The Life History of Culture Learning in a Face-to-Face Society

Author: Aunger, Robert Description: This article identifies the temporal sequence during which important cultural beliefs (food taboos) are transmitted to individuals in an oral society living in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Results are based on patterns of correlation in scaled measures of cultural similarity between same-household and same-clan members. In the first phase of the cultural life history (zero to ten years of age), individuals are innocent of food taboos. In Phase Two (11 to 20 years of age), when most taboos are acquired, parents dominate the enculturation of…

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The receptors and coding logic for bitter taste

Author: Mueller, K. L.; Hoon, M. A.; Erlenbach, I.; Chandrashekar, J.; Zuker, C. S. & Ryba, N. J. P. Description: The sense of taste provides animals with valuable information about the nature and quality of food.  Bitter taste detection functions as an important sensory input to warn against the ingestion of toxic and noxious substances. T2Rs are a family of approximately 30 highly divergent G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that are selectively expressed in the tongue and palate epithelium and are implicated in bitter taste sensing. Here we demonstrate, using a combination…

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What a difference a species makes: a meta-analysis of dreissenid mussel impacts on freshwater ecosystems

Author: Higgins, S.N.; Zanden, M.J.V. Description: We performed a meta-analysis of published studies and long-term monitoring data sets to evaluate the effects of dreissenid mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. rostriformis bugensis), two of the world’s most problematic biological invaders, on the biogeochemistry, flora, and fauna of lakes and rivers across North America and Eurasia. Dreissenid effects were structured along two distinct energy pathways. For the pelagic–profundal pathway, large mean reductions in phytoplankton (35% to 78%) and zooplankton (40% to 77%) biomass occurred and were dependent on habitat type. The largest…

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Alternatives to Antibiotic Use: Probiotics for the Gut

Author: Reid, Gregor; Friendship, Robert Description: Developed countries are not immune from serious food-borne diseases, and the source is often the intestine of cattle, sheep and poultry livestock. Outbreaks of Escherichia coli 0157, most recently killing people in Ontario, and of salmonella and shigella food poisoning especially during summer months, remind us of the seriousness of the problem. Thus, there is renewed interest in alternative approaches to antibiotics to control bacterial diseases, both in humans and veterinary medicine. Consumers are believed to be concerned not only about bacterial pathogens being…

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The contribution of biomass in the future global energy supply: a review of 17 studies

Author: Berndes, G.; Hoogwijk, M.; van den Broek, R. Description: This paper discusses the contribution of biomass in the future global energy supply. The discussion is based on a review of 17 earlier studies on the subject. These studies have arrived at widely different conclusions about the possible contribution of biomass in the future global energy supply (e.g., from below 100 EJ yr-1 to above 400 EJ yr-1 in 2050). The major reason for the differences is that the two most crucial parameters–land availability and yield levels in energy crop…

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Induced expression of the heat shock protein genes uspA and grpE during starvation at low temperatures and their influence on thermal resistance of Escherichia coli O157:H7

Author: Zhang, Y.; Griffiths, M.W. Description: Heat shock proteins play an important role in protecting bacterial cells against several stresses, including starvation. In this study, the promoters for two genes encoding heat shock proteins involved in many stress responses, UspA and GrpE, were fused with the green fluorescent protein (gfp) gene. Thus, the expression of the two genes could be quantified by measuring the fluorescence emitted by the cells under different environmental conditions. The heat resistance levels of starved and nonstarved cells during storage at 5, 10, and 37 degrees…

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Effect of atmosphere composition on the quality of ready-to-use broccoli raab (Brassica rapa L.)

**top choice** Author: Cefola, M.; Amodio, M.L.; Cornacchia, R.; Rinaldi, R.; Vanadia, S.; Colelli, G. Description: BACKGROUND: Many leafy brassicas are widely used for ready-to-use salads. Broccoli raab (Brassica rapa L.), also called turnip top, or rapini, is extensively cultivated in southern Italy. The edible portion is made up of the green, immature inflorescences and the stem with its most tender leaves. Recently, interest in this crop has increased among European consumers; moreover, a substantial increase in consumption could come from the ready-to-use product. RESULTS: The effects of four different…

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Pharmacological profile of lixisenatide: A new GLP-1 receptor agonist for the treatment of type 2 diabetes

Author: Werner, U.; Haschke, G.; Herling, A.W.; Kramer, W. Description: The glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor represents an established therapeutic target in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Agents that activate this receptor improve glucose tolerance alongside a low risk of hypoglycaemia, and have the potential to modify disease progression. Lixisenatide is a new potent and selective GLP-1 receptor agonist currently in development. The preclinical pharmacological profile of Lixisenatide suggests actions that are highly relevant to the long-term maintenance of glucose homeostasis. Lixisenatide protected Ins-1 cells (a rat-derived beta-cell line) from both…

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Impacts of climate change on marine organisms and ecosystems

Author: Brierley, A.S.; Kingsford, M.J. Description: Human activities are releasing gigatonnes of carbon to the Earth’s atmosphere annually. Direct consequences of cumulative post-industrial emissions include increasing global temperature, perturbed regional weather patterns, rising sea levels, acidifying oceans, changed nutrient loads and altered ocean circulation. These and other physical consequences are affecting marine biological processes from genes to ecosystems, over scales from rock pools to ocean basins, impacting ecosystem services and threatening human food security. The rates of physical change are unprecedented in some cases. Biological change is likely to be…

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Combined effect of copper and prolonged summer drought on soil microarthropods in the field

Author: Holmstrup, M.; Maraldo, K.; Krogh, P.H. Description: Soil microarthropods experience a large range of natural stressors in their natural environment, e.g. variations in temperature and soil moisture, but also anthropogenic stressors such as soil pollutants. In the present study the combined effect of drought stress and copper pollution on microarthropods was investigated in a field study. We hypothesized that microarthropods in copper polluted soil would be more susceptible to drought than animals in control soil. Surprisingly, the abundance of microarthropods in autumn was positively affected by summer drought and…

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