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Despite the global significance of the Leach’s Storm-petrel Hydrobates leucorhous colony on Baccalieu Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, the estimate of 3.36 million breeding pairs reported for 1984 by Sklepkovych and Montevecchi stands as the single published population estimate for the world’s largest colony. This study increases knowledge of this population by analysing data from additional independent surveys conducted in 1984 and 1985, and by updating the population status with a survey conducted in 2013. Population estimates were derived by extrapolating occupied burrow densities to the estimated occupied area of four main habitat types (heath, forest, grass and fern), which in turn were based on proportions of habitats observed in plots (1984 and 1985) or by using a Geographic Information System approach (2013). Based on these surveys, the Leach’s Storm-petrel breeding population size on Baccalieu Island was estimated at 5.12 ± 0.73 (SE) and 4.60 ± 0.42 (SE) million pairs in 1984 and 1985 respectively, representing estimates 37–51% greater than the original 1984 survey. While discrepancies among these estimates were largely driven by the way occupied areas were estimated, our study confirms that Baccalieu Island hosts the largest Leach’s Storm-petrel colony in the world. Results from the 2013 survey estimate the current breeding Leach’s Storm-petrel population at 1.95 ± 0.14 (SE) million pairs, representing a 42% decline over 29 years (-1.4% per year), relative to the original published estimate of 3.36 ± 0.12 (SE) million pairs. The most prominent change has occurred in the density of storm-petrel burrows found in forest habitat which dropped by 70% despite forest remaining the second most abundant habitat available to nesting storm-petrels on Baccalieu Island. The cause of this decline remains unknown and is likely multi-faceted. Future research focusing on demographic studies is required to understand what is driving the population decline of this internationally important colony.
Negative interactions between people and large carnivores are common and will probably increase as the human population and livestock production continue to expand. Livestock predation by wild carnivores can significantly affect the livelihoods of farmers, resulting in retaliatory killings and subsequent conflicts between local communities and conservationists. A better understanding of livestock predation patterns could help guide measures to improve both human relationships and coexistence with carnivores. Environmental variables can influence the intensity of livestock predation, are relatively easy to monitor, and could potentially provide a useful predictive framework for targeting mitigation. We chose lion predation of livestock as a model to test whether variations in environmental conditions trigger changes in predation. Analysing 6 years of incident reports for Pandamatenga village in Botswana, an area of high human–lion conflict, we used generalized linear models to show that significantly more attacks coincided with lower moonlight levels and temperatures, and attack severity increased significantly with extreme minimum temperatures. Furthermore, we found a delayed effect of rainfall: lower rainfall was followed by a significantly increased severity of attacks in the following month. Our results suggest that preventative measures, such as introducing deterrents or changing livestock management, could be implemented adaptively based on environmental conditions. This could be a starting point for investigating similar effects in other large carnivores, to reduce livestock attacks and work towards wider human–wildlife coexistence.
This pilot study explored the feasibility of a moderate time-restricted feeding (TRF) intervention and its effects on adiposity and metabolism. For 10 weeks, a free-living TRF group delayed breakfast and advanced dinner by 1·5 h each. Changes in dietary intake, adiposity and fasting biochemistry (glucose, insulin, lipids) were compared with controls who maintained habitual feeding patterns. Thirteen participants (29 (sem 2) kg/m2) completed the study. The average daily feeding interval was successfully reduced in the TRF group (743 (sem 32) to 517 (sem 22) min/d; P < 0·001; n 7), although questionnaire responses indicated that social eating/drinking opportunities were negatively impacted. TRF participants reduced total daily energy intake (P = 0·019) despite ad libitum food access, with accompanying reductions in adiposity (P = 0·047). There were significant between-group differences in fasting glucose (P = 0·008), albeit driven primarily by an increase among controls. Larger studies can now be designed/powered, based on these novel preliminary qualitative and quantitative data, to ascertain and maximise the long-term sustainability of TRF.
