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Assessing the impacts of invasive predators on the demography and distribution of native species is critical for understanding mechanisms of species persistence and informing the design of recovery programmes. On the oceanic island of Guam, the introduction of the predatory brown treesnake Boiga irregularis after World War II caused the near-total loss of the native forest avifauna. Localised snake control measures have been implemented since the early 1990s, yet it remains poorly understood how they have impacted Guam’s remaining native bird populations. To address this question, we combined intensive area searches of Andersen Air Force Base (AAFB) with island-wide transect surveys and opportunistic sightings to provide a comprehensive update on the distribution and abundance of Såli (Micronesian Starling, Aplonis opaca) – one of Guam’s last extant native bird species. Area searches of AAFB, where the largest remnant of the Såli population persists, revealed a 15-fold population increase since the last survey in the early 1990s, and transect surveys and opportunistic sightings indicate incipient recolonisation of other urbanised areas of northern and central Guam. We estimate the current island-wide population size at ~1,400 individuals. The population increase can likely be attributed to a combination of snake control measures and the Såli’s ability to exploit urban refugia for nesting and roosting. Although these trends demonstrate some population recovery, a skewed age ratio (>90% adults and subadults) at AAFB and a highly urbanised distribution and low abundance outside AAFB indicate that snake predation continues to strongly impact the population. More intensive snake suppression efforts, particularly in forested areas, may allow for the Såli population to attain its former distribution and abundance on Guam. More broadly, our findings reinforce the importance of urban areas as refugia for some threatened species.
Optical tracking systems typically trade off between astrometric precision and field of view. In this work, we showcase a networked approach to optical tracking using very wide field-of-view imagers that have relatively low astrometric precision on the scheduled OSIRIS-REx slingshot manoeuvre around Earth on 22 Sep 2017. As part of a trajectory designed to get OSIRIS-REx to NEO 101955 Bennu, this flyby event was viewed from 13 remote sensors spread across Australia and New Zealand to promote triangulatable observations. Each observatory in this portable network was constructed to be as lightweight and portable as possible, with hardware based off the successful design of the Desert Fireball Network. Over a 4-h collection window, we gathered 15 439 images of the night sky in the predicted direction of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Using a specially developed streak detection and orbit determination data pipeline, we detected 2 090 line-of-sight observations. Our fitted orbit was determined to be within about 10 km of orbital telemetry along the observed 109 262 km length of OSIRIS-REx trajectory, and thus demonstrating the impressive capability of a networked approach to Space Surveillance and Tracking.
This study investigated whether the duration and type of screen time (ST) (TV viewing, recreational computer use, video gaming) is longitudinally associated with z-BMI and if these relationships are mediated by disordered eating (emotional, restrained).
At baseline, participants were n 1197 (T1; 60 % female) adolescents (mean age = 13·51 years) who completed surveys over 2 years. ST was assessed by a self-reported measure created by the investigative team, while emotional and restrained eating was measured by the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEB-Q). Height and weight were objectively measured to quantify z-BMI.
Thirty-one public and two private schools from the region of Ottawa, Canada.
Students in grades 7–12.
Parallel multiple mediation analyses revealed that more time spent watching TV at baseline is associated with higher z-BMI at T3 (total effect; B = 0·19, se = 0·07, P = 0·01, 95 % CI 0·05, 0·34), but no relationships were observed for total ST exposure or other types of ST and z-BMI. Disordered eating did not mediate the positive association between baseline TV viewing and z-BMI at T3.
