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Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
Recombined milks manufactured from milk powders made from milk produced by b-lactoglobulin (b-LG) AA phenotype cows were not suitable for processing into ultra-heat-treated (UHT) milk products as these milks rapidly fouled heat exchanger surfaces when compared with standard mixed b-LG variant milk. Recombined milks manufactured from powders from b-LG BB phenotype milk generally gave low fouling rates upon UHT treatment and in some cases gave almost negligible fouling of UHT heat exchanger surfaces. Fresh milk from b-LG AA phenotype cows fouled evaporator preheaters more rapidly than standard milk, whereas fresh milk produced from b-LG BB phenotype cows fouled evaporator preheaters less rapidly than standard milk. Recombined milks manufactured from powders made with milk from k-casein (k-CN) BB phenotype cows fouled heat exchanger surfaces more rapidly than recombined milks manufactured from powders from milk from k-CN AA phenotype cows.
Rates of genetic improvement in dairy cattle breeding programmes have increased substantially in the last decade, not only in Europe where there has been substantial immigration of North American stock. More accurate statistical evaluation procedures, including the use of best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) with the animal model, have been introduced; higher selection intensities have been achieved, particularly on production traits, through better organized and focused schemes; and developments in multiple ovulation and embryo transfer (MOET) have been both a stimulus and to some extent a cause. Continued rapid improvement can be expected as research and development enables more accurate and timely use to be made of recording data, because there is evidence that heritability values for milk production are rising, perhaps because of better cow management, and as competition among breeders internationally increases. There are a number of consequent challenges to geneticists and breeders. Attention will have to be given to maintaining the fitness of very high producing animals by recording health, fertility, longevity and parlour traits, and using the results of research to give them appropriate weight in selection decisions. Developments in molecular methods and in reproductive technologies present new opportunities, but are unlikely to do more for some time than complement progress from conventional selection on the important production traits.
The major selection criterion in the turkey breeding industry is increased breast muscle and body weight in order to adapt to market demands. In female lines a dual selection for both body weight and egg production is performed. However, most published estimates indicate a variable correlation between growth and egg number (Nestor et al., 1996) and so the challenge posed is how to best to select for those opposing goals. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of simultaneous selection for body weight and egg number by estimating the genetic parameters for a research population held by a commercial company in two different locations.
Due to their extremely small luminosity compared to the stars they orbit, planets outside our own Solar System are extraordinarily difficult to detect directly in optical light. Careful photometric monitoring of distant stars, however, can reveal the presence of exoplanets via the microlensing or eclipsing effects they induce. The international PLANET collaboration is performing such monitoring using a cadre of semi-dedicated telescopes around the world. Their results constrain the number of gas giants orbiting 1–7 AU from the most typical stars in the Galaxy. Upgrades in the program are opening regions of “exoplanet discovery space” – toward smaller masses and larger orbital radii – that are inaccessible to the Doppler velocity technique.
Terrestrial gastropods are problematical for radiocarbon (14C) measurement because they tend to incorporate carbon from ancient sources as a result of their dietary behavior. The 14C ecology of the pulmonate land snail, Helix melanostoma in Cyrenaica, northeastern Libya, was investigated as part of a wider study on the potential of using terrestrial mollusk shell for 14C dating of archaeological deposits. H. melanostoma was selected out of the species available in the region as it has the most predictable 14C ecology and also had a ubiquitous presence within the local archaeology. The ecological observations indicate that H. melanostoma has a very homogenous 14C ecology with consistent variations in F14C across sample sites controlled by availability of dietary vegetation. The majority of dated specimens from non-urbanized sample locations have only a small old-carbon effect, weighted mean of 476±48 14C yr, with between ~1% and 9% of dietary F14C from non-organic carbonate sources. Observed instabilities in the 14C ecology can all be attributed to the results of intense human activity not present before the Roman Period. Therefore, H. melanostoma and species with similar ecological behavior are suitable for 14C dating of archaeological and geological deposits with the use of a suitable offset.
