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Household surveys are one of the most commonly used tools for generating insight into rural communities. Despite their prevalence, few studies comprehensively evaluate the quality of data derived from farm household surveys. We critically evaluated a series of standard reported values and indicators that are captured in multiple farm household surveys, and then quantified their credibility, consistency and, thus, their reliability. Surprisingly, even variables which might be considered ‘easy to estimate’ had instances of non-credible observations. In addition, measurements of maize yields and land owned were found to be less reliable than other stationary variables. This lack of reliability has implications for monitoring food security status, poverty status and the land productivity of households. Despite this rather bleak picture, our analysis also shows that if the same farm households are followed over time, the sample sizes needed to detect substantial changes are in the order of hundreds of surveys, and not in the thousands. Our research highlights the value of targeted and systematised household surveys and the importance of ongoing efforts to improve data quality. Improvements must be based on the foundations of robust survey design, transparency of experimental design and effective training. The quality and usability of such data can be further enhanced by improving coordination between agencies, incorporating mixed modes of data collection and continuing systematic validation programmes.
The objective was to compare the performance of the updated Charlson comorbidity index (uCCI) and classical CCI (cCCI) in predicting 30-day mortality in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB). All cases of SAB in patients aged ⩾14 years identified at the Microbiology Unit were included prospectively and followed. Comorbidity was evaluated using the cCCI and uCCI. Relevant variables associated with SAB-related mortality, along with cCCI or uCCI scores, were entered into multivariate logistic regression models. Global model fit, model calibration and predictive validity of each model were evaluated and compared. In total, 257 episodes of SAB in 239 patients were included (mean age 74 years; 65% were male). The mean cCCI and uCCI scores were 3.6 (standard deviation, 2.4) and 2.9 (2.3), respectively; 161 (63%) cases had cCCI score ⩾3 and 89 (35%) cases had uCCI score ⩾4. Sixty-five (25%) patients died within 30 days. The cCCI score was not related to mortality in any model, but uCCI score ⩾4 was an independent factor of 30-day mortality (odds ratio, 1.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–3.74). The uCCI is a more up-to-date, refined and parsimonious prognostic mortality score than the cCCI; it may thus serve better than the latter in the identification of patients with SAB with worse prognoses.
IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.
The present study aimed to evaluate trace mineral status of organic dairy herds in northern Spain and the sources of minerals in different types of feed. Blood samples from organic and conventional dairy cattle and feed samples from the respective farms were analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to determine the concentrations of the essential trace elements (cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), iodine (I), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn)) and toxic trace elements (arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb)). Overall, no differences between organic and conventional farms were detected in serum concentrations of essential and toxic trace elements (except for higher concentrations of Cd on the organic farms), although a high level of inter-farm variation was detected in the organic systems, indicating that organic production greatly depends on the specific local conditions. The dietary concentrations of the essential trace elements I, Cu, Se and Zn were significantly higher in the conventional than in the organic systems, which can be attributed to the high concentration of these minerals in the concentrate feed. No differences in the concentrations of trace minerals were found in the other types of feed. Multivariate chemometric analysis was conducted to determine the contribution of different feed sources to the trace element status of the cattle. Concentrate samples were mainly associated with Co, Cu, I, Se and Zn (i.e. with the elements supplemented in this type of feed). However, pasture and grass silage were associated with soil-derived elements (As, Cr, Fe and Pb) which cattle may thus ingest during grazing.
Effective tools for male contraception are important in the control of reproduction in animal populations. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of active immunization against gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) on male reproductive function assessing testicular morphological changes and serum-gonadotropin levels in pre-pubertal rabbits, guinea pigs and ram lambs. An anti-GnRH vaccine was developed by linking a GnRH-homologous molecule to a tetanus clostridial toxoid (Al(OH)3 coadjuvant). After vaccination protocols testicular morphometry, histopathological alterations and endocrine responses (FSH, LH, testosterone and cortisol serum levels) were evaluated. Testicular volume was significantly reduced in vaccinated animals with respect to the control group in rabbits, guinea pigs and ram lambs (P<0.05 to P<0.001). The anti-GnRH vaccine generated a reduction in testicular volume of 15-, 27- and 11-fold, respectively. Tubule diameters decreased in the vaccinated group with respect to the control ~2.0-, 1.2- and 3.5-fold, respectively (P<0.001). Tubule, intertubular and lumen volumes significantly decreased in vaccinated rabbits (P<0.05), guinea pigs and ram lambs (P<0.01). Vaccinated animals of the three species showed significant reductions in spermatogonial numbers (10- to 40-fold; P<0.01). Sperm was absent in all seminiferous tubules of all rabbits, and most individuals of guinea pigs (80%) and ram lambs (60%). No significant differences were observed between vaccinated and control groups regarding FSH and LH during the experiments in the three experimental species/models used. Testosterone, however, was only significantly lower (~22-fold, P<0.01) in vaccinated rabbits. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that pre-pubertal active immunization against GnRH leads to endocrine disruption and marked differences on testicular morphometry, development and activity among lagomorphs, hystricomorphs and ovine species with species-specific sensitivity regarding the anti-GnRH immune response.
