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The mammal family Tenrecidae (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) is endemic to Madagascar. Here we present the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec that were assessed or reassessed in 2015–2016 for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. However, the lack of data for most tenrecs on population size, ecology and distribution, together with frequent changes in taxonomy (with many cryptic species being discovered based on genetic analyses) and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (Tenrecinae), hinders conservation planning. Priority conservation actions are presented for Madagascar's tenrecs for the first time since 1990 and focus on conserving forest habitat (especially through improved management of protected areas) and filling essential knowledge gaps. Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programmes targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.
The preconception, pregnancy and immediate postpartum and newborn periods are times for mothers and their offspring when they are especially vulnerable to major stressors – those that are sudden and unexpected and those that are chronic. Their adverse effects can transcend generations. Stressors can include natural disasters or political stressors such as conflict and/or migration. Considerable evidence has accumulated demonstrating the adverse effects of natural disasters on pregnancy outcomes and developmental trajectories. However, beyond tracking outcomes, the time has arrived for gathering more information related to identifying mechanisms, predicting risk and developing stress-reducing and resilience-building interventions to improve outcomes. Further, we need to learn how to encapsulate both the quantitative and qualitative information available and share it with communities and authorities to mitigate the adverse developmental effects of future disasters, conflicts and migrations. This article briefly reviews prenatal maternal stress and identifies three contemporary situations (wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada; hurricane Harvey in Houston, USA and transgenerational and migrant stress in Pforzheim, Germany) where current studies are being established by Canadian investigators to test an intervention. The experiences from these efforts are related along with attempts to involve communities in the studies and share the new knowledge to plan for future disasters or tragedies.
Obesity and hyperglycaemia contribute to the atherosclerotic process in part through oxidative modifications to lipoprotein particles. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of a lifestyle intervention on markers of oxidized lipoproteins in obese Latino adolescents with prediabetes.
Participants were enrolled into a 12-week lifestyle intervention. Measurements pre- and post-intervention included anthropometrics and body composition, lipid panel, oxidized LDL (oxLDL), oxidized HDL (oxHDL), intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, and cardiorespiratory fitness.
Thirty-five obese Latino adolescents (seventeen females, eighteen males; mean age 15·5 (sd 1·0) years; mean BMI percentile 98·5 (sd 1·2)) with prediabetes.
Intervention participation resulted in significant reductions in weight (−1·2 %, P = 0·042), BMI and BMI percentile (−2·0 and −0·4 %, respectively, P < 0·001), body fat (−7·0 %, P = 0·025), TAG (−11·8 %, P = 0·032), total cholesterol (−5·0 %, P = 0·002), VLDL-cholesterol (−12·5 %, P = 0·029), and non-HDL-cholesterol (−6·7 %, P = 0·007). Additionally, fitness (6·4 %, P < 0·001) and intake of fruits and vegetables (42·4 %, P = 0·025) increased significantly. OxLDL decreased significantly after the intervention (51·0 (sd 14·0) v. 48·7 (sd 12·8) U/l, P = 0·022), while oxHDL trended towards a significant increase (395·2 (sd 94·6) v. 416·1 (sd 98·4) ng/ml, P = 0·056).
These data support the utility of lifestyle intervention to improve the atherogenic phenotype of Latino adolescents who are at high risk for developing premature CVD and type 2 diabetes.
Exposure to threat-related early life stress (ELS) has been related to vulnerability for stress-related disorders in adulthood, putatively via disrupted corticolimbic circuits involved in stress response and regulation. However, previous research on ELS has not examined both the intrinsic strength and flexibility of corticolimbic circuits, which may be particularly important for adaptive stress responding, or associations between these dimensions of corticolimbic dysfunction and acute stress response in adulthood.
Seventy unmedicated women varying in history of threat-related ELS completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging scan to evaluate voxelwise static (overall) and dynamic (variability over a series of sliding windows) resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) of bilateral amygdala. In a separate session and subset of participants (n = 42), measures of salivary cortisol and affect were collected during a social-evaluative stress challenge.
Higher severity of threat-related ELS was related to more strongly negative static RSFC between amygdala and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and elevated dynamic RSFC between amygdala and rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC). Static amygdala-DLPFC antagonism mediated the relationship between higher severity of threat-related ELS and blunted cortisol response to stress, but increased dynamic amygdala-rACC connectivity weakened this mediated effect and was related to more positive post-stress mood.
Threat-related ELS was associated with RSFC within lateral corticolimbic circuits, which in turn was related to blunted physiological response to acute stress. Notably, increased flexibility between the amygdala and rACC compensated for this static disruption, suggesting that more dynamic medial corticolimbic circuits might be key to restoring healthy stress response.
