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In 2017, Cuba was pummeled by Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest and most devastating Atlantic basin hurricanes in history. Twelve of Cuba’s 15 provinces and 90 percent of the population were affected, and there was island-wide loss of electrical power. Despite the significant damage, ongoing economic hardships, and the political realities that required Cuba to handle the situation without response support from other nations, Cuba’s recovery was swift and effective. Cuba’s disaster self-sufficiency and timely response to Hurricane Irma was grounded on 5 decades of disaster planning coupled with ongoing evolution of disaster risk reduction and management strategies. While the central command center, with local dispatch response teams, and mandated citizen engagement are features unique to Cuba’s political structure, in this study, we highlight 5 defining attributes of Cuba’s hurricane response that can constructively inform the actions of other island and coastal nations vulnerable to Atlantic tropical cyclones. These attributes are: (1) actively learning and incorporating lessons from past disaster events, (2) integrating healthcare and public health professionals on the frontlines of disaster response, (3) proactively engaging the public in disaster preparedness, (4) incorporating technology into disaster risk reduction, and (5) infusing science into risk planning. In terms of hurricane response, as a geopolitically isolated nation, Cuba has experienced particular urgency when it comes to protecting the population and creating resilient infrastructure that can be rapidly reactivated after the onslaught of storms of ever-increasing intensity. This includes planning for worsening future disaster scenarios based on a clear-eyed appreciation of the realities of climate change.
The use of natural clays for the removal of dyes from wastewater, an important part of environmental remediation, is desirable due, not least, to their low cost. Palygorskite (PAL), a rigid-structure clay, is a good candidate for use in the elimination of industrial effluents, based on its exceptional adsorptive properties. Recently, a new palygorskite deposit has been discovered in Cuba and its use in the adsorption of dyes has not yet been explored in detail. In the present study, the use of unmodified natural Cuban palygorskite as a host for dyes was evaluated. Congo red (CR) and methylene blue (MB) were the anionic and cationic dyes tested, respectively, because of their wide use and toxicity to the environment. Several physical-chemical parameters were studied in order to establish the best experimental conditions under which to achieve the greatest dye load per gram of clay. Natural mixtures with different percentages of montmorillonite were also tested to evaluate their effect on the adsorption of the dyes. The results indicated that at pH values of ~7–9 and an initial dye concentration of 0.1 mg mL–1, the process was efficient. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis proved the surface adsorption of both dyes on the clays. The main interactions involved in the clay-dye system were electrostatic forces and H-bonds. Adsorption of CR seemed to be controlled fundamentally by the palygorskite phase. Such results support the use of this natural clay as an efficient host for the removal of MB and CR from wastewater.
In the last few years there has been an increasing concern regarding the use of antibiotics in ruminant feeding and the potential for selection of antibiotic-resistant pathogen micro-organisms. Some authors (Martin and Streeter, 1995; Callaway and Martin, 1996) suggested that organic acids (aspartate, fumarate, malate) potentially provide an alternative to currently used antimicrobial compounds. Several in vitro studies (Martin and Streeter, 1995; Callaway and Martin, 1996) showed that incorporation of DL-malate into fermentations with both Selenomonas ruminantium HD4 and with mixed ruminal micro-organisms resulted in changes in final pH, methane and volatile fatty acids (VFA) that are analogous to ionophore effects. Nisbet and Martin (1993) hypothesized that malate acted as an electron sink for hydrogen. However, the mechanism of action is not well known. Malate is a key intermediate in the succinate-propionate pathway and therefore could stimulate propionate production. The objective of this study was to study the effects of DL-malate and propionate on the in vitro rumen fermentation of a 50:50 foragexoncentrate diet.
The study was carried out using the rumen simulation technique (RUSITEC) following the general incubation procedure described by Czerkawski and Breckenridge (1977). The complete unit consisted of eight vessels with an effective volume of 700 ml each. The vessels inocula (solid and liquid) were obtained from three ruminally fistulated ewes given a diet consisting of 700 g alfalfa hay and 300 g concentrate per kg dry matter (DM) (Table 1) and transferred to the RUSITEC system within 30 min of the 1st day of the experiment. The flow through the vessels was maintained by continuous infusion of artificial saliva at a rate of 533 ml/day. Each vessel received daily a nylon bag containing 7 g alfalfa hay, 7 g concentrate and 0·10 g vitaminsminerals mix. From the 1st day of incubation three vessels received daily 5·62 mmol DL-malate (disodium salt; Sigma-Aldrich Quimica, S.A., Spain), three vessels received 5·62 mmol of propionate (monosodium salt; Sigma-Aldrich Quimica, S.A., Spain) and two vessels received no addition (control). DL-malate and propionate were weighed into the nylon bags and carefully mixed with the food.
