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22 Apr 2024 at 01:40
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Bibliography on: Corvids (crows, jays, etc)


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 22 Apr 2024 at 01:40 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: 2024-04-20

Mansoor MH, Lu X, Woksepp H, et al (2024)

Detection and genomic characterization of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli harboring tet(X4) in black kites (Milvus migrans) in Pakistan.

Scientific reports, 14(1):9054.

The emergence of plasmid-mediated tigecycline resistance gene tet(X4) among clinically relevant bacteria has promoted significant concerns, as tigecycline is considered a last-resort drug against serious infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria. We herein focused on the isolation and molecular characterization of tet(X4)-positive Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) in wild bird populations with anthropogenic interaction in Faisalabad, Pakistan. A total of 150 birds including black kites (Milvus migrans) and house crows (Corvus splendens) were screened for the presence of tigecycline resistance K. pneumoniae and E. coli. We found two K. pneumoniae and one E. coli isolate carrying tet(X4) originating from black kites. A combination of short- and long-read sequencing strategies showed that tet(X4) was located on a broad host range IncFII plasmid family in K. pneumoniae isolates whereas on an IncFII-IncFIB hybrid plasmid in E. coli. We also found an integrative and conjugative element ICEKp2 in K. pneumoniae isolate KP8336. We demonstrate the first description of tet(X4) gene in the WHO critical-priority pathogen K. pneumoniae among wild birds. The convergence of tet(X4) and virulence associated ICEKp2 in a wild bird with known anthropogenic contact should be further investigated to evaluate the potential epidemiological implications. The potential risk of global transmission of tet(X4)-positive K. pneumoniae and E. coli warrant comprehensive evaluation and emphasizes the need for effective mitigation strategies to reduce anthropogenic-driven dissemination of AMR in the environment.

RevDate: 2024-04-19

Zhang C, Jia B, Zhu Y, et al (2024)

Human-level few-shot concept induction through minimax entropy learning.

Science advances, 10(16):eadg2488.

Humans learn concepts both from labeled supervision and by unsupervised observation of patterns, a process machines are being taught to mimic by training on large annotated datasets-a method quite different from the human pathway, wherein few examples with no supervision suffice to induce an unfamiliar relational concept. We introduce a computational model designed to emulate human inductive reasoning on abstract reasoning tasks, such as those in IQ tests, using a minimax entropy approach. This method combines identifying the most effective constraints on data via minimum entropy with determining the best combination of them via maximum entropy. Our model, which applies this unsupervised technique, induces concepts from just one instance, reaching human-level performance on tasks of Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM), Machine Number Sense (MNS), and Odd-One-Out (O[3]). These results demonstrate the potential of minimax entropy learning for enabling machines to learn relational concepts efficiently with minimal input.

RevDate: 2024-04-16

Samal S, R Dash (2023)

Developing a novel stock index trend predictor model by integrating multiple criteria decision-making with an optimized online sequential extreme learning machine.

Granular computing, 8(3):411-440.

It has always been the goal of many researchers to gain a thorough understanding of the patterns in the stock market and forecast the trends it will follow. The use of an advanced forecasting model can assist with accurately forecasting the future price of stocks, their fluctuations in the markets, as well as make profits in trading. With this motivation, in this study, a novel stock index trend predictor model is designed by integrating Multiple Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) with an optimized Online Sequential Extreme Learning Machine (OSELM). Forecasting the future stock index prices and analyzing the upward or downward trends of these price forecasts are the two objectives of the proposed model. As the performance of OSELM is heavily dependent on the activation functions used in it, suitable selection of the activation function for OSELM is addressed as a MCDM problem. According to this approach, the trend prediction performance of six popular activation functions is assessed based on five regression-based and five classification-based criteria. In this investigation, three MCDM approaches are used to assess the performance matrix and determine which activation function is the best for OSELM based on six alternative models and ten criteria. To further optimize OSELM's performance, a hybrid crow search algorithm (hCSA) is incorporated in its training phase. By introducing the chaotic map and mutation operator in position update scheme and catfish behavior in the search process of original CSA, the proposed hCSA is able to achieve the right balance between exploration and exploitation improving the convergence. The proposed trend predictor model is empirically evaluated over historical data of three stock indices such as BSE SENSEX, S&P 500 and DJIA collected during pre-COVID and COVID time frame. In most of the test cases, the hCSA-OSELM model outperforms the state-of-the-art baseline models in terms of all evaluation criteria. When compared to the second-best baseline model, the suggested model is able to achieve the MSE improvements of 4-6%, 25-31%, and accuracy improvements of 0.4-0.8%, 0.9-1.3% over the pre-COVID and COVID time-frames, respectively. The statistical test also reveals the better performance of the proposed model. The robust and reliable MCDM-based model selection, superior prediction and classification outcomes clearly reveal that the proposed model can be used for financial time-series forecasting amid daily volatility as well as highly volatile markets.

RevDate: 2024-04-15

Schumm YR, Lederer-Ponzer N, Masello JF, et al (2024)

High prevalence of haemosporidian parasites in Eurasian jays.

Parasitology research, 123(4):182.

Avian haemosporidians are vector-borne parasites, infecting a great variety of birds. The order Passeriformes has the highest average infection probability; nevertheless, some common species of Passeriformes have been rather poorly studied. We investigated haemosporidians in one such species, the Eurasian jay Garrulus glandarius (Corvidae), from a forest population in Hesse, Central Germany. All individuals were infected with at least one haemosporidian genus (overall prevalence: 100%). The most common infection pattern was a mixed Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon infection, whereas no Plasmodium infection was detected. Results on lineage diversity indicate a rather pronounced host-specificity of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon lineages infecting birds of the family Corvidae.

RevDate: 2024-04-09

De Tollenaere M, Meunier M, Lapierre L, et al (2024)

High molecular weight hyaluronic acid vectorised with clay provides long-term hydration and reduces skin brightness.

Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI), 30(4):e13672.

BACKGROUND: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a widely used active cosmetic ingredient. Its multiple skin care benefits are modulated by its molecular weight. Low molecular weight (LMW) HA can penetrate the skin, but high molecular weight (HMW) HA remains at the surface. Here, we assessed how vectorization of HMW HA with bentonite clay-achieved with an innovative technology-enhances its cosmetic and hydrating properties.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The two HA forms were applied to skin explants; their penetration and smoothing effects were monitored by Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The two forms were biochemically characterised by chromatography, enzyme sensitivity assays, and analysis of Zeta potential. Cosmetics benefits such as, the smoothing effect of vectorised-HA was assessed in ex vivo experiments on skin explants. A placebo-controlled clinical study was finally conducted applying treatments for 28 days to analyse the final benefits in crow's feet area.

RESULTS: Raman spectroscopy analysis revealed native HMW HA to accumulate at the surface of skin explants, whereas vectorised HMW HA was detected in deeper skin layers. This innovative vectorisation process changed the zeta potential of vectorised HMW HA, being then more anionic and negative without impacting the biochemical structure of native HA. In terms of cosmetic benefits, following application of vectorised HMW HA ex vivo, the skin's surface was visibly smoother. This smoothing was clinically confirmed, with a significant reduction in fine lines.

CONCLUSION: The development of innovative process vectorising HMW HA allowed HMW HA penetration in the skin. This enhanced penetration extends the clinical benefits of this iconic cosmetic ingredient.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Krige Z, Spencer EE, Crowther MS, et al (2024)

Flooding, season and habitat interact to drive changes in vertebrate scavenging and carcass persistence rates.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Scavenging dynamics are influenced by many abiotic and biotic factors, but there is little knowledge of how scavengers respond to extreme weather events. As carrion is a major driver of the organisation and structure of food webs within ecological communities, understanding the response of scavengers to extreme weather events is critical in a world that is increasingly subject to climate change. In this study, vertebrate scavenging and carcass persistence rates were quantified in the Simpson Desert of central Australia; a system that experiences major fluctuations and extremes in weather conditions. Specifically, a total of 80 adult red kangaroo (Osphranter rufus) carcasses were placed on the landscape and monitored using remote sensor cameras. This included 40 carcasses monitored before and then 40 carcasses monitored after a major flooding event. The carcasses were monitored equally before and after the flood across different seasons (warm and cool) and in dune and interdune habitats. Overall, a total of 8124 scavenging events for 97,976 visitation minutes were recorded for 11 vertebrate species within 30 days of carcass placement pre- and post-flood. Vertebrate scavenging increased post-flood in the warm season, especially by corvids which quadrupled their scavenging events during this time. There was little difference in carcass persistence between habitats, but carcasses persisted 5.3-fold longer post-flood in warm seasons despite increased vertebrate scavenging. The results demonstrate that a flood event can influence scavenging dynamics and suggest a need to further understand how seasons, habitats and extreme weather events can drive changes in carrion-based food webs.

RevDate: 2024-04-07

Hu B, Wang JM, Zhang QX, et al (2024)

Enterococcus faecalis provides protection during scavenging in carrion crow (Corvus corone).

Zoological research, 45(3):451-463.

The gut microbiota significantly influences host physiology and provides essential ecosystem services. While diet can affect the composition of the gut microbiota, the gut microbiota can also help the host adapt to specific dietary habits. The carrion crow (Corvus corone), an urban facultative scavenger bird, hosts an abundance of pathogens due to its scavenging behavior. Despite this, carrion crows infrequently exhibit illness, a phenomenon related to their unique physiological adaptability. At present, however, the role of the gut microbiota remains incompletely understood. In this study, we performed a comparative analysis using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing technology to assess colonic content in carrion crows and 16 other bird species with different diets in Beijing, China. Our findings revealed that the dominant gut microbiota in carrion crows was primarily composed of Proteobacteria (75.51%) and Firmicutes (22.37%). Significant differences were observed in the relative abundance of Enterococcus faecalis among groups, highlighting its potential as a biomarker of facultative scavenging behavior in carrion crows. Subsequently, E. faecalis isolated from carrion crows was transplanted into model mice to explore the protective effects of this bacterial community against Salmonella enterica infection. Results showed that E. faecalis down-regulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and interleukin 6 (IL-6), prevented S. enterica colonization, and regulated the composition of gut microbiota in mice, thereby modulating the host's immune regulatory capacity. Therefore, E. faecalis exerts immunoregulatory and anti-pathogenic functions in carrion crows engaged in scavenging behavior, offering a representative case of how the gut microbiota contributes to the protection of hosts with specialized diets.

RevDate: 2024-04-07

Melo-Souza V, Gavrilov A, MR Rossi-Santos (2024)

Dropping a bombshell: Acoustic characterization of blast fishing in Todos os Santos Bay, Brazil, and its implication for marine conservation.

Marine pollution bulletin, 202:116332 pii:S0025-326X(24)00309-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Blast fishing is an illegal fishing method that not only affects fish populations and the marine ecosystem, but also local food security and local economy. Despite its effects, blast fishing continues to persist in many coastal regions around the world, including Todos os Santos Bay (BTS - Baia de Todos os Santos) in Northeastern Brazil. This study provides the first acoustic record of underwater explosions along this region. The acoustic data were collected between 2016 and 2018, from a boat-survey platform, using a portable system consisting of an HTI-90 min hydrophone (sensitivity of about -165 dB re 1 V/μPa) connected to a TASCAM DR-40 digital recorder (combined frequency response up to 30 kHz), recording at 7 m depth. The acoustic analysis was performed using both RAVEN 1.6 and MATLAB 2021a softwares. The results revealed a distinctive underwater explosion signal detected in the BTS, indicating evidence of blast fishing activities. The acoustic characterization of blast fishing in BTS provides crucial information on its occurrence and extent of this destructive practice worldwide.

RevDate: 2024-04-06

Maruyama M, Ushine N, Watanabe Y, et al (2024)

Current situation of lead (Pb) exposure in raptors and waterfowl in Japan and difference in sensitivity to in vitro lead exposure among avian species.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) pii:S0269-7491(24)00621-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Although lead (Pb) poisoning in wild birds has been considered a serious problem in Japan for over 30 years, there is little information about Pb exposure and its sources throughout Japan except for Hokkaido. Furthermore, to identify and effectively prioritize the conservation needs of highly vulnerable species, differences in sensitivity to Pb exposure among avian species need to be determined. Therefore, we investigated the current situation of Pb exposure in raptors (13 species, N = 82), waterfowl (eight species, N = 44) and crows (one species, N = 6) using concentration and isotope analysis. We employed blood or tissue samples collected in various Japanese facilities mainly in 2022 or 2023. We also carried out a comparative study of blood δ-ALAD sensitivity to in vitro Pb exposure using blood of nine avian species. Pb concentrations in the blood or tissues displayed increased levels (>0.1 μg/g blood) in two raptors (2.4%), ten waterfowl (23%) and one crow (17%). Among them, poisoning levels (>0.6 μg/g blood) were found in one black kite and one common teal. The sources of Pb isotope ratios in ten blood samples with high Pb levels were determined as deriving from shot pellets (N = 9) or rifle bullets (N = 1). In the δ-ALAD study, red-crowned crane showed the highest sensitivity among the nine tested avian species and was followed in order by five Accipitriformes species (including white-tailed and Steller's sea eagle), Blakiston's fish owl, Muscovy duck and chicken, suggesting a genetically driven variance in susceptibility. Further studies on contamination conditions and exposure sources are urgently needed to inform strict regulations on the usage of Pb ammunition. Furthermore, detailed examinations of δ-ALAD sensitivity, interspecific differences, and other factors involved in the variability in sensitivity to Pb are required to identify and prioritize highly sensitive species.

RevDate: 2024-04-04

Cheyette SJ, ST Piantadosi (2024)

Response to Difficulty Drives Variation in IQ Test Performance.

Open mind : discoveries in cognitive science, 8:265-277.

In a large (N = 300), pre-registered experiment and data analysis model, we find that individual variation in overall performance on Raven's Progressive Matrices is substantially driven by differential strategizing in the face of difficulty. Some participants choose to spend more time on hard problems while others choose to spend less and these differences explain about 42% of the variance in overall performance. In a data analysis jointly predicting participants' reaction times and accuracy on each item, we find that the Raven's task captures at most half of participants' variation in time-controlled ability (48%) down to almost none (3%), depending on which notion of ability is assumed. Our results highlight the role that confounding factors such as motivation play in explaining individuals' differential performance in IQ testing.

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Farris P, Berson D, Bhatia N, et al (2024)

Efficacy and Tolerability of Topical 0.1% Stabilized Bioactive Retinol for Photoaging: A Vehicle-Controlled Integrated Analysis.

Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 23(4):209-215.

INTRODUCTION: Chronic exposure to ultraviolet light photoages skin. Retinol, a precursor molecule to retinoic acid that causes less irritation, is available as a nonprescription, cosmetic retinoid and improves collagen production, skin elasticity, and signs of photoaging. Advances in formulation science have allowed the production of stabilized bioactive retinol formulations. This integrated analysis aims to build on previous studies and further examine the comprehensive efficacy and tolerability of topical 0.1% stabilized bioactive retinol.

METHODS: This analysis included 6 vehicle-controlled studies of 0.1% stabilized bioactive retinol in women with mild-to-moderate signs of photodamage. Across all studies, the same dermatologist investigator assessed overall photodamage; wrinkles on the forehead, cheeks, and undereye area; crow’s feet wrinkles and fine lines; lack of even skin tone; and brown spots at baseline and weeks 4, 8, and 12 on a numerical scale. Tolerability was also assessed.

RESULTS: Participants (retinol, N=237; vehicle, N=234) had a mean (SD) age of 47.4 (6.6) years. Retinol induced greater improvements from baseline in all signs of photoaging vs vehicle as early as week 4 and through 12 weeks of application. Few participants experienced irritation; all events were mild to moderate and transient. The most common signs of irritation were erythema (n=2) and skin scaling/peeling (n=5).

CONCLUSIONS: This pooled analysis of 6 vehicle-controlled clinical studies provides new evidence for the efficacy of 0.1% stabilized bioactive retinol in improving signs of photoaging without causing major irritation. Topical 0.1% stabilized bioactive retinol was well tolerated with only a few reported cases of skin irritation. J Drugs Dermatol. 2024;23(4):     doi:10.36849/JDD.8124.

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Wadas MJ, White WJ, LeFevre HJ, et al (2024)

Hydrodynamic Mechanism for Clumping along the Equatorial Rings of SN1987A and Other Stars.

Physical review letters, 132(11):111201.

An explanation for the origin and number of clumps along the equatorial ring of Supernova 1987A has eluded decades of research. Our linear analysis and hydrodynamic simulations of the expanding ring prior to the supernova reveal that it is subject to the Crow instability between vortex cores. The dominant wave number is remarkably consistent with the number of clumps, suggesting that the Crow instability stimulates clump formation. Although the present analysis focuses on linear fluid flow, future nonlinear analysis and the incorporation of additional stellar physics may further elucidate the remnant structure and the evolution of the progenitor and other stars.

RevDate: 2024-04-01

Wang Z, Mayer CH, J Li (2024)

A psychobiographical analysis of Empress Dowager Cixi: exploring the femininity castrated complex.

International review of psychiatry (Abingdon, England), 36(1-2):56-68.

In Chinese culture, there is a widely circulated phrase, 'A hen crows in the morning'. This phrase is used to humiliate women who steal power and engage in the political field. It demonstrates the complicated relationship between women and power in the context of Chinese culture. Women are not completely excluded from the politics, but women in power are often stigmatised. This study explores the life of Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908), the last female dominator in Chinese history, takes psychobiography as the research method, and attempts to understand the complicated relationship between women and power in Chinese culture through analysing Cixi's life from the perspective of complex and cultural complex theory which originated with C.G. Jung and analytical theory. The research findings show that humiliating and suppressing women with political talent can trigger their complexes, both personal and cultural. This study attempts to propose the femininity castrated complex to better describe the conscious and unconscious psychological dynamics impacting on women within patriarchal, political Chinese culture. This complex further relates to (1) denying her biological sex in order to avoid accusations of superego and, (2) the relationship with her son who is not only her son, but also her enemy regarding (political) power.

RevDate: 2024-03-30

Chambon R, Paillisson JM, Fournier-Sowinski J, et al (2024)

Agricultural habitat use and selection by a sedentary bird over its annual life cycle in a crop-depredation context.

Movement ecology, 12(1):26.

BACKGROUND: Modern agriculture has undoubtedly led to increasing wildlife-human conflicts, notably concerning bird damage in productive and attractive crops during some parts of the annual cycle. This issue requires utmost attention for sedentary birds that may impact agricultural crops at any stage of their annual life cycle. Reducing bird-human conflicts requires a better understanding of the relationship between bird foraging activity and the characteristics of agricultural areas, notably with respect to changes in food-resource availability and crop sensitivity across the year.

METHODS: We explored how GPS-tagged adult male western jackdaws- sedentary corvids- utilize agricultural areas throughout their annual cycle, in a context of crop depredation. More precisely, we described their daily occurrence distribution and the extent of habitat use and selection consistency with respect to landscape composition across time.

RESULTS: Jackdaws moved in the close agricultural surroundings of their urban nesting place over the year (< 2.5 km from the nest, on average). Daily occurrence distributions were restricted (< 2.2 km[2]), relatively centered on the nesting locality (distance between the daily occurrence centroid and the nest < 0.9 km), and rather spatially stable during each annual life-cycle period (overlap range: 63.4-76.1%). Their foraging patterns highlighted that they fed mainly in grasslands all year round, and foraged complementarily and opportunistically in maize (during sowing- coinciding with the first stages of the birds' breeding period) and cereal crops (during harvesting- their post-fledging period).

