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26 Jan 2022 at 01:32
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Bibliography on: Corvids (crows, jays, etc)


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 26 Jan 2022 at 01:32 Created: 

Corvids (crows, jays, etc)

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-01-20

Pistacchi M, Gioulis M, SZ Marsala (2022)

Association between delirium and cognitive impairment: there is a link?.

Current Alzheimer research pii:CAR-EPUB-120305 [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-01-18

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

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

Transboundary and emerging diseases [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2022-01-15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-01-11

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

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

Polymers, 14(1): pii:polym14010026.

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

RevDate: 2022-01-11

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

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

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 22(1): pii:s22010118.

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

RevDate: 2022-01-10

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-01-08

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2022-01-08

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

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

Journal of urban health : bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2022-01-06

Martin RJ, Dick MF, DF Sherry (2022)

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

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology pii:S1095-6433(21)00250-6 [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2022-01-04

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

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

Frontiers in psychology, 12:769397.

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

RevDate: 2022-01-03

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Miller JS (1987)


Cladistics : the international journal of the Willi Hennig Society, 3(2):105-120.

Abstract- Stepwise coevolution, as defined by Ehrlich and Raven (1964) and others, can be equated with parallel cladogenesis or association by descent (Mitter and Brooks, 1983). I review the insect/plant literature and discuss recent cladistic findings for the Papilionidae, and compare two contrasting theories: 1) that insect/host associations have evolved through parallel cladogenesis; or 2) that insects have 'colonized' their hosts subsequent to plant cladogenesis. I conclude that no documented examples of parallel cladogenesis between insects and plants are known. The swallowtail cladograms instead offer evidence in support of the second theory. They suggest that host association patterns in the Papilionidae have resulted from repeated colonization of plants belonging to a relatively small number of families. I discuss data which indicate that plant secondary chemicals have been important 'barriers' to colonization (sensu Ehrlich and Raven, 1964), and have in large part mediated host switching in the Papilionidae.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

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

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

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(12): pii:healthcare9121716.

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

RevDate: 2021-12-21

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-12-21

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

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

eLife, 10: pii:64829.

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

RevDate: 2021-12-16

Baciadonna L, Cornero FM, Clayton NS, et al (2021)

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

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-12-16

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

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

Journal of global health, 11:16005 pii:jogh-11-16005.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-12-15

Höijer I, Ilonen T, Löyttyniemi E, et al (2020)

Onset Age of Substance Use and Neuropsychological Performance in Hospital Patients.

Clinical neuropsychiatry, 17(5):271-280.

Objective: Several studies have found neurocognitive deficits in adolescents following substance abuse. Predisposing risk factors may further impact vulnerability to neurocognitive deficits. Little is known about the cognitive performance of adult onset substance users compared to earlier onset users. This study aims to explore differences in neuropsychological functioning between early (EOAs) and late onset substance abusers (LOAs) when the effects of confounding factors are controlled.

Method: Data for this cross-sectional study was collected from hospital patients. A total of 164 patients with substance use disorder (SUD) aged 19 to 65, 76 with single-drug diagnosis and 88 with multidrug diagnosis, underwent neuropsychological tests for verbal capacity, attention, speed of processing, perceptual reasoning, memory and learning, executive functioning, and inhibitory capacity. Associations between regular onset age and neuropsychological measures were analysed using in multi-way ANCOVA, and the effect of age, multiple substance abuse, education level and learning difficulties were controlled.

Results: Compared with LOAs, EOAs had weaker performance in the Digit Symbol test for mono-substance users. Meanwhile, compared with EOAs, LOAs had weaker performance in the Delayed Visual Memory test and the Raven test for mono-substance users, and the Block Design test for poly-substance users. From the confounding factors, early onset age of substance use is heightened among individuals with learning disabilities.

Conclusions: Onset age of substance use is related to the deterioration of performance in neuropsychological tests. Premorbid poor learning and inhibitory capacity may be important predisposing risk factors of SUD. Conversely, high level of education may be a protective factor for cognitive performance in patients with SUD.

RevDate: 2021-12-13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-12-13

Yamaguchi E, Fujii K, Kayano M, et al (2021)

Is Salmonella enterica shared between wildlife and cattle in cattle farming areas? An 11-year retrospective study in Tokachi district, Hokkaido, Japan.

Veterinary medicine and science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Salmonella enterica in cattle has long been problematic and suspected to be transmitted by wildlife in Tokachi, Hokkaido, a major cattle farming area in Japan. Understanding the role of wildlife in S. enterica transmission would be helpful for developing control strategies of bovine salmonellosis.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to elucidate the possibility of S. enterica transmission between sympatric wildlife, including raccoons and crows and cattle, in Tokachi from 2008 to 2018 by analysing S. enterica detection records, and the genetic relatedness of serotypes shared between wildlife and cattle.

