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The Systems Ecology Paradigm (SEP) incorporates humans as integral parts of ecosystems and emphasizes issues that have significant societal relevance such as grazing land, forestland, and agricultural ecosystem management, biodiversity and global change impacts. Accomplishing this societally relevant research requires cutting-edge basic and applied research. This book focuses on environmental and natural resource challenges confronting local to global societies for which the SEP methodology must be utilized for resolution. Key elements of SEP are a holistic perspective of ecological/social systems, systems thinking, and the ecosystem approach applied to real world, complex environmental and natural resource problems. The SEP and ecosystem approaches force scientific emphasis to be placed on collaborations with social scientists and behavioral, learning, and marketing professionals. The SEP has given environmental scientists, decision makers, citizen stakeholders, and land and water managers a powerful set of tools to analyse, integrate knowledge, and propose adoption of solutions to important local to global problems.
Wild sheep and many primitive domesticated breeds have two coats: coarse hairs covering shorter, finer fibres. Both are shed annually. Exploitation of wool for apparel in the Bronze Age encouraged breeding for denser fleeces and continuously growing white fibres. The Merino is regarded as the culmination of this process. Archaeological discoveries, ancient images and parchment records portray this as an evolutionary progression, spanning millennia. However, examination of the fleeces from feral, two-coated and woolled sheep has revealed a ready facility of the follicle population to change from shedding to continuous growth and to revert from domesticated to primitive states. Modifications to coat structure, colour and composition have occurred in timeframes and to sheep population sizes that exclude the likelihood of variations arising from mutations and natural selection. The features are characteristic of the domestication phenotype: an assemblage of developmental, physiological, skeletal and hormonal modifications common to a wide variety of species under human control. The phenotypic similarities appeared to result from an accumulation of cryptic genetic changes early during vertebrate evolution. Because they did not affect fitness in the wild, the mutations were protected from adverse selection, becoming apparent only after exposure to a domestic environment. The neural crest, a transient embryonic cell population unique to vertebrates, has been implicated in the manifestations of the domesticated phenotype. This hypothesis is discussed with reference to the development of the wool follicle population and the particular roles of Notch pathway genes, culminating in the specific cell interactions that typify follicle initiation.
Introduction: Patients hospitalized following a trauma will be frequently treated with opioids during their stay and after discharge. We examined the relationship between acute phase (< 3 months) opioid use after discharge and the risk of opioid poisoning (OP) or opioid use disorder (OUD) in older trauma patients Methods: In a retrospective multicenter cohort study conducted on registry data, we included all patients aged 65 years and older admitted (hospital stay >2 days) for injury in 57 trauma centers in the province of Quebec (Canada) between 2004 and 2014. We searched for OP and OUD from ICD-9 and ICD-10 code diagnosis that resulted in a hospitalization or a medical consultation after their initial injury. Patients that filled an opioid prescription within a 3-month period after sustaining the trauma were compared to those who did not fill an opioid prescription during that period using Cox proportional hazards regressions. Results: A total of 70,314 participants were retained for analysis; median age was 82 years (IQR: 75-87), 68% were women, and 34% of the patients filled an opioid prescription within 3-months of the initial trauma. During a median follow-up of 2.6 years (IQR: 1-5), 192 participants (0.30%; 95%CI: 0.25%-0.35%) were hospitalized for OP and 73 (0.10%; 95%CI: 0.07%-0.13%) were diagnosed with OUD. Having filled an opioid prescription within 3-months of injury was associated with an increased hazard ratio of OP (2.6; 95%CI: 1.9-3.5) and OUD (4.0; 95%CI: 2.3-7.0). However, history of OP (2.7; 95%CI: 1.2-6.1), of substance use disorder (4.3; 95%CI: 2.4-7.9), or of opioid prescription filled (2.7; 95%CI: 2.1-3.5) before trauma were also related to OP or OUD. Conclusion: Opioid poisoning and opioid use disorder are rare events after hospitalization for trauma in older patients. However, opioids should be used cautiously in patients with history of substance use disorder, opioid poisoning or opioid use during the past year.
