In this study our aim was to assess the diversity and distribution of cavity-nesting solitary bees, wasps and the spider-hunting wasps' prey with regards to the influence of landscape context in a study area with relatively low human disturbance. The study took place between May and August 2018 at eight study sites in the hilly-mountainous central part of Romania, where the majority of the landscape is used for extensive farming or forestry. During the processing of the trap nest material, we recorded several parameters regarding the nests of different hymenopteran groups, the spider prey found inside these nests, and also tested the influence of the landscape structure surrounding the sites on both hymenopteran groups and spider prey. The majority of nests was built by the solitary wasp group of Trypoxylon, followed by Dipogon and Eumeninae. Solitary bees were much rarer, with Hylaeus being most common group. The groups showed partially differing size preferences concerning the diameter of the occupied reed stalks. In the nests of Trypoxylon we predominantly found spider prey from the family of Araneidae, followed by representatives from the families of Linyphiidae and Theridiidae. In contrast to Trypoxylon, the wasp group Dipogon preferred spider prey from the family of Thomisidae. Concerning the hymenopteran groups, significant effects of landscape structure were found on the number of both nests and brood cells of Eumeninae and on the number of brood cells of Hylaeus, Osmia and Trypoxylon. We also found that the diversity of Trypoxylon spider prey was significantly positively affected by an increasing proportion of grassland and negatively by an increasing proportion of woodland. Altogether, our study presents several new aspects concerning the diversity and distribution of solitary bees, wasps and the spider-hunting wasps' prey and also the effects of landscape context on these groups.
Species invasion represents one of the major drivers of biodiversity change globally, yet there is widespread scientific and popular confusion and controversy about the nature of non-indigenous species (NIS) impact. This confusion stems from differing notions and understanding of what constitutes invasive species ‘impact’ and the scales at which it should be assessed. I argue that the proximate mechanisms determining invasive species impact happen at smaller scales where species interact, and by understanding these mechanisms, we can scale up to a broader understanding of how invasive species impact biodiversity. The mechanisms of NIS impact on potential competitors can be classified into four scenarios: 1) minimal impact from NIS inhabiting unique niche space; 2) neutral impact spread across the community and proportional to NIS abundance; 3) targeted impact on a small number of competitors with overlapping niches; and 4) pervasive impact that is disproportionate to NIS abundance and ostensibly caused by ecosystem modification that filters out other species. I develop a statistical test to distinguish these four mechanisms based on community rank-abundance curves. Using an example dataset from plant communities invaded by the dominant invasive vine, Vincetoxicum rossicum, I show that in long-term plots that had high native plant diversity and where V. rossicum increased, impact resulted in either targeted extirpations (scenario 3) or widespread biodiversity loss (scenario 4). Regardless of whether NIS impact is neutral, targeted or pervasive, the net outcome will be the homogenization of ecosystems and reduced biodiversity at larger scales, perhaps reducing ecosystem resilience.
Habitat fragmentation and infectious disease threaten amphibians globally, but little is known about how these two threats interact. In this study, we examined the effects of Brazilian Atlantic Forest habitat fragmentation on frog genetic diversity at an immune locus known to affect disease susceptibility in amphibians, the MHC IIB locus. We used a custom high-throughput assay to sequence the MHC IIB locus across six focal frog species in two regions of the Atlantic Forest. We also used a molecular assay to quantify infections by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). We found that habitat fragmentation is associated with genetic erosion at the MHC IIB locus, and that this erosion is most severe in frog species restricted to intact forests. Significant Bd infections were recovered only in one Atlantic Forest region, potentially due to the relatively higher elevation. In this region, forest specialists showed an increase in both Bd prevalence and loads in fragmented habitats. We also found that reduced population-level MHC IIB diversity was associated with increased Bd infection risk. On the individual-level, MHC IIB heterozygotes (by allelic genotype as well as supertype) exhibited a reduced risk of Bd infection. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation increases infection susceptibility in amphibians, mediated at least in part through loss of immunogenetic diversity. Our findings have implications for the conservation of fragmented populations in the face of emerging infectious diseases.
