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In the present study, a new method for a decision-support system for fungicide administration against the pathogen Botrytis cinerea in vineyards was developed based on Integrated Pest Management principles which identified an infection risk before the appearance of disease symptoms. The proposed method is based on the combination of (i) the phenological observations of the main susceptible stages to infection, (ii) the airborne spores monitoring, (iii) the forecasting of the suitable meteorological conditions for B. cinerea spore germination during the subsequent 4–6 days after the spore detection. Aerobiological, phenological and meteorological analyses were carried out using data from 2008 to 2015 in a vineyard of Northwestern Spain. Aerobiological spore data were obtained using a Lanzoni VPPS-2000 pollen-spore trap. Phenological observations were conducted on 22 plants of Treixadura cultivar following the BBCH (Biologische Bundesanstalt für Land und Forstwirtschaft, Bundessortenamt und CHemische Industrie) scale. The Magarey generic fungal model was applied for the identification of the main meteorological suitable periods for infection within the susceptible phenological stages of flowering and ripening of berries. Our results showed that climatic conditions favoured fungal development during flowering, although a higher incidence of B. cinerea infection risk-periods occurred during the prior-to-harvest stage of ripening of berries, the most susceptible phenological stage to B. cinerea infection obtained by the proposed methodology. This approach enables more precise targeting in pesticide spraying and reduction in pesticide application from 4–5 to 2–3 times per year at our commercial study. It also illustrates the real-world benefits of integrated disease risk modelling.
There is a substantial proportion of patients who drop out of treatment before they receive minimally adequate care. They tend to have worse health outcomes than those who complete treatment. Our main goal is to describe the frequency and determinants of dropout from treatment for mental disorders in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.
Respondents from 13 low- or middle-income countries (N = 60 224) and 15 in high-income countries (N = 77 303) were screened for mental and substance use disorders. Cross-tabulations were used to examine the distribution of treatment and dropout rates for those who screened positive. The timing of dropout was examined using Kaplan–Meier curves. Predictors of dropout were examined with survival analysis using a logistic link function.
Dropout rates are high, both in high-income (30%) and low/middle-income (45%) countries. Dropout mostly occurs during the first two visits. It is higher in general medical rather than in specialist settings (nearly 60% v. 20% in lower income settings). It is also higher for mild and moderate than for severe presentations. The lack of financial protection for mental health services is associated with overall increased dropout from care.
Extending financial protection and coverage for mental disorders may reduce dropout. Efficiency can be improved by managing the milder clinical presentations at the entry point to the mental health system, providing adequate training, support and specialist supervision for non-specialists, and streamlining referral to psychiatrists for more severe cases.
Depending on the real parameter λ > 0, we derive existence and non-existence results. The proof of our existence result relies on sharp Calderón–Zygmund type regularity results for the fractional Poisson equation with low integrability data. We also obtain existence results for related problems involving different nonlocal diffusion terms.
Plasma terminating disruptions in tokamaks may result in relativistic runaway electron beams with potentially serious consequences for future devices with large plasma currents. In this paper, we investigate the effect of plasma elongation on the coupled dynamics of runaway generation and resistive diffusion of the electric field. We find that elongated plasmas are less likely to produce large runaway currents, partly due to the lower induced electric fields associated with larger plasmas, and partly due to direct shaping effects, which mainly lead to a reduction in the runaway avalanche gain.
Loyalty cards programs have been used by retailers to increase customer retention. Loyality cards provide means to identify a particular customer and to collect customer-specific data, thus enabling individualized marketing; however, operating a loyalty program is complicated for retailers since they require to manage balances, collections, and transfers of customers. This is exactly the same problem the retailers were facing before credit cards were readily available. A new problem is that customers now have too many cards, customers may forget, or even deliberately decide to carry only a selection of their cards. This paper proposes a loyalty program based on a blockchain that does not require a physical card for identifying customers as it associates customers to their phone numbers, since nowadays people always carry their phone. In this perspective, companies can reduce overhead costs associated to managing the loyalty program. This paper reviews the technology required and describes the implementation of a loyalty program based on blockchains. Finally, it also enumerates the reasons for choosing the blockchain technology for this application.
