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A mathematical method has been developed which reduces nuclear-reactor gamma pulse-height spectral data to the form of differential energy spectra through the use of a high-speed computer machine. In essence, the method consists of a least-squares fit of weighted multichannel analyzer data and the utilization of curve-smoothing parametrization. The least-squares approach tends to reduce the magnitude of data that must be handled, i.e., reduces the order of matrix involved. Weighting is used to obtain fractional deviations for minimization by lease squares and thus obtain a satisfactory fit throughout the entire channel range. The parametrization smoothes the reduced data by making use of the fact that reactor gamma spectra can be represented by the product of an exponential and a polynomial. Difficulties that arise when pure matrix inversion is applied have been obviated, and the advantage of high-speed data reduction is gained through the use of an IBM 704-7090 computer program. Error analyses have been undertaken, and data have been reduced for comparative purposes. Results are included in the presentation of the investigation.
Rapid shallow granular flows over inclined planes are often seen in nature in the form of avalanches, landslides and pyroclastic flows. In these situations the flow develops an inversely graded (large at the top) particle-size distribution perpendicular to the plane. As the surface velocity of such flows is larger than the mean velocity, the larger material is transported to the flow front. This causes size segregation in the downstream direction, resulting in a flow front composed of large particles. Since the large particles are often more frictional than the small, the mobility of the flow front is reduced, resulting in a so-called bulbous head. This study focuses on the formation and evolution of this bulbous head, which we show to emerge in both a depth-averaged continuum framework and discrete particle simulations. Furthermore, our numerical solutions of the continuum model converge to a travelling wave solution, which allows for a very efficient computation of the long-time behaviour of the flow. We use small-scale periodic discrete particle simulations to calibrate (close) our continuum framework, and validate the simple one-dimensional (1-D) model with full-scale 3-D discrete particle simulations. The comparison shows that there are conditions under which the model works surprisingly well given the strong approximations made; for example, instantaneous vertical segregation.
The current study advanced research on the link between community violence exposure and aggression by comparing the effects of violence exposure on different functions of aggression and by testing four potential (i.e., callous–unemotional traits, consideration of others, impulse control, and anxiety) mediators of this relationship. Analyses were conducted in an ethnically/racially diverse sample of 1,216 male first-time juvenile offenders (M = 15.30 years, SD = 1.29). Our results indicated that violence exposure had direct effects on both proactive and reactive aggression 18 months later. The predictive link of violence exposure to proactive aggression was no longer significant after controlling for proactive aggression at baseline and the overlap with reactive aggression. In contrast, violence exposure predicted later reactive aggression even after controlling for baseline reactive aggression and the overlap with proactive aggression. Mediation analyses of the association between violence exposure and reactive aggression indicated indirect effects through all potential mediators, but the strongest indirect effect was through impulse control. The findings help to advance knowledge on the consequences of community violence exposure on justice-involved youth.
Previous work has shown that amygdala responsiveness to fearful expressions is inversely related to level of callous-unemotional (CU) traits (i.e. reduced guilt and empathy) in youth with conduct problems. However, some research has suggested that the relationship between pathophysiology and CU traits may be different in those youth with significant prior trauma exposure.
In experiment 1, 72 youth with varying levels of disruptive behavior and trauma exposure performed a gender discrimination task while viewing morphed fear expressions (0, 50, 100, 150 fear) and Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent responses were recorded. In experiment 2, 66 of these youth performed the Social Goals Task, which measures self-reports of the importance of specific social goals to the participant in provoking social situations.
In experiment 1, a significant CU traits-by-trauma exposure interaction was observed within right amygdala; fear intensity-modulated amygdala responses negatively predicted CU traits for those youth with low levels of trauma but positively predicted CU traits for those with high levels of trauma. In experiment 2, a bootstrapped model revealed that the indirect effect of fear intensity amygdala response on social goal importance through CU traits is moderated by prior trauma exposure.
This study, while exploratory, indicates that the pathophysiology associated with CU traits differs in youth as a function of prior trauma exposure. These data suggest that prior trauma exposure should be considered when evaluating potential interventions for youth with high CU traits.
Extrapolate (EX-ante Tool for RAnking POLicy AlTErnatives) is a decision support tool to assess the impact of policy measures on different target groups. It is designed to serve as a “filter” that, given the broad characteristics of the population, allows the user to sift through different policy measures to assess ex ante the broad potential impacts of these before deciding to look at particular policy options in more detail. Extrapolate models, in a very simple way, the impact of changes on constraints facing potential beneficiary groups, and how these may affect outcomes and their livelihood status. Extrapolate now makes use of mapping facilities from another decision-support tool, PRIMAS (Poverty Reduction Intervention Mapping in Agricultural Systems), that allows the user to match characteristics of particular technological options and constraints with the spatial characteristics of particular target groups in the landscape.