Quantitative expressions of the kinetics of digestion are needed to estimate more precisely the quantity and composition of nutrients digested from feeds and their subsequent efficiency of utilization by the animal (Mertens, 1993). Degradation kinetic parameters are estimated by fitting appropriate models to data resulting from the measurement of either the undigested residue or the fermentation end-products after exposure of the feed to digestion. Kinetic data can be collected using either in vitro or in situ procedures. The in situ porous synthetic fibre bag technique has been extensively used to describe the kinetics of feeds degradation in the rumen. Several in vitro gas production methods have been developed to assess fermentation kinetics. The aim of this work was to study the relationship between rumen degradation parameters of forages determined either by the in situ procedure or by the gas production technique and to evaluate the potential of gas production measurements to assess the extent of dry matter degradation in the rumen.
The present study was designed to describe the effects of early feed restriction of Merino lambs on feed efficiency during the fattening period by examining ruminal microbiota and fermentation parameters, gastrointestinal morphology, digestibility or liver proteome. In total, 24 male Merino lambs were randomly assigned to two experimental treatments (n=12 per treatment). Lambs of the first group (ad libitum (ADL)) were kept permanently with the dams, whereas the other 12 lambs (restricted (RES)) were milk restricted. When lambs reached a live BW (LBW) of 15 kg, all the animals were offered the same complete pelleted diet (35 g dry matter/kg LBW per day) until slaughter at a LBW of 27 kg. The RES lambs showed poorer feed efficiency during the fattening period when compared with the ADL group (feed to gain ratio, 3.69 v. 3.05, P<0.001). No differences were observed in ruminal microbiota, fermentation parameters or apparent digestibility. However, the proportion of the small intestine and the length of ileal villi were reduced in the RES lambs. In total, 26 spots/proteins were identified in the liver proteomic profile, with significant differences (P<0.05) between experimental treatments, suggesting a higher catabolism of proteins and a reduction in β-oxidation of fatty acids in RES lambs when compared with the ADL animals. In conclusion, early feed restriction of Merino lambs during the suckling period promotes long-term effects on the small intestine and the proteomic profile of the liver, which may influence the metabolic use of nutrients, thus negatively affecting feed efficiency during the fattening phase.
Core subset selection from collections hosted by seed banks, grow in importance as the number of accessions and genetic marker information rapidly increases. A data set of 20,526 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers characterizing 7986 Mexican creole wheat landraces, was used to test 11 methods for core subset selection, through optimization criteria containing average genetic distance and genetic diversity. Allele richness was used as an additional criterion to qualify the generated core subsets. Three replications with random samples of 1500 SNP loci, each comprising a maximum of 3000 alleles, were used to perform the method evaluations through four different objective functions. The LR greedy search (LR) and LR with random first pair (LRSemi) were consistently best across all assays for maximizing the objective functions, and they performed well even for criteria not included in those functions. The Tukey's HSD (honest significant difference) multiple comparisons grouped those methods together with the sequential forward selection (SFS) and SFS with random first pair (SFSSemi) strategies as the top set of approaches. All of them are simple heuristic maximization algorithms, and outperformed two more sophisticated optimization approaches: parallel mixed replica exchange and replica exchange Monte Carlo. For their efficiency to optimize the objective functions and computing speed, the LRSemi and SFSSemi methods demonstrated to be good alternatives for core subset selection from large collections of highly homozygous accessions characterized by many biallelic markers.
This paper proposes a methodology aiming at using historical yield data to improve yield sampling and yield estimation. The sampling method is based on a collaboration between historical data (at least three years) and yield measurements of the year performed on some sites within the field. It assumes a temporal stability of within field yield spatial patterns over the years. The first factor of a principal component analysis (PCA) is used to summarize the stable temporal patterns of within field yield data and it represents a large part of the variability of the different years assuming yield temporal stability and a high positive correlation between this factor and the yield. This main factor is then used to choose the best sites to sample (target sampling). Yield measurements are then used to calibrate a model that relates yield values to coordinates on the first factor of the PCA. This sampling method was tested on three vine fields (Vitis vinifera L.) in Chile and France with different varieties (Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah). For each of these fields, yield data of several years were available at the within field level. After temporal stability of yield patterns was verified for almost all the fields, the proposed sampling method was applied. Results were compared to those of a classical random sampling method showing that the use of historical yield data allows sampling sites selection to be optimized. Errors in yield estimations were reduced by more than 10% in all the cases, except when yield stable patterns are affected by specific events, i.e. early frost occurring on Chardonnay field.
