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24 Oct 2021 at 01:38
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Bibliography on: Corvids (crows, jays, etc)


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 24 Oct 2021 at 01:38 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: 2021-10-23

Molin N, Wang N, G Isaacson (2021)

A Novel Adenoidectomy Training System.

The Laryngoscope [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Young residents find mirror-guided adenoidectomy difficult. Inexperienced trainees must learn to focus a headlight beam, work upside-down and backward in a small space and thoroughly ablate adenoid tissue-all new skills. We present an adenoidectomy training system that is low-cost, easy to construct, and is focused on these basic adenoidectomy skills.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective experimental study.

METHODS: This training suite includes three stations each targeting a different skill. The first employs a mannequin head with exposed nasopharynx. It trains the student to coordinate a headlight and mirror while touching a series of targets with a curved probe. At the second station participants electrodessicate (or microdebride) an anchored piece of veal thymus. The third station combines both sets of skills as participants ablate thymus in a simulated nasopharynx (30 mm rectangular aluminum tube) constrained within a Crow-Davis retractor, using a headlight, mirror, and suction electrosurgical electrode (or microdebrider). To evaluate the training system's efficacy, we assessed the performance of 10 surgically naïve medical student volunteers before and after 15 minutes of practice using a validated rating scale used for adenoidectomy.

RESULTS: There was significant improvement in adenoidectomy skill scores after practicing. Overall scores were higher, time taken to touch a series of targets with a headlight and mirror was less and amount of tissue ablated at the final station was greater (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: This novel adenoidectomy training system is inexpensive and easy to build. Practice with the model resulted in statistically significant improvement in adenoidectomy skill scores for inexperienced student surgeons.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 Laryngoscope, 2021.

RevDate: 2021-10-18

Pesendorfer MB, Bowman R, Gratzer G, et al (2021)

Fire history and weather interact to determine extent and synchrony of mast-seeding in rhizomatous scrub oaks of Florida.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1839):20200381.

In disturbance-prone ecosystems, fitness consequences of plant reproductive strategies are often determined by the relative timing of seed production and disturbance events, but the role of disturbances as proximate drivers of seed production has been overlooked. We use long-term data on seed production in Quercus chapmanii, Q. geminata and Q. inopina, rhizomatous oaks found in south central Florida's oak scrub, to investigate the role of fire history and its interaction with weather in shaping acorn production and its synchrony. Acorn production increased with the time since last fire, combined with additive or interactive effects of spring precipitation (+) or drought (-). Furthermore, multiple matrix regression models revealed that ramet pairs with shared fire history were more synchronous in seed production than ones that burned in different years. Long-term trends suggest that increasingly drier spring weather, in interaction with fire frequency, may drive a decline of seed production. Such declines could affect the community of acorn-reliant vertebrates in the Florida scrub, including endangered Florida scrub-jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens). These results illustrate that fire can function as a proximate driver of seed production in mast-seeding species, highlighting the increasingly recognized importance of interactions among reproductive strategies and disturbance regimes in structuring plant populations and communities. This article is part of the theme issue 'The ecology and evolution of synchronized seed production in plants'.

RevDate: 2021-10-16

Nieder A (2021)

Consciousness without cortex.

Current opinion in neurobiology, 71:69-76 pii:S0959-4388(21)00110-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Sensory consciousness - the awareness and ability to report subjective experiences - is a property of biological nervous systems that has evolved out of unconscious processing over hundreds of millions of years. From which brain structures and based on which mechanisms can conscious experience emerge? Based on the body of work in human and nonhuman primates, the emergence of consciousness is intimately associated with the workings of the mammalian cerebral cortex with its specific cell types and layered structure. However, recent neurophysiological recordings demonstrate a neuronal correlate of consciousness in the pallial endbrain of crows. These telencephalic integration centers in birds originate embryonically from other pallial territories, lack a layered architecture characteristic for the cerebral cortex, and exhibit independently evolved pallial cell types. This argues that the mammalian cerebral cortex is not a prerequisite for consciousness to emerge in all vertebrates. Rather, it seems that the anatomical and physiological principles of the telencephalic pallium offer this structure as a brain substrate for consciousness to evolve independently across vertebrate phylogeny.

RevDate: 2021-10-15

Baucom RS, Iriart V, Kreiner JM, et al (2021)

Resistance evolution, from genetic mechanism to ecological context.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Pesticide use by humans has induced strong selective pressures, reshaping evolutionary trajectories, ecological networks, and even influencing ecosystem dynamics. The evolution of pesticide resistance across weeds, insects, and fungi often leads to negative impacts on both human health and the economy while concomitantly providing excellent systems for studying the process of evolution. In fact, the study of pesticide resistance has been a feature of evolutionary biology since the Evolutionary Synthesis, with Dobzhansky noting in his book The Genetics and Origins of Species (1937) that cyanide resistance in the California red scale constituted the "best proof of the effectiveness of natural selection yet obtained". Following the pioneering work of James Crow and others in the 1950's-which greatly expanded our knowledge of the genetics underlying adaptation-the study of pesticide resistance has shed light on a variety of topics, such as the repeatability of phenotypic evolution across the landscape, 'hotspots' of evolution across the genome, and information on the number and type of genetic solutions that populations may employ to strong selection pressures.

RevDate: 2021-10-14

Kombiah S, Kumar M, Murugkar HV, et al (2021)

Role of expression of host cytokines in the pathogenesis of H9N2-PB2 reassortant and non-reassortant H5N1 avian influenza viruses isolated from crows in BALB/c mice.

Microbial pathogenesis pii:S0882-4010(21)00513-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The present experiment was conducted to study the role of cytokine, chemokine and TLRs responses of H9N2-PB2 reassortant H5N1 viruses as compared to non-reassortant H5N1 viruses isolated from crows in BALB/c mice. Two groups (12 mice each) of 6-8 weeks old BALB/c mice were intranasally inoculated with 106 EID50/ml of viruses A/crow/India/03CA04/2015 (H9N2-PB2 reassortant H5N1) and A/crow/India/02CA01/2012 (non-reassortant H5N1). At each interval, brain, lung and spleen were collected and relative quantification of cytokines, chemokines and TLRs was done by qPCR. The H9N2-PB2 reassortant H5N1 infected mice brain, the transcripts of TLR7 were significantly higher than other cytokines at 3dpi and KC was significantly upregulated at 7dpi. In non-reassortant H5N1 infected mice brain showed, TLR 7 and IFNα upregulation at 3dpi and IFNγ and TLR7 upregulation at 7dpi. The H9N2-PB2 reassortant H5N1 infected mice lung revealed, IL2 and TLR7 significant upregulation at 3dpi and in non-reassortant H5N1 infected mice, IL6 was significantly upregulated. At 7dpi in H9N2-PB2 reassortant H5N1 virus infected group mice, IL1 and TLR 3 were significantly upregulated in lungs and in non-reassortant group mice, IL1 and TLR7 were significantly upregulated. At 3dpi in H9N2-PB2 reassortant H5N1 virus infected mice spleen, IL4, IFNα, IFNβ were significantly downregulated and TLR7 transcript was significantly upregulated. In non-reassortant group mice, IL6, IFNα, IFNβ and TLR 3 were significantly upregulated. At 7dpi in H9N2-PB2 reassortant H5N1 virus infected mice spleen, IFNα, IFNβ and TLR7 were significantly lower than other cytokines and in non-reassortant group mice, IFNα and IFNβ were significantly downregulated. This study concludes that dysregulation of cytokines in lungs and brain might have contributed to the pathogenesis of both the viruses in mice.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Baciadonna L, Solvi C, La Cava S, et al (2021)

Cross-modal individual recognition in the African penguin and the effect of partnership.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1960):20211463.

An animal's ability to recognize another individual by matching their image to their voice suggests they form internal representations of other individuals. To what extent this ability, termed cross-modal individual recognition, extends to birds other than corvids is unknown. Here, we used an expectancy violation paradigm to determine whether a monogamous territorial seabird (Spheniscus demersus) can cross-modally recognize familiar conspecifics (partners or colony-mates). After pairs of penguins spent time together in an isolated area, one of the penguins was released from the area leaving the focal penguin alone. Subsequently, we played contact calls of the released penguin (congruent condition) or a different penguin (incongruent condition). After being paired with a colony-mate, focal penguins' response latency to the auditory stimulus was faster in the incongruent compared to congruent condition, indicating the mismatch violated their expectations. This behavioural pattern was not observed in focal penguins after being paired with their partner. We discuss these different results in the light of penguins' natural behaviour and the evolution of social communication strategies. Our results suggest that cross-modal individual recognition extends to penguins and reveals, in contrast with previously thought, that social communication between members of this endangered species can also use visual cues.

RevDate: 2021-10-12

Tomita K (2021)

Camera traps reveal interspecific differences in the diel and seasonal patterns of cicada nymph predation.

Die Naturwissenschaften, 108(6):52.

Cicadas, a group of large-bodied insects, are preyed upon at both nymphal and adult stages by diverse range of vertebrates such as birds and mammals. Although the behavior of predators toward adult cicadas is well documented, there is a lack of research on the predation on cicada nymphs. In this study, camera traps deployed in conifer plantations, in which high population densities of cicadas Lyristes bihamatus emerge, were used to evaluate the seasonal and diel patterns of predation upon cicada nymphs by three predator species, namely brown bears, red foxes, and jungle crows, from May to September in 2018 and 2019 in northern Japan. Among all three species, cicada nymph predation occurred until early August when the final instar nymphs fully emerged. Bears were observed to constantly dig for cicada nymphs until early August, whereas foxes and crows were frequently observed foraging from late July to early August, during the season of L. bihamatus emergence. In contract to the powerful digging ability of bears, which facilitates efficient predation upon subterranean cicada nymphs, it is generally difficult for foxes and crows with limited or no digging ability to gain access these nymphs until the period of emergence. Cicada nymph predation by bears and crows was observed primarily during the daytime, despite the typical crepuscular/nocturnal emergence schedules of these insects. Contrastingly, the predatory activities of foxes tended to be nocturnal during the period prior to the beginning of cicada emergence, although subsequently became diurnal during the cicada emergence period. These observations indicate that the temporal activity patterns of cicada nymph predators are determined by interspecific differences in predation abilities and cicada emergence schedules. Accordingly, the findings of this study provide evidence to indicate that the timing and duration of trophic interactions between above- and belowground communities might vary among predator species, depending on their predation abilities.

RevDate: 2021-10-07

Delamater AR, EA Wasserman (2021)

Comparative cognition-Conceptual and methodological advancements.

Journal of experimental psychology. Animal learning and cognition, 47(3):219-222.

This special issue originally placed a Call for Papers that emphasized the importance of "Conceptual and Methodological" advances in the field of Comparative Cognition. Represented here is a collection of 14 papers that helps to display some of the diversity of ideas and approaches within this flourishing research area. The first paper in this issue, by Gazes and Lazareva (2021), discusses transitive inference learning from the perspectives of: identifying the problems of contextual variables in studying different species; whether associative processes can or cannot fully account for the behavior and, if not, what alternative representational mechanisms might be at work; and, finally, how ecological considerations may support comparative research by suggesting novel theoretical and empirical questions. The next paper, by Loy et al. (2021) investigates questions related to the complexity of learning in invertebrate species, single-celled organisms, and plants. The paper by Rawlings et al. (2021) reviews the literature on cumulative cultural evolution, primarily in nonhuman primate species, and critically evaluates the importance of identifying the essential conceptual and methodological issues in what many have deemed to be a uniquely human form of behavior. The paper by Goto and Watanabe (2021) explores whether the mouse visual system is sensitive to Gestalt principles, using operant discrimination learning tasks similar to those used previously to document Gestalt processing in chimpanzees and humans. Qadri and Cook (2021) use the innovative approach of "adaptive genetic algorithms" to assess the relative importance of different features of a stimulus in controlling organisms' discrimination learning performance. Wittek et al. (2021) introduce a novel method for studying the importance of visual accumulation processes in pigeons when information is presented to a single hemisphere at a time. The paper by Cowie et al. (2021) focuses on a misallocation model of two-step sequence learning in young children and explores from a behavioranalytic viewpoint the implications of assuming that reinforcement might be misattributed to a misremembered response at the beginning of the behavioral sequence. The paper by López-Tolsa and Pellón (2021) explores whether the opportunity to display schedule-induced drinking as an early response within a behavioral sequence might alter the accuracy of temporal control in different-length fixed-interval schedule tasks with rats. Crystal (2021) reviews the literature examining episodic memory in nonhuman species and considers a variety of criteria and methods thought to be crucial for establishing empirical evidence for episodic memory in nonhumans, in general, and rats, in particular. Vila et al. (2021) discuss the use a novel 'hide-and-seek' task in preschool age children to study episodic-like memory; their work illustrates how memory dynamics can change over time in a manner not very unlike what has been demonstrated in other nonhuman research paradigms. The paper by Krichbaum et al. (2021) discusses some of the methodological difficulties one faces in studying spatial cognition in canines. The paper by Castro et al. (2021) uses a complex categorization learning task in which different sets of display features are diagnostic, or not, of category mastery depending upon context. The paper by Vernouillet et al. (2021) explores the formation of same/different concept learning in two species of corvids (pinyon jays and California scrub jays). The final paper, by Lazarowski et al. (2021) examines the possibility of abstract same/different learning in canines using a trial-unique training matching-to-sample procedure with olfactory stimuli. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2021-10-07

Yang C, Huang J, Liang W, et al (2021)

Absence of anti-parasitic defenses in an Asian population of the magpie, a regular host of the great spotted cuckoo in Europe.

Current zoology, 67(3):345-347 pii:zoaa018.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Raymond S, Schwartz ALW, Thomas RJ, et al (2021)

Temporal patterns of wildlife roadkill in the UK.

PloS one, 16(10):e0258083 pii:PONE-D-20-29431.

Wildlife-vehicle collisions are one of the main causes of mortality for wild mammals and birds in the UK. Here, using a dataset of 54,000+ records collated by a citizen science roadkill recording scheme between 2014-2019, we analyse and present temporal patterns of wildlife roadkill of the 19 most commonly reported taxa in the UK (84% of all reported roadkill). Most taxa (13 out of 19) showed significant and consistent seasonal variations in road mortality and fitted one of two seasonal patterns; bimodal or unimodal: only three species (red fox Vulpes vulpes, European polecat Mustela putorius and Reeves' muntjac deer Muntiacus reevesi) showed no significant seasonality. Species that increase movement in spring and autumn potentially have bimodal patterns in roadkill due to the increase in mate-searching and juvenile dispersal during these respective time periods (e.g. European badger Meles meles). Unimodal patterns likely represent increased mortality due to a single short pulse in activity associated with breeding (e.g. birds) or foraging (e.g. grey squirrels Sciurus carolinensis in autumn). Importantly, these patterns also indicate periods of increased risk for drivers, potentially posing a greater threat to human welfare. In addition to behaviour-driven annual patterns, abiotic factors (temperature and rainfall) explained some variance in roadkill. Notably, high rainfall was associated with decreased observations of two bird taxa (gulls and Eurasian magpies Pica pica) and European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus. By quantifying seasonal patterns in roadkill, we highlight a significant anthropogenic impact on wild species, which is important in relation to conservation, animal welfare, and human safety.

RevDate: 2021-10-04

Baky MH, Shawky EM, Elgindi MR, et al (2021)

Comparative Volatile Profiling of Ludwigia stolonifera Aerial Parts and Roots Using VSE-GC-MS/MS and Screening of Antioxidant and Metal Chelation Activities.

ACS omega, 6(38):24788-24794.

Ludwigia stolonifera (Guill. & Perr.) P.H.Raven belonging to the family Onagraceae is an important aquatic herbal plant of economic importance in water bioremediation. We explored the compositional heterogeneity in the aroma profile of L. stolonifera aerial parts and roots. Volatile profiling was employed for the first time using volatile solvent extraction (VSE-GC-MS/MS) of both aerial parts and roots. A total of 85 volatiles were identified belonging to eight classes, viz., aliphatic, aromatic, and oxygenated hydrocarbons, monoterpenes, diterpenes, alcohols, acids/esters, and sterols. Aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons were found to be the most abundant metabolite groups in both aerial parts and roots. Furthermore, antioxidant and metal chelation activities of aerial parts and roots were investigated, revealing a potent activity as an antioxidant and high metal chelation capacity for heavy metals.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Cristiani E, Menci M, Papi M, et al (2021)

An all-leader agent-based model for turning and flocking birds.

Journal of mathematical biology, 83(4):45.

Starting from recent experimental observations of starlings and jackdaws, we propose a minimal agent-based mathematical model for bird flocks based on a system of second-order delayed stochastic differential equations with discontinuous (both in space and time) right-hand side. The model is specifically designed to reproduce self-organized spontaneous sudden changes of direction, not caused by external stimuli like predator's attacks. The main novelty of the model is that every bird is a potential turn initiator, thus leadership is formed in a group of indistinguishable agents. We investigate some theoretical properties of the model and we show the numerical results. Biological insights are also discussed.

