838 research outputs found

    A Cost Analysis and Recidivism Study of a Pre-trial Diversion Program

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    This research project is a report of cost findings and rearrest rates from a program evaluation of a pre-trial diversion program. In 1978 Cascade Research Center (CRC) contracted with Clark County, Washington, to determine the cost-effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the Pre-Habilitation agency, which implements the Prosecuting Attorney\u27s Pre-Trial Diversion Program

    A year in the life of a North Atlantic seabird: behavioural and energetic adjustments during the annual cycle

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    During their annual cycles, animals face a series of energetic challenges as they prioritise different life history events by engaging in temporally and potentially spatially segregated reproductive and non-breeding periods. Investigating behaviour and energy use across these periods is fundamental to understanding how animals survive the changing conditions associated with annual cycles. We estimated year-round activity budgets, energy expenditure, location, colony attendance and foraging behaviour for surviving individuals from a population of common guillemots Uria aalge. Despite the potential constraints of reduced day lengths and sea surface temperatures in winter, guillemots managed their energy expenditure throughout the year. Values were high prior to and during the breeding season, driven by a combination of high thermoregulatory costs, diving activity, colony attendance and associated flight. Guillemots also exhibited partial colony attendance outside the breeding season, likely supported by local resources. Additionally, there was a mismatch in the timing of peaks in dive effort and a peak in nocturnal foraging activity, indicating that guillemots adapted their foraging behaviour to the availability of prey rather than daylight. Our study identifies adaptations in foraging behaviour and flexibility in activity budgets as mechanisms that enable guillemots to manage their energy expenditure and survive the annual cycle

    DNA recognition by the Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium transcription factor SlyA

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    The Salmonella regulatory protein, SlyA is implicated in virulence, survival in macrophages and resistance to oxidative stress and anti-microbial peptides.  SlyA is a member of the MarR family of winged-helix transcription factors. Systematic mutational analysis of the SlyA operator sequence and of the predicted DNA-binding region of SlyA shows that no single base pair in the palindromic SlyA operator sequence is essential for DNA binding, and identifies amino acid residues required to allow SlyA to recognise DNA. Combining the structure-function studies described here and elsewhere with the structures of MarR family proteins suggests a possible model for regulation of SlyA binding to DNA

    A model to estimate seabird field metabolic rates

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    For free-ranging animals, field metabolic rate (FMR) is the sum of their energy expenditure over a specified period. This quantity is a key component of ecological processes at every biological level. We applied a phylogenetically informed meta-analytical approach to identify the large-scale determinants of FMR in seabirds during the breeding season. Using data from 64 studies of energetics in 47 species, we created a model to estimate FMR for any seabird population. We found that FMR was positively influenced by body mass and colony latitude and that it increased throughout the breeding season from incubation to brood to crèche. FMR was not impacted by colony-relative predation pressure or species average brood size. Based on this model, we present an app through which users can generate estimates of FMR for any population of breeding seabird. We encourage the use of this app to complement behavioural studies and increase understanding of how energetic demands influence the role of seabirds as driving components of marine systems

    Modelling and mapping how common guillemots balance their energy budgets over a full annual cycle

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    The ability of individual animals to balance their energy budgets throughout the annual cycle is important for their survival, reproduction and population dynamics. However, the annual cycles of many wild, mobile animals are difficult to observe and our understanding of how individuals balance their energy budgets throughout the year therefore remains poor. We developed a hierarchical Bayesian state-space model to investigate how key components of animal energy budgets (namely individual energy gain and storage) varied in space and time. Our model used biologger-derived estimates of time-activity budgets, locations and energy expenditure to infer year-round time series of energy income and reserves. The model accounted for seasonality in environmental drivers such as sea surface temperature and daylength, allowing us to identify times and locations of high energy gain. Our study system was a population of common guillemots Uria aalge breeding at a western North Sea colony. These seabirds manage their energy budgets by adjusting their behaviour and accumulating fat reserves. However, typically during severe weather conditions, birds can experience an energy deficit over a sustained period, leading to starvation and large-scale mortality events. We show that guillemot energy gain varied in both time and space. Estimates of guillemot body mass varied throughout the annual cycle and birds periodically experienced losses in mass. Mass losses were likely to have either been adaptive, or due to energetic bottlenecks, the latter leading to increased susceptibility to mortality. Guillemots tended to be lighter towards the edge of their spatial distribution. We describe a framework that combines biologging data, time-activity budget analysis and Bayesian state-space modelling to identify times and locations of high energetic reward or potential energetic bottlenecks in a wild animal population. Our approach can be extended to address ecological and conservation-driven questions that were previously unanswerable due to logistical complexities in collecting data on wild, mobile animals across full annual cycles

