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The use of ‘cut-and-carry’ (the mechanical harvesting and feeding of fresh grass) has increased in some temperate regions in recent years and evidence suggests that sward management practices in this system differ to conventional grazing. In order to investigate this further, a 2 × 3 × 2 factorial experiment was used to examine the effect of low (1489 kg dry matter (DM)/ha; LHM) and high (2142 kg DM/ha; HHM) pre-cutting herbage mass; three ryegrass cultivars, diploid perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne; DIP), tetraploid perennial ryegrass (TET) and a hybrid ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum × L. perenne; HY); and the inclusion of red clover (Trifolium pratense) on sward herbage production, nutritive value and ryegrass morphology. Plots were harvested according to herbage mass from March to November in 2018 and 2019. Annual DM production was 1489 kg DM/ha higher in HHM than in LHM swards. Pre-cutting herbage mass had no effect on organic matter digestibility (OMD) in early season for DIP and TET swards or in late season for all cultivars. There was an interaction between ryegrass cultivar and clover inclusion in annual yield whereby red clover increased DM production in all cultivars however, its effect was largest in HY swards. Red clover inclusion increased DM production but reduced OMD in early and mid-seasons. Overall, TET swards were lowest in neutral detergent fibre and highest in OMD compared to HY and DIP. Pre-cutting herbage mass, ryegrass cultivar and red clover inclusion require careful consideration when establishing and managing pastures in cut-and-carry systems.
To overcome grass supply shortages on the main grazing block, some pasture-based dairy farmers are using zero-grazing (also known as ‘cut and carry’), whereby cows are periodically housed and fed fresh grass harvested from external land blocks. To determine the effect of zero-grazing on cow performance, two early-lactation experiments were conducted with autumn and spring-calving dairy cows. Cows were assigned to one of two treatments in a randomized complete block design. The two treatments were zero-grazing (ZG) and grazing (G). The ZG group were housed and fed zero-grazed grass, while the G group grazed outdoors at pasture. Both treatments were fed perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) from the same paddock. In experiment 1, 24 Holstein Friesian cows (n = 12) were studied over a 35-day experimental period in autumn and offered fresh grass, grass silage, ground maize and concentrates. In experiment 2, 30 Holstein Friesian cows (n = 15) were studied over a 42-day experimental period and offered fresh grass and concentrates. Average dry matter intake and milk yield was similar for ZG and G in both experiments. Likewise, ZG did not have an effect on milk composition, body condition or locomotion. Zero-grazing had no effect on total nitrogen excretion or nitrogen utilization efficiency in either experiment, or on rumen pH and ammonia concentration in experiment 1. While zero-grazing may enable farmers to supply fresh grass to early-lactation cows in spring and autumn, results from this study suggest that there are no additional benefits to cow performance in comparison to well-managed grazed grass.
Caregivers of patients with cancer are at significant risk for existential distress. Such distress negatively impacts caregivers’ quality of life and capacity to serve in their role as healthcare proxies, and ultimately, contributes to poor bereavement outcomes. Our team developed Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy for Cancer Caregivers (MCP-C), the first targeted psychosocial intervention that directly addresses existential distress in caregivers.
Nine caregivers of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) enrolled in a pilot randomized controlled trial evaluating the feasibility, acceptability, and effects of MCP-C, and completed in-depth interviews about their experience in the therapy. One focus group with three MCP-C interventionists was also completed.
Four key themes emerged from interviews: (1) MCP-C validated caregivers’ experience of caregiving; (2) MCP-C helped participants reframe their “caregiving identity” as a facet of their larger self-identity, by placing caregiving in the context of their life's journey; (3) MCP-C enabled caregivers to find ways to assert their agency through caregiving; and (4) the structure and sequence of sessions made MCP-C accessible and feasible. Feedback from interventionists highlighted several potential manual changes and overall ways in which MCP-C can help facilitate caregivers’ openness to discussing death and engaging in advanced care planning discussions with the patient.
Significance of results
The overarching goal of MCP-C is to allow caregivers to concurrently experience meaning and suffering; the intervention does not seek to deny the reality of challenges endured by caregivers, but instead to foster a connection to meaning and purpose alongside their suffering. Through in-depth interviews with caregivers and a focus group with MCP interventionists, we have refined and improved our MCP-C manual so that it can most effectively assist caregivers in experiencing meaning and purpose, despite inevitable suffering.
