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Negative interactions between people and large carnivores are common and will probably increase as the human population and livestock production continue to expand. Livestock predation by wild carnivores can significantly affect the livelihoods of farmers, resulting in retaliatory killings and subsequent conflicts between local communities and conservationists. A better understanding of livestock predation patterns could help guide measures to improve both human relationships and coexistence with carnivores. Environmental variables can influence the intensity of livestock predation, are relatively easy to monitor, and could potentially provide a useful predictive framework for targeting mitigation. We chose lion predation of livestock as a model to test whether variations in environmental conditions trigger changes in predation. Analysing 6 years of incident reports for Pandamatenga village in Botswana, an area of high human–lion conflict, we used generalized linear models to show that significantly more attacks coincided with lower moonlight levels and temperatures, and attack severity increased significantly with extreme minimum temperatures. Furthermore, we found a delayed effect of rainfall: lower rainfall was followed by a significantly increased severity of attacks in the following month. Our results suggest that preventative measures, such as introducing deterrents or changing livestock management, could be implemented adaptively based on environmental conditions. This could be a starting point for investigating similar effects in other large carnivores, to reduce livestock attacks and work towards wider human–wildlife coexistence.
Improving quality of life (QOL) for people with dementia is a priority. In care homes, we often rely on proxy ratings from staff and family but we do not know if, or how, they differ in care homes.
We compared 1056 pairs of staff and family DEMQOL-Proxy ratings from 86 care homes across England. We explored factors associated with ratings quantitatively using multilevel modelling and, qualitatively, through thematic analysis of 12 staff and 12 relative interviews.
Staff and family ratings were weakly correlated (ρs = 0.35). Median staff scores were higher than family's (104 v. 101; p < 0.001). Family were more likely than staff to rate resident QOL as ‘Poor’ (χ2 = 55.91, p < 0.001). Staff and family rated QOL higher when residents had fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms and severe dementia. Staff rated QOL higher in homes with lower staff:resident ratios and when staff were native English speakers. Family rated QOL higher when the resident had spent longer living in the care home and was a native English. Spouses rated residents’ QOL higher than other relatives. Qualitative results suggest differences arise because staff felt good care provided high QOL but families compared the present to the past. Family judgements centre on loss and are complicated by decisions about care home placement and their understandings of dementia.
Proxy reports differ systematically between staff and family. Reports are influenced by the rater:staff and family may conceptualise QOL differently.
Background: Cardiac dysfunction has significant impact on morbidity and mortality in patients with mitochondrial disorders. Cardiac screening tests are generally recommended because cardiac dysfunction can occur at any point in the disease course, and is amenable to treatment. However there is no clear evidence indicating the best screening strategy in patients with mitochondrial myopathy. Methods: Systematic review of the literature for cardiac investigations in adult patients with mitochondrial myopathy. We considered 1303 relevant abstracts, from which 58 full-length articles were reviewed. Seventeen articles including 701 total participants met inclusion criteria. Data extracted included age, diagnosis, and results from ECG, echocardiogram, cardiac MRI, nuclear medicine studies, and Holter monitor. Results: We identified echocardiogram and ECG as the principal screening modalities, that identify cardiac structural (26%) and conduction abnormalities (37%) in patients from various mitochondrial myopathy syndromes. Holter monitor was not a high yield investigation and limited studies were identified using cardiac MRI or nuclear medicine. Conclusions: We recommend screening with ECG and echocardiogram every 1-2 years in MERRF/MELAS, and every 3-5 years in milder syndromes when cardiac symptoms are not present. Only five of the included studies provided any follow-up data. We recommend studies of natural history, therapeutic response, and of cardiac MRI as areas for future study.
The Teotihuacan Mapping Project (TMP) provided vast quantities of invaluable data to our understanding of this famous ancient city. The ‘Documenting, Disseminating, and Archiving Data from the Teotihuacan Mapping Project’ aims to analyse, re-examine and ultimately coalesce TMP data for entry into The Digital Archaeological Record.
