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This article involved a broad search of applied sciences for milestone technologies we deem to be the most significant innovations applied by the North American pork industry, during the past 10 to 12 years. Several innovations shifted the trajectory of improvement or resolved significant production limitations. Each is being integrated into practice, with the exception being gene editing technology, which is undergoing the federal approval process. Advances in molecular genomics have been applied to gene editing for control of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and to identify piglet genome contributions from each parent. Post-cervical artificial insemination technology is not novel, but this technology is now used extensively to accelerate the rate of genetic progress. A milestone was achieved with the discovery that dietary essential fatty acids, during lactation, were limiting reproduction. Their provision resulted in a dose-related response for pregnancy, pregnancy maintenance and litter size, especially in maturing sows and ultimately resolved seasonal infertility. The benefit of segregated early weaning (12 to 14 days of age) was realized for specific pathogen removal for genetic nucleus and multiplication. Application was premature for commercial practice, as piglet mortality and morbidity increased. Early weaning impairs intestinal barrier and mucosal innate immune development, which coincides with diminished resilience to pathogens and viability later in life. Two important milestones were achieved to improve precision nutrition for growing pigs. The first involved the updated publication of the National Research Council nutrient requirements for pigs, a collaboration between scientists from America and Canada. Precision nutrition advanced further when ingredient description, for metabolically available amino acids and net energy (by source plant), became a private sector nutrition product. The past decade also led to fortuitous discoveries of health-improving components in ingredients (xylanase, soybeans). Finally, two technologies converged to facilitate timely detection of multiple pathogens in a population: oral fluids sampling and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for pathogen analysis. Most critical diseases in North America are now routinely monitored by oral fluid sampling and prepared for analysis using PCR methods.
A new species, Contarinia brassicola Sinclair (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), which induces flower galls on canola (Brassica napus Linnaeus and Brassica rapa Linnaeus (Brassicaceae)), is described from Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. Larvae develop in the flowers of canola, which causes swelling and prevents opening, pod formation, and seed set. Mature larvae exit the galls, fall to the soil, and form cocoons. Depending on conditions, larvae will either pupate and eclose in the same calendar year or enter facultative diapause and emerge the following year. At least two generations of C. brassicola occur each year. Adults emerge from overwintering cocoons in the spring and lay eggs on developing canola flower buds. The galls produced by C. brassicola were previously attributed to the swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii (Kieffer) in Saskatchewan; here, we compare and list several characters to differentiate the two species.
Fomesafen is a protoporphyrinogen oxidase–inhibitor herbicide with an alternative mode of action that provides PRE weed control in strawberry [Fragaria×ananassa (Weston) Duchesne ex Rozier (pro sp.) [chiloensis×virginiana]] produced in a plasticulture setting in Florida. Plasticulture mulch could decrease fomesafen dissipation and increase crop injury in rotational crops. Field experiments were conducted in Balm, FL, to investigate fomesafen persistence and movement in soil in Florida strawberry systems for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles. Treatments included fomesafen preplant at 0, 0.42, and 0.84 kg ai ha−1. Soil samples were taken under the plastic from plots treated with fomesafen at 0.42 kg ha−1 throughout the production cycle. Fomesafen did not injure strawberry or decrease yield. Fomesafen concentration data for the 0.0- to 0.1-m soil depth were described using a three-parameter logistic function. The fomesafen 50% dissipation times were 37 and 47 d for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles, respectively. At the end of the study, fomesafen was last detected in the 0.0- to 0.1-m depth soil at 167 and 194 d after treatment in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles, respectively. Fomesafen concentration was less than 25 ppb on any sampling date for 0.1- to 0.2-m and 0.2- to 0.3-m depths. Fomesafen concentration decreased significantly after strawberry was transplanted and likely leached during overhead and drip irrigation used during the crop establishment.
