387 Works

Autonomous Vehicles and the Ethical Tension Between Occupant and Non-Occupant Safety

Jason Borenstein, Joseph Herkert & Keith Miller
Given that the creation and deployment of autonomous vehicles is likely to continue, it is important to explore the ethical responsibilities of designers, manufacturers, operators, and regulators of the technology. We specifically focus on the ethical responsibilities surrounding autonomous vehicles that these stakeholders have to protect the safety of non-occupants, meaning individuals who are around the vehicles while they are operating. The term “non-occupants” includes, but is not limited to, pedestrians and cyclists. We are...

G-Quadruplex Structure Improves the Immunostimulatory Effects of CpG Oligonucleotides

Kazuaki Hoshi, TOMOHIKO YAMAZAKI, Yuuki Sugiyama, Kaori Tsukakoshi, Wakako Tsugawa, Koji Sode & Kazunori Ikebukuro
Single-strand oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) containing unmethylated cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) are recognized by the toll-like receptor 9, a component of the innate immunity. Therefore, they could act as immunotherapeutic agents. Chemically modified CpG ODNs containing a phosphorothioate backbone instead of phosphodiester (PD) were developed as immunotherapeutic agents resistant to nuclease degradation. However, they cause adverse side effects, and so there is a necessity to generate novel CpG ODNs. In the present study, we designed a nuclease-resistant nonmodified CpG...

Data from: Efficacy of Aedes aegypti control by indoor Ultra Low Volume (ULV) insecticide spraying in Iquitos, Peru

Christian E. Gunning, Kenichi Okamoto, Helvio Astete, Gissella M. Vasquez, Erik B. Erhardt, Clara Del Aguila, Raul Pinedo, Roldan Cardenas, Carlos Pacheco, Enrique Chalco, Hugo Rodriguez-Ferruci, Thomas W. Scott, Alun L. Lloyd, Fred Gould, Amy C. Morrison, Kenichi W. Okamoto & Erik Erhardt
Background: Aedes aegypti is a primary vector of dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and urban yellow fever viruses. Indoor, ultra low volume (ULV) space spraying with pyrethroid insecticides is the main approach used for Ae. aegypti emergency control in many countries. Given the widespread use of this method, the lack of large-scale experiments or detailed evaluations of municipal spray programs is problematic. Methodology/Principal Findings: Two experimental evaluations of non-residual, indoor ULV pyrethroid spraying were conducted in Iquitos,...

Data from: Pre-infection effects of nectar secondary compounds on a bumble bee gut pathogen

Kristen Michaud, Rebecca Irwin, Nicholas Barber & Lynn Adler
Bumble bee pollinators can be exposed to pathogens when foraging on flowers previously visited by infected individuals. Infectious cells may be deposited in floral nectar, providing a site for pathogens to interact with nectar secondary compounds prior to infecting bees. Some nectar secondary compounds can reduce pathogen counts in infected bumble bees, but we know less about how exposure to these compounds directly affects pathogens prior to being ingested by their host. We exposed the...

Data from: Intraspecific niche models for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) suggest potential variability in population-level response to climate change.

Kaitlin C. Maguire, Douglas J. Shinneman, Kevin M. Potter & Valerie D. Hipkins
Unique responses to climate change can occur across intraspecific levels, resulting in individualistic adaptation or movement patterns among populations within a given species. Thus, the need to model potential responses among genetically distinct populations within a species is increasingly recognized. However, predictive models of future distributions are regularly fit at the species level, often because intraspecific variation is unknown or is identified only within limited sample locations. In this study, we considered the role of...

Data from: Effects of plant functional group loss on soil biota and net ecosystem exchange: a plant removal experiment in the Mongolian grassland

Dima Chen, Qingmin Pan, Yongfei Bai, Shuijin Hu, Jianhui Huang, Qibing Wang, Shahid Naeem, James J. Elser, Jianguo Wu & Xingguo Han
1. The rapid loss of global biodiversity can greatly affect the functioning of above-ground components of ecosystems. However, how such biodiversity losses affect below-ground communities and linkages to soil carbon (C) sequestration is unclear. Here we describe how losses in plant functional groups (PFGs) affect soil microbial and nematode communities and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in a 4-year removal experiment conducted on the Mongolian plateau, the world's largest remaining natural grassland. 2. Our results demonstrated...

