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The interpretations of relevant interfaces (i.e. the surface and bed) in radar sounding datasets over glaciers and ice sheets are primary boundary conditions in a variety of climate studies and particularly subglacial water routing models. It is therefore necessary to ensure these interpretations are consistent and not affected by cross-track clutter. For the surface interface, interferometry and a family of methods relying on digital elevation models have been used to successfully discriminate cross-track surface clutter. Here we present how interferometry can be applied to the problem of basal clutter from cross-track bed topography. Our approach is based on a comparison of the differential phases of ambiguous reflectors that may represent bed clutter and the differential phase of a reflector in an adjacent area that appears unaffected by basal clutter. The reflector yielding the smallest interferometric phase difference relative to the unambiguous bed reflector is considered to represent its consistent continuation. We successfully demonstrate our approach using 60 MHz center frequency MARFA data collected over Devon Ice Cap in the Canadian Arctic. Finally, we investigate the effects of clutter-affected and interferometry-corrected bed interpretations on ice layer thickness estimates, basal hydraulic head gradients and the potential extent of inferred subglacial water bodies.
Background: To determine whether there is a difference in the average annual rate of decline in Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE) scores between those with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 225 consecutive patients with dementia who attended the Rural and Remote Memory Clinic in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The data collected included MMSE scores and demographic information. Statistical analysis with ANOVA compared the average the annual rate of decline in MMSE score between patients with different types of dementia. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in the rate of MMSE score decline between these groups. Patients with frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia were referred to the clinic at younger ages than those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Conclusions: The rate of decline in MMSE did not differ between these four types of dementia. Patients with frontotemporal dementia and vascular dementia often experience cognitive decline earlier in life than those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.
Eight ruminally-fistulated wethers were used to examine the temporal effects of afternoon (PM; 1600h) v. morning (AM; 0800 h) allocation of fresh spring herbage from a perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)-based pasture on fermentation and microbial community dynamics. Herbage chemical composition was minimally affected by time of allocation, but daily mean ammonia concentrations were greater for the PM group. The 24-h pattern of ruminal fermentation (i.e. time of sampling relative to time of allocation), however, varied considerably for all fermentation variables (P⩽0.001). Most notably amongst ruminal fermentation characteristics, ammonia concentrations showed a substantial temporal variation; concentrations of ammonia were 1.7-, 2.0- and 2.2-fold greater in rumens of PM wethers at 4, 6 and 8h after allocation, respectively, compared with AM wethers. The relative abundances of archaeal and ciliate protozoal taxa were similar across allocation groups. In contrast, the relative abundances of members of the rumen bacterial community, like Prevotella 1 (P=0.04), Bacteroidales RF16 group (P=0.005) and Fibrobacter spp. (P=0.008) were greater for the AM group, whereas the relative abundance of Kandleria spp. was greater (P=0.04) for the PM group. Of these taxa, only Prevotella 1 (P=0.04) and Kandleria (P<0.001) showed a significant interaction between time of allocation and time of sampling relative to feed allocation. Relative abundances of Prevotella 1 were greater at 2h (P=0.05), 4h (P=0.003) and 6h (P=0.01) after AM allocation of new herbage, whereas relative abundances of Kandleria were greater at 2h (P=0.003) and 4h (P<0.001) after PM allocation. The early post-allocation rise in ammonia concentrations in PM rumens occurred simultaneously with sharp increases in the relative abundance of Kandleria spp. and with a decline in the relative abundance of Prevotella. All measures of fermentation and most microbial community composition data showed highly dynamic changes in concentrations and genus abundances, respectively, with substantial temporal changes occurring within the first 8h of allocating a new strip of herbage. The dynamic changes in the relative abundances of certain bacterial groups, in synchrony with a substantial diurnal variation in ammonia concentrations, has potential effects on the efficiency by which N is utilised by the grazing ruminant.
