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Global change research has shown how altering factors like temperature and precipitation can impact insect ecology. However, despite global changes in wind patterns, the effects of altering wind have been relatively unexplored, and even less is understood about indirect effects on insects. To better understand indirect effects of wind on pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris); Hemiptera: Aphididae), we performed two experiments using different techniques for simulating mechanical stimulation effects from wind. First, we used either a brush or leaf to simulate plant-to-plant contact caused by wind. Then we tested the indirect effects of wind by distinguishing between wind and wind plus plant contact produced by adjacent plants. In the first experiment, aphid fecundity was reduced on plants with the leaf-to-plant treatment compared to the control. In the second experiment, wind treatments reduced pea aphid fecundity, but wind did not interact with plant density. Our results further the idea that altering wind patterns can influence plant–insect interactions. We also show that more research is necessary to disentangle how and why wind indirectly influences herbivores. Future research should focus on how pea aphid responses to wind change due to the methodology of wind exposure and interactions with additional biotic and abiotic factors.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection can cause serious illness including haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The role of socio-economic status (SES) in differential clinical presentation and exposure to potential risk factors amongst STEC cases has not previously been reported in England. We conducted an observational study using a dataset of all STEC cases identified in England, 2010–2015. Odds ratios for clinical characteristics of cases and foodborne, waterborne and environmental risk factors were estimated using logistic regression, stratified by SES, adjusting for baseline demographic factors. Incidence was higher in the highest SES group compared to the lowest (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.19–2.00). Odds of Accident and Emergency attendance (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10–1.75) and hospitalisation (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.36–2.15) because of illness were higher in the most disadvantaged compared to the least, suggesting potential lower ascertainment of milder cases or delayed care-seeking behaviour in disadvantaged groups. Advantaged individuals were significantly more likely to report salad/fruit/vegetable/herb consumption (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.16–2.17), non-UK or UK travel (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.40–2.27; OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.35–2.56) and environmental exposures (walking in a paddock, OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.22–2.70; soil contact, OR 1.52, 95% CI 2.13–1.09) suggesting other unmeasured risks, such as person-to-person transmission, could be more important in the most disadvantaged group.
Introduction: Simulation has assumed an integral role in the Canadian healthcare system with applications in quality improvement, systems development, and medical education. High quality simulation-based research (SBR) is required to ensure the effective and efficient use of this tool. This study sought to establish national SBR priorities and describe the barriers and facilitators of SBR in Emergency Medicine (EM) in Canada. Methods: Simulation leads (SLs) from all fourteen Canadian Departments or Divisions of EM associated with an adult FRCP-EM training program were invited to participate in three surveys and a final consensus meeting. The first survey documented active EM SBR projects. Rounds two and three established and ranked priorities for SBR and identified the perceived barriers and facilitators to SBR at each site. Surveys were completed by SLs at each participating institution, and priority research themes were reviewed by senior faculty for broad input and review. Results: Twenty SLs representing all 14 invited institutions participated in all three rounds of the study. 60 active SBR projects were identified, an average of 4.3 per institution (range 0-17). 49 priorities for SBR in Canada were defined and summarized into seven priority research themes. An additional theme was identified by the senior reviewing faculty. 41 barriers and 34 facilitators of SBR were identified and grouped by theme. Fourteen SLs representing 12 institutions attended the consensus meeting and vetted the final list of eight priority research themes for SBR in Canada: simulation in CBME, simulation for interdisciplinary and inter-professional learning, simulation for summative assessment, simulation for continuing professional development, national curricular development, best practices in simulation-based education, simulation-based education outcomes, and simulation as an investigative methodology. Conclusion: Conclusion: This study has summarized the current SBR activity in EM in Canada, as well as its perceived barriers and facilitators. We also provide a consensus on priority research themes in SBR in EM from the perspective of Canadian simulation leaders. This group of SLs has formed a national simulation-based research group which aims to address these identified priorities with multicenter collaborative studies.
