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The warm, equable, and ice-free early Eocene Epoch permits investigation of ecosystem function and macro-ecological patterns during a very different climate regime than exists today. It also provides insight into what the future may entail, as anthropogenic CO2 release drives Earth toward a comparable hothouse condition. Studying plant–insect herbivore food webs during hothouse intervals is warranted, because these account for the majority of nonmicrobial terrestrial biodiversity. Here, we report new plant and insect herbivore damage census data from two floodplain sites in the Wind River Basin of central Wyoming, one in the Aycross Formation (50–48.25 Ma) at the basin edge (WRE) and the second in the Wind River Formation in the interior of the basin (WRI). The WRI site is in stratigraphic proximity to a volcanic ash that is newly dated to 52.416 ± 0.016/0.028/0.063 (2σ). We compare the Wind River Basin assemblages to published data from a 52.65 Ma floodplain flora in the neighboring Bighorn (BH) Basin and find that only 5.6% of plant taxa occur at all three sites and approximately 10% occur in both basins. The dissimilar floras support distinct suites of insect herbivores, as recorded by leaf damage. The relatively low-diversity BH flora has the highest diversity of insect damage, contrary to hypotheses that insect herbivore diversity tracks floral diversity. The distinctiveness of the WRE flora is likely due to its younger age and cooler reconstructed paleotemperature, but these factors are nearly identical for the WRI and BH floras. Site-specific microenvironmental factors that cannot be measured easily in deep time may account for these differences. Alternatively, the Owl Creek Mountains between the two basins may have provided a formidable barrier to the thermophilic organisms that inhabited the basin interiors, supporting Janzen's hypothesis that mountain passes appear higher in tropical environments.
To assess the feasibility of non-contrast T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging as compared to T1-weighted post-contrast magnetic resonance imaging for detecting acoustic neuroma growth.
Adult patients with acoustic neuroma who underwent at least three magnetic resonance imaging scans of the internal auditory canals with and without contrast in the past nine years were identified. T1- and T2-weighted images were reviewed by three neuroradiologists, and tumour size was measured. Accuracy of the measurements on T2-weighted images was defined as a difference of less than or equal to 2 mm from the measurement on T1-weighted images.
A total of 107 magnetic resonance imaging scans of 26 patients were reviewed. Measurements on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans were 88 per cent accurate. Measurements on T2-weighted images differed from measurements on T1-weighted images by an average of 1.27 mm, or 10.4 per cent of the total size. The specificity of T2-weighted images was 88.2 per cent and the sensitivity was 77.8 per cent.
The T2-weighted sequences are fairly accurate in measuring acoustic neuroma size and identifying growth if one keeps in mind the caveats associated with the tumour characteristics or location.
Group-3 medulloblastoma (MBL) is highly resistant to radiation (IR) and chemotherapy and has the worst prognosis. Hence, there is an urgent need to elucidate targets that sensitize these tumors to chemotherapy and IR. Employing standard assays for viability and sensitization to IR, we identified PRDX1 as a therapeutic target in Group-3 MBL. Specifically, targeting PRDX1 by RNAi or inhibition by Adenanthin led to specific killing and sensitization to IR of Group-3 MBL cells. We rescued sensitization of Daoy and UW228 cells by hypermorphic expression of PRDX1. PRDX1 knockdown caused oxidative DNA damage and induced apoptosis. We correlated PRDX1 expression to patient outcomes in a validated MBL tumor-microarray. Whole genome sequencing identified pathways/genes that were dysregulated with PRDX1 inhibition or silencing. Our in vivo studies in mice employing flank/orthotopic tumors from patient derived xenografts/Group-3 MBL cells confirmed in vitro observations. Animals with tumors in which PRDX1 was targeted by RNAi or Adenanthin (using mini osmotic pumps) showed decreased tumor burden and increased survival when compared to controls. Since, Adenanthin does not cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) we used HAV6 peptide to transiently disrupt the BBB and deliver Adenanthin to the tumor. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that targeting PRDX1 resulted in increased oxidative DNA damage, apoptosis and decreased proliferation. In summary, we have validated PRDX1 as a therapeutic target in group-3 MBL, identified Adenanthin as a potent chemical inhibitor of PRDX1 and confirmed the role of HAV peptide (in the transient modulation of BBB permeability) in an orthotopic model of group-3 MBL.