METHODS: S. enterica detection records were based on the results of a field survey and existing cattle records at relevant organisations, including clinical reports, a monitoring survey and quarantine for introduced calves at growing farms and public calving farms. S. enterica was identified by polymerase chain reaction assay and serotyped by agglutination assay. The detection records were organised chronologically to investigate whether common serotypes in wildlife and cattle were detected in the same year. The isolates corresponding to detection records were assessed for their genetic patterns by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

RESULTS: The prevalence of S. enterica in raccoons and crows was 10.7% (17/159) and 5.7% (55/967), respectively. The following serotypes were detected from both wildlife and cattle: Braenderup, Dublin, Infantis, Mbandaka, Montevideo, 4,[5],12:i:- and Typhimurium. Genetically similar isolates for S. Braenderup, S. Dublin, S. Montevideo and S. 4,[5],12:i:- were detected from both species in the same year.

CONCLUSIONS: Our long-term retrospective observations supported that S. enterica was shared between wildlife and cattle. Wildlife invasions should be controlled at farms to prevent inter-species transmission of S. enterica from livestock farms.

RevDate: 2021-12-08

Baune C, Wolfe LL, Schott KC, et al (2021)

Reduction of Chronic Wasting Disease Prion Seeding Activity following Digestion by Mountain Lions.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible prion disease first observed in the 1960s in North America. This invariably fatal disease affects multiple cervid species in the wild and in captivity. In addition to the several known transmission pathways involving cervid host species, prions have been detected in the feces of crows and coyotes after consumption of experimentally spiked tissues. This raises questions about the role of cervid consumers in the perpetuation of CWD. Mountain lions have been shown to preferentially select CWD-infected prey and are also apparently resistant to infection. In this study, two captive mountain lions were fed ground mule deer muscle tissue spiked with brain-derived CWD prions, and lion feces were collected for 1 week afterward. The input brain and resulting fecal materials were analyzed using the highly sensitive real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay to quantify prion seeding activity. We recovered only 2.8 to 3.9% of input CWD prions after passage through the mountain lions' gastrointestinal tracts. Interestingly, CWD prions were shed only in the first defecation following consumption. Our data support the possibility that mountain lions feeding upon infected carcasses could excrete CWD prions in their feces over a short period of time but also suggest that most of the ingested prions are eliminated or sequestered by this large predator. IMPORTANCE CWD prions appear to spread naturally among susceptible cervid species in captivity and in the wild. A better understanding of all the ways these prions move, persist, and subsequently infect target species through the environment is critical to developing comprehensive disease control strategies. In our study, we show limited, transient pass-through of CWD prions in an apex predator, the mountain lion, using the highly sensitive RT-QuIC assay on feces collected after lions were fed prion-spiked muscle tissue. Prions were detected in feces only in the first defecation after exposure. Moreover, the amount of CWD prions recovered in feces was reduced by >96% after passing through the lion digestive system. This indicates that mountain lions may have some potential to distribute CWD prions within their home ranges but that they also effectively eliminate most of the CWD prions they consume.

RevDate: 2021-12-07

Martin RJ, Martin GK, Roberts WA, et al (2021)

No evidence for future planning in Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis).

Biology letters, 17(12):20210504.

In the past 20 years, research in animal cognition has challenged the belief that complex cognitive processes are uniquely human. At the forefront of these challenges has been research on mental time travel and future planning in jays. We tested whether Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis) demonstrated future planning, using a procedure that has produced evidence of future planning in California scrub-jays. Future planning in this procedure is caching in locations where the bird will predictably experience a lack of food in the future. Canada jays showed no evidence of future planning in this sense and instead cached in the location where food was usually available, opposite to the behaviour described for California scrub-jays. We provide potential explanations for these differing results adding to the recent debates about the role of complex cognition in corvid caching strategies.

RevDate: 2021-12-06

Pendergraft LT, Marzluff JM, Cross DJ, et al (2021)

American Crow Brain Activity in Response to Conspecific Vocalizations Changes When Food Is Present.

Frontiers in physiology, 12:766345.

