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Differential susceptibility theory (DST) posits that individuals differ in their developmental plasticity: some children are highly responsive to both environmental adversity and support, while others are less affected. According to this theory, “plasticity” genes that confer risk for psychopathology in adverse environments may promote superior functioning in supportive environments. We tested DST using a broad measure of child genetic liability (based on birth parent psychopathology), adoptive home environmental variables (e.g., marital warmth, parenting stress, and internalizing symptoms), and measures of child externalizing problems (n = 337) and social competence (n = 330) in 54-month-old adopted children from the Early Growth and Development Study. This adoption design is useful for examining DST because children are placed at birth or shortly thereafter with nongenetically related adoptive parents, naturally disentangling heritable and postnatal environmental effects. We conducted a series of multivariable regression analyses that included Gene × Environment interaction terms and found little evidence of DST; rather, interactions varied depending on the environmental factor of interest, in both significance and shape. Our mixed findings suggest further investigation of DST is warranted before tailoring screening and intervention recommendations to children based on their genetic liability or “sensitivity.”
Dysgeusia is a frequent, yet underreported side effect of chemotherapy for cancer. We report here the first use of gabapentin in two glioblastoma patients who developed dysgeusia following intra-arterial administration of carboplatin or oral administration of lomustine, respectively. Treatment initiation was followed by resolution of taste alteration within weeks. Both patients reported significant improvement in their quality of life and regained weight, allowing further chemotherapy cycles. We hypothesized that in these two cases, chemotherapy impeded gustatory cells turnover and function, resulting in a gustatory “deafferentation-like” syndrome which was successfully addressed by the medication.
Ice mélange has been postulated to impact glacier and fjord dynamics through a variety of mechanical and thermodynamic couplings. However, observations of these interactions are very limited. Here, we report on glaciological and oceanographic data that were collected from 2016 to 2017 at LeConte Glacier and Bay, Alaska, and serendipitously captured the formation, flow and break-up of ephemeral ice mélange. Sea ice formed overnight in mid-February. Over the subsequent week, the sea ice and icebergs were compacted by the advancing glacier terminus, after which the ice mélange flowed quasi-statically. The presence of ice mélange coincided with the lowest glacier velocities and frontal ablation rates in our record. In early April, increasing glacier runoff and the formation of a sub-ice-mélange plume began to melt and pull apart the ice mélange. The plume, outgoing tides and large calving events contributed to its break-up, which took place over a week and occurred in pulses. Unlike observations from elsewhere, the loss of ice mélange integrity did not coincide with the onset of seasonal glacier retreat. Our observations provide a challenge to ice mélange models aimed at quantifying the mechanical and thermodynamic couplings between ice mélange, glaciers and fjords.
The I13 transmission X-ray microscope at Diamond Light Source (DLS) has been designed to cover a broad range of energies and field of views. The beamline operates on an undulator source, and a multilayer monochromator can be used to work at a larger bandwidth to enable faster acquisitions. The experimental design includes large working distances for the optics to allow installing in situ sample environments. This paper presents the current state of the experimental system and shows some of the latest results.
The White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis nivalis is assumed to be highly threatened by climate change, but this high elevation species has been little studied and the current breeding distribution is accurately known only for a minor portion of its range. Here, we provide a detailed and spatially explicit identification of the potentially suitable breeding areas for the Snowfinch. We modelled suitable areas in Europe and compared them with the currently known distribution. We built a distribution model using 14,574 records obtained during the breeding period that integrated climatic, topographic and land-cover variables, working at a 2-km spatial resolution with MaxEnt. The model performed well and was very robust; average annual temperature was the most important occurrence predictor (optimum between c.-3°C and 0°; unsuitable conditions below -10° and above 5°). The current European breeding range estimated by BirdLife International was almost three times greater than that classified as potentially suitable by our model. Discrepancies between our model and the distribution estimated by BirdLife International were particularly evident in eastern Europe, where the species is poorly monitored. Southern populations are likely more isolated and at major risk because of global warming. These differences have important implications for the supposed national responsibility for conservation of the species and highlight the need for new investigations on the species in the eastern part of its European range.
