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Birth weight and early growth have been associated with later blood pressure. However, not all studies consistently find a significant reduction in blood pressure with an increase in birth weight. In addition, the relative importance of birth weight and of other lifestyle and environmental factors is often overlooked and the association is rarely studied in adolescents. We investigated early life predictors, including birth weight, of adolescent blood pressure in the Gateshead Millennium Study (GMS). The GMS is a cohort of 1029 individuals born in 1999–2000 in Gateshead in Northern England. Throughout infancy and early childhood, detailed information were collected, including birth weight and measures of height and weight. Assessments of 491 returning participants at age 12 years included measures of body mass and blood pressure. Linear regression and path analysis were used to determine predictors and their relative importance on blood pressure. Birth weight was not directly associated with blood pressure at the age of 12. However, after adjustment for contemporaneous body mass index (BMI), an inverse association of standardized birth weight on systolic blood pressure was significant. The relative importance of birth weight on later systolic blood pressure was smaller than other contemporaneous body measures (height and BMI). There was no independent association of birth weight on blood pressure seen in this adolescent population. Contemporaneous body measures have an important role to play. Lifestyle factors that influence body mass or size, such as diet and physical activity, where interventions are directed at early prevention of hypertension should be targeted.
A fine-grained, up to 3-m-thick tephra bed in southwestern Saskatchewan, herein named Duncairn tephra (Dt), is derived from an early Pleistocene eruption in the Jemez Mountains volcanic field of New Mexico, requiring a trajectory of northward tephra dispersal of ~1500 km. An unusually low CaO content in its glass shards denies a source in the closer Yellowstone and Heise volcanic fields, whereas a Pleistocene tephra bed (LSMt) in the La Sal Mountains of Utah has a very similar glass chemistry to that of the Dt, supporting a more southerly source. Comprehensive characterization of these two distal tephra beds along with samples collected near the Valles caldera in New Mexico, including grain size, mineral assemblage, major- and trace-element composition of glass and minerals, paleomagnetism, and fission-track dating, justify this correlation. Two glass populations each exist in the Dt and LSMt. The proximal correlative of Dt1 is the plinian Tsankawi Pumice and co-ignimbritic ash of the first ignimbrite (Qbt1g) of the 1.24 Ma Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff. The correlative of Dt2 and LSMt is the co-ignimbritic ash of Qbt2. Mixing of Dt1 and Dt2 probably occurred during northward transport in a jet stream.
Field studies of grazing management have frequently concluded that the magnitude and direction of vegetation response is dependent on initial vegetation condition. On upland heath, this dependence reflects the importance of small-scale ecological processes (e.g. plant competition), and local neighbourhood effects (e.g. spatial distribution of plant species), in driving the vegetation dynamics. These small-scale effects, together with variation in grazing patterns, increase the difficulty of deriving general rules about the effect of grazing on vegetation change from field studies. However, we need to determine the impacts of such grazing-related vegetation change upon biodiversity, (e.g. birds). For many bird species it is impractical to use experimental approaches due to low breeding densities, and the influence of other site and management effects (e.g. predator control). To predict the effect of management changes on them requires an accurate assessment of the large-scale effects of grazing management on the ecological landscape using data from small-scale field studies. This paper sets out an approach that integrates field studies with theoretical models to investigate the large-scale effects of grazing management on plant and bird communities on upland heath.
The breeding areas of the Critically Endangered Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris are all but unknown, with the only well-substantiated breeding records being from the Omsk province, western Siberia. The identification of any remaining breeding population is of the highest priority for the conservation of any remnant population. If it is extinct, the reliable identification of former breeding sites may help determine the causes of the species’ decline, in order to learn wider conservation lessons. We used stable isotope values in feather samples from juvenile Slender-billed Curlews to identify potential breeding areas. Modelled precipitation δ2H data were compared to feather samples of surrogate species from within the potential breeding range, to produce a calibration equation. Application of this calibration to samples from 35 Slender-billed Curlew museum skins suggested they could have originated from the steppes of northern Kazakhstan and part of southern Russia between 48°N and 56°N. The core of this area was around 50°N, some way to the south of the confirmed nesting sites in the forest steppes. Surveys for the species might be better targeted at the Kazakh steppes, rather than around the historically recognised nest sites of southern Russia which might have been atypical for the species. We consider whether agricultural expansion in this area may have contributed to declines of the Slender-billed Curlew population.