Background: To determine whether exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) in CSF of patients with FTD can serve as diagnostic biomarkers, we assessed miRNA expression in the Genetic FTD Initiative (GENFI) cohort and in sporadic FTD. Methods: GENFI participants were either carriers of a pathogenic mutation or at risk of carrying a mutation because a first-degree relative was a symptomatic mutation carrier. Exosomes were isolated from CSF of 23 -pre-symptomatic and 15 symptomatic mutation carriers, and 11 healthy non-mutation carriers. Expression of miRNAs was measured using qPCR arrays. MiRNAs differentially expressed in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers were evaluated in 17 patients with sporadic FTD, 13 patients with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and 10 healthy controls (HCs). Results: In the GENFI cohort, miR-204-5p and miR-632 were significantly decreased in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers. Decrease of miR-204-5p and miR-632 revealed receiver operator characteristics with an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.79-0.98] and 0.81 [90% CI: 0.68-0.93], and when combined an area of 0.93 [90% CI: 0.87-0.99]. In sporadic FTD, only miR-632 was significantly decreased compared to sporadic AD and HCs. Decrease of miR-632 revealed an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.80-0.98]. Conclusions: Exosomal miR-204-5p and miR-632 have potential as diagnostic biomarkers for genetic FTD and miR-632 also for sporadic FTD.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit quality and yield are highly dependent on adequate uptake of nutrients. Potassium, magnesium and calcium are essential elements that influence fruit quality traits such as colour, uniformity of ripening, hollow fruit, fruit shape, firmness and acidity. Sodium is not an essential element for tomato and can detrimentally compete with the absorption of potassium and calcium. Daily intakes of potassium, magnesium and calcium in human diets are typically below healthful levels, while sodium intake is often excessive. The objective of this study was to compare 52 diverse commercially important varieties of tomato for concentrations of potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium in fruits. The tomatoes were produced in replicated plots in Geneva, NY in 2010 and 2011. Multiple fruits per plot were harvested vine-ripe, homogenized and assayed for cations. Analysis of variance showed significant differences among the 52 varieties for all four traits, i.e. cation concentrations (df = 51, P < 0.0001–0.0034) and no significant differences between years for any trait (df = 1, P = 0.3432–0.6770). Factor analysis showed a strong interrelationship between potassium and magnesium that was independent of calcium and sodium. Potassium and magnesium were highly significantly correlated with each other (r = 0.64, P < 0.0001). No other correlations between pairs of traits were observed. Results supported a genetic basis for potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium concentrations that was consistent across environments (i.e. years). Results can contribute to the development of cultivars with favourable cation profiles in terms of human health and fruit quality.
Introduction: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that high-quality, evidence-based guidelines be developed for emergency medical services (EMS). The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has outlined a strategy that will see this task fulfilled, consisting of multiple working groups focused on all aspects of guideline development and implementation. A first step, and our objective, was a cataloguing and appraisal of the current guidelines targeting EMS providers. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted in MEDLINE (1175), EMBASE (519), PubMed (14), Trip (416), and guidelines.gov (64) through May 1, 2016. Two independent reviewers screened titles for relevance to prehospital care, and then abstracts for essential guideline features, including a systematic review, a grading system, and an association between level of evidence and strength of recommendation. All disagreements were moderated by a third party. Citations meeting inclusion criteria were appraised with the AGREE II tool, which looks at six different domains of guideline quality, containing a total of 23 items rated from 1 to 7. Each guideline was appraised by three separate reviewers, and composite scores were calculated by averaging the scaled domain totals. Results: After primary (kappa 97%) and secondary (kappa 93%) screening, 49 guidelines were retained for full review. Only three guidelines obtained a score of >90%, the topics of which included aeromedical transport, analgesia in trauma, and resuscitation of avalanche victims. Only two guidelines scored between 80% and 90%, the topics of which included stroke and pediatric seizure management. One guideline, splinting in an austere environment, scored between 70% and 80%. Nine guidelines scored between 60% and 70%, the topics of which included ischemic stroke, cardiovascular life support, hemorrhage control, intubation, triage, hypothermia, and fibrinolytic use. Of the remaining guidelines, 14 scored between 50% and 60%, and 20 obtained a score of <50%. Conclusion: There are few high-quality, evidence-based guidelines in EMS. Of those that are published, the majority fail to meet established quality measures. Although a lack of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted in the prehospital field continues to limit guideline development, suboptimal methodology is also commonplace within the existing literature.
Perennial grain crops are expected to sequester soil carbon (C) and improve soil health due to their large and extensive root systems. To examine the rate of initial soil C accumulation in a perennial grain crop, we compared soil under perennial intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) with that under annual winter wheat 4 years after the crops were first planted. In addition, we tested the effect of three nitrogen (N) sources on C pools: Low available N (Low N (Organic N); 90 kg N ha−1 poultry litter), moderately available N (Mid N; 90 kg N ha−1 urea) and high available N (High N; 135 kg N ha−1 urea). We measured aboveground C (grain + straw), and coarse and fine root C to a depth of 1 m. Particulate organic matter (POM-C), fractionated by size, was used to indicate labile and more stabilized soil C pools. At harvest, IWG had 1.9 times more straw C and up to 15 times more root C compared with wheat. There were no differences in the size of the large (6 mm–250 µm) or medium (250–53 µm) POM-C fractions between wheat and IWG (P > 0.05) in surface horizons (0–10 cm). Large POM-C under IWG ranged from 3.6 ± 0.3 to 4.0 ± 0.7 g C kg soil−1 across the three N rates, similar to wheat under which large POM-C ranged from 3.6 ± 1.4 to 4.7 ± 0.7 g C kg soil−1. Averaged across N level, medium POM-C was 11.1 ± 0.8 and 11.3 ± 0.7 g C kg soil−1 for IWG and wheat, respectively. Despite IWG's greater above and belowground biomass (to 70 cm), POM-C fractions in IWG and wheat were similar. Post-hoc power analysis revealed that in order to detect differences in the labile C pool at 0–10 cm with an acceptable power (~80%) a 15% difference would be required between wheat and IWG. This demonstrates that on sandy soils with low cation exchange capacity, perennial IWG will need to be in place for longer than 4 years in order to detect an accumulated soil C difference > 15%.