RevDate: 2021-09-30

Hossain SMZ, Sultana N, Mohammed ME, et al (2021)

Hybrid support vector regression and crow search algorithm for modeling and multiobjective optimization of microalgae-based wastewater treatment.

Journal of environmental management, 301:113783 pii:S0301-4797(21)01845-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Microalgae-based wastewater treatment (and biomass production) is an environmentally benign and energetically efficient technique as compared to traditional practices. The present study is focused on optimization of the major treatment variables such as temperature, light-dark cycle (LD), and nitrogen (N)-to-phosphate (P) ratio (N/P) for the elimination of N and P from tertiary municipal wastewater utilizing Chlorella kessleri microalgae species. In this regard, a hybrid support vector regression (SVR) technique integrated with the crow search algorithm has been applied as a novel modeling/optimization tool. The SVR models were formulated using the experimental data, which were furnished according to the response surface methodology with Box-Behnken Design. Various statistical indicators, including mean absolute percentage error, Taylor diagram, and fractional bias, confirmed the superior performance of SVR models as compared to the response surface methodology (RSM) and generalized linear model (GLM). Finally, the best SVR model was hybridized with the crow search algorithm for single/multi-objective optimizations to acquire the global optimal treatment conditions for maximum N and P removal efficiencies. The best-operating conditions were found to be 29.3°C, 24/0 h/h of LD, and 6:1 of N/P, with N and P elimination efficiencies of 99.97 and 93.48%, respectively. The optimized values were further confirmed by new experimental data.

RevDate: 2021-09-28

Lopes C, Brandão R, Lopes AF, et al (2021)

Prevalence of Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in Different Wild Bird Species Admitted to Rehabilitation Centres in Portugal.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(9): pii:pathogens10091144.

Toxoplasma gondii is a worldwide zoonotic parasite. According to the "One Health" approach, studies on toxoplasmosis are essential since it affects humans and domestic and wild animals. In the present study, antibodies to T. gondii were determined in serum samples from 263 wild birds located in five wildlife rehabilitation centres in mainland Portugal by using the modified agglutination test (MAT) with a cut-off titre of 20. An overall seroprevalence of 36.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 30.7-42.6) was observed. For the first time, antibodies to T. gondii were detected in some avian species, including pallid swift (Apus pallidus) (33.3%), black-backed gull (Larus fuscus) (39.3%), European turtle-dove (Streptopelia turtur) (100%), bee-eater (Merops apiaster) (50.0%), carrion crow (Corvus corone) (33.3%), and Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) (100%), which expands the list of intermediate hosts of T. gondii. A lower seroprevalence was found in juvenile birds (31.9%) compared to adults (48.7%) (p = 0.016). The central region of Portugal was considered a risk factor for T. gondii infection in wild birds (odds ratio: 3.61; 95% CI: 1.09-11.91). This pioneer study calls attention to the need for further studies, to provide a clearer understanding of T. gondii epidemiology in Portugal, because it reflects wide dispersion of T. gondii oocysts in the environment.

RevDate: 2021-09-24

Jaffe RJ, C Constantinidis (2021)

Working Memory: From Neural Activity to the Sentient Mind.

Comprehensive Physiology, 11(4):1-41.

Working memory (WM) is the ability to maintain and manipulate information in the conscious mind over a timescale of seconds. This ability is thought to be maintained through the persistent discharges of neurons in a network of brain areas centered on the prefrontal cortex, as evidenced by neurophysiological recordings in nonhuman primates, though both the localization and the neural basis of WM has been a matter of debate in recent years. Neural correlates of WM are evident in species other than primates, including rodents and corvids. A specialized network of excitatory and inhibitory neurons, aided by neuromodulatory influences of dopamine, is critical for the maintenance of neuronal activity. Limitations in WM capacity and duration, as well as its enhancement during development, can be attributed to properties of neural activity and circuits. Changes in these factors can be observed through training-induced improvements and in pathological impairments. WM thus provides a prototypical cognitive function whose properties can be tied to the spiking activity of brain neurons. © 2021 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 11:1-41, 2021.

RevDate: 2021-09-23

Camacho Mateu J, Sireci M, MA Muñoz (2021)

Phenotypic-dependent variability and the emergence of tolerance in bacterial populations.

PLoS computational biology, 17(9):e1009417 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-21-00594 [Epub ahead of print].

Ecological and evolutionary dynamics have been historically regarded as unfolding at broadly separated timescales. However, these two types of processes are nowadays well-documented to intersperse much more tightly than traditionally assumed, especially in communities of microorganisms. Advancing the development of mathematical and computational approaches to shed novel light onto eco-evolutionary problems is a challenge of utmost relevance. With this motivation in mind, here we scrutinize recent experimental results showing evidence of rapid evolution of tolerance by lag in bacterial populations that are periodically exposed to antibiotic stress in laboratory conditions. In particular, the distribution of single-cell lag times-i.e., the times that individual bacteria from the community remain in a dormant state to cope with stress-evolves its average value to approximately fit the antibiotic-exposure time. Moreover, the distribution develops right-skewed heavy tails, revealing the presence of individuals with anomalously large lag times. Here, we develop a parsimonious individual-based model mimicking the actual demographic processes of the experimental setup. Individuals are characterized by a single phenotypic trait: their intrinsic lag time, which is transmitted with variation to the progeny. The model-in a version in which the amplitude of phenotypic variations grows with the parent's lag time-is able to reproduce quite well the key empirical observations. Furthermore, we develop a general mathematical framework allowing us to describe with good accuracy the properties of the stochastic model by means of a macroscopic equation, which generalizes the Crow-Kimura equation in population genetics. Even if the model does not account for all the biological mechanisms (e.g., genetic changes) in a detailed way-i.e., it is a phenomenological one-it sheds light onto the eco-evolutionary dynamics of the problem and can be helpful to design strategies to hinder the emergence of tolerance in bacterial communities. From a broader perspective, this work represents a benchmark for the mathematical framework designed to tackle much more general eco-evolutionary problems, thus paving the road to further research avenues.

RevDate: 2021-09-22

Cowan ES, Dill LJ, S Sutton (2021)

Collective Healing: A Framework for Building Transformative Collaborations in Public Health.

Health promotion practice [Epub ahead of print].

The capacity of cross-sector collaboration to create meaningful change across social-ecological levels has long been understood in public health. But the ability of cross-sector collaboration to achieve systemic change around the structural determinants of health remains complicated. In 2021, now more than ever, we understand the imperative of strengthening the capacity of collaborative efforts to address the myriad structural health crises facing our communities, from police violence and mass incarceration to Jim Crow laws and redlining, to urban renewal and environmental injustice. Our proposed collective healing framework brings together the collective impact model and radical healing framework to offer a blueprint for cross-sector collaboration that understands the practices of healing to be at the center of public health collaborations and public health practice at large. In this framework, public health practitioners and our collaborators are asked to prioritize relationship building, engage in critical self-reflection, to move beyond compromise, to address differences, to interrogate traditional metrics and approaches, to remake the collective table, and to build shared understanding through action.

RevDate: 2021-09-17

Allen S, Held S, Milne-Price S, et al (2021)

Community sharing: Contextualizing Western research notions of contamination within an Indigenous research paradigm.

American journal of community psychology [Epub ahead of print].

Báa nnilah is a chronic illness self-management program designed by and for the Apsáalooke (Crow) community. Arising from a collaboration between an Indigenous nonprofit organization and a university-based research team, Báa nnilah's development, implementation, and evaluation have been influenced by both Indigenous and Western research paradigms (WRPs). Báa nnilah was evaluated using a randomized wait-list control group design. In a WRP, contamination, or intervention information shared by the intervention group with the control group, is actively discouraged as it makes ascertaining causality difficult, if not impossible. This approach is not consonant with Apsáalooke cultural values that include the encouragement of sharing helpful information with others, supporting an Indigenous research paradigm's (IRP) goal of benefiting the community. The purpose of this paper is to address contamination and sharing as an area of tension between WRP and IRP. We describe how the concepts of contamination and sharing within Báa nnilah's implementation and evaluation are interpreted differently when viewed from these contrasting paradigms, and set forth a call for greater exploration of Indigenous research approaches for developing, implementing, and evaluating intervention programs in Indigenous communities. (Improving Chronic Illness Management with the Apsáalooke Nation: The Báa nnilah Project.: NCT03036189), ClinicalTrials. gov: NCT03036189).

RevDate: 2021-09-17

Bauch C, Boonekamp JJ, Korsten P, et al (2021)

High heritability of telomere length and low heritability of telomere shortening in wild birds.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Telomere length and telomere shortening predict survival in many organisms. This raises the question of the contribution of genetic and environmental effects to variation in these traits, which is still poorly known, particularly for telomere shortening. We used experimental (cross-fostering) and statistical (quantitative genetic 'animal' models) means to disentangle and estimate genetic and environmental contributions to telomere length variation in pedigreed free-living jackdaws (Corvus monedula). Telomere length was measured twice in nestlings, at ages 4 (n=715) and 29 days (n=474), using TRF-analysis, adapted to exclude interstitial telomeric sequences. Telomere length shortened significantly over the nestling period (10.4±0.3 bp/day) and was highly phenotypically (rP =0.95±0.01) and genetically (rG >0.99±0.01) correlated within individuals. Additive genetic effects explained a major part of telomere length variation among individuals, with its heritability estimated at h2 =0.74 on average. We note that TRF-based studies reported higher heritabilities than qPCR-based studies, and we discuss possible explanations. Parent-offspring regressions yielded similar heritability estimates for mothers and fathers when accounting for changes in paternal telomere length over life. Year effects explained a small but significant part of telomere length variation. Heritable variation for telomere shortening was low (h2 =0.09±0.11). The difference in heritability between telomere length (high) and telomere shortening (low) agrees with evolutionary theory, in that telomere shortening has stronger fitness consequences in this population. Despite the high heritability of telomere length, its evolvability, which scales the additive genetic variance by mean telomere length, was on average 0.48%. Hence evolutionary change of telomere length due to selection is likely to be slow.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Ehteram M, Panahi F, Ahmed AN, et al (2021)

Predicting evaporation with optimized artificial neural network using multi-objective salp swarm algorithm.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

Evaporation is a crucial component to be established in agriculture management and water engineering. Evaporation prediction is thus an essential issue for modeling researchers. In this study, the multilayer perceptron (MLP) was used for predicting daily evaporation. MLP model is as one of the famous ANN models with multilayers for predicting different target variables. A new strategy was used to enhance the accuracy of the MLP model. Three multi-objective algorithms, namely, the multi-objective salp swarm algorithm (MOSSA), the multi-objective crow algorithm (MOCA), and the multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO), were respectively and separately coupled to the MLP model for determining the model parameters, the best input combination, and the best activation function. In this study, three stations in Malaysia, namely, the Muadzam Shah (MS), the Kuala Terengganu (KT), and the Kuantan (KU), were selected for the prediction of the respective daily evaporation. The spacing (SP) and maximum spread (MS) indices were used to evaluate the quality of generated Pareto front (PF) by the algorithms. The lower SP and higher MS showed better PF for the models. It was observed that the MOSSA had higher MS and lower SP than the other algorithms, at all stations. The root means square error (RMSE), mean absolute error (MAE), percent bias (PBIAS), and Nash Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) quantifiers were used to compare the ability of the models with each other. The MLP-MOSSA had reduced RMSE compared to the MLP-MOCA, MLP-MOPSO, and MLP models by 18%, 25%, and 35%, respectively, at the MS station. The MAE of the MLP-MOSSA was 2.7%, 4.1%, and 26%, respectively lower than those of the MLP-MOCA, MLP-MOPSO, and MLP models at the KU station. The MLP-MOSSA showed lower MAE than the MLP-MOCA, MLP-MOPSO, and MLP models by 16%, 18%, and 19%, respectively, at the KT station. An uncertainty analysis was performed based on the input and parameter uncertainty. The results indicated that the MLP-MOSSA had the lowest uncertainty among the models. Also, the input uncertainty was lower than the parameter uncertainty. The general results indicated that the MLP-MOSSA had the high efficiency for predicting evaporation.

RevDate: 2021-09-15

Rodríguez J, Bae B, Geronimus AT, et al (2021)

The Political Realignment of Health: How Partisan Power Shaped Infant Health in the U.S., 1915-2017.

Journal of health politics, policy and law pii:181615 [Epub ahead of print].

The U.S. two-party system was transformed in the 1960s, when the Democratic Party abandoned its Jim Crow protectionism to incorporate the policy agenda fostered by the Civil Rights Movement and the Republican Party redirected its platform toward socioeconomic and racial conservatism. We argue that the policy agendas that the parties promote through presidents and state legislatures codify a racially patterned access to resources and power detrimental to the health of all. To test the hypothesis that fluctuations in overall and race-specific infant mortality rates (IMR) shift between the parties in power before and after the Political Realignment, we apply panel data analysis methods to state-level data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 1915-2017. Net of trend, overall, and race-specific infant mortality rates were not statistically different between presidential parties before the Political Realignment. This pattern, however, changed after the Political Realignment, with Republican administrations consistently underperforming Democratic ones. Net of trend, non-Southern state legislatures controlled by Republicans underperform Democratic ones in overall and racial IMRs in both periods.

RevDate: 2021-09-15
CmpDate: 2021-09-15

Haslam SA (2021)

Leveraging the collective mindThe Power of Us Jay J. Van Bavel and Dominic J. Packer Little, Brown Spark, 2021. 320 pp.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 373(6560):1206.

[Figure: see text].

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Amodio P, Farrar BG, Krupenye C, et al (2021)

Little evidence that Eurasian jays protect their caches by responding to cues about a conspecific's desire and visual perspective.

eLife, 10: pii:69647 [Epub ahead of print].

Eurasian jays have been reported to protect their caches by responding to cues about either the visual perspective or current desire of an observing conspecific, similarly to other corvids. Here, we used established paradigms to test whether these birds can - like humans - integrate multiple cues about different mental states and perform an optimal response accordingly. Across five experiments, which also include replications of previous work, we found little evidence that our jays adjusted their caching behaviour in line with the visual perspective and current desire of another agent, neither by integrating these social cues nor by responding to only one type of cue independently. These results raise questions about the reliability of the previously reported effects and highlight several key issues affecting reliability in comparative cognition research.

RevDate: 2021-09-23

Boeckle M, Schiestl M, Frohnwieser A, et al (2021)

New Caledonian crows' planning behaviour: a reply to de Mahy et al.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1958):20211271.

RevDate: 2021-09-23

de Mahy D, Esteve NA, A Santariello (2021)

New test, old problems: comment on 'New Caledonian crows plan for specific future tool use'.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1958):20210186.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Zhang C, Yang Y, Hu T, et al (2021)

Three Novel Avastroviruses Identified in Dead Wild Crows.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Schnell AK, Loconsole M, Garcia-Pelegrin E, et al (2021)

Jays are sensitive to cognitive illusions.

Royal Society open science, 8(8):202358.

Jays hide food caches, steal them from conspecifics and use tactics to minimize cache theft. Jays are sensitive to the content of their own caches, retrieving items depending on their preferences and the perishability of the cached item. Whether jays impose the same content sensitivity when they steal caches is less clear. We adapted the 'cups-and-balls' magic routine, creating a cognitive illusion to test whether jays are sensitive to the (i) content of hidden items and (ii) type of displacement. Subjects were presented with two conditions in which hidden food was consistent with their expectations; and two conditions in which food was manipulated to violate their expectations by switching their second preferred food for their preferred food (up-value) or vice versa (de-value). Subjects readily accepted food when it was consistent with their expectations but were more likely to re-inspect the baited cup and alternative cup when their expectations were violated. In the de-value condition, jays exhibited longer latencies to consume the food and often rejected it. Dominant subjects were more likely to reject the food, suggesting that social factors influence their responses to cognitive illusions. Using cognitive illusions offers innovative avenues for investigating the psychological constraints in diverse animal minds.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Stokes HS, Berg ML, ATD Bennett (2021)

A Review of Chlamydial Infections in Wild Birds.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(8):.

The Chlamydia are a globally distributed genus of bacteria that can infect and cause disease in a range of hosts. Birds are the primary host for multiple chlamydial species. The most well-known of these is Chlamydia psittaci, a zoonotic bacterium that has been identified in a range of wild and domesticated birds. Wild birds are often proposed as a reservoir of Chlamydia psittaci and potentially other chlamydial species. The aim of this review is to present the current knowledge of chlamydial infections in wild avian populations. We focus on C. psittaci but also consider other Chlamydiaceae and Chlamydia-related bacteria that have been identified in wild birds. We summarise the diversity, host range, and clinical signs of infection in wild birds and consider the potential implications of these infections for zoonotic transmission and avian conservation. Chlamydial bacteria have been found in more than 70 species of wild birds, with the greatest chlamydial diversity identified in Europe. The Corvidae and Accipitridae families are emerging as significant chlamydial hosts, in addition to established wild hosts such as the Columbidae. Clarifying the effects of these bacteria on avian host fitness and the zoonotic potential of emerging Chlamydiales will help us to understand the implications of these infections for avian and human health.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Kljakovic Gaspic T, Pavicic Ivelja M, Kumric M, et al (2021)

In-Hospital Mortality of COVID-19 Patients Treated with High-Flow Nasal Oxygen: Evaluation of Biomarkers and Development of the Novel Risk Score Model CROW-65.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(8):.

