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More than 250 Pleistocene vertebrate trace fossil sites have been identified on the Cape south coast of South Africa in aeolianites and cemented foreshore deposits. These discoveries, representing the epifaunal tracks of animals that moved over these sand substrates, complement traditional body fossil studies, and contribute to palaeo-environmental reconstruction. Not described in detail until now, but also important faunal components, are the infaunal traces of animals that moved within these sandy substrates. Six golden mole burrow trace sites (Family Chrysochloridae) have been identified on the Cape south coast. In addition, three sites, including one on the Cape southeast coast, have been identified that show evidence of sand-swimming, probably by a golden mole with a means of locomotion similar to that of the extant Eremitalpa genus. Such traces have not been described in detail in the global ichnology record, and merit the erection of a new ichnogenus Natatorichnus, with two ichnospecies, N. subarenosa ichnosp. nov and N. sulcatus ichnosp. nov. Care is required in the identification of such traces, and the orientation of the trace fossil surface needs to be determined, to avoid confusion with hatchling turtle tracks. Substantial regional Pleistocene dune environments are inferred from these sand-swimming traces.
To contrast the outcomes of olanzapine- and valproate-treated patients in an observational study of acute mania with the results of a RCT assessing the same treatments (Tohen et al., 2002).
EMBLEM (European Mania in Bipolar Evaluation of Medication) was a 2-year, prospective, observational study of health outcomes associated with treatment of mania. Severity of mania and depression was assessed at baseline and 6 weeks using the YMRS and 5-item version of the HAMD, respectively. The RCT was a 3-week, randomised, double-blind comparison of olanzapine (n=125) and divalproate-treated (n=123) patients hospitalised for acute manic or mixed episodes. The YMRS and HAMD were used to quantify manic and depressive symptoms, respectively.
621 EMBLEM patients were analysed (n=107 valproate, n=514 olanzapine). Both observed groups improved from baseline to 6 weeks in mean YMRS and HAMD-5 total scores, with significantly greater mean improvements in the olanzapine compared with the valproate group using linear regression to adjust for baseline differences. The RCT reported significantly greater mean YMRS improvement (but not HAMD) in the olanzapine-treated group. EMBLEM patients treated with olanzapine experienced significantly greater weight gain than patients treated with valproate, similar to RCT results. There was a significantly greater incidence of treatment-emergent gastrointestinal adverse events in EMBLEM patients treated with valproate.
The EMBLEM results support those of the RCT, which suggest that olanzapine monotherapy may be more effective than valproate monotherapy in the treatment of acute mania. Contrasting observational and RCT results present methodological challenges but can provide important complementary information.
Carbon-14 (radiocarbon, 14C) is a long-lived radionuclide (5730 yr) of interest regarding the safety for the management of intermediate level wastes (ILW). The present study gives an overview of the release of 14C from irradiated Zircaloy cladding in alkaline media. 14C is found either in the alloy part of Zircaloy cladding due to the neutron activation of 14N impurities by 14N(n,p)14C reaction, or in the oxide layer (ZrO2) formed at the metal surface by the neutron activation of 17O from UO2 or (U-Pu)O2 fuel and water from the primary circuit in the reactor by 17O(n,α)14C reaction. Various irradiated and unirradiated Zircaloys have been studied. The total 14C inventory has been determined both experimentally and by calculations. The results seem to be in good agreement. Leaching experiments were conducted in alkaline media for several time durations. 14C was mainly released as carboxylic acids. Further, corrosion measurements were performed by using both hydrogen measurements and electrochemical measurements. The corrosion rate (CR) ranges from a few nm/yr to 100 nm/yr depending on the surface conditions and the method used for measurement. From a safety assessment point of view, the instant release fraction (IRF) was determined on irradiated Zircaloy-2. The results showed that the 14C inventory in the oxide was significantly below the 20% commonly used in safety case assessments.
