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05 Jun 2023 at 01:36
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Bibliography on: Corvids (crows, jays, etc)


Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 05 Jun 2023 at 01:36 Created: 

Corvids (crows, jays, etc)

Wikipedia: Corvidae (crows, jays, etc) is a cosmopolitan family of oscine passerine birds that contains the crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, treepies, choughs, and nutcrackers. In common English, they are known as the crow family, or, more technically, corvids. Over 120 species are described. The genus Corvus, including the jackdaws, crows, rooks, and ravens, makes up over a third of the entire family. Corvids display remarkable intelligence for animals of their size and are among the most intelligent birds thus far studied. Specifically, members of the family have demonstrated self-awareness in mirror tests (European magpies) and tool-making ability (crows, rooks), skills which until recently were thought to be possessed only by humans and a few other higher mammals. Their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to that of great apes and cetaceans, and only slightly lower than in humans. They are medium to large in size, with strong feet and bills, rictal bristles, and a single moult each year (most passerines moult twice). Corvids are found worldwide except for the tip of South America and the polar ice caps. The majority of the species are found in tropical South and Central America, southern Asia and Eurasia, with fewer than 10 species each in Africa and Australasia. The genus Corvus has re-entered Australia in relatively recent geological prehistory, with five species and one subspecies there. Several species of raven have reached oceanic islands, and some of these species are now highly threatened with extinction or have already gone extinct.

Created with PubMed® Query: (corvus[TIAB] OR corvid[TIAB] OR OR corvids[TIAB] OR corvidae[TIAB] OR crow[TIAB] OR crows[TIAB] OR raven[TIAB] OR ravens[TIAB] OR jay[TIAB] OR jays[TIAB] OR magpie[TIAB] OR magpies[TIAB] OR jackdaw[TIAB] OR jackdaws[TIAB]) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-06-02

de Winter JCF, Dodou D, YB Eisma (2023)

Responses to Raven matrices: Governed by visual complexity and centrality.

Perception [Epub ahead of print].

Raven matrices are widely considered a pure test of cognitive abilities. Previous research has examined the extent to which cognitive strategies are predictive of the number of correct responses to Raven items. This study examined whether response times can be explained directly from the centrality and visual complexity of the matrix cells (edge density and perceived complexity). A total of 159 participants completed a 12-item version of the Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices. In addition to item number (an index of item difficulty), the findings demonstrated a positive correlation between the visual complexity of Raven items and both the mean response time and the number of fixations on the matrix (a strong correlate of response time). Moreover, more centrally placed cells as well as more complex cells received more fixations. It is concluded that response times on Raven matrices are impacted by low-level stimulus attributes, namely, visual complexity and eccentricity.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Cohen G, Jakus J, Portillo M, et al (2023)

In vitro, ex vivo, and clinical evaluation of anti-aging gel containing EPA and CBD.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Skin aging manifestation, such as coarse wrinkles, loss of elasticity, pigmentation, and rough-textured appearance, is a multifactorial process that can be exacerbated by air pollution, smoking, poor nutrition, and sun exposure. Exposure to UV radiation is considered the primary cause of extrinsic skin aging and accounts for about 80% of facial aging. Extrinsic skin aging signs can be reduced with demo-cosmetic formulations. Both cannabidiol (CBD) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) have been previously suggested as potent active dermatological ingredients.

AIMS: The objective of the current research was to evaluate the compatibility of both agents in the prevention and treatment of skin aging. First, the impact of both agents was assessed using standard photoaging models of UV-induced damage, both in vitro (HaCaT cells) and ex vivo (human skin organ culture). Then, a clinical validation study (n = 33) was performed using an optimized topical cream formulation tested at different time points (up to Day 56).

RESULTS: EPA was found to potentiate the protective effects of CBD by reducing the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and interleukin-8 (IL-8), two primary inflammatory agents associated with photoaging. In addition, a qualitative histological examination signaled that applying the cream may result in an increase in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling following UV radiation. This was also evidenced clinically by a reduction of crow's feet wrinkle area and volume, as well as a reduction of fine line wrinkle volume as measured by the AEVA system. The well-established age-dependent subepidermal low-echogenic band (SLEB) was also reduced by 8.8%. Additional clinical results showed significantly reduced red spots area and count, and an increase in skin hydration and elasticity by 31.2% and 25.6% following 56 days of cream application, respectively. These impressive clinical results correlated with high satisfaction ratings by the study participants.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, the results show a profound anti-aging impact of the developed formulation and strengthen the beneficial derm-cosmetic properties of CBD-based products.

RevDate: 2023-06-01

Apostel A, Hahn LA, J Rose (2023)

Jackdaws form categorical prototypes based on experience with category exemplars.

Brain structure & function [Epub ahead of print].

Categorization represents one cognitive ability fundamental to animal behavior. Grouping of elements based on perceptual or semantic features helps to reduce processing resources and facilitates appropriate behavior. Corvids master complex categorization, yet the detailed categorization learning strategies are less well understood. We trained two jackdaws on a delayed match to category paradigm using a novel, artificial stimulus type, RUBubbles. Both birds learned to differentiate between two session-unique categories following two distinct learning protocols. Categories were either introduced via central category prototypes (low variability approach) or using a subset of diverse category exemplars from which diagnostic features had to be identified (high variability approach). In both versions, the stimulus similarity relative to a central category prototype explained categorization performance best. Jackdaws consistently used a central prototype to judge category membership, regardless of whether this prototype was used to introduce distinct categories or had to be inferred from multiple exemplars. Reliance on a category prototype occurred already after experiencing only a few trials with different category exemplars. High stimulus set variability prolonged initial learning but showed no consistent beneficial effect on later generalization performance. High numbers of stimuli, their perceptual similarity, and coherent category structure resulted in a prototype-based strategy, reflecting the most adaptive, efficient, and parsimonious way to represent RUBubble categories. Thus, our birds represent a valuable comparative animal model that permits further study of category representations throughout learning in different regions of a brain producing highly cognitive behavior.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Memisevic H, Dedic A, D Malec (2023)

The Relative Strengths of Relationships Between Fine Motor Skills, Working Memory, Processing Speed and Fluid Intelligence in Early Elementary School Children.

Perceptual and motor skills [Epub ahead of print].

The goal in the present paper was to examine the combined and relative impact of fine motor ability, auditory working memory, and processing speed on fluid intelligence in a sample of early elementary school students. Our participant sample was 145 children (Mage = 9.1 years, SD = 1.1; 80 boys, 65 girls). We used the Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices Test as a measure of fluid intelligence and five other measures to represent the three predictor variables: the Grooved Pegboard Test as a measure of fine motor skills, Digit Span Forwards and Digit Span Backwards tests as measures of working memory, and Rapid Automatized Naming and Letter-Digit Substitution tasks as measures of processing speed. Regression analyses indicated that only two of these measures had a statistically significant association with the fluid intelligence test scores, namely, scores on the Grooved Pegboard (fine motor skills) and Digit Span Backwards (working memory) tests, with these two measures explaining 35% of the variance in the fluid intelligence test scores. Thus, fine motor skills and working memory were correlated with fluid intelligence in early elementary-grade students. Until the directions of these relationships are better understood, we might assume that interventions aiming to increase young children's fluid intelligence, or at least their intelligence scores, might partly target working memory and fine motor skills.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Jensen TR, Zeiträg C, M Osvath (2023)

The selfish preen: absence of allopreening in Palaeognathae and its socio-cognitive implications.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

Preening behaviours are widespread in extant birds. While most birds appear to autopreen (self-directed preening), allopreening (preening directed at conspecifics) seems to have emerged only in certain species, but across many families. Allopreening has been hypothesised to reinforce mutual relationships and cooperation between individuals, and to underpin various socio-cognitive abilities. Palaeognathae is a bird group exhibiting neurocognitively plesiomorphic traits compared to other birds. They share many features with non-avian paravian dinosaurs and are thus important for the study of cognitive evolution in birds. Despite this, and the important correlation of allopreening with many complicated social behaviours, allopreening has not been systematically studied in Palaeognathae. Therefore, we examined the preening behaviours in four species of palaeognaths: common ostriches (Struthio camelus), greater rheas (Rhea americana), emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae), and elegant crested tinamous (Eudromia elegans). We compared findings with common ravens (Corvus corax), a neognath species known for its allopreening and complex social cognition. We found autopreening, but no allopreening, in the palaeognath species, while both autopreening and allopreening was found in common ravens. The absence of allopreening in Palaeognathae suggests an emergence of this behaviour within Neognathae. We contextualise our results in relation to the socio-cognitive underpinnings of allopreening and its implications for the understanding of the evolution of socio-cognitive abilities in non-avian paravian dinosaurs and early birds.

RevDate: 2023-05-31
CmpDate: 2023-05-31

Rachel M, Jia H, Amina A, et al (2023)

Psychometric evaluation of the computerized battery for neuropsychological evaluation of children (BENCI) among school aged children in the context of HIV in an urban Kenyan setting.

BMC psychiatry, 23(1):373.

INTRODUCTION: Culturally validated neurocognitive measures for children in Low- and Middle-Income Countries are important in the timely and correct identification of neurocognitive impairments. Such measures can inform development of interventions for children exposed to additional vulnerabilities like HIV infection. The Battery for Neuropsychological Evaluation of Children (BENCI) is an openly available, computerized neuropsychological battery specifically developed to evaluate neurocognitive impairment. This study adapted the BENCI and evaluated its reliability and validity in Kenya.

METHODOLOGY: The BENCI was adapted using translation and back-translation from Spanish to English. The psychometric properties were evaluated in a case-control study of 328 children (aged 6 - 14 years) living with HIV and 260 children not living with HIV in Kenya. We assessed reliability, factor structure, and measurement invariance with respect to HIV. Additionally, we examined convergent validity of the BENCI using tests from the Kilifi Toolkit.

RESULTS: Internal consistencies (0.49 < α < 0.97) and test-retest reliabilities (-.34 to .81) were sufficient-to-good for most of the subtests. Convergent validity was supported by significant correlations between the BENCI's Verbal memory and Kilifi's Verbal List Learning (r = .41), the BENCI's Visual memory and Kilifi's Verbal List Learning (r = .32) and the BENCI's Planning total time test and Kilifi's Tower Test (r = -.21) and the BENCI's Abstract Reasoning test and Kilifi's Raven's Progressive Matrix (r = .21). The BENCI subtests highlighted meaningful differences between children living with HIV and those not living with HIV. After some minor adaptions, a confirmatory four-factor model consisting of flexibility, fluency, reasoning and working memory fitted well (χ[2] = 135.57, DF = 51, N = 604, p < .001, RMSEA = .052, CFI = .944, TLI = .914) and was partially scalar invariant between HIV positive and negative groups.

CONCLUSION: The English version of the BENCI formally translated for use in Kenya can be further adapted and integrated in clinical and research settings as a valid and reliable cognitive test battery.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Herring G, Eagles-Smith CA, JA Buck (2023)

Anticoagulant rodenticides are associated with increased stress and reduced body condition of avian scavengers in the Pacific Northwest.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) pii:S0269-7491(23)00901-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Anticoagulant rodenticides (AR) have been used globally to manage commensal rodents for decades. However their application has also resulted in primary, secondary, and tertiary poisoning in wildlife. Widespread exposure to ARs (primarily second generation ARs; SGARs) in raptors and avian scavengers has triggered considerable conservation concern over their potential effects on populations. To identify risk to extant raptor and avian scavenger populations in Oregon and potential future risk to the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) flock recently established in northern California, we assessed AR exposure and physiological responses in two avian scavenger species (common ravens [Corvus corax] and turkey vultures [Cathartes aura]) throughout Oregon between 2013 and 2019. AR exposure was widespread with 51% (35/68) of common ravens and 86% (63/73) of turkey vultures containing AR residues. The more acutely toxic SGAR brodifacoum was present in 83% and 90% of AR exposed common ravens and turkey vultures. The odds of AR exposure in common ravens were 4.7-fold higher along the coastal region compared to interior Oregon. For common ravens and turkey vultures that were exposed to ARs, respectively, 54% and 56% had concentrations that exceeded the 5% probability of toxicosis (>20 ng/g ww; Thomas et al., 2011), and 20% and 5% exceeded the 20% probability of toxicosis (>80 ng/g ww; Thomas et al., 2011). Common ravens exhibited a physiological response to AR exposure with fecal corticosterone metabolites increasing with sum ARs (ΣAR) concentrations. Both female common raven and turkey vultures' body condition was negatively correlated with increasing ΣAR concentrations. Our results suggest avian scavengers in Oregon are experiencing extensive AR exposure and the newly established population of California condors in northern California will likely experience similar AR exposure if they feed in southern Oregon. Understanding the sources of ARs across the landscape is an important first step in reducing or eliminating AR exposure in avian scavengers.

RevDate: 2023-05-29
CmpDate: 2023-05-29

McKinley M, Rowland N, M Leshem (2023)

The Hunger for Salt: A Tribute to Derek Denton and Jay Schulkin with an Updated Collection of Papers on Salt Appetite.

Nutrients, 15(10):.

This collection of outstanding papers is a trove for all concerned with salt intake [...].

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Waples RS, TE Reed (2023)

Null Models for the Opportunity for Selection.

The American naturalist, 201(6):779-793.

AbstractCrow's "opportunity for selection" (I=variance in relative fitness) is an important albeit controversial eco-evolutionary concept, particularly regarding the most appropriate null model(s). Here, we treat this topic in a comprehensive way by considering opportunities for both fertility selection (If) and viability selection (Im) for discrete generations, both seasonal and lifetime reproductive success in age-structured species, and experimental designs that include either a full or partial life cycle, with complete enumeration or random subsampling. For each scenario, a null model that includes random demographic stochasticity can be constructed that follows Crow's initial formulation that I=If+Im. The two components of I are qualitatively different. Whereas an adjusted If (ΔIf) can be computed that accounts for random demographic stochasticity in offspring number, Im cannot be similarly adjusted in the absence of data on phenotypic traits under viability selection. Including as potential parents some individuals that die before reproductive age produces an overall zero-inflated Poisson null model. It is always important to remember that (1) Crow's I represents only the opportunity for selection and not selection itself and (2) the species' biology can lead to random stochasticity in offspring number that is either overdispersed or underdispersed compared with the Poisson (Wright-Fisher) expectation.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Han Y, Xiang H, Cao J, et al (2023)

Study on optimization of multi-UAV nucleic acid sample delivery paths in large cities under the influence of epidemic environment.

Journal of ambient intelligence and humanized computing, 14(6):7593-7620.

In the context of global novel coronavirus infection, we studied the distribution problem of nucleic acid samples, which are medical supplies with high urgency. A multi-UAV delivery model of nucleic acid samples with time windows and a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) dynamics model for multiple distribution centers is established by considering UAVs' impact cost and trajectory cost. The Golden Eagle optimization algorithm (SGDCV-GEO) based on gradient optimization and Corsi variation is proposed to solve the model by introducing gradient optimization and Corsi variation strategy in the Golden Eagle optimization algorithm. Performance evaluation by optimizing test functions, Friedman and Nemenyi test compared with Golden Jackal Optimization (GJO), Hunter-Prey Optimization (HPO), Pelican Optimization Algorithm (POA), Reptile Search Algorithm (RSA) and Golden Eagle Optimization (GEO), the convergence performance of SGDCV-GEO algorithm was demonstrated. Further, the improved RRT (Rapidly-exploring Random Trees) algorithm is used in the UAV path planning, and the pruning process and logistic chaotic mapping strategy are introduced in the path generation method. Finally, simulation experiments are conducted based on 8 hospitals and 50 randomly selected communities in the Pudong district of Shanghai, southern China. The experimental results show that the developed algorithm can effectively reduce the delivery cost and total delivery time compared with simulated annealing algorithm (SA), crow search algorithm (CSA), particle swarm algorithm (PSO), and taboo search algorithm (TS), and the developed algorithm has good uniformity, robustness, and high convergence accuracy, which can be effectively applied to the multi-UAV nucleic acid sample delivery path optimization in large cities under the influence of an epidemic environment.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Johnson J, Soehnlen M, HM Blankenship (2023)

Long read genome assemblers struggle with small plasmids.

Microbial genomics, 9(5):.

