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Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage in Puerto Rico, increasing the risk for morbidity and mortality in the post-impact period. We aimed to establish a syndromic surveillance system to describe the number and type of visits at 2 emergency health-care settings in the same hospital system in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
We implemented a hurricane surveillance system by interviewing patients with a short questionnaire about the reason for visit at a hospital emergency department and associated urgent care clinic in the 6 mo after Hurricane Maria. We then evaluated the system by comparing findings with data from the electronic medical record (EMR) system for the same time period.
The hurricane surveillance system captured information from 5116 participants across the 2 sites, representing 17% of all visits captured in the EMR for the same period. Most visits were associated with acute illness/symptoms (79%), followed by injury (11%). The hurricane surveillance and EMR data were similar, proportionally, by sex, age, and visit category.
The hurricane surveillance system provided timely and representative data about the number and type of visits at 2 sites. This system, or an adapted version using available electronic data, should be considered in future disaster settings.
Simulation tools are playing an increasingly important role in materials science and engineering and beyond their well established importance in research and development, these tools have a significant pedagogical potential. We describe a set of online simulation tools and learning modules designed to help students explore important concepts in materials science where hands-on activities with high-fidelity simulations can provide insight not easily acquired otherwise. The online tools, which involve density functional theory and molecular dynamics simulations, have been designed with non-expert end-users in mind and only a few clicks are required to perform most simulations, yet they are powered by research-grade codes and expert users can access advanced options. All tools and modules are available for online simulation in nanoHUB.org and access is open and free of charge. Importantly, instructors and students do not need to download or install any software. The learning modules cover a range of topics from electronic structure of crystals and doping, plastic deformation in metals, and physical properties of polymers. These modules have been used in several core undergraduate courses at Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering, they are self contained, and are easy to incorporate into existing classes.
Measuring diet choice in grazing animals is challenging, complicating the assessment of feed efficiency in pasture-based systems. Furthermore, animals may modify their intake of a forage species depending on its nutritive value and on their own physiological status. Various fecal markers have been used to estimate feed intake in grazing animals. However, plant-wax markers such as n-alkanes (ALK) and long-chain alcohols may provide reliable estimates of both dietary choices and intakes. Still, their use in beef cattle has been relatively limited. The present study was designed to test the reliability of the ALK technique to estimate diet choices in beef heifers. Twenty-two Angus-cross heifers were evaluated at both post-weaning and yearling age. At each age, they were offered both red clover and fescue hay as cubes. Following 3-week acclimation periods, daily intake of each forage species was assessed daily for 10 days. During the final 5 days, fecal grab samples were collected twice daily. The ALK fecal concentrations were adjusted using recovery fractions compiled from literature. Diet composition was estimated using two statistical methods. Post-weaning, dietary choices were reliably estimated, with low residual error, regardless of the statistical approach adopted. The regression of observed on estimated red clover proportion ranged from 0.85±0.08 to 1.01±0.09 for fecal samples collected in the p.m. and for daily proportions once averaged, respectively. However, at yearling age, the estimates were less reliable. There was a tendency to overestimate the red clover proportion in diets of heifers preferring fescue, and vice versa. This was due to greater variability in ALK fecal concentrations in the yearling heifers. Overall, the ALK technique provided a reliable tool for estimating diet choice in animals fed a simple forage diet. Although further refinements in the application of this methodology are needed, plant-wax markers provide opportunities for evaluating diet composition in grazing systems in cattle.
In June 2015, an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis with 35 cases (23 probable and 12 laboratory-confirmed) occurred among 191 attendees of a residential rehabilitation holiday for paediatric organ transplant patients (n = 49) and their families at a hotel in Somogy county, Hungary. The overall attack rate was 18%. Most of the cases were transplanted children who experienced severe acute disease and required adjustment to their tacrolimus immunosuppression. A retrospective case-control study suggested an association between recreational water exposures and illness: cases were seven times more likely than controls to have swum in the children's pool (odds ratio 7.17; 95% confidence interval 2.9–17.2; P < 0.0001) and five times more likely to have used the jetted whirlpool (odds ratio 5.25; 95% confidence interval 2.1–13.1; P < 0.0001). This was the first outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Hungary and it is especially unfortunate that it affected vulnerable children who experienced severe symptoms. Cryptosporidium presents specific infection control difficulties in treated recreational water venues; the link to a whirlpool is unusual and highlights the importance of the age-appropriate use of these facilities and reminding users not to immerse their heads or swallow the water. Cryptosporidiosis is more commonly linked to children’ pools where improved bather hygiene and promoting exclusion of diarrhoea cases could help to avoid similar outbreaks.
