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natural history - Top 30 Publications

Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Incidence and Impact on Metabolic Burden and Death: a 20 Year-Community Study.

Recent population-based data on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) epidemiology in general and incidence in particular, are lacking. We examined trends in NAFLD incidence in a US community, and the impact of NAFLD on incident metabolic comorbidities (MC), cardiovascular (CV) events and mortality. A community cohort of all adults diagnosed with NAFLD in Olmsted County, MN between 1997-2014 was constructed using the Rochester Epidemiology Project database. The yearly incidence rate was calculated. The impact of NAFLD on incident MC, CV events and mortality was studied using a multi-state model, with a 4:1 age and sex-matched general population as reference. We identified 3,869 NAFLD subjects (median age 53, 52% women) and 15,209 controls; median follow-up was 7 (1 to 20) years. NAFLD incidence increased 5-fold, from 62 to 329/100,000 person-years. The increase was highest (7-fold) in young adults, age 18-39 years. The 10-year mortality was higher in NAFLD subjects (10.2%) than controls (7.6%) (p<0.0001). NAFLD was an independent risk factor for incident MC and death. Mortality risk decreased as the number of incident MC increased: RR= 2.16 (95% CI 1.41-3.31), 1.99 (95% CI 1.48-2.66), 1.75 (95% CI 1.42-2.14) and 1.08 (95% CI 0.89-1.30) when 0, 1, 2, or 3 MC were present, respectively. The NAFLD impact on CV events was significant only in subjects without MC (RR=1.96, 95% CI=1.35-2.86). NAFLD reduced life expectancy by 4 years, with more time spent in high metabolic burden.

Manual function and performance in humans, gorillas, and orangutans during the same tool use task.

Humans are known to possess more complex manual abilities than other primates. However, the manual abilities of primates have not been fully explored, and we still do not know if the manipulative abilities we attribute to humans are unique. The aim of this study was to compare the manual function and performance developed by humans, gorillas and orangutans while performing the same experimental tool use task.

Prolonged azathioprine treatment reduces the need for surgery in early Crohn's disease.

Whether an early use of azathioprine (AZA) can alter the natural history of Crohn's disease (CD) remains debated. To evaluate the impact of AZA on disease progression in a cohort of patients with early CD.

Natural history of post-void residual urine volume over 5 years in community-dwelling older men: The Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project.

To describe the natural history of post-void residual urine volume (PVR) in community-dwelling older men.

Allee Effects in Social Species.

Allee effects have important implications for many aspects of basic and applied ecology. The benefits of aggregation of conspecific individuals are central to Allee effects, which have led to the widely held assumption that social species are more prone to Allee effects. Robust evidence for this assumption, however, remains rare. Further, previous research on Allee effects has failed to adequately address the consequences of the different levels of organization within social species' populations. Here, we review available evidence of Allee effects and model the role of demographic and behavioural factors that may combine to dampen or strengthen Allee effects in social species. We use examples across various species with contrasting social structure, including carnivores, bats, primates, and eusocial insects. Building on this, we provide a conceptual framework that allows for the integration of different Allee effects in social species. Social species are characterised by nested levels of organisation. The benefits of cooperation, measured by mean individual fitness, can be observed at both the population and group levels, giving rise to "population level" and "group level" Allee effects, respectively. We also speculate on the possibility of a third level, reporting per capita benefits for different individuals within a group (e.g., castes in social insects). We show that group size heterogeneity and intergroup interactions affect the strength of population level demographic Allee effects. Populations with higher group size heterogeneity and in which individual social groups cooperate demonstrate the weakest Allee effects and may thus provide an explanation for why extinctions due to Allee effects are rare in social species. More adequately accounting for Allee effects in social species will improve our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary implications of cooperation in social species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Evidence that iron accelerates Alzheimer's pathology: a CSF biomarker study.

To investigate whether cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) ferritin (reporting brain iron) is associated with longitudinal changes in CSF β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau.

A new genus and two new species of dactylogyrid monogeneans from gills of Neotropical catfishes (Siluriformes: Doradidae and Loricaridae).

