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The USA is the largest consumer of legally, internationally-traded wildlife. A proportion of this trade consists of species listed in the Appendices of CITES, and recorded in the CITES Trade Database. Using this resource, we quantified wildlife entering the USA for 82 of the most frequently recorded wildlife products and a range of taxonomic groups during 1979–2014. We examined trends in legal trade and seizures of illegally traded items over time, and relationships between trade and four national measures of biodiversity. We found that: (1) there is an overall positive relationship between legal imports and seizures; (2) Asia was the main region exporting CITES-listed wildlife products to the USA; (3) bears, crocodilians and other mammals (i.e. other than Ursidae, Felidae, Cetacea, Proboscidea, Primates or Rhinocerotidae) increased in both reported legal trade and seizures over time; (4) legal trade in live specimens was reported to be primarily from captive-produced, artificially-propagated or ranched sources, whereas traded meat was primarily wild sourced; (5) both seizures and legally traded items of felids and elephants decreased over time; and (6) volumes of both legally traded and seized species were correlated with four attributes of exporting countries: species endemism, species richness, number of IUCN threatened species, and country size. The goal of our analysis was to inform CITES decision-making and species conservation efforts.
Introduction: Trauma and injury play a significant role in the population's burden of disease. Limited research exists evaluating the role of trauma bypass protocols. The objective of this study was to assess the impact and effectiveness of a newly introduced prehospital field trauma triage (FTT) standard, allowing paramedics to bypass a closer hospital and directly transport to a trauma centre (TC) provided transport times were within 30 minutes. Methods: We conducted a 12-month multi-centred health record review of paramedic call reports and emergency department health records following the implementation of the 4 step FTT standard (step 1: vital signs and level of consciousness, step 2: anatomical injury, step 3: mechanism and step 4: special considerations) in nine paramedic services across Eastern Ontario. We included adult trauma patients transported as an urgent transport to hospital, that met one of the 4 steps of the FTT standard and would allow for a bypass consideration. We developed and piloted a standardized data collection tool and obtained consensus on all data definitions. The primary outcome was the rate of appropriate triage to a TC, defined as any of the following: injury severity score ≥12, admitted to an intensive care unit, underwent non-orthopedic operation, or death. We report descriptive and univariate analysis where appropriate. Results: 570 adult patients were included with the following characteristics: mean age 48.8, male 68.9%, attended by Advanced Care Paramedic 71.8%, mechanisms of injury: MVC 20.2%, falls 29.6%, stab wounds 10.5%, median initial GCS 14, mean initial BP 132, prehospital fluid administered 26.8%, prehospital intubation 3.5%, transported to a TC 74.6%. Of those transported to a TC, 308 (72.5%) had bypassed a closer hospital prior to TC arrival. Of those that bypassed a closer hospital, 136 (44.2%) were determined to be “appropriate triage to TC”. Bypassed patients more often met the step 1 or step 2 of the standard (186, 66.9%) compared to the step 3 or step 4 (122, 39.6%). An appropriate triage to TC occurred in 104 (55.9%) patients who had met step 1 or 2 and 32 (26.2%) patients meeting step 3 or 4 of the FTT standard. Conclusion: The FTT standard can identify patients who should be bypassed and transported to a TC. However, this is at a cost of potentially burdening the system with poor sensitivity. More work is needed to develop a FTT standard that will assist paramedics in appropriately identifying patients who require a trauma centre.
Recommending nitrofurantoin to treat uncomplicated cystitis was associated with increased nitrofurantoin use from 3.53 to 4.01 prescriptions per 1,000 outpatient visits, but nitrofurantoin resistance in E. coli isolates remained stable at 2%. Concomitant levofloxacin resistance was a significant risk for nitrofurantoin resistance in E. coli isolates (odds ratio [OR], 2.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–7.17).
