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This Research Reflection provides an overview of three interrelated topics: (i) lameness in dairy cows, demonstrating the underpinning importance of the condition, (ii) dairy farmer detection, diagnosis and treatment of lameness and associated foot lesions as well as dairy farmer perceptions towards the condition and (iii) lameness detection technologies, and their potential application on farm to automate the detection of lameness in commercial dairy herds. The presented literature clearly demonstrates that lameness is a major health issue in dairy herds, compromising dairy cow welfare and productivity, and resulting in significant economic implications for dairy farmers. Despite this, dairy farmers fail to perceive lameness as a serious threat to their dairy business. This restricted perception of the importance of lameness may be a product of limited ability to detect lame cows. Many automated lameness detection technologies have been proposed to assist dairy farmers in managing their herds. However, limitations such as cost, performance and dairy farmer perception of the usefulness of these technologies, has lead to poor uptake. It can, therefore, be concluded that there is a need to more thoroughly evaluate the effectiveness of these technologies under on-farm conditions, potentially in the form of a demonstration farm network. This will allow generation of the necessary data required to show dairy farmers that these technologies are reliable and are economically rational for their dairy business.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
Spherical coordinate systems, which are ubiquitous in astronomy, cannot be shown without distortion on flat, two-dimensional surfaces. This poses challenges for the two complementary phases of visual exploration—making discoveries in data by looking for relationships, patterns, or anomalies—and publication—where the results of an exploration are made available for scientific scrutiny or communication. This is a long-standing problem, and many practical solutions have been developed. Our allskyVR approach provides a workflow for experimentation with commodity virtual reality head-mounted displays. Using the free, open source s2plot programming library, and the A-FrameWebVR browser-based framework, we provide a straightforward way to visualise all-sky catalogues on a user-centred, virtual celestial sphere. The allskyVR distribution contains both a quickstart option, complete with a gaze-based menu system, and a fully customisable mode for those who need more control of the immersive experience. The software is available for download from https://github.com/cfluke/allskyVR.
Spring tillage is a component of an integrated weed management strategy for control of early emerging glyphosate-resistant weeds such as common ragweed; however, the effect of tillage on common ragweed emergence pattern is unknown. The objectives of this study were to evaluate whether spring tillage during emergence would influence the emergence pattern or stimulate additional emergence of common ragweed and to characterize common ragweed emergence in southeast Nebraska. A field experiment was conducted for three years (2014 to 2016) in Gage County, Nebraska in a field naturally infested with glyphosate-resistant common ragweed. Treatments consisted of a no-tillage control and three spring tillage timings. The Soil Temperature and Moisture Model (STM2) software was used to estimate soil temperature and moisture at a 2-cm depth. The Weibull function was fit to total common ragweed emergence (%) with day of year (DOY), thermal time, and hydrothermal time as independent variables. Tillage treatments and year had no effect on total common ragweed emergence (P=0.88 and 0.35, respectively) and time to 10, 25, 50, 75, and 90% emergence (P=0.31). However, emergence pattern was affected by year (P=<0.001) with 50% total emergence reached on May 5 in 2014, April 20 in 2015, and April 2 in 2016 and 90% total emergence reached on May 12, 2014, May 8, 2015, and April 30, 2016. According to the corrected information-theoretic model comparison criterion (AICc), the Weibull function with thermal time and base temperature of 3 C best explained the emergence pattern over three years. This study concludes that spring tillage does not stimulate additional emergence; therefore, after the majority of the common ragweed has emerged and before the crop has been planted, tillage could be used as an effective component of an integrated glyphosate-resistant common ragweed management program in Nebraska.
Capturing service users’ perspectives can highlight additional and different concerns to those of clinicians, but there are no up to date, self-report psychometrically sound measures of side effects of antipsychotic medications.
To develop a psychometrically sound measure to identify antipsychotic side effects important to service users, the Maudsley Side Effects (MSE) measure.
An initial item bank was subjected to a Delphi exercise (n = 9) with psychiatrists and pharmacists, followed by service user focus groups and expert panels (n = 15) to determine item relevance and language. Feasibility and comprehensive psychometric properties were established in two samples (N43 and N50). We investigated whether we could predict the three most important side effects for individuals from their frequency, severity and life impact.
