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Russell A Ligon, Richard K Simpson, Nicholas A Mason, Geoffrey E Hill, Kevin J McGraw
The ornaments used by animals to mediate social interactions are diverse, and by reconstructing their evolutionary pathways we can gain new insights into the mechanisms underlying ornamental innovation and variability. Here, we examine variation in plumage carotenoids among the true finches (Aves: Fringillidae) using biochemical and comparative phylogenetic analyses to reconstruct the evolutionary history of carotenoid states and evaluate competing models of carotenoid evolution. Our comparative analyses reveal that the most likely ancestor of finches used dietary carotenoids as yellow plumage colorants, and that the ability to metabolically modify dietary carotenoids into more complex pigments arose secondarily once finches began to use modified carotenoids to create red plumage...
October 19, 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Julia A Clarke, Sankar Chatterjee, Zhiheng Li, Tobias Riede, Federico Agnolin, Franz Goller, Marcelo P Isasi, Daniel R Martinioni, Francisco J Mussel, Fernando E Novas
From complex songs to simple honks, birds produce sounds using a unique vocal organ called the syrinx. Located close to the heart at the tracheobronchial junction, vocal folds or membranes attached to modified mineralized rings vibrate to produce sound. Syringeal components were not thought to commonly enter the fossil record, and the few reported fossilized parts of the syrinx are geologically young (from the Pleistocene and Holocene (approximately 2.5 million years ago to the present)). The only known older syrinx is an Eocene specimen that was not described or illustrated...
October 12, 2016: Nature
Ashraf Idkaidek, Vineet Agarwal, Iwona Jasiuk
Reference Point Indentation (RPI) is a novel technique aimed to assess bone quality. Measurements are recorded by the BioDent instrument that applies multiple indents to the same location of cortical bone. Ten RPI parameters are obtained from the resulting force-displacement curves. Using the commercial finite element analysis software Abaqus, we assess the significance of the RPI parameters. We create an axisymmetric model and employ an isotropic viscoelastic-plastic constitutive relation with damage to simulate indentations on a human cortical bone...
September 14, 2016: Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Jonathan D Kennedy, Michael K Borregaard, Knud A Jønsson, Ben Holt, Jon Fjeldså, Carsten Rahbek
Regional variation in clade richness can be vast, reflecting differences in the dynamics of historical dispersal and diversification among lineages. Although it has been proposed that dispersal into new biogeographic regions may facilitate diversification, to date there has been limited assessment of the importance of this process in the generation, and maintenance, of broad-scale biodiversity gradients. To address this issue, we analytically derive biogeographic regions for a global radiation of passerine birds (the Corvides, c...
October 6, 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Z H Huang, M F Li, J W Qin
The avian family Ardeidae comprises long-legged freshwater and coastal birds. There has been considerable disagreement concerning the intrafamilial relationships of Ardeidae. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) was used as a marker for the identification and phylogenetic analysis of avian species. In the present study, we analyzed the COI barcodes of 32 species from 17 genera belonging to the family Ardeidae. Each bird species possessed a barcode distinct from that of other bird species except for Egretta thula and E...
August 19, 2016: Genetics and Molecular Research: GMR
Theresa Aves, Tamara Kredo, Vivian Welch, Sara Mursleen, Stephanie Ross, Babalwa Zani, Nkengafac Villyen Motaze, Leah Quinlan, Lawrence Mbuagbaw
OBJECTIVE: To describe and summarize equity reporting in HIV systematic reviews and explore the extent to which equity issues are addressed and reported in HIV reviews using the PROGRESS Plus framework. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Application of the PROGRESS Plus framework to a bibliometric analysis of HIV reviews in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. RESULTS: The analysis included 103 reviews published as of March 2014, with a median of 5 studies per review (first quartile; Q1 = 2; third quartile; Q3 = 11)...
September 29, 2016: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
S J Wallace, J A Morris-Pocock, J González-Solís, P Quillfeldt, V L Friesen
Phylogenetic relationships among species can provide insight into how new species arise. For example, careful consideration of both the phylogenetic and geographic distributions of species in a group can reveal the geographic models of speciation within the group. One such model, sympatric speciation, may be more common than previously thought. The Hydrobatinae (Aves: Procellariformes) is a diverse subfamily of Northern Hemisphere storm-petrels for which the taxonomy is unclear. Previous studies showed that Hydrobates (formally Oceanodroma) castro breeding in the Azores during the cool season is sister species to H...
