The Vrancea slab, Romania, is a subducted remnant of the Tethyan lithosphere characterized by a significant intermediate-depth seismicity (60–170 km). A recent study showed a correlation between this seismicity and major dehydration reactions, involving serpentine minerals up to 130 km depth, and high-pressure hydrated talc deeper. Here we investigate the potential link between the triggering mechanisms and the retrieved focal mechanisms of 940 earthquakes, which allows interpreting the depth distribution of the stress field. We observe a switch from horizontal compression to vertical extension between 100 and 130 km depth, where the Clapeyron slope of serpentine dehydration is negative. The negative volume change within dehydrating serpentinized faults, expected mostly sub-horizontal in the verticalized slab, could well explain the vertical extension recorded by the intermediate-depth seismicity. This apparent slab pull is accompanied with a rotation of the main compressive stress, which could favour slab detachments in active subduction zones.View less
Unemployment is widely considered an important chronic stressor. Using longitudinal data of initially employed German jobseekers, the present study examines whether unemployment is related to changes in hair cortisol concentration (HCC), a reliable biomarker for chronic stress. The results indicate that HCC is the highest initially when individuals are insecurely employed and decreases as people gain certainty about whether they enter unemployment or not. We find no effects when comparing the average changes in HCC between individuals who entered unemployment to those of continuously employed individuals. However, medium-term unemployment was associated with a stronger mean increase in HCC if re-employment expectations were low compared to when re-employment expectations were high. Taken together, our results support two key conclusions. First, experiencing the uncertainty of looming unemployment is associated with more pronounced cortisol secretion than unemployment itself. Second, whether working or being unemployed is associated with higher HCC is highly context-dependent, with poor re-employment prospects during unemployment being a key predictor of increased HCC. Overall, our study provides further evidence that the physiological stress system is especially sensitive to uncontrollable situations and unfamiliar challenge.View less
Worktime reduction’s effect on life satisfaction is an important issue but one that has not been fully studied. This article fills this gap and uses an ordered probit model to analyse the working time reduction impact on life satisfaction in Germany by using the European Social Survey data, the mediating effect of health and cross-partner effect are also explored. A significantly negative correlation between working time and life satisfaction are revealed, showing that a short working week can improve Germans’ life satisfaction. Health is confirmed to be the important intermediate variable in the ‘worktime–health–life satisfaction’ nexus and about 28% of the satisfaction among German people is due to the change in health explained by working hours. Further, we find that high-earners prefer to work long hours whereas low-earners tend to work less; middle-earners show no personal preferences. Cross-partner effects are confirmed, as a male’s short working week can satisfy their partner, while a female’s long working hours can improve their partner’s life satisfaction. In light of this, working hours should be restricted to avoid unsatisfaction induced by overtime work and overtime compensation regulations should be strictly implemented, policy-makers also need to take gender differences into consideration.View less
Porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV), that is actually a porcine roseolovirus (PRV), is a common herpesvirus in domestic pigs and wild boars. In xenotransplantation, PCMV/PRV has been shown to significantly reduce the survival time of pig kidneys and hearts in preclinical trials with different non-human primates. Furthermore, PCMV/PRV has been transmitted in the first pig to human heart xenotransplantation and contributed to the death of the patient. Although transmitted to the recipient, there is no evidence that PCMV/PRV can infect primate cells including human cells. PCMV/PRV is closely related to the human herpesviruses 6 and 7, and only distantly related to the human CMV (HCMV). Antiviral drugs used for the treatment of HCMV are less effective against PCMV/PRV. However, there are well described strategies to eliminate the virus from pig facilities. In order to detect the virus and to eliminate it, highly sensitive detection methods and the knowledge of how, where and when to screen the donor pigs is required. Here, a comparative testing of organs from pigs of different ages using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based and immunological methods was performed. Testing young piglets, PCMV/PRV was detected effectively by PCR in blood, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, tonsils and heart. In adult animals, detection by PCR was not successful in most cases, because the virus load was below the detection limit or the virus was in its latent stage. Therefore, detection of antibodies against selected recombinant proteins corresponding to epitopes detected by nearly all infected animals in a Western blot assay is advantageous. By contrast, immunological testing is not beneficial in young animals as piglets might have PCMV/PRV-specific antibodies obtained from their infected mother via the colostrum. Using a thoughtful combination of PCR-based and immunological methods, detection of PCMV/PRV in donor pigs for xenotransplantation is feasible and a controlled elimination of the virus by early weaning or other methods is possible.View less
