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This article involved a broad search of applied sciences for milestone technologies we deem to be the most significant innovations applied by the North American pork industry, during the past 10 to 12 years. Several innovations shifted the trajectory of improvement or resolved significant production limitations. Each is being integrated into practice, with the exception being gene editing technology, which is undergoing the federal approval process. Advances in molecular genomics have been applied to gene editing for control of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and to identify piglet genome contributions from each parent. Post-cervical artificial insemination technology is not novel, but this technology is now used extensively to accelerate the rate of genetic progress. A milestone was achieved with the discovery that dietary essential fatty acids, during lactation, were limiting reproduction. Their provision resulted in a dose-related response for pregnancy, pregnancy maintenance and litter size, especially in maturing sows and ultimately resolved seasonal infertility. The benefit of segregated early weaning (12 to 14 days of age) was realized for specific pathogen removal for genetic nucleus and multiplication. Application was premature for commercial practice, as piglet mortality and morbidity increased. Early weaning impairs intestinal barrier and mucosal innate immune development, which coincides with diminished resilience to pathogens and viability later in life. Two important milestones were achieved to improve precision nutrition for growing pigs. The first involved the updated publication of the National Research Council nutrient requirements for pigs, a collaboration between scientists from America and Canada. Precision nutrition advanced further when ingredient description, for metabolically available amino acids and net energy (by source plant), became a private sector nutrition product. The past decade also led to fortuitous discoveries of health-improving components in ingredients (xylanase, soybeans). Finally, two technologies converged to facilitate timely detection of multiple pathogens in a population: oral fluids sampling and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for pathogen analysis. Most critical diseases in North America are now routinely monitored by oral fluid sampling and prepared for analysis using PCR methods.
Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant that has rapidly spread through many inland water bodies across the globe by outcompeting native aquatic plants. The negative impacts of hydrilla invasion have become a concern for water resource management authorities, power companies, and environmental scientists. The early detection of hydrilla infestation is very important to reduce the costs associated with control and removal efforts of this invasive species. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to develop a tool for rapid, frequent, and large-scale monitoring and predicting spatial extent of hydrilla habitat. This was achieved by integrating in situ and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager satellite data for Lake J. Strom Thurmond, the largest US Army Corps of Engineers lake east of the Mississippi River, located on the border of Georgia and South Carolina border. The predictive model for presence of hydrilla incorporated radiometric and physical measurements, including remote-sensing reflectance, Secchi disk depth (SDD), light-attenuation coefficient (Kd), maximum depth of colonization (Zc), and percentage of light available through the water column (PLW). The model-predicted ideal habitat for hydrilla featured high SDD, Zc, and PLW values, low values of Kd. Monthly analyses based on satellite images showed that hydrilla starts growing in April, reaches peak coverage around October, begins retreating in the following months, and disappears in February. Analysis of physical and meteorological factors (i.e., water temperature, surface runoff, net inflow, precipitation) revealed that these parameters are closely associated with hydrilla extent. Management agencies can use these results not only to plan removal efforts but also to evaluate and adapt their current mitigation efforts.
A new species, Contarinia brassicola Sinclair (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), which induces flower galls on canola (Brassica napus Linnaeus and Brassica rapa Linnaeus (Brassicaceae)), is described from Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. Larvae develop in the flowers of canola, which causes swelling and prevents opening, pod formation, and seed set. Mature larvae exit the galls, fall to the soil, and form cocoons. Depending on conditions, larvae will either pupate and eclose in the same calendar year or enter facultative diapause and emerge the following year. At least two generations of C. brassicola occur each year. Adults emerge from overwintering cocoons in the spring and lay eggs on developing canola flower buds. The galls produced by C. brassicola were previously attributed to the swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii (Kieffer) in Saskatchewan; here, we compare and list several characters to differentiate the two species.
A robust biomedical informatics infrastructure is essential for academic health centers engaged in translational research. There are no templates for what such an infrastructure encompasses or how it is funded. An informatics workgroup within the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network conducted an analysis to identify the scope, governance, and funding of this infrastructure. After we identified the essential components of an informatics infrastructure, we surveyed informatics leaders at network institutions about the governance and sustainability of the different components. Results from 42 survey respondents showed significant variations in governance and sustainability; however, some trends also emerged. Core informatics components such as electronic data capture systems, electronic health records data repositories, and related tools had mixed models of funding including, fee-for-service, extramural grants, and institutional support. Several key components such as regulatory systems (e.g., electronic Institutional Review Board [IRB] systems, grants, and contracts), security systems, data warehouses, and clinical trials management systems were overwhelmingly supported as institutional infrastructure. The findings highlighted in this report are worth noting for academic health centers and funding agencies involved in planning current and future informatics infrastructure, which provides the foundation for a robust, data-driven clinical and translational research program.
