About | BLOGS | Portfolio | Misc | Recommended | What's New | What's Hot

About | BLOGS | Portfolio | Misc | Recommended | What's New | What's Hot


Bibliography Options Menu

27 Jan 2020 at 01:34
Hide Abstracts   |   Hide Additional Links
Long bibliographies are displayed in blocks of 100 citations at a time. At the end of each block there is an option to load the next block.

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 27 Jan 2020 at 01:34 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: 2020-01-23

Kombiah S, Kumar M, Murugkar HV, et al (2020)

Experimental pathology of two highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses isolated from crows in BALB/c mice.

Microbial pathogenesis pii:S0882-4010(19)31623-7 [Epub ahead of print].

In our study we assessed the pathogenicity of two H5N1 viruses isolated from crows in mice. Eighteen 6-8 weeks BALB/c mice each were intranasally inoculated with 106 EID50/ml of H5N1 viruses A/crow/India/03CA04/2015 (H9N2-PB2 reassortant H5N1) and A/crow/India/02CA01/2012 (Non-reassortant H5N1). The infected mice showed dullness, weight loss and ruffled fur coat. Histopathological examination of lungs showed severe congestion, haemorrhage, thrombus, fibrinous exudate in perivascular area, interstitial septal thickening, bronchiolitis and alveolitis leading to severe pneumonic changes and these lesions were less pronounced in reassortant virus infected mice. Viral replication was demonstrated in nasal mucosa, lungs, trachea and brain in both the groups. Brain, lung, nasal mucosa and trachea showed significantly higher viral RNA copies and presence of antigen in immunohistochemistry in both the groups. This study concludes that both the crow viruses caused morbidity and mortality in mice and the viruses were phenotypically highly virulent in mice. The H5N1 viruses isolated from synanthropes pose a serious public health concern and should be monitored continuously for their human spill-over.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Tsai TS, JJ Mao (2017)

Species Identification of Shed Snake Skins in Taiwan and Adjacent Islands.

Zoological studies, 56:e38.

Tein-Shun Tsai and Jean-Jay Mao (2017) Shed snake skins have many applications for humans and other animals, and can provide much useful information to a field survey. When properly prepared and identified, a shed snake skin can be used as an important voucher; the morphological descriptions of the shed skins may be critical for taxonomic research, as well as studies of snake ecology and conservation. However, few convenient/ expeditious methods or techniques to identify shed snake skins in specific areas have been developed. In this study, we collected and examined a total of 1,260 shed skin samples - including 322 samples from neonates/ juveniles and 938 from subadults/adults - from 53 snake species in Taiwan and adjacent islands, and developed the first guide to identify them. To the naked eye or from scanned images, the sheds of almost all species could be identified if most of the shed was collected. The key features that aided in identification included the patterns on the sheds and scale morphology. Ontogenetic differences and intraspecific variation in the patterns of sheds were evident in some snake species, and the proportion of young snakes with patterned shed skins was larger than that of adults. The retention of markings on the ventral side of the body (especially the ventral head) during sloughing was much lower than that on the dorsal side. We hope that this pioneering work will not only encourage other researchers to develop similar keys for their country, but also promote local schools, organizations, and citizen scientists to conduct snake inventories.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

MacDonald AM, Gibson DJ, Barta JR, et al (2019)

Bayesian Phylogenetic Analysis of Avipoxviruses from North American Wild Birds Demonstrates New Insights into Host Specificity and Interspecies Transmission.

Avian diseases, 63(3):427-432.

Avian pox is commonly diagnosed in a variety of North American wild and domestic birds, yet little is known about the evolutionary relationships among the causative poxviruses. This study aimed to determine the phylogenetic relationships among isolates identified in different avian host species to better characterize the host range of specific viral strains and compare the genetic variability within and between viral clades. Skin lesions grossly and microscopically consistent with poxvirus infection from 82 birds collected in Canada, the United States, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were included in this study. A total of 12 avian species were represented; the most common species sampled were wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), and American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). Poxvirus samples from these birds were genotyped using PCR that targeted the 4b core protein gene followed by amplicon sequencing. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of these viruses, in conjunction with publicly available sequences, representing avipoxvirus strains from six continents revealed statistically significant monophyletic clades based on genetic distances of sequences within and between observed clades. Genetic variation within the fowlpox clade was low compared to the canarypox clade. Host and geographic origins of viral isolates revealed overall clustering of viral strains within avian species, with a few exceptions. No genetic differences were observed between viruses from Canada and the United States within individual species. These results are novel in their characterization and comparison of the phylogenetic relationships of poxvirus isolates in wild bird species from North America. Further, we provide new data on the level of host specificity and specific strains circulating in North America.

RevDate: 2020-01-18

Dutour M, AR Ridley (2020)

Females sing more often and at higher frequencies than males in Australian magpies.

Behavioural processes pii:S0376-6357(19)30305-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Birdsong is a particularly useful model for animal communication studies. However, current knowledge is derived mainly from the study of male song, and is therefore incomplete. Here, we investigated whether singing behaviour differs between sexes in the cooperatively breeding Western Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis). This subspecies lives in territorial groups, and in our population there is a female-biased sex ratio, which may lead to a high level of female-female competition for males. Observations of 94 magpies (54 females, 40 males) revealed that females sang more often than males. As bird song is a sexually multidimensional signal, we also studied amplitude and structure of the main territorial high-amplitude song in magpie; the carol. We found that females sing at the same amplitude as males, but that male and female carols exhibit differences in frequency. These results highlight the importance of studying female song and may change our perception regarding the evolution of sex-specific traits, given the primary focus on male singing as a sexually selected trait in the literature to date. The next step is to discover additional species in which females sing more than males in order to improve our currently incomplete understanding of the evolution of bird song.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Vernouillet A, DM Kelly (2020)

Individual exploratory responses are not repeatable across time or context for four species of food-storing corvid.

Scientific reports, 10(1):394 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-56138-y.

Exploration is among one of the most studied of animal personality traits (i.e., individual-level behavioural responses repeatable across time and contexts). However, not all species show clear evidence of this personality trait, and this is particularly so for members of the Corvidae family. We assessed the exploratory behaviour of four food-caching corvid species: pinyon jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus), Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana), California scrub jays (Aphelocoma californica), and black-billed magpies (Pica hudsonia). Contextual repeatability was assessed through examining behavioural measures during the Novel Environment task and the Novel Object task, whereas temporal repeatability was assessed by examining changes in these measures over repeated trials. Our results suggest that, for corvids, an individual's exploratory behaviour was not repeatable across contexts or over time. Hence, we found no evidence that exploration constitutes a personality trait for these species of corvid. We did find differences in exploratory behaviour, at a species level, that may be explained by relative reliance on cached food.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Kövér L, Lengyel S, Takenaka M, et al (2019)

Why do zoos attract crows? A comparative study from Europe and Asia.

Ecology and evolution, 9(24):14465-14475 pii:ECE35881.

Crows have successfully colonized many cities, and urban zoos have been important in this process. To evaluate why zoos attract crows, we quantified crow numbers and behavior in three zoos in Europe (Debrecen, Edinburgh, Vienna) and one in Asia (Sapporo). Data were collected in 445 surveys over 297 days in summer 2014 and winter 2014-2015. We found that crow numbers were highest in Vienna, intermediate in Debrecen and Edinburgh and lowest in Sapporo, increased significantly from summer to winter (Debrecen, Edinburgh, Vienna), and from mornings to afternoons (Debrecen, Sapporo, Vienna), and were higher in sunny weather than in cloudy weather with precipitation and when visitor numbers were low (Debrecen, Vienna). The crows' use of natural food was highest in Vienna, intermediate in Edinburgh and Sapporo, and low in Debrecen. The use of anthropogenic food was high in Debrecen and Sapporo, where the availability of open grassy areas typically used by crows for natural foraging was low. In Sapporo, food availability was more limited than in other zoos, resulting in strong territoriality and few crows in summer, which decreased further in winter. Our study indicates that crows are primarily attracted to zoos by food availability and secondarily by breeding opportunities and that the relative importance of natural versus anthropogenic food sources may vary with zoo habitat structure. Our study draws attention to a previously overlooked role of zoos in urban biodiversity conservation. It may also provide useful information for the management of crow populations, if necessary, and for the planning of urban areas.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Frommhold M, Heim A, Barabanov M, et al (2019)

Breeding habitat and nest-site selection by an obligatory "nest-cleptoparasite", the Amur Falcon Falco amurensis.

Ecology and evolution, 9(24):14430-14441 pii:ECE35878.

The selection of a nest site is crucial for successful reproduction of birds. Animals which re-use or occupy nest sites constructed by other species often have limited choice. Little is known about the criteria of nest-stealing species to choose suitable nesting sites and habitats. Here, we analyze breeding-site selection of an obligatory "nest-cleptoparasite", the Amur Falcon Falco amurensis. We collected data on nest sites at Muraviovka Park in the Russian Far East, where the species breeds exclusively in nests of the Eurasian Magpie Pica pica. We sampled 117 Eurasian Magpie nests, 38 of which were occupied by Amur Falcons. Nest-specific variables were assessed, and a recently developed habitat classification map was used to derive landscape metrics. We found that Amur Falcons chose a wide range of nesting sites, but significantly preferred nests with a domed roof. Breeding pairs of Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo and Eurasian Magpie were often found to breed near the nest in about the same distance as neighboring Amur Falcon pairs. Additionally, the occurrence of the species was positively associated with bare soil cover, forest cover, and shrub patches within their home range and negatively with the distance to wetlands. Areas of wetlands and fallow land might be used for foraging since Amur Falcons mostly depend on an insect diet. Additionally, we found that rarely burned habitats were preferred. Overall, the effect of landscape variables on the choice of actual nest sites appeared to be rather small. We used different classification methods to predict the probability of occurrence, of which the Random forest method showed the highest accuracy. The areas determined as suitable habitat showed a high concordance with the actual nest locations. We conclude that Amur Falcons prefer to occupy newly built (domed) nests to ensure high nest quality, as well as nests surrounded by available feeding habitats.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Shrader-Frechette KS, AM Biondo (2020)

Protecting Children from Toxic Waste: Data-Usability Evaluation Can Deter Flawed Cleanup.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(2): pii:ijerph17020424.

Nearly 25 percent of US children live within 2 km of toxic-waste sites, most of which are in urban areas. They face higher rates of cancer than adults, partly because the dominant contaminants at most US hazardous-waste sites include genotoxic carcinogens, like trichloroethylene, that are much more harmful to children. The purpose of this article is to help protect the public, especially children, from these threats and to improve toxics-remediation by beginning to test our hypothesis: If site-remediation assessments fail data-usability evaluation (DUE), they likely compromise later cleanups and public health, especially children's health. To begin hypothesis-testing, we perform a focused DUE for an unremediated, Pasadena, California toxic site. Our DUE methods are (a) comparing project-specific, remediation-assessment data with the remediation-assessment conceptual site model (CSM), in order to identify data gaps, and (b) using data-gap directionality to assess possible determinate bias (whether reported toxics risks are lower/higher than true values). Our results reveal (1) major CSM data gaps, particularly regarding Pasadena-toxic-site risks to children; (2) determinate bias, namely, risk underestimation; thus (3) likely inadequate remediation. Our discussion shows that if these results are generalizable, requiring routine, independent, DUEs might deter flawed toxic-site assessment/cleanup and resulting health threats, especially to children.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Jiang S, Li Z, Cheng X, et al (2020)

The first pterosaur basihyal, shedding light on the evolution and function of pterosaur hyoid apparatuses.

PeerJ, 8:e8292.

The pterosaur is the first known vertebrate clade to achieve powered flight. Its hyoid apparatus shows a simplification similar to that of birds, although samples of the apparatus are rare, limiting the ability to make an accurate determination. In this study we reveal a new pterosaur specimen, including the first definite basihyal. Through the comparison of pterosaur hyoids, a trend has been discovered for the shortened hyoid relative to the length of the skull, indicating a diminished role of lingual retraction during the evolution of the pterosaur. The new material, possibly from a gallodactylid Gladocephaloideus, represents one of the least effective lingual retractions in all pterosaurs. Based on the structure of an elongated ceratobranchial and retroarticular process on mandibles, the function of the Y-shaped istiodactylid tongue bone is similar to those of scavenger crows rather than chameleons, which is consistent with the interpretation of the scavenging behavior of this taxon. More fossil samples are needed for further study on the function of other pterosaur hyoids.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Li S, Yin C, Zhao W, et al (2020)

Application of hydrogen proton magnetic resonance technology combined with brain neurometabolite analysis in the treatment of cognitive impairment caused by type 2 diabetes mellitus.

World neurosurgery pii:S1878-8750(19)33194-8 [Epub ahead of print].

This study used hydrogen proton magnetic resonance imaging to detect the changes of white matter and medial cortex in prefrontal cortex of type 2 diabetic patients, and analysed its relationship with cognitive function and blood glucose level, and discussed the recognition of type 2 diabetes patients from the perspective of brain metabolism. Know the neural mechanisms affected by the disorder. The experiment recruited 65 volunteers, including 32 normal controls and 33 patients with type 2 diabetes. Clinical cognitive function and psychological evaluation of all volunteers, including simple intelligent mental state examination scale, digital breadth test, Raven intelligence test, Flanker paradigm experiment, connection test, auditory word learning test, depression self-evaluation Scale, anxiety self-rating scale. All subjects underwent multi-voxel proton magnetic resonance scanning, and the spectral data were processed and metabolite concentration analysis by Functool software. The detected regions of interest included bilateral prefrontal white matter and bilateral prefrontal cortex. The study found that compared with the control group, the NAA and NAA/MI of the right prefrontal cortex were reduced in the type 2 diabetes group; the right prefrontal white matter Cho increased; and the MI of the bilateral prefrontal cortex increased. The NAA value of the right prefrontal cortex in the T2DM group was negatively correlated with the HbAlC concentration. The study found that the right prefrontal cortex NAA value of type 2 diabetes patients was negatively correlated with HbAlC concentration, reflecting that recent blood glucose levels can affect the changes of brain metabolites, and reasonable control of blood glucose can effectively delay brain neurons caused by diabetes.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Long KL, Prothero DR, VJP Syverson (2020)

How do small birds evolve in response to climate change? Data from the long-term record at La Brea tar pits.

Integrative zoology [Epub ahead of print].

