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Seed retention, and ultimately seed shatter, are extremely important for the efficacy of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) and are likely influenced by various agroecological and environmental factors. Field studies investigated seed-shattering phenology of 22 weed species across three soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]-producing regions in the United States. We further evaluated the potential drivers of seed shatter in terms of weather conditions, growing degree days, and plant biomass. Based on the results, weather conditions had no consistent impact on weed seed shatter. However, there was a positive correlation between individual weed plant biomass and delayed weed seed–shattering rates during harvest. This work demonstrates that HWSC can potentially reduce weed seedbank inputs of plants that have escaped early-season management practices and retained seed through harvest. However, smaller individuals of plants within the same population that shatter seed before harvest pose a risk of escaping early-season management and HWSC.
Political and social attitudes have been shown to differ by sex in a way that tracks individual self-interest. We propose that these attitudes also change strategically to serve the best interests of either male or female kin. To test this hypothesis, we developed a measure of gendered fitness interests (GFI) – an index which reflects the sex, relatedness and residual reproductive value of close kin. We predicted that people with male-biased GFI (i.e. people with more male kin of a reproductive age) would have more conservative attitudes towards gender-related issues (e.g. gender roles, women's rights, abortion rights). An online study using an American sample (N = 560) found support for this hypothesis. Further analyses revealed that this relationship was driven not only by people's own sex and reproductive value but also by those of their descendant kin. Exploratory analyses also found a positive association between male-biased GFI and a measure of conformity, as well as a smaller association between male-biased GFI and having voted Republican in the last election. Both of these associations were statistically mediated by gender-related conservatism. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that GFI influences sociopolitical attitudes.
Potential effectiveness of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) systems depends upon seed shatter of the target weed species at crop maturity, enabling its collection and processing at crop harvest. However, seed retention likely is influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed-shatter phenology in 13 economically important broadleaf weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to 4 wk after physiological maturity at multiple sites spread across 14 states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic United States. Greater proportions of seeds were retained by weeds in southern latitudes and shatter rate increased at northern latitudes. Amaranthus spp. seed shatter was low (0% to 2%), whereas shatter varied widely in common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) (2% to 90%) over the weeks following soybean physiological maturity. Overall, the broadleaf species studied shattered less than 10% of their seeds by soybean harvest. Our results suggest that some of the broadleaf species with greater seed retention rates in the weeks following soybean physiological maturity may be good candidates for HWSC.
Seed shatter is an important weediness trait on which the efficacy of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) depends. The level of seed shatter in a species is likely influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed shatter of eight economically important grass weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to 4 wk after maturity at multiple sites spread across 11 states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic United States. From soybean maturity to 4 wk after maturity, cumulative percent seed shatter was lowest in the southern U.S. regions and increased moving north through the states. At soybean maturity, the percent of seed shatter ranged from 1% to 70%. That range had shifted to 5% to 100% (mean: 42%) by 25 d after soybean maturity. There were considerable differences in seed-shatter onset and rate of progression between sites and years in some species that could impact their susceptibility to HWSC. Our results suggest that many summer annual grass species are likely not ideal candidates for HWSC, although HWSC could substantially reduce their seed output during certain years.
The association between Clostridioides difficile colonization and C. difficile infection (CDI) is unknown in solid-organ transplant (SOT) patients. We examined C. difficile colonization and healthcare-associated exposures as risk factors for development of CDI in SOT patients.
The retrospective study cohort included all consecutive SOT patients with at least 1 screening test between May 2017 and April 2018. CDI was defined as the presence of diarrhea (without laxatives), a positive C. difficile clinical test, and the use of C. difficile-directed antimicrobial therapy as ordered by managing clinicians. In addition to demographic variables, exposures to antimicrobials, immunosuppressants, and gastric acid suppressants were evaluated from the time of first screening test to the time of CDI, death, or final discharge.
Of the 348 SOT patients included in our study, 33 (9.5%) were colonized with toxigenic C. difficile. In total, 11 patients (3.2%) developed CDI. Only C. difficile colonization (odds ratio [OR], 13.52; 95% CI, 3.46–52.83; P = .0002), age (OR, 1.09; CI, 1.02–1.17; P = .0135), and hospital days (OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02–1.08; P = .0017) were independently associated with CDI.
Although CDI was more frequent in C. difficile colonized SOT patients, the overall incidence of CDI was low in this cohort.
Describe the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)–producing organisms and the novel use of a cohorting unit for its control.
A 566-room academic teaching facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Solid-organ transplant recipients.
Infection control bundles were used throughout the time of observation. All KPC cases were intermittently housed in a cohorting unit with dedicated nurses and nursing aids. The rooms used in the cohorting unit had anterooms where clean supplies and linens were placed. Spread of KPC-producing organisms was determined using rectal surveillance cultures on admission and weekly thereafter among all consecutive patients admitted to the involved units. KPC-positive strains underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing.
