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30 Jun 2022 at 01:37
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Bibliography on: Corvids (crows, jays, etc)


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Jun 2022 at 01:37 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: 2022-06-29

Anonymous (2022)

Expression of Concern: Optimized lung tumor diagnosis system using enhanced version of crow search algorithm, Zernike moments, and support vector machine.

RevDate: 2022-06-26

Kuroha Y, Takahashi T, Arai Y, et al (2022)

[Neuropsychological and regional cerebral blood flow of posterior parietal area features in patients with Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment].

Rinsho shinkeigaku = Clinical neurology [Epub ahead of print].

This study aimed to clarify associations between neuropsychological scales and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) of on ‍123I-IMP-SPECT in patients with Parkinson's disease with mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI). Forty-two participants (mean age, 65.5 ± 8.9 years; mean disease duration, 11.1 ±5.7 years) were evaluated using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, third edition (WAIS-III), Wechsler Memory Scale, revised (WMS-R), Stroop test, Category word fluency, Auditory verbal learning test, Raven colored progressive matrices, Trail Making Test-B, and Clock drawing test. Participants were classified into PD-MCI and PD non-demented (PD-ND) using ten of these scales or its subtests. The rCBF of the posterior cingulate gyrus, precuneus, and parietal lobes was evaluated by ‍123I-IMP-SPECT using the easy Z-‍score imaging system (eZIS analysis). Extent was the extent index of voxels showing z-score > 2, and Severity was mean z-score in those regions on eZIS analysis. Cingulate island sign score (CIScore) was the ratio of integrated z-scores of the posterior cingulate gyrus to those of the posterior cortex.Twenty-three participants were diagnosed with PD-MCI (55%). The rCBF indices were significantly increased in the PD-MCI group compared to the PD-ND group (Extent: P = 0.047; CIScore: P = 0.006). These indices were significantly correlated with WAIS-III Processing Speed (Extent: P = 0.041, R = -0.317; Severity: P = 0.047, R = -0.309), Stroop effect (Extent: P = 0.003, R = 0.443; Severity: P = 0.004, R = 0.437), WMS-R Visual memory (Extent: P = 0.019, R = -0.361; Severity: P = 0.014, R = -0.375), and Delayed memory score (Extent: P = 0.005, R = -0.423; Severity: P = 0.044, R = -0.312). The rCBF indices showed no correlations with the number of impaired cognitive domains. Collectively, decreased posterior parietal area rCBF and lower scores on selective neuropsychological scales might be helpful to detect a transition period from PD-MCI to PD-D.

RevDate: 2022-06-24

Kizilkaya MC, Kilic SS, Bozkurt MA, et al (2022)

Breast cancer awareness among Afghan refugee women in Turkey.

EClinicalMedicine, 49:101459 pii:S2589-5370(22)00189-4.

Background Refugees and asylum-seekers have lower levels of cancer awareness and this contributes to low rates of screening and more advanced cancers at diagnosis, compared to non-refugee populations, due largely to reduced access to medical information and care. The global Afghan refugee population is rapidly increasing with the ongoing Afghan political crisis. The present study investigates breast cancer (BC) awareness among Afghan refugee women.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of Afghan refugee women residing in Turkey was performed in September 2021. A validated BC patient awareness assessment, the Breast Cancer Awareness Measure (BCAM), was used to assess participants' knowledge of seven domains of BC: symptoms, self-examination, ability to notice breast changes, age-related risk of BC, urgency of addressing changes in the breast, BC risk factors, and BC screening. BCAM was translated into patients' native language and administered verbally by a physician with the assistance of an official interpreter. Routine statistical methods were employed for data analysis.

Findings: A total of 430 patients were recruited to the study. The response rate was 97·7% (420 patients). The median participant age was 35 years (range: 18 to 68 years). The majority of participants (84%) had no formal education. Most participants (96%) were married, and most (95%) were not employed. Awareness of warning signs of BC was low: only seven to 18% of participants recognized 11 common warning signs of BC. Participant use of breast self-exam (BSE) was low, with 82% of participants stating they rarely or never complete BSE. Zero of 420 patients reported ever seeing a physician for a change in their breasts. Awareness of risk factors for BC was also low: only 15% of participants recognized increasing age as a risk factor for BC, and other risk factors were only recognized by four to 39% of participants.

Interpretation: BC awareness among Afghan refugee women is critically low. There is an urgent need to target this population for practical interventions to increase BC awareness, in addition to screening and earlier diagnosis. Evidence-based interventions include educational sessions in patients' native language and use of BSE and clinical breast examination for screening.

Funding: American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) - Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO) Global Health Scholar Grant, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Jay Harris Junior Faculty Research Grant.

RevDate: 2022-06-23

Malvandi H, MH Shamabadi (2022)

Use of Feathers from Birds that Collided with Vehicles to Monitor Heavy Metal Contamination in Western Khorasan Razavi, Iran.

Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology [Epub ahead of print].

In the present study, lead, zinc and copper concentrations in the feathers of Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), Eurasian magpie (Pica pica), Common buzzard (Buteo buteo), Crested lark (Galerida cristata), Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops), Little owl (Athene noctua), Long-eared owl (Asio otus), Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) and Long-legged buzzard (Buteo rufinus) from Sabzevar and Neghab, Khorasan Razavi of Iran were measured. Almost all of the specimens were obtained from birds that had collided with vehicles or were unable to fly. There were no significant differences in metal concentrations between adult and juvenile, diurnal and nocturnal raptors and species with different diets. Elemental concentrations were lower than toxicity threshold values, so exposure to these elements does not appear to pose a health risk to the studied species. It should be noted that this study was the first study of metals in Galerida cristata, Asio otus and Buteo rufinus.

RevDate: 2022-06-20

Hentati-Sundberg J, Berglund PA, Hejdström A, et al (2021)

COVID-19 lockdown reveals tourists as seabird guardians.

Biological conservation, 254:108950.

The widespread lockdowns put in place to limit the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) offers a rare opportunity in understanding how human presence influence ecosystems. Using data from long-term seabird monitoring, we reveal a previously concealed guarding effect by tourist groups on an iconic seabird colony in the Baltic Sea. The absence of tourists in 2020 lead to a sevenfold increase in presence of white-tailed eagles Haliaeetus albicilla, a sevenfold increase in their disturbance of breeding common murres Uria aalge and causing 26% lower murre productivity than the long-term average. Eagles did not prey on murres, but their frequent disturbances delayed egg laying and facilitated egg predation from herring gulls Larus argentatus and hooded crows Corvus cornix. Based on our findings, we suggest that human presence could be used as a strategic measure in guarding seabird colonies, and that a social-ecological systems perspective is vital for long-term success in protected area management.

RevDate: 2022-06-20

Hallett J, Feng D, McCormick AKHG, et al (2022)

Improving Chronic Illness Self-Management with the Apsáalooke Nation: The Báa nnilah Project, a cluster randomized trial protocol.

Contemporary clinical trials pii:S1551-7144(22)00161-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Chronic illness (CI) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for Indigenous people. In Montana, Indigenous communities disproportionately experience CI, a legacy of settler colonialism. For over two decades, Messengers for Health, an Apsáalooke (Crow Indian) non-profit, and Montana State University have partnered to improve community health using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. We developed Báa nnilah, an intervention utilizing community strengths, to improve CI self-management. This manuscript describes the protocol for a cluster randomized trial with two arms: an intervention group and a wait list control group, who both participated in the Báa nnilah program. Enrollment occurred through family/clan networks and community outreach and attended to limitations of existing CI self-management interventions by using an approach and content that were culturally consonant. Participants received program materials, attended seven gatherings focused on improving CI management, and received and shared health information through storytelling based on a conceptual framework from the Apsáalooke culture and incorporating CI self-management strategies. Participant support occurred within partnership dyads during and between gatherings, from community mentors, and by program staff. The study used mixed methods to evaluate the intervention, with qualitative measures including the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12), Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Patient Activation Measure (PAM), and a suite of PROMIS measures, various physical tests and qualitative survey responses, semi-structured interviews, and outcomes shared by participants with program staff. We hypothesized that Báa nnilah would significantly improve participant health outcome measures across multiple dimensions with quality of life as the primary outcome. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03036189. Registered on 30 January 2017. (From https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03036189).

RevDate: 2022-06-21

Buniyaadi A, Prabhat A, Bhardwaj SK, et al (2022)

Night melatonin levels affect cognition in diurnal animals: Molecular insights from a corvid exposed to an illuminated night environment.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 308:119618 pii:S0269-7491(22)00832-6 [Epub ahead of print].

This study investigated the role of nocturnal melatonin secretion in the cognitive performance of diurnal animals. An initial experiment measured the cognitive performance in Indian house crows treated for 11 days with 12 h light at 1.426 W/m2 (∼150 lux) coupled with 12 h of 0.058 W/m2 (∼6-lux) dim light at night (dLAN) or with absolute darkness (0 lux dark night, LD). dLAN treatment significantly decreased midnight melatonin levels and negatively impacted cognitive performance. Subsequently, the role of exogenous melatonin (50 μg; administered intraperitoneally half an hour before the night began) was assessed on the regulation of cognitive performance in two separate experimental cohorts of crows kept under dLAN; LD controls received vehicle. Exogenous melatonin restored its mid-night levels under dLAN at par with those under LD controls, and improved the cognitive performance, as measured in the innovative problem-solving, and spatial and pattern learning-memory efficiency tests in dLAN-treated crows. There were concurrent molecular changes in the cognition-associated brain areas, namely the hippocampus, nidopallium caudolaterale and midbrain. In particular, the expression levels of genes involved in neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity (bdnf, dcx, egr1, creb), and dopamine synthesis and signalling (th, drd1, drd2, darpp32, taar1) were restored to LD control levels in crows treated with illuminated nights and received melatonin. These results demonstrate that the maintenance of nocturnal melatonin levels is crucial for an optimal higher-order brain function in diurnal animals in the face of an environmental threat, such as light pollution.

RevDate: 2022-06-17

Zhang Y, Zhang Z, Zhao L, et al (2022)

Azure-winged Magpies would rather avoid losses than strive for benefits based on reciprocal altruism.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

It is no doubt that the reciprocal altruism of humans is unparalleled in the animal world. However, how strong altruistic behavior in the non-human animal is still very controversial. Almost all previous researches allowed only one individual in the dyad for action or dyad to accomplish tasks and obtain rewards simultaneously. Here, we designed current study based on the prisoner's dilemma to investigate reciprocal altruism under interactions of Azure-winged Magpies (Cyanopica cyanus), which is direct reciprocity of allowing subjects obtain rewards, respectively. The results suggest that Azure-winged Magpies failed to show continuously altruistic behavior due to the empiricism that stemmed from interactions, that is, avoiding losses. Meanwhile, the resource exchange game paradigm, which is designed in our study, is worthwhile to study the evolution of cooperation in more species in the future.

RevDate: 2022-06-15

McCullough JM, Oliveros C, Benz BW, et al (2022)

Wallacean and Melanesian Islands Promote Higher Rates of Diversification within the Global Passerine radiation Corvides.

Systematic biology pii:6608712 [Epub ahead of print].

The complex island archipelagoes of Wallacea and Melanesia have provided empirical data behind integral theories in evolutionary biology, including allopatric speciation and island biogeography. Yet, questions regarding the relative impact of the layered biogeographic barriers, such as deep-water trenches and isolated island systems, on faunal diversification remain underexplored. One such barrier is Wallace's Line, a significant biogeographic boundary that largely separates Australian and Asian biodiversity. To assess the relative roles of biogeographic barriers-specifically isolated island systems and Wallace's Line-we investigated the tempo and mode of diversification in a diverse avian radiation, Corvides (Crows and Jays, Birds-of-paradise, Vangas, and allies). We combined a genus-level dataset of thousands of ultraconserved elements (UCEs) and a species-level, 12-gene Sanger sequence matrix to produce a well-resolved supermatrix tree that we leveraged to explore the group's historical biogeography and effects of biogeographic barriers on their macroevolutionary dynamics. The tree is well-resolved and differs substantially from what has been used extensively for past comparative analyses within this group. We confirmed that Corvides, and its major constituent clades, arose in Australia and that a burst of dispersals west across Wallace's Line occurred after the uplift of Wallacea during the mid-Miocene. We found that dispersal across this biogeographic barrier were generally rare, though westward dispersals were two times more frequent than eastward dispersals. Wallacea's central position between Sundaland and Sahul no doubt acted as a bridge for island-hopping dispersal out of Australia, across Wallace's Line, to colonize the rest of Earth. In addition, we found that the complex island archipelagoes east of Wallace's Line harbor the highest rates of net diversification and are a substantial source of colonists to continental systems on both sides of this biogeographic barrier. Our results support emerging evidence that island systems, particularly the geologically complex archipelagoes of the Indo-pacific, are drivers of species diversification.

RevDate: 2022-06-10

Lean FZX, Vitores AG, Reid SM, et al (2022)

Gross pathology of high pathogenicity avian influenza virus H5N1 2021-2022 epizootic in naturally infected birds in the United Kingdom.

One health (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 14:100392 pii:S2352-7714(22)00024-6.

High pathogenicity avian influenza virus (HPAIV) clade has re-emerged in the United Kingdom in 2021-2022 winter season, with over 90 cases of HPAIV detected among poultry and captive birds in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Globally, HPAIV H5N1 has also had a wide geographical dispersion, causing outbreaks in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa, impacting on socioeconomic and wildlife conservation. It is important to raise awareness of the gross pathological features of HPAIV and subsequently aid disease investigation through definition of pathological indicators following natural infection. In this study, we report on the gross pathology of HPAI H5N1 in poultry species (chicken, turkey, pheasant, guineafowl, duck, goose), and captive or wild birds (mute swan, tufted duck, jackdaw, peahen, white-tailed eagle) that tested positive between October 2021 and February 2022. Pancreatic and splenic necrosis were the common pathological findings in both Galliformes and Anseriformes. In addition to the more severe lesions documented in Galliformes, we also noted increased detection of pathological changes in a broader range of Anseriformes particularly in domestic ducks, in contrast to those reported in previous seasons with other H5Nx HPAIV subtypes. A continual effort to characterise the pathological impact of the disease is necessary to update on the presentation of HPAIV for both domestic/captive and wild birds whilst guiding early presumptive diagnosis.

RevDate: 2022-06-10

Gallup AC, Schild AB, Ühlein MA, et al (2022)

No Evidence for Contagious Yawning in Juvenile Ravens (Corvus corax): An Observational Study.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(11): pii:ani12111357.

The overt and reflexive matching of behaviors among conspecifics has been observed in a growing number of social vertebrates, including avian species. In general, behavioral contagion-such as the spread of yawning-may serve important functions in group synchronization and vigilance behavior. Here, we performed an exploratory study to investigate yawn contagion among 10 captive juvenile ravens (Corvus corax), across two groups. Using observational methods, we also examined the contagiousness of three other distinct behaviors: stretching, scratching, and shaking. A total of 44 20 min observations were made across both groups, including 28 in the morning and 16 in the afternoon. The time and occurrence of all the behaviors from each bird were coded, and the temporal pattern of each behavior across both groups was then analyzed to assess the degree of social contagion. Overall, we found no evidence for contagious yawning, stretching, scratching, or shaking. However, yawns were relatively infrequent per observation (0.052 ± 0.076 yawns/bird) and thus experimental methods should be used to support this finding.

RevDate: 2022-06-08

Li K, Walczak-Kozłowska T, Lipowski M, et al (2022)

The effect of the Baduanjin exercise on COVID-19-related anxiety, psychological well-being and lower back pain of college students during the pandemic.

BMC sports science, medicine & rehabilitation, 14(1):102.

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to examine the effect of Baduanjin exercise on COVID-19-related anxiety, psychological well-being, and the lower back pain of college students during the coronavirus pandemic in China.

SETTING: The study was carried out in a temporary experimental center of four universities in Wenzhou city in Zhejiang Province, China.

POPULATION: 387 participants who were college students were allocated to two groups: the Baduanjin exercise group(BEG, n = 195); and the Control group(CG,n = 192).

METHODS: In this randomized controlled trial,387 participants who were college students were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio to 12-week Baduanjin exercise group (BEG, n = 195)and 12-week Control group(CG,n = 192).CAS(Coronavirus Anxiety Scale), PWBS(Psychological Well-being Scale),NMQ(Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire), was used to assess COVID-19-related anxiety, psychological well-being, and lower back pain at second times (before and after the intervention). The paired t-test and an independent t-test (with a 95% confidence interval) was used to compare the outcome variables of the two groups.

