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Music or other background sounds are often played in barns as environmental enrichment for animals on farms or to mask sudden disruptive noises. Previous studies looking at the effects of this practice on non-human animal well-being and productivity have found contradictory results. However, there is still a lack of discussion on whether piglets have the ability to distinguish different types of music. In this study, we exposed piglets to different music conditions to investigate whether the piglets preferred certain music types, in which case those types would have the potential to be used as environmental enrichment. In total, 30 piglets were tested for music type preference to determine whether growing pigs respond differently to different types of music. We used music from two families of instruments (S: string, W: wind) and with two tempos (S: slow, 65 beats/min (bpm); F: fast, 200 bpm), providing four music-type combinations (SS: string-slow; SF: string-fast; WS: wind-slow; WF: wind-fast). The piglets were given a choice between two chambers, one with no music and the other with one of the four types of music, and their behaviour was observed. The results showed that SS and WF music significantly increased residence time (P<0.01) compared with the other music conditions. Compared with the control group (with no music), the different music conditions led to different behavioural responses, where SS music significantly increased lying (P<0.01) and exploration behaviour (P<0.01); SF music significantly increased tail-wagging behaviour (P<0.01); WS music significantly increased exploration (P<0.01); and WF music significantly increased walking, lying, standing and exploration (all P<0.01). The results also showed that musical instruments and tempo had little effect on most of the behaviours. Fast-tempo music significantly increased walking (P=0.02), standing (P<0.01) and tail wagging (P=0.04) compared with slow-tempo music. In conclusion, the results of this experiment show that piglets are more sensitive to tempo than to musical instruments in their response to musical stimulation and seem to prefer SS and WF music to the other two types. The results also suggest a need for further research on the effect of music types on animals.
This study aims to investigate the climate–malaria associations in nine cities selected from malaria high-risk areas in China. Daily reports of malaria cases in Anhui, Henan, and Yunnan Provinces for 2005–2012 were obtained from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Generalized estimating equation models were used to quantify the city-specific climate–malaria associations. Multivariate random-effects meta-regression analyses were used to pool the city-specific effects. An inverted-U-shaped curve relationship was observed between temperatures, average relative humidity, and malaria. A 1 °C increase of maximum temperature (Tmax) resulted in 6·7% (95% CI 4·6–8·8%) to 15·8% (95% CI 14·1–17·4%) increase of malaria, with corresponding lags ranging from 7 to 45 days. For minimum temperature (Tmin), the effect estimates peaked at lag 0 to 40 days, ranging from 5·3% (95% CI 4·4–6·2%) to 17·9% (95% CI 15·6–20·1%). Malaria is more sensitive to Tmin in cool climates and Tmax in warm climates. The duration of lag effect in a cool climate zone is longer than that in a warm climate zone. Lagged effects did not vanish after an epidemic season but waned gradually in the following 2–3 warm seasons. A warming climate may potentially increase the risk of malaria resurgence in China.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), located in Western Australia, is one of the low-frequency precursors of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. In addition to pursuing its own ambitious science programme, it is also a testbed for wide range of future SKA activities ranging from hardware, software to data analysis. The key science programmes for the MWA and SKA require very high dynamic ranges, which challenges calibration and imaging systems. Correct calibration of the instrument and accurate measurements of source flux densities and polarisations require precise characterisation of the telescope’s primary beam. Recent results from the MWA GaLactic Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array (GLEAM) survey show that the previously implemented Average Embedded Element (AEE) model still leaves residual polarisations errors of up to 10–20% in Stokes Q. We present a new simulation-based Full Embedded Element (FEE) model which is the most rigorous realisation yet of the MWA’s primary beam model. It enables efficient calculation of the MWA beam response in arbitrary directions without necessity of spatial interpolation. In the new model, every dipole in the MWA tile (4 × 4 bow-tie dipoles) is simulated separately, taking into account all mutual coupling, ground screen, and soil effects, and therefore accounts for the different properties of the individual dipoles within a tile. We have applied the FEE beam model to GLEAM observations at 200–231 MHz and used false Stokes parameter leakage as a metric to compare the models. We have determined that the FEE model reduced the magnitude and declination-dependent behaviour of false polarisation in Stokes Q and V while retaining low levels of false polarisation in Stokes U.