Prior research demonstrated that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with binge-eating behavior, binge-eating disorder (BED), and bulimia nervosa (BN). The aim of this study was to investigate these associations in an adult twin population, and to determine the extent to which ADHD symptoms and binge-eating behavior share genetic and environmental factors.
We used self-reports of current ADHD symptoms and lifetime binge-eating behavior and associated characteristics from a sample of over 18 000 adult twins aged 20–46 years, from the population-based Swedish Twin Registry. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to examine the association between ADHD and lifetime binge-eating behavior, BED, and BN. Structural equation modeling was used in 13 773 female twins to determine the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the association between ADHD symptoms and binge-eating behavior in female adult twins.
ADHD symptoms were significantly associated with lifetime binge-eating behavior, BED, and BN. The heritability estimate for current ADHD symptoms was 0.42 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.41–0.44], and for lifetime binge-eating behavior 0.65 (95% CI 0.54–0.74). The genetic correlation was estimated as 0.35 (95% CI 0.25–0.46) and the covariance between ADHD and binge-eating behavior was primarily explained by genetic factors (91%). Non-shared environmental factors explained the remaining part of the covariance.
The association between adult ADHD symptoms and binge-eating behavior in females is largely explained by shared genetic risk factors.
With the changing distribution of infectious diseases, and an increase in the burden of non-communicable diseases, low- and middle-income countries, including those in Africa, will need to expand their health care capacities to effectively respond to these epidemiological transitions. The interrelated risk factors for chronic infectious and non-communicable diseases and the need for long-term disease management, argue for combined strategies to understand their underlying causes and to design strategies for effective prevention and long-term care. Through multidisciplinary research and implementation partnerships, we advocate an integrated approach for research and healthcare for chronic diseases in Africa.
Advanced paternal age at childbirth is associated with psychiatric disorders in offspring, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. However, few studies have investigated paternal age's relationship with eating disorders in offspring. In a large, population-based cohort, we examined the association between paternal age and offspring eating disorders, and whether that association remains after adjustment for potential confounders (e.g. parental education level) that may be related to late/early selection into fatherhood and to eating disorder incidence.
Data for 2 276 809 individuals born in Sweden 1979–2001 were extracted from Swedish population and healthcare registers. The authors used Cox proportional hazards models to examine the effect of paternal age on the first incidence of healthcare-recorded anorexia nervosa (AN) and all eating disorders (AED) occurring 1987–2009. Models were adjusted for sex, birth order, maternal age at childbirth, and maternal and paternal covariates including country of birth, highest education level, and lifetime psychiatric and criminal history.
Even after adjustment for covariates including maternal age, advanced paternal age was associated with increased risk, and younger paternal age with decreased risk, of AN and AED. For example, the fully adjusted hazard ratio for the 45+ years (v. the 25–29 years) paternal age category was 1.32 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14–1.53] for AN and 1.26 (95% CI 1.13–1.40) for AED.
In this large, population-based cohort, paternal age at childbirth was positively associated with eating disorders in offspring, even after adjustment for potential confounders. Future research should further explore potential explanations for the association, including de novo mutations in the paternal germline.
Relapse is distressingly common after the first episode of psychosis, yet it is poorly understood and difficult to predict. Investigating changes in cognitive function preceding relapse may provide new insights into the underlying mechanism of relapse in psychosis. We hypothesized that relapse in fully remitted first-episode psychosis patients was preceded by working memory deterioration.
Visual memory and verbal working memory were monitored prospectively in a 1-year randomized controlled trial of remitted first-episode psychosis patients assigned to medication continuation (quetiapine 400 mg/day) or discontinuation (placebo). Relapse (recurrence of positive symptoms of psychosis), visual (Visual Patterns Test) and verbal (Letter–Number span test) working memory and stressful life events were assessed monthly.
Remitted first-episode patients (n = 102) participated in the study. Relapsers (n = 53) and non-relapsers (n = 49) had similar baseline demographic and clinical profiles. Logistic regression analyses indicated relapse was associated with visual working memory deterioration 2 months before relapse [odds ratio (OR) 3.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–7.92, P = 0.02], more stressful life events 1 month before relapse (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.20–3.72, P = 0.01) and medication discontinuation (OR 5.52, 95% CI 2.08–14.62, P = 0.001).
Visual working memory deterioration beginning 2 months before relapse in remitted first-episode psychosis patients (not baseline predictor) may reflect early brain dysfunction that heralds a psychotic relapse. The deterioration was found to be unrelated to a worsening of psychotic symptoms preceding relapse. Testable predictors offer insight into the brain processes underlying relapse in psychosis.
