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Mechanistic models (MMs) have served as causal pathway analysis and ‘decision-support’ tools within animal production systems for decades. Such models quantitatively define how a biological system works based on causal relationships and use that cumulative biological knowledge to generate predictions and recommendations (in practice) and generate/evaluate hypotheses (in research). Their limitations revolve around obtaining sufficiently accurate inputs, user training and accuracy/precision of predictions on-farm. The new wave in digitalization technologies may negate some of these challenges. New data-driven (DD) modelling methods such as machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) examine patterns in data to produce accurate predictions (forecasting, classification of animals, etc.). The deluge of sensor data and new self-learning modelling techniques may address some of the limitations of traditional MM approaches – access to input data (e.g. sensors) and on-farm calibration. However, most of these new methods lack transparency in the reasoning behind predictions, in contrast to MM that have historically been used to translate knowledge into wisdom. The objective of this paper is to propose means to hybridize these two seemingly divergent methodologies to advance the models we use in animal production systems and support movement towards truly knowledge-based precision agriculture. In order to identify potential niches for models in animal production of the future, a cross-species (dairy, swine and poultry) examination of the current state of the art in MM and new DD methodologies (ML, DL analytics) is undertaken. We hypothesize that there are several ways via which synergy may be achieved to advance both our predictive capabilities and system understanding, being: (1) building and utilizing data streams (e.g. intake, rumination behaviour, rumen sensors, activity sensors, environmental sensors, cameras and near IR) to apply MM in real-time and/or with new resolution and capabilities; (2) hybridization of MM and DD approaches where, for example, a ML framework is augmented by MM-generated parameters or predicted outcomes and (3) hybridization of the MM and DD approaches, where biological bounds are placed on parameters within a MM framework, and the DD system parameterizes the MM for individual animals, farms or other such clusters of data. As animal systems modellers, we should expand our toolbox to explore new DD approaches and big data to find opportunities to increase understanding of biological systems, find new patterns in data and move the field towards intelligent, knowledge-based precision agriculture systems.
Sub-acute ruminal acidosis (SARA) can reduce the production efficiency and impair the welfare of cattle, potentially in all production systems. The aim of this study was to characterise measurable postmortem observations from divergently managed intensive beef finishing farms with high rates of concentrate feeding. At the time of slaughter, we obtained samples from 19 to 20 animals on each of 6 beef finishing units (119 animals in total) with diverse feeding practices, which had been subjectively classified as being high risk (three farms) or low risk (three farms) for SARA on the basis of the proportions of barley, silage and straw in the ration. We measured the concentrations of histamine, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lactate and other short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in ruminal fluid, LPS and SCFA in caecal fluid. We also took samples of the ventral blind sac of the rumen for histopathology, immunohistopathology and gene expression. Subjective assessments were made of the presence of lesions on the ruminal wall, the colour of the lining of the ruminal wall and the shape of the ruminal papillae. Almost all variables differed significantly and substantially among farms. Very few pathological changes were detected in any of the rumens examined. The animals on the high-risk diets had lower concentrations of SCFA and higher concentrations of lactate and LPS in the ruminal fluid. Higher LPS concentrations were found in the caecum than the rumen but were not related to the risk status of the farm. The diameters of the stratum granulosum, stratum corneum and of the vasculature of the papillae, and the expression of the gene TLR4 in the ruminal epithelium were all increased on the high-risk farms. The expression of IFN-γ and IL-1β and the counts of cluster of differentiation 3 positive and major histocompatibility complex class two positive cells were lower on the high-risk farms. High among-farm variation and the unbalanced design inherent in this type of study in the field prevented confident assignment of variation in the dependent variables to individual dietary components; however, the CP percentage of the total mixed ration DM was the factor that was most consistently associated with the variables of interest. Despite the strong effect of farm on the measured variables, there was wide inter-animal variation.
In 2013, a group of British aviation archaeologists began excavating in Myanmar in search of some 140 mint-condition crated Royal Air Force (RAF) Spitfire Mk XIV aircraft. According to their story, at the end of the Second World War, Allied forces in Burma were left with these unassembled aircraft. Without the funds to send them home, but unwilling to let the planes fall into enemy hands, they buried the crated planes in Mingaladon, Meiktila and Myitkyina. Like legends of pirate treasure, the story of these buried Spitfires carries with it fantastic aura and intrigue. For aviation fans, the pirate's gold is an iconic aircraft, meaningful in patriotic narratives for its role in the Battle of Britain. This paper will discuss this story as a form of military history folklore which is stoked by the orientalist perception that Burma/Myanmar's decades of military regimes and purported isolation indirectly ‘“preserved” the crated aircraft in time. As this paper will demonstrate, Burmese and others in Southeast Asia have their own legends of buried war materiel and treasure. This point, though largely lost on British aviation enthusiasts in their quest for their Spitfire ‘holy grail’, nevertheless crucially enabled their quest to manifest itself.
