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In vitro production (IVP) of embryos and associated technologies in cattle have shown significant progress in recent years, in part driven by a better understanding of the full potential of these tools by end users. The combination of IVP with sexed semen (SS) and genomic selection (GS) is being successfully and widely used in North America, South America and Europe. The main advantages offered by these technologies include a higher number of embryos and pregnancies per unit of time, and a wider range of potential female donors from which to retrieve oocytes (including open cyclic females and ones up to 3 months pregnant), including high index genomic calves, a reduced number of sperm required to produce embryos and increased chances of obtaining the desired sex of offspring. However, there are still unresolved aspects of IVP of embryos that limit a wider implementation of the technology, including potentially reduced fertility from the use of SS, reduced oocyte quality after in vitro oocyte maturation and lower embryo cryotolerance, resulting in reduced pregnancy rates compared to in vivo–produced embryos. Nevertheless, promising research results have been reported, and work is in progress to address current deficiencies. The combination of GS, IVP and SS has proven successful in the commercial field in several countries assisting practitioners and cattle producers to improve reproductive performance, efficiency and genetic gain.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Background: Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist and recommended first line treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Emergency departments (EDs) are a key point of contact with the healthcare system for patients living with OUD. Aim Statement: We implemented a multi-disciplinary quality improvement project to screen patients for OUD, initiate bup/nal for eligible individuals, and provide rapid next business day walk-in referrals to addiction clinics in the community. Measures & Design: From May to September 2018, our team worked with three ED sites and three addiction clinics to pilot the program. Implementation involved alignment with regulatory requirements, physician education, coordination with pharmacy to ensure in-ED medication access, and nurse education. The project is supported by a full-time project manager, data analyst, operations leaders, physician champions, provincial pharmacy, and the Emergency Strategic Clinical Network leadership team. For our pilot, our evaluation objective was to determine the degree to which our initiation and referral pathway was being utilized. We used administrative data to track the number of patients given bup/nal in ED, their demographics and whether they continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their ED visit. Addiction clinics reported both the number of patients referred to them and the number of patients attending their referral. Evaluation/Results: Administrative data shows 568 opioid-related visits to ED pilot sites during the pilot phase. Bup/nal was given to 60 unique patients in the ED during 66 unique visits. There were 32 (53%) male patients and 28 (47%) female patients. Median patient age was 34 (range: 21 to 79). ED visits where bup/nal was given had a median length of stay of 6 hours 57 minutes (IQR: 6 hours 20 minutes) and Canadian Triage Acuity Scores as follows: Level 1 – 1 (2%), Level 2 – 21 (32%), Level 3 – 32 (48%), Level 4 – 11 (17%), Level 5 – 1 (2%). 51 (77%) of these visits led to discharge. 24 (47%) discharged patients given bup/nal in ED continued to fill bup/nal prescriptions 30 days after their index ED visit. EDs also referred 37 patients with OUD to the 3 community clinics, and 16 of those individuals (43%) attended their first follow-up appointment. Discussion/Impact: Our pilot project demonstrates that with dedicated resources and broad institutional support, ED patients with OUD can be appropriately initiated on bup/nal and referred to community care.
Balloon atrial septostomy is performed in infants with dextro-transposition of the great arteries to improve oxygenation before surgery. It is performed in the catheterisation laboratory with fluoroscopy or at the bedside using echocardiography. It is unclear whether procedural safety and efficacy is superior in one location versus the other, although the bedside procedure may improve resource utilisation and present an opportunity for reducing cost. This study compares safety and efficacy of atrial septostomy performed at the patient’s bedside versus the catheterisation laboratory.
Neonates with dextro-transposition of the great arteries who underwent balloon atrial septostomy from October, 2000 to January, 2014 were included. Medical and procedural records, echocardiograms, and catheterisation data were reviewed. Comparisons between the two procedural locations included patient demographics, pre- and post-procedure oxygen saturations, and outcomes. Complications reviewed included bleeding, arrhythmia, cardiac trauma, stroke, and death. Coronary artery evaluations were recorded. T-tests were used for continuous variables, and Fisher’s exact tests were used for all categorical variables. Wilcoxon rank sum and analysis of covariance modelling were used for time variables and oxygen saturation, respectively.
A total of 88 infants met the inclusion criteria. Among them, 53 underwent septostomy at the bedside and 35 underwent septostomy in the catheterisation laboratory. No safety or outcome benefit was identified between the two procedural locations.
Septostomy performed at the bedside and in the catheterisation laboratory had similar outcomes and efficacy. Further, bedside septostomy has the advantage of no radiation exposure, and obviating risks with patient transfer from the ICU to the catheterisation laboratory.
