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Limpets and barnacles are important components of intertidal assemblages worldwide. This study examines the effects of barnacles on the foraging behaviour of the limpet Patella vulgata, which is the main algal grazer in the North-west Atlantic. The behaviour of limpets on a vertical seawall on the Isle of Man (UK) was investigated using autonomous radio-telemetry, comparing their activity patterns on plots characterized by dense barnacle cover and plots from which the barnacles had been removed. Limpet behaviour was investigated at mid-shore level, but two different elevations were considered. This experiment revealed a significant effect of barnacle cover on the activity of P. vulgata. Limpets on smooth surfaces spent a greater proportion of total time active than did limpets on barnacles. Movement activity was also greater in areas that were lower down in the tidal range. In general, limpets were either predominantly active during diurnal high or nocturnal low tides and always avoided nocturnal high tides. Individuals on barnacles at the higher elevation concentrated their activity during nocturnal low water. All the other groups of limpets (smooth surfaces on the upper level and all individuals on the lower shore) had more excursions centred around daylight hours with an equal distribution of activity between periods of low and high water. Inter-individual variability was, however, pronounced.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Folic acid (FA) supplementation is recommended in the periconceptional period, for the prevention of neural tube defects. Limited data are available on the folate status of New Zealand (NZ) pregnant women and its association with FA supplementation intake. Objectives were to examine the relationship between plasma folate (PF) and reported FA supplement use at 15 weeks’ gestation and to explore socio-demographic and lifestyle factors associated with PF. We used data and blood samples from NZ participants of the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints cohort study. Healthy nulliparous women with singleton pregnancy (n 1921) were interviewed and blood samples collected. PF was analysed via microbiological assay. Of the participants, 73 % reported taking an FA supplement at 15 weeks’ gestation – of these, 79 % were taking FA as part of/alongside a multivitamin supplement. Of FA supplement users, 56 % reported consuming a daily dose of ≥800 μg; 39 % reported taking less than 400 µg/d. Mean PF was significantly higher in women reporting FA supplementation (54·6 (se 1·5) nmol/l) v. no FA supplementation (35·1 (se 1·6) nmol/l) (P<0·0001). Reported daily FA supplement dose and PF were significantly positively correlated (r 0·41; P<0·05). Younger maternal age, Pacific and Maori ethnicity and obesity were negatively associated with PF levels; vegetarianism was positively associated with PF. Reported FA supplement dose was significantly associated with PF after adjustment for socio-demographic, lifestyle confounders and multivitamin intake. The relationship observed between FA supplementation and PF demonstrates that self-reported intake is a reliable proxy for FA supplement use in this study population.
Depression frequently co-occurs with disorders of glucose and insulin homeostasis (DGIH) and obesity. Low-grade systemic inflammation and lifestyle factors in childhood may predispose to DGIH, obesity and depression. We aim to investigate the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations among DGIH, obesity and depression, and to examine the effect of demographics, lifestyle factors and antecedent low-grade inflammation on such associations in young people.
Using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort, we used regression analyses to examine: (1) cross-sectional and (2) longitudinal associations between measures of DGIH [insulin resistance (IR); impaired glucose tolerance] and body mass index (BMI) at ages 9 and 18 years, and depression (depressive symptoms and depressive episode) at age 18 years and (3) whether sociodemographics, lifestyle factors or inflammation [interleukin-6 (IL-6) at age 9 years] confounded any such associations.
We included 3208 participants. At age 18 years, IR and BMI were positively associated with depression. These associations may be explained by sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. There were no longitudinal associations between DGIH/BMI and depression, and adjustment for IL-6 and C-reactive protein did not attenuate associations between IR/BMI and depression; however, the longitudinal analyses may have been underpowered.
Young people with depression show evidence of DGIH and raised BMI, which may be related to sociodemographic and lifestyle effects such as deprivation, smoking, ethnicity and gender. In future, studies with larger samples are required to confirm this. Preventative strategies for the poorer physical health outcomes associated with depression should focus on malleable lifestyle factors.
The potential advantages of synchrotron sources for x-ray fluorescence analysis have been discussed by several authors. These advantages include high incident flux, tunable excitation energies using crystal monochromators, and reduction of scattered background due to polarization effects. Minimum detectable limits have both been calculated and measured, and have demonstrated the improvements that can be achieved vising synchrotron sources. In this paper we present results obtained using tunable, monochromatic excitation and a high resolution lithium-drifted silicon, Si(Li), spectrometer for the quantitative analysis of a variety of sample types. Our experiments were designed to investigate the advantages and limitations of tunable monochromatic excitation with respect to optimum sensitivity, accuracy, and elemental selectivity in energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence analysis.
