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The flat oyster Ostrea edulis has declined significantly in European waters since the 1850s as a result of anthropogenic activity. Ostrea edulis was designated a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Species and Habitat in 1995, and as a Feature of Conservation Importance (FOCI) within the UK Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009. To promote the recovery of oyster beds, a greater understanding of its abundance and distribution is required. Distribution of O. edulis across the proposed Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne MCZ in Essex was determined between 2008 and 2012. Ostrea edulis were present in four estuary zones; with highest sample abundance in the Blackwater and Ray Sand zones. Size structure of populations varied, with the Ray Sand and Colne zones showing a significant lack of individuals with shell height <39 mm. Ostrea edulis occurred in highest number on shell substratum, followed by silty sediments. There were no significant associations between O. edulis abundance or size structure with water column Chl a, suspended solids, oxygen, nitrate or ammonium concentrations, temperature or pH. Highest abundance and most equitable population shell-size distribution for O. edulis were located within, or adjacent to, actively managed aquaculture zones. This suggests that traditional seabed management contributed to the maintenance or recovery of the species of conservation concern. Demonstration that the Essex estuaries were a stronghold for Ostrea edulis in the southern North sea area led to the designation of the Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne estuaries Marine Conservation Zone in 2013.
The rocky shores of New Zealand (NZ) and Australia provide many interesting comparisons in their intertidal species and structuring processes. Both countries are in the biogeographic realm of temperate Australasia and share many common species and closely related taxa. Here we review similarities and contrasts in communities and structuring processes, especially involving grazing invertebrates and macroalgae. We consider the similarity of the structure of intertidal shores of NZ and south-eastern Australia, a suite of important trophic interactions within and between regions, the utility of local-scale experiments in understanding large-scale processes and how we might better plan for and manage our coasts. The major comparisons are between warm-temperate areas of northern NZ and New South Wales, and the cooler areas of southern NZ and south-eastern Australia. In the quest for ‘ecosystem’-level understanding, which perforce involves large-scale events, there is an increasing tendency to minimise or ignore the hard-won insights gained from well-structured experiments across multiple sites. Because all large-scale effects must be manifested at local sites, it is incumbent on us to determine what scales up or down, and the caveats that make comparisons across biogeographic regions challenging. Here, we discuss these issues using austral shores as models.
Intertidal biofilms are a diverse mixture of bacteria, algae as well as sporelings of macroalgae embedded in a polysaccharid matrix. As the primary colonisers of newly formed surfaces, biofilms undergo a succession of different microbe assemblage until the mature state is reached. A biofilm can act as primary producers and as such recycle nutrients in a habitat. It will influence macrobiota by providing a food source or sending out cues to settlers. Biofilms themselves will be controlled by these settlers. This interaction between bottom-up and top-down plays a crucial part for the functioning of the rocky shore ecosystems. However, the diversity of biolfilms as well as it nature to react quickly to environmental changes makes identification and quantification of the individual compounds a difficult task. Subsequently, the understanding of biofilms in general and intertidal, rocky shore microbe assemblages has always tied to techniques and methods available at the time of study. This chapter focusses on the techniques that have greatly contributed to increasing knowledge of biofilms and discusses their findings. Nonetheless, newly developed methods promise to further this knowledge of the ecological role of biofilms on rocky coastlines.
Adolescents’ peer networks provide an important context that can contribute to increases in antisocial behavior. By a process called deviancy training, peers can both model and reinforce these behaviors, thereby conveying group norms about the acceptability of such behaviors. This research examined the relationship between the proportion of adolescents’ peers who exchanged antisocial text messages and externalizing behaviors during high school. In Study 1, parent-, teacher-, and self-reports of rule-breaking and aggression were collected for a sample of adolescents (n = 167, 80 girls; 22.2% Black, 51.5% Caucasian, 18.7% Hispanic) during the summers before and after 9th grade. Total text frequency, frequency of antisocial texts, and the proportion of the peer network who exchanged antisocial messages were examined as predictors of antisocial behavior. The proportion of peers who exchanged antisocial texts significantly predicted rule-breaking, but not aggression. Study 2 examined the direction of the relationship documented in Study 1 more thoroughly. Externalizing behaviors at 9th, 10th, and 11th grade were evaluated as predictors of the proportion of the peer network that exchanged texts about antisocial topics (n = 205, 98 girls; 22.4% Black, 53.7% Caucasian, 16.9% Hispanic). Externalizing behaviors predicted the proportion of adolescents’ peer network that exchanged antisocial texts in each of the subsequent years, but this proportion of the peer network exchanging antisocial communication did not predict subsequent externalizing behaviors. The findings suggest that the extent to which antisocial communication permeates the peer group is a selection effect.
In this final chapter we try to bring to life much of the information in previous chapters by describing characteristic clinical cases. These are supplemented by clinical questions and advice relevant to those sitting the Observed Standardized Clinical Examination (OSCE) component of the MRCPsych examination. For those readers preparing for examinations we wish you the best of luck.
The past decade has seen the development of services for adults presenting with symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the UK. Compared with children, little is known about the phenotypic and genetic characteristics of these patients.
This e-cohort study aimed to examine the phenotypic and genetic characteristics of a clinically presenting sample of adults diagnosed with ASD by specialist services.
Individuals diagnosed with ASD as adults were recruited by the National Centre for Mental Health and completed self-report questionnaires, interviews and provided DNA; 105 eligible individuals were matched to 76 healthy controls. We investigated demographics, social history and comorbid psychiatric and physical disorders. Samples were genotyped, copy number variants (CNVs) were called and polygenic risk scores were calculated.