The Collaboration of Australia and Nippon for a GAmma Ray Observatory in the Outback operates two large telescopes at Woomera (South Australia), which detect the Čerenkov light images produced in the atmosphere by electronpositron cascades initiated by very high energy (~1 TeV or 1012 eV) gamma rays. These gamma rays arise from a different mechanism than at EGRET energies: inverse Compton (IC) emission from relativistic electrons.
The spoke-like images are recorded by a multi-pixel camera which facilitates the rejection of the large numbers of oblique and ragged cosmic ray images. A field of view ~3.5° is required. The Australian team operates a triple 4 m diameter mirror telescope, BIGRAT, with a 37 photomultiplier tube camera and energy threshold 600 GeV. The Japanese operate a single, highly accurate 3.8 m diameter f/1 telescope and high resolution 256 photomultipler tube camera. In 1998 a new 7 m telescope is planned for Woomera with a design threshold ~;200GeV.
Debris and pyroclastic flows often have bouldery flow fronts, which act as a natural dam resisting further advance. Counter intuitively, these resistive fronts can lead to enhanced run-out, because they can be shouldered aside to form static levees that self-channelise the flow. At the heart of this behaviour is the inherent process of size segregation, with different sized particles readily separating into distinct vertical layers through a combination of kinetic sieving and squeeze expulsion. The result is an upward coarsening of the size distribution with the largest grains collecting at the top of the flow, where the flow velocity is greatest, allowing them to be preferentially transported to the front. Here, the large grains may be overrun, resegregated towards the surface and recirculated before being shouldered aside into lateral levees. A key element of this recirculation mechanism is the formation of a breaking size-segregation wave, which allows large particles that have been overrun to rise up into the faster moving parts of the flow as small particles are sheared over the top. Observations from experiments and discrete particle simulations in a moving-bed flume indicate that, whilst most large particles recirculate quickly at the front, a few recirculate very slowly through regions of many small particles at the rear. This behaviour is modelled in this paper using asymmetric segregation flux functions. Exact non-diffuse solutions are derived for the steady wave structure using the method of characteristics with a cubic segregation flux. Three different structures emerge, dependent on the degree of asymmetry and the non-convexity of the segregation flux function. In particular, a novel ‘lens-tail’ solution is found for segregation fluxes that have a large amount of non-convexity, with an additional expansion fan and compression wave forming a ‘tail’ upstream of the ‘lens’ region. Analysis of exact solutions for the particle motion shows that the large particle motion through the ‘lens-tail’ is fundamentally different to the classical ‘lens’ solutions. A few large particles starting near the bottom of the breaking wave pass through the ‘tail’, where they travel in a region of many small particles with a very small vertical velocity, and take significantly longer to recirculate.
The algal polysaccharides laminarin (LAM) and fucoidan (FUC) have potent anti-inflammatory activities in the gastrointestinal tract. Our objective was to examine the impact of prior consumption of LAM and/or FUC on pathology and inflammation following a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) challenge in pigs. Pigs (n 7/group) were assigned to one of five experimental groups for 56 d. From 49–55 d, distilled water or DSS was administered intragastrically. The experimental groups were: (1) basal diet + distilled water (control); (2) basal diet + DSS (DSS); (3) basal diet + FUC + DSS (FUC + DSS); (4) basal diet + LAM + DSS (LAM + DSS); and (5) basal diet + LAM + FUC + DSS (LAMFUC + DSS). The DSS group had decreased body-weight gain (P < 0·05) and serum xylose (P < 0·05), and increased proximal colon pathology score (P < 0·05), diarrhoeal score (P < 0·001) and colonic Enterobacteriaceae (P < 0·05) relative to the control group. The FUC + DSS (P < 0·01), LAM + DSS (P < 0·05) and LAMFUC + DSS (P < 0·05) groups had improved diarrhoeal score, and the LAMFUC + DSS (P < 0·05) group had improved body weight relative to the DSS group. The FUC + DSS group (P < 0·001), LAM + DSS group (P < 0·05) and LAMFUC + DSS group (P < 0·001) had lower IL-6 mRNA abundance relative to the DSS group. The LAM + DSS group had reduced Enterobacteriaceae in proximal colon digesta relative to the DSS group (P < 0·05). In conclusion, FUC or a combination of FUC and LAM improved body-weight loss, diarrhoeal scores and clinical variables associated with a DSS challenge in pigs, in tandem with a reduction in colonic IL-6 mRNA abundance.
Evidence shows that the health of the work environment impacts staff satisfaction, interdisciplinary communication, and patient outcomes. Utilising the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ Healthy Work Environment standards, we developed a daily assessment tool.
The Relative Environment Assessment Lens (REAL) Indicator was developed using a consensus-based method to evaluate the health of the work environment and to identify opportunities for improvement from the front-line staff. A visual scale using images that resemble emoticons was linked with a written description of feelings about their work environment that day, with the highest number corresponding to the most positive experience. Face validity was established by seeking staff feedback and goals were set.
