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The value of the nosological distinction between non-affective and affective psychosis has frequently been challenged. We aimed to investigate the transdiagnostic dimensional structure and associated characteristics of psychopathology at First Episode Psychosis (FEP). Regardless of diagnostic categories, we expected that positive symptoms occurred more frequently in ethnic minority groups and in more densely populated environments, and that negative symptoms were associated with indices of neurodevelopmental impairment.
This study included 2182 FEP individuals recruited across six countries, as part of the EUropean network of national schizophrenia networks studying Gene–Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study. Symptom ratings were analysed using multidimensional item response modelling in Mplus to estimate five theory-based models of psychosis. We used multiple regression models to examine demographic and context factors associated with symptom dimensions.
A bifactor model, composed of one general factor and five specific dimensions of positive, negative, disorganization, manic and depressive symptoms, best-represented associations among ratings of psychotic symptoms. Positive symptoms were more common in ethnic minority groups. Urbanicity was associated with a higher score on the general factor. Men presented with more negative and less depressive symptoms than women. Early age-at-first-contact with psychiatric services was associated with higher scores on negative, disorganized, and manic symptom dimensions.
Our results suggest that the bifactor model of psychopathology holds across diagnostic categories of non-affective and affective psychosis at FEP, and demographic and context determinants map onto general and specific symptom dimensions. These findings have implications for tailoring symptom-specific treatments and inform research into the mood-psychosis spectrum.
Irrigation according to reliable estimates of crop water requirements (CWR) is one of the key strategies to ensure long-term sustainability of irrigated agriculture. In southern Mediterranean regions, during the irrigation season, CWR is almost totally controlled by the potential evapotranspiration of the irrigated crop. An innovative system for forecasting crop potential evapotranspiration (ETp) has been implemented recently in the Campania region (southern Italy). The system produces ETp forecasts with a lead time of up to 5 days, by coupling the visible and near-infrared crop imagery with numerical weather prediction outputs of a limited area model. The forecasts are delivered to farmers with a simple and intuitive web app interface, which makes daily real-time ETp maps accessible from desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. Forecast performances were evaluated for maize fields of two farms in two irrigation seasons (2014–2015). The mean absolute bias of the forecasted ETp was <0.3 mm/day and the RMSE was <0.6 mm/day, both for lead times up to 5 days.
The existence of multiple subclasses of type Ia supernovae (SNeIa) has been the subject of great debate in the last decade. In this work, we show how machine learning tools facilitate identification of subtypes of SNe Ia. Using Deep Learning for dimensionality reduction, we were capable of performing such identification in a parameter space of significantly lower dimension than its principal component analysis counterpart. This is evidence that the progenitor system and the explosion mechanism can be described with a small number of initial physical parameters. All tools used here are publicly available in the Python package DRACULA (Dimensionality Reduction And Clustering for Unsupervised Learning in Astronomy) and can be found within COINtoolbox (https://github.com/COINtoolbox/DRACULA).
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in glacier melt independently from model output. Here, we present a comprehensive database of Greenland glacier surface mass-balance observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. The database spans the 123 a from 1892 to 2015, contains a total of ~3000 measurements from 46 sites, and is openly accessible through the PROMICE web portal (http://www.promice.dk). For each measurement we provide X, Y and Z coordinates, starting and ending dates as well as quality flags. We give sources for each entry and for all metadata. Two thirds of the data were collected from grey literature and unpublished archive documents. Roughly 60% of the measurements were performed by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS, previously GGU). The data cover all regions of Greenland except for the southernmost part of the east coast, but also emphasize the importance of long-term time series of which there are only two exceeding 20 a. We use the data to analyse uncertainties in point measurements of surface mass balance, as well as to estimate surface mass-balance profiles for most regions of Greenland.
Assessing the carrying capacity is of primary importance in arid rangelands. This becomes even more important during droughts, when rangelands exhibit non-equilibrium dynamics, and the dynamics of livestock conditions and forage resource are decoupled. Carrying capacity is usually conceived as an equilibrium concept, that is, the consumer density that can co-exist in long-term equilibrium with the resource. As one of the first, here we address the concept of carrying capacity in systems, where there is no feedback between consumer and resource in a limited period of time. To this end, we developed an individual-based model describing the basic characteristics of a rangeland during a drought. The model represents a rangeland composed by a single water point and forage distributed all around, with livestock units moving from water to forage and vice versa, for eating and drinking. For each livestock unit we implemented an energy balance and we accounted for the gut-filling effect (i.e. only a limited amount of forage can be ingested per unit time). Our results showed that there is a temporal threshold above which livestock begin to experience energy deficit and burn fat reserves. We demonstrated that such a temporal threshold increases with the number of animals and decreases with the rangeland conditions (amount of forage). The temporal threshold corresponded to the time livestock take to consume all the forage within a certain distance from water, so that the livestock can return to water for drinking without spending more energy than they gain within a day. In this study, we highlight the importance of a time threshold in the assessment of carrying capacity in non-equilibrium conditions. Considering this time threshold could explain contrasting observations about the influence of livestock number on livestock conditions. In case of private rangelands, the herd size should be chosen so that the spatial threshold equals (or exceeds) the length of the drought.
Andromeda XXVII is a dwarf spheroidal galaxy in the outskirts of the Andromeda galaxy (M31). It appears to be dissolving in to the Northern arc of M31, and could be the remnant of a strong tidal disruption. In the upcoming months, our spectroscopic program, which has measured velocities for multiple stars within both the dwarf galaxy progenitor and its stream (using the Keck II DEIMOS telescope, as part of the PAndAS survey), will determine velocity dispersions, scale radii and metallicities of both the dwarf and the stream. This in turn may enable us to ascertain the progenitor mass profile and determine whether it is cusped or cored.
