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Stictococcus vayssierei is a major pest of root and tuber crops in central Africa. However, data on its ecology are lacking. Here we provide an updated estimate of its distribution with the aim of facilitating the sustainable control of its populations. Surveys conducted in nine countries encompassing 13 ecological regions around the Congo basin showed that African root and tuber scale was present in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Uganda. It was not found on the sites surveyed in Chad and Nigeria. The pest occurred in the forest and the forest-savannah mosaic as well as in the savannah where it was never recorded before. However, prevalence was higher in the forest (43.1%) where cassava was the most infested crop, compared to the savannah (9.2%) where aroids (cocoyam and taro) were the most infested crops. In the forest habitat, the pest was prevalent in all but two ecological regions: the Congolian swamp forests and the Southern Congolian forest-savanna mosaic. In the savannah habitat, it was restricted to the moist savannah highlands and absent from dry savannahs. The scale was not observed below 277 m asl. Where present, the scale was frequently (87.1% of the sites) attended by the ant Anoplolepis tenella. High densities (>1000 scales per plant) were recorded along the Cameroon–Gabon border. Good regulatory measures within and between countries are required to control the exchange of plant materials and limit its spread. The study provides information for niche modeling and risk mapping.
Objectives: Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with impairments in facial emotion and emotional prosody perception during both mood episodes and periods of remission. To expand on previous research, the current study investigated cross-modal emotion perception, that is, matching of facial emotion and emotional prosody in remitted BD patients. Methods: Fifty-nine outpatients with BD and 45 healthy volunteers were included into a cross-sectional study. Cross-modal emotion perception was investigated by using two subtests out of the Comprehensive Affective Testing System (CATS). Results: Compared to control subjects patients were impaired in matching sad (p < .001) and angry emotional prosody (p = .034) to one of five emotional faces exhibiting the corresponding emotion and significantly more frequently matched sad emotional prosody to happy faces (p < .001) and angry emotional prosody to neutral faces (p = .017). In addition, patients were impaired in matching neutral emotional faces to the emotional prosody of one of three sentences (p = .006) and significantly more often matched neutral faces to sad emotional prosody (p = .014). Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that, even during periods of symptomatic remission, patients suffering from BD are impaired in matching facial emotion and emotional prosody. As this type of emotion processing is relevant in everyday life, our results point to the necessity to provide specific training programs to improve psychosocial outcomes. (JINS, 2019, 25, 336–342)
The rocky intertidal zone has a long history of ecological study with barnacles frequently serving as a model system to explore foundational theories. Parasites are often ignored in community ecology studies, and this particularly holds for true for the rocky intertidal zone. We explore the role of the isopod parasite, Hemioniscus balani, on its host, the acorn barnacle, Chthamalus fissus. We use the currencies of biomass and reproduction measured at the individual level, then applied to the population level, to evaluate the importance of this parasite to barnacle populations. We found H. balani can comprise substantial biomass in ‘apparent’ barnacle populations, sometimes even equaling barnacle biomass. Additionally, parasite reproduction sometimes matched barnacle reproduction. Thus, parasites divert substantial energy flow from the barnacle population and to near-shore communities in the form of parasite larvae. Parasites appeared to decrease barnacle reproduction per area. Potentially, this parasite may control barnacle populations, depending on the extent to which heavily infected barnacle populations contribute to barnacle populations at larger scales. These findings regarding the importance of a particular parasite for host population dynamics in this well studied ecosystem call for the integration of disease dynamics into community ecological studies of the rocky intertidal zone.
A global array of 20 radio observatories was used to measure the three-dimensional position and velocity of the two meteorological balloons that were injected into the equatorial region of the Venus atmosphere by the VEGA spacecraft.
While parasites serve as prey, it is unclear how the spatial distribution of parasite predators provides transmission control and influences patterns of parasitism. Because many of its organisms are sessile, the rocky intertidal zone is a valuable but little used system to understand spatial patterns of parasitism and elucidate the underlying mechanisms driving these patterns. Sea anemones and barnacles are important space competitors in the rocky intertidal zone along the Pacific coast of North America. Anemones are voracious, indiscriminate predators; thus, they may intercept infectious stages of parasites before they reach a host. We investigate whether a sea anemone protects an associated barnacle from parasitism by Hemioniscus balani, an isopod parasitic castrator. At Coal Oil Point, Santa Barbara, California USA, 29% of barnacles were within 1 cm from an anemone at the surveyed tidal height. Barnacles associated with anemones had reduced parasite prevalence and higher reproductive productivity than those remote from sea anemones. In the laboratory, anemones readily consumed the transmission stage of the parasite. Hence, anemone consumption of parasite transmission stages may provide a mechanism by which community context regulates parasite prevalence at a local scale. Our results suggest predation may be an important process providing parasite transmission control.
The ‘crowding effect’ is a result of competition by parasites within a host for finite resources. Typically, the severity of this effect increases with increasing numbers of parasites within a host and manifests in reduced body size and thus fitness. Evidence for the crowding effect is mixed – while some have found negative effects, others have found a positive effect of increased parasite load on parasite fitness. Parasites are consumers with diverse trophic strategies reflected in their life history traits. These distinctions are useful to predict the effects of crowding. We studied a parasitic castrator, a parasite that usurps host reproductive energy and renders the host sterile. Parasitic castrators typically occur as single infections within hosts. With multiple parasitic castrators, we expect strong competition and evidence of crowding. We directly assess the effect of crowding on reproductive success in a barnacle population infected by a unique parasitic castrator, Hemioniscus balani, an isopod parasite that infects and blocks reproduction of barnacles. We find (1) strong evidence of crowding in double infections, (2) increased frequency of double infections in larger barnacle hosts with more resources and (3) perfect compensation in egg production, supporting strong space limitation. Our results document that the effects of crowding are particularly severe for this parasitic castrator, and may be applicable to other castrators that are also resource or space limited.
A fully two-dimensional theoretical study of the electromagnetic wave propagation through Metal–Liquid Crystal–Metal (M–LC–M) waveguide structure is presented. Dispersion relations corresponding to both symmetric and antisymmetric-coupled surface plasmons polaritons modes in M–LC–M structure are derived and numerically solved. The effects of LC tilt angles on the effective refractive index and propagation length are proposed. The analytical method is in good agreement with those obtained from finite-difference time-domain simulation. The obtained analytic formula can be used as an efficient element in designing tunable ultrahigh nanoscale integrated plasmonic devices.
This paper presents a cable-driven dexterous manipulator with a large, open lumen. One specific application for the manipulator is the treatment of the degeneration of bone tissue (osteolysis) during a less-invasive hip revision surgery. Rigid tools used in traditional approaches limit the surgeons' ability to comprehensively treat the osteolysis due to the complex geometries of the lesion. The surgical scenario, testing, kinematic modeling, and image-based inverse kinematics are described. Testing shows 94% coverage of a lesion wall; the kinematic model describes manipulator notch positions within 0.15 mm, while the image-based inverse kinematics has 0.36 mm error. This manipulator is potentially useful in treating osteolytic lesions through (1) effective lesion exploration compared to conventional techniques, and (2) rapidly performing inverse kinematics from visual feedback.
Implantable electronic biomedical devices are used clinically to diagnose and treat an increasing number of medical conditions. Such devices typically employ hermetic packages that often incorporate electrical feedthroughs made with conventional ceramic-to-metal bonding technologies. This sealing technology is well established and provides robust hermetic seals, but is limited in both the number and spacing of electrical leads. Emerging devices for interfacing with the human nervous system, however, will require a large number of external electrical leads implemented in a miniaturized packaging configuration. Commercially available feedthrough technologies are currently incapable of providing external electrical contacts with spacings as small as 200 to 400 microns, and thus are neither compatible with integrated circuit I/O (input/output) pad spacings nor with miniature implantable packages. We report the development of a hermetic high-density feedthrough (HDF) technology that allows for conductive path densities as high as 1,000 per cm2, and that is capable of supporting neural interface devices. The fabrication process utilizes multilayer high temperature co-fired ceramic (HTCC) technology in conjunction with platinum leads. Before co-firing, green alumina substrates are interleaved with linear, parallel Pt trace arrays in either wire or thin foils to form the electrical feedthroughs. Layered stacks of spatially isolated traces are first compacted into a composite, and then fired to achieve densification. After firing, the densified multilayered composite compacts are sliced perpendicular to the Pt traces and lapped to produce multiple feedthrough arrays with a high density of leads (conductors). Both hermeticity and biocompatibility of such implantable feedthroughs are important, as both moisture and positive mobile ion contamination from the saline environment of the human body can lead to compromised performance or catastrophic failure. HDFs fabricated using this process with 100 conductors and lead-to-lead spacings as low as 400 microns have been helium leak tested repeatedly and found to exceed industry-accepted standards with helium leak rates in the range of 10–11 mbar-l/s. The spacing of the current prototype matches industry standard neural interface technology, and can be scaled to higher densities with lead-to-lead spacings as small as 200 microns. The reported HDF process has several distinct advantages over prior approaches, including the provision of a large number of conductive feedthrough leads suitable for flip-chip bonding with sub-mm lead-to-lead spacings (pitch), and the incorporation of materials (alumina and platinum) that are already used in medical implants. The implementation of such an HDF technology allows for significant package miniaturization, allowing greater flexibility in surgical placement as well as less invasive procedures for implantable electronic biomedical devices.
The CERES application (Code d’Evaluations Rapides Environnementales et Sanitaires) has been developed by CEA. It is used to evaluate the consequences on human health of releases of isotopes in the environment, either for emergency planning or for safety evaluation. Various types of emissions can be simulated: atmospheric accidental emission, atmospheric emission during normal operation or emission in liquid media under normal operation. Two versions exist, one devoted to radiological impact, the other one devoted to toxic impact.
The crystal chemistry of a number of Fe-Si systems (Si/Fe 0-4, pH 3-10) was investigated by combining local scale spectroscopic methods (EXAFS, FTIR and NMR) and at the semi local scale (SAXS). The Fe clusters within the precipitates have two growth regimes depending on the Si/Fe ratio: the growth is three and two dimensional for Si/Fe fl and Si/Fe ≤ 1 respectively. The presence of Fe-O-Si bonds within the precipitated phases has been demonstrated. Their formation and relative proportion was found to be very dependent on the pH and Si concentration The size of silica domains within the precipitates was shown to increase with increasing Si/Fe and/or decreasing pH. The high fractal dimension (Df) of the aggregates is attributed to the presence of the SiO4 ligands, but the evolution of Df linearly depends on the polymerization state of iron.
The quality of the metal/ceramic interface of solid ionically conducting materials is an important when undertaking impedance spectroscopy measurements. One major concern is the contact area between the metal and the ceramic. This work focussed on the treatment of the ceramic to the metal application by utilizing a standard quality Na-β" alumina. Next, a number of different metals were applied to the ceramic surface by different techniques, i.e. sputtering and evaporation, to serve as blocking electrodes in impedance spectroscopy measurements. The impedance spectroscopy measurements were carried out at temperatures from 30 - 300°C over a frequency range from 1 to 5 ×105 Hertz. The results are discussed in terms of the various parameters of impedance plots. Surface analysis techniques were applied to investigate the metal/ceramic interface before and after impedance spectroscopy measurements.
The excitation and fluorescence spectra of PEOx EuBr3 (x=8, 16, 20, 24, 32) and PPO32 EuBr3 were recorded and analyzed in terms of the barycenters of each level of the ground septet of Eu3+. The site symmetry of the Europium ion is tentatively assigned to the C1,2, C5 or C2v cases. The maximum fluorescence intensity for each composition, together with the measured values for the lifetimes, suggest the possibility of these two polymeric electrolytes being used as fluorescent materials.