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Disease surveillance in wildlife populations presents a logistical challenge, yet is critical in gaining a deeper understanding of the presence and impact of wildlife pathogens. Erinaceus coronavirus (EriCoV), a clade C Betacoronavirus, was first described in Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Germany. Here, our objective was to determine whether EriCoV is present, and if it is associated with disease, in Great Britain (GB). An EriCoV-specific BRYT-Green® real-time reverse transcription PCR assay was used to test 351 samples of faeces or distal large intestinal tract contents collected from casualty or dead hedgehogs from a wide area across GB. Viral RNA was detected in 10.8% (38) samples; however, the virus was not detected in any of the 61 samples tested from Scotland. The full genome sequence of the British EriCoV strain was determined using next generation sequencing; it shared 94% identity with a German EriCoV sequence. Multivariate statistical models using hedgehog case history data, faecal specimen descriptions and post-mortem examination findings found no significant associations indicative of disease associated with EriCoV in hedgehogs. These findings indicate that the Western European hedgehog is a reservoir host of EriCoV in the absence of apparent disease.
Small perturbations to a steady uniform granular chute flow can grow as the material moves downslope and develop into a series of surface waves that travel faster than the bulk flow. This roll wave instability has important implications for the mitigation of hazards due to geophysical mass flows, such as snow avalanches, debris flows and landslides, because the resulting waves tend to merge and become much deeper and more destructive than the uniform flow from which they form. Natural flows are usually highly polydisperse and their dynamics is significantly complicated by the particle size segregation that occurs within them. This study investigates the kinematics of such flows theoretically and through small-scale experiments that use a mixture of large and small glass spheres. It is shown that large particles, which segregate to the surface of the flow, are always concentrated near the crests of roll waves. There are different mechanisms for this depending on the relative speed of the waves, compared to the speed of particles at the free surface, as well as on the particle concentration. If all particles at the surface travel more slowly than the waves, the large particles become concentrated as the shock-like wavefronts pass them. This is due to a concertina-like effect in the frame of the moving wave, in which large particles move slowly backwards through the crest, but travel quickly in the troughs between the crests. If, instead, some particles on the surface travel more quickly than the wave and some move slower, then, at low concentrations, large particles can move towards the wave crest from both the forward and rearward sides. This results in isolated regions of large particles that are trapped at the crest of each wave, separated by regions where the flow is thinner and free of large particles. There is also a third regime arising when all surface particles travel faster than the waves, which has large particles present everywhere but with a sharp increase in their concentration towards the wave fronts. In all cases, the significantly enhanced large particle concentration at wave crests means that such flows in nature can be especially destructive and thus particularly hazardous.
Respondent-driven sampling (RDS) is widely used to estimate HIV prevalence in men who have sex with men (MSM). Mathematical models that are calibrated to these data may be compromised if they fail to account for selection biases in RDS surveys. To quantify the potential extent of this bias, an agent-based model of HIV in South Africa was calibrated to HIV prevalence and sexual behaviour data from South African studies of MSM, first reweighting the modelled MSM population to match the younger age profile of the RDS surveys (age-adjusted analysis) and then without reweighting (unadjusted analysis). The model estimated a median HIV prevalence in South African MSM in 2015 of 34.6% (inter-quartile range (IQR): 31.4–37.2%) in the age-adjusted analysis, compared with 26.1% (IQR: 24.1–28.4%) in the unadjusted analysis. The median lifetime risk of acquiring HIV in exclusively homosexual men was 88% (IQR: 82–92%) in the age-adjusted analysis, compared with 76% (IQR: 64–85%) in the unadjusted analysis. These results suggest that RDS studies may under-estimate the exceptionally high HIV prevalence rates in South African MSM because of over-sampling of younger MSM. Mathematical models that are calibrated to these data need to control for likely over-sampling of younger MSM.
Six radio telescopes were operated as the first southern hemisphere VLBI array in April and May 1982. Observations were made at 2.3 and 8.4 Ghz. This array produced VLBI images of 28 southern hemisphere radio sources, high accuracy VLBI geodesy between southern hemisphere sites, and subarcsecond radio astrometry of celestial sources south of declination −45 degrees. This paper discusses only the astrophysical aspects of the experiment.