This paper draws on secularisation and feminist theories to analyse the intersection between political, religious and economic factors in defining the gendered borders and women’s rights in the modern Egyptian public sphere. However, this present study concludes that the struggle for power between Islamists and secular-oriented forces and the rise of interactive social media platforms in a patriarchal class society revived the heated debates on women's rights, gendered spaces and the role of religion in the public sphere. Discussions point to a wide range of Egyptians' responses to these issues and also suggest that a new feminist consciousness and behaviour are growing. This new feminist consciousness is more grounded in a socio-economic context than a religious one. Therefore, this study suggests a need for serious societal and legal discussions to re-actualise laws pertaining to women's rights and visibility in the public sphere. These laws and a pro-women discourse should cope with the current socio-economic context and individuals' needs and aspirations in their globalized societies.View less
This study explores how researchers’ analytical choices affect the reliability of scientific findings. Most discussions of reliability problems in science focus on systematic biases. We broaden the lens to emphasize the idiosyncrasy of conscious and unconscious decisions that researchers make during data analysis. We coordinated 161 researchers in 73 research teams and observed their research decisions as they used the same data to independently test the same prominent social science hypothesis: that greater immigration reduces support for social policies among the public. In this typical case of social science research, research teams reported both widely diverging numerical findings and substantive conclusions despite identical start conditions. Researchers’ expertise, prior beliefs, and expectations barely predict the wide variation in research outcomes. More than 95% of the total variance in numerical results remains unexplained even after qualitative coding of all identifiable decisions in each team’s workflow. This reveals a universe of uncertainty that remains hidden when considering a single study in isolation. The idiosyncratic nature of how researchers’ results and conclusions varied is a previously underappreciated explanation for why many scientific hypotheses remain contested. These results call for greater epistemic humility and clarity in reporting scientific findings.View less
We present the discovery of two small planets transiting HD 93963A (TOI-1797), a GOV star (M* = 1.109 ± 0.043M⊙, R* = 1.043 ± 0.009 R⊙) in a visual binary system. We combined TESS and CHEOPS space-borne photometry with MuSCAT 2 ground-based photometry, ‘Alopeke and PHARO high-resolution imaging, TRES and FIES reconnaissance spectroscopy, and SOPHIE radial velocity measurements. We validated and spectroscopically confirmed the outer transiting planet HD 93963 A c, a sub-Neptune with an orbital period of Pc ≈ 3.65 d that was reported to be a TESS object of interest (TOI) shortly after the release of Sector 22 data. HD 93963 A c has amass of Mc = 19.2 ± 4.1 M⊕ and a radius of Rc = 3.228 ± 0.059 R⊕, implying a mean density of ρc = 3.1 ± 0.7 g cm-3. The inner object, HD 93963 A b, is a validated 1.04 d ultra-short period (USP) transiting super-Earth that we discovered in the TESS light curve and that was not listed as a TOI, owing to the low significance of its signal (TESS signal-to-noise ratio ≈6.7, TESS + CHEOPS combined transit depth Db = 141.5−8.3+8.5 ppm). We intensively monitored the star with CHEOPS by performing nine transit observations to confirm the presence of the inner planet and validate the system. HD 93963 A b is the first small (Rb = 1.35 ± 0.042 R⊕) USP planet discovered and validated by TESS and CHEOPS. Unlike planet c, HD 93963 Ab is not significantly detected in our radial velocities (Mb = 7.8 ± 3.2 M⊕). The two planets are on either side of the radius valley, implying that they could have undergone completely different evolution processes. We also discovered a linear trend in our Doppler measurements, suggesting the possible presence of a long-period outer planet. With a V-band magnitude of 9.2, HD 93963 A is among the brightest stars known to host a USP planet, making it one of the most favourable targets for precise mass measurement via Doppler spectroscopy and an important laboratory to test formation, evolution, and migration models of planetary systems hosting ultra-short period planets.View less