September 29, 2016: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
César Cestari, Bette A Loiselle, Marco Aurélio Pizo
In lek mating systems, males aggregate and defend arenas where they display for females; females select and mate with a male and then solely raise their offspring. Generally, female visits and copulations increase and reproductive variance in male mating success declines with lek size. Here we investigate how male display effort changes across a gradient in lek size. We expect male display effort, an energetically expensive activity, will increase with lek size and male rank due to changes in breeding opportunities and competition among males...
2016: PloS One
Jafar Ali, Abdul Hameed, Safia Ahmed, Muhammad Ishtiaq Ali, Shama Zainab, Naeem Ali
Biological routes of synthesising metal nanoparticles (NPs) using microbes have been gaining much attention due to their low toxicity and eco-friendly nature. Pseudomonas aeruginosa JP2 isolated from metal contaminated soil was evaluated towards extracellular synthesis of silver NPs (AgNPs). Cell-free extract (24 h) of the bacterial isolate was reacted with AgNO3 for 24 h in order to fabricate AgNPs. Preliminary observations were recorded in terms of colour change of the reaction mixture from yellow to greyish black...
October 2016: IET Nanobiotechnology
Michio Yoshida, Eriko Kajikawa, Daisuke Yamamoto, Daisuke Kurokawa, Shigenobu Yonemura, Kensaku Kobayashi, Hiroshi Kiyonari, Shinichi Aizawa
BACKGROUND: Previous comparative studies suggest that the requirement for Nodal in epiblast and hypoblast development is unique to mammalians. Expression of anterior visceral endoderm (AVE) genes in the visceral endoderm and of their orthologs in the hypoblast may be unique to mammalians and avians, and is absent in the reptilian hypoblast. Axis formation in reptiles is signaled by the formation of the posterior marginal epiblast (PME), which expresses a series of primitive streak genes...
September 26, 2016: Developmental Dynamics: An Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists
Max Klein, Rati Sharma, Chris Bohrer, Cameron Avelis, Elijah Roberts
: Data-parallel programming techniques can dramatically decrease the time needed to analyze large data sets. While these methods have provided significant improvements for sequencing-based analyses, other areas of biological informatics have not yet adopted them. Here, we introduce Biospark, a new framework for performing data-parallel analysis on large numerical data sets. Biospark builds upon the open source Hadoop and Spark projects, bringing domain-specific features for biology. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: Source code is licensed under the Apache 2...
September 22, 2016: Bioinformatics
José M Ferreras, Sara Ragucci, Lucía Citores, Rosario Iglesias, Paolo V Pedone, Antimo Di Maro
Myoglobin (Mb) is studied to clarify the structure-function relationships in protein science. In this work, we report the results of a comparative analysis of amino acid sequences from 298 vertebrate Mbs. Forty-one high conserved residues were identified and seven of them were invariants [E18, G25, F43, V68, L72, H93 (proximal histidine) and H97]. E18 is the only invariant amino acid residue located out of the heme-pocket and Xe-cavities playing a role in interaction between the A and E-helices. A comparative analysis of several parameters related to amino acid composition shows an increase of average mass, accessible surface area and volume per residue from Actinopterygii to Mammalia and Aves...
September 19, 2016: International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Yinghua Duan, Minggang Xu, Suduan Gao, Hua Liu, Shaomin Huang, Boren Wang
Improving soil fertility/productivity and reducing environmental impact of nitrogen (N) fertilization are essential for sustainable agriculture. Quantifying the contribution of various fertilization regimes to soil N storage and loss has been lacking in a wide range of spatiotemporal scales. Based on data collected from field experiments at three typical agricultural zones in China, soil N dynamics and N changes in soil profile (0-100 cm) were examined during 1990-2009 under chemical fertilization, manure incorporation with fertilizer, and fertilizer with straw return treatments...
2016: Scientific Reports
Alexandra Ferreira-Valente, Patrício Costa, Marta Elorduy, Montserrat Virumbrales, Manuel J Costa, Jorge Palés
BACKGROUND: Empathy is a key aspect of the physician-patient interactions. The Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) is one of the most used empathy measures of medical students. The development of cross-cultural empathy studies depends on valid and reliable translations of the JSE. This study sought to: (1) adapt and assess the psychometric properties in Spanish students of the Spanish JSE validated in Mexican students; (2) test a second order latent factor model. METHODS: The Spanish JSE was adapted from the Spanish JSE-S, resulting in a final version of the measure...