1. The description and analysis of animal behaviour over long periods of time is one of the most important challenges in ecology. However, most of these studies are limited due to the time and cost required by human observers. The collection of data via video recordings allows observation periods to be extended. However, their evaluation by human observers is very time-consuming. Progress in automated evaluation, using suitable deep learning methods, seems to be a forwardlooking approach to analyse even large amounts of video data in an adequate time frame. 2. In this study we present amulti-step convolutional neural network system for detecting animal behaviour states, which works with high accuracy. An important aspect of our approach is the introduction of model averaging and post-processing rules to make the system robust to outliers. 3. Our trained system achieves an in-domain classification accuracy of >0.92, which is improved to >0.96 by a postprocessing step. In addition, the whole system performs even well in an out-of-domain classification task with two unknown types, achieving an average accuracy of 0.93. We provide our system at https://github.com/Klimroth/Video-Action-Classifier-for-African-Ungulates-in-Zoos/tree/main/mrcnn_based so that interested users can train their own models to classify images and conduct behavioural studies of wildlife. 4. The use of a multi-step convolutional neural network for fast and accurate classification of wildlife behaviour facilitates the evaluation of large amounts of image data in ecological studies and reduces the effort of manual analysis of images to a high degree. Our system also shows that post-processing rules are a suitable way to make species-specific adjustments and substantially increase the accuracy of the description of single behavioural phases (number, duration). The results in the out-of-domain classification strongly suggest that our system is robust and achieves a high degree of accuracy even for new species, so that other settings (e.g. field studies) can be considered.
Background The purpose of this study was to determine the alterations of a specific set of miRNA levels in gastric adenocarcinoma tissues in order to identify gastric cancer specific miRNAs. Identification of the relationship between alteration of miRNA expressions and clinical features of these gastric cancer patients was set as a secondary outcome. Material and Methods Gastric adenocarcinoma and normal stomach tissue samples of 20 patients who underwent surgery for gastric cancer were studied. miRNA expression profiling was performed for 8 miRNAs (2 of which has not been studied in detail for gastric cancer) in a total of 40 tissue samples using Quantitative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction. Alterations in expressions were compared with the clinicopathological characteristics of the patients. Results Five out of eight miRNAs were underexpressed in malignant tissues. A decrease in the expression levels of miR-375-3p, miR-196a-5p, miR-376c-3p, miR-34c-5p, and miR-767-5p were observed. Furthermore, the expression of miR-662 was reversely related with age (r: -0,44, p: 0.04933); miR-129-3p and miR34c-5p levels were correlated with an increase in the number of metastatic lymph nodes (r: 0,47, p: 0.036495; r: 0,51, p: 0.020289); and miR-376c-3p levels were negatively associated with smoking (p: 0.04321). In addition, the variability of miRNA expression in cancerous tissues was lower than that in normal tissues. Conclusion Alterations in miRNA expressions in gastric adenocarcinoma tissues compared to healthy tissues of each individual may serve as a starting point for research and development of a diagnostic tool for gastric cancer.
Floodplains provide valuable social and ecological environment functions, and understanding the rates and patterns of floodplain sedimentation/erosion is critical for floodplain management and rehabilitation. The sediment entering the lower Yellow River has been dramatically reduced, and the geomorphology has changed greatly during the operation of the Xiaolangdi (XLD) reservoir since 2000. Utilizing sediment resources is the key to managing the downstream river, and the floodplains not only play the roles of flood mitigation, detention and de-sanding but also provide land to support local residents and economic development; however, the floodplain currently faces competition between land development and protection. This research presents a detailed investigation of changes in the sediment budget and morphology of the braided reach between Huayuankou (HYK) and Gaocun (GC) during 2000-2017 using digital elevation models (DEMs) and the historical bathymetry of the braided reach. During the implementation of the water-sediment regulation scheme (WSRS), the long-term low-concentration flow released from the XLD reservoir leads to a fully scoured long channel, further improving the bank-full discharge and reducing the risk of floods on floodplains. However, the floodplains have gradually changed from sedimentation to erosion due to the continual construction of farm dykes and control works, land use changes and other forms of land disturbance, including water and soil conservation measures and climate change. The cumulative eroded volume was approximately 11.47×108 m3 along the HYK - GC reach between 2000 and 2017, of which 3.08×108 m3 originated from the floodplains, with an average annual erosion rate of 1.3 cm/yr. To develop the economy and guide floodplain construction, we propose a new method of environmental management to reconstruct the floodplain domain into different zones for immigration resettlement areas, agricultural areas and resource development and utilization areas, with the methods of river dredging and floodplain filling.