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
A 3-yr watermelon experiment was established in fall 2013 to evaluate cover crop, polyethylene mulch, tillage, and herbicide application components for weed control, yield, and profitability. Conservation tillage, either with a cereal rye cover crop alone or integrated with polyethylene mulch, was compared to the standard industry practice of conventional tillage with bedded polyethylene mulch. The study also used a non-bedded conventional tillage system without polyethylene to determine polyethylene and cover crop residue effects. Within each of the four systems, herbicide treatments comprised halosulfuron applied (1) at 26.3 g ai ha–1 PRE, (2) at 26.3 g ai ha–1 POST, or (3) sequentially at 26.3 g ai ha–1 PRE and POST. Each system also had a nontreated control. In addition, clethodim was applied in all plots twice POST at 140 g ai ha–1, except for nontreated in each system. In 2014, polyethylene or cereal rye cover crop effectively controlled tall morningglory, coffee senna, and carpetweed early season in nontreated plots, whereas the integration of the two was effective at controlling common purslane. Tall morningglory and purslane control was insufficient late season regardless of production system and herbicide application. In 2015, polyethylene effectively controlled cutleaf eveningprimrose, sicklepod, and arrowleaf sida early season in nontreated plots. Yellow nutsedge control was insufficient late season regardless of production system and herbicide application. Utilizing sequential halosulfuron applications did not increase weed control over PRE or POST alone in all years. Polyethylene use resulted in yields higher than systems without in all years. Across all 3 yr, net returns were highest for polyethylene mulch systems. The results of this experiment underscore the need for more progress in developing integrated conservation systems for watermelon production. Effective herbicides, low-disturbance cultivation, and/or hand weeding are most likely the key to success in conservation specialty crop systems.
Introduction: Early recognition of sepsis can improve patient outcomes yet recognition by paramedics is poor and research evaluating the use of prehospital screening tools is limited. Our objective was to evaluate the predictive validity of the Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario (RPPEO) prehospital sepsis notification tool to identify patients with sepsis and to describe and compare the characteristics of patients with an emergency department (ED) diagnosis of sepsis that are transported by paramedics. The RPPEO prehospital sepsis notification tool is comprised of 3 criteria: current infection, fever &/or history of fever and 2 or more signs of hypoperfusion (eg. SBP<90, HR 100, RR24, altered LOA). Methods: We performed a review of ambulance call records and in-hospital records over two 5-month periods between November 2014 February 2016. We enrolled a convenience sample of patients, assessed by primary and advanced care paramedics (ACPs), with a documented history of fever &/or documented fever of 38.3°C (101°F) that were transported to hospital. In-hospital management and outcomes were obtained and descriptive, t-tests, and chi-square analyses performed where appropriate. The RPPEO prehospital sepsis notification tool was compared to an ED diagnosis of sepsis. The predictive validity of the RPPEO tool was calculated (sensitivity, specificity, NPV, PPV). Results: 236 adult patients met the inclusion criteria with the following characteristics: mean age 65.2 yrs [range 18-101], male 48.7%, history of sepsis 2.1%, on antibiotics 23.3%, lowest mean systolic BP 125.9, treated by ACP 58.9%, prehospital temperature documented 32.6%. 34 (14.4%) had an ED diagnosis of sepsis. Patients with an ED diagnosis of sepsis, compared to those that did not, had a lower prehospital systolic BP (114.9 vs 127.8, p=0.003) and were more likely to have a prehospital shock index >1 (50.0% vs 21.4%, p=0.001). 44 (18.6%) patients met the RPPEO sepsis notification tool and of these, 27.3% (12/44) had an ED diagnosis of sepsis. We calculated the following predictive values of the RPPEO tool: sensitivity 35.3%, specificity 84.2%, NPV 88.5%, PPV 27.3%. Conclusion: The RPPEO prehospital sepsis notification tool demonstrated modest diagnostic accuracy. Further research is needed to improve accuracy and evaluate the impact on patient outcomes.