X-ray microscopy is a field that has developed rapidly in recent years. Two different approaches have been used. Zone plates have been employed to produce focussed beams with sizes as low as 0.07 pm for x-ray energies below 1 keV. Images of biological materials and elemental maps for major and minor low Z have been produced using above and below absorption edge differences. At higher energies collimators and focussing mirrors have been used to make small diameter beams for excitation of characteristic K— or L-x rays of all elements in the periodic
While beneficial for sow reproductive efficiency and biosecurity, segregated early weaning (SEW) leads to a systemic immune response that adversely affects the digestive physiology and post-weaning growth of pigs. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of a glucocorticoid receptor agonist (GA) on growth performance, measures of immune function and intestinal integrity of SEW pigs. In both experiments, pigs were fed corn-soybean meal-based starter diets. In the first experiment, 48 pigs (initial BW 4.8 ± 0.7 kg) were weaned at 21 ± 1 days and randomly assigned to three GA treatment groups: 0, 0.2 and 0.6 mg GA/kg of BW injected intramuscularly. Treatments were administered one day before weaning. Pigs in the 0 mg GA group received sterile saline in place of GA. Body weight was measured daily from one day before to 7 days post-weaning, and then weekly until 28 days post-weaning. Piglets treated with 0.2 mg GA had a higher BW than piglets in other treatment groups during the 28-day course of the study (P <0.02). To further explore the mechanisms behind this result, a second experiment was performed in which a total of 18 gilts (BW 5.6 ± 0.85 kg) were randomly assigned into three treatment groups: suckling plus saline (UWS), weaned treated with GA (WGA; 0.2 mg GA/kg BW) and weaned plus saline (CON). Treatments were administered one day before and 3 days post-weaning. The WGA and CON groups were weaned at 23 ± 2 days, while the UWS group remained with sow for the duration of the study. Body weight was measured daily and blood plasma was collected at 0, 1, 4 and 5 days post-weaning. All gilts were euthanized 5 days after weaning and jejunum samples were collected for mucosal scrapings, histomorphological analysis and gene expression analysis. Plasma levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and haptoglobin were lower in WGA pigs compared with CON (P <0.02), while plasma total antioxidant capacity was higher in WGA pigs compared with both CON and UWS groups (P <0.01). Relative to CON, GA downregulated IL-18 gene expression in the jejunum, as assessed by both tissue homogenate and mucosal scrapings, but it upregulated claudin-IV gene expression only in the tissue homogenate (P <0.01). These results suggest that GA treatment improves the growth performance of SEW pigs in part by mitigating the negative effects of systemic inflammation. However, the effect of GA on barrier integrity requires further investigation.
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has played an important role in the evolution of nematodes. Among candidate genes, cyanase, which is typically found only in plants, bacteria and fungi, is present in more than 35 members of the Phylum Nematoda, but absent from free-living and clade V organisms. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the cyanases of clade I organisms Trichinella spp., Trichuris spp. and Soboliphyme baturini (Subclass: Dorylaimia) represent a well-supported monophyletic clade with plant cyanases. In contrast, all cyanases found within the Subclass Chromadoria which encompasses filarioids, ascaridoids and strongyloids are homologous to those of bacteria. Western blots exhibited typical multimeric forms of the native molecule in protein extracts of Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae, where immunohistochemical staining localized the protein to the worm hypodermis and underlying muscle. Recombinant Trichinella cyanase was bioactive where gene transcription profiles support functional activity in vivo. Results suggest that: (1) independent HGT in parasitic nematodes originated from different Kingdoms; (2) cyanase acquired an active role in the biology of extant Trichinella; (3) acquisition occurred more than 400 million years ago (MYA), prior to the divergence of the Trichinellida and Dioctophymatida, and (4) early, free-living ancestors of the genus Trichinella had an association with terrestrial plants.
The objective of this research was to evaluate producers’ perspectives of four key precision agriculture technologies (variable rate fertilizer application, precision soil sampling, guidance and autosteer, and yield monitoring) in terms of the benefits they provide to their farms (increased yield, reduced production costs, and increased convenience) using a best-worst scaling choice experiment. Results indicate that farmers’ perceptions of the benefits derived from various precision agriculture technologies are heterogeneous. To better understand farmers’ adoption decisions, or lack thereof, it is important to first understand their perceptions of the benefits precision agriculture technologies provide.
We investigated risk factors for severe acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) among hospitalised children <2 years, with a focus on the interactions between virus and age. Statistical interactions between age and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, adenovirus (ADV) and rhinovirus on the risk of ALRI outcomes were investigated. Of 1780 hospitalisations, 228 (12.8%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). The median (range) length of stay (LOS) in hospital was 3 (1–27) days. An increase of 1 month of age was associated with a decreased risk of ICU admission (rate ratio (RR) 0.94; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.91–0.98) and with a decrease in LOS (RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.95–0.97). Associations between RSV, influenza, ADV positivity and ICU admission and LOS were significantly modified by age. Children <5 months old were at the highest risk from RSV-associated severe outcomes, while children >8 months were at greater risk from influenza-associated ICU admissions and long hospital stay. Children with ADV had increased LOS across all ages. In the first 2 years of life, the effects of different viruses on ALRI severity varies with age. Our findings help to identify specific ages that would most benefit from virus-specific interventions such as vaccines and antivirals.