A robust biomedical informatics infrastructure is essential for academic health centers engaged in translational research. There are no templates for what such an infrastructure encompasses or how it is funded. An informatics workgroup within the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network conducted an analysis to identify the scope, governance, and funding of this infrastructure. After we identified the essential components of an informatics infrastructure, we surveyed informatics leaders at network institutions about the governance and sustainability of the different components. Results from 42 survey respondents showed significant variations in governance and sustainability; however, some trends also emerged. Core informatics components such as electronic data capture systems, electronic health records data repositories, and related tools had mixed models of funding including, fee-for-service, extramural grants, and institutional support. Several key components such as regulatory systems (e.g., electronic Institutional Review Board [IRB] systems, grants, and contracts), security systems, data warehouses, and clinical trials management systems were overwhelmingly supported as institutional infrastructure. The findings highlighted in this report are worth noting for academic health centers and funding agencies involved in planning current and future informatics infrastructure, which provides the foundation for a robust, data-driven clinical and translational research program.
When assessing hepatitis B virus (HBV) status in clinical settings, it is unclear whether self-reports on vaccination history and previous HBV-test results have any diagnostic capacity. Of 3997 participants in a multi-centre HBV-screening study in Paris, France, 1090 were asked questions on their last HBV-test result and vaccination history. Discordance between self-reported history compared with infection status (determined by serology) was calculated for participants claiming ‘negative’, ‘effective vaccine’, ‘past infection’, or ‘chronic infection’ HBV-status. Serological testing revealed that 320 (29.4%) were non-immunised, 576 (52.8%) were vaccinated, 173 (15.9%) had resolved the infection and 21 (1.9%) were hepatitis B surface antigen positive. In total 208/426 (48.8%) participants with a self-reported history of ‘negative’ infection had a discordant serological result, in whom 128 (61.5%) were vaccinated and 74 (35.6%) had resolved infections. A total of 153/599 (25.5%) participants self-reporting ‘effective vaccine’ had a discordant serological result, in whom 100 (65.4%) were non-immunised and 50 (32.7%) were resolved infections. Discordance for declaring ‘past’ or ‘chronic infection’ occurred in 9/55 (16.4%) and 3/10 (30.0%) individuals, respectively. In conclusion, self-reported HBV-status based on participant history is partially inadequate for determining serological HBV-status, especially between negative/vaccinated individuals. More adapted patient education about HBV-status might be helpful for certain key populations.
Our current global food system – from food production to consumption, including manufacture, packaging, transport, retail and associated businesses – is responsible for extensive negative social and environmental impacts which threaten the long-term well-being of society. This has led to increasing calls from science–policy organizations for major reform and transformation of the global food system. However, our knowledge regarding food system transformations is fragmented and this is hindering the development of co-ordinated solutions. Here, we collate recent research across several academic disciplines and sectors in order to better understand the mechanisms that ‘lock-in’ food systems in unsustainable states.
Background: Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease. In June 2017, Health Canada approved Nusinersen, currently the only available drug for SMA. Since 2016, patients in Ontario have been treated clinically with Nusinersen through different access programs. Methods: Retrospective case series of patients with SMA treated clinically with Nusinersen in Ontario, describing clinical characteristics and logistics of intrathecal Nusinersen administration. Results: Twenty patients have been treated across four centres. To date, we have reviewed 8 cases at one centre (seven SMA Type I, one SMA Type II). Age at first dose ranged from 3-156 months and disease duration 9-166 months. Patients had received 4-7 doses at last evaluation. Three patients with scoliosis (2 with spinal rods) required fluoroscopy-guided radiologist administration, and 4 required general anesthesia. No complications/adverse events were reported. At last follow up, 5/8 families reported improved daily activities. Of 5 patients with baseline and follow up motor function testing, 3 demonstrated improved scores. One patient died due to respiratory decline at age 9 months, despite improved motor outcome scores. Conclusions: We describe the first Canadian post-marketing experience with Nusinersen. Timely dissemination of this information is needed to guide clinicians, hospital administrators, and policy-makers.
