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30 Mar 2023 at 01:41
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Bibliography on: Corvids (crows, jays, etc)


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Mar 2023 at 01:41 Created: 

Corvids (crows, jays, etc)

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-03-28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-27

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-27

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


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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-25

Pasadas C (2023)

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

RevDate: 2023-03-23

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-22

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-21

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

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

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-03-20

Pizarro AK, DeRaad DA, JE McCormack (2023)

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

Ecology and evolution, 13(3):e9863.

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

RevDate: 2023-03-17

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

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

Virus genes [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-03-17

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

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

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 13:1067993.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-16

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Zemach M, Lifshitz H, E Vakil (2023)

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-13

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-10

Anonymous (2023)

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

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

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

RevDate: 2023-03-06

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-03-06

Albrecht L, KA Kaufeld (2023)

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

Frontiers in public health, 11:1100543.

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

RevDate: 2023-03-03

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

Subclinical memory impairment in unaffected siblings of patients with dementia.

The Clinical neuropsychologist [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-03-03

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-27

Harper MG (2023)

Informal Power: A Key to Nursing Professional Development Influence.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-26

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Skibniewska EM, M Skibniewski (2023)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Brecht KF, Westendorff S, A Nieder (2023)

Neural correlates of cognitively controlled vocalizations in a corvid songbird.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-23

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

Mirror stimulation in Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius).

PeerJ, 11:e14729.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-23

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

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

Ecology and evolution, 13(2):e9791.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-23

McCrary LL (2019)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-22

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

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

Journal of neuropsychology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-02-22

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

Crows protect visual working memory against interference.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-11

Marks CA, Allen L, H Lindeberg (2023)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-10

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-10

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

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

Biodiversity data journal, 10:e87597 pii:87597.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-07

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

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

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.01.27.525959.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-08

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-07

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-07

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

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

Frontiers in veterinary science, 10:1026296.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-03

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

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

Aesthetic surgery journal. Open forum, 5:ojac089.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi-level combinatoriality in magpie non-song vocalizations.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Hunt GR, P Villard (2023)

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

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Kołodziejczak A, H Rotsztejn (2023)

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

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-31

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

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

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Ittyerah M (2022)

Handedness in low-birthweight children: Insights in lateralization.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:1018913.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-02

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-02

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PloS one, 18(1):e0278754.

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

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

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

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

Scientific reports, 13(1):1262.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-01

Breininger DR, Stolen ED, Carter GM, et al (2023)

Territory and population attributes affect Florida scrub-jay fecundity in fire-adapted ecosystems.

Ecology and evolution, 13(1):e9704.

Fecundity, the number of young produced by a breeding pair during a breeding season, is a primary component in evolutionary and ecological theory and applications. Fecundity can be influenced by many environmental factors and requires long-term study due to the range of variation in ecosystem dynamics. Fecundity data often include a large proportion of zeros when many pairs fail to produce any young during a breeding season due to nest failure or when all young die independently after fledging. We conducted color banding and monthly censuses of Florida scrub-jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens) across 31 years, 15 populations, and 761 territories along central Florida's Atlantic coast. We quantified how fecundity (juveniles/pair-year) was influenced by habitat quality, presence/absence of nonbreeders, population density, breeder experience, and rainfall, with a zero-inflated Bayesian hierarchical model including both a Bernoulli (e.g., brood success) and a Poisson (counts of young) submodel, and random effects for year, population, and territory. The results identified the importance of increasing "strong" quality habitat, which was a mid-successional state related to fire frequency and extent, because strong territories, and the proportion of strong territories in the overall population, influenced fecundity of breeding pairs. Populations subject to supplementary feeding also had greater fecundity. Territory size, population density, breeder experience, and rainfall surprisingly had no or small effects. Different mechanisms appeared to cause annual variation in fecundity, as estimates of random effects were not correlated between the success and count submodels. The increased fecundity for pairs with nonbreeders, compared to pairs without, identified empirical research needed to understand how the proportion of low-quality habitats influences population recovery and sustainability, because dispersal into low-quality habitats can drain nonbreeders from strong territories and decrease overall fecundity. We also describe how long-term study resulted in reversals in our understanding because of complications involving habitat quality, sociobiology, and population density.

RevDate: 2023-02-01

Buttler J, DM Drown (2022)

Accuracy and Completeness of Long Read Metagenomic Assemblies.

Microorganisms, 11(1):.

Microbes influence the surrounding environment and contribute to human health. Metagenomics can be used as a tool to explore the interactions between microbes. Metagenomic assemblies built using long read nanopore data depend on the read level accuracy. The read level accuracy of nanopore sequencing has made dramatic improvements over the past several years. However, we do not know if the increased read level accuracy allows for faster assemblers to make as accurate metagenomic assemblies as slower assemblers. Here, we present the results of a benchmarking study comparing three commonly used long read assemblers, Flye, Raven, and Redbean. We used a prepared DNA standard of seven bacteria as our input community. We prepared a sequencing library using a VolTRAX V2 and sequenced using a MinION mk1b. We basecalled with Guppy v5.0.7 using the super-accuracy model. We found that increasing read depth benefited each of the assemblers, and nearly complete community member chromosomes were assembled with as little as 10× read depth. Polishing assemblies using Medaka had a predictable improvement in quality. We found Flye to be the most robust across taxa and was the most effective assembler for recovering plasmids. Based on Flye's consistency for chromosomes and increased effectiveness at assembling plasmids, we would recommend using Flye in future metagenomic studies.

RevDate: 2023-02-10
CmpDate: 2023-02-10

Thiele JA, Richter A, K Hilger (2023)

Multimodal Brain Signal Complexity Predicts Human Intelligence.

eNeuro, 10(2): pii:ENEURO.0345-22.2022.

Spontaneous brain activity builds the foundation for human cognitive processing during external demands. Neuroimaging studies based on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) identified specific characteristics of spontaneous (intrinsic) brain dynamics to be associated with individual differences in general cognitive ability, i.e., intelligence. However, fMRI research is inherently limited by low temporal resolution, thus, preventing conclusions about neural fluctuations within the range of milliseconds. Here, we used resting-state electroencephalographical (EEG) recordings from 144 healthy adults to test whether individual differences in intelligence (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices scores) can be predicted from the complexity of temporally highly resolved intrinsic brain signals. We compared different operationalizations of brain signal complexity (multiscale entropy, Shannon entropy, Fuzzy entropy, and specific characteristics of microstates) regarding their relation to intelligence. The results indicate that associations between brain signal complexity measures and intelligence are of small effect sizes (r ∼ 0.20) and vary across different spatial and temporal scales. Specifically, higher intelligence scores were associated with lower complexity in local aspects of neural processing, and less activity in task-negative brain regions belonging to the default-mode network. Finally, we combined multiple measures of brain signal complexity to show that individual intelligence scores can be significantly predicted with a multimodal model within the sample (10-fold cross-validation) as well as in an independent sample (external replication, N = 57). In sum, our results highlight the temporal and spatial dependency of associations between intelligence and intrinsic brain dynamics, proposing multimodal approaches as promising means for future neuroscientific research on complex human traits.

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

Zhou L, Lei J, Zhai X, et al (2023)

Chinese striped-neck turtles vocalize underwater and show differences in peak frequency among different age and sex groups.

PeerJ, 11:e14628.

BACKGROUND: Turtle vocalizations play an important role throughout their lives by expressing individual information (position, emotion, or physiological status), reflecting mating preferences, and synchronizing incubation. The Chinese striped-neck turtle (Mauremys sinensis) is one of the most widely distributed freshwater turtles in China, whose wild population is critically endangered. However, its vocalization has not been studied, which can be the basis for behavioral and ecological studies.

METHODS: Five different sex-age groups of turtles were recorded underwater in a soundproof room. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis for classification of Chinese striped-neck turtle calls were unreasonable. The turtle calls were manually sought using visual and aural inspection of the recordings in Raven Pro 1.5 software and classified according to differences perceived through auditory inspection and the morphological characteristics of the spectrograms. The results of similarity analysis verified the reliability of manual classification. We compared the peak frequency of the calls among different age and sex groups.

RESULTS: We identified ten M. sinensis call types, displayed their spectra and waveforms, and described their auditory characteristics. Most calls produced by the turtles were low-frequency. Some high-frequency call types, that are common in other turtle species were also produced. Similar to other turtles, the Chinese striped-neck turtle generates harmonic vocalizations. Courtship behaviors were observed when one of the call types occurred in the mixed-sex group. Adult females produced more high-frequency call types, and subadult males had higher vocalizations than other groups. These results provide a basis for future research on the function of vocalizations, field monitoring, and conservation of this species.

RevDate: 2023-01-17
CmpDate: 2023-01-17

Salaün JP, Chagnot A, Cachia A, et al (2023)

Consequences of General Anesthesia in Infancy on Behavior and Brain Structure.

Anesthesia and analgesia, 136(2):240-250.

