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A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
The increasing attention for global warming is likely to contribute to the introduction of policies or other incentives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to livestock production, including dairy. The dairy sector is an important contributor to GHG emissions. Clinical mastitis (CM), an intramammary infection, results in reduced milk production and fertility, increases culling and mortality of cows and, therefore, has a negative impact on the efficiency (output/input) of milk production. This may increase GHG emissions per unit of product. Our objective was to estimate the impact of CM in dairy cows on GHG emissions of milk production for the Dutch situation. A dynamic stochastic simulation model was developed to simulate the dynamics and losses of CM for individual lactations. Cows receive a parity (1 to 5+), a milk production and a calving interval (CI). Based on the parity, cows have a risk of CM, with a maximum of three cases in a lactation. Pathogens causing CM were classified as gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, or other. Based on the parity and pathogen combinations, cows had a reduced milk production, discarded milk, prolonged CI and a risk of removal (culling and mortality) that reduce productivity of dairy cows and therefore increase GHG emissions per unit of product. Using life cycle assessment, emissions of GHGs were estimated from cradle to farm gate for processes along the milk production chain that are affected by CM. Processes included were feed production, enteric fermentation, and manure management. Emissions of GHGs were expressed as kg CO2 equivalents per ton of fat-and-protein-corrected milk (kg CO2e/t FPCM). Emissions of cows with CM increased on average by 57.5 (6.2%) kg CO2e/t FPCM compared with cows without CM. This increase was caused by removal (39%), discarded milk (38%), reduced milk production (17%) and prolonged CI (6%). The GHG emissions increased by 48 kg CO2e/t FPCM for cows with one case of CM, by 69 kg CO2e/t FPCM for cows with two cases of CM and by 92 kg CO2e/t FPCM for cows with three cases of CM compared with cows without CM. Preventing CM can be an effective strategy for farmers to reduce GHG emissions and can contribute to sustainable development of the dairy sector, because this also can improve the income of farmers and the welfare of cows. The impact of CM on GHG emissions, however, will vary between farms due to environmental conditions and management practices.
The Fundamental Parameter-based calculation of x-ray fluorescence intensities for thin and multilayer samples is performed with new formulas. By the calculations it is shown that both intra- and inter-layer secondary fluorescence can cause significant enhancement. With a method based on the discussed theory, it is possible to determine the composition and layer thicknesses of multilayer samples. Analyses are discussed of samples from IC technology and magnetic recording. Furthermore, the angular dependence of intensities is calculated, in good agreement with experiments performed with a novel spectrometer.
The aim of the present paper is to summarise current and future applications of dietary assessment technologies in nutrition surveys in developed countries. It includes the discussion of key points and highlights of subsequent developments from a panel discussion to address strengths and weaknesses of traditional dietary assessment methods (food records, FFQ, 24 h recalls, diet history with interviewer-assisted data collection) v. new technology-based dietary assessment methods (web-based and mobile device applications). The panel discussion ‘Traditional methods v. new technologies: dilemmas for dietary assessment in population surveys’, was held at the 9th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (ICDAM9), Brisbane, September 2015. Despite respondent and researcher burden, traditional methods have been most commonly used in nutrition surveys. However, dietary assessment technologies offer potential advantages including faster data processing and better data quality. This is a fast-moving field and there is evidence of increasing demand for the use of new technologies amongst the general public and researchers. There is a need for research and investment to support efforts being made to facilitate the inclusion of new technologies for rapid, accurate and representative data.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The objective of this study was to estimate the economic impact of subclinical ketosis (SCK) in dairy cows. This metabolic disorder occurs in the period around calving and is associated with an increased risk of other diseases. Therefore, SCK affects farm productivity and profitability. Estimating the economic impact of SCK may make farmers more aware of this problem, and can improve their decision-making regarding interventions to reduce SCK. We developed a dynamic stochastic simulation model that enables estimating the economic impact of SCK and related diseases (i.e. mastitis, metritis, displaced abomasum, lameness and clinical ketosis) occurring during the first 30 days after calving. This model, which was applied to a typical Dutch dairy herd, groups cows according to their parity (1 to 5+), and simulates the dynamics of SCK and related diseases, and milk production per cow during one lactation. The economic impact of SCK and related diseases resulted from a reduced milk production, discarded milk, treatment costs, costs from a prolonged calving interval and removal (culling or dying) of cows. The total costs of SCK were €130 per case per year, with a range between €39 and €348 (5 to 95 percentiles). The total costs of SCK per case per year, moreover, increased from €83 per year in parity 1 to €175 in parity 3. Most cows with SCK, however, had SCK only (61%), and costs were €58 per case per year. Total costs of SCK per case per year resulted for 36% from a prolonged calving interval, 24% from reduced milk production, 19% from treatment, 14% from discarded milk and 6% from removal. Results of the sensitivity analysis showed that the disease incidence, removal risk, relations of SCK with other diseases and prices of milk resulted in a high variation of costs of SCK. The costs of SCK, therefore, might differ per farm because of farm-specific circumstances. Improving data collection on the incidence of SCK and related diseases, and on consequences of diseases can further improve economic estimations.
