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Alberto Ugolini, Laura S Hoelters, Alice Ciofini, Vittorio Pasquali, David C Wilcockson
Animals that use astronomical cues to orientate must make continuous adjustment to account for temporal changes in azimuth caused by Earth's rotation. For example, the Monarch butterfly possesses a time-compensated sun compass dependent upon a circadian clock in the antennae. The amphipod Talitrus saltator possesses both a sun compass and a moon compass. We reasoned that the time-compensated compass mechanism that enables solar orientation of T. saltator is located in the antennae, as is the case for Monarch butterflies...
October 19, 2016: Scientific Reports
Catherine Thèves, Eric Crubézy, Philippe Biagini
Smallpox is considered among the most devastating of human diseases. Its spread in populations, initiated for thousands of years following a probable transmission from an animal host, was concomitant with movements of people across regions and continents, trade and wars. Literature permitted to retrace the occurrence of epidemics from ancient times to recent human history, smallpox having affected all levels of past society including famous monarchs. The disease was officially declared eradicated in 1979 following intensive vaccination campaigns...
August 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Jessica J Hellmann, Ralph Grundel, Chris Hoving, Gregor W Schuurman
As climate change moves insect systems into uncharted territory, more knowledge about insect dynamics and the factors that drive them could enable us to better manage and conserve insect communities. Climate change may also require us to revisit insect management goals and strategies and lead to a new kind of scientific engagement in management decision-making. Here we make five key points about the role of insect science in aiding and crafting management decisions, and we illustrate those points with the monarch butterfly and the Karner blue butterfly, two species undergoing considerable change and facing new management dilemmas...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Carl Stenoien, Kelly R Nail, Jacinta M Zalucki, Hazel Parry, Karen S Oberhauser, Myron P Zalucki
We review the postulated threatening processes that may have affected the decline in the eastern population of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus L. (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), in North America. Although there are likely multiple contributing factors, such as climate and resource-related effects on breeding, migrating, and overwintering populations, the key landscape level change appears to be associated with the widespread use of genetically modified herbicide resistant crops that have rapidly come to dominate the extensive core summer breeding range...
September 21, 2016: Insect Science
Paola A Barriga, Eleanore D Sternberg, Thierry Lefèvre, Jacobus C de Roode, Sonia Altizer
Throughout their global range, wild monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are infected with the protozoan Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE). In monarchs, OE infection reduces pupal eclosion, adult lifespan, adult body size and flight ability. Infection of other butterfly hosts with OE is rare or unknown, and the only previously published records of OE infection were on monarch and queen butterflies (D. gilippus). Here we explored the occurrence and specificity of OE and OE-like parasites in four Danaus butterfly species...
October 2016: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Alexa Fritzsche McKay, Vanessa O Ezenwa, Sonia Altizer
Organisms have a finite pool of resources to allocate toward multiple competing needs, such as development, reproduction, and enemy defense. Abundant resources can support investment in multiple traits simultaneously, but limited resources might promote trade-offs between fitness-related traits and immune defenses. We asked how food restriction at both larval and adult life stages of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) affected measures of immunity, fitness, and immune-fitness interactions. We experimentally infected a subset of monarchs with a specialist protozoan parasite to determine whether parasitism further affected these relationships and whether food restriction influenced the outcome of infection...
September 2016: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology: PBZ
Paul Richard Kauffman
There are many historical examples of people who heard voices or saw visions but were not classified as having a mental illness and who were supported by a religious community. The article offers a perspective for effective psychosocial supports for schizophrenia. The author analyzes data on 95 people who experienced verifiable persistent non-drug-assisted hallucinations in Europe, North America, and Australasia and discusses the life outcomes of 39 subjects. They include founders of religions, dysfunctional monarchs, persons with cosmological beliefs, and mental health workers...
September 2016: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Andrés Argüelles-Moyao, Roberto Garibay-Orijel, Laura Margarita Márquez-Valdelamar, Elsa Arellano-Torres
Abies religiosa is an endemic conifer of Mexico, where its monodominant forests are the winter refuge of the monarch butterfly. Due to climate change, it has been estimated that by 2090, A. religiosa populations will decline by 96.5 %. To achieve success, reforestation programs should consider its ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. We used ITS nrDNA sequences to identify the ECM fungi associated with A. religiosa and, based on its abundance and frequency, determined the diversity and community structure in a pure A...
August 25, 2016: Mycorrhiza
Julie A McMurry, Sebastian Köhler, Nicole L Washington, James P Balhoff, Charles Borromeo, Matthew Brush, Seth Carbon, Tom Conlin, Nathan Dunn, Mark Engelstad, Erin Foster, Jean-Philippe Gourdine, Julius O B Jacobsen, Daniel Keith, Bryan Laraway, Jeremy Nguyen Xuan, Kent Shefchek, Nicole A Vasilevsky, Zhou Yuan, Suzanna E Lewis, Harry Hochheiser, Tudor Groza, Damian Smedley, Peter N Robinson, Christopher J Mungall, Melissa A Haendel
The principles of genetics apply across the entire tree of life. At the cellular level we share biological mechanisms with species from which we diverged millions, even billions of years ago. We can exploit this common ancestry to learn about health and disease, by analyzing DNA and protein sequences, but also through the observable outcomes of genetic differences, i.e. phenotypes. To solve challenging disease problems we need to unify the heterogeneous data that relates genomics to disease traits. Without a big-picture view of phenotypic data, many questions in genetics are difficult or impossible to answer...
August 2016: Genetics
David G James, Lorraine Seymour, Gerry Lauby, Katie Buckley
Native plant and beneficial insect associations are relatively unstudied yet are important in native habitat restoration programs for improving and sustaining conservation biological control of arthropod pests in agricultural crops. Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are currently the focus of restoration programs in the USA aimed at reversing a decline in populations of the milkweed-dependent monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus); however, little is known of the benefits of these plants to other beneficial insects...
