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  • Anthropogenic noise of variable temporal patterns is increasing in aquatic environments, causing physiological stress and sensory impairment. However, scarce information exists on exposure effects to continuous versus intermittent disturbances, which is critical for noise sustainable management. We tested the effects of different noise regimes on the auditory system and behaviour in the zebrafish (Danio rerio). Adult zebrafish were exposed for 24 h to either white noise (150 ± 10 dB re 1 μPa) or silent control. Acoustic playbacks varied in temporal patterns—continuous, fast and slow regular intermittent, and irregular intermittent. Auditory sensitivity was assessed with Auditory Evoked Potential recordings, revealing hearing loss and increased response latency in all noise-treated groups. The highest mean threshold shifts (c. 13 dB) were registered in continuous and fast intermittent treatments, and no differences were found between regular and irregular regimes. Inner ear saccule did not reveal significant hair cell loss but showed a decrease in presynaptic Ribeye b protein especially after continuous exposure. Behavioural assessment using the standardized Novel Tank Diving assay showed that all noise-treated fish spent > 98% time in the bottom within the first minute compared to 82% in control, indicating noise-induced anxiety/stress. We provide first data on how different noise time regimes impact a reference fish model, suggesting that overall acoustic energy is more important than regularity when predicting noise effects.

  • Antimicrobial resistance has become a critical global health problem due to the abuse of conventional antibiotics and the rise of multi-drug-resistant microbes. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a group of natural peptides that show promise as next-generation antibiotics due to their low toxicity to the host, broad spectrum of biological activity, including antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-parasitic activities, and great therapeutic potential, such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, etc. Most importantly, AMPs kill bacteria by damaging cell membranes using multiple mechanisms of action rather than targeting a single molecule or pathway, making it difficult for bacterial drug resistance to develop. However, experimental approaches used to discover and design new AMPs are very expensive and time-consuming. In recent years, there has been considerable interest in using in silico methods, including traditional machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) approaches, to drug discovery. While there are a few papers summarizing computational AMP prediction methods, none of them focused on DL methods. In this review, we aim to survey the latest AMP prediction methods achieved by DL approaches. First, the biology background of AMP is introduced, then various feature encoding methods used to represent the features of peptide sequences are presented. We explain the most popular DL techniques and highlight the recent works based on them to classify AMPs and design novel peptide sequences. Finally, we discuss the limitations and challenges of AMP prediction.

  • The physiological mechanisms underlying variation in aggression in fish remain poorly understood. One possibly confounding variable is the lack of standardization in the type of stimuli used to elicit aggression. The presentation of controlled stimuli in videos, a.k.a. video playback, can provide better control of the fight components. However, this technique has produced conflicting results in animal behaviour studies and needs to be carefully validated. For this, a similar response to the video and an equivalent live stimulus needs to be demonstrated. Further, different physiological responses may be triggered by live and video stimuli and it is important to demonstrate that video images elicit appropriate physiological reactions. Here, the behavioural and endocrine response of male Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens to a matched for size conspecific fighting behind a one-way mirror, presented live or through video playback, was compared. The video playback and live stimulus elicited a strong and similar aggressive response by the focal fish, with a fight structure that started with stereotypical threat displays and progressed to overt attacks. Post-fight plasma levels of the androgen 11-ketotestosterone were elevated as compared to controls, regardless of the type of stimuli. Cortisol also increased in response to the video images, as previously described for live fights in this species. These results show that the interactive component of a fight, and its resolution, are not needed to trigger an endocrine response to aggression in this species. The study also demonstrates for the first time in a fish a robust endocrine response to video stimuli and supports the use of this technique for researching aggressive behaviour in B. splendens.

  • Hydrothermal activity on mid-ocean ridges is an important mechanism for the delivery of Zn from the mantle to the surface environment. Zinc isotopic fractionation during hydrothermal activity is mainly controlled by the precipitation of Zn-bearing sulfide minerals, in which isotopically light Zn is preferentially retained in solid phases rather than in solution during mineral precipitation. Thus, seafloor hydrothermal activity is expected to supply isotopically heavy Zn to the ocean. Here, we studied sulfide-rich samples from the Duanqiao-1 hydrothermal field, located on the Southwest Indian Ridge. We report that, at the hand-specimen scale, late-stage conduit sulfide material has lower δ66Zn values (−0.05 ± 0.15 ‰; n = 19) than early-stage material (+0.13 ± 0.15 ‰; n = 10). These lower values correlate with enrichments in Pb, As, Cd, and Ag, and elevated δ34S values. We attribute the low δ66Zn values to the remobilization of earlier sub-seafloor Zn-rich mineralization. Based on endmember mass balance calculations, and an assumption of a fractionation factor (αZnS-Sol.) of about 0.9997 between sphalerite and its parent solution, the remobilized Zn was found consist of about 1/3 to 2/3 of the total Zn in the fluid that formed the conduit samples. Our study suggests that late-stage subsurface hydrothermal remobilization may release isotopically-light Zn to the ocean, and that this process may be common along mid-ocean ridges, thus increasing the size of the previously identified isotopically light Zn sink in the ocean.