The development of laser wakefield accelerators (LWFA) over the past several years has led to an interest in very compact sources of X-ray radiation – such as “table-top” free electron lasers. However, the use of conventional undulators using permanent magnets also implies system sizes which are large. In this work, we assess the possibilities for the use of novel mini-undulators in conjunction with a LWFA so that the dimensions of the undulator become comparable with the acceleration distances for LWFA experiments (i.e., centimeters). The use of a prototype undulator using laser machining of permanent magnets for this application is described and the emission characteristics and limitations of such a system are determined. Preliminary electron propagation and X-ray emission measurements are taken with a LWFA electron beam at the University of Michigan.
Dual-purpose (milk and beef) farms in the tropics are characterised by 1) a high variability of nutritional management systems, and 2) their flexibility to adapt to changing conditions. An appropriate characterisation and classification of these systems is necessary to determine efficient and sustainable resource management strategies according to the different goals or productive orientation of the farms. A prospective study for characterising the nutritional management systems of dual purpose farms in Costa Rica was carried out. The dynamics of the farms, in terms of management intensity and productive orientation, are described and discussed.
The growth performance of youngstock has a double effect on the general productivity of dual purpose farms. First, it directly influences the beef outputs of the farm, and second; it has an indirect effect on the length of the non-productive period of the replacement heifers and their subsequent milk production ability. The latter effect has been well documented on dairy heifers in both temperate and tropical conditions. The growth performance of youngstock is dependent of the management intensity and productive orientation of the farm. This paper shows the effect of a series of nutritional factors and farming characteristics on the pre-weaning growth performance of youngstock in eighteen dual purpose farms in Costa Rica.
The objectives of the current study were to investigate the dynamics of body calcium (Ca) and to estimate the net Ca maintenance requirements (NCam) of Saanen goats, using 45Ca as a radiotracer. Eighteen castrated male Saanen goats (25 ± 2.3 kg body weight (BW)) received a basal diet (ground ear maize, ground maize and vitamin–mineral premix). The treatments consisted of adding limestone to the basal diet to provide Ca content of 0.6, 1.7 and 3.0 g/kg dry matter (DM). The experiment lasted 45 days (i.e. 36 d of adaptation and 9 days of measurements). On day 38, 0.5 ml of 7.4 MBq 45Ca solution was administrated before feeding. From days 39 to 45, samples of faeces, blood and urine were collected, and Ca concentration determined. The Ca intake, Ca in faeces, Ca in urine, faecal endogenous Ca and true absorbed Ca increased linearly as Ca content in the diets increased, while retained Ca increased at a decreasing rate. Dry matter intake decreased at an increasing rate with increased Ca content in the diets. In contrast, Ca content in the diets did not affect biological availability of Ca, or Ca in plasma. The true biological availability of Ca from limestone in Saanen goats was 0.72. The daily NCam was 11.6 (±1.3) mg/kg BW. The current results might help to understand Ca dynamics in goats and enhance the formulation of balanced diets to best meet Ca requirements of Saanen goats.
Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Steud. is widely used as a high-protein supplementary food for ruminants in many parts of the tropics. Native to Central America and Mexico, it has become widely naturalized elsewhere but the introduced populations are mostly of unknown origin and uncertain quality. Studies of the genetic resources from the native range, under a research programme at OFI, have shown great variation between populations in yield (Dunsdon and Simons, 1996). The objective of the research described here was to investigate whether there is also important genetic variation in fodder quality, to inform decisions on future distribution of ‘superior’ germplasm of G. sepium under the OFI programme.
The circadian disruption in shift-workers is suggested to be a risk factor to develop overweight and metabolic dysfunction. The conflicting time signals given by shifted activity, shifted food intake and exposure to light at night occurring in the shift-worker are proposed to be the cause for the loss of internal synchrony and the consequent adverse effects on body weight and metabolism. Because food elicited signals have proven to be potent entraining signals for peripheral oscillations, here we review the findings from experimental models of shift-work and verify whether they provide evidence about the causal association between shifted feeding schedules, circadian disruption and altered metabolism. We found mainly four experimental models that mimic the conditions of shift-work: protocols of forced sleep deprivation, of forced activity during the normal rest phase, exposure to light at night and shifted food timing. A big variability in the intensity and duration of the protocols was observed, which led to a diversity of effects. A common result was the disruption of temporal patterns of activity; however, not all studies explored the temporal patterns of food intake. According to studies that evaluate time of food intake as an experimental model of shift-work and studies that evaluate shifted food consumption, time of food intake may be a determining factor for the loss of balance at the circadian and metabolic level.