To replace mechanical ventilation (MV), which represents the cornerstone therapy in severe COVID-19 cases, high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) therapy has recently emerged as a less-invasive therapeutic possibility for those patients. Respecting the risk of MV delay as a result of HFNO use, we aimed to evaluate which parameters could determine the risk of in-hospital mortality in HFNO-treated COVID-19 patients. This single-center cohort study included 102 COVID-19-positive patients treated with HFNO. Standard therapeutic methods and up-to-date protocols were used. Patients who underwent a fatal event (41.2%) were significantly older, mostly male patients, and had higher comorbidity burdens measured by CCI. In a univariate analysis, older age, shorter HFNO duration, ventilator initiation, higher CCI and lower ROX index all emerged as significant predictors of adverse events (p < 0.05). Variables were dichotomized and included in the multivariate analysis to define their relative weights in the computed risk score model. Based on this, a risk score model for the prediction of in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients treated with HFNO consisting of four variables was defined: CCI > 4, ROX index ≤ 4.11, LDH-to-WBC ratio, age > 65 years (CROW-65). The main purpose of CROW-65 is to address whether HFNO should be initiated in the subgroup of patients with a high risk of in-hospital mortality.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Johnsson RD, Connelly F, Vyssotski AL, et al (2021)

Homeostatic regulation of NREM sleep, but not REM sleep, in Australian magpies.

Sleep pii:6357668 [Epub ahead of print].

STUDY OBJECTIVES: We explore NREM and REM sleep homeostasis in Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen tyrannica). We predicted that magpies would recover lost sleep by spending more time in NREM and REM sleep, and by engaging in more intense NREM sleep as indicated by increased slow-wave activity (SWA).

METHODS: Continuous 72-h recordings of EEG, EMG and tri-axial accelerometry, along with EEG spectral analyses, were performed on wild-caught Australian magpies housed in indoor aviaries. Australian magpies were subjected to two protocols of night-time sleep deprivation: full 12-h night (n = 8) and first 6-h half of the night (n = 5), which were preceded by a 36-h baseline recording and followed by a 24-h recovery period.

RESULTS: Australian magpies recovered lost NREM sleep by sleeping more, with increased NREM sleep consolidation, and increased SWA during recovery sleep. Following 12-h of night-time sleep loss, magpies also showed reduced SWA the following night after napping more during the recovery day. Surprisingly, the magpies did not recover any lost REM sleep.

CONCLUSIONS: Only NREM sleep is homeostatically regulated in Australian magpies with the level of SWA reflecting prior sleep/wake history. The significance of emerging patterns on the apparent absence of REM sleep homeostasis, now observed in multiple species, remains unclear.

RevDate: 2021-08-27
CmpDate: 2021-08-27

Khan RA, Ullah Z, Zaman IU, et al (2021)

Population distribution and habitat analysis of Rufous treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda) in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia, 83:e247018 pii:S1519-69842023000100168.

The Rufous treepie (Dendrocitta vagabunda) belongs to family corvidae, order Passeriformes which includes about 100 species. The current study was conducted to gather information about the Population distribution and habitat analysis of D. vagabunda at District Abbottabad, Pakistan. The data were collected on monthly basis both morning and evening times (2018-2019). "The ''Point count Method" was used for population estimation and ''Quadrates Method" for habitat analysis of study area. The result shows an average month-wise population density of D. vagabunda was maximum at Jhangra 0.14±0.039/ha, whereas minimum at Havelian 0.11±0.022/ha. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) among monthly population densities of D. vagabunda, however, a significant difference (p<0.05) was found between morning and evening times population of the specie. The present study revealed that importance value index (IVI) of plants species at Sherwan, Bakot, Havelian, Langra and Jhangra were 59.6±12.6, 50.1±6.9, 53.4±6.3, 66.8±10 and 60.1±7.7. Likewise, the frequency of shrubs at Sherwan, Bakot, Havelian, Langra and Jhangra were 33.3±4.2, 45±9.4, 46.7±8.2, 55.6±22.2 and 37.5±8.5. Similarly, the frequency of herbs at Sherwan, Bakot, Havelian, Langra and Jhangra were 40.4±6.0, 37.5±5.6, 53.3±7.4, 48.5±5.2 and 46.9±7.4 respectively. Our results show the study area as suitable habitat for D. vagabunda.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Veselý P, Syrová M, Voháňková M, et al (2021)

Cowards or clever guys: an alternative nest defence strategy employed by shrikes against magpies.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

Red-backed shrikes (Lanius collurio) show a substantial variability in their nest defence behaviour, which usually follows the rules of optimal parental behaviour, vigorously attacking egg and chick predators and only passively guarding against harmless animals. Nevertheless, shrikes hesitate to attack the Eurasian magpie (Pica pica), which specializes in plundering passerine nests. Our previous studies have suggested that this behaviour may be the result of an alternative defence strategy, relying on nest crypsis. To test this hypothesis, at the shrike nests, we presented a magpie dummy associated with playbacks drawing the predators' attention to the presence of the nest. We predicted that the presentation of a magpie dummy associated with shrike alarm calls moves the parents to action, causing them to chase the magpie away from the nest. We showed that the presence of a magpie dummy associated with shrike alarm calls elicits a significantly more active response in shrike parents compared to a magpie dummy associated with neutral song. Parents actively moved around the dummy and produced alarm calls; nevertheless, most of the tested pairs hesitated to attack the dummy. We may conclude that the low nest defence activity of shrike parents towards magpie dummy was partly the result of an alternative strategy, which may be cancelled out by alerting the predator to the location of the nest; nevertheless, shrikes seem to be afraid of the magpie and hesitate to attack it physically.

RevDate: 2021-09-15
CmpDate: 2021-09-15

Lane R (2021)

Ollie Jay: managing heat, improving health.

Lancet (London, England), 398(10301):655.

RevDate: 2021-08-23

Tempero M (2021)

Something to Crow About!.

Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN, 19(8):881-882 pii:jnccnow1908.

RevDate: 2021-08-21

Das S, Sahu TP, Janghel RR, et al (2021)

Effective forecasting of stock market price by using extreme learning machine optimized by PSO-based group oriented crow search algorithm.

Neural computing & applications [Epub ahead of print].

Stock index price forecasting is the influential indicator for investors and financial investigators by which decision making capability to achieve maximum benefit with minimum risk can be improved. So, a robust engine with capability to administer useful information is desired to achieve the success. The forecasting effectiveness of stock market is improved in this paper by integrating a modified crow search algorithm (CSA) and extreme learning machine (ELM). The effectiveness of proposed modified CSA entitled as Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO)-based Group oriented CSA (PGCSA) to outperform other existing algorithms is observed by solving 12 benchmark problems. PGCSA algorithm is used to achieve relevant weights and biases of ELM to improve the effectiveness of conventional ELM. The impact of hybrid PGCSA ELM model to predict next day closing price of seven different stock indices is observed by using performance measures, technical indicators and hypothesis test (paired t-test). The seven stock indices are considered by incorporating data during COVID-19 outbreak. This model is tested by comparing with existing techniques proposed in published works. The simulation results provide that PGCSA ELM model can be considered as a suitable tool to predict next day closing price.

RevDate: 2021-08-16

Cheng Z, Zhang J, Dong J, et al (2021)

Compact high-contrast silicon optical filter using all-passive and CROW Fano nanobeam resonators.

Optics letters, 46(16):3873-3876.

We propose and experimentally demonstrate a high-order coupled-resonator optical waveguide (CROW) nanobeam filter with semi-symmetrical Fano resonance enhancement. Thanks to the tight arrangement of multiple nanobeams and assistance of the partial transmission element, the designed filter has a high-contrast transmission and low insertion loss. Finally, the fabricated filter has a compact size of 20µm×10µm, a high extinction ratio as much as 70 dB, and an insertion loss as low as 1 dB. This filter shows a passive structure without thermal control configuration for calibration on each resonator. This compact filter can be a basic building block for various applications requiring high extinction ratio filtering, such as single-photon source filtering of integrated photon chips.

RevDate: 2021-08-14

Wang H, JJ Parris (2021)

Popular media as a double-edged sword: An entertainment narrative analysis of the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

PloS one, 16(8):e0255610.

13 Reasons Why is a Netflix original series adapted from Jay Asher's 2007 young adult novel with the same title. Season 1 premiered on March 31, 2017 and featured the sensitive issue of teen suicide along with bullying, substance use, depression, and sexual assault. Unlike the typical teen dramas on popular streaming platforms, this show was created not only for entertainment, but also to stimulate conversations about taboo topics that people often shy away from. However, it also caused significant controversy, especially criticism around the main character Hannah's suicide scene. More than three years into the initial controversy and at least two dozen scholarly publications later, this study is the first to examine the entertainment narrative content of 13 Reasons Why Season 1 to better understand how these health and social issues were portrayed in the show, what specific examples we could identify as potential behavioral modeling, and to what degree it complied with the 2017 WHO guidelines for media professionals. We used the framing theory and social cognitive theory in communication research and media studies as our guiding conceptual frameworks and a narrative analysis approach to investigate a total of 660 cut scenes in all 13 episodes. Our findings provided empirical evidence, along with contextual information and detailed examples, to demonstrate that a popular entertainment program like the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why serves as a double-edged sword. The production team's good will and due diligence are commendable. Yet, additional steps can be taken in the future to effectively promote professional resources and reduce viewers' risks, especially the most vulnerable groups.

RevDate: 2021-08-12

He A, Guo J, Peng H, et al (2021)

The complete mitochondrial genome of Atypus karschi (Araneae, Atypidae) with phylogenetic consideration.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part B, Resources, 6(9):2523-2525.

The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Atypus karschi has a circular genome of 14,149 bp, comprised of 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, and a control region. The nucleotide composition is 35.82% of T, 35.13% of A, 17.19% of G, and 9.16% of C. Most genes are encoded on the heavy strand except seven tRNA genes (Leu, Phe, His, Pro, Leu, Ile, Gln), four protein-coding genes (nad5, nad4, nad4l, nad1), and 16S-rRNA on the light strand. Most protein-coding genes start with TTG, ATT or ATA initiation codon except cox1, cox1's start codon cannot be determined, and three types of inferred termination codons are TAA, TAG, and an incomplete stop codon. There are four intergenic spacers and 25 gene overlaps. The phylogenetic analysis shows that A. karschi has closer genetic relationship with Cyriopagopus schmidti (von Wirth, 1991) and Phyxioschema suthepium (Raven & Schwendinger, 1898) with high bootstrap support.

RevDate: 2021-08-11

Vishwanath , Hemal A, Nimesh M, et al (2021)

Neurocognitive Lag in School-Aged Children Living With HIV in India and Its Relevance.

Cureus, 13(7):e16110.

Objective Objective assessment of neurocognitive lags in pediatric HIV patients and its correlation with various clinical, social and familial factors. Methods Ninety-eight school-aged children living with HIV (CLHIV) (age 7-18 years) attending regional pediatric HIV clinic were observed for neurocognitive lag using Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices by the same trained instructor. Sociodemographic data, mode of transmission, clinical staging, CD4 count, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) duration were recorded and analyzed in the well-performing group and under-performing group. Results 29.6% of children had definitive neurocognitive lag. The proportion of older children (11-18 years) in the under-performing group was significantly high (P = 0.007). The mean CD4 counts were low in the under-performing group (P = 0.001). Other socioeconomic factors could not be specifically correlated with neurocognitive lag in either of the groups. Conclusion CLHIV has a significant neurocognitive lag, which is accentuated in the upper age group. Findings point toward declining intellectual gains with increasing age in CLHIV.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Escribano-Romero E, Jiménez de Oya N, Camacho MC, et al (2021)

Previous Usutu Virus Exposure Partially Protects Magpies (Pica pica) against West Nile Virus Disease But Does Not Prevent Horizontal Transmission.

Viruses, 13(7):.

The mosquito-borne flaviviruses USUV and WNV are known to co-circulate in large parts of Europe. Both are a public health concern, and USUV has been the cause of epizootics in both wild and domestic birds, and neurological cases in humans in Europe. Here, we explore the susceptibility of magpies to experimental USUV infection, and how previous exposure to USUV would affect infection with WNV. None of the magpies exposed to USUV showed clinical signs, viremia, or detectable neutralizing antibodies. After challenge with a neurovirulent WNV strain, neither viremia, viral titer of WNV in vascular feathers, nor neutralizing antibody titers of previously USUV-exposed magpies differed significantly with respect to magpies that had not previously been exposed to USUV. However, 75% (6/8) of the USUV-exposed birds survived, while only 22.2% (2/9) of those not previously exposed to USUV survived. WNV antigen labeling by immunohistochemistry in tissues was less evident and more restricted in magpies exposed to USUV prior to challenge with WNV. Our data indicate that previous exposure to USUV partially protects magpies against a lethal challenge with WNV, while it does not prevent viremia and direct transmission, although the mechanism is unclear. These results are relevant for flavivirus ecology and contention.

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Tobari Y, Masuzawa A, Harada N, et al (2021)

Noradrenergic alpha-2A receptor activation suppresses courtship vocalization in male Japanese quail.

Behavioural brain research, 414:113513.

Male Japanese quail produce high-frequency crow vocalizations to attract females during the breeding season. The nucleus of intercollicularis (ICo) is the midbrain vocal center in birds and electrical stimulation of the ICo produces calls that include crowing. Noradrenaline plays a significant role in sexual behavior but the contribution of noradrenaline in the control of courtship vocalizations in quail has not been well established. Using dose-dependent intracerebroventricular injection of clonidine, an α2-adrenergic receptor-specific agonist, crowing vocalization was immediately suppressed. At the same time as crow suppression by clonidine there was a reduction of immediate early gene, zenk mRNA, in the ICo; no zenk mRNA expression was detected in the dorsomedial division of the nucleus. Using histochemistry, we determined that the ICo receives noradrenergic innervation and expresses α2A-adrenergic receptor mRNA. Taken together, these data suggest that noradrenaline regulates courtship vocalization in quail, possibly via the α2A-adrenergic receptor expressed on ICo neurons.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Schelly D (2021)

Life in the Time of COVID-19: a Case Study of Community Health.

Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: This report uses a present day global pandemic as a case study of health inequities that are best understood by considering the role of time and place.

METHOD: I provide a historical overview of Milwaukee, Wisconsin-one of the most segregated cities in the U.S.-to consider prior health disparities and social conditions. I then focus on COVID-19, tracking the monthly census tract distribution of cases for 6 months, including case and mortality data by race and class.

RESULTS: As expected, Black and Hispanic majority census tracts are the most affected by COVID-19, with some communities experiencing nearly 1 positive case per 10 residents. In previous years, Blacks and Hispanics provided approximately 27% and 3% of the shares of "natural" deaths, respectively; their shares of COVID-19 deaths in the first 6 months of the pandemic were approximately 35% and 13%. On the contrary, the share of natural deaths for whites was approximately 65% in previous years and dropped to 47% for COVID-19 deaths. The average ages of COVID-19 deaths were 72.5 for Blacks, 61.3 for Hispanics, and 79.9 for whites.

CONCLUSION: The disparities in COVID-19 outcomes in Milwaukee cannot be separated from historical forces, including race-based politics that intensified during the Great Migration of African Americans from the Jim Crow South. The paper concludes by returning to the turn of the 19th century with a historical snapshot of Jane Addams, who lived a short distance south, in a time with conspicuous parallels to the COVID-19 crisis.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Sarker S, Bowden TR, DB Boyle (2021)

Genomic characterisation of a novel avipoxvirus, magpiepox virus 2, from an Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen terraereginae).

Virology, 562:121-127.

Avipoxviruses are large, double-stranded DNA viruses and are considered significant pathogens that may impact on the conservation of numerous bird species. The vast majority of avipoxviruses in wild birds remain uncharacterised and their genetic variability is unclear. Here, we fully sequenced a novel avipoxvirus, magpiepox virus 2 (MPPV2), which was isolated 62 years ago (in 1956) from an Australian black-backed magpie. The MPPV2 genome was 298,392 bp in length and contained 419 predicted open-reading frames (ORFs). While 43 ORFs were novel, a further 24 ORFs were absent compared with another magpiepox virus (MPPV) characterised in 2018. The MPPV2 genome contained an additional ten genes that were homologs to shearwaterpox virus 2 (SWPV2). Subsequent phylogenetic analyses showed that the novel MPPV2 was most closely related to other avipoxviruses isolated from passerine and shearwater bird species, and demonstrated a high degree of sequence similarity (95.0%) with MPPV.

