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Legislation governing non-stun slaughter of sheep in England requires that they are individually and mechanically restrained for slaughter and not moved for at least 20 s post neck cut, until unconsciousness or insensibility occurs. Complying with the need for individual handling, in what is a flock animal, has the potential to adversely affect welfare, in turn contravening the general legislative requirement to reduce any avoidable distress at slaughter. This study investigated the effects of individually loading and restraining lambs compared with the normal practice of group loading and restraint of lambs prior to slaughter when using a V-shaped restrainer. Rotating and static design loading pens were also compared to represent the range of conditions and facilities found across English abattoirs. Plasma cortisol and lactate concentrations were significantly lower in group-loaded animals and significant reductions were observed in the time duration of a range of components of handling as well as the average total time to load each lamb. Loading pen type had a less marked impact upon results, however, individual loading and restraint of lambs within a V-shaped restrainer appears particularly stressful for sheep in comparison with group loading. The loading pen type had a mixed effect although the rotating crowding pen is likely to have minimised physical exertion in lambs during loading and restraint. Based on these findings, group loading in a V-shaped restrainer, whilst complying with the 20-s standstill, is likely to be preferable in religious, non-stun slaughter of sheep.
Around 8150 BP, the Storegga tsunami struck North-west Europe. The size of this wave has led many to assume that it had a devastating impact upon contemporaneous Mesolithic communities, including the final inundation of Doggerland, the now submerged Mesolithic North Sea landscape. Here, the authors present the first evidence of the tsunami from the southern North Sea, and suggest that traditional notions of a catastrophically destructive event may need rethinking. In providing a more nuanced interpretation by incorporating the role of local topographic variation within the study of the Storegga event, we are better placed to understand the impact of such dramatic occurrences and their larger significance in settlement studies.
Where did our intelligence come from? That is, what evolutionary drivers caused such specialization in cognition among humans? Only by adopting a comparative approach, considering the brains and cognitive skills of other animal species, can we discover how, when, and even perhaps why human intellectual skills evolved. Here we apply a process of evolutionary reconstruction to ancestors we share with other species, from the earliest primates at 74 Ma (million years ago) to the relatively recent ancestor shared with chimpanzees. Doing so highlights the importance of both social and ecological (nutritional) pressures in evolving intellect. Complex sociality was supported by increased perception, learning, and memory skills, long before the development of any ability to understand other beings as causal agents with independent minds. The latter, we argue, was driven by a need to feed more efficiently in ancestors we share with all living great apes.
The diagnosis of dementia remains inadequate, even within clinical settings. Data on rates and degree of impairment among inpatients are vital for service planning and the provision of appropriate patient care as Ireland's population ages.
Every patient aged 65 years and over admitted over a two-week period was invited to participate. Those who met inclusion criteria were screened for delirium then underwent cognitive screening. Demographic, functional, and outcome data were obtained from medical records, participants, and family.
Consent to participate was obtained from 68.6% of the eligible population. Data for 143 patients were obtained. Mean age 78.1 years. 27.3% met criteria for dementia and 21% had mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Only 41% of those with dementia and 10% of those with MCI had a previously documented impairment. Between-group analysis showed differences in length of stay (p = 0.003), number of readmissions in 12 months (p = 0.036), and likelihood of returning home (p = 0.039) between the dementia and normal groups. MCI outcomes were similar to the normal group. No difference was seen for one-year mortality. Effects were less pronounced on multivariate analysis but continued to show a significant effect on length of stay even after controlling for demographics, personal and family history, and anxiety and depression screening scores. Patients with dementia remained in hospital 15.3 days longer (p = 0.047). A diagnosis is the single biggest contributing factor to length of stay in our regression model.
Cognitive impairment is pervasive and under-recognized in the acute hospital and impacts negatively on patient outcomes.
Skeletal remains from a burial in New South Wales exhibit evidence of fatal
trauma, of a kind normally indicative of sharp metal weapons, yet the burial
dates to the mid thirteenth century—600 years before European settlers
reached the area. Could sharp-edged wooden weapons from traditional
Aboriginal culture inflict injuries similar to those resulting from later,
metal blades? Analysis indicates that the wooden weapons known as
‘Lil-lils’ and the fighting boomerangs
(‘Wonna’) both have blades that could fit within the
dimensions of the major trauma and are capable of having caused the fatal
This work provides new insights into human responses to and perceptions of sea-level rise at a time when the landscapes of north-west Europe were radically changing. These issues are investigated through a case study focused on the Channel Islands. We report on the excavation of two sites, Canal du Squez in Jersey and Lihou (GU582) in Guernsey, and the study of museum collections across the Channel Islands. We argue that people were drawn to this area as a result of the dynamic environmental processes occurring and the opportunities these created. The evidence suggests that the area was a particular focus during the Middle Mesolithic, when Guernsey and Alderney were already islands and while Jersey was a peninsula of northern France. Insularisation does not appear to have created a barrier to occupation during either the Middle or Final Mesolithic, indicating the appearance of lifeways increasingly focused on maritime voyaging and marine resources from the second half of the 9th millennium BC onwards.