    An Exactly Conservative Integrator for the n-Body Problem

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    The two-dimensional n-body problem of classical mechanics is a non-integrable Hamiltonian system for n > 2. Traditional numerical integration algorithms, which are polynomials in the time step, typically lead to systematic drifts in the computed value of the total energy and angular momentum. Even symplectic integration schemes exactly conserve only an approximate Hamiltonian. We present an algorithm that conserves the true Hamiltonian and the total angular momentum to machine precision. It is derived by applying conventional discretizations in a new space obtained by transformation of the dependent variables. We develop the method first for the restricted circular three-body problem, then for the general two-dimensional three-body problem, and finally for the planar n-body problem. Jacobi coordinates are used to reduce the two-dimensional n-body problem to an (n-1)-body problem that incorporates the constant linear momentum and center of mass constraints. For a four-body choreography, we find that a larger time step can be used with our conservative algorithm than with symplectic and conventional integrators.Comment: 17 pages, 3 figures; to appear in J. Phys. A.: Math. Ge

    Body Mass and Fat Mass in Refractory Asthma: An Observational 1 Year Follow-Up Study

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    Background. Asthma and obesity are common; however the impact of obesity upon asthma remains uncertain. Objectives. To assess relationships between obesity and fat mass with airway inflammation, lung function, and disease control in patients with refractory asthma. Methods. 151 refractory asthma patients were characterised for measures of airway inflammation, lung function, Juniper asthma control questionnaire (JACQ), body mass index (BMI), and fat mass index (FMI) derived from dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Patients were reassessed over 12 months. Results. 74% of patients had an elevated BMI. BMI and FMI correlated (r = 0.9, P < .001). FMI and JACQ correlated in men (r = 0.3, P = .01). After 12 months 23% lost weight. Weight change over 12 months correlated with FEV1 change (r = −0.3, P = .03), but not with change in JACQ or exacerbations. Conclusion. Increased fat mass is common in refractory asthma and is associated with asthma symptom control in men. Loss of weight is associated with improvement in lung function in refractory asthma

    Quantitative analysis of high-resolution computed tomography scans in severe asthma subphenotypes

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    BACKGROUND: Severe asthma is a heterogeneous condition. Airway remodelling is a feature of severe asthma and can be determined by the assessment of high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scans. The aim of this study was to assess whether airway remodelling is restricted to specific subphenotypes of severe asthma. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed of HRCT scans from subjects who had attended a single-centre severe asthma clinic between 2003 and 2008. The right upper lobe apical segmental bronchus (RB1) dimensions were measured and the clinical and sputum inflammatory characteristics associated with RB1 geometry were assessed by univariate and multivariate regression analyses. Longitudinal sputum data were available and were described as area under the time curve (AUC). Comparisons were made in RB1 geometry across subjects in four subphenotypes determined by cluster analysis, smokers and non-smokers, and subjects with and without persistent airflow obstruction. RESULTS: Ninety-nine subjects with severe asthma and 16 healthy controls were recruited. In the subjects with severe asthma the RB1 percentage wall area (%WA) was increased (p=0.009) and lumen area (LA)/body surface area (BSA) was decreased (p=0.008) compared with controls but was not different across the four subphenotypes. Airway geometry was not different between smokers and non-smokers and RB1 %WA was increased in those with persistent airflow obstruction. RB1 %WA in severe asthma was best associated with airflow limitation and persistent neutrophilic airway inflammation (model R(2)=0.27, p=0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Airway remodelling of proximal airways occurs in severe asthma and is associated with impaired lung function and neutrophilic airway inflammation
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