Whole-genome sequencing has become a preferred method for studying bacterial plasmids, as it is generally assumed to capture the entire genome. However, long-read genome assemblers have been shown to sometimes miss plasmid sequences - an issue that has been associated with plasmid size. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between plasmid size and plasmid recovery by the long-read-only assemblers, Flye, Raven, Miniasm, and Canu. This was accomplished by determining the number of times each assembler successfully recovered 33 plasmids, ranging from 1919 to 194 062 bp in size and belonging to 14 bacterial isolates from six bacterial genera, using Oxford Nanopore long reads. These results were additionally compared to plasmid recovery rates by the short-read-first assembler, Unicycler, using both Oxford Nanopore long reads and Illumina short reads. Results from this study indicate that Canu, Flye, Miniasm, and Raven are prone to missing plasmid sequences, whereas Unicycler was successful at recovering 100 % of plasmid sequences. Excluding Canu, most plasmid loss by long-read-only assemblers was due to failure to recover plasmids smaller than 10 kb. As such, it is recommended that Unicycler be used to increase the likelihood of plasmid recovery during bacterial genome assembly.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Majji R, G OPP, Rajeswari R, et al (2023)

Smart IoT in Breast Cancer Detection Using Optimal Deep Learning.

Journal of digital imaging [Epub ahead of print].

IoT in healthcare systems is currently a viable option for providing higher-quality medical care for contemporary e-healthcare. Using an Internet of Things (IoT)-based smart healthcare system, a trustworthy breast cancer classification method called Feedback Artificial Crow Search (FACS)-based Shepherd Convolutional Neural Network (ShCNN) is developed in this research. To choose the best routes, the secure routing operation is first carried out using the recommended FACS while taking fitness measures such as distance, energy, link quality, and latency into account. Then, by merging the Crow Search Algorithm (CSA) and Feedback Artificial Tree, the produced FACS is put into practice (FAT). After the completion of routing phase, the breast cancer categorization process is started at the base station. The feature extraction step is then introduced to the pre-processed input mammography image. As a result, it is possible to successfully get features including area, mean, variance, energy, contrast, correlation, skewness, homogeneity, Gray Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM), and Local Gabor Binary Pattern (LGBP). The quality of the image is next enhanced through data augmentation, and finally, the developed FACS algorithm's ShCNN is used to classify breast cancer. The performance of FACS-based ShCNN is examined using six metrics, including energy, delay, accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and True Positive Rate (TPR), with the maximum energy of 0.562 J, the least delay of 0.452 s, the highest accuracy of 91.56%, the higher sensitivity of 96.10%, the highest specificity of 91.80%, and the maximum TPR of 99.45%.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Brea J, Clayton NS, W Gerstner (2023)

Computational models of episodic-like memory in food-caching birds.

Nature communications, 14(1):2979.

Birds of the crow family adapt food-caching strategies to anticipated needs at the time of cache recovery and rely on memory of the what, where and when of previous caching events to recover their hidden food. It is unclear if this behavior can be explained by simple associative learning or if it relies on higher cognitive processes like mental time-travel. We present a computational model and propose a neural implementation of food-caching behavior. The model has hunger variables for motivational control, reward-modulated update of retrieval and caching policies and an associative neural network for remembering caching events with a memory consolidation mechanism for flexible decoding of the age of a memory. Our methodology of formalizing experimental protocols is transferable to other domains and facilitates model evaluation and experiment design. Here, we show that memory-augmented, associative reinforcement learning without mental time-travel is sufficient to explain the results of 28 behavioral experiments with food-caching birds.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Federspiel IG, Schmitt V, Schuster R, et al (2023)

Are you better than me? Social comparisons in carrion crows (Corvus corone).

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

Comparing oneself to others is a key process in humans that allows individuals to gauge their performances and abilities and thus develop and calibrate their self-image. Little is known about its evolutionary foundations. A key feature of social comparison is the sensitivity to other individuals' performance. Recent studies on primates produced equivocal results, leading us to distinguish between a 'strong' variant of the social comparison hypothesis formulated for humans and a 'weak' variant found in non-human primates that would comprise some elements of human social comparison. Here, we focus on corvids that are distantly related to primates and renowned for their socio-cognitive skills. We were interested in whether crows' task performances were influenced (i) by the presence of a conspecific co-actor performing the same discrimination task and (ii) by the simulated acoustic cues of a putative co-actor performing better or worse than themselves. Crows reached a learning criterion quicker when tested simultaneously as compared to when tested alone, indicating a facilitating effect of social context. The performance of a putative co-actor influenced their performance: crows were better at discriminating familiar images when their co-actor was better than they were. Standard extremity (how pronounced the difference was between the performance of the subject and that of the co-actor), and category membership (affiliation status and sex), of the putative co-actors had no effect on their performance. Our findings are in line with the 'weak' variant of social comparison and indicate that elements of human social comparison can be found outside of primates.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Cao L, Chen H, Chen Y, et al (2023)

Bio-Inspired Swarm Intelligence Optimization Algorithm-Aided Hybrid TDOA/AOA-Based Localization.

Biomimetics (Basel, Switzerland), 8(2): pii:biomimetics8020186.

A TDOA/AOA hybrid location algorithm based on the crow search algorithm optimized by particle swarm optimization is proposed to address the challenge of solving the nonlinear equation of time of arrival (TDOA/AOA) location in the non-line-of-sight (NLoS) environment. This algorithm keeps its optimization mechanism on the basis of enhancing the performance of the original algorithm. To obtain a better fitness value throughout the optimization process and increase the algorithm's optimization accuracy, the fitness function based on maximum likelihood estimation is modified. In order to speed up algorithm convergence and decrease needless global search without compromising population diversity, an initial solution is simultaneously added to the starting population location. Simulation findings demonstrate that the suggested method outperforms the TDOA/AOA algorithm and other comparable algorithms, including Taylor, Chan, PSO, CPSO, and basic CSA algorithms. The approach performs well in terms of robustness, convergence speed, and node positioning accuracy.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Peña-Ruiz LS, Unar-Munguía M, Colchero MA, et al (2023)

Breastfeeding is associated with the intelligence of school-age children in Mexico.

Maternal & child nutrition [Epub ahead of print].

Breastfeeding has been consistently associated with higher intelligence since childhood. However, this relation could be confounded due to maternal selection bias. We estimated the association between predominant breastfeeding and intelligence in school-age children considering potential selection bias and we simulated the intelligence gap reduction between low versus higher socioeconomic status children by increasing breastfeeding. We analysed predominant breastfeeding practices (breastmilk and water-based liquids) of children 0-3 years included in the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS-1). Intelligence was estimated as the z-score of the abbreviated Raven score, measured at 6-12 years in the MxFLS-2 or MxFLS-3. We predicted breastfeeding duration among children with censored data with a Poisson model. We used the Heckman selection model to assess the association between breastfeeding and intelligence, correcting for selection bias and stratified by socioeconomic status. Results show after controlling for selection bias, a 1-month increase in predominant breastfeeding duration was associated with a 0.02 SD increase in the Raven z-score (p < 0.05). The children who were predominantly breastfed for 4-6 months versus <1 month had 0.16 SD higher Raven z-score (p < 0.05). No associations were found using multiple linear regression models. Among low socioeconomic status children, increasing predominantly breastfeeding duration to 6 months would increase their mean Raven z-score from -0.14 to -0.07 SD and reduce by 12.5% the intelligence gap with high socioeconomic status children. In conclusion, predominant breastfeeding duration was significantly associated with childhood intelligence after controlling for maternal selection bias. Increased breastfeeding duration may reduce poverty-driven intelligence inequities.

RevDate: 2023-05-17

Jiang L, Liang G, Li Y, et al (2023)

Does microneedle fractional radiofrequency system inactivate botulinum toxin type A?.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The combination of botulinum toxin type A (BoNT/A) and energy equipment have been widely used in the clinic.

AIMS: To determine whether the energy of microneedle fractional radiofrequency (MFR) affects the efficacy of BoNT/A and to provide an optimal strategy for the energy device in combination with BoNT/A in the clinic.

METHODS: First, a total of 45 females with moderate-to-severe periorbital crow's feet wrinkles were enrolled and divided into three groups according to different treatment methods and intervals, including BoNT/A injection alone, BoNT/A injected immediately after MFR treatment and BoNT/A injected 7 days after MFR treatment. The photographs were compared before treatment and 4 weeks after treatment. Then, the mouse models were established by combining MFR with BoNT/A at different intervals, to evaluate muscle strength, muscle mass, muscle nutritional markers, and important cytokines levels.

RESULTS: All patients in each group had high satisfaction. The MFR + BoNT/A (immediately) group could improve dynamic wrinkles, but the others had more significant efficacy (p < 0.05). The results of mouse models showed that all BoNT/A groups induced different degrees of muscle paralysis in vivo, but the paralytic effect induced by the BoNT/A group, MFR + BoNT/A (interval of 3-day) group, and MFR + BoNT/A (interval of 7-day) group were higher than others and the expression levels of muscle nutritional markers in NMJ tissues were significantly upregulated.

CONCLUSION: MFR has a certain reduction effect on the activity of BoNT/A, and this reduction effect would last for 3 days after MFR treatment.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Radovics D, Szabolcs M, Lengyel S, et al (2023)

Hide or die when the winds bring wings: predator avoidance by activity shift in a mountain snake.

Frontiers in zoology, 20(1):17.

BACKGROUND: Understanding predator-prey relationships is fundamental in many areas of ecology and conservation. In reptiles, basking time often increases the risk of predation and one way to minimise this risk is to reduce activity time and to stay within a refuge. However, this implies costs of lost opportunities for foraging, reproduction, and thermoregulation. We aimed to determine the main potential and observed predators of Vipera graeca, to infer predation pressure by estimating the incidence and the body length and sex distribution of predation events based on body injuries, and to assess whether and how the activity of V. graeca individuals is modified by predation pressure.

RESULTS: We observed n = 12 raptor bird species foraging at the study sites, of which Circaetus gallicus, Falco tinnunculus and Corvus cornix were directly observed as predators of V. graeca. We found injuries and wounds on 12.5% of the studied individuals (n = 319). The occurrence of injuries was significantly positively influenced by the body length of vipers, and was more frequent on females than on males, while the interaction of length and sex showed a significant negative effect. The temporal overlap between predator and viper activity was much greater for the vipers' potential activity than their realised activity. Vipers showed a temporal shift in their bimodal daily activity pattern as they were active earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon than could be expected based on the thermal conditions.

CONCLUSION: The time spent being active on the surface has costs to snakes: predation-related injuries increased in frequency with length, were more frequent in females than in males and occurred in shorter length for males than for females. Our results suggest that vipers do not fully exploit the thermally optimal time window available to them, likely because they shift their activity to periods with fewer avian predators.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Yu F, Wang X, Zhao Y, et al (2023)

Influence of age, breeding state and approach direction on sensitivity to human gaze: a field study on Azure-winged magpies.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

In predator-prey interactions, various factors affect the prey's perception of risk and decision to flee. Gaze sensitivity, the ability to react to the presence, direction, or movement of the head and eyes, has been reported in many birds. However, few studies have focussed on variation in sensitivity to human gaze in relation to other risks and potential breeding costs. Here, we studied the influence of human gaze on the escape behaviour of Azure-winged magpies (Cyanopica cyanus) and investigated the effects of breeding state (breeding season and nonbreeding season) and approach direction on gaze sensitivity. In Experiment 1, we tested whether magpies showed different sensitivities to human gaze according to age class and breeding state when approached directly. The results showed that the breeding state could affect the flight initiation distance (FID), with adults in the breeding season having a shorter FID compared to those in the nonbreeding season. Meanwhile, only adults were found to be averse to direct human gaze and juveniles showed no sensitivity. In Experiment 2, we conducted three different gaze treatments on adult magpies in the breeding season under three bypass distances (0 m, 2.5 m, 5 m). The results showed that approach direction had no effect on FID, while the sensitivity to human gaze differed under three bypass distances. Adults could clearly recognise human head and eye direction at a certain bypass distance (2.5 m). Our study reveals the cognitive ability of Azure-winged magpies to human head and eye direction and the effects of age, breeding state and approach direction, which may provide further insights into human-wildlife interactions, especially for birds in urban habitats.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Nieto-Benito LM, A Mateos-Mayo (2023)

A capricious hamartoma: Round and Velvety Epidermal Nevus (RAVEN).

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Hyeon JY, Helal ZH, Appel A, et al (2023)

Whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of West Nile viruses from animals in New England, United States, 2021.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 10:1085554.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne Flavivirus which is the leading cause of global arboviral encephalitis. We sequenced WNVs from an American crow found in Connecticut and an alpaca found in Massachusetts which were submitted to the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (CVMDL). We report here the complete protein-coding sequences (CDS) of the WNVs (WNV 21-3957/USA CT/Crow/2021 and WNV 21-3782/USA MA/Alpaca/2021) and their phylogenetic relationship with other WNVs recovered from across the United States. In the phylogenetic analysis, the WNVs from this study belonged to the WNV lineage 1. The WNV 21-3957/USA CT/Crow/2021 clustered with WNVs from a mosquito and birds in New York during 2007-2013. Interestingly, the virus detected in the alpaca, WNV 21-3782/USA MA/Alpaca/2021 clustered with WNVs from mosquitos in New York, Texas, and Arizona during 2012-2016. The genetic differences between the viruses detected during the same season in an American crow and an alpaca suggest that vector-host feeding preferences are most likely driving viral transmission. The CDS of the WNVs and their phylogenetic relationships with other WNVs established in this study would be useful as reference data for future investigations on WNVs. Seasonal surveillance of WNV in birds and mammals and the genetic characterization of detected viruses are necessary to monitor patterns of disease presentations and viral evolution within a geographical area.

RevDate: 2023-05-14

Wan G, Zhao H, Liu X, et al (2023)

Predation of Daurian redstarts offspring in nest boxes by the Oriental magpie-robin and tree sparrow.

Ecology and evolution, 13(5):e10093 pii:ECE310093.

Birds select suitable nest sites for breeding to ensure their own and offspring's survival; however, they inevitably suffer some potential predation risk. We studied the breeding ecology of Daurian redstarts (Phoenicurus auroreus) by providing nest boxes for their breeding from March to August of 2022. We recorded the predation of both Daurian redstarts eggs or nestlings by Oriental magpie-robins (Copsychus saularis) and tree sparrow (Passer montanus). Oriental magpie-robin were recorded attacking a feeding female adult and depredating nestlings. After the nestling predation event, the Daurian redstarts abandoned the nest. This video evidence provide a better understanding of the potential predators of cavity-nesting birds.

RevDate: 2023-05-14

Hamal S, Sharma HP, Gautam R, et al (2023)

Drivers of power line collisions and electrocutions of birds in Nepal.

Ecology and evolution, 13(5):e10080 pii:ECE310080.

Among the several anthropogenic factors, power lines are increasingly regarded as one of the most significant hazards to bird species, primarily owing to collisions and electrocutions. Nepal has comparatively fewer studies on the impact of power line collisions and electrocution on birds compared with developed nations. From November 2021 to May 2022, we assessed the effect of power line collisions and electrocutions on the mortality of birds in the Putalibazar Municipality of the Syangja district of Nepal. We established 117 circular plots in diverse habitats, including agricultural lands, forests, settlements, and river basins, along a 30.6 km long distribution line. Within 18 plots, we detected 43 fatalities of 11 species (17 individuals of six species due to collision and 26 individuals of eight species due to electrocution). House Swift (Apus nipalensis) and Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) were the primary victims of the collision, whereas House Crow (Corvus splendens) and Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) were frequently observed electrocuted. We also recorded the electrocution of the critically endangered White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis). The total rate of bird power line collisions per kilometer was 0.55 birds, while the total electrocution rate per 10 poles was 2.22. The bird abundance, distance to agricultural regions, and proximity to human settlements were found to have a strong relationship with the mortality of birds caused by power lines. In order to reduce power line collisions and electrocution fatalities, we recommend conducting a detailed bird population study prior to determining the route of distribution lines.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Beauchamp G, S Barve (2023)

Multiple Sentinels in a Cooperative Breeder Synchronize Rather Than Coordinate Gazing.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(9): pii:ani13091524.

Sentinels can detect predators and rivals early by monitoring their surroundings from vantage points. Multiple sentinels in a group may reduce the perceived predation risk by diluting the risk and increasing collective detection, especially if sentinels monitor different areas at the same time. We investigated sentinel behavior in groups of the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma caerulescens). Sentinels in this species turn their heads frequently to monitor different areas for threats. As predicted, we found that sentinels turned their heads less frequently in the presence of other sentinels. Multiple sentinels, however, tended to gaze in the same direction at the same time more often than predicted by chance alone. Gaze synchronization reduces the efficiency of collective detection by reducing visual coverage at any one time at the group level. Despite the benefits of the presence of other sentinels, our results highlight the limits to collective detection when multiple individuals are vigilant at the same time.

RevDate: 2023-05-11

Madden JR, Buckley R, S Ratcliffe (2023)

Large-scale correlations between gamebird release and management and animal biodiversity metrics in lowland Great Britain.

Ecology and evolution, 13(5):e10059 pii:ECE310059.

