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Research into the gut microbiota of human infants is necessary in order to better understand how inter-species interactions and ecological succession shape the diversity of the gut microbiota, and in turn, how the specific composition of the gut microbiota impacts on host health both during infancy and in later years. Blastocystis is a ubiquitous intestinal protist that has been linked to a number of intestinal and extra-intestinal diseases. However, emerging data show that asymptomatic carriage is common and that Blastocystis is prevalent in the healthy adult gut microbiota. Nonetheless, little is known about the prevalence and diversity of this microorganism in the healthy infant gut, including when and how individuals become colonized by Blastocystis. Here, we surveyed the prevalence and diversity of Blastocystis in an infant population (n = 59) from an industrialized country (Ireland) using Blastocystis-specific primers at three or more time-points up to 24 months old. Only three infants were positive for Blastocystis (prevalence = 5%) and this was only noted for samples collected at month 24. This rate is comparatively low relative to previously reported prevalence rates in the contemporaneous adult population. These data suggest that infants in Westernized countries that are successfully colonized by Blastocystis most likely acquire this microorganism via horizontal transfer.
Previous work has shown that dimensional information derived from visual images can be used to accurately estimate pig growth, in terms of size and shape (Doeschl et al, 2004). The use of visual images to derive accurate estimates of weight could be very useful information in the commercial environment within and across the livestock industries. The objective of the current study was to examine a small number of digital images of finished beef cattle to ascertain if digital image analysis (DIA) has potential to predict the liveweight (LW) of the animals at slaughter.
Using a combination of satellite sensors, field measurements and satellite-uplinked in situ observing stations, we examine the evolution of several large icebergs drifting east of the Antarctic Peninsula towards South Georgia Island. Three styles of calving are observed during drift: ‘rift calvings’, ‘edge wasting’ and ‘rapid disintegration’. Rift calvings exploit large pre-existing fractures generated in the shelf environment and can occur at any stage of drift. Edge wasting is calving of the iceberg perimeter by numerous small edge-parallel, sliver-shaped icebergs, preserving the general shape of the main iceberg as it shrinks. This process is observed only in areas north of the sea-ice edge. Rapid disintegration, where numerous small calvings occur in rapid succession, is consistently associated with indications of surface melt saturation (surface lakes, firn-pit ponding). Freeboard measurements by ICESat indicate substantial increases in ice-thinning rates north of the sea-ice edge (from <10 m a−1 to >30 m a−1), but surface densification is shown to be an important correction (>2 m freeboard loss before the firn saturates). Edge wasting of icebergs in ‘warm’ surface water (sea-ice-free, >−1.8°C) implies a mechanism based on waterline erosion. Rapid disintegration (‘Larsen B-style’ break-up) is likely due to the effects of surface or saturated-firn water acting on pre-existing crevasses, or on wave- or tidally induced fractures. Changes in microwave backscatter of iceberg firn as icebergs drift into warmer climate and experience increased surface melt suggest a means of predicting when floating ice plates are evolving towards disintegration.
A clean hot-water drill was used to gain access to Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW) in late January 2013 as part of the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project. Over 3 days, we deployed an array of scientific tools through the SLW borehole: a downhole camera, a conductivity–temperature–depth (CTD) probe, a Niskin water sampler, an in situ filtration unit, three different sediment corers, a geothermal probe and a geophysical sensor string. Our observations confirm the existence of a subglacial water reservoir whose presence was previously inferred from satellite altimetry and surface geophysics. Subglacial water is about two orders of magnitude less saline than sea water (0.37–0.41 psu vs 35 psu) and two orders of magnitude more saline than pure drill meltwater (<0.002 psu). It reaches a minimum temperature of –0.55~C, consistent with depression of the freezing point by 7.019 MPa of water pressure. Subglacial water was turbid and remained turbid following filtration through 0.45 µm filters. The recovered sediment cores, which sampled down to 0.8 m below the lake bottom, contained a macroscopically structureless diamicton with shear strength between 2 and 6 kPa. Our main operational recommendation for future subglacial access through water-filled boreholes is to supply enough heat to the top of the borehole to keep it from freezing.
The Middle Jurassic is a poorly sampled time interval for non-pelagic neosuchian crocodyliforms, which obscures our understanding of the origin and early evolution of major clades. Here we report a lower jaw from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) Duntulm Formation of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK, which consists of an isolated and incomplete left dentary and part of the splenial. Morphologically, the Skye specimen closely resembles the Cretaceous neosuchians Pachycheilosuchus and Pietraroiasuchus, in having a proportionally short mandibular symphysis, shallow dentary alveoli and inferred weakly heterodont dentition. It differs from other crocodyliforms in that the Meckelian canal is dorsoventrally expanded posterior to the mandibular symphysis and drastically constricted at the 7th alveolus. The new specimen, together with the presence of Theriosuchus sp. from the Valtos Formation and indeterminate neosuchians from the Kilmaluag Formation, indicates the presence of a previously unrecognised, diverse crocodyliform fauna in the Middle Jurassic of Skye, and Europe more generally. Small-bodied neosuchians were present, and ecologically and taxonomically diverse, in nearshore environments in the Middle Jurassic of the UK.