The commercially available collar device MooMonitor+ was evaluated with regards to accuracy and application potential for measuring grazing behavior. These automated measurements are crucial as cows feed intake behavior at pasture is an important parameter of animal performance, health and welfare as well as being an indicator of feed availability. Compared to laborious and time-consuming visual observation, the continuous and automated measurement of grazing behavior may support and improve the grazing management of dairy cows on pasture. Therefore, there were two experiments as well as a literature analysis conducted to evaluate the MooMonitor+ under grazing conditions. The first experiment compared the automated measurement of the sensor against visual observation. In a second experiment, the MooMonitor+ was compared to a noseband sensor (RumiWatch), which also allows continuous measurement of grazing behavior. The first experiment on n = 12 cows revealed that the automated sensor MooMonitor+ and visual observation were highly correlated as indicated by the Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (rs) = 0.94 and concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) = 0.97 for grazing time. An rs-value of 0.97 and CCC = 0.98 was observed for rumination time. In a second experiment with n = 12 cows over 24-h periods, a high correlation between the MooMonitor+ and the RumiWatch was observed for grazing time as indicated by an rs-value of 0.91 and a CCC-value of 0.97. Similarly, a high correlation was observed for rumination time with an rs-value of 0.96 and a CCC-value of 0.99. While a higher level of agreement between the MooMonitor+ and both visual observation and RumiWatch was observed for rumination time compared to grazing time, the overall results showed a high level of accuracy of the collar device in measuring grazing and rumination times. Therefore, the collar device can be applied to monitor cow behavior at pasture on farms. With regards to the application potential of the collar device, it may not only be used on commercial farms but can also be applied to research questions when a data resolution of 15 min is sufficient. Thus, at farm level, the farmer can get an accurate and continuous measurement of grazing behavior of each individual cow and may then use those data for decision-making to optimize the animal management.
Infant protein intake has been associated with child growth, however, research on maternal protein intake during pregnancy is limited. Insulin-like growth factors (IGF) play a role in early fetal development and maternal protein intake may influence child body composition via IGF-1. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of maternal protein intake throughout pregnancy on cord blood IGF-1 and child body composition from birth to 5 years of age. Analysis was carried out on 570 mother–child dyads from the Randomised cOntrol trial of LOw glycaemic index diet study. Protein intake was recorded using 3-d food diaries in each trimester of pregnancy and protein intake per kg of maternal weight (g/d per kg) was calculated. Cord blood IGF-1 was measured at birth. Infant anthropometry was measured at birth, 6 months, 2 and 5 years of age. Mixed modelling, linear regression, and mediation analysis were carried out. Birth weight centiles were positively associated with early-pregnancy protein intake (g/d per kg), while weight centiles from 6 months to 5 years were negatively associated (B=−21·6, P<0·05). These associations were not mediated by IGF-1. Our findings suggest that high protein intake in early-pregnancy may exert an in utero effect on offspring body composition with a higher weight initially at birth but slower growth rates into childhood. Further research is needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms by which dietary protein modulates fetal growth.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
Early detection of karyotype abnormalities, including aneuploidy, could aid producers in identifying animals which, for example, would not be suitable candidate parents. Genome-wide genetic marker data in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are now being routinely generated on animals. The objective of the present study was to describe the statistics that could be generated from the allele intensity values from such SNP data to diagnose karyotype abnormalities; of particular interest was whether detection of aneuploidy was possible with both commonly used genotyping platforms in agricultural species, namely the Applied BiosystemsTM AxiomTM and the Illumina platform. The hypothesis was tested using a case study of a set of dizygotic X-chromosome monosomy 53,X sheep twins. Genome-wide SNP data were available from the Illumina platform (11 082 autosomal and 191 X-chromosome SNPs) on 1848 male and 8954 female sheep and available from the AxiomTM platform (11 128 autosomal and 68 X-chromosome SNPs) on 383 female sheep. Genotype allele intensity values, either as their original raw values or transformed to logarithm intensity ratio (LRR), were used to accurately diagnose two dizygotic (i.e. fraternal) twin 53,X sheep, both of which received their single X chromosome from their sire. This is the first reported case of 53,X dizygotic twins in any species. Relative to the X-chromosome SNP genotype mean allele intensity values of normal females, the mean allele intensity value of SNP genotypes on the X chromosome of the two females monosomic for the X chromosome was 7.45 to 12.4 standard deviations less, and were easily detectable using either the AxiomTM or Illumina genotype platform; the next lowest mean allele intensity value of a female was 4.71 or 3.3 standard deviations less than the population mean depending on the platform used. Both 53,X females could also be detected based on the genotype LRR although this was more easily detectable when comparing the mean LRR of the X chromosome of each female to the mean LRR of their respective autosomes. On autopsy, the ovaries of the two sheep were small for their age and evidence of prior ovulation was not appreciated. In both sheep, the density of primordial follicles in the ovarian cortex was lower than normally found in ovine ovaries and primary follicle development was not observed. Mammary gland development was very limited. Results substantiate previous studies in other species that aneuploidy can be readily detected using SNP genotype allele intensity values generally already available, and the approach proposed in the present study was agnostic to genotype platform.
