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Disturbed sleep and activity are prominent features of bipolar disorder type I (BP-I). However, the relationship of sleep and activity characteristics to brain structure and behavior in euthymic BP-I patients and their non-BP-I relatives is unknown. Additionally, underlying genetic relationships between these traits have not been investigated.
Relationships between sleep and activity phenotypes, assessed using actigraphy, with structural neuroimaging (brain) and cognitive and temperament (behavior) phenotypes were investigated in 558 euthymic individuals from multi-generational pedigrees including at least one member with BP-I. Genetic correlations between actigraphy-brain and actigraphy-behavior associations were assessed, and bivariate linkage analysis was conducted for trait pairs with evidence of shared genetic influences.
More physical activity and longer awake time were significantly associated with increased brain volumes and cortical thickness, better performance on neurocognitive measures of long-term memory and executive function, and less extreme scores on measures of temperament (impulsivity, cyclothymia). These associations did not differ between BP-I patients and their non-BP-I relatives. For nine activity-brain or activity-behavior pairs there was evidence for shared genetic influence (genetic correlations); of these pairs, a suggestive bivariate quantitative trait locus on chromosome 7 for wake duration and verbal working memory was identified.
Our findings indicate that increased physical activity and more adequate sleep are associated with increased brain size, better cognitive function and more stable temperament in BP-I patients and their non-BP-I relatives. Additionally, we found evidence for pleiotropy of several actigraphy-behavior and actigraphy-brain phenotypes, suggesting a shared genetic basis for these traits.
Recent studies highlighted the multiple positive and negative contributions of livestock to society. Livestock production, through its direct and indirect impacts on land use, is an important driver of services provision. Although a few studies provide an account on the multiple services in different livestock systems, there is still an important knowledge gap on the drivers that contribute to the differentiation of services provisioning across areas. We investigated the hypothesis that the current level of services has derived from past intensification trajectories of livestock. The objective of this study was to understand the influences of past changes in livestock, land-use and socio-economic variables on the current provision of social, environmental and cultural services by the livestock sector in France. We combined a long-term country-wide database on livestock intensification between 1938 and 2010 and a database on services provisioning in 2010. We used a set of multivariate methods to simultaneously analyse the changes in livestock intensification from 1938 to 2010 and the current level of services provisioning. Our analysis focused on a set of 60 French departments where livestock play a significant economic role in agricultural production. Our study revealed that the provision of services was spatially structured and based on three groups of departments, characterised by different rates of change in intensification variables. In the first group, ‘Intensive livestock areas’, the high level of employment in the livestock sector was mainly associated with high rates of change in monogastric stocking rates (+1045%) and milk productivity (+451%). In the second group, ‘Extensive livestock areas’, the high levels of environmental and cultural services were mainly associated with moderate rates of change in herbivores stocking rate (+95%) and the stability of grassland area (+13%). In the third group, ‘Transition areas’, the low provision of all services was associated with the decline in livestock due to crop expansion. This study provides knowledge to understand how past changes determined the current contribution of livestock areas in providing differentiated bundles of services, which might help steer the development of the current livestock sector towards more sustainable trajectories.
Compound heterozygotes occur when different variants at the same locus on both maternal and paternal chromosomes produce a recessive trait. Here we present the tool VarCount for the quantification of variants at the individual level. We used VarCount to characterize compound heterozygous coding variants in patients with epileptic encephalopathy and in the 1000 Genomes Project participants. The Epi4k data contains variants identified by whole exome sequencing in patients with either Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) or infantile spasms (IS), as well as their parents. We queried the Epi4k dataset (264 trios) and the phased 1000 Genomes Project data (2504 participants) for recessive variants. To assess enrichment, transcript counts were compared between the Epi4k and 1000 Genomes Project participants using minor allele frequency (MAF) cutoffs of 0.5 and 1.0%, and including all ancestries or only probands of European ancestry. In the Epi4k participants, we found enrichment for rare, compound heterozygous variants in six genes, including three involved in neuronal growth and development – PRTG (p = 0.00086, 1% MAF, combined ancestries), TNC (p = 0.022, 1% MAF, combined ancestries) and MACF1 (p = 0.0245, 0.5% MAF, EU ancestry). Due to the total number of transcripts considered in these analyses, the enrichment detected was not significant after correction for multiple testing and higher powered or prospective studies are necessary to validate the candidacy of these genes. However, PRTG, TNC and MACF1 are potential novel recessive epilepsy genes and our results highlight that compound heterozygous variants should be considered in sporadic epilepsy.