2016: Insects
Leiling Tao, Kevin M Hoang, Mark D Hunter, Jacobus C de Roode
The emerging field of ecological immunology demonstrates that allocation by hosts to immune defence against parasites is constrained by the costs of those defences. However, the costs of non-immunological defences, which are important alternatives to canonical immune systems, are less well characterized. Estimating such costs is essential for our understanding of the ecology and evolution of alternative host defence strategies. Many animals have evolved medication behaviours, whereby they use antiparasitic compounds from their environment to protect themselves or their kin from parasitism...
September 2016: Journal of Animal Ecology
Alexa Fritzsche McKay, Vanessa O Ezenwa, Sonia Altizer
Migratory animals undergo extreme physiological changes to prepare for and sustain energetically costly movements; one potential change is reduced investment in immune defenses. However, because some migrants have evolved to minimize the energetic demands of movement (for example, through the temporary atrophy of non-essential organs such as those involved in reproduction), migratory animals could potentially avoid immunosuppression during long-distance journeys. In this study, we used a tethered flight mill to examine immune consequences of experimentally induced powered flight in eastern North American monarch butterflies...
August 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Dara A Satterfield, Francis X Villablanca, John C Maerz, Sonia Altizer
Long-distance migration can lower infection risk for animal populations by removing infected individuals during strenuous journeys, spatially separating susceptible age classes, or allowing migrants to periodically escape from contaminated habitats. Many seasonal migrations are changing due to human activities including climate change and habitat alteration. Moreover, for some migratory populations, sedentary behaviors are becoming more common as migrants abandon or shorten their journeys in response to supplemental feeding or warming temperatures...
August 2016: Integrative and Comparative Biology
Eli Shlizerman, James Phillips-Portillo, Daniel B Forger, Steven M Reppert
Migrating eastern North American monarch butterflies use a time-compensated sun compass to adjust their flight to the southwest direction. Although the antennal genetic circadian clock and the azimuth of the sun are instrumental for proper function of the compass, it is unclear how these signals are represented on a neuronal level and how they are integrated to produce flight control. To address these questions, we constructed a receptive field model of the compound eye that encodes the solar azimuth. We then derived a neural circuit model that integrates azimuthal and circadian signals to correct flight direction...
April 13, 2016: Cell Reports
Eric Warrant, Barrie Frost, Ken Green, Henrik Mouritsen, David Dreyer, Andrea Adden, Kristina Brauburger, Stanley Heinze
The nocturnal Bogong moth (Agrotis infusa) is an iconic and well-known Australian insect that is also a remarkable nocturnal navigator. Like the Monarch butterflies of North America, Bogong moths make a yearly migration over enormous distances, from southern Queensland, western and northwestern New South Wales (NSW) and western Victoria, to the alpine regions of NSW and Victoria. After emerging from their pupae in early spring, adult Bogong moths embark on a long nocturnal journey towards the Australian Alps, a journey that can take many days or even weeks and cover over 1000 km...
2016: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Judith H Myers, Jenny S Cory
Pathogens are ubiquitous in insect populations and yet few studies examine their dynamics and impacts on host populations. We discuss four lepidopteran systems and explore their contributions to disease ecology and evolution. More specifically, we elucidate the role of pathogens in insect population dynamics. For three species, western tent caterpillars, African armyworm and introduced populations of gypsy moth, infection by nucleopolyhedrovirus (NPV) clearly regulates host populations or reduces their outbreaks...
January 2016: Evolutionary Applications
Stanley Heinze, Eric Warrant
A quick guide to the Australian Bogong moth, the nocturnal counterpart of the migratory Monarch butterfly.
April 4, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Anne E Espeset, Joshua G Harrison, Arthur M Shapiro, Chris C Nice, James H Thorne, David P Waetjen, James A Fordyce, Matthew L Forister
Migratory animals pose unique challenges for conservation biologists, and we have much to learn about how migratory species respond to drivers of global change. Research has cast doubt on the stability of the eastern monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population in North America, but the western monarchs have not been as intensively examined. Using a Bayesian hierarchical model, sightings of western monarchs over approximately 40 years were investigated using summer flight records from ten sites along an elevational transect in Northern California...
July 2016: Oecologia
Brice X Semmens, Darius J Semmens, Wayne E Thogmartin, Ruscena Wiederholt, Laura López-Hoffman, Jay E Diffendorfer, John M Pleasants, Karen S Oberhauser, Orley R Taylor
The Eastern, migratory population of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), an iconic North American insect, has declined by ~80% over the last decade. The monarch's multi-generational migration between overwintering grounds in central Mexico and the summer breeding grounds in the northern U.S. and southern Canada is celebrated in all three countries and creates shared management responsibilities across North America. Here we present a novel Bayesian multivariate auto-regressive state-space model to assess quasi-extinction risk and aid in the establishment of a target population size for monarch conservation planning...
2016: Scientific Reports
Xiu-wei Yang
The compound Chinese materia medica is the medication pattern of the traditional Chinese medicine for the disease prevention and treatment. The single Chinese materia medica (mostly in decoction pieces) is the prescription composition of the compound Chinese materia medica. The study of the effective substance basis of Chinese materia medica should be based on the chemical compositions of the compound Chinese materia medica as an entry point considering the different status of "Monarch, Minister, Assistant, and Guide" for a certain single Chinese materia medica in the different compound Chinese materia medica while substance basis research of a certain single Chinese materia medica should be a full component analysis as well as both stable and controllable quality...
September 2015: Zhongguo Zhong Yao za Zhi, Zhongguo Zhongyao Zazhi, China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica
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