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Herbivore distribution throughout Africa is strongly linked to mean annual precipitation. We use that relationship to predict functional group composition of herbivore communities during the last glacial maximum (ca. 21 ka) on the now submerged Palaeo-Agulhas Plain (PAP), South Africa. We used metabolic large herbivore biomass (MLHB) from 39 South African protected areas, in five functional groups (characterized by behavior and physiology). We examined how modern factors influenced MLHB and considered the effects of biome, annual rainfall, percentage winter rainfall, and protected area size. Overall, biome was the most important factor influencing the relationship between MLHB and rainfall. In general, MLHB increased with rainfall, but not for the grassland biome. Outside grasslands, most functional groups’ metabolic biomass increased with increasing rainfall, irrespective of biome, except for medium-sized social mixed feeder species in savanna and thicket. Protected area size was influential for medium-sized social mixed feeders and large browsers and rainfall influenced medium-sized social mixed feeders, offering some perspectives on spatial constraints on past large herbivore biomass densities. These results improve our understanding of the likely herbivore community composition and relative biomass structure on the PAP, an essential driver of how early humans utilized large mammals as a food resource.
Contrary to received wisdom, music has always been connected with language, however tenuously, on at least two levels. First, despite theoretically standing apart from our two principal systems of representation, words and images, music has persistently been linked throughout our history and culture with something beyond itself. Each age has constructed a system of relationships, metaphors, or analogies through which musical scores are conceived and heard – simple examples include a musical “phrase,” “high” and “low” pitches, “soft” and “powerful” tones.1 Second, music has constantly been connected with verbal discourse, whose importance increased throughout the nineteenth century (if only through the proliferation of the press and the growth of writing about music): musical works are not understood and appreciated as unmediated objects, but are filtered through discourses that precede, accompany, and succeed them. Aesthetic theories, critical reception, and historical studies, together with informal conversation, enter into the life of a musical work. It is this second level that will concern us.
Rapid and regionally contrasting climate changes have been observed around Antarctica. However, our understanding of the impact of these changes on ecosystems remains limited, and there is an urgent need to better identify habitats of Antarctic species. The Weddell seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) is a circumpolar mesopredator and an indicative species of Antarctic marine communities. It has been extensively studied in the western Ross Sea and East Antarctica, and an understanding of its ecology in the Weddell Sea in the wintertime is emerging. We documented the behavioural response(s) of four Weddell seals from February to June in 2017 in the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf region and related these to unusual oceanographic conditions in 2017. Unexpectedly, we found that Weddell seals had the longest foraging effort within the outflow of Ice Shelf Water or at its turbulent boundary. They also foraged on the eastern side of the trough from April to June within the Modified Warm Deep Water and seem to take advantage of the unusual conditions of persistent inflow of warm waters through the winter. Linking animal behavioural responses to oceanographic conditions is informative for quantifying rarely recorded events and provides great insight into how predators may respond to changing conditions.
Sex-related differences in psychopathology are known phenomena, with externalizing and internalizing symptoms typically more common in boys and girls, respectively. However, the neural correlates of these sex-by-psychopathology interactions are underinvestigated, particularly in adolescence.
Participants were 14 years of age and part of the IMAGEN study, a large (N = 1526) community-based sample. To test for sex-by-psychopathology interactions in structural grey matter volume (GMV), we used whole-brain, voxel-wise neuroimaging analyses based on robust non-parametric methods. Psychopathological symptom data were derived from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).
We found a sex-by-hyperactivity/inattention interaction in four brain clusters: right temporoparietal-opercular region (p < 0.01, Cohen's d = −0.24), bilateral anterior and mid-cingulum (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = −0.18), right cerebellum and fusiform (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = −0.20) and left frontal superior and middle gyri (p < 0.05, Cohen's d = −0.26). Higher symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention were associated with lower GMV in all four brain clusters in boys, and with higher GMV in the temporoparietal-opercular and cerebellar-fusiform clusters in girls.
Using a large, sex-balanced and community-based sample, our study lends support to the idea that externalizing symptoms of hyperactivity/inattention may be associated with different neural structures in male and female adolescents. The brain regions we report have been associated with a myriad of important cognitive functions, in particular, attention, cognitive and motor control, and timing, that are potentially relevant to understand the behavioural manifestations of hyperactive and inattentive symptoms. This study highlights the importance of considering sex in our efforts to uncover mechanisms underlying psychopathology during adolescence.
