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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.
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.
Phenology is a key ecosystem process that reflects climate–vegetation functioning, and is an indicator of global environmental changes. Recently, it has been suggested that land-use change and timber extraction promote differences in forest phenology. We use remote-sensing data to describe regional leaf phenological patterns in combination with field data from 131 plots in old-growth and disturbed forests distributed over subtropical forests of Argentina (54–65°W). We assessed how climate is related to phenological patterns, and analysed how changes in forest structural characteristics such as stock of above-ground biomass relate to the observed phenological signals across the gradient. We found that the first three axes of a principal component analysis explained 85% of the variation in phenological metrics across subtropical forests, ordering plots mainly along indicators of seasonality and productivity. At the regional scale, the relative importance of forest biomass in explaining variation in phenological patterns was about 15%. Climate showed the highest relative importance, with temperature and rainfall explaining Enhanced Vegetation Index metrics related to seasonality and productivity patterns (27% and 47%, respectively). Within forest types, climate explains the major fraction of variation in phenological patterns, suggesting that forest function may be particularly sensitive to climate change. We found that forest biomass contributed to explaining a proportion of leaf phenological variation within three of the five forest types studied, and this may be related to changes in species composition, probably as a result of forest use.
Leptin is a signalling factor involved in the regulation of body weight and is synthesised predominantly by adipocytes. In humans, there is a positive correlation between plasma concentration of leptin and body mass index (kg/m_a3) and subcutaneous fat (Considine et al., 1996; Lonnqvist et al., 1995). In vitro adipocytes obtained from women secrete more leptin than those of men (Casabeill et al., 1998). Furthermore, testosterone inhibits the expression of the leptin gene in the rat (Wu-Peng et al., 1999). The aim of this study was to examine whether gender, age and body conformation influenced plasma leptin and thyroid hormone concentrations in the horse. Materials and method Pre-slaughter body weight and height were recorded in a random group of mares (n=5), geldings (castrated males: n=7) and stallions (n=3) destined for human consumption. Their age was estimated by dental examination. Immediately post-mortem, a jugular vein blood sample was collected into a heparinised tube, which was centrifuged at 2500 rpm for 10 minutes. Plasma was stored in liquid nitrogen until analysed for plasma concentrations of leptin and thyroid hormones using human ELISA (DRG Instruments) and RIA kits (ICN Pharmaceuticals Ltd), respectively. Statistical differences between groups were assessed using General Linear Model, Analysis of Variance. Regression analysis was used to determine whether plasma leptin concentration was related to body conformation and age.
Vocalisations are commonly expressed by gregarious animals, including cattle, as a form of short- and long-distance communication. They can provide conspecifics with meaningful information about the physiology, affective state and physical attributes of the caller. In cattle, calls are individually distinct meaning they assist animals to identify specific individuals in the herd. Consequently, there is potential for these vocalisations to be acoustically analysed to make inferences about how individual animals or herds are coping with their external surroundings, and then act on these signals to improve feed conversion efficiency, reproductive efficiency and welfare. In the case of dairy farming, where herd sizes are expanding and farmers are becoming more reliant on technologies to assist in the monitoring of cattle, the study of vocal behaviour could provide an objective, cost effective and non-invasive alternative to traditional measures of welfare. The vocalisations of cattle in response to calf separation, social isolation and painful husbandry procedures, alongside changes to feeding and oestrous activity are here reviewed. For future application of sound technology, research is first necessary to analyse the acoustic structure of cattle vocalisations and determine the specific information they encode. This review draws together the latest research in field of cattle bioacoustics highlighting how the source–filter theory and affective state dimensional approach can be adopted to decode this information and improve on-farm management.
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.
