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This book is concerned with the commercial exploitation of armed conflict; it is about money, war, atrocities and economic actors, about the connections between them, and about responsibility. It aims to clarify the legal framework that defines these connections and gives rise to criminal or, in some instances, civil responsibility, referring both to mechanisms for international criminal justice, such as the International Criminal Court, and domestic systems. It considers which economic actors among individuals, businesses, governments and States should be held accountable and before which forum. Additionally, it addresses the question of how to recover illegally acquired profits and redirect them to benefit the victims of war. The chapters shine a critical light on the options provided by a network of laws to ensure that the 'great industrialists' of our time, who find economic opportunities in the war-ravaged lives of others, are unable to pursue those opportunities with impunity.
Yukon Territory (YT) is a remote region in northern Canada with ongoing spread of tuberculosis (TB). To explore the utility of whole genome sequencing (WGS) for TB surveillance and monitoring in a setting with detailed contact tracing and interview data, we used a mixed-methods approach. Our analysis included all culture-confirmed cases in YT (2005–2014) and incorporated data from 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping, WGS and contact tracing. We compared field-based (contact investigation (CI) data + MIRU-VNTR) and genomic-based (WGS + MIRU-VNTR + basic case data) investigations to identify the most likely source of each person's TB and assessed the knowledge, attitudes and practices of programme personnel around genotyping and genomics using online, multiple-choice surveys (n = 4) and an in-person group interview (n = 5). Field- and genomics-based approaches agreed for 26 of 32 (81%) cases on likely location of TB acquisition. There was less agreement in the identification of specific source cases (13/22 or 59% of cases). Single-locus MIRU-VNTR variants and limited genetic diversity complicated the analysis. Qualitative data indicated that participants viewed genomic epidemiology as a useful tool to streamline investigations, particularly in differentiating latent TB reactivation from the recent transmission. Based on this, genomic data could be used to enhance CIs, focus resources, target interventions and aid in TB programme evaluation.
To determine the risk of dementia in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and in individuals with glycosylated haemoglobin, type A1C (HbA1c) of ⩾48 mmol/mol, which is the diagnostic limit for diabetes.
We included the following cohorts: all incident diabetes cases aged 15 or above registered in the National Diabetes Registry (NDR) from January 2000 through December 2012 (n = 148 036) and a reference population, adult participants from the Glostrup cohort (n = 16 801), the ADDITION Study (n = 26 586) and Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank (CAMB) (n = 5408). Using these cohorts, we analysed if a diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes in the NDR or HbA1c level of ⩾ 6.5% (48 mmol/mol) in the cohorts increased risk of dementia in the Danish National Patient Registry or cognitive performance assessed by the Intelligenz-Struktur-Test 2000R (IST2000R).
A diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes in the NDR was associated with increased risk of dementia diagnosed both before or after age 65 as well as across different subtypes of dementia. Self-reported diabetes or high HbA1c levels were associated with lower cognitive performance (p = 0.004), while high HbA1c was associated with increased risk of dementia (HR 1.94 (1.10–3.44) in the Glostrup cohort but not in the ADDITION Study (HR 0.96 (0.57–1.61)).
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are associated with an increased risk of dementia, while the importance of screening-detected elevated HbA1c remains less clear.
Few studies have used genomic epidemiology to understand tuberculosis (TB) transmission in rural and remote settings – regions often unique in history, geography and demographics. To improve our understanding of TB transmission dynamics in Yukon Territory (YT), a circumpolar Canadian territory, we conducted a retrospective analysis in which we combined epidemiological data collected through routine contact investigations with clinical and laboratory results. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all culture-confirmed TB cases in YT (2005–2014) were genotyped using 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) and compared to each other and to those from the neighbouring province of British Columbia (BC). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of genotypically clustered isolates revealed three sustained transmission networks within YT, two of which also involved BC isolates. While each network had distinct characteristics, all had at least one individual acting as the probable source of three or more culture-positive cases. Overall, WGS revealed that TB transmission dynamics in YT are distinct from patterns of spread in other, more remote Northern Canadian regions, and that the combination of WGS and epidemiological data can provide actionable information to local public health teams.
There are increasing efforts aiming to utilise endophytes as biological control agents (BCAs) to improve crop production. However, reliability remains a major practical constraint for the development of novel BCAs. Many organisms are adapted to their specific habitat; it is optimistic to expect that a new organism added can find a niche or even out-compete those adapted and already present. Our approach for isolating novel BCAs for specific plant diseases is therefore to look in healthy plants in a habitat where disease is a problem, since we predict that it is more likely to find competitive strains among those present and adapted. In vitro inhibitory activities often do not correlate with in planta efficacy, especially since endophytes rely on intimate plant contact. They can, however, be useful to indicate modes of action. We therefore screen for in planta biological activity as early as possible in the process in order to minimise the risk of discarding valuable strains. Finally, some fungi are endophytic in one situation and pathogenic in another (the mutualism–parasitism continuum). This depends on their biology, environmental conditions, the formulation of inoculum, the health, developmental stage and cultivar of the host plant, and the structure of the plant microbiome.
