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The giant carnivorous phorusrhacid bird Phorusrhacos longissimus (Aves, Cariamiformes) was first described in 1887 by Florentino Ameghino on the basis of a jaw fragment. The majority of a skull of the species still encased in crumbling rock was preserved only long enough for illustrations to be made by Carlos Ameghino in the field and for a brief description to be written. Skull remains of this species have remained scarce, and few postcranial remains have been figured. Here, we reassess the cranial anatomy of this outstanding ‘terror bird’ species taking into account data from a newly discovered skull. An additional specimen of a well-preserved dorsal vertebra referable to Phorusrhacinae is also described from a separate locality within the Miocene Santa Cruz Formation (late early Miocene) from Santa Cruz Province in Argentina. The skull includes most of the rostrum, skull roof, and mandible and is compared with material from other members of the Phorusrhacinae. The new data from the skull and vertebra provide morphological features of this clade that benefit future taxonomic and phylogenetic analyses of this iconic group of birds.
The adoption of chemical fallow rotations in Pacific Northwest dryland winter wheat production has caused a weed species composition shift in which scouringrush has established in production fields. Thus, there has been interest in identifying herbicides that effectively control scouringrush in winter wheat–chemical fallow cropping systems. Field experiments were established in growers’ fields near Reardan, WA, in 2014, and The Dalles, OR, in 2015. Ten herbicide treatments were applied to mowed and nonmowed plots during chemical fallow rotations. Scouringrush stem densities were quantified the following spring and after wheat harvest at both locations. Chlorsulfuron plus MCPA-ester resulted in nearly 100% control of scouringrush through wheat harvest. Before herbicide application, mowing had no effect on herbicide efficacy. We conclude chlorsulfuron plus MCPA-ester is a commercially acceptable treatment for smooth and intermediate scouringrush control in winter wheat–chemical fallow cropping systems; however, the lack of a positive yield response when scouringrushes were controlled should factor into management decisions.
Recognising the significant extent of poor-quality care and human rights issues in mental health, the World Health Organization launched the QualityRights initiative in 2013 as a practical tool for implementing human rights standards including the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at the ground level.
To describe the first large-scale implementation and evaluation of QualityRights as a scalable human rights-based approach in public mental health services in Gujarat, India.
This is a pragmatic trial involving implementation of QualityRights at six public mental health services chosen by the Government of Gujarat. For comparison, we identified three other public mental health services in Gujarat that did not receive the QualityRights intervention.
Over a 12-month period, the quality of services provided by those services receiving the QualityRights intervention improved significantly. Staff in these services showed substantially improved attitudes towards service users (effect sizes 0.50–0.17), and service users reported feeling significantly more empowered (effect size 0.07) and satisfied with the services offered (effect size 0.09). Caregivers at the intervention services also reported a moderately reduced burden of care (effect size 0.15).
To date, some countries are hesitant to reforming mental health services in line with the CRPD, which is partially attributable to a lack of knowledge and understanding about how this can be achieved. This evaluation shows that QualityRights can be effectively implemented even in resource-constrained settings and has a significant impact on the quality of mental health services.
A point-prevalence study of antimicrobial use among inpatients at 5 public hospitals in Sri Lanka revealed that 54.6% were receiving antimicrobials: 43.1% in medical wards, 68.0% in surgical wards, and 97.6% in intensive care wards. Amoxicillin-clavulanate was most commonly used for major indications. Among patients receiving antimicrobials, 31.0% received potentially inappropriate therapy.