Functional abilities are needed for activities of daily living. In general, these skills expand with age. We hypothesised that, in contrast to what is normally expected, children surviving the Fontan may have deterioration of functional abilities, and that peri-Fontan stroke is associated with this deterioration. All children registered in the Western Canadian Complex Pediatric Therapies Follow-up Program who survived a Fontan operation in the period 1999–2016 were eligible for inclusion. At the age of 2 years (pre-Fontan) and 4.5 years (post-Fontan), the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System-II general adaptive composite score was determined (population mean: 100, standard deviation: 15). Deterioration of functional abilities was defined as ⩾1 standard deviation decrease in pre- to post-Fontan scores. Perioperative strokes were identified through chart review. Multivariable logistic regression analysis determined predictors of deterioration of functional abilities. Of 133 children, with a mean age at Fontan of 3.3 years (standard deviation 0.8) and 65% male, the mean (standard deviation) general adaptive composite score was 90.6 (17.5) at 2 years and 88.3 (19.1) at 4.5 years. After Fontan, deterioration of functional abilities occurred in 34 (26%) children, with a mean decline of 21.8 (7.1) points. Evidence of peri-Fontan stroke was found in 10 (29%) children who had deterioration of functional abilities. Peri-Fontan stroke (odds ratio 5.00 (95% CI 1.74, 14.36)) and older age at Fontan (odds ratio 1.67 (95% CI 1.02, 2.73)) predicted functional deterioration. The trajectory of functional abilities should be assessed in this population, as more than 25% experience deterioration. Efforts to prevent peri-Fontan stroke, and to complete the Fontan operation at an earlier age, may lead to reduction of this deterioration.
n-3 PUFA are lipids that play crucial roles in immune-regulation, cardio-protection and neurodevelopment. However, little is known about the role that these essential dietary fats play in modulating caecal microbiota composition and the subsequent production of functional metabolites. To investigate this, female C57BL/6 mice were assigned to one of three diets (control (CON), n-3 supplemented (n3+) or n-3 deficient (n3−)) during gestation, following which their male offspring were continued on the same diets for 12 weeks. Caecal content of mothers and offspring were collected for 16S sequencing and metabolic phenotyping. n3− male offspring displayed significantly less % fat mass than n3+ and CON. n-3 Status also induced a number of changes to gut microbiota composition such that n3− offspring had greater abundance of Tenericutes, Anaeroplasma and Coriobacteriaceae. Metabolomics analysis revealed an increase in caecal metabolites involved in energy metabolism in n3+ including α-ketoglutaric acid, malic acid and fumaric acid. n3− animals displayed significantly reduced acetate, butyrate and total caecal SCFA production. These results demonstrate that dietary n-3 PUFA regulate gut microbiota homoeostasis whereby n-3 deficiency may induce a state of disturbance. Further studies are warranted to examine whether these microbial and metabolic disturbances are causally related to changes in metabolic health outcomes.
There is now a clear focus on incorporating, and integrating, multiple levels of analysis in developmental science. The current study adds to research in this area by including markers of the immune and neuroendocrine systems in a longitudinal study of temperament in infants. Observational and parent-reported ratings of infant temperament, serum markers of the innate immune system, and cortisol reactivity from repeated salivary collections were examined in a sample of 123 infants who were assessed at 6 months and again when they were, on average, 17 months old. Blood from venipuncture was collected for analyses of nine select innate immune cytokines; salivary cortisol collected prior to and 15 min and 30 min following a physical exam including blood draw was used as an index of neuroendocrine functioning. Analyses indicated fairly minimal significant associations between biological markers and temperament at 6 months. However, by 17 months of age, we found reliable and nonoverlapping associations between observed fearful temperament and biological markers of the immune and neuroendocrine systems. The findings provide some of the earliest evidence of robust biological correlates of fear behavior with the immune system, and identify possible immune and neuroendocrine mechanisms for understanding the origins of behavioral development.
Discovery of strongly-lensed gravitational wave (GW) sources will unveil binary compact objects at higher redshifts and lower intrinsic luminosities than is possible without lensing. Such systems will yield unprecedented constraints on the mass distribution in galaxy clusters, measurements of the polarization of GWs, tests of General Relativity, and constraints on the Hubble parameter. Excited by these prospects, and intrigued by the presence of so-called “heavy black holes” in the early detections by LIGO-Virgo, we commenced a search for strongly-lensed GWs and possible electromagnetic counterparts in the latter stages of the second LIGO observing run (O2). Here, we summarise our calculation of the detection rate of strongly-lensed GWs, describe our review of BBH detections from O1, outline our observing strategy in O2, summarize our follow-up observations of GW170814, and discuss the future prospects of detection.
