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Free-ranging grey wolves (Canis lupus), which are presently recolonizing Italy, can be parasitized by a diversity of helminths, but have rarely been subject to studies of their parasites. Therefore, this study aims to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths of road-killed grey wolves from the Piedmont region of Italy. Forty-two wolves were collected and examined for the presence of helminths. We recorded 12 helminth species: nine Nematoda and three Cestoda. The nematodes were: Ancylostoma caninum (7.1%), Capillaria sp. (2.4%), Molineus sp. (2.4%), Pterygodermatites affinis (11.9%), Physaloptera sibirica (9.5%), Toxocara canis (9.5%), Toxascaris leonina (2.4%) and Uncinaria stenocephala (26.2%); the cestodes were: Dipylidium caninum (4.8%), Mesocestoides sp. (4.8%) and Taenia multiceps (76.2%). Physaloptera sibirica had the highest mean intensity and T. multiceps had the highest prevalence. Based on age and sex, no differences in the intensity or prevalence of helminth species were found among the hosts. Molineus sp. was recorded for the first time in wolves from the Palearctic region; P. affinis and P. sibirica are respectively reported for the first time in wolves from Europe and Italy.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) by infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort study examined associations between SSB intake at 18 months and 5 years of age, with adiposity measures at 6 years of age. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by FFQ at 18 months of age (n 555) and 5 years of age (n 767). The median for SSB intakes is 28 (interquartile range 5·5–98) ml at 18 months of age and 111 (interquartile range 57–198) ml at 5 years of age. Association between SSB intake (100 ml/d increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (sd units), sum of skinfolds (SSF)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intake at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intake when modelled as 100 ml/d increments were associated with higher BMI by 0·09 (95 % CI 0·02, 0·16) sd units, higher SSF thickness by 0·68 (95 % CI 0·06, 1·44) mm and increased risk of overweight/obesity by 1·2 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·23) times at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intake modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programmes targeted at young children.
Gilt progeny (GP) are born and weaned lighter than sow progeny (SP) and tend to have higher rates of mortality and morbidity. This study quantified the lifetime growth performance differences between GP and SP and, additionally, evaluated whether segregating GP and SP in the grower–finisher period compared to mixing them within common pens reduced this variation. It was hypothesised that GP would be lighter than SP at every stage and segregation would improve growth performance of both GP and SP. All piglets born to 61 gilts (parity 1) and 47 sows (parities 2 to 7; mean 3.5 ± 0.2) were allocated to four treatments at 10 weeks of age: (i) GP housed together (GG), (ii) GP mixed (M) with SP (GM), (iii) SP housed together (SS) and (iv) SP mixed with GP (SM). The GM and SM pigs were housed together in common pens after movement into the grower–finisher facility. Individual live weight of all progeny was recorded at birth, weaning (WWT), 10 weeks of age (10WT) and sale (SWT). Individual hot carcass weight (HCW), fat depth at the head of the last rib (P2) and dressing percentage were measured at slaughter. Gilt progeny were lighter at birth (P = 0.038), weaning (P < 0.001) and through to sale (P = 0.001) than SP. Nursery and grower–finisher performance differences in GP were highly attributable to their lower WWT compared to SP (P < 0.001 when fitted as a covariate). Segregation of GP and SP increased grower–finisher average daily gain (ADG) in SP but decreased ADG and SWT in GP (P < 0.10). Segregated SP had increased average daily feed intake but only in males (P = 0.007); HCW (P < 0.001) and P2 fat depth (P = 0.055) were higher in mixed female GP, but there was no difference (P > 0.10) in female SP, or in males. In conclusion, GP were lighter at every stage than SP and differences after weaning were highly related to the lighter WWT of GP. Under the conditions of this study, overall segregation of GP and SP showed no consistent advantages in growth performance for both groups and differed significantly between males and females.
