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The angular dependence of Total-reflection X-Ray Fluorescence intensities can behave in various ways. The variety is discussed by examining the x-ray intensity distribution in the material under investigation. It is shown that for thin layers on solids, interference fringes are present due to x-ray standing waves. This phenomenon is exploited to determine the depth distribution of elements in layered specimens.
LiGAPS-Beef (Livestock simulator for Generic analysis of Animal Production Systems – Beef cattle) is a generic, mechanistic model designed to quantify potential and feed-limited growth, which provides insight in the biophysical scope to increase beef production (i.e. yield gap). Furthermore, it enables identification of the bio-physical factors that define and limit growth, which provides insight in management strategies to mitigate yield gaps. The aim of this paper, third in a series of three, is to evaluate the performance of LiGAPS-Beef with independent experimental data. After model calibration, independent data were used from six experiments in Australia, one in Uruguay and one in the Netherlands. Experiments represented three cattle breeds, and a wide range of climates, feeding strategies and cattle growth rates. The mean difference between simulated and measured average daily gains (ADGs) was 137 g/day across all experiments, which equals 20.1% of the measured ADGs. The root mean square error was 170 g/day, which equals 25.0% of the measured ADGs. LiGAPS-Beef successfully simulated the factors that defined and limited growth during the experiments on a daily basis (genotype, heat stress, digestion capacity, energy deficiency and protein deficiency). The simulated factors complied well to the reported occurrence of heat stress, energy deficiency and protein deficiency at specific periods during the experiments. We conclude that the level of accuracy of LiGAPS-Beef is acceptable, and provides a good basis for acquiring insight in the potential and feed-limited production of cattle in different beef production systems across the world. Furthermore, its capacity to identify factors that define or limit growth and production provides scope to use the model for yield gap analysis.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
The model LiGAPS-Beef (Livestock simulator for Generic analysis of Animal Production Systems – Beef cattle) has been developed to assess potential and feed-limited growth and production of beef cattle in different areas of the world and to identify the processes responsible for the yield gap. Sensitivity analysis and evaluation of model results with experimental data are important steps after model development. The first aim of this paper, therefore, is to identify which parameters affect the output of LiGAPS-Beef most by conducting sensitivity analyses. The second aim is to evaluate the accuracy of the thermoregulation sub-model and the feed intake and digestion sub-model with experimental data. Sensitivity analysis was conducted using a one-at-a-time approach. The upper critical temperature (UCT) simulated with the thermoregulation sub-model was most affected by the body core temperature and parameters affecting latent heat release from the skin. The lower critical temperature (LCT) and UCT were considerably affected by weather variables, especially ambient temperature and wind speed. Sensitivity analysis for the feed intake and digestion sub-model showed that the digested protein per kg feed intake was affected to a larger extent than the metabolisable energy (ME) content. Sensitivity analysis for LiGAPS-Beef was conducted for ¾ Brahman×¼ Shorthorn cattle in Australia and Hereford cattle in Uruguay. Body core temperature, conversion of digestible energy to ME, net energy requirements for maintenance, and several parameters associated with heat release affected feed efficiency at the herd level most. Sensitivity analyses have contributed, therefore, to insight which parameters are to be investigated in more detail when applying LiGAPS-Beef. Model evaluation was conducted by comparing model simulations with independent data from experiments. Measured heat production in experiments corresponded fairly well to the heat production simulated with the thermoregulation sub-model. Measured ME contents from two data sets corresponded well to the ME contents simulated with the feed intake and digestion sub-model. The relative mean absolute errors were 9.3% and 6.4% of the measured ME contents for the two data sets. In conclusion, model evaluation indicates the thermoregulation sub-model can deal with a wide range of weather conditions, and the feed intake and digestion sub-model with a variety of feeds, which corresponds to the aim of LiGAPS-Beef to simulate cattle in different beef production systems across the world.