RESULTS: Within-group comparison, there was no significant difference in the control group before and after the intervention. In contrast, the Baduanjin group had a significant improvement before and after the intervention. Between-group comparison, the Baduanjin group had a significant difference from the control group. The intervention effect on the Baduanjin exercise group was remarkably better than that of the control group (p < 0.05). Participants in the Baduanjin group significantly improved the corvid-19-related anxiety score decreased from (5.22 ± 0.45 to 5.07 ± 0.27, p < 0.05). The total psychological well-being score increased from (70.11 ± 8.65 to 84.12 ± 7.38,p < 0.05) and the prevalence of low back pain decreased from (22.45 ± 1.67 to 18.35 ± 1.05, p < 0.05) among college students.

CONCLUSION: During the pandemic, the Baduanjin exercise contributes to the reduction of the perceived anxiety related to COVID-19, decreases the prevalence of the lower back pain, and improves the psychological well-being of college students.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov, NCT04432038. Registered on June 16, 2020.

RevDate: 2022-06-08

Balbino M, Jandre C, de Miranda D, et al (2022)

Predictions of Academic Performance of Children and Adolescents with ADHD Using the SHAP Approach.

Studies in health technology and informatics, 290:655-659.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by inattention and/or impulsivity-hyperactivity symptoms. Through Machine Learning methods and the SHAP approach, this work aims to discover which features have the most significant impact on the students' performance with ADHD in arithmetic, writing and reading. The SHAP allowed us to deepen the model's understanding and identify the most relevant features for academic performance. The experiments indicated that the Raven_Z IQ test score is the factor with the most significant impact on academic performance in all disciplines. Then, the mother's schooling, being from a private school, and the student's social class were the most frequently highlighted features. In all disciplines, the student having ADHD emerged as an important feature with a negative impact but less relevance than the previous features.

RevDate: 2022-06-07

Ganesh R, Vanichkachorn GS, Munipalli B, et al (2022)

Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) - Lessons Learned From a Coordinated Health Systems Response.

Mayo Clinic proceedings. Innovations, quality & outcomes pii:S2542-4548(22)00033-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Objective: To outline a consensus designed process for triaging and managing patients with Post COVID syndrome at the Mayo Clinic.

Patients and Methods: We convened a central multidisciplinary team including members from General Internal Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Psychology, Allergy and Immunology, Infectious Disease, Pulmonology, Neurology, Cardiology, Pediatrics and Otorhinolaryngology, with membership from all the Mayo Clinic sites in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Results: Consensus recommendations were made for best practice guidelines on triaging and managing patients. Several innovations were agreed upon including a PASC specific appointment request form for data collection, a bio-registry, a bio-repository, and a PASC specific treatment program.

Conclusions: Given that each clinical site had individual clinical practices, these recommendations were implemented using different models, which may provide broad applicability to other clinical settings.

RevDate: 2022-06-01

Sasaki Y, Nozawa-Takeda T, Yonemitsu K, et al (2022)

Characterization of Campylobacter jejuni in large-billed crows (Corvus macrorhynchos) in Tochigi prefecture, Japan.

The Journal of veterinary medical science [Epub ahead of print].

As free-living crows are a potential source of Campylobacter infections in broilers and cattle, we characterized Campylobacter spp. isolated from crows using multilocus sequence typing and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. We obtained 82 samples from 27 birds captured at seven different times using a trap set in Tochigi prefecture, Japan. Campylobacterjejuni was isolated from 55 (67.1%) of the 82 samples and classified into 29 sequence types, of which 21 were novel. Tetracycline and streptomycin resistance rates were 18.2% and 3.6%, respectively. These results show that most types of C. jejuni infecting crows differ from those isolated from humans, broilers, and cattle. Thus, the importance of free-living crows as reservoirs of Campylobacter infections in broilers and cattle may be limited.

RevDate: 2022-06-01

Cheikh F, Benhassine NE, S Sbaa (2022)

Fetal phonocardiogram signals denoising using improved complete ensemble (EMD) with adaptive noise and optimal thresholding of wavelet coefficients.

Biomedizinische Technik. Biomedical engineering pii:bmt-2022-0006 [Epub ahead of print].

Although fetal phonocardiogram (fPCG) signals have become a good indicator for discovered heart disease, they may be contaminated by various noises that reduce the signals quality and the final diagnosis decision. Moreover, the noise may cause the risk of the data to misunderstand the heart signal and to misinterpret it. The main objective of this paper is to effectively remove noise from the fPCG signal to make it clinically feasible. So, we proposed a novel noise reduction method based on Improved Complete Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition with Adaptive Noise (ICEEMDAN), wavelet threshold and Crow Search Algorithm (CSA). This noise reduction method, named ICEEMDAN-DWT-CSA, has three major advantages. They were, (i) A better suppress of mode mixing and a minimized number of IMFs, (ii) A choice of wavelet corresponding to the study signal proven by the literature and (iii) Selection of the optimal threshold value. Firstly, the noisy fPCG signal is decomposed into Intrinsic Mode Functions (IMFs) by the (ICEEMDAN). Each noisy IMFs were decomposed by the Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT). Then, the optimal threshold value using the (CSA) technique is selected and the thresholding function is carried out in the detail's coefficients. Secondly, each denoised (IMFs) is reconstructed by applying the Inverse Discrete Wavelet Transform (IDWT). Finally, all these denoised (IMFs) are combined to get the denoised fPCG signal. The performance of the proposed method has been evaluated by Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), Mean Square Error (MSE) and the Correlation Coefficient (COR). The experiment gave a better result than some standard methods.

RevDate: 2022-05-31

Chu KK, Zhou ZJ, Wang Q, et al (2022)

Characterization of Deltacoronavirus in Black-Headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) in South China Indicating Frequent Interspecies Transmission of the Virus in Birds.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:895741.

Deltacoronavirus (DCoV) is a genus of coronavirus (CoV) commonly found in avian and swine, but some DCoVs are capable of infecting humans, which causes the concern about interspecies transmission of DCoVs. Thus, monitoring the existence of DCoVs in animals near communities is of great importance for epidemic prevention. Black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) are common migratory birds inhabiting in most urban and rural wetlands of Yunnan Province, China, which is a typical habitat for black-headed gulls to overwinter. Whether Yunnan black-headed gulls carry CoV has never been determined. In this study, we identified three strains of DCoVs in fecal samples of Yunnan black-headed gulls by reverse-transcriptional PCR and sequenced their whole genomes. Genomic analysis revealed that these three strains shared genomic identity of more than 99%, thus named DCoV HNU4-1, HNU4-2, and HNU4-3; their NSP12 showed high similarity of amino acid sequence to the homologs of falcon coronavirus UAE-HKU27 (HKU27), houbara coronavirus UAE-HKU28 (HKU28), and pigeon coronavirus UAE-HKU29 (HKU29). Since both HKU28 and HKU29 were found in Dubai, there might be cross-border transmission of these avian DCoVs through specific routes. Further coevolutionary analysis supported this speculation that HNU4 (or its ancestors) in black-headed gulls originated from HKU28 (or its homologous strain) in houbara, which was interspecies transmission between two different avian orders. In addition, interspecies transmission of DCoV, from houbara to falcon, pigeon and white-eye, from sparrow to common-magpie, and quail and mammal including porcine and Asian leopard cat, from munia to magpie-robin, was predicted. This is the first report of black-headed gull DCoV in Asia which was highly homolog to other avian DCoVs, and the very "active" host-switching events in DCoV were predicted, which provides important reference for the study of spread and transmission of DCoVs.

RevDate: 2022-05-28

Aaziz R, Laroucau K, Gobbo F, et al (2022)

Occurrence of Chlamydiae in Corvids in Northeast Italy.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(10): pii:ani12101226.

Chlamydiaceae occurrence has been largely evaluated in wildlife, showing that wild birds are efficient reservoirs for avian chlamydiosis. In this study, DNA extracted from cloacal swabs of 108 corvids from Northeast Italy was screened for Chlamydiaceae by 23S real-time (rt)PCR. The positive samples were characterised by specific rtPCRs for Chlamydia psittaci, Chlamydia abortus, Chlamydia gallinacea, Chlamydia avium, Chlamydia pecorum and Chlamydia suis. Cloacal shedding of Chlamydiaceae was detected in 12 out of 108 (11.1%, 5.9%-18.6% 95% CI) corvids sampled. Molecular characterisation at the species level was possible in 8/12 samples, showing C. psittaci positivity in only one sample from a hooded crow and C. abortus positivity in seven samples, two from Eurasian magpies and five from hooded crows. Genotyping of the C. psittaci-positive sample was undertaken via PCR/high-resolution melting, clustering it in group III_pigeon, corresponding to the B genotype based on former ompA analysis. For C. abortus genotyping, multilocus sequence typing was successfully performed on the two samples with high DNA load from Eurasian magpies, highlighting 100% identity with the recently reported Polish avian C. abortus genotype 1V strain 15-58d44. To confirm the intermediate characteristics between C. psittaci and C. abortus, both samples, as well as two samples from hooded crows, showed the chlamydial plasmid inherent in most C. psittaci and avian C. abortus, but not in ruminant C. abortus strains. The plasmid sequences were highly similar (≥99%) to those of the Polish avian C. abortus genotype 1V strain 15-58d44. To our knowledge, this is the first report of avian C. abortus strains in Italy, specifically genotype 1V, confirming that they are actively circulating in corvids in the Italian region tested.

RevDate: 2022-05-27

Vermeylen MK, Knowles TG, HW Barron (2022)

The influence of Lake Okeechobee discharges on Karenia brevis blooms and the effects on wildlife along the central west coast of Florida.

Harmful algae, 115:102237.

Blooms of the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis (K. brevis) are a common occurrence in the Gulf of Mexico, especially along Florida's coast. The blooms produce brevetoxins, potent neurotoxins that are associated with mortalities of marine wildlife. In recent years, K. brevis blooms seem to have become more frequent and intense. The cause of these suspected increases is highly debated, with one suggested explanation being anthropogenic eutrophication. Patient records from the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) on Sanibel Island, Florida, USA, and K. brevis cell count samples from the west coast of Florida were used to assess trends in red tides and affected wildlife. Flow data from the Okeechobee waterway was used to investigate if discharges from Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee Estuary, where eutrophication is present, influence red tides along Florida's central west coast. Overall, K. brevis blooms show trends of increasing intensity and duration along Florida's coast between 1954 and 2020 (latest data available). This means the amount of wildlife affected will likely increase in the future, as a linear relationship was found between the number of admissions to CROW and K. brevis densities. Furthermore, water discharges from the Okeechobee waterway (including Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee Estuary) into the Gulf of Mexico were significantly correlated with K. brevis densities, which suggests that anthropogenic pollution might play a role in the observed increases. Clear correlations were found between K. brevis densities and brevetoxicosis patient numbers admitted, and this was strongest with overall admissions lagging 23 days behind cell counts. This further confirms brevetoxins as the likely cause of their morbidity and supports previous research on brevetoxin retention in the environment. Different species groups had significant correlations with K. brevis cell counts, double-crested cormorants showing the strongest link, and there were significant differences between these groups in lag times. The differences are likely due to their distinct foraging behaviours or susceptibilities to brevetoxins. These findings can help predict future trends in red tides and can guide further research on the effects of discharges on K. brevis blooms.

RevDate: 2022-05-27

Ashton BJ, Thornton A, Cauchoix M, et al (2022)

Long-term repeatability of cognitive performance.

Royal Society open science, 9(5):220069 pii:rsos220069.

Measures of cognitive performance, derived from psychometric tasks, have yielded important insights into the factors governing cognitive variation. However, concerns remain over the robustness of these measures, which may be susceptible to non-cognitive factors such as motivation and persistence. Efforts to quantify short-term repeatability of cognitive performance have gone some way to address this, but crucially the long-term repeatability of cognitive performance has been largely overlooked. Quantifying the long-term repeatability of cognitive performance provides the opportunity to determine the stability of cognitive phenotypes and the potential for selection to act on them. To this end, we quantified long-term repeatability of cognitive performance in wild Australian magpies over a three-year period. Cognitive performance was repeatable in two out of four cognitive tasks-associative learning and reversal-learning performance was repeatable, but spatial memory and inhibitory control performance, although trending toward significance, was not. Measures of general cognitive performance, obtained from principal components analyses carried out on each cognitive test battery, were highly repeatable. Together, these findings provide evidence that at least some cognitive phenotypes are stable, which in turn has important implications for our understanding of cognitive evolution.

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Kilian L, Shahid F, Zhao JS, et al (2022)

Bio-inspired morphing wings: mechanical design and wind tunnel experiments.

Bioinspiration & biomimetics [Epub ahead of print].

Bio-inspired morphing wings are part of a novel research direction offering greatly increased adaptability for the use in UAVs. Recent models published in literature often rely on simplifications of the bird wing apparatus and fail to preserve many of the macroscopic morphological features. Therefore, a more holistic design approach could uncover further benefits of truly bio-inspired bird wing models. In face of this issue, a prototype inspired by crow wings (Corvus genus) is developed, which is capable of planform wing morphing. The prototype imitates the feather structure of real birds and replicates the folding motion with a carbon fiber reinforced polymer skeleton with one controllable degree of freedom. The mechanism supplies a smooth airfoil lifting surface through a continuous morphing motion between a fully extended and a folded state. When extended, it has an elliptic planform and emarginated slots between primary remiges. In folded state the wingspan is reduced by 50% with a 40% reduction in surface area, and the aspect ratio decreases from 2.9 to 1.2. Experimental data of a subsonic wind tunnel investigation is presented for flow velocities ranging from 5 to 20 m/s, corresponding to Reynolds numbers between 0.7 × 10^5 - 2.8 × 10^5. The wing is analyzed in the three static states folded, intermediate, and extended through aerodynamic coefficients and flow visualizations along the surface. The bio-inspired design enables the wing to capture several phenomena found on real bird wings. Through its morphing capabilities and intrinsic softness, the wing can sustain large angles of attack with greatly delayed stall and maintain optimal performance at different velocities.

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Farine DR (2022)

Collective behaviour: Jackdaws vote to leave with their voice.

Current biology : CB, 32(10):R467-R469.

Making a decision as a group requires not only choosing where to go but also when to go. A new study provides experimental evidence that, in jackdaws, vocalisations facilitate synchronous early morning departures from communal roosts.

RevDate: 2022-05-24

Dibnah AJ, Herbert-Read JE, Boogert NJ, et al (2022)

Vocally mediated consensus decisions govern mass departures from jackdaw roosts.

Current biology : CB, 32(10):R455-R456.

In the early morning, large groups of up to hundreds or even thousands of roosting birds, sometimes comprising the entire roost population, often take off together in sudden mass departures. These departures commonly occur in low-light conditions and structurally complex habitats where access to visual cues is likely to be restricted. Roosting birds are often highly vocal, leading us to hypothesise that vocalisations, which can propagate over large distances, could provide a means of enabling individuals to agree on when to depart - that is to establish a consensus1 - and thus coordinate the timing of mass movements. Investigations of the role of acoustic signals in coordinating collective decisions have been limited to honeybees2 and relatively small vertebrate groups (<50 individuals)3-5 and have rarely included experimental validation2,3. Here, by combining field recordings with a large-scale experimental manipulation, we show that jackdaws (Corvus monedula) use vocalisations to coordinate mass departures from winter roosts. This provides empirical evidence for vocally-mediated consensus decision-making in large vertebrate groups.

RevDate: 2022-05-23

Moyer RA, Beck CJ, Van Atter N, et al (2022)

Advocacy services for survivors of intimate partner violence: Pivots and lessons learned during the COVID-19 quarantine in Tacoma, Washington.

Family court review, 60(2):288-302.

The Crystal Judson Family Justice Center (CJFJC), like many advocacy programs for survivors of intimate partner violence, transformed its structure and operating procedures amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States was in Washington State, where CJFJC is located, and Governor Jay Inslee acted quickly with a strict stay-at-home order. This paper describes the pre-pandemic, in-person service model used at CJFJC and then the transition to a fully online service model utilizing phone, email and online procedures and platforms. The rapid transition posed many opportunities to learn how to provide services during public pandemics, and how to provide services virtually. We conclude with detailed lessons learned from the experiences of filing domestic violence protection orders online, Zoom court hearings, innovation surrounding community partnerships, and information technology development.

RevDate: 2022-05-19

Gill J (2022)

Finding healing where it hurts.

Med (New York, N.Y.), 3(2):80-82.

In 2021, Cell Press together with Cell Signaling Technology held the second installment of the Rising Black Scientist Award (RBSA) Essay Contest meant to support talented and motivated young Black scientists on their journey. Charleese Williams and Elle Lett won the 2021 RBSA undergraduate and post-graduate scholars, respectively (https://www.cell.com/cell/issue?pii=S0092-8674(21)X0003-7). In recognition of the excellence of this year's submissions, we at Med are honored to also highlight the unique story of Jay Gill, which strongly resonates with the journal's mission to improve global health.

RevDate: 2022-05-17

Borukhson D, Lorenz-Spreen P, M Ragni (2022)

When Does an Individual Accept Misinformation? An Extended Investigation Through Cognitive Modeling.

Computational brain & behavior pii:136 [Epub ahead of print].