Our knowledge of Saturn’s neutral thermosphere is far superior to that of the other giant planets due to Cassini Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) observations of 15 solar occultations and 26 stellar occultations analyzed to date. These measurements yield H2 as the dominant species, with an upper limit on the H mole fraction of 5%. Inferred temperatures near the lower boundary are ~150 K, rising to an asymptotic value of ~400 K at equatorial latitudes and increasing with latitude to polar values in the range of 550–600 K. The latter is consistent with a total estimated auroral power input of ~10 TW generating Joule and energetic particle heating of ~5–6 TW that is more than an order of magnitude greater than solar EUV/FUV heating. This auroral heating would be sufficient to solve the “energy crisis” of Saturn’s thermospheric heating if it can be efficiently redistributed to low latitudes. The inferred structure of the thermosphere yields poleward-directed pressure gradients on equipotential surfaces consistent with auroral heating and poleward increasing temperatures. A gradient wind balance aloft with these pressure gradients implies westward, retrograde winds ~500 m s−1 or Mach number ~0.3 at mid-latitudes. The occultations reveal an expansion of the thermosphere peaking at or slightly after equinox, anti-correlated with solar activity, and apparently driven by lower thermospheric heating of unknown cause. The He mole fraction remains unconstrained, as no Cassini UVIS He 58.4 nm airglow measurements have been published.
This study aimed to molecularly survey Bartonella in dogs from Chile. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) for Bartonella spp. based on nuoG gene was performed in 139 blood samples taken from dogs belonging to rural localities of the Valdivia Province, Los Ríos region, southern Chile. nuoG qPCR-positive samples were submitted to conventional PCR assays for ftsZ, gltA, rpoB and nuoG genes and sequencing for speciation and phylogenetic analysis. Based upon qPCR results, Bartonella spp. occurrence in dogs was 4.3% (6/139). Out of six nuoG qPCR-positive samples, six, three, two and none showed positive results in cPCR assays based on gltA, ftsZ, rpoB and nuoG genes, respectively. Consistent sequencing results were obtained only for the ftsZ gene from sample #1532 (GeneBank accession number: MG252491), and gltA gene from samples #1535 (MG252490) and #1532 (148 bp fragment that was not deposited in GenBank). Phylogenetic analysis of ftsZ and gltA genes allowed speciation of two nuoG-positive samples, one as Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and the other as B. henselae. Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and B. henselae are detected for the first time in dogs from Chile, highlighting the importance of the canine population as a source of zoonotic agents and potential infection risk to humans.
Human disturbance can have behavioural, physiological and population-level consequences on wildlife. Unregulated tourism is having a negative effect on the endangered Yellow-eyed Penguin Megadyptes antipodes on mainland New Zealand. Subantarctic Yellow-eyed Penguins are exposed to tourism on Enderby Island in the Auckland Islands group, 450 km south of New Zealand. Restrictions and guidelines for tourism are in place on Enderby Island, but there has been little study on the efficacy of these. We quantified behavioural responses of the Yellow-eyed Penguin on Enderby Island to human presence by documenting movement patterns and behaviour of penguins in the presence and absence of humans, through both controlled approaches and monitoring penguin behaviour in the presence of tourists. We used these data to model the effective approach distances for reducing disturbance. Human presence caused a significant drop in the probability of a successful transit to or from their nest, and significantly increased the time penguins spent alert and decreased the time spent preening. Modelling showed the distance from a human to a penguin is a significant predictor of the likelihood of a bird displaying disturbance behaviour, with the current minimum approach guideline of 5 m not sufficient for preventing disturbance. Our results indicate that the minimum approach guideline needs to be revised if the probability of disturbance is to be reduced. Modelling the appropriateness of minimum approach guidelines by predicting the probability of disturbance is a useful technique that could be applied to other species and systems. Worldwide, management guidelines need to be scientifically evaluated to ensure efficacy and cater for the more sensitive species affected.
Recent evidence shows that the serotonin 2A receptor (5-hydroxytryptamine2A receptor, 5-HT2AR) is critically involved in the formation of visual hallucinations and cognitive impairments in lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-induced states and neuropsychiatric diseases. However, the interaction between 5-HT2AR activation, cognitive impairments and visual hallucinations is still poorly understood. This study explored the effect of 5-HT2AR activation on response inhibition neural networks in healthy subjects by using LSD and further tested whether brain activation during response inhibition under LSD exposure was related to LSD-induced visual hallucinations.
In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, LSD (100 µg) and placebo were administered to 18 healthy subjects. Response inhibition was assessed using a functional magnetic resonance imaging Go/No-Go task. LSD-induced visual hallucinations were measured using the 5 Dimensions of Altered States of Consciousness (5D-ASC) questionnaire.