Background: To determine whether exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) in CSF of patients with FTD can serve as diagnostic biomarkers, we assessed miRNA expression in the Genetic FTD Initiative (GENFI) cohort and in sporadic FTD. Methods: GENFI participants were either carriers of a pathogenic mutation or at risk of carrying a mutation because a first-degree relative was a symptomatic mutation carrier. Exosomes were isolated from CSF of 23 -pre-symptomatic and 15 symptomatic mutation carriers, and 11 healthy non-mutation carriers. Expression of miRNAs was measured using qPCR arrays. MiRNAs differentially expressed in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers were evaluated in 17 patients with sporadic FTD, 13 patients with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and 10 healthy controls (HCs). Results: In the GENFI cohort, miR-204-5p and miR-632 were significantly decreased in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers. Decrease of miR-204-5p and miR-632 revealed receiver operator characteristics with an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.79-0.98] and 0.81 [90% CI: 0.68-0.93], and when combined an area of 0.93 [90% CI: 0.87-0.99]. In sporadic FTD, only miR-632 was significantly decreased compared to sporadic AD and HCs. Decrease of miR-632 revealed an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.80-0.98]. Conclusions: Exosomal miR-204-5p and miR-632 have potential as diagnostic biomarkers for genetic FTD and miR-632 also for sporadic FTD.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
Rib bone biopsy samples are often used to estimate changes in skeletal mineral reserves in cattle but differences in sampling procedures and the bone measurements reported often make interpretation and comparisons among experiments difficult. ‘Full-core’ rib bone biopsy samples, which included the external cortical bone, internal cortical bone and trabecular bone (CBext, CBint and Trab, respectively), were obtained from cattle known to be in phosphorus (P) adequate (Padeq) or severely P-deficient (Pdefic) status. Experiments 1 and 2 examined growing steers and Experiment 3 mature breeder cows. The thickness of cortical bone, specific gravity (SG), and the amount and concentration of ash and P per unit fresh bone volume, differed among CBext, CBint and Trab bone. P concentration (mg/cc) was closely correlated with both SG and ash concentrations (pooled data, r=0.99). Thickness of external cortical bone (CBText) was correlated with full-core P concentration (FC-Pconc) (pooled data, r=0.87). However, an index, the amount of P in CBext per unit surface area of CBext (PSACB; mg P/mm2), was more closely correlated with the FC-Pconc (pooled data, FC-Pconc=37.0+146×PSACB; n=42, r=0.94, RSD=7.7). Results for measured or estimated FC-Pconc in 10 published studies with cattle in various physiological states and expected to be Padeq or in various degrees of Pdefic status were collated and the ranges of FC-Pconc indicative of P adequacy and P deficiency for various classes of cattle were evaluated. FC-Pconc was generally in the range 130 to 170 and 100 to 120 mg/cc fresh bone in Padeq mature cows and young growing cattle, respectively. In conclusion, the FC-Pconc could be estimated accurately from biopsy samples of CBext. This allows comparisons between studies where full-core or only CBext biopsy samples of rib bone have been obtained to estimate changes in the skeletal P status of cattle and facilitates evaluation of the P status of cattle.