The ecological effects on populations of non-game species driven by the annual release and management of tens of millions of gamebirds for recreational shooting are complex and relatively poorly understood. We investigated these effects at a national scale, considering multiple taxa simultaneously. We used records from the UK National Biodiversity Network Atlas to compare animal species and diversity metrics previously suggested to be affected by behaviors of the released birds, or because resources or habitats are influenced by game management or both processes. We contrasted records from 1 km grid squares where gamebirds were reported released in Great Britain, and control squares with similar land cover but where no releases were reported. There were more records overall reported from release grid squares (RGS) compared with controls (CGS), perhaps due to greater reporting effort or greater biological richness. We found fewer foxes in RGS and fewest in grid squares with largest releases, but more carrion crows in RGS. We found no consistent effects for buzzards, ravens, jays, or magpies. There were more rodents and gray squirrels reported from RGS but no differences for reptiles. There were more butterflies but fewer beetles reported from RGS but no consistent patterns for Orthoptera or ground beetles considered common gamebird prey. Farmland and woodland birds exhibited higher abundance, richness, and diversity in RGS when considering absolute records, but woodland bird abundance and richness were lower when correcting for the relative number of records. These nationwide results, despite crude data resolution, reveal diverse effects of gamebird release and management at a national scale and across trophic levels, increasing some non-game animal populations while decreasing others. This should alert practitioners, opponents, and legislators that a focus on single taxa effects, either positive or negative, may obscure the simultaneous changes in other taxa.

RevDate: 2023-05-10

Basak S, B Bhattacharyya (2023)

Optimal scheduling in demand-side management based grid-connected microgrid system by hybrid optimization approach considering diverse wind profiles.

ISA transactions pii:S0019-0578(23)00196-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Demand side management (DSM) is one of the trending economic strategies which shifts the elastic demand to the off-peak hours from the peak hours so as to reduce the overall generation cost of the system. The work done in this paper can be categorized in three phases. In the first phase, various wind speed to power conversion mathematical models available in literature are analysed to find out the one with maximum level of wind penetration. For second phase, an economic DSM strategy is implemented to restructure the forecasted load demand model for various participation levels. In the final phase the cost-effective optimization of two microgrid distribution systems are percolated. As an optimization tool, novel hybrid CSAJAYA has been used to carry on the study. Different types of grid participating and pricing strategies along with valve point loading effect and wind energy uncertainty are considered to amplify the complexity and practicality of the study. The generation costs reduced from 3 to 5% when the forecasted demand was reformed with 20% DSM participation for both the test systems. A detailed comparison with the results from various optimization tools studied confirms the effectiveness of the proposed hybrid approach. The hybrid optimization tool presented in this paper performs better in terms of central tendencies, nonparametric statistical analysis, and algorithm execution time.

RevDate: 2023-05-08

Gibielle C, Bousseksou L, Guéhenneux S, et al (2023)

In a Preliminary Study on Human Subjects, a Cosmetic Cream Containing a Harungana madagascariensis Plant Extract Induces Similar Anti-Aging Effects to a Retinol-Containing Cream.

Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 16:1051-1058 pii:401290.

Retinoids are the most effective anti-aging ingredients. Yet, their use can result in adverse reactions. Even bakuchiol, a natural functional analog, can lead to contact dermatitis. We previously showed that a Harungana madagascariensis (Lam. ex Poir.) plant extract (HME) presents retinol-like properties in vitro. Therefore, we performed a preliminary analysis of the anti-aging potential of a cream containing HME on 46 subjects. The participants applied a HME cream on half of their face and one forearm. The effects induced were compared to those produced by a retinol cream applied to the contralateral side. Clinical evaluations indicate that the two creams rapidly (28 days) improve wrinkles underneath the eyes, ptosis, color homogeneity, smoothness, plumpness, firmness, and elasticity of the facial skin. The improvement of crow's feet is only significant after 56 days. For all clinical signs, the effects of both creams are indistinguishable. Instrumental measurements of silicon replica from the eye contour region indicate that the wrinkle surface reduction is already noticeable after 28 days with the HME and retinol cream, while it takes 56 days to have a significant depth decrease. Only the retinol cream improves wrinkle length after 56 days. Ultrasound assessment of forearm skin revealed that the HME cream improves superficial dermis density as early as 28 days with further improvement at day 56, timepoint at which improvement is at the limit of significance with the retinol cream. These preliminary results indicate that HME has similar in vivo functional properties to retinol for reducing the severity of aging signs. Future works, including a bona fide clinical study, are needed to confirm these findings.

RevDate: 2023-05-03

Wagener L, A Nieder (2023)

Categorical representation of abstract spatial magnitudes in the executive telencephalon of crows.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(23)00461-X [Epub ahead of print].

The ability to group abstract continuous magnitudes into meaningful categories is cognitively demanding but key to intelligent behavior. To explore its neuronal mechanisms, we trained carrion crows to categorize lines of variable lengths into arbitrary "short" and "long" categories. Single-neuron activity in the nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL) of behaving crows reflected the learned length categories of visual stimuli. The length categories could be reliably decoded from neuronal population activity to predict the crows' conceptual decisions. NCL activity changed with learning when a crow was retrained with the same stimuli assigned to more categories with new boundaries ("short", "medium," and "long"). Categorical neuronal representations emerged dynamically so that sensory length information at the beginning of the trial was transformed into behaviorally relevant categorical representations shortly before the crows' decision making. Our data show malleable categorization capabilities for abstract spatial magnitudes mediated by the flexible networks of the crow NCL.

RevDate: 2023-05-03
CmpDate: 2023-05-03

Huang Y, Zhang Z, Deng C, et al (2023)

Highly efficient method for cutting position selection of an x-ray mono-capillary lens based on an improved SCA-CSA algorithm.

Applied optics, 62(13):3275-3283.

In order to efficiently select the optimal cutting position of x-ray mono-capillary lenses, an improved sine cosine algorithm-crow search algorithm (SCA-CSA) algorithm is proposed, which combines the sine cosine algorithm with the crow search algorithm, with further enhancements. The fabricated capillary profile is measured using an optical profiler; then the surface figure error for interest regions of the mono-capillary can be evaluated using the improved SCA-CSA algorithm. The experimental results indicate that the surface figure error in the final capillary cut region is about 0.138 µm, and the runtime is 2.284 s. When compared with the traditional metaheuristic algorithm, the particle swarm optimization algorithm, the improved SCA-CSA algorithm, enhances the surface figure error metric by two orders of magnitude. Furthermore, the standard deviation index of the surface figure error metric for 30 runs also improves by more than 10 orders of magnitude, demonstrating the superior performance and robustness of the algorithm. The proposed method provides significant support for the development of precise cuttings of mono-capillaries.

RevDate: 2023-04-29

Schütz M, H Braswell (2023)

Ethicizing history. Bioethical representations of Nazi medicine.

Bioethics [Epub ahead of print].

The article presents and analyzes different approaches of U.S. bioethicists in comprehending the Nazi medical crimes after 1945. The account is divided into two sections: one dealing with discussions on research ethics and the Nuremberg Code up until the 1970s and the other ranging from the 1970s to the present and highlighting bioethics' engagement with Nazi analogies. The portrayal of different bioethical scholars, institutions, and documents-most notably Henry K. Beecher, Jay Katz, the Belmont Report, the Hastings Center, Arthur L. Caplan, and Robert M. Veatch-provides a nuanced interpretation of the motives that bioethicists held and the strategies that they applied to establish an understanding of the Nazi medical crimes and their relation to contemporary bioethical issues. In this, the different approaches shared a common goal: To integrate the Nazi medical crimes into an ethical framework by means of selective acknowledgments and representation of their history.

RevDate: 2023-04-28

Li B, Chen J, N Howard (2023)

Community nursing delivery in urban China: A social power perspective.

Social science & medicine (1982), 326:115923 pii:S0277-9536(23)00280-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Community nurses remain understudied in research on interactional power, especially in China where community healthcare is an emerging practice. Grounded in French & Raven's typology of social power, this article conceptualises the power of community nurses in a Chinese urban context. Through thematic analysis of textual data from 26 semi-structured interviews and two additional focus group discussions with community nurses in Shenzhen, we identified six power varieties, i.e. indirect reward, indirect coercion, legitimate position, peer reference, field expertise, and caring information. We classified these powers trichotomously, as nurse-to-doctor, nurse-to-nurse, and nurse-to-patient, to show the potential influences nurses bring to healthcare relationships. Our analysis indicated nurses' exercise of some powers was constrained by two elements, i.e. doctor-nurse power polarity and patient prejudices against nursing, which together contributed to nurses' adverse power loss. These power adversities permeated the community health environment, contributing to healthcare delivery dysfunctions by undermining nurses' self-improvement, self-assurance, enthusiasm, and cooperation in care. Our analysis, using the insights of social power, develops a novel reading of community nursing delivery in urban China. We argue that nurse empowerment could promote community healthcare delivery. Role enhancement and pro-nursing policy development would reduce adverse power scenarios for community nurses and help convert their potential power resources into practical powers in support of patients' needs.

RevDate: 2023-04-27

Pallentin VS, Danner D, J Rummel (2023)

Construction and Validation of the HeiQ: An Operation-Oriented Figural Matrices Test.

Journal of Intelligence, 11(4): pii:jintelligence11040073.

Figural matrices tests are among the most popular and well-investigated tests used to assess inductive reasoning abilities. Solving these tests requires the selection of a target that completes a figural matrix among distractors. Despite their generally good psychometric properties, previous matrices tests have limitations associated with distractor construction that prevent them from realizing their full potential. Most tests allow participants to identify the correct response by eliminating distractors based on superficial features. The goal of this study was to develop a novel figural matrices test which is less prone to the use of response elimination strategies, and to test its psychometric properties. The new test consists of 48 items and was validated with N = 767 participants. Measurement models implied that the test is Rasch scalable, inferring a uniform underlying ability. The test showed good to very good reliability (retest-correlation: r = 0.88; Cronbach's alpha: α = 0.93; split-half reliability: r = 0.88) and good construct validity (r = 0.81 with the Raven Progressive Matrices Test, r = 0.73 with global intelligence scores of the Intelligence Structure Test 2000R, and r = 0.58 with the global score of the Berlin Intelligence Structure Test). It even superseded the Raven Progressive Matrices Tests in criterion-related validity (correlation with final year high school grades (r = -0.49 p < .001)). We conclude that this novel test has excellent psychometric properties and can be a valuable tool for researchers interested in reasoning assessment.

RevDate: 2023-04-27

Kramer AW, HM Huizenga (2023)

Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices for Adolescents: A Case for a Shortened Version.

Journal of Intelligence, 11(4): pii:jintelligence11040072.

Cognitive ability of adolescents is often measured using the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (RSPM). However, the RSPM knows a long administration time which may be suboptimal, as time-on-task effects are known to increase fatigue, to lower motivation, and to worsen performance on cognitive tasks. Therefore, a shortened version for adolescents was developed recently. In the current preregistered study we investigated this shortened version in a sample of adolescents (N = 99) of average educational backgrounds. We tested whether the shortened RSPM is a valid alternative to the original RSPM, which proved to be the case, as we observed a moderate to high correlation between the two versions. Moreover, we tested version effects on fatigue, motivation and performance. Fatigue was lower and motivation was higher after completing the short compared to the original version, and performance was better in the short compared to the original version. However, additional analyses suggested that beneficial version effects on performance were not due to reduced time-on-task, but due to the short version containing less difficult items than the original version. Moreover, version related differences in performance were not related to version related differences in fatigue and motivation. We conclude that the shortened version of the RSPM is a valid alternative to the original version, and that the shortened version is beneficial in terms of fatigue and motivation, but that these beneficial effects on fatigue and motivation do not carry over to performance.

RevDate: 2023-04-26

Wotherspoon J, Whittingham K, Sheffield J, et al (2023)

Cognition and learning difficulties in a representative sample of school-aged children with cerebral palsy.

Research in developmental disabilities, 138:104504 pii:S0891-4222(23)00082-3 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Nearly half of all children with CP experience intellectual impairment, with impacts on academic achievement.

AIMS: To assess cognitive and academic functioning for primary-school aged children with CP METHODS AND PROCEDURES: This population-based cohort study assessed 93 participants (male n = 62; mean = 9 years 9 months, SD 1 y 1.8 months) on measures of fluid and crystallised intelligence (Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) and academic achievement (Wechsler Individual Achievement Test). Analyses included t-tests, Pearson's chi-square and regression.

OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: 41 (44.1%) children met criteria consistent with intellectual developmental disorder. Academic skills were significantly below population means on word reading (M= 85.4, SD = 19.3), t(66) = -6.2, p < .001; spelling (M=83.3, SD=19.7) t(65) = -6.87, p < .001; and numerical operations (M=72.9, SD=21.7) Z = 66.0, p < .001. Cognitive ability was associated with GMFCS level (χ² (1, N = 93) = 16.15, p < .001) and diagnosis of epilepsy (χ² (2, N = 93) = 11.51 p = .003). Crystallised and fluid intelligence together accounted for 65% of the variance in word reading, 56% in spelling and 52% in numerical operations.

IMPLICATIONS: Many children with CP experience academic challenges. Screening is recommended for all children with CP and full psychoeducational assessment undertaken when children with CP experience academic difficulties.

RevDate: 2023-04-25

Korkmaz D, Demircioglu I, Harem IS, et al (2023)

Macroscopic and microscopic comparison of pecten oculi in different avian species.

Anatomia, histologia, embryologia [Epub ahead of print].

The current study aims to present differences between the pecten oculi of different avian species through morphologic, macroscopic, light, and electron microscopic examinations. The study is a comprehensive research on seven avian species (sparrowhawk, hawk, magpie, swan, heron, pheasant, duck). The right eyes of the animals utilized in the study were removed for light microscopic examination, whereas their left eyes were removed for electron microscopic and macroscopic examinations. Morphometric analyses, as well as stereo and light microscopic measurements, were carried out on the pecten oculi of the animals. Given all these data, it was determined that the height of the pecten oculi did not differ among the species in the study; however, the pecten oculi were larger in birds with the highest value compared to the other species in the macroscopic measurements. Also, the pecten oculi vessels were larger, and the number of melanocytes was higher in keen eyesight, raptor, and migratory birds with large bulbus oculi. All these data suggest that the pecten oculi not only supplies nutrient to the retina but also contributes to sharp vision during migration and hunting, UV absorption from sunlight, as well as preservation of intraocular equilibrium.

RevDate: 2023-04-24

Bai Y, Cao L, Chen B, et al (2023)

A Novel Topology Optimization Protocol Based on an Improved Crow Search Algorithm for the Perception Layer of the Internet of Things.

Biomimetics (Basel, Switzerland), 8(2): pii:biomimetics8020165.

In wireless sensor networks, each sensor node has a finite amount of energy to expend. The clustering method is an efficient way to deal with the imbalance in node energy consumption. A topology optimization technique for wireless sensor networks based on the Cauchy variation optimization crow search algorithm (CM-CSA) is suggested to address the issues of rapid energy consumption, short life cycles, and unstable topology in wireless sensor networks. At the same time, a clustering approach for wireless sensor networks based on the enhanced Cauchy mutation crow search algorithm is developed to address the issue of the crow algorithm's sluggish convergence speed and ease of falling into the local optimum. It utilizes the Cauchy mutation to improve the population's variety and prevent settling for the local optimum, as well as to broaden the range of variation and the capacity to carry out global searches. When the leader realizes he is being followed, the discriminative probability is introduced to improve the current person's location update approach. According to the simulation findings, the suggested CM-CSA algorithm decreases the network's average energy consumption by 66.7%, 50%, and 33.3% and enhances its connectivity performance by 52.9%, 37.6%, and 23.5% when compared to the PSO algorithm, AFSA method, and basic CSA algorithm.

RevDate: 2023-04-21

Morris KM, Mishra A, Raut AA, et al (2023)

Corrigendum: The molecular basis of differential host responses to avian influenza viruses in avian species with differing susceptibility.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 13:1194878.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fcimb.2023.1067993.].

RevDate: 2023-04-20

Richert L (2023)

The era of the intoxicated experimentalistPsychonauts: Drugs and the Making of the Modern Mind Mike Jay Yale University Press, 2023. 376 pp.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 380(6642):250.

A historian revisits psychoactive self-experimentation's 19th-century heyday.

RevDate: 2023-04-18

Fuirst M, Strickland D, Freeman NE, et al (2023)

Early-life sibling conflict in Canada jays has lifetime fitness consequences.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(1997):20221863.

