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A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
CVD and associated metabolic diseases are linked to chronic inflammation, which can be modified by diet. The objective of the present study was to determine whether there is a difference in inflammatory markers, blood metabolic and lipid panels and lymphocyte gene expression in response to a high-fat dairy food challenge with or without milk fat globule membrane (MFGM). Participants consumed a dairy product-based meal containing whipping cream (WC) high in saturated fat with or without the addition of MFGM, following a 12 h fasting blood draw. Inflammatory markers including IL-6 and C-reactive protein, lipid and metabolic panels and lymphocyte gene expression fold changes were measured using multiplex assays, clinical laboratory services and TaqMan real-time RT-PCR, respectively. Fold changes in gene expression were determined using the Pfaffl method. Response variables were converted into incremental AUC, tested for differences, and corrected for multiple comparisons. The postprandial insulin response was significantly lower following the meal containing MFGM (P < 0·01). The gene encoding soluble epoxide hydrolase (EPHX2) was shown to be more up-regulated in the absence of MFGM (P = 0·009). Secondary analyses showed that participants with higher baseline cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio (Chol:HDL) had a greater reduction in gene expression of cluster of differentiation 14 (CD14) and lymphotoxin β receptor (LTBR) with the WC+MFGM meal. The protein and lipid composition of MFGM is thought to be anti-inflammatory. These exploratory analyses suggest that addition of MFGM to a high-saturated fat meal modifies postprandial insulin response and offers a protective role for those individuals with higher baseline Chol:HDL.
This article summarizes the results of controlled experiments in which flaked-stone points that varied in impact strength by a factor of almost three were shot at media that were increasingly inelastic and therefore likely to break the points. Broken tips were reworked if possible, and used again under the same conditions. Our results show that all damage to low impact-strength materials, especially obsidian, was generally catastrophic, and, consequently, these points could only rarely be reworked. The fact that low-strength stones were commonly used to make small arrowpoints suggests that reworking was not a primary concern for their designers. Furthermore, in those instances when broken tips could be reworked, their performance declined. In addition, reworking broken points also resulted in shapes that are uncommon in many arrowpoint assemblages. Our results suggest that the original design attributes of arrowpoints may have been less affected by reworking, and, consequently, may more accurately suggest temporal and behavioral associations.
Interoceptive deficits (ID) have been associated with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal behavior in multiple studies. Many of these studies are limited in scope, and have not fully examined possible mechanisms explaining how ID affect suicidal behavior.
This study assesses how self-reported ID relate to suicide ideation and attempts in six distinct and geographically diverse samples of adults (n = 2706) and one sample of adolescents (n = 436). Participants responded to a variety of self-report questionnaires and interviews.
Contrary to our hypothesis, self-reported ID were only associated with suicidal ideation in two samples, one of which was the adolescent sample. Largely consistent with our predictions, self-reported ID exhibited an indirect effect on suicide attempts through versatility of NSSI in four of the five adult samples tested. Finally, the indirect effects of self-reported ID on suicide attempts through NSSI versatility did not act indirectly through behaviorally assessed pain tolerance.
We found that, in adults, self-reported ID are not associated with suicidal ideation, but are connected with a history of suicide attempts, through an indirect effect via NSSI. Our findings also indicate that the mechanism of action leading from self-reported ID to suicidal behavior may differ between adolescents and adults, and relate to suicidal behavior independent of pain tolerance. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.
The need for hollow microneedle arrays is important for both drug delivery and wearable sensor applications; however, their fabrication poses many challenges. Hollow metal microneedle arrays residing on a flexible metal foil substrate were created by combining additive manufacturing, micromolding, and electroplating approaches in a process we refer to as electromolding. A solid microneedle with inward facing ledge was fabricated with a two photon polymerization (2PP) system utilizing laser direct write (LDW) and then molded with polydimethylsiloxane. These molds were then coated with a seed layer of Ti/Au and subsequently electroplated with pulsed deposition to create hollow microneedles. An inward facing ledge provided a physical blocking platform to restrict deposition of the metal seed layer for creation of the microneedle bore. Various ledge sizes were tested and showed that the resulting seed layer void could be controlled via the ledge length. Mechanical properties of the PDMS mold was adjusted via the precursor ratio to create a more ductile mold that eliminated tip damage to the microneedles upon removal from the molds. Master structures were capable of being molded numerous times and molds were able to be reused. SEM/EDX analysis showed that trace amounts of the PDMS mold were transferred to the metal microneedle upon removal. The microneedle substrate showed a degree of flexibility that withstood over 100 cycles of bending from side to side without damaging. Microneedles were tested for their fracture strength and were capable of puncturing porcine skin and injecting a dye.
Lymphatic filariasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by roundworm parasites such as Brugia malayi that spread via a mosquito vector. In vitro culture of these parasites provides controlled conditions to understand parasite biology and provides a cheaper way to screen potential micro- and macrofilaricides. Published studies have used a wide array of approaches and metrics regarding in vitro cultures of B. malayi; as a result, drawing comparisons and identifying the reasons why inability to reproduce outcomes are difficult. This study sought to determine conditions that ensure reproducible outcomes and used evaluation metrics that are easily measured and can be automated to ensure objectivity. We found culturing B. malayi third-stage larvae (L3) in endothelial basal media supplemented with 20% fetal bovine serum and 75 µm ascorbic acid in a temperature- and humidity-controlled incubator produced better survival and molting rates as well as longer and more motile parasites than previously reported. The benefit of ascorbic acid seemed to be unique to L3 parasites, as the addition of ascorbic acid to adult parasites had no significant impact on survival or motility. The methods reported in this study will help in designing experiments for both parasite behaviour studies and drug screening applications for disease eradication.
Accurate weed emergence models are valuable tools for scheduling planting, cultivation, and herbicide applications. Multiple models predicting giant ragweed emergence have been developed, but none have been validated in diverse crop rotation and tillage systems, which have the potential to influence weed emergence patterns. This study evaluated the performance of published giant ragweed emergence models across various crop rotations and spring tillage dates in southern Minnesota. Across experiments, the most robust model was a mixed-effects Weibull (flexible sigmoidal function) model predicting emergence in relation to hydrothermal time accumulation with a base temperature of 4.4 C, a base soil matric potential of −2.5 MPa, and two random effects determined by overwinter growing degree days (GDD) (10 C) and precipitation accumulated during seedling recruitment. The deviations in emergence between individual plots and the fixed-effects model were distinguished by the positive association between the lower horizontal asymptote (Drop) and maximum daily soil temperature during seedling recruitment. This finding indicates that crops and management practices that increase soil temperature will have a shorter lag phase at the start of giant ragweed emergence compared with practices promoting cool soil temperatures. Thus, crops with early-season crop canopies such as perennial crops and crops planted in early spring and in narrow rows will likely have a slower progression of giant ragweed emergence. This research provides a valuable assessment of published giant ragweed emergence models and illustrates that accurate emergence models can be used to time field operations and improve giant ragweed control across diverse cropping systems.
The hedging practices survey took place towards the end of 2015 in the final few months prior to Solvency II regulations coming into force. At the point of completing the survey we would expect that companies would have largely transitioned their hedging approaches to work in a Solvency II environment. There may be some cases where further changes were planned but not implemented at the point of completing the survey. Further, as familiarity with working under the new regulations increases, approaches are expected to continue to develop over time. The working party hopes that this report is useful in summarising industry attitudes at this point in time and as a comparator in future years. Before launching the survey we did have several conjectures of what we may expect to see in the results. Some proved true, for some it was difficult to glean any strong conclusion from the data, and there were one or two where results countered what we expected to see.
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migratory flyways. Most threats are increasing in intensity, particularly in non-breeding areas, where habitat loss resulting from residential and commercial development, aquaculture, mining, transport, disturbance, problematic invasive species, pollution and climate change were regarded as having the greatest detrimental impact. Fewer threats (mining, disturbance, problematic native species and climate change) were identified as widely affecting breeding areas. Numeniini populations face the greatest number of non-breeding threats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, especially those associated with coastal reclamation; related threats were also identified across the Central and Atlantic Americas, and East Atlantic flyways. Threats on the breeding grounds were greatest in Central and Atlantic Americas, East Atlantic and West Asian flyways. Three priority actions were associated with monitoring and research: to monitor breeding population trends (which for species breeding in remote areas may best be achieved through surveys at key non-breeding sites), to deploy tracking technologies to identify migratory connectivity, and to monitor land-cover change across breeding and non-breeding areas. Two priority actions were focused on conservation and policy responses: to identify and effectively protect key non-breeding sites across all flyways (particularly in the East Asian- Australasian Flyway), and to implement successful conservation interventions at a sufficient scale across human-dominated landscapes for species’ recovery to be achieved. If implemented urgently, these measures in combination have the potential to alter the current population declines of many Numeniini species and provide a template for the conservation of other groups of threatened species.
In the midwestern United States, biotypes of giant ragweed resistant to multiple herbicide biochemical sites of action have been identified. Weeds with resistance to multiple herbicides reduce the utility of existing herbicides and necessitate the development of alternative weed control strategies. In two experiments in southeastern Minnesota, we determined the effect of six 3 yr crop-rotation systems containing corn, soybean, wheat, and alfalfa on giant ragweed seedbank depletion and emergence patterns. The six crop-rotation systems included continuous corn, soybean–corn–corn, corn–soybean–corn, soybean–wheat–corn, soybean–alfalfa–corn, and alfalfa–alfalfa–corn. The crop-rotation system had no effect on the amount of seedbank depletion when a zero-weed threshold was maintained, with an average of 96% of the giant ragweed seedbank being depleted within 2 yr. Seedbank depletion occurred primarily through seedling emergence in all crop-rotation systems. However, seedling emergence tended to account for more of the seedbank depletion in rotations containing only corn or soybean compared with rotations with wheat or alfalfa. Giant ragweed emerged early across all treatments, with on average 90% emergence occurring by June 4. Duration of emergence was slightly longer in established alfalfa compared with other cropping systems. These results indicate that corn and soybean rotations are more conducive to giant ragweed emergence than rotations including wheat and alfalfa, and that adopting a zero-weed threshold is a viable approach to depleting the weed seedbank in all crop-rotation systems.
Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in glacier melt independently from model output. Here, we present a comprehensive database of Greenland glacier surface mass-balance observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. The database spans the 123 a from 1892 to 2015, contains a total of ~3000 measurements from 46 sites, and is openly accessible through the PROMICE web portal (http://www.promice.dk). For each measurement we provide X, Y and Z coordinates, starting and ending dates as well as quality flags. We give sources for each entry and for all metadata. Two thirds of the data were collected from grey literature and unpublished archive documents. Roughly 60% of the measurements were performed by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS, previously GGU). The data cover all regions of Greenland except for the southernmost part of the east coast, but also emphasize the importance of long-term time series of which there are only two exceeding 20 a. We use the data to analyse uncertainties in point measurements of surface mass balance, as well as to estimate surface mass-balance profiles for most regions of Greenland.