Biology textbooks describe the small changes in the beaks of the Galápagos finches as exemplars of how birds evolve in response to environmental changes. Yet recent studies of the abundant fossil birds at Rancho La Brea finds no evidence of evolutionary responses to the dramatic climate changes of the glacial-interglacial cycle over the last 35,000 years: none of the large birds exhibit any change in body size or limb proportions, even during the last glacial maximum about 18,000-20,000 years ago, when the southern California chaparral was replaced by snowy coniferous forests. But these are all large birds with large ranges and broad habitat preferences, capable of living in many different environments. Perhaps the smaller birds at La Brea, which have smaller home ranges and narrower habitats, might respond to climate more like Galápagos finches. The only three common small birds at La Brea are the Western Meadowlark, the Yellow-Billed Magpie, and the Raven. In this study, we demonstrate that these birds also show complete stasis over the last glacial-interglacial cycle, with no statistically significant changes between dated pits. Recent research suggests that the small-scale changes over short time scales seen in the Galápagos finches are merely fluctuations around a stable morphology, and rarely lead to long-term accumulation of changes or speciation. Instead, the prevalence of stasis supports the view that long-term directional changes in morphology are quite rare. While directional changes in morphology occur frequently over short (<1ka) timescales, in the long term such changes only rarely remain stable for long enough to appear in the fossil record. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Rahman M, Mangtani P, Uyeki TM, et al (2020)

Evaluation of potential risk of transmission of avian influenza A viruses at live bird markets in response to unusual crow die-offs in Bangladesh.

Influenza and other respiratory viruses [Epub ahead of print].

In response to unusual crow die-offs from avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection during January-February 2017 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a One Health team assessed potential infection risks in live bird markets (LBMs). Evidence of aerosolized avian influenza A viruses was detected in LBMs and in the respiratory tracts of market workers, indicating exposure and potential for infection. This study highlighted the importance of surveillance platforms with a coordinated One Health strategy to investigate and mitigate zoonotic risk.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Spanoudis CG, Andreadis SS, Bray DP, et al (2020)

Behavioural response of the house mosquitoes Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex pipiens molestus to avian odours and its reliance on carbon dioxide.

Medical and veterinary entomology [Epub ahead of print].

How Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes select and discriminate between potential avian hosts is critical for understanding the epidemiology of West Nile virus. Therefore, the present authors studied the behavioural responses of Culex quinquefasciatus (Say) and Culex pipiens molestus (Forsskål) to headspace volatiles of three avian species [chicken and pigeon (sexes analysed separately), and magpie], presented either alone or in combination with 600 p.p.m. carbon dioxide (CO2). The attraction of Cx. quinquefasciatus to the headspace volatiles of both sexes of chicken, and of female pigeon, in combination with CO2 was significantly higher than that achieved by the CO2 and solvent control. Although Cx. p. molestus was attracted to headspace volatiles of chickens and magpies, it was repelled by those of female pigeons when combined with CO2 . An increased effect between the avian volatiles and CO2 was observed for Cx. quinquefasciatus, whereas the addition of CO2 had no effect on the attraction of Cx. p. molestus females. The results of this study demonstrate that Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. p. molestus are attracted to the odour of potential avian hosts. Future studies aimed at identifying the bioactive volatile compounds in the headspace of chickens may contribute to the potential development of effective surveillance and control tools against Culex species.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Abadi SH, Wacker DW, Newton JG, et al (2019)

Acoustic localization of crows in pre-roost aggregations.

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 146(6):4664.

Crows are highly intelligent and social creatures. Each night during the non-breeding period, they gather on large pre-roost aggregations as they move towards their communal roost where they sleep. Crows make numerous and varied vocalizations on these pre-roost aggregations, but the purpose of these calls, and vocal communication in general, in these pre-roost aggregations is not fully understood. In this paper, an array of four microphones is used as a non-intrusive means to observe crow vocal behavior in pre-roost aggregations in the absence of human observers. By passively localizing animal vocalizations, the location of individuals can be monitored while simultaneously recording the acoustic structure and organization of their calls. Simulations and experiment are undertaken to study the performance of two time difference of arrival-based methods (hyperbolic location estimator and maximum likelihood estimator) for call localization. The effect of signal-to-noise ratio and uncertainty in measurement on the localization error is presented. By describing, modeling, and testing these techniques in this innovative context, the authors hope that researchers will employ the authors' approaches in future empirical studies to more fully understand crow vocal behavior.

RevDate: 2019-12-30

Irie T, Uraguchi K, Ito T, et al (2020)

First report of Sarcocystis pilosa sporocysts in feces from red fox, Vulpes vulpes schrencki, in Hokkaido, Japan.

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, 11:29-31.

Sarcocysts of various Sarcocystis spp. are highly prevalent in wild sika deer, Cervus nippon yesoensis, in Hokkaido, Japan, and four species have been identified based on morphological and molecular characteristics: S. ovalis, S. pilosa, S. tarandi-like, and S. truncata-like. The definitive hosts of S. ovalis are corvids, but the hosts of the other species have not yet been identified. Aiming to determine the definitive hosts of these species, we collected 65 red fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki) fecal samples in eastern Hokkaido and examined them for fecal sporocysts using a modified sucrose flotation method. One fecal sample contained typical Sarcocystis sporocysts, which were identified as S. pilosa based on 18S ribosomal RNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene sequences. This is the first identification of S. pilosa sporocysts in the wild. These findings indicate that red foxes serve as a definitive host of S. pilosa, and that red foxes constitute a source of S. pilosa infection for deer in Hokkaido.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Ashton BJ, Thornton A, AR Ridley (2019)

Larger group sizes facilitate the emergence and spread of innovations in a group-living bird.

Animal behaviour, 158:1-7.

The benefits of group living have traditionally been attributed to risk dilution or the efficient exploitation of resources; individuals in social groups may therefore benefit from access to valuable information. If sociality facilitates access to information, then individuals in larger groups may be predicted to solve novel problems faster than individuals in smaller groups. Additionally, larger group sizes may facilitate the subsequent spread of innovations within animal groups, as has been proposed for human societies. We presented a novel foraging task (where a food reward could be accessed by pushing a self-shutting sliding door) to 16 groups of wild, cooperatively breeding Australian magpies, Cracticus tibicen dorsalis, ranging in size from two to 11 individuals. We found a nonlinear decline in the time taken for the innovative behaviour to emerge with increasing group size, and social information use facilitated the transmission of novel behaviour, with it spreading more quickly in larger than smaller groups. This study provides important evidence for a nonlinear relationship between group size and the emergence of innovation (and its subsequent transmission) in a wild population of animals. Further work investigating the scope and strength of group size-innovation relationships, and the mechanisms underpinning them, will help us understand the potential advantages of living in larger social groups.

RevDate: 2020-01-08
CmpDate: 2020-01-03

Ben-David A, Shamon H, Izhaki I, et al (2019)

Increased songbird nest depredation due to Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) encroachment in Mediterranean shrubland.

BMC ecology, 19(1):52.

BACKGROUND: In recent decades, a decrease of passerine densities was documented in Mediterranean shrublands. At the same time, a widespread encroachment of Aleppo pines (Pinus halepensis) to Mediterranean shrubland occurred. Such changes in vegetation structure may affect passerine predator assemblage and densities, and in turn impact passerine densities. Depredation during the nesting season is an important factor to influence passerine population size. Understanding the effects of changes in vegetation structure (pine encroachment) on passerine nesting success is the main objective of this study. We do so by assessing the effects of Aleppo pine encroachment on Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala) nest depredation in Mediterranean shrublands. We examined direct and indirect predation pressures through a gradients of pine density, using four methods: (1) placing dummy nests; (2) acoustic monitoring of mobbing events; (3) direct observations on nest predation using cameras; and (4) observation of Eurasian jay (Garrulus glandarius) behaviour as indirect evidence of predation risk.

RESULTS: We found that Aleppo pine encroachment to Mediterranean shrublands increased nest predation by Eurasian jays. Nest predation was highest in mixed shrubland and pines. These areas are suitable for warblers but had high occurrence rate of Eurasian jays.

CONCLUSIONS: Encroaching pines directly increase activity of Eurasian jays in shrubland habitats, which reduced the nesting success of Sardinian warblers. These findings are supported by multiple methodologies, illustrating different predation pressures along a gradient of pine densities in natural shrublands. Management of Aleppo pine seedlings and removal of unwanted trees in natural shrubland might mitigate arrival and expansion of predators and decrease the predation pressure on passerine nests.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Michałowska J, Tofil A, Józwik J, et al (2019)

Monitoring the Risk of the Electric Component Imposed on a Pilot During Light Aircraft Operations in a High-Frequency Electromagnetic Field.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 19(24): pii:s19245537.

High-frequency electromagnetic fields can have a negative effect on both the human body and electronic devices. The devices and systems utilized in radio communications constitute the most numerous sources of electromagnetic fields. The following research investigates values of the electric component of electromagnetic field intensification determined with the ESM 140 dosimeter during the flights of four aircrafts-Cessna C152, Cessna C172, Aero AT3 R100, and Robinson R44 Raven helicopter-from the airport in Depultycze Krolewskie near Chelm, Poland. The point of reference for the obtained results were the normative limits of the electromagnetic field that can affect a pilot in the course of a flight. The maximum value registered by the dosimeter was E = 3.307 V/m for GSM 1800 frequencies.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Lisukha LM, IY Kolpakov (2019)


Problemy radiatsiinoi medytsyny ta radiobiolohii, 24:395-410.

OBJECTIVE: to study the state of cognitive functions in children who were born and permanently live at radioactive contaminated territories (RCT) with pathology of the upper digestive tract, using pathopsychological testing; to increase the effectiveness of treatment and prophylactic measures aimed at preserving and restoring the health of RCT residents.

DESIGN, PATIENTS AND METHODS: A randomized blind controlled clinical trial was conducted. There were examined, a total of 90 persons aged 6 to 17 years (35 boys and 55 girls) who were divided into two groups: the control group (I) included 30 persons of the conventional «clean» territories, and the main group (II) - 60 patients with patho- logy of the digestive organs who were born and live at the RCT. The study program included: the collection of anam- nesis, complaints; clinical and instrumental examinations. The following tests were applied by us: «What things are hidden in the drawings», Toulouse-Pieron, Raven, and Luria testing. For detecting the anxiety level, and the subjec- tive signs of autonomic dysfunctions were used the Spilberg-Hanin self-diagnosis and the Wein questionnaire, respectively.

RESULTS: It was shown that in children aged 6-11 years, according to the results of the Toulouse-Pieron test, speed of cognitive information-processing was significantly decreased by 7.17 conventional units, while on the back- ground of the etiopathogenetic treatment of the digestive tract - by 10.24 conventional units relative to the va- lues of the control group. The long-term memory was statistically significantly decreased in the examined children of senior school age (from 12 to 17 years). A significant increase in reactive anxiety and a reverse correlation between the personal anxiety (PA) and speed of cognitive information-processing (r = -0.331) were recorded in patients aged 6-11 years. In older patients, PA was increased.Сonclusions. The obtained results indicate that the state of cognitive functions was characterized by a decrease in speed of cognitive information-processing, long-term memory and a high level of anxiety in children aged from 6 to 17 years residents of RСT with pathology of digestive organs, according to the used testing.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Shrader-Frechette K, T Meade (2020)

Using routine, independent, scientific-data audits as an early-warning for potentially fraudulent toxic-site cleanup: PCE, TCE, and other VOCs at the former Naval-Ordnance Test Station, Pasadena, California.

Accountability in research, 27(1):1-31.

Two of the most prevalent Superfund-site contaminants are carcinogenic solvents PCE (perchloroethylene) and TCE (trichloroethylene). Because their cleanup is difficult and costly, remediators have repeatedly falsified site-cleanup data, as Tetra Tech apparently did recently in San Francisco. Especially for difficult-to-remediate toxins, this paper hypothesizes that scientific misrepresentations occur in toxic-site assessments, before remediation even begins. To begin to test this hypothesis, the paper (1) defines scientific-data audits (assessing whether published conclusions contradict source data), (2) performs a preliminary scientific-data audit of toxic-site assessments by consultants Ninyo and Moore for developer Trammell Crow. Trammel Crow wants to build 550 apartments on an unremediated Pasadena, California site - once a premier US Navy weapons-testing/development facility. The paper (3) examines four key Ninyo-and-Moore conclusions, that removing only localized metals-hotspots will (3.1) remediate TCE/PCE; (3.2) leave low levels of them; (3.3) clean the northern half of soil, making it usable for grading, and (3.4) ensure site residents have lifetime cancer risks no greater than 1 in 3,000. The paper (4) shows that source data contradict all four conclusions. After summarizing the benefits of routine, independent, scientific-data audits (RISDA), the paper (5) argues that, if these results are generalizable, RISDA might help prevent questionable toxic-site assessments, especially those of expensive-to-remediate toxins like PCE/TCE.

RevDate: 2020-01-06

Tätte K, Møller AP, R Mänd (2020)

Corvids exhibit dynamic risk assessment during escape.

Behavioural processes, 170:104017.

It is widely accepted that stationary prey are able to carefully assess the risk levels associated with an approaching predator to make informative decisions on when to escape. However, little is known about subsequent decision-making process. We set out to compare whether escape durations of three species of corvids differ depending on how a human observer (in the role of a predator) behaves after the escape has begun. When birds were being followed during escape, escape durations were the longest, escape trajectory was modified the most during escape, and a larger proportion of individuals changed from terrestrial to aerial escape strategy compared to observations where birds were not followed. Mean horizontal escape angle of ca 120° was also a potential indication that monitoring the threat is taken into account when deciding on the escape trajectory. While there were some differences between the behaviour of these three closely related species, the general patterns supported the notion that birds dynamically assess risk during escape to find an optimal balance between getting caught and spending too much time and energy on escaping. Further research using different predator-prey combinations or making comparisons between habitats could help understand the generality of our results.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Davis BJK, FC Curriero (2019)

Development and Evaluation of Geostatistical Methods for Non-Euclidean-Based Spatial Covariance Matrices.

Mathematical geosciences, 51(6):767-791.

Customary and routine practice of geostatistical modeling assumes that inter-point distances are a Euclidean metric (i.e., as the crow flies) when characterizing spatial variation. There are many real-world settings, however, in which the use of a non-Euclidean distance is more appropriate, for example in complex bodies of water. However, if such a distance is used with current semivariogram functions, the resulting spatial covariance matrices are no longer guaranteed to be positive-definite. Previous attempts to address this issue for geostatistical prediction (i.e., kriging) models transform the non-Euclidean space into a Euclidean metric, such as through multi-dimensional scaling (MDS). However, these attempts estimate spatial covariances only after distances are scaled. An alternative method is proposed to re-estimate a spatial covariance structure originally based on a non-Euclidean distance metric to ensure validity. This method is compared to the standard use of Euclidean distance, as well as a previously utilized MDS method. All methods are evaluated using cross-validation assessments on both simulated and real-world experiments. Results show a high level of bias in prediction variance for the previously developed MDS method that has not been highlighted previously. Conversely, the proposed method offers a preferred tradeoff between prediction accuracy and prediction variance and at times outperforms the existing methods for both sets of metrics. Overall results indicate that this proposed method can provide improved geostatistical predictions while ensuring valid results when the use of non-Euclidean distances is warranted.

RevDate: 2020-01-08
CmpDate: 2019-12-13

Osvath M, C Kabadayi (2019)

A theory stuck in evolutionary and historical time.

The Behavioral and brain sciences, 42:e268 pii:S0140525X19000359.