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate the very limited space use by breeding male jackdaws which foraged preferentially in grasslands. We call for future investigations in other agricultural contexts and also considering non-breeders for extrapolation purposes.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Hooper R, Maher K, Moore K, et al (2024)

Ultimate drivers of forced extra-pair copulations in birds lacking a penis: jackdaws as a case-study.

Royal Society open science, 11(3):231226.

Forced copulation is common, presumably because it can increase male reproductive success. Forced extra-pair copulation (FEPC) occurs in birds, even though most species lack a penis and are widely thought to require female cooperation for fertilization. How FEPC persists, despite a presumed lack of siring success and likely non-negligible costs to the male, is unknown. Using the jackdaw (Corvus monedula) as a case study, we use SNPs to quantify the extra-pair paternity rate through FEPC and evaluate explanations for the persistence of FEPC in species without a penis. We then collate evidence for FEPC across penis-lacking birds. Combining genetic and behavioural analyses, our study suggests that the most likely explanations for the maintenance of FEPC in jackdaws are that it provides a selective advantage to males or it is a relic. Our literature review shows that across birds lacking a penis, FEPC is taxonomically widespread, and yet, little is known about its evolution. A broader implementation of the approach used here, combining both genetic and behavioural data, may shed light on why this widespread sexual behaviour persists. Additional work is necessary to understand whether a penis is needed for paternity through forced copulation and to quantify the costs of FEPC.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Tummeleht L, Häkkä SSS, Jürison M, et al (2024)

Wild boar (Sus scrofa) carcasses as an attraction for scavengers and a potential source for soil contamination with the African swine fever virus.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 11:1305643.

The wild boar (Sus scrofa) is a social animal species native to Eurasia. During the last decade, the wild boar population in Estonia has been severely affected by the African swine fever virus (ASFV), which has also affected domestic pig farming. The potential transmission routes of ASFV remain unclear and are currently under intensive investigation. This pilot study aimed to clarify the frequency and characteristics of contacts between living wild boars and the carcasses of their conspecifics, which could play a role in the transmission of ASFV. Wild animals' contact and scavenging behavior on wild boar carcasses were studied using trail cameras in an experimental setting on Hiiumaa, Western Estonia. Four legally hunted carcasses were used in the present study. This study aimed to determine whether intraspecies scavenging occurs in wild boars. The persistence of ASFV DNA in soil contaminated with infected wild boar carcasses was investigated separately. Among the 17 identified wildlife species that visited wild boar carcasses, the common raven (Corvus corax) was the most frequent one (37.26%), followed by raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides; 4.25%), carcass conspecific/wild boars (3.16%), and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes; 2.14%). Regarding the direct contact with the carcass, the same species ranking was detected: common raven (74.95%), raccoon dogs (9.94%), wild boars (4.21%), and red foxes (4.21%). No clear signs of cannibalism were noted among the wild boars, although brief physical contact with the carcasses was evident. The persistence of ASFV DNA in soil contaminated by infected wild boar carcasses was investigated separately. This study revealed that ASFV DNA from infected carcasses could be detected in forest soil for prolonged periods, even after removing the carcasses. Hence, the carcasses of infected wild boars may play an important role in spreading the African swine fever virus in wild boar populations; thus, prompt removal and disinfection of the soil could be considered necessary to limit the spread of the infection.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Held S, Feng D, McCormick A, et al (2024)

The Báa nnilah Program: Results of a Chronic-Illness Self-Management Cluster Randomized Trial with the Apsáalooke Nation.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 21(3): pii:ijerph21030285.

Indigenous people in Montana are disproportionately affected by chronic illness (CI), a legacy of settler colonialism. Existing programs addressing CI self-management are not appropriate because they are not consonant with Indigenous cultures in general and the Apsáalooke culture specifically. A research partnership between the Apsáalooke (Crow Nation) non-profit organization Messengers for Health and Montana State University co-developed, implemented, and evaluated a CI self-management program for community members. This article examines qualitative and quantitative program impacts using a pragmatic cluster randomized clinical trial design with intervention and waitlist control arms. The quantitative and qualitative data resulted in different stories on the impact of the Báa nnilah program. Neither of the quantitative hypotheses were supported with one exception. The qualitative data showed substantial positive outcomes across multiple areas. We examine why the data sets led to two very different stories, and provide study strengths and limitations, recommendations, and future directions.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Shatkovska OV, Ghazali M, Mytiai IS, et al (2024)

Patterns of integrated growth of body parts in Rook (Corvus frugilegus) ontogeny.

Journal of morphology, 285(4):e21690.

The early period of ontogeny is key to understanding the patterns of body plan formation in birds. Most studies of avian development have focused on the development of individual avian characters, leaving their developmental integration understudied. We explored the dynamics and integration of relative percentage increments in body mass, lengths of head, skeletal elements of wing and leg, and primary flight feathers in the embryonic and postnatal development of the Rook (Corvus frugilegus). The relative percentage increments were calculated according to Brody's equation. Groups of similar growing traits (modules) were determined using hierarchical cluster analysis, and the degree of correlation between modules was estimated by PLS analysis. The embryonic and postnatal periods demonstrate significant consistency both in the dynamics of changes in relative percentage increments of studied traits as well as in the clustering of individual modules. The modules mainly include the body mass and head length, as well as the elements that form the fore- and hind limbs. Differences were revealed in the combination of modules into clusters in embryonic and postnatal periods. Hind limb elements clustered together with wing elements in the embryonic period but with body mass and the head in the postnatal period. The strongest modularity was noted for the leg in embryogenesis, and for the wing in postnatal development. The forelimb and especially the primary feathers had more distinctive growth patterns. We suggest the changes in the degree of integration between locomotor modules in ontogenesis are connected with the earlier functioning of the legs in the postnatal period and with the preparation of the wings for functioning after a chick leaves the nest.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Edwards-Grossi È, CDE Willoughby (2024)

Slavery and Its Afterlives in US Psychiatry.

American journal of public health, 114(S3):S250-S257.

Antecedents of racist treatments of Black patients by the psychiatric profession in the United States affect the way they view treatment today. Specifically, in this essay, we explore the enduring consequences of racial science on various treatment practices. We examined a range of primary sources on the history of racial theories about the mind, medical and psychiatric publications, and hospitals. We contextualize this analysis by examining the secondary literature in the history and sociology of psychiatry. Through analyzing racial thinking from the antebellum through the Jim Crow periods, we show how US medicine and psychiatry have roots in antebellum racial science and how carceral logics underpinned the past and present politics of Black mental health. Changing this trajectory requires practitioners to interrogate the historical foundations of racist psychiatric concepts. This essay urges them to reject biological racial realism, which bears reminiscences to 19th-century racial science, and embrace the variable of race as a social construct to study social inequalities in health as a first step toward moving away from the legacies of past injustices in medicine. (Am J Public Health. 2024;114(S3):S250-S257. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2023.307554).

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Humpenöder F, Popp A, Merfort L, et al (2024)

Food matters: Dietary shifts increase the feasibility of 1.5°C pathways in line with the Paris Agreement.

Science advances, 10(13):eadj3832.

A transition to healthy diets such as the EAT-Lancet Planetary Health Diet could considerably reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the specific contributions of dietary shifts for the feasibility of 1.5°C pathways remain unclear. Here, we use the open-source integrated assessment modeling (IAM) framework REMIND-MAgPIE to compare 1.5°C pathways with and without dietary shifts. We find that a flexitarian diet increases the feasibility of the Paris Agreement climate goals in different ways: The reduction of GHG emissions related to dietary shifts, especially methane from ruminant enteric fermentation, increases the 1.5°C compatible carbon budget. Therefore, dietary shifts allow to achieve the same climate outcome with less carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and less stringent CO2 emission reductions in the energy system, which reduces pressure on GHG prices, energy prices, and food expenditures.

RevDate: 2024-03-22

Bibi C, Z Nigar (2024)

Clinical Evaluation of a Topical Unani Polyherbal Formulation in the Management of Photodamaged Facial skin: An open-label Standard Controlled Trial.

Alternative therapies in health and medicine pii:AT10111 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Ageing is a natural process of life. With increasing age, the skin suffers progressive morphological and physiological decrement. Hyperpigmentation, Wrinkles, and roughness of skin are some of the symptoms of aged skin. Exposure to sunlight, pollution, stress, nicotine, etc aggravates Skin aging. This study aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of polyherbal formulation and compare its efficacy with the standard drug tretinoin in subjects of moderate to advanced Photoaged facial skin. Ingredients of polyherbal formulation are Aarade baqla (Vicia faba), Jau (Hordeum vulgare), Nakhud (Cicer arietinum),Masoor (Lens esculenta), Tukhm e turb (Raphanus sativus), Khardal (Brassica nigra), Haldi (Curcuma longa), Kateera (Cochlospermum religiosum).

METHODS: This was a randomized open-label standard controlled study. 82 eligible subjects were allocated equally into test and control groups by computer-generated random numbers. In the test group, a paste of 15 gm polyherbal formulation in milk, and the control group, 0.025% Tretinoin 1 gram was used topically on the face once a day for two months. The response was assessed by theclinician using following different scales for different parameters.

It was assessed by the Skin Hyperpigmentation Index online calculator (SHI). It describes the ratio of two scores, namely the hyperpigmented skin of the affected area and normal sun-protected skin from the same patient. The image was recorded with a Digital microscope-Win7 from a hyperpigmented area and normal sun-protected area. Both the images were uploaded on https://shi.skinimageanalysis.com/ and calculated the mean value of hyperpigmentation. SHI ranges from 1 (no hyperpigmentation) to 4 (maximum hyperpigmentation) where scores between 1 and 2 showed as light hyperpigmentation, 2-3 as medium hyperpigmentation, and scores between 3 and 4 as severe hyperpigmentation.

ASSESSMENT OF FINE WRINKLES: Fine wrinkles number was determined by digital photography. The photographs were taken through Canon EOS 1500D DSLR Camera with an 18-55 mm Lens. Three images were taken of each subject's face (right, left, and center full face) on Baseline and Day 15th, 30th, 45th, and 60th to assess visible changes/improvement in their fine wrinkles score.

ASSESSMENT OF NASOLABIAL FOLD: Modified Fitzpatrick Wrinkle Scale (MFWS) was used to assess Nasolabial folds. The scale comprised four main classes of Nasolabial wrinkling: 0, 1, 2, and 3 representing absent, fine, moderate, and deep wrinkles, respectively, and three inter classes i.e., 0.5, 1.5, and 2.5 to estimate wrinkle depth. The definitions of the entire classes of the scale are as follows: Class 0 = No wrinkle. No visible wrinkle; continuous skin line; Class 0.5 = Very shallow yet visible wrinkle; Class 1= Fine wrinkle. Visible wrinkle and slight indentation; Class 1.5= Visible wrinkle and clear indentation. <1-mm wrinkle depth; Class 2= Moderate wrinkle. Visible wrinkle, 1- to 2-mm wrinkle depth; Class 2.5= Prominent and visible wrinkle. More than 2-mm and less than 3-mm wrinkle depth; Class 3=Deep wrinkle. Deep and furrow wrinkle; more than 3-mm wrinkle depth.

Forehead lines were assessed (number and depth) by a Validated Grading Scale for Forehead Lines. The Forehead Lines Grading Scale is a 5- point photonumeric rating scale that was developed to objectively quantify resting (static) and hyperkinetic (dynamic) forehead lines. The scale ratings are 0 for no wrinkles, 1 for no wrinkles present at rest but fine lines with facial expression, 2 for fine wrinkles present at rest and deep lines with facial expression, 3 for fine wrinkles present at rest and deeper lines with facial expression, and 4 for deeper wrinkles at rest and deeper furrows with facial expression.

The number of lateral canthal lines was determined by a Validated Grading Scale for Crow's Feet. The Crow's Feet Grading Scale is a 5- point photonumeric rating scale developed to objectively quantify the severity of crow's feet. This scale was applied to two separate evaluations of crow's feet: at rest (static) and with expression (dynamic). The scale ratings are 0 for no wrinkles, 1 for very fine wrinkles, 2 for fine wrinkles, 3 for moderate wrinkles, and 4 for severe wrinkles.

The Allergan Skin Roughness Scale was used for facial skin roughness assessment. The area of assessment for the Allergan Skin roughness Scale is the area between the nasolabial fold to the preauricular cheek and from the inferior orbital rim to the mandible. The Allergan Skin Roughness Scale assigns a grade from none (0) to extreme (4) that describes the severity of skin coarseness, crosshatching, and elastosis in the midface area. The scale grading are 0 (None) Smooth visual skin texture, 1 (Minimal) Slightly coarse and uneven visual skin texture, 2 (Moderate) Moderately coarse and uneven visual skin texture; may have early elastosis, 3 (Severe) Severely coarse visual skin texture, cross-hatched fine lines; may have some elastosis, and 4 (Extreme) Extremely coarse visual skin texture, cross Hatched deep creases; extreme elastosis.

ASSESSMENT OF FACIAL DULLNESS: Dullness was assessed on a clinical basis with an arbitrary scoring ranging from 0 to 9 where 0-3=mild, 3.5-6=moderate, and 6.5-9=severe facial skin dullness.

ASSESSMENT OF QUALITY OF LIFE: Subjects' life quality was assessed by the Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaire. It consists of 10 questions. Each question is scored on a four-point Likert scale: Very much = 3, A lot = 2, A little = 1, Not at all = 0, Not relevant = 0 and Question unanswered = 0. The DLQI is calculated by adding the score of each question, resulting in a maximum of 30 and a minimum of 0. Where, 0-1= no effect at all on patient's life, 2-5 = small effect on patient's life, 6-10 = moderate effect on patient's life, 11-20 = very large effect on patient's life, 21-30 = extremely large effect on patient's life.

RESULTS: Both groups showed a significant improvement in Fine Wrinkles, Forehead Lines, Crow's Feet, Roughness, Dullness, Nasolabial Fold, Hyperpigmentation, and Quality of Life parameters. (P < .001) A large number of subjects in the control group reported mild to moderate redness, itching, dryness, and blackening of the skin, while in the test group, absolutely no side effects were reported during treatment.

CONCLUSION: The effects in both groups were substantial, but the polyherbal formulation is safe and effective for use in photoaged facial skin. It may be a more feasible easily accessible cheap and safe formulation to prevent skin aging and restore skin elasticity and make skin brighter. Further studies to evaluate the efficacy of formulation on objective parameters using standard instruments should be done for appropriate measurements of parameters.

RevDate: 2024-03-22

Hernández LAP, Hernández AMP, Castelanich D, et al (2024)

A novel hybrid BonT-A and hyaluronic acid cannula-based technique for eyelid ptosis and periorbital rejuvenation.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Eyelid ptosis is characterized by an inferior displacement of the upper eyelid when the eye assumes its primary position. Besides its aesthetic implications, ptosis can also adversely affect visual acuity.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate the simultaneous administration of IncobotulinumtoxinA (IncoBonTA) and hyaluronic acid effect in eyelid ptosis and ocular rejuvenation.

METHODS: A novel, non-surgical technique for eyelid ptosis management involving IncoBonTA and hyaluronic acid the co-administration within a single syringe, and applied using a cannula.

RESULTS: The dual action of IncoBonTA and hyaluronic acid in conjunction with the exact injection sites approaches improves overall aesthetic outcomes but also optimizes the restoration of eyelid functionality in palpebral ptosis.

CONCLUSIONS: The functional balance achieved among the contributory muscles-primarily the orbicularis oculi (OO) and its antagonists, the frontal muscle and levator palpebrae superioris (LPS), yields to both, cosmetic and functional.

RevDate: 2024-03-21

Gutema BT, Tariku EZ, Melketsedik ZA, et al (2024)

Assessing the influence of COVID-19 lockdown measures on cognition and behavior in school age children in Arba Minch Health and Demographic Surveillance site, Southern Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study.

PLOS global public health, 4(3):e0002978 pii:PGPH-D-23-01776.

Ethiopian schools were closed for nearly 40 weeks as a measure to control the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of the study was to evaluate the role of COVID-19 pandemic's restrictive measures on cognition and behavioral difficulties of schoolchildren in Arba Minch Health and Demographic Surveillance Site. Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted in November 2019 (pre-COVID-19-lockdown) and November 2020 (post-COVID-19 lockdown). Data were collected both at the school and homes of the children. Cognitive development of the children was assessed using digit span, Raven's coloured progressive matrices (RCPM) and Visual search using cancellation task. Behavioral difficulties score of the children was assessed using Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to compare between the cognition outcomes and behavioral difficulties score pre- and post-COVID-19-lockdown. In a sub-group of children who provided data in both surveys, the difference in cognitive and behavioral outcomes was tested using a mixed effect model. Compared to the pre-COVID-19-lockdown, schoolchildren post-COVID-19-lockdown scored lower in the standardized performance index for the visual search task, which measures attention (0.27 SD, 95% confidence intervals (95%CI): -0.40, -0.13). However, they scored higher by 0.26 SD (95%CI: 0.13, 0.40) and 0.36 SD (95%CI: 0.22, 0.49) in digit span and RCPM, respectively, measuring working memory and non-verbal intelligence. There was no significant difference in total difficulties score between pre- and post-COVID-19-lockdown (0.01 SD, 95%CI: -0.12, 0.15). The subgroup analysis showed a significant increase in digit span among children post-COVID-19-lockdown while the other domains did not show a significant change. Factors contributing to the improvement of children's cognitive domains while away from the school environment should be explored and utilized to enhance child development. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT04137354 on October 14, 2019.

RevDate: 2024-03-20

López-Vázquez MA, Varela-Montes J, Serrano-Corral ML, et al (2024)

Pressure control and treatment interact in the deterioration of incidental visuospatial memory in hypertensive patients.

Archivos de cardiologia de Mexico, 94(1):25-32.

BACKGROUND: Systemic hypertension (SH) is the main risk factor to cognitive deterioration, whereas visuospatial memory is more vulnerable to ageing. Some antihypertensive agents have a neuroprotector effect, however, such effects could be masked by comorbidities and/or the lack of effective control on the arterial pressure of patients.

OBJECTIVE: To assess this, the evaluation of incidental visuospatial memory of SH patients and the relation to the treatment received and the effective control of pressure were made.

METHOD: 80 patients (46 woman) were included grouped by the received medication: angiotensin 2 receptor blockers (ARB) or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI). A multiple correlation analysis between visuospatial scores and clinical variables was made; also, a mixed model analysis (fixed factors: treatment, pressure control, diabetes comorbidity; aleatory factors: age, schooling, months from SH diagnoses).

RESULTS: Half of the patients had a controlled pressure, from them the higher proportion received ARB, and a minor number of patients received ACEI. The normotensive patients receiving ACEI were inefficient whereas the hypertensive patients were more efficient. The systolic pressure was negatively related with the visuospatial scores in spite of no correlations occurred with MoCA and Raven tests.

CONCLUSIONS: The visuospatial incidental/intentional scores were negatively correlated with systolic pressure. The efficiency in the visuospatial ability depends on the interaction of treatment and effective control of blood pressure. The interaction between treatment and effective pressure control must be taken in count when cognitive deterioration is studied.

RevDate: 2024-03-18

Trehan A, Anand R, Chaudhary G, et al (2024)

Efficacy and Safety of Skin Radiance Collagen on Skin and Hair Matrix: A Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial in Healthy Human Subjects.

Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology, 17:581-591.

PURPOSE: Collagen supplements are rising in the market as collagen has been demonstrated to be an important protein in the human aging process. Also, it is safe and easily absorbed in the body. Hence the aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness and safety of a collagen and antioxidant-rich treatment compared to a placebo in relation to various skin and hair indicators in healthy adult human subjects.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty healthy adult non-pregnant/non-lactating women (aged 38-50 years) provided their informed consent in writing before their participation. Skin Radiance Collagen (SRC) treatment and a placebo were assessed for efficacy before application on Day 1, and post-application on Days 28 and 56, to measure changes in skin elasticity, hydration, brightness, pigmentation; texture, wrinkles, dryness, smoothness, fine lines, changes in the crow's feet region; as well as hair strength and hair fall.

RESULTS: It was observed after 56 days that therapy with SRC, compared to placebo, produced a substantial effect on reduction of wrinkle depth and fine lines by 48.11% and 39%, respectively, with p-value <0.01 in the test group. There was a 15.69% improvement in skin hydration observed and 28% reduction in hair fall with p-value <0.01.

CONCLUSION: SRC, a combination of collagen with hyaluronic acid (HA), biotin, and vitamins C and E, showed a significant improvement in skin and hair health, including improvements in skin elasticity, skin hydration, reduction in crow's feet area wrinkles and fine lines, hair fall, and decrease in roughness, leading to improved skin texture. Vitamin C in the formulation also acts as a collagen builder for the body and helps in preventing oxidative stress in the body. The test treatment SRC was found to be efficacious and safe in healthy human adult subjects.

RevDate: 2024-03-14

González L, Popovic M, Rebagliato M, et al (2024)

Socioeconomic position, family context, and child cognitive development.

European journal of pediatrics [Epub ahead of print].

Socioeconomic position (SEP) may have different effects on cognitive development and family context could play a role in this association. This work aimed to analyse the role of socioeconomic positions, measured via various indicators collected longitudinally, in cognitive development at 7-11 years of age, evaluating the role of family context as a potential mediator. The study sample included 394 and 382 children from the INMA Gipuzkoa and Valencia cohorts, respectively. SEP indicators were assessed during pregnancy (family social class, parental education, employment, and disposable income) and at 7 (Gipuzkoa) and 11 (Valencia) years of age (At Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion (AROPE)). Family context and cognitive development were measured with the Haezi-Etxadi Family Assessment Scale 7-11 (HEFAS 7-11) and Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (Raven's CPM), respectively. Linear regression models were developed to assess the relationships between (a) SEP-family context, (b) SEP-cognitive development, and (c) family context-cognitive development, adjusting for a priori-selected confounders. Simple and multiple mediation analyses were performed to explore the role of family context in the SEP-cognitive development relationship. Lower SEP was related with a lower cognitive score, this association being particularly robust for family social class. SEP indicators were related to subscales of family context, in particular those regarding cognitive stimulation, parental stress, and parenting. A relationship was also found between these three subscales and child cognitive development, mediating the effect of family social class on child cognition by 5.2, 5.5, and 10.8%, respectively, and 12.0% jointly. Conclusion: Both family SEP and context contribute to a child's cognitive development. Equalising policies and positive parenting programmes could contribute to improving cognitive development in children. What is Known: • Parental social class, education, and employment status have been widely employed to measure socioeconomic position. What is New: • This work focuses on standard measurements of socioeconomic position but also other economic indicators such as the EHII and AROPE, and their effect on child cognitive development and family context. • Promotion of cognitive and linguistic development, parental stress and conflict, and parental profile fostering child development mediated the effect of family social class on cognitive development.

RevDate: 2024-03-14

Mazengenya P, Spocter MA, PR Manger (2024)

Nuclear parcellation and numbers of orexinergic neurons in five species of larger brained birds.

The Journal of comparative neurology, 532(3):e25602.

The orexinergic/hypocretinergic system, while having several roles, appears to be a key link in the balance between arousal and food intake. In birds, to date, this system has only been examined anatomically in four species, all with brains smaller than 3.5 g and of limited phylogenetic range. Here, using orexin-A immunohistochemistry, we describe the distribution, morphology, and nuclear parcellation of orexinergic neurons within the hypothalami of a Congo gray and a Timneh gray parrot, a pied crow, an emu, and a common ostrich. These birds represent a broad phylogeny, with brains ranging in size from 7.85 to 26.5 g. Within the hypothalami of the species studied, the orexinergic neurons were organized in two clusters, and a densely packed paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus cluster located within the medial hypothalamus (Hyp), but not contacting the ventricle, and a more loosely packed lateral hypothalamic cluster in the lateral Hyp. Stereological analysis revealed a strong correlation, using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression analyses, between brain mass and the total number of orexinergic neurons, as well as soma parameters such as volume and area. Orexinergic axonal terminals evinced two types of boutons, larger and the smaller en passant boutons. Unlike the orexinergic system in mammals, which has several variances in cluster organization, that of the birds studied, in the present and previous studies, currently shows organizational invariance, despite the differences in brain and body mass, phylogenetic relationships, and life-histories of the species studied.

RevDate: 2024-03-14

Speechley EM, Ashton BJ, Thornton A, et al (2024)

Heritability of cognitive performance in wild Western Australian magpies.

Royal Society open science, 11(3):231399.

Individual differences in cognitive performance can have genetic, social and environmental components. Most research on the heritability of cognitive traits comes from humans or captive non-human animals, while less attention has been given to wild populations. Western Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis, hereafter magpies) show phenotypic variation in cognitive performance, which affects reproductive success. Despite high levels of individual repeatability, we do not know whether cognitive performance is heritable in this species. Here, we quantify the broad-sense heritability of associative learning ability in a wild population of Western Australian magpies. Specifically, we explore whether offspring associative learning performance is predicted by maternal associative learning performance or by the social environment (group size) when tested at three time points during the first year of life. We found little evidence that offspring associative learning performance is heritable, with an estimated broad-sense heritability of just -0.046 ± 0.084 (confidence interval: -0.234/0.140). However, complementing previous findings, we find that at 300 days post-fledging, individuals raised in larger groups passed the test in fewer trials compared with individuals from small groups. Our results highlight the pivotal influence of the social environment on cognitive development.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

Maryan RE, Feizbakhsh M, Esmaeilian Z, et al (2024)

Comparison of intelligent development (IQ & EQ) of children with cleft lip and palate.

Dental research journal, 21:16.

BACKGROUND: Attention to the issue of intelligence and its promotion in children with cleft lip and cleft palate (CL and CP) is necessary to reduce their injuries in life. This study aimed to determine the intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) in children with CL and CP in comparison to healthy children.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this descriptive study, 140 children, including 70 children with CL and CP, were selected from the Children treated in Craniofacial and Cleft Research Center, Spearman correlation, ANOVA and 70 healthy children were selected from the Pediatric Dentistry Department of Isfahan University, in the age range of 5-9 years. After obtaining the consent of the children's parents, the Raven IQ questionnaire and the Mayer and Salovey EQ questionnaire were given to the children. Data were analyzed by the Pearson correlation coefficient tests (α =0.05).

RESULTS: EQ score in healthy children was significantly higher than in children with CL and CP (P < 0.001). The percentage of IQ cognitive intelligence in healthy children and children with CL and CP was not significantly different (P = 0.641). In healthy children, no significant relationship was observed between cognitive intelligence IQ and EQ (r = 0.018, P = 0.882). However, among children with CL and CP, there was a significant inverse relationship between cognitive intelligence IQ and EQ (P < 0.001, r = -0.526).

CONCLUSION: CL and CP have no effect on IQ in children, but it does affect EQ.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

Musharbash IJ, RJ Chakra (2024)

Treatment of Full Eyelid Ptosis Following Botox Injection: A Case Report.

Cureus, 16(3):e55970.

We report the case of a 24-year-old woman who was referred to one of the authors' clinics after six days of botulinum toxin type A injection to treat dynamic lines on her forehead, glabella complex, and crow's feet area. Her first esthetic injection was done by another colleague elsewhere in a different clinic. Her main complaint was full eyelid ptosis, which started four days after her treatment and continued to aggravate until the time she sought our help. We treated it with another dose of botulinum toxins. The patient started to notice a gradual improvement in her eyelid five days after our injection, so on day 14th, her eyelid was very closely back to normal opening; complete recovery was achieved. Ptosis due to botulinum toxin injection was surprisingly and successfully reversed in our article by a second dose of botulinum toxins. This suggests that this management successfully treats such cases and can deliver a beneficial reversal option for practitioners and their patients. The case report concludes that ptosis should be promptly evaluated and treated through a multimodal approach.

RevDate: 2024-03-11

Scognamiglio C, Sorge A, Borrelli G, et al (2024)

Exploring the connection between childhood trauma, dissociation, and borderline personality disorder in forensic psychiatry: a comprehensive case study.

Frontiers in psychology, 15:1332914.

This case study examines the complex relationship between childhood trauma, dissociation, and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) within the context of forensic psychiatry. It focuses on a young murder defendant named "Paul," who has experienced various traumatic events, including childhood maltreatment and domestic violence. These experiences have led to dissociative states marked by high emotional intensity, particularly of an aggressive nature, and impaired impulse control, resulting in violent behavior during dissociative episodes. The study employs advanced assessment tools like Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM), the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III), and the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI) to gain a comprehensive understanding of Paul's psychopathological condition, risk factors, and rehabilitation needs. The LS/CMI assessment highlights a high risk of recidivism, mainly influenced by family relationships, educational challenges, interpersonal connections, and aggressive tendencies. To address the multifaceted needs of individuals like Paul, the study emphasizes the importance of using transdiagnostic models for trauma and dissociation. This approach informs tailored treatment programs that include processing past traumatic experiences, improving self-identity, nurturing healthy relational patterns, and enhancing emotional regulation. Although this study is based on a single case, it serves as a model for integrating assessment tools and theoretical-clinical models in the field of forensic psychiatry. Understanding the intricate dynamics of childhood trauma, dissociation, and BPD is crucial for making informed decisions, conducting risk assessments, and developing rehabilitation programs within the justice system. Future research should expand the scope of cases and further validate assessment tools to advance our understanding of this complex relationship.

RevDate: 2024-03-09

Jin T, Huang T, Zhang T, et al (2024)

A Bayesian benchmark concentration analysis for urinary fluoride and intelligence in adults in Guizhou, China.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)01465-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Environmental fluoride exposure has been linked to numerous cases of fluorosis worldwide. Previous studies have indicated that long-term exposure to fluoride can result in intellectual damage among children. However, a comprehensive health risk assessment of fluorosis-induced intellectual damage is still pending. In this research, we utilized the Bayesian Benchmark Dose Analysis System (BBMD) to investigate the dose-response relationship between urinary fluoride (U-F) concentration and Raven scores in adults from Nayong, Guizhou, China. Our research findings suggest a dose-response relationship between the concentration of U-F and intelligence scores among adults. As the benchmark response (BMR) increased, both the benchmark concentration (BMCs) and the lower bound of the credible interval (BMCLs) also increased. Specifically, BMCs for the association between U-F and IQ score were determined to be 0.18 mg/L (BMCL1 = 0.08 mg/L), 0.91 mg/L (BMCL5 = 0.40 mg/L), 1.83 mg/L (BMCL10 = 0.83 mg/L) when using BMRs of 1 %, 5 %, and 10 %. These results indicate that U-F can serve as an effective biomarker for monitoring the loss of IQ in population. We propose the use of U-F concentration as a means to monitor intellectual impairment in the population and establish three interim targets for public decision-making in preventing intellectual damage caused by fluoride exposure.

RevDate: 2024-03-05

Bibi N, Yuan Q, Chen C, et al (2024)

Three cases of collared owlet depredation on the green-backed tit within nest boxes.

Ecology and evolution, 14(3):e11083.

The main cause of the reproductive failure of cavity-nesting birds is nest predation, even though cavity nests protect from numerous predators. To study the breeding biology of the green-backed tit (Parus monticolus) and to promote the reproduction of some other avian cavity breeders, we placed 245 nest boxes in the Zixi Mountain, southwest China. We collected breeding data by regularly checking the artificial nest boxes, three cases of green-backed tits being predated by collared owlet (Glaucidium brodiei) were confirmed by the video recordings. Larger mammals, chipmunks, squirrels, sparrowhawks, jays, and snakes have been identified as common predators of cavity-nesting birds in high-latitude regions of the northern hemisphere. Limited research in tropical and subtropical regions, particularly in Asia, has demonstrated squirrels and snakes as common predators of cavity-nesting birds. A gap in avian predators to cavity-nesting birds exists in the current knowledge. Hence the three cases of collared owlet's depredation reveal a new danger to green-backed tits, broadening our knowledge of the dynamics of cavity-nesting birds. In all three cases, the artificial box's entrance hole was only 5 × 5 cm in size and has not been expanded or poked. These findings provided evidence that the collared owlet is the predator of nestlings and adult green-backed tit breeding in artificial boxes, which emphasized a reevaluation of predator-prey interactions. Therefore, for effective breeding of the green-backed tit, we suggest to choose a hole size of 3 × 3 cm that is appropriate for its body size.

RevDate: 2024-03-02

Meeraus W, Joy M, Ouwens M, et al (2024)

AZD1222 effectiveness against severe COVID-19 in individuals with comorbidity or frailty: the RAVEN cohort study.

The Journal of infection pii:S0163-4453(24)00063-X [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: Despite being prioritized during initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout, vulnerable individuals at high risk of severe COVID-19 (hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, or death) remain underrepresented in vaccine effectiveness (VE) studies. The RAVEN cohort study (NCT05047822) assessed AZD1222 (ChAdOx1 nCov-19) two-dose primary series VE in vulnerable populations.

METHODS: Using the Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners Clinical Informatics Digital Hub, linked to secondary care, death registration, and COVID-19 datasets in England, COVID-19 outcomes in 2021 were compared in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals matched on age, sex, region, and multimorbidity.

RESULTS: Over 4.5 million AZD1222 recipients were matched (mean follow-up ~5 months); 68% were ≥50 years, 57% had high multimorbidity. Overall, high VE against severe COVID-19 was demonstrated, with lower VE observed in vulnerable populations. VE against hospitalization was higher in the lowest multimorbidity quartile (91.1%; 95% CI: 90.1, 92.0) than the highest quartile (80.4%; 79.7, 81.1), and among individuals ≥65 years, higher in the 'fit' (86.2%; 84.5, 87.6) than the frailest (71.8%; 69.3, 74.2). VE against hospitalization was lowest in immunosuppressed individuals (64.6%; 60.7, 68.1).

CONCLUSIONS: Based on integrated and comprehensive UK health data, overall population-level VE with AZD1222 was high. VEs were notably lower in vulnerable groups, particularly the immunosuppressed.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Johnson SD, Lehner A, Dirikolu L, et al (2024)

Ciprofloxacin enhances therapeutic levels of voriconazole through CYP450 inhibition in the common raven (Corvus corax), possibly improving efficacy against aspergillosis: a pilot study.

American journal of veterinary research [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To determine if a cytochrome (CYP) P450 enzyme inhibitor can maintain therapeutic plasma levels of voriconazole when administered orally.

ANIMALS: 11 healthy, common ravens (Corvus corax).

METHODS: Birds were randomly assigned to pilot study groups to receive voriconazole orally alone or combined with a CYP inhibitor. Pilot studies with 3 CYP inhibitors launched the main study using ciprofloxacin (20 mg/kg) followed 1 hour later by voriconazole (6 mg/kg) every 12 hours for 14 days. Plasma voriconazole concentrations were measured at various time points by HPLC-MS. The study period lasted from September 2016 to December 2020.

RESULTS: The birds failed to maintain therapeutic plasma levels of voriconazole during multidose administration alone or following preadministration with various CYP inhibitors. For the 14-day study period, voriconazole reached a maximum plasma concentration of 2.99 μg/mL with a time-to-peak drug concentration of 1.2 hours following preadministration of ciprofloxacin. One bird was removed from the study due to lethargy, but the other birds completed the study without incident.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Ciprofloxacin (20 mg/kg) followed by voriconazole (6 mg/kg) maintained the concentration of voriconazole within the recommended therapeutic range of 0.5 to 5 μg/mL without toxicity. Ciprofloxacin prevented the saturable metabolism of voriconazole and maintained these levels for the study duration. This drug combination could be used in the treatment of chronic aspergillosis in the common raven.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Rampling JM (2024)

Citrination and its Discontents: Yellow as a Sign of Alchemical Change.

Ambix [Epub ahead of print].

Many of the "signs and tokens" described in alchemical texts relate to colour, from the Crow's Bill signifying putrefaction to the philosophical solvents disguised as Green Lions, Red Dragons, and Grey Wolves. While the process of yellowing, or citrination, often appears in medieval recipes, it seems to have interested commentators less than the more familiar processes of blackening, whitening, or reddening. Yet beyond these canonical colours, yellowness turns out to be ubiquitous in alchemy and its associated craft practices, both in Latin texts and vernacular translations. This paper uses source criticism and experimental reconstruction to interrogate the role of yellowness at the beginning, middle, and end of practice, focusing on fifteenth- and sixteenth-century England. As starting ingredients, yellow vitriol and litharge offered the potential for transmutation but also posed problems for identification and preparation. As an intermediate stage, yellowness offered promising signs of future success, in the form of dramatic colour changes and unexpected products. But yellowness also offered an end in itself, as appears from the many citrination processes attested in recipe collections which aimed to imitate the properties of gold - suggesting that yellowing was prized as a significant indicator of chemical change across diverse areas of craft practice.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Vermeesch AL, Ellsworth-Kopkowski A, Prather JG, et al (2024)

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing): A Scoping Review of the Global Research on the Effects of Spending Time in Nature.

Global advances in integrative medicine and health, 13:27536130241231258.

BACKGROUND: This Scoping review (ScR) builds upon the 2017 review conducted by Hansen et al which contributed to evidence base shinrin-yoku (SY), also known as forest bathing (FB), has many positive health effects and is becoming a prescribed dose (specific time spent in nature) by health care providers. Practice and research regarding SY, has been historically based in Asian countries with a recent increase in Europe. The need and call for more research worldwide continues to further the evidence of SY as a health promotion modality. Through this ScR the authors identified programmatic components, health information monitored and screened, time spent in nature, geographical regions, trends, and themes in SY research worldwide.

METHODS: Following PRISMA-ScR guidelines we searched across 7 electronic databases for SY or FB research articles from 2017 through 2022. PubMed, CINAHL, PsycInfo, ScienceDirect, SCOPUS, Embase, JSTOR were included due to the interdisciplinary nature of SY or FB research. Each database provided unique strengths ensuring a capture of a wide range of articles. The resulting articles were screened and extracted through Covidence.

RESULTS: Database searches returned 241 results, with 110 references removed during the deduplication process, 131 were initially screened in the title and abstract review stage. Resulting in 82 unique results deemed relevant and screened in full text. During the final stage of the review, 63 articles met all inclusion criteria and were extracted for data.

CONCLUSIONS: The practice of SY has physiological (PHYS) and psychological (PSYCH) benefits across age groups. Research findings indicate either the natural or the virtual environment (VW) has significant health benefits. Continued research is encouraged globally for short- and long-term health outcomes for all individuals. The connection with nature benefits the mind, body and soul and is supported by Henry David Thoreau's philosophy: "Our livesneed the relief of where the pine flourishes and the jay still scream."