One source of the idea that Taiwan independence would be politically desirable is belief in the concept of “Taiwan subjectivity,” which indicates that Taiwan is not an appendage of China but instead an autonomous actor charting its own course – or trying to do so in the face of huge difficulties. The ruling (since 2016) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pledges fealty to the goal of ultimately realizing subjectivity but cannot aggressively pursue the agenda because of opposition from the People's Republic of China (PRC), the United States, and some in Taiwan itself. What might that agenda be? Using a Structural Topic Model, we excavate the subjectivity discourse as it developed from 2008 to 2020 in the mainstream DPP-supporting newspaper, the Liberty Times. We find fourteen topics associated with the concept, the most prevalent of which in recent years warn of threats to subjectivity's realization in the political and sociocultural spheres.
One of the principal systematic constraints on the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) experiment is the accuracy of the foreground calibration model. Recent results have shown that highly accurate models of extended foreground sources, and including models for sources in both the primary beam and its sidelobes, are necessary for reducing foreground power. To improve the accuracy of the source models for the EoR fields observed by the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), we conducted the MWA Long Baseline Epoch of Reionisation Survey (LoBES). This survey consists of multi-frequency observations of the main MWA EoR fields and their eight neighbouring fields using the MWA Phase II extended array. We present the results of the first half of this survey centred on the MWA EoR0 observing field (centred at RA (J2000)
, Dec (J2000)
). This half of the survey covers an area of 3 069 degrees
, with an average rms of 2.1 mJy beam–1. The resulting catalogue contains a total of 80 824 sources, with 16 separate spectral measurements between 100 and 230 MHz, and spectral modelling for 78
of these sources. Over this region we estimate that the catalogue is 90
complete at 32 mJy, and 70
complete at 10.5 mJy. The overall normalised source counts are found to be in good agreement with previous low-frequency surveys at similar sensitivities. Testing the performance of the new source models we measure lower residual rms values for peeled sources, particularly for extended sources, in a set of MWA Phase I data. The 2-dimensional power spectrum of these data residuals also show improvement on small angular scales—consistent with the better angular resolution of the LoBES catalogue. It is clear that the LoBES sky models improve upon the current sky model used by the Australian MWA EoR group for the EoR0 field.
Perinatal mental health is a vital component of public mental health. The perinatal period represents the time in a woman’s life when she is at the highest risk of developing new-onset psychiatric disorders or relapse of an existing mental illness. Optimisation of maternal mental health in the perinatal period is associated with both short- and long-term benefits not only for the mother, but also for her infant and family. However, perinatal mental health service provision remains variable across the world. At present in Northern Ireland, 80% of women do not have access to specialist community perinatal mental health services, and without access to a mother and baby unit, mothers who require a psychiatric admission in the postnatal period are separated from their baby. However, following successful campaigns, funding for development of specialist perinatal mental health community teams has recently been approved. In this article, we discuss the importance of perinatal mental health from a public health perspective and explore challenges and opportunities in the ongoing journey of specialist service development in Northern Ireland.
Little information is available on the phenotypic performance of perennial ryegrass varieties when exposed to grazing conditions on commercial grassland farms. Grass varieties are classically evaluated in mechanically defoliated plot systems which, although designed to mimic grazing conditions, do not fully capture the range of stresses or interactions that a sward is subjected to under commercial settings or over any period longer than 4 years. The evolution of technology in the form of PastureBase Ireland has led to agronomic data of individual paddocks being made available for analysis over multiple years. Data used in the current study consisted of dry matter (DM) production and ground score data across a 7-year period from ten perennial ryegrass varieties grown as monocultures in 559 paddocks on 98 commercial farms. The results demonstrated how perennial ryegrass variety is associated with a range of agronomic performance traits on commercial farms; including total and seasonal DM production, grazing DM production and number of grazing events. Varieties with the highest total DM production also had the highest spring and mid-season DM production; autumn DM production was associated with the interaction between variety and year. The highest producing variety in the study, AberGain, produced 1342 kg DM/ha/year more than the mean of all other varieties. Variety differences manifested themselves as swards aged, with some varieties increasing in total DM production while others reduced in total DM production. The current work provides a basis for the consideration of on-farm variety assessment in the composition of future variety evaluation protocols.
