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The Kilmaluag Formation on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, provides one of the richest Mesozoic vertebrate fossil assemblages in the UK, and is among the richest globally for Middle Jurassic tetrapods. Since its discovery in 1971, this assemblage has predominantly yielded small-bodied tetrapods, including salamanders, choristoderes, lepidosaurs, turtles, crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, dinosaurs, non-mammalian cynodonts and mammals, alongside abundant fish and invertebrates. It is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and by Nature Conservancy Order. Unlike contemporaneous localities from England, this assemblage yields associated partial skeletons, providing unprecedented new data. We present a comprehensive updated overview of the Kilmaluag Formation, including its geology and the fossil collections made to date, with evidence of several species occurrences presented here for the first time. We place the vertebrate faunal assemblage in an international context through comparisons with relevant contemporaneous localities from the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the US. This wealth of material reveals the Kilmaluag Formation as a vertebrate fossil assemblage of global significance, both in terms of understanding Middle Jurassic faunal composition and the completeness of specimens, with implications for the early evolutionary histories of mammals, squamates and amphibians.
Results of a co-morbid insomnia and depression study of eszopiclone and fluoxetine demonstrated that co-therapy produced greater improvements in sleep and depression than fluoxetine monotherapy. To determine if changes in the HAMD17 were due to sleep, individual HAMD17 items were evaluated.
Patients met DSM-IV criteria for MDD and insomnia, with screening HAMD17 >14. All patients received fluoxetine QAM for 10 weeks, and randomly received double-blind eszopiclone 3mg or placebo QHS for 8 weeks, followed by a single-blind placebo 2-week run-out. HAMD17 was completed at Weeks 4, 8, and 10. Individual items were compared with ANCOVA using an LOCF approach.
Mean baseline HAMD17 scores were 22 for each group. At Week 4, differences were noted between treatment groups in the total score, and the individual items of insight, the three insomnia items (p<0.02 vs monotherapy), with a trend for guilt (p=0.07). At Week 8, significant differences between groups were noted in total score (p=0.0005), in the clinician-administered Bech subscale (p<0.001), in the three insomnia items (p<0.001), guilt, work/activities, and anxiety psychic (p<0.05). At Week 10, the total score, guilt, the three insomnia items, work/activities, retardation, agitation, anxiety psychic, general somatic symptoms, and hypochondriasis demonstrated significant improvements (p<0.05 vs monotherapy) despite discontinuation of eszopiclone.
Eszopiclone/fluoxetine co-therapy resulted in significant improvements in the insomnia items of the HAMD17. In addition, several items related to core depressive symptoms were also improved with co-therapy compared with monotherapy.
The aim of the study was to assess the experiences of discrimination as reported by people with mental health problems and to explore the impact of hospitalisation.
306 people with mental health problems provided sociodemographic data and data on discrimination using the discrimination and stigma scale version 12 (DISC-12) with the domains negative experienced discrimination, anticipated discrimination, overcoming stigma and discrimination, and positive experienced discrimination. Logistic regression analysis was used to test the impact of hospitalisation on discrimination, controlled for age, gender, education, employment, diagnosis and having been prescribed medication.
Hospitalisation had a major impact on negative discrimination: People were more likely to be treated unfairly in making or keeping friends, in marriage or divorce, by people in their neighbourhood, in social life, by mental health staff and in terms of privacy, if they had been hospitalised. They were also more likely to be avoided or shunned by people who knew about the mental health problem. People with a history of hospitalisation also reported more anticipated discrimination: They had stopped themselves more often from having a close personal relationship and concealed their mental health problem from others more often than those without a history of hospitalisation. However, people who had been hospitalised also experienced more positive discrimination in terms of being treated more positively in getting welfare benefits or disability pensions and in housing.
Findings suggest that treatment in hospital contributed to a higher extent to experienced discrimination than treatment in the community.
The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated neural changes in relation to mood biased processing in depression, before and after cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) using an emotional Stroop task.
Sixteen unmedicated patients (mean age 40 years), fulfilling DSM-IV diagnosis for unipolar major depression underwent fMRI, prior to and after 16 once-weekly sessions of CBT. Sixteen matched healthy volunteers were scanned at similar time intervals. In an emotional Stroop task negative and neutral words were presented in various colors and volunteers had to name the color of words. Latencies were recorded to determine behavioral emotional interference effects. MRI images were acquired using clustered image acquisition. Whole-brain and region of interest analysis examined the neural basis of interference and mood biased processing.
