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Optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) [Dubietis et al., Opt. Commun. 88, 437 (1992)] implemented by multikilojoule Nd:glass pump lasers is a promising approach to produce ultraintense pulses (
). Technologies are being developed to upgrade the OMEGA EP Laser System with the goal to pump an optical parametric amplifier line (EP OPAL) with two of the OMEGA EP beamlines. The resulting ultraintense pulses (1.5 kJ, 20 fs,
) would be used jointly with picosecond and nanosecond pulses produced by the other two beamlines. A midscale OPAL pumped by the Multi-Terawatt (MTW) laser is being constructed to produce 7.5-J, 15-fs pulses and demonstrate scalable technologies suitable for the upgrade. MTW OPAL will share a target area with the MTW laser (50 J, 1 to 100 ps), enabling several joint-shot configurations. We report on the status of the MTW OPAL system, and the technology development required for this class of all-OPCPA laser system for ultraintense pulses.
Previous studies have demonstrated that several major psychiatric disorders are influenced by shared genetic factors. This shared liability may influence clinical features of a given disorder (e.g. severity, age at onset). However, findings have largely been limited to European samples; little is known about the consistency of shared genetic liability across ethnicities.
The relationship between polygenic risk for several major psychiatric diagnoses and major depressive disorder (MDD) was examined in a sample of unrelated Han Chinese women. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) were generated using European discovery samples and tested in the China, Oxford, and VCU Experimental Research on Genetic Epidemiology [CONVERGE (maximum N = 10 502)], a sample ascertained for recurrent MDD. Genetic correlations between discovery phenotypes and MDD were also assessed. In addition, within-case characteristics were examined.
European-based polygenic risk for several major psychiatric disorder phenotypes was significantly associated with the MDD case status in CONVERGE. Risk for clinically significant indicators (neuroticism and subjective well-being) was also associated with case–control status. The variance accounted for by PRS for both psychopathology and for well-being was similar to estimates reported for within-ethnicity comparisons in European samples. However, European-based PRS were largely unassociated with CONVERGE family history, clinical characteristics, or comorbidity.
The shared genetic liability across severe forms of psychopathology is largely consistent across European and Han Chinese ethnicities, with little attenuation of genetic signal relative to within-ethnicity analyses. The overall absence of associations between PRS for other disorders and within-MDD variation suggests that clinical characteristics of MDD may arise due to contributions from ethnicity-specific factors and/or pathoplasticity.
Subjective reports of insomnia and hypersomnia are common in bipolar disorder (BD). It is unclear to what extent these relate to underlying circadian rhythm disturbance (CRD). In this study we aimed to objectively assess sleep and circadian rhythm in a cohort of patients with BD compared to matched controls.
Forty-six patients with BD and 42 controls had comprehensive sleep/circadian rhythm assessment with respiratory sleep studies, prolonged accelerometry over 3 weeks, sleep questionnaires and diaries, melatonin levels, alongside mood, psychosocial functioning and quality of life (QoL) questionnaires.
Twenty-three (50%) patients with BD had abnormal sleep, of whom 12 (52%) had CRD and 29% had obstructive sleep apnoea. Patients with abnormal sleep had lower 24-h melatonin secretion compared to controls and patients with normal sleep. Abnormal sleep/CRD in BD was associated with impaired functioning and worse QoL.
BD is associated with high rates of abnormal sleep and CRD. The association between these disorders, mood and functioning, and the direction of causality, warrants further investigation.
The Cosmology Distinction Course is a new one-year course to be introduced for Year 12 candidates in the 1994 Higher School Certificate examinations in NSW. It is one of three challenging courses of study that will enrich the HSC for talented students who accelerate and complete part of the HSC one year early. The courses will be taught through distance learning and will include residential seminars. They will be implemented on behalf of the Board of Studies by Charles Sturt University and the University of New England.
The Cosmology Course is organised into nine modules of course work covering historical and social aspects of cosmology, observational techniques, key observations and the various models developed—Newtonian, de Sitter, Friedmann, Lemaitre, steady-state, quasi-steady-state and big bang. Assessment will be through assignments, exams and a major project.
As the first Distinction Course in a scientific area, the Cosmology Course represents an exciting and important educational initiative that needs the cooperation of NSW astronomers and, in return, promises to benefit the astronomical and general scientific community in Australia.
Depression is characterized by poor executive function, but – counterintuitively – in some studies, it has been associated with highly accurate performance on certain cognitively demanding tasks. The psychological mechanisms responsible for this paradoxical finding are unclear. To address this issue, we applied a drift diffusion model (DDM) to flanker task data from depressed and healthy adults participating in the multi-site Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care for Depression (EMBARC) study.
One hundred unmedicated, depressed adults and 40 healthy controls completed a flanker task. We investigated the effect of flanker interference on accuracy and response time, and used the DDM to examine group differences in three cognitive processes: prepotent response bias (tendency to respond to the distracting flankers), response inhibition (necessary to resist prepotency), and executive control (required for execution of correct response on incongruent trials).
Consistent with prior reports, depressed participants responded more slowly and accurately than controls on incongruent trials. The DDM indicated that although executive control was sluggish in depressed participants, this was more than offset by decreased prepotent response bias. Among the depressed participants, anhedonia was negatively correlated with a parameter indexing the speed of executive control (r = −0.28, p = 0.007).