Despite coinfections being recognized as the rule in animal populations, most studies focus on single pathogen systems. Pathogen interaction networks and the drivers of such associations are lacking in disease ecology studies. Common cockle Cerastoderma edule populations are exposed to a great diversity of pathogens, thus making them a good model system to investigate. This study examined the diversity and prevalence of pathogens from different taxonomic levels in wild and fished C. edule on the Irish coast. Potential interactions were tested focussing on abiotic (seawater temperature and salinity) and biotic (cockle size and age, and epiflora on shells) factors. No Microsporidia nor OsHV-1μVar were detected. Single infections with Haplosporidia (37.7%) or Vibrio (25.3%) were more common than two-pathogen coinfected individuals (9.5%), which may more easily succumb to infection. Fished C. edule populations with high cockle densities were more exposed to infections. Higher temperature and presence of epiflora on cockle shells promoted coinfection in warmer months. Low seawater salinity, host condition and proximity to other infected host species influenced coinfection distribution. A positive association between two Minchinia spp. was observed, most likely due to their different pathogenic effect. Findings highlight the major influence that ecological factors have on pathogen interactions and host–pathogen interplay.
The Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) is the period within which the neutral universe transitioned to an ionised one. This period remains unobserved using low-frequency radio interferometers, which target the 21 cm signal of neutral hydrogen emitted in this era. The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope was built with the detection of this signal as one of its major science goals. One of the most significant challenges towards a successful detection is that of calibration, especially in the presence of the Earth’s ionosphere. By introducing refractive source shifts, distorting source shapes, and scintillating flux densities, the ionosphere is a major nuisance in low-frequency radio astronomy. We introduce sivio, a software tool developed for simulating observations of the MWA through different ionospheric conditions, which is estimated using thin screen approximation models and propagated into the visibilities. This enables us to directly assess the impact of the ionosphere on observed EoR data and the resulting power spectra. We show that the simulated data captures the dispersive behaviour of ionospheric effects. We show that the spatial structure of the simulated ionospheric media is accurately reconstructed either from the resultant source positional offsets or from parameters evaluated during the data calibration procedure. In turn, this will inform on the best strategies of identifying and efficiently eliminating ionospheric contamination in EoR data moving into the Square Kilometre Array era.
This research communication addressed the hypothesis that late lactation cows offered an oat-grain-based supplement or a high level of α-TOC supplementation at pasture would have improved milk composition and processability. Over a grazing period of 49 d, 48 Holstein Friesian dairy cows were randomly assigned to one of four dietary treatments. The dietary treatments were: control, pasture only (CTRL), pasture + 2.65 kg DM barley-based concentrate + 350 IU α-TOC/kg (BARLO), pasture + 2.65 kg DM oat-based concentrate + 350 IU α-TOC/kg (OATLO) and pasture + 2.65 kg DM oat-based concentrate + 1050 IU α-TOC/kg (OATHI). Within this randomised complete block design experiment cows were blocked on days in milk (DIM) and balanced for parity, milk yield and composition. Rennet coagulation time (RCT) was reduced in milk from cows offered OATHI compared to CTRL cows and OATLO. Concentration of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was increased by OATHI compared to OATLO and in OATLO compared to CTRL. Supplementation with OATHI reduced individual saturated fatty acids (SFAs) in milk compared to OATLO. In conclusion, supplementing grazing dairy cows with an oat-based supplement improved total milk CLA concentration compared to pasture only. Offering a high level of α-TOC (2931 IU/d) to dairy cows reduced RCT, individual SFA and increased total CLA concentration of milk compared to a lower α-TOC level (738 IU α-TOC/d).
Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the single most frequent reason for attendance at Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Ireland. Research has suggested that parents of children with ADHD experience more parenting stress than parents of non-clinical controls, yet routine treatment for ADHD rarely addresses parental well-being. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have been found to result in a reduction in parental stress.
An adapted Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention was delivered to parents (n = 23) of children with ADHD recruited from CAMHS and ADHD Ireland.
Following the intervention a significant improvement was documented within the social relationships domain of quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF) and a significant reduction on the child hyperactivity scale of the Strengths and Difficulties (SDQ) questionnaire.
This pilot study suggests that an MBSR intervention is both feasible and effective for parents whose children have ADHD. Larger scale studies need to be conducted before inclusion in routine CAMHS.