Even among the most irradiated gas giants, so-called ultra-hot Jupiters, KELT-9b stands out as the hottest planet thus far discovered with a dayside temperature of over 4500 K. At these extreme irradiation levels, we expect an increase in heat redistribution efficiency and a low Bond albedo owed to an extended atmosphere with molecular hydrogen dissociation occurring on the planetary dayside. We present new photometric observations of the KELT-9 system throughout 4 full orbits and 9 separate occultations obtained by the 30 cm space telescope CHEOPS. The CHEOPS bandpass, located at optical wavelengths, captures the peak of the thermal emission spectrum of KELT-9b. In this work we simultaneously analyse CHEOPS phase curves along with public phase curves from TESS and Spitzer to infer joint constraints on the phase curve variation, gravity-darkened transits, and occultation depth in three bandpasses, as well as derive 2D temperature maps of the atmosphere at three different depths. We find a day-night heat redistribution efficiency of ~0.3 which confirms expectations of enhanced energy transfer to the planetary nightside due to dissociation and recombination of molecular hydrogen. We also calculate a Bond albedo consistent with zero. We find no evidence of variability of the brightness temperature of the planet, excluding variability greater than 1%View less
The hot Neptune desert is a region hosting a small number of short-period Neptunes in the radius-instellation diagram. Highly irradiated planets are usually either small (R ≲ 2 R⊕) and rocky or they are gas giants with radii of ≳1 RJ. Here, we report on the intermediate-sized planet TOI-2196 b (TIC 372172128.01) on a 1.2 day orbit around a G-type star (V = 12.0, [Fe/H] = 0.14 dex) discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite in sector 27. We collected 41 radial velocity measurements with the HARPS spectrograph to confirm the planetary nature of the transit signal and to determine the mass. The radius of TOI-2196 b is 3.51 ± 0.15 R⊕, which, combined with the mass of 26.0 ± 1.3 M⊕, results in a bulk density of 3.31−0.43+0.51 g cm−3. Hence, the radius implies that this planet is a sub-Neptune, although the density is twice than that of Neptune. A significant trend in the HARPS radial velocity measurements points to the presence of a distant companion with a lower limit on the period and mass of 220 days and 0.65 MJ, respectively, assuming zero eccentricity. The short period of planet b implies a high equilibrium temperature of 1860 ± 20 K, for zero albedo and isotropic emission. This places the planet in the hot Neptune desert, joining a group of very few planets in this parameter space discovered in recent years. These planets suggest that the hot Neptune desert may be divided in two parts for planets with equilibrium temperatures of ≳1800 K: a hot sub-Neptune desert devoid of planets with radii of ≈ 1.8−3 R⊕ and a sub-Jovian desert for radii of ≈5−12 R⊕. More planets in this parameter space are needed to further investigate this finding. Planetary interior structure models of TOI-2196 b are consistent with a H/He atmosphere mass fraction between 0.4% and 3%, with a mean value of 0.7% on top of a rocky interior. We estimated the amount of mass this planet might have lost at a young age and we find that while the mass loss could have been significant, the planet had not changed in terms of character: it was born as a small volatile-rich planet and it remains one at present.View less
Large populations of unowned cats constitute an animal welfare, ecological, societal and public health issue worldwide. Their relocation and homing are currently carried out in many parts of the world with the intention of relieving suffering and social problems, while contributing to ethical and humane population control in these cat populations. An understanding of an individual cat’s lifestyle and disease status by veterinary team professionals and those working with cat charities can help to prevent severe cat stress and the spread of feline pathogens, especially vector-borne pathogens, which can be overlooked in cats. In this article, we discuss the issue of relocation and homing of unowned cats from a global perspective. We also review zoonotic and non-zoonotic infectious agents of cats and give a list of practical recommendations for veterinary team professionals dealing with homing cats. Finally, we present a consensus statement consolidated at the 15th Symposium of the Companion Vector-Borne Diseases (CVBD) World Forum in 2020, ultimately to help veterinary team professionals understand the problem and the role they have in helping to prevent and manage vector-borne and other pathogens in relocated cats.View less
Viviparity has evolved more times in squamates than in any other vertebrate group; therefore, squamates offer an excellent model system in which to study the patterns, drivers and implications of reproductive mode evolution. Based on current species distributions, we examined three selective forces hypothesized to drive the evolution of squamate viviparity (cold climate, variable climate and hypoxic conditions) and tested whether viviparity is associated with larger body size.