We argue that the two temporal cognition systems are conceptually too confined to be helpful in understanding the evolution of temporal cognition. In fact, we doubt there are two systems. In relation to this, we question that the authors did not describe the results of our planning study on ravens correctly, as this is of consequence to their theory.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Gustafsson DR, SE Bush (2019)

The Genus Brueelia (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera: Philopteridae) of North American Jays and Allies (Aves: Passeriformes: Corvidae), with Descriptions of Five New Species.

The Journal of parasitology, 105(6):893-903.

Five new species of chewing lice in the genus Brueelia Kéler, 1936 , are described from North American jays and allies. They are Brueelia mexicana n. sp. from Aphelocoma woodhouseii cyanotis Ridgway, 1887 ; Brueelia bonnevillensis n. sp. from Aphelocoma woodhouseii nevadae Pitelka, 1945 ; Brueelia diblasiae n. sp. from Cyanocitta stelleri frontalis (Ridgway, 1873); Brueelia tempestwilliamsae n. sp. from Gymnorhinus cyanocephala Wied-Neuwied, 1841 ; Brueelia mcnewae n. sp. from Nucifraga columbiana (Wilson, 1811). An identification key to the Brueelia on corvid hosts is provided.

RevDate: 2019-12-09

Chiffard J, Delestrade A, Yoccoz NG, et al (2019)

Warm temperatures during cold season can negatively affect adult survival in an alpine bird.

Ecology and evolution, 9(22):12531-12543.

Climate seasonality is a predominant constraint on the lifecycles of species in alpine and polar biomes. Assessing the response of these species to climate change thus requires taking into account seasonal constraints on populations. However, interactions between seasonality, weather fluctuations, and population parameters remain poorly explored as they require long-term studies with high sampling frequency. This study investigated the influence of environmental covariates on the demography of a corvid species, the alpine chough Pyrrhocorax graculus, in the highly seasonal environment of the Mont Blanc region. In two steps, we estimated: (1) the seasonal survival of categories of individuals based on their age, sex, etc., (2) the effect of environmental covariates on seasonal survival. We hypothesized that the cold season-and more specifically, the end of the cold season (spring)-would be a critical period for individuals, and we expected that weather and individual covariates would influence survival variation during critical periods. We found that while spring was a critical season for adult female survival, it was not for males. This is likely because females are dominated by males at feeding sites during snowy seasons (winter and spring), and additionally must invest energy in egg production. When conditions were not favorable, which seemed to happen when the cold season was warmer than usual, females probably reached their physiological limits. Surprisingly, adult survival was higher at the beginning of the cold season than in summer, which may result from adaptation to harsh weather in alpine and polar vertebrates. This hypothesis could be confirmed by testing it with larger sets of populations. This first seasonal analysis of individual survival over the full life cycle in a sedentary alpine bird shows that including seasonality in demographic investigations is crucial to better understand the potential impacts of climate change on cold ecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-11-30

Wang R, Chen B, Li Y, et al (2019)

Complete genomic sequence of crow-dipper mosaic-associated virus, a novel macluravirus infecting Pinellia ternata.

Archives of virology pii:10.1007/s00705-019-04471-y [Epub ahead of print].

A new macluravirus infecting Pinellia ternata in China was identified by high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and tentatively named "crow-dipper mosaic-associated virus" (CrdMV). The complete genome sequence of CrdMV was determined by reverse transcription (RT) PCR and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) PCR. The genomic RNA of CrdMV consists of 8,454 nucleotides (nt), excluding the poly(A) tail at the 3' end. CrdMV has a genomic structure typical of macluraviruses, with large open reading frame encoding a polyprotein of 2,696 amino acids (aa). CrdMV shares 54.40%-59.37% nt sequence identity at the genome sequence level, 48.00%-58.58% aa sequence identity, at the polyprotein sequence level and 37.27%-49.22% aa sequence identity at the CP sequence level with other members of the genus Macluravirus. These values are well below the species demarcation threshold for the family Potyviridae. Phylogenetic analysis based on the amino acid sequences of polyproteins confirmed that CrdMV clusters closely with broad-leafed dock virus A (BDVA, GenBank accession no. KU053507). These results suggest that CrdMV should be considered a distinct member of the genus Macluravirus.

RevDate: 2019-11-26

Ziegler U, Fischer D, Eiden M, et al (2019)

Sindbis virus- a wild bird associated zoonotic arbovirus circulates in Germany.

Veterinary microbiology, 239:108453.

Sindbis virus (SINV) is an arbovirus causing clinical symptoms such as arthritis, rash and fever following human infections in Fennoscandia. Its transmission cycle involves mosquito species as vectors as well as wild birds that act as natural reservoir hosts. In Germany, SINV was first time observed in 2009 in different mosquito species in the Upper Rhine valley and one year later in a hooded crow in Berlin. Recently, SINV was also detected repeatedly at various locations in Germany in the context of a mosquitoes monitoring program for arboviruses. In this study, we detected for just the second time a SINV infection in a diseased wild bird (common wood pigeon) from Central Europe. SINV was isolated by cell culture and the complete SINV genome sequence was determined. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a close affiliation to SINV genotype I with a high similarity to human isolate sequences from Finland, Sweden and Russia. The isolate was genetically distinct from the first avian isolate suggesting the circulation of at least two different SINV strains in Germany. In order to reveal the infection frequency in SINV positive mosquito regions 749 bird blood samples were assayed serologically and SINV antibodies found primarily in resident birds. SINV is therefore endemically circulating in mosquitoes in Germany, which results in occasional bird infections. No data are yet available on zoonotic transmission to humans.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Jokimäki J, Suhonen J, Benedetti Y, et al (2019)

Land-sharing vs. land-sparing urban development modulate predator-prey interactions in Europe.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America [Epub ahead of print].

Urban areas are expanding globally as a consequence of human population increases, with overall negative effects on biodiversity. To prevent the further loss of biodiversity, it is urgent to understand the mechanisms behind this loss to develop evidence-based sustainable solutions to preserve biodiversity in urban landscapes. The two extreme urban development types along a continuum, land-sparing (large, continuous green areas and high-density housing) and land-sharing (small, fragmented green areas and low-density housing) have been the recent focus of debates regarding the pattern of urban development. However, in this context, there is no information on the mechanisms behind the observed biodiversity changes. One of the main mechanisms proposed to explain urban biodiversity loss is the alteration of predator-prey interactions. Using ground-nesting birds as a model system and data from nine European cities, we experimentally tested the effects of these two extreme urban development types on artificial ground nest survival and whether nest survival correlates with the local abundance of ground-nesting birds and their nest predators. Nest survival (n = 554) was lower in land-sharing than in land-sparing urban areas. Nest survival decreased with increasing numbers of local predators (cats and corvids) and with nest visibility. Correspondingly, relative abundance of ground-nesting birds was greater in land-sparing than in land-sharing urban areas, though overall bird species richness was unaffected by the pattern of urban development. We provide the first evidence that predator-prey interactions differ between the two extreme urban development types. Changing interactions may explain the higher proportion of ground-nesting birds in land-sparing areas, and suggest a limitation of the land-sharing model. Nest predator control and the provision of more green-covered urban habitats may also improve conservation of sensitive birds in cities. Our findings provide information on how to further expand our cities without severe loss of urban-sensitive species and give support for land-sparing over land-sharing urban development.

RevDate: 2019-11-25

Hirschl RB, Newman E, Cooke-Barber J, et al (2019)

APSA 5.0: Saving Even More Lifetimes The Jay and Margie Grosfeld Presidential Symposium.

Journal of pediatric surgery pii:S0022-3468(19)30700-6 [Epub ahead of print].

In light of APSA's 50th Anniversary, the typical Presidential Address was transformed into a "symposium" consisting of talks on the maturation of our organization to APSA 5.0 and the issues and opportunities related to its internal and external environment, especially as they apply to our pediatric surgical patients. Speakers included the President and experts in the fields of diversity, as well as inequity and poverty in the United States.

RevDate: 2019-11-22

Liu D, Brice B, Elliot A, et al (2019)

Molecular and morphological analysis of a Caryospora-like isolate (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) (Latham, 1801) in Western Australia.

Parasitology research pii:10.1007/s00436-019-06546-w [Epub ahead of print].

A new Caryospora-like isolate is described from a magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) in Western Australia. Sporulated oocysts of the Caryospora-like isolate (n = 35) are subspherical with a shape index of 1.13 ((21.5 (19.7-23.6) × 19.0 (18.1-19.8) μm). The bilayered oocyst wall is smooth. Micropyle, polar granule and oocyst residuum are absent. The sporocyst is ellipsoidal, 18.9 (17.2-20.8) × 12.3 (11.9-12.8) μm, with a shape index (length/width) of 1.54. The sporocyst wall is bilayered. Stieda and substieda bodies are present, the Stieda body is small and flattened and the substieda is trapezoidal. Sporocyst with eight sporozoites arranged head to tail. The sporozoites are vermiform, 18.9 (17.2-20.8) × 12.3 (11.9-12.8) μm and have striations at the anterior end. Each sporozoite has both anterior and posterior refractile bodies. A sporocyst residuum is present. Molecular characterization of the isolated Caryospora-like oocysts was conducted at the 18S ribosomal RNA and the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (COI) loci. At the 18S rRNA locus, the Caryospora-like isolate exhibited 88.8% to 96.5% similarity with other Caryospora spp. from different hosts. At the COI locus, it showed 91.5% similarity to Caryospora cf. bigenetica JB-2013 (KF859856) from the rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Klump BC (2019)

Of crows and tools.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 366(6468):965.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Lambert CT, Sewall KB, LM Guillette (2019)

Questioning the developmental effects of group size on cognitive abilities.

Learning & behavior, 47(4):280-283.

Australian magpies living in larger social groups learned quicker and made fewer errors across four cognitive tasks compared with birds living in smaller social groups, and this pattern may be driven by a developmental effect associated with the cognitive demands of living in larger groups. While Smulders (2018, Learning and Behavior, 1-2, doi:10.3758/s13420-018-0335-0) questioned whether this group size-cognitive performance pattern was driven by motivation rather than cognitive abilities, we question whether there is truly evidence of a developmental effect and whether the relationship between group size and cognitive performance can be explained in other ways. We highlight potential alternative explanations for the relationship between group size and cognitive performance and highlight some of the theoretical issues underlying the developmental effects of group size on cognitive abilities.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Valiakos G, Plavos K, Vontas A, et al (2019)

Phylogenetic Analysis of Bird-Virulent West Nile Virus Strain, Greece.

Emerging infectious diseases, 25(12):2323-2325.

We report the full polyprotein genomic sequence of a West Nile virus strain isolated from Eurasian magpies dying with neurologic signs in Greece. Our findings demonstrate the local genetic evolution of the West Nile virus strain responsible for a human disease outbreak in the country that began in 2010.

RevDate: 2019-11-21

Du J, Luo J, Huang J, et al (2019)

Emergence of Genetic Diversity and Multi-Drug Resistant Campylobacter jejuni From Wild Birds in Beijing, China.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2433.

Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) is considered as an opportunistic zoonotic pathogen that may cause gastroenteritis in humans and other animals. Wild birds may be as potential vectors of C. jejuni around urban and suburban areas. Here, 520 samples were collected from 33 wild bird species in urban and suburban areas, Beijing. In total 57 C. jejuni were isolated from seven species. It was found that Nineteen (33.33%, 19/57) isolates were resistant to at least one of 11 antibiotics, especially streptomycin (36.84%) and four isolates resistant to all. Nineteen (33.33%, 19/57) isolates were multi-drug resistance. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis of the isolates showed that 36 different sequence types (STs) belonged to four Clonal complexes and unassigned. Twenty STs (55.56%) and six alleles among them were first detected. Virulence genes including flaA, cadF, and the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) gene cluster, were detected in all isolates, but truncated cdt gene clusters only detected in the isolates from the crow, daurian jackdaw and silver pheasant. In conclusion, it was the first detection of C. jejuni involved truncated cdt gene clusters from the silver pheasant. These wild birds around urban and suburban areas may pose potential public health problems as reservoir vectors of C. jejuni.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Nieder A, R Mooney (2020)

The neurobiology of innate, volitional and learned vocalizations in mammals and birds.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1789):20190054.

Vocalization is an ancient vertebrate trait essential to many forms of communication, ranging from courtship calls to free verse. Vocalizations may be entirely innate and evoked by sexual cues or emotional state, as with many types of calls made in primates, rodents and birds; volitional, as with innate calls that, following extensive training, can be evoked by arbitrary sensory cues in non-human primates and corvid songbirds; or learned, acoustically flexible and complex, as with human speech and the courtship songs of oscine songbirds. This review compares and contrasts the neural mechanisms underlying innate, volitional and learned vocalizations, with an emphasis on functional studies in primates, rodents and songbirds. This comparison reveals both highly conserved and convergent mechanisms of vocal production in these different groups, despite their often vast phylogenetic separation. This similarity of central mechanisms for different forms of vocal production presents experimentalists with useful avenues for gaining detailed mechanistic insight into how vocalizations are employed for social and sexual signalling, and how they can be modified through experience to yield new vocal repertoires customized to the individual's social group. This article is part of the theme issue 'What can animal communication teach us about human language?'

RevDate: 2020-01-07

Gjerde B, de la Fuente C, Alunda JM, et al (2020)

Molecular characterisation of five Sarcocystis species in domestic sheep (Ovis aries) from Spain.

Parasitology research, 119(1):215-231.

The major aim of the present study was to determine by molecular methods whether the wide and narrow types of macroscopic sarcocysts in Spanish sheep belonged to different species, that is, Sarcocystis gigantea and Sarcocystis medusiformis, respectively. Additionally, we wanted to identify and characterize molecularly the species forming microscopic sarcocysts and determine the phylogenetic placement of all species found. Portions of the oesophagus, diaphragm and hind legs containing macroscopic sarcocysts were collected from slaughtered culled ewes at an abattoir in the Province of Madrid, Central Spain, but both macroscopic and microscopic sarcocysts were isolated for molecular examination. Genomic DNA from 63 sarcocysts (21 macroscopic, 42 microscopic) were examined at the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (cox1), while selected isolates of each species found were further examined at the 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes. The 63 sarcocysts comprised five cox1 sequence types, each corresponding to a particular sarcocyst type, and thus represented five Sarcocystis spp. The slender fusiform and thick macrocysts belonged to S. medusiformis and S. gigantea, respectively. The microscopic sarcocysts belonged to Sarcocystis arieticanis, Sarcocystis tenella and a Sarcocystis mihoensis-like species with slanting thorn-like cyst wall protrusions, which was characterised molecularly for the first time. Based on its phylogenetic position, the S. mihoensis-like species probably uses corvids as definitive hosts.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Ling H, Mclvor GE, Westley J, et al (2019)

Behavioural plasticity and the transition to order in jackdaw flocks.

Nature communications, 10(1):5174.