Push-morainal banks at the grounding lines of tidewater termini of temperate glaciers are the source of two types of restraining forces operating at the glacier terminus. Horizontal normal forces derive from the lateral support and transport of the bank of sediment at the terminus, whereas a horizontal shear force operates along the base of a bank pushed in front of an advancing glacier. The simple model we present suggests that bank-related restraining forces are significantly larger than the restraining force derived from the hydrostatic pressure of water adjacent to the submerged terminus of a glacier. During glacier advance, restraining forces continually increase, resulting in decreasing flow rates, glacier thickening and the eventual cessation of advance. During retreat, restraining forces continually decrease, resulting in increasing flow rates, glacier thinning and the potential for unstable, rapid, sustained retreat. The normal, seasonal, oscillatory advance retreat cycle of a glacier is moderated by restraining forces associated with push moraines. Unstable retreat is likely initiated when bank-related restraining forces fall below some threshold value during the seasonal retreat cycle. Calving is not a primary cause of glacier retreat, but is more likely a short-term response to increased flow rates. Increased flow rates result in glacier thinning and an approach toward buoyancy, both of which fluctuate seasonally in accordance with bank-related restraining forces.
Accurate models of X-ray absorption and re-emission in partly stripped ions are necessary to calculate the structure of stars, the performance of hohlraums for inertial confinement fusion and many other systems in high-energy-density plasma physics. Despite theoretical progress, a persistent discrepancy exists with recent experiments at the Sandia Z facility studying iron in conditions characteristic of the solar radiative–convective transition region. The increased iron opacity measured at Z could help resolve a longstanding issue with the standard solar model, but requires a radical departure for opacity theory. To replicate the Z measurements, an opacity experiment has been designed for the National Facility (NIF). The design uses established techniques scaled to NIF. A laser-heated hohlraum will produce X-ray-heated uniform iron plasmas in local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) at temperatures
eV and electron densities
. The iron will be probed using continuum X-rays emitted in a
diameter source from a 2 mm diameter polystyrene (CH) capsule implosion. In this design,
of the NIF beams deliver 500 kJ to the
mm diameter hohlraum, and the remaining
directly drive the CH capsule with 200 kJ. Calculations indicate this capsule backlighter should outshine the iron sample, delivering a point-projection transmission opacity measurement to a time-integrated X-ray spectrometer viewing down the hohlraum axis. Preliminary experiments to develop the backlighter and hohlraum are underway, informing simulated measurements to guide the final design.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
Following implementation of automatic end dates for antimicrobial orders to facilitate antimicrobial stewardship at a large, academic children’s hospital, no differences were observed in patient mortality, length of stay, or readmission rates, even among patients with documented bacteremia.
Hospitalized influenza patients are often treated with antibiotics empirically while awaiting final diagnosis. The goal of this study was to describe the inappropriate continuation of antibiotics for influenza respiratory tract infections (RTIs).
We retrospectively studied adults admitted to our institution over 2 respiratory flu seasons with positive influenza RTIs. Inappropriate antibiotic duration (IAD) was defined as antibiotic use for >24 hours after a positive influenza test in patients presenting with <72 hours of RTI symptoms and with no other indications of bacterial infection.
During the study period, 322 patients included in this study were admitted for influenza RTI. Respiratory cultures were ordered for 50 of these patients (15.5%) and 71 patients (22%) had a positive chest x-ray, but antibiotics were prescribed to 211 patients (65.5%) on admission. Antibiotics were inappropriately continued in 73 patients (34.5%). Patients receiving IAD had a longer length of stay (LOS) (median, 6 days; range, 4–9 days) compared with those whose antibiotics were discontinued appropriately (median, 5 days; range, 3–8 days) and those who were not treated with antibiotics (median, 4 days; range, 3–6 days; P<.001). However, mortality was similar among these 3 groups: 3 patients (4.1%) from the IAD cohort died; 6 patients (4.3%) from the group with an appropriate antibiotic duration died; and 2 patients [1.8%] from the group given no antibiotics died (P=.510). The 30-day readmission rates were similar as well: 9 patients (12.3%) from the IAD group were readmitted within 30 days; 21 patients (15.2%) from the group with appropriate antibiotic duration were readmitted; and 11 patients (9.9%) from the group given no antibiotics were readmitted (P=.455). Total hospital costs were greater in patients treated with IAD ($10,645; range, $6,485–$18,035) compared with the group treated with appropriate antibiotic duration ($7,479; range, $4,866–$12,922) and the group given no antibiotics $5,961 (range, $4,711–$9,575). Thus, the hospital experienced a median loss in net hospital revenue of $2,076 per IAD patient compared with a patient for which antibiotic duration was appropriate.
The majority of patients with influenza RTI received antibiotics on admission, and 34.5% were inappropriately continued on antibiotics without evidence of bacterial infection, which led to increased LOS, loss of net revenue, and no improvement in outcome. Thus, stewardship initiatives aimed at this population are warranted.
