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Due to shortages of N95 respirators during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is necessary to estimate the number of N95s required for healthcare workers (HCWs) to inform manufacturing targets and resource allocation.
We developed a model to determine the number of N95 respirators needed for HCWs both in a single acute-care hospital and the United States.
For an acute-care hospital with 400 all-cause monthly admissions, the number of N95 respirators needed to manage COVID-19 patients admitted during a month ranges from 113 (95% interpercentile range [IPR], 50–229) if 0.5% of admissions are COVID-19 patients to 22,101 (95% IPR, 5,904–25,881) if 100% of admissions are COVID-19 patients (assuming single use per respirator, and 10 encounters between HCWs and each COVID-19 patient per day). The number of N95s needed decreases to a range of 22 (95% IPR, 10–43) to 4,445 (95% IPR, 1,975–8,684) if each N95 is used for 5 patient encounters. Varying monthly all-cause admissions to 2,000 requires 6,645–13,404 respirators with a 60% COVID-19 admission prevalence, 10 HCW–patient encounters, and reusing N95s 5–10 times. Nationally, the number of N95 respirators needed over the course of the pandemic ranges from 86 million (95% IPR, 37.1–200.6 million) to 1.6 billion (95% IPR, 0.7–3.6 billion) as 5%–90% of the population is exposed (single-use). This number ranges from 17.4 million (95% IPR, 7.3–41 million) to 312.3 million (95% IPR, 131.5–737.3 million) using each respirator for 5 encounters.
We quantified the number of N95 respirators needed for a given acute-care hospital and nationally during the COVID-19 pandemic under varying conditions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An experiment was conducted to examine whether increased CLA in milk of dairy cows fed fresh pasture compared with alfalfa and corn silages was because of ruminal or endogenous synthesis. Eight Holsteins were fed a total mixed ration using alfalfa and corn silages as the forage source in confinement or grazed in a replicated crossover design. The proportion of total fatty acids as CLA (primarily c9, t11-18:2) in g/100 g was 0.44 v. 0.28 in ruminal digesta, 0.89 v. 0.53 in omasal digesta and 0.71 v. 1.06 in milk during confinement feeding and grazing, respectively. Blood plasma CLA was 0.54 v. 1.05 mg/l for the two treatments, respectively. The increased concentration of CLA in milk with grazing likely resulted from increased synthesis through desaturation of t11-18:1 in the mammary gland.
In most countries, male pigs are physically castrated soon after birth to reduce the risk of boar taint and to avoid behaviours such as fighting and mounting. However, entire male pigs are more feed efficient and deposit less fat than barrows. In addition, many animal welfare organizations are lobbying for a cessation of castration, with a likelihood that this could lead to inferior pork unless an alternative method is used to control boar taint. An alternative to physical castration is immunization against gonadotrophin releasing factor (GnRF) which allows producers to capitalize on the superior feed efficiency and carcass characteristics of boars without the risk of boar taint. From a physiological perspective, immunized pigs are entire males until shortly after the second dose, typically given 4 to 6 weeks before slaughter. Following full immunization, there is a temporary suppression of testicular function and a hormonal status that resembles that of a barrow. Nutrient requirements will be different in these two phases, before and after full immunization. Given that there have been few published studies comparing the lysine requirements of entire males and barrows in contemporary genotypes, it is useful to use gilt requirements as a benchmark. A series of meta-analyses comparing anti-GnRF immunized boars and physical castrates and use of nutritional models suggest that the lysine requirement of entire males before the second immunization is 5% higher than for gilts, from 25 to 50 kg BW, and by 8% from 50 to 95 kg. Given that the penalty in growth performance for having inadequate dietary lysine is greater in males than in gilts or barrows, it is important to ensure that lysine requirements are met to obtain the maximum benefits of entire male production during this phase. After the second immunization, the lysine requirement of immunized males decreases and may become more like that of barrows. In addition, a consistent effect of full immunization is a marked increase in voluntary feed intake from about 10 days after the second dose. Putting these together, the estimated lysine requirement, expressed in terms of diet composition, falls to 94% of the gilt level. Although general principles can be described now, further research is needed to fully define the lysine requirements of immunized boars. It is important that the temporal pattern of tissue deposition rates and feed intake be explored to be incorporated into models to predict nutrient requirements over the period of rapidly changing metabolism.
