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Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
Patients with schizophrenia have intact ability to experience emotion, but empirical evidence suggests that they fail to translate emotional salience into effortful behaviour. Previous research in patients with chronic schizophrenia suggests that working memory is important in integrating emotion and behaviour. This study aimed to examine avolition and anhedonia in patients with first-episode schizophrenia and clarify the role of working memory in emotion–behaviour coupling.
We recruited 72 participants with first-episode schizophrenia and 61 healthy controls, and used a validated emotion-inducing behavioural paradigm to measure participants' affective experiences and how experienced emotion coupled with behaviour. Participants were given the opportunity to expend effort to increase or decrease their exposure to emotion-inducing photographs. Participants with schizophrenia having poor working memory were compared with those with intact working memory in their liking and emotion–behaviour coupling.
Patients with first-episode schizophrenia experienced intact ‘in-the-moment’ emotion, but their emotion was less predictive of the effort expended, compared with controls. The emotion–behaviour coupling was significantly weaker in patients with schizophrenia with poor working memory than in those with intact working memory. However, compared with controls, patients with intact working also showed substantial emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings provide strong evidence for emotion–behaviour decoupling in first-episode schizophrenia. Although working memory deficits contribute to defective translation of liking into effortful behaviour, schizophrenia alone affects emotion–behaviour coupling.
Dysregulation of the striatum and altered corticostriatal connectivity have been associated with psychotic disorders. Social anhedonia has been identified as a predictor for the development of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The aim of the present study was to examine corticostriatal functional connectivity in individuals with high social anhedonia.
Twenty-one participants with high social anhedonia score and 30 with low social anhedonia score measured by the Chinese version of the Revised Social Anhedonia Scale were recruited from university undergraduates (age 17–21 years) to undergo resting-state functional MRI scans. Six subdivisions of the striatum in each hemisphere were defined as seeds. Voxel-wise functional connectivity analyses were conducted between each seed and the whole brain voxels, followed by repeated-measures ANOVA for the group effect.
Participants with high social anhedonia showed hyper-connectivity between the ventral striatum and the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula, and between the dorsal striatum and the motor cortex. Hypo-connectivity in participants with high social anhedonia was also observed between the ventral striatum and the posterior cingulate cortex. Partial correlation analyses further showed that the functional connectivity between the ventral striatum and the prefrontal cortex was associated with pleasure experience and emotional suppression.
Our findings suggest that altered corticostriatal connectivity can be found in participants with high levels of social anhedonia. Since social anhedonia has been considered a predictor for schizophrenia spectrum disorders, our results may provide novel evidence on the early changes in brain functional connectivity in at-risk individuals.
In this talk, we will show the beaming effect for Fermi/LAT blazars, then we discuss the correlations between γ-ray luminosity and other parameters, such as radio Doppler factors, superluminal motions, and core-dominance parameters. We also compare the Doppler factors determined from the γ-ray luminosity, X-ray emissions, and the short-term time scales with those from other methods. Our discussions suggest that γ-ray emissions may be strongly beamed.
A significant fraction (~ 30%) of the gamma-ray sources detected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is still of unknown origin, being not yet associated with counterparts at lower energies. Many unidentified gamma-ray sources (UGSs) could be blazars, the largest identified population of extragalactic gamma-ray sources and the rarest class of active galactic nuclei. In particular, it has been found that blazars occupy a defined region in WISE three dimensional color space, well separated from that occupied by other sources in which thermal emission prevails. For farther sources with weaker IR emission, additional informations can be obtained combining WISE data with X-ray or radio emission. Alternatively, the low-frequency radio emission can be used for identifying potential gamma-ray candidate blazars. However, optical spectroscopic observations represent the tell-tale tool to confirm the exact nature of these sources. To this end, an extensive observational campaign has been performed with several optical telescopes, aimed at pinpointing the exact nature of gamma-ray candidate blazars selected with the different selection methods mentioned above. The results of this campaign lead to the discovery of 60 new gamma-ray blazars, thus confirming the effectiveness of these selection criteria.