The aim of this study was to examine the population structure, transmission and spatial relationship between genotypes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Campylobacter jejuni, on 20 dairy farms in a defined catchment. Pooled faecal samples (n = 72) obtained from 288 calves were analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR) for E. coli serotypes O26, O103, O111, O145 and O157. The number of samples positive for E. coli O26 (30/72) was high compared to E. coli O103 (7/72), O145 (3/72), O157 (2/72) and O111 (0/72). Eighteen E. coli O26 and 53 C. jejuni isolates were recovered from samples by bacterial culture. E. coli O26 and C. jejuni isolates were genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing, respectively. All E. coli O26 isolates could be divided into four clusters and the results indicated that E. coli O26 isolates recovered from calves on the same farm were more similar than isolates recovered from different farms in the catchment. There were 11 different sequence types of C. jejuni isolated from the cattle and 22 from water. An analysis of the population structure of C. jejuni isolated from cattle provided evidence of clustering of genotypes within farms, and among groups of farms separated by road boundaries.
Long-acting injectable formulations of antipsychotics are treatment alternatives to oral agents.
To assess the efficacy of aripiprazole once-monthly compared with oral aripiprazole for maintenance treatment of schizophrenia.
A 38-week, double-blind, active-controlled, non-inferiority study; randomisation (2:2:1) to aripiprazole once-monthly 400 mg, oral aripiprazole (10–30 mg/day) or aripiprazole once-monthly 50mg (a dose below the therapeutic threshold for assay sensitivity). (Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00706654.)
A total of 1118 patients were screened, and 662 responders to oral aripiprazole were randomised. Kaplan–Meier estimated impending relapse rates at week 26 were 7.12% for aripiprazole once-monthly 400mg and 7.76% for oral aripiprazole. This difference (−0.64%, 95% CI −5.26 to 3.99) excluded the predefined non-inferiority margin of 11.5%. Treatments were superior to aripiprazole once-monthly 50mg (21.80%, P⩽0.001).
Aripiprazole once-monthly 400mg was non-inferior to oral aripiprazole, and the reduction in Kaplan–Meier estimated impending relapse rate at week 26 was statistically significant v. aripiprazole once-monthly 50 mg.
To investigate rates of septorhinoplasty and rhinoplasty in Scotland between 2006 and 2010, and to establish the impact of government legislation.
Data on the rates of rhinoplasty and septorhinoplasty were collected and analysed according to specialty, region and year.
In 2006, 754 septorhinoplasty and rhinoplasty cases were recorded (147 per million population), rising to 893 (171 per million population) in 2010. Mean annual rates per million population were 152 (87 per cent of procedures) in ENT, 13.9 (8 per cent) in plastic surgery and 8.7 (8 per cent) in oromaxillofacial surgery. After 2009, there was a 43 per cent reduction in the rhinoplasty rate (p < 0.0001), although the oromaxillofacial surgery rate increased by 68 per cent (p < 0.05). Over the same period, the septorhinoplasty rate increased in ENT (46 per cent, p < 0.0001), and declined in plastic surgery (24 per cent, p = 0.49) and oromaxillofacial surgery (45 per cent, p = 0.05). Overall, the rate for rhinoplasty plus septorhinoplasty only declined by 1 per cent. There was significant regional variation.
Overall, septorhinoplasty rates have increased and rhinoplasty rates have decreased. There was only a 1 per cent decrease in the overall rate following the 2009 legislation. Practice differs between regions.
Much has been written about the molecular revolution in phylogenetics and the ongoing conflict between molecules and morphology (Hillis 1987; Patterson 1987; Springer et al. 2004). With reference to therian mammals at least, the supposed conflict has been largely overblown: there is in fact general agreement between the two data sources, something unfortunately overshadowed by a handful of persistent ‘problem children’. The taxonomic content of most mammalian orders and other traditional higher-level taxa originally proposed purely on the basis of morphology has remained unscathed by the application of molecular sequence analysis. Even within these taxa, conflicts between molecular and morphological hypotheses of relationships are comparatively rare and usually relatively minor. For instance, a comparative study within Carnivora (Bininda-Emonds, 2000) revealed that most data sources and methods of analysis pointed at the same general solution, a few admittedly problematic taxa (e.g. Felidae) notwithstanding. In the end, the frequency and nature of disagreements over tree topology is arguably of the same order of magnitude within the separate spheres of molecular and morphological systematics as it is between them (Patterson et al. 1993). In many ways, the situation in mammals parallels that in vertebrates, where a fairly robust tree including gnathostomes, actinopterygians, sarcopterygians, tetrapods, amniotes and diapsids (among many other groups) has been supported by comparative anatomy since the 1800s (Asher and Müller, this volume).
Instead, many of the more celebrated conflicts in mammals tend to represent a lack of information, especially on the morphological side. The evolutionary tree of eutherian mammals presented by Novacek (1992), which exemplified the state-of-the-art morphological opinion at the time, is conspicuous today not for being very wrong (although some clades within it have been overturned by molecular information), but for its lack of resolution. Insectivora was long recognized to be a taxonomic wastebasket for any small brown mammal with sharp teeth that wasn't a rodent and couldn't fly.