To characterize meal patterns across ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study.
Cross-sectional study utilizing dietary data collected through a standardized 24 h diet recall during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined intake occasions across a 24 h period were assessed during the interview. In the present descriptive report, meal patterns were analysed in terms of daily number of intake occasions, the proportion reporting each intake occasion and the energy contributions from each intake occasion.
Twenty-seven centres across ten European countries.
Women (64 %) and men (36 %) aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
Pronounced differences in meal patterns emerged both across centres within the same country and across different countries, with a trend for fewer intake occasions per day in Mediterranean countries compared with central and northern Europe. Differences were also found for daily energy intake provided by lunch, with 38–43 % for women and 41–45 % for men within Mediterranean countries compared with 16–27 % for women and 20–26 % for men in central and northern European countries. Likewise, a south–north gradient was found for daily energy intake from snacks, with 13–20 % (women) and 10–17 % (men) in Mediterranean countries compared with 24–34 % (women) and 23–35 % (men) in central/northern Europe.
We found distinct differences in meal patterns with marked diversity for intake frequency and lunch and snack consumption between Mediterranean and central/northern European countries. Monitoring of meal patterns across various cultures and populations could provide critical context to the research efforts to characterize relationships between dietary intake and health.
The major impact of the livestock sector on the environment may be reduced by feeding agricultural co-products to animals. Since the last decade, co-products from biodiesel production, such as rapeseed meal (RSM), became increasingly available in Europe. Consequently, an increase in RSM content in livestock diets was observed at the expense of soybean meal (SBM) content. Cultivation of SBM is associated with high environmental impacts, especially when emissions related to land use change (LUC) are included. This study aims to assess the environmental impact of replacing SBM with RSM in finishing pig diets. As RSM has a lower nutritional value, we assessed the environmental impact of replacing SBM with RSM using scenarios that differed in handling changes in nutritional level. Scenario 1 (S1) was the basic scenario containing SBM. In scenario 2 (S2), RSM replaced SBM based on CP content, resulting in reduced energy and amino acid content, and hence an increased feed intake to realize the same growth rate. The diet of scenario 3 (S3) was identical to S2; however, we assumed that pigs were not able to increase their feed intake, leading to reduced growth performance. In scenario 4 (S4), the energy and amino acid content were increased to the same level of S1. Pig performances were simulated using a growth model. We analyzed the environmental impact of each scenario using life-cycle assessment, including processes of feed production, manure management, piglet production, enteric fermentation and housing. Results show that, expressed as per kg of BW, replacing SBM with RSM in finishing pig diets marginally decreased global warming potential (GWP) and energy use (EU) but decreased land use (LU) up to 12%. Between scenarios, S3 had the maximum potential to reduce the environmental impact, due to a lower impact per kg of feed and an increased body protein-to-lipid ratio of the pigs, resulting in a better feed conversion ratio. Optimization of the body protein-to-lipid ratio, therefore, might result in a reduced environmental impact of pig production. Furthermore, the impact of replacing SBM with RSM changed only marginally when emissions related to direct (up to 2.9%) and indirect LUC (up to 2.5%) were included. When we evaluated environmental impacts of feed production only, which implies excluding other processes along the chain as is generally found in the literature, GWP decreased up to 10%, including LUC, EU up to 5% and LU up to 16%.
A microcantliever based crack healing experiment is described and utilized in order to study the capillary nucleation rate for typical MEMS surfaces. An advanced test chamber that allows exquisite environmental control is also described and used in this study. Crack healing experiments prove to be a viable experimental technique to investigate the dynamics of capillary nucleation. The effective capillary nucleation time for the multi-asperity surface of microcantilever samples appears to increase logarithmically with adhesion energy.
There has been a recent resurgence in interest in developing ohmic switches to complement transistors in order to address challenges associated with electrical current leakage. A critical limitation in ohmic switches remains the reliability of their electrical contacts. These contacts are prone to hydrocarbon induced contamination which progressively inhibits signal transmission, eventually leading to device failure. We report on progress made towards controlling the contamination phenomenon. We discuss how contact materials and operating environment affect device performance, showing that RuO2 coated microswitch contacts operating in the presence of O2 experience very limited contaminant accumulation even in hydrocarbon-rich environments. We then demonstrate that devices which have experienced contamination can recover their original performance by being operated in clean N2:O2 environment. Finally, we suggest that this resistance recovery is associated with the chemical transformation of the contaminant as opposed to its removal and that the transformed contaminant may shield the Pt coating from oxidation.