TV viewing was longitudinally associated with higher z-BMI in a community-based sample of adolescents, but disordered eating behaviours did not mediate this relationship. However, other non-pathological eating behaviours may mediate the association between ST and obesity and warrant further investigation. Finding suggests that targeting reduction in youth’s TV viewing may be an effective component in the prevention of childhood obesity.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Greater cognitive function (CF) is associated with adherence to prescription medications, better program adherence and weight loss (WL) following bariatric surgery. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between baseline CF, intervention dropout, adherence and 3-month WL. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: 107 (Mage = 40.9 yrs.), overweight/obese (BMI = 35.6 kg/m2) men (N = 17) and women (N = 90) completed a 3-mo. WL intervention. Participants were asked to attend weekly behavioral sessions, comply with a reduced calorie diet and complete 100 min of moderate intensity physical activity (PA)/wk. CF tasks including Flanker (attention), Stroop (Executive control) and working memory, body weight and cardiovascular fitness (covariate) were assessed at baseline and 3-mos. Session attendance, adherence to PA and diet prescriptions and number of off-diet episodes were recorded weekly. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Results indicated that attention was positively correlated with session attendance (p = 0.016), adherence to the diet (p < 0.01) and PA (p = 0.023). Executive control was positively correlated with WL (p = 0.042). Working memory (two tasks) was also positively correlated with WL (p = .017 and p = .025). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that baseline attention (p = .012) was positively related to WL and negatively associated with drop out (p < .05). Hierarchical linear regression showed executive control (p = .036, R2 = .054) and working memory (p = .013, R2 = .073 and p = .017, R2 = .068) were associated with WL when controlling for fitness. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: These results suggest that stronger baseline attention is associated with completion of a 3-mo. WL intervention. Executive control and working memory are associated with amount of WL achieved. Additional, larger and longer trials to assess the role of baseline CF on WL and evaluating the impact of interventions designed to improve CF on WL are indicated.
Seed dispersal is an important ecological process that structures plant communities and influences ecosystem functioning. Loss of animal dispersers therefore poses a serious threat to forest ecosystems, particularly in the tropics where zoochory predominates. A prominent example is the near-total extinction of seed dispersers on the tropical island of Guam following the accidental introduction of the invasive brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis), negatively impacting seedling recruitment and forest regeneration. We investigated frugivory by a remnant population of Såli (Micronesian starling – Aplonis opaca) on Guam and two other island populations (Rota, Saipan) to evaluate their ecological role as a seed disperser in the Mariana archipelago. Using a combination of behavioural observations, nest contents and fecal samples, we documented frugivory of 37 plant species. Native plants comprised the majority (66%) of all species and 90% of all seeds identified in fecal and nest contents. Diet was highly similar across age classes and sampling years. In addition, plant species consumed by Såli comprised 88% of bird-dispersed adult trees and 54% of all adult trees in long-term forest monitoring plots, demonstrating the Såli’s broad diet and potential for restoring native forests. Overall, we provide the most comprehensive assessment to date of frugivory by the Såli and confirm its importance as a seed disperser on Guam and throughout the Marianas.
White dwarfs are useful objects with which to study the local interstellar medium (ISM). High ionisation state absorption features that cannot be attributed to the photosphere or the ISM have been observed along the line-of-sight to a number of white dwarf stars. Suggested origins of these lines include ionisation from past supernovae, stellar winds, circumstellar disks, photoionisation from nearby hot stars or also from the white dwarf itself. In this study we consider the origin of these non-photospheric highly ionised lines in two stars towards a rarefied region of the galaxy known as the extended β CMa Tunnel. We present preliminary results from our analysis of the first of these two stars.
Low loss, ferroelectric, fully-printed varactors for high-power matching applications are presented. Piezoelectric-induced acoustic resonances reduce the power handling capabilities of these varactors by lowering the Q-factor at the operational frequency of 13.56 MHz. Here, a quality factor of maximum 142 is achieved with an interference-based acoustic suppression approach utilizing double metal–insulator–metal structures. The varactors show a tunability of maximum 34% at 300 W of input power. At a power level of 1 kW, the acoustic suppression technique greatly reduces the dissipated power by 62% from 37 W of a previous design to 14.2 W. At this power level, the varactors remain tunable with maximum 18.2% and 200 V of biasing voltage.
The mammal family Tenrecidae (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) is endemic to Madagascar. Here we present the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec that were assessed or reassessed in 2015–2016 for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. However, the lack of data for most tenrecs on population size, ecology and distribution, together with frequent changes in taxonomy (with many cryptic species being discovered based on genetic analyses) and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (Tenrecinae), hinders conservation planning. Priority conservation actions are presented for Madagascar's tenrecs for the first time since 1990 and focus on conserving forest habitat (especially through improved management of protected areas) and filling essential knowledge gaps. Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programmes targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.
