935 research outputs found

    Consistent patterns of common species across tropical tree communities

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    International audienceAbstract Trees structure the Earth‚Äôs most biodiverse ecosystem, tropical forests. The vast number of tree species presents a formidable challenge to understanding these forests, including their response to environmental change, as very little is known about most tropical tree species. A focus on the common species may circumvent this challenge. Here we investigate abundance patterns of common tree species using inventory data on 1,003,805 trees with trunk diameters of at least 10‚ÄČcm across 1,568 locations 1‚Äď6 in closed-canopy, structurally intact old-growth tropical forests in Africa, Amazonia and Southeast Asia. We estimate that 2.2%, 2.2% and 2.3% of species comprise 50% of the tropical trees in these regions, respectively. Extrapolating across all closed-canopy tropical forests, we estimate that just 1,053 species comprise half of Earth‚Äôs 800 billion tropical trees with trunk diameters of at least 10‚ÄČcm. Despite differing biogeographic, climatic and anthropogenic histories 7 , we find notably consistent patterns of common species and species abundance distributions across the continents. This suggests that fundamental mechanisms of tree community assembly may apply to all tropical forests. Resampling analyses show that the most common species are likely to belong to a manageable list of known species, enabling targeted efforts to understand their ecology. Although they do not detract from the importance of rare species, our results open new opportunities to understand the world‚Äôs most diverse forests, including modelling their response to environmental change, by focusing on the common species that constitute the majority of their trees

    Efficacy of a dialogic book-sharing intervention in a South African birth cohort: a randomized controlled trial

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    Evidence shows that dialogic book-sharing improves language development in young children in low-middle income countries (LMICs), particularly receptive and expressive language. It is unclear whether this intervention also boosts development of other neurocognitive and socio-emotional domains in children. Using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) nested in the Drakenstein Child Health Study (DCHS), a book-sharing intervention was implemented in caregivers of 3.5-year-old preschool children living in low-income South African communities. 122 Caregivers and their children (mean age 3.5 years) were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n = 61) or waitlist control group (n = 61). A neurocognitive battery determined baseline receptive and expressive language, executive function, theory of mind, and behavior scores. No differences were observed between intervention and control groups on receptive and expressive language, or any of the neurocognitive or socio-emotional measures from baseline (3.5 years) to 4 months post-intervention administration (4 years). The benefits noted in prior literature of book-sharing in infants did not appear to be demonstrated at 4 months post-intervention, in children from 3.5 to 4 years of age. This suggests the importance of early intervention and emphasizes the need for further research on adaptation of book-sharing for older participants in a South African context. retrospectively registered on 03/04/2022 PACTR202204697674974

    Consistent patterns of common species across tropical tree communities

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    Trees structure the Earth‚Äôs most biodiverse ecosystem, tropical forests. The vast number of tree species presents a formidable challenge to understanding these forests, including their response to environmental change, as very little is known about most tropical tree species. A focus on the common species may circumvent this challenge. Here we investigate abundance patterns of common tree species using inventory data on 1,003,805 trees with trunk diameters of at least 10‚ÄČcm across 1,568 locations1,2,3,4,5,6 in closed-canopy, structurally intact old-growth tropical forests in Africa, Amazonia and Southeast Asia. We estimate that 2.2%, 2.2% and 2.3% of species comprise 50% of the tropical trees in these regions, respectively. Extrapolating across all closed-canopy tropical forests, we estimate that just 1,053 species comprise half of Earth‚Äôs 800 billion tropical trees with trunk diameters of at least 10‚ÄČcm. Despite differing biogeographic, climatic and anthropogenic histories7, we find notably consistent patterns of common species and species abundance distributions across the continents. This suggests that fundamental mechanisms of tree community assembly may apply to all tropical forests. Resampling analyses show that the most common species are likely to belong to a manageable list of known species, enabling targeted efforts to understand their ecology. Although they do not detract from the importance of rare species, our results open new opportunities to understand the world‚Äôs most diverse forests, including modelling their response to environmental change, by focusing on the common species that constitute the majority of their trees.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    THE MARKER BAND IN GALE CRATER:: A SYNTHESIS OF ORBITAL AND GROUND OBSERVATIONS

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    International audienceThe ‚ÄúMarker Band‚ÄĚ (previously called the Marker Bed and Marker Horizon [1-4]) in Gale crater is a distinctive indurated and dark-toned unit observed in the strata of Mount Sharp. From orbital data, the Marker Band (MB) was mapped across much of the western and southern edges of Mount Sharp, spanning over 80 km in distance and 1.6 km in elevation [4]. CRISM spectra of the MB show no hydration signatures and broad absorptions around~1 and 2 őľm interpreted to be from high-Ca pyroxene [4]. Favored origins for the MB based upon orbital observations included a more indurated sulfate, a sandstone, and a volcanic ash deposit. The Curiosity rover recently reached the MB and is now collecting critical in situ measurements to test these postulated and other origins and make new discoveries at the finer mm- to cm-scale that could not be assessed from orbital data. Here we provide a summary of several of the most crucial MB observations made by the rover thus far from sols 3640-3645 and 3668-present

    Eating disorders in weight-related therapy (EDIT): protocol for a systematic review with individual participant data meta-analysis of eating disorder risk in behavioural weight management