Executive control was delayed in depression but this was counterbalanced by reduced prepotent response bias, demonstrating how participants with executive function deficits can nevertheless perform accurately in a cognitive control task. Drawing on data from neural network simulations, we speculate that these results may reflect tonically reduced striatal dopamine in depression.
Success in economic as well as political development depends primarily on improving institutions. This has become the consensus among economists over the last twenty years, as the world has witnessed many development failures in spite of abundant capital, natural resources, and educated populations, who emigrate or stagnate if institutions do not put them to good use. The question now is: What institutions are right? As elaborated later in this chapter, some argue that developing countries should emulate the institutions of the most successful, high-income economies of the OECD. We and others, however, see evidence that most low- and middle-income countries are not ready to utilize many Western European or North American institutions or that these institutions function very differently if transplanted into these low- and middle-income economies.
The purpose of this volume is to develop and apply an alternative framework for understanding the dynamic interaction of political, economic, and social forces in developing countries, which was first laid out by North, Wallis, and Weingast (2009, hereafter NWW). The standard approach begins with neoclassical assumptions that growth will occur whenever profitable opportunities present themselves unless the intervention of political or social impediments prevent markets from working. In contrast, the alternative perspective presented here begins with the recognition that all societies must deal with the problem of violence. In most developing countries, individuals and organizations actively use or threaten to use violence to gather wealth and resources, and violence has to be restrained for development to occur. In many societies the potential for violence is latent: organizations generally refrain from violence in most years, but occasionally find violence a useful tool for pursuing their ends. These societies live in the shadow of violence, and they account for most of human history and for most of today’s world population. Social arrangements deter the use of violence by creating incentives for powerful individuals to coordinate rather than fight. The dynamics of these social arrangements differ from those described in neoclassical models, and this difference limits the value of the neoclassical tools for understanding the problems of development.
Thinking of developing countries as limited access orders with their own social dynamic rather than as flawed or incomplete open-access societies affords new insights into the impediments and paths to development. The perspective distinguishes between two development problems that are normally conflated. The second development problem involves the transition of societies from LAOs to OAOs. The first development problem involves the movement of LAO societies toward forms of social organization that enable more economic output, reduced violence, stable political outcomes, and greater individual well-being. World Bank borrowers face the first development problem: developing as an LAO, from fragile to basic and from basic to mature LAO, while avoiding regression. The lessons we draw from the case studies presented in this volume are primarily concerned with enabling places like the DR Congo to accomplish social outcomes that more closely resemble Mexico or Zambia. We also draw lessons about making transitions to open access, but our primary focus is on the first development problem because it is first in terms of human priorities. Understanding better the logic of limited access societies and the dynamics of how they change holds out greater rewards in terms of reducing poverty and violence.
The control of violence is central to the logic of all LAOs and hence is central to the problem of development. The traditional economic development framework focuses mainly on the second development problem and fails to understand violence or incorporate an appreciation of the dynamics of violence into policy recommendations. Indeed, the Washington consensus of the 2000s was dominated by efforts to embed institutions of open-access orders – property rights, entry into markets, elections, or institutions of good governance – directly into limited access orders. Because these reforms ignore the logic of the LAO, they often fail to produce development and sometimes exacerbate the problem of violence. The traditional development perspective typically treats violence as a country-specific phenomenon and leaves dealing with violence for local police and courts. By doing so, this perspective fails to understand that LAOs are organized to prevent violence and that this often hinders traditional reform efforts.
This book applies the conceptual framework of Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis and Barry R. Weingast's Violence and Social Orders (Cambridge University Press, 2009) to nine developing countries. The cases show how political control of economic privileges is used to limit violence and coordinate coalitions of powerful organizations. Rather than castigating politicians and elites as simply corrupt, the case studies illustrate why development is so difficult to achieve in societies where the role of economic organizations is manipulated to provide political balance and stability. The volume develops the idea of limited-access social order as a dynamic social system in which violence is constantly a threat and political and economic outcomes result from the need to control violence rather than promoting economic growth or political rights.
Few large studies describe links between maternal mental illness and risk of major birth defect in offspring. Evidence is sparser still for how effects vary between maternal diagnoses and no previous study has assessed risk with paternal illnesses.
A population-based birth cohort was created by linking Danish national registers. We identified all singleton live births during 1973–1998 (n=1.45 m), all parental psychiatric admissions from 1969 onwards, and all fatal birth defects until 1 January 1999. Linkage and case ascertainment were almost complete. Relative risks were estimated using Poisson regression.
Risk of fatal birth defect was elevated in relation to history of any maternal admission and also with affective disorders specifically, although the strongest effect found was with maternal schizophrenia. The rate was more than doubled in this group compared to the general population [relative risk (RR) 2.34, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.45–3.77], which also represented a significant excess risk compared with all other admitted maternal disorders (p=0.018). Risk of death from causes other than birth defect was no higher with schizophrenia than with other maternal conditions. There was no elevation in risk of fatal birth defect if the father was admitted with schizophrenia or any other psychiatric diagnosis.
There are many possible explanations for a higher risk of fatal birth defect with maternal schizophrenia and affective disorder. These include genetic effects directly linked with maternal illness, lifestyle factors (diet, smoking, alcohol and drugs), poor antenatal care, psychotropic medication toxicity, and gene–environment interactions. Further research is needed to elucidate the causal mechanisms.