Royal Society Open Science

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 2054-5703 / 2054-5703
Current Publisher: The Royal Society (10.1098)
Total articles ≅ 4,022
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Latest articles in this journal

Samuel Stern,
Published: 7 April 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.201943

We investigate the impact of noise and topology on opinion diversity in social networks. We do so by extending well-established models of opinion dynamics to a stochastic setting where agents are subject both to assimilative forces by their local social interactions, as well as to idiosyncratic factors preventing their population from reaching consensus. We model the latter to account for both scenarios where noise is entirely exogenous to peer influence and cases where it is instead endogenous, arising from the agents’ desire to maintain some uniqueness in their opinions. We derive a general analytical expression for opinion diversity, which holds for any network and depends on the network’s topology through its spectral properties alone. Using this expression, we find that opinion diversity decreases as communities and clusters are broken down. We test our predictions against data describing empirical influence networks between major news outlets and find that incorporating our measure in linear models for the sentiment expressed by such sources on a variety of topics yields a notable improvement in terms of explanatory power.
Published: 7 April 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.210146

Competition for resources shapes ecological and evolutionary relationships. Physiological capacities such as in locomotor performance can influence the fitness of individuals by increasing competitive success. Social hierarchy too can affect outcomes of competition by altering locomotor behaviour or because higher ranking individuals monopolize resources. Here, we tested the hypotheses that competitive success is determined by sprint performance or by social status. We show that sprint performance of individuals measured during escape responses (fast start) or in an accelerated sprint test did not correlate with realized sprint speed while competing for food within a social group of five fish; fast start and accelerated sprint speed were higher than realized speed. Social status within the group was the best predictor of competitive success, followed by realized speed. Social hierarchies in zebrafish are established within 7 days of their first encounter, and interestingly, there was a positive correlation between social status and realized speed 1 and 4 days after fish were placed in a group, but not after 7 days. These data indicate that physiological performance decreases in importance as social relationships are established. Also, maximal physiological capacities were not important for competitive success, but swimming speed changed with social context.
Published: 7 April 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.210300

Heming Fu, Wanshi Lu, Jiawei Guo,
Published: 7 April 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.201910

General soliton and (semi-)rational solutions to the y-non-local Mel’nikov equation with non-zero boundary conditions are derived by the Kadomtsev–Petviashvili (KP) hierarchy reduction method. The solutions are expressed in N × N Gram-type determinants with an arbitrary positive integer N . A possible new feature of our results compared to previous studies of non-local equations using the KP reduction method is that there are two families of constraints among the parameters appearing in the solutions, which display significant discrepancies. For even N , one of them only generates pairs of solitons or lumps while the other one can give rise to odd numbers of solitons or lumps; the interactions between lumps and solitons are always inelastic for one family whereas the other family may lead to semi-rational solutions with elastic collisions between lumps and solitons. These differences are illustrated by a thorough study of the solution dynamics for N = 1, 2, 3. Besides, regularities of solutions are discussed under proper choices of parameters.
, Takahiro Kawakami, Naomichi Ogihara, Koh Hosoda
Published: 7 April 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.201947

The human foot provides numerous functions that let humans deal with various environments. Recently, study of the structure of the human foot and adjustment of an appropriate reaction force and vertical free moment during bipedal locomotion has gained attention. However, little is known about the mechanical (morphological) contribution of the foot structure to the reaction force and free moment. It is difficult to conduct a comparative experiment to investigate the contribution systematically by using conventional methods with human and cadaver foot experiments. This study focuses on the oblique transverse tarsal joint (TTJ) of the human foot, whose mechanical structure can generate appropriate free moments. We conduct comparative experiments with a rigid foot, a non-oblique joint foot (i.e. mimicking only the flexion/extension of the midfoot), and an oblique joint foot. Axial loading and walking experiments were conducted with these feet. The axial loading experiment demonstrated that the oblique foot generated free moment in the direction of internal rotation, as observed in the human foot. The walking experiment showed that the magnitude of the free moment generated with the oblique foot is significantly lower than that with the rigid foot during the stance phase. Using this constructive approach, the present study demonstrated that the oblique axis of the TTJ can mechanically generate free moments. This capacity might affect the transverse motion of bipedal walking.
Published: 7 April 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.202091

We propose a deterministic model capturing essential features of contact tracing as part of public health non-pharmaceutical interventions to mitigate an outbreak of an infectious disease. By incorporating a mechanistic formulation of the processes at the individual level, we obtain an integral equation (delayed in calendar time and advanced in time since infection) for the probability that an infected individual is detected and isolated at any point in time. This is then coupled with a renewal equation for the total incidence to form a closed system describing the transmission dynamics involving contact tracing. We define and calculate basic and effective reproduction numbers in terms of pathogen characteristics and contact tracing implementation constraints. When applied to the case of SARS-CoV-2, our results show that only combinations of diagnosis of symptomatic infections and contact tracing that are almost perfect in terms of speed and coverage can attain control, unless additional measures to reduce overall community transmission are in place. Under constraints on the testing or tracing capacity, a temporary interruption of contact tracing may, depending on the overall growth rate and prevalence of the infection, lead to an irreversible loss of control even when the epidemic was previously contained.
, Cintia Cansado-Utrilla, Abdoul H. Beavogui, Caleb Stica, Eugene K. Lama, Mojca Kristan, Seth R. Irish,
Published: 7 April 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.202032