A new phenomenon is the spread and acceptance of misinformation and disinformation on an individual user level, facilitated by social media such as Twitter. So far, state-of-the-art socio-psychological theories and cognitive models focus on explaining how the accuracy of fake news is judged on average, with little consideration of the individual. In this paper, a breadth of core models are comparatively assessed on their predictive accuracy for the individual decision maker, i.e., how well can models predict an individual's decision before the decision is made. To conduct this analysis, it requires the raw responses of each individual and the implementation and adaption of theories to predict the individual's response. Building on methods formerly applied on smaller and more limited datasets, we used three previously collected large datasets with a total of 3794 participants and searched for, analyzed and refined existing classical and heuristic modeling approaches. The results suggest that classical reasoning, sentiment analysis models and heuristic approaches can best predict the "Accept" or "Reject" response of a person, headed by a model put together from research by Jay Van Bavel, while other models such as an implementation of "motivated reasoning" performed worse. Further, hybrid models that combine pairs of individual models achieve a significant increase in performance, pointing to an adaptive toolbox.

RevDate: 2022-05-19

Aydin F, Saticioglu IB, Ay H, et al (2022)

Description of the two novel species of the genus Helicobacter: Helicobacter anatolicus sp. nov., and Helicobacter kayseriensis sp. nov., isolated from feces of urban wild birds.

Systematic and applied microbiology, 45(4):126326 pii:S0723-2020(22)00033-9 [Epub ahead of print].

A total of 26 Gram-negative, motile, gently curved, and rod-shaped isolates were recovered, during a study to determine the faeco-prevalence of Helicobacter spp. in urban wild birds. Pairwise comparisons of the 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that these isolates belonged to the genus Helicobacter and phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that the isolates were separated into two divergent groups. The first group consisted of 20 urease-positive isolates sharing the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence identity levels of 98.5-98.6% to H. mustelae ATCC 43772T, while the second group contained six urease-negative isolates with the sequence identity level of 98.5% to the type strain of H. pametensis ATCC 51478T. Five isolates were chosen and subjected to comparative whole-genome analysis. The phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA, gyrA and atpA gene sequences showed that Helicobacter isolates formed two separate phylogenetic clades, differentiating the isolates from the other Helicobacter species. Digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH) and average nucleotide identity (ANI) analyses between strains faydin-H8T, faydin-H23T and their close neighbors H. anseris MIT 04-9362T and H. pametensis ATCC 51478T, respectively, confirmed that both strains represent novel species in the genus Helicobacter. The DNA G+C contents of the strains faydin-H8T and faydin-H23T are 32.0% and 37.6%, respectively. The results obtained for the characterization of the wild bird isolates indicate that they represent two novel species, for which the names Helicobacter anatolicus sp. nov., and Helicobacter kayseriensis sp. nov., are proposed, with faydin-H8T(=LMG 32237T = DSMZ 112312T) and faydin-H23T(=LMG 32236T = CECT 30508T) as respective type strains.

RevDate: 2022-05-17

Kövér L, Paládi P, Benmazouz I, et al (2022)

Is the Hitchcock Story Really True? Public Opinion on Hooded Crows in Cities as Input to Management.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(9):.

In recent years, the Hooded crow (Corvus cornix) has become one of the most successful wild bird species in urban environments across Europe. Hooded crows can cause several problems in cities, including trash scattering, noise disturbance, and aggressive behavior toward humans or pets, and they can be potential vectors of pathogens. To find effective solutions, the public has to be involved in the decision-making process in urban planning management, managed by the city administration. In this study, we surveyed the attitude of people in Hungary towards crows and crow management by collecting information using an online questionnaire containing 65 questions published in 14 Facebook groups. We found that many people were familiar with corvid species and had personal experience with them. In most cases, these experiences were not negative, so the crows were not or only rarely perceived to cause problems to people, such as aggressive behavior, damage to cars or stealing something. Most respondents recognized that the presence of large numbers of hooded crows is a problem to be solved and acknowledged that they do not know how to resolve it. The majority of people expressed their interest in raising public awareness of crows but not in their management actions, which they believe should be implemented by experts. Most respondents preferred passive, harmless methods. More direct methods such as egg/chick removal from the nest, control by trapping, poisoned baits or firearms, or oral contraceptives were the least acceptable. These results express the difficulty in identifying a control method for managing hooded crow populations that is both acceptable to most people and effective at the same time. This study demonstrates the importance of involving public opinion in wildlife management and providing more information to citizens to reduce human-crow conflicts.

RevDate: 2022-05-13

Wang ZY, Pergande MR, Ragsdale CW, et al (2022)

Steroid hormones of the octopus self-destruct system.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(22)00661-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Among all invertebrates, soft-bodied cephalopods have the largest central nervous systems and the greatest brain-to-body mass ratios, yet unlike other big-brained animals, cephalopods are unusually short lived.1-5 Primates and corvids survive for many decades, but shallow-water octopuses, such as the California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides), typically live for only 1 year.6,7 Lifespan and reproduction are controlled by the principal neuroendocrine center of the octopus: the optic glands, which are functional analogs to the vertebrate pituitary gland.8-10 After mating, females steadfastly brood their eggs, begin fasting, and undergo rapid physiological decline, featuring repeated self-injury and leading to death.11 Removal of the optic glands completely reverses this life history trajectory,10 but the signaling factors underlying this major life transition are unknown. Here, we characterize the major secretions and steroidogenic pathways of the female optic gland using mass spectrometry techniques. We find that at least three pathways are mobilized to increase synthesis of select sterol hormones after reproduction. One pathway generates pregnane steroids, known in other animals to support reproduction.12-16 Two other pathways produce 7-dehydrocholesterol and bile acid intermediates, neither of which were previously known to be involved in semelparity. Our results provide insight into invertebrate cholesterol pathways and confirm a remarkable unity of steroid hormone biology in life history processes across Bilateria.

RevDate: 2022-05-13

DeRaad DA, McCormack JE, Chen N, et al (2022)

Combining Species Delimitation, Species Trees, and Tests for Gene Flow Clarifies Complex Speciation in Scrub-Jays.

Systematic biology pii:6585345 [Epub ahead of print].

Complex speciation, involving rapid divergence and multiple bouts of post-divergence gene flow, can obfuscate phylogenetic relationships and species limits. In North America, cases of complex speciation are common, due at least in part to the cyclical Pleistocene glacial history of the continent. Scrub-jays in the genus Aphelocoma provide a useful case study in complex speciation because their range throughout North America is structured by phylogeographic barriers with multiple cases of secondary contact between divergent lineages. Here, we show that a comprehensive approach to genomic reconstruction of evolutionary history, i.e., synthesizing results from species delimitation, species tree reconstruction, demographic model testing, and tests for gene flow, is capable of clarifying evolutionary history despite complex speciation. We find concordant evidence across all statistical approaches for the distinctiveness of an endemic southern Mexico lineage (A. w. sumichrasti), culminating in support for the species status of this lineage under any commonly applied species concept. We also find novel genomic evidence for the species status of a Texas endemic lineage A. w. texana, for which equivocal species delimitation results were clarified by demographic modeling and spatially explicit models of gene flow. Finally, we find that complex signatures of both ancient and modern gene flow between the non-sister California Scrub-Jay (A. californica) and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay (A. woodhouseii), result in discordant gene trees throughout the species' genomes despite clear support for their overall isolation and species status. In sum, we find that a multi-faceted approach to genomic analysis can increase our understanding of complex speciation histories, even in well-studied groups. Given the emerging recognition that complex speciation is relatively commonplace, the comprehensive framework that we demonstrate for interrogation of species limits and evolutionary history using genomic data can provide a necessary roadmap for disentangling the impacts of gene flow and incomplete lineage sorting to better understand the systematics of other groups with similarly complex evolutionary histories.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Trivedi M, Saxena A, Shroff Z, et al (2022)

Experiences and challenges in accessing hospitalization in a government-funded health insurance scheme: Evidence from early implementation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PM-JAY) in India.

PloS one, 17(5):e0266798.

INTRODUCTION: Government-sponsored health insurance schemes can play an important role in improving the reach of healthcare services. Launched in 2018 in India, Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is one of the world's largest government-sponsored health insurance schemes. The objective of this study is to understand beneficiaries' experience of availing healthcare services at the empaneled hospitals in PM-JAY. This study examines the responsiveness of PM-JAY by measuring the prompt attention in service delivery, and access to information by the beneficiaries; financial burden experienced by the beneficiaries; and beneficiary's satisfaction with the experience of hospitalization under PMJAY and its determinants.

METHODS: The study was conducted during March-August 2019. Data were obtained through a survey conducted with 200 PM-JAY beneficiaries (or their caregivers) in the Indian states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The study population comprised of patients who received healthcare services at 14 study hospitals in April 2019. Prompt attention was measured in the form of a) effectiveness of helpdesk, and b) time taken at different stages of hospitalization and discharge events. Access to information by the beneficiaries was measured using the frequency and purpose of text messages and phone calls from the scheme authorities to the beneficiaries. The financial burden was measured in terms of the incidence and magnitude of out-of-pocket payments made by the beneficiaries separate from the cashless payment provided to hospitals by PMJAY. Beneficiaries' satisfaction was measured on a five-point Likert scale.

RESULTS: Socio-economically weaker sections of the society are availing healthcare services under PM-JAY. In Gujarat, the majority of the beneficiaries were made aware of the scheme by the government official channels. In Madhya Pradesh, the majority of the beneficiaries got to know about the scheme from informal sources. For most of the elements of prompt attention, access to information, and beneficiaries' satisfaction, hospitals in Gujarat performed significantly better than the hospitals in Madhya Pradesh. Similarly, for most of the elements of prompt attention, access to information, and beneficiaries' satisfaction, public hospitals performed significantly better than private hospitals. Incidence and magnitude of out-of-pocket payments were significantly higher in Madhya Pradesh as compared to Gujarat, and in private hospitals as compared to the public hospitals.

CONCLUSION: There is a need to focus on Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities for PM-JAY, especially in Madhya Pradesh. Capacity-building efforts need to be prioritized for private hospitals as compared to public hospitals, and for Madhya Pradesh as compared to Gujarat. There is a need to focus on enhancing the responsiveness of the scheme, and timely exchange of information with beneficiaries. There is also an urgent need for measures aimed at reducing the out-of-pocket payments made by the beneficiaries.

RevDate: 2022-05-09

Brynychová K, Sládeček M, Pešková L, et al (2022)

Aggressiveness in a subtropical shorebird's nest defense is adjusted to the predator species and shared by conspecifics.

Aggressive behavior [Epub ahead of print].

Aggression is an important component of an animal's defense when protecting offspring from predators. Ground nesting birds use a variety of defense strategies. However, their choice according to situation context is poorly known, especially in nonpasserines and in the subtropics and tropics. The ability to distinguish between differently dangerous predator species and the opportunity to share defense with conspecifics are potentially important but little-studied aspects of nest defense strategy. We experimentally studied the nest defense of Red-Wattled Lapwing in an individually marked population in a desert area near Dubai, UAE. We used three stuffed models representing 1) a predator dangerous both to adults and to nests (a cat), 2) a nest predator (a raven), and 3) a harmless reference model (a moorhen). We confirmed that the lapwings distinguished between predator species (being most aggressive toward the cat, and least aggressive toward the moorhen) and adjusted their defense strategy accordingly. In addition, conspecific visitors play a variety of roles in parents' defense strategy. They can strengthen the parental reaction, or they can assist in distracting a predator. The visitors included not only nesting neighbors but also nonbreeding floaters. Both parents participated in nest defense to a similar extent, regardless of incubation stage and ambient temperature. This study provides new insight into the complexity of the defensive patterns in ground-nesting birds inhabiting a hot environment. Comparative experimental research on a range of environments, with various bird species and predator models, can help us to understand the drivers of these defensive behavioral patterns.

RevDate: 2022-05-10
CmpDate: 2022-05-10

Hopf C, Bunting E, Clark A, et al (2022)

Survival and Release of 5 American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Naturally Infected With West Nile Virus.

Journal of avian medicine and surgery, 36(1):85-91.

West Nile virus (WNV) has had a significant effect on avian populations in the United States since being first identified in 1999. Avian species in WNV endemic areas do not suffer the same level of mortality that has been reported in birds within the United States since the virus was first identified in North America. Because of their unique susceptibility, American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) are often used to monitor the spread and severity of WNV in North America. American crows with WNV infections are received and treated at the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA) on a regular basis during the summer and fall and have historically had a 100% mortality rate. This report describes WNV-positive American crows that were treated, recovered from the infection, and were subsequently released. The 5 American crows in this case series were tested, when possible, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and plaque reduction neutralization on admission and monitored with both PCR and plaque reduction neutralization throughout their rehabilitation process. Four of the 5 birds had a negative PCR test before release, and 1 bird had a "suspect" positive PCR test result before release. One of the crows was confirmed to have survived for at least 2.5 years after release. Viral shedding was documented up to 93 days after initial hospitalization, which is longer than any previous report of WNV shedding in an American crow.

RevDate: 2022-05-06

Jalil-Masir H, Fattahi R, Ghanbari-Adivi E, et al (2022)

An inclusive multiple model for predicting total sediment transport rate in the presence of coastal vegetation cover based on optimized kernel extreme learning models.

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

Predicting sediment transport rate (STR) in the presence of flexible vegetation is a critical task for modelers. Sediment transport modeling methods in the coastal region is equally challenging due to the nonlinearity of the STR-vegetation interaction. In the present study, the kernel extreme learning model (KELM) was integrated with the seagull optimization algorithm (SEOA), the crow optimization algorithm (COA), the firefly algorithm (FFA), and particle swarm optimization (PSO) to estimate the STR in the presence of vegetation cover. The rigidity index, D50/wave height, Newton number, drag coefficient, and cover density were used as inputs to the models. The root mean square error (RMSE), the mean absolute error (MAE), and percentage of bias (PBIAS) were used to evaluate the capability of models. This study applied the novel ensemble model, and the inclusive multiple model (IMM), to assemble the outputs of the KELM models. In addition, the innovations of this study were the introduction of a new IMM model, and the use of new hybrid KELM models for predicting STR and investigating the effects of various parameters on the STR. At the testing level, the MAE of the IMM model was 22, 60, 68, 73, and 76% lower than those of the KELM-SEOA, KELM-COA, KELM-PSO, and KELM models, respectively. The IMM had a PBIAS of 5, whereas the KELM-SEOA, KELM-COA, KELM-PSOA, and KELM had PBIAS of 9, 12, 14, 18, and 21%, respectively. The results indicated that the increasing drag coefficient and D50/wave height had decreased the STR. From the findings, it was revealed that the IMM and KELM-SEOA had higher predictive ability for STR. Since the sediment is one of the most important sources of environmental pollution, therefore, this study is useful for monitoring and controlling environmental pollution.

RevDate: 2022-05-01

Anonymous (2022)

Cognitive development in 5 years old children is associated with prenatal oxidative stress.

Neuro endocrinology letters, 43(1): pii:NEL430122A05 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: To study the impact of oxidative damage associated with particulate mat-ter< 2.5 µm (PM2.5) during prenatal period on the cognitive development in five years old children.

METHODS: Two cohorts of children aged five years, born in the years 2013 and 2014, were studied for their cognitive development in the polluted district Karvina and the control district Ceske Budejovice. Exposure to PM2.5 in the ambient air was measured for each mother during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Oxidative damage was deter-mined from the level of biomarkers at delivery in mothers´ and newborns´ urine as 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2´-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) and in plasma as 15-F2t-isoprostane levels (15-F2t-IsoP). The Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test (BG test) and the Raven Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM test) were used as psychological cognitive tests.

RESULTS: Average concentrations of PM2.5 ± SD in the 3rd trimester of mothers´ preg-nancies were 37.7 ± 14.7 µg/m3 and 17.1 ± 4.8 µg/m3 in Karvina and Ceske Budejovice, respectively (p < 0.001). The maternal level of 15-F2t-IsoP in plasma at the time of de-livery was significantly associated with the results of the RCPM test (p < 0.05) and the BG test (p < 0.05) in five years old children.

CONCLUSIONS: Lipid peroxidation in maternal plasma at the time of delivery has an adverse effect on the results of psychological cognitive tests in five years old children.

RevDate: 2022-05-18

Pavia M, Val A, Carrera L, et al (2022)

Fossil birds from Cooper's D aid in reconstructing the Early Pleistocene paleoenvironment in the Cradle of Humankind (Gauteng, South Africa).

Journal of human evolution, 167:103185.