We present first results from a coordinated multiwavelength study of the neutron star low-mass X-ray binary EXO 0748 676. Fast UV, X-ray, and optical data were obtained including both spectral and timing information. We discuss how this study allows us to probe the temperature distribution within the binary and hence the geometry and efficiency of X-ray irradiation.
The accurate clinical characterisation of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is becoming increasingly important. The aim of this study was to compare the neuropsychiatric symptoms and cognitive profile of MCI with Lewy bodies (MCI-LB) with Alzheimer's disease MCI (MCI-AD).
Participants were ⩾60 years old with MCI. Each had a thorough clinical and neuropsychological assessment and 2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)-N-(3-fluoropropyl)-nortropane single photon emission computed tomography FP-CIT SPECT). MCI-LB was diagnosed if two or more diagnostic features of dementia with Lewy bodies were present (visual hallucinations, cognitive fluctuations, motor parkinsonism, rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder or positive FP-CIT SPECT). A Lewy body Neuropsychiatric Supportive Symptom Count (LBNSSC) was calculated based on the presence or absence of the supportive neuropsychiatric symptoms defined by the 2017 DLB diagnostic criteria: non-visual hallucinations, delusions, anxiety, depression and apathy.
MCI-LB (n = 41) had a higher LBNSSC than MCI-AD (n = 24; 1.8 ± 1.1 v. 0.7 ± 0.9, p = 0.001). 67% of MCI-LB had two or more of those symptoms, compared with 16% of MCI-AD (Likelihood ratio = 4.2, p < 0.001). MCI-LB subjects scored lower on tests of attention, visuospatial function and verbal fluency. However, cognitive test scores alone did not accurately differentiate MCI-LB from MCI-AD.
MCI-LB is associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms and a cognitive profile similar to established DLB. This supports the concept of identifying MCI-LB based on the presence of core diagnostic features of DLB and abnormal FP-CIT SPECT imaging. The presence of supportive neuropsychiatric clinical features identified in the 2017 DLB diagnostic criteria was helpful in differentiating between MCI-LB and MCI-AD.
The objective of this experiment was to establish the effect of low-concentrate (LC) and high-concentrate (HC) supplementation in the early and late periods of lactation on milk production and cow traffic in a pasture-based automatic milking (AM) system. In total, 40 cows (10 primiparous and 30 multiparous) were randomly assigned to one of the two treatments. The experimental periods for the early and late lactation trials extended from 23 February to 12 April 2015 and 31 August to 18 October 2015, respectively (49 days in each trial period). The early lactation supplement levels were 2.3 and 4.4 kg/cow per day for LC and HC, respectively, whereas the late lactation supplement levels were 0.5 and 2.7 kg/cow per day for LC and HC, respectively. Variables measured included milking frequency, milking interval, milking outcome and milking characteristics, milk yield/visit and per day, wait time/visit and per day, return time/visit and the distribution of gate passes. As the herd was seasonal (spring) calving, the experimental periods could not run concurrently and as a result no statistical comparison between the periods was conducted. There was no significant effect of treatment in the early lactation period on any of the milk production, milking characteristics or cow traffic variables. However, treatment did significantly affect the distribution of gate passes, with the HC cows recording significantly more gate passes in the hours preceding the gate time change such as hours 7 (P<0.01), 15 (P<0.05), 20, 21 (P<0.001), and 22 (P<0.05), whereas the LC treatment recorded significantly more gate passes in the hours succeeding the gate time change, such as time points 2 (P<0.01) and 10 (P<0.05). There was a significant effect of treatment in late lactation, with HC having a greater milk yield (P<0.01), milking duration and activity/day (P<0.05), while also having a significantly shorter milking interval (P<0.05) and return time/visit (P<0.01). The distribution of gate passes were similar to the early lactation period, with HC also recording a significantly greater number of gate passes during the early morning period (P<0.01) when visitations were at their lowest. Any decision regarding the supplementing of dairy cows with concentrates needs to be examined from an economic perspective, to establish if the milk production and cow traffic benefits displayed in late lactation outweigh the cost of the concentrate; thereby ensuring that the decision to supplement is financially prudent.
