Individual Variation
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Amy E. Hutchinson ◽  
Olga Dmitrieva

Abstract The present study examines the production of voicing by English-speaking learners of French in a traditional classroom environment, focusing on the juxtaposition between group patterns and individual tendencies. Thirty-one intermediate-level learners completed word-reading production tasks in French and English, and voice onset time was measured in word-initial bilabial stops. At the group level, results demonstrated strong interference from English in participants’ French, especially in the production of voiceless stops. In contrast, voiced stops overall were more target-like, revealing an asymmetry in the acquisition of the two members of the phonological distinction. At the individual level, much variability was observed both in the relative attainment of pronunciation targets and in the alignment between participants first and second language pronunciation patterns, ultimately highlighting the need for future research to consider individual trends in order to understand L2 speech acquisition in a more comprehensive manner.

Cancers ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (23) ◽  
pp. 6037
Tze Min Wah ◽  
Jim Zhong ◽  
Michelle Wilson ◽  
Naveen S. Vasudev ◽  
Rosamonde E. Banks

Further biological understanding of the immune and inflammatory responses following ablation is critical to the rational development of combination ablation-immunotherapies. Our pilot exploratory study evaluated the circulating plasma protein profiles after image-guided ablation (IGA) of small renal masses to determine the resultant systemic effects and provide insight into impact both on the tumour and immune system. Patients undergoing cryotherapy (CRYO), radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or microwave ablation (MWA) for small renal tumours were recruited. Blood samples were obtained at four timepoints; two baselines prior to IGA and at 24 h and 1–3 months post-IGA, and a panel of 164 proteins measured. Of 55 patients recruited, 35 underwent ablation (25 CRYO, 8 RFA, 2 MWA) and biomarker measurements. The most marked changes were 24 h post-CRYO, with 29 proteins increasing and 18 decreasing significantly, principally cytokines and proteins involved in regulating inflammation, danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), cell proliferation, hypoxic response, apoptosis and migration. Intra-individual variation was low but inter-individual variation was apparent, for example all patients showed increases in IL-6 (1.7 to 29-fold) but only 50% in CD27. Functional annotation analysis highlighted immune/inflammation and cell proliferation/angiogenesis-related clusters, with interaction networks around IL-6, IL-10, VEGF-A and several chemokines. Increases in IL-8, IL-6, and CCL23 correlated with cryoprobe number (p = 0.01, rs = 0.546; p = 0.009, rs = 0.5515; p = 0.005, rs = 0.5873, respectively). This initial data provide further insights into ablation-induced biological changes of relevance in informing trial design of immunotherapies combined with ablation.

Indoor Air ◽  
2021 ◽  
Yungui Li ◽  
Yuqiong Wang ◽  
Jinze Wang ◽  
Long Chen ◽  
Zhenglu Wang ◽  

2021 ◽  
Bridget M. Nugent ◽  
Kelly A. Stiver ◽  
Jiawei Han ◽  
Holly K Kindsvater ◽  
Susan E. Marsh-Rollo ◽  

Uncovering the genetic, physiological, and developmental mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation is necessary for understanding how genetic and genomic variation shape phenotypic variation and for discovering possible targets of selection. Although the neural and endocrine mechanisms underlying social behavior are evolutionarily ancient, we lack an understanding of the proximate causes and evolutionary consequences of variation in these mechanisms. Here, we examine in the natural environment the behavioral, neuromolecular, and fitness consequences of a morpholino-mediated knockdown of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in the brain of nesting males of the ocellated wrasse, Symphodus ocellatus, a species with male alternative reproductive tactics. Even though MR knockdown did not significantly change male behavior directly, this experimental manipulation strongly altered glucocorticoid signaling and neuroplasticity in the preoptic area, the putative hippocampus homolog, and the putative basolateral amygdala homolog. We also found that individual variation in stress axis gene expression and neuroplasticity is strongly associated with variation in male behavior and fitness-related traits. The brain region-specific effects of MR knockdown on phenotypic integration in the wild reported here suggest specific neuroendocrine and neuroplasticity pathways that may be targets of selection.