Background: Perinatal stroke causes hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Constraint therapy (CIMT) improves function in congenital hemiparesis and adult stroke. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may improve function in adult stroke. The two have not been tested in perinatal stroke. Methods: PLASTIC CHAMPS (www.clinicaltrials.gov/NCT01189058) was a controlled factorial trial of rTMS and CIMT in perinatal-stroke hemiparesis. Children 6-18 years participated in a 2 week peer-supported motor learning camp, randomized to daily inhibitory rTMS (1200 stimulations, contralesional M1), CIMT, both or neither. Primary outcomes were Assisting Hand Assessment (AHA) and Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) at 1, 8, and 24 weeks. Quality-of-life, safety and tolerability were evaluated. Change was assessed across treatment groups over time (linear mixed effects model). Results: All forty-five subjects completed the trial (median 11.4yrs). COPM scores increased >100% with maximal gains at 6 months (p<0.002). Addition of rTMS and/or CIMT doubled the chances of clinically significant gains. Combined rTMS+CIMT resulted in larger AHA gains at all time points (6 months p=0.006). CIMT or rTMS alone had more modest effects. Neither treatment decreased function in either hand. Procedures were well tolerated. Conclusions: Children with hemiparesis participating in intensive, psychosocial rehabilitation programs perceive marked increases in function. Non-invasive brain stimulation may enhance motor learning therapy in perinatal stroke hemiparesis.
Previous studies have demonstrated that sperm head morphometry can be used as a potential diagnostic tool for detecting biophysical changes associated with sperm viability in bovine spermatozoa. In this study, sperm head morphometry was used to investigate its value as a biophysical marker for detecting volumetric changes in bovine spermatozoa under in vitro capacitating and non-capacitating incubation conditions. To further test this hypotesis, aliquots of pooled, washed bovine sperm were incubated in either Tyrode’s complete medium with heparin (TCMH; a capacitating medium containing Ca2+, NaHCO3 and heparin), Tyrode’s complete medium heparin-free (TCM; a medium containing just Ca2+ and NaHCO3) or Tyrode’s basal medium (TBM; a non-capacitating medium free of Ca2+, NaHCO3 and heparin, used as control). Aliquots of sperm were processed for morphometric analysis at different incubation-time intervals (0, 3 and 6 h at 38°C), and the chlortetracycline assay was used simultaneously to confirm the ability of the sperm to undergo capacitation (B pattern) and the acrosome reaction (AR pattern) status in each medium. After 3 h of incubation under TCMH conditions, a significant increase was observed in the percentage of B and AR patterns and a significant decrease was found in all sperm morphometric parameters (P<0.01). Interestingly, after 6 h of incubation in TCMH, the percentage of B and AR patterns increased drastically over time and marked differences were found in the dimensional and shape parameters, which were significantly smaller compared with TBM or TCM media (P<0.001). Significant correlations were observed between sperm size and AR pattern (r=−0.875, P<0.01). In conclusion, sperm head morphometry can be used as a potential biophysical marker for detecting volumetric changes during capacitation process in bovine spermatozoa.
The Solar Orbiter is the next solar physics mission of the European Space Agency, ESA, in collaboration with NASA, with a launch planned in 2018. The spacecraft is designed to approach the Sun to within 0.28 AU at perihelion of a highly eccentric orbit. The proximity with the Sun will also allow its observation at uniformly high resolution at EUV and visible wavelengths. Such observations are central for learning more about the magnetic coupling of the solar atmosphere. At a later phase in the mission the spacecraft will leave the ecliptic and study the enigmatic poles of the Sun from a heliographic latitude of up to 33○.