  • In government studies, electronic government has become a hot topic in recent decades. Many scholars believe that soon, the government might not be able to operate smoothly without the help of ICTs as the Internet has been overwhelming people's daily lives already. In analyzing people's behavioral factors towards adopting e-government services, most studies targeted the adult population, while those in the hard-to-reach groups are minimal. This study was designed especially to understand the behavioral factors of the younger generation aged between 18 and 24 and the senior citizens above 60 on their adoption of e-government services in Macao SAR. Sixteen in-depth interviews were conducted based on the semi-structured interview questions developed from the prior literature on the Theory of Planned Behavior and e-government studies. Six significant findings are yielded, which could serve as an important reference for policymakers designing e-government policy and promoting its implementation strategy. These behavioral factors also contribute empirical data to support the theoretical framework of TPB in the context of Macao SAR e-government services.

  • "Student engagement is a catch-all term, irresistible to educators and policy makers, and serving many agendas and purposes. This ground-breaking book provides a powerful theory of student engagement, rooted in critical theory and social justice. It sets out a compelling argument for student engagement to promote social justice and to repel neoliberalism in, and through, higher education, addressing three key questions: -Student engagement in what? -Student engagement for what? -Student engagement for whom? The answers draw on Habermas, Honneth, Gramsci, Foucault, and Giroux in examining ideology, power, recognition, resistance, and student engagement, with examples drawn from across the world. It sets out key features, limitations and failures of neoliberalism in higher education, and indicates how student engagement can resist it. Student engagement calls for higher education institutions to be sites for challenge, debate on values and power, action for social justice, and for students to engage in the struggle to resist neoliberalism, taking action to promote social justice, democracy, and the public good. This book is essential reading for educators, researchers, managers and students in higher education, social scientists and social theorists. It is a call to reawaken higher education for social justice, human rights, democracy and freedoms"--

  • Reaction of ultramafic rocks with seawater and subsequent serpentinization has been considered one of the most important factors controlling the formation of ultramafic-hosted seafloor massive sulfide (UM-SMS) deposits. However, the mineralization processes responsible for these deposits remain poorly understood, in particular because they are less abundant as compared with their basaltic counterparts. In this work, serpentinites with different alteration grades collected at the Tianzuo hydrothermal field (THF), Southwest Indian Ridge, were studied. Mineralogical and chemical analyses were performed in the secondary opaque minerals resulting from serpentinization to understand the role of this process during the formation of UM-SMS deposits. Our results show that these opaque minerals mainly consist of magnetite, hematite, pentlandite, and minor pyrite, suggestive of high but varying oxygen and sulfur fugacities. The hematite is characterized by an enrichment in Mg, Si, Ni, and Co as compared with magnetite. Pentlandite associated with hematite has elevated and consistent Ni contents as compared with that associated with magnetite. These results indicate that breakdown and decomposition of primary silicate and sulfide minerals during serpentinization has controlled the sources of ore-forming materials. Concentrations of Te are variable and show a positive correlation with Ni in pentlandite associated with magnetite or hematite, suggesting that gabbroic intrusions provided additional material to the hydrothermal system. Oxidation and sulfidation conditions are ideal for the formation of trisulfur ion S3− in THF, which can significantly improve the capability of hydrothermal fluids for leaching ore-forming metals from the wall rocks, promoting the formation of THF. In addition of reduced systems, hydrothermal fluids with high oxygen and sulfur fugacities triggered by extensive seawater infiltration can most likely also develop in ultramafic-hosted systems. These results suggest that the areas with well-developed fractures are promising candidates for further exploration of UM-SMS deposits along mid-oceanic ridges.

  • Reproduction of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is critical for aquaculture production. Gonadal development is the basis of reproduction, and lipids, which are among the main nutrients required for gonadal development, directly affect reproduction. We investigated whether gonadal and intestinal lipid metabolism differed between male and female A. japonicus. Transcriptome analysis of the intestines of sexually mature male and female wild-caught individuals revealed differences in gene expression, with 27 and 39 genes being up-regulated in females and males, respectively. In particular, the expression of the fatty acid synthase gene was higher in males than in females. Metabolome analysis of the gonads identified 141 metabolites that were up-regulated and 175 metabolites that were down-regulated in the testes compared with the ovaries in the positive/negative mode of an LC-MS/MS analysis. A variety of polyunsaturated fatty acids were found at higher concentrations in the testes than in the ovaries. 16 s rDNA sequencing analysis showed that the composition and structure of the intestinal microbiota were similar between males and females. These results suggest that sex differences in intestinal metabolism of A. japonicus are not due to differences in the microbiota, and we speculate that gonadal metabolism may be related to intestinal morphology. This information might be useful in improving the reproductive efficiency of sea cucumbers in captivity.

Last update from database: 2/1/23, 3:23 AM (UTC)