324 Works

Data from: Enhanced flight performance by genetic manipulation of wing shape in Drosophila

Robert P. Ray, Toshiyuki Nakata, Per Henningsson & Richard J. Bomphrey
Insect wing shapes are remarkably diverse and the combination of shape and kinematics determines both aerial capabilities and power requirements. However, the contribution of any specific morphological feature to performance is not known. Using targeted RNA interference to modify wing shape far beyond the natural variation found within the population of a single species, we show a direct effect on flight performance that can be explained by physical modelling of the novel wing geometry. Our...

Data from: Social seeking declines in young adolescents

Indu Dubey, Danielle Ropar & Antonia F. De C. Hamilton
The desire to engage with others is an important motivational force throughout our lifespan. It is known that social behaviour and preferences change from childhood to adulthood, but whether this change is linked with any changes in social motivation is not known. We evaluated 255 typically developing participants from ages 4–20 years on a behavioural paradigm ‘Choose a Movie’ (CAM). On every trial, participants had a choice between viewing social or non-social movies presented with...

Data from: Oral microbiomes from hunter-gatherers and traditional farmers reveal shifts in commensal balance and pathogen load linked to diet

Florent Lassalle, Matteo Spagnoletti, Matteo Fumagalli, Liam Shaw, Mark Dyble, Catherine Walker, Mark G. Thomas, Andrea Bamberg Migliano & Francois Balloux
Maladaptation to modern diets has been implicated in several chronic disorders. Given the higher prevalence of disease such as dental caries and chronic gum diseases in industrialized societies, we sought to investigate the impact of different subsistence strategies on oral health and physiology, as documented by the oral microbiome. To control for confounding variables such as environment and host genetics, we sampled saliva from three pairs of populations of hunter-gatherers and traditional farmers living in...

Data from: Do rivers influence fine-scale population genetic structure of tigers in the Sundarbans?

M. Abdul Aziz, Olutolani Smith, Adam Barlow, Simon Tollington, & Jim J. Groombridge
Global tiger Panthera tigris populations mostly survive within the geographically fragmented forest patches, thereby limited genetic exchange between isolated populations. Assessing the genetic status of these populations can reveal the effects of dispersal barriers and provide critical insights to guide future conservation actions. Using non-invasively collected biological samples, we investigated fine-scale genetic structure of tigers in the Sundarbans mangrove forests intersected by the complex river systems, and which holds one of the largest global tiger...

Data from: Palaeontology meets metacommunity ecology: The Maastricthian dinosaur fossil record of North America as a case study

Jorge García-Girón, Jani Heino, Janne Alahuhta, Alfio Alessandro Chiarenza & Steve Brusatte
Documenting the patterns and potential associated processes of ancient biotas has always been a central challenge in palaeontology. Over the last decades, intense debate has focused on the organisation of dinosaur–dominated communities, yet no general consensus has been reached on how these communities were organised in a spatial context and if primarily affected by abiotic or biotic agents. Here, we used analytical routines typically applied in metacommunity ecology to provide novel insights into dinosaurian distributions...

Data from: Variation in promiscuity and sexual selection drives avian rate of Faster-Z evolution

Alison E. Wright, Peter W. Harrison, Fabian Zimmer, Stephen H. Montgomery, Marie A. Pointer & Judith E. Mank
Higher rates of coding sequence evolution have been observed on the Z chromosome relative to the autosomes across a wide range of species. However, despite a considerable body of theory, we lack empirical evidence explaining variation in the strength of the Faster-Z Effect. To assess the magnitude and drivers of Faster-Z Evolution, we assembled six de novo transcriptomes, spanning 90 million years of avian evolution. Our analysis combines expression, sequence and polymorphism data with measures...