Optimization of production factors plays a central role in efficient milk production operations. Causal relationships between production parameters (health, fertility, feeding, performance and farm size) on the one hand and efficiency parameters on the other have been identified in several studies. In recent years, structural equation modelling (SEM) has not only gained importance in agriculture but also in milk production, providing the opportunity to investigate multilateral relationships. Additionally, SEM enables an estimation of parameters which are not themselves measurable, the so-called latent variables. The current study was based on the data of 943 branch settlements (including the years 2012 and 2013) of dairy farms keeping German Holstein cows in Schleswig-Holstein (Northern Germany) which provided a combination of the structural parameters, economic parameters and biological performance of the farms. An SEM using this combined data was applied to investigate the complexity of influences on efficiency parameters in milk production. Efficiency was sub-divided into and evaluated by two effect variables (economic efficiency and biological efficiency). Economic efficiency was defined as a conventional efficiency assessment criterion from full-cost accounting, whereas biological efficiency was used to evaluate the quality of herd management. Performance was identified as the key parameter for independent evaluation of efficiency by assessing biological (γ41 = 0.644) or economic efficiency (γ42 = 0.266). The SEM explained more than three times higher proportion of the variance in biological efficiency than in economic efficiency. The investigation proved the eligibility of partial least squares SEM for the evaluation of efficiency in milk production.
In 1994, the National Jointed Goatgrass Research Program was initiated with funding from a special USDA grant. The 15-yr program provided $4.1 million to support jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica Host.) research and technology transfer projects in 10 western states. These projects resulted in approximately 80 refereed manuscripts, including journal articles and extension publications. The research covered various topics related to the biology and ecology of jointed goatgrass as well as its management and control in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production systems. This review summarizes the research on jointed goatgrass published after Donald and Ogg’s 1991 review, most of which was conducted as part of the USDA-funded National Jointed Goatgrass Research Program. Specific topics that were studied and reviewed here include A. cylindrica genetics, especially as it relates to gene flow and hybridization rates with wheat and fertility of the resulting hybrids; vernalization requirements; seed dormancy, longevity, and germination requirements; competitiveness with wheat; and herbicide resistance acquired through evolution or gene flow from wheat. With respect to management, a wide variety of practices were evaluated, including various tillage types and frequencies; crop rotations, especially diversified wheat production systems that include spring-seeded annual crops; competitive wheat cultivars, seeding dates, seeding density, and row spacing; fertility management, including nitrogen application timing and placement; and field burning. Finally, many studies evaluated the use of herbicides, especially the introduction of imazamox in imidazolinone-resistant wheat cultivars, as well as comparison of adjuvant systems and application timings. In addition to the many management practices that were studied individually, several integrated management systems were evaluated that combined crop rotations, tillage, and herbicide programs. Between 1993 and 2013, weed scientists in 14 western states estimated that jointed goatgrass infestations decreased by 45% to 55% and attributed the reduction to the implementation of more diverse crop rotations, improved cultural practices, and use of imazamox-resistant wheat technology. This is evidence that the practical implications of the National Jointed Goatgrass Research Program have been successfully implemented by growers throughout the western United States.
Rush skeletonweed is emerging as a regionally important weed of winter wheat production in eastern Washington. Field studies were conducted during the 2016 and 2017 crop years to evaluate several auxin herbicides applied at two seasonal timings (fall or spring) for control of rush skeletonweed in winter wheat. Clopyralid (210 g ae ha-1) provided>90% visual control of rush skeletonweed in both years of the study and aminopyralid (10 g ae ha-1) provided>80% visual control. Aminocyclopyrachlor, dicamba, and 2,4-D provided<55% control of rush skeletonweed. Season of application did not meaningfully affect efficacy of any herbicide tested. Wheat yields were reduced by 39 to 69% compared to the non-treated check when aminocyclopyrachlor was applied in the spring. Clopyralid is an effective option for control of rush skeletonweed in Pacific Northwest winter wheat.
The objective of this study, which formed part of a larger project, was to investigate the effect of feeding high levels of urea on the reproductive function of the lactating dairy cow. Increasing dietary protein intake can increase milk production, but may reduce reproductive performance (Laven and Drew 1999). McEvoy et al (1997), based on work which fed urea to sheep, suggested that this effect on fertility may be caused by ammonia. However, there is little information on the effect of feeding quickly degradable nitrogen (QDN) on the concentration of plasma ammonia in the dairy cow and the accurate measurement of plasma ammonia is difficult. The measurement of a more stable metabolite, such as urea, may be more useful, if it can be shown to be correlated with plasma ammonia.