Our current global food system – from food production to consumption, including manufacture, packaging, transport, retail and associated businesses – is responsible for extensive negative social and environmental impacts which threaten the long-term well-being of society. This has led to increasing calls from science–policy organizations for major reform and transformation of the global food system. However, our knowledge regarding food system transformations is fragmented and this is hindering the development of co-ordinated solutions. Here, we collate recent research across several academic disciplines and sectors in order to better understand the mechanisms that ‘lock-in’ food systems in unsustainable states.
Background: Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease. In June 2017, Health Canada approved Nusinersen, currently the only available drug for SMA. Since 2016, patients in Ontario have been treated clinically with Nusinersen through different access programs. Methods: Retrospective case series of patients with SMA treated clinically with Nusinersen in Ontario, describing clinical characteristics and logistics of intrathecal Nusinersen administration. Results: Twenty patients have been treated across four centres. To date, we have reviewed 8 cases at one centre (seven SMA Type I, one SMA Type II). Age at first dose ranged from 3-156 months and disease duration 9-166 months. Patients had received 4-7 doses at last evaluation. Three patients with scoliosis (2 with spinal rods) required fluoroscopy-guided radiologist administration, and 4 required general anesthesia. No complications/adverse events were reported. At last follow up, 5/8 families reported improved daily activities. Of 5 patients with baseline and follow up motor function testing, 3 demonstrated improved scores. One patient died due to respiratory decline at age 9 months, despite improved motor outcome scores. Conclusions: We describe the first Canadian post-marketing experience with Nusinersen. Timely dissemination of this information is needed to guide clinicians, hospital administrators, and policy-makers.
This paper concentrates on livestock production systems by introducing sustainable housing characteristics, and the type of information required to make an informed choice on environmentally sound materials and systems. It then compares energy use in two contrasting beef cattle systems, one a conventional straw-bedded court and roofed silo, with feed delivered by a side-delivery wagon, and the other a roofless woodchip corral and earth-bank silo, with feed delivered by fore-end loader. The woodchip corral system requires 70% less energy than the conventional bedded court, when the total energy inputs are analysed for preparation of the building materials, construction of the livestock accommodation with associated feed and waste storage, and manufacture and operation of machinery. However, when energy used in feed production is included this dominates the energy budget, accounting for 60% of all energy used in the conventional bedded court, and 85% of energy used in the woodchip corral system.
Background: Hospitalization data underestimate the occurrence of transient ischemic attack (TIA). As TIA is frequently diagnosed in primary care, methodologies for the accurate ascertainment of a TIA from physician claims data are required for surveillance and health systems planning in this population. The present study evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of multiple algorithms for TIA from a longitudinal population-based physician billing database. Methods: Population-based administrative data from the province of British Columbia were used to identify the base population (1992–2007; N=102,492). Using discharge records for hospital admissions for acute ischemic stroke with a recent (<90 days) TIA as the reference standard, we performed receiver-operating characteristic analyses to calculate sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and overall accuracy, and to compare area under the curve for each physician billing algorithm. To evaluate the impact of different case definitions on population-based TIA burden, we also estimated the annual TIA occurrence associated with each algorithm. Results: Physician billing algorithms showed low to moderate sensitivity, with the algorithm for two consecutive physician visits within 90 days showing the highest sensitivity at 37.7% (CI95%=37.4–38.1). All algorithms demonstrated high specificity and moderate to high overall accuracy, resulting in low positive predictive values (≤5%), low discriminability (0.53–0.57) and high false positive rates (1 – specificity). Population-based estimates of TIA occurrence were comparable to prior studies and declined over time. Conclusions: Physician billing data have insufficient sensitivity to identify TIAs but may be used in combination with hospital discharge data to improve the accuracy of estimating the population-based occurrence of TIAs.