Several large-bodied hominin and nonhuman primates have coexisted in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa during the Early Pleistocene. Previous paleoenvironmental studies regarding the Plio-Pleistocene of South Africa have focused heavily on mammal assemblages. Here, we conducted a comprehensive taxonomic analysis of the fossil bird remains from Cooper's D, the most fossiliferous locality of the hominin-bearing Cooper's Cave complex in South Africa. Our taxonomic evaluation of 505 remains reveals the presence of 23 bird taxa, two of which are extinct and already reported from the nearby fossil locality of Kromdraai. The taxonomically diverse bird assemblage is dominated by Francolinus sp. and other species associated with open grassland habitats, followed by rock-dwelling species, including Tyto cf. alba and the extinct Corvus bragai, and by woodland species such as Agapornis sp., Accipiter melanoleucos, and the extinct Glaucidium ireneae. The occurrence of these taxa and their respective proportions in the assemblage, in terms of both numbers of bones and individuals, point to the presence of extensive open grassland and/or savannah with rocky outcrops and woodland. These findings corroborate previous analyses of mammals from Cooper's D, with the exception of aquatic species, which are rare in the bird assemblage. Comparison with older deposits from Kromdraai confirms the definitive establishment of open habitats in the Cradle of Humankind during the Early Pleistocene following a transition from woodier habitats during the Late Pliocene. This study constitutes a further step in investigating the fossil bird diversity in the Cradle of Humankind during the Plio-Pleistocene. Our results add to the larger body of work using avian fossils for paleoenvironmental reconstructions in Africa and support the utility of birds as paleoenvironmental proxies. Similar future studies will refine our understanding of the paleoenvironments and landscape transformation during the Plio-Pleistocene, a critical timeframe for hominin evolution in southern Africa.

RevDate: 2022-05-15

Peona V, Kutschera VE, Blom MPK, et al (2022)

Satellite DNA evolution in Corvoidea inferred from short and long reads.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Satellite DNA (satDNA) is a fast-evolving portion of eukaryotic genomes. The homogeneous and repetitive nature of such satDNA causes problems during the assembly of genomes, and therefore it is still difficult to study it in detail in nonmodel organisms as well as across broad evolutionary timescales. Here, we combined the use of short- and long-read data to explore the diversity and evolution of satDNA between individuals of the same species and between genera of birds spanning ~40 millions of years of bird evolution using birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae) and crow (Corvus) species. These avian species highlighted the presence of a GC-rich Corvoidea satellitome composed of 61 satellite families and provided a set of candidate satDNA monomers for being centromeric on the basis of length, abundance, homogeneity and transcription. Surprisingly, we found that the satDNA of crow species rapidly diverged between closely related species while the satDNA appeared more similar between birds-of-paradise species belonging to different genera.

RevDate: 2022-04-27

Ocañas AR, Danoff-Burg JA, Mulroe K, et al (2022)

Addressing the raven food subsidy challenge by engaging restaurants to close their dumpsters.

Zoo biology [Epub ahead of print].

Ravens have benefitted from resource subsidies provided by humans so much that their population has increased by over 800% in the western Mojave desert over the last 50 years. Our food waste is an especially large subsidy. Raven predation is one of the greatest threats to desert tortoise survival in the California desert. We sought to create and evaluate a behavioral change program among restaurants in Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms, California in the western Mojave with elevated raven populations. Half of the 60 restaurants in these two communities received an intervention encouraging them to close their dumpsters while the other half served as controls with no intervention. Treatment restaurants received two in-person visits to discuss the manifold importance of dumpster closure and laminated information signs to display and extend communication to staff. We surveyed all dumpsters for open/closed status five times before the intervention and five times again 3 months after the intervention. We found a significant increase in closure rates among treatment restaurants due to the interventions, with an average of 9.5% increase toward maximum possible lid closure. Restaurants achieving 80%+ closure received "Gold Star Awards" to further stimulate community-wide behavior change by publicly recognizing and encouraging desired behaviors. We summarize dumpster closure rates from similar interventions in nearby Joshua Tree and across the Coachella Valley to illustrate how local social norms may influence behavior.

RevDate: 2022-04-27

Rezaei MH, MH Yavari (2022)

CROW-based Fano structures for all optical switching devices.

Applied optics, 61(11):3156-3164.

In this paper, an improved optical Fano switch based on coupled resonator optical waveguides (CROWs) is presented. The new topological design is employed to achieve steeper and highly asymmetric Fano resonances (FRs). Physically, in the proposed structures, due to the increase in the effective refractive index at the center of the CROW, a confined mode arises in the continuum background according to the variational theorem and leads to FR. The results show that in CROW-based Fano switches, the Fano spectrum is improved by tuning the number of nanocavities. The ratio between the slope ratio and linewidth shows an improvement of 55.25% from single to CROW5. As an important application of FR, an ultra-compact device with a CROW-based Fano structure is demonstrated. The results of the numerical finite difference time domain simulation agree well with the theoretical coupled mode theory.

RevDate: 2022-05-18

Al-Fakih AM, Algamal ZY, MK Qasim (2022)

An improved opposition-based crow search algorithm for biodegradable material classification.

SAR and QSAR in environmental research, 33(5):403-415.

The development of a reliable quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) classification model with a small number of molecular descriptors is a crucial step in chemometrics. In this study, an improvement of crow search algorithm (CSA) is proposed by adapting the opposite-based learning (OBL) approach, which is named as OBL-CSA, to improve the exploration and exploitation capability of the CSA in quantitative structure-biodegradation relationship (QSBR) modelling of classifying the biodegradable materials. The results reveal that the performance of OBL-CSA not only manifest in improving the classification performance, but also in reduced computational time required to complete the process when compared to the standard CSA and other four optimization algorithms tested, which are the particle swarm algorithm (PSO), black hole algorithm (BHA), grey wolf algorithm (GWA), and whale optimization algorithm (WOA). In conclusion, the OBL-CSA could be a valuable resource in the classification of biodegradable materials.

RevDate: 2022-04-25

Kalaivani K, Uma Maheswari N, R Venkatesh (2022)

Heart disease diagnosis using optimized features of hybridized ALCSOGA algorithm and LSTM classifier.

Network (Bristol, England) [Epub ahead of print].

Cardiac disease is the predominant cause of global death mainly due to its hidden symptoms and late diagnosis. Hence, early detection is important to improve quality of life. Though traditional researches attempted to predict heart disease, most of them lacked with respect to accuracy. To solve this, the present study proposes a hybridized Ant Lion Crow Search Optimization Genetic Algorithm (ALCSOGA) to perform effective feature selection. This hybrid optimization encompasses Ant Lion, Crow Search and Genetic Algorithm. Ant lion algorithm determines the elite position. While, the Crow Search Algorithm utilizes the phenomenon of position and memory of each crow for evaluating the objective function. Both these algorithms are fed into Genetic Algorithm to improve the performance of feature selection process. Then, Stochastic Learning rate optimized Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) is proposed to classify the extracted optimized features. Finally, comparative analysis is performed in terms of accuracy, recall, F1-score, and precision. Moreover, statistical analysis is performed with respect to Sum of Squares (SS), degree of freedom (df), F Critical (F crit), F Statistics (F), p, and Mean Square (MS) value. Analytical results revealed the efficiency of proposed system over conventional methods and thereby confirming its efficiency for predicting heart disease.

RevDate: 2022-04-29
CmpDate: 2022-04-26

Johnsson RD, Connelly F, Gaviraghi Mussoi J, et al (2022)

Sleep loss impairs cognitive performance and alters song output in Australian magpies.

Scientific reports, 12(1):6645.

Sleep maintains optimal brain functioning to facilitate behavioural flexibility while awake. Owing to a historical bias towards research on mammals, we know comparatively little about the role of sleep in facilitating the cognitive abilities of birds. We investigated how sleep deprivation over the full-night (12 h) or half-night (6 h) affects cognitive performance in adult Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen), relative to that after a night of undisturbed sleep. Each condition was preceded and followed by a baseline and recovery night of sleep, respectively. Prior to each treatment, birds were trained on an associative learning task; on the day after experimental treatment (recovery day), birds were tested on a reversal learning task. To glean whether sleep loss affected song output, we also conducted impromptu song recordings for three days. Ultimately, sleep-deprived magpies were slower to attempt the reversal learning task, less likely to perform and complete the task, and those that did the test performed worse than better-rested birds. We also found that sleep-deprived magpies sang longer yet fewer songs, shifted crepuscular singing to mid-day, and during the post-recovery day, song frequency bandwidth narrowed. These results collectively indicate that sleep loss impairs motivation and cognitive performance, and alters song output, in a social adult songbird.

RevDate: 2022-04-29

Stegariu VI, Abalasei BA, M Stoica (2022)

A Study on the Correlation between Intelligence and Body Schema in Children Who Practice Chess at School.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 9(4):.

The role of intelligence in chess is crucial because the game involves a situation of adversity between two players whose goal is to checkmate the opponent's king. Due to the complex nature of the game and the huge amount of information needed to become a professional chess player, the ability to receive, analyze, sort and use abstract notions is essential. A total of 67 children from the third grade were selected and tested twice, initially and finally, to establish the level of body schema and intelligence. The Raven test was used to numerically quantify their intelligence and the Goodenough test was conducted for the body schema. We used the paired samples T-test to highlight the statistical difference between the results and performed a simple linear regression to see if the level of intelligence is a predictor of the body schema. There is a linear relationship between intelligence and body schema, and we can use the first one to predict the evolution of the second. In conclusion, body schema can be educated through chess lessons, and this will lead to better psychomotor development.

RevDate: 2022-04-29

Smirni P, D Smirni (2022)

Current and Potential Cognitive Development in Healthy Children: A New Approach to Raven Coloured Progressive Matrices.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 9(4):.

In clinical practice and research, Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPMs) continue to be used according to a single procedure that aims to evaluate a single overall score of the current general intelligence level. This study aimed to examine potential cognitive development in a sample of 450 typically developing children, aged from 6 to 10 years, by administering RCPMs according to the standard procedure followed immediately by a standardized interview on incorrect items. In addition, the study aimed to analyze how performance differed across age groups. The results analysis was examined on the basis of three different factors in which the items were grouped in previous factorial studies. The results found that performance improved markedly and significantly after the interview; however, the improvement was not homogeneous in the three factors across age groups or within each age group. The age groups showed a different development potential in relation to the nature of the task: the younger ones showed a greater increase on items requiring figure completion, and the older ones showed a greater increase on analogical reasoning items. Finally, the children who showed the greatest improvement were those with the best performance in standard RCPM administration. The procedure described in the present research could represent a useful tool in clinical practice and in the research for a broader cognitive assessment focused on potential cognitive development, as well as on real cognitive development, and to favor the planning of more adequate rehabilitation and educational treatments.

RevDate: 2022-04-29
CmpDate: 2022-04-25

Garcia-Porta J, Sol D, Pennell M, et al (2022)

Niche expansion and adaptive divergence in the global radiation of crows and ravens.

Nature communications, 13(1):2086.

The processes that allow some lineages to diversify rapidly at a global scale remain poorly understood. Although earlier studies emphasized the importance of dispersal, global expansions expose populations to novel environments and may also require adaptation and diversification across new niches. In this study, we investigated the contributions of these processes to the global radiation of crows and ravens (genus Corvus). Combining a new phylogeny with comprehensive phenotypic and climatic data, we show that Corvus experienced a massive expansion of the climatic niche that was coupled with a substantial increase in the rates of species and phenotypic diversification. The initiation of these processes coincided with the evolution of traits that promoted dispersal and niche expansion. Our findings suggest that rapid global radiations may be better understood as processes in which high dispersal abilities synergise with traits that, like cognition, facilitate persistence in new environments.

RevDate: 2022-04-21
CmpDate: 2022-04-19

Amor N, Noman MT, Petru M, et al (2022)

Comfort evaluation of ZnO coated fabrics by artificial neural network assisted with golden eagle optimizer model.

Scientific reports, 12(1):6350.

This paper introduces a novel technique to evaluate comfort properties of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) coated woven fabrics. The proposed technique combines artificial neural network (ANN) and golden eagle optimizer (GEO) to ameliorate the training process of ANN. Neural networks are state-of-the-art machine learning models used for optimal state prediction of complex problems. Recent studies showed that the use of metaheuristic algorithms improve the prediction accuracy of ANN. GEO is the most advanced methaheurstic algorithm inspired by golden eagles and their intelligence for hunting by tuning their speed according to spiral trajectory. From application point of view, this study is a very first attempt where GEO is applied along with ANN to improve the training process of ANN for any textiles and composites application. Furthermore, the proposed algorithm ANN with GEO (ANN-GEO) was applied to map out the complex input-output conditions for optimal results. Coated amount of ZnO NPs, fabric mass and fabric thickness were selected as input variables and comfort properties were evaluated as output results. The obtained results reveal that ANN-GEO model provides high performance accuracy than standard ANN model, ANN models trained with latest metaheuristic algorithms including particle swarm optimizer and crow search optimizer, and conventional multiple linear regression.

RevDate: 2022-04-15
CmpDate: 2022-04-15

Anonymous (2022)

First Rounders: Jay Keasling.

Nature biotechnology, 40(4):475.

RevDate: 2022-04-21

Sianta SA, KM Kay (2022)

Phylogenomic analysis does not support a classic but controversial hypothesis of progenitor-derivative origins for the serpentine endemic Clarkia franciscana.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution [Epub ahead of print].

Budding speciation involves isolation of marginal populations at the periphery of a species range and is thought to be a prominent mode of speciation in organisms with low dispersal and/or strong local adaptation among populations. Budding speciation is typically evidenced by abutting, asymmetric ranges of ecologically divergent sister species and low genetic diversity in putative budded species. Yet these indirect patterns may be unreliable, instead caused by postspeciation processes such as range or demographic shifts. Nested phylogenetic relationships provide the most conclusive evidence of budding speciation. A putative case of budding speciation in the serpentine endemic Clarkia franciscana and two closely related widespread congeners was studied by Harlan Lewis, Peter Raven, Leslie Gottlieb, and others over a 20-year period, yet the origin of C. franciscana remains controversial. Here, we reinvestigate this system with phylogenomic analyses to determine whether C. franciscana is a recently derived budded species, phylogenetically nested within one of the other two putative progenitor species. In contrast to the hypothesized pattern of relatedness among the three Clarkia species, we find no evidence for recent budding speciation. Instead, the data suggest the three species diverged simultaneously. We urge caution in using contemporary range patterns to infer geographic modes of speciation.

RevDate: 2022-04-05

Sofologi M, Pliogou V, Bonti E, et al (2021)

An Investigation of Working Memory Profile and Fluid Intelligence in Children With Neurodevelopmental Difficulties.

Frontiers in psychology, 12:773732.

The present study aims to evaluate the distinct patterns of working memory (WM) capacity of children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), High-functioning children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and children with Down syndrome (DS). More specifically, the current study investigates the complex relationship of fluid intelligence and WM between 39 children with DLD, 20 H igh-functioning children with ASD, and 15 children with DS. All children were evaluated in different measures of Phonological Working Memory, Visual-spatial Working Memory whereas Fluid Intelligence was measured with Raven Progressive Matrices. The result analysis revealed a significant difference among the three groups, both among each function separately and the correlations among them, as well. The results revealed that the DLD groups and High-functioning ASD group exhibited a common picture or an overlap of performances in all Phonological and Visuo-spatial working memory measures, except Backward Digit Recall task. As for the DS group research findings revealed different and unique working memory patterns in comparison to DLD group and High-functioning ASD. Their differences have been studied and further conclusions have been drawn about the different patterns of working memory among the three clinical groups. The implications of these findings are discussed in light of support for learning. The common profile that characterize the two developmental conditions and the distinct pattern of working memory performance in DS group underlies the need for further research in the field.

RevDate: 2022-04-06

Holtmann B, Buskas J, Steele M, et al (2022)

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

Scientific reports, 12(1):5537 pii:10.1038/s41598-022-09406-3.

RevDate: 2022-04-21
CmpDate: 2022-04-18

Ditz HM, Fechner J, A Nieder (2022)

Cell-type specific pallial circuits shape categorical tuning responses in the crow telencephalon.

Communications biology, 5(1):269.

The nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), an integration centre in the telencephalon of birds, plays a crucial role in representing and maintaining abstract categories and concepts. However, the computational principles allowing pallial microcircuits consisting of excitatory and inhibitory neurons to shape the tuning to abstract categories remain elusive. Here we identified the major pallial cell types, putative excitatory projection cells and inhibitory interneurons, by characterizing the waveforms of action potentials recorded in crows performing a cognitively demanding numerical categorization task. Both cell types showed clear differences in their capacity to encode categorical information. Nearby and functionally coupled putative projection neurons generally exhibited similar tuning, whereas putative interneurons showed mainly opposite tuning. The results favour feedforward mechanisms for the shaping of categorical tuning in microcircuits of the NCL. Our findings help to decipher the workings of pallial microcircuits in birds during complex cognition and to compare them vis-a-vis neocortical processes in mammals.

RevDate: 2022-03-29

Verma AK, Kumar M, Murugkar HV, et al (2022)

Experimental Infection and In-Contact Transmission of H9N2 Avian Influenza Virus in Crows.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 11(3):.