MSE is a 53-item measure with good reliability and validity. Poorer mental and physical health, but not psychotic symptoms, was related to side-effect burden. Seventy-nine percent of items were chosen as one of the three most important effects. Severity, impact and distress only predicted ‘putting on weight’ which was more distressing, more severe and had more life impact in those for whom it was most important.
MSE is a self-report questionnaire that identifies reliably the side-effect burden as experienced by patients. Identifying key side effects important to patients can act as a starting point for joint decision making on the type and the dose of medication.
Women earn 40% of new PhDs in political science; however, once they enter the profession, they have strikingly different experiences than their male counterparts—particularly in the small but influential field of political methodology. For several years, the Society for Political Methodology, with support from the National Science Foundation, has attempted to address this gender gap through the Visions in Methodology (VIM) program. VIM features an annual conference that brings women together to present and discuss their research and to participate in professional-development sessions. Do programs like VIM have the desired impact? Using an original survey of political scientists, this study provides insights into the ways that bringing women together in small-group settings like VIM might facilitate networking and enhance productivity. In particular, the study finds that women who attend the VIM conference are better networked and more productive in terms of publication.
Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.
Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance is largely driven by antibiotic usage, which in many cases is unnecessary and can be improved. The impact of decreasing overall antibiotic usage on resistance is unknown and difficult to assess using standard study designs. The objective of this study was to explore the potential impact of reducing antibiotic usage on the transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).
We used agent-based modeling to simulate interactions between patients and healthcare workers (HCWs) using model inputs informed by the literature. We modeled the effect of antibiotic usage as (1) a microbiome effect, for which antibiotic usage decreases competing bacteria and increases the MDRO transmission probability between patients and HCWs and (2) a mutation effect that designates a proportion of patients who receive antibiotics to subsequently develop a MDRO via genetic mutation.
Intensive care unit
Absolute reduction in overall antibiotic usage by experimental values of 10% and 25%
Reducing antibiotic usage absolutely by 10% (from 75% to 65%) and 25% (from 75% to 50%) reduced acquisition rates of high-prevalence MDROs by 11.2% (P<.001) and 28.3% (P<.001), respectively. We observed similar effect sizes for low-prevalence MDROs.
In a critical care setting, where up to 50% of antibiotic courses may be inappropriate, even a moderate reduction in antibiotic usage can reduce MDRO transmission.
The western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is a hotspot of rapid recent regional ‘climate change’. This has resulted in a 0.4°C rise in sea temperature in the last 50 years, five days of sea ice lost per decade and increased ice scouring in the shallows. The WAP shallows are ideal for studying the biological response to physical change because most known Antarctic species are benthic, physical change occurs mainly in the shallows and most research stations are coastal. Studies at Rothera Station have found increased benthic disturbance with losses of winter sea ice and assemblage-level changes coincident with this ice scouring. Such studies are difficult to scale up as they depend on SCUBA diving – a very spatially limited technique. Here we report attempts to broaden the understanding of benthic ecosystem responses to physical change by replicating the Rothera experimental grids at Carlini Station through collaboration between the UK, Argentina and Germany across Signy, Rothera and Carlini stations. We argue that such collaborations are the way forward towards understanding the big picture of biota responses to physical climate changes at a regional scale.
We compare the results of using a Random Forest Classifier with the results of using Nonparametric Discriminant Analysis to classify whether a filament channel (in the case of a filament eruption) or an active region (in the case of a flare) is about to produce an event. A large number of descriptors are considered in each case, but it is found that only a small number are needed in order to get most of the improvement in performance over always predicting the majority class. There is little difference in performance between the two classifiers, and neither results in substantial improvements over simply predicting the majority class.
“Until now, everything we have accomplished was because women got together with women from other parties, reached agreements, gave presentations, and fought for it.”
– Female Deputy, Salta Lower Chamber, 2013
Salta, a northwest province of Argentina, is known for its conservative and machista society. These characteristics, compounded by the fact that women hold a minority of legislative seats and are excluded from legislative leadership, mean that women's influence is limited in the Salta Chamber of Deputies. As one deputy put it: “There are 11 of us women, out of 60 legislators; that's very few. Salteños are very machista. The men are the ones in control; they leave you out for being a woman.” Thus, in order for women to have an influence in the chamber, they report that they have to work together – particularly when it comes to women's issues. “In the issues of gender, us women unite, if not we do not accomplish anything.”