A microcontroller based pulse width modulation implementation for multilevel quasi Z source inverter is proposed in this paper. The component design of quasi z source inverter (qZSI) is first considered with continuous and discontinuous mode of operations. The low switching frequency operation of multilevel quasi Z source inverter is proposed in this paper. The detailed modelling for qZSI is then established for effective implementation of PIC microcontroller (PIC 16F877A) for generating the switching signals. A prototype of five level quasi z-source inverter have been developed and the control signal to the gate drivers have been applied by properly adjusting the shoot through and non shoot through switching states. The hardware result shows the effective implementation of the proposed scheme.
Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of tamsulosin, silodosin, and tadalafil as medical expulsive therapy for distal ureteral stones in men. Methods: Adult males meeting the inclusion criteria were randomized into one of four treatment arms - dexketoprofen (control group), tamsulosin (Group 1), silodosin (Group 2), and tadalafil (Group 3). The stone expulsion rate after four weeks represented the primary endpoint, while the stone expulsion rate at the end of the study and the incidence of adverse events constituted secondary endpoints. Clinical findings were compared between all four drug groups. Results: No statistically significant difference was observed among the groups in terms of age, body mass index, stone futures, expulsion time, pain episodes, or total analgesic use. Expulsion rates in the fourth week were 42.5%, 80%, 82.5%, and 75%, respectively. The stone expulsion rates in groups 1, 2, and 3 were significantly higher than in the control group (p < 0.001). However, the differences between groups 1, 2, and 3 were not statistically significant. No serious adverse effects were observed during the study period. Conclusion: The study results showed a higher expulsion rate in male patients using tamsulosin, silodosin and tadalafil for distal ureteral stones, but no significant superiority between these. All three are safe, effective, and well-tolerated, causing minimal side-effects.
Purpose: Recent studies have shown a relationship between cancer and inflammatory response. The aim of this study is to compare NLR and PLR values, which are inflammatory parameters, in precancerous and cancerous lesions and to determine whether there is a parameter that can be used in the early diagnosis of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Methods:174 patients who were benign as a result of pathology, 122 patients who were malignant, 39 patients who were premalignant (335 patients in total) and 117 normal individuals were included in the study. Data groups were divided into 4 groups as Benign Laryngeal Lesion(BLL), Precancerous Laryngeal Lesion(PLL), Malignant Laryngeal Lesion(MLL) and Control Group(CG). In addition, the PLL group was subdivided into Mild Dysplasia(MiD), Moderate Dysplasia(MoD) and Severe dysplasia-carcinoma in situ (SeD/CIS). NLR, PLR and other parameters were calculated. Results: NLR and PLR values were significantly different between the groups. (p = 0.000, p = 0.002) The mean NLR was higher in the MLL and PLL groups, and was lower in the BLL and control groups. The mean PLR was also higher in the MLL and PLL groups. When the groups were compared in pairs, there was a significant difference between BLL and MLL (p = 0.001) and MLL and CG.(p = 0.006) The PLL group was subdivided into MiD, MoD and SeD / CIS. There was a significant difference in NLR when CG and other subgroups were compared.(p = 0.027) Significant differences were found between CG and SeD when the groups were compared in pairs.(p = 0.007) There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of PLR and dysplasia.(P = 0.516) Conclusion: As revealed in this study, these rates were low in the CG and BLL groups and high in the MLL group, so they could be used as markers to differentiate malignant lesions.
Most terrestrial nutrient sources are hypothesized to shift in dominance from mineral- to organic matter (OM)-derived over millennia. We investigated how overlaying this hypothesis with plant rooting dynamics that can feedback to soil development offers insight into ecosystem functioning. To test the hypothesis that the nutritional importance of OM as mineral weathering proceeds is mediated by rooting system nutrient economies that vary with vegetation development, we paired litterfall decay experiments with soil mineralogical data from diverse forests across the Critical Zone (CZ) Observatory Network. We demonstrate that sources of phosphorus shift from OM-bound stocks to minerals as the rooting zone expands during the transition from mid to late stages of forest growth. Root-driven, plant-soil feedbacks thus can prompt inconsistencies with soil development models that posit a unidirectional transition from mineral to organic nutrient dominance, and illuminate how forest growth and land use influence nutrient bioavailability in Earth’s CZ.
