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Experimental and comparative studies suggest that the striped coats of zebras can prevent biting fly attacks. Biting flies are serious pests of livestock that cause economic losses in animal production. We hypothesized that cows painted with black and white stripes on their body could avoid biting fly attacks and show fewer fly-repelling behaviors. Six Japanese Black cows were assigned to treatments using a 3 × 3 Latin-square design. The treatments were black-and-white painted stripes, black painted stripes, and no stripes (all-black body surface). Recorded fly-repelling behaviors were head throw, ear beat, leg stamp, skin twitch, and tail flick. Photo images of the right side of each cow were taken using a commercial digital camera after every observation and biting flies on the body and each leg were counted from the photo images. Here we show that the numbers of biting flies on Japanese Black cows painted with black-and-white stripes were significantly lower than those on non-painted cows and cows painted only with black stripes. The frequencies of fly-repelling behaviors in cows painted with black-and-white stripes were also lower than those in the non-painted and black-striped cows. These results thus suggest that painting black-and-white stripes on livestock such as cattle can prevent biting fly attacks and provide an alternative method of defending livestock against biting flies without using pesticides in animal production, thereby proposing a solution for the problem of pesticide resistance in the environment.


Particle transfer across the placenta has been suggested but to date, no direct evidence in real-life, human context exists. Here we report the presence of black carbon (BC) particles as part of combustion-derived particulate matter in human placentae using white-light generation under femtosecond pulsed illumination. BC is identified in all screened placentae, with an average (SD) particle count of 0.95 × 104 (0.66 × 104) and 2.09 × 104 (0.9 × 104) particles per mm3 for low and high exposed mothers, respectively. Furthermore, the placental BC load is positively associated with mothers' residential BC exposure during pregnancy (0.63-2.42 µg per m3). Our finding that BC particles accumulate on the fetal side of the placenta suggests that ambient particulates could be transported towards the fetus and represents a potential mechanism explaining the detrimental health effects of pollution from early life onwards.


Recurrent urinary tract infection (rUTI) is a major medical problem, especially in the elderly and infirm, but the nature of the reservoir of organisms responsible for survival and recolonisation after antibiotic treatment in humans is unclear. Here, we demonstrate the presence of cell-wall deficient (L-form) bacteria in fresh urine from 29 out of 30 older patients with rUTI. In urine, E. coli strains from patient samples readily transition from the walled state to L-form during challenge with a cell wall targeting antibiotic. Following antibiotic withdrawal, they then efficiently transition back to the walled state. E. coli switches between walled and L-form states in a zebrafish larva infection model. The results suggest that L-form switching is a physiologically relevant phenomenon that may contribute to the recurrence of infection in older patients with rUTI, and potentially other infections.


To conduct a time-cost analysis of formatting in scientific publishing.


There is strong epidemiological evidence that poor diet is associated with depression. The reverse has also been shown, namely that eating a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables, fish and lean meat, is associated with reduced risk of depression. To date, only one randomised controlled trial (RCT) has been conducted with elevated depression symptoms being an inclusion criterion, with results showing that a diet intervention can reduce clinical levels of depression. No such RCTs have been performed in young adults. Young adults with elevated levels of depression symptoms and who habitually consume a poor diet were randomly allocated to a brief 3-week diet intervention (Diet Group) or a habitual diet control group (Control Group). The primary and secondary outcome measures assessed at baseline and after the intervention included symptoms of depression (Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale; CESD-R; and Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale- 21 depression subscale; DASS-21-D), current mood (Profile of Mood States), self-efficacy (New General Self-Efficacy Scale) and memory (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test). Diet compliance was measured via self-report questionnaires and spectrophotometry. One-hundred-and-one individuals were enrolled in the study and randomly assigned to the Diet Group or the Control Group. Upon completion of the study, there was complete data for 38 individuals in each group. There was good compliance with the diet intervention recommendations assessed using self-report and spectrophotometry. The Diet group had significantly lower self-reported depression symptoms than the Control Group on the CESD-R (p = 0.007, Cohen’s d = 0.65) and DASS-21 depression subscale (p = 0.002, Cohen’s d = 0.75) controlling for baseline scores on these scales. Reduced DASS-21 depression subscale scores were maintained on follow up phone call 3 months later (p = .009). These results are the first to show that young adults with elevated depression symptoms can engage in and adhere to a diet intervention, and that this can reduce symptoms of depression. The findings provide justification for future research into the duration of these benefits, the impacts of varying diet composition, and their biological basis.