BACKGROUND: One in 7 children will need general anesthesia (GA) before the age of 3. Brain toxicity of anesthetics is controversial. Our objective was to clarify whether exposure of GA to the developing brain could lead to lasting behavioral and structural brain changes.

METHODS: A first study was performed in mice. The behaviors (fear conditioning, Y-maze, and actimetry) and brain anatomy (high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging) of 6- to 8-week-old Swiss mice exposed or not exposed to GA from 4 to 10 days old were evaluated. A second study was a complementary analysis from the preexisting APprentissages EXécutifs et cerveau chez les enfants d'âge scolaire (APEX) cohort to assess the replicability of our data in humans. The behaviors (behavior rating inventory of executive function, emotional control, and working memory score, Backward Digit Span, and Raven 36) and brain anatomy (high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging) were compared in 102 children 9 to 10 years of age exposed or not exposed to a single GA (surgery) during infancy.

RESULTS: The animal study revealed chronic exacerbated fear behavior in the adult mice (95% confidence interval [CI], 4-80; P = .03) exposed to postnatal GA; this was associated with an 11% (95% CI, 7.5-14.5) reduction of the periaqueductal gray matter (P = .046). The study in humans suggested lower emotional control (95% CI, 0.33-9.10; P = .06) and a 6.1% (95% CI, 4.3-7.8) reduction in the posterior part of the right inferior frontal gyrus (P = .019) in the children who had been exposed to a single GA procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: The preclinical and clinical findings of these independent studies suggest lasting effects of early life exposure to anesthetics on later emotional control behaviors and brain structures.

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

Huber L, L Lonardo (2023)

Canine perspective-taking.

Animal cognition, 26(1):275-298.

An important question in the study of canine cognition is how dogs understand humans, given that they show impressive abilities for interacting and communicating with us. In this review, we describe and discuss studies that have investigated dogs' perspective-taking abilities. There is solid evidence that dogs are not only sensitive to the gaze of others, but also their attention. We specifically address the question whether dogs have the ability to take the perspective of others and thus come to understand what others can or cannot perceive. From the latter, they may then infer what others know and use this representation to anticipate what others do next. Still, dogs might simply rely on directly observable cues and on what they themselves can perceive when they assess what others can perceive. And instead of making inferences from representations of others' mental states, they may have just learned that certain behaviours of ours lead to certain outcomes. However, recent research seems to challenge this low-level explanation. Dogs have solved several perspective-taking tasks instantly and reliably across a large number of variations, including geometrical gaze-following, stealing in the dark, concealing information from others, and Guesser/Knower differentiation. In the latter studies, dogs' choices between two human informants were strongly influenced by cues related to the humans' visual access to the food, even when the two informants behaved identically. And finally, we review a recent study that found dogs reacting differently to misleading suggestions of human informants that have either a true or false belief about the location of food. We discuss this surprising result in terms of the comprehension of reality-incongruent mental states, which is considered as a hallmark of Theory of Mind acquisition in human development. Especially on the basis of the latter findings, we conclude that pet dogs might be sensitive to what others see, know, intend, and believe. Therefore, this ability seems to have evolved not just in the corvid and primate lineages, but also in dogs.

RevDate: 2023-01-12

Wu K, Liu Z, Wang W, et al (2022)

An artificially designed elastin-like recombinant polypeptide improves aging skin.

American journal of translational research, 14(12):8562-8571.

BACKGROUND: As a substrate for cell growth, elastin can promote the regeneration and remodeling of the epidermis, which plays an important role in delaying skin aging. However, elastin proteins are more than 700 amino acids long and cannot be absorbed through the skin, which prevents the direct utilization of elastin in the prevention and treatment of aging skin.

METHODS: We designed an elastin-like recombinant polypeptide (ELR) which could be absorbed through the skin based on the property of hexapeptide VGVAPG. Thirty healthy Chinese Han female participants which met the criteria were enrolled in this study and all of them completed the tests including elasticity, tightness, and wrinkle detection. The participants used this polypeptide for 4 weeks and were tested in three visits: one day before trial started (D0), and 14 and 28 days after the trial (D14 and D28, respectively). Paired t-tests or Wilcoxon signed-rank tests for non-parametric measures were used to determine the difference between D0 and D14, or D0 and D28.

RESULTS: The skin elasticity level in the thirty participants was significantly increased after using ELR for 28 days (P=0.024), and the average value of skin firmness (Uf) declined from 3.313 (D0) to 3.292 (D14) and 3.265 (D28), although there was no statistically significant difference between treatment and pre-treatment. Furthermore, the wrinkle count (D14: P<0.001; D28: P<0.001), wrinkles volume (D14: P<0.001; D28: P=0.008), and wrinkles area (D14: P<0.001; D28: P<0.001) of Crow's feet were significantly improved by using ELR for 14 days or 28 days.

CONCLUSION: Continuous use of ELR could significantly improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles.

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

Rezaei H, Tavassoli M, B Esmaeilnejad (2022)

Phylogenetic Diversity of Dermanyssus gallinae (Dermanyssidae) based on Mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase-1 Gene Sequence Collected from Different Bird Species in Iran.

Archives of Razi Institute, 77(3):1091-1096.

A wide range of hosts, especially birds, can be infested with Dermanyssus gallinae (D. gallinae), as an obligate hematophagous mite. In this study, cytochrome oxidase 1 (CO1) gene sequences were employed to perform molecular and phylogenetic analyses of D. gallinae collected from different bird species in Iran. Adult mites were collected from the body surface and cage material of ornamental and wild birds in industrial farms located in the Western and Northwestern regions of Iran. The infestation was identified in layer poultry farming by inspecting the eggs and the whole surfaces of the birds' bodies. The holding area and body surface of the ornamental and wild birds were also thoroughly examined. The D. gallinae samples were assigned to two subgroups of haplogroup A (i.e., A1 and A2). The phylogenetic tree suggested that the D. gallinae samples collected from wild birds in the A1 sub-haplogroup should be placed beside Japanese, Norwegian, Italian, and French samples isolated from wild birds in the A2 sub-haplogroup. Additionally, the highest phylogenetic similarity in the A2 sub-group was observed between mites isolated from ornamental and industrial birds in Australia. The findings of the present study suggest that crows and sparrows may play an important role in the transmission of D. gallinae infestation to other species of wild birds due to their high population, as well as their presence in most areas.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Lima M, Tábuas-Pereira M, Durães J, et al (2023)

Neuropsychological Assessment in the Distinction Between Biomarker Defined Frontal-Variant of Alzheimer's Disease and Behavioral-Variant of Frontotemporal Dementia.

Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD pii:JAD220897 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Frontal-variant of Alzheimer's disease (fvAD) was purposed for patients with AD pathology that, despite the typical amnestic presentation, show early and progressive deterioration of behavior and executive functions, closely resembling the behavioral-variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD). This leads to a challenging differential diagnosis where neuropsychological evaluation and in vivo pathological evidence are essential.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the contribution of a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment (NP) battery in distinguishing between fvAD-dementia and bvFTD supported by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers.

METHODS: We included 40 patients with a baseline NP profile with prominent early executive and/or behavioral dysfunction, who meet both diagnosis of bvFTD and fvAD-dementia, according to international criteria. All patients underwent comprehensive NP assessment and CSF-AD biomarker evaluation. Neuropsychological domains as well as clinical and sociodemographic features, and APOE genotype were compared between groups.

RESULTS: 21 patients (52.5%) met the biological criteria for AD (decreased Aβ42 together with increased T-tau or P-tau in CSF) and were therefore classified as fvAD (mean age was 64.57, with 47.6% female). There were no differences between groups regarding age/age-at-onset, gender, or educational level. Regarding neuropsychological profile, performances in language and memory functions were equivalent in both groups. Significant differences were found in visuo-constructional abilities (p = 0.004), Trail Making Test A (p < 0.001), and Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices (p = 0.019), with fvAD patients showing worst performances.

CONCLUSION: In patients with an early prominent frontal profile, a higher impairment in attention and visuo-spatial functions, signaling additional right hemisphere fronto-parietal dysfunction, point towards a diagnosis of fvAD-dementia and may be useful in clinical practice.

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

Kapoor B, Nagpal B, Jain PK, et al (2022)

Epileptic Seizure Prediction Based on Hybrid Seek Optimization Tuned Ensemble Classifier Using EEG Signals.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 23(1):.

