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All organisms encounter pathogens, and birds are especially susceptible to infection by malaria parasites and other haemosporidians. It is important to understand how immune genes, primarily innate immune genes which are the first line of host defense, have evolved across birds, a highly diverse group of tetrapods. Here, we find that innate immune genes are highly conserved across the avian tree of life and that although most show evidence of positive or diversifying selection within specific lineages or clades, the number of sites is often proportionally low in this broader context of putative constraint. Rather, evidence shows a much higher level of negative or purifying selection in these innate immune genes – rather than adaptive immune genes – which is consistent with birds' long coevolutionary history with pathogens and the need to maintain a rapid response to infection. We further explored avian responses to haemosporidians by comparing differential gene expression in wild birds (1) uninfected with haemosporidians, (2) infected with Plasmodium and (3) infected with Haemoproteus (Parahaemoproteus). We found patterns of significant differential expression with some genes unique to infection with each genus and a few shared between ‘treatment’ groups, but none that overlapped with the genes included in the phylogenetic study.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) analysis has proven to be extremely valuable in the study of the transplutonium elements. The high specific activity and the thermal energy associated with the radioactive decay of einsteinium isotopes make XRPD analysis of einsteinium samples very difficult. The major problems are destruction of the samples crystallinity and alteration of their chemical composition. Blackening of the X-ray film also compromises the analyses. By applying certain guidelines given here, a limited amount of success has been achieved in obtaining diffraction data on einsteinium and some of its compounds.
Little is known about the potential health impact of police encounters despite a ubiquitous police presence in many disadvantaged urban environments. In this paper, we assess whether persistent or aggressive interactions with the police are associated with poor mental health outcomes in a sample of primarily low-income communities of colour in Chicago.
Between March 2015 and September 2016, we surveyed 1543 adults in ten diverse Chicago communities using a multistage probability design. The survey had over 350 questions on health and social factors, including police exposure and mental health status. We use sex-stratified logistic regression to examine associations between persistent police exposure (defined as a high number of lifetime police stops) or aggressive police exposure (defined as threat or use of police force during the respondent's most recent police stop) and the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depressive symptoms.
Men reporting a high number of lifetime police stops have three times greater odds of current PTSD symptoms compared with men who did not report high lifetime police stops (OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.3–7.6), after adjusting for respondent age, race/ethnicity, education, history of homelessness, prior diagnosis of PTSD and neighbourhood violent crime rate. Women reporting a high number of lifetime police stops have two times greater odds of current PTSD symptoms, although the results are not statistically significant after adjustment (OR 2.0, 95% CI 0.9–4.2). Neither persistent nor aggressive police exposure is significantly associated with current depressive symptoms in our sample.
Our findings support existing preliminary evidence of an association between high lifetime police stops and PTSD symptoms. If future research can confirm as causal, these results have considerable public health implications given the frequent interaction between police and residents in disadvantaged communities in large urban areas.
The development of laser wakefield accelerators (LWFA) over the past several years has led to an interest in very compact sources of X-ray radiation – such as “table-top” free electron lasers. However, the use of conventional undulators using permanent magnets also implies system sizes which are large. In this work, we assess the possibilities for the use of novel mini-undulators in conjunction with a LWFA so that the dimensions of the undulator become comparable with the acceleration distances for LWFA experiments (i.e., centimeters). The use of a prototype undulator using laser machining of permanent magnets for this application is described and the emission characteristics and limitations of such a system are determined. Preliminary electron propagation and X-ray emission measurements are taken with a LWFA electron beam at the University of Michigan.
Herbicide resistance, and in particular multiple-herbicide resistance, poses an ever-increasing threat to food security. A biotype of junglerice [Echinochloa colona (L.) Link] with resistance to four herbicides, imazamox, fenoxaprop-P-ethyl, quinclorac, and propanil, each representing a different mechanism of action, was identified in Sunflower County, MS. Dose responses were performed on the resistant biotype and a biotype sensitive to all four herbicides to determine the level of resistance. Application of a cytochrome P450 inhibitor, malathion, with the herbicides imazamox and quinclorac resulted in increased susceptibility in the resistant biotype. Differential gene expression analysis of resistant and sensitive plants revealed that 170 transcripts were upregulated in resistant plants relative to sensitive plants and 160 transcripts were upregulated in sensitive plants. In addition, 507 transcripts were only expressed in resistant plants and 562 only in sensitive plants. A subset of these transcripts were investigated further using quantitative PCR (qPCR) to compare gene expression in resistant plants with expression in additional sensitive biotypes. The qPCR analysis identified two transcripts, a kinase and a glutathione S-transferase that were significantly upregulated in resistant plants compared with the sensitive plants. A third transcript, encoding an F-box protein, was downregulated in the resistant plants relative to the sensitive plants. As no cytochrome P450s were differentially expressed between the resistant and sensitive plants, a single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis was performed, revealing several nonsynonymous point mutations of interest. These candidate genes will require further study to elucidate the resistance mechanisms present in the resistant biotype.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.
Objectives: To evaluate prospective and retrospective memory abilities in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) Veterans with and without a self-reported history of blast-related mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Methods: Sixty-one OEF/OIF/OND Veterans, including Veterans with a self-reported history of blast-related mTBI (mTBI group; n=42) and Veterans without a self-reported history of TBI (control group; n=19) completed the Memory for Intentions Test, a measure of prospective memory (PM), and two measures of retrospective memory (RM), the California Verbal Learning Test-II and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised. Results: Veterans in the mTBI group exhibited significantly lower PM performance than the control group, but the groups did not differ in their performance on RM measures. Further analysis revealed that Veterans in the mTBI group with current PTSD (mTBI/PTSD+) demonstrated significantly lower performance on the PM measure than Veterans in the control group. PM performance by Veterans in the mTBI group without current PTSD (mTBI/PTSD-) was intermediate between the mTBI/PTSD+ and control groups, and results for the mTBI/PTSD- group were not significantly different from either of the other two groups. Conclusions: Results suggest that PM performance may be a sensitive marker of cognitive dysfunction among OEF/OIF/OND Veterans with a history of self-reported blast-related mTBI and comorbid PTSD. Reduced PM may account, in part, for complaints of cognitive difficulties in this Veteran cohort, even years post-injury. (JINS, 2018, 24, 324–334)
The aim of the survey is to sample a relatively large, randomly chosen volume of the Universe in order to study the large-scale distribution of galaxies using the two-point correlation function, the peculiar velocities between galaxy pairs and to provide an estimate of the galaxian luminosity function that is unaffected by density inhomogeneities and Virgo infall.
We are investigating complete samples of southern hemisphere flat spectrum extra-galactic radio sources drawn from the Parkes 2.7 GHz Survey (see Bolton et al. 1979 and references therein). These samples are being used for a variety of investigations, including a determination of the space distribution and luminosity function of radio QSOs, their radio size distribution, as well as the structures of the individual sources. Accurate positions are being determined, as well, in order to establish an extra-galactic position reference frame in the southern hemisphere.
Antigenic variation in malaria was discovered in Plasmodium knowlesi studies involving longitudinal infections of rhesus macaques (M. mulatta). The variant proteins, known as the P. knowlesi Schizont Infected Cell Agglutination (SICA) antigens and the P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens, expressed by the SICAvar and var multigene families, respectively, have been studied for over 30 years. Expression of the SICA antigens in P. knowlesi requires a splenic component, and specific antibodies are necessary for variant antigen switch events in vivo. Outstanding questions revolve around the role of the spleen and the mechanisms by which the expression of these variant antigen families are regulated. Importantly, the longitudinal dynamics and molecular mechanisms that govern variant antigen expression can be studied with P. knowlesi infection of its mammalian and vector hosts. Synchronous infections can be initiated with established clones and studied at multi-omic levels, with the benefit of computational tools from systems biology that permit the integration of datasets and the design of explanatory, predictive mathematical models. Here we provide an historical account of this topic, while highlighting the potential for maximizing the use of P. knowlesi – macaque model systems and summarizing exciting new progress in this area of research.
Efforts to prioritize wildlife for conservation benefit from an understanding of public preferences for particular species, yet no studies have integrated species preferences with key attributes of the conservation landscape such as whether species occur on islands (where invasive exotics are the primary extinction threat) or continents (where land use change is the primary extinction threat). In this paper, we compare wildlife species preferences among children from a continental location (North Carolina, USA, n = 433) and an island location (Andros Island, The Bahamas, n = 197). Children on the island preferred feral domesticated species and different types of taxa than mainland children, perhaps due to the strongly divergent species richness between the regions (e.g. island children showed greater preferences for invertebrates, lizards and aquatic species). Boys preferred fish, birds and lizards more than girls, whereas girls preferred mammals. The fact that island children showed strong preferences for invasive species suggests challenges for conservation efforts on islands, where controlling invasive exotic species is often of paramount importance, but can conflict with cultural preferences for these same species.
Invasive species management is often more successful if desirable species are seeded after the target weed is controlled. However, control of invasive plants must be maintained following reseeding or the seeded species may fail to establish. A regional study conducted in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota evaluated the effect of aminopyralid, clopyralid, or picloram applied in the fall prior to fall-dormant seeding or seeding the following spring on cool- and warm-season native grass species establishment. Herbicides were applied at standard rates used to control invasive broadleaf weeds in the upper midwestern tallgrass prairie region of the United States. Cool-season species included Canada wildrye, green needlegrass, and intermediate wheatgrass. Warm-season species included big bluestem, little bluestem, sideoats grama, switchgrass, and Indiangrass. Aminopyralid did not reduce seedling establishment in either fall or spring seeding. Grasses generally were not affected by a pretreatment of the pyridine standards clopyralid or picloram either, with the exception of a slight reduction in fall-seeded establishment of intermediate wheatgrass. Picloram also slightly reduced fall-seeded establishment of Canada wildrye. Application of aminopyralid can safely be used to control susceptible invasive species preceding grass species establishment, with a safety margin similar to or slightly better than that with the pyridine standards clopyralid or picloram.