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Prompted by a recurring skull base multidisciplinary team debate on the necessity of securing a definitive tissue diagnosis before initiating treatment for lesions of the orbital apex, a review of anterior skull base procedures over an 11-year period was undertaken.
Data collected prospectively on cases from 2006 to 2017 were analysed. Presenting symptoms, imaging and histology findings, outcomes, complications, and impact on treatment were evaluated. All surgery was carried out endoscopically with the aid of image guidance.
Twenty-one patients undergoing endoscopic orbital apex and/or optic canal biopsy were included. The mean patient age was 49 years. Five malignant tumours were identified, five benign tumours, seven infective cases (two tuberculosis and five fungal) and two cases of immunoglobulin G4 related disease. Two patients had non-diagnostic biopsies (one lesional) and were treated successfully as Tolosa–Hunt syndrome cases.
A successful diagnosis was achieved in nearly all cases without adverse impact, other than one cerebrospinal fluid leakage case. Management was directly influenced by the outcome in all cases.
The second year of life is a period of nutritional vulnerability. We aimed to investigate the dietary patterns and nutrient intakes from 1 to 2 years of age during the 12-month follow-up period of the Growing Up Milk – Lite (GUMLi) trial. The GUMLi trial was a multi-centre, double-blinded, randomised controlled trial of 160 healthy 1-year-old children in Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia. Dietary intakes were collected at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-randomisation, using a validated FFQ. Dietary patterns were identified using principal component analysis of the frequency of food item consumption per d. The effect of the intervention on dietary patterns and intake of eleven nutrients over the duration of the trial were investigated using random effects mixed models. A total of three dietary patterns were identified at baseline: ‘junk/snack foods’, ‘healthy/guideline foods’ and ‘breast milk/formula’. A significant group difference was observed in ‘breast milk/formula’ dietary pattern z scores at 12 months post-randomisation, where those in the GUMLi group loaded more positively on this pattern, suggesting more frequent consumption of breast milk. No difference was seen in the other two dietary patterns. Significant intervention effects were seen on nutrient intake between the GUMLi (intervention) and cows’ milk (control) groups, with lower protein and vitamin B12, and higher Fe, vitamin D, vitamin C and Zn intake in the GUMLi (intervention) group. The consumption of GUMLi did not affect dietary patterns, however, GUMLi participants had lower protein intake and higher Fe, vitamins D and C and Zn intake at 2 years of age.
There are no estimates of the heritability of phenotypic udder traits in suckler sheep, which produce meat lambs, and whether these are associated with resilience to mastitis. Mastitis is a common disease which damages the mammary gland and reduces productivity. The aims of this study were to investigate the feasibility of collecting udder phenotypes, their heritability and their association with mastitis in suckler ewes. Udder and teat conformation, teat lesions, intramammary masses (IMM) and litter size were recorded from 10 Texel flocks in Great Britain between 2012 and 2014; 968 records were collected. Pedigree data were obtained from an online pedigree recording system. Univariate quantitative genetic parameters were estimated using animal and sire models. Linear mixed models were used to analyse continuous traits and generalised linear mixed models were used to analyse binary traits. Continuous traits had higher heritabilities than binary with teat placement and teat length heritability (h2) highest at 0.35 (SD 0.04) and 0.42 (SD 0.04), respectively. Udder width, drop and separation heritabilities were lower and varied with udder volume. The heritabilities of IMM and teat lesions (sire model) were 0.18 (SD 0.12) and 0.17 (SD 0.11), respectively. All heritabilities were sufficiently high to be in a selection programme to increase resilience to mastitis in the population of Texel sheep. Further studies are required to investigate genetic relationships between traits and to determine whether udder traits predict IMM, and the potential benefits from including traits in a selection programme to increase resilience to chronic mastitis.
We investigated risk factors for severe acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) among hospitalised children <2 years, with a focus on the interactions between virus and age. Statistical interactions between age and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, adenovirus (ADV) and rhinovirus on the risk of ALRI outcomes were investigated. Of 1780 hospitalisations, 228 (12.8%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). The median (range) length of stay (LOS) in hospital was 3 (1–27) days. An increase of 1 month of age was associated with a decreased risk of ICU admission (rate ratio (RR) 0.94; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.91–0.98) and with a decrease in LOS (RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.95–0.97). Associations between RSV, influenza, ADV positivity and ICU admission and LOS were significantly modified by age. Children <5 months old were at the highest risk from RSV-associated severe outcomes, while children >8 months were at greater risk from influenza-associated ICU admissions and long hospital stay. Children with ADV had increased LOS across all ages. In the first 2 years of life, the effects of different viruses on ALRI severity varies with age. Our findings help to identify specific ages that would most benefit from virus-specific interventions such as vaccines and antivirals.