A new genus of dactylogyrid monogeneans (Ancyrocephalinae), Paracosmetocleithrum n. gen., is erected to accommodate P. trachydorasi n. sp. from Trachydoras paraguayensis (Siluriformes: Doradidae) in the Upper Paraná River basin, Brazil. The new genus differs from Neotropical dactylogyrids in the presence of a well-developed ornamentation in the middle portion of the ventral bar, and a sclerotized patch on the surface of the dorsal bar with an inconspicuous medial process that possesses two submedial projections arising from the tapered ends of this patch. In addition, Demidospermus rhinelepisi n. sp. is described from Rhinelepis aspera (Siluriformes: Loricariidae). The new species, which is the fifth species of the genus described from loricariids, can be differentiated from congeners by the possession of a sclerotized patch attached to the middle portion of the ventral bar, and by morphology of the accessory piece, which presents broad ends, tapering in the centre, rounded proximal end, distal end folding on both sides with folds extending to approximately ¾ of the accessory piece length. Molecular data on both new species are also provided and species composition of Demidospermus, recently revealed as polyphyletic by molecular studies including the present one, is discussed.

The underwater soundscape in western Fram Strait: Breeding ground of Spitsbergen's endangered bowhead whales.

In the Arctic, warming and concomitant reductions in sea ice will affect the underwater soundscape, with the greatest changes likely being linked to anthropogenic activities. In this study, an acoustic recorder deployed on an oceanographic mooring in western Fram Strait documented the soundscape of this area, which is important habitat for the Critically Endangered Spitsbergen bowhead whale population. The soundscape was quasi-pristine much of the year, with low numbers of ships traversing the area. However, during summer/autumn, signals from airgun surveys were detected >12h/day. Mean received peak-to-peak SPLs for loud airgun pulses reached 160.46±0.48dB 1μPa when seismic-survey ships were close (at ~57km). Bowhead whales were present almost daily October-April in all years, with singing occurring in almost every hour November-March. Currently, loud anthropogenic sound sources do not temporally overlap the peak period of bowhead singing. This study provides important baseline data for future monitoring.

Incidence and clearance of oral human papillomavirus infection: A population-based cohort study in rural China.

The natural history of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection which is linked with the increased incidence of oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer (OPSCC) has been incompletely studied. Oral swab specimens and questionnaire data were obtained bi-annually for up to 6 visits from 4314 healthy adults aged 25-69 in rural Anyang, China. HPV infection status was evaluated with PCR-based sequencing. Participants with at least two consecutive valid HPV results within the study period were included in the incidence and clearance analysis. Among 3289 participants included in this analysis (median follow-up time 18.3 months), incidence rates of mucosal HPV, oncogenic mucosal HPV and cutaneous HPV were 0.53 (95% CI: 0.39-0.73), 0.30 (95% CI: 0.20-0.46), and 4.17 (95% CI: 3.70-4.70) per 1,000 person-months respectively. Most newly acquired infections were cleared within one year. Recent practice of oral sex increased the risk of incident infection with mucosal HPV (Adjusted HR, 5.03; 95% CI, 1.16-21.73) and oncogenic mucosal HPV (Adjusted HR, 10.13; 95% CI, 2.14-48.06). Newly acquired oral mucosal HPV infections are rare and most are cleared within one year in rural Chinese. This study expands understanding of the natural history of oral HPV in countries with a lower incidence of HPV-OPSCC.

Long-term Natural Course of Small Non-Functional Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors in MEN1 - Results from the DMSG.

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are highly prevalent in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and metastatic disease is an important cause of MEN1-related mortality. Especially small non-functional (NF) pNETs pose a challenge to the treating physician and more information is needed regarding their natural course. We assessed long-term natural history of small NF-pNETs and its modifiers in the Dutch MEN1 population.

Size Matters: Defining Critical in Bone Defect Size!

Bone defects are common and are associated with a significant burden of disease. The treatment of these injuries remains controversial, particularly those defects which are critical sized. Despite the need for decision making to be evidence based, a lack of consensus around definitions of critical-sized defects still exists, particularly around those defects in the 1-3 cm range. There is a need to define "critical" in bone defect size because noncritical defects may heal without planned reconstruction and secondary surgery. This article reviews the current evidence around the definition of a critical-sized bone defect and concludes that defects in the order of 2.5 cm or greater seem to have a poor natural history.

Outcomes of congenital cytomegalovirus disease following maternal primary and non-primary infection.

Natural history and long term prognosis of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease according to maternal primary versus non-primary infection are not clearly documented.

Reconstructing Prehistoric African Population Structure.

