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The diurnal feeding patterns of dairy cows affects the 24 h robot utilisation of pasture-based automatic milking systems (AMS). A decline in robot utilisation between 2400 and 0600 h currently occurs in pasture-based AMS, as cow feeding activity is greatly reduced during this time. Here, we investigate the effect of a temporal variation in feed quality and quantity on cow feeding behaviour between 2400 and 0600 h as a potential tool to increase voluntary cow trafficking in an AMS at night. The day was allocated into four equal feeding periods (0600 to 1200, 1200 to 1800, 1800 to 2400 and 2400 to 0600 h). Lucerne hay cubes (CP = 19.1%, water soluble carbohydrate = 3.8%) and oat, ryegrass and clover hay cubes with 20% molasses (CP = 11.8%, water soluble carbohydrate = 10.7%) were offered as the ‘standard’ and ‘preferred’ (preference determined previously) feed types, respectively. The four treatments were (1) standard feed offered ad libitum (AL) throughout 24 h; (2) as per AL, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (AL + P); (3) standard feed offered at a restricted rate, with quantity varying between each feeding period (20:10:30:60%, respectively) as a proportion of the (previously) measured daily ad libitum intake (VA); (4) as per VA, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (VA + P). Eight non-lactating dairy cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. During each experimental period, treatment cows were fed for 7 days, including 3 days habituation and 4 days data collection. Total daily intake was approximately 8% greater (P < 0.001) for the AL and AL + P treatments (23.1 and 22.9 kg DM/cow) as compared with the VA and VA + P treatments (21.6 and 20.9 kg DM/cow). The AL + P and VA treatments had 21% and 90% greater (P < 0.001) dry matter intake (DMI) between 2400 and 0600 h, respectively, compared with the AL treatment. In contrast, the VA + P treatment had similar DMI to the VA treatment. Our experiment shows ability to increase cow feeding activity at night by varying feed type and quantity, though it is possible that a penalty to total DMI may occur using VA. Further research is required to determine if the implementation of variable feed allocation on pasture-based AMS farms is likely to improve milking robot utilisation by increasing cow feeding activity at night.
Culture-based studies, which focus on individual organisms, have implicated stethoscopes as potential vectors of nosocomial bacterial transmission. However, the full bacterial communities that contaminate in-use stethoscopes have not been investigated.
We used bacterial 16S rRNA gene deep-sequencing, analysis, and quantification to profile entire bacterial populations on stethoscopes in use in an intensive care unit (ICU), including practitioner stethoscopes, individual-use patient-room stethoscopes, and clean unused individual-use stethoscopes. Two additional sets of practitioner stethoscopes were sampled before and after cleaning using standardized or practitioner-preferred methods.
Bacterial contamination levels were highest on practitioner stethoscopes, followed by patient-room stethoscopes, whereas clean stethoscopes were indistinguishable from background controls. Bacterial communities on stethoscopes were complex, and community analysis by weighted UniFrac showed that physician and patient-room stethoscopes were indistinguishable and significantly different from clean stethoscopes and background controls. Genera relevant to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) were common on practitioner stethoscopes, among which Staphylococcus was ubiquitous and had the highest relative abundance (6.8%–14% of contaminating bacterial sequences). Other HAI-related genera were also widespread although lower in abundance. Cleaning of practitioner stethoscopes resulted in a significant reduction in bacterial contamination levels, but these levels reached those of clean stethoscopes in only a few cases with either standardized or practitioner-preferred methods, and bacterial community composition did not significantly change.
Stethoscopes used in an ICU carry bacterial DNA reflecting complex microbial communities that include nosocomially important taxa. Commonly used cleaning practices reduce contamination but are only partially successful at modifying or eliminating these communities.
Current policy emphasises the importance of ‘living well’ with dementia, but there has been no comprehensive synthesis of the factors related to quality of life (QoL), subjective well-being or life satisfaction in people with dementia. We examined the available evidence in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched electronic databases until 7 January 2016 for observational studies investigating factors associated with QoL, well-being and life satisfaction in people with dementia. Articles had to provide quantitative data and include ⩾75% people with dementia of any type or severity. We included 198 QoL studies taken from 272 articles in the meta-analysis. The analysis focused on 43 factors with sufficient data, relating to 37639 people with dementia. Generally, these factors were significantly associated with QoL, but effect sizes were often small (0.1–0.29) or negligible (<0.09). Factors reflecting relationships, social engagement and functional ability were associated with better QoL. Factors indicative of poorer physical and mental health (including depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms) and poorer carer well-being were associated with poorer QoL. Longitudinal evidence about predictors of QoL was limited. There was a considerable between-study heterogeneity. The pattern of numerous predominantly small associations with QoL suggests a need to reconsider approaches to understanding and assessing living well with dementia.
