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The main aim of the current study was to present the abilities of widely used crop models to simulate four different field crops (winter wheat, spring barley, silage maize and winter oilseed rape). The 13 models were tested under Central European conditions represented by three locations in the Czech Republic, selected using temperature and precipitation gradients for the target crops in this region. Based on observed crop phenology and yield from 1991 to 2010, performances of individual models and their ensemble were analyzed. Modelling of anthesis and maturity was generally best simulated by the ensemble median (EnsMED) compared to the ensemble mean and individual models. The yield was better simulated by the best models than estimated by an ensemble. Higher accuracy was achieved for spring crops, with the best results for silage maize, while the lowest accuracy was for winter oilseed rape according to the index of agreement (IA). Based on EnsMED, the root mean square errors (RMSEs) for yield was 1365 kg/ha for winter wheat, 1105 kg/ha for spring barley, 1861 kg/ha for silage maize and 969 kg/ha for winter oilseed rape. The AQUACROP and EPIC models performed best in terms of spread around the line of best fit (RMSE, IA). In some cases, the individual models failed. For crop rotation simulations, only models with reasonable accuracy (i.e. without failures) across all included crops within the target environment should be selected. Application crop models ensemble is one way to increase the accuracy of predictions, but lower variability of ensemble outputs was confirmed.
Traversodontidae is a group of Triassic herbivorous/omnivorous cynodonts that represents the most diversified lineage within Cynognathia. In southern Brazil, a rich fossil record of late Middle/mid-Late Triassic cynodonts has been documented, with Exaeretodon riograndensis Abdala, Barberena, and Dornelles, 2002 and Siriusgnathus niemeyerorum Pavanatto et al., 2018 representing two abundant and well-documented traversodontids. The present study provides a comparative analysis of the morphology of the nasal cavity, nasal recesses, nasolacrimal duct, and maxillary canals of both species using computed tomography, highlighting the changes that occurred in parallel to the origin of mammaliaforms. Our results show that there were no ossified turbinals or a cribriform plate delimiting the posterior end of the nasal cavity, suggesting these structures were probably cartilaginous as in nonmammaliaform cynodonts. Both species show lateral ridges on the internal surface of the roof of the nasal cavity, but the median ridge for the attachment of a nasal septum is absent. Exaeretodon riograndensis and S. niemeyerorum show recesses on the dorsal region of the nasal cavity, which increase the volume of the nasal cavity, potentially enhancing the olfactory chamber and contributing to the sense of smell. On the lateral sides of the nasal cavity, the analyzed taxa show a well-developed maxillary recess. Although E. riograndensis and S. niemeyerorum have roughly similar nasal cavities, in the former taxon, the space between the left and right dorsal recesses of the nasal cavity is uniform along its entire extension, whereas this space narrows posteriorly in S. niemeyerorum. Finally, the nasolacrimal duct of S. niemeyerorum is more inclined anteroposteriorly than in E. riograndensis.
Major depression (MDD) presents among other symptoms with cognitive impairment and diurnal fatigue. Residual fatigue in non-remitted patients often shows neuropharmacological treatment resistance. The relationships between cognitive dysfunction, vigilance, fatigue and affective symptom intensity is poorly described in treatment-resistant MDD (TRD).
During a prospective study protocol, 17 in-patients hospitalized for TRD were compared to a healthy control group (n=17). Patients were under SNRI or SSRI and free from diurnal benzodiazepines. All subjects underwent structured psychometry (HAMD, HAD), cognitive assessment and vigilance measurements (behavioral sleep résistance task, BSRT; psychomotor vigilance test, PVT; Auditory Verbal Learning, AVLT; trail making test, TMT). Subjective fatigue and sleepiness were assessed by the Fatigue Severity and the Epworth Sleepiness Scales respectively. All measures have been performed at two time points (T1 and T2) with a 10-day interval.
T1 and T2 showed higher fatigue and sleepiness in MDD (p< 0.05). With exception for the BSRT, between group comparisons showed significant differences for all variables.Comparison for repeated measures (T1 and T2) showed improvement in depressive symptom intensity (HAMD, p< 0.0005) but cognitive and psychomotor performances only improved for the TMT (TMT-B, p=.001).