We need more films about strong topics, such as about violence against women.… If I make a film like that, I will not portray women as victims only. Some women are powerful, brave to speak up. Other women can learn from those women and that can be empowering for them.
—Hnin Ei Hlaing, independent filmmaker
Local filmmaking has played a crucial role in Burmese society since the first Burmese feature film hit the silver screen in 1920. Even during the decades of supposed economic stagnation and political isolation, Burmese film studios continued to produce feature-length movies that entertained audiences in the hundreds of cinemas throughout the country. Numerous black and white Burmese motion picture classics continue to be shown on Myanmar television, and, from the 1990s, aspiring filmmakers have increasingly made use of digital production and distribution. With changing technologies, the establishment of the Yangon Film School and the momentum of international film festivals, a new generation of filmmakers in Myanmar have been using film to point to formerly taboo topics, and they have been engaging film communities in the international arena with their works.
In a context in which creative expression inside the country was heavily stifled by a stringent government censor board, what happens when international filmmakers and political documentarians are suddenly allowed to mix with local filmmakers? How has the atmosphere changed for the motion picture industry during the political transition of this decade? In her book on political transition and Brazilian women's filmmaking, Leslie Marsh observed that political aperturism in the country coincided with technological advances in film and video, which set the ground for greater alternative video production (Marsh 2013, p. 32). Although Marsh's study coincided with the transition in video production from celluloid to video, we can also consider the ways in which entirely digital video production, and even smartphone video cameras, have affected the ways in which people document social worlds and produce and distribute motion pictures about them.
Following a summary of secondary and primary sources on the subject of film production in Burma, I will present an overview of the history of the Burmese film industry, from the British colonial period, to independence, to the years of the Burmese Socialist Program Party, and then the SLORC/SPDC years of strict censorship.
All Fire and Emergency Services (FES) personnel must balance FES work with their other responsibilities. Given that women tend to take on a greater responsibility for management of household/domestic activities than men, the on-call component of their FES work may be associated with very different challenges. Despite this, women have rarely been the focus of on-call research.
To explore women’s on-call experiences in the FES by examining coping styles and strategies, with the goal of helping to innovate the way women are supported in FES roles.
Relevant findings from two studies are included. The first study involved FES personnel from two agencies in Australia (n=24) who participated in a semi-structured interview. The second study was an anonymous online survey to determine work characteristics, sleep, stress, and coping in on-call workers more broadly, with workers from all industries across Australia (n=228) invited to participate.
Interview data identified two major themes in terms of coping with on-call work. Support (from family, social, and work), planning, and preparation were identified as important in helping women cope in the context of on-call unpredictability. Results from the survey (43% women) showed that on-call workers were an engaged group in terms of their coping, with 67% classified as having a positive coping style and 58% of women indicating that they agreed/strongly agreed with the statement, “I cope well with on-call work.”
Taken together, these data highlight engagement with positive coping by women who do on-call work, including in the FES. Importantly, positive coping strategies, such as talking about emotions, problem-solving, and seeking support have been linked to increased shift work tolerance in other populations. Coping style and strategies represent modifiable variables which could be specifically applied to assist women to manage the unique challenges associated with on-call work in the FES.