We formulate a model for the dynamic growth of a membrane developing in a flow as the result of a precipitation reaction, a situation inspired by recent microfluidic experiments. The precipitating solid introduces additional forces on the fluid and eventually forms a membrane that is fixed in the flow due to adhesion with a substrate. A key challenge is that, in general, the location of the immobile membrane is unknown a priori. To model this situation, we use a multiphase framework with fluid and membrane phases; the aqueous chemicals exist as scalar fields that react within the fluid to induce phase change. To verify that the model exhibits desired fluid–structure behaviours, we make simplifying assumptions to obtain a reduced form of the equations that is amenable to exact solution. This analysis demonstrates no-slip behaviour on the developing membrane without requiring fluid–membrane interface boundary conditions. The model has applications towards precipitate reactions where the precipitate greatly affects the surrounding flow, a situation appearing in many laboratory and geophysical contexts including the hydrothermal vent theory for the origin of life. More generally, this model can be used to address fluid–structure interaction problems that feature the dynamic generation of structures.
Nearly half of care home residents with advanced dementia have clinically significant agitation. Little is known about costs associated with these symptoms toward the end of life. We calculated monetary costs associated with agitation from UK National Health Service, personal social services, and societal perspectives.
Prospective cohort study.
Thirteen nursing homes in London and the southeast of England.
Seventy-nine people with advanced dementia (Functional Assessment Staging Tool grade 6e and above) residing in nursing homes, and thirty-five of their informal carers.
Data collected at study entry and monthly for up to 9 months, extrapolated for expression per annum. Agitation was assessed using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI). Health and social care costs of residing in care homes, and costs of contacts with health and social care services were calculated from national unit costs; for a societal perspective, costs of providing informal care were estimated using the resource utilization in dementia (RUD)-Lite scale.
After adjustment, health and social care costs, and costs of providing informal care varied significantly by level of agitation as death approached, from £23,000 over a 1-year period with no agitation symptoms (CMAI agitation score 0–10) to £45,000 at the most severe level (CMAI agitation score >100). On average, agitation accounted for 30% of health and social care costs. Informal care costs were substantial, constituting 29% of total costs.
With the increasing prevalence of dementia, costs of care will impact on healthcare and social services systems, as well as informal carers. Agitation is a key driver of these costs in people with advanced dementia presenting complex challenges for symptom management, service planners, and providers.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Excessive abdominal fat might be associated with more severe metabolic disorders in Holstein cows. Our hypothesis was that there are genetic differences between cows with low and high abdominal fat deposition and a normal cover of subcutaneous adipose tissue. The objective of this study was to assess the genetic basis for variation in visceral adiposity in US Holstein cows. The study included adult Holstein cows sampled from a slaughterhouse (Green Bay, WI, USA) during September 2016. Only animals with a body condition score between 2.75 and 3.25 were considered. The extent of omental fat at the level of the insertion of the lesser omentum over the pylorus area was assessed. A group of 100 Holstein cows with an omental fold <5 mm in thickness and minimum fat deposition throughout the entire omentum, and the second group of 100 cows with an omental fold ⩾20 mm in thickness and with a marked fat deposition observed throughout the entire omentum were sampled. A small piece of muscle from the neck was collected from each cow into a sterile container for DNA extraction. Samples were submitted to a commercial laboratory for interrogation of genome-wide genomic variation using the Illumina BovineHD Beadchip. Genome-Wide association analysis was performed to test potential associations between fat deposition and genomic variation. A univariate mixed linear model analysis was performed using genome-wide efficient mixed model association to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with variation in a visceral fat deposition. The chip heritability was 0.686 and the estimated additive genetic and residual variance components were 0.427 and 0.074, respectively. In total, 11 SNPs defining four quantitative trait locus (QTL) regions were found to be significantly associated with visceral fat deposition (P<0.00001). Among them, two of the QTL were detected with four and five significantly associated SNPs, respectively; whereas, the QTLs detected on BTA12 and BTA19 were each detected with only one significantly associated SNP. No enriched gene ontology terms were found within the gene networks harboring these genes when supplied to DAVID using either the Bos taurus or human gene ontology databases. We conclude that excessive omental fat in Holstein cows with similar body condition scores is not caused by a single Mendelian locus and that the trait appears to be at least moderately heritable; consequently, selection to reduce excessive omental fat is potentially possible, but would require the generation of predicted transmitting abilities from larger and random samples of Holstein cattle.