TRD presents here with psychomotor slowing, with impaired mental flexibility (executive function) and declarative memory dysfunction. Interestingly, despite subjective complaints (ESS), objective sleepiness (BSRT) had not been revealed. Furthermore affective symptom improvement was not associated to an increase in declarative memory or psychomotor performances.
Performance tests in dementia usually aim at a differentiated and standardized assessment of memory. They may be applied for early diagnosis, assessment of progression and demonstration of treatment effects, particularly for disease-modifying treatments in Alzheimer's dementia.
The tests currently applied are subject to various limitations. The results obtained are contaminated by impairments in cognitive domains other than memory, because respective capabilities are a precondition for the assessment of memory by means of these tests. For instance, some tests for the assessment of visual memory imply a certain level of motor, constructional or executive capabilities. On the other hand, the memory tests available are usually not adaptive, i.e. they may not be individually adjusted to the level of performance. Adaptivity as a feature of a neuropsychological performance test requires sequence control based on intermediate results and may be realized by the implementation of the test on a computer. The handling and the design of the user surface have to be adapted to the requirements of older people.
In order to meet these demands, a computer-based adaptive memory and attention test, the MAT was developed. Working memory and short-term memory are assessed in the verbal, visual and episodic domains by six independent tests individually adjusted to the subjects level of performance on the basis of intermediate results. Sustained attention is also assessed. The single tests do not require constructional or executive abilities. Make-up and handling are adapted to the requirements of older people.
The Memory and Attention Test (MAT), a newly developed, adaptive, computer-based performance test was evaluated in a mixed group of patients with Alzheimer's dementia, subjects with mild cognitive impairment and control subjects at ages from 60 to 89 years.
By means of the MAT, working memory and short-term memory are assessed in the verbal, figural and episodic domains by means of six independent tests individually adjusted to the subjects level of performance on the basis of intermediate results. Sustained attention is also assessed.
For evaluation purposes, well established tests for the respective memory domains were applied. They were the Auditory Verbal and Learning Test (AVLT), the Benton Test, the delayed reproduction of the Taylor Figure, the subtests working memory and logical memory of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) and the Alterskonzentrationstest (AKT), a test analogous to the d2 test, especially suited and standardized for older subjects. Acceptance of the MAT was assessed by means of a questionnaire developed for this purpose.
Computerized testing was commonly well accepted by the subjects. There were highly significant positive correlations between performance in the MAT domains and performance in the respective reference assessments. Thus, the MAT may be a useful diagnostic tool for the assessment of dementia patients. It may be applied for early diagnosis, assessment of progression of disease and demonstration of treatment effects, particularly for disease-modifying treatments in Alzheimer's disease. Standardization relating to age and and education as well as the provision of versions in various languages are under way.
This study investigates how the ecosystem services (ES) linked to livestock grazing are perceived across countries. A total of 82 case studies collected from 42 countries via survey (53.7% cases from Europe and 46.3% from outside of Europe) have been analysed through a multivariate approach. In all, 18 non-provisioning ES were considered. Overall, the reported impacts of livestock grazing on the different ES were much more positive than negative. Notably, a large proportion of respondents reported either positive or very positive impacts for some cultural ES, namely cultural, historic and natural heritage (84%), knowledge systems and educational values (77%), landscape values (74%), and for some supporting and regulating ES, namely habitat provision (66%), nutrient cycling (65%), and bush encroachment/fire control (66%). Based on multiple regression analysis, geographic origin, stakeholder type and species category, as well as protection status of the grazing area, had significant effects on the perception of the impacts. Respondents reported those impacts as more positive in Europe, in protected areas and where several species were present in the grazing area. A significantly larger proportion of respondents reported recognition of ES provided by the grazing livestock population in European countries (40.9%) compared with non-European countries (23.7%). Based on the survey responses it appears that in non-European countries absence of formal recognition, especially by policy makers, is a major challenge for the continued provision of ES in grazing systems. In Europe, where such recognition is already often included in legislation, the long-term sustainability of related policies and incentives to provide such services is viewed as a major issue by the respondents.