The current generation of experiments aiming to detect the neutral hydrogen signal from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) is likely to be limited by systematic effects associated with removing foreground sources from target fields. In this paper, we develop a model for the compact foreground sources in one of the target fields of the MWA’s EoR key science experiment: the ‘EoR1’ field. The model is based on both the MWA’s GLEAM survey and GMRT 150 MHz data from the TGSS survey, the latter providing higher angular resolution and better astrometric accuracy for compact sources than is available from the MWA alone. The model contains 5 049 sources, some of which have complicated morphology in MWA data, Fornax A being the most complex. The higher resolution data show that 13% of sources that appear point-like to the MWA have complicated morphology such as double and quad structure, with a typical separation of 33 arcsec. We derive an analytic expression for the error introduced into the EoR two-dimensional power spectrum due to peeling close double sources as single point sources and show that for the measured source properties, the error in the power spectrum is confined to high k⊥ modes that do not affect the overall result for the large-scale cosmological signal of interest. The brightest 10 mis-modelled sources in the field contribute 90% of the power bias in the data, suggesting that it is most critical to improve the models of the brightest sources. With this hybrid model, we reprocess data from the EoR1 field and show a maximum of 8% improved calibration accuracy and a factor of two reduction in residual power in k-space from peeling these sources. Implications for future EoR experiments including the SKA are discussed in relation to the improvements obtained.
Campylobacter spp. is a commonly reported food-borne disease with major consequences for morbidity. In conjunction with predicted increases in temperature, proliferation in the survival of microorganisms in hotter environments is expected. This is likely to lead, in turn, to an increase in contamination of food and water and a rise in numbers of cases of infectious gastroenteritis. This study assessed the relationship of Campylobacter spp. with temperature and heatwaves, in Adelaide, South Australia.
We estimated the effect of (i) maximum temperature and (ii) heatwaves on daily Campylobacter cases during the warm seasons (1 October to 31 March) from 1990 to 2012 using Poisson regression models.
There was no evidence of a substantive effect of maximum temperature per 1 °C rise (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0·995, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0·993–0·997) nor heatwaves (IRR 0·906, 95% CI 0·800–1·026) on Campylobacter cases. In relation to heatwave intensity, which is the daily maximum temperature during a heatwave, notifications decreased by 19% within a temperature range of 39–40·9 °C (IRR 0·811, 95% CI 0·692–0·952). We found little evidence of an increase in risk and lack of association between Campylobacter cases and temperature or heatwaves in the warm seasons. Heatwave intensity may play a role in that notifications decreased with higher temperatures. Further examination of the role of behavioural and environmental factors in an effort to reduce the risk of increased Campylobacter cases is warranted.
Longan County is considered a highly endemic area for hepatitis B virus (HBV). The plasma-derived vaccine has been used in newborns in this area since 1987. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of this vaccine. In total, 1634 participants born during 1987–1993 and who had received a series of plasma-derived HB vaccinations at ages 0, 1, and 6 months were enrolled. Serological HBV markers were detected and compared with previous survey data. Overall the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in all participants was 3·79%; 3·47% of subjects who had received the first dose within 24 h were HBsAg positive, and 8·41% of subjects who had received a delayed first dose were also HBsAg positive. There were 1527 subjects identified who had received the first dose within 24 h and whose HBsAg and anti-HBc prevalence increased yearly after immunization, while the anti-HBs-positive rate and vaccine effectiveness declined. The geometric mean concentration of antibody in the anti-HB-positive participants was 55·13 mIU/ml and this declined after immunization. Fewer than 2·0% of participants had anti-HB levels ⩾1000 mIU/ml. The data show that the protective efficacy of the plasma-derived vaccinations declined and administration of HB vaccine within 24 h of birth was very important. To reduce the risk of HBV infection in this highly endemic area, a booster dose might be necessary if anti-HBs levels fall below 10 mIU/ml after age 18 years. Furthermore, studies on the immune memory induced by plasma-derived HB vaccine are needed.