The diagnosis and control of Mycobacterium bovis infection (bovine tuberculosis: TB) continues to present huge challenges to the British cattle industry. A clearer understanding of the magnitude and duration of immune response to M. bovis infection in the European badger (Meles meles) – a wildlife maintenance host – may assist with the future development of diagnostic tests, and vaccination and disease management strategies. Here, we analyse 5280 diagnostic test results from 550 live wild badgers from a naturally-infected population to investigate whether one diagnostic test (a gamma interferon release [IFNγ] assay, n = 550 tests) could be used to predict future positive results on two other tests for the same disease (a serological test [n = 2342 tests] and mycobacterial culture [n = 2388 tests]) and hence act as an indicator of likely bacterial excretion or disease progression. Badgers with the highest IFNγ optical density (OD) values were most likely to subsequently test positive on both serological and culture tests, and this effect was detectable for up to 24 months after the IFNγ test. Furthermore, the higher the original IFNγ OD value, the greater the chance that a badger would subsequently test positive using serology. Relationships between IFNγ titres and mycobacterial culture results from different types of clinical sample suggest that the route of infection may affect the magnitude of immune response in badgers. These findings identify further value in the IFNγ test as a useful research tool, as it may help us to target studies at animals and groups that are most likely to succumb to more progressive disease.
Chemical models of protostellar and other outflows have been reassessed in the light of new chemical data. In particular, reactions involving excited hydrogen (2s,p) are shown to be important in hot, dense outflows. The H(n=2) + H → H2 + hv reaction is much less of a contributor to the H2 formation rate than the recently measured H(n=2) + H → H2+ + e- reaction, providing conditions allow the 0.75eV endothermicity of this reaction to be overcome.
Two putative glyphosate-resistant (GR) Russian-thistle accessions were collected from fallow fields (wheat-fallow rotation): one from Choteau County, MT (MT-R), and a second from Columbia County, WA (WA-R) in summer/fall of 2015. Greenhouse and outdoor/field whole-plant dose-response studies were conducted to confirm and characterize the levels of glyphosate resistance in these GR accessions relative to known glyphosate-susceptible accessions (MT-S and WA-S from MT and WA, respectively). Based on GR50 values of the progeny plants, the MT-R accession exhibited 4.5-fold and 5.9-fold resistance to glyphosate relative to the MT-S accession under greenhouse and outdoor conditions, respectively. The WA-R accession showed 3.0- to 5.0-fold resistance relative to the WA-S accession in greenhouse experiments, and 1.9- to 7.5-fold resistance in multi-site field experiments. In a separate greenhouse study on alternative POST herbicides to control GR Russian-thistle, bicyclopyrone plus bromoxynil, bromoxynil plus fluroxypyr, bromoxynil plus pyrasulfotole, bromoxynil plus MCPA, paraquat alone, paraquat plus metribuzin, saflufenacil alone, saflufenacil plus 2,4-D, and 2,4-D plus bromoxynil plus fluroxypyr provided effective control (≥95%) and shoot dry weight reduction (up to 98%) of GR accessions. This research confirms the first global case of field-evolved GR Russian-thistle. Best management practices (BMPs); including alternative, effective herbicide programs (based on multiple mechanisms of action highlighted in this study) need immediate implementation to prevent further spread of GR or evolution of multiple HR Russian-thistle populations in this region.
The main question that Firestone & Scholl (F&S) pose is whether “what and how we see is functionally independent from what and how we think, know, desire, act, and so forth” (sect. 2, para. 1). We synthesize a collection of concerns from an interdisciplinary set of coauthors regarding F&S's assumptions and appeals to intuition, resulting in their treatment of visual perception as context-free.
Animal health surveillance enables the detection and control of animal diseases including zoonoses. Under the EU-FP7 project RISKSUR, a survey was conducted in 11 EU Member States and Switzerland to describe active surveillance components in 2011 managed by the public or private sector and identify gaps and opportunities. Information was collected about hazard, target population, geographical focus, legal obligation, management, surveillance design, risk-based sampling, and multi-hazard surveillance. Two countries were excluded due to incompleteness of data. Most of the 664 components targeted cattle (26·7%), pigs (17·5%) or poultry (16·0%). The most common surveillance objectives were demonstrating freedom from disease (43·8%) and case detection (26·8%). Over half of components applied risk-based sampling (57·1%), but mainly focused on a single population stratum (targeted risk-based) rather than differentiating between risk levels of different strata (stratified risk-based). About a third of components were multi-hazard (37·3%). Both risk-based sampling and multi-hazard surveillance were used more frequently in privately funded components. The study identified several gaps (e.g. lack of systematic documentation, inconsistent application of terminology) and opportunities (e.g. stratified risk-based sampling). The greater flexibility provided by the new EU Animal Health Law means that systematic evaluation of surveillance alternatives will be required to optimize cost-effectiveness.