A controversy at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress on the topic of closing domestic ivory markets (the 007, or so-called James Bond, motion) has given rise to a debate on IUCN's value proposition. A cross-section of authors who are engaged in IUCN but not employed by the organization, and with diverse perspectives and opinions, here argue for the importance of safeguarding and strengthening the unique technical and convening roles of IUCN, providing examples of what has and has not worked. Recommendations for protecting and enhancing IUCN's contribution to global conservation debates and policy formulation are given.
Genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) is associated with several psychiatric conditions characterized by deficits in executive functioning (EF). A specific OXTR variant, rs2254298, has previously been associated with brain functioning in regions implicated in EF. Moreover, birth weight variation across the entire range is associated with individual differences in cortical structure and function that underlie EF. This is the first study to examine the main and interactive effect between rs2254298 and birth weight on EF in children. The sample consisted of 310 children from an ongoing longitudinal study. EF was measured at age 4.5 using observational tasks indexing working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control. A family-based design that controlled for population admixture, stratification, and nongenomic confounds was employed. A significant genetic association between rs2254298 and EF was observed, with more copies of the major allele (G) associated with higher EF. There was also a significant interaction between rs2254298 and birth weight, such that more copies of the major allele in combination with higher birth weight predicted better EF. Findings suggest that OXTR may be associated with discrete neurocognitive abilities in childhood, and these effects may be modulated by intrauterine conditions related to fetal growth and development.
Chitinous arm hooks (onychites) of belemnoid coleoid cephalopods are widely distributed in Mesozoic sediments. Due to their relative abundance and variable morphology compared with the single, bullet-shaped, belemnite rostrum, arm hooks came into the focus of micropaleontologists as a promising index fossil group for the Jurassic–Cretaceous rock record and have been the target of functional, ecological, and phylogenetic interpretations in the past. Based on three well-preserved arm crowns of the Toarcian diplobelid Chondroteuthis wunnenbergi, we analyzed the shape of a total of 87 micro-hooks. The arm crown of Chondroteuthis is unique in having uniserial rather than biserial hooks. The first application of elliptic Fourier shape analysis to the arm weapons of belemnoid coleoids allows for the distinction of four micro-hook morphotypes and the quantification of shape variation within these morphotypes. Based on the best-preserved arm crown, we reconstructed the distribution of morphotypes within the arm crown and along a single arm. Our quantitative data support former observations that smaller hooks were found close to the mouth and at the most distal arm parts, while the largest hooks were found in the central part of the arm crown. Furthermore, we found a distinct arm differentiation, as not every arm was equipped with the same hook morphotype. Here, we report the functional specialization of the belemnoid arm crown for the first time and speculate about the potential function of the four morphotypes based on comparisons with modern cephalopods. Our analyses suggest a highly adapted functional morphology and intra-individual distribution of belemnoid hooks serving distinct purposes mainly during prey capture.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound has become an established tool in the initial management of patients with undifferentiated hypotension. Current established protocols (RUSH, ACES, etc) were developed by expert user opinion, rather than objective, prospective data. We wished to use reported disease incidence to develop an informed approach to PoCUS in hypotension using a “4 F’s” approach: Fluid; Form; Function; Filling. Methods: We summarized the incidence of PoCUS findings from an international multicentre RCT, and using a modified Delphi approach incorporating this data we obtained the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. The modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate PoCUS for hypotensive emergency department patients. Results: Rates of abnormal PoCUS findings from 151 patients with undifferentiated hypotension included left ventricular dynamic changes (43%), IVC abnormalities (27%), pericardial effusion (16%), and pleural fluid (8%). Abdominal pathology was rare (fluid 5%, AAA 2%). After two rounds of the survey, using majority consensus, agreement was reached on a SHoC-hypotension protocol comprising: A. Core: 1. Cardiac views (Sub-xiphoid and parasternal windows for pericardial fluid, cardiac form and ventricular function); 2. Lung views for pleural fluid and B-lines for filling status; and 3. IVC views for filling status; B. Supplementary: Additional cardiac views; and C. Additional views (when indicated) including peritoneal fluid, aorta, pelvic for IUP, and proximal leg veins for DVT. Conclusion: An international consensus process based on prospectively collected disease incidence has led to a proposed SHoC-hypotension PoCUS protocol comprising a stepwise clinical-indication based approach of Core, Supplementary and Additional PoCUS views.