112 research outputs found

    Early Agriculture and Plant Domestication in New Guinea and Island Southeast Asia

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    A multidimensional conceptual framework is advanced that characterizes early agriculture as a subset of human-environment interactions. Three cross-articulating dimensions of human-environment interaction are considered that accommodate the varied expressions of early agriculture in different parts of the world: spatial scales, transformative mechanisms, and temporalities of associated phenomena. These ideas are applied and exemplified at two different scales of resolution-contextual and comparative-in terms of early agricultural development in the highlands of New Guinea and the dispersal of domesticates from New Guinea into Island Southeast Asia

    Banana (Musa spp.) domestication in the Asia-Pacific Region: linguistic and archaeobotanical perspectives

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    An examination of linguistic terms for ‘banana’ within Island Southeast Asia and Melanesia sheds light on the history of Musa spp. domestication. Linguistic investigations suggest a westward dispersal of banana from New Guinea, mixing with a Philippine variety (or at least sphere of cultural usage), then westward again to mainland Southeast Asia, and (as far as can be linguistically inferred) onward to the western edge of South Asia. The linguisticallyderived interpretation accords generally with the archaeobotanical evidence and botanical models for the dispersal of banana cultivars

    Evaluating the roles of directed breeding and gene flow in animal domestication

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    For the last 150 y scholars have focused upon the roles of intentional breeding and genetic isolation as fundamental to understanding the process of animal domestication. This analysis of ethnoarchaeological, archaeological, and genetic data suggests that long-term gene flow between wild and domestic stocks was much more common than previously assumed, and that selective breeding of females was largely absent during the early phases of animal domestication. These findings challenge assumptions about severe genetic bottlenecks during domestication, expectations regarding monophyletic origins, and interpretations of multiple domestications. The findings also raise new questions regarding ways in which behavioral and phenotypic domestication traits were developed and maintained

    Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions

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    The exhibition of increasingly intensive and complex niche construction behaviors through time is a key feature of human evolution, culminating in the advanced capacity for ecosystem engineering exhibited by Homo sapiens. A crucial outcome of such behaviors has been the dramatic reshaping of the global biosphere, a transformation whose early origins are increasingly apparent from cumulative archaeological and paleoecological datasets. Such data suggest that, by the Late Pleistocene, humans had begun to engage in activities that have led to alterations in the distributions of a vast array of species across most, if not all, taxonomic groups. Changes to biodiversity have included extinctions, extirpations, and shifts in species composition, diversity, and community structure. We outline key examples of these changes, highlighting findings from the study of new datasets, like ancient DNA (aDNA), stable isotopes, and microfossils, as well as the application of new statistical and computational methods to datasets that have accumulated significantly in recent decades. We focus on four major phases that witnessed broad anthropogenic alterations to biodiversity—the Late Pleistocene global human expansion, the Neolithic spread of agriculture, the era of island colonization, and the emergence of early urbanized societies and commercial networks. Archaeological evidence documents millennia of anthropogenic transformations that have created novel ecosystems around the world. This record has implications for ecological and evolutionary research, conservation strategies, and the maintenance of ecosystem services, pointing to a significant need for broader cross-disciplinary engagement between archaeology and the biological and environmental sciences

    Incident HIV infection has fallen rapidly in men who have sex with men in Melbourne, Australia (2013-2017) but not in the newly-arrived Asian-born.

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    BACKGROUND: We examined differences in incident HIV infection between newly-arrived Asian-born and other men who have sex with men (MSM) after the introduction of universal HIV treatment guidelines in 2015 and pre-exposure prophylaxis in 2016. METHODS: Clinical, demographic, laboratory and behavioural data on MSM presenting for HIV testing at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre from July 2013 to June 2017 were extracted. We compared the proportion of newly-arrived (four years or less in Australia), Asian-born and other MSM tested each year who were diagnosed with incident HIV infection (negative test within one year or diagnosis with indeterminate or negative Western Blot). RESULTS: We analysed 35,743 testing episodes in 12,180 MSM, including 2781 testing episodes in 1047 newly-arrived Asian-born MSM. The proportion of other MSM tested each year who were diagnosed with incident HIV infection fell from 0.83% in 2014 to 0.38% in 2017 (p = .001), but did not fall in newly-arrived Asian-born MSM (from 1.18% in 2014 to 1.56% in 2017, p = .76). In the multivariate logistic regression, in 2016/2017 but not in 2014/2015, being newly-arrived Asian-born was associated with an increased odds of diagnosis of incident HIV infection (aOR 3.29, 95%CI 1.82-5.94, p < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The epidemiology of HIV in Melbourne Australia has changed dramatically. While there has been an overall reduction amongst MSM, the incidence of HIV in newly-arrived Asian-born MSM remains high. Failing to address these new inequalities leaves individuals at risk and may offset the population benefit of biomedical HIV prevention

    Effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker initiation on organ support-free days in patients hospitalized with COVID-19

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    IMPORTANCE Overactivation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) may contribute to poor clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Objective To determine whether angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) initiation improves outcomes in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS In an ongoing, adaptive platform randomized clinical trial, 721 critically ill and 58 non–critically ill hospitalized adults were randomized to receive an RAS inhibitor or control between March 16, 2021, and February 25, 2022, at 69 sites in 7 countries (final follow-up on June 1, 2022). INTERVENTIONS Patients were randomized to receive open-label initiation of an ACE inhibitor (n = 257), ARB (n = 248), ARB in combination with DMX-200 (a chemokine receptor-2 inhibitor; n = 10), or no RAS inhibitor (control; n = 264) for up to 10 days. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was organ support–free days, a composite of hospital survival and days alive without cardiovascular or respiratory organ support through 21 days. The primary analysis was a bayesian cumulative logistic model. Odds ratios (ORs) greater than 1 represent improved outcomes. RESULTS On February 25, 2022, enrollment was discontinued due to safety concerns. Among 679 critically ill patients with available primary outcome data, the median age was 56 years and 239 participants (35.2%) were women. Median (IQR) organ support–free days among critically ill patients was 10 (–1 to 16) in the ACE inhibitor group (n = 231), 8 (–1 to 17) in the ARB group (n = 217), and 12 (0 to 17) in the control group (n = 231) (median adjusted odds ratios of 0.77 [95% bayesian credible interval, 0.58-1.06] for improvement for ACE inhibitor and 0.76 [95% credible interval, 0.56-1.05] for ARB compared with control). The posterior probabilities that ACE inhibitors and ARBs worsened organ support–free days compared with control were 94.9% and 95.4%, respectively. Hospital survival occurred in 166 of 231 critically ill participants (71.9%) in the ACE inhibitor group, 152 of 217 (70.0%) in the ARB group, and 182 of 231 (78.8%) in the control group (posterior probabilities that ACE inhibitor and ARB worsened hospital survival compared with control were 95.3% and 98.1%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this trial, among critically ill adults with COVID-19, initiation of an ACE inhibitor or ARB did not improve, and likely worsened, clinical outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT0273570

    Environmental Change and Archaeological Evidence

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    Early farming in Island Southeast Asia : an alternative hypothesis

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    Kuk Swamp

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