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Burban E, Tenaillon MI, S Glémin (2024)

RIDGE, a tool tailored to detect gene flow barriers across species pairs.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Characterizing the processes underlying reproductive isolation between diverging lineages is central to understanding speciation. Here, we present RIDGE-Reproductive Isolation Detection using Genomic polymorphisms-a tool tailored for quantifying gene flow barrier proportion and identifying the relevant genomic regions. RIDGE relies on an Approximate Bayesian Computation with a model-averaging approach to accommodate diverse scenarios of lineage divergence. It captures heterogeneity in effective migration rate along the genome while accounting for variation in linked selection and recombination. The barrier detection test relies on numerous summary statistics to compute a Bayes factor, offering a robust statistical framework that facilitates cross-species comparisons. Simulations revealed RIDGE's efficiency in capturing signals of ongoing migration. Model averaging proved particularly valuable in scenarios of high model uncertainty where no migration or migration homogeneity can be wrongly assumed, typically for recent divergence times <0.1 2Ne generations. Applying RIDGE to four published crow data sets, we first validated our tool by identifying a well-known large genomic region associated with mate choice patterns. Second, while we identified a significant overlap of outlier loci using RIDGE and traditional genomic scans, our results suggest that a substantial portion of previously identified outliers are likely false positives. Outlier detection relies on allele differentiation, relative measures of divergence and the count of shared polymorphisms and fixed differences. Our analyses also highlight the value of incorporating multiple summary statistics including our newly developed outlier ones that can be useful in challenging detection conditions.

RevDate: 2024-02-28

Azalou M, Assani AS, Kpomasse CC, et al (2024)

Phenotypic and morphometric characterization of domestic geese raised in northern Benin.

Poultry science, 103(4):103563 pii:S0032-5791(24)00142-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Documentation on the domestic geese (Anser anser) in Benin is scarce, making it objectively difficult to exploit. Its production depends on small flocks raised by livestock farmers in different areas. The aim of the study was to describe the phenotypic and morphometric characteristics of geese encountered in northern Benin. To this end, a total of 576 adult geese (353 males and 223 females) from 102 farms in 4 agro-ecological zones of northern Benin were evaluated for 11 quantitative and 5 qualitative body traits. There are 6 plumage colors with white (42.01%), white-brown magpie (24.65%) and white-grey magpie (17.19%) as dominant colors. The proportions of white-grey (75%) and multicolored (51.85%) in Far northern zone of Benin (FNZB) were higher (P < 0.05) than those in the cotton zone of northern Benin (CZNB), Food-producing zone of southern Borgou (FZSB) and West-Atacora Zone (WAZ). The red coloring of the tarsi was more dominant in the FZSB (63.09%) and the FZSB (61.79%) (P < 0.05). Orange (57.47%) and yellow (28.82%) colored beaks were dominant but did not vary (P > 0.05) from one agro-ecological zone to another. Quantitative traits such as body length, tarsus length, wing span and thoracic circumference of geese varied (P < 0.05) between 71.34 to73.22 cm, 10.08 to 10.6 cm, 131.95 to 135.42 cm and between 42.07 to 43.86 cm respectively. Males differed significantly from females (P < 0.05) for all morphometric traits. The live weight of geese in the FNZB showed higher values than those of other agro-ecological zones (P ˂ 0.05). In addition, white phenotype geese (3.76 kg) were heavier (P ˂ 0.05) than other phenotypes. All correlations between weight and body measurements of domestic geese were positive, but the correlations between live weight and wing span (r = 0.68) were the strongest. These correlations could be used to assess the live weight of the geese population studied and for selection based on live weight. This study provides a reference for morpho-biometric traits and will be complemented by molecular characterization.

RevDate: 2024-02-28

Salgotra R, AH Gandomi (2024)

A novel multi-hybrid differential evolution algorithm for optimization of frame structures.

Scientific reports, 14(1):4877.

Differential evolution (DE) is a robust optimizer designed for solving complex domain research problems in the computational intelligence community. In the present work, a multi-hybrid DE (MHDE) is proposed for improving the overall working capability of the algorithm without compromising the solution quality. Adaptive parameters, enhanced mutation, enhanced crossover, reducing population, iterative division and Gaussian random sampling are some of the major characteristics of the proposed MHDE algorithm. Firstly, an iterative division for improved exploration and exploitation is used, then an adaptive proportional population size reduction mechanism is followed for reducing the computational complexity. It also incorporated Weibull distribution and Gaussian random sampling to mitigate premature convergence. The proposed framework is validated by using IEEE CEC benchmark suites (CEC 2005, CEC 2014 and CEC 2017). The algorithm is applied to four engineering design problems and for the weight minimization of three frame design problems. Experimental results are analysed and compared with recent hybrid algorithms such as laplacian biogeography based optimization, adaptive differential evolution with archive (JADE), success history based DE, self adaptive DE, LSHADE, MVMO, fractional-order calculus-based flower pollination algorithm, sine cosine crow search algorithm and others. Statistically, the Friedman and Wilcoxon rank sum tests prove that the proposed algorithm fares better than others.

RevDate: 2024-02-26

Simpson AK, Drysdale M, Gamberg M, et al (2024)

Human biomonitoring of dioxins, furans, and non-ortho dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in blood plasma from Old Crow, Yukon, Canada (2019).

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)01361-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Dioxins, furans, and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a group of persistent and toxic chemicals that are known to have human health effects at low levels. These chemicals have been produced for commercial use (PCBs) or unintentionally as by-products of industry or natural processes (PCBs, dioxins, and furans). Additionally, dioxin-like PCBs were formerly used in electrical applications before being banned internationally (2004). These chemicals are widely dispersed in the environment as they can contaminate air and travel hundreds to thousands of kilometers before depositing on land or water, thereafter, potentially entering food chains. Community concerns surrounding the safety of traditional foods prompted a human biomonitoring project in Old Crow, Yukon Territory (YT), Canada (2019). Through collaborative community engagement, dioxins and like compounds were identified as a priority for exposure assessment from biobanked samples. In 2022, biobanked plasma samples (n = 54) collected in Old Crow were used to measure exposures to seven dioxins, ten furans, and four dioxin-like PCBs. 1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDD, 1,2,3,7,8,9-HxCDD, 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDD, OCDD, 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF, 1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDF, PCB 126, and PCB 169 were detected in at least 50 % of samples. Among these analytes, the only congener at elevated levels was PCB 169, which was approximately ~2-fold higher than the general population of Canada. No significant sex-based or body mass index (BMI) differences in biomarker concentrations were observed. Generally, the concentrations of the detected congeners increased with age, except for 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDD. For the first time, this research measures dioxin and like-compound exposures in Old Crow, advancing the information available on chemical exposures in the Arctic. Further research could be directed towards the investigation of PCB 169 exposure sources and temporal monitoring of exposures and determinants.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Penhale SH, Arif Y, Schantell M, et al (2024)

Healthy aging alters the oscillatory dynamics and fronto-parietal connectivity serving fluid intelligence.

Human brain mapping, 45(3):e26591.

Fluid intelligence (Gf) involves logical reasoning and novel problem-solving abilities. Often, abstract reasoning tasks like Raven's progressive matrices are used to assess Gf. Prior work has shown an age-related decline in fluid intelligence capabilities, and although many studies have sought to identify the underlying mechanisms, our understanding of the critical brain regions and dynamics remains largely incomplete. In this study, we utilized magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate 78 individuals, ages 20-65 years, as they completed an abstract reasoning task. MEG data was co-registered with structural MRI data, transformed into the time-frequency domain, and the resulting neural oscillations were imaged using a beamformer. We found worsening behavioral performance with age, including prolonged reaction times and reduced accuracy. MEG analyses indicated robust oscillations in the theta, alpha/beta, and gamma range during the task. Whole brain correlation analyses with age revealed relationships in the theta and alpha/beta frequency bands, such that theta oscillations became stronger with increasing age in a right prefrontal region and alpha/beta oscillations became stronger with increasing age in parietal and right motor cortices. Follow-up connectivity analyses revealed increasing parieto-frontal connectivity with increasing age in the alpha/beta frequency range. Importantly, our findings are consistent with the parieto-frontal integration theory of intelligence (P-FIT). These results further suggest that as people age, there may be alterations in neural responses that are spectrally specific, such that older people exhibit stronger alpha/beta oscillations across the parieto-frontal network during abstract reasoning tasks.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Zhang Z, Bi J, Zhao X, et al (2024)

Comparison of Reproductive Strategies between Two Sympatric Copsychus Passerines.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 14(4):.

Reproduction plays a crucial role in determining the development, fate, and dynamics of bird populations. However, reproductive strategies vary among species and populations. In this study, we investigated the reproductive strategies of the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) and White-rumped Shama (C. malabarica), which are closely related passerines that reproduce in sympatric areas. We found that although these two species were both cavity nesting, their nest-site selection differed; the Shama preferred nesting close to trees and forests, whereas the Magpie Robin nested close to human residential areas. Furthermore, their egg incubation patterns differed; the Shama increased daily incubation frequency with incubation time, but the Magpie Robin maintained its daily incubation time regardless of changes in incubation frequency. However, the nestling heating patterns of these two species were similar, indicating a critical demand for regulating hatchling body temperature during this crucial stage. The feeding frequencies of male parents were strongly correlated with those of females in both species, suggesting equal contribution and good synchronization between the sexes. Nestling feeding frequency was also correlated with nest cleaning frequency, implying coordination between feeding and defecation by parents and offspring, respectively. This research explored the divergence and convergence of reproductive strategies between these two sympatric species, providing valuable insights into the niche differentiation theory.

RevDate: 2024-02-25

de Chiusole D, Spinoso M, Anselmi P, et al (2024)

PsycAssist: A Web-Based Artificial Intelligence System Designed for Adaptive Neuropsychological Assessment and Training.

Brain sciences, 14(2):.

Assessing executive functions in individuals with disorders or clinical conditions can be challenging, as they may lack the abilities needed for conventional test formats. The use of more personalized test versions, such as adaptive assessments, might be helpful in evaluating individuals with specific needs. This paper introduces PsycAssist, a web-based artificial intelligence system designed for neuropsychological adaptive assessment and training. PsycAssist is a highly flexible and scalable system based on procedural knowledge space theory and may be used potentially with many types of tests. We present the architecture and adaptive assessment engine of PsycAssist and the two currently available tests: Adap-ToL, an adaptive version of the Tower of London-like test to assess planning skills, and MatriKS, a Raven-like test to evaluate fluid intelligence. Finally, we describe the results of an investigation of the usability of Adap-ToL and MatriKS: the evaluators perceived these tools as appropriate and well-suited for their intended purposes, and the test-takers perceived the assessment as a positive experience. To sum up, PsycAssist represents an innovative and promising tool to tailor evaluation and training to the specific characteristics of the individual, useful for clinical practice.

RevDate: 2024-02-23

Lehner AF, Johnson SD, Dirikolu L, et al (2024)

Mass Spectrometric Methods for Evaluation of Voriconazole Avian Pharmacokinetics and the Inhibition of its Cytochrome P450-induced Metabolism.

Toxicology mechanisms and methods [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive fungal aspergillosis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in many species including avian species such as common ravens (Corvus corax). Methods were developed for mass spectral determination of voriconazole in raven plasma as a means of determining pharmacokinetics of this antifungal agent. Without further development, GC/MS/MS (gas chromatography-tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry) proved to be inferior to LC/MS/MS (liquid chromatography-tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry) for measurement of voriconazole levels in treated raven plasma owing to numerous heat-induced breakdown products despite protection of voriconazole functional groups with trimethylsilyl moieties. LC/MS/MS measurement revealed in multi-dosing experiments that the ravens were capable of rapid or ultrarapid metabolism of voriconazole. This accounted for the animals' inability to raise the drug into the therapeutic range regardless of dosing regimen unless cytochrome P450 (CYP) inhibitors were included. Strategic selection of CYP inhibitors showed that of four selected compounds including cimetidine, enrofloxacin and omeprazole, only ciprofloxacin (Cipro) was able to maintain voriconazole levels in the therapeutic range until the end of the dosing period. The optimal method of administration involved maintenance doses of voriconazole at 6 mg/kg and ciprofloxacin at 20 mg/kg. Higher doses of voriconazole such as 18 mg/kg were also tenable without apparent induction of toxicity. Although most species employ CYP2C19 to metabolize voriconazole, it was necessary to speculate that voriconazole might be subject to metabolism by CYP1A2 in the ravens to explain the utility of ciprofloxacin, a previously unknown enzymatic route. Finally, despite its widespread catalog of CYP inhibitions including CYP1A2 and CYP2C19, cimetidine may be inadequate at enhancing voriconazole levels owing to its known effects on raising gastric pH, a result that may limit voriconazole solubility.

RevDate: 2024-02-24
CmpDate: 2024-02-23

Mustafa FE, Ahmed I, Basit A, et al (2024)

An adaptive metaheuristic optimization approach for Tennessee Eastman process for an industrial fault tolerant control system.

PloS one, 19(2):e0296471.

The Tennessee Eastman Process (TEP) is widely recognized as a standard reference for assessing the effectiveness of fault detection and false alarm tracking methods in intricate industrial operations. This paper presents a novel methodology that employs the Adaptive Crow Search Algorithm (ACSA) to improve fault identification capabilities and mitigate the occurrence of false alarms in the TEP. The ACSA is an optimization approach that draws inspiration from the observed behavior of crows in their natural environment. This algorithm possesses the capability to adapt its search behavior in response to the changing dynamics of the optimization process. The primary objective of our research is to devise a monitoring strategy that is adaptable in nature, with the aim of efficiently identifying faults within the TEP while simultaneously minimizing the occurrence of false alarms. The ACSA is applied in order to enhance the optimization of monitoring variables, alarm thresholds, and decision criteria selection and configuration. When compared to traditional static approaches, the ACSA-based monitoring strategy is better at finding faults and reducing false alarms because it adapts well to changes in process dynamics and disturbances. In order to assess the efficacy of our suggested methodology, we have conducted comprehensive simulations on the TEP dataset. The findings suggest that the monitoring strategy based on ACSA demonstrates superior fault identification rates while concurrently mitigating the frequency of false alarms. In addition, the flexibility of ACSA allows it to efficiently manage process variations, disturbances, and uncertainties, thereby enhancing its robustness and reliability in practical scenarios. To validate the effectiveness of our proposed approach, extensive simulations were conducted on the TEP dataset. The results indicate that the ACSA-based monitoring strategy achieves higher fault detection rates while simultaneously reducing the occurrence of false alarms. Moreover, the adaptability of ACSA enables it to effectively handle process variations, disturbances, and uncertainties, making it robust and reliable for real-world applications. The contributions of this research extend beyond the TEP, as the adaptive monitoring strategy utilizing ACSA can be applied to other complex industrial processes. The findings of this study provide valuable insights into the development of advanced fault detection and false alarm monitoring techniques, offering significant benefits in terms of process safety, reliability, and operational efficiency.

RevDate: 2024-02-24
CmpDate: 2024-02-22

Khadem A, Nadery M, Noori S, et al (2024)

The relationship between food habits and physical activity and the IQ of primary school children.

Journal of health, population, and nutrition, 43(1):29.

BACKGROUND: Children's intelligence quotient (IQ) is influenced by various environmental and genetic variables. The current study aimed to determine how children's dietary choices and physical activity levels correlated with their IQ.

METHODS: A total of 190 students (111 girls and 79 boys) between the ages of 8 and 10 were chosen randomly for this cross-sectional research. For all children, questionnaires were utilized to gather information on their anthropometry, socio-economic position, food habits, and 24-h memory. Children's physical activity questionnaire (CPAQ) was also used to gauge their level of physical activity. Raven's color progressive intelligence test was also used to gauge children's IQ. All the questions may be filled out online with the assistance of parents. SPSS software was used to gather and evaluate the generated data.

RESULTS: Of 190 respondents, 79 (41.6%) are males, and 111 (58.4%) are girls. The results of the study showed that, a positive correlation between children's IQ and physical activity (P = 0.017, r = 0.17), if this relationship was not seen by gender. In addition, a positive correlation was observed between the IQ and food habits scores in all children (P = 0.001, r = 0.24), as well as by gender, that is, male (P = 0.04, r = 0.23) and female (P = 0.006, r = 0.26), which indicates that children with better food habits were associated with higher IQ.

CONCLUSION: It was shown that elementary school children's IQ, food habits, and degree of physical activity are all positively correlated.

RevDate: 2024-02-24
CmpDate: 2024-02-22

Betz A, Bischoff R, G Petschenka (2024)

Late-instar monarch caterpillars sabotage milkweed to acquire toxins, not to disarm plant defence.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 291(2017):20232721.

Sabotaging milkweed by monarch caterpillars (Danaus plexippus) is a famous textbook example of disarming plant defence. By severing leaf veins, monarchs are thought to prevent the flow of toxic latex to their feeding site. Here, we show that sabotaging by monarch caterpillars is not only an avoidance strategy. While young caterpillars appear to avoid latex, late-instar caterpillars actively ingest exuding latex, presumably to increase sequestration of cardenolides used for defence against predators. Comparisons with caterpillars of the related but non-sequestering common crow butterfly (Euploea core) revealed three lines of evidence supporting our hypothesis. First, monarch caterpillars sabotage inconsistently and therefore the behaviour is not obligatory to feed on milkweed, whereas sabotaging precedes each feeding event in Euploea caterpillars. Second, monarch caterpillars shift their behaviour from latex avoidance in younger to eager drinking in later stages, whereas Euploea caterpillars consistently avoid latex and spit it out during sabotaging. Third, monarchs reared on detached leaves without latex sequestered more cardenolides when caterpillars imbibed latex offered with a pipette. Thus, we conclude that monarch caterpillars have transformed the ancestral 'sabotage to avoid' strategy into a 'sabotage to consume' strategy, implying a novel behavioural adaptation to increase sequestration of cardenolides for defence.

RevDate: 2024-02-20

Jariwala N, Ozols M, Eckersley A, et al (2024)

Prediction, screening and characterization of novel bioactive tetra-peptide matrikines for skin rejuvenation.

The British journal of dermatology pii:7610994 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Extracellular matrices play a critical role in tissue structure and function and aberrant remodelling of these matrices is a hallmark of many age-related diseases. In skin, loss of dermal collagens and disorganisation elastic fibre components are key features of photo-ageing. Although application of some small matrix-derived peptides to aged skin has been shown to beneficially affect in vitro cell behaviour and, in vivo, molecular architecture and clinical appearance, the discovery of new peptides has lacked a guiding hypothesis.

OBJECTIVES: As endogenous matrix-derived peptides can act as cell-signalling molecules (matrikines), we hypothesised that protease cleavage site prediction could identify novel putative matrikines with beneficial activities for skin composition and structure.

METHODS: Here, we present an in silico (peptide cleavage prediction) to in vitro (proteomic and transcriptomic activity testing in cultured human dermal fibroblasts) to in vivo (short term patch test and longer term split-face clinical study) discovery pipeline, which enables the identification and characterisation of peptides with differential activities.

RESULTS: Using this pipeline we show that cultured fibroblasts are responsive to all applied peptides but their associated bioactivity is sequence-dependent. Based on bioactivity, toxicity and protein source we further characterised a combination of two novel peptides, GPKG and LSVD, that act in vitro to enhance the transcription of matrix organisation and cell proliferation genes and in vivo, in a short-term patch test, to promote processes associated with epithelial and dermal maintenance and remodelling. Prolonged use of a formulation containing these peptides in a split-face clinical study led to significantly improved measures of crow's feet and firmness in a mixed-ethnicity population.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that this approach to peptide discovery and testing can identify new synthetic matrikines, providing insights into biological mechanisms of tissue homeostasis and repair and new pathways to clinical intervention.