We assembled genome-wide data from 16 prehistoric Africans. We show that the anciently divergent lineage that comprises the primary ancestry of the southern African San had a wider distribution in the past, contributing approximately two-thirds of the ancestry of Malawi hunter-gatherers ∼8,100-2,500 years ago and approximately one-third of the ancestry of Tanzanian hunter-gatherers ∼1,400 years ago. We document how the spread of farmers from western Africa involved complete replacement of local hunter-gatherers in some regions, and we track the spread of herders by showing that the population of a ∼3,100-year-old pastoralist from Tanzania contributed ancestry to people from northeastern to southern Africa, including a ∼1,200-year-old southern African pastoralist. The deepest diversifications of African lineages were complex, involving either repeated gene flow among geographically disparate groups or a lineage more deeply diverging than that of the San contributing more to some western African populations than to others. We finally leverage ancient genomes to document episodes of natural selection in southern African populations. PAPERCLIP.

Molecular detection of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato - An analytical comparison of real-time PCR protocols from five different Scandinavian laboratories.

Lyme borreliosis (LB) is the most common tick transmitted disease in Europe. The diagnosis of LB today is based on the patient´s medical history, clinical presentation and laboratory findings. The laboratory diagnostics are mainly based on antibody detection, but in certain conditions molecular detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) may serve as a complement.

Animal models in the research of abdominal aortic aneurysms development.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a prevalent and potentially life threatening disease. Many animal models have been developed to simulate the natural history of the disease or test preclinical endovascular devices and surgical procedures. The aim of this review is to describe different methods of AAA induction in animal models and report on the effectiveness of the methods described in inducing an analogue of a human AAA. The PubMed database was searched for publications with titles containing the following terms "animal" or ''animal model(s)'' and keywords "research", ''aneurysm(s)'', "aorta", ''pancreatic elastase'', "Angiotensin", "AngII" "Calcium Chloride" or "CaCl(2)". Starting date for this search was set to 2004, since previously bibliography was already covered by the review of Daugherty A. and Cassis L.A. We focused on animal studies that reported a model of aneurysm development and progression. A number of different approaches of AAA induction in animal models has been developed, used and combined since the first report in the 1960's. Although specific methods are successful in AAA induction in animal models, it is necessary that these methods and their respective results are inline with the pathophysiology and the mechanisms involved in human AAA development. A researcher should know the advantages/disadvantages of each animal model and choose the appropriate model.

Climate variability affects the germination strategies exhibited by arid land plants.

Spatial and temporal environmental variability can lead to variation in selection pressures across a landscape. Strategies for coping with environmental heterogeneity range from specialized phenotypic responses to a narrow range of conditions to generalist strategies that function under a range of conditions. Here, we ask how mean climate and climate variation at individual sites and across a species' range affect the specialist-generalist spectrum of germination strategies exhibited by 10 arid land forbs. We investigated these relationships using climate data for the western United States, occurrence records from herbaria, and germination trials with field-collected seeds, and predicted that generalist strategies would be most common in species that experience a high degree of climate variation or occur over a wide range of conditions. We used two metrics to describe variation in germination strategies: (a) selectivity (did seeds require specific cues to germinate?) and (b) population-level variation (did populations differ in their responses to germination cues?) in germination displayed by each species. Species exhibited distinct germination strategies, with some species demonstrating as much among-population variation as we observed among species. Modeling efforts suggested that generalist strategies evolve in response to higher spatial variation in actual evapotranspiration at a local scale and in available water in the spring and annual precipitation at a range-wide scale. Describing the conditions that lead to variation in early life-history traits is important for understanding the evolution of diversity in natural systems, as well as the possible responses of individual species to global climate change.

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Lean Subjects: Characteristics and Implications.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is commonly diagnosed in obese subjects; however, it is not rare among lean individuals. Given the absence of traditional risk factors, it tends to remain under-recognised. The metabolic profiles of lean NAFLD patients are frequently comparable to those of obese NAFLD patients. Though results from several studies have been mixed, it has been generally revealed that lean subjects with NAFLD have minor insulin resistance compared to that in obese NAFLD. Several genetic variants are associated with NAFLD without insulin resistance. Some data suggest that the prevalence of steatohepatitis and advanced fibrosis do not differ significantly between lean and obese NAFLD; however, the former tend to have less severe disease at presentation. The underlying pathophysiology of lean NAFLD may be quite different. Genetic predispositions, fructose- and cholesterol-rich diet, visceral adiposity and dyslipidaemia have potential roles in the pathogenic underpinnings. Lean NAFLD may pose a risk for metabolic disturbances, cardiovascular morbidity or overall mortality. Secondary causes of hepatic steatosis are also needed to be ruled out in lean subjects with NAFLD. The effectiveness of various treatment modalities, such as exercise and pharmacotherapy, on lean NAFLD is not known. Weight loss is expected to help lean NAFLD patients who have visceral obesity. Further investigation is needed for many aspects of lean NAFLD, including mechanistic pathogenesis, risk assessment, natural history and therapeutic approach.