Social interaction among animals can occur under many contexts, such as during foraging. Our knowledge of the regions within an avian brain associated with social interaction is limited to the regions activated by a single context or sensory modality. We used 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) to examine American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) brain activity in response to conditions associated with communal feeding. Using a paired approach, we exposed crows to either a visual stimulus (the sight of food), an audio stimulus (the sound of conspecifics vocalizing while foraging) or both audio/visual stimuli presented simultaneously and compared to their brain activity in response to a control stimulus (an empty stage). We found two regions, the nucleus taenia of the amygdala (TnA) and a medial portion of the caudal nidopallium, that showed increased activity in response to the multimodal combination of stimuli but not in response to either stimulus when presented unimodally. We also found significantly increased activity in the lateral septum and medially within the nidopallium in response to both the audio-only and the combined audio/visual stimuli. We did not find any differences in activation in response to the visual stimulus by itself. We discuss how these regions may be involved in the processing of multimodal stimuli in the context of social interaction.

RevDate: 2021-12-05

Pavicic T, Pooth R, Prinz V, et al (2021)

Validated 5-point photonumeric scales for the assessment of the periorbital region.

Journal of cosmetic dermatology [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this investigation was to create and validate 5-point photonumeric scales for the assessment of dynamic crow's feet, static crow's feet, and infraorbital hollows.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Three novel 5-point photonumeric scales were created by a medical team. A total of 12 raters from all over the world performed a digital validation, and a total of 5 raters a live validation of the created scale.

RESULTS: The statistical analysis revealed almost perfect intra-rater and inter-rater reliability in the digital validation of the scales for the assessment of static and dynamic crow's feet as well as infraorbital hollows. In the live validation, both crow's feet scales showed almost perfect intra-rater reliability, while the Croma Infraorbital Hollow Assessment Scale showed substantial intra-rater reliability. Inter-rater reliability was substantial for all three scales in the live validation. All three scales, the Croma Dynamic Crow's Feet Assessment Scale, Croma Static Crow's Feet Assessment Scale, and Croma Infraorbital Hollow Assessment Scale, were validated digitally and in a live setting.

CONCLUSION: The created scales to assess infraorbital hollowing, dynamic and static crow's feet have been shown to provide substantial to almost perfect agreement in the digital and live validation and can thus be considered as helpful tools in the clinical and research setting. While technical methods and appliances to assess the degrees of severity of age-dependent features are advancing, validated scales are of great importance due to their ease of use and, as shown by the validations, reliability, and reproducibility.

RevDate: 2021-12-01

Luo Y, Zhang L, Song R, et al (2021)

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

Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part H, Journal of engineering in medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Early detection of lung tumors is so important to heal this disease in the initial steps. Automatic computer-aided detection of this disease is a good method for reducing human mistakes and improving detection precision. The major concept here is to propose the best CAD system for lung tumor detection. In the presented technique, after pre-processing and segmentation of the lung area, its features including different orders of Zernike moments have been extracted. After features extraction, they have been injected into an optimized version of Support Vector Machine (SVM) for final diagnosis. The optimization of the SVM is based on an enhanced design of the Crow Search Algorithm (ECSA). For validating the proposed method, it was applied to three datasets including Lung CT-Diagnosis, TCIA, and RIDER Lung CT collection, and the results are validated by comparing with three state-of-the-art methods including Walwalker method, Mon method, and Naik method to indicate the system superiority toward the compared methods. The system is also analyzed based on different orders of Zernike moment to select the best order. The final results indicate that the suggested method has a suitable accuracy for diagnosing lung cancer.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Juozaitytė-Ngugu E, Švažas S, Šneideris D, et al (2021)

The Role of Birds of the Family Corvidae in Transmitting Sarcocystis Protozoan Parasites.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(11): pii:ani11113258.

Members of the family Corvidae are ecologically flexible omnivorous birds, particularly adaptive to urban habitats, and living in proximity to humans; these birds may serve as definitive hosts (DH) for Sarcocystis spp., but research about this is lacking. In the present study, intestinal samples from 91 corvids collected in Lithuania were molecularly tested by species-specific PCR targeting the ITS1 and cox1 genes and subsequently sequenced for the presence of Sarcocystis spp. Under a light microscope, oocysts of Sarcocystis spp. were observed in 43 samples (47.3%), while molecular methods, detected Sarcocystis spp. in 77 birds (84.6%). Eleven Sarcocystis spp. (S. columbae, S. cornixi, potentially pathogenic S. halieti, S. kutkienae, S. lari, S. turdusi, S. wobeseri, S. arctica, S. lutrae, S. ovalis, and S. oviformis) were identified in the intestinal samples from six corvid species from Lithuania. Infections with multiple Sarcocystis spp. were detected in 79.2% of the infected corvid birds. Three of the identified Sarcocystis spp. use corvids as intermediate hosts (IH); therefore, corvids may serve as IH and DH of the same Sarcocystis species. Based on molecular results and on corvid diet, omnivorous corvids may play an important role in transmitting Sarcocystis spp.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Benmazouz I, Jokimäki J, Lengyel S, et al (2021)

Corvids in Urban Environments: A Systematic Global Literature Review.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(11): pii:ani11113226.