Despite extensive research on organizational virtue, our understanding about factors that promote virtue within organizations remains unclear. Drawing on upper echelon theory, we examine the relationship between five top management team (TMT) characteristics and organizational virtue orientation (OVO)—the integrated set of values and beliefs that support ethical traits and virtuous behaviors of an organization. Specifically, we utilize prospectuses of initial public offering (IPO) firms and 10-K post-IPO filings to explore how TMT composition with respect to member age, tenure, education, functional background, and gender influences OVO. Additionally, we examine the moderating effects of organizational size, and argue that the more expansive structures and processes associated with larger organizations diminish the main relationships. Our findings, using two sources of data, are consistent, but somewhat mixed in their support for our hypotheses. Overall, TMT characteristics do appear to influence OVO, but in more complex and counterintuitive ways than initially expected.
Background: With few evidence-based disease-modifying therapies being available for patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS), how can neurologists best care for their patients? Little is known about the perspectives of patients with respect to the role they would like their neurologist to play in their care. We hereby report an update to our abstract presented at the Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation’s annual congress in 2016. Methods: Patients with PMS having an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 6 or more were invited to participate. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients and their caregivers, and written questionnaires were completed by all participants. Collected data was subjected to thematic coding. Results: We have now interviewed a total of 18 patients (compared to 10 in 2016) and have reached thematic saturation. The majority of patients identified the neurologist as a useful figure in their care. Three main reasons were identified: (1) The neurologist provides information about new research and therapies (2) The neurologist educates patients about their disease and available services (3) The neurologist is viewed as an important supportive figure. Conclusions: Despite a lack of disease-modifying treatments for progressive multiple sclerosis, patients with PMS view the neurologist as an essential provider of care.
Animal models of early postnatal mother–infant interactions have highlighted the importance of tactile contact for biobehavioral outcomes via the modification of DNA methylation (DNAm). The role of normative variation in contact in early human development has yet to be explored. In an effort to translate the animal work on tactile contact to humans, we applied a naturalistic daily diary strategy to assess the link between maternal contact with infants and epigenetic signatures in children 4–5 years later, with respect to multiple levels of child-level factors, including genetic variation and infant distress. We first investigated DNAm at four candidate genes: the glucocorticoid receptor gene, nuclear receptor subfamily 3, group C, member 1 (NR3C1), μ-opioid receptor M1 (OPRM1) and oxytocin receptor (OXTR; related to the neurobiology of social bonds), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; involved in postnatal plasticity). Although no candidate gene DNAm sites significantly associated with early postnatal contact, when we next examined DNAm across the genome, differentially methylated regions were identified between high and low contact groups. Using a different application of epigenomic information, we also quantified epigenetic age, and report that for infants who received low contact from caregivers, greater infant distress was associated with younger epigenetic age. These results suggested that early postnatal contact has lasting associations with child biology.
Sheep are an important part of the global agricultural economy. Growth and meat production traits are significant economic traits in sheep. The Texel breed is the most popular terminal sire breed in the UK, mainly selected for muscle growth and lean carcasses. This is a study based on a genome-wide association approach that investigates the links between some economically important traits, including computed tomography (CT) measurements, and molecular polymorphisms in UK Texel sheep. Our main aim was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated with growth, carcass, health and welfare traits of the Texel sheep breed. This study used data from 384 Texel rams. Data comprised ten traits, including two CT measured traits. The phenotypic data were placed in four categories: growth traits, carcass traits, health traits and welfare traits. De-regressed estimated breeding values (EBV) for these traits together with sire genotypes derived with the Ovine 50 K SNP array of Illumina were jointly analysed in a genome wide association analysis. Eight novel chromosome-wise significant associations were found for carcass, growth, health and welfare traits. Three significant markers were intronic variants and the remainder intergenic variants. This study is a first step to search for genomic regions controlling CT-based productivity traits related to body and carcass composition in a terminal sire sheep breed using a 50 K SNP genome-wide array. Results are important for the further development of strategies to identify causal variants associated with CT measures and other commercial traits in sheep. Independent studies are needed to confirm these results and identify candidate genes for the studied traits.
