ResearchPad - swimming https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Two halves are less than the whole: Evidence of a length bisection bias in fish (<i>Poecilia reticulata</i>)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14632 The horizontal-vertical (HV) illusion is characterized by a tendency to overestimate the length of vertically-arranged objects. Comparative research is primarily confined to primates, a range of species that, although arboreal, often explore their environment moving along the horizontal axis. Such behaviour may have led to the development of asymmetrical perceptual mechanisms to make relative size judgments of objects placed vertically and horizontally. We observed the susceptibility to the HV illusion in fish, whose ability to swim along the horizontal and vertical plane permits them to scan objects’ size equally on both axes. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) were trained to select the longer orange line to receive a food reward. In the test phase, two arrays, containing two same-sized lines were presented, one horizontally and the other vertically. Black lines were also included in each pattern to generate the perception of an inverted T-shape (where a horizontal line is bisected by a vertical one) or an L-shape (no bisection). No bias was observed in the L-shape, which supports the idea of differential perceptual mechanisms for primates and fish. In the inverted T-shape, guppies estimated the bisected line as shorter, providing the first evidence of a length bisection bias in a fish species.

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<![CDATA[Disruption of genes associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2 lead to common behavioural, cellular and molecular defects in Caenorhabditis elegans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5d50b5cf-e057-490e-9c44-60569e9f28d4

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is an inherited peripheral motor and sensory neuropathy. The disease is divided into demyelinating (CMT1) and axonal (CMT2) neuropathies, and although we have gained molecular information into the details of CMT1 pathology, much less is known about CMT2. Due to its clinical and genetic heterogeneity, coupled with a lack of animal models, common underlying mechanisms remain elusive. In order to gain an understanding of the normal function of genes associated with CMT2, and to draw direct comparisons between them, we have studied the behavioural, cellular and molecular consequences of mutating nine different genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (lin-41/TRIM2, dyn-1/DNM2, unc-116/KIF5A, fzo-1/MFN2, osm-9/TRPV4, cua-1/ATP7A, hsp-25/HSPB1, hint-1/HINT1, nep-2/MME). We show that C. elegans defective for these genes display debilitated movement in crawling and swimming assays. Severe morphological defects in cholinergic motors neurons are also evident in two of the mutants (dyn-1 and unc-116). Furthermore, we establish methods for quantifying muscle morphology and use these to demonstrate that loss of muscle structure occurs in the majority of mutants studied. Finally, using electrophysiological recordings of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) activity, we uncover reductions in spontaneous postsynaptic current frequency in lin-41, dyn-1, unc-116 and fzo-1 mutants. By comparing the consequences of mutating numerous CMT2-related genes, this study reveals common deficits in muscle structure and function, as well as NMJ signalling when these genes are disrupted.

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<![CDATA[Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) behavior in an active narrow seaport]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac7ad5eed0c484d08871

The Galveston Ship Channel (GSC) is a narrow, congested waterway that supports large-scale shipping, commercial fishing, dolphin tourism, and recreation. Human activity and common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) converge in the GSC with potentially negative consequences on the dolphins. Elevated land-based tracking and behavioral observation of dolphins and vessels were conducted along the GSC in June-August 2013 using a digital theodolite. Positional information was used to calculate dolphin movement patterns and proximity to vessels. Log-likelihood ratio and Chi-square contingency tests were used to assess behavioral states, and generalized additive models were used to analyze movement patterns (i.e., swimming speed, reorientation rate, and linearity) relative to endogenous and exogenous factors and vessel presence. Dolphins regularly use the GSC to forage (57% of observed behavioral states) and socialize (27%), and it is not a travel corridor for accessing other favorable sites (traveling = 5%). Dolphin behavior varied significantly based on time of day, group size, calf presence, and general boat presence. When boats were present, the proportion of time dolphins spent socializing and foraging was significantly less than expected by chance. Swimming speeds increased significantly in the presence of small recreational boats, dolphin-watching tour boats, shrimp trawlers, and when tour boats and shrimp trawlers were both present. Reorientation rate increased significantly in the presence of tour boats and trawlers. Dolphin behavioral responses to vessel presence may result in decreased energy consumption due to disrupted foraging activity. Without proper management, the observed behavioral changes may be detrimental to individuals within this population in the short term, with potential long-term consequences to health and survivorship.