Visual analysis of an electroencephalogram (EEG) by medical professionals is highly time-consuming and the information is difficult to process. To overcome these limitations, several automated seizure detection strategies have been introduced by combining signal processing and machine learning. This paper proposes a hybrid optimization-controlled ensemble classifier comprising the AdaBoost classifier, random forest (RF) classifier, and the decision tree (DT) classifier for the automatic analysis of an EEG signal dataset to predict an epileptic seizure. The EEG signal is pre-processed initially to make it suitable for feature selection. The feature selection process receives the alpha, beta, delta, theta, and gamma wave data from the EEG, where the significant features, such as statistical features, wavelet features, and entropy-based features, are extracted by the proposed hybrid seek optimization algorithm. These extracted features are fed forward to the proposed ensemble classifier that produces the predicted output. By the combination of corvid and gregarious search agent characteristics, the proposed hybrid seek optimization technique has been developed, and is used to evaluate the fusion parameters of the ensemble classifier. The suggested technique's accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity are determined to be 96.6120%, 94.6736%, and 91.3684%, respectively, for the CHB-MIT database. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the suggested technique for early seizure prediction. The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the proposed technique are 95.3090%, 93.1766%, and 90.0654%, respectively, for the Siena Scalp database, again demonstrating its efficacy in the early seizure prediction process.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Parsa FR, Bayley S, Bell F, et al (2023)

Epidemiology of protozoan and helminthic parasites in wild passerine birds of Britain and Ireland.

Parasitology pii:S0031182022001779 [Epub ahead of print].

Avian endoparasites play important roles in conservation, biodiversity and host evolution. Currently, little is known about the epidemiology of intestinal helminths and protozoans infecting wild birds of Britain and Ireland. This study aimed to determine the rates of parasite prevalence, abundance and infection intensity in wild passerines. Fecal samples (n = 755) from 18 bird families were collected from 13 sites across England, Wales and Ireland from March 2020 to June 2021. A conventional sodium nitrate flotation method allowed morphological identification and abundance estimation of eggs/oocysts. Associations with host family and age were examined alongside spatiotemporal and ecological factors using Bayesian phylogenetically controlled models. Parasites were detected in 20.0% of samples, with corvids and finches having the highest prevalences and intensities, respectively. Syngamus (33%) and Isospora (32%) were the most prevalent genera observed. Parasite prevalence and abundance differed amongst avian families and seasons, while infection intensity varied between families and regions. Prevalence was affected by diet diversity, while abundance differed by host age and habitat diversity. Infection intensity was higher in birds using a wider range of habitats, and doubled in areas with feeders present. The elucidation of these patterns will increase the understanding of parasite fauna in British and Irish birds.

RevDate: 2023-01-03

Rey A, J Fagot (2023)

Associative learning accounts for recursive-structure generation in crows.

Learning & behavior [Epub ahead of print].

Recursive sequence generation (i.e., the ability to transfer recursive patterns to novel items) was recently reported in crows (Liao et al., 2022, Science Advances, 8[44], eabq3356). Here, we argue that although the reported data are certainly compatible with the recursion hypothesis, they can also be explained by other, much simpler mechanisms of associative learning.

RevDate: 2023-01-11
CmpDate: 2023-01-04

Söyler HÇ, Altintoprak AE, EÖ Aldemir (2022)

How Do Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids Affect Neurocognitive Functions?.

Turk psikiyatri dergisi = Turkish journal of psychiatry, 33(4):233-247.

OBJECTIVE: In this study, the losses of neurocognitive function caused by the use of cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid were studied on specific cognitive areas (attention and working memory, executive functions, visuospatial perception, learning and memory, planning and problem solving, word naming) and were described in comparision with healthy controls (control group).

METHOD: In this study, while 52 participants who applied to Ege University Faculty of Medicine Department of Mental Health and Mental Disorders Drug Addiction Treatment Center Clinic between March 2015 - February 2017 and used cannabis at least for one year in the past and 51 participants who used synthetic cannabinoids for at least one year in the past were participant groups with a history of substance use; 57 staff/student of Ege University with no history of any substance use were participants of the control group. The research sample consisted of 160 participants. The sample group consisted of 160 men aged 18-35, and also 16 participants aged 36-54 were involved in the study in order to observe neuropsychological functions that changed with age. Stroop Test for attention area, Raven Standart Progressive Matrices Test for executive functions area, Line Orientation Test and Cancellation Test for visuospatial perception area, Serial Digit Learning Test and Öktem Verbal Memory Progresses Scale for learning and memory area, The Tower of London Test for planning and problem solving skill, Boston Naming Test for word naming area were used.

RESULTS: In this study, while the lowest perfomance on the ability of focused attention, visuospatial cognition, visual scanning, orientation, sustained attention, general ability, short-term memory, learning, long-term memory, word naming was shown by the participants with a history of synthetic cannabis use, the participants with a history of cannabis use had the lowest performance on the ability of response rate, perseveration, conceptualizing, abstract thinking, changing sets, recognition. Participants' history of substance use did not affect the ability of planning and problem solving.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, this study suggests that the addition of cognitive rehabilitation programs to medical and psychosocial improvement studies carried out in the field of addiction will increase the success.

RevDate: 2022-12-29

Balter LJT, Sundelin T, Holding BC, et al (2022)

Intelligence predicts better cognitive performance after normal sleep but larger vulnerability to sleep deprivation.

Journal of sleep research [Epub ahead of print].

Fluid intelligence is seen as a beneficial attribute, protecting against stress and ill-health. Whether intelligence provides resilience to the cognitive effects of insufficient sleep was tested in the current pre-registered experimental study. Participants (N = 182) completed the Raven's test (measuring fluid intelligence) and a normal night of sleep or a night of total sleep deprivation. Sleepiness and four cognitive tests were completed at 22:30 hours (baseline), and the following day after sleep manipulation. At baseline, higher fluid intelligence was associated with faster and more accurate arithmetic calculations, and better episodic memory, but not with spatial working memory, simple attention or sleepiness. Those with higher fluid intelligence were more, not less, impacted by sleep deprivation, evident for arithmetic ability, episodic memory and spatial working memory. We need to establish a more nuanced picture of the benefits of intelligence, where intelligence is not related to cognitive advantages in all situations.

RevDate: 2023-02-09
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

Cipolotti L, Ruffle JK, Mole J, et al (2023)

Graph lesion-deficit mapping of fluid intelligence.

Brain : a journal of neurology, 146(1):167-181.

Fluid intelligence is arguably the defining feature of human cognition. Yet the nature of its relationship with the brain remains a contentious topic. Influential proposals drawing primarily on functional imaging data have implicated 'multiple demand' frontoparietal and more widely distributed cortical networks, but extant lesion-deficit studies with greater causal power are almost all small, methodologically constrained, and inconclusive. The task demands large samples of patients, comprehensive investigation of performance, fine-grained anatomical mapping, and robust lesion-deficit inference, yet to be brought to bear on it. We assessed 165 healthy controls and 227 frontal or non-frontal patients with unilateral brain lesions on the best-established test of fluid intelligence, Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, employing an array of lesion-deficit inferential models responsive to the potentially distributed nature of fluid intelligence. Non-parametric Bayesian stochastic block models were used to reveal the community structure of lesion deficit networks, disentangling functional from confounding pathological distributed effects. Impaired performance was confined to patients with frontal lesions [F(2,387) = 18.491; P < 0.001; frontal worse than non-frontal and healthy participants P < 0.01, P <0.001], more marked on the right than left [F(4,385) = 12.237; P < 0.001; right worse than left and healthy participants P < 0.01, P < 0.001]. Patients with non-frontal lesions were indistinguishable from controls and showed no modulation by laterality. Neither the presence nor the extent of multiple demand network involvement affected performance. Both conventional network-based statistics and non-parametric Bayesian stochastic block modelling heavily implicated the right frontal lobe. Crucially, this localization was confirmed on explicitly disentangling functional from pathology-driven effects within a layered stochastic block model, prominently highlighting a right frontal network involving middle and inferior frontal gyrus, pre- and post-central gyri, with a weak contribution from right superior parietal lobule. Similar results were obtained with standard lesion-deficit analyses. Our study represents the first large-scale investigation of the distributed neural substrates of fluid intelligence in the focally injured brain. Combining novel graph-based lesion-deficit mapping with detailed investigation of cognitive performance in a large sample of patients provides crucial information about the neural basis of intelligence. Our findings indicate that a set of predominantly right frontal regions, rather than a more widely distributed network, is critical to the high-level functions involved in fluid intelligence. Further they suggest that Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices is a useful clinical index of fluid intelligence and a sensitive marker of right frontal lobe dysfunction.

RevDate: 2022-12-27

Jang SI, Jung YC, Suk J, et al (2022)

A long term study of the difference in efficacy and effect rate of various concentrations of retinol (1500-6600 IU) in middle aged women.

Archives of dermatological research [Epub ahead of print].

