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Economic pressures continue to mount on modern-day livestock farmers, forcing them to increase herds sizes in order to be commercially viable. The natural consequence of this is to drive the farmer and the animal further apart. However, closer attention to the animal not only positively impacts animal welfare and health but can also increase the capacity of the farmer to achieve a more sustainable production. State-of-the-art precision livestock farming (PLF) technology is one such means of bringing the animals closer to the farmer in the facing of expanding systems. Contrary to some current opinions, it can offer an alternative philosophy to ‘farming by numbers’. This review addresses the key technology-oriented approaches to monitor animals and demonstrates how image and sound analyses can be used to build ‘digital representations’ of animals by giving an overview of some of the core concepts of PLF tool development and value discovery during PLF implementation. The key to developing such a representation is by measuring important behaviours and events in the livestock buildings. The application of image and sound can realise more advanced applications and has enormous potential in the industry. In the end, the importance lies in the accuracy of the developed PLF applications in the commercial farming system as this will also make the farmer embrace the technological development and ensure progress within the PLF field in favour of the livestock animals and their well-being.
Lameness is an important economic problem in the dairy sector, resulting in production loss and reduced welfare of dairy cows. Given the modern-day expansion of dairy herds, a tool to automatically detect lameness in real-time can therefore create added value for the farmer. The challenge in developing camera-based tools is that one system has to work for all the animals on the farm despite each animal having its own individual lameness response. Individualising these systems based on animal-level historical data is a way to achieve accurate monitoring on farm scale. The goal of this study is to optimise a lameness monitoring algorithm based on back posture values derived from a camera for individual cows by tuning the deviation thresholds and the quantity of the historical data being used. Back posture values from a sample of 209 Holstein Friesian cows in a large herd of over 2000 cows were collected during 15 months on a commercial dairy farm in Sweden. A historical data set of back posture values was generated for each cow to calculate an individual healthy reference per cow. For a gold standard reference, manual scoring of lameness based on the Sprecher scale was carried out weekly by a single skilled observer during the final 6 weeks of data collection. Using an individual threshold, deviations from the healthy reference were identified with a specificity of 82.3%, a sensitivity of 79%, an accuracy of 82%, and a precision of 36.1% when the length of the healthy reference window was not limited. When the length of the healthy reference window was varied between 30 and 250 days, it was observed that algorithm performance was maximised with a reference window of 200 days. This paper presents a high-performing lameness detection system and demonstrates the importance of the historical window length for healthy reference calculation in order to ensure the use of meaningful historical data in deviation detection algorithms.
Four experiments examine how lack of awareness of inequality affect behaviour towards the rich and poor. In Experiment 1, participants who became aware that wealthy individuals donated a smaller percentage of their income switched from rewarding the wealthy to rewarding the poor. In Experiments 2 and 3, participants who played a public goods game – and were assigned incomes reflective of the US income distribution either at random or on merit – punished the poor (for small absolute contributions) and rewarded the rich (for large absolute contributions) when incomes were unknown; when incomes were revealed, participants punished the rich (for their low percentage of income contributed) and rewarded the poor (for their high percentage of income contributed). In Experiment 4, participants provided with public education contributions for five New York school districts levied additional taxes on mostly poorer school districts when incomes were unknown, but targeted wealthier districts when incomes were revealed. These results shed light on how income transparency shapes preferences for equity and redistribution. We discuss implications for policy-makers.
X-ray techniques employing film recording continue to play an important role in the routine determination of residual stresses in metals, particularly where heavy and bulky specimens are involved. The single-exposure technique in which the two diffraction patterns required are obtained simultaneously in a single X-ray exposure has several practical advantages over the more conventional two-exposure technique for many routine applications. Details of the method are discussed and an analysis is made of the factors influencing the reliability of the stress determination. An apparatus for stress measurement having some unique features is described and a practical application presented, illustrating the use of the single-exposure technique for the determination of the stress constant of a specimen of hardened steel. The specimen was subjected to a series of known stresses in bending, both in tension and compression. The measured diffraction-line displacements were plotted against the applied stress, and a line was fitted to the points by a least-squares calculation. From its slope, the stress constant was determined. The standard deviation of individual stress determinations from the “true” values given by the least-square line was calculated and was in excellent agreement with the value calculated from the errors of measurement. It is concluded that the single-exposure technique with its reduced time required for measurement and less demanding requirement of precise instrumental adjustment provides a reliable and practical method for many routine stress measurement applications.