RevDate: 2024-02-18

Le Covec M, Bovet D, Watanabe S, et al (2024)

Spontaneous tempo production in cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) and jungle crows (Corvus macrorhyncos).

Behavioural processes pii:S0376-6357(24)00022-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Musical and rhythmical abilities are poorly documented in non-human animals. Most of the existing studies focused on synchronisation performances to external rhythms. In humans, studies demonstrated that rhythmical processing (e. g. rhythm discrimination or synchronisation to external rhythm) is dependent of an individual measure: the individual tempo. It is assessed by asking participants to produce an endogenous isochronous rhythm (known as spontaneous motor tempo) without any specific instructions nor temporal cue. In non-human animal literature, studies describing spontaneous and endogenous production of motor tempo without any temporal clue are rare. This exploratory study aims to describe and compare the spontaneous motor tempo of cockatiels and jungle crows. Data were collected on spontaneous beak drumming behaviours of birds housed in laboratory. Inter beak strokes intervals were calculated from sound tracks of videos. The analyses revealed that inter beak strokes intervals are non-randomly distributed intervals and are isochronous. Recorded spontaneous motor tempos are significantly different among some cockatiels. Since we could only conduct statistical analysis with one corvid, we cannot conclude about this species. Our results suggest that cockatiels and jungle crows have individual tempos, thus encouraging further investigations.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Brennan Kearns P, van den Dries MA, Julvez J, et al (2024)

Association of exposure to mixture of chemicals during pregnancy with cognitive abilities and fine motor function of children.

Environment international, 185:108490 pii:S0160-4120(24)00076-X [Epub ahead of print].

Chemical exposures often occur in mixtures and exposures during pregnancy may lead to adverse effects on the fetal brain, potentially reducing lower cognitive abilities and fine motor function of the child. We investigated the association of motheŕs exposure to a mixture of chemicals during pregnancy (i.e., organochlorine compounds, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, phenols, phthalates, organophosphate pesticides) with cognitive abilties and fine motor function in their children. We studied 1097 mother-child pairs from five European cohorts participating in the Human Early Life Exposome study (HELIX). Measurement of 26 biomarkers of exposure to chemicals was performed on urine or blood samples of pregnant women (mean age 31 years). Cognitive abilities and fine motor function were assessed in their children (mean age 8 years) with a battery of computerized tests administered in person (Raveńs Coloured Progressive Matrices, Attention Network Test, N-back Test, Trail Making Test, Finger Tapping Test). We estimated the joint effect of prenatal exposure to chemicals on cognitive abilities and fine motor function using the quantile-based g-computation method, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. A quartile increase in all the chemicals in the overall mixture was associated with worse fine motor function, specifically lower scores in the Finger Tapping Test [-8.5 points, 95 % confidence interval (CI) -13.6 to -3.4; -14.5 points, 95 % CI -22.4 to -6.6, and -18.0 points, 95 % CI -28.6 to -7.4) for the second, third and fourth quartile of the overal mixture, respectively, when compared to the first quartile]. Organochlorine compounds, phthalates, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances contributed most to this association. We did not find a relationship with cognitive abilities. We conclude that exposure to chemical mixtures during pregnancy may influence neurodevelopment, impacting fine motor function of the offspring.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Zahid N, Enam SA, Mårtensson T, et al (2024)

Predictors of neurocognition outcomes in children and young people with primary brain tumor presenting to tertiary care hospitals of Karachi, Pakistan: a prospective cohort study.

Child's nervous system : ChNS : official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Primary brain tumors are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in children and young people (CYP) globally. Impaired neurocognitive function is a potential severe consequence in primary brain tumor (PBT) survivors. There are no in-depth studies from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to inform management and follow-up. The research questions of this study were as follows: Are the sociodemographic factors (lower age of CYP, female gender, low socioeconomic status, low parental education), disease-related factors (high grade of tumor, presence of seizures, presence of hydrocephalous), and treatment-related factors (adjuvant therapy, no surgical intervention, post-treatment seizures, placement of shunts) associated with decline in neurcognition outcomes 12 months post-treatment in CYP with PBTs?

METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted from November 2020 to July 2023 at the Aga Khan University Hospital and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, tertiary care hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan. All CYP aged 5 to 21 years with a newly diagnosed PBTs were eligible. The neurocognition assessment was undertaken by a psychologist at two points, i.e., pre-treatment and at 12 months post-treatment using validated tools. The verbal intelligence was assessed by Slosson Intelligence tool, revised 3rd edition (SIT-R3), perceptual reasoning by Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM), and the Processing Speed Index by Wechsler Intelligence Scale (WISC V) and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV). The data were analyzed by STATA version 12 software. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) was used to determine the factors associated with the mean change in 12 months post-treatment verbal and non-verbal neurocognition scores. Unadjusted and adjusted beta coefficients with their 95% confidence intervals were reported.

RESULTS: A total of 48 CYPs with PBTs were enrolled, 23 (48%) of them were lost to follow-up and 10 (21%) died. The remaining 25 (52%) were reassessed 12 months after treatment. On multivariable analysis, a significant decline in verbal intelligence scores at 12 months was predicted by post-treatment seizures beta =  - 20.8 (95% CI, - 38.2, - 3.4), mothers having no formal educational status and lower household monthly income. Similarly, a significant decline in perceptual reasoning scores was also predicted by post-treatment seizures beta =  - 10.7 (95% CI, - 20.6, - 0.8), mothers having no formal education and having lower household monthly income. Worsening of processing speed scores at 12 months post-treatment were predicted by tumor histology, post-treatment seizures beta =  - 33.9 (95% CI, - 47.7, - 20.0), lower educational status of the mother, and having lower household monthly. However, an improvement was seen in processing speed scores after surgical tumor resection.

CONCLUSION: In this novel study, the post-treatment mean change in verbal and non-verbal neurocognition scores was associated with sociodemographic, tumor, and treatment factors. These findings may have potential implications for targeted early psychological screening of higher risk CYP with PBTs. Identification of these predictors may serve as a foundation for developing more cost-effective treatment thereby alleviating the burden of neurocognitive morbidity. However to establish generalizability, future research should prioritize larger-scale, multicountry studies. (Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05709522).

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Itahara A, F Kano (2024)

Gaze tracking of large-billed crows (Corvus macrorhynchos) in a motion capture system.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:343083 [Epub ahead of print].

Previous studies often inferred the focus of a bird's attention from its head movements because it provides important clues about their perception and cognition. However, it remains challenging to do so accurately, as the details of how they orient their visual field toward the visual targets remain largely unclear. We thus examined visual field configurations (Study 1) and the visual field use (Study 2) of large-billed crows (Corvus macrorhynchos). Study 1 employed an established ophthalmoscopic reflex technique to identify the visual field configuration, including the binocular width and optic axes, as well as the degree of eye movement. Study 2 used a newly established motion capture system to track the head movements of freely moving crows and examined how they oriented their reconstructed visual fields toward attention-getting objects. When visual targets were moving, the crows frequently used their binocular visual fields, particularly around the projection of the beak-tip. When the visual targets stopped moving, crows frequently used non-binocular visual fields, particularly around the regions where their optic axes were found in Study 1. On such occasions, the crows slightly preferred the right eye. Overall, the visual field use of crows is clearly predictable. Thus, while the untracked eye movements could introduce some level of uncertainty (typically within 15 degrees), we demonstrated the feasibility of inferring a crow's attentional focus by 3D tracking of their heads. Our system represents a promising initial step towards establishing gaze tracking methods for studying corvid behavior and cognition.

RevDate: 2024-02-17

Myers T, Bouslimani A, Huang S, et al (2023)

A multi-study analysis enables identification of potential microbial features associated with skin aging signs.

Frontiers in aging, 4:1304705.

Introduction: During adulthood, the skin microbiota can be relatively stable if environmental conditions are also stable, yet physiological changes of the skin with age may affect the skin microbiome and its function. The microbiome is an important factor to consider in aging since it constitutes most of the genes that are expressed on the human body. However, severity of specific aging signs (one of the parameters used to measure "apparent" age) and skin surface quality (e.g., texture, hydration, pH, sebum, etc.) may not be indicative of chronological age. For example, older individuals can have young looking skin (young apparent age) and young individuals can be of older apparent age. Methods: Here we aim to identify microbial taxa of interest associated to skin quality/aging signs using a multi-study analysis of 13 microbiome datasets consisting of 16S rRNA amplicon sequence data and paired skin clinical data from the face. Results: We show that there is a negative relationship between microbiome diversity and transepidermal water loss, and a positive association between microbiome diversity and age. Aligned with a tight link between age and wrinkles, we report a global positive association between microbiome diversity and Crow's feet wrinkles, but with this relationship varying significantly by sub-study. Finally, we identify taxa potentially associated with wrinkles, TEWL and corneometer measures. Discussion: These findings represent a key step towards understanding the implication of the skin microbiota in skin aging signs.

RevDate: 2024-02-20
CmpDate: 2024-02-19

Inzalaco HN, Brandell EE, Wilson SP, et al (2024)

Detection of prions from spiked and free-ranging carnivore feces.

Scientific reports, 14(1):3804.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a highly contagious, fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by infectious prions (PrP[CWD]) affecting wild and captive cervids. Although experimental feeding studies have demonstrated prions in feces of crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), coyotes (Canis latrans), and cougars (Puma concolor), the role of scavengers and predators in CWD epidemiology remains poorly understood. Here we applied the real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay to detect PrP[CWD] in feces from cervid consumers, to advance surveillance approaches, which could be used to improve disease research and adaptive management of CWD. We assessed recovery and detection of PrP[CWD] by experimental spiking of PrP[CWD] into carnivore feces from 9 species sourced from CWD-free populations or captive facilities. We then applied this technique to detect PrP[CWD] from feces of predators and scavengers in free-ranging populations. Our results demonstrate that spiked PrP[CWD] is detectable from feces of free-ranging mammalian and avian carnivores using RT-QuIC. Results show that PrP[CWD] acquired in natural settings is detectable in feces from free-ranging carnivores, and that PrP[CWD] rates of detection in carnivore feces reflect relative prevalence estimates observed in the corresponding cervid populations. This study adapts an important diagnostic tool for CWD, allowing investigation of the epidemiology of CWD at the community-level.

RevDate: 2024-02-15

Owings CG, McKee-Zech HS, Orebaugh JA, et al (2024)

The utility of blow fly (Diptera: Calliphoridae) evidence from burned human remains.

Forensic science international, 356:111962 pii:S0379-0738(24)00043-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Burning of human remains is a common method to conceal or destroy evidence associated with homicides and illegal activities. However, data regarding blow fly colonization of burned remains are scarce, with all previously published empirical studies focusing only on non-human animals. It is critically important to obtain basic data on blow fly colonization patterns of burned human remains as such evidence may represent the only feasible method for PMI estimation in cases of burning. In this study, we thermally altered six human donors to a Crow-Glassman Scale Level 3 (CGS-3) and placed them at the Anthropology Research Facility at the University of Tennessee in Summer 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022. Six unburned human donors were used as controls. Observations for insect activity began within 24 h of placement and continued twice weekly through decomposition. Age estimations were performed with immature blow flies to estimate the time of colonization (TOC), and accuracy was assessed against the time of placement for each donor. All burned donors examined in this study were colonized by blow flies. No significant difference in species composition was determined between treatments, though TOC estimations from burned donors were slightly (but significantly) less accurate than TOC estimations from unburned donors (80% vs. 83% accuracy; χ[2] = 0.041, df = 1, P = 0.840). These results indicate that blow flies can successfully colonize human remains burned to CGS-3 and that accurate TOC estimations can still be generated from larval specimens. Though several limitations to this study exist (e.g., inconsistent donor BMI, lack of donor temperature data), our results underscore the utility of entomological evidence in cases of burned human remains.

RevDate: 2024-02-19
CmpDate: 2024-02-19

Mafizur RM, Sangjin L, PY Chul (2024)

Prevalence of Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli in the feces of free-roaming wildlife throughout South Korea.

PloS one, 19(2):e0281006.

Wildlife can carry pathogenic organisms, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, which can spread to humans and cause mild to serious illnesses and even death. Spreading through animal feces, these pathogens significantly contributes to the global burden of human diseases. Therefore, the present study investigated the prevalence of zoonotic bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), in animal feces. Between September 2015 and August 2017, 699 wildlife fecal samples were collected from various agricultural production regions and mountainous areas in South Korea. Fecal samples were collected from wild mammals (85.26%, 596/699) and birds (14.73%, 103/699). Salmonella spp. and E. coli were present in 3% (21/699) and 45.63% (319/699) of the samples, respectively. Moreover, virulence genes stx1 and both stx1 and stx2 were detected in 13.30% (93/699) and 0.72% (5/699) of the samples, respectively. The 21 Salmonella spp. were detected in badgers (n = 5), leopard cats (n = 7), wild boars (n = 2), and magpies (n = 7); STEC was detected in roe deer, water deer, mice, and wild boars. Through phylogenetic and gene-network analyses, the Salmonella spp. isolates (n = 21 laboratory isolates, at least one isolate from each Salmonella-positive animal fecal sample, and n = 6 widely prevalent reference Salmonella serovars) were grouped into two major lineages: S. enterica subsp. enterica and S. enterica subsp. diarizonae. Similarly, 93 E. coli isolates belonged to stx1, including three major lineages (groups 1-3), and stx1 and stx2 detected groups. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a wild leopard cat serving as a reservoir for Salmonella spp. in South Korea. The research findings can help manage the potential risk of wildlife contamination and improve precautionary measures to protect public health.

RevDate: 2024-02-16

Tariq A, Ahmad SR, A Qadir (2024)

Nesting material adaptation of native bird species with anthropogenic litter along an urbanization gradient in Pakistan.

Environmental research, 249:118435 pii:S0013-9351(24)00339-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Rapid urbanization and associated waste generation have become a mounting ecological concern for wildlife, especially avian communities. Research has primarily focused on investigating the impacts of human activities on marine birds with comparatively less focus on terrestrial species that live in far more anthropized environments and are at significant risk. Our study has explored the abundance and characteristics of anthropogenic litter in 70 nests of four generalist bird species: Bank Myna (Acridotheres ginginianus), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis), Black Kite (Milvus migrans) and House Crow (Corvus splendens), within the city of Lahore (Pakistan) and its surroundings, by determining and following an urbanization gradient. The overall frequency of litter occurrence (FLO%) for all the sampled nests was 89%. Over 80% of the recorded litter items consisted of plastic materials, primarily dominated by sheet-like plastics. There was a strong association between fabric and Black Kite nests, and metal and House Crow nests. Litter incorporation increased across the gradient from rural to urban habitats. The highest FLO% was found in nests sampled from waste dumping sites and urban sites (95%-100%), where anthropogenic influence was more intense. The high level of litter incorporation is potentially indicative of a species' adaptive response to urbanization, associated with the decline in natural nesting material and availability of anthropogenic litter. These findings highlight the need for strengthening the existing global database for terrestrial litter and its effect on wildlife and devising policy actions for better waste management and conservation of natural ecosystem balance.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Guo Z, Duan D, Tang W, et al (2024)

magpie: A power evaluation method for differential RNA methylation analysis in N6-methyladenosine sequencing.

PLoS computational biology, 20(2):e1011875.

Recently, novel biotechnologies to quantify RNA modifications became an increasingly popular choice for researchers who study epitranscriptome. When studying RNA methylations such as N6-methyladenosine (m6A), researchers need to make several decisions in its experimental design, especially the sample size and a proper statistical power. Due to the complexity and high-throughput nature of m6A sequencing measurements, methods for power calculation and study design are still currently unavailable. In this work, we propose a statistical power assessment tool, magpie, for power calculation and experimental design for epitranscriptome studies using m6A sequencing data. Our simulation-based power assessment tool will borrow information from real pilot data, and inspect various influential factors including sample size, sequencing depth, effect size, and basal expression ranges. We integrate two modules in magpie: (i) a flexible and realistic simulator module to synthesize m6A sequencing data based on real data; and (ii) a power assessment module to examine a set of comprehensive evaluation metrics.

RevDate: 2024-02-13

Fine L (2024)

We are our history: Baylor University Medical Center and Black physicians in Dallas.

Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center), 37(2):185-195.

The Texas Baptist Memorial Sanatorium, the hospital that later became known as Baylor University Medical Center, dates back to 1904. With this long-lived history comes the truths that affected all hospitals during the Jim Crow era: segregation and inequality. This paper attempts to place Baylor University Medical Center, which aimed (and continues to aim) to be a "great humanitarian hospital," in its historical context. Understanding this history may help explain and combat the inequities we continue to see in health care today.

RevDate: 2024-02-14
CmpDate: 2024-02-14

Sun C, Hassin Y, Boonman A, et al (2024)

Species and habitat specific changes in bird activity in an urban environment during Covid 19 lockdown.

eLife, 12: pii:88064.

Covid-19 lockdowns provided ecologists with a rare opportunity to examine how animals behave when humans are absent. Indeed many studies reported various effects of lockdowns on animal activity, especially in urban areas and other human-dominated habitats. We explored how Covid-19 lockdowns in Israel have influenced bird activity in an urban environment by using continuous acoustic recordings to monitor three common bird species that differ in their level of adaptation to the urban ecosystem: (1) the hooded crow, an urban exploiter, which depends heavily on anthropogenic resources; (2) the rose-ringed parakeet, an invasive alien species that has adapted to exploit human resources; and (3) the graceful prinia, an urban adapter, which is relatively shy of humans and can be found in urban habitats with shrubs and prairies. Acoustic recordings provided continuous monitoring of bird activity without an effect of the observer on the animal. We performed dense sampling of a 1.3 square km area in northern Tel-Aviv by placing 17 recorders for more than a month in different micro-habitats within this region including roads, residential areas and urban parks. We monitored both lockdown and no-lockdown periods. We portray a complex dynamic system where the activity of specific bird species depended on many environmental parameters and decreases or increases in a habitat-dependent manner during lockdown. Specifically, urban exploiter species decreased their activity in most urban habitats during lockdown, while human adapter species increased their activity during lockdown especially in parks where humans were absent. Our results also demonstrate the value of different habitats within urban environments for animal activity, specifically highlighting the importance of urban parks. These species- and habitat-specific changes in activity might explain the contradicting results reported by others who have not performed a habitat specific analysis.

RevDate: 2024-02-14
CmpDate: 2024-02-14

Mazengenya P, Lesku JA, Rattenborg NC, et al (2024)

Apparent absence of hypothalamic cholinergic neurons in the common ostrich and emu: Implications for global brain states during sleep.

The Journal of comparative neurology, 532(2):e25587.

