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PloS one [journal]
- Relative Importance of Social Status and Physiological Need in Determining Leadership in a Social Forager. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64778.
GROUP DECISIONS ON THE TIMING OF MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE ACTIVITIES POSE A DILEMMA: monopolized decision-making by a single leader compromises the optimal timing of activities by the others, while independent decision-making by all group members undermines group coherence. Theory suggests that initiation of foraging should be determined by physiological demand in social foragers, thereby resolving the dilemma of group coordination. However, empirical support is scant, perhaps because intrinsic qualities predisposing individuals to leadership (social status, experience or personality), or their interactions with satiation level, have seldom been simultaneously considered. Here, we examine which females initiated foraging in eider (Somateria mollissima) brood-rearing coalitions, characterized by female dominance hierarchies and potentially large individual differences in energy requirements due to strenuous breeding effort. Several physiological and social factors, except for female breeding experience and boldness towards predators, explained foraging initiation. Initiators spent a larger proportion of time submerged during foraging bouts, had poorer body condition and smaller structural size, but they were also aggressive and occupied central positions. Initiation probability also declined with female group size as expected given random assignment of initiators. However, the relative importance of physiological predictors of leadership propensity (active foraging time, body condition, structural size) exceeded those of social predictors (aggressiveness, spatial position) by an order of magnitude. These results confirm recent theoretical work suggesting that 'leading according to need' is an evolutionary viable strategy regardless of group heterogeneity or underlying dominance structure.
- The Phenomenology of Specialization of Criminal Suspects. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64703.
A criminal career can be either general, with the criminal committing different types of crimes, or specialized, with the criminal committing a specific type of crime. A central problem in the study of crime specialization is to determine, from the perspective of the criminal, which crimes should be considered similar and which crimes should be considered distinct. We study a large set of Swedish suspects to empirically investigate generalist and specialist behavior in crime. We show that there is a large group of suspects who can be described as generalists. At the same time, we observe a non-trivial pattern of specialization across age and gender of suspects. Women are less prone to commit crimes of certain types, and, for instance, are more prone to specialize in crimes related to fraud. We also find evidence of temporal specialization of suspects. Older persons are more specialized than younger ones, and some crime types are preferentially committed by suspects of different ages.
- Association between Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome and Anxiety Disorder: A Population-Based Study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64630.
this case-control study utilized a population-based dataset to examine the association of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) with prior anxiety disorder (AD) by comparing the risk of prior AD between subjects with CP/CPPS and matched controls in Taiwan.We study used data sourced from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database. The cases comprised 8,088 subjects with CP/CPPS and 24,264 randomly matched subjects as controls. We used a conditional logistic regression to calculate the odds ratio (OR) for having been previously diagnosed with AD between subjects with and without CP/CPPS.Of the 24,264 sampled subjects, 2309 (7.1%) had received an AD diagnosis before the index date; AD was found in 930 (11.5%) cases and 1379 (5.7%) controls (p<0.001). The conditional logistic regression analysis revealed that compared to controls, the OR for prior AD among cases was 2.10 (95% CI = 1.92∼2.29, p<0.001) after adjusting for diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and sexually transmitted diseases. Our results show that CP/CPPS was consistently and significantly associated with prior AD in all age groups (18∼39, 40∼59, and >59 years). In particular, subjects aged 40∼59 years had the highest adjusted OR (of 2.53) for prior AD among cases compared to controls.We concluded that CP/CPPS is associated with previously diagnosed AD. Urologists should be alert for the association between CP/CPPS and AD in subjects suffering from AD.
- Intact Olfaction in a Mouse Model of Multiple System Atrophy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64625.
