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Fossil fishes are among the rarest in volcanic oceanic islands, their presence providing invaluable data for the understanding of more general (palaeo)biogeographical patterns and processes. Santa Maria Island (Azores Archipelago) is renowned for its palaeontological heritage, with representatives of several phyla, including the Chordata. We report on the fossil fishes, resulting in an increase in the number of Pliocene fishes from the Azores to 11 taxa: seven Chondrichthyes and at least four Actinopterygii. The genus Sparisoma is reported for the first time in the fossil record. The presence of fossil remains of the parrotfish Sparisoma cretense in Last Interglacial outcrops is significant, because it posits a setback for the theory that most of the present-day Azorean marine species colonized the area after the last glacial episode. Our multidisciplinary approach combines palaeontological data with ecological and published genetic data, offering an alternative interpretation. We suggest that most of the Azorean shallow-water subtropical and temperate marine species living in the archipelago during the Last Interglacial were not affected by the decrease in sea surface temperatures during the last glacial episode. We also predict low genetic diversity for fish species presently living in the Azores and ecologically associated with fine sediments, as a result of the remobilization and sediment transport to abyssal depths, during the Last Glacial episode; these are viewed as post-glacial colonizers or as ‘bottleneck’ survivors from the Last Glaciation.
This retrospective study highlights the degree of losses and time-course through which the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks in Ghana were managed. A total of 102 760 birds from 35 farms across five regions in Ghana included in this study were affected. Out of this, 89.3% was from the Greater Accra region. Majority of the birds were culled (94.2%). Adult layers were most affected and destroyed (64.0%), followed by broilers (13.7%). Event initiation to reporting averaged 7.7 ± 1.3 days (range: 1–30 days). Laboratory confirmation to depopulation of birds averaged 2.2 ± 0.5 (0–15) days while depopulation to disinfection took 2.2 ± 0.7 (0–20) days. Overall, some farms took as long as 30 days to report the outbreak to the authorities, 15 days from confirmation to depopulation and 20 days from depopulation to disinfection. On average, outbreak management lasted 12.3 (2–43) days from event initiation to depopulation. The study reveals a significant number of avian losses and delays in HPAI reporting and management by the authorities in Ghana during the 2015 outbreak. This poses a high risk of spread to other farms and a threat to public health. Awareness creation for poultry farmers is necessary for early reporting, while further study is required to set thresholds for the management of such outbreaks by veterinary departments.
This paper studies the propagation of free, long waves on a potential vorticity front in the presence of a vertical coast, using a
-layer, quasi-geostrophic model with piecewise-constant potential vorticity. The coastal boundary induces flow through image vorticity and a Kelvin wave, either of which can reinforce or oppose the Rossby wave dynamics at the front. The behaviour of the front depends strongly on the relative strengths of these three mechanisms, which are explicit in our model. The richest behaviour, which includes kink solitons (under-compressive shocks) and compound-wave structures, occurs in the regime where vortical effects are dominant. The evolution of the front is described by a fully nonlinear finite-amplitude equation including first-order dispersive effects, which is related to the modified Korteweg–de Vries equation. The different behaviours are classified using the canonical example of the Riemann problem, which we analyse using El’s technique of ‘dispersive shock-fitting’. Contour-dynamic simulations show that the dispersive long-wave theory captures the behaviour of the full quasi-geostrophic system to a high degree of accuracy.
Translocation and rehabilitation programmes are critical tools for wildlife conservation. These methods achieve greater impact when integrated in a combined strategy for enhancing population or ecosystem restoration. During 2002–2016 we reared 37 orphaned southern sea otter Enhydra lutris nereis pups, using captive sea otters as surrogate mothers, then released them into a degraded coastal estuary. As a keystone species, observed increases in the local sea otter population unsurprisingly brought many ecosystem benefits. The role that surrogate-reared otters played in this success story, however, remained uncertain. To resolve this, we developed an individual-based model of the local population using surveyed individual fates (survival and reproduction) of surrogate-reared and wild-captured otters, and modelled estimates of immigration. Estimates derived from a decade of population monitoring indicated that surrogate-reared and wild sea otters had similar reproductive and survival rates. This was true for males and females, across all ages (1–13 years) and locations evaluated. The model simulations indicated that reconstructed counts of the wild population are best explained by surrogate-reared otters combined with low levels of unassisted immigration. In addition, the model shows that 55% of observed population growth over this period is attributable to surrogate-reared otters and their wild progeny. Together, our results indicate that the integration of surrogacy methods and reintroduction of juvenile sea otters helped establish a biologically successful population and restore a once-impaired ecosystem.