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<![CDATA[Breeding behavior in the blind Mexican cavefish and its river-dwelling conspecific]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe22d5eed0c484e5b593

Fish reproductive patterns are very diverse in terms of breeding frequency, mating system, sexual dimorphisms and selection, mate choice, spawning site choice, courtship patterns, spawning behaviors and parental care. Here we have compared the breeding behavior of the surface-dwelling and cave-dwelling morphs of the characiform A. mexicanus, with the goals of documenting the spawning behavior in this emerging model organism, its possible evolution after cave colonization, and the sensory modalities involved. Using infrared video recordings, we showed that cave and surface Astyanax spawning behavior is identical, occurs in the dark, and can be divided into 5 rapid phases repeated many times, about once per minute, during spawning sessions which last about one hour and involve one female and several males. Such features may constitute “pre-adaptive traits” which have facilitated fish survival after cave colonization, and may also explain how the two morphs can hybridize in the wild and in the laboratory. Accordingly, cross-breeding experiments involving females of one morphotype and males of the other morphotype showed the same behavior including the same five phases. However, breeding between cavefish females and surface fish males was more frequent than the reverse. Finally, cavefish female pheromonal solution was able to trigger strong behavioral responses in cavefish males–but not on surface fish males. Lastly, egg production seemed higher in surface fish females than in cavefish females. These results are discussed with regards to the sensory modalities involved in triggering reproductive behavior in the two morphs, as well as its possible ongoing evolution.

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<![CDATA[A novel nonosteocytic regulatory mechanism of bone modeling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df343d5eed0c484581048

Osteocytes, cells forming an elaborate network within the bones of most vertebrate taxa, are thought to be the master regulators of bone modeling, a process of coordinated, local bone-tissue deposition and removal that keeps bone strains at safe levels throughout life. Neoteleost fish, however, lack osteocytes and yet are known to be capable of bone modeling, although no osteocyte-independent modeling regulatory mechanism has so far been described. Here, we characterize a novel, to our knowledge, bone-modeling regulatory mechanism in a fish species (medaka), showing that although lacking osteocytes (i.e., internal mechanosensors), when loaded, medaka bones model in mechanically directed ways, successfully reducing high tissue strains. We establish that as in mammals, modeling in medaka is regulated by the SOST gene, demonstrating a mechanistic link between skeletal loading, SOST down-regulation, and intense bone deposition. However, whereas mammalian SOST is expressed almost exclusively by osteocytes, in both medaka and zebrafish (a species with osteocytic bones), SOST is expressed by a variety of nonosteocytic cells, none of which reside within the bone bulk. These findings argue that in fishes (and perhaps other vertebrates), nonosteocytic skeletal cells are both sensors and responders, shouldering duties believed exclusive to osteocytes. This previously unrecognized, SOST-dependent, osteocyte-independent mechanism challenges current paradigms of osteocyte exclusivity in bone-modeling regulation, suggesting the existence of multivariate feedback networks in bone modeling—perhaps also in mammalian bones—and thus arguing for the possibility of untapped potential for cell targets in bone therapeutics.