Investigations into the existence of life in other parts of the cosmos find strong parallels with studies of the origin and evolution of life on our own planet. In this way, astrobiology and paleobiology are married by their common interest in disentangling the interconnections between life and the surrounding environment. In this way, a cross-point of both sciences is paleometry, which involves a myriad of imaging and geochemical techniques, usually non-destructive, applied to the investigation of the fossil record. In the last decades, paleometry has benefited from an unprecedented technological improvement, thus solving old questions and raising new ones. This advance has been paralleled by conceptual approaches and discoveries fuelled by technological evolution in astrobiological research. In this context, we present some new data and review recent advances on the employment of paleometry to investigations on paleobiology and astrobiology in Brazil in areas such biosignatures in Ediacaran microbial mats, biogenicity tests on enigmatic Ediacaran structures, research on Ediacaran metazoan biomineralization, fossil preservation in Cretaceous insects and fish, and finally the experimental study on the decay of fish to test the effect of distinct types of sediment on soft-tissue preservation, as well as the effects of early diagenesis on fish bone preservation.
There is an unprecedented demand for bushmeat in large cities in sub-Saharan Africa, and this is a major threat to many species. We conducted 2,040 interviews in six cities in four West African countries, in forest and savannah settings. We analysed age- and sex-related differences in the frequency of bushmeat consumption. Overall, we found similar patterns in all cities: 62.2% of men and 72.1% of women said they would never eat bushmeat, whereas 12.8% of men and 8.8% of women said they liked bushmeat and ate it regularly. Younger generations of both sexes tended not to eat bushmeat, regardless of their city of origin. This study of the effects of age, gender and geographical location on bushmeat consumption in African cities provides insights regarding which population groups to target in campaigns to change behaviours.
Scientific fields benefit when their researchers engage in self-reflection. Accordingly, we welcome the evidence gathered by Gardner, Ryan, and Snoeyink (2018) on gender differences in our field, the field of industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology. In this commentary, we argue that such self-reflection processes can be further enhanced by taking advantage of the wealth and breadth of scientometrics, the quantitative study of science.
Dwarf spheroidal galaxies of the Local Group share a similar characteristic nowadays: a low amount of gas in their interiors. In this work, we present results from a three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulation of the gas inside an object with similar characteristics of the Ursa Minor galaxy. We evolved the initial gas distribution over 3 Gyr, considering the effects of the types Ia and II supernovae. The instantaneous supernovae rates were derived from a chemical evolution model applied to spectroscopic data of the Ursa Minor galaxy. Our simulation shows that the amount of gas that is lost varies with time and galactocentric radius. The highest gas-loss rates occurred during the first 600 Myr of evolution. Our results also indicate that types Ia and II supernovae must be essential drivers of the gas loss in Ursa Minor galaxy (and probably in other similar dwarf galaxies).
Children with CHD and acquired heart disease have unique, high-risk physiology. They may have a higher risk of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events, as compared with children with non-cardiac disease.
Materials and methods
We sought to evaluate the occurrence of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events in children with cardiac disease compared to children with non-cardiac disease. A retrospective analysis of tracheal intubations from 38 international paediatric ICUs was performed using the National Emergency Airway Registry for Children (NEAR4KIDS) quality improvement registry. The primary outcome was the occurrence of any tracheal-intubation-associated event. Secondary outcomes included the occurrence of severe tracheal-intubation-associated events, multiple intubation attempts, and oxygen desaturation.