While delaying natal dispersal can provide short-term benefits for juveniles, lifetime fitness consequences are rarely assessed. Furthermore, competition for limited positions on a natal territory could impose an indirect fitness cost on the winner if the outcome has negative effects on its siblings. We use radio-tracking and 58 years of nesting data in Ontario, Canada to examine the lifetime fitness consequences of sibling expulsion in the Canada jay (Perisoreus canadensis). Six weeks after fledging, intra-brood dominance struggles result in one 'dominant juvenile' (DJ) remaining on the natal territory after expelling its subordinate siblings, the 'ejectees' (EJs). Despite an older age-at-first-reproduction, DJs produced more recruits over their lifetime and had higher first-year survival than EJs, leading to substantially higher direct fitness. Even though DJs incurred an indirect fitness cost by expelling their siblings and there was no evidence that their presence on the natal territory increased their parents' reproductive output the following year, they still had substantially higher inclusive fitness than EJs. Our results demonstrate how early-life sibling conflict can have lifetime consequences and that such fitness differences in Canada jays are driven by the enhanced first-year survival of DJs pursuant to the early-summer expulsion of their sibling competitors.

RevDate: 2023-04-17

De Sio S, Waegele J, Bhatia T, et al (2023)

Inherent Adaptivity of Alzheimer Peptides to Crowded Environments.

Macromolecular bioscience [Epub ahead of print].

Amyloid β (Aβ) is the major constituent in senile plaques of Alzheimer's disease in which peptides initially undergo structural conversions to form elongated fibrils. We study the impact of crowding on the fibrillation pathways of Aβ40 and Aβ42 , the most common peptide isoforms. We use PEG and Ficoll as model crowders to mimic a macromolecular enriched surrounding. The fibrillar growth was monitored with the help of ThT-fluorescence assays in order to extract two rates describing primary and secondary processes of nucleation and growth. We used techniques as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and analytical ultracentrifugation to discuss oligomeric states; fibril morphologies were investigated using negative-staining transmission electron microscopy. While excluded volume effects imposed by macromolecular crowding are expected to always increase rates of intermolecular interactions and structural conversion, we found a vast variety of effects depending on the peptide, the crowder or ionic strength of the solution. Final investigations of the obtained rates with respect to a reactant-occluded model revealed specific surface interactions with the crowder. Moreover, we could employ crystallisation-like models to also extract the crowder-induced entropic gain with ΔΔGfib [crow] =-116±21 kJ mol[-1] per volume fraction of the crowder. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-04-13

Lowe NM, Qualter P, Sinclair JK, et al (2023)

School Feeding to Improve Cognitive Performance in Disadvantaged Children: A 3-Arm Parallel Controlled Trial in Northwest Pakistan.

Nutrients, 15(7): pii:nu15071768.

Malnutrition is associated with reduced learning aptitude and growth during childhood. We examined the impact of providing two school lunch variants, a standard school meal (school feeding, n = 70), or the standard meal with additional micronutrients (school feeding + micronutrient powder (MNP), n = 70), in children attending two schools in northwest Pakistan. A third local government school, where no lunch was provided (no school feeding, n = 70), served as the control. The primary outcome, cognitive function, was assessed using the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) test, alongside haemoglobin, at three-time points: T1 (baseline, before the initiation of the school lunch programme), T2 and T3 (5 and 12 months, respectively, after the introduction of the school lunch). Data were analysed using linear mixed-effects models to contrast between trial groups, the changes from T1 to T2 and T3. Adjusted for T1 and other co-variates, improvements in the RCPM scores were significantly greater in the school feeding group at T2 (b = 1.61, (95% CI = 0.71-2.52), t = 3.52, p = 0.001) and T3 (b = 1.28, (95% CI = 0.22-2.35), t = 2.38, p = 0.019) compared with no school feeding. In addition, at T2 (b = 1.63, (95% CI = -0.10-3.37), t = 1.86, p = 0.065), there were no significant differences between school feeding + MNP and no school feeding groups. However, improvements in the RCPM scores were significantly greater in the school feeding + MNP group at T3 (b = 2.35, (95% CI = 0.51-4.20), t = 2.53, p = 0.013) compared with no school feeding. The findings indicate an improvement in cognitive performance in children who received a school meal with and without MNP, over a 12-month period. Currently there is no operational school feeding programme at the national or provincial level in Pakistan. Our findings, therefore, highlight the need for school feeding programmes to improve learning opportunities for children from underprivileged communities.

RevDate: 2023-04-13

Abou Zeid F, Morelli F, Ibáñez-Álamo JD, et al (2023)

Spatial Overlap and Habitat Selection of Corvid Species in European Cities.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(7): pii:ani13071192.

Understanding habitat and spatial overlap in sympatric species of urban areas would aid in predicting species and community modifications in response to global change. Habitat overlap has been widely investigated for specialist species but neglected for generalists living in urban settings. Many corvid species are generalists and are adapted to urban areas. This work aimed to determine the urban habitat requirements and spatial overlap of five corvid species in sixteen European cities during the breeding season. All five studied corvid species had high overlap in their habitat selection while still having particular tendencies. We found three species, the Carrion/Hooded Crow, Rook, and Eurasian Magpie, selected open habitats. The Western Jackdaw avoided areas with bare soil cover, and the Eurasian Jay chose more forested areas. The species with similar habitat selection also had congruent spatial distributions. Our results indicate that although the corvids had some tendencies regarding habitat selection, as generalists, they still tolerated a wide range of urban habitats, which resulted in high overlap in their habitat niches and spatial distributions.

RevDate: 2023-04-07

Zeiträg C, M Osvath (2023)

Differential responses to con- and allospecific visual cues in juvenile ravens (Corvus corax): the ontogeny of gaze following and social predictions.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

Gaze following refers to the ability to co-orient with others' gaze directions. Ontogenetic studies on gaze following in animals have predominantly used human experimenters as demonstrators. It is, however, likely that developing animals are initially more attuned to individuals from their own species, which might result in differences in the ontogenetic onset of gaze following with human and conspecific demonstrators. "Checking back" is a signature behaviour in the gaze following repertoires of humans, apes, and some Old world monkeys. It is commonly interpreted as a representation of the referentiality of gaze and is thus diagnostic of social predictions. Recently, "checking back" has been discovered in four avian species, suggesting a shared skill among birds. To investigate effects of con- and allospecific demonstrators on gaze following responses, we studied visual co-orientations of four hand-raised juvenile common ravens (Corvus corax) with human and conspecific gaze cues. Moreover, we for the first time investigated "checking back" in ravens and compared the effects of con- and allospecific demonstrators on this behaviour. Ravens followed human and conspecific gaze with no apparent differences in ontogenetic onset, but after significantly longer latencies with human demonstrators. Subjects moreover already checked back at 30 days old and did so significantly more often with conspecific demonstrators. Our findings suggest differences in processing speed and social predictions of human and conspecific gazes, indicating an underlying neurocognitive mechanism attuned to social information gathering from conspecifics. We propose more studies using conspecific demonstrators to reveal the full gaze following potential of a species.

RevDate: 2023-04-06

Foss L, Feiszli T, Kramer VL, et al (2023)

Epidemic versus endemic West Nile virus dead bird surveillance in California: Changes in sensitivity and focus.

PloS one, 18(4):e0284039 pii:PONE-D-22-24893.

Since 2003, the California West Nile virus (WNV) dead bird surveillance program (DBSP) has monitored publicly reported dead birds for WNV surveillance and response. In the current paper, we compared DBSP data from early epidemic years (2004-2006) with recent endemic years (2018-2020), with a focus on specimen collection criteria, county report incidence, bird species selection, WNV prevalence in dead birds, and utility of the DBSP as an early environmental indicator of WNV. Although fewer agencies collected dead birds in recent years, most vector control agencies with consistent WNV activity continued to use dead birds as a surveillance tool, with streamlined operations enhancing efficiency. The number of dead bird reports was approximately ten times greater during 2004-2006 compared to 2018-2020, with reports from the Central Valley and portions of Southern California decreasing substantially in recent years; reports from the San Francisco Bay Area decreased less dramatically. Seven of ten counties with high numbers of dead bird reports were also high human WNV case burden areas. Dead corvid, sparrow, and quail reports decreased the most compared to other bird species reports. West Nile virus positive dead birds were the most frequent first indicators of WNV activity by county in 2004-2006, followed by positive mosquitoes; in contrast, during 2018-2020 mosquitoes were the most frequent first indicators followed by dead birds, and initial environmental WNV detections occurred later in the season during 2018-2020. Evidence for WNV impacts on avian populations and susceptibility are discussed. Although patterns of dead bird reports and WNV prevalence in tested dead birds have changed, dead birds have endured as a useful element within our multi-faceted WNV surveillance program.

RevDate: 2023-04-05

Majeed M, Nagabhushanam K, Paulose S, et al (2023)

A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Anti-Skin-Aging Effect of LactoSporin - The Extracellular Metabolite from Bacillus coagulans (Weizmannia coagulans) MTCC 5856 in Healthy Female Volunteers.

Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 16:769-782.

PURPOSE: There has been a growing interest in the use of probiotics and their products for skin care, over the last decade. LactoSporin is the extracellular metabolite of a spore-forming probiotic Bacillus coagulans (Weizmannia coagulans) MTCC 5856, with antimicrobial and skin protecting activity.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: The anti-skin-aging potential of LactoSporin was evaluated in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study in healthy female participants (70 screened and 56 randomized). The participants applied either LactoSporin or matched placebo formulation (N=28 in each group) for 10 weeks, and the effects were assessed by dermatological, and non-invasive instrument-based evaluation using Antera, Cutometer, Corneometer, and Tewameter. All the 56 participants completed the study and were included for the analysis.

RESULTS: The regular use of LactoSporin cream for 10 weeks showed a significant reduction in visibility of wrinkles around crow's feet, nasolabial folds, frown lines, and facial fine lines compared to baseline and placebo by dermatological and Antera assessments. LactoSporin showed improvement in skin elasticity and hydration by dermatological assessments, but the effect was not significantly different from placebo when assessed by Cutometer, Corneometer, and Tewameter. No adverse events or skin irritation was observed in any participants during the study.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that LactoSporin could be a safe natural ingredient to reduce wrinkles and fine lines in cosmetic formulations.

RevDate: 2023-04-05

Asano D, Takeda M, Nobusako S, et al (2023)

Error analysis of Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.

Journal of intellectual disability research : JIDR [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Analysis of the errors in the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) has been previously performed for children with intellectual disabilities but has not been investigated for those with cerebral palsy (CP). This study aimed to investigate whether the types and positions of errors made by individuals with CP differed from those made by typically developing (TD) controls.

METHODS: Forty-five participants with CP aged 4-18 years and 30 TD children aged 3-9 years underwent RCPM testing. We first compared the RCPM performance and error characteristics between the groups and then examined the association between RCPM and the severity of CP and receptive vocabulary in the CP group.

RESULTS: The results showed that while mean total scores in the two groups were comparable, the types and positions of errors made by individuals with CP differed from those of TD controls. The development of non-verbal intelligence in children with CP increased with age; when controlling for age, non-verbal intelligence was significantly correlated with all three functional levels of CP severity and receptive vocabulary.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides valuable insights into the problem-solving strategies employed by children with CP.

RevDate: 2023-04-04

Sarker S (2023)

Complete Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of an Australian Little Crow (Corvus bennetti).

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

This study reports the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of an Australian little crow (Corvus bennetti). The circular genome has a size of 16,895 bp and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, and two rRNA genes. The study provides a reference mitochondrial genome of a little crow for further molecular studies.

RevDate: 2023-03-30

Yin D, Li X, Lorrilliere R, et al (2023)

A case report of an Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius) attacking an incubating adult and depredating the eggs of the Japanese tit (Parus minor).

Ecology and evolution, 13(3):e9931.

In May 2021, we opportunistically observed one Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius) attacking an adult incubating Japanese tit (Parus minor) and depredating nine tit eggs at a nest box where a woodpecker had greatly enlarged the entrance. After the predation event, the Japanese tits abandoned the nest. We recommend that when using artificial nest boxes to protect hole-nesting birds, the appropriate entrance size should be proportional to the body size of the target species. This observation gives us a better understanding of the potential predators of secondary hole-nesting birds.

RevDate: 2023-03-30

Simeunovic G, Polega J, Toor S, et al (2023)

Retrospective Analysis of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated COVID-19 Patients Treated with Monoclonal Antibodies (mAb) and Their Emergent Needs (RAVEN).

Vaccines, 11(3): pii:vaccines11030688.

Strategies to combat COVID-19 include vaccines and Monoclonal Antibody Therapy. While vaccines aim to prevent development of symptoms, Monoclonal Antibody Therapy aims to prevent the progression of mild to severe disease. An increasing number of COVID-19 infections in vaccinated patients raised the question of whether vaccinated and unvaccinated COVID-19 positive patients respond differently to Monoclonal Antibody Therapy. The answer can help prioritize patients if resources are scarce. We performed a retrospective study to evaluate and compare the outcomes and risks for disease progression between vaccinated and unvaccinated COVID-19 patients treated with Monoclonal Antibody Therapy by measuring the number of Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations within 14 days as well as the progression to severe disease, defined through the Intensive Care Unit admissions within 14 days, and death within 28 days from the Monoclonal Antibody infusion. From 3898 included patients, 2009 (51.5%) were unvaccinated at the time of Monoclonal Antibody infusion. Unvaccinated patients had more Emergency Department visits (217 vs. 79, p < 0.0001), hospitalizations (116 vs. 38, p < 0.0001), and progression to severe disease (25 vs. 19, p = 0.016) following treatment with Monoclonal Antibody Therapy. After adjustment for demographics and comorbidities, unvaccinated patients were 2.45 times more likely to seek help in the Emergency Department and 2.70 times more likely to be hospitalized. Our data suggest the added benefit between the COVID-19 vaccine and Monoclonal Antibody Therapy.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Santoprete R, Hourblin V, Foucher A, et al (2023)

Reduction of wrinkles: From a computational hypothesis to a clinical, instrumental, and biological proof.

Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI), 29(3):e13267.

BACKGROUND: Facial wrinkles are clear markers of the aging process, being chronological, photo-induced, or reflecting repetitive facial expressions. The aim of this study is to provide new insights into the biophysical and biological mechanisms involved in the formation, prevention, or elimination of the expression wrinkles.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We use a computational model to get a better understanding of the wrinkle mechanical behavior and evolution after skin softening and suggesting a possible antiaging mechanism. Then, we provide a clinical demonstration of the anti-wrinkle effect of a long-term application of a 20% glycerol in a moisturizer formula (GBM) versus its vehicle on crow's feet. Skin hydration, elasticity, and wrinkles visibility were evaluated by a combination of clinical and instrumental in vivo data, inverse finite element analysis, and proteomic data.

RESULTS: The computational model shows a predominantly compressive stress beneath the wrinkle and its significant decrease by the softening of stratum corneum. The associated clinical study confirmed a significant increase of skin hydration and elasticity as well as a decrease of wrinkle visibility after 2 and 4 months as application for both formulas; this effect being stronger for GBM. A softening effect on stratum corneum and dermis was also observed for the GBM. Furthermore, proteomic data revealed an effect of upregulation of four proteins associated with desquamation, cell-glycan extracellular interactions, and protein glycation/oxidation, functions related to the tissue mechanics and adhesion.

CONCLUSIONS: We provide an in vivo demonstration of the anti-ageing benefit of glycerol at high dose (20%) reflected by a cumulative skin surface softening effect. The use of high moisturizing potent formulations should bring additional performance to other conventional moisturizing formulations.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Radke NV, Mohamed S, Brown RB, et al (2023)

Review on the Safety and Efficacy of Brolucizumab for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration From Major Studies and Real-World Data.

Asia-Pacific journal of ophthalmology (Philadelphia, Pa.), 12(2):168-183.

Frequent antivascular endothelial growth factor injections in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) often lead to poor compliance and suboptimal outcomes. A longer-acting agent has been a pressing unmet need until recently. Brolucizumab, an antivascular endothelial growth factor agent, is a single-chain antibody fragment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 8, 2019, for treating nAMD. It delivers more molecules at equivalent volumes of aflibercept, thus achieving a longer-lasting effect. We reviewed literature published in English between January 2016 and October 2022 from MEDLINE, PubMed, Cochrane database, Embase, and Google scholar using the keywords: "Brolucizumab, real-world data, intraocular inflammation (IOI), safety, and efficacy". Brolucizumab showed reduced injection frequency, better anatomic outcomes, and noninferior vision gains compared with aflibercept in HAWK and HARRIER studies. However, post hoc studies on brolucizumab revealed a higher-than-expected incidence of IOI, leading to the early termination of 3 studies: MERLIN, RAPTOR, and RAVEN for nAMD, branch retinal vein occlusion, and central retinal vein occlusion, respectively. Contrastingly real-world data showed encouraging outcomes in terms of fewer IOI cases. The subsequent amendment of the treatment protocol resulted in reduced IOI. Thereafter US FDA approved its use in diabetic macular edema on June 1, 2022. Based on major studies and real-world data, this review shows that brolucizumab is effective for treating naive and refractory nAMD. The risk of IOI is acceptable and manageable, but proper preinjection screening and high-vigilance care of IOI are needed. More studies are warranted to evaluate further the incidence, best prevention, and treatment measures for IOI.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Troiano AT, Peel M, Cameron AI, et al (2023)


Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians, 54(1):23-31.

