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29 Sep 2023 at 01:42
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Bibliography on: Corvids (crows, jays, etc)


Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 29 Sep 2023 at 01:42 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: 2023-09-28

Fan Y, Yang H, Wang Y, et al (2023)

A Variable Step Crow Search Algorithm and Its Application in Function Problems.

Biomimetics (Basel, Switzerland), 8(5):.

Optimization algorithms are popular to solve different problems in many fields, and are inspired by natural principles, animal living habits, plant pollinations, chemistry principles, and physic principles. Optimization algorithm performances will directly impact on solving accuracy. The Crow Search Algorithm (CSA) is a simple and efficient algorithm inspired by the natural behaviors of crows. However, the flight length of CSA is a fixed value, which makes the algorithm fall into the local optimum, severely limiting the algorithm solving ability. To solve this problem, this paper proposes a Variable Step Crow Search Algorithm (VSCSA). The proposed algorithm uses the cosine function to enhance CSA searching abilities, which greatly improves both the solution quality of the population and the convergence speed. In the update phase, the VSCSA increases population diversities and enhances the global searching ability of the basic CSA. The experiment used 14 test functions,2017 CEC functions, and engineering application problems to compare VSCSA with different algorithms. The experiment results showed that VSCSA performs better in fitness values, iteration curves, box plots, searching paths, and the Wilcoxon test results, which indicates that VSCSA has strong competitiveness and sufficient superiority. The VSCSA has outstanding performances in various test functions and the searching accuracy has been greatly improved.

RevDate: 2023-09-25

Catalán A, Merondun J, Knief U, et al (2023)

Chromatin accessibility, not 5mC methylation covaries with partial dosage compensation in crows.

PLoS genetics, 19(9):e1010901 pii:PGENETICS-D-23-00282 [Epub ahead of print].

The evolution of genetic sex determination is often accompanied by degradation of the sex-limited chromosome. Male heterogametic systems have evolved convergent, epigenetic mechanisms restoring the resulting imbalance in gene dosage between diploid autosomes (AA) and the hemizygous sex chromosome (X). Female heterogametic systems (AAf Zf, AAm ZZm) tend to only show partial dosage compensation (0.5 < Zf:AAf < 1) and dosage balance (0.5

RevDate: 2023-09-25

Viveros-Muñoz R, Huijse P, Vargas V, et al (2023)

Dataset for polyphonic sound event detection tasks in urban soundscapes: The synthetic polyphonic ambient sound source (SPASS) dataset.

Data in brief, 50:109552.

This paper presents the Synthetic Polyphonic Ambient Sound Source (SPASS) dataset, a publicly available synthetic polyphonic audio dataset. SPASS was designed to train deep neural networks effectively for polyphonic sound event detection (PSED) in urban soundscapes. SPASS contains synthetic recordings from five virtual environments: park, square, street, market, and waterfront. The data collection process consisted of the curation of different monophonic sound sources following a hierarchical class taxonomy, the configuration of the virtual environments with the RAVEN software library, the generation of all stimuli, and the processing of this data to create synthetic recordings of polyphonic sound events with their associated metadata. The dataset contains 5000 audio clips per environment, i.e., 25,000 stimuli of 10 s each, virtually recorded at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz. This effort is part of the project ``Integrated System for the Analysis of Environmental Sound Sources: FuSA System'' in the city of Valdivia, Chile, which aims to develop a system for detecting and classifying environmental sound sources through deep Artificial Neural Network (ANN) models.

RevDate: 2023-09-22

Patiz B, S Bayraktar (2023)

Evaluation of neuropsychological characteristics and attention bias in juvenile offenders, juvenile victims, and juveniles who have not participated in the criminal justice system.

Frontiers in psychology, 14:1229044.

INTRODUCTION: The increasing inclusion of children in the criminal justice system as "juvenile offenders" and "juvenile victims" has recently emerged as a severe and multifaceted problem. This study evaluates whether juvenile offenders differ from juveniles who have not participated in the criminal justice system and juvenile victims regarding executive function skills and attentional bias.

METHOD: The participant group comprised 85 children aged 12-18, and the study setting was Turkey, utilizing one control group and two treatment groups with open criminal case files in Antalya Courthouse. The first treatment group consisted of 30 juvenile offenders; the second consisted of 30 juvenile victims. The control group consisted of 25 juveniles who were not juvenile offenders or victims. In this context, children's executive functions were measured with the short-form Barratt Impulsivity Scale, the Raven Standard Progressive Matrices Test, the TBAG-form Stroop test, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, and the Istanbul 5 Cube Planning Test. Attentional bias was measured using a dot-probe task. Illiteracy, intellectual or developmental disability, and being a non-native Turkish speaker were the exclusion criteria for all three groups.

RESULTS: The study found that the scores of the juvenile offender group on the Barratt Impulsivity Scale were significantly higher than the children in the juvenile victim group and the children in the control group. For other tests measuring executive functions, the control group's scores were significantly higher than juvenile offenders and juvenile victims. Regarding attentional bias, the children in the control group exhibited less attentional bias to negative stimuli than the juvenile offenders and victims.

DISCUSSION: Researchers have generally addressed the reasons that push children to crime and become victims of crime through individual, familial, and environmental reasons. However, the number of studies investigating the neuropsychological characteristics of children dragged into crime is relatively limited in our country. In addition, there is no study comparing the executive functions and attentional bias of children who are dragged into crime, victimized children, and children without a history of being dragged into crime and victimization. In this context, this study can highlight important implications for the judicial system regarding juvenile delinquency interventions.

RevDate: 2023-09-19

Lau RC, Anderson PJ, Wiley JF, et al (2023)

Working Memory Training for Children Using the Adaptive, Self-Select, and Stepwise Approaches to Setting the Difficulty Level of Training Activities: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.

JMIR research protocols, 12:e47496 pii:v12i1e47496.

BACKGROUND: A common yet untested assumption of cognitive training in children is that activities should be adaptive, with difficulty adjusted to the individual's performance in order to maximize improvements on untrained tasks (known as transfer). Working memory training provides the ideal testbed to systematically examine this assumption as it is one of the most widely studied domains in the cognitive training literature, and is critical for children's learning, including following instructions and reasoning.

OBJECTIVE: This trial aimed to examine children's outcomes of working memory training using adaptive, self-select (child selects difficulty level), and stepwise (difficulty level increases incrementally) approaches to setting the difficulty of training activities compared to an active control condition immediately and 6-month postintervention. While the aim is exploratory, we hypothesized that children allocated to a working memory training condition would show greater improvements: (1) on near transfer measures compared to intermediate and far transfer measures and (2) immediately postintervention compared to 6-month postintervention.

METHODS: This double-blinded, active-controlled, parallel-group randomized trial aimed to recruit 128 children aged 7 to 11 years from 1 metropolitan primary school in Melbourne, Australia. Following baseline testing, children were randomized into 1 of 4 conditions: adaptive, self-select, or stepwise working memory training, or active control. An experimental intervention embedded in Minecraft was developed for teachers to deliver in class over 2 consecutive weeks (10 × 20-minute sessions). The working memory training comprised 2 training activities with processing demands similar to daily activities: backward span and following instructions. The control comprised creative activities. Pre- and postintervention, children completed a set of working memory tests (near and intermediate transfer) and the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (far transfer) to determine training outcomes, as well as motivation questionnaires to determine if motivations toward learning and the intervention were similar across conditions. Caregivers completed the ADHD-Rating Scale-5 to measure their child's attention (far transfer). Statistical analysis will include traditional null hypothesis significance testing and Bayesian methods to quantify evidence for both the null and alternative hypotheses.

RESULTS: Data collection concluded in December 2022. Data are currently being processed and analyzed.

CONCLUSIONS: This trial will determine whether the adaptive approach to setting the difficulty of training activities maximizes cognitive training outcomes for children. This trial has several strengths: it adopts best practices for cognitive training studies (design, methods, and analysis plan); uses a range of measures to detect discrete levels of transfer; has a 6-month postintervention assessment; is appropriately powered; and uses an experimental working memory training intervention based on our current understanding of the cognitive mechanisms of training. Findings will inform future research and design of cognitive training interventions and highlight the value of the evidence-based principles of cognitive training.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12621000990820; https://www.anzctr.org.au/ACTRN12621000990820.aspx.


RevDate: 2023-09-24

Erlandson E, Ramirez C, W Dean (2023)

Medicine shouldn't be this hard: The intersection of physician moral injury and patient healthcare experience in pediatric complex care.

Journal of pediatric rehabilitation medicine, 16(3):443-447.

Dr. Jay Neufeld's story in If I Betray These Words is a detailed account of one physician's catastrophic journey through moral injury when caring for pediatric patients with complex medical conditions [1]. Many clinicians may recognize Jay's journey in their own experiences, but what deserves parallel consideration are the journeys of patients and families when they are accompanied by physicians at risk of moral injury. This case study illustrates the tight link between drivers of physician moral injury and patients' negative healthcare experiences. These include (1) decisions directed by health insurance regulations and prior authorizations; (2) the electronic medical record (EMR); and (3) healthcare systems focused on revenue generation.

RevDate: 2023-09-17

Elman C, Cunningham SA, Howard VJ, et al (2023)

Birth in the U.S. Plantation South and Racial Differences in all-cause mortality in later life.

Social science & medicine (1982), 335:116213 pii:S0277-9536(23)00570-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The American South has been characterized as a Stroke Belt due to high cardiovascular mortality. We examine whether mortality rates and race differences in rates reflect birthplace exposure to Jim Crow-era inequalities associated with the Plantation South. The plantation mode of agricultural production was widespread through the 1950s when older adults of today, if exposed, were children. We use proportional hazards models to estimate all-cause mortality in Non-Hispanic Black and White birth cohorts (1920-1954) in a sample (N = 21,941) drawn from REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS), a national study designed to investigate Stroke Belt risk. We link REGARDS data to two U.S. Plantation Censuses (1916, 1948) to develop county-level measures that capture the geographic overlap between the Stroke Belt, two subregions of the Plantation South, and a non-Plantation South subregion. Additionally, we examine the life course timing of geographic exposure: at birth, adulthood (survey enrollment baseline), neither, or both portions of life. We find mortality hazard rates higher for Black compared to White participants, regardless of birthplace, and for the southern-born compared to those not southern-born, regardless of race. Race-specific models adjusting for adult Stroke Belt residence find birthplace-mortality associations fully attenuated among White-except in one of two Plantation South subregions-but not among Black participants. Mortality hazard rates are highest among Black and White participants born in this one Plantation South subregion. The Black-White mortality differential is largest in this birthplace subregion as well. In this subregion, the legacy of pre-Civil War plantation production under enslavement was followed by high-productivity plantation farming under the southern Sharecropping System.

RevDate: 2023-09-14

Becker D, Meisenberg G, Dutton E, et al (2023)

International differences in the speed of cognitive development: A systematic examination of the existence of the Simber Effect.

Acta psychologica, 240:104015 pii:S0001-6918(23)00191-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The Simber Effect refers to the phenomenon whereby, in Arabic countries, young children have an IQ that is little different from that of Western children but that these differences increase throughout childhood culminating in a difference of around 20 points by adulthood. The true nature of this phenomenon is revealed by an examination of 125 samples from all around the globe measured with Raven's Progressive Matrices. We show that in many cases different speeds of cognitive development increase the IQ score differences between countries mostly between 4 and 9 years of age, and that these increases can in part be explained by poor environmental conditions. However, the patterns are not completely clear, either in terms of regularity or strengths. Methodological problems, in particular the cross-sectional designs of the included samples, as well as the significance of the Simber Effect for country comparisons in intelligence are discussed.

RevDate: 2023-09-15
CmpDate: 2023-09-13

Kings M, Arbon JJ, McIvor GE, et al (2023)

Wild jackdaws can selectively adjust their social associations while preserving valuable long-term relationships.

Nature communications, 14(1):5103.

Influential theories of the evolution of cognition and cooperation posit that tracking information about others allows individuals to adjust their social associations strategically, re-shaping social networks to favour connections between compatible partners. Crucially, to our knowledge, this has yet to be tested experimentally in natural populations, where the need to maintain long-term, fitness-enhancing relationships may limit social plasticity. Using a social-network-manipulation experiment, we show that wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula) learned to favour social associations with compatible group members (individuals that provided greater returns from social foraging interactions), but resultant change in network structure was constrained by the preservation of valuable pre-existing relationships. Our findings provide insights into the cognitive basis of social plasticity and the interplay between individual decision-making and social-network structure.

RevDate: 2023-09-11

Wahl B, Nama N, Pandey RR, et al (2023)

Neonatal, Infant, and Child Mortality in India: Progress and Future Directions.

Indian journal of pediatrics [Epub ahead of print].

In India, considerable progress has been made in reducing child mortality rates. Despite this achievement, wide disparities persist across and socio-economic strata, and persistent challenges, such as malnutrition, poor sanitation, and lack of clean water. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the state of child health in India, examining key risk factors and causes of child mortality, assessing the coverage of child health interventions, and highlighting critical public health programs and policies. The authors also discuss future directions and recommendations for bolstering ongoing efforts to improve child health. These include state- and region-specific interventions, prioritizing social determinants of health, strengthening data systems, leveraging existing programs like the National Health Mission (NHM) and Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), and the proposed Public Health Management Cadre (PHMC). The authors argue that reducing child mortality requires not only scaled-up interventions but a comprehensive approach that addresses all dimensions of health, from social determinants to system strengthening.

RevDate: 2023-09-10

Yang R, Egan S, Gao H, et al (2023)

Morphological and molecular characterization of Isospora elliotae n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the Australian magpie Gymnorhina tibicen (Latham, 1801) (Passeriformes: Artamidae) in Western Australia.

Ecology and evolution, 13(9):e10505.

A new coccidian species, Isospora elliotae n. sp., from the Australian magpie Gymnorhina tibicen (Latham, 1801) in Western Australia, is described and characterized morphologically and molecularly. Microscopic analysis of a faecal sample identified subspheroidal oocysts (n = 20), 20-22 × 18-20 (20.7 × 18.7); length/width (L/W) ratio 1.05-1.14 (1.10). Wall bi-layered, 1.0-1.3 (1.2) thick, outer layer smooth, c. 2/3 of total thickness. Micropyle and oocyst residuum absent, but usually two polar granules are present. Sporocysts (n = 28) ovoidal, 12-13 × 9-11 (12.6 × 9.7); L/W ratio 1.22-1.35 (1.30). Stieda body present, flattened to half-moon-shaped, c. 0.5 deep × 2.0 wide; sub-Stieda indistinct or barely discernible, c. 1.0 deep × 2.5 wide; para-Stieda body absent; sporocyst residuum present, composed of granules dispersed among the sporozoites. Sporozoites vermiform, with anterior and posterior refractile bodies and nucleus. Segments of three gene loci (18S rRNA, 28S rRNA and COI) were sequenced and I. elliotae n. sp. exhibited 99.8% genetic similarity to Isospora sp. MAH-2013a (KF648870) followed by 99.7% genetic similarity to Isospora neochmiae (Yang, Brice & Ryan, 2016) (KT224380) at the 18S rRNA gene locus. It shared 97.0% genetic similarity with an unnamed Isospora sp. (AY283852) at the 28S rRNA gene locus and it also shared the highest genetic similarity of 99.8% with the unnamed Isospora sp. from an American crow (OL999120) at the COI gene locus. Based on morphological and molecular data, this isolate is a new species named as I. elliotae n. sp.

RevDate: 2023-09-07

Hwang K (2023)

Crow's Feet in Men: A Symbol of Achievements Left Behind.

The Journal of craniofacial surgery pii:00001665-990000000-01067 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-09-07

Lodjak J, Boonekamp J, Lendvai ÁZ, et al (2023)

Short- and long-term effects of nutritional state on IGF-1 levels in nestlings of a wild passerine.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Growth trajectories of young animals are intimately connected to their fitness prospects, but we have little knowledge of growth regulation mechanisms, particularly in the wild. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a central hormone in regulating resource allocation, with higher IGF-1 levels resulting in more growth. IGF-1 levels generally increase in conjunction with nutritional state, but whether IGF-1 levels are adjusted in response to current nutrient availability or to the nutrient availability integrated over a longer term is not well known. We tested for such effects by supplementary feeding the jackdaw (Corvus monedula) nestlings in experimentally reduced or enlarged broods with either water (control) or a food solution; these manipulations have long- and short-term effects on the nutritional state, respectively. Baseline plasma IGF-1 levels were higher in reduced broods. Food supplementation induced an increase in plasma IGF-1 levels measured one hour later, and this effect was significantly more substantial in nestlings in reduced broods. Changes in plasma IGF-1 levels increased with increased retention of the supplementary food, which was higher in reduced broods, explaining the stronger IGF-1 response. Thus, IGF-1 levels respond to short-term variations in the nutritional state, but this effect is amplified by longer-term variations in the nutritional state. We discuss our findings using a graphical model that integrates the results of the two treatments.