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) provides invaluable information during resuscitation efforts in cardiac arrest by determining presence/absence of cardiac activity and identifying reversible causes such as pericardial tamponade. There is no agreed guideline on how to safely and effectively incorporate PoCUS into the advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) algorithm. We consider that a consensus-based priority checklist using a “4 F’s” approach (Fluid; Form; Function; Filling), would provide a better algorithm during ACLS. Methods: The ultrasound subcommittee of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) drafted a checklist incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm. This was further developed using the input of 24 international experts associated with five professional organizations led by the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. A modified Delphi tool was developed to reach an international consensus on how to integrate ultrasound into cardiac arrest algorithms for emergency department patients. Results: Consensus was reached following 3 rounds. The agreed protocol focuses on the timing of PoCUS as well as the specific clinical questions. Core cardiac windows performed during the rhythm check pause in chest compressions are the sub-xiphoid and parasternal cardiac views. Either view should be used to detect pericardial fluid, as well as examining ventricular form (e.g. right heart strain) and function, (e.g. asystole versus organized cardiac activity). Supplementary views include lung views (for absent lung sliding in pneumothorax and for pleural fluid), and IVC views for filling. Additional ultrasound applications are for endotracheal tube confirmation, proximal leg veins for DVT, or for sources of blood loss (AAA, peritoneal/pelvic fluid). Conclusion: The authors hope that this process will lead to a consensus-based SHoC-cardiac arrest guideline on incorporating PoCUS into the ACLS algorithm.
Following a successful program to investigate the physics of ultra-high-pressure proportional counters, a counter array has been developed for hard X-ray astronomy. A parallel investigation has evaluated the performance of a large-area phoswich scintillator detector for the same purpose. The two detectors have been integrated in a balloon-borne payload, the Astrophysical X-ray Experimental Laboratory (AXEL). This paper describes the instrumentation aboard the payload.
We present the first snow/ice chemistry and ice radar results ever collected from South Georgia as part of an initial reconnaissance with the ultimate goal of assessing the feasibility of a South Georgia ice core to reconstruct past climate in the South Atlantic. South Georgia is well situated to capture a record of past atmospheric chemical composition over the South Atlantic and of past variability in the position and intensity of the austral westerlies. The question is how well preserved an ice core record can be recovered from a region experiencing accelerated melting? The results presented in this paper offer only a preliminary step in determining the feasibility of future deep ice coring on South Georgia. However, this initial reconnaissance does provide some basic information including: the chemistry of the atmosphere over South Georgia relative to other Southern Hemisphere ice coring sites; the potential for preservation of ‘annual layers’ in old ice on the island; a possible age for deep ice in the region; and an estimate of glacier health in the lower elevation regions of the island.
Crossbreeding, considering either terminal or rotational crossing, synthetic breed creation or breed replacement, is often promoted as an efficient strategy to increase farmers’ income through the improvement of productivity of local livestock in developing countries. Sustainability of crossbreeding is however frequently challenged by constraints such as poor adaptation to the local environment or lack of logistic support. In this review, we investigate factors that may influence the long-term success or the failure of crossbreeding programs, based on the scientific literature and country reports submitted for The Second Report on the State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Crossbreeding activities vary widely across species and countries. Its sustainability is dependent on different prerequisites such as continual access to adequate breeding stock (especially after the end of externally funded crossbreeding projects), the opportunity of improved livestock to express their genetic potential (e.g. through providing proper inputs) and integration within a reliable market chain. As formal crossbreeding programs are often associated with adoption of other technologies, they can be a catalyst for innovation and development for smallholders. Given the increasing global demand for animal products, as well as the potential environmental consequences of climate change, there is a need for practical research to improve the implementation of long-term crossbreeding programs in developing countries.