Urbanization is one of the most prevalent drivers of biodiversity loss, yet few taxonomic groups are remarkably successful at adapting to urban environments. We systematically surveyed the global literature on the effects of urbanization on species of family Corvidae (crows, choughs, jackdaws, jays, magpies, nutcrackers, ravens, rooks, treepies) to assess the occurrence of corvids in urban environments and the factors affecting their success. We found a total of 424 primary research articles, and the number of articles has increased exponentially since the 1970s. Most studies were carried out in cities of Europe and North America (45.5% and 31.4%, respectively) and were directed on a single species (75.2). We found that 30 corvid species (23% of 133 total) regularly occur in urban environments. The majority (72%) of the studies reported positive effects of urbanization on corvids, with 85% of studies detecting population increases and 64% of studies detecting higher breeding success with urbanization. Of the factors proposed to explain corvids' success (availability of nesting sites and food sources, low predation and persecution), food availability coupled with diet shifts emerged as the most important factors promoting Corvidae to live in urban settings. The breeding of corvids in urban environments was further associated with earlier nesting, similar or larger clutches, lower hatching but higher fledging success, reduced home range size and limited territoriality, increased tolerance towards humans and increasing frequency of conflicts with humans. Despite geographic and taxonomic biases in our literature sample, our review indicates that corvids show both flexibility in resource use and behavioral plasticity that enable them to exploit novel resources for nesting and feeding. Corvids can thus be urban exploiters of the large-scale modifications of ecosystems caused by urbanization.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Schneider S, Goettlich S, Diercks C, et al (2021)

Discrimination of Acoustic Stimuli and Maintenance of Graded Alarm Call Structure in Captive Meerkats.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(11): pii:ani11113064.

Animals living in human care for several generations face the risk of losing natural behaviors, which can lead to reduced animal welfare. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that meerkats (Suricata suricatta) living in zoos can assess potential danger and respond naturally based on acoustic signals only. This includes that the graded information of urgency in alarm calls as well as a response to those alarm calls is retained in captivity. To test the response to acoustic signals with different threat potential, meerkats were played calls of various animals differing in size and threat (e.g., robin, raven, buzzard, jackal) while their behavior was observed. The emitted alarm calls were recorded and examined for their graded structure on the one hand and played back to them on the other hand by means of a playback experiment to see whether the animals react to their own alarm calls even in the absence of danger. A fuzzy clustering algorithm was used to analyze and classify the alarm calls. Subsequently, the features that best described the graded structure were isolated using the LASSO algorithm and compared to features already known from wild meerkats. The results show that the graded structure is maintained in captivity and can be described by features such as noise and duration. The animals respond to new threats and can distinguish animal calls that are dangerous to them from those that are not, indicating the preservation of natural cooperative behavior. In addition, the playback experiments show that the meerkats respond to their own alarm calls with vigilance and escape behavior. The findings can be used to draw conclusions about the intensity of alertness in captive meerkats and to adapt husbandry conditions to appropriate welfare.

RevDate: 2021-11-23

Leopold SS (2021)

A Conversation with … Jay Nordlinger, the Writer Who Sees Both Sides.

Clinical orthopaedics and related research pii:00003086-990000000-00547 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-11-18

Miller R, Lambert ML, Frohnwieser A, et al (2021)

Socio-ecological correlates of neophobia in corvids.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)01468-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Behavioral responses to novelty, including fear and subsequent avoidance of novel stimuli, i.e., neophobia, determine how animals interact with their environment. Neophobia aids in navigating risk and impacts on adaptability and survival. There is variation within and between individuals and species; however, lack of large-scale, comparative studies critically limits investigation of the socio-ecological drivers of neophobia. In this study, we tested responses to novel objects and food (alongside familiar food) versus a baseline (familiar food alone) in 10 corvid species (241 subjects) across 10 labs worldwide. There were species differences in the latency to touch familiar food in the novel object and novel food conditions relative to the baseline. Four of seven socio-ecological factors influenced object neophobia: (1) use of urban habitat (versus not), (2) territorial pair versus family group sociality, (3) large versus small maximum flock size, and (4) moderate versus specialized caching (whereas range, hunting live animals, and genus did not), while only maximum flock size influenced food neophobia. We found that, overall, individuals were temporally and contextually repeatable (i.e., consistent) in their novelty responses in all conditions, indicating neophobia is a stable behavioral trait. With this study, we have established a network of corvid researchers, demonstrating potential for further collaboration to explore the evolution of cognition in corvids and other bird species. These novel findings enable us, for the first time in corvids, to identify the socio-ecological correlates of neophobia and grant insight into specific elements that drive higher neophobic responses in this avian family group.