Precise instrumental calibration is of crucial importance to 21-cm cosmology experiments. The Murchison Widefield Array’s (MWA) Phase II compact configuration offers us opportunities for both redundant calibration and sky-based calibration algorithms; using the two in tandem is a potential approach to mitigate calibration errors caused by inaccurate sky models. The MWA Epoch of Reionization (EoR) experiment targets three patches of the sky (dubbed EoR0, EoR1, and EoR2) with deep observations. Previous work in Li et al. (2018) and (2019) studied the effect of tandem calibration on the EoR0 field and found that it yielded no significant improvement in the power spectrum (PS) over sky-based calibration alone. In this work, we apply similar techniques to the EoR1 field and find a distinct result: the improvements in the PS from tandem calibration are significant. To understand this result, we analyse both the calibration solutions themselves and the effects on the PS over three nights of EoR1 observations. We conclude that the presence of the bright radio galaxy Fornax A in EoR1 degrades the performance of sky-based calibration, which in turn enables redundant calibration to have a larger impact. These results suggest that redundant calibration can indeed mitigate some level of model incompleteness error.
Compulsory admission procedures of patients with mental disorders vary between countries in Europe. The Ethics Committee of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) launched a survey on involuntary admission procedures of patients with mental disorders in 40 countries to gather information from all National Psychiatric Associations that are members of the EPA to develop recommendations for improving involuntary admission processes and promote voluntary care.
The survey focused on legislation of involuntary admissions and key actors involved in the admission procedure as well as most common reasons for involuntary admissions.
We analyzed the survey categorical data in themes, which highlight that both medical and legal actors are involved in involuntary admission procedures.
We conclude that legal reasons for compulsory admission should be reworded in order to remove stigmatization of the patient, that raising awareness about involuntary admission procedures and patient rights with both patients and family advocacy groups is paramount, that communication about procedures should be widely available in lay-language for the general population, and that training sessions and guidance should be available for legal and medical practitioners. Finally, people working in the field need to be constantly aware about the ethical challenges surrounding compulsory admissions.
Sarcopenic obesity is characterised by the double burden of diminished skeletal muscle mass and the presence of excess adiposity. From a mechanistic perspective, both obesity and sarcopenia are associated with sub-acute, chronic pro-inflammatory states that impede metabolic processes, disrupting adipose and skeletal functionality, which may potentiate disease. Recent evidence suggests that there is an important cross-talk between metabolism and inflammation, which has shifted focus upon metabolic-inflammation as a key emerging biological interaction. Dietary intake, physical activity and nutritional status are important environmental factors that may modulate metabolic-inflammation. This paradigm will be discussed within the context of sarcopenic obesity risk. There is a paucity of data in relation to the nature and the extent to which nutritional status affects metabolic-inflammation in sarcopenic obesity. Research suggests that there may be scope for the modulation of sarcopenic obesity with alterations in diet. The potential impact of increasing protein consumption and reconfiguration of dietary fat composition in human dietary interventions are evaluated. This review will explore emerging data with respect to if and how different dietary components may modulate metabolic-inflammation, particularly with respect to adiposity, within the context of sarcopenic obesity.
There is a growing body of evidence highlighting the presence of a single general dimension of psychopathology that can account for multiple associations across mental and substance use disorders. However, relatively little evidence has emerged regarding the validity of this model with respect to a range of factors that have been previously implicated across multiple disorders. The current study utilized a cross-sectional population survey of adolescents (n = 2,003) to examine the extent to which broad psychopathology factors account for specific associations between psychopathology and key validators: poor sleep, self-harm, suicidality, risky sexual behavior, and low self-esteem. Confirmatory factor models, latent class models, and factor mixture models were estimated to identify the best structure of psychopathology. Structural equation models were then estimated to examine the broad and specific associations between each psychopathology indicator and the validators. A confirmatory factor model with three lower-order factors, representing internalizing, externalizing, and psychotic-like experiences, and a single higher-order factor evidenced the best fit. The associations between manifest indicators of psychopathology and validators were largely nonspecific. However, significant and large direct effects were found between several pairwise associations. These findings have implications for the identification of potential targets for intervention and/or tailoring of prevention programs.