At baseline patients displayed increased latencies during color naming negative words, in comparison to neutral words and in relation to healthy volunteers. After treatment, latencies did not significantly differ between groups. With regard to neural activity, depressed patients showed increased activation at baseline in amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), which normalized after CBT. Additionally, hyperactivation in the rostral anterior cingulate at baseline was positively correlated with symptom reduction after CBT.
Evidence was found for an emotional interference effect during acute states of depression which improved following CBT. The neural basis is associated with increased activity in the amygdala, DLPFC and VLPFC which normalized after treatment. CBT seems to affect behavioral biases and neural circuits involved in processing negative information.
We sought to explore whether obstetric complications (OCs) are more likely to occur in the presence of familial/genetic susceptibility for schizophrenia or whether they themselves represent an independent environmental risk factor for schizophrenia.
The presence of OCs was assessed through maternal interview on 216 subjects, comprising 36 patients with schizophrenia from multiply affected families, 38 of their unaffected siblings, 31 schizophrenic patients with no family history of psychosis, 51 of their unaffected siblings and 60 normal comparison subjects. We examined the familiality of OCs and whether OCs were commoner in the patient and sibling groups than in the control group.
OCs tended to cluster within families, especially in multiply affected families. Patients with schizophrenia, especially those from multiply affected families, had a significantly higher rate of OCs compared to normal comparison subjects, but there was no evidence for an elevated rate of OCs in unaffected siblings.
Our data provides little evidence for a link between OCs and genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia. If high rates of OCs are related to schizophrenia genes, this relationship is weak and will only be detected by very large sample sizes.
Narrow-windrow burning has been a successful form of harvest weed seed control in Australian cropping systems, but little is known about the efficacy of narrow-windrow burning on weed seeds infesting U.S. cropping systems. An experiment was conducted using a high-fire kiln that exposed various grass and broadleaf weed seeds to temperatures of 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 C for 20, 40, 60, and 80 s to determine the temperature and time needed to kill weed seeds. Weeds evaluated included Italian ryegrass, barnyardgrass, johnsongrass, sicklepod, Palmer amaranth, prickly sida, velvetleaf, pitted morningglory, and hemp sesbania. Two field experiments were also conducted over consecutive growing seasons, with the first experiment aimed at determining the amount of heat produced during burning of narrow windrows of soybean harvest residues (chaff and straw) and the effect of this heat on weed seed mortality. The second field experiment aimed to determine the effect of wind speed on the duration and intensity of burning narrow windrows of soybean harvest residues. Following exposure to the highest temperature and longest duration in the kiln, only sicklepod showed any survival (<1% average); however, in most cases, the seeds were completely destroyed (ash). A heat index of only 22,600 was needed to kill all seeds of Palmer amaranth, barnyardgrass, and Italian ryegrass. In the field, all seeds of the evaluated weed species were completely destroyed by narrow-windrow burning of 1.08 to 1.95 kg m−2 of soybean residues. The burn duration of the soybean harvest residues declined as wind speed increased. Findings from the kiln and field experiments show that complete kill is likely for weed seeds concentrated into narrow windrows of burned soybean residues. Given the low cost of implementation of narrow-windrow burning and the seed kill efficacy on various weed species, this strategy may be an attractive option for destroying weed seed.
Australian conservation cropping systems are practiced on very large farms (approximately 3,000 ha) where herbicides are relied on for effective and timely weed control. In many fields, though, there are low weed densities (e.g., <1.0 plant 10 m−2) and whole-field herbicide treatments are wasteful. For fallow weed control, commercially available weed detection systems provide the opportunity for site-specific herbicide treatments, removing the need for whole-field treatment of fallow fields with low weed densities. Concern about the sustainability of herbicide-reliant weed management systems remain and there has not been interest in the use of weed detection systems for alternative weed control technologies, such as targeted tillage. In this paper, we discuss the use of a targeted tillage technique for site-specific weed control in large-scale crop production systems. Three small-scale prototypes were used for engineering and weed control efficacy testing across a range of species and growth stages. With confidence established in the design approach and a demonstrated 100% weed-control potential, a 6-m wide pre-commercial prototype, the “Weed Chipper,” was built incorporating commercially available weed-detection cameras for practical field-scale evaluation. This testing confirmed very high (90%) weed control efficacies and associated low levels (1.8%) of soil disturbance where the weed density was fewer than 1.0 plant 10 m−2 in a commercial fallow. These data established the suitability of this mechanical approach to weed control for conservation cropping systems. The development of targeted tillage for fallow weed control represents the introduction of site-specific, nonchemical weed control for conservation cropping systems.