RevDate: 2021-08-10

Berry OO (2021)

Editorial: Race-Based Traumatic Stress and Vicarious Racism Within the Parent-Child Dyad: Opportunities for Intervention.

With every disaster, there are fault lines that deepen our understanding of what has happened and what needs to come. The events over the past 18 months including the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as well as the murder of George Floyd and the associated protests throughout the United States brought those fault lines into stark relief by highlighting the history of systemic racism that has fostered marginalization and discrimination against Black Americans. These clouds of systemic racism and discrimination-encompassing 250 years of slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow, police brutality, redlining, and the resulting high rates of poverty and poorer health outcomes-have created systems in which Black Americans face unequal and unequitable stressful situations. The medical community is now beginning to take notice of this race-based traumatic stress, a term coined by Carter in 2007,1 to describe how social determinants of health impacted by racial discrimination can "get under the skin" through the accumulative effects of ongoing exposure to toxic stress.2.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Khosravi M, Seifi S, Z Tazeh (2021)

Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of VIIl sub-genotype of avian orthoavulavirus 1 isolated from Eurasian magpie (Pica pica).

Iranian journal of veterinary research, 22(2):155-160.

Background: Newcastle disease (ND) has been categorized as a highly contagious viral disease, remaining as a constant threat to both wild birds and commercial chickens.

Aims: In this study, we recovered and characterized the avian orthoavulavirus 1 (AOaV-1) strain, nominated as EM1, from the Eurasian magpie (Pica pica).

Methods: The nucleotide and amino acid sequence of the fusion protein (F protein) of EM1 were determined and its phylogenetic relationship was investigated with well-characterized AOaV-1 genotypes, which originated from wild bird species and chickens around the world.

Results: Phylogenetic analysis and deduced amino acid sequences of the F gene revealed that EM1 virus belonged to VIIl sub-genotype viruses with the characteristic multibasic amino acid sequences associated with the velogenic motif as 112RRQKRF117 at the cleavage site of its precursor fusion protein. EM1 shared a high level of similarity to the other virus sub-genotypes in nucleotide and amino acid sequences of F protein. Furthermore, the evolutionary difference between the studied virus and viruses belonging to the VIIl sub-genotype indicated that a close relatedness and the possibility of a common origin.

Conclusion: These results show that the virulent AOaV-1 of sub-genotype VIIl is circulating continuously in Iran, and is disseminating among wild and domestic bird species that can cause bidirectional spillover infection. Therefore, further epidemiological studies can be beneficial in the assessment of the evolution of AOaV-1 in its hosts and will help us to be well-equipped in facing the emergence of new sub-genotypes of this virus.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Roberts WA (2021)

An operant analog of food caching in the pigeon (Columba livia).

Learning & behavior [Epub ahead of print].

Although pigeons do not naturally cache and recover food items as found in members of the corvid and parid families, an operant analog of food caching and recovery in pigeons was studied in four experiments. Pigeons were trained to peck a caching key that added a fixed increment of time to the final duration of reinforcement obtained by pecking a payoff key. The same key served as the caching and payoff keys in Experiment 1, but separate caching and payoff keys were used in Experiments 2-4. In Experiments 2-3, each peck on a left red caching key added 0.5 s of reinforcement earned by pecking a right white payoff key. In Experiment 4, red or green caching keys appeared on different trials, with 0.5 s of reinforcement earned for pecking the red key and 1.0 s of reinforcement earned for pecking the green key. Pigeons showed an increased number of pecks on the caching key over ten sessions in Experiments 1-3 and more pecks on the green caching key than on the red caching key in Experiment 4.

RevDate: 2021-07-17

Meilak EA, Gostling NJ, Palmer C, et al (2021)

On the 3D Nature of the Magpie (Aves: Pica pica) Functional Hindlimb Anatomy During the Take-Off Jump.

Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, 9:676894.

Take-off is a critical phase of flight, and many birds jump to take to the air. Although the actuation of the hindlimb in terrestrial birds is not limited to the sagittal plane, and considerable non-sagittal plane motion has been observed during take-off jumps, how the spatial arrangement of hindlimb muscles in flying birds facilitates such jumps has received little attention. This study aims to ascertain the 3D hip muscle function in the magpie (Pica pica), a bird known to jump to take-off. A musculoskeletal model of the magpie hindlimb was developed using μCT scans (isotropic resolution of 18.2 μm) to derive bone surfaces, while the 3D muscle path definition was further informed by the literature. Function was robustly characterized by determining the 3D moment-generating capacity of 14 hip muscles over the functional joint range of motion during a take-off leap considering variations across the attachment areas and uncertainty in dynamic muscle geometry. Ratios of peak flexion-extension (FE) to internal-external rotation (IER) and abduction-adduction (ABD) moment-generating capacity were indicators of muscle function. Analyses of 972 variations of the 3D muscle paths showed that 11 of 14 muscles can act as either flexor or extensor, while all 14 muscles demonstrated the capacity to act as internal or external rotators of the hip with the mean ratios of peak FE to IER and ABD moment-generating capacity were 0.89 and 0.31, respectively. Moment-generating capacity in IER approaching levels in the FE moment-generating capacity determined here underline that the avian hip muscle function is not limited to the sagittal plane. Together with previous findings on the 3D nature of hindlimb kinematics, our results suggest that musculoskeletal models to develop a more detailed understanding of how birds orchestrate the use of muscles during a take-off jump cannot be restricted to the sagittal plane.

RevDate: 2021-08-07

Sen K, Berglund T, Patel N, et al (2021)

Genotypic analyses and antimicrobial resistance profiles of Campylobacter jejuni from crows (Corvidae) of United States and India reflect their respective local antibiotic burdens.

Journal of applied microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

AIM: The study examined the hypothesis that crow-borne Campylobacter can function as environmental reservoirs and indicators of antibiotic resistance (AR) determinants circulating in a human population.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Two species of crows from Washington (WA), United States, and Kolkata, India, respectively, were examined for their ability to carry antibiotic resistant Campylobacter. Campylobacter jejuni was the only species isolated by selective agar plating from crow faecal samples. Disk diffusion method used to compare the AR profile of the isolates showed tetracycline (TET) resistance to be the most prevalent (27%) among WA isolates, followed by ciprofloxacin (CIP; 24%). Among Kolkata isolates, nalidixic acid resistance was most common (36%), followed by CIP (27%). The AR profile demonstrated by crow isolates of WA reflects those reported by the US National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for human isolates (2007-2011), where resistance to TET was most prevalent (≈45%), followed by quinolones (≈24%). The Kolkata crow isolates reflected the AR profile of human clinical isolates from India, where 97% resistance was shown to quinolones, followed by TET (18%). Multilocus sequence typing of 37 isolates, including 11 water isolates from the crow roost area, showed 24 different sequence types (STs). Seventeen of these were previously found in wild birds, 2 in human diarrhoea, 4 in poultry and 8 in environmental water. One isolate was found in both water and faeces, though from different sites within WA.

CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that crows most likely acquire the AR from anthropogenic sources. Although they are colonized by specific STs, rarely isolated from humans, they can facilitate the spread of AR.

By studying two areas in different continents, this research demonstrates that Campylobacter borne by crows can function as environmental reservoirs and indicators of AR determinants that circulate in a human population. This information will be of importance to scientists from the medical and poultry industries.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-16

Breen AJ (2021)

Animal culture research should include avian nest construction.

Biology letters, 17(7):20210327.

Material culture-that is, group-shared and socially learned object-related behaviour(s)-is a widespread and diverse phenomenon in humans. For decades, researchers have sought to confirm the existence of material culture in non-human animals; however, the main study systems of interest-namely, tool making and/or using non-human primates and corvids-cannot provide such confirmatory evidence: because long-standing ethical and logistical constraints handicap the collection of necessary experimental data. Synthesizing evidence across decades and disciplines, here, I present a novel framework for (mechanistic, developmental, behavioural, and comparative) study on animal material culture: avian nest construction.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Steele MP, Neaves LE, Klump BC, et al (2021)

DNA barcoding identifies cryptic animal tool materials.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(29):.

Some animals fashion tools or constructions out of plant materials to aid foraging, reproduction, self-maintenance, or protection. Their choice of raw materials can affect the structure and properties of the resulting artifacts, with considerable fitness consequences. Documenting animals' material preferences is challenging, however, as manufacture behavior is often difficult to observe directly, and materials may be processed so heavily that they lack identifying features. Here, we use DNA barcoding to identify, from just a few recovered tool specimens, the plant species New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) use for crafting elaborate hooked stick tools in one of our long-term study populations. The method succeeded where extensive fieldwork using an array of conventional approaches-including targeted observations, camera traps, radio-tracking, bird-mounted video cameras, and behavioral experiments with wild and temporarily captive subjects-had failed. We believe that DNA barcoding will prove useful for investigating many other tool and construction behaviors, helping to unlock significant research potential across a wide range of study systems.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Jalaludin B, Garden FL, Chrzanowska A, et al (2021)

Associations Between Ambient Particulate Air Pollution and Cognitive Function in Indonesian Children Living in Forest Fire-Prone Provinces.

Asia-Pacific journal of public health [Epub ahead of print].

Smoke from forest fires can reach hazardous levels for extended periods of time. We aimed to determine if there is an association between particulate matter ≤2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) and living in a forest fire-prone province and cognitive function. We used data from the Indonesian Family and Life Survey. Cognitive function was assessed by the Ravens Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM). We used regression models to estimate associations between PM2.5 and living in a forest fire-prone province and cognitive function. In multivariable models, we found very small positive relationships between PM2.5 levels and RCPM scores (PM2.5 level at year of survey: β = 0.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.01% to 0.19%). There were no differences in RCPM scores for children living in forest fire-prone provinces compared with children living in non-forest fire-prone provinces (mean difference = -1.16%, 95% CI = -2.53% to 0.21%). RCPM scores were lower for children who had lived in a forest fire-prone province all their lives compared with children who lived in a non-forest fire-prone province all their life (β = -1.50%; 95% CI = -2.94% to -0.07%). Living in a forest fire-prone province for a prolonged period of time negatively affected cognitive scores after adjusting for individual factors.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Nahid MI, Fossøy F, Stokke BG, et al (2021)

No evidence of host-specific egg mimicry in Asian koels.

PloS one, 16(7):e0253985.

Avian brood parasitism is costly for the host, in many cases leading to the evolution of defenses like discrimination of parasitic eggs. The parasite, in turn, may evolve mimetic eggs as a counter-adaptation to host egg rejection. Some generalist parasites have evolved host-specific races (gentes) that may mimic the eggs of their main hosts, while others have evolved 'jack-of-all-trades' egg phenotypes that mimic key features of the eggs of several different host species. The Asian koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a widely distributed generalist brood parasite that exploits a wide range of host species. Based on human vision, previous studies have described Asian koel eggs as resembling those of its main host, the house crow (Corvus splendens). Using measurements of egg length and breadth, digital image analysis, reflectance spectrophotometry and avian visual modelling, we examined Asian koel egg variation and potential mimicry in egg size and shape, and eggshell pattern and color in three sympatrically occurring host species in Bangladesh: the common myna (Acridotheres tristis), house crow, and long-tailed shrike (Lanius schach). We found some differences among Asian koel eggs laid in different host nests: a) Asian koel eggs in long-tailed shrike nests were larger than those laid in common myna and house crow nests, and b) Asian koel eggs in house crow nests were less elongated than those in common myna nests. However, these changes in Asian koel egg volume and shape were in the opposite direction with respect to their corresponding host egg characteristics. Thus, our study found no evidence for Asian koel host-specific egg mimicry in three sympatrically occurring host species.

RevDate: 2021-07-09

Wang F, Mao T, Tang T, et al (2021)

First Report of Blight on Pinellia ternata (Banxia) Caused by Choanephora cucurbitarum in China.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Pinellia ternata (Thunb.) Makino ex Briet. (banxia, crow-dipper) is a perennial herbaceous plant native to China, Japan, and Korea. A member of the family Araceae, it is considered an invasive weed in parts of Europe and North America. In August 2020, P. ternata plants showing blight symptoms (8% incidence in a 30-ha field) were observed, near Qianjiang City (30°50'N, 112°92'E), Hubei Province, China. Brown water-soaked lesions first appeared on flowers followed by flower blight and leaf and stem rot during periods of more than 80% humidity (Supplementary figure 1). White, cottony mycelia grew from rotted tissues and produced sporangiophores with brown to black sporangiola. To identify the causal agent, 12 diseased samples were surface disinfested with 0.5% sodium hypochlorite and 75% ethyl alcohol, then plated on potato dextrose agar (PDA) maintained at 25°C. Ten fungal isolates were selected by hyphal tip isolation and placed on fresh PDA. White fungal colonies grew rapidly that later turned pale yellow and produced abundant sporangiola in 13 days. Sporangiophores were smooth, hyaline, aseptate, and produced monosporous sporangiola. Sporangiola were ellipsoid, indehiscent, pediculate, brown to dark brown, 8 to 16 × 14 to 21 μm (n = 50) in size, with visible longitudinal striations . Sporangia with a few or many sporangiospores were subglobose, pale brown to brown, and 55 to 165 μm (n = 40) in diameter. Sporangiospores were broadly ellipsoid, brown to pale brown, striate, 8 to 12 × 15 to 25 μm (n=30) in size, with hyaline polar appendages. Based on these morphological characteristics, the fungus was identified as Choanephora cucurbitarum (Berk. & Ravenel) Thaxt. (Kirk 1984). To confirm the identification, the strain QJFY1 was chosen for DNA sequencing. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA and large subunit (LSU) region of ribosomal RNA were amplified with primers ITS1/ITS4 and NL1/LR3 (Walther et al. 2013) and the amplicons were sequenced. BLAST analysis of the 593bp sequences (accession no. MW295532) and the 699bp sequence(accession no. MW341527)showed ≥99.5% identity with C. cucurbitarum strains CBS 674.93 (GenBank accession no. JN943006.1 and JN939195.1; Supplementary figure 2). Based on morphological and molecular characteristics, the fungus was identified as C. cucurbitarum. Koch's postulates were fulfilled by inoculating flowers of three healthy 30-day-old P. ternata plants with 50 μL of inoculum suspension (1 x 104 conidia/ml) obtained from 13-day old cultures of C. cucurbitarum isolate QJFY1. Another three plants treated with sterile distilled water served as controls. All plants were placed in a greenhouse with relative humidity of 90% for 2 days and thereafter placed in the glasshouse at 25 ± 1°C. After three days, symptoms similar to those seen under field conditions, were observed on inoculated plants and non-inoculated plants remained healthy. C. cucurbitarum was reisolated and identified by molecular characteristics (ITS and LSU) from inoculated plants. The experiment was repeated thrice with similar results. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Choanephora blight caused by C. cucurbitarum on P. ternata in China and worldwide. Hubei Province is one of the most important banxia producing areas in China and C. cucurbitarum can pose a new threat to banxia production. Our results provide a basis to develop effective measures to manage this disease. References: Kirk, P. M. 1984. Mycol. Pap. 152:1. Walther, G., et al. 2013. Persoonia 30:11. http://dx.doi.org/10.3767/003158513X665070 Acknowledgements Science Funds for Young Scholar of Institute of Chinese Herbal Medicines, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences (grant no. 2019ZYCJJ01), Key Research and Development Program of Hubei Province (grant no. 2020BCA059), Support Plan of Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences (grant no. 2019fcxjh09), Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Crops of Central China, Ministry of Agriculture, P. R.China / Hubei Key Laboratory of Crop Disease, Insect Pests and Weeds Control (grant no. 2019ZTSJJ6), Hubei Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Center Project (grant no.2019-620-003-001).

RevDate: 2021-09-25

Nourani L, Baghkheirati AA, Zargar M, et al (2021)

Haemoproteosis and avian malaria in Columbidae and Corvidae from Iran.

Veterinary medicine and science, 7(5):2043-2050.

Avian malaria (Plasmodium) and related genera (Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) are diverse and widespread parasites. Despite the extent of knowledge on avian haemosporidian parasites, information about domestic and wild bird's blood parasites is overall insufficient in Iran. Prevalence of the haemosporidian parasites' and phylogenetic relationship of lineages are studied by using molecular and morphological results of 152 examined hosts belonging to 17 species. Molecular analysis for haemosporidian detections demonstrated overall prevalence 22.36%. Inspected hosts mostly belonging to Common Pigeons (Columba livia) parasitized by Haemoproteus spp., and Hooded Crows (Corvus cornix) and Carrion Crow (C. corone) were identified as hosting Plasmodium spp. Detected lineages COLIV03, COQUI05, LINN01, ROFI04 and SGS01 are identified as new reports from Iran. We detected no evidence of Leucocytozoon lineages, while the high prevalence of H. columbae was found in Common Pigeons. Such investigation on avian blood parasites contributes to providing new information on the prevalence, epidemiology and geographical distribution of haemosporidian parasites circulating in domestic, pets and wild birds.