This study aimed to investigate the potential of H9N2 avian influenza virus to cause disease and intra-species transmission in house crows (Corvus splendens). A group of six crows were intranasally inoculated with 106.0 EID50 of H9N2 virus (A/chicken/India/07OR17/2021), and 24 h post-inoculation six naïve crows were co-housed with infected crows. Crows were observed for 14 days for any overt signs of illness. Oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs were collected up to 14 days to assess virus excretion. No apparent clinical signs were observed in either infected or in-contact crows. Virus excretion was observed only in infected birds up to 9 days post-infection (dpi) through both oropharyngeal and cloacal routes. All six infected crows seroconverted to H9N2 virus at 14 dpi, whereas all in-contact crows remained negative to H9N2 virus antibodies. No virus could be isolated from tissues viz., lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, small intestine and large intestine. Although crows became infected with the H9N2 virus, transmission of the virus was inefficient to the in-contact group. However, virus excretion through oral and cloacal swabs from infected crows suggests a potential threat for inter-species transmission, including humans. Crows, being a common synanthrope species, might have some role in influenza virus transmission to poultry and humans, which needs to be explored further.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-03-28

Valkiūnas G, Duc M, TA Iezhova (2022)

Increase of avian Plasmodium circumflexum prevalence, but not of other malaria parasites and related haemosporidians in northern Europe during the past 40 years.

Malaria journal, 21(1):105.

BACKGROUND: Malaria is a health problem not only in human and veterinary medicine, but also in wildlife. Several theoretical studies have suggested that avian malaria transmission might be increasing in Europe. However, there are few direct empirical observations. Research on the distribution of avian haemosporidian parasites was initiated around the Curonian Lagoon, Europe in 1976 and continues since. This has provided an opportunity to compare the prevalence and diversity of avian malaria parasites (genus Plasmodium) and related haemosporidians (genera Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon) in the same bird species using similar methodology but examined in two groups 40 years apart. This study aimed to describe and discuss the available data on this subject.

METHODS: Prevalence and diversity of haemosporidians was compared in two passeriform bird groups, which consisted of the same species that were sampled on the coast of the Curonian Lagoon (Russia, Lithuania) during the same season (September) in 1978-1983 (bird Group 1) and 2020 (bird Group 2). Blood films of the European robin, Coal tit, Great tit, Eurasian wren, and Eurasian jay were screened by microscopic examination. Parasites were identified using morphological characters of blood stages. PCR-based methods were applied to determine genetic lineages of the parasites found in birds of Group 2.

RESULTS: No difference was discernible in the prevalence or diversity of haemosporidian parasites belonging to Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium (Haemamoeba) and Plasmodium (Novyella) between birds of Groups 1 and 2. This indicates a similar rate of transmission and relatively stable epidemiological situation in regard of these infections during the past 40 years. The prevalence of only one malaria parasite species, Plasmodium (Giovannolaia) circumflexum, increased remarkably, but only in Coal tit, Great tit, and Eurasian wren, with no significant prevalence change in European robin and Eurasian jay.

CONCLUSION: Plasmodium circumflexum is spreading and seems to be a new invasive avian malaria pathogen in countries with cold climates. The exceptionally high prevalence of P. circumflexum in birds breeding in relatively close-nests suggests an important role of the nesting biology related to bird-vector interaction in this pathogen transmission. The epidemiological situation seems to be relatively stable in regard of other studied avian hosts and haemosporidian parasites in northern Europe.

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Cheek RG, Forester BR, Salerno PE, et al (2022)

Habitat-linked genetic variation supports microgeographic adaptive divergence in an island-endemic bird species.

Molecular ecology, 31(10):2830-2846.

We investigated the potential mechanisms driving habitat-linked genetic divergence within a bird species endemic to a single 250-km2 island. The island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis) exhibits microgeographic divergence in bill morphology across pine-oak ecotones on Santa Cruz Island, California (USA), similar to adaptive differences described in mainland congeners over much larger geographic scales. To test whether individuals exhibit genetic differentiation related to habitat type and divergence in bill length, we genotyped over 3000 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 123 adult island scrub-jay males from across Santa Cruz Island using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing. Neutral landscape genomic analyses revealed that genome-wide genetic differentiation was primarily related to geographic distance and differences in habitat composition. We also found 168 putatively adaptive loci associated with habitat type using multivariate redundancy analysis while controlling for spatial effects. Finally, two genome-wide association analyses revealed a polygenic basis to variation in bill length with multiple loci detected in or near genes known to affect bill morphology in other birds. Our findings support the hypothesis that divergent selection at microgeographic scales can cause adaptive divergence in the presence of ongoing gene flow.

RevDate: 2022-04-12

Wampole EM, Gerber BD, Farris ZJ, et al (2022)

Madagascar Terrestrial Camera Survey Database 2021: A collation of protected forest camera surveys from 2007-2021.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Madagascar is a threatened global biodiversity hotspot and conservation priority, yet we lack broad-scale surveys to assess biodiversity across space and time. To fill this gap, we collated camera trap surveys, capturing species occurrences within Madagascar into a single standardized database. This data set includes nine distinct protected areas of Madagascar and encompasses 13 subprojects, 38 camera arrays, and 1156 sampling units (independent camera site per survey) within two important biodiversity eco-regions: western dry deciduous forest and eastern humid rainforest. Camera surveys were conducted from June 2007 to January 2021. The final data set includes 17 unique families of mammals (Bovidae, Canidae, Cheirogaleidae, Daubentoniidae, Equidae, Eupleridae, Felidae, Hominidae, Indriidae, Lemuridae, Lepilemuridae, Muridae, Nesomyidae, Pteropodidae, Soricidae, Suidae, Tenrecidae) comprising 45 species and 27 unique families of birds (Accipitridae, Acrocephalidae, Alcedinidae, Bernieridae, Brachypteraciidae, Caprimulgidae, Cisticolidae, Columbidae, Coraciidae, Corvidae, Cuculidae, Dicruridae, Mesitornithidae, Monarchidae, Motacillidae, Muscicapidae, Numididae, Phasianidae, Rallidae, Sarothruridae, Strigidae, Sturnidae, Sulidae, Threskiornithidae, Upupidae, Vangidae, Zosteropidae) comprising 58 species. Images were processed and verified by individual project data set creators and camera operation and species tables were then collated. The final product represents the first broad-scale freely available standardized formal faunal database for Madagascar. Data are available through this publication and at DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5801806. These data will be useful for examining species-level and community-level trends in occurrence across space or time within Madagascar and globally, evaluating native and invasive species dynamics, and will aid in determining species conservation status and planning for at-risk species. There are no copyright restrictions; please cite this paper when using the data for publication.

RevDate: 2022-03-22

Boostrom I, Portal EAR, Spiller OB, et al (2022)

Comparing Long-Read Assemblers to Explore the Potential of a Sustainable Low-Cost, Low-Infrastructure Approach to Sequence Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria With Oxford Nanopore Sequencing.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:796465.

Long-read sequencing (LRS) can resolve repetitive regions, a limitation of short read (SR) data. Reduced cost and instrument size has led to a steady increase in LRS across diagnostics and research. Here, we re-basecalled FAST5 data sequenced between 2018 and 2021 and analyzed the data in relation to gDNA across a large dataset (n = 200) spanning a wide GC content (25-67%). We examined whether re-basecalled data would improve the hybrid assembly, and, for a smaller cohort, compared long read (LR) assemblies in the context of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes and mobile genetic elements. We included a cost analysis when comparing SR and LR instruments. We compared the R9 and R10 chemistries and reported not only a larger yield but increased read quality with R9 flow cells. There were often discrepancies with ARG presence/absence and/or variant detection in LR assemblies. Flye-based assemblies were generally efficient at detecting the presence of ARG on both the chromosome and plasmids. Raven performed more quickly but inconsistently recovered small plasmids, notably a ∼15-kb Col-like plasmid harboring bla KPC . Canu assemblies were the most fragmented, with genome sizes larger than expected. LR assemblies failed to consistently determine multiple copies of the same ARG as identified by the Unicycler reference. Even with improvements to ONT chemistry and basecalling, long-read assemblies can lead to misinterpretation of data. If LR data are currently being relied upon, it is necessary to perform multiple assemblies, although this is resource (computing) intensive and not yet readily available/useable.

RevDate: 2022-05-18

Bravo C, Sarasa M, Bretagnolle V, et al (2022)

Detectability and predator strategy affect egg depredation rates: Implications for mitigating nest depredation in farmlands.

The Science of the total environment, 829:154558.

Predation is a major evolutionary force in animal ecology. Mechanisms by which prey coloration provides camouflage has been widely studied. However, predator response to prey camouflage and concealment has received less attention. Understanding vegetation structure effect on depredation success could help managers design strategies to mitigate the depredation of managed species (e.g., threatened or hunted). We aimed to investigate the relationship between depredation rate, nest camouflage and concealment in ground-nesting birds of farmlands, and their predators. We set up an experiment of 2576 artificial ground nests to assess the role of egg coloration (white, light green, and dark green), egg size (small, medium, and large), and vegetation structure (vegetation height and land use) in nest survival rates. We also explored the role of predator searching strategies by analysing clumped depredation and multiple depredation events. Of the nests, 34.0% were depredated, with corvids as the predators 78.5% of the time. Corvid depredation decreased by 40-60% in grasslands and spring crops above a vegetation height of 30 cm. In contrast, vegetation height and land use may be of far less importance in avoiding depredation by other predators. The probability of depredation was spatially clumped, suggesting that predators increase search effort in areas where a nest was previously encountered. Neighboring depredation and depredation repetition were more frequent in corvids than in other predators. Our study indicates that nests in vegetation higher than 30 cm had a drastic reduction in depredation rates by corvids. Management of vegetation structure is a key tool to mitigate depredation risk, and improving the availability of alternative food resources may be a complementary tool.

RevDate: 2022-03-17

Murillo L (2022)

Harvey Schlossberg (1936-2021).

The American psychologist pii:2022-44670-001 [Epub ahead of print].

Memorializes Harvey Schlossberg (1936-2021). Author of Psychologist With a Gun (1974), Schlossberg was the first New York Police Department (NYPD) police officer with a PhD in psychology, and a pioneer in police psychology. With the help of two other patrolmen, he developed a program that would evaluate the recruits who entered the Police Academy. He was featured in the 1999 documentary "The Sons of Sam: A Decent into Darkness" in which David Berkowitz was investigated by the NYPD and Schlossberg helped solve the crime. By 1974, Schlossberg began teaching at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. After leaving the NYPD in 1978, he served as chief Psychologist for the police department in Rye, New York (1988-1994), and for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (1990-1999). He continued to expand the Psychological Services for the NYPD and pioneered treatment for violence-prone police. Schlossberg passed away peacefully on May 21, 2021. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2022-05-09

Dida H, Charif F, A Benchabane (2022)

Registration of computed tomography images of a lung infected with COVID-19 based in the new meta-heuristic algorithm HPSGWO.

Multimedia tools and applications, 81(13):18955-18976.

Computed tomography (CT) helps the radiologist in the rapid and correct detection of a person infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and this by showing the presence of the ground-glass opacity in the lung of with the virus. Tracking the evolution of the spread of the ground-glass opacity (GGO) in the lung of the person infected with the virus needs to study more than one image in different times. The various CT images must be registration to identify the evolution of the ground glass in the lung and to facilitate the study and identification of the virus. Due to the process of registration images is essentially an improvement problem, we present in this paper a new HPSGWO algorithm for registration CT images of a lung infected with the COVID-19. This algorithm is a hybridization of the two algorithms Particle swarm optimization (PSO) and Grey wolf optimizer (GWO). The simulation results obtained after applying the algorithm to the test images show that the proposed approach achieved high-precision and robust registration compared to other methods such as GWO, PSO, Firefly Algorithm (FA), and Crow Searcha Algorithms (CSA).

RevDate: 2022-03-16

Aboelkassem A, Alzamel NM, Alzain MN, et al (2022)

Effect of Pb-Contaminated Water on Ludwigia stolonifera (Guill. & Perr.) P.H. Raven Physiology and Phytoremediation Performance.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(5):.

A laboratory experiment was led to examine the lead bioaccumulation capacity of Ludwigia stolonifera (Guill. & Perr.) exposed to various Pb concentrations (0, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mg/L) for 1, 3, 5, and 7 days. The lead accumulation increased as the metal concentrations in the solution increased and over time, to an extreme accretion of 6840 mg/kg DW(dry weight) at 100 mg/L of lead on the 10 days exposure. The proportion removal efficiency, translocation factor, and bioconcentration factor of the plant were assessed. The maximum bioconcentration factor values (1981.13) indicate that the plant was a Pb hyperaccumulator, and translocation factor values (1.85), which are >1, indicate fit of L. stolonifera for eliminating Pb in Pb-contaminated water. Photosynthetic pigments were decreased with increase of Pb concentration and time exposure. Total chlorophyll content and Chl a/b ratio lowered to between 46 and 62% at 100 mg/L Pb after 10 days exposure. Protein content and soluble carbohydrate indicated a similar trend, which showed the highest decrease (7.26 and 36.2 mg/g FW(fresh weight), respectively) at 100 mg/L of Pb after 10 days. The activity of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, ascorbate, and peroxidase was increased significantly in comparison to the control. The results indicate that L. stolonifera is a newly recognized Pb hyperaccumulator (6840 mg/kg DW), but physiological status indicates that the plant is not tolerant to high Pb concentrations.

RevDate: 2022-03-23

Cogni R, Quental TB, PR Guimarães (Jr) (2022)

Ehrlich and Raven escape and radiate coevolution hypothesis at different levels of organization: Past and future perspectives.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution [Epub ahead of print].

The classic paper by Ehrlich and Raven on coevolution will soon be 60 years old. Although they were not the first to develop the idea of coevolution, their thought-provoking paper certainly popularized this idea and inspired several generations of scientists interested in coevolution. Here, we describe some of their main contributions, quantitatively measure the impact of their seminal paper on different fields of research, and discuss how ideas related to their original paper might push the study of coevolution forward. To guide our discussion, we explore their original hypothesis into three research fields that are associated with distinct scales/levels of organization: (1) the genetic mechanisms underlying coevolutionary interactions; (2) the potential association between coevolutionary diversification and the organization of ecological networks; and (3) the micro- and macroevolutionary mechanisms and expected patterns under their hypothesis. By doing so, we discuss potentially overlooked aspects and future directions for the study of coevolutionary dynamics and diversification.

RevDate: 2022-05-02
CmpDate: 2022-04-25

Yu X, Jiang Y, Li Y, et al (2022)

Comparison of Different Mandibular Jawlines Classifications on Transoral Endoscopic Thyroidectomy for Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma: Experiences of 690 Cases.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 13:842148.

BACKGROUND: The influences of patients' different mandibular jawlines on transoral endoscopic thyroidectomy via vestibular approach (TOETVA) have not been described before. The objective of this study was to introduce a new classification to assess different mandibular jawlines, and to evaluate the effects on TOETVA in terms of safety, feasibility, and postoperative feelings in the treatment of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).

METHODS: The crossing angle of esthetic plane and mandibular plane was defined as Wang Angle, used to assess patients' different mandibular jawlines. Mandibular classifications of A (angle: 80° ~ 110°), B (angle > 110°), and C (angle < 80°) types were compared to evaluate the surgical outcomes of TOETVA by a retrospective study. 690 patients of PTC who received TOETVA were included in this study, which were divided into three groups according to mandibular classifications.

RESULTS: Clinicopathological characteristics of the patients including age, gender, body mass index, tumor size, Hashimoto thyroiditis were similar in the three groups. Patients' length of jay in group C was significantly longer than group A and group B (P < 0.01). The ratios of using suspension system in group C were significantly higher than group A and group B (P < 0.01). The scores of postoperative visual analogue scale (VAS) and ratios of mandibular swell in group C were significantly higher than group A and group B (P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the three groups regarding surgical outcomes, including postoperative vocal cord paralysis, hypocalcemia, serum white blood cells and C-reactive protein levels.

CONCLUSIONS: The Wang angle and mandibular jawline classifications were firstly introduced in TOETVA. All the patients of class A, B, and C mandibular jawline can achieve safe and effective surgical outcomes in the treatment of PTC with TOETVA. Patients of class C need more assistance of suspension system, would experience higher scores of VAS, and higher ratios of mandibular swell compared with class A and B.

RevDate: 2022-03-09

Nittono H, Ohashi A, M Komori (2022)

Creation and Validation of the Japanese Cute Infant Face (JCIF) Dataset.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:819428.

