222 research outputs found

    Ecological Effects of Fear: How Spatiotemporal Heterogeneity in Predation Risk Influences Mule Deer Access to Forage in a Sky‐Island System

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    Forage availability and predation risk interact to affect habitat use of ungulates across many biomes. Within sky‐island habitats of the Mojave Desert, increased availability of diverse forage and cover may provide ungulates with unique opportunities to extend nutrient uptake and/or to mitigate predation risk. We addressed whether habitat use and foraging patterns of female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) responded to normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), NDVI rate of change (green‐up), or the occurrence of cougars (Puma concolor). Female mule deer used available green‐up primarily in spring, although growing vegetation was available during other seasons. Mule deer and cougar shared similar habitat all year, and our models indicated cougars had a consistent, negative effect on mule deer access to growing vegetation, particularly in summer when cougar occurrence became concentrated at higher elevations. A seemingly late parturition date coincided with diminishing NDVI during the lactation period. Sky‐island populations, rarely studied, provide the opportunity to determine how mule deer respond to growing foliage along steep elevation and vegetation gradients when trapped with their predators and seasonally limited by aridity. Our findings indicate that fear of predation may restrict access to the forage resources found in sky islands

    The Adhesion Strength of Impact Ice Measured Using a Modified Lap Joint Test

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    Numerous methodologies have been utilized to measure the adhesion strength of impact ice, and the data reported in the literature varies significantly from test to test. In order to initiate an investigation to determine the cause of this disparity, a new test methodology has been developed and utilized in the Icing Research Tunnel at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Data was obtained while varying the temperature, test section velocity, and cloud droplet mean volumetric diameter. The first data set acquired using this new test method is presented. New trends demonstrate the effect of annealing ice samples, with temperature being a key variable. Observations during the test and analysis of the results suggest the presence of large residual stresses in the samples

    The impact of the Art Therapy Large Group, an educational tool in the training of art therapists, on post-qualification professional practice

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    This article reports the findings of a Likert scale survey that was sent to past graduates of the MA Art Psychotherapy, Goldsmiths, University of London asking them about the relevance of their experience in the Art Therapy Large Group (ATLG) to their subsequent employment as art therapists or work in another capacity. The ATLG comprises all the students and staff in a psychodynamically based experiential group that meets six times during the year. Survey questions were drawn from previously devised theory and related to learning relevant to the workplace and the development of professional identity. Though there was a low response rate (20%), there were some significant findings, namely that graduates found the ATLG to be helpful in their work, whether this was art therapy or non-art therapy work, and that those who had studied part-time were much more positive about the applicability of their learning in the group to their work than those who had studied full-time. The findings suggest that the ATLG has a particular role in meeting key performance indicators in professional regulation and teaching and in quality assurance and employability policies in higher education. Finally, the potential for the use of the ATLG beyond the university in the public, private and voluntary sectors is suggested

    Effective Dose and Persistence of Rhodamine-B in Wild Pig Vibrissae

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    As a result of substantial ecological and economic damage attributed to wild pigs (Sus scrofa), there is international interest in using pharmaceutical baits to control populations. To assess the efficacy and specificity of baiting programs, chemical biomarkers can be used to evaluate uptake of pharmaceutical baits. Rhodamine B (RB) is known to be an effective biomarker in wild pigs. However, significant data gaps exist regarding the minimum effective dosage and persistence of RB in wild pigs. We used a controlled doubleblind study experiment conducted in spring of 2014 on the Savannah River Site, Aiken, South Carolina, USA, wherein we administered a one-time dose of RB at 3 treatment levels (5 mg/kg, 15mg/kg, or 30 mg/kg) to 15 captive pigs, with 5 pigs/treatment group to investigate persistence of RB. Facial vibrissae were collected pre-RB ingestion as a control and every 2 weeks post-RB ingestion for 12 weeks. We examined samples for RB presence and used a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) to determine the influence of treatment dose on persistence of RB. Additionally, we measured distance moved by the RB mark away from the vibrissae root and used a GLMM to assess movement rates of RB bands along growing vibrissae. We found consistently greater persistence of RB in the 15- and 30-mg/kg treatments across the sampling period. A significant, positive movement trend in RB bands was observed within the 15mg/kg and 30 mg/kg groups. Based on our results, a 15 mg/kg dosage can be considered a minimum effective dose for wild pigs and will reliably produce a detectable RB mark up to and likely beyond 12 weeks after ingestion

    Implementation of a quality improvement programme to support advance care planning in five hospitals across a health region.

