6,940 research outputs found

    In search of animal normativity : a framework for studying social norms in non-human animals

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    Funding: K. A. and E. W. were supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation through the Diverse Intelligence initiative. K. A. was supported by SSHRC 435-2022-0749. S. F. B. was supported by NSF 2127375, NSF SES 1919305, and TWCF0471. T. G. was supported by Swiss National Science Foundation PCEFP1_186832. C. H. was supported by European Union's 8th Framework Programme, Horizon 2020 802719. L. M. H. was supported by NIH U42 OD013117-15A. C. K. was supported by TWCF-20647 and the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program. L. V. L. was supported by the Max Planck Society. J. T. was supported by NIH R21 MH129902 and NIH R01 AG071173.Social norms ‚Äď rules governing which behaviours are deemed appropriate or inappropriate within a given community ‚Äď are typically taken to be uniquely human. Recently, this position has been challenged by a number of philosophers, cognitive scientists, and ethologists, who have suggested that social norms may also be found in certain non-human animal communities. Such claims have elicited considerable scepticism from norm cognition researchers, who doubt that any non-human animals possess the psychological capacities necessary for normative cognition. However, there is little agreement among these researchers about what these psychological prerequisites are. This makes empirical study of animal social norms difficult, since it is not clear what we are looking for and thus what should count as behavioural evidence for the presence (or absence) of social norms in animals. To break this impasse, we offer an approach that moves beyond contested psychological criteria for social norms. This approach is inspired by the animal culture research program, which has made a similar shift away from heavily psychological definitions of ‚Äėculture‚Äô to become organised around a cluster of more empirically tractable concepts of culture. Here, we propose an analogous set of constructs built around the core notion of a normative regularity, which we define as a socially maintained pattern of behavioural conformity within a community. We suggest methods for studying potential normative regularities in wild and captive primates. We also discuss the broader scientific and philosophical implications of this research program with respect to questions of human uniqueness, animal welfare and conservation.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Risk of congenital malformation following first trimester mRNA COVID-19 vaccine exposure in pregnancy: the COVI-PREG prospective cohort.

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    OBJECTIVES This study aimed to evaluate the risk of congenital malformation among pregnant women exposed to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines during the first trimester of pregnancy, which is a developmental period where the fetus is at risk of teratogenicity. METHODS Pregnant women were prospectively enrolled from March 2021 to March 2022, at the time of COVID-19 vaccination. Pregnant women exposed to at least one dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine from conception to 11 weeks of gestations and 6 days were compared to pregnant women exposed to the vaccine from 12 weeks to the end of pregnancy. The primary outcome was a confirmed congenital malformation at birth. RESULTS A total of 1450 pregnant women were enrolled including 124 in the first trimester and 1326 in the second and third trimester. The overall proportion of congenital malformation was 0.81% (n=1/124; 95%CI 0.02-4.41) and 0.83% (n=11/1326; 95% CI 0.41-1.48) among pregnant exposed to the COVID-19 vaccine during the first and second/third trimester, respectively. First trimester exposure was not associated with a higher risk of congenital malformation with a relative risk (RR) of 0.89 (95%CI 0.12-6.80) with no significant changes after adjustment through exploratory analysis. CONCLUSION Pregnant women exposed to mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 12 weeks of gestation did not have an increased risk of congenital malformation compared to women exposed outside the teratogenic window. As vaccination is safe and effective, emphasis must be placed on promoting vaccination during pregnancy

    Soil macrofauna communities in Brazilian land-use systems

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    Soil animal communities include more than 40 higher-order taxa, representing over 23% of all described species. These animals have a wide range of feeding sources and contribute to several important soil functions and ecosystem services. Although many studies have assessed macroinvertebrate communities in Brazil, few of them have been published in journals and even fewer have made the data openly available for consultation and further use. As part of ongoing efforts to synthesise the global soil macrofauna communities and to increase the amount of openly-accessible data in GBIF and other repositories related to soil biodiversity, the present paper provides links to 29 soil macroinvertebrate datasets covering 42 soil fauna taxa, collected in various land-use systems in Brazil. A total of 83,085 georeferenced occurrences of these taxa are presented, based on quantitative estimates performed using a standardised sampling method commonly adopted worldwide to collect soil macrofauna populations, i.e. the TSBF (Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme) protocol. This consists of digging soil monoliths of 25 x 25 cm area, with handsorting of the macroinvertebrates visible to the naked eye from the surface litter and from within the soil, typically in the upper 0-20 cm layer (but sometimes shallower, i.e. top 0-10 cm or deeper to 0-40 cm, depending on the site). The land-use systems included anthropogenic sites managed with agricultural systems (e.g. pastures, annual and perennial crops, agroforestry), as well as planted forests and native vegetation located mostly in the southern Brazilian State of Paran√° (96 sites), with a few additional sites in the neighbouring states of S√£o Paulo (21 sites) and Santa Catarina (five sites). Important metadata on soil properties, particularly soil chemical parameters (mainly pH, C, P, Ca, K, Mg, Al contents, exchangeable acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, Base Saturation and, infrequently, total N), particle size distribution (mainly % sand, silt and clay) and, infrequently, soil moisture and bulk density, as well as on human management practices (land use and vegetation cover) are provided. These data will be particularly useful for those interested in estimating land-use change impacts on soil biodiversity and its implications for below-ground foodwebs, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem service delivery.Quantitative estimates are provided for 42 soil animal taxa, for two biodiversity hotspots: the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes. Data are provided at the individual monolith level, representing sampling events ranging from February 2001 up to September 2016 in 122 sampling sites and over 1800 samples, for a total of 83,085 ocurrences