Data from: Experimental evidence does not support the Habitat Amount Hypothesis

Nick M. Haddad, Andrew Gonzalez, Lars A. Brudvig, Melissa A. Burt, Douglas J. Levey & Ellen I. Damschen
For a half century, habitat configuration – the arrangement of habitat patches within a landscape – has been central to theories of landscape ecology, population dynamics, and community assembly, in addition to conservation strategies. A recent hypothesis advanced by Fahrig (2013) would, if supported, greatly diminish the relevance of habitat configuration as a predictor of diversity. The Habitat Amount Hypothesis posits that the sample area effect overrides patch size and patch isolation effects of habitat...

Data from: Taxonomic resolution is a determinant of biodiversity effects in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities

Haishui Yang, Qian Zhang, Roger T. Koide, Jason D. Hoeksema, Jianjun Tang, Xinmin Bian, Shuijin Hu & Xin Chen
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are key regulators of ecosystem processes, yet how their biodiversity works in ecosystems remains poorly understood. We documented the extent to which taxonomic resolution influenced the effect of biodiversity of AMF taxa on plant performance (growth, nutrient uptake and stress tolerance) in a meta-analysis of 902 articles. We found that the effect of biodiversity of AMF taxa depended on taxonomic resolution. Plant performance was positively promoted by AMF family richness, while...

Data from: Grouping substitution types into different relaxed molecular clocks

Hui-Jie Lee, Hirohisa Kishino, Nicolas Rodrigue & Jeffrey L. Thorne
Different types of nucleotide substitutions experience different patterns of rate change over time. We propose clustering context-dependent (or context-independent) nucleotide substitution types according to how their rates change and then using the grouping for divergence time estimation. With our models, relative rates among types that are in the same group are fixed, whereas absolute rates of the types within a group change over time according to a shared relaxed molecular clock. We illustrate our procedure...

Data from: Does hunting or hiking affect wildlife communities in protected areas?

Roland Kays, Arielle W. Parsons, Megan C. Baker, Ellizabeth L. Kalies, Tavis Forrester, Robert Costello, Christopher T. Rota, Joshua J. Millspaugh & William J. McShea
Managed public wild areas have dual mandates to protect biodiversity and provide recreational opportunities for people. These goals could be at odds if recreation, ranging from hiking to legal hunting, disrupts wildlife enough to alter their space use or community structure. We evaluated the effect of managed hunting and recreation on 12 terrestrial wildlife species by employing a large citizen science camera trapping survey at 1947 sites stratified across different levels of human activities in...

Data from: Importance of deep water uptake in tropical eucalypt forest

Mathias Christina, Yann Nouvellon, Jean-Paul Laclau, Jose L. Stape, Jean-Pierre Bouillet, George R. Lambais & Guerric Le Maire
Climate models predict that the frequency, intensity and duration of drought events will increase in tropical regions. Although water withdrawal from deep soil layers is generally considered to be an efficient adaptation to drought, there is little information on the role played by deep roots in tropical forests. Tropical Eucalyptus plantations managed in short rotation cycles are simple forest ecosystems that may provide an insight into the water use by trees in tropical forests. The...

Data from: Hemimetabolous genomes reveal molecular basis of termite eusociality

Mark C Harrison, Evelien Jongepier, Hugh M. Robertson, Nicolas Arning, Tristan Bitard-Feildel, Hsu Chao, Christopher P. Childers, Huyen Dinh, Harshavardhan Doddapaneni, Shannon Dugan, Johannes Gowin, Carolin Greiner, Yi Han, Haofu Hu, Daniel S.T. Hughes, Ann-Kathrin Huylmans, Carsten Kemena, Lukas P.M. Kremer, Sandra L. Lee, Alberto Lopez-Ezquerra, Ludovic Mallet, Jose M. Monroy-Kuhn, Annabell Moser, Shwetha C. Murali, Donna M. Muzny … & Erich Bornberg-Bauer
Around 150 million years ago, eusocial termites evolved from within the cockroaches, 50 million years before eusocial Hymenoptera, such as bees and ants, appeared. Here, we report the 2-Gb genome of the German cockroach, Blattella germanica, and the 1.3-Gb genome of the drywood termite Cryptotermes secundus. We show evolutionary signatures of termite eusociality by comparing the genomes and transcriptomes of three termites and the cockroach against the background of 16 other eusocial and non-eusocial insects....