Consanguinity Associated with Increased Prevalence and Severity of Bipolar Disorder in Pakistan: A Case Report Highlighting the Genetic Link.

This case report highlights the genetic link associated with bipolar disorder and rising prevalence of such cases in Pakistan due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of the disease. It also shows that a family history of bipolar disorder is associated with more aggressive episodes, early onset, and treatment relapse. Further studies are warranted to fully understand the pathophysiology of genetic linkages causing bipolar disorder so we can understand the natural course of illness and provide effective treatment. We report the case of a 25-year-old girl who presented to the hospital with severe mania and had around 20 episodes of acute mania in the last ten years. Her parents (first cousins) and brother all had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Consumption of crustaceans by megaherbivorous dinosaurs: dietary flexibility and dinosaur life history strategies.

Large plant-eating dinosaurs are usually presumed to have been strictly herbivorous, because their derived teeth and jaws were capable of processing fibrous plant foods. This inferred feeding behavior offers a generalized view of dinosaur food habits, but rare direct fossil evidence of diet provides more nuanced insights into feeding behavior. Here we describe fossilized feces (coprolites) that demonstrate recurring consumption of crustaceans and rotted wood by large Late Cretaceous dinosaurs. These multi-liter coprolites from the Kaiparowits Formation are primarily composed of comminuted conifer wood tissues that were fungally degraded before ingestion. Thick fragments of laminar crustacean cuticle are scattered within the coprolite contents and suggest that the dinosaurian defecators consumed sizeable crustaceans that sheltered in rotting logs. The diet of decayed wood and crustaceans offered a substantial supply of plant polysaccharides, with added dividends of animal protein and calcium. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that the fossilized fecal residues depict year-round feeding habits. It is more reasonable to infer that these coprolites reflected seasonal dietary shifts-possibly related to the dinosaurs' oviparous breeding activities. This surprising fossil evidence challenges conventional notions of herbivorous dinosaur diets and reveals a degree of dietary flexibility that is consistent with that of extant herbivorous birds.

The growth pattern of Neandertals, reconstructed from a juvenile skeleton from El Sidrón (Spain).

Ontogenetic studies help us understand the processes of evolutionary change. Previous studies on Neandertals have focused mainly on dental development and inferred an accelerated pace of general growth. We report on a juvenile partial skeleton (El Sidrón J1) preserving cranio-dental and postcranial remains. We used dental histology to estimate the age at death to be 7.7 years. Maturation of most elements fell within the expected range of modern humans at this age. The exceptions were the atlas and mid-thoracic vertebrae, which remained at the 5- to 6-year stage of development. Furthermore, endocranial features suggest that brain growth was not yet completed. The vertebral maturation pattern and extended brain growth most likely reflect Neandertal physiology and ontogenetic energy constraints rather than any fundamental difference in the overall pace of growth in this extinct human.

Clinical significance of reversal of flow in the vertebral artery identified on cerebrovascular duplex ultrasound.

Reversal of flow in the vertebral artery (RFVA) is an uncommon finding on cerebrovascular duplex ultrasound examination. The clinical significance of RFVA and the natural history of patients presenting with it are poorly understood. Our objective was to better characterize the symptoms and outcomes of patients presenting with RFVA.

Sequelae of Occult Aggression Disqualifying Young, Socially Housed, Female New Zealand White Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) from Participation in Dermal Toxicology Studies.

International animal welfare organizations and federal, regional, and institutional oversight bodies encourage social housing of gregarious species, such as New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), to promote animal wellbeing in research, teaching, testing and farming settings. At our institution, 2 groups of female New Zealand white rabbits (approximate age, 11 wk; mean weight, 2.35 kg), compatibly paired at the vendor for 5 wk, were paired in caging or group-housed in a floor pen. The rabbits appeared compatible, demonstrating primarily affiliative behaviors throughout 6 wk of daily observations. However, occult aggression that occurred between daily observations or nocturnally resulted in skin wounding. The skin injuries, first identified during prestudy clipping of fur from the back of each rabbit 6 wk after arrival, disqualified every animal from participation in skin toxicology and muscle implantation studies. Success meeting scientific research requirements while promoting animal welfare and health when socially housing New Zealand white rabbits requires examining the behavioral repertoire of their wild counterparts, European rabbits. Factors including age, sex, and housing density influence territoriality, dominance hierarchy, social ranking, and natural, agonistic, injurious, behavioral tendencies. IACUC and other relevant oversight bodies, researchers, and animal care staff should consider this case study and the species-specific natural history of New Zealand white rabbits when assessing the harm and benefit of social housing in regard to research utility and animal welfare.

