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Host-specific interactions can maintain genetic and phenotypic diversity in parasites that attack multiple host species. Host diversity, in turn, may promote parasite diversity by selection for genetic divergence or plastic responses to host type. The parasitic weed purple witchweed [Striga hermonthica (Delile) Benth.] causes devastating crop losses in sub-Saharan Africa and is capable of infesting a wide range of grass hosts. Despite some evidence for host adaptation and host-by-Striga genotype interactions, little is known about intraspecific Striga genomic diversity. Here we present a study of transcriptomic diversity in populations of S. hermonthica growing on different hosts (maize [Zea mays L.] vs. grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]). We examined gene expression variation and differences in allelic frequency in expressed genes of aboveground tissues from populations in western Nigeria parasitizing each host. Despite low levels of host-based genome-wide differentiation, we identified a set of parasite transcripts specifically associated with each host. Parasite genes in several different functional categories implicated as important in host–parasite interactions differed in expression level and allele on different hosts, including genes involved in nutrient transport, defense and pathogenesis, and plant hormone response. Overall, we provide a set of candidate transcripts that demonstrate host-specific interactions in vegetative tissues of the emerged parasite S. hermonthica. Our study shows how signals of host-specific processes can be detected aboveground, expanding the focus of host–parasite interactions beyond the haustorial connection.
In a large and comprehensively assessed sample of patients with bipolar disorder type I (BDI), we investigated the prevalence of psychotic features and their relationship with life course, demographic, clinical, and cognitive characteristics. We hypothesized that groups of psychotic symptoms (Schneiderian, mood incongruent, thought disorder, delusions, and hallucinations) have distinct relations to risk factors.
In a cross-sectional study of 1342 BDI patients, comprehensive demographical and clinical characteristics were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I) interview. In addition, levels of childhood maltreatment and intelligence quotient (IQ) were assessed. The relationships between these characteristics and psychotic symptoms were analyzed using multiple general linear models.
A lifetime history of psychotic symptoms was present in 73.8% of BDI patients and included delusions in 68.9% of patients and hallucinations in 42.6%. Patients with psychotic symptoms showed a significant younger age of disease onset (β = −0.09, t = −3.38, p = 0.001) and a higher number of hospitalizations for manic episodes (F11 338 = 56.53, p < 0.001). Total IQ was comparable between groups. Patients with hallucinations had significant higher levels of childhood maltreatment (β = 0.09, t = 3.04, p = 0.002).
In this large cohort of BDI patients, the vast majority of patients had experienced psychotic symptoms. Psychotic symptoms in BDI were associated with an earlier disease onset and more frequent hospitalizations particularly for manic episodes. The study emphasizes the strength of the relation between childhood maltreatment and hallucinations but did not identify distinct subgroups based on psychotic features and instead reported of a large heterogeneity of psychotic symptoms in BD.
Palaeochannels of lowland rivers provide a means of investigating the sensitivity of river response to climate-driven hydrologic change. About 80 palaeochannels of the lower Macquarie River of southeastern Australia record the evolution of this distributive fluvial system. Six Macquarie palaeochannels were dated by single-grain optically stimulated luminescence. The largest of the palaeochannels (Quombothoo, median age 54 ka) was on average 284 m wide, 12 times wider than the modern river (24 m) and with 21 times greater meander wavelength. Palaeo-discharge then declined, resulting in a younger, narrower, group of palaeochannels, Bibbijibbery (125 m wide, 34 ka), Billybingbone (92 m, 20 ka), Milmiland (112 m, 22 ka), and Mundadoo (86 m, 5.6 ka). Yet these channels were still much larger than the modern river and were continuous downstream to the confluence with the Barwon-Darling River. At 5.5 ka, a further decrease in river discharge led to the formation of the narrow modern river, the ecologically important Macquarie Marshes, and Marra Creek palaeochannel (31 m, 2.1 ka) and diminished sediment delivery to the Barwon-Darling River as palaeo-discharge fell further. The hydrologic changes suggest precipitation was a driving forcing on catchment discharge in addition to a temperature-driven runoff response.
The importance of parasites as a selective force in host evolution is a topic of current interest. However, short-term ecological studies of host–parasite systems, on which such studies are usually based, provide only snap-shots of what may be dynamic systems. We report here on four surveys, carried out over a period of 12 years, of helminths of spiny mice (Acomys dimidiatus), the numerically dominant rodents inhabiting dry montane wadis in the Sinai Peninsula. With host age (age-dependent effects on prevalence and abundance were prominent) and sex (female bias in abundance in helminth diversity and in several taxa including Cestoda) taken into consideration, we focus on the relative importance of temporal and spatial effects on helminth infracommunities. We show that site of capture is the major determinant of prevalence and abundance of species (and higher taxa) contributing to helminth community structure, the only exceptions being Streptopharaus spp. and Dentostomella kuntzi. We provide evidence that most (notably the Spiruroidea, Protospirura muricola, Mastophorus muris and Gongylonema aegypti, but with exceptions among the Oxyuroidae, e.g. Syphacia minuta), show elements of temporal-site stability, with a rank order of measures among sites remaining similar over successive surveys. Hence, there are some elements of predictability in these systems.
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.
A calibration is presented for conventional radiocarbon ages ranging from 10 to 7240 years BP and thus covering a calendric range of 8000 years from 6050 BC to AD 1950. Distinctive features of this calibration include 1) an improved data set consisting of 1154 radiocarbon measurements on samples of known age, 2) an extended range over which radiocarbon ages may be calibrated (an additional 530 years), 3) separate 95% confidence intervals (in tabular from) for six different radiocarbon uncertainties (20, 50, 100, 150, 200, 300 years), and 4) an estimate of the non-Poisson errors related to radiocarbon determinations, including an estimate of the systematic errors between laboratories.
The effect of Hybrid stage 1 palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome on right ventricular function is unknown. We sought to compare right ventricular function in normal neonates and those with hypoplastic left heart syndrome before Hybrid palliation and to assess the effect of Hybrid palliation on right ventricular function, using the right ventricular myocardial performance index and the ratio of systolic and diastolic durations.
We carried out a retrospective review of echocardiographic data on 23 infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome who underwent Hybrid palliation and 35 normal controls. Data were acquired before Hybrid and after Hybrid palliation – post 1, 0–4 days; post 2, 1 week; post 3, 2–3 weeks; post 4, 1–1.5 months following Hybrid palliation.
Myocardial performance index and ratio of systolic and diastolic durations were higher in the pre-Hybrid hypoplastic left heart syndrome group (n=23) – 0.47±0.16 versus 0.25±0.07, p<0.001; 1.59±0.44 versus 1.09±0.14, p<0.0001 – compared with controls (n=35). There was no significant change in the myocardial performance index at any of the post-Hybrid time points. Ratio of systolic and diastolic durations increased significantly 2 weeks after Hybrid – post 3: 2.08±0.62 and post 4: 2.21±0.45 versus pre: 1.59±0.44, p=0.043 and 0.003. There were no significant differences in parameters between sub-groups of infants who died (n=10) and survivors (n=13).
Right ventricular myocardial performance index and ratio of systolic and diastolic durations were significantly higher in infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome before intervention compared with controls. The ratio of systolic and diastolic durations increased significantly 2 weeks after Hybrid palliation. Our data suggest that infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome have right ventricular dysfunction before intervention, which worsens over 2 weeks after Hybrid palliation.
Because of its central role in the global carbon cycle, quantifying the biomass of photosynthetic microalgae in the oceans is crucial to our ability to estimate the oceans’ carbon drawdown. Many traditional methods of primary production assessment have proven to be extremely time consuming and, consequently, have handled only very small sample sizes. The recent advent of in situ bio-optical sensors, such as the water quality monitor (WQM), is now providing lower cost and higher throughput data on these crucial biological communities. These WQMs, however, only quantify the total fluorescence of all individual cells within their optical sample windows, irrespective of size. In this paper, we further develop an established model, based on Pareto random variables, of the size structure of the microalgae community to understand the effect of the WQMs’ sampling and data pooling on their estimates of algal biomass. Unfortunately, evaluating sums of Pareto variables is a notoriously difficult problem. Here, we utilize an approximation for the right-tail of the resulting distribution to derive parameter estimates for the underlying size structure of the microalgae community.
Cygnus A, the nearest truly powerful radio galaxy, resides at the centre of a massive galaxy cluster. Chandra X-ray observations reveal its cocoon shocks, radio lobe cavities and an X-ray jet, which are discussed here. It is argued that X-ray emission from the outer regions of the cocoon shocks is nonthermal. The X-ray jets are best interpreted as synchrotron emission, suggesting that they, rather than the radio jets, are the path of energy flow from the nucleus to the hotspots. In that case, a model shows that the jet flow is non-relativistic and carries in excess of one solar mass per year.
The dissociation channels of two prominent bound exciton complexes in wurtzite GaN thin films are determined via an extensive temperature dependent photoluminescence study. The shallow donor bound exciton dissociation at low temperatures (T ≤ 50 K) is found to be dominated by the release of a free exciton with thermal activation energy consistent with the exciton localization energy. At higher temperatures a second dissociation channel with activation energy EA = 28 ± 2 meV is observed. The dissociation of a bound exciton complex with exciton localization energy EXloc = 11.7 meV is also dominated by the release of a free exciton. In contrast to previous studies evidence is presented against the hypothesis of this emission being due to the exciton bound to an ionized donor. We find that it originates most likely from an exciton bound to a neutral acceptor.
The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing is a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (211 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 768 healthy controls (HCs)). Here we report diagnostic and cognitive findings at the first (18-month) follow-up of the cohort. The first aim was to compute rates of transition from HC to MCI, and MCI to AD. The second aim was to characterize the cognitive profiles of individuals who transitioned to a more severe disease stage compared with those who did not.
Eighteen months after baseline, participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing and diagnostic review, provided an 80 ml blood sample, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. A subgroup also underwent amyloid PET and MRI neuroimaging.
The diagnostic status of 89.9% of the cohorts was determined (972 were reassessed, 28 had died, and 112 did not return for reassessment). The 18-month cohort comprised 692 HCs, 82 MCI cases, 197 AD patients, and one Parkinson's disease dementia case. The transition rate from HC to MCI was 2.5%, and cognitive decline in HCs who transitioned to MCI was greatest in memory and naming domains compared to HCs who remained stable. The transition rate from MCI to AD was 30.5%.
There was a high retention rate after 18 months. Rates of transition from healthy aging to MCI, and MCI to AD, were consistent with established estimates. Follow-up of this cohort over longer periods will elucidate robust predictors of future cognitive decline.
Recent research indicates that cognitive reserve mitigates the clinical expression of neuropsychological impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS). This literature primarily uses premorbid intelligence and lifetime experiences as indicators. However, changes in current recreational activities may also contribute to the maintenance of neural function despite brain atrophy. We examined the moderation effects of current changes in recreational activity on the relationship between brain atrophy and information processing speed in 57 relapsing-remitting MS patients. Current enrichment was assessed using the Recreation and Pastimes subscale from the Sickness Impact Profile. In patients reporting current declines in recreational activities, brain atrophy was negatively associated with cognition, but there was no such association in participants reporting stable participation. The MRI metric-by-recreational activity interaction was significant in separate hierarchical regression analyses conducted using third ventricle width, neocortical volume, T2 lesion volume, and thalamic volume as brain measures. Results suggest that recreational activities protect against brain atrophy's detrimental influence on cognition. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–6)
We report early results of an observational campaign targeted on a sample of compact steep spectrum sources selected from the FIRST survey which are significantly weaker than those investigated before. The selection criteria and procedure are given in detail. We present here an assortment of MERLIN and VLBI observations and make some general comments based on the morphologies of the sources presented.
To evaluate long-term patterns of weight change and progression to overweight and obesity during adulthood.
Prospective study. Changes in mean BMI, waist circumference (WC) and weight were assessed over a mean 26-year follow-up (1971–1975 to 1998–2001). Mean BMI (95 % CI) and mean WC (95 % CI) of men and women in BMI and age groups were computed. Mean weight change in BMI and age categories was compared using analysis of covariance.
Framingham Heart Study Offspring/Spouse Nutrition Study.
Men and women (n 2394) aged 20–63 years.
During follow-up, increases in BMI (men: 2·2 kg/m2; women: 3·7 kg/m2) and WC (men: 5·7 cm; women: 15·1 cm) were larger in women than men. BMI gains were greatest in younger adults (20–39 years) and smallest in obese older adults (50–69 years). The prevalence of obesity doubled in men (to 33·2 %) and tripled in women (to 26·6 %). Among normal-weight individuals, abdominal obesity developed in women only. The prevalence of abdominal obesity increased 1·8-fold in men (to 53·0 %) and 2·4-fold in women (to 71·2 %). Weight gain was greatest in the youngest adults (20–29 years), particularly women. Gains continued into the fifth decade among men and then declined in the sixth decade; in women gains continued into the sixth decade.
Patterns of weight change and progression to obesity during adulthood differ in men and women. Preventive intervention strategies for overweight and obesity need to consider age- and sex-specific patterns of changes in anthropometric measures.