Despite the need for collaboration, not all women are willing to work together. Multiple women who consider themselves champions of women's rights observe a lack of participation from their colleagues. One notes, “I was the deputy who worked the most in gender issues in this chamber, presenting legislative projects and reporting discrimination problems against women. There have been women who did not join me on this defense. And that is concerning.” She speculates about why women are not always willing to join her in defending women's rights and suggests that perhaps it is because “they are obeying a partisan mandate.” Another female deputy echoes her concerns about partisan constraints: “Not all women are willing to advance – maybe out of fear of losing their positions, their job. Maybe they say ‘I can't go against this government, or against my party's president.’ It is not easy, these battles are tough.”
These women's experiences illustrate the relationship between women's marginalized status in the legislature and their compromised ability to exert influence in the policy-making process. Given their lack of power, women view collaboration as a tool for overcoming marginalization and shaping policy. Still, deputies from Salta report that multiple factors limit collaboration among women.
“And that's where women in the Senate make a real difference. Women tend to be more collaborative, less concerned about scoring partisan political points and more focused on getting a solution.”
– Republican Senator Susan Collins, Maine, 2013
Five days into the U.S. government shutdown in 2013, Republican Senator Susan Collins took the Senate floor and challenged her colleagues to work together to put an end to the impasse. In the midst of a fierce partisan standoff, she pieced together a bipartisan coalition – disproportionately comprised of women – that would lay the foundation for the federal fiscal plan later signed into law. Although the large role female senators played in forging a compromise attracted considerable media attention, the senators themselves suggested this was par for the course. Senator Collins explained: “I don't think it's a coincidence that women were so heavily involved in trying to end this stalemate. Although we span the ideological spectrum, we are used to working together in a collaborative way.”
Female senators in the United States are certainly not in lockstep politically, but their custom of monthly meetings and their history of collaborating across party lines on other projects set the tone for constructive bargaining to end partisan gridlock. Indeed, women in the U.S. Senate have a track record of crossing party lines to develop legislation that promotes their shared interests. The Airline Passenger Bill of Rights Act (Barbara Boxer, D-CA and Olympia Snowe, R-ME), legislation to provide health care to the first responders to the attacks of September 11, 2001 (Lisa Murkowski, R-AK and Kristen Gillibrand, D-NY), and legislation amending the tax code to meet the needs of stay-at-home moms (Barbara Mikulski, D-MD and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX) are just a few of many examples. Senator Mikulski describes these bipartisan feats and others as “the power of two women building a coalition to accomplish a mutual goal.”
This kind of collaborative behavior is not unique to the United States. As women gain access to parliaments worldwide in record numbers, legislative collaboration appears to be on the rise. Stories of women working together to accomplish bipartisan goals appear in popular media and academic discourse across the globe.
Collaboration is an essential component of democracy. It is widespread across legislatures, but some legislators have more incentives to collaborate than others. In particular, legislators who are not in positions of power – such as women – can use collaboration to attain political power and influence the policy-making process. Perhaps this is why most scholarship emphasizes the competitive aspects of democracy, paying little attention to collaboration. When we focus primarily on privileged groups – those groups who designed institutions to benefit themselves – we overlook this aspect of democracy. It is only as we focus on groups that face structural barriers in institutions that the need for collaboration becomes apparent.
Although the incorporation of underrepresented groups into political institutions highlights aspects of the democratic process that are typically overlooked, these underrepresented groups still must function within existing institutions. As such, we can see how institutions structure their distinctive motivations. Patterns of collaboration vary among female legislators because not all women have the same opportunities to work collaboratively. Generally, women's collaboration is more likely to unfold where party leaders exercise weak party constraints over legislative behavior. By contrast, when party leaders exercise strong constraints over legislators’ behavior, women's legislative collaboration is likely to be foiled.
