Preparedness for practice was substantially higher following the

Preparedness for practice was substantially higher following the New Zealand trainee intern year than has been reported with other pre-intern placements.”

Smoking is a significant health hazard that has been associated with poor reproductive outcome and reduced fertility in reproductive age women. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of nargile smoking on intra-cytoplasmic sperm Selleckchem NCT-501 injection (ICSI) outcome.\n\nStudy design: A prospective analysis of the outcomes of 297 women who underwent ICSI treatment at the ART Unit at the American University of Beirut Medical Center between January 1, and December 31, 2006 was done. The patients were divided into 3 groups based on their smoking status: cigarette smokers (n = 42), nargile smokers (n = 51) and non-smokers (n = 204).\n\nResults: The mean age of nargile smokers was significantly lower than the other groups; however, the 3 groups were similar with respect to the cause of infertility, total dose of follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), number of oocytes and embryos obtained, and number and quality of embryos transferred. There was no significant difference in the clinical pregnancy rate between nargile learn more smokers and non-smokers

(51.0% vs 43.6%). However, cigarette smokers had a significantly lower clinical pregnancy rate compared to non-smokers (23.8% vs 43.6%, p = 0.0238). On multiple logistic regression analysis, factors that decreased the clinical pregnancy rates were cigarette smoking and maternal age.\n\nConclusion: 3-Methyladenine ic50 Although this study did not find a deleterious effect of nargile smoking on ICSI outcome, the results need to be confirmed in prospective studies that would include larger number of women

with more objective measures of nargile smoke exposure. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Infiltrating astrocytomas and oligoastrocytomas of low to anaplastic grade (WHO grades II and III), in spite of being associated with a wide range of clinical outcomes, can be difficult to subclassify and grade by the current histopathologic criteria. Unlike oligodendrogliomas and anaplastic oligodendrogliomas that can be identified by the 1p/19q codeletion and the more malignant glioblastomas (WHO grade IV astrocytomas) that can be diagnosed solely based on objective features on routine hematoxylin and eosin sections, no such objective criteria exist for the subclassification of grade II-III astrocytomas and oligoastrocytomas (A+OA II-III). In this study, we evaluated the prognostic and predictive value of the stem cell marker nestin in adult A+OA II-III (n = 50) using immunohistochemistry and computer-assisted analysis on tissue microarrays. In addition, the correlation between nestin mRNA level and total survival was analyzed in the NCI Rembrandt database. The results showed that high nestin expression is a strong adverse prognostic factor for total survival (p = 0.0004).

Our a-priori hypothesis was that

Our a-priori hypothesis was that PHA-739358 Cell Cycle inhibitor schizophrenia patients would show an increased prevalence of the nontaster phenotype compared with controls. The genotypes of two nonsynonymous coding single-nucleotide polymorphisms in TAS2R38 were assayed for 176 schizophrenia patients and 229 healthy control individuals, and the two-allele haplotypes were estimated. There was an over-representation of the major PTC nontaster haplotype among patients of European descent, relative to control individuals of similar ancestry.

Patients and controls of African ancestry did not differ. The PTC nontaster haplotype is a genetic marker that may be used to identify subsets of schizophrenia patients who potentially harbor vulnerability genes in this region of chromosome 7q. Psychiatr Genet 22:286-289 (C) 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health vertical bar Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.”
“Chagas disease is a major endemic disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. This parasitic disease is widely distributed throughout Latin America, affecting 10 million people. There are also reports of canine infection in the southern part of the United States. Dogs are considered the predominant domestic reservoir for 7: cruzi in many

areas of endemicity. In Mexico, buy LY294002 dog infection by this parasite has been poorly studied. In this work 209 dogs from six villages in Jalisco, Mexico, were assessed to detect anti-T cruzi antibodies by ELISA and Western blot. Seventeen (17) seropositive dogs (8.1 %) were detected by both tests, representing a seropositive value similar to that found in some southern states of Mexico where the infection is present. No statistical differences were observed concerning the age and sex of infected and non-infected dogs. The major antigens recognized by positive sera were 26, 32, 66 and 80 kDa. These proteins are candidates to develop a specific diagnostic method for canine Chagas.