A total of 8851 intubations were reported between July, 2012 and March, 2016. Cardiac patients were younger, more likely to have haemodynamic instability, and less likely to have respiratory failure as an indication. The overall frequency of tracheal-intubation-associated events was not different (cardiac: 17% versus non-cardiac: 16%, p=0.13), nor was the rate of severe tracheal-intubation-associated events (cardiac: 7% versus non-cardiac: 6%, p=0.11). Tracheal-intubation-associated cardiac arrest occurred more often in cardiac patients (2.80 versus 1.28%; p<0.001), even after adjusting for patient and provider differences (adjusted odds ratio 1.79; p=0.03). Multiple intubation attempts occurred less often in cardiac patients (p=0.04), and oxygen desaturations occurred more often, even after excluding patients with cyanotic heart disease.
The overall incidence of adverse tracheal-intubation-associated events in cardiac patients was not different from that in non-cardiac patients. However, the presence of a cardiac diagnosis was associated with a higher occurrence of both tracheal-intubation-associated cardiac arrest and oxygen desaturation.
In the original publication of this article, the title was printed as “Four Preceramic Points Newly Discovered in Belize: A Comment on Stemp et al. (1996:279–299).” The article has been updated to the correct title. The authors apologize for this error.
Stemp et al. (2016) published data on 81 preceramic (Archaic) points from Belize, Central America. In this comment, we report four more chipped chert bifaces recently recovered in Belize (Figure 1). Based on metrics (Table 1), technology, and style, three are classified as Lowe and one as a Sawmill point (Kelly 1993; Lohse et al. 2006; Stemp et al. 2016).
Over the past 100 years, the French livestock sector has experienced significant intensification that has occurred in different ways across the country. Specifically, France has changed from a homogeneous state with most of the agricultural area covered by grasslands and a uniform distribution of animals, to a heterogeneous state characterised by an uneven distribution of grasslands, livestock numbers and livestock species. Studying the dynamics of this change is fundamental to the identification of drivers that shaped the various intensification trajectories and led to these different states, as well as to the prediction of future changes. Hence, the objective of this study was to characterise the trajectories undertaken by the French livestock sector to understand the intensification process and the role of socioeconomic, land use and production-related factors. A set of 10 indicators was employed to analyse the main changes between 1938 and 2010, using principal component analysis followed by a clustering of the 88 French departments. Between 1938 and 2010, significant increases in farm size, mechanisation, labour productivity and the stocking rates of monogastrics enabled the French livestock sector to double its production. The most important changes involved mechanisation (with the number of tractors per hectare (ha) rising from 0.0012 to 0.0053), labour productivity (improving from 8.6 to 35.9 ha/worker), livestock production (e.g. milk production increasing from 758 to 1856 l/ha of fodder area) and stocking rates (rising from 0.57 to 0.98 livestock units (LU) per ha). The increased heterogeneity apparent in the patterns of change throughout France’s departments was captured by clustering four trajectories. Two trajectories were formed by departments that experienced strong specialisation towards livestock production, with one type mainly orientated towards high-intensive dairy, poultry and pig landless production systems, and a second type orientated towards extensive beef grazing production systems. Another trajectory corresponded to departments that specialised in crop production with high labour productivity; mixed crop-livestock systems were still maintained at the margins of this group of departments. The fourth trajectory corresponded to the lowest livestock population and productivity levels. The increase in mechanisation during the period was important but uniform, with no significant differences between the trajectories. This typology of intensification trajectories will enable the targeting of specific areas in which the detrimental impacts of livestock intensification require mitigation and provide guidance for future livestock sector developments.
