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Biological and morphological plasticity in polyphagous insect herbivores allow them to exploit diverse host plant species. Geographical differences in resource availability can lead to preferential host exploitation and result in inconsistent host specialization. Biological and molecular data provide insights into specialization and plasticity of such herbivore populations. In agricultural landscapes, Aphis gossypii encounters several crop and non-crop hosts, which exist in temporal and spatial proximity. We investigated the host-specialization of two A. gossypii host-associated populations (HAPs), which were field collected from cotton and squash (cotton-associated population and melon-associated population), and later maintained separately in the greenhouse. The two aphid populations were exposed to seven plant species (cotton, okra, watermelon, squash, cucumber, pigweed, and morning glory), and evaluated for their host utilization plasticity by estimating aphid's fitness parameters (nymphal period, adult period, fecundity, and intrinsic rate of increase). Four phenotypical characters (body length, head capsule width, hind tibia length and cornicle length) were also measured from the resulting 14 different HAP × host plant combinations. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial COI sequences showed no genetic variation between the two HAPs. Fitness parameters indicated a significant variation between the two aphid populations, and the variation was influenced by host plants. The performance of melon-aphids was poor (up to 89% reduction in fecundity) on malvaceous hosts, cotton and okra. However, cotton-aphids performed better on cucurbitaceous hosts, squash and watermelon (up to 66% increased fecundity) compared with the natal host, cotton. Both HAPs were able to reproduce on two weed hosts. Cotton-aphids were smaller than melon-aphids irrespective of their host plants. Results from this study suggest that the two HAPs in the study area do not have strict host specialization; rather they exhibit plasticity in utilizing several hosts. In this scenario, it is unlikely that host-associated A. gossypii populations would evolve into host-specific biotypes.
A total of 45 strains of Vibrio cholerae O1 isolated from 10 different places in India where they were associated with cases of cholera between the years 2007 and 2008 were examined by molecular methods. With the help of phenotypic and genotypic tests the strains were confirmed to be O1 El Tor biotype strains with classical ctxB gene. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis by double – mismatch amplification mutation assay PCR showed 16 of these strains carried the ctxB-7 allele reported in Haitian strains. Sequencing of the ctxB gene in all the 45 strains revealed that in 16 strains the histidine at the 20th amino acid position had been replaced by asparagine and this single nucleotide polymorphism did not affect cholera toxin production as revealed by beads enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This study shows that the new ctxB gene sequence was circulating in different places in India. Seven representatives of these 45 strains analysed by pulsed – field gel electrophoresis showed four distinct Not I digested profiles showing that multiple clones were causing cholera in 2007 and 2008.
There is a genetic contribution to the risk of suicide, but sparse prior research on the genetics of suicidal ideation.
Active and passive suicidal ideation were assessed in a Sri Lankan population-based twin registry (n = 3906 twins) and a matched non-twin sample (n = 2016). Logistic regression models were used to examine associations with socio-demographic factors, environmental exposures and psychiatric symptoms. The heritability of suicidal ideation was assessed using structural equation modelling.
The lifetime prevalence of any suicidal ideation was 13.0% (11.7–14.3%) for men; 21.8% (20.3–23.2%) for women, with no significant difference between twins and non-twins. Factors that predicted suicidal ideation included female gender, termination of marital relationship, low education level, urban residence, losing a parent whilst young, low standard of living and stressful life events in the preceding 12 months. Suicidal ideation was strongly associated with depression, but also with abnormal fatigue and alcohol and tobacco use. The best fitting structural equation model indicated a substantial contribution from genetic factors (57%; CI 47–66) and from non-shared environmental factors (43%; CI 34–53) in both men and women. In women this genetic component was largely mediated through depression, but in men there was a significant heritable component to suicidal ideation that was independent of depression.
These are the first results to show a genetic contribution to suicidal ideation that is independent of depression outside of a high-income country. These phenomena may be generalizable, because previous research highlights similarities between the aetiology of mental disorders in Sri Lanka and higher-income countries.
