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Two introduced carnivores, the European red fox Vulpes vulpes and domestic cat Felis catus, have had extensive impacts on Australian biodiversity. In this study, we collate information on consumption of Australian birds by the fox, paralleling a recent study reporting on birds consumed by cats. We found records of consumption by foxes on 128 native bird species (18% of the non-vagrant bird fauna and 25% of those species within the fox’s range), a smaller tally than for cats (343 species, including 297 within the fox’s Australian range, a subset of that of the cat). Most (81%) bird species eaten by foxes are also eaten by cats, suggesting that predation impacts are compounded. As with consumption by cats, birds that nest or forage on the ground are most likely to be consumed by foxes. However, there is also some partitioning, with records of consumption by foxes but not cats for 25 bird species, indicating that impacts of the two predators may also be complementary. Bird species ≥3.4 kg were more likely to be eaten by foxes, and those <3.4 kg by cats. Our compilation provides an inventory and describes characteristics of Australian bird species known to be consumed by foxes, but we acknowledge that records of predation do not imply population-level impacts. Nonetheless, there is sufficient information from other studies to demonstrate that fox predation has significant impacts on the population viability of some Australian birds, especially larger birds, and those that nest or forage on the ground.
A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified 12 independent loci significantly associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Polygenic risk scores (PRS), derived from the GWAS, can be used to assess genetic overlap between ADHD and other traits. Using ADHD samples from several international sites, we derived PRS for ADHD from the recent GWAS to test whether genetic variants that contribute to ADHD also influence two cognitive functions that show strong association with ADHD: attention regulation and response inhibition, captured by reaction time variability (RTV) and commission errors (CE).
The discovery GWAS included 19 099 ADHD cases and 34 194 control participants. The combined target sample included 845 people with ADHD (age: 8–40 years). RTV and CE were available from reaction time and response inhibition tasks. ADHD PRS were calculated from the GWAS using a leave-one-study-out approach. Regression analyses were run to investigate whether ADHD PRS were associated with CE and RTV. Results across sites were combined via random effect meta-analyses.
When combining the studies in meta-analyses, results were significant for RTV (R2 = 0.011, β = 0.088, p = 0.02) but not for CE (R2 = 0.011, β = 0.013, p = 0.732). No significant association was found between ADHD PRS and RTV or CE in any sample individually (p > 0.10).
We detected a significant association between PRS for ADHD and RTV (but not CE) in individuals with ADHD, suggesting that common genetic risk variants for ADHD influence attention regulation.
The seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG antibody was evaluated among employees of a Veterans Affairs healthcare system to assess potential risk factors for transmission and infection.
All employees were invited to participate in a questionnaire and serological survey to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 as part of a facility-wide quality improvement and infection prevention initiative regardless of clinical or nonclinical duties. The initiative was conducted from June 8 to July 8, 2020.
Of the 2,900 employees, 51% participated in the study, revealing a positive SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence of 4.9% (72 of 1,476; 95% CI, 3.8%–6.1%). There were no statistically significant differences in the presence of antibody based on gender, age, frontline worker status, job title, performance of aerosol-generating procedures, or exposure to known patients with coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) within the hospital. Employees who reported exposure to a known COVID-19 case outside work had a significantly higher seroprevalence at 14.8% (23 of 155) compared to those who did not 3.7% (48 of 1,296; OR, 4.53; 95% CI, 2.67–7.68; P < .0001). Notably, 29% of seropositive employees reported no history of symptoms for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among employees was not significantly different among those who provided direct patient care and those who did not, suggesting that facility-wide infection control measures were effective. Employees who reported direct personal contact with COVID-19–positive persons outside work were more likely to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Employee exposure to SARS-CoV-2 outside work may introduce infection into hospitals.
Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a concept for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission that will achieve ground-breaking science in the fields of galaxy evolution, cosmology, Milky Way, and the Solar System. It is the follow-up space mission to Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), boosting its scientific return by obtaining deep 1–4 μm slit spectroscopy for ∼70% of all galaxies imaged by the ∼2 000 deg2 WFIRST High Latitude Survey at z > 0.5. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy will measure accurate and precise redshifts for ∼200 M galaxies out to z < 7, and deliver spectra that enable a wide range of diagnostic studies of the physical properties of galaxies over most of cosmic history. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe and WFIRST together will produce a 3D map of the Universe over 2 000 deg2, the definitive data sets for studying galaxy evolution, probing dark matter, dark energy and modifications of General Relativity, and quantifying the 3D structure and stellar content of the Milky Way. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe science spans four broad categories: (1) Revolutionising galaxy evolution studies by tracing the relation between galaxies and dark matter from galaxy groups to cosmic voids and filaments, from the epoch of reionisation through the peak era of galaxy assembly; (2) Opening a new window into the dark Universe by weighing the dark matter filaments using 3D weak lensing with spectroscopic redshifts, and obtaining definitive measurements of dark energy and modification of General Relativity using galaxy clustering; (3) Probing the Milky Way’s dust-enshrouded regions, reaching the far side of our Galaxy; and (4) Exploring the formation history of the outer Solar System by characterising Kuiper Belt Objects. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a 1.5 m telescope with a field of view of 0.4 deg2, and uses digital micro-mirror devices as slit selectors. It has a spectroscopic resolution of R = 1 000, and a wavelength range of 1–4 μm. The lack of slit spectroscopy from space over a wide field of view is the obvious gap in current and planned future space missions; Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy fills this big gap with an unprecedented spectroscopic capability based on digital micro-mirror devices (with an estimated spectroscopic multiplex factor greater than 5 000). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy is designed to fit within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission cost envelope; it has a single instrument, a telescope aperture that allows for a lighter launch vehicle, and mature technology (we have identified a path for digital micro-mirror devices to reach Technology Readiness Level 6 within 2 yr). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe will lead to transformative science over the entire range of astrophysics: from galaxy evolution to the dark Universe, from Solar System objects to the dusty regions of the Milky Way.