This study uses an experiment where ferry passengers are sold hotel room “views” to evaluate the impact of wind turbines views on tourists’ vacation experience. Participants purchase a chance for a weekend hotel stay. Information about the hotel rooms was limited to the quality of the hotel and its distance from a large wind turbine, as well as whether or not a particular room would have a view of the turbine. While there was generally a negative effect of turbine views, this did not hold across all participants, and did not seem to be effected by distance or hotel quality.
A qualitative ranking method, Q methodology, was used to assess stakeholder priorities for socioecological services derived from coastal marshes and communities. The goal was to reveal strength of concerns for and tradeoffs among effects of coastal resilience strategies. Factor analysis identified three perspectives that formed a spectrum from high to low priorities on intangible services. Academic and government stakeholders were more likely than local residents to prioritize intangible services, but stakeholder views were diverse. A collaborative learning process promoted some alignment of views and academics showed the most movement – towards residents’ perspectives. Q-sort appeared effective at efficiently synthesizing broad concerns.
Converging evidence suggests that subjective cognitive concerns (SCC) are associated with biomarker evidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) prior to objective clinical impairment. However, the sensitivity of SCC reports in early AD may be biased by demographic factors. Here, we sought to investigate whether age, education, and sex influence the relationship between SCC and amyloid (Aβ) burden.
In this cross-sectional study, we examined 252 clinically normal (CN) individuals (57.7% females) enrolled in the Harvard Aging Brain Study, ages 63–90 years (mean 73.7±6) with 6–20 years of education (mean 15.8±3). SCC was assessed as a composite score comprising three questionnaires. Cortical Aβ burden was assessed with Pittsburgh compound B positron emission tomography imaging. A series of linear regression models assessed the potential modifying role of demographic variables with respect to Aβ burden and SCC. A post-hoc mediation model was implemented to further understand the relationship between Aβ burden and SCC via their relationship with education.
Age (β = −0.84, p = 0.36) and sex (β = −0.55, p = 0.22) did not modify the relationship between SCC and Aβ burden. Fewer years of education was correlated with greater SCC (r = −0.12, p = 0.05), but the relationship between Aβ burden and SCC was stronger in those with more education (β = 1.16, p < 0.05). A partial mediation effect was found of Aβ burden on SCC via education (b = −0.12, 95% CI [−0.31, −0.02]).
These findings suggest that the association between SCC and Aβ burden becomes stronger with greater educational attainment. Thus, SCC may be of particular importance in highly educated CN individuals harboring amyloid pathology.
Epidemiological studies suggest a higher prevalence of congenital malformations in children conceived through assisted reproductive technologies. There are a few studies that address CHD specifically and most have examined data from registries. We examined the relationship between CHD and assisted conception using data collected in a specialist paediatric cardiac service in the United Kingdom.
Between April, 2010 and July, 2011, the parents of children attending paediatric cardiology clinics at the Royal Brompton Hospital, London, were invited to complete a questionnaire that enquired about the nature of their child’s conception, the route for their original referral, and a number of potential confounding exposures. “Cases” were defined as children diagnosed with one or more carefully defined CHDs and “controls” as those with normal hearts.
Of 894 new attendees with complete data, half of them were cases (n=410, 45.9%). The overall prevalence of assisted conception was 5.4% (n=44). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated a non-significant increase in the crude odds for the use of assisted reproduction (odds ratio 1.21, 95% confidence interval 0.66–2.22) in this group. After adjustment for gestation, parity, year of birth, and maternal age, the odds ratio reduced (odds ratio 0.95, 95% confidence interval 0.48–1.88). Increased rates of assisted conception were observed in a number of CHD subgroups, although no significant differences were found.
These findings do not suggest an overall association between CHD and assisted reproduction in this population.