Most basic science research has focused on overt stroke caused by blockage of major blood vessels. Less attention has been paid to small vessel disease giving rise to covert stroke that often leads to vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). One reason for this may be the relative lack of relevant animal models. This talk will describe a model of VCI induced in middle-aged Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to a diet high in saturated fats, salt and refined sugar (HFSS). In Experiment 1, rats fed HFSS and subjected to a small mediodorsal (MD) thalamic stroke with or without concomitant cerebral hypoperfusion experienced significant executive dysfunction. In Experiment 2, dietary influences on functional, physiological and anatomical parameters were assessed. We found significant hypertension, blockage of brain microvessels (2-photon microscopy) and white matter atrophy in HFSS diet animals. As in Experiment 1, profound, specific set-shifting executive dysfunction was noted following both small MD infarcts (0.332 mm3) and the HFSS diet. In summary, these data describe a middle-aged animal model of VCI that includes clinically-relevant metabolic disturbances and small vessel disease and as such may be helpful in developing new cognitive therapies.
Broadleaf species escape current integrated weed management strategies in strawberry [Fragaria×ananassa (Weston) Duchesne ex Rozier (pro sp.) [chiloensis×virginiana]] production. Clopyralid is a registered POST control option, but current application timings provide suppression of only some species. Earlier clopyralid application timings may increase spray coverage to weeds at the planting hole, but strawberry plant tolerance to applications shortly after transplant is unknown. The objectives of the study were to determine the degree of clopyralid tolerance when applied to mature strawberry plants according to current management strategies, whether clopyralid absorption and translocation were involved in the tolerance response demonstrated by mature strawberry plants, and whether clopyralid could be safely applied to immature strawberry plants shortly after transplant. Clopyralid caused no damage when applied to mature strawberry plants and did not affect crop height, number of crowns, flowers, immature berries, or yield. Maximal strawberry absorption of radiolabeled clopyralid was 82% of the recovered radioactivity and reached peak (90%) absorption at 15 h. Maximal total translocation of radioactivity from the treated leaf was 17% and reached peak translocation at 52 h. Translocation was primarily to the new leaves and reproductive structures. In the early-application experiment, damage induced by clopyralid for all application timings reached 0 by 8 wk after treatment. Across all timings, maximal damage at 140 g ha−1 was 17% when applied 14 d after transplant (DATr) and 56% at 28 g ha−1 when applied at 21 DATr. Clopyralid dose did not affect the number of crowns, aboveground biomass, or yield. There was some stunting in plant height (3%) by the high labeled dose of clopyralid. Labeled dose clopyralid applications appear safe for application timings closer to strawberry transplant, though considerations of leaf cupping should be taken under consideration for label changes.
This paper concentrates on livestock production systems by introducing sustainable housing characteristics, and the type of information required to make an informed choice on environmentally sound materials and systems. It then compares energy use in two contrasting beef cattle systems, one a conventional straw-bedded court and roofed silo, with feed delivered by a side-delivery wagon, and the other a roofless woodchip corral and earth-bank silo, with feed delivered by fore-end loader. The woodchip corral system requires 70% less energy than the conventional bedded court, when the total energy inputs are analysed for preparation of the building materials, construction of the livestock accommodation with associated feed and waste storage, and manufacture and operation of machinery. However, when energy used in feed production is included this dominates the energy budget, accounting for 60% of all energy used in the conventional bedded court, and 85% of energy used in the woodchip corral system.
Serious mental illness (SMI) is profoundly stigmatised, such that there is even an impact on relatives of people with SMI.
To develop and validate a scale to comprehensively measure self-stigma among first-degree relatives of individuals with SMI.
We conducted group interviews focusing on self-stigma with first-degree relatives (n = 20) of people with SMI, from which 74 representative quotations were reframed as Likert-type items. Cognitive interviews with relatives (n = 11) identified 30 items for the Self-Stigma in Relatives of people with Mental Illness (SSRMI) scale. Relatives (n = 195) completed the scale twice, a month apart, together with four external correlate scales.
The 30-item SSRMI was reliable, with scores stable over time. Its single-factor structure allowed generation of a 10-item version. Construct validity of 30- and 10-item versions was supported by expected relationships with external correlates.
Both versions of the SSRMI scale are valid and reliable instruments appropriate for use in clinical and research contexts.
