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The combination of advances in knowledge, technology, changes in consumer preference and low cost of manufacturing is accelerating the next technology revolution in crop, livestock and fish production systems. This will have major implications for how, where and by whom food will be produced in the future. This next technology revolution could benefit the producer through substantial improvements in resource use and profitability, but also the environment through reduced externalities. The consumer will ultimately benefit through more nutritious, safe and affordable food diversity, which in turn will also contribute to the acceleration of the next technology. It will create new opportunities in achieving progress towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals, but it will require early recognition of trends and impact, public research and policy guidance to avoid negative trade-offs. Unfortunately, the quantitative predictability of future impacts will remain low and uncertain, while new chocks with unexpected consequences will continue to interrupt current and future outcomes. However, there is a continuing need for improving the predictability of shocks to future food systems especially for ex-ante assessment for policy and planning.
Prolonged survival of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on environmental surfaces and personal protective equipment may lead to these surfaces transmitting this pathogen to others. We sought to determine the effectiveness of a pulsed-xenon ultraviolet (PX-UV) disinfection system in reducing the load of SARS-CoV-2 on hard surfaces and N95 respirators.
Chamber slides and N95 respirator material were directly inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 and were exposed to different durations of PX-UV.
For hard surfaces, disinfection for 1, 2, and 5 minutes resulted in 3.53 log10, >4.54 log10, and >4.12 log10 reductions in viral load, respectively. For N95 respirators, disinfection for 5 minutes resulted in >4.79 log10 reduction in viral load. PX-UV significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 on hard surfaces and N95 respirators.
With the potential to rapidly disinfectant environmental surfaces and N95 respirators, PX-UV devices are a promising technology to reduce environmental and personal protective equipment bioburden and to enhance both healthcare worker and patient safety by reducing the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
A leaching test conducted in field lysimeters for the purpose of pesticide registration is evaluated, particularly in terms of factors such as the effects of soil type, variability in leaching between replicate lysimeters, and simulation of worst-case scenarios. Two herbicides, dichlorprop and bentazon, were chosen as test compounds due to their documented high mobility in laboratory tests. Four different soil types (sand, loam, clay, peat) and two irrigation treatments were included. Both herbicides were applied at rates representing normal doses (1.6 and 0.6 kg ai ha−1 of dichlorprop and bentazon, respectively). 36Cl was also applied to sand and clay lysimeters to follow the pattern of water movement. Leaching of dichlorprop for the varying soil type/treatment combinations ranged from 0.02 to 1.8% of the amount applied. Leaching losses of bentazon reached up to 0.07% of that applied. Leaching of both herbicides was greater mostly in clay monoliths than in sand monoliths, which was explained in terms of macropore flow. A more effective macropore flow was also suggested to be the main reason why more dichlorprop leached in clay and peat monoliths treated with a small water input. Detectable, and in some cases large, concentrations of dichlorprop were found in the first drainage water in early autumn in all soil/treatment combinations, indicating the occurrence of preferential flow in all soils tested, including sand. A rapid breakthrough of 36Cl was also found in clay and low-irrigation input sand, providing additional confirmation of the role of preferential flow processes in these soils. It is concluded that field mobility tests for pesticide registration are a necessary complement to measurements of physical/chemical properties of a compound and that these should be performed in a range of soil types, including at least one structured soil. Other factors identified to be of importance when evaluating lysimeter studies such as this were the analytical detection limits of the pesticides and the need for replication.
A new model is presented that relates the numbers of bolters in sugar-beet crops to an intensity of vernalization calculated as the accumulated number of hours between sowing and the end of June that temperatures were between 0 and 13°C, with each temperature within this range differentially weighted for its vernalizing effect. The model allows varieties to be characterized in terms of a threshold number of vernalizing hours needed to induce bolting (the vernalization requirement) and the increase in the proportion of bolted plants with each additional 10 vernalizing hours accumulated above this vernalizing threshold (the bolting sensitivity). When parameterized for variety, the model allows the level of bolting to be predicted for crops sown on specific dates in particular locations.
Data from variety-assessment trials done at a wide range of locations throughout the main UK sugar-beet growing areas between 1973 and 2006, and from early sown bolting trials done at a few sites between 2000 and 2008, were used to define specific aspects of the model. These included the range and weightings of vernalizing temperatures, the period during which vernalization occurs, and the temperatures likely to cause plants to become devernalized.
The vernalization-intensity bolting model was parameterized and validated using separate subsets of the UK variety-assessment trial data. It was shown to be more discriminating and robust than an existing ‘cool-day’ model, which relates bolting to the number of days from sowing in which the maximum air temperature was below 12°C. Examples are given of the use of the new model to assess the bolting risk associated with early sowing in different regions of the UK, to interpret recent patterns of bolting (especially the large numbers of bolters seen in some commercial crops in 2008), and its potential use as an advisory tool.
