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


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


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


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


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


The Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH) states that North America was devastated by some sort of extraterrestrial event ~12,800 calendar years before present. Two fundamental questions persist in the debate over the YDIH: Can the results of analyses for purported impact indicators be reproduced? And are the indicators unique to the lower YD boundary (YDB), i.e., ~12.8k cal yrs BP? A test reported here presents the results of analyses that address these questions. Two different labs analyzed identical splits of samples collected at, above, and below the ~12.8ka zone at the Lubbock Lake archaeological site (LL) in northwest Texas. Both labs reported similar variation in levels of magnetic micrograins (>300 mg/kg >12.8ka and <11.5ka, but <150 mg/kg 12.8ka to 11.5ka). Analysis for magnetic microspheres in one split, reported elsewhere, produced very low to nonexistent levels throughout the section. In the other split, reported here, the levels of magnetic microspherules and nanodiamonds are low or nonexistent at, below, and above the YDB with the notable exception of a sample <11,500 cal years old. In that sample the claimed impact proxies were recovered at abundances two to four orders of magnitude above that from the other samples. Reproducibility of at least some analyses are problematic. In particular, no standard criteria exist for identification of magnetic spheres. Moreover, the purported impact proxies are not unique to the YDB.

Concepts: Sample, Scientific method, Experiment, North America, Pleistocene, Radiocarbon dating, Younger Dryas, Split


The number of older adults in the criminal justice system is rapidly increasing. While this population is thought to experience an early onset of aging-related health conditions (“accelerated aging”), studies have not directly compared rates of geriatric conditions in this population to those found in the general population. The aims of this study were to compare the burden of geriatric conditions among older adults in jail to rates found in an age-matched nationally representative sample of community dwelling older adults.

Concepts: Sample, Gerontology, Old age, Crime, Prison, Criminal justice, Punishment, Corrections


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