Wild birds have been the focus of a great deal of research investigating the epidemiology of zoonotic bacteria and antimicrobial resistance in the environment. While enteric pathogens (e.g. Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli O157:H7) and antimicrobial resistant bacteria of public health importance have been isolated from a wide variety of wild bird species, there is a considerable variation in the measured prevalence of a given microorganism from different studies. This variation may often reflect differences in certain ecological and biological factors such as feeding habits and immune status. Variation in prevalence estimates may also reflect differences in sample collection and processing methods, along with a host of epidemiological inputs related to overall study design. Because the generalizability and comparability of prevalence estimates in the wild bird literature are constrained by their methodological and epidemiological underpinnings, understanding them is crucial to the accurate interpretation of prevalence estimates. The main purpose of this review is to examine methodological and epidemiological inputs to prevalence estimates in the wild bird literature that have a major bearing on their generalizability and comparability. The inputs examined here include sample type, microbiological methods, study design, bias, sample size, definitions of prevalence outcomes and parameters, and control of clustering. The issues raised in this review suggest, among other things, that future prevalence studies of wild birds should avoid opportunistic sampling when possible, as this places significant limitations on the generalizability of prevalence data.
The main objective of “Lifebrain” is to identify the determinants of brain, cognitive and mental (BCM) health at different stages of life. By integrating, harmonising and enriching major European neuroimaging studies across the life span, we will merge fine-grained BCM health measures of more than 5000 individuals. Longitudinal brain imaging, genetic and health data are available for a major part, as well as cognitive and mental health measures for the broader cohorts, exceeding 27,000 examinations in total. By linking these data to other databases and biobanks, including birth registries, national and regional archives, and by enriching them with a new online data collection and novel measures, we will address the risk factors and protective factors of BCM health. We will identify pathways through which risk and protective factors work and their moderators. Exploiting existing European infrastructures and initiatives, we hope to make major conceptual, methodological and analytical contributions towards large integrative cohorts and their efficient exploitation. We will thus provide novel information on BCM health maintenance, as well as the onset and course of BCM disorders. This will lay a foundation for earlier diagnosis of brain disorders, aberrant development and decline of BCM health, and translate into future preventive and therapeutic strategies. Aiming to improve clinical practice and public health we will work with stakeholders and health authorities, and thus provide the evidence base for prevention and intervention.
Left ventricular non-compaction is an architectural abnormality of the myocardium, associated with heart failure, systemic thromboembolism, and arrhythmia. We sought to assess the prevalence of left ventricular non-compaction in patients with single ventricle heart disease and its effects on ventricular function.
Cardiac MRI of 93 patients with single ventricle heart disease (mean age 24 ± 8 years; 55% male) from three tertiary congenital centres was retrospectively reviewed; 65 of these had left ventricular morphology and are the subject of this report. The presence of left ventricular non-compaction was defined as having a non-compacted:compacted (NC:C) myocardial thickness ratio >2.3:1. The distribution of left ventricular non-compaction, ventricular volumes, and function was correlated with clinical data.
The prevalence of left ventricular non-compaction was 37% (24 of 65 patients) with a mean of 4 ± 2 affected segments. The distribution was apical in 100%, mid-ventricular in 29%, and basal in 17% of patients. Patients with left ventricular non-compaction had significantly higher end-diastolic (128 ± 44 versus 104 ± 46 mL/m2, p = 0.047) and end-systolic left ventricular volumes (74 ± 35 versus 56 ± 35 mL/m2, p = 0.039) with lower left ventricular ejection fraction (44 ± 11 versus 50 ± 9%, p = 0.039) compared to those with normal compaction. The number of segments involved did not correlate with ventricular function (p = 0.71).
Left ventricular non-compaction is frequently observed in patients with left ventricle-type univentricular hearts, with predominantly apical and mid-ventricular involvement. The presence of non-compaction is associated with increased indexed end-diastolic volumes and impaired systolic function.
Betavoltaics (BV) cells (or nuclear batteries) have long-lasting power and high volumetric energy densities that open a broad range of applications that are not currently available, especially in low-power electronics for the internet-of-things, internal medical devices, and harsh environments. The introduction of very low-power electronics has opened up a market for the wide and accepted use of BV cells. As BVs have potentially decades-long useful lifetimes and are anticipated to be used in harsh environments, a method to describe accelerated contact aging has been developed. Monte Carlo radiation simulations show that energy can be deposited in the interface 10-50 times faster than real-world applications. The models can be used to design contact aging experiments for BV cell deployments.
Mössbauer instruments were included on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission to determine the mineralogic composition, diversity, and oxidation state of Fe-bearing igneous materials and alteration products. A total of 16 Fe-bearing phases (consistent with bulk-sample chemistry) were identified, including Fe associated with rock-forming minerals (olivine, pyroxene, magnetite, ilmenite, and chromite), Fe3+-bearing oxyhydroxides (nanophase ferric oxide, hematite, and goethite), sulfates (jarosite and an unassigned Fe3+ sulfate phase), and Fe2+ carbonate. Igneous rock types ranged from basalts to ultramafic rocks at Gusev crater. Jarosite-hematite bedrock was pervasive at Meridiani Planum, and concretions winnowed from the outcrop were mineralogically hematite. Because their structures contain hydroxyl, goethite, and jarosite provide mineralogic evidence for aqueous processes on Mars, and jarosite and Fe3+ sulfate are evidence for acid-sulfate processes at both Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum. A population of rocks on the Meridiani Planum outcrop was identified as iron and stony meteorites by the presence of Fe metal (kamacite) and the sulfide troilite. The MER mission demonstrates that Mössbauer spectrometers landed on any Fe-bearing planetary surface provide first-order information on igneous provinces, alteration state, and alteration style and provide well-constrained criteria for sample selection on planetary sample-return missions including planets, moons, and asteroids.