Phylogenetic analyses of bat-associated bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae: Cimicinae and Cacodminae) indicate two new species close to Cimex lectularius.

Bats are regarded as the primary (ancestral) hosts of bugs of the family Cimicidae. The historically and economically most important species in the family is the common bedbug (Cimex lectularius), because of its worldwide occurrence and association with humans. This molecular-phylogenetic study was initiated in order to expand the knowledge on the phylogeny of cimicid bugs of bats, by investigating samples from Hungary, Romania (representing central-eastern Europe) and two further countries (South Africa and Vietnam).

The Developmental Trajectory of Self-Injurious Behaviours in Individuals with Prader Willi Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability.

In the present study we examined the nature and developmental trajectory of self-injurious behaviour in Prader Willi syndrome (PWS) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The development of interventions is greatly aided by understanding gene to behaviour pathways, and this requires an accurate description of the behaviour phenotype, that is, which types and natural history of self-injurious behaviour are more common in PWS and ASD and which are shared with other forms of developmental disability. Self-injury displayed by individuals with PWS and individuals with ASD was compared with that reported in a group of individuals with intellectual disability due to mixed aetiology (ID group). Three self-injurious behaviours (head banging, skin-picking and hitting and/or biting self) were measured on five occasions over 18 years using the Developmental Behaviour Checklist (DBC) a well-validated caregiver report measure. Rates of skin picking were higher in individuals with PWS and hitting and/or biting self was higher in individuals with ASD compared to the ID group. Rates of head banging were similar across the three groups. Over time, skin-picking and head banging increased with age for individuals with ASD and hitting and/or biting self increased for the PWS group. In the PWS and mixed ID groups head banging decreased with age. These findings suggest that the typology and developmental trajectories of self-injurious behaviours differ between those with PWS and ASD.

The oldest known digestive system consisting of both paired digestive glands and a crop from exceptionally preserved trilobites of the Guanshan Biota (Early Cambrian, China).

The early Cambrian Guanshan biota of eastern Yunnan, China, contains exceptionally preserved animals and algae. Most diverse and abundant are the arthropods, of which there are at least 11 species of trilobites represented by numerous specimens. Many trilobite specimens show soft-body preservation via iron oxide pseudomorphs of pyrite replacement. Here we describe digestive structures from two species of trilobite, Palaeolenus lantenoisi and Redlichia mansuyi. Multiple specimens of both species contain the preserved remains of an expanded stomach region (a "crop") under the glabella, a structure which has not been observed in trilobites this old, despite numerous examples of trilobite gut traces from other Cambrian Lagerstätten. In addition, at least one specimen of Palaeolenus lantenoisi shows the preservation of an unusual combination of digestive structures: a crop and paired digestive glands along the alimentary tract. This combination of digestive structures has also never been observed in trilobites this old, and is rare in general, with prior evidence of it from one juvenile trilobite specimen from the late Cambrian Orsten fauna of Sweden and possibly one adult trilobite specimen from the Early Ordovician Fezouata Lagerstätte. The variation in the fidelity of preservation of digestive structures within and across different Lagerstätten may be due to variation in the type, quality, and point of digestion of food among specimens in addition to differences in mode of preservation. The presence and combination of these digestive features in the Guanshan trilobites contradicts current models of how the trilobite digestive system was structured and evolved over time. Most notably, the crop is not a derived structure as previously proposed, although it is possible that the relative size of the crop increased over the evolutionary history of the clade.

Natural History of HPV Infection across the Lifespan: Role of Viral Latency.