Retinol is widely used for topical application for antiaging. However, the efficacy and effect rate of different concentrations of retinol have been rarely analyzed. Therefore, in this study, the efficacy and rate of effect of retinol concentrations from 1500 to 6600 IU, on various skin parameters, have been compared. Seventy-two Korean women aged 40-59 years participated in this study. Retinol was used by them for 24 weeks; the effects were measured at 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 weeks. The measurement parameters for aging were crow's feet, forehead wrinkles, nasolabial fold, dermal density, and elasticity and that for skin color were skin brightness, yellowness, redness, and standard deviation of skin brightness. The texture of the skin was measured by measuring the skin roughness and pores, and the skin barrier function was evaluated through hydration, sebum, and desquamation. Low concentration retinol (1500-2500 IU) had a significantly higher effect in skin color, brightness, and elasticity and faster improvement rate in skin brightness and elasticity compared to that for high concentration (3300-6600 IU). High concentration of retinol had a significantly higher effect in wrinkles, dermal density and pores and faster improvement rate for wrinkles, skin texture, pores, and desquamation compared to that for low concentration. This study evaluated the changes caused by different concentration of retinol over a long period of time. The results of this study have great implications as the optimal concentration of retinol can be prescribed for an accurate period for the desired results without side effects.

RevDate: 2022-12-23
CmpDate: 2022-12-23

Cheng W, Lin D, Liu P, et al (2022)

Achieving Fano resonance with an ultra-high slope rate by silicon nitride CROW embedded in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer.

Optics express, 30(26):46147-46156.

Fano resonance with asymmetric line shape is very promising in many applications such as optical switching, sensing, slow light, laser. Fano resonances based on some integrated structures have been demonstrated on the silicon on insulator platform. However, the extinction ratios and slope rates of the most proposed integrated Fano resonances are relatively low, which limits their applications. In this paper, a tunable silicon nitride coupled resonator optical waveguide (CROW) embedded in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) is proposed to achieve Fano resonance. Benefiting from fine tuning supported by the low thermo-optic coefficient of the silicon nitride optical waveguide, the optical amplitudes and phases in the two arms of the MZI were accurately adjusted to achieve destructive interference, which gives an ultra-high extinction ratio. Furthermore, high quality factor CROW, supported by the native low loss silicon nitride optical waveguide, greatly shrinks the resonance bandwidth. Combining the above two superiorities, a Fano resonance with a very high extinction ratio of up to 57 dB and slope rate as high as 8.1 × 10[4] dB/nm was obtained, which is an order of magnitude larger than the reported integrated Fano resonances. We believe that the proposed structure would be a promising candidate for high-performance switching and high-sensitivity sensing.

RevDate: 2022-12-25

Beauchamp G, R Bowman (2022)

Visual Monitoring Strategies of Sentinels in a Cooperative Breeder.

Biology, 11(12):.

Vigilance is important for early detection of threats. Previous studies have focused on the allocation of time to vigilance but neglected how animals monitor their surroundings during vigilance. Where animals look and how long each look lasts can affect the quality of visual monitoring and thus the ability to detect threats during vigilance. We examined visual monitoring strategies in the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), a cooperative breeder with sentinel behaviour. Sentinels in this species make head turns from vantage points to detect the arrival of predators and intruding neighbours. We found that sentinels initiated head turns at regular intervals and also returned their gaze to areas previously monitored at regular intervals, which is predicted when predators and intruders rely on surprise rather than stealth to approach. Sentinels made head turns in several directions, but often more frequently on one side of the body than the other, which was not predicted for regular vigilance. Average look duration during sentinel bouts was shorter in smaller groups and in juveniles. We argue that shorter looks are beneficial to increase visual coverage in more threatening situations. Our study highlights how visual monitoring strategies during vigilance reflect the risk posed by predators and intruders.

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

Rössler T, AM Auersperg (2023)

Recent developments in parrot cognition: a quadrennial update.

Animal cognition, 26(1):199-228.

Psittacines, along with corvids, are commonly referred to as 'feathered apes' due to their advanced cognitive abilities. Until rather recently, the research effort on parrot cognition was lagging behind that on corvids, however current developments show that the number of parrot studies is steadily increasing. In 2018, M. L. Lambert et al. provided a comprehensive review on the status of the most important work done so far in parrot and corvid cognition. Nevertheless, only a little more than 4 years after this publication, more than 50 new parrot studies have been published, some of them chartering completely new territory. On the 25th anniversary of Animal Cognition we think this warrants a detailed review of parrot cognition research over the last 4 years. We aim to capture recent developments and current trends in this rapidly expanding and diversifying field.

RevDate: 2023-01-13
CmpDate: 2022-12-23

Mantilla C, Z Murad (2022)

Ego-relevance in team production.

PloS one, 17(12):e0279391.

We study how individuals' effort contribution to a team production task varies depending on whether the task is ego relevant or not. We conduct an experiment to test the effect of ego-relevance when the team production depends on the team's top- or bottom-performer. Ego-relevance is manipulated by calling the Raven IQ Test an "IQ Task" or a "Pattern Task." We find that the effort contributed to the task is affected by ego-relevance and the impact of the team production function on effort contribution is mediated by the teammate's expected effort contribution. Ego-relevance increases the responsiveness to the teammate's expected effort contributions. Similarly, more responsive behavior is noticeable when the team production depends on the bottom-performer. However, we do not observe interaction-effects between ego-relevance and the team production function that affect effort contributions.

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-12-22

O'Coin D, Mclvor GE, Thornton A, et al (2022)

Velocity correlations in jackdaw flocks in different ecological contexts.

Physical biology, 20(1):.

Velocity correlation is an important feature for animal groups performing collective motions. Previous studies have mostly focused on the velocity correlation in a single ecological context. It is unclear whether correlation characteristics vary in a single species in different contexts. Here, we studied the velocity correlations in jackdaw flocks in two different contexts: transit flocks where birds travel from one location to another, and mobbing flocks where birds respond to an external stimulus. We found that in both contexts, although the interaction rules are different, the velocity correlations remain scale-free, i.e. the correlation length (the distance over which the velocity of two individuals is similar) increases linearly with the group size. Furthermore, we found that the correlation length is independent of the group density for transit flocks, but increases with increasing group density in mobbing flocks. This result confirms a previous observation that birds obey topological interactions in transit flocks, but switch to metric interactions in mobbing flocks. Finally, in both contexts, the impact of group polarization on correlation length is not significant. Our results suggest that wild animals are always able to respond coherently to perturbations regardless of context.

RevDate: 2022-12-19

Iqbal F, Wilson R, Ayub Q, et al (2022)

Biomonitoring of heavy metals in the feathers of House crow (Corvus splendens) from some metropolitans of Asia and Africa.

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

Urban-dwelling birds can be useful biomonitors to assess the impact of the urbanisation on both public and wildlife health. Widely distributed urban bird species, the House crow, was studied for heavy metal accumulation levels from nine cities of South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa that border the Indian Ocean. Feathers were spectroscopically investigated for the deposition of ten heavy metals, i.e. As, Zn, Pb, Cd, Ni, iron Fe, Mn, Cr, Cu and Li. Fe and Zn were found to be the most prevalent metals in all sites. Measured concentrations of Pb (4.38-14.77 mg kg[-1]) overall, and Fe (935.66 mg kg[-1]) and Cu (67.17 mg kg[-1]) at some studied sites were above the toxicity levels reported lethal in avian toxicological studies. Multivariate analysis and linear models supported geographical location as a significant predictor for the level of most of the metals. Zn and Cu, generally and Pb, Cd, Mn, Cr at some sites exhibited potential bioaccumulation from surrounding environments. Inter-species comparisons strengthen the inference that the House crow is a reliable bioindicator species for the qualitative assessment of local urban environmental pollution and could be a useful tool for inter-regional monitoring programs.

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-12-16

Kim J, Lee SG, Lee J, et al (2022)

Oral Supplementation of Low-Molecular-Weight Collagen Peptides Reduces Skin Wrinkles and Improves Biophysical Properties of Skin: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Study.

Journal of medicinal food, 25(12):1146-1154.

Orally administered collagen peptides could contribute to antiaging by replacing the degraded extracellular matrix proteins caused by photoaging. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of low-molecular-weight collagen peptides for treating photoaged and dry skin. In this randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, double-blinded trial, we randomly assigned study participants (n = 100) to either the test product group or placebo group at a 1:1 ratio for 12 weeks. The wrinkle scale score, eye wrinkle volume, roughness parameters, such as the average maximum height of the wrinkle (Rz), arithmetic average within the total measuring length of the wrinkle (Ra), maximum profile valley depth of the wrinkle (Rv), and skin hydration, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), overall elasticity (R2), and ratio of elastic recovery to total deformation (R7) were evaluated at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks. Safety assessments with serial blood tests were also conducted. Efficacy assessments of data from 84 participants were conducted as the per-protocol analysis. After 12 weeks, the 10-grade crow's feet photo scale score, eye wrinkle volume, skin roughness parameters (Rz, Ra, and Rv), skin elasticity (R2 and R7), skin hydration, and TEWL were significantly improved in the test product group compared to the placebo group. There were no adverse events or abnormalities according to laboratory analysis associated with using the test material during the study period. This study showed that the oral supplementation of low-molecular-weight collagen peptides could improve the wrinkles, elasticity, hydration, and barrier integrity of photoaged facial skin. This clinical study was registered with the Korean Clinical Research Information Service and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (No: KCT0006500).