Puumala virus (PUUV) causes many human infections in large parts of Europe and can lead to mild to moderate disease. The bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is the only reservoir of PUUV in Central Europe. A commercial PUUV rapid field test for rodents was validated for bank-vole blood samples collected in two PUUV-endemic regions in Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg). A comparison of the results of the rapid field test and standard ELISAs indicated a test efficacy of 93–95%, largely independent of the origin of the antigens used in the ELISA. In ELISAs, reactivity for the German PUUV strain was higher compared to the Swedish strain but not compared to the Finnish strain, which was used for the rapid field test. In conclusion, the use of the rapid field test can facilitate short-term estimation of PUUV seroprevalence in bank-vole populations in Germany and can aid in assessing human PUUV infection risk.
An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease occurred in an inner city district in Calgary, Canada. This outbreak spanned a 3-week period in November–December 2012, and a total of eight cases were identified. Four of these cases were critically ill requiring intensive care admission but there was no associated mortality. All cases tested positive for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 (LP1) by urinary antigen testing. Five of the eight patients were culture positive for LP1 from respiratory specimens. These isolates were further identified as Knoxville monoclonal subtype and sequence subtype ST222. Whole-genome sequencing revealed that the isolates differed by no more than a single vertically acquired single nucleotide variant, supporting a single point-source outbreak. Hypothesis-based environmental investigation and sampling was conducted; however, a definitive source was not identified. Geomapping of case movements within the affected urban sector revealed a 1·0 km common area of potential exposure, which coincided with multiple active construction sites that used water spray to minimize transient dust. This community point-source Legionnaires' disease outbreak is unique due to its ST222 subtype and occurrence in a relatively dry and cold weather setting in Western Canada. This report suggests community outbreaks of Legionella should not be overlooked as a possibility during late autumn and winter months in the Northern Hemisphere.
Close binary systems may undergo the “Common Envelope” (CE) phase when the primary star expands on the red giant branch or the asymptotic giant branch. Filling its Roche Lobe, the primary transfers mass to the companion driving it out of thermal equilibrium and causing it to expand as well. The giant core and the companion star become surrounded by a CE. When sufficient energy is deposited in the circumstellar material this will be ejected and the binary orbit will shrink further (see review by Iben 1995). Planetary nebulae (PNe) with short-period binary nuclei are considered the most probable post-CE candidates. Abell 35, Lotr 1 and Lotr 5 (the Abell 35-like objects) are the only three PNe with binary nuclei known to contain a very hot UV-bright primary and a chromospherically active, rapidly rotating, G-K companion that dominates the optical spectrum. The origin of these unusual systems is unclear and hence presents a challenge to theories of binary star evolution. Identified in 1966 by Abell, Abell 35 is possibly the largest PN known (D=1.6 pc at a distance of 360 pc, Jacoby 1981) and also the oldest (the kinematical age is 185.000 years from the small expansion velocity of 4.2 km/s, Bohuski 1974). The bright giant star BD −22° 3467 (mv = 9.6mag) lies off-center within the nebula. A white dwarf was detected at the same location in 1988 in IUE spectra obtained by Grewing and Bianchi. BD − 22° 3467 has a vsin i of 90 km/s (Vilhu et al. 1991), variable Hα and Ca II emission lines associated with chromospheric activity, and a variable light curve (P=0.76 days, Jasniewicz and Acker 1988) probably produced by the rotation of the giant star. All attempts to determine the orbital period have failed, raising doubts as to whether the nucleus of Abell 35 is a close binary at all. In pursuit of this point, we have started a radial velocity study of the giant companion.