    Multi-trait analysis characterizes the genetics of thyroid function and identifies causal associations with clinical implications

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    To date only a fraction of the genetic footprint of thyroid function has been clarified. We report a genome-wide association study meta-analysis of thyroid function in up to 271,040 individuals of European ancestry, including reference range thyrotropin (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), free and total triiodothyronine (T3), proxies for metabolism (T3/FT4 ratio) as well as dichotomized high and low TSH levels. We revealed 259 independent significant associations for TSH (61% novel), 85 for FT4 (67% novel), and 62 novel signals for the T3 related traits. The loci explained 14.1%, 6.0%, 9.5% and 1.1% of the total variation in TSH, FT4, total T3 and free T3 concentrations, respectively. Genetic correlations indicate that TSH associated loci reflect the thyroid function determined by free T3, whereas the FT4 associations represent the thyroid hormone metabolism. Polygenic risk score and Mendelian randomization analyses showed the effects of genetically determined variation in thyroid function on various clinical outcomes, including cardiovascular risk factors and diseases, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. In conclusion, our results improve the understanding of thyroid hormone physiology and highlight the pleiotropic effects of thyroid function on various diseases

    Maximizing the Success Probability of Policy Allocations in Online Systems

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    International audienceThe effectiveness of advertising in e-commerce largely depends on the ability of merchants to bid on and win impressions for their targeted users. The bidding procedure is highly complex due to various factors such as market competition, user behavior, and the diverse objectives of advertisers. In this paper we consider the problem at the level of user timelines instead of individual bid requests, manipulating full policies (i.e. pre-defined bidding strategies) and not bid values. In order to optimally allocate policies to users, typical multiple treatments allocation methods solve knapsack-like problems which aim at maximizing an expected value under constraints. In the industrial contexts such as online advertising, we argue that optimizing for the probability of success is a more suited objective than expected value maximization, and we introduce the SuccessProbaMax algorithm that aims at finding the policy allocation which is the most likely to outperform a fixed reference policy. Finally, we conduct comprehensive experiments both on synthetic and real-world data to evaluate its performance. The results demonstrate that our proposed algorithm outperforms conventional expected-value maximization algorithms in terms of success rate

    Nitrogen oxides in the free troposphere : Implications for tropospheric oxidants and the interpretation of satellite NO2 measurements

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    Satellite-based retrievals of tropospheric NO2 columns are widely used to infer NOx (gNOg+gNO2) emissions. These retrievals rely on model information for the vertical distribution of NO2. The free tropospheric background above 2gkm is particularly important because the sensitivity of the retrievals increases with altitude. Free tropospheric NOx also has a strong effect on tropospheric OH and ozone concentrations. Here we use observations from three aircraft campaigns (SEAC4RS, DC3, and ATom) and four atmospheric chemistry models (GEOS-Chem, GMI, TM5, and CAMS) to evaluate the model capabilities for simulating NOx in the free troposphere and attribute it to sources. NO2 measurements during the Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds, and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) and Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) campaigns over the southeastern U.S. in summer show increasing concentrations in the upper troposphere above 10gkm, which are not replicated by the GEOS-Chem, although the model is consistent with the NO measurements. Using concurrent NO, NO2, and ozone observations from a DC3 flight in a thunderstorm outflow, we show that the NO2 measurements in the upper troposphere are biased high, plausibly due to interference from thermally labile NO2 reservoirs such as peroxynitric acid (HNO4) and methyl peroxy nitrate (MPN). We find that NO2 concentrations calculated from the NO measurements and NO-NO2 photochemical steady state (PSS) are more reliable to evaluate the vertical profiles of NO2 in models. GEOS-Chem reproduces the shape of the PSS-inferred NO2 profiles throughout the troposphere for SEAC4RS and DC3 but overestimates NO2 concentrations by about a factor of 2. The model underestimates MPN and alkyl nitrate concentrations, suggesting missing organic NOx chemistry. On the other hand, the standard GEOS-Chem model underestimates NO observations from the Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom) campaigns over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, indicating a missing NOx source over the oceans. We find that we can account for this missing source by including in the model the photolysis of particulate nitrate on sea salt aerosols at rates inferred from laboratory studies and field observations of nitrous acid (HONO) over the Atlantic. The median PSS-inferred tropospheric NO2 column density for the ATom campaign is 1.7g¬Īg0.44g√óg1014gmolec.gcm-2, and the NO2 column density simulated by the four models is in the range of 1.4-2.4g√óg1014gmolec.gcm-2, implying that the uncertainty from using modeled NO2 tropospheric columns over clean areas in the retrievals for stratosphere-troposphere separation is about 1g√óg1014gmolec.gcm-2. We find from GEOS-Chem that lightning is the main primary NOx source in the free troposphere over the tropics and southern midlatitudes, but aircraft emissions dominate at northern midlatitudes in winter and in summer over the oceans. Particulate nitrate photolysis increases ozone concentrations by up to 5gppbv (parts per billion by volume) in the free troposphere in the northern extratropics in the model, which would largely correct the low model bias relative to ozonesonde observations. Global tropospheric OH concentrations increase by 19g%. The contribution of the free tropospheric background to the tropospheric NO2 columns observed by satellites over the contiguous U.S. increases from 25g¬Īg11g% in winter to 65g¬Īg9g% in summer, according to the GEOS-Chem vertical profiles. This needs to be accounted for when deriving NOx emissions from satellite NO2 column measurements