Chemical weed control remains a widely used component of integrated weed management strategies because of its cost-effectiveness and rapid removal of crop pests. Additionally, dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixtures are a commonly recommended herbicide combination to combat herbicide resistance, specifically in recently commercially released dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton. However, increased spray drift concerns and antagonistic interactions require that the application process be optimized to maximize biological efficacy while minimizing environmental contamination potential. Field research was conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2018 across three locations (Mississippi, Nebraska, and North Dakota) for a total of six site-years. The objectives were to characterize the efficacy of a range of droplet sizes [150 µm (Fine) to 900 µm (Ultra Coarse)] using a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture and to create novel weed management recommendations utilizing pulse-width modulation (PWM) sprayer technology. Results across pooled site-years indicated that a droplet size of 395 µm (Coarse) maximized weed mortality from a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture at 94 L ha–1. However, droplet size could be increased to 620 µm (Extremely Coarse) to maintain 90% of the maximum weed mortality while further mitigating particle drift potential. Although generalized droplet size recommendations could be created across site-years, optimum droplet sizes within each site-year varied considerably and may be dependent on weed species, geographic location, weather conditions, and herbicide resistance(s) present in the field. The precise, site-specific application of a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture using the results of this research will allow applicators to more effectively utilize PWM sprayers, reduce particle drift potential, maintain biological efficacy, and reduce the selection pressure for the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds.
Background: A will, power of attorney and advanced healthcare directive are critical to guide decision-making in people with cognitive decline. We identified characteristics that are associated with the existence of these documents in patients who presented to a rural and remote memory clinic (RRMC). Methods: 95 consecutive patients were included in this study. Patients and caregivers completed questionnaires on initial presentation to the RRMC and patients were asked if they have legal documents. Patients also completed neuropsychological testing. Statistical analysis (t-test and χ2 test) was performed to identify significant variables. Results: 70 patients had a will, 62 had a power of attorney and 21 had an advanced healthcare directive. Having a will was associated with good quality of life (p=0.001), living alone (p=0.034), poor verbal fluency (p=0.055) and European ethnicity (p=0.028). Factors associated with having a power of attorney included good quality of life (p=0.031), living alone (p=0.053) and poor verbal fluency (p=0.015). Old age (p=0.015), poor verbal fluency (p=0.023) and severity of cognitive and functional impairment (p=0.023) were associated with having an advanced healthcare directive. Conclusions: Our results indicate that poor quality of life, good verbal fluency, non-European ethnicity and living with others are associated with a lower likelihood of creating legal documents in patients with cognitive decline
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.
Campylobacter sp. are a globally significant cause of gastroenteritis. Although rates of infection in Australia are among the highest in the industrialized world, studies describing campylobacteriosis incidence in Australia are lacking. Using national disease notification data between 1998 and 2013 we examined Campylobacter infections by gender, age group, season and state and territory. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs), including trends by age group over time, with post-estimation commands used to obtain adjusted incidence rates. The incidence rate for males was significantly higher than for females [IRR 1·20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·18–1·21], while a distinct seasonality was demonstrated with higher rates in both spring (IRR 1·18, 95% CI 1·16–1·20) and summer (IRR 1·17, 95% CI 1·16–1·19). Examination of trends in age-specific incidence over time showed declines in incidence in those aged <40 years combined with contemporaneous increases in older age groups, notably those aged 70–79 years (IRR 1998–2013: 1·75, 95% CI 1·63–1·88). While crude rates continue to be highest in children, our findings suggest the age structure for campylobacteriosis in Australia is changing, carrying significant public health implications for older Australians.
In October 2013, public health authorities were notified of a suspected outbreak of gastroenteritis in students and guests following a catered function at a university residential college. A retrospective cohort study was undertaken to examine whether foods served at the function caused illness. A total of 56 cases of gastroenteritis, including seven laboratory-confirmed cases of Campylobacter jejuni infection, were identified in 235 eligible respondents. Univariate analysis showed a significant association with a chicken liver pâté entrée [relative risk (RR) 3·64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·03–6·52, P < 0·001], which retained significance after adjustment for confounding via multivariable analysis (adjusted RR 2·80, 95% CI 1·26–6·19, P = 0·01). C. jejuni and C. coli were also isolated in chicken liver pâté recovered from the college's kitchen. Subsequent whole genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST) of clinical and food-derived C. jejuni isolates showed three genetically distinct sequence types (STs) comprising ST528, ST535 (both clinically derived) and ST991 (food derived). The study demonstrates the value of utilizing complementary sources of evidence, including genomic data, to support public health investigations. The use of wgMLST highlights the potential for significant C. jejuni diversity in epidemiologically related human and food isolates recovered during outbreaks linked to poultry liver.