RevDate: 2023-01-27
CmpDate: 2022-12-15

Apprey C, Asamoah-Boakye O, Annaful VT, et al (2022)

Comparative analysis of methyl-donor nutrient intakes and RCPM cognitive performance among school-aged children.

Clinical nutrition ESPEN, 52:105-112.

BACKGROUND: Evidence shows a link between methyl-donor nutrient intakes and a child's cognitive ability. However, this is less known among Ghanaian children who might be at higher risk of methyl-donor nutrient deficiencies. This study showed comparative analysis of methyl-donor nutrient intakes and Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) test performance among 2073 Ghanaian school children aged 9-13 years across four regions of Ghana.

METHODS: Data for the present study were obtained from the Child Nutrition, Fitness, and Cognition project; a cross-sectional survey conducted in four regions of Ghana. Dietary methyl-donor nutrient values were based on repeated 24 h recall data collected during the study periods. Cognitive tests were performed on the 2073 children using Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) test.

RESULTS: We found dietary zinc (adjusted: β = 0.21, p = 0.003) and methionine (adjusted: β = 0.60, p = 0.044) intakes to be associated with RCPM scores in the linear regression model. School children living in Northern Region (adjusted OR = 0.6, p < 0.001, 95% CI = 0.4-0.7) and Volta Region (adjusted OR = 0.7, p = 0.006, 95% CI = 0.5-0.9) had lower odds of scoring above the 50th percentile on the RCPM test compared with those living in Greater Accra Region. Children who consumed below the RDA for dietary folate (unadjusted OR = 0.8, p = 0.055, 95% CI = 0.7-1.0) and zinc (unadjusted OR = 0.8, p = 0.049, 95%CI = 0.7-1.0) had lower odds of scoring above the 50th percentile on the RCPM test compared with those who consumed above the RDA for dietary folate and zinc respectively. Children who consumed below the EAR for dietary vitamin B12 (unadjusted OR = 0.7, p = 0.004, 95% CI = 0.6-0.9) had reduced odds of scoring above the 50th percentile on the RCPM test compared with those who consumed above the EAR for dietary vitamin B12.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher dietary methionine intake was strongly associated with higher RCPM scores. Regional differences, and children's dietary consumption below the EAR/RDA for dietary folate, vitamin B12, and zinc were associated with poor RCPM test performance. School children's nutrient intake should be prioritized for improved cognition.

RevDate: 2023-01-09
CmpDate: 2022-12-14

Singh MP, Popli R, Brar S, et al (2022)

CHSI costing study-Challenges and solutions for cost data collection in private hospitals in India.

PloS one, 17(12):e0276399.

INTRODUCTION: Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) has enabled the Government of India to become a strategic purchaser of health care services from private providers. To generate base cost evidence for evidence-based policymaking the Costing of Health Services in India (CHSI) study was commissioned in 2018 for the price setting of health benefit packages. This paper reports the findings of a process evaluation of the cost data collection in the private hospitals.

METHODS: The process evaluation of health system costing in private hospitals was an exploratory survey with mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative). We used three approaches-an online survey using a semi-structured questionnaire, in-depth interviews, and a review of monitoring data. The process of data collection was assessed in terms of time taken for different aspects, resources used, level and nature of difficulty encountered, challenges and solutions.

RESULTS: The mean time taken for data collection in a private hospital was 9.31 (± 1.0) person months including time for obtaining permissions, actual data collection and entry, and addressing queries for data completeness and quality. The longest time was taken to collect data on human resources (30%), while it took the least time for collecting information on building and space (5%). On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) difficulty levels, the data on human resources was the most difficult to collect. This included data on salaries (8), time allocation (5.5) and leaves (5).

DISCUSSION: Cost data from private hospitals is crucial for mixed health systems. Developing formal mechanisms of cost accounting data and data sharing as pre-requisites for empanelment under a national insurance scheme can significantly ease the process of cost data collection.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Wang L, Sheng A, Chang L, et al (2022)

Improving fluid intelligence of children through working memory training: The role of inhibition control.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:1025036.

Intelligence is strongly associated with working memory. Working memory training can improve fluid intelligence, but the underlying mechanism requires further investigation. Because inhibition control may play a key role in working memory training, this study investigated this process from an electrophysiological perspective. In total, 40 children aged 9 to 11 years were enrolled and randomly divided into a training group (n = 20) and a control group (n = 20). The training group received 20 days of working memory training, whereas the control group did not receive any training. Before and after the training period, all participants were tested using Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (RSPM), and electrophysiological indicators were recorded while they performed go/no-go and Stroop tasks. The results revealed that relative to the control group, the training group had significantly improved RSPM scores in the test conducted after their training. For the go/no-go tasks, the training group exhibited a significant decrease in N2 amplitude, a significant increase in P3 amplitude, a significant decrease in theta band energy, and an improvement in response inhibition ability. No significant change was observed for the Stroop task. Correlation analysis revealed that an improvement in individual response inhibition can positively predict an improvement in fluid intelligence. These results suggest that working memory training enhances the fluid intelligence of children by enhancing their response inhibition ability.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Blum CR, Fitch WT, T Bugnyar (2022)

Social dynamics impact scolding behaviour in captive groups of common ravens (Corvus corax).

Frontiers in zoology, 19(1):32.

BACKGROUND: Predator avoidance can have immense impacts on fitness, yet individual variation in the expression of anti-predator behaviour remains largely unexplained. Existing research investigating learning of novel predators has focused either on individuals or groups, but not both. Testing in individual settings allows evaluations of learning or personality differences, while testing in group settings makes it impossible to distinguish any such individual differences from social dynamics. In this study, we investigate the effect of social dynamics on individual anti-predator behaviour. We trained 15 captive ravens to recognize and respond to a novel experimental predator and then exposed them to this predator in both group and isolation settings across 1.5 years to tease apart individual differences from social effects and evaluate two hypotheses: (1) weaker anti-predator responses of some individuals in the group occurred, because they failed to recognize the experimental predator as a threat, leading to weak responses when separated, or (2) some individuals had learned the new threat, but their scolding intensity was repressed in the group trials due to social dynamics (such as dominance rank), leading to increased scolding intensity when alone.

RESULTS: We found that dominance significantly influences scolding behaviour in the group trials; top-ranked individuals scold more and earlier than lower ranking ones. However, in the separation trials scolding duration is no longer affected by rank.

CONCLUSIONS: We speculate that, while top-ranked individuals use their anti-predator responses to signal status in the group, lower-ranking ravens may be suppressed from, or are less capable of, performing intense anti-predator behaviour while in the group. This suggests that, in addition to its recruitment or predator-deterrent effects, alarm calling may serve as a marker of individual quality to conspecifics.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Faber D, Grosse GM, Klietz M, et al (2022)

Towards the Validation of Executive Functioning Assessments: A Clinical Study.

Journal of clinical medicine, 11(23):.

Neuropsychological assessment needs a more profound grounding in psychometric theory. Specifically, psychometrically reliable and valid tools are required, both in patient care and in scientific research. The present study examined convergent and discriminant validity of some of the most popular indicators of executive functioning (EF). A sample of 96 neurological inpatients (aged 18-68 years) completed a battery of standardized cognitive tests (Raven's matrices, vocabulary test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, verbal fluency test, figural fluency test). Convergent validity of indicators of intelligence (Raven's matrices, vocabulary test) and of indicators of EF (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, verbal fluency test, figural fluency) were calculated. Discriminant validity of indicators of EF against indicators of intelligence was also calculated. Convergent validity of indicators of intelligence (Raven's matrices, vocabulary test) was good (rxtyt = 0.727; R[2] = 0.53). Convergent validity of fluency indicators of EF against executive cognition as indicated by performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test was poor (0.087 ≤ rxtyt ≤ 0.304; 0.008 ≤ R[2] ≤ 0.092). Discriminant validity of indicators of EF against indicators of intelligence was good (0.106 ≤ rxtyt ≤ 0.548; 0.011 ≤ R[2] ≤ 0.300). Our conclusions from these data are clear-cut: apparently dissimilar indicators of intelligence converge on general intellectual ability. Apparently dissimilar indicators of EF (mental fluency, executive cognition) do not converge on general executive ability. Executive abilities, although non-unitary, can be reasonably well distinguished from intellectual ability. The present data contribute to the hitherto meager evidence base regarding the validity of popular indicators of EF.

RevDate: 2023-01-25
CmpDate: 2022-12-15

Cella F, Marchak KA, Bianchi C, et al (2022)

Generic Language for Social and Animal Kinds: An Examination of the Asymmetry Between Acceptance and Inferences.

Cognitive science, 46(12):e13209.