RevDate: 2023-09-07

Garcia-Raventós A, Muñoz-Mérida A, Lapiedra O, et al (2023)

Identification of sex-linked SNP markers in wild populations of monomorphic birds.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis is a powerful tool for population genetics, pedigree reconstruction and phenotypic trait mapping. However, the untapped potential of SNP markers to discriminate the sex of individuals in species with reduced sexual dimorphism or of individuals during immature stages remains a largely unexplored avenue. Here, we developed a novel protocol for molecular sexing of birds based on the detection of unique Z- and W-linked SNP markers. Our method is based on the identification of two unique loci, one in each sexual chromosome. Individuals are considered males when they show no calls for the W-linked SNP and are heterozygous or homozygous for the Z-linked SNP, while females exhibit both Z- and W-linked SNP calls. We validated the method in the Jackdaw (Corvus monedula). The reduced sexual dimorphism in this species makes it difficult to identify the sex of individuals in the wild. We assessed the reliability of the method using 36 individuals of known sex and found that their sex was correctly assigned in 100% of cases. The sex-linked markers also proved to be widely applicable for discriminating males and females from a sample of 927 genotyped individuals at different maturity stages, with an accuracy of 99.5%. Since SNP markers are increasingly used in quantitative genetic analyses of wild populations, the approach we propose has great potential to be integrated into broader genetic research programmes without the need for additional sexing techniques.

RevDate: 2023-09-07

Pawar SD, Kode SS, Keng SS, et al (2023)

Spatio-temporal distribution & seasonality of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 & H5N8 outbreaks in India, 2006-2021.

The Indian journal of medical research pii:385125 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 and H5N8 viruses have been one of the leading causes of avian diseases worldwide, resulting in severe economic losses and posing potential zoonotic risk. There are no reports on the correlation of the seasonality of H5N1 and H5N8 viruses with the migratory bird season in India, along with the species affected. The present report describes the distribution and seasonality of HPAI outbreaks in India from 2006 to 2021.

METHODS: The data on the occurrence and locations of outbreaks in India and affected bird species were collated from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations database and grouped by month and year. The distribution and seasonality of HPAI H5N1 and H5N8 viruses were analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of 284 H5N1 outbreaks were reported since 2006, with a surge in 2021. The initial outbreaks of H5N1 were predominantly in poultry. Since 2016, 57 outbreaks of H5N8 were also reported, predominantly in wild birds. Most of the outbreaks of HPAI were reported from post monsoon onwards till pre-summer season (i.e. between October and March) with their peak in winter, in January. Apart from poultry, the bird species such as owl, Indian peafowl, lesser adjutant, crows and wild migratory birds such as demoiselle crane, northern pintail and bar-headed goose were positive for HPAI.

Such studies on the seasonality of HPAI outbreaks would help in the development of prevention and control strategies. The recent human infections of H5N1 and H9N2 viruses highlight the need to strengthen surveillance in wild, resident, migratory birds and in poultry along with One Health studies in India.

RevDate: 2023-09-06

Li J, Arnold WA, RM Hozalski (2023)

Spatiotemporal Variability in N-Nitrosodimethylamine Precursor Levels in a Watershed Impacted by Agricultural Activities and Municipal Wastewater Discharges and Effects of Lime Softening.

Environmental science & technology [Epub ahead of print].

The Crow River, a tributary of the Mississippi River in Minnesota, U.S.A., that is impacted by agricultural activities and municipal wastewater discharges, was sampled approximately monthly at 12 locations over 18 months to investigate temporal and spatial variations in N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) precursor levels. NDMA precursors were quantified primarily by measuring NDMA formed under the low chloramine dose uniform formation conditions protocol (NDMAUFC) and occasionally using the high dose formation potential protocol (NDMAFP). Raw water NDMAUFC concentrations (2.2 to 128 ng/L) exhibited substantial temporal variation but relatively little spatial variation. An increase in NDMAUFC was observed for 126 of 169 water samples after lime-softening treatment. A kinetic model indicates that under chloramine-limited UFC test conditions, the increase in NDMAUFC can be attributed to a decrease in competition between precursors and natural organic matter (NOM) for chloramines and reduced interactions of precursors with NOM. NDMAUFC concentrations correlated positively with dissolved nitrogen concentration (ρ = 0.44, p < 0.01) when excluding the spring snowmelt period and negatively correlated with dissolved organic carbon concentration (ρ = -0.47, p < 0.01). Overall, NDMA precursor levels were highly dynamic and strongly affected by lime-softening treatment.

RevDate: 2023-09-04

Murry VM, Nyanamba JM, Hanebutt R, et al (2023)

Critical examination of resilience and resistance in african american families: Adaptive capacities to navigate toxic oppressive upstream waters.

Development and psychopathology pii:S0954579423001037 [Epub ahead of print].

African American families navigate not only everyday stressors and adversities but also unique sociocultural stressors (e.g., "toxic upstream waters" like oppression). These adverse conditions are consequences of the historical vestiges of slavery and Jim Crow laws, often manifested as inequities in wealth, housing, wages, employment, access to healthcare, and quality education. Despite these challenges, African American families have developed resilience using strength-based adaptive coping strategies, to some extent, to filter these waters. To advance the field of resilience research, we focused on the following questions: (1) what constitutes positive responses to adversity?; (2) how is resilience defined conceptually and measured operationally?; (3) how has the field of resilience evolved?; (4) who defines what, when, and how responses are manifestations of resilience, instead of, for example, resistance? How can resistance, which at times leads to positive adaptations, be incorporated into the study of resilience?; and (5) are there case examples that demonstrate ways to address structural oppression and the pernicious effects of racism through system-level interventions, thereby changing environmental situations that sustain toxic waters requiring acts of resilience to survive and thrive? We end by exploring how a re-conceptualization of resilience requires a paradigm shift and new methodological approaches to understand ways in which preventive interventions move beyond focusing on families' capacity to navigate oppression and target systems and structures that maintain these toxic waters.

RevDate: 2023-09-03

Verma AK, Kumar M, Murugkar HV, et al (2023)

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) infection in crows through ingestion of infected crow carcasses.

Microbial pathogenesis pii:S0882-4010(23)00363-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The present study was aimed to investigate the role of cannibalism in transmission of H5N1 avian influenza virus to house crows (Corvus splendens). Four crows were intranasally inoculated with 10[8.0] EID50 (A/crow/India/01CA249/2021) H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus and were observed for 14 days for any overt signs of illness. Two of the infected crows showed signs of wing paralysis, incoordination, and torticollis. For cannibalism experiment, two crows showing clinical signs were euthanized on 14th day post-infection (dpi) and were kept in the isolator and four naïve healthy crows were introduced along with the euthanized crows. The viscera from the infected carcasses were eaten by all the four crows. Oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs were collected up to 14 days to assess virus excretion. All four crows showed clinical signs viz., dullness, reluctance to move with ruffled feathers on 6th day post cannibalism along with neurological signs including incoordination and paralysis of the wings. All the crows gradually recovered after showing clinical signs and were euthanized on 21st day of observation period. Virus excretion was observed from 3rd to 11th day post cannibalism through both oropharyngeal and cloacal routes with maximum shedding through oropharyngeal route. The virus was isolated from lungs and trachea of one the infected crows at 21st day after euthanasia. All the four crows seroconverted against H5N1 virus infection at 14th day post cannibalism. Our study confirms the transmission of H5N1 virus in crows through cannibalism and highlights how H5N1 virus might circulate in a crow colony once they become infected.

RevDate: 2023-08-31
CmpDate: 2023-08-31

Mohanty SK, Upadhyay AK, Maiti S, et al (2023)

Public health insurance coverage in India before and after PM-JAY: repeated cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative survey data.

BMJ global health, 8(8):.

INTRODUCTION: The provision of non-contributory public health insurance (NPHI) to marginalised populations is a critical step along the path to universal health coverage. We aimed to assess the extent to which Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY)-potentially, the world's largest NPHI programme-has succeeded in raising health insurance coverage of the poorest two-fifths of the population of India.

METHODS: We used nationally representative data from the National Family Health Survey on 633 699 and 601 509 households in 2015-2016 (pre-PM-JAY) and 2019-2021 (mostly, post PM-JAY), respectively. We stratified by urban/rural and estimated NPHI coverage nationally, and by state, district and socioeconomic categories. We decomposed coverage variance between states, districts, and households and measured socioeconomic inequality in coverage. For Uttar Pradesh, we tested whether coverage increased most in districts where PM-JAY had been implemented before the second survey and whether coverage increased most for targeted poorer households in these districts.

RESULTS: We estimated that NPHI coverage increased by 11.7 percentage points (pp) (95% CI 11.0% to 12.4%) and 8.0 pp (95% CI 7.3% to 8.7%) in rural and urban India, respectively. In rural areas, coverage increased most for targeted households and pro-rich inequality decreased. Geographical inequalities in coverage narrowed. Coverage did not increase more in states that implemented PM-JAY. In Uttar Pradesh, the coverage increase was larger by 3.4 pp (95% CI 0.9% to 6.0%) and 4.2 pp (95% CI 1.2% to 7.1%) in rural and urban areas, respectively, in districts exposed to PM-JAY and the increase was 3.5 pp (95% CI 0.9% to 6.1%) larger for targeted households in these districts.

CONCLUSION: The introduction of PM-JAY coincided with increased public health insurance coverage and decreased inequality in coverage. But the gains cannot all be plausibly attributed to PM-JAY, and they are insufficient to reach the goal of universal coverage of the poor.

RevDate: 2023-08-28

Hutton HE, Aggarwal S, Gillani A, et al (2023)

A Digital Counselor-Delivered Intervention for Substance Use Among People With HIV: Development and Usability Study.

JMIR formative research, 7:e40260 pii:v7i1e40260.

BACKGROUND: Substance use disorders are prevalent and undertreated among people with HIV. Computer-delivered interventions (CDIs) show promise in expanding reach, delivering evidence-based care, and offering anonymity. Use in HIV clinic settings may overcome access barriers. Incorporating digital counselors may increase CDI engagement, and thereby improve health outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: We aim to develop and pilot a digital counselor-delivered brief intervention for people with HIV who use drugs, called "C-Raven," which is theory grounded and uses evidence-based practices for behavior change.

METHODS: Intervention mapping was used to develop the CDI including a review of the behavior change research in substance use, HIV, and digital counselors. We conducted in-depth interviews applying the situated-information, motivation, and behavior skills model and culturally adapting the content for local use with people with HIV. With a user interaction designer, we created various digital counselors and CDI interfaces. Finally, a mixed methods approach using in-depth interviews and quantitative assessments was used to assess the usability, acceptability, and cultural relevance of the intervention content and the digital counselor.

RESULTS: Participants found CDI easy to use, useful, relevant, and motivating. A consistent suggestion was to provide more information about the negative impacts of drug use and the interaction of drug use with HIV. Participants also reported that they learned new information about drug use and its health effects. The CDI was delivered by a "Raven," digital counselor, programmed to interact in a motivational interviewing style. The Raven was perceived to be nonjudgmental, understanding, and emotionally responsive. The appearance and images in the intervention were perceived as relevant and acceptable. Participants noted that they could be more truthful with a digital counselor, however, it was not unanimously endorsed as a replacement for a human counselor. The C-Raven Satisfaction Scale showed that all participants rated their satisfaction at either a 4 (n=2) or a 5 (n=8) on a 5-point Likert scale and all endorsed using the C-Raven program again.

CONCLUSIONS: CDIs show promise in extending access to care and improving health outcomes but their development necessarily requires integration from multiple disciplines including behavioral medicine and computer science. We developed a cross-platform compatible CDI led by a digital counselor that interacts in a motivational interviewing style and (1) uses evidence-based behavioral change methods, (2) is culturally adapted to people with HIV who use drugs, (3) has an engaging and interactive user interface, and (4) presents personalized content based on participants' ongoing responses to a series of menu-driven conversations. To advance the continued development of this and other CDIs, we recommend expanded testing, standardized measures to evaluate user experience, integration with clinician-delivered substance use treatment, and if effective, implementation into HIV clinical care.

RevDate: 2023-08-28

Sousa M, Peixoto M, Cruz O, et al (2023)

Academic Performance in Institutionalized and Noninstitutionalized Children: The Role of Cognitive Ability and Negative Lability.

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

More research is needed to understand the factors that contribute to low academic achievement in institutionalized children. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive and emotion regulation skills and academic performance, by comparing institutionalized and noninstitutionalized Portuguese children. The sample comprised 94 participants (46 institutionalized (22 boys) and 48 noninstitutionalized (23 boys) children), aged between 6 and 10 years, matched for age and sex. We used Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM) to measure cognitive abilities. Emotional regulation and negative lability were assessed using the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERC). Academic performance was assessed with the Competence Academic Scale (CAS) of the Portuguese version of the Social Skills Rating System-Teacher Form (SSRS-T). Institutionalized children exhibited poorer academic performance than their noninstitutionalized counterparts (effect size, η[2] = 0.174). Cognitive ability (β = 0.28) and negative lability (β = -0.28) were significant predictors of academic performance. In addition to institutionalization, cognitive ability, and the challenges of managing negative emotions may contribute to the observed differences in academic performance. Interventions aimed at fostering cognitive and emotional competencies may play a protective role for institutionalized children facing academic and social difficulties.

RevDate: 2023-08-28

Niczyporuk JS, Kozdrun W, Czujkowska A, et al (2023)

West Nile Virus Lineage 2 in Free-Living Corvus cornix Birds in Poland.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 8(8):.

The summer temperatures recorded in Poland in 2022 were among the highest in over 30 years and, combined with higher-than-expected rainfall, gave the impression of an almost tropical climate. Such climatic conditions were ideal for the transmission of vector-borne zoonotic diseases such as West Nile fever. In northeastern Poland, in the Mazowieckie region, the Polish event-based surveillance network reported increased fatalities of free-living hooded crows (Corvus corone cornix). West Nile virus (WNV) lineage 2 was identified for the first time as the etiological agent responsible for the death of the birds. WNV was detected in 17 out of the 99 (17.17%) free-living birds tested in this study. All the WNV-infected dead birds were collected in the same area and were diagnosed in September by the NVRI and confirmed by the EURL for equine diseases, ANSES, in October 2022. Unnaturally high temperatures recorded in Poland in 2022 likely favored the infection and spread of the virus in the avian population. A nationwide alert and awareness raising of blood transfusion centers and hospitals was carried out to prevent human infections by WNV.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

Sakaguchi K, Tanabe M, Takizawa S, et al (2023)

Zoonotic potential and antimicrobial resistance of Escherichia spp. in urban crows in Japan-first detection of E. marmotae and E. ruysiae.

Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases, 100:102040 pii:S0147-9571(23)00098-X [Epub ahead of print].

Little is known about the prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and pathogenic Escherichia coli in crows (carrion and jungle crows). We studied the phylogeny, virulence and antimicrobial resistance gene profiles of crow E. coli isolates to investigate their zoonotic potential and molecular epidemiology. During the winter of 2021-2022, 34 putative E. coli isolates were recovered from 27 of the 65 fresh fecal samples collected in urban areas. Three strains of the B1-O88:H8-ST446-fimH54 lineage, classified as extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) and necrotoxigenic E. coli type 2, were colistin-resistant and harbored mcr-1.1-carrying IncI2 plasmids. The blaCTX-M-55 was identified in a multidrug-resistant B1-O non-typeable:H23-ST224-fimH39 strain. In phylogroup B2, two lineages of O6:H1-ST73-fimH30 and O6:H5-ST83-fimH21 were classified as ExPEC, uropathogenic E. coli, and necrotoxigenic E. coli type 1 (O6:H5-ST83-fimH21), and contained several virulence genes associated with avian pathogenic E. coli. Noteworthy is that three isolates, identified as E. coli by MALDI-TOF MS, were confirmed to be two Escherichia marmotae (cryptic clade V) and one Escherichia ruysiae (cryptic clade III) based on ANI and dDDH analyses. Our results provide the first evidence of these new species in crows. E. marmotae and E. ruysiae isolates in this study were classified as ExPEC and contained the enteroaggregative E. coli heat-stable toxin 1 gene. In addition, these two E. marmotae isolates displayed a close genetic relationship with human isolates associated with septicemia. This study provides the first insights into the prevalence and zoonotic significance of Escherichia spp. in urban crows in Japan, posing a significant risk for their transmission to humans.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

Dayan S, Ogilvie P, Boyd C, et al (2023)

Self-perception of natural outcome, appearance, and emotional well-being after OnabotulinumtoxinA treatment for upper facial lines: Post hoc analysis across age and gender.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: OnabotulinumtoxinA (onabotA) is indicated for upper facial lines (UFL). Fear of unnatural-looking outcomes is a frequently reported treatment barrier.

AIMS: Examine patient-reported outcomes (PROs) after onabotA treatment for UFL.

METHODS: A post hoc analysis was conducted on two 12-month pivotal studies of onabotA for forehead and glabellar lines (20 U each), with/without treatment of crow's feet lines (±24 U). This analysis used PROs from the Facial Line Satisfaction Questionnaire: Items 4 (natural look), 5 (treatment effect), 11 (met expectations), and Impact Domain (appearance and psychological impact). The analysis included 458 neurotoxin-naive adults achieving a ≥2-grade improvement in UFL severity on the Facial Wrinkle Scale at Day 30 (primary endpoint). Data were further stratified into millennials and men.