Large blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis cause annual harmful algal bloom events, or "red tides" on Florida's Gulf Coast. Each year, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is presented with hundreds of cases of aquatic birds that exhibit neurologic clinical signs due to brevetoxicosis. Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auratus) are the most common species seen, and typically present with a combination of ataxia, head tremors, knuckling, and/or lagophthalmos. Blood lactate levels are known to increase in mammals for a variety of reasons, including stress, hypoxia, sepsis, and trauma, but there is limited literature on blood lactate values in avian species. The objective of this study was to determine the prognostic value of blood lactate concentration on successful rehabilitation and release of birds presenting with clinical signs consistent with brevetoxicosis. Blood lactate levels were collected on intake, the morning after presentation and initial therapy, and prior to disposition (release or euthanasia) from 194 birds (including 98 cormorants) representing 17 species during the 2020-2021 red tide season. Overall, mean blood lactate at intake, the morning after intake, and predisposition was 2.9, 2.8, and 3.2 mmol/L, respectively, for released birds across all species (2.9, 2.9, and 3.2 mmol/L for released cormorants); 3.4, 3.4, and 6.5 mmol/L for birds that died (4.0, 3.5, and 7.9 mmol/L for cormorants that died); and 3.1, 3.5, and 4.7 mmol/L for birds that were euthanized (3.5, 4.7, and 4.9 mmol/L for cormorants that were euthanized). On average, birds that died or were euthanized had an elevated lactate at all time points as compared to those that were released, but these results were not statistically significant (P = 0.13). These results indicate that blood lactate levels do not appear to be useful as a prognostic indicator for successful release of birds, including double-crested cormorants, affected by brevetoxicosis.

RevDate: 2023-03-25

Pasadas C (2023)

A commentary on Jay, E.-K., Patterson, C., Fernandez, R., & Moxham, L. (2022). Experiences of recovery among adults with a mental illness using visual art methods: A systematic review. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12882.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

De Marchi F, Saraceno M, Sarnelli MF, et al (2023)

Potential role of vitamin D levels in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cognitive impairment.

Neurological sciences : official journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology [Epub ahead of print].

Cognitive impairment (CI) is common in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): a keystone is identifying factors that could potentially modify the CI course. In recent years, vitamin D is becoming a potential modificatory factor for CI in many neurological disorders. This study aimed to highlight if vitamin D deficiency correlated with CI and clinical features in a cohort of ALS patients. We included 55 ALS patients with a neuropsychological evaluation (classified with the Strong Criteria) and a vitamin D dosage at the diagnosis. We also reviewed medical records and completed data for medical history, physical and neurological examination, and functional scales. At the diagnosis, 30 patients (54%) had CI. Most patients (82%) displayed low vitamin D levels (19.87 ± 9.80 ng/ml). Comparing the vitamin D level between patients with and without CI, we observed significantly lower values in the first group (15.8 ± 8.2 vs. 22.0 ± 9.7 ng/ml, p: 0.04). In the spinal female subgroup (n = 15), we found an inverse correlation between vitamin D and bizarreness score in the cognitive estimates test (r = 0.58; p: 0.04) and a positive correlation with the Corrected Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (r = 0.53, p: 0.04). Conversely, in the bulbar female group, we observed a correlation with the corrected direct span (r = 0.84, p: 0.03). With the log-rank survival analysis, we found that the patients with vitamin D < 10 ng/ml had a shorter disease duration (Chi: 5.78, p: 0.02). Our results indicate that levels of vitamin D can influence the cognitive status of people living with ALS and that severe deficits might be an adverse prognostic survival factor.

RevDate: 2023-03-22

Park S, Choi J, Kim B, et al (2023)

Effect of nanostructural irregularities on structural color in the tail feathers of the Oriental magpie Pica serica.

PloS one, 18(3):e0282053 pii:PONE-D-22-24270.

The tail feathers of magpies are iridescent, with hues ranging from navy to violet and green. It has been previously shown that the hexagonal arrangement of melanosomes in the distal barbules is responsible for these colors, but previous simulation models have relied on average values for the parameters associated with this arrangement (e.g., periodicity), and it remains to be studied whether the actual (rather than averaged) structural arrangement and its inherent irregularities reliably predict structural color. Previous studies using unmodified images for the analysis have not focused on the effect of such irregularities on the color production. In this study, we conducted finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations using actual transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images obtained from the distal barbules of a magpie tail feather, compared the reflectance spectra predicted using the FDTD simulation with those measured with a spectrometer, and found a substantial discrepancy between the two. Fourier analysis suggests that the non-uniform arrangement of the melanosomes within the barbule is responsible for this discrepancy by creating variation in the periodicity. Our results suggest that a simple model in which the parameters for internal structures are averaged cannot fully explain the variation in the structural colors observed in biological samples such as the feathers of birds.

RevDate: 2023-03-21

Dreisbach D, Bhandari DR, Betz A, et al (2023)

Spatial metabolomics reveal divergent cardenolide processing in the monarch (Danaus plexippus) and the common crow butterfly (Euploea core).

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Although being famous for sequestering milkweed cardenolides, the mechanism of sequestration and where cardenolides are localized in caterpillars of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus, Lepidoptera: Danaini) is still unknown. While monarchs tolerate cardenolides by a resistant Na[+] /K[+] -ATPase, it is unclear how closely related species such as the non-sequestering common crow butterfly (Euploea core, Lepidoptera: Danaini) cope with these toxins. Using novel atmospheric-pressure scanning microprobe matrix-assisted laser/desorption ionization mass spectrometry imaging, we compared the distribution of cardenolides in caterpillars of D. plexippus and E. core. Specifically, we tested at which physiological scale quantitative differences between both species are mediated and how cardenolides distribute across body tissues. Whereas D. plexippus sequestered most cardenolides from milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), no cardenolides were found in the tissues of E. core. Remarkably, quantitative differences already manifest in the gut lumen: while monarchs retain and accumulate cardenolides above plant concentrations, the toxins are degraded in the gut lumen of crows. We visualized cardenolide transport over the monarch midgut epithelium and identified integument cells as the final site of storage where defenses might be perceived by predators. Our study provides molecular insight into cardenolide sequestration and highlights the great potential of mass spectrometry imaging for understanding the kinetics of multiple compounds including endogenous metabolites, plant toxins, or insecticides in insects.

RevDate: 2023-03-20

Pizarro AK, DeRaad DA, JE McCormack (2023)

Temporal stability of the hybrid zone between Calocitta magpie-jays revealed through comparison of museum specimens and iNaturalist photos.

Ecology and evolution, 13(3):e9863.

Hybrid zones are natural experiments for the study of avian evolution. Hybrid zones can be dynamic, moving as species adjust to new climates and habitats, with unknown implications for species and speciation. There are relatively few studies that have comparable modern and historic sampling to assess change in hybrid zone location and width over time, and those studies have generally found mixed results, with many hybrid zones showing change over time, but others showing stability. The white-throated magpie-jay (Calocitta formosa) and black-throated magpie-jay (Calocitta colliei) occur along the western coast of Mexico and Central America. The two species differ markedly in throat color and tail length, and prior observation suggests a narrow hybrid zone in southern Jalisco where individuals have mixed throat color. This study aims to assess the existence and temporal stability of this putative hybrid zone by comparing throat color between georeferenced historical museum specimens and modern photos from iNaturalist with precise locality information. Our results confirm the existence of a narrow hybrid zone in Jalisco, with modern throat scores gradually increasing from the parental ends of the cline toward the cline center in a sigmoidal curve characteristic of hybrid zones. Our temporal comparison suggests that the hybrid zone has not shifted its position between historical (pre-1973) and modern (post-2005) time periods-a surprising result given the grand scale of habitat change to the western Mexican lowlands during this time. An anomalous pocket of white-throated individuals in the northern range of the black-throated magpie-jay hints at the possibility of prehistorical long-distance introduction. Future genomic data will help disentangle the evolutionary history of these lineages and better characterize how secondary contact is affecting both the DNA and the phenotype of these species.

RevDate: 2023-03-17

Liu H, Li T, Ding S, et al (2023)

Complete genome sequence analysis and biological characteristics of Newcastle disease viruses from different hosts in China.

Virus genes [Epub ahead of print].

Newcastle disease (ND) is one of the most serious diseases affecting poultry worldwide. In 2022, we studied two strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) from pigeons and magpies identified by PCR and propagated in SPF chicken embryos. The whole genome of the virus was then expanded and its biological characteristics were studied. The results showed that NDV was isolated from pigeons and magpies. Virus present in the allantoic fluid could agglutinate red blood cells and could not be neutralized by serum positive for avian influenza. Sequencing showed that the gene length of the two isolates was 15,191 bp, had high homology and was located in the same branch of the phylogenetic tree, both belonging to genotype VI.1.1. The sequence of 112-117 amino acids in the F gene sequence was [112]R-R-Q-K-R-F[117], which constituted virulent strain characteristics. The HN gene contained 577 amino acids, which is also consistent with the characteristics of a virulent strain. The results from the study of biological characteristics revealed that the virulence of SX/TY/Pi01/22 was slightly stronger. There were only four different bases in the complete sequence of the two strains. Comprehensive analysis revealed that the G at 11,847 site of the SX/TY/Ma01/22 strain may change to T, leading to translation of amino acids from R to S, thereby weakening viral virulence. Therefore, NDV was transmitted from pigeons to magpies, indicating that the pathogen could be transmitted between poultry and wild birds.

RevDate: 2023-03-17

Morris KM, Mishra A, Raut AA, et al (2023)

The molecular basis of differential host responses to avian influenza viruses in avian species with differing susceptibility.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 13:1067993.

INTRODUCTION: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses, such as H5N1, continue to pose a serious threat to animal agriculture, wildlife and to public health. Controlling and mitigating this disease in domestic birds requires a better understanding of what makes some species highly susceptible (such as turkey and chicken) while others are highly resistant (such as pigeon and goose). Susceptibility to H5N1 varies both with species and strain; for example, species that are tolerant of most H5N1 strains, such as crows and ducks, have shown high mortality to emerging strains in recent years. Therefore, in this study we aimed to examine and compare the response of these six species, to low pathogenic avian influenza (H9N2) and two strains of H5N1 with differing virulence (clade 2.2 and clade to determine how susceptible and tolerant species respond to HPAI challenge.

METHODS: Birds were challenged in infection trials and samples (brain, ileum and lung) were collected at three time points post infection. The transcriptomic response of birds was examined using a comparative approach, revealing several important discoveries.

RESULTS: We found that susceptible birds had high viral loads and strong neuro-inflammatory response in the brain, which may explain the neurological symptoms and high mortality rates exhibited following H5N1 infection. We discovered differential regulation of genes associated with nerve function in the lung and ileum, with stronger differential regulation in resistant species. This has intriguing implications for the transmission of the virus to the central nervous system (CNS) and may also indicate neuro-immune involvement at the mucosal surfaces. Additionally, we identified delayed timing of the immune response in ducks and crows following infection with the more deadly H5N1 strain, which may account for the higher mortality in these species caused by this strain. Lastly, we identified candidate genes with potential roles in susceptibility/resistance which provide excellent targets for future research.

DISCUSSION: This study has helped elucidate the responses underlying susceptibility to H5N1 influenza in avian species, which will be critical in developing sustainable strategies for future control of HPAI in domestic poultry.

RevDate: 2023-03-16

Kubota Y, Hanaoka Y, Koyama JI, et al (2023)

Surgical revascularization for quasi-moyamoya disease associated with polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome: a case report and literature review.

Nagoya journal of medical science, 85(1):141-149.

POEMS (polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, and skin changes) syndrome is a rare multisystem disease characterized by plasma cell dyscrasia and overproduction of vascular endothelial growth factor, which is related to disease activity. Recent treatment strategies have improved survival of patients suffering from this disorder; however, ischemic stroke remains a poor prognostic factor. POEMS patients with ischemic stroke frequently develop cerebral large artery stenosis/occlusion, followed by progressive stroke. Post literature review, we present an ischemic stroke case of quasi-moyamoya disease linked with this syndrome that was successfully treated with surgical revascularization. A 41-year-old woman diagnosed with POEMS syndrome developed progressive ischemic stroke due to quasi-moyamoya disease, despite decreased vascular endothelial growth factor level with lenalidomide and dexamethasone treatment. She underwent superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery bypass with encephalo-duro-myo-synangiosis bilaterally. The postoperative course was uneventful. Two years and five months after the stroke, neuroimaging demonstrated bypass patency, neovascularization after encephalo-duro-myo-synangiosis, and no recurrence of stroke. Our case is the first to report successful surgical revascularization for a POEMS patient. Surgical revascularization may be a useful treatment option for patients with quasi-moyamoya disease associated with POEMS syndrome, especially for those who develop refractory ischemic stroke despite reduced vascular endothelial growth factor level.

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Zemach M, Lifshitz H, E Vakil (2023)

Brain reserve theory: Are adults with intellectual disability more vulnerable to age than peers with typical development?.

Journal of applied research in intellectual disabilities : JARID [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Life expectancy is on rise and the intriguing question is: When does cognitive decline occur among adults with intellectual disability, compared to adults with typical development? This cross-sectional study examined cognitive performance of crystallised/fluid intelligence, working and long-term memory of adults with intellectual disability of etiologies other than Down syndrome (IQ 50-68) and adults with typical development (IQ 85-114) in four age cohorts (30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69).

METHOD: The WAIS III[HEB] and the Rey-AVLT were administered to both groups.

RESULTS: Four patterns of cognitive performance were found: (a) Vocabulary (crystallised intelligence), Spatial Span Forward and Retention yielded similar scores across all four age cohorts in participants with typical development and with intellectual disability. (b) Similarities, Raven and Digit Span Backward exhibit lower scores only in 50-59 or 60-69 compared to the 30-39 age cohort in both groups, (c) Digit Span Forward, Spatial Span Backward and Total Leaning (LTM) yielded lower scores in the 50-59 or 60-69 age cohorts in the typical group, but similar scores in participants with intellectual disability along the age cohorts, (d) Block Design (fluid intelligence) yielded a lower score in the 50-59 cohort versus lower scores only at ages 60-69 in participants with typical development.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest a possible parallel trajectory in age-related cognitive performance for individuals with and without intellectual disability in six measures, and a possible more preserved trajectory in fluid intelligence and some memory measures in adults with intellectual disability compared to their peers. Caution should be exercised regarding Digit and Spatial Span Backwards, which yielded a floor effect in participants with intellectual disability. The Cognitive Reserve Theory, the Safeguard Hypothesis and late maturation might serve as explanations for these findings.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Lama CJ, Jones MC, Dileso S, et al (2023)

The JAY (Joint Active Yoke) orthosis for a complex pip fracture-dislocation with failed volar plate repair: A case report.

INTRODUCTION: This case report details the postsurgical rehabilitation and outcome of a 57-year old neurosurgeon who underwent hemi-hamate arthroplasty and volar plate repair for a complex ring finger proximal interphalangeal (PIP) fracture-dislocation sustained after a fall while snowboarding. Following re-rupture and repair of his volar plate, the patient was fitted for a "yoke" relative motion flexor orthosis, termed a JAY (Joint Active Yoke) orthosis, in a manner reverse to that which is commonly used for extensor-related injuries.

STUDY DESIGN/METHODS: A 57 yo right hand-dominant male who suffered a complex PIP fracture-dislocation with failed volar plate repair undwent hemi-hamate arthroplasty and early active motion following using a custom-fabricated joint active yoke orthosis.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: The purpose of this study is to illustrate the benefits of this orthosis design in allowing for active controlled flexion of the repaired PIP joint with assist from the adjacent fingers, while also reducing joint torque and dorsal displacement forces.

RESULTS: A satisfactory active motion outcome was achieved with maintenance of PIP joint congruity allowing the patient to return to work as a neurosurgeon at 2-months post-operatively.

DISCUSSION: There is little published literature on the use of relative motion flexion orthoses following PIP injuries. Most current studies are isolated case reports on boutonniere deformity, flexor tendon repair, and closed reduction of PIP fractures. The following therapeutic intervention was considered an important contributor to a favorable functional outcome, as it minimized unwanted joint reaction forces in a complex PIP fracture-dislocation and unstable volar plate.

