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Animals living close to human settlements more often experience disturbance, but also reduced predation risk. Because an escape response is costly, behavioural adjustments of animals in terms of increased tolerance of humans occurs and is often reported in the literature. However, most such studies have been conducted in and around long-existing cities in Europe and North America, on well-established animal populations. Here, we investigate the degree of tolerance of human disturbance across 132 bird species occurring in disturbed (small farms) and undisturbed (intact wetlands and grasslands) areas in Pantanal, Mato Grosso (Brazil), a region with only a very recent history of human-induced disturbance. We found a clear across-species trend toward higher tolerance of human disturbance in birds near farms when compared with birds in wild areas. Such a flexible and perhaps also rapid emergence of tolerance when facing small-scale and very recent human disturbance presumably involves learning and might be attributed to behavioural plasticity. The ability of birds to modify their degree of tolerance of human disturbance may play a key role in the facilitation of wildlife–human coexistence.
Pregnant individuals who overeat are more likely to predispose their fetus to the development of metabolic disorders in adulthood. Physical training is a prevention and treatment interventional strategy that could treat these disorders, since it improves metabolism and body composition. This study assessed the protective effect of physical exercise against possible metabolic changes in generations F1 and F2, whose mothers were subjected to a high-sugar/high-fat (HS/HF) diet. Wistar rats belonging to generation F0 were distributed into four groups (n = 10): sedentary control (CSed), exercised control (CExe), sedentary HS/HF diet (DHSed) and exercised HS/HF diet (DHExe). From 21 to 120 days of age, maintained during pregnancy and lactation period, CSed/CExe animals received standard feed and DHSed/DHExe animals a HS/HF diet. Animals from the CExe/DHExe underwent physical training from 21 to 120 days of age. Male and female F1 and F2 received a normocaloric feed and did not perform any physical training, categorized into four groups (n = 10) according to the maternal group to which they belonged to. An increase in body weight, adiposity and glucose, and a change in lipid profile in F0 were observed, while exercise reduced the biochemical parameters comparing DHSed with DHExe. Maternal exercise had an effect on future generations, reducing adiposity, glucose and triglyceride concentrations, and preventing deleterious effects on glucose tolerance. Maternal overeating increased health risks both for mother and offspring, demonstrating that an HS/HF diet intake promotes metabolic alterations in the offspring. Importantly, the physical training performed by F0 proved to be protective against such effects.
Although executive and other cognitive deficits have been found in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), whether these have brain functional correlates has been little studied. This study aimed to examine patterns of task-related activation and de-activation during the performance of a working memory task in patients with the disorder.
Sixty-seven DSM-IV BPD patients and 67 healthy controls underwent fMRI during the performance of the n-back task. Linear models were used to obtain maps of within-group activations and areas of differential activation between the groups.
On corrected whole-brain analysis, there were no activation differences between the BPD patients and the healthy controls during the main 2-back v. baseline contrast, but reduced activation was seen in the precentral cortex bilaterally and the left inferior parietal cortex in the 2-back v. 1-back contrast. The patients showed failure of de-activation affecting the medial frontal cortex and the precuneus, plus in other areas. The changes did not appear to be attributable to previous history of depression, which was present in nearly half the sample.
In this study, there was some, though limited, evidence for lateral frontal hypoactivation in BPD during the performance of an executive task. BPD also appears to be associated with failure of de-activation in key regions of the default mode network.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
The Upper Cretaceous Kanguk Formation of the Sverdrup Basin, Canadian Arctic Islands, contains numerous diagenetically altered volcanic ash layers (bentonites). Eleven bentonites were sampled from an outcrop section on Ellesmere Island for U–Pb zircon secondary ion mass spectrometry dating and whole-rock geochemical analysis. Two distinct types of bentonite are identified from the geochemical data. Relatively thick (0.1 to 5 m) peralkaline rhyolitic to trachytic bentonites erupted in an intraplate tectonic setting. These occur throughout the upper Turonian to lower Campanian (c. 92–83 Ma) outcrop section and are likely associated with the alkaline phase of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province. Two thinner (<5 cm) subalkaline dacitic to rhyolitic bentonites of late Turonian to early Coniacian age (c. 90–88 Ma) are also identified. The geochemistry of these bentonites is consistent with derivation from volcanoes within an active continental margin tectonic setting. The lack of nearby potential sources of subalkaline magmatism, together with the thinner bed thickness of the subalkaline bentonites and the small size of zircon phenocrysts therein (typically 50–80 μm in length) are consistent with a more distal source area. The zircon U–Pb age and whole-rock geochemistry of these two subalkaline bentonites correlate with an interval of intense volcanism in the Okhotsk–Chukotka Volcanic Belt, Russia. It is proposed that during late Turonian to early Coniacian times intense volcanism within the Okhotsk–Chukotka Volcanic Belt resulted in widespread volcanic ash dispersal across Arctic Alaska and Canada, reaching as far east as the Sverdrup Basin, more than 3000 km away.