The Neolithic transition is a particularly favorable field of research for the study of the emergence and evolution of cultures and cultural phenomena. In this framework, high-precision chronologies are essential for decrypting the rhythms of emergence of new techno-economic traits. As part of a project exploring the conditions underlying the emergence and dynamics of the development of the first agro-pastoral societies in the Western Mediterranean, this paper proposes a new chronological modeling. Based on 45 new radiocarbon (14C) dates and on a Bayesian statistical framework, this work examines the rhythms and dispersal paths of the Neolithic economy both on coastal and continental areas. These new data highlight a complex and far less unidirectional dissemination process than that envisaged so far.
A study was carried out, from 2012 to 2015, in 10 French départements to estimate the serological prevalence of Q fever and the frequency of abortive episodes potentially related to Coxiella burnetii in a large sample of cattle, sheep and goat herds. The serological survey covered 731 cattle, 522 sheep and 349 goat herds, randomly sampled. The frequency of abortive episodes potentially related to C. burnetii was estimated by investigating series of abortions in 2695 cattle, 658 sheep and 105 goat herds using quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses and complementary serological results when needed. The average between-herd seroprevalence was significantly lower for cattle (36·0%) than for sheep (55·7%) and goats (61·0%) and significantly higher for dairy herds (64·9% for cattle and 75·6% for sheep) than for meat herds (18·9% for cattle and 39·8% for sheep). Within-herd seroprevalence was also significantly higher for goats (41·5%) than for cattle (22·2%) and sheep (25·7%). During the study period, we estimated that 2·7% (n = 90), 6·2% (n = 48) and 16·7% (n = 19) of the abortive episodes investigated could be ‘potentially related to C. burnetii’in cattle, sheep and goat herds, respectively. Overall, strong variability was observed between départements and species, suggesting that risk factors such as herd density and farming practices play a role in disease transmission and maintenance.
Ketamine has recently become an agent of interest as an acute treatment for severe depression and as the anaesthetic for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Subanaesthetic doses result in an acute reduction in depression severity while evidence is equivocal for this antidepressant effect with anaesthetic or adjuvant doses. Recent systematic reviews call for high-quality evidence from further randomised controlled trials (RCTs).
To establish if ketamine as the anaesthetic for ECT results in fewer ECT treatments, improvements in depression severity ratings and less memory impairment than the standard anaesthetic.
Double-blind, parallel-design, RCT of intravenous ketamine (up to 2 mg/kg) with an active comparator, intravenous propofol (up to 2.5 mg/kg), as the anaesthetic for ECT in patients receiving ECT for major depression on an informal basis. (Trial registration: European Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT): 2011-000396-14 and clinicalTrials.gov: NCT01306760.)
No significant differences were found on any outcome measure during, at the end of or 1 month following the ECT course.
Ketamine as an anaesthetic does not enhance the efficacy of ECT.
Bodily isomerism, also referred to as heterotaxy, involves predominantly the thoracic organs, although other organs are usually abnormally positioned. Previously assessed on the basis of splenic anatomy, it is now understood that isomerism is better segregated on the basis of atrial appendage morphology. This allows for anticipation of associated findings. We aimed to assess the accuracy of segregation based on the morphology of the atrial appendages and other structures more easily identified by echocardiography.
We reviewed postmortem specimens of hearts from the archives at four institutions categorised as obtained from patients with “heterotaxy”. The cardiac structures were analysed using sequential segmental analysis. Non-cardiac structures were also examined if available. Statistical analyses were performed to compare differences in the settings of right as opposed to left isomerism.
Specimens were available from 188 patients. Of these, 57 had left isomerism, and 131 had right isomerism. Atrial appendages were isomeric in all patients. A coronary sinus was found only in left isomerism, whereas a terminal crest, or a Eustachian valve, was found only in right isomerism. Interruption of the inferior caval vein was associated with left isomerism, whereas totally anomalous pulmonary venous connection was associated with right isomerism.