RESULTS: At Day 30, 90.5% of all participants, 94.6% of millennials, and 85.7% of men were satisfied with receiving a natural look. Millennials had higher odds of being satisfied with natural outcomes at Day 30. This measure remained > 80% for all groups throughout the 12 months. Additionally, ≥80% were satisfied with the treatment effect, and >90% reported results met expectations. At Day 30, ≥50% reported positive impacts on self-perceived appearance and psychological well-being, but millennials had higher, and men had lower odds of reporting these improvements.

CONCLUSIONS: Participants achieving a ≥2-grade improvement in UFL severity after onabotA reported high satisfaction with natural outcomes and the treatment effect, with improved self-perceived appearance and psychological well-being. These results may help aesthetic providers and patients address fears regarding unnatural results with onabotA.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

Brown A, Furmanczyk M, Ramos D, et al (2023)

Natural Retinol Analogs Potentiate the Effects of Retinal on Aged and Photodamaged Skin: Results from In Vitro to Clinical Studies.

Dermatology and therapy [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Plants are a source of natural ingredients with retinol-like properties that can deliver anti-aging benefits without the side effects typically associated with retinoid use. We hypothesized that by combining two such analogs, bakuchiol (BAK) and Vigna aconitifolia extract (VAE), with the potent retinoid retinal (RAL), the anti-photoaging potential of RAL could be enhanced without compromising its skin irritation profile. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that BAK and VAE potentiate the anti-photoaging activity of RAL.

METHODS: Gene expression profiling of full-thickness reconstructed skin was first used to examine the impact of BAK or VAE in combination with RAL on skin biology. Next, the irritative potential of this combination, and its capacity to reverse key signs of photoaging in an ex vivo model was assessed. Finally, a proof-of-concept open label clinical study was performed to evaluate the anti-photoaging capacity and skin compatibility of a cosmetic formulation (tri-retinoid complex; 3RC) containing this complex in combination with other well characterized anti-photoaging ingredients.

RESULTS: In vitro profiling suggested that combining 0.1% RAL with BAK or VAE potentiates the effect of RAL on keratinocyte differentiation and skin barrier function without affecting its skin irritation profile. When formulated with other anti-photoaging ingredients, such as niacinamide and melatonin, 3RC reversed ultraviolet radiation-induced deficits in structural components of the dermal extracellular matrix, including hyaluronic acid and collagen. In vivo, it led to a reversal of clinical signs of age and photodamage, with statistically significant improvement to skin firmness (+5.6%), skin elasticity (+13.9%), wrinkle count (-43.2%), and skin tone homogeneity (+7.0%), observed within 28 days of once nightly use. Notably, the number of crow's feet wrinkles was reduced in 100% of subjects. Furthermore, 3RC was very well tolerated.

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that 3RC is a highly effective and well-tolerated treatment for photoaging.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

Zhu ZQ, Zi SM, Gao LF, et al (2023)

A diagnosis model of parental care: How parents optimize their provisioning strategy in brood reduction?.

Current zoology, 69(4):385-392.

Altricial birds often display biased preferences in providing parental care for their dependent offspring, especially during food shortages. During this process, such inflexible rules may result in provisioning errors. To demonstrate how parents optimize their provisioning strategies, we proposed a "diagnosis model" of parental care to posit that parents will undergo a diagnosis procedure to test whether selecting against some particular offspring based on phenotype is an optimal strategy. We tested this model in an asynchronous hatching bird, the Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus, based on 10 years of data about demography and parental provisioning behaviors. Given their higher daily survival rates, core offspring (those hatched on the first day) merits an investment priority compared with their marginal brood mates (those hatched on later days). However, a marginal offspring also merited a priority if it displayed greater weight gain than the expected value at the early post-hatching days. Parents could detect such a marginal offspring via a diagnosis strategy, in which they provisioned the brood at the diagnosis stage by delivering food to every nestling that begged, then biased food toward high-value nestlings at the subsequent decision stage by making a negative response to the begging of low-value nestlings. In this provisioning strategy, the growth performance of a nestling became a more reliable indicator of its investment value than its hatching order or competitive ability. Our findings provide evidence for this "diagnosis model of parental care" wherein parents use a diagnosis method to optimize their provisioning strategy in brood reduction.

RevDate: 2023-08-24

Thomason EC, Turley NJS, Belthoff JR, et al (2023)

Illegal shooting is now a leading cause of death of birds along power lines in the western USA.

iScience, 26(8):107274.

Human actions, both legal and illegal, affect wildlife in many ways. Inaccurate diagnosis of cause of death undermines law enforcement, management, threat assessment, and mitigation. We found 410 dead birds collected along 196 km of power lines in four western USA states during 2019-2022. We necropsied these carcasses to test conventional wisdom suggesting that electrocution is the leading cause of death of birds at electrical infrastructure. Of 175 birds with a known cause of death, 66% died from gunshot. Both raptors and corvids were more likely to die from gunshot than from other causes, along both transmission and distribution lines. Past mitigation to reduce avian deaths along power lines has focused almost exclusively on reducing electrocutions or collisions. Our work suggests that, although electrocution and collision remain important, addressing illegal shooting now may have greater relevance for avian conservation.

RevDate: 2023-08-21

Roy J, Soler-Garzón A, Miklas PN, et al (2023)

Integrating de novo QTL-seq and linkage mapping to identify quantitative trait loci conditioning physiological resistance and avoidance to white mold disease in dry bean.

The plant genome [Epub ahead of print].

White mold (WM), caused by the ubiquitous fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, is a devastating disease that limits production and quality of dry bean globally. In the present study, classic linkage mapping combined with QTL-seq were employed in two recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations, "Montrose"/I9365-25 (M25) and "Raven"/I9365-31 (R31), with the initial goal of fine-mapping QTL WM5.4 and WM7.5 that condition WM resistance. The RILs were phenotyped for WM reactions under greenhouse (straw test) and field environments. The general region of WM5.4 and WM7.5 were reconfirmed with both mapping strategies within each population. Combining the results from both mapping strategies, WM5.4 was delimited to a 22.60-36.25 Mb interval in the heterochromatic regions on Pv05, while WM7.5 was narrowed to a 0.83 Mb (3.99-4.82 Mb) region on the Pv07 chromosome. Furthermore, additional QTL WM2.2a (3.81-7.24 Mb), WM2.2b (11.18-17.37 Mb, heterochromatic region), and WM2.2c (23.33-25.94 Mb) were mapped to a narrowed genomic interval on Pv02 and WM4.2 in a 0.89 Mb physical interval at the distal end of Pv04 chromosome. Gene models encoding gibberellin 2-oxidase proteins regulating plant architecture are likely candidate genes associated with WM2.2a resistance. Nine gene models encoding a disease resistance protein (quinone reductase family protein and ATWRKY69) found within the WM5.4 QTL interval are putative candidate genes. Clusters of 13 and 5 copies of gene models encoding cysteine-rich receptor-like kinase and receptor-like protein kinase-related family proteins, respectively, are potential candidate genes associated with WM7.5 resistance and most likely trigger physiological resistance to WM. Acquired knowledge of the narrowed major QTL intervals, flanking markers, and candidate genes provides promising opportunities to develop functional molecular markers to implement marker-assisted selection for WM resistant dry bean cultivars.

RevDate: 2023-08-23

Holzinger A, Saranti A, Angerschmid A, et al (2023)

Toward human-level concept learning: Pattern benchmarking for AI algorithms.

Patterns (New York, N.Y.), 4(8):100788.

Artificial intelligence (AI) today is very successful at standard pattern-recognition tasks due to the availability of large amounts of data and advances in statistical data-driven machine learning. However, there is still a large gap between AI pattern recognition and human-level concept learning. Humans can learn amazingly well even under uncertainty from just a few examples and are capable of generalizing these concepts to solve new conceptual problems. The growing interest in explainable machine intelligence requires experimental environments and diagnostic/benchmark datasets to analyze existing approaches and drive progress in pattern analysis and machine intelligence. In this paper, we provide an overview of current AI solutions for benchmarking concept learning, reasoning, and generalization; discuss the state-of-the-art of existing diagnostic/benchmark datasets (such as CLEVR, CLEVRER, CLOSURE, CURI, Bongard-LOGO, V-PROM, RAVEN, Kandinsky Patterns, CLEVR-Humans, CLEVRER-Humans, and their extension containing human language); and provide an outlook of some future research directions in this exciting research domain.

RevDate: 2023-08-21

Matsuda K, Shinohara M, Ii Y, et al (2023)

Magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological findings for predicting of cognitive deterioration in memory clinic patients.

Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 15:1155122.

OBJECTIVE: The severity of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been assessed using hypertensive arteriopathy SVD and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA)-SVD scores. In addition, we reported the modified CAA-SVD score including cortical microinfarcts and posterior dominant white matter hyperintensity. Each SVD score has been associated with cognitive function, but the longitudinal changes remain unclear. Therefore, this study prospectively examined the prognostic value of each SVD score, imaging findings of cerebral SVD, and neuropsychological assessment.

METHODS: This study included 29 patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia at memory clinic in our hospital, who underwent clinical dementia rating (CDR) and brain MRI (3D-fluid attenuated inversion recovery, 3D-double inversion recovery, and susceptibility-weighted imaging) at baseline and 1 year later. Each SVD score and neuropsychological tests including the Mini-Mental State Examination, Japanese Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices, Trail Making Test -A/-B, and the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test were evaluated at baseline and 1 year later.

RESULTS: Twenty patients had unchanged CDR (group A), while nine patients had worsened CDR (group B) after 1 year. At baseline, there was no significant difference in each SVD score; after 1 year, group B had significantly increased CAA-SVD and modified CAA-SVD scores. Group B also showed a significantly higher number of lobar microbleeds than group A at baseline. Furthermore, group B had significantly longer Japanese Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices and Trail Making test-A times at baseline. After 1 year, group B had significantly lower Mini-Mental State Examination, Japanese Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices, and Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test scores and significantly fewer word fluency (letters).

CONCLUSION: Patients with worsened CDR 1 year after had a higher number of lobar microbleeds and prolonged psychomotor speed at baseline. These findings may become predictors of cognitive deterioration in patients who visit memory clinics.

RevDate: 2023-08-19

Subash Chandra Bose K, Shah MI, Krishna J, et al (2023)

Genome-scale metabolic model analysis of Pichia pastoris for enhancing the production of S-adenosyl-L-methionine.

Bioprocess and biosystems engineering [Epub ahead of print].

Komagataella phaffii, formerly Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris), is a promising methylotrophic yeast used in industry to produce recombinant protein and valuable metabolites. In this study, a genome-scale metabolic model (GEMs) was reconstructed and used to assess P. pastoris' metabolic capabilities for the production of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet or SAM or SAMe) from individual carbon sources along with the addition of L-methionine. In a model-driven P. pastoris strain, the well-established genome-scale metabolic model iAUKM can be implemented to predict high valuable metabolite production. The model, iAUKM, was created by merging the previously published iMT1026 model and the draught model generated using Raven toolbox from the KEGG database which covered 2309 enzymatic reactions associated with 1033 metabolic genes and 1750 metabolites. The highly curated model was successful in capturing P. pastoris growth on various carbon sources, as well as AdoMet production under various growth conditions. Many overexpression gene targets for increasing AdoMet accumulation in the cell have been predicted for various carbon sources. Inorganic phosphatase (IPP) was one of the predicted overexpression targets as revealed from simulations using iAUKM. When IPP gene was integrated into P. pastoris, we found that AdoMet accumulation increased by 16% and 14% using glucose and glycerol as carbon sources, respectively. Our in silico results shed light on the factors limiting AdoMet production, as well as key pathways for rationalized engineering to increase AdoMet yield.

RevDate: 2023-08-21
CmpDate: 2023-08-21

Singh SK, Lhungdim H, Shekhar C, et al (2023)

Key drivers of reversal of trend in childhood anaemia in India: evidence from Indian demographic and health surveys, 2016-21.

BMC public health, 23(1):1574.

AIM: Recent National Family Health Survey results portray striking improvements in most population and health indicators, including fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, gender treatment, household environments, and health insurance coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), with all India resonance. However, the prevalence of any anaemia (< 11 g/dl) among children under age five has exhibited a reversed trajectory in recent years. Therefore, the present study explores key drivers of the reversal of the trend in the prevalence of childhood anaemia between 2015 and2021.

METHODS: Data of four rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) were used to show the overall trend of anaemia among children. However, for the analysis of key drivers of the reversal trend of childhood anaemia, only the recent two rounds (NFHS-4 & NFHS-5) were used. Descriptive, bivariate multivariable analysis and Fairlie decomposition model were used to explore the drivers of the reversal of the trend in childhood anaemia.

RESULTS: During the past two decades, India has seen a decline in the prevalence of childhood anaemia (NFHS-2 to NFHS-4). However, a reversal of trend was observed recently. The prevalence of anaemia among children aged 6-59 months increased from 59 percent in NFHS-4 to 67 percent in NFHS-5. In addition, the prevalence of mild anaemia increased from 23.3 percent in NFHS-2 to 28.7 percent in NFHS-5. However, the prevalence of moderate and severe anaemia declined considerably from NFHS-2 (40 percent and 4.1 percent) to NFHS-4 (28.7 percent and 1.6 percent), but showed an increase in the prevalence in NFHS-5 (36.3 percent and 2.2 percent). Among others, mothers' educational attainment, anaemia status and socio-economic status emerge as the key drivers of the change in the prevalence of childhood anaemia.

CONCLUSION: These findings may have vital implications for the ongoing Anaemia Mukt Bharat Programme, one of the government's dream projects in India.

RevDate: 2023-08-18

Martín JM, Revelles JM, Aznar NM, et al (2023)

Superficial versus deep injections of the upper midface-A prospective interventional split-face study.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Various injection algorithms have been proposed in the past which are in line with the three aesthetic principles: upper face first, lateral face first, and deep regions first. However, increasing evidence is provided that the upper midface can be targeted with superficial soft tissue filler injections alone too.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate in a prospective split-face study design whether superficial or deep upper midfacial injections provide superior aesthetic outcomes.

METHODS: A total of n = 20 study participants (100% females; age 43.95 (11.7) years; BMI 22.92 (2.6) kg/m[2]) were treated with superficial soft tissue filler injections on side of their face and deep injections on the contralateral side with a mean volume of 0.78 cc. Outcome was evaluated at 7 weeks follow-up for midfacial, and lower facial volume, for medial and lateral facial skin vector displacement, and for improvement of nasolabial, crow's feet, and upper cheek fullness severity scores.

RESULTS: No adverse events related to safety or product tolerability were observed during the entire study period. All semiquantitative scores improved statistically significantly after the observational period (p < 0.001) but displayed no difference between the two applied injection techniques (p > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The results of this split-face study revealed that both the superficial and the deep cannula injection technique for midface volumization statistically significantly improve the midfacial volume, reduce nasolabial fold and crow's feet severity. No statistically significant difference was observed between the two injection techniques when compared via semiquantitative and objective outcome evaluation after 7 weeks follow-up.

RevDate: 2023-08-18

Hahner L, A Nieder (2023)

Costs and benefits of voluntary attention in crows.

Royal Society open science, 10(8):230517.

Behavioural signatures of voluntary, endogenous selective attention have been found in both mammals and birds, but the relationship between performance benefits at attended and costs at unattended locations remains unclear. We trained two carrion crows (Corvus corone) on a Posner-like spatial cueing task with dissociated cue and target locations, using both highly predictive and neutral central cues to compare reaction time (RT) and detection accuracy for validly, invalidly and neutrally cued targets. We found robust RT effects of predictive cueing at varying stimulus-onset asynchronies (SOA) that resulted from both advantages at cued locations and costs at un-cued locations. Both crows showed cueing effects around 15-25 ms with an early onset at 100 ms SOA, comparable to macaques. Our results provide a direct assessment of costs and benefits of voluntary attention in a bird species. They show that crows are able to guide spatial attention using associative cues, and that the processing advantage at attended locations impairs performance at unattended locations.

RevDate: 2023-08-17

DeRaad DA, Escalona M, Benham P, et al (2023)

De novo assembly of a chromosome-level reference genome for the California Scrub-Jay, Aphelocoma californica.

The Journal of heredity pii:7243675 [Epub ahead of print].