Increasing evidence suggests that olfaction is largely preserved in multiple system atrophy while most patients with Parkinson's disease are hyposmic. Consistent with these observations, recent experimental studies demonstrated olfactory deficits in transgenic Parkinson's disease mouse models, but corresponding data are lacking for MSA models.Olfactory function and underlying neuropathological changes were investigated in a transgenic multiple system atrophy mouse model based on targeted oligodendroglial overexpression of α-synuclein as well as wild-type controls. The study was divided into (1) a pilot study investigating olfactory preference testing and (2) a long-term study characterizing changes in the olfactory bulb of aging transgenic multiple system atrophy mice.In our pilot behavioral study, we observed no significant differences in investigation time in the olfactory preference test comparing transgenic with wild-type animals. These findings were accompanied by unaffected tyrosine hydroxylase-positive cell numbers in the olfactory bulb. Similarly, although a significant age-related increase in the amount of α-synuclein within the olfactory bulb was detected in the long-term study, progressive degeneration of the olfactory bulb could not be verified.Our experimental data show preserved olfaction in a transgenic multiple system atrophy mouse model despite α-synucleinopathy in the olfactory bulb. These findings are in line with the human disorder supporting the concept of a primary oligodendrogliopathy with variable neuronal involvement.
- Comprehensive Genome-Wide Survey, Genomic Constitution and Expression Profiling of the NAC Transcription Factor Family in Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica L.). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64594.
The NAC proteins represent a major plant-specific transcription factor family that has established enormously diverse roles in various plant processes. Aided by the availability of complete genomes, several members of this family have been identified in Arabidopsis, rice, soybean and poplar. However, no comprehensive investigation has been presented for the recently sequenced, naturally stress tolerant crop, Setaria italica (foxtail millet) that is famed as a model crop for bioenergy research. In this study, we identified 147 putative NAC domain-encoding genes from foxtail millet by systematic sequence analysis and physically mapped them onto nine chromosomes. Genomic organization suggested that inter-chromosomal duplications may have been responsible for expansion of this gene family in foxtail millet. Phylogenetically, they were arranged into 11 distinct sub-families (I-XI), with duplicated genes fitting into one cluster and possessing conserved motif compositions. Comparative mapping with other grass species revealed some orthologous relationships and chromosomal rearrangements including duplication, inversion and deletion of genes. The evolutionary significance as duplication and divergence of NAC genes based on their amino acid substitution rates was understood. Expression profiling against various stresses and phytohormones provides novel insights into specific and/or overlapping expression patterns of SiNAC genes, which may be responsible for functional divergence among individual members in this crop. Further, we performed structure modeling and molecular simulation of a stress-responsive protein, SiNAC128, proffering an initial framework for understanding its molecular function. Taken together, this genome-wide identification and expression profiling unlocks new avenues for systematic functional analysis of novel NAC gene family candidates which may be applied for improvising stress adaption in plants.
- Cross-Brain Neurofeedback: Scientific Concept and Experimental Platform. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64590.
The present study described a new type of multi-person neurofeedback with the neural synchronization between two participants as the direct regulating target, termed as "cross-brain neurofeedback." As a first step to implement this concept, an experimental platform was built on the basis of functional near-infrared spectroscopy, and was validated with a two-person neurofeedback experiment. This novel concept as well as the experimental platform established a framework for investigation of the relationship between multiple participants' cross-brain neural synchronization and their social behaviors, which could provide new insight into the neural substrate of human social interactions.
- Access to Healthcare and Medical Expenditure for the Middle-Aged and Elderly: Observations from China. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64589.
In the evaluation of a healthcare system, it is of interest to identify factors associated with the usage of different healthcare facilities and with different levels of medical expenditure.A survey was conducted in January and February of 2012 in China. It focused on the middle-aged and elderly with age of 45 and above. A total of 2,093 people from 1,152 households were surveyed.For inpatient treatment, the probability of using grade III hospitals, which had the highest level of care, was positively associated with age, being married, living in urban areas, and having higher income. For outpatient treatment, the probability of using grade III hospitals was positively associated with age, being married, working in enterprises, living in urban areas, living in central and western regions, and having higher income, and negatively associated with being farmers. The total and out-of-pocket (OOP) medical expenses were analyzed separately. It was found that the expense level was associated with age, education, occupation, living in urban areas, type of hospital used, insurance being used, and per capita income.The access to healthcare and level of medical expenditure were found as associated with demographic characteristics. In addition, differences between areas and regions were observed. Such results may be useful for identifying vulnerable population and for tuning future healthcare development policies.
