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The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a ‘Critically Endangered’ migratory shorebird. The species faces an array of threats in its non-breeding range, making conservation intervention essential. However, conservation efforts are reliant on identifying the species’ key stopover and wintering sites. Using Maximum Entropy models, we predicted Spoon-billed Sandpiper distribution across the non-breeding range, using data from recent field surveys and satellite tracking. Model outputs suggest only a limited number of stopover sites are suitable for migrating birds, with sites in the Yellow Sea and on the Jiangsu coast in China highlighted as particularly important. All the previously known core wintering sites were identified by the model including the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Nan Thar Island and the Gulf of Mottama. In addition, the model highlighted sites subsequently found to be occupied, and pinpointed potential new sites meriting investigation, notably on Borneo and Sulawesi, and in parts of India and the Philippines. A comparison between the areas identified as most likely to be occupied and protected areas showed that very few locations are covered by conservation designations. Known sites must be managed for conservation as a priority, and potential new sites should be surveyed as soon as is feasible to assess occupancy status. Site protection should take place in concert with conservation interventions including habitat management, discouraging hunting, and fostering alternative livelihoods.
Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) require lifelong cardiology follow-up. Many experience gaps in care around the age of transition to adult-oriented care with associated comorbidity. We describe the impact of a clinic-based intervention on follow-up rates in this high-risk population.
Patients ≥11 years seen in a paediatric outpatient CHD Transition Clinic completed self-assessment questionnaires, underwent focused teaching, and were followed on a clinic registry with assessment of care continuation. The cohort “lost to follow-up” rate, defined as absence from care at least 6 months beyond the recommended timeframe, was compared with a control group. Secondary outcomes included questionnaire scores and adult cardiology referral trends.
Over 26 months, 53 participants completed an initial Transition Clinic visit; 43% (23/53) underwent a second visit. Median participant age was 18.0 years (interquartile range 16.0, 22.0). The cohort’s “lost to follow-up” rate was 7.3%, which was significantly lower than the control rate (25.9%, p < 0.01). Multivariable regression analyses demonstrated clinic participation as the only factor independently associated with follow-up rates (p = 0.048). Transition readiness was associated with older age (p = 0.01) but not sex, univentricular heart, interventional history, or surgical complexity. One-third of adult participants transferred to adult care.
A CHD Transition Clinic intervention can improve follow-up rates in adolescents and young adults. Age is an important factor in transition readiness, and retention of adults in paediatric care appears multi-factorial. We postulate that serial assessments of self-management, focused education, and registry utilisation may improve patient outcomes by reducing lapses in care.
The Pediatric Heart Network Normal Echocardiogram Database Study had unanticipated challenges. We sought to describe these challenges and lessons learned to improve the design of future studies.
Challenges were divided into three categories: enrolment, echocardiographic imaging, and protocol violations. Memoranda, Core Lab reports, and adjudication logs were reviewed. A centre-level questionnaire provided information regarding local processes for data collection. Descriptive statistics were used, and chi-square tests determined differences in imaging quality.
For the 19 participating centres, challenges with enrolment included variations in Institutional Review Board definitions of “retrospective” eligibility, overestimation of non-White participants, centre categorisation of Hispanic participants that differed from National Institutes of Health definitions, and exclusion of potential participants due to missing demographic data. Institutional Review Board amendments resolved many of these challenges. There was an unanticipated burden imposed on centres due to high numbers of echocardiograms that were reviewed but failed to meet submission criteria. Additionally, image transfer software malfunctions delayed Core Lab image review and feedback. Between the early and late study periods, the proportion of unacceptable echocardiograms submitted to the Core Lab decreased (14 versus 7%, p < 0.01). Most protocol violations were from eligibility violations and inadvertent protected health information disclosure (overall 2.5%). Adjudication committee reviews led to protocol changes.
Numerous challenges encountered during the Normal Echocardiogram Database Study prolonged study enrolment. The retrospective design and flaws in image transfer software were key impediments to study completion and should be considered when designing future studies collecting echocardiographic images as a primary outcome.