RevDate: 2021-07-09

Hooper R, Meekins E, McIvor GE, et al (2021)

Wild jackdaws respond to their partner's distress, but not with consolation.

Royal Society open science, 8(6):210253.

Individuals are expected to manage their social relationships to maximize fitness returns. For example, reports of some mammals and birds offering unsolicited affiliation to distressed social partners (commonly termed 'consolation') are argued to illustrate convergent evolution of prosocial traits across divergent taxa. However, most studies cannot discriminate between consolation and alternative explanations such as self-soothing. Crucially, no study that controls for key confounds has examined consolation in the wild, where individuals face more complex and dangerous environments than in captivity. Controlling for common confounds, we find that male jackdaws (Corvus monedula) respond to their mate's stress-states, but not with consolation. Instead, they tended to decrease affiliation and partner visit rate in both experimental and natural contexts. This is striking because jackdaws have long-term monogamous relationships with highly interdependent fitness outcomes, which is precisely where theory predicts consolation should occur. Our findings challenge common conceptions about where consolation should evolve, and chime with concerns that current theory may be influenced by anthropomorphic expectations of how social relationships should be managed. To further our understanding of the evolution of such traits, we highlight the need for our current predictive frameworks to incorporate the behavioural trade-offs inherent to life in the wild.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Varghese JS, Patel SA, Martorell R, et al (2021)

Relative and absolute wealth mobility since birth in relation to health and human capital in middle adulthood: An analysis of a Guatemalan birth cohort.

SSM - population health, 15:100852.

Background: Wealth mobility, as both relative (positional) and absolute (material) wealth acquisition, may counteract negative consequences of early life adversities on adult health.

Methods: We use longitudinal data (1967-2018) from the INCAP birth cohort, Guatemala (n = 1386). Using wealth as a measure of socio-economic position, we assess the association of life course relative mobility using latent class analysis and absolute material gains using conditional wealth measures. We estimate associations of wealth mobility with indicators of human capital, specifically height, weight status (BMI in kg/m2), psychological distress (WHO SRQ-20 score) and fluid intelligence (Ravens Progressive Matrices score; RPM) in middle adulthood.

Results: We identified four latent classes of relative mobility - Stable Low (n = 498), Stable High (n = 223), Downwardly Mobile (n = 201) and Upwardly Mobile (n = 464). Attained schooling (years) was positively associated with membership in Upwardly Mobile (odds ratio; 1.50, 95%CI: 1.31, 1.71) vs Stable Low, and inversely with membership in Downwardly Mobile (0.65, 95%CI: 0.54, 0.79) vs Stable High. Being Upwardly Mobile (vs Stable Low) was positively associated with height (1.88 cm, 95%CI: 1.04, 2.72), relative weight (1.32 kg/m2, 95%CI: 0.57, 2.07), lower psychological distress (-0.82 units, 95%CI: 1.34, -0.29) and fluid intelligence (0.94 units, 95%CI: 0.28, 1.59). Being Downwardly Mobile (vs Stable High) was associated with lower fluid intelligence (-2.69 units, 95%CI: 3.69, -1.68), and higher psychological distress (1.15 units, 95%CI: 0.34, 1.95). Absolute wealth gains (z-scores) from early to middle adulthood were positively associated with relative weight (0.62 kg/m2, 95%CI: 0.28, 0.96), lower psychological distress (-0.37 units, 95%CI: 0.60, -0.14) and fluid intelligence (0.50 units, 95%CI: 0.21, 0.79).

Conclusions: Higher attained schooling provided a pathway for upward relative mobility and higher absolute wealth gains as well as protection against downward relative mobility. Upward mobility was associated with lower psychological distress and higher fluid intelligence but also higher weight status.

RevDate: 2021-07-13
CmpDate: 2021-07-13

Bhargava A, Bhargava M, A Meher (2020)

Universal health coverage and tuberculosis care in India in the times of Covid-19: Aligning Ayushman Bharat (National Health Assurance Scheme) to improve case detection, reduce deaths and catastrophic health expenditure.

The National medical journal of India, 33(5):298-301.

India has the largest global burden of new cases of tuberculosis (TB) and deaths due to TB. These occur predominantly in the poor who suffer catastrophic costs during diagnosis and treatment. The National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme has ambitious goals of 80% reduction of incidence of TB, 90% reduction in mortality due to TB by 2025 and 0% occurrence of catastrophic costs to households affected by TB by 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting disruption to TB services are expected to worsen the situation. There are gaps in case finding at the peripheral level and access to care at the higher level for patients with TB. An estimated 32% patients with active TB do not access diagnostic services, while catastrophic costs associated with hospitalization are a barrier to access for seriously ill patients. Deaths due to TB in India occur largely at home and not in medical facilities, and are preventable with appropriate inpatient care. The Ayushman Bharat scheme with its Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and coverage for inpatient care under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) can facilitate, the achievement of the goals of TB elimination. The HWCs provide an opportunity to close the case-finding gap as first point of contact by enabling sputum transport services to the designated microscopy centres. This will facilitate case detection, reduce diagnostic delays, and decrease community transmission and the incidence of TB. The benefit package of PM-JAY can cover patients with pulmonary TB, inpatient evaluation for other forms of TB, enhance the allocation for treatment and cover management of comorbid conditions such as severe undernutrition, anaemia, HIV and diabetes.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Amor N, Noman MT, Petru M, et al (2021)

Neural network-crow search model for the prediction of functional properties of nano TiO2 coated cotton composites.

Scientific reports, 11(1):13649.

This paper presents a new hybrid approach for the prediction of functional properties i.e., self-cleaning efficiency, antimicrobial efficiency and ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) coated cotton fabric. The proposed approach is based on feedforward artificial neural network (ANN) model called a multilayer perceptron (MLP), trained by an optimized algorithm known as crow search algorithm (CSA). ANN is an effective and widely used approach for the prediction of extremely complex problems. Various studies have been proposed to improve the weight training of ANN using metaheuristic algorithms. CSA is a latest and an effective metaheuristic method relies on the intelligent behavior of crows. CSA has been never proposed to improve the weight training of ANN. Therefore, CSA is adopted to optimize the initial weights and thresholds of the ANN model, in order to improve the training accuracy and prediction performance of functional properties of TiO2 NPs coated cotton composites. Furthermore, our proposed algorithm i.e., multilayer perceptron with crow search algorithm (MLP-CSA) was applied to map out the complex input-output conditions to predict the optimal results. The amount of chemicals and reaction time were selected as input variables and the amount of titanium dioxide coated on cotton, self-cleaning efficiency, antimicrobial efficiency and UPF were evaluated as output results. A sensitivity analysis was carried out to assess the performance of CSA in prediction process. MLP-CSA provided excellent result that were statistically significant and highly accurate as compared to standard MLP model and other metaheuristic algorithms used in the training of ANN reported in the literature.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Ciebiera O, Czechowski P, Morelli F, et al (2021)

Selection of Urbanized Areas by Magpie Pica pica in a Medium Size City in Poland.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(6):.

The Magpie Pica pica occurs all over open agricultural areas in Poland, especially near human settlements (particularly in western Poland). The aim of this study was to estimate the size of the local Magpie population and characterize, in detail, nest site selection in a medium size city Górzów Wlkp. in the XXI century. For this study, the whole city was divided into a total of 114 squares of 1 × 1 km. Data were collected in spring 2014. A total of 474 Magpie pairs were recorded. The average density was 5.5 pairs/km2 (min = 0, max = 22 nests/square), in the non-urbanized habitat type-3.7 p/km2, and in the urbanized habitat type-13.5 p/km2. Magpie nests were found most often on Spruces Picea sp. and Poplars Populus sp. The mean height of the nest site was 11.5 m, while the mean height of trees used for nesting was 13.4 m. The type of tree arrangement most frequently used for nesting was tree rows (26.3%), followed by single trees (24.6%) and clusters of 4-10 trees (20.1%). The results for the Magpie's environmental preferences do not differ from the general patterns described earlier. The study shows that magpies can adapt to changing urbanization factors, and changes in the choice of conifers help the species to adapt to highly anthropogenic habitats.

RevDate: 2021-08-09
CmpDate: 2021-08-09

Makhni E, Lizzio V, P Chalmers (2021)

The Effect of the Crow Hop on Elbow Stress During an Interval Throwing Program: Response.

The American journal of sports medicine, 49(8):NP32-NP33.

RevDate: 2021-08-09
CmpDate: 2021-08-09

Wong R, Laudner K, Evans D, et al (2021)

The Effect of the Crow Hop on Elbow Stress During an Interval Throwing Program: Letter to the Editor.

The American journal of sports medicine, 49(8):NP31-NP32.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Laumer IB, Massen JJM, Boehm PM, et al (2021)

Individual Goffin´s cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana) show flexible targeted helping in a tool transfer task.

PloS one, 16(6):e0253416.

Flexible targeted helping is considered an advanced form of prosocial behavior in hominoids, as it requires the actor to assess different situations that a conspecific may be in, and to subsequently flexibly satisfy different needs of that partner depending on the nature of those situations. So far, apart from humans such behaviour has only been experimentally shown in chimpanzees and in Eurasian jays. Recent studies highlight the prosocial tendencies of several bird species, yet flexible targeted helping remained untested, largely due to methodological issues as such tasks are generally designed around tool-use, and very few bird species are capable of tool-use. Here, we tested Goffin's cockatoos, which proved to be skilled tool innovators in captivity, in a tool transfer task in which an actor had access to four different objects/tools and a partner to one of two different apparatuses that each required one of these tools to retrieve a reward. As expected from this species, we recorded playful object transfers across all conditions. Yet, importantly and similar to apes, three out of eight birds transferred the correct tool more often in the test condition than in a condition that also featured an apparatus but no partner. Furthermore, one of these birds transferred that correct tool first more often before transferring any other object in the test condition than in the no-partner condition, while the other two cockatoos were marginally non-significantly more likely to do so. Additionally, there was no difference in the likelihood of the correct tool being transferred first for either of the two apparatuses, suggesting that these birds flexibly adjusted what to transfer based on their partner´s need. Future studies should focus on explanations for the intra-specific variation of this behaviour, and should test other parrots and other large-brained birds to see how this can be generalized across the class and to investigate the evolutionary history of this trait.

RevDate: 2021-06-26

Pardal R, R Heidstra (2021)

Root Stem Cell Niche networks: It's complexed! A review on gene networks regulating the Arabidopsis root stem cell niche.

Journal of experimental botany pii:6309857 [Epub ahead of print].

The presence of two meristematic cell populations in the root and shoot apex allow plants to grow indefinitely. Due to its simple and predictable tissue organisation, the Arabidopsis root apical meristem remains an ideal model to study mechanisms such as stem cell specification, asymmetric cell division and differentiation in plants. The root stem cell niche consists of a quiescent organizing center surrounded by mitotically active stem cells, that originate all root tissues. The transcription factors PLETHORA, SCARECROW and WOX5 form the signaling hubs that integrate multiple inputs from an increasing number of proteins implicated in the regulation of the stem cell niche function. Recently, locally produced auxin was added to the list of important mobile factors in stem cell niche. In addition, protein-protein interaction data elegantly demonstrated how parallel pathways can meet into a common objective. Here we discuss in a comprehensive way how multiple networks converge to specify and maintain the root stem cell niche.

RevDate: 2021-06-29
CmpDate: 2021-06-29

Kim S, Maleki N, Rezaie-Balf M, et al (2021)

Assessment of the total organic carbon employing the different nature-inspired approaches in the Nakdong River, South Korea.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 193(7):445.

Total organic carbon (TOC) has vital significance for measuring water quality in river streamflow. The detection of TOC can be considered as an important evaluation because of issues on human health and environmental indicators. This research utilized the novel hybrid models to improve the predictive accuracy of TOC at Andong and Changnyeong stations in the Nakdong River, South Korea. A data pre-processing approach (i.e., complete ensemble empirical mode decomposition with adaptive noise (CEEMDAN)) and evolutionary optimization algorithm (i.e., crow search algorithm (CSA)) were implemented for enhancing the accuracy and robustness of standalone models (i.e., multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) and M5Tree). Various water quality indicators (i.e., TOC, potential of Hydrogen (pH), electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), water temperature (WT), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and suspended solids (SS)) were utilized for developing the standalone and hybrid models based on three input combinations (i.e., categories 1~3). The developed models were evaluated utilizing the correlation coefficient (CC), root-mean-square error (RMSE), and Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE). The CEEMDAN-MARS-CSA based on category 2 (C-M-CSA2) model (CC = 0.762, RMSE = 0.570 mg/L, and NSE = 0.520) was the most accurate for predicting TOC at Andong station, whereas the CEEMDAN-MARS-CSA based on category 3 (C-M-CSA3) model (CC = 0.900, RMSE = 0.675 mg/L, and NSE = 0.680) was the best at Changnyeong station.

RevDate: 2021-09-06
CmpDate: 2021-09-06

Park K, Barghi M, Lim JE, et al (2021)

Assessment of regional and temporal trends in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances using the Oriental Magpie (Pica serica) in Korea.

The Science of the total environment, 793:148513.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are used in industrial and commercial products due to their amphiphilic properties. Birds have been utilized as biomonitoring species due to their environmental pollutant vulnerability and wide distribution. The Oriental Magpie (Pica serica) is a representative residential species inhabiting terrestrial environments. In this study, we measured PFAS concentrations in Magpie liver tissue (n = 253) collected from 12 Korean regions in 2004 and 2017. The predominant compounds were perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS; mean: 23.8 ng/g wet weight), perfluorotridecanoic acid (PFTrDA; 2.79 ng/g), and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA: 2.11 ng/g). We observed significant correlations between Magpie PFAS measurements, indicating similar sources and bioaccumulation processes. Adult females showed significantly lower PFOS concentrations than adult males and young males and females, indicating that avian sex is a crucial physiological factor of PFAS accumulation. PFOS, perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), and perfluorotetradecanoic acid (PFTeDA) concentrations in urban regions were significantly higher than rural regions. PFOS concentrations in Magpie livers increased significantly between sampling years, whereas C11-C13 carboxylic acids (PFCAs) decreased. This suggests that urbanization and population are major factors in Magpie PFAS accumulation. Almost all hepatic PFOS concentrations were below the threshold values proposed by previous studies, implying limited risks. Our findings suggest that the Oriental Magpies are PFAS sentinel in residential environments. This is the first comprehensive report on biomonitoring of PFASs using the Oriental Magpie.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Agrawal AA, X Zhang (2021)

The evolution of coevolution in the study of species interactions.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 75(7):1594-1606.

The study of reciprocal adaptation in interacting species has been an active and inspiring area of evolutionary research for nearly 60 years. Perhaps owing to its great natural history and potential consequences spanning population divergence to species diversification, coevolution continues to capture the imagination of biologists. Here we trace developments following Ehrlich and Raven's classic paper, with a particular focus on the modern influence of two studies by Dr. May Berenbaum in the 1980s. This series of classic work presented a compelling example exhibiting the macroevolutionary patterns predicted by Ehrlich and Raven and also formalized a microevolutionary approach to measuring selection, functional traits, and understanding reciprocal adaptation between plants and their herbivores. Following this breakthrough was a wave of research focusing on diversifying macroevolutionary patterns, mechanistic chemical ecology, and natural selection on populations within and across community types. Accordingly, we breakdown coevolutionary theory into specific hypotheses at different scales: reciprocal adaptation between populations within a community, differential coevolution among communities, lineage divergence, and phylogenetic patterns. We highlight progress as well as persistent gaps, especially the link between reciprocal adaptation and diversification.

RevDate: 2021-06-23

Kelly D, Leonard K, B Gibson (2021)

Adaptive specialization for spatial memory does not improve route efficiency: Comparing the ability of Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana) and pigeons (Columba livia) to solve traveling salesperson problems.

Psychonomic bulletin & review [Epub ahead of print].

An important question in comparative cognition is whether animals are capable of planning ahead. Todd and Hills (Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29(3), 309-315, 2020) recently suggested that the ability to plan and choose internally may have scaffolded upon the cognitive mechanisms required by animals to search among patchy resources in their external environment. The traveling salesperson problem (TSP) is a spatial optimization problem in which a traveler is faced with the task of finding the best route from a start location to two or more destinations or targets. The Clark's nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) is a food-storing corvid with a highly specialized spatial memory. Spatial memory would appear to be deeply rooted in the cognitive mechanisms required for choosing efficiently among multiple alternative routes during a TSP. If so, then species like nutcrackers that are more dependent upon spatial memory for survival may have a greater ability to plan ahead or choose more efficiently among different route options than species that have less selective pressure for remembering the location of food, like pigeons. We examined the ability of nutcrackers to solve TSPs using the same procedures and target configurations as in our past research (Gibson, Wilkerson, & Kelly, Animal Cognition, 15, 379-391, 2012) to explore if nutcrackers can efficiently solve TSPs and how their route solutions compare with those of pigeons. Nutcrackers did not display an advantage in route efficiency and performed comparably to pigeons. Both species tended to prefer a nearest-neighbor strategy to more globally efficient routes. Having a more robust spatial memory may not improve the ability of animals to determine routes to multiple locations.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Wheeler SS, Taff CC, Reisen WK, et al (2021)

Mosquito blood-feeding patterns and nesting behavior of American crows, an amplifying host of West Nile virus.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):331.

