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Concept: Extent


Intent and mitigating circumstances play a central role in moral and legal assessments in large-scale industrialized societies. Although these features of moral assessment are widely assumed to be universal, to date, they have only been studied in a narrow range of societies. We show that there is substantial cross-cultural variation among eight traditional small-scale societies (ranging from hunter-gatherer to pastoralist to horticulturalist) and two Western societies (one urban, one rural) in the extent to which intent and mitigating circumstances influence moral judgments. Although participants in all societies took such factors into account to some degree, they did so to very different extents, varying in both the types of considerations taken into account and the types of violations to which such considerations were applied. The particular patterns of assessment characteristic of large-scale industrialized societies may thus reflect relatively recently culturally evolved norms rather than inherent features of human moral judgment.

Concepts: Sociology, Assessment, Morality, Western world, Western culture, Central Europe, Judgment, Extent


Although there are considerable site-based data for individual or groups of ecosystems, these datasets are widely scattered, have different data formats and conventions, and often have limited accessibility. At the broader scale, national datasets exist for a large number of geospatial features of land, water, and air that are needed to fully understand variation among these ecosystems. However, such datasets originate from different sources and have different spatial and temporal resolutions. By taking an open-science perspective and by combining site-based ecosystem datasets and national geospatial datasets, science gains the ability to ask important research questions related to grand environmental challenges that operate at broad scales. Documentation of such complicated database integration efforts, through peer-reviewed papers, is recommended to foster reproducibility and future use of the integrated database. Here, we describe the major steps, challenges, and considerations in building an integrated database of lake ecosystems, called LAGOS (LAke multi-scaled GeOSpatial and temporal database), that was developed at the sub-continental study extent of 17 US states (1,800,000 km(2)). LAGOS includes two modules: LAGOSGEO, with geospatial data on every lake with surface area larger than 4 ha in the study extent (~50,000 lakes), including climate, atmospheric deposition, land use/cover, hydrology, geology, and topography measured across a range of spatial and temporal extents; and LAGOSLIMNO, with lake water quality data compiled from ~100 individual datasets for a subset of lakes in the study extent (~10,000 lakes). Procedures for the integration of datasets included: creating a flexible database design; authoring and integrating metadata; documenting data provenance; quantifying spatial measures of geographic data; quality-controlling integrated and derived data; and extensively documenting the database. Our procedures make a large, complex, and integrated database reproducible and extensible, allowing users to ask new research questions with the existing database or through the addition of new data. The largest challenge of this task was the heterogeneity of the data, formats, and metadata. Many steps of data integration need manual input from experts in diverse fields, requiring close collaboration.

Concepts: Scientific method, Lake, Integral, Data management, Database theory, Extent, Provenance, Database management systems


Climate change is increasingly altering the composition of ecological communities, in combination with other environmental pressures such as high-intensity land use. Pressures are expected to interact in their effects, but the extent to which intensive human land use constrains community responses to climate change is currently unclear. A generic indicator of climate change impact, the community temperature index (CTI), has previously been used to suggest that both bird and butterflies are successfully ‘tracking’ climate change. Here, we assessed community changes at over 600 English bird or butterfly monitoring sites over three decades and tested how the surrounding land has influenced these changes. We partitioned community changes into warm- and cold-associated assemblages and found that English bird communities have not reorganized successfully in response to climate change. CTI increases for birds are primarily attributable to the loss of cold-associated species, whilst for butterflies, warm-associated species have tended to increase. Importantly, the area of intensively managed land use around monitoring sites appears to influence these community changes, with large extents of intensively managed land limiting ‘adaptive’ community reorganization in response to climate change. Specifically, high-intensity land use appears to exacerbate declines in cold-adapted bird and butterfly species, and prevent increases in warm-associated birds. This has broad implications for managing landscapes to promote climate change adaptation.