We announce the assembly of the first de novo reference genome for the California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica). The genus Aphelocoma comprises four currently recognized species including many locally adapted populations across Mesoamerica and North America. Intensive study of Aphelocoma has revealed novel insights into the evolutionary mechanisms driving diversification in natural systems. Additional insights into the evolutionary history of this group will require continued development of high-quality, publicly available genomic resources. We extracted high molecular weight genomic DNA from a female California Scrub-Jay from northern California and generated PacBio HiFi long-read data and Omni-C chromatin conformation capture data. We used these data to generate a de novo partially phased diploid genome assembly, consisting of two pseudo-haplotypes, and scaffolded them using inferred physical proximity information from the Omni-C data. The more complete pseudo-haplotype assembly (arbitrarily designated 'Haplotype 1') is 1.35 Gigabases in total length, highly contiguous (contig N50 = 11.53 Mb), and highly complete (BUSCO completeness score = 97%), with comparable scaffold sizes to chromosome-level avian reference genomes (scaffold N50 = 66.14 Mb). Our California Scrub-Jay assembly is highly syntenic with the New Caledonian Crow reference genome despite ~10 million years of divergence, highlighting the temporal stability of the avian genome. This high-quality reference genome represents a leap forward in publicly available genomic resources for Aphelocoma, and the family Corvidae more broadly. Future work using Aphelocoma as a model for understanding the evolutionary forces generating and maintaining biodiversity across phylogenetic scales can now benefit from a highly contiguous, in-group reference genome.

RevDate: 2023-08-18

McCormack JE, Hill MM, DeRaad DA, et al (2023)

An elevational shift facilitated the Mesoamerican diversification of Azure-hooded Jays (Cyanolyca cucullata) during the Great American Biotic Interchange.

Ecology and evolution, 13(8):e10411.

The Great American Biotic Interchange (GABI) was a key biogeographic event in the history of the Americas. The rising of the Panamanian land bridge ended the isolation of South America and ushered in a period of dispersal, mass extinction, and new community assemblages, which sparked competition, adaptation, and speciation. Diversification across many bird groups, and the elevational zonation of others, ties back to events triggered by the GABI. But the exact timing of these events is still being revealed, with recent studies suggesting a much earlier time window for faunal exchange, perhaps as early as 20 million years ago (Mya). Using a time-calibrated phylogenetic tree, we show that the jay genus Cyanolyca is emblematic of bird dispersal trends, with an early, pre-land bridge dispersal from Mesoamerica to South America 6.3-7.3 Mya, followed by a back-colonization of C. cucullata to Mesoamerica 2.3-4.8 Mya, likely after the land bridge was complete. As Cyanolyca species came into contact in Mesoamerica, they avoided competition due to a prior shift to lower elevation in the ancestor of C. cucullata. This shift allowed C. cucullata to integrate itself into the Mesoamerican highland avifauna, which our time-calibrated phylogeny suggests was already populated by higher-elevation, congeneric dwarf-jays (C. argentigula, C. pumilo, C. mirabilis, and C. nanus). The outcome of these events and fortuitous elevational zonation was that C. cucullata could continue colonizing new highland areas farther north during the Pleistocene. Resultingly, four C. cucullata lineages became isolated in allopatric, highland regions from Panama to Mexico, diverging in genetics, morphology, plumage, and vocalizations. At least two of these lineages are best described as species (C. mitrata and C. cucullata). Continued study will further document the influence of the GABI and help clarify how dispersal and vicariance shaped modern-day species assemblages in the Americas.

RevDate: 2023-08-17

Oladzad A, Roy J, Mamidi S, et al (2023)

Linked candidate genes of different functions for white mold resistance in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L) are identified by multiple QTL mapping approaches.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1233285.

White mold (WM) is a major disease in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), and its complex quantitative genetic control limits the development of WM resistant cultivars. WM2.2, one of the nine meta-QTL with a major effect on WM tolerance, explains up to 35% of the phenotypic variation and was previously mapped to a large genomic interval on Pv02. Our objective was to narrow the interval of this QTL using combined approach of classic QTL mapping and QTL-based bulk segregant analysis (BSA), and confirming those results with Khufu de novo QTL-seq. The phenotypic and genotypic data from two RIL populations, 'Raven'/I9365-31 (R31) and 'AN-37'/PS02-029C-20 (Z0726-9), were used to select resistant and susceptible lines to generate subpopulations for bulk DNA sequencing. The QTL physical interval was determined by considering overlapping interval of the identified QTL or peak region in both populations by three independent QTL mapping analyses. Our findings revealed that meta-QTL WM2.2 consists of three regions, WM2.2a (4.27-5.76 Mb; euchromatic), WM 2.2b (12.19 to 17.61 Mb; heterochromatic), and WM2.2c (23.01-25.74 Mb; heterochromatic) found in both populations. Gene models encoding for gibberellin 2-oxidase 8, pentatricopeptide repeat, and heat-shock proteins are the likely candidate genes associated with WM2.2a resistance. A TIR-NBS-LRR class of disease resistance protein (Phvul.002G09200) and LRR domain containing family proteins are potential candidate genes associated with WM2.2b resistance. Nine gene models encoding disease resistance protein [pathogenesis-related thaumatin superfamily protein and disease resistance-responsive (dirigent-like protein) family protein etc] found within the WM2.2c QTL interval are putative candidate genes. WM2.2a region is most likely associated with avoidance mechanisms while WM2.2b and WM2.2c regions trigger physiological resistance based on putative candidate genes.

RevDate: 2023-08-14

Fanian F, Deutsch JJ, Bousquet MT, et al (2023)

A hyaluronic acid-based micro-filler improves superficial wrinkles and skin quality: a randomized prospective controlled multicenter study.

The Journal of dermatological treatment, 34(1):2216323.

BACKGROUND: NCTF®135HA is a bio-revitalizing solution containing hyaluronic acid designed to compensate for skin dehydration, fatigue, and fine wrinkles associated with endogenous and environmental aging.

METHODS: We conducted a randomized, active-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of NCTF®135HA injections on the face (crow's feet), neck, and décolleté regions. Subjects were randomly assigned (3:1) to receive three NCTF®135HA treatment sessions plus twice-daily anti-aging moisturizer cream or cream alone (control). The primary outcome was the reduction in superficial wrinkles between baseline and Day (D)75 in the three areas, assessed by profilometric measures, clinical scoring, subjective changes, and tolerability.

RESULTS: 146 subjects were randomized to NCTF®135HA (n = 107) or control (n = 38). At D75 and D120, NCTF®135HA significantly reduced wrinkles in all three areas and improved facial radiance scores compared with the control. Skin hydration significantly increased 7 d after the last NCTF®135HA injection. Self-esteem scales showed statistically significant improvements at D75 and D120 in subjects treated with NCTF®135HA versus baseline. Most adverse events were mild, resolved within 48 h, and were related to the injection procedure.

CONCLUSION: NCTF®135HA is an effective and well-tolerated treatment to reduce the skin signs of aging. The results are significantly superior to a routine anti-aging cream alone.(Funded by Laboratories FILLMED; ID-RCB number: 2018-A03167-48; clinicaltrials.gov number: NCT05609617).

RevDate: 2023-08-15

Glahn JZ, Hooper RC, PD Butler (2023)

Recognition and Respect: Contextualizing the History and Contributions of Black American Plastic Surgeons.

Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open, 11(8):e5179.

Recently, there has been heightened interest in the history of Black American plastic surgeons and their contributions to the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery (PRS). Despite the increased awareness and attention toward the lack of racial and ethnic diversity of the PRS workforce, the history of how PRS became one of the most ethnically segregated surgical specialties remains unexplored. Here, we outline the various political and cultural factors that contributed to the exclusion of Black practitioners from American PRS professional societies. This work contextualizes the rise of American PRS within the Jim Crow era and highlights the cultural significance of reconstructive procedures performed in the treatment of disfigured soldiers. Through this lens, we identify circumstances where Black surgeons were systematically denied opportunities to participate in the emerging specialty. Despite these barriers, we demonstrate how Black physicians established informal networks for professional advancement and shed light on several previously unrecognized contributions to PRS from Black surgeons. In addition, we explore how the inclusion of Black voices in PRS sparked a paradigm shift in the treatment of non-White patients that expanded the cosmetic marketplace in ways that remain significant today. Finally, we situate the ongoing disparities in Black representation in PRS within a broader historical narrative and illustrate how the stories we tell about our past continue to shape the future of our field.

RevDate: 2023-08-12

Zhu G, Zheng M, Lyu S, et al (2023)

Report of a magpie preying on a post-fledgling Daurian redstart.

Ecology and evolution, 13(8):e10412.

A magpie (Pica pica) preying on a fledgling of Daurian redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus) was incidentally recorded with a video shot by mobile phone on 26 May 2021, providing direct evidence for magpie predation. It also shows that predation is an important factor that affects the survival of fledglings, indicating that survival of fledglings should be considered in evaluating breeding success of birds. The fledgling was about 13-day-old posthatching, and it was on its first day of leaving the nest when the incident occurred. It was preyed upon by a magpie 10 m away from the nest by two attempts under strong defensive behaviour from the female.

RevDate: 2023-08-10

Xu M, Yu X, Fan B, et al (2023)

Influence of Mode of Delivery on Children's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Childhood Intelligence.

Psychiatry investigation pii:pi.2022.0310 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether differences exist in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and intelligence between children born by cesarean delivery and those born by vaginal delivery.

METHODS: This retrospective study included singleton children that were born between January 2013 and December 2014. The Chinese version of the Conners' Parent Rating Scale-Revised (CPRS-48) was required on the probability of psychological and behavioral problems. The China-Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (C-WIRS) was used for evaluation of crystallized intelligence and Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices for evaluation of fluid intelligence.

RESULTS: A total of 10,568 valid questionnaires were obtained. CPRS-48 ADHD index and detection rate were higher in cesarean delivery group than those in vaginal delivery group. Cesarean delivery groups had a lower performance intelligence quotient score according to C-WISC.

CONCLUSION: Children born by cesarean delivery were more likely to have a risk of ADHD and a lower performance intelligence quotient compared with those born by vaginal delivery.

RevDate: 2023-07-31

Bianchi A, Taglieri I, Macaluso M, et al (2023)

Effect of Different Packaging Strategies on the Secondary Shelf Life of Young and Structured Red Wine.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 12(14):.

When bottled wine is opened, a completely different scenario occurs that can accelerate the oxidation of the product. This is called the secondary shelf life (SSL), which is generally shorter and less predictable than the primary shelf life (PSL). In this context, the research aim was to evaluate the changes that occur in two types of red wine during two tests to evaluate the secondary shelf life as a function of the packaging systems. The variation of Total SO2 and Free SO2 and the other chemical parameters (polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, color, and volatile acidity) were used to assess the oxidation rate of the packaging samples after opening during the SSL. In both tests and for the two types of stored red wine, the polymeric cap showed the best results. The other types of closure (screw cap, natural cork, crow cap, and Tetra Brik) showed a negative trend and a reduced SSL for both red wines. Finally, the sensory results confirmed that with the polymeric cap, the SSL increases considerably compared to other capping systems. These results may be due to the technical characteristics of polymeric materials, which tend to vary slightly in shape after repeated usage.

RevDate: 2023-07-26

Trapote E, Canestrari D, V Baglione (2023)

Effects of meteorological conditions on brood care in cooperatively breeding carrion crow and consequences on reproductive success.

Frontiers in zoology, 20(1):24.

Meteorological stressors (e.g., temperature and rain shortage) constrain brood provisioning in some bird species, but the consequences on reproductive success have been rarely quantified. Here we show, in a cooperatively breeding population of carrion crow Corvus corone in Spain, that individual feeding rates decreased significantly with rising air temperatures both in breeders and helpers, while lack of rain was associated with a significant reduction in the effort of the male helpers as compared to the other social categories. Group coordination, measured as the degree of alternation of nest visits by carers, was also negatively affected by rising temperature. Furthermore, we found that the body condition of the nestlings worsened when temperatures were high during the rearing period. Interestingly, the analysis of a long-term data set on crow reproduction showed that nestling body condition steadily deteriorated over the last 26-years. Although many factors may concur in causing population changes, our data suggest a possible causal link between global warming, brood caring behaviour and the decline of carrion crow population in the Mediterranean climatic region of Spain.

RevDate: 2023-07-06

Inui H, Minic Z, Hüttmann N, et al (2023)

Cucurbita pepo contains characteristic proteins without a signal peptide in the xylem sap.

Journal of plant physiology, 287:154038 pii:S0176-1617(23)00132-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Xylem sap is a fluid that transfers water and nutrients from the rhizosphere. This sap contains relatively low concentrations of proteins that originate from the extracellular space among the root cells. One of the characteristic proteins in the xylem sap of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes cucumber and zucchini, is a major latex-like protein (MLP). MLPs are responsible for crop contamination through the transport of hydrophobic pollutants from the roots. However, detailed information on the content of MLPs in the xylem sap is not available. Proteomic analysis of root and xylem sap proteins from the Cucurbita pepo cultivars Patty Green (PG) and Raven (RA) showed that the xylem sap of cv. RA, a high accumulator of hydrophobic pollutants, contained four MLPs that accounted for over 85% of the total xylem sap proteins in this cultivar. The xylem sap of PG, a low accumulator, mainly contained an uncharacterized protein. The amount of each root protein between the PG and RA cultivars was significantly and positively correlated in spite of being with and without a signal peptide (SP). However, the amount of xylem sap proteins without an SP was not correlated. These results suggest that cv. RA is characterized by MLPs in the xylem sap.

RevDate: 2023-07-06

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.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 12(6):.

Arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) populations exist as mutant swarms that are maintained between arthropods and vertebrates. West Nile virus (WNV) population dynamics are host-dependent. In American crows, 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 leads to fitness gains, whereas that passed in crows does not. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that high crow viremia allows for 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 molecularly barcoded WNV and sequenced viral RNA from single cells to quantify the number of WNV barcodes in each. 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 the 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.

RevDate: 2023-06-07

Meli AM, Zakaria NH, Mohd Yusof H, et al (2023)

Risk assessment of low cognitive performance among fishermen's children in Malaysia.

Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences, 18(6):1273-1284.

OBJECTIVES: Low cognitive performance is a major concern among fishermen's children in Malaysia. Thus, this study was aimed at assessing dietary intake, nutritional status, physical activity, and socio-economic status, and their associations with cognitive performance among fishermen's children in Terengganu, Malaysia. We also investigated the risk associated with low cognitive performance.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 94 children 7-11 years of age in Terengganu. Dietary adequacy was assessed with two 24-h dietary recall surveys. Anthropometric measurements were assessed by calculation of the body mass index (BMI)-for-age Z-score and height-for-age Z-score. In addition, median urinary iodine tests were conducted to determine iodine concentrations. Physical activity was measured with the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Children (PAQ-C). Raven's coloured progressive matrices were used to determine cognitive performance. Binominal logistic regressions were performed on factors associated with cognitive performance, to identify the risk factors with the strongest association with cognitive performance.

RESULTS: The children of fishermen had adequate intake of all necessary nutrients except for fat, dietary fibre, thiamine, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, zinc, and potassium. Most of the children had normal BMI-for-age [median = -0.86 (2.11)] and height-for-age (mean = -1.01 ± 1.03). However, more than half had iodine deficiency [median = 83.9 (102)]. In addition, 16% had low physical activity levels, and their cognitive performance was classified with a low average score [median = 80.0 (21.0)]. The mother's education level (p = 0.037), children's BMI-for-age (p = 0.012), protein (p = 0.020), and niacin (p = 0.032), exhibited significant relationships with cognitive performance (p < 0.05). Of these variables, BMI-for-age (OR = 0.290, p = 0.036) and fourth quartile protein intake (≥52.69 g) (OR = 7.565, p = 0.015) were significant risk factors for low cognitive performance among fishermen's children in Terengganu.

CONCLUSION: A balanced diet and healthy lifestyle are crucial for children's cognitive development. Thus, interventions emphasising the promotion of healthy lifestyles, particularly focusing on BMI-for-age and protein intake, are advised.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Wan G, Zhao H, Liu X, et al (2023)

Predation of Daurian redstarts offspring in nest boxes by the Oriental magpie-robin and tree sparrow.

Ecology and evolution, 13(5):e10093.

Birds select suitable nest sites for breeding to ensure their own and offspring's survival; however, they inevitably suffer some potential predation risk. We studied the breeding ecology of Daurian redstarts (Phoenicurus auroreus) by providing nest boxes for their breeding from March to August of 2022. We recorded the predation of both Daurian redstarts eggs or nestlings by Oriental magpie-robins (Copsychus saularis) and tree sparrow (Passer montanus). Oriental magpie-robin were recorded attacking a feeding female adult and depredating nestlings. After the nestling predation event, the Daurian redstarts abandoned the nest. This video evidence provide a better understanding of the potential predators of cavity-nesting birds.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Hamal S, Sharma HP, Gautam R, et al (2023)

Drivers of power line collisions and electrocutions of birds in Nepal.

Ecology and evolution, 13(5):e10080.

Among the several anthropogenic factors, power lines are increasingly regarded as one of the most significant hazards to bird species, primarily owing to collisions and electrocutions. Nepal has comparatively fewer studies on the impact of power line collisions and electrocution on birds compared with developed nations. From November 2021 to May 2022, we assessed the effect of power line collisions and electrocutions on the mortality of birds in the Putalibazar Municipality of the Syangja district of Nepal. We established 117 circular plots in diverse habitats, including agricultural lands, forests, settlements, and river basins, along a 30.6 km long distribution line. Within 18 plots, we detected 43 fatalities of 11 species (17 individuals of six species due to collision and 26 individuals of eight species due to electrocution). House Swift (Apus nipalensis) and Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) were the primary victims of the collision, whereas House Crow (Corvus splendens) and Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) were frequently observed electrocuted. We also recorded the electrocution of the critically endangered White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis). The total rate of bird power line collisions per kilometer was 0.55 birds, while the total electrocution rate per 10 poles was 2.22. The bird abundance, distance to agricultural regions, and proximity to human settlements were found to have a strong relationship with the mortality of birds caused by power lines. In order to reduce power line collisions and electrocution fatalities, we recommend conducting a detailed bird population study prior to determining the route of distribution lines.