Objectives: Total intracranial volume (TICV) is an important control variable in brain–behavior research, yet its calculation has challenges. Manual TICV (Manual) is labor intensive, and automatic methods vary in reliability. To identify an accurate automatic approach we assessed the reliability of two FreeSurfer TICV metrics (eTIV and Brainmask) relative to manual TICV. We then assessed how these metrics alter associations between left entorhinal cortex (ERC) volume and story retention. Methods: Forty individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and 40 non-PD peers completed a brain MRI and memory testing. Manual metrics were compared to FreeSurfer’s Brainmask (a skull strip mask with total volume of gray, white, and most cerebrospinal fluid) and eTIV (calculated using the transformation matrix into Talairach space). Volumes were compared with two-way interclass correlations and dice similarity indices. Associations between ERC volume and Wechsler Memory Scale-Third Edition Logical Memory retention were examined with and without correction using each TICV method. Results: Brainmask volumes were larger and eTIV volumes smaller than Manual. Both automated metrics correlated highly with Manual. All TICV metrics explained additional variance in the ERC-Memory relationship, although none were significant. Brainmask explained slightly more variance than other methods. Conclusions: Our findings suggest Brainmask is more reliable than eTIV for TICV correction in brain-behavioral research. (JINS, 2018, 24, 206–211)
Theory and direct observation indicate that micro-organisms exist in liquid veins in ice and permafrost, provided the temperature is above the eutectic for H2O and soluble impurities present. Microbes can exist and metabolize in glacial ice and permafrost on Earth, Mars, and Europa. One can search directly (with fluorescence microscopy at liquid veins in Vostok ice core samples) or with a biologging instrument (for microbial fluorescence in a borehole in terrestrial or martian permafrost or ice). The viability lifetime against DNA destruction of bacterial spores can be measured with analytical techniques that identify calcium dipicolinate, which is unique to spores.
Limitations of access have long restricted exploration and investigation of the cavities beneath ice shelves to a small number of drillholes. Studies of sea-ice underwater morphology are limited largely to scientific utilization of submarines. Remotely operated vehicles, tethered to a mother ship by umbilical cable, have been deployed to investigate tidewater-glacier and ice-shelf margins, but their range is often restricted. The development of free-flying autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) with ranges of tens to hundreds of kilometres enables extensive missions to take place beneath sea ice and floating ice shelves. Autosub2 is a 3600 kg, 6.7 m long AUV, with a 1600 m operating depth and range of 400 km, based on the earlier Autosub1 which had a 500 m depth limit. A single direct-drive d.c. motor and five-bladed propeller produce speeds of 1–2 m s−1. Rear-mounted rudder and stern-plane control yaw, pitch and depth. The vehicle has three sections. The front and rear sections are free-flooding, built around aluminium extrusion space-frames covered with glass-fibre reinforced plastic panels. The central section has a set of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic pressure vessels. Four tubes contain batteries powering the vehicle. The other three house vehicle-control systems and sensors. The rear section houses subsystems for navigation, control actuation and propulsion and scientific sensors (e.g. digital camera, upward-looking 300 kHz acoustic Doppler current profiler, 200 kHz multibeam receiver). The front section contains forward-looking collision sensor, emergency abort, the homing systems, Argos satellite data and location transmitters and flashing lights for relocation as well as science sensors (e.g. twin conductivity–temperature–depth instruments, multibeam transmitter, sub-bottom profiler, AquaLab water sampler). Payload restrictions mean that a subset of scientific instruments is actually in place on any given dive. The scientific instruments carried on Autosub are described and examples of observational data collected from each sensor in Arctic or Antarctic waters are given (e.g. of roughness at the underside of floating ice shelves and sea ice).
Subglacial lakes beneath Antarctica’s fast-moving ice streams are known to undergo ∼1 km3 volume changes on annual timescales. Focusing on the MacAyeal Ice Stream (MacIS) lake system, we create a simple model for the response of subglacial water distribution to lake discharge events through assimilation of lake volume changes estimated from Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) laser altimetry. We construct a steady-state water transport model in which known subglacial lakes are treated as either sinks or sources depending on the ICESat-derived filling or draining rates. The modeled volume change rates of five large subglacial lakes in the downstream portion of MacIS are shown to be consistent with observed filling rates if the dynamics of all upstream lakes are considered. However, the variable filling rate of the northernmost lake suggests the presence of an undetected lake of similar size upstream. Overall, we show that, for this fast-flowing ice stream, most subglacial lakes receive >90% of their water from distant distributed sources throughout the catchment, and we confirm that water is transported from regions of net basal melt to regions of net basal freezing. Our study provides a geophysically based means of validating subglacial water models in Antarctica and is a potential way to parameterize subglacial lake discharge events in large-scale ice-sheet models where adequate data are available.
Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer a novel, timely approach for investigating the aetiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. Although we are starting to gain more insight into the specific mechanisms that cause Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, this has not resulted in therapies to slow the pathological processes. Animal models have been paramount in studying the neurobiological processes underlying psychiatric disorders. Nonetheless, these human conditions cannot be entirely recapitulated in rodents. Human cell models derived from patients’ cells now offer new hope for improving our understanding of the early molecular stages of these diseases, through to validating therapeutics. The impact of dementia is increasing, and a new model to investigate the early stages of this disease is heralded as an essential, new platform for translational research. In this paper, we review current literature using iPSCs to study Alzheimer's disease, describe drug discovery efforts using this platform, and discuss the future potential for this technology in psychiatry research.
New observations of the radio nucleus of the nearby bright spiral galaxy M81 (NGC 3031) show that the structure of the nucleus is considerably more complex than previously thought. The radio nucleus has a slightly inverted, variable spectrum (de Bruyn et al. 1976; Crane, Guffrida, and Carlson 1976). The variability and VLBI observations (Kellermann et al. 1976; Jones, Sramek, and Terzian 1981) both indicate a linear dimension of ~1500 AU. The recent VLBI observations of Bartel et al. (1982) determined that nearly 100% of the emission originates in an elongated region with linear dimensions of 1000–4000 AU. Peimbert and Torres-Peimbert (1981) have classified the optical nucleus of M81 as Seyfert type 1.5 (the weakest known) with the narrow-emission-line region extending over ~5″ (Münch 1959).
For the NASA Crustal Dynamics Project VLBI network, signals from quasars are recorded simultaneously at widely separated antennas. It is well known that hydrogen maser frequency standards provide the stable frequency reference used to precisely measure the difference in arrival time of the radio signals at the different antennas, enabling the determination of precise distances between the antennas. This paper reviews the practical requirements for maser support of VLBI for the Crustal Dynamics Project and describes the means used to meet these requirements for a network of eight fixed and three mobile stations which participate in approximately 200 VLBI experiments per year at locations in North America and the Pacific.
We present preliminary results from a study exploring the origin of Milky Way substructures, and show initial evidence of a common “kicked-out” formation mechanism for two low-latitude substructures. In this scenario, stars in these substructures formed in the disk and were subsequently “kicked-out” by an external perturbation, such as the merger of an accreted satellite, which created an oscillation in the Galactic disk. To test this origin scenario, we found the fraction of different stellar populations – M giants and RR Lyrae stars – in the Monoceros Ring (also known as GASS) and A13, supplementing a study of stellar populations in the Triangulum-Andromeda cloud. This work provides: (1) the first analysis of the GASS and A13 features based upon their stellar populations; and (2) preliminary evidence of disk stars in the Milky Way that have been relocated to the disk-halo interface due to vertical oscillations of the Milky Way’s disk.
The Schistosoma mansoni cercarial elastase (SmCE) has previously been shown to be poorly immunogenic in mice. However, a minority of mice were able to produce antibodies against SmCE after multiple immunizations with crude preparations containing the enzyme. These mice were partially protected against challenge infections of S. mansoni. In the present study, we show that in contrast to the poor immunogenicity of the enzymatically active native form of SmCE derived from a crude preparation (cercarial transformation fluid), immunization of CBA/Ca mice with two enzymatically inactive forms, namely purified native SmCE or a recombinant SmCE fused to recombinant Schistosoma japonicum glutathione S-transferase (rSmCE-SjGST), after adsorption onto aluminum hydroxide adjuvant, induced specific anti-SmCE immunoglobulin G (IgG) in all mice within 2 weeks of the second immunization. The IgG antibody response to rSmCE-SjGST was mainly of the IgG1 subclass. These results suggest that inactive forms of the antigen could be used to obtain the optimum immunogenic effects as a vaccine candidate against schistosomiasis. Mice immunized with the rSmCE-SjGST on alum had smaller mean worm burdens and lower tissue egg counts when compared with adjuvant alone- and recombinant SjGST-injected controls. The native SmCE was antigenically cross-reactive with homologous enzymes of Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma margrebowiei.