Concepts: Weather, Bird, Climate change, Community, Solar variation, Global warming, Butterfly, Extent


Environmental heterogeneity is regarded as one of the most important factors governing species richness gradients. An increase in available niche space, provision of refuges and opportunities for isolation and divergent adaptation are thought to enhance species coexistence, persistence and diversification. However, the extent and generality of positive heterogeneity-richness relationships are still debated. Apart from widespread evidence supporting positive relationships, negative and hump-shaped relationships have also been reported. In a meta-analysis of 1148 data points from 192 studies worldwide, we examine the strength and direction of the relationship between spatial environmental heterogeneity and species richness of terrestrial plants and animals. We find that separate effects of heterogeneity in land cover, vegetation, climate, soil and topography are significantly positive, with vegetation and topographic heterogeneity showing particularly strong associations with species richness. The use of equal-area study units, spatial grain and spatial extent emerge as key factors influencing the strength of heterogeneity-richness relationships, highlighting the pervasive influence of spatial scale in heterogeneity-richness studies. We provide the first quantitative support for the generality of positive heterogeneity-richness relationships across heterogeneity components, habitat types, taxa and spatial scales from landscape to global extents, and identify specific needs for future comparative heterogeneity-richness research.

Concepts: Plant, Metaphysics, Biome, Topography, Extent


BACKGROUND: Many studies suggest that disaster exposure is related to a subsequent increase in alcohol consumption. Most of these studies have relied on retrospective self-reports to measure changes in alcohol use. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between disaster exposure and drinking behaviors more closely, analyzing data on both self-perceived changes in alcohol consumption and current drinking habits in groups with different extents of disaster exposure. METHODS: A sample of Norwegian adults (>= 18 years) who resided in areas affected by the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami (N = 899) were assessed by a postal questionnaire 6 months after the disaster. Based on detailed questions about experiences with the tsunami, participants were grouped according to their extent of disaster exposure. The Impact of Event Scale-Revised was applied to measure the level of post-traumatic stress. Participants were asked whether they had increased or decreased their alcohol consumption after the disaster. Moreover, weekly alcohol consumption and frequency of intoxication during the past month were used as indicators of current drinking behaviors. RESULTS: Severely exposed individuals more often reported changing their alcohol consumption compared with those who were less exposed. Severe exposure to the tsunami was associated with both a self-perceived increase (OR 21.38, 95% CI 2.91–157.28) and decrease in alcohol consumption (OR 7.41, 95% CI 1.74–31.51). The odds ratios decreased and were not significant when adjusting for post-traumatic stress symptoms. Weekly consumption and frequency of intoxication during the past month did not vary with extent of disaster exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate a polarization effect of severe disaster exposure on self-perceived changes in alcohol consumption; that is, disaster exposure was associated with self-perceived increases and decreases in drinking. However, the absence of associations between disaster exposure and indicators of current drinking behaviors suggests that the observed polarization effect may be overestimated because of attribution and recall bias.

Concepts: Southeast Asia, Alcoholism, Polarization, Islam, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Drinking culture, Tsunami, Extent


The method of supersaturation for achieving high drug loads in lipid-based formulations is under exploited and relatively unexplored, especially in the case of solid-state lipid-based formulations. Silica-lipid hybrids are solid-state lipid-based formulations designed for improving the oral delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs. However, their application to compounds of low potency and requiring large doses is limited by their low drug loading capacity. Here, an innovative technique to fabricate supersaturated silica-lipid hybrid formulations (super-SLH) has been established and the relationship between drug load and performance investigated. Using the model poorly water-soluble drug, ibuprofen, super-SLH was fabricated possessing drug loads ranging from 8-44% w/w, i.e. greater than the previously developed standard ibuprofen silica-lipid hybrids (5.6% w/w). Drug crystallinity of the encapsulated ibuprofen ranged from non-crystalline to part-crystalline with an increase in drug load. Super-SLH achieved improved rates and extents of dissolution when compared to pure ibuprofen, regardless of the drug load. The percentage increase in dissolution extent at 60 min varied from 200-600%. The results of the current study indicate that supersaturation greatly improves drug loading and that 16-25 % w/w is the optimum loading level which retains optimal dissolution behaviour for the oral delivery of ibuprofen, which has the potential to be translated to other poorly water-soluble drugs.