Four unconformity-bound sequences can be identified in the Purana successions in southern India, of which the third sequence (Sequence III) has the widest distribution. Sequence III contains deep-water carbonate units with consistent sedimentological characteristics across the subcontinent. The current extent of field relationships and existing ages has not allowed the correlation and chronology of these carbonates to be established conclusively. Palaeomagnetism may help resolve this essential question for the Purana sedimentation. Here, we report new palaeomagnetic results (HIG+/– pole: 21.7° N, 81.1° E, radius of cone of 95% confidence A95 = 15.9°) from Sequence III carbonates in the Kaladgi (Badami Group) and Bhima (Bhima Group) basins. The HIG+/– magnetization, revealed after the removal of secondary magnetizations that include a present-day field and an Ediacaran–Cambrian overprint, is interpreted to be primary based on its dissimilarity to known younger magnetizations, the presence of distinctly different magnetic components in sites and a positive reversal test. Our HIG+/– pole differs from the c. 1.4 Ga pole and various c. 1.1 Ga and younger poles. Instead, it overlaps with the Harohalli dyke pole that was long considered to be c. 823 Ma in age, but has recently been suggested to be much older with an age of c. 1192 Ma. We therefore consider the uppermost carbonate beds of Badami and Bhima groups to have been deposited during late Mesoproterozoic times. A critical evaluation of parameters from which an earlier Neoproterozoic age for these carbonates was established indicates that the available 40Ar/39Ar, Rb–Sr and U–Pb ages in the Kaladgi and Bhima basins could reflect the timing of post-depositional alteration events.
In antiquity, Rome was the City while imperium Romanum the power of Rome. However, after the Constitutio Antoniniana of 212 CE and the nearly universal extension of Roman citizenship, the legal status of its citizen was accompanied by an adherence to the civic and imperial models set out by Tertullian (De pallio IV.1) under the term Romanitas. The term Romania first came to be used for all Roman territory around 330 CE.1 This explains why today the word “Rome” is used for both the city and the Empire. Nonetheless, we need to distinguish between the two when discussing its future. In effect, when historians speak about the end of Rome, they are referring mainly to the end of the Roman Empire in the West. However, as John Bury pointed out over a century ago, such a thing did not exist.2 What existed was only the pars occidentalis of the Roman Empire, but when that disappeared at the end of the fifth century, the Roman Empire continued to survive in and around Constantinople.
Prehistoric stone structures are prominent and well-studied in the Levantine desert margins. In northern Arabia, however, such structures have received less attention. This article presents the results of investigations of a 35m-long stone platform, first constructed in the mid sixth millennium BC, overlooking the oasis of Dûmat al-Jandal in northern Saudi Arabia. Excavation of the platform has yielded bioarchaeological and cultural remains, along with evidence for several phases of construction and intermittent use down to the first millennium BC. Analysis of the platform and nearby tombs highlights the persistent funerary and ritual use of this area over millennia, illuminating nomadic pastoralist lifeways in prehistoric Arabia.
To assess the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity in French children from 2013 to 2017.
Cross-sectional study performed in fourteen regions of France. Physical measures included weight, height and BMI. Underweight, overweight and obesity were defined according to age- and sex-specific BMI cut-off points from the International Obesity Task Force.
Children (10 159 boys, 9757 girls) from the voluntary, non-representative Diagnoform programme between 2013 and 2017, at the age of 4–12 years.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher in girls compared with boys (P < 0·001). Underweight was also more prevalent in girls (P < 0·05). Although there were no significant changes in the prevalence of obesity in boys or girls from 2013 to 2017, a significant decrease in overweight among boys and girls was found (P < 0·001) during the same time period. In contrast, the prevalence of underweight increased in girls and boys (from 10·0 to 20·0 %, P < 0·0001) between 2013 and 2017.
Results of the current study show that the prevalence of obesity was stable, while the prevalence of overweight decreased significantly, despite high in French children. Findings suggest also that thinness is becoming an important phenomenon in children. Developing preventive and nutritional programmes in order to modify the lifestyle might help control underweight and obesity in children.