A central instrument of Solar Orbiter} is the Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager, SO/PHI. It will do full Stokes imaging in the Landé g = 2.5 Fe I 617.3 nm line. It is composed of two telescopes, a full-disk telescope and a high-resolution telescope, that will allow observations at a resolution as high as 200 km on the solar surface. SO/PHI will also be the first solar polarimeter to leave the Sun-Earth line, opening up new possibilities, such as stereoscopic polarimetry (besides stereoscopic imaging of the photosphere and stereoscopic helioseismology). Finally, SO/PHI will have a unique view of the solar poles, allowing not just more precise and exact measurements of the polar field than possible so far, but also enabling us to follow the dynamics of individual magnetic features at high latitudes and to determine solar surface and sub-surface flows right up to the poles.
In this paper an introduction to the science goals and the capabilities of SO/PHI will be given, as well as a brief overview of the instrument and of the current status of its development.
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
At present, it is well established that previously accepted mass-loss rates (Ṁ) of luminous OB stars may be overestimated when clumping is neglected. Our Herschel/PACS Far-Infrared (Far-IR) observations of a set of OB stars allow us to improve our knowledge of clumping stratification, constraining clumping properties in intermediate wind regions. In this work, better sampled clumping structure estimates are provided for ι Ori, ε Ori and ξ Per as well as an initial estimate of the clumping properties of the wind from τ Sco. These observations will allow us to obtain reliable mass-loss rates and improve our understanding of the wind physics.
In the race to break the SMC frontier and reach metallicity conditions closer to the First Stars the information from UV spectroscopy is usually overlooked. New HST-COS observations of OB stars in the metal-poor galaxy IC1613, with oxygen content ~1/10 solar, have proved the important role of UV spectroscopy to characterize blue massive stars and their winds. The terminal velocities (υ∞) and abundances derived from the dataset have shed new light on the problem of metal-poor massive stars with strong winds. Furthermore, our results question the υ∞-υesc and υ∞-Z scaling relations whose use in optical-only studies may introduce large uncertainties in the derived mass loss rates and wind-momenta. Finally, our results indicate that the detailed abundance pattern of each star may have a non-negligible impact on its wind properties, and scaling these as a function of one single metallicity parameter is probably too coarse an approximation. Considering, for instance, that the [α/Fe] ratio evolves with the star formation history of each galaxy, we may be in need of updating all our wind recipes.
Massive stars play a key role in environments with very different metallicities. To interpret the role of massive stars in these systems we have to know their properties at different metallicities. The Local Group offers an excellent laboratory to this aim.
Livestock play a significant role in rural livelihoods and the economies of developing countries. They are providers of income and employment for producers and others working in, sometimes complex, value chains. They are a crucial asset and safety net for the poor, especially for women and pastoralist groups, and they provide an important source of nourishment for billions of rural and urban households. These socio-economic roles and others are increasing in importance as the sector grows because of increasing human populations, incomes and urbanisation rates. To provide these benefits, the sector uses a significant amount of land, water, biomass and other resources and emits a considerable quantity of greenhouse gases. There is concern on how to manage the sector's growth, so that these benefits can be attained at a lower environmental cost. Livestock and environment interactions in developing countries can be both positive and negative. On the one hand, manures from ruminant systems can be a valuable source of nutrients for smallholder crops, whereas in more industrial systems, or where there are large concentrations of animals, they can pollute water sources. On the other hand, ruminant systems in developing countries can be considered relatively resource-use inefficient. Because of the high yield gaps in most of these production systems, increasing the efficiency of the livestock sector through sustainable intensification practices presents a real opportunity where research and development can contribute to provide more sustainable solutions. In order to achieve this, it is necessary that production systems become market-orientated, better regulated in cases, and socially acceptable so that the right mix of incentives exists for the systems to intensify. Managing the required intensification and the shifts to new value chains is also essential to avoid a potential increase in zoonotic, food-borne and other diseases. New diversification options and improved safety nets will also be essential when intensification is not the primary avenue for developing the livestock sector. These processes will need to be supported by agile and effective public and private institutions.
