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The understanding of the genetic basis of grain dormancy in wheat has rapidly improved in the last few years, and a number of genes have been identified related to that trait. We recently identified the wheat genes TaPM19-A1 and -A2 and we have now taken the first step towards understanding the role of this class of genes in seeds. By investigating the Arabidopsis homologous PM19-Like 1 (PM19L1) we have found that it has a seed-specific expression pattern and, while its expression is higher in dormant than in non-dormant seeds, knock-out mutations produced seeds with increased dormancy. Not only primary dormancy, but also secondary dormancy in response to high temperature was increased by the loss-of-function. We have also examined the function of PM19L1 by localizing the PM19 protein primarily to the cotyledon cells in seeds, possibly in membranes. By investigating the co-expression network of this gene we have found that it is connected to a small group of abscisic acid (ABA)-induced seed maturation and storage-related genes. The function of PM19L1 represents a good opportunity to explore the interactions of key factors that can influence seed dormancy such as ABA, temperature and membrane properties.
A better understood chronological framework for the Middle Pleistocene of Britain has enabled archaeologists to detect a number of temporally-restricted assemblage-types, based not on ‘culture historical’ schemes of typological progression but on independent dating methods and secure stratigraphic frameworks, especially river-terrace sequences. This includes a consistent pattern in the timing of Clactonian and Levalloisian industries, as well as a number of handaxe assemblage types that belong to different interglacial cycles. In other words, Derek Roe’s hunch that the apparent lack of coherent ‘cultural’ patterning was due to an inaccurate and inadequate chronological framework was correct. Some variation in handaxe shape is culturally significant. Here we focus on twisted ovate handaxes, which we have previously argued to belong predominantly to MIS 11. Recent discoveries have enabled us to refine our correlations. Twisted ovate assemblages are found in different regions of Britain in different substages of MIS 11 (East Anglia in MIS 11c and south of the Thames in MIS 11a), the Thames, and the MIS 11b cold interval separating the two occurrences. These patterns have the potential to reveal much about hominin settlement patterns, behaviour, and social networks during the Middle Pleistocene.
Hypertension prevalence is on the rise in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) like South Africa, and migration and its concomitant urbanization are often considered to be associated with this rise. However, relatively little is known about the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and internal migration – a highly prevalent population process in LMICs. This study employed data for a group of 194 adult men and women from an original pilot dataset drawn from the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System in north-east South Africa conducted in 2012. Migrants in the sample were identified, tracked and interviewed. The relationship between BP and migration distance and the number of months an individual spent away from his/her home village was estimated using robust OLS regression, controlling for a series of socioeconomic, health and behavioural characteristics. It was found that migrants who moved a longer distance and for longer durations had significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressures compared with shorter-term migrants and those who remained nearby or in their home village. These associations remained robust and statistically significant when adjusting for measures of socioeconomic conditions, as well as body mass index and the number of meals consumed per day. Migration, both in terms of distance and time away, explained significant variation in the blood pressure of migrants in this typical South African context. The findings suggest the need for further studies of the nutritional and psycho-social factors associated with geographic mobility that may be important to understand rising hypertension levels in LMICs.
A 2018 workshop on the White Mountain Apache Tribe lands in Arizona examined ways to enhance investigations into cultural property crime (CPC) through applications of rapidly evolving methods from archaeological science. CPC (also looting, graverobbing) refers to unauthorized damage, removal, or trafficking in materials possessing blends of communal, aesthetic, and scientific values. The Fort Apache workshop integrated four generally partitioned domains of CPC expertise: (1) theories of perpetrators’ motivations and methods; (2) recommended practice in sustaining public and community opposition to CPC; (3) tactics and strategies for documenting, investigating, and prosecuting CPC; and (4) forensic sedimentology—uses of biophysical sciences to link sediments from implicated persons and objects to crime scenes. Forensic sedimentology served as the touchstone for dialogues among experts in criminology, archaeological sciences, law enforcement, and heritage stewardship. Field visits to CPC crime scenes and workshop deliberations identified pathways toward integrating CPC theory and practice with forensic sedimentology’s potent battery of analytic methods.
The Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in class’ time is limited to four weeks a year, and the programme spans two years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser–plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just completed its first year. Thus far three Learning Teaching Training (LTT) activities have been held, at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux and the Centre for Plasma Physics and Lasers (CPPL) of TEI Crete. The last of these was a two-week long Intensive Programme (IP), while the activities at the other two universities were each five days in length. Thus far work has concentrated upon training in both theoretical and experimental work in plasma physics, high power laser–matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail and some metrics relating to the activities carried out to date will be presented.
The use of grammars in design and analysis has been set back by the lack of automated ways to induce them from arbitrarily structured datasets. Machine translation methods provide a construct for inducing grammars from coded data which have been extended to be used for design through pre-coded design data. This work introduces a four-step process for inducing grammars from un-coded structured datasets which can constitute a wide variety of data types, including many used in the design. The method includes: (1) extracting objects from the data, (2) forming structures from objects, (3) expanding structures into rules based on frequency, and (4) finding rule similarities that lead to consolidation or abstraction. To evaluate this method, grammars are induced from generated data, architectural layouts and three-dimensional design models to demonstrate that this method offers usable grammars automatically which are functionally similar to grammars produced by hand.
