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With heart-shaped face, buff back and wings, and pure white underparts, the barn owl is a distinctive and much-loved bird which has fascinated people from many cultures throughout history. How did the barn owl colonise the world? What adaptations have made this bird so successful? How is the increasing impact of human disturbance affecting these animals? Answering these questions and more, Roulin brings together the main global perspectives on the evolution, ecology and behaviour of the barn owl and its relatives, discussing topics such as the high reproductive potential, physiology, social and family interaction, pronounced colour variation and global distribution. Accessible and beautifully illustrated, this definitive volume on the barn owl is for researchers, professionals and graduate students in ornithology, animal behaviour, ecology, conservation biology and evolutionary biology, and will also appeal to amateur ornithologists and nature lovers.
Bergson was a pre-eminent European philosopher of the early twentieth century and his work covers all major branches of philosophy. This volume of essays is the first collection in twenty years in English to address the whole of Bergson's philosophy, including his metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of life, aesthetics, ethics, social and political thought, and religion. The essays explore Bergson's influence on a number of different fields, and also extend his thought to pressing issues of our time, including philosophy as a way of life, inclusion and exclusion in politics, ecology, the philosophy of race and discrimination, and religion and its enduring appeal. The volume will be valuable for all who are interested in this important thinker and his continuing relevance.
Western Europe is often used as the basis from which to understand the Aurignacian of other regions. For some there is good inter-regional chronocultural agreement, whereas others see significant difference. One region frequently argued to differ is the Swabian Jura (southern Germany). In a recent contribution to this issue Bataille and Conard (2018) describe the Aurignacian assemblage from Layer IV of Hohle Fels. They convincingly outline important similarities with the Western European Late Aurignacian. However, they also argue that it is older than, and different from, the most comparable Western European assemblages, and therefore that it contradicts an Aurignacian chronocultural framework built on Western European evidence. Here we assess this claim, focusing on the sites used by Bataille and Conard in their comparison. Radiocarbon dates for Hohle Fels IV of 33–30,000 uncal bp are no older than dates for Western European Late Aurignacian assemblages. Most of the features of Hohle Fels IV argued to demonstrate its dissimilarity are, in fact, evident in the Western European Late Aurignacian. One potential difference is the reported absence from Hohle Fels IV of microblades with inverse/alternate retouch. However, due to the near absence of laterally retouched microblades and uncertainty over whether the fine fraction has been searched we doubt the significance of this observation. Other recent publications have similarly suggested that the Western European chronocultural model is incompatible with other regions. In light of this we consider Eastern Europe. Despite some difference, reliable data point to the pene-contemporaneity of characteristic bladelet/microblade technologies between the two regions, a pattern that stratigraphies from sites across Europe are also consistent with. The biggest complicating factor is radiocarbon dating, which has created a culturally complex picture that is inconsistent with all chronostratigraphic data. We therefore offer some thoughts as to the use of radiocarbon dates for this period. Despite ongoing problems dates are still frequently presented with an unwarranted confidence in their accuracy. Their presentation should instead explicitly acknowledge the method’s fallibility and its inferiority to more reliable evidence such as chronostratigraphic patterning and tephra. When radiocarbon dates contradict a consistent chronostratigraphic picture the burden of proof falls to those arguing the dates’ veracity. In these cases, the reasons for the discrepancy between the radiocarbon and chronostratigraphic records require exploration.
The population dynamics of shrimp Pleoticus muelleri was used as a model to verify if the trend of continuous reproduction periodicity, shorter body size and longevity, and early sexual maturity found in tropical regions is corroborated in upwelling regions. Shrimps were sampled in a region under the influence of upwelling (northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil). Characteristics of bottom water were registered, and shrimps were measured (carapace length – CL) and classified by sex and gonadal development stages. Reproduction was seasonal, from September to December, and favoured by water mass intrusions of low temperatures and high chlorophyll concentrations. The greatest number of reproductive females preceded periods with the highest chlorophyll concentrations in the water column (cross-correlation; P < 0.05, lag (month) = −3, r = 0.50), suggesting greater developmental success of larval stage due to increase of food availability. Von Bertalanffy growth models resulted in asymptotic carapace length estimates of CL∞ = 40.21 mm and CL∞ = 36.78 mm for females and males, respectively. The reproductive and growth characteristics of the P. muelleri population studied herein were similar to that of populations from higher latitudes, demonstrating that the latitudinal pattern rule cannot be applied in regions influenced by an upwelling phenomenon.
