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Introduced species can have strong ecological, social and economic effects on their non-native environment. Introductions of megafaunal species are rare and may contribute to rewilding efforts, but they may also have pronounced socio-ecological effects because of their scale of influence. A recent introduction of the hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius into Colombia is a novel introduction of a megaherbivore onto a new continent, and raises questions about the future dynamics of the socio-ecological system into which it has been introduced. Here we synthesize current knowledge about the Colombian hippopotamus population, review the literature on the species to predict potential ecological and socio-economic effects of this introduction, and make recommendations for future study. Hippopotamuses can have high population growth rates (7–11%) and, on the current trajectory, we predict there could be 400–800 individuals in Colombia by 2050. The hippopotamus is an ecosystem engineer that can have profound effects on terrestrial and aquatic environments and could therefore affect the native biodiversity of the Magdalena River basin. Hippopotamuses are also aggressive and may pose a threat to the many inhabitants of the region who rely upon the Magdalena River for their livelihoods, although the species could provide economic benefits through tourism. Further research is needed to quantify the current and future size and distribution of this hippopotamus population and to predict the likely ecological, social and economic effects. This knowledge must be balanced with consideration of social and cultural concerns to develop appropriate management strategies for this novel introduction.
The present research was aimed to study the degradation of 2-Chlorophenol through the use of bismuth molybdate (γ-Bi2MoO6) structures supported on graphene oxide (GO) which is intended to control the recombination of charge carriers. γ-Bi2MoO6/GO systems were doped with nitrogen via chemical reaction, to reduce their energy gap, improving their photocatalytic activity. Structural and physicochemical characterization of the resulting catalysts were performed using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and UV-Vis. The obtained compounds show good photo catalytic performance when using visible energy to degrade 2-Chlorophenol, obtaining 80% of degradation in 65 min.
One of the key factors to improve swine production sustainability is the use of agro-industrial by-products in feeds, such as olive by-products. However, it is necessary to assess its effects on the overall production process, including the animal and the environment. With this aim, an experiment was conducted to determine the effects of including a partially defatted olive cake (PDOC) in pig diets on growth performance, faecal microbiota, carcass quality and gas emission from the slurry. Two finishing diets were formulated, a control (C) diet and a diet with PDOC included at 120 g/kg. Eighty finishing male pigs Duroc-Danbred × (Landrace × Large White) of 60.4 ± 7.00 kg BW were divided between these two treatments. During the finishing period (60 to 110 kg BW, 55 days) average daily gain, average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio were recorded. Faecal samples from the rectum of 16 animals per treatment were incubated for bacteria enumeration. At the end of finishing period, backfat thickness and loin depth (LD) were measured. Animals were slaughtered to obtain carcass weight and carcass composition parameters, and subcutaneous fat was sampled to analyse the fatty acid (FA) profile. In addition greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions were measured during pig slurry storage using the methodology of dynamic flux chambers. An initial slurry characterisation and biochemical methane potential (B0) were also determined. No significant differences between treatments were found in performance, carcass quality and microbial counts with the exception of LD, which was lower in PDOC compared with C animals (45.5 v. 47.5 mm, SEM: 0.62; P = 0.020). The FA profile of the subcutaneous fat did not differ between treatments, but the monounsaturated FA (MUFA) concentration was higher and the polyunsaturated FA was lower in the animals fed PDOC (50.9 v. 48.3, SEM: 0.48, P < 0.001; 17.6 v. 19.3, SEM: 0.30, P < 0.001 in mg/100 g of Total FA, for PDOC and C animals, respectively). The initial pig slurry characterisation only showed differences in ADF concentration that was higher (P < 0.05) in the slurry from PDOC treatment. Regarding gas emission, slurries from both treatments emitted similar amounts of ammonia (NH3), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as B0 values. The results obtained suggest that PDOC may be included in balanced pig diets at rates of up to 120 g/kg without negative effects on performance, carcass quality, gut microflora and slurry gas emission, while improving the MUFA concentration of subcutaneous fat.
First-degree relatives of patients with psychotic disorder have higher levels of polygenic risk (PRS) for schizophrenia and higher levels of intermediate phenotypes.
We conducted, using two different samples for discovery (n = 336 controls and 649 siblings of patients with psychotic disorder) and replication (n = 1208 controls and 1106 siblings), an analysis of association between PRS on the one hand and psychopathological and cognitive intermediate phenotypes of schizophrenia on the other in a sample at average genetic risk (healthy controls) and a sample at higher than average risk (healthy siblings of patients). Two subthreshold psychosis phenotypes, as well as a standardised measure of cognitive ability, based on a short version of the WAIS-III short form, were used. In addition, a measure of jumping to conclusion bias (replication sample only) was tested for association with PRS.
