fetal surgeries. The subsequent associated preterm birth compromises the outcome of treatment, reducing the clinical effectiveness of fetal surgery . Spontaneous healing of the membranes does not occur after fetoscopic surgery, leaving a visible defect in the FM (Figure 50.1) that is prone to AF leakage and subsequent iPPROM . To date, there are no clinical solutions to improve healing of the FM after they rupture.
Several grass and broadleaf weed species around the world have evolved multiple-herbicide resistance at alarmingly increasing rates. Research on the biochemical and molecular resistance mechanisms of multiple-resistant weed populations indicate a prevalence of herbicide metabolism catalyzed by enzyme systems such as cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and glutathione S-transferases and, to a lesser extent, by glucosyl transferases. A symposium was conducted to gain an understanding of the current state of research on metabolic resistance mechanisms in weed species that pose major management problems around the world. These topics, as well as future directions of investigations that were identified in the symposium, are summarized herein. In addition, the latest information on selected topics such as the role of safeners in inducing crop tolerance to herbicides, selectivity to clomazone, glyphosate metabolism in crops and weeds, and bioactivation of natural molecules is reviewed.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission was created in 2006 with wide-ranging powers to protect human rights, promote equal opportunities and encourage mutual respect between different groups. Alongside the Commission, individuals through the courts, and sector-specific enforcers (such as ombudsmen and regulators) have also been given equality and human rights enforcement powers. Within this enforcement landscape, the Commission has struggled to craft an enforcement role for itself. For the first time, this paper, through the mapping of these different actors in their shared regulatory space, outlines a role for the Commission in equality and human rights enforcement. This role consists of three primary tasks: (i) taking action that courts and sector-specific enforcers are unable to perform; (ii) overcoming some of the limitations of private enforcement in the courts; and (iii) coordinating and supporting sector-specific enforcers. The paper concludes by exploring how the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) can effectively fulfil this role.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of psychotic disorders, but the profile of impairment across adulthood, particularly in African-American populations, remains unclear.
Using cross-sectional data from a case–control study of African-American adults with affective (n = 59) and nonaffective (n = 68) psychotic disorders, we examined cognitive functioning between early and middle adulthood (ages 20–60) on measures of general cognitive ability, language, abstract reasoning, processing speed, executive function, verbal memory, and working memory.
Both affective and nonaffective psychosis patients showed substantial and widespread cognitive impairments. However, comparison of cognitive functioning between controls and psychosis groups throughout early (ages 20–40) and middle (ages 40–60) adulthood also revealed age-associated group differences. During early adulthood, the nonaffective psychosis group showed increasing impairments with age on measures of general cognitive ability and executive function, while the affective psychosis group showed increasing impairment on a measure of language ability. Impairments on other cognitive measures remained mostly stable, although decreasing impairments on measures of processing speed, memory and working memory were also observed.
These findings suggest similarities, but also differences in the profile of cognitive dysfunction in adults with affective and nonaffective psychotic disorders. Both affective and nonaffective patients showed substantial and relatively stable impairments across adulthood. The nonaffective group also showed increasing impairments with age in general and executive functions, and the affective group showed an increasing impairment in verbal functions, possibly suggesting different underlying etiopathogenic mechanisms.
A comprehensive analysis of early dinosaur relationships raised the possibility that the group may have originated in Laurasia (Northern Hemisphere), rather than Gondwana (Southern Hemisphere) as often thought. However, that study focused solely on morphology and phylogenetic relationships and did not quantitatively evaluate this issue. Here, we investigate dinosaur origins using a novel Bayesian framework uniting tip-dated phylogenetics with dynamic, time-sliced biogeographic methods, which explicitly account for the age and locality of fossils and the changing interconnections of areas through time due to tectonic and eustatic change. Our analysis finds strong support for a Gondwanan origin of Dinosauria, with 99 % probability for South America (83 % for southern South America). Parsimony analysis gives concordant results. Inclusion of time-sliced biogeographic information affects ancestral state reconstructions (e.g., high connectivity between two regions increases uncertainty over which is the ancestral area) and influences tree topology (disfavouring uniting fossil taxa from localities that were widely separated during the relevant time slice). Our approach directly integrates plate tectonics with phylogenetics and divergence dating, and in doing so reaffirms southern South America as the most likely area for the geographic origin of Dinosauria.
Recently, smartphone applications (apps) have been used as smoking cessation aids. Interactive apps appear to more effective than non-interactive apps. SmokeBeat, a smartphone app used in conjunction with a smartwatch, aims to detect smoking events, interact with the user as they occur and potentially stop smoking events before they occur in the future.
The purpose of this feasibility study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of SmokeBeat in detecting smoking events.
The feasibility of using the app as a smoking cessation aid was tested over a 2-week period by daily, dependent smokers. SmokeBeat's cigarette detection rate was measured in laboratory sessions both before and after the 2-week period. Fisher's exact test was used to compare detection rates from each session.
The detection rate was 22.5% during session 1 and 41.7% during session 2. Once technological issues were controlled for (i.e., signal loss between smartphone and smartwatch), SmokeBeat's detection rate improved over the 2-week period, resulting in a 100% detection rate.
Apps which can detect smoking events in real time present an opportunity for a proactive and interactive smoking cessation aid – a potentially useful tool for individuals attempting to quit smoking.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Fe is an essential nutrient for many bacteria, and Fe supplementation has been reported to affect the composition of the gut microbiota in both Fe-deficient and Fe-replete individuals outside pregnancy. This study examined whether the dose of Fe in pregnancy multivitamin supplements affects the overall composition of the gut microbiota in overweight and obese pregnant women in early pregnancy. Women participating in the SPRING study with a faecal sample obtained at 16 weeks’ gestation were included in this substudy. For each subject, the brand of multivitamin used was recorded. Faecal microbiome composition was assessed by 16S rRNA sequencing and analysed with the QIIME software suite. Dietary intake of Fe was assessed using a FFQ at 16 weeks’ gestation. Women were grouped as receiving low (<60 mg/d, n 94) or high (≥60 mg/d; n 65) Fe supplementation. The median supplementary Fe intake in the low group was 10 (interquartile range (IQR) 5–10) v. 60 (IQR 60–60) mg/d in the high group (P<0·001). Dietary Fe intake did not differ between the groups (10·0 (IQR 7·4–13·3) v. 9·8 (IQR 8·2–13·2) mg/d). Fe supplementation did not significantly affect the composition of the faecal microbiome at any taxonomic level. Network analysis showed that the gut microbiota in the low Fe supplementation group had a higher predominance of SCFA producers. Pregnancy multivitamin Fe content has a minor effect on the overall composition of the gut microbiota of overweight and obese pregnant women at 16 weeks’ gestation.
We agree with Lake and colleagues on their list of “key ingredients” for building human-like intelligence, including the idea that model-based reasoning is essential. However, we favor an approach that centers on one additional ingredient: autonomy. In particular, we aim toward agents that can both build and exploit their own internal models, with minimal human hand engineering. We believe an approach centered on autonomous learning has the greatest chance of success as we scale toward real-world complexity, tackling domains for which ready-made formal models are not available. Here, we survey several important examples of the progress that has been made toward building autonomous agents with human-like abilities, and highlight some outstanding challenges.
Burkart et al. conflate the domain-specificity of cognitive processes with the statistical pattern of variance in behavioural measures that partly reflect those processes. General intelligence is a statistical abstraction, not a cognitive trait, and we argue that the former does not warrant inferences about the nature or evolution of the latter.
In a recent essay, Harker and coauthors stated that considering herbicide resistance as a wicked problem “without clear causes or solutions” ignores what weed scientists know about the biology and management of herbicide-resistant weeds. In this response, we argue that this misrepresents what is meant by “wicked” and that the wicked problem concept is valuable in understanding the multifaceted nature of herbicide resistance as a human-caused phenomenon.
Sauropodomorpha included the largest known terrestrial vertebrates and was the first dinosaur clade to achieve a global distribution. This success is associated with their early adoption of herbivory, and sauropod gigantism has been hypothesized to be a specialization for bulk feeding and obligate high-fiber herbivory. Here, we apply a combination of biomechanical character analysis and comparative phylogenetic methods with the aim of quantifying the evolutionary mechanics of the sauropodomorph feeding apparatus. We test for the role of convergence to common feeding function and divergence toward functional optima across sauropodomorph evolution, quantify the rate of evolution for functional characters, and test for coincident evolutionary rate shifts in craniodental functional characters and body mass. Results identify a functional shift toward increased cranial robustness, increased bite force, and the onset of static occlusion at the base of the Sauropoda, consistent with a shift toward bulk feeding. Trends toward similarity in functional characters are observed in Diplodocoidea and Titanosauriformes. However, diplodocids and titanosaurs retain significant craniodental functional differences, and evidence for convergent adoption of a common “adaptive zone” between them is weak. Modeling of craniodental character and body-mass evolution demonstrates that these functional shifts were not correlated with evolutionary rate shifts. Instead, a significant correlation between body mass and characters related to bite force and cranial robustness suggests a correlated-progression evolutionary mode, with positive-feedback loops between body mass and dietary specializations fueling sauropod gigantism.
Combined measurements of meltwater discharge from the portal and of water level in a borehole drilled to the bed of Findelengletscher, Switzerland, were obtained during the later part of the 1993 ablation season. A severe storm, lasting from 22 through 24 September, produced at least 130 mm of precipitation over the glacier, largely as rain. The combined hydrological records indicate periods during which the basal drainage system became constricted and water storage in the glacier increased, as well as phases of channel growth. During the storm, water pressure generally increased as water backed up in the drainage network. Abrupt, temporary falls in borehole water level were accompanied by pulses in portal discharge. On 24 September, whilst borehole water level continued to rise, water started to escape under pressure with a resultant increase in discharge. As the drainage network expanded, a large amount of debris was flushed from a wide area of the bed. Progressive growth in channel capacity as discharge increased enabled stored water to drain and borehole water level to fall rapidly. Possible relationships between observed borehole water levels and water pressures in subglacial channels are influenced by hydraulic conditions at the base of the hole, distance between the hole and a channel, and the nature of the substrate.
Herbicides are the foundation of weed control in commercial crop-production systems. However, herbicide-resistant (HR) weed populations are evolving rapidly as a natural response to selection pressure imposed by modern agricultural management activities. Mitigating the evolution of herbicide resistance depends on reducing selection through diversification of weed control techniques, minimizing the spread of resistance genes and genotypes via pollen or propagule dispersal, and eliminating additions of weed seed to the soil seedbank. Effective deployment of such a multifaceted approach will require shifting from the current concept of basing weed management on single-year economic thresholds.
Socio-economic inequality is a major issue in the twenty-first century. This can be seen in the rapid rise of the Occupy movement which aims to mobilise the poorest 99% of the population to fight against socio-economic inequality and the political system that has allowed itself to be monopolised by the richest 1% to further their interests at the expense of the 99%. This resulted in protests in over 500 cities across the world.
This brought the issue of socio-economic inequality starkly on to the political agenda and thus led to governments across the developed world introducing a range of measures aimed at improving this persistent form of inequality. This is particularly true of successive British governments who have sought to address socio-economic inequality primarily via the Child Poverty Act 2010 and various different policies (such as the Child Poverty Strategy and Social Mobility policies). At the same time, at the European level, action has been taken in the form of the Open Method of Coordination on Social Exclusion. This chapter argues that for a variety of reasons these have had limited impact. However there are various legal mechanisms currently being utilised in other countries (that is socio-economic rights and prohibiting discrimination on grounds of social condition). It will be argued that these are more capable of addressing socio-economic inequality and thus should be adopted. The chapter will begin by outlining what constitutes socio-economic inequality and illustrating to what extent it is a problem within the UK. It will then go on to assess the current mechanisms introduced to address it, before illustrating how socio-economic rights and extending equality law to cover social condition would be more able to fully address socio-economic inequality.
Socio-economic inequality consists of three interlinked concepts: economic inequality, class and poverty. All aspects need to be addressed if socio-economic inequality is to be successfully tackled.
Economic inequality concerns the difference in economic resources between individuals (particularly differences in individual salaries and holdings of capital). In the UK the top 1% of earners receive 15% of income. This is high internationally, with only the USA having higher income inequality. Although income inequality is high, these inequalities ‘seem mild, moderate, and almost reasonable’ compared to inequalities with respect to capital.
Although the problem of herbicide resistance is not new, the widespread evolution of glyphosate resistance in weed species such as Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats.), common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis Sauer), and kochia [Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrad.] raised awareness throughout the agricultural community of herbicide resistance as a problem. Glyphosate-resistant weeds resulted in the loss of a simple, single herbicide option to control a wide spectrum of weeds that gave efficacious and economical weed management in corn (Zea mays L.), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) crops engineered for tolerance to this herbicide and planted over widespread areas of the South and Midwest of the United States. Beyond these crops, glyphosate is used for vegetation management in other cropping systems and in noncrop areas across the United States, and resistance to this herbicide threatens its continued utility in all of these situations. This, combined with the development of multiple herbicide-resistant weeds and the lack of commercialization of herbicides with new mechanisms of action over the past years (Duke 2012), caused the weed science community to realize that stewardship of existing herbicide resources, extending their useful life as long as possible, is imperative. Further, while additional herbicide tolerance traits are being incorporated into crops, weed management in these crops will still be based upon using existing, old, herbicide chemistries.
Anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis is a form of encephalitis occurring primarily in women and associated with antibodies against NR1 or NR2 subunits of the NMDA receptor. As a potentially treatable differential for symptoms and signs seen in neurology and psychiatric clinics, clinicians practising across the lifespan should be aware of this form of encephalitis. Common clinical features include auditory and visual hallucinations, delusions, behavioural change (frequently with agitation), impaired consciousness, motor disturbance (ranging from dyskinesia to catatonia), seizures, and autonomic dysfunction. We present a review of the literature on the disorder, including its clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment and prognosis.