The patterns and drivers of late Quaternary vegetation dynamics in the southeastern United States are poorly understood due to low site density, problematic chronologies, and a paucity of independent paleoclimate proxy records. We present a well-dated (15 accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dates) 30,000-yr record from White Pond, South Carolina that consists of high-resolution analyses of fossil pollen, macroscopic charcoal, and Sporormiella spores, and an independent paleotemperature reconstruction based on branched glycerol dialkyl tetraethers. Between 30,000 and 20,000 cal yr BP, open Pinus-Picea forest grew under cold and dry conditions; elevated Quercus before 26,000 cal yr BP, however, suggest warmer conditions in the Southeast before the last glacial maximum, possibly corresponding to regionally warmer conditions associated with Heinrich event H2. Warming between 19,700 and 10,400 cal yr BP was accompanied by a transition from conifer-dominated to mesic hardwood forest. Sporormiella spores were not detected and charcoal was low during the late glacial period, suggesting megaherbivore grazers and fire were not locally important agents of vegetation change. Pinus returned to dominance during the Holocene, with step-like increases in Pinus at 10,400 and 6400 cal yr BP, while charcoal abundance increased tenfold, likely due to increased biomass burning associated with warmer conditions. Low-intensity surface fires increased after 1200 cal yr BP, possibly related to the establishment of the Mississippian culture in the Southeast.
This chapter points to a persistent tension between ideology and research about sexuality; that in sex education policymaking ideological notions of sexuality can overshadow empirical research and scholarly inquiry. This chapter offers insight into how research may be designed and enacted in order to be more effective in encouraging social change. The author uses a case study about the development of an LGBT-inclusive curriculum to argue that, for research to be useful, it should be responsive to community issues, the researcher should partner with those in advocacy roles and center the voices of participants, and the community's needs should be attended to in the dissemination of findings.
Due to concerns over increasing fluoroquinolone (FQ) resistance among gram-negative organisms, our stewardship program implemented a preauthorization use policy. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between hospital FQ use and antibiotic resistance.
Large academic medical center.
We performed a retrospective analysis of FQ susceptibility of hospital isolates for 5 common gram-negative bacteria: Acinetobacter spp., Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Primary endpoint was the change of FQ susceptibility. A Poisson regression model was used to calculate the rate of change between the preintervention period (1998–2005) and the postimplementation period (2006–2016).
Large rates of decline of FQ susceptibility began in 1998, particularly among P. aeruginosa, Acinetobacter spp., and E. cloacae. Our FQ restriction policy improved FQ use from 173 days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient days to <60 DOT per 1,000 patient days. Fluoroquinolone susceptibility increased for Acinetobacter spp. (rate ratio [RR], 1.038; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.005–1.072), E. cloacae (RR, 1.028; 95% CI, 1.013–1.044), and P. aeruginosa (RR, 1.013; 95% CI, 1.006–1.020). No significant change in susceptibility was detected for K. pneumoniae (RR, 1.002; 95% CI, 0.996–1.008), and the susceptibility for E. coli continued to decline, although the decline was not as steep (RR, 0.981; 95% CI, 0.975–0.987).
A stewardship-driven FQ restriction program stopped overall declining FQ susceptibility rates for all species except E. coli. For 3 species (ie, Acinetobacter spp, E. cloacae, and P. aeruginosa), susceptibility rates improved after implementation, and this improvement has been sustained over a 10-year period.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
Early in the history of schistosomiasis research, children under 5 years of age were known to be infected. Although this problem was recognized over 100 years ago, insufficient action has been taken to address this issue. Under current policy, such infected children only receive their first antiparasitic treatment (praziquantel – PZQ) upon entry into primary school as current mass drug administration programmes typically target school-aged children. For many infected children, they will wait up to 6 years before receiving their first medication and significant schistosomiasis-related morbidity may have already established. This inequity would not be accepted for other diseases. To unveil some of the reasons behind this neglect, it is paramount to understand the intricate historical relationship between schistosomiasis and British Imperial medicine, to underline its lasting influence on today's public health priorities. This review presents a perspective on the historical neglect of paediatric schistosomiasis, focusing on important gaps that persist from the early days after discovery of this parasite. Looking to end this inequity, we address several issues that need to be overcome to move forward towards the lasting success of schistosomiasis control and elimination efforts.
