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Extreme weather conditions such as cold stress influence the productivity and survivability of beef cattle raised on pasture. The objective of this study was to identify and evaluate the extent of the impact of genotype by environment interaction due to cold stress on birth weight (BW) and weaning weight (WW) in a composite beef cattle population. The effect of cold stress was modelled as the accumulation of total cold load (TCL) calculated using the Comprehensive Climate Index units, considering three TCL classes defined based on temperature: less than −5°C (TCL5), −15°C (TCL15) and −25°C (TCL25). A total of 4221 and 4217 records for BW and WW, respectively, were used from a composite beef cattle population (50% Red Angus, 25% Charolais and 25% Tarentaise) between 2002 and 2015. For both BW and WW, a univariate model (ignoring cold stress) and a reaction norm model were implemented. As cold load increased, the direct heritability slightly increased in both BW and WW for TCL5 class; however, this heritability remained consistent across the cold load of TCL25 class. In contrast, the maternal heritability of BW was constant with cold load increase in all TCL classes, although a slight increase of maternal heritability was observed for TCL5 and TCL15. The direct and maternal genetic correlation for BW and maternal genetic correlation for WW across different cold loads between all TCL classes were high (r > 0.99), whereas the lowest direct genetic correlations observed for WW were 0.88 for TCL5 and 0.85 for TCL15. The Spearman rank correlation between the estimated breeding value of top bulls (n = 79) using univariate and reaction norm models across TCL classes showed some re-ranking in direct and maternal effects for both BW and WW particularly for TCL5 and TCL15. In general, cold stress did not have a big impact on direct and maternal genetic effects of BW and WW.
Impaired β-cell development and insulin secretion are characteristic of intrauterine growth-restricted (IUGR) fetuses. In normally grown late gestation fetal sheep pancreatic β-cell numbers and insulin secretion are increased by 7–10 days of pulsatile hyperglycemia (PHG). Our objective was to determine if IUGR fetal sheep β-cell numbers and insulin secretion could also be increased by PHG or if IUGR fetal β-cells do not have the capacity to respond to PHG. Following chronic placental insufficiency producing IUGR in twin gestation pregnancies (n=7), fetuses were administered a PHG infusion, consisting of 60 min, high rate, pulsed infusions of dextrose three times a day with an additional continuous, low-rate infusion of dextrose to prevent a decrease in glucose concentrations between the pulses or a control saline infusion. PHG fetuses were compared with their twin IUGR fetus, which received a saline infusion for 7 days. The pulsed glucose infusion increased fetal arterial glucose concentrations an average of 83% during the infusion. Following the 7-day infusion, a square-wave fetal hyperglycemic clamp was performed in both groups to measure insulin secretion. The rate of increase in fetal insulin concentrations during the first 20 min of a square-wave hyperglycemic clamp was 44% faster in the PHG fetuses compared with saline fetuses (P<0.05). There were no differences in islet size, the insulin+ area of the pancreas and of the islets, and β-cell mass between groups (P>0.23). Chronic PHG increases early phase insulin secretion in response to acute hyperglycemia, indicating that IUGR fetal β-cells are functionally responsive to chronic PHG.
We present a method for measuring the shear complex modulus of hydrogels by oscillatory nanoindentation, with unprecedented attention to procedure and uncertainty analysis. The method is verified by testing a typical low-molecular-weight gelator formed from the controlled hydrolysis of glucono-δ-lactone. Nanoindentation results are compared with those obtained by rheometry using both vane-in-cup and parallel-plate fixtures. At 10 Hz, the properties measured by oscillatory nanoindentation were G′ = 38.1 ± 2.8 kPa, tan δ = 0.22 ± 0.02. At the same frequency, the properties measured by rheometry were G′ = 15.3 ± 2.9 kPa, tan δ = 0.11 ± 0.016 (vane-in-cup) and G′ = 7.9 ± 1.1 kPa, tan δ = 0.05 ± 0.004 (parallel-plate). The larger shear modulus measured by nanoindentation is due to the scale of testing. Whereas rheometry characterizes the bulk material response, nanoindentation probes the fibrous network of the gel. The procedure and analysis presented here are valuable for nanoindentation testing of other compliant materials such as hydrogels, soft biological tissue, and food products.
Meeting the societal demand for food, bioproducts and water under climate change is likely to greatly challenge the maize-soybean agriculture of the Midwest USA, which is a globally significant resource. New agricultural systems are needed that can meet this challenge. Innovations in water management engineering and cropping system diversification may provide a way forward, enabling transformation to highly multifunctional agricultural watersheds that expand both agricultural production and water-related services to society, and which provide scalable units of climate adaptation in agriculture and water systems. Implementation and refinement of such watersheds require corresponding social innovation to create supportive social systems, in economic, political and cultural terms. A range of emerging social innovations can drive the emergence of highly multifunctional agricultural watersheds, by enabling robust cooperation, resource exchange and coordinated innovation across multiple societal sectors and scales. We highlight relevant innovations and opportunities for their exploratory implementation and refinement in the Midwest.