Herbivore disturbance can affect the grassland ecosystem services though creating extensive disturbances vegetation and soil. This study focused on plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) disturbance to investigate the effect of disturbance by small burrowing herbivores on ecosystem services of alpine grasslands though five sites. In this study, the palatable plant biomass, plant species richness, soil water storage, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium stocks were used to estimate the forage availability, biodiversity conservation, water conservation, carbon sequestration and soil nutrient maintenance. This study showed that plateau pika disturbance was related to higher plant species richness and soil organic carbon stock, associated with lower palatable plant biomass and soil water storage, and had no effect on total potassium stock, whereas the responses of soil total nitrogen and phosphorus stocks to plateau pika disturbance were different among sites. The palatable plant biomass, plant species richness, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen and phosphorus stocks showed downward parabolas, whereas the soil water storage showed a decreasing trend with increasing plateau pika disturbance intensity. These results indicated that the role of plateau pikas is dependent not only on the management target of alpine grasslands but also on the plateau pika disturbance intensity.
Recently non-statutory allergy management guidance for schools has been produced in the United Kingdom however there has been limited progress in implementing this. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of face-to-face training on self-reported school staff preparedness in managing the severely allergic child and whether it would stimulate schools’ allergy policy review. A preparedness survey was conducted prior and 2 months post-intervention to assess the effect of training on self-reported preparedness and perceived confidence to manage children with food allergies. A sample of 18 (10%) primary schools that consented to participate were selected. Of the trained schools, 89% felt confident in dealing with an allergy emergency compared to 39% prior training (p=0.016). Post intervention all but one had arranged/were considering introducing allergy awareness sessions to help pupils manage their allergies (45% pre-training vs post-training 93%, p=003). Preventative measures for accidental exposure to food allergens (i.e. no food sharing policy) were adopted by all (pre-training 61% vs post- training 100%, p=0.03). A face-to-face school allergy training programme enhances self-reported staff preparedness and promotes internal allergy policy review in managing the needs of these children, hence addressing the current gap between recommendations and practice in schools.
Ursolic acid (UA) is a ursane-type pentacyclic triterpenoid compound, naturally produced in plants via specialized metabolism and exhibits vast range of remarkable physiological activities and pharmacological manifestations. Owing to significant safety and efficacy in different medical conditions, UA may serve as a backbone to produce its derivatives with novel therapeutic functions. This review systematically provides an overview of the pharmacological activities, acquisition methods and structural modification methods of UA. In addition, we focused on the synthetic modifications of UA to yield its valuable derivatives with enhanced therapeutic potential. Furthermore, harnessing the essential advances for green synthesis of UA and its derivatives by advent of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are highlighted. In combination with the advantages of UA biosynthesis and transformation strategy, large-scale production and applications of UA is a promising platform for further exploration.
Objective: We hypothesized that omega-3 fatty acids would be an appropriate adjunct therapy for alleviating the inflammatory response and clinical manifestation in hospitalized patients with covid-19 disease. Methods: This was a single-blind randomized controlled trial in Amir-Alam hospital in Tehran. Thirty adult men and women diagnosed with covid-19 were allocated to either control group (receiving Hydroxychloroquine) or intervention group (receiving Hydroxychloroquine plus 2 grams of DHA+EPA) for 2 weeks. Primary outcome of the intervention including CRP, ESR as well as clinical symptoms including body pain, fatigue, appetite and olfactory and secondary outcomes including liver enzymes were determined at the baseline and after omega-3 supplementation. Clinical signs were measured using self-reported questionnaires. There were commercial kits for determination of CRP and liver enzymes concentrations in the serum of patients. For determination of ESR automated hematology analyzer was applied. Results: In comparison to control group, patients receiving omega-3 indicated favorable changes in all clinical symptoms except for olfactory ((p<0.001 for body pain and fatigue, p= 0.03 for appetite and p=0.21 for olfactory). Reducing effects of omega-3 supplementation compared to control group were also observed in the levels of ESR and CRP after treatment (p<0.001 for CRP and p=0.02 for ESR). However, no between group differences in the liver enzymes serum concentrations were observed after supplementation (p>0.05). Conclusion: Current observations are very promising and indicate that supplementation with moderate dosages of omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in the management of inflammation-mediated clinical symptoms in covid-19 patients. Key words: Covid-19, omega-3, inflammation, clinical symptoms
Study Objective: The application of regional anesthesia techniques as a component of multimodal analgesia in knee arthroscopic surgeries increases the quality of postoperative analgesia. Adductor canal block (ACB) is an effective “motor sparing” analgesia technique used in knee surgeries. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of two different concentrations of local anesthetic mixtures in terms of postoperative analgesia in patients undergoing knee arthroscopic intervention compared to each other and the control group. Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled, blinded Setting: Tertiary hospital Patients: A total of 60 patients (ASA I-II) were evaluated in three groups, with 20 in each group. Interventions: Standardized postoperative analgesia was planned for all groups. In addition, ultrasound guided ACB (same volume / two different concentrations of bupivacaine-0.25% vs 0.16%) was applied to the experimental groups. Measurements: Tramadol consumption, rescue analgesic requirement and Numeric Rating Scores (NRS). Main Results: Tramadol requirement in the first 24 hours was significantly higher in the control group (209.5±23.27 mg),(p<0.001), and there was no difference between the experimental groups (63±42.06 mg vs 80.5±36.63 mg). Although the mean NRS score in the first three hours was higher in the control group than in both block groups, it was similar in all groups in the following measurements. Conclusion: In arthroscopic knee surgery, ACB interventions with 0.25% and 0.16% concentrations of bupivacaine were similar in terms of postoperative analgesic efficacy, and they increased the quality of multimodal analgesics more than the control group.