Research interest in cuteness perception and its effects on subsequent behavior and physiological responses has recently been increasing. The purpose of the present study was to produce a dataset of Japanese infant faces that are free of portrait rights and can be used for cuteness research. A total of 80 original facial images of 6-month-old infants were collected from their parents. The cuteness level of each picture was rated on a 7-point scale by 200 Japanese people (100 men and 100 women in their 20s-60s). Prototypical high- and low-cuteness faces were created by averaging the top 10 and bottom 10 faces according to the mean cuteness ratings. Then, 50 composite faces were made by mixing two faces randomly chosen from the 60 unused middle-cuteness faces. The normative cuteness ratings of these composite faces were obtained from 229 Japanese men and women in their 20s-60s. The shape of each composite face was transformed to be cuter (+50%) or less cute (-50%) along a continuum between the high- and low-cuteness prototypical faces. A two-alternative forced-choice task (N = 587) confirmed that cuteness discrimination was better than the chance level for all 50 face pairs. Moreover, the results showed that young men had poorer sensitivity to cuteness differences in infant faces than older men and women of any age. This Japanese Cute Infant Face (JCIF, "jay-sif") dataset, including composite face images and normative rating scores, is publicly available online.

RevDate: 2022-03-07
CmpDate: 2022-03-07

Kroupin IG, SE Carey (2022)

The importance of inference in relational reasoning: Relational matching as a case study.

Journal of experimental psychology. General, 151(1):224-245.

Nonhuman animals and preschoolers struggle with Relational-Match-to-Sample (RMTS), a classic test of the capacity for second-order relational, analogical, and reasoning. These failures are often explained by limitations in representational or computational capacities. Drawing on recent evidence for robust spontaneous RMTS success (i.e., without error-feedback) in crows and parrots after minimal second-order training, we present five experiments with human adults consistent with the possibility that population differences sometimes instead derive from differences in inductive biases alone. Experiment 1 confirms human adults have the capacities and requisite representations to succeed spontaneously on RMTS. Experiments 2-5 utilize a modified RMTS task in which adults make relational matches only about half of the time. Experiment 3 tests whether eight trials of various MTS tasks, nonsecond-order training featured in the aforementioned comparative studies, can increase spontaneous second-order relational responding in human adults. Two of the MTS tasks (Number, Size MTS) do so, demonstrating that MTS training can, in fact, increase relational responding by changing inductive biases alone. The other MTS tasks (Identity, Color MTS) do not do so, evidence that the facilitating effect is not a result of matching involved in MTS per se. Experiments 4 and 5 test one hypothesized mechanism by which specifically Number/Size MTS tasks may have led to increased relational responding, that is, by inhibiting preexisting biases to match on shape and/or color, making relational matches relatively more likely. We close by discussing the importance of research into inductive biases to the project of understanding relational reasoning. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2022-05-17
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Abdel Maksoud MKM, Ibrahim AAH, Nabil TM, et al (2022)

Histomorphological, histochemical and scanning electron microscopic investigation of the proventriculus (Ventriculus glandularis) of the hooded crow (Corvus cornix).

Anatomia, histologia, embryologia, 51(3):380-389.

The current investigation aimed to clarify the histomorphological features, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and histochemistry of the proventriculus in the adult hooded crow (Corvus cornix). Twenty-two adult birds of both sexes were collected from El-Fayoum and Beni-Suef governorates, Egypt; ten were used for anatomical investigation, two were scanned using SEM, and ten were subjected to routine histological technique. The obtained anatomical results revealed a small-sized spindle-shaped proventriculus obliquely located in the left ventral part of the body cavity with an average body weight, length and diameter of 1.689 ± 0.231 gm, 1.54 ± 0.383cm and 3.51 ± 0.416cm, respectively. The histological examination revealed a typical tubular organ. The mucosa exhibited several plicae and sulci that were lined with simple columnar cells. The lamina propria was composed of collagenous connective tissue infiltrated by lymphocytes, lymphatic aggregations and tubular glands. The submucosa consisted of collagenic fibres and compound tubuloalveolar glandular lobules lined with oxynticopeptic cells and enteroendocrine cells. The oxynticopeptic cells reacted negatively with PAS and Alcian Blue stains, whereas the ductal cells reacted positively with PAS only. Enteroendocrine cells were seen singly in the lamina epithelialis mucosae and were abundant in submucosal glands. The tunica musclaris was arranged in two layers covered by serosa. The proventricular glands' openings were noticed by SEM as raised tubes with regular circular outlines surrounded by anastomosed microscopic folds. The obtained histomorphological structure of the hooded crow's proventriculus revealed some shared morphological features with most species of birds and some variations that might be attributed to their diet and feeding behaviour.

RevDate: 2022-03-08
CmpDate: 2022-03-08

Yadav P, Chang SX, Cheng CW, et al (2022)

Dosimetric evaluation of high-Z inhomogeneity used for hip prosthesis: A multi-institutional collaborative study.

Physica medica : PM : an international journal devoted to the applications of physics to medicine and biology : official journal of the Italian Association of Biomedical Physics (AIFB), 95:148-155.

PURPOSE: A multi-institutional investigation for dosimetric evaluation of high-Z hip prosthetic device in photon beam.

METHODS: A bilateral hip prosthetic case was chosen. An in-house phantom was built to replicate the human pelvis with two different prostheses. Dosimetric parameters: dose to the target and organs at risk (OARs) were compared for the clinical case generated by various treatment planning system (TPS) with varied algorithms. Single beam plans with different TPS for phantom using 6 MV and 15 MV photon beams with and without density correction were compared with measurement.

RESULTS: Wide variations in target and OAR dosimetry were recorded for different TPS. For clinical case ideal PTV coverage was noted for plans generated with Corvus and Prowess TPS only. However, none of the TPS were able to meet plan objective for the bladder. Good correlation was noticed for the measured and the Pinnacle TPS for corrected dose calculation at the interfaces as well as the dose ratio in elsewhere. On comparing measured and calculated dose, the difference across the TPS varied from -20% to 60% for 6 MV and 3% to 50% for the 15 MV, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Most TPS do not provide accurate dosimetry with high-Z prosthesis. It is important to check the TPS under extreme conditions of beams passing through the high-Z region. Metal artifact reduction algorithms may reduce the difference between the measured and calculated dose but still significant differences exist. Further studies are required to validate the calculational accuracy.

RevDate: 2022-02-18

Bisazza A, M Santacà (2022)

Zebrafish excel in number discrimination under an operant conditioning paradigm.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

Numerical discrimination is widespread in vertebrates, but this capacity varies enormously between the different species examined. The guppy (Poecilia reticulata), the only teleost examined following procedures that allow a comparison with the other vertebrates, outperforms amphibians, reptiles and many warm-blooded vertebrates, but it is unclear whether this is a feature shared with the other teleosts or represents a peculiarity of this species. We trained zebrafish (Danio rerio) to discriminate between numbers differing by one unit, varying task difficulty from 2 versus 3 to 5 versus 6 items. Non-numerical variables that covary with number, such as density or area, did not affect performance. Most fish reached learning criterion on all tasks up to 4 versus 5 discrimination with no sex difference in accuracy. Although no individual reached learning criterion in the 5 versus 6 task, performance was significant at the group level, suggesting that this may represent the discrimination threshold for zebrafish. Numerosity discrimination abilities of zebrafish compare to those of guppy, being higher than in some warm-blooded vertebrates, such as dogs, horses and domestic fowl, though lower than in parrots, corvids and primates. Learning rate was similar in a control group trained to discriminate between different-sized shapes, but zebrafish were slightly more accurate when discriminating areas than numbers and males were more accurate than females. At the end of the experiment, fish trained on numbers and controls trained on areas generalized to the reciprocal set of stimuli, indicating they had used a relational strategy to solve these tasks.

RevDate: 2022-03-14
CmpDate: 2022-03-14

McCune KB, Valente JJ, Jablonski PG, et al (2022)

Social behavior mediates the use of social and personal information in wild jays.

Scientific reports, 12(1):2494.

The factors favoring the evolution of certain cognitive abilities in animals remain unclear. Social learning is a cognitive ability that reduces the cost of acquiring personal information and forms the foundation for cultural behavior. Theory predicts the evolutionary pressures to evolve social learning should be greater in more social species. However, research testing this theory has primarily occurred in captivity, where artificial environments can affect performance and yield conflicting results. We compared the use of social and personal information, and the social learning mechanisms used by wild, asocial California scrub-jays and social Mexican jays. We trained demonstrators to solve one door on a multi-door task, then measured the behavior of naïve conspecifics towards the task. If social learning occurs, observations of demonstrators will change the rate that naïve individuals interact with each door. We found both species socially learned, though personal information had a much greater effect on behavior in the asocial species while social information was more important for the social species. Additionally, both species used social information to avoid, rather than copy, conspecifics. Our findings demonstrate that while complex social group structures may be unnecessary for the evolution of social learning, it does affect the use of social versus personal information.

RevDate: 2022-02-19

Athanasakopoulou Z, Sofia M, Giannakopoulos A, et al (2022)

ESBL-Producing Moellerella wisconsensis-The Contribution of Wild Birds in the Dissemination of a Zoonotic Pathogen.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(3):.

Moellerella wisconsensis is an Enterobacteriaceae with unclarified dispersion and pathogenicity. During an ongoing investigation about antimicrobial resistance in Greece, the occurrence of M. wisconsensis was evaluated among wild birds and humans. A total of 445 wild bird and 2000 human fecal samples were collected and screened for the presence of the organism. Subsequently, all M. wisconsensis strains were phenotypically and molecularly characterized regarding their antimicrobial resistance characteristics. Four M. wisconsensis were isolated from a common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), two Eurasian magpies (Pica pica) and a great white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons). Among these four strains, the three latter presented resistance to 3rd generation cephalosporins, were phenotypically confirmed to produce ESBLs and were found to harbor blaCTX-M-1. The three ESBL isolates additionally exhibited resistance to tetracyclines, while resistance to aminoglycosides was detected in two of them and to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole in one. No Moellerella wisconsensis strains were retrieved from the human samples tested. This is the first report that provides evidence of M. wisconsensis dissemination among wild birds in Greece, describing CTX-M-1 production in multidrug resistant wild birds' isolates of this bacterial species.

RevDate: 2022-02-16

Alsaeedi MAK, S Kurnaz (2022)

Feature selection for diagnose coronavirus (COVID-19) disease by neural network and Caledonian crow learning algorithm.

Applied nanoscience [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, feature selection methods based on the new Caledonian crow learning algorithm has been introduced. In the proposed algorithms, in the first stage, the best features related to COVID-19 disease are selected by the crow learning algorithm. Coronavirus (COVIDE-19) disease using as training input to the artificial neural network. Experiments on the COVID-19 disease dataset in a Brazilian hospital show that the crow learning algorithm reduces the feature selection objective function by iteration. Decreasing the feature selection function is due to reducing the error of classifying infected people as healthy and reducing the number of features. The experimental results show that the accuracy, sensitivity, precision, and F1 of the proposed method for COVID-19 patients diagnosing are 94.31%, 94.15%, 94.38%, and 94.27%, respectively. The proposed method for identifying COVID-19 patients is more accurate than ANN, CNN, CNNLSTM, CNNRNN, LSTM, and RNN methods.

RevDate: 2022-04-15
CmpDate: 2022-04-15

Seguchi A, Mogi K, EI Izawa (2022)

Measurement of urinary mesotocin in large-billed crows by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

The Journal of veterinary medical science, 84(4):520-524.

Mesotocin (MT) is an avian homologue of oxytocin (OT). Behavioral pharmacological studies in birds have suggested the involvement of MT in socially affiliative behavior. However, investigations of peripheral MT levels associated with social behavior are lacking because non-invasive methods to measure surrogate plasma MT have yet to be established. This study aimed to measure urinary MT in crows using a commercially available OT enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. Urine samples were collected after intravenous injection of MT and centrifuged to separate urine and fecal components. We found that urinary MT was significantly elevated 15-30 min after MT injection. These results validate our method for the use of urine samples for the measurement of peripheral MT levels in crows.

RevDate: 2022-05-12
CmpDate: 2022-04-12

Warmuth VM, Weissensteiner MH, JBW Wolf (2022)

Accumulation and ineffective silencing of transposable elements on an avian W Chromosome.

Genome research, 32(4):671-681.

One of the defining features of transposable elements (TEs) is their ability to move to new locations in the host genome. To minimize the potentially deleterious effects of de novo TE insertions, hosts have evolved several mechanisms to control TE activity, including recombination-mediated removal and epigenetic silencing; however, increasing evidence suggests that silencing of TEs is often incomplete. The crow family experienced a recent radiation of LTR retrotransposons (LTRs), offering an opportunity to gain insight into the regulatory control of young, potentially still active TEs. We quantified the abundance of TE-derived transcripts across several tissues in 15 Eurasian crows (Corvus (corone) spp.) raised under common garden conditions and find evidence for ineffective TE suppression on the female-specific W Chromosome. Using RNA-seq data, we show that ∼9.5% of all transcribed TEs had considerably greater (average, 16-fold) transcript abundance in female crows and that >85% of these female-biased TEs originated on the W Chromosome. After accounting for differences in TE density among chromosomal classes, W-linked TEs were significantly more highly expressed than TEs residing on other chromosomes, consistent with ineffective silencing on the former. Together, our results suggest that the crow W Chromosome acts as a source of transcriptionally active TEs, with possible negative fitness consequences for female birds analogous to Drosophila (an X/Y system), in which overexpression of Y-linked TEs is associated with male-specific aging and fitness loss ("toxic Y").

RevDate: 2022-02-11

Walsemann KM, Ureña S, Farina MP, et al (2022)

Race inequity in school attendance across the Jim Crow South and its implications for Black-White disparities in trajectories of cognitive function among older adults.

The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences pii:6525351 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: Although education is a key determinant of cognitive function, its role in determining Black-White disparities in cognitive function is unclear. This may be due, in part, to data limitations that have made it difficult to account for systemic educational inequities in the Jim Crow South experienced by older cohorts, including differences in the number of days Black students attended school compared to their White counterparts or Black peers in better funded southern states. We determine if accounting for differential rates of school attendance across race, years, and states in the Jim Crow South better illuminates Black-White disparities in trajectories of cognitive function.

METHODS: We linked historical state-level data on school attendance from the 1919/20 to 1953/54 Biennial Surveys of Education to the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative, longitudinal study of U.S. adults over age 50. We restricted our sample to Black and White older adults who attended school in the Jim Crow South and began primary school in/after 1919/20 and completed primary/secondary school by 1953/1954 (n=4,343). We used linear mixed models to estimate trajectories of total cognitive function, episodic memory, and working memory.

RESULTS: Self-reported years of schooling explained 28-33% of the Black-White disparity in level of cognitive function, episodic memory, and working memory. Duration of school, a measure that accounted for differential rates of school attendance, explained 41-55% of the Black-White disparity in these outcomes.

DISCUSSION: Our study highlights the importance of using a more refined measure of schooling for understanding the education--cognitive health relationship.

RevDate: 2022-03-15
CmpDate: 2022-03-15

Kitowski I, Korniłłowicz-Kowalska T, Bohacz J, et al (2022)

Dispersal of Aphanoascus keratinophilus by the rook Corvus frugilegus during breeding in East Poland.

Scientific reports, 12(1):2142.

The process of dispersal of the potentially disease-causing, geophilic and keratinolytic fungal strain Aphanoascus keratinophilus (the perfect, sexual stage of Chrysosporium keratinophilum) by the rook Corvus frugilegus was studied. The source of A. keratinophilus strains was pellets of the rook, thus far not considered a carrier of this particular opportunistic pathogen. Pellets collected from breeding colonies of rooks were analysed in terms of the occurrence of keratinolytic fungi with the application of the native keratin bait method. Among the 83 rook pellets analysed, 24 (29%) were infected by keratinophilic fungi. Pure cultures of the fungi were identified to species based on traditional morphological features. Traditional mycological identification was verified by the PCR-RFLP molecular identification method as well as DNA sequencing. The obtained results showed the presence of 90 Aphanoascus keratinophilus strains, 6 Chrysosporium tropicum strains, and 3 Chrysosporium pannicola strains. The PCR melting profile (PCR-MP) method was used to identify intraspecies variations of the 90 analysed A. keratinophilus strains. The dispersal of genotypes and possible pathways of A. keratinophilus dispersal and infection via rook pellets were analysed.

RevDate: 2022-02-14

De Mendoza RS, RO Gómez (2022)

Ecomorphology of the tarsometatarsus of waterfowl (Anseriformes) based on geometric morphometrics and its application to fossils.

Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007) [Epub ahead of print].

