SciCombinator

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A number of studies indicate that tropical arthropods should be particularly vulnerable to climate warming. If these predictions are realized, climate warming may have a more profound impact on the functioning and diversity of tropical forests than currently anticipated. Although arthropods comprise over two-thirds of terrestrial species, information on their abundance and extinction rates in tropical habitats is severely limited. Here we analyze data on arthropod and insectivore abundances taken between 1976 and 2012 at two midelevation habitats in Puerto Rico’s Luquillo rainforest. During this time, mean maximum temperatures have risen by 2.0 °C. Using the same study area and methods employed by Lister in the 1970s, we discovered that the dry weight biomass of arthropods captured in sweep samples had declined 4 to 8 times, and 30 to 60 times in sticky traps. Analysis of long-term data on canopy arthropods and walking sticks taken as part of the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research program revealed sustained declines in abundance over two decades, as well as negative regressions of abundance on mean maximum temperatures. We also document parallel decreases in Luquillo’s insectivorous lizards, frogs, and birds. While El Niño/Southern Oscillation influences the abundance of forest arthropods, climate warming is the major driver of reductions in arthropod abundance, indirectly precipitating a bottom-up trophic cascade and consequent collapse of the forest food web.

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To determine whether the use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), compared with use of angiotensin receptor blockers, is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.

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To evaluate the impact of advanced paternal age on maternal and perinatal outcomes in the United States.

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Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world by volume consumed, and yields of its main ingredient, barley, decline sharply in periods of extreme drought and heat. Although the frequency and severity of drought and heat extremes increase substantially in range of future climate scenarios by five Earth System Models, the vulnerability of beer supply to such extremes has never been assessed. We couple a process-based crop model (decision support system for agrotechnology transfer) and a global economic model (Global Trade Analysis Project model) to evaluate the effects of concurrent drought and heat extremes projected under a range of future climate scenarios. We find that these extreme events may cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide. Average yield losses range from 3% to 17% depending on the severity of the conditions. Decreases in the global supply of barley lead to proportionally larger decreases in barley used to make beer and ultimately result in dramatic regional decreases in beer consumption (for example, -32% in Argentina) and increases in beer prices (for example, +193% in Ireland). Although not the most concerning impact of future climate change, climate-related weather extremes may threaten the availability and economic accessibility of beer.

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Polymorphic phenotypes of mammalian coat coloration have been important to the study of genetics and evolution, but less is known about the inheritance and fitness consequences of individual variation in complex coat pattern traits such as spots and stripes. Giraffe coat markings are highly complex and variable and it has been hypothesized that variation in coat patterns most likely affects fitness by camouflaging neonates against visually hunting predators. We quantified complex coat pattern traits of wild Masai giraffes using image analysis software, determined the similarity of spot pattern traits between mother and offspring, and assessed whether variation in spot pattern traits was related to fitness as measured by juvenile survival. The methods we described could comprise a framework for objective quantification of complex mammal coat pattern traits based on photographic coat pattern data. We demonstrated that some characteristics of giraffe coat spot shape were likely to be heritable, as measured by mother-offspring regression. We found significant variation in juvenile survival among phenotypic groups of neonates defined by multivariate clustering based on spot trait measurement variables. We also found significant variation in neonatal survival associated with spot size and shape covariates. Larger spots (smaller number of spots) and irregularly shaped or rounder spots (smaller aspect ratio) were correlated with increased survival. These findings will inform investigations into developmental and genetic architecture of complex mammal coat patterns and their adaptive value.

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We aimed to obtain high resolution vegetation data and climate information about the LGM in the inland of the northern SCS based on key pollen types. Dominant Quercus fossil pollen grains in the core from the continental shelf of the northern SCS have been identified at the infrageneric level by using scanning electron microscopy. Based on tectum ornamentation, we recognized five sculpture types of Quercus pollen, namely, rodlike, rodlike masked, rodlike vertical, verrucate and micro-verrucate. Such a high diversity of Quercus fossil pollen types indicated that broadleaved forests were widely distributed in the inland along the northern SCS and included species of the subgenera Cyclobalanopsis and Quercus, of which subgenus Cyclobalanopsis populations were highly dominant. Low abundance of deciduous Quercus pollen probably derived from temperate-subtropical forests, while abundant evergreen pollen types of subgenura Quercus and Cyclobalanopsis, as well as other pollen of broadleaved taxa in the pollen assemblages, strongly suggest that the inland has been covered by dense subtropical forests. Consequently, the warm and humid subtropical climate prevailed during the LGM in the inland along the northern SCS. Our results shed new light on regional climatic conditions during the LGM in eastern Asia based on high diversity of Quercus fossil pollen in marine deposits from northern SCS.

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Background The debate on the relative benefits of off-pump and on-pump coronary artery bypass surgery ( OPCABG and ONCABG ) is still open. We aimed to provide an updated and complete summary of the evidence on the differences between OPCABG and ONCABG and to explore whether the length of the follow-up and the surgeons' experience in OPCABG modify the comparative results. Methods and Results All randomized clinical trials comparing OPCABG and ONCABG were included. Primary outcome was follow-up mortality. Secondary outcomes were operative mortality, perioperative stroke, perioperative myocardial infarction, and late repeated revascularization. Subgroup analyses were performed based on the length of the follow-up and the percentage of crossover from the OPCABG group (used as a surrogate of surgeon experience with OPCABG ). One hundred four trials were included (20 627 patients, OPCABG : 10 288; ONCABG : 10 339). Weighted mean follow-up time was 3.7 years (range 1-7.5 years). OPCABG was associated with a higher risk of follow-up mortality (incidence rate ratio 1.11, 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.23, P=0.05). The difference was significant only for trials with mean follow-up of ≥3 years and for studies with a crossover rate of ≥10%. There was a trend toward lower risk of perioperative stroke and higher need for late repeated revascularization in the OPCABG arm. Conclusions OPCABG is associated with a higher incidence of incomplete revascularization, an increased need for repeated revascularization, and decreased midterm survival compared with ONCABG . Surgeon inexperience in OPCABG is associated with late mortality.

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This study aimed to perform a systematic literature review of the clinical trial evidence on electrical stimulation for the treatment of neurogenic bowel dysfunction (NBD) after spinal cord injury (SCI).

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HcDNAV (a type species of Genus Dinodnavirus) is a large double-stranded DNA virus, which lytically infects the bloom-forming marine microalga Heterocapsa circularisquama Horiguchi (Dinophyceae). In the present study, detailed observation of the HcDNAV particle and its infection process was conducted via field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and epifluorescence microscopy (EFM). Each five-fold vertex of the icosahedral virion was decorated with a protrusion, which may be related to the entry process of HcDNAV into the host. The transverse groove of host cells is proposed to be the main virus entry site. A visible DAPI-stained region, which is considered to be the viroplasm (virus factory), appeared in close proximity to the host nucleus at 11 h post infection (hpi); the putative viral DAPI signal was remarkably enlarged at 11⁻30 hpi. It was kidney-shaped at 13⁻15 hpi, horseshoe-shaped at 20 hpi, doughnut-shaped at 30 hpi, and changed into a three-dimensionally complicated shape at 51⁻53 hpi, by which time most parts of the host cell were occupied by the putative viral DAPI signal. While the virions were within the viroplasm, they were easily distinguishable by their vertex protrusions by FE-SEM.