Elevated birth weight is linked to glucose intolerance and obesity health-related complications later in life. No studies have examined if infant birth weight is associated with gene expression markers of obesity and inflammation in a tissue that comes directly from the infant following birth. We evaluated the association between birth weight and gene expression on fetal programming of obesity. Foreskin samples were collected following circumcision, and gene expression analyzed comparing the 15% greatest birth weight infants (n=7) v. the remainder of the cohort (n=40). Multivariate linear regression models were fit to relate expression levels on differentially expressed genes to birth weight group with adjustment for variables selected from a list of maternal and infant characteristics. Glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4), insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2), leptin receptor (LEPR), lipoprotein lipase (LPL), low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1), matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) were significantly upregulated and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and thioredoxin (TXN) downregulated in the larger birth weight neonates v. controls. Multivariate modeling revealed that the estimated adjusted birth weight group difference exceeded one standard deviation of the expression level for eight of the 10 genes. Between 25 and 50% of variation in expression level was explained by multivariate modeling for eight of the 10 genes. Gene expression related to glycemic control, appetite/energy balance, obesity and inflammation were altered in tissue from babies with elevated birth weight, and these genes may provide important information regarding fetal programming in macrosomic babies.
Introduction: Burnout is well documented in residents and emergency physicians. Wellness initiatives are becoming increasingly prevalent, but there is a lack of data supporting their efficacy. In some populations, a relationship between sleep, exercise and wellness has been documented, but this relationship has not been established in emergency medicine (EM) residents or physicians. We aim to determine whether exercise and sleep quality and quantity as measured by a Fitbit are associated with greater perceived wellness in EM residents. Methods: Fifteen EM residents from two training sites wore a Fitbit during a 4-week EM rotation. The Fitbit recorded data on sleep quantity (minutes sleeping)/quality (sleep disruptions) and exercise quantity (daily step count)/quality (daily active minutes performing activity of 3-6 and >6 metabolic equivalents). Participants completed an end-of-rotation Perceived Wellness Survey (PWS) which provided information on six domains of personal wellness (psychological, emotional, social, physical, spiritual and intellectual). Associations between PWS scores and the Fitbit markers were evaluated using a Mann-Whitney-U statistical analysis. Results: Preliminary results indicate that residents who scored ≥50th percentile for sleep quantity had significantly higher PWS scores than those who scored ≤50th percentile (median PWS 17.0 vs 13.0 respectively, p=0.04). There was no significant correlation between PWS scores, sleep interruptions, daily step count and average daily active minutes. Postgraduate Year PGY1 and PGY2-5 report median PWS scores of 13.9 and 17.2 respectively. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first study to objectively measure the quality and quantity of sleep as well as exercise habits of EM residents using a Fitbit device. Our data indicates a significant relationship between better sleep quantity and higher wellness scores in this population. We aim to enroll 30 residents in order to obtain a more robust data set. A larger sample size will increase statistical power and allow us to more extensively evaluate the use of exercise and sleep monitoring devices in the efficacy assessment of wellness initiatives.
Late-life depression (LLD) is associated with a decline in physical activity. Typically this is assessed by self-report questionnaires and, more recently, with actigraphy. We sought to explore the utility of a bespoke activity monitor to characterize activity profiles in LLD more precisely.
The activity monitor was worn for 7 days by 29 adults with LLD and 30 healthy controls. Subjects underwent neuropsychological assessment and quality of life (QoL) (36-item Short-Form Health Survey) and activities of daily living (ADL) scales (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale) were administered.