RevDate: 2021-11-15

Ling J, Huang X, Jia Y, et al (2021)

The Overexpression of NUC Promotes Development and Increases Resistance to Nitrogen Deficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(21): pii:ijms222111413.

NUTCRACKER (NUC) is a transcription factor expressed in multiple tissues, but little is known about its physiological roles. In this study, we explored the physiological function of NUC with the Arabidopsis knockout, rescue, and overexpression lines. We found that NUC overexpression promoted development at the germination, seedling, and juvenile stages. NUC overexpression increased resistance to nitrogen (N) deficiency stress by increasing the chlorophyll content, suppressing anthocyanin accumulation, and increasing the biomass under N deficiency. In contrast, the absence of NUC did not affect such characteristics. N deficiency significantly increased the expression of NUC in leaves but did not affect the expression of NUC in roots. The overexpression of NUC promoted primary root length under both normal and N deficiency conditions. Furthermore, we found that the N-responsive and lateral-root-related genes TGA1 and NRT2.4 had NUC-binding sites in their promoter regions and that their expression was upregulated by NUC under N deficiency. The overexpression of the NUC increased the number and length of the lateral roots under N deficiency through inducible promotion. Multiple lines of investigation suggest that the regulatory function of the NUC could be bypassed through its redundant MAGPIE (MGP) when the NUC is absent. Our findings provide novel insight into NUC's functions and will assist efforts to improve plants' development and resistance to nutrient stresses.

RevDate: 2021-11-12

See K, Kadonosono T, Miyamoto K, et al (2021)

Antibody-guided design and identification of CD25-binding small antibody mimetics using mammalian cell surface display.

Scientific reports, 11(1):22098.

Small antibody mimetics that contain high-affinity target-binding peptides can be lower cost alternatives to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). We have recently developed a method to create small antibody mimetics called FLuctuation-regulated Affinity Proteins (FLAPs), which consist of a small protein scaffold with a structurally immobilized target-binding peptide. In this study, to further develop this method, we established a novel screening system for FLAPs called monoclonal antibody-guided peptide identification and engineering (MAGPIE), in which a mAb guides selection in two manners. First, antibody-guided design allows construction of a peptide library that is relatively small in size, but sufficient to identify high-affinity binders in a single selection round. Second, in antibody-guided screening, the fluorescently labeled mAb is used to select mammalian cells that display FLAP candidates with high affinity for the target using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. We demonstrate the reliability and efficacy of MAGPIE using daclizumab, a mAb against human interleukin-2 receptor alpha chain (CD25). Three FLAPs identified by MAGPIE bound CD25 with dissociation constants of approximately 30 nM as measured by biolayer interferometry without undergoing affinity maturation. MAGPIE can be broadly adapted to any mAb to develop small antibody mimetics.

RevDate: 2021-11-10

Huang XF, KF Reardon (2021)

Quorum-sensing molecules increase ethanol yield from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

FEMS yeast research pii:6424905 [Epub ahead of print].

One strategy to increase the yield of desired fermentation products is to redirect substrate carbon from biomass synthesis. Non-genetic approaches to alter metabolism may have advantages of general applicability and simple control. The goal of this study was to identify and evaluate chemicals for their ability to inhibit the growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae while allowing ethanol production with higher yields. Eight potential growth-inhibitory chemicals were screened for their ability to reduce cell growth in 24-well plates. Effective chemicals were then evaluated in cultivations to identify those that simultaneously reduced biomass yield and increased ethanol yield. The yeast quorum-sensing molecules 2-phenylethanol, tryptophol, and tyrosol, were found to increase the ethanol yield of S. cerevisiae JAY 270. These molecules were tested with seven other yeast strains and ethanol yields of up to 15% higher were observed. The effects of 2-phenylethanol and tryptophol were also studied in bioreactor fermentations. These findings demonstrate for the first time that the ethanol yield can be improved by adding yeast quorum-sensing molecules to reduce the cell growth of S. cerevisiae, suggesting a strategy to improve the yield of ethanol and other yeast fermentation products by manipulating native biological control systems.

RevDate: 2021-11-09

İremli BG, Şendur SN, U Ünlütürk (2021)

Response Letter to the Editor from Raven: Three Cases of Subacute Thyroiditis Following SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine.

The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism pii:6424406 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-11-09

Raven LM, McCormack AI, JR Greenfield (2021)

Letter to the Editor from Raven: Three Cases of Subacute Thyroiditis Following SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine.

