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Females of many squamates maintain viable sperm in their reproductive tract after insemination. This 'female sperm storage' (FSS), has several advantages and clear implications for squamate evolution by dramatically influencing life histories, mating systems, and sexual selection and conflict. In this chapter, we summarize the literature on the anatomy of FSS and reconstruct the evolution of sperm-storage location in squamate reptiles. Our major aim is to provide insights into the evolution of FSS in squamates, with a particular focus on the origin and early evolution of snakes. Various lizard lineages store sperm exclusively in crypts or tubules in the posterior oviduct. Most ‘basal’ lizards (gekkotans) and all ‘basal’ snakes (scolecophidians) studied thus far store sperm in tubules in the anterior oviduct. A few gekkotans and most alethniophidian snake studied store (or potentially store) sperm in both oviductal regions. Some snakes apparently have evolved morphological adaptations to hold sperm in the posterior oviduct. Based on ancestral state reconstructions, we elaborate a scenario for the evolution of FSS in snakes.
We report for the first time the effects of vehicle traffic and beachgoer trampling on macrobenthic communities of Amazonian sandy beaches. Sampling was performed during four consecutive months with different beach use intensity in 2017 (before, during vacation, and two months after the vacation period) on three contrasting beaches with regard to disturbance (Urban: Atalaia; Intermediate: Farol-Velho; and Protected: Corvinas) in the intertidal zone along two equidistant transects at seven equidistant sampling stations from the high-tide water mark to the swash zone. At each sampling station, four biological and sediment samples were randomly collected. Also, in each station, the sediment compaction was determined using a manual penetrometer. Physical sediment variables remained constant over time in all beaches, whereas differences were found in sediment compaction over the months. Macrobenthic community differences in density and richness among months were observed at Atalaia and Farol-Velho beaches. In contrast, Corvinas beach remained constant throughout the study period. Furthermore, the vulnerability of the polychaetes Thoracophellia papillata, Scolelepis squamata and Paraonis sp. indicates that they might be potential indicators of recreational activity impact.
Sexual concerns and dysfunctions are common, complex, and result in significant distress for individuals and couples. In spite of the vital role sex plays in our lives, defining sexual function and dysfunction is complicated by the multitude of variables impacting sexual behavior: biological, instinctual, emotional, interpersonal, social, cultural, as well as personal sexual history. Further, our understanding of human sexuality is currently in flux in response to changing sociocultural interpretations. The inconsistency with which we currently define typical sexual function is complicated by our incomplete understanding and acknowledgement of how evolutionary influences impact sexual function. Human sexuality is influenced not only by our socially constructed ideals, but also by a deeper physiology that transcends cultural ideals and understanding. In this chapter, we argue that some proportion of a person’s sexual experience is generated via unconscious means through evolutionary forces manifesting as innate reactions and desires. These evolutionary influences manifest in human sexual behavior in nuanced yet profound ways. Thus, conscious sociocultural decisions about what constitutes “appropriate” sexual function may be of limited value in the privacy of people’s bedrooms without embracing evolution’s impact. The unfortunate tendency to disregard evolutionary biology by the mental health community leaves patients with an incomplete understanding of their sexual and relationship struggles. Further, this lack of understanding risks our labeling typical female sexual function as dysfunctional, and translates into less effective treatments for those suffering with sexual concerns. Evolutionary theory does not offer insight into all human sexual function and dysfunction. However, it is a relevant aspect of the story for many individuals who struggle sexually. Acknowledging our sexual adaptations and instinctive tendences results in less pathologizing of sexual desires, less shaming of ourselves and others, and less self-blame and personalization of a partner’s sexual inclinations. Sexual satisfaction and self-acceptance have dramatic implications in people’s lives and relationships that extend far outside the bedroom. Sexual satisfaction impacts relationship satisfaction and even life satisfaction. Clinical experience reveals how encouraging the sexual vulnerability inherent in our more primitive sexual tendencies make sex more satisfying, and perhaps more importantly, it deepens lovers’ emotional connection. The most loving, open-minded thing we can do for ourselves is to embrace our humanness, rather than deny it. This chapter explores ways evolutionary forces may impact female sexual function and dysfunction. Greater clarity on evolutionary influences impacting people’s sexual experience can support women and their partners in creating the sex lives they long for, as well as assist medical practioners in developing more targeted and thus more effective treatment plans for their patients.
