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For livestock production systems to play a positive role in global food security, the balance between their benefits and disbenefits to society must be appropriately managed. Based on the evidence provided by field-scale randomised controlled trials around the world, this debate has traditionally centred on the concept of economic-environmental trade-offs, of which existence is theoretically assured when resource allocation is perfect on the farm. Recent research conducted on commercial farms indicates, however, that the economic-environmental nexus is not nearly as straightforward in the real world, with environmental performances of enterprises often positively correlated with their economic profitability. Using high-resolution primary data from the North Wyke Farm Platform, an intensively instrumented farm-scale ruminant research facility located in southwest United Kingdom, this paper proposes a novel, information-driven approach to carry out comprehensive assessments of economic-environmental trade-offs inherent within pasture-based cattle and sheep production systems. The results of a data-mining exercise suggest that a potentially systematic interaction exists between ‘soil health’, ecological surroundings and livestock grazing, whereby a higher level of soil organic carbon (SOC) stock is associated with a better animal performance and less nutrient losses into watercourses, and a higher stocking density with greater botanical diversity and elevated SOC. We contend that a combination of farming system-wide trials and environmental instrumentation provides an ideal setting for enrolling scientifically sound and biologically informative metrics for agricultural sustainability, through which agricultural producers could obtain guidance to manage soils, water, pasture and livestock in an economically and environmentally acceptable manner. Priority areas for future farm-scale research to ensure long-term sustainability are also discussed.
Monolithic integrated thin film tandem solar cells consisting of a high bandgap perovskite top cell and a low bandgap thin film bottom cell are expected to reach higher power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) with lower manufacturing cost and environmental impacts than the market-dominant crystalline silicon photovoltaics. There have been several demonstrations of 4-terminal and 2-terminal perovskite tandem devices with CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) or CuInSe2 (CIS) and, similar to the other tandem structures, the optimization of this device relies on optimal choice for the perovskite bandgap and thickness. Therefore, further advancement will be enabled by tuning the perovskite absorber to maximize the photocurrent limited by the current match condition. Here, we systematically study the optical absorption and transmission of perovskite thin films with varying absorber band gap. Based on these results, we model the photocurrent generations in both perovskite and CIS subcells and estimate the performances of projected tandem devices by considering the ideally functioning perovskite and CIS device. Our results show that for perovskite layers with 500 nm thickness the optimal bandgap is around 1.6 eV. With these configurations, PCEs above 20% could be achieved by monolithically integrated perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells. Also by modelling the absorption at every layer we calculate the quantum efficiency at each subcell in addition to tracking optical losses.
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.
In June 2014 Public Health England confirmed a case of Legionnaires' disease (LD) in a neonate following birth at home in a hired birthing pool incorporating a heater and a recirculation pump which had been filled in advance of labour. The case triggered a public health investigation and a microbiological survey of an additional ten heated birthing pools hired or recently hired to the general public across England. The birthing pool used by the parent of the confirmed case was identified as the source of the neonate's infection following detection of Legionella pneumophila ST48 in both patient and environmental samples. Legionella species were detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction but not culture in a further three pools together with other opportunistic pathogens identified by culture and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight (MALDI–ToF) mass spectrometry. A Patient Safety Alert from NHS England and Public Health England was issued stating that heated birthing pools filled in advance of labour should not be used for home births. This recommendation remains in place. This investigation in conjunction with other recent reports has highlighted a lack of awareness regarding the microbiological safety of heated birthing pools and their potential to be a source of LD and other opportunistic infections. Furthermore, the investigation raised important considerations with regards to microbiological sampling and testing in such incidents. Public health authorities and clinicians should consider LD in the differential diagnosis of severe respiratory infection in neonates within 14 days of a water birth.