Changing trends in foodborne disease are influenced by many factors, including temperature. Globally and in Australia, warmer ambient temperatures are projected to rise if climate change continues. Salmonella spp. are a temperature-sensitive pathogen and rising temperature can have a substantial effect on disease burden affecting human health. We examined the relationship between temperature and Salmonella spp. and serotype notifications in Adelaide, Australia. Time-series Poisson regression models were fit to estimate the effect of temperature during warmer months on Salmonella spp. and serotype cases notified from 1990 to 2012. Long-term trends, seasonality, autocorrelation and lagged effects were included in the statistical models. Daily Salmonella spp. counts increased by 1·3% [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1·013, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·008–1·019] per 1 °C rise in temperature in the warm season with greater increases observed in specific serotype and phage-type cases ranging from 3·4% (IRR 1·034, 95% CI 1·008–1·061) to 4·4% (IRR 1·044, 95% CI 1·024–1·064). We observed increased cases of S. Typhimurium PT9 and S. Typhimurium PT108 notifications above a threshold of 39 °C. This study has identified the impact of warm season temperature on different Salmonella spp. strains and confirms higher temperature has a greater effect on phage-type notifications. The findings will contribute targeted information for public health policy interventions, including food safety programmes during warmer weather.
Structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) traits share part of their genetic variance with cognitive traits. Here, we use genetic association results from large meta-analytic studies of genome-wide association (GWA) for brain infarcts (BI), white matter hyperintensities, intracranial, hippocampal, and total brain volumes to estimate polygenic scores for these traits in three Scottish samples: Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS:SFHS), and the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1936 (LBC1936) and 1921 (LBC1921). These five brain MRI trait polygenic scores were then used to: (1) predict corresponding MRI traits in the LBC1936 (numbers ranged 573 to 630 across traits), and (2) predict cognitive traits in all three cohorts (in 8,115–8,250 persons). In the LBC1936, all MRI phenotypic traits were correlated with at least one cognitive measure, and polygenic prediction of MRI traits was observed for intracranial volume. Meta-analysis of the correlations between MRI polygenic scores and cognitive traits revealed a significant negative correlation (maximal r = 0.08) between the HV polygenic score and measures of global cognitive ability collected in childhood and in old age in the Lothian Birth Cohorts. The lack of association to a related general cognitive measure when including the GS:SFHS points to either type 1 error or the importance of using prediction samples that closely match the demographics of the GWA samples from which prediction is based. Ideally, these analyses should be repeated in larger samples with data on both MRI and cognition, and using MRI GWA results from even larger meta-analysis studies.
Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MDRPA) infections are major threats to healthcare-associated infection control and the intrinsic molecular mechanisms of MDRPA are also unclear. We examined 348 isolates of P. aeruginosa, including 188 MDRPA and 160 non-MDRPA, obtained from five tertiary-care hospitals in Guangzhou, China. Significant correlations were found between gene/enzyme carriage and increased rates of antimicrobial resistance (P < 0·01). gyrA mutation, OprD loss and metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) presence were identified as crucial molecular risk factors for MDRPA acquisition by a combination of univariate logistic regression and a multifactor dimensionality reduction approach. The MDRPA rate was also elevated with the increase in positive numbers of those three determinants (P < 0·001). Thus, gyrA mutation, OprD loss and MBL presence may serve as predictors for early screening of MDRPA infections in clinical settings.