The worldwide population of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) encompasses seven subpopulations among the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It has experienced declines across parts of its distribution, with the subpopulation of the South-west Atlantic listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. The main threats to this subpopulation include its interaction with fisheries, coastal development, pollution and climate change. In this study, we sequenced mitochondrial DNA from 52 leatherback turtles in Brazil and combined these with published data from other Atlantic Ocean rookeries. The haplotype diversities of the Atlantic population rookeries ranged from 0.112 to 0.533 and are not directly proportional to current rookery sizes. The Brazilian rookery, despite recording low nest numbers per year, had the second-highest haplotype diversity among all Atlantic rookeries (h = 0.532). A mixed-stock analysis revealed that the South American pelagic aggregate is primarily composed of individuals from West Africa (84%), with contributions from the North Atlantic rookeries (14%). Leatherback turtles appear to have a complex phylogeographic pattern, showing evidence of multiple colonization events and a lack of isolation by distance. Our novel dataset, based on DNA sequences of 695 base pairs, will provide baseline data needed to understand population dynamics in the region, building comprehensive population assessments to support and develop management strategies. Having both the only known regular rookery in the South-west Atlantic, and a mixed-origin foraging area for the species along its coast, Brazil has a key role in the conservation of the leatherback turtle.
Prodiamine is a dinitroaniline herbicide labeled for PRE control of goosegrass in warm- and cool-season turfgrass. In 2013, several golf course roughs in Maryville, TN reported poor goosegrass control (< 20%) following prodiamine treatment at 1,120 g ai ha-1. We harvested suspected prodiamine-resistant (PR) and prodiamine-susceptible (S) goosegrass phenotypes from the field and exposed them to a range of increasing prodiamine concentrations in hydroponic culture. Exposure to prodiamine at 0.001 mM reduced root growth of the S phenotype to 11% of the non-treated check. By comparison, exposure to 0.001 mM prodiamine had minimal effect on the PR phenotype, as root growth was 94% of the non-treated check. Molecular analyses revealed that PR plants contained a threonine (Thr) to isoleucine (Ile) substitution at position 239 on the α-tubulin 1 (TUA1) protein. The substitution, found in all PR plants, is the mechanism of prodiamine resistance in this phenotype. In field studies, topramezone controlled PR goosegrass 72% to 89% by 50 d after treatment (DAT) compared to only 22% to 23% for foramsulfuron. Topramezone treatment injured bermudagrass 34% to 60% from 7 to 14 DAT; however, injury was≤6% 28 DAT and 0% by the end of the study. Our results indicate that POST applications of topramezone can control dinitroaniline-resistant goosegrass. In addition, we established an easy-to-use genotyping assay to quickly screen goosegrass phenotypes for a target-site mutation (Thr-239-Ile) on TUA1 associated with resistance to dinitroaniline herbicides such as prodiamine. Future research should work to expand this assay for use with other weed species and herbicidal modes of action.
The catastrophic lahars triggered by the 13 November 1985 eruption of the ice-clad Nevado del Ruiz volcano, Colombia, demonstrate that the interaction of hot pyroclasts with snow and ice can release 30–50 millionm3 of meltwater in 30–90 minutes. The 1985 eruption caused a 16% loss in area and a 9% loss in volume of snow, firn and ice. Turbulent pyroclastic density currents mechanically mixed with snow and produced meltwater at a rate of 0.5–1.6mms–1. Laboratory experiments suggest that turbulent, fluidized pyroclastic density currents exert mechanical and thermal scour, thereby efficiently transferring heat from hot pyroclasts to snow. Ice cap loss at Nevado del Ruiz continued between 1985 and 2000, representing a ∽52% decline in area and a ∽30% fall in volume. Ice 60–190m thick caps the east and southeast summit plateau, whereas an ice field < 30m thick and devoid of snow is retreating on the north, northeast and west edges. This asymmetrical distribution of ice reflects combined long-term effects of the 1985 eruption and of the post-1985 ice cap retreat. Should volcanic activity resume, steep-sided glaciers can fail and pyroclastic flows and surges can sweep the snowpack and generate mixed avalanches and lahars. Although the potential source of meltwater has decreased since 1985, extensive debris at the ice cap margins can be incorporated to future lahars.
Different aging heat treatments were performed in a Titanium alloy using as aging media metallic baths in comparison to typical furnace aging. As a first step, a Duplex Aging (DA) consisted of solubilization followed by quenching to room temperature after aging heat treatment in different metallic baths (Zn, Sn and Bi). A second procedure was Alternative Aging (AA) which consisted of solubilization and direct aging inside three different aforementioned baths. Microstructural aging variations begins at half hour until 30 h at 550°C inside metallic bath of Zn, Sn or Bi. Both kinds of aging promoted a microstructural variation and so on microhardness values. Microstructural analysis by Optical Microscopy showed a structural refinement after AA treatment. The highest hardness value of 375 HVN was achieved in Alternative Aging with Zn bath, which was found to be dependent on laminar α phase refining. Moreover, after AA treatment for 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 and 30 h at 550°C in the metallic bath of Zn and Sn, the results indicated similar hardness values in different times, resulting in the fastest kinetic for Sn metallic bath at 2 h compared to that 4 h in Zn metallic bath. The observed increase in micro-hardness is not very attractive, it is recommended to use large aging times in order to stabilize final spacing of microstructural features in AA treatment.