This article reports temporal changes in the measured oceanic geochemical properties of the Arabian Sea and the equatorial Indian Ocean by reoccupying six stations investigated during the GEOSECS expedition in 1977 and 1978. Observed differences are interpreted in terms of plausible changes in the environment and climate that have occurred in response to natural or anthropogenic processes. The depth profiles of major parameters such as dissolved oxygen, ΣCO2, major nutrients (silicates, nitrates, and phosphates), and radiocarbon in dissolved inorganic carbon were measured during the cruises between 1994 and 1998 along with temperature and salinity. Most stations in the Arabian Sea show an increase in salinity by ∼0.2 to 0.3 salinity units in the top 400 m, whereas one station in the equatorial Indian Ocean showed a decrease in salinity by ∼0.1 units, indicating a likely change in the evaporation-precipitation (E-P) balance. The ΣCO2 increased by an average of 8 μM within the top 1200 m of the Arabian Sea. The depth profiles of nitrates and dissolved oxygen for the central Arabian Sea stations show significant variations, while only marginal changes are seen for silicates and phosphates relative to the GEOSECS data. The decrease in Δ14C of surface waters is due to the steady decrease in atmospheric 14C concentration since GEOSECS, and the Δ14C increase in subsurface waters is attributed to the downward vertical diffusion of bomb 14C interpreted in terms of atmosphere to ocean transfer and lateral advection of water masses.
Can foreign aid help free the press? Aid may boost press freedom by incentivizing government to reduce media regulations and provide financial support for infrastructure. Alternatively, foreign aid may prevent press freedom by expanding the role of the state and promoting government over private enterprises. We contend that the magnitude of foreign aid's influence is conditional on the existence of democratic checks. Using panel data from 1994 to 2010, we find evidence suggesting that aid significantly increases press freedom in democracies but insignificantly relates to press freedom in autocracies. Collectively, the results suggest that a standard deviation increase in aid to a country at the mean level of democracy increases press freedom by approximately a 1/20th standard deviation. Overall, the findings suggest that donors should be cautious as most aid recipients are not democratic and aid leads to only relatively small marginal improvements in press freedom.
We report on the effects of the frequency dispersion in light sensitive materials used in photoimpedance wireless sensors. An example of such a sensor is a gated semiconductor connecting two or more fixed capacitances. The impedance of the device under illumination is changed by the change in the photoresistance of the semiconductor layer and the change in the gate-semiconductor capacitance. We report on the design and simulation of the frequency dispersion of the impedance of this device in silicon and discuss the physics and device performance. We also evaluate the dynamic range and sensitivity of the wireless photoimpedance sensors and show their advantages for wireless sensing applications compared to more conventional light sensors.
We develop a framework for analysing the outcome of resource competition based on
bifurcation theory. We elaborate our methodology by readdressing the problem of
competition of two species for two resources in a chemostat environment. In the case of
perfect-essential resources it has been extensively discussed using Tilman’s
representation of resource quarter plane plots. Our mathematically rigorous analysis
yields bifurcation diagrams with a striking similarity to Tilman’s method including the
interpretation of the consumption vector and the resource supply vector. However, our
approach is not restricted to a particular class of models but also works with other
trophic interaction formulations. This is illustrated by the analysis of a model
considering interactively-essential or complementary resources instead of
prefect-essential resources. Additionally, our approach can also be used for other
ecosystem compositions: multiple resources–multiple species communities with equilibrium
or oscillatory dynamics. Hence, it gives not only a new interpretation of Tilman’s
graphical approach, but it constitutes an extension of competition analyses to communities
with many species as well as non-equilibrium dynamics.
Optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of red blood cells (RBCs) of common carp, Cyprinus carpio, inhabiting a polluted lake in Northeast India revealed a number of abnormalities. About 7% of the RBC showed the presence of a micronucleus, besides the presence of some bi-nucleated and abnormally shaped nuclei. RBCs, white blood cells, and hemoglobin content were found to be reduced significantly as compared to the control. SEM showed the presence of spherocytes, early stages of echinocytes, cytoplasmic blebbing, erythrocytes with contraction from one side, abnormal shape of erythrocytes (hexagonal/pentagonal/tetragonal), development of lobopodial projections, cell rupture, membrane internalization, and formation of ring-shaped RBC. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) showed the presence of a considerable percentage of silicon and lead in erythrocytes of the fish collected from the polluted lake, in contrast to a negligible concentration of the two elements in control fish. Significance of the study in relation to fish health in a polluted body of water and the importance of SEM, EDS, and light microscopy in utilizing hematological parameters as pollution indicators are discussed.