2016: BMC Medical Education
Letícia Soares, Vincenzo A Ellis, Robert E Ricklefs
Hosts frequently harbour multiple parasite infections, yet patterns of parasite co-occurrence are poorly documented in nature. In this study, we asked whether two common avian blood parasites, one haemosporidian and one trypanosome, affect each other's occurrence in individuals of a single host species. We used molecular genotyping to survey protozoan parasites in the peripheral blood of yellow-breasted chats (Aves: Passeriformes [Parulidae]: Icteria virens) from the Ozarks of Southern Missouri. We also determined whether single and co-infections differently influence white blood cell and polychromatic erythrocyte counts, the latter being a measure of regenerative anaemia...
September 20, 2016: Parasitology
Kevin Winker
The number of species recognized in Aulacorhynchus toucanets has varied tremendously over the past century. Revisors seem to disagree on whether head and bill coloration are useful indicators of species limits, especially in the A. "prasinus" complex. Using morphometrics, I tested the hypothesis that the major color-based subspecific groups of A. "prasinus" sensu lato are simply "cookie-cutter" (i.e., morphologically nearly identical) toucanets with different head and bill colorations. Univariate and multivariate analyses show that they are not simply morphological replicates of different colors: a complex array of morphometric similarities and dissimilarities occur between the major subspecific groups, and these variations differ between the sexes...
2016: PeerJ
Jeroen Dikken, Jita G Hoogerduijn, Cas Kruitwagen, Marieke J Schuurmans
OBJECTIVES: To assess the content validity and psychometric characteristics of the Knowledge about Older Patients Quiz (KOP-Q), which measures nurses' knowledge regarding older hospitalized adults and their certainty regarding this knowledge. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. SETTING: Content validity: general hospitals. Psychometric characteristics: nursing school and general hospitals in the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS: Content validity: 12 nurse specialists in geriatrics...
September 14, 2016: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Takamasa Mitsuyoshi, Mitsuhiro Nakamura, Yukinori Matsuo, Nami Ueki, Akira Nakamura, Yusuke Iizuka, Wambaka Ange Mampuya, Takashi Mizowaki, Masahiro Hiraoka
The purpose of this article is to quantitatively evaluate differences in dose distributions calculated using various computed tomography (CT) datasets, dose-calculation algorithms, and prescription methods in stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for patients with early-stage lung cancer. Data on 29 patients with early-stage lung cancer treated with SBRT were retrospectively analyzed. Averaged CT (Ave-CT) and expiratory CT (Ex-CT) images were reconstructed for each patient using 4-dimensional CT data. Dose distributions were initially calculated using the Ave-CT images and recalculated (in the same monitor units [MUs]) by employing Ex-CT images with the same beam arrangements...
September 10, 2016: Medical Dosimetry: Official Journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists
Richard Schodde, J V Jr Remsen
In our recently published revised classification of the Icteridae (Remsen et al. 2016), we used the family group name Cassicinae Bonaparte, 1853 on the assumption that its type genus was Cassicus Illiger, 1811. We have since confirmed, after kind advice from Thomas Donegan (pers. comm. 2016), that Cassicus Illiger (1811: 214) is simply an unjustified emendation of Cacicus Lacépède, 1799, made clear by Illiger (l.c.) in a footnote to his description of Cassicus. Under Articles and 35.4.2 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN 1999), a family-group name formed from an unjustified emendation of the name of its type genus is to be corrected, unless the emendation has come into use as a substitute name or through prevailing use...
2016: Zootaxa
Fabio Akashi Hernandes, Luiz Gustavo A Pedroso, Yoshika Oniki-Willis
Five new species of feather mites (Proctophyllodidae: Pterodectinae) are described from passerines and hummingbirds of Brazil: Amerodectes longifuscus sp. nov. from Poospiza lateralis (Nordmann, 1835) (Passeriformes: Emberizidae), A. vireonis sp. nov. from Vireo olivaceus (Linnaeus, 1766) (Passeriformes: Vireonidae), Tyrannidectes synallaxis sp. nov. from Synallaxis ruficapilla Vieillot, 1819 (Passeriformes: Furnariidae), Trochilodectes willisi sp. nov. from Phaethornis eurynome (Lesson, 1832) (Apodiformes: Trochilidae), and Xynonodectes phaethornis sp...
2016: Zootaxa
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