We compiled a dataset of 9061 squamate species, including their distributions, elevation, climate, body mass and reproductive modes. We applied species-level and assemblage-level approaches for predicting reproductive mode, both globally and within biogeographical realms. We tested the relationships of temperature, interannual and intra-annual climatic variation, elevation (as a proxy for hypoxic conditions) and body mass with reproductive mode, using path analyses to account for correlations among the environmental predictors.
Viviparity was strongly associated with cold climates at both species and assemblage levels, despite the prevalence of viviparity in some warm climates. Viviparity was not clearly correlated with climatic variability or elevation. The probability of being viviparous exhibited a weak positive correlation with body size.
Although phylogenetic history is important, potentially explaining the occurrence of viviparous species in regions that are warm at present, current global squamate distribution is characterized by a higher relative abundance of viviparity in cold environments, supporting the prediction of the “cold-climate” hypothesis. The roles of climatic variation and hypoxia are less important and not straightforward. Elevation probably exerts various selective pressures and influences the prevalence of viviparity primarily through its effect on temperature rather than on oxygen concentration.View less
Event stratigraphy is used to help characterise the Anthropocene as a chronostratigraphic concept, based on analogous deep-time events, for which we provide a novel categorization. Events in stratigraphy are distinct from extensive, time-transgressive ‘episodes’ – such as the global, highly diachronous record of anthropogenic change, termed here an Anthropogenic Modification Episode (AME). Nested within the AME are many geologically correlatable events, the most notable being those of the Great Acceleration Event Array (GAEA). This isochronous array of anthropogenic signals represents brief, unique events evident in geological deposits, e.g.: onset of the radionuclide ‘bomb-spike’; appearance of novel organic chemicals and fuel ash particles; marked changes in patterns of sedimentary deposition, heavy metal contents and carbon/nitrogen isotopic ratios; and ecosystem changes leaving a global fossil record; all around the mid-20th century. The GAEA reflects a fundamental transition of the Earth System to a new state in which many parameters now lie beyond the range of Holocene variability. Globally near-instantaneous events can provide robust primary guides for chronostratigraphic boundaries. Given the intensity, magnitude, planetary significance and global isochroneity of the GAEA, it provides a suitable level for recognition of the base of the Anthropocene as a series/epoch.View less
Individuals with chronic medical conditions are considered highly exposed to COVID-19 pandemic stress, but emerging evidence is demonstrating that resilience is common even among them. We aimed at identifying sustained resilient outcomes and their predictors in chronically ill people during the first year of the pandemic.
This international 4-wave 1-year longitudinal online survey included items on socio-demographic characteristics, economic and living situation, lifestyle and habits, pandemic-related issues, and history of mental disorders. Adherence to and approval of imposed restrictions, trust in governments and in scientific community during the pandemic were also investigated. The following tools were administered: the Patient Health Questionnaire, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale, the PTSD Checklist DSM-5, the Oslo Social Support Scale, the Padua Inventory, and the Portrait Values Questionnaire.
One thousand fifty-two individuals reporting a chronic condition out of 8011 total participants from 13 countries were included in the study, and 965 had data available for the final model. The estimated probability of being “sustained-resilient” was 34%. Older male individuals, participants employed before and during the pandemic or with perceived social support were more likely to belong to the sustained-resilience group. Loneliness, a previous mental disorder, high hedonism, fear of COVID-19 contamination, concern for the health of loved ones, and non-approving pandemic restrictions were predictors of not-resilient outcomes in our sample.