RevDate: 2023-05-19
CmpDate: 2023-04-20

Fuirst M, Strickland D, Freeman NE, et al (2023)

Early-life sibling conflict in Canada jays has lifetime fitness consequences.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(1997):20221863.

While delaying natal dispersal can provide short-term benefits for juveniles, lifetime fitness consequences are rarely assessed. Furthermore, competition for limited positions on a natal territory could impose an indirect fitness cost on the winner if the outcome has negative effects on its siblings. We use radio-tracking and 58 years of nesting data in Ontario, Canada to examine the lifetime fitness consequences of sibling expulsion in the Canada jay (Perisoreus canadensis). Six weeks after fledging, intra-brood dominance struggles result in one 'dominant juvenile' (DJ) remaining on the natal territory after expelling its subordinate siblings, the 'ejectees' (EJs). Despite an older age-at-first-reproduction, DJs produced more recruits over their lifetime and had higher first-year survival than EJs, leading to substantially higher direct fitness. Even though DJs incurred an indirect fitness cost by expelling their siblings and there was no evidence that their presence on the natal territory increased their parents' reproductive output the following year, they still had substantially higher inclusive fitness than EJs. Our results demonstrate how early-life sibling conflict can have lifetime consequences and that such fitness differences in Canada jays are driven by the enhanced first-year survival of DJs pursuant to the early-summer expulsion of their sibling competitors.

RevDate: 2023-04-15
CmpDate: 2023-04-14

Lowe NM, Qualter P, Sinclair JK, et al (2023)

School Feeding to Improve Cognitive Performance in Disadvantaged Children: A 3-Arm Parallel Controlled Trial in Northwest Pakistan.

Nutrients, 15(7):.

Malnutrition is associated with reduced learning aptitude and growth during childhood. We examined the impact of providing two school lunch variants, a standard school meal (school feeding, n = 70), or the standard meal with additional micronutrients (school feeding + micronutrient powder (MNP), n = 70), in children attending two schools in northwest Pakistan. A third local government school, where no lunch was provided (no school feeding, n = 70), served as the control. The primary outcome, cognitive function, was assessed using the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) test, alongside haemoglobin, at three-time points: T1 (baseline, before the initiation of the school lunch programme), T2 and T3 (5 and 12 months, respectively, after the introduction of the school lunch). Data were analysed using linear mixed-effects models to contrast between trial groups, the changes from T1 to T2 and T3. Adjusted for T1 and other co-variates, improvements in the RCPM scores were significantly greater in the school feeding group at T2 (b = 1.61, (95% CI = 0.71-2.52), t = 3.52, p = 0.001) and T3 (b = 1.28, (95% CI = 0.22-2.35), t = 2.38, p = 0.019) compared with no school feeding. In addition, at T2 (b = 1.63, (95% CI = -0.10-3.37), t = 1.86, p = 0.065), there were no significant differences between school feeding + MNP and no school feeding groups. However, improvements in the RCPM scores were significantly greater in the school feeding + MNP group at T3 (b = 2.35, (95% CI = 0.51-4.20), t = 2.53, p = 0.013) compared with no school feeding. The findings indicate an improvement in cognitive performance in children who received a school meal with and without MNP, over a 12-month period. Currently there is no operational school feeding programme at the national or provincial level in Pakistan. Our findings, therefore, highlight the need for school feeding programmes to improve learning opportunities for children from underprivileged communities.

RevDate: 2023-04-15

Abou Zeid F, Morelli F, Ibáñez-Álamo JD, et al (2023)

Spatial Overlap and Habitat Selection of Corvid Species in European Cities.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(7):.

Understanding habitat and spatial overlap in sympatric species of urban areas would aid in predicting species and community modifications in response to global change. Habitat overlap has been widely investigated for specialist species but neglected for generalists living in urban settings. Many corvid species are generalists and are adapted to urban areas. This work aimed to determine the urban habitat requirements and spatial overlap of five corvid species in sixteen European cities during the breeding season. All five studied corvid species had high overlap in their habitat selection while still having particular tendencies. We found three species, the Carrion/Hooded Crow, Rook, and Eurasian Magpie, selected open habitats. The Western Jackdaw avoided areas with bare soil cover, and the Eurasian Jay chose more forested areas. The species with similar habitat selection also had congruent spatial distributions. Our results indicate that although the corvids had some tendencies regarding habitat selection, as generalists, they still tolerated a wide range of urban habitats, which resulted in high overlap in their habitat niches and spatial distributions.

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: 2023-03-13

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: 2023-07-18
CmpDate: 2023-07-10

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

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

The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 34(5):1540-1542.

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: 2023-03-14

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: 2023-03-14

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: 2023-03-14
CmpDate: 2023-03-14

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: 2023-03-27
CmpDate: 2023-03-08

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: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-07

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: 2023-08-09

Naveed S, Sallinen T, Eloranta AM, et al (2023)

Effects of 2-year dietary and physical activity intervention on cognition in children-a nonrandomized controlled trial.

Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effects of a combined dietary and PA intervention on cognition in children and whether changes in diet quality, PA, sedentary behavior (SB), and sedentary time (ST) are associated with changes in cognition.

METHODS: We conducted a 2-year nonrandomized controlled trial in 504 children aged 6-9 years at baseline. The children were allocated to a combined dietary and PA intervention group (n = 237) or a control group (n = 160) without blinding.

INTERVENTIONS: The children and their parents allocated to the intervention group had six dietary counseling sessions of 30-45 min and six PA counseling sessions of 30-45 min during the 2-year intervention period. The children were also encouraged to participate in after-school exercise clubs. Cognition was assessed by the Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices. We assessed dietary factors by 4 days food records and computed the Baltic Sea Diet Score (BSDS) as a measure of diet quality. PA and ST were assessed by a combined heart rate and body movement monitor, types of PA and SB by a questionnaire.

RESULTS: The intervention had no effect on cognition. Increased BSDS and consumption of low-fat milk and decreased consumption of red meat and sausages were associated with improved cognition over 2 years. Increased organized sports, ST, and reading were positively, while unsupervised PA, computer use, and writing were negatively associated with cognition.

CONCLUSION: Combined dietary and PA intervention had no effect on cognition. Improved diet quality and increased organized sports and reading were associated with improved cognition.

RevDate: 2023-08-10
CmpDate: 2023-08-10

Arbon JJ, Hahn LG, McIvor GE, et al (2023)

Competition and generalization impede cultural formation in wild jackdaws.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(2004):20230705.

Animal cultures have now been demonstrated experimentally in diverse taxa from flies to great apes. However, experiments commonly use tasks with unrestricted access to equal pay-offs and innovations seeded by demonstrators who are trained to exhibit strong preferences. Such conditions may not reflect those typically found in nature. For example, the learned preferences of natural innovators may be weaker, while competition for depleting resources can favour switching between strategies and generalizing from past experience. Here we show that in experiments where wild jackdaws (Corvus monedula) can freely discover depleting supplies of novel foods, generalization has a powerful effect on learning, allowing individuals to exploit multiple new opportunities through both social and individual learning. Further, in contrast to studies with trained demonstrators, individuals that were first to innovate showed weak preferences. As a consequence, many individuals ate all available novel foods, displaying no strong preference and no group-level culture emerged. Individuals followed a 'learn from adults' strategy, but other demographic factors played a minimal role in shaping social transmission. These results demonstrate the importance of generalization in allowing animals to exploit new opportunities and highlight how natural competitive dynamics may impede the formation of culture.

RevDate: 2023-08-08

Wascher CAF (2023)

Cognition: Crows are natural statisticians.

Current biology : CB, 33(15):R808-R810.

A new study shows that carrion crows use memorized reward associations in a combinatorial way to apply relative probabilistic information to optimize reward outcome. This for the first time shows that a corvid species can flexibly apply statistical inference during decision making.

RevDate: 2023-08-08

Sommers CL, Houghty GS, Purbojo R, et al (2022)

Factors influencing nursing students' continued success in a baccalaureate nursing program in Indonesia.

Belitung nursing journal, 8(4):340-348.

BACKGROUND: Holistic admission processes are needed to promote diversity in nursing students. Previous research had identified different variables related to the average grade point at the end of the first semester. There is a need to examine if those variables are associated with ongoing student success.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to analyze experience, attributes, and academic variables for an association with nursing student success. Student success was defined as being an active student at the end of the first year and at the end of the second year of a baccalaureate nursing program in Indonesia.

METHODS: Binary logistic regression analysis was used to determine what relationship, if any, the variables had with student success, measured at the end of the first and second academic years. The data of 341 nursing students enrolled in August 2018 was analyzed.

RESULTS: The variables accounted for 40.3% of the variance at the end of the first year and 24.3% of the variance at the end of the second year. There was a significant (p < .05) relationship between being enrolled at the end of the first year and 1) academic variables of first semester grade point average and the admission score of Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, and 2) attribute variables of reason for entering nursing and brief calling presence scale. A significant relationship was found between being enrolled at the end of the second year and the attribute variable of grit score. No variables had a strong correlation with other variables.

CONCLUSION: Holistic admission processes and promoting student success can create the future of the nursing workforce. Improving the diversity in admitted nursing students will enhance the diversity in the nursing workforce. To promote the success of all students, a variety of support interventions will need to be developed. As students' calling and grit may play a role in student success, a better understanding is needed. In addition, more research is needed to explore how developing calling and grit throughout the nursing program can impact student success.

RevDate: 2023-08-06

Dyck E (2023)

Psychonauts: Drugs and the Making of the Modern Mind, by Mike Jay. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2023.

The Journal of medical humanities pii:10.1007/s10912-023-09816-y [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-08-04

Habib M, Ul-Rahman A, Zia-Ur-Rehman , et al (2023)

Comparative immunocompetence and interspecies transmission of avian orthoavulavirus-1 in feral birds originating from rural and urban settings.

Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases, 100:102036 pii:S0147-9571(23)00094-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Feral birds residing close to urban settings exhibit higher immunocompetence against environmental pathogens than their counterparts in rural areas. In this study, we comprehensively evaluated the immunocompetence of five specific feral bird species and investigated the potential for interspecies transmission and pathogenicity of Avian orthoavulavirus-1 (AOAV-1) originating from the Anseriformes order. The immunocompetence assessment involved administering the phytohemagglutinin (PHA) test to individual groups of birds from rural and urban settings, measuring patagium thickness at specific time intervals (12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 h) following the administration of 0.1 mL (1 mg/mL) of PHA. Urban birds displayed significantly enhanced mean swelling responses, particularly urban pigeons, which exhibited a significant difference in patagium thickness at all-time intervals except for 24 h (p = 0.000, p = 0.12). Similarly, rural and urban quails and crows showed substantial differences in patagium thickness at all-time intervals except for 12 h (p = 0.542, p = 0.29). For the assessment of interspecies transmission potential and pathogenicity, each feral bird group was separately housed with naive broiler birds (n = 10 each) and challenged with a velogenic strain of AOAV-1 isolate (Mallard-II/UVAS/Pak/2016) at a dose of 1 mL (10[8] EID50/mL). Urban birds demonstrated higher resistance to the virus compared to their rural counterparts. These findings highlight the specific immunocompetence of feral bird species and their potential contributions to AOAV-1 transmission and pathogenicity. Continuous monitoring, surveillance, and strict implementation of biosafety and biosecurity measures are crucial for effectively controlling AOAV-1 spillover to the environment and wild bird populations in resource-limited settings, particularly Pakistan.

RevDate: 2023-08-04

Parmar D, Strupat C, Srivastava S, et al (2023)

Effects of the Indian National Health Insurance Scheme (PM-JAY) on Hospitalizations, Out-of-pocket Expenditures and Catastrophic Expenditures.

Health systems and reform, 9(1):2227430.

India launched one of the world's largest health insurance programs, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), targeting more than 500 million economically and socially disadvantaged Indians. PM-JAY is publicly funded and covers hospitalization costs in public and private facilities. We examine how PM-JAY has affected hospitalizations and out-of-pocket expenditures (OOPE), and given the high use of private health care in India, we compare these outcomes across public and private facilities. We conducted a household survey to collect data on socioeconomic and demographic information, health status and hospitalizations for more than 57,000 PM-JAY eligible individuals in six Indian states. Using multivariate regression models, we estimated whether PM-JAY was associated with any changes in hospitalizations, OOPE and catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) and whether these differed across public and private facilities. We found that PM-JAY was not associated with an increase in hospitalizations, but it increased the probability of visiting a private facility by 4.6% points (p < .05). PM-JAY was associated with a relative reduction of 13% in OOPE (p < .1) and 21% in CHE (p < .01). This was entirely driven by private facilities, where relative OOPE was reduced by 17% (p < .01) and CHE by 19% (p < .01). This implied that PM-JAY has shifted use from public to private hospitalizations. Given the complex healthcare system with the presence of parallel public and private systems in India, our study concludes that for economically and socially disadvantaged groups, PM-JAY contributes to improved access to secondary and tertiary care services from private providers.

RevDate: 2023-08-06

Lin X, Tirichine L, X Zhang (2023)

The dynamic duo: how DNA methylation and gene transcription help diatoms thrive in modern oceans.

Journal of experimental botany, 74(14):3879-3882.

This article comments on: Wan J, Zhou Y, Beardall J, Raven JA, Lin J, Huang J, Lu Y, Liang S, Ye M, Xiao M, Zhao J, Dai X, Xia J, Jin P. 2023. DNA methylation and gene transcription act cooperatively in driving the adaptation of a marine diatom to global change. Journal of Experimental Botany74, 4259–4276.

RevDate: 2023-08-04

Taffs L, Kerridge I, W Lipworth (2023)

The silent world of assisted reproduction: A qualitative account of communication between doctors and patients undergoing in vitro fertilisation in Australia.

Health expectations : an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy [Epub ahead of print].

CONTEXT: In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is now a common assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure globally, with 8 million children alive today having been conceived utilising IVF. For many patients, IVF is a difficult experience with many discontinuing treatment because of emotional, relationship and financial stress, or intolerable physical side effects of hormone treatments.

DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A qualitative study, in which 31 professionals and 25 patients from the ART sector in Australia were interviewed. The interviews were analysed using codebook thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Our data indicates there are 'silences' within the therapeutic relationship of IVF, which may limit the capacity for patients to prepare emotionally, financially, or medically for the procedure, and may contribute to psychological distress and dissatisfaction with care. These 'silences' include what the patient 'is not told' by their clinician or 'does not hear' and what the patient feels they 'cannot say'.

DISCUSSION: Drawing upon the work of Jay Katz, Charis Thompson, and Miles Little on 'silences' and performance in clinical practice, we argue that although IVF is a complex and multifaceted procedure that is often conducted in a commercial setting, the clinical and therapeutic relationship between doctor and patient remains pivotal to the experiences of patients. The 'silences' within this relationship may impact negatively on decision-making, and on the delivery and experience of care.

CONCLUSIONS: Careful attention to the realities of IVF treatment in the clinic room (and awareness of the performances that hide them) should allow for more present and compassionate care. Such care may leave patients more satisfied with their experience and their choices, regardless of treatment outcomes.

This article draws on interviews with patients who had undergone or were currently undergoing IVF, as well as a range of representatives from the ART community (including reproductive medicine specialists, general practitioners, fertility nurses, counsellors, administrators in ART businesses and embryologists).

RevDate: 2023-08-04

Kizilkaya MC, Kilic S, Dagistanli S, et al (2023)

Effectiveness of a telehealth patient education intervention for breast cancer awareness and screening uptake among Afghan refugee women: a cross-sectional survey and feasibility study.

EClinicalMedicine, 62:102094.

BACKGROUND: Refugee populations have low levels of cancer awareness, low cancer screening rates, and a high rate of advanced or metastatic cancer at diagnosis. Educational interventions to improve cancer awareness and screening have been successful in other nationality refugee populations but have never been implemented in Afghan refugee populations. We aimed to estimate the level of breast cancer awareness among Afghan refugee women and test the feasibility of a telehealth breast cancer educational intervention to increase breast cancer awareness in this population.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of Afghan refugee women residing in Istanbul, Türkiye who had no personal history of breast cancer and who presented to outpatient primary clinics for care between August 1, 2022, and February 10, 2023 was performed. Participant awareness of breast cancer (BC) was assessed using the validated BC awareness tool, Breast Cancer Awareness Measure (BCAM), during a telehealth encounter. After this baseline assessment, a BC educational intervention was administered to each participant during the telehealth encounter. Six months after the initial assessment and education, a follow-up BCAM was administered via telehealth in order to determine the effectiveness of the education intervention.