Collective behaviour is typically thought to arise from individuals following fixed interaction rules. The possibility that interaction rules may change under different circumstances has thus only rarely been investigated. Here we show that local interactions in flocks of wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula) vary drastically in different contexts, leading to distinct group-level properties. Jackdaws interact with a fixed number of neighbours (topological interactions) when traveling to roosts, but coordinate with neighbours based on spatial distance (metric interactions) during collective anti-predator mobbing events. Consequently, mobbing flocks exhibit a dramatic transition from disordered aggregations to ordered motion as group density increases, unlike transit flocks where order is independent of density. The relationship between group density and group order during this transition agrees well with a generic self-propelled particle model. Our results demonstrate plasticity in local interaction rules and have implications for both natural and artificial collective systems.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Sarker S, Batinovic S, Talukder S, et al (2020)

Molecular characterisation of a novel pathogenic avipoxvirus from the Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen).

Virology, 540:1-16.

Avipoxviruses are significant pathogens infecting a wide range of wild and domestic bird species globally. Here, we describe a novel genome sequence of magpiepox virus (MPPV) isolated from an Australian magpie. In the present study, histopathologically confirmed cutaneous pox lesions were used for transmission electron microscopic analysis, which demonstrated brick-shaped virions with regular spaced thread-like ridges, indicative of likely infectious particles. Subsequent analysis of the recovered MPPV genome positioned phylogenetically to a distinct sub-clade with the recently isolated avipoxvirus genome sequences from shearwater and canary bird species, and demonstrates a high degree of sequence similarity with CNPV (96.14%) and SWPV-2 (95.87%). The novel MPPV complete genome is missing 19 genes with a further 41 genes being truncated/fragmented compared to SWPV-2 and contains nine predicted unique genes. This is the first avipoxvirus complete genome sequence that infects Australian magpie.

RevDate: 2019-12-04

Kenny SC (2020)

Capturing Racial Pathology: American Medical Photography in the Era of Jim Crow.

American journal of public health, 110(1):75-83.

This article focuses on the untapped, complicated, fragile, and fluid visual archives of the elite White surgeon Rudolph Matas, a large proportion of which was produced during the late 19th and early 20th century, a time when he was a resident at New Orleans' Charity Hospital in Louisiana and a professor of general and clinical surgery at Tulane University's Medical Department. The article's main aim is to understand the role of visual materials in the production, uses, circulation, and impact of a form of knowledge that Matas termed "racial pathology." A small but representative sample of visual materials from the Matas collection are placed in context and examined in order to make known this untold chapter from the life story of "one of the great pioneers" in American surgery. The article reveals that many of the photographs were most significant in having been produced and assembled in parallel with the making, publication, dissemination, reception, and use of Matas' racialized medical research, in particular his influential 1896 pamphlet, The Surgical Peculiarities of the American Negro.

RevDate: 2019-11-26

Anonymous (2019)

"Cellular mechanisms underlying steroid-resistant asthma." Ridhima Wadhwa, Kamal Dua, Ian M. Adcock, Jay C. Horvat, Richard Y. Kim and Philip M. Hansbro. Eur Respir Rev 2019; 28: 190021.

European respiratory review : an official journal of the European Respiratory Society, 28(154): pii:28/154/195096.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Anand PK, Shin DR, Saxena N, et al (2019)

Accelerated Reliability Growth Test for Magnetic Resonance Imaging System Using Time-of-Flight Three-Dimensional Pulse Sequence.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 9(4): pii:diagnostics9040164.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system is a complex, high cost, and long-life product. It is a widely known fact that performing a system reliability test of a MRI system during the development phase is a challenging task. The major challenges include sample size, high test cost, and long test duration. This paper introduces a novel approach to perform a MRI system reliability test in a reasonably acceptable time with one sample size. Our approach is based on an accelerated reliability growth test, which consists of test cycle made of a very high-energy time-of-flight three-dimensional (TOF3D) pulse sequence representing an actual hospital usage scenario. First, we construct a nominal day usage scenario based on actual data collected from an MRI system used inside the hospital. Then, we calculate the life-time stress based on a usage scenario. Finally, we develop an accelerated reliability growth test cycle based on a TOF3D pulse sequence that exerts highest vibration energy on the gradient coil and MRI system. We use a vibration energy model to map the life-time stress and reduce the test duration from 537 to 55 days. We use a Crow AMSAA plot to demonstrate that system design reaches its useful life after crossing the infant mortality phase.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Krasheninnikova A, Brucks D, Buffenoir N, et al (2019)

Parrots do not show inequity aversion.

Scientific reports, 9(1):16416.

Inequity aversion, the negative reaction to unequal treatment, is considered a mechanism for stabilizing cooperative interactions between non-kin group members. However, this might only be adaptive for species that switch cooperative partners. Utilizing a comparative approach, inequity aversion has been assessed in many mammalian species and recently also in corvids and one parrot species, kea, revealing mixed results. To broaden our knowledge about the phylogenetic distribution of inequity aversion, we tested four parrot species in the token exchange paradigm. We varied the quality of rewards delivered to dyads of birds, as well as the effort required to obtain a reward. Blue-headed macaws and African grey parrots showed no reaction to being rewarded unequally. The bigger macaws were less willing to exchange tokens in the "unequal" condition compared to the "equal high" condition in which both birds obtained high quality rewards, but a closer examination of the results and the findings from the control conditions reveal that inequity aversion does not account for it. None of the species responded to inequity in terms of effort. Parrots may not exhibit inequity aversion due to interdependence on their life-long partner and the high costs associated with finding a new partner.

RevDate: 2019-11-30

Tallarita GM, Parente A, AR Giovagnoli (2019)

The visuospatial pattern of temporal lobe epilepsy.

Epilepsy & behavior : E&B, 101(Pt A):106582.

PURPOSE: Unlike temporal lobe lesions, temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) has no definite effects on visuospatial functions. This retrospective study evaluated these functions in patients with TLE, aiming to clarify their relationships to TLE laterality and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-detected brain lesions.

METHODS: The Raven Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM), Attentive Matrices (AM), Trail Making Test A (TMTA), Street Completion Test (SCT), Rey Complex Figure Copying (RCFC) and Delayed Reproduction (RCFDR), and Corsi Blocks Span (CBS) and Supraspan Learning (CBSSL) were used to assess different visuospatial functions in 198 patients with TLE and 90 healthy subjects.

RESULTS: In 169 patients (83 left), MRI revealed focal temporal lobe lesions [unilateral mesial temporal lobe sclerosis (MTLS) in 88 cases]. The patients with left or right TLE obtained normal scores on the RCPM, AM, TMTA, SCT, and RCFC, but their scores were significantly low on the CBS, CBSSL, and RCFDR. The patients with MTLS obtained lower scores in comparison with the controls and the patients without lesions, whereas those with other lesions obtained low scores only on the CBSSL and those without lesions performed normally.

CONCLUSIONS: Temporal lobe epilepsy does not affect nonmemory visuospatial functions but significantly impairs visuosopatial memory and learning. This pattern is independent of TLE laterality, in keeping with a modality-specific memory model. On the contrary, the type of temporal lobe lesion is relevant to the severity of impairment.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Carter MQ, Pham A, Carychao DK, et al (2019)

Complete Genome Sequences of Two Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Crows.

Microbiology resource announcements, 8(45):.

Escherichia coli strains RM9088 and RM10410 were isolated from crows near a leafy greens-growing region in California in April and July 2009, respectively. Both strains carry genes encoding Shiga toxins and other virulence factors in enteric pathogens. Here, we report the complete genome sequences of RM9088 and RM10410.

RevDate: 2020-01-01

Freedman DO (2020)

In Memoriam: Jay Stephen Keystone (1943-2019).

Emerging infectious diseases, 26(1):185-186.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Coomes JR, McIvor GE, A Thornton (2019)

Correction to 'Evidence for individual discrimination and numerical assessment in collective antipredator behaviour in wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula)'.

Biology letters, 15(11):20190740.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Holtmann B, Buskas J, Steele M, et al (2019)

Dominance relationships and coalitionary aggression against conspecifics in female carrion crows.

Scientific reports, 9(1):15922.

Cooperation is a prevailing feature of many animal systems. Coalitionary aggression, where a group of individuals engages in coordinated behaviour to the detriment of conspecific targets, is a form of cooperation involving complex social interactions. To date, evidence has been dominated by studies in humans and other primates with a clear bias towards studies of male-male coalitions. We here characterize coalitionary aggression behaviour in a group of female carrion crows consisting of recruitment, coordinated chase, and attack. The individual of highest social rank liaised with the second most dominant individual to engage in coordinated chase and attack of a lower ranked crow on several occasions. Despite active intervention by the third most highly ranked individual opposing the offenders, the attack finally resulted in the death of the victim. All individuals were unrelated, of the same sex, and naïve to the behaviour excluding kinship, reproduction, and social learning as possible drivers. Instead, the coalition may reflect a strategy of the dominant individual to secure long-term social benefits. Overall, the study provides evidence that members of the crow family engage in coordinated alliances directed against conspecifics as a possible means to manipulate their social environment.

RevDate: 2019-12-10

Tanner EM, Hallerbäck MU, Wikström S, et al (2020)

Early prenatal exposure to suspected endocrine disruptor mixtures is associated with lower IQ at age seven.

Environment international, 134:105185.

BACKGROUND: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are xenobiotics with the ability to interfere with hormone action, even at low levels. Prior environmental epidemiology studies link numerous suspected EDCs, including phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, results for some chemicals were inconsistent and most assessed one chemical at a time.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the overall impact of prenatal exposure to an EDC mixture on neurodevelopment in school-aged children, and identify chemicals of concern while accounting for co-exposures.

METHODS: Among 718 mother-child pairs from the Swedish Environmental Longitudinal, Mother and child, Asthma and allergy study (SELMA) study, we used Weighted Quantile Sum (WQS) regression to assess the association between 26 EDCs measured in 1st trimester urine or blood, with Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (IV) Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores at age 7 years. Models were adjusted for child sex, gestational age, mother's education, mother's IQ (RAVEN), weight, and smoking status. To evaluate generalizability, we conducted repeated holdout validation, a machine learning technique.

RESULTS: Using repeated holdout validation, IQ scores were 1.9-points (CI = -3.6, -0.2) lower among boys for an inter-quartile-range (IQR) change in the WQS index. BPF made the largest contribution to the index with a weight of 14%. Other chemicals of concern and their weights included PBA (9%), TCP (9%), MEP (6%), MBzP (4%), PFOA (6%), PFOS (5%), PFHxS (4%), Triclosan (5%), and BPA (4%). While we did observe an inverse association between EDCs and IQ among all children when training and testing the WQS index estimate on the full dataset, these results were not robust to repeated holdout validation.

CONCLUSION: Among boys, early prenatal exposure to EDCs was associated with lower intellectual functioning at age 7. We identified bisphenol F as the primary chemical of concern, suggesting that the BPA replacement compound may not be any safer for children. Future studies are needed to confirm the potential neurotoxicity of replacement analogues.

RevDate: 2019-11-13

Schoener ER, Tompkins DM, Parker KA, et al (2019)

Presence and diversity of mixed avian Plasmodium spp. infections in introduced birds whose distribution overlapped with threatened New Zealand endemic birds.

New Zealand veterinary journal [Epub ahead of print].

Aims: To determine the presence of infection and co-infection of Plasmodium lineages in introduced birds at translocation sites for the North Island saddleback (Philesturnus rufusater), to investigate their role as Plasmodium spp. reservoirs.Methods: Blood samples were collected from introduced bird species, with a special focus on blackbirds (Turdus merula) and song thrushes (Turdus philomelos), at six locations in the North Island of New Zealand that were the origin, or translocation sites, for North Island saddleback. Where available, blood smears were examined, and blood samples were tested using nested PCR with subsequent sequence analysis, for the presence of Plasmodium spp.Results: Of the 55 samples tested using PCR analysis, 39 (71%) were positive for Plasmodium spp., and 28/40 (62%) blood smears were positive for Plasmodium spp. Overall, 31 blood samples were from blackbirds with 28/31 (90%) samples positive for Plasmodium spp. Six distinct avian Plasmodium lineages were identified, including three cosmopolitan lineages; Plasmodium vaughani SYAT05 was detected in 16 samples, Plasmodium matutinum Linn1 in 10 samples and Plasmodium elongatum GRW6 in eight samples. Mixed infections with more than one lineage were detected in 12 samples. Samples from two Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) were positive for Plasmodium. sp. lineage MYNA02, previously not identified in New Zealand.Conclusions and clinical relevance: This is the first report from New Zealand in which specific Plasmodium spp. mixed infections have been found in introduced birds. Co-infections with several cosmopolitan Plasmodium lineages were identified, as well as the first report in New Zealand of an exotic avian Plasmodium sp. lineage, in Australian magpies. Whilst the role of introduced birds in maintaining and spreading pathogenic avian malaria in New Zealand is unclear, there is a potential infection risk to native birds, especially where distributions overlap.

RevDate: 2019-11-14

Ling H, Mclvor GE, Westley J, et al (2019)

Collective turns in jackdaw flocks: kinematics and information transfer.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 16(159):20190450.

The rapid, cohesive turns of bird flocks are one of the most vivid examples of collective behaviour in nature, and have attracted much research. Three-dimensional imaging techniques now allow us to characterize the kinematics of turning and their group-level consequences in precise detail. We measured the kinematics of flocks of wild jackdaws executing collective turns in two contexts: during transit to roosts and anti-predator mobbing. All flocks reduced their speed during turns, probably because of constraints on individual flight capability. Turn rates increased with the angle of the turn so that the time to complete turns remained constant. We also find that context may alter where turns are initiated in the flocks: for transit flocks in the absence of predators, initiators were located throughout the flocks, but for mobbing flocks with a fixed ground-based predator, they were always located at the front. Moreover, in some transit flocks, initiators were far apart from each other, potentially because of the existence of subgroups and variation in individual interaction ranges. Finally, we find that as the group size increased the information transfer speed initially increased, but rapidly saturated to a constant value. Our results highlight previously unrecognized complexity in turning kinematics and information transfer in social animals.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Nielsen T, Kreiner S, TW Teasdale (2019)

Assessment of cognitive ability at conscription for the Danish army: Is a single total score sufficient?.

Scandinavian journal of psychology [Epub ahead of print].

Børge Priens Prøve (BPP) was developed for the Danish Army by psychologist Børge Prien in the 1950s, as a test of general cognitive ability for use at conscription for the Danish armed forces. The final BPP (1957) had four subtests; a Raven-like matrix subtest, and three subtests measuring verbal, numerical, and visuospatial ability. The BPP is a speeded test counting the number of correct responses within 45 minutes. Thus, we consider the BPP as a measure of "cognitive efficiency" rather than a pure measure of cognitive ability. The BPP is still in use.Using techniques available in 1960, Rasch concluded that the matrices and numerical tests appeared to satisfy the requirements of the Rasch (Probabilistic models for some intelligence and attainment tests, Danish Institute for Educational Research, Copenhagen; 1960) model, while the verbal and visuospatial tests did not. Since then, there have been, to our knowledge, no published studies of the psychometric scaling properties of the BPP, partly because the practice of the Danish draft board has been to record only the total score. We examine these properties by analysis of data from two cohorts (n = 9,491), using the Leunbach (A probabilistic measurement model for assessing whether two tests measure the same personal factor. The Danish Institute of Educational, Copenhagen, Denmark; 1976) model to assess whether the sum of the four subtests provides a statistically sufficient measure of a common latent trait. Since we found only weak evidence against fit to the Leunbach model, we claim that this warrants the use of a summarized total BPP score. We examined whether BPP subscales suffered from differential test functioning (DTF) relative to samples. Weak, and for practical purposes too weak, DTF was suggested for one subscale.

