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A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec) is an investigational, conditionally lytic, retroviral replicating vector (RRV). RRVs selectively infect cancer cells due to innate and adaptive immune response defects in cancers that allow virus replication, and the requirement for cell division for virus integration into the genome. Toca 511 spreads through tumors, stably delivering an optimized yeast cytosine deaminase gene that converts the prodrug Toca FC (investigational, extended-release 5-FC) into 5-FU within the tumor microenvironment. 5-FU kills infected dividing cancer cells and surrounding tumor, myeloid derived suppressor cells, and tumor associated macrophages, resulting in long-term tumor immunity in preclinical models. Data from a Phase 1 resection trial showed six durable CRs and extended mOS compared to historical controls. The FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Toca 511 & Toca FC in the treatment of patients with rHGG. Toca 5 is an international, randomized, open-label Phase 3 trial (NCT02414165) of Toca 511 & Toca FC versus SOC in patients undergoing resection for first or second recurrence of rHGG. Patients will be stratified by IDH1 status, KPS, and geographic region. Primary endpoint is OS, and secondary endpoints are durable response rate, durable clinical benefit rate, duration of durable response, and 12-month survival rate. Key inclusion criteria are histologically proven GBM or AA, tumor size ≥1cm and ≤5cm, and KPS ≥70. Immune monitoring and molecular profiling will be performed. Approximately 380 patients will be randomized. An IDMC is commissioned to review the safety and efficacy data which includes 2 interim analyses. Enrollment is ongoing.
This paper discusses the sustainability of livestock systems, emphasising bidirectional relations with animal health. We review conventional and contrarian thinking on sustainability and argue that in the most common approaches to understanding sustainability, health aspects have been under-examined. Literature review reveals deep concerns over the sustainability of livestock systems; we recognise that interventions are required to shift to more sustainable trajectories, and explore approaches to prioritising in different systems, focusing on interventions that lead to better health. A previously proposed three-tiered categorisation of ‘hot spots’, ‘cold spots’ and ‘worried well’ animal health trajectories provides a mental model that, by taking into consideration the different animal health status, animal health risks, service response needs and key drivers in each system, can help identify and implement interventions. Combining sustainability concepts with animal health trajectories allows for a richer analysis, and we apply this to three case studies drawn from North Africa and the Middle East; Bangladesh; and the Eastern Cape of South Africa. We conclude that the quest for sustainability of livestock production systems from the perspective of human and animal health is elusive and difficult to reconcile with the massive anticipated growth in demand for livestock products, mainly in low- and middle-income countries, as well as the aspirations of poor livestock keepers for better lives. Nevertheless, improving the health of livestock can contribute to health sustainability both through reducing negative health impacts of livestock and increasing efficiency of production. However, the choice of the most appropriate options must be under-pinned by an understanding of agro-ecology, economy and values. We argue that a new pillar of One Health should be added to the three traditional sustainability pillars of economics, society and environment when addressing livestock systems.
The calpain enzyme system plays an important role in the proteolytic events leading to the conversion of muscle to meat in livestock species. Evidence in beef has shown that the levels of calpastatin, the inhibitory component of the system, measured 24 h after slaughter can be used to predict the degree of tenderisation achieved at the end of the normal conditioning period (Koohmaraie et al., 1995). Recent experimental work in pig muscle has shown that calpastatin can be increased by protocols which mimic stress and that these increases relate to changes in tenderness (Sensky et al., 1996; Sensky et al., 1997). In this study differences in the calpain system in randomly selected pigs slaughtered at a commercial slaughterhouse were investigated, with respect to the degree to which the meat tenderised.
Working canines are deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as part of a National Disaster Response Plan. Stress associated with helicopter flight and the resulting physical effects on the dog are unknown. Our objective was to test the hypotheses that (1) helicopter travel affects the physiology and faecal microbiota of working canines, but that (2) physiological consequences of helicopter travel will not negatively affect their work performance. A total of nine FEMA canines were loaded onto helicopters and flown for 30 min in July 2015. Rectal temperature, behavioural stress indicators and saliva swabs (for cortisol) were collected at baseline, loading, mid-flight and post-flight. After flight, canines completed a standardised search exercise to monitor work performance. Faecal samples were collected for microbial DNA extraction and Illumina sequencing. All canines were on a standardised diet (CANIDAE® Grain Free PURE Land®) for 3 weeks prior to the study. Visible indicators of stress were observed at loading and at mid-flight and corresponded with an increase (P < 0·05) in salivary cortisol from 5·4 µg/l (baseline) to 6·4 µg/l (loading). Additionally, rectal temperature increased (P < 0·05) from 38·61°C (baseline) to 39·33°C (mid-flight) and 39·72°C (post-flight). Helicopter travel did not affect search performance (P > 0·05). We found that α- and β-diversity measures of faecal microbiota were not affected (P > 0·05). Our data suggest that although helicopter travel may cause physiological changes that have been associated with stress in working dogs, it does not make an impact on their search performance or the stability of faecal microbiota.
