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Schizophrenia is associated with robust hippocampal volume deficits but subregion volume deficits, their associations with cognition, and contributing genes remain to be determined.
Hippocampal formation (HF) subregion volumes were obtained using FreeSurfer 6.0 from individuals with schizophrenia (n = 176, mean age ± s.d. = 39.0 ± 11.5, 132 males) and healthy volunteers (n = 173, mean age ± s.d. = 37.6 ± 11.3, 123 males) with similar mean age, gender, handedness, and race distributions. Relationships between the HF subregion volume with the largest between group difference, neuropsychological performance, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms were assessed.
This study found a significant group by region interaction on hippocampal subregion volumes. Compared to healthy volunteers, individuals with schizophrenia had significantly smaller dentate gyrus (DG) (Cohen's d = −0.57), Cornu Ammonis (CA) 4, molecular layer of the hippocampus, hippocampal tail, and CA 1 volumes, when statistically controlling for intracranial volume; DG (d = −0.43) and CA 4 volumes remained significantly smaller when statistically controlling for mean hippocampal volume. DG volume showed the largest between group difference and significant positive associations with visual memory and speed of processing in the overall sample. Genome-wide association analysis with DG volume as the quantitative phenotype identified rs56055643 (β = 10.8, p < 5 × 10−8, 95% CI 7.0–14.5) on chromosome 3 in high linkage disequilibrium with MOBP. Gene-based analyses identified associations between SLC25A38 and RPSA and DG volume.
This study suggests that DG dysfunction is fundamentally involved in schizophrenia pathophysiology, that it may contribute to cognitive abnormalities in schizophrenia, and that underlying biological mechanisms may involve contributions from MOBP, SLC25A38, and RPSA.
Perceptions of social-contextual food environments and associated factors that influence food purchases are understudied in American Indian (AI) communities. The purpose of the present study was to: (i) understand the perceived local food environment; (ii) investigate social-contextual factors that influence family food-purchasing choices; and (iii) identify diet intervention strategies.
This qualitative study consisted of focus groups with primary household shoppers and key-informant interviews with food retailers, local government food assistance programme directors and a dietitian. An inductive, constant comparison approach was used to identify major themes.
A large AI reservation community in the north-central USA.
Four focus groups (n 31) and seven key-informant interviews were conducted in February and May 2016.
Perceptions of both the higher cost of healthy foods and limited access to these foods influenced the types of foods participants purchased. Dependence on government assistance programmes and the timing of benefits also contributed to the types of foods purchased. Participants described purchasing foods based on the dietary needs and preferences of their children. Suggestions for improving the purchase and consumption of healthy foods included: culturally relevant and family-centred cooking classes and workshops focused on monthly food budgeting. Participants also emphasized the importance of involving the entire community in healthy eating initiatives.
Cost and access were the major perceived barriers to healthy eating in this large rural AI community. Recommended interventions included: (i) family-friendly and culturally relevant cooking classes; (ii) healthy food-budgeting skills training; and (iii) approaches that engage the entire community.
The role that changes in the crystal temperature and the doping concentration play in shaping the character of the steady-state and transient transport response of electrons within bulk wurtzite zinc oxide will be examined. Monte Carlo electron transport simulations are drawn upon for the purposes of this analysis. We find that both the crystal temperature and the doping concentration greatly influence the character of the steady-state and transient electron transport response. In particular, for the case of steady-state electron transport, the peak drift velocity decreases by 30% as the crystal temperature is increased from 100 to 700 K, this decrease in velocity being only 20% as the doping concentration is increased from 1015 to 1019 cm-3. The impact on the transient electron drift velocity is not as acute.
To identify the intracochlear electrode position in cochlear implant recipients and determine the correlation to speech perception for two peri-modiolar electrode arrays.
Post-operative cone-beam computed tomography images of 92 adult recipients of the ‘CI512’ electrode and 18 adult recipients of the ‘CI532’ electrode were analysed. Phonemes scores were recorded pre-implantation, and at 3 and 12 months post-implantation.
All CI532 electrodes were wholly within scala tympani. Of the 79 CI512 electrodes intended to be in scala tympani, 58 (73 per cent) were in scala tympani, 14 (17 per cent) were translocated and 7 (9 per cent) were wholly in scala vestibuli. Thirteen CI512 electrodes were deliberately inserted into scala vestibuli. Speech perception scores for post-lingual recipients were higher in the scala tympani group (69.1 per cent) compared with the scala vestibuli (54.2 per cent) and translocation (50 per cent) groups (p < 0.05). Electrode location outside of scala tympani independently resulted in a 10.5 per cent decrease in phoneme scores.