Recently, we found that in ovo feeding of l-leucine (l-Leu) afforded thermotolerance, stimulated lipid metabolism and modified amino acid metabolism in male broiler chicks. However, the effects of in ovo feeding of l-Leu on thermoregulation and growth performance until marketing age of broilers are still unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of in ovo feeding of l-Leu on body weight (BW) gain under control thermoneutral temperature or chronic heat stress. We measured changes of body temperature and food intake, organ weight, as well as amino acid metabolism and plasma metabolites under acute and chronic heat stress in broilers. A total of 168 fertilized Chunky broiler eggs were randomly divided into 2 treatment groups in experiments. The eggs were in ovo fed with l-Leu (34.5 µmol/500 µl per egg) or sterile water (500 µl/egg) during incubation. After hatching, male broilers were selected and assigned seven to nine replicates (one bird/replicate) in each group for heat challenge experiments. Broilers (29- or 30-day-old) were exposed to acute heat stress (30 ± 1°C) for 120 min or a chronic heat cyclic and continued heat stress (over 30 ± 1°C; ages, 15 to 44 days). In ovo feeding of l-Leu caused a significant suppression of enhanced body temperature without affecting food intake, plasma triacylglycerol, non-esterified fatty acids, ketone bodies, glucose, lactic acid or thyroid hormones under acute heat stress. Daily body temperature was significantly increased by l-Leu in ovo feeding under chronic heat stress. Interestingly, in ovo feeding of l-Leu caused a significantly higher daily BW gain compared with that of the control group under chronic heat stress. Moreover, some essential amino acids, including Leu and isoleucine, were significantly increased in the liver and decreased in the plasma by l-Leu in ovo feeding under acute heat stress. These results suggested that l-Leu in ovo feeding afforded thermotolerance to broilers under acute heat stress mainly through changing amino acid metabolism until marketing age.
Terminal heat stress leads to sizeable yield loss in late-sown wheat in tropical environments. Several synthetic compounds are known to counteract plant stress emanating from abiotic factors. A field experiment was conducted in Sabour (eastern India) during 2013–2016 to investigate the field efficacy of two synthetic compounds, calcium chloride (CaCl2) and arginine, for improving grain yield of two contrasting wheat cultivars (DBW 14 and K 307) facing terminal heat stress. For this, foliar spray of 18.0 mM CaCl2 at booting (CCB) or anthesis (CCA), 9.0 mM CaCl2 at both booting and anthesis (CCB+A), 2.5 mM arginine at booting (ARGB) or anthesis (ARGA) and 1.25 mM arginine at both booting and anthesis (ARGB+A) treatments along with no-spray and water-spray treatments were evaluated in late-sown wheat. The highest grain yield was recorded in treatment CCB+A, followed by CCA and ARGB+A. However, the effect of these compounds was marginal on grain yield when applied only at the booting stage. Grains/ear and thousand-grain weight were found to be the critical determinants for yield in late-sown wheat. During the anthesis to grain filling period, flag-leaf chlorophyll degradation and increase in relative permeability in no-spray treatment were 34–36% and 29–52%, respectively, but these values were reduced considerably in CCB+A treatment followed CCA. Thus, foliar spray of 9.0 mM CaCl2 both at booting and anthesis stages may be recommended for alleviating the negative impacts of terminal heat stress in late-sown wheat and improving its productivity (>13%).
A system of two coupled nonlinear spectral transport equations is derived for two obliquely interacting narrowband Gaussian random surface wavetrains, slowly varying in space and time. Using these two equations, stability analysis is performed for two initially homogeneous wave spectra, subject to unidirectional perturbations. We observe that the effect of randomness produces a decrease in the growth rate of instability, but it is higher than the growth for a single wavetrain. The growth rate of instability is observed to decrease with the increase in spectral width.
The objective of this study was to assess differences in myocardial systolic and diastolic function and vascular function in children 2−5 years of age born to diabetic as compared to non-diabetic mothers.
This study was a retrospective cohort conducted in 2016 at The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. It included children between 2 and 5 years of age born to mothers with and without exposure to diabetes in utero (n = 68 in each group) and who were appropriate for gestational age. Myocardial morphology and function using echocardiogram and carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) and pulse wave velocity was performed to evaluate cardiac function as well as macrovascular remodelling in these children. Multiple linear regression was used to compare the groups.
