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Marteilia refringens causes marteiliosis in oysters, mussels and other bivalve molluscs. This parasite previously comprised two species, M. refringens and Marteilia maurini, which were synonymized in 2007 and subsequently referred to as M. refringens ‘O-type’ and ‘M-type’. O-type has caused mass mortalities of the flat oyster Ostrea edulis. We used high throughput sequencing and histology to intensively screen flat oysters and mussels (Mytilus edulis) from the UK, Sweden and Norway for infection by both types and to generate multi-gene datasets to clarify their genetic distinctiveness. Mussels from the UK, Norway and Sweden were more frequently polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive for M-type (75/849) than oysters (11/542). We did not detect O-type in any northern European samples, and no histology-confirmed Marteilia-infected oysters were found in the UK, Norway and Sweden, even where co-habiting mussels were infected by the M-type. The two genetic lineages within ‘M. refringens’ are robustly distinguishable at species level. We therefore formally define them as separate species: M. refringens (previously O-type) and Marteilia pararefringens sp. nov. (M-type). We designed and tested new Marteilia-specific PCR primers amplifying from the 3’ end of the 18S rRNA gene through to the 5.8S gene, which specifically amplified the target region from both tissue and environmental samples.
Within aquatic habitats, the hyper-abundant Order Crustacea appear to be the predominant host group for members of the Phylum Microsporidia. The musculature, a common site of infection, provides access to biochemical (carbohydrate-rich) and physiological (mitochondria-rich) conditions conducive to prolific parasite replication and maturation. The significant proportion of body plan devoted to skeletal musculature in Crustacea provides the location for a highly efficient intracellular parasite factory. In this study, we utilize histological, ultrastructural and phylogenetic evidence to describe a previously known (Inodosporus octospora) and novel (Ovipleistophora arlo n. sp.) microsporidian parasites infecting the musculature of the common prawn (Palaemon serratus) from the same site, at the same time of year. Despite similar clinical signs of infection, both parasites are otherwise distinct in terms of pathogenesis, morphology and phylogeny. Based upon partial subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rDNA) sequence, we show that that I. octospora may be identical to a Kabatana sp. previously described infecting two-spot goby (Gobiusculus flavescens) in Europe, or at least that Inodosporus and Kabatana genera are synonyms. In addition, SSU rDNA sequence for O. arlo places it within a distinct clade containing Ovipleistophora mirandellae and Ovipleistophora ovariae, both infecting the oocytes of freshwater fish in Europe. Taken together, our data provide strong evidence for trophic-transfer between crustacean and fish hosts for two different microsporidians within clade 5 of the phylum. Furthermore, it demonstrates that morphologically and phylogenetically distinct microsporidians can infect the same tissues of the same host species to impart clinical signs which mimic infection with the other.
The tendency of icebergs to roll or heel over is well-known, and so the potential hazards and difficulties of towing unstable icebergs may be appreciated. It follows that there is a need for both accurate and approximate techniques for determining the stability of an iceberg.
The Paramyxida, closely related to haplosporidians, paradinids, and mikrocytids, is an obscure order of parasitic protists within the class Ascetosporea. All characterized ascetosporeans are parasites of invertebrate hosts, including molluscs, crustaceans and polychaetes. Representatives of the genus Marteilia are the best studied paramyxids, largely due to their impact on cultured oyster stocks, and their listing in international legislative frameworks. Although several examples of microsporidian hyperparasitism of paramyxids have been reported, phylogenetic data for these taxa are lacking. Recently, a microsporidian parasite was described infecting the paramyxid Marteilia cochillia, a serious pathogen of European cockles. In the current study, we investigated the phylogeny of the microsporidian hyperparasite infecting M. cochillia in cockles and, a further hyperparasite, Unikaryon legeri infecting the digenean Meiogymnophallus minutus, also in cockles. We show that rather than representing basally branching taxa in the increasingly replete Cryptomycota/Rozellomycota outgroup (containing taxa such as Mitosporidium and Paramicrosoridium), these hyperparasites instead group with other known microsporidian parasites infecting aquatic crustaceans. In doing so, we erect a new genus and species (Hyperspora aquatica n. gn., n.sp.) to contain the hyperparasite of M. cochillia and clarify the phylogenetic position of U. legeri. We propose that in both cases, hyperparasitism may provide a strategy for the vectoring of microsporidians between hosts of different trophic status (e.g. molluscs to crustaceans) within aquatic systems. In particular, we propose that the paramyxid hyperparasite H. aquatica may eventually be detected as a parasite of marine crustaceans. The potential route of transmission of the microsporidian between the paramyxid (in its host cockle) to crustaceans, and, the ‘hitch-hiking’ strategy employed by H. aquatica is discussed.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in childhood and is associated with substantial deficits in executive functioning and lost academic and occupational attainment. This study evaluates symptoms of ADHD and their association with neurocognitive deficits in a cohort of rural Ugandan children who were born to HIV-infected mothers.