1. One long-term experiment comparing the effects of leys and arable cropping on the yield of arable crops and three experiments on the effect of management of lucerne/grass leys on the following arable crops, all conducted on heavy clay land, are described and the results discussed.
2. In the first two years after breaking a ley yields of wheat were higher than on plots which had had all-arable cropping and it is suggested that this effect could be due to a combination of disease and weed control and the nitrogen status of the soil.
1. Four experiments designed to investigate the effect of fertilizers on the rate of bulking of Majestic potatoes are described and the results discussed.
2. Irrespective of fertilizer application yield increased until the haulm died and then decreased slightly.
3. Sulphate of ammonia increased the yield by increasing the number of tubers and increasing the yield in all size-grades. Thus its effect was seen throughout the season, no matter what grades yield was based on. It also increased dry-matter percentage.
1. An experiment conducted on a light gravelly soil at Cambridge which compared the effects of different sequences of cropping, some of which contained leys of various types and duration, different levels of nitrogenous manuring, and the application of farm-yard manure on the yield of potatoes, is described and the results discussed.
2. Under the circumstances of the experiment, in which phosphate and potash were maintained at a high level on all plots, sequence of cropping had little effect on the yield of potatoes when 4 cwt./acre of ‘Nitro-Chalk’ was applied to the potatoes, but in the absence of applied nitrogen leys containing lucerne led to higher yields than other sequences.
1. An experiment designed to investigate the effects of heavy dressings of nitrogen, inter-row distance and ‘method’ of sowing on the yield of a lucerne-cocksfoot ley is described and the results discussed.
1. Two experiments designed to investigate the effects of different times of ploughing a clover ley on the growth and yield of the subsequent winter wheat crop are described and the results discussed.
2. Although the different times of ploughing led to considerable differences in the growth of the wheat, their effect on yield was not consistent. This in agreement with the results of an earlier series of experiments. The effects of time of ploughing are attributed mainly to the resulting differences in the physical condition of the seed-beds.
1. Three experiments designed to investigate the effects of consolidation and aeration of soil beneath potato seed tubers before planting, and inter-row grubbing after planting, on the growth and yield of potatoes are described and the results discussed.
2. Consolidation of furrows beneath seed tubers by tractor wheels at planting had no effect on total weight of ware-size tubers produced but increased the weight of mis-shapen waresize tubers. It is argued that this effect was related to soil moisture content and tilth at planting time.
The potassium (K) and sodium (Na) requirements of sugar beet were re-examined in a 6-year series of experiments between 2000 and 2005 using reference plots with a wide range of long-established differences in exchangeable topsoil K (Kex). Two groups of plots with a topsoil concentration Kex range of 40–550 mg/kg were used, each situated within an individual field, one on a silty clay loam at Rothamsted and the other on a contrasting sandy loam at Woburn. The interactions between topsoil Kex and applied N, K and Na fertilizers were studied at Rothamsted. Under these well-defined conditions, maximum yields of 55–71 t/ha of adjusted clean beet were achieved with a topsoil Kex concentration of 120–150 mg/kg, i.e. at Soil K Index 2–, with a small difference between the two soils being accounted for by differences in exchangeable soil Na and subsoil Kex. There were no yield responses to freshly applied fertilizer K, even on low K plots where responses might be expected. It is concluded that the existing recommendations for K fertilizer use on UK sugar beet do not need to be adjusted to allow for the higher yields of modern crops.
There were no yield responses to NaCl fertilizer at any level of topsoil Kex at Rothamsted (where the soil contained 15–20 mg Na/kg), but yields were increased on low Kex plots at Woburn whose sandy loam contained only 5–10 mg Na/kg. The uptake of Na from the applied NaCl fertilizer was strongly influenced by the exchangeable K and Na status of the soil. On the low Na soil at Woburn, almost all of the applied Na was taken up by sugar beet grown on plots with low concentrations of topsoil Kex and half of it on plots with adequate concentrations of topsoil Kex compared with two-thirds and one-fifth, respectively, on the higher Na-content soil at Rothamsted.
Plants partitioned 0·75 of their K and 0·95 of their Na to the shoot and the balance to the storage root. This pattern of distribution was consistent across sites, seasons and soil K supply. The physiological interactions between K and Na were studied by examining their millimolar concentrations in the tissue-water (mmol/kg) of the shoots and storage roots. The tissue-water concentrations of K in the shoot increased asymptotically with the concentration of Kex in the topsoil, and the increase in K concentration was accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the tissue-water concentration of Na. Maximum concentrations of K in shoot tissue-water (and minimum concentrations of Na) were achieved when the topsoil contained a minimum of 200 mg Kex/kg. The optimal physiological tissue-water concentration of Na in shoots was estimated to be c. 90–100 mmol/kg; maintenance of this level required a minimum of 25 mg/kg of exchangeable Na in the topsoil. When not limited by soil Kex, plants maintained a total tissue-water concentration of c. 300–350 mmol/kg of K+Na within the shoot. This was achieved with 80 mmol of Na and 230 mmol of K/kg of tissue water on the high Na-content soil at Rothamsted, and with 40 mmol of Na and 275 mmol of K/kg tissue water on the low-Na soil at Woburn.