The expected increase in the global demand for livestock products calls for insight in the scope to increase actual production levels across the world. This insight can be obtained by using theoretical concepts of production ecology. These concepts distinguish three production levels for livestock: potential (i.e. theoretical maximum) production, which is defined by genotype and climate only; feed-limited production, which is limited by feed quantity and quality; and actual production. The difference between the potential or limited production and the actual production is the yield gap. The objective of this paper, the first in a series of three, is to present a mechanistic, dynamic model simulating potential and feed-limited production for beef cattle, which can be used to assess yield gaps. A novelty of this model, named LiGAPS-Beef (Livestock simulator for Generic analysis of Animal Production Systems – Beef cattle), is the identification of the defining factors (genotype and climate) and limiting factors (feed quality and available feed quantity) for cattle growth by integrating sub-models on thermoregulation, feed intake and digestion, and energy and protein utilisation. Growth of beef cattle is simulated at the animal and herd level. The model is designed to be applicable to different beef production systems across the world. Main model inputs are breed-specific parameters, daily weather data, information about housing, and data on feed quality and quantity. Main model outputs are live weight gain, feed intake and feed efficiency (FE) at the animal and herd level. Here, the model is presented, and its use is illustrated for Charolais and Brahman × Shorthorn cattle in France and Australia. Potential and feed-limited production were assessed successfully, and we show that FE of herds is highest for breeds most adapted to the local climate conditions. LiGAPS-Beef also identified the factors that define and limit growth and production of cattle. Hence, we argue the model has scope to be used as a tool for the assessment and analysis of yield gaps in beef production systems.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Guidelines for a healthy diet aim to decrease the risk of chronic diseases. It is unclear as to what extent a healthy diet is also an environmentally friendly diet. In the Dutch sub-cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, the diet was assessed with a 178-item FFQ of 40 011 participants aged 20–70 years between 1993 and 1997. The WHO’s Healthy Diet Indicator (HDI), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) score and the Dutch Healthy Diet index 2015 (DHD15-index) were investigated in relation to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land use and all-cause mortality risk. GHG emissions were associated with HDI scores (−3·7 % per sd increase (95 % CI −3·4, −4·0) for men and −1·9 % (95 % CI −0·4, −3·4) for women), with DASH scores in women only (1·1 % per sd increase, 95 % CI 0·9, 1·3) and with DHD15-index scores (−2·5 % per sd increase (95 % CI −2·2, −2·8) for men and −2·0 % (95 % CI −1·9, −2·2) for women). For all indices, higher scores were associated with less land use (ranging from −1·3 to −3·1 %). Mortality risk decreased with increasing scores for all indices. Per sd increase of the indices, hazard ratios for mortality ranged from 0·88 (95 % CI 0·82, 0·95) to 0·96 (95 % CI 0·92, 0·99). Our results showed that adhering to the WHO and Dutch dietary guidelines will lower the risk of all-cause mortality and moderately lower the environmental impact. The DASH diet was associated with lower mortality and land use, but because of high dairy product consumption in the Netherlands it was also associated with higher GHG emissions.
Current theories on diversity–disease relationships describe host species diversity and species identity as important factors influencing disease risk, either diluting or amplifying disease prevalence in a community. Whereas the simple term ‘diversity’ embodies a set of animal community characteristics, it is not clear how different measures of species diversity are correlated with disease risk. We therefore tested the effects of species richness, Pielou's evenness and Shannon's diversity on bovine tuberculosis (bTB) risk in cattle in the Afar Region and Awash National Park between November 2013 and April 2015. We also analysed the identity effect of a particular species and the effect of host habitat use overlap on bTB risk. We used the comparative intradermal tuberculin test to assess the number of bTB-infected cattle. Our results suggested a dilution effect through species evenness. We found that the identity effect of greater kudu – a maintenance host – confounded the dilution effect of species diversity on bTB risk. bTB infection was positively correlated with habitat use overlap between greater kudu and cattle. Different diversity indices have to be considered together for assessing diversity–disease relationships, for understanding the underlying causal mechanisms. We posit that unpacking diversity metrics is also relevant for formulating disease control strategies to manage cattle in ecosystems characterized by seasonally limited resources and intense wildlife–livestock interactions.
A colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) of the region containing the intermediate-age SMC globular cluster NGC 152 was published recently (Melcher & Richtler 1989). A particularly interesting feature of this CMD is the “clump” of He-core burning stars, which are predominantly field stars. A selection of stars near the cluster centre leads to the CMD shown in Figure 1. The vertical extension of the clump (explainable by the evolution of stars younger than 1 Gyr) is replaced by a “tilted horizontal branch” (we use this expression for lack of a better one). The age of NGC 152 is about 1.3 Gyr and the reddening is small; the metallicity is unknown but less than −0.6 dex, which is the mean metallicity of the young SMC population. The tilted HB can be reproduced in CMD simulations using the method developed by Vallenari et al. (1990), and thus can be considered as a normal feature of star clusters like NGC 152. It is evident also in other intermediate-age MC clusters like Kron 3 (Rich et al. 1984).
The dilution effect, that high host species diversity can reduce disease risk, has attracted much attention in the context of global biodiversity decline and increasing disease emergence. Recent studies have criticized the generality of the dilution effect and argued that it only occurs under certain circumstances. Nevertheless, evidence for the existence of a dilution effect was reported in about 80% of the studies that addressed the diversity–disease relationship, and a recent meta-analysis found that the dilution effect is widespread. We here review supporting and critical studies, point out the causes underlying the current disputes. The dilution is expected to be strong when the competent host species tend to remain when species diversity declines, characterized as a negative relationship between species’ reservoir competence and local extinction risk. We here conclude that most studies support a negative competence–extinction relationship. We then synthesize the current knowledge on how the diversity–disease relationship can be modified by particular species in community, by the scales of analyses, and by the disease risk measures. We also highlight the complex role of habitat fragmentation in the diversity–disease relationship from epidemiological, evolutionary and ecological perspectives, and construct a synthetic framework integrating these three perspectives. We suggest that future studies should test the diversity–disease relationship across different scales and consider the multiple effects of landscape fragmentation.
Landowners and game reserve managers are often faced with the decision whether to undertake consumptive (such as hunting) and/or non-consumptive (such as tourism) use of wildlife resources on their properties. Here a theoretical model was used to examine cases where the game reserve management allocated the amount of land devoted to hunting (trophy hunting) and tourism, based on three scenarios: (1) hunting is separated from tourism but wildlife is shared; (2) hunting and tourism co-exist; and (3) hunting and tourism are separated by a fence. The consumptive and non-consumptive uses are not mutually exclusive; careful planning is needed to ensure that multiple management objectives can be met. Further, the analysis indicates that the two uses may be undertaken in the same area. Whether they are spatially, or temporally separated depends on the magnitude of the consumptive use. When consumptive use is not dominant, the two are compatible in the same shared area, provided the wildlife population is sufficiently large.
Current theories on disease-diversity relationships predict a strong influence of host richness on disease transmission. In addition, identity effect, caused by the occurrence of particular species, can also modify disease risk. We tested the richness effect and the identity effects of mammal species on bovine tuberculosis (bTB), based on the regional bTB outbreak data in cattle from 2005–2010 in Africa. Besides, we also tested which other factors were associated with the regional bTB persistence and recurrence in cattle. Our results suggested a dilution effect, where higher mammal species richness (MSR) was associated with reduced probabilities of bTB persistence and recurrence in interaction with cattle density. African buffalo had a positive effect on bTB recurrence and a positive interaction effect with cattle density on bTB persistence, indicating an additive positive identity effect of buffalo. The presence of greater kudu had no effect on bTB recurrence or bTB persistence. Climatic variables only act as risk factors for bTB persistence. In summary, our study identified both a dilution effect and identity effect of wildlife and showed that bTB persistence and recurrence were correlated with different sets of risk factors. These results are relevant for more effective control strategies and better targeted surveillance measures in bTB.
A microcantliever based crack healing experiment is described and utilized in order to study the capillary nucleation rate for typical MEMS surfaces. An advanced test chamber that allows exquisite environmental control is also described and used in this study. Crack healing experiments prove to be a viable experimental technique to investigate the dynamics of capillary nucleation. The effective capillary nucleation time for the multi-asperity surface of microcantilever samples appears to increase logarithmically with adhesion energy.