- Hourglass Mechanism with Temperature Compensation in the Diel Periodicity of Planulation of the Coral, Seriatopora hystrix. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64584.
Brooding corals often exhibit daily planulation peaks in certain phases of lunar months during their reproductive season. The mechanism controlling this diurnal phenomenon, however, remains uncertain. Seriatopora hystrix populations of Southern Taiwan exhibit a highly synchronized planulation rhythm characterized by pre-dawn peak release episodes over a period of 4-6 days per month throughout the year. In this study, controlled light-dark cycles and temperatures were used to study the mechanism of the diel planulation rhythm in the laboratory. Seriatopora hystrix did not release planulae under continuous light or continuous darkness. Thus, the lack of free-run did not support a regulatory mechanism involving an endogenous oscillator. Under some lighting conditions, planula release occurred in two peaks per day. Both peaks always occur under dark phases of various light-dark cycles in the laboratory. The first peak occurred when the dark period just started, which might be stimulated by an abrupt transition between light and darkness. The second, pre-dawn peak consistently occurred 23 hrs after application of light. We concluded that this peak of planula release of S. hystrix was cued by sunrise of the previous day. Temperature treatments at 1°C intervals from 23.5-28.5°C did not change the diel time of planula release. We suggest that the temperature compensation exhibited in the hourglass model of this species may have a common origin as that of the oscillator model of circadian clocks, due to the similar duration (23 h) and period (∼24 h) between the two. The timing mechanism of planulation discovered here represents an intermediate stage between the hourglass and the oscillator models.
- The First New Zealanders: Patterns of Diet and Mobility Revealed through Isotope Analysis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64580.
Direct evidence of the environmental impact of human colonization and subsequent human adaptational responses to new environments is extremely rare anywhere in the world. New Zealand was the last Polynesian island group to be settled by humans, who arrived around the end of the 13th century AD. Little is known about the nature of human adaptation and mobility during the initial phase of colonization. We report the results of the isotopic analysis (carbon, nitrogen and strontium) of the oldest prehistoric skeletons discovered in New Zealand to assess diet and migration patterns. The isotope data show that the culturally distinctive burials, Group 1, had similar diets and childhood origins, supporting the assertion that this group was distinct from Group 2/3 and may have been part of the initial colonizing population at the site. The Group 2/3 individuals displayed highly variable diets and likely lived in different regions of the country before their burial at Wairau Bar, supporting the archaeological evidence that people were highly mobile in New Zealand since the initial phase of human settlement.
- Impact of Coronary Tortuosity on Coronary Blood Supply: A Patient-Specific Study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64564.
Tortuous coronary arteries are commonly observed in clinical screenings and it may cause a reduction of the coronary pressure. However, whether this reduction leads to significant decreasing in the coronary blood supply is still unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the coronary tortuosity (CT) on the coronary blood supply.A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study was conducted to evaluate the impact of tortuosity on the coronary blood supply. Two patient-specific left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) models and the corresponding non-tortuous models were reconstructed to perform three-dimensional CFD analysis. The lumped parameter model was coupled to the outlet of the simulated branches to represent the absent downstream vasculatures. The rest and exercise conditions were modeled by specifying proper boundary conditions.Under resting condition, the mean flow rate could be maintained by decreasing less than 8% of the downstream vascular bed's resistance for tortuous models. While during exercise (maximal dilatation condition), the maximal coronary blood supply would reduce up to 14.9% due to tortuosity. Assuming that the flow rate can be maintained by the auto-regulation effect under the maximal dilatation condition, the distal resistances for CT models still have to reduce more than 23% to maintain blood perfusion.Coronary tortuosity has minor influence on coronary blood supply at rest; while during exercise, patients with CT may lack the ability to adjust distal resistance sufficiently to compensate for the extra resistances generated by tortuosity and this may further lead to an ineffective regulation of the blood supply.