A growing number of studies are revealing that many Milky Way globular clusters possess extended stellar structures beyond their traditional boundaries. Just how ubiquitous these structures are, and how they originate, are key questions to explore. In this contribution, we present a Bayesian technique that we have developed to separate probable members of globular clusters from the dominant Milky Way fore/background at large clustercentric radii and hence facilitate quantitative analyses of these intriguing structures. We demonstrate the promise of our method by showing how it recovers the known extended features around Palomar 5 and NGC 7089.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Little is known about potentially obesogenic endocrine-disruptors’ effects on excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) and postpartum weight retention (PPWR), which increase risk of adverse pregnancy and postnatal outcomes. We explored associations between prenatal organophosphate (OP) pesticide exposure and increased weight both during and after pregnancy. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Three dimethyl (DM) and three diethyl (DE) OP metabolites were measured in spot urine samples collected at <18, 18-25, and >25 gestational weeks among 688 participants in the Generation R Study. Metabolite levels were expressed as molar concentration/gram creatinine and log10-transformed. GWG and PPWR were calculated as the difference between weight at each prenatal/postnatal visit or maximum gestational weight and pre-pregnancy weight. In covariate-adjusted regression models we assessed associations of metabolite concentrations at each prenatal visit and, where appropriate, averaged across pregnancy with early-to-mid pregnancy, mid-to-late pregnancy, late pregnancy-to-maximum, and total GWG; insufficient and excessive GWG according to Institute of Medicine guidelines; and long-term PPWR at 6 and 10 years postpartum. Based on OP pesticides’ lipophilicity and association with hypomethylation, we investigated interactions with pre-pregnancy body mass index, periconceptional folic acid supplementation, and breastfeeding duration. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: A 10-fold increase in late pregnancy DE metabolite concentration was associated with 1.34 kg [95% confidence interval: 0.55, 2.12] higher late pregnancy-to-maximum GWG. A 10-fold increase in mean DE metabolite concentration across pregnancy was associated with 2.41 kg [0.62, 4.20] lower PPWR at 6 years. Stratified analysis suggested that the prenatal finding was driven by women with pre-pregnancy BMI ≥25 kg/m2, while the postnatal finding was driven by women with pre-pregnancy BMI <25 kg/m2 and with inadequate folic acid supplementation. We found no associations between OP pesticide metabolites and insufficient or excessive weight gain and no interaction with breastfeeding. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: In this longitudinal analysis, we observed a positive association of OP pesticide metabolites with GWG in late pregnancy among overweight/obese women, potentially reflecting inhibition of OP pesticide detoxification by oxidative stress. Postnatally, under/normal weight women with higher OP pesticide metabolites had lower PPWR, possibly due to better metabolic function and a more healthful diet. These results suggest that there may be a critical period during the late phase of pregnancy when OP pesticide exposure may increase GWG, and this association may be amplified in overweight/obese women. Areas for future research include examination of how the interaction between OP pesticides and polymorphisms of the paraoxonase (PON1) gene, which detoxifies OP pesticides, affect GWG/PPWR; exploration of the interplay among maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, oxidative stress, and PON1 levels; and characterization of the variability of OP pesticides exposure across pregnancy using more frequent repeated urine samples.
Secondary plant compounds have shown bioactivity against multi-drug resistant Haemonchus contortus in small ruminants. This study screened 51 strains of birdsfoot trefoil (BFT, Lotus corniculatus) crude aqueous extracts (BFT-AqE) for anti-parasitic activity in vitro against egg hatching, and of those 51 strains, 13 were selected for further testing of motility of first (L1) and third stage (L3) larvae, and exsheathment of L3. Proanthocyanidin content ranged between 1.4 and 63.8 mg PAC g−1 powder across the 51 BFT strains. When tested against egg hatching, 21 of the 51 aqueous extracts had an EC50 of 1–2 mg powder mL−1, 70% of the strains were >90% efficacious at 6 mg powder mL−1 and 11 of the strains were 100% efficacious at 3 mg powder mL−1 BFT-AqE. Across the 13 strains tested against L3, efficacy ranged from 0 to 75% exsheathment inhibition, and 17 to 92% L3 motility inhibition at a concentration of 25 mg powder mL−1 BFT-AqE. There was no correlation between the PAC content of BFT powders and the anti-parasitic activity of aqueous extracts, therefore other secondary compounds may have contributed to the observed anti-parasitic effects. Further testing of BFT using bioactivity-driven fractionation and screening of BFT populations for the identified anti-parasitic compounds is needed.
Fortifying complementary foods with lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) may improve energy and nutrient intakes of infants at risk for undernutrition. We aimed to determine the relative validity of an interactive 24-h recall (i-24-HR) for assessing the impact of an LNS intervention on dietary intakes of energy and nutrients among rural Malawian 9–10-month-old infants (n 132) participating in the International Lipid‐Based Nutrient Supplements Dose (iLiNS-DOSE) trial. Dietary data were collected for the same day via i-24-HR and weighed food records. Inter-method agreements were estimated overall and by intervention group, using Bland–Altman plots and paired t tests; measurement error models (differential error); and percentage of food omissions and intrusions were estimated. Overall, inter-method differences in mean intakes of energy and most nutrients were not significant. When stratified by group, recalled energy intakes were under-estimated (−368 kJ; P=0·01) in the control but not in the intervention group (−42 kJ; P=0·6). This differential reporting error was related to an over-estimation of recalled LNS (8·1 v. 4·5 g; P<0·001) in the intervention group, compensating for an under-estimation of energy and nutrient intakes from complementary foods. Sources of measurement error in the i-24-HR were under-estimations of starchy staples, meat/fish/eggs and legumes/nuts/seeds (overall percentage agreement between 38 and 89 %; P<0·028); and over-estimations of added sugar, soups/broths and LNS (overall percentage agreement between 138 and 149 %; P<0·001). Common (>30 % eating occasions) omissions were milk/fish/eggs, starchy roots/vegetables and sweetened snacks. Common intrusions were milk/yogurt. Starchy staples and LNS were recalled when consumed (>85 %) (i.e. matched). These results emphasise the importance of considering differential error when interpreting dietary results in LNS trials.