Reduced inflammatory signaling (IL-1RI-/-) alters metabolic responses to dietary challenges (1). Inflammasome deficiency (e.g. IL-18-/-, Asc-/-) can modify gut microbiota concomitant with hepatosteatosis; an effect that was transferable to wild-type (WT) mice by co-housing (2). Taken together, this evidence suggests that links between diet, microbiota and IL-1RI-signaling can influence metabolic health. Our aim was to determine whether IL-1RI-mediated signaling interacted with the gut microbiome to impact metabolic tissue functionality in a diet-specific fashion. Male WT (C57BL/J6) and IL-1RI-/- mice were fed either high-fat diet (HFD; 45% kcal) or low-fat diet (LFD; 10% kcal) for 24 weeks and were housed i) separately by genotype or ii) with genotypes co-housed together (i.e. isolated vs shared microbial environment; n = 8–10 mice per group). Glucose tolerance and insulin secretion response (1.5 g/kg i.p.), gut microbiota composition and caecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) were assessed. Liver and adipose tissue were harvested and examined for triacylglycerol (TAG) formation, cholesterol and metabolic markers (Fasn, Cpt1α, Pparg, Scd1, Dgat1/2), using histology, gas-chromatography and RT-PCR, respectively. Statistical analysis included 1-way or 2-way ANOVA, where appropriate, with Bonferroni post-hoc correction. Co-housing significantly affected gut microbiota composition, illustrated by clustering in PCoA (unweighted UniFrac distance) of co-housed mice but not their single-housed counterparts, on both HFD and LFD. The taxa driving these differences were primarily from Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae families. Single-housed WT had lower hepatic weight, TAG, cholesterol levels and Fasn despite HFD, an effect lost in their co-housed counterparts, who aligned more to IL-1RI-/- hepatic lipid status. Hepatic Cpt1α was lowest in co-housed WT. Adipose from IL-1RI-/- groups on HFD displayed increased adipocyte size and reduced adipocyte number compared to WT groups, but greater lipogenic potential (Pparg, Scd1, Dgat2) alongside a blunted IL-6 response to pro-inflammatory stimuli (~32%, P = 0.025). Whilst caecal SCFA concentrations were not different between groups, single-housed IL-1RI-/- adipocytes showed greatest sensitivity to SCFA-induced lipogenesis. Interestingly, differences in tissue functionality and gut microbiome occurred despite unaltered glucose tolerance; although there was a trend for phenotypic transfer of body weight via co-housing. For all endpoints examined, similar genotype/co-housing effects were observed for both HFD and LFD with the greatest impacts seen in HFD-fed mice. In conclusion, while the gut microbiome may be an important consideration in dietary interventions, these results question the magnitude of its impact in relation to the IL-1RI-dependent immunometabolism-glucose homeostasis axis.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an electronically steered low-frequency (<300 MHz) radio interferometer, with a ‘slew’ time less than 8 s. Low-frequency (∼100 MHz) radio telescopes are ideally suited for rapid response follow-up of transients due to their large field of view, the inverted spectrum of coherent emission, and the fact that the dispersion delay between a 1 GHz and 100 MHz pulse is on the order of 1–10 min for dispersion measures of 100–2000 pc/cm3. The MWA has previously been used to provide fast follow-up for transient events including gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), fast radio bursts (FRBs), and gravitational waves, using systems that respond to gamma-ray coordinates network packet-based notifications. We describe a system for automatically triggering MWA observations of such events, based on Virtual Observatory Event standard triggers, which is more flexible, capable, and accurate than previous systems. The system can respond to external multi-messenger triggers, which makes it well-suited to searching for prompt coherent radio emission from GRBs, the study of FRBs and gravitational waves, single pulse studies of pulsars, and rapid follow-up of high-energy superflares from flare stars. The new triggering system has the capability to trigger observations in both the regular correlator mode (limited to ≥0.5 s integrations) and using the Voltage Capture System (VCS, 0.1 ms integration) of the MWA and represents a new mode of operation for the MWA. The upgraded standard correlator triggering capability has been in use since MWA observing semester 2018B (July–Dec 2018), and the VCS and buffered mode triggers will become available for observing in a future semester.
Haplosporidian protist parasites are a major concern for aquatic animal health, as they have been responsible for some of the most significant marine epizootics on record. Despite their impact on food security, aquaculture and ecosystem health, characterizing haplosporidian diversity, distributions and host range remains challenging. In this study, water filtering bivalve species, cockles Cerastoderma edule, mussels Mytilus spp. and Pacific oysters Crassostrea gigas, were screened using molecular genetic assays using deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) markers for the Haplosporidia small subunit ribosomal deoxyribonucleic acid region. Two Haplosporidia species, both belonging to the Minchinia clade, were detected in C. edule and in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis in a new geographic range for the first time. No haplosporidians were detected in the C. gigas, Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis or Mytilus hybrids. These findings indicate that host selection and partitioning are occurring amongst cohabiting bivalve species. The detection of these Haplosporidia spp. raises questions as to whether they were always present, were introduced unintentionally via aquaculture and or shipping or were naturally introduced via water currents. These findings support an increase in the known diversity of a significant parasite group and highlight that parasite species may be present in marine environments but remain undetected, even in well-studied host species.