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Assessing the impacts of invasive predators on the demography and distribution of native species is critical for understanding mechanisms of species persistence and informing the design of recovery programmes. On the oceanic island of Guam, the introduction of the predatory brown treesnake Boiga irregularis after World War II caused the near-total loss of the native forest avifauna. Localised snake control measures have been implemented since the early 1990s, yet it remains poorly understood how they have impacted Guam’s remaining native bird populations. To address this question, we combined intensive area searches of Andersen Air Force Base (AAFB) with island-wide transect surveys and opportunistic sightings to provide a comprehensive update on the distribution and abundance of Såli (Micronesian Starling, Aplonis opaca) – one of Guam’s last extant native bird species. Area searches of AAFB, where the largest remnant of the Såli population persists, revealed a 15-fold population increase since the last survey in the early 1990s, and transect surveys and opportunistic sightings indicate incipient recolonisation of other urbanised areas of northern and central Guam. We estimate the current island-wide population size at ~1,400 individuals. The population increase can likely be attributed to a combination of snake control measures and the Såli’s ability to exploit urban refugia for nesting and roosting. Although these trends demonstrate some population recovery, a skewed age ratio (>90% adults and subadults) at AAFB and a highly urbanised distribution and low abundance outside AAFB indicate that snake predation continues to strongly impact the population. More intensive snake suppression efforts, particularly in forested areas, may allow for the Såli population to attain its former distribution and abundance on Guam. More broadly, our findings reinforce the importance of urban areas as refugia for some threatened species.
The direct carbonate procedure for accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dating of submilligram samples of biogenic carbonate without graphitization is becoming widely used in a variety of studies. We compare the results of 153 paired direct carbonate and standard graphite 14C determinations on single specimens of an assortment of biogenic carbonates. A reduced major axis regression shows a strong relationship between direct carbonate and graphite percent Modern Carbon (pMC) values (m = 0.996; 95% CI [0.991–1.001]). An analysis of differences and a 95% confidence interval on pMC values reveals that there is no significant difference between direct carbonate and graphite pMC values for 76% of analyzed specimens, although variation in direct carbonate pMC is underestimated. The difference between the two methods is typically within 2 pMC, with 61% of direct carbonate pMC measurements being higher than their paired graphite counterpart. Of the 36 specimens that did yield significant differences, all but three missed the 95% significance threshold by 1.2 pMC or less. These results show that direct carbonate 14C dating of biogenic carbonates is a cost-effective and efficient complement to standard graphite 14C dating.
Drug classes are grouped based on their chemical and pharmacological properties, but prescription and illicit drugs differ in other important ways. Potential differences in genetic and environmental influences on the (mis)use of prescription and illicit drugs that are subsumed under the same class should be examined. Opioid and stimulant classes contain prescription and illicit forms differentially associated with salient risk factors (common route of administration, legality), making them useful comparators for addressing this etiological issue.
A total of 2410 individual Australian twins [Mage = 31.77 (s.d. = 2.48); 67% women] were interviewed about prescription misuse and illicit use of opioids and stimulants. Univariate and bivariate biometric models partitioned variances and covariances into additive genetic, shared environmental, and unique environmental influences across drug types.
Variation in the propensity to misuse prescription opioids was attributable to genes (41%) and unique environment (59%). Illicit opioid use was attributable to shared (71%) and unique (29%) environment. Prescription stimulant misuse was attributable to genes (79%) and unique environment (21%). Illicit stimulant use was attributable to genes (48%), shared environment (29%), and unique environment (23%). There was evidence for genetic influence common to both stimulant types, but limited evidence for genetic influence common to both opioid types. Bivariate correlations suggested that prescription opioid use may be more genetically similar to prescription stimulant use than to illicit opioid use.
Prescription opioid misuse may share little genetic influence with illicit opioid use. Future research may consider avoiding unitary drug classifications, particularly when examining genetic influences.
Direct numerical simulations at $Re=200$ have been conducted of the flow past rows of tandem cylinders. It is shown that when the pitch between the two upstream cylinders is large, the wake downstream is characterised by a two-row vortex structure. Placing a third body on the wake centreline in the majority of this two-row structure has basically no impact both upstream and downstream – the third body is cloaked. However, a region is identified where the placement of a body suppresses vortex shedding from the first cylinder and the two-row structure is destroyed, globally broadcasting the presence of the third body. The effect is shown to occur for different third-body shapes. To understand the existence of this broadcasting region, local instability analysis is conducted which shows the majority of the two-row structure to be convectively unstable, with only a small region adjacent to the rear of the second cylinder that is absolutely unstable. This suggests only bodies placed close to the second body will trigger the global change, and this is supported by a global sensitivity analysis and observation from the simulations. However, neither the local analysis nor the global sensitivity analysis explains the presence of a lower limit for the third-body position that will trigger a global change. However the simulation results clearly show that a third body placed very close to the second body does not trigger this change.
Geomorphological studies of the hidden and protected subsurface environments are crucial to obtain a greater insight into the evolution of planetary landforms, hydrology, climate, geology and mineralogy. From an astrobiological point of view subsurface environments are of interest for their potential habitability as they are local environments that are partially or fully shielded from the high levels of space and solar radiation. Furthermore, in the case of Mars, there is an increasing interest in searching for the presence of past or extant life in its subsurface. These applications make it mandatory to investigate equipment and instrumentation that allow for the study of subsurface geomorphology, as well as organic chemical biomarkers, such as biomolecules, carbon, nitrogen and sulphur isotopes, and other biologically significant minerals and gases. Mines on Earth can be used as analogues to investigate the geomorphology of Martian subsurface environments and perform astrobiology studies. With that goal, we have developed a low-cost, robust, remotely operable subsurface rover called KORE (KOmpact Rover for Exploration). This work illustrates the studies of a terrestrial analogue for the exploration of Mars using KORE during the Mine Analogue Research 6 (MINAR 6) campaign with the low-cost 3D mapping technology InXSpace 3D (In situ 3D mapping tool eXploration of space 3D). InXSpace 3D utilizes an RGB-D camera that captures depth information in addition to the RGB data of an image, operating based on the structured light principle capable of providing depth information in mm scale resolution at sub 3 m mapping range. InXSpace 3D is used to capture point clouds of natural and artificial features, thereby obtaining information about geologically relevant structures and also to incorporate them in earth mining safety. We tested two of the dense simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithms: Kintinuous and Real-Time Appearance-Based Mapping (RTAB-Map) to check the performance of InXSpace 3D in a dark mine environment. Also, the air accumulation of volatiles such as methane and formaldehyde due to thermogenic and mining process was measured with the environmental station payload on the rover platform, which caters to both astrobiological significance and mine safety. The main conclusions of this work are: (1) a comparison made between the RTAB-Map algorithm and Kintinuous algorithm showed the superiority of Kintinuous algorithm in providing better 3D reconstruction; although RTAB-Map algorithm captured more points than the Kintinuous algorithm in the dark mine environment; (2) a comparison of point cloud images captured with and without lighting conditions had a negligible effect on the surface density of the point clouds; (3) close-range imaging of the polygonal features occurring on the halite walls using InXSpace 3D provided mm-scale resolution to enable further characterization; (4) heuristic algorithms to quickly post-process the 3D point cloud data provided encouraging results for preliminary analyses; (5) we successfully demonstrated the application of KORE to mine safety; and (6) the multi-sensors platform on KORE successfully monitored the accumulated volatiles in the mine atmosphere during its operation. The findings obtained during this KORE campaign could be incorporated in designing and planning future subsurface rover explorations to potential planetary bodies such as Mars with synergistic applications to subsurface environments in mines on Earth.
Late-life depression has substantial impacts on individuals, families and society. Knowledge gaps remain in estimating the economic impacts associated with late-life depression by symptom severity, which has implications for resource prioritisation and research design (such as in modelling). This study examined the incremental health and social care expenditure of depressive symptoms by severity.
We analysed data collected from 2707 older adults aged 60 years and over in Hong Kong. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Client Service Receipt Inventory were used, respectively, to measure depressive symptoms and service utilisation as a basis for calculating care expenditure. Two-part models were used to estimate the incremental expenditure associated with symptom severity over 1 year.
The average PHQ-9 score was 6.3 (standard deviation, s.d. = 4.0). The percentages of respondents with mild, moderate and moderately severe symptoms and non-depressed were 51.8%, 13.5%, 3.7% and 31.0%, respectively. Overall, the moderately severe group generated the largest average incremental expenditure (US$5886; 95% CI 1126–10 647 or a 272% increase), followed by the mild group (US$3849; 95% CI 2520–5177 or a 176% increase) and the moderate group (US$1843; 95% CI 854–2831, or 85% increase). Non-psychiatric healthcare was the main cost component in a mild symptom group, after controlling for other chronic conditions and covariates. The average incremental association between PHQ-9 score and overall care expenditure peaked at PHQ-9 score of 4 (US$691; 95% CI 444–939), then gradually fell to negative between scores of 12 (US$ - 35; 95% CI - 530 to 460) and 19 (US$ -171; 95% CI - 417 to 76) and soared to positive and rebounded at the score of 23 (US$601; 95% CI -1652 to 2854).
The association between depressive symptoms and care expenditure is stronger among older adults with mild and moderately severe symptoms. Older adults with the same symptom severity have different care utilisation and expenditure patterns. Non-psychiatric healthcare is the major cost element. These findings inform ways to optimise policy efforts to improve the financial sustainability of health and long-term care systems, including the involvement of primary care physicians and other geriatric healthcare providers in preventing and treating depression among older adults and related budgeting and accounting issues across services.
Sleep quantity and quality are associated with executive function (EF) in experimental studies, and in individuals with sleep disorders. With advancing age, sleep quantity and quality decline, as does the ability to perform EF tasks, suggesting that sleep disruption may contribute to age-related EF declines. This cross-sectional cohort study tested the hypothesis that poorer sleep quality (i.e., the frequency and duration of awakenings) and/or quantity may partly account for age-related EF deficits.
Community-dwelling older adults (N = 184) completed actigraphic sleep monitoring then a range of EF tasks. Two EF factors were extracted using exploratory structural equation modeling. Sleep variables did not mediate the relationship between age and EF factors. Post hoc moderated mediation analyses were conducted to test whether cognitive reserve compensates for sleep-related EF deficits, using years of education as a proxy measure of cognitive reserve.
We found a significant interaction between cognitive reserve and the number and frequency of awakenings, explaining a small (approximately 3%), but significant amount of variance in EF. Specifically, in individuals with fewer than 11 years of education, greater sleep disturbance was associated with poorer EF, but sleep did not impact EF in those with more education. There was no association between age and sleep quantity.
This study highlights the role of cognitive reserve in the sleep–EF relationship, suggesting individuals with greater cognitive reserve may be able to counter the impact of disturbed sleep on EF. Therefore, improving sleep may confer some protection against EF deficits in vulnerable older adults.
This is an epidemiological study of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in Veterans’ Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). In 2017, almost 75% of VAMCs had at least 1 CRE case. We observed substantial geographic variability, with more cases in urban, complex facilities. This supports the benefit of tailoring infection control strategies to facility characteristics.
Mucositis is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal mucosa resulting from high doses of radio/chemotherapy treatment and may lead to interruption of antineoplasic therapy. Soluble fibres, like pectin, increase SCFA production, which play a role in gut homoeostasis and inflammation suppression. Due to the properties of pectin, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a high-fibre (HF) diet on chemotherapy-induced mucositis in a murine model. C57/BL6 mice received control (AIN93M), HF, low/zero fibre (LF) diets for 10 d prior to mucositis challenging with irinotecan (75 mg/kg), or they were treated with acetate added to drinking water 5 d prior to and during the mucositis induction. Mice that received the HF diet showed decreased immune cells influx and improved histopathological parameters in the intestine, compared with mice that received the normal diet. Furthermore, the HF diet decreased intestinal permeability induced in the mucositis model when compared with the control group. This effect was not observed for acetate alone, which did not improve gut permeability. For instance, mice that received the LF diet had worsened gut permeability, compared with mice that received the normal diet and mucositis. The effects of the HF and LF diets were shown to modulate the intestinal microbiota, in which the LF diet increased the levels of Enterobacteriaceae, a group associated with gut inflammation, whereas the HF diet decreased this group and increased Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (SCFA producers) levels. In conclusion, the results demonstrated the importance of dietary fibre intake in the modulation of gut microbiota composition and homoeostasis maintenance during mucositis in this model.
Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and trait impulsivity have been associated with disordered eating but are seldom assessed in community studies, or longitudinally and little is known about the mediating mechanisms.
We tested associations between ADHD symptoms and disordered eating cross-sectionally and between trait impulsivity and disordered eating longitudinally. We utilised data from a normative cohort of young adults (642 participants: 65% female, Mage = 23 years). Participants were classified as high risk or low risk for disordered eating using the SCOFF instrument. In the first two steps of both cross-sectional and longitudinal hierarchical logistic regression models, demographics and covariates were entered. For the cross-sectional regression, Adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS) scores, separated into inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, were entered in the third step. In a separate longitudinal model, Barratt impulsivity scale subscales (attentional, motor and non-planning impulsivity) were entered in the third step. Depression, as assessed by the moods and feelings questionnaire (MFQ), was examined as a mediator.
Cross-sectionally, sex, MFQ score and inattentive symptoms predicted disordered eating risk (model R2 = 20%). Longitudinally, sex, MFQ score and attentional impulsivity predicted disordered eating risk (model R2 = 16%). The relationship between inattentive symptoms and the disordered eating risk was partially mediated by MFQ score, whereas the relationship between attentional impulsivity and the disordered eating risk was fully mediated by MFQ scores.
These data highlight (1) a specific role for inattentive symptoms of ADHD and (2) the importance of both depression and impulsivity in predicting eating disorder risk.
The ‘16Up’ study conducted at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute from January 2014 to December 2018 aimed to examine the physical and mental health of young Australian twins aged 16−18 years (N = 876; 371 twin pairs and 18 triplet sets). Measurements included online questionnaires covering physical and mental health as well as information and communication technology (ICT) use, actigraphy, sleep diaries and hair samples to determine cortisol concentrations. Study participants generally rated themselves as being in good physical (79%) and mental (73%) health and reported lower rates of psychological distress and exposure to alcohol, tobacco products or other substances than previously reported for this age group in the Australian population. Daily or near-daily online activity was almost universal among study participants, with no differences noted between males and females in terms of frequency or duration of internet access. Patterns of ICT use in this sample indicated that the respondents were more likely to use online information sources for researching physical health issues than for mental health or substance use issues, and that they generally reported partial levels of satisfaction with the mental health information they found online. This suggests that internet-based mental health resources can be readily accessed by adolescent Australians, and their computer literacy augurs well for future access to online health resources. In combination with other data collected as part of the ongoing Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study, the 16Up project provides a valuable resource for the longitudinal investigation of genetic and environmental contributions to phenotypic variation in a variety of human traits.
Despite the strong link between childhood maltreatment and psychopathology, the underlying neurodevelopmental mechanisms are poorly understood and difficult to disentangle from heritable and prenatal factors. This study used a translational macaque model of infant maltreatment in which the adverse experience occurs in the first months of life, during intense maturation of amygdala circuits important for stress and emotional regulation. Thus, we examined the developmental impact of maltreatment on amygdala functional connectivity (FC) longitudinally, from infancy through the juvenile period. Using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) we performed amygdala–prefrontal cortex (PFC) region-of-interest and exploratory whole-brain amygdala FC analyses. The latter showed (a) developmental increases in amygdala FC with many regions, likely supporting increased processing of socioemotional-relevant stimuli with age; and (b) maltreatment effects on amygdala coupling with arousal and stress brain regions (locus coeruleus, laterodorsal tegmental area) that emerged with age. Maltreated juveniles showed weaker FC than controls, which was negatively associated with infant hair cortisol concentrations. Findings from the region-of-interest analysis also showed weaker amygdala FC with PFC regions in maltreated animals than controls since infancy, whereas bilateral amygdala FC was stronger in maltreated animals. These effects on amygdala FC development may underlie the poor behavioral outcomes associated with this adverse experience.