Background: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic scaffolding gene SHANK2 are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, their impact on the function of human neurons is unknown. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from affected individuals permits generation of live neurons to answer this question. Methods: We generated iPSCs by reprogramming dermal fibroblasts of neurotypic and ASD-affected donors. To isolate the effect of SHANK2, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to knock out SHANK2 in control iPSCs and correct a heterozygous nonsense mutation in ASD-affected donor iPSCs. We then derived cortical neurons from SOX1+ neural precursor cells differentiated from these iPSCs. Using a novel assay that overcomes line-to-line variability, we compared neuronal morphology, total synapse number, and electrophysiological properties between SHANK2 mutants and controls. Results: Relative to controls, SHANK2 mutant neurons have increased dendrite complexity, dendrite length, total synapse number (1.5-2-fold), and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency (3-7.6-fold). Conclusions: ASD-associated heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in SHANK2 increase synaptic connectivity among human neurons by increasing synapse number and sEPSC frequency. This is partially supported by increased dendrite length and complexity, providing evidence that SHANK2 functions as a suppressor of dendrite branching during neurodevelopment.
Research into the gut microbiota of human infants is necessary in order to better understand how inter-species interactions and ecological succession shape the diversity of the gut microbiota, and in turn, how the specific composition of the gut microbiota impacts on host health both during infancy and in later years. Blastocystis is a ubiquitous intestinal protist that has been linked to a number of intestinal and extra-intestinal diseases. However, emerging data show that asymptomatic carriage is common and that Blastocystis is prevalent in the healthy adult gut microbiota. Nonetheless, little is known about the prevalence and diversity of this microorganism in the healthy infant gut, including when and how individuals become colonized by Blastocystis. Here, we surveyed the prevalence and diversity of Blastocystis in an infant population (n = 59) from an industrialized country (Ireland) using Blastocystis-specific primers at three or more time-points up to 24 months old. Only three infants were positive for Blastocystis (prevalence = 5%) and this was only noted for samples collected at month 24. This rate is comparatively low relative to previously reported prevalence rates in the contemporaneous adult population. These data suggest that infants in Westernized countries that are successfully colonized by Blastocystis most likely acquire this microorganism via horizontal transfer.
Previous work has shown that dimensional information derived from visual images can be used to accurately estimate pig growth, in terms of size and shape (Doeschl et al, 2004). The use of visual images to derive accurate estimates of weight could be very useful information in the commercial environment within and across the livestock industries. The objective of the current study was to examine a small number of digital images of finished beef cattle to ascertain if digital image analysis (DIA) has potential to predict the liveweight (LW) of the animals at slaughter.
Using a combination of satellite sensors, field measurements and satellite-uplinked in situ observing stations, we examine the evolution of several large icebergs drifting east of the Antarctic Peninsula towards South Georgia Island. Three styles of calving are observed during drift: ‘rift calvings’, ‘edge wasting’ and ‘rapid disintegration’. Rift calvings exploit large pre-existing fractures generated in the shelf environment and can occur at any stage of drift. Edge wasting is calving of the iceberg perimeter by numerous small edge-parallel, sliver-shaped icebergs, preserving the general shape of the main iceberg as it shrinks. This process is observed only in areas north of the sea-ice edge. Rapid disintegration, where numerous small calvings occur in rapid succession, is consistently associated with indications of surface melt saturation (surface lakes, firn-pit ponding). Freeboard measurements by ICESat indicate substantial increases in ice-thinning rates north of the sea-ice edge (from <10 m a−1 to >30 m a−1), but surface densification is shown to be an important correction (>2 m freeboard loss before the firn saturates). Edge wasting of icebergs in ‘warm’ surface water (sea-ice-free, >−1.8°C) implies a mechanism based on waterline erosion. Rapid disintegration (‘Larsen B-style’ break-up) is likely due to the effects of surface or saturated-firn water acting on pre-existing crevasses, or on wave- or tidally induced fractures. Changes in microwave backscatter of iceberg firn as icebergs drift into warmer climate and experience increased surface melt suggest a means of predicting when floating ice plates are evolving towards disintegration.
We here report the results of a systematic investigation of how binary interaction affects the presupernova evolution of massive stars and the resulting supernova explosions. We summarize the various types of binary interaction and the evolutionary scenarios in which they are realized. We also present the results of a series of hydrodynamical calculations which model the supernova explosion for various progenitor types and discuss their observable characteristics.
The Middle Jurassic is a poorly sampled time interval for non-pelagic neosuchian crocodyliforms, which obscures our understanding of the origin and early evolution of major clades. Here we report a lower jaw from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) Duntulm Formation of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK, which consists of an isolated and incomplete left dentary and part of the splenial. Morphologically, the Skye specimen closely resembles the Cretaceous neosuchians Pachycheilosuchus and Pietraroiasuchus, in having a proportionally short mandibular symphysis, shallow dentary alveoli and inferred weakly heterodont dentition. It differs from other crocodyliforms in that the Meckelian canal is dorsoventrally expanded posterior to the mandibular symphysis and drastically constricted at the 7th alveolus. The new specimen, together with the presence of Theriosuchus sp. from the Valtos Formation and indeterminate neosuchians from the Kilmaluag Formation, indicates the presence of a previously unrecognised, diverse crocodyliform fauna in the Middle Jurassic of Skye, and Europe more generally. Small-bodied neosuchians were present, and ecologically and taxonomically diverse, in nearshore environments in the Middle Jurassic of the UK.
Pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty is a safe and effective treatment for children with pulmonary valve stenosis. A few studies evaluate the long-term outcomes of the procedure, particularly the degree of pulmonary regurgitation. We evaluated the outcomes of children >1 year following valvuloplasty for pulmonary valve stenosis.
A retrospective analysis of children with pulmonary valve stenosis following pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty at a single institution was performed. Clinic summaries, catheterisation data, and echocardiographic data were reviewed. Inclusion criteria were isolated pulmonary valve stenosis, age <19 years at the time of intervention, and at least one echocardiogram performed at least 1 year after valvuloplasty.
A total of 53 patients met inclusion criteria. The median age at valvuloplasty was 0.4 years (0.01–10.6 years). The last follow-up was 4.8±2.3 years following valvuloplasty. The pre-valvuloplasty peak instantaneous gradient by echocardiography was 60.6±14.6 mmHg. The peak gradient at the first postoperative echocardiography was reduced to 25.5±12 mmHg (p<0.001), and further decreased to 14.8±15.8 mmHg (p<0.001) at the most recent follow-up. The degree of regurgitation increased from before valvuloplasty to after valvuloplasty (p<0.001) but did not progress at the most recent follow-up (p=0.17). Only three patients (5.7%) required re-intervention for increasing pulmonary stenosis (two surgical; one repeat balloon). No significant procedural complications occurred.
Pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty remains a safe and effective treatment for children with isolated pulmonary valve stenosis, with excellent long-term outcomes and no mortality. A few patients require further intervention. Long-term follow-up demonstrates decreased, residual stenosis. Patients have a small, acute increase in pulmonary regurgitation following valvuloplasty, but no long-term progression.
Accurate models of X-ray absorption and re-emission in partly stripped ions are necessary to calculate the structure of stars, the performance of hohlraums for inertial confinement fusion and many other systems in high-energy-density plasma physics. Despite theoretical progress, a persistent discrepancy exists with recent experiments at the Sandia Z facility studying iron in conditions characteristic of the solar radiative–convective transition region. The increased iron opacity measured at Z could help resolve a longstanding issue with the standard solar model, but requires a radical departure for opacity theory. To replicate the Z measurements, an opacity experiment has been designed for the National Facility (NIF). The design uses established techniques scaled to NIF. A laser-heated hohlraum will produce X-ray-heated uniform iron plasmas in local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) at temperatures
eV and electron densities
. The iron will be probed using continuum X-rays emitted in a
diameter source from a 2 mm diameter polystyrene (CH) capsule implosion. In this design,
of the NIF beams deliver 500 kJ to the
mm diameter hohlraum, and the remaining
directly drive the CH capsule with 200 kJ. Calculations indicate this capsule backlighter should outshine the iron sample, delivering a point-projection transmission opacity measurement to a time-integrated X-ray spectrometer viewing down the hohlraum axis. Preliminary experiments to develop the backlighter and hohlraum are underway, informing simulated measurements to guide the final design.
The small but vital role of 14C dating in archaeometric research is clearly shown in the copper project reported herein. The 14C ages place a time perspective on the “Old Copper Culture Complex,” substantiating early Libby dates that had been questioned. The respective roles of INAA, PGE and Pb isotope work are briefly summarized. A long tradition of heat treatment from Paleoindian stone to Archaic copper is suggested.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
We conducted a blind tasting sensory evaluation experiment and a chemical analysis of four craft hard apple ciders from the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Using the sensory and demographic data collected during the experiment, we estimated the consumer willingness-to-pay (WTP), using a contingent valuation model. Overall liking, taste, and aroma, from the sensory evaluation, as well as age of the sampler and if the sampler was a cider drinker, contributed positively to the WTP. In contrast, if the subject was a beer drinker this reduced their WTP. From the chemical analysis we found that tannin level had a positive effect on WTP, but an increased level of sweetness, as part of a ratio of specific gravity to acid, decreased consumer WTP. (JEL Classifications: C91, D12, L66, Q13)
The aim of this study was to examine the population structure, transmission and spatial relationship between genotypes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Campylobacter jejuni, on 20 dairy farms in a defined catchment. Pooled faecal samples (n = 72) obtained from 288 calves were analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR) for E. coli serotypes O26, O103, O111, O145 and O157. The number of samples positive for E. coli O26 (30/72) was high compared to E. coli O103 (7/72), O145 (3/72), O157 (2/72) and O111 (0/72). Eighteen E. coli O26 and 53 C. jejuni isolates were recovered from samples by bacterial culture. E. coli O26 and C. jejuni isolates were genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing, respectively. All E. coli O26 isolates could be divided into four clusters and the results indicated that E. coli O26 isolates recovered from calves on the same farm were more similar than isolates recovered from different farms in the catchment. There were 11 different sequence types of C. jejuni isolated from the cattle and 22 from water. An analysis of the population structure of C. jejuni isolated from cattle provided evidence of clustering of genotypes within farms, and among groups of farms separated by road boundaries.