Childhood early life stress (ELS) increases risk of adulthood major depressive disorder (MDD) and is associated with altered brain structure and function. It is unclear whether specific ELSs affect depression risk, cognitive function and brain structure.
This cross-sectional study included 64 antidepressant-free depressed and 65 never-depressed individuals. Both groups reported a range of ELSs on the Early Life Stress Questionnaire, completed neuropsychological testing and 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Neuropsychological testing assessed domains of episodic memory, working memory, processing speed and executive function. MRI measures included cortical thickness and regional gray matter volumes, with a priori focus on the cingulate cortex, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), amygdala, caudate and hippocampus.
Of 19 ELSs, only emotional abuse, sexual abuse and severe family conflict independently predicted adulthood MDD diagnosis. The effect of total ELS score differed between groups. Greater ELS exposure was associated with slower processing speed and smaller OFC volumes in depressed subjects, but faster speed and larger volumes in non-depressed subjects. In contrast, exposure to ELSs predictive of depression had similar effects in both diagnostic groups. Individuals reporting predictive ELSs exhibited poorer processing speed and working memory performance, smaller volumes of the lateral OFC and caudate, and decreased cortical thickness in multiple areas including the insula bilaterally. Predictive ELS exposure was also associated with smaller left hippocampal volume in depressed subjects.
Findings suggest an association between childhood trauma exposure and adulthood cognitive function and brain structure. These relationships appear to differ between individuals who do and do not develop depression.
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) due to Staphylococcus aureus have become increasingly common in the outpatient setting; however, risk factors for differentiating methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) SSTIs are needed to better inform antibiotic treatment decisions. We performed a case-case-control study within 14 primary-care clinics in South Texas from 2007 to 2015. Overall, 325 patients [S. aureus SSTI cases (case group 1, n = 175); MRSA SSTI cases (case group 2, n = 115); MSSA SSTI cases (case group 3, n = 60); uninfected control group (control, n = 150)] were evaluated. Each case group was compared to the control group, and then qualitatively contrasted to identify unique risk factors associated with S. aureus, MRSA, and MSSA SSTIs. Overall, prior SSTIs [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 7·60, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·31–17·45], male gender (aOR 1·74, 95% CI 1·06–2·85), and absence of healthcare occupation status (aOR 0·14, 95% CI 0·03–0·68) were independently associated with S. aureus SSTIs. The only unique risk factor for community-associated (CA)-MRSA SSTIs was a high body weight (⩾110 kg) (aOR 2·03, 95% CI 1·01–4·09).
The real-time measurement of net photosynthesis and dark respiration of plants has been possible since the development of the infra-red analyzer and its application in the 1940's. This technique has allowed intensive investigations of the mechanisms and dynamics of carbon dioxide assimilation by green plants (Sestak, Catsky, and Jarvis, 1971). As a result, physiologic and ecologic aspects of net carbon dioxide exchange are the subject of much research (eg, Osmond, Bjorkman and Anderson, 1980).
Background: Cognitive impairment is highly prevalent in individuals with end stage kidney disease (ESKD) undergoing hemodialysis. The cause is not understood. Our overall hypothesis is that repetitive cerebral hypoperfusion during hemodialysis contributes to accelerated cognitive dysfunction in this patient population. Methods: All participants underwent a baseline assessment with the KINARM, a robotic device that provides quantitative metrics of the sensorimotor control of the upper limb in humans. For patients undergoing hemodialysis, BtO2 was monitored during one dialysis session per week. Follow up KINARM assessment was done at 3 months. Results: To date, 7 patients have completed baseline testing, with 3 being re-evaluated at 3 months. At baseline, patients were impaired on of the 8 tasks, with the exception of a test of working memory. There was a variable correlation between hemodynamics (e.g. blood pressure and heart rate), fluid removal, and BtO2 levels. At 3 months, the 3 patients improved on the majority of the performance metrics assessed with the KINARM. Conclusions: The KINARM is a feasible instrument to measure cognitive dysfunction in individuals with ESKD. In a small cohort, there is improvement in neurocognitive function 3 months after the initiation of dialysis.
Observations of a number of supernova remnants have been carried out with the low energy X-ray telescope on the Copernicus satellite. Data are presented on the X-ray structure of the remnants Cassiopeia A and Puppis-A. Marginal detections or new upper limits are reported for the remnants IC443, DR4, MSH15-52A, Downes 83, Downes 84 and 3C392.