Studies have demonstrated that the effects of two well-known predictors of adolescent substance use, family monitoring and antisocial peers, are not static but change over the course of adolescence. Moreover, these effects may differ for different groups of youth. The current study uses time-varying effect modeling to examine the changes in the association between family monitoring and antisocial peers and marijuana use from ages 11 to 19, and to compare these associations by gender and levels of behavioral disinhibition. Data are drawn from the Raising Healthy Children study, a longitudinal panel of 1,040 youth. The strength of association between family monitoring and antisocial peers and marijuana use was mostly steady over adolescence, and was greater for girls than for boys. Differences in the strength of the association were also evident by levels of behavioral disinhibition: youth with lower levels of disinhibition were more susceptible to the influence of parents and peers. Stronger influence of family monitoring on girls and less disinhibited youth was most evident in middle adolescence, whereas the stronger effect of antisocial peers was significant during middle and late adolescence. Implications for the timing and targeting of marijuana preventive interventions are discussed.
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.
We present an analysis of wide-field, far-ultraviolet images of the LMC and SMC obtained by the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope. The photometric catalog of over 37,000 stars allows us to make large-scale, statistical studies of massive star formation in OB associations and in the field population. Our results show that: (1) the most probable slope for the initial mass function (IMF) of field stars is Γ = −1.80, slightly steeper than the Salpeter slope; and (2) there doesn't seem to be a single, unique IMF slope for stars in OB associations, with a range of values from Γ = −1.0 to −2.0. We also analyze the stellar vs. diffuse UV flux, and the population of OB star candidates in the field.
The aim of this study was to contribute to the better understanding of the relative epidemiological importance of different modes of infection with respect to horizontal transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in endemic settings. We investigated the prevalence of salivary IgA against a sporozoite-specific embryogenesis-related protein (TgERP) in a highly endemic area for toxoplasmosis in Brazil in order to pinpoint parasite transmission via oocysts. Prevalence calculated by salivary IgA specific to TgERP was compared to the prevalence calculated by serum IgG against both TgERP and tachyzoites (in conventional serological tests). Prevalence calculated by different serological and salivary parameters varied in the studied age groups. However, for the 15–21 years age group, values for T. gondii prevalence estimated by conventional serological tests and by anti-TgERP salivary IgA were similar; i.e. 68·7% and 66·6% or 66·7%, respectively, using two different cut-off parameters for salivary IgA anti-TgERP. Furthermore, salivary IgA anti-TgERP for this age group presented the highest specificity (93·33%), sensitivity (93·94%), and likelihood (14·09) compared to all the other age groups. These data demonstrate the importance of age for salivary IgA investigation against TgERP to estimate the mode of T. gondii transmission in endemic settings.
This is the last triennial report of Commission 42 for this millennium. A great deal has been accomplished in the study of Close Binary Stars (CBS) since the discovery of the first close (eclipsing) binary, Algol, in 1783 by John Goodricke. Now, over 10,000 CBS (most eclipsing variables) are known. More than 5000 of these CBS were discovered over the last several years alone! And many more are expected to be detected over the next few years. Most of these stars were found as spin-offs of microlensing surveys. Interestingly, nearly half of these stars are found outside our Galaxy, primarily in the Magellanic Clouds and M31. Every type of star is represented as a member of a close binary. These include main sequence (as well as pre-main sequence) stars, giants, and supergiants, with the entire possible range of of spectral types and masses represented. Moreover, “dying” stars and “dead” stars, such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, and, more recently, even brown dwarfs and giant planets (e.g., 51 Peg) have been found as members of close binary systems.
A linked submillimeter-wave interferometer using the CSO 10.4 m and the JCMT 15 m telescopes located on Mauna Kea at an elevation of 4200 m, has been built and tested successfully. The capabilities of the instrument and an outline of the type of observations that can be made with a single, fixed-baseline interferometer are given. In particular, an experiment to detect gas infalling onto low-mass protostellar sources is proposed. The design of the instrument is described briefly and the successful results of the first tests are summarized.
The first observations by a worldwide network of advanced interferometric gravitational wave detectors offer a unique opportunity for the astronomical community. At design sensitivity, these facilities will be able to detect coalescing binary neutron stars to distances approaching 400 Mpc, and neutron star–black hole systems to 1 Gpc. Both of these sources are associated with gamma-ray bursts which are known to emit across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Gravitational wave detections provide the opportunity for ‘multi-messenger’ observations, combining gravitational wave with electromagnetic, cosmic ray, or neutrino observations. This review provides an overview of how Australian astronomical facilities and collaborations with the gravitational wave community can contribute to this new era of discovery, via contemporaneous follow-up observations from the radio to the optical and high energy. We discuss some of the frontier discoveries that will be made possible when this new window to the Universe is opened.
