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Lisa Diependaele, Julian Cockbain, Sigrid Sterckx
Advancements in the field of biotechnology have accelerated the development of drugs that are manufactured from cultures of living cells, commonly referred to as "biologics." Due to the complexity of the production process, generic biologics are unlikely to be chemically identical to the reference product, and accordingly are referred to as "biosimilars." Encouraging the development of biosimilars has been presented as the key solution to decrease prices and increase access to biologics, but the development and use of biosimilars continues to raise problems, none of which can easily be addressed...
September 2018: Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics: a Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Leonel Lopez-Toledo, Angeles Perez-Decelis, Franceli Macedo-Santana, Eduardo Cuevas, Bryan A Endress
Palm leaves represent one of the most important non-timber forest products in tropical and subtropical regions. Brahea aculeata is an endemic palm of northwest Mexico, whose leaves are intensively exploited for roof thatch and handcrafts. As part of a long-term defoliation experiment, we evaluated the effects of different leaf harvest on foliar and reproductive traits of adults and attributes of their progeny. We conducted a six-year manipulative experiment and applied three harvesting treatments to adults: high harvest, low harvest and no harvest (control)...
2018: PloS One
Unni Gopinathan, Steven J Hoffman, Trygve Ottersen
Governments and international organizations frequently convene scientific advisory committees (SACs) to support decision-making with scientific advice. In this study, thematic analysis of interviews with 35 senior WHO staff identified five main themes characterizing WHO's experience with designing SACs to ensure quality, relevance, and legitimacy of scientific advice. First, in addition to technical matters, SACs are established to serve broader strategic objectives, including consensus building to promote high-level political messages...
September 2018: Global Challenges
Karine Salin, Eugenia M Villasevil, Graeme J Anderson, Sonya K Auer, Colin Selman, Richard C Hartley, William Mullen, Christos Chinopoulos, Neil B Metcalfe
Many animals experience periods of food shortage in their natural environment. It has been hypothesised that the metabolic responses of animals to naturally-occurring periods of food deprivation may have long-term negative impacts on their subsequent life-history.In particular, reductions in energy requirements in response to fasting may help preserve limited resources but potentially come at a cost of increased oxidative stress. However, little is known about this trade-off since studies of energy metabolism are generally conducted separately from those of oxidative stress...
September 2018: Functional Ecology
David C S Filice, Tristan A F Long
In Drosophila melanogaster , males engage in both extensive pre- and post-copulatory competition for the opportunity to mate with females and subsequently sire offspring. The selection pressure for increased male reproductive success has resulted in the evolution of a wide diversity of sexual traits. However, despite strong selection, individuals often exhibit considerable phenotypic variation in the expression of these traits, and it is unclear if any of this variation is owing to underlying genetic trade-offs...
October 17, 2018: Biology Letters
Christopher R Cooney, Hannah E A MacGregor, Nathalie Seddon, Joseph A Tobias
Sexual selection is proposed to be an important driver of speciation and phenotypic diversification in animal systems. However, previous phylogenetic tests have produced conflicting results, perhaps because they have focused on a single signalling modality (visual ornaments), whereas sexual selection may act on alternative signalling modalities (e.g. acoustic ornaments). Here, we compile phenotypic data from 259 avian sister species pairs to assess the relationship between visible plumage dichromatism-a standard index of sexual selection in birds-and macroevolutionary divergence in the other major avian signalling modality: song...
October 17, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
B Dumont, J Ryschawy, M Duru, M Benoit, V Chatellier, L Delaby, C Donnars, P Dupraz, S Lemauviel-Lavenant, B Méda, D Vollet, R Sabatier
Livestock is a major driver in most rural landscapes and economics, but it also polarises debate over its environmental impacts, animal welfare and human health. Conversely, the various services that livestock farming systems provide to society are often overlooked and have rarely been quantified. The aim of analysing bundles of services is to chart the coexistence and interactions between the various services and impacts provided by livestock farming, and to identify sets of ecosystem services (ES) that appear together repeatedly across sites and through time...
