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Substantial clinical heterogeneity of major depressive disorder (MDD) suggests it may group together individuals with diverse aetiologies. Identifying distinct subtypes should lead to more effective diagnosis and treatment, while providing more useful targets for further research. Genetic and clinical overlap between MDD and schizophrenia (SCZ) suggests an MDD subtype may share underlying mechanisms with SCZ.
The present study investigated whether a neurobiologically distinct subtype of MDD could be identified by SCZ polygenic risk score (PRS). We explored interactive effects between SCZ PRS and MDD case/control status on a range of cortical, subcortical and white matter metrics among 2370 male and 2574 female UK Biobank participants.
There was a significant SCZ PRS by MDD interaction for rostral anterior cingulate cortex (RACC) thickness (β = 0.191, q = 0.043). This was driven by a positive association between SCZ PRS and RACC thickness among MDD cases (β = 0.098, p = 0.026), compared to a negative association among controls (β = −0.087, p = 0.002). MDD cases with low SCZ PRS showed thinner RACC, although the opposite difference for high-SCZ-PRS cases was not significant. There were nominal interactions for other brain metrics, but none remained significant after correcting for multiple comparisons.
Our significant results indicate that MDD case-control differences in RACC thickness vary as a function of SCZ PRS. Although this was not the case for most other brain measures assessed, our specific findings still provide some further evidence that MDD in the presence of high genetic risk for SCZ is subtly neurobiologically distinct from MDD in general.
We analyse the evolution with redshift of the radial gradient of oxygen abundances in spiral disks resulting from our MULCHEM chemical evolution models, computed for galaxies of different sizes or masses, studying the relationships between the gradients and galaxy characteristics as the stellar mass, the size, the gas fraction or the star formation rate for z < 4.
The pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii Cano (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is the most important pest of pepper (Capsicum Linnaeus; Solanaceae) crops in North America. Native to Mexico, the southern United States of America, and Central America, it is intercepted in Canada when peppers are imported to supplement domestic production. Given the proximity of greenhouse and field production to packing facilities, this pest poses a serious risk to the cultivation of peppers in Canada. Once established, it is difficult to control because immature stages of the weevil are protected within the pepper fruit. As such, chemical control targeting these life stages is not effective, and other strategies, including biological control, may prove useful. To explore the potential for biological control options to manage the pepper weevil in areas at risk in Canada, natural enemy surveys were conducted in southern Ontario following the reports of transient, localised field populations in 2016. Parasitoids belonging to three Hymenoptera families including Pteromalidae (Jaliscoa hunteri Crawford, Pteromalus anthonomi Ashmead), Eupelmidae (Eupelmus pulchriceps Cameron), and Braconidae (Nealiolus Mason species, Bracon Fabricius species) were reared from infested field-collected pepper fruits. Together, these new natural enemy records could facilitate the exploration and development of novel agents for the biological control of the pepper weevil.
We have mapped cold atomic gas in 21cm line H i self-absorption (HISA) at arcminute resolution over more than 90% of the Milky Way's disk. To probe the formation of H2 clouds, we have compared our HISA distribution with CO J = 1-0 line emission. Few HISA features in the outer Galaxy have CO at the same position and velocity, while most inner-Galaxy HISA has overlapping CO. But many apparent inner-Galaxy HISA-CO associations can be explained as chance superpositions, so most inner-Galaxy HISA may also be CO-free. Since standard equilibrium cloud models cannot explain the very cold H i in many HISA features without molecules being present, these clouds may instead have significant CO-dark H2.
A segment of the debate surrounding the commercialization and use of glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops focuses on the theory that the implementation of these traits is an extension of the intensification of agriculture that will further erode the biodiversity of agricultural landscapes. A large field-scale study was initiated in 2006 in the United States on 156 different field sites with a minimum 3-yr history of GR-corn, -cotton or -soybean in the cropping system. The impact of cropping system, crop rotation, frequency of using the GR crop trait, and several categorical variables on seedbank weed population density and diversity was analyzed. The parameters of total weed population density of all species in the seedbank, species richness, Shannon's H′ and evenness were not affected by any management treatment. The similarity between the seedbank and aboveground weed community was more strongly related to location than management; previous year's crops and cropping systems were also important while GR trait rotation was not. The composition of the weed flora was more strongly related to location (geography) than any other parameter. The diversity of weed flora in agricultural sites with a history of GR crop production can be influenced by several factors relating to the specific method in which the GR trait is integrated (cropping system, crop rotation, GR trait rotation), the specific weed species, and the geographical location. Continuous GR crop, compared to fields with other cropping systems, only had greater species diversity (species richness) of some life forms, i.e., biennials, winter annuals, and prostrate weeds. Overall diversity was related to geography and not cropping system. These results justify further research to clarify the complexities of crops grown with herbicide-resistance traits to provide a more complete characterization of their culture and local adaptation to the weed seedbank.
Magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere provide the energy for most varieties of solar activity, including high-energy electromagnetic radiation, solar energetic particles, flares, and coronal mass ejections, as well as powering the solar wind. Despite the fundamental role of magnetic fields in solar and heliospheric physics, there exist only very limited measurements of the field above the base of the corona. What is needed are direct measurements of not only the strength and orientation of the magnetic field but also the signatures of wave motions in order to better understand coronal structure, solar activity, and the role of MHD waves in heating and accelerating the solar wind. Fortunately, the remote sensing instrumentation used to make magnetic field measurements is also well suited to measure the Doppler signature of waves in the solar structures. We present here a mission concept for the Waves And Magnetism In the Solar Atmosphere (WAMIS) experiment which is proposed for a NASA long-duration balloon flight.
Prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics are dietary ingredients with the potential to influence health and mucosal and systemic immune function by altering the composition of the gut microbiota. In the present study, a candidate prebiotic (xylo-oligosaccharide, XOS, 8 g/d), probiotic (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bi-07, 109 colony-forming units (CFU)/d) or synbiotic (8 g XOS+109 CFU Bi-07/d) was given to healthy adults (25–65 years) for 21 d. The aim was to identify the effect of the supplements on bowel habits, self-reported mood, composition of the gut microbiota, blood lipid concentrations and immune function. XOS supplementation increased mean bowel movements per d (P= 0·009), but did not alter the symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain or flatulence or the incidence of any reported adverse events compared with maltodextrin supplementation. XOS supplementation significantly increased participant-reported vitality (P= 0·003) and happiness (P= 0·034). Lowest reported use of analgesics was observed during the XOS+Bi-07 supplementation period (P= 0·004). XOS supplementation significantly increased faecal bifidobacterial counts (P= 0·008) and fasting plasma HDL concentrations (P= 0·005). Bi-07 supplementation significantly increased faecal B. lactis content (P= 0·007), lowered lipopolysaccharide-stimulated IL-4 secretion in whole-blood cultures (P= 0·035) and salivary IgA content (P= 0·040) and increased IL-6 secretion (P= 0·009). XOS supplementation resulted in lower expression of CD16/56 on natural killer T cells (P= 0·027) and lower IL-10 secretion (P= 0·049), while XOS and Bi-07 supplementation reduced the expression of CD19 on B cells (XOS × Bi-07, P= 0·009). The present study demonstrates that XOS induce bifidogenesis, improve aspects of the plasma lipid profile and modulate the markers of immune function in healthy adults. The provision of XOS+Bi-07 as a synbiotic may confer further benefits due to the discrete effects of Bi-07 on the gut microbiota and markers of immune function.
Renin is essential for renal development and in adult kidneys vitamin D deficiency increases renin gene expression. We aimed to determine whether maternal vitamin D deficiency upregulates fetal renal renin expression, and if this is sustained. We also examined growth and the long-term renal effects in offspring on a normal diet. Female Sprague–Dawley rats in UVB-free housing were fed either vitamin D deficient chow (DEF) or normal chow from 4 weeks and mated with vitamin D replete males at 10 weeks. Fetuses were collected at E20 or dams littered and the pups were weaned onto normal chow. Kidney mRNA levels for renin, (pro)renin receptor [(P)RR], transforming growth factor β 1 (TGF-β1), and nephrin were determined in E20 fetuses and in male offspring at 38 weeks. Renal function was assessed at 33 weeks (24 h, metabolic cage) in both sexes. Renal mRNA expression was upregulated for renin in fetuses (P < 0.05) and was almost doubled in adult male offspring from DEF dams (P < 0.05). Adult males had reduced creatinine clearance, solute excretion and a suppressed urinary sodium-to-potassium ratio (P < 0.05). Female adult DEF offspring drank more and excreted more urine (P < 0.05) but creatinine clearance was not impaired. We conclude that maternal vitamin D depletion upregulates fetal renal renin gene expression and this persists into adulthood where, in males only, there is evidence of sodium retention and compromised renal function. Importantly these effects occurred despite the animals being on a normal diet from the time of weaning onwards.