BACKGROUND: Although American crows are a key indicator species for West Nile virus (WNV) and mount among the highest viremias reported for any host, the importance of crows in the WNV transmission cycle has been called into question because of their consistent underrepresentation in studies of Culex blood meal sources. Here, we test the hypothesis that this apparent underrepresentation could be due, in part, to underrepresentation of crow nesting habitat from mosquito sampling designs. Specifically, we examine how the likelihood of a crow blood meal changes with distance to and timing of active crow nests in a Davis, California, population.

METHODS: Sixty artificial mosquito resting sites were deployed from May to September 2014 in varying proximity to known crow nesting sites, and Culex blood meal hosts were identified by DNA barcoding. Genotypes from crow blood meals and local crows (72 nestlings from 30 broods and 389 local breeders and helpers) were used to match mosquito blood meals to specific local crows.

RESULTS: Among the 297 identified Culex blood meals, 20 (6.7%) were attributable to crows. The mean percentage of blood meals of crow origin was 19% in the nesting period (1 May-18 June 2014), but 0% in the weeks after fledging (19 June-1 September 2014), and the likelihood of a crow blood meal increased with proximity to an active nest: the odds that crows hosted a Culex blood meal were 38.07 times greater within 10 m of an active nest than > 10 m from an active nest. Nine of ten crow blood meals that could be matched to a genotype of a specific crow belonged to either nestlings in these nests or their mothers. Six of the seven genotypes that could not be attributed to sampled birds belonged to females, a sex bias likely due to mosquitoes targeting incubating or brooding females.

CONCLUSION: Data herein indicate that breeding crows serve as hosts for Culex in the initial stages of the WNV spring enzootic cycle. Given their high viremia, infected crows could thereby contribute to the re-initiation and early amplification of the virus, increasing its availability as mosquitoes shift to other moderately competent later-breeding avian hosts.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Stocker M, Prosl J, Vanhooland LC, et al (2021)

Measuring salivary mesotocin in birds - Seasonal differences in ravens' peripheral mesotocin levels.

Hormones and behavior, 134:105015.

Oxytocin is involved in a broad array of social behaviours. While saliva has been used regularly to investigate the role of oxytocin in social behaviour of mammal species, so far, to our knowledge, no-one has tried to measure its homolog, mesotocin, in birds' saliva. Therefore, in this study we measured salivary mesotocin in common ravens (Corvus corax), and subsequently explored its link to three aspects of raven sociality. We trained ravens (n = 13) to voluntarily provide saliva samples and analysed salivary mesotocin with a commercial oxytocin enzyme-immunoassay kit, also suitable for mesotocin. After testing parallelism and recovery, we investigated the effect of bonding status, sex and season on mesotocin levels. We found that mesotocin was significantly more likely to be detected in samples taken during the breeding season (spring) than during the mating season (winter). In those samples in which mesotocin was detected, concentrations were also significantly higher during the breeding than during the mating season. In contrast, bonding status and sex were not found to relate to mesotocin detectability and concentrations. The seasonal differences in mesotocin correspond to behavioral patterns known to be associated with mesotocin/oxytocin, with ravens showing much more aggression during the mating season while being more tolerant of conspecifics in the breeding season. We show for the first time that saliva samples can be useful for the non-invasive determination of hormone levels in birds. However, the rate of successfully analysed samples was very low, and collection and analysis methods will benefit from further improvements.

RevDate: 2021-06-19

Ormrod AEC, Doyle FI, Lawson KJ, et al (2021)

Niche partitioning of avian predators in northern grasslands amended by biosolids.

Ecology and evolution, 11(11):6248-6259.

Many food webs are affected by bottom-up nutrient addition, as additional biomass or productivity at a given trophic level can support more consumers. In turn, when prey are abundant, predators may converge on the same diets rather than partitioning food resources. Here, we examine the diets and habitat use of predatory and omnivorous birds in response to biosolids amendment of northern grasslands used as grazing range for cattle in British Columbia, Canada. From an ecosystem management perspective, we test whether dietary convergence occurred and whether birds preferentially used the pastures with biosolids. Biosolids treatments increased Orthoptera densities and our work occurred during a vole (Microtus spp.) population peak, so both types of prey were abundant. American Kestrels (Falco sparverius) consumed both small mammals and Orthoptera. Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus) and Long-eared owls (Asio otus) primarily ate voles (>97% of biomass consumed) as did Northern Harriers (Circus hudsonius, 88% vole biomass). Despite high dietary overlap, these species had minimal spatial overlap, and Short-eared Owls strongly preferred pastures amended with biosolids. Common Ravens (Corvus corax), Black-billed Magpies (Pica hudsonia), and American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) consumed Orthoptera, Coleoptera, vegetation, and only a few small mammals; crows avoided pastures with biosolids. Thus, when both insect and mammalian prey were abundant, corvids maintained omnivorous diets, whereas owls and Harriers specialized on voles. Spatial patterns were more complex, as birds were likely responding to prey abundance, vegetation structure, and other birds in this consumer guild.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Sarker S, Nath BK, Talukder S, et al (2021)

Complete Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Magpie-Lark (Grallina cyanoleuca).

Microbiology resource announcements, 10(24):e0034221.

Here, we report the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of an Australian passerine bird, magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca). The circular genome has a size of 16,933 bp and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, and 2 rRNA genes. This study provides a reference mitochondrial genome of magpie-lark for further molecular studies.

RevDate: 2021-06-16

Kwon JH, Lee DH, Criado MF, et al (2020)

Genetic evolution and transmission dynamics of clade highly pathogenic avian influenza A/H5N1 viruses in Bangladesh.

Virus evolution, 6(2):veaa046.

Asian lineage A/H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) have been responsible for continuous outbreaks in Bangladesh since 2007. Although clades 2.2.2 and HPAIVs have disappeared since poultry vaccination was introduced in 2012, clade viruses have continued to be detected in Bangladesh. In this study, we identified A/H9N2 (n = 15), A/H5N1 (n = 19), and A/H5N1-A/H9N2 (n = 18) mixed viruses from live bird markets, chicken farms, and wild house crows (Corvus splendens) in Bangladesh from 2016 to 2018. We analyzed the genetic sequences of the H5 HPAIVs, to better understand the evolutionary history of clade viruses in Bangladesh. Although seven HA genetic subgroups (B1-B7) and six genotypes (G1, G1.1, G1.2, G2, G2.1, and G2.2) have been identified in Bangladesh, only subgroup B7 and genotypes G2, G2.1, and G2.2 were detected after 2016. The replacement of G1 genotype by G2 in Bangladesh was possibly due to vaccination and viral competition in duck populations. Initially, genetic diversity decreased after introduction of vaccination in 2012, but in 2015, genetic diversity increased and was associated with the emergence of genotype G2. Our phylodynamic analysis suggests that domestic Anseriformes, including ducks and geese, may have played a major role in persistence, spread, evolution, and genotype replacement of clade HPAIVs in Bangladesh. Thus, improvements in biosecurity and monitoring of domestic Anseriformes are needed for more effective control of HPAI in Bangladesh.

RevDate: 2021-06-15
CmpDate: 2021-06-15

King DI, Jeffery M, BA Bailey (2021)

Generating indicator species for bird monitoring within the humid forests of northeast Central America.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 193(7):413.

The use of indicator species can simplify bird monitoring by reducing the level of specialized skills needed, which increases the potential pool of participants and reduces training costs and complexity. To facilitate monitoring in the humid forests of northeast Central America, we conducted point count surveys for birds across gradients of disturbance in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize, and analyzed the association of bird species with remotely sensed metrics of forest condition and anthropogenic disturbance using indicator species analysis. Twenty species exhibited significant associations with one or more of these metrics. We propose six species as indicators for anthropogenic disturbance based on our criteria of being associated with anthropogenically disturbed sites, or anthropogenically disturbed and riparian sites with no explicit mention in the literature of an obligate association with riparian habitats, or association of remotely sensed metrics that appeared to reflect disturbance: yellow-olive flycatcher, red-legged honeycreeper, dusky antbird, blue ground dove, buff-throated saltator, and brown jay. We propose the keel-billed motmot as an indicator of undisturbed forest based on its association with forested sites in our analyses. Green shrike vireo, collard trogon, rufous-tailed jacamar, and rufous piha were associated with a specific elevational range but not associated with disturbance, so upward shifts in elevation that might indicate response to climate change would not be confounded with habitat disturbance or degradation. This exercise yielded a much-reduced list of monitoring targets, which will greatly reduce the cost and complexity of forest bird monitoring in the region, as well as reducing barriers to participation.

RevDate: 2021-06-11

Burfurd I, T Wilkening (2021)

Cognitive heterogeneity and complex belief elicitation.

Experimental economics [Epub ahead of print].

The Stochastic Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (SBDM) mechanism is a theoretically elegant way of eliciting incentive-compatible beliefs under a variety of risk preferences. However, the mechanism is complex and there is concern that some participants may misunderstand its incentive properties. We use a two-part design to evaluate the relationship between participants' probabilistic reasoning skills, task complexity, and belief elicitation. We first identify participants whose decision-making is consistent and inconsistent with probabilistic reasoning using a task in which non-Bayesian modes of decision-making lead to violations of stochastic dominance. We then elicit participants' beliefs in both easy and hard decision problems. Relative to Introspection, there is less variation in belief errors between easy and hard problems in the SBDM mechanism. However, there is a greater difference in belief errors between consistent and inconsistent participants. These results suggest that while the SBDM mechanism encourages individuals to think more carefully about beliefs, it is more sensitive to heterogeneity in probabilistic reasoning. In a follow-up experiment, we also identify participants with high and low fluid intelligence with a Raven task, and high and low proclivities for cognitive effort using an extended Cognitive Reflection Test. Although performance on these tasks strongly predict errors in both the SBDM mechanism and Introspection, there is no significant interaction effect between the elicitation mechanism and either ability or effort. Our results suggest that mechanism complexity is an important consideration when using elicitation mechanisms, and that participants' probabilistic reasoning is an important consideration when interpreting elicited beliefs.

RevDate: 2021-07-28
CmpDate: 2021-07-28

Jia YH, Qiu J, Ma ZZ, et al (2021)

A Novel Crow Swarm Optimization Algorithm (CSO) Coupling Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) and Crow Search Algorithm (CSA).

Computational intelligence and neuroscience, 2021:6686826.

The balance between exploitation and exploration essentially determines the performance of a population-based optimization algorithm, which is also a big challenge in algorithm design. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) has strong ability in exploitation, but is relatively weak in exploration, while crow search algorithm (CSA) is characterized by simplicity and more randomness. This study proposes a new crow swarm optimization algorithm coupling PSO and CSA, which provides the individuals the possibility of exploring the unknown regions under the guidance of another random individual. The proposed CSO algorithm is tested on several benchmark functions, including both unimodal and multimodal problems with different variable dimensions. The performance of the proposed CSO is evaluated by the optimization efficiency, the global search ability, and the robustness to parameter settings, all of which are improved to a great extent compared with either PSO and CSA, as the proposed CSO combines the advantages of PSO in exploitation and that of CSA in exploration, especially for complex high-dimensional problems.

RevDate: 2021-06-10
CmpDate: 2021-06-08

Guiglielmoni N, Houtain A, Derzelle A, et al (2021)

Overcoming uncollapsed haplotypes in long-read assemblies of non-model organisms.

BMC bioinformatics, 22(1):303.

BACKGROUND: Long-read sequencing is revolutionizing genome assembly: as PacBio and Nanopore technologies become more accessible in technicity and in cost, long-read assemblers flourish and are starting to deliver chromosome-level assemblies. However, these long reads are usually error-prone, making the generation of a haploid reference out of a diploid genome a difficult enterprise. Failure to properly collapse haplotypes results in fragmented and structurally incorrect assemblies and wreaks havoc on orthology inference pipelines, yet this serious issue is rarely acknowledged and dealt with in genomic projects, and an independent, comparative benchmark of the capacity of assemblers and post-processing tools to properly collapse or purge haplotypes is still lacking.

RESULTS: We tested different assembly strategies on the genome of the rotifer Adineta vaga, a non-model organism for which high coverages of both PacBio and Nanopore reads were available. The assemblers we tested (Canu, Flye, NextDenovo, Ra, Raven, Shasta and wtdbg2) exhibited strikingly different behaviors when dealing with highly heterozygous regions, resulting in variable amounts of uncollapsed haplotypes. Filtering reads generally improved haploid assemblies, and we also benchmarked three post-processing tools aimed at detecting and purging uncollapsed haplotypes in long-read assemblies: HaploMerger2, purge_haplotigs and purge_dups.

CONCLUSIONS: We provide a thorough evaluation of popular assemblers on a non-model eukaryote genome with variable levels of heterozygosity. Our study highlights several strategies using pre and post-processing approaches to generate haploid assemblies with high continuity and completeness. This benchmark will help users to improve haploid assemblies of non-model organisms, and evaluate the quality of their own assemblies.

RevDate: 2021-07-26

Freeman NE, Norris DR, Sutton AO, et al (2021)

Early-Life Corticosterone Body Condition Influence Social Status and Survival in a Food-Caching Passerine.

Integrative and comparative biology, 61(1):9-19.

Individuals undergo profound changes throughout their early life as they grow and transition between life-history stages. As a result, the conditions that individuals experience during development can have both immediate and lasting effects on their physiology, behavior, and, ultimately, fitness. In a population of Canada jays in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, we characterized the diet composition and physiological profile of young jays at three key time points during development (nestling, pre-fledge, and pre-dispersal) by quantifying stable-carbon (δ13C) and -nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes and corticosterone concentrations in feathers. We then investigated the downstream effects of early-life diet composition, feather corticosterone, and environmental conditions on a juvenile's social status, body condition, and probability of being observed in the fall following hatch. Across the three time points, the diet of Canada jay young was composed primarily of vertebrate tissue and human food with the proportion of these food items increasing as the jays neared dispersal. Feather corticosterone concentrations also shifted across the three time points, decreasing from nestling to pre-dispersal. Dominant juveniles had elevated corticosterone concentrations in their feathers grown pre-dispersal compared with subordinates. High body condition as nestlings was associated with high body condition as juveniles and an increased probability of being observed in the fall. Together, our results demonstrate that nestling physiology and body condition influence the social status and body condition once individuals are independent, with potential long-term consequences on survival and fitness.

RevDate: 2021-09-10
CmpDate: 2021-09-10

Kovalev SY, VV Yakimenko (2021)

Kama virus (KAMV) is an atypical representative of the seabird tick-borne flaviviruses.

Virus genes, 57(4):395-399.

According to modern classification, tick-borne flaviviruses have been divided into a mammalian tick-borne virus group and a seabird tick-borne virus group (STBVG). The STBVG includes the Tyuleniy virus, Meaban virus, Saumarez Reef virus, and the recently discovered Kama virus (KAMV). The latter was isolated from Ixodes lividus, an obligate parasitic tick of the sand martin (Riparia riparia), in 1989 in the central part of the Russian Plain. In 2014, based on molecular genetic analysis, it was shown that KAMV is a new virus belonging to STBVG, genus Flavivirus, fam. Flaviviridae. Very little is known about the Kama virus concerning its range, vectors, and reservoir hosts. GenBank contains a single sequence of the complete genome of this virus. In the present study, the complete genome sequences of two strains, isolated in 1983 in the Omsk region (Western Siberia) from gamasid mites in the nests of rooks (Corvus frugilegus), have been determined. Phylogenetic analyses of their genomes showed a close relationship both with each other (approx. 98.9% nucleotide identity) and with KAMV isolated in European Russia (approx. 98.4% nucleotide identity). The ecological features of KAMV that are due to the species of the vector (gamasid mites) and its hosts (colonial birds of the mainland of Eurasia) indicate that KAMV is an atypical representative STBVG.

RevDate: 2021-06-07

Chakarov N, Veiga J, Ruiz-Arrondo I, et al (2021)

Atypical behavior of a black fly species connects cavity-nesting birds with generalist blood parasites in an arid area of Spain.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):298.

