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Loose farrowing pens have been considered as alternatives to crates to enhance sow welfare. A major concern with pen systems is often higher piglet pre-weaning mortality, especially due to crushing by the sow. An optimal management of light and mat surface temperature may promote greater piglet use of the creep, which has been associated with reduced piglet crushing. A total of 108 sows and their piglets were studied in sow welfare and piglet protection pens on a commercial piggery, across two replicates. Sows were randomly assigned to pens arranged within two creep treatments (bright creep: 300 lx v. dark creep: 4 lx), considering mat temperature as a covariate. Twelve sows and their litters in each treatment (24 in total) had their behaviour continuously recorded for 72-h postpartum (pp), and four focal piglets per litter were weighed on the first and third days pp. In situ behaviour observations were performed daily (from 0800 to 1700 h) on all sows and their litters, every 15 min over 72-h pp to record piglet time spent in the creep, latency to enter the creep for the first time, latency for the litter to remain in the creep for at least 10 min, and piglet and sow use of pen areas immediately in front of (A2) and farthest from the creep (A3). Piglets with access to bright creeps spent on average 7.2% more time (P<0.01) in the creeps than piglets in pens with Dark creeps. In addition, for each degree increase in mat temperature, piglets spent on average 2.1% more time (P<0.01) in the creep. Piglets in pens with bright creeps spent less time in A2 (P=0.04) and the least time in A3 (P=0.01). Light or mat temperature did not affect sow use of pen areas or piglet weight gain. Piglets with bright creeps tended (P=0.06) to take longer to enter the creep for the first time after birth, but the latency for 30.0% of the litter to remain clustered for 10 min tended (P=0.08) to be shorter in bright compared to dark creeps. Overall, piglet use of the creep increased with warm mat temperatures and brightness, which should be further investigated as potential strategies to promote piglet safety and reduce crushing in pen farrowing systems.
Life span bias potentially alters species abundance in death assemblages through the overrepresentation of short-lived organisms compared with their long-lived counterparts. Although previous work found that life span bias did not contribute significantly to live–dead discordance in bivalve assemblages, life span bias better explained discordance in two groups: longer-lived bivalve species and species with known life spans. More studies using local, rather than global, species-wide life spans and mortality rates would help to determine the prevalence of life span bias, especially for long-lived species with known life spans. Here, we conducted a field study at two sites in North Carolina to assess potential life span bias between Mercenaria mercenaria and Chione elevata, two long-lived bivalve species that can be aged directly. We compared the ability of directly measured local life spans with that of regional and global life spans to predict live–dead discordance between these two species. The shorter-lived species (C. elevata) was overrepresented in the death assemblage compared with its live abundance, and local life span data largely predicted the amount of live–dead discordance; local life spans predicted 43% to 88% of discordance. Furthermore, the global maximum life span for M. mercenaria resulted in substantial overpredictions of discordance (1.4 to 1.6 times the observed live–dead discordance). The results of this study suggest that life span bias should be considered as a factor affecting proportional abundances of species in death assemblages and that using life span estimates appropriate to the study locality improves predictions of discordance based on life span compared with using global life span estimates.