The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism pii:6424404 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-11-09

Korolenkova MV, MS Rakhmanova (2021)

[Phantom root as dental trauma complication in immature teeth (systematic literature and clinical cases review)].

Stomatologiia, 100(5):53-57.

The paper presents literature review and the analysis of three clinical cases of phantom root development. Phantom root is a rare complication occurring as a result of apical papilla detachment, usually after dental trauma. Some authors suggest regenerative endodontic procedure may contribute to phantom root development because of rude intervention in periapical tissues needed to induce apical bleeding required for intracanal blood clot formation. Phantom root is not an indication for endodontic treatment. The prognosis depends on initial root formation stage and root to crow length ratio at the time of trauma. In the majority of cases the teeth may be preserved, but continuous root development is not to be expected.

RevDate: 2021-11-08

Erdogan Bamac O, Cizmecigil UY, Mete A, et al (2021)

Emergence of West Nile Virus Lineage-2 in Resident Corvids in Istanbul, Turkey.

Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) [Epub ahead of print].

West Nile fever is a vector-borne viral disease affecting animals and humans causing significant health and economic problems globally. This study was aimed at investigating circulating West Nile virus (WNV) strains in free-ranging corvids in Istanbul, Turkey. Brain, liver, and kidney were collected from corvids (n = 34) between June 2019 and April 2020 and analyzed for the presence of WNV-specific RNA by quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, histopathologic and immunohistochemical examinations were also performed. Samples found to be positive by qRT-PCR were partially sequenced. WNV-specific RNA was detected in 8 of 34 corvids analyzed, which included 7 hooded crows (Corvus cornix) and 1 Eurasian magpie (Pica pica). Phylogenetic analysis based on partial WNV sequences from the 8 WNV-positive corvids identified in this study revealed that all sequences clustered within the WNV lineage-2; they were at least 97% homologues to WNV lineage-2 sequences from Slovakia, Italy, Czechia, Hungary, Senegal, Austria, Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Germany. WNV sequences showed a divergence (87.94-94.46%) from sequences reported from Romania, Central African Republic, South Africa, Madagascar, Israel, and Cyprus, which clustered into a different clade of WNV lineage-2. Common histopathologic findings of WNV-positive corvids included lymphoplasmacytic hepatitis, myocarditis, and splenitis. The liver and heart were found to be the tissues most consistently positive for WNV-specific antigen by immunohistochemistry, followed by the kidney and brain. This study demonstrates for the first time the existence of WNV virus belonging to the genetic lineage-2 in resident corvids in Istanbul, Turkey. We hypothesize that the WNV strains circulating in Istanbul are possibly the result of a spillover event from Europe. Since WNV is a zoonotic pathogen transmitted by mosquito vectors, the emergence of WNV in Istanbul also poses a risk to humans and other susceptible animals in this densely populated city and needs to be addressed by animal and public health authorities.

RevDate: 2021-11-05

Kas JJ, Vila FD, Pemmaraju CD, et al (2021)

Advanced calculations of X-ray spectroscopies with FEFF10 and Corvus.

Journal of synchrotron radiation, 28(Pt 6):1801-1810.

The real-space Green's function code FEFF has been extensively developed and used for calculations of X-ray and related spectra, including X-ray absorption (XAS), X-ray emission (XES), inelastic X-ray scattering, and electron energy-loss spectra. The code is particularly useful for the analysis and interpretation of the XAS fine-structure (EXAFS) and the near-edge structure (XANES) in materials throughout the periodic table. Nevertheless, many applications, such as non-equilibrium systems, and the analysis of ultra-fast pump-probe experiments, require extensions of the code including finite-temperature and auxiliary calculations of structure and vibrational properties. To enable these extensions, we have developed in tandem a new version FEFF10 and new FEFF-based workflows for the Corvus workflow manager, which allow users to easily augment the capabilities of FEFF10 via auxiliary codes. This coupling facilitates simplified input and automated calculations of spectra based on advanced theoretical techniques. The approach is illustrated with examples of high-temperature behavior, vibrational properties, many-body excitations in XAS, super-heavy materials, and fits of calculated spectra to experiment.

RevDate: 2021-11-02

Séguin K, Durand-Guévin A, Lavallée C, et al (2021)

The taphonomic impact of scavenger guilds in southern Quebec during summer and fall in two distinct habitats.

Journal of forensic sciences [Epub ahead of print].