Little is known about who would benefit from Internet-based personalised nutrition (PN) interventions. This study aimed to evaluate the characteristics of participants who achieved greatest improvements (i.e. benefit) in diet, adiposity and biomarkers following an Internet-based PN intervention. Adults (n 1607) from seven European countries were recruited into a 6-month, randomised controlled trial (Food4Me) and randomised to receive conventional dietary advice (control) or PN advice. Information on dietary intake, adiposity, physical activity (PA), blood biomarkers and participant characteristics was collected at baseline and month 6. Benefit from the intervention was defined as ≥5 % change in the primary outcome (Healthy Eating Index) and secondary outcomes (waist circumference and BMI, PA, sedentary time and plasma concentrations of cholesterol, carotenoids and omega-3 index) at month 6. For our primary outcome, benefit from the intervention was greater in older participants, women and participants with lower HEI scores at baseline. Benefit was greater for individuals reporting greater self-efficacy for ‘sticking to healthful foods’ and who ‘felt weird if [they] didn’t eat healthily’. Participants benefited more if they reported wanting to improve their health and well-being. The characteristics of individuals benefiting did not differ by other demographic, health-related, anthropometric or genotypic characteristics. Findings were similar for secondary outcomes. These findings have implications for the design of more effective future PN intervention studies and for tailored nutritional advice in public health and clinical settings.
The Vaigat Iceberg-Microbial Oil Degradation and Archaeological Heritage Investigation (VIMOA) project records the results of archaeological survey of five sites in Greenland that are threatened by extreme weather conditions related to climate change. The project demonstrates the advantages of collaboration between archaeologists and natural scientists, and provides a repository of data to help preserve the archaeological record.
Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) is detrimental to bone health, playing an intrinsic role in osteoporosis and rickets. Recently it has been linked to morbidities including inflammation, cardiovascular disease and cognition. The majority (90%) of vitamin D is obtained by the action of UVB light on the skin, this is reduced in northern latitudes (> 42°N), by SPF, darker skin tone, and ageing. Bioavailability is affected by internal factors including obesity and malabsorption. Many developed populations are becoming older and more overweight. It is essential to ascertain the extent of VDD to predict further trends. The aim of this study is to investigate vitamin D status in a population of GP requested samples within the St James Hospital (SJH) catchment area.
Materials & Methods
The SJH catchment area sits at northerly latitude (53°N) and includes rural and urban environments (Dublin City, Dublin County and County Kildare) of various socioeconomic groups. An estimated 60% of the population are overweight/obese, with 20% aged 65 and over. A data-set of total 25(OH)D concentrations (measured by LC-MS/MS) was created from the SJH laboratory information system from GPs requests between the years 2014–2016. Results were tabulated according to geometric mean values for vitamin D in each postal district with percentage of samples deficient (< 30nmol/L), insufficient (30–50nmol/L), and sufficient (> 50 nmol/L). This data was further stratified by age (18–50, > 50 years) and socioeconomic status and analysed by ANOVA.
A total of 15,483 GP samples were received for vitamin D requests in the time period studied. Preliminary results indicate VDD in 15.2% of the population, with 22.4% insufficient. The lowest socioeconomic areas (Dublin 8 and Lucan postal district) were the most consistently deficient (23.5% and 20.4%, respectively). The geometric mean 25(OH)D concentration in the total population was 56.2nmol/L (SD 31.5), with those age 18–50 years more lively to be deficient than those > 50 years (P < 0.0001).
This study indicates that VDD remains prevalent across age and location groups at a northern location. Current trends in developed populations, such as the obesity epidemic and ageing populations, may increase rates of deficiency and burden of diseases. With the extent of vitamin D deficiency becoming better understood, its contributing factors require greater evaluation to understand the potential consequences in the population. As such, further analysis and investigations are planned to explore factors contributing to VDD in this cohort.
The C677T polymorphism in the folate metabolising enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is associated with hypertension. Riboflavin acts as a cofactor for MTHFR in one-carbon metabolism which generates methyl groups for utilisation in important biological reactions such as DNA methylation. Supplementation with riboflavin has previously been shown to lower blood pressure in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype. The mechanism regulating this gene-nutrient interaction is currently unknown but may involve aberrant DNA methylation which has been implicated hypertension.