Significant correlations were established between measurements of beet K made in the factory tarehouse and those made using standard laboratory chemical analyses and between factory estimates of the concentrations of K in the tissue-water of delivered beet and the topsoil Kex. The uses of these relationships to estimate the off-takes of K in the harvested beet and provide feedback to growers on the K status of their soils, and the implications of the study for the use of K and Na fertilizers on UK sugar beet are discussed.
To assess the way healthcare facilities (HCFs) diagnose, survey, and control methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Ninety HCFs in 30 countries.
Evaluation of susceptibility testing methods showed that 8 laboratories (9%) used oxacillin disks with antimicrobial content different from the one recommended, 12 (13%) did not determine MRSA susceptibility to vancomycin, and 4 (4.5%) reported instances of isolation of vancomycin-resistant S. aureus but neither confirmed this resistance nor alerted public health authorities. A MRSA control program was reported by 55 (61.1%) of the HCFs. The following isolation precautions were routinely used: hospitalization in a private room (34.4%), wearing of gloves (62.2%), wearing of gowns (44.4%), hand washing by healthcare workers (53.3%), use of an isolation sign on the patient's door (43%), or all four. When the characteristics of HCFs with low incidence rates (< 0.4 per 1,000 patient-days) were compared with those of HCFs with high incidence rates (P = 0.4 per 1,000 patient-days), having a higher mean number of beds per infection control nurse was the only factor significantly associated with HCFs with high incidence rates (834 vs 318 beds; P = .02).
Our results emphasize the urgent need to strengthen the microbiologic and epidemiologic capacities of HCFs worldwide to prevent MRSA transmission and to prepare them to address the possible emergence of vancomycin-resistant S. aureus.
The effect of different rates of potassium (K) fertilizer on the yield and quality of sugar beet was
studied in a series of 26 trials on soils of different type and K index between 1992 and 1997. There
were few yield responses even though the majority of trials were on soils of low K index, and large
quantities of fertilizer were applied (0–600 kg K/ha). Potassium offtakes (kg/ha) in the harvested beet
increased asymptotically, not linearly, with yield and were much larger for a given yield on high K
index soils than on low index soils. Commercially acceptable concentrations of beet K for processing
are in the range 700 to 1000 mg K/100 g sugar. Concentrations in excess of this decrease the amount
of sugar crystallized from the extracted juice. They were not greatly affected by large applications of
fertilizer K but were strongly influenced by long-established differences in soil exchangeable K (Kex)
due to soil type, previous cropping or manuring history.
The asymptotic nature of the K offtake[ratio ]yield relationship was confirmed by factory tarehouse
measurements relating to the national sugar beet crop delivered during the 1993–97 UK processing
campaigns. Potassium offtakes generally increased linearly with yield up to 60–70 adjusted t of clean
beet/ha, but increased little beyond that. The amount of K removed by a 60–70 t/ha crop of beet
varied from 70 kg K/ha on low K index sandy loams to 120 kg K/ha on clay soils of K index 3 and
above. Further increases in yield decreased the amount of K in fresh beet from 1·7 to 1·4 kg K/t on
low K index soils, and from 3·6 to 2·5 kg K/t on high K index soils.
An analysis of data from individual fields of commercially grown sugar beet showed that much of
the site and season variation in the K content of beet was due to differences in K uptake driven by
Kex, and to differential effects of nitrogen (N) supply on K uptake and sugar yield. Regressions on
Kex and total crop N (kg/ha) accounted for c. 30 and 50% of the variance in beet K content,
respectively, and the two together for over 60%. Total N uptake by the crops ranged from 100 to
550 kg N/ha. The total K content of the crop and the amounts of K in the beet (kg/ha) both
increased linearly with crop N over the whole of this range, whereas sugar yield increased
asymptotically with total uptakes of N up to 250–300 kg N/ha. Consequently, low yielding crops
grown on soils in which N and K were freely available produced beet of poor K quality. However,
the asymptotic relationship between beet K (kg/ha) and yield implies that, in many situations, the
processing quality of the beet could be improved by increasing yield through better agronomy.
To investigate an outbreak of gram-negative bacteremias at a hemodialysis center (December 1, 1996-January 31, 1997).