To examine the cross-sectional and longitudinal (2-year follow-up) associations between dietary diversity (DD) and depressive symptoms.
An energy-adjusted dietary diversity score (DDS) was assessed using a validated FFQ and was categorised into quartiles (Q). The variety in each food group was classified into four categories of diversity (C). Depressive symptoms were assessed with Beck Depression Inventory-II (Beck II) questionnaire and depression cases defined as physician-diagnosed or Beck II >= 18. Linear and logistic regression models were used.
Spanish older adults with metabolic syndrome (MetS).
A total of 6625 adults aged 55–75 years from the PREDIMED-Plus study with overweight or obesity and MetS.
Total DDS was inversely and statistically significantly associated with depression in the cross-sectional analysis conducted; OR Q4 v. Q1 = 0·76 (95 % CI (0·64, 0·90)). This was driven by high diversity compared to low diversity (C3 v. C1) of vegetables (OR = 0·75, 95 % CI (0·57, 0·93)), cereals (OR = 0·72 (95 % CI (0·56, 0·94)) and proteins (OR = 0·27, 95 % CI (0·11, 0·62)). In the longitudinal analysis, there was no significant association between the baseline DDS and changes in depressive symptoms after 2 years of follow-up, except for DD in vegetables C4 v. C1 = (β = 0·70, 95 % CI (0·05, 1·35)).
According to our results, DD is inversely associated with depressive symptoms, but eating more diverse does not seem to reduce the risk of future depression. Additional longitudinal studies (with longer follow-up) are needed to confirm these findings.
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led the implementation of institutional infection control protocols. This study will determine the effects of these protocols on outcomes of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients treated with endovascular therapy (EVT). Methods: Uninterrupted time series analysis of the impact of COVID-19 safety protocols on AIS patients undergoing EVT. We analyze data from prospectively collected quality improvement databases at 6 centers from March 11, 2019 to March 10, 2021. The primary outcome is 90-day modified Rankin Score (mRS). The secondary outcomes are angiographic time metrics. Results: Preliminary analysis of one stroke center included 214 EVT patients (n=150 pre-pandemic). Baseline characteristics were comparable between the two periods. Time metrics “last seen normal to puncture” (305.7 vs 407.2 min; p=0.05) and “hospital arrival to puncture” (80.4 vs 121.2 min; p=0.04) were significantly longer during pandemic compared to pre-pandemic. We found no significant difference in 90-day mRS (2.0 vs 2.2; p=0.506) or successful EVT rate (89.6% vs 90%; p=0.93). Conclusions: Our results indicate an increase in key time metrics of EVT in AIS during pandemic, likely related to infection control measures. Despite the delays, we found no difference in clinical outcomes between the two periods.
This exploratory study investigated the effects of early v. delayed time-restricted eating (TRE) plus caloric restriction (CR) on body weight, body composition and cardiometabolic parameters in adults with overweight and obesity. Adults (20–40 years) were randomised to one of three groups for 8 weeks: early time-restricted eating (eTRE; 08.00–16.00) plus CR, delayed time-restricted eating (dTRE; 12.00–20.00) plus CR or only CR (CR; 08.00–20.00). All groups were prescribed a 25 % energy deficit relative to daily energy requirements. Thirteen participants completed the study in the eTRE and CR groups and eleven in the dTRE group (n 37). After the interventions, there was no significant difference between the three groups for any of the outcomes. Compared with baseline, significant decreases were observed in the body weight (eTRE group: −4·2 kg; 95 % CI, −5·6, −2·7; dTRE group: −4·8 kg; 95 % CI, −5·9, −3·7; CR: −4·0 kg; 95 % CI, −5·9, −2·1), fat mass (eTRE group: −2·9 kg; 95 % CI, −3·9, −1·9; dTRE group: −3·6 kg; 95 % CI, −4·6, −2·5; CR: −3·1 kg; 95 % CI, −4·3, −1·8) and fasting glucose levels (eTRE group: −4 mg/dl; 95 % CI, −8, −1; dTRE group: −2 mg/dl; 95 % CI, −8, 3; CR: −3 mg/dl; 95 % CI, −8, 2). In a free-living setting, TRE with a energetic deficit, regardless of the time of day, promotes similar benefits in weight loss, body composition and cardiometabolic parameters. However, given the exploratory nature of our study, further investigation is needed to confirm these findings.