The aim of this study was to compare the effects of cowpea green manure and inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizers on yields of winter wheat and soil emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O). The comparisons included cowpea grown solely as green manure where all biomass was terminated at maturity by tillage, summer fallow treatments with 90 kg N ha−1 as urea (90-N), and no fertilization (control) at planting of winter wheat. Fluxes of N2O were measured by closed chamber methods after soil incorporation of cowpea in autumn (October–November) and harvesting of winter wheat in summer (June–August). Growth and yields of winter wheat and N concentrations in grain and straw were also measured. Cowpea produced 9.5 Mg ha−1 shoot biomass with 253 kg N ha−1 at termination. Although soil moisture was favorable for denitrification after soil incorporation of cowpea biomass, low concentrations of soil mineral N restricted emissions of N2O from cowpea treatment. However, increased concentrations of soil mineral N and large rainfall-induced emissions were recorded from the cowpea treatment during summer. Growth of winter wheat, yield, and grain N concentrations were lowest in response to cowpea treatment and highest in 90-N treatment. In conclusion, late terminated cowpea may reduce yield of winter wheat and increase emissions of N2O outside of wheat growing seasons due to poor synchronization of N mineralization from cowpea biomass with N-demand of winter wheat.
The characterization of proteome and peptidome of adolescent mothers’ breast milk brings important information to both mother’s and infant’s health; however, it has not been investigated. Bioactive peptides derived from milk proteins have numerous functions. The bioactivity of breast milk peptides includes anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities and regulation of gastrointestinal function. We aimed to characterize the proteome and peptidome of mature breast milk of adolescent mothers and investigate whether it is affected by lactational period. We used a combination of electrophoretic and nLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS techniques, and bioinformatics to explore the proteome of human skim milk expressed by lactating adolescents in two groups according to postpartum period (up to three, and over five weeks postpartum). This is the first study that analyzed the proteome of adolescent mothers’ breast milk, produced during two periods of lactation using 1D-electrophoresis combined with nLC-Q-TOF-MS/MS analysis. Our results showed that the protein composition of adolescent milk varies independently of lactation stage and showed high inter-individual variation. Four hundred and twenty-four proteins were identified in skim milk, of which 137 proteins were common to both groups. Most of the peptides found in adolescents’ breast milk were not derived from major proteins in milk. Association maps showed several interactions between groups of peptides that pointed to the relevance of breast milk peptides to neonatal defensive system.
Lipid residue analysis has recently been applied to investigate the adoption of pottery by Early Woodland hunter-gatherers in north-eastern North America. Results, however, have proven contradictory, especially regarding the extent to which early ceramics were used for processing aquatic resources. Here, the authors argue that this inconsistency is due to the use of different analytical procedures and criteria for identifying aquatic organisms, rather than any actual variations in pottery use. By applying robust analytical criteria and methods to Early Woodland pottery from the Great Lakes region, the authors present evidence supporting their hypothesis that such pottery was indeed used for processing aquatic resources.
The estimation of origination and extinction rates and their temporal variation is central to understanding diversity patterns and the evolutionary history of clades. The fossil record provides the only direct evidence of extinction and biodiversity changes through time and has long been used to infer the dynamics of diversity changes in deep time. The software PyRate implements a Bayesian framework to analyze fossil occurrence data to estimate the rates of preservation, origination, and extinction while incorporating several sources of uncertainty. Building upon this framework, we present a suite of methodological advances including more complex and realistic models of preservation and the first likelihood-based test to compare the fit across different models. Further, we develop a new reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm to estimate origination and extinction rates and their temporal variation, which provides more reliable results and includes an explicit estimation of the number and temporal placement of statistically significant rate changes. Finally, we implement a new C++ library that speeds up the analyses by orders of magnitude, therefore facilitating the application of the PyRate methods to large data sets. We demonstrate the new functionalities through extensive simulations and with the analysis of a large data set of Cenozoic marine mammals. We compare our analytical framework against two widely used alternative methods to infer origination and extinction rates, revealing that PyRate decisively outperforms them across a range of simulated data sets. Our analyses indicate that explicit statistical model testing, which is often neglected in fossil-based macroevolutionary analyses, is crucial to obtain accurate and robust results.