Data from: The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organisation

Ben M. Sadd, Seth M. Barribeau, Guy Bloch, Dirk C. De Graaf, Peter Dearden, Christine Elsik, Jurgen Gadau, Cornelius Grimmelikhuijzen, Martin Hasselmann, Jeffrey Lozier, Hugh Robertson, Guy Smagghe, Eckart Stolle, Matthias Van Vaerenbergh, Robert Waterhouse, Erich Bornberg-Bauer, Steffan Klasberg, Anna Bennett, Francisco Camara, Roderic Guigo, Katharina Hoff, Marco Mariotti, Monica Munos-Torres, Terence Murphy, Didac Santesmasses … & Kim C. Worley
Background: The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some species. High-quality genomic data will inform key aspects of bumblebee biology, including susceptibility to implicated population viability threats. Results: We report the high quality draft genome...

Data from: Ablation of insulin-producing cells prevents obesity but not premature mortality caused by a high-sugar diet in Drosophila

Sara Naif Al Saud, Adam C. Summerfield & Nazif Alic
Ageing can be modulated by genetic as well as nutritional interventions. In female Drosophila melanogaster, lifespan is maximized at intermediate concentrations of sucrose as the carbohydrate source, and yeast as the protein source. Dampening the signal through the insulin/IGF signalling (IIS) pathway, by genetic ablation of median neurosecretory cells (mNSCs) that produce insulin-like peptides, extends lifespan and counteracts the detrimental effects of excess yeast. However, how IIS reduction impacts health on a high-sugar diet remains...

Data from: Lessons from genome skimming of arthropod-preserving ethanol

Benjamin Linard, Paula Arribas, Carmelo Andújar, Alex Crampton-Platt & Alfried P. Vogler
Field-collected specimens of invertebrates are regularly killed and preserved in ethanol, prior to DNA extraction from the specimens, while the ethanol fraction is usually discarded. However, DNA may be released from the specimens into the ethanol, which can potentially be exploited to study species diversity in the sample without the need for DNA extraction from tissue. We used shallow shotgun sequencing of the total DNA to characterize the preservative ethanol from two pools of insects...

Data from: EMMLi: a maximum likelihood approach to the analysis of modularity

Anjali Goswami & John Albert Finarelli
Identification of phenotypic modules, semiautonomous sets of highly correlated traits, can be accomplished through exploratory (e.g., cluster analysis) or confirmatory approaches (e.g., RV coefficient analysis). Although statistically more robust, confirmatory approaches are generally unable to compare across different model structures. For example, RV coefficient analysis finds support for both two- and six-module models for the therian mammalian skull. Here, we present a maximum likelihood approach that takes into account model parameterization. We compare model log-likelihoods...

Data from: Pupil dilation as an index of preferred mutual gaze duration

Nicola Binetti, Charlotte Harrison, Antoine Coutrot, Alan Johnston & Isabelle Mareschal
Most animals look at each other to signal threat or interest. In humans, this social interaction is usually punctuated with brief periods of mutual eye contact. Deviations from this pattern of gazing behaviour generally make us feel uncomfortable and are a defining characteristic of clinical conditions such as autism or schizophrenia, yet it is unclear what constitutes normal eye contact. Here, we measured, across a wide range of ages, cultures and personality types, the period...

Data from: Female brain size affects the assessment of male attractiveness during mate choice

Alberto Corral-López, Natasha I. Bloch, Alexander Kotrschal, Wouter Van Der Bijl, Severine D. Buechel, Judith E. Mank & Niclas Kolm
Mate choice decisions are central in sexual selection theory aimed to understand how sexual traits evolve and their role in evolutionary diversification. We test the hypothesis that brain size and cognitive ability are important for accurate assessment of partner quality and that variation in brain size and cognitive ability underlies variation in mate choice. We compared sexual preference in guppy female lines selected for divergence in relative brain size, which we have previously shown to...

Data from: Dynamic population codes of multiplexed stimulus features in primate area MT

Erin Goddard, Samuel G. Solomon & Thomas A. Carlson
The middle-temporal area (MT) of primate visual cortex is critical in the analysis of visual motion. Single-unit studies suggest that the response dynamics of neurons within area MT depend on stimulus features, but how these dynamics emerge at the population level, and how feature representations interact, is not clear. Here, we used multivariate classification analysis to study how stimulus features are represented in the spiking activity of populations of neurons in area MT of marmoset...