RevDate: 2019-10-21

Kutschera VE, Poelstra JW, Botero-Castro F, et al (2019)

Purifying Selection in Corvids Is Less Efficient on Islands.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5601620 [Epub ahead of print].

Theory predicts that deleterious mutations accumulate more readily in small populations. As a consequence, mutation load is expected to be elevated in species where life-history strategies and geographic or historical contingencies reduce the number of reproducing individuals. Yet, few studies have empirically tested this prediction using genome-wide data in a comparative framework. We collected whole genome sequencing data for 147 individuals across seven crow species (Corvus spp.). For each species, we estimated the distribution of fitness effects of deleterious mutations (DFE) and compared it with proxies of the effective population size Ne. Island species with comparatively smaller geographic range sizes had a significantly increased mutation load. These results support the view that small populations have an elevated risk of mutational meltdown, which may contribute to the higher extinction rates observed in island species.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Hudson TB, Auwaijan N, FG Yuan (2019)

Guided Wave-based System for Real-time Cure Monitoring of Composites using Piezoelectric Discs and Phase-shifted Fiber Bragg Gratings.

Journal of composite materials, 53(7):969-979.

A real-time, in-process cure monitoring system employing a guided wave-based concept for carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites was developed. The system included a single piezoelectric disc that was bonded to the surface of the composite for excitation, and an embedded phase-shifted fiber Bragg grating (PS-FBG) for sensing. The PS-FBG almost simultaneously measured both quasi-static strain and the ultrasonic guided wave-based signals throughout the cure cycle. A traditional FBG was also used as a base for evaluating the high sensitivity of the PS-FBG sensor. Composite physical properties (degree of cure and glass transition temperature) were correlated to the amplitude and time of arrival of the guided wave-based measurements during the cure cycle. In addition, key state transitions (gelation and vitrification) were identified from the experimental data. The physical properties and state transitions were validated using cure process modeling software (e.g., RAVEN®). This system demonstrated the capability of using an embedded PS-FBG to sense a wide bandwidth of signals during cure. The distinct advantages of a fiber optic-based system include multiplexing of multiple gratings along a single optical fiber, small size compared to piezoelectric sensors, ability to embed or surface mount, utilization in harsh environments, electrically passive operation, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) immunity. The embedded PS-FBG fiber optic sensor can monitor the entire life-cycle of the composite structure from curing, post-cure/assembly, and in-service creating "smart structures".

RevDate: 2019-10-20

Miller R, Frohnwieser A, Schiestl M, et al (2019)

Delayed gratification in New Caledonian crows and young children: influence of reward type and visibility.

Animal cognition pii:10.1007/s10071-019-01317-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Self-control underlies cognitive abilities such as decision making and future planning. Delay of gratification is a measure of self-control and involves obtaining a more valuable outcome in the future by tolerating a delay or investing a greater effort in the present. Contextual issues, such as reward visibility and type, may influence delayed gratification performance, although there has been limited comparative investigation between humans and other animals, particularly non-primate species. Here, we adapted an automated 'rotating tray' paradigm used previously with capuchin monkeys to test for delay of gratification ability that requires little pre-test training, where the subject must forgo an immediate, less preferred reward for a delayed, more preferred one. We tested New Caledonian crows and 3-5-year-old human children. We manipulated reward types to differ in quality or quantity (Experiments 1 and 2) as well as visibility (Experiment 2). In Experiments 1 and 2, both species performed better when the rewards varied in quality as opposed to quantity, though performed above chance in both conditions. In Experiment 1, both crows and children were able to delay gratification when both rewards were visible. In Experiment 2, 5-year-old children outperformed 3- and 4-year olds, though overall children still performed well, while the crows struggled when reward visibility was manipulated, a result which may relate to difficulties in tracking the experimenters' hands during baiting. We discuss these findings in relation to the role of contextual issues on self-control when making species comparisons and investigating the mechanisms of self-control.

RevDate: 2019-12-24

Held S, Hallett J, Schure M, et al (2019)

Improving chronic illness self-management with the Apsáalooke Nation: Development of the Báa nnilah program.

Social science & medicine (1982), 242:112583.

RATIONALE: Since 1996, members of the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation and faculty and students at Montana State University have worked in a successful community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership, leading to increased trust and improvements in health awareness, knowledge, and behaviors. As major barriers to health and healthy behaviors have caused inequities in morbidity and mortality rates for multiple chronic diseases among the Apsáalooke people, community members chose to focus the next phase of research on improving chronic illness management.

OBJECTIVE: Existing chronic illness self-management programs include aspects inconsonant with Apsáalooke culture and neglect local factors seen as vital to community members managing their health conditions. The aim of this study was to use CBPR methods grounded in Apsáalooke cultural values to develop an intervention for improving chronic illness self-management.

METHOD: Community members shared stories about what it is like to manage their chronic illness, including facilitators and barriers to chronic illness management. A culturally consonant data analysis method was used to develop a locally-based conceptual framework for understanding chronic illness management and an intervention grounded in the local culture.

RESULTS: Components of the intervention approach and intervention content are detailed and similarities and differences from other chronic illness management programs are described.

CONCLUSIONS: Our collaborative process and product may be helpful for other communities interested in using story data to develop research projects, deepen their understanding of health, and increase health equity.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

El-Sayed AK, S Hassan (2019)

Gross morphological features of the air sacs of the hooded crow (Corvus cornix).

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

Air sacs are considered to be one of the controlling factors of bird behaviour and habits in addition to their roles in ventilation, regulating body temperature, swimming and flight. As a scavenger and an omnivorous flight bird, air sacs of the hooded crow were the focus of this study. Eight healthy, adult hooded crows were used to examine the morphological characteristics of the air sacs, which were examined grossly and with latex and cast preparations. In general, the morphological overview of the hooded crow air sacs is similar to other avian species. We observed nine air sacs; four paired sacs (cervical, cranial thoracic, caudal thoracic and abdominal air sacs) and one unpaired sac; the clavicular air sac. The cervical air sac communicated to the lung through the medioventral bronchus and had three diverticula; intermuscular, subscapular and subcutaneous. The clavicular air sac communicated with lung through the medioventral bronchus and had subscapular, axillary, humeral, subpectoral and sternal diverticula. The cranial and caudal thoracic air sacs were communicated with lung through the lateroventral bronchi and the both sacs did not have any diverticula. The abdominal air sacs were posterior to the caudal thoracic air sacs. The left abdominal sac was the largest air sac. The right and left abdominal sacs gave off branches to diverticula that pneumatized synsacrum. The abdominal air sacs gave off femoral diverticula behind the hip joint as well as perirenal diverticula.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Daneau S, Bourbonnais A, A Legault (2019)

Surrogates' end-of-life decision-making process in nursing homes for residents with a neurocognitive disorder: An integrative review.

International journal of older people nursing [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this review is to analyse articles on the experience of surrogates who find themselves making end-of-life decisions for a relative with a major neurocognitive disorder in a nursing home.

DESIGN: An integrative review of the literature based on Whittemore and Knafl's method.

DATA SOURCES: This review used the CINAHL, PubMed, PsycInfo, Embase and Web of Science databases. A complementary search was also conducted via citation pearl searching, and the reference lists from the selected articles were manually verified.

REVIEW METHOD: The quality of the selected articles was assessed using the Crow Critical Appraisal Tool, and the data were extracted systematically and were then organised according to Mishel's uncertainty in illness theory. The data that did not correspond to any concept of the theory were excluded at this stage. Analysis was conducted using the method put forward by Miles, Huberman and Saldaña.

RESULTS: A total of 18 articles were selected: 11 qualitative, 5 quantitative and 1 using a mixed method, as well as 1 ethical argument. The subjects arising from the analysis of the articles were the types of decisions made, the support available for the surrogates, the role and involvement of the surrogates in the process and the factors that influence the decisions.

CONCLUSION: The results of this integrative review stimulate reflection on the needs of family members involved in making decisions, as well as on the nursing practice and research. Published literature is mainly from North America, and thus, more research is needed to better understand the impact of cultural and ethnic differences in the process, which was poorly covered by the existing literature. Also, exploring nurses' involvement in supporting surrogates may eventually better equip nurses for their interventions with surrogates.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Describing the illness progression and the signification of palliative care to the resident with a NCD and their surrogate decision makers, as well as discussing end-of-life care preferences as early as possible are all nursing interventions that could potentially enhance surrogates' end-of-life decision-making process.

RevDate: 2020-01-02

Freeman NE, Norris DR, Sutton AO, et al (2020)

Raising young with limited resources: supplementation improves body condition and advances fledging of Canada Jays.

Ecology, 101(1):e02909.

Food availability early in life can play a vital role in an individual's development and success, but experimental evidence for the direct effects of food on body condition, physiology, and survival of young animals in the wild is still relatively scarce. Food-caching Canada Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) begin breeding in the late winter and, therefore, rely on either cached food or seemingly limited quantities of fresh food to feed nestlings in the early spring. Using a 2-yr food supplementation experiment conducted during the nestling period and 40 yr of observational data on food supplemented by the public, we examined whether food quantity during early life influenced the physiology, body condition, timing of fledging, and survival of young Canada Jays in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. Experimental food supplementation of breeding pairs advanced the fledging date of young by 24% (5.5 d) compared to controls. In 1 yr of the experiment, nestlings raised on experimentally supplemented territories had lower feather corticosterone concentrations and were in higher body condition than controls. Across treatment and control nests, young that successfully fledged had lower concentrations of feather corticosterone and were in higher body condition than those that did not fledge. Based on 40 yr of observational data, nestling body condition was positively related to the degree of food supplementation by park visitors and nestlings in higher body condition were more likely to be observed in the population in the following fall. Our results demonstrate how food availability early in life can have important downstream consequences on metrics related to individual fitness, including first year survival.

RevDate: 2019-11-08

Mo L, Zheng X, Zhu C, et al (2019)

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in oriental magpie-robins from e-waste, urban, and rural sites: Site-specific biomagnification of POPs.

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 186:109758.

Plenty of banned and emerging persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), dechlorane plus (DP), and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), were measured in oriental magpie-robins from an e-waste recycling site, an urban site (Guangzhou City), and a rural site in South China. Median concentrations of DDTs, PCBs, PBDEs, DP, and DBDPE ranged from 1,000-1,313, 800-59,368, 244-5,740, 24.1-127, and 14.7-36.0 ng/g lipid weight, respectively. Birds from the e-waste site had significantly higher concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs than those from urban and rural sites (p < 0.05), implying contamination of PCBs and PBDEs brought by e-waste recycling activities. DDTs were the predominant POPs in birds from urban and rural sites. The values of δ15N were significantly and positively correlated with concentrations of p,p'-DDE and low-halogenated chemicals in samples from the e-waste site (p < 0.05), indicating the trophic magnification of these chemicals in birds. However, concentrations of most POPs were not significantly correlated with the δ15N values in birds from urban and rural sites. PCBs and PBDEs in birds from urban and rural sites were not likely from local sources, and the biomagnification of POPs in different sites needed to be further investigated with caution.

RevDate: 2019-11-01

Lee VE, Régli N, McIvor GE, et al (2019)

Social learning about dangerous people by wild jackdaws.

Royal Society open science, 6(9):191031.

For animals that live alongside humans, people can present both an opportunity and a threat. Previous studies have shown that several species can learn to discriminate between individual people and assess risk based on prior experience. To avoid potentially costly encounters, it may also pay individuals to learn about dangerous people based on information from others. Social learning about anthropogenic threats is likely to be beneficial in habitats dominated by human activity, but experimental evidence is limited. Here, we tested whether wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula) use social learning to recognize dangerous people. Using a within-subjects design, we presented breeding jackdaws with an unfamiliar person near their nest, combined with conspecific alarm calls. Subjects that heard alarm calls showed a heightened fear response in subsequent encounters with the person compared to a control group, reducing their latency to return to the nest. This study provides important evidence that animals use social learning to assess the level of risk posed by individual humans.

RevDate: 2019-10-07

Vanhooland LC, Bugnyar T, JJM Massen (2019)

Crows (Corvus corone ssp.) check contingency in a mirror yet fail the mirror-mark test.

Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983) pii:2019-59593-001 [Epub ahead of print].

Mirror reflections can elicit various behavioral responses ranging from social behavior, which suggests that an animal treats its own reflection as a conspecific, to mirror-guided self-directed behaviors, which appears to be an indication for mirror self-recognition (MSR). MSR is scarcely spread in the animal kingdom. Until recently, only great apes, dolphins, and elephants had successfully passed this test. The range of convergence was, however, expanded by an avian species, the Eurasian magpie (Pica pica). Efforts to find MSR in other corvid species have so far failed, and with only a few studies conducted, the cause of these discrepancies is difficult to identify. In the present study, we examined the responses to mirrors and the ability of MSR in hitherto untested species: the carrion and hooded crows (Corvus corone ssp.). These crows showed a pronounced and lasting interest in the mirror; unlike many species, they did not exhibit social behaviors on their first encounters but immediately started investigating the mirror. Some crows showed contingent behaviors in front of the mirror, but none of the crows showed significant mirror-guided self-directed behaviors nor mark-directed behavior during the subsequent mark test. This lack of mark-directed behavior could not be explained by a lack of interest in the mirror nor in the mark. These findings could indicate that crows lack a concept of self, or the need for other means of investigating self-recognition and self-awareness in avian species. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2019-12-29

Wilkins C, N Clayton (2019)

Reflections on the spoon test.

Neuropsychologia, 134:107221.

In this paper, we shall use Tulving's seminal empirical and theoretical research including the 'Spoon Test' to explore memory and mental time travel and its origins and role in planning for the future. We will review the comparative research on future planning and episodic foresight in pre-verbal children and non-verbal animals to explore how this may be manifest as wordless thoughts.

RevDate: 2019-10-02

Saakian DB, KH Cheong (2019)

Solution of the Crow-Kimura model with a periodically changing (two-season) fitness function.

Physical review. E, 100(2-1):022403.

Since the origin of life, both evolutionary dynamics and rhythms have played a key role in the functioning of living systems. The Crow-Kimura model of periodically changing fitness function has been solved exactly, using integral equation with time-ordered exponent. We also found a simple approximate solution for the two-season case. The evolutionary dynamics accompanied by the rhythms provide important insights into the properties of certain biological systems and processes.

RevDate: 2019-12-17
CmpDate: 2019-12-12

Coomes JR, McIvor GE, A Thornton (2019)

Evidence for individual discrimination and numerical assessment in collective antipredator behaviour in wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula).

Biology letters, 15(10):20190380.