Of individuals with ASD, 89.5% had at least one comorbid psychiatric diagnosis, with depression (62.9%) and anxiety (55.2%) being the most common. The ASD group experienced more neurological comorbidities than controls, particularly migraine headache. They were less likely to have married or be in work, and had more alcohol-related problems. There was a significantly higher load of autism common genetic variants in the adult ASD group compared with controls, but there was no difference in the rate of rare CNVs.
This study provides important information about psychiatric comorbidity in adult ASD, which may inform clinical practice and patient counselling. It also suggests that the polygenic load of common ASD-associated variants may be important in conferring risk within the non-intellectually disabled population of adults with ASD.
Biomedical research from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is poorly represented in Western European and North American psychiatric journals.
To test the feasibility of trialling a capacity-building intervention to improve LMIC papers' representation in biomedical journals.
We designed an enhanced peer-review intervention delivered to LMIC corresponding/first authors of papers rejected by the British Journal of Psychiatry. We conducted a feasibility study, inviting consenting authors to be randomised to intervention versus none, measuring recruitment and retention rates, outcome completion and author/reviewer-rated acceptability.
Of the 26/121 consenting to participate, 12 were randomised to the intervention and 14 to the control arms. Outcome completion was 100% but qualitative feedback from authors/reviewers was mixed, with attrition from 5/12 (42%) of intervention reviewers.
Low interest among eligible authors and variable participation of expert reviewers suggested low feasibility of a full trial and a need for intervention redesign.
Declaration of interest
A.P., P.T. and M.Y. are British Journal of Psychiatry editorial board members. During this study P.T. was British Journal of Psychiatry Editor, A.P. was a trainee editor and A.H. was an editorial assistant.
The evolutionary origin of the brain and braincase of fishes remains largely elusive. The development of the vertebrate skull is dependent on the presence of an embryonic neural crest whose cells migrate to induce the formation of various elements of the cranial skeleton, dentitions and certain soft tissues. Much progress has been made in the understanding of the vertebrate skull since pioneering anatomical descriptions made last century. In the last few decades, studies involving micro-anatomy, ontogenetic development, molecular biology and gene expression have shed light on key developmental processes that seem to be widely shared among vertebrates. However, molecular biology and ontogenetic studies have been restricted to a small number of fish species. There is still much uncertainty about precise homologies between parts of the skull of distinct groups of fishes, due to the fact that the vertebrate skull shows a remarkable morphological and anatomical plasticity.
Fish, or lower vertebrates, occupy the basal nodes of the vertebrate phylogeny, and are therefore crucial in interpreting almost every feature of more advanced vertebrates, including amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Recent research focuses on combining evolutionary observations - primarily from the fish fossil record - with developmental data from living fishes, in order to better interpret evolutionary history and vertebrate phylogeny. This book highlights the importance of this research in the interpretation of vertebrate evolution, bringing together world-class palaeontologists and biologists to summarise the most interesting, current and cutting-edge topics in fish evolution and development. It will be an invaluable tool for researchers in early vertebrate palaeontology and evolution, and those particularly interested in the interface between evolution and development.
Perceived threats to established social order can influence the willingness of those in authority to inflict punishments as well as the severity of those punishments. Our article explores that proposition in the case of summary punishment by flogging in the Royal Navy. In the Royal Navy commanders were given the power to inflict flogging for a host of offenses. Prevailing penal thinking emphasized general deterrence, whereby punishment of a few serious offenders would deter the body of seamen. Eighteenth-century reforms were intended to rationalize and normalize flogging and limit its severity. Qualitative evidence indicates that naval commanders saw the established order under attack after 1789 and, emphasizing moral offenses, imposed tighter discipline on their crews. The evidence we have assembled based on a randomly selected sample of ships between 1740 and 1820 shows that flogging aboard ships was moderate up until the “Age of Revolution” that began after 1789 but increased dramatically in its frequency and severity in the wake of the French Revolution. Multivariate analysis shows that greater penal severity is associated with several factors, including a period effect associated with the onset of the revolutionary age. Our findings are consistent with existing research that suggests that disorder influences the willingness to punish.
The loss of lean body mass, muscle strength and physical function causes significant problems in older adults. Protein and amino acid supplements can preserve muscle strength but the effect on function is variable. We conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to investigate the effect of protein and amino acid supplementation on fat-free mass, muscle strength and physical function in malnourished, frail, sarcopenic, dependent or elderly with acute or chronic conditions, with or without rehabilitation exercise. Databases searched included Medline, BIOSIS, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, EBM Reviews, Embase, Pre-Medline, ProQuest, PubMed and Scopus. Retrieved articles were assessed by two reviewers using the Cochrane Risk of Bias (ROB) Tool. In all, thirty nine randomised controlled trails (n 4274) were included. The studies used a range of protein or essential amino acid (EAA) supplements in a variety of settings, including hospital, community and long-term care. Only seven studies had low ROB and no effect of supplementation was found on any outcomes. Analysis of all thirty-nine studies suggest protein and EAA supplements may improve fat-free mass, muscle strength and physical function (standardised mean difference 0·21–0·27, all P<0·005), but significant heterogeneity and ROB was evident. Predetermined subgroup analysis found undernourished elderly benefitted most; EAA were the most effective supplements and small beneficial effects were seen without rehabilitation exercise. The high heterogeneity and few studies with low ROB limits the conclusions and more high quality studies are needed to determine the best nutritional strategies for the maintenance of strength and function with increasing age.