Background: Electroencephalography (EEG) is a routine clinical tool that is used to evaluate thalamocortical function in comatose patients. The presence or absence of reactivity in background EEG patterns to afferent stimuli is believed to be an important indicator of clinical outcome. At present, there are no guidelines or standardized testing protocols for the assessment of EEG reactivity in critically ill patients. Moreover, the inter-rater reliability of subjectively identifying presence or absence of reactivity is known to be poor. Methods: Here we report the implementation of a clinical protocol formalizing the use of afferent stimuli – name-calling, clapping, nasal tickle, central painful stimuli and tracheal suction – administered during the routine EEG evaluation of behaviourally unresponsive patients in the critical care units at London Health Sciences Centre. EEGs were evaluated by qualified electroencephalographers. Results: This retrospective observational study of consecutive patients describes the inter-rater reliability of detecting presence or absence of EEG reactivity since implementation of the clinical protocol. Moreover it evaluates the relationship between EEG reactivity and clinical outcome to determine its reliability as a prognostic tool. Conclusions: The implementation of clinical protocols to standardize testing parameters may improve the ability to provide a reliable neurologic prognosis for critically ill patients in a comatose and behaviourally unresponsive state.
We present the results of simulations that explore the variety of accretion flows possible in magnetic cataclysmic variables (mCVs). Our simulations evolve to equilibrium periods spanning 0.01 < Рspin/Рorb < 0.6 and the resulting flows vary from disc-fed systems at Рspin/Рorb ~ 0.01 - 0.1, to stream fed systems at Рspin/Рorb ~ 0.1 - 0.5 and systems fed from a ring at the outer edge of the white dwarf's Roche lobe at Рspin/Рorb ~ 0.6.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
One of the consequences of the revival of sociology as a distinct discipline in the Soviet Union has been the appearance of empirical studies of prevailing attitudes toward the major occupations in Soviet society. These studies have been accompanied by discussions in Soviet newspapers and in the educational and economics literature of the problems associated with the popular perception of various occupations, particularly among student youth.
We examined the effect of intravitreal injections of D1-like and D2-like dopamine receptor agonists and antagonists and D4 receptor drugs on form-deprivation myopia (FDM) in tree shrews, mammals closely related to primates. In eleven groups (n = 7 per group), we measured the amount of FDM produced by monocular form deprivation (FD) over an 11-day treatment period. The untreated fellow eye served as a control. Animals also received daily 5 µL intravitreal injections in the FD eye. The reference group received 0.85% NaCl vehicle. Four groups received a higher, or lower, dose of a D1-like receptor agonist (SKF38393) or antagonist (SCH23390). Four groups received a higher, or lower, dose of a D2-like receptor agonist (quinpirole) or antagonist (spiperone). Two groups received the D4 receptor agonist (PD168077) or antagonist (PD168568). Refractions were measured daily; axial component dimensions were measured on day 1 (before treatment) and day 12. We found that in groups receiving the D1-like receptor agonist or antagonist, the development of FDM and altered ocular component dimensions did not differ from the NaCl group. Groups receiving the D2-like receptor agonist or antagonist at the higher dose developed significantly less FDM and had shorter vitreous chambers than the NaCl group. The D4 receptor agonist, but not the antagonist, was nearly as effective as the D2-like agonist in reducing FDM. Thus, using intravitreally-administered agents, we did not find evidence supporting a role for the D1-like receptor pathway in reducing FDM in tree shrews. The reduction of FDM by the dopamine D2-like agonist supported a role for the D2-like receptor pathway in the control of FDM. The reduction of FDM by the D4 receptor agonist, but not the D4 antagonist, suggests an important role for activation of the dopamine D4 receptor in the control of axial elongation and refractive development.