The complete life history of the kleptoparasitic ‘sundew flower fly’, Toxomerus basalis, is presented and illustrated. Adults of this species are photographed alive for the first time, including video recordings of larval and adult behaviour. Adult flies of both sexes visit Drosera (sundews) and show territorial behaviour around the plants, avoiding the dangerous sticky traps and demonstrating recognition of their larval host plant. Females lay eggs directly on non-sticky parts of the Drosera host plants, such as on the lower surface of the leaves and flower stalks, but apparently also on other plants growing in close proximity with the sundews.
To model performance of the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score-based ventilator allocation guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A retrospective cohort study design was used. Study sites included 3 New York City hospitals in a single academic medical center. We included a random sample (205) of adult patients who were intubated (1002) from March 25, 2020, till April 29, 2020. Protocol criteria adapted from the New York State’s 2015 guidelines were applied to determine which patients would have had mechanical ventilation withheld or withdrawn.
117 (57%) patients would have been identified for ventilator withdrawal or withholding based on the triage guidelines. Of those 117 patients, 28 (24%) survived hospitalization. Overall, 65 (32%) patients survived to discharge.
Triage protocols aim to maximize survival by redirecting ventilators to those most likely to survive. Over 50% of this sample would have been identified as candidates for ventilator exclusion. Clinical judgment would therefore still be needed in ventilator reallocation, thus re-introducing bias and moral distress. This data suggests limited utility for SOFA score-based ventilator rationing. It raises the question of whether there is sufficient ethical justification to impose a life-ending decision based on a SOFA scoring method on some patients in order to offer potential benefit to a modest number of others.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a spectrum of clinical manifestations characterized by severe skin ulcerations that leads to social stigma. There are limited treatment options for CL, and the available drugs are becoming less efficacious due to drug resistance. More efficacious and safer antileishmanial drugs are needed. In this study, the biological effect of seven synthetically accessible nitroaromatic compounds was evaluated in vitro against amastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis, followed by in vivo evaluation using mouse models of CL. Two compounds (6 and 7) were active against amastigotes in vitro [half-maximal effective concentration (EC50): 4.57 ± 0.08 and 9.19 ± 0.68 μm, respectively], with selectivity indexes >50, and the other compounds were not selective. In vivo, compounds 6 and 7 (10 mg kg−1, twice a day for 14 days) failed to reduce skin lesion sizes and parasite loads determined by light microscopy of lesion imprints and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Nevertheless, the in vitro leishmanicidal efficacy sustained their use as templates for nitroimidazole-based antileishmanial drug discovery programmes focusing on analogues with more suitable properties.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the quality of Marandu grass (Brachiaria brizantha) haylage according to different dry matter (DM) contents in storage. The design adopted was completely randomized with four treatments and five replications. The treatments were DM contents of the plant at the moment of storage (in natura, 30–40, 40–50 and 50–60% DM). The analyses to assess the quality of the haylage were performed after 90 days of storage. The chemical composition, microbiological population, gas quantification, pH, N-NH3, volatile fatty acids, soluble carbohydrates (CHO) and the aerobic stability were evaluated. The means were compared through the Tukey's test and linear regression. The treatment with 50–60% DM presented the highest DM and CHO contents which were 563.8 and 42.0 g/kg, respectively. There was a higher presence of oxygen in the haylage of in natura material, which was 4.8%. There was no difference between treatments for the population of lactic acid bacteria; however, the treatment with 50–60% DM had the highest concentration of enterobacteria. The haylage with 30–40% DM and 50–60% DM presented high concentrations of acetic acid. There was no break in aerobic stability for any treatment within 120 h after opening the bales. There was a smaller amount of N-NH3 in treatments with 40–50% DM and 50–60% DM. The Marandu grass with a DM content of 50–60% for haylage making demonstrated better quality characterization of conserved forage.