The Late Cretaceous – Recent West Black Sea Basin and the Eocene–Oligocene Thrace Basin are separated by the Strandja arch comprising metamorphic and magmatic rocks. Since Late Cretaceous time the Strandja arch formed a palaeo-high separating the two basins which accumulated clastic sediment of >9 km thickness. During late Eocene – early Oligocene time the marine connection between these basins existed through the Çatalca gap west of Istanbul. The Çatalca gap lies on the damage zone of a major Cretaceous strike-slip fault; it formed a 15 km wide marine gateway, where carbonate-rich sediments of thickness c. 350 m were deposited. The sequence consists of upper Eocene shallow marine limestones (SBZ18-20) overlain by upper Eocene – lower Oligocene (P16-P19 zones) pelagic marl with a rich fauna of planktonic foraminifera; the marls are intercalated with 31–32 Ma acidic tuff and calc-arenite beds. The Çatalca gap is bounded in the west by a major normal fault, which marks the eastern boundary of the Thrace Basin. Seismic reflection profiles, well data and zircon U–Pb ages indicate that the Thrace Basin sequence west of the fault is late Eocene – middle Oligocene (37–27 Ma) in age and that the fault has accommodated 2 km of subsidence. Although there was a marine connection between the West Black Sea and Thrace basins during late Eocene – early Oligocene time, no significant exchange of clastic sediment took place. Sedimentation in the Çatalca gap ended abruptly during early Oligocene time by uplift, and this eventually led to the paralic conditions in the Thrace Basin.
The upper 20—30 m of ice-rich permafrost at three sites overridden by the northwest margin of the Laurentide ice sheet in the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands, western Arctic Canada, comprise massive ice beneath ice-rich diamicton or sandy silt. The diamicton and silt contain (1) truncated ice blocks up to 15 m long, (2) sand lenses and layers, (3) ice veins dipping at 20—30°, (4) ice lenses adjacent and parallel to sedimentary contacts, and (5) ice wedges. The massive ice is interpreted as intrasedimental or buried basal glacier ice, and the diamicton and silt as glacitectonite that has never thawed. Deformation of frozen ground was mainly ductile in character. Deformation was accompanied by sub-marginal erosion of permafrost, which formed an angular unconformity along the top of the massive ice and supplied ice clasts and sand bodies to the overlying glacitectonite. After deformation and erosion ceased, postglacial segregated ice and ice- wedge ice developed within the deformed permafrost.
A high resolution X-ray image from the Einstein Observatory of the young supernova remnant G292.0+1.8 (MSH11–54), previously noted as peculiar in terms of its spectral and morphological properties at optical and radio wavelengths, also shows an unusual X-ray morphology. Instead of a limb-brightened X-ray shell characteristic of most SNRs, the remnant consists of a central bar-like feature superposed on an ellipsoidal disc of approximately uniform surface brightness. We attribute the bar emission to a ring of oxygen-rich material ejected in the equatorial plane of a massive rotating progenitor, and the uniform disc component to emission from material with roughly cosmic composition heated by the accompanying blast wave. This interpretation provides observational support for the rotating precursor model of a Type II supernova discussed by Bodenheimer and Woosley.
In studies of extragalactic radio sources with multiple compact components the determination of which components, if any, are stationary and which moving is of importance. In order to learn about the radio properties of the individual components it is also relevant to be able to register maps made at several wavelengths. Both tasks are usually not possible with VLBI because of the irrecoverable corruption of the fringe phase introduced by the propagation medium and the instrumentation. However, when two or more compact radio sources are separated by only a small angle from each other difference techniques can be used to help tackle both questions.
More than 3000 radial velocity observations across the face of the Crab Nebula are used to investigate its 3-dimensional properties. In the standard model it consists of a thick hollow shell with synchrotron emission from within. We show that the thick shell is composed of bright inner and faint outer components
A series of VLBI observations of the gravitational lens system 0957+561 at λ13 cm has yielded the positions of the A and B images, the relative magnification of their largest discernible radio structures, and the time variability of their smallest discernible radio structures. These observations have also allowed upper limits to be placed on the flux density of an expected third image. The positions and relative magnification of the A and B images provide new information with which to constrain models of the lens that forms the images. The detection of variations in the flux densities of the cores of A and B suggests that observations at shorter wavelengths may reveal superluminal motion, which may in turn provide a means to measure the relative time delay.
VLBI observations at 2.3 GHz of SN1987A on 28 February 1987 yielded no fringes, implying, for an optically thin shell, a lower bound on the (outer) diameter of 1.9 mas. From the comparison of the VLBI and optical results, we infer that the radiosphere of SN1987A was either about equal to, or larger than, the photosphere of the supernova five days after the explosion.