Despite the much improved therapeutic approaches for cancer treatment that have been developed over the past 50 years, cancer remains a major cause of mortality globally. Considerable epidemiological and experimental evidence has demonstrated an association between ingestion of food and nutrients with either an increased risk for cancer or its prevention. There is rising interest in exploring agents derived from natural products for chemoprevention or for therapeutic purposes. Honey is rich in nutritional and non-nutritional bioactive compounds, as well as in natural antioxidants, and its potential beneficial function in human health is becoming more evident. A large number of studies have addressed the anti-cancer effects of different types of honey and their phenolic compounds using in vitro and in vivo cancer models. The reported findings affirm that honey is an agent able to modulate oxidative stress and has anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory and anti-metastatic properties. However, despite its reported anti-cancer activities, very few clinical studies have been undertaken. In the present review, we summarise the findings from different experimental approaches, including in vitro cell cultures, preclinical animal models and clinical studies, and provide an overview of the bioactive profile and bioavailability of the most commonly studied honey types, with special emphasis on the chemopreventive and therapeutic properties of honey and its major phenolic compounds in cancer. The implications of these findings as well as the future prospects of utilising honey to fight cancer will be discussed.
We derive general analytical expressions for the aerodynamic force and moment on a flapping flexible foil undergoing a prescribed undulatory motion in a two-dimensional, incompressible and linearized potential flow from the vortical impulse theory. We consider a fairly broad class of foil motion, characterized by nine non-dimensional parameters in addition to the reduced frequency. Quite simple analytical expressions are obtained in the particular case when just a chordwise flexure mode is superimposed to a pitching or heaving motion of the foil, for which the optimal conditions generating a maximum thrust force and a maximum propulsion efficiency are mapped in terms of the reduced frequency and the relative amplitude and phase shift of the deflection of the foil. These results are discussed in relation to the optimal conditions for a pitching or heaving rigid foil. The present theoretical results are compared with available numerical data for some particular undulatory motions of the flexible foil, with good agreement for small amplitudes of the oscillations and sufficiently high Reynolds number.
Human immunodeficiency virus infected patients have a three-fold increased risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The British HIV Association recommends human immunodeficiency virus testing in all new diagnoses of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
This observational study aimed to examine the current routine practice of human immunodeficiency virus testing in patients with newly diagnosed head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, and to address the importance of this test in promoting the early diagnosis and treatment of human immunodeficiency virus.
All head and neck cancer multidisciplinary teams in England were questioned on their protocol for human immunodeficiency virus testing in new diagnoses of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Only 1 out of 30 hospitals leading head and neck multidisciplinary teams (3.3 per cent) routinely offered human immunodeficiency virus testing in this high-risk patient group.
This observational study highlights that head and neck specialists are not aware of, and are consequently not complying with, routine human immunodeficiency virus testing as recommended by the British HIV Association guidelines.