Considerable research has documented that exposure to traumatic events has negative effects on physical and mental health. Much less research has examined the predictors of traumatic event exposure. Increased understanding of risk factors for exposure to traumatic events could be of considerable value in targeting preventive interventions and anticipating service needs.
General population surveys in 24 countries with a combined sample of 68 894 adult respondents across six continents assessed exposure to 29 traumatic event types. Differences in prevalence were examined with cross-tabulations. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine whether traumatic event types clustered into interpretable factors. Survival analysis was carried out to examine associations of sociodemographic characteristics and prior traumatic events with subsequent exposure.
Over 70% of respondents reported a traumatic event; 30.5% were exposed to four or more. Five types – witnessing death or serious injury, the unexpected death of a loved one, being mugged, being in a life-threatening automobile accident, and experiencing a life-threatening illness or injury – accounted for over half of all exposures. Exposure varied by country, sociodemographics and history of prior traumatic events. Being married was the most consistent protective factor. Exposure to interpersonal violence had the strongest associations with subsequent traumatic events.
Given the near ubiquity of exposure, limited resources may best be dedicated to those that are more likely to be further exposed such as victims of interpersonal violence. Identifying mechanisms that account for the associations of prior interpersonal violence with subsequent trauma is critical to develop interventions to prevent revictimization.
Although interventions exist to reduce violent crime, optimal implementation requires accurate targeting. We report the results of an attempt to develop an actuarial model using machine learning methods to predict future violent crimes among US Army soldiers.
A consolidated administrative database for all 975 057 soldiers in the US Army in 2004–2009 was created in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS). Of these soldiers, 5771 committed a first founded major physical violent crime (murder-manslaughter, kidnapping, aggravated arson, aggravated assault, robbery) over that time period. Temporally prior administrative records measuring socio-demographic, Army career, criminal justice, medical/pharmacy, and contextual variables were used to build an actuarial model for these crimes separately among men and women using machine learning methods (cross-validated stepwise regression, random forests, penalized regressions). The model was then validated in an independent 2011–2013 sample.
Key predictors were indicators of disadvantaged social/socioeconomic status, early career stage, prior crime, and mental disorder treatment. Area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve was 0.80–0.82 in 2004–2009 and 0.77 in the 2011–2013 validation sample. Of all administratively recorded crimes, 36.2–33.1% (male-female) were committed by the 5% of soldiers having the highest predicted risk in 2004–2009 and an even higher proportion (50.5%) in the 2011–2013 validation sample.
Although these results suggest that the models could be used to target soldiers at high risk of violent crime perpetration for preventive interventions, final implementation decisions would require further validation and weighing of predicted effectiveness against intervention costs and competing risks.
In the United States alone, ∼14,000 children are hospitalised annually with acute heart failure. The science and art of caring for these patients continues to evolve. The International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was held on February 4 and 5, 2015. The 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was funded through the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program Endowment, a philanthropic collaboration between All Children’s Hospital and the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF). Sponsored by All Children’s Hospital Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program, the International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit assembled leaders in clinical and scientific disciplines related to paediatric heart failure and created a multi-disciplinary “think-tank”. The purpose of this manuscript is to summarise the lessons from the 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute, to describe the “state of the art” of the treatment of paediatric cardiac failure, and to discuss future directions for research in the domain of paediatric cardiac failure.
Migrations of most animal taxa are declining as a result of anthropogenic pressures and land-use transformation. Here, we document and characterize a previously unknown multi-country migration of Burchell's zebra Equus quagga that is the longest of all recorded large mammal migrations in Africa. Our data from eight adult female zebras collared on the border of Namibia and Botswana show that in December 2012 all individuals crossed the Chobe River and moved due south to Nxai Pan National Park in Botswana, where they spent a mean duration of 10 weeks before returning, less directly, to their dry season floodplain habitat. The same southward movements were also observed in December 2013. Nxai Pan appeared to have similar environmental conditions to several possible alternative wet season destinations that were closer to the dry season habitat on the Chobe River, and water availability, but not habitat or vegetation biomass, was associated with higher-use areas along the migratory pathway. These results suggest a genetic and/or cultural basis for the choice of migration destination, rather than an environmental one. Regardless of the cause, the round-trip, straight-line migration distance of 500 km is greater than that covered by wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus during their well-known seasonal journey in the Serengeti ecosystem. It merits conservation attention, given the decline of large-scale ecological processes such as animal migrations.