This study reports the effects of a high-fat (HF) diet on the iron (Fe) status of growing rats over 8 weeks. Tissue Fe levels were analysed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and whole-body adiposity was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Histopathology and morphometry of adipose tissue were performed. Liver homogenates were used for measuring ferroportin (Fpn)-1 protein levels by immunoblotting, and transcript levels were used for Fe genes measured by real-time PCR. Tissue Fe pools were fit to a compartmental biokinetic model in which Fe was assessed using 14 compartments and 27 transfer constants (kj,i from tissue “i” to tissue “j”) adapted from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) 69. Ten kj,i were calculated from the experimental data using nonlinear regression, and 17 were estimated by allometry according to the formula kj,i = a · Mb. Validation of the model was carried out by comparing predicted and analysed Fe pool sizes in red blood cells (RBCs), the liver and the spleen. Body adiposity was negatively associated with serum Fe levels and positively associated with liver Fe stores. An inferred increase in Fe transfer from bone marrow to the liver paralleled higher hepatic Fe concentrations and ferritin heavy-chain mRNA levels in the HF diet-fed animals, suggesting that liver Fe accumulation occurred at least in part due to a favoured liver RBC uptake. If this feeding condition were to be prolonged, impaired Fe decompartmentalization may occur, ultimately resulting in dysmetabolic Fe overload.
Decision-making (DM) is a component of executive functioning. DM is essential to make proper decisions regarding important life and health issues. DM can be impaired in cognitive disorders among older adults, but current literature is scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the DM profile in participants with and without cognitive impairment.
Cross-sectional analysis of a cohort study on cognitive aging.
143 older adults.
University-based memory clinic.
Patients comprised three groups after inclusion and exclusion criteria: healthy controls (n=29), mild cognitive impairment (n=81) and dementia (n=33). Participants were evaluated using an extensive neuropsychological protocol. DM profile was evaluated by the Melbourne Decision Making Questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression was used to evaluate associations between age, sex, educational level, estimated intelligence quotient (IQ), cognitive disorders, depressive or anxiety symptoms, and the DM profiles.
The most prevalent DM profile was the vigilant type, having a prevalence of 64.3%. The vigilant profile also predominated in all three groups. The multinomial logistic regression showed that the avoidance profile (i.e. buck-passing) was associated with a greater presence of dementia (p=0.046) and depressive symptoms (p=0.024), but with less anxious symptoms (p=0.047). The procrastination profile was also associated with depressive symptoms (p=0.048). Finally, the hypervigilant profile was associated with a lower pre-morbid IQ (p=0.007).
Older adults with cognitive impairment tended to make more unfavorable choices and have a more dysfunctional DM profile compared to healthy elders.
We compare the efficiency of mechanical or enzymatic methods, and their combination, for the isolation of ovarian preantral follicles (PFs) from collared peccaries. The ovaries from six females were subjected to the different methods investigated here. For the enzymatic method, ovary fragments were exposed to collagenase type IV in TCM-HEPES medium; the mechanical procedure was based on ovarian cortex dissociation by using a scalpel blade. The residual solution obtained after the mechanical isolation was subjected to the enzymatic procedure. The number of isolated PFs was quantified and classified as primordial, primary, or secondary; their viability was assessed using trypan blue dye assay. To confirm the results, PFs derived from the most efficient method were evaluated for integrity using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and subjected to a 24 h in vitro culture for subsequent evaluation of viability by using fluorescent probes. A higher number of PFs (P < 0.05) was obtained from the enzymatic method (961.7 ± 132.9) in comparison with the mechanical method (434.3 ± 88.9), but no difference was observed between the two methods and their combination (743.2 ± 92.8). The trypan blue assay showed that the enzymatic method (98.7 ± 0.6%) provided the highest percentage of viable follicles (P < 0.05). Furthermore, SEM confirmed the ultrastructural integrity of the surface architecture of peccary PFs isolated by the enzymatic procedure; epifluorescence microscopy was used to confirm their viability (86.0%). In conclusion, we suggest that the enzymatic method investigated here is useful for the isolation of viable ovarian PFs from collared peccaries.