FINDINGS: One hundred participants were accrued to the study. Median age was 49 years (range: 40-64). All participants had no formal education, were married, and were not employed. Prior to the educational intervention, BC awareness was low; none of the participants were able to identify some common signs/symptoms and risk factors for BC. Prior to the educational intervention, zero participants had ever had a mammogram or seen a physician for a breast-related concern. Six months after the educational intervention, up to 99 percent of participants (99 of 100 participants) were able to correctly identify common signs or symptoms and risk factors for BC. Six months after the educational intervention, all one hundred participants had accepted the offer of a screening mammogram.

INTERPRETATION: A telehealth BC education intervention meaningfully increased BC awareness in Afghan refugee women. This increase in BC awareness was associated with a strong increase in completion of BC screening. Further implementation of educational interventions is warranted in order to increase participant awareness and improve screening rates.

FUNDING: Dana Farber Cancer Institute Jay Harris Junior Faculty Research Grant.

RevDate: 2023-08-01

Wu HH, Chen MQ, Liu JH, et al (2023)

Combination of fractional carbon dioxide laser with recombinant human collagen in periocular skin rejuvenation.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The most visible sign of facial aging is often seen in the periocular area. However, periocular rejuvenation remains challenging due to the particularity of periocular anatomic locations.

AIMS: We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the fractional-ablative CO2 laser-facilitated recombinant human collagen permeation in periocular rejuvenation.

PATIENTS/METHODS: This 3-month prospective single-blinded and self-controlled trial enrolled 26 patients with periocular aging who underwent the treatments of fractional-ablative CO2 laser along with laser-facilitated recombinant human collagen permeation. Following the treatments, the patients were quantitatively assessed by various periocular skin aging indices before and after the treatment and monitored for any related adverse events.

RESULTS: The patients showed significant improvements with the periocular skin aging indices 3 months after the treatments, which were detailed with a 47.3% decrease in lower eyelid skin rhytids, a 41.4% decrease in the lower eyelid skin texture, a 35.0% decrease in the static crow's feet, a 29.3% decrease in the amount of upper eyelid laxity, and a 20.2% increase in the MRD1 as compared with baseline (p < 0.05). Moreover, total skin thickness under ultrasound was increased in both upper and lower eyelids (5.6% and 3.3%, p < 0.05, respectively). Moreover, six patients (23.1%, 6/26) had erythema for 2 weeks, and two (2/26, 7.7%) had mild hyperpigmentation for 3 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Fractional-ablative CO2 laser combined with laser-facilitated recombinant human collagen permeation can be a safe and effective treatment for periocular rejuvenation.

RevDate: 2023-08-03

Webb T, Holyoak KJ, H Lu (2023)

Emergent analogical reasoning in large language models.

Nature human behaviour [Epub ahead of print].

The recent advent of large language models has reinvigorated debate over whether human cognitive capacities might emerge in such generic models given sufficient training data. Of particular interest is the ability of these models to reason about novel problems zero-shot, without any direct training. In human cognition, this capacity is closely tied to an ability to reason by analogy. Here we performed a direct comparison between human reasoners and a large language model (the text-davinci-003 variant of Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT)-3) on a range of analogical tasks, including a non-visual matrix reasoning task based on the rule structure of Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices. We found that GPT-3 displayed a surprisingly strong capacity for abstract pattern induction, matching or even surpassing human capabilities in most settings; preliminary tests of GPT-4 indicated even better performance. Our results indicate that large language models such as GPT-3 have acquired an emergent ability to find zero-shot solutions to a broad range of analogy problems.

RevDate: 2023-07-31

Nieder A (2023)

Neuroscience of cognitive control in crows.

Trends in neurosciences pii:S0166-2236(23)00162-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Crows, a group of corvid songbird species, show superb behavioral flexibility largely stemming from their advanced cognitive control functions. These functions mainly originate from the associative avian pallium that evolved independently from the mammalian cerebral cortex. This article presents a brief overview of cognitive control functions and their neuronal foundation in crows.

RevDate: 2023-07-31

Hernández MC, Lara RA, AJ Redondo (2023)

To Mob or Not to Mob: Habitat and Time of Day Influence in Mobbing Behavior in the Azure-Winged Magpie (Cyanopica cookii).

Zoological science, 40(4):273-277.

While mobbing, individuals utter distinctive calls and perform visual threatening displays. Like any other antipredatory strategies, it involves some costs (time, energy, injuries, and even death). Therefore, mobbing would be expected to vary depending on the perceived magnitude of the predation risk. Moreover, harassment behavior can also serve as a demonstration of social status and to teach juveniles to recognize predators and related behaviors. Therefore, mobbing could also persist even when predation risk is particularly low. To test our hypotheses, we used tawny owl playbacks and a taxidermy mount to elicit the mobbing response in azure-winged magpies throughout the daylight period. To classify mobbing intensity, we created five categories depending on the proximity to the owl model at which the mobbing was performed. The results revealed that mobbing behavior in azure-winged magpies was more intense where predation risk was higher: in the most suitable habitat for the tawny owl, the forest, although considerable levels of mobbing were found in the dehesa and the ecotone, which indicate that mobbing has different purposes. However, we did not find statistically significant differences in mobbing intensity depending on the time of the day. We could not show a daily adjustment of antipredator response, but magpies modulated mobbing depending on the perceived risk linked to the habitat.

RevDate: 2023-07-31

Couturaud V, Le Fur M, Pelletier M, et al (2023)

Reverse skin aging signs by red light photobiomodulation.

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(7):e13391.

BACKGROUND: Photobiomodulation is a process by which the absorption of red light energy produces a series of physiological effects at the cellular level such as the enhancement of mitochondrial Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) production, cell signaling and growth factor synthesis, and the reduction of oxidative stress. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) photobiomodulation is an increasingly popular therapy for treating skin problems, especially for reversing the signs of skin aging.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to demonstrate the effectiveness of a photobiomodulation treatment using red LEDs on the facial skin at a rate of two sessions per week for 3 months. The LED mask used is the Skin Light Dior x Lucibel mask diffusing a cold red light with a wavelength of 630 ± 10 nm and a power of 15.6 J/cm[2] for a duration of 12 min.

METHOD: In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the mask in reversing the signs of skin aging, a clinical study was conducted on 20 healthy Caucasian women: the antiwrinkle effect by measuring the depth of the crow's feet wrinkle, the relaxation of the oval of the face by clinical scoring, the firmness and elasticity of the skin by cutometric measurement, the density of the dermis by ultrasound analysis, the smoothness of the skin by measuring the roughness at the cheek, the homogeneity of the complexion by chromametric measurement, the diameter of the pores by macrophotographs and finally the sebo-regulating effect by measurement of the rate of sebum and quantification of the number of pores containing porphyrin in the subjects presenting a mixed to oily skin. The satisfaction of the volunteers was also evaluated at the end of the study via a self-questionnaire.

RESULTS: The efficacy results measured after 1, 2, and 3 months of use are progressive and confirm the interest of LED photobiomodulation to reverse the visible signs of skin aging. All the volunteers observed an overall improvement in skin quality.

CONCLUSION: All the results observed confirm the interest of using photobiomodulation to reverse the visible signs of aging. These results last for up to 1 month after stopping the use of the mask, which is a sign of lasting structural and functional rejuvenation of the skin.

RevDate: 2023-07-31

Tabei KI, Ogawa JI, Kamikawa C, et al (2023)

Online physical exercise program with music improves working memory.

Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 15:1146060.

OBJECTIVE: The spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has limited the implementation of face-to-face non-pharmacological treatment for the prevention of dementia. As a result, online non-pharmacological treatment has become increasingly important. In this study, we used an online conferencing system to implement an online version of a physical exercise program with music, and examined its effect on cognitive function.

METHODS: The participants were 114 healthy older adults [63 men and 51 women; mean age of 70.7 years (standard deviation = 4.6)]. Seventy-five participants were allocated to the physical exercise with music group (60 min, once a week, total 20 sessions), while the remaining 39 participants were assigned to the control group, and only underwent the examinations. In the physical exercise with music group, we performed neuropsychological examinations and brain tests both before and after the exercise program. Neuropsychological tests included the Mini-Mental State Examination, Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM), the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test, graphic imitation, word fluency (WF) (animal names and initial sounds), and the Trail Making Test-A/B. As an assessment of brain function, we developed an online examination of subtle cognitive decline, including tests of number and word memory, spatial grasp, the N-back task, and change inference.

RESULTS: In the N-back task, the physical exercise with music group improved significantly relative to the control group (p = 0.008).

DISCUSSION: The present findings suggest that the online version of the physical exercise with music program improved working memory, which mainly involves the frontal lobe.

RevDate: 2023-07-30

Bravo C, Sarasa M, Bretagnolle V, et al (2023)

Hedgerows interact with forests to shape the abundance of mesopredators and their predation rate on eggs in farmland landscapes.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)04335-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Nest predation is the main cause of reproductive failure, particularly in ground-nesting birds on farmlands. Understanding the links between nest predation and habitat change can help design effective management schemes to constrain the negative impact of predation pressure on birds. However, the mechanisms underlying the relationships between landscape attributes, predator distribution, and nest predation are still unclear. Here, we use an experimental approach to examine the effects of distance to the hedgerow as well as hedgerow and forest densities on the abundance of major mesopredators of ground nests of our study area (i.e., corvids) and on the predation rate of artificial ground nests (n = 2576). We found evidence that landscape configuration influenced predation patterns differently depending on the predator species. Nest predation by corvids was more likely in homogeneous and open agricultural landscapes with a low density of forest and hedgerows, whereas predation by other predators was more likely close to hedgerows. Nest predation by corvids and the abundance of corvids also tended to be lower in landscapes dominated by grasslands. Other variables such as road density and distance to human settlements had contrasted effects on the likelihood of a nest being depredated by corvids, i.e., no effect with proximity to human settlements and decreasing trend with road density. Altogether, our results suggest that landscape features interact with mesopredator distribution and their predation rates of ground nests. Therefore, from a conservation and management perspective, a heterogeneous agricultural landscape that includes a mixture of crops associated with patches of forests, hedgerows, and grasslands offering alternative food to generalist predators should contribute to reducing ground-nesting bird predation.

RevDate: 2023-07-31

Ichihashi M, Tanaka M, Iizuka T, et al (2023)

A Single Intradermal Injection of Autologous Adipose-Tissue-Derived Stem Cells Rejuvenates Aged Skin and Sharpens Double Eyelids.

Journal of personalized medicine, 13(7):.

Facial skin aging is the most visible manifestation of aging in the body. In this study, we aimed to rejuvenate aging skin via a one-time intradermal injection of autologous adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs). Eight patients were enrolled for study. Photographs of patients taken immediately before and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after ADSC injections were comparatively evaluated for visible skin manifestations. ADSCs were cultured from the abdominal-skin-derived subcutaneous fat tissue, and 1 × 108 cultured ADSCs were injected intradermally into the facial skin. Cultured myoblasts were incubated with the supernatant derived from ADSCs, and the effect was evaluated via glucose consumption and lactic acid production in the medium. Eight cases showed the shallowing and disappearance of wrinkles, including those of the glabella, lower eyelids, crow`s feet, and forehead and nasolabial grooves, a month to several months after treatment. Double eyelids became prominent, and facial pores significantly reduced in size. These effects lasted for over one year. Myoblasts cultured in the presence of an ADSC-derived exosome were activated compared to that of ADSCs cultured without supernatant. The result supports the role of muscle in ADSC skin rejuvenation. The present study first reports that a single intradermal administration of cultured ADSCs rejuvenates aged facial skin over the course of one year. Further, patients exhibited definite double eyelids and pore shrinkage, strongly indicating the active involvement of muscle, which was supported by an in vitro study. Our study also suggested the important role of biological factors delivered from injected stem cells, although the detailed mechanism of rejuvenation effects of ADSC skin injection remains to be clarified.

RevDate: 2023-07-29

Saati AA, HM Adly (2023)

Assessing the Correlation between Blood Trace Element Concentrations, Picky Eating Habits, and Intelligence Quotient in School-Aged Children.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 10(7): pii:children10071249.

INTRODUCTION: Inadequate levels of iron, zinc, and copper have been linked to growth impairment and cognitive and motor development deficits. The objective of this study is to examine the deficiencies of trace elements and their correlation with selective eating patterns and the intelligence quotient (IQ) of children.

METHODS AND PATIENTS: The cross-sectional analysis involved 430 children aged between 7 and 10 years. Blood samples were analyzed using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) to measure the trace elements levels. Children's IQs were assessed using Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices.

RESULTS: Among the sample group, 20.3% exhibited iron deficiency, 42.5% had zinc deficiency, and 14% had insufficient copper levels. Single trace element deficiency was observed in 56.9% of the children, while 66.7% showed coexisting deficiencies of iron and zinc. Children with lower development levels exhibited significantly lower serum zinc levels compared to those with higher development levels (76.78 ± 10.67 vs. 81.14 ± 10.19 μg/dL). The analysis reveals that picky eaters had lower serum iron levels (76.59 ± 10.42 μg/dL) and higher serum copper levels (123.74 ± 13.45 μg/dL).

CONCLUSION: A strong association was observed between zinc deficiency, picky eating habits, and lower developmental stages. The findings underscore the importance of monitoring nutritional status in children, given the significant implications for their cognitive development.

RevDate: 2023-07-28

Yu P, Lian Y, Zuleger CL, et al (2023)

Surrogate selection oversamples expanded T cell clonotypes.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.07.13.548950.

UNLABELLED: Inference from immunological data on cells in the adaptive immune system may benefit from modeling specifications that describe variation in the sizes of various clonal sub-populations. We develop one such specification in order to quantify the effects of surrogate selection assays, which we confirm may lead to an enrichment for amplified, potentially disease-relevant T cell clones. Our specification couples within-clonotype birth-death processes with an exchangeable model across clonotypes. Beyond enrichment questions about the surrogate selection design, our framework enables a study of sampling properties of elementary sample diversity statistics; it also points to new statistics that may usefully measure the burden of somatic genomic alterations associated with clonal expansion. We examine statistical properties of immunological samples governed by the coupled model specification, and we illustrate calculations in surrogate selection studies of melanoma and in single-cell genomic studies of T cell repertoires.

FUNDING: This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (grant 2023239-DMS), and by grants from the National Institutes of Health: R01 GM102756, P01 CA022443, P01 CA250972, P50 CA278595, UL1 TR002373, P50 CA269011, and P30 CA014520. This work was also supported by resources at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI, USA, and the UW Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center. Additional support was provided by Ann's Hope Foundation, Taking on Melanoma, the Tim Eagle Memorial, and the Jay Van Sloan Memorial from the Steve Leuthold Family Foundation, philanthropic support in the USA. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the views of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.

RevDate: 2023-07-29

Carruthers A, Carruthers J, De Boulle K, et al (2023)

Treatment of crow's feet lines and forehead lines with Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA): Development, insights, and impact.

Medicine, 102(S1):e32496.

Extrinsic and age-related intrinsic factors contribute to the development of facial lines, including lateral canthal lines (called crow's feet lines [CFL]) and horizontal forehead lines (FHL). OnabotulinumtoxinA is a highly effective treatment for facial lines that inhibits acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. This temporary chemical denervation leads to localized muscle relaxation and subsequent wrinkle reduction. Early studies of onabotulinumtoxinA treatment for facial neuronal disorders such as dystonia documented improvements in FHL and CFL. After the neurotoxin was approved for treating frown lines (glabellar lines [GL]), individuals requested treatment for other rhytids, and physicians continued assessing use in new areas. Once onabotulinumtoxinA was in clinical trial development, its efficacy and safety for CFL and FHL were successively evaluated as required by the US Food and Drug Administration and by key global health authorities, including those in the European Union, Japan, and China. Allergan, collaborating with leading physicians, established clinical programs that included novel safety and efficacy measures to meet regulatory requirements. Global, phase 3, randomized, controlled studies of CFL and FHL met rigorous primary endpoints. Some countries mandated clinical trial data beyond US and European regulations, and Allergan conducted 11 studies in total, fulfilling diverse regulatory and study population data requirements. Adverse events associated with local spread, including brow and eyelid ptosis, diplopia, headache, and eyelid sensory disorder, were infrequent and well tolerated. Consequently, onabotulinumtoxinA treatment of upper facial lines is now established globally as a highly effective, minimally invasive treatment for patients to achieve a natural appearance and look younger.

RevDate: 2023-07-26

Anonymous (2023)

Persuading the Non-canonical Intercalated-Motif DNA to Reveal Its Structure.

Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English) [Epub ahead of print].