Introduction: Many patients with chronic diseases often use the traditional medicine approach in addition to conventional medicine. The aim of this study was to evaluate the epidemiological factors of patients with dermatologcal conditions referring to traditional Persian Medicine (TPM) clinic. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we reviewed all the patients’ medical documents with dermatological conditions referred to the TPM clinic at Shiraz, Southern Iran in 2018. Then, the epidemiological factors of the patients were recorded to a researcher-made data collection form. SPSS software version 22 was conducted to data analysis. Results: Overall, 631 patients consist of 151 (23.9%) male individuals and 580 (76.1%) female individuals were enrolled to the study. Most of the patients were aged between 31 and 40 years, and 347 (55%) patients were married, and most of them were housewives. The frequency of patients in spring was higher than other seasons. Furthermore, the most of the patients were university educated. Acne, eczema and hair loss were the three most complaints of the patients referring to the traditional medicine clinic. 301(47.7%) patients reported gastrointestinal problems as another complaint concomitant with their skin problems. Conclusion: It seems that women with skin problems, including acne, eczema, and hair loss, were more likely to refer to the TPM clinic. Therefore, development of TPM clinics in dermatology field as a scientific and academic approach can be effective in the treatment of patients with dermatological condition accompanied by traditional medicine.
Taxon-specific characteristics and extrinsic climatic and geological forces may both shape population differentiation and speciation. In geographically and taxonomically focused investigations, differentiation may occur synchronously as species respond to the same external conditions. Conversely, when evolution is investigated in taxa with largely varying traits, population differentiation and speciation is complex and shaped by interactions of Earth’s template and species-specific traits. As such, it is important to characterize evolutionary histories broadly across the tree of life, especially in geographic regions that are exceptionally diverse and under pressures from human activities such as in biodiversity hotspots. Here, using whole-genome sequencing data, we characterize genomic variation in populations of six Ethiopian Highlands forest bird species separated by a lowland biogeographic barrier, the Great Rift Valley (GRV). In all six species, populations on either side of the GRV exhibited significant but varying levels of genetic differentiation. Species with lower dispersal ability generally had higher levels of population differentiation. Divergence dating indicated asynchronous population differentiation histories, with at least three distinct diversification periods. We found that demographic histories—estimated for each individual—varied by both species and population but were consistent between individuals of the same species and sampling region. We found that genomic diversity varied by half an order of magnitude across species, and that this variation could largely be explained by the harmonic mean of effective population size over the past 200,000 years. Overall, we found that even in highly dispersive species like birds, the GRV acts as a substantial biogeographic barrier.
The mass die-off of Caribbean corals has transformed many of this region’s reefs to macroalgal-dominated habitats since systematic monitoring began in the 1970s. Although attributed to a combination of local and global human stressors, the lack of long-term data on Caribbean reef coral communities has prevented a clear understanding of the causes and consequences of coral declines. We integrated paleoecological, historical, and modern survey data to track the prevalence of major coral species and life history groups throughout the Caribbean from the pre-human period to present. The regional loss of Acropora corals beginning by the 1960s from local human disturbances resulted in increases in the prevalence of formerly subdominant stress-tolerant and weedy scleractinian corals and the competitive hydrozoan Millepora beginning in the 1970s and 1980s. These transformations have resulted in the homogenization of coral communities within individual countries. However, increases in stress-tolerant and weedy corals have slowed or reversed since the 1980s and 1990s in tandem with intensified coral bleaching. These patterns reveal the long history of increasingly stressful environmental conditions on Caribbean reefs that began with widespread local human disturbances and have recently culminated in the combined effects of local and global change.