The excess mortality following first-contact psychosis is well recognized. However, the causes of death in a complete incidence cohort and mortality patterns over time compared with the general population are unknown.
All 2723 patients who presented for the first time with psychosis in three defined catchment areas of the UK in London (1965–2004, n=2056), Nottingham (1997–1999, n=203) and Dumfries and Galloway (1979–1998, n=464) were traced after a mean of 11.5 years follow-up and death certificates were obtained. Data analysis was by indirect standardization.
The overall standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for first-contact psychosis was 184 [95% confidence interval (CI) 167–202]. Most deaths (84.2%, 374/444) were from natural causes, although suicide had the highest SMR (1165, 95% CI 873–1524). Diseases of the respiratory system and infectious diseases had the highest SMR of the natural causes of death (232, 95% CI 183–291). The risk of death from diseases of the circulatory system was also elevated compared with the general population (SMR 139, 95% CI 117–164) whereas there was no such difference for neoplasms (SMR 111, 95% CI 86–141). There was strong evidence that the mortality gap compared with the general population for all causes of death (p<0.001) and all natural causes (p=0.01) increased over the four decades of the study. There was weak evidence that cardiovascular deaths may be increasing relative to the general population (p=0.07).
People with first-contact psychosis have an overall mortality risk that is nearly double that of the general population. Most excess deaths are from natural causes. The widening of the mortality gap over the last four decades should be of concern to all clinicians involved in delivering healthcare.
We present an extremely rare case of isolated angiokeratoma of the tongue.
Case report and review of related literature.
An 18-year-old, male adolescent presented with a fleshy, intermittently bleeding mass in the posterior third and base of the tongue. The lesion was initially suspected to be a lingual thyroid or haemangioma, but histopathological features were consistent with angiokeratoma. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed that the lesion extended up to the vallecula and involved the lamina propria and superficial tongue musculature. No similar lesions were found elsewhere in the body. No metabolic derangements were identified in the patient or his family. The 2.6 × 1.5 × 0.5 cm mass was excised under general anaesthesia.
We present the 1st case of isolated lingual angiokeratoma in a male, the 4th such case overally, the largest ever documented. The lesion was situated in the posterior third and base of the tongue, a position not previously described.
Four series of samples, prepared at 250° C by decomposition of a mixture of silane and argon in a radio frequency powered deposition systems (rf-PECVD), have been studied. The dilution rates were 1 %, 1.5 %, 5 % and 10 % of silane in argon and the total pressure was 0.5 Torr for the first series and 0.2 Torr for the others. Structural and transport properties of the materials have been studied as function of power density. Structural studies show the transition from purely amorphous material towards microcrystalline material with increasing rf power density. The transport parameters were measured in the as-deposited, light-soaked and annealed states and compared to those obtained on state of the art material. The best material obtained is clearly device grade material. This study shows that argon dilution allows to tailor the material for a given application.
A novel approach for a single step lapping and chemical-mechanical polishing of antimonide-based III-V compounds using agglomerate-free alumina slurries is presented. Relatively high removal rates, minimal scratching, and low surface roughness have been obtained. The effects of slurry preparation cycle on the slurry properties and chemomechanical polishing results are discussed.
In this short report, we describe some of the structural defects present in laser deposited Y‐Ba‐Cu‐O thin films. Many of the defects observed are polytypoidic variants, related to the layered structure of these cuprates. One possible model by which flux pinning can be achieved is presented.
The fabrication and performance characteristics of an integrated distributed feedback (DFB) laser and optical amplifier structure are described. The structure utilizes semi-insulating Fe doped InP layers for current confinement to the active region, electrical isolation between the two sections and for lateral index guiding. The amplified output has a slope of 1 mW/mA of laser current with the amplifier biased at 150 mA which is a factor of 5 larger than that for a typical laser. The laser emits near 1.55 μm and the spectral width under modulation of the amplified output is considerably smaller than that for a DFB laser for the same on/off ratio.
