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Vulture populations are in severe decline across Africa and prioritization of geographic areas for their conservation is urgently needed. To do so, we compiled three independent datasets on vulture occurrence from road-surveys, GPS-tracking, and citizen science (eBird), and used maximum entropy to build ensemble species distribution models (SDMs). We then identified spatial vulture conservation priorities in Ethiopia, a stronghold for vultures in Africa, while accounting for uncertainty in our predictions. We were able to build robust distribution models for five vulture species across the entirety of Ethiopia, including three Critically Endangered, one Endangered, and one Near Threatened species. We show that priorities occur in the highlands of Ethiopia, which provide particularly important habitat for Bearded Gypaetus barbatus, Hooded Necrosyrtes monachus, Rüppell’s Gyps rüppelli and White-backed Gyps africanus Vultures, as well as the lowlands of north-eastern Ethiopia, which are particularly valuable for the Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus. One-third of the core distribution of the Egyptian Vulture was protected, followed by the White-backed Vulture at one-sixth, and all other species at one-tenth. Overall, only about one-fifth of vulture priority areas were protected. Given that there is limited protection of priority areas and that vultures range widely, we argue that measures of broad spatial and legislative scope will be necessary to address drivers of vulture declines, including poisoning, energy infrastructure, and climate change, while considering the local social context and aiding sustainable development.
Community studies have found a relatively high prevalence of hallucinations, which are associated with a range of (psychotic and non-psychotic) mental disorders, as well as with suicidal ideation and behaviour. The literature on hallucinations in the general population has largely focused on adolescents and young adults.
We aimed to explore the prevalence and psychopathologic significance of hallucinations across the adult lifespan.
Using the 1993, 2000, 2007 and 2014 cross-sectional Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey series (N = 33 637), we calculated the prevalence of past-year hallucinations in the general population ages 16 to ≥90 years. We used logistic regression to examine the relationship between hallucinations and a range of mental disorders, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.
The prevalence of past-year hallucinations varied across the adult lifespan, from a high of 7% in individuals aged 16–19 years, to a low of 3% in individuals aged ≥70 years. In all age groups, hallucinations were associated with increased risk for mental disorders, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, but there was also evidence of significant age-related variation. In particular, hallucinations in older adults were less likely to be associated with a cooccurring mental disorder, suicidal ideation or suicide attempt compared with early adulthood and middle age.
Our findings highlight important life-course developmental features of hallucinations from early adulthood to old age.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveying has potential to become a powerful tool for sustainable parasite control. As trematode parasites require an intermediate snail host that is often aquatic or amphibious to fulfil their lifecycle, water-based eDNA analyses can be used to screen habitats for the presence of snail hosts and identify trematode infection risk areas. The aim of this study was to identify climatic and environmental factors associated with the detection of Galba truncatula eDNA. Fourteen potential G. truncatula habitats on two farms were surveyed over a 9-month period, with eDNA detected using a filter capture, extraction and PCR protocol with data analysed using a generalized estimation equation. The probability of detecting G. truncatula eDNA increased in habitats where snails were visually detected, as temperature increased, and as water pH decreased (P < 0.05). Rainfall was positively associated with eDNA detection in watercourse habitats on farm A, but negatively associated with eDNA detection in watercourse habitats on farm B (P < 0.001), which may be explained by differences in watercourse gradient. This study is the first to identify factors associated with trematode intermediate snail host eDNA detection. These factors should be considered in standardized protocols to evaluate the results of future eDNA surveys.
Many studies report an ethnic density effect whereby psychosis incidence among ethnic minority groups is higher in low co-ethnic density areas. It is unclear whether an equivalent density effect applies with other types of socioeconomic disadvantages.
We followed a population cohort of 2 million native Danes comprising all those born on 1st January 1965, or later, living in Denmark on their 15th birthday. Socioeconomic disadvantage, based on parents' circumstances at age 15 (low income, manual occupation, single parent and unemployed), was measured alongside neighbourhood prevalence of these indices.
Each indicator was associated with a higher incidence of non-affective psychosis which remained the same, or was slightly reduced, if neighbourhood levels of disadvantage were lower. For example, for individuals from a low-income background there was no difference in incidence for those living in areas where a low-income was least common [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.01; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93–1.10 v. those in the quintile where a low income was most common. Typically, differences associated with area-level disadvantage were the same whether or not cohort members had a disadvantaged background; for instance, for those from a manual occupation background, incidence was lower in the quintile where this was least v. most common (IRR 0.83; 95% CI 0.71–0.97), as it was for those from a non-manual background (IRR 0.77; 95% CI 0.67–0.87).