Advances in radiocarbon dating by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) have made it possible to date prehistoric cave paintings by sampling the pigment itself instead of relying on dates derived from miscellaneous prehistoric remains recovered in the vicinity of the paintings. The work at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE) concentrated on prehistoric charcoal cave paintings from southern France and northern Spain. In most caves, pigment samples were collected from several paintings, and in some instances the sample size allowed for multiple independent measurements on the same figure, so that the coherence of the calculated dates could be tested. Before being dated, each specimen was subjected to a thermal treatment preceded by an acid and basic treatment of intensity commensurate with the sample size.
Nine bison drawings from three caves in the Cantabrian region of Spain—two from Covaciella, three from Altamira, and four from El Castillo—were sampled and dated. The 27 dates fell between 13,000 and 14,500 BP, allowing us to attribute the drawings to the Magdalenian period. The 24 dates for 13 drawings in the Cosquer cave indicated two distinct periods of painting activity—one around 28,000 BP and the other around 19,000 BP. The Chauvet cave paintings turned out to be the oldest recorded to date, as five dates fell between 32,000 and 31,000 BP. After discussing the sample preparation protocol in more detail, we will discuss the ages obtained and compare them with other chronological data.
Recently, new views of the current status of δ Scuti stars have been developed by Rodríguez & Breger (2001) who carried out an excellent review, listing 8 pre-main-sequence (PMS) δ Scuti candidates and examined the possibility of the existence of PMS δ Scuti variable stars. Here we discuss the nature of 4 stars from their list: 2 said to be members of NGC 2264 and 2 of NGC 6823.
Thirty-two lambs (n = 8 per treatment) were fed a total mixed ration (TMR) formulated either with palm oil (CTRL; 34 g palm oil/kg TMR) or flaxseed (FS) (85 g FS/kg TMR) alone or enriched with quercetin (QCT, 34 g palm oil plus 2 g QCT/kg TMR; FS-QCT, 85 g FS plus 2 g QCT/kg TMR). The animals were slaughtered after being fed for at least 5 weeks with the experimental diets and samples of ruminal contents and ruminal liquid were collected for quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analyses of ruminal microbial species and fatty acid profile or in vitro fermentation, respectively. Results demonstrated that Butyrivibrio vaccenic acid (VA) and Butyrivibrio stearic acid (SA) producing bacteria copy numbers were decreased when FS was added to the diet of fattening lambs, which seemed to be in agreement with numerically (but not significantly) lower values for gas production, methane production and butyric acid during in vitro incubation. Ciliate protozoa were significantly enhanced by QCT, which was in accordance with numerically (but not significantly) higher values for in vitro methane production. Moreover, the modifications observed in ruminal microbial populations (Butyrivibrio and ciliate protozoa) when FS and QCT were included together (but not separately) in the diet of fattening lambs were probably related to a trend towards significantly higher values of rumenic acid (RA) in ruminal content. In conclusion, when FS and QCT were administered together in the diet of fattening lambs quantitative changes in the ruminal microbiota were observed, which might have promoted an increment of RA concentration in ruminal contents.
Low birth weight (LBW) can have an impact on health outcomes in later life, especially in relation to pre-disposition to metabolic disease. Several studies suggest that LBW resulting from restricted intrauterine growth leaves a footprint on DNA methylation in utero, and this influence likely persists into adulthood. To investigate this further, we performed epigenome-wide association analyses of blood DNA methylation using Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip profiles in 71 adult monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs who were extremely discordant for birth weight. A signal mapping to the IGF1R gene (cg12562232, p = 2.62 × 10−8), was significantly associated with birth weight discordance at a genome-wide false-discovery rate (FDR) of 0.05. We pursued replication in three additional independent datasets of birth weight discordant MZ pairs and observed the same direction of association, but the results were not significant. However, a meta-analysis across the four independent samples, in total 216 birth-weight discordant MZ twin pairs, showed a significant positive association between birth weight and DNA methylation differences at IGF1R (random-effects meta-analysis p = .04), and the effect was particularly pronounced in older twins (random-effects meta-analysis p = .008, 98 older birth-weight discordant MZ twin pairs). The results suggest that severe intra-uterine growth differences (birth weight discordance >20%) are associated with methylation changes in the IGF1R gene in adulthood, independent of genetic effects.