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<![CDATA[Adverse effects of paternal obesity on the motile spermatozoa quality]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b2696d5eed0c484289d07

Growing evidence suggests that paternal obesity may decrease male fertility potential. During infertility treatment with intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a morphologically normal motile spermatozoon is injected into a mature egg, when possible. However, sperm motility and morphology per se do not reflect the sperm molecular composition. In this study, we aimed to assess the quality of motile spermatozoa in the context of obesity by analysing their conventional and molecular characteristics as well as their ability to promote early embryonic development. A prospective study was conducted on 128 infertile men divided into three groups: 40 lean, 42 overweight, and 46 obese men. Conventional sperm parameters (concentration, motility and morphology) and sperm molecular status (chromatin composition and integrity, 5-methycytosine (5-mC) and 5-hydroxycytosine (5-hmC) contents and oxidative stress level) were analysed on raw semen and/or on motile spermatozoa selected by density gradient or swim-up techniques. Morphokinetic analysis of the embryos derived from ICSI was performed using the Embryoviewer software. Our results showed that the motile sperm-enriched fraction from obese men exhibited higher levels of retained histones (p<0.001), elevated percentage of altered chromatin integrity (p<0.001), and decreased contents of 5-hmC (p<0.001), and 5-mC (p<0.05) levels as compared to that from lean men. Importantly, there were no statistically significant correlations between these molecular parameters and the percentages of morphologically normal motile spermatozoa. Regarding embryo morphokinetics, the CC1 (p<0.05) and CC3 (p<0.05) embryonic cell cycles were significantly delayed in the cleavage embryos of the obese group as compared to the embryos of the lean group. Our data is of particular interest because, besides demonstrating the negative impacts of obesity on motile spermatozoa molecular composition, it also highlights the possible risk of disturbing early embryonic cell cycles kinetics in the context of paternal obesity.

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<![CDATA[A Biomphalaria glabrata peptide that stimulates significant behaviour modifications in aquatic free-living Schistosoma mansoni miracidia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c464d5eed0c4845e86d4

The human disease schistosomiasis (or bilharzia) is caused by the helminth blood fluke parasite Schistosoma mansoni, which requires an intermediate host, the freshwater gastropod snail Biomphalaria glabrata (the most common intermediate host). The free-swimming parasite miracidia utilise an excellent chemosensory sense to detect and locate an appropriate host. This study investigated the biomolecules released by the snail that stimulate changes in the behaviour of the aquatic S. mansoni miracidia. To achieve this, we have performed an integrated analysis of the snail-conditioned water, through chromatography and bioassay-guided behaviour observations, followed by mass spectrometry. A single fraction containing multiple putative peptides could stimulate extreme swimming behaviour modifications (e.g. velocity, angular variation) similar to those observed in response to crude snail mucus. One peptide (P12;—R-DITSGLDPEVADD-KR—) could replicate the stimulation of miracidia behaviour changes. P12 is derived from a larger precursor protein with a signal peptide and multiple dibasic cleavage sites, which is synthesised in various tissues of the snail, including the central nervous system and foot. P12 consists of an alpha helix secondary structure as indicated by circular dichroism spectroscopy. This information will be helpful for the development of approaches to manipulate this parasites life cycle, and opens up new avenues for exploring other parasitic diseases which have an aquatic phase using methods detailed in this investigation.

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<![CDATA[Loose social organisation of AB strain zebrafish groups in a two-patch environment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730a8d5eed0c484f37e66

We study the collective behaviour of zebrafish shoals of different numbers of individuals (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 20 AB zebrafish Danio rerio) in a constraint environment composed of two identical square rooms connected by a corridor. This simple set-up is similar to a natural patchy environment. We track the positions and the identities of the fish and compute the metrics at the group and at the individual levels. First, we show that the number of fish affects the behaviour of each individual in a group, the cohesion of the groups, the preferential interactions and the transition dynamics between the two rooms. Second, during collective departures, we show that the rankings of exit correspond to the topological organisations of the fish prior to their collective departure. This spatial organisation appears in the group a few seconds before a collective departure. These results provide new evidences on the spatial organisation of the groups and the effect of the number of fish on individual and collective behaviours in a patchy environment.