Decomposition of human remains is a complex process impacted by many intrinsic and extrinsic factors. A less-studied extrinsic factor in forensic taphonomy are the scavengers that consume soft and hard tissue. Scavengers physically degrade and remove soft tissue, disperse, and destroy skeletal elements, which can make locating remains challenging. While invertebrate activity has been largely investigated, there is limited quantitative data available on vertebrate activity, particularly in Canada. This study aimed to determine which species (vertebrate and invertebrate) belong to the scavenger guilds in southern Quebec, and their potential taphonomic impact on the decomposition process. Two independent trials were conducted in 2020 using pig carcasses: one during summer in a forest habitat and one during fall in a grassland habitat. Each carcass was placed a minimum 100 m apart in semi-rural land. Vertebrate scavenger activity was recorded by continuous surveillance using trail cameras. Carcasses were also regularly visited to monitor the decomposition process and the activity of invertebrate scavengers. Overall, the vertebrate scavenger guilds included a narrow range of corvids, turkey vultures, coyotes, and skunks. The intensity of vertebrate scavengers was greater in the grassland habitat (fall), while the intensity of invertebrate scavengers was greater in the forest habitat (summer). With the exception of invertebrate scavengers, very few species visited during the fresh stage of decomposition, and the probability of body displacement increased as decomposition progressed. These results identify which scavengers have the greatest taphonomic impact and highlight the importance of incorporating scavenger impact when searching for human remains.

RevDate: 2021-10-27

Wascher CAF, Allen K, G Szipl (2021)

Learning and motor inhibitory control in crows and domestic chickens.

Royal Society open science, 8(10):210504 pii:rsos210504.

Cognitive abilities allow animals to navigate through complex, fluctuating environments. In the present study, we tested the performance of a captive group of eight crows, Corvus corone and 10 domestic chickens, Gallus gallus domesticus, in the cylinder task, as a test of motor inhibitory control and reversal learning as a measure of learning ability and behavioural flexibility. Four crows and nine chickens completed the cylinder task, eight crows and six chickens completed the reversal learning experiment. Crows performed better in the cylinder task compared with chickens. In the reversal learning experiment, species did not significantly differ in the number of trials until the learning criterion was reached. The performance in the reversal learning experiment did not correlate with performance in the cylinder task in chickens. Our results suggest crows to possess better motor inhibitory control compared with chickens. By contrast, learning performance in a reversal learning task did not differ between the species, indicating similar levels of behavioural flexibility. Interestingly, we describe notable individual differences in performance. We stress the importance not only to compare cognitive performance between species but also between individuals of the same species when investigating the evolution of cognitive skills.

RevDate: 2021-10-25

Metzler D, Knief U, V Penalba J, et al (2021)

Assortative mating and epistatic mating-trait architecture induce complex movement of the crow hybrid zone.

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

Hybrid zones provide a window into the evolutionary processes governing species divergence. Yet, the contribution of mate choice to the temporal and spatial stability of hybrid zones remains poorly explored. Here, we investigate the effects of assortative mating on hybrid zone dynamics by means of a mathematical model parameterized with phenotype and genotype data from the hybrid zone between all-black carrion and grey-coated hooded crows. In the best-fit model, narrow clines of the two mating-trait loci were maintained by a moderate degree of assortative mating inducing pre- and post-zygotic isolation via positive frequency-dependent selection. Epistasis between the two loci induced hybrid-zone movement in favor of alleles conveying dark plumage followed by a shift in the opposite direction favouring grey-coated phenotypes 1,200 generations after secondary contact. Unlinked neutral loci diffused near-unimpeded across the zone. These results were generally robust to the choice of matching rule (self-referencing or parental imprinting) and effects of genetic drift. Overall, this study illustrates under which conditions assortative mating can maintain steep clines in mating-trait loci without generalizing to genome-wide reproductive isolation. It further emphasizes the importance of mating-trait architecture for spatio-temporal hybrid-zone dynamics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-10-25

Cardon N (2021)

Cycling on the Color Line: Race, Technology, and Bicycle Mobilities in the Early Jim Crow South, 1887-1905.

Technology and culture, 62(4):973-1002.

The safety bicycle arrived in the U.S. South in the middle of a transition from relative African American freedom following the Civil War to a reassertion of white hegemony in the region. This article examines how white and African American southerners interpreted the meanings and practices of the safety bicycle through a contingent spatial and mobility politics found at the intersection of race and technology. For African Americans, the bicycle was both a symbolic and real opportunity to express modern freedoms at the moment those freedoms were being curtailed. The South, however, was not the only region of the world where the politics of race shaped bicycle mobilities, and this article points to the ways the southern experience of bicycle technology mirrors but does not necessarily replicate places beyond the United States.

RevDate: 2021-10-22

Zeiträg C, I Jacobs (2021)

The elusive perspective of a food thief.

eLife, 10: pii:74048.