There was no significant difference in cardiac morphology, myocardial systolic and diastolic function, and macrovascular assessment between the exposed and unexposed groups of AGA children. Subgroup analysis demonstrated a significantly decreased mitral E/A ratio in children whose mothers were on medications as compared to those on dietary control (median [IQR] = 1.7 [1.6–1.9] and 1.56 [1.4–1.7], respectively, p = 0.02), and a higher cIMT in children whose mothers were on medication as compared to controls (0.48 [0.44–0.52] and 0.46 [0.44–0.50], respectively, p = 0.03).
In utero exposure to uncontrolled maternal diabetes has an effect on the cardiovascular structure and function in children aged 2−5 years. However, future work requires long-term follow-up from fetal to adult life to assess these changes over the life course.
High-intensity laser–plasma interactions produce a wide array of energetic particles and beams with promising applications. Unfortunately, the high repetition rate and high average power requirements for many applications are not satisfied by the lasers, optics, targets, and diagnostics currently employed. Here, we aim to address the need for high-repetition-rate targets and optics through the use of liquids. A novel nozzle assembly is used to generate high-velocity, laminar-flowing liquid microjets which are compatible with a low-vacuum environment, generate little to no debris, and exhibit precise positional and dimensional tolerances. Jets, droplets, submicron-thick sheets, and other exotic configurations are characterized with pump–probe shadowgraphy to evaluate their use as targets. To demonstrate a high-repetition-rate, consumable, liquid optical element, we present a plasma mirror created by a submicron-thick liquid sheet. This plasma mirror provides etalon-like anti-reflection properties in the low field of 0.1% and high reflectivity as a plasma, 69%, at a repetition rate of 1 kHz. Practical considerations of fluid compatibility, in-vacuum operation, and estimates of maximum repetition rate are addressed. The targets and optics presented here demonstrate a potential technique for enabling the operation of laser–plasma interactions at high repetition rates.
The daily time series Flare Index (FI) data of Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere and Total Disk for Solar Cycle 21- 23 and 24 up to Dec. 2014 has been pre-processed using a 2nd order exponential smoothing algorithm to remove orthogonal noise. The smoothed data in each case is processed for scaling analysis using Rescaled-Range Analysis as well as Finite Variance Scaling Method in order to search for the Hurst exponent. As the value of H obtained from our analysis lies in between 0 and 1, so it can be said that the signal may behave like Fractional Brownian Motion. Also, it is observed that H is less than 0.5 which indicates the data is anti-persistent in nature and it has a strong negative correlation within the signal. The value of H also indicates the oscillating features of the signal which might have some fundamental periodicities in the Suns atmosphere.
Patient-reported outcomes and epidemiological studies in adults with tetralogy of Fallot are lacking. Recruitment and longitudinal follow-up investigation across institutions is particularly challenging. Objectives of this study were to assess the feasibility of recruiting adult patients with tetralogy of Fallot for a patient-reported outcomes study, describe challenges for recruitment, and create an interactive, online tetralogy of Fallot registry.
Adult patients living with tetralogy of Fallot, aged 18–58 years, at the University of North Carolina were identified using diagnosis code query. A survey was designed to collect demographics, symptoms, history, and birth mother information. Recruitment was attempted by phone (Part I, n=20) or by email (Part II, n=20). Data analysis included thematic grouping of recruitment challenges and descriptive statistics. Feasibility threshold was 75% for recruitment and for data fields completed per patient.
In Part I, 60% (12/20) were successfully contacted and eight (40%) were enrolled. Demographics and birth mother information were obtained for all enrolled patients. In Part II, 70% (14/20) were successfully contacted; 30% (6/20) enrolled and completed all data fields linked to REDCap database; the median time for survey completion was 8 minutes. Half of the patients had cardiac operations/procedures performed at more than one hospital. Automatic electronic data entry from the online survey was uncomplicated.
