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Body and resource size at the land–sea interface

first_imgBody size in animals varies with many parameters, amongst them taxonomic affiliation, lifestyle and ambient environment oxygen levels. Size has considerable implication to possibilities for animals; for example, parasites need to be small and top predators large. Body size and resource requirements (shell size) were investigated across the land–sea interface in hermit crabs (Crustacea: Malacostraca: Decapoda) and snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Prosobranchia). These are two of the few taxa to occur in the sea, on the shore and on land as residents. Both taxa are also appropriate for such an analysis as they are abundant, speciose, cohabit the same environments and are linked—gastropod shells are a critical resource to hermit crabs. Both the maximum and mean sizes of hermit crab species showed parabolic relationships with shore height, decreasing from the sublittoral and supralittoral to the eulittoral. Average maximum size of gastropods exhibited a similar intertidal minimum although variability was high. It is suggested that this pattern is robust: not only did two distantly related taxa show the same pattern, but neither region nor site contributed significantly to total variability. The mass of resources (gastropod shells) used by hermit crabs, however, showed a converse pattern. The smallest shells (relative to hermit crab body size) were used in the sublittoral and supralittoral. Response to environmental stress and predation pressure are offered as two alternate theories to explain the observed body dwarfism and resource gigantism in the intertidal zone.last_img read more

How to create a budget calendar for your credit union

first_imgDuring your credit union’s planning season, two of the things your team will discuss are developing a budget and a calendar. These essential items play an important role in your overall marketing plan because they outline what you’ll spend, what you’ll do and when they’ll happen. However, rather than creating two separate documents, this process can be easily streamlined by combining the two into an appropriately named budget calendar. But what does that look like, exactly? No worries, we’ve got you covered.When you’re developing a budget, there are two ways you can go about it – forward and backward. When you create a backward budget, you are first given a budget, and then you develop the goals and initiatives to work within that budget. For example, you know you have “X” amount of dollars to spend, so with that number in mind, you begin to decide which marketing initiatives or goals are the priority for tackling in the new year. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

IOM says community measures may help in a pandemic

first_img The pandemic began with a relatively mild wave in the spring of 1918, and was followed by a second, much more severe and widespread wave in the fall. Osterholm told CIDRAP News there is strong evidence that military camps that were hard hit in the spring had lower illness and death rates in the fall wave, presumbably because many people developed immunity. He suggested that the same might have been true of cities. In other conclusions, the report says there is probably a role for isolating sick people at home while providing social support for them, though this is based mainly on common sense and evidence from other illnesses. IOM. Modeling community containment for pandemic influenza: a letter report. Released Dec 11, 2006 [Full text] Antiviral prophylaxis and treatment in households and healthcare settings Participants in the workshop said differences between the world of 1918 and today may limit the usefulness of historical data, the report notes. For two examples, population density is different today, and antibiotics now available to treat secondary infections could increase survival. But the panel warned that public health officials, in recommending such steps, should take care not to overstate the evidence for their effectiveness. The group also said that any plans to use such measures should be linked with plans for mitigating their side effects. Similarly, Dr. Marc Lipsitch found in a study of 17 cities that early interventions were significantly associated with lower peak death rates and that early school closures were most closely linked with lower peaks. Further, an analysis presented by Dr. Neil Ferguson, combining 1918 data with mathematical modeling, suggested that community interventions could significantly reduce overall illness rates if they were imposed for the full duration of the pandemic. Contact tracing to allow contacts to take actions such as voluntary sheltering and quarantine The report also critiques existing models for focusing too narrowly on flu-related outcome measures and ignoring other effects of interventions. For example, extended school closings could expose children to increased violence or result in malnutrition by depriving children of free or subsidized school lunches. “It is almost impossible to say that any of the community interventions have been proven ineffective,” says the committee’s report. “However, it is also almost impossible to say that the interventions, either individually or in combination, will be effective in mitigating an influenza pandemic.” Markel, of the University of Michigan, is conducting the research with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the AP reported. Markel called the effort “a Manhattan project of history.” The committee reviewed 6 mathematical simulations of community containment strategies and found none of them entirely convincing. Many key assumptions used in the models, such as those regarding virus transmissibility and compliance with interventions, were based on little evidence, the report says. Accordingly, the panel calls for prospective epidemiologic studies of seasonal flu to bolster the assumptions used in the models. Risk communication, meaning the identification of “key and trusted spokespersons” to promote public acceptance of community containment measures The committee offers 11 recommendations for improving the understanding and use of community interventions. One calls for the development of “decision-aid models that can be readily linked to surveillance data to provide real-time feedback during a pandemic.” So far, evidence shows that the more restrictions were used and the longer they were in place, the milder the pandemic, the story said. Wearing masks in public, restricting door-to-door sales, canceling church, and quarantining sick people were among the measures that seemed helpful. But the researchers said they hadn’t determined which measures were most effective, and they couldn’t prove those steps were the reason some cities did better than others. Dec 14, 2006 (CIDRAP New) – The Institute of Medicine (IOM) weighed in with a clear “maybe” this week on whether community interventions such as school closures, quarantine, and respiratory etiquette could help blunt the impact of an influenza pandemic.center_img Containment measures endorsed by the panel include home isolation of patients plus social support, voluntary sheltering at home, quarantine, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, preventive antiviral treatment, and community restrictions such as school closures. The group also supported standard public health measures such as disease surveillance and contact tracing. The committee’s conclusion on the key question of community restrictions, such as closing schools and limiting public gatherings, is that they have a role, but the evidence does not permit any predictions about the effects of specific types of restrictions or the comparative effects of voluntary versus mandatory restrictions. “There is simply a dearth of strong evidence concerning the efficacy of community containment strategies, which is particularly troublesome given the fact that many of the interventions will carry significant economic, social, ethical, and logistical consequences,” adds the report, titled “Modeling Community Containment for Pandemic Influenza: A Letter Report.” The report, released Dec 12, was prepared by a 13-member committee chaired by Adel A.F. Mahmoud, MD, PhD, former president of Merck Vaccines. It is based on a workshop held Oct 25 in Washington, DC. The committee also reviewed several analyses of data from the 1918 flu pandemic. These included preliminary results from Dr. Howard Markel of a study of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in 45 US cities. He concluded that NPIs may have lowered peak death rates and flattened the epidemic curves in those cities, though some cities had severe epidemics despite using NPIs. After looking at mathematical models and historical evidence, an IOM committee said that a wide range of community interventions may be helpful, but there is no conclusive evidence for their effectiveness. As with any infectious disease, the evidence indicates that early restrictions are better than later ones,” the report says. “The main effect might be to slow the time to peak of the outbreak in a community, which could be important for hospital-based management of ill patients and to allow for delivery of vaccine if available.” Other measures the committee affirmed as potentially beneficial, based on varying kinds of evidence, include: The IOM report’s release came a day after health officials meeting in Atlanta heard about Markel’s research suggesting that cities which had implemented early “social distancing” measures in the pandemic of 1918 had lower death rates than other cities. Summarizing the lessons of the simulation models and historical analyses, the report says, “The models generally suggest that a combination of targeted antivirals and NPIs can delay and flatten the epidemic peak, but the evidence is less convincing that they can reduce the overall size of the epidemic. Delay of the epidemic peak is critically important because it allows additional time for vaccine development and antiviral production. Lowering the peak of the epidemic is crucial also because it can reduce the burden on healthcare infrastructure by avoiding an extremely large influx of patients.” According to an Associated Press (AP) report on the meeting, researchers found that cities such as St. Louis, which instituted social distancing at least 2 weeks before the peak of the local epidemic, had flu-related death rates less than half that of Philadelphia, which was slower to act. One factor that may confuse the interpretation of the 1918 data on community interventions is that the two waves of the pandemic that year might have affected cities differently, according to Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP Web site. “All of us really want to demonstrate protection from these interventions—it’s our greatest hope for a future pandemic—but we also want to be certain that the information we give people is based on science and not wishful thinking,” Osterholm commented. Surveillance and case reporting, rapid diagnosis, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquettelast_img read more

