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Biological anthropology is an intentionally integrative discipline incorporating methods from various fields. As such, data collection techniques ranging from morphometric analyses of hominin fossils to assessments of human cardiac output via fitness trackers are being added to the methodological catalog. This reflects a trend toward an increased reliance on quantifiable data. These data enable researchers to identify ever more finite differences in individual physiologies, and to discover the threads that connect this variability to our evolutionary past. Thus, it is attractive in its appeal to seemingly more objective scientific approaches to our most enduring areas of inquiry. However, it also signals movement in the field away from a reliance on and confidence in qualitative and descriptive methods, and our unwillingness to ask experiential questions differently in evolutionary anthropological research than our peers in other biological sciences. Thus, these methodological innovations both enhance our findings and limit the plurality of the data that is valued in the field.
To investigate the nature of the relationship between cognitive function, mood state, and functionality in predicting awareness in a non-clinically depressed sample of participants with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in Brazil.
People with AD (PwAD) aged 60 years or older were recruited from an outpatient unit at the Center of AD of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Measures of awareness of condition (Assessment Scale of the Psychosocial Impact of the Diagnosis of Dementia), cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination), mood state (Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia), and functionality (Pfeffer Functional Activities Questionnaire) were applied to 264 people with mild to moderate AD and their caregivers. Hypotheses were tested statistically using SEM approach. Three competing models were compared.
The first model, in which the influence of mood state and cognitive function on awareness was mediated by functionality, showed a very good fit to the data and a medium effect size. The competing models, in which the mediating variables were mood state and cognitive function, respectively, only showed poor model fit.
Our model supports the notion that the relationship between different factors and awareness in AD is mediated by functionality and not by depressive mood state or cognitive level. The proposed direct and indirect effects on awareness are discussed, as well as the missing direct influence of mood state on awareness. The understanding of awareness in dementia is crucial and our model gives one possible explanation of its underlying structure in AD.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Starting in 2016, we initiated a pilot tele-antibiotic stewardship program at 2 rural Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). Antibiotic days of therapy decreased significantly (P < .05) in the acute and long-term care units at both intervention sites, suggesting that tele-stewardship can effectively support antibiotic stewardship practices in rural VAMCs.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Exposure to threat increases the risk for internalizing problems in adolescence. Deficits in integrating bodily cues into representations of emotion are thought to contribute to internalizing problems. Given the role of the medial prefrontal cortex in regulating bodily responses and integrating them into representations of emotional states, coordination between activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and autonomic nervous system responses may be influenced by past threat exposure with consequences for the emergence of internalizing problems. A sample of 179 Mexican-origin adolescents (88 female) reported on neighborhood and school crime, peer victimization, and discrimination when they were 10–16 years old. At age 17, participants underwent a functional neuroimaging scan during which they viewed pictures of emotional faces while respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and skin conductance responses were measured. Adolescents also reported symptoms of internalizing problems. Greater exposure to threats across adolescence was associated with more internalizing problems. Threat exposure was also associated with stronger negative coupling between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and RSA. Stronger negative ventromedial prefrontal cortex–RSA coupling was associated with fewer internalizing problems. These results suggest the degree of coordinated activity between the brain and parasympathetic nervous system is both enhanced by threat experiences and decreased in adolescents with more internalizing problems.
A round of three celestial sights yields three lines of position along which the observer's true position could lie. Due to measurement errors, the lines of position do not intersect at a point but rather form a triangle called the “cocked hat”. The probability that this encloses the observer's true position is well known to be 25% which is the average over all possible cocked hats that could arise when the sights are made. It does not apply to any specific set of sights and in that case the probabilities depend on the statistical distribution of the measurement errors. With fixed azimuths for the observed celestial bodies and assuming a normal distribution for the errors in their measured altitudes, a closed form analytic expression is derived for the probability of the observer's position falling inside the cocked hat and this is related back to the global average. Probabilities for exterior regions bounded by the lines of position are also obtained. General results are given that apply for any number of lines of position.