An essential aspect of carbon (C) accounting is the development of methods and technologies for measurement and monitoring of C pools and fluxes. Forest and agricultural systems are key to the C cycle, as they hold and rapidly exchange large amounts of C, and human-influenced dynamics of C in these systems are very large. Wetlands, streams, and rivers are important reservoirs and exchange points for C, with C in land and hydrologic systems vulnerable to land-use impacts and other natural disturbance forces. In the context of climate change, the sizes of C pools and magnitudes of C fluxes (see Chapter 2) need to be both well understood for modeling purposes and accurately monitored to quantify and attribute changes driven by land-change processes and confounded by climate-change forces.
Direct-measurement methods for C accounting, such as a ground-based inventories, can be inappropriate for covering large landscapes to document extensive C pools or for repeating measurements needed to adequately account for C dynamics. However, if properly deployed, remote sensing systems can be used to provide the spatially synoptic and temporally frequent coverage needed to document land conditions and changes over time (Cohen and Goward 2004; Houghton and Goetz 2008). Remote sensing tools and techniques have developed since the first airborne sensors (photographic cameras) were deployed in the early 1900s. They have progressed from simple passive recording devices to advanced passive and active sensing systems operating from airborne and spaceborne platforms. Remote sensing science includes the data collection technologies and data analysis techniques developed to use remotely sensed data within the framework of spatial data analyses.
The present work shows results on elemental distribution analyses in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films for solar cells performed by use of wavelength-dispersive and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) in a scanning electron microscope, EDX in a transmission electron microscope, X-ray photoelectron, angle-dependent soft X-ray emission, secondary ion-mass (SIMS), time-of-flight SIMS, sputtered neutral mass, glow-discharge optical emission and glow-discharge mass, Auger electron, and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, by use of scanning Auger electron microscopy, Raman depth profiling, and Raman mapping, as well as by use of elastic recoil detection analysis, grazing-incidence X-ray and electron backscatter diffraction, and grazing-incidence X-ray fluorescence analysis. The Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films used for the present comparison were produced during the same identical deposition run and exhibit thicknesses of about 2 μm. The analysis techniques were compared with respect to their spatial and depth resolutions, measuring speeds, availabilities, and detection limits.
Community and hospital-acquired cases of human rotavirus are responsible for millions of gastroenteritis cases in children worldwide, chiefly in developing countries, and vaccines are now available. During surveillance activity for human rotavirus infections in Ireland, between 2006 and 2009, a total of 420 rotavirus strains were collected and analysed. Upon either PCR genotyping and sequence analysis, a variety of VP7 (G1–G4 and G9) and VP4 (P, P, P and P) genotypes were detected. Strains G1P were found to be predominant throughout the period 2006–2008, with slight fluctuations seen in the very limited samples available in 2008–2009. Upon either PCR genotyping and sequence analysis of selected strains, the G1, G3 and G9 viruses were found to contain E1 (Wa-like) NSP4 and I1 VP6 genotypes, while the analysed G2 strains possessed E2 NSP4 and I2 VP6 genotypes, a genetic make-up which is highly conserved in the major human rotavirus genogroups Wa- and Kun-like, respectively. Upon sequence analysis of the most common VP4 genotype, P, at least two distinct lineages were identified, both unrelated to P Irish rotaviruses circulating in previous years, and more closely related to recent European humans rotaviruses. Moreover, sequence analysis of the VP7 of G1 rotaviruses revealed the onset of a G1 variant, previously unseen in the Irish population.
A prototype expanded-beam spectroscopic ellipsometer has been developed that uses uncollimated (non-parallel, diffuse) illumination with a detection system consisting of an angle-of-incidence-sensitive pinhole camera for high-speed, large-area imaging/mapping applications. The performance of this novel instrument is being tested for imaging/mapping of mixed-phase hydrogenated silicon films having graded amorphous (a-Si:H) and nanocrystalline (nc-Si:H) components throughout the film depth. The speed of the measurement system makes the instrument suitable for use on production lines. The precision enables detection of subnanometer thicknesses, and refractive index and extinction coefficient changes of 0.01. Angle-of-incidence and mirror calibrations are made via well-known sample structures. Alternative commercial instrumentation for mapping by spectroscopic ellipsometry must translate the sample or ellipsometer in two dimensions. For this instrumentation, even a 15 × 15 cm2 sample with cm2 resolution requires > 200 measurements and at least 15 min. By imaging along one dimension in parallel, the expanded-beam system can measure with similar resolution in < 2 min. The focus of recent instrumentation efforts is on improving the overall system spectral range and its performance.