The introduction of fast-track licensing strategies increases the approval of anti-cancer drugs with ambiguous benefit-risk profiles. Thus, in many instances there is lacking evidence about overall survival (OS) at the time of marketing authorisation. Our objective was to monitor and characterise therapies with ambiguous benefit-risk profiles and identify any post-approval updates on median OS after at least three years of approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
We included all originator anti-cancer drugs with initially ambiguous benefit-risk profiles that received marketing authorization from the EMA between 1 Jan 2009 and 31 May 2015. Our monitoring timeframe was at least three years after EMA-approval. To identify study updates, the following three sources were included: clinicaltrials.gov, European Public Assessment Reports (EPARs), and PubMed.
In total, we identified 102 eligible approval studies. Out of these, a negative difference in median OS or no information was available in forty-three (42.2%) instances. During monitoring, eleven updates with accessible information on median OS could be identified. Including monitoring results, there are still thirty-two remaining therapies (31.4%) where no or negative information (n = 27 [26.5%] and n = 5 [4.9%], respectively) regarding median OS was present at least three years after EMA approval.
One-third of oncology drugs with ambiguous benefit-risk profiles failed to demonstrate a survival benefit even several years following marketing authorization. Systematic and transparent post-approval monitoring mechanisms will be of high relevance to assure a clinically relevant patient benefit, since the trend towards faster access to medicines with uncertain benefit is increasing rather than declining.
The timing of the late Middle Paleolithic and late disappearance of Neanderthals in the Iberian Peninsula are hotly debated subjects in Paleolithic archeology. Several studies suggested a late survival in South and Central Iberia until about 32 ka, but were probably subject to significant age underestimation due to contamination of dating samples, undiagnostic lithic assemblages, and/or lack of stratigraphic integrity. We conducted a radiocarbon and luminescence-dating study backed by detailed sedimentological and micromorphological investigations at the newly discovered rock shelter sequence of Abrigo del Molino (Central Spain). Accumulation of the sediment sequence was rapid. It started with deposition of paleoflood slack-water deposits at around 48 ka and continued until about 41 ka with deposition of colluvial and detrital sediments. These contain two Mousterian levels, which place the latest Neanderthal occupation at around 45 to 41 ka, i.e., between Heinrich Stadials 5 and 4, and probably during a time of climate amelioration. Abrigo del Molino thus provides a detailed and chronologically well-constrained record of Late Neanderthal presence and morphodynamic change in Central Iberia during times of millennial-scale climate changes. The site gives further evidence for an early disappearance of Neanderthals in Central Iberia.
The 2015-2016 academic year was the fourth year since the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME; Chicago, Illinois USA) accredited Emergency Medical Services (EMS) fellowships, and the first year an in-training examination was given. Soon, ACGME-accredited fellowship education will be the sole path to EMS board certification when the practice pathway closes after 2019. This project aimed to describe the current class of EMS fellows at ACGME-accredited programs and their current educational opportunities to better understand current and future needs in EMS fellowship education.
This was a cross-sectional survey of EMS fellows in ACGME-accredited programs in conjunction with the first EMS In-Training Examination (EMSITE) between April and June 2016. Fellows completed a 14-question survey composed of multiple-choice and free-response questions. Basic frequency statistics were performed on their responses.
Fifty fellows from 35 ACGME-accredited programs completed the survey. The response rate was 100%. Forty-eight (96%) fellows reported previous training in emergency medicine. Twenty (40%) were undergoing fellowship training at the same institution as their prior residency training. Twenty-five (50%) fellows performed direct patient care aboard a helicopter during their fellowship. Thirty-three (66%) fellows had a dedicated physician response vehicle for fellows. All fellows reported using the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP; Overland Park, Kansas USA) textbooks as their primary reference. Fellows felt most prepared for the Clinical Aspects questions and least prepared for Quality Management and Research questions on the board exam.
These data provide insight into the characteristics of EMS fellows in ACGME-accredited programs.
ClemencyB, Martin-GillC, RallN, PatelD, MyersJ. US Emergency Medical Services Fellows. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(3):339–341.