Data from: Male courtship preference during seasonal sympatry may maintain population divergence

Abigail A. Kimmitt, Samantha L. Dietz, Dustin G. Reichard & Ellen D. Ketterson
Animal migration can lead to a population distribution known as seasonal sympatry, in which closely related migrant and resident populations of the same species co-occur in sympatry during part of the year, but are otherwise allopatric. During seasonal sympatry in early spring, residents may initiate reproduction before migrants depart, presenting an opportunity for gene flow. Differences in reproductive timing between migrant and resident populations may favor residents that exhibit preferences for potential mates of similar...

Data from: Allopolyploidy and the evolution of plant virus resistance

John W. Gottula, Ramsey Lewis, Seiya Saito & Marc Fuchs
Background: The relationship between allopolyploidy and plant virus resistance is poorly understood. To determine the relationship of plant evolutionary history and basal virus resistance, a panel of Nicotiana species from diverse geographic regions and ploidy levels was assessed for resistance to non-coevolved viruses from the genus Nepovirus, family Secoviridae. The heritability of resistance was tested in a panel of synthetic allopolyploids. Leaves of different positions on each inoculated plant were tested for virus presence and...

Data from: Little evidence for morphological change in a resilient endemic species following the introduction of a novel predator

Diana M. T. Sharpe, R. Brian Langerhans, Etienne Low-Décarie & Lauren J Chapman
Human activities, such as species introductions, are dramatically and rapidly altering natural ecological processes, and often result in novel selection regimes. To date, we still have a limited understanding of the extent to which such anthropogenic selection may be driving contemporary phenotypic change in natural populations. Here we test whether the introduction of the piscivorous Nile perch, Lates niloticus, into East Africa's Lake Victoria and nearby lakes coincided with morphological change in one resilient native...

Data from: Reduced cellular immune response in social insect lineages

Margarita M. López-Uribe, Warren B. Sconiers, Steven D. Frank, Robert R. Dunn & David R. Tarpy
Social living poses challenges for individual fitness because of the increased risk of disease transmission among conspecifics. Despite this challenge, sociality is an evolutionarily successful lifestyle, occurring in the most abundant and diverse group of organisms on earth—the social insects. Two contrasting hypotheses predict the evolutionary consequences of sociality on immune systems. The social group hypothesis posits that sociality leads to stronger individual immune systems because of the higher risk of disease transmission in social...

Data from: Fossil grebes from the Truckee Formation (Miocene) of Nevada and a new phylogenetic analysis of Podicipediformes (Aves)

Daniel T. Ksepka, Amy M. Balanoff, Michael A. Bell & Michel D. Houseman
Podicipediformes is a cosmopolitan clade of foot-propelled diving birds that, despite inhabiting marine and lacustrine environments, have a poor fossil record. In this contribution, we describe three new grebe fossils from the diatomite beds of the Late Miocene Truckee Formation (10.2 ± 0.2 Ma) of Nevada (USA). Two postcranial skeletons and an associated set of wing elements indicate that at least two distinct grebe species occupied the large, shallow Lake Truckee during the Miocene. Phylogenetic...

Data from: Phylogenomics resolves the timing and pattern of insect evolution

Bernhard Misof, Shanlin Liu, Karen Meusemann, Ralph S. Peters, Alexander Donath, Christoph Mayer, Paul B. Frandsen, Jessica Ware, Tomas Flouri, Rolf G. Beutel, Oliver Niehuis, Malte Petersen, Fernando Izquierdo-Carrasco, Torsten Wappler, Jes Rust, Andre J. Aberer, Ulrike Aspöck, Horst Aspöck, Daniela Bartel, Alexander Blanke, Simon Berger, Alexander Böhm, Thomas Buckley, Brett Calcott, Junqing Chen … & Xin Zhou
Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight...