We assessed ADHD symptoms and executive function (including memory and attention) in a non-clinical sample of children born to HIV-infected mothers in rural eastern Uganda. Analyses included assessments of the psychometric properties, factor structure, and convergent and discriminant validity of the ADHD measure (ADHD-Rating Scale-IV); and executive function deficits in children meeting symptom criteria for ADHD.
232 children [54% female; mean age 7.8 years (s.d. 2.0)] were assessed for ADHD and executive function deficits. The ADHD measure showed good internal consistency (α = 0.85.) Confirmatory factor analysis showed an acceptable fit for the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) two-factor model. Subjects meeting DSM-5 symptom criteria for ADHD had worse parent-rated executive function on six out of seven subscales.
Our results demonstrate structural validity of the ADHD measure with this population, strong associations between ADHD symptom severity and poorer executive function, and higher levels of executive function problems in perinatally HIV-exposed Ugandan children with ADHD. These findings suggest that ADHD may be an important neurocognitive disorder associated with executive function problems among children in sub-Saharan African settings where perinatal HIV exposure is common.
There is limited evidence on the acceptability, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of task-sharing interventions to narrow the treatment gap for mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this article is to describe the rationale, aims and methods of the Africa Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health (AFFIRM) collaborative research hub. AFFIRM is investigating strategies for narrowing the treatment gap for mental disorders in sub-Saharan Africa in four areas. First, it is assessing the feasibility, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of task-sharing interventions by conducting randomised controlled trials in Ethiopia and South Africa. The AFFIRM Task-sharing for the Care of Severe mental disorders (TaSCS) trial in Ethiopia aims to determine the acceptability, affordability, effectiveness and sustainability of mental health care for people with severe mental disorder delivered by trained and supervised non-specialist, primary health care workers compared with an existing psychiatric nurse-led service. The AFFIRM trial in South Africa aims to determine the cost-effectiveness of a task-sharing counselling intervention for maternal depression, delivered by non-specialist community health workers, and to examine factors influencing the implementation of the intervention and future scale up. Second, AFFIRM is building individual and institutional capacity for intervention research in sub-Saharan Africa by providing fellowship and mentorship programmes for candidates in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Each year five Fellowships are awarded (one to each country) to attend the MPhil in Public Mental Health, a joint postgraduate programme at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. AFFIRM also offers short courses in intervention research, and supports PhD students attached to the trials in Ethiopia and South Africa. Third, AFFIRM is collaborating with other regional National Institute of Mental Health funded hubs in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, by designing and executing shared research projects related to task-sharing and narrowing the treatment gap. Finally, it is establishing a network of collaboration between researchers, non-governmental organisations and government agencies that facilitates the translation of research knowledge into policy and practice. This article describes the developmental process of this multi-site approach, and provides a narrative of challenges and opportunities that have arisen during the early phases. Crucial to the long-term sustainability of this work is the nurturing and sustaining of partnerships between African mental health researchers, policy makers, practitioners and international collaborators.
Exposure to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is an important risk factor for impaired learning and memory, particularly in males. Although the basis of IUGR-associated learning and memory dysfunction is unknown, potential molecular participants may be insulin-like growth factor 1 (Igf1) and its receptor, IGF1r. We hypothesized that transcript levels and protein abundance of Igf1 and IGF1r in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for learning and memory, would be lower in IUGR male rats than in age-matched male controls at birth (postnatal day 0, P0), at weaning (P21) and adulthood (P120). We also hypothesized that changes in messenger Ribonucleic acid (mRNA) transcript levels and protein abundance would be associated with specific histone marks in IUGR male rats. Lastly, we hypothesized that IUGR male rats would perform poorer on tests of hippocampal function at P120. IUGR was induced by bilateral ligation of the uterine arteries in pregnant dams at embryonic day 19 (term is 21 days). Hippocampal Igf1 mRNA transcript levels and protein abundance were unchanged in IUGR male rats at P0, P21 or P120. At P0 and P120, IGF1r expression was increased in IUGR male rats. At P21, IGF1r expression was decreased in IUGR male rats. Increased IGF1r expression was associated with more histone 3 lysine 4 dimethylation (H3K4Me2) in the promoter region. In addition, IUGR male rats performed poorer on intermediate-term spatial working memory testing at P120. We speculate that altered IGF1r expression in the hippocampus of IUGR male rats may play a role in learning and memory dysfunction later in life.
Recent data provide strong support for a substantial common polygenic contribution (i.e. many alleles each of small effect) to genetic susceptibility for schizophrenia and overlapping susceptibility for bipolar disorder.
To test hypotheses about the relationship between schizophrenia and psychotic types of bipolar disorder.
Using a polygenic score analysis to test whether schizophrenia polygenic