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The diet of most adults is low in fish and, therefore, provides limited quantities of the long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids (LCn-3FAs), eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA, DHA). Since these compounds serve important roles in the brain, we sought to determine if healthy adults with low-LCn-3FA consumption would exhibit improvements in neuropsychological performance and parallel changes in brain morphology following repletion through fish oil supplementation.
In a randomized, controlled trial, 271 mid-life adults (30–54 years of age, 118 men, 153 women) consuming ⩽300 mg/day of LCn-3FAs received 18 weeks of supplementation with fish oil capsules (1400 mg/day of EPA and DHA) or matching placebo. All participants completed a neuropsychological test battery examining four cognitive domains: psychomotor speed, executive function, learning/episodic memory, and fluid intelligence. A subset of 122 underwent neuroimaging before and after supplementation to measure whole-brain and subcortical tissue volumes.
Capsule adherence was over 95%, participant blinding was verified, and red blood cell EPA and DHA levels increased as expected. Supplementation did not affect performance in any of the four cognitive domains. Exploratory analyses revealed that, compared to placebo, fish oil supplementation improved executive function in participants with low-baseline DHA levels. No changes were observed in any indicator of brain morphology.
In healthy mid-life adults reporting low-dietary intake, supplementation with LCn-3FAs in moderate dose for moderate duration did not affect neuropsychological performance or brain morphology. Whether salutary effects occur in individuals with particularly low-DHA exposure requires further study.
This paper examines the potential of remote sensing–derived metrics of vegetation phenology and a Multi-Layer Perceptron neural network to model the most likely locations of large, agglomerated archaeological sites. Focusing on two different environments in central New Mexico, the Galisteo Basin and the Sandia-Manzano Mountain range, this pilot study distinguishes between archaeological sites and their surroundings based on differential growth in vegetation. Using data derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper, a time series of Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices were created to characterize vegetation phenology in the study areas. Distinguishing between archaeological sites and their surroundings, the neural network was trained on a series of known sites to develop an output activation layer indicating the possible locations of other, previously unknown sites. This output activation layer, treated as a site suitability model, was validated using the receiver operating characteristic area under the curve using known sites excluded from the training procedure. Results show promise in large, open areas such as basin environments. While differences in vegetation type have relatively little effect, differences in elevation, or more directly the changes in phenology that go along with them, negatively impact the ability to infer the presence of archaeological sites using this approach.
Cucullia umbratica Linnaeus (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Agnippe prunifoliella Chambers (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), and Bryotropha plantariella Tengstrom (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), were significant bycatch in pheromone-based trapping systems for red-striped fireworm, Aroga trialbamaculella Chambers (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), in Nova Scotia, Canada. Cucullia umbratica is a European introduced species and a new macrolepidopteran recorded in continental Canada. The only previous record of this moth in North America was from the Magdalen Islands (Québec, Canada). Potential attractants for B. plantariella, A. prunifoliella, and C. umbratica are a result of this bycatch investigation.
Over the past century, the Santa Cruz Formation of coastal Argentina (late Early
Miocene) has yielded a remarkable collection of platyrrhine primates. With few
notable exceptions, most of the specimens have been included in Homunculus patagonicus Ameghino, 1891, a stem
platyrrhine. Homunculus patagonicus was
approximately 1.5 to 2.5 kg in body mass, about the size of a living saki monkey
(Pithecia) or a female Cebus. Molar structure indicates that the diet
consisted of a mixture of fruit and leaves. A deep jaw, large postcanine tooth
roots, large postglenoid processes and moderately large chewing muscle
attachments (i.e. massive zygomatic arches, sculpted temporalis origins) suggest
that physically resistant foods were key components of the diet. Heavy tooth
wear suggests large amounts of ingested silica or exogenous abrasives. Incisor
morphology suggests that exudate harvesting may have been part of the behavioral
repertoire, although not a specialization. The canines were small, providing no
evidence of sclerocarpic foraging. Canines were sexually dimorphic, suggesting
that the taxon experienced some intrasexual competition rather than being
solitary or pair-bonded. Brain size was small and the frontal cortical region
was proportionately small. From the small size and structure of the orbits, the
structure of the organ of hearing, the reduced olfactory fossae and the
relatively large infraorbital foramina, we infer that Homunculus was probably diurnal, with acute vision and hearing,
but with a poor sense of smell and little reliance on tactile vibrissae.
Homunculus was an above-branch arboreal
quadruped with leaping abilities. The semicircular canals show evidence of
considerable agility, reinforcing the inference of leaping behavior. The overall
locomotor repertoire is not unlike that of the forest-dwelling extant saki
monkey Pithecia. Considered together, the
mosaic of dietary and locomotor morphology in Homunculus suggests that Homunculus inhabited an environment – as compared with
earlier Colhuehuapian and Pinturan primate habitats – shifting towards
greater seasonality in patchy forests near river courses.
William L. Hylander, Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3170, Durham, NC 27710, USA,
Christopher J. Vinyard, Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3170, Durham, NC 27710, USA,
Matthew J. Ravosa, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA,
Callum F. Ross, Department of Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Health Sciences Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8081, USA,
Christine E. Wall, Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3170, Durham, NC 27710, USA,
Kirk R. Johnson, Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, P.O. Box 3170, Durham, NC 27710, USA
Research over the last 25–30 years has revealed a considerable amount about the basic mechanisms of mammalian mastication (e.g., van Eijden and Turkawski, 2001; Türker, 2002). This progress has been largely due to the development of new experimental procedures and techniques. On the other hand, there has been relatively little emphasis on employing these procedures and techniques so as to facilitate adaptive explanations for the evolution of the mammalian masticatory apparatus (Herring, 1993). It has been our intent over the last several years to do just that (Ross and Hylander, 1996; Hylander et al., 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003; Ravosa et al., 2000; Vinyard et al., 2001, in press a; Wall et al., 2002; Williams et al., 2003). In recent years the functional morphology of the craniofacial region of primates and other mammals has attracted a significant amount of research interest (Weijs, 1994; Ross and Hylander, 1996, 2000; Spencer, 1998; Anapol and Herring, 2000; Daegling and Hylander, 2000; Dechow and Hylander, 2000; Herring and Teng, 2000; Hylander et al., 2000; Lieberman and Crompton, 2000; Ravosa et al., 2000). This is simply because there continue to be many unanswered research questions or problems. One persistent problem that has received a considerable amount of attention is related to the adaptive significance of symphyseal fusion in mammals. As noted by many, the ossification or fusion of the left and right sides of the lower jaw or dentaries has occurred independently in many different mammalian lineages (e.g., Beecher, 1977).
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