Generics (e.g., "Ravens are black") express generalizations about categories or their members. Previous research found that generics about animals are interpreted as broadly true of members of a kind, yet also accepted based on minimal evidence. This asymmetry is important for suggesting a mechanism by which unfounded generalizations may flourish; yet, little is known whether this finding extends to generics about groups of people (heretofore, "social generics"). Accordingly, in four preregistered studies (n = 665), we tested for an inferential asymmetry for generics regarding novel groups of animals versus people. Participants were randomly assigned to either an Implied Prevalence task (given a generic, asked to estimate the prevalence of a property) or a Truth-Conditions task (given prevalence information, asked whether a generic was true or false). A generic asymmetry was found in both domains, at equivalent levels. The asymmetry also extended to properties varying in valence (dangerous and neutral). Finally, there were differences as a function of property valence in the Implied Prevalence task and a small but consistent interaction between domain and prevalence in the Truth-Conditions task. We discuss the implications of these results for the semantics of generics, theoretical accounts of the asymmetry, and the relation between generics and stereotyping.

RevDate: 2023-01-12

Parisi D, Srivastava S, Parmar D, et al (2022)

Awareness of India's national health insurance scheme (PM-JAY): A cross-sectional study across six states.

Health policy and planning pii:6881114 [Epub ahead of print].

The literature suggests that a first barrier towards accessing benefits of health insurance in low- and middle-income countries is lack of awareness of one's benefits. Yet, across settings and emerging schemes, limited scientific evidence is available on levels of awareness and their determinants. To fill this gap, we assessed socio-demographic and economic determinants of beneficiaries' awareness of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the national health insurance scheme launched in India in 2018, and their awareness of own eligibility. We relied on cross-sectional household survey data collected in six Indian states between 2019 and 2020. Representative data of households eligible for PM-JAY from 11 618 respondents (an adult representative from each surveyed household) were used. We used descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression models to explore the association between awareness of PM-JAY and of one's own eligibility, and socio-economic and demographic characteristics. About 62% of respondents were aware of PM-JAY, and among the aware, 78% knew that they were eligible for the scheme. Regression analysis confirmed that older respondents with higher educational level and salaried jobs were more likely to know about PM-JAY. Awareness was lower among respondents from Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu. Respondents from other backward classes, of wealthier socio-economic status, or from Meghalaya or Gujarat were more likely to be aware of their eligibility status. Respondents from Chhattisgarh were less likely to know about their eligibility. Our study confirms that while more than half the eligible population was aware of PM-JAY, considerable efforts are needed to achieve universal awareness. Socio-economic gradients confirm that the more marginalized are still less aware. We recommend implementing tailored, state-specific information dissemination approaches focusing on knowledge of specific scheme features to empower beneficiaries to demand their entitled services.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Soga E, Sakaguchi K, Takizawa S, et al (2022)

Emergence of Vibrio cincinnatiensis, a Rare Human Pathogen, in Urban Crows.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

Hilger K, MJ Euler (2022)

Intelligence and Visual Mismatch Negativity: Is Pre-Attentive Visual Discrimination Related to General Cognitive Ability?.

Journal of cognitive neuroscience pii:114117 [Epub ahead of print].

EEG has been used for decades to identify neurocognitive processes related to intelligence. Evidence is accumulating for associations with neural markers of higher-order cognitive processes (e.g., working memory); however, whether associations are specific to complex processes or also relate to earlier processing stages remains unclear. Addressing these issues has implications for improving our understanding of intelligence and its neural correlates. The MMN is an ERP that is elicited when, within a series of frequent standard stimuli, rare deviant stimuli are presented. As stimuli are typically presented outside the focus of attention, the MMN is suggested to capture automatic pre-attentive discrimination processes. However, the MMN and its relation to intelligence has largely only been studied in the auditory domain, thus preventing conclusions about the involvement of automatic discrimination processes in humans' dominant sensory modality-vision. EEG was recorded from 50 healthy participants during a passive visual oddball task that presented simple sequence violations and deviations within a more complex hidden pattern. Signed area amplitudes and fractional area latencies of the visual MMN were calculated with and without Laplacian transformation. Correlations between visual MMN and intelligence (Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices) were of negligible to small effect sizes, differed critically between measurement approaches, and Bayes Factors provided anecdotal to substantial evidence for the absence of an association. We discuss differences between the auditory and visual MMN, the implications of different measurement approaches, and offer recommendations for further research in this evolving field.

RevDate: 2023-01-19
CmpDate: 2023-01-19

Erdil D, Manav V, Türk CB, et al (2023)

The clinical effect of botulinum toxin on pigmentation.

International journal of dermatology, 62(2):250-256.

BACKGROUND: Botulinum toxin injection is a common cosmetic procedure often used to treat dynamic wrinkles, but it has also been observed to have a lightening effect on the skin. It is thought that this lightening effect develops due to muscle innervation blockage; however, the change in the amount of melanin levels has not been quantified.

METHOD: Thirty-one patients who presented to the dermatology clinic of a tertiary hospital for botulinum toxin injection for wrinkle treatment were included in the study. A standard dose of botulinum toxin was injected to each patient's forehead, glabellar, and crow's feet region, and then the melanin index (MI) was measured with the Mexameter® MX 18 (Courage + Khazaka Electronic, Köln).

RESULTS: After botulinum toxin treatment, a statistically significant decrease was found in the forehead and upper face MI. The upper face total baseline MI was significantly lower in the Glogau 1 group than in the Glogau 2 group (P = 0.033). The forehead 15th day MI was significantly lower in the Glogau 1 group than in the Glogau 2, 3, and 4 groups (P = 0.030).

DISCUSSION: Botulinum toxin application to healthy skin for wrinkle treatment can cause facial skin lightening by reducing MI. It was also remarkable that this decrease was more pronounced in the forehead, which is a region that is particularly vulnerable to sun exposure, compared to other regions. Younger people, who are included in the Glogau type 1 group, may benefit more from this lightening effect.

RevDate: 2023-02-06
CmpDate: 2022-12-28

Cahill LS (2023)

Black dreams matter: Exploring the polyphonic realms of the Black Radical Imaginary.

Journal of personality, 91(1):30-49.

OBJECTIVE: Charles Cobb Jr. and Alex Davis are two Black American men who have never experienced the full capacity of freedom. The routine denial of their full humanity, or social equity, has counterintuitively sparked an impetus inside of them both to commit their lives to seek to dismantle oppressive systems.

METHOD: Through a series of oral histories with both organizers, I learned that they have been engaged with radical dreaming and imagination as a survivalist movement strategy.

RESULTS: Despite the dehumanizing violence of slavery, the political humiliation of Reconstruction, the brutal segregation and state terrorism of Jim Crow, and the many Civil Rights successes and Neoliberal disappointments that have followed, Cobb and Davis have embodied a steadfast commitment to freedom, unwavering trust in their people, in some contexts, a just daring that defies current dominant reason.

CONCLUSION: I argue that by drawing through lines between the meaning-making experiences of Charles Cobb Jr. 's and Alex Davis' incredible lives we can better understand their critical consciousness and sociopolitical development have influenced their dreams of freedom, cultivated their radical imaginations, and sustained their collectivism.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

Cicero C, Mason NA, Oong Z, et al (2022)

Deep ecomorphological and genetic divergence in Steller's Jays (Cyanocitta stelleri, Aves: Corvidae).

Ecology and evolution, 12(12):e9517.

The relationship between ecology and morphology is a cornerstone of evolutionary biology, and quantifying variation across environments can shed light on processes that give rise to biodiversity. Three morphotypes of the Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) occupy different ecoregions in western North America, which vary in climate and landcover. These morphotypes (Coastal, Interior, Rocky Mountain) differ in size, plumage coloration, and head pattern. We sampled 1080 Steller's Jays from 68 populations (plus 11 outgroups) to address three main questions using data on morphology, plumage, genetics (mtDNA, microsatellites), and ecological niches: (1) How do phenotypic and genetic traits vary within and among populations, morphotypes, and ecoregions? (2) How do population-level differences in Steller's Jays compare with other sister species pairs of North American birds? (3) What can we infer about the population history of Steller's Jays in relation to past climates, paleoecology, and niche evolution? We found substantial morphological, genetic, and ecological differentiation among morphotypes. The greatest genetic divergence separated Coastal and Interior morphotypes from the Rocky Mountain morphotype, which was associated with warmer, drier, and more open habitats. Microsatellites revealed additional structure between Coastal and Interior groups. The deep mtDNA split between Coastal/Interior and Rocky Mountain lineages of Steller's Jay (ND2 ~ 7.8%) is older than most North American avian sister species and dates to approximately 4.3 mya. Interior and Rocky Mountain morphotypes contact across a narrow zone with steep clines in traits and reduced gene flow. The distribution of the three morphotypes coincides with divergent varieties of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Species distribution models support multiple glacial refugia for Steller's Jays. Our integrative dataset combined with extensive geographic sampling provides compelling evidence for recognizing at least two species of Steller's Jay.

RevDate: 2023-02-01
CmpDate: 2023-01-06

Hiono T, Kobayashi D, Kobayashi A, et al (2023)

Virological, pathological, and glycovirological investigations of an Ezo red fox and a tanuki naturally infected with H5N1 high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses in Hokkaido, Japan.