We found little evidence for group density effects in contrast to previous ethnic density studies. Further research is needed with equivalent investigations in other countries to see if similar patterns are observed.
Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) allows for imaging, diffraction, and spectroscopy of materials on length scales ranging from microns to atoms. By using a high-speed, direct electron detector, it is now possible to record a full two-dimensional (2D) image of the diffracted electron beam at each probe position, typically a 2D grid of probe positions. These 4D-STEM datasets are rich in information, including signatures of the local structure, orientation, deformation, electromagnetic fields, and other sample-dependent properties. However, extracting this information requires complex analysis pipelines that include data wrangling, calibration, analysis, and visualization, all while maintaining robustness against imaging distortions and artifacts. In this paper, we present py4DSTEM, an analysis toolkit for measuring material properties from 4D-STEM datasets, written in the Python language and released with an open-source license. We describe the algorithmic steps for dataset calibration and various 4D-STEM property measurements in detail and present results from several experimental datasets. We also implement a simple and universal file format appropriate for electron microscopy data in py4DSTEM, which uses the open-source HDF5 standard. We hope this tool will benefit the research community and help improve the standards for data and computational methods in electron microscopy, and we invite the community to contribute to this ongoing project.
The timing and duration of the coldest period in the last glacial stage, often referred to as the last glacial maximum (LGM), has been observed to vary spatially and temporally. In Australia, this period is characterised by colder, and in some places more arid, climates than today. We applied Monte-Carlo change point analysis to all available continuous proxy records covering this period, primarily pollen records, from across Australia (n = 37) to assess this change. We find a significant change point occurred (within uncertainty) at 28.6 ± 2.8 ka in 25 records. We interpret this change as a shift to cooler climates, associated with a widespread decline in biological productivity. An additional change point occurred at 17.7 ± 2.2 ka in 24 records. We interpret this change as a shift towards warmer climates, associated with increased biological productivity. We broadly characterise the period between 28.6 (± 2.8) – 17.7 (± 2.2) ka as an extended period of maximum cooling, with low productivity vegetation that may have occurred as a combined response to reduced temperatures, lower moisture availability and atmospheric CO2. These results have implications for how the spatial and temporal coherence of climate change, in this case during the LGM, can be best interrogated and interpreted.
Impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours are associated with a variety of mental disorders. Latent phenotyping indicates the expression of impulsive and compulsive problem behaviours is predominantly governed by a transdiagnostic ‘disinhibition’ phenotype. In a cohort of 117 individuals, recruited as part of the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN), we examined how brain functional connectome and network properties relate to disinhibition. Reduced functional connectivity within a subnetwork of frontal (especially right inferior frontal gyrus), occipital and parietal regions was linked to disinhibition. Findings provide insights into neurobiological pathways underlying the emergence of impulsive and compulsive disorders.
The current study aims to examine the prevalence rates and the relationship of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and comorbid depression/anxiety with neurocognitive performance in college athletes at baseline. We hypothesized a priori that the mood disturbance groups would perform worse than healthy controls, with the comorbid group performing worst overall.
Eight hundred and thirty-one (M = 620, F = 211) collegiate athletes completed a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery at baseline which included self-report measures of anxiety and depression. Athletes were separated into four groups [Healthy Control (HC) (n = 578), Depressive Symptoms Only (n = 137), Anxiety Symptoms Only (n = 54), and Comorbid Depressive/Anxiety Symptoms (n = 62)] based on their anxiety and depression scores. Athletes’ neurocognitive functioning was analyzed via Z score composites of Attention/Processing Speed and Memory.
One-way analysis of variance revealed that, compared to HC athletes, the comorbid group performed significantly worse on measures of Attention/Processing Speed but not Memory. However, those in the depressive symptoms only and anxiety symptoms only groups were not significantly different from one another or the HC group on neurocognitive outcomes. Chi-square analyses revealed that a significantly greater proportion of athletes in all three affective groups were neurocognitively impaired compared to the HC group.
