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Subcutaneous adipose tissue (scAT) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) play a significant role in obesity-associated systemic low-grade inflammation. High-fat diet (HFD) is known to induce inflammatory changes in both scAT and PBMC. However, the time course of the effect of HFD on these systems is still unknown. The aim of the present study was to determine the time course of the effect of HFD on PBMC and scAT. New Zealand white rabbits were fed HFD for 5 or 10 weeks (i.e. HFD-5 and HFD-10) or regular chow (i.e. control (CNT)-5 and CNT-10). Thereafter, metabolic and inflammatory parameters of PBMC and scAT were quantified. HFD induced hyperfattyacidaemia in HFD-5 and HFD-10 groups, with the development of insulin resistance in HFD-10, while no changes were observed in scAT lipid metabolism and inflammatory status. HFD activated the inflammatory pathways in PBMC of HFD-5 group and induced modified autophagy in that of HFD-10. The rate of fat oxidation in PBMC was directly associated with the expression of inflammatory markers and tended to inversely associate with autophagosome formation markers in PBMC. HFD affected systemic substrate metabolism, and the metabolic, inflammatory and autophagy pathways in PBMC in the absence of metabolic and inflammatory changes in scAT. Dietary approaches or interventions to avert HFD-induced changes in PBMC could be essential to prevent metabolic and inflammatory complications of obesity and promote healthier living.
Invasive winter annual grass infestations on rangeland accumulate large quantities of litter on the soil surface, as plants senesce yearly and decompose slowly. It has been speculated that winter annual grass litter can adsorb soil-active herbicides and reduce overall performance. Three experiments were conducted from 2017 to 2018 at the Colorado State University Weed Research Laboratory to evaluate interception and subsequent desorption of herbicides applied to litter from three invasive winter annual grass species with simulated rainfall. Imazapic, rimsulfuron, and indaziflam were applied to medusahead [Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski], ventenata [Ventenata dubia (Leers) Coss.], and downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) litter at two amounts (equivalent to 1,300 and 2,600 kg ha−1). Rainfall was simulated at 3, 6, 12, and 24 mm at 0, 1, and 7 d after herbicide application. Herbicide concentration from the collected rainfall was measured using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. At 2,600 kg ha−1, B. tectorum herbicide interception was 84.3%, while V. dubia and T. caput-medusae averaged 76% herbicide interception. There were no differences in desorption among the three litter types. Simulated rainfall at 0 d after application recovered 100% of the intercepted rimsulfuron and imazapic from B. tectorum litter, while recovery decreased to 65% with rainfall at 1 or 7 d after application. Only 54% of indaziflam could be recovered at 0 d, and recovery decreased to 33% when rainfall was applied at 1 or 7 d after application. Applying soil-active herbicides before forecasted rain or tank mixing with a POST herbicide to provide initial control could potentially increase the amount of herbicide reaching the soil and provide more consistent invasive winter annual grass control.
The diurnal feeding patterns of dairy cows affects the 24 h robot utilisation of pasture-based automatic milking systems (AMS). A decline in robot utilisation between 2400 and 0600 h currently occurs in pasture-based AMS, as cow feeding activity is greatly reduced during this time. Here, we investigate the effect of a temporal variation in feed quality and quantity on cow feeding behaviour between 2400 and 0600 h as a potential tool to increase voluntary cow trafficking in an AMS at night. The day was allocated into four equal feeding periods (0600 to 1200, 1200 to 1800, 1800 to 2400 and 2400 to 0600 h). Lucerne hay cubes (CP = 19.1%, water soluble carbohydrate = 3.8%) and oat, ryegrass and clover hay cubes with 20% molasses (CP = 11.8%, water soluble carbohydrate = 10.7%) were offered as the ‘standard’ and ‘preferred’ (preference determined previously) feed types, respectively. The four treatments were (1) standard feed offered ad libitum (AL) throughout 24 h; (2) as per AL, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (AL + P); (3) standard feed offered at a restricted rate, with quantity varying between each feeding period (20:10:30:60%, respectively) as a proportion of the (previously) measured daily ad libitum intake (VA); (4) as per VA, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (VA + P). Eight non-lactating dairy cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. During each experimental period, treatment cows were fed for 7 days, including 3 days habituation and 4 days data collection. Total daily intake was approximately 8% greater (P < 0.001) for the AL and AL + P treatments (23.1 and 22.9 kg DM/cow) as compared with the VA and VA + P treatments (21.6 and 20.9 kg DM/cow). The AL + P and VA treatments had 21% and 90% greater (P < 0.001) dry matter intake (DMI) between 2400 and 0600 h, respectively, compared with the AL treatment. In contrast, the VA + P treatment had similar DMI to the VA treatment. Our experiment shows ability to increase cow feeding activity at night by varying feed type and quantity, though it is possible that a penalty to total DMI may occur using VA. Further research is required to determine if the implementation of variable feed allocation on pasture-based AMS farms is likely to improve milking robot utilisation by increasing cow feeding activity at night.