We found similarities and differences from established predictors of resilience and identified some new ones specific to pandemics. Further investigation is warranted and could inform the design of resilience-building interventions in people with chronic diseases.View less
Context. An assessment of the dust environment of a comet is needed for data analysis and planning spacecraft missions, such as ESA’s Comet Interceptor (CI) mission. The distinctive feature of CI is that the target object will be defined shortly before (or even after) launch; as a result, the properties of the nucleus and dust environment are poorly constrained, and therefore make the assessment of the dust environment challenging.
Aims. The main goal of the work is to provide realistic estimations of a dust environment based on very general parameters of possible target objects.
Methods. Contemporary numerical models of a dusty-gas coma were used to obtain spatial distribution of dust for a given set of parameters. By varying parameters within a range of possible values, we obtained an ensemble of possible dust distributions. Then, this ensemble was statistically evaluated in order to define the most probable cases and hence reduce the dispersion. This ensemble can not only be used to estimate the likely dust abundance along a flyby trajectory of a spacecraft, for example, but also to quantify the associated uncertainty.
Results. We present a methodology of the dust environment assessment for the case when the target comet is not known beforehand (or when its parameters are known with large uncertainty). We provide an assessment of dust environment for the CI mission. We find that the lack of knowledge of any particular comet results in very large uncertainties (~3 orders of magnitude) for the dust densities within the coma. The most sensitive parameters affecting the dust densities are the dust size distribution, the dust production rate, and coma brightness, often quantified by Afρ. Further, the conversion of a coma’s brightness (Afρ) to a dust production rate is poorly constrained. The dust production rate can only be estimated down to an uncertainty of ~0.5 orders of magnitude if the dust size distribution is known in addition to the Afρ.
Conclusions. To accurately predict the dust environment of a poorly known comet, a statistical approach needs to be taken to properly reflect the uncertainties. This can be done by calculating an ensemble of comae covering all possible combinations within parameter space as shown in this work.View less
Six years after the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ in 2015, the European Union remains divided on questions of migration and asylum policy. The issue also remains high on the agendas of the USA and Russia, two other key destination countries with immigration from Latin America and the Post-Soviet space. This article presents results from a comparative study of news coverage in 17 countries, focusing on 10 EU member states in Western and Central Eastern Europe (CEE), the USA and Russia. The intensity of coverage was remarkably different, with Hungary’s and Germany’s media standing out while Russian media displayed relatively low levels of coverage. Individual migrants and refugees were most visible in the two outlets from the USA. Media in CEE countries tended towards a more critical approach than media in Western Europe. However, differences between most countries’ pairs of analyzed media outlets indicate a more pluralistic debate than frequently assumed.View less
Arachidonic acid lipoxygenases (ALOXs) have been implicated in the immune response of mammals. The reaction specificity of these enzymes is decisive for their biological functions and ALOX classification is based on this enzyme property. Comparing the amino acid sequences and the functional properties of selected mammalian ALOX15 orthologs we previously hypothesized that the reaction specificity of these enzymes can be predicted based on their amino acid sequences (Triad Concept) and that mammals, which are ranked in evolution below gibbons, express arachidonic acid 12-lipoxygenating ALOX15 orthologs. In contrast, Hominidae involving the great apes and humans possess 15-lipoxygenating enzymes (Evolutionary Hypothesis). These two hypotheses were based on sequence data of some 60 mammalian ALOX15 orthologs and about half of them were functionally characterized. Here, we compared the ALOX15 sequences of 152 mammals representing all major mammalian subclades expressed 44 novel ALOX15 orthologs and performed extensive mutagenesis studies of their triad determinants. We found that ALOX15 genes are absent in extant Prototheria but that corresponding enzymes frequently occur in Metatheria and Eutheria. More than 90% of them catalyze arachidonic acid 12-lipoxygenation and the Triad Concept is applicable to all of them. Mammals ranked in evolution above gibbons express arachidonic acid 15-lipoxygenating ALOX15 orthologs but enzymes with similar specificity are only present in less than 5% of mammals ranked below gibbons. This data suggests that ALOX15 orthologs have been introduced during Prototheria-Metatheria transition and put the Triad Concept and the Evolutionary Hypothesis on a much broader and more reliable experimental basis.View less
