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Indicators are necessary to monitor national progress toward commitments made to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), but countries often struggle to mobilize quantitative indicators for many biodiversity targets. Assessing the extent to which countries are using measurable indicators from global and national sources by surveying 5th National Reports to the CBD, we found that nationally generated indicators were used 11 times more frequently than global indicators and only one-fifth of indicators matched those recommended by the CBD, suggesting that countries and indicator experts should work more closely to agree upon measurable, scalable, fit-for-purpose indicators for the next generation of CBD targets.
We report the results of a computer enumeration that found that there are 3155 perfect 1-factorisations (P1Fs) of the complete graph
. Of these, 89 have a nontrivial automorphism group (correcting an earlier claim of 88 by Meszka and Rosa [‘Perfect 1-factorisations of
with nontrivial automorphism group’, J. Combin. Math. Combin. Comput.47 (2003), 97–111]). We also (i) describe a new invariant which distinguishes between the P1Fs of
, (ii) observe that the new P1Fs produce no atomic Latin squares of order 15 and (iii) record P1Fs for a number of large orders that exceed prime powers by one.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Depression and obesity are highly prevalent, and major impacts on public health frequently co-occur. Recently, we reported that having depression moderates the effect of the FTO gene, suggesting its implication in the association between depression and obesity.
To confirm these findings by investigating the FTO polymorphism rs9939609 in new cohorts, and subsequently in a meta-analysis.
The sample consists of 6902 individuals with depression and 6799 controls from three replication cohorts and two original discovery cohorts. Linear regression models were performed to test for association between rs9939609 and body mass index (BMI), and for the interaction between rs9939609 and depression status for an effect on BMI. Fixed and random effects meta-analyses were performed using METASOFT.
In the replication cohorts, we observed a significant interaction between FTO, BMI and depression with fixed effects meta-analysis (β=0.12, P = 2.7 × 10−4) and with the Han/Eskin random effects method (P = 1.4 × 10−7) but not with traditional random effects (β = 0.1, P = 0.35). When combined with the discovery cohorts, random effects meta-analysis also supports the interaction (β = 0.12, P = 0.027) being highly significant based on the Han/Eskin model (P = 6.9 × 10−8). On average, carriers of the risk allele who have depression have a 2.2% higher BMI for each risk allele, over and above the main effect of FTO.
This meta-analysis provides additional support for a significant interaction between FTO, depression and BMI, indicating that depression increases the effect of FTO on BMI. The findings provide a useful starting point in understanding the biological mechanism involved in the association between obesity and depression.
To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5±6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p<.0001). Cerebrovascular measures did not mediate the association between PA and global cognition scores (p>.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. (JINS, 2015, 21, 816–830)
Obesity has been shown to be associated with depression and it has been suggested that higher body mass index (BMI) increases the risk of depression and other common mental disorders. However, the causal relationship remains unclear and Mendelian randomisation, a form of instrumental variable analysis, has recently been employed to attempt to resolve this issue.
To investigate whether higher BMI increases the risk of major depression.
Two instrumental variable analyses were conducted to test the causal relationship between obesity and major depression in RADIANT, a large case–control study of major depression. We used a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in FTO and a genetic risk score (GRS) based on 32 SNPs with well-established associations with BMI.
Linear regression analysis, as expected, showed that individuals carrying more risk alleles of FTO or having higher score of GRS had a higher BMI. Probit regression suggested that higher BMI is associated with increased risk of major depression. However, our two instrumental variable analyses did not support a causal relationship between higher BMI and major depression (FTO genotype: coefficient −0.03, 95% CI −0.18 to 0.13, P = 0.73; GRS: coefficient −0.02, 95% CI −0.11 to 0.07, P = 0.62).
Our instrumental variable analyses did not support a causal relationship between higher BMI and major depression. The positive associations of higher BMI with major depression in probit regression analyses might be explained by reverse causality and/or residual confounding.
There is recent evidence of some degree of shared genetic susceptibility between adult schizophrenia and childhood attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for rare chromosomal variants.
To determine whether there is overlap between common alleles conferring risk of schizophrenia in adults with those that do so for ADHD in children.
We used recently published Psychiatric Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS) Consortium (PGC) adult schizophrenia data to define alleles over-represented in people with schizophrenia and tested whether those alleles were more common in 727 children with ADHD than in 2067 controls.
Schizophrenia risk alleles discriminated ADHD cases from controls (P = 1.04 × 104, R2 = 0.45%); stronger discrimination was given by alleles that were risk alleles for both adult schizophrenia and adult bipolar disorder (also derived from a PGC data-set) (P = 9.98 ×10−6, R2 × 0.59%).
This increasing evidence for a small, but significant, shared genetic susceptibility between adult schizophrenia and childhood ADHD highlights the importance of research work across traditional diagnostic boundaries.