2021 ◽  
Rebecca Mancy ◽  
Malavika Rajeev ◽  
Ahmed Lugelo ◽  
Kirstyn Brunker ◽  
Sarah Cleaveland ◽  

Fundamental questions remain about the regulation of acute pathogens in the absence of acquired immunity. This is especially true for canine rabies, a universally fatal zoonosis. From tracing rabies transmission in a population of 50,000 dogs in Tanzania between 2002-2016 we unravel the processes through which rabies is regulated and persists, fitting individual-based models to spatially-resolved data to investigate the mechanisms modulating transmission and the scale over which they operate. We find that while prevalence never exceeds 0.15%, we detect significant susceptible depletion at local scales commensurate with rabid dog movement, reducing transmission through clustering of rabies deaths and individuals incubating infection. Individual variation in rabid dog behaviour facilitates virus dispersal and co-circulation of lineages, enabling metapopulation persistence. These mechanisms likely operate in many pathogens circulating in spatially structured populations, with important implications for prediction and control, yet are unobservable unless the scale of host interactions is identified.

2021 ◽  
Hal Tily ◽  
Eric Patridge ◽  
Ying Cai ◽  
Vishakh Gopu ◽  
Stephanie Gline ◽  

Fossil Record ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 24 (2) ◽  
pp. 357-377
Andrea Guerrero ◽  
Adán Pérez-García

Abstract. Several British specimens of relatively complete and partial shells of small pleurosternid turtles, found in the Purbeck Limestone Group (Berriasian, Lower Cretaceous), are analysed in detail here. Despite having been found more than a century ago, most of them remained unpublished until now. Due to the scarce knowledge available to date about the small individuals of Pleurosternidae from the British record, their taxonomic status was doubtful. Thus, some authors proposed their attribution to a new but not defined taxon of small size, whereas others suggested that they could represent juvenile individuals of Pleurosternon bullockii, the adults of which were also found in the Purbeck Limestone Group but at different levels. Knowledge about the shell of the adult individuals of Pleurosternon bullockii has notably increased recently, abundant information on its intraspecific variability being currently available. In this context, a detailed study of the small specimens through qualitative and quantitative approaches is performed here. The results are evidence a significant range of shape variability because of ontogenetic development, as well as other types of intraspecific variation such as inter-individual variation. As a consequence, their attribution to juvenile individuals of Pleurosternon bullockii is justified, providing new data on the ontogenetic development of a basal form.

2021 ◽  
Pietro Pollo ◽  
Shinichi Nakagawa ◽  
Michael M. Kasumovic

Male mate choice occurs in several animal species, but we know little about the factors that influence the expression of this behaviour. Males vary in their capacity to acquire mates (i.e. male quality), which could be crucial to male mate choice expression but it is often overlooked. Using a meta-analytical approach, we explore inter-individual variation in the expression of male mate choice by comparing the mating investment of males of different qualities and phenotypes to high- and low-quality females. We used two datasets that together contained information from 60 empirical studies, comprising 52 species. We found that males of all qualities and phenotypes prefer high-quality females, but differ in the strength of such preference. High- and medium-quality males are choosier than low-quality males. Similarly, males that are larger or in greater body condition are choosier than their counterparts. In contrast, male body mass and age are not associated with changes in male mate choice. We also show that experimental design may influence our understanding of male mating investment patterns, which may limit the generalization of our findings. Nonetheless, we argue that male quality may be an important feature in the expression of male mate choice.

2021 ◽  
Gian Luca Salvagno ◽  
Brandon M. Henry ◽  
Laura Pighi ◽  
Simone De Nitto ◽  
Gianluca Gianfilippi ◽  

Abstract Background: This article aims to summarize the 6-month variation of a vast array of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in recipients of BNT162b2 mRNA-based vaccination.Methods: The study population consisted of 84 baseline SARS-CoV-2 seronegative healthcare employees (median age 45 years, 53.6% females), receiving mRNA-based BNT162b2 vaccination. Blood was collected before the first and second BNT162b2 vaccine doses, as well as 1, 3 and 6 months afterwards. The serum titers of the following anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were assayed: total anti-RBD, anti-spike trimeric IgG, anti-RBD IgG and anti-spike S1 IgA.Results: All antibodies levels peaked 1 month after vaccination, but then displayed a considerable decrease. The median rates of 6-month decline were -95% for IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD, -85% for IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 trimeric spike, -73% for IgA anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1 and -56% for total anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies, respectively. The median time of seronegativization was estimated at 579 days for total anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies, 271 days for IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 trimeric spike, 264 days for IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD and 208 days for IgA anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1, respectively. The rate of seropositive subjects declined from 98-100% at the peak to 50-100% after 6 months. The inter-individual variation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies reduction at 6 months was 3-44% from the peak.Conclusions: The results of this longitudinal serosurvey demonstrate that the titer of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies declined 6 months after BNT162b2 vaccination, with median time of IgG/IgA seronegativization estimated between 7-9 months, thus supporting the opportunity of administering vaccine boosters approximately 6 months after the last dose.

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