The current research sought to characterize current mood state profiles in healthy young versus older adults using 100-point visual analogue mood scales (VAMS), provide within-sample and new sample replication of age-group differences, assess sex differences, and compare with commonly used standardized symptom measures.
In two studies, six word-only VAMS (happy, sad, calm, tense, energetic, and sleepy) were administered in a laboratory setting. In Study 1, 22 young and 29 older males completed the VAMS six times (twice per day at weekly intervals). In Study 2, 60 young (30 males) and 60 older (30 males) adults completed on one occasion the VAMS, Beck Depression Inventory-II, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.
VAMS scores showed that older adults had a tendency to indicate feeling happier, less sad, calmer, less tense, more energetic, and less sleepy than young adults. This pattern occurred across assessment points and irrespective of sex, except for the tense VAMS, which showed higher scores in females than males in young but not older adults. The standardized measures showed significant age-group differences for Trait Anxiety only (lower in older than young adults).
These findings establish current mood state differences in young versus older adults. The absence of age-group differences in past studies may relate to the limited precision of the scales (only 7 points, in contrast to the 100-point scales used here).
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
Many of the most diverse clades of Late Palaeozoic echinoids (sea urchins) originated in the Devonian period. Our understanding of diversity dynamics of these Late Palaeozoic clades are thus informed by new systematic descriptions of some of their earliest members. The Proterocidaridae are a diverse and morphologically distinct clade of stem group echinoids with flattened tests and enlarged adoral pore pairs, which are first known from the Upper Devonian. We herein report on a new species of Hyattechinus, Hyattechinus anglicus n. sp., from the Upper Devonian of the North Devon Basin, Devon, UK. This is the first Devonian Hyattechinus known from outside of the Appalachian Basin, USA, and provides novel information regarding the palaeogeographic and stratigraphic distribution of proterocidarids in Late Devonian times. We additionally update the stratigraphic distribution of Devonian Hyattechinus from the Appalachian Basin, following recent biostratigraphic resolution of their occurrences. Hyattechinus appears to have been present in the Rheic echinoderm fauna during Late Devonian times, and comparison of the palaeoenvironmental setting of Hyattechinus anglicus with that of other Hyattechinus from the Famennian of the Appalachian Basin suggests that the genus may have preferred siliciclastic settings. Furthermore, this new taxon increases the diversity of echinoids from the Upper Devonian of Devon to three species.
In ewe lambs, acceleration of growth and accumulation of both muscle and fat leads to earlier sexual maturity and better reproductive performance. The next stage in the development of this theme is to test whether these aspects of growth in young ewes affect milk production in their first lactation and the growth of their first progeny. We studied 75 young Merino ewes that had known phenotypic values for depth of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT), and known Australian Sheep Breeding Values for post-weaning weight (PWT) and depths of eye muscle (PEMD) and fat (PFAT). They lambed for the first time at 1 year of age. Their lambs were weighed weekly from birth to weaning at 10 weeks to determine live weight gain and weaning weight. Progeny birth weight was positively associated with live weight gain and weaning weight (P<0.001). The PWT of the mothers was positively associated with birth weight (P<0.01), live weight gain and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.05); however, these progeny traits were not influenced by EMD, FAT, PEMD, PFAT of the mothers (P>0.05). The PWT of the sire was positively associated with live weight gain (P<0.05) and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.01). At around day 20 postpartum, we measured milk production and milk composition (fat, protein, lactose, total solids). Milk production was influenced positively by birth type (single or twin; P<0.05) and negatively by birth weight (P<0.05), but not by mother phenotype or genotype, sire genotype of the mother or the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). The concentrations of fat, protein, lactose and total solids in the milk were not affected by the phenotype or genotype of the mothers or of the sires of the mothers, or by the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). We conclude that selection of young Merino ewes for better growth, and more rapid accumulation of muscle and fat, will lead to progeny that are heavier at birth, grow faster and are heavier at weaning. Moreover, milk production and composition do not seem to be affected by the genetic merit of the mother for post-weaning live weight or PEMD or PFAT. Therefore, Merino ewes can lamb at 1 year of age without affecting the production objectives of the Merino sheep industry.