Structural brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) traits share part of their genetic variance with cognitive traits. Here, we use genetic association results from large meta-analytic studies of genome-wide association (GWA) for brain infarcts (BI), white matter hyperintensities, intracranial, hippocampal, and total brain volumes to estimate polygenic scores for these traits in three Scottish samples: Generation Scotland: Scottish Family Health Study (GS:SFHS), and the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1936 (LBC1936) and 1921 (LBC1921). These five brain MRI trait polygenic scores were then used to: (1) predict corresponding MRI traits in the LBC1936 (numbers ranged 573 to 630 across traits), and (2) predict cognitive traits in all three cohorts (in 8,115–8,250 persons). In the LBC1936, all MRI phenotypic traits were correlated with at least one cognitive measure, and polygenic prediction of MRI traits was observed for intracranial volume. Meta-analysis of the correlations between MRI polygenic scores and cognitive traits revealed a significant negative correlation (maximal r = 0.08) between the HV polygenic score and measures of global cognitive ability collected in childhood and in old age in the Lothian Birth Cohorts. The lack of association to a related general cognitive measure when including the GS:SFHS points to either type 1 error or the importance of using prediction samples that closely match the demographics of the GWA samples from which prediction is based. Ideally, these analyses should be repeated in larger samples with data on both MRI and cognition, and using MRI GWA results from even larger meta-analysis studies.
Gas tungsten arc welding-tungsten inert gas (GTAW-TIG) is focused in literature as an alternative choice for joining high strength low alloy steels; this study is performed to compare the differences between gas metal arc welding-metal inert gas (GMAW-MIG) and GTAW welding processes. The aim of this study is to characterize microstructure of dissimilar transformation induced plasticity steels (TRIP) and martensitic welded joints by GMAW and GTAW welding processes. It was found that GMAW process lead to relatively high hardness in the HAZ of TRIP steel, indicating that the resultant microstructure was martensite. In the fusion zone (FZ), a mixture of phases consisting of bainite, ferrite and small areas of martensite were present. Similar phase’s mixtures were found in FZ of GTAW process. The presence of these mixtures of phases did not result in mechanical degradation when the GTAW samples were tested in lap shear tensile testing as the fracture occurred in the heat affected zone. In order to achieve light weight these result are benefits which is applied an autogenous process, where it was shown that without additional weight the out coming welding resulted in a high quality bead with homogeneous mechanical properties and a ductile morphology on the fracture surface. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed to obtain information about the specimens that provided evidence of ductile morphology.
Sixteen Suffolk lambs with 29 ± 2·0 kg body weight were housed in individual cages for 60 days and allotted to four treatments in a completely randomized design to determine the effect of administration of Salix babylonica (SB) extract and/or exogenous enzymes (ZADO®) on lamb performance. Lambs were fed with 300 g/kg concentrate (160 g crude protein (CP)/kg, 13·4 MJ metabolizable energy (ME)/kg dry matter (DM)) and 700 g/kg maize silage (80 g/kg CP, 11·7 MJ ME/kg DM) as a basal diet (control). Another three treatments were tested; the SB extract was administered at 30 ml/day (SB) and exogenous enzymes ZADO® (i.e. an exogenous enzyme cocktail in a powder form) directly fed at 10 g/day (EZ), while the last treatment contained ZADO® at 10 g/day + SB extract at 30 ml/day (EZSB). Lambs of the treatment EZSB had the greatest average daily weight gain (ADG) and feed conversion throughout the period of the experiment. However, during the first 30 days SB was more effective for ADG than EZ and vice versa during the last 30 days of the experiment. Water consumption was greater for SB, followed by EZ and EZSB compared to the control. Intakes of DM and organic matter (OM) were the highest in EZSB followed by EZ, which had the greatest neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre (ADF) and nitrogen (N) intakes. The EZSB treatment had the greatest DM and OM digestibilities compared to the other treatments; however, SB had the greatest ADF digestibility. Combination of EZ and SB had the best N balance. Allantoin, total purine derivatives (PD), allantoin : -creatinine ratio, and PD : creatinine ratio were increased in EZSB compared to the other treatments. However, EZ supplementation increased uric acid concentration, whereas the microbial N (g N/day) and metabolizable protein (g N/day) were increased in EZSB versus the other treatments. It can be concluded that addition of 10 g ZADO® in combination with S. babylonica extract at 30 ml/day in the diet of lambs increased feed intake, nutrient digestibility and daily gain, with a positive impact on the use of N and microbial protein synthesis.