Relative to placebo, LSD administration impaired inhibitory performance and reduced brain activation in the right middle temporal gyrus, superior/middle/inferior frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate cortex and in the left superior frontal and postcentral gyrus and cerebellum. Parahippocampal activation during response inhibition was differently related to inhibitory performance after placebo and LSD administration. Finally, activation in the left superior frontal gyrus under LSD exposure was negatively related to LSD-induced cognitive impairments and visual imagery.
Our findings show that 5-HT2AR activation by LSD leads to a hippocampal–prefrontal cortex-mediated breakdown of inhibitory processing, which might subsequently promote the formation of LSD-induced visual imageries. These findings help to better understand the neuropsychopharmacological mechanisms of visual hallucinations in LSD-induced states and neuropsychiatric disorders.
We have compiled the X-ray characteristic properties for a unique and homogeneous sample of Type 2 AGN with water megamaser activity observed by XMM-Newton and for a control sample of non-maser galaxies, both analyzed in a uniform way. A comparison of the luminosity distributions confirms previous results (from smaller and/or less systematic studies) that water maser galaxies appear more luminous than non-maser sources. In addition, the maser phenomenon is associated with more complex X-ray spectra, higher column densities and higher equivalent widths of the Fe Kα line. Both a sufficiently luminous X-ray source and a high absorbing column density in the line of sight favor the appearance of the water megamaser phenomenon in AGN.
Lithium sulfur (Li–S) batteries have the potential to provide higher energy storage density at lower cost than conventional lithium ion batteries. A key challenge for Li–S batteries is the loss of sulfur to the electrolyte during cycling. This loss can be mitigated by sequestering the sulfur in nanostructured carbon–sulfur composites. The nanoscale characterization of the sulfur distribution within these complex nanostructured electrodes is normally performed by electron microscopy, but sulfur sublimates and redistributes in the high-vacuum conditions of conventional electron microscopes. The resulting sublimation artifacts render characterization of sulfur in conventional electron microscopes problematic and unreliable. Here, we demonstrate two techniques, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and scanning electron microscopy in air (airSEM), that enable the reliable characterization of sulfur across multiple length scales by suppressing sulfur sublimation. We use cryo-TEM and airSEM to examine carbon–sulfur composites synthesized for use as Li–S battery cathodes, noting several cases where the commonly employed sulfur melt infusion method is highly inefficient at infiltrating sulfur into porous carbon hosts.
The major structures in the long, narrow tongue of a sub-polar valley glacier are described: namely, longitudinal foliation, crevasses, clear-ice layers related to crevasses, debris-rich layers (frequently referred to as thrust or shear planes in the past), and folds. The foliation is vertical, is as well-developed in the centre of the glacier as at the margins, and does not, apparently, form perpendicular to the principal compressive strain-rate axis, nor exactly parallel to a line of maximum shearing strain-rate, although it sometimes approximately coincides with the latter. The intensity of foliation development is not related to the magnitude of the strain-rates, but the structure consistently lies parallel to flow lines through the glacier. There is no critical extending strain-rate, as such, associated with the development of new crevasses. Some crevasses have formed where the principal extending strain-rate is as low as 0.004 a-1 while, in other areas, extending strain-rates of 0.163 a-1 have not always resulted in fracturing. Prominent clear-ice layers, referred to as crevasse traces as displayed at the glacier surface, have formed in crevasse belts parallel to the main fracture directions. These are interpreted either as tensional veins or as the result of the freezing of water in crevasses. Extension parallel to the layering occurs during flow and, near the snout, the surface dip decreases rapidly. The fact that the crevasse traces can be followed to the snout implies that fracture occurs almost to the bottom of the glacier in the source area of the traces. Near the snout, debris-rich layers have developed parallel to the crevasse traces; frequently these are marked by prominent ridge-like ice-cored moraines. It is suggested that these structures are formed by a combination of basal freezing and thrusting. Isoclinal and tight similar folds on all scales are present. Some may be formed by the passive deformation of clear-ice layers as a result of differential flow; others may arise from the lateral compression of the original stratification in areas where ice flow becomes constricted by the narrowing of the valley. An axial plane foliation sometimes is associated with these folds.
Ice and water surface temperatures were measured with an airborne radiation thermometer PRT-5 over the North Water polynya during three missions between late winter and early summer 1974. Error corrections, problems of data analyses and mapping are discussed. Attempts are made to relate the main types of sea ice to temperature ranges, which then are used in conjunction with satellite pictures to produce surface temperature maps.