Most network studies rely on a measured network that differs from the underlying network which is obfuscated by measurement errors. It is well known that such errors can have a severe impact on the reliability of network metrics, especially on centrality measures: a more central node in the observed network might be less central in the underlying network. Previous studies have dealt either with the general effects of measurement errors on centrality measures or with the treatment of erroneous network data. In this paper, we propose a method for estimating the impact of measurement errors on the reliability of a centrality measure, given the measured network and assumptions about the type and intensity of the measurement error. This method allows researchers to estimate the robustness of a centrality measure in a specific network and can, therefore, be used as a basis for decision-making. In our experiments, we apply this method to random graphs and real-world networks. We observe that our estimation is, in the vast majority of cases, a good approximation for the robustness of centrality measures. Beyond this, we propose a heuristic to decide whether the estimation procedure should be used. We analyze, for certain networks, why the eigenvector centrality is less robust than, among others, the pagerank. Finally, we give recommendations on how our findings can be applied to future network studies.
Biosurveillance is critical for early detection of disease outbreaks and resource mobilization. Child care center (CCC) attendance has long been recognized as a significant independent predictor for respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, but CCC surveillance is currently not part of the statewide disease surveillance system. The Michigan Child Care Related Infections Surveillance Program (MCRISP) is an independent, online reporting network with >30 local CCCs that was created to fill this surveillance gap.
To describe the capability of a novel CCC biosurveillance system (MCRISP) to report pediatric Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) and Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE) illness over three years to (i) assess both the timing and magnitude of epidemics in CCCs and (ii) compare CCC outbreak patterns with those of the state database.
MCRISP collates real-time syndromic reports of illness from local county CCCs. The statewide Michigan Disease Surveillance System (MDSS) collects reports of diagnosed illness from designated laboratories, clinics, and hospitals statewide. We assessed epidemic curves based on MCRISP incidence rates and MDSS case counts for ILI and AGE over three seasons (2014-7).
A total of 4,627 MCRISP cases (2,425 ILI and 2,202 AGE reports) were reported during the three years of study surveillance. Epidemic patterns (seasonal peaks, troughs, and breadth) for both ILI and AGE in CCCs mirrored those reported at county and state levels, respectively. Two distinguishing features of CCC ILI outbreaks were noted in all three seasons: MCRISP ILI rates remained elevated after MDSS influenza counts abated, and MCRISP rates consistently peaked prior to MDSS influenza peaks. Neither of these phenomena were observed in comparing AGE outbreaks between surveillance systems.
ILI and AGE incidence rates from the MCRISP network appeared to broadly mirror epidemics from the established state surveillance system. MCRISP may act as a sentinel system for larger community outbreaks of respiratory disease.
Global sustainability challenges and their impact on society have been well-documented in recent years, such as more intense extreme weather events, environmental degradation, as well as ecosystem and biodiversity loss. These challenges require a united effort of scientists from multiple disciplines with stakeholders, including government, non-government organizations, corporate industry, and members of the general public, with the aim to generate integrated knowledge with real-world applicability. Yet, there continues to be challenges for these types of collaboration. In this commentary, we describe processes of collective unlearning that serve to decenter academia in collaborations leading to a more equitable positioning of practitioners engaged in collaborative global sustainability research.
Before an intervention is publicly funded within the United Kingdom, the cost-effectiveness is assessed by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The efficacy of an intervention across the patients’ lifetime is often influential of the cost-effectiveness analyses, but is associated with large uncertainties. We reviewed committee documents containing company submissions and evidence review group (ERG) reports to establish the methods used when extrapolating survival data, whether these adhered to NICE Technical Support Document (TSD) 14, and how uncertainty was addressed.
A systematic search was completed on the NHS Evidence Search webpage limited to single technology appraisals of cancer interventions published in 2017, with information obtained from the NICE Web site.
Twenty-eight appraisals were identified, covering twenty-two interventions across eighteen diseases. Every economic model used parametric curves to model survival. All submissions used goodness-of-fit statistics and plausibility of extrapolations when selecting a parametric curve. Twenty-five submissions considered alternate parametric curves in scenario analyses. Six submissions reported including the parameters of the survival curves in the probabilistic sensitivity analysis. ERGs agreed with the company's choice of parametric curve in nine appraisals, and agreed with all major survival-related assumptions in two appraisals.
TSD 14 on survival extrapolation was followed in all appraisals. Despite this, the choice of parametric curve remains subjective. Recent developments in Bayesian approaches to extrapolation are not implemented. More precise guidance on the selection of curves and modelling of uncertainty may reduce subjectivity, accelerating the appraisal process.