Anseriformes is a diverse group of birds that comprises screamers, the Magpie Goose, and swans ducks and geese, with a relatively rich fossil record. Waterfowl live in close relation to water bodies, but show a diversity of locomotory habits, being typically categorized as walkers, dabblers, and divers. Owing to its functional significance and high preservation potential, the tarsometatarsus has been considered to be a "key" element upon which to base ecomorphological inferences in fossil waterfowl. For instance, based on features of the tarsometatarsus the Miocene flightless duck Cayaoa bruneti and the Oligocene-Miocene large waterfowl Paranyroca have been inferred as divers. Herein, we use a geometric morphometric approach and comparative methods to assess the phylogenetic and ecomorphological signals in the shape and size of waterfowl tarsometatarsi in relation to their locomotory habits. We also apply phylogenetic flexible discriminant analysis (pFDA) to test the inferred diving habits in the extinct waterfowl Cayaoa and Paranyroca. Extant waterfowl species are largely distributed according to their locomotory habit along the main axis of variation in the shape space, a pattern mirrored by the phylogenetic generalized least squares model, which shows that a third of the shape variation is significantly explained by the habit. The pFDA reclassifies correctly almost all extant species and classified with high posterior probabilities the fossil Cayaoa and Paranyroca as a diver and as a dabbler, respectively. Our quantitative multivariate approach confirms the tarsometatarsus as a useful source of data upon which reliably assesses locomotory habits of fossil waterfowl.

RevDate: 2022-02-18

Harlow SD, Burnett-Bowie SM, Greendale GA, et al (2022)

Disparities in Reproductive Aging and Midlife Health between Black and White women: The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN).

Women's midlife health, 8(1):3.

This paper reviews differences in the experience of the menopause transition and midlife health outcomes between Black and White women who participated in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a 25-year, longitudinal, multi-racial/ethnic cohort study. We identify health disparities, i.e., instances in which Black women's outcomes are less favorable than those of White women, and consider whether structural racism may underlie these disparities. Although SWAN did not explicitly assess structural racism, Black women in SWAN grew up during the Jim Crow era in the United States, during which time racism was legally sanctioned. We consider how we might gain insight into structural racism by examining proxy exposures such as socioeconomic characteristics, reports of everyday discrimination, and a range of life stressors, which likely reflect the longstanding, pervasive and persistent inequities that have roots in systemic racism in the US. Thus, this paper reviews the presence, magnitude, and longitudinal patterns of racial disparities observed in SWAN in six areas of women's health - menopause symptoms, sleep, mental health, health related quality of life, cardio-metabolic health, and physical function -and elucidates the contextual factors that are likely influencing these disparities. We review the strengths and weaknesses of SWAN's design and approach to analysis of racial disparities and use this as a springboard to offer recommendations for future cohort studies.

RevDate: 2022-04-30

Quílez-Robres A, Moyano N, A Cortés-Pascual (2021)

Executive Functions and SelfEsteem in Academic Performance: A Mediational Analysis.

International journal of psychological research, 14(2):52-60.

OBJECTIVE: Once the paradigm of intelligence as the only predictor of academic performance has been overcome, the influence of other variables, such as reasoning, verbal fluency, executive functions, motivation and self-esteem, was studied.

METHOD: For this purpose, an exploratory and incidental research design was used in a sample of 132 subjects aged 6-9 years. Different instruments were administered: RAVEN, Effective Reading, Brief II, MAPE II, and Coopersmith Scale, respectively.

RESULTS: The results indicate that the predictive model formed by reasoning, verbal fluency, executive functions, and self-esteem explains 55.4% of the academic results. As mediating variables, self-esteem emerges as a predictor of both cognitive and motivational variables, and executive functions, as a predictor of emotional and motivational variables.

DISCUSSION: This implies theoretical and practical implications of an educational nature with practical implications in primary school classrooms, in order to implement plans to develop self-esteem and executive functions.

RevDate: 2022-02-01

Nagy BJ, Balázs B, Benmazouz I, et al (2021)

Comparison of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates From Rooks (Corvus frugilegus) and Contemporary Human-Derived Strains: A One Health Perspective.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:785411.

During winter, a large number of rooks gather and defecate at the park of a university clinic. We investigated the prevalence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli in these birds and compared recovered isolates with contemporary human isolates. In 2016, fecal samples were collected from 112 trap-captured rooks and investigated for presence of ESBL producers using eosin methylene blue agar supplemented by 2 mg/L cefotaxime; 2,455 contemporary human fecal samples of patients of the clinics sent for routine culturing were tested similarly. In addition, 42 ESBL-producing E. coli isolates collected during the same period from inpatients were also studied. ESBL genes were sought for by PCR and were characterized by sequencing; E. coli ST131 clones were identified. Epidemiological relatedness was determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and confirmed using whole genome sequencing in selected cases. Thirty-seven (33%) of sampled rooks and 42 (1.7%) of human stools yielded ESBL-producing E coli. Dominant genes were bla CTX-M-55 and bla CTX-M-27 in corvid, bla CTX-M-15 and bla CTX-M-27 in human isolates. ST162 was common among rooks. Two rook-derived E. coli belonged to ST131 C1-M27, which was also predominant (10/42) among human fecal and (15/42) human clinical isolates. Another potential link between rooks and humans was a single ST744 rook isolate grouped with one human fecal and three clinical isolates. Despite possible contact, genotypes shared between rooks and humans were rare. Thus, rooks are important as long-distance vectors and reservoirs of ESBL-producing E. coli rather than direct sources of infections to humans in our setting.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-03-31

Suzuki Y, Hiroki H, Xie H, et al (2022)

Antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli isolated from dairy cows and their surrounding environment on a livestock farm practicing prudent antimicrobial use.

International journal of hygiene and environmental health, 240:113930.

On a livestock farm where antimicrobial administration and its history had been managed for prudent use of antimicrobials, we surveyed antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli strains isolated from cow feces and the surrounding environment (i.e., rat and crow feces, and water samples from a drainage pit and wastewater processing tank) every month for 1 year. Two strains (1.7%) in cow feces were resistant to tetracycline, whereas all other strains were susceptible to all other antimicrobials. Among 136 strains isolated from cows and wild animals, only one ampicillin-resistant strain was identified. The antibiotic resistance rate in the drainage from the barn was 8.3% (10/120), and all strains showed susceptibility for 8 months of the year. Tetracycline resistance was common in all resistant strains isolated from animal feces and water samples; all tetracycline-resistant strains carried tetA. These results strongly support the proper use and management of antibiotics on farms to minimize the outbreak and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

RevDate: 2022-02-02

Lewenson SB (2021)

The Public Health Nurses of Jim Crow Florida, by Christine Ardalan.

Nursing history review : official journal of the American Association for the History of Nursing, 30(1):154-155.

RevDate: 2022-05-06
CmpDate: 2022-05-06

Suh YH, Bowman R, JW Fitzpatrick (2022)

Staging to join non-kin groups in a classical cooperative breeder, the Florida scrub-jay.

The Journal of animal ecology, 91(5):970-982.

Why unrelated members form groups in animal societies remains a pertinent topic in evolutionary biology because benefits for group members often are not obvious. We studied subordinates that disperse to join unrelated social groups in the Florida scrub-jay Aphelocoma coerulescens, a cooperative breeding species mainly composed of kin-based groups. We evaluated potential adaptive benefits of dispersing to become an unrelated helper (staging) versus remaining home and dispersing only to pair and breed (direct dispersal) to understand why non-kin-based groups form. Using 35 years of demographic data, we quantified life-history aspects of staging individuals and tested associations between social and ecological factors on the natal and staging territories. We compared fitness outcomes between dispersal strategies by analysing survival, breeding recruitment and direct reproductive output. We tested for sexual asymmetry potentially driven by differences in territory acquisition patterns and female-biased dispersal for this species. Of birds that reached 1 year, 28% staged at a non-natal territory before breeding or disappearing. Staging dispersers departed at younger ages and moved greater distances than direct dispersers. When looking at proximate factors on the natal territory associated with staging, males left groups with many same-sex helpers, while females often left when their father disappeared. For both sexes, staging individuals more likely came from high-quality territories and joined groups with fewer same-sex helpers than in their natal group. While staging and direct dispersers did not differ in survival or likelihood of becoming a breeder, staging males became breeders later and had lower lifetime reproductive success than direct dispersers. In Florida scrub-jays, staging appears to be an alternative strategy for female helpers, but a best-of-a-bad-situation for males. This sexual asymmetry is consistent with males having more options than females to achieve higher reproductive success by breeding near home. Trade-offs in cost-benefits of departing the natal territory and joining unrelated groups as a helper seem to best explain alternative dispersal patterns, with optimal social queues primarily driving the benefits. This research highlights plasticity in dispersal behaviour in response to social and environmental conditions and offers a new perspective in our understanding of non-kin-based social groups.

RevDate: 2022-04-08
CmpDate: 2022-04-08

Sorensen MC, Strickland D, Freeman NE, et al (2022)

Early-life experience shapes patterns of senescence in a food-caching passerine.

Biology letters, 18(1):20210532.

For many species, breeding performance increases through early adulthood followed by declines later in life. Although patterns of age-specific decline have been shown to vary between individuals, the factors that lead to this individual variation in the intensity of reproductive senescence are yet to be fully understood. We investigated whether early-life social status influenced age-related trends in the breeding performance of male Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis), year-round residents of North America's boreal and sub-alpine forests. Shortly after young become nutritionally independent, intra-brood dominance struggles lead to one juvenile (Dominant Juvenile) remaining on the natal territory after expelling its subordinate siblings (Ejectees). First, we show via radio tracking that in our declining range-edge population Ejectees either join an unrelated pair (67%), form a breeding pair with another bird (28%) or occupy a territory alone (5%). Second, using 39 years of breeding data, we demonstrate that Ejectee males advanced laying dates and increased the annual number of nestlings until 6 years of age before declining, whereas Dominant Juvenile males advanced laying dates until 11 years and increased annual number of nestlings until 12 years of age before declining. This study documents clear variation in ageing patterns between dominant and expelled young, with implications for the role of early-life experiences and phenotypic quality in determining patterns of ageing.

RevDate: 2022-02-01
CmpDate: 2022-02-01

Juozaitytė-Ngugu E, Butkauskas D, Švažas S, et al (2022)

Investigations on Sarcocystis species in the leg muscles of the bird family Corvidae in Lithuania.

Parasitology research, 121(2):703-711.

Although three species of Sarcocystis, S. cornixi, S. corvusi and S. kutkienae, have been described in corvids, molecular studies of sarcocysts isolated from these birds are incomplete. Leg muscles of 83 corvids, 35 hooded crows (Corvus cornix), 21 western jackdaws (Coloeus monedula), 11 rooks (Corvus frugilegus), 9 common ravens (Corvus corax), 4 common magpies (Pica pica) and 3 Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius), from Lithuania were examined for the presence of Sarcocystis spp. in the present study. In methylene blue-stained squashed samples, sarcocysts were detected in 26 birds (31.0%). Under a light microscope, two morphological types of sarcocysts were distinguished (type A and type B). Sarcocysts of type A had a smooth and thin (about 1 μm) cyst wall, while cysts of type B were characterised by a thicker (1.4-2.5 μm) cyst wall. Based on ITS1 sequence comparison, sarcocysts of type A were identified as S. halieti and Sarcocystis sp. ex Corvus corax, whereas cysts of type B belonged to S. kutkienae and S. cornixi. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that a single bird could host two different Sarcocystis spp. Sarcocystis halieti was detected in corvids for the first time in the common raven and the hooded crow. Also, this study presents the first evidence of S. kutkienae in the hooded crow and the common magpie, and S. cornixi in the western jackdaw. Sarcocystis sp. ex Corvus corax was genetically characterised using almost complete 18S rDNA, partial 28S rDNA and complete ITS1 sequences. Sarcocystis sp. ex Corvus corax clustered together with S. columbae, S. corvusi and S. halieti in phylogenetic trees reconstructed using 28S rDNA and ITS1 sequences.

RevDate: 2022-04-01
CmpDate: 2022-04-01

Pistacchi M, Gioulis M, SZ Marsala (2022)

Association between Delirium and Cognitive Impairment: Is there a Link?.

Current Alzheimer research, 19(1):47-55.

BACKGROUND: Delirium and dementia are both disorders involving global cognitive impairment that can occur separately or at the same time in the elderly.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the frequency, correlation, and relative risk between delirium and cognitive impairment in a prospective population study starting at the basal line (onset of delirium) over a period of five years. The secondary aim was to determine any possible correlation between the kind of delirium and a specific type of dementia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We studied 325 patients diagnosed according to the DSM-IV. The neuropsychological, moods and delirium disorders were evaluated with Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Delirium Rating Scale-Revised-98, MMSE, Rey auditory-verbal learning test, Digit Span, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, Raven Progressive Matrices, ADL, and IADL.

RESULTS: The prevalence of delirium in our population was 89 cases (27.4%): 78 patients (48 women and 30 men) showed evolution toward dementia (mean age was 67.9 ± 6.1 years for men and 68.4 ± 9.1 for women), and 11 patients (5 men and 6 women) presented only isolated delirium without evolution toward cognitive impairment (mean age of men was 68.1 ± 5.1 years and of women 66.4 ± 7.1). The neuropsychological study of the patients with delirium with dementia evolution revealed statistically significant differences over time with a statistically significant intergroup difference and predisposition toward depression.

CONCLUSION: The association between delirium and cognitive impairment and the possible role of delirium as an early marker of neurodegenerative diseases need to be investigated in the future.

RevDate: 2022-03-14

Kasimov V, Dong Y, Shao R, et al (2022)

Emerging and well-characterized chlamydial infections detected in a wide range of wild Australian birds.

Transboundary and emerging diseases [Epub ahead of print].

Birds can act as successful long-distance vectors and reservoirs for numerous zoonotic bacterial, parasitic and viral pathogens, which can be a concern given the interconnectedness of animal, human and environmental health. Examples of such avian pathogens are members of the genus Chlamydia. Presently, there is a lack of research investigating chlamydial infections in Australian wild and captive birds and the subsequent risks to humans and other animals. In our current study, we investigated the prevalence and genetic diversity of chlamydial organisms infecting wild birds from Queensland and the rate of co-infections with beak and feather disease virus (BFDV). We screened 1114 samples collected from 564 different birds from 16 orders admitted to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital from May 2019 to February 2021 for Chlamydia and BFDV. Utilizing species-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays, we revealed an overall Chlamydiaceae prevalence of 29.26% (165/564; 95% confidence interval (CI) 25.65-33.14), including 3.19% (18/564; 95% CI 2.03-4.99%) prevalence of the zoonotic Chlamydia psittaci. Chlamydiaceae co-infection with BFDV was detected in 9.75% (55/564; 95% CI 7.57-12.48%) of the birds. Molecular characterization of the chlamydial 16S rRNA and ompA genes identified C. psittaci, in addition to novel and other genetically diverse Chlamydia species: avian Chlamydia abortus, Ca. Chlamydia ibidis and Chlamydia pneumoniae, all detected for the first time in Australia within a novel avian host range (crows, figbirds, herons, kookaburras, lapwings and shearwaters). This study shows that C. psittaci and other emerging Chlamydia species are prevalent in a wider range of avian hosts than previously anticipated, potentially increasing the risk of spill-over to Australian wildlife, livestock and humans. Going forward, we need to further characterize C. psittaci and other emerging Chlamydia species to determine their exact genetic identity, potential reservoirs, and factors influencing infection spill-over.

RevDate: 2022-02-18
CmpDate: 2022-01-18

Saxena A, Trivedi M, Shroff ZC, et al (2022)

Improving hospital-based processes for effective implementation of Government funded health insurance schemes: evidence from early implementation of PM-JAY in India.

BMC health services research, 22(1):73.

BACKGROUND: Government-sponsored health insurance schemes (GSHIS) aim to improve access to and utilization of healthcare services and offer financial protection to the population. India's Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is one such GSHIS. This paper aims to understand how the processes put in place to manage hospital-based transactions, from the time a beneficiary arrives at the hospital to discharge are being implemented in PM-JAY and how to improve them to strengthen the scheme's operation.

METHODS: Guidelines were reviewed for the processes associated with hospital-based transactions, namely, beneficiary authentication, treatment package selection, preauthorization, discharge, and claims payments. Across 14 hospitals in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh states, the above-mentioned processes were observed, and using a semi-structured interview guide fifty-three respondents were interviewed. The study was carried out from March 2019 to August 2019.

RESULTS: Average turn-around time for claim reimbursement is two to six times higher than that proposed in guidelines and tender. As opposed to the guidelines, beneficiaries are incurring out-of-pocket expenditure while availing healthcare services. The training provided to the front-line workers is software-centric. Hospital-based processes are relatively more efficient in hospitals where frontline workers have a medical/paramedical/managerial background.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a need to broaden capacity-building efforts from enabling frontline staff to operate the scheme's IT platform to developing the technical, managerial, and leadership skills required for them. At the hospital level, an empowered frontline worker is the key to efficient hospital-based processes. There is a need to streamline back-end processes to eliminate the causes for delay in the processing of claim payment requests. For policymakers, the most important and urgent need is to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. To that end, there is a need to both revisit and streamline the existing guidelines and ensure adherence to the guidelines.

RevDate: 2022-01-13

Chi M, Gargouri R, Schrader T, et al (2021)

Atomistic Descriptors for Machine Learning Models of Solubility Parameters for Small Molecules and Polymers.

Polymers, 14(1):.