Accurate knowledge of intra-specific diversity of underutilized crop species is a prerequisite for their genetic improvement and utilization. The diversity of 77 accessions of African yam bean (AYB, Sphenostylis stenocarpa) was assessed by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. A total of EcoRI/MseI primer pairs were selected and 227 AFLP bands were generated, of which 59(26%) were found to be polymorphic in the 77 accessions of AYB. The most efficient primer combination for polymorphic detection was E-ACT/M-CAG with a polymorphic efficiency of 85.5%, while the least efficient was E-AGC/M-CAG with a polymorphic efficiency of 80.6%. The Jaccard genetic distance among the accessions of AYB ranged between 0.048 and 0.842 with a mean of 0.444. TSs98 and TSs104B were found to be the most similar accessions with a genetic similarity of 0.952. The neighbour-joining dendrogram grouped the 77 accessions of AYB into four distinct clusters comprising 8, 20, 21 and 28 accessions. The major clustering of the accessions was not related to their geographical origin. Cluster I was found to be the most diverse. The mean fixation index (0.203) and the mean expected heterozygosity (0.284) revealed a broad genetic base of the AYB accessions. The same germplasm set was previously evaluated for several agro-morphological traits. As the collection of additional AYB germplasm continues, the phenotypic profile, the clustering of the accessions and the AFLP primer combinations from this study can be used to augment breeding programmes.
Titanium (IV) oxide, TiO2, has been the object of intense scrutiny for energy applications. TiO2 is inexpensive, non-toxic, and has excellent corrosion resistance when exposed to electrolytes. A major drawback preventing the widespread use TiO2 for photolysis is its relatively large band gap of ∼3eV. Only light with wavelengths shorter than 400 nm, which is in the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum, has sufficient energy to be absorbed. Less than 14 percent of the solar irradiation reaching the earth’s surface has energy exceeding this band gap. Adding dopants such as transition metals has long been used to reduce the gap and increase photocatalytic activity by accessing the visible part of the solar spectrum. The degree to which the band gap is reduced using transition metals depends in part on the overlap of the d-orbitals of the transition metals with the oxygen p-orbitals. Therefore, doping with anions such as nitrogen to modify the cation-anion orbital overlap is another approach to reduce the gap. Recent studies suggest that using a combination of transition metals and nitrogen as dopants is more effective at introducing intermediate states within the band gap, effectively narrowing it. Here we report the synthesis of mesoporous TiO2 spheres, co-doped with transition metals and nitrogen that exhibit a nearly flat absorbance response across the visible spectrum extending into the near infrared.
The relationship between recurrent major depression (MD) in women and suicidality is complex. We investigated the extent to which patients who suffered with various forms of suicidal symptomatology can be distinguished from those subjects without such symptoms.
We examined the clinical features of the worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV MD between the ages of 30 and 60 years from across China. Student's t tests, and logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between suicidality and other clinical features of MD.
Suicidal symptomatology is significantly associated with a more severe form of MD, as indexed by both the number of episodes and number of MD symptoms. Patients reporting suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts experienced a significantly greater number of stressful life events. The depressive symptom most strongly associated with lifetime suicide attempt was feelings of worthlessness (odds ratio 4.25, 95% confidence interval 2.9–6.3). Excessive guilt, diminished concentration and impaired decision-making were also significantly associated with a suicide attempt.
This study contributes to the existing literature on risk factors for suicidal symptomatology in depressed women. Identifying specific depressive symptoms and co-morbid psychiatric disorders may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients. These findings could be helpful in identifying those who need more intense treatment strategies in order to prevent suicide.
“Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) waves” are large-scale wavelike transients often associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs). In this Letter, we present a possible detection of a fast-mode EUV wave associated with a mini-CME observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. On 2010 December 1, a small-scale EUV wave erupted near the disk center associated with a mini-CME, which showed all the low corona manifestations of a typical CME. The CME was triggered by the eruption of a mini-filament, with a typical length of about 30′′. Although the eruption was tiny, the wave had the appearance of an almost semicircular front and propagated at a uniform velocity of 220−250km s-1 with very little angular dependence. The CME lateral expansion was asymmetric with an inclination toward north, and the southern footprints of the CME loops hardly shifted. The lateral expansion resulted in deep long-duration dimmings, showing the CME extent. Our analysis confirms that the small-scale EUV wave is a true wave, interpreted as the fast-mode wave.
