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North African knapweed (Centaurea diluta Aiton) is an annual weed that is widespread in southern Spain and is of increasing concern in dryland cropping systems. Despite its expanding range in Spain, there is limited information on the emergence timing and pattern of this species, which is critical for developing more timely and effective management strategies. Therefore, there is a need to develop simple and reliable models to predict the timing and emergence of this annual weed under dryland conditions. A multi-location field experiment was established across Spain in 2016-2017 to assess the emergence of C. diluta. At each of 11 locations, seeds were sown in the fall, and emergence was recorded. Overall emergence averaged 39% in the first year across all sites and 11% in the second year. In both years, the main emergence flush occurred at beginning of the growing season. The three-parameter Weibull function best described seedling emergence of C. diluta. Emergence models were developed based on thermal time (TT) and hydrothermal time (HTT) and showed high predictability, as evidenced by root mean square error prediction (RMSEP) values of 10.8 and 10.7, respectively. The three cardinal points were established for TT and HHT at 0.5 ºC, 10 ºC and 35 ºC for base, optimal and ceiling temperature, while base water potential was estimated at -0.5MPa.
Vaccination coverage (VC) against pertussis can increase when management practices and policies at primary care centres (PCCs) are reinforced. From 2011 to 2015, we performed a case–control study to evaluate VC among pertussis patients treated at PCCs in Barcelona, Spain. We recorded pertussis in patients from 8- to 16-year-olds at 52 PCCs. Pertussis cases had laboratory diagnostic and controls were healthy outpatients visiting the same facility for reasons other than cough. DTaP/dTap VC was recorded as either proper vaccination status (five doses recorded) or improper vaccination status (<5 doses recorded). We used a logistic regression model to estimate OR and 95% CI. We included 229 cases and 576 controls. VC was higher in cases (mean 5.01, s.e.: 0.57) than in controls (4.89, s.e.: 0.73). Around 69% of the cases had received DTaP primary immunisation after 2–5 years and 31.4% of cases had the dTap booster immunisation after 7–10 years. The 87% of children 5–9 years were properly vaccinated. We found no protection from becoming ill among properly vaccinated children (OR 1.87; 95% CI 1.22–2.85). The highest VC was observed in patients with confirmed pertussis, which was likely due to a more exhaustive follow-up of the VC in these patients. Being properly vaccinated against pertussis will probably not increase VC.
Transparency is a concept that is becoming increasingly lauded as a solution to a host of problems in the American health care system. Transparency initiatives show great promise, including empowering patients and other stakeholders to make more efficient decisions, improve resource allocation, and better regulate the health care industry. Nevertheless, transparency is not a cure-all for the problems facing the modern health care system. The authors of this volume present a nuanced view of transparency, exploring ways in which transparency has succeeded and ways in which transparency initiatives have room for improvement. Working at the intersection of law, medicine, ethics, and business, the book goes beyond the buzzwords to the heart of transparency's transformative potential, while interrogating its obstacles and downsides. It should be read by anyone looking for a better understanding of transparency in the health care context.
Consumers’ demand of leaner meat products is a challenge. Although betaine and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have the potential to decrease porcine adipose tissue, their mode of action is poorly understood. The aim of the study was to determine the lipolytic effect of betaine and CLA in the adipose tissue of Iberian pigs. Adipose tissue explants from five pigs (38 kg BW) were prepared from dorsal subcutaneous adipose tissue samples and cultivated for 2 h (acute experiments) or 72 h (chronic experiments). Treatments included 100 µM linoleic acid (control), 100 µM trans-10, cis-12 CLA, 100 µM linoleic acid + 1 mM betaine and 100 µM trans-10, cis-12 CLA + 1 mM betaine (CLABET). To examine the ability of betaine or CLA to inhibit insulin’s suppression of isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis, test medium was amended with 1 µM isoproterenol ±10 nM insulin. Media glycerol was measured at the end of the incubations. Acute lipolysis (2 h) was increased by CLA and CLABET (85% to 121%; P < 0.05) under basal conditions. When lipolysis was stimulated with isoproterenol (1090%), acute exposure to betaine tended to increase (13%; P = 0.071), while CLA and CLABET increased (14% to 18%; P < 0.05) isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis compared with control. When insulin was added to isoproterenol-stimulated explants, lipolytic rate was decreased by 50% (P < 0.001). However, supplementation of betaine to the insulin + isoproterenol-containing medium tended to increase (P = 0.07), while CLABET increased (45%; P < 0.05) lipolysis, partly counteracting insulin inhibition. When culture was extended for 72 h, CLA decreased lipolysis under basal conditions (18%; P < 0.05) with no effect of betaine and CLABET (P > 0.10). When lipolysis was stimulated by isoproterenol (125% increase in rate compared with basal), CLA and CLABET decreased glycerol release (27%; P < 0.001) compared with control (isoproterenol alone). When insulin was added to isoproterenol-stimulated explants, isoproterenol stimulation of lipolysis was completely blunted and neither betaine nor CLA altered the inhibitory effect of insulin on lipolysis. Isoproterenol, and especially isoproterenol + insulin, stimulated leptin secretion compared with basal conditions (68% and 464%, respectively; P < 0.001), with no effect of CLA or betaine (P > 0.10). CLA decreased leptin release (25%; P < 0.001) when insulin was present in the media, partially inhibiting insulin stimulation of leptin release. In conclusion, betaine and CLA produced a biphasic response regarding lipolysis so that glycerol release was increased in acute conditions, while CLA decreased glycerol release and betaine had no effect in chronic conditions. Furthermore, CLA and CLABET indirectly increased lipolysis by reducing insulin-mediated inhibition of lipolysis during acute conditions.
Disease surveillance in wildlife populations presents a logistical challenge, yet is critical in gaining a deeper understanding of the presence and impact of wildlife pathogens. Erinaceus coronavirus (EriCoV), a clade C Betacoronavirus, was first described in Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Germany. Here, our objective was to determine whether EriCoV is present, and if it is associated with disease, in Great Britain (GB). An EriCoV-specific BRYT-Green® real-time reverse transcription PCR assay was used to test 351 samples of faeces or distal large intestinal tract contents collected from casualty or dead hedgehogs from a wide area across GB. Viral RNA was detected in 10.8% (38) samples; however, the virus was not detected in any of the 61 samples tested from Scotland. The full genome sequence of the British EriCoV strain was determined using next generation sequencing; it shared 94% identity with a German EriCoV sequence. Multivariate statistical models using hedgehog case history data, faecal specimen descriptions and post-mortem examination findings found no significant associations indicative of disease associated with EriCoV in hedgehogs. These findings indicate that the Western European hedgehog is a reservoir host of EriCoV in the absence of apparent disease.
In dairy goats, the kid rearing system can have critical importance in financial returns. Commonly used criteria for the choice of rearing system are not always clear due to the high number of factors involved. The aim of this study was to quantify all those factors to facilitate decision making. So, the effect of two different kid rearing systems, mixed rearing system (MRS) and artificial rearing system (ARS), on milk yield, milk composition and somatic cell count (SCC), milk yield loss at weaning for MRS, kid growth and costs of the different traits on the financial returns in Murciano-Granadina breed goats was studied. Twenty-four goats per group were used. In the MRS, goats reared only one kid, which had free access to goat milk 24 h a day and were weaned at week 6 of lactation, whereas kids in the ARS were separated from their mothers at kidding, colostrum and artificially reared. In both systems, dams were machine-milked once a day throughout lactation and the records took place weekly. Potential milk yield was estimated according to the oxytocin method up to week 12 of lactation, and was similar for both rearing systems, although a 12.3% drop in potential milk yield at weaning was observed for MRS. During the first 6 weeks of lactation, marketable milk was lower for dams in MRS compared to those in ARS (72.1 v. 113.0 l), but similar for the rest of the experiment (101.5 v. 99.4 l, respectively). Marketable milk composition and SCC throughout the 12 weeks of lactation were unaffected by the rearing system. Artificial rearing system entailed an increment in production cost of 22.2€ per kid compared to the rearing by MRS. A similar economic return per goat and kid was obtained from ARS and MRS in this experiment, although, due to one herd’s prolificacy of 1.8, the actual results would be 16.2€ per goat in favour of MRS. The real interest of this experiment may be the possibility of extrapolation to different flocks with diverse levels of milk production, prolificacy and prices and costs for incomes and outputs, to estimate the production system that increases returns. In conclusion, the results showed an increase in the cost of €22.2 per kid bred in the ARS, compared to the MRS, and a final return of 16.2€ per goat in favour of the mixed system.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.