Beninese smallholders associate food crops and cash crops with immature oil palms to reduce field maintenance costs and gain income before the palms reach productive phase. Little is known about the effects of these crops on the nutritional status and growth of the palms in their immature phase even though the yield of adult palms can be affected by the management practices during this phase. The objective of this study was to evaluate the most common oil palm-based intercropping systems found in southern Benin in terms of nutritional status and growth of the palm. Within 15 oil palm farms, we compared 15 immature oil palm fields where the crop succession associated with the oil palms was dominated by maize, cassava, tomato, and pineapple. The nutrient concentrations in the soil and the palm leaves, and growth indicators were measured at the end of the immature phase. We found that the palm growth indicators were the lowest in the successions with pineapple. N and P nutrition of the immature palms was satisfactory but K was deficient in all systems, especially in those with pineapple. The K levels in the soils and palm leaves were correlated. Rough field budgets comparing the amounts of N and K applied to the crop successions with their N and K exports from non-returning products indicated that soil indigenous K supply would be particularly depleted in the systems with pineapple. We concluded that the young oil palms were affected by the competition for K exerted by the crop successions with pineapple even though they were the most fertilized in the region. The high profitable crop is therefore associated with the lowest growth rates of the immature palms. The mineral fertilizer management in these oil palm temporary intercropping systems should be improved.
Lithium ion (Li+) is used as mood stabilizer in mood disorder for more than 60 years, but its mode of action remains largely obscure. Due to similarities with Mg2+, Li+ affects many biological processes dependent on Mg2+. During the past 10 years, a body of evidence has highlighted the inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) as a possible mechanism of therapeutic action of Li+. GSK-3 corresponds to two kinase-type enzymes (GSK-3α and GSK-3β), able to phosphorylate many proteins in neuronal and non-neuronal cells and, thereby, to exert a regulatory role in many cellular functions. GSK-3 itself is negatively regulated by phosphorylation produced by several enzymes, including Akt. It is currently believed that direct inhibition of GSK-3 by Li+ has no therapeutic relevance since only observed with Li+ concentrations toxic in humans. In contrast, Li+ concentrations consistent with therapeutic action in human activate Akt and, thereby, strongly inhibit the activity of GSK-3 . Experimental animal studies have shown that the inhibitory effects of Li+ on responses to psychostimulants are related to an action on GSK-3 . These behavioral responses can be compared to manic episodes and these results suggest that the antimanic effect of Li+ is mediated through GSK-3 inhibition. Several other studies suggest that antidepressant-like responses of Li+, assessed by behavioral tests in animal, depend on the GSK-3 inhibition . Altogether, these preclinical data tend to attribute to the GSK-3 inhibition both antimanic and antidepressant effects, and perhaps a mood stabilizing effect. However, in the absence of clear understanding of mood disorder etiology, evaluating the exact contribution of GSK-3 inhibition to clinical effects of Li+ remains a complex issue.
Researchers tried to explain the overlap between anxiety and depression by suggesting that some items of self-administered questionnaires were badly selected and that both constructs should rather be considered as multidimensional. Thus, we hypothesise that the Spielberger trait anxiety inventory (TAI) includes items related to depression.
A non-clinical sample of 193 subjects filled out the TAI and the Hospitalised Anxiety–Depression Scale. Factors were postulated on the basis of item content and submitted to confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).
We found five factors: a 10-item anxiety factor containing three factors, a four-item unsuccessfulness factor correlated with the HADS anhedonia factor, and a six-item happiness factor.
The TAI scale encompasses measures of anxiety, depression and well-being. Consequently, the overlap with other measures of depression may result from item selection. This work awaits replication in independent normal and pathological samples.
The bipolar dimension of morningness–eveningness refers to the preferred times of day for achieving various activities (i.e. the phase of the circadian clock). It is validated from a biological point of view, associated with at least one gene and heritable through an epistatic mechanism. It has been used as a proxy to study the relationships between the circadian system, personality and psychopathology: there is a correlation between the evening orientation and depression, extraversion and, probably, impulsivity. Furthermore, there is a possible relationship with temperament in children as theorized by Thomas and Chess. In this paper, we expanded on the hypothesis that impulsive subjects are low in morningness by performing a factor analysis of the Composite Scale of Morningness, Cloninger’s temperament and character inventory, and Spielberger’s trait anxiety inventory in a sample of 129 males. The results can probably be extended to women. Morningness is negatively correlated with novelty seeking (which includes an impulsivity facet), positively correlated with persistence, and independent of character dimensions and trait anxiety. Future research may focus in the involvement of the circadian system in these personality dimensions and facets, and the benefits of adding chronotherapic manipulations in the treatment of the personality disorders.