A total of 8 KPC cases (5 identified by surveillance) were identified from April 2016 to April 2017. After the index patient, 3 patients acquired KPC-producing organisms despite implementation of an infection control bundle. This prompted the use of a cohorting unit, which immediately halted transmission, and the single remaining KPC case was transferred out of the cohorting unit. However, additional KPC cases were identified within 2 months. Once the cohorting unit was reopened, no additional KPC cases occurred. The KPC-positive species identified during this outbreak included Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae complex, and Escherichia coli. blaKPC was identified on at least 2 plasmid backbones.
A complex KPC outbreak involving both clonal and plasmid-mediated dissemination was controlled using weekly surveillances and a cohorting unit.
The goal of this study was to perform in situ electrochemical polymerization of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) in peripheral nerves to create a soft, precisely located injectable conductive polymer electrode for bi-directional communication. Intraneural PEDOT polymerization was performed to target both outer and inner fascicles via custom fabricated 3D printed cuff electrodes and monomer injection strategies using a combination electrode-cannula system. Electrochemistry, histology, and laser light sheet microscopy revealed the presence of PEDOT at specified locations inside of peripheral nerve. This work demonstrates the potential for using in situ PEDOT electrodeposition as an injectable electrode for recording and stimulation of peripheral nerves.
The ability to interface electronic materials with the peripheral nervous system is required for stimulation and monitoring of neural signals. Thus, the design and engineering of robust neural interfaces that maintain material-tissue contact in the presence of material or tissue micromotion offer the potential to conduct novel measurements and develop future therapies that require chronic interface with the peripheral nervous system. However, such remains an open challenge given the constraints of existing materials sets and manufacturing approaches for design and fabrication of neural interfaces. Here, we investigated the potential to leverage a rapid prototyping approach for the design and fabrication of nerve cuffs that contain supporting features to mechanically stabilize the interaction between cuff electrodes and peripheral nerve. A hybrid 3D printing and robotic-embedding (i.e., pick-and-place) system was used to design and fabricate silicone nerve cuffs (800 µm diameter) containing conforming platinum (Pt) electrodes. We demonstrate that the electrical impedance of the cuff electrodes can be reduced by deposition of the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) on cuff electrodes via a post-processing electropolymerization technique. The computer-aided design and manufacturing approach was also used to design and integrate supporting features to the cuff that mechanically stabilize the interface between the cuff electrodes and the peripheral nerve. Both ‘self-locking’ and suture-assisted locking mechanisms are demonstrated based on the principle of making geometric alterations to the cuff opening via 3D printing. Ultimately, this work shows 3D printing offers considerable opportunity to integrate supporting features, and potentially even novel electronic materials, into nerve cuffs that can support the design and engineering of next generation neural interfaces.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understood. Based on a survey throughout the Neotropics of the haemosporidian parasites infecting manakins (Pipridae), a family of Passerine birds endemic to this region, we asked whether host relatedness, ecological similarity and geographic proximity structure parasite turnover between manakin species and local manakin assemblages. We used molecular methods to screen 1343 individuals of 30 manakin species for the presence of parasites. We found no significant correlations between manakin parasite lineage turnover and both manakin species turnover and geographic distance. Climate differences, species turnover in the larger bird community and parasite lineage turnover in non-manakin hosts did not correlate with manakin parasite lineage turnover. We also found no evidence that manakin parasite lineage turnover among host species correlates with range overlap and genetic divergence among hosts. Our analyses indicate that host switching (turnover among host species) and dispersal (turnover among locations) of haemosporidian parasites in manakins are not constrained at this scale.
Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) is a leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), yet existing diagnostic tools remain inadequate. We aimed to evaluate laboratory and radiological methods for detecting pneumococcal aetiology in CAP patients and to estimate Spn prevalence in this group. All-aged patients hospitalized with clinically defined CAP in northern Togo were enrolled during 2010–2013. Latent class analysis pooled results of semi-automated blood culture (SABC), whole blood lytA real-time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR), serum C-reactive protein (CRP), and chest radiography (CXR) and categorized patients as likely pneumococcal or non-pneumococcal CAP. We enrolled 1684 patients; 1501 had results for all tests. CXR, SABC, lytA rt-PCR and CRP >71·2 mg/l had sensitivities of 94% [95% confidence interval (CI) 87–100], 13% (95% CI 10–16), 17% (95% CI 14–21) and 78% (95% CI 75–80), and specificities of 88% (95% CI 84–93), 100% (95% CI 99–100), 97% (95% CI 96–99) and 77% (95% CI 75–79), respectively. Pneumococcal attributable proportion was 34% (95% CI 32–37), increasing with age and in men. We estimated that Spn caused one third of CAP. Whole blood lytA rt-PCR was more sensitive than SABC; both had low sensitivity and high specificity. Conversely CXR was highly sensitive and reasonably specific; it could be a useful tool for epidemiological studies aiming to define Spn pneumonia incidence across all ages.
