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We compared systematic and random survey techniques to estimate breeding population sizes of burrow-nesting petrel species on Marion Island. White-chinned (Procellaria aequinoctialis) and blue (Halobaena caerulea) petrel population sizes were estimated in systematic surveys (which attempt to count every colony) in 2009 and 2012, respectively. In 2015, we counted burrows of white-chinned, blue and great-winged (Pterodroma macroptera) petrels within 52 randomized strip transects (25 m wide, total 144 km). Burrow densities were extrapolated by Geographic Information System-derived habitat attributes (geology, vegetation, slope, elevation, aspect) to generate island-wide burrow estimates. Great-winged petrel burrows were found singly or in small groups at low densities (2 burrows ha−1); white-chinned petrel burrows were in loose clusters at moderate densities (3 burrows ha−1); and blue petrel burrows were in tight clusters at high densities (13 burrows ha−1). The random survey estimated 58% more white-chinned petrels but 42% fewer blue petrels than the systematic surveys. The results suggest that random transects are best suited for species that are widely distributed at low densities, but become increasingly poor for estimating population sizes of species with clustered distributions. Repeated fixed transects provide a robust way to monitor changes in colony density and area, but might fail to detect the formation/disappearance of new colonies.
The poultry meat industry, in continual pursuit of improved efficiency, has demanded rapid growth rate. Primary breeding companies have responded to industry pressure and growth rate has increased in an almost linear fashion. Despite the obvious advantages to industry profitability, it can be argued that increased growth has placed more emphasis on the demand tissues of growth than those systems or organs that supply the substrates for rapid growth and/or are essential to support the increase in body mass. One of the consequences is that modern broilers are not as adaptable to their environments as their predecessors were. Rapid growth has also produced problems not seen in slower growing birds. Skeletal and cardiovascular disease (sudden death syndrome (SDS), ascites) are examples of growth related problems. Although it can not be said that rapid growth automatically will result in these problems, there is no doubt that the!re is a relationship.
We present preliminary analysis of new HST observations of the transiting extrasolar planet HD 209458b. Photometric observations were obtained with the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), providing milli-mag precision and high time resolution (40 Hz). The FGS photometry allows us to derive precise stellar/orbital parameters (ephemeris, inclination, limb darkening) and planetary radius, and also allows a search for the presence of planetary rings and satellites. We discuss preliminary results and two approaches to modelling the observations.
Escherichia coli O157 are zoonotic bacteria for which cattle are an important reservoir. Prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 in British cattle for human consumption are over 10 years old. A new baseline is needed to inform current human health risk. The British E. coli O157 in Cattle Study (BECS) ran between September 2014 and November 2015 on 270 farms across Scotland and England & Wales. This is the first study to be conducted contemporaneously across Great Britain, thus enabling comparison between Scotland and England & Wales. Herd-level prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 did not differ significantly for Scotland (0·236, 95% CI 0·166–0·325) and England & Wales (0·213, 95% CI 0·156–0·283) (P = 0·65). The majority of isolates were verocytotoxin positive. A higher proportion of samples from Scotland were in the super-shedder category, though there was no difference between the surveys in the likelihood of a positive farm having at least one super-shedder sample. E. coli O157 continues to be common in British beef cattle, reaffirming public health policy that contact with cattle and their environments is a potential infection source.
Cognitive deficits are a core feature of schizophrenia, and impairments in most domains are thought to be stable over the course of the illness. However, cross-sectional evidence indicates that some areas of cognition, such as visuospatial associative memory, may be preserved in the early stages of psychosis, but become impaired in later established illness stages. This longitudinal study investigated change in visuospatial and verbal associative memory following psychosis onset.
In total 95 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and 63 healthy controls (HC) were assessed on neuropsychological tests at baseline, with 38 FEP and 22 HCs returning for follow-up assessment at 5–11 years. Visuospatial associative memory was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Visuospatial Paired-Associate Learning task, and verbal associative memory was assessed using Verbal Paired Associates subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale - Revised.
Visuospatial and verbal associative memory at baseline did not differ significantly between FEP patients and HCs. However, over follow-up, visuospatial associative memory deteriorated significantly for the FEP group, relative to healthy individuals. Conversely, verbal associative memory improved to a similar degree observed in HCs. In the FEP cohort, visuospatial (but not verbal) associative memory ability at baseline was associated with functional outcome at follow-up.