Red Supergiant Stars (RSGs) are important probes of stellar and chemical evolution in star-forming environments. They represent the brightest near-IR stellar components of external galaxies and probe the most recent stellar population to provide robust, independent abundance estimates. The Local Group dwarf irregular galaxy, NGC6822, is a reasonably isolated galaxy with an interesting structure and turbulent history. Using RSGs as chemical abundance probes, we estimate metallicities in the central region of NGC6822, finding a suggestion of a metallicity gradient (in broad agreement with nebular tracers), however, this requires further study for confirmation. With intermediate resolution Multi-object spectroscopy (from e.g. KMOS, EMIR, MOSFIRE) combined with state-of-the-art stellar model atmospheres, we demonstrate how RSGs can be used to estimate stellar abundances in external galaxies. In this context, we compare stellar and nebular abundance tracers in NGC 6822 and by combining stellar and nebular tracers we estimate an abundance gradient of −0.18 ± 0.05 dex/kpc.
In ewe lambs, acceleration of growth and accumulation of both muscle and fat leads to earlier sexual maturity and better reproductive performance. The next stage in the development of this theme is to test whether these aspects of growth in young ewes affect milk production in their first lactation and the growth of their first progeny. We studied 75 young Merino ewes that had known phenotypic values for depth of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT), and known Australian Sheep Breeding Values for post-weaning weight (PWT) and depths of eye muscle (PEMD) and fat (PFAT). They lambed for the first time at 1 year of age. Their lambs were weighed weekly from birth to weaning at 10 weeks to determine live weight gain and weaning weight. Progeny birth weight was positively associated with live weight gain and weaning weight (P<0.001). The PWT of the mothers was positively associated with birth weight (P<0.01), live weight gain and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.05); however, these progeny traits were not influenced by EMD, FAT, PEMD, PFAT of the mothers (P>0.05). The PWT of the sire was positively associated with live weight gain (P<0.05) and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.01). At around day 20 postpartum, we measured milk production and milk composition (fat, protein, lactose, total solids). Milk production was influenced positively by birth type (single or twin; P<0.05) and negatively by birth weight (P<0.05), but not by mother phenotype or genotype, sire genotype of the mother or the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). The concentrations of fat, protein, lactose and total solids in the milk were not affected by the phenotype or genotype of the mothers or of the sires of the mothers, or by the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). We conclude that selection of young Merino ewes for better growth, and more rapid accumulation of muscle and fat, will lead to progeny that are heavier at birth, grow faster and are heavier at weaning. Moreover, milk production and composition do not seem to be affected by the genetic merit of the mother for post-weaning live weight or PEMD or PFAT. Therefore, Merino ewes can lamb at 1 year of age without affecting the production objectives of the Merino sheep industry.
Several studies have suggested that maternal lifestyle during pregnancy may influence long-term health of offspring by altering the offspring epigenome. Whether maternal leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) during pregnancy might have this effect is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between maternal LTPA during pregnancy and offspring DNA methylation. Participants were recruited from the Archive for Research on Child Health study. At enrollment, participants’ demographic information and self-reported LTPA during pregnancy were determined. High active participants (averaged 637.5 min per week of LTPA; n=14) were matched by age and race to low active participants (averaged 59.5 min per week LTPA; n=28). Blood spots were obtained at birth. Pyrosequencing was used to determine methylation levels of long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE-1) (global methylation) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC1-α), insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, isozyme 4 (PDK4) and transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2). We found no differences between offspring of high active and low active groups for LINE-1 methylation. The only differences in candidate gene methylation between groups were at two CpG sites in the P2 promoter of IGF2; the offspring of low active group had significantly higher DNA methylation (74.70±2.25% methylation for low active v. 72.83±2.85% methylation for high active; P=0.045). Our results suggest no effect of maternal LTPA on offspring global and candidate gene methylation, with the exception of IGF2. IGF2 has been previously associated with regulation of physical activity, suggesting a possible role of maternal LTPA on regulation of offspring physical activity.