The aims of this study were to examine DNA methylation of hypertension-related genes in adults stratified by MTHFR C677T genotype and the effect of riboflavin supplementation on DNA methylation of these genes in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype.
Materials and Methods:
We measured DNA methylation using pyrosequencing in a set of candidate genes associated with hypertension including angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AGTR1), G nucleotide binding protein subunit alpha 12 (GNA12), insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3). Stored peripheral blood leukocyte samples from participants previously screened for the MTHFR C677T genotype who participated in targeted randomised controlled trials (1.6mg/d riboflavin or placebo for 16 weeks) at Ulster University were accessed for this analysis (n = 120).
There were significant differences in baseline average methylation between MTHFR CC and TT genotypes at NOS3 (p = 0.026) and AGTR1 (p = 0.045) loci. Riboflavin supplementation in the TT genotype group resulted in altered average methylation at IGF2 (p = 0.025) and CpG site-specific alterations at the AGTR1 and GNA12 loci.
DNA methylation at genes related to hypertension were significantly different in individuals stratified by MTHFR genotype group. Furthermore, in MTHFR 677TT genotype individuals, there were concurrent alterations in DNA methylation at genes linked to hypertension in response to riboflavin supplementation. This is the largest study to date to demonstrate an interaction between DNA methylation of hypertension-related genes and riboflavin supplementation in adults with the MTHFR 677TT genotype. Further work using a genome-wide approach is required to better understand the role of riboflavin in altering DNA methylation in these genetically at-risk individuals.
Periconceptional folic acid (FA) has an established role in the prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs), leading to global recommendations for FA supplementation before and in early pregnancy. However, it is unclear whether there are any benefits for offspring brain health arising from continued maternal FA supplementation beyond the first trimester. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of maternal folate nutrition during pregnancy in relation to cognitive performance and brain function in the offspring at 11 years. The children of mothers who had participated in a randomised trial of Folic Acid Supplementation in the Second and Third Trimesters (FASSTT) were investigated, providing a unique opportunity to examine offspring brain health in relation to maternal folate (the FASSTT Offspring trial; n = 68). Cognitive performance was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth UK Edition (WISC-IV). The WISC-IV measures Full Scale IQ and specific domains of cognitive performance: Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, Working Memory and Processing Speed. Brain function was measured using magnetoencephalography (MEG) in a subset of the child participants (n = 33). The results showed no significant difference in Full Scale IQ between the children of mothers who had received folic acid versus placebo during pregnancy (P = 0.993). Processing Speed subtest scores were however significantly higher in the folic acid group compared with placebo (Symbol Search: P = 0.046 and Cancellation: P = 0.011). The application of MEG analysis showed that at rest, there were differences in brain functioning with significantly lower overall power at Broad band [1–48Hz] (P = 0.041) and a trend (not significant) towards lower power in all other frequency bands (Theta, Mu, Beta, Low Gamma and High Gamma) in children from the FA group compared with placebo. Results for the responses to the language task (congruent and incongruent sentences) in children from the FA group showed significantly lower power within the Theta band [4–8Hz] and significantly higher power within high frequency bands i.e. Beta [13–30 Hz] and High Gamma [49–70 Hz]. This suggested more efficient language processing abilities in these children compared to children of mothers in the placebo group. The findings provide scientific evidence that continuing FA supplementation beyond the periconceptional period that is protective against NTDs, may be beneficial for brain health in the offspring. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that MEG is a useful tool for objective assessment of functional brain activity in healthy children in response to nutrition intervention.