This first part of Special Session 5 explored the current status of infrared-based observations of obscured and distant stellar clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. Recent infrared surveys, either serendipitously or using targeted searches, have uncovered a rich population of young and massive clusters. However, cluster characterization is more challenging as it must be obtained often entirely in the infrared due to high line-of-sight extinction. Despite this, much is to be gained through the identification and careful analysis of these clusters, as they allow for the early evolution of massive stars to be better constrained. Further, they act as beacons delineating the Milky Way's structure and as nearby, resolved analogues to the distant unresolved massive clusters studied in distant galaxies.
ZnO is a promising material for use in solar cell applications which require antireflective coatings and transparent conducting materials in front contacts. Its resistivity can be reduced by appropriate doping with different group III elements, which act as donors, without sacrificing optical transmission. Besides, it constitutes a non-toxic and cheap alternative to ITO (In2O3:SnO2), which is nowadays commonly used as transparent conducting oxide (TCO) in optoelectronic devices. Al(III) is one of the cheapest elements on nature, and has been therefore one of the first candidates to be used as a dopant. However recent studies demonstrate that for similar amounts of dopant the use of Ga largely improves both the optical and electrical properties of the films. The interface between Si (used as substrate) and the corresponding TCO is a critical part of Si-based solar cells, since the conversion efficiency may be profoundly altered by the presence of recombination centers formed at the interface. In this work we present a comparison of Si/ZnO, Si/ZnO:Ga and Si/ZnO:Al interfaces (with [dopant]/[Zn] = 2%) by using HRTEM and associated spectroscopies. Resistivity values of the films are: ρ(ZnO) = 4.4 × 10-2 Ω × cm; ρ(Ga:ZnO) = 6.3 × 10-4 Ω × cm; ρ(Al:ZnO) = 2.9 × 10-3 Ω × cm. and the films optical transmitance is larger than 80% along the visible spectrum.
Recent studies have claimed the existence of very massive stars (VMS) up to 300 M⊙ in the local Universe. As this finding may represent a paradigm shift for the canonical stellar upper-mass limit of 150 M⊙, it is timely to discuss the status of the data, as well as the far-reaching implications of such objects. We held a Joint Discussion at the General Assembly in Beijing to discuss (i) the determination of the current masses of the most massive stars, (ii) the formation of VMS, (iii) their mass loss, and (iv) their evolution and final fate. The prime aim was to reach broad consensus between observers and theorists on how to identify and quantify the dominant physical processes.
We believe the currently accepted indications for frontal osteoma surgery are inappropriate. We propose a new osteoma classification system, below, in order to standardise surgical decisions.
Osteomas were classified based on: relationship of tumour mass to sinus size; tumour proximity to the infundibulum, destruction of sinus walls, and complications. Forty-five osteoma cases were thus classified (1971–2007), 29 of which underwent surgery (64.44 per cent).
Three stages were thus derived: I, tumour/air fraction less than one-third, tumour distant from the infundibulum, no sinusitis, and no complications (18 patients (40 per cent)); II, tumour/air fraction one-third to one-half, no infundibular obstruction, no bone destruction, no sinusitis, and no complications (six (13.33 per cent)); and III, tumour/air fraction more than one-half, partial or total infundibular obstruction, sinusitis, bone destruction, and/or complications (21 (46.67 per cent)).
Study findings suggest the following surgical indications: stage I, no surgery required, implement monitoring protocol; stage II, implement monitoring protocol, surgery may be required depending on tumour severity and general patient condition; and stage III, surgery always required. This system provides a method of standardising osteoma surgical decisions.
This study analyzed the relationship between social interaction styles and sociometric types in a sample of 1,349 (51.7% boys, and 48.3% girls) Spanish adolescents. The results revealed that the proportion of prosocial adolescents nominated as liked by peers was significantly higher than prosocial with social anxiety, whereas the proportion of aggressive adolescents nominated by peers as rejected was significantly higher than the proportion of rejected-prosocial and rejected-with social anxiety. The percentages of sociometric types and social interaction styles varied significantly according to gender and academic grade. Logistic regression analyses showed that being prosocial was 48% more likely when adolescents are nominated by peers as liked, whereas being prosocial was 41% and 79% less likely when adolescents were nominated as rejected and neglected, respectively. Furthermore, prosocial adolescents were 67% more likely nominated by peers as liked, and were less likely nominated as rejected (42%) and neglected (78%). Finally, being neglected was 83% more likely in aggressive adolescents.