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<![CDATA[Measurement of time-varying kinematics of a dolphin in burst accelerating swimming]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5280d5eed0c4842bca0f

Dolphins are well known as excellent swimmers for being capable of efficient cruising and sharp acceleration. While studies of the thrust production and power consumption of dolphin swimming have been the main subject for decades, time-varying acceleration process during successive fluke beats still remains poorly understood. In this study, we quantified the time-varying kinematics of a dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) by directly recording its burst-accelerating swimming before vertical jump in an aquarium with two synchronized high-speed video cameras. We tracked the three-dimensional trajectories of its beak, body sides, and fluke. We found that dolphin could quickly accelerate from 5.0 m s-1 to 8.7 m s-1 merely by 5 strokes (i.e. 2.5 fluke beats) in 0.7 seconds. During the strokes, it was further found that the dolphin demonstrated a great acceleration in downstroke but less acceleration or even a slight deceleration in upstroke. Hydrodynamic forces and thrust power for each stroke were further estimated based on the equation of body motion and a static hydrodynamic model. The drag coefficient of the dolphin was estimated through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of the steady flows around a realistic geometric model based on 3-D scan data. The thrust and thrust power were then calculated by combining the body kinematics and the drag coefficient, resulting in a maximum stroke-averaged thrust and power-to-mass ratio of 1.3 × 103 N and 90 W kg-1 at downstroke, and 3.3 × 102 N and 19 W kg-1 at upstroke, respectively. Our results point out the importance of asymmetric kinematics in burst acceleration of dolphin, which may be a useful mechanism for biomimetic design of high-performance underwater robots.

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<![CDATA[Regenerative capacity in the lamprey spinal cord is not altered after a repeated transection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52bbd5eed0c4842bcf38

The resilience of regeneration in vertebrates is not very well understood. Yet understanding if tissues can regenerate after repeated insults, and identifying limitations, is important for elucidating the underlying mechanisms of tissue plasticity. This is particularly challenging in tissues, such as the nervous system, which possess a large number of terminally differentiated cells and often exhibit limited regeneration in the first place. However, unlike mammals, which exhibit very limited regeneration of spinal cord tissues, many non-mammalian vertebrates, including lampreys, bony fishes, amphibians, and reptiles, regenerate their spinal cords and functionally recover even after a complete spinal cord transection. It is well established that lampreys undergo full functional recovery of swimming behaviors after a single spinal cord transection, which is accompanied by tissue repair at the lesion site, as well as axon and synapse regeneration. Here we begin to explore the resilience of spinal cord regeneration in lampreys after a second spinal transection (re-transection). We report that by all functional and anatomical measures tested, lampreys regenerate after spinal re-transection just as robustly as after single transections. Recovery of swimming, synapse and cytoskeletal distributions, axon regeneration, and neuronal survival were nearly identical after spinal transection or re-transection. Only minor differences in tissue repair at the lesion site were observed in re-transected spinal cords. Thus, regenerative potential in the lamprey spinal cord is largely unaffected by spinal re-transection, indicating a greater persistent regenerative potential than exists in some other highly regenerative models. These findings establish a new path for uncovering pro-regenerative targets that could be deployed in non-regenerative conditions.

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<![CDATA[A retrospective international study on factors associated with injury, discomfort and pain perception among cyclists]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6cdd5eed0c484ef3e5b