The savannah enclaves (i.e. patches) in the southern Brazilian Amazonia are among the most threatened and poorly surveyed sites in Amazonia. As part of an extensive mammal survey, we set camera traps in three of these savannah enclaves. We obtained 23 independent records of pampas deer Ozotoceros bezoarticus, a medium sized Neotropical cervid that is strongly associated with open habitats and categorized as Vulnerable on the Brazilian Red List of threatened species. These savannah enclaves with confirmed populations of pampas deer lie outside the species’ previously presumed historical range and are at least 350 km from any known extant population. Together, these savannah enclaves add c. 4,000 km2 to the pampas deer's currently known range. The small pampas deer populations in these enclaves are probably isolated by a matrix of Amazon forest, raising questions about spatial genetic structure and meta-population dynamics, and making them vulnerable to local extinction. We highlight the need for further studies, particularly genetic, to assess the conservation status of these populations, the results of which could potentially inform management decisions in other areas of the heavily fragmented range of this species.
The aim of this work was to use X-ray diffraction to identify substances used for adulteration of raw milk and to determine if crystallographic analysis can detect extraneous substances in milk. Two unknown substances were sent anonymously by employers linked to the dairy chain, who claimed that they were added directly in milk prior to water addition by truck drivers. The samples were analyzed by X-ray diffraction and submitted to physicochemical analysis. The first substance was identified by X-ray diffraction as sodium citrate, complying with its physicochemical attributes, such as the powerful ability to decrease the freezing point. The second substance was identified by X-ray diffraction as sucrose and this result was also in agreement with its ability to increase the density, decrease the freezing point and finally, to be positive for sucrose in the resorcinol qualitative test. To evaluate if X-ray diffraction can detect extraneous substances already mixed in milk, fresh raw milk samples tampered with urea, sodium hydroxide, sodium citrate and sucrose were freeze dried and analyzed by X-ray diffraction, with no detection of any extraneous substances at any percentage. This is the first report of attempted diagnosis of extraneous substances in milk by X-ray diffraction. However, this technique can be useful only when applied to identify substances used for adulteration prior to its dilution in milk, since the amorphous nature of milk seems to be a limitation for the accurate detection of extraneous substances.
This chapter analyses the various impacts international human rights law has on international criminal law. Through a careful analysis of the most emblematic cases of this interplay – from the case law of the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda to the International Criminal Court, it shows that judicial application and interpretation of the Statutes of International Criminal Tribunals and Courts in light of human rights law had a systemic effect on international law. In particular, it formal as well as conceptual legal borrowing from IHRL has led to new interpretations of existing international criminal law; imposed procedural and substantive obligations onto the international criminal tribunals and courts; served as a gap-filler; and qualified existing law. In light of the contextual nuances of international criminal justice, the paper argues that many of the cases demonstrating the systemic effect of IHRL on ICL are not coherent applications of the principle of systemic integration.
This study assessed whether S-100β protein could be measured in urine when detectable in plasma after a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Clinical data, plasma and urine samples were collected for the 46 adult patients prospectively enrolled in the emergency department (ED) of a Level 1 trauma center. S-100β protein concentrations were analysed using ELISA. S-100β protein was detectable in 91% and 71% of plasma and urine samples, but values were not correlated (r = 0.002). Urine sampling would have been a non-invasive procedure, but it does not appear to be useful in the ED during the acute phase after an mTBI.