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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, with its impact on our way of life, is affecting our experiences and mental health. Notably, individuals with mental disorders have been reported to have a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Personality traits could represent an important determinant of preventative health behaviour and, therefore, the risk of contracting the virus.
We examined overlapping genetic underpinnings between major psychiatric disorders, personality traits and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to explore the genetic correlations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) susceptibility with psychiatric disorders and personality traits based on data from the largest available respective genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In two cohorts (the PsyCourse (n = 1346) and the HeiDE (n = 3266) study), polygenic risk scores were used to analyse if a genetic association between, psychiatric disorders, personality traits and COVID-19 susceptibility exists in individual-level data.
We observed no significant genetic correlations of COVID-19 susceptibility with psychiatric disorders. For personality traits, there was a significant genetic correlation for COVID-19 susceptibility with extraversion (P = 1.47 × 10−5; genetic correlation 0.284). Yet, this was not reflected in individual-level data from the PsyCourse and HeiDE studies.
We identified no significant correlation between genetic risk factors for severe psychiatric disorders and genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility. Among the personality traits, extraversion showed evidence for a positive genetic association with COVID-19 susceptibility, in one but not in another setting. Overall, these findings highlight a complex contribution of genetic and non-genetic components in the interaction between COVID-19 susceptibility and personality traits or mental disorders.
There are different criteria that are usually analysed independently before identifying a new trace fossil, such as morphological regularity, completeness, dispersion, recurrence and complexity, surface morphology, and context. The synthesis of these criteria, as utilized in paleosol ichnology, composes a protocol that is presented herein for the first time and can be used for testing the ichnogenicity of trace-like structures in any paleoenvironment of Earth or Mars. As a study case, the Martian ‘stick-like structures’ do not fulfil any of the requirements posed by this protocol to be postulated as trace fossils. The ichnogenicity test, focussed exclusively on morphology and context, is simpler but equally useful as the biogenicity ones. It may be applied in the future with other potential cases before carrying on more complex analyses or to evaluate the astrobiological interest of trace-like structures.
Embryo development in eggs of the spittlebug Mahanarva spectabilis (Distant) (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) passes through four phases (known as S1 to S4) being stopped at S2 during diapause. Studies about the molecular basis of diapause in spittlebugs are nonexistent. Here, we analyzed proteins from non-diapausing (ND), diapausing (D) and post-diapausing (PD) eggs of the spittlebug M. spectabilis. In total, we identified 87 proteins where 12 were in common among the developmental and diapause phases and 19 remained as uncharacterized. Non-diapausing eggs (S2ND and S4ND) showed more proteins involved in information storage and processing than the diapausing ones (S2D). Eggs in post-diapausing (S4PD) had a higher number of proteins associated with metabolism than S2D. The network of protein interactions and metabolic processes allowed the identification of different sets of molecular interactions for each developmental and diapause phases. Two heat shock proteins (Hsp65 and Hsp70) along with two proteins associated with intracellular signaling (MAP4K and a serine/threonine-protein phosphatase) were found only in diapausing and/or post-diapausing eggs and are interesting targets to be explored in future experiments. These results shine a light on one key biological process for spittlebug survival and represent the first search for proteins linked to diapause in this important group of insects.
Tenuisvalvae notata (Mulsant) (Coccinellidae) is a predatory ladybird beetle native to South America. It specializes in mealybugs prey (Pseudococcidae), but relatively little is known about its ecology. In contrast, the ladybird beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coccinellidae) is indigenous to Australia and has been introduced to many countries worldwide including Brazil for biological control of mealybugs. The potential impacts of these introductions to native coccinellids have rarely been considered. The software CLIMEX estimated the climate suitability for both species as reflected in the Ecoclimatic Index (EI). Much of South America, Africa, and Australia can be considered climatically suitable for both species, but in most cases, the climate is considerably more favorable for C. montrouzieri than T. notata, especially in South America. The CLIMEX model also suggests seasonal differences in growth conditions (e.g. rainfall and temperature) that could affect the phenology of both species. These models suggest that few locations in South America would be expected to provide T. notata climatic refugia from C. montrouzieri. Although other ecological factors will also be important, such as prey availability, this analysis suggests a strong potential for displacement of a native coccinellid throughout most of its range as a consequence of the invasion by an alien competitor.
The new invertebrate trace fossil from paleosols of the Bijori Formation, Palliedaphichnium gondwanicum new ichnogenus new ichnospecies, which belongs to an upper Permian Gondwana sequence of India, makes a significant contribution to the meager records of invertebrate trace fossils from Permian and Indian paleosols. This trace fossil attributed to Diplopoda and composed of tunnels and chambers filled with pellets is also an important addition to the scarce record of Permian millipedes. The abundance of plant remains in the same paleosol indicates that these millipedes probably fed on leaf litter as other fossil and extant representatives. Chambers and abundant pellets in burrows indicate adverse conditions on the surface, at least seasonally. This finding contributes to the emerging scenario of invertebrate ichnofaunas from paleosols and points to a successive dominance of millipedes during the Paleozoic, crayfishes and earthworms in the Mesozoic, and insects in the Cenozoic.