This invited Team Profile was created by Kevin Li and Liliya Yatsunyk, Swarthmore College PA (USA) and by John Schneekloth, Jr, (Jay) National Cancer Institute, Frederick MD (USA). They recently published an article on the first crystal structure of an intercalated motif (i-motif or iM) from the HRAS oncogene involved in many cancers. The iHRAS structure was solved to 1.8 Å resolution. It contains a tail-to-tail dimer of two iMs each with six C-C[+] base pairs. The structure is unique in that only two base pairs out of 20 are canonical. The extensive network of capping and connecting interactions is unprecedented. The unique structural elements (loops/connecting region) may be targeted by ligands or proteins as cancer therapies. iHRAS represents the first crystallized iM-forming structure from a human promoter. "Crystal Structure of an iM from the HRAS Oncogene Promoter", K. S. Li, D. Jordan, L. Y. Lin, S. E. McCarthy, J. S. Schneekloth Jr., and L. A. Yatsunyk, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2023, 62, e202301666.

RevDate: 2023-07-25

Ascher B, Rzany BJ, Kestemont P, et al (2023)

International Consensus Recommendations on the Aesthetic Usage of Ready to Use Abobotulinumtoxina (Alluzience).

Aesthetic surgery journal pii:7231033 [Epub ahead of print].

Alluzience (abobotulinumtoxinA RTU, Galderma; Lausanne, Switzerland) is the first ready to use (RTU) botulinum toxin-type A liquid solution approved for the treatment of glabellar lines in Europe. In this article, the authors provide consensus recommendations on the aesthetic usage of abobotulinumtoxinA RTU. Members of the International Board on Alluzience (IBA) convened to develop consensus on the treatment of glabellar lines as well as other facial wrinkles based on their own extensive experience. Consensus recommendations were developed to provide practical guidelines for injection of abobotulinumtoxinA RTU. General guidance on proper assessment, treatment planning, and patient education is provided, as well as specific injection guidelines per indication. Indications covered include glabellar lines, crow's feet, horizontal forehead lines, lateral eyebrow lift, lower eyelid wrinkles, bunny lines, drooping nasal tip, perioral wrinkles, drooping mouth corners, masseter hypertrophy, hollow cheek lines, dimpled chin, and platysmal bands. These guidelines provide a practical framework to support routine injection of facial muscles with Alluzience.

RevDate: 2023-07-25
CmpDate: 2023-07-25

Xiong Y, Tobler M, Hegemann A, et al (2023)

Assessment of avian health status: suitability and constraints of the Zoetis VetScan VS2 blood analyser for ecological and evolutionary studies.

Biology open, 12(8):.

Biochemical analyses of blood can decipher physiological conditions of living animals and unravel mechanistic underpinnings of life-history strategies and trade-offs. Yet, researchers in ecology and evolution often face constraints in which methods to apply, not least due to blood volume restrictions or field settings. Here, we test the suitability of a portable biochemical analyser (Zoetis VetScan VS2) for ecological and evolutionary studies that may help solve those problems. Using as little as 80 µl of whole-bird blood from free-living Jackdaws (Corvus monedula) and captive Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata), we show that eight (out of 10) blood analytes show high repeatability after short-term storage (approximately 2 h) and six after 12 h storage time. Handling stress had a clear impact on all except two analytes by 16 min after catching. Finally, six analytes showed consistency within individuals over a period of 30 days, and three even showed individual consistency over a year. Taken together, we conclude that the VetScan VS2 captures biologically relevant variation in blood analytes using just 80 µl of whole blood and, thus, provides valuable physiological measurements of (small) birds sampled in semi-field and field conditions.

RevDate: 2023-07-24

Carlón-Beltrán Ó, Viloria-Gómora L, Urbán R J, et al (2023)

Whistle characterization of long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis bairdii) in La Paz Bay, Gulf of California.

PeerJ, 11:e15687.

Long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis bairdii) distribution is limited to the Eastern North Pacific Ocean. Its whistle repertoire is poorly investigated, with no studies in the Gulf of California. The aim of the present study is to characterize the whistles of this species and compare their parameters with different populations. Acoustic monitoring was conducted in La Paz Bay, Gulf of California. Recordings were inspected in spectrogram view in Raven Pro, selecting good quality whistles (n = 270). In the software Luscinia, contours were manually traced to obtain whistle frequencies and duration. Number of steps, inflection points and contour type were visually determined. We calculated the descriptive statistics of the selected whistle parameters and we compared the results with a dolphins population from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) was performed to test the intraspecific variation of the whistle parameters among groups. In the present study the mean values (±SD) of the whistle parameters were: maximum frequency = 14.13 ± 3.71 kHz, minimum frequency = 8.44 ± 2.58 kHz and duration = 0.44 ± 0.31 s. Whistles with the upsweep contour were the most common ones (34.44%). The coefficient of variation (CV) values for modulation parameters were high (>100%), in accordance with other studies on dolphins. Whistle parameters showed significant differences among groups. Finally, ending and maximum frequencies, duration and inflection points of the whistles recorded in the present study were lower compared with the parameters of the long-beaked common dolphins from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. This study provides the first whistle characterization of long-beaked common dolphin from the Gulf of California and it will help future passive acoustic monitoring applications in the study area.

RevDate: 2023-07-18

Morales-Ferra DL, Zavala-Sánchez MÁ, Jiménez-Ferrer E, et al (2023)

Chemical Characterization, Antilipidemic Effect and Anti-Obesity Activity of Ludwigia octovalvis in a Murine Model of Metabolic Syndrome.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(13):.

Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) P.H. Raven is widely used in traditional medicine for different illnesses, including diabetes and hypertension. However, its impact on lipotoxicity and metabolic syndrome in vivo has not been addressed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of this plant on the metabolic syndrome parameters in a C57BL6J mouse hypercaloric diet model. L. octovalvis hydroalcoholic extract and its ethyl acetate fraction (25 mg/kg/day) were used for sub-chronic assessment (10 weeks). Additionally, four subfractions (25 mg/kg) were evaluated in the postprandial triglyceridemia test in healthy C57BL6J mice. The hydroalcoholic extract and ethyl acetate fraction significantly decreased body weight gain (-6.9 g and -1.5 g), fasting glycemia (-46.1 and -31.2 mg/dL), systolic (-26.0 and -22.5 mmHg) and diastolic (-8.1 and 16.2 mmHg) blood pressure, free fatty acid concentration (-13.8 and -8.0 μg/mL) and insulin-resistance (measured by TyG index, -0.207 and -0.18), compared to the negative control. A postprandial triglyceridemia test showed that the effects in the sub-chronic model are due, at least in part, to improvement in this parameter. L. octovalvis treatments, particularly the hydroalcoholic extract, improve MS alterations and decrease free fatty acid concentration. These effects are possibly due to high contents of corilagin and ellagic acid.

RevDate: 2023-07-13

Markiewicz R, Rahman F, Apperly I, et al (2023)

It is not all about you: Communicative cooperation is determined by your partner's theory of mind abilities as well as your own.

Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition pii:2023-88422-001 [Epub ahead of print].

We investigated the relationship between Theory of Mind (ToM) and communicative cooperation. Specifically, we examined whether communicative cooperation is affected by the ToM ability of one's cooperative partner as well as their own. ToM is the attribution of mental states to oneself and others; cooperation is the joint action that leads to achieving a shared goal. We measured cooperation using a novel communicative cooperation game completed by participants in pairs. ToM was measured via the Movies for Assessment of Social Cognition (MASC) task and fluid intelligence via the Raven task. Findings of 350 adults show that ToM scores of both players were predictors of cooperative failure, whereas Raven scores were not. Furthermore, participants were split into low- and high-ToM groups through a median split of the MASC scores: high-ToM individuals committed significantly fewer cooperative errors compared to their low-ToM counterparts. Therefore, we found a direct relationship between ToM and cooperation. Interestingly, we also examined how ToM scores of paired participants determine cooperation. We found that pairs with two high-ToM individuals committed significantly fewer errors compared to pairs with two low-ToM individuals. We speculate that reduced cooperation in low-low ToM pairs is a result of less efficient development of conceptual alignment and recovery from misalignment, compared to high-high ToM dyads. For the first time, we thus demonstrate that it is not all about you; both cooperative partners make key, independent, contributions to cooperative outcomes. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2023-07-12

Srivastava S, Bertone MP, Parmar D, et al (2023)

The genesis of the PM-JAY health insurance scheme in India: technical and political elements influencing a national reform towards universal health coverage.

Health policy and planning pii:7218387 [Epub ahead of print].

Many countries are using health insurance to advance progress towards universal health coverage (UHC). India launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) health insurance scheme in 2018. We examine the political economy context around PM-JAY policy formulation, by examining the perspectives of policy stakeholders shaping decisions around the reform. More specifically, we focus on early policy design at the central (national) level. We use a framework on the politics of UHC reform proposed by Fox and Reich (The politics of universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries: A framework for evaluation and action. J. Health Polit. Policy Law 2015;40:1023-1060), to categorize the reform into phases and examine the interactions between actors, institutions, interests, ideas and ideology which shaped reform decisions. We interviewed 15 respondents in Delhi between February and April 2019, who were either closely associated with the reform process or subject experts. The ruling centre-right government introduced PM-JAY shortly before national elections, drawing upon policy legacies from prior and state insurance schemes. Empowered policy entrepreneurs within the government focused discourse around ideas of UHC and strategic purchasing, and engaged in institution building leading to the creation of the National Health Authority and State Health Agencies through policy directives, thereby expanding state infrastructural and institutional power for insurance implementation. Indian state inputs were incorporated in scheme design features like mode of implementation, benefit package and provider network, while features like the coverage amount, portability of benefits and branding strategy were more centrally driven. These balanced negotiations opened up political space for a cohesive, central narrative of the reform and facilitated adoption. Our analysis shows that the PM-JAY reform focused on bureaucratic rather than ideological elements and that technical compromises and adjustments accommodating the interests of states enabled the political success of policy formulation. Appreciating these politics, power and structural issues shaping PM-JAY institutional design will be important to understand how PM-JAY is implemented and how it advances UHC in India.

RevDate: 2023-07-10
CmpDate: 2023-07-10

Li SL, Li KY, Song T, et al (2023)

Long-Term Effects of Extended Upper Blepharoplasty Combined With Subbrow Skin Removal for Correction of Lateral Hooding in Asian Women.

The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 34(5):1550-1555.

Upper eyelid aging with lateral hooding is common among Asian women older than 40 years. Since Asians tend to develop more visible scars than White people, we used an extended upper blepharoplasty technique to correct lateral hooding and conceal the scar, combined with the removal of the thick subbrow skin for women over 60 years of age, to achieve a stable, improved outcome. An extended cutaneous scalpel-shaped excision was designed and hid the extended part of the excision in the patient's upward crow's feet to address the redundant skin of lateral hooding. For patients older than 60 years, we used a crescent-shaped excision and simultaneously removed the thick skin under the eyebrow to reduce the likelihood of long-term postoperative pseudoexcess. A retrospective study was conducted on 40 Asian women who underwent upper eyelid rejuvenation surgery with the above methods from July 2020 to March 2021 (follow-up, 12-15 mo). Extended blepharoplasty notably corrected the lateral hooding and achieved a natural double eyelid. The postoperative scar was inconspicuous. For patients older than 60 years, the long-term rejuvenation outcome was stable when associated with subbrow skin removal. However, two patients older than 60 years in whom the subbrow skin was not removed developed pseudoexcess of the upper eyelid 1 year postoperatively. Extended blepharoplasty is a simple and effective technique for improving periorbital aging in Asian women, and the postoperative scarring was inconspicuous. For patients older than 60 years, we recommend removal of the thick subbrow skin to avoid long-term postoperative pseudoexcess.

RevDate: 2023-07-06

Braccini F, Catoni I, Belfkira F, et al (2023)

SAMCEP Society consensus on the treatment of upper facial lines with botulinum neurotoxin type A: A tailored approach.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The safety and efficacy of botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNTA) treatments are well established, but injection techniques, target muscles, and toxin doses continue to evolve, with each refinement producing improvements in treatment outcomes. The recommendations in this consensus move away from standard templates and illustrate how to tailor treatments to individual patterns and strengths of muscle activity, and patient preferences.

METHODS: Seventeen experts in the fields of plastic surgery, dermatology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, and neurology convened in 2022 to develop consensus-based recommendations for the use of botulinum toxin A for the treatment of horizontal forehead lines, glabellar frown lines, and crow's feet lines that reflect current clinical practice. The focus was on how to tailor injections to individual patients to optimize treatment outcomes.

RESULTS: For each upper face indication, consensus members describe how to perform a dynamic assessment to optimize the dose and injection technique for each patient. A tailored treatment protocol is presented for commonly observed patterns of dynamic lines. Units of Inco are defined and the precise location of injection points, illustrated with the use of anatomical images.

CONCLUSION: This consensus provides up-to-date recommendations on the tailored treatment of upper facial lines based on the latest research and collective clinical experience of the expert injectors. Optimal outcomes require thorough patient evaluation, both at rest and during animation, using both visual and tactile cues; detailed understanding of facial muscular anatomy and how opposing muscles interact; and use of a BoNTA with high precision to target identified zones of excess muscle activity.

RevDate: 2023-07-06

Prinja S, Dixit J, Gupta N, et al (2023)

Financial toxicity of cancer treatment in India: towards closing the cancer care gap.

Frontiers in public health, 11:1065737.

BACKGROUND: The rising economic burden of cancer on patients is an important determinant of access to treatment initiation and adherence in India. Several publicly financed health insurance (PFHI) schemes have been launched in India, with treatment for cancer as an explicit inclusion in the health benefit packages (HBPs). Although, financial toxicity is widely acknowledged to be a potential consequence of costly cancer treatment, little is known about its prevalence and determinants among the Indian population. There is a need to determine the optimal strategy for clinicians and cancer care centers to address the issue of high costs of care in order to minimize the financial toxicity, promote access to high value care and reduce health disparities.

METHODS: A total of 12,148 cancer patients were recruited at seven purposively selected cancer centres in India, to assess the out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) and financial toxicity among cancer patients. Mean OOPE incurred for outpatient treatment and hospitalization, was estimated by cancer site, stage, type of treatment and socio-demographic characteristics. Economic impact of cancer care on household financial risk protection was assessed using standard indicators of catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) and impoverishment, along with the determinants using logistic regression.

RESULTS: Mean direct OOPE per outpatient consultation and per episode of hospitalization was estimated as ₹8,053 (US$ 101) and ₹39,085 (US$ 492) respectively. Per patient annual direct OOPE incurred on cancer treatment was estimated as ₹331,177 (US$ 4,171). Diagnostics (36.4%) and medicines (45%) are major contributors of OOPE for outpatient treatment and hospitalization, respectively. The overall prevalence of CHE and impoverishment was higher among patients seeking outpatient treatment (80.4% and 67%, respectively) than hospitalization (29.8% and 17.2%, respectively). The odds of incurring CHE was 7.4 times higher among poorer patients [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 7.414] than richest. Enrolment in PM-JAY (CHE AOR = 0.426, and impoverishment AOR = 0.395) or a state sponsored scheme (CHE AOR = 0.304 and impoverishment AOR = 0.371) resulted in a significant reduction in CHE and impoverishment for an episode of hospitalization. The prevalence of CHE and impoverishment was significantly higher with hospitalization in private hospitals and longer duration of hospital stay (p < 0.001). The extent of CHE and impoverishment due to direct costs incurred on outpatient treatment increased from 83% to 99.7% and, 63.9% to 97.1% after considering both direct and indirect costs borne by the patient and caregivers, respectively. In case of hospitalization, the extent of CHE increased from 23.6% (direct cost) to 59.4% (direct+ indirect costs) and impoverishment increased from 14.1% (direct cost) to 27% due to both direct and indirect cost of cancer treatment.

CONCLUSION: There is high economic burden on patients and their families due to cancer treatment. The increase in population and cancer services coverage of PFHI schemes, creating prepayment mechanisms like E-RUPI for outpatient diagnostic and staging services, and strengthening public hospitals can potentially reduce the financial burden among cancer patients in India. The disaggregated OOPE estimates could be useful input for future health technology analyses to determine cost-effective treatment strategies.

RevDate: 2023-07-06

Smith MR, Sandhu S, George DJ, et al (2023)

Health-related quality of life in GALAHAD: A multicenter, open-label, phase 2 study of niraparib for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and DNA-repair gene defects.

Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy, 29(7):758-768.