We examined the presence/absence and parcellation of cholinergic neurons in the hypothalami of five birds: a Congo grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), a Timneh grey parrot (P. timneh), a pied crow (Corvus albus), a common ostrich (Struthio camelus), and an emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae). Using immunohistochemistry to an antibody raised against the enzyme choline acetyltransferase, hypothalamic cholinergic neurons were observed in six distinct clusters in the medial, lateral, and ventral hypothalamus in the parrots and crow, similar to prior observations made in the pigeon. The expression of cholinergic nuclei was most prominent in the Congo grey parrot, both in the medial and lateral hypothalamus. In contrast, no evidence of cholinergic neurons in the hypothalami of either the ostrich or emu was found. It is known that the expression of sleep states in the ostrich is unusual and resembles that observed in the monotremes that also lack hypothalamic cholinergic neurons. It has been proposed that the cholinergic system acts globally to produce and maintain brain states, such as those of arousal and rapid-eye-movement sleep. The hiatus in the cholinergic system of the ostrich, due to the lack of hypothalamic cholinergic neurons, may explain, in part, the unusual expression of sleep states in this species. These comparative anatomical and sleep studies provide supportive evidence for global cholinergic actions and may provide an important framework for our understanding of one broad function of the cholinergic system and possible dysfunctions associated with global cholinergic neural activity.

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Chaprazov T, Petrov R, Yarkov D, et al (2023)

Basic blood biochemical parameters of wild common ravens (Corvuscorax).

Biodiversity data journal, 11:e103271.

Baseline haematological and biochemical blood parameters in healthy wild birds are key to managing wild populations and to saving critically ill individuals. This knowledge is crucial for the care, rehabilitation and the release of birds after treatment in wildlife rescue centres. Plasma levels provide valuable information for the evaluation of the physical condition of animals. The objective of this study was to obtain reference values of some basic biochemical blood parameters of wild common ravens (Corvuscorax). Between 2020 and 2023, we took blood samples from the wild population of common ravens in Bulgaria (n = 36). We determined the values of 18 parameters - alanine transaminase (ALT, U/I), albumin (g/l), alkaline phosphatase (ALP, U/I), amylase (U/I), aspartate transaminase (AST, U/I), calcium (mmol/l), chloride (mmol/l), cholesterol (mmol/l), creatine kinase (CK, U/I), creatinine (μmol/l), blood glucose (mmol/l), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, U/I), magnesium (mmol/l), phosphorus (mmol/l), total bilirubin (μmol/l), total protein (g/l), triglycerides (TG, mmol/l) and uric acid (μmol/l). We made a comparative analysis including the regions in which the groups were sampled and the time of year. Most of the presented results were comparable to published values of other species from the Corvidae family and some were higher (ALP, amylase, AST, CK, total protein and uric acid levels). Most of these could be explained by the capture- and handling stress. This is the first report in official literary sources presenting some basic biochemical blood parameters of healthy wild common ravens in Bulgaria. The results may be of use to scientists, veterinarians and other researchers in rescue and rehabilitation centres and they can provide the basis for further studies with regards to animal welfare and health assessment of the species.

RevDate: 2024-02-09
CmpDate: 2024-02-09

Sitko J, P Heneberg (2024)

Avian trematodes of central European corvids are heterogeneous regarding preferences for host species and age.

Journal of helminthology, 98:e17 pii:S0022149X23001001.

Corvids are highly adaptive birds that respond well to anthropogenic changes in their environment. Trematode communities of corvids were studied mainly in the 1950s through 1970s in regularly flooded parts of the Volga River delta in Russia; more recent studies and data from other regions where the corvids are in less contact with postflooding habitats are limited. Data for Corvus corax were lacking. Using our samples obtained from 1963 to 2023, we performed a large-scale analysis of trematode species composition and community structure in Corvus frugilegus, Corvus cornix, C. corax, Coloeus monedula, Pica pica, and Garrulus glandarius; all originated from the Czech Republic. We identified corvids as hosts of mutually overlapping component communities of only a few species of trematodes (Brachylecithum lobatum, Lyperosomum petiolatum, Lyperosomum longicauda, Tamerlania zarudnyi, Urogonimus macrostomus), with the presence of many rare and incidental findings of other trematode species. Only a few species used corvids as their core hosts (L. longicauda and B. lobatum). Trematode component communities in first-year birds included Prosthogonimus cuneatus, Prosthogonimus ovatus, Plagiorchis asperus, and Morishitium dollfusi due to an increased share of insects (intermediate hosts of Prosthogonimus and Plagiorchis) and snails (intermediate hosts of Morishitium) in the diet of juveniles. The trematode component communities of corvid species overlapped but were heterogeneous at the level of host individuals, likely reflecting differences in food sources related to the respective host ages and nesting sites.

RevDate: 2024-02-06

Shenoy C, Agrawal R, Chandrashekar BS, et al (2023)

Comparison of Safety and Efficacy of Two Brands of Botulinum Toxin A for the Treatment of Lateral Canthal Lines (Crow's Feet): A Split-Face Study.

Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 16(4):270-278.

AIM: To compare the safety and efficacy of Stunnox with the international brand of botulinum toxin A on lateral canthal lines.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a nonrandomized, controlled, pilot, split-face study in 47 patients who were given two brands of Botulinum toxin A for the treatment of lateral canthal lines for 12 weeks. Evaluation of lines was assessed with grades of 0 (none), 1 (mild), 2 (moderate), and 3 (severe) at a maximum smile and rest by using ANTERA 3D camera.

RESULTS: There was a statistical significance in lateral canthal lines wrinkles reduction on the Stunnox sides compared to pretreatment and at weeks 4, 8, and 12, respectively (all P < 0.05). The wrinkle reduction was similar to the effects of the control internationally available brand of botulinum toxin A. The clinical improvement of lateral canthal line wrinkles was greatest at 4 weeks after injection and the improvement lasted until 12 weeks of treatment with no adverse events observed.

CONCLUSION: In this split-face study, Stunnox botulinum toxin A showed a moderate but significant wrinkle-soothing effect without obvious side effects on the lateral canthal.

RevDate: 2024-02-09
CmpDate: 2024-02-05

Kazim AR, Houssaini J, Tappe D, et al (2023)

Two new records of chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera) from the Oriental honey buzzard [Pernis ptilorhynchus (Temminck, 1821)] and house crow (Corvus splendens Viellot, 1817) in Malaysia.

Tropical biomedicine, 40(4):416-421.

We report two new records of chewing lice from avian pets in Peninsular Malaysia: Colpocephalum apivorus Tendeiro, 1958 from an Oriental honey buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus (Temminck, 1821)), and Myrsidea splendenticola Klockenhoff, 1973 from an albino house crow (Corvus splendens Vieillot, 1817). The scarcity of louse records from avian pets and wild birds, and the lack of louse research in Malaysia are discussed.

RevDate: 2024-02-13
CmpDate: 2024-02-05

Clancey E, MacPherson A, Cheek RG, et al (2024)

Unraveling Adaptive Evolutionary Divergence at Microgeographic Scales.

The American naturalist, 203(2):E35-E49.

AbstractStriking examples of local adaptation at fine geographic scales are increasingly being documented in natural populations. However, the relative contributions made by natural selection, phenotype-dependent dispersal (when individuals disperse with respect to a habitat preference), and mate preference in generating and maintaining microgeographic adaptation and divergence are not well studied. Here, we develop quantitative genetics models and individual-based simulations (IBSs) to uncover the evolutionary forces that possibly drive microgeographic divergence. We also perform Bayesian estimation of the parameters in our IBS using empirical data on habitat-specific variation in bill morphology in the island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis) to apply our models to a natural system. We find that natural selection and phenotype-dependent dispersal can generate the patterns of divergence we observe in the island scrub-jay. However, mate preference for a mate with similar bill morphology, even though observed in the species, does not play a significant role in driving divergence. Our modeling approach provides insights into phenotypic evolution occurring over small spatial scales relative to dispersal ranges, suggesting that adaptive divergence at microgeographic scales may be common across a wider range of taxa than previously thought. Our quantitative genetic models help to inform future theoretical and empirical work to determine how selection, habitat preference, and mate preference contribute to local adaptation and microgeographic divergence.

RevDate: 2024-02-01

Jia Y, Qiu L, Zhang H, et al (2024)

Efficacy and Safety of Type III Collagen Lyophilized Fibers Using Mid-to-Deep Dermal Facial Injections for the Correction of Dynamic Facial Wrinkles.

Aesthetic plastic surgery [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and safety of injecting Type III collagen lyophilized fibers into the mid-to-deep layers of the facial dermis to ameliorate dynamic facial wrinkles.

METHODS: In this retrospective analysis, clinical data were collected from patients exhibiting dynamic facial wrinkles (encompassing frown lines, forehead lines, and crow's feet) with a wrinkle severity rating scale (WSRS) score of 3 or higher. In the control group, 75 participants received collagen implant injections into the mid-to-deep facial dermal layers, whereas 76 participants in the experimental group received injections of Type III collagen lyophilized fibers in similar layers. The study analyzed and compared clinical efficacy, WSRS score alterations, patient satisfaction, and safety profiles between the groups over the 30-day and 90-day treatment periods.

RESULTS: At the 30-day mark, the therapeutic efficacy was not significantly different between the two groups (P > 0.05). However, at 90 days, the treatment efficacy in the experimental group surpassed that in the control group, showing a statistically significant difference (P < 0.05). After 30 days of treatment, the WSRS score improvement in the experimental group was significantly superior to that in the control group (P < 0.05). Conversely, at the 90-day mark, the results revealed no significant variation in WSRS score improvements between the two groups (P > 0.05). Regarding treatment satisfaction among researchers and participants post-30 and 90-day treatment in both groups, no statistically significant differences were observed (P > 0.05). Similarly, the incidence of adverse reactions between the groups was not statistically significant (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Injections of lyophilized type III collagen fibers into the mid-to-deep layers of the facial dermis have a definitive therapeutic effect on dynamic facial wrinkles. This treatment not only substantially diminishes wrinkle severity but also has a commendable safety profile.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE I: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .

RevDate: 2024-02-24
CmpDate: 2024-02-23

Rushovich T, Nethery RC, White A, et al (2024)

1965 US Voting Rights Act Impact on Black and Black Versus White Infant Death Rates in Jim Crow States, 1959-1980 and 2017-2021.

American journal of public health, 114(3):300-308.

Objectives. To investigate the impact of the US Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 on Black and Black versus White infant deaths in Jim Crow states. Methods. Using data from 1959 to 1980 and 2017 to 2021, we applied difference-in-differences methods to quantify differential pre-post VRA changes in infant deaths in VRA-exposed versus unexposed counties, controlling for population size and social, economic, and health system characteristics. VRA-exposed counties, identified by Section 4, were subject to government interventions to remove existing racist voter suppression policies. Results. Black infant deaths in VRA-exposed counties decreased by an average of 11.4 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.7, 21.0) additional deaths beyond the decrease experienced by unexposed counties between the pre-VRA period (1959-1965) and the post-VRA period (1966-1970). This translates to 6703 (95% CI = 999.6, 12 348) or 17.5% (95% CI = 3.1%, 28.1%) fewer deaths than would have been experienced in the absence of the VRA. The equivalent differential changes were not significant among the White or total population. Conclusions. Passage of the VRA led to pronounced reductions in Black infant deaths in Southern counties subject to government intervention because these counties had particularly egregious voter suppression practices. (Am J Public Health. 2024;114(3):300-308. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2023.307518).

RevDate: 2024-02-06
CmpDate: 2024-01-31

Koryagina YV, Ter-Akopov GN, Abutalimova SM, et al (2023)

[Effect of hyperoxic inhalations for athletes of different sports, including those who had COVID-19, when training in the middle altitude].

Voprosy kurortologii, fizioterapii, i lechebnoi fizicheskoi kultury, 100(6):46-51.

OBJECTIVE: To identify hyperoxic inhalations on the functional state of the cardiorespiratory system of athletes of different sports, who have previously had COVID-19, when training in the middle altitude.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study included 64 elite athletes during the preparatory period. The studies were conducted in Kislovodsk in the middle altitude (1240 meters) on the Maloe Sedlo mountain, in the conditions of training camps. We studied the parameters of heart rate variability and functional state of cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Hyperoxic inhalations were performed with the JAY-10 oxygen concentrator (LONGFIAN SCITECH CO., LTD., China). The oxygen concentration in the mixture was 93±3%, capacity - 5 l/min, exposure time - 20 min.

RESULTS: Athletes specializing in sports with predominantly anaerobic lactate and mixed mechanism of energy supply, respectively experiencing hypoxia in the process of their athletic activity during training can experience hypoxia at rest as well. The state of hypoxia during exercise in the middle altitude in such athletes is shown in heart rate variability indices (high values of heart rate and stress index, low power of high frequency waves), low saturation, increased oxygen uptake from the blood microcirculation system. The use of oxygen therapy in athletes promotes positive dynamics of the functional state, consisting in a reduced stress of regulatory mechanisms, strengthened tone of the parasympathetic nervous system in the heart rate regulation, increased economization of the central hemodynamics' parameters, improved functions of the external respiratory system.

CONCLUSION: Application of hyperoxic inhalations during intense exercise in the middle altitude has a favorable effect on the functional state of the cardiorespiratory system in all the studied sports, especially in athletes who have previously had COVID-19.

RevDate: 2024-02-06
CmpDate: 2024-01-29

Ziegler S, Srivastava S, Parmar D, et al (2024)

A step closer towards achieving universal health coverage: the role of gender in enrolment in health insurance in India.

BMC health services research, 24(1):141.

BACKGROUND: There is limited understanding of how universal health coverage (UHC) schemes such as publicly-funded health insurance (PFHI) benefit women as compared to men. Many of these schemes are gender-neutral in design but given the existing gender inequalities in many societies, their benefits may not be similar for women and men. We contribute to the evidence by conducting a gender analysis of the enrolment of individuals and households in India's national PFHI scheme, Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).

METHODS: We used data from a cross-sectional household survey on RSBY eligible families across eight Indian states and studied different outcome variables at both the individual and household levels to compare enrolment among women and men. We applied multivariate logistic regressions and controlled for several demographic and socio-economic characteristics.

RESULTS: At the individual level, the analysis revealed no substantial differences in enrolment between men and women. Only in one state were women more likely to be enrolled in RSBY than men (AOR: 2.66, 95% CI: 1.32-5.38), and this pattern was linked to their status in the household. At the household level, analyses revealed that female-headed households had a higher likelihood to be enrolled (AOR: 1.36, 95% CI: 1.14-1.62), but not necessarily to have all household members enrolled.

CONCLUSION: Findings are surprising in light of India's well-documented gender bias, permeating different aspects of society, and are most likely an indication of success in designing a policy that did not favour participation by men above women, by mandating spouse enrolment and securing enrolment of up to five family members. Higher enrolment rates among female-headed households are also an indication of women's preferences for investments in health, in the context of a conducive policy environment. Further analyses are needed to examine if once enrolled, women also make use of the scheme benefits to the same extent as men do. India is called upon to capitalise on the achievements of RSBY and apply them to newer schemes such as PM-JAY.

RevDate: 2024-02-07
CmpDate: 2024-01-25

Johnsson RD, Connelly F, Lesku JA, et al (2024)

Australian magpies.

Current biology : CB, 34(2):R41-R43.

Robin D. Johnsson and colleagues introduce Australian magpies, which are not actually magpies.

RevDate: 2024-01-23

Costa D, A Giordani (2024)

Aristotelian universals, strong immanence, and construction.

Synthese, 203(2):35.

The Aristotelian view of universals, according to which each universal generically depends for its existence on its instantiations, has recently come under attack by a series of ground-theoretic arguments. The last such arguments, presented by Raven, promises to offer several significant improvements over its predecessors, such as avoiding commitment to the transitivity of ground and offering new reasons for the metaphysical priority of universals over their instantiations. In this paper, we argue that Raven's argument does not effectively avoid said commitment and that Raven's new reasons fail. Moreover, we present a novel ground-theoretic interpretation of the Aristotelian view, referred to as strong immanence, and introduce a new argument against the Aristotelian view, intended to sidestep any commitment to the transitivity of ground.

RevDate: 2024-01-25

Godarzi B, Chandler F, van der Linden A, et al (2024)

A species-independent lateral flow microarray immunoassay to detect WNV and USUV NS1-specific antibodies in serum.

One health (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 18:100668.

Arboviruses such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Usutu Virus (USUV) are emerging pathogens that circulate between mosquitoes and birds, occasionally spilling over into humans and horses. Current serological screening methods require access to a well-equipped laboratory and are not currently available for on-site analysis. As a proof of concept, we propose here a species-independent lateral flow microarray immunoassay (LMIA) able to quickly detect and distinguish between WNV Non-Structural 1 (NS1) and USUV NS1-specific antibodies. A double antigen approach was used to test sera collected from humans, horses, European jackdaws (Corvus monedula), and common blackbirds (Turdus merula). Optimization of the concentration of capture antigen spotted on the LMIA membrane and the amount of detection antigen conjugated to detector particles indicated that maximizing both parameters increased assay sensitivity. Upon screening of a larger serum panel, the optimized LMIA showed significantly higher spot intensity for a homologous binding event. Using a Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve, WNV NS1 LMIA results in humans, horses, and C. monedula showed good correlation when compared to "gold standard" WNV FRNT90. The most optimal derived sensitivity and specificity of the WNV NS1 LMIA relative to corresponding WNV FRNT90-confirmed sera were determined to be 96% and 86%, respectively. While further optimization is required, this study demonstrates the feasibility of developing a species-independent LMIA for on-site analysis of WNV, USUV, and other arboviruses. Such a tool would be useful for the on-site screening and monitoring of relevant species in more remote or low-income regions.

RevDate: 2024-01-23

Summers J, Cosgrove EJ, Bowman R, et al (2024)

Impacts of increasing isolation and environmental variation on Florida Scrub-Jay demography.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.01.10.575127.

Isolation caused by anthropogenic habitat fragmentation and degradation can destabilize populations. Population demography is shaped by complex interactions among local vital rates, environmental fluctuations, and changing immigration rates. Empirical studies of these interactions are critical for testing theoretical expectations of how populations respond to isolation. We used a 34-year demographic and environmental dataset from a population of Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens) that has experienced declining immigration to create mechanistic models linking environmental factors and variation in vital rates to population growth rates over time. We found that the population has remained stable despite declining immigration and increasing inbreeding, owing to a coinciding increase in breeder survival. We find evidence of density-dependent responses of immigration, breeder survival, and fecundity, indicating that interactions between vital rates and local density likely play a role in buffering the population against change. Our study elucidates the interactions between environment and demography that underlie population stability.

RevDate: 2024-01-28

Giancola M, Palmiero M, Pino MC, et al (2024)

How Do Children "Think outside the Box"? Fluid Intelligence and Divergent Thinking: A Moderated Mediation Study of Field Dependent-Independent Cognitive Style and Gender.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1):.

The interplay between fluid intelligence (Gf) and divergent thinking (DT) has widely characterized current research in the psychology of creativity. Nevertheless, the evidence on the main factors involved in this association during childhood remains a matter of debate. Present research has addressed the interplay between Gf and DT, exploring the mediating role of a field dependent-independent cognitive style (FDI) and the moderating effect of gender in 101 children (Mage = 8.02; SDage = 1.43). Participants carried out Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices, the Children Embedded Figure Test, and the Alternative Uses Task. The results revealed the mediating effect of FDI in the association between Gf and DT, providing evidence that this cognitive style represents a function of controlled mental processes underpinned by Gf, which are useful to thinking divergently. In addition, the findings reported that the interplay between FDI and DT was moderated by gender, suggesting that the impact of FDI on DT was stronger among boys. Through a multidimensional approach, these current research findings provide further insight into the primary children's factors involved in the ability to find alternative solutions and think divergently.