Biliary atresia and related disorders of the biliary tract, such as choledochal cysts, must be considered in the differential diagnosis of prolonged conjugated hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn (neonatal cholestasis).
Liver disease in children is increasing in prevalence, placing a huge burden on healthcare systems and often requiring long-term management. Offering an integrative approach to the science and clinical practice of pediatric hepatology, this is the definitive reference text for improved diagnosis and treatment strategies. In the new edition of this authoritative text, chapters have been thoroughly revised in line with major advances in the field, such as recognizing the increased frequency of fatty liver disease, and how genetic testing has the potential to establish earlier diagnoses for a variety of diseases. Disorders covered include cholestasis, metabolic disorders and hepatitis, with their presentation across the spectrum of infancy, childhood and adolescence discussed. The indications and surgical aspects of liver transplant are explained and post-transplant care is described in detail. This is a valuable resource for pediatricians, hepatologists, gastroenterologists and all clinicians involved in the care of children with liver diseases.
Previous research has shown that individuals suffering from depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) seem to have inhibitory control deficits compared with healthy controls. However, few studies have been conducted in Spanish-speaking countries. Thus, this study aims to analyze the performance on the Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT) between groups of Colombian participants with clinical levels of depression and GAD symptoms and a nonclinical control group. According to previous research, we expected to find significant differences in inhibitory control among groups. An ex post facto design was implemented. The SCWT was administered to a total sample of 105 individuals (64.8% women, M = 22.94 years, SD = 4.62), including 27 depressed and 15 anxious participants according to their scores on the Personal Health Questionnaire–9 and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder–7, respectively. Bayesian t-tests showed that depressed participants showed the same processing speed but lower scores on inhibitory control than healthy controls, BF = 13.70, δ = 0.50, 95% CI [0.08, 0.94]. Conversely, anxious participants showed deficits in processing speed, SCWT-Word: BF = 16.19, δ = 0.68, 95% CI [0.15, 1.24]; SCWT-Color: BF = 5.98, δ = 0.50, 95% CI [–0.01, 1.04], but not in inhibitory control compared with the nonanxious counterparts. This study provides preliminary evidence concerning the inhibitory control deficits in Colombian depressed individuals and processing speed deficits in those experiencing clinical levels of GAD symptoms.
Many parasitoid species discriminate already parasitized hosts, thus avoiding larval competition. However, females incur in superparasitism under certain circumstances. Superparasitism is commonly observed in the artificial rearing of the parasitoid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata, yet host discrimination has been previously suggested in this species. Here, we addressed host discrimination in virgin D. longicaudata females in a comprehensive way by means of direct and indirect methods, using Ceratitis capitata and Anastrepha fraterculus which are major fruit fly pests in South America. Direct methods relied on the description of the foraging behaviour of females in arenas with parasitized and non-parasitized host larvae. In the indirect methods, healthy larvae were offered to single females and the egg distributions were compared to a random distribution. We found that D. longicaudata was able to recognize parasitized host from both host species, taking 24 h since a first parasitization for A. fraterculus and 48 h for C. capitata. Indirect methods showed females with different behaviours for both host species: complete discrimination, non-random (with superparasitism), and random distributions. A larger percentage of females reared and tested on A. fraterculus incurred in superparasitism, probably associated with higher fecundity. In sum, we found strong evidence of host discrimination in D. longicaudata, detecting behavioural variability associated with the host species, the time since the first parasitization and the fecundity of the females.
Unlike well-known global patterns of plant species richness along altitudinal gradients, in the mountainous areas of the Brazilian Caatinga, species richness and diversity reach their maxima near mountain tops. The causes of this unusual pattern are not well understood, and in particular the role of edaphic factors on plant community assembly along these gradients has not been investigated. Our goal was to assess the role of edaphic factors (fertility and soil texture) on plant community composition and structure on two mountains of the Brazilian semi-arid region. In 71 plots (Bodocongó site, twenty-one 200-m2 plots, 401–680 m asl; Arara site, fifty 100-m2 plots, 487–660 m asl) we recorded 3114 individuals representing 61 plant species; in addition, at each plot we collected composite soil samples from 0–20 cm depth. Significant altitude-related changes were observed both for community structure and composition, and edaphic variables. A canonical correspondence analysis allowed the distinction of two groups of plots according to species abundances, indicating a preferential habitat distribution of species depending both on altitude and soil variables. Although soil fertility was lowest at the highest altitudes, these areas had high richness and diversity. Conversely, the more fertile foothills were characterized by the dominance of generalist pioneer species. Despite the relatively short altitudinal range that characterizes the studied mountains, this study elucidates the role of edaphic factors on the floristic composition and species richness patterns on the mountains of the Brazilian semi-arid region.