Seasonal influenza can cause significant morbidity in pregnant women. Much of the existing epidemiological evidence on influenza during pregnancy has focused on the 2009 A/H1N1 pandemic. To measure the epidemiological characteristics of seasonal influenza infection among pregnant women and the impact on infant health, a cohort of 86 779 pregnancies during the influenza season (2012–2014) was established using probabilistic linkage of notifiable infectious disease, hospital admission, and birth information. A total of 192 laboratory-confirmed influenza infections were identified (2·2 per 1000 pregnancies), 14·6% of which were admitted to hospital. There was no difference in the proportion of infections admitted to hospital by trimester or subtype of infection. Influenza B infections were more likely to occur in second trimester compared with influenza A/H3N2 and influenza A/H1N1 infections (41·3%, 23·6%, and 33·3%, respectively), and on average, infants born to women with influenza B during pregnancy had 4·0% (95% CI 0·3–7·6%) lower birth weight relative to optimal compared with infants born to uninfected women (P = 0·03). Results from this linked population-based study suggest that there are differences in maternal infection by virus type and subtype and support the provision of seasonal influenza vaccine to pregnant women.
We performed a spatial-temporal analysis to assess household risk factors for Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in a remote, severely-affected village. We defined a household as a family's shared living space and a case-household as a household with at least one resident who became a suspect, probable, or confirmed Ebola case from 1 August 2014 to 10 October 2014. We used Geographic Information System (GIS) software to calculate inter-household distances, performed space-time cluster analyses, and developed Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE). Village X consisted of 64 households; 42% of households became case-households over the observation period. Two significant space-time clusters occurred among households in the village; temporal effects outweighed spatial effects. GEE demonstrated that the odds of becoming a case-household increased by 4·0% for each additional person per household (P < 0·02) and 2·6% per day (P < 0·07). An increasing number of persons per household, and to a lesser extent, the passage of time after onset of the outbreak were risk factors for household Ebola acquisition, emphasizing the importance of prompt public health interventions that prioritize the most populated households. Using GIS with GEE can reveal complex spatial-temporal risk factors, which can inform prioritization of response activities in future outbreaks.
Introduction: Poor physicians’ knowledge of health care costs has been identified as an important barrier to improving efficiency and reducing overuse in care delivery. Moreover, costs of tests and treatments estimated with traditional costing methods have been shown to be imprecise and unreliable. We estimated the cost of frequent care activities in the emergency department (ED) using the time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) method. Methods: We conducted a TDABC study in the ED of the CHUL, Québec city (77000 visits/year). We estimated the cost of all potential care activities (e.g. triage) provided to adult patients with selected urgent (e.g. pulmonary sepsis) and non urgent (e.g. urinary tract infection) conditions frequently encountered in the ED. Following Lean management principles, process maps were developed by a group of ED care providers for each care activity to identify human resources, supplies and equipment involved, and to estimate the time required to complete each process. Resource unit cost (e.g. cost per minute of a nurse) and overhead rate were calculated using financial information from fiscal year 2015-16. Estimated cost of each care activity (e.g. chest X-ray) including physicians’ charges was calculated by summing overhead allocation and the cost of each process (e.g. disinfection of the X-ray machine) as obtained by multiplying the resource unit cost by the time for process completion. Results: Process maps were developed for 14 conditions and 68 ED care activities. We estimated the costs of activities (CAN$) related to nursing (e.g. urinalysis and culture triage ordering $14.70), clerk tasks (e.g. patient registration $3.40), physicians (e.g. FAST scan $20.90), laboratory testing (e.g. CBC $6.30), diagnostic imaging (e.g. abdominal CT scan $146.50), therapy (e.g. 5 mg of iv morphine $20.40), and resuscitation (rapid sequence intubation with ketamine and succinylcholine $146.40). Overall, emergency physicians’ charges, personnel salaries and overheads accounted for 38%, 22% and 16% of all ED care costs, respectively. Conclusion: Our results represent an important step toward increasing emergency physicians’ awareness on the real cost of their interventions and empowering them to adopt more cost-effective practice patterns.