No antibodies against HSP16 protein were found in 7: cruzi seropositive sera. This is the first report of canine serology of Chagas disease in this central part of Mexico. This report will contribute to the knowledge of the infection status of domestic reservoirs in PLX3397 clinical trial the state of Jalisco, Mexico. (C) 2014 Asociacion Argentina de Microbiologia. Published by Elsevier Espana, S.L. All rights reserved.”
“Background: Slug, a regulator of epithelial mesenchymal transition, was identified to be differentially expressed in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) using cDNA microarrays by our laboratory. This study aimed to determine the clinical significance of Slug overexpression in ESCC and determine its correlation with clinicopathological parameters and disease prognosis for ESCC patients.

This review discusses the efficacy of the AIs in improving DDFS i

This review discusses the efficacy of the AIs in improving DDFS in the different adjuvant settings and explores whether significant improvements in DDFS correlate with meaningful improvements in OS or breast cancer-associated mortality. Significant DDFS improvement may be a Tubastatin A molecular weight quicker, better end point in clinical trials, leading to a more efficient, faster assessment of treatment efficacy.”
“Two strains of Arcobacter butzleri, ATCC 49616 and an

environmental isolate, became nonculturable in seawater microcosms at 4 C by 20 days and at room temperature by 14 days. Nonculturable cells were viable for up to 270 days of incubation in microcosms. Resuscitation of A. butzleri cells from microcosms at both temperatures was achieved 9 days after nutrient addition.”
“For the efficient stimulation of T cells by tumor Ag, tumor-derived material has to be presented by dendritic cells (DC). This very likely involves the uptake of dead tumor cells by DC. Cell death in tumors often occurs through

apoptosis, but necrotic cell death may also be prevalent. This distinction is relevant because numerous studies have proposed that apoptotic cells have immunosuppressive effects while necrosis may be stimulatory. However, a system has been lacking that would allow the induction of apoptosis or necrosis without side effects by the death stimuli used experimentally. In this study, we present such a system

and test its effects on immune cells in vitro. B16 mouse melanoma cells GDC-0973 solubility dmso were generated and underwent cell death through the doxycycline-inducible induction of death proteins. In one cell line, the induction of Bim(S), induced rapid apoptosis, in the other line the induction of the FADD death domain induced nonapoptotic/necrotic cell death. Bim(S)-induced apoptosis was associated with the typical morphological and biochemical changes. FADD death domain induced necrosis occurred through a distinct pathway involving RIP1 and the loss of membrane integrity in the absence of apoptotic changes. Apoptotic and necrotic cells were taken up with comparable efficiency by DC. OVA expressed in cells dying by either apoptosis or necrosis was cross-presented to OT-1 T cells and induced their MK5108 ic50 proliferation. These results argue that it is not the form of cell death but its circumstances that decide the question whether cell death leads to a productive T cell response. The Journal of Immunology, 2009, 182: 4538-4546.”
“Objectives: We investigated the outcomes of reinforcing anastomotic sites using (1) non biodegradable polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) felt, (2) biodegradable polyglycolic acid (PGA) felt, and (3) PGA felt with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in a canine descending thoracic aortic replacement model.

From January 2002 to December 2007, we retrospectively studie

\n\nFrom January 2002 to December 2007, we retrospectively studied 197 consecutive patients with pancreatic cancer. MDCT was performed on 192 patients prior to preoperative visceral angiography; 153 patients underwent CTAP + CTHA at the time of preoperative angiography.\n\nLiver metastases were identified in 39 patients by means of