When a change request is raised in an engineering project an ad hoc team often forms to manage the request. Prior research shows that practitioners often view engineering changes in a risk-averse manner. As a project progresses the cost of changes increases. Therefore, avoiding changes is reasonable. However, a risk-averse perspective fails to recognize that changes might harbor discoverable and exploitable opportunities. In this research, we investigated how practitioners of ad hoc teams used practices and praxes aimed at discovering and exploiting opportunities in engineering change requests. A single case study design was employed using change request records and practitioner interviews from an engineering project. 87 engineering change requests were analyzed with regards to change triggers, time-to-decision and rejection rate. In total, 25 opportunities were discovered and then 17 exploited. Three practices and six praxes were identified, used by practitioners to discover and exploit opportunities. Our findings emphasize the importance of the informal structure of ad hoc teams, to aid in opportunity discovery. The informal structure enables cross-hierarchal discussions and draws on the proven experience of the team members. Thus, this research guides project managers and presumptive ad hoc teams in turning engineering changes into successful opportunities.
Recent studies of economic voting have focused on the role of the local economy, but with inconclusive results. We argue that while local economic conditions affect incumbent support on average, the importance of the local economy varies by citizens’ interactions with it. More recent and frequent encounters with aspects of the local economy make those aspects more salient and, in turn, feature more prominently in evaluations of the incumbent government. We label this process “context priming.” We provide evidence for these propositions by studying local housing markets. Linking granularly detailed data on housing prices from Danish public registries to both precinct-level election returns and an individual-level panel survey, we find that when individuals interact with the housing market, their support for the incumbent government is more responsive to changes in local housing prices. The study thus provides a framework for understanding when citizens respond politically to the local economy.
Centenarians have survived into very late life, but whether they reach very old age in good health remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to compare the cardiovascular health status and cognitive functioning of centenarians in the United States with centenarians in Japan.
Design, Setting, and Participants:
This cross-national design compared centenarians from the United States and Japan. The sample of U.S. centenarians was recruited from the Georgia Centenarian Study and included 287 centenarians. The sample of Japanese centenarians was recruited from the Tokyo Centenarian Study and included 304 centenarians.
Cognitive functioning was assessed with a mental status questionnaire, and cardiovascular disease by a health history assessment, blood pressure, and selected blood parameters.
The results suggest that Tokyo centenarians had lower disease experiences and BMI values, when compared to Georgia centenarians, but blood pressure was higher among Japanese centenarians. Lower levels of hemoglobin in Japanese centenarians and higher levels of C-reactive protein in Georgia were also found. The positive association of hypertension and albumin levels with cognitive functioning and the negative association of stroke occurrence with cognitive functioning were replicated in both countries. Differential effects were obtained for heart problems, BMI, and C-reactive protein (with positive effects for Tokyo centenarians, except for C-reactive protein).
For extremely old individuals, some markers of cardiovascular disease are replicable across countries, whereas differential effects for cardiovascular health also need to be considered in cardiovascular health.
Depression is associated with increased mortality, however, little is known about its variation by ethnicity.
We conducted a cohort study of individuals with ICD-10 unipolar depression from secondary mental healthcare, from an ethnically diverse location in southeast London, followed for 8 years (2007–2014) linked to death certificates. Age- and sex- standardised mortality ratios (SMRs), with the population of England and Wales as a standard population were derived. Hazard ratios (HRs) for mortality were derived through multivariable regression procedures.
Data from 20 320 individuals contributing 91 635 person-years at risk with 2366 deaths were used for analyses. SMR for all-cause mortality in depression was 2.55(95% CI 2.45–2.65), with similar trends by ethnicity. Within the cohort with unipolar depression, adjusted HR (aHRs) for all-cause mortality in ethnic minority groups relative to the White British group were 0.62(95% CI 0.53–0.74) (Black Caribbean), 0.53(95% CI 0.39–0.72) (Black African) and 0.69(95% CI 0.52–0.90) (South Asian). Male sex and alcohol/substance misuse were associated with an increased all-cause mortality risk [aHR:1.94 (95% CI 1.68–2.24) and aHR:1.18 (95% CI 1.01–1.37) respectively], whereas comorbid anxiety was associated with a decreased risk [aHR: 0.72(95% CI 0.58–0.89)]. Similar associations were noted for natural-cause mortality. Alcohol/substance misuse and male sex were associated with a near-doubling in unnatural-cause mortality risk, whereas Black Caribbean individuals with depression had a reduced unnatural-cause mortality risk, relative to White British people with depression.
Although individuals with depression experience an increased mortality risk, marked heterogeneity exists by ethnicity. Research and practice should focus on addressing tractable causes underlying increased mortality in depression.