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Current techniques for measuring the dry matter intake (DMI) of grazing lactating beef cows are invasive, time consuming and expensive making them impractical for use on commercial farms. This study was undertaken to explore the potential to develop and validate a model to predict DMI of grazing lactating beef cows, which could be applied in a commercial farm setting, using non-invasive animal measurements. The calibration dataset used to develop the model was comprised of 94 measurements recorded on 106 beef or beef–dairy crossbred cows (maternal origin). The potential of body measurements, linear type scoring, grazing behaviour and thermal imaging to predict DMI in combination with known biologically plausible adjustment variables and energy sinks was investigated. Multivariable regression models were constructed for each independent variable using SAS PROC REG and contained milk yield, BW, parity, calving day and maternal origin (dairy or beef). Of the 94 variables tested, 32 showed an association with DMI (P < 0.25) upon multivariable analysis. These variables were incorporated into a backwards linear regression model using SAS PROC REG. Variables were retained in this model if P < 0.05. Five variables; width at pins, full body depth, ruminating mastications, central ligament and rump width score, were retained in the model in addition to milk yield, BW, parity, calving day and maternal origin. The inclusion of these variables in the model increased the predictability of DMI by 0.23 (R2 = 0.68) when compared to a model containing milk yield, BW, parity, calving day and maternal origin only. This model was applied to data recorded on an independent dataset; a herd of 60 lactating beef cows two years after the calibration study. The R2 for the validation was 0.59. Estimates of DMI are required for measuring feed efficiency. While acknowledging challenges in applicability, the findings suggest a model such as that developed in this study may be used as a tool to more easily and less invasively estimate DMI on large populations of commercial beef cows, and therefore measure feed efficiency.
Since its introduction to the United States in 1852, Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense Lour.) has spread throughout the Southeast, invading many natural areas. Manual control by cutting or shredding is one of the most common strategies many land managers employ. However, rapid sprouting from the root collar and lateral roots commonly results in poor control. Cutting followed by either glyphosate or triclopyr application to the stumps is generally effective, but the efficacy of these herbicides in relation to treatment timing and L. sinense root collar diameter has not been evaluated. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effectiveness of glyphosate and triclopyr cut stump treatments compared with cutting alone at spring and fall timings across a range of L. sinense size classes. Studies were conducted at two locations in Auburn, AL. Treatments included cut stump+no herbicide, cut stump+ glyphosate (120 g L−1), or cut stump+triclopyr (90 g L−1). Treatments were applied to at least 50 experimental units each at April and November timings. Root collar diameter was recorded for each stem, stems were cut 2.5 cm above the ground, and herbicide treatments were applied within 30 s. Ligustrum sinense mortality and sprouting were quantified 6, 12, and 18 mo after treatment. Both glyphosate and triclopyr amine were very effective in controlling L. sinense at both spring and fall timings. However, glyphosate provided slightly better results than triclopyr when lateral sprouting was included. Application timing also was significant, with a lower percentage of sprouting following November treatments than April treatments. Stem size influenced treatment success, as larger stumps tended to sprout more than smaller stumps. These results indicate L. sinense can be controlled with cut stump herbicide treatment using either glyphosate or triclopyr with spring or fall timings at concentrations much lower than typically used.
The majority of people living with dementia in Ireland reside in their own homes, some supported by formal or informal home care. This audit aimed to estimate the prevalence of dementia and suspected cognitive impairment (CI) among older adults, 65+ years, in receipt of formal home care (domiciliary care) in a defined health service area in North Dublin. A secondary objective of the audit was to explore factors associated with dementia or CI in this cohort.
A cross-sectional audit was conducted on all clients aged 65+ years actively receiving publicly funded home care packages (HCPs) during May 2016 in Healthcare Service Executive CHO9 Dublin North Central. A total of 935 urban community dwelling older adults were included in the study [mean age 83.7 (s.d. 7.4) years and 65% female]. Basic socio-demographic and health data were extracted from common summary assessment reports. Service users were categorised as having (a) dementia if a diagnosis of dementia or cognitive decline which impacts on independent living, was documented by a health professional or (b) suspected CI where a validated cognitive screening tool was applied and the score was indicative of mild CI.
Overall, the estimated prevalence of dementia and suspected CI was 37.1% and 8.7%, respectively. Factors significantly associated with dementia and suspected CI were higher dependency and home care hours, communication difficulty and being non-self-caring (p<0.001). Notably, half (51.6%) of those with either dementia or suspected CI group lived alone.