Collective responses to threats occur throughout the animal kingdom but little is known about the cognitive processes underpinning them. Antipredator mobbing is one such response. Approaching a predator may be highly risky, but the individual risk declines and the likelihood of repelling the predator increases in larger mobbing groups. The ability to appraise the number of conspecifics involved in a mobbing event could therefore facilitate strategic decisions about whether to join. Mobs are commonly initiated by recruitment calls, which may provide valuable information to guide decision-making. We tested whether the number of wild jackdaws responding to recruitment calls was influenced by the number of callers. As predicted, playbacks simulating three or five callers tended to recruit more individuals than playbacks of one caller. Recruitment also substantially increased if recruits themselves produced calls. These results suggest that jackdaws use individual vocal discrimination to assess the number of conspecifics involved in initiating mobbing events, and use this information to guide their responses. Our results show support for the use of numerical assessment in antipredator mobbing responses and highlight the need for a greater understanding of the cognitive processes involved in collective behaviour.

RevDate: 2019-10-23

Sajan SM, Ajayan N, Nair GD, et al (2019)

Anaesthetic Challenges in a Rare Syndrome: Perioperative Management of a Patient with POEMS Syndrome Who Underwent Umbilical Hernioplasty.

Turkish journal of anaesthesiology and reanimation, 47(5):420-422.

Polyneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy, and skin changes (POEMS) syndrome also known as 'Crow Fukase syndrome' is a rare paraneoplastic disorder, first described by Crow and Fukase with distinctive features of polyradiculoneuropathy, organomegaly, endocrinopathy, monoclonal gammopathy and skin changes. There is a paucity of literature about anaesthetic management of patients with POEMS syndrome with isolated case reports of surgery under general anaesthesia and central neuraxial blockade. We present here the anaesthetic management of a patient with POEMS syndrome posted for umbilical hernia repair, which was successfully managed with a transverse abdominis plane (TAP) block.

RevDate: 2019-09-30

Poole KG, Jordan BL, JM Bostwick (2019)

Mission Drift: Are Medical School Admissions Committees Missing the Mark on Diversity?.

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges [Epub ahead of print].

Diversity initiatives in U.S. medical education, following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, were geared towards increasing the representation of African Americans-blacks born in the United States whose ancestors suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws. Over time, blacks and, subsequently, underrepresented groups in medicine (URMs), became a proxy for African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans, thus obscuring efforts to identify and recruit specifically African Americans. Moreover, demographic shifts resulting from recent immigration of black people from Africa and the Caribbean have both expanded the definition of "African American medical students" and shifted the emphasis from those with a history of suffering under U.S. oppression and poverty to anyone who meets a black phenotype.Increasingly, research indicates that African American patients fare better when their physicians share similar historical and social experiences. While all people of color risk discrimination based on their skin color, not all have the lived experience of U.S.-based, systematic, multigenerational discrimination shared by African Americans. In the high-stakes effort to increase URM representation in medical school classes, admissions committees may fail to look beyond the surface of phenotype, thus missing the original intent of diversity initiatives while simultaneously conflating all people of color, disregarding their divergent historical and social experiences. In this Perspective, the authors contend that medical school admissions committees must show greater discernment in their holistic reviews of black applicants if historical wrongs and continued underrepresentation of African Americans in medicine are to be redressed.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Latas P, Auckland LD, Teel PD, et al (2020)


Journal of wildlife diseases, 56(1):113-125.

Changing climatic conditions and the northward expansion of ticks and pathogens are of immense importance to human, animal, and environmental health assessment and risk management. From 2014 through 2015, a wildlife rehabilitation center in south-central Arizona, US noted soft ticks (Argasidae) infesting 23 birds, including Cooper's Hawks (Accipiter cooperii), Gray Hawks (Buteo plagiatus), Harris's Hawks (Parabuteo unicinctus), Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus), Common Ravens (Corvus corax), and a Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), during the late summer seasonal rainy seasons. The parasites numbered in the hundreds on individual birds. Infested birds were moribund, obtunded, or paralyzed on presentation, with no prior histories of illness or evidence of trauma. Tick and avian blood samples were collected for vector-borne pathogen analysis focusing on the molecular detection of Rickettsia and Borrelia species. Ticks were identified as the neotropical species of soft tick, Argas (Persicargas) giganteus; their occurrence in the southern US on raptors represented an expansion of host range. Pathogen testing of ticks showed that 41% of 54 ticks were infected with Rickettsia hoogstraalii and 23% of 26 ticks were infected with a relapsing fever Borrelia; both agents are associated with uncertain health consequences. Among the blood samples, one was infected with the same Borrelia spp.; this Red-tailed Hawk also had Borrelia-positive ticks. With supportive therapy, the majority of birds, 74% (17/23), recovered and were released or permanent residents. The management of soft tick-infested birds and mitigation of future disease risk will require additional characterizations of these poorly studied soft ticks and their associated pathogens.

RevDate: 2019-10-23

Forti LR, Haddad CFB, Leite F, et al (2019)

Notes on vocalizations of Brazilian amphibians IV: advertisement calls of 20 Atlantic Forest frog species.

PeerJ, 7:e7612.

Bioacoustics is a powerful tool used for anuran species diagnoses, given that advertisement calls are signals related to specific recognition and mate attraction. Thus, call descriptions can support species taxonomy. In spite of that, call descriptions are lacking for many species, delaying advances in biodiversity research. Here, we describe the advertisement calls of 20 anuran species from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We accessed 50 digital recordings deposited in the Fonoteca Neotropical Jacques Vielliard. Acoustic analyses were carried out in the software Raven pro 1.5. We provide a general comparison of call structure among species inside taxonomic groups and genera. The vocalizations described here belong to poorly known species, which are representatives of six families: Brachycephalidae, Bufonidae, Ceratophryidae, Cycloramphidae, Hylidae, and Phyllomedusidae. Despite this, still there are 163 species of anurans from Atlantic Forest with calls not formally described. Our work represents an important step in providing data for a taxonomic perspective and improving the knowledge of the Atlantic Forest anuran diversity.

RevDate: 2019-09-25

Galal TM, Al-Sodany YM, HM Al-Yasi (2019)

Phytostabilization as a phytoremediation strategy for mitigating water pollutants by the floating macrophyte Ludwigia stolonifera (Guill. & Perr.) P.H. Raven.

International journal of phytoremediation [Epub ahead of print].

The present study evaluated the phytoremediation potential of the floating macrophyte Ludwigia stolonifera for removing trace metals from contaminated water bodies. Forty quadrats, distributed equally in eight sites (six polluted two unpolluted sites) were selected seasonally for water, sediment and plant investigations. The leaf area, fresh and dry biomass, chlorophyll b and carotenoids contents of L. stolonifera were significantly reduced in polluted sites. L. stolonifera plants accumulated concentrations of the investigated trace metals in their roots higher than the shoots. The roots contributed to the highest concentrations of Al and Cu during spring; Fe, Mn and Ni during summer; Cd and Zn during autumn; and Cr and Pb during winter. Compared to the unpolluted sites, the below- and above-ground parts from the polluted sites accumulated higher concentrations of most investigated trace metals, except Fe. The below-ground parts of L. stolonifera had high seasonal potential for seasonal accumulation of Cd, Cu, Ni, Zn and Pb with a bioaccumulation factor that exceeded 1, the translocation factor of the investigated metals was <1. Therefore, the study species is suitable for metals phytostabilization and thus can be considered a potential phytoremediator of these metals.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Kilpatrick AM, SS Wheeler (2019)

Impact of West Nile Virus on Bird Populations: Limited Lasting Effects, Evidence for Recovery, and Gaps in Our Understanding of Impacts on Ecosystems.

Journal of medical entomology, 56(6):1491-1497.

The introduction of West Nile virus to North America in 1999 had profound impacts on human and wildlife health. Here, we review studies of WNV impacts on bird populations and find that overall impacts have been less than initially anticipated, with few species showing sustained changes in population size or demographic rates across multiple regions. This raises four questions: 1) What is the evidence for WNV impact on bird populations and how can we strengthen future analyses? We argue that future studies of WNV impacts should explicitly incorporate temporal variation in WNV transmission intensity, integrate field data with laboratory experimental infection studies, and correct for multiple comparisons. 2) What mechanisms might explain the relatively modest impact of WNV on most bird populations? We suggest that spatial and temporal variation in WNV transmission moderates WNV impacts on species that occur in multiple habitats, some of which provide refugia from infection. 3) Have species recovered from the initial invasion of WNV? We find evidence that many species and populations have recovered from initial WNV impact, but a few have not. 4) Did WNV cause cascading effects on other species and ecosystems? Unfortunately, few studies have examined the cascading effects of WNV population declines, but evidence suggests that some species may have been released from predation or competition. We close by discussing potentially overlooked groups of birds that may have been affected by WNV, and one highlight species, the yellow-billed magpie (Pica nutalli Audubon, 1837 [Passeriformes: Corvidae]), that appears to have suffered the largest range-wide impact from WNV.

RevDate: 2019-09-24

Jiménez de Oya N, Escribano-Romero E, Blázquez AB, et al (2019)

Current Progress of Avian Vaccines Against West Nile Virus.

Vaccines, 7(4): pii:vaccines7040126.

Birds are the main natural host of West Nile virus (WNV), the worldwide most distributed mosquito-borne flavivirus, but humans and equids can also be sporadic hosts. Many avian species have been reported as susceptible to WNV, particularly corvids. In the case that clinical disease develops in birds, this is due to virus invasion of different organs: liver, spleen, kidney, heart, and mainly the central nervous system, which can lead to death 24-48 h later. Nowadays, vaccines have only been licensed for use in equids; thus, the availability of avian vaccines would benefit bird populations, both domestic and wild ones. Such vaccines could be used in endangered species housed in rehabilitation and wildlife reserves, and in animals located at zoos and other recreational installations, but also in farm birds, and in those that are grown for hunting and restocking activities. Even more, controlling WNV infection in birds can also be useful to prevent its spread and limit outbreaks. So far, different commercial and experimental vaccines (inactivated, attenuated, and recombinant viruses, and subunits and DNA-based candidates) have been evaluated, with various regimens, both in domestic and wild avian species. However, there are still disadvantages that must be overcome before avian vaccination can be implemented, such as its cost-effectiveness for domestic birds since in many species the pathogenicity is low or zero, or the viability of being able to achieve collective immunity in wild birds in freedom. Here, a comprehensive review of what has been done until now in the field of avian vaccines against WNV is presented and discussed.

RevDate: 2019-09-23

Madsen TE, CR Wira (2019)

The Future of Minor Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack: The RAVEN Approach Is Promising but Not Ready for Prime Time.

Annals of emergency medicine, 74(4):572-574.

RevDate: 2019-10-26

Blasco R, Rosell J, Sánchez-Marco A, et al (2019)

Feathers and food: Human-bird interactions at Middle Pleistocene Qesem Cave, Israel.

Journal of human evolution, 136:102653.

The presence of fast-moving small game in the Paleolithic archaeological faunal record has long been considered a key variable to assess fundamental aspects of human behavior and subsistence. Birds occupy a prominent place in this debate not only due to their small size and to the difficulties in capturing them (essentially due to their ability to fly and their elusiveness), but also due to their possible role in the symbolic array in regard to non-nutritional elements (feathers, talons, etc.) and as reflectors of complex human-world relationships. In this study, we attempt to contribute to this topic by presenting taphonomical data of bird specimens from Qesem Cave (Israel), dated between 420 and 200 ka. Human-induced damage, including cut marks, peeling and human gnawing, has been identified on wing bones of Cygnus sp., Columba sp., Corvus ruficollis and Sturnus sp. Our evidence suggests that avian exploitation was not limited to food only-either to complement the human diet or as occasional food item-but also presumably for the use of feathers. While the consumption of birds as a dietary source seems to be evident as early as the Early Pleistocene, the non-alimentary use of inedible elements, such as feathers and talons, appears to be a practice from the Middle Paleolithic onwards. We argue that the combined nutritional and symbolic use of birds is one characteristic of the new mode of adaptation practiced already by the late Lower Paleolithic Acheulo-Yabrudian hominins in the Levant starting 400 ka. The Qesem findings point to the possible emergence of new cognitive and behavioral skills, which are followed in later periods in the Old World. Finally, we discuss the possible ontological and cosmological significance of human-bird interactions to illuminate our hypothesis regarding the emergence of a new perception of human relationships with the world as an integral part of the new Acheulo-Yabrudian mode of adaptation.

RevDate: 2019-10-17

Lynn SJ, Green JP, Polizzi CP, et al (2019)

HYPNOSIS, HYPNOTIC PHENOMENA, AND HYPNOTIC RESPONSIVENESS: Clinical and Research Foundations-A 40-Year Perspective.

The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 67(4):475-511.

The authors summarize research findings, their clinical implications, and directions for future research derived from 40 years of study of hypnosis, hypnotic phenomena, and hypnotic responsiveness at Steven Jay Lynn's Laboratory of Consciousness, Cognition, and Psychopathology and Joseph P. Green's Laboratory of Hypnosis. We discuss (a) the accumulating body of evidence that hypnosis can be used to advantage in psychotherapy; (b) the fact that hypnosis can facilitate a broad array of subjective experiences and suggestions; (c) the failure to find a reliable marker of a trance or radically altered state of consciousness and reservations about conceptualizing hypnosis in such terms; (d) determinants of hypnotic responsiveness, including attitudes and beliefs, personality traits, expectancies, motivation, and rapport; (e) efforts to modify hypnotic suggestibility; and (f) the need to further examine attentional abilities and the role of adopting a readiness response set that the authors argue is key in maximizing hypnotic responsiveness.

RevDate: 2019-09-20

Silvestri A, Morgan K, AR Ridley (2019)

The association between evidence of a predator threat and responsiveness to alarm calls in Western Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis).

PeerJ, 7:e7572 pii:7572.

Alarm calls are a widespread form of antipredator defence and being alerted to the presence of predators by the alarm calls of conspecifics is considered one of the benefits of group living. However, while social information can allow an individual to gain additional information, it can also at times be inaccurate or irrelevant. Such variation in the accuracy of social information is predicted to select for receivers to discriminate between sources of social information. In this study, we used playback experiments to determine whether Western Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen dorsalis) respond to the predator information associated with alarm calls. Magpies were exposed to the alarm calls of two group members that differed in the threat associated with the alarm call: one call was played in the presence of a predator model while the other was not-in order to establish differences in the predator information provided by each caller. We then played back the alarm calls of the same group members in the absence of the predator model to determine whether magpies responded differently to signallers in response to the previous association between the alarm call and a predator threat. We found that receivers showed significantly greater levels of responsiveness to signallers that previously gave alarm calls in the appropriate context. Thus, the accuracy of threat-based information influenced subsequent receiver response.

RevDate: 2019-09-15

Sense F, Maaß S, Gluck K, et al (2019)

Within-Subject Performance on a Real-Life, Complex Task and Traditional Lab Experiments: Measures of Word Learning, Raven Matrices, Tapping, and CPR.

Journal of cognition, 2(1):12.