Post-harvest drying prolongs seed survival in air-dry storage; previous research has shown a benefit of drying moist rice seeds at temperatures greater than recommended for genebanks (5–20°C). The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a temperature limit for safely drying rice seeds, and to explore whether the benefit to longevity is caused by high-temperature stress or continued seed development. Seeds of two rice varieties were harvested at different stages of development and dried initially either over silica gel, or intermittently (8 h day–1) or continuously (24 h day–1) over MgCl2 at temperatures between 15 and 60°C for up to 3 days. Seeds dried more rapidly the warmer the temperature. Subsequent seed longevity in hermetic storage (45°C and 10.9% moisture content) was substantially improved by increase in drying temperature up to 45°C in both cultivars, and also with further increase from 45 to 60°C in cv. ‘Macassane’. The benefit of high-temperature drying to subsequent longevity tended to diminish the later the stage of development at seed harvest. Intermittent or continuous drying at high temperatures provided broadly similar improvements to longevity, but with the greatest improvements detected in a few treatment combinations with continuous drying. Heated-air drying of rice seeds harvested before maturity improved their subsequent storage longevity by more than that which occurred during subsequent development in planta, which may have resulted from the triggering of protection mechanisms in response to high-temperature stress.
There is a lack of evidence pointing to the efficacy of any specific psychotherapy for adults with anorexia nervosa (AN). The aim of this study was to compare three psychological treatments for AN: Specialist Supportive Clinical Management, Maudsley Model Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults and Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
A multi-centre randomised controlled trial was conducted with outcomes assessed at pre-, mid- and post-treatment, and 6- and 12-month follow-up by researchers blind to treatment allocation. All analyses were intention-to-treat. One hundred and twenty individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for AN were recruited from outpatient treatment settings in three Australian cities and offered 25–40 sessions over a 10-month period. Primary outcomes were body mass index (BMI) and eating disorder psychopathology. Secondary outcomes included depression, anxiety, stress and psychosocial impairment.
Treatment was completed by 60% of participants and 52.5% of the total sample completed 12-month follow-up. Completion rates did not differ between treatments. There were no significant differences between treatments on continuous outcomes; all resulted in clinically significant improvements in BMI, eating disorder psychopathology, general psychopathology and psychosocial impairment that were maintained over follow-up. There were no significant differences between treatments with regard to the achievement of a healthy weight (mean = 50%) or remission (mean = 28.3%) at 12-month follow-up.
The findings add to the evidence base for these three psychological treatments for adults with AN, but the results underscore the need for continued efforts to improve outpatient treatments for this disorder.
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.
Ground-state OH masers identified in the Southern Parkes Large-Area Survey in Hydroxyl were observed with the Australia Telescope Compact Array to obtain positions with high accuracy (~1 arcsec). We classified these OH masers into evolved star OH maser sites, star formation OH maser sites, supernova remnant OH maser sites, planetary nebula OH maser sites and unknown maser sites using their accurate positions. Evolved star and star formation OH maser sites in the Galactic Centre region (between Galactic longitudes of −5° to +5° and Galactic latitudes of −2° and +2°) were studied in detail to understand their distributions.
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.
The IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon calibration curves have been revised utilizing newly available and updated data sets from 14C measurements on tree rings, plant macrofossils, speleothems, corals, and foraminifera. The calibration curves were derived from the data using the random walk model (RWM) used to generate IntCal09 and Marine09, which has been revised to account for additional uncertainties and error structures. The new curves were ratified at the 21st International Radiocarbon conference in July 2012 and are available as Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org. The database can be accessed at http://intcal.qub.ac.uk/intcal13/.
We present a new record of radiocarbon ages measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) on a deep-sea core collected off the Pakistan Margin. The 14C ages measured on the planktonic foraminifera Globigerinoides ruber from core MD04-2876 define a high and stable sedimentation rate on the order of 50 cm/kyr over the last 50 kyr. The site is distant from the main upwelling zone of the western Arabian Sea where 14C reservoir age is large and may be variable. Many independent proxies based on elemental analyses, mineralogy, biomarkers, isotopic proxies, and foraminiferal abundances show abrupt changes correlative with Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events. It is now common knowledge that these climatic events also affected the Arabian Sea during the last glacial period through changes in the Indian monsoon and in ventilation at intermediate depths. The stratigraphic agreement between all proxies, from fine- to coarse-size fractions, indicates that the foraminiferal 14C ages are representative of the different sediment fractions.
To build a calendar age scale for core MD04-2876, we matched its climate record to the oxygen isotopic (δ18O) profile of Hulu Cave stalagmites that have been accurately dated by U-Th (Wang et al. 2001; Southon et al. 2012; Edwards et al., submitted). Both archives exhibit very similar signatures, even for century-long events linked to monsoonal variations. For comparison, we have also updated our previous work on core MD95-2042 from the Iberian Margin (Bard et al. 2004a,b,c), whose climate record has likewise been tuned to the high-resolution δ18O Hulu Cave profile. Sophisticated and novel statistical techniques were used to interpolate ages and calculate uncertainties between chronological tie-points (Heaton et al. 2013, this issue). The data from the Pakistan and Iberian margins compare well even if they come from distant sites characterized by different oceanic conditions. Collectively, the data also compare well with the IntCal09 curve, except for specific intervals around 16 cal kyr BP and from 28 to 31 cal kyr BP. During these intervals, the data indicate that 14C is somewhat older than indicated by the IntCal09 curve. Agreement between the data from both oceanic sites suggests that the discrepancy is not due to local changes of sea-surface 14C reservoir ages, but rather that the IntCal09 curve needed to be updated in these intervals as has been done in the framework of IntCal13 (Reimer et al. 2013a, this issue).