BACKGROUND: The feeding behavior of bloodsucking insects determines the transmission, distribution, host spectrum and evolution of blood parasites in the wild. Conventional wisdom suggests that some vector groups (e.g. black flies, family Simuliidae) are consistently exophagous daytime biters. We aimed to understand more about the exceptions to this pattern by combining targeted trapping and molecular identification of parasites in vectors.

METHODS: In this study, we collected black flies in nest boxes used by European rollers Coracias garrulus in southeastern Spain. We molecularly analyzed 434 individual insects, identifying the black fly species caught in the nest boxes, their potential vertebrate blood meals, and the haemosporidian parasite lineages that they carried.

RESULTS: Only one black fly species, Simulium rubzovianum, appeared to enter the nest boxes of rollers. Among the trapped specimens, 15% contained vertebrate DNA, which always belonged to rollers, even though only half of those specimens were visibly engorged. Furthermore, 15% of all black flies contained Leucocytozoon lineages, indicating previous feeding on avian hosts but probably not on infected adult rollers. The known vertebrate hosts of the recorded Leucocytozoon lineages suggested that large and/or abundant birds are their hosts. Particularly represented were cavity-nesting species breeding in the vicinity, such as pigeons, corvids and owls. Open-nesting species such as thrushes and birds of prey were also represented.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data strongly suggest that S. rubzovianum bites uninfected roller nestlings and infected individuals of other species, potentially incubating adults, inside nest boxes and natural cavities. This simuliid does not appear to have a strong preference for specific host clades. Contrary to the general pattern for the group, and possibly enhanced by the harsh environmental conditions in the study area, this black fly appeared to intensively use and may even have a preference for confined spaces such as cavities for feeding and resting. Preferences of vectors for atypical microhabitat niches where hosts are less mobile may enable social and within-family transmission and parasite speciation in the long term. At the same time, a lack of host preference in concentrated multispecies communities can lead to host switches. Both processes may be underappreciated driving forces in the evolution of avian blood parasites.

RevDate: 2021-06-03

Vernouillet A, Leonard K, Katz JS, et al (2021)

Abstract-concept learning in two species of new world corvids, pinyon jays (Gymnorhinus Cyanocephalus) and California scrub jays (Aphelocoma Californica).

Journal of experimental psychology. Animal learning and cognition pii:2021-47507-001 [Epub ahead of print].

concepts require individuals to identify relationships between novel stimuli. Previous studies have reported that the ability to learn abstract concepts is found in a wide range of species. In regard to a same/different concept, Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana) and black-billed magpies (Pica hudsonia), two corvid species, were shown to outperform other avian and primate species (Wright et al., 2017). Two additional corvid species, pinyon jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) and California scrub jays (Aphelocoma californica) chosen as they belong to a different clade than nutcrackers and magpies, were examined using the same set-size expansion procedure of the same/different task (the task used with nutcrackers and magpies) to evaluate whether this trait is common across the Corvidae lineage. During this task, concept learning is assessed with novel images after training. Results from the current study showed that when presented with novel stimuli after training with an 8-image set, discrimination accuracy did not differ significantly from chance for pinyon jays and California scrub jays, unlike the magpies and nutcrackers from previous studies that showed partial transfer at that stage. However, concept learning improved with each set-size expansion, and the jays reached full concept learning with a 128-image set. This performance is similar to the other corvids and monkeys tested, all of which outperform pigeons. Results from the current study show a qualitative similarity in full abstract-concept learning in all species tested with a quantitative difference in the set-size functions, highlighting the shared survival importance of mechanisms supporting abstract-concept learning for corvids and primates. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2021-06-03

Saleh G, Ahmed A, Hassanain O, et al (2021)

Nutrition in Cancer Patients Positive for COVID-19; Case Series and a Systematic Review of Literature.

Nutrition and cancer [Epub ahead of print].

Cancer is making patients vulnerable to diseases by impairing immunity directly or by anticancer therapy. In COVID-19 era, it is mandatory to face cancer with more organized & prompter response. Nutrition plays an important role in prevention & management of cancer patients. The objective of this study is to understand the role of nutrition in cancer patients during Corvid 19 era. We conducted literature searches till May 2020, electronic databases, evidence-based collections, relevant websites and trial registries about SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 and nutrition in cancer patients. Search generated 836 sources; 83/836 sources were relevant. This review summarized role of nutrition in predisposition, prevention and management of COVID-19 in cancer patient and role of vitamins, mineral supplements and microbiota in era of COVID-19. In this review, implementing appropriate nutritional care with vitamins or mineral supplementation & their effect on outcome remain largely unknown. COVID co-infection with cancer whether under chemotherapy or not have worse outcome especially in male adults. Findings may help in creating recommendations on nutritional protocol of management & prevention of complications during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for all cancer patients.

RevDate: 2021-09-20

Walker MA, Uribasterra M, Asher V, et al (2021)

Anthrax Surveillance and the Limited Overlap Between Obligate Scavengers and Endemic Anthrax Zones in the United States.

Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.), 21(9):675-684.

Anthrax is a zoonosis caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, with potential for high fatality rate, especially in herbivores. Upon host death, spores can enter the soil surrounding the carcass and be ingested by other animals feeding in the same location. Accordingly, surveillance to quickly identify and decontaminate anthrax carcasses is crucial to outbreak prevention. In endemic anthrax areas such as Texas and Africa, vultures are used as a surveillance tool for identifying presence and location of dead animals. However, many anthrax outbreaks in the United States have occurred in areas outside the ranges of both black and turkey vultures. Here, we used a longitudinal camera trap survey at carcass sites in southwestern Montana to investigate the utility of facultative avian scavengers on disease and carcass surveillance in a reemerging anthrax risk zone. From August 2016 to September 2018, camera traps at 11 carcass sites were triggered 1996 times by avian scavengers. While the majority were facultative avian scavengers such as corvids and eagles, our results suggest that facultative scavengers cannot replace vultures as a surveillance tool in this ecosystem due to their absence during the anthrax risk period (June to August), reduced search efficiency, or low flight patterns. We found that the conditions in Montana likely parallel systems elsewhere in the continental United States. Using ecological niche models of B. anthracis distribution overlaid with relative abundance maps of turkey vultures, we found that much of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Iowa have areas of anthrax risk, but low or absent turkey vulture populations. Without vultures in these areas, surveillance capacity is reduced, and it becomes more difficult to identify anthrax cases, meaning fewer carcasses are decontaminated, and consequently, outbreaks could become more frequent or severe.

RevDate: 2021-06-26

Garcia-Pelegrin E, Schnell AK, Wilkins C, et al (2021)

Exploring the perceptual inabilities of Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius) using magic effects.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(24):.

In recent years, scientists have begun to use magic effects to investigate the blind spots in our attention and perception [G. Kuhn, Experiencing the Impossible: The Science of Magic (2019); S. Macknik, S. Martinez-Conde, S. Blakeslee, Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions (2010)]. Recently, we suggested that similar techniques could be transferred to nonhuman animal observers and that such an endeavor would provide insight into the inherent commonalities and discrepancies in attention and perception in human and nonhuman animals [E. Garcia-Pelegrin, A. K. Schnell, C. Wilkins, N. S. Clayton, Science 369, 1424-1426 (2020)]. Here, we performed three different magic effects (palming, French drop, and fast pass) to a sample of six Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius). These magic effects were specifically chosen as they utilize different cues and expectations that mislead the spectator into thinking one object has or has not been transferred from one hand to the other. Results from palming and French drop experiments suggest that Eurasian jays have different expectations from humans when observing some of these effects. Specifically, Eurasian jays were not deceived by effects that required them to expect an object to move between hands when observing human hand manipulations. However, similar to humans, Eurasian jays were misled by magic effects that utilize fast movements as a deceptive action. This study investigates how another taxon perceives the magician's techniques of deception that commonly deceive humans.

RevDate: 2021-07-09

Horn L, Zewald JS, Bugnyar T, et al (2021)

Carrion Crows and Azure-Winged Magpies Show No Prosocial Tendencies When Tested in a Token Transfer Paradigm.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(6):.

To study the evolution of humans' cooperative nature, researchers have recently sought comparisons with other species. Studies investigating corvids, for example, showed that carrion crows and azure-winged magpies delivered food to group members when tested in naturalistic or simple experimental paradigms. Here, we investigated whether we could replicate these positive findings when testing the same two species in a token transfer paradigm. After training the birds to exchange tokens with an experimenter for food rewards, we tested whether they would also transfer tokens to other birds, when they did not have the opportunity to exchange the tokens themselves. To control for the effects of motivation, and of social or stimulus enhancement, we tested each individual in three additional control conditions. We witnessed very few attempts and/or successful token transfers, and those few instances did not occur more frequently in the test condition than in the controls, which would suggest that the birds lack prosocial tendencies. Alternatively, we propose that this absence of prosociality may stem from the artificial nature and cognitive complexity of the token transfer task. Consequently, our findings highlight the strong impact of methodology on animals' capability to exhibit prosocial tendencies and stress the importance of comparing multiple experimental paradigms.

RevDate: 2021-06-01

Jasim M, T Brindha (2021)

Spinal cord segmentation and injury detection using a Crow Search-Rider optimization algorithm.

Biomedizinische Technik. Biomedical engineering, 66(3):293-304 pii:bmt-2019-0180.

The damage in the spinal cord due to vertebral fractures may result in loss of sensation and muscle function either permanently or temporarily. The neurological condition of the patient can be improved only with the early detection and the treatment of the injury in the spinal cord. This paper proposes a spinal cord segmentation and injury detection system based on the proposed Crow search-Rider Optimization-based DCNN (CS-ROA DCNN) method, which can detect the injury in the spinal cord in an effective manner. Initially, the segmentation of the CT image of the spinal cord is performed using the adaptive thresholding method, followed by which the localization of the disc is performed using the Sparse FCM clustering algorithm (Sparse-FCM). The localized discs are subjected to a feature extraction process, where the features necessary for the classification process are extracted. The classification process is done using DCNN trained using the proposed CS-ROA, which is the integration of the Crow Search Algorithm (CSA) and Rider Optimization Algorithm (ROA). The experimentation is performed using the evaluation metrics, such as accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity. The proposed method achieved the high accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of 0.874, 0.8961, and 0.8828, respectively that shows the effectiveness of the proposed CS-ROA DCNN method in spinal cord injury detection.

RevDate: 2021-07-14
CmpDate: 2021-07-01

Layton-Matthews K, Griesser M, Coste CFD, et al (2021)

Forest management affects seasonal source-sink dynamics in a territorial, group-living bird.

Oecologia, 196(2):399-412.

The persistence of wildlife populations is under threat as a consequence of human activities, which are degrading natural ecosystems. Commercial forestry is the greatest threat to biodiversity in boreal forests. Forestry practices have degraded most available habitat, threatening the persistence of natural populations. Understanding population responses is, therefore, critical for their conservation. Population viability analyses are effective tools to predict population persistence under forestry management. However, quantifying the mechanisms driving population responses is complex as population dynamics vary temporally and spatially. Metapopulation dynamics are governed by local dynamics and spatial factors, potentially mediating the impacts of forestry e.g., through dispersal. Here, we performed a seasonal, spatially explicit population viability analysis, using long-term data from a group-living territorial bird (Siberian jay, Perisoreus infaustus). We quantified the effects of forest management on metapopulation dynamics, via forest type-specific demography and spatially explicit dispersal, and how forestry impacted the stability of metapopulation dynamics. Forestry reduced metapopulation growth and stability, through negative effects on reproduction and survival. Territories in higher quality natural forest contributed more to metapopulation dynamics than managed forests, largely through demographic processes rather than dispersal. Metapopulation dynamics in managed forest were also less resilient to disturbances and consequently, may be more vulnerable to environmental change. Seasonal differences in source-sink dynamics observed in managed forest, but not natural forests, were caused by associated seasonal differences in dispersal. As shown here, capturing seasonal source-sink dynamics allows us to predict population persistence under human disturbance and to provide targeted conservation recommendations.

RevDate: 2021-06-08

Cunha FCR, M Griesser (2021)

Who do you trust? Wild birds use social knowledge to avoid being deceived.

Science advances, 7(22):.

Many species give deceptive warning calls, enabled by the high risk of ignoring them. In Siberian jays, a territorial, group-living bird, individuals give warning calls toward perched predators and mob them. However, intruding neighbors can emit these warning calls in the absence of predators to access food, but breeders often ignore these calls. Playback field experiments show that breeders flee sooner and return later after warning calls of former group members than those of neighbors or unknown individuals. Thus, breeders respond appropriately only to warning calls of previous cooperation partners. This mechanism facilitates the evolution and maintenance of communication vulnerable to deceptive signaling. This conclusion also applies to human language because of its cooperative nature and thus, its vulnerability to deception.

RevDate: 2021-06-12

Joseph J, Sankar D H, D Nambiar (2021)

Empanelment of health care facilities under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) in India.

PloS one, 16(5):e0251814.

INTRODUCTION: India's Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is the world's largest health assurance scheme providing health cover of 500,000 INR (about USD 6,800) per family per year. It provides financial support for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization expenses to about 500 million of India's poorest households through various insurance models with care delivered by public and private empanelled providers. This study undertook to describe the provider empanelment of PM-JAY, a key element of its functioning and determinant of its impact.

METHODS: We carried out secondary analysis of cross-sectional administrative program data publicly available in PM-JAY portal for 30 Indian states and 06 UTs. We analysed the state wise distribution, type and sector of empanelled hospitals and services offered through PM-JAY scheme across all the states and UTs.

RESULTS: We found that out of the total facilities empanelled (N = 20,257) under the scheme in 2020, more than half (N = 11,367, 56%) were in the public sector, while 8,157 (40%) facilities were private for profit, and 733 (4%) were private not for profit entities. State wise distribution of hospitals showed that five states (Karnataka (N = 2,996, 14.9%), Gujarat (N = 2,672, 13.3%), Uttar Pradesh (N = 2,627, 13%), Tamil Nadu (N = 2315, 11.5%) and Rajasthan (N = 2,093 facilities, 10.4%) contributed to more than 60% of empanelled PMJAY facilities: We also observed that 40% of facilities were offering between two and five specialties while 14% of empanelled hospitals provided 21-24 specialties.

CONCLUSION: A majority of the hospital empanelled under the scheme are in states with previous experience of implementing publicly funded health insurance schemes, with the exception of Uttar Pradesh. Reasons underlying these patterns of empanelment as well as the impact of empanelment on service access, utilisation, population health and financial risk protection warrant further study. While the inclusion and regulation of the private sector is a goal that may be served by empanelment, the role of public sector remains critical, particularly in underserved areas of India.

RevDate: 2021-06-07

Fielding MW, Buettel JC, Brook BW, et al (2021)

Roadkill islands: Carnivore extinction shifts seasonal use of roadside carrion by generalist avian scavenger.

The Journal of animal ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Global road networks facilitate habitat modification and are integral to human expansion. Many animals, particularly scavengers, use roads as they provide a reliable source of food, such as carrion left after vehicle collisions. Tasmania is often cited as the 'roadkill capital of Australia', with the isolated offshore islands in the Bass Strait experiencing similar, if not higher, levels of roadkill. However, native mammalian predators on the islands are extirpated, meaning the remaining scavengers are likely to experience lower interference competition. In this study, we used a naturally occurring experiment to examine how the loss of mammalian carnivores within a community impacts roadside foraging behaviour by avian scavengers. We monitored the locations of roadkill and forest ravens Corvus tasmanicus, an abundant scavenger species, on eight road transects across the Tasmanian mainland (high scavenging competition) and the Bass Strait islands (low scavenging competition). We represented raven observations as one-dimensional point patterns, using hierarchical Bayesian models to investigate the dependence of raven spatial intensity on habitat, season, distance to roadkill and route location. We found that roadkill carcasses were a strong predictor of raven presence along road networks. The effect of roadkill was amplified on roads on the Bass Strait islands, where roadside carrion was a predictor of raven presence across the entire year. In contrast, ravens were more often associated with roadkill on Tasmanian mainland roads in the autumn, when other resources were low. This suggests that in the absence of competing mammalian scavengers, ravens choose to feed on roadside carrion throughout the year, even in seasons when other resources are available. This lack of competition could be disproportionately benefiting forest ravens, leading to augmented raven populations and changes to the vertebrate community structure. Our study provides evidence that scavengers modify their behaviour in response to reduced scavenger species diversity, potentially triggering trophic shifts and highlighting the importance of conserving or reintroducing carnivores within ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-05-28

Mantey AA, Annan RA, Lutterodt HE, et al (2021)

Iron status predicts cognitive test performance of primary school children from Kumasi, Ghana.

PloS one, 16(5):e0251335.

BACKGROUND: Good nutritional status of school-aged children is crucial in achieving improved cognition. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between nutritional status and cognition of school-aged children in the Kumasi metropolis, Ghana.

METHODS: 389 children were selected from ten government-owned schools. Socio-demographic and anthropometric data were collected. Blood samples were collected and analyzed for nutrients levels. Dietary intakes were assessed using food frequency questionnaire and previous day's nutrients intake. Cognition test was performed using the Ravens Colored Progressive Matrix (RCPM).