Over 10 months, results from the REAL Indicator in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory indicated an overall good work environment. The goal of 80% of the respondents reporting their work environment to be “Great”, “Good”, or “Satisfactory” was met each month. During the same time frame, this goal was met four times in the cardiovascular operating room. On average, 72.7% of cardiovascular operating room respondents reported their work environment to be “Satisfactory” or better.
The REAL Indicator has become a valuable tool in assessing the specific issues of the clinical area and identifying opportunities for improvement. Given the feasibility of and positive response to this tool in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory, it has been adopted in other patient-care areas where staff and leaders believe that they need to understand the health of the environment in a more specific and frequent time frame.
The experiment investigated the effect of maternal dietary supplementation of seaweed-derived polysaccharides (SDP) (–SDP v. +SDP, n 20) from day 83 of gestation until weaning (day 28) on selected sow faeces and piglet digesta microbiota populations, piglet small-intestinal morphology, and intestinal nutrient transporter and inflammatory cytokine gene expression at birth, 48 h after birth and weaning. The effect of maternal dietary treatment on the piglet gene expression profile of inflammatory cytokines in the colon following a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge was also investigated. Dietary SDP reduced sow faecal Enterobacteriaceae gene numbers at parturition. Small-intestinal morphology, nutrient transporter and cytokine gene expression in newborn piglets did not differ between maternal dietary treatments (P > 0·10). At 48 h after birth, sodium–glucose-linked transporter 1 gene expression was down-regulated in the ileum of piglets suckling the SDP-supplemented sows compared with those suckling the basal sows (P = 0·050). There was a SDP × LPS challenge interaction on IL-1 and IL-6 gene expression in the colon of piglets (P < 0·05). The gene expression of IL-1 and IL-6 was down-regulated in the LPS-challenged colon of piglets suckling the SDP sows compared with those suckling the basal sows (P < 0·05). However, there was no difference in IL-1 and IL-6 gene expression in the unchallenged colon between treatment groups. At weaning, piglets suckling the SDP-supplemented sows had increased villus height in the jejunum and ileum compared with those suckling the basal-fed sows (P < 0·05). In conclusion, maternal dietary SDP supplementation enhanced the immune response of suckling piglets and improved gut morphology, making them more immune competent to deal with post-weaning adversities.
Reduced cortical gray-matter volume is commonly observed in patients with psychosis. Cortical volume is a composite measure that includes surface area, thickness and gyrification. These three indices show distinct maturational patterns and may be differentially affected by early adverse events. The study goal was to determine the impact of two distinct obstetrical complications (OCs) on cortical morphology.
A detailed birth history and MRI scans were obtained for 36 patients with first-episode psychosis and 16 healthy volunteers.
Perinatal hypoxia and slow fetal growth were associated with cortical volume (Cohen's d = 0.76 and d = 0.89, respectively) in patients. However, the pattern of associations differed across the three components of cortical volume. Both hypoxia and fetal growth were associated with cortical surface area (d = 0.88 and d = 0.72, respectively), neither of these two OCs was related to cortical thickness, and hypoxia but not fetal growth was associated with gyrification (d = 0.85). No significant associations were found within the control sample.
Cortical dysmorphology was associated with OCs. The use of a global measure of cortical morphology or a global measure of OCs obscured important relationships between these measures. Gyrification is complete before 2 years and its strong relationship with hypoxia suggests an early disruption to brain development. Cortical thickness matures later and, consistent with previous research, we found no association between thickness and OCs. Finally, cortical surface area is largely complete by puberty and the present results suggest that events during childhood do not fully compensate for the effects of early disruptive events.
The potential conservation value of fragmented or countryside landscapes in the tropics is being increasingly recognized. However, the degree to which fragmented landscapes can support species and the key patch and landscape features that promote population persistence remain poorly understood for elusive species such as ground-dwelling birds. We examined the presence/absence of seven species of galliforms and tinamous in 50 forest patches of 2.9–445 ha in northern Guatemala using camera traps and audiovisual surveying. After accounting for differences in detectability among species we found great variation in patterns of vulnerability of these species to habitat loss and fragmentation, with the three largest species being the most vulnerable. Distribution patterns of species among patches was influenced more strongly by measures of landscape context, such as the amount and configuration of habitat in the surrounding landscape, than within-patch variation in vegetation structure or disturbance. Our results indicate that large-bodied game birds may be particularly sensitive to habitat loss and fragmentation and emphasize that management efforts for these species need to go beyond consideration of local, within-patch factors to consider the impact of processes in the surrounding landscape. Our findings also demonstrate the utility of camera traps as a methodology for surveying large terrestrial bird species in fragmented landscapes.