Introduction: Safety culture is defined as the shared beliefs that an organization’s employees hold relative to workplace safety. Perceptions of workplace safety culture within paramedic services have been shown to be associated with patient and provider safety outcomes as well as safe work practices. We sought to characterize paramedics’ perceptions of the organizational safety culture across Eastern Ontario, Canada to provide important benchmarking data to evaluate future quality initiatives. Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey study conducted September 2015-January 2016 in 7 paramedic services across Eastern Ontario. We distributed an abridged version of Patterson’s previously published EMS-SAQ survey, measuring six domains of workplace safety culture, to 1,066 paramedics during continuing medical education sessions. The questions were presented for rating on a 5 point Likert scale (1=strongly agree, 5= strongly disagree) and a response of 1 or 2 was considered a ‘positive perception’ response. We present descriptive statistics and chi-square tests where appropriate. Results: We received responses from 1,041 paramedics (97.6%), with a response rate varying between 88.0% and 100% across the 8 paramedic services. One third (33.6%) were Advanced Care Paramedics (ACPs) and 39.4% of paramedics had more than 10 years’ experience. The percentage of positive responses for each domain were: Safety Climate 31.2% (95% CI 28.4-34.1), Teamwork Climate 29.3% (95% CI 26.6-32.1), Stress Recognition 56.8% (95% CI 53.8-59.8), Perceptions of Management 67.0% (95% CI 64.0-69.8), Working Conditions 42.6% (95% CI 39.6-45.7), Job Satisfaction 41.6% (95% CI 38.6-44.6). Primary care paramedics had more positive perception responses for Job Satisfaction (45% vs 35%, p=0.002), whereas ACPs had more positive perception responses for Stress Recognition (61.5% vs 54.1%, p=0.022). No association was found between gender or years of experience and a positive perception of any safety domain. Conclusion: The results provide valuable workplace safety culture data that will be used to target and evaluate needed quality improvement initiatives while also raising some awareness to paramedics of important factors related to patient and provider safety.
This study examined the response of forage crops to composted dairy waste (compost) applied at low rates and investigated effects on soil health. The evenness of spreading compost by commercial machinery was also assessed. An experiment was established on a commercial dairy farm with target rates of compost up to 5 t ha−1 applied to a field containing millet [Echinochloa esculenta (A. Braun) H. Scholz] and Pasja leafy turnip (Brassica hybrid). A pot experiment was also conducted to monitor the response of a legume forage crop (vetch; Vicia sativa L.) on three soils with equivalent rates of compost up to 20 t ha−1 with and without ‘additive blends’ comprising gypsum, lime or other soil treatments. Few significant increases in forage biomass were observed with the application of low rates of compost in either the field or pot experiment. In the field experiment, compost had little impact on crop herbage mineral composition, soil chemical attributes or soil fungal and bacterial biomass. However, small but significant increases were observed in gravimetric water content resulting in up to 22.4 mm of additional plant available water calculated in the surface 0.45 m of soil, 2 years after compost was applied in the field at 6 t ha−1 dried (7.2 t ha−1 undried), compared with the nil control. In the pot experiment, where the soil was homogenized and compost incorporated into the soil prior to sowing, there were significant differences in mineral composition in herbage and in soil. A response in biomass yield to compost was only observed on the sandier and lower fertility soil type, and yields only exceeded that of the conventional fertilizer treatment where rates equivalent to 20 t ha−1 were applied. With few yield responses observed, the justification for applying low rates of compost to forage crops and pastures seems uncertain. Our collective experience from the field and the glasshouse suggests that farmers might increase the response to compost by: (i) increasing compost application rates; (ii) applying it prior to sowing a crop; (iii) incorporating the compost into the soil; (iv) applying only to responsive soil types; (v) growing only responsive crops; and (vi) reducing weed burdens in crops following application. Commercial machinery incorporating a centrifugal twin disc mechanism was shown to deliver double the quantity of compost in the area immediately behind the spreader compared with the edges of the spreading swathe. Spatial variability in the delivery of compost could be reduced but not eliminated by increased overlapping, but this might represent a potential 20% increase in spreading costs.