Assessing the sensitivity of ectotherms to variability in their environment is a key challenge, especially in the face of rapid warming of the Earth's surface. Comparing the upper temperature limits of species from different regions, at different rates of warming, has recently been developed as a method to estimate the long term sensitivity of shallow marine fauna. This paper presents the first preliminary data from four tropical Ascension Island, five temperate New Zealand and six Antarctic McMurdo Sound species. The slopes and intercepts of these three assemblages fitted within the overall pattern for previously measured assemblages from high temperature tolerance in tropical fauna and a shallow slope, to low temperature tolerance and a steep slope in Antarctic fauna. Despite the tropical oceanic Ascension Island being subject to upwelling events, the fit of the intercept and slope within the overall assemblage pattern suggests that the upwelling is sufficiently predictable for the fauna to have evolved the plasticity to respond. This contrasts with previously analysed species from the Peruvian upwelling region, which had a steeper slope than other temperate fauna. The speed and capacity of faunal assemblages to acclimatize their physiology is likely to determine the shape of the rates of warming relationship, and will be a key mechanism underpinning vulnerability to climate warming.
Did Neanderthal hunters drive mammoth herds over cliffs in mass kills? Excavations at La Cotte de St Brelade in the 1960s and 1970s uncovered heaps of mammoth bones, interpreted as evidence of intentional hunting drives. New study of this Middle Palaeolithic coastal site, however, indicates a very different landscape to the featureless coastal plain that was previously envisaged. Reconsideration of the bone heaps themselves further undermines the ‘mass kill’ hypothesis, suggesting that these were simply the final accumulations of bone at the site, undisturbed and preserved in situ when the return to a cold climate blanketed them in wind-blown loess.
A series of very wide (up to 15 km) raised shore platforms in the Scottish Hebrides are identified and described for the first time and are considered part of a high rock platform shoreline in the western isles of Scotland described by W. B. Wright in his classic Geological Magazine paper a century ago as a ‘preglacial’ feature. Subsequent interpretations suggesting that the platforms were produced during the Pleistocene are rejected here in favour of a speculative hypothesis that the features are part of the well-known strandflat that is extensively developed across large areas of the northern hemisphere. It is argued that the Scottish strandflat developed during the Pliocene and was later subjected to extensive Pleistocene glacial erosion such that only a few areas of platform have survived in the Scottish Inner Hebrides (ice-proximal) while they are well-preserved in the Outer Hebrides (ice-distal). Support for a Pliocene hypothesis is provided by the marine oxygen isotope record for this time interval which points to prolonged periods of relative sea level stability as would be required for the production of such wide features. This hypothesis for the formation of a Scottish strandflat not only provides an elegant explanation for the origin and age of the raised rock platform fragments that occur throughout the western isles of Scotland, but it may also have relevance for other coastal areas of the northern hemisphere (e.g. Norway, Greenland, Alaska) where the strandflat is a well-developed feature.
To assess the resource utilization associated with sepsis syndrome in academic medical centers.
Prospective cohort study.
Eight academic, tertiary-care centers.
Stratified random sample of 1,028 adult admissions with sepsis syndrome and all 248,761 other adult admissions between January 1993 and April 1994. The main outcome measures were length of stay (LOS) in total and after onset of sepsis syndrome (post-onset LOS) and total hospital charges.
The mean LOS for patients with sepsis was 27.7 ± 0.9 days (median, 20 days), with sepsis onset occurring after a mean of 8.1 ± 0.4 days (median, 3 days). For all patients without sepsis, the LOS was 7.2 ± 0.03 days (median, 4 days). In multiple linear regression models, the mean for patients with sepsis syndrome was 18.2 days, which was 11.0 days longer than the mean for all other patients (P < .0001), whereas the mean difference in total charges was $43,000 (both P < .0001). These differences were greater for patients with nosocomial as compared with community-acquired sepsis, although the groups were similar after adjusting for pre-onset LOS. Eight independent correlates of increased post-onset LOS and 12 correlates of total charges were identified.
These data quantify the resource utilization associated with sepsis syndrome, and demonstrate that resource utilization is high in this group. Additional investigation is required to determine how much of the excess post-onset LOS and charges are attributable to sepsis syndrome rather than the underlying medical conditions.
Subtle formal thought disorders are difficult to quantify. Their relationship to florid thought disorder is unknown.
To assess the interrater reliability, sensitivity and factor structure of a new assessment instrument, the Thought and Language Index (TLI), and to determine if minor aberrations detectable in the speech of healthy individuals are related to the more severe formal thought disorders characteristic of schizophrenia.
Interrater reliability was evaluated by determining the intraclass correlation for the ratings by five assessors. Factor analysis of the TLI scores of 87 patients was performed, and TLI scores in matched patients and controls were compared.
The intraclass correlation was good for individual TLI items, and excellent for sub-scale scores. Factor analysis identified three groups of approximately orthogonal disorders. Mild speech aberrations were observed in healthy participants and in patients with schizophrenia. The prevalence of mild aberrations was correlated with the prevalence of definite formal thought disorders.
The TLI is reliable and capable of detecting subtle disorders. Some mild aberrations occurring in the speech of healthy individuals appear to be attenuated forms of the florid disorders characteristic of schizophrenia.
The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations project has completed a series of experiments that provide insight into groundwater chemistry and glass waste form performance in the presence of a gamma radiation field at 90°C. Results from experiments done at 1 × 103 and 0 R/hr are presented and compared to similar experiments done at 2 × 105 and 1 × 104R/hr. The major effect of radiation is to lower the groundwater pH to a value near 6.4. The addition of glass to the system results in slightly more basic final pH, both in the presence and absence of radiation. However, there is essentially no difference in the extent of glass reaction, as measured by elemental release, as a function of dose rate or total dose, for reaction periods up to 278 days.
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