The epitheliochorial placenta of the pig does not allow the passage of immunoglobulin to the foetus and thus the young piglet is born without passive immune protection. During the first 36 h of life there is a massive transmission of macromolecules across the intestine, virtually all that are present in the gut may be effectively endocytosed and transmitted into the blood stream. The postnatal transmission of antibody from colostrum during this period provides the young animal with a spectrum of serum antibodies indistinguishable from that of its mother. It is established that even in utero the piglet is capable of mounting some response to antigenic challenge. Despite this, the ability of the young animal to respond may be influenced profoundly by the absorption of macromolecules (antibodies and antigens in colostrum and in sow's milk as well as antigens in the farrowing house) during the first hours after birth. These effects range from passive protection from infectious agents during the neonatal period to determining the precise nature of the immune response to antigens during later periods (e.g. at weaning).
At birth all cellular components of the immune system are represented but during the first few weeks of life dramatic changes occur in the number and distribution of these cells. Our histological studies have shown that shortly after birth the predominant T lymphocytes in the small intestine are T2+, T4− and T8−; whilst in other organs there are large numbers of conventional T4+ and T8+ cells. By 1 week of age there is a dramatic increase in the numbers of T4+ cells, whilst T8+ cells remain low, and only start to increase by week 7. Thus, changes in lymphocyte populations are occurring concurrent with increasing exposure to environmental antigens. The functional capacity of these cells also changes during this period and this process may be particularly affected by early weaning.
During the neonatal period an animal is presented with a vast array of antigenic material for the first time. How and when these antigens are presented may profoundly influence the capacity of the immune system to respond to them.
We present early results from the first near-IR imaging of the weak X-ray sources discovered in the recent Chandra/ACIS-I survey towards the Galactic Centre (GC) (Wang et al. 2002). These ~800 discrete sources, which contribute significantly to the GC X-ray emission, represent an important and previously unknown population within the Galaxy. From our VLT observations we will identify likely IR counterparts to a sample of the hardest sources, which are most likely X-ray binaries. With these data we can place constraints on the nature of the discrete weak X-ray source population of the GC. Once the data analysis is complete we will discuss our results in the context of binary population synthesis models.
The efficiency of grass nitrogen utilisation for milk production tends to be low, due partly to the slow rate of release of energy in the rumen which reduces the efficiency of capture of rapidly degradable plant proteins by the rumen microbial population. When additional sugars are infused into the rumen, microbial protein production is increased (Rooke et al., 1987). The objective of this study was to assess milk production using a grass variety that has been bred to express elevated water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) concentrations.
Eight multiparous Holstein-Friesian dairy cows in mid lactation (176 days ± s.e. 3.6) were used in a continuous design, zero-grazing experiment. Following covariate measurements taken from all animals on a standard grazing diet, four animals were each offered one of two varieties of perennial ryegrass at ad libitum rate: AberDove, bred to express high WSC concentrations; and AberElan, a commercially available variety, used as a control.
Gastrointestinal infection caused by pathogenic bacteria and viruses are an important cause of diarrhoea and ill-thrift in human and animal neonates (Guerrant et al., 1986, Radostits et al., 1994). Escherichia coli (E.coli) and Rotavirus are both important causes of neonatal diarrhoea, in addition E.coli is an important factor in the post-weaning diarrhoea syndrome seen in early weaned piglets (Radostits et al., 1994). Neonates reared on maternal milk are protected by antibodies (IgA in humans and pigs, IgG in ruminants) which act passively in the gut against organisms which cause gastrointestinal disease. This study investigated the protective effect of egg antibodies (Lohmann Animal Health) against E.coli and Rotavirus challenge in neonatal piglets. The eggs were sourced from hens vaccinated against E.coli and Rotavirus.
The efficiency of utilisation of grass nitrogen for milk protein production tends to be low, because rumen fermentable energy sources limit the amount of diet amino acids that are incorporated into microbial protein. As a consequence, absorption of ammonia from the rumen and excretion of high-N waste products is considerable. Previous studies (Miller et al., 1999) have shown that the efficiency of use of feed N can be increased in late-lactation dairy cows by feeding ryegrass bred to contain a high concentration of water soluble carbohydrates (WSC). The objective of this study was to investigate milk production and N partitioning in early lactation dairy cows using the same high WSC ryegrass variety, AberDove.