Observation of the ion source generated background has been an area of focus during our routine analytical work. It is noted that the results of very-low-ratio samples are dependent upon the particular procedures for measurement using the present-day Cs+ sputter ion sources. When measured without excessive Cs+ fluxes and without interleafing with other higher-ratio samples and references, the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) sensitivity can be somewhat improved. In some cases, it appears possible to assess old radiocarbon (14C) samples to beyond the long-standing 60 kyr limit. A number of observational studies are made for the sole purpose of minimizing the final contamination to the rare isotopes that is generated within the ion source.
Culture-based studies, which focus on individual organisms, have implicated stethoscopes as potential vectors of nosocomial bacterial transmission. However, the full bacterial communities that contaminate in-use stethoscopes have not been investigated.
We used bacterial 16S rRNA gene deep-sequencing, analysis, and quantification to profile entire bacterial populations on stethoscopes in use in an intensive care unit (ICU), including practitioner stethoscopes, individual-use patient-room stethoscopes, and clean unused individual-use stethoscopes. Two additional sets of practitioner stethoscopes were sampled before and after cleaning using standardized or practitioner-preferred methods.
Bacterial contamination levels were highest on practitioner stethoscopes, followed by patient-room stethoscopes, whereas clean stethoscopes were indistinguishable from background controls. Bacterial communities on stethoscopes were complex, and community analysis by weighted UniFrac showed that physician and patient-room stethoscopes were indistinguishable and significantly different from clean stethoscopes and background controls. Genera relevant to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) were common on practitioner stethoscopes, among which Staphylococcus was ubiquitous and had the highest relative abundance (6.8%–14% of contaminating bacterial sequences). Other HAI-related genera were also widespread although lower in abundance. Cleaning of practitioner stethoscopes resulted in a significant reduction in bacterial contamination levels, but these levels reached those of clean stethoscopes in only a few cases with either standardized or practitioner-preferred methods, and bacterial community composition did not significantly change.
Stethoscopes used in an ICU carry bacterial DNA reflecting complex microbial communities that include nosocomially important taxa. Commonly used cleaning practices reduce contamination but are only partially successful at modifying or eliminating these communities.
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)
Objectives: A major challenge in cognitive aging is differentiating preclinical disease-related cognitive decline from changes associated with normal aging. Neuropsychological test authors typically publish single time-point norms, referred to here as unconditional reference values. However, detecting significant change requires longitudinal, or conditional reference values, created by modeling cognition as a function of prior performance. Our objectives were to create, depict, and examine preliminary validity of unconditional and conditional reference values for ages 40–75 years on neuropsychological tests. Method: We used quantile regression to create growth-curve–like models of performance on tests of memory and executive function using participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Unconditional and conditional models accounted for age, sex, education, and verbal ability/literacy; conditional models also included past performance on and number of prior exposures to the test. Models were then used to estimate individuals’ unconditional and conditional percentile ranks for each test. We examined how low performance on each test (operationalized as <7th percentile) related to consensus-conference–determined cognitive statuses and subjective impairment. Results: Participants with low performance were more likely to receive an abnormal cognitive diagnosis at the current visit (but not later visits). Low performance was also linked to subjective and informant reports of worsening memory function. Conclusions: The percentile-based methods and single-test results described here show potential for detecting troublesome within-person cognitive change. Development of reference values for additional cognitive measures, investigation of alternative thresholds for abnormality (including multi-test criteria), and validation in samples with more clinical endpoints are needed. (JINS, 2019, 25, 1–14)
A diverse millipede (diplopod) fauna has been recovered from the earliest Carboniferous (Tournaisian) Ballagan Formation of the Scottish Borders, discovered by the late Stan Wood. The material is generally fragmentary; however, six different taxa are present based on seven specimens. Only one displays enough characters for formal description and is named Woodesmus sheari Ross, Edgecombe & Clark gen. & sp. nov. The absence of paranota justifies the erection of Woodesmidae fam. nov. within the Archipolypoda. The diverse fauna supports the theory that an apparent lack of terrestrial animal fossils from ‘Romer's Gap' was due to a lack of collecting and suitable deposits, rather than to low oxygen levels as previously suggested.