Strawberry is an important horticultural crop in Florida. The long growing season and escapes from fumigation and PRE herbicides necessitate POST weed management to maximize harvest potential and efficiency. Alternatives to hand-weeding are desirable, but clopyralid is the only broadleaf herbicide registered for use. Weed control may be improved by early-season clopyralid applications, but at risk of high temperature and increased strawberry injury. The effect of temperature on clopyralid safety on strawberry is unknown. We undertook a growth chamber experiment using a completely randomized design to determine crop safety under various temperature conditions across acclimation, herbicide application, and post-application periods. There was no effect of clopyralid on the number of strawberry leaves across all temperatures. Damage to the strawberry manifested as leaf malformations. Acclimation temperatures affected clopyralid-associated injury (p=0.0309), with increased leaf malformations at higher temperatures (27 C) compared to lower (18 C) temperatures. Pre-treatment temperatures did not affect clopyralid injury. Post-application temperature also affected clopyralid injury (p=0.0161), with increased leaf malformations at higher temperatures compared to lower ones. Clopyralid application did not reduce flowering or biomass production in the growth chamber. If leaf malformations are to be avoided, consideration to growing conditions prior to application is advisable, especially if applying clopyralid early in the season.
Strawberries, an important Florida crop, are grown on raised beds covered with plastic mulch. The plastic mulch provides good control of many weeds, but some problem species can emerge from the transplant hole during crop establishment. POST herbicide options for broadleaf weed control within the strawberry bed is limited to clopyralid, which only provides suppression. Strawberry canopy shielding may be responsible for the observed incomplete control with clopyralid application for problematic broadleaf weed species such as black medic and Carolina geranium. Two field experiments were established on mature strawberries to evaluate spray penetration through the canopy. The first examined spray penetration through the canopy of multiple strawberry cultivars at various distances from the crown. The second examined the effects of application volumes and nozzle selection on spray penetration. Cultivar selection had no effect on spray penetration through the canopy. In the first study, when applying at 281 L ha−1, the area around the planting hole (0 to 5 cm from the crown) had 8% coverage below the canopy while the area below the canopy edge (10 to 15 cm from the crown) had 27% coverage. In the second study, increasing the application volume from 187 to 375 L ha−1 increased coverage by 81%. Increasing the application volume from 375 to 740 L ha−1 increased coverage 33% with maximal coverage of 53% at 740 L ha−1. Nozzle type (standard even flat spray tip, Drift Guard, or TwinJet nozzles) did not affect coverage or deposition volume below the canopy. Overall, mature strawberry canopies demonstrated similar spray droplet penetration across cultivars with increased penetration with increased distance from the crown. Penetration increased with increasing application volume, but the nozzle types used in this experiment did not affect penetration. Additional research is needed to better define the effect of application volume on herbicide efficacy.
Fomesafen is a protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PROTOX) inhibitor that has the potential to be used as an alternative mechanism of action for PRE nutsedge and broadleaf weed control in Florida production of small fruit and vegetables. Fumigation in the raised-bed plasticulture system may increase herbicide persistence. Fomesafen persistence could dissuade Florida growers from using the herbicide for fear of injury to subsequent susceptible crops. Field experiments were conducted in Balm, FL, in 2015 and 2016 to investigate the effect of fumigation on fomesafen dissipation, eggplant tolerance, and purple nutsedge control. Treatments included fomesafen at 0.42 kg ai ha−1, S-metolachlor at 1.06 kg ai ha−1, and a nontreated control in either a fumigated bed injected with a combination of 39% 1,3-dichloropropene and 59.6% chloropicrin at 336 kg ha−1 or no fumigant. Fomesafen concentration in the soil decreased by 83% and 96% from application to harvest in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Fumigation did not affect fomesafen dissipation in either year. At 2 wk after transplant (WATr), fomesafen caused 14% eggplant injury. Injury decreased to less than 5% at 6 WATr. Fomesafen and S-metolachlor treatments did not reduce eggplant height or yields compared with the nontreated control. Fumigation and fomesafen did not decrease purple nutsedge density; however, S-metolachlor applications resulted in a 48% reduction. Further research is needed to assess efficacy on broadleaf and grass weeds.