Biochar, a carbon-rich product formed by the incomplete combustion of biomass, has been shown to improve soil quality and increase crop growth but has not been evaluated in prairie ecosystems. We assessed the response of a native perennial grass, big bluestem, and an invasive herbaceous perennial, sericea, to biochar amendments in two greenhouse experiments in 2010 and 2011. In the first experiment, big bluestem and sericea were grown in monoculture; the main treatments were soil type (silt, sand), percent biochar (0%, 1%, 2%, and 4%) and nitrogen (0 and 10 g N m−2). Big bluestem growth was increased by the addition of biochar, particularly in the sand soil. In contrast, sericea growth was either not affected or decreased when biochar was added to the soil, particularly at the higher biochar rates. Adding N to the soil appeared to increase sericea growth in the presence of biochar and the silt soil, which suggests that biochar may have reduced N availability. A replacement series was used in the second experiment to evaluate the effect of biochar on competition between the two species. Main treatments were biochar rates (0% and 2%), nitrogen rates (0 and 10 g N m−2) and the following big bluestem to sericea ratios: 6 : 0, 4 : 2, 3 : 3, 2 : 4, and 0 : 6. After 180 d, big bluestem height and biomass were significantly greater in biochar-amended soils than in unamended soils. However, sericea height and biomass were unaffected by biochar amendments and the addition of biochar did not alter competitive outcomes. Competition between big bluestem and sericea was asymmetrical; sericea reduced the growth of big bluestem but big bluestem had relatively little effect on the growth of sericea. Our research suggests that biochar has the potential to increase the growth of big bluestem and may be a useful tool for prairie restoration.
Foods and dietary patterns that enhance satiety may provide benefit to consumers. The aim of the present review was to describe, consider and evaluate research on potential benefits of enhanced satiety. The proposal that enhanced satiety could only benefit consumers by a direct effect on food intake should be rejected. Instead, it is proposed that there is a variety of routes through which enhanced satiety could (indirectly) benefit dietary control or weight-management goals. The review highlights specific potential benefits of satiety, including: providing appetite control strategies for consumers generally and for those who are highly responsive to food cues; offering pleasure and satisfaction associated with low-energy/healthier versions of foods without feeling ‘deprived’; reducing dysphoric mood associated with hunger especially during energy restriction; and improved compliance with healthy eating or weight-management efforts. There is convincing evidence of short-term satiety benefits, but only probable evidence for longer-term benefits to hunger management, possible evidence of benefits to mood and cognition, inadequate evidence that satiety enhancement can promote weight loss, and no evidence on which consumers would benefit most from satiety enhancement. The appetite-reducing effects of specific foods or diets will be much more subtle than those of pharmaceutical compounds in managing hunger; nevertheless, the experience of pharmacology in producing weight loss via effects on appetite suggests that there is potential benefit of satiety enhancement from foods incorporated into the diet to the consumer.
The Magellanic System represents one of the best places to study the formation and evolution of galaxies. Photometric surveys of various depths, areas and wavelengths have had a significant impact on our understanding of the system; however, a complete picture is still lacking. VMC (the VISTA near-infrared YJKs survey of the Magellanic System) will provide new data to derive the spatially resolved star formation history and to construct a three-dimensional map of the system. These data combined with those from other ongoing and planned surveys will give us an absolutely unique view of the system opening up the doors to truly new science!
The abundance of the neutron-rich magnesium isotopes observed in metal-poor stars is explained quantitatively with a chemical evolution model of the local Galaxy that considers — for the first time — the metallicity-dependent contribution from intermediate mass stars. Previous models that simulate the variation of Mg isotopic ratios with metallicity in the solar neighbourhood have attributed the production of 25Mg and 26Mg exclusively to hydrostatic burning in massive stars. These models match the data well for [Fe/H] > –1.0 but severely underestimate 25,26Mg/24Mg at lower metallicities. Earlier studies have noted that this discrepancy may indicate a significant role played by intermediate mass stars. Only recently have detailed calculations of intermediate mass stellar yields of 25Mg and 26Mg become available with which to test this hypothesis. In an extension of previous work, we present a model that successfully matches the Mg isotopic abundances in nearby Galactic disk stars through the incorporation of nucleosynthesis predictions of Mg isotopic production in asymptotic giant branch stars.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
A segment of the debate surrounding the commercialization of genetically
engineered (GE) crops, such as glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops, focuses on
the theory that implementation of these traits is an extension of the
intensification of agriculture that will further erode the biodiversity of
agricultural landscapes. A large field-scale study was conducted in 2006 in
the United States on 156 different field sites with a minimum 3-yr history
of GR corn, cotton, or soybean in the cropping system. The impact of
cropping system, crop rotation, frequency of using the GR crop trait, and
several categorical variables on emerged weed density and diversity was
analyzed. Species richness, evenness, Shannon's H′, proportion of forbs,
erect growth habit, and C3 species diversity were all greater in
agricultural sites that lacked crop rotation or were in a continuous GR crop
system. Rotating between two GR crops (e.g., corn and soybean) or rotating
to a non-GR crop resulted in less weed diversity than a continuous GR crop.
