- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Published about 2 years ago
Jointed exoskeletons permit rapid appendage-driven locomotion but retain the soft-bodied, shape-changing ability to explore confined environments. We challenged cockroaches with horizontal crevices smaller than a quarter of their standing body height. Cockroaches rapidly traversed crevices in 300-800 ms by compressing their body 40-60%. High-speed videography revealed crevice negotiation to be a complex, discontinuous maneuver. After traversing horizontal crevices to enter a vertically confined space, cockroaches crawled at velocities approaching 60 cm⋅s(-1), despite body compression and postural changes. Running velocity, stride length, and stride period only decreased at the smallest crevice height (4 mm), whereas slipping and the probability of zigzag paths increased. To explain confined-space running performance limits, we altered ceiling and ground friction. Increased ceiling friction decreased velocity by decreasing stride length and increasing slipping. Increased ground friction resulted in velocity and stride length attaining a maximum at intermediate friction levels. These data support a model of an unexplored mode of locomotion-“body-friction legged crawling” with body drag, friction-dominated leg thrust, but no media flow as in air, water, or sand. To define the limits of body compression in confined spaces, we conducted dynamic compressive cycle tests on living animals. Exoskeletal strength allowed cockroaches to withstand forces 300 times body weight when traversing the smallest crevices and up to nearly 900 times body weight without injury. Cockroach exoskeletons provided biological inspiration for the manufacture of an origami-style, soft, legged robot that can locomote rapidly in both open and confined spaces.
Inspired by theories of higher local order autocorrelation (HLAC), this paper presents a simple, novel, yet very powerful approach for wood recognition. The method is suitable for wood database applications, which are of great importance in wood related industries and administrations. At the feature extraction stage, a set of features is extracted from Mask Matching Image (MMI). The MMI features preserve the mask matching information gathered from the HLAC methods. The texture information in the image can then be accurately extracted from the statistical and geometrical features. In particular, richer information and enhanced discriminative power is achieved through the length histogram, a new histogram that embodies the width and height histograms. The performance of the proposed approach is compared to the state-of-the-art HLAC approaches using the wood stereogram dataset ZAFU WS 24. By conducting extensive experiments on ZAFU WS 24, we show that our approach significantly improves the classification accuracy.
Case study A boy aged 6 years was referred to our clinic for evaluation of the presence of fair, thin hair on both of his elbows. This condition had first been observed when he was 2 years of age and the hair had subsequently increased in length and thickness (Figure 1). He had a history of asthma and was being treated by a paediatrician. His family medical record was otherwise unremarkable. This unusual hairiness was symmetrically distributed on the extensor surfaces of both proximal forearms and distal arms. The underlying skin showed no abnormalities. No hypertrichosis was found elsewhere and examination of teeth, skeleton and fingernails was also normal. No other morphological changes were noted. In addition, his height was appropriate for his age. No developmental, mental or physical impairment was observed. The blood cell count and general biochemistry, as well as thyroid and sexual hormonal profiles were all normal. Radiological examination, which was performed on the parents' request, was normal. The boy was diagnosed with hypertrichosis cubiti (HC), and shaving of the areas was recommended.
Numerous lines of evidence point to a genetic basis for facial morphology in humans, yet little is known about how specific genetic variants relate to the phenotypic expression of many common facial features. We conducted genome-wide association meta-analyses of 20 quantitative facial measurements derived from the 3D surface images of 3118 healthy individuals of European ancestry belonging to two US cohorts. Analyses were performed on just under one million genotyped SNPs (Illumina OmniExpress+Exome v1.2 array) imputed to the 1000 Genomes reference panel (Phase 3). We observed genome-wide significant associations (p < 5 x 10-8) for cranial base width at 14q21.1 and 20q12, intercanthal width at 1p13.3 and Xq13.2, nasal width at 20p11.22, nasal ala length at 14q11.2, and upper facial depth at 11q22.1. Several genes in the associated regions are known to play roles in craniofacial development or in syndromes affecting the face: MAFB, PAX9, MIPOL1, ALX3, HDAC8, and PAX1. We also tested genotype-phenotype associations reported in two previous genome-wide studies and found evidence of replication for nasal ala length and SNPs in CACNA2D3 and PRDM16. These results provide further evidence that common variants in regions harboring genes of known craniofacial function contribute to normal variation in human facial features. Improved understanding of the genes associated with facial morphology in healthy individuals can provide insights into the pathways and mechanisms controlling normal and abnormal facial morphogenesis.
Although the evolution and function of “exaggerated” bony projections in ornithischian dinosaurs has been subject to significant debate recently, our understanding of the structure and morphology of their epidermal keratinized coverings is greatly limited. The holotype of Borealopelta, a new nodosaurid ankylosaur, preserves osteoderms and extensive epidermal structures (dark organic residues), in anatomic position across the entire precaudal length. Contrasting previous specimens, organic epiosteodermal scales, often in the form of horn-like (keratinous) sheaths, cap and exaggerate nearly all osteoderms, allowing for morphometric and allometric analyses of both the bony osteoderms and their horny sheaths. A total of 172 osteoderms were quantified, with osteoderm spine length and height being positively allometric with respect to basal length and width. Despite tight correlations between the different measures amongst all other osteoderms, the large parascapular spines represent consistent outliers. Thickness and relative contribution of the keratinized epiosteodermal scales/sheaths varies greatly by region, ranging from 2% to 6% for posterior thoracics, to ∼25% (1.3×) for the parascapular spines-similar to horn sheaths in some bovid analogues. Relative to the bony cores, the horny portions of the spines are strongly positively allometric (slope = 2.3, CI = 1.8-2.8). Strong allometric scaling, species-specific morphology, and significant keratinous extension of the cervicoscapular spines is consistent with elaboration under socio-sexual selection. This marks the first allometric analysis of ornithischian soft tissues.
