175,453 research outputs found

    Study on the concordance between different SNP‐genotyping platforms in sheep

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    .Different SNP genotyping technologies are commonly used in multiple studies to perform QTL detection, genotype imputation, and genomic predictions. Therefore, genotyping errors cannot be ignored, as they can reduce the accuracy of different procedures applied in genomic selection, such as genomic imputation, genomic predictions, and false-positive results in genome-wide association studies. Currently, whole-genome resequencing (WGR) also offers the potential for variant calling analysis and high-throughput genotyping. WGR might overshadow array-based genotyping technologies due to the larger amount and precision of the genomic information provided; however, its comparatively higher price per individual still limits its use in larger populations. Thus, the objective of this work was to evaluate the accuracy of the two most popular SNP-chip technologies, namely, Affymetrix and Illumina, for high-throughput genotyping in sheep considering high-coverage WGR datasets as references. Analyses were performed using two reference sheep genome assemblies, the popular Oar_v3.1 reference genome and the latest available version Oar_rambouillet_v1.0. Our results demonstrate that the genotypes from both platforms are suggested to have high concordance rates with the genotypes determined from reference WGR datasets (96.59% and 99.51% for Affymetrix and Illumina technologies, respectively). The concordance results provided in the current study can pinpoint low reproducible markers across multiple platforms used for sheep genotyping data. Comparing results using two reference genome assemblies also informs how genome assembly quality can influence genotype concordance rates among different genotyping platforms. Moreover, we describe an efficient pipeline to test the reliability of markers included in sheep SNP-chip panels against WGR datasets available on public databases. This pipeline may be helpful for discarding low-reliability markers before exploiting genomic information for gene mapping analyses or genomic predictionS

    What is the importance of sperm subpopulations?

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    .The study of sperm subpopulations spans three decades. The origin, meaning, and practical significance, however, are less clear. Current technology for assessing sperm morphology (CASA-Morph) and motility (CASA-Mot) has enabled the accurate evaluation of these features, and there are many options for data classification. Subpopulations could occur as a result of the stage of development of each spermatozoon in the subpopulation. Spermatogenesis might contribute to the production of these subpopulations. Insights from evolutionary biology and recent molecular research are indicative of the diversity among male gametes that could occur from unequal sharing of transcripts and other elements through cytoplasmic bridges between spermatids. Sperm cohorts exiting the gonads would contain different RNA and protein contents, affecting the spermatozoon physiology and associations with the surrounding environmental milieu. Subsequently, these differences could affect how spermatozoa interact with the environmental milieu (maturation, mixing with seminal plasma, and interacting with the environmental milieu, or female genital tract and female gamete). The emergence of sperm subpopulations as an outcome of evolution, related to the reproductive strategies of the species, genital tract structures, and copulatory and fertilization processes. This kind of approach in determining the importance of sperm subpopulations in fertilization capacity should have a practical impact for conducting reproductive technologies, inspiring and enabling new ways for the more efficient use of spermatozoa in the medical, animal breeding, and conservation fields. This manuscript is a contribution to the Special Issue in memory of Dr. Duane GarnerS

    Balancing the urban stomach: public health, food selling and consumption in London, c. 1558-1640

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    Until recently, public health histories have been predominantly shaped by medical and scientific perspectives, to the neglect of their wider social, economic and political contexts. These medically-minded studies have tended to present broad, sweeping narratives of health policy's explicit successes or failures, often focusing on extraordinary periods of epidemic disease viewed from a national context. This approach is problematic, particularly in studies of public health practice prior to 1800. Before the rise of modern scientific medicine, public health policies were more often influenced by shared social, cultural, economic and religious values which favoured maintaining hierarchy, stability and concern for 'the common good'. These values have frequently been overlooked by modern researchers. This has yielded pessimistic assessments of contemporary sanitation, implying that local authorities did not care about or prioritise the health of populations. Overly medicalised perspectives have further restricted historians' investigation and use of source material, their interpretation of multifaceted and sometimes contested cultural practices such as fasting, and their examination of habitual - and not just extraordinary - health actions. These perspectives have encouraged a focus on reactive - rather than preventative - measures. This thesis contributes to a growing body of research that expands our restrictive understandings of pre-modern public health. It focuses on how public health practices were regulated, monitored and expanded in later Tudor and early Stuart London, with a particular focus on consumption and food-selling. Acknowledging the fundamental public health value of maintaining urban foodways, it investigates how contemporaries sought to manage consumption, food production waste, and vending practices in the early modern City's wards and parishes. It delineates the practical and political distinctions between food and medicine, broadly investigates the activities, reputations of and correlations between London's guild and itinerant food vendors and licensed and irregular medical practitioners, traces the directions in which different kinds of public health policy filtered up or down, and explores how policies were enacted at a national and local level. Finally, it compares and contrasts habitual and extraordinary public health regulations, with a particular focus on how perceptions of and actual food shortages, paired with the omnipresent threat of disease, impacted broader aspects of civic life