Determining the composition of quaternary epitaxial films requires accurate measurements of both the lattice parameter and the bandgap energy. Complications arise in lattice-mismatched material, because the mismatch produces tetragonal distortion of the epi-layer and splitting of the valence band energies in a manner which depends on the film composition. We present studies on strained InGaAsP grown on (100) InP. Using room temperature photoreflectance (PR) we observe shifting of the band gap and splitting of the valence band energies, and using the (115) and (004) reflections from double crystal x-ray diffraction (DXRD) we determine the values of the parallel and perpendicular lattice constants. By combining the lattice parameter measurements with band splitting data, we accurately determine the quaternary composition from a self-consistent model using an iterative procedure. By linear interpolation of the elastic-stiffness constants, C11 and C12. as well as the shear and hydrostatic deformation potentials for the four binary compounds in the InGaAsP system, we relate the state of biaxial stress to the induced shifts in the valence band energies.
Photoreflectance (PR) has been performed on a series of undoped and n-type, InGaAs and InAlAs molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) grown layers with different In mole fractions, and epilayer thicknesses on Fe-doped semi-insulating (SI)-InP substrates. From investigations of the temperature dependence, time constant dependence and an additional cw light beam intensity dependence, three substrate peaks are identified as an excitonic transition from the substrate, a free electron transition near the interface which gives a Franz-Keldysh oscillation (KFO), and a transition from the spin-orbit split-off valence band. The results are indicative of a redistribution of charge near the substrate interface in the process of MBE growth; the associated PR signal (phase) could be used for in-situ monitoring of epilayer growth on SI-InP wafers.
Electrical, structural and diffusion characteristics of a solid phase reacted ohmic contact to n-GaAs are studied. Attempts were made to form a low band gap interfacial phase of InGaAs to reduce the barrier height at the conductor/semiconductor junction and thus yielding a low resistance, high reliablity contacts. The understanding of the interface is important from the point of view of device performance as well as device reliability. The contacts were fabricated by co-sputtering W, In and Te targets on n-GaAs with subsequent annealing. The as-deposited rectifying contacts became ohmic when annealed to 500°C, and showed a specific contact resistance of ∽5×10-6 ohm cm2. The Auger and Rutherford back scattering analysis of the interface revealed an InGaAs phase formation prior to the onset of ohmic conduction. The contacts were stable up to 500°C and the surface morphology was superior to presently used AuNiGe contacts. The contact pads were patterned by dry plasma etching without adversely affecting the GaAs substrate.
Thin film of GaAs/AlGaAs multiple quantum well (MQW) structure have been bonded to the lithium tantalate (LiTaO3) or calcium carbonate (CaCO3) substrates cut such that one of the linear thermal expansion coefficients almost matches that of the MQW while its orthogonal counterpart does not. By choosing the proper bonding and operating temperatures, in-plane anisotropic strain up to 0.3% has been achieved. The transmission spectrum shows an anisotropy in excitonic absorption which results in a polarization rotation of a light beam at normal incidence to the structure. The theoretical calculation is in agreement with the experimental results. Using the polarization rotation, we have demonstrated a novel MQW light modulator with an exceedingly high contrast ratio of 330:1.
In-plane anisotropic strain can be employed in the design of a new class of optoelectronic devices, such as high contrast, polarization sensitive spatial light modulators. One of the key issues involved in realizing these devices is obtaining a controllable and uniform in-plane strain. We have studied the uniformity of thermally induced in-plane strain in MOCVD grown GaAs lift-off thin films mounted on LiTaO3 or CaCO3 substrates. The experiment exploits the straininduced splitting of the excitonic interband transition at low temperature through absorption measurements using a Ti-Sapphire laser focused to a spot size less than 100 μm. The polarization vector of the incident light was oriented along an axis which enhances both features. From the energy positions of these transitions, the magnitude as well as the type of the in-plane strain was determined. Topographic scans performed over a 1.4mm X 1.4mm area for the sample bonded to CaCO3, and along a 2 mm line for that bonded to LiTaO3 revealed variations in strain of less than 5%.