Areas of cognition that develop prior to psychosis onset, such as visuospatial and verbal associative memory, may be preserved early in the illness. Later deterioration in visuospatial memory ability may relate to progressive structural and functional brain abnormalities that occurs following psychosis onset.
Prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in acute-care hospitals is a priority for hospitals and clinicians. We performed a qualitative systematic review to update the evidence on interventions to prevent CDI published since 2009.
We searched Ovid, MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, CINAHL, the ISI Web of Knowledge, and grey literature databases from January 1, 2009 to August 1, 2015.
We included studies performed in acute-care hospitals.
PATIENTS OR PARTICIPANTS
We included studies conducted on hospitalized patients that investigated the impact of specific interventions on CDI rates.
We used the QI-Minimum Quality Criteria Set (QI-MQCS) to assess the quality of included studies. Interventions were grouped thematically: environmental disinfection, antimicrobial stewardship, hand hygiene, chlorhexidine bathing, probiotics, bundled approaches, and others. A meta-analysis was performed when possible.
Of 3,236 articles screened, 261 met the criteria for full-text review and 46 studies were ultimately included. The average quality rating was 82% according to the QI-MQCS. The most effective interventions, resulting in a 45% to 85% reduction in CDI, included daily to twice daily disinfection of high-touch surfaces (including bed rails) and terminal cleaning of patient rooms with chlorine-based products. Bundled interventions and antimicrobial stewardship showed promise for reducing CDI rates. Chlorhexidine bathing and intensified hand-hygiene practices were not effective for reducing CDI rates.
Daily and terminal cleaning of patient rooms using chlorine-based products were most effective in reducing CDI rates in hospitals. Further studies are needed to identify the components of bundled interventions that reduce CDI rates.
To evaluate a computer-assisted point-prevalence survey (CAPPS) for hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).
A 754-bed teaching hospital in the Netherlands.
For the internal validation of a CAPPS for HAIs, 2,526 patients were included. All patient records were retrospectively reviewed in depth by 2 infection control practitioners (ICPs) to determine which patients had suffered an HAI. Preventie van Ziekenhuisinfecties door Surveillance (PREZIES) criteria were used. Following this internal validation, 13 consecutive CAPPS were performed in a prospective study from January to March 2013 to determine weekly, monthly, and quarterly HAI point prevalence. Finally, a CAPPS was externally validated by PREZIES (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu [RIVM], Bilthoven, Netherlands). In all evaluations, discrepancies were resolved by consensus.
In our series of CAPPS, 83% of the patients were automatically excluded from detailed review by the ICP. The sensitivity of the method was 91%. The time spent per hospital-wide CAPPS was ~3 hours. External validation showed a negative predictive value of 99.1% for CAPPS.
CAPPS proved to be a sensitive, accurate, and efficient method to determine serial weekly point-prevalence HAI rates in our hospital.
We have combined observations of about 30 sunlike stars from Mount Wilson, Lowell, and Fairborn Observatories to extend our joint time series from 12 to 17 years. The full range of variation on the decadal timescale has probably now been observed for most of our program stars. Statistical relationships between chromospheric and brightness variability derived earlier by us are confirmed. Young active stars become fainter as their chromospheric Ca II HK emission increases, while older less active stars such as the Sun become brighter as their HK emission increases. The Sun's photometric variation still appears somewhat small in amplitude compared to the other stars in this sample with similar mean chromospheric activity.
Light curve analysis by MDW of the photometry and RV data accumulated to date on HD 209458 has made use of a simulations database created for an 8-day HST observing project led by RLG to look for transits in 47 Tuc. We report progress in developing a consistent set of parameters obtained with our versions of the Wilson-Devinney program, WD98 and wd98k93, specially modified to treat large grid sizes, corresponding to objects with radii exceeding 0.7RJ and masses greater than 0.1 MJ.
This work is supported in part by grants to EFM by Canadian NSERC and by the Univ. of Calgary Research Grants Committee.