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    OBJECTIVES: Advance care planning (ACP) can help patients with a terminal illness to prepare for the end of their lives. This report describes a regional service improvement initiative to increase the identification of hospital inpatients at this stage in their illnesses and to increase the number of such patients who are offered the opportunity to start the process of ACP. METHODS: Data were collected prospectively over a 7 month period from four acute hospital trusts and a specialist cancer centre in the South-West London region. Each unit identified a specific patient population who were screened for eligibility to engage in the process of ACP. Data concerning the reasons for eligibility, the suitability for discussion and the various reasons why patients did not complete the process, were recorded. RESULTS: Over a 7 month period 1980 patients were screened and 559 (28.2%) were found to be potentially eligible for an ACP discussion. Of these 227/559 (40.6%) were deemed suitable for a discussion by medical staff. The majority of these patients (195/227; 86%) were offered the opportunity to undergo ACP discussions and 144/195 (73.8%) agreed to begin the process of ACP. CONCLUSIONS: This report shows that a targeted approach can result in increased uptake in the number of patients who engage in ACP. However, systematic identification of potentially eligible patients requires a significant investment of clinical time and resources

    Integrating omics to characterize eco‐physiological adaptations: How moose diet and metabolism differ across biogeographic zones

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    1. With accelerated land conversion and global heating at northern latitudes, it becomes crucial to understand, how life histories of animals in extreme environments adapt to these changes. Animals may either adapt by adjusting foraging behavior or through physiological responses, including adjusting their energy metabolism or both. Until now, it has been difficult to study such adaptations in free‐ranging animals due to methodological constraints that prevent extensive spatiotemporal coverage of ecological and physiological data. 2. Through a novel approach of combining DNA‐metabarcoding and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)‐based metabolomics, we aim to elucidate the links between diets and metabolism in Scandinavian moose Alces alces over three biogeographic zones using a unique dataset of 265 marked individuals. 3. Based on 17 diet items, we identified four different classes of diet types that match browse species availability in respective ecoregions in northern Sweden. Individuals in the boreal zone consumed predominantly pine and had the least diverse diets, while individuals with highest diet diversity occurred in the coastal areas. Males exhibited lower average diet diversity than females. 4. We identified several molecular markers indicating metabolic constraints linked to diet constraints in terms of food availability during winter. While animals consuming pine had higher lipid, phospocholine, and glycerophosphocholine concentrations in their serum than other diet types, birch‐ and willow/aspen‐rich diets exhibit elevated concentrations of several amino acids. The individuals with highest diet diversity had increased levels of ketone bodies, indicating extensive periods of starvation for these individuals. 5. Our results show how the adaptive capacity of moose at the eco‐physiological level varies over a large eco‐geographic scale and how it responds to land use pressures. In light of extensive ongoing climate and land use changes, these findings pave the way for future scenario building for animal adaptive capacity

    Hematology and serum biochemistry values of free-ranging Iberian wolves (Canis lupus) trapped by leg-hold snares

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    Hematology and serum biochemistry are important tools in assessing the health and physiological status of wildlife populations. Nevertheless, studies on free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus) are scarce, and no reference values are available neither for Iberian wolves nor for wolves captured with leghold snares. We report 37 hematology and serum biochemistry variables obtained from 26 free-ranging Iberian wolves captured with leg-hold snares between 2007 and 2014, including variables previously not reported in the literature. The values obtained are similar to the published reference intervals for Scandinavian wolves captured by darting from a helicopter, except for higher values for mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), red blood cell distribution width (RDW), leukocyte count, creatinine kinase (CK), ?-globulins, and total bilirubin (TBIL) and lower values for alkaline phosphatase (ALP). We propose that differences in leukocyte count, CK, and TBIL are related to the method of capture, while differences in RDW, MCHC, ALP, and ?-globulins could reflect physiological adaptations to environmental conditions, sampling, or pre-analytical artifacts. Lymphocyte count was lower and neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio was significantly higher in older, reproductive females, while ALP and phosphorus were higher in juvenile wolves. For the first time, we describe hematology and serum biochemistry values of free-ranging Iberian wolves captured with leg-hold snares. The data reported here is the first published reference for wolves captured with similar methods and for monitoring Iberian wolves populations’ physiological and health status.We thank Nuria Fandos and Carla Ferreira, rangers from Xunta de Galicia and Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa, and volunteers who helped during the trapping sessions. The wolves were captured under projects financed by Associacao de Conservacao do Habitat do Lobo Iberico (ACHLI) in Portugal and by Picos de Europa National Park, Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentacion y Medio Ambiente, and Xunta de Galicia in Spain. Sara Roque benefited from grant SFRH/BD/12291/2003 from Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia. Jose V. Lopez-Bao was supported by a postdoctoral contract from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. This is the paper no. 5 from the Iberian Wolf Research Team