Retrospective cohort study. Reviewed infection control practices and maintenance and disinfection procedures for the water system and dialysis machines. Performed cultures of the water and dialysis machines, including the waste-handling option (WHO), a drain port designed to dispose of saline used to flush the dialyzer before patient use. Compared isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
A hemodialysis center in Maryland.
94 patients received dialysis on 27 machines; 10 (11%) of the patients had gram-negative bacteremias. Pathogens causing these infections were Enterobacter cloacae (n=6), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (n=4), and Escherichia coli (n=2); two patients had polymicrobial bacteremia. Factors associated with development of gram-negative bacteremias were receiving dialysis via a central venous catheter (CVC) rather than via an arterio-venous shunt (all 10 infected patients had CVCs compared to 31 of 84 uninfected patients, relative risk [RR] undefined; P<.001) or dialysis on any of three particular dialysis machines (7 of 10 infected patients were exposed to the three machines compared to 20 of 84 uninfected patients, RR=5.8; P=.005). E cloacae, P aeruginosa, or both organisms were grown from cultures obtained from several dialysis machines. WHO valves, which prevent backflow from the drain to dialysis bloodlines, were faulty in 8 (31%) of 26 machines, including 2 of 3 machines epidemiologically linked to case-patients. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns of available dialysis machine and patient E cloacae isolates were identical.
Our study suggests that WHO ports with incompetent valves and resultant backflow were a source of cross-contamination of dialysis bloodlines and patients' CVCs. Replacement of faulty WHO valves and enhanced disinfection of dialysis machines terminated the outbreak.
To assess state-based surveillance for isolation from a sterile site of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in Connecticut.
Clinical laboratory reporting (passive surveillance) of VRE isolates to the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CDPH) was followed by state-initiated validation, laboratory proficiency testing, and review of hospital demographic characteristics.
All 45 clinical laboratories and all 37 (36 for 1995 and 1996) acute-care hospitals in Connecticut were included in the study.
Main Outcome Measures:
The outcome measures included determination of the statewide incidence of VRE and the accuracy of passive reporting, determination of clinical laboratory proficiency in detecting VRE, and analysis of hospital characteristics that might be associated with an increased incidence of VRE.
During 1994 through 1996, 29 (78%) of 37 hospital-affiliated clinical laboratories and 1 (11%) of 9 commercial or other laboratories in Connecticut reported to the CDPH the isolation of VRE from sterile sites; 158 isolates were reported for these 3 years. Based on verification, we discovered that these laboratories actually detected 58 VRE isolates in 1994, 104 in 1995, and 104 in 1996 (total, 266). The age-standardized incidence rate of VRE was 14.1 cases per million population in 1994 and 26.8 cases per million population for both 1995 and 1996. Laboratory proficiency testing revealed that high-level vancomycin resistance was identified accurately and that low- and moderate-level resistance was not detected. The incidence of VRE isolates was three times greater in hospitals with over 300 beds compared with categories of hospitals with fewer beds. Increases in the number of VRE isolates were at least twice as likely in hospitals located in areas with a higher population density, or with a residency program or trauma center in the hospital.
Passive reporting of VRE isolates from sterile sites markedly underestimated the actual number of isolates, as determined in a statewide reporting system. Statewide passive surveillance systems for routine or emerging pathogens must be validated and laboratory proficiency ensured if results are to be accurate and substantial underreporting is to be corrected.
The Gompertz equation was used to compute growth curves for three groups of ostriches (Struthio camelus), from Oudtshoorn in South Africa, the Namib desert in Namibia and from Zimbabwe. All were reared under typical intensive farm conditions with ad libitum feeding. There were no significant differences in mature mass between regions but the maximum daily weight gain for males occurred later (day 163) for Oudtshoorn birds, compared with day 121 for Namibian and day 92 for Zimbabwean. Oudtshoorn females reached maximum rate of gain on day 175 compared with day 115 for Namibian and day 114 for Zimbabwean. Comparisons might prove important when planning programmes for the genetic improvement of commercial flocks, but possible influences of food composition and environment should be investigated.
Detection and classification of faint images by eye has traditionally encountered systematic errors faintwards of 20th mag on Schmidt plates and 22nd mag on 4-meter plates. Automated classification of Schmidt plate images has pushed the classification limit to 22 mag (Kibblewhite, et al., 1975). Automated detection and classification of faint 4-meter limit plate images has recently led to statistical studies of galaxy numbers and clustering at redshifts where cosmology and galactic evolution dominate over local effects. Here we report on some aspects of the FOCAS (Faint Object Classification and Analysis System) automated classifier (Tyson and Jarvis, 1979) and compare our results of number counts in SA57 with those of Kron, 1979. Differential galaxy counts in six high latitude fields and evidence for galaxy evolution are briefly discussed.