GravityCam is a new concept of ground-based imaging instrument capable of delivering significantly sharper images from the ground than is normally possible without adaptive optics. Advances in optical and near-infrared imaging technologies allow images to be acquired at high speed without significant noise penalty. Aligning these images before they are combined can yield a 2.5–3-fold improvement in image resolution. By using arrays of such detectors, survey fields may be as wide as the telescope optics allows. Consequently, GravityCam enables both wide-field high-resolution imaging and high-speed photometry. We describe the instrument and detail its application to provide demographics of planets and satellites down to Lunar mass (or even below) across the Milky Way. GravityCam is also suited to improve the quality of weak shear studies of dark matter distribution in distant clusters of galaxies and multiwavelength follow-ups of background sources that are strongly lensed by galaxy clusters. The photometric data arising from an extensive microlensing survey will also be useful for asteroseismology studies, while GravityCam can be used to monitor fast multiwavelength flaring in accreting compact objects and promises to generate a unique data set on the population of the Kuiper belt and possibly the Oort cloud.
The aim of this study was to assess the associations of intake of different types of meat with semen parameters and reproductive hormones in healthy young men. This cross-sectional study included 206 men, 18–23 years, from Southern Spain. All men completed a validated FFQ, underwent a physical examination, and provided blood and semen samples. Multivariable linear regression was used to evaluate the associations between meat intake with semen quality parameters and reproductive hormones. Total meat intake was unrelated to semen quality or reproductive hormone levels. When subgroups of meat were separately considered, however, shellfish intake was positively related to progressive motility. The adjusted percentages of progressively motile spermatozoa for men in increasing quartiles of shellfish intake were 45·2, 42·0, 49·4 and 53·2 % with a significant linear trend across quartiles (Ptrend≤0·001). In contrast, men who consumed organ meats had significantly lower progressive sperm motility (51·5 v. 42·8 %; P = 0·001) and higher luteinising hormone levels (4·0 v. 4·6 IU/l; P = 0·03) compared with men who did not consume organ meats. Intake of shellfish and organ meats was low in this population, however. Given the scarcity of data on the relation between specific types of meat with semen quality and reproductive hormone levels, additional research is needed to confirm or refute these findings.
Ca homoeostasis is important to human health and tightly controlled by powerful hormonal mechanisms that display ethnic variation. Ethnic variations could occur also in Arctic populations where the traditional Inuit diet is low in Ca and sun exposure is limited. We aimed to assess factors important to parathyroid hormone (PTH) and Ca in serum in Arctic populations. We included Inuit and Caucasians aged 50–69 years living in the capital city in West or in rural East Greenland. Lifestyle factors were assessed by questionnaires. The intake of Inuit diet was assessed from a FFQ. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD2 and 25OHD3) levels were measured in serum as was albumin, Ca and PTH. The participation rate was 95 %, with 101 Caucasians and 434 Inuit. Median serum 25OHD (99·7 % was 25OHD3) in Caucasians/Inuit was 42/64 nmol/l (25, 75 percentiles 25, 54/51, 81) (P<0·001). Total Ca in serum was 2·33/2·29 mmol/l (25, 75 percentiles 2·26, 2·38/2·21, 2·36) (P=0·01) and PTH was 2·7/2·2 pmol/l (25, 75 percentiles 2·2, 4·1/1·7, 2·7) (P<0·001). The 69/97 Caucasians/Inuit with serum 25OHD <50 nmol/l differed in PTH (P=0·001) that rose with lower 25OHD levels in Caucasians, whereas this was not the case in Inuit. Ethnic origin influenced PTH (β=0·27, P<0·001) and Ca (β=0·22, P<0·001) in multivariate linear regression models after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, smoking, alcohol and diet. In conclusion, ethnic origin influenced PTH, PTH response to low vitamin D levels and Ca levels in populations in Greenland. Recommendations are to evaluate mechanisms underlying the ethnic influence on Ca homoeostasis and to assess the impact of transition in dietary habits on Ca homoeostasis and skeletal health in Arctic populations.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Interest exists in planting mixed forb–grass prairies in the midwestern United States. Aminopyralid or clopyralid can be used to suppress competition from invasive plants prior to seeding prairies. As these active ingredients are known to persist, concern exists that reductions in forb establishment could occur. We tested whether common midwestern forb species could tolerate an application of aminopyralid or clopyralid alone or in combination the summer prior to seeding, and whether fall dormant or spring seeding date influenced establishment. This experiment was performed in Beresford, SD, and Arlington, WI, where aminopyralid (54 or 123 g ae ha−1), clopyralid (237 and 420 g ae ha−1), or aminopyralid+clopyralid (54+237 g ae ha−1) were applied to a prepared seedbed in July of 2009. Ten forbs were seeded in November 2009 as a dormant seeding and in April 2010 as a spring seeding at both locations, and establishment was assessed 12 and 24 mo after treatment (MAT). Results were site and species specific. Time of seeding was an important driver of plant counts at both locations 12 and 24 MAT. In Wisconsin at 12 MAT, 60% of species studied exhibited higher counts in the spring seeding. This trend persisted in some, but was not consistent across all 10 species. In South Dakota, 80% of species studied had higher counts at 12 and 24 MAT, but differences were species specific and often differed from those studied in Wisconsin. Those species that had higher counts in spring seeding at 12 MAT, maintained higher counts at 24 MAT. Forbs planted in plots treated with herbicides did not differ from plots left untreated at either location. Results suggest native forbs typically seeded in the upper Midwest can tolerate these herbicides when applied at least 4 mo prior to seeding.