Our findings suggest a high prevalence dementia among HCP users, highlighting a need and opportunity for dementia-specific approaches to support older people in their homes.
This experiment aimed to assess the effect of different indoor winter growth rates (WGR) followed by different concentrate supplementation levels at pasture on meat quality of 90 bulls. During the first winter, bulls were offered grass silage ad libitum and either 3 kg (WGR3) or 6 kg (WGR6) of concentrates. After turn-out to pasture, bulls were offered: grass without supplementation (PO), grass plus 0.2 predicted dry matter intake (DMI) as concentrates (PL) or grass plus 0.4 predicted DMI as concentrates (PH). After finishing, colour, chemical composition (unaged), instrumental texture and sensory characteristics (14 days of ageing) of longissimus thoracis were measured. WGR6 bulls had heavier carcasses than WGR3 bulls. There was an interaction between WGR and supplementation for instrumental texture and redness (a). Within WGR3, PO beef was the most tender, whereas within WRG6, PL was the most tender. However, these differences were not detected by the sensory panel. Within WGR3, redness was the lowest for PL, whereas within WRG6, PO was the least red. No differences were found for chemical composition. The multivariate analysis highlighted WGR as the main variable affecting meat quality characteristics. In conclusion, variations in growth path exerted minor effects on appearance and instrumental texture which did not affect the perception of bull beef by a trained sensory panel.
An adverse early life environment can increase the risk of metabolic and other disorders later in life. Genetic variation can modify an individual’s susceptibility to these environmental challenges. These gene by environment interactions are important, but difficult, to dissect. The nucleus is the primary organelle where environmental responses impact directly on the genetic variants within the genome, resulting in changes to the biology of the genome and ultimately the phenotype. Understanding genome biology requires the integration of the linear DNA sequence, epigenetic modifications and nuclear proteins that are present within the nucleus. The interactions between these layers of information may be captured in the emergent spatial genome organization. As such genome organization represents a key research area for decoding the role of genetic variation in the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.
Chinese privet is an invasive shrub that commonly infests roadsides and bottomland forests across the southeastern United States. Its aggressive growth and ability to prolifically sprout from the root collar and shallow lateral roots makes control very difficult. Individual plant treatment methods such as low-volume basal bark herbicide application with triclopyr are commonly used for Chinese privet control. However, little research has been done to examine optimal triclopyr concentrations and application timings for the low-volume basal bark method. Furthermore, little is known regarding basal bark treatment efficacy when plant size varies. To address these questions, field studies were conducted from 2009 to 2011 at two locations in east-central Alabama near Auburn and Opelika. The triclopyr butoxyethyl ester formulation was applied in January or March to Chinese privet shrubs across a range of sizes in a commercially available basal oil carrier at 24 (5% v/v−1), 48 (10% v/v−1), and 96 g L−1 (20% v/v−1). Additionally, a triclopyr butoxyethyl ester ready-to-use formulation (90 g L−1) was applied at 100% v/v−1. Canopy defoliation, sprout height, and mortality were quantified at 6, 12, and 18 mo after treatment. Triclopyr at all concentrations was highly effective in defoliating Chinese privet and reducing height of new basal sprouts. However, mortality was concentration dependent. The 90 and 96 g L−1 treatments resulted in 88 and 89% mortality across timings, while the 24 and 48 g L−1 treatments resulted in 63 and 76% mortality. March applications were less effective as basal diameter increased, especially at the lower triclopyr concentrations where mortality fell to less than 40%. These results indicate that triclopyr is an effective treatment for Chinese privet control, but efficacy is influenced by concentration, application timing, and plant size.
Many medications administered to patients with schizophrenia possess anticholinergic properties. When aggregated, pharmacological treatments may result in a considerable anticholinergic burden. The extent to which anticholinergic burden has a deleterious effect on cognition and impairs ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatments is unknown.
Seventy patients were followed for approximately 3 years. The MATRICS consensus cognitive battery (MCCB) was administered at baseline. Anticholinergic burden was measured with the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) scale. Ability to benefit from psychosocial programmes was measured using the DUNDRUM-3 Programme Completion Scale (D-3) at baseline and follow-up. Psychiatric symptoms were measured using the PANSS. Total antipsychotic dose was measured using chlorpromazine equivalents. Functioning was measured using the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS).