Accurate models of X-ray absorption and re-emission in partly stripped ions are necessary to calculate the structure of stars, the performance of hohlraums for inertial confinement fusion and many other systems in high-energy-density plasma physics. Despite theoretical progress, a persistent discrepancy exists with recent experiments at the Sandia Z facility studying iron in conditions characteristic of the solar radiative–convective transition region. The increased iron opacity measured at Z could help resolve a longstanding issue with the standard solar model, but requires a radical departure for opacity theory. To replicate the Z measurements, an opacity experiment has been designed for the National Facility (NIF). The design uses established techniques scaled to NIF. A laser-heated hohlraum will produce X-ray-heated uniform iron plasmas in local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) at temperatures
eV and electron densities
. The iron will be probed using continuum X-rays emitted in a
diameter source from a 2 mm diameter polystyrene (CH) capsule implosion. In this design,
of the NIF beams deliver 500 kJ to the
mm diameter hohlraum, and the remaining
directly drive the CH capsule with 200 kJ. Calculations indicate this capsule backlighter should outshine the iron sample, delivering a point-projection transmission opacity measurement to a time-integrated X-ray spectrometer viewing down the hohlraum axis. Preliminary experiments to develop the backlighter and hohlraum are underway, informing simulated measurements to guide the final design.
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada normally meets every three years for a session lasting several days. It held its 41st session from 7 to 12 July 2016 in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Although much media attention focused on one particular motion, a lot of other work was accomplished during the session.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
Genetically similar nulliparous Polled Hereford heifers from a closed pedigree herd were used to evaluate the effects of dietary protein during the first and second trimester of gestation upon foetal, placental and postnatal growth. Heifers were randomly allocated into two groups at 35 days after artificial insemination (35 days post conception (dpc)) to a single bull and fed high (15.7% CP) or low (5.9% CP) protein in the first trimester (T1). At 90 dpc, half of each nutritional treatment group changed to a high- or low-protein diet for the second trimester until 180 dpc (T2). High protein intake in the second trimester increased birth weight in females (P=0.05), but there was no effect of treatment upon birth weight when taken over both sexes. Biparietal diameter was significantly increased by high protein in the second trimester with the effect being greater in the female (P=0.02), but also significant overall (P=0.05). Placental weight was positively correlated with birth weight, fibroblast volume and relative blood vessel volume (P<0.05). Placental fibroblast density was increased and trophoblast volume decreased in the high-protein first trimester treatment group (P<0.05). There was a trend for placental weight to be increased by high protein in the second trimester (P=0.06). Calves from heifers fed the high-protein treatment in the second trimester weighed significantly more on all occasions preweaning (at 1 month (P=0.0004), 2 months (P=0.006), 3 months (P=0.002), 4 months (P=0.01), 5 months (P=0.03), 6 months (P=0.001)), and grew at a faster rate over the 6-month period. By 6 months of age, the calves from heifers fed high nutrition in the second trimester weighed 33 kg heavier than those fed the low diet in the second trimester. These results suggest that dietary protein in early pregnancy alters the development of the bovine placenta and calf growth to weaning.