Isomerism is uniformly segregated on the basis of the morphology of the atrial appendages, itself defined by the extent of the pectinate muscles. Other features such as the presence of a coronary sinus and systemic venous return can further help with such segregation of isomerism.
Objectives: Good glycemic control is an important goal of diabetes management. Late adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are at risk for poor glycemic control as they move into young adulthood. For a subset of these patients, this dysregulation is extreme, placing them at risk for life-threatening health complications and permanent cognitive declines. The present study examined whether deficiency in emotional decision making (as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task; IGT) among teens with T1D may represent a neurocognitive risk factor for subsequent glycemic dysregulation. Methods: As part of a larger longitudinal study, a total of 241 high-school seniors (147 females, 94 males) diagnosed with T1D underwent baseline assessment that included the IGT. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which reflects glycemic control over the course of the past 2 to 3 months, was also assessed at baseline. Of the 241,189 (127 females, 62 males, mean age=17.76, mean HbA1c=8.11) completed HbA1c measurement 1 year later. Results: Baseline IGT performance in the impaired range (per norms) was associated with greater dysregulation in glycemic control 1 year later, as evidenced by an average increase in HbA1c of 2%. Those with normal IGT scores (per norms) exhibited a more moderate increase in glycemic control, with an HbA1c increase of 0.7%. Several IGT scoring approaches were compared, showing that the total scores collapsed across all trials was most sensitive to change in glycemic control. Conclusions: IGT assessment offers promise as a tool for identifying late adolescents at increased risk for glycemic dysregulation. (JINS, 2017, 23, 204–213)
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for depression but the extent and persistence of cognitive side-effects remain uncertain. It has been reported that there is little evidence that impairments last longer than up to 15 days post-ECT. However, relatively few studies have followed patients for even as long as 1 month post-ECT. Here we report results from a brief cognitive battery given prior to ECT and repeated five times up to 6 months post-ECT.
In a retrospective case-note study of routinely collected clinical data 126 patients treated with ECT completed two neuropsychological tests [Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) spatial recognition memory (SRM) and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE)] and two subjective reports of memory function, prior to ECT. Patients were reassessed following ECT and at 1, 3 and 6 months post-ECT although not all patients completed all assessments.
Performance relative to pre-ECT baseline was significantly poorer at each post-ECT assessment up to 3 months post-ECT using the CANTAB SRM, but was improved at 6 months. Conversely, MMSE score showed improvements relative to baseline from 1 month post-ECT. Mood and subjective memory scores improved following ECT and were correlated with one another, but not with either neuropsychological measure.
The CANTAB SRM task revealed reversible cognitive deficiencies relative to a pre-ECT baseline for at least 3 months following ECT, while MMSE score and patients' subjective reports showed only improvement. Visuospatial memory scores eventually exceeded baseline 6 months post-ECT.
By reprocessing the NICMOS coronagraphic archive using improved PSF subtraction methods, we have obtained new images of 5 debris disks, all previously unseen using classical PSF subtractions. Three of the disks are edge on and two appear to be ring like, one of which is extremely asymmetric.
Their stellar hosts are nearby, young F and G type stars (40-90 pc, 12–30 Myr), including one that is a close analog to the young sun at roughly the age at which terrestrial planets were assembling. This is a 25% increase in the sample of debris disks seen in scattered light. Analysis and modeling of the disk geometries is in process. Given these systems' youth, proximity, and brightness (V = 7.2 to 8.5), these will be superb targets for investigating planet formation, and are perfect targets for studies with GPI, SPHERE and JWST.
We present detailed models of the edge-on protoplanetary disk ESO Hα 569 (SSTgbs J111110.7-764157) from resolved scattered light images from HST and a complete spectral energy distribution. Data was obtained as part of an HST campaign to catalogue edge-on disks around young stars in nearby star forming regions (HST program 12514, PI: Karl Stapelfeldt). We confirm that this object is an optically thick edge-on disk around a young star with an outer radius of 125 AU. Using full radiative transfer models, we probe the distribution of dust grains and overall shape of the disk (inclination, scale height, dust mass, maximum particle size, inner radius, flaring exponent and surface/volume density exponent).