October 18, 2018: Animal: An International Journal of Animal Bioscience
José C Noguera
The sociosexual environment animals experience through their life can shape the evolution of key life history traits, including longevity. Male-male competition, for instance, may influence the resources allocated to traits involved in male reproductive success. Here, I test whether lifelong exposure to a competitor male influences male investment in pre- and post-copulatory sexual traits (calling effort and sperm quality) and how this affected the oxidative status and longevity of male field crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus)...
October 17, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Adrian C Williams, Lisa J Hill
To further explore the role of dietary nicotinamide in both brain development and diseases, particularly those of ageing. Articles cover neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Also discussed are the effects of nicotinamide, contained in meat and supplements and derived from symbionts, on the major transitions of disease and fertility from ancient times up to the present day. A key role for the tryptophan - NAD 'de novo' and immune tolerance pathway are discussed at length in the context of fertility and longevity and the transitions from immune paresis to Treg-mediated immune tolerance and then finally to intolerance and their associated diseases...
2018: International Journal of Tryptophan Research: IJTR
Yuan Wu, Xiangxu Chen, Jiajun Shi, Kejie Ni, Liping Qian, Liang Huang, Kuan Zhang
Blockchain has emerged as a decentralized and trustable ledger for recording and storing digital transactions. The mining process of Blockchain, however, incurs a heavy computational workload for miners to solve the proof-of-work puzzle (i.e., a series of the hashing computation), which is prohibitive from the perspective of the mobile terminals (MTs). The advanced multi-access mobile edge computing (MEC), which enables the MTs to offload part of the computational workloads (for solving the proof-of-work) to the nearby edge-servers (ESs), provides a promising approach to address this issue...
October 15, 2018: Sensors
Iago Otero, Marc Castellnou, Itziar González, Etel Arilla, Llorenç Castell, Jordi Castellví, Francesc Sánchez, Jonas Ø Nielsen
Participatory planning networks made of government agencies, stakeholders, citizens and scientists are receiving attention as a potential pathway to build resilient landscapes in the face of increased wildfire impacts due to suppression policies and land-use and climate changes. A key challenge for these networks lies in incorporating local knowledge and social values about landscape into operational wildfire management strategies. As large wildfires overcome the suppression capacity of the fire departments, such strategies entail difficult decisions about intervention priorities among different regions, values and socioeconomic interests...
2018: PloS One
Samantha L Rumschlag, Michelle D Boone
The result of pathogen exposures may depend upon trade-offs in energetic demands for immune responses against host growth and survival. Environmental conditions may influence these trade-offs by affecting host size, or trade-offs may change across seasons, altering impacts of pathogens. We exposed northern leopard frog Lithobates pipiens tadpoles to different larval environments (low leaf litter, high density of conspecifics, atrazine, caged fish, or controls) that influenced size at metamorphosis. Subsequently, we exposed metamorphs to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungal pathogen, just after metamorphosis and/or prior to overwintering 12 wk later...
October 16, 2018: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Bram Vanden Broecke, Benny Borremans, Joachim Mariën, Rhodes H Makundi, Apia W Massawe, Herwig Leirs, Nelika K Hughes
Exploration and activity are often described as trade-offs between the fitness benefits of gathering information and resources, and the potential costs of increasing exposure to predators and parasites. More exploratory individuals are predicted to have higher rates of parasitism, but this relationship has rarely been examined for virus infections in wild populations. Here, we used the multimammate mouse Mastomys natalensis to investigate the relationship between exploration, activity, and infection with Morogoro virus (MORV)...
