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  1. Abstract Background

    Widespread vector control has been essential in reducing the global incidence and prevalence of malaria, despite now stalled progress. Long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) have historically been, and remain, one of the most commonly used vector control tools in the campaign against malaria. LLINs are effective only with proper use, adherence, retention and community adoption, which historically have relied on the successful control of secondary pests, including bed bugs. The emergence of pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs in malaria-endemic communities and failure to control infestations have been suggested to interfere with the effective use of LLINs. Therefore, the behavioral interactions of bed bugs with commonly used bed nets should be better understood.


    To investigate the interactions between bed bugs (Cimex lectulariusL.) and LLINs, insecticide-susceptible and pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs were challenged to pass through two commonly used LLINs in two behavioral assays, namely host (blood meal)-seeking and aggregation-seeking assays. The proportions blood-fed and aggregated bed bugs, aggregation time and mortality were quantified and analyzed in different bed bug life stages.


    Overall, both the insecticide-susceptible bed bugs and highly resistant bed bugs showed a varying ability to pass through LLINs based on treatment status and net design. Deltamethrin-treated nets significantly impeded both feeding and aggregation by the susceptible bed bugs. While none of the tested LLINs significantly impeded feeding (passage of unfed bed bugs through the nets) of the pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs, the untreated bed net, which has small mesh holes, impeded passage of fed bed bugs. Mortality was only seen in the susceptible bed bugs, with significantly higher mortality on deltamethrin-treated nets (63.5 ± 10.7%) than on permethrin-treated nets (2.0 ± 0.9%).


    Commonly used new LLINs failed to prevent the passage of susceptible and pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs in host- and aggregation-seeking bioassays. The overall low and variable mortality observed in susceptible bed bugs during both assays highlighted the potential of LLINs to impose strong selection pressure for the evolution of pyrethroid resistance. Already, the failure to control bed bug infestations has been implicated as a contributing factor to the abandonment or misuse of LLINs. For the first time to our knowledge, we have shown the potential of LLINs in selecting for resistant secondary pest populations and so their potential role in stalling malaria control programs should be further investigated.

    Graphical Abstract

    The emergence of pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs in malaria-endemic communities may interfere with the effective use of pyrethroid-impregnated bed nets. We assessed the interactions of two bed bug strains with commonly used bed nets using two behavioral assays, namely host (blood meal)-seeking by unfed bed bugs and aggregation-seeking by freshly fed bed bugs. These assays assessed the passage of bed bugs through various bed nets in response to host cues and aggregation stimuli, respectively. Conditioned paper is a section of file folder paper that has been exposed to bed bugs and has been impregnated with feces and aggregation pheromone; it is attractive to aggregation-seeking fed bed bugs. An unconditioned ramp is a similar section of file folder paper that allows bed bugs to traverse the bed net and gain access to a blood-meal source.

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  2. Abstract

    Fully and accurately reconstructing changes in oceanic productivity and carbon export and their controls is critical to determining the efficiency of the biological pump and its role in the global carbon cycle through time, particularly in modern CO2source regions like the eastern equatorial Pacific (EEP). Here we present new high-resolution records of sedimentary230Th-normalized opal and nannofossil carbonate fluxes and [231Pa/230Th]xs ratios from site MV1014-02-17JC in the Panama Basin. We find that, across the last deglaciation, phytoplankton community structure is driven by changing patterns of nutrient (nitrate, iron, and silica) availability which, in turn, are caused by variability in the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and associated changes in biogeochemical cycling and circulation in the Southern Ocean. Our multi-proxy work suggests greater scrutiny is required in the interpretation of common geochemical proxies of productivity and carbon export in the EEP.

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  3. Abstract The 4 ⁢ N {4N} -carpets are a class of infinitely ramified self-similar fractals with a large group of symmetries. For a 4 ⁢ N {4N} -carpet F , let { F n } n ≥ 0 {\{F_{n}\}_{n\geq 0}} be the natural decreasing sequence of compact pre-fractal approximations with ⋂ n F n = F {\bigcap_{n}F_{n}=F} . On each F n {F_{n}} , let ℰ ⁢ ( u , v ) = ∫ F N ∇ ⁡ u ⋅ ∇ ⁡ v ⁢ d ⁢ x {\mathcal{E}(u,v)=\int_{F_{N}}\nabla u\cdot\nabla v\,dx} be the classical Dirichlet form and u n {u_{n}} be the unique harmonic function on F n {F_{n}} satisfying a mixed boundary value problem corresponding to assigning a constant potential between two specific subsets of the boundary. Using a method introduced by [M. T. Barlow and R. F. Bass,On the resistance of the Sierpiński carpet, Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. Ser. A 431 (1990), no. 1882, 345–360], we prove a resistance estimate of the following form: there is ρ = ρ ⁢ ( N ) > 1 {\rho=\rho(N)>1} such that ℰ ⁢ ( u n , u n ) ⁢ ρ n {\mathcal{E}(u_{n},u_{n})\rho^{n}} is bounded above and below by constants independent of n . Such estimates have implications for the existence and scaling properties of Brownian motion on F . 
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  4. Abstract