This paper presents a brief discussion of the apparent underdepletion of the heavy neutron-capture elements (elements heavier than Ba), compared with Fe in the Magellanic Clouds. The s-process appears to have been only effective in forming elements in the light neutron-capture group (Sr, Y, Zr) in the Magellanic Clouds, but to have much reduced effectiveness in forming the heavy neutron-capture group. The abundances of the elements heavier than Ba have a distribution that indicates that they were produced by the r-process alone.
Self-assembling peptides (SAPs) have the ability to spontaneously assemble into
ordered nanostructures enabling the manufacture of
‘designer’ nanomaterials. The reversible molecular
association of SAPs has been shown to offer great promise in therapeutics via
for example, the design of biomimetic assemblies for hard tissue regeneration.
This could be further exploited for novel nano/micro diagnostic tools. However,
self-assembled peptide gels are often associated with inherent weak and
transient mechanical properties. Their incorporation into polymeric matrices has
been considered as a potential strategy to enhance their mechanical stability.
This study focuses on the incorporation of an 11-residue peptide,
P11-8 (peptide sequence:
within a fibrous scaffold of poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL). In this
study an electrospinning technique was used to fabricate a biomimetic porous
scaffold out of a solution of P11-8 and PCL which resulted in a
biphasic structure composed of submicron fibers (diameter of 100-700 nm) and
nanofibers (diameter of 10-100 nm). The internal morphology of the fabric and
its micro-structure can be easily controlled by changing the peptide
concentration. The secondary conformation of P11-8 was investigated
in the as-spun fibers by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and it is shown that peptide
self-assembly into β-sheet tapes has taken place during fiber
formation and the deposition of the fibrous web.
Strong social identity does not lead to lack of accountability and “bad” behavior in groups and crowds but rather causes group behavior to be driven by group norms. The solution to problematic group behavior is therefore not to individualize the group but rather to change group norms, as underlined by the relational dynamics widely studied in the SIDE tradition.
Covalent functionalisation of collagen has been shown to be a promising strategy
to adjust the mechanical properties of highly swollen collagen hydrogels. At the
same time, secondary interactions between for example, amino acidic terminations
or introduced functional groups also play an important role and are often
challenging to predict and control. To explore this challenge, 4-vinylbenzyl
chloride (4VBC) and methacrylic anhydride (MA) were reacted with type I
collagen, and the swelling and rheological properties of resulting
photo-activated hydrogel systems investigated. 4VBC-based hydrogels showed
significantly increased swelling ratio, in light of the lower degree of collagen
functionalisation, with respect to methacrylated collagen networks, whilst
rheological storage moduli were found to be comparable between the two systems.
To explore the role of benzyl groups in the mechanical properties of the
4VBC-based collagen system, model chemical force microscopy (CFM) was carried
out in aqueous environment with an aromatised probe against an aromatised
gold-coated glass slide. A marked increase in adhesion force
(F: 0.11±0.01 nN) was measured between aromatised
samples, compared to the adhesion force observed between the non-modified probe
and a glass substrate (F: 2.64±1.82 nN). These results
suggest the formation of additional and reversible π-π
stacking interactions in aromatic 4VBC-based networks and explain the remarkable
rheological properties of this system in comparison to MA-based hydrogels.
We present the results of two 2.3 μm near-infrared (NIR) radial velocity (RV) surveys to detect exoplanets around 36 nearby and young M dwarfs. We use the CSHELL spectrograph (R ~ 46,000) at the NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF), combined with an isotopic methane absorption gas cell for common optical path relative wavelength calibration. We have developed a sophisticated RV forward modeling code that accounts for fringing and other instrumental artifacts present in the spectra. With a spectral grasp of only 5 nm, we are able to reach long-term radial velocity dispersions of ~20–30 m s−1 on our survey targets.
In 1969, Robert E. Gregg collected five species of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in three Subarctic localities near the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, which he documented in a 1972 publication in The Canadian Entomologist. To determine whether there have been any additions to the local fauna – as might be predicted to occur in response to a warming climate and increased traffic to the Port of Churchill in the intervening 40 years – we re-collected ants from the same localities in 2012. We identified the ants we collected from Gregg’s sampling sites using both traditional morphological preparations and DNA barcoding. In addition, we examined specimens from Gregg’s initial collection that are accessioned at the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, Illinois, United States of America). Using this integrative approach we report seven species present at the same sites Gregg sampled 40 years earlier. We conclude that the apparent increase is likely not due to any arrivals from more southerly distributed ants, but to the increased resolution provided by DNA barcodes to resident species complexes with a complicated history. We provide a brief synopsis of these results and their taxonomic context.