RESULTS: Mean age of participants was 8.9±1.4 years, mean RCPM score was 17.9±5.4. More girls scored RCPM below the 40th percentile (45.5%) than boys (33.7%), while mother's level of education significantly associated with RCPM percentiles of the children (p = 0.037). Four dietary patterns were generated from food frequency data, and scores of the second pattern, depicting vegetables, non-fruits, bread and cereals, showed a weak negative correlation (r = -0.132, p = 0.026) with previous day's dietary zinc intake. Cognitive status did not vary by anthropometric and dietary patterns. More anemic (54.4%) than non-anemic (33.3%) children were below the 40th RCPM percentile. Mean previous day's intake for folate (p<0.001), vitamin B6 (p = 0.018), iron (p<0.001), and zinc (p = 0.001) differed significantly between the cognitive test score percentiles of the children. Spearman rank correlation showed weak positive associations between RCPM score and hemoglobin (r = 0.246, p = 0.003) and serum ferritin (r = 0.176, p = 0.036). Binary regression analysis showed anemic children (aOR = 0.4; 95%CI = 0.2-0.8, p = 0.014), compared with non-anemic had decreased odds, while boys, compared with girls had increased odds (aOR = 2.0 95%CI = 1.0-4.0, p = 0.035) for scoring above the 50th RCPM percentile.

CONCLUSIONS: Iron status, especially hemoglobin levels, correlated with the cognitive performance of school-aged children in the metropolis. Thus nutritional strategies aimed at reducing iron deficiency anemia are needed.

RevDate: 2021-05-28

Bladon AJ, Donald PF, Collar NJ, et al (2021)

Climatic change and extinction risk of two globally threatened Ethiopian endemic bird species.

PloS one, 16(5):e0249633.

Climate change is having profound effects on the distributions of species globally. Trait-based assessments predict that specialist and range-restricted species are among those most likely to be at risk of extinction from such changes. Understanding individual species' responses to climate change is therefore critical for informing conservation planning. We use an established Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) protocol to describe the curious range-restriction of the globally threatened White-tailed Swallow (Hirundo megaensis) to a small area in southern Ethiopia. We find that, across a range of modelling approaches, the distribution of this species is well described by two climatic variables, maximum temperature and dry season precipitation. These same two variables have been previously found to limit the distribution of the unrelated but closely sympatric Ethiopian Bush-crow (Zavattariornis stresemanni). We project the future climatic suitability for both species under a range of climate scenarios and modelling approaches. Both species are at severe risk of extinction within the next half century, as the climate in 68-84% (for the swallow) and 90-100% (for the bush-crow) of their current ranges is predicted to become unsuitable. Intensive conservation measures, such as assisted migration and captive-breeding, may be the only options available to safeguard these two species. Their projected disappearance in the wild offers an opportunity to test the reliability of SDMs for predicting the fate of wild species. Monitoring future changes in the distribution and abundance of the bush-crow is particularly tractable because its nests are conspicuous and visible over large distances.

RevDate: 2021-06-21

Hancock ZB, Lehmberg ES, GS Bradburd (2021)

Neo-darwinism still haunts evolutionary theory: A modern perspective on Charlesworth, Lande, and Slatkin (1982).

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 75(6):1244-1255.

The Modern Synthesis (or "Neo-Darwinism"), which arose out of the reconciliation of Darwin's theory of natural selection and Mendel's research on genetics, remains the foundation of evolutionary theory. However, since its inception, it has been a lightning rod for criticism, which has ranged from minor quibbles to complete dismissal. Among the most famous of the critics was Stephen Jay Gould, who, in 1980, proclaimed that the Modern Synthesis was "effectively dead." Gould and others claimed that the action of natural selection on random mutations was insufficient on its own to explain patterns of macroevolutionary diversity and divergence, and that new processes were required to explain findings from the fossil record. In 1982, Charlesworth, Lande, and Slatkin published a response to this critique in Evolution, in which they argued that Neo-Darwinism was indeed sufficient to explain macroevolutionary patterns. In this Perspective for the 75th Anniversary of the Society for the Study of Evolution, we review Charlesworth et al. in its historical context and provide modern support for their arguments. We emphasize the importance of microevolutionary processes in the study of macroevolutionary patterns. Ultimately, we conclude that punctuated equilibrium did not represent a major revolution in evolutionary biology - although debate on this point stimulated significant research and furthered the field - and that Neo-Darwinism is alive and well.

RevDate: 2021-05-18

Strößner C (2021)

Default Inheritance in Modified Statements: Bias or Inference?.

Frontiers in psychology, 12:626023.

It is a fact that human subjects rate sentences about typical properties such as "Ravens are black" as very likely to be true. In comparison, modified sentences such as "Feathered ravens are black" receive lower ratings, especially if the modifier is atypical for the noun, as in "Jungle ravens are black". This is called the modifier effect. However, the likelihood of the unmodified statement influences the perceived likelihood of the modified statement: the higher the rated likelihood of the unmodified sentence, the higher the rated likelihood of the modified one. That means the modifier effect does not fully block default inheritance of typical properties from nouns to modified nouns. This paper discusses this inheritance effect. In particular, I ask whether it is the direct result of composing concepts from nouns, that is, a bias toward "black" when processing "raven". I report a series of experiments in which I find no evidence for a direct inheritance from composition. This supports the view that default inheritance is rather an inference than a bias.

RevDate: 2021-07-26
CmpDate: 2021-07-26

Sharma S, Singh G, M Sharma (2021)

A comprehensive review and analysis of supervised-learning and soft computing techniques for stress diagnosis in humans.

Computers in biology and medicine, 134:104450.

Stress is the most prevailing and global psychological condition that inevitably disrupts the mood and behavior of individuals. Chronic stress may gravely affect the physical, mental, and social behavior of victims and consequently induce myriad critical human disorders. Herein, a review has been presented where supervised learning (SL) and soft computing (SC) techniques used in stress diagnosis have been meticulously investigated to highlight the contributions, strengths, and challenges faced in the implementation of these methods in stress diagnostic models. A three-tier review strategy comprising of manuscript selection, data synthesis, and data analysis was adopted. The issues in SL strategies and the potential possibility of using hybrid techniques in stress diagnosis have been intensively investigated. The strengths and weaknesses of different SL (Bayesian classifier, random forest, support vector machine, and nearest neighbours) and SC (fuzzy logic, nature-inspired, and deep learning) techniques have been presented to obtain clear insights into these optimization strategies. The effects of social, behavioral, and biological stresses have been highlighted. The psychological, biological, and behavioral responses to stress have also been briefly elucidated. The findings of the study confirmed that different types of data/signals (related to skin temperature, electro-dermal activity, blood circulation, heart rate, facial expressions, etc.) have been used in stress diagnosis. Moreover, there is a potential scope for using distinct nature-inspired computing techniques (Genetic Algorithm, Particle Swarm Optimization, Ant Colony Optimization, Whale Optimization Algorithm, Butterfly Optimization, Harris Hawks Optimizer, and Crow Search Algorithm) and deep learning techniques (Deep-Belief Network, Convolutional-Neural Network, and Recurrent-Neural Network) on multimodal data compiled using behavioral testing, electroencephalogram signals, finger temperature, respiration rate, pupil diameter, galvanic-skin-response, and blood pressure. Likewise, there is a wider scope to investigate the use of SL and SC techniques in stress diagnosis using distinct dimensions such as sentiment analysis, speech recognition, handwriting recognition, and facial expressions. Finally, a hybrid model based on distinct computational methods influenced by both SL and SC techniques, adaption, parameter tuning, and the use of chaos, levy, and Gaussian distribution may address exploration and exploitation issues. However, factors such as real-time data collection, bias, integrity, multi-dimensional data, and data privacy make it challenging to design precise and innovative stress diagnostic systems based on artificial intelligence.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Garcia-Barrios J, Drysdale M, Ratelle M, et al (2021)

Biomarkers of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Sub-Arctic and Arctic communities in Canada.

International journal of hygiene and environmental health, 235:113754.

Polyfluoroalkyl substances and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of anthropogenic chemicals that are used in food packaging, waterproof clothing, and firefighting foams for their water and oil resistant properties. Though levels of some PFAS appear to be decreasing in Canada's south, environmental levels have been increasing in the Arctic due to long-range transport. However, the implications of this on human exposures in sub-Arctic and Arctic populations in Canada have yet to be established. To address this data gap, human biomonitoring research was completed in Old Crow, Yukon, and the Dehcho region, Northwest Territories. Blood samples were collected from adults residing in seven northern First Nations and were analyzed by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. A total of nine PFAS were quantified: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulphonic acid (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulphonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUdA), perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), and perfluorobutane sulphonic acid (PFBS). In the Dehcho (n = 124), five PFAS had a detection rate greater than 50% including PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, PFNA, and PFDA. In addition to these PFAS, PFUdA was also detected in at least half of the samples collected in Old Crow (n = 54). Generally, male participants had higher concentrations of PFAS compared to female participants, and PFAS concentrations tended to increase with age. For most PFAS, Old Crow and Dehcho levels were similar or lower to those measured in the general Canadian population (as measured through the Canadian Health Measures Survey or CHMS) and other First Nations populations in Canada (as measured through the First Nations Biomonitoring Initiative or FNBI). The key exception to this was for PFNA which, relative to the CHMS (0.51 μg/L), was approximately 1.8 times higher in Old Crow (0.94 μg/L) and 2.8 times higher in Dehcho (1.42 μg/L) than observed in the general Canadian population. This project provides baseline PFAS levels for participating communities, improving understanding of human exposures to PFAS in Canada. Future research should investigate site-specific PFNA exposure sources and monitor temporal trends in these regions.

RevDate: 2021-08-04
CmpDate: 2021-06-21

Rassi MS, O Al-Mefty (2021)

Surgical Treatment of Bilateral Optic Nerve Sheath Meningioma: 2-Dimensional Operative Video.

Operative neurosurgery (Hagerstown, Md.), 20(6):E418-E419.

Even though intracranial meningiomas commonly invade the optic canals, true optic nerve sheath meningiomas are extremely rare. They are insidious lesions that frequently grow in 4 stages, leading to progressive visual loss.1-4 Frequently, management includes observation for asymptomatic patients, and fractioned stereotactic radiotherapy with progressive visual loss.1,3 However, surgery is avoided due to the risk of perioperative visual loss.2-4 However, many of these cases present in the early stage of tumor growth, where an arachnoidal plane is still present, and vision can be saved by microsurgical tumor resection.2 Here we present the case of a 33-yr-old female presenting with a 3-wk history of blurred vision. Neuroimaging depicted an enhancing lesion along both optic nerves consistent with bilateral optic nerve sheath meningioma. Neuroophthalmological examination showed inferior cut of visual field bilaterally, more extensive on the left eye. Acuity was 20/20 on both eyes. Microsurgical resection of the tumor was performed through left supraorbital craniotomy, with the goal of eliminating intracranial extension and stabilizing visual function.5 The optic canal was unroofed with diamond bit drill under copious irrigation. A remarkable improvement of her visual field was observed with maintenance of acuity at 20/20 on follow-up. As the patient is attempting pregnancy, she is closely monitored without radiation. Surgery can be offered as a primary treatment of optic nerve sheath meningiomas, especially in early stages, with likely preservation and, in some cases, improvement of visual function.6 The patient consented to the procedure and the use of image. Images at 1:46 and 3:48 reprinted from Al-Mefty O, Operative Atlas of Meningiomas. 1998: Raven Press; Philadelphia, PA, with permission from LWW. Image at 2:57 reprinted from Rassi et al2; © Anil Can, 2018, used with permission. Image at 9:27 in public domain/age.

RevDate: 2021-05-04

Parishar P, Mohapatra AN, S Iyengar (2021)

Investigating Behavioral Responses to Mirrors and the Mark Test in Adult Male Zebra Finches and House Crows.

Frontiers in psychology, 12:637850.

Earlier evidence suggests that besides humans, some species of mammals and birds demonstrate visual self-recognition, assessed by the controversial "mark" test. Whereas, there are high levels of inter-individual differences amongst a single species, some species such as macaques and pigeons which do not spontaneously demonstrate mirror self-recognition (MSR) can be trained to do so. We were surprised to discover that despite being widely used as a model system for avian research, the performance of zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata) on the mark test had not been studied earlier. Additionally, we studied the behavioral responses of another species of passerine songbirds (Indian house crows; Corvus splendens) to a mirror and the MSR mark test. Although a small number of adult male zebra finches appeared to display heightened responses toward the mark while observing their reflections, we could not rule out the possibility that these were a part of general grooming rather than specific to the mark. Furthermore, none of the house crows demonstrated mark-directed behavior or increased self-exploratory behaviors when facing mirrors. Our study suggests that self-directed behaviors need to be tested more rigorously in adult male zebra finches while facing their reflections and these findings need to be replicated in a larger population, given the high degree of variability in mirror-directed behaviors.

RevDate: 2021-05-04

Galal TM, Abu Alhmad MF, HM Al-Yasi (2021)

Nutrient sequestration potential of water primrose Ludwigia stolinefera (Guill. & Perr.) P.H. Raven: A strategy for restoring wetland eutrophication.

Saudi journal of biological sciences, 28(4):2438-2446.

The current work investigates the capacity of the water primrose (Ludwigia stolinefera) to sequester inorganic and organic nutrients in its biomass to restore eutrophic wetlands, besides its nutritive quality as fodder for animals. The nutrient elements and nutritive value of the water primrose were assessed seasonally in polluted and unpolluted watercourses. The water primrose plants' highest biomass was attained during summer; then, it was significantly reduced till it reached its lowest value during winter. In the polluted canal, the plant root and shoot accumulated higher contents of all nutrient elements (except Na and Mg) rather than in the unpolluted Nile. They accumulated most investigated nutrients in the growing season during summer. The shoots accumulated higher contents of N, P, Ca, and Mg than the root, which accumulated higher concentrations of Na and K. Therefore, summer season is the ideal time to harvest water primrose for removing the maximum nutrients for restoring eutrophic watercourses. The aboveground tissues had the highest values of ether extract (EE) during spring and the highest crude fibers (CF) and total proteins (TP) during summer. In contrast, the belowground tissues had the lowest EE, CF, and TP during winter. In spring, autumn, and winter seasons, the protein content in the grazeable parts (shoots) of the water primrose was within the range, while in summer, it was higher than the minimum requirement for the maintenance of animals. There was a decrease in crude fibers and total proteins, while an increase in soluble carbohydrates content in the below- and above-ground tissues of water primrose under pollution stress. The total protein, lipids, and crude fibers of the aboveground parts of water primrose support this plant as a rough forage.

RevDate: 2021-07-02
CmpDate: 2021-07-02

Nieder A (2021)

The Evolutionary History of Brains for Numbers.

Trends in cognitive sciences, 25(7):608-621.

Humans and other animals share a number sense', an intuitive understanding of countable quantities. Having evolved independent from one another for hundreds of millions of years, the brains of these diverse species, including monkeys, crows, zebrafishes, bees, and squids, differ radically. However, in all vertebrates investigated, the pallium of the telencephalon has been implicated in number processing. This suggests that properties of the telencephalon make it ideally suited to host number representations that evolved by convergent evolution as a result of common selection pressures. In addition, promising candidate regions in the brains of invertebrates, such as insects, spiders, and cephalopods, can be identified, opening the possibility of even deeper commonalities for number sense.

RevDate: 2021-08-13
CmpDate: 2021-08-13

Kvapil P, Račnik J, Kastelic M, et al (2021)

A Sentinel Serological Study in Selected Zoo Animals to Assess Early Detection of West Nile and Usutu Virus Circulation in Slovenia.

Viruses, 13(4):.

Monitoring infectious diseases is a crucial part of preventive veterinary medicine in zoological collections. This zoo environment contains a great variety of animal species that are in contact with wildlife species as a potential source of infectious diseases. Wild birds may be a source of West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu (USUV) virus, which are both emerging pathogens of rising concern. The aim of this study was to use zoo animals as sentinels for the early detection of WNV and USUV in Slovenia. In total, 501 sera from 261 animals of 84 animal species (including birds, rodents, lagomorphs, carnivores, ungulates, reptiles, equids, and primates) collected for 17 years (2002-2018) were tested for antibodies to WNV and USUV. Antibodies to WNV were detected by indirect immunofluorescence tests in 16 (6.1%) of 261 animals representing 10 species, which were sampled prior to the first active cases of WNV described in 2018 in Slovenia in humans, a horse, and a hooded crow (Corvus cornix). Antibodies to USUV were detected in 14 out of 261 animals tested (5.4%) that were positive prior to the first positive cases of USUV infection in common blackbirds (Turdus merula) in Slovenia. The study illustrates the value of zoological collections as a predictor of future emerging diseases.


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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