Characterizing ruminal parameters in the context of sampling routine and feed efficiency is fundamental to understand the efficiency of feed utilization in the bovine. Therefore, we evaluated microbial and volatile fatty acid (VFA) profiles, rumen papillae epithelial and stratum corneum thickness and rumen pH (RpH) and temperature (RT) in feedlot cattle. In all, 48 cattle (32 steers plus 16 bulls), fed a high moisture corn and haylage-based ration, underwent a productive performance test to determine residual feed intake (RFI) using feed intake, growth, BW and composition traits. Rumen fluid was collected, then RpH and RT logger were inserted 5.5±1 days before slaughter. At slaughter, the logger was recovered and rumen fluid and rumen tissue were sampled. The relative daily time spent in specific RpH and RT ranges were determined. Polynomial regression analysis was used to characterize RpH and RT circadian patterns. Animals were divided into efficient and inefficient groups based on RFI to compare productive performance and ruminal parameters. Efficient animals consumed 1.8 kg/day less dry matter than inefficient cattle (P⩽0.05) while achieving the same productive performance (P⩾0.10). Ruminal bacteria population was higher (P⩽0.05) (7.6×1011v. 4.3×1011 copy number of 16S rRNA gene/ml rumen fluid) and methanogen population was lower (P⩽0.05) (2.3×109v. 4.9×109 copy number of 16S rRNA gene/ml rumen fluid) in efficient compared with inefficient cattle at slaughter with no differences (P⩾0.10) between samples collected on-farm. No differences (P⩾0.10) in rumen fluid VFA were also observed between feed efficiency groups either on-farm or at slaughter. However, increased (P⩽0.05) acetate, and decreased (P⩽0.05) propionate, butyrate, valerate and caproate concentrations were observed at slaughter compared with on-farm. Efficient had increased (P⩽0.05) rumen epithelium thickness (136 v. 126 µm) compared with inefficient cattle. Efficient animals also spent 318% and 93.2% more time (P⩽0.05) in acidotic (4.14% v. 1.30%) (pH⩽5.6) and optimal (5.6<pH<6.0) (8.53% v. 4.42%) RpH range compared with inefficient cattle. The circadian patterns revealed lower (P⩽0.05) RpH and no differences (P⩾0.10) in RT pre-, during, and post-prandial periods in efficient compared with inefficient cattle. In essence, superior feed efficiency in cattle seems linked to rumen features consistent with improved efficiency of feed utilization. Microbial abundance, rumen epithelial histomorphology, and RpH, may serve as indicators for feed efficiency in cattle. The divergences of assessments made on-farm and at slaughter should be considered in the development of proxies for feed efficiency.
New and published line intensities are used to test the role of the pumping of the Bowen Lines of O III by absorption of the O1 and O3 lines and population by Charge Exchange. Although general agreement is obtained, noticeable deviations from theory exist.
BiSON is a 6-station, world-wide network of instruments which observe low-degree solar oscillations.
Theory (Goldreich & Keeley, 1977) predicts that the probability distribution of the mode powers is expected to follow negative exponential statistics under the condition that the interval of time for which the modes are averaged is less than the lifetime of the mode. Simulations (Chaplin et al, 1997) confirm this. The first publication of such an analysis for real data (Elsworth et al., 1995) showed that the oscillations largely follow the predictions with a small excess of the very largest power in the modes. In this paper we extend the previous observations of BiSON data to 80 months of data taken during the declining phase of the solar cycle. The data span the period January 1990 to August 1996. The data have been analysed using Fourier transforms each about 1/2 day in length. The minimum data fill accepted in any one period was 0.7 (Elsworth et al, 1995). Below this fill the data were discarded. The resolution of such short transforms is insufficient to distinguish between the components of the even and odd mode pairs. The mode powers are calculated for mode pairs ℓ = 0 & 2 and ℓ=1&3.