Data from: Time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of pteropods

Alice K. Burridge, Christine Hörnlein, Arie W. Janssen, Martin Hughes, Stephanie L. Bush, Ferdinand Marlétaz, Rebeca Gasca, Annelies C. Pierrot-Bults, Ellinor Michel, Jonathan A. Todd, Jeremy R. Young, Karen J. Osborn, Steph B.J. Menken, Katja T.C.A. Peijnenburg, Katja T. C. A. Peijnenburg & Steph B. J. Menken
Pteropods are a widespread group of holoplanktonic gastropod molluscs and are uniquely suitable for study of long-term evolutionary processes in the open ocean because they are the only living metazoan plankton with a good fossil record. Pteropods have been proposed as bioindicators to monitor the impacts of ocean acidification and in consequence have attracted considerable research interest, however, a robust evolutionary framework for the group is still lacking. Here we reconstruct their phylogenetic relationships and...

Data from: Inferring subjective states through the observation of actions

Deevia Patel, Steve M. Flemming, James M. Kilner & S. M. Fleming
Estimating another person’s subjective confidence is crucial for social interaction, but how this inference is achieved is unknown. Previous research has demonstrated that the speed at which people make decisions is correlated with their confidence in their decision. Here we show that 1) subjects’ are able to infer the subjective confidence of another person simply through the observation of their actions and 2) this inference is dependent upon the performance of each subject when executing...

Data from: Selective bird predation on the peppered moth: the last experiment of Michael Majerus

Laurence M. Cook, Bruce S. Grant, Ilik J. Saccheri & James Mallet
Colour variation in the peppered moth Biston betularia was long accepted to be under strong natural selection. Melanics were believed to be fitter than pale morphs because of lower predation at daytime resting sites on dark, sooty bark. Melanics became common during the industrial revolution, but since 1970 there has been a rapid reversal, assumed to have been caused by predators selecting against melanics resting on today's less sooty bark. Recently, these classical explanations of...

Data from: The evolution of sexually dimorphic tail feathers is not associated with tail skeleton dimorphism

Ryan N. Felice & Patrick M. O'Connor
Sexual selection can influence the evolution of sexually dimorphic exaggerated display structures. Herein, we explore whether such costly ornamental integumentary structures evolve independently or if they are correlated with phenotypic change in the associated skeletal system. In birds, elongate tail feathers have frequently evolved in males and are beneficial as intraspecific display structures but impart a locomotor/energetic cost. Using the sexually dimorphic tail feathers of several passeriform species as a model system, we test the...

Data from: Measuring microbial fitness in a field reciprocal transplant experiment

Primrose J. Boynton, Rike Stelkens, Vienna Kowallik & Duncan Greig
Microbial fitness is easy to measure in the laboratory, but difficult to measure in the field. Laboratory fitness assays make use of controlled conditions and genetically modified organisms, neither of which are available in the field. Among other applications, fitness assays can help researchers detect adaptation to different habitats or locations. We designed a competitive fitness assay to detect adaptation of Saccharomyces paradoxus isolates to the habitat they were isolated from (oak or larch leaf...

Data from:Spatio-temporal networks: reachability, centrality and robustness

Matthew J. Williams & Mirco Musolesi
Recent advances in spatial and temporal networks have enabled researchers to more-accurately describe many real-world systems such as urban transport networks. In this paper, we study the response of real-world spatio-temporal networks to random error and systematic attack, taking a unified view of their spatial and temporal performance. We propose a model of spatio-temporal paths in time-varying spatially embedded networks which captures the property that, as in many real-world systems, interaction between nodes is non-instantaneous...

