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Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
We agree with Lake and colleagues on their list of “key ingredients” for building human-like intelligence, including the idea that model-based reasoning is essential. However, we favor an approach that centers on one additional ingredient: autonomy. In particular, we aim toward agents that can both build and exploit their own internal models, with minimal human hand engineering. We believe an approach centered on autonomous learning has the greatest chance of success as we scale toward real-world complexity, tackling domains for which ready-made formal models are not available. Here, we survey several important examples of the progress that has been made toward building autonomous agents with human-like abilities, and highlight some outstanding challenges.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
We aimed to identify sociodemographic, lifestyle and behavioural determinants of consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) among adults in Cambridgeshire, UK.
Cross-sectional data were obtained from a cohort of 9991 adults born between 1950 and 1975. An FFQ was used to assess consumption of beverages and other dietary factors. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine potential determinants of consuming SSB and ASB (≥1 serving/d).
Recruitment from general practice surgeries to participate in the ongoing population-based Fenland Study.
Adults (n 9991) aged 30–64 years from three areas of Cambridgeshire, UK.
Prevalence estimates for daily SSB and ASB consumption were 20·4 % (n 2041) and 8·9 % (n 893), respectively. SSB consumption (OR; 95 % CI) was more common in men than women (1·33; CI 1·17, 1·50) and among those reporting lower income (<£20 000/year) than those reporting higher income (>£40 000/year; 1·31; 1·09, 1·58). In contrast, daily ASB consumption was more common among women than men (1·62; 1·34, 1·96), those on weight-loss diets than those who were not (2·58; 2·05, 3·24) and those reporting higher income than lower income (1·53; 1·16, 2·00). Factors associated with higher consumption of each of SSB and ASB included being a younger adult, being overweight/obese, having shorter education, eating meals or snack foods while watching television, and skipping breakfast (P<0·05 each).
Frequent consumers of SSB and ASB differ by several sociodemographic characteristics. However, increased BMI, younger age and unhealthy eating behaviours are common to both groups.
Pathogenic animal trypanosomes affecting livestock have represented a major constraint to agricultural development in Africa for centuries, and their negative economic impact is increasing in South America and Asia. Chemotherapy and chemoprophylaxis represent the main means of control. However, research into new trypanocides has remained inadequate for decades, leading to a situation where the few compounds available are losing efficacy due to the emergence of drug-resistant parasites. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the current options available for the treatment and prophylaxis of the animal trypanosomiases, with a special focus on the problem of resistance. The key issues surrounding the main economically important animal trypanosome species and the diseases they cause are also presented. As new investment becomes available to develop improved tools to control the animal trypanosomiases, we stress that efforts should be directed towards a better understanding of the biology of the relevant parasite species and strains, to identify new drug targets and interrogate resistance mechanisms.
As we enter the era of gravitational wave astronomy, we are beginning to collect observations which will enable us to explore aspects of astrophysics of massive stellar binaries which were previously beyond reach. In this paper we describe COMPAS (Compact Object Mergers: Population Astrophysics and Statistics), a new platform to allow us to deepen our understanding of isolated binary evolution and the formation of gravitational-wave sources. We describe the computational challenges associated with their exploration, and present preliminary results on overcoming them using Gaussian process regression as a simulation emulation technique.
Helicobacter pylori infection is a major cause of peptic ulcer and is also associated with chronic gastritis, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, and adenocarcinoma of the stomach. Guidelines have been developed in the United States and Europe (areas with low prevalence) for the diagnosis and management of this infection, including the recommendation to ‘test and treat’ those with dyspepsia. A group of international experts performed a targeted literature review and formulated an expert opinion for evidenced-based benefits and harms for screening and treatment of H. pylori in high-prevalence countries. They concluded that in Arctic countries where H. pylori prevalence exceeds 60%, treatment of persons with H. pylori infection should be limited only to instances where there is strong evidence of direct benefit in reduction of morbidity and mortality, associated peptic ulcer disease and MALT lymphoma and that the test-and-treat strategy may not be beneficial for those with dyspepsia.
Background: Unexplained significant variation may suggest a quality care problem in a health care system. The objective of this study was to determine the extent of variance in spine surgery Saskatchewan and determine possible causes. Methods: Provincial billing records for new spine surgery consultations from May 2011 through October 2012 were correlated with subsequent lumbar surgery. Two tertiary centers (TC1 and TC2) were compared with reference to the Health Region of origin of the patient. Wait times for surgery and utilization of spine pathway clinics was analyzed. Results: TC1 had significantly higher rates of spine fusion and lumbar spine surgery. The percentage of new referrals that went to surgery was 14.0% in TC1 and 11.8% in TC2 (p<0.0001, Z-Test). Population-based calculation of the rate of new referrals was 1581/482387 = 0.33% for TC1 vs. 970/601739 = 0.16% for TC2 (p<0.0001, Z-Test). Utilization of the spine pathway clinic was lower and wait times for surgery were longer in TC1. Conclusions: Causes of regional variation are unknown and likely multifactorial. In Saskatchewan, the most striking variance was that the rate of primary care referrals for lower back conditions in regions served by TC1 was double that for TC2. This could potentially be reduced through more regionally consistent utilization of the spine pathway.