MDCT. Of the 153 patients who had no evidence of liver metastases on MDCT, 129 patients underwent CTAP + CTHA, and 53 of these 129 patients (41.1%) were diagnosed as having liver metastases that could not be detected by MDCT. These tumors missed by MDCT ranged from 3 to 15 mm in size. On CTAP + CTHA, a solitary nodule in the liver was detected in 11 patients, 2 nodules were detected in 6 patients, 3 lesions were detected in 2 patients, and a parts per thousand 4 lesions selleck compound were detected in 34 patients. The sensitivity and specificity of CTAP + CTHA versus MDCT were 94.2 versus 48.4% and 82.7 versus 97.9%, respectively.\n\nThe combination of CTAP and CTHA is useful to confirm liver metastases and can potentially offer more accurate staging of pancreatic cancer compared with MDCT.”
“To determine the effect of trans-anastomotic tube (TAT) feeding on outcome following repair of congenital

duodenal obstruction (CDO).\n\nRetrospective comparative study of all infants with CDO over 10 years. Data are median (range). Mann-Whitney U test and Fisher’s exact check details test were used.\n\nOf 55 infants with CDO (48 atresia, 7 stenosis), 17 were managed with a TAT, 38 without. Enteral feeds were commenced earlier in infants with a TAT compared to those without (TAT 2 days post-repair [1-4] vs. no-TAT 3 days post-repair [1-7]; p = 0.006). Infants with a TAT achieved full enteral feeds significantly sooner than those without (TAT 6 days post-repair [2-12] vs. no-TAT 9 days post-repair [3-36]; p = 0.005). Significantly fewer infants in the TAT group required central venous catheter (CVC) placement and parenteral

nutrition (PN) than MG 132 in the no-TAT group (TAT 2/17 vs. no-TAT 28/38, p < 0.0001). There were six CVC-related complications (5 infections, 1 PN extravasation) and four TATs became displaced and were removed before achieving full enteral feeds. One infant with a TAT with trisomy 21 and undiagnosed Hirschsprung disease developed an anastomotic leak and jejunal perforation requiring re-operation.\n\nA TAT significantly shortens time to full enteral feeds in infants with CDO significantly reducing the need for central venous access and PN.”
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. The observed type of heredity associated with MS is characteristic of polygenic diseases, which arises from a joint contribution of a number of independently acting or interacting polymorphic genes.

Annualized inpatient and outpatient resource utilization were

Annualized inpatient and outpatient resource utilization were see more compared between the pre-index (baseline) and post-index (follow-up) periods. In total, 5,656 AF/AFL patients were prescribed dronedarone for a parts per thousand yen6 months and were followed for mean (standard deviation) 11.9 (4.7) months. Reductions in mean numbers of annualized all-cause, CV- and AF-related hospitalizations (similar to similar to 40-45%), and emergency department visits (similar to 30-45%) were realized. These benefits were offset by increases in office visits (similar to 10-30%) and AF-related prescription claims (74%) after dronedarone initiation. The sub-cohort of patients switching

to dronedarone from Z-VAD-FMK manufacturer Prior Rhythm-Control

therapy (n = 2,080) showed similar reductions in hospital and emergency department events. This study suggests that dronedarone use in real-world practice, as in the ATHENA trial, results in substantial reductions in hospital admissions, both in first-line and second-line antiarrhythmic treatment settings.”
“Racial disparity in pregnancy outcomes is one of the most striking and poorly understood inequalities in American health. Genetic variability may be an important host factor influencing disparate birth outcomes between non-Hispanic black (NHB) and non-Hispanic white (NHW) women. Race-specific allelic frequencies in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene suggest its potential as a gene involved in health disparities. The Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby Study is a prospective cohort of pregnant women aimed at identifying genetic, social, and environmental Protein Tyrosine Kinase inhibitor contributors to disparities in pregnancy outcomes in Durham, NC. VDR haplotype tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped via Taqman assays for 615 women. Analysis of variance was used to examine the association between maternal genotype and infant birthweight. Eight of 38 SNPs examined showed nominal significance among NHB women, with one VDR SNP (rs7975232) surpassing the multiple testing significance threshold. rs7975232, an anonymous polymorphism, is part of a VDR gene haplotype associated with

variation in mRNA stability. mRNA stability can affect the amount of protein produced, thus directly affecting vitamin D levels and calcium homeostasis. In contrast to NHBs, there was no association between any VDR SNP and birthweight for NHWs. Genetic factors contributing to disparities in birth outcomes are not expected to be explained entirely by variation in a single gene. Nevertheless, our results suggest that maternal VDR gene polymorphisms do influence birthweight with differential effects accruing across racial groups. Further research identifying the functionality of VDR gene polymorphisms in pregnant women will improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms influencing birthweight. (C) 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