The composition of the weed flora was more strongly related to location
(geography) than any other parameter. The diversity of weed flora in
agricultural sites with a history of GR crop production can be influenced by
several factors relating to the specific method in which the GR trait is
integrated (cropping system, crop rotation, GR trait rotation), the specific
weed species, and the geographical location. The finding that fields with
continuous GR crops demonstrated greater weed diversity is contrary to
arguments opposing the use of GE crops. These results justify further
research to clarify the complexities of crops grown with
herbicide-resistance traits, or more broadly, GE crops, to provide a more
complete characterization of their culture and local adaptation.
Hardwood forests in eastern North America are being colonized by multiple nonnative plant and animal species. Colonization rates can be affected by stand structure and distance from edge. We sampled earthworm densities and understory plant species cover in transects located in paired old- and second-growth forests in Indiana. Two 100-m transects were established within each forest stand during late April to early May in each year. One transect was placed parallel to and within 5 m of a south- or west-facing edge. The second transect was placed parallel to the first. but at no less than 100 m from any edge. Nonnative earthworms and plants were found in forest edge and interior regardless of structural stage (second-growth vs. old-growth). The number of native plant species decreased linearly as the densities of adult Lumbricus and Aporrectodea earthworms and the percent cover of multiflora rose (an invasive plant species) increased. Densities of L. terrestris and Aporrectodea earthworms and percent cover of multiflora rose cumulatively explained 39% of the variation in the number of native plant species found in transects across the state. However, multivariate analyses suggested that the species composition of Indiana understory plant communities was affected more by geography than by earthworm densities. Our results suggest that nonnative earthworms and plants are ubiquitous in Indiana hardwood forests and that they may reduce the number of native plant species.
A survey of the Milky Way disk and the Magellanic System at the wavelengths of the 21-cm atomic hydrogen (H i) line and three 18-cm lines of the OH molecule will be carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The survey will study the distribution of H i emission and absorption with unprecedented angular and velocity resolution, as well as molecular line thermal emission, absorption, and maser lines. The area to be covered includes the Galactic plane (|b| < 10°) at all declinations south of δ = +40°, spanning longitudes 167° through 360°to 79° at b = 0°, plus the entire area of the Magellanic Stream and Clouds, a total of 13 020 deg2. The brightness temperature sensitivity will be very good, typically σT≃ 1 K at resolution 30 arcsec and 1 km s−1. The survey has a wide spectrum of scientific goals, from studies of galaxy evolution to star formation, with particular contributions to understanding stellar wind kinematics, the thermal phases of the interstellar medium, the interaction between gas in the disk and halo, and the dynamical and thermal states of gas at various positions along the Magellanic Stream.
Temperate and boreal forests in Canada and the northeastern United States have been invaded by several exotic species, including European earthworms (family Lumbricidae) and garlic mustard. Earthworms and garlic mustard co-occur and are both known to adversely impact some native plant species. However, relatively little is known about potential interactions between these two invaders. In a series of growth chamber experiments, we determined the palatability of garlic mustard and six native herbaceous forest species (shooting star, columbine, wild geranium, sweet cicely, butterfly milkweed, and yellow jewelweed) to the common nightcrawler. We also assessed the ability of the common nightcrawler to bury and digest garlic mustard and wild geranium. When offered seeds from garlic mustard and a native plant species, the earthworms ingested more garlic mustard seeds than seeds from four of the six native species. In a mesocosm experiment, the common nightcrawlers apparently digested 72 and 27% of garlic mustard and wild geranium seeds, respectively, that were placed on the soil surface. No seeds were observed on the soil surface at the end of the experiment but the majority of recovered seeds for both species were found within the top 10 cm (3.94 in). More seeds were recovered in 0- to 10-cm and 31- to 40-cm sections for wild geranium than for garlic mustard. No difference in seed recovery was detected at the other depths. Garlic mustard seed is readily consumed by common nightcrawlers and appears to be preferred over some native plant species suggesting that common nightcrawlers may reduce the size of the garlic mustard seed bank.