Although cycling has been associated with overuse/fatigue and acute injuries, there is lack of information regarding associated risk factors and prevention factors. The objective of the study was to determine the factors associated with injury, and perceptions of discomfort and pain in cyclists. A total of 739 cyclists completed an online questionnaire between February and October 2016. The questionnaire acquired information on participant demographics, characteristics related to cycling profile and fitness training, bike components and cycling posture, self-reported perceptions of comfort and pain, and injuries sustained in the last 12 months. Logistic regression models estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) that examined factors associated with reporting overuse/fatigue injury, acute injury, body discomfort, saddle discomfort, and pain while cycling. Odds of reporting an overuse/fatigue injury increased when the cyclists complemented training with running (OR = 1.74; 95%CI = 1.03–2.91) or swimming (OR = 2.17; 95%CI = 1.19–3.88), and with reported pain while cycling (OR = 1.17; 95%CI = 1.05–3.69) and not cycling (OR = 1.76; 95%CI = 1.07–2.90). Odds of reporting an acute injury increased when biking to work (OR = 1.79; 95%CI = 1.07–2.86), and decreased with increased average cycling speed (1-km/h decrease OR = 0.93; 95%CI = 0.88–0.97), and compared to low-end bike, with the use of mid-range (OR = 0.25; 95%CI = 0.09–0.72) and high-end bike (OR = 0.34; 95%CI = 0.13–0.96). Although body discomfort was only associated with saddle discomfort and the presence of pain during cycling, saddle discomfort was also associated with biking to work (OR = 0.46; 95%CI = 0.22–0.88). Finally, pain perception was associated with a number of factors such as ride to work, core training, cycling experience, saddle discomfort, pain while not cycling. Numerous factors are associated with injury, and perceptions of discomfort and pain in cyclists. Such factors should be considered when developing training routines, bicycle maintenance best practices, and injury prevention programs.

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<![CDATA[Anaesthetic efficacy of Aqui-S, Benzoak, and MS-222 on lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) fries. Impact from temperature, salinity, and fasting]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c45bd5eed0c4845e8624

Large numbers of lumpfish are produced for the Norwegian salmon industry and are used to combat sea lice infestations. Periodically high mortality of farmed lumpfish demonstrates the need to improve farming conditions and animal welfare. As part of such efforts, the present work tested the efficacy of three anaesthetic chemicals on lumpfish fries (average weight of 0.97 g). The anaesthetic impact from salinity (15 ppt–18 ppt), temperature (12°C versus 7 and 18°C), and fasting conditions (three days) was also examined. Surgical anaesthesia was induced within 3 to 5 min (preferred time) at concentrations of 18 mg/L (Aqui-S), 37.5 mg/L (Benzoak), and 60 mg/L (buffered MS-222). Safety margins were regarded as low when using Aqui-S; therefore, this chemical was not considered suitable for prolonged exposures. The lumpfish made a rapid recovery from both Benzoak and MS-222 even after 20 min of exposure. A 6°C increase in exposure temperature (reaching 18°C) was found to delay or inhibit recovery. The effect of a 5°C decrease (down to 7°C) significantly reduced induction time for MS-222 and was insignificant for Aqui-S, while it prolonged Benzoak induction time significantly and gave a longer recovery period. Fasting resulted in 70% recovery after 20 min of Aqui-S exposure compared to 0% in fed fish but had only minor effects on Benzoak and MS-222. Use of brackish water (15 ppt–18 ppt) gave 20% recovery from Aqui-S and significantly shorter recovery time from MS-222 exposure, while the effects on Benzoak were insignificant.

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<![CDATA[Fish under pressure: Examining behavioural responses of Iberian barbel under simulated hydropeaking with instream structures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217cdd5eed0c4847945e9

Hydropeaking is the rapid change in the water flow downstream of a hydropower plant, driven by changes in daily electricity demand. These fluctuations may produce negative effects in freshwater fish. To minimize these impacts, previous studies have proposed habitat enhancement structures as potential mitigation measures for salmonids. However, the recommendation of these mitigation measures for cyprinids remains scarce and their effects unknown. In this study, the effects of potential habitat mitigation structures under simulated hydropeaking and base-flow conditions are examined for Iberian barbel (Luciobarbus bocagei) in an indoor flume. Solid triangular pyramids and v-shaped structures were evaluated as potential flow-refuging areas and compared with a configuration without structures. A novel, interdisciplinary approach is applied to investigate individual and group responses to rapidly changing flows, by assessing physiological (glucose and lactate), movement behaviour (structure use, sprints and drifts) and the pressure distribution using a fish-inspired artificial lateral line flow sensor. The major findings of this study are four-fold: 1) Under hydropeaking conditions, the v-shaped structures triggered a lactate response and stimulated individual structure use, whereas solid structures did not elicit physiological adjustments and favoured individual and group structure use. Overall, both solid structures and their absence stimulated sprints and drifts. 2) The hydrodynamic conditions created in hydropeaking did not always reflect increased physiological responses or swimming activity. 3) Each event-structure combination resulted in unique hydrodynamic conditions which were reflected in the different fish responses. 4) The most relevant flow variable measured was the pressure asymmetry, which is caused by the vortex size and shedding frequency of the structures. Considering the non-uniform nature of hydropeaking events, and the observation that the fish responded differently to specific flow event-structure combinations, a diverse set of instream structures should be considered for habitat-based hydropeaking mitigation measures for Iberian barbel.