The megafauna and associated behavioral traces of two deep-sea benthic environments, the central Arctic and Antarctic, with a surface primary productivity differential of 104 were compared to assess the role of food availability in foraging strategy and community structure. Bottom photographs, analyzed for megafauna and trace density and diversity at comparable depths in the Arctic Canada Basin and the Antarctic Bellingshausen Basin, indicated that trace frequency was inversely proportional to organism density but that trace diversity directly reflected organism diversity. Those traces identified in the fossil record to represent efficient foraging strategies, i.e., the Nereites facies, were conspicuously absent at all depths in the Arctic and present at all depths in the Antarctic, in contradiction of the paradigm of increasing behavioral complexity and sediment exploitation as food availability decreases. Presence or absence of surface-grazing organisms seems to exert a greater influence on trace diversity than depth or nutrient supply. Trace density, however, may reflect episodic sedimentation events which intermittently influence the deep-sea trophic regime.
Accurate and complete reporting of study methods, results and interpretation are essential components for any scientific process, allowing end-users to evaluate the internal and external validity of a study. When animals are used in research, excellence in reporting is expected as a matter of continued ethical acceptability of animal use in the sciences. Our primary objective was to assess completeness of reporting for a series of studies relevant to mitigation of pain in neonatal piglets undergoing routine management procedures. Our second objective was to illustrate how authors can report the items in the Reporting guidElines For randomized controLled trials for livEstoCk and food safety (REFLECT) statement using examples from the animal welfare science literature. A total of 52 studies from 40 articles were evaluated using a modified REFLECT statement. No single study reported all REFLECT checklist items. Seven studies reported specific objectives with testable hypotheses. Six studies identified primary or secondary outcomes. Randomization and blinding were considered to be partially reported in 21 and 18 studies, respectively. No studies reported the rationale for sample sizes. Several studies failed to report key design features such as units for measurement, means, standard deviations, standard errors for continuous outcomes or comparative characteristics for categorical outcomes expressed as either rates or proportions. In the discipline of animal welfare science, authors, reviewers and editors are encouraged to use available reporting guidelines to ensure that scientific methods and results are adequately described and free of misrepresentations and inaccuracies. Complete and accurate reporting increases the ability to apply the results of studies to the decision-making process and prevent wastage of financial and animal resources.
The aim of this study was to examine cross-sectionally whether higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) might favorably modify amyloid-β (Aβ)-related decrements in cognition in a cohort of late-middle-aged adults at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Sixty-nine enrollees in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention participated in this study. They completed a comprehensive neuropsychological exam, underwent 11C Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB)-PET imaging, and performed a graded treadmill exercise test to volitional exhaustion. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) during the exercise test was used as the index of CRF. Forty-five participants also underwent lumbar puncture for collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples, from which Aβ42 was immunoassayed. Covariate-adjusted regression analyses were used to test whether the association between Aβ and cognition was modified by CRF. There were significant VO2peak*PiB-PET interactions for Immediate Memory (p=.041) and Verbal Learning & Memory (p=.025). There were also significant VO2peak*CSF Aβ42 interactions for Immediate Memory (p<.001) and Verbal Learning & Memory (p<.001). Specifically, in the context of high Aβ burden, that is, increased PiB-PET binding or reduced CSF Aβ42, individuals with higher CRF exhibited significantly better cognition compared with individuals with lower CRF. In a late-middle-aged, at-risk cohort, higher CRF is associated with a diminution of Aβ-related effects on cognition. These findings suggest that exercise might play an important role in the prevention of AD. (JINS, 2015, 21, 841–850)
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
The use of organic nonlinear optical (ONLO) materials in electro-optic (EO) modulators requires that the active molecular components (chromophores) be acentrically oriented. The fundamental molecular constituents are in a condensed, glassy phase. Molecular orientation in such systems is typically achieved by applying a DC poling field to the glassy material. We are developing efficient coarse-grained classical Monte Carlo (MC) methods to simulate the order of such systems. The most challenging aspects of these simulations are convergence to an experimentally relevant equilibrium ensemble and verification of simulation accuracy. We use a variety of molecular descriptions and a variety of MC methods to achieve proper order in the shortest number of computational cycles possible. Herein, we illustrate a few examples of the types of calculations and compare with experimental results with representative amorphous organic materials, including electro-optic chromophores.