Conservation of animal genetic resources requires regular monitoring and interventions to maintain population size and manage genetic variability. This study uses genealogical information to evaluate the impact of conservation measures in Europe, using (i) data from the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS) and (ii) a posteriori assessment of the impact of various conservation measures on the genetic variability of 17 at-risk breeds with a wide range of interventions. Analysis of data from DAD-IS showed that 68% of national breed populations reported to receive financial support showed increasing demographic trends, v. 51% for those that did not. The majority of the 17 at-risk breeds have increased their numbers of registered animals over the last 20 years, but the changes in genetic variability per breed have not always matched the trend in population size. These differences in trends observed in the different metrics might be explained by the tensions between interventions to maintain genetic variability, and development initiatives which lead to intensification of selection.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between muscle mitochondrial function and residual feed intake (RFI) in growing beef cattle. A 56-day feeding trial was conducted with 81 Angus × Hereford steers (initial BW = 378 ± 43 kg) from the University of California Sierra Foothills Research Station (Browns Valley, CA, USA). All steers were individually fed the same finishing ration (metabolizable energy = 3.28 Mcal/kg DM). Average daily gain (ADG), DM intake (DMI) and RFI were 1.82 ± 0.27, 8.89 ± 1.06 and 0.00 ± 0.55 kg/day, respectively. After the feeding trial, the steers were categorized into high, medium and low RFI groups. Low RFI steers consumed 13.6% less DM (P < 0.05) and had a 14.1% higher G : F ratio (P < 0.05) than the high RFI group. No differences between RFI groups were found in age, ADG or BW (P > 0.10). The most extreme individuals from the low and high RFI groups were selected to assess mitochondrial function (n = 5 low RFI and n = 6 high RFI). Mitochondrial respiration was measured using an oxygraph (Hansatech Instruments Ltd., Norfolk, UK). State 3 and State 4 respiration rates were similar between both groups (P > 0.10). Respiratory control ratios (RCRs, i.e., State 3 : State 4 oxygen uptakes) declined with animal age and were greater in low RFI steers (4.90) as compared to high RFI steers (4.26) when adjusted for age by analysis of covariance (P = 0.003). Mitochondrial complex II activity levels per gram of muscle were 42% greater in low RFI steers than in high RFI steers (P = 0.004). These data suggest that skeletal muscle mitochondria have greater reserve respiratory capacity and show greater coupling between respiration and phosphorylation in low RFI than in high RFI steers.
This paper addresses a methodology to parametrically size thermal control subsystems for high-speed transportation systems during the conceptual design phase. This methodology should be sufficiently general to be exploited for the derivation of Estimation Relationships (ERs) for geometrically sizing characteristics as well as mass, volume and power budgets both for active (turbopumps, turbines and compressors) and passive components (heat exchangers, tanks and pipes). Following this approach, ad-hoc semi-empirical models relating the geometrical sizing, mass, volume and power features of each component to the operating conditions have been derived. As a specific case, a semi-empirical parametric model for turbopumps sizing is derived. In addition, the Thermal and Energy Management Subsystem (TEMS) for the LAPCAT MR2 vehicle is used as an example of a highly integrated multifunctional subsystem. The TEMS is based on the exploitation of liquid hydrogen boil-off in the cryogenic tanks generated by the heat load penetrating the aeroshell throughout the point-to-point hypersonic mission. Eventually, specific comments about the results will be provided together with suggestions for future improvements.
To use a Machine Learning (ML) approach to compare Neuropsychiatric Symptoms (NPS) in participants of a longitudinal study who developed dementia and those who did not.
Mann-Whitney U and ML analysis. Nine ML algorithms were evaluated using a 10-fold stratified validation procedure. Performance metrics (accuracy, recall, F-1 score, and Cohen’s kappa) were computed for each algorithm, and graphic metrics (ROC and precision-recall curves) and features analysis were computed for the best-performing algorithm.
Primary care health centers.
128 participants: 78 cognitively unimpaired and 50 with MCI.
Diagnosis at baseline, months from the baseline assessment until the 3rd follow-up or development of dementia, gender, age, Charlson Comorbidity Index, Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire (NPI-Q) individual items, NPI-Q total severity, and total stress score and Geriatric Depression Scale-15 items (GDS-15) total score.
30 participants developed dementia, while 98 did not. Most of the participants who developed dementia were diagnosed at baseline with amnestic multidomain MCI. The Random Forest Plot model provided the metrics that best predicted conversion to dementia (e.g. accuracy=.88, F1=.67, and Cohen’s kappa=.63). The algorithm indicated the importance of the metrics, in the following (decreasing) order: months from first assessment, age, the diagnostic group at baseline, total NPI-Q severity score, total NPI-Q stress score, and GDS-15 total score.
