Science page: Comparing EWMAs

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

But first, we would like to congratulate our 4th-year student Hunter Baldry for receiving the ZinPro scholarship in recognition of her accomplishments as a food-animal student at the University of Minnesota. Keep up the good work, Hunter!

This week, the Science Page answers one of your questions: Is the trend of PRRSV outbreaks recorded for the original 13 participants still related to the PRRSV outbreaks evolution monitored for all the MSHMP participants?

Key points from this week edition:

  • The EWMA of the original 13 participating systems is still a good representation of the overall EWMA.
  • Questions from participants are always welcome!

Reminder: What is the EWMA?

The Exponential Weighted Moving Average (EMWA) is a statistical method that averages data over time, continually decreasing the weight of data as it moves further back in time.  An EWMA chart is particularly good at monitoring processes that drift over time and is used to detect small shifts in a trend.

In our project, EWMA is used to follow the evolution of the % of farms at risk that broke with PRRSV every week. EWMA incorporates all the weekly percentages recorded since the beginning of the project and gives less and less weight to the results as they are more removed in time. Therefore, the % of farms at risk that broke with PRRSV last week will have much more influence on the EMWA than the % of farms at risk that broke with PRRSV during the same week last year.

Take a look at the original 13 and overall EMWAs.

 

 

 

Science page: Creating really strong passwords

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project.

Last week, we explained why we took the decision to change the name of the project to honor Bob and his dedication to the swine industry. The project continues, carrying his legacy.

Key points from this week edition:

  • Computer processing power keeps increasing at an alarming rate, allowing hackers to greatly increase their password cracking capabilities.
  • Hackers’ password cracking tools can crack weak passwords in no more than a couple of hours of execution. The same tools will take millions of years to crack a strong password.
  • Whenever password cracking is mentioned in this article, it should be assumed that the password is encrypted using a strong cryptographic hash algorithm such as scrypt: http://www.tarsnap.com/scrypt.html

So what makes a strong password in the end? Read our full paper on the topic.

Science page: Evaluation of positive pressure filtration to reduce aerosol transmission of PRRSV during an experimental challenge of farm access points

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

Key points from this week edition:

  • Dilute vaccine aerosolization combined with novel environmental sampling techniques allowed for testing of PRRSV aerosol entry into Positive Pressure Filtration (PPF) farm access points.
  • Under the experimental conditions of this study, positive pressure air speeds >1.85m/s resulted in no aerosol transmission.
  • Ensuring adequate positive pressure air speed through steps taken to increase access point pressure can further reduce the risk of aerosol PRRSV transmission on PPF farms.

The full report on positive pressure filtration and PRRSV transmission via aerosols is available.

Science page: Mycoplasma hyorhinis and conjunctivitis in pigs

This is our new Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

Key points from this week’s edition:

Conjunctivitis in pigs has been associated with various infectious agents, among them, Mycoplasma hyorhinis.
We investigated various outbreaks of conjunctivitis in pigs without apparent non-infectious predisposing factors.
Eye swabs and tissues from animals with conjunctivitis and non-affected contact pen mates were positive for M.hyorhinis by PCR and culture.
The exact role of Mycoplasmas in the development of conjunctivitis in pigs is still unclear.
The full report with pictures of the lesions is now available.

NEW: Read the Swine Health Monitoring Project – Science Page here, every Friday

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The Swine Health Monitoring Project (SHMP) is a National program coordinated by Dr. Bob Morrison from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. The goal of this initiative is to monitor the incidence and prevalence of relevant swine diseases in the US such as Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) or Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) for example. Participants are voluntarily sharing the health status of their farms in order to better understand, and in the future, control these illnesses. Each week participants receive a report including a one-page summary of a scientific fact of interest. From now on, the Science Page will be published on the blog here, every Friday.

This week’s edition

All of the previous Science Pages are compiled here.
If you want to know more about the Swine Health Monitoring Project, an article from the National Hog Farmer and one  from the Swine Health Information Center will give you an overview of the program and its goals.