Virology, 578:35-44.

In winter/spring 2021-2022, high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) that are genetically closely related to each other were detected worldwide. In a public garden in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, a crow die-off by HPAIV infection occurred from March 29 to May 18, 2022. During the event, H5N1 HPAIVs were isolated from an Ezo red fox (Vulpes vulpes schrencki) and a tanuki (Nyctereutes procyonoides albus) found in the same garden. The fox showed viral meningoencephalitis and moderate virus replication in the upper respiratory tract, whereas the tanuki showed viral conjunctivitis and secondary bacterial infection in the eyes accompanied with visceral larva migrans. Viruses isolated from the fox and the tanuki were genetically closely related to those isolated from crows in the same garden. Various α2-3 sialosides were found in the respiratory tracts of these canid mammals, consistent with HPAIV infections in these animals. This study highlighted the importance of monitoring HPAIV infections in wild carnivore mammals to detect the potential virus spreading in nature.

RevDate: 2023-01-23
CmpDate: 2023-01-23

Michon A (2023)

Botulinum toxin for cosmetic treatments in young adults: An evidence-based review and survey on current practice among aesthetic practitioners.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 22(1):128-139.

BACKGROUND: Botulinum toxin A (BoNTA) treatments are popular worldwide. Young adults, less than 41 years of age, are an important cohort of patients seen in practice, and the optimal dosage of BoNTA in this age group remains poorly defined.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVE: To determine the optimal dosing of BoNTA across different age-matched cohorts by reviewing the literature and to evaluate current BoNTA practices among aesthetic practitioners when treating younger versus older adults.

METHODS: An evidence-based literature review was performed to evaluate the current evidence on BoNTA injections for cosmetic indications in millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and young adults. A cross-sectional online survey was distributed to aesthetic practitioners to assess their current practice with BoNTA.

RESULTS: There is a paucity of high-quality research on BoNT in millennials. Our literature review suggests different patterns of practice when treating younger adults. Specifically, our survey revealed that: (1) younger adults are receiving, on average, fewer units of BoNTA at the glabella, forehead, and crow's feet, (2) younger toxin-naïve patients are also afraid to look frozen or unnatural, and (3) wrinkles prevention was the most common reason for seeking treatment in younger patients.

CONCLUSION: The literature review supports the efficacy of BoNTA for correcting wrinkles in millennials. Our findings provide further insight into the dosing pattern of cosmetic BoNTA and motivating factors for seeking treatments in young adults. This valuable information will help practitioners with treatment planning when seeing patients from different age cohorts. An individualized approach and a lower dosage of BoNTA in toxin-naïve younger adults are recommended.

RevDate: 2023-02-04
CmpDate: 2022-11-30

Quest M, Rinnert P, Hahner L, et al (2022)

Exogenous and endogenous spatial attention in crows.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(49):e2205515119.

Attention describes the ability to selectively process a particular aspect of the environment at the expense of others. Despite the significance of selective processing, the types and scopes of attentional mechanisms in nonprimate species remain underexplored. We trained four carrion crows in Posner spatial cueing tasks using two separate protocols where the attention-capturing cues are shown at different times before target onset at either the same or a different location as the impending target. To probe automatic bottom-up, or exogenous, attention, two naïve crows were tested with a cue that had no predictive value concerning the location of the subsequent target. To examine volitional top-down, or endogenous, attention, the other two crows were tested with the previously learned cues that predicted the impending target location. Comparing the performance for valid (cue and target at same location) and invalid (cue and target at opposing locations) cues in the nonpredictive cue condition showed a transient, mild reaction time advantage signifying exogenous attention. In contrast, there was a strong and long-lasting performance advantage for the valid conditions with predictive cues indicating endogenous attention. Together, these results demonstrate that crows possess two different attention mechanisms (exogenous and endogenous). These findings signify that crows possess a substantial attentional capacity and robust cognitive control over attention allocation.

RevDate: 2023-02-02
CmpDate: 2023-01-31

Amano S, Yoshikawa T, Ito C, et al (2023)

Prediction and association analyses of skin phenotypes in Japanese females using genetic, environmental, and physical features.

Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI), 29(1):e13231.

BACKGROUND: Skin characteristics show great variation from person to person and are affected by multiple factors, including genetic, environmental, and physical factors, but details of the involvement and contributions of these factors remain unclear.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to characterize genetic, environmental, and physical factors affecting 16 skin features by developing models to predict personal skin characteristics.

METHODS: We analyzed the associations of skin phenotypes with genetic, environmental, and physical features in 1472 Japanese females aged 20-80 years. We focused on 16 skin characteristics, including melanin, brightness/lightness, yellowness, pigmented spots, wrinkles, resilience, moisture, barrier function, texture, and sebum amount. As genetic factors, we selected 74 single-nucleotide polymorphisms of genes related to skin color, vitamin level, hormones, circulation, extracellular matrix (ECM) components and ECM-degrading enzymes, inflammation, and antioxidants. Histories of ultraviolet (UV) exposure and smoking as environmental factors and age, height, and weight as physical factors were acquired by means of a questionnaire.

RESULTS: A linear association with age was prominent for increase in the area of crow's feet, increase in number of pigmented spots, decrease in forehead sebum, and increase in VISIA wrinkle parameters. Associations were analyzed by constructing linear regression models for skin feature changes and logistic regression models to predict whether subjects show lower or higher skin measurement values in the same age groups. Multiple genetic factors, history of UV exposure and smoking, and body mass index were statistically selected for each skin characteristic. The most important association found for skin spots, such as lentigines and wrinkles, was adolescent sun exposure.

CONCLUSION: Genetic, environmental, and physical factors associated with interindividual differences of the selected skin features were identified. The developed models should be useful to predict the skin characteristics of individuals and their age-related changes.

RevDate: 2023-01-12
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Esmaeilifallah M, Sadraei J, Pirestani M, et al (2022)

Molecular characterization and genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living animals in Iran: Effect of One Health.

Veterinary parasitology, regional studies and reports, 36:100808.

To understand the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii, this parasite's genetic diversity distribution in free-living hosts is essential. This research's objective is the molecular genotyping of T. gondii isolates from the brain and muscles of Columbidae, Corvidae, Rattus, and Felidae of Mianeh County, East-Azerbaijan Province, Northwest Iran. Three hundred fifty samples were taken. For the genotyping of T. gondii, the GRA6 gene was amplified and digested by the Tru1I (MseI) enzyme. Results of RFLP were confirmed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. In total, 52%, 34%, 24%, and 50% of Columbidae, Corvidae, Rattus, and Felidae were positive for T. gondii DNA, respectively. All isolated Columbidae were identified as genotype III (100%). Also, 94.1% and 5.9% of Corvidae isolates, 84.4% and 15.6% of the Rattus isolates, and 51.7% and 48.3% of the Felidae isolates belonged to genotypes III and II, respectively. This study is the first to evaluate genetic similarity and phylogenetic analysis between many definitive and intermediated hosts in northwestern Iran. The finding indicates that the T. gondii cycle is maintained among these hosts. As a result, their presence in the environment can be a risk factor for transmitting the infection to humans. Due to demographic and geographic differences in various regions, further studies are required to determine the genetic population structure.

RevDate: 2022-11-24

Morin TM, Moore KN, Isenburg K, et al (2022)

Functional reconfiguration of task-active frontoparietal control network facilitates abstract reasoning.

Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991) pii:6843797 [Epub ahead of print].

While the brain's functional network architecture is largely conserved between resting and task states, small but significant changes in functional connectivity support complex cognition. In this study, we used a modified Raven's Progressive Matrices Task to examine symbolic and perceptual reasoning in human participants undergoing fMRI scanning. Previously, studies have focused predominantly on discrete symbolic versions of matrix reasoning, even though the first few trials of the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices task consist of continuous perceptual stimuli. Our analysis examined the activation patterns and functional reconfiguration of brain networks associated with resting state and both symbolic and perceptual reasoning. We found that frontoparietal networks, including the cognitive control and dorsal attention networks, were significantly activated during abstract reasoning. We determined that these same task-active regions exhibited flexibly-reconfigured functional connectivity when transitioning from resting state to the abstract reasoning task. Conversely, we showed that a stable network core of regions in default and somatomotor networks was maintained across both resting and task states. We propose that these regionally-specific changes in the functional connectivity of frontoparietal networks puts the brain in a "task-ready" state, facilitating efficient task-based activation.

RevDate: 2023-02-03
CmpDate: 2023-01-13

Aota I, Yatsuda C, EI Izawa (2023)

Salivary corticosterone measurement in large-billed crows by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

The Journal of veterinary medical science, 85(1):71-75.