The existence of a stream of tidally stripped stars from the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy demonstrates that the Milky Way is still in the process of accreting mass. More recently, an extensive stream of stars has been uncovered in the halo of the Andromeda galaxy (M31), revealing that it too is cannibalising a small companion. This paper reports the recent observations of this stream, determining its spatial and kinematic properties, and tracing its three-dimensional structure, as well as describing future observations and what we may learn about the Andromeda galaxy from this giant tidal stream.
The reproductive efficiency of the entire sheep flock could be improved if ewe lambs go through puberty early and produce their first lamb at 1 year of age. The onset of puberty is linked to the attainment of critical body mass, and therefore we tested whether it would be influenced by genetic selection for growth rate or for rate of accumulation of muscle or fat. We studied 136 Merino ewe lambs with phenotypic values for depth of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT) and Australian Sheep Breeding Values at post-weaning age (200 days) for live weight (PWT), eye muscle depth (PEMD) and fat depth (PFAT). First oestrus was detected with testosterone-treated wethers and then entire rams as the ewes progressed from 6 to 10 months of age. Blood concentrations of leptin and IGF-I were measured to test whether they were related to production traits and reproductive performance (puberty, fertility and reproductive rate). In total, 97% of the lambs reached first oestrus at average weight 39.4 ± 0.4 kg (mean ± s.e.m.) and age 219 days (range 163 to 301). Age at first oestrus decreased with increases in values for PWT (P < 0.001), and concentrations of IGF-I (P < 0.05) and leptin (P < 0.01). The proportion of ewe lambs that achieved puberty was positively related with increases in values for EMD (P < 0.01), FAT (P < 0.05) or PWT (P < 0.01), and 75% of the ewe lambs were pregnant at average weight 44.7 ± 0.5 kg and age 263 days (range 219 to 307). Ewe lambs that were heavier at the start of mating were more fertile (P < 0.001) and had a higher reproductive rate (P < 0.001). Fertility and reproductive rate were positively correlated with increases in values for EMD (P < 0.01), FAT (P < 0.05), PWT (P < 0.01) and leptin concentration (P < 0.01). Fertility, but not reproductive rate, increased as values for PFAT increased (P < 0.05). Leptin concentration increased with increases in values for EMD (P < 0.001), FAT (P < 0.001), PWT (P < 0.001), PEMD (P < 0.05) and PFAT (P < 0.05). Many of these relationships became non-significant when PWT or live weight was added to the statistical model. We conclude that selection for genetic potential for growth can accelerate the onset of puberty and increase fertility and reproductive rate of Merino ewe lambs. The metabolic hormones, IGF-I and leptin, might act as a physiological link between the growing tissues and the reproductive axis.
Objective: To characterize the performance of glucose meter test strips using simulated dynamic temperature and humidity disaster conditions.
Methods: Glucose oxidase- and glucose dehydrogenase-based test strips were dynamically stressed for up to 680 hours using an environmental chamber to simulate conditions during Hurricane Katrina. Paired measurements vs control were obtained using 3 aqueous reagent levels for GMS1 and 2 for GMS2.
Results: Stress affected the performance of GMS1 at level 1 (P <. 01); and GMS2 at both levels (P <. 001), lowering GMS1 results but elevating GMS2 results. Glucose median-paired differences were elevated at both levels on GMS2 after 72 hours. Median-paired differences (stress minus control) were as much as −10 mg/dL (range, −65 to 33) at level 3 with GMS1, with errors as large as 21.9%. Glucose median-paired differences were as high as 5 mg/dL (range, −1 to 10) for level 1 on GMS2, with absolute errors up to 24.4%.
Conclusions: The duration of dynamic stress affected the performance of both GMS1 and GMS2 glucose test strips. Therefore, proper monitoring, handling, and storage of point-of-care (POC) reagents are needed to ensure their integrity and quality of actionable results, thereby minimizing treatment errors in emergency and disaster settings.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:232–240)
We have used high-resolution, HST WFC3/IR, near-infrared imaging to conduct a detailed bulge-disk decomposition of the morphologies of ≃ 200 of the most massive (M* > 1011 M⊙) galaxies at 1 < z < 3 in the CANDELS-UDS field. We find that, while such massive galaxies at low redshift are generally bulge-dominated, at redshifts 1<z<2 they are predominantly mixed bulge+disk systems, and by z > 2 they are mostly disk-dominated. Interestingly, we find that while most of the quiescent galaxies are bulge-dominated, a significant fraction (25–40%) of the most quiescent galaxies, have disk-dominated morphologies. Thus, our results suggest that the physical mechanisms which quench star-formation activity are not simply connected to those responsible for the morphological transformation of massive galaxies.