Physical activity was significantly reduced in LLD compared with controls (t = 3.63, p < 0.001), primarily in the morning. LLD subjects showed slower fine motor movements (t = 3.49, p < 0.001). In LLD patients, activity reductions were related to reduced ADL (r = 0.61, p < 0.001), lower QoL (r = 0.65, p < 0.001), associative learning (r = 0.40, p = 0.036), and higher Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale score (r = −0.37, p < 0.05).
Patients with LLD had a significant reduction in general physical activity compared with healthy controls. Assessment of specific activity parameters further revealed the correlates of impairments associated with LLD. Our study suggests that novel wearable technology has the potential to provide an objective way of monitoring real-world function.
The variability of CD-24 7599 (V=11.48 mag) was discovered by JCC during observing run XCOV7 of the Whole Earth Telescope (WET, Nather et al. 1990) network in February, 1992. The star was observed as an additional target and 117 hours of high-quality temporal spectroscopic observations were obtained.
Our analysis of these data revealed the presence of 7 independent pulsation modes between 27.0 and 38.1 cycles per day (313 – 441 μHz) with semiamplitudes of 2.1 – 10.2 milli-modulation amplitudes (mma). We showed that peaks at linear combination frequencies detected in the power spectra were not due to eigenmodes excited to visible amplitude by resonant mode coupling.
Northeastern North America has produced an incredible number of late Pleistocene faunal remains; however, many of these were discovered and excavated prior to the development of radiocarbon dating. Moreover, many of the 14C dates that do exist for such specimens were assayed prior to the development of purified collagen extraction methods, were performed on botanical remains of unspecified association with the faunal remains, or were accepted without concerns of young-carbon contamination from museum preservatives. Here, we present a set of high-precision accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dates obtained on Pleistocene faunal specimens from Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Our data contain both newly discovered specimens and specimens that have resided in museum collections for over a century.
We examine the roles of actuaries in UK life offices, along with trends, challenges to and opportunities for actuaries. We carry out an analysis of senior roles in life offices, a questionnaire survey and interviews with relevant senior personnel. We find that actuaries occupy many important roles in life offices and are regarded as having good industry knowledge and technical skills, especially in financial modelling. There are fewer executive directors and more non-executive directors of life offices who are actuaries compared with the position in 1990. A higher proportion of reserved roles is outsourced to consultants than was the case in 1990. Only a small number of Actuarial Function Holders are directors. Actuaries are more siloed than was the case in the past, although actuaries are well represented in the finance and risk functions of many offices. Although actuarial work in connection with the preparation for Solvency II will decline, there will be important ongoing requirements for actuaries following Solvency II implementation. We also see opportunities for actuaries in four areas: in risk management, in financial analysis and management based on Solvency II and international financial reporting standards, in connection with “big data”, and in product development and the customer proposition. There are implications for the examination syllabus, continuing professional development and research.
The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors and establish the proportion of people with psychosis meeting criteria for the metabolic syndrome (MetS). The study also aimed to identify the key lifestyle behaviours associated with increased risk of the MetS and to investigate whether the MetS is associated with illness severity and degree of functional impairment.
Baseline data were collected as part of a large randomized controlled trial (IMPaCT RCT). The study took place within community mental health teams in five Mental Health NHS Trusts in urban and rural locations across England. A total of 450 randomly selected out-patients, aged 18–65 years, with an established psychotic illness were recruited. We ascertained the prevalence rates of cardiometabolic risk factors, illness severity and functional impairment and calculated rates of the MetS, using International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and National Cholesterol Education Program Third Adult Treatment Panel criteria.
High rates of cardiometabolic risk factors were found. Nearly all women and most men had waist circumference exceeding the IDF threshold for central obesity. Half the sample was obese (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2) and a fifth met the criteria for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Females were more likely to be obese than males (61% v. 42%, p < 0.001). Of the 308 patients with complete laboratory measures, 57% (n = 175) met the IDF criteria for the MetS.
In the UK, the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors in individuals with psychotic illnesses is much higher than that observed in national general population studies as well as in most international studies of patients with psychosis.