This work addresses the piezoelectric induced reduction of quality factor in fully-printed metal-insulator-metal (MIM) barium strontium titanate (BST) thick film varactors designed for high power operation. An acoustically optimized varactor design is presented and compared to a non-optimized high-power varactor. The design is utilized to present a narrowband acoustic suppression technique based on defined weights. The acoustically optimized varactor consists of 162 varactor cells in a capacitive matrix. The cells in the matrix are interconnectable allowing for a variable unbiased capacitance and power rating. Due to this setup, surface acoustic waves are interrupted, and the reduced size of the cells allows for a reduced BST layer thickness, shifting the acoustic resonance away from the operational frequency. Therefore, an inverted behavior in comparison to the high-power varactor is observed with an increasing quality factor with biasing voltage. Compared to the high-power varactor, the acoustically optimized varactor design shows a 40% increased quality factor in biased state. By applying the narrowband acoustic suppression technique, an increase in quality factor of 145% is achieved compared to the unsuppressed design. In comparison to the high-power varactor, the acoustical suppressed design shows an increase in quality factor of 480% at the first acoustic resonance frequency.
Optimal imaging is essential for catheter-based interventions in CHD. The three-dimensional models in volume-rendering technique currently in use are not standardised. This paper investigates the feasibility and impact of novel three-dimensional guidance with segmented and tessellated three-dimensional heart models in catheterisation of CHD. In addition, a nearly radiation-free two- to three-dimensional registration and a biplane overlay were used.
Methods and results
We analysed 60 consecutive cases in which segmented tessellated three-dimensional heart models were merged with live fluoroscopy images and aligned using the tracheal bifurcation as a fiducial mark. The models were generated from previous MRI or CT by dedicated medical software. We chose the stereo-lithography format, as this promises advantage over volume-rendering-technique models regarding visualisation. Prospects, potential benefits, and accuracy of the two- to three-dimensional registration were rated separately by two paediatric interventionalists on a five-point Likert scale. Fluoroscopy time, radiation dose, and contrast dye consumption were evaluated. Over a 10-month study period, two- to three-dimensional image fusion was applied to 60 out of 354 cases. Of the 60 catheterisations, 73.3% were performed in the context of interventions. The accuracy of two- to three-dimensional registration was sufficient in all cases. Three-dimensional guidance was rated superior to conventional biplane imaging in all 60 cases. We registered significantly smaller amounts of used contrast dye (p<0.01), lower levels of radiation dose (p<0.02), and less fluoroscopy time (p<0.01) during interventions concerning the aortic arch compared with a control group.
Two- to three-dimensional image fusion can be applied successfully in most catheter-based interventions of CHD. Meshes in stereo-lithography format are accurate and base for standardised and reproducible three-dimensional models.
Studies with healthy participants and patients with respiratory diseases suggest a relation between respiration and mood. The aim of the present analyses was to investigate whether emotionally challenged remitted depressed participants show higher respiration pattern variability (RPV) and whether this is related to mood, clinical outcome and increased default mode network connectivity.
To challenge participants, sad mood was induced with keywords of personal negative life events in individuals with remitted depression [recurrent major depressive disorder (rMDD), n = 30] and matched healthy controls (HCs, n = 30) during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Respiration was measured by means of a built-in respiration belt. Additionally, questionnaires, a daily life assessment of mood and a 3 years follow-up were applied. For replication, we analysed RPV in an independent sample of 53 rMDD who underwent the same fMRI paradigm.
During sad mood, rMDD compared with HC showed greater RPV, with higher variability in pause duration and respiration frequency and lower expiration to inspiration ratio. Higher RPV was related to lower daily life mood and predicted higher depression scores as well as relapses during a 3-year follow-up period. Furthermore, in rMDD compared with HC higher main respiration frequency exhibited a more positive association with connectivity of the posterior cingulate cortex and the right parahippocampal gyrus.
The results suggest a relation between RPV, mood and depression on the behavioural and neural level. Based on our findings, we propose interventions focusing on respiration to be a promising additional tool in the treatment of depression.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.