Stars close to the main sequence, if they rotate rapidly enough, show magnetic activity in the form of spots, active regions, and strong chromospheres. With the exception of the hybrid stars, stars cooler and more luminous than the so-called Linsky-Haisch dividing line, in contrast, are not known to have any of these phenomena. In fact, it is not clear such stars, even though rotating and convective, show any magnetic phenomena at all. We discuss (1) photometry used to search for spots in the hybrid stars, which we have not found, and (2) evidence for chromospheric variation in K supergiants that takes the form of enhanced winds, but which may be analogous to the activity of stars closer to the main sequence.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
Solar System dust particles reflect sunlight, producing the so-called zodiacal light (Leinert 1975). The spectrum of the zodiacal light in the far ultraviolet has been a matter of controversy in the past, and remains a subject of great interest.
This article represents a systematic effort to answer the question, What are archaeology’s most important scientific challenges? Starting with a crowd-sourced query directed broadly to the professional community of archaeologists, the authors augmented, prioritized, and refined the responses during a two-day workshop focused specifically on this question. The resulting 25 “grand challenges” focus on dynamic cultural processes and the operation of coupled human and natural systems. We organize these challenges into five topics: (1) emergence, communities, and complexity; (2) resilience, persistence, transformation, and collapse; (3) movement, mobility, and migration; (4) cognition, behavior, and identity; and (5) human-environment interactions. A discussion and a brief list of references accompany each question. An important goal in identifying these challenges is to inform decisions on infrastructure investments for archaeology. Our premise is that the highest priority investments should enable us to address the most important questions. Addressing many of these challenges will require both sophisticated modeling and large-scale synthetic research that are only now becoming possible. Although new archaeological fieldwork will be essential, the greatest pay off will derive from investments that provide sophisticated research access to the explosion in systematically collected archaeological data that has occurred over the last several decades.
The cumulative effect of co-infections between pathogen pairs on the haematological response of East African Short-horn Zebu calves is described. Using a longitudinal study design a stratified clustered random sample of newborn calves were recruited into the Infectious Diseases of East African Livestock (IDEAL) study and monitored at 5-weekly intervals until 51 weeks of age. At each visit samples were collected and analysed to determine the infection status of each calf as well as their haematological response. The haematological parameters investigated included packed cell volume (PCV), white blood cell count (WBC) and platelet count (Plt). The pathogens of interest included tick-borne protozoa and rickettsias, trypanosomes and intestinal parasites. Generalized additive mixed-effect models were used to model the infectious status of pathogens against each haematological parameter, including significant interactions between pathogens. These models were further used to predict the cumulative effect of co-infecting pathogen pairs on each haematological parameter. The most significant decrease in PCV was found with co-infections of trypanosomes and strongyles. Strongyle infections also resulted in a significant decrease in WBC at a high infectious load. Trypanosomes were the major cause of thrombocytopenia. Platelet counts were also affected by interactions between tick-borne pathogens. Interactions between concomitant pathogens were found to complicate the prognosis and clinical presentation of infected calves and should be taken into consideration in any study that investigates disease under field conditions.
We carried out an extensive photometric and spectroscopic investigation of the SPB binary, HD 25558 (see Fig. 1 for the time and geographic distribution of the observations). The ~2000 spectra obtained at 13 observatories during 5 observing seasons, the ground-based multi-colour light curves and the photometric data from the MOST satellite revealed that this object is a double-lined spectroscopic binary with a very long orbital period of about 9 years. We determined the physical parameters of the components, and have found that both lie within the SPB instability strip. Accordingly, both components show line-profile variations consistent with stellar pulsations. Altogether, 11 independent frequencies and one harmonic frequency were identified in the data. The observational data do not allow the inference of a reliable orbital solution, thus, disentangling cannot be performed on the spectra. Since the lines of the two components are never completely separated, the analysis is very complicated. Nevertheless, pixel-by-pixel variability analysis of the cross-correlated line profiles was successful, and we were able to attribute all the frequencies to the primary or secondary component. Spectroscopic and photometric mode-identification was also performed for several of these frequencies of both binary components. The spectroscopic mode-identification results suggest that the inclination and rotation of the two components are rather different. While the primary is a slow rotator with ~6 d rotation period, seen at ~60° inclination, the secondary rotates fast with ~1.2 d rotation period, and is seen at ~20° inclination. Our spectropolarimetric measurements revealed that the secondary component has a magnetic field with at least a few hundred Gauss strength, while no magnetic field was detected in the primary.
The detailed analysis and results of this study will be published elsewhere.