Field studies of grazing management have frequently concluded that the magnitude and direction of vegetation response is dependent on initial vegetation condition. On upland heath, this dependence reflects the importance of small-scale ecological processes (e.g. plant competition), and local neighbourhood effects (e.g. spatial distribution of plant species), in driving the vegetation dynamics. These small-scale effects, together with variation in grazing patterns, increase the difficulty of deriving general rules about the effect of grazing on vegetation change from field studies. However, we need to determine the impacts of such grazing-related vegetation change upon biodiversity, (e.g. birds). For many bird species it is impractical to use experimental approaches due to low breeding densities, and the influence of other site and management effects (e.g. predator control). To predict the effect of management changes on them requires an accurate assessment of the large-scale effects of grazing management on the ecological landscape using data from small-scale field studies. This paper sets out an approach that integrates field studies with theoretical models to investigate the large-scale effects of grazing management on plant and bird communities on upland heath.
Hemispheric asymmetry is commonly viewed as a dual system, unique to humans, with the two sides of the human brain in complementary roles. To the contrary, modern research shows that cerebral and behavioral asymmetries are widespread in the animal kingdom, and that the concept of duality is an oversimplification. The brain has many networks serving different functions; these are differentially lateralized, and involve many genes. Unlike the asymmetries of the internal organs, brain asymmetry is variable, with a significant minority of the population showing reversed asymmetries or the absence of asymmetry. This variability may underlie the divisions of labor and the specializations that sustain social life. (JINS, 2017, 23, 710–718)
An ambition of depression biomarker research is to augment psychometric and cognitive assessment of clinically relevant phenomena with neural measures. Although such applications have been slow to arrive, we observe a steady evolution of the idea and anticipate emerging technologies with some optimism. To highlight critical themes and innovations in depression biomarker research, we take as our point of reference a specific research narrative. We begin with an early model of frontal-limbic dysfunction, which represents a conceptual shift from localized pathology to understanding symptoms as an emergent property of distributed networks. Over the decades, this model accommodates perspectives from neurology, psychiatry, clinical, and cognitive neuroscience, and preserves past insight as more complex methods become available. We also track the expanding mission of brain biomarker research: from the development of diagnostic tools to treatment selection algorithms, measures of neurocognitive functioning and novel targets for neuromodulation. To conclude, we draw from this particular research narrative future directions for biomarker research. We emphasize integration of measurement modalities to describe dynamic change in domain-general networks, and we speculate that a brain-based framework for psychiatric problems may dissolve classical diagnostic and disciplinary boundaries. (JINS, 2017, 23, 870–880)
S.-W. Ho, Institute for Telecommunications Research, University of South Australia,
T. Chan, Institute for Telecommunications Research, University of South Australia,
A. Grant, Myriota, Adelaide, Australia,
C. Uduwerelle, Institute for Telecommunications Research, University of South Australia
Shannon's fundamental bound for perfect secrecy says that the source entropy cannot be larger than the entropy of the secret key initially shared by the sender and the legitimate receiver. Massey gave an information theoretic proof of this result, and his proof does not require independence of the key and the source message. By further assuming independence, some stronger results, which govern the probability distributions of the key and the ciphertext, can be shown. These results illustrate that the key entropy is not less than the logarithm of the message sample size in any cipher achieving perfect secrecy, even if the source distribution is fixed. The same bound also applies to the entropy of the ciphertext. These results still hold if the source message has been compressed before encryption.
The above observation leads to different research problems studied in this chapter. When the source distribution is non-uniform, the entropy of the key is required to be strictly greater than the source entropy, and hence some randomness in the key is wasted. To deal with this problem, this chapter investigates cipher systems that contain residual secret randomness after they are used. A collection of such systems can be used to generate a new secret key. The aforementioned entropy bound only gives the minimum size of the pre-shared secret key. A new measure for key consumption, i.e., the entropy difference between the pre-shared secret key and the newly generated key, is proposed and justified in this chapter. Key consumption is shown to be bounded below by the source entropy, and the lower bound can be achieved by the codes proposed in this chapter. Furthermore, the existence of a fundamental tradeoff between the expected key consumption and the number of channel uses for conveying a ciphertext is shown.
Cipher systems with perfect secrecy were studied by Shannon in his seminal paper  (see also ). With reference to Fig. 2.1, a cipher system is defined by three components: a source message U, a ciphertext X, and a key R. Here, R is the collection of secret randomness shared only by the sender and the legitimate receiver.
Because polarization encodes geometrical information about unresolved scattering regions, it provides a unique tool for analyzing the 3-D structures of supernovae (SNe) and their surroundings. SNe of all types exhibit time-dependent spectropolarimetric signatures produced primarily by electron scattering. These signatures reveal physical phenomena such as complex velocity structures, changing illumination patterns, and asymmetric morphologies within the ejecta and surrounding material. Interpreting changes in polarization over time yields unprecedentedly detailed information about supernovae, their progenitors, and their evolution.
