Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Sample


The current study aimed to investigate the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) algorithms for toddlers and young preschoolers (Kim and Lord, J Autism Dev Disord 42(1):82-93, 2012) in a non-US sample from ten sites in nine countries (n = 1,104). The construct validity indicated a good fit of the algorithms. The diagnostic validity was lower, with satisfactorily high specificities but moderate sensitivities. Young children with clinical ASD and lower language ability were largely in the mild-to-moderate or moderate-to-severe concern ranges of the ADI-R, nearly half of the older and phrase speech ASD-group fell into the little-to-no concern range. Although broadly the findings support the toddler algorithms, further work is required to understand why they might have different properties in different samples to further inform research and clinical use.

Concepts: Sample, Autism, Childhood, Construct validity, Toddler, Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised, Toddlers


Sequencing-based studies of the human faecal microbiota are increasingly common. Appropriate storage of sample material is essential to avoid the introduction of post-collection bias in microbial community composition. Rapid freezing to -80 °C is commonly considered to be best-practice. However, this is not feasible in many studies, particularly those involving sample collection in participants' homes. We determined the extent to which a range of stabilisation and storage strategies maintained the composition of faecal microbial community structure relative to freezing to -80 °C. Refrigeration at 4 °C, storage at ambient temperature, and the use of several common preservative buffers (RNAlater, OMNIgene.GUT, Tris-EDTA) were assessed relative to freezing. Following 72 hours of storage, faecal microbial composition was assessed by 16 S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Refrigeration was associated with no significant alteration in faecal microbiota diversity or composition. However, samples stored using other conditions showed substantial divergence compared to -80 °C control samples. Aside from refrigeration, the use of OMNIgene.GUT resulted in the least alteration, while the greatest change was seen in samples stored in Tris-EDTA buffer. The commercially available OMNIgene.GUT kit may provide an important alternative where refrigeration and cold chain transportation is not available.

Concepts: Sample, Archaea, Buffer solution, Buffering agent, Food preservation, Buffer, Storage


Understanding high-velocity microparticle impact is essential for many fields, from space exploration to medicine and biology. Investigations of microscale impact have hitherto been limited to post-mortem analysis of impacted specimens, which does not provide direct information on the impact dynamics. Here we report real-time multi-frame imaging studies of the impact of 7 μm diameter glass spheres traveling at 700-900 m/s on elastomer polymers. With a poly(urethane urea) (PUU) sample, we observe a hyperelastic impact phenomenon not seen on the macroscale: a microsphere undergoes a full conformal penetration into the specimen followed by a rebound which leaves the specimen unscathed. The results challenge the established interpretation of the behaviour of elastomers under high-velocity impact.

Concepts: Sample, Medicine, Biology, Polymer, Elastomer, Space exploration, Specimen, Ethylene-vinyl acetate


We extended our research on the architecture, growth and age of trees belonging to the genus Adansonia, by starting to investigate large individuals of the most widespread Malagasy species. Our research also intends to identify the oldest baobabs of Madagascar. Here we present results of the radiocarbon investigation of the two most representative Adansonia rubrostipa (fony baobab) specimens, which are located in south-western Madagascar, in the Tsimanampetsotse National Park. We found that the fony baobab called “Grandmother” consists of 3 perfectly fused stems of different ages. The radiocarbon date of the oldest sample was found to be 1136 ± 16 BP. We estimated that the oldest part of this tree, which is mainly hollow, has an age close to 1,600 yr. This value is comparable to the age of the oldest Adansonia digitata (African baobab) specimens. By its age, the Grandmother is a major candidate for the oldest baobab of Madagascar. The second investigated specimen, called the “polygamous baobab”, consists of 6 partially fused stems of different ages. According to dating results, this fony baobab is 1,000 yr old. This research is the first investigation of the structure and age of Malagasy baobabs.

Concepts: Sample, Adansonia digitata, Adansonia, Adansonia grandidieri, Adansonia rubrostipa


We propose a probabilistic method, CancerLocator, which exploits the diagnostic potential of cell-free DNA by determining not only the presence but also the location of tumors. CancerLocator simultaneously infers the proportions and the tissue-of-origin of tumor-derived cell-free DNA in a blood sample using genome-wide DNA methylation data. CancerLocator outperforms two established multi-class classification methods on simulations and real data, even with the low proportion of tumor-derived DNA in the cell-free DNA scenarios. CancerLocator also achieves promising results on patient plasma samples with low DNA methylation sequencing coverage.

Concepts: Sample, DNA, Restriction enzyme, Medical terms, Diagnosis, Hematology, DNA methylation, Probabilistic method


Social media (SM) use is increasing among U.S. young adults, and its association with mental well-being remains unclear. This study assessed the association between SM use and depression in a nationally representative sample of young adults.

Concepts: Sample, Sample size, Sampling, The Association, Sunshine pop


To provide updated prevalence data on obesity trends among US children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years from a nationally representative sample.

Concepts: Sample, Sampling, Obesity


Studies examining the association between use of oseltamivir and neuropsychiatric events (including suicide) among children have had mixed findings and have been limited by small sample size, reliance on older data, and potential confounding. We undertook an analysis that addresses these limitations.

Concepts: Sample, Sample size, The Association


Many ecological theories and species conservation programmes rely on accurate estimates of population density. Accurate density estimation, especially for species facing rapid declines, requires the application of rigorous field and analytical methods. However, obtaining accurate density estimates of carnivores can be challenging as carnivores naturally exist at relatively low densities and are often elusive and wide-ranging. In this study, we employ an unstructured spatial sampling field design along with a Bayesian sex-specific spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) analysis, to provide the first rigorous population density estimates of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. We estimate adult cheetah density to be between 1.28 ± 0.315 and 1.34 ± 0.337 individuals/100km2 across four candidate models specified in our analysis. Our spatially explicit approach revealed ‘hotspots’ of cheetah density, highlighting that cheetah are distributed heterogeneously across the landscape. The SECR models incorporated a movement range parameter which indicated that male cheetah moved four times as much as females, possibly because female movement was restricted by their reproductive status and/or the spatial distribution of prey. We show that SECR can be used for spatially unstructured data to successfully characterise the spatial distribution of a low density species and also estimate population density when sample size is small. Our sampling and modelling framework will help determine spatial and temporal variation in cheetah densities, providing a foundation for their conservation and management. Based on our results we encourage other researchers to adopt a similar approach in estimating densities of individually recognisable species.

Concepts: Sample, Sample size, Population density, Estimation, Felidae, Cheetah, Acinonyx, Impala


Current physical activity guidelines recommend that adults participate weekly in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity equivalent aerobic physical activity to achieve substantial health benefits. We used a nationally representative sample of data of US adults to estimate the percentage of deaths attributable to levels of physical activity that were inadequate to meet the aerobic guideline.

Concepts: Sample, Health insurance, United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Race, Nationalism, United States House of Representatives