Salivary corticosteroid measurement, as a surrogate for plasma corticosteroid levels to evaluate an animal's stress or metabolic state, commonly used in mammals. However, the validity of salivary corticosterone (CORT) measurements in birds has not yet been reported. We aimed to measure salivary CORT in crows using a commercially available CORT enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. An adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge experiment using synthetic cosyntropin, an ACTH analogue, was conducted to compare CORT level elevations between the serum and the saliva in a 10-60 min range. Both salivary and blood CORT was significantly elevated 10 min after injecting synthetic cosyntropin. The results supported the validation of salivary CORT as a surrogate for a blood CORT in crows.

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-11-24

Mohamed A, Taylor GK, Watkins S, et al (2022)

Opportunistic soaring by birds suggests new opportunities for atmospheric energy harvesting by flying robots.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 19(196):20220671.

The use of flying robots (drones) is increasing rapidly, but their utility is limited by high power demand, low specific energy storage and poor gust tolerance. By contrast, birds demonstrate long endurance, harvesting atmospheric energy in environments ranging from cluttered cityscapes to open landscapes, coasts and oceans. Here, we identify new opportunities for flying robots, drawing upon the soaring flight of birds. We evaluate mechanical energy transfer in soaring from first principles and review soaring strategies encompassing the use of updrafts (thermal or orographic) and wind gradients (spatial or temporal). We examine the extent to which state-of-the-art flying robots currently use each strategy and identify several untapped opportunities including slope soaring over built environments, thermal soaring over oceans and opportunistic gust soaring. In principle, the energetic benefits of soaring are accessible to flying robots of all kinds, given atmospherically aware sensor systems, guidance strategies and gust tolerance. Hence, while there is clear scope for specialist robots that soar like albatrosses, or which use persistent thermals like vultures, the greatest untapped potential may lie in non-specialist vehicles that make flexible use of atmospheric energy through path planning and flight control, as demonstrated by generalist flyers such as gulls, kites and crows.

RevDate: 2023-02-09
CmpDate: 2023-01-04

Zambolli AH, Manzano MCR, Honda LK, et al (2023)

Performance of autonomous recorders to detect a cryptic and endangered primate species, the black lion-tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus).

American journal of primatology, 85(1):e23454.

Information about species distribution is important for conservation but the monitoring of populations can demand a high sampling effort with traditional methods (e.g., line transects, sound playback) that are poorly efficient for cryptic primates, such as the black lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus). Here we investigated the effectiveness of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) as an alternative method to identify the presence of vocalizing lion tamarins in the wild. We aimed to: (1) determine the maximum distance at which autonomous recorders (Song Meter 3) and Raven Pro acoustic software can respectively detect and identify lion tamarin long calls emitted by two captive subjects (ex situ study); and (2) determine the sampling effort required to confirm the presence of the species in the wild (in situ study). In captive settings, we recorded lion tamarin long calls with one to two autonomous recorders operating at increasing distances from the animals' enclosure (8-202 m). In a 515 ha forest fragment, we deployed 12 recorders in a grid, 300 m apart from each other, within the estimated 100 ha home range of one group, and let them record for 10 consecutive days, totaling 985 h. In the ex situ study, hand-browsing of spectrograms yielded 298 long calls emitted from 8 to 194 m, and Raven's Template Detector identified 54.6% of them, also emitted from 8 to 194 m. In the in situ study, we manually counted 1115 long calls, and the Raven's Template Detector identified 44.75% of them. Furthermore, the presence of lion tamarins was confirmed within 1 day using four randomly sorted recorders, whereas 5 days on average were necessary with only one device. While specific protocols still need to be developed to determine primate population size using this technology, we concluded that PAM is a promising tool when considering long term costs and benefits.

RevDate: 2022-11-19

Kaur D, Kaur K, Sharma A, et al (2022)

Assessment of Fluoride Content in Water and Its Impact on the Intelligence Quotient of School Children Aged 12-13 Years.

Cureus, 14(10):e30157.

BACKGROUND: The preliminary study was undertaken with the aim to assess the effect of fluoride content in water on the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of school children aged 12-13 years residing in areas that differ with respect to fluoride levels.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The IQ was measured using Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices in 90 children, who were life-long residents in three villages (30 children each) of similar population size but differing in the level of fluoride in drinking water. Urinary fluoride concentration was measured using the selective ion electrode technique. One-way ANOVA was used for the statistical analysis of the data. Results: Children who lived in locations with fluoride levels of 1.60, 6.70, or 2.80 parts per million in their drinking water had urinary fluoride concentrations of 1.60, 6.82, or 2.69 parts per million, and IQ scores of 16.77 + 8.24, 19.36 + 9.98, or 21.87 + 7.47, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The results indicated that there was a positive correlation between excess fluoride in drinking water and IQ.

RevDate: 2022-11-15

Martinez A, Swaner R, Ramdath C, et al (2022)

Police, courts, and corrections: Experiences of procedural injustice among Black adults.

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

Racial disparities and a corresponding lack of trust have been documented within the criminal legal system. In response, criminal legal system actors have sought to strengthen the legitimacy of their agencies. However, legitimizing these agencies can be problematic. Some argue that the current criminal legal system continues the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow as Blacks are disproportionately policed and incarcerated. As a framework, procedural injustice can offer a unique backdrop and interrogate ways in which the criminal legal system engages in delegitimizing actions that provoke noncompliance and enable social control. Using a procedural injustice lens, this study examines how justice-involved Black adults experience mistreatment by justice system actors. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 84 Black adults in Newark and Cleveland. Study findings offer a comprehensive account of how participants experience procedural injustice as arrestees, defendants, and incarcerated persons. More specifically, participant narratives describe deliberately antagonistic, abusive, and dehumanizing treatment by justice-system agents-often depicted as racially motivated. Participant accounts also describe this mistreatment as occurring in a context of coercion and powerlessness and as being institutionally sanctioned. Implications for the preservation of racial hierarchies, research, practice, and community psychology are discussed.

RevDate: 2022-12-26
CmpDate: 2022-11-16

Kirschhock ME, A Nieder (2022)

Number selective sensorimotor neurons in the crow translate perceived numerosity into number of actions.

Nature communications, 13(1):6913.

Translating a perceived number into a matching number of self-generated actions is a hallmark of numerical reasoning in humans and animals alike. To explore this sensorimotor transformation, we trained crows to judge numerical values in displays and to flexibly plan and perform a matching number of pecks. We report number selective sensorimotor neurons in the crow telencephalon that signaled the impending number of self-generated actions. Neuronal population activity during the sensorimotor transformation period predicted whether the crows mistakenly planned fewer or more pecks than instructed. During sensorimotor transformation, both a static neuronal code characterized by persistently number-selective neurons and a dynamic code originating from neurons carrying rapidly changing numerical information emerged. The findings indicate there are distinct functions of abstract neuronal codes supporting the sensorimotor number system.

RevDate: 2022-11-14

Gracia-Darder I, Llull Ramos A, Giacaman A, et al (2022)

Report of a case of RAVEN, hair heterochromia and autism in the setting of FGFR2 mutation.

Pediatric dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

A newborn presented with extensive rounded and velvety epidermal nevus (RAVEN) with a genetic study of the cutaneous lesions revealing a heterozygous mutation in FGFR2 (p.Cys382Arg). By 2 years of age, the patient developed hair heterochromia and autism spectrum disorder. Although RAVEN was initially associated with fibroblast growth factor 3 (FGFR3) mutations, three cases of RAVEN have been identified with mutations in FGFR2 (p.Ser252Trp) and one case of linear keratinocytic epidermal nevi has been identified with the same mutation as the mutation identified in our patient. This strongly supports the pathogenic role of these mutations.

RevDate: 2022-11-16

Chang X, Zhao W, Kang J, et al (2022)

Language abnormalities in schizophrenia: binding core symptoms through contemporary empirical evidence.

Schizophrenia (Heidelberg, Germany), 8(1):95.

Both the ability to speak and to infer complex linguistic messages from sounds have been claimed as uniquely human phenomena. In schizophrenia, formal thought disorder (FTD) and auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are manifestations respectively relating to concrete disruptions of those abilities. From an evolutionary perspective, Crow (1997) proposed that "schizophrenia is the price that Homo sapiens pays for the faculty of language". Epidemiological and experimental evidence points to an overlap between FTD and AVHs, yet a thorough investigation examining their shared neural mechanism in schizophrenia is lacking. In this review, we synthesize observations from three key domains. First, neuroanatomical evidence indicates substantial shared abnormalities in language-processing regions between FTD and AVHs, even in the early phases of schizophrenia. Second, neurochemical studies point to a glutamate-related dysfunction in these language-processing brain regions, contributing to verbal production deficits. Third, genetic findings further show how genes that overlap between schizophrenia and language disorders influence neurodevelopment and neurotransmission. We argue that these observations converge into the possibility that a glutamatergic dysfunction in language-processing brain regions might be a shared neural basis of both FTD and AVHs. Investigations of language pathology in schizophrenia could facilitate the development of diagnostic tools and treatments, so we call for multilevel confirmatory analyses focused on modulations of the language network as a therapeutic goal in schizophrenia.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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