Moral reasoning and decision making help guide behavior and facilitate interpersonal relationships. Accounts of morality that position commonsense psychology as the foundation of moral development, (i.e., rationalist theories) have dominated research in morality in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Given the well-documented differences in commonsense psychology among autistic individuals, researchers have investigated whether the development and execution of moral judgement and reasoning differs in this population compared with neurotypical individuals. In light of the diverse findings of investigations of moral development and reasoning in ASD, a summation and critical evaluation of the literature could help make sense of what is known about this important social-cognitive skill in ASD. To that end, we conducted a systematic review of the literature investigating moral decision making among autistic children and adults. Our search identified 29 studies. In this review, we synthesize the research in the area and provide suggestions for future research. Such research could include the application of an alternative theoretical framework to studying morality in autism spectrum disorder that does not assume a deficits-based perspective.
Subtidal rocky communities in the north-west Atlantic are largely limited to latitudes higher than 40°N due to the lack of substrata at lower latitudes. Communities are species poor relative to the north-east Atlantic, and food webs are generally simple, driven by physical processes including low temperatures, water motion and, for more northern regions, sea ice. Whereas kelp should thrive in shallower waters, grazing by the green sea urchin has led to extensive barren grounds. The dynamics vary, however, among regions of the north-west Atlantic, ranging from a kelp-dominated state in the Gulf of Maine to an urchin-dominated state in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Cycling between states has occurred in Atlantic Nova Scotia, where urchins are controlled by a disease process unique to this region. Control by predators may have occurred in the past but overfishing has now functionally removed this factor. Certain invertebrate fisheries have developed, and the American lobster appears to be thriving. Outside of the arena of kelp–urchin interactions, diverse assemblages of invertebrates can be found in habitats that range from shallow water bivalve beds to deep-sea coral reefs. Limitations in the temporal and spatial scope of our knowledge severely hamper our ability to generalise.
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.
Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
The long-wave, reduced-gravity, shallow-water equations (the semi-geostrophic equations) are used to study the outflow of a river into the ocean. While previous models have studied dynamics driven by gradients in density, the focus here is on the effects of potential vorticity anomaly (PVa). The river water is taken to have the same density as a finite-depth upper layer of oceanic fluid, but the two fluids have different, uniform, potential vorticities. Under these assumptions, the governing equations reduce to two first-order, nonlinear partial differential equations which are integrated numerically for a prescribed efflux of river water and PVa. Results are found to depend strongly on the sign of the PVa, with all fluid turning downstream (in the direction of Kelvin-wave propagation) when the river water has positive PVa and anticyclonic flow upstream of the river mouth when the PVa is negative. In all cases, a nonlinear Kelvin wave propagates at finite speed ahead of the river water. Away from the river mouth, the uniformity of one set of Riemann invariants allows for similarity solutions that describe the shape of the outflow, as well as a theory that predicts properties of the Kelvin wave. A range of behaviours is observed, including flows that develop shocks and flows that continue to expand offshore. The qualitative behaviour of the outflow is strongly correlated with the value of a single dimensionless parameter that expresses the ratio of the speed of the flow driven by the Kelvin wave to that driven by image vorticity.
Molecular characterization of pediatric low-grade glioma (pLGG) over the last decade has identified recurrent alterations, most commonly involving BRAF, and less frequently other pathways including MYB and MYBL1. Many of these molecular markers have been exploited clinically to aid in diagnosis and treatment decisions. However, their frequency and prognostic significance remain unknown. Further, a significant portion of cases do not have any of these alterations and what underlies these cases remains unknown. To address this we compiled a cohort of 562 patients diagnosed at SickKids from 1990-2017. We identified molecular alterations in 454 cases (81% of the cohort). The most frequent events were those involving BRAF; either as fusions (most commonly with KIAA1549 (30%)) or V600E mutations (17%) and NF-1 (22%). Less frequently, we identified recurrent FGFR1 fusions and mutations (3%), MYB/MYBL alterations (2%), H3F3AK27M (2%) or IDH1R132H (0.5%) mutations, as well as other novel rare events. Survival analysis revealed significantly better progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of KIAA1549-BRAF fused patients compared to BRAFV600E with 10-year OS 97.7% (95%, CI 95.5-100) and 83.9% (95%, CI 72.5-95.6), respectively. In addition to survival, molecular alterations predicted differences in response to conventional therapeutics; BRAF fused patients showed a 46% response-rate, versus only 14% in V600E patients. pLGGs harboring H3F3AK27M progressed early with median PFS of 11 months. In patients with MYB/MYBL1, FGFR1/FGFR2 alterations, we observed only one death (FGFR1N546K case). The work here represents the largest cohort of pLGGs with molecular profiling and their impact on the clinical behaviour of the disease.
Despite improvements in the medical and surgical management of infants with CHD, growth failure before surgery in many infants continues to be a significant concern. A nutritional pathway was developed, the aim of which was to provide a structured approach to nutritional care for infants with CHD awaiting surgery.
Materials and methods
The modified Delphi process was development of a nutritional pathway; initial stakeholder meeting to finalise draft guidelines and develop questions; round 1 anonymous online survey; round 2 online survey; regional cardiac conference and pathway revision; and final expert meeting and pathway finalisation.