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<![CDATA[Are values related to culture, identity, community cohesion and sense of place the values most vulnerable to climate change?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f778d5eed0c484386207

Values related to culture, identity, community cohesion and sense of place have sometimes been downplayed in the climate change discourse. However, they have been suggested to be not only important to citizens but the values most vulnerable to climate change. Here we test four empirical consequences of the suggestion: (i) at least 50% of the locations citizens' consider to be the most important locations in their municipality are chosen because they represent these values, (ii) locations representing these values have a high probability of being damaged by climate change induced sea level rise, (iii) citizens for which these values are particularly strongly held less strongly believe in the local effects of climate change, and (iv) citizens for which these values are particularly strongly held less strongly believe that they have experienced the effects of climate change. The tests were made using survey data collected in 2014 from 326 citizens owning property in Höganäs municipality, Sweden, and included values elicited using a new methodology separating instrumental values from end values, and using the former (which strictly speaking should be seen as estimates of usefulness rather than as aims in themselves) as stepping stones to pinpoint the latter, that represent the true interests of the respondents. The results provide the first evidence that, albeit frequent, values related to culture, identity, community cohesion and sense of place are not the values most vulnerable to climate change. This in turn indicates a need to further investigate the vulnerability of these values to climate change, using a methodology that clearly distinguishes between instrumental and end values.

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<![CDATA[Social responses of travelling finless porpoises to boat traffic risk in Misumi West Port, Ariake Sound, Japan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3667b2d5eed0c4841a60e7

Anthropogenic effects have created various risks for wild animals. Boat traffic is one of the most fatal risks for marine mammals. Individual behavioral responses of cetaceans, including diving behavior such as changing swimming direction and lengthing inter-breath interval, to passing boats is relatively well known; however, the social function of cetacean responses to boat traffic in a natural setting remains poorly understood. We focused on describing the behavioral responses of single and aggregated finless porpoises to boats passing at Misumi West Port, Ariake Sound, Japan, by using a drone characterized with a high-precision bird’s-eye angle. During the study period, we collected 25 episodes of finless porpoise responses to boats passing by. A mean (± SEM) of 5.1 ± 1.0 individuals were observed for each episode. The primary response to passing boats was avoidance by dive, which implies boat traffic is a substantial disturbance to finless porpoises that travel along the seawater surface daily. The diving duration decreased significantly with an increase in the number of aggregated individuals. The diving and floating reaction times were 10.9 ± 2.3 s and 18.7 ± 5.0 s, respectively. There was no significant difference between the reaction times indicating that each individual was motivated to keep the group cohesion consistent when floating even after the risk had dissolved, which is comparable to the behavior of porpoises that dive when riskier conditions are present, such as when a boat approaches an aggregation. Our findings provide new insights on the sociality of finless porpoises even though there were limitations, like an inability to identify a specific individual. The drone enabled us to observe the social behavior of finless porpoises and other cetaceans at an unprecedented resolution, which may lead to a better understanding of the evolutionary diversity of intelligence and sociality and the bridge to human evolution.