A marked increase in lacustrine palaeoproductivity occurred from

A marked increase in lacustrine palaeoproductivity occurred from 11.06 to 9.98 cal. ka BP, which likely resulted from an enhanced Asian southwest monsoon and warm-humid climate. Between 9.98 and 5.93 cal. ka BP, a gradually increased lake level might have reached the optimum water depth, causing a marked decline in coverage by aquatic plants and lake productivity of the lake. This was caused by strong Asian southwest monsoon, and coincided with the global Holocene Optimum. During the period of 5.60-1.35 cal. ka BP, it resulted

in a Selleckchem Fer-1 warm and dry climate at this stage, which is comparable to the aridification of India during the mid- and late Holocene. The intensifying human activity and land-use in the lake catchment since the early Tang Dynasty(similar to 1.35 cal. ka BP) were associated with the ancient Dian culture within Xingyun’s catchment. The extensive deforestation and development of agriculture in the lake catchment caused heavy soil loss. Our study clearly shows that long-term human activities and land-use change have strongly impacted the evolution of the lake environment and therefore modulated the sediment records of the regional climate in central

Yunnan for more than one thousand years.”
“Despite increasing knowledge of the role of allelochemicals in the productivity decline of replanted Chinese fir plantations, relatively little is known about the levels and sources of allelochemicals in relation to autoinhibition. Allelopathic potential of litter, root Selleck A-1210477 exudates, and soils in successive

rotations of Chinese fir plantations were detected. An allelochemical cyclic dipeptide Fludarabine JAK/STAT inhibitor (6-hydroxy-1,3-dimethyl-8-nonadecyl-[1,4]-diazocane-2,5-dione) from litter, root exudates, and soils in successive rotations was quantified. Extracts of leaf litter, fine root, and root exudates significantly inhibited the growth of Chinese fir germinants, and inhibition increased with successive rotations. Similar results were observed in the rhizosphere soil, basal soil, and bulk soil. The largest observed inhibition occurred in the rhizosphere soil. Furthermore, cyclic dipeptide was found in litter, root exudates, and soils, and the concentrations increased with successive rotations. The rhizosphere soil had the highest cyclic dipeptide level, followed by basal soil, while bulk soil contained the lowest concentration. There was a significant positive relationship between the inhibition of radicle growth of Chinese fir germinants and the concentration of cyclic dipeptide. Annual release of cyclic dipeptide through root exudation was 2.08-9.78 mol ha(-1) annum, but the annual release of cyclic dipeptide through leaf litter decomposition was lowered to 0.32-1.41 mol ha(-1) annum. Cyclic dipeptide which caused autoinhibition of Chinese fir may be released into the soil through litter decomposition and root exudation.

Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of all tested CLAs were less eff

Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of all tested CLAs were less effective radical scavengers as compared to vitamin E and butylated hydroxytoluene, although all tested CLAs were quenched a high amount (P < 0.05) of DPPH free radicals.\n\nDiscussion and conclusion: All tested CLAs have the ability to directly react and quench DPPH free radicals in ethanol. Furthermore, trans-10, cis-12 CLA has greater maximal efficacy than other tested CLAs as free radical scavenger, while cis-9, trans-11 CLA is the most potent isomer to directly react and quench free radicals at low

concentrations in the system, suggesting that the free radical scavenging activity of CLA isomers may contribute to their diverse biological activities.”
“Parasitoids of Trichogramma (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) parasitize the eggs of many species of Lepidoptera and have been

PB 203580 used for the biological control of numerous pest species. We collected this parasitoid from Taif governorate, KSA in summer of 2009. It is difficult to differentiate between Trichogramma species because of their small size and lack of differences in morphological characters. Therefore, different molecular markers were employed to characterize this species, including direct amplification of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) of ribosomal DNA and by restriction fragment length polymorphism followed by sequencing. The results show that ITS2 region is 491 bp and indicated that this is a new stain of Trichogramma. We named this find more strain TaifKSA. From the tested restriction enzymes, only EcoRI Selleck Blebbistatin and PstI cut the PCR product of ITS2 region.