The supplementing of sow diets with lipids during pregnancy and lactation has been shown to reduce sow condition loss and improve piglet performance. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of supplemental palm oil (PO) on sow performance, plasma metabolites and hormones, milk profiles and pre-weaning piglet development. A commercial sow ration (C) or an experimental diet supplemented with 10% extra energy in the form of PO, were provided from day 90 of gestation until weaning (24 to 28 days postpartum) in two groups of eight multiparous sows. Gestation length of PO sows increased by 1 day (P<0.05). Maternal BW changes were similar throughout the trial, but loss of backfat during lactation was reduced in PO animals (C: −3.6±0.8 mm; PO: −0.1±0.8 mm; P<0.01). Milk fat was increased by PO supplementation (C day 3: 8.0±0.3% fat; PO day 3: 9.1±0.3% fat; C day 7: 7.8±0.5% fat; PO day 7: 9.9±0.5% fat; P<0.05) and hence milk energy yield of PO sows was also elevated (P<0.05). The proportion of saturated fatty acids was greater in colostrum from PO sows (C: 29.19±0.31 g/100 g of fat; PO: 30.77±0.36 g/100 g of fat; P<0.01). Blood samples taken on 105 days of gestation, within 24 h of farrowing, day 7 of lactation and at weaning (28±3 days post-farrowing) showed there were no differences in plasma concentrations of triacylglycerol, non-esterified fatty acids, insulin or IGF-1 throughout the trial. However, circulating plasma concentrations of both glucose and leptin were elevated during lactation in PO sows (P<0.05 and P<0.005, respectively) and thyroxine was greater at weaning in PO sows (P<0.05). Piglet weight and body composition were similar at birth, as were piglet growth rates throughout the pre-weaning period. A period of 7 days after birth, C piglets contained more body fat, as indicated by their lower fat-free mass per kg (C: 66.4±0.8 arbitrary units/kg; PO: 69.7±0.8 arbitrary unit/kg; P<0.01), but by day 14 of life this situation was reversed (C: 65.8±0.6 arbitrary units/kg; PO: 63.6±0.6 arbitrary units/kg; P<0.05). Following weaning, PO sows exhibited an increased ratio of male to female offspring at their subsequent farrowing (C: 1.0±0.3; PO: 2.2±0.2; P<0.05). We conclude that supplementation of sow diets with PO during late gestation and lactation appears to increase sow milk fat content and hence energy supply to piglets. Furthermore, elevated glucose concentrations in the sow during lactation may be suggestive of impaired glucose homoeostasis.
Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder, linked to several structural abnormalities of the brain. More specifically, previous findings have suggested that increased gyrification in frontal and temporal regions are implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
The current study included participants at high familial risk of schizophrenia who remained well (n = 31), who developed sub-diagnostic symptoms (n = 28) and who developed schizophrenia (n = 9) as well as healthy controls (HC) (n = 16). We first tested whether individuals at high familial risk of schizophrenia carried an increased burden of trait-associated alleles using polygenic risk score analysis. We then assessed the extent to which polygenic risk was associated with gyral folding in the frontal and temporal lobes.
We found that individuals at high familial risk of schizophrenia who developed schizophrenia carried a significantly greater burden of risk-conferring variants for the disorder compared to those at high risk (HR) who developed sub-diagnostic symptoms or remained well and HC. Furthermore, within the HR cohort, there was a significant and positive association between schizophrenia polygenic risk score and bilateral frontal gyrification.
These results suggest that polygenic risk for schizophrenia impacts upon early neurodevelopment to confer greater gyral folding in adulthood and an increased risk of developing the disorder.
We present an indentation-scope that interfaces with confocal microscopy, enabling direct observation of the three-dimensional (3D) microstructural response of coatings on substrates. Using this method, we compared microns-thick polymer coatings on glass with and without silica nanoparticle filler. Bulk force data confirmed the >30% modulus difference, while microstructural data further revealed slip at the glass-coating interface. Filled coatings slipped more and about two times faster, as reflected in 3D displacement and von Mises strain fields. Overall, these data indicate that silica-doping of coatings can dramatically alter adhesion. Moreover, this method compliments existing theoretical and modeling approaches for studying indentation in layered systems.