CONCLUSION: Future research with greater level of evidence is required to establish the various applications of relative motion flexion orthoses, as well as determine the appropriate time at which to place the patient in a relative motion orthosis following operative repair to prevent long-term stiffness and poor motion.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Uemura K, Okuda K, Ueno K, et al (2023)

The 'Invisible Lazy-T' Procedure for Correction of Medial Ectropion.

The Journal of craniofacial surgery pii:00001665-990000000-00612 [Epub ahead of print].

No accepted standard for the correction of medial ectropion has been established. The most critical part of the surgical treatment for medial ectropion is the tightening of both horizontal and vertical laxity. To correct this ectropion, we have applied a combination procedure which includes tightening of the conjunctiva and the eyelid retractors (posterior lamellae) and the lateral tarsal strip procedure. Our imitation of the 'Lazy-T', a surgical operation performed on the medial ectropion, is tentatively named 'Invisible Lazy-T'. It is a versatile technique with a less visible scar than alternative techniques because skin incision is made along the crease line of the 'the crow's feet'. Results suggest a satisfactory solution to this problem and with better outcomes than by other techniques. We propose this novel combination technique is the best strategy for the medial ectropion, and it does not require specialized surgical skill, so ectropion can be managed by craniofacial surgeons.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Aruan RR, Hutabarat H, Widodo AA, et al (2023)

Double-blind, Randomized Trial on the Effectiveness of Acetylhexapeptide-3 Cream and Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 Cream for Crow's Feet.

The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 16(2):37-43.

BACKGROUND: Crow's feet is one of the signs of skin aging. Many studies regarding skin aging have been carried out in Caucasians, as for Asians, there are different genotypes and phenotypes. Some anti-aging treatments carry a slightly higher risk of side effects and irritation in Asian skin. Currently, the use of topical active peptides for anti-aging, Acetylhexapeptide-3 (AHP-3) and Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 (PPP-4), has been widely developed. This study aimed to investigate the anti-aging effects of AHP-3 and PPP-4 on the Asian patient with crow's feet.

METHODS: This study was a double-blind randomized trial using 21 Indonesian female subjects aged 26 to 55 years for eight weeks and divided into three groups: AHP-3 cream, PPP-4 cream, and placebo. The cream was applied twice daily to the periorbital area. The three groups were assessed using Corneometer, Tewameter, Cutometer, digital photography and Crow's Feet Grading Scale.

RESULTS: Based on clinical photos and data, improvements were found in several subjects using AHP-3 and PPP-4. PPP-4 appeared to demonstrate better results when compared to AHP-3 based on data, clinical photos, and self-assessment questionnaire.

CONCLUSION: PPP-4 demonstrated better results when compared to AHP-3 and placebo. This initial study provides an opportunity for further study with a more adequate number of samples and duration.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Duteil L, Queille-Roussel C, Issa H, et al (2023)

The Effects of a Non-crossed-linked Hyaluronic Acid Gel on the Aging Signs of the Face versus Normal Saline: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Split-faced Study.

The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 16(2):29-36.

BACKGROUND: Skin bio-revitalization improves skin quality globally; it permits the rejuvenation of the skin by increasing hydration and by reconstructing an optimal physiological environment for the skin cells together with a micro-filling effect.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the comparative efficacy of a non-cross-linked hyaluronic acid (NCHA) preparation (M-HA®10, FILLMED Laboratories, France) on fine lines reduction and on skin hydration, radiance and mechanical properties, after three sessions of multiple intradermal injections, active versus placebo, on the face of subjects presenting aging signs.

METHODS: Thirty healthy subjects received filler injections on one side and a control solution (saline) on the contralateral side of the face. Fine lines depth, skin hydration, and mechanical properties were evaluated using instrumental methods. Skin radiance, cheek fold and crow's feet were scored clinically. In addition, Investigator and subject satisfaction rates were evaluated by the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale and a subject self-assessment questionnaire.

RESULTS: Ten days after the last multi-injection session, the following significant results were observed compared to the control: a reduction of both crow's feet wrinkle depth (in the 110 to 1000µm range, -10% for NCHA and +7% for control) and clinical scoring of cheek wrinkles, and increases in skin radiance and hydration (+35%) and also skin firmness (+27%). The Investigator found that NCHA either improved or much improved the aesthetic aspect on 82% of subjects whereas no improvement was found on the saline side. Subjects found that NCHA significantly reduced wrinkles and increased both skin firmness and elasticity.

CONCLUSION: Intradermal injection of NCHA can improve the quality of facial skin with aging signs by reducing fine wrinkles and improving hydration, firmness and radiance.

RevDate: 2023-03-10

Anonymous (2023)

Erratum: Versatile Technique to Produce a Hierarchical Design in Nanoporous Gold.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

An erratum was issued for: Versatile Technique to Produce a Hierarchical Design in Nanoporous Gold. The Authors section was updated from: Palak Sondhi[1] Dharmendra Neupane[2] Jay K. Bhattarai[3] Hafsah Ali[1] Alexei V. Demchenko[4] Keith J. Stine[1] [1]Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Saint Louis [2]Food and Drug Administration [3]Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Company [4]Department of Chemistry, Saint Louis University to: Palak Sondhi[1] Dharmendra Neupane[1] Jay K. Bhattarai[2] Hafsah Ali[1] Alexei V. Demchenko[3] Keith J. Stine[1] [1]Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Saint Louis [2]Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Company [3]Department of Chemistry, Saint Louis University.

RevDate: 2023-03-06

Inumaru M, Nakamura K, Odagawa T, et al (2023)

The first detection of avian haemosporidia from Culicoides biting midges in Japan, with notes on potential vector species and the transmission cycle.

Veterinary parasitology, regional studies and reports, 39:100840.

BACKGROUND: Biting midges (Ceratopogonidae) are capable of transmitting a variety of pathogens including viruses, trypanosomes and haemosporidia. The majority of Haemoproteus parasites are transmitted by biting midges predominantly of the genus Culicoides and are known to cause significant physical and reproductive impacts on both wild and domestic birds. In Japan, Haemoproteus had been detected from various avian hosts, but not from arthropod vectors. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of avian haemosporidia at an educational forest in central Japan in attempt to reveal possible vector species of Haemoproteus, which would help to better understand the transmission cycle of Haemoproteus within Japan and to develop preventative measures for captive and domestic birds.

METHODS: Biting midges were caught using UV light traps from 2016 to 2018. The collected samples were morphologically identified, and haemosporidian parasites were detected using PCR-based methods. The detected lineages were phylogenetically analyzed and compared with lineages previously detected from birds. Bloodmeal analyses were also carried out for part of the blood-fed individuals.

RESULTS: Six Haemoproteus lineages were detected from 17 of 1042 female Culicoides (1.63%), including three species (C. sigaensis, C. arakawae, and C. pictimargo) in which Haemoproteus was detected for the first time. All detected lineages were placed in the subgenus Parahaemoproteus clade and were previously detected from crows of central Japan, strongly suggesting that parasites of these genetic lineages are transmitted between Culicoides and crows. Two Plasmodium lineages were also detected but are thought to be transmitted between Culex mosquitoes and birds of the educational forest based on previous detections. No amplifications were seen in bloodmeal analysis, possibly due to insufficient amount of blood, denaturation via digestion, or insufficient detectability of the used protocol.

CONCLUSION: Haemoproteus DNA was detected from Culicoides for the first time in Japan, suggesting that transmission is possible within the country. These findings highlight the necessity to investigate Culicoides populations and Haemoproteus infections dynamics in Japan. However, vector competence could not be confirmed in this study and further studies are anticipated.

RevDate: 2023-03-06

Albrecht L, KA Kaufeld (2023)

Investigating the impact of environmental factors on West Nile virus human case prediction in Ontario, Canada.

Frontiers in public health, 11:1100543.

West Nile virus is the most common mosquito borne disease in North America and the leading cause of viral encephalitis. West Nile virus is primarily transmitted between birds and mosquitoes while humans are incidental, dead-end hosts. Climate change may increase the risk of human infections as climatic variables have been shown to affect the mosquito life cycle, biting rate, incubation period of the disease in mosquitoes, and bird migration patterns. We develop a zero-inflated Poisson model to investigate how human West Nile virus case counts vary with respect to mosquito abundance and infection rates, bird abundance, and other environmental covariates. We use a Bayesian paradigm to fit our model to data from 2010-2019 in Ontario, Canada. Our results show mosquito infection rate, temperature, precipitation, and crow abundance are positively correlated with human cases while NDVI and robin abundance are negatively correlated with human cases. We find the inclusion of spatial random effects allows for more accurate predictions, particularly in years where cases are higher. Our model is able to accurately predict the magnitude and timing of yearly West Nile virus outbreaks and could be a valuable tool for public health officials to implement prevention strategies to mitigate these outbreaks.

RevDate: 2023-03-03

Hewawasam C, Wickramasinghe A, Caldera MC, et al (2023)

Subclinical memory impairment in unaffected siblings of patients with dementia.

The Clinical neuropsychologist [Epub ahead of print].

Objective: Family history of dementia is a known risk factor for dementia. The cognitive performance of unaffected siblings of dementia patients has been poorly studied. We aimed to determine whether clinically unaffected siblings of dementia patients have significant cognitive impairment compared to individuals who do not have first-degree relatives with dementia. Methods: We compared the cognitive performance of 67 patients with dementia (24 males; mean age 69.5), 90 healthy siblings of those patients (34 males; mean age 61.56) and 92 healthy adults (35 males; mean age 60.96) who have no first-degree relatives with dementia. We assessed learning and memory (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT)), short-term/working memory (Digit Span) executive functions (Stroop Test) and general intelligence (Raven Progressive Matrices). Test scores were compared among three groups, with regression-based adjustments for age, sex, and education. Results: As expected, the patients with dementia were impaired in all cognitive domains. In the Sibling Group, RAVLT total learning was significantly lower compared to controls (B = -3.192, p = .005). In a subgroup analysis, compared to controls, RAVLT delayed recall was poorer in the siblings of patients with early-onset (<65 years) dementia. No significant differences were observed in other cognitive domains. Conclusion: Clinically unaffected siblings of dementia patients seem to have a selective subclinical impairment in memory encoding. This impairment seems to be more prominent in siblings of patients with early-onset dementia who also have deficits in delayed recall. Future studies are needed to determine if the observed cognitive impairment deteriorates to dementia.

RevDate: 2023-03-03

Asokan S, Pr GP, Mathiazhagan T, et al (2022)

Association between Intelligence Quotient Dental Anxiety and Oral Health-related Quality of Life in Children: A Cross-sectional Study.

International journal of clinical pediatric dentistry, 15(6):745-749.

BACKGROUND: Determining the intelligence quotient (IQ) grades of children help in managing dental anxiety (DA) and maintaining the good oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL).

AIM: To assess the association between IQ, DA, and OHRQoL in children aged 10-11 years.

DESIGN: This cross-sectional study was carried out among 202 children aged 10-11 years in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu, India. The IQ level, DA, and OHRQoL were measured using Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM), Children's Fear Survey Schedule-Dental Subscale (CFSS-DS), and Child Oral Health Impact Profile Short Form (COHIP-SF) 19, respectively. Chi-squared test and Spearman rank order correlation test were used for analysis.

RESULTS: The results revealed a significant negative correlation (p < 0.05; r = -0.239) between IQ and OHRQoL. DA was negatively correlated with IQ (r = -0.093) and OHRQoL (r = -0.065), but it was not statistically significant. The gender-based comparison revealed no significant difference in the distribution of girls and boys within different grades of IQ levels (p = 0.74), DA (p = 0.29), and OHRQoL (p = 0.85).

CONCLUSION: Children with higher IQ showed low OHRQoL scores. DA was negatively correlated with IQ and OHRQoL.

HOW TO CITE THIS ARTICLE: Asokan S, PR GP, Mathiazhagan T, et al. Association between Intelligence Quotient Dental Anxiety and Oral Health-related Quality of Life in Children: A Cross-sectional Study. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2022;15(6):745-749.

RevDate: 2023-02-27

Harper MG (2023)

Informal Power: A Key to Nursing Professional Development Influence.

Journal for nurses in professional development, 39(2):104-106.

Most nursing professional development practitioners do not have formal power that results from being in a leadership position in their organization. As a result, they must optimize their influence through referent, expert, and informational power as described by French and Raven (1959). This column provides actionable recommendations for nursing professional development practitioners to expand their influence in their organizations.

RevDate: 2023-02-27

Bootsma JN, Campbell F, McCauley D, et al (2023)

Psychometric properties of the English language version of the C-BiLLT evaluated in typically developing Canadian children.

Journal of pediatric rehabilitation medicine pii:PRM210101 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: This study aimed to 1) investigate the convergent and discriminant validity, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability of the Canadian English version of the Computer-Based instrument for Low motor Language Testing (C-BiLLT-CAN), and 2) explore feasibility of the C-BiLLT assessment for children with cerebral palsy (CP) and complex communication needs in the Canadian health care context.

METHODS: Eighty typically developing children between 1.5 and 8.5 years of age completed the C-BiLLT-CAN, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-IV (PPVT-4), the receptive language sub-test of the New Reynell Developmental Language Scales (NRDLS), and/or the Raven's 2. Correlations between raw scores were calculated for estimates of convergent and discriminant validity. Internal consistency was calculated for all items and separately for items pertaining to vocabulary and grammar. To calculate the standard error of measurement (SEM) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), 33 participants were re-tested with the C-BiLLT within three weeks. Feasibility was explored with nine participants with CP.

RESULTS: C-BiLLT-CAN's convergent validity was good to excellent (Spearman's rho >  0.78) and discriminant validity was higher than hypothesized (Spearman's rho >  0.8). Internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.96), test-retest reliability (ICC >  0.9), and measurement error (SEM <  5%) were excellent. The feasibility study could not be fully completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary data demonstrated some technical and practical barriers for using the C-BiLLT in children with CP in Canada.

CONCLUSION: The C-BiLLT-CAN demonstrates good to excellent psychometric properties in a sample of typically developing children, indicating that it is an adequate test for measuring language comprehension in English-speaking Canadian children. Further research is needed to investigate the feasibility of the C-BiLLT-CAN in children with CP.

RevDate: 2023-02-26

Covey TJ, Shucard JL, Wang X, et al (2023)

Cognitive skill learning in multiple sclerosis: A meaningful component of the neuropsychological profile.

Brain and cognition, 166:105959 pii:S0278-2626(23)00016-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Cognitive skill learning (CSL) refers to the capacity to improve performance on specific cognitive operations through repeated practice. We hypothesized that high CSL aptitude may promote accumulation of cognitive reserve, and resiliency to cognitive decline, in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Using an adaptive working memory training paradigm, we obtained CSL aptitude indices (amount of improvement on the training task over time) in MS patients for a single session of practice (25-30 min), and longer-term practice (twenty sessions). Neuropsychological performance was assessed with the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT), and the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM). CSL aptitude measures were positively correlated with neuropsychological performance, and had high diagnostic accuracy for classifying cognitive impairment in MS, defined as 1.5 SD below the demographics-corrected normative mean of the SDMT. Positive relationships between CSL aptitude measures and neuropsychological performance tended to be more pronounced for individuals with high estimated cognitive reserve, suggesting that high CSL aptitude is a a factor that promotes the protective effects of cognitive reserve. Furthermore, regression analyses indicated that CSL aptitude is separable from baseline cognitive capacity. The findings suggest that CSL aptitude impacts the neuropsychological profile in MS, and may be a factor underlying variance in cognitive resiliency.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Alhamdan AA, Murphy MJ, Pickering HE, et al (2023)

The Contribution of Visual and Auditory Working Memory and Non-Verbal IQ to Motor Multisensory Processing in Elementary School Children.

Brain sciences, 13(2): pii:brainsci13020270.

Although cognitive abilities have been shown to facilitate multisensory processing in adults, the development of cognitive abilities such as working memory and intelligence, and their relationship to multisensory motor reaction times (MRTs), has not been well investigated in children. Thus, the aim of the current study was to explore the contribution of age-related cognitive abilities in elementary school-age children (n = 75) aged 5-10 years, to multisensory MRTs in response to auditory, visual, and audiovisual stimuli, and a visuomotor eye-hand co-ordination processing task. Cognitive performance was measured on classical working memory tasks such as forward and backward visual and auditory digit spans, and the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM test of nonverbal intelligence). Bayesian Analysis revealed decisive evidence for age-group differences across grades on visual digit span tasks and RCPM scores but not on auditory digit span tasks. The results also showed decisive evidence for the relationship between performance on more complex visually based tasks, such as difficult items of the RCPM and visual digit span, and multisensory MRT tasks. Bayesian regression analysis demonstrated that visual WM digit span tasks together with nonverbal IQ were the strongest unique predictors of multisensory processing. This suggests that the capacity of visual memory rather than auditory processing abilities becomes the most important cognitive predictor of multisensory MRTs, and potentially contributes to the expected age-related increase in cognitive abilities and multisensory motor processing.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Pavlinac Dodig I, Qazzafi A, Lusic Kalcina L, et al (2023)

The Associations between Results in Different Domains of Cognitive and Psychomotor Abilities Measured in Medical Students.