Improving neurocognitive outcomes following treatment for brain metastases have become increasingly important. We propose that a brief telephone-based neurocognitive assessment may improve follow-up cognitive assessments in this palliative population. Aim: To prospectively assess the feasibility and reliability of a telephone based brief neurocognitive assessment compared to the same tests delivered face-to-face. Methods: Brain metastases patients to be treated with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) were assessed using a brief validated neurocognitive battery at baseline, at 1 month and 3 months following WBRT (in person and over the phone). The primary outcome was feasibility and inter-procedural (in person versus telephone) reliability. The secondary objective was to evaluate the change in neurocognitive function before and after WBRT. Results: Out of 39 patients enrolled, 82% of patients completed the baseline in-person and telephone neurocognitive assessments. However, at 1 month, only 41% of enrolled patients completed the in-person and telephone cognitive assessments and at 3 months, only 10% of patients completed them. Results pertaining to reliability and change in neurocognitive function will be updated. Conclusion: The pre-defined definition of feasibility (at least 80% completion for face to face and telephone neurocognitive assessments) was met at baseline. However, a large proportion of participants did not complete either telephone or in person neurocognitive follow-up at 1 month and at 3 months post-WBRT. Attrition remained a challenge for neurocognitive testing in this population even when a telephone-based brief assessment was used.
In the dairy industry, excess dietary CP is consistently correlated with decreased conception rates. However, the source from which excess CP is derived and how it affects reproductive function in beef cattle is largely undefined. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of feeding excess metabolizable protein (MP) from feedstuffs differing in rumen degradability on ovulatory follicular dynamics, subsequent corpus luteum (CL) development, steroid hormone production and circulating amino acids (AA) in beef cows. Non-pregnant, non-lactating mature beef cows (n=18) were assigned to 1 of 2 isonitrogenous diets (150% of MP requirements) designed to maintain similar BW and body condition score (BCS) between treatments. Diets consisted of ad libitum corn stalks supplemented with corn gluten meal (moderate rumen undegradable protein (RUP); CGM) or soybean meal (low RUP; SBM). After a 20-day supplement adaptation period, cows were synchronized for ovulation. After 10 days of synchronization, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) was administered to reset ovarian follicular growth. Starting at GnRH administration and daily thereafter until spontaneous ovulation, transrectal ultrasonography was used to diagram ovarian follicular growth, and blood samples were collected for hormone, metabolite and AA analyses. After 7 days of visual detection of estrus, CL size was determined via ultrasound. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedures of SAS. As designed, cow BW and BCS were not different (P⩾0.33). Ovulatory follicular wavelength, antral follicle count, ovulatory follicle size at dominance and duration of dominance were not different (P>0.13) between treatments. Cows supplemented with CGM had greater post-dominance ovulatory follicle growth, larger dominant follicles at spontaneous luteolysis, shorter proestrus, and larger ovulatory follicles (P⩽0.03) than SBM cows. No differences (P⩾0.44) in peak estradiol, ratio of estradiol to ovulatory follicle volume, or plasma urea nitrogen were observed. While CL volume and the ratio of progesterone to CL volume were not affected by treatment (P⩾0.24), CGM treated cows tended to have decreased (P=0.07) circulating progesterone 7 days post-estrus compared with SBM cows. Although total circulating plasma AA concentration did not differ (P=0.70) between treatments, CGM cows had greater phenylalanine (P=0.03) and tended to have greater leucine concentrations (P=0.07) than SBM cows. In summary, these data illustrate that excess MP when supplemented to cows consuming a low quality forage may differentially impact ovarian function depending on ruminal degradability of the protein source.
In the dairy industry, excess dietary CP is consistently correlated with decreased conception rates. However, amount of excess CP effects on reproductive function in beef cattle is largely undefined. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of excess metabolizable protein (MP) supplementation from a moderately abundant rumen undegradable protein (RUP) source (corn gluten meal: 62% RUP) on ovarian function and circulating amino acid (AA) concentrations in beef cows consuming low quality forage. Non-pregnant, non-lactating beef cows (n=16) were allocated by age, BW and body condition score (BCS) to 1 of 2 isocaloric supplements designed to maintain BW for 60 days. Cows had ad libitum access to corn stalks and were individually offered a corn gluten meal-based supplement daily at 125% (MP125) or 150% (MP150) of National Research Council (NRC) MP requirements. After a 20-day supplement adaptation period, cows were synchronized for ovulation. After 10 days of synchronization, follicular growth was reset with gonadotropin releasing hormone. Daily thereafter, transrectal ultrasonography was performed to diagram ovarian follicular waves, and blood samples were collected for hormone, metabolite and AA analyses. After 7 days of observation of estrus, corpus luteum (CL) size was determined via ultrasound. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedures of SAS. No differences (P⩾0.21) in BW and BCS existed throughout the study; however, plasma urea N at ovulation was greater (P=0.04) in MP150. Preovulatory ovarian follicle size at dominance, duration of dominance, size at spontaneous luteolysis, length of proestrus and wavelength were not different (P⩾0.11) between treatments. However, ovulatory follicles were larger (P=0.04) and average antral follicle count was greater (P=0.01) in MP150 than MP125. Estradiol concentration and ratio of estradiol to ovulatory follicle volume were not different due to treatment (P⩾0.25). While CL volume 7 days post-estrus was greater (P<0.01) in MP150 than MP125, circulating progesterone 7 days post-estrus and ratio of progesterone to CL volume were not different (P⩾0.21). Total AA were not different (P⩾0.76) at study initiation or completion; however, as a percent of total AA, branched-chain AA at ovulation were greater (P=0.02) in MP150. In conclusion, supplementation of CP at 150% of NRC MP requirements from a moderately undegradable protein source may enhance growth of the ovulatory follicle and subsequent CL compared with MP supplementation at 125% of NRC MP requirements.