Dedicated wide-field surveys have uncovered a variety of debris features and stellar streams in the halos of the Milky Way and M31. I briefly compare these perspectives and discuss how observations of the peripheral regions of M31 can help shape our current understanding of the Milky Way. Much complexity resides in the outer halos of both systems in terms of overlapping structures, and I conclude by briefly highlighting some ongoing work to characterise a narrow tidal stream in the vicinity of the ultra-faint satellite Segue 1.
Plasmodium knowlesi is increasingly recognized as a major cause of malaria in Southeast Asia. Anopheles leucosphyrous group mosquitoes transmit the parasite and natural hosts include long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques. Despite early laboratory experiments demonstrating successful passage of infection between humans, the true role that humans play in P. knowlesi epidemiology remains unclear. The threat posed by its introduction into immunologically naïve populations is unknown despite being a public health priority for this region. A two-host species mathematical model was constructed to analyse this threat. Global sensitivity analysis using Monte Carlo methods highlighted the biological processes of greatest influence to transmission. These included parameters known to be influential in classic mosquito-borne disease models (e.g. vector longevity); however, interesting ecological components that are specific to this system were also highlighted: while local vectors likely have intrinsic preferences for certain host species, how plastic these preferences are, and how this is shaped by local conditions, are key determinants of parasite transmission potential. Invasion analysis demonstrates that this behavioural plasticity can qualitatively impact the probability of an epidemic sparked by imported infection. Identifying key vector sub/species and studying their biting behaviours constitute important next steps before models can better assist in strategizing disease control.
To consider the plausible nutritional impacts of fluctuations in money availability within an income cycle for remote Indigenous Australians.
Community-level dietary intake (energy, micro/macronutrients) and expenditure on foods and beverages (F&B) were estimated over one year for three remote Indigenous Australian communities (Northern Territory, Australia) using monthly F&B transaction data. F&B that were likely to be consumed during a period within an income cycle when money was relatively limited (low money period (LMP) foods) were identified by panel consensus and scenario modelling was conducted to simulate the nutritional outcomes of a range of F&B selection responses to having an LMP.
All scenarios resulted in reduced diet quality during the LMP relative to overall average diet values. Protein and fat energy percentages were reduced and carbohydrate energy percentage increased. Despite reduced expenditure, declines in energy intake were typically buffered due to the reduced energy cost ($AU/MJ) of the LMP diet. The micronutrient profile of the LMP diet was substantially poorer, such that additional key micronutrients dropped below population-weighted Estimated Average Requirements/Adequate Intakes.
The modelling undertaken herein suggests that even a short period of low money within an income cycle may noticeably contribute to the reduced diet quality of remote Indigenous Australians and exacerbate lifestyle disease risk. Dietary strategies that are designed to respond to diets and expenditure during different income cycle periods, rather than the overall average diet and expenditure, should be considered for improving diet quality and reducing cardiometabolic disease risk in remote Indigenous Australians.
We present results, some preliminary, from a major new study of the star formation properties of a sample of nearby disk galaxies (Ferguson 1997). Our emphasis is on the faint outer regions of disks. Hα images, combined with broad-band images and spectroscopy of HII regions, constrain the present and past star formation rates and chemical enrichment. These data also allow study of faint diffuse ionised gas, which traces the influence of massive stars on their environment, and the structure of the interstellar medium.
The public health threat posed by zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi appears to be growing: it is increasingly reported across South East Asia, and is the leading cause of malaria in Malaysian Borneo. Plasmodium knowlesi threatens progress towards malaria elimination as aspects of its transmission, such as spillover from wildlife reservoirs and reliance on outdoor-biting vectors, may limit the effectiveness of conventional methods of malaria control. The development of new quantitative approaches that address the ecological complexity of P. knowlesi, particularly through a focus on its primary reservoir hosts, will be required to control it. Here, we review what is known about P. knowlesi transmission, identify key knowledge gaps in the context of current approaches to transmission modelling, and discuss the integration of these approaches with clinical parasitology and geostatistical analysis. We highlight the need to incorporate the influences of fine-scale spatial variation, rapid changes to the landscape, and reservoir population and transmission dynamics. The proposed integrated approach would address the unique challenges posed by malaria as a zoonosis, aid the identification of transmission hotspots, provide insight into the mechanistic links between incidence and land use change and support the design of appropriate interventions.