Descriptors derived from atomic structure and quantum chemical calculations for small molecules representing polymer repeat elements were evaluated for machine learning models to predict the Hildebrand solubility parameters of the corresponding polymers. Since reliable cohesive energy density data and solubility parameters for polymers are difficult to obtain, the experimental heat of vaporization ΔHvap of a set of small molecules was used as a proxy property to evaluate the descriptors. Using the atomistic descriptors, the multilinear regression model showed good accuracy in predicting ΔHvap of the small-molecule set, with a mean absolute error of 2.63 kJ/mol for training and 3.61 kJ/mol for cross-validation. Kernel ridge regression showed similar performance for the small-molecule training set but slightly worse accuracy for the prediction of ΔHvap of molecules representing repeating polymer elements. The Hildebrand solubility parameters of the polymers derived from the atomistic descriptors of the repeating polymer elements showed good correlation with values from the CROW polymer database.

RevDate: 2022-01-14
CmpDate: 2022-01-12

Zi J, Lv D, Liu J, et al (2021)

Improved Swarm Intelligent Blind Source Separation Based on Signal Cross-Correlation.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 22(1):.

In recent years, separating effective target signals from mixed signals has become a hot and challenging topic in signal research. The SI-BSS (Blind source separation (BSS) based on swarm intelligence (SI) algorithm) has become an effective method for the linear mixture BSS. However, the SI-BSS has the problem of incomplete separation, as not all the signal sources can be separated. An improved algorithm for BSS with SI based on signal cross-correlation (SI-XBSS) is proposed in this paper. Our method created a candidate separation pool that contains more separated signals than the traditional SI-BSS does; it identified the final separated signals by the value of the minimum cross-correlation in the pool. Compared with the traditional SI-BSS, the SI-XBSS was applied in six SI algorithms (Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO), Genetic Algorithm (GA), Differential Evolution (DE), Sine Cosine Algorithm (SCA), Butterfly Optimization Algorithm (BOA), and Crow Search Algorithm (CSA)). The results showed that the SI-XBSS could effectively achieve a higher separation success rate, which was over 35% higher than traditional SI-BSS on average. Moreover, SI-SDR increased by 14.72 on average.

RevDate: 2022-04-22
CmpDate: 2022-04-22

Boucherie PH, Gallego-Abenza M, Massen JJM, et al (2022)

Dominance in a socially dynamic setting: hierarchical structure and conflict dynamics in ravens' foraging groups.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 377(1845):20200446.

Dominance hierarchies typically emerge in systems where group members regularly encounter and compete for resources. In birds, the 'open' and dynamic structure of foraging groups may prevent the emergence of structured hierarchies, although this assumption have hardly been tested. We report on agonistic data for ravens Corvus corax, collected over two 18-month periods for 183 marked individuals of a wild (fluid) population and 51 birds from six captive (stable) groups. We show that the dominance structure (steep and transitive) in wild foraging groups is strikingly similar to that found in captivity. In the wild, we found that higher ranks are mainly occupied by males, older and more aggressive individuals that also tend to receive fewer aggressions. Exploring the mechanisms sustaining the wild dominance structure, we confirmed that males are more aggressive than females and, with age, tend to receive fewer aggressions than females. Males that are about to leave the foraging groups for some months are less aggressive than newcomers or locals, while newcomers are specifically targeted by aggressions in their first year (as juveniles). Taken together, our results indicate that the socially dynamic conditions ravens face during foraging do not hinder, but provide opportunities for, using (advanced) social cognition. This article is part of the theme issue 'The centennial of the pecking order: current state and future prospects for the study of dominance hierarchies'.

RevDate: 2022-01-25

Ströckens F, Neves K, Kirchem S, et al (2022)

High associative neuron numbers could drive cognitive performance in corvid species.

The Journal of comparative neurology [Epub ahead of print].

Corvids possess cognitive skills, matching those of nonhuman primates. However, how these species with their small brains achieve such feats remains elusive. Recent studies suggest that cognitive capabilities could be based on the total numbers of telencephalic neurons. Here we extend this hypothesis further and posit that especially high neuron counts in associative pallial areas drive flexible, complex cognition. If true, avian species like corvids should specifically accumulate neurons in the avian associative areas meso- and nidopallium. To test the hypothesis, we analyzed the neuronal composition of telencephalic areas in corvids and noncorvids (chicken, pigeons, and ostriches-the species with the largest bird brain). The overall number of pallial neurons in corvids was much higher than in chicken and pigeons and comparable to those of ostriches. However, neuron numbers in the associative mesopallium and nidopallium were twice as high in corvids and, in correlation with these associative areas, the corvid subpallium also contained high neuron numbers. These findings support our hypothesis that large absolute numbers of associative pallial neurons contribute to cognitive flexibility and complexity and are key to explain why crows are smart. Since meso-/nidopallial and subpallial areas scale jointly, it is conceivable that associative pallio-striatal loops play a similar role in executive decision making as described in primates.

RevDate: 2022-04-20
CmpDate: 2022-04-20

LaFave SE, Suen JJ, Seau Q, et al (2022)

Racism and Older Black Americans' Health: a Systematic Review.

Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 99(1):28-54.

We reviewed research that examines racism as an independent variable and one or more health outcomes as dependent variables in Black American adults aged 50 years and older in the USA. Of the 43 studies we reviewed, most measured perceived interpersonal racism, perceived institutional racism, or residential segregation. The only two measures of structural racism were birth and residence in a "Jim Crow state." Fourteen studies found associations between racism and mental health outcomes, five with cardiovascular outcomes, seven with cognition, two with physical function, two with telomere length, and five with general health/other health outcomes. Ten studies found no significant associations in older Black adults. All but six of the studies were cross-sectional. Research to understand the extent of structural and multilevel racism as a social determinant of health and the impact on older adults specifically is needed. Improved measurement tools could help address this gap in science.

RevDate: 2022-04-05
CmpDate: 2022-04-04

Martin RJ, Dick MF, DF Sherry (2022)

Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis) balance protein and energy targets simultaneously in both consumed and cached food.

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology, 266:111142.

Food scarce periods pose serious physiological challenges for birds, especially in energetically demanding conditions. For species in the northern hemisphere, a decrease in available resources during winter adds further physiological stress to the energetic demands of life at low temperatures. Some species cache food to provide a reliable energy and nutrient resource during scarcity. Canada Jays are a year-round food-caching resident of the North American boreal forest. Canada Jays also rear their young prior to spring green up, making food caching not only essential for adult winter survival, but also potentially important for meeting the requirements of growing offspring in late winter and early spring. We examined the diet choices of Canada Jays immediately prior to winter, and the macronutrient composition of the foods Canada Jay consumed and cached at this time. We found that Canada Jays cache the same relative amounts of macronutrients as they consume but did not vary macronutrients seasonally. The similarities in the macronutrient proportions cached and consumed suggest a consistent nutrient intake pattern, and that Canada Jays are foraging to simultaneously meet similar minimum energy and minimum protein targets for both the present and future. These simultaneous targets constrain the caching decisions of jays when presented with dietary choices.

RevDate: 2022-01-04

Khvatov IA, Smirnova AA, Samuleeva MV, et al (2021)

Hooded Crows (Corvus cornix) May Be Aware of Their Own Body Size.

Frontiers in psychology, 12:769397.

Body-awareness is one of the manifestations of self-awareness, expressed in the ability of people and animals to represent their own body physical properties. Relatively little work has been devoted to this phenomenon in comparison with the studies of the ability of self-recognition in the mirror, and most studies have been conducted on mammals and human infants. Crows are known to be "clever" birds, so we investigated whether hooded crows (Corvus cornix) may be aware of their own body size. We set up an experimental design in which the crows had to pass through one of three openings to reach the bait. In the first experiment, we studied whether crows prefer a larger hole if all the three are suitable for passage, and what other predictors influence their choice. In the second experiment, we assessed the ability of the crows to select a single passable hole out of three on the first attempt, even though the area of the former was smaller than that of the other two. The results of the first experiment suggest that when choosing among three passable holes, crows prefer those holes that require less effort from them, e.g., they do not need to crouch or make other additional movements. In the second experiment, three of the five crows reliably more often chose a single passable hole on the first try, despite its smaller size. We believe that these results suggest that hooded crows may be aware of their own body size.

RevDate: 2022-01-03

Halliday JWD, Bland SN, Hare JD, et al (2021)

A time-resolved imaging system for the diagnosis of x-ray self-emission in high energy density physics experiments.

The Review of scientific instruments, 92(12):123507.

A diagnostic capable of recording spatially and temporally resolved x-ray self-emission data was developed to characterize experiments on the MAGPIE pulsed-power generator. The diagnostic used two separate imaging systems: a pinhole imaging system with two-dimensional spatial resolution and a slit imaging system with one-dimensional spatial resolution. The two-dimensional imaging system imaged light onto the image plate. The one-dimensional imaging system imaged light onto the same piece of image plate and a linear array of silicon photodiodes. This design allowed the cross-comparison of different images, allowing a picture of the spatial and temporal distribution of x-ray self-emission to be established. The design was tested in a series of pulsed-power-driven magnetic-reconnection experiments.

RevDate: 2021-12-29

Shcherbakov N, Varako N, Kovyazina M, et al (2021)

Dynamics of Neuropsychological Symptoms during the Training of Executive Functions in Neurological Patients.

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(12):.

Executive function disorder rehabilitation in neurological patients is associated with many difficulties. We investigated the effectiveness of group training, proposed by B. Wilson et al., which has the model of frontal lobes functioning by D. T. Stuss as the theoretical background. The study participants were 16 patients with executive function disorder caused by TBI, strokes, and infections. The training was shortened from 9 weeks to 3 and adopted to the conditions of the rehabilitation centre where the study was held. The evaluation of training effectiveness was carried out by the methods of neuropsychological diagnostics proposed by A. R. Luria as well as standardized quantitative tests (CWIT test, Raven test, FAB) and questionnaires (EBIQ) aimed at assessing the state of executive functions and general well-being. In result positive trends, but not reaching the level of significance, were revealed in the performance of all evaluating methods, with the exception of "arithmetic problems" and "inhibitory control" as part of the FAB test. Statistically significant result was obtained concerning such tests as "counting", "analysis of story pictures", and index of total uncorrected errors in the CWIT test. Thus, the results of eventual assessment showed positive dynamic of executive functions state.

RevDate: 2022-04-19
CmpDate: 2022-02-22

Willi Y, Kristensen TN, Sgrò CM, et al (2022)

Conservation genetics as a management tool: The five best-supported paradigms to assist the management of threatened species.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(1):.

About 50 y ago, Crow and Kimura [An Introduction to Population Genetics Theory (1970)] and Ohta and Kimura [Genet. Res. 22, 201-204 (1973)] laid the foundations of conservation genetics by predicting the relationship between population size and genetic marker diversity. This work sparked an enormous research effort investigating the importance of population dynamics, in particular small population size, for population mean performance, population viability, and evolutionary potential. In light of a recent perspective [J. C. Teixeira, C. D. Huber, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 118, 10 (2021)] that challenges some fundamental assumptions in conservation genetics, it is timely to summarize what the field has achieved, what robust patterns have emerged, and worthwhile future research directions. We consider theory and methodological breakthroughs that have helped management, and we outline some fundamental and applied challenges for conservation genetics.

RevDate: 2022-01-25
CmpDate: 2022-01-25

Klump BC, St Clair JJ, C Rutz (2021)

New Caledonian crows keep 'valuable' hooked tools safer than basic non-hooked tools.

eLife, 10:.

The temporary storage and re-use of tools can significantly enhance foraging efficiency. New Caledonian crows in one of our study populations use two types of stick tools - hooked and non-hooked - which differ in raw material, manufacture costs, and foraging performance. Using a large sample of wild-caught, temporarily captive New Caledonian crows, we investigated experimentally whether individuals prefer one tool type over the other when given a choice and whether they take better care of their preferred tools between successive episodes of use, safely storing them underfoot or in nearby holes. Crows strongly preferred hooked stick tools made from Desmanthus virgatus stems over non-hooked stick tools. Importantly, this preference was also reflected in subsequent tool-handling behaviour, with subjects keeping hooked stick tools safe more often than non-hooked stick tools sourced from leaf litter. These results suggest that crows 'value' hooked stick tools, which are both costlier to procure and more efficient to use, more than non-hooked stick tools. Results from a series of control treatments suggested that crows altered their tool 'safekeeping' behaviour in response to a combination of factors, including tool type and raw material. To our knowledge, our study is the first to use safekeeping behaviour as a proxy for assessing how non-human animals value different tool types, establishing a novel paradigm for productive cross-taxonomic comparisons.

RevDate: 2022-05-18
CmpDate: 2022-05-17

Baciadonna L, Cornero FM, Clayton NS, et al (2022)

Mirror-mediated string-pulling task in Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius).

Animal cognition, 25(3):691-700.

Mirror tasks can be used to investigate whether animals can instrumentally use a mirror to solve problems and can understand the correspondence between reflections and the real objects they represent. Two bird species, a corvid (New Caledonian crow) and a parrot (African grey parrot), have demonstrated the ability to use mirrors instrumentally in mirror-mediated spatial locating tasks. However, they have not been challenged with a mirror-guided reaching task, which involves a more complex understanding of the mirror's properties. In the present study, a task approximating the mirror-guided reaching task used in primate studies was adapted for, and given to, a corvid species (Eurasian jay) using a horizontal string-pulling paradigm. Four birds learned to pull the correct string to retrieve a food reward when they could see the food directly, whereas none used the reflected information to accomplish the same objective. Based on these results, it cannot be concluded whether these birds understand the correspondence between the location of the reward and its reflected information, or if the relative lack of visual-perceptual motor feedback given by the setup interfered with their performance. This novel task is posited to be conceptually more difficult compared to mirror-mediated spatial locating tasks, and should be used in avian species that have previously been successful at using the mirror instrumentally. This would establish whether these species can still succeed at it, and thus whether the task does indeed pose additional cognitive demands.

RevDate: 2022-04-29
CmpDate: 2021-12-17

Atim C, Bhushan I, Blecher M, et al (2021)

Health financing reforms for Universal Health Coverage in five emerging economies.

Journal of global health, 11:16005.

BACKGROUND: Many countries have committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage. This paper summarizes selected health financing themes from five middle-income country case studies with incomplete progress towards UHC.

METHODS: The paper focuses on key flagship UHC programs in these countries, which exist along other publicly financed health delivery systems, reviewed through the lens of key health financing functions such as revenue raising, pooling and purchasing as well as governance and institutional arrangements.

RESULTS: There is variable progress across countries. Indonesia's Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN) reforms have made substantial progress in health services coverage and health financing indicators though challenges remain in its implementation. In contrast, Ghana has seen reduced funding levels for health and achieved less than 50% in the UHC service coverage index. In India, despite Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY) reforms having provided important innovations in purchasing and public-private mix, out of pocket spending remains high and the public health financing level low. Kenya still has a challenge to use public financing to enhance coverage for the informal sector, while South Africa has made little progress in strategic purchasing.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite variations across countries, therefore, important challenges include inadequate financing, sub-optimal pooling, and unmet expectations in strategic purchasing. While complex federal systems may complicate the path forward for most of these countries, evidence of strong political commitment in some of these countries bodes well for further progress.

RevDate: 2021-12-16
CmpDate: 2021-12-16

Addae A, Zahr A, Jiang L, et al (2021)

Clinical Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Tolerability of Cosmeceuticals Targeting the Dermal-Epidermal Junction.

Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD, 20(12):1314-1321.

OBJECTIVE: The dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ), composed of rare proteins, plays a significant role in facial skin aging. A newly enhanced multi-ingredient anti-aging facial moisturizer (MFM) and eye cream (MEC) were formulated to target DEJ-related aging. The objective of this study is to assess the efficacy and tolerability of a dual-product regimen MFM and MEC as a treatment in improving intrinsically and extrinsically aged facial and periorbital skin.

METHOD: Forty-two female subjects, 42 to 65 years, Fitzpatrick skin type I&ndash;VI, with mild to moderate droopy eyelids, moderate crow’s feet wrinkles, and moderate global photodamage completed this institutional review board (IRB)-approved study. Subjects applied the MFM and MEC twice-daily for 12 weeks. Clinical grading of efficacy and tolerability parameters, VISIA&reg;-CR imaging, image analysis of wrinkles, skin pH, Tewameter, and pinch recoil measurements were performed at baseline, weeks 4, 8, and 12. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging was performed at baseline and week 12.

RESULTS: Statistically significant improvement was shown in both clinically graded parameters and bio-instrumentational analyses at all time points. Both products were well tolerated by subjects.

CONCLUSION: This IRB-approved clinical study demonstrated effectiveness in improving intrinsic and extrinsic signs of the global face and periorbital eye area aging after twelve weeks of twice-daily application. J Drugs Dermatol. 2021;20(12):1314-1321. doi:10.36849/JDD.6355.


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

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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