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Ichthyosporean parasites (order Dermocystida) can cause morbidity and mortality in amphibians, but their ecology and epidemiology remain understudied. We investigated the prevalence, gross and histologic appearance, and molecular phylogeny of a novel dermocystid in the state-endangered silvery salamander (Ambystoma platineum) and the co-occurring, non-threatened small-mouthed salamander (Ambystoma texanum) from Illinois. Silvery salamanders (N = 610) were sampled at six ephemeral wetlands from 2016 to 2018. Beginning in 2017, 1–3 mm raised, white skin nodules were identified in 24 silvery salamanders and two small-mouthed salamanders from five wetlands (prevalence = 0–11.1%). Skin biopsy histology (N = 4) was consistent with dermocystid sporangia, and necropsies (N = 3) identified infrequent hepatic sporangia. Parasitic 18S rRNA sequences (N = 5) from both salamander species were identical, and phylogenetic analysis revealed a close relationship to Dermotheca viridescens. Dermocystids were not identified in museum specimens from the same wetlands (N = 125) dating back to 1973. This is the first report of Dermotheca sp. affecting caudates in the Midwestern United States. Future research is needed to determine the effects of this pathogen on individual and population health, and to assess whether this organism poses a threat to the conservation of ambystomatid salamanders.
Organizations all over the world, both national and international, gather demographic data so that the progress of nations and peoples can be tracked. This data is often made available to the public in the form of aggregated national level data or individual responses (microdata). Product designers likewise conduct surveys to better understand their customer and create personas. Personas are archetypes of the individuals who will use, maintain, sell or otherwise be affected by the products created by designers. Personas help designers better understand the person the product is designed for. Unfortunately, the process of collecting customer information and creating personas is often a slow and expensive process. In this paper, we introduce a new method of creating personas, leveraging publicly available databanks of both aggregated national level and information on individuals in the population. A computational persona generator is introduced that creates a population of personas that mirrors a real population in terms of size and statistics. Realistic individual personas are filtered from this population for use in product development.
We use experimental methods to investigate subsidy incidence, the transfer of subsidy payments from intended recipients to other economic agents, in privately negotiated spot markets. Our results show that market outcomes in treatments with a subsidy given to either buyers or sellers are significantly different from both a no-subsidy treatment and the competitive prediction of a 50% subsidy incidence. The disparity in incidence across treatments relative to predicted levels suggests that incidence equivalence does not hold in this market setting. Moreover, we find no statistical difference in market outcomes when benefits are framed as a “subsidy” versus a schedule shift.
In this commentary on Borsboom et al.’s target article, we argue that researchers should be aware of the historical development of models in neuroscience. Considering the importance of causality in anatomo-clinical approach and stressing the complexity of mental phenomenon, we provide new insight on reductionism and representation limitation.
The importance of emblem glyphs to Maya studies has long been recognized. Among these are emblems that have yet to be conclusively matched to archaeological sites. The Water Scroll emblem glyph is one such example, although it appears numerous times in the Classic Maya written corpus between the sixth and the eighth centuries. These many references are found at a variety of sites across the lowlands, attesting to the importance of this ancient kingdom and the kings who carried this title. In the present paper, we review the epigraphic and archaeological evidence and propose that this may be the royal title of the kings who reigned from Altun Ha, in the east central Maya lowlands, in what is now Belize. In so doing, we also begin to reconstruct the dynastic history of the Water Scroll kings, from the vantage of both local and foreign sources.
For over a century, scholars have traced higher levels of serious crime in minority compared to White neighborhoods to stark socioeconomic inequality. Yet, this research is largely cross-sectional and does not assess how ethnoracial differences in crime patterns evolve over time in response to shifting structural conditions. The new century witnessed substantial changes to the circumstances that undergird the ethnoracial divide in neighborhood crime as well as a national crime decline. How are the changing dynamics of urban inequality reinforcing or diminishing racial and ethnic disparities in neighborhood crime in the context of the “Great American Crime Decline”? We address this question by first identifying distinct paths of violent and property crime change between 1999 and 2013 for almost 2700 neighborhoods across eighteen cities. We then assess how initial and changing levels of disadvantage, housing instability, and demographics explain divergent crime trajectories within neighborhoods. We find that most neighborhoods have lower levels of homicide and burglary than fifteen years ago. However, homicide and burglary increased in some neighborhoods, and this trend is largely limited to Black neighborhoods. Disadvantage and the housing crisis are critical in accounting for the heightened risk of neighborhoods having increasing rather than decreasing crime trends. In contrast, immigration is linked with declining and stable trends in violent and property crime. Overall, results indicate a widening of the racial-spatial divide for the most marginalized communities in the United States.
Emerging genetic, ex-vivo, and clinical trial evidence indicates that calcium channel blockers (CCB) can improve mood and cognitive function. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) therapy augmented with CCB on depression and cognitive decline in an elderly population with hypertension.
Prospective study of 296 persons treated with SSRI and antihypertensive drugs. Baseline and two year clinic assessments were used to categorize participants as users of SSRI + CCB (n = 53) or users of SSRI + other antihypertensives (n = 243). Clinic visits were performed up to four times in a ten-year period to assess depression and cognitive function.
The sample mean age was 75.2 ± 5.47 years and 78% of participants were female. At two year follow-up there was a significant group by time interaction showing lower Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CESD) scores in the SSRI + CCB group, F(1,291) = 4.13, p = 0.043, η2p = 0.014. Over ten-years follow-up, SSRI + CCB use was associated with improved general cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination: β = 0.97; 95% CI 0.14 to 1.81, p = 0.023) and immediate visual memory (Boston Visual Retention Test: β = 0.69; 95% CI 0.06 to 1.32, p = 0.033).
The findings provide general population evidence that SSRI augmentation with CCB may improve depression and cognitive function.