A total of 1590 calves were investigated between May 1972 and December 1975. Twenty-two per cent were treated for respiratory disease and 2·5% died of pneumonia. Almost 80% of the respiratory illness occurred in six sharp outbreaks. Samples for virology were collected routinely from 127 healthy calves and from 354 calves treated for respiratory signs and comprised 1143 nasopharyngeal swabs and 1069 sera. Virus infections were detected on 540 occasions including 135 by parainfluenzavirus type 3 (Pi-3), 78 by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), 103 by rhinovirus, 49 by bovine virus diarrhoea virus (BVDV), 29 by adenoviruses, 53 by reoviruses and 88 by enteroviruses. The seasonal and age distribution of infections differed between viruses. Only infections by RSV, Pi-3 and BVDV were significantly associated with disease.
An inactivated vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was compared with two live vaccines. The inactivated (GC) vaccine consisted of glutaraldehyde-fixed bovine nasal mucosa cells persistently infected with RSV and emulsified with oil adjuvant. The live vaccines were a modified virus (MV) derived from a bovine strain of RSV and a temperature-sensitive mutant (ts-1) derived from a human strain. The GC vaccine was inoculated subcutaneously into 12 calves and the live vaccines intramuscularly into eight calves each. Nine unvaccinated calves acted as controls. The vaccines were administered in two doses 3 weeks apart and all calves were challenged intranasally with 2 × 107 p.f.u. of bovine RSV 3 weeks after the second dose.
At the time of challenge calves given GC, MV and ts-1 vaccines had mean serum neutralizing antibody titres of 25, 19 and 2 respectively; mean titres of IgG1 antibody by radioimmunoassay were log10 4·5, 1·3 and 2·6 respectively and mean zone areas by single radial haemolysis (SRH) were 107, 27 and 36 mm2 respectively.
Eleven of 12 calves given GC vaccine were completely protected against challenge but all control animals and those given the two live vaccines were infected. The mean peak titre of virus in nasal swabs of control calves was 3.0 log10 p.f.u./ml and the mean duration of virus shedding was 6·8 days. Both these parameters were significantly reduced in animals given MV and ts-1 vaccines: mean peak titres were 2·1 and 2·4 log10 p.f.u./ml and mean duration of shedding was 3·4 and 3·3 days respectively.
Thus, protection correlated better with RSV antibody detected by radio-immunoassay and SRH than with neutralizing antibody. These results are discussed in relation to the possible mechanism by which protection was mediated.
Short take-off and landing (STOL) systems can offer significant capabilities to warfighters and, for civil operators thriving on maximising efficiencies they can improve airspace use while containing noise within airport environments. In order to provide data for next generation systems, a wind tunnel test of an all-wing cruise efficient, short take-off and landing (CE STOL) configuration was conducted in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center (LaRC) 14ft by 22ft Subsonic Wind Tunnel. The test’s purpose was to mature the aerodynamic aspects of an integrated powered lift system within an advanced mobility configuration capable of CE STOL. The full-span model made use of steady flap blowing and a lifting centerbody to achieve high lift coefficients. The test occurred during April through June of 2007 and included objectives for advancing the state-of-the-art of powered lift testing through gathering force and moment data, on-body pressure data, and off-body flow field measurements during automatically controlled blowing conditions. Data were obtained for variations in model configuration, angles of attack and sideslip, blowing coefficient, and height above ground. The database produced by this effort is being used to advance design techniques and computational tools for developing systems with integrated powered lift technologies.