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<![CDATA[Experimental bacterial adaptation to the zebrafish gut reveals a primary role for immigration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c181396d5eed0c4847754a7

All animals live in intimate association with microorganisms that profoundly influence their health and development, yet the traits that allow microorganisms to establish and maintain host associations are not well understood. To date, most investigations aimed at identifying traits required for host association have focused on intrahost niches. Consequently, little is known about the relative contribution of extrahost factors such as environmental growth and survival and immigration into hosts from the external environment, as promoters of host association. To address this, we developed a tractable experimental evolution system that investigates both intra- and extrahost factors contributing to bacterial adaptation to the vertebrate gut. We passaged replicate lines of a zebrafish bacterial isolate, Aeromonas veronii, through populations of germ-free larval zebrafish (Danio rerio), each time using gut-associated Aeromonas populations to inoculate the aquatic environment of the next zebrafish population. We observed rapid increased adaptation to the host in all replicate lines. The initial adaptations present in early-evolved isolates did not increase intrahost fitness but rather enhanced both immigration from the environment and interhost transmission. Only in later-evolved isolates did we find evidence for intrahost-specific adaptations, as demonstrated by comparing their competitive fitness in the host genotype to which they evolved to that in a different genotype. Our results show how selection for bacterial transmission between hosts and their environment can shape bacterial-host association. This work illuminates the nature of selective forces present in host–microbe systems and reveals specific mechanisms of increased host association. Furthermore, our findings demonstrate that the entire host–microbe–environment system must be considered when identifying microbial traits that contribute to host adaptation.

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<![CDATA[Lipids alter microbial transport through intestinal mucus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269742d5eed0c48470f0d4

Mucus constitutes a protective layer which coats the gastrointestinal tract, controlling interactions of both commensal and pathogenic microbes with underlying tissues. Changes to the mucus barrier, for example due to altered mucin expression or external stimuli, may impact interactions with microbes and thus potentially contribute to altered gut homeostasis, onset of inflammation, or pathogen invasion. Food-associated stimuli, including lipids, have been shown to change mucus barrier properties and reduce transport of model drug carriers through mucus. Here, we explore the impact of lipids, specifically triglycerides in a model intestinal medium mimicking a fed state, on Escherichia coli (E. coli) transport through mucus by directly imaging swimming patterns and analyzing associated changes in mucus structure. Lipids in model fed state intestinal contents reduced E. coli speed and track linearity within mucus. These changes may be due in part to changes in molecular interactions within the mucus network as well as crowding of the mucus network by lipid emulsion droplets, which visibly stay intact in the mucus gel. In addition, observed physical interactions between bacteria and lipid structures may impact microbial speed and trajectories. As lipids are normal food components and thus represent safe, mild stimuli, these results support exploration of lipid-based strategies to alter the mucus barrier to control interactions with microbes and potentially prevent microbial invasion of underlying epithelium.

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<![CDATA[The synergism of high-intensity intermittent exercise and every-other-day intermittent fasting regimen on energy metabolism adaptations includes hexokinase activity and mitochondrial efficiency]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c269782d5eed0c48470fbea

Visceral lipid accumulation, organ hypertrophy and a reduction in skeletal muscle strength are all signs associated with the severity of obesity-related disease. Intermittent fasting (IF) and high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) are natural strategies that, individually, can prevent and help treat obesity along with metabolic syndrome and its associated diseases. However, the combinatorial effect of IF and HIIE on energetic metabolism is currently not well understood. We hypothesized that their combination could have a potential for more than strictly additive benefits. Here, we show that two months of every-other-day intermittent fasting regimen combined with a high-intensity intermittent exercise protocol (IF/HIIE) produced a synergistic effect, enhancing physical endurance (vs. control, HIIE and IF) and optimizing metabolic pathways of energy production in male Wistar rats. The IF/HIIE group presented enhanced glucose tolerance (vs. control, HIIE and IF), lower levels of plasma insulin (vs. control and HIIE), and a global activation of low Km hexokinases in liver (vs. control, HIIE and IF), heart (vs. control and HIIE) and skeletal muscle (vs. control, HIIE and IF). The IF/HIIE synergism, rather than a simply additive effect, is evidenced by increase in muscle mass and cross-section area, activation of the FoF1 ATP synthase, and the gain of characteristics suggestive of augmented mitochondrial mass and efficiency observed in this group. Finally, important reductions in plasma oxidative stress markers were present preferentially in IF/HIIE group. These findings provide new insights for the implementation of non-pharmaceutical strategies to prevent/treat metabolic syndrome and associated diseases.