In the European Rosetta project three separate, previously developed, ICT systems were improved and integrated to create one modular system that helps community-dwelling people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia in different stages of the disease. The system aims to support them in daily functioning, monitor (deviations from) patterns in daily behaviour and to automatically detect emergency situations. The study aimed to inventory the end users’ needs and wishes regarding the development and design of the new integrated Rosetta system, and to describe the to be developed Rosetta system.
Qualitative user-participatory design with in total 50 persons: 14 people with dementia, 13 informal carers, 6 professional carers, 9 dementia experts, 7 care partners within the project, and 1 volunteer. In the Netherlands user focus group sessions were performed and in Germany individual interviews. Dementia experts were consulted by means of a questionnaire, an expert meeting session, and interviews.
Persons with dementia and informal carers appreciated the following functionalities most: help in cases of emergencies, navigation support and the calendar function. Dementia experts rated various behaviours relevant to monitor in order to detect timely changes in functioning, e.g. eating, drinking, going to the toilet, taking medicine adequately, performance of activities and sleep patterns. No ethical issues regarding the use of sensors and cameras were mentioned.
The user participatory design resulted in valuable input from persons with dementia, informal carers and professional carers/dementia experts, based on which a first prototype Rosetta system was built.
Fixed-fixed beams are ubiquitous MEMS structures that are integral components for sensors and actuation mechanisms. However, residual stress inherent in surface micromachining can affect the mechanical behavior of fixed-fixed structures, and even can cause buckling. A self-tensioning support post design that utilizes the compressive residual stress of trapped sacrificial oxide to control the stress state passively and locally in a fixed-fixed beam is proposed and detailed. The thickness and length of the trapped oxide affects the amount of stress in the beam. With this design, compression can be reduced or even converted into tension. An analytical model and a 3D finite element model are presented. The analytical model shows relatively good agreement with a 3D finite element model, indicating that it can be used for design purposes. A series of fixed-fixed beams were fabricated to demonstrate that the tensioning support post causes a reduction in buckling amplitude, even pulling the beam into tension. Phase shifting interferometry deflection measurements were used to confirm the trends observed from the models. Controlling residual stress allows longer fixed-fixed beams to be fabricated without buckling, which can improve the performance range of sensors. This technique can also enable local stress control, which is important for sensors.
To examine the association between adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet created by the Dutch Health Council in 2006 and overall and smoking-related cancer incidence.
Prospective cohort study.
Adherence to the guidelines, which includes one recommendation on physical activity and nine on diet, was measured using an adapted version of the Dutch Healthy Diet (DHD) index. The score ranged from 0 to 90 with a higher score indicating greater adherence to the guidelines. We estimated the hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals for the association between the DHD index (in tertiles and per 20-point increment) at baseline and cancer incidence at follow-up.
We studied 35 608 men and women aged 20–70 years recruited into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Netherlands (EPIC-NL) study during 1993–1997.
After an average follow-up of 12·7 years, 3027 cancer cases were documented. We found no significant association between the DHD index (tertile 3 v. tertile 1) and overall (HR = 0·97; 95 % CI 0·88, 1·07) and smoking-related cancer incidence (HR = 0·89; 95 % CI 0·76, 1·06) after adjustment for relevant confounders. Excluding the components physical activity or alcohol from the score did not change the results. None of the individual components of the DHD index was significantly associated with cancer incidence.
In the present study, participants with a high adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet were not at lower risk of overall or smoking-related cancer. This does not exclude that other components not included in the DHD index may be associated with overall cancer risk.
Multilocus sequence types (STs) were determined for 232 and 737 Campylobacter jejuni/coli isolates from Dutch travellers and domestically acquired cases, respectively. Putative risk factors for travel-related campylobacteriosis, and for domestically acquired campylobacteriosis caused by exotic STs (putatively carried by returning travellers), were investigated. Travelling to Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southern Europe significantly increased the risk of acquiring campylobacteriosis compared to travelling within Western Europe. Besides eating chicken, using antacids, and having chronic enteropathies, we identified eating vegetable salad outside Europe, drinking bottled water in high-risk destinations, and handling/eating undercooked pork as possible risk factors for travel-related campylobacteriosis. Factors associated with domestically acquired campylobacteriosis caused by exotic STs involved predominantly person-to-person contacts around popular holiday periods. We concluded that putative determinants of travel-related campylobacteriosis differ from those of domestically acquired infections and that returning travellers may carry several exotic strains that might subsequently spread to domestic populations even through limited person-to-person transmission.