We undertook a study on Cryptosporidium spp. in wild cricetid rodents. Fecal samples were collected from meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus), southern red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi), woodland voles (Microtus pinetorum), muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus) and Peromyscus spp. mice in North America, and from bank voles (Myodes glareolus) and common voles (Microtus arvalis) in Europe. Isolates were characterized by sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU) and actin genes. Overall, 33·2% (362/1089) of cricetids tested positive for Cryptosporidium, with a greater prevalence in cricetids from North America (50·7%; 302/596) than Europe (12·1%; 60/493). Principal Coordinate analysis separated SSU sequences into three major groups (G1-G3), each represented by sequences from North American and European cricetids. A maximum likelihood tree of SSU sequences had low bootstrap support and showed G1 to be more heterogeneous than G2 or G3. Actin and concatenated actin-SSU trees, which were better resolved and had higher bootstrap support than the SSU phylogeny, showed that closely related cricetid hosts in Europe and North America are infected with closely related Cryptosporidium genotypes. Cricetids were not major reservoirs of human pathogenic Cryptosporidium spp.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the longitudinal trajectory of self- and informant-subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), and to determine if SCC predict longitudinal changes in objective measures (OM) of cognitive function. Methods: The study included healthy and cognitively normal late middle-aged adults enriched with a family history of AD who were evaluated at up to three visits over a 4-year period. At each visit (Visit 1–3), self- and informant-SCC and OM were evaluated. Linear mixed models were used to determine if the longitudinal rate of change of self- and informant-SCC were associated with demographic variables, depressive symptoms, family history (FH), and apolipoprotein epsilon 4 (APOE4) status. The same modeling approach was used to examine the effect of Visit 1 SCC on longitudinal cognitive change after controlling for the same variables. Results: At Visit 1, more self-SCC were associated with fewer years of education and more depressive symptoms. SCC were also associated with poorer performance on cognitive measures, such that more self-SCC at Visit 1 were associated with poorer performance on memory and executive functioning measures at Visit 1, while more informant-SCC were associated with faster rate of longitudinal decline on a measure of episodic learning and memory. FH and APOE4 status were not associated with SCC. Discussion: Self- and informant-SCC showed an association with OM, albeit over different time frames in our late middle-aged sample. Additional longitudinal follow-up will likely assist in further clarifying these relationships as our sample ages and more pronounced cognitive changes eventually emerge. (JINS, 2017, 23, 617–626)
Contact precautions are a traditional strategy to prevent transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Chlorhexidine bathing is increasingly used to decrease MRSA burden and transmission in intensive care units (ICUs). We sought to evaluate a hospital policy change from routine contact precautions for MRSA compared with universal chlorhexidine bathing, without contact precautions. We measured new MRSA acquisition in ICU patients and surveyed for MRSA environmental contamination in common areas and non-MRSA patient rooms before and after the policy change. During the baseline and chlorhexidine bathing periods, the number of patients (453 vs. 417), ICU days (1999 vs. 1703) and MRSA days/1000 ICU days (109 vs. 102) were similar. MRSA acquisition (2/453 vs. 2/457, P = 0·93) and environmental MRSA contamination (9/474 vs. 7/500, P = 0·53) were not significantly different between time periods. There were 58% fewer contact precaution days in the ICU during the chlorhexidine period (241/1993 vs. 102/1730, P < 0·01). We found no evidence that discontinuation of contact precautions for patients with MRSA in conjunction with adoption of daily chlorhexidine bathing in ICUs is associated with increased MRSA acquisition among ICU patients or increased MRSA contamination of ICU fomites. Although underpowered, our findings suggest this strategy, which has the potential to reduce costs and improve patient safety, should be assessed in similar but larger studies.
A range of precision farming technologies are used commercially for variable rate applications of nitrogen (N) for cereals, yet these usually adjust N rates from a pre-set value, rather than predicting economically optimal N requirements on an absolute basis. This paper reports chessboard experiments set up to examine variation in N requirements, and to develop and test systems for its prediction, and to assess its predictability. Results showed very substantial variability in fertiliser N requirements within fields, typically >150 kg ha−1, and large variation in optimal yields, typically >2 t ha−1. Despite this, calculated increases in yield and gross margin with N requirements perfectly matched across fields were surprisingly modest (compared to the uniform average rate). Implications are discussed, including the causes of the large remaining variation in grain yield, after N limitations were removed.