In both discovery and replication sample, evidence for an association between PRS and subthreshold psychosis phenotypes was observed in the relatives of patients, whereas in the controls no association was observed. Jumping to conclusion bias was similarly only associated with PRS in the sibling group. Cognitive ability was weakly negatively and non-significantly associated with PRS in both the sibling and the control group.
The degree of endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk depends on having a sibling with psychotic disorder, suggestive of underlying gene–environment interaction. Cognitive biases may better index genetic risk of disorder than traditional measures of neurocognition, which instead may reflect the population distribution of cognitive ability impacting the prognosis of psychotic disorder.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The purpose of this study was to examine contextual factors (empowerment, ownership, and accountability) that facilitate and promote exploration and exploitation behavior. Data were obtained from an American manufacturing company using employee and supervisor surveys (n = 297). Findings indicate that empowerment improved exploitation and that when employees perceived they would have to be accountable for their actions, employees who felt empowered showed lower gains in exploration behaviors compared with those who felt less empowered; in contrast, those having feelings of ownership exhibited higher gains in exploration behavior than those who scored low in ownership. Although ownership was theorized to have a positive effect on exploitative behavior, we found evidence for its negative effects instead. We contribute to the limited individual-level ambidexterity literature by providing empirical evidence on the effects of contextual factors on ambidextrous behavior. This knowledge could help firms better manage employee behavior and implement effective supervisory oversight.
A completely randomized experiment was designed to evaluate the effects of α-amylase (AMY) and glucoamylase (GLU) on total losses, fermentative profile, chemical composition and amylolytic activity of rehydrated maize. Eighty-four experimental silos of rehydrated maize [0.33 litres/kg ground maize, 4-mm theoretical particle size, and 625 g/kg dry matter (DM)] were assigned to the following treatments: (1) control (CON), no enzyme addition; (2) GLU added at 300 µl/kg of ground maize (as-fed); and (3) AMY added at 300 µl/kg of ground maize. Seven silos from each treatment were opened after 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Differences among treatments were evaluated through orthogonal contrasts (CON v. enzymes, and AMY v. GLU). Time effects were decomposed using polynomial regression. Glucoamylase silage exhibited greater total losses than AMY. Enzymes increased acetate and lactic acid concentrations and decreased ethanol concentration. Regardless of treatment, gas, effluent and total fermentative losses linearly increased, whereas DM recovery linearly decreased with higher storage length. Glucoamylase silage had lower ammonia nitrogen and higher lactic acid concentrations than AMY. Enzyme treatments decreased silage neutral detergent fibre content and increased in vitro DM degradation. Glucoamylase silage exhibited a more moderate starch content and greater in vitro DM degradation than AMY. Storage time linearly decreased DM, starch and fibre content of rehydrated maize. In vitro degradation of DM linearly increased as the storage length increased. This study showed evidence that enzymes with amylolytic activity, particularly GLU, improve the fermentative profile and DM degradation of rehydrated maize silage.
To determine infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices for carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), an emerging threat, at acute-care hospitals in Ontario, Canada.
A descriptive cross-sectional survey.
We surveyed IPAC directors and managers at all acute-care hospitals in Ontario, Canada, to gather information on IPAC practices related to CPE, including admission screening, other patient screening, environmental testing, use of precautions to prevent transmission, and outbreak management.
Of 116 acute-care hospitals, 105 (91%) responded. Admission screening included patients previously colonized or infected with CPE (n = 64, 61%), patients recently hospitalized outside of Canada (Indian subcontinent, n = 62, 59%; other countries, n = 56, 53%), and patients recently hospitalized in Canada (n = 22, 21%). Fifty-one hospitals (49%) screened patients for colonization during an outbreak. Almost all hospitals (n = 101, 96%) used precautions to prevent transmission from patients with CPE colonization or infection; most hospitals (n = 54, 53%) continued precautions indefinitely. Few hospitals (n = 19, 18%) performed environmental cultures. Eight hospitals (8%) reported at least 1 outbreak, and 6 hospitals (6%) reported transmission from sink or shower drains to patients.
Variability in practices may result from lack of evidence and challenges in updating guidelines as evidence emerges. A coordinated approach to slow the emergence of CPE should be considered in our population.
In this study, we examine how the Guri catfish Genidens genidens uses estuarine and freshwater habitats along the largest South American coastal lagoon, through the chemical analysis of otoliths and microscopic analysis of gonads. Chemical composition (Sr:Ca) of otolith edges allowed distinguishing between individuals who used the estuarine or freshwater compartments of the lagoon. The analysis of core-to-edge chemical profiles of each individual otolith revealed that the population may present two different patterns of habitat use along the lagoon. The ‘type 1’ pattern (89.5%) includes fish who appear to have been born in estuarine waters, whereas ‘type 2’ (9.5%) includes those fish born in fresh water. Nevertheless, juveniles from both patterns appear to migrate to estuarine waters. The gonad analysis shows G. genidens may reproduce in fresh water, as nearly 57% of all sampled fish were found to spawn in the freshwater portion of the lagoon. Also, the otolith core of many adult fish presented freshwater signatures, thus suggesting consistent fresh water use during early life. Our findings based on otolith and gonadal analyses challenge the previous classification of G. genidens as an estuarine resident. Rather, our results allow the suggestion that this species should be placed in the ‘estuarine and fresh water’ guild, which includes both fish completing their life cycles within the estuary and fish who consistently use freshwater habitats.