Proglacial environments are ideal for studying the development of soils through the changes of rocks exposed by glacier retreat to weathering and microbial processes. Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) contents as well as soil pH and soil elemental compositions are thought to be dominant factors structuring the bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in the early stages of soil ecosystem formation. However, the functional linkages between C and N contents, soil composition and microbial community structures remain poorly understood. Here, we describe a multivariate analysis of geochemical properties and associated microbial community structures between a moraine and a glaciofluvial outwash in the proglacial area of a High Arctic glacier (Longyearbreen, Svalbard). Our results reveal distinct differences in developmental stages and heterogeneity between the moraine and the glaciofluvial outwash. We observed significant relationships between C and N contents, δ13Corg and δ15N isotopic ratios, weathering and microbial abundance and community structures. We suggest that the observed differences in microbial and geochemical parameters between the moraine and the glaciofluvial outwash are primarily a result of geomorphological variations of the proglacial terrain.
From 1565 to 1570, Spain established no fewer than three networks of presidios (fortified military settlements) across portions of its frontier territories in La Florida and New Spain. Juan Pardo's network of six forts, extending from the Atlantic coast over the Appalachian Mountains, was the least successful of these presidio systems, lasting only from late 1566 to early 1568. The failure of Pardo's defensive network has long been attributed to poor planning and an insufficient investment of resources. Yet recent archaeological discoveries at the Berry site in western North Carolina—the location of both the Native American town of Joara and Pardo's first garrison, Fort San Juan—warrants a reappraisal of this interpretation. While previous archaeological research at Berry concentrated on the domestic compound where Pardo's soldiers resided, the location of the fort itself remained unknown. In 2013, the remains of Fort San Juan were finally identified south of the compound, the first of Pardo's interior forts to be discovered by archaeologists. Data from excavations and geophysical surveys suggest that it was a substantial defensive construction. We attribute the failure of Pardo's network to the social geography of the Native South rather than to an insufficient investment of resources.
The location of the wreck of Shackleton's ship the Steam Yacht Endurance is recorded in the expedition log books as 68°39′30′′S 52°26′30′′W. The methods and assumptions that went into obtaining this fix are examined in detail by consulting the original log entries with a view to understanding the size of the errors and uncertainties it may be subject to and providing guidance to possible future searches. It is found that a dearth of navigational sights around the time of the sinking, the inevitable growth of uncertainties in the chronometer time since rating and other factors, introduce the possibility of errors in the position of several nautical miles in both latitude and longitude.
Current policy emphasises the importance of ‘living well’ with dementia, but there has been no comprehensive synthesis of the factors related to quality of life (QoL), subjective well-being or life satisfaction in people with dementia. We examined the available evidence in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched electronic databases until 7 January 2016 for observational studies investigating factors associated with QoL, well-being and life satisfaction in people with dementia. Articles had to provide quantitative data and include ⩾75% people with dementia of any type or severity. We included 198 QoL studies taken from 272 articles in the meta-analysis. The analysis focused on 43 factors with sufficient data, relating to 37639 people with dementia. Generally, these factors were significantly associated with QoL, but effect sizes were often small (0.1–0.29) or negligible (<0.09). Factors reflecting relationships, social engagement and functional ability were associated with better QoL. Factors indicative of poorer physical and mental health (including depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms) and poorer carer well-being were associated with poorer QoL. Longitudinal evidence about predictors of QoL was limited. There was a considerable between-study heterogeneity. The pattern of numerous predominantly small associations with QoL suggests a need to reconsider approaches to understanding and assessing living well with dementia.
This study uses stable carbon δ13C and oxygen δ18O isotope compositions data to assess the extent to which diet breadths of northwestern Guyana changed during the Holocene. We analyzed human bone and enamel remains from seven shell mound sites dating between 7500 and 2600 BP. Our analyses demonstrate some constancy in C3 plant availability during the past several thousand years, though we note increasing reliance on such plants beginning in the Early Holocene. We also document warming intervals during the Early Holocene (Early Archaic) that appear to correlate with dry periods known elsewhere in the central Amazon during this period.