Paediatric Dietitians from all 11 of the paediatric cardiology surgical centres in the United Kingdom contributed to the guideline development. In all, 33% of participants had 9 or more years of experience working with infants with CHD. By the end of rounds 1 and 2, 76 and 96% of participants, respectively, were in agreement with the statements. Three statements where consensus was not achieved by the end of round 2 were discussed and agreed at the final expert group meeting.
Nutrition guidelines were developed for infants with CHD awaiting surgery, using a modified Delphi process, incorporating the best available evidence and expert opinion with regard to nutritional support in this group.
We present our models of the effect of binaries on high-resolution spectroscopic surveys. We want to determine how many binary stars will be observed, whether unresolved binaries will contaminate measurements of chemical abundances, and how we can use spectroscopic surveys to better constrain the population of binary stars in the Galaxy. Using a rapid binary-evolution algorithm that enables modelling of the most complex binary systems we generate a series of large binary populations in the Galactic disc and evaluate the results. As a first application we use our model to study the binary fraction in APOGEE giants. We find tentative evidence for a change in binary fraction with metallicity.
Maternal diet-induced obesity can cause detrimental developmental origins of health and disease in offspring. Perinatal exposure to a high-fat diet (HFD) can lead to later behavioral and metabolic disturbances, but it is not clear which behaviors and metabolic parameters are most vulnerable. To address this critical gap, biparental and monogamous oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus), which may better replicate most human societies, were used in the current study. About 2 weeks before breeding, adult females were placed on a control or HFD and maintained on the diets throughout gestation and lactation. F1 offspring were placed at weaning (30 days of age) on the control diet and spatial learning and memory, anxiety, exploratory, voluntary physical activity, and metabolic parameters were tested when they reached adulthood (90 days of age). Surprisingly, maternal HFD caused decreased latency in initial and reverse Barnes maze trials in male, but not female, offspring. Both male and female HFD-fed offspring showed increased anxiogenic behaviors, but decreased exploratory and voluntary physical activity. Moreover, HFD offspring demonstrated lower resting energy expenditure (EE) compared with controls. Accordingly, HFD offspring weighed more at adulthood than those from control fed dams, likely the result of reduced physical activity and EE. Current findings indicate a maternal HFD may increase obesity susceptibility in offspring due to prenatal programming resulting in reduced physical activity and EE later in life. Further work is needed to determine the underpinning neural and metabolic mechanisms by which a maternal HFD adversely affects neurobehavioral and metabolic pathways in offspring.
There is increasing interest in the link between early linguistic skills and later language development. In a longitudinal study, we investigated infants’ (a) ability to use speech sound categories to guide word learning in the habituation-based minimal pair switch task, and (b) early productive vocabulary, related to their concurrent and later language task performance. The participants at Phase 1 were 64 infants aged 16–24 months (25 with familial risk of language/speech impairment), followed up at 27 months (Phase 2) and at 3 years (Phase 3). Phase 1 productive vocabulary was correlated with Phase 2 productive vocabulary, and with concurrent and later (Phase 3) tests of language production and comprehension scores (standardized tool), and phonology. Phase 1 switch task performance was correlated with concurrent productive vocabulary and language production scores, but not by Phase 3. However, a combination of early low vocabulary score and a preference for looking at an already-habituated word–object combination in the switch task may show some promise as an identifier for early speech–language intervention. We discuss how these relations can help us better understand the foundations of word learning.
Giant ragweed has been increasing as a major weed of row crops in the last
30 yr, but quantitative data regarding its pattern and mechanisms of spread
in crop fields are lacking. To address this gap, we conducted a Web-based
survey of certified crop advisors in the U.S. Corn Belt and Ontario, Canada.
Participants were asked questions regarding giant ragweed and crop
production practices for the county of their choice. Responses were mapped
and correlation analyses were conducted among the responses to determine
factors associated with giant ragweed populations. Respondents rated giant
ragweed as the most or one of the most difficult weeds to manage in 45% of
421 U.S. counties responding, and 57% of responding counties reported giant
ragweed populations with herbicide resistance to acetolactate synthase
inhibitors, glyphosate, or both herbicides. Results suggest that giant
ragweed is increasing in crop fields outward from the east-central U.S. Corn
Belt in most directions. Crop production practices associated with giant
ragweed populations included minimum tillage, continuous soybean, and
multiple-application herbicide programs; ecological factors included giant
ragweed presence in noncrop edge habitats, early and prolonged emergence,
and presence of the seed-burying common earthworm in crop fields. Managing
giant ragweed in noncrop areas could reduce giant ragweed migration from
noncrop habitats into crop fields and slow its spread. Where giant ragweed
is already established in crop fields, including a more diverse combination
of crop species, tillage practices, and herbicide sites of action will be
critical to reduce populations, disrupt emergence patterns, and select
against herbicide-resistant giant ragweed genotypes. Incorporation of a
cereal grain into the crop rotation may help suppress early giant ragweed
emergence and provide chemical or mechanical control options for
late-emerging giant ragweed.