Wolbachia , a widespread bacterium which can influence mosquito-borne pathogen transmission, has recently been detected within Anopheles ( An .) species that are malaria vectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although studies have reported Wolbachia strains in the An. gambiae complex, apparent low density and prevalence rates require confirmation. In this study, wild Anopheles mosquitoes collected from two regions of Guinea were investigated. In contrast with previous studies, RNA was extracted from adult females ( n = 516) to increase the chances for the detection of actively expressed Wolbachia genes, determine Wolbachia prevalence rates and estimate relative strain densities. Molecular confirmation of mosquito species and Wolbachia multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were carried out to analyse phylogenetic relationships of mosquito hosts and newly discovered Wolbachia strains. Strains were detected in An. melas (prevalence rate of 11.6%–16/138) and hybrids between An. melas and An. gambiae sensu stricto (prevalence rate of 40.0%–6/15) from Senguelen in the Maferinyah region. Furthermore, a novel high-density strain, termed w AnsX, was found in an unclassified Anopheles species. The discovery of novel Wolbachia strains (particularly in members, and hybrids, of the An. gambiae complex) provides further candidate strains that could be used for future Wolbachia -based malaria biocontrol strategies.
Published: 7 April 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.201578

A large number of living creatures are able to use ambient light effectively in biological signalling. Atherinomorus lacunosus , a teleost fish has alignments of circular spots on its dorsal trunk. The spot consists of iridophores, whose diameters are approximately 7–10 µm. The iridophore contains guanine crystals with diameters of 1–3 µm. Here, it is found that more than one spot with a diameter of approximately 0.1 mm causes a rhythmic flashing of light when viewed under white light. The typical light flash has a pulse width of approximately one second. When a pulsed train of flashes appears, the flash repeats at a typical frequency of 0.5–1 Hz. The observed phenomenon is one example of the evidence for the existence of rapid colour changing teleost fish.
Published: 7 April 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.210391

Climate-mediated sea-ice loss is disrupting the foraging ecology of polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ) across much of their range. As a result, there have been increased reports of polar bears foraging on seabird eggs across parts of their range. Given that polar bears have evolved to hunt seals on ice, they may not be efficient predators of seabird eggs. We investigated polar bears' foraging performance on common eider ( Somateria mollissima ) eggs on Mitivik Island, Nunavut, Canada to test whether bear decision-making heuristics are consistent with expectations of optimal foraging theory. Using aerial-drones, we recorded multiple foraging bouts over 11 days, and found that as clutches were depleted to completion, bears did not exhibit foraging behaviours matched to resource density. As the season progressed, bears visited fewer nests overall, but marginally increased their visitation to nests that were already empty. Bears did not display different movement modes related to nest density, but became less selective in their choice of clutches to consume. Lastly, bears that capitalized on visual cues of flushing eider hens significantly increased the number of clutches they consumed; however, they did not use this strategy consistently or universally. The foraging behaviours exhibited by polar bears in this study suggest they are inefficient predators of seabird eggs, particularly in the context of matching behaviours to resource density.
Chen Chen, ,
Published: 31 March 2021
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 8; doi:10.1098/rsos.202227

To lay a theoretical basis for the preparation of peanut protein-based adhesives and promote the sustainable development of the adhesive industry, properties of peanut protein isolate (PPI), arachin and conarachin-based adhesives modified by urea and epichlorohydrin (ECH) were investigated under different urea concentrations. When the urea concentration was 2 mol l −1 , the wet shear strength of the PPI-based adhesive was 1.24 MPa with the best water resistance. With the increase of urea concentration from 0 to 4 mol l −1 , the apparent viscosity of the PPI-based adhesive increased from 3.87 to 136.80 Pa s and the solid content increased from 18.11% to 31.11%. Compared with conarachin-based adhesive, the properties of arachin-based adhesive were improved more obviously during the combined modification. Scanning electron microscopy images illustrated that when the urea concentration was 2 mol l −1 , the surface of the PPI-based adhesive was more compact and smoother, which was beneficial to the improvement of water resistance and related to the structure changes of arachin and conarachin components. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy results indicated that different urea concentrations caused the change of ester and ether bonds in the PPI-based adhesive, which was mainly related to arachin component. Thermogravimetry results suggested that when the urea concentration was 2 mol l −1 , the decomposition temperature of protein skeleton in the PPI-based adhesive reached a maximum of 314°C exhibiting the highest thermal stability. The improvement of the thermal stability of conarachin was greater than that of arachin during the combined modification.
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