In order to solve the partial differential equations that arise in the Hartree- Fock theory for diatomicmolecules and inmolecular theories that include electron correlation, one needs efficient methods for solving partial differential equations. In this article, we present numerical results for a two-variablemodel problem of the kind that arises when one solves the Hartree-Fock equations for a diatomic molecule. We compare results obtained using the spline collocation and domain decomposition methods with third-order Hermite splines to results obtained using the more-established finite difference approximation and the successive over-relaxation method. The theory of domain decomposition presented earlier is extended to treat regions that are divided into an arbitrary number of subregions by families of lines parallel to the two coordinate axes. While the domain decomposition method and the finite difference approach both yield results at the micro-Hartree level, the finite difference approach with a 9- point difference formula produces the same level of accuracy with fewer points. The domain decompositionmethod has the strength that it can be applied to problemswith a large number of grid points. The time required to solve a partial differential equation for a fine grid with a large number of points goes down as the number of partitions increases. The reason for this is that the length of time necessary for solving a set of linear equations in each subregion is very much dependent upon the number of equations. Even though a finer partition of the region has more subregions, the time for solving the set of linear equations in each subregion is very much smaller. This feature of the theory may well prove to be a decisive factor for solving the two-electron pair equation, which – for a diatomic molecule – involves solving partial differential equations with five independent variables. The domain decomposition theory also makes it possible to study complex molecules by dividing them into smaller fragments that are calculated independently. Since the domain decomposition approachmakes it possible to decompose the variable space into separate regions in which the equations are solved independently, this approach is well-suited to parallel computing.
Although television (TV) viewing is frequently paired with snacking among young children, little is known about the environment in which caregivers promote this behaviour. We describe low-income pre-schoolers’ snacking and TV viewing habits as reported by their primary caregivers, including social/physical snacking contexts, types of snacks and caregiver rationales for offering snacks. These findings may support the development of effective messages to promote healthy child snacking.
Semi-structured interviews assessed caregiver conceptualizations of pre-schoolers’ snacks, purpose of snacks, snack context and snack frequency.
Interviews occurred in Boston, Massachusetts and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Forty-seven low-income multi-ethnic primary caregivers of children aged 3–5 years (92 % female, 32 % Hispanic/Latino, 34 % African American) described their child’s snacking in the context of TV viewing.
TV viewing and child snacking themes were described consistently across racial/ethnic groups. Caregivers described snacks offered during TV viewing as largely unhealthy. Labels for TV snacks indicated non-nutritive purposes, such as ‘time out’, ‘enjoyment’ or ‘quiet.’ Caregivers’ primary reasons for providing snacks included child’s expectations, behaviour management (e.g. to occupy child) and social time (e.g. family bonding). Some caregivers used TV to distract picky children to eat more food. Child snacking and TV viewing were contextually paired by providing child-sized furniture (‘TV table’) specifically for snacking.
Low-income caregivers facilitate pre-schoolers’ snacking and TV viewing, which are described as routine, positive and useful for non-nutritive purposes. Messages to caregivers should encourage ‘snack-free’ TV viewing, healthy snack options and guidance for managing children’s behaviour without snacks or TV.
For the United States and other net importers of oil, the past two years have the dubious distinction of featuring the highest average annual crude oil prices, in both real and nominal terms, since the beginnings of the modern oil industry in the 1860s. Such elevated prices for oil, marked by extreme volatility at times, pose risks to the still-anemic U.S. and global economies, even though they have proven a boon to the domestic oil industry and the regions of the country where oil and gas are produced. Still, the U.S. economy is much less affected by changes in oil prices today than it was in the 1970s, for instance, when the first modern oil crises wreaked havoc on the national economy.
Understanding how oil prices affect the economy of the United States is crucial to sensible domestic policymaking. The consequences of the dramatic collapse in oil prices in 2014, for instance, vary tremendously across the country's geographic regions, economic sectors, and population segments. Pinpointing the exact dynamics at play, as well as measuring their magnitudes, is difficult to do with precision. But several decades of research have yielded critical insights. These findings can help inform policy decisions in realms as diverse as economic sanctions, strategic petroleum reserve releases, and gasoline taxes, limiting any negative implications their effects on oil prices might cause to the broader economy and maximizing their potential benefits.
One of the policy tools that many countries have at their disposal as a means of mitigating harmful spikes in oil prices is releasing oil from strategic reserves. The major oil release undertaken in 2011, coordinated by the IEA, provided policymakers with valuable lessons about three critical aspects of these emergency interventions: (1) their effect on oil prices and market perception, (2) their implications for international cooperation, and (3) the logistical issues they raise about the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Energy officials in IEA countries should bear in mind those market-imposed constraints when structuring future releases, tailor their cooperation with influential oil-producing and -consuming countries to evolving geopolitical realities, and address potential operational impediments to the U.S. SPR, informed by the experience of the 2011 release.
HOW DO OIL PRICES AFFECT THE U.S. ECONOMY?
The primary channel through which higher oil prices reduce U.S. economic activity is by squeezing consumers, taking away discretionary income.