Laying hens housed in free-range systems have access to an outdoor range, and individual hens within a flock differ in their ranging behaviour. Whether there is a link between ranging and laying hen welfare remains unclear. We analysed the relationships between ranging by individual hens on a commercial free-range layer farm and behavioural, physiological and health measures of animal welfare. We hypothesised that hens that access the range more will be (1) less fearful in general and in response to novelty and humans, (2) have better health in terms of physical body condition and (3) have a reduced physiological stress response to behavioural tests of fear and health assessments than hens that use the range less. Using radio frequency identification tracking across two flocks, we recorded individual hens’ frequency, duration and consistency of ranging. We also assessed how far hens ventured into the range based on three zones: 0 to 2.4, 2.4 to 11.4 or >11.4 m from the shed. We assessed hen welfare using a variety of measures including: tonic immobility, open field, novel object, human approach, and human avoidance (HAV) behavioural tests; stress-induced plasma corticosterone response and faecal glucocorticoid metabolites; live weight, comb colour, and beak, plumage, footpad, and keel bone condition. Range use was positively correlated with plasma corticosterone response, faecal glucocorticoid metabolites, and greater flight distance during HAV. Hens that used the range more, moved towards rather than away from the novel object more often than hens that ranged less. Distance ranged from the shed was significantly associated with comb colour and beak condition, in that hens with darker combs and more intact beaks ranged further. Overall the findings suggest that there is no strong link between outdoor range usage and laying hen welfare. Alternatively, it may be that hens that differed in their ranging behaviour showed few differences in measures of welfare because free-range systems provide hens with adequate choice to cope with their environment. Further research into the relationship between individual range access and welfare is needed to test this possibility.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.
Tonsillectomy is a common procedure with significant post-operative pain. This study was designed to compare post-operative pain, returns to a normal diet and normal activity, and duration of regular analgesic use in Coblation and bipolar tonsillectomy patients.
A total of 137 patients, aged 2–50 years, presenting to a single institution for tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy were recruited. Pain level, diet, analgesic use, return to normal activity and haemorrhage data were collected.
Coblation tonsillectomy was associated with significantly less pain than bipolar tonsillectomy on post-operative days 1 (p = 0.005), 2 (p = 0.006) and 3 (p = 0.010). Mean pain scores were also significantly lower in the Coblation group (p = 0.039). Coblation patients had a significantly faster return to normal activity than bipolar tonsillectomy patients (p < 0.001).
Coblation tonsillectomy is a less painful technique compared to bipolar tonsillectomy in the immediate post-operative period and in the overall post-operative period. This allows a faster return to normal activity and decreased analgesic requirements.
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is a rare otological condition with potential for dire outcomes including permanent hearing loss. Although the majority of cases are deemed idiopathic, bilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss represents a rare subset typically related to systemic conditions, with higher morbidity and mortality. A controversial association with acute otitis media has been reported, with few bilateral cases published in the literature.
A very rare case of bilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss associated with acute otitis media is described, with a review of the literature.
The limited evidence available suggests that acute otitis media with tinnitus and/or bacterial pathology may have an increased risk of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, which is consistent with the case described. Although there is no sufficiently powered published evidence to provide definitive treatment guidelines, the literature reviewed suggests that early myringotomy and antibiotics may greatly improve treatment outcomes.
We highlight the importance of considering the variance produced during the parallel processing stage in vision and present a case for why it is useful to consider the “item” as a meaningful unit of study when investigating early visual processing in visual search tasks.
Temporary confinement during parturition and early postpartum may provide an intermediary step preceding loose housing that offers improvement in sow and piglet welfare. Three experiments were conducted to investigate the implications of replacing farrowing crates (FCs) with an alternative housing system from 3 days postpartum until weaning. In each experiment sows farrowed in FCs and were randomly allocated at day 3 of lactation to either a FC or a pen with increased floor space (lactation pen (LP)) until weaning. In experiment 1, piglet growth and sow and piglet skin injuries were recorded for 32 sows and 128 focal piglets in these litters. Behaviour around nursing and piglet behavioural time budgets were also recorded for 24 of these litters (96 focal piglets for time budgets). In experiment 2, measures of skin injury and behavioural time budgets were conducted on 28 sows and 112 focal piglets. The behavioural response of sows to piglet vocalisation (maternal responsiveness test (MRT)) was also assessed. In experiment 3, piglet mortality from day 3 of lactation until weaning was recorded in 672 litters over 12 months. While housing did not affect piglet weight gain in experiment 1, or piglet skin injuries in experiments 1 or 2, sows in both experiments sustained more injuries in LP than FC (experiment 1, 2.9 v. 1.4; experiment 2, 2.5 v. 0.8 lesions/sow; P<0.05). Sow–piglet interactions were more frequent in LP than FC at days 11 and 18 postpartum in both experiment 1 (day 11, 1.4% v. 1.2%; day 18, 1.7% v. 1.0% of observations; P=0.05) and 2 (day 11, 1.0% v. 0.3%; and at day 18 were 1.0% v. 0.6% of observations; P<0.01), and LP sows were more responsive in the MRT in experiment 2 (2 v. 0 median number of tests in which sows react, P<0.01). In experiment 1 piglets played more (0.7% v. 0.3% of observations, P=0.05) and manipulated others less (0.3% v. 0.7% of observations, P=0.04) in LP, but more piglets missed nursing bouts (0.2 v. 0.1 piglets/bout, P<0.01) compared with FC. There was no effect of housing on piglet mortality from day 3 of lactation until weaning in experiment 3 (0.63 and 0.64 deaths/litter for LP and FC, respectively, P>0.05). Thus, housing sows and litters in LP from day 3 of lactation minimises piglet mortality while improving maternal behaviour in sows and social behaviour in piglets.