Excessive alcohol use is associated with brain damage but less is known about brain effects from moderate alcohol use. Previous findings indicate that patients with severe mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, are vulnerable to alcohol-related brain damage. We investigated the association between levels of alcohol consumption and cortical and subcortical brain structures in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients and healthy controls, and investigated for group differences for this association.
1.5 T structural magnetic resonance images were acquired of 609 alcohol-using participants (165 schizophrenia patients, 172 bipolar disorder patients, 272 healthy controls), mean (s.d.) age 34.2 (9.9) years, 52% men. Past year alcohol use was assessed with the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test – Consumption part (AUDIT-C). General linear models were used to investigate associations between AUDIT-C score and cortical thickness, surface area, and total brain and subcortical volumes.
Increasing AUDIT-C score was linearly associated with thinner cortex in medial and dorsolateral frontal and parieto-occipital regions, and with larger left lateral ventricle volume. There was no significant interaction between AUDIT-C score and diagnostic group. The findings remained significant after controlling for substance use disorders, antipsychotic medication and illness severity.
The results show a dose-dependent relationship between alcohol use and thinner cortex and ventricular expansion. The findings are present also at lower levels of alcohol consumption and do not differ between schizophrenia or bipolar disorder patients compared to healthy controls. Our results do not support previous findings of increased vulnerability for alcohol-related brain damage in severe mental illness.
The purpose of this paper was to examine national differences in the desire to participate in decision-making of people with severe mental illness in six European countries.
The data was taken from a European longitudinal observational study (CEDAR; ISRCTN75841675). A sample of 514 patients with severe mental illness from the study centers in Ulm, Germany, London, England, Naples, Italy, Debrecen, Hungary, Aalborg, Denmark and Zurich, Switzerland were assessed as to desire to participate in medical decision-making. Associations between desire for participation in decision-making and center location were analyzed with generalized estimating equations.
We found large cross-national differences in patients’ desire to participate in decision-making, with the center explaining 47.2% of total variance in the desire for participation (P < 0.001). Averaged over time and independent of patient characteristics, London (mean = 2.27), Ulm (mean = 2.13) and Zurich (mean = 2.14) showed significantly higher scores in desire for participation, followed by Aalborg (mean = 1.97), where scores were in turn significantly higher than in Debrecen (mean = 1.56). The lowest scores were reported in Naples (mean = 1.14). Over time, the desire for participation in decision-making increased significantly in Zurich (b = 0.23) and decreased in Naples (b = −0.14). In all other centers, values remained stable.
This study demonstrates that patients’ desire for participation in decision-making varies by location. We suggest that more research attention be focused on identifying specific cultural and social factors in each country to further explain observed differences across Europe.
Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder share genetic risk factors and one possible illness mechanism is abnormal myelination. T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tissue intensities are sensitive to myelin content. Therefore, the contrast between grey- and white-matter intensities may reflect myelination along the cortical surface.
MRI images were obtained from patients with schizophrenia (n = 214), bipolar disorder (n = 185), and healthy controls (n = 278) and processed in FreeSurfer. The grey/white-matter contrast was computed at each vertex as the difference between average grey-matter intensity (sampled 0–60% into the cortical ribbon) and average white-matter intensity (sampled 0–1.5 mm into subcortical white matter), normalized by their average. Group differences were tested using linear models covarying for age and sex.