Data from: Adaptive divergence despite strong genetic drift: genomic analysis of the evolutionary mechanisms causing genetic differentiation in the island fox (Urocyon littoralis)

W. Chris Funk, Robert E. Lovich, Paul A. Hohenlohe, Courtney A. Hofman, Scott A. Morrison, T. Scott Sillett, Cameron K. Ghalambor, Jesús E. Maldonado, Torben C. Rick, Mitch D. Day, Nicholas R. Polato, Sarah W. Fizpatrick, Timothy J. Coonan, Kevin R. Crooks, Adam Dillon, David K. Garcelon, Julie L. King, Christina L. Boser, Nicholas Gould, William F. Andelt & Sarah W. Fitzpatrick
The evolutionary mechanisms generating the tremendous biodiversity of islands have long fascinated evolutionary biologists. Genetic drift and divergent selection are predicted to be strong on islands and both could drive population divergence and speciation. Alternatively, strong genetic drift may preclude adaptation. We conducted a genomic analysis to test the roles of genetic drift and divergent selection in causing genetic differentiation among populations of the island fox (Urocyon littoralis). This species consists of six subspecies, each...

Data from: Ecology of sleeping: the microbial and arthropod associates of chimpanzee beds

Megan S. Thoemmes, Fiona A. Stewart, R. Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar, Matthew A. Bertone, David A. Baltzegar, Russell J. Borski, Naomi Cohen, Kaitlin P. Coyle, Alexander K. Piel & Robert R. Dunn
The indoor environment created by the construction of homes and other buildings is often considered to be uniquely different from other environments. It is composed of organisms that are less diverse than those of the outdoors and strongly sourced by, or dependent upon, human bodies. Yet, no one has ever compared the composition of species found in contemporary human homes to that of other structures built by mammals, including those of non-human primates. Here we...

Data from: Inducible versus constitutive social immunity: examining effects of colony infection on glucose oxidase and defensin-1 production in honeybees

Margarita M. López-Uribe, Andrea Fitzgerald & Michael Simone-Finstrom
Honeybees use a variety of defence mechanisms to reduce disease infection and spread throughout the colony. Many of these defences rely on the collective action of multiple individuals to prevent, reduce or eradicate pathogens—often referred to as ‘social immunity’. Glucose oxidase (GOX) and some antimicrobial peptides (e.g. defensin-1 or Def1) are secreted by the hypopharyngeal gland of adult bees on larval food for their antiseptic properties. Because workers secrete these compounds to protect larvae, they...

Data from: Diet specialization in an extreme omnivore: nutritional regulation in glucose-averse German cockroaches

Jonathan Z. Shik, Coby Schal & Jules Silverman
Organisms have diverse adaptations for balancing dietary nutrients, but often face trade-offs between ingesting nutrients and toxins in food. While extremely omnivorous cockroaches would seem excluded from such dietary trade-offs, German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) in multiple populations have rapidly evolved a unique dietary specialization – an aversion to glucose, the phagostimulant in toxic baits used for pest control. We used factorial feeding experiments within the geometric framework to test whether glucose-averse (GA) cockroaches with limited...

Data from: Phylogenetic structure and host abundance drive disease pressure in communities

Ingrid M. Parker, Megan Saunders, Megan Bontrager, Andrew P. Weitz, Rebecca Hendricks, Roger Magarey, Karl Suiter & Gregory S. Gilbert
Pathogens play an important part in shaping the structure and dynamics of natural communities, because species are not affected by them equally. A shared goal of ecology and epidemiology is to predict when a species is most vulnerable to disease. A leading hypothesis asserts that the impact of disease should increase with host abundance, producing a ‘rare-species advantage. However, the impact of a pathogen may be decoupled from host abundance, because most pathogens infect more...

Data from: Disruption of endosperm development is a major cause of hybrid seed inviability between Mimulus guttatus and Mimulus nudatus

Elen Oneal, John H. Willis & Robert G. Franks
Divergence of developmental mechanisms within populations could lead to hybrid developmental failure, and might be a factor driving speciation in angiosperms. We investigate patterns of endosperm and embryo development in Mimulus guttatus and the closely related, serpentine endemic Mimulus nudatus, and compare them to those of reciprocal hybrid seed. We address whether disruption in hybrid seed development is the primary source of reproductive isolation between these sympatric taxa. M. guttatus and M. nudatus differ in...

Data from: Are shy individuals less behaviorally variable? Insights from a captive population of mouse lemurs

Jennifer L. Verdolin & John Harper
Increasingly, individual variation in personality has become a focus of behavioral research in animal systems. Boldness and shyness, often quantified as the tendency to explore novel situations, are seen as personality traits important to the fitness landscape of individuals. Here we tested for individual differences within and across contexts in behavioral responses of captive mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) to novel objects, novel foods, and handling. We report consistent differences in behavioral responses for objects and...

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