The inoculation with Azospirillum brasilense has the potential to reduce the use of mineral fertilizers with efficient capacity to promote plant growth and yield. Most studies on the Azospirillum–plant association have been conducted on cereals and annual grasses. More studies are needed in perennial pastures, such as bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) that require substantial nitrogen (N) fertilization to maximize their production potential. Therefore, pastures based on Tifton 85 bermudagrass in association with annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.), which were inoculated with A. brasilense and fertilized with increasing amounts of N fertilizer and grazed by lactating Holstein cows were evaluated. Three grazing systems were evaluated: (i) Tifton 85, inoculated + 180 kg N/ha per year; (ii) Tifton 85 + 230 kg N/ha per year; and (iii) Tifton 85 + 280 kg N/ha per year. Forage samples were collected before and after grazing to evaluate the responses of the plants and animals. The forage yields of the systems were 21.0, 20.8 and 22.1 t DM/ha per year and the stocking rates were 3.9, 3.8 and 4.0 animal unit/ha per day, respectively. Crude protein, total digestible nutrients and neutral detergent fibre concentrations were 162, 560 and 667 g/kg, respectively. Inoculation in pastures planted with Tifton 85 bermudagrass in combination with ryegrass (plus 180 kg N/ha per year) had a positive effect, providing forage yield and nutritional value equivalent to those with fertilization with 230 kg N/ha per year.
Obstructive pathology is a benign condition of the salivary glands that can affect elderly and co-morbid people. Sialoendoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure with a success rate comparable to standard sialoadenectomy and has the advantage that it can be performed under local anaesthesia.
This study aimed to assess sialoendoscopy benefits in elderly patients unfit for general anaesthesia. A group of elderly patients (aged 65 years or more) undergoing sialoendoscopy under local anaesthesia were evaluated. Age, co-morbidities, surgical time, hospital stay, and complication and recurrence rates were assessed.
Nineteen sialoendoscopies were performed in 18 elderly patients with a mean age of 69.7 ± 5.6 years, with some of them suffering from multiple co-morbidities. Surgery was successful in 16 patients, while surgery was unsuccessful in 2 patients because of intraglandular stones. The average surgical duration was 54.5 ± 30.1 minutes, and all patients were discharged 2–3 hours after surgery. No post-operative complications were found and only one patient had recurrence during follow up.
Sialoendoscopy under local anaesthesia is a safe and effective procedure in elderly patients who are more prone to complications.
To evaluate the prevalence of diabetes mellitus type 2 in subjects with presbylarynx.
A case–control, prospective study was carried out on consecutive subjects who presented to the otorhinolaryngology department.
The study comprised 174 subjects (60 males and 114 females) with a mean age of 73.99 years (65–95 years). Presbylarynx was identified in 71 patients (41 per cent). Among patients with diabetes mellitus type 2, 20 patients (77 per cent) exhibited endoscopic signs of presbylarynx. A statistically significant difference was found between presbylarynx versus no presbylarynx concerning diabetes mellitus type 2 (p < 0.001). Subjects with diabetes mellitus type 2 were approximately eight times more likely to have presbylarynx compared to subjects without diabetes mellitus type 2.
In this study, 77 per cent of patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 had endoscopic signs of presbylarynx. A multivariable analysis, which took into account co-morbidities of the elderly, identified diabetes mellitus type 2 as a possible risk factor for presbylarynx. Many physiopathological mechanisms might explain this result, as diabetes mellitus type 2 is known to affect muscular, neurological and vascular systems.
This paper presents a compilation of atmospheric radiocarbon for the period 1950–2019, derived from atmospheric CO2 sampling and tree rings from clean-air sites. Following the approach taken by Hua et al. (2013), our revised and extended compilation consists of zonal, hemispheric and global radiocarbon (14C) data sets, with monthly data sets for 5 zones (Northern Hemisphere zones 1, 2, and 3, and Southern Hemisphere zones 3 and 1–2). Our new compilation includes smooth curves for zonal data sets that are more suitable for dating applications than the previous approach based on simple averaging. Our new radiocarbon dataset is intended to help facilitate the use of atmospheric bomb 14C in carbon cycle studies and to accommodate increasing demand for accurate dating of recent (post-1950) terrestrial samples.