We present new high-resolution observations and modeling of SSTtau J042021+ 281349, a 400 AU-radius edge-on protoplanetary disk. We have gathered visible and near-infrared scattered light images of the system with the Hubble Space Telescope and Keck adaptive optics system, as well as a 1.3 mm continuum map with CARMA. Compared to the well-known HH 30 disk, this new system is remarkable because of its spectacular bipolar jet and the high degree of lateral symmetry of the disk. Indeed, we argue that this system is a “cleaner” prototype for edge-on disks. In addition, the apparent achromaticity of dust properties (most notably the almost grey opacity law) from the visible to the near-infrared in this disk suggests that it is in an advanced stage of dust evolution.
Edge-on, optically thick circumstellar disks have been previously imaged at subarcsecond resolution around about a dozen nearby young stellar objects. In these systems the central star is occulted from direct view, bright star image artifacts are absent, and the disk reflected light is clearly seen. Comparison of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) edge-on disk images with scattered light models has allowed key disk structural parameters and dust grain properties to be determined. Edge-on disks have been systematically undercounted to date: while 10% of young stars should statistically be occulted by their disk, the observed frequency is much less. Thus there is a significant potential for discovering and imaging new examples. Spitzer Space Telescope legacy science programs have provided the first good spectral energy distribution (SED) measurements for the previously known edge-on disks. These can be used as templates to identify new candidates in far-infrared survey datasets.
We report on the results of our HST program to image twenty-one edge-on disk candidates mostly selected from their SEDs. Eleven are well-resolved with radii ranging from 30-400 AU, nine for the first time and six showing highly collimated jets. Outstanding individual sources include a large and symmetric new template object, a highly flattened disk not accreting onto its central star, and an asymmetric disk with a misaligned jet which likely traces tidal perturbations in a binary system. Follow-up work to obtain ancillary data and perform scattered light modeling of the most symmetric disks is now being pursued. The results of this program will guide a new round of searches for these rare but important snapshots of protoplanetary disk evolution.
The Archival Legacy Investigation of Circumstellar Environments (ALICE) project (AR-12652) is currently conducting a comprehensive and consistent reprocessing of HST-NICMOS coronagraphic survey data to search for point sources and disks using advanced PSF subtraction. The KLIP algorithm (Karhunen-Loève Image Projection) was developed for this project, and has proven very effective at processing the hundreds of selected archival images. This project has already been very successful with numerous detections of previously unseen point sources and several resolved debris disks that we are currently following up by multiple avenues. We give an overview of the project including preliminary scientific results with companion candidates and improved images of known disks
The first UK epizootic of highly pathogenic (HP) H5N1 influenza in wild birds occurred in 2008, in a population of mute swans that had been the subject of ornithological study for decades. Here we use an innovative combination of ornithological, phylogenetic and immunological approaches to investigate the ecology and age structure of HP H5N1 in nature. We screened samples from swans and waterbirds using PCR and sequenced HP H5N1-positive samples. The outbreak's origin was investigated by linking bird count data with a molecular clock analysis of sampled virus sequences. We used ringing records to reconstruct the age-structure of outbreak mortality, and we estimated the age distribution of prior exposure to avian influenza. Outbreak mortality was low and all HP H5N1-positive mute swans in the affected population were <3 years old. Only the youngest age classes contained an appreciable number of individuals with no detectable antibody responses to viral nucleoprotein. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the outbreak strain circulated locally for ∼1 month before detection and arrived when the immigration rate of migrant waterbirds was highest. Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that HP H5N1 epizootics in wild swans exhibit limited mortality due to immune protection arising from previous exposure. Our study population may represent a valuable resource for investigating the natural ecology and epidemiology of avian influenza.