Eurasian jays fail to take into account the point of view and desire of other jays when hiding food they can eat later.

RevDate: 2021-10-22

Zhao W (2021)

A forum on synthetic biology: meet the great challenges with new technology.

National science review, 8(1):nwaa252 pii:nwaa252.

Synthetic biology aims to redesign and reconstruct living systems for understanding life or for useful real-world applications. In the past two decades, scientists have been able to use engineered living systems to produce many kinds of products from bioplastics to drugs, to construct a minimal bacterium with a fully synthetic genome and to store huge amount of information within a cell. And in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world, the synthetic biology community became one of the major forces to develop effective diagnostic approaches as well as the drugs and vaccines, to rapidly cope with this great challenge with the state-of-the-art technologies in their hands. In this panel discussion held on 3rd August 2020, eleven pioneering synthetic biologists from six countries across four continents gathered to discuss the development trend, challenges and biosafety issues concerning synthetic biology. George Church Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and MIT, USA Paul Freemont Professor of Structural Biology in the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College and a member of the Science Advisory Board of Tierra Biosciences, UK Akihiko Kondo Professor in School of Science, Technology and Innovation, and Department of Chemical Science and Engineering at Kobe University, Japan Christina Smolke Professor of Bioengineering and of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University and CEO of Antheia Inc., USA Xian-En Zhang Professor at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Chenli Liu (Chair) Professor and Director of Shenzhen Institute of Synthetic Biology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Jim Collins Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, USA Jay Keasling Professor of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, USA Sang Yup Lee Dean of KAIST Institutes and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea Claudia Vickers Director of the Future Science Platform in Synthetic Biology at Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia Guoping Zhao Professor at the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Molin N, Wang N, G Isaacson (2021)

A Novel Adenoidectomy Training System.

The Laryngoscope [Epub ahead of print].

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

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective experimental study.

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

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

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

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 Laryngoscope, 2021.

RevDate: 2021-10-18

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-10-16

Nieder A (2021)

Consciousness without cortex.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-10-15

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

Resistance evolution, from genetic mechanism to ecological context.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-10-14

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-10-13

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-10-12

Tomita K (2021)

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

Die Naturwissenschaften, 108(6):52.

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

RevDate: 2021-10-07

Delamater AR, EA Wasserman (2021)

Comparative cognition-Conceptual and methodological advancements.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-10-07

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-10-06

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

Temporal patterns of wildlife roadkill in the UK.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-10-04

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-10-01

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-30

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-28

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-24

Jaffe RJ, C Constantinidis (2021)

Working Memory: From Neural Activity to the Sentient Mind.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-23

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-22

Cowan ES, Dill LJ, S Sutton (2021)

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

Health promotion practice [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-17

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-17

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

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

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-16

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-15

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

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

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

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

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

Haslam SA (2021)

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

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

[Figure: see text].

RevDate: 2021-09-10

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-23

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-23

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-30

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

Three Novel Avastroviruses Identified in Dead Wild Crows.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

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

Jays are sensitive to cognitive illusions.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Stokes HS, Berg ML, ATD Bennett (2021)

A Review of Chlamydial Infections in Wild Birds.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-31

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-25

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

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

Sleep pii:6357668 [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-24

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

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

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

Lane R (2021)

Ollie Jay: managing heat, improving health.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-23

Tempero M (2021)

Something to Crow About!.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-21

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

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

Neural computing & applications [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-08-16

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-14

Wang H, JJ Parris (2021)

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

PloS one, 16(8):e0255610.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-12

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-11

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

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

Cureus, 13(7):e16110.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-18

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

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

Viruses, 13(7):.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-20

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

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

Behavioural brain research, 414:113513.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Schelly D (2021)

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Sarker S, Bowden TR, DB Boyle (2021)

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

Virology, 562:121-127.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-10

Berry OO (2021)

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

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

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Khosravi M, Seifi S, Z Tazeh (2021)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Roberts WA (2021)

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

Learning & behavior [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-07-17

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

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

Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, 9:676894.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-07

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

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

Journal of applied microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

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

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

Breen AJ (2021)

Animal culture research should include avian nest construction.

Biology letters, 17(7):20210327.

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

RevDate: 2021-07-29

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

DNA barcoding identifies cryptic animal tool materials.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-07-10

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-07-22

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

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

PloS one, 16(7):e0253985.

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

RevDate: 2021-07-09

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

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

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-25

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

Haemoproteosis and avian malaria in Columbidae and Corvidae from Iran.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-07-09

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-07-06

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

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

SSM - population health, 15:100852.

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

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

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

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


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 )