    Efficacy of platelet-inspired hemostatic nanoparticles on bleeding in Von Willebrand disease murine models: Synthetic platelets efficacy in VWD murine models

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    International audienceThe lack of innovation in Von Willebrand disease (VWD) originates from many factors including the complexity and heterogeneity of the disease but also from a lack of recognition of the impact of the bleeding symptoms experienced by VWD patients. Recently, a few research initiatives aiming to move past replacement therapies using plasma-derived or recombinant Von Willebrand factor (VWF) concentrates have started to emerge. Here we report an original approach using synthetic platelet (SP) nanoparticles for treatment of VWD type 2B (VWD-2B) and severe VWD (type 3 VWD). SP are liposomal nanoparticles decorated with peptides enabling them to concomitantly bind to collagen, VWF and activated platelets. In vitro, using various microfluidic assays, we show the efficacy of SP to improve thrombus formation in VWF-deficient condition (with human platelets) or using blood from VWD-2B mice and VWF-deficient mice (VWF-KO, i.e., type 3 VWD). In vivo, using a tail clip assay, SP treatment reduced blood loss by 35% in VWD-2B mice and 68% in VWF-KO mice. Additional studies using nanoparticles decorated with various combinations of peptides demonstrated that the collagen binding peptide, although not sufficient by itself, was absolutely crucial for SP efficacy in VWD-2B while all three peptides appeared necessary for VWF-KO mice. Clot imaging by immunofluorescence and scanning electron microscopy revealed that SP treatment of VWF-KO mice led to a strong clot, similar to those obtained in wild-type mice. Altogether, our results show that SP could represent an attractive therapeutic alternative for VWD, especially considering their long half-life and stability

    Harnessing van der Waals CrPS4 and Surface Oxides for unique pre-set field induced Exchange Bias in Fe3GeTe2

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    Two-dimensional van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures are an attractive platform for studying exchange bias due to their defect free and atomically flat interfaces. Chromium thiophosphate (CrPS4), an antiferromagnetic material, possesses uncompensated magnetic spins in a single layer, rendering it a promising candidate for exploring exchange bias phenomena. Recent findings have highlighted that naturally oxidized vdW ferromagnetic Fe3GeTe2 exhibits exchange bias, attributed to the antiferromagnetic coupling of its ultrathin surface oxide layer (O-FGT) with the underlying unoxidized Fe3GeTe2. Anomalous Hall measurements are employed to scrutinize the exchange bias within the CrPS4/(O-FGT)/Fe3GeTe2 heterostructure. This analysis takes into account the contributions from both the perfectly uncompensated interfacial CrPS4 layer and the interfacial oxide layer. Remarkably, a distinct and non-monotonic exchange bias trend is observed as a function of temperature below 140 K. Intriguingly, a pre-set field-induced exchange bias suggests that the predominant phase in the polycrystalline surface oxide is ferrimagnetic Fe3O4. Moreover, the exchange bias induced by the ferrimagnetic Fe3O4 is significantly modulated by the presence of the van der Waals antiferromagnetic CrPS4 layer, forming a heterostructure, along with additional iron oxide phases within the oxide layer. These findings underscore the intricate and unique nature of exchange bias in van der Waals heterostructures, highlighting their potential for tailored manipulation and control
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