Strawberries are an important horticultural crop in Florida. Black medic is among the most problematic weeds within the production system. To better coordinate control measures, black medic growth and development while in competition with strawberry was studied. Twelve plants were randomly selected at each of four field sites in Hillsborough County, FL, in 2014. Plants were repeatedly measured over the growing season for stem length and number of primary branches, flower buds, flowers, and seed clusters. Growing degree days (GDD) were calculated (Tbase=0 C) starting from the hole-punch application of the plastic mulch (October 8, 2014, to October 10, 2014) from weather station data generated from the Florida Automated Weather Network. Strawberry height and width increased consistently across all sites, but black medic growth and development varied considerably. Strawberry suppressed black medic growth up to 1,805 cumulative GDD at three of four sites where black medic remained beneath the strawberry canopy. After 1,805 GDD, the black medic stems still remained below but experienced exponential growth for total stem length and, in turn, flower buds, inflorescence, and immature seed clusters. Ideal clopyralid spray timing based on susceptible plant size was 890 to 1,152 GDD. Optimal hand-weeding time frames would likely occur as the plant stems expand beyond the strawberry canopy (to improve visibility) and before flower production to prevent seed return to the seedbank. First seed production was observed at 1,200 GDD at the earliest site and between 1,966 to 2,365 GDD across all the other sites. Overall, consistent trends were observed across sites, but between-site variability was observed that could not be accounted for by differences in temperature.
Mulches used in plasticulture systems could decrease dissipation of fomesafen, a protoporphyrinogen oxidase inhibitor, and dissuade producers from using the herbicide for fear of crop injury in subsequent growing seasons. Field experiments were conducted in Balm, FL, in 2015 and 2016 to investigate the effect of different plastic mulches on fomesafen dissipation, squash tolerance, and efficacy on purple nutsedge. Squash was injured less than 5% from fomesafen applications. The use of plastic mulches reduced purple nutsedge density at transplant by 60% compared with the no-mulch treatment. At transplant, treatments with low-density polyethylene mulch (LDPE), virtually impermeable film (VIF), and totally impermeable film (TIF) mulch had greater than 2-fold the fomesafen concentrations than treatments with clear or no mulch. At harvest in 2015, LDPE, VIF, and TIF treatments had greater fomesafen concentrations than clear and no-mulch treatments; however, concentrations in 2016 were similar for all treatments. Fomesafen can persist at high concentrations throughout the growing season in Florida plasticulture possibly limiting producer options for crop rotation and the use of cover crops.
Small automatic telescopes have been used for several years to make wide band, differential photometric observations of brighter variable stars. For example, a single automatic telescope located in Arizona has been used to study essentially the entire class of RS Canum Venaticorum binaries. These stars have changing spot structures that require once-a-night photometric observations - an ideal job for an automatic telescope located in the clear skies of Arizona. The operation of such automatic systems has become so routine that an “Automatic Photoelectric Telescope Service” now makes photometric observations for any institution so requesting. A list of stars is sent to the Arizona site of this service, and every three months the observational results are returned, with the cost typically being similar to the publication page charges. Currently the use of automatic telescopes is being extended to fainter stars and narrower bandwidths. For instance, a highly specialized one-meter telescope has been designed for automatic observations of Ca II K-line emissions from brighter active chromosphere stars. Further extensions of such automation seem likely.
Quinoa, Chenopodium quinoa Willdenow (Amaranthaceae), cultivation has expanded beyond its historical range in South America into Europe and North America due to its high nutritional properties for human consumption. With the introduction of a crop into a novel range comes the potential for insect pest issues. Here, using traditional morphology and DNA barcoding we identify larvae of Scrobipalpa atriplicella (von Röslerstamm) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), an introduced Eurasian moth, feeding on quinoa throughout the Prairie region of western Canada. Larvae can feed within the stem, on foliage, and directly on seed within the panicles, which can result in up to a 100% yield loss. We summarise distinguishing adult characteristics, potential host plants, and give initial remarks on the life cycle of this moth and its known host range in Canada. The potential for high yield losses makes further investigation of S. atriplicella a priority to maintain and expand sustainable quinoa production in Canada.