In this data report, we describe a three-session experiment spanning six months. Several well-controlled laboratory tasks (Word Learning, Raven Matrices, and Tapping) and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), a complex but well-defined real-world task, were administered. Data are reported from 50 participants for the first session, 40 for the second, and 34 for the third. CPR is a useful domain for studying real-world performance inside the laboratory because clear performance standards can be applied to quantifying learners' proficiency covering both the first steps that need to be taken prior to the initiation of CPR (declarative knowledge) as well as the compressions and ventilations themselves (procedural skill). This research resulted in a rich dataset with a range of different measures for all participants. For all tasks, the complete set of raw data are made available along with relevant aggregate performance scores (see https://osf.io/m8bxe/). The raw data in particular will enable other researchers to explore potential analyses and modeling beyond the scope of our own. The details of the data collection protocol and available data are documented here to facilitate this process.

RevDate: 2019-09-13

Shekhawat S, A Saxena (2019)

Development and applications of an intelligent crow search algorithm based on opposition based learning.

ISA transactions pii:S0019-0578(19)30419-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Metaheuristics are proven beneficial tools for solving complex, hard optimization problems. Recently, a plethora of work has been reported on bio inspired optimization algorithms. These algorithms are mimicry of behavior of animals, plants and processes into mathematical paradigms. With these developments, a new entrant in this group is Crow Search Algorithm (CSA). CSA is based on the strategic behavior of crows while searching food, thievery and chasing behavior. This algorithm sometimes suffers with local minima stagnation and unbalance exploration and exploitation phases. To overcome this problem, a cosine function is proposed first, to accelerate the exploration and retard the exploitation process with due course of the iterative process. Secondly the opposition based learning concept is incorporated for enhancing the exploration virtue of CSA. The evolved variant with the inculcation of these two concepts is named as Intelligent Crow Search Algorithm (ICSA). The algorithm is benchmarked on two benchmark function sets, one is the set of 23 standard test functions and another is set of latest benchmark function CEC-2017. Further, the applicability of this variant is tested over structural design problem, frequency wave synthesis problem and Model Order Reduction (MOR). Results reveal that ICSA exhibits competitive performance on benchmarks and real applications when compared with some contemporary optimizers.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Anonymous (2019)

"Inquiry into the correlation between burnout and depression": Correction to Schonfeld et al. (2019).

Journal of occupational health psychology, 24(6):616.

Reports an error in "Inquiry into the correlation between burnout and depression" by Irvin Sam Schonfeld, Jay Verkuilen and Renzo Bianchi (Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Advanced Online Publication, Apr 04, 2019, np). In the article, there were wording errors in the Results section. Specifically, we referred to imposing "constraints" when we meant the opposite, namely, relaxing constraints, such as allowing residuals to correlate. We corrected the wording errors, added chi-square statistics, and corrected four small typographic errors bearing on fit statistics (three changes of .001 and one change of .003). The results remain fundamentally the same. All versions of this article have been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2019-18074-001.) The extent to which burnout refers to anything other than a depressive condition remains an object of controversy among occupational health specialists. In three studies conducted in two different countries and two different languages, we investigated the discriminant validity of burnout scales by evaluating the magnitude of the correlation between (latent) burnout and (latent) depression. In Study 1 (N = 911), burnout was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey's Exhaustion subscale and depression with the depression module of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). In Study 2 (N = 1,386), the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure was used to assess burnout and the PHQ, depression. In Study 3 (N = 734), burnout was assessed with the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Educators Survey and depression, with the PHQ and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale; additionally, anxiety was measured with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale. In each study, we examined the burnout-depression association based on confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), controlling for item-level content overlap. In the three studies, latent exhaustion, the core of burnout, and latent depression were highly correlated (correlations ranging from .83 to .88). In Studies 2 and 3, second-order CFAs indicated that depressive (and anxiety) symptoms and the exhaustion and depersonalization components of burnout are reflective of the same second-order distress/dysphoria factor. Our findings, with their replication across samples, languages, and measures, together with meta-analytic findings, cast serious doubt on the discriminant validity of the burnout construct. The implications of burnout's problematic discriminant validity are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Mugal CF, Kutschera VE, Botero-Castro F, et al (2019)

Polymorphism data assist estimation of the non-synonymous over synonymous fixation rate ratio ω for closely related species.

Molecular biology and evolution pii:5556818 [Epub ahead of print].

The ratio of non-synonymous over synonymous sequence divergence, dN/dS, is a widely-used estimate of the non-synonymous over synonymous fixation rate ratio ω, which measures the extent to which natural selection modulates protein sequence evolution. Its computation is based on a phylogenetic approach and computes sequence divergence of protein-coding DNA between species, traditionally using a single representative DNA sequence per species. This approach ignores the presence of polymorphisms and relies on the indirect assumption that new mutations fix instantaneously, an assumption which is generally violated and reasonable only for distantly related species. The violation of the underlying assumption leads to a time-dependence of sequence divergence, and biased estimates of ω in particular for closely related species, where the contribution of ancestral and lineage-specific polymorphisms to sequence divergence is substantial. We here use a time-dependent Poisson random field model to derive an analytical expression of dN/dS as a function of divergence time and sample size. We then extend our framework to the estimation of the proportion of adaptive protein evolution α. This mathematical treatment enables us to show that the joint usage of polymorphism and divergence data can assist the inference of selection for closely related species. Moreover, our analytical results provide the basis for a protocol for the estimation of ω and α for closely related species. We illustrate the performance of this protocol by studying a population dataset of four corvid species, which involves the estimation of ω and α at different time-scales and for several choices of sample sizes.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Tiukova IA, Prigent S, Nielsen J, et al (2019)

Genome-scale model of Rhodotorula toruloides metabolism.

Biotechnology and bioengineering, 116(12):3396-3408.

The basidiomycete red yeast Rhodotorula toruloides is a promising platform organism for production of biooils. We present rhto-GEM, the first genome-scale model (GEM) of R. toruloides metabolism, that was largely reconstructed using RAVEN toolbox. The model includes 852 genes, 2,731 reactions, and 2,277 metabolites, while lipid metabolism is described using the SLIMEr formalism allowing direct integration of lipid class and acyl chain experimental distribution data. The simulation results confirmed that the R. toruloides model provides valid growth predictions on glucose, xylose, and glycerol, while prediction of genetic engineering targets to increase production of linolenic acid, triacylglycerols, and carotenoids identified genes-some of which have previously been engineered to successfully increase production. This renders rtho-GEM valuable for future studies to improve the production of other oleochemicals of industrial relevance including value-added fatty acids and carotenoids, in addition to facilitate system-wide omics-data analysis in R. toruloides. Expanding the portfolio of GEMs for lipid-accumulating fungi contributes to both understanding of metabolic mechanisms of the oleaginous phenotype but also uncover particularities of the lipid production machinery in R. toruloides.

RevDate: 2019-09-12

Mikhailyuk T, Vinogradova O, Holzinger A, et al (2019)

New record of the rare genus Crinalium Crow (Oscillatoriales, Cyanobacteria) from sand dunes of the Baltic Sea, Germany: epitypification and emendation of Crinalium magnum Fritsch et John based on an integrative approach.

Phytotaxa, 400(3):165-179.

Representatives of the Gomontiellaceae (Oscillatoriales) are rare and hence unstudied cyanobacteria with unusual morphology, distributed in terrestrial and aquatic habitats all over the world. Investigation of the group based on an integrative approach is only beginning, and to understand the actual biodiversity and ecology, a greater number of cultivated strains is necessary. However, some ecological traits of these cyanobacteria (e.g. low population densities, the absence of conspicuous growth in nature) led to methodological difficulties during isolation in culture. One species in the family Gomontiellaceae, Crinalium magnum Fritsch et John, is characterized by prominent wide and flattened trichomes, and represented by the non-authentic strain SAG 34.87. Detailed previous investigation of this strain clearly showed its morphological discrepancy with the original description of C. magnum and the genus Crinalium in general. The new isolate from maritime sand dunes of the Baltic Sea coast (Germany), however, revealed morphological characters completely corresponding with the diagnosis of C. magnum. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA sequences indicated a position of the new strain inside Gomontiellaceae. Both morphology and ultrastructure of the strain are congruous with characters of the family. Epitypification and emendation of C. magnum are proposed since the ecology and habitat of the original strain are congruent with the type locality of this rare species (sand, Irish Sea coast, North Wales, UK). We expanded the description of C. magnum by details of the filament development and specified dimensional ranges for trichomes and cells, as well as by new data about the transversely striated structure of mucilaginous sheath.

RevDate: 2019-09-10
CmpDate: 2019-09-10

Story SM, Vila FD, Kas JJ, et al (2019)

Corvus: a framework for interfacing scientific software for spectroscopic and materials science applications.

Journal of synchrotron radiation, 26(Pt 5):1694-1704.

Corvus, a Python-based package designed for managing workflows of physical simulations that utilize multiple scientific software packages, is presented. Corvus can be run as an executable script with an input file and automatically generated or custom workflows, or interactively, in order to build custom workflows with a set of Corvus-specific tools. Several prototypical examples are presented that link density functional, vibrational and X-ray spectroscopy software packages and are of interest to the synchrotron community. These examples highlight the simplification of complex spectroscopy calculations that were previously limited to expert users, and demonstrate the flexibility of the Corvus infrastructure to tackle more general problems in other research areas.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Arabkhazaeli F, Madani SA, A Ghorbani (2020)

Parasitological and molecular survey of scattered parasitism by trichomonads in some avian species in Iran.

Avian pathology : journal of the W.V.P.A, 49(1):47-55.

Outbreaks of avian trichomonosis are being reported worldwide; meanwhile, the genetic and virulence variations are under investigation. In this study, the occurrence and genetic variability of oral or faecal trichomonads among various avian species were investigated. Samples obtained from either the oropharyngeal cavity, crop/oesophagus, droppings/cloaca, or conjunctival swabs of avian species were inspected for flagellates. Phylogenetic analysis of partial ITS1-5.8s rRNA-ITS2 sequences from selected samples was performed to investigate the genetic diversity of the isolates. Investigation of 737 birds revealed an infection rate of 15.7% in the upper gastrointestinal tract, 7.3% in the faecal samples, and 0.7% involvement of the conjunctiva. Phylogenetic analysis of partial ITS1-5.8s rRNA-ITS2 sequences from selected samples, identified genotypes A and B of Trichomonas gallinae and genogroups A-C and E of Tetratrichomonas gallinarum. A novel ITS genotype of intestinal trichomonads was also detected in hooded crow (Corvus cornix) and common mynah (Acridotheres tristis). In the present study, in addition to Columbiformes and Falconiformes, trichomonads were detected in Passeriformes and Galliformes with the involvement of organs other than the gastrointestinal tract. Genotype A T. gallinae was detected in domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica), a laughing dove (Spilopelia senegalensis), a common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), a budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulates), and a canary (Serinus canaria). Distinct genotype B was detected in a common mynah and a budgerigar. Genogroups A-C of T. gallinarum were also demonstrated in Galliformes and Anseriformes. Furthermore, two novel trichomonad ITS genotypes were detected in hooded crows and a common mynah warranting detailed multi-locus molecular analysis.RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTSITS diversity of trichomonads was shown in various avian species.Diversity of the parasites' target organ and clinical manifestations was demonstrated.Two novel ITS genotype trichomonads from common mynah and hooded crow were identified.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Brecht KF, Hage SR, Gavrilov N, et al (2019)

Volitional control of vocalizations in corvid songbirds.

PLoS biology, 17(8):e3000375 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-19-00036.

Songbirds are renowned for their acoustically elaborate songs. However, it is unclear whether songbirds can cognitively control their vocal output. Here, we show that crows, songbirds of the corvid family, can be trained to exert control over their vocalizations. In a detection task, three male carrion crows rapidly learned to emit vocalizations in response to a visual cue with no inherent meaning (go trials) and to withhold vocalizations in response to another cue (catch trials). Two of these crows were then trained on a go/nogo task, with the cue colors reversed, in addition to being rewarded for withholding vocalizations to yet another cue (nogo trials). Vocalizations in response to the detection of the go cue were temporally precise and highly reliable in all three crows. Crows also quickly learned to withhold vocal output in nogo trials, showing that vocalizations were not produced by an anticipation of a food reward in correct trials. The results demonstrate that corvids can volitionally control the release and onset of their vocalizations, suggesting that songbird vocalizations are under cognitive control and can be decoupled from affective states.

RevDate: 2019-09-11
CmpDate: 2019-09-11

Fung KW, Xu J, Ameye F, et al (2019)

Map-Assisted Generation of Procedure and Intervention Encoding (Magpie): An Innovative Approach for ICD-10-PCS Coding.

Studies in health technology and informatics, 264:428-432.

ICD-10-PCS coding is challenging because of the large number of codes, non-intuitive terms and paucity of the ICD-10-PCS index. We previously repurposed the richer ICD-9-CM procedure index for ICD-10-PCS coding. We have developed the MAGPIE tool based on the repurposed ICD-9-CM index with other lexical and mapping resources. MAGPIE helps the user to identify SNOMED CT and ICD-10-PCS codes for medical procedures. MAGPIE uses three innovative search approaches: cascading search (SNOMED CT to ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-PCS), hybrid lexical and map-assisted matching, and semantic filtering of ICD-10-PCS codes. Our evaluation showed that MAGPIE found the correct SNOMED CT code and ICD-10-PCS table in 70% and 85% of cases respectively, without any user intervention. MAGPIE is available online from the NLM website: magpie.nlm.nih.gov.

RevDate: 2019-09-29

Vonk J (2019)

Emotional contagion or sensitivity to behavior in ravens?.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(37):18168.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Colombo M (2019)

Avian Brains: Primate-like Functions of Neurons in the Crow Brain.

Current biology : CB, 29(16):R794-R796.

Despite the negative connotations of the term 'birdbrain', birds possess cognitive abilities on par with primates. A new study finds that neurons in the crow's brain display characteristics similar to those displayed by neurons in the primate's brain.

RevDate: 2019-11-19

Keyes CA (2019)

How reliable is the charred body scale? An interobserver reliability study on scoring burned remains.

Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries, 45(7):1673-1679.

The error rates of forensic techniques need to be evaluated. The charred body scale is a method for quantifying the level of decomposition in burned remains. 51 files containing photographs of burned pigs at different stages of decomposition were scored by nine participants. Each pig in the photographs was uniformly burned to a different level (Crow Glassman Scale levels 1 to 3). The Crow Glassman Scale describes five levels of burns that include singing of hair and epidermal blistering (CGS level 1) up to complete cremation of the body reducing it to ash (CGS level 5). The three CGS levels were selected to isolate potential scoring errors that may be caused by different burn levels (not accounted for in the development of the charred body scale). Each of the 51 photograph files was scored by participants using the charred body scale as if it were a unique forensic case at an unknown initial burn level and decomposition stage. Interobserver error, hence reliability, of the scores was tested using individual and average absolute agreement interclass correlations. The charred body scale is reliable for remains burned to a Crow Glassman Scale level 1 but not in higher burn levels. It is suggested that a universal scoring method be developed that accounts for multiple burn levels in a single case.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Agnoli S, Mancini G, Andrei F, et al (2019)

The Relationship Between Trait Emotional Intelligence, Cognition, and Emotional Awareness: An Interpretative Model.