Concepts: Better, Pharmacology, Improve, Drug, Drugs, Optimization, Supersaturation, Extent


There are some concerns that children today may be less calibrated to their action capabilities because of the “risk-free” culture that has proliferated during recent decades. This study investigated the extent to which judgments of reaching affordances presented in different directions (i.e., overhead, diagonal, and horizontal) are related to children’s climbing behavior on a climbing wall. A sample of 30 schoolchildren from 6 to 11years old (20 boys and 10 girls) estimated maximum reach and grasp distances and subsequently attempted to climb across an indoor climbing wall. Children who perceived the extents of their reach more accurately completed the climb more often and more quickly. Judgments in the primary directions of climbing locomotion (horizontal and diagonal) were better predictors of success than vertical judgments. Judgments about whether objects are reachable and graspable are complex and influenced by various dynamic factors (including perceptual-motor calibration), and as such different levels of accuracy are likely in different reaching directions. It appears that young children are relatively sensitive to their action boundaries for climbing and, therefore, may be able to make informed decisions themselves about whether a surface is climbable.

Concepts: Psychology, Perception, Child, Childhood, Calibration, Climbing, Extent, Indoor climbing


Although blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI has been widely used to map brain responses to external stimuli and to delineate functional circuits at rest, the extent to which BOLD signals correlate spatially with underlying neuronal activity, the spatial relationships between stimulus-evoked BOLD activations and local correlations of BOLD signals in a resting state, and whether these spatial relationships vary across functionally distinct cortical areas are not known. To address these critical questions, we directly compared the spatial extents of stimulated activations and the local profiles of intervoxel resting state correlations for both high-resolution BOLD at 9.4 T and local field potentials (LFPs), using 98-channel microelectrode arrays, in functionally distinct primary somatosensory areas 3b and 1 in nonhuman primates. Anatomic images of LFP and BOLD were coregistered within 0.10 mm accuracy. We found that the point spread functions (PSFs) of BOLD and LFP responses were comparable in the stimulus condition, and both estimates of activations were slightly more spatially constrained than local correlations at rest. The magnitudes of stimulus responses in area 3b were stronger than those in area 1 and extended in a medial to lateral direction. In addition, the reproducibility and stability of stimulus-evoked activation locations within and across both modalities were robust. Our work suggests that the intrinsic resolution of BOLD is not a limiting feature in practice and approaches the intrinsic precision achievable by multielectrode electrophysiology.

Concepts: Brain, Neuroimaging, Cerebral cortex, Electroencephalography, Primate, Correlation and dependence, Spread betting, Extent


A paper-based colorimetric sensor system (PBCSS) was developed to detect the amount of bis(pinacolato)diboron (B2Pin2) and applied as a high-throughput screening protocol in Ir-catalyzed C-H borylation. First, 96 ligands were screened for the borylation of benzene, and then 12 of them were selected and tested for five substrates. These reaction mixtures were spotted in the PBCSS, showing a blue-violet color. The value of the gray scale of each reaction was obtained from these colored spots and converted to the extent of conversion of B2Pin2. The extents of conversion of B2Pin2 obtained from the PBCSS showed good correlation with those obtained from gas chromatography analysis. In addition, the modified conversion using blank data showed good correlation with the yield of products.

Concepts: Benzene, Chromatography, Color, Gas chromatography, Scientific techniques, High-throughput screening, Extent


Patterns of coordination result from the interaction between (at least) two oscillatory components. This interaction is typically understood by means of two variables: the mode that expresses the shape of the interaction, and the stability that is the robustness of the interaction in this mode. A potent method of investigating coordinated behaviors is to examine the extent to which patterns of coordination arise spontaneously. However, a prominent issue faced by researchers is that, to date, no standard methods exist to fairly assess the stability of spontaneous coordination. In the present study, we introduce a new method called the index-of-stability (IS) analysis. We developed this method from the phase-coupling (PC) analysis that has been traditionally used for examining locomotion-respiration coordinated systems. We compared the extents to which both methods estimate the stability of simulated coordinated behaviors. Computer-generated time series were used to simulate the coordination of two rhythmic components according to a selected mode m:n and a selected degree of stability. The IS analysis was superior to the PC analysis in estimating the stability of spontaneous coordinated behaviors, in three ways: First, the estimation of stability itself was found to be more accurate and more reliable with the IS analysis. Second, the IS analysis is not constrained by the limitations of the PC analysis. Third and last, the IS analysis offers more flexibility, and so can be adapted according to the user’s needs.

Concepts: Statistics, Mathematics, Estimation theory, Motor coordination, Simulation, Approximation, Estimation, Extent