Predicting recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI) remains difficult. METHODS. We employed a retrospective cohort design. Granular electronic medical record (EMR) data had been collected from patients hospitalized at 21 Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals. The derivation dataset (2007–2013) included data from 9,386 patients who experienced incident CDI (iCDI) and 1,311 who experienced their first CDI recurrences (rCDI). The validation dataset (2014) included data from 1,865 patients who experienced incident CDI and 144 who experienced rCDI. Using multiple techniques, including machine learning, we evaluated more than 150 potential predictors. Our final analyses evaluated 3 models with varying degrees of complexity and 1 previously published model.
Despite having a large multicenter cohort and access to granular EMR data (eg, vital signs, and laboratory test results), none of the models discriminated well (c statistics, 0.591–0.605), had good calibration, or had good explanatory power.
Our ability to predict rCDI remains limited. Given currently available EMR technology, improvements in prediction will require incorporating new variables because currently available data elements lack adequate explanatory power.
In carefully selected treatment-refractory patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), deep brain stimulation (DBS) or anterior capsulotomy (AC) might be considered as a possible treatment. However, the direct intervention in the brain can raise questions about autonomy. Do patients still feel like they are in control of their actions when their behavior is changed by a surgical intervention?
To examine in both AC and DBS patients whether these intervention influenced perception of autonomy. We aimed to discover any differences in these perceptions when comparing AC and DBS patients.
We conducted semi-structured interviews with AC and DBS patients. Interviews were recorded digitally and transcribed verbatim. We analyzed interviews in an iterative process based on grounded theory principles.
We interviewed 10 DBS patients and 6 AC patients. Sense of agency (the awareness that one is the author of his/her own actions) did not seem to be diminished by AC or DBS. However, especially DBS patients are aware of their dependency on a device for their well-being. Another important theme is authenticity (in how far patients perceive their actions and thoughts as matching their self-concept). Feelings of authenticity can be disturbed especially in cases of induced hypomania (for DBS) or apathy (for AC). OCD itself also has an impact on autonomy as patients describe a lack of freedom due to their disorder.
Despite extensive changes in emotions, behavior and even personal identity after DBS or AC surgery, perceived autonomy was not greatly altered in these OCD patients.
Disclosure of interest
Medtronic provided grants for research, education, and traveling to B. Nuttin and L. Gabriëls, who hold the Medtronic Chair for Stereotactic Neurosurgery in Psychiatric Disorders at KU Leuven. S. Raymaekers is supported by this Chair. B. Nuttin co-owns a patent on DBS in OCD.
Parasites of the genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus (Apicomplexa: Haemosporida) are a diverse group of pathogens that infect birds nearly worldwide. Despite their ubiquity, the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape the diversity and distribution of these protozoan parasites among avian communities and geographic regions are poorly understood. Based on a survey throughout the Neotropics of the haemosporidian parasites infecting manakins (Pipridae), a family of Passerine birds endemic to this region, we asked whether host relatedness, ecological similarity and geographic proximity structure parasite turnover between manakin species and local manakin assemblages. We used molecular methods to screen 1343 individuals of 30 manakin species for the presence of parasites. We found no significant correlations between manakin parasite lineage turnover and both manakin species turnover and geographic distance. Climate differences, species turnover in the larger bird community and parasite lineage turnover in non-manakin hosts did not correlate with manakin parasite lineage turnover. We also found no evidence that manakin parasite lineage turnover among host species correlates with range overlap and genetic divergence among hosts. Our analyses indicate that host switching (turnover among host species) and dispersal (turnover among locations) of haemosporidian parasites in manakins are not constrained at this scale.
Dilated cardiomyopathy in children causes heart failure and has a poor prognosis. Health-related quality of life in this patient group is unknown. Moreover, results may provide detailed information of parents’ sense of their child’s functioning. We hypothesised that health-related quality of life, as rated by parents, and the paediatric heart failure score, as assessed by physicians, have both predictive value on outcome.