Comparison with theoretical predictions show that, as seen previously, there is still an excess of very high excitations which can be seen throughout the 80 months.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
The Amdeh Formation is a 3.4 km stack of sparsely fossiliferous quartzites and shales which crops out in the Al Hajar mountains near Muscat. Here we describe the uppermost member (Am5) that can be dated biostratigraphically as Darriwilian and which is the outcrop equivalent, and probably the seaward continuation, of the Saih Nihayda Formation in the Ghaba Salt Basin of northern Oman. The outcrops at Wadi Daiqa and Hayl al Quwasim consist of 690 m of quartzitic sandstones, shales and bivalve-rich shell beds. Trace fossils referable to the Cruziana and Skolithos ichnofacies abound. The member comprises storm-dominated shelf, shoreface and delta deposits. A number of new discoveries have been made in the outcrops: fragments of the arandaspid fish Sacabambaspis, ossicles and moulds of the early disparid crinoid Iocrinus, two new genera of conodont, an occurrence of the rare trinucleid trilobite Yinpanolithus, and palynological and sedimentological evidence of more continuous Floian–Darriwilian deposition than is usual in the region. Sea levels during Middle Ordovician time are estimated to have been 50–200 m above present levels and a wide, low-gradient shelf covered much of Arabia. Similar trace fossils and storm-dominated, micro-tidal, sedimentary rocks occur throughout the region. Small changes of sea level, possibly caused by the growth and melting of polar ice sheets, could lead to substantial seaward or landward shifts of facies belts. The Am5 deposits are thick compared to most equivalents in Arabia implying active subsidence and a ready supply of sediment.
Proxies have the potential to accelerate feed efficiency (residual feed intake (RFI); kg dry matter/day) improvement, assisting with the reduction of beef cattle feed costs and environmental impact. Heart rate (HR) (beats per minute (BPM)) is associated with feed efficiency and influenced by autonomic activity and peripheral metabolism, suggesting HR could be used as a proxy for feed efficiency. Objectives were to assess associations between overnight HR, lying patterns and RFI, and between acute stress HR and RFI. Heifer calves (n=107; 408±28 days of age, 341±42.2 kg) and yearling heifers (n=36; 604±92 days of age, 539±52.2 kg) were exposed to a performance test to determine productive performance. Overnight HR (electrode based) and lying patterns (accelerometer based) were monitored on a subgroup of heifer calves (n=40; 20 lowest RFI; 20 highest RFI). In the 10-min acute stress assessment, all heifers were individually exposed to the opening and closing of an umbrella and HR before (HRBEF), in response to (HRMAX), after (HRAFT) and change (HRCHG; HRAFT−HRBEF) as a result of exposure were determined. Using polynomial regression, rate of HR decrease pre-exposure (β1) and rates of HR increase (β2) and decrease (β3, β4) post-exposure were determined. Heifer calves in the overnight assessment were classified into equal RFI groups (low RFI; high RFI) and HR means were treated as repeated measures and compared using multiple regression. In the acute stress assessment, heifers were classified within cattle category into equal RFI groups (low RFI; high RFI) and means and polynomial regression parameters were compared using multiple regression. Low-RFI heifer calves had a lower overnight HR (69.2 v. 72.6 BPM), similar HR change from lying to standing intervals (8.9 v. 9.2 BPM) and similar time lying (61.1% v. 64.5%) compared with high-RFI heifer calves. Low-RFI heifer calves had a higher absolute HRMAX (162.9 v. 145.7 BPM) and β2 (−0.34 v. −0.20) than high-RFI heifer calves. Low-RFI yearling heifers had similar acute stress HR means and a lower β1 (0.003 v. 0.006) than high-RFI yearling heifers. Overnight HR and acute stress HR are potential indicators of RFI in heifer calves. However, acute stress HR results varied in yearling heifers, suggesting previous handling experience and/or age influence stress response. Pending further development (predictive ability, repeatability), the acute stress assessment could have potential for on-farm application as a feed efficiency proxy in young heifers with minimal handling experience.