The number of clinical trials in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) has steadily increased in recent years. As the number of studies grows, it is important to define the most empirically useful definitions for response and remission in order to enhance field-wide consistency and comparisons of treatment outcomes across studies. In this study, we aim to operationally define treatment response and remission in BDD.
We pooled data from three randomized controlled trials of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) for BDD (combined n = 153) conducted at four academic sites in Sweden, the USA, and England. Using signal detection methods, we examined the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale modified for BDD (BDD–YBOCS) score that most reliably identified patients who responded to CBT and those who achieved remission from BDD symptoms at the end of treatment.
A BDD–YBOCS reduction ⩾30% was most predictive of treatment response as defined by the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) – Improvement scale (sensitivity 0.89, specificity 0.91, 91% correctly classified). At post-treatment, a BDD–YBOCS score ⩽16 was the best predictor of full or partial symptom remission (sensitivity 0.85, specificity 0.99, 97% correctly classified), defined by the CGI – Severity scale.
Based on these results, we propose conceptual and operational definitions of response and full or partial remission in BDD. A consensus regarding these constructs will improve the interpretation and comparison of future clinical trials, as well as improve communication among researchers, clinicians, and patients. Further research is needed, especially regarding definitions of full remission, recovery, and relapse.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Among social stimuli, the human face is unique. Its properties and features, both static and dynamic, reveal different aspects of a person. Perceivers use this information when they aim, for example, to recognize individuals, identify their social groups, discern their personality, detect their focus of attention, understand their verbal and non-verbal behaviours, and infer their emotions. Emotions that we read from facial actions are crucial to social interaction: They provide information that helps us understand social intentions, how to react to others, and to evaluate the affective meaning of many events that we encounter in our environment. In this chapter, we focus on social appraisal – one of the central mechanisms involved in affective social learning. In particular, we discuss the notion that, through a particular socio-affective inferential mechanism, social appraisal plays a significant role when the emotional expression of person A is used to learn about the value of the emotion expressed by person B. The first section of this chapter provides a brief historical introduction to the relation between contextual information and emotion recognition in faces. Then, we focus on the construct of social appraisal and its manifestation in socio-affective inferential mechanisms involved in emotion recognition. In the third section, we present empirical evidence supporting the automaticity of such socio-affective inferential mechanisms and discuss its implication for the theoretical framework of affective social learning. Next, we discuss the idea that ambiguous situations may be particularly prone to social appraisal taking place. Finally, we discuss how social appraisal, underpinned by a socio-affective inferential mechanism, may be integrated into the affective social learning framework.
We documented the consequences of large-scale habitat loss on a community of Galápagos native bird species on San Cristóbal island, based on point counts conducted between 2010 and 2017. Surprisingly, despite considerable habitat change and a variety of other threats, the landbirds of San Cristóbal have fared much better than on the neighbouring islands Floreana or Santa Cruz. While two species went extinct very soon after human colonisation, the majority have adapted well to subsequent vegetation change and habitat loss. The endemic San Cristóbal Mockingbird Mimus melanotis is more widespread than previously thought and its population seems to be stable since the 1980s. We thus propose a change in IUCN classification from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Near threatened’. We present evidence gained by interviewing locals which suggests that a small population of the Least Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus dubius, classified as ‘Extinct’ by BirdLife International, may have persisted until very recently. Although extensive searches in 2018 and 2019 were unsuccessful, the possibility remains that a few birds may have survived in remote parts of the island. Further searches that involve the general public and other interested parties are therefore deemed necessary.
Air strikes are the signature modality of violence used by NATO militaries. When civilian victims of NATO air strikes have turned to courts in NATO countries, they have generally not been successful. What are the legal techniques and legal knowledges deployed in Western courts that render Western aerial violence legal or extralegal? The article analyzes the responses by European courts to two sets of NATO bombings: the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia and a September 2009 air strike near Kunduz, Afghanistan. The judgments rely on two forms of “legal technicalities”: the drawing of jurisdictional boundaries that exclude the airspace taken up by the bombers and the ground on which victims stood when they were killed as well as particular visual regimes that facilitate not seeing people on the ground as civilians.