Antarctic and Southern Ocean science is vital to understanding natural variability, the processes that govern global change and the role of humans in the Earth and climate system. The potential for new knowledge to be gained from future Antarctic science is substantial. Therefore, the international Antarctic community came together to ‘scan the horizon’ to identify the highest priority scientific questions that researchers should aspire to answer in the next two decades and beyond. Wide consultation was a fundamental principle for the development of a collective, international view of the most important future directions in Antarctic science. From the many possibilities, the horizon scan identified 80 key scientific questions through structured debate, discussion, revision and voting. Questions were clustered into seven topics: i) Antarctic atmosphere and global connections, ii) Southern Ocean and sea ice in a warming world, iii) ice sheet and sea level, iv) the dynamic Earth, v) life on the precipice, vi) near-Earth space and beyond, and vii) human presence in Antarctica. Answering the questions identified by the horizon scan will require innovative experimental designs, novel applications of technology, invention of next-generation field and laboratory approaches, and expanded observing systems and networks. Unbiased, non-contaminating procedures will be required to retrieve the requisite air, biota, sediment, rock, ice and water samples. Sustained year-round access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean will be essential to increase winter-time measurements. Improved models are needed that represent Antarctica and the Southern Ocean in the Earth System, and provide predictions at spatial and temporal resolutions useful for decision making. A co-ordinated portfolio of cross-disciplinary science, based on new models of international collaboration, will be essential as no scientist, programme or nation can realize these aspirations alone.
In light of the low success rate of target-based genomics and HTS (High Throughput Screening) approaches in anti-infective drug discovery, in silico structure-based drug design (SBDD) is becoming increasingly prominent at the forefront of drug discovery. In silico SBDD can be used to identify novel enzyme inhibitors rapidly, where the strength of this approach lies with its ability to model and predict the outcome of protein-ligand binding. Over the past 10 years, our group have applied this approach to a diverse number of anti-infective drug targets ranging from bacterial D-ala-D-ala ligase to Plasmodium falciparum DHODH. Our search for new inhibitors has produced lead compounds with both enzyme and whole-cell activity with established on-target mode of action. This has been achieved with greater speed and efficiency compared with the more traditional HTS initiatives and at significantly reduced cost and manpower.
Many Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) have recently been subject of increased focus, particularly with relation to high-throughput screening (HTS) initiatives. These vital endeavours largely rely of two approaches, in vitro target-directed screening using biochemical assays or cell-based screening which takes no account of the target or targets being hit. Despite their successes both of these approaches have limitations; for example, the production of soluble protein and a lack of cellular context or the problems and expense of parasite cell culture. In addition, both can be challenging to miniaturize for ultra (u)HTS and expensive to utilize. Yeast-based systems offer a cost-effective approach to study and screen protein targets in a direct-directed manner within a eukaryotic cellular context. In this review, we examine the utility and limitations of yeast cell-based, target-directed screening. In particular we focus on the currently under-explored possibility of using such formats in uHTS screening campaigns for NTDs.
The ingestion of high-fat meals induces a state of endothelial dysfunction in adults. This dysfunction is attenuated by prior exercise. The response of young people to these nutritional and physiological stressors has not been established. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to investigate if a bout of moderate-intensity exercise influenced endothelial function (as indicated by flow-mediated dilation (FMD)) following the ingestion of a high-fat breakfast and lunch in adolescent boys (aged 12·6–14·3 years). Two, 2 d main trials (control and exercise) were completed by thirteen adolescent boys in a counter-balanced, cross-over design. Participants were inactive on day 1 of the control trial, but completed 60 min of walking at 60 % peak oxygen uptake in the exercise trial. On day 2, endothelial function was assessed via FMD prior to, and following, ingestion of a high-fat breakfast and lunch. There was no difference in fasting FMD between the control and exercise trial (P= 0·449). In the control trial, FMD was reduced by 32 % following consumption of the high-fat breakfast and by 24 % following lunch. In the exercise trial, the corresponding reductions were 6 and 10 %, respectively (main effect trial, P= 0·002). These results demonstrate that moderate-intensity exercise can attenuate the decline in FMD seen following the consumption of high-fat meals in adolescent boys.