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migratory flyways. Most threats are increasing in intensity, particularly in non-breeding areas, where habitat loss resulting from residential and commercial development, aquaculture, mining, transport, disturbance, problematic invasive species, pollution and climate change were regarded as having the greatest detrimental impact. Fewer threats (mining, disturbance, problematic native species and climate change) were identified as widely affecting breeding areas. Numeniini populations face the greatest number of non-breeding threats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, especially those associated with coastal reclamation; related threats were also identified across the Central and Atlantic Americas, and East Atlantic flyways. Threats on the breeding grounds were greatest in Central and Atlantic Americas, East Atlantic and West Asian flyways. Three priority actions were associated with monitoring and research: to monitor breeding population trends (which for species breeding in remote areas may best be achieved through surveys at key non-breeding sites), to deploy tracking technologies to identify migratory connectivity, and to monitor land-cover change across breeding and non-breeding areas. Two priority actions were focused on conservation and policy responses: to identify and effectively protect key non-breeding sites across all flyways (particularly in the East Asian- Australasian Flyway), and to implement successful conservation interventions at a sufficient scale across human-dominated landscapes for species’ recovery to be achieved. If implemented urgently, these measures in combination have the potential to alter the current population declines of many Numeniini species and provide a template for the conservation of other groups of threatened species.
Few studies have investigated nitrogen (N) fertilizer management in no-tillage (NT) tobacco (Nicotiana tobacum L.) production systems, even though N fertilization is known to influence tobacco cured leaf yield and quality. The present study evaluated how tillage practice and N fertilizer rate affected burley tobacco agronomic performance, plant available nitrogen (PAN) supply, and leaf chemical constituents. In 2012 and 2013, three N fertilizer rates (0, 140 and 280 kg N/ha) were introduced as split-plots within a long-term NT and conventional tillage (CT) (mouldboard plough) comparison study. Results (2007–2013) showed that the effect of tillage on tobacco yield depended on seasonal weather; NT tobacco appeared to have lower yield than CT tobacco in seasons with <450 mm growing season rainfall, but similar yields when rainfall was >500 mm. In 2012 (432 mm rainfall; 84% of the long-term seasonal mean), leaf SPAD reading, leaf nitrate concentration, total nitrogen concentration at the topping day (i.e. removal of flowers/buds at the tops of the plants) and cured leaf nicotine and alkaloid content suggested that N deficiency was more pronounced in NT than CT at the lowest N fertilizer rate. The PAN supply, as measured by a modified in situ resin core method, was similar in 2012 between NT and CT, suggesting that plant factors may have had a role in N uptake efficiency. This scenario did not repeat in 2013 (706 mm rainfall; 137% of the long-term seasonal mean). Even though N fertilization rates were identical for both tillage practices in 2012 and 2013, PAN was lower, on average, in 2012. Because N uptake is largely the result of mass flow, the impact of reduced root density in NT tobacco would be expected to be more pronounced in a season such as 2012, when water was limited. Banding N close to the tobacco root system and/or side-dressing some portion of N may be recommended strategies to improve N use efficiency in NT burley tobacco production.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
The four years that have elapsed since the last meeting of the International Astronomical Union have witnessed steady progress in the determination of radial velocities, principally at the Mt Wilson Observatory, Pasadena, Cal., the Lick Observatory, Mt Hamilton, Cal., the Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay, Wis., the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Victoria, B.C., the Observatory of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., and the Simeis Observatory in Russia. It will be useful, for the members of the Commission, to give a short summary of the radial velocity work completed and in progress since the last meeting.
Since the last meeting of the Union, this Commission has lost two valued members, Dr W. E. Harper and Dr J. S. Plaskett, a past-President of this Commission. Both Harper and Plaskett made extensive contributions in the field of stellar radial velocities.
The recent war seriously hindered research at all observatories, many of the institutions carrying on with reduced staffs and greatly diminished resources. The most serious blow to the work of this Commission was the destruction of the Pulkova and Simeis Observatories. The sympathy of the Commission is extended to our Russian colleagues for the loss of their splendid equipment and the destruction of their accumulated photographs. The hope is expressed that their important spectroscopic researches, so tragically interrupted, may soon be resumed.
During the past three years the measurement of stellar radial velocities has formed an important part of the spectroscopic programme of most observatories possessing large telescopes. As observations are carried to fainter and fainter stars and the number of observable objects increases rapidly, a natural development has been the selection of special groups and types of stars, the radial velocities of which will aid in the solution of certain specific problems. Illustrations are the studies of the O, B and A type stars made at the Dominion Astrophysical, the Lick, and the Simeis Observatories, of the members of the galactic clusters at the Lick Observatory, and of the fainter Cepheid variables and early-type stars with strong interstellar lines at the Mount Wilson Observatory.
