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Previous studies of conduct disorder (CD) have reported structural and functional alterations in the limbic system. However, the white matter tracts that connect limbic regions have not been comprehensively studied. The uncinate fasciculus (UF), a tract connecting limbic to prefrontal regions, has been implicated in CD. However, CD-related alterations in other limbic tracts, such as the cingulum and the fornix, have not been investigated. Furthermore, few studies have examined the influence of sex and none have been adequately powered to test whether the relationship between CD and structural connectivity differs by sex. We examined whether adolescent males and females with CD exhibit differences in structural connectivity compared with typically developing controls.
We acquired diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging data from 101 adolescents with CD (52 females) and 99 controls (50 females). Data were processed for deterministic spherical deconvolution tractography. Virtual dissections of the UF, the three subdivisions of the cingulum [retrosplenial cingulum (RSC), parahippocampal and subgenual cingulum], and the fornix were performed and measures of fractional anisotropy (FA) and hindrance-modulated orientational anisotropy (HMOA) were analysed.
The CD group had lower FA and HMOA in the right RSC tract relative to controls. Importantly, these effects were moderated by sex – males with CD significantly lower FA compared to male controls, whereas CD and control females did not differ.
Our results highlight the importance of considering sex when studying the neurobiological basis of CD. Sex differences in RSC connectivity may contribute to sex differences in the clinical presentation of CD.
Characterisation of genetic diversity in a large number of European pig populations has been undertaken with EC support. The populations sampled included local (rare) breeds, national varieties of the major international breeds, commercial lines and the Chinese Meishan breed. A second phase of the project will sample a further 50 Chinese breeds. Neutral genetic markers (AFLP and microsatellites), with individual or bulk typing, were used and compared.
DNA from 59 European pig populations was extracted on samples of about 50 individuals per population. Individuals were typed for 50 microsatellites and for 148 AFLP bands. A subset of 25 populations was typed for 20 microsatellites on pools of DNA. Allele frequencies were estimated by direct allele counting for the co-dominant markers. Frequencies of AFLP negative alleles (absent bands) were obtained by taking the square root of absent band frequencies. Within-breed variability was summarised using standard statistics: expected and observed heterozygosity, mean observed and effective numbers of alleles, and F statistics. Between-breed diversity analysis was based on a bootstrapped Neighbor-Joining (NJ) tree derived from Reynolds distances (DR). The standard distance of Nei (DS) was also calculated.
Violators of cooperation norms may be informally punished by their peers. How such norm enforcement is judged by others can be regarded as a meta-norm (i.e., a second-order norm). We examined whether meta-norms about peer punishment vary across cultures by having students in eight countries judge animations in which an agent who over-harvested a common resource was punished either by a single peer or by the entire peer group. Whether the punishment was retributive or restorative varied between two studies, and findings were largely consistent across these two types of punishment. Across all countries, punishment was judged as more appropriate when implemented by the entire peer group than by an individual. Differences between countries were revealed in judgments of punishers vs. non-punishers. Specifically, appraisals of punishers were relatively negative in three Western countries and Japan, and more neutral in Pakistan, UAE, Russia, and China, consistent with the influence of individualism, power distance, and/or indulgence. Our studies constitute a first step in mapping how meta-norms vary around the globe, demonstrating both cultural universals and cultural differences.
We investigated relationship between pasture biomass and measures of height and NDVI (normalised difference vegetation index). The pastures were tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), and phalaris (Phalaris aquatica) located in Tasmania, Victoria and in the Northern Tablelands of NSW, Australia. Using the Trimble® GreenSeeker® Handheld active optical sensor (AOS) to measure NDVI, and a rising plate meter, the optimal model to estimate green dry biomass (GDM) during two years was a combination of NDVI and falling plate height index. The combined index was significantly correlated with GDM in each region during winter and spring (r2=0.62–0.77, P<0.001). Regional calibrations provided a smaller error in estimates of green biomass, required for potential application in the field, compared to a single overall calibration. Data collected in a third year will be used to test the accuracy of the models.