To evaluate the Orange County Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) prevention collaborative’s effect on rates of CDI in acute-care hospitals (ACHs) in Orange County, California.
Controlled interrupted time series.
We convened a CDI prevention collaborative with healthcare facilities in Orange County to reduce CDI incidence in the region. Collaborative participants received onsite infection control and antimicrobial stewardship assessments, interactive learning and discussion sessions, and an interfacility transfer communication improvement initiative during June 2015–June 2016. We used segmented regression to evaluate changes in monthly hospital-onset (HO) and community-onset (CO) CDI rates for ACHs. The baseline period comprised 17 months (January 2014–June 2015) and the follow-up period comprised 28 months (September 2015–December 2017). All 25 Orange County ACHs were included in the CO-CDI model to account for direct and indirect effects of the collaborative. For comparison, we assessed HO-CDI and CO-CDI rates among 27 ACHs in 3 San Francisco Bay Area counties.
HO-CDI rates in the 15 participating Orange County ACHs decreased 4% per month (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.96; 95% CI, 0.95–0.97; P < .0001) during the follow-up period compared with the baseline period and 3% (IRR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95–0.99; P = .002) per month compared to the San Francisco Bay Area nonparticipant ACHs. Orange County CO-CDI rates declined 2% per month (IRR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96–1.00; P = .03) between the baseline and follow-up periods. This decline was not statistically different from the San Francisco Bay Area ACHs (IRR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95–1.00; P = .09).
Our analysis of ACHs in Orange County provides evidence that coordinated, regional multifacility initiatives can reduce CDI incidence.
As an introductory note to the topic of this chapter, we would like to refer to the comments presented in the introduction of our work on the various forms of deprivation of liberty prior to the final judgment in the Argentine Republic. Given the federal, republican and representative system of government adopted under Section 1 of the Argentine Federal Constitution, the enactment of the civil, commercial, criminal, mining, and labour and social security codes, as well as of general laws applicable throughout country, lies within the powers of the Federal Congress only (Section 75(12)), which means that these bodies of regulations apply to the whole territory of the country. On the other hand, the enactment of procedural rules lies within the powers of the provinces, which, in exercising such power, are entitled to pass their own codes of procedure, including the code of criminal procedure, which is the one we will be dealing with in this work. Based on time, extension, and specificity reasons, this work will only focus on the federal jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of the city of Buenos Aires; however, it should be noted that there are no significant differences in the regulation of coercive measures (involving deprivation of liberty) within those jurisdictions and the jurisdictions of the rest of the provinces. This chapter will only refer to individuals over 18 years of age.
OVERUSE OF CRIMINALIZATION
Under the Argentine legal system, both substantive law – such as the CC – and procedural law – such as the FCCP and similar codes of the provinces and City of Buenos Aires – as well as any other law, must be in line with the provisions of the FC, which is our fundamental law, and international treaties of constitutional rank (as per Sections 5 and 31 of the FC).
This Research Communication addresses the hypothesis that exogenously administered phospholipase A2 (PLA2) affects the inflammatory responses of bovine mammary epithelial cells (bMEC) in vitro with the aim of providing preliminary justification of investigation into the uses of exogenously administered PLA2 to manage or treat bovine mastitis. Primary bMEC lines from 11 lactating Holstein dairy cows were established and the expression of 14 pro-inflammatory genes compared under unchallenged and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged conditions, with and without concurrent treatment with bovine pancreatic PLA2G1B, a secreted form of PLA2. No differences in the expression of these genes were noted between PLA2-treated and untreated bMEC under unchallenged conditions. Following LPS challenge, untreated bMEC exhibited significant downregulation of CXCL8, IL1B, CCL20, and CXCL1. In contrast, PLA2-treated bMEC exhibited significant downregulation of IL1B and CCL20 only. These findings indicate that exogenous PLA2 affects the expression of some pro-inflammatory factors in immune-stimulated bMEC, but does not influence the constitutive expression of these factors. Further investigation of the influence of exogenous PLA2 in the bovine mammary gland is justified.