Data from: Regulation of cell protrusions by small GTPases during fusion of the neural folds

Ana Rolo, Dawn Savery, Sarah Escuin, Sandra C. Castro, Hannah E. J. Armer, Peter M. G. Munro, Matteo A. Mole, Nicholas D. E. Greene & Andrew J. Copp
Epithelial fusion is a crucial process in embryonic development, and its failure underlies several clinically important birth defects. For example, failure of neural fold fusion during neurulation leads to open neural tube defects including spina bifida. Using mouse embryos, we show that cell protrusions emanating from the apposed neural fold tips, at the interface between the neuroepithelium and the surface ectoderm, are required for completion of neural tube closure. By genetically ablating the cytoskeletal regulators...

Data from: Genetics of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) in a Ghanaian population

Marquitta J. White, Nuri M. Kodaman, Reed H. Harder, Folkert W. Asselbergs, Douglas E. Vaughan, Nancy J. Brown, Jason H. Moore & Scott M. Williams
Plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), a major modulator of the fibrinolytic system, is an important factor in cardiovascular disease (CVD) susceptibility and severity. PAI-1 is highly heritable, but the few genes associated with it explain only a small portion of its variation. Studies of PAI-1 typically employ linear regression to estimate the effects of genetic variants on PAI-1 levels, but PAI-1 is not normally distributed, even after transformation. Therefore, alternative statistical methods may provide greater...

Data from: Do experiences and perceptions about quality of care differ among social groups in Nepal? : A study of maternal healthcare experiences of women with and without disabilities, and Dalit and non-Dalit women

Hridaya Raj Devkota, Andrew Clarke, Emily Murray & Nora Groce
Background: Suboptimal quality of care and disparities in services by healthcare providers are often reported in Nepal. Experience and perceptions about quality of care may differ according to women’s socio-cultural background, individual characteristics, their exposure and expectations. This study aimed to compare perceptions of the quality of maternal healthcare services between two groups that are consistently considered vulnerable, women with disabilities from both the non-Dalit population and Dalit population and their peers without disabilities from...

Data from: Hybrid asexuality as a primary postzygotic barrier between nascent species: on the interconnection between asexuality, hybridization and speciation

Karel Janko, Jan Pačes, Hilde Wilkinson-Herbots, Rui J. Costa, Jan Roslein, Pavel Drozd, Nataliia Iakovenko, Jakub Rídl, Miluše Hroudová, Jan Kočí, Radka Reifová, Věra Šlechtová & Lukáš Choleva
Although sexual reproduction is ubiquitous throughout nature, the molecular machinery behind it has been repeatedly disrupted during evolution, leading to the emergence of asexual lineages in all eukaryotic phyla. Despite intensive research, little is known about what causes the switch from sexual reproduction to asexuality. Interspecific hybridization is one of the candidate explanations but the reasons for the apparent association between hybridization and asexuality remain unclear. In this study we combined cross-breeding experiments with population...

Data from: Identification of the Beagle 2 lander on Mars

John C. Bridges, Jim Clemmet, Michael Croon, Mark R. Sims, Derek Pullan, Jan-Peter Muller, Yu Tao, Xiong Xiong, Alfiah R. Putri, Tim Parker, Stuart M. R. Turner & Judith M. Pillinger
The 2003 Beagle 2 Mars lander has been identified in Isidis Planitia at 90.43° E, 11.53° N, close to the predicted target of 90.50° E, 11.53° N. Beagle 2 was an exobiology lander designed to look for isotopic and compositional signs of life on Mars, as part of the European Space Agency Mars Express (MEX) mission. The 2004 recalculation of the original landing ellipse from a 3-sigma major axis from 174 km to 57 km,...

Data from: Analysis of wild macaque stone tools used to crack oil palm nuts

Tomos Proffitt, V. Lydia Luncz, Suchinda Malaivijitnond, Michael Gumert, Magdalena S. Svensson & Micahel Haslam
The discovery of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) nut-cracking by wild long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) is significant for the study of non-human primate and hominin percussive behaviour. Up until now, only West African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) and modern human populations were known to use stone hammers to crack open this particular hard-shelled palm nut. The addition of non-habituated, wild macaques increases our comparative dataset of primate lithic percussive behaviour focused on this one plant species....

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