Downy brome, feral rye, and jointed goatgrass are problematic winter annual grasses in central Great Plains winter wheat production. Integrated control strategies are needed to manage winter annual grasses and reduce selection pressure exerted on these weed populations by the limited herbicide options currently available. Harvest weed-seed control (HWSC) methods aim to remove or destroy weed seeds, thereby reducing seed-bank enrichment at crop harvest. An added advantage is the potential to reduce herbicide-resistant weed seeds that are more likely to be present at harvest, thereby providing a nonchemical resistance-management strategy. Our objective was to assess the potential for HWSC of winter annual grass weeds in winter wheat by measuring seed retention at harvest and destruction percentage in an impact mill. During 2015 and 2016, 40 wheat fields in eastern Colorado were sampled. Seed retention was quantified and compared per weed species by counting seed retained above the harvested fraction of the wheat upper canopy (15 cm and above), seed retained below 15 cm, and shattered seed on the soil surface at wheat harvest. A stand-mounted impact mill device was used to determine the percent seed destruction of grass weed species in processed wheat chaff. Averaged across both years, seed retention (±SE) was 75% ± 2.9%, 90% ± 1.7%, and 76% ± 4.3% for downy brome, feral rye, and jointed goatgrass, respectively. Seed retention was most variable for downy brome, because 59% of the samples had at least 75% seed retention, whereas the proportions for feral rye and jointed goatgrass samples with at least 75% seed retention were 93% and 70%, respectively. Weed seed destruction percentages were at least 98% for all three species. These results suggest HWSC could be implemented as an integrated strategy for winter annual grass management in central Great Plains winter wheat cropping systems.
The loss of herbicide options due to resistance and lack of new chemistries have delivered the realization that herbicides are a finite resource and weed control alternatives are desperately needed. In Australian conservation cropping, the only available alternatives suited to routine use are the recently introduced harvest weed seed control (HWSC) and the ever-present but undervalued crop competition. Target-neighbor design pot studies examined wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) competition effects on biomass and seed production of rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaudin), wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L.), ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus Roth), and wild oat (Avena fatua L.). The influence of wheat competition on crop canopy distribution of weed biomass and seed production was also examined. At the current commercially targeted wheat density (120 plants m−2) weed biomass was reduced by 69%, 73%, 72%, and 49% and seed production by 78%, 78%, 77%, and 50% for L. rigidum, R. raphanistrum, B. diandrus, and A. fatua, respectively, when compared with no competition. These results highlighted the importance of uniform wheat crop establishment in minimizing the ongoing impact of weeds. Enhanced what competition (from 120 to 400 plants m−2) resulted in further smaller, but substantial, reductions in biomass (19%, 13%, 20%, and 39%) and seed production (12%, 13%, 17%, and 45%) for L. rigidum, R. raphanistrum, B. diandrus, and A. fatua, respectively. This enhanced competition also increased weed seed retention in the upper crop canopy (>40 cm) by 35% and 31% for L. rigidum and B. diandrus, respectively, but not for A. fatua and R. raphanistrum, for which weed seed retention was already >80% at the wheat density of 120 plants m−2. Enhanced wheat crop competition, then, has the dual effect of restricting the growth and development of L. rigidum, R. raphanistrum, B. diandrus, and A. fatua as well increasing the susceptibility of these weed species to HWSC.
Recurrent aortic arch obstruction following the Norwood procedure is recognised as an important complication. Balloon arch angioplasty is associated with a high recoarctation rate.
We sought to evaluate the prevalence and outcome of stent implantation for recoarctation in children following Norwood or Damus–Kaye–Stansel procedure over the past decade at a single national cardiology centre.
Of 114 children who underwent Norwood procedure or Damus–Kaye–Stansel procedure between January 2003 and June 2013, 80 patients survived. Of these 15 children underwent stent implantation for recoarctation. Six of these patients had previous balloon angioplasty. The median age at stent implantation was 4.4 months (range 2–82 months). The median peak aortic arch gradient at catheterisation decreased from 26mmHg (range 10–70mmHg) to 2mmHg (range 0–20mmHg). The median luminal diameter increased from 4.7 mm (range 3.2–7.9 mm) to 8.6 mm (range 6.2–10.9 mm). The median coarctation index increased by 0.49 (range = 0.24–0.64). A Valeo stent was employed in 11 children, a Palmaz Genesis stent in 2 patients, a MultiLink stent in 1 child, and a Jomed covered stent in 1 child. Two factors were associated with the need for stent placement: previous arch angioplasty (p valve < 0.001, χ-square 11.5) and borderline left ventricle (p = 0.04, χ-square = 4.1). Stent migration occurred in one child. There were two deaths related to poor right ventricular systolic function and severe tricuspid regurgitation. Six patients underwent redilation of the stent with no complications.
The prevalence of recurrent aortic arch obstruction following Norwood/Damus–Kaye–Stansel procedure was 18%. Stent implantation is safe and reliably eliminates the aortic obstruction. Redilation can be successfully achieved to accommodate somatic growth or development of stent recoarctation.