Large-scale epidemiologic studies have been invaluable for elaboration of the causal relationship between persistent detection of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the development of invasive cervical cancer. However, these studies provide limited data to adequately inform models of the individual-level natural history of HPV infection over the course of a lifetime, and particularly ignore the biological distinction between HPV-negative tests and lack of infection (i.e., the possibility of latent, undetectable HPV infection). Using data from more recent epidemiological studies, this review proposes an alternative model of the natural history of genital HPV across the life span. We argue that a more complete elucidation of the age-specific probabilities of the alternative transitions is highly relevant with the expanded use of HPV testing in cervical cancer screening. With routine HPV testing in cervical cancer screening, women commonly transition in and out of HPV detectability, raising concerns for the patient and the provider regarding the source of the positive test result, its prognosis, and effective strategies to prevent future recurrence. Alternative study designs and analytic frameworks are proposed to better understand the frequency and determinants of these transition pathways.

Cultivar and Metal-Specific Effects of Endophytic Bacteria in Helianthus tuberosus Exposed to Cd and Zn.

Plant growth promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPB) isolated from Brassica napus were inoculated in two cultivars of Helianthus tuberosus (VR and D19) growing on sand supplemented with 0.1 mM Cd or 1 mM Zn. Plant growth, concentrations of metals and thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactive compounds were determined. Colonization of roots of H. tuberosus D19 by Pseudomonas sp. 262 was evaluated using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Pseudomonas sp. 228, Serratia sp. 246 and Pseudomonas sp. 262 significantly enhanced growth of H. tuberosus D19 exposed to Cd or Zn. Pseudomonas sp. 228 significantly increased Cd concentrations in roots. Serratia sp. 246, and Pseudomonas sp. 256 and 228 resulted in significantly decreased contents of TBA reactive compounds in roots of Zn exposed D19 plants. Growth improvement and decrease of metal-induced stress were more pronounced in D19 than in VR. Pseudomonas sp. 262-green fluorescent protein (GFP) colonized the root epidermis/exodermis and also inside root hairs, indicating that an endophytic interaction was established. H. tuberosus D19 inoculated with Pseudomonas sp. 228, Serratia sp. 246 and Pseudomonas sp. 262 holds promise for sustainable biomass production in combination with phytoremediation on Cd and Zn contaminated soils.

Venomics of Remipede Crustaceans Reveals Novel Peptide Diversity and Illuminates the Venom's Biological Role.

We report the first integrated proteomic and transcriptomic investigation of a crustacean venom. Remipede crustaceans are the venomous sister group of hexapods, and the venom glands of the remipede Xibalbanus tulumensis express a considerably more complex cocktail of proteins and peptides than previously thought. We identified 32 venom protein families, including 13 novel peptide families that we name xibalbins, four of which lack similarities to any known structural class. Our proteomic data confirm the presence in the venom of 19 of the 32 families. The most highly expressed venom components are serine peptidases, chitinase and six of the xibalbins. The xibalbins represent Inhibitory Cystine Knot peptides (ICK), a double ICK peptide, peptides with a putative Cystine-stabilized α-helix/β-sheet motif, a peptide similar to hairpin-like β-sheet forming antimicrobial peptides, two peptides related to different hormone families, and four peptides with unique structural motifs. Remipede venom components represent the full range of evolutionary recruitment frequencies, from families that have been recruited into many animal venoms (serine peptidases, ICKs), to those having a very narrow taxonomic range (double ICKs), to those unique for remipedes. We discuss the most highly expressed venom components to shed light on their possible functional significance in the predatory and defensive use of remipede venom, and to provide testable ideas for any future bioactivity studies.

Abdominal tuberculosis: Is there a role for surgery?

It is important that surgeons are familiar with the various manifestations of tuberculosis (TB). Although TB has been declining in incidence in the developed world, it remains an important problem in endemic areas of the developing world. The aim of the review was to elucidate the natural history and characteristics of abdominal TB and ascertain the indications for surgery. TB can affect the intestine as well as the peritoneum and the most important aspect of abdominal TB is to bear in mind the diagnosis and obtain histological evidence. Abdominal TB is generally responsive to medical treatment, and early diagnosis and management can prevent unnecessary surgical intervention. Due to the challenges of early diagnosis, patients should be managed in collaboration with a physician familiar with anti-tuberculous therapy. An international expert consensus should determine an algorithm for the diagnosis and multidisciplinary management of abdominal TB.

A retrospective review of the multidisciplinary management of medullary thyroid cancer: eligibility for systemic therapy.

Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) accounts for 1-2% of all thyroid cancers. The clinical course of metastatic disease can be indolent. Our aim was to characterize the natural history of disease to evaluate the true proportion of patients who would be eligible for the currently available systemic therapies.