The objective was to determine the longitudinal associations between callous-unemotional (CU) and oppositional defiant (OD) behaviors from the first to fourth grades for Spanish children. Four possible outcomes were evaluated: (a) CU behaviors in the first grade predict increases in OD behaviors in the fourth grade, controlling for OD behaviors in the first grade; (b) OD behaviors in the first grade predict increases in CU behaviors in the fourth grade, controlling for CU behaviors in the first grade; (c) both unique effects are significant; and (d) neither unique effect is significant. A longitudinal panel model with two latent variables (CU and OD behaviors), three sources (mothers, fathers, teachers), and two occasions (spring of the first and fourth grades) was used to evaluate the four possibilities among 758 (54% boys) first grade and 469 (53% boys) fourth grade Spanish children. For mother-, father-, and teacher-reports, OD behaviors in the first grade predicted increases in CU behaviors in the fourth grade, after controlling for CU behaviors in the first grade, whereas CU behaviors in the first grade did not predict increases in OD behaviors in the fourth grade, after controlling for OD behaviors in the first grade. OD behaviors thus conferred independent vulnerability to increases in CU behaviors 3 years later among young children.
We used two sunflower genotypes displaying pericarp-imposed dormancy at high incubation temperatures (i.e. 30°C) to investigate the role of the pericarp as a limitation to oxygen availability to the embryo (hypoxia), and its impact on embryo abscisic acid (ABA) content and sensitivity to ABA. Results showed that both genotypes displayed very different oxygen threshold values for inhibition of embryo germination when incubation was performed at 30°C. Expression of dormancy in one genotype was therefore related to exacerbated embryo sensitivity to hypoxia, whereas in the other genotype, the pericarp appeared to act as a more severe restraint to oxygen entry. Increased sensitivity to hypoxia was, in part, related to increased sensitivity to ABA, but not to alterations in ABA metabolism. The activity of pericarp-microbial communities (bacteria and fungi) at high temperatures was also assessed as a potential determinant of hypoxia to the embryo. Oxygen consumption in pericarps incubated at 30°C was attenuated with antibiotics, which concomitantly promoted achene germination. In agreement with the observed more severe oxygen deprivation to the embryo exerted by the pericarp, the bacterial load in the pericarp was significantly higher in the commercial hybrid than in the inbred line; however, the application of antibiotics strongly reduced the bacterial colony counts for each genotype. Different bacterial and fungal communities, assessed through their profiles of carbon-source utilization, were determined between genotypes and after treatment with antibiotics. This work highlights the relationship between enhancement of sensitivity to hypoxia with incubation temperature and seed dormancy expression, and suggests that microbial activity might be part of the mechanism through which hypoxia is imposed.
The use of tail chalk and estrus/heat expression scores (HEATSC) evaluation is instrumental in identifying cows with greater estrus expression and greater artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI) in cows submitted to timed artificial insemination (TAI), and cows with low or no estrus expression present lower P/AI. It was intended in this study to improve the pregnancy rates in TAI for Bos indicus beef cows, and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection was hypothesized to increase pregnancy rates in a TAI program for cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based protocols with low or no estrus expression, evaluated by HEATSC. Cows (n= 2284) received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate, after 8 days the device was removed and 1 mg estradiol cypionate, 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin was administered. All cows were marked with chalk and HEATSC evaluated (scales 1 to 3) at TAI performed on day 10. Animals with HEATSC1 and HEATSC2 (n= 937) received 100 μg de gonadorelin (GNRH group; n= 470), or 1 ml saline (Control group; n= 467), and cows with HEATSC3 (named HEAT group; n= 1347) received no additional treatment. The larger dominant follicle, evaluated on day 8and at TAI (day 10), was greater in HEAT group (P= 0.0145 and P <0.001, respectively). Corpus luteum (CL) area and progesterone concentration was evaluated on day 17, and CL area was larger in HEAT group, intermediary in Control and lower in GnRH group (Control= 2.68 cm2, GnRH= 2.37 cm2, HEAT group= 3.07 cm2, P <0.001). Greater progesterone concentrations were found in HEAT group than in Control and GnRH groups (Control= 4.74 ng/ml, GnRH= 4.29 ng/ml, HEAT group= 6.08 ng/ml, P<0.001). There was a difference in ovulation rate, greater in HEAT group than GnRH and Control groups (Control= 72.5%; GnRH= 81.25%; HEAT group= 90.71%; P= 0.0024). Artificial insemination pregnancy rates was greater in HEAT group (57.09% (769/1347) than in Control and GNRH groups, with positive effect of GnRH injection at the time of TAI in P/AI (Control= 36.18% (169/467), GnRH= 45.95% (216/470); P<0.0001). In conclusion, GnRH application in cows with low HEATSC (1 and 2) is a simple strategy, requiring no changes in TAI management to increase pregnancy rates in postpartum beef cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based TAI protocols, without reaching, however, the pregnancy rates of cows that demonstrate high estrus expression at the TAI.