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Sexed semen is one of the newest reproductive technologies available for dairy farmers and can fulfil their desire to produce a high percentage of female calves. The present study was designed to define the willingness of Indian dairy farmers to pay for sexed semen. Hence, 120 small holder dairy farmers and 90 commercial dairy farmers were randomly selected from Karnal and Yamunanagar districts in North-western Haryana, where there is a high proportion of crossbred dairy cattle. Willingness to pay for sexed semen was evaluated by a contingent valuation method and its determinants by an interval regression model. The majority of the small holder dairy farmers (81.67%) were willing to pay for sexed semen and they were ready to pay around INR 340 per sexed semen straw. Almost all (99%) of the commercial dairy farmers were willing to pay around INR 770 per sexed semen straw, i.e. more than double the value identified by small holder dairy farmers. Among all the predictors fitted in the interval regression model to explain the willingness to pay for sexed semen by the commercial dairy farmers, namely education level, herd size and attitude towards public extension systems, were positive and significant contributors. Our findings may help to identify what subsidy is required to promote sexed semen among dairy farmers, and as a consequence further improve breeding policies by introducing this new livestock production technology with the active participation of the dairy farmers.
Registry-based trials have emerged as a potentially cost-saving study methodology. Early estimates of cost savings, however, conflated the benefits associated with registry utilisation and those associated with other aspects of pragmatic trial designs, which might not all be as broadly applicable. In this study, we sought to build a practical tool that investigators could use across disciplines to estimate the ranges of potential cost differences associated with implementing registry-based trials versus standard clinical trials.
We built simulation Markov models to compare unique costs associated with data acquisition, cleaning, and linkage under a registry-based trial design versus a standard clinical trial. We conducted one-way, two-way, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses, varying study characteristics over broad ranges, to determine thresholds at which investigators might optimally select each trial design.
Registry-based trials were more cost effective than standard clinical trials 98.6% of the time. Data-related cost savings ranged from $4300 to $600,000 with variation in study characteristics. Cost differences were most reactive to the number of patients in a study, the number of data elements per patient available in a registry, and the speed with which research coordinators could manually abstract data. Registry incorporation resulted in cost savings when as few as 3768 independent data elements were available and when manual data abstraction took as little as 3.4 seconds per data field.
Registries offer important resources for investigators. When available, their broad incorporation may help the scientific community reduce the costs of clinical investigation. We offer here a practical tool for investigators to assess potential costs savings.
We investigate the processes of active galactic nuclei (AGN) feeding and feedback in the narrow line regions (NLRs) and host galaxies of nearby AGN through spatially resolved spectroscopy with the Gemini Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) and the Hubble Space Telescope’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). We examine the connection between nuclear and galactic inflows and outflows by adding long-slit spectra of the host galaxies from Apache Point Observatory. We demonstrate that nearby AGN can be fueled by a variety of mechanisms. We find that the NLR kinematics can often be explained by in situ ionization and radiative acceleration of ambient gas, often in the form of dusty molecular spirals that may be the fueling flow to the AGN.
The emergence of callous unemotional (CU) traits, and associated externalizing behaviors, is believed to reflect underlying dysfunction in the amygdala. Studies of adults with CU traits or psychopathy have linked characteristic patterns of amygdala dysfunction to reduced amygdala volume, but studies in youths have not thus far found evidence of similar amygdala volume reductions. The current study examined the association between CU traits and amygdala volume by modeling CU traits and externalizing behavior as independent continuous variables, and explored the relative contributions of callous, uncaring, and unemotional traits.
CU traits and externalizing behavior problems were assessed in 148 youths using the Inventory of Callous Unemotional Traits (ICU) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). For a subset of participants (n = 93), high-resolution T1-weighted images were collected and volume estimates for the amygdala were extracted.
Analyses revealed that CU traits were associated with increased externalizing behaviors and decreased bilateral amygdala volume. These results were driven by the callous and uncaring sub-factors of CU traits, with unemotional traits unrelated to either externalizing behaviors or amygdala volume. Results persisted after accounting for covariation between CU traits and externalizing behaviors. Bootstrap mediation analyses indicated that CU traits mediated the relationship between reduced amygdala volume and externalizing severity.
These findings provide evidence that callous-uncaring traits account for reduced amygdala volume among youths with conduct problems. These findings provide a framework for further investigation of abnormal amygdala development as a key causal pathway for the development of callous-uncaring traits and conduct problems.
Infection of groundnut by pathogens causing early and late leaf spot diseases is strongly affected by accumulated daily leaf wetness periods and, in the rainy season, temperature is unlikely to severely limit infection. Earlier work relating patterns of leaf wetness to infection, was used to define a daily Wetness Index (WI) which was compared with infection on inoculated plants exposed in the crop for periods of 7 d. Infection was only severe when the 7-d WI total exceeded a value of 2.3. The proportion of leaves with one or more lesions on the main stem was used to assess the amount of inoculum in the crop. When the proportion of diseased leaves exceeded 10% and the WI total exceeded the threshold, application of a fungicide was advised. Successive sprays were separated by at least 14 d and a maximum of three sprays were applied in the growing season. Field trials showed that three sprays gave limited benefit where the disease pressure was severe, but substantial increases in pod and haulm yield were possible with only one or two fungicide applications in locations with less disease pressure.
Brinjal (Solanum melongena L.) is an important solanaceous vegetable in many countries of Asia and Africa. It is a good source of minerals and vitamins in the tropical diets. Assessment of genetic resources is the starting point of any crop improvement programme. In India, the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources is the nodal institute for management of germplasm resources of crop plants and holds more than 2500 accessions of brinjal in its genebank. In the present study, morphological diversity in a set of 622 accessions, comprising 543 accessions from indigenous sources and 79 accessions of exotic origin, was assessed. Wide range of variations for 31 descriptors, 13 quantitative and 18 qualitative, were recorded. The wide regional variations for plant, flower and fruit descriptors revealed enough scope for improvement of yield characters by selection. The genetic differences among the landraces are potentially relevant to breeding programmes in that the variability created through hybridization of the contrasting forms could be exploited.
About 450 pregnant women from a low-income group were recruited to study the effect of vitamin A supplementation on plasma vitamin A levels in the mother and cord and on the birth weights of the neonates. Results showed that supplementation with 1800 μg vitamin A/d for more than 12 weeks prevented the decline in plasma vitamin A that otherwise occurs during the last few weeks of pregnancy. This improvement in maternal values for vitamin A at a critical time of development favourably affected availability to the fetus, as reflected by the marked elevation in cord levels. Supplementation for a period of 12 weeks was found to be sufficient, since subsequent discontinuation did not alter the beneficial response. Apart from increasing maternal and cord vitamin A levels, vitamin A supplementation along with iron prevented, in this study, the significant decline in haemoglobin occurring at 26–28 weeks of gestation. The birth weights were not altered by vitamin A supplementation.
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