Brain sciences, 13(2): pii:brainsci13020185.

We aimed to investigate the associations between intelligence quotient test scores obtained using the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) and psychomotor testing using the Complex Reactionmeter Drenovac (CRD) test battery, while taking into account previous theoretical approaches recognizing intelligent behavior as the cumulative result of a general biological speed factor reflected in the reaction time for perceptual detections and motor decisions. A total of 224 medical students at the University of Split School of Medicine were recruited. Their IQ scores were assessed using Raven's APM, while the computerized tests of CRD-series were used for testing the reaction time of perception to visual stimulus (CRD311), psychomotor limbs coordination task (CRD411), and solving simple arithmetic operations (CRD11). The total test-solving (TTST) and the minimum single-task-solving (MinT) times were analyzed. On the CRD11 test, task-solving times were shorter in students with higher APM scores (r = -0.48 for TTST and r = -0.44 for MinT; p < 0.001 for both). Negative associations between task-solving times and APM scores were reported on CRD311 (r = -0.30 for TTST and r = -0.33 for MinT, p < 0.001 for both). Negative associations between task-solving times in CRD411 and APM scores (r = -0.40 for TTST and r = -0.30 for MinT, p < 0.001 for both) were found. Faster reaction time in psychomotor limbs coordination tasks, the reaction time of perception to visual stimulus, and the reaction time of solving simple arithmetic operations were associated with a higher APM score in medical students, indicating the importance of mental speed in intelligence test performance. However, executive system functions, such as attention, planning, and goal weighting, might also impact cognitive abilities and should be considered in future research.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Skibniewska EM, M Skibniewski (2023)

The Total Mercury Concentration in Organs of Eurasian Magpies (Pica pica) and Common Woodpigeons (Columba palumbus) from the Warsaw Municipal Area.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(4): pii:ani13040575.

Mercury is a toxic element widely distributed in the natural environment, affecting animals' health. It is released into the environment from both natural and anthropogenic sources. The present study analyzed the mercury concentrations in liver, kidney, heart and muscle tissue in two species of birds from the Warsaw area, which were used as bioindicators of local environmental pollution with this metal. The mercury content in the examined samples was determined using atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) utilizing automatic mercury analyzer type AMA 254. The highest mercury content was found in the body of Eurasian magpies, in which it was 0.025; 0.021; 0.006; 0.0037 and 0.029 mg kg[-1] of tissue wet weight for kidney, liver, heart, thigh muscles and pectoral muscles, respectively. In the case of common woodpigeons, the content of this metal was significantly lower, amounting to 0.007; 0.005; 0.002; 0.001 and 0.001 mg∙kg[-1] wet weight for kidney, liver, heart, thigh muscles and pectoral muscles, respectively. In light of data from the available literature, the values obtained should be considered low, not causing a risk to animal health. The results obtained indicate low environmental exposure to this element.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Brecht KF, Westendorff S, A Nieder (2023)

Neural correlates of cognitively controlled vocalizations in a corvid songbird.

Cell reports, 42(3):112113 pii:S2211-1247(23)00124-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The neuronal basis of the songbird's song system is well understood. However, little is known about the neuronal correlates of the executive control of songbird vocalizations. Here, we record single-unit activity from the pallial endbrain region "nidopallium caudolaterale" (NCL) of crows that vocalize to the presentation of a visual go-cue but refrain from vocalizing during trials without a go-cue. We find that the preparatory activity of single vocalization-correlated neurons, but also of the entire population of NCL neurons, before vocal onset predicts whether or not the crows will produce an instructed vocalization. Fluctuations in baseline neuronal activity prior to the go-cue influence the premotor activity of such vocalization-correlated neurons and seemingly bias the crows' decision to vocalize. Neuronal response modulation significantly differs between volitional and task-unrelated vocalizations. This suggests that the NCL can take control over the vocal motor network during the production of volitional vocalizations in a corvid songbird.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Baciadonna L, Cornero FM, Clayton NS, et al (2023)

Mirror stimulation in Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius).

PeerJ, 11:e14729.

Mirror exposure elicits a wide range of behavioral responses, some of which have been considered as part of possible evidence of mirror self-recognition (MSR). These responses can range from social behaviors, indicating that an animal considers its own reflection as a conspecific, to mirror-guided and self-directed actions. Evidence of MSR has been found categorically in only a few species, such as in magpies, chimpanzees, horses, and elephants. Evidence in corvids is currently debated due to inconsistent findings. In this study, we investigated the reaction of Eurasian jays when presenting them with three mirror-stimulation tasks. Based on the overall behavioral patterns across these three tasks, conclusions about birds' understanding of a reflective surface, and their perception of the reflection as either themselves or as a conspecific, appear premature. We highlight how the high neophobia of corvids and other methodological constraints might have hindered the likelihood to approach and explore a mirror, preventing the emergence of behaviors typically associated with MSR. Furthermore, we discuss how motivational factors, methodological constraints and species differences should be considered when interpreting behavioral responses to mirrors.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Tomasek M, Ravignani A, Boucherie PH, et al (2023)

Spontaneous vocal coordination of vocalizations to water noise in rooks (Corvus frugilegus): An exploratory study.

Ecology and evolution, 13(2):e9791.

The ability to control one's vocal production is a major advantage in acoustic communication. Yet, not all species have the same level of control over their vocal output. Several bird species can interrupt their song upon hearing an external stimulus, but there is no evidence how flexible this behavior is. Most research on corvids focuses on their cognitive abilities, but few studies explore their vocal aptitudes. Recent research shows that crows can be experimentally trained to vocalize in response to a brief visual stimulus. Our study investigated vocal control abilities with a more ecologically embedded approach in rooks. We show that two rooks could spontaneously coordinate their vocalizations to a long-lasting stimulus (the sound of their small bathing pool being filled with a water hose), one of them adjusting roughly (in the second range) its vocalizations as the stimuli began and stopped. This exploratory study adds to the literature showing that corvids, a group of species capable of cognitive prowess, are indeed able to display good vocal control abilities.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

McCrary LL (2019)

To Be Young, Black, and Powerless: Disenfranchisement in the New Jim Crow Era.

Journal of healthcare, science and the humanities, 9(1):32-37.

This article examines the challenges of being young and black in America. In the United States, African Americans have historically suffered from systemic discrimination. Such discrimination deprived them of fundamental rights such as the right to vote. Although African Americans are no longer denied the right to vote based solely on race, the future of the black vote remains threatened by the criminalization of African American youth. African American youths are increasing alienated from systems that are supposed to help them. They are excessively disciplined in schools and disproportionately incarcerated, resulting in the New Jim Crow. This article recounts some of the reasons why and what can be done to address these problems.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Murphy P, Foley J, Mole J, et al (2023)

Lifespan normative data (18-89 years) for Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices Set I.

Journal of neuropsychology [Epub ahead of print].

Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) Set I is a validated and brief test of fluid intelligence, ideal for use in busy clinical settings. However, there is a dearth of normative data allowing an accurate interpretation of APM scores. To address this, we present normative data from across the adult lifespan (18-89 years) for the APM Set I. Data are presented in five age cohorts (total N = 352), including two older adult cohorts (65-79 years and 80-89 years), which allows age-standardized assessment. We also present data from a validated measure of premorbid intellectual ability, which was absent from previous standardizations of longer forms of the APM. In line with previous findings, a striking age-related decline was noted, beginning relatively early in adulthood and most marked amongst lower-scoring individuals. Older adults did not demonstrate difficulty with specific test items or make an increased proportion of specific errors. Sex was not a significant predictor of performance. The data set is of particular use in the neuropsychological assessment of older adults, given the known susceptibility of fluid intelligence to both the effects of normal ageing and acquired brain injury in older age. The results are discussed in light of theories of neurological ageing.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Wagener L, Rinnert P, Veit L, et al (2023)

Crows protect visual working memory against interference.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:287069 [Epub ahead of print].

Working memory, the ability to actively maintain and manipulate information across time, is key to intelligent behavior. Due to the limited capacity of working memory, relevant information needs to be protected against distracting representations. Whether birds can resist distractors and safeguard memorized relevant information is unclear. We trained carrion crows in a delayed match-to-sample task to memorize an image while resisting other, interfering stimuli. We found that the repetition of the sample stimulus during the memory delay improved performance accuracy and accelerated reaction time relative to a reference condition with a neutral interfering stimulus. In contrast, the presentation of the image that constituted the subsequent nonmatch test stimulus mildly weakened performance. However, the crows' robust performance in this most demanding distractor condition indicates that sample information was actively protected from being overwritten by the distractor. These data show that crows can cognitively control and safeguard behaviorally relevant working memory contents.

RevDate: 2023-02-15

Hur MS, Iwanaga J, Tubbs RS, et al (2023)

Width of the orbicularis oculi fibers extending to the upper lip with the lateral and inferior lengths of the orbicularis oculi at the lateral canthus level: application to botulinum neurotoxin type A injection for crow's feet.

Surgical and radiologic anatomy : SRA [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to determine the width of the fibers that extend from the orbicularis oculi muscle (OOc) to the upper lip, and the lateral and inferior lengths of the OOc at the lateral canthus level.

METHODS: The OOc was investigated in the 40 hemifaces of 20 Korean cadavers. The lateral fibers of the OOc (OOc lat) were traced to determine whether or not these fibers extended to the upper lip.

RESULTS: The OOc lat extended to the upper lip at the lateral canthus level in 31 of the 40 specimens (77.5%), whereas some inferolateral fibers of the OOc that extended to the upper lip were observed near the level of the lower margin of the OOc in the other 9 specimens (22.5%). The mean ± SD and maximum widths of the OOc lat that extended to the upper lip at the lateral canthus level were 6.9 ± 3.3 mm and 14.3 mm, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The obtained data will be helpful to distinguish the muscles that underly the wrinkles around the lateral canthus for safer and more-efficient BoNT-A treatments for crow's feet.

RevDate: 2023-02-11

Marks CA, Allen L, H Lindeberg (2023)

Non-Lethal Dose-Response Models Replace Lethal Bioassays for Predicting the Hazard of Para-Aminopropiophenone to Australian Wildlife.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(3): pii:ani13030472.

Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) is a potent methaemoglobin (MetHb) forming agent used for the lethal control of exotic carnivores and mustelids. To assess the sensitivity of Australian wildlife to PAPP we developed an in vivo assay that did not use death as an endpoint. Sub-lethal dose-response data were modelled to predict PAPP doses required to achieve an endpoint set at 80% MetHb (MetHb80). The comparative sensitivity of non-target mammals referenced to this endpoint was found to be highly variable, with southern brown bandicoots (Isoodon obesulus) the most sensitive species (MetHb80 = 6.3 mg kg[-1]) and bush rats (Rattus fuscipes) the most tolerant (MetHb80 = 1035 mg kg[-1]). Published LD50 estimates were highly correlated with PAPP doses modelled to achieve the MetHb80 endpoint (r[2] = 0.99, p < 0.001). Most dose-response data for native mammals were collected in the field or in semi-natural enclosures, permitting PAPP and placebo dosed animals to be fitted with tracking transmitters and transponders and released at their point of capture. A protracted morbidity and mortality was observed only in Australian ravens (Corvus coronoides). The combination of sub-lethal dose-response assay and survival data collected in the field provided more relevant information about the actual hazard of pest control agents to non-target wildlife species than laboratory-based lethal-dose bioassays. We discuss the need to replace lethal-dose data with biologically meaningful insights able to define a continuum of toxicological hazards that better serve the needs of conservation and veterinary scientists and wildlife managers.

RevDate: 2023-02-10

Zhai N, Pan X, Zeng M, et al (2023)

Developmental trajectory of pluripotent stem cell establishment in Arabidopsis callus guided by a quiescent center-related gene network.

Development (Cambridge, England) pii:286991 [Epub ahead of print].

In plant tissue culture, callus is induced by a high auxin concentration. Among the three cell layers (the outer, middle, and inner cell layers) of callus, pluripotency acquisition in the middle cell layer is critical for the potential ability of callus to regenerate organs. Here, we reveal the developmental trajectory of middle cell layer initiation and maintenance in callus originating from Arabidopsis thaliana hypocotyls. The S phase in cell cycle is essential for the expression of quiescent center (QC)-related SCARECROW (SCR), PLETHORA1 (PLT1), and WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX5 (WOX5) genes during the division of callus founder cells to initiate the callus primordium. After callus initiation, SHOOT-ROOT (SHR) proteins move from the inner to the middle cell layer and act together with SCR to promote the expression of PLT1 and WOX5. WOX5 represses the expression of VASCULAR-RELATED NAC-DOMAIN (VND) genes, thereby preventing callus from differentiating into the xylem. PLT1/2 directly activate JACKDAW (JKD) for pluripotency acquisition in the middle cell layer. We hypothesize that the middle cell layer could have pluripotent stem cell activity and its establishment requires the QC-related SCR-SHR-WOX5-PLT1/2-JKD gene network.

RevDate: 2023-02-10

Chu C, Lu Y, Yao Z, et al (2022)

A survey of ctenid spiders (Araneae, Ctenidae) from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Yunnan, China.

Biodiversity data journal, 10:e87597 pii:87597.

BACKGROUND: Amauropelma Raven, Stumkat & Gray, 2001 currently contains 24 species. It is distributed in Australia, India, Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia. This genus has not been found in China. Ctenus Walckenaer, 1805 comprises 213 known species. This genus is distributed worldwide. Currently, only two species, Ctenuslishuqiang Jäger, 2012 and Ctenusyaeyamensis Yoshida, 1998 are known to occur in China.

NEW INFORMATION: Three new species of ctenid spiders are described from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden in Yunnan Province, China: Amauropelmayunnan sp. nov., Ctenusbanna sp. nov. and Ctenusyulin sp. nov. Amauropelma and Ctenusrobustus Thorell, 1897 are reported from China for the first time.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Talmi Frank D, Byas AD, Murrieta R, et al (2023)

Intracellular diversity of WNV within circulating avian peripheral blood mononuclear cells reveals host-dependent patterns of polyinfection.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.01.27.525959.

UNLABELLED: Error-prone replication of RNA viruses generates the genetic diversity required for adaptation within rapidly changing environments. Thus, arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) populations exist in nature as mutant swarms that are maintained between arthropods and vertebrates. Previous studies have demonstrated that West Nile virus (WNV) population dynamics are host dependent: In American crows, which experience extremely high viremia, purifying selection is weak and population diversity is high compared to American robins, which have 100 to 1000-fold lower viremia. WNV passed in robins experiences fitness gains, whereas that passed in crows does not. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that high crow viremia allows higher genetic diversity within individual avian peripheral-blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), reasoning that this could have produced the previously observed host-specific differences in genetic diversity and fitness. Specifically, we infected cells and birds with a novel, barcoded version of WNV and sequenced viral RNA from single cells to quantify the number of WNV barcodes that each contained. Our results demonstrate that the richness of WNV populations within crows far exceeds that in robins. Similarly, rare WNV variants were maintained by crows more frequently than by robins. Our results suggest that increased viremia in crows relative to robins leads to maintenance of defective genomes and less prevalent variants, presumably through complementation. Our findings further suggest that weaker purifying selection in highly susceptible crows is attributable to this higher viremia, polyinfections and complementation. These studies further document the role of particular, ecologically relevant hosts in shaping virus population structure.

AUTHOR SUMMARY: WNV mutational diversity in vertebrates is species-dependent. In crows, low frequency variants are common, and viral populations are more diverse. In robins, fewer mutations become permanent fixtures of the overall viral population. We infected crows, robins and a chicken cell line with a genetically marked (barcoded) WNV. Higher levels of virus led to multiple unique WNV genomes infecting individual cells, even when a genotype was present at low levels in the input viral stock. Our findings suggest that higher levels of circulating virus in natural hosts allow less fit viruses to survive in RNA virus populations through complementation by more fit viruses. This is significant as it allows less represented and less fit viruses to be maintained at low levels until they potentially emerge when virus environments change. Overall our data reveal new insights on the relationships between host susceptibility to high viremia and virus evolution.

RevDate: 2023-02-08

Egede LE, Walker RJ, Campbell JA, et al (2023)

Modern Day Consequences of Historic Redlining: Finding a Path Forward.