Aberrant microbiota composition and function have been linked to several pathologies, including type 2 diabetes. In animal models, prebiotics induce favourable changes in the intestinal microbiota, intestinal permeability (IP) and endotoxaemia, which are linked to concurrent improvement in glucose tolerance. This is the first study to investigate the link between IP, glucose tolerance and intestinal bacteria in human type 2 diabetes. In all, twenty-nine men with well-controlled type 2 diabetes were randomised to a prebiotic (galacto-oligosaccharide mixture) or placebo (maltodextrin) supplement (5·5 g/d for 12 weeks). Intestinal microbial community structure, IP, endotoxaemia, inflammatory markers and glucose tolerance were assessed at baseline and post intervention. IP was estimated by the urinary recovery of oral 51Cr-EDTA and glucose tolerance by insulin-modified intravenous glucose tolerance test. Intestinal microbial community analysis was performed by high-throughput next-generation sequencing of 16S rRNA amplicons and quantitative PCR. Prebiotic fibre supplementation had no significant effects on clinical outcomes or bacterial abundances compared with placebo; however, changes in the bacterial family Veillonellaceae correlated inversely with changes in glucose response and IL-6 levels (r −0·90, P=0·042 for both) following prebiotic intake. The absence of significant changes to the microbial community structure at a prebiotic dosage/length of supplementation shown to be effective in healthy individuals is an important finding. We propose that concurrent metformin treatment and the high heterogeneity of human type 2 diabetes may have played a significant role. The current study does not provide evidence for the role of prebiotics in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
Epidemiology formed the basis of ‘the Barker hypothesis’, the concept of ‘developmental programming’ and today’s discipline of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD). Animal experimentation provided proof of the underlying concepts, and continues to generate knowledge of underlying mechanisms. Interventions in humans, based on DOHaD principles, will be informed by experiments in animals. As knowledge in this discipline has accumulated, from studies of humans and other animals, the complexity of interactions between genome, environment and epigenetics, has been revealed. The vast nature of programming stimuli and breadth of effects is becoming known. As a result of our accumulating knowledge we now appreciate the impact of many variables that contribute to programmed outcomes. To guide further animal research in this field, the Australia and New Zealand DOHaD society (ANZ DOHaD) Animals Models of DOHaD Research Working Group convened at the 2nd Annual ANZ DOHaD Congress in Melbourne, Australia in April 2015. This review summarizes the contributions of animal research to the understanding of DOHaD, and makes recommendations for the design and conduct of animal experiments to maximize relevance, reproducibility and translation of knowledge into improving health and well-being.
Historically, alloy development with better radiation performance has been focused on traditional alloys with one or two principal element(s) and minor alloying elements, where enhanced radiation resistance depends on microstructural or nanoscale features to mitigate displacement damage. In sharp contrast to traditional alloys, recent advances of single-phase concentrated solid solution alloys (SP-CSAs) have opened up new frontiers in materials research. In these alloys, a random arrangement of multiple elemental species on a crystalline lattice results in disordered local chemical environments and unique site-to-site lattice distortions. Based on closely integrated computational and experimental studies using a novel set of SP-CSAs in a face-centered cubic structure, we have explicitly demonstrated that increasing chemical disorder can lead to a substantial reduction in electron mean free paths, as well as electrical and thermal conductivity, which results in slower heat dissipation in SP-CSAs. The chemical disorder also has a significant impact on defect evolution under ion irradiation. Considerable improvement in radiation resistance is observed with increasing chemical disorder at electronic and atomic levels. The insights into defect dynamics may provide a basis for understanding elemental effects on evolution of radiation damage in irradiated materials and may inspire new design principles of radiation-tolerant structural alloys for advanced energy systems.
We prove that triangular configurations are plentiful in large subsets of Cartesian squares of finite quasirandom groups from classes having the quasirandom ultraproduct property, for example the class of finite simple groups. This is deduced from a strong double recurrence theorem for two commuting measure-preserving actions of a minimally almost periodic (not necessarily amenable or locally compact) group on a (not necessarily separable) probability space.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.