We compared the biological characteristics of the strain under investigation with other commercial strain (SQG) of the same species and no significant differences between them have been shown.”
“Background and Purpose: The optimal treatment option for ureteral calculi is a controversial issue. In this study, we present our experience of 60 patients, divided into three groups, who were treated using open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, or transureteral lithotripsy (TUL).\n\nPatients and Methods: We enrolled 60 patients who had upper ureteral calculi >l0mm in diameter from June 2008 to August 2009 in our center. In a prospective study, preoperative and postoperative data were evaluated, and for statistical analyses, the chi-square test, one-way analysis of variance, and post hoc test were used.\n\nResults: The mean operative time was 70, 191, and 162.5 minutes in the TUL, laparoscopic, and open groups, respectively. The mean hospital stay was 1.65, 4.2, and 4.35 days in the three groups, respectively. The stone-free rate was 90%, 95%, and 100% in the three groups, respectively. Flank pain was reported as 15%, 5%, and 15%, in the three groups, respectively. Hemoglobin decrease necessitating blood transfusion was not reported in the TUL and laparoscopic groups, but blood transfusion was reported in 15% in the open group.

The main objective of the present paper was to contribute towards

The main objective of the present paper was to contribute towards better understanding of membrane fouling caused by fatty acids and to investigate

the effects of membrane hydrophobicity, molecular weight cutoff and temperature on the membrane fouling. Flux reduction was examined for two different types of polymeric membrane materials with different molecular weight cut-offs (MWCO). The membrane materials were polyethersulphone (PES) based and polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF) based, with MWCOs between 5, 20 and 25 kDa for the PES membranes, and 30 kDa for the PVDF. It was clearly observed that the addition of fatty acids to the glycerin-rich solution caused significant flux decline, even though

the molecular weights of water, glycerin and fatty acids are much smaller than the membrane MWCOs. Additionally, experimental Prexasertib results indicated that the more hydrophobic PES membrane was more severely fouled compared to the PVDF membrane due to the chemical nature of the membrane material itself. The relative flux of PES membranes with larger MWCO decreased by up to 33% compared to 5.6% with smaller ones, but did not vary significantly with operating temperature. The surface morphology and the roughness of fresh and fouled membranes were observed using scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.”
“The aim of the present work was to investigate the relationship between Tariquidar canalization and developmental stability under varying environmental conditions. Three different cohorts of Mastomys natalensis (Rodentia, Muridae), displaying different growth trajectories, were analysed by means of geometric morphometrics. A set of 23 landmarks was digitalized on the dorsal skull of 292 specimens from Morogoro (Tanzania). Patterns of among-and

within-individual (measured as fluctuating asymmetry, FA) variation were assessed and compared among and MEK162 MAPK inhibitor within the three groups to test for the presence of a common mechanism between canalization and developmental stability. Results showed that there was no congruence between canalization and developmental stability: (1) levels of FA and among-individual variation varied in a discordant fashion, (2) no correspondence between the variance-covariance matrix of among- and within individual variation was found, and (3) environmental effects were able to alter the covariance structure of among-individual variation leaving patterns associated with fluctuating asymmetry unaffected. These findings support the view of multiple mechanisms underlying developmental buffering of shape variation. (C) 2011 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2011, 104, 207-216.

The study was conducted in 145 locations in the Baden region of s

The study was conducted in 145 locations in the Baden region of southwest Germany.

The planthopper was surveyed on host plant patches, consisting of stinging nettle and/or bindweeds. We used a stratified modelling framework where (1) species presence-absence data were related to an extensive environmental dataset using logistic regressions; and (2) different types of average models were developed based on an information theoretic method. The results show that the incidence of H. obsoletus is associated to above-as well as below-ground environmental factors, particularly to the amount of fine soil and average annual precipitation. This result was consistent across all average models. The relative importance APR-246 mw of other environmental variables was dependent upon the average model under consideration and thus may vary according to their intended use, either the explanation of habitat requirements or the prediction and mapping of occurrence risks. The study showed that SDMs offer a quantification of species’ habitat requirements and thus, could represent a valuable tool for pest management purposes. By providing examples of current issues of grapevine pests in viticulture, we discuss the use of SDMs in agricultural risk analysis and highlight their advantages and caveats.”
“A trial was conducted to test the effect of fine grinding (micronization) of soya bean meal (SBM) and full-fat