There is emerging evidence that structural racism is a major contributor to poor health outcomes for ethnic minorities. Structural racism captures upstream historic racist events (such as slavery, black code, and Jim Crow laws) and more recent state-sanctioned racist laws in the form of redlining. Redlining refers to the practice of systematically denying various services (e.g., credit access) to residents of specific neighborhoods, often based on race/ethnicity and primarily within urban communities. Historical redlining is linked to increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, and early mortality due to heart disease with evidence suggesting it impacts health through suppressing economic opportunity and human capital, or the knowledge, skills, and value one contributes to society. Addressing structural racism has been a rallying call for change in recent years-drawing attention to the racialized impact of historical policies in the USA. Unfortunately, the enormous scope of work has also left people feeling incapable of effecting the very change they seek. This paper highlights a path forward by briefly discussing the origins of historical redlining, highlighting the modern-day consequences both on health and at the societal level, and suggest promising initiatives to address the impact.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Gao L, Zhang X, Yang T, et al (2022)

Conspecific nest-raiding directs more at dominant breeders in the azure-winged magpie.

Current zoology, 68(6):734-736.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Goraichuk IV, Gerilovych A, Bolotin V, et al (2023)

Genetic diversity of Newcastle disease viruses circulating in wild and synanthropic birds in Ukraine between 2006 and 2015.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 10:1026296.

Newcastle disease virus (NDV) infects a wide range of bird species worldwide and is of importance to the poultry industry. Although certain virus genotypes are clearly associated with wild bird species, the role of those species in the movement of viruses and the migratory routes they follow is still unclear. In this study, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of nineteen NDV sequences that were identified among 21,924 samples collected from wild and synanthropic birds from different regions of Ukraine from 2006 to 2015 and compared them with isolates from other continents. In synanthropic birds, NDV strains of genotype II, VI, VII, and XXI of class II were detected. The fusion gene sequences of these strains were similar to strains detected in birds from different geographical regions of Europe and Asia. However, it is noteworthy to mention the isolation of vaccine viruses from synanthropic birds, suggesting the possibility of their role in viral transmission from vaccinated poultry to wild birds, which may lead to the further spreading of vaccine viruses into other regions during wild bird migration. Moreover, here we present the first publicly available complete NDV F gene from a crow (genus Corvus). Additionally, our phylogenetic results indicated a possible connection of Ukrainian NDV isolates with genotype XXI strains circulating in Kazakhstan. Among strains from wild birds, NDVs of genotype 1 of class I and genotype I of class II were detected. The phylogenetic analysis highlighted the possible exchange of these NDV strains between wild waterfowl from the Azov-Black Sea region of Ukraine and waterfowl from different continents, including Europe, Asia, and Africa.

RevDate: 2023-02-03

Lee WW, Fagien S, Murdock J, et al (2023)

A Multi-Center Evaluation of Restorative Eye Treatment and INhance With Trihex Technology to Improve Aesthetic Outcomes When Used Pre- and Post-Blepharoplasty.

Aesthetic surgery journal. Open forum, 5:ojac089.

BACKGROUND: Restorative Eye Treatment with TriHex Technology (RET) is a topical eye product with peptides and botanicals that reduce the appearance of crow's feet, under-eye bags, and dark circles. INhance with TriHex Technology (IH) is a topical product that has been clinically proven to accelerate the clearance of bruises and aid in the reduction of swelling. TriHex Technology has been shown to regenerate collagen and elastin.

OBJECTIVES: Evaluate the use of RET compared to a bland moisturizer prior to blepharoplasty and the bilateral use of INhance postoperatively.

METHODS: Blepharoplasty patients were randomized to use either RET or a bland moisturizer, twice daily, on the designated periocular skin for 4 weeks prior to the procedure. Postoperatively, participants applied IH bilaterally, at least 4 times a day, and returned for follow-up on Days 1 or 3, 7, and 14. The removed upper-eyelid skin (13 patients) underwent independent dermatopathological evaluation.

RESULTS: Investigators noted no differences in peri-operative complications but observed faster improvement in swelling, bruising, discomfort on the treated side. 85% of participants had less edema and bruising on the RET pretreated side. Biopsy results revealed improved extracellular matrix appearance on the RET pretreated side. Participants agreed that IH alleviated their swelling and noted that their skin felt and appeared more hydrated.

CONCLUSIONS: A regimen designed for eyelid surgery employing a pretreatment product component and a post treatment product appear to have a positive impact on measured outcomes in blepharoplasty patients including effects on bruising, swelling and patient comfort.

RevDate: 2023-02-04
CmpDate: 2023-02-02

Walsh SL, Engesser S, Townsend SW, et al (2023)

Multi-level combinatoriality in magpie non-song vocalizations.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 20(199):20220679.

Comparative studies conducted over the past few decades have provided important insights into the capacity for animals to combine vocal segments at either one of two levels: within- or between-calls. There remains, however, a distinct gap in knowledge as to whether animal combinatoriality can extend beyond one level. Investigating this requires a comprehensive analysis of the combinatorial features characterizing a species' vocal system. Here, we used a nonlinear dimensionality reduction analysis and sequential transition analysis to quantitatively describe the non-song combinatorial repertoire of the Western Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis). We found that (i) magpies recombine four distinct acoustic segments to create a larger number of calls, and (ii) the resultant calls are further combined into larger call combinations. Our work demonstrates two levels in the combining of magpie vocal units. These results are incongruous with the notion that a capacity for multi-level combinatoriality is unique to human language, wherein the combining of meaningless sounds and meaningful words interactively occurs across different combinatorial levels. Our study thus provides novel insights into the combinatorial capacities of a non-human species, adding to the growing evidence of analogues of language-specific traits present in the animal kingdom.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Hunt GR, P Villard (2023)

Oscillatory extraction behaviour suggests functional attributes of crows' hooked-stick tools.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

New Caledonian crows are the only nonhuman animals known to craft hooked-sticks for use in foraging. Since their first description over 25 years ago, researchers have been unable to provide a detailed account of how these complex tools function in natural probe sites. Using close-up video footage, we document how a New Caledonian crow operated a hooked-stick to extract a large tree weta from a chamber in a tree trunk. The extraction technique had two distinct, separate components: (1) simultaneous oscillating head rotation and reciprocating bill action, and (2) measured pulling with the tool. Analysis of this first detailed field observation of hooked-stick use suggests a link between hooked-stick tool characteristics, functionality and skilled manipulation in natural prey extraction by these technological birds. Our findings also provide a rare, if not novel, example of tool-associated oscillatory manipulation in nonhuman animals.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Kołodziejczak A, H Rotsztejn (2023)

Objective, measurable assessment of the elasticity of the skin around the eyes following the carboxytherapy treatment.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Carboxytherapy is one of the most popular procedures used in dermatology. The treatments are known to be minimally invasive and highly effective for various skin disorders. Therefore, the research carried out in the paper is purposeful and addresses an important area of aesthetic therapies.

AIMS: Objective, apparatus-based assessment of the effect of carboxytherapy on skin elasticity around the eyes.

PATIENTS/METHODS: The study included a group of 39 Caucasian individuals aged 35-55 years. Participants were subjected to a series of five carboxytherapy treatments of eye area at weekly intervals. The Cutometer measuring probe was used to assess skin elasticity. Additionally, photographic documentation was out using the Fotomedicus system.

RESULTS: In this study, statistically significant increase in R2 parameter was found as the result of applied treatment. This parameter is considered to be the most important indicator of changes in skin elasticity. In 29 out of 39 subjects, the carboxytherapy treatment significantly improved skin tension and elasticity. Such therapy may also exert a beneficial effect on flexibility since in 28 participants the favorable change in the R7 parameter was visible.

CONCLUSIONS: The objective analysis of the impact of carboxytherapy treatment on parameters determining skin elasticity revealed that this therapy can be used as an anti-aging method in the eye area. Obtained results are in agreement with other biochemical, histological, and photographical documentation analyses of the effect of carboxytherapy on skin, performed by independent researchers.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Falholt Elvebakken H, Bruntse AB, Vedel C, et al (2023)

Topical Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LB244R® ointment alleviates skin aging: An exploratory trial.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The skin is of vital importance for health and well-being. As people age, the skin undergoes visual and morphological changes such as wrinkling, loss of elasticity, increased pigmentation, and decreased cell turnover. This is not only visually unappealing to many but can also pose health issues.

AIM: In this study, a probiotic ointment (PO) containing live lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LB244R®) was investigated for its ability to alleviate symptoms of skin aging in an exploratory clinical trial.

METHODS: The PO was applied twice daily for 56 days by 21 subjects. Anti-aging efficacy was evaluated by skin ultrasonography, skin biomechanical properties, skin hydration, and clinical evaluations at day 0, 28, and 56.

RESULTS: Sub-epidermal low echogenic band thickness decreased (0.261 ± 0.069 mm to 0.247 ± 0.055 mm) after 56 days. Dermal density increased (324.689 ± 57.506 pixel/mm[2] to 367.831 ± 75.790 pixel/mm[2]). Skin hydration increased (34.1 ± 6.9 to 51.3 ± 10.0 AU). Additionally, skin firmness increased, as shown by decreasing values (0.264 ± 0.038 to 0.228 ± 0.037 mm). Skin elasticity increased (0.578 ± 0.045 to 0.618 ± 0.044). Trans-epidermal water loss decreased (9.1 ± 2.0 g/h/m[2] to 8.5 ± 1.3). All clinical evaluations, Crow's feet, spot score, smoothness score, and complexion radiance, were improved.

CONCLUSION: The PO improved all measured parameters with statistical significance after 56 days of application, clearly demonstrating the potential of the PO as an anti-aging agent and reaffirming the potential of topical probiotic LAB. Future studies need to elucidate the mode of action of anti-aging effects by probiotics, but at present time, this study paves the way for the use of probiotic LAB topically to alleviate aging of the skin.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Ittyerah M (2022)

Handedness in low-birthweight children: Insights in lateralization.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:1018913.

Low-birthweight (LBW) children (n = 96) weighing less than 2.5 kg at birth and normal birthweight (NBW) children (n = 96) from Delhi, India, between the ages of 5 and 12 years were assessed for intelligence with Ravens Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM), their handedness and hand proficiency for unimanual and bimanual performance. The objective was to know if there is a relation between birthweight and the development of handedness. Compared with NBW children, the LBW group had lower percentile scores for the RCPM. The LBW children were less lateralized than the NBW children in the hand preference test. The LBW children were faster than the NBW for sorting objects with each hand separately, but they were slower in the bimanual envelope task. This indicates a delay in interhemispheric transfer and the development of the corpus callosum that connects the cerebral hemispheres to enable bimanual coordination. In the absence of more direct evidence, hand skill was used as an index of the extent of lateralized control for performance. Findings indicate a relation between birthweight and lateralization in children tested for hand preference.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Tatebe LC, Ho VP, Santry HP, et al (2023)

Redefining trauma deserts: novel technique to accurately map prehospital transport time.

Trauma surgery & acute care open, 8(1):e001013.

BACKGROUND: Prehospital transport time has been directly related to mortality for hemorrhaging trauma patients. 'Trauma deserts' were previously defined as being outside of a 5-mile radial distance of an urban trauma center. We postulated that the true 'desert' should be based on transport time rather than transport distance.

METHODS: Using the Chicagoland area that was used to describe 'trauma deserts,' a sequential process to query a commercial travel optimization product to map transport times over coordinates that covered the entire urban area at a particular time of day. This produces a heat map representing prehospital transport times. Travel times were then limited to 15 minutes to represent a temporally based map of transport capabilities. This was repeated during high and low traffic times and for centers across the city.

RESULTS: We demonstrated that the temporally based map for transport to a trauma center in an urban center differs significantly from the radial distance to the trauma center. Primary effects were proximity to highways and the downtown area. Transportation to centers were significantly different when time was considered instead of distance (p<0.001). We were further able to map variations in traffic patterns and thus transport times by time of day. The truly 'closest' trauma center by time changed based on time of day and was not always the closest hospital by distance.

DISCUSSION: As the crow flies is not how the ambulance drives. This novel technique of dynamically mapping transport times can be used to create accurate trauma deserts in an urban setting with multiple trauma centers. Further, this technique can be used to quantify the potential benefit or detriment of adding or removing firehouses or trauma centers.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Balasubramanian K, Ramya K, K Gayathri Devi (2023)

Optimized adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system based on hybrid grey wolf-bat algorithm for schizophrenia recognition from EEG signals.

Cognitive neurodynamics, 17(1):133-151.

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that impairs a person's thinking capacity, feelings and emotions, behavioural traits, etc., Emotional distortions, delusions, hallucinations, and incoherent speech are all some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, and cause disruption of routine activities. Computer-assisted diagnosis of schizophrenia is significantly needed to give its patients a higher quality of life. Hence, an improved adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system based on the Hybrid Grey Wolf-Bat Algorithm for accurate prediction of schizophrenia from multi-channel EEG signals is presented in this study. The EEG signals are pre-processed using a Butterworth band pass filter and wICA initially, from which statistical, time-domain, frequency-domain, and spectral features are extracted. Discriminating features are selected using the ReliefF algorithm and are then forwarded to ANFIS for classification into either schizophrenic or normal. ANFIS is optimized by the Hybrid Grey Wolf-Bat Algorithm (HWBO) for better efficiency. The method is experimented on two separate EEG datasets-1 and 2, demonstrating an accuracy of 99.54% and 99.35%, respectively, with appreciable F1-score and MCC. Further experiments reveal the efficiency of the Hybrid Wolf-Bat algorithm in optimizing the ANFIS parameters when compared with traditional ANFIS model and other proven algorithms like genetic algorithm-ANFIS, particle optimization-ANFIS, crow search optimization algorithm-ANFIS and ant colony optimization algorithm-ANFIS, showing high R[2] value and low RSME value. To provide a bias free classification, tenfold cross validation is performed which produced an accuracy of 97.8% and 98.5% on the two datasets respectively. Experimental outcomes demonstrate the superiority of the Hybrid Grey Wolf-Bat Algorithm over the similar techniques in predicting schizophrenia.

RevDate: 2023-02-02
CmpDate: 2023-01-30

Duerr AE, Parsons AE, Nagy LR, et al (2023)

Effectiveness of an artificial intelligence-based system to curtail wind turbines to reduce eagle collisions.

PloS one, 18(1):e0278754.

Operating wind-power projects often includes protecting volant wildlife. One method for doing this uses an automated system to detect, identify (through use of artificial intelligence; AI), track animals (targets) and curtail turbines when risk of a collision is high. However, assessments of the effectiveness, in terms of identification accuracy and subsequent turbine curtailment of such systems are lacking. Over 1 year, we assessed such an automated system installed at a wind project in California, USA to determine its identification accuracy and rates at which "virtual" curtailments were ordered (without slowing turbines), for eagles (intended targets) and non-eagle targets. The system correctly identified 77% of eagles and 85% of non-eagles. Curtailment orders occurred 6 times more frequently for non-eagle targets (5,439) than for eagle targets (850). Greater abundance of common ravens that were misidentified as eagles influenced the effectiveness of the system by greatly increasing unintended curtailment orders. The balance between costs (price of the IdentiFlight system, reduced energy generation, turbine wear and maintenance) and benefits (reduced collisions between intended target species and turbines) may depend upon the biological setting, speed at which operators can curtail turbines, and the objectives of the operator when considering the IdentiFlight system.

RevDate: 2023-02-03
CmpDate: 2023-02-03

Likhanov M, Bogdanova O, Alenina E, et al (2023)

No evidence of a positive effect of learning Chinese language as an L2 on spatial ability.

Scientific reports, 13(1):1262.

Spatial ability (SA) was shown to be a robust predictor of success in various educational contexts, including STEM. Thus, ways to improve SA are of interest to educational psychology. There is some evidence that SA might be improved via learning character-based language, e.g. Chinese as a second language (CSL), however, the existing research is quite limited. The study aims to investigate an effect of CSL learning on SA in schoolchildren from Year 2 to Year 7. Current study employs a sample of Russian schoolchildren (N = 283), who learnt: English only, English and Spanish; or English and Chinese. Participants completed Raven's progressive matrices and Mental rotation task at the age of 8 and again at the age of 14. Our data showed negligible group differences in the initial SA level at Year 2 (before learning second language). Similar negligible differences were found at Year 7. Regression analysis showed that SA was predicted by intelligence (Raven's) and gender but not language learnt at both ages. This pattern of results indicates that learning a Chinese as a second language is unlikely to affect SA. Further research is needed to investigate whether other factors, such as length, intensity and context of learning, moderate this link.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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This is a must read book for anyone with an interest in invasion biology. The full title of the book lays out the author's premise — The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's Salvation. Not only is species movement not bad for ecosystems, it is the way that ecosystems respond to perturbation — it is the way ecosystems heal. Even if you are one of those who is absolutely convinced that invasive species are actually "a blight, pollution, an epidemic, or a cancer on nature", you should read this book to clarify your own thinking. True scientific understanding never comes from just interacting with those with whom you already agree. R. Robbins

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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