October 2018: Current Zoology
Yolice Tembo, Angela G Mkindi, Prisila A Mkenda, Nelson Mpumi, Regina Mwanauta, Philip C Stevenson, Patrick A Ndakidemi, Steven R Belmain
In the fight against arthropod crop pests using plant secondary metabolites, most research has focussed on the identification of bioactive molecules. Several hundred candidate plant species and compounds are now known to have pesticidal properties against a range of arthropod pest species. Despite this growing body of research, few natural products are commercialized for pest management whilst on-farm use of existing botanically-based pesticides remains a small, but growing, component of crop protection practice...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Dongsheng Liu, Ang Hu, Kefeng Zhang
Software-defined radio (SDR) is a good solution for complying with the existing and incoming protocols for emerging wireless sensor networks (WSN) and internet of things (IoT) applications. The frequency synthesizer in a SDR tranceiver usually consists of a phase locked loop (PLL) and a post synthesizer. The PLL is the narrow band signal source and the post synthesizer generates wideband outputs by mixing and dividing. Compared with a frequency synthesizer utilizing the wideband PLL, this synthesizer features relatively constant loop parameters and mitigates the requirement for the oscillator...
October 14, 2018: Sensors
Gregory S Cooper, John A Dearing
Shaping social-ecological systems towards sustainable, desirable and equitable futures is often hampered by complex human-natural feedbacks, emergence and nonlinearities. Consequently, the future of systems vulnerable to collapse is uncertain under plausible trajectories of environmental change, socioeconomic development and decision-making. We develop a modelling approach that incorporates driver interactions and feedbacks to operationalise future "safe and just operating spaces" for sustainable development...
October 10, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Ying Jin, Chuankuan Wang, Zhenghu Zhou
Vulnerability segmentation (VS), an important mechanism for protecting plants from drought, hypothesizes that the distal organs of a plant should be more susceptible to embolism than the basal organs. However, experimental studies testing the VS hypothesis for trees are limited and have reached inconsistent conclusions. Here, we tested the VS hypothesis with three angiosperms and four conifers co-existing in a temperate forest in northeastern China. The results showed that the difference in vulnerability to cavitation between leaves and branches (P50leaf-branch) was positive for the conifers but negative for the angiosperms, implying that the conifers rather than the angiosperms exhibited VS...
October 15, 2018: Tree Physiology
Louis Raynal, Jean-Michel Marin, Pierre Pudlo, Mathieu Ribatet, Christian P Robert, Arnaud Estoup
Motivation: Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) has grown into a standard methodology that manages Bayesian inference for models associated with intractable likelihood functions. Most ABC implementations require the preliminary selection of a vector of informative statistics summarizing raw data. Furthermore, in almost all existing implementations, the tolerance level that separates acceptance from rejection of simulated parameter values needs to be calibrated. Results: We propose to conduct likelihood-free Bayesian inferences about parameters with no prior selection of the relevant components of the summary statistics and bypassing the derivation of the associated tolerance level...
October 15, 2018: Bioinformatics
Chenyong Miao, Jinliang Yang, James C Schnable
Association studies use statistical links between genetic markers and the phenotype variation across many individuals to identify genes controlling variation in the target phenotype. However, this approach, particularly conducted on a genome-wide scale (GWAS), has limited power to identify the genes responsible for variation in traits controlled by complex genetic architectures. In this study, we employ real-world genotype datasets from four crop species with distinct minor allele frequency distributions, population structures, and linkage disequilibrium patterns...
October 15, 2018: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Tze-Huan Lei, James D Cotter, Zachary J Schlader, Stephen R Stannard, Blake G Perry, Matthew J Barnes, Toby Mündel
KEY POINTS: One in two female athletes chronically take a combined, mono-phasic oral contraceptive pill (OCP). Previous thermoregulatory investigations having theorised that an endogenous rhythm of the menstrual cycle still occurs with OCP usage. Forthcoming large international sporting events will expose female athletes to hot environments differing in their thermal profile, yet few data exist on how trained women will respond from both a thermoregulatory and performance standpoint. We demonstrated here that a small endogenous rhythm of the menstrual cycle still affects Tcore, and that chronic OCP use attenuates the sweating response but behavioural thermoregulation is maintained...
October 15, 2018: Journal of Physiology
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