Magnetic resonance imaging studies of maltreated children with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suggest that maltreatment-related PTSD is associated with adverse brain development. Maltreated youth resilient to chronic PTSD were not previously investigated and may elucidate neuromechanisms of the stress diathesis that leads to resilience to chronic PTSD. In this cross-sectional study, anatomical volumetric and corpus callosum diffusion tensor imaging measures were examined using magnetic resonance imaging in maltreated youth with chronic PTSD (N = 38), without PTSD (N = 35), and nonmaltreated participants (n = 59). Groups were sociodemographically similar. Participants underwent assessments for strict inclusion/exclusion criteria and psychopathology. Maltreated youth with PTSD were psychobiologically different from maltreated youth without PTSD and nonmaltreated controls. Maltreated youth with PTSD had smaller posterior cerebral and cerebellar gray matter volumes than did maltreated youth without PTSD and nonmaltreated participants. Cerebral and cerebellar gray matter volumes inversely correlated with PTSD symptoms. Posterior corpus callosum microstructure in pediatric maltreatment-related PTSD differed compared to maltreated youth without PTSD and controls. The group differences remained significant when controlling for psychopathology, numbers of Axis I disorders, and trauma load. Alterations of these posterior brain structures may result from a shared trauma-related mechanism or an inherent vulnerability that mediates the pathway from chronic PTSD to comorbidity.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of increasing degrees of lipid peroxidation on structure and function of the small intestine of nursery pigs. A total of 216 pigs (mean body weight was 6·5 kg) were randomly allotted within weight blocks and sex and fed one of five experimental diets for 35 d (eleven pens per treatment with three to four pigs per pen). Treatments included a control diet without added lipid, and diets supplemented with 6 % soyabean oil that was exposed to heat (80°C) and constant oxygen flow (1 litre/min) for 0, 6, 9 and 12 d. Increasing lipid peroxidation linearly reduced feed intake (P<0·001) and weight gain (P=0·024). Apparent faecal digestibility of gross energy (P=0·001) and fat (P<0·001) decreased linearly as the degree of peroxidation increased. Absorption of mannitol (linear, P=0·097) and d-xylose (linear, P=0·089), measured in serum 2 h post gavage with a solution containing 0·2 g/ml of d-xylose and 0·3 g/ml of mannitol, tended to decrease progressively as the peroxidation level increased. Increasing peroxidation also resulted in increased villi height (linear, P<0·001) and crypt depth (quadratic, P=0·005) in the jejunum. Increasing peroxidation increased malondialdehyde concentrations (quadratic, P=0·035) and reduced the total antioxidant capacity (linear, P=0·044) in the jejunal mucosa. In conclusion, lipid peroxidation progressively diminished animal performance and modified the function and morphology of the small intestine of nursery pigs. Detrimental effects were related with the disruption of redox environment of the intestinal mucosa.
Although the incidence of invasive group A streptococcal disease in northern Australia is very high, little is known of the regional epidemiology and molecular characteristics. We conducted a case series of Northern Territory residents reported between 2011 and 2013 with Streptococcus pyogenes isolates from a normally sterile site. Of the 128 reported episodes, the incidence was disproportionately high in the Indigenous population at 69·7/100 000 compared to 8·8/100 000 in the non-Indigenous population. Novel to the Northern Territory is the extremely high incidence in haemodialysis patients of 2205·9/100 000 population; and for whom targeted infection control measures could prevent transmission. The incidences in the tropical north and semi-arid Central Australian regions were similar. Case fatality was 8% (10/128) and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome occurred in 14 (11%) episodes. Molecular typing of 82 isolates identified 28 emm types, of which 63 (77%) were represented by four emm clusters. Typing confirmed transmission between infant twins. While the diverse range of emm types presents a challenge for effective coverage by vaccine formulations, the limited number of emm clusters raises optimism should cluster-specific cross-protection prove efficacious. Further studies are required to determine effectiveness of chemoprophylaxis for contacts and to inform public health response.
In this paper we expand upon a proposed model for SS 433. Specific attention is given to the manner in which the light travel time within the system places constraints upon the geometrical parameters defining the system. Consideration is also given to the physical situation which exists in the high Doppler shift emitting region. Implications of recent observations of “a 13-day” period spectral and light variability upon the central source are briefly discussed.