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    The Eating Disorders In weight-related Therapy (EDIT) Collaboration brings together data from randomised controlled trials of behavioural weight management interventions to identify individual participant risk factors and intervention strategies that contribute to eating disorder risk. We present a protocol for a systematic review and individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis which aims to identify participants at risk of developing eating disorders, or related symptoms, during or after weight management interventions conducted in adolescents or adults with overweight or obesity. We systematically searched four databases up to March 2022 and clinical trials registries to May 2022 to identify randomised controlled trials of weight management interventions conducted in adolescents or adults with overweight or obesity that measured eating disorder risk at pre- and post-intervention or follow-up. Authors from eligible trials have been invited to share their deidentified IPD. Two IPD meta-analyses will be conducted. The first IPD meta-analysis aims to examine participant level factors associated with a change in eating disorder scores during and following a weight management intervention. To do this we will examine baseline variables that predict change in eating disorder risk within intervention arms. The second IPD meta-analysis aims to assess whether there are participant level factors that predict whether participation in an intervention is more or less likely than no intervention to lead to a change in eating disorder risk. To do this, we will examine if there are differences in predictors of eating disorder risk between intervention and no-treatment control arms. The primary outcome will be a standardised mean difference in global eating disorder score from baseline to immediately post-intervention and at 6- and 12- months follow-up. Identifying participant level risk factors predicting eating disorder risk will inform screening and monitoring protocols to allow early identification and intervention for those at risk

    Repurposing Atovaquone as a Therapeutic against Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML): Combination with Conventional Chemotherapy Is Feasible and Well Tolerated

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    Survival of pediatric AML remains poor despite maximized myelosuppressive therapy. The pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PJP)-treating medication atovaquone (AQ) suppresses oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and reduces AML burden in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models, making it an ideal concomitant AML therapy. Poor palatability and limited product formulations have historically limited routine use of AQ in pediatric AML patients. Patients with de novo AML were enrolled at two hospitals. Daily AQ at established PJP dosing was combined with standard AML therapy, based on the Medical Research Council backbone. AQ compliance, adverse events (AEs), ease of administration score (scale: 1 (very difficult)-5 (very easy)) and blood/marrow pharmacokinetics (PK) were collected during Induction 1. Correlative studies assessed AQ-induced apoptosis and effects on OXPHOS. PDX models were treated with AQ. A total of 26 patients enrolled (ages 7.2 months‚Äď19.7 years, median 12 years); 24 were evaluable. A total of 14 (58%) and 19 (79%) evaluable patients achieved plasma concentrations above the known anti-leukemia concentration (>10 ¬ĶM) by day 11 and at the end of Induction, respectively. Seven (29%) patients achieved adequate concentrations for PJP prophylaxis (>40 ¬ĶM). Mean ease of administration score was 3.8. Correlative studies with AQ in patient samples demonstrated robust apoptosis, OXPHOS suppression, and prolonged survival in PDX models. Combining AQ with chemotherapy for AML appears feasible and safe in pediatric patients during Induction 1 and shows single-agent anti-leukemic effects in PDX models. AQ appears to be an ideal concomitant AML therapeutic but may require intra-patient dose adjustment to achieve concentrations sufficient for PJP prophylaxis

    Rare predicted loss-of-function variants of type I IFN immunity genes are associated with life-threatening COVID-19

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    BackgroundWe previously reported that impaired type I IFN activity, due to inborn errors of TLR3- and TLR7-dependent type I interferon (IFN) immunity or to autoantibodies against type I IFN, account for 15-20% of cases of life-threatening COVID-19 in unvaccinated patients. Therefore, the determinants of life-threatening COVID-19 remain to be identified in similar to 80% of cases.MethodsWe report here a genome-wide rare variant burden association analysis in 3269 unvaccinated patients with life-threatening COVID-19, and 1373 unvaccinated SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals without pneumonia. Among the 928 patients tested for autoantibodies against type I IFN, a quarter (234) were positive and were excluded.ResultsNo gene reached genome-wide significance. Under a recessive model, the most significant gene with at-risk variants was TLR7, with an OR of 27.68 (95%CI 1.5-528.7, P=1.1x10(-4)) for biochemically loss-of-function (bLOF) variants. We replicated the enrichment in rare predicted LOF (pLOF) variants at 13 influenza susceptibility loci involved in TLR3-dependent type I IFN immunity (OR=3.70[95%CI 1.3-8.2], P=2.1x10(-4)). This enrichment was further strengthened by (1) adding the recently reported TYK2 and TLR7 COVID-19 loci, particularly under a recessive model (OR=19.65[95%CI 2.1-2635.4], P=3.4x10(-3)), and (2) considering as pLOF branchpoint variants with potentially strong impacts on splicing among the 15 loci (OR=4.40[9%CI 2.3-8.4], P=7.7x10(-8)). Finally, the patients with pLOF/bLOF variants at these 15 loci were significantly younger (mean age [SD]=43.3 [20.3] years) than the other patients (56.0 [17.3] years; P=1.68x10(-5)).ConclusionsRare variants of TLR3- and TLR7-dependent type I IFN immunity genes can underlie life-threatening COVID-19, particularly with recessive inheritance, in patients under 60 years old

    The Science Performance of JWST as Characterized in Commissioning

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    This paper characterizes the actual science performance of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as determined from the six month commissioning period. We summarize the performance of the spacecraft, telescope, science instruments, and ground system, with an emphasis on differences from pre-launch expectations. Commissioning has made clear that JWST is fully capable of achieving the discoveries for which it was built. Moreover, almost across the board, the science performance of JWST is better than expected; in most cases, JWST will go deeper faster than expected. The telescope and instrument suite have demonstrated the sensitivity, stability, image quality, and spectral range that are necessary to transform our understanding of the cosmos through observations spanning from near-earth asteroids to the most distant galaxies.Comment: 5th version as accepted to PASP; 31 pages, 18 figures; https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1538-3873/acb29
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