Comparative models suggest that effects of dietary tryptophan (Trp) on brain serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) neurochemistry and stress responsiveness are present throughout the vertebrate lineage. Moreover, hypothalamic 5-HT seems to play a central role in control of the neuroendocrine stress axis in all vertebrates. Still, recent fish studies suggest long-term effects of dietary Trp on stress responsiveness, which are independent of hypothalamic 5-HT. Here, we investigated if dietary Trp treatment may result in long-lasting effects on stress responsiveness, including changes in plasma cortisol levels and 5-HT neurochemistry in the telencephalon and hypothalamus of Atlantic salmon. Fish were fed diets containing one, two or three times the Trp content in normal feed for 1 week. Subsequently, fish were reintroduced to control feed and were exposed to acute crowding stress for 1 h, 8 and 21 d post Trp treatment. Generally, acute crowding resulted in lower plasma cortisol levels in fish treated with 3×Trp compared with 1×Trp- and 2×Trp-treated fish. The same general pattern was reflected in telencephalic 5-HTergic turnover, for which 3×Trp-treated fish showed decreased values compared with 2×Trp-treated fish. These long-term effects on post-stress plasma cortisol levels and concomitant 5-HT turnover in the telencephalon lends further support to the fact that the extrahypothalamic control of the neuroendocrine stress response is conserved within the vertebrate lineage. Moreover, they indicate that trophic/structural effects in the brain underlie the effects of dietary Trp treatment on stress reactivity.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is a major cause of acute hepatitis worldwide. This infection causes major water-borne outbreaks in low- and middle-income countries, whilst in industrialised countries this infection is zoonotic. These differences in epidemiology are related to different HEV genotypes. HEV genotype 3 is a zoonotic infection, whilst genotype 2 causes large outbreaks. This study determined the seroprevalence of HEV in blood donors from the Western Cape. Anti-hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV) antibody was detected in 184/300 (61%) donors. Antibody to HEV (anti-HEV) was detected in 78 of 300 donors (26%). It was highest in mixed race donors (62/100), followed by white donors (23/100) and lowest in black donors (19/100) P = 0.019. Since it is thought that genotypes 1 and 2 predominate both viruses would be acquired by the oro-faecal route, it is surprising that HEV seroprevalence does not mirror that of HAV. We postulate that this may reflect differences in socio-economic status and consumption of dietary meat. So the marked divergence between HEV and HAV seroprevalence may be the result of different routes of transmission. Further data are needed to explore the risk factors associated with HEV infection.
Visual processing problems may be one underlying factor for cognitive impairments related to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). We examined associations between ASD-traits (Autism-Spectrum Quotient) and visual processing performance (Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test; Block Design task of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III) in young adults (mean age=25.0, s.d.=2.1 years) born preterm at very low birth weight (VLBW; <1500 g) (n=101) or at term (n=104). A higher level of ASD-traits was associated with slower global visual processing speed among the preterm VLBW, but not among the term-born group (P<0.04 for interaction). Our findings suggest that the associations between ASD-traits and visual processing may be restricted to individuals born preterm, and related specifically to global, not local visual processing. Our findings point to cumulative social and neurocognitive problems in those born preterm at VLBW.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a growing public health concern in Europe and there is a need to develop more efficient early detection systems. Nervous signs in horses are considered to be an early indicator of WNV and, using them in a syndromic surveillance system, might be relevant. In our study, we assessed whether or not data collected by the passive French surveillance system for the surveillance of equine diseases can be used routinely for the detection of WNV. We tested several pre-processing methods and detection algorithms based on regression. We evaluated system performances using simulated and authentic data and compared them to those of the surveillance system currently in place. Our results show that the current detection algorithm provided similar performances to those tested using simulated and real data. However, regression models can be easily and better adapted to surveillance objectives. The detection performances obtained were compatible with the early detection of WNV outbreaks in France (i.e. sensitivity 98%, specificity >94%, timeliness 2·5 weeks and around four false alarms per year) but further work is needed to determine the most suitable alarm threshold for WNV surveillance in France using cost-efficiency analysis.
The infectivity and virulence of pathogenic trypanosomatids are directly associated with the efficacy of their antioxidant system. Among the molecules involved in the trypanosomatid response to reactive oxygen or nitrogen species, trypanothione reductase (TRed) is a key enzyme. In this study, we performed a molecular and functional characterization of the TRed enzyme from Trypanosoma rangeli (TrTRed), an avirulent trypanosome of mammals. The TrTRed gene has an open reading frame (ORF) of 1473 bp (~490 aa, 53 kDa) and occurs as a single-copy gene in the haploid genome. The predicted protein contains two oxidoreductase domains, which are equally expressed in the cytosol of epimastigotes and trypomastigotes. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) generation is reduced and endogenous H2O2 production is elevated in T. rangeli Choachí strain compared with T. cruzi Y strain epimastigotes. Oxidative stress induced by H2O2 does not induce significant alterations in TrTRed expression. Overexpression of TrTRed did not influence in vitro growth or differentiation into trypomastigotes, but mutant parasites showed increased resistance to H2O2-induced stress. Our results indicate that T. rangeli constitutively expresses TRed during the entire life cycle, with reduced levels during infective and non-replicative trypomastigote stages.