Frontiers in psychology, 10:1711.

Emotional awareness (EA) has been defined as the cognitive skill devoted to the identification and description of one's own and others' emotional experiences, an ability that has usually been conceptualized along with the development of cognitive intelligence. Despite this, EA has also been deemed a central constituent of Emotional Intelligence (EI), a construct that captures individual differences in how we perceive, communicate, regulate, and understand our own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. The overlap between the cognitive and the emotional domain in the definition of the EA construct has created several difficulties in both its understanding and its usage, so much so that several questions regarding its nature and structure remain unanswered. The aim of the present work was to test in a unique model the explanatory role of both trait EI and fluid nonverbal intelligence on EA variability in children, controlling for the effect of age, a variable strictly related to cognitive development, as well as gender, which is highly associated with trait EI during childhood. Four hundred and eighty-eight pupils (258 females and 230 males) ranging from 8 to 12 years old completed the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale for Children, the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire - Child Form, and a measure of pure non-verbal reasoning ability, the Raven's Progressive Matrices. The results of a structural equation model showed a positive explanatory power of both Raven and TEIQue scores on EA, revealing that both cognitive intelligence and trait EI significantly explained EA. The same model also showed an indirect effect of age, via intelligence scores, on EA, suggesting that the increase of EA with age could be partially imputed to the development of intelligence. Finally, a relation between gender and TEIQue scores confirmed higher trait EI scores in girls than in boys. The implications emerging from this model are discussed.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Wang L, Luo Y, Wang X, et al (2019)

Azure-winged magpies solve string-pulling tasks by partial understanding of the physical cognition.

Current zoology, 65(4):385-392.

String-pulling is one of the most widely used paradigms in animal cognition research. We investigated how azure-winged magpies Cyanopica cyanus solve multiple-string problems that they have never encountered before. In Experiment 1, the strings were arranged in parallel, slanted, or crossed to investigate what rules azure-winged magpies use to solve multiple spatial relations of strings. Experiment 2 assessed whether the subjects understood the connection between the string and the bait while taking advantage of broken strings. In Experiment 3, the subjects were confronted with strings of different lengths attached to rewards in order to explore whether the string length, as a proxy for the pulling efficiency or reward distance, was crucial for the birds' choice of which string to pull. Generally, the birds were successful in tasks where the reward was close to the correct string's end, and they relied on a "proximity rule" in most cases. The results showed that azure-winged magpies had a partial understanding of the physical principles underlying the string-pulling but were stumped by complex spatial relations. They likely relied on simple strategies such as the proximity rule to solve the tasks. The effects of individual difference and experiential learning on string-pulling performance are also discussed.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Probst C, Gethmann J, Amler S, et al (2019)

The potential role of scavengers in spreading African swine fever among wild boar.

Scientific reports, 9(1):11450 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-47623-5.

Understanding the transmission patterns of African swine fever (ASF) among wild boar (Sus scrofa) is an issue of major interest, especially in the wake of the current ASF epidemic. Given the high stability of ASF-virus, there is concern about scavengers spreading infectious carcass material in the environment. Here, we describe scavenging activities on 32 wild boar carcasses in their natural habitat in Germany. Using digital cameras, we detected 22 vertebrates at the study sites, thereof two mammal and three bird species scavenging. The most frequently detected species was the raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides (44% of all visits). Raccoon dogs, red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), and buzzards (Buteo buteo) scavenged in the warm and the cold season, while ravens (Corvus corax) and white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) scavenged only in the cold season. In summer, however, insects removed most of the carcass biomass. Although most of the material was consumed on the spot, foxes, raccoon dogs and ravens left the study sites in rare cases with a small piece of meat in their mouths or beaks. We conclude that scavengers represent a minor risk factor for spreading ASF, but may contribute to reducing local virus persistence by metabolizing infected carcasses.

RevDate: 2019-09-11

Napp S, Montalvo T, Piñol-Baena C, et al (2019)

Usefulness of Eurasian Magpies (Pica pica) for West Nile virus Surveillance in Non-Endemic and Endemic Situations.

Viruses, 11(8): pii:v11080716.

: In September 2017, passive surveillance allowed the detection of West Nile virus (WNV) lineage 2 for the first time in northern Spain in a northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). However, a cross sectional study carried out in Eurasian magpies (Pica pica) in a nearby area evidenced that WNV had been circulating two months earlier. Therefore, active surveillance in Eurasian magpies proved its effectiveness for the early detection of WNV in a non-endemic area. Further surveys in 2018 and the beginning of 2019 using young magpies (i.e., born after 2017) showed the repeated circulation of WNV in the same region in the following transmission season. Therefore, active surveillance in Eurasian magpies as well proved to be useful for the detection of WNV circulation in areas that may be considered as endemic. In this manuscript we present the results of those studies and discuss reasons that make the Eurasian magpies an ideal species for the surveillance of WNV, both in endemic and non-endemic areas.

RevDate: 2019-08-05

Johann V, Könen T, J Karbach (2019)

The unique contribution of working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and intelligence to reading comprehension and reading speed.

Child neuropsychology : a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence [Epub ahead of print].

There are several studies showing that executive functions such as working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility are related to reading abilities. However, most of these studies did not simultaneously take different executive functions and intelligence into account. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate if working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and fluid intelligence uniquely contribute to reading. Furthermore, we tested the hypothesis that reading comprehension and reading speed are correlated but separable reading abilities with different relations to other cognitive functions. To test this assumption, we examined if executive functions and fluid intelligence unequally relate to reading comprehension and reading speed. A total of 186 school children (mean age = 9.31 years) participated in our study and performed a complex span task (working memory), task switching (cognitive flexibility), a stroop-like task (inhibition), raven matrices (fluid intelligence), a reading speed task and three reading comprehension tasks. Structural equation modeling (SEM) showed that working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility and fluid intelligence differently contributed to reading speed and reading comprehension. Working memory, inhibition and fluid intelligence were related to reading speed, indicating that a higher working memory capacity, better inhibitory abilities and higher fluid intelligence were associated with higher reading speed. Moreover, cognitive flexibility and fluid intelligence were related to reading comprehension, suggesting that higher cognitive flexibility and fluid intelligence were associated with better reading comprehension. Thus, our results point to differential contributions of executive functions to reading comprehension and reading speed.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

McCoy DE, Schiestl M, Neilands P, et al (2019)

New Caledonian Crows Behave Optimistically after Using Tools.

Current biology : CB, 29(16):2737-2742.e3.

Are complex, species-specific behaviors in animals reinforced by material reward alone or do they also induce positive emotions? Many adaptive human behaviors are intrinsically motivated: they not only improve our material outcomes, but improve our affect as well [1-8]. Work to date on animal optimism, as an indicator of positive affect, has generally focused on how animals react to change in their circumstances, such as when their environment is enriched [9-14] or they are manipulated by humans [15-23], rather than whether complex actions improve emotional state. Here, we show that wild New Caledonian crows are optimistic after tool use, a complex, species-specific behavior. We further demonstrate that this finding cannot be explained by the crows needing to put more effort into gaining food. Our findings therefore raise the possibility that intrinsic motivation (enjoyment) may be a fundamental proximate cause in the evolution of tool use and other complex behaviors. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Rinnert P, Kirschhock ME, A Nieder (2019)

Neuronal Correlates of Spatial Working Memory in the Endbrain of Crows.

Current biology : CB, 29(16):2616-2624.e4.

Birds are renowned for their excellent spatial cognition. Corvid songbirds, in particular, rely on explicit representation of spatial cues in memory when caching food and retrieving caches for later consumption. However, the neuronal correlates of flexible spatial memory abilities are largely unknown in birds. We therefore trained carrion crows (Corvus corone) on a spatial delayed-response task in which they had to maintain the variable location of a visual item for a few seconds in working memory. After the crows performed this task with high precision, we recorded single-cell activity from the associative endbrain area Nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL) in the behaving crows. A large fraction of NCL neurons were tuned to individual preferred locations and selectively maintained the spatial location of items in working memory. A comparison of firing rates with reaction times suggested that the majority of delay-selective neurons represented stored location information rather than motor preparation. Almost 30% of all recorded neurons were tuned during both visual presentation and memory delay, and their spatial tuning was significantly correlated. The population of recorded neurons stably maintained spatial information over the course of the working memory period. Importantly, the neural responses of spatially tuned neurons were relevant for the crows' choices and allowed a statistical classifier to predict the subsequently chosen target location in free-choice trials. Our findings demonstrate the pivotal role of the avian NCL in spatial working memory that is reminiscent of the function of the convergently evolved primate prefrontal cortex in spatial working memory.

RevDate: 2019-12-18
CmpDate: 2019-12-18

Domingues P, Eletto D, Magnus C, et al (2019)

Profiling host ANP32A splicing landscapes to predict influenza A virus polymerase adaptation.

Nature communications, 10(1):3396 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-11388-2.

Species' differences in cellular factors limit avian influenza A virus (IAV) zoonoses and human pandemics. The IAV polymerase, vPol, harbors evolutionary sites to overcome restriction and determines virulence. Here, we establish host ANP32A as a critical driver of selection, and identify host-specific ANP32A splicing landscapes that predict viral evolution. We find that avian species differentially express three ANP32A isoforms diverging in a vPol-promoting insert. ANP32As with shorter inserts interact poorly with vPol, are compromised in supporting avian-like IAV replication, and drive selection of mammalian-adaptive vPol sequences with distinct kinetics. By integrating selection data with multi-species ANP32A splice variant profiling, we develop a mathematical model to predict avian species potentially driving (swallow, magpie) or maintaining (goose, swan) mammalian-adaptive vPol signatures. Supporting these predictions, surveillance data confirm enrichment of several mammalian-adaptive vPol substitutions in magpie IAVs. Profiling host ANP32A splicing could enhance surveillance and eradication efforts against IAVs with pandemic potential.

RevDate: 2020-01-06
CmpDate: 2020-01-06

S R SC, H Rajaguru (2019)

Lung Cancer Detection using Probabilistic Neural Network with modified Crow-Search Algorithm.

Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP, 20(7):2159-2166.

RevDate: 2020-01-06
CmpDate: 2020-01-06

Vinciguerra NT, Tsai WLE, Faircloth BC, et al (2019)

Comparison of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) to microsatellite markers for the study of avian hybrid zones: a test in Aphelocoma jays.

BMC research notes, 12(1):456 pii:10.1186/s13104-019-4481-z.

OBJECTIVE: Hybrid zones are geographic regions where genetically distinct taxa interbreed, resulting in offspring of mixed ancestry. California Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica) and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jays (A. woodhouseii) come into secondary contact and hybridize in western Nevada. Although previous work investigated divergence and gene flow between these species using a handful of microsatellite markers, the hybrid zone has not been studied using genome-scale markers, providing an opportunity to assess genome-wide introgression, test for a genetic basis for ecomorphological traits, and compare these estimates to those derived from microsatellites.

RESULTS: Using variant sites flanking ultraconserved elements (UCEs), we performed population assignment and quantified hybrid ancestry for 16 individuals across the zone of secondary contact. Our study included 2468 SNPs distributed throughout the genome, allowing discrimination of genetic affinities of hybrid individuals that were similar to estimates from microsatellites. We show a relationship between bill and wing length and the genetic composition of individuals that was not found in prior work using microsatellites, suggesting a genetic basis for these traits. Our analyses demonstrate the utility of UCEs for the analysis of hybrid zones and provide a basis for future studies to identify the genomic architecture of speciation and phenotypic differences between these incipient species.

RevDate: 2019-11-10

Moberly AC, J Reed (2019)

Making Sense of Sentences: Top-Down Processing of Speech by Adult Cochlear Implant Users.

Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR, 62(8):2895-2905.

Purpose Speech recognition relies upon a listener's successful pairing of the acoustic-phonetic details from the bottom-up input with top-down linguistic processing of the incoming speech stream. When the speech is spectrally degraded, such as through a cochlear implant (CI), this role of top-down processing is poorly understood. This study explored the interactions of top-down processing, specifically the use of semantic context during sentence recognition, and the relative contributions of different neurocognitive functions during speech recognition in adult CI users. Method Data from 41 experienced adult CI users were collected and used in analyses. Participants were tested for recognition and immediate repetition of speech materials in the clear. They were asked to repeat 2 sets of sentence materials, 1 that was semantically meaningful and 1 that was syntactically appropriate but semantically anomalous. Participants also were tested on 4 visual measures of neurocognitive functioning to assess working memory capacity (Digit Span; Wechsler, 2004), speed of lexical access (Test of Word Reading Efficiency; Torgeson, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1999), inhibitory control (Stroop; Stroop, 1935), and nonverbal fluid reasoning (Raven's Progressive Matrices; Raven, 2000). Results Individual listeners' inhibitory control predicted recognition of meaningful sentences when controlling for performance on anomalous sentences, our proxy for the quality of the bottom-up input. Additionally, speed of lexical access and nonverbal reasoning predicted recognition of anomalous sentences. Conclusions Findings from this study identified inhibitory control as a potential mechanism at work when listeners make use of semantic context during sentence recognition. Moreover, speed of lexical access and nonverbal reasoning were associated with recognition of sentences that lacked semantic context. These results motivate the development of improved comprehensive rehabilitative approaches for adult patients with CIs to optimize use of top-down processing and underlying core neurocognitive functions.

RevDate: 2019-07-22

Lazareva OF, Gould K, Linert J, et al (2019)

Smaller on the left? Flexible association between space and magnitude in pigeons (Columba livia) and blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata).

Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983) pii:2019-41901-001 [Epub ahead of print].

Humans and other apes represent magnitudes spatially, demonstrated by their responding faster and more accurately to one side of space when presented with small quantities and to the other side of space when presented with large quantities. This representation is flexible and shows substantial variability between cultural groups in humans and between and within individuals in great apes. In contrast, recent findings suggest that chicks show a spatial representation of magnitude that is highly lateralized and inflexible, implying a qualitatively different underlying representation than in primates. Using methods similar to those used with great apes and humans, we trained adult domestic pigeons (Columba livia) and blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) to select the smaller (or larger) of two nonadjacent quantity arrays; later, this task was reversed. At test, birds were presented with novel probe pairs consisting of adjacent quantity pairs (e.g., 2 vs. 3). Both species showed robust evidence for a flexible spatial representation of magnitude with considerable individual variability in the orientation of this representation. These results are not consistent with an inflexible, lateralized, left-to-right representation of magnitude in birds, but are consistent with the flexible spatial representation of magnitude observed in apes and humans. We conclude that the tendency to organize quantities spatially may be a fundamental and evolutionarily ancient feature of cognition that is widespread among vertebrates. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).


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.

Order from Amazon

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

963 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226


E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

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

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )