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Examining the interconnections between genes and culture is crucial for a more complete understanding of psychological processes. Genetic predispositions may predict different outcomes depending on one's cultural context, and culture may predict different outcomes depending on genetic predispositions - that is, genes and culture interact. Less is understood, however, about how genes and culture interact, or the psychological mechanisms through which gene-culture interactions occur. In this Element, Heewon Kwon and Joni Y. Sasaki review key findings and theories in gene-culture interaction research. They then go on to discuss current issues and future directions in gene-culture research that may illuminate the path toward an explanatory framework.
Insufficient nutrition during the perinatal period causes structural alterations in humans and experimental animals, leading to increased vulnerability to diseases in later life. Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica, in which partial (8–10%) egg white was withdrawn (EwW) from eggs before incubation had lower birth weights than controls (CTs). EwW birds also had reduced hatching rates, smaller glomeruli and lower embryo weight. In EwW embryos, the surface condensate area containing mesenchymal cells was larger, suggesting that delayed but active nephrogenesis takes place. In mature EwW quail, the number of glomeruli in the cortical region (mm2) was significantly lower (CT 34.7±1.4, EwW 21.0±1.2); capillary loops showed focal ballooning, and mesangial areas were distinctly expanded. Immunoreactive cell junction proteins, N-cadherin and podocin, and slit diaphragms were clearly seen. With aging, the mesangial area and glomerular size continued to increase and were significantly larger in EwW quail, suggesting compensatory hypertrophy. Furthermore, apoptosis measured by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling analysis was higher in EwWs than in CTs on embryonic day 15 and postnatal day 4 (D4). Similarly, plasma glucocorticoid (corticosterone) was higher (P<0.01) on D4 in EwW quail. These results suggest that although nephrogenic activity is high in low-nutrition quail during the perinatal period, delayed development and increased apoptosis may result in a lower number of mature nephrons. Damaged or incompletely mature mesangium may trigger glomerular injury, leading in later life to nephrosclerosis. The present study shows that birds serve as a model for ‘fetal programming,’ which appears to have evolved phylogenetically early.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and anorexia nervosa (AN) are both characterized by distorted perception of appearance. Previous studies in BDD suggest abnormalities in visual processing of own and others’ faces, but no study has examined visual processing of faces in AN, nor directly compared the two disorders in this respect.
We collected functional magnetic resonance imaging data on 60 individuals of equivalent age and gender in each of three groups – 20 BDD, 20 weight-restored AN, and 20 healthy controls (HC) – while they viewed images of others’ faces that contained only high or low spatial frequency information (HSF or LSF). We tested hypotheses about functional connectivity within specialized sub-networks for HSF and LSF visual processing, using psychophysiological interaction analyses.
The BDD group demonstrated increased functional connectivity compared to HC between left anterior occipital face area and right fusiform face area (FFA) for LSF faces, which was associated with symptom severity. Both BDD and AN groups had increased connectivity compared to HC between FFA and precuneous/posterior cingulate gyrus for LSF faces, and decreased connectivity between FFA and insula. In addition, we found that LSF connectivity between FFA and posterior cingulate gyrus was significantly associated with thoughts about own appearance in AN.
Results suggest similar abnormal functional connectivity within higher-order systems for face processing in BDD and AN, but distinct abnormal connectivity patterns within occipito-temporal visual networks. Findings may have implications for understanding relationships between these disorders, and the pathophysiology underlying perceptual distortions.
Using a genetic moderation approach, this study examines how an experimental prime of religion impacts self-control in a social context, and whether this effect differs depending on the genotype of an oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism (rs53576). People with different genotypes of OXTR seem to have different genetic orientations toward sociality, which may have consequences for the way they respond to religious cues in the environment. In order to determine whether the influence of religion priming on self-control is socially motivated, we examine whether this effect is stronger for people who have OXTR genotypes that should be linked to greater rather than less social sensitivity (i.e., GG vs. AA/AG genotypes). The results showed that experimentally priming religion increased self-control behaviors for people with GG genotypes more so than people with AA/AG genotypes. Furthermore, this Gene × Religion interaction emerged in a social context, when people were interacting face to face with another person. This research integrates genetic moderation and social psychological approaches to address a novel question about religion's influence on self-control behavior, which has implications for coping with distress and psychopathology. These findings also highlight the importance of the social context for understanding genetic moderation of psychological effects.
The gullet worm (Gongylonema pulchrum) has been recorded from a variety of mammals worldwide, including monkeys and humans. Due to its wide host range, it has been suggested that the worm may be transmitted locally to any mammalian host by chance. To investigate this notion, the ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA), mainly regions of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS) 1 and 2, and a cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) region of mitochondrial DNA of G. pulchrum were characterized using parasites from the following hosts located in Japan: cattle, sika deer, wild boars, Japanese macaques, a feral Reeves's muntjac and captive squirrel monkeys. The rDNA nucleotide sequences of G. pulchrum were generally well conserved regardless of their host origin. However, a few insertions/deletions of nucleotides along with a few base substitutions in the ITS1 and ITS2 regions were observed in G. pulchrum from sika deer, wild boars and Japanese macaques, and those differed from G. pulchrum in cattle, the feral Reeves's muntjac and captive squirrel monkeys. The COI sequences of G. pulchrum were further divided into multiple haplotypes and two groups of haplotypes, i.e. those from a majority of sika deer, wild boars and Japanese macaques and those from cattle and zoo animals, were clearly differentiated. Our findings indicate that domestic and sylvatic transmission cycles of the gullet worm are currently present, at least in Japan.
This study determined the prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility of Salmonella isolated from broiler flocks in Japan. Caecal dropping samples were collected from 288 broiler flocks between November 2007 and February 2010. Salmonella was prevalent in 248 (86·1%) broiler flocks. The top three serovars were S. Infantis, S. Manhattan and S. Schwarzengrund. S. Infantis was found in all regions tested in this study. However, S. Manhattan and S. Schwarzengrund were frequently found only in the western part of Japan. High antimicrobial resistance rates were observed against oxytetracycline (90·2%), dihydrostreptomycin (86·7%) and ampicillin (36·5%), and 258 (90·5%) of 285 isolates were resistant to two or more antimicrobial agents. Interestingly, 26·3% of isolates were resistant to ceftiofur, especially 38·1% of S. Infantis isolates, although its use in broilers has not been approved in Japan. This study showed that Salmonella is highly prevalent (86·1%) in Japanese broiler flocks, that 90·5% of Salmonella isolates were multidrug-resistant, and that S. Infantis frequently exhibited resistance to cephalosporin antimicrobial agents.
It is well discussed about biological effect to high-level radioactive waste (HLW) disposal and known that the biofilm is considered to be the uncertain factor to estimate for migration of radioactive elements. The objective of this research is to estimate the microbial effect of Cs migration in groundwater interacted with rock surface. Specially, we focus on Cs behavior at the rock surface surrounded by biofilm. The most important factor is the Cs sorption and diffusion to the microbe and/or their biofilm. Generation of bio-colloid absorbed with Cs and retardation of Cs by their matrix diffusion in rock will be influenced by these phenomena. We introduce about scenario analysis for biofilm and a simple Cs diffusion test with and without sulfur reducing bacteria (SRB) which is well known as easy to produce biofilm on the rock surface in order to clarify the existence effect of the bacteria at the rock surface. The Cs diffusion experiment, using Desulfovivrio desullfuricans as SRB, indicated that microbial effect was less to through their biofilm in the experimental condition. We consider that Cs is easy to contact the rock surface even if surrounded biofilm and not effect to retardation by matrix diffusion scenario.
In this study, aluminized, boronized, chromized and siliconized gray cast iron plate specimens were prepared, and their microstructures and tribological properties were investigated. The surfaces of the aluminized, boronized, chromized and siliconized specimens mainly consisted of FeAl, Fe2B, (Cr, Fe)23C6 and FeSi phases, respectively. Also, the surface of the boronized specimen exhibited the highest microvickers hardness of all the specimens. The aluminized, boronized and chromized specimens exhibited friction coefficients as low as the non-coated specimens when sliding against AISI 52100 steel ball specimens in poly-alpha-olefin. In addition, the boronized and chromized specimens exhibited much higher wear resistance than the non-coated specimens.
Human salmonellosis cases, particularly those caused by Salmonella Enteritidis, have been closely linked to egg consumption. This epidemiological survey was conducted to determine the baseline Salmonella prevalence and identify the risk factors for Salmonella prevalence in laying-hen farms in Japan. Caecal excrement samples and dust samples were obtained from 400 flocks in 338 laying-hen farms. Salmonella was identified in 20·7% of the farms and 19·5% of the flocks. The prevalence of Salmonella was significantly higher in flocks reared in windowless houses than in those reared in open houses. In addition, the risk of Salmonella presence was significantly higher when the windowless house farms implemented induced moulting or in-line egg processing. Efforts to reduce human salmonellosis in Japan should continue to focus on the establishment of control measures in laying-hen farms, especially those with windowless houses implementing induced moulting and equipped with in-line egg processing.
The significance of the potential impacts of microbial activity on the transport properties of host rocks for geological repositories is an area of active research. Most recent work has focused on granitic environments. This paper describes pilot studies investigating changes in transport properties that are produced by microbial activity in sedimentary rock environments in northern Japan. For the first time, these short experiments (39 days maximum) have shown that the denitrifying bacteria, Pseudomonas denitrificans, can survive and thrive when injected into flow-through column experiments containing fractured diatomaceous mudstone and synthetic groundwater under pressurized conditions. Although there were few significant changes in the fluid chemistry, changes in the permeability of the biotic column, which can be explained by the observed biofilm formation, were quantitatively monitored. These same methodologies could also be adapted to obtain information from cores originating from a variety of geological environments including oil reservoirs, aquifers and toxic waste disposal sites to provide an understanding of the impact of microbial activity on the transport of a range of solutes, such as groundwater contaminants and gases (e.g. injected carbon dioxide).