These results demonstrate that collegiate athletes with comorbid depressive/anxiety symptoms should be identified, as their poorer cognitive performance at baseline could complicate post-concussion interpretation. Thus, assessing for mood disturbance at baseline is essential to obtain an accurate measurement of baseline functioning. Further, given the negative health outcomes associated with affective symptomatology, especially comorbidities, it is important to provide care as appropriate.
People with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) and healthy controls (HCs) were evaluated on cognitive variability indices and we examined the relationship between fatigue and cognitive variability between these groups. Intraindividual variability (IIV) on a neuropsychological test battery was hypothesized to mediate the group differences expected in fatigue.
Fifty-nine PwMS and 51 HCs completed a psychosocial interview and battery of neuropsychological tests and questionnaires during a 1-day visit. Fatigue in this study was measured with the Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS), a self-report multidimensional measure of fatigue. IIV was operationalized using two different measures, a maximum discrepancy score (MDS) and intraindividual standard deviation (ISD), in two cognitive domains, memory and attention/processing speed. Two mediation analyses with group (PwMS or HCs) as the independent variable, variability composite (memory or attention/processing speed) measures as the mediators, total residual fatigue (after accounting for age) as the outcome, and depression as a covariate were conducted. The Baron and Kenny approach to testing mediation and the PROCESS macro for testing the strength of the indirect effect were used.
Results of a mediation analysis using 5000 bootstrap samples indicated that IIV in domains of both attention/processing speed and memory significantly mediated the effect of patient status on total residual fatigue.
IIV is an objective performance measure that is related to differences in fatigue impact between PwMS and HCs. PwMS experience more variability across tests of attention/processing speed and memory and this experience of variable performance may increase the impact of fatigue.
Transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is possible among symptom-free individuals. Patients are avoiding medically necessary healthcare visits for fear of becoming infected in the healthcare setting. We screened 489 symptom-free healthcare workers for SARS-CoV-2 and found no positive results, strongly suggesting that the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was <1%.
Triple X syndrome (TXS) is caused by aneuploidy of the X chromosome and is associated with impaired social functioning in children; however, its effect on social functioning and emotion recognition in adults is poorly understood.
The aim of this study was to investigate social functioning and emotion recognition in adults with TXS.
This cross-sectional cohort study was designed to compare social functioning and emotion recognition between adults with TXS (n = 34) and an age-matched control group (n = 31). Social functioning was assessed with the Adult Behavior Checklist and Social Responsiveness Scale for Adults. Emotion recognition was assessed with the Emotion Recognition Task in the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Differences were analysed by Mann-Whitney U-test.
Compared with controls, women with TXS scored higher on the Adult Behavior Checklist, including the Withdrawn scale (P < 0.001, effect size 0.4) and Thought Problems scale (P < 0.001, effect size 0.4); and higher on the Social Responsiveness Scale for Adults, indicating impaired social functioning (P < 0.001, effect size 0.5). In addition, women with TXS performed worse on the Emotion Recognition Task, particularly with respect to recognising sadness (P < 0.005, effect size 0.4), fear (P < 0.01, effect size 0.4) and disgust (P < 0.02, effect size 0.3).
Our findings indicate that adults with TXS have a higher prevalence of impaired social functioning and emotion recognition. These results highlight the relevance of sex chromosome aneuploidy as a potential model for studying disorders characterised by social impairments such as autism spectrum disorder, particularly among women.
Chapter 11 focuses on one of the most important events of the last 5,000 years: the development of writing. Writing is defined as a system of more or less permanent marks used to represent an utterance in such a way that it can be recovered more or less the same way without intervention. Writing is distinguished from ideograms that represent things or concepts directly. Readers are introduced to alphabets in which, though imperfectly, each letter represents one sound, syllabaries which represent the syllable, abjads, in which, typically, only consonants are written, and abujidas, in which each consonant is represented with a basic vowel. The chapter includes examples for each type of writing from many different languages. The history of writing is summarized, from its beginnings in Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica, to modern day writing in different parts of the world. Each new concept introduced is amply illustrated with images from different types of writing systems, and readers are encouraged to try to understand how reading should proceed in each case.