Abstract The aims of this study were to examine the 1) individual playing area, 2) length and width of the rectangle encompassing the individual playing area and 3) distance between the goalkeepers and their nearest team-mates during professional soccer matches and compare these to previously reported pitch sizes for small-sided games (SSGs). Data were collected from four Spanish La Liga matches of the 2002-03 season, and notated post-event using the Amisco® system. The pitch sizes obtained from real matches were smaller and different from those used previously for SSGs. In addition, the current pitch sizes show significant (P < 0.001) effect of ball location in all variables examined. For example, overall individual playing area (F [5, 2562] = 19.99, P < 0.001, η(2 )= 0.04) varied significantly across six different zones of the pitch. Based on these empirical results, pitch sizes with individual playing areas ranging from 65 m(2) to 110 m(2) and length to width ratio of 1:1 and 1:1.3 are generally recommended for training tactical aspects according to different phases of play. It is possible to design SSGs with a more valid representation of the tactical conditions experienced in full-size matches and their use may improve the training effect of tactical aspects of match performance in soccer.
Wild mullet (Mugil cephalus) with white cysts on their scales were obtained from Yeosu on the south coast of Korea in 2009. Cyst-like plasmodia consisted of a large number of mature myxosporean spores and numerous sporogonic stages. Spores were oval-shaped in their front view, tapering anteriorly to a blunt apex, and lenticular in their lateral view. They measured 7.0 μm (6.2-7.6) in length, 5.2 μm (4.0-6.2) in width, and 4.9 μm (3.8-6.0) in thickness. Polar capsules contained a polar filament with five to six turns and measured 3.5 μm (2.5-4.5) in length and 2.0 μm (1.6-2.3) in width. Nucleotide sequences of the 18S rRNA gene of the myxosporean parasites in our study showed 99.8 % identity with Myxobolus episquamalis Egusa, Maeno and Sorimachi, 1990 from mullet in Tunisia. These results suggest that the Myxobolus sp. found on the scales of wild mullet is M. episquamalis. In the histopathological examination, spores were observed not only in the plasmodia on the scales, but also in the intestine, pancreas, heart, kidney, stomach, gill, skin, spleen, and liver, suggesting the possibility of the coinfection by different Myxobolus species.
The study evaluated the potential mismatch between classroom furniture dimensions and anthropometric characteristics of 978 Iranian high school students (498 girls, 480 boys), aged 15-18 years. Nine anthropometric measurements (stature, sitting height, sitting shoulder height, popliteal height, hip breadth, elbow-seat height, buttock-popliteal length, buttock-knee length and thigh clearance) and five dimensions from the existing classroom furniture were measured and then compared together (using match criterion equations) to identify any potential mismatch between them. The results indicated a considerable mismatch between body dimensions of the students and the existing classroom furniture, with seat height (60.9%), seat width (54.7%) and desktop height (51.7%) being the furniture dimensions with a higher level of mismatch. The levels of mismatch varied between the high-school grade levels and between genders, indicating their special requirements and possible problems. The proposed dimensions of the classroom furniture more appropriate for the students were given. This additional information on students' anthropometry can be used by local furniture industries as a starting point for designing more appropriate furniture for school children, or used by schools to aid in furniture selection.
Impaired gait may contribute to the increased rate of falls in cognitively impaired older people. We investigated whether gait under simple and dual task conditions could predict falls in this group. The study sample consisted of 64 community dwelling older people with mild to moderate cognitive impairment. Participants walked at their preferred speed under three conditions: (a) simple walking, (b) walking while carrying a glass of water and © walking while counting backwards from 30. Spatiotemporal gait parameters were measured using the GAITRite(®) mat. Falls were recorded prospectively for 12months with the assistance of carers. Twenty-two (35%) people fell two or more times in the 12month follow-up period. There was a significant main effect of gait condition and a significant main effect of faller status for mean value measures (velocity, stride length, double support time and stride width) and for variability measures (swing time variability and stride length variability). Examination of individual gait parameters indicated that the multiple fallers walked more slowly, had shorter stride length, spent longer time in double support, had a wider support width and showed more variability in stride length and swing time (p<0.05). There was no significant interaction between gait condition and faller status for any of the gait variables. In conclusion, dual task activities adversely affect gait in cognitively impaired older people. Multiple fallers performed worse in each gait condition but the addition of a functional or cognitive secondary task provided no added benefit in discriminating fallers from non-fallers with cognitive impairment.
Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease with a complex pathogenesis that affects predominantly adolescents. The aim of the study was to investigate the interrelations between the presence of acne and several variables associated with somatic growth, pubertal maturation, and environmental conditions (altitude and regions of residence). A population sample of 6,200 clinically healthy boys (0-19 years) was examined and the presence of acne was determined. Height, weight, testicular volumes, penile length and circumference, as well as pubic hair were also measured. The prevalence of moderate and severe acne in the whole group was 7.74 %, while in the age group 12-19 years, it was 19.31 %. Twelve-15-year-old boys with acne were taller and heavier than the ones without. They also had increased penile length and circumference as well as larger testicular volumes. Somatometric and pubertal characteristics of 17-19-year-old boys with and without acne were similar. The prevalence of the disease did not differ between the rural and urban inhabitants. However, the acne frequency decreased with the increasing of the altitude where the boys lived. Conclusions: Our results showed that the development of acne vulgaris in male adolescents was associated with an intensive growth and pubertal maturation, while obesity per se did not play an important role. Of particular interest was the association between the prevalence of acne and the altitude of residence.