The National Electrostatics Corporation has built and tested a prototype low energy, open-air, single stage carbon accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) system (patent pending). The configuration tested has a standard 40-sample, multi-cathode SNICS source on a 300-kV deck. The beam is mass analyzed before acceleration to a gas stripper located at ground. The 14C+ ions are separated from 13C+ and 12C+ arising from the molecular breakup by a 90° analyzing magnet immediately after the gas stripper which acts as a molecular dissociator. The 14C+ beam passes through an electrostatic spherical analyzer before entering the particle detector. The observed 14C/12C precision is better than 5% with a sensitivity of better than 0.05 dpm/gmC. A first single stage AMS system has been ordered. The configuration of this system will be discussed.
There is limited research on factors that influence the rate of progression in Alzheimer's disease (AD). A history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with an increased risk for AD, but its role on the rate of dementia progression after the onset of AD has not been examined.
A population-based cohort of 325 persons with incident AD was followed for up to 11 years. The sample was 65% female with a mean (SD) age of dementia onset = 84.4 (6.4) years. History of TBI was categorized as number, severity (with or without loss of consciousness), and timing in relation to dementia onset (within ten years or more than ten years). Cognition was assessed by the Consortium to Establish a Registry of AD battery, and functional ability was assessed by the Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes.
In linear mixed models, a history of TBI within ten years of onset showed faster progression of functional impairment (LR x2 = 10.27, p = 0.006), while those with TBI more than ten years before dementia onset had higher scores on a measure of list learning (β = 1.61, p = 0.003) and semantic memory (β = 0.75, p = 0.0035).
History of TBI and its recency may be a useful factor to predict functional progression in the course of AD.
Environmental influences on the rate of Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression have received little attention. Our objective was to test hypotheses concerning associations between caregiver personality traits and the rate of AD progression.
Care receivers (CR) were 161 persons with AD from a population-based dementia progression study; 55 of their caregivers were spouses and 106 were adult children. Cognitive status of the CR was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination every six months, over an average of 5.6 (range: 1–14) years. Linear mixed models tested rate of cognitive decline as a function of caregiver personality traits from the NEO Five-Factor Inventory.
Significantly faster cognitive decline was observed with higher caregiver Neuroticism overall; however, in stratified models, effects were significant for adult child but not spouse caregivers. Neuroticism facets of depression, anxiety, and vulnerability to stress were significantly associated with faster decline. Higher caregiver Extraversion was associated with slower decline in the CR when caregivers were adult children but not spouses.
For adult child caregivers, caregiver personality traits are associated with rate of cognitive decline in CRs with AD regardless of co-residency. Results suggest that dementia caregiver interventions promoting positive care management strategies and ways to react to caregiving challenges may eventually become an important complement to pharmacologic and other approaches aimed at slower rate of decline in dementia.
Sunspot observations inspired solar dynamo theory and continue to do so. Simply counting them established the sunspot cycle and its period. Latitudinal distributions introduced the tough constraint that the source of sunspots moves equator-ward as the cycle progresses. Observations of Hale's polarity law mandated hemispheric asymmetry. How much more can sunspots tell us about the solar dynamo? We draw attention to a few outstanding questions raised by inherent sunspot properties. Namely, how to explain sunspot rotation rates, the incoherence of follower spots, the longitudinal spacing of sunspot groups, and brightness trends within a given sunspot cycle. After reviewing the first several topics, we then present new results on the brightness of sunspots in Cycle 24 as observed with the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI). We compare these results to the sunspot brightness observed in Cycle 23 with the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI). Next, we compare the minimum intensities of five sunspots simultaneously observed by the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope Spectropolarimeter (SOT-SP) and HMI to verify that the minimum brightness of sunspot umbrae correlates well to the maximum field strength. We then examine 90 and 52 sunspots in the north and south hemisphere, respectively, from 2010 - 2012. Finally, we conclude that the average maximum field strengths of umbra 40 Carrington Rotations into Cycle 24 are 2690 Gauss, virtually indistinguishable from the 2660 Gauss value observed at a similar time in Cycle 23 with MDI.