Cognitive remediation (CR) training has emerged as a promising approach to improving cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and related psychosis. The limited availability of psychological services for psychosis is a major barrier to accessing this intervention however. This study investigated the effectiveness of a low support, remotely accessible, computerised working memory (WM) training programme in patients with psychosis.
Ninety patients were enrolled into a single blind randomised controlled trial of CR. Effectiveness of the intervention was assessed in terms of neuropsychological performance, social and occupational function, and functional MRI 2 weeks post-intervention, with neuropsychological and social function again assessed 3–6 months post-treatment.
Patients who completed the intervention showed significant gains in both neuropsychological function (measured using both untrained WM and episodic task performance, and a measure of performance IQ), and social function at both 2-week follow-up and 3–6-month follow-up timepoints. Furthermore, patients who completed MRI scanning showed improved resting state functional connectivity relative to patients in the placebo condition.
CR training has already been shown to improve cognitive and social function in patient with psychosis. This study demonstrates that, at least for some chronic but stable outpatients, a low support treatment was associated with gains that were comparable with those reported for CR delivered entirely on a 1:1 basis. We conclude that CR has potential to be delivered even in services in which psychological supports for patients with psychosis are limited.
Giant ragweed is a highly competitive weed that continually threatens crop production systems due to evolved resistance to acetolactate synthase–inhibiting herbicides (ALS-R) and glyphosate (GR). Two biotypes of GR giant ragweed exist and are differentiated by their response to glyphosate, termed here as rapid response (RR) and non–rapid response (NRR). A comparison of data from surveys of Indiana crop fields done in 2006 and 2014 showed that GR giant ragweed has spread from 15% to 39% of Indiana counties and the NRR biotype is the most prevalent. A TaqMan® single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping assay was developed to identify ALS-R populations and revealed 47% of GR populations to be ALS-R as well. The magnitude of glyphosate resistance for NRR populations was 4.6 and 5.9 based on GR50 and LD50 estimates, respectively. For RR populations, these values were 7.8 to 9.2 for GR50 estimates and 19.3 to 22.3 for LD50 estimates. A novel use of the Imaging-PAM fluorometer was developed to discriminate RR plants by assessing photosystem II quantum yield across the entire leaf surface. H2O2 generation in leaves of glyphosate-treated plants was also measured by 3,3′-diaminobenzidine staining and quantified using imagery analysis software. Results show photo-oxidative stress of mature leaves is far greater and occurs more rapidly following glyphosate treatment in RR plants compared with NRR and glyphosate-susceptible plants and is positively associated with glyphosate dose. These results suggest that under continued glyphosate selection pressure, the RR biotype may surpass the NRR biotype as the predominant form of GR giant ragweed in Indiana due to a higher level of glyphosate resistance. Moreover, the differential photo-oxidative stress patterns in response to glyphosate provide evidence of different mechanisms of resistance present in RR and NRR biotypes.
Perinatal mortality of lambs is on average 20% of lambs born in extensive Australian grazing systems, constituting a substantial production loss and welfare concern. Hypoxia resulting from prolonged or difficult births contributes to lower rates of lamb survival, and caffeine may reduce the effects of hypoxia. This study evaluated whether oral supplementation of grazing ewes with caffeine could improve lamb survival. Pregnant Merino ewes (n=492) which had been naturally mated to Merino rams in February/March were allocated to three replicates of control (no caffeine) or caffeine treatments. Caffeine was fed daily in troughs in each paddock at a rate of 1.6 g/ewe per day (estimated at 20 mg/kg live weight) from the day before the first lamb was born, for 14 days, with lambing continuing for 6 weeks. Intake was facilitated using 320 g/day per ewe of barley grain with molasses, which was fed to both treatments. The proportion of lambs born alive during the period of supplementation did not differ (P>0.05) between treatments. The proportion mortality of lambs to 1 day of age was lower (P=0.029) in the caffeine (0.01) compared with the control (0.16) treatment for lambs born during the 1st week of supplementation, but not in later weeks. This difference in mortality for lambs born in the 1st week of supplementation was maintained to marking age (caffeine 0.09; control 0.30; P=0.027). Extreme weather during the 2nd week of supplementation may have prevented any reduction in mortality due to caffeine in that week. Feeding caffeine to a naturally lambing flock of grazing ewes may be a highly effective and commercially practical method of increasing lamb survival, but further research is needed to confirm these results, and caffeine be regulated for use.