    North African dust is known to be deposited in the Gulf of Mexico, but its deposition rate and associated supply of lithogenic dissolved metals, such as the abiotic metal thorium or the micronutrient metal iron, have not been well‐quantified.232Th is an isotope with similar sources as iron and its input can be quantified using radiogenic230Th. By comparing dissolved232Th fluxes at three sites in the northern Gulf of Mexico with upwind sites in the North Atlantic, we place an upper bound on North African dust contributions to232Th and Fe in the Gulf of Mexico, which is about 30% of the total input. Precision on this bound is hindered by uncertainty in the relative rates of dust deposition in the North Atlantic and the northern Gulf of Mexico. Based on available radium data, shelf sources, including rivers, submarine groundwater discharge, and benthic sedimentary releases are likely as important if not more important than dust in the budget of lithogenic metals in the Gulf of Mexico. In other words, it is likely there is no one dominant source of Th and Fe in the Gulf of Mexico. Finally, our estimated Fe input in the northern Gulf of Mexico implies an Fe residence time of less than 6 months, similar to that in the North Atlantic despite significantly higher supply rates in the Gulf of Mexico.

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  5. Abstract

    We compile full ocean‐depth size‐fractionated (1–51 and >51 μm) particle concentration and composition of suspended particulate matter from three recent U.S. GEOTRACES cruises, and exploit detailed information of particle characteristics measured to give insights into controls on sinking velocity and mass flux. Our model integrates the concept of fractal scaling into Stokes' Law by incorporating one of two porosity‐size power law relationships that result in fractal dimensions of 1.4 and 2.1. The medians of pump‐derived total (>1 μm) mass flux in the upper 100 m of gyre stations are 285.1, 609.2, and 99.3 mg/m2/d in the North Atlantic, Eastern Tropical South Pacific, and Western Arctic Ocean cruises, respectively. In this data set, variations in particle concentration were generally more important than sinking velocity in controlling variations in mass flux. We examine different terms in a Stokes' Law model to explore how variations in particle and water column characteristics from these three cruises affect mass flux. The decomposition of different aspects of the Stokes' relationship sheds light on the lowest total mass flux of the three cruises in the Western Arctic, which could be explained by the Arctic having the lowest particle concentrations as well as the lowest sinking velocities due to having the smallest particle sizes and the most viscous water. This work shows the importance of both particle characteristics and size distribution for mass fluxes, and similar methods can be applied to existing and future size‐fractionated filtered particulate measurements to improve our understanding of the biological pump elsewhere.

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  6. Abstract

    Coastal ecosystems are highly dynamic areas for carbon cycling and are likely to be negatively impacted by increasing ocean acidification. This research focused on dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA) in the Mississippi Sound to understand the influence of local rivers on coastal acidification. This area receives large fluxes of freshwater from local rivers, in addition to episodic inputs from the Mississippi River through a human‐built diversion, the Bonnet Carré Spillway. Sites in the Sound were sampled monthly from August 2018 to November 2019 and weekly from June to August 2019 in response to an extended spillway opening. Prior to the 2019 spillway opening, the contribution of the local, lower alkalinity rivers to the Sound may have left the study area more susceptible to coastal acidification during winter months, with aragonite saturation states (Ωar) < 2. After the spillway opened, despite a large increase in TA throughout the Sound, aragonite saturation states remained low, likely due to hypoxia and increased CO2concentrations in subsurface waters. Increased Mississippi River input could represent a new normal in the Sound's hydrography during spring and summer months. The spillway has been utilized more frequently over the last two decades due to increasing precipitation in the Mississippi River watershed, which is primarily associated with climate change. Future increases in freshwater discharge and the associated declines in salinity, dissolved oxygen, and Ωarin the Sound will likely be detrimental to oyster stocks and the resilience of similar ecosystems to coastal acidification.

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