The tight correlations observed between galaxies and their SMBH provides compelling evidence that the evolution of the galaxy and its central black hole are strongly linked. This is generally attributed to feedback mechanisms which, according to simulations, often take the form of outflows of gas, quenching star formation in the host galaxy and halting accretion onto the central black hole. While there are a number of plausible ways that outflows could be produced, recent results have shown that in some cases radio jets could be responsible for driving fast outflows of gas. One such example is seen in the nearby radio galaxy 3C293. In this talk I will present results from JVLA radio observations where we detect fast outflows (~1200 km/s) of neutral gas which are being driven by the radio-jet approximately 0.5 kpc from the central core, providing direct evidence for jet-ISM interaction. This is accompanied with recent IFU observations showing that ionised gas outflows are also being driven by the radio jet. Pinpointing the location of these outflows enables us to derive crucial parameters, such as the mass outflow rates and kinetic energy involved, which we can compare to predictions from galaxy evolution simulations.
We have completed a Chandra snapshot survey of 54 radio jets that are extended on arcsec scales. These are associated with flat spectrum radio quasars spanning a redshift range z=0.3 to 2.1. X-ray emission is detected from the jet of approximately 60% of the sample objects. We assume minimum energy and apply conditions consistent with the original Felten-Morrison calculations in order to estimate the Lorentz factors and the apparent Doppler factors. This allows estimates of the enthalpy fluxes, which turn out to be comparable to the radiative luminosities.
It has long been known that kiloparsec-scale jets in radio galaxies can be divided into two flavours: strong (found in powerful sources, narrow and terminating in compact hot-spots) and weak (found in low-luminosity sources, flaring, unable to form hot-spots and terminating in diffuse lobes or tails). Both flavours are initially relativistic, but weak jets decelerate to sub-relativistic, transonic speeds by entraining external gas while strong jets remain relativistic and supersonic until they terminate. Much is now known about the kinematics of weak-flavour jets, which can be modelled as intrinsically symmetrical, decelerating relativistic flows, and we summarize the results of our work in this area. Strong-flavour jets are relatively faint and narrow, so it has hitherto proved difficult to obtain the necessary deep, transverse-resolved images in total intensity and linear polarization. The spectacular jets in the radio galaxy NGC 6251 appear to represent a transition case between weak and strong flavours: the jets show no clear evidence for deceleration, but are relatively wide. VLA observations hint at transverse velocity structure with a very fast (Lorentz factor >5) spine surrounded by a slower shear layer. New observations with the upgraded VLA should be able to test this picture.
The jet of BL Lac displays transverse patterns that propagate downstream superluminally. We suggest that they are transverse Alfvén waves propagating on the longitudinal component of a helical magnetic field. The speed of the wave adds relativistically to the speed of the beam, and the apparent speed of the pattern is greater than the beam speed. Models for the jet and the MHD waves give values for the Lorentz factor of the beam of 3–4.4 and pitch angle of the helical magnetic field of 43° - 65°. These are consistent with other estimates, if the beam and pattern speeds are allowed to differ.
The nearby radio galaxy M87 offers a unique opportunity for exploring the connection between γ-ray production and jet formation at an unprecedented linear resolution. However, the origin and location of the γ-rays in this source is still elusive. Based on previous radio/TeV correlation events, the unresolved jet base (radio core) and the peculiar knot HST-1 at >120 pc from the nucleus are proposed as candidate site(s) of γ-ray production. Here we report our intensive, high-resolution radio monitoring observations of the M87 jet with the VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry (VERA) and the European VLBI Network (EVN) from February 2011 to October 2012. During this period, an elevated level of the M87 flux is reported at TeV with VERITAS. We detected a remarkable flux increase in the radio core with VERA at 22/43 GHz coincident with the VHE activity. Meanwhile, HST-1 remained quiescent in terms of its flux density and structure at radio. These results strongly suggest that the TeV γ-ray activity in 2012 originates in the jet base within 0.03 pc (projected) from the central supermassive black hole.
Variability is one of the extreme observational properties of BL Lacertae objects. AO 0235+164 is a well studied BL Lac through the whole electro-magnetic wavebands, it is violently variable in the optical bands. In the present work, we show its optical R band photometric observations carried out during the period of Nov. 2006 to Dec. 2012 using the Ap6E CCD camera attached to the primary focus of the 70 cm meniscus telescope at Abastumani Observatory, Georgia. It shows a large variation of ΔR = 4.88 mag (14.20 - 19.08 mag) during our monitoring period. When periodicity analysis methods are adopted to its R observations from our Abastumani monitoring programme and those in the literature, the signs of some periods, P1 = 8.26 yr, P2 = 0.55 yr, P3 = 0.85 yr, P4 = 1.99 yr are found.