Background: Several observational studies have suggested a link between health status and rate of decline among individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD). We sought to quantify the relationship in a population-based study of incident AD, and to compare global comorbidity ratings to counts of comorbid conditions and medications as predictors of AD progression.
Methods: This was a case-only cohort study arising from a population-based longitudinal study of memory and aging, in Cache County, Utah. Participants comprised 335 individuals with incident AD followed for up to 11 years. Patient descriptors included sex, age, education, dementia duration at baseline, and APOE genotype. Measures of health status made at each visit included the General Medical Health Rating (GMHR), number of comorbid medical conditions, and number of non-psychiatric medications. Dementia outcomes included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Clinical Dementia Rating – sum of boxes (CDR-sb), and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI).
Results: Health status tended to fluctuate over time within individuals. None of the baseline medical variables (GMHR, comorbidities, and non-psychiatric medications) was associated with differences in rates of decline in longitudinal linear mixed effects models. Over time, low GMHR ratings, but not comorbidities or medications, were associated with poorer outcomes (MMSE: β = –1.07 p = 0.01; CDR-sb: β = 1.79 p < 0.001; NPI: β = 4.57 p = 0.01).
Conclusions: Given that time-varying GMHR, but not baseline GMHR, was associated with the outcomes, it seems likely that there is a dynamic relationship between medical and cognitive health. GMHR is a more sensitive measure of health than simple counts of comorbidities or medications. Since health status is a potentially modifiable risk factor, further study is warranted.
The Outer Hebrides are oceanic in character, bathed by comparatively warm waters derived from the North Atlantic Drift. The spring tide range is 3·5 m (west coast) and 4 m (east coast).
The southern and western coasts include some of the most exposed shores in Britain and the steep rocky shores exhibit species and zonation patterns typical of north-west Britain. The sublittoral zone is mainly rocky and is dominated by beds of Laminaria hyperborea, which are very extensive west of the Uists.
The eastern sides of the larger islands are much more sheltered and have numerous sea lochs many of which have great lengths of very sheltered rocky shore, dominated by extremely vigorous growths of fucoid algae, particularly Ascophyllum nodosum. Some of the lochs have extensive ramifications, with localized tidal tidal rapids supporting a rich and luxuriant flora and fauna.
The paper reviews the literature on the ecology of the rocky shores, on the seaweeds in particular, and includes a full list of all seaweeds recorded in the islands with their distribution by island. (Two hundred and sixty-four species are recorded and this is about 38% of the British total.) Thus the seaweed flora is rich and diverse; the presence of selected species is discussed.
The large brown seaweeds grow very luxuriantly in the Outer Hebrides and have been used by man there for many centuries. The history of this utilization is briefly reviewed. The fucoids and Laminaria spp. were formerly used extensively as a source of alkalis (sodium and potassium carbonates) and iodine. Nowadays very large tonnages of Ascophyllum are regularly harvested for the production of alginates; quantities of cast up Laminaria hyperborea are also used for this purpose.
Titanium oxides were grown anodically to selected final potentials on grade II polycrystalline titanium under different anodization rates. XPS and RBS results show that the oxide consists of primarily TiO2with a non-stoichiometric oxide/metal interface, with the slower growth rate associated with a thicker layer at the interface. Characterization using TEM reveals that the structure of the oxide evolves from a primarily amorphous phase to islands of crystallites in an amorphous matrix, to an entirely crystalline phase by increasing the polarization potential. Slower growth rates tend to remain crystalline at higher potentials. The mechanical strength of oxide films extracted from load-depth data by nanoindentation varies dramatically for oxide films grown by different rates at 9.4 V, and to a lesser extent at lower potentials. The variation of film strength is associated with both compositional and structural characteristics.