    The JCMT BISTRO Survey: Multi-wavelength polarimetry of bright regions in NGC 2071 in the far-infrared/submillimetre range, with POL-2 and HAWC+

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    Polarized dust emission is a key tracer in the study of interstellar medium and of star formation. The observed polarization, however, is a product of magnetic field structure, dust grain properties and grain alignment efficiency, as well as their variations in the line of sight, making it difficult to interpret polarization unambiguously. The comparison of polarimetry at multiple wavelengths is a possible way of mitigating this problem. We use data from HAWC+/SOFIA and from SCUBA-2/POL-2 (from the BISTRO survey) to analyse the NGC 2071 molecular cloud at 154, 214 and 850 μm. The polarization angle changes significantly with wavelength over part of NGC 2071, suggesting a change in magnetic field morphology on the line of sight as each wavelength best traces different dust populations. Other possible explanations are the existence of more than one polarization mechanism in the cloud or scattering from very large grains. The observed change of polarization fraction with wavelength, and the 214-to-154 μm polarization ratio in particular, are difficult to reproduce with current dust models under the assumption of uniform alignment efficiency. We also show that the standard procedure of using monochromatic intensity as a proxy for column density may produce spurious results at HAWC+ wavelengths. Using both long-wavelength (POL-2, 850 μm) and short-wavelength (HAWC+, ≲200μm) polarimetry is key in obtaining these results. This study clearly shows the importance of multi-wavelength polarimetry at submillimeter bands to understand the dust properties of molecular clouds and the relationship between magnetic field and star formation

    The second wave of COVID-19 and beyond: Rural healthcare

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    There are increasing signs that SARS-CoV-2 has started to spread to rural areas in India. It impacts people’s health, lives, and public health infrastructure that is already strained from a lack of resources. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in rural India is a worrying trend; 50% of reported cases since the beginning of May 2021 are from rural districts. Long-standing systemic, functional, and health inequities have put people in rural communities at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and suffering from the lack of essential healthcare services. Health disparities between rural and urban areas exist not only in terms of risk factors, such as poor diet and vaccine hesitancy, but also in terms of healthcare infrastructure, manpower, and testing facilities. We suggest some long-term and short-term measures to efficiently develop strategies to contain and control the pandemic in rural areas. Short-term measures include implementing health communication tailored in culturally sensitive ways, increasing vaccination by the usual immunisation pattern, increasing the number of testing facilities, and ensuring food security through the public distribution system (PDS). Long-term suggestions include strengthening the primary healthcare system, increasing funding in the health sector to 2.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP), introducing mid-level care providers, improving skills and training of ASHAs along with adequate financial incentives, and ensuring participation of multiple stakeholders in community health schemes

    Conservation agriculture affects grain and nutrient yields of Maize (Zea Mays L.) and can impact food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa

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    Maize is a major staple and plays an essential role in food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Conservation agriculture (CA), a climate-smart agriculture practise based on minimum soil disturbance, crop residue retention, and crop diversification, has been widely advocated but without extensive research on the impact it may have on maize nutrient composition, and food and nutrition security. This study assessed the grain yield, macro- and micronutrient mineral content, and nutrient yield of eight maize varieties grown in Malawi, and how these are affected by CA practises over two seasons. The minerals were analysed by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) coupled to optical emission spectroscopy (OES) and to mass spectroscopy (MS). Grain yield and Se content differed among the varieties, while C, N, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, P, and Zn were similar. The local variety Kanjerenjere showed lowest grain and nutrient yields. The open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) concentrated more minerals than the F1 hybrids, but the latter showed higher yields for both grain and nutrients. Typical consumption of the eight maize varieties could fully meet the protein and Mg dietary reference intake (DRIs) of Malawian children (1–3 years), as well as Mg and Mn needs of adult women (19–50 years), but their contribution to dietary requirements was low for Fe (39–41%) and K (13–21%). The trials showed that CA increased grain yield (1.2- to 1.8-fold) and Se content (1.1- to 1.7-fold), but that it had no effect on C, K, Mg, P, and Zn, and that N (1.1- to 1.2-fold), Mn (1.1- to 1.8-fold), and Fe (1.3- to 3.4-fold) were reduced. The high increase in grain yield under CA treatments resulted in increased yields of protein and Se, no effect on the yields of K, Mg, Mn, P, Zn, and reduced Fe yield. Conservation agriculture could contribute in reducing the risk of Se deficiency in Malawian women and children but exacerbates the risk of Fe deficiency. A combination of strategies will be needed to mitigate some of the foreseen effects of climate change on agriculture, and food and nutrition security, and improve nutrient intake