The three years that have elapsed since the Harvard meeting of the Union have witnessed steady progress in the determination of radial velocities. While the three large Pacific Coast Observatories have naturally been able to make the greatest additions to radial velocity work, the Yerkes Observatory, the Simeiz Observatory and the Observatory of the University of Michigan have also made valuable contributions. It is a pleasure to report that there will soon be three major accessions to the list of observatories capable of determining radial velocities. The David Dunlap Observatory of the University of Toronto with its 74-inch telescope, which should be in operation soon after the meeting, will have radial velocities as a prominent feature of its programme. The McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas with an 80-inch telescope now under construction should be ready to commence operations in 1936 and will undertake an extensive radial velocity programme. The Radcliffe Observatory at Oxford has now been granted permission by the Courts to remove to Pretoria, South Africa, and will establish there a 74-inch reflecting telescope, which will also be largely employed in the determination of the urgently needed radial velocities of the southern stars fainter than 5.5 visual magnitude. The Commission may, I believe, congratulate itself that substantial assistance in the preliminary steps leading to this permission of removal was provided by our action at the last meeting in presenting a resolution to the Union, duly passed by the General Assembly, pointing out the urgent need for additional radial velocities in the southern sky, and strongly supporting the project of the Radcliffe Observatory to establish a large telescope at Pretoria.
Geological disposal facilities (GDF) are intended to isolate and contain radioactive waste within multiple protective barriers, deep underground, to ensure that no harmful quantities of radioactivity reach the surface environment. The last line of defense in a multi-barrier GDF is the geosphere, where iron is present in the host rock mineralogy as either Fe(II) or Fe(III), and in groundwater as Fe(II) under reducing conditions. The mobility of risk-driving radionuclides, including uranium and technetium, in the environment is affected significantly by their valence state. Due to its low redox potential, Fe(II) can mediate reduction of these radionuclides from their oxidized, highly mobile, soluble state to their reduced, insoluble state, preventing them from reaching the biosphere. Here a study of five types of potential host rocks, two granitoids, an andesite, a mudstone and a clay-rich carbonate, is reported. The bulk rocks and their minerals were analysed for iron content, Fe(II/III) ratio, and for the speciation and fine-grained nature of alteration product minerals that might have important controls on groundwater interaction. Total iron content varies between 0.9% in clays to 5.6% in the andesite. X-ray absorption spectroscopy reveals that Fe in the granitoids and andesite is predominantly Fe(II), and in mudstones, argillaceous limestone and terrestrial sandstone is predominantly Fe(III). The redox reactivity of the potential host rocks both in the presence and absence of Fe(II)-containing 'model' groundwater was investigated using an azo dye as a probe molecule. Reduction rates as determined by reactivity with the azo dye were correlated with the ability of the rocks to uptake Fe(II) from groundwater rather than with initial Fe(II) content. Potential GDF host rocks must be characterized in terms of mineralogy, texture, grain size and bulk geochemistry to assess how they might interact with groundwater. This study highlights the importance of redox reactivity, not just total iron and Fe(II)/(III) ratio, when considering the host rock performance as a barrier material to limit transport of radionuclides from the GDF.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Heat stress (HS) jeopardizes livestock health and productivity and both may in part be mediated by reduced intestinal integrity. Dietary zinc improves a variety of bowel diseases, which are characterized by increased intestinal permeability. Study objectives were to evaluate the effects of supplemental zinc amino acid complex (ZnAA) on intestinal integrity in heat-stressed growing pigs. Crossbred gilts (43±6 kg BW) were ad libitum fed one of three diets: (1) control (ZnC; 120 ppm Zn as ZnSO4; n=13), (2) control+100 ppm Zn as ZnAA (Zn220; containing a total of 220 ppm Zn; n=14), and (3) control+200 ppm Zn as ZnAA (Zn320; containing a total of 320 ppm Zn; n=16). After 25 days on their respective diets, all pigs were exposed to constant HS conditions (36°C, ∼50% humidity) for either 1 or 7 days. At the end of the environmental exposure, pigs were euthanized and blood and intestinal tissues were harvested immediately after sacrifice. As expected, HS increased rectal temperature (P⩽0.01; 40.23°C v. 38.93°C) and respiratory rate (P⩽0.01; 113 v. 36 bpm). Pigs receiving ZnAA tended to have increased rectal temperature (P=0.07; +0.27°C) compared with ZnC-fed pigs. HS markedly reduced feed intake (FI; P⩽0.01; 59%) and caused BW loss (2.10 kg), but neither variable was affected by dietary treatment. Fresh intestinal segments were assessed ex vivo for intestinal integrity. As HS progressed from days 1 to 7, both ileal and colonic transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) decreased (P⩽0.05; 34% and 22%, respectively). This was mirrored by an increase in ileal and colonic permeability to the macromolecule dextran (P⩽0.01; 13- and 56-fold, respectively), and increased colonic lipopolysaccharide permeability (P⩽0.05; threefold) with time. There was a quadratic response (P⩽0.05) to increasing ZnAA on ileal TER, as it was improved (P⩽0.05; 56%) in Zn220-fed pigs compared with ZnC. This study demonstrates that HS progressively compromises the intestinal barrier and supplementing ZnAA at the appropriate dose can improve aspects of small intestinal integrity during severe HS.