With across-flock genetic evaluations, the extent of genetic links or connectedness between animals in separate flocks affects the reliability of selection decisions. As connectedness improves, error in comparing breeding values among flocks falls. Connectedness is thought more important when founder animals (i.e. unknown parentage) of separate flocks differ genetically. The prediction error variance (PEV) of differences in estimated breeding values (EBV) between animals is considered an appropriate measure of connectedness (Kennedy and Trus, 1993). In this study the level of connectedness, and its consequence, in breeding schemes that differ in the extent of ancestral relationships between flocks, and in which founder animals of these flocks differ genetically, was assessed by stochastic simulation.
Ortles mountain (3905 m a.s.l.), South Tyrol, Italy, is the highest mountain of the Eastern European Alps, and its upper glacier, Alto dell’Ortles, presents a unique opportunity to obtain the first paleoenvironmental record from an ice core in this area. To study the suitability of this glacier as a drilling site, in 2009 we performed the first preliminary study of its glaciological characteristics at ˜3830 m a.s.l. The maximum thickness is ˜75 m, and lamination of the exposed ice layers is excellent down to bedrock. Firn and ice lenses were observed in a 10 m shallow core, and the firn/ice transition was below ˜24m. The seasonal chemical signal is clearly preserved only within the uppermost 2008 and 2009 snow/firn. A simple mass-balance model, the incipient ‘smoothing’ of the chemical record, and the observed ice lenses provide evidence that melting, infiltration and refreezing cycles occurred within the firn layers formed before 2008. Nevertheless, the mass balance of the upper part of Alto dell’Ortles was positive (˜800mma_1) during the last few years. We suggest that an environmental history is likely to be well preserved only within the ice layers formed before ˜1980, when summer air temperature was ˜2°C colder than today in this area. Clearly the continued warming trend predicted to occur over the next few decades, and the consequent increase in frequency and/or intensity of infiltration processes, will endanger the preservation of the glacial archive conserved in the deep ice layers of Ortles mountain.
To assess relationships between mothers’ feeding practices (food as a reward, food for emotion regulation, modelling of healthy eating) and mothers’ willingness to purchase child-marketed foods and fruits/vegetables (F&V) requested by their children during grocery co-shopping.
Cross-sectional. Mothers completed an online survey that included questions about feeding practices and willingness (i.e. intentions) to purchase child-requested foods during grocery co-shopping. Feeding practices scores were dichotomized at the median. Foods were grouped as nutrient-poor or nutrient-dense (F&V) based on national nutrition guidelines. Regression models compared mothers with above-the-median v. at-or-below-the-median feeding practices scores on their willingness to purchase child-requested food groupings, adjusting for demographic covariates.
Participants completed an online survey generated at a public university in the USA.
Mothers (n 318) of 2- to 7-year-old children.
Mothers who scored above-the-median on using food as a reward were more willing to purchase nutrient-poor foods (β=0·60, P<0·0001), mothers who scored above-the-median on use of food for emotion regulation were more willing to purchase nutrient-poor foods (β=0·29, P<0·0031) and mothers who scored above-the-median on modelling of healthy eating were more willing to purchase nutrient-dense foods (β=0·22, P<0·001) than were mothers with at-or-below-the-median scores, adjusting for demographic covariates.
Mothers who reported using food to control children’s behaviour were more willing to purchase child-requested, nutrient-poor foods. Parental feeding practices may facilitate or limit children’s foods requested in grocery stores. Parent–child food consumer behaviours should be investigated as a route that may contribute to children’s eating patterns.
We have found that 4 new, bright IRAS quasars, out of 7 observed, have strong, non-variable, wavelength-dependent polarization. Three show degrees of polarization, pλ, increasing from infrared to UV wavelengths (Fig. 1), which implies a combination of a polarized, scattered spectrum and a much redder, unpolarized spectrum. Detailed IR and optical polarimetry and spectrophotometry of one, IRAS 13349+2438 (Wills et al.), shows a polarized flux spectrum, pλxFλ, (continuum and Pa α, Hα, and Hβ broad hydrogen lines) typical of unreddened, luminous quasars. This suggests that the path of scattered light from a central, luminous quasar is low in dust and that the polarization of the scattered spectrum is wavelength independent. The latter is most easily explained by electron scattering although the data do not exclude dust scattering. When this polarized flux spectrum is subtracted from the total spectrum, we are left with a very reddened line and continuum spectrum, E(B-V) = 0.3 to 0.7, which we attribute to the same luminous quasar seen through a thick dusty torus. The angle of polarization is parallel to the major axis of the r-band image, presumed to be that of the host galaxy. If the torus is in the plane of the galaxy, the axial ratio suggests a viewing angle of 40° to the plane of the torus. Fig. 2 illustrates the geometry. The appearance of the quasar at optical and UV wavelengths will depend strongly on viewing angle, suggesting that present samples of quasars selected by colours, optical flux density, or quasi-stellar appearance, may be seriously biased, with important consequences for studies of the space density and evolution of AGN.