Bilateral symmetry in handaxes has significant implications for hominin cognitive and socio-behavioural evolution. Here the authors show that high levels of symmetry occur in the British Late Middle Pleistocene Acheulean, which they consider to be a deliberate, socially mediated act. Furthermore, they argue that lithic technology in general, and handaxes in particular, were part of a pleasure-reward system linked to dopamine-releasing neurons in the brain. Making handaxes made Acheulean hominins happy, and one particularly pleasing property was symmetry.
Shallow ice cores were obtained from widely distributed sites across the West Antarctic ice sheet, as part of the United States portion of the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) program. The US ITASE cores have been dated by annual-layer counting, primarily through the identification of summer peaks in non-sea-salt sulfate (nssSO42–) concentration. Absolute dating accuracy of better than 2 years and relative dating accuracy better than 1 year is demonstrated by the identification of multiple volcanic marker horizons in each of the cores, Tambora, Indonesia (1815), being the most prominent. Independent validation is provided by the tracing of isochronal layers from site to site using high-frequency ice-penetrating radar observations, and by the timing of mid-winter warming events in stable-isotope ratios, which demonstrate significantly better than 1 year accuracy in the last 20 years. Dating precision to ±1 month is demonstrated by the occurrence of summer nitrate peaks and stable-isotope ratios in phase with nssSO42–, and winter-time sea-salt peaks out of phase, with phase variation of <1 month. Dating precision and accuracy are uniform with depth, for at least the last 100 years.
Annually dated ice cores from West and East Antarctica provide proxies for past changes in atmospheric circulation over Antarctica and portions of the Southern Ocean, temperature in coastal West and East Antarctica, and the frequency of South Polar penetration of El Niño events. During the period AD 1700–1850, atmospheric circulation over the Antarctic and at least portions of the Southern Hemisphere underwent a mode switch departing from the out-of-phase alternation of multi-decadal long phases of EOF1 and EOF2 modes of the 850 hPa field over the Southern Hemisphere (as defined in the recent record by Thompson and Wallace, 2000; Thompson and Solomon, 2002) that characterizes the remainder of the 700 year long record. From AD 1700 to 1850, lower-tropospheric circulation was replaced by in-phase behavior of the Amundsen Sea Low component of EOF2 and the East Antarctic High component of EOF1. During the first phase of the mode switch, both West and East Antarctic temperatures declined, potentially in response to the increased extent of sea ice surrounding both regions. At the end of the mode switch, West Antarctic coastal temperatures rose and East Antarctic coastal temperatures fell, respectively, to their second highest and lowest of the record. Polar penetration of El Niño events increased during the mode switch. The onset of the AD 1700–1850 mode switch coincides with the extreme state of the Maunder Minimum in solar variability. Late 20th-century West Antarctic coastal temperatures are the highest in the record period, and East Antarctic coastal temperatures close to the lowest. Since AD 1700, extratropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere have experienced significant climate variability coincident with changes in both solar variability and greenhouse gases.
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is responsible for 5%-10% of all deaths among children 5-19 years-of-age. The incidence of SCD in youth in Michigan (USA) and nationwide is higher in racial/ethnic minorities and in certain geographic areas. School cardiac emergency response plans (CERPs) increase survival after cardiac arrest. However, school cardiac emergency preparedness remains variable. Studying population-level factors associated with school cardiac emergency preparedness and incidence of SCD in the young may improve understanding of disparities in the incidence of SCD.
The objective of this pilot study was to determine the association of elements of high school cardiac emergency preparedness, including Automated External Defibrillator (AED) distribution and the presence of CERPs with county sociodemographic characteristics and county incidence of SCD in the young.
Surveys were sent to representatives from all public high schools in 30 randomly selected Michigan counties. Counties with greater than 50% response rate were included (n=19). Association of county-level sociodemographic characteristics with incidence of SCD in the young and existence of CERPs were evaluated using Spearman correlation coefficient.
Factors related to the presence of AEDs were similar across counties. Schools in counties of lower socioeconomic status (SES; lower-median income, lower per capita income, and higher population below poverty level) were less likely to have a CERP than those with higher SES (all P<.01). Lack of a CERP was associated with a higher incidence of SCD in youth (r=-0.71; P=.001). Overall incidence of SCD in youth was higher in lower SES counties (r=-0.62 in median income and r=0.51 in population below poverty level; both P<.05).
County SES is associated with the presence of CERPs in schools, suggesting a link between school cardiac emergency preparedness and county financial resources. Additionally, counties of lower SES demonstrated higher incidence of SCD in the young. Statewide and national studies are required to further explore the factors relating to geographic and socioeconomic differences in cardiac emergency preparedness and the incidence of SCD in the young.