Incorporation of cover crop residue into the soil has been suggested as a means for reducing weed seedbanks. To explore this hypothesis, we buried mesh bags of seeds mixed with sand at 15-cm depth in late fall in plots that had been planted with rye (Secale cereale L.) or hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.) or left unplanted. Separate bags contained either velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medik.), giant foxtail (Setaria faberi Herrm.), Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powellii S. Watson), or common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.). The experiment used a randomized complete block design with five replications, and enough bags were buried to allow a final recovery in each of the following three springs. Each spring, bags were exhumed, and seeds were either counted and tested for viability or mixed with chopped cover crop material or simply stirred for control bags, and the material was reburied. The experiment was completed twice with initial burials in fall of 2011 and 2013. Rye had no consistent effect on persistence of seeds of any of the species. For two observation intervals, rye increased persistence of a species; for another two intervals, it decreased persistence relative to the control; but mostly rye did not affect persistence. Hairy vetch decreased persistence of C. album and A. powellii in both runs of the experiment but had no effect on persistence of A. theophrasti and S. faberi. Germination of the first two species is promoted by nitrate, whereas A. theophrasti germination is not sensitive to nitrate, and S. faberi is only rarely nitrate sensitive. We suggest that nitrate released during decomposition of hairy vetch may have promoted fatal germination of C. album and A. powellii. Incorporation of legume cover crops like hairy vetch may provide a means for decreasing the seedbanks of the many weed species whose germination is promoted by nitrate. The lack of any reduction of A. theophrasti and S. faberi seed persistence in response to hairy vetch and the inconsistent and mostly negligible effect of rye indicate that a general increase in readily decomposable organic matter through incorporation of cover crops may be ineffective at reducing weed seedbanks.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Well-developed surface channels on Taylor Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, begin as medial moraines incised as shallow, narrow surface depressions, and retain this geometry for tens of km. Over a distance of 1100 m, the channel geometry dramatically changes, reaching depths >20m and widths >100 m. After rapidly enlarging, the channels appear to evolve toward a new equilibrium geometry. Compared to the glacier surface, the air temperature in the channels is warmer by ∼1.7˚C, wind speed is reduced by ∼2.4ms–1 and net shortwave radiation is greater by ∼14Wm–2. The microclimate in the channel shifts the energy balance towards enhanced melt. Field evidence and energy-balance modeling indicate ablation in the deep channels is ∼4.5 times greater than the local horizontal glacier surface and that melt accounts for ∼99% of the summer ablation, compared to ∼75% on the adjacent horizontal glacier surface. Melt in these channels supplies 65% of the unaccounted water discharge into the neighboring lake. In large part, the channels generate the water they carry, rather than merely route water generated elsewhere.
The nuclei of the low-surface-brightness PNe A 35, LoTr 1, and LoTr 5 are binaries containing rapidly rotating late-type subgiants or giants and extremely hot (Teff ≳ 100,000 K) companions detected by the IUE satellite. All three objects show low-amplitude, periodic photometric variations in the optical band (with periods of 0.76 or 3.3, 6.6, and 5.9 days, respectively).
Close-binary planetary-nebula nuclei (PNNs) provide direct evidence for occurrence of a common-envelope phase in binary-star evolution. Their descendants are V471 Tauri-type detached binaries, cataclysmic binaries, and possibly Type I supernovae. Thirteen close-binary PNNs are now known from periodic photometric or radial-velocity variations, or from composite optical/UV spectra. At least 10% of PNNs are close binaries, a fraction more than sufficient to account for the formation of all of the cataclysmic variables in the solar neighborhood. The Abell 35-type binary PNNs, a class with three known members, contain rapidly rotating, chromospherically active late-type primary stars along with extremely hot companions detected with the IUE satellite.
Cepheids are excellent stellar tracers: they are bright enough to be observed even at large distances; their distances can be accurately determined via period-luminosity relations; their spectra contain numerous lines that enable us to derive abundances for many α, iron-peak or neutron-capture elements. Classical Cepheids are yellow supergiants that trace the young populations (⩽ 300 Myr); Type II Cepheids are post Horizontal Branch, low-mass, Population II stars (⩾ 10 Gyr). Both can be used for many purposes in Milky Way archaeology.