A universal hepatitis B vaccination programme has been conducted in Long An county since 1986. To investigate the epidemiological changes in hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection we conducted a serosurvey there in 2005. A total of 4686 subjects were enrolled and vaccination history and blood samples collected. HBV infective markers were determined by radioimmunoassay. The results were compared with the data of 1985. Our results show that the overall HBsAg prevalence was 7·5%, less than half of the prevalence reported in 1985. HBsAg and anti-HBc antibody prevalence in people born after 1985 decreased markedly. The gender difference in HBsAg prevalence was abolished in subjects aged <20 years. The administration of a first dose of vaccine within 24 h could reduce the HBsAg prevalence by half. In conclusion, the marked epidemiological changes in HBV prevalence found in this serosurvey indicate that the implementation of HBV vaccination was highly successful.
Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) is one of the most promising food legumes in Africa, due to its agronomic and nutritional potential. To take advantage of these attributes, several research programmes gathering agronomic and genetic data are being implemented throughout Africa. In this context, the response of yield and yield components to sowing density and seedbed type were tested in a three-year (2005, 2006 and 2007) field experiment using a bambara groundnut landrace with a semi-bunch growth habit. Three plant population densities: 13 900 plants ha−1, 62 500 plants ha−1 and 250 000 plants ha−1 were coupled with two seedbed types – raised and flat. A factorial trial using a split-plot design with three replicates was set up to analyse seed yield and plant biomass, as well as nine yield components. Sowing density influenced significantly (p < 0.05) seed yield (direct relationship) and most of the yield components (inverse relationship). The highest seed yields were observed on high-density plots (4.11 ± 1.05 ha−1). In contrast, seedbed type and year of experiment did not influence significantly the marketable yield and plant biomass (p > 0.05). This result has been attributed to the suitability of the amount and distribution of rainfall and temperature for the production of bambara groundnut at the target site. Based on the trend of yield response, cultivation of landraces of bambara groundnut characterized by a semi-bunch growth habit at high density on flat seedbeds was suggested in woodland savannas of Côte d'Ivoire to enhance seeds yield and reduce labour.
Ross River virus (RRV) infection is the most common notifiable vector-borne disease in Australia, with around 6000 cases annually. This study aimed to examine the relationship between climate variability and notified RRV infections in the Riverland region of South Australia in order to set up an early warning system for the disease in temperate-climate regions. Notified data of RRV infections were collected by the South Australian Department of Health. Climatic variables and monthly river flow were provided by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and South Australian Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation over the period 1992–2004. Spearman correlation and time-series-adjusted Poisson regression analysis were performed. The results indicate that increases in monthly mean minimum and maximum temperatures, monthly total rainfall, monthly mean Southern Oscillation Index and monthly flow in the Murray River increase the likelihood, but an increase in monthly mean relative humidity decreases the likelihood, of disease transmission in the region, with different time-lag effects. This study demonstrates that a useful early warning system can be developed for local regions based on the statistical analysis of readily available climate data. These early warning systems can be utilized by local public health authorities to develop disease prevention and control activities.
To examine work-related blood and body fluid exposure (BBFE) among health-care workers (HCWs), to explore potential risk factors and to provide policy suggestions, a 6-year retrospective study of all reported BBFE among HCWs (1998–2003) was conducted in a 430-bed teaching hospital in Australia. Results showed that BBFE reporting was consistent throughout the study period, with medical staff experiencing the highest rate of sharps injury (10·4%). Hollow-bore needles were implicated in 51·7% of all percutaneous injuries. Most incidents occurred during sharps use (40·4%) or after use but before disposal (27·1%). Nursing staff experienced 68·5% of reported mucocutaneous exposure. Many such exposures occurred in the absence of any protective attire (61·1%). This study indicated that emphasis on work practice, attire, disposal systems and education strategies, as well as the use of safety sharps should be employed to reduce work-related injuries among HCWs in Australia.