Previous studies in other countries have reported that cyberbullying was related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use. Helweg-Larsen, (2011) reported that knowledge about safe internet use did not decrease the prevalence of cyberbullying. Less is known about this relationship with family functioning.
To examine the rates of cyberbullying and their relationships with ICT use and family functioning in a sample of secondary students in the UK
To study 1) associations between cyberbullying and ICT use 2) associations between family functioning and parental controls with ICT-use and cyberbullying.
A cross-sectional questionnaire of 2218 secondary students was completed
included demographic data, ICT use (levels and nature), Olweus bullying questionnaire adapted for cyberbullying, General Functioning subscale of the Family Assessment Device and parental controls (type and levels).
Response rate 80%, 45% males, mean (SD) age 14.97 (1.9) years. Cyberbullying seems to be related to the time spent online and to the general family functioning. Bullies or bully-victims spend significantly more time online than those who are not involved. The majority of students have been told how to be safe online; however only a few have parental controls on their computers. There is a significant positive correlation between worse family functioning and time spent online and with being involved in cyberbullying, even after controlling for the time spent online.
Our results suggest that increasing family communication may contribute to reduce children involvement in cyberbullying
In recent years, the importance of the gut microbiota in human health has been revealed and many publications have highlighted its role as a key component of human physiology. Owing to the use of modern sequencing approaches, the characterisation of the microbiome in healthy individuals and in disease has demonstrated a disturbance of the microbiota, or dysbiosis, associated with pathological conditions. The microbiota establishes a symbiotic crosstalk with their host: commensal microbes benefit from the nutrient-rich environment provided by the gut and the microbiota produces hundreds of proteins and metabolites that modulate key functions of the host, including nutrient processing, maintenance of energy homoeostasis and immune system development. Many bacteria-derived metabolites originate from dietary sources. Among them, an important role has been attributed to the metabolites derived from the bacterial fermentation of dietary fibres, namely SCFA linking host nutrition to intestinal homoeostasis maintenance. SCFA are important fuels for intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) and regulate IEC functions through different mechanisms to modulate their proliferation, differentiation as well as functions of subpopulations such as enteroendocrine cells, to impact gut motility and to strengthen the gut barrier functions as well as host metabolism. Recent findings show that SCFA, and in particular butyrate, also have important intestinal and immuno-modulatory functions. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms and the impact of SCFA on gut functions and host immunity and consequently on human health.
Neuroimaging studies of vulnerability to Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) have identified structural and functional variations which might reflect inheritable features in alcohol-naïve relatives of AUD individuals (FH+) compared to controls having no such family history (FH-). However, prior research did not simultaneously account for childhood maltreatment, any clinically significant disorder and maternal AUD. Therefore, we mainly aimed to investigate the brain structure and reward-related neural activations (fMRI), using whole-brain analysis in FH+ young adults with no prevalent confounders.
46 FH+ and 45 FH- male and female participants had no severe childhood maltreatment exposure, neither any psychiatric disorder or AUD, nor a prenatal exposure to maternal AUD. We used a 3 T MRI coupled with a whole brain voxel-based method to compare between groups the grey matter volumes and activations in response to big versus small wins during a Monetary Incentive Delay task. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire score was used as confounding variable in the analyses to account for the remaining variance between groups.
Compared to FH- controls, FH+ participants had smaller grey matter volumes in the frontal and cingulate regions as well as in the bilateral nucleus accumbens and right insula. The FH+ participants’ fMRI datasets denoted a blunted activation in the middle cingulum with respect to FH- controls’ during the processing of reward magnitude, and a greater activation in the anterior cingulum in response to anticipation of a small win.
Family history of alcohol use disorder is linked to structural and functional variations including brain regions involved in reward processes.