Perennial grain crops are expected to sequester soil carbon (C) and improve soil health due to their large and extensive root systems. To examine the rate of initial soil C accumulation in a perennial grain crop, we compared soil under perennial intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) with that under annual winter wheat 4 years after the crops were first planted. In addition, we tested the effect of three nitrogen (N) sources on C pools: Low available N (Low N (Organic N); 90 kg N ha−1 poultry litter), moderately available N (Mid N; 90 kg N ha−1 urea) and high available N (High N; 135 kg N ha−1 urea). We measured aboveground C (grain + straw), and coarse and fine root C to a depth of 1 m. Particulate organic matter (POM-C), fractionated by size, was used to indicate labile and more stabilized soil C pools. At harvest, IWG had 1.9 times more straw C and up to 15 times more root C compared with wheat. There were no differences in the size of the large (6 mm–250 µm) or medium (250–53 µm) POM-C fractions between wheat and IWG (P > 0.05) in surface horizons (0–10 cm). Large POM-C under IWG ranged from 3.6 ± 0.3 to 4.0 ± 0.7 g C kg soil−1 across the three N rates, similar to wheat under which large POM-C ranged from 3.6 ± 1.4 to 4.7 ± 0.7 g C kg soil−1. Averaged across N level, medium POM-C was 11.1 ± 0.8 and 11.3 ± 0.7 g C kg soil−1 for IWG and wheat, respectively. Despite IWG's greater above and belowground biomass (to 70 cm), POM-C fractions in IWG and wheat were similar. Post-hoc power analysis revealed that in order to detect differences in the labile C pool at 0–10 cm with an acceptable power (~80%) a 15% difference would be required between wheat and IWG. This demonstrates that on sandy soils with low cation exchange capacity, perennial IWG will need to be in place for longer than 4 years in order to detect an accumulated soil C difference > 15%.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
Historically, alloy development with better radiation performance has been focused on traditional alloys with one or two principal element(s) and minor alloying elements, where enhanced radiation resistance depends on microstructural or nanoscale features to mitigate displacement damage. In sharp contrast to traditional alloys, recent advances of single-phase concentrated solid solution alloys (SP-CSAs) have opened up new frontiers in materials research. In these alloys, a random arrangement of multiple elemental species on a crystalline lattice results in disordered local chemical environments and unique site-to-site lattice distortions. Based on closely integrated computational and experimental studies using a novel set of SP-CSAs in a face-centered cubic structure, we have explicitly demonstrated that increasing chemical disorder can lead to a substantial reduction in electron mean free paths, as well as electrical and thermal conductivity, which results in slower heat dissipation in SP-CSAs. The chemical disorder also has a significant impact on defect evolution under ion irradiation. Considerable improvement in radiation resistance is observed with increasing chemical disorder at electronic and atomic levels. The insights into defect dynamics may provide a basis for understanding elemental effects on evolution of radiation damage in irradiated materials and may inspire new design principles of radiation-tolerant structural alloys for advanced energy systems.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
Interferometric methods have been used at a number of observatories to improve the spatial resolution of large optical telescopes, approaching and in some cases reaching the diffraction limit. The principal methods used have been speckle interferometry and non-redundant masking (NRM). The MAPPIT (Masked APerture Plane Interference Telescope) instrument has been used for NRM observations at the 3·9 m Anglo-Australian Telescope. This paper describes a proposed instrument, MAPPIT 2, which would use a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor in parallel with an interferometer performing NRM or one-dimensional speckle interferometry. The inclusion of the data from the wavefront sensor will enhance the sensitivity of the instrument, especially for the imaging of relatively complex objects (those giving more than a few resolution elements with non-zero intensities). Limiting the instantaneous spatial resolution to one dimension allows available CCD detectors to operate with 100% duty cycle. Observations at a number of position angles allow two-dimensional images to be obtained.
We have successfully demonstrated optical aperture synthesis at the 4-m Anglo-Australian Telescope. By using a multi-hole mask over the (re-imaged) primary mirror and recording the resulting fringe patterns with high time resolution, diffraction-limited images of sufficiently bright objects can be reconstructed. The data processing uses closure phases to overcome the effects of atmospheric turbulence. We show an image of the double star η Oph, with component separation 0″.45.