RevDate: 2024-01-20

Williams ME, Corn EA, Martinez Ransanz S, et al (2024)

Neurodevelopmental assessments used to measure preschoolers' cognitive development in Latin America: a systematic review.

Journal of pediatric psychology pii:7582081 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to systematically review the standardized neurodevelopmental assessments used to study preschool-aged children's cognitive development in Spanish-speaking Latin America.

METHODS: The authors systematically searched PubMed, PsycINFO, and ERIC databases for peer-reviewed articles from Spanish-speaking Latin American countries. Articles were included if they measured cognitive development among children aged 2-6 years using at least one standardized assessment tool; 97 articles were included and reviewed in accordance with PRISMA guidelines to assess their use of these tools.

RESULTS: Ninety-seven studies across 13 countries used a total of 41 assessments to measure cognitive development; most widely used were the Wechsler intelligence scales (n = 46/97), particularly the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (n = 23 and 29, respectively). Other common assessments included the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (n = 9), Raven's Progressive Matrices (n = 9), Child Neuropsychological Assessment (n = 8), and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (n = 7). In regions where normative data for a given assessment were unpublished, authors commonly used norms from the United States, Mexico, or Spain or did not report standard scores in their analyses.

CONCLUSIONS: The wide range of tools used in these studies presents a challenge for generalizing results when measuring the neurodevelopment of Latin American preschool-aged children. The low availability of normative data for specific regions reveals concerns if some tools are culturally and linguistically appropriate even when Spanish is a common language, particularly in low-resource settings. Future work to forge greater consistency in the use of validated measures, clarity in reporting research methods, and publication of regional normative data would benefit the field.

RevDate: 2024-02-06

Domínguez A, Koch S, Marquez S, et al (2024)

Childhood exposure to outdoor air pollution in different microenvironments and cognitive and fine motor function in children from six European cohorts.

Environmental research, 247:118174 pii:S0013-9351(24)00078-1 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Exposure to air pollution during childhood has been linked with adverse effects on cognitive development and motor function. However, limited research has been done on the associations of air pollution exposure in different microenvironments such as home, school, or while commuting with these outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the association between childhood air pollution exposure in different microenvironments and cognitive and fine motor function from six European birth cohorts.

METHODS: We included 1301 children from six European birth cohorts aged 6-11 years from the HELIX project. Average outdoor air pollutants concentrations (NO2, PM2.5) were estimated using land use regression models for different microenvironments (home, school, and commute), for 1-year before the outcome assessment. Attentional function, cognitive flexibility, non-verbal intelligence, and fine motor function were assessed using the Attention Network Test, Trail Making Test A and B, Raven Colored Progressive Matrices test, and the Finger Tapping test, respectively. Adjusted linear regressions models were run to determine the association between each air pollutant from each microenvironment on each outcome.

RESULTS: In pooled analysis we observed high correlation (rs = 0.9) between air pollution exposures levels at home and school. However, the cohort-by-cohort analysis revealed correlations ranging from low to moderate. Air pollution exposure levels while commuting were higher than at home or school. Exposure to air pollution in the different microenvironments was not associated with working memory, attentional function, non-verbal intelligence, and fine motor function. Results remained consistently null in random-effects meta-analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: No association was observed between outdoor air pollution exposure in different microenvironments (home, school, commute) and cognitive and fine motor function in children from six European birth cohorts. Future research should include a more detailed exposure assessment, considering personal measurements and time spent in different microenvironments.

RevDate: 2024-01-21

Fathima A, G Jeevanandan (2023)

Interrelationship Between Intelligence Quotient and Space Maintainers Among Children: A Cross-Sectional Comparative Study.

Cureus, 15(12):e50752.

Introduction Intelligence quotient (IQ) is an indicator to measure a child's cognitive ability to learn or understand and to deal with new situations with their logical and analytical skills. Children with better IQ exhibit increased cooperation when undergoing dental treatments, leading to a positive attitude toward dental care. The primary aim of the study was to assess the interrelationship between the IQ of children, space maintainer therapy, and the behavior of children aged 6-10 years. Materials and methods A total of 104 children were divided into two groups: group 1 included children undergoing space maintainer therapy and group 2 included children who did not undergo space maintainer therapy. Their IQ scores were assessed using Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices and behavior and the Frankl behavior rating scale. The data were analyzed by SPSS Version 23 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Independent t-tests were used to evaluate the differences between IQ and children with space maintainers, and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to assess the differences between behavior and space maintainers. Results The mean age of the participants was approximately 8.28 years. The mean IQ score of the group of children undergoing the space maintainer therapy was 90.69 ± 7.65 and that of the control group was 105.59±10.71. Based on the Frankl behavior rating scale, the mean score in the space maintainer group was 35.44 and that of the control group was 69.56. There was a significant association between IQ, behavior, and the presence of space maintainers. Conclusion The group of children undergoing space maintainer therapy demonstrated comparatively lesser IQ, and the majority of children exhibited negative behavior. Also, children wearing space maintainers had undergone one or multiple extractions, which is traumatic for children and may lead to them likely exhibiting a negative behavior than children in the control group. Hence, it may be concluded that intelligence, behavior, and space maintainers are all significantly associated with each other.

RevDate: 2024-02-18
CmpDate: 2024-02-05

Wang X, Kostrzewa C, Reiner A, et al (2024)

Adaptation of a mutual exclusivity framework to identify driver mutations within oncogenic pathways.

American journal of human genetics, 111(2):227-241.

Distinguishing genomic alterations in cancer-associated genes that have functional impact on tumor growth and disease progression from the ones that are passengers and confer no fitness advantage have important clinical implications. Evidence-based methods for nominating drivers are limited by existing knowledge on the oncogenic effects and therapeutic benefits of specific variants from clinical trials or experimental settings. As clinical sequencing becomes a mainstay of patient care, applying computational methods to mine the rapidly growing clinical genomic data holds promise in uncovering functional candidates beyond the existing knowledge base and expanding the patient population that could potentially benefit from genetically targeted therapies. We propose a statistical and computational method (MAGPIE) that builds on a likelihood approach leveraging the mutual exclusivity pattern within an oncogenic pathway for identifying probabilistically both the specific genes within a pathway and the individual mutations within such genes that are truly the drivers. Alterations in a cancer-associated gene are assumed to be a mixture of driver and passenger mutations with the passenger rates modeled in relationship to tumor mutational burden. We use simulations to study the operating characteristics of the method and assess false-positive and false-negative rates in driver nomination. When applied to a large study of primary melanomas, the method accurately identifies the known driver genes within the RTK-RAS pathway and nominates several rare variants as prime candidates for functional validation. A comprehensive evaluation of MAGPIE against existing tools has also been conducted leveraging the Cancer Genome Atlas data.

RevDate: 2024-02-02

Bugnyar T (2024)

Why are ravens smart? Exploring the social intelligence hypothesis.

Journal of ornithology, 165(1):15-26.

Ravens and other corvids are renowned for their 'intelligence'. For long, this reputation has been based primarily on anecdotes but in the last decades experimental evidence for impressive cognitive skills has accumulated within and across species. While we begin to understand the building blocks of corvid cognition, the question remains why these birds have evolved such skills. Focusing on Northern Ravens Corvus corax, I here try to tackle this question by relating current hypotheses on brain evolution to recent empirical data on challenges faced in the birds' daily life. Results show that foraging ravens meet several assumptions for applying social intelligence: (1) they meet repeatedly at foraging sites, albeit individuals have different site preferences and vary in grouping dynamics; (1) foraging groups are structured by dominance rank hierarchies and social bonds; (3) individual ravens memorize former group members and their relationship valence over years, deduce third-party relationships and use their social knowledge in daily life by supporting others in conflicts and intervening in others' affiliations. Hence, ravens' socio-cognitive skills may be strongly shaped by the 'complex' social environment experienced as non-breeders.

RevDate: 2024-01-16

Gupta S, Prithviraj M, Gangwar A, et al (2023)

Impact of Sleep Duration, Quality, and Chronotype on Learning and Academic Performance: A Cross-Sectional Study Among First Year Medical Students of a Tertiary Care Institute.

Cureus, 15(12):e50413.

Introduction The link between sleep and cognitive processes, such as memory and learning, continues to be one of the most intriguing and perplexing theories. Undergraduate medical students in their first year are particularly vulnerable to sleep disturbances. Academic achievement and learning have been linked to sleep patterns, which include not only the quantity and quality of sleep but also the timing of sleep in relation to the natural sleep onsets, or chronotypes. There have been conflicting reports on the outcomes of sleep and relatively fewer researches focused on the impact of chronotypes on learning and academic achievement among medical students. The current study thus sought to determine the chronotypes of medical students, evaluate the quantity and quality of sleep, and determine the impact of these factors on learning and academic performance. Methods The study was conducted in the Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Gorakhpur, India. Sleep health was assessed in 167 first-year medical students using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), morningness-eveningness questionnaire (MEQ), and sleep log books. Learning and memory assessment was performed using Raven's progressive matrices test. Grade point average (GPA) was used to assess their academic performance. The relationship of sleep scores with GPA and RPM scores were obtained by linear regression analysis. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and unpaired t-test were used to investigate other comparisons among categories of chronotypes and those of mean GPA. A p-value of <0.05 was considered as significant. Results The mean GPA and RPM scores obtained in the groups with PSQI ≥ 5 (2.67 ± 1.1, 49.51 ± 6.24, respectively) and PSQI < 5 (3.15 ± 0.59, 54.73 ± 4.01, respectively) and those in the group with ESS ≥ 10 (2.72 ± 1.17, 50.97 ± 5.92, respectively) and ESS < 10 (3.15 ± 0.6, 54.18 ± 3.91, respectively) varied with statistically significant differences (p < 0.05). Statistically significant R-squared values for the relationship of PSQI and ESS scores with RPM and GPA scores were obtained. No correlation between academic grades and chronotype was found. Poor GPA scores were found to be associated with reduced mean sleep duration for one week before the exams. Conclusion Learning and academic performance are negatively impacted by poor sleep quality and daytime sleep dysfunction. No definite evidence for the association of sleep chronotypes with the learning and memory could be attained. Higher test performance is more closely linked to the average sleep length over a duration of time preceding the exams.

RevDate: 2024-01-13

Martin K, Cornero FM, Clayton NS, et al (2024)

Vocal complexity in a socially complex corvid: gradation, diversity and lack of common call repertoire in male rooks.

Royal Society open science, 11(1):231713.

Vocal communication is widespread in animals, with vocal repertoires of varying complexity. The social complexity hypothesis predicts that species may need high vocal complexity to deal with complex social organization (e.g. have a variety of different interindividual relations). We quantified the vocal complexity of two geographically distant captive colonies of rooks, a corvid species with complex social organization and cognitive performances, but understudied vocal abilities. We quantified the diversity and gradation of their repertoire, as well as the inter-individual similarity at the vocal unit level. We found that males produced call units with lower diversity and gradation than females, while song units did not differ between sexes. Surprisingly, while females produced highly similar call repertoires, even between colonies, each individual male produced almost completely different call repertoires from any other individual. These findings question the way male rooks communicate with their social partners. We suggest that each male may actively seek to remain vocally distinct, which could be an asset in their frequently changing social environment. We conclude that inter-individual similarity, an understudied aspect of vocal repertoires, should also be considered as a measure of vocal complexity.

RevDate: 2024-01-09

Ramos HHA, Amaral V, de Oliveira Afonso LP, et al (2024)

Advanced Injection of Botulinum Toxin in the Nasal Muscles: A Novel Dynamic Change in Facial Expression.

Aesthetic plastic surgery [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Among the nasal muscles, the levator labii superior alaeque nasi (LLSAN) acts as a transitional muscle that conjugates with other nasal and perinasal muscles. Thus, when treating the nasal region with Botulinum toxin (BTX), it is important to understand local nasal muscular dynamics and how they can influence the muscular dynamics of the entire face.

METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis of cases treated by an injection pattern encompassing the face, including nasal muscles. Photographs were taken at rest and during motion (frontal and oblique views), before and after treatment.

RESULTS: A total of 227 patients have been treated in the last 18 months with the following results: eyebrow tail lifting, softness of crow's feet, improvement of the drooping of the tip of the nose, and shortening of the lip philtrum when smiling. We present cases illustrating the use of this approach.

CONCLUSIONS: Treating the facial muscles globally (including the frontal, corrugators, procerus, orbicularis oculi, platysma, DAO, and nasal muscles) can improve the smile and facial expressions. This is believed to occur because the elevated portion of the upper lip muscle becomes stronger as the nasal part of the LLSAN is paralyzed.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE IV: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .

RevDate: 2024-01-10
CmpDate: 2024-01-09

Liu Y, Zhang T, You N, et al (2024)

MAGPIE: accurate pathogenic prediction for multiple variant types using machine learning approach.

Genome medicine, 16(1):3.

Identifying pathogenic variants from the vast majority of nucleotide variation remains a challenge. We present a method named Multimodal Annotation Generated Pathogenic Impact Evaluator (MAGPIE) that predicts the pathogenicity of multi-type variants. MAGPIE uses the ClinVar dataset for training and demonstrates superior performance in both the independent test set and multiple orthogonal validation datasets, accurately predicting variant pathogenicity. Notably, MAGPIE performs best in predicting the pathogenicity of rare variants and highly imbalanced datasets. Overall, results underline the robustness of MAGPIE as a valuable tool for predicting pathogenicity in various types of human genome variations. MAGPIE is available at https://github.com/shenlab-genomics/magpie .

RevDate: 2024-02-06
CmpDate: 2024-02-06

Zhang L, Feng J, Liu C, et al (2024)

Improved estimation of general cognitive ability and its neural correlates with a large battery of cognitive tasks.

Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 34(2):.

Elucidating the neural mechanisms of general cognitive ability (GCA) is an important mission of cognitive neuroscience. Recent large-sample cohort studies measured GCA through multiple cognitive tasks and explored its neural basis, but they did not investigate how task number, factor models, and neural data type affect the estimation of GCA and its neural correlates. To address these issues, we tested 1,605 Chinese young adults with 19 cognitive tasks and Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (RAPM) and collected resting state and n-back task fMRI data from a subsample of 683 individuals. Results showed that GCA could be reliably estimated by multiple tasks. Increasing task number enhances both reliability and validity of GCA estimates and reliably strengthens their correlations with brain data. The Spearman model and hierarchical bifactor model yield similar GCA estimates. The bifactor model has better model fit and stronger correlation with RAPM but explains less variance and shows weaker correlations with brain data than does the Spearman model. Notably, the n-back task-based functional connectivity patterns outperform resting-state fMRI in predicting GCA. These results suggest that GCA derived from a multitude of cognitive tasks serves as a valid measure of general intelligence and that its neural correlates could be better characterized by task fMRI than resting-state fMRI data.

RevDate: 2024-01-04

Elvebakken HF, Christensen IB, Vedel C, et al (2024)

A proof of concept: Clinical anti-aging efficacy and safety of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LB244R® applied topically in a double-blinded placebo-controlled study.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: With the increasing age of the westernized population, there is also increasing economic and aesthetic interest in reducing the signs of skin aging. Additionally, the physical aspect of aging can be displeasing and have detrimental effects psychologically in individuals. Probiotics have shown potential as anti-aging agents, albeit proper studies are needed to confirm their potential.

AIMS: Proving that Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LB244R® could alleviate aging signs relative to its placebo vehicle.

PATIENTS/METHODS: In total, 46 subjects were randomly assigned either the ointment with live bacteria, L. plantarum LB244R® or its vehicle ointment, and had to use the assigned ointment twice daily for 56 days. On Day 0, Day 28, and Day 56 subepidermal low echogenic band (SLEB) thickness, dermal density, skin firmness and elasticity, skin hydration, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), skin pH, collagen fiber visualization using confocal microscopy, Crow's feet, spot score, skin smoothness, and complexion radiance were assessed by dermatologists.

RESULTS: All parameters except TEWL improved relative to their baseline (D0) for the active group. L. plantarum LB244R® improved SLEB thickness, dermal density, skin elasticity, skin hydration, and Crow's feet wrinkle score relative to the placebo vehicle ointment.

CONCLUSION: The study demonstrates an anti-aging effect of L. plantarum LB244R® for topical skin use in the first double-blinded, vehicle-ointment placebo-controlled clinical study.

RevDate: 2024-01-03

Atiyeh B, Ghanem OA, Oneisi A, et al (2023)

Long-Term Improvement of Crow's Feet Wrinkles in Combination With Cervicofacial and Temporal Lifting: Review of the Literature.

Annals of plastic surgery pii:00000637-990000000-00355 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The lateral orbital crow's feet area is one for which rejuvenation is most frequently requested by patients. Moreover, lateral canthal wrinkles are a common source of dissatisfaction after rhytidoplasty. Botulinum toxin injection has emerged as a most popular, easy, and effective solution; nevertheless, repeated injections are required periodically for long-term effect. Other nonsurgical options have also been described to have some demonstrable advantages. Orbicularis oculi surgical manipulations have been described as well.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic PubMed literature search was conducted to identify clinical cohort studies including more than 10 patients describing surgical approaches for improvement of crows' feet wrinkles in combination with face and/or temporal lifts. The search was complemented by Embase, Medline, and Cochrane searches in addition to screening of reference lists of selected studies and simple term searches about surgical treatment of crow's feet.

RESULTS: Fourteen studies satisfied the inclusion criteria and were included in this review describing various muscle excision techniques including vertical strip excision, lateral partial resection, wedge resection, muscle resection in "C" pattern, and enlarged myectomy of about one-third of the whole orbital extension in addition to muscle manipulation modalities, including muscle splaying, muscle division, muscle division and splaying, muscle undermining with partial denervation, and muscle suspension. Interposition of fascia between orbicularis muscle and overlying skin was also reported.

CONCLUSION: View the few studies retrieved and the wide spectrum of reported techniques, it is not possible to determine from this review the most effective modality. Nevertheless, it seems that subcutaneous undermining of the lateral canthal area combined with splaying and traction of the orbicularis oculi muscle and fixation to the temporalis fascia with or without muscle division would yield the best long-term results. This review indicates also that surgical correction of crow's feet during rhytidectomy or temporal lift could be a positive complement to improve aesthetic outcome. Unfortunately, if not underreported, it is definitely neglected. We believe that this review may be an eye-opener for surgeons.

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Krieger N, Testa C, Chen JT, et al (2023)

Epigenetic aging & embodying injustice: US My Body My Story and Multi-Ethnic Atherosclerosis Study.

medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences.

IMPORTANCE: Epigenetic accelerated aging is associated with exposure to social and economic adversity and may increase risk of premature morbidity and mortality. However, no studies have included measures of structural racism and few have compared estimates within or across the 1[st] and 2[nd] generation of epigenetic clocks (the latter additionally trained on phenotypic data).

OBJECTIVE: To determine if accelerated epigenetic aging is associated with exposures to diverse measures of racialized, economic, and environmental injustice measured at different levels and time periods.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional My Body My Story Study (MBMS; US, 2008-2010) and Exam 5 Multi-Ethnic Atherosclerosis Study (MESA; US, 2010-2012). MBMS DNA extraction: 2021; linkage of structural measures to MBMS and MESA: 2022.

SETTING: MBMS recruited a random sample of US-born Black non-Hispanic (BNH) and white non-Hispanic (WNH) participants from 4 community health centers in Boston, MA. The MESA Exam 5 epigenetic component included 975 randomly selected US-born BNH, WNH, and Hispanic participants from four field sites: Baltimore, MD; Forsyth County, NC; New York City, NY; St. Paul, MN.