A new approach for adjusting molecular dynamics results on UO2 thermal conductivity to include phonon-spin scattering has been used to improve calculations on UxPu1−xO2 and UxTh1−xO2. We demonstrate that by including spin scattering a strong asymmetry as a function of uranium actinide fraction, x, is obtained. Greater degradation is shown for UxTh1−xO2 than UxPu1−xO2. Minimum thermal conductivities are predicted at U0.97Pu0.03O2 and U0.58Th0.42O2, although the degradation in UxPu1−xO2 is negligible relative to pure UO2.
The incidence of childhood respiratory infections in Greenland is among the highest globally. We performed a population-based study of 352 Greenlandic children aged 0–6 years aiming to describe rates and risk factors for carriage of four key bacteria associated with respiratory infections, their antimicrobial susceptibility and inter-bacterial associations. Nasopharyngeal swabs were tested for Streptococcus pneumoniae grouped by serotypes included (VT) or not included (NVT) in the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), Staphylococcus aureus and Moraxella catarrhalis. S. pneumoniae was detected from age 2 weeks with a peak carriage rate of 60% in 2-year-olds. Young age and having siblings attending a daycare institution were associated with pneumococcal carriage. Overall co-colonization with ⩾2 of the studied bacteria was 52%. NTHi showed a positive association with NVT pneumococci and M. catarrhalis, respectively, M. catarrhalis was positively associated with S. pneumoniae, particular VT pneumococci, whereas S. aureus were negatively associated with NTHi and M. catarrhalis. Nasopharyngeal bacterial carriage was present unusually early in life and with frequent co-colonization. Domestic crowding increased odds of carriage. Due to important bacterial associations we suggest future surveillance of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine's impact on carriage in Greenland to also include other pathogens.
Objectives: The present study explored the level of self-and informant reported executive functioning in daily living using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A) in a large sample comprising healthy adults and patient cohorts with neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. The relationship to neuropsychological test performance and self-reported emotional distress was explored, as well as the applicability of U.S. normative data. Methods: Scores on the self- and informant reported BRIEF-A are presented, along with scores on standardized cognitive tests, and on rating scales of self-reported emotional distress in a Norwegian healthy comparison group (n=115), patients with severe traumatic brain injury (n=125), focal frontal lobe damage (n=29), focal cerebellar lesion (n=24), Parkinson’s disease (n=42), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (n=34), type II bipolar disorder (n=21), and borderline personality disorder (n=18). Results: Strong associations were observed between the BRIEF-A and emotional distress in both the healthy group and in neurological groups, while no or weak relationships with IQ and performance-based tests of executive function were seen. The relationship between BRIEF-A and emotional distress was weaker in the neuropsychiatric patient groups, despite high symptom load in both domains. Healthy participants tended to have BRIEF-A scores 1/2–3/4 SD below the U.S. normative mean of T score=50. Conclusions: The study demonstrates the need to interpret BRIEF-A results within a broad differential diagnostic context, where measures of psychological distress are included in addition to neuropsychological tests. Uncertainty about the appropriateness of U.S. normative data in non-U.S. countries adds to the need for interpretive caution. (JINS, 2016, 22, 682–694)
Results of adulthood mental health of those born late-preterm (34 + 0–36 + 6 weeks + days of gestation) are mixed and based on national registers. We examined if late-preterm birth was associated with a higher risk for common mental disorders in young adulthood when using a diagnostic interview, and if this risk decreased as gestational age increased.
A total of 800 young adults (mean = 25.3, s.d. = 0.62 years), born 1985–1986, participated in a follow-up of the Arvo Ylppö Longitudinal Study. Common mental disorders (mood, anxiety and substance use disorders) during the past 12 months were defined using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (Munich version). Gestational age was extracted from hospital birth records and categorized into early-preterm (<34 + 0, n = 37), late-preterm (34 + 0–36 + 6, n = 106), term (37 + 0–41 + 6, n = 617) and post-term (⩾42 + 0, n = 40).