Dementia cases are increasing worldwide; thus, investigators seek to identify interventions that might prevent or ameliorate cognitive decline in later life. Extensive research confirms the benefits of physical exercise for brain health, yet only a fraction of older adults exercise regularly. Interactive mental and physical exercise, as in aerobic exergaming, not only motivates, but has also been found to yield cognitive benefit above and beyond traditional exercise. This pilot study sought to investigate whether greater cognitive challenge while exergaming would yield differential outcomes in executive function and generalize to everyday functioning. Sixty-four community based older adults (mean age=82) were randomly assigned to pedal a stationary bike, while interactively engaging on-screen with: (1) a low cognitive demand task (bike tour), or (2) a high cognitive demand task (video game). Executive function (indices from Trails, Stroop and Digit Span) was assessed before and after a single-bout and 3-month exercise intervention. Significant group × time interactions were found after a single-bout (Color Trails) and after 3 months of exergaming (Stroop; among 20 adherents). Those in the high cognitive demand group performed better than those in the low cognitive dose condition. Everyday function improved across both exercise conditions. Pilot data indicate that for older adults, cognitive benefit while exergaming increased concomitantly with higher doses of interactive mental challenge. (JINS, 2015, 21, 768–779)
The aim of this study was to examine whether people differed in change in performance across the first five blocks of an online flanker task and whether those trajectories of change were associated with self-reported aerobic or resistance exercise frequency according to age. A total of 8752 men and women aged 13–89 completed a lifestyle survey and five 45-s games (each game was a block of ~46 trials) of an online flanker task. Accuracy of the congruent and incongruent flanker stimuli was analyzed using latent class and growth curve modeling adjusting for time between blocks, whether the blocks occurred on the same or different days, education, smoking, sleep, caffeinated coffee and tea use, and Lumosity training status (“free play” or part of a “daily brain workout”). Aerobic and resistance exercise were unrelated to first block accuracies. For the more cognitively demanding incongruent flanker stimuli, aerobic activity was positively related to the linear increase in accuracy [B=0.577%, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.112 to 1.25 per day above the weekly mean of 2.8 days] and inversely related to the quadratic deceleration of accuracy gains (B=−0.619% CI, −1.117 to −0.121 per day). An interaction of aerobic activity with age indicated that active participants younger than age 45 had a larger linear increase and a smaller quadratic deceleration compared to other participants. Age moderates the association between self-reported aerobic, but not self-reported resistance, exercise and changes in cognitive control that occur with practice during incongruent presentations across five blocks of a 45-s online, flanker task. (JINS, 2015, 21, 802–815)
To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5±6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p<.0001). Cerebrovascular measures did not mediate the association between PA and global cognition scores (p>.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. (JINS, 2015, 21, 816–830)
Estimates of the proportion of illness transmitted by food for different enteric pathogens are essential for foodborne burden-of-disease studies. Owing to insufficient scientific data, a formal synthesis of expert opinion, an expert elicitation, is commonly used to produce such estimates. Eleven experts participated in an elicitation to estimate the proportion of illnesses due to food in Australia for nine pathogens over three rounds: first, based on their own knowledge alone; second, after being provided with systematic reviews of the literature and Australian data; and finally, at a workshop where experts reflected on the evidence. Estimates changed significantly across the three rounds (P = 0·002) as measured by analysis of variance. Following the workshop in round 3, estimates showed smoother distributions with significantly less variation for several pathogens. When estimates were combined to provide combined distributions for each pathogen, the width of these combined distributions reflected experts’ perceptions of the availability of evidence, with narrower intervals for pathogens for which evidence was judged to be strongest. Our findings show that the choice of expert elicitation process can significantly influence final estimates. Our structured process – and the workshop in particular – produced robust estimates and distributions appropriate for inclusion in burden-of-disease studies.