Cen X-3 was first discovered by Chodil et al. Since then, observations using the UHURU satellite have shown it to be an X-ray pulsar, and it must now have become one of the most searched for objects in the sky. It is both an X-ray pulsar (P~4.8 secs) and an X-ray eclipsing binary (P~2.08712 days).
Small < 10 m s−1 variations of radial velocity (RV) with multi-year periods in solar-type stars may be indistinguishable from the effects induced on lines by stellar activity cycles (Dravins 1985; Saar & Donahue 1997). Dravins (1992) recommended a resolving power R > 3 × 105 to measure accurately the subtle changes in the shapes of bisectors of photospheric absorption lines driven by changes of granular convection in slowly rotating dwarf stars. Butler et al. (1996) measure impressively small amplitudes of RVs by using echelle spectrographs that cover a broad spectrum. However, to cover a broad spectrum the resolving power is typically limited to < 7 × 104, and the necessary presence of the iodine absorption spectrum may make it difficult to measure convective line shifts contemporaneously with the RV time series. Furthermore, to reach an RV accuracy of ± 3 ms−1 the whole profile of each line is used, thus maximizing the possibility that changes in the shapes of the lines’ C-bisectors could induce an apparent variation of RV.
Dravins (1985) recommended the exclusive use of the steep flanks of photospheric absorption lines to minimize the effects of convection on apparent RV. McMillan et al. (1993, 1994) demonstrated that such RV measurements made with a Fabry-Perot etalon (FPE) interferometer in transmission can be stable in the presence of stellar line variations seen by other investigators whose measurements were not based exclusively on line flanks. Dravins also prescribed high resolving power, high signal-to-noise ratio, high instrumental contrast, and low instrumental wings to analyze the rest of the line profile for convectively-driven changes (Dravins 1978, 1987, 1992). A double- or multiple-pass FPE scanning whole line profiles can provide high R, high contrast, low wings, and a stable, symmetrical line spread function with small (portable) optics, although the low photon efficiency will restrict its use to a few carefully selected stars. The spectral classes of these stars should span the spectral classes of the stars being monitored by others for planets. We describe a possible implementation of this concept that has the potential for adequate photon flux: observing symbiotically through another instrument on a 6-m to 10-m class telescope.
This study aimed to assess the psychological well-being and quality of life in children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and the potential psychosocial impact of screening.
A total of 152 children (aged 3–18 years) attending a specialist paediatric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy clinic, and their parents completed the Generic Core Scales and Cardiac Module of the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) questionnaire as well as the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire; 21 patients (14%) had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (group A); 23 children (15%) harboured hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-causing sarcomeric mutations with normal echocardiograms (group G); and 108 children (71%) had a family history of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with normal investigations and attended for clinical cardiological screening (group S).
In group A, mean PedsQLTM total scores reported by children and parents were lower than those reported by unaffected children (p<0.001). There was no significant difference between unaffected and gene-positive patients. Mean Cardiac module PedsQLTM total scores by children and parents were lower in children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy compared with unaffected patients [mean child-reported total score 86.4 in group S versus 72.3 in group A (p<0.001) and 80.2 in group G (p=0.25); mean parent-reported total score 91.6 in group S versus 71.4 in group A (p<0.001) and 87 in group G (p=0.4)]. There was no significant difference between group S and group G on any of the scales, or between the three groups of patients in the mean Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores.
Children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy have a significantly reduced quality of life. Importantly, Quality-of-Life scores among unaffected children attending for screening were not different compared with scores from a normative UK population.