Methods and results
In this prospective study, health-related quality of life was assessed by parent reports: the Infant Toddler Quality of Life questionnaire (0–4 years) or Child Health Questionnaire-Parent Form 50 (4–18 years) at 3–6-month intervals. We included 90 children (median age 3.8 years, interquartile range (IQR) 0.9–12.3) whose parents completed 515 questionnaires. At the same visit, physicians completed the New York University Pediatric Heart Failure Index. Compared with Dutch normative data, quality of life was severely impaired at diagnosis (0–4 years: 7/10 subscales and 4–18 years: 8/11 subscales) and ⩾1 year after diagnosis (3/10 and 6/11 subscales). Older children were more impaired (p<0.05). After a median follow-up of 3 years (IQR 2–4), 15 patients underwent transplantation. Using multivariable time-dependent Cox regression, “physical functioning” subscale and the Heart Failure Index were independently predictive of the risk of death and heart transplantation (hazard ratio 1.24 per 10% decrease of predicted, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–1.47 and hazard ratio 1.38 per unit, 95% CI 1.19–1.61, respectively).
Physical impairment rated by parents and heart failure severity assessed by physicians independently predicted the risk of death or heart transplantation in children with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Management and monitoring of community-based protected areas in Madagascar remain challenging because of a lack of financial, human and technical resources, and capacity. At Lake Alaotra, conversion of marshland for rice cultivation and a lack of effective habitat protection have pushed the locally endemic Alaotra gentle lemur Hapalemur alaotrensis to the brink of extinction. The highest density of the species is found in the locally managed Park Bandro, a high-priority conservation zone within the Lake Alaotra New Protected Area. We evaluated local awareness and perceptions of Park Bandro, and discussed preferred management options with local communities. Two questionnaire surveys were carried out, one with 180 participants at six sites around the lake and marsh, and another with 50 participants in the village adjacent to Park Bandro. The majority of participants knew of the existence of Park Bandro but most did not know its purpose or size. Values and perceptions of local communities were influenced by occupation and distance to the Park, with fishers being most aware of the Park. We found that local people had a high level of environmental awareness and were willing to discuss zonation and alternative resource management strategies as long as these activities could provide a tangible livelihood benefit. Lack of awareness among local resource users regarding the purpose and status of protected areas such as Park Bandro is a challenge that needs to be addressed, and one that is relevant for environmental education and management of protected areas throughout Madagascar.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the oxidative stress in serum and liver and adenosine deaminase (ADA) activity of cattle experimentally infected by Fasciola hepatica. The group A consisted of five healthy animals (uninfected), and the group B was composed of five animals orally infected with 200 metacercariae of F. hepatica. On days 20, 40, 60 and 80 post-infection (PI) serum was collected to measure oxidative stress variables. On day 100 PI, animals were humanely euthanized and liver samples were collected. Infected animals showed lower (P < 0·05) seric ADA activities on days 40 and 60 PI but higher (P < 0·05) in the liver tissue compared with uninfected animals. Seric and hepatic reactive oxygen species (ROS) were higher (P < 0·05) in infected compared with uninfected animals. Hepatic thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were higher (P < 0·05) in infected animals. Catalase and glutathione S-transferase activities were lower in liver tissue of infected animals, while glutathione peroxidase was higher compared with uninfected (P < 0·05). In summary, we conclude that oxidative stress occurs in cattle experimentally infected by F. hepatica, mainly due to excessive ROS production in the course of fasciolosis, contributing to hepatic damage, and that increased in hepatic ADA activity may contribute to the inflammatory process.
William J. Purkis, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Birmingham.,Matthew Gabriele, Associate Professor of Medieval Studies, Department of Religion & Culture, Virginia Tech
William J. Purkis, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Birmingham.,Matthew Gabriele, Associate Professor of Medieval Studies, Department of Religion & Culture, Virginia Tech