Background: Planning for neurology training necessitated a reflection on the experience of graduates. We explored practice characteristics, and training experience of recent graduates. Methods: Graduates from 2010-2014 completed a survey. Results: Response rate was 37% of 211. 56% were female. 91% were adult neurologists. 65% practiced in an outpatient setting. 63% worked in academics. 85% completed subspecialty training (median 1 year). 36% work 3 days a week or less. 82% took general call (median 1 night weekly). Role preparation was considered very good or excellent for most; however poor or fair ratings were 17% in advocacy and 8% in leadership. Training feedback was at least “good” for 87%. Burnout a few times a week or more was noted by 5% (6% during residency, particularly PGY1 and 5). 64% felt overly burdened by paperwork. Although most felt training was adequate, it was poor or fair at preparing for practice management (85%) and personal balance (55%). Most conditions were under-observed in training environment. Many noted a need for more independent practice development and community neurology. Conclusions: Although our training was found to be very good, some identified needs included advocacy training, and more training in general neurology in the longitudinal outpatient/community settings.
The evidence underpinning the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) is overwhelming. As the emphasis shifts more towards interventions and the translational strategies for disease prevention, it is important to capitalize on collaboration and knowledge sharing to maximize opportunities for discovery and replication. DOHaD meetings are facilitating this interaction. However, strategies to perpetuate focussed discussions and collaborations around and between conferences are more likely to facilitate the development of DOHaD research. For this reason, the DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand (DOHaD ANZ) has initiated themed Working Groups, which convened at the 2014–2015 conferences. This report introduces the DOHaD ANZ Working Groups and summarizes their plans and activities. One of the first Working Groups to form was the ActEarly birth cohort group, which is moving towards more translational goals. Reflecting growing emphasis on the impact of early life biodiversity – even before birth – we also have a Working Group titled Infection, inflammation and the microbiome. We have several Working Groups exploring other major non-cancerous disease outcomes over the lifespan, including Brain, behaviour and development and Obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic health. The Epigenetics and Animal Models Working Groups cut across all these areas and seeks to ensure interaction between researchers. Finally, we have a group focussed on ‘Translation, policy and communication’ which focusses on how we can best take the evidence we produce into the community to effect change. By coordinating and perpetuating DOHaD discussions in this way we aim to enhance DOHaD research in our region.
A K-band (18-25 GHz) reflected-wave ruby maser (Moore and Clauss 1979) has been borrowed from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory for radio astronomy use on the NASA 64-m antenna of the Deep Space Network at the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station, near Canberra. The purpose of the installation is to provide additional sensitive spectral line, continuum, and VLBI capabilities in the southern hemisphere. Previous measurements at 22.3 GHz (λ = 13.5 mm) determined that the Tidbinbilla 64-m antenna has a peak aperture efficiency of ˜22%, a well-behaved beam shape and consistent pointing (Fourikis and Jauncey 1979). Before installing the maser on the antenna a cooled (circulator) switch was added to provide a beam-switching capability, and a spectral line receiver following the maser was incorporated. The system was assembled and tested at JPL in late 1980 and installed at Tidbinbilla early in 1981. We give here a brief description and present some of the first line observations made in February and March 1981. Extensive line and continuum observations are planned with the present system and a program is under way to determine the telescope pointing characteristics.
Congenital abnormalities of the coronary arteries in the absence of structural heart disease account for a small but interesting percentage of cardiac lesions in children. Their presentation may vary from incidental identification to aborted/sudden cardiac death. Patients with aborted sudden death episodes will require significant support if they develop extensive ischaemic myocardial injury. Ultimately, surgical repair should be carried out as soon as haemodynamic stability is attained and the neurological status is evaluated. The aims of this article were to provide a review of congenital abnormalities of the coronary arteries most commonly seen in children in the ICU as well as to review the current critical-care management thereof.