As an extreme kind of environment, Hickson Compact groups (HCGs) have shown to be very complex systems. HI-VLA observations revealed an intrincated network of HI tails and bridges, tracing pre-processing through extreme tidal interactions. We found HCGs to show a large HI deficiency supporting an evolutionary sequence where gas-rich groups transform via tidal interactions and ISM (interstellar medium) stripping into gas-poor systems. We detected as well a diffuse HI component in the groups, increasing with evolutionary phase, although with uncertain distribution. The complex net of detected HI as observed with the VLA seems hence so puzzling as the missing one. In this talk we revisit the existing VLA information on the HI distribution and kinematics of HCGs by means of X3D visualization. X3D constitutes a powerful tool to extract the most from HI data cubes and a mean of simplifying and easing the access to data visualization and publication via three-dimensional (3-D) diagrams.
We present the largest homogeneous survey of redshift > 4.4 damped Lyα systems (DLAs) using the spectra of 163 quasars that comprise the Giant Gemini GMOS (GGG) survey. With this survey we make the most precise high-redshift measurement of the cosmological mass density of neutral hydrogen, ΩHI. After correcting for systematic effects using a combination of mock and higher-resolution spectra, we find ΩHI= 0.98+0.20-0.18 × 10−3 at 〈z〉 = 4.9, assuming a 20% contribution from lower column density systems below the DLA threshold. By comparing to literature measurements at lower redshifts, we show that ΩHI can be described by the functional form ΩHI(z) ∝ (1 + z)0.4. This gradual decrease from z = 5 to 0 suggests that in the galaxies which dominate the cosmic star formation rate, Hi is a transitory gas phase fuelling star formation which must be continually replenished by more highly-ionized gas from the intergalactic medium, and from recycled galactic winds.
As part of the Z-PAndAS Keck II DEIMOS survey of resolved stars in our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda (M31), we have built up a unique data set of measured velocities and chemistries for thousands of stars in the Andromeda stellar halo, particularly probing its rich and complex substructure. In this contribution, we will discuss the structural, dynamical and chemical properties of Andromeda's dwarf spheroidal galaxies, and how there is no observational evidence for a difference in the evolutionary histories of those found on and off M31's vast plane of satellites. We will also discuss a possible extension to the most significant merger event in M31 - the Giant Southern Stream - and how we can use this feature to refine our understanding of M31's mass profile, and its complex evolution.
We have used dedicated 0.7m telescopes in California and Israel to image the halos of ~ 200 galaxies in the Local Volume to 29 mag/sq arcsec, the sample mainly drawn from the 2MASS Large Galaxy Atlas (LGA). We supplement the LGA sample with dwarf galaxies and more distant giant ellipticals. Low surface brightness halos exceeding 50 kpc in diameter are found only in galaxies more luminous than L*, and classic interaction signatures are relatively infrequent. Halo diameter is correlated with total galaxy luminosity. Extended low surface brightness halos are present even in galaxies as faint as MV = - 18. Edge-on galaxies with boxy bulges tend to lack extended spheroidal halos, while those with large classical bulges exhibit extended round halos, supporting the notions that boxy or barlike bulges originate from disks. Most face-on spiral galaxies present features that appear to be irregular extensions of spiral arms, although rare cases show smooth boundaries with no sign of star formation. Although we serendipitously discovered a dwarf galaxy undergoing tidal disruption in the halo of NGC 4449, we found no comparable examples in our general survey. A search for similar examples in the Local Volume identified hcc087, a tidally disrupting dwarf galaxy in the Hercules Cluster, but we do not confirm an anomalously large half-light radius reported for the dwarf VCC 1661.
Landowners and game reserve managers are often faced with the decision whether to undertake consumptive (such as hunting) and/or non-consumptive (such as tourism) use of wildlife resources on their properties. Here a theoretical model was used to examine cases where the game reserve management allocated the amount of land devoted to hunting (trophy hunting) and tourism, based on three scenarios: (1) hunting is separated from tourism but wildlife is shared; (2) hunting and tourism co-exist; and (3) hunting and tourism are separated by a fence. The consumptive and non-consumptive uses are not mutually exclusive; careful planning is needed to ensure that multiple management objectives can be met. Further, the analysis indicates that the two uses may be undertaken in the same area. Whether they are spatially, or temporally separated depends on the magnitude of the consumptive use. When consumptive use is not dominant, the two are compatible in the same shared area, provided the wildlife population is sufficiently large.
Rangelands provide the main forage resource for livestock in many parts of the world, but maintaining long-term productivity and providing sufficient income for the rancher remains a challenge. One key issue is to maintain the rangeland in conditions where the rancher has the greatest possibility to adapt his/her management choices to a highly fluctuating and uncertain environment. In this study, we address management robustness and adaptability, which increase the resilience of a rangeland. After reviewing how the concept of resilience evolved in parallel to modelling views on rangelands, we present a dynamic model of rangelands to which we applied the mathematical framework of viability theory to quantify the management adaptability of the system in a stochastic environment. This quantification is based on an index that combines the robustness of the system to rainfall variability and the ability of the rancher to adjust his/her management through time. We evaluated the adaptability for four possible scenarios combining two rainfall regimes (high or low) with two herding strategies (grazers only or mixed herd). Results show that pure grazing is viable only for high-rainfall regimes, and that the use of mixed-feeder herds increases the adaptability of the management. The management is the most adaptive with mixed herds and in rangelands composed of an intermediate density of trees and grasses. In such situations, grass provides high quantities of biomass and woody plants ensure robustness to droughts. Beyond the implications for management, our results illustrate the relevance of viability theory for addressing the issue of robustness and adaptability in non-equilibrium environments.