In traditional transit timing variations (TTVs) analysis of multi-planetary systems, the individual TTVs are first derived from transit fitting and later modelled using n-body dynamic simulations to constrain planetary masses. We show that fitting simultaneously the transit light curves with the system dynamics (photo-dynamical model) increases the precision of the TTV measurements and helps constrain the system architecture. We exemplify the advantages of applying this photo-dynamical model to a multi-planetary system found in K2 data very close to 3:2 mean motion resonance, K2-19. In this case the period of the larger TTV variations (libration period) is much longer (>1.5 years) than the duration of the K2 observations (80 days). However, our method allows to detect the short period TTVs produced by the orbital conjunctions between the planets that in turn permits to uniquely characterise the system. Therefore, our method can be used to constrain the masses of near-resonant systems even when the full libration curve is not observed.
This paper brings together the work of the GI Solvency II Technical Provisions working party. The working party was formed in 2009 for the primary purpose of raising awareness of Solvency II and the impact it would have on the work that reserving actuaries do. Over the years, the working party’s focus has shifted to exploring and promoting discussion of the many practical issues raised by the requirements and to promoting best practice. To this end, we have developed, presented and discussed many of the ideas contained in this paper at events and forums. However, the size of the subject means that at no one event have we managed to cover all of the areas that the reserving actuary needs to be aware of. This paper brings together our thinking in one place for the first time. We hope experienced practitioners will find it thought provoking, and a useful reference tool. For new practitioners, we hope it helps to get you up-to-speed quickly. Good luck!
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.
Restoration of exotic annual grass-invaded rangelands is needed to improve ecosystem function and services. Increasing plant species richness is generally believed to increase resistance to invasion and increase desired vegetation. However, the effects of species richness and individual plant life forms in seed mixes used to restore rangelands invaded by exotic annual grasses have not been investigated. We evaluated the effects of seeding different life forms and increasing species richness in seed mixes seeded after exotic annual grass control to restore desirable vegetation (perennial herbaceous vegetation) and limit exotic annual grasses at two sites in southeastern Oregon. We also investigated the effects of seeding two commonly used perennial grasses individually and together on plant community characteristics. Large perennial grasses, the dominant herbaceous plant life form, were the most important group to seed for increasing perennial herbaceous vegetation cover and density. We did not find evidence that greater seed mix species richness increased perennial herbaceous vegetation or decreased exotic annual grass dominance more than seeding only the dominant species. None of the seed mixes had a significant effect on exotic annual grass cover or density, but the lack of a measured effect may have been caused by low annual grass propagule pressure in the first couple of years after annual grass control and an unusually wet-cool spring in the third year post-seeding. Although our results suggest that seeding only the dominant plant life form will likely maximize plant community productivity and resistance to invasion in exotic annual grass-invaded northern Great Basin arid rangelands, seeding a species rich seed mix may have benefits to higher tropic levels and community stability. Clearly the dominant species are the most prudent to include in seed mixes to restore exotic annual grass-invaded plant communities, especially with finite resources and an increasingly large area in need of restoration.
Decontaminating patients who have been exposed to hazardous chemicals can directly benefit the patients’ health by saving lives and reducing the severity of toxicity. While the importance of decontaminating patients to prevent the spread of contamination has long been recognized, its role in improving patient health outcomes has not been as widely appreciated. Acute chemical toxicity may manifest rapidly—often minutes to hours after exposure. Patient decontamination and emergency medical treatment must be initiated as early as possible to terminate further exposure and treat the effects of the dose already absorbed. In a mass exposure chemical incident, responders and receivers are faced with the challenges of determining the type of care that each patient needs (including medical treatment, decontamination, and behavioral health support), providing that care within the effective window of time, and protecting themselves from harm. The US Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Homeland Security have led the development of national planning guidance for mass patient decontamination in a chemical incident to help local communities meet these multiple, time-sensitive health demands. This report summarizes the science on which the guidance is based and the principles that form the core of the updated approach. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1–7)