ML is a valuable technique for detecting the risk of conversion to dementia in MCI patients. Some NPS proxies, including NPI-Q total severity score, NPI-Q total stress score, and GDS-15 total score, were deemed as the most important variables for predicting conversion, adding further support to the hypothesis that some NPS are associated with a higher risk of dementia in MCI.
Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) can sometimes cause severe symptoms and lead to hospitalisation, but they often go unnoticed in the Emergency Department (ED). The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to describe the profile of patients hospitalised by TBDs; and (ii) to evaluate the data collected in the medical records from the ED in order to analyse their potential clinical consequences. A total of 84 cases that included all TBD diagnoses registered in the ED records were identified and analysed. These corresponded to all the hospitalisations by TBDs in the last 10 years (2009–2019) in two tertiary hospitals in Granada, Spain. Statistical analyses were made using RStudio. Coinciding with the absence of patient's report of exposure to ticks, 64.3% of TBDs were not suspected in the ED. Intensive care unit admission was required in 8.3% of cases, and the mortality rate was 2.4%. Non-suspected cases showed longer hospital stay (P < 0.001), treatment duration (P = 0.02) and delay in the initiation of antibiotic treatment (P < 0.001). Our findings indicate that symptoms associated with TBDs are highly non-specific. In the absence of explicit information related to potential tick exposure, TBDs are not initially suspected. As a consequence, elective treatment administration is delayed and hospitalisation time is prolonged. In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of addressing potential exposure to ticks during the ED contact with patients presenting with febrile syndrome.
The present study investigated the effects of nutritional programming through parental feeding on offspring performance and expression of selected genes related to stress resistance in a marine teleost. Gilthead seabream broodstock were fed diets containing various fish oil (FO)/vegetable oil ratios to determine their effects on offspring performance along embryogenesis, larval development and juvenile on-growing periods. Increased substitution of dietary FO by linseed oil (LO) up to 80 % LO significantly reduced the total number of eggs produced by kg per female per spawn. Moreover, at 30 d after hatching, parental feeding with increasing LO up to 80 % led to up-regulation of the fatty acyl desaturase 2 gene (fads2) that was correlated with the increase in conversion rates of related PUFA. Besides, cyclo-oxygenase 2 (cox2) and TNF-α (tnf-α) gene expression was also up-regulated by the increase in LO in broodstock diets up to 60 or 80 %, respectively. When 4-month-old offspring were challenged with diets having different levels of FO, the lowest growth was found in juveniles from broodstock fed 100 % FO. An increase in LO levels in the broodstock diet up to 60LO raised LC-PUFA levels in the juveniles, regardless of the juvenile’s diet. The results showed that it is possible to nutritionally programme gilthead seabream offspring through the modification of the fatty acid profiles of parental diets to improve the growth performance of juveniles fed low FO diets, inducing long-term changes in PUFA metabolism with up-regulation of fads2 expression. The present study provided the first pieces of evidence of the up-regulation of immune system-related genes in the offspring of parents fed increased FO replacement by LO.
There is a long history of exploitation of the South American river turtle Podocnemis expansa. Conservation efforts for this species started in the 1960s but best practices were not established, and population trends and the number of nesting females protected remained unknown. In 2014 we formed a working group to discuss conservation strategies and to compile population data across the species’ range. We analysed the spatial pattern of its abundance in relation to human and natural factors using multiple regression analyses. We found that > 85 conservation programmes are protecting 147,000 nesting females, primarily in Brazil. The top six sites harbour > 100,000 females and should be prioritized for conservation action. Abundance declines with latitude and we found no evidence of human pressure on current turtle abundance patterns. It is presently not possible to estimate the global population trend because the species is not monitored continuously across the Amazon basin. The number of females is increasing at some localities and decreasing at others. However, the current size of the protected population is well below the historical population size estimated from past levels of human consumption, which demonstrates the need for concerted global conservation action. The data and management recommendations compiled here provide the basis for a regional monitoring programme among South American countries.