Although recruitment (54%) fell below our feasibility threshold, enrolled individuals were willing to complete phone or online surveys. Incorrect contact information, privacy concerns, and patient-reported time constraints were challenges for recruitment. Creating an online survey and linked database is technically feasible and efficient for patient-reported outcomes research.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Poultry can be exposed to different kinds of immunosuppressive agents that impair health and welfare by destroying innate and acquired immunity leading to diminished genetic potential of poultry for efficient production. Immunosuppression is a condition characterised by humoral and cellular immune dysfunction that leads to increased susceptibility to secondary infections and vaccine failure. Immune dysfunction at the humoral level is largely due to change in soluble factors mediated by complement or chemokines for innate immunity or due to alterations in antibodies or cytokines for adaptive immunity. In contrast, immune dysfunctions at cellular levels include alterations in neutrophils, monocyte/macrophage, and natural killer cells for innate immunity or changes in B or T lymphocytes for adaptive immunity. In poultry, stress-induced immunosuppression is manifested by failure in vaccination, and increased morbidity and mortality of flocks. Immunosuppressive agents can have cytolytic effects on lymphocyte populations leading to atrophied and depleted lymphoid organs. Immunosuppression can be due to infectious agents or non-infectious agents or due to a combination of them. At present, several modern cellular and molecular approaches are being used to determine the status of the immune system during stress and disease. Comprehensive methodologies for the evaluation of immunosuppression by combined non-infectious and infectious aetiologies have not found general application. Currently, investigations are being developed in order to detect genetic expression of immunologic mediators and receptors by microarray technology. It is likely that this new technique will initiate the development of new strategies for the control and prevention of immunosuppression in poultry. A long term immunosuppression preventive approach involves genetic selection for resistance to immunosuppressive diseases. In general, intervention approaches for immunosuppressive diseases largely rely on minimising stress, reducing exposure to infectious agents through biosecurity, and increasing immune responses by vaccination against immunosuppressive agents.
Bangladesh is a country with a high burden of micronutrient malnutrition. Stunting affects 41 % of children aged under 5 years. Zn is one of the key micronutrients that is associated with stunting. The present study, as part of the national micronutrient survey 2011–2012, revealed for the first time the nationally representative prevalence of Zn deficiency and determined the associations of the condition. A cross-sectional ‘nationwide’ survey was conducted in pre-school-age children (6–59 months; PSAC) and non-pregnant non-lactating women (15–49 years; NPNLW). Multistage random sampling was done in 150 clusters; fifty in each of the rural, urban and slum strata. Data were analysed on 662 PSAC and 1073 NPNLW. Serum Zn was assayed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Zn deficiency was defined as serum Zn of <9·9 and <10·1 µmol/l in PSAC and NPNLW, respectively. The national prevalence of Zn deficiency was 44·6 and 57·3 % in PSAC and NPNLW, respectively. In PSAC, it was 29·5, 48·6 and 51·7 %, respectively, in urban, rural and slum strata. Household expenses (β = 0·13; P = 0·007), Hb (β = 0·10; P = 0·005), intake of animal-source Zn (β = 0·096; P = 0·02) and asset score (β = 0·11; P = 0·03) were positively associated with serum Zn in NPNLW. Residence in an urban area (β = 0·33; P = 0·03) and intake of plant-origin Zn (β = −0·13; P = 0·038) determined higher and lower status of Zn in PSAC, respectively. Zn deficiency was highly prevalent in Bangladesh, and it was principally related to inadequate quality of diet. To improve Zn nutrition, Bangladesh needs to strengthen research and programmes related to Zn biofortification, fortification and phytate-reducing technologies in the food system in the short and medium term. In addition, promotion of animal-source Zn for all is important in the long run.