Patients with schizophrenia had increased contrast compared to controls bilaterally in the post- and precentral gyri, the transverse temporal gyri and posterior insulae, and in parieto-occipital regions. In bipolar disorder, increased contrast was primarily localized in the left precentral gyrus. There were no significant differences between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Findings of increased contrast remained after adjusting for cortical area, thickness, and gyrification. We found no association with antipsychotic medication dose.
Increased contrast was found in highly myelinated low-level sensory and motor regions in schizophrenia, and to a lesser extent in bipolar disorder. We propose that these findings indicate reduced intracortical myelin. In accordance with the corollary discharge hypothesis, this could cause disinhibition of sensory input, resulting in distorted perceptual processing leading to the characteristic positive symptoms of schizophrenia.
Unipolar depression is a public health problem and is the most common psychiatric disorder among people with long-term sick leave in Denmark. Patients with unipolar depression are often associated with deficits in cognitive function long after the affective symptoms have disappeared. This could explain the long-term sick leave among patients suffering from unipolar depression. Computer-based cognitive training has been used to increase cognitive function in other patient groups.
It is unknown whether cognitive functions are improved in patients with depression by help of a cognitive computer program. Further we investigate whether this intervention shortens sick leave.
To investigate whether a computer-based cognitive training group present a higher score in cognitive function after training and return to their employment earlier compared to the control group.
The study includes patients who have been admitted because of depression, but are finished with their treatment. When the patients are discharged, they will be randomizes into two groups and evaluated on their cognitive function. Only one of the two groups will receive computer-based cognitive training. After 12 week the two groups’ cognitive function will be compared. Furthermore there is a six-month follow up, to show if or when the participants have returned to work.
The results will be presented at the EPA March 2016 in Madrid.
Based on the results of study it is our intention to conclude whether or not to implement computer-based cognitive training in treatment of patients with depression.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
First-episode psychosis (FEP) patients show structural brain abnormalities. Whether the changes are progressive or not remain under debate, and the results from longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies are mixed. We investigated if FEP patients showed a different pattern of regional brain structural change over a 1-year period compared with healthy controls, and if putative changes correlated with clinical characteristics and outcome.
MRIs of 79 FEP patients [SCID-I-verified diagnoses: schizophrenia, psychotic bipolar disorder, or other psychoses, mean age 27.6 (s.d. = 7.7) years, 66% male] and 82 healthy controls [age 29.3 (s.d. = 7.2) years, 66% male] were acquired from the same 1.5 T scanner at baseline and 1-year follow-up as part of the Thematically Organized Psychosis (TOP) study, Oslo, Norway. Scans were automatically processed with the longitudinal stream in FreeSurfer that creates an unbiased within-subject template image. General linear models were used to analyse longitudinal change in a wide range of subcortical volumes and detailed thickness and surface area estimates across the entire cortex, and associations with clinical characteristics.
FEP patients and controls did not differ significantly in annual percentage change in cortical thickness or area in any cortical region, or in any of the subcortical structures after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Within the FEP group, duration of untreated psychosis, age at illness onset, antipsychotic medication use and remission at follow-up were not related to longitudinal brain change.
We found no significant longitudinal brain changes over a 1-year period in FEP patients. Our results do not support early progressive brain changes in psychotic disorders.
Submillimetre observations of the externally irradiated protostar R CrA IRS7B show that this source has dramatically different chemical abundances in comparison with otherwise similar embedded protostars not subject to external irradiation.
Submillimetre observations of externally irradiated low-mass protostellar envelopes show that the gas temperature in the envelopes is dominated by the external irradiation. Detailed studies of the protostar IRS7B in Corona Australis also show that the chemistry is strongly affected by the irradiation, depleting the abundances of complex organic molecules.
Magnesium deficiency has been associated with anxiety in humans, and rodent studies have demonstrated the gut microbiota to impact behaviour.
We investigated the impact of 6 weeks of dietary magnesium deficiency on gut microbiota composition and anxiety-like behaviour and whether there was a link between the two. A total of 20 C57BL/6 mice, fed either a standard diet or a magnesium-deficient diet for 6 weeks, were tested using the light-dark box anxiety test. Gut microbiota composition was analysed by denaturation gradient gel electrophoresis.
We demonstrated that the gut microbiota composition correlated significantly with the behaviour of dietary unchallenged mice. A magnesium-deficient diet altered the gut microbiota, and was associated with altered anxiety-like behaviour, measured by decreased latency to enter the light box.
Magnesium deficiency altered behavior. The duration of magnesium deficiency is suggested to influence behaviour in the evaluated test.