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<![CDATA[Effect of larval swimming in the western North Pacific subtropical gyre on the recruitment success of the Japanese eel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c25451cd5eed0c48442bed3

The possible effect of directional larval swimming on the recruitment success of the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica, was examined with a three-dimensional particle-tracking ocean circulation model using horizontal northwestward swimming and diel vertical migration (DVM). Four separate experiments included virtual larvae (v-larvae) movement from the spawning area over 290 days (total migration) and 160 days (stage A), from the STCC eddy region in 70 days (stage B), and from the origin of the Kuroshio in 60 days (stage C) to evaluate the effect of directional swimming and DVM compared to simple drifting. Passive or random swimming were not the most effective strategies for larvae dispersing from the spawning area because most v-larvae remained south of 20°N without entering the Kuroshio. Northwestward swimming resulted in wider dispersion and a better chance of successful recruitment, with v-larvae becoming widely distributed in the STCC eddy zone, arriving at the east coast of the Philippines (stage A), escaping the STCC eddy area and reaching the Kuroshio (stage B), and crossing the Kuroshio into the East China Sea shelf (stage C). DVM slightly shortened the migration period due to faster shallow layer ocean currents during nighttime. The NEC transported non-swimming v-larvae westward to the Kuroshio and occasionally northward into the Subtropical Countercurrent (STCC) area where eddies transported v-larvae westward into the Kuroshio, but less than with swimming. Directional swimming increased recruitment success, northwestward swimming was more effective than other directions, and a slower swimming speed was still better than no/random swimming in sensitivity tests. The present study demonstrated a first view of the possibility that Japanese eel larvae might be able to use a strategy of single-direction swimming to increase arrival at their recruitment areas.

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<![CDATA[Zebrafish larvae show negative phototaxis to near-infrared light]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c084230d5eed0c484fcc1c1

Zebrafish larvae (Danio rerio) are among the most used model species to test biological effects of different substances in biomedical research, neuroscience and ecotoxicology. Most tests are based on changes in swimming activity of zebrafish larvae by using commercially available high-throughput screening systems. These systems record and analyse behaviour patterns using visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) light sources, to simulate day (VIS) and night (NIR) phases, which allow continuous recording of the behaviour using a NIR sensitive camera. So far, however, the sensitivity of zebrafish larvae to NIR has never been tested experimentally, although being a critical piece of information for interpreting their behaviour under experimental conditions. Here, we investigated the swimming activity of 96 hpf (hours post fertilization) and 120 hpf zebrafish larvae under light sources of NIR at 860 nm and at 960 nm wavelength and under VIS light. A thermal source was simultaneously presented opposite to one of the light sources as control. We found that zebrafish larvae of both larval stages showed a clear negative phototactic response towards 860 nm NIR light and to VIS light, but not to 960 nm NIR light. Our results demonstrated that zebrafish larvae are able to perceive NIR at 860 nm, which is almost identical to the most commonly used light source in commercial screening systems (NIR at 850 nm) to create a dark environment. These tests, however, are not performed in the dark from the zebrafish´s point of view. We recommend testing sensitivity of the used test organism before assuming no interaction with the applied light source of commonly used biosensor test systems. Previous studies on biological effects of substances to zebrafish larvae should be interpreted with caution.

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