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Bio-physical characterisation of polynyas as a key foraging habitat for juvenile male southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica.

Antarctic coastal polynyas are persistent open water areas in the sea ice zone, and regions of high biological productivity thought to be important foraging habitat for marine predators. This study quantified southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) habitat use within and around the polynyas of the Prydz Bay region (63°E- 88°E) in East Antarctica, and examined the bio-physical characteristics structuring polynyas as foraging habitat. Output from a climatological regional ocean model was used to provide context for in situ temperature-salinity vertical profiles collected by tagged elephant seals and to characterise the physical properties structuring polynyas. Biological properties were explored using remotely-sensed surface chlorophyll (Chl-a) and, qualitatively, historical fish assemblage data. Spatially gridded residence time of seals was examined in relation to habitat characteristics using generalized additive mixed models. The results showed clear polynya usage during early autumn and increasingly concentrated usage during early winter. Bathymetry, Chl-a, surface net heat flux (representing polynya location), and bottom temperature were identified as significant bio-physical predictors of the spatio-temporal habitat usage. The findings from this study confirm that the most important marine habitats for juvenile male southern elephant seals within Prydz Bay region are polynyas. A hypothesis exists regarding the seasonal evolution of primary productivity, coupling from surface to subsurface productivity and supporting elevated rates of secondary production in the upper water column during summer-autumn. An advancement to this hypothesis is proposed here, whereby this bio-physical coupling is likely to extend throughout the water column as it becomes fully convected during autumn-winter, to also promote pelagic-benthic linkages important for benthic foraging within polynyas.

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Live-cell Imaging of Platelet Degranulation and Secretion Under Flow.

Blood platelets are essential players in hemostasis, the formation of thrombi to seal vascular breaches. They are also involved in thrombosis, the formation of thrombi that occlude the vasculature and injure organs, with life-threatening consequences. This motivates scientific research on platelet function and the development of methods to track cell-biological processes as they occur under flow conditions. A variety of flow models are available for the study of platelet adhesion and aggregation, two key phenomena in platelet biology. This work describes a method to study real-time platelet degranulation under flow during activation. The method makes use of a flow chamber coupled to a syringe-pump setup that is placed under a wide-field, inverted, LED-based fluorescence microscope. The setup described here allows for the simultaneous excitation of multiple fluorophores that are delivered by fluorescently labeled antibodies or fluorescent dyes. After live-cell imaging experiments, the cover glasses can be further processed and analyzed using static microscopy (i.e., confocal microscopy or scanning electron microscopy).

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The REFANI-S study protocol: a non-randomised cluster controlled trial to assess the role of an unconditional cash transfer, a non-food item kit, and free piped water in reducing the risk of acute malnutrition among children aged 6-59 months living in camps for internally displaced persons in the Afgooye corridor, Somalia.

The prevalence of acute malnutrition is often high in emergency-affected populations and is associated with elevated mortality risk and long-term health consequences. Increasingly, cash transfer programmes (CTP) are used instead of direct food aid as a nutritional intervention, but there is sparse evidence on their nutritional impact. We aim to understand whether CTP reduces acute malnutrition and its known risk factors.

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[Treatment Strategy for Complicated Acute Type B Aortic Dissection in the Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair Era].

Our treatment strategy for acute type B aortic dissection (ABAD) included complicated type is as follows. Indications of thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) for ABAD are rupture and organ ischemia, and TEVAR has been the 1st line central repair therapy since January 2009 in our institution. At the time of TEVAR for ruptured communicating type ABAD, we usually seal the proximal entry tear and cover the existing range of hematoma at descending aorta. Procedures for ABAD with malperfusion should be changed according to the patient's condition such as branch vessel obstructions either dynamic type or static type. We select TEVAR for ABAD with malperfusion in order to prevent late aortic events as well as treat the dynamic malperfusion. For complicated ABAD patients with poor condition and hemodynamic instability, TEVAR achieving central repair rapidly and less-invasively is considered an advantageous procedure. We usually pay attention how to use TEVAR and how to combine with other therapies for complicated ABAD treatment.

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Source levels and call parameters of harbor seal breeding vocalizations near a terrestrial haulout site in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

Source levels of harbor seal breeding vocalizations were estimated using a three-element planar hydrophone array near the Beardslee Islands in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The average source level for these calls was 144 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m in the 40-500 Hz frequency band. Source level estimates ranged from 129 to 149 dB re 1 μPa. Four call parameters, including minimum frequency, peak frequency, total duration, and pulse duration, were also measured. These measurements indicated that breeding vocalizations of harbor seals near the Beardslee Islands of Glacier Bay National Park are similar in duration (average total duration: 4.8 s, average pulse duration: 3.0 s) to previously reported values from other populations, but are 170-220 Hz lower in average minimum frequency (78 Hz).

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Isolated Spontaneous Dissection of the Iliac Arteries: False Lumen Embolization as an Adjunct to Percutaneous Stent Grafting.

Spontaneous dissection of iliac arteries, without involvement of the aorta, is rare. Only few cases of endovascular treatment of this condition are reported in the current literature.