In this paper we undertake a quantitative analysis of the dynamic process by which ice underneath a dry porous debris layer melts. We show that the incorporation of debris-layer airflow into a theoretical model of glacial melting can capture the empirically observed features of the so-called Østrem curve (a plot of the melt rate as a function of debris depth). Specifically, we show that the turning point in the Østrem curve can be caused by two distinct mechanisms: the increase in the proportion of ice that is debris-covered and/or a reduction in the evaporative heat flux as the debris layer thickens. This second effect causes an increased melt rate because the reduction in (latent) energy used for evaporation increases the amount of energy available for melting. Our model provides an explicit prediction for the melt rate and the temperature distribution within the debris layer, and provides insight into the relative importance of the two effects responsible for the maximum in the Østrem curve. We use the data of Nicholson and Benn (2006) to show that our model is consistent with existing empirical measurements.
Introduction/Innovation Concept: Student Run Simulation Team (SRST) is an extracurricular medical student group that provided peers with opportunities to learn and teach principles of acute care medicine in a simulated environment. Early exposure to simulation has been identified as a way for medical students to engage in self-directed education. SRST operated through a peer-led model. Senior medical students designed and delivered didactic sessions, simulation scenarios, and debriefed the scenarios to emphasise targeted objectives. Methods: Informal interviews conducted by the SRST as part of a needs analysis identified barriers to an effective transition from pre-clerkship to clerkship. Specifically, principles of team dynamics including effective communication and role clarification in emergency situations were identified as areas where students lacked confidence. The curriculum focused on leadership and an effective team approach to common acute presentations. SRST members acquired simulation skills under the guidance of a simulation team at the University of Calgary. In the inaugural year, 8 second year students developed and delivered the curriculum to 16 first year students. Quality improvement surveys and participant feedback contributed to ongoing program review and refinement. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: Didactic lectures and task-trainer based skills sessions were created to assist the medical students in developing a foundational approach to a patient presenting to the emergency department. Three distinct simulations of increasing complexity were designed for students to build on their skills. SRST members worked with simulation consultants during 4 custom designed training sessions to develop simulation skills (design and debriefing). The distinguishing aspect of SRST is an emphasis on the non-technical skills of teamwork, leadership, and communication, rather than knowledge acquisition alone. The structure also included a succession plan for continued peer-led education where the student participants will form the next year’s team and will receive similar simulation education. Conclusion: SRST is the first student-run simulation initiative to be established in a Canadian medical school. This near-peer team allowed for early practice of non-technical skills in emergency settings. SRST facilitated opportunities for simulation education for both the junior students as participants, and the senior medical students as educators. This is an ongoing initiative, with plans to continue program development in future years.
Ice-free regions of Antarctica are concentrated along the coastal margins but are scarce throughout the continental interior. Environmental changes, including the introduction of non-indigenous species, increasingly threaten these unique habitats. At the same time, the unique biotic communities subsisting in isolation across the continent are difficult to survey due to logistical constraints, sampling challenges and problems related to the identification of small and cryptic taxa. Baseline biodiversity data from remote Antarctic habitats are still missing for many parts of the continent but are critical to the detection of community changes over time, including newly introduced species. Here we review the potential of standardized (non-specialist) sampling in the field (e.g. from soil, vegetation or water) combined with high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of bulk DNA as a possible solution to overcome some of these problems. In particular, HTS metabarcoding approaches benefit from being able to process many samples in parallel, while workflow and data structure can stay highly uniform. Such approaches have quickly gained recognition and we show that HTS metabarcoding surveys are likely to play an important role in continent-wide biomonitoring of all Antarctic terrestrial habitats.
Radiocarbon dating of marine samples requires a local marine reservoir correction, or ΔR value, for accurate age calibrations. For the Samoan Archipelago in the central Pacific, ΔR values have been proposed previously, but, unlike some Polynesian archipelagoes, ΔR values seem not to vary spatially and temporally. Here, we demonstrate such variability by reporting a ΔR of –101±72 ΔR for the Manu‘a Group—the eastern-most islands in the archipelago—for the colonization period. This value is based on accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C and uranium-thorium (U-Th) series dating of individual coral branches from pre-2300 cal BP archaeological contexts. This figure differs from the previously proposed modern ΔR of 28±26 yr derived from dated historic, pre-1950, shell samples from the western islands of Samoa. Consequently, we recommend using the ΔR of –101±72 yr for the 1st millennium BC in Manu‘a, and 28±26 yr for calibrating dates within the 2nd millennium AD in the western islands (Savai‘i to Tutuila). Until more data from across the archipelago and from throughout the entire culture-historical sequence document ΔR variability, we recommend that researchers use both of these ΔR values to evaluate how the dates of marine-derived samples compare with AMS dates on identified, short-lived wood charcoal.