Cone-beam computed tomography was valuable for demonstrating electrode position. The rate of scala tympani insertion was higher in CI532 than in CI512 electrodes. Scala vestibuli insertion and translocation were associated with poorer speech perception outcomes.
Precision technologies and data have had relatively modest impacts in grass-based livestock ruminant production systems compared with other agricultural sectors such as arable. Precision technologies promise increased efficiency, reduced environmental impact, improved animal health, welfare and product quality. The benefits of precision technologies have, however, been relatively slow to be realised on pasture based farms. Though there is significant overlap with indoor systems, implementing technology in grass-based dairying brings unique opportunities and challenges. The large areas animals roam and graze in pasture based systems and the associated connectivity challenges may, in part at least, explain the comparatively lower adoption of such technologies in pasture based systems. With the exception of sensor and Bluetooth-enabled plate metres, there are thus few technologies designed specifically to increase pasture utilisation. Terrestrial and satellite-based spectral analysis of pasture biomass and quality is still in the development phase. One of the key drivers of efficiency in pasture based systems has thus only been marginally impacted by precision technologies. In contrast, technological development in the area of fertility and heat detection has been significant and offers significant potential value to dairy farmers, including those in pasture based systems. A past review of sensors in health management for dairy farms concluded that although the collection of accurate data was generally achieved, the processing, integration and presentation of the resulting information and decision-support applications were inadequate. These technologies’ value to farming systems is thus unclear. As a result, it is not certain that farm management is being sufficiently improved to justify widespread adoption of precision technologies currently. We argue for a user need-driven development of technologies and for a focus on how outputs arising from precision technologies and associated decision support applications are delivered to users to maximise their value. Further cost/benefit analysis is required to determine the efficacy of investing in specific precision technologies, potentially taking account of several yet to ascertained farm specific variables.
Recent referendums show that autocratic regimes consult voters even if the outcome is a foregone conclusion. They have been doing so with increasing frequency since Napoleon consulted French citizens in 1800. Why and when do dictatorial regimes hold referendums they are certain they will win? Analysing the 162 referendums held in autocratic and non-free states in the period 1800–2012, the article shows that referendums with a 99% yes-vote tend to occur in autocracies with high ethnic fractionalization and, in part, in sultanistic (tinpot or tyrannical) regimes, but generally not in communist (totalitarian) states. An explanation is proposed for this variation.
This article tackles questions relating to the interrelationship between the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as the roles of the two European courts charged with their interpretation and application, by way of two case studies. The cases chosen address two very different issues—surrogacy and the right to privacy and family life on the one hand, and religious freedom and the wearing of religious symbols in the workplace on the other. On the surrogacy issue the article refers to an Irish Supreme Court case as well as case law from the Strasbourg and Luxembourg courts to illustrate how limits to the jurisdiction of the two European courts is, or is not, clearly articulated and the legal tools used when addressing sensitive legal questions of this nature. As regards the wearing of religious symbols in the workplace, the article concentrates on cases originating in the United Kingdom and France which have been examined by the Strasbourg court and highlights the similarities and differences between that case law and recent judgments of the Luxembourg court, called on, for the first time, to tackle questions of discrimination on grounds of religion with reference to EU anti-discrimination directives and the provisions of the Charter on both equality and religious freedom.
In this Research Communication we investigate potential correlations between key bacterial groups and nutrient removal efficiency in an Intermittently Aerated Sequencing Batch Reactor (IASBR) treating synthetic dairy processing wastewater. Reactor aeration rates of 0·6 and 0·4 litre per minute (LPM) were applied to an 8 l laboratory scale system and the relative impacts on IASBR microbial community structure and orthophosphate (PO4-P) and ammonium (NH4-N) removal efficiencies compared. Aeration at 0·6 LPM over several sludge retention times (SRTs) resulted in approximately 92% removal efficiencies for both PO4-P and NH4-N. Biomass samples subjected to next-generation sequencing (NGS), 16S rRNA profiling revealed a concomitant enrichment of Polaromonas under 0·6 LPM conditions, up to ~50% relative abundance within the reactor biomass. The subsequent shift in reactor aeration to 0·4 LPM, over a period of 3 SRTs, resulted in markedly reduced nutrient removal efficiencies for PO4-P (50%) and NH4-N (45%). An 85·7% reduction in the genus level relative abundance of Polaromonas was observed under 0·4 LPM aeration conditions over the same period.