Dispersal of organisms generates gene flow between populations. Identifying factors that influence dispersal will help predict how species will cope with rapid environmental change. We developed an innovative infrastructure, the Metatron, composed of 48 interconnected patches, designed for the study of terrestrial organism movement as a model for dispersal. Corridors between patches can be flexibly open or closed. Temperature, humidity and illuminance can be independently controlled within each patch. The modularity and adaptability of the Metatron provide the opportunity for robust experimental design for the study of 'meta-systems'. We describe a pilot experiment on populations of the butterfly Pieris brassicae and the lizard Zootoca vivipara in the Metatron. Both species survived and showed both disperser and resident phenotypes. The Metatron offers the opportunity to test theoretical models in spatial ecology.
These authors contributed equally to this work.Theories of extreme lifespan evolution in vertebrates commonly implicate large size and predator-free environments together with physiological characteristics like low metabolism and high protection against oxidative damages. Here, we show that the 'human fish' (olm, Proteus anguinus), a small cave salamander (weighing 15 -20 g), has evolved an extreme lifehistory strategy with a predicted maximum lifespan of over 100 years, an adult average lifespan of 68.5 years, an age at sexual maturity of 15.6 years and lays, on average, 35 eggs every 12.5 years. Surprisingly, neither its basal metabolism nor antioxidant activities explain why this animal sits as an outlier in the amphibian size/longevity relationship. This species thus raises questions regarding ageing processes and constitutes a promising model for discovering mechanisms preventing senescence in vertebrates.
Direct estimation of dispersal rates at large geographic scales can be technically and logistically challenging, especially in small animals of low vagility like amphibians. The use of molecular markers to reveal patterns of genetic structure provides an indirect way to infer dispersal rates and patterns of recent and historical gene flow among populations. Here, we use mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data and genome-wide amplified fragment length polymorphism markers to examine population structure in the Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper) across four main drainages in the French Pyrenees. mtDNA sequence data (2040 bp) revealed three phylogroups shallowly differentiated and with low genetic diversity. In sharp contrast, variation in 382 amplified fragment length polymorphism loci was high and revealed a clear pattern of isolation by distance consistent with long-term restriction of gene flow at three spatial scales: (i) among all four main drainages, (ii) between sites within drainages, and (iii) even between adjacent populations separated by less than 4 km. The high pairwise F(ST) values between localities across numerous loci, together with the high frequency of fixed alleles in several populations, suggests a combination of marked geographic isolation, small population sizes and very limited dispersal in C. asper. The contrasting lack of variation detected in mtDNA sequence data is intriguing and underscores the importance of multilocus approaches to detect true patterns of gene flow in natural populations of amphibians.
The incidence of mesh-related infection after abdominal wall hernia repair is low, generally between 1 and 4%; however, worldwide, this corresponds to tens of thousands of difficult cases to treat annually. Adopting best practices in prevention is one of the keys to reduce the incidence of mesh-related infection. Once the infection is established, however, only a limited number of options are available that provides an efficient and successful treatment outcome. Over the past few years, there has been a tremendous amount of research dedicated to the functionalization of prosthetic meshes with antimicrobial properties, with some receiving regulatory approval and are currently available for clinical use. In this context, it is important to review the clinical importance of mesh infection, its risk factors, prophylaxis and pathogenicity. In addition, we give an overview of the main functionalization approaches that have been applied on meshes to confer anti-bacterial protection, the respective benefits and limitations, and finally some relevant future directions.
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