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A Rare Entity: Traumatic Thoracic Aortic Injury in a Patient with Aberrant Right Subclavian Artery.

Aberrant right subclavian artery is an uncommon entity incidence ranging from 0.5 to 2.5%. Management of thoracic aortic injury in the presence of such anomalies can be a challenge. We present here a case of traumatic aortic injury, which was incidentally found to have an asymptomatic aberrant right subclavian artery. The patient was managed by an endovascular repair of thoracic aortic injury with an endograft and a right carotid to subclavian artery bypass as a hybrid procedure.

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Variability in sea ice cover and climate elicit sex specific responses in an Antarctic predator.

Contrasting regional changes in Southern Ocean sea ice have occurred over the last 30 years with distinct regional effects on ecosystem structure and function. Quantifying how Antarctic predators respond to such changes provides the context for predicting how climate variability/change will affect these assemblages into the future. Over an 11-year time-series, we examine how inter-annual variability in sea ice concentration and advance affect the foraging behaviour of a top Antarctic predator, the southern elephant seal. Females foraged longer in pack ice in years with greatest sea ice concentration and earliest sea ice advance, while males foraged longer in polynyas in years of lowest sea ice concentration. There was a positive relationship between near-surface meridional wind anomalies and female foraging effort, but not for males. This study reveals the complexities of foraging responses to climate forcing by a poleward migratory predator through varying sea ice property and dynamic anomalies.

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Quantification and Analysis of Icebergs in a Tidewater Glacier Fjord Using an Object-Based Approach.

Tidewater glaciers are glaciers that terminate in, and calve icebergs into, the ocean. In addition to the influence that tidewater glaciers have on physical and chemical oceanography, floating icebergs serve as habitat for marine animals such as harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardii). The availability and spatial distribution of glacier ice in the fjords is likely a key environmental variable that influences the abundance and distribution of selected marine mammals; however, the amount of ice and the fine-scale characteristics of ice in fjords have not been systematically quantified. Given the predicted changes in glacier habitat, there is a need for the development of methods that could be broadly applied to quantify changes in available ice habitat in tidewater glacier fjords. We present a case study to describe a novel method that uses object-based image analysis (OBIA) to classify floating glacier ice in a tidewater glacier fjord from high-resolution aerial digital imagery. Our objectives were to (i) develop workflows and rule sets to classify high spatial resolution airborne imagery of floating glacier ice; (ii) quantify the amount and fine-scale characteristics of floating glacier ice; (iii) and develop processes for automating the object-based analysis of floating glacier ice for large number of images from a representative survey day during June 2007 in Johns Hopkins Inlet (JHI), a tidewater glacier fjord in Glacier Bay National Park, southeastern Alaska. On 18 June 2007, JHI was comprised of brash ice ([Formula: see text] = 45.2%, SD = 41.5%), water ([Formula: see text] = 52.7%, SD = 42.3%), and icebergs ([Formula: see text] = 2.1%, SD = 1.4%). Average iceberg size per scene was 5.7 m2 (SD = 2.6 m2). We estimate the total area (± uncertainty) of iceberg habitat in the fjord to be 455,400 ± 123,000 m2. The method works well for classifying icebergs across scenes (classification accuracy of 75.6%); the largest classification errors occur in areas with densely-packed ice, low contrast between neighboring ice cover, or dark or sediment-covered ice, where icebergs may be misclassified as brash ice about 20% of the time. OBIA is a powerful image classification tool, and the method we present could be adapted and applied to other ice habitats, such as sea ice, to assess changes in ice characteristics and availability.

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Enamel ultrastructure of fossil and modern pinnipeds: evaluating hypotheses of feeding adaptations in the extinct walrus Pelagiarctos.

This study aimed to assess the enamel ultrastructure in modern otariid pinnipeds and in the extinct walrus Pelagiarctos. Teeth of the New Zealand fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri), sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri), and fossil walrus Pelagiarctos thomasi were embedded, sectioned, etched, and analyzed via scanning electron microscopy. The enamel of NZ otariids and Pelagiarctos was prismatic and moderately thick, measuring 150-450 μm on average. It consisted of transversely oriented Hunter-Schreger bands (HSBs) from the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) to near the outer surface, where it faded into prismless enamel less than 10 μm thick. The width of HSB was variable and averaged between 6 and 10 prisms, and they presented an undulating course both in longitudinal and cross sections. The overall organization of the enamel was similar in all teeth sampled; however, the enamel was thicker in canines and postcanines than in incisors. The crowns of all teeth sampled were uniformly covered by enamel; however, the grooved incisors lacked an enamel cover on the posterior side of the buccal face. Large tubules and tuft-like structures were seen at the EDJ. HSB enamel as well as tubules and tufts at the EDJ suggest increased occlusal loads during feeding, a biomechanical adaptation to avoid enamel cracking and failure. Despite overall simplification in tooth morphology and reduced mastication, the fossil and modern pinnipeds analyzed here retained the complex undulating HSB structure of other fossils and living Carnivora, while other marine mammals such as cetaceans developed simplified radial enamel.

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