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Long-term forest dynamics plots in the tropics tend to be situated on stable terrain. This study investigated forest dynamics on the north coast of New Guinea where active subduction zones are uplifting lowland basins and exposing relatively young sediments to rapid weathering. We examined forest dynamics in relation to disturbance history, topography and soil nutrients based on partial re-census of the 50-ha Wanang Forest Dynamics Plot in Papua New Guinea. The plot is relatively high in cations and phosphorus but low in nitrogen. Soil nutrients and topography accounted for 29% of variation in species composition but only 4% of variation in basal area. There were few areas of high biomass and most of the forest was comprised of small-diameter stems. Approximately 18% of the forest was less than 30 y old and the annual tree mortality rate of nearly 4% was higher than in other tropical forests in South-East Asia and the neotropics. These results support the reputation of New Guinea's forests as highly dynamic, with frequent natural disturbance. Empirical documentation of this hypothesis expands our understanding of tropical forest dynamics and suggests that geomorphology might be incorporated in models of global carbon storage especially in regions of unstable terrain.
We present the glacier-wide summer surface mass balances determined by a detailed hydrological balance (sSMBhydro) and the quantification of the uncertainties of the calculations on the Argentière and Mer de Glace-Leschaux drainage basins, located in the upper Arve watershed (French Alps), over the period 1996–2004. The spatial distribution of precipitation within the study area was adjusted using in situ winter mass-balance measurements. The sSMBhydro performance was assessed via a comparison with the summer surface mass balances based on in situ glaciological observations (sSMBglacio). Our results show that the sSMBhydro has an uncertainty of ± 0.67 m w.e. a−1 at Argentière and ± 0.66 m w.e. a−1 at Mer de Glace-Leschaux. Estimates of the Argentière sSMBhydro values are in good agreement with the sSMBglacio values. These time series show almost the same interannual variability. From the marked difference between the sSMBhydro and sSMBglacio values for the Mer de Glace-Leschaux glacier, we suspect a significant role of groundwater fluxes in the hydrological balance. This study underlines the importance of taking into account the groundwater transfers to represent and predict the hydro-glaciological behaviour of a catchment.
Predicting recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI) remains difficult. METHODS. We employed a retrospective cohort design. Granular electronic medical record (EMR) data had been collected from patients hospitalized at 21 Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals. The derivation dataset (2007–2013) included data from 9,386 patients who experienced incident CDI (iCDI) and 1,311 who experienced their first CDI recurrences (rCDI). The validation dataset (2014) included data from 1,865 patients who experienced incident CDI and 144 who experienced rCDI. Using multiple techniques, including machine learning, we evaluated more than 150 potential predictors. Our final analyses evaluated 3 models with varying degrees of complexity and 1 previously published model.
Despite having a large multicenter cohort and access to granular EMR data (eg, vital signs, and laboratory test results), none of the models discriminated well (c statistics, 0.591–0.605), had good calibration, or had good explanatory power.
Our ability to predict rCDI remains limited. Given currently available EMR technology, improvements in prediction will require incorporating new variables because currently available data elements lack adequate explanatory power.
Introduction: Children with moderate cellulitis are often treated with IV antibiotics in the hospital setting, as per recommendations. Previously in our hospital, a protocol using daily IV ceftriaxone with follow-up at the day treatment center (DTC) was used to avoid admission. In 2013, a new protocol was implanted and suggested the use of high dose (HD) oral cephalexin with follow-up at the DTC for those patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the HD cephalexin protocol to treat moderate cellulitis in children as outpatient. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted. Children were included if they presented to the ED between January 2014 and 2016 and were diagnosed with a moderate cellulitis sufficiently severe to request a follow up at DTC and who were treated according to the standard of care with the HD oral cephalexin (100 mg/kg/day) protocol. Descriptive statistics for clinical characteristics of patients upon presentation, as well as for treatment characteristics in the ED and DTC were analyzed. Treatment failure was defined as: need for admission at the time of DTC evaluation, change for IV treatment in DTC or return visit to the ED. Outcomes were compared to historic controls treated with IV ceftriaxone at the DTC, where admission was avoided in 80% of cases. Results: During the study period, 682 children with cellulitis were diagnosed in our ED. Of these, 117 patients were treated using the oral HD cephalexin outpatient protocol. Success rate was 89.5% (102/114); 3 patients had an alternative diagnosis at DTC. Treatment failure was reported in 12 cases; 10 patients (8.8%) required admission, one (0.9%) received IV antibiotics at DTC, and one (0.9%) had a return visit to the ED without admission or change to the treatment. This compares favorably with the previous study using IV ceftriaxone (success rate of 80%). No severe deep infections were reported or missed; 4 patients required drainage. The mean number of visits per patient required at the DTC was 1.6. Conclusion: Treatment of moderate cellulitis requiring a follow-up in a DTC, using an oral outpatient protocol with HD cephalexin is a secure and effective option. By reducing hospitalization rate and avoiding the need for painful IV insertion, HD cephalexin is a favourable option in the management of moderate cellulitis for pediatric patients, when no criteria of toxicity are present.