In this concluding chapter, I address questions about how this book's contributions can advance future studies of legislative collaboration beyond women's marginalization, women's rights legislation, women's representation, and collaboration among other historically excluded groups. With respect to legislative collaboration, my theory argues that women are largely motivated to collaborate in an effort to overcome their marginalized status in the legislature and influence the policy-making process. As women make gains in the legislature and begin to achieve equal access to power, will collaboration cease, or is there room to think about collaboration beyond women's collective marginalization? Where the study of women's rights is concerned, what can the theory advanced here help us understand about the progression and success of women's rights agendas? For example, are some institutions more prohibitive to the advancement of women's rights? If so, what can be done to overcome these challenges? Next, I consider the implications of my findings for institutional design.
“There is an impressive party discipline that dominates individual members who are part of that political party.”
– Female Deputy, Jujuy, 2009
Party discipline is key to understanding legislative dynamics. In Chapter 2, I argued that women have incentives to collaborate more frequently than men with female colleagues to exert their influence on the legislative process. Nonetheless, not all women have the same opportunities to collaborate. In particular, some institutional contexts – such as the extreme party discipline described in the quote above – permit party leaders to constrain legislative behavior and disincentivize legislators from behaving independently of their political parties.
In the case of Jujuy, a deputy describes one such environment in which political parties exercise absolute control over legislative behavior. “In the majority party, there are four or five who lead and direct the issues. The rest have to support them. They can present projects, but [party leaders] don't encourage it.” Given that women are typically absent from leadership, they likely wield very little influence in the chamber. Women may even be discouraged from introducing new issues to the legislative agenda or collaborating with female legislators in their own political parties. Instead, they are expected to toe the party line and provide unwavering support for party leaders. As the deputy from Jujuy sees it, “[Party leaders] end up eliminating the possibility for debates that enrich and cultivate different views – even debates within [their own parties].” Moreover, when political institutions give party leaders substantial control over legislators’ behavior, party leaders have very little tolerance for behavior that may be viewed as disloyal. In such environments, party leaders do not allow any disagreement from rank-and-file members. “Legislators can be very angry or even opposed to their part[ies], but the party discipline is very strong. There are legislators who are part of the majority party who have not opened their mouth[s]; they don't speak.” She indicates that legislators do not openly challenge party leaders. When legislators disagree with party leaders, their only option is to abstain from the discussion. In Chapter 2, I explained that strong party constraints of this nature limit women's legislative collaboration. Nonetheless, such uncompromising party discipline is not constant across all Argentine settings; rather, there is considerable variation both between and within legislative chambers.
Evidence from Argentina shows that women entering male-dominated legislatures face structural barriers and have limited ability to exert influence on the policy-making process. As a result, women have strong incentives to collaborate in order to overcome such barriers, exert influence in the chamber, and gain a voice in the policy-making process. Despite the many benefits of collaboration, its prevalence varies between legislative contexts because not all women have the same opportunities to collaborate. In Argentina, women facing weak party constraints are more likely to collaborate than their male colleagues, and their propensity to do so increases as women's numeric representation increases. By contrast, women facing strong party constraints have limited opportunities to collaborate with other women. Instead, these women behave more like their male colleagues and collaborate less frequently. The effects of strong party constraints are mitigated by other factors; notably affiliation with the executive's party, seniority, and women's issues legislation motivate collaboration among women.
In this chapter, I draw on a series of case studies from across the world in order to expand my analysis and to demonstrate the generalizability of my theory beyond Argentina. I evaluate data from four national parliaments: the Rwandan Chamber of Deputies, the U.S. Senate, the Uruguayan Congress, and the South African Parliament. In doing so, I examine countries that have different legislative contexts than the ones found in Argentina, thus providing broader tests of how other legislative contexts constrain or facilitate women's collaboration.
I present this set of case studies to facilitate the exploration of how institutional arrangements structure women's collaboration outside of the Argentine provinces. As I explain in Chapter 2, electoral institutions that concentrate power in the hands of party leaders and foster strong party loyalty constrain women's collaboration. By contrast, electoral institutions that allow legislators to act independently of political parties impose fewer constraints on women's collaboration. Whereas the Argentine provinces enabled me to test these expectations for both women facing strong party constraints and women facing comparably weaker party constraints (i.e., closed-list PR systems with large district magnitudes and closed-list PR systems with small district magnitudes), these four additional cases allow me to examine collaboration in legislatures across the full range of party constraints.