Gloss, Carr, Reichman, Abdul-Nasiru, and Oestereich (2017) present a compelling argument (or rallying call) for there being a “moral imperative for I-O psychology to overrepresent people living in the deepest forms of poverty in both science and practice” (p. 330). We agree. Our research has been dominated by a POSH perspective, and it is incumbent upon us to ensure that our science benefits those who are most affected by poverty. We believe the interest in engaging in humanitarian work psychology is growing among industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists, yet many of us may not feel prepared to conduct such research and/or we may feel that we lack the skills to do so. Further, as Gloss et al. (2017) note, to the extent that we are unprepared to engage in research that benefits those living in poverty, in particular, we run the added risk of harming the very populations we are wanting to help. As such, the interest is there, but we may be daunted by the method. We argue that in order to heed that rallying call, without harm, we need to develop our own capabilities to engage in this important work.
Just as scientific discoveries enable the development of new technology, novel technologies can drive scientific progress. Similar to the adoption of PCR as a mainstream laboratory technique in the 1990s, the ability to readily sequence whole genomes today has opened up new areas of biology and fundamentally changed the way people work in existing fields.
The most obvious feature of so-called ‘next generation’ sequencing (NGS) technologies (a misnomer that includes a wide array of platforms developed over the past decade) is the enormous increase in throughput of sequence data, resulting in an unprecedented reduction in cost. A single sequencing ‘run’ of a high-end platform can generate up to 5 billion reads and determine the sequence of 1500 billion bp of DNA – the equivalent of 500 human genomes – in 3 to 4 days. The US National Human Genome Research Institute has tracked the changing price of DNA sequencing they fund from about $5000 per Mb to 5 cents per Mb over the last 15 years: a 100 000-fold drop (see Fig 1). At the time of writing (2015) the sequencing equipment market is dominated by Illumina, and a relative lack of competition and the maturity of the current technology has at least temporarily slowed the fall in price. However, the development of newer sequencing platforms is expected to soon spark another era of rapidly declining prices and rising throughput.
This enormous technological progress has been a boon for many areas of biology, but the change in technology has also required researchers to change the way they do science and has led to changes in the types of questions people can ask. Traditional sequencing required massive amplification of specific, targeted DNA sequences by PCR prior to sequencing. While it is possible to sequence PCR amplicons with high-throughput sequencing technology (and PCR is used in the sequencing process), the enormous throughput and short sequencing reads typically mean that the most cost-effective way of collecting even limited amounts of data of interest is by shotgun sequencing.
This untargeted approach opens up new kinds of science. For example, it is now possible – indeed, often technically easier – to assay entire genomes rather than investigate candidate genes.
We live in an age of ubiquitous genomics. Next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, both widely adopted and advancing at pace, has transformed the data landscape, opening up an enormous source of heritable characters to the comparative biologist. Its impact on systematics, like many other fields of biology, has been felt throughout its breadth: from defining species boundaries to estimating their evolutionary histories. This volume examines the broad range of ways in which NGS data are being used in systematics and in the fields that it underpins, from biodiversity prospecting to evo-devo. Experts in their fields draw on contemporary case studies to demonstrate state-of-the-art applications of NGS data. These, along with novel analyses, comprehensive reviews and lively perspectives, are combined to produce an authoritative account of contemporary issues in systematics that have been impacted by the adoption of NGS.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
The environmental impact resulting from the use of fossil fuel as an energy source affects the entire globe. Eventually, fossil fuels will no longer be a reasonable source of energy and alternative energy sources will be needed. Thermoelectric materials (TE) that directly convert heat into electricity are a viable option to replace the conventional fossil fuel because they are reliable, cost effective, and use no moving parts. Recently researchers discovered the existence of giant Seebeck coefficient in manganese oxide (MnO2) powders, which ignited an increased interest in MnO2-based materials. In this work we present a systematic structural and electrical characterization of amorphous and crystalline MnxOy thin films. These films were deposited at room temperature on heated silicon and sapphire substrates by DC Magnetron Sputtering. Our preliminary results show that MnxOy/silicon thin films undergo a crystalline change from Mn2O3 to Mn3O4 as annealing temperature is increased from 300°C to 500°C.
The Wisconsin Plasma Astrophysics Laboratory (WiPAL) is a flexible user facility designed to study a range of astrophysically relevant plasma processes as well as novel geometries that mimic astrophysical systems. A multi-cusp magnetic bucket constructed from strong samarium cobalt permanent magnets now confines a
, fully ionized, magnetic-field-free plasma in a spherical geometry. Plasma parameters of
provide an ideal testbed for a range of astrophysical experiments, including self-exciting dynamos, collisionless magnetic reconnection, jet stability, stellar winds and more. This article describes the capabilities of WiPAL, along with several experiments, in both operating and planning stages, that illustrate the range of possibilities for future users.