The majority of Fermi-LAT detected (2FGL) sources are AGN, mostly blazars. However, the second largest category in the 2FGL are unassociated sources (~30% or 575 sources), whose multi-wavelength counterpart is either inconclusive or absent. Follow-up observations and archival data at X-ray, optical, and radio frequencies suggest that many unassociated 2FGL sources are strong candidates to be AGN. Typical observed characteristics of 2FGL detected AGN include variability at all frequencies and a spectral energy distribution (SED) with two “bumps”; a low-frequency synchrotron peak in the radio to optical/X-ray region and a high-frequency peak, possibly due to synchrotron self-Compton or Inverse Compton processes, that extends up to TeV energies. We present optical follow-up observations of a sample of Fermi unassociated sources with one or more potential X-ray counterparts detected within the LAT error circle.
High frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (HF QPOs) are observed in the X-ray power-density spectra (PDS) of several microquasars and low mass X-ray binaries. Many proposed QPO models are based on oscillations of accretion toroidal fluid structures orbiting in the vicinity of a compact object. We study oscillating accretion tori orbiting in the vicinity of a Kerr black hole. We demonstrate that significant variation of the observed flux can be caused by the combination of radial and vertical oscillation modes of a slender, polytropic, perfect fluid, non-self-graviting torus with constant specific angular momentum. We investigate two combinations of the oscillating modes corresponding to the direct resonance QPO model and the modified relativistic precession QPO model.
In this work, we compiled 604 blazars with available core-dominance parameter, out of which 149 blazars are known to have γ-ray emissions. We compared the logR between the 149 Fermi-detected blazars (FDB) and the rest non-Fermi-detected blazars (non-FDB), and found that the average values are < logR > = 1.12 ± 0.88 for FDBs and < logR > = 0.05 ± 0.94 for non-FDBs. A K-S test shows that the probability for the distributions of FDB and non-FDB to come from the same parent distribution is P = 2.38 × 10−7. We also investigated the correlation between the core-dominance parameters and the γ-ray emission variability index (VI) for 125 FDBs (45 BLs and 79 FSRQs), and found that there is a tendency for VI to increase with the core-dominance parameter for 79 FSRQs, but there is no such tendency for 46 BLs.
In this work, we reported the optical photometry monitoring results for two brightest nearby quasars, PHL 1811 and 3C 273 using the ST-6 camera at Abastumani Observatory, Georgia. For PHL 1811, we found 3 microvariability events with time scale of ΔT = 6.0 min. For 3C273, we found that the largest variations are ΔV = 0.369 ± 0.028 mag, ΔR = 0.495 ± 0.076 mag, and ΔI = 0.355 ± 0.009 mag. When periodicity analysis methods are adopted to the available data, a period of p = 5.80 ± 1.12 years is obtained for PHL 1811, and p = 21.10 ± 0.14, 10.00 ± 0.14, 7.30 ± 0.09, 13.20 ± 0.09, 2.10 ± 0.06, and 0.68 ± 0.05 years are obtained for 3C 273.
To examine the opinions of stakeholders on strategies to improve dietary quality of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants.
Participants answered a thirty-eight-item web-based survey assessing opinions and perceptions of SNAP and programme policy changes.
Survey of 522 individuals with stakeholder interest in SNAP, conducted in October through December 2011.
The top three barriers to improving dietary quality identified were: (i) unhealthy foods marketed in low-income communities; (ii) the high cost of healthy foods; and (iii) lifestyle challenges faced by low-income individuals. Many respondents (70 %) also disagreed that current SNAP benefit levels were adequate to maintain a healthy diet. Stakeholders believed that vouchers, coupons or monetary incentives for purchasing healthful foods might have the greatest potential for improving the diets of SNAP participants. Many respondents (78 %) agreed that sodas should not be eligible for purchases with SNAP benefits. More than half (55 %) believed retailers could easily implement such restrictions. A majority of respondents (58 %) agreed that stores should stock a minimum quantity of healthful foods in order to be certified as a SNAP retailer, and most respondents (83 %) believed that the US Department of Agriculture should collect data on the foods purchased with SNAP benefits.
Results suggest that there is broad stakeholder support for policies that align SNAP purchase eligibility with national public health goals of reducing food insecurity, improving nutrition and preventing obesity.