A 1993 result of Alon and Füredi gives a sharp upper bound on the number of zeros of a multivariate polynomial over an integral domain in a finite grid, in terms of the degree of the polynomial. This result was recently generalized to polynomials over an arbitrary commutative ring, assuming a certain ‘Condition (D)’ on the grid which holds vacuously when the ring is a domain. In the first half of this paper we give a further generalized Alon–Füredi theorem which provides a sharp upper bound when the degrees of the polynomial in each variable are also taken into account. This yields in particular a new proof of Alon–Füredi. We then discuss the relationship between Alon–Füredi and results of DeMillo–Lipton, Schwartz and Zippel. A direct coding theoretic interpretation of Alon–Füredi theorem and its generalization in terms of Reed–Muller-type affine variety codes is shown, which gives us the minimum Hamming distance of these codes. Then we apply the Alon–Füredi theorem to quickly recover – and sometimes strengthen – old and new results in finite geometry, including the Jamison–Brouwer–Schrijver bound on affine blocking sets. We end with a discussion of multiplicity enhancements.
We have undertaken a computation of water storage fluctuations and their contribution to polar motion excitation for the period 1900–1982. The calculation is based mainly upon monthly mean observations of precipitation at individual stations around the globe. Seasonal average variations are computed for over 500 individual drainage basins, permitting a comparison with observed annual polar motion.
Objectives: Intraindividual cognitive variability (IICV) has been shown to differentiate between groups with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia. This study examined whether baseline IICV predicted subsequent mild to moderate cognitive impairment in a cognitively normal baseline sample. Methods: Participants with 4 waves of cognitive assessment were drawn from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP; n=684; 53.6(6.6) baseline age; 9.1(1.0) years follow-up; 70% female; 74.6% parental history of Alzheimer’s disease). The primary outcome was Wave 4 cognitive status (“cognitively normal” vs. “impaired”) determined by consensus conference; “impaired” included early MCI (n=109), clinical MCI (n=11), or dementia (n=1). Primary predictors included two IICV variables, each based on the standard deviation of a set of scores: “6 Factor IICV” and “4 Test IICV”. Each IICV variable was tested in a series of logistic regression models to determine whether IICV predicted cognitive status. In exploratory analyses, distribution-based cutoffs incorporating memory, executive function, and IICV patterns were used to create and test an MCI risk variable. Results: Results were similar for the IICV variables: higher IICV was associated with greater risk of subsequent impairment after covariate adjustment. After adjusting for memory and executive functioning scores contributing to IICV, IICV was not significant. The MCI risk variable also predicted risk of impairment. Conclusions: While IICV in middle-age predicts subsequent impairment, it is a weaker risk indicator than the memory and executive function scores contributing to its calculation. Exploratory analyses suggest potential to incorporate IICV patterns into risk assessment in clinical settings. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1016–1025)
Recent studies have shown the potential for nanocrystalline metals to possess excellent fatigue resistance compared to their coarse-grained counterparts. Although the mechanical properties of nanocrystalline metals are believed to be particularly susceptible to material defects, a systematic study of the effects of geometric discontinuities on their fatigue performance has not yet been performed. In the present work, nanocrystalline Ni–40 wt%Fe containing both intrinsic and extrinsic defects were tested in tension–tension fatigue. The defects were found to dramatically reduce the fatigue resistance, which was attributed to the relatively high notch sensitivity in the nanocrystalline material. Microstructural analysis within the crack-initiation zones underneath the defects revealed cyclically-induced abnormal grain growth (AGG) as a predominant deformation and crack initiation mechanism during high-cycle fatigue. The onset of AGG and the ensuing fracture is likely accelerated by the stress concentrations, resulting in the reduced fatigue resistance compared to the relatively defect-free counterparts.
Around the year 1200 there appeared a Latin translation of Pseudo-Aristotle's De mineralibus, in which the author denied the possibility of the transmutation of metals. This statement, especially when placed in the mouth of the revered Aristotle, was a severe blow to the aim of the alchemists. Indeed it had been Aristotle's theory of the generation of metals in his Meteorologica and his theory of a common origin of all metals that had encouraged the alchemists in their efforts to transmute base metals into gold. This pseudo-Aristotelian challenge to the truth of alchemy seems to have elicited at least one previously unrecognized response. In a short treatise, tucked away in a sixteenth-century manuscript of alchemical miscellany, an anonymous author quotes “Aristotle” saying that the species of metals cannot be transformed or transmuted, but includes the proviso, also taken from Aristotle: unless they be reduced to their primary matter. This materia prima is identified by our author as the moistness that comes from water, water whose creative power our author grounds in Holy Scripture, especially in the hexaemeral tradition of the story of creation from the book of Genesis.
The rate at which the poaching of rhinoceroses has escalated since 2010 poses a threat to the long-term persistence of extant rhinoceros populations. The policy response has primarily called for increased investment in military-style enforcement strategies largely based upon simple economic models of rational crime. However, effective solutions will probably require a context-specific, stakeholder-driven mix of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms grounded in theory that represents human behaviour more realistically. Using a problem-oriented approach we illustrate in theory and practice how community-based strategies that explicitly incorporate local values and institutions are a foundation for combating rhinoceros poaching effectively in specific contexts. A case study from Namibia demonstrates how coupling a locally devised rhinoceros monitoring regime with joint-venture tourism partnerships as a legitimate land use can reconcile individual values represented within a diverse stakeholder group and manifests as both formal and informal community enforcement. We suggest a social learning approach as a means by which international, national and regional governance can recognize and promote solutions that may help empower local communities to implement rhinoceros management strategies that align individual values with the long-term health of rhinoceros populations.