Studies of economic decision-making have revealed the existence of consistent contributors, who always make contributions to the collective good. It is difficult to understand such behavior in terms of mutualistic motives. Furthermore, consistent contributors can elicit apparently altruistic behavior from others. Therefore, although mutualistic motives are likely an important contributor to moral action, there is more to morality than mutualism.
The false killer whale Pseudorca crassidens is currently documented from only six eastern tropical Atlantic (ETA) range states, five of which are evidenced by strandings, by-catch or skeletal remains rather than at-sea sightings and consequently provide no information on habitat or behaviour. Here we report six false killer whale records from cetacean surveys carried out off Gabon (four records) and Côte d'Ivoire (two records) between 2002 and 2012, providing the first at-sea sightings in those two existing range states. All six sightings were located in continental shelf waters (≤103 m depth) and in relatively nearshore (mean = 13.9 km) habitat. Forty-three false killer whales were photo-identified during three encounters on the Gabonese shelf; seven individuals were matched between 2002 and 2006, including two individuals that were present during all three sightings. Observations included predation of Atlantic sailfish Istiophoms albicans and two occurrences in proximity to humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae. Whistles recorded during one sighting had simple structure, short duration and a mean fundamental frequency of 7.8 kHz. These are the first verified records of false killer whales using continental shelf waters in the ETA, indicating that the species occupies neritic habitat in the region in addition to its previously-documented oceanic habitat. The re-sightings of marked individuals between sightings and years suggest that at least some individuals exhibit a degree of site fidelity to Gabonese shelf waters. Further information on distribution, abundance, movements, population structure and mortality rates are required for effective management of the species in the ETA.
A single nucleotide polymorphism rs12807809 located upstream of the neurogranin (NRGN) gene has been identified as a risk variant for schizophrenia in recent genome-wide association studies. To date, there has been little investigation of the endophenotypic consequences of this variant, and our own investigations have suggested that the effects of this gene are not apparent at the level of cognitive function in patients or controls. Because the impact of risk variants may be more apparent at the level of brain, the aim of this investigation was to delineate whether NRGN genotype predicted variability in brain structure and/or function. Healthy individuals participated in structural (N = 140) and/or functional (N = 36) magnetic resonance imaging (s/fMRI). Voxel-based morphometry was used to compare gray and white matter volumes between carriers of the non-risk C allele (i.e., CC/CT) and those who were homozygous for the risk T allele. Functional imaging data were acquired during the performance of a spatial working memory task, and were also analyzed with respect to the difference between C carriers and T homozygotes. There was no effect of the NRGN variant rs12807809 on behavioral performance or brain structure. However, there was a main effect of genotype on brain activity during performance of the working memory task, such that while C carriers exhibited a load-independent decrease in left superior frontal gyrus/BA10, TT individuals failed to show a similar decrease in activity. The failure to disengage this ventromedial prefrontal region, despite preserved performance, may be indicative of a reduction in processing efficiency in healthy TT carriers. Although it remains to be established whether this holds true in larger samples and in patient cohorts, if valid, this suggests a potential mechanism by which NRGN variability might contribute to schizophrenia risk.
Excavations at Tinney's Lane, Sherborne in 2002 uncovered extensive evidence for Late Bronze Age settlement and pottery production, dating from a short time period probably within the 12th or 11th century cal bc. Well-preserved deposits of burnt stone, broken vessels, and burnt sherds, together with resulting debris redeposited in associated pits, were accompanied by a series of post-hole structures interpreted as round-houses and four-post settings. Environmental evidence in the form of charcoal, charred plant remains, and molluscs has provided important information concerning sources of fuel and water for pottery production as well as allowing a reconstruction of the local vegetation. Finds of fired clay, metal, stone, shale, flint, and bone include items from distant sources, informing topics such as site status and exchange, and include many categories of tools and equipment that would have been used within the pottery-making processes. Analysis of the spatial distribution of these finds amongst the structures and surviving layers of burning has allowed the definition of a series of industrial activity areas, each comprising one or more round-houses, a four-post structure, bonfire bases or pits used for firing, and other pits with specific related functions. Altogether the site has provided some of the best evidence for pottery production within prehistoric Britain.
Minimum Sample Richness (MSR) is defined as the smallest number of taxa that must be recorded in a sample to achieve a given level of inter-assemblage classification accuracy. MSR is calculated from known or estimated richness and taxonomic similarity. Here we test MSR for strengths and weaknesses by using 167 published mammalian local faunas from the Paleogene and early Neogene of the Quercy and Limagne area (Massif Central, southwestern France), and then apply MSR to 84 Oligo-Miocene faunas from Riversleigh, northwestern Queensland, Australia. In many cases, MSR is able to detect the assemblages in the data set that are potentially too incomplete to be used in a similarity-based comparative taxonomic analysis. The results show that the use of MSR significantly improves the quality of the clustering of fossil assemblages. We conclude that this method can screen sample assemblages that are not representative of their underlying original living communities. Ultimately, it can be used to identify which assemblages require further sampling before being included in a comparative analysis.