Policy consensus in high-income countries supports offering pregnant women with previous cesarean section a choice between planning an elective repeat cesarean section (ERCS) or attempting a vaginal birth, known as a planned vaginal birth after previous cesarean (VBAC), provided they do not have contraindications to planned VBAC. However, robust comprehensive information on the associated outcomes to counsel eligible women about this choice is lacking. This study investigated the short-term maternal and perinatal outcomes associated with planned mode of delivery after previous cesarean section among women delivering a term singleton and considered eligible to have a planned VBAC.


During the time period from April 2012 to May 2013, 13 newborns (1 - 4 weeks old) and one child in a paediatric hospital ward in Germany were colonized with an extended spectrum betalactamase (ESBL) producing Klebsiella oxytoca (CTX-M-15).A microbiological source-tracking analysis, including human and environmental samples, was carried out to identify the source and transmission pathways of the K. oxytoca clone. In addition, different hygienic intervention methods were evaluated.Isolates of the K. oxytoca strains were detected in the detergent drawer and on the rubber door seal of a domestic washer-extractor machine, used in the same ward to wash laundry of the newborns as well as in two sinks. These strains were typed using PFGE and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST). The environmental findings were compared with those of the human strains and the isolates detected on the clothing. The results showed that the strains were identical using both techniques, (ST201 and pulse-field-gel-electrophoresis [PFGE] type-00531, a clone specific to this hospital and not previously isolated in Germany), emphasizing the washing machine as a reservoir and fomite for the transmission of these multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDR). After the washing machine had been taken out of use, no further colonizations were detected over a following 4-year period.Importance Washing machines should be further investigated as possible sites for horizontal gene transfer (ESBL-genes) and cross-contamination of clinically important Gram-negative strains. Particularly in the healthcare sector, the knowledge of possible (re-) contamination of laundry (patients' clothes, staff uniforms) with multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria could help to prevent and control nosocomial infections. This report describes an outbreak with a single strain of a multidrug-resistant bacterium (Klebsiella oxytoca ST201) in a neonatal intensive care unit, that was only terminated when the washing machine was removed. In addition, the study implies that changes in washing machine design and processing are required to prevent accumulation of residual water where microbial growth can occur and contaminate clothes.


Political scientists have long known that political involvement exacts costs but they have typically defined these costs in relatively narrow, largely economic terms. Though anecdotal evidence suggests that the costs of politics may in fact extend beyond economics to frayed personal relationships, compromised emotional stability, and even physical problems, no systematic evidence on these broader costs exists. We construct and validate batteries of survey items that delineate the physical, social, and emotional costs of political engagement and administer these items to a demographically representative sample of U.S. adults. The results suggest that a large number of Americans believe their physical health has been harmed by their exposure to politics and even more report that politics has resulted in emotional costs and lost friendships.


The Australian pterosaur record is poor by world standards, comprising fewer than 20 fragmentary specimens. Herein, we describe the new genus and species Ferrodraco lentoni gen. et sp. nov., based on the most complete pterosaur specimen ever found in Australia, and the first reported from the Winton Formation (Cenomanian-lower Turonian). The presence of premaxillary and mandibular crests, and spike-shaped teeth with subcircular bases, enable Ferrodraco to be referred to Anhangueria. Ferrodraco can be distinguished from all other anhanguerian pterosaurs based on two dental characters: the first premaxillary and mandibular tooth pairs are small; and the fourth-seventh tooth pairs are smaller than the third and eighth ones. Ferrodraco was included in a phylogenetic analysis of Pterosauria and resolved as the sister taxon to Mythunga camara (upper Albian Toolebuc Formation, Australia), with that clade occupying the most derived position within Ornithocheiridae. Ornithocheirus simus (Albian Cambridge Greensand, England), Coloborhynchus clavirostris (Valanginian Hastings Sands, England), and Tropeognathus mesembrinus (upper Aptian-lower Albian Romualdo Formation, Brazil) were resolved as successive sister taxa, which suggests that ornithocheirids were cosmopolitan during the Albian-Cenomanian. Furthermore, the stratigraphic age of Ferrodraco lentoni (Cenomanian-lower Turonian) implies that anhanguerians might have survived later in Australia than elsewhere.


A standard response of both policy makers and private citizens to hardships-from natural disasters to mass shootings-is to offer “thoughts and prayers.” Critics argue that such gestures are meaningless and may obstruct structural reforms intended to mitigate catastrophes. In this study, we elicit the value of receiving thoughts and prayers from strangers following adversity. We find that Christians value thoughts and prayers from religious strangers and priests, while atheists and agnostics are “prayer averse”-willing to pay to avoid receiving prayers. Furthermore, while indifferent to receiving thoughts from other secular people, they negatively value thoughts from Christians.