    Rabies Management Implications Based on Raccoon Population Density Indexes

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    An estimate or index of target species density is important in determining oral rabies vaccination (ORV) bait densities to control and eliminate specific rabies variants. From 1997–2011, we indexed raccoon (Procyon lotor) densities 253 times based on cumulative captures on 163 sites from Maine to Alabama, USA, near ORV zones created to prevent raccoon rabies from spreading to new areas. We conducted indexing under a common cage trapping protocol near the time of annual ORV to aid in bait density decisions. Unique raccoons (n = 8,415) accounted for 68.0% of captures (n = 12,367). We recaptured raccoons 2,669 times. We applied Schnabel and Huggins mark‐recapture models on sites with ≥3 years of capture data and ≥25% recaptures as context for raccoon density indexes (RDIs). Simple linear relationships between RDIs and mark‐recapture estimates supported application of our 2 index. Raccoon density indexes ranged from 0.0–56.9 raccoons/km . For bait density decisions, we evaluated RDIs in the following 4 raccoon density groups, which were statistically different: (0.0–5.0 [n = 70], 5.1–15.0 [n = 129], 15.1–25.0 [n = 31], and \u3e25.0 raccoons/km2 [n = 23]). Mean RDI was positively associated with a higher percentage of developed land cover and a lower percentage of evergreen forest. Non‐target species composition (excluding recaptured raccoons) accounted for 32.0% of captures. Potential bait competitors accounted for 76.5% of non‐targets. The opossum (Didelphis virginiana) was the primary potential bait competitor from 27°N to 44°N latitude, north of which it was numerically replaced by the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). We selected the RDI approach over mark-recapture methods because of costs, geographic scope, staff availability, and the need for supplemental serologic samples. The 4 density groups provided adequate sensitivity to support bait density decisions for the current 2 bait density options. Future improvements to the method include providing random trapping locations to field personnel to prevent trap clustering and marking non‐targets to better characterize bait competitors

    Predicting the F(ab)-mediated effect of monoclonal antibodies in vivo by combining cell-level kinetic and pharmacokinetic modelling

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    Cell-level kinetic models for therapeutically relevant processes increasingly benefit the early stages of drug development. Later stages of the drug development processes, however, rely on pharmacokinetic compartment models while cell-level dynamics are typically neglected. We here present a systematic approach to integrate cell-level kinetic models and pharmacokinetic compartment models. Incorporating target dynamics into pharmacokinetic models is especially useful for the development of therapeutic antibodies because their effect and pharmacokinetics are inherently interdependent. The approach is illustrated by analysing the F(ab)-mediated inhibitory effect of therapeutic antibodies targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor. We build a multi-level model for anti-EGFR antibodies by combining a systems biology model with in vitro determined parameters and a pharmacokinetic model based on in vivo pharmacokinetic data. Using this model, we investigated in silico the impact of biochemical properties of anti-EGFR antibodies on their F(ab)-mediated inhibitory effect. The multi-level model suggests that the F(ab)-mediated inhibitory effect saturates with increasing drug-receptor affinity, thereby limiting the impact of increasing antibody affinity on improving the effect. This indicates that observed differences in the therapeutic effects of high affinity antibodies in the market and in clinical development may result mainly from Fc-mediated indirect mechanisms such as antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity

    Low sequence diversity of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in wild deer and goat species from Spain

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    Abstract The first European cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in free-ranging reindeer and wild elk were confirmed in Norway in 2016 highlighting the urgent need to understand transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in the context of European deer species and the many individual populations throughout the European continent. The genetics of the prion protein gene (PRNP) are crucial in determining the relative susceptibility to TSEs. To establish PRNP gene sequence diversity for free-ranging ruminants in the Northeast of Spain, the open reading frame was sequenced in over 350 samples from five species: Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), fallow deer (Dama dama), Iberian wild goat (Capra pyrenaica hispanica) and Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica). Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were found in red deer: a silent mutation at codon 136, and amino acid changes T98A and Q226E. Pyrenean chamois revealed a silent SNP at codon 38 and an allele with a single octapeptide-repeat deletion. No polymorphisms were found in roe deer, fallow deer and Iberian wild goat. This apparently low variability of the PRNP coding region sequences of four major species in Spain resembles previous findings for wild mammals, but implies that larger surveys will be necessary to find novel, low frequency PRNP gene alleles that may be utilized in CWD risk control
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