This review summarizes the results from the INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) divergent selection experiment on residual feed intake (RFI) in growing Large White pigs during nine generations of selection. It discusses the remaining challenges and perspectives for the improvement of feed efficiency in growing pigs. The impacts on growing pigs raised under standard conditions and in alternative situations such as heat stress, inflammatory challenges or lactation have been studied. After nine generations of selection, the divergent selection for RFI led to highly significant (P<0.001) line differences for RFI (−165 g/day in the low RFI (LRFI) line compared with high RFI line) and daily feed intake (−270 g/day). Low responses were observed on growth rate (−12.8 g/day, P<0.05) and body composition (+0.9 mm backfat thickness, P=0.57; −2.64% lean meat content, P<0.001) with a marked response on feed conversion ratio (−0.32 kg feed/kg gain, P<0.001). Reduced ultimate pH and increased lightness of the meat (P<0.001) were observed in LRFI pigs with minor impact on the sensory quality of the meat. These changes in meat quality were associated with changes of the muscular energy metabolism. Reduced maintenance energy requirements (−10% after five generations of selection) and activity (−21% of time standing after six generations of selection) of LRFI pigs greatly contributed to the gain in energy efficiency. However, the impact of selection for RFI on the protein metabolism of the pig remains unclear. Digestibility of energy and nutrients was not affected by selection, neither for pigs fed conventional diets nor for pigs fed high-fibre diets. A significant improvement of digestive efficiency could likely be achieved by selecting pigs on fibre diets. No convincing genetic or blood biomarker has been identified for explaining the differences in RFI, suggesting that pigs have various ways to achieve an efficient use of feed. No deleterious impact of the selection on the sow reproduction performance was observed. The resource allocation theory states that low RFI may reduce the ability to cope with stressors, via the reduction of a buffer compartment dedicated to responses to stress. None of the experiments focussed on the response of pigs to stress or challenges could confirm this theory. Understanding the relationships between RFI and responses to stress and energy demanding processes, as such immunity and lactation, remains a major challenge for a better understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms of the trait and to reconcile the experimental results with the resource allocation theory.
We present here the new line installed at the LMC14 laboratory (Saclay, France) for dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) extraction from marine and freshwater samples. The operating system and extraction process are described. The efficiency of the line design was checked, and the background (0.42 ± 0.11 pMC) and the reproducibility on artificial samples obtained by dissolution of IAEA-C1, IAEA-C2, and commercial bicarbonate in water were evaluated. An intercomparison with an independent lab (IDES) was also carried out on a natural sample. The line processes 3 samples a day under a helium flow and is able to run samples up to 40,000 ka.
The Artemis accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility is dedicated to high-precision radiocarbon measurements. It routinely measures over 4500 samples a year for French laboratories. This paper is a status report, showing the measurements of standard, blank, and FIRI intercomparison samples. Since 2008, research and development programs have been established by the Artemis team. During the collaborations with other research laboratories, intercomparisons on archaeological samples were performed and are listed here to show the quality of the Artemis measurements. Three areas of specific research and development are investigated: technical development, beam optic simulations, and specific archaeological studies. The technical developments of the facility are based on the setup of a new bench for water sample preparation and routine microsample preparation and measurement. Beam optic simulations are carried out to control the quality of the measurement related to the tuning of the facility. International collaborations are always in progress. In 2012, the programs include improving the accuracy of reigns for the dynastic Egypt period and the 14C dating of ancient iron.
The Artemis accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility, installed in 2003 in Saclay, France, is devoted to radiocarbon measurements. Samples are submitted by scientists in the fields of Quaternary geology, environmental sciences, and archaeology. The entire preparation process, originally optimized for samples with about 1 mg of carbon, has been tested in recent years for samples with a lower carbon content. In particular, we prepared and measured carbonate and organic background and reference samples ranging in mass from 0.01 to 1 mg C. These tests helped define our protocol's practical limits and determine necessary improvements. Furthermore, our experiments demonstrated that satisfactory graphitization yields (80% and higher) and low background values can be obtained with samples down to 0.2 mg of carbon. For handling smaller samples, we developed a specific process. We tested smaller reactors (5 mL in volume) and adapted the reduction parameters (H2 pressure and temperature) accordingly. We also tested the effect of a chemical water trap on graphitization yields and 14C results. This paper presents in detail the aforementioned developments and reports the 14C results obtained for background and standard small samples prepared with the modified reactors.