Begun in 2012, the SNSPOL Project continues to amass the largest database of time-dependent spectropolarimetric data on SNe. I present an overview of the project and its recent results. In the future, combining such data with interpretive radiative transfer models will further constrain explosion mechanisms and processes that shape SN ejecta, uncover new relationships among SN types, and probe the properties of progenitor winds and circumstellar material.
Green galenia is a South African woody prostrate perennial that was first
recorded in Australia in the early 1900s and has since become a serious
threat to indigenous temperate grasslands and surrounding agricultural
areas. Laboratory and field based experiments were conducted to examine the
effect of environmental factors on the germination and viability of green
galenia seed. It was shown that green galenia was able to germinate over a
broad range of temperatures, but short bursts (5 min) of high temperatures
(80 C to 120 C replicating possible exposures to a fire) reduced seed
germination. Seed germination was positively favored by light, declined
rapidly in darkness, and decreased by > 80% at a depth of only 0.5 cm in
soil. Water stress greatly reduced seed germination (45% germination at
osmotic potentials below −0.2 MPa). Germination was completely inhibited at
water potentials of −0.4 to −1.0 MPa. This species is moderately tolerant to
salinity, with over 50% of seeds germinating at low levels of salinity (60
mM NaCl), and moderate germination (49%) occurring at 120 mM NaCl, it can
germinate well in both alkaline (pH 10–83%) and acidic (pH 4–80%)
conditions. The results of this study have contributed to our understanding
of the germination and emergence of green galenia, and this will assist in
developing tools and strategies for the long term management of this noxious
weed in Victoria and other parts of Australia.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
This work considers debris disks whose spectra can be modelled by dust emission at two different temperatures. These disks are typically assumed to be a sign of multiple belts, but only a few cases have been confirmed via high resolution observations. We derive the properties of a sample of two-temperature disks, and explore whether this emission can arise from dust in a single narrow belt. While some two-temperature disks arise from single belts, it is probable that most have multiple spatial components. These disks are plausibly similar to the outer Solar System's configuration of Asteroid and Edgeworth-Kuiper belts separated by giant planets. Alternatively, the inner component could arise from inward scattering of material from the outer belt, again due to intervening planets. For either scenario, the ratio of warm/cool component temperatures is indicative of the scale of outer planetary systems, which typically span a factor of about ten in radius.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
On 30 May 2012, Surrey and Sussex Health Protection Unit was called by five nurseries reporting children and staff with sudden onset vomiting approximately an hour after finishing their lunch that day. Over the following 24 h 50 further nurseries supplied by the same company reported cases of vomiting (182 children, 18 staff affected). Epidemiological investigations were undertaken in order to identify the cause of the outbreak and prevent further cases. Investigations demonstrated a nursery-level attack rate of 55 out of 87 nurseries (63·2%, 95% confidence interval 52·2–73·3). Microbiological tests confirmed the presence of Bacillus cereus in food and environmental samples from the catering company and one nursery. This was considered microbiologically and epidemiologically consistent with toxin from this bacterium causing the outbreak. Laboratory investigations showed that the conditions used by the caterer for soaking of pearl haricot beans (known as navy bean in the USA) used in one of the foods supplied to the nurseries prior to cooking, was likely to have provided sufficient growth and toxin production of B. cereus to cause illness. This large outbreak demonstrates the need for careful temperature control in food preparation.
3D printing is a versatile fabrication method that offers the potential to realize complex 3D devices with metamaterial characteristics in a single process directly from a computer aided design. However, the range of functional devices that might be realized by 3D printing is limited by the current range of materials that are compatible with a given 3D printing process: fused deposition modelling (FDM), which is a widely used 3D printing method, typically employs only common thermoplastics. Here we describe the development of a magnetic feedstock based on polymer-ferrite composite that is compatible with FDM. The feasibility of the technique is demonstrated by the permittivity and permeability measurement of direct printed blocks and the fabrication of a complex 3D diamond-like lattice structure. The development of printable magnetic composites provides increased design freedom for direct realization of devices with graded electromagnetic properties operating at microwave frequencies.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Few studies have examined the impact of stimulant use on outcome in early psychosis. Ceasing substance use may lead to positive outcomes in psychosis.
To examine whether baseline cannabis or stimulant disorders and ongoing drug use predict readmission within 2 years of a first psychosis admission.
Predictors of readmission were examined with Cox regression in 7269 people aged 15–29 years with a first psychosis admission.
Baseline cannabis and stimulant disorders did not predict readmission. A stimulant disorder diagnosis prior to index psychosis admission predicted readmission, but a prior cannabis disorder diagnosis did not. Ongoing problem drug use predicted readmission. The lowest rate of readmission occurred in people whose baseline drug problems were discontinued.
Prior admissions with stimulant disorder may be a negative prognostic sign in first-episode psychosis. Drug use diagnoses at baseline may be a good prognostic sign if they are identified and controlled.