Neuroinflammation is one of the common features in most neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis (MScl) and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It is associated with local brain inflammation, microglial activation, and infiltration of peripheral immune cells into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the central nervous system (CNS). It has been shown that the diversity of phenotypic changes in monocytes in CSF relates to neuroinflammation. It remains to be investigated whether these phenotypic changes are associated with functional or metabolic alteration, which may give a hint to their function or changes in cell states, e.g., cell activation. In this article, we investigate whether major metabolic pathways of blood monocytes alter after exposure to CSF of healthy individuals or patients with AD or MScl. Our findings show a significant alteration of the metabolism of monocytes treated with CSF from patients and healthy donors, including higher production of citric acid and glutamine, suggesting a more active glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and reduced production of glycine and serine. These alterations suggest metabolic reprogramming of monocytes, possibly related to the change of compartment (from blood to CSF) and/or disease-related. Moreover, the levels of serine differ between AD and MScl, suggesting different phenotypic alterations between diseases.View less
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a health emergency resulting in multiple stressors that may be related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Objective: This study examined relationships between risk and protective factors, pandemic-related stressors, and PTSD during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: Data from the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) ADJUST Study were used. N = 4,607 trauma-exposed participants aged 18 years and above were recruited from the general populations of eleven countries (Austria, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Sweden) from June to November 2020. We assessed sociodemographic (e.g. gender), pandemic-related (e.g. news consumption), and health-related (e.g. general health condition) risk and protective factors, pandemic-related stressors (e.g. fear of infection), and probable PTSD (PC-PTSD-5). The relationships between these variables were examined using logistic regression on multiple imputed data sets.
Results: The prevalence of probable PTSD was 17.7%. Factors associated with an increased risk for PTSD were younger age, female gender, more than 3 h of daily pandemic-related news consumption (vs. no consumption), a satisfactory, poor, or very poor health condition (vs. a very good condition), a current or previous diagnosis of a mental disorder, and trauma exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Factors associated with a reduced risk for PTSD included a medium and high income (vs. very low income), face-to-face contact less than once a week or 3–7 times a week (vs. no contact), and digital social contact less than once a week or 1–7 days a week (vs. no contact). Pandemic-related stressors associated with an increased risk for PTSD included governmental crisis management and communication, restricted resources, restricted social contact, and difficult housing conditions.
Conclusion: We identified risk and protective factors as well as stressors that may help identify trauma-exposed individuals at risk for PTSD, enabling more efficient and rapid access to care.View less
Context. After landing on C-type asteroid Ryugu, MASCOT imaged brightly colored, submillimeter-sized inclusions in a small rock. Hayabusa2 successfully returned a sample of small particles from the surface of Ryugu, but none of these appear to harbor such inclusions. The samples are considered representative of Ryugu.
Aims. To understand the apparent discrepancy between MASCOT observations and Ryugu samples, we assess whether the MASCOT landing site, and the rock by implication, is perhaps atypical for Ryugu.
Methods. We analyzed observations of the MASCOT landing area acquired by three instruments on board Hayabusa2: a camera (ONC), a near-infrared spectrometer (NIRS3), and a thermal infrared imager. We compared the landing area properties thus retrieved with those of the average Ryugu surface.
Results. We selected several areas and landforms in the landing area for analysis: a small crater, a collection of smooth rocks, and the landing site itself. The crater is relatively blue and the rocks are relatively red. The spectral and thermophysical properties of the landing site are very close to those of the average Ryugu surface. The spectral properties of the MASCOT rock are probably close to average, but its thermal inertia may be somewhat higher.
Conclusions. The MASCOT rock can also be considered representative of Ryugu. Some of the submillimeter-sized particles in the returned samples stand out because of their atypical spectral properties. Such particles may be present as inclusions in the MASCOT rock.View less