    Strung pieces: on the aesthetics of television fiction series

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    As layered and long works, television fiction series have aesthetic properties that are built over time, bit by bit. This thesis develops a group of concepts that enable the study of these properties, It argues that a series is made of strung pieces, a system of related elements. The text begins by considering this sequential form within the fields of film and television. This opening chapter defines the object and methodology of research, arguing for a non-essentialist distinction between cinema and television and against the adequacy of textual and contextual analyses as approaches to the aesthetics of these shows. It proposes instead that these programmes should be described as televisual works that can be scrutinised through aesthetic analysis. The next chapters propose a sequence of interrelated concepts. The second chapter contends that series are composed of building blocks that can be either units into which series are divided or motifs that unify series and are dispersed across their pans. These blocks are patterned according to four kinds of relations or principles of composition. Repetition and variation are treated in tandem in the third chapter because of their close connection, given that variation emerges from established repetition. Exception and progression are also discussed together in the fourth chapter since they both require a long view of these serial works. The former, in order to be recognised as a deviation from the patterns of repetition and variation. The latter, In order to be understood in Its many dimensions as the series advances. Each of these concepts is further detailed with additional distinctions between types of units, motifs, repetitions, variations, and exceptions, using illustrative examples from numerous shows. In contrast, the section on progression uses a single series as case study, Carnivàle (2003-05), because this is the overarching principle that encompasses all the others. The conclusion considers the findings of the research and suggests avenues for their application

    Studies of strategic performance management for classical organizations theory & practice

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    Nowadays, the activities of "Performance Management" have spread very broadly in actually every part of business and management. There are numerous practitioners and researchers from very different disciplines, who are involved in exploring the different contents of performance management. In this thesis, some relevant historic developments in performance management are first reviewed. This includes various theories and frameworks of performance management. Then several management science techniques are developed for assessing performance management, including new methods in Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Soft System Methodology (SSM). A theoretical framework for performance management and its practical procedures (five phases) are developed for "classic" organizations using soft system thinking, and the relationship with the existing theories are explored. Eventually these results are applied in three case studies to verify our theoretical development. One of the main contributions of this work is to point out, and to systematically explore the basic idea that the effective forms and structures of performance management for an organization are likely to depend greatly on the organizational configuration, in order to coordinate well with other management activities in the organization, which has seemingly been neglected in the existing literature of performance management research in the sense that there exists little known research that associated particular forms of performance management with the explicit assumptions of organizational configuration. By applying SSM, this thesis logically derives some main functional blocks of performance management in 'classic' organizations and clarifies the relationships between performance management and other management activities. Furthermore, it develops some new tools and procedures, which can hierarchically decompose organizational strategies and produce a practical model of specific implementation steps for "classic" organizations. Our approach integrates popular types of performance management models. Last but not least, this thesis presents findings from three major cases, which are quite different organizations in terms of management styles, ownership, and operating environment, to illustrate the fliexbility of the developed theoretical framework

    The empty space in abstract photography: a psychoanalytical perspective

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    The aim of the research that this thesis is based on is to explore the theoretical problems raised by the concept of photographic abstraction. These consist in the tension between the two aspects of the photographic sign, the indexical and iconic, and are examined in the context of the particular exploration of the empty space in abstract photography which I have pursued through my practice. The investigation draws mainly upon the psychoanalytic theory of transitional phenomena as proposed by Winnicott, as well as other art theories (Deleuze & Guattari, Ehrenzweig, Fer, Fuller, Greenberg, Joselit, Kuspit, Leider, Worringer) of abstraction. It explores the relationship of the abstract photographic image to notions of exteriority and interiority as these relate to the transition from the unconscious to conscious reality. The development of this research suggests the psychoanalytical concept of potential space as a contribution to an aesthetic model of abstraction. This concept is employed as a methodological tool in the development of the practical work and creates a framework for its interpretation. The concept of potential space is based on Winnicott's ideas around "playing with the real" in an intermediate area of experience between the internal and external reality, where creativity originates as a zone of fictive play that facilitates the subject's journey from "what is subjectively conceived of' to "what is objectively perceived. " The outcome of this investigation constitutes the production of a series of photographs describing an empty abstract space, one that is invested with a psychic dimension that produces the effect of ambiguity between its representational and abstract readings. It provides a redefinition of abstraction in a space of tension between the iconic and indexical aspects of the sign and opens up the space of abstraction in photography as one in which the relationship between inner and outer reality can be performed and can become a space of action and intervention

    Predicted impact of climate change on the distribution of the Critically Endangered golden mantella (Mantella aurantiaca) in Madagascar

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    The impact of climate change on Malagasy amphibians remains poorly understood. Equally, deforestation, fragmentation, and lack of connectivity between forest patches may leave vulnerable species isolated in habitat that no longer suits their environmental or biological requirements. We assess the predicted impact of climate change by 2085 on the potential distribution of a Critically Endangered frog species, the golden mantella (Mantella aurantiaca), that is confined to a small area of the central rainforest of Madagascar. We identify potential population distributions and climatically stable areas. Results suggest a potential south-eastwardly shift away from the current range and a decrease in suitable habitat from 2110 km2 under current climate to between 112 km2 – 138 km2 by the year 2085 – less than 7% of currently available suitable habitat. Results also indicate that the amount of golden mantella habitat falling within protected areas decreases by 86% over the same period. We recommend research to ascertain future viability and the feasibility of expanding protection to newly identified potential sites. This information can then be used in future conservation actions such as habitat restoration, translocations, re-introductions or the siting of further wildlife corridors or protected areas
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