In the European Rosetta project three separate, previously developed, ICT systems were improved and integrated to create one modular system that helps community-dwelling people with mild cognitive impairment and dementia in different stages of the disease. The system aims to support them in daily functioning, monitor (deviations from) patterns in daily behaviour and to automatically detect emergency situations. The study aimed to inventory the end users’ needs and wishes regarding the development and design of the new integrated Rosetta system, and to describe the to be developed Rosetta system.
Qualitative user-participatory design with in total 50 persons: 14 people with dementia, 13 informal carers, 6 professional carers, 9 dementia experts, 7 care partners within the project, and 1 volunteer. In the Netherlands user focus group sessions were performed and in Germany individual interviews. Dementia experts were consulted by means of a questionnaire, an expert meeting session, and interviews.
Persons with dementia and informal carers appreciated the following functionalities most: help in cases of emergencies, navigation support and the calendar function. Dementia experts rated various behaviours relevant to monitor in order to detect timely changes in functioning, e.g. eating, drinking, going to the toilet, taking medicine adequately, performance of activities and sleep patterns. No ethical issues regarding the use of sensors and cameras were mentioned.
The user participatory design resulted in valuable input from persons with dementia, informal carers and professional carers/dementia experts, based on which a first prototype Rosetta system was built.
Multilocus sequence types (STs) were determined for 232 and 737 Campylobacter jejuni/coli isolates from Dutch travellers and domestically acquired cases, respectively. Putative risk factors for travel-related campylobacteriosis, and for domestically acquired campylobacteriosis caused by exotic STs (putatively carried by returning travellers), were investigated. Travelling to Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southern Europe significantly increased the risk of acquiring campylobacteriosis compared to travelling within Western Europe. Besides eating chicken, using antacids, and having chronic enteropathies, we identified eating vegetable salad outside Europe, drinking bottled water in high-risk destinations, and handling/eating undercooked pork as possible risk factors for travel-related campylobacteriosis. Factors associated with domestically acquired campylobacteriosis caused by exotic STs involved predominantly person-to-person contacts around popular holiday periods. We concluded that putative determinants of travel-related campylobacteriosis differ from those of domestically acquired infections and that returning travellers may carry several exotic strains that might subsequently spread to domestic populations even through limited person-to-person transmission.
The ability to regenerate and repair tissues and organs – using science and engineering to supplement biology – continuously intrigues and inspires those hoping that the frailty of our bodies can be ultimately avoided. From ancient times, a surprising range of unnatural materials have been used to (partially) substitute human tissues for medicinal purposes. For example, in the era of the Incas (c. 1500), moulded materials such as gold and silver were used for the ‘surgical’ repair of cranial defects. In addition, archaeological findings reveal a wide range of materials, such as bronze, wood and leather, being used to replace and repair parts of the human body. Continuous refinement led to the first evidence of materials successfully implanted inside the body, reportedly used to repair a bone defect in the seventeenth century (see Further Reading).
Even earlier than this, the relationships between anatomy (i.e. structure) and function of living systems had been explored by Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei, who were among the first few to apply fundamental science to biological systems. In the current age of technology, new materials for biomedical and clinical application have undergone a modern Renaissance, resulting in a surge in design and successful application (1–5). The concepts of tissue repair and substitution are constantly improving and becoming more accessible, as proven for example by the widespread occurrence (and popular approval) of total hip and knee replacements. But rather than replacement with synthetic analogues, can biological tissue(s) be directly engineered?
With the aid of negative dielectrophoresis (nDEP) force in conjunction with shear force and at an optimal sodium hydroxide (NaOH) concentration we demonstrated a switch-like functionality to elute immuno-bound beads from the surface. At an optimal flow rate and NaOH concentration, nDEP turned on results in bead detachment, whereas when nDEP is off, the beads remain attached. This platform offers the potential for performing a bead-based multiplexed immunoassay where in a single channel various regions are immobilized with a different antibody, each targeting a different antigen. As a proof of concept we demonstrated the ability of nDEP to provide this switching behavior in a singleplex assay for the interactions that were in the same order of magnitude in strength as typical antibody-antigen interactions.