A recent outbreak of Q fever was linked to an intensive goat and sheep dairy farm in Victoria, Australia, 2012-2014. Seventeen employees and one family member were confirmed with Q fever over a 28-month period, including two culture-positive cases. The outbreak investigation and management involved a One Health approach with representation from human, animal, environmental and public health. Seroprevalence in non-pregnant milking goats was 15% [95% confidence interval (CI) 7–27]; active infection was confirmed by positive quantitative PCR on several animal specimens. Genotyping of Coxiella burnetii DNA obtained from goat and human specimens was identical by two typing methods. A number of farming practices probably contributed to the outbreak, with similar precipitating factors to the Netherlands outbreak, 2007-2012. Compared to workers in a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filtered factory, administrative staff in an unfiltered adjoining office and those regularly handling goats and kids had 5·49 (95% CI 1·29–23·4) and 5·65 (95% CI 1·09–29·3) times the risk of infection, respectively; suggesting factory workers were protected from windborne spread of organisms. Reduction in the incidence of human cases was achieved through an intensive human vaccination programme plus environmental and biosecurity interventions. Subsequent non-occupational acquisition of Q fever in the spouse of an employee, indicates that infection remains endemic in the goat herd, and remains a challenge to manage without source control.
Whole-grain intake has been reported to be associated with a lower risk of several lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, CVD and some types of cancers. As measurement errors in self-reported whole-grain intake assessments can be substantial, dietary biomarkers are relevant to be used as complementary tools for dietary intake assessment. Alkylresorcinols (AR) are phenolic lipids found almost exclusively in whole-grain wheat and rye products among the commonly consumed foods and are considered as valid biomarkers of the intake of these products. In the present study, we analysed the plasma concentrations of five AR homologues in 2845 participants from ten European countries from a nested case–control study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. High concentrations of plasma total AR were found in participants from Scandinavia and Central Europe and lower concentrations in those from the Mediterranean countries. The geometric mean plasma total AR concentrations were between 35 and 41 nmol/l in samples drawn from fasting participants in the Central European and Scandinavian countries and below 23 nmol/l in those of participants from the Mediterranean countries. The whole-grain source (wheat or rye) could be determined using the ratio of two of the homologues. The main source was wheat in Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, whereas rye was also consumed in considerable amounts in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The present study demonstrates a considerable variation in the plasma concentrations of total AR and concentrations of AR homologues across ten European countries, reflecting both quantitative and qualitative differences in the intake of whole-grain wheat and rye.
Although usually thought of as external environmental stressors, a significant heritable component has been reported for measures of stressful life events (SLEs) in twin studies.
We examined the variance in SLEs captured by common genetic variants from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 2578 individuals. Genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA) was used to estimate the phenotypic variance tagged by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We also performed a GWAS on the number of SLEs, and looked at correlations between siblings.
A significant proportion of variance in SLEs was captured by SNPs (30%, p = 0.04). When events were divided into those considered to be dependent or independent, an equal amount of variance was explained for both. This ‘heritability’ was in part confounded by personality measures of neuroticism and psychoticism. A GWAS for the total number of SLEs revealed one SNP that reached genome-wide significance (p = 4 × 10−8), although this association was not replicated in separate samples. Using available sibling data for 744 individuals, we also found a significant positive correlation of R2 = 0.08 in SLEs (p = 0.03).
These results provide independent validation from molecular data for the heritability of reporting environmental measures, and show that this heritability is in part due to both common variants and the confounding effect of personality.
This chapter develops the fundamental capacity limits and associated transmission techniques for different cognitive radio network paradigms. These limits are based on the premise that the cognitive radios of secondary users are intelligent wireless communication devices that exploit side information about their environment to improve spectrum utilization. This side information typically consists of knowledge about the activity, channels, encoding strategies, and/or transmitted data sequences of the primary users with which the secondary users share the spectrum. Based on the nature of the available side information as well as regulatory constraints on spectrum usage, cognitive radio systems seek to underlay, overlay, or interweave the secondary users' signals with the transmissions of primary users. This chapter develops the fundamental capacity limits for all three cognitive radio paradigms. These capacity limits provide guidelines for the spectral efficiency possible in cognitive radio networks, as well as practical design ideas to optimize performance of such networks.
While the general definition of cognitive radio was provided in Chapter 1, we now interpret that definition in a mathematically precise manner that can be used in the development of cognitive radio capacity limits. Specifically, in the mathematical terminology of information theory, it is the availability and utilization of network side information that defines a cognitive radio, which we formalize as follows.
A cognitive radio is a wireless communication device that intelligently utilizes any available side information about the (a) activity, (b) channel conditions, (c) encoding strategies, or (d) transmitted data sequences of primary users with which it shares the spectrum.