The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) is the first large-area survey to be conducted with the full 36-antenna Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. RACS will provide a shallow model of the ASKAP sky that will aid the calibration of future deep ASKAP surveys. RACS will cover the whole sky visible from the ASKAP site in Western Australia and will cover the full ASKAP band of 700–1800 MHz. The RACS images are generally deeper than the existing NRAO VLA Sky Survey and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey radio surveys and have better spatial resolution. All RACS survey products will be public, including radio images (with
15 arcsec resolution) and catalogues of about three million source components with spectral index and polarisation information. In this paper, we present a description of the RACS survey and the first data release of 903 images covering the sky south of declination
made over a 288-MHz band centred at 887.5 MHz.
The detrimental systemic effects of cigarette smoking are well established. Though less pronounced in the field of otology, they are proposed to contribute to the global burden of unaddressed hearing loss. Recently, in efforts to stop smoking, individuals have used electronic cigarettes of which the long-term safety data are largely unknown. This study aimed to conduct a systematic review of cigarette smoking and electronic cigarette effects in the field of otology.
Relevant articles were identified by a National Institute for Health and Care Excellence healthcare database literature search and by scanning the references of relevant articles and reviews.
A total of 473 articles were identified, with 43 articles included in the review after trials were excluded.
Cigarette smoking is associated with recurrent otitis media, otitis media with effusion and sensorineural hearing loss in children exposed to second-hand smoke. In adults, it is associated with active and aggressive chronic suppurative otitis media, worse tympanoplasty success rates, increased post-operative complications and sensorineural hearing loss that is more pronounced in the long term and at high frequencies. The effects of e-cigarettes in otology are largely unknown.
Background: Based on data obtained from hospitals in the city of Belo Horizonte (population ~3,000,000), we evaluated relevant factors such as death, age, duration of surgery, potential for contamination and surgical site infection, plastic surgery, and craniotomy. The possibility of predicting surgical site infection (SSI) was then analyzed using pattern recognition algorithms based on MLP (multilayer perceptron). Methods: Data were collected by the hospital infection control committees (CCIHs) in hospitals in Belo Horizonte between 2016 and 2018. The noisy records were filtered, and the occurrences were analyzed. Finally, the predictive power of SSI of 5 types MLP was evaluated experimentally: momentum, backpropagation standard, weight decay, resilient propagation, and quick propagation. The model used 3, 5, 7, and 10 neurons in the occult layer and with resamples varied the number of records for testing (65% and 75%) and for validation (35% and 25%). Comparisons were made by measuring the AUC (area under the curve (range, 0–1). Results: From 1,096 records of craniotomy, 289 were usable for analysis. Moreover, 16% died; averaged age was 56 years (range, 40–65); mean time of surgery was 186 minutes (range, 95–250 minutes); the number of hospitalizations ranged from 1 (90.6%) to 8 (0.3%). Contamination among these cases was rated as follows: 2.7% contaminated, 23.5% potentially contaminated, 72.3% clean. The SSI rate reached 4%. The prediction process in AUCs ranged from 0.7 to 0.994. In plastic surgery, from 3,693 records, 1,099 were intact, with only 1 case of SSI and no deaths. The average age for plastic surgery was 41 years (range, 16–91); the average time of surgery was 218.5 minutes (range, 19–580 minutes); the number of hospitalizations ranged from 1 (77.4%) to 6 times (0.001%). Contamination among these cases was rated as follows: 27.90% potential contamination, 1.67% contaminated, and 0.84% infected. The prediction process ranged in AUCs from 0.2 to 0.4. Conclusions: We identified a high noise index in both surgeries due to subjectivity at the time of data collection. The profiles of each surgery in the statistical analyses were different, which was reflected in the analyzed structures. The MLP for craniotomy surgery demonstrated relevant predictive power and can guide intelligent monitoring software (available in www.sacihweb.com). However, for plastic surgeries, MLPs need more SSI samples to optimize outcomes. To optimize data collection and to enable other hospitals to use the SSI prediction tool, a mobile application was developed.