PARTICIPANTS: US-born persons (MBMS: 224 BNH, 69 WNH; MESA: 229 BNH, 555 WNH, 191 Hispanic).

MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURES: 10 epigenetic clocks (six 1[st] generation; four 2[nd] generation), computed using DNA methylation data (DNAm) from blood spots (MBMS; N = 293) and purified monocytes (MESA; N = 975).

RESULTS: Among Black non-Hispanic MBMS participants, epigenetic age acceleration was associated with being born in a Jim Crow state by 0.14 standard deviations (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.00, 0.27) and with birth state conservatism (0.06, 95% CI 0.00, 0.05), pooling across all clocks, as was low parental education for both Black non-Hispanic and white non-Hispanic MBMS participants (respectively: 0.24, 95% CI 0.08, 0.39, and 0.27, 95% CI 0.03, 0.51. Adult impoverishment was positively associated with the pooled 2[nd] generation clocks among the MESA participants (Black non-Hispanic: 0.06, 95% CI 0.01, 0.12; white non-Hispanic: 0.05, 95% CI 0.01, 0.08; Hispanic: 0.07, 95% CI 0.01, 0.14).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Epigenetic accelerated aging may be one of the biological mechanisms linking exposure to racialized and economic injustice to well-documented inequities in premature morbidity and mortality.

RevDate: 2024-02-10
CmpDate: 2024-02-08

Wagener L, A Nieder (2024)

Conscious Experience of Stimulus Presence and Absence Is Actively Encoded by Neurons in the Crow Brain.

Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 36(3):508-521.

The emergence of consciousness from brain activity constitutes one of the great riddles in biology. It is commonly assumed that only the conscious perception of the presence of a stimulus elicits neuronal activation to signify a "neural correlate of consciousness," whereas the subjective experience of the absence of a stimulus is associated with a neuronal resting state. Here, we demonstrate that the two subjective states "stimulus present" and "stimulus absent" are represented by two specialized neuron populations in crows, corvid birds. We recorded single-neuron activity from the nidopallium caudolaterale of crows trained to report the presence or absence of images presented near the visual threshold. Because of the task design, neuronal activity tracking the conscious "present" versus "absent" percept was dissociated from that involved in planning a motor response. Distinct neuron populations signaled the subjective percepts of "present" and "absent" by increases in activation. The response selectivity of these two neuron populations was similar in strength and time course. This suggests a balanced code for subjective "presence" versus "absence" experiences, which might be beneficial when both conscious states need to be maintained active in the service of goal-directed behavior.

RevDate: 2024-01-02

Rodriguez JM, B Bae (2024)

Political Ideology Direction of Policy Agendas and Maternal Mortality Outcomes in the U.S., 1915-2007.

Maternal and child health journal [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: The causes for persistently high and increasing maternal mortality rates in the United States have been elusive.

METHODS: We use the shift in the ideological direction of the Republican and the Democratic parties in the 1960s, to test the hypothesis that fluctuations in overall and race-specific maternal mortality rates (MMR) follow the power shifts between the parties before and after the Political Realignment (PR) of the 1960s.

RESULTS: Using time-series data analysis methods, we find that, net of trend, overall and race-specific MMRs were higher under Democratic administrations than Republican ones before the PR (1915-1965)-i.e., when the Democratic Party was a protector of the Jim Crow system. This pattern, however, changed after the PR (1966-2007), with Republican administrations underperforming Democratic ones-i.e., during the period when the Republican Party shifted toward a more economically and socially conservative agenda. The pre-post PR partisan shifts in MMRs were larger for Black (9.5%, [Formula: see text]) relative to White mothers (7.4%, [Formula: see text]) during the study period.

CONCLUSIONS FOR PRACTICE: These findings imply that parties and the ideological direction of their agendas substantively affect the social determinants of maternal health and produce politized health outcomes.

RevDate: 2024-02-14
CmpDate: 2024-02-14

Xu J (2024)

Comment on "neurotoxicity of 4-nonylphenol in adult zebrafish: Evaluation of behaviour, oxidative stress parameters and histopathology of brain"by Jay K. Desai. et al. [Environmental Pollution 334 (2023): 122206].

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 343:123214.

In a recent study by Jay K. Desai et al., (Desai et al., 2023) the authors extensively documented the effects of long-term exposure to 4-nonylphenol neurotoxicity in zebrafish, including oxidative stress markers, behavioral changes, and neuropathology results. The results indicate that, although Neurotoxicity of 4-nonylphenol did not cause evident changes in zebrafish brain tissue pathology, it significantly induced oxidative stress reactions in the zebrafish brain and altered their exploratory behaviors in response to light and dark stimuli.However, upon reviewing the results of this study, we have identified several questionable outcomes and errors in image usage, leading to some concerns.

RevDate: 2023-12-30

Rajaei N, A Doosti (2023)

Designing a novel method based on multiplex PCR for detecting various meat of birds in processed ground meat products.

Food chemistry. Molecular sciences, 7:100177.

Falsified food directly influences wildlife, fair trade, religion, and the health of society. Here, we report a multiplex polymerase chain reaction to evaluate the accurate determination of seven species of bird meat in meals on a single assay platform. To amplify segments of DNA from Columba livia, Corvus moneduloides, Gallus gallus, Coturnix japonica, Phasianus colchicus, Struthio camelus, and Meleagris gallopavo meats, respectively, a total of seven sets of species-specific primers targeting the mitochondrial and cytochrome b genes were developed. Gel photographs and electrochromatography from an Experion Bioanalyzer were used to identify all PCR products. Species specificity checks discovered no cross-species amplification. The applicability of its screening to find target species in processed food was shown in commercial and model meatballs. A validation study revealed that the test is reliable, quick, affordable, repeatable, specific, and accurate down to 50,000 mitochondrial copies. It might be used for raw meats and products involving processed and severely deteriorated food samples. The customers, the food business, and law enforcement would all benefit immensely from this suggested approach.

RevDate: 2023-12-28

Simonit F, Da Broi U, Giudici F, et al (2023)

Autopsy findings in fire deaths in relation to manner of death: Analysis of autopsy records in Friuli, Italy (1993-2020).

Legal medicine (Tokyo, Japan), 67:102372 pii:S1344-6223(23)00182-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The determination of the cause and manner of death can be particularly difficult in burned and charred bodies and autopsy remains a key element in the investigation. In this study, 39 autopsy records of fire deaths were reviewed in relation to the manner of death (25 accidents, 8 suicides, 3 homicides and 3 instances in which the manner of death remained undetermined). The analysis focused on the study of the burns, the degree to which the bodies were consumed by fire and the evidence of signs of vital exposure to fire and of non-fire-related injuries. Total surface body area (TBSA) was found to be significantly higher (p = 0.02) in suicides than in accidents. Moreover, the degree of destruction according to the Crow-Glassman Scale and the presence of a pugilistic posture tended to be higher in suicides compared to accidental deaths, whereas such parameters were found to be variable in homicides. With regard to the anatomical distribution of burns, in contrast with the literature, the feet were affected by burning in all suicides, with a significantly higher prevalence than in accidents (p < 0.01). Traumatic non-fire related injuries were noted in all homicides (with no signs of vital exposure to fire), 1 complicated suicide, 1 undetermined death and 13 accidents. We found that very few studies have focused on the analysis of burn distribution and extension according to manner of death and that there is currently no standardised anatomical model with which to study these variables for forensic purposes.

RevDate: 2024-02-06
CmpDate: 2024-01-26

Drysdale M, Gamberg M, Brammer J, et al (2024)

Hexachlorobenzene and omega-3 fatty acid intake from traditional foods in the northern Yukon: A risk and benefit analysis.

The Science of the total environment, 914:169205.

A human biomonitoring study was conducted in the community of Old Crow, Yukon, in 2019, finding that levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) in plasma were elevated in the community relative to the general Canadian population. The aim of this study was to estimate dietary intake of both hexachlorobenzene, and the nutrient omega-3 fatty acids from locally harvested traditional foods in Old Crow, with the aim of identifying possible regional sources of exposure. A stochastic model was constructed to estimate intake of both hexachlorobenzene and the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Average predicted hexachlorobenzene exposure levels from traditional food consumption in Old Crow were below the tolerable daily intake of 1600-1700 ng/kg body weight/day in both average (18 ng/kg body weight/day) and short-term maximum (27 ng/kg body weight/day) exposure models. The primary contributors to average hexachlorobenzene intake were caribou fat, bone marrow, ribs, and kidneys, and Chinook salmon muscle. Average estimated dietary EPA + DHA intake levels from traditional foods were below the recommendation of 2.1 to 3.2 g of EPA + DHA per week in the average (1.6 g/week) exposure model, but above this recommendation in the short-term maximum model (3.3 g/week). The primary contributors to average EPA + DHA intake were the meat of Chinook, coho, and, chum salmon muscle, and whitefish muscle and eggs. The results of this study support the message that traditional foods continue to be an important source of nutrients and other health benefits and that the health benefits of traditional foods generally outweigh contaminant risks.

RevDate: 2024-02-19
CmpDate: 2024-02-19

Lipton LR, Prock L, Camarata S, et al (2024)

Developmental Delay and Behavior Challenges in an Internationally Adopted Child.

Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP, 45(1):e88-e91.

Jay is a 6-year-old boy who was referred to a multidisciplinary developmental clinic for evaluation because of speech/language delays and challenging behaviors. He attends kindergarten with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) supporting developmental challenges with speech/language, motor, and academic skills.Jay was reportedly born full-term after an uneventful pregnancy and lived with his biological family for several months before transitioning to institutional care. Shortly before his first birthday, he transitioned to the first of 3 foster homes. It is suspected that Jay experienced malnourishment, neglect, lack of appropriate supervision, and inappropriate levels of responsibility (e.g., providing care to an infant when he was a toddler) as well as limited language input while in foster care. Ages at which he attained developmental milestones are unknown, but he has displayed delays across all developmental domains, including speech/language development in his primary language, which is not English.Jay's adoptive parents report that he is learning English vocabulary well but has been noted to have occasional word-finding difficulties and errors in verb conjugation, pronoun use, and syntax in English. Behavioral concerns include impulsivity, hyperactivity, and aggression exacerbated by new or loud environments and transitions. Socially, he seems to be typically engaged with peers but lacks understanding of personal space/boundaries. His adoptive parents have also noted that he is very sensitive to the emotions of others around him, more irritable in the morning, fascinated by "scary" things, and seems to fear abandonment. During the initial months in his adoptive home, he had frequent night awakenings, fear of the dark, and aggression at bedtime, but all these concerns have improved with time.Neuropsychological testing was completed as part of the multidisciplinary developmental evaluation, and Jay demonstrated low-average cognitive abilities, delayed preacademic skills in all language-based areas, and receptive and expressive language delays. He was socially engaged during the evaluation. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, combined presentation, and unspecified trauma/stress-related disorder.Given what is known about Jay's early history, what factors would you consider in addressing his parents' concerns regarding his speech/language development and behavior challenges?

RevDate: 2023-12-20

Wang CZ, JJA van Loon (2023)

Chemosensory detection of glucosinolates as token stimuli for specialist insects on brassicaceous plants: discovery and impact.

Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology [Epub ahead of print].

In this paper, we take a historical perspective by going back to Verschaffelt's landmark study published in 1910, in which he found that glucosinolates were used as token stimuli by larvae of Pieris butterflies, specialist feeders on plants in the family Brassicaceae. This classic discovery provided key evidence for Fraenkel (Science 129:1466-1470, 1959) to elaborate on the function of secondary plant substances and for Ehrlich and Raven (Evolution 18:586-608, 1964) to put forward the hypothesis of insect-plant coevolution. The discovery by Schoonhoven (Kon Nederl Akad Wetensch Amsterdam Proc Ser C70:556-568, 1967) of taste neurons highly sensitive to glucosinolates in Pieris brassicae was an important milestone in elucidating the chemosensory basis of host-plant specialization. The molecular basis of glucosinolate sensitivity was elucidated recently (Yang et al., PLoS Genet 17, 2021) paving the way to unravel the evolution of gustatory receptors tuned to glucosinolates that are crucial for host-plant selection of Pieris butterflies. We propose a hypothetical model for the evolution of labeled-line neurons tuned to token stimuli.

RevDate: 2024-02-21
CmpDate: 2024-02-21

Raymond S, CC St Clair (2023)

Urban Magpies Frequently Feed on Coyote Scats and May Spread an Emerging Zoonotic Tapeworm.

EcoHealth, 20(4):441-452.

Allocoprophagy, in which animals feed on the feces of other individuals or species, has been little studied in vertebrates, despite its relevance to parasite transmission. These relationships may be especially important in cities, where animal density, disease incidence, and spatial overlap of humans and wildlife increase. Our goal was to document the incidence and predictors of coprophagy by black-billed magpies (Pica hudsonia) at coyote (Canis latrans) scats in Edmonton, Canada. We detected scats by following coyote trails and recorded whether coprophagy had occurred. We used multiple logistic regression to determine the top contextual and environmental predictors of coprophagy. Of 668 coyote scats, 37.3% had apparently been fed on. Coprophagy was more likely in winter and when scats were not fresh and did not contain vegetation or garbage. Environmental predictors of coprophagy included proximity to other coyote scats and playgrounds, distance from water and maintained trails, abundant natural land cover, and proximity to encampments of people experiencing homelessness. Our results reveal that magpies frequently access coyote scat and often do so near human-use areas. In Edmonton, where > 50% of coyotes are infected with a zoonotic tapeworm, coprophagy likely causes magpies to transport parasites with implications for zoonotic disease risk.

RevDate: 2023-12-19

Lohrasbi S, Moradi AR, M Sadeghi (2023)

Exploring Emotion Recognition Patterns Among Iranian People Using CANTAB as an Approved Neuro-Psychological Assessment.

Basic and clinical neuroscience, 14(2):289-295.

INTRODUCTION: Emotion recognition is the main component of social cognition and has various patterns in different cultures and nationalities. The present study aimed to investigate emotion recognition patterns among Iranians using the Cambridge neuro-psychological test automated battery (CANTAB) as a valid neuropsychological test.

METHODS: In this descriptive-analytical study, 117 males and females (Mean±SD of age 32.1±6.4) were initially assessed by computerized intelligence and progressive matrices of RAVEN-2. Furthermore, the excitement recognition subtest taken from the Cambridge neuro-psychological test automated battery (CANTAB) was performed. The correct response of participants to each of the six basic emotions as well as the recognition time was used for analysis.

RESULTS: The maximum correct response rate was 75.83% related to happy emotion. The correct responses for sadness, surprise, disgust, anger, and fear were 70%, 68.48%, 47.84%, 42.54%, and 38.26%, respectively. Moreover, the shortest recognition time was related to disgust at 322 ms, while sadness with a mean response time of 1800 ms and fear response time at 1529 ms indicated the longest recognition time. In addition, participants recognized happiness with a mean response time of 1264 ms better than other emotions; however, post-hoc t-test analyses showed that only the correct responses for sadness and surprised emotions did not differ significantly, (t(112)=-0.59, P=0.55, d=0.05). These results suggested that different emotions have various correct responses. However, sadness and surprise did not differ.

CONCLUSION: The findings of this study could be beneficial for evaluating cognitive elements, as well as cognitive abilities and inabilities among the Iranian population. Moreover, the findings could be used for investigating social cognition in this population.

HIGHLIGHTS: Emotion recognition patterns among Iranians were investigated using a valid neuropsychological test.Iranians showed higher accuracy in recognizing happiness and lower accuracy in recognizing fear.Disgust was recognized with the shortest response time, while sadness and fear had the longest recognition time.The findings highlight cultural differences in emotion recognition and can aid in evaluating cognitive abilities and social cognition in the Iranian population.The study emphasizes the importance of considering cultural factors in assessing and understanding emotion recognition.

PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY: Understanding how people recognize emotions is crucial for effective communication and building social connections. However, the ability to recognize emotions can vary across cultures. This study aimed to investigate how Iranians recognize emotions using a reliable test. The researchers assessed 117 Iranian adults, both males and females, using a computer-based test. Participants were asked to identify six basic emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, and surprise) displayed on a screen. The researchers measured the participants' accuracy in identifying each emotion and the time it took them to recognize it. The findings revealed that Iranians were most accurate in recognizing happiness and least accurate in recognizing fear. They were better at identifying positive emotions like happiness and surprise compared to negative emotions like disgust and anger. Participants took the least time to recognize disgust and the longest time to recognize sadness and fear. These results show that Iranians have specific patterns in recognizing emotions, which can be influenced by cultural factors. Understanding these patterns is important for assessing cognitive abilities and social cognition in the Iranian population. Moreover, these findings have broader implications. They highlight the need to consider cultural differences in emotion recognition, as it can impact communication and social interactions. The study's outcomes can be valuable for various applications. For instance, they can aid in developing tests to assess emotion recognition difficulties in individuals with conditions such as autism or schizophrenia. Furthermore, these findings can be useful for professionals, such as employees in customer service or mental health providers, who need to accurately interpret others' emotions. By shedding light on cultural variations in emotion recognition, this research contributes to our understanding of human emotions and their role in interpersonal relationships.

RevDate: 2023-12-27

Watkins SH, Testa C, Simpkin AJ, et al (2023)

An epigenome-wide analysis of DNA methylation, racialized and economic inequities, and air pollution.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

IMPORTANCE: DNA methylation (DNAm) provides a plausible mechanism by which adverse exposures become embodied and contribute to health inequities, due to its role in genome regulation and responsiveness to social and biophysical exposures tied to societal context. However, scant epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) have included structural and lifecourse measures of exposure, especially in relation to structural discrimination.

OBJECTIVE: Our study tests the hypothesis that DNAm is a mechanism by which racial discrimination, economic adversity, and air pollution become biologically embodied.

DESIGN: A series of cross-sectional EWAS, conducted in My Body My Story (MBMS, biological specimens collected 2008-2010, DNAm assayed in 2021); and the Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA; biological specimens collected 2010-2012, DNAm assayed in 2012-2013); using new georeferenced social exposure data for both studies (generated in 2022).

SETTING: MBMS was recruited from four community health centers in Boston; MESA was recruited from four field sites in: Baltimore, MD; Forsyth County, NC; New York City, NY; and St. Paul, MN.

PARTICIPANTS: Two population-based samples of US-born Black non-Hispanic (Black NH), white non-Hispanic (white NH), and Hispanic individuals (MBMS; n=224 Black NH and 69 white NH) and (MESA; n=229 Black NH, n=555 white NH and n=191 Hispanic).

EXPOSURES: Eight social exposures encompassing racial discrimination, economic adversity, and air pollution.

MAIN OUTCOME: Genome-wide changes in DNAm, as measured using the Illumina EPIC BeadChip (MBMS; using frozen blood spots) and Illumina 450k BeadChip (MESA; using purified monocytes). Our hypothesis was formulated after data collection.

RESULTS: We observed the strongest associations with traffic-related air pollution (measured via black carbon and nitrogen oxides exposure), with evidence from both studies suggesting that air pollution exposure may induce epigenetic changes related to inflammatory processes. We also found suggestive associations of DNAm variation with measures of structural racial discrimination (e.g., for Black NH participants, born in a Jim Crow state; adult exposure to racialized economic residential segregation) situated in genes with plausible links to effects on health.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Overall, this work suggests that DNAm is a biological mechanism through which structural racism and air pollution become embodied and may lead to health inequities.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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