WhiteMJ, LoccohEC, GobleMM, YuS, OdetolaFO, RussellMW. High School Cardiac Emergency Response Plans and Sudden Cardiac Death in the Young. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(3):269–272.
Recent anatomical analyses of a human maxilla found in 1927 in the Vestibule at Kent's Cavern, Devon, UK, have been interpreted as confirming its taxonomic status as Homo sapiens, while Bayesian modelling of dated fauna apparently ‘associated’ with it has been interpreted as suggesting a calendar age for the maxilla of around 44,200–41,500 years BP, rendering it the earliest fossil evidence for modern human presence in Northern Europe. In this paper, we examine fully the circumstances of the maxilla's discovery, data not previously considered. Based mostly on archival and limited published materials, as well as knowledge of the cave's stratigraphy, we provide a detailed examination of the context of the maxilla and associated finds. We urge caution over using a small selected sample of fauna from an old and poorly executed excavation in Kent's Cavern to provide a radiocarbon stratigraphy and age for a human fossil that cannot be dated directly, and we suggest that the recent dating should be rejected. We place our evaluation in the wider context of the dating of European early anatomically modern humans.
We present an overview of the survey for radio emission from active stars that has been in progress for the last six years using the observatories at Fleurs, Molonglo, Parkes and Tidbinbilla. The role of complementary optical observations at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Mount Burnett, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories and Mount Tamborine are also outlined. We describe the different types of star that have been included in our survey and discuss some of the problems in making the radio observations.
A grant from the Department of Employment, Education and Training and matching funding from the University of Western Sydney, Nepean, has allowed the construction of a teaching and public access observatory on the University’s Werrington North campus. The observatory consists of a lecture theatre for about 50 students, an office for administration and project/souvenir sales, and an enclosed office for research activities. The 6·5 m dome will house a fork-mounted 0·6 m (24 inch) Ritchey-Chrétien telescope working at f/10. There will also be two outside observation areas for tripod-mounted telescopes. The expected completion date for the entire project is mid-1994.
To examine the association between BMI and folate concentrations in serum and red blood cells (RBC) in pregnant women.
A cross-sectional comparison of folate concentrations in serum and RBC sampled simultaneously from the same individual.
The Ottawa Hospital and Kingston General Hospital, Ontario, Canada.
Pregnant women recruited between 12 and 20 weeks of gestation.
A total of 869 pregnant women recruited from April 2008 to April 2009 were included in the final analysis. Serum folate was inversely associated and RBC folate positively associated with BMI, after adjusting for folic acid supplementation, age, gestational age at blood sample collection, race, maternal education, annual income, smoking and MTHFR 677C→T genotype. In stratified analyses, this differential association was significant in women with the MTHFR CC variant. In women with the CT and TT variants, the differential associations were in the same direction but not significant. Folic acid supplementation during pregnancy did not alter the differential association of BMI with serum and RBC folate concentration. This indicates that the current RBC folate cut-off approach for assessing risk of neural tube defects in obese women may be limited.
BMI is inversely associated with serum folate and positively associated with RBC folate in pregnant women, especially for those with the MTHFR CC variant.
The palaeoanthropological and geomorphological sub-projects of the Desert Migrations Project (DMP) focus on the Pleistocene and early Holocene environment and prehistory of Fazzan so as to assess the timing and extent of hominin and human movement across the Sahara through time. This paper reports on the findings of the 2008 field season, with a focus on the prehistoric evidence along the northern margin of the Ubari sand sea.
The geomorphological record of the area preserves evidence of at least five past episodes of lake formation. The exact chronology of these, as well as the spatial extent of these lakes, remains the focus of further study.
The archaeological record of hominin and human occupation of Fazzan prior to the establishment of the Garamantian civilisation is extraordinarily rich. Between 2007 and 2008, the DMP palaeoanthropological project surveyed thirty-five localities along the northern margin of the Ubari sand sea, recording a range of assemblages spanning all Palaeolithic industries. Most of the archaeological remains found consisted of stone-tools, while grinding stones were comparatively restricted geographically. Mode 1/Oldowan tools were found at two localities, contrasting with the widespread presence of Mode 2/Acheulean, Mode 3/Middle Stone Age and Mode 5/microlithic artefacts. This indicates that, although hominin presence in the area is probably earlier than previously thought, populations were comparatively sparse until the Middle Pleistocene. Twenty-one localities within the Ubari sand sea, as well as seven south of the Messak Settafet were also surveyed between 2007 and 2008. The detailed study of the lithics from these areas will be carried out next year, but preliminary results stress the different nature of the assemblages found within interdune corridors — very low frequency of cores, no Mode 1 and extremely rare Mode 2 lithics (found at a single locality).
The 2009 field season will focus on obtaining further samples of palaeolake sediments for dating, on the evidence of Mode 1 assemblages south of the Messak, as well as on the refining of the archaeological indicators that may distinguish the different phases of hominin and human occupation of Fazzan during the Later Pleistocene and Holocene.