BACKGROUND: Niraparib is a highly selective poly (adenosine diphosphateribose) polymerase-1 and poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase-2 inhibitor indicated for select patients with ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer. The phase 2 GALAHAD trial (NCT02854436) demonstrated that niraparib monotherapy is tolerable and efficacious in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and homologous recombination repair (HRR) gene alterations, particularly those with breast cancer gene (BRCA) alterations who had progressed on prior androgen signaling inhibitor therapy and taxane-based chemotherapy. OBJECTIVE: To report the prespecified patient-reported outcomes analysis from GALAHAD. METHODS: Eligible patients with alterations to BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 (BRCA cohort) and with pathogenic alterations in other HRR genes (other HRR cohort) were enrolled and received niraparib 300 mg once daily. Patient-reported outcome instruments included the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Prostate and the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form. Changes from baseline were compared using a mixed-effect model for repeated measures. RESULTS: On average, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) improved in the BRCA cohort by cycle 3 (mean change = 6.03; 95% CI = 2.76-9.29) and was maintained above baseline until cycle 10 (mean change = 2.84; 95% CI = -1.95 to 7.63), whereas the other HRR cohort showed no early change in HRQoL from baseline (mean change = -0.07; 95% CI = -4.69 to 4.55) and declined by cycle 10 (mean change = -5.10; 95% CI = -15.3 to 5.06). Median time to deterioration in pain intensity and pain interference could not be estimated in either cohort. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with advanced mCRPC and BRCA alterations treated with niraparib experienced more meaningful improvement in overall HRQoL, pain intensity, and pain interference compared with those with other HRR alterations. In this population of castrate, heavily pretreated patients with mCRPC and HRR alterations, stabilization, and improvement in HRQoL may be relevant to consider when making treatment decisions. DISCLOSURES: This work was supported by Janssen Research & Development, LLC (no grant number). Dr Smith has received grants and personal fees from Bayer, Amgen, Janssen, and Lilly; and has received personal fees from Astellas Pharma, Novartis, and Pfizer. Dr Sandhu has received grants from Amgen, Endocyte, and Genentech; has received grants and personal fees from AstraZeneca and Merck; and has received personal fees from Bristol Myers Squibb and Merck Serono. Dr George has received personal fees from the American Association for Cancer Research, Axess Oncology, Capio Biosciences, Constellation Pharma, EMD Serono, Flatiron, Ipsen, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Michael J. Hennessey Association, Millennium Medical Publishing, Modra Pharma, Myovant Sciences, Inc., NCI Genitourinary, Nektar Therapeutics, Physician Education Resource, Propella TX, RevHealth, LLC, and UroGPO; has received grants and personal fees from Astellas Pharma, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Pfizer; has received personal fees and nonfinancial support from Bayer and UroToday; has received grants from Calithera and Novartis; and has received grants, personal fees, and nonfinancial support from Exelixis, Inc., Sanofi, and Janssen Pharma. Dr Chi has received grants from Janssen during the conduct of the study; has received grants and personal fees from AstraZeneca, Bayer, Astellas Pharma, Novartis, Pfizer, POINT Biopharma, Roche, and Sanofi; and has received personal fees from Daiichi Sankyo, Merck, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Dr Saad has received grants, personal fees, and nonfinancial support from Janssen during the conduct of the study; and has received grants, personal fees, and nonfinancial support from AstraZeneca, Astellas Pharma, Pfizer, Bayer, Myovant, Sanofi, and Novartis. Dr Thiery-Vuillemin has received grants, personal fees, and nonfinancial support from Pfizer; has received personal fees and nonfinancial support from AstraZeneca, Janssen, Ipsen, Roche/Genentech, Merck Sharp & Dohme, and Astellas Pharma; and has received personal fees from Sanofi, Novartis, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Dr Olmos has received grants, personal fees, and nonfinancial support from AstraZeneca, Bayer, Janssen, and Pfizer; has received personal fees from Clovis, Daiichi Sankyo, and Merck Sharp & Dohme; and has received nonfinancial support from Astellas Pharma, F. Hoffman-LaRoche, Genentech, and Ipsen. Dr Danila has received research support from the US Department of Defense, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer, Janssen Research & Development, Astellas Pharma, Medivation, Agensys, Genentech, and CreaTV. Dr Gafanov has received grants from Janssen during the conduct of the study. Dr Castro has received grants from Janssen during the conduct of the study; has received grants and personal fees from Janssen, Bayer, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer; and has received personal fees from Astellas Pharma, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Roche, and Clovis. Dr Moon has received research funding from SeaGen, HuyaBio, Janssen, BMS, Aveo, Xencor, and has received personal fees from Axess Oncology, MJH, EMD Serono, and Pfizer. Dr Joshua has received nonfinancial support from Janssen; consulted or served in an advisory role for Neoleukin, Janssen Oncology, Ipsen, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Noxopharm, IQvia, Pfizer, Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck Serono, and Eisai; and received research funding from Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen Oncology, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Mayne Pharma, Roche/Genentech, Bayer, MacroGenics, Lilly, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Corvus Pharmaceuticals. Drs Mason, Liu, Bevans, Lopez-Gitlitz, and Francis and Mr Espina are employees of Janssen Research & Development. Dr Mason owns stocks with Janssen. Dr Fizazi has participated in advisory boards and talks for Amgen, Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Clovis, Daiichi Sankyo, Janssen, MSD, Novartis/AAA, Pfizer, and Sanofi, with honoraria to his institution (Institut Gustave Roussy); has participated in advisory boards for, with personal honoraria from, Arvinas, CureVac, MacroGenics, and Orion. Study registration number: NCT02854436.

RevDate: 2023-07-03

Benham PM, Cicero C, DeRaad DA, et al (2023)

A highly contiguous reference genome for the Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri).

The Journal of heredity pii:7217111 [Epub ahead of print].

The Steller's jay is a familiar bird of western forests from Alaska south to Nicaragua. Here, we report a draft reference assembly for the species generated from PacBio HiFi long read and Omni-C chromatin-proximity sequencing data as part of the California Conservation Genomics Project (CCGP). Sequenced reads were assembled into 352 scaffolds totaling 1.16 Gb in length. Assembly metrics indicate a highly contiguous and complete assembly with a contig N50 of 7.8 Mb, scaffold N50 of 25.8 Mb, and BUSCO completeness score of 97.2%. Repetitive elements span 16.6% of the genome including nearly 90% of the W chromosome. Compared with high quality assemblies from other members of the family Corvidae, the Steller's jay genome contains a larger proportion of repetitive elements than four crow species (Corvus), but a lower proportion of repetitive elements than the California scrub-jay (Aphelocoma californica). This reference genome will serve as an essential resource for future studies on speciation, local adaptation, phylogeography, and conservation genetics in this species of significant biological interest.

RevDate: 2023-07-02

Chłopaś-Konowałek A, Zawadzki M, Kurach Ł, et al (2022)

Simultaneous poisoning of 48 birds of prey - bendiocarb determination with the use of UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS method in fatal case from Eastern Europe.

Archiwum medycyny sadowej i kryminologii, 72(2):67-80.

AIM: Bendiocarb is used against a wide range of insects but has already been withdrawn from the market in some countries. It poses a high risk to birds as they can accidentally ingest it while searching for food, followed by toxic effects. This paper presents the results of toxicological and histopathological studies of 48 cases of intentional birds of prey poisoning with bendiocarb in Eastern Europe, specifically Poland.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A novel ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-triple quadrupole-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS) method for bendiocarb determination in animal liver samples was developed and fully validated. The sample preparation technique was based on one-step precipitation of proteins with cold acetonitrile. The internal standard used was carbaryl-d7. Full time of analysis was less than 10 minutes. The application of the UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS method allowed us to achieve the lowest LOQ (1 ng/g) of bendiocarb in biological samples to date.

RESULTS: Necropsies and histopathological examinations of common ravens (Corvus corax), western marsh harriers (Circus aeruginosus), red kites (Milvus milvus), and a white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) revealed multi-organ toxicity manifested as congestion, oedema, or stagnation of blood. An analytical investigation confirmed the presence of bendiocarb in liver in the 1808-7721 ng/g range. Furthermore, the presence of this compound was qualitatively confirmed in the stomach and beak contents and also in the bait located near the deceased animals.

CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive forensic examination is crucial to monitor wildlife fatalities, especially applying a combined analytical and histopathological approach to identify and eliminate highly toxic substances which pose a threat to the ecosystem.

RevDate: 2023-06-30

Khan S, Pathak G, Milgraum D, et al (2023)

Double vision due to lateral rectus injury after cosmetic botulinum toxin injections.

The Australasian journal of dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

Facial intramuscular injections of Botulinum toxin (BoNT) injections are among the most common cosmetic procedures in dermatology. Rarely, serious adverse reactions such as blepharoptosis, diplopia and periorbital hematoma may occur with improper administration technique. Here we report a case of painless diplopia 5 weeks post-BoNT injection for 'crow's feet' likely due to inadvertent BoNT diffusion into the lateral rectus muscle causing a temporary palsy. This case aims to raise awareness of proper cosmetic BoNT injection techniques in the periorbital area to avoid ophthalmic complications.

RevDate: 2023-06-29

Stuhrmann C (2023)

Sociobiology on Screen. The Controversy Through the Lens of Sociobiology: Doing What Comes Naturally.

Journal of the history of biology [Epub ahead of print].

When the sociobiology debate erupted in 1975, there were almost too many contributions to the heated exchanges between sociobiologists and their critics to count. In the fall of 1976, a Canadian educational film entitled Sociobiology: Doing What Comes Naturally sparked further controversy due to its graphic visuals and outrageous narration. While critics claimed the film was a promotional tool to further the sociobiological agenda in educational settings, sociobiologists quickly distanced themselves from the film and, in turn, accused the critics of consciously misrepresenting sociobiology by organizing showings of the film. Using audio, video, archival, and published sources, this paper explores the complicated history of Sociobiology: Doing What Comes Naturally and demonstrates how the public debate about the film reflects the positions, polemics, and polarization of the sociobiology debate as a whole.

RevDate: 2023-06-29

Notter IR, JR Logan (2022)

Residential Segregation under Jim Crow: Whites, Blacks, and Mulattoes in Southern Cities, 1880-1920.

City & community, 21(1):42-61.

We study the residential patterns of blacks and mulattoes in 10 Southern cities in 1880 and 1920. researchers have documented the salience of social differences among African Americans in this period, partly related to mulattoes' higher occupational status. Did these differences result in clustering of these two groups in different neighborhoods, and were mulattoes less separated from whites? If so, did the differences diminish in these decades after reconstruction due a Jim Crow system that did not distinguish between blacks and mulattoes? We use geocoded census microdata for 1880 and 1920 to address these questions. Segregation between whites and both blacks and mulattoes was already high in 1880, especially at a fine spatial scale, and it increased sharply by 1920. In this respect, whites did not distinguish between these two groups. However, blacks and mulattoes were quite segregated from one another in 1880, and even more so by 1920. this pattern did not result from mulattoes' moderately higher-class position. Hence, as the color line between whites and all non-whites was becoming harder, blacks and mulattoes were separating further from each other. understanding what led to this pattern remains a key question about racial identities and racialization in the early twentieth century.

RevDate: 2023-06-28

Khan SI, Yamada R, Shiroma R, et al (2023)

Properties of INDETERMINATE DOMAIN Proteins from Physcomitrium patens: DNA-Binding, Interaction with GRAS Proteins, and Transcriptional Activity.

Genes, 14(6): pii:genes14061249.

INDETERMINATE DOMAIN (IDD) proteins are plant-specific transcription factors that interact with GRAS proteins, such as DELLA and SHORT ROOT (SHR), to regulate target genes. The combination of IDD and DELLA proteins regulates genes involved in gibberellic acid (GA) synthesis and GA signaling, whereas the combination of IDD with the complex of SHR and SCARECROW, another GRAS protein, regulates genes involved in root tissue formation. Previous bioinformatic research identified seven IDDs, two DELLA, and two SHR genes in Physcomitrium patens, a model organism for non-vascular plants (bryophytes), which lack a GA signaling pathway and roots. In this study, DNA-binding properties and protein-protein interaction of IDDs from P. patens (PpIDD) were analyzed. Our results showed that the DNA-binding properties of PpIDDs were largely conserved between moss and seed plants. Four PpIDDs showed interaction with Arabidopsis DELLA (AtDELLA) proteins but not with PpDELLAs, and one PpIDD showed interaction with PpSHR but not with AtSHR. Moreover, AtIDD10 (JACKDAW) interacted with PpSHR but not with PpDELLAs. Our results indicate that DELLA proteins have modified their structure to interact with IDD proteins during evolution from moss lineage to seed plants, whereas the interaction of IDD and SHR was already present in moss lineage.

RevDate: 2023-06-28

Alhamdan AA, Murphy MJ, SG Crewther (2023)

Visual Motor Reaction Times Predict Receptive and Expressive Language Development in Early School-Age Children.

Brain sciences, 13(6): pii:brainsci13060965.

Proficiency of multisensory processing and motor skill are often associated with early cognitive, social, and language development. However, little research exists regarding the relationship between multisensory motor reaction times (MRTs) to auditory, visual and audiovisual stimuli, and classical measures of receptive language and expressive vocabulary development in school-age children. Thus, this study aimed to examine the concurrent development of performance in classical tests of receptive (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; abbreviated as PPVT) and expressive vocabulary (Expressive Vocabulary Test; abbreviated as EVT), nonverbal intelligence (NVIQ) (determined with the aid of Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices; abbreviated as RCPM), speed of visual-verbal processing in the Rapid Automatic Naming (RAN) test, Eye-Hand Co-ordination (EHC) in the SLURP task, and multisensory MRTs, in children (n = 75), aged between 5 and 10 years. Bayesian statistical analysis showed evidence for age group differences in EVT performance, while PPVT was only different for the youngest group of children aged 5-6, supporting different developmental trajectories in vocabulary acquisition. Bayesian correlations revealed evidence for associations between age, NVIQ, and vocabulary measures, with decisive evidence and a higher correlation (r = 0.57 to 0.68) between EVT, MRT tasks, and EHC visuomotor processing. This was further supported by regression analyses indicating that EVT performance was the strongest unique predictor of multisensory MRTs, EHC, and RAN time. Additionally, visual MRTs were found to predict both receptive and expressive vocabulary. The findings of the study have important implications as accessible school-based assessments of the concurrent development of NVIQ, language, and multisensory processing; and hence as rapid and timely measures of developmental and neurodevelopmental status.

RevDate: 2023-06-28

Lin YY, Hsu WY, Yen CE, et al (2023)

Association of Dental Fluorosis and Urinary Fluoride with Intelligence among Schoolchildren.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 10(6): pii:children10060987.

Fluoride is present naturally in water and has been used worldwide for the prevention of caries. Several studies conducted in high water fluoride or endemic fluorosis areas reported that fluoride adversely affected children's cognitive function, but some studies had negative findings. This study aimed to assess the relationship between urinary fluoride, dental fluorosis, and intelligence among schoolchildren living in communities with non-fluoridated drinking water. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 562 children aged 6-12 years in Taichung, Taiwan. Each child's urinary fluoride level was determined by a fluoride-ion-selective electrode, and the dental fluorosis condition was evaluated according to the criteria of Dean's Index. The Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices-Parallel and Standard Progressive Matrices-Parallel were used to assess children's intelligence. The results showed that the mean (±standard deviation) urinary fluoride concentrations were 0.40 ± 0.27 mg/L (0.43 ± 0.23 mg/g creatinine) among participants. The prevalence of dental fluorosis was 23.67%. After extensive evaluation of potential confounders, dental fluorosis and urinary fluoride were not associated with intelligence quotient (IQ) scores or grades in the regression models. In conclusion, dental fluorosis and urinary fluoride levels were not significantly related to the IQ of schoolchildren living in areas with low drinking water fluoride.

RevDate: 2023-06-27

Srivastava S, Bertone MP, Basu S, et al (2023)

Implementation of PM-JAY in India: a qualitative study exploring the role of competency, organizational and leadership drivers shaping early roll-out of publicly funded health insurance in three Indian states.

Health research policy and systems, 21(1):65.

BACKGROUND: The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), a publicly funded health insurance scheme, was launched in India in September 2018 to provide financial access to health services for poor Indians. PM-JAY design enables state-level program adaptations to facilitate implementation in a decentralized health implementation space. This study examines the competency, organizational, and leadership approaches affecting PM-JAY implementation in three contextually different Indian states.

METHODS: We used a framework on implementation drivers (competency, organizational, and leadership) to understand factors facilitating or hampering implementation experiences in three PM-JAY models: third-party administrator in Uttar Pradesh, insurance in Chhattisgarh, and hybrid in Tamil Nadu. We adopted a qualitative exploratory approach and conducted 92 interviews with national, state, district, and hospital stakeholders involved in program design and implementation in Delhi, three state capitals, and two anonymized districts in each state, between February and April 2019. We used a deductive approach to content analysis and interpreted coded material to identify linkages between organizational features, drivers, and contextual elements affecting implementation.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: PM-JAY guideline flexibilities enabled implementation in very different states through state-adapted implementation models. These models utilized contextually relevant adaptations for staff and facility competencies and organizational and facilitative administration, which had considerable scope for improvement in terms of recruitment, competency development, programmatic implementation support, and rationalizing the joint needs of the program and implementers. Adaptations also created structural barriers in staff interactions and challenged implicit power asymmetries and organizational culture, indicating a need for aligning staff hierarchies and incentive structures. At the same time, specific adaptations such as decentralizing staff selection and task shifting (all models); sharing of claims processing between the insurer and state agency (insurance and hybrid model); and using stringent empanelment, accreditation, monitoring, and benchmarking criteria for performance assessment, and reserving secondary care benefit packages for public hospitals (both in the hybrid model) contributed to successful implementation. Contextual elements such as institutional memory of previous schemes and underlying state capacities influenced all aspects of implementation, including leadership styles and autonomy. These variations make comparisons across models difficult, yet highlight constraints and opportunities for cross-learning and optimizing implementation to achieve universal health coverage in decentralized contexts.


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 )