We aimed to investigate the associations of poor oral health cross-sectionally with diet quality and intake in older people. We also examined whether change in diet quality is associated with oral health problems. Data from the British Regional Heart Study (BRHS) comprising British males aged 71–92 years and the Health, Aging and Body Composition (HABC) Study comprising American males and females aged 71–80 years were used. Dental data included tooth loss, periodontal disease, dry mouth and self-rated oral health. Dietary data included diet quality (based on Elderly Dietary Index (BRHS) and Healthy Eating Score (HABC Study)) and several nutrients. In the BRHS, change in diet quality over 10 years (1998–2000 to 2010–2012) was also assessed. In the BRHS, tooth loss, fair/poor self-rated oral health and accumulation of oral health problems were associated with poor diet quality, after adjustment. Similar associations were reported for high intake of processed meat. Poor oral health was associated with the top quartile of percentage of energy content from saturated fat (self-rated oral health, OR 1·34, 95 % CI 1·02, 1·77). In the HABC Study, no significant associations were observed for diet quality after adjustment. Periodontal disease was associated with the top quartile of percentage of energy content from saturated fat (OR 1·48, 95 % CI 1·09, 2·01). In the BRHS, persistent low diet quality was associated with higher risk of tooth loss and accumulation of oral health problems. Older individuals with oral health problems had poorer diets and consumed fewer nutrient-rich foods. Persistent poor diet quality was associated with oral health problems later in life.
We have found a class of circular radio objects in the Evolutionary Map of the Universe Pilot Survey, using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The objects appear in radio images as circular edge-brightened discs, about one arcmin diameter, that are unlike other objects previously reported in the literature. We explore several possible mechanisms that might cause these objects, but none seems to be a compelling explanation.
People with neurodevelopmental disorders often present with challenging behaviours and psychiatric illnesses. Diagnosis and treatment require patients, families and healthcare professionals to work closely together in partnership, acknowledging their respective areas of expertise. Good treatment outcomes should also be underpinned by robust research evidence. Key research priorities are highlighted.
The plant availability of manure nitrogen (N) is influenced by manure composition in the year of application whereas some studies indicate that the legacy effect in following years is independent of the composition. The plant availability of N in pig and cattle slurries with variable contents of particulate matter was determined in a 3-year field study. We separated cattle and a pig slurry into liquid and solid fractions by centrifugation. Slurry mixtures with varying proportions of solid and liquid fraction were applied to a loamy sand soil at similar NH4+-N rates in the first year. Yields and N offtake of spring barley and undersown perennial ryegrass were compared to plots receiving mineral N fertilizer. The first year N fertilizer replacement value (NFRV) of total N in slurry mixtures decreased with increasing proportion of solid fraction. The second and third season NFRV averaged 6.5% and 3.8% of total N, respectively, for cattle slurries, and 18% and 7.5% for pig slurries and was not related to the proportion of solid fraction. The estimated net N mineralization of residual organic N increased nearly linearly with growing degree days (GDD) with a rate of 0.0058%/GDD for cattle and 0.0116%/GDD for pig slurries at 2000–5000 GDD after application. In conclusion NFRV of slurry decreased with increasing proportion of solid fraction in the first year. In the second year, NFRV of pig slurry N was significantly higher than that of cattle slurry N and unaffected by proportion between solid and liquid fraction.
Throughout their 250 Myr history, archosaurian reptiles have exhibited a wide array of body sizes, shapes, and locomotor habits, especially in regard to terrestriality. These features make Archosauria a useful clade with which to study the interplay between body size, shape, and locomotor behavior, and how this interplay may have influenced locomotor evolution. Here, digital volumetric models of 80 taxa are used to explore how mass properties and body proportions relate to each other and locomotor posture in archosaurs. One-way, nonparametric, multivariate analysis of variance, based on the results of principal components analysis, shows that bipedal and quadrupedal archosaurs are largely distinguished from each other on the basis of just four anatomical parameters (p < 0.001): mass, center of mass position, and relative forelimb and hindlimb lengths. This facilitates the development of a quantitative predictive framework that can help assess gross locomotor posture in understudied or controversial taxa, such as the crocodile-line Batrachotomus (predicted quadruped) and Postosuchus (predicted biped). Compared with quadrupedal archosaurs, bipedal species tend to have relatively longer hindlimbs and a more caudally positioned whole-body center of mass, and collectively exhibit greater variance in forelimb lengths. These patterns are interpreted to reflect differing biomechanical constraints acting on the archosaurian Bauplan in bipedal versus quadrupedal groups, which may have shaped the evolutionary histories of their respective members.