Those born late-preterm and at term were at a similar risk for any common mental disorder [odds ratio (OR) 1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.67–1.84], for mood (OR 1.11, 95% CI 0.54–2.25), anxiety (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.40–2.50) and substance use (OR 1.31, 95% CI 0.74–2.32) disorders, and co-morbidity of these disorders (p = 0.38). While the mental disorder risk decreased significantly as gestational age increased, the trend was driven by a higher risk in those born early-preterm.
Using a cohort born during the advanced neonatal and early childhood care, we found that not all individuals born preterm are at risk for common mental disorders in young adulthood – those born late-preterm are not, while those born early-preterm are at a higher risk. Available resources for prevention and intervention should be targeted towards the preterm group born the earliest.
The radiocarbon concentration of different atherosclerotic plaque fragments obtained from 20 patients in Portugal, operated in 2000–2001, has been measured in order to define the year of plaque formation. A difference of 1.8–15 yr was observed, with the mean and median both 9 yr, between the bomb-pulse date estimated with the CALIBomb software and the operation date. Stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analysis was also performed and provides insight to the diet of the subjects. The wide range of measured stable isotope values could indicate that the subjects' diet varied, including an abundance of marine foodstuffs. It could also mean a different isotope fractionation process for the different plaque fragments (cap, core, interface to media) and a possible difference in tissues in which the various fragments are formed. Analysis of δ13C and δ15N values of each patient separately revealed subjects considered more influenced by marine foodstuffs consumption.
Symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing in children, such as frequent snoring, apnoea and choking, may lead to health problems if untreated. The caregiver's level of awareness of these symptoms has been poorly studied. This study aimed to study healthcare provider contact related to sleep-disordered breathing symptoms in a population of children aged 0–11 years.
A total of 1320 children were randomly selected from a national database that included all children living in Sweden. Caregivers answered a questionnaire about sleep-disordered breathing symptoms during the last month and healthcare provider contact related to these symptoms.
A total of 754 answers were received. The prevalence of sleep-disordered breathing symptoms was 4.8 per cent. Of this subgroup, 69 per cent had not been in contact with a healthcare provider regarding their symptoms.
This study shows that sleep-disordered breathing in children is underestimated and that there is a need to increase caregiver and healthcare provider awareness of sleep-disordered breathing in children.
Hybrid organic/silicon heterostructures have become of great interest for photovoltaic application due to their promising features (e.g. easy fabrication in a low-temperature process) for cost-effective photovoltaics. This work is focused on solar cells with a hybrid heterojunction between the polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) and n-doped monocrystalline silicon. As semi-transparent top contact, a thin (15 nm) Au layer was employed. Devices with different P3HT thicknesses were processed by spin-casting and compared with a reference Au/n-Si Schottky diode solar cell.
The current density-voltage (J-V) measurements of the hybrid devices show a significant increase in open-circuit voltage (VOC) from 0.29 V up to 0.50 V for the best performing hybrid devices compared to the Schottky diode reference, while the short-circuit current density (JSC) does not change significantly. The increased VOC indicates that P3HT effectively reduces the reverse electron current into the gold contact. The wavelength-dependent JSC measurements show a decreased JSC in the wavelength range of P3HT absorption. This is related to the reduced JSC generation in silicon not being compensated by JSC generation in P3HT. It is concluded that the charge generation in P3HT is less efficient than in silicon.
After a thermal annealing of the hybrid P3HT/silicon solar cells, we achieved power conversion efficiencies (PCE) (AM1.5 illumination) up to 6.5% with VOC of 0.52 V, JSC of 18.6 mA/cm² and a fill factor (FF) of 67%. This is more than twice the efficiency of the reference Schottky diode.
Monoclinic Cu2SnS3 was made by solution based processing of the precursor metals after which the samples are annealed in a sulphur environment. XRD and Raman spectra shows that the monoclinic phase was synthesised. One sample was further etched in KCN and HCl to remove possible secondary phases. Transmission spectra show that the material has two optical transitions and in conjunction with reflection data absorption spectra were calculated. The two optical transitions are determined to be 0.91 and 0.98 for the unetched sample and 0.90 and 0.95 eV for the etched sample. The values of the optical transitions are within the error the same and thus etching does not affect the values of these optical transitions. Photoluminescence spectra map show only one luminescence peak with a maximum at 0.95 eV, which is consistent with the values found by absorption spectra. This in combination with the Raman spectra and XRD indicates that the sample contains only one polymorph of Cu2SnS3, which is monoclinic. Therefore the two optical transitions are intrinsic to monoclinic Cu2SnS3.