Introduction: Digoxin or propranolol are used as first-line enteral agents for treatment of infant supraventricular tachycardia. We used a large national database to determine whether enteral digoxin or propranolol was more effciacious as first-line infant supraventricular tachycardia therapy. Materials and Methods: The Pediatric Health Information System database was queried over 10 years for infants with supraventricular tachycardia initiated on enteral digoxin or propranolol monotherapy. Patients were excluded for Wolff–Parkinson–White, intravenous antiarrhythmics (other than adenosine), or death. Success was considered as discharge on the initiated monotherapy. Risk factors for successful monotherapy and risk factors for readmission for supraventricular tachycardia for patients discharged on monotherapy were determined. Results: A total of 374 patients (59.6% male) met the study criteria. Median length of stay was 7 days (interquartile range of 3–16 days). Patients had CHD (n=199, 53.2%) and underwent cardiac surgery (n=123, 32.9%), ICU admission (n=238, 63.6%), mechanical ventilation (n=146, 39.0%), and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=3, 0.8%). Pharmacotherapy initiation was at median 37 days of life (interquartile range of 12–127 days) and 47.3% were initiated on digoxin. Success was similar between digoxin (73.1%) and propranolol (73.5%). Initial therapy with digoxin was not associated with success (odds ratio 1.01, 95% CI 0.64–1.61, p=0.93). Multivariable analysis demonstrated hospital length of stay (odds ratio 0.98, 95% CI 0.98–1.00) and involvement of a paediatric cardiologist (odds ratio 0.46, 95% CI 0.29–0.75) associated with monotherapy failure, and male gender (odds ratio 1.66, 95% CI 1.03–2.67) associated with monotherapy success. No variables were significant for readmission on multivariable analysis. Discussion: Digoxin or propranolol may be equally efficacious for inpatient treatment of infant supraventricular tachycardia.
To determine the effect of pterygopalatine fossa injection with xylocaine and adrenaline on: surgical field bleeding and blood loss during functional endoscopic sinus surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis, and the duration of the procedure.
A prospective, single-blinded, controlled trial was performed in a tertiary care academic centre. A total of 45 patients undergoing functional endoscopic sinus surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis, whose disease was symmetrical based on computed tomography grading, were included. A unilateral pterygopalatine fossa injection with 1 per cent xylocaine and 1:100 000 adrenaline was performed after the induction of anaesthesia. The contralateral side served as the control. The operating surgeon, who was blinded to the injected side, assessed the surgical field using a validated six-item grading system. Blood loss, blood pressure, heart rate and end-tidal carbon dioxide were recorded every 15 minutes for each side separately, and duration of surgery was noted.
There was no statistically significant difference in the surgical field grade between the injected and non-injected sides (p = 0.161). There were no differences in blood loss or duration of surgery.
Pterygopalatine fossa injection prior to functional endoscopic sinus surgery did not decrease intra-operative surgical field bleeding, blood loss or duration of surgery.
Microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP)-triggered immunity (MTI) is an important component of the plant innate immunity response to invading pathogens. Although several MTI responses can be measured in different plant species, their magnitude is probably plant species specific and even cultivar specific. In this study, a genome-wide transcriptome analysis of two soybean parental lines and two progeny lines treated for 30 min with the MAMPs flg22 and chitin was carried out. This analysis revealed a clear variation in gene expression, under both untreated and flg22+chitin-treated conditions. In addition, genes with potential additive and non-additive effects were identified in the two progeny lines, with several of these genes having a potential function in the control of innate immunity. The data presented herein represent the basis for further functional analysis that can lead to a better understanding of the soybean innate immunity response.
Low weight at birth has previously been shown to be associated with a number of adult diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity later in life. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been published for singleton-born individuals, but the role of genetic variation in birth weight (BW) in twins has not yet been fully investigated. A GWAS was performed in 4,593 female study participants with BW data available from the TwinsUK cohort. A genome-wide significant signal was found in chromosome 9, close to the NTRK2 gene (OMIM: 600456). QIMR, an Australian twin cohort (n = 3,003), and UK-based singleton-birth individuals from the Hertfordshire cohort (n = 2,997) were used as replication for the top two single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) underpinning this signal, rs12340987 and rs7849941. The top SNP, rs12340987, was found to be in the same direction in the Australian twins and in the singleton-born females (fixed effects meta-analysis beta = -0.13, SE = 0.02, and p = 1.48 × 10−8) but not in the singleton-born males tested. These findings provide an important insight into the genetic component of BW in twins who are normally excluded due to their lower BW when compared with singleton births, as well as the difference in BW between twins. The NTRK2 gene identified in this study has previously been associated with obesity.