Objectives: Cognitive impairment is common in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Three neurocognitive networks support efficient cognition: the salience network, the default mode network, and the central executive network. The salience network is thought to switch between activating and deactivating the default mode and central executive networks. Anti-correlated interactions between the salience and default mode networks in particular are necessary for efficient cognition. Our previous work demonstrated altered functional coupling between the neurocognitive networks in non-demented individuals with PD compared to age-matched control participants. Here, we aim to identify associations between cognition and functional coupling between these neurocognitive networks in the same group of participants. Methods: We investigated the extent to which intrinsic functional coupling among these neurocognitive networks is related to cognitive performance across three neuropsychological domains: executive functioning, psychomotor speed, and verbal memory. Twenty-four non-demented individuals with mild to moderate PD and 20 control participants were scanned at rest and evaluated on three neuropsychological domains. Results: PD participants were impaired on tests from all three domains compared to control participants. Our imaging results demonstrated that successful cognition across healthy aging and Parkinson’s disease participants was related to anti-correlated coupling between the salience and default mode networks. Individuals with poorer performance scores across groups demonstrated more positive salience network/default-mode network coupling. Conclusions: Successful cognition relies on healthy coupling between the salience and default mode networks, which may become dysfunctional in PD. These results can help inform non-pharmacological interventions (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) targeting these specific networks before they become vulnerable in early stages of Parkinson’s disease. (JINS, 2016, 22, 205–215)
Recent literature suggests that Ca supplements have adverse effects on cardiovascular health. The effects of a Ca-rich supplement administered alone or in combination with short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scFOS) on serum lipids in postmenopausal women were examined using secondary data from a 24-month double-blind randomised controlled study. A total of 300 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to daily supplements of 800 mg of Ca (2·4 g Aquamin) (Ca), 800 mg of Ca with 3 g of scFOS (CaFOS) or control (maltodextrin) (MD). A full lipid profile, body composition, blood pressure and a range of cytokines were measured at baseline and after 24 months. Intention-to-treat ANCOVA assessed treatment effects between the groups. A significant time-by-treatment effect was observed for LDL and total cholesterol for the Ca and CaFOS groups, with both groups having lower LDL and total cholesterol concentrations compared with MD after 24 months. The control group had mean (5·2 mmol/l) total cholesterol concentrations above the normal range (≤5 mmol/l) at 24 months, whereas values remained within the normal range in the treatment groups. There was no significant treatment effect on HDL-cholesterol, TAG, body composition, blood pressure or cytokine concentrations at 24 months, with the exception of IL-4, where there was a significant increase in the CaFOS group compared with the placebo. This study demonstrates a lipid-lowering effect of both the Ca-rich supplement alone and the supplement with scFOS. At the 4-year follow-up, there was no significant difference between the groups for reported diagnosed cardiovascular conditions.