We present a complete spatial and dynamical study of the poorly populated stellar system ESO65SC03. The radial distribution of the system gives a core and cluster radii of 1.10±0.63 and 5.36±0.24 arcmin, respectively. The SNDP does not show any clear enhancement of the surface stellar number density between the stars of the system and the field regions. We derive the optimum isochrone solution for a particular grid size in the CMD using the statistical cleaning procedure. Using the statistically cleaned CMDs, we find the distance modulus, (m − M)0, and reddening, E(B − V), of the system to be 11.8±0.2 and 0.45 mag, respectively. The mean proper motion of this system is − 5.37±0.81 mas yr−1 and 0.31±0.40 in RA and DEC directions, respectively. The mean proper motion of this system is found to be almost similar to the field region. The mass function for the brighter stars is found to be too high for the system to be an open cluster. These combined results place constraints on whether stellar system ESO65SC03 is a POCR or an Asterism. Our understanding is that the ESO65SC03 is in a stage of POCR by losing their main-sequence stars in the dynamic evolution processes.
We sought to examine the factors associated with bacteraemia and their outcome in children with pneumonia and severe acute malnutrition (SAM). All SAM children of either sex, aged 0–59 months, admitted to the Dhaka Hospital of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh with radiologically confirmed pneumonia from April 2011 to July 2012 were enrolled (n = 405). Comparison was made between pneumonic SAM children with (cases = 18), and without (controls = 387) bacteraemia. The death rate was significantly higher in cases than controls (28% vs. 8%, P < 0·01). In logistic regression analysis, after adjusting for potential confounders, the SAM children with pneumonia and bacteraemia more often had a history of lack of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination (odds ratio 7·39, 95% confidence interval 1·67–32·73, P < 0·01). The results indicate the importance of continuation of BCG vaccination which may provide benefit beyond its primary purpose.
To investigate whether the recommended dietary intake of Ca in anaemic infants compromises the expected Hb response, via home fortification with a new Ca- and Fe-containing Sprinkles™ micronutrient powder (MNP).
A double-blind, randomized controlled, 2-month trial was conducted in Bangladesh. Infants were randomized to one of two MNP intervention groups containing Fe and other micronutrients, with or without Ca. Hb, anthropometrics and dietary intake were measured pre- and post-intervention while family demographics were collected at baseline.
Twenty-six rural villages in the Kaliganj sub-district of Gazipur, Bangladesh.
One hundred infants aged 6–11 months.
A significant increase in Hb (MNP, 13·3 (sd 12·6) g/l v. Ca-MNP, 7·6 (sd 11·6) g/l; P < 0·0001) was noted in infants from both groups. However, infants receiving MNP without Ca had a significantly higher end-point Hb concentration (P = 0·024) and rate of anaemia recovery (P = 0·008). Infants receiving MNP with Ca were more likely to remain anaemic (OR 3·2; 95 % CI 1·4, 7·5). Groups did not differ in dietary intake or demographic and anthropometric indicators.
Although both groups showed significant improvement in Hb status, the nutrient–nutrient interaction between Fe and Ca may have diminished the Hb response in infants receiving the Ca-containing MNP.
Despite a number of risk-factor studies in different countries, the epidemiology of Campylobacter colonization in broilers, particularly spatial dependencies, is still not well understood. A series of analyses (visualization and exploratory) were therefore conducted in order to obtain a better understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of Campylobacter in the Danish broiler population. In this study, we observed a non-random temporal occurrence of Campylobacter, with high prevalence during summer and low during winter. Significant spatio-temporal clusters were identified in the same areas in the summer months from 2007 to 2009. Range of influence between broiler farms were estimated at distances of 9·6 km and 13·5 km in different years. Identification of areas and time with greater risk indicates variable presence of risk factors with space and time. Implementation of safety measures on farms within high-risk clusters during summer could have an impact in reducing prevalence.
Following the generic strategy of creating core-shell structured nanoparticles reported by our group previously  and exploring its applications, an aerosol route combined with iron carbonyl decomposition was developed to encapsulate strong oxidizer within mild oxidizer particles. This modified method enables the application of hygroscopic nano-energetic materials by stabilizing them within a water-insoluble shell. Fe2O3/I2O5 composite oxidizers have been created. Some of the results obtained from combustion tests show that the composite system significantly outperforms the single metal oxide (Fe2O3) system in both pressurization rate and peak pressure. The time-resolved mass spectrometry shows that a significant amount of O2 and I2 are released from the composite oxidizers. These preliminary results suggest a supplement to the previous strategy of obtaining the core-shell structured composite oxidizers and the method still needs to be further optimized.