Mediation analysis found that the influence of anticholinergic burden on ability to participate and benefit from psychosocial programmes was completely mediated by the MCCB. For every 1-unit increase on the ACB scale, change scores for DUNDRUM-3 decreased by −0.27 points. This relationship appears specific to anticholinergic burden and not total antipsychotic dose. Moreover, mediation appears to be specific to cognition and not psychopathology. Baseline functioning also acted as mediator but only when MCCB was not controlled for.
Anticholinergic burden has a significant impact on patients’ ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatment programmes. Physicians need to be mindful of the cumulative effect that medications can have on patient cognition, functional capacity and ability to benefit from psychosocial treatments.
No previous studies of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) epidemiology in adult intensive care units (ICUs) have assessed the utility of rapid, highly discriminatory strain typing in the investigation of transmission events.
A 22-bed medical-surgical adult ICU.
Those admissions MRSA-positive on initial screening and all admissions <48 hours in duration were excluded, leaving a cohort of 653 patients (median age, 61 years; APACHE-II, 19).
We conducted this study of MRSA transmission over 1 year (August 1, 2011 to July 31, 2012) using a multiplex PCR-based reverse line blot (mPCR/RLB) assay to genotype isolates from surveillance swabs obtained at admission and twice weekly during ICU stays. MRSA prevalence and incidence rates were calculated and transmission events were identified using strain matching. Colonization pressure was calculated daily by summation of all MRSA cases.
Of 1,030 admissions to ICU during the study period, 349 patients were excluded. MRSA acquisition occurred during 31 of 681 (4.6%) remaining admissions; 19 of 31(61%) acquisitions were genotype-confirmed, including 7 (37%) due to the most commonly transmitted strain. Moving averages of MRSA patient numbers on the days prior to a documented event were used in a Poisson regression model. A significant association was found between transmission and colonization pressure when the average absolute colonization pressure on the previous day was ≥3 (χ2=7.41, P=0.01).
mPCR/RLB characterizes MRSA isolates within a clinically useful time frame for identification of single-source clusters within the ICU. High MRSA colonization pressure (≥3 MRSA-positive patients) on a given day is associated with an increased likelihood of a transmission event.
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 primary aim of this brief exploratory study is to examine differences in developmental work personality in a sample of young adult CNS cancer survivors and a group of young adult college students without disabilities. Participants were 43 young adults with central nervous systems cancer (females = 58.1%, Mean age = 21.64, SD = 3.64) and a comparison sample of 45 typically developing others who were college students (females = 77.3%, mean age = 20.91, SD = 1.04). They completed the Developmental Work Personality Scale (DWPS). Group differences in developmental work personality were examined using multivariate analysis of variance procedures. Results indicated that overall developmental work personality, and subscale scores of work tasks, and social skills were significantly lower among CNS cancer survivors compared to typically developing other young adults. Findings suggest influences of developmental atypicality in work personality with CNS cancer survivorship.
The aim of this work was to determine if volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans, created for constant dose-rate (cdrVMAT) delivery are a viable alternative to step and shoot five-field intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
Materials and methods
The cdrVMAT plans, inverse planned on a treatment planning system with no solution to account for couch top or rails, were created for delivery on a linear accelerator with no variable dose rate control system. A series of five-field IMRT and cdrVMAT plans were created using dual partial arcs (gantry rotating between 260° and 100°) with 4° control points for ten prostate patients with the average rectal constraint incrementally increased. Pareto fronts were compared for the planning target volume homogeneity and average rectal dose between the two techniques for each patient. Also investigated were tumour control probability and normal tissue complication probability values for each technique. The delivery parameters [monitor units (MU) and time] and delivery accuracy of the IMRT and VMAT plans were also compared.
Pareto fronts showed that the dual partial arc plans were superior to the five-field IMRT plans, particularly for the clinically acceptable plans where average rectal doses were less for rotational plans (p = 0·009) with no statistical difference in target homogeneity. The cdrVMAT plans had significantly more MU (p = 0·005) but the average delivery time was significantly less than the IMRT plans by 42%. All clinically acceptable cdrVMAT plans were accurate in their delivery (gamma 99·2 ± 1·1%, 3%3 mm criteria).
Accurate delivery of dual partial arc cdrVMAT avoiding the couch top and rails has been demonstrated.