Stanford outlasts Trojans

first_imgStanford second baseman Colin Walsh’s single to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning drove in two runs to break a 1-1 tie, and the No. 19 Stanford Cardinal protected their lead to beat the Trojans, 3-1, Sunday in the rubber game of a three-game set at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, Calif.Hiccup · After six strong innings to start, sophomore pitcher Andrew Triggs, pictured here against Oregon, ran into trouble in the seventh inning on Sunday after giving up a hit and a walk and gave up three earned runs. – Nathaniel Gonzalez | Daily Trojan Starter Brett Mooneyham (1-3) picked up his first win of the season for the Cardinal (12-6, 2-1). He pitched six innings and allowed only one run on three hits and seven strikeouts. Cardinal Alez Pracher picked up his third save, pitching three innings of scoreless relief. Walsh finished the day 3-4 with one run scored and two RBI.Sophomore pitcher Andrew Triggs (1-3) took the loss for USC (12-12, 1-2), giving up three runs on five hits with three strikeouts. Sophomore Chad Smith pitched  one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief for the Trojans to end the game. The Trojans compiled only five hits in the game, two of them coming off the bat of sophomore outfielder fielder Matt Foat.Both teams jumped on the board early in the contest. In the top of the first inning, USC sophomore first baseman Ricky Oropesa hit a solo home run off Mooneyham, but the Trojans left the bases loaded when junior third baseman Matt Hart grounded into a double play to end the frame.The Cardinal responded quickly with a run of their own. In the bottom of the first, Walsh led off the inning with a base hit to centerfield and scored later on freshman Stephen Piscotty’s sacrifice fly to right field.Both teams were held scoreless after the first until Walsh broke through with the game-winning single for Stanford in the seventh.USC dropped the second game of the series Saturday when Stanford infielder Zach Jones singled to right with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Cardinal a 5-4 walk-off victory against the Trojans and even the Pac-10 series.Sophomore Brian Busick (2-0) earned the win for Stanford after pitching two innings of no-hit relief. For the Trojans, sophomore reliever Brandon Garcia (1-2) was charged with the loss after giving up one run in one and two-thirds innings. Sophomore Ben Mount started the game for USC and gave up four runs in seven innings.Although the Trojans lost the final two games of the series, they opened up Pac-10 play on a positive note Friday, defeating Stanford 13-8. Sophomore infielder Taylor Wrenn scored four times and drove in the go-ahead runs for the Trojans in the sixth inning. Wrenn and Oropesa tallied three hits each on the game, and sophomore Alex Sherrod added a three-run homer.Shuhei Fujiya (3-1) earned the series-opening win for the Trojans, allowing only one run on four hits in three innings, while Garcia and junior reliever Chris Mezger combined to throw two shutout innings.USC now travels to Loyola Marymount Tuesday to take on the Lions at 3 p.m. before continuing conference play in a weekend series against Oregon State at Dedeaux Field.last_img read more

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