soya bean (FFSB) on coefficient of ileal apparent digestibility (CIAD) and

coefficient of ileal true digestibility (CITD) of amino acids in 23-day-old broilers. A completely randomized block design with four treatments arranged factorially (SBM Selleckchem AZD8186 and FFSB; micronized and ground) and six replicates (eight broilers per treatment) was used. Mean particle size (MPS) was 47 and 41 mu m for micronized SBM and FFSB and 881 and 778 mu m for ground SBM and FFSB, respectively. The four diets were based on maize starch and sucrose with the soya product tested as the sole source of dietary crude protein (CP, 200 g/kg). In addition. a nitrogen-free diet was formulated to estimate the basal ileal endogenous losses of the amino acids. Broilers were fed a commercial pelleted maize-SBM diet from 1 to 19 days of age and, then, their respective experimental diets in mash form from 20 to 23 days of age. Broilers fed SBM had higher CIAD of organic matter, CR arginine, leucine, methionine and valine (P<0.05) and tended to have higher CIAD of threonine (P<0.10) than broilers fed FFSB. In addition, broilers fed SBM had higher CITD of CP (P<0.05), leucine, methionine and valine (P<0.01) than broilers fed FFSB. Particle size did not affect the ileal digestibility of CP or of any of the essential amino acids. It is concluded that broilers fed soya bean meal had higher ileal digestibility of amino acids than broilers fed full-fat soya bean and that fine grinding of the soya products did not affect amino acid digestibility.

officinalis on hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxicity

officinalis on hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxicity check details in HEI-OC1 auditory cells. The results from bioassay-guided fractionation of methanol extract

of C. officinalis fruits showed that ursolic acid is a major active component. Ursolic acid (0.05-2 mu g/ml) had protective effect against the HEI-OC1 cell damage and reduced lipid peroxidation in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, pre-treatment with ursolic acid significantly attenuated the decrease of activities of catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), but superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was not significantly affected by ursolic acid. These results indicate that ursolic acid protects hydrogen peroxide-induced HEI-OC1 cell damage through inhibition of LY2606368 inhibitor lipid peroxidation and induction of antioxidant enzymes, CAT and GPX, and may be one of the active components responsible for these effects of C. officinalis fruits.”
“This study compared the BDI-FS to the BDI-II in a sample of patients with chronic pain. The objectives were to: look at agreement between

measures, determine BDI-FS cut-off scores, develop a conversion formula, consider the usefulness of the suicide ideation item and compare ability to detect clinical change. Phase I: Archival data from 1227 patients assessed for a pain management programme was analysed. The BDI-FS displayed good internal consistency (alpha=.839). ROC curve analysis showed good agreement GW4869 molecular weight between the BDI-II and FS and suggested a BDI-FS cut-off of four corresponded to the 19 cut-off recommended in the BDI-II manual. We recommend a cut-off of five to correspond to a BDI-II cut-off of 22 for pain clinic patients recommended by previous research. Regression suggested BDI-II score = (2.77 x BDI-FS score) + 9.14. Our data support the clinical usefulness of the suicide ideation item in this population. Phase II: Archival data from 584 patients collected at baseline. following a 16 day pain management programme and at 6 months follow-up, was analysed. Effect sizes indicated equivalent sensitivity to clinical

change. The BDI-FS showed good psychometric properties, strong agreement with the BDI-II and equal ability to detect clinical change in a pain clinic population. The BDI-FS has the practical advantages of faster administration and reduced patient burden. (C) 2008 European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Objective The macula lagena in birds is located at the apical end of the cochlea and contains many tiny otoliths. The macula lagena is innervated and has neural projections to the brainstem, but its physiological function is still unclear. It remains disputable that it is because otoliths in the lagena are rich in elements Fe and Zn that birds can obtain geomagnetic information for homing.