The active management of the experience of living with dementia appears to improve quality of life despite the lack of disease modification. However, research to date has been largely of modest scale and explanatory factors for improvements have been under-conceptualised. Thus, although promulgated through national strategies, the evidence base is relatively weak. This paper reports on a nation-wide study of the influence of the National Dementia Strategy for England in relation to Dementia Adviser and Peer Support Network services in 40 demonstration sites. The research aimed to identify ways in which the services contribute to the wellbeing and resilience of people with dementia and care partners. A mixed-methods research design collected data through: activity and outcome monitoring; organisational surveys; in-depth case studies, including qualitative interviews with people with dementia (N = 47) and care partners (N = 54), wellbeing and quality of life measures, and interviews with staff and other stakeholders (N = 82). Three themes are explored: addressing individual and community needs; promoting independence, control and choice; and getting a life back. Services promoted independence, control and choice, and consequently enabled people to re-narrate their lives as purposeful within their communities. Ways in which these are achieved resemble the public health model of lay health advisor and this research adds to the imperative to approach dementia as a key public health concern.
Objectives: Intraindividual cognitive variability (IICV) has been shown to differentiate between groups with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia. This study examined whether baseline IICV predicted subsequent mild to moderate cognitive impairment in a cognitively normal baseline sample. Methods: Participants with 4 waves of cognitive assessment were drawn from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP; n=684; 53.6(6.6) baseline age; 9.1(1.0) years follow-up; 70% female; 74.6% parental history of Alzheimer’s disease). The primary outcome was Wave 4 cognitive status (“cognitively normal” vs. “impaired”) determined by consensus conference; “impaired” included early MCI (n=109), clinical MCI (n=11), or dementia (n=1). Primary predictors included two IICV variables, each based on the standard deviation of a set of scores: “6 Factor IICV” and “4 Test IICV”. Each IICV variable was tested in a series of logistic regression models to determine whether IICV predicted cognitive status. In exploratory analyses, distribution-based cutoffs incorporating memory, executive function, and IICV patterns were used to create and test an MCI risk variable. Results: Results were similar for the IICV variables: higher IICV was associated with greater risk of subsequent impairment after covariate adjustment. After adjusting for memory and executive functioning scores contributing to IICV, IICV was not significant. The MCI risk variable also predicted risk of impairment. Conclusions: While IICV in middle-age predicts subsequent impairment, it is a weaker risk indicator than the memory and executive function scores contributing to its calculation. Exploratory analyses suggest potential to incorporate IICV patterns into risk assessment in clinical settings. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1016–1025)
Literature indicates that people's experiences of receiving a diagnosis of dementia can have a lasting impact on well-being. Psychiatrists frequently lead in communicating a diagnosis but little is known about the factors that could contribute to potential disparities between actual and best practice with regard to diagnostic disclosure. A clearer understanding of psychiatrists’ subjective experiences of disclosure is therefore needed to improve adherence to best practice guidelines and ensure that diagnostic disclosure facilitates living well with dementia.
This study utilized qualitative methodology. Semi-structured interviews conducted with 11 psychiatrists were analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).
Three superordinate and nine subordinate themes emerged from the data analysis. These included the following: (i) “The levels of well-being” (Continuing with life, Keeping a sense of who they are, Acceptance of the self), (ii) “Living well is a process” (Disclosure can set the scene for well-being, Positive but realistic messages, Whose role it is to support well-being?), and (iii) Ideal care versus real care (Supporting well-being is not prioritized, There isn't time, The fragmentation of care).
Findings indicate that psychiatrists frame well-being in dementia as a multi-faceted biopsychosocial construct but that certain nihilistic attitudes may affect how well-being is integrated into diagnostic communication. Such attitudes were linked with the perceived threat of dementia and limitations of post-diagnostic care. Behaviors used to manage the negative affect associated with ethical and clinical tensions triggered by attempts to facilitate well-being at the point of diagnosis, and their impact on adherence to best practice disclosure, are discussed.
Automatic milking systems (AMS), one of the earliest precision livestock farming developments, have revolutionized dairy farming around the world. While robots control the milking process, there have also been numerous changes to how the whole farm system is managed. Milking is no longer performed in defined sessions; rather, the cow can now choose when to be milked in AMS, allowing milking to be distributed throughout a 24 h period. Despite this ability, there has been little attention given to milking robot utilization across 24 h. In order to formulate relevant research questions and improve farm AMS management there is a need to determine the current knowledge gaps regarding the distribution of robot utilization. Feed, animal and management factors and their interplay on levels of milking robot utilization across 24 h for both indoor and pasture-based systems are here reviewed. The impact of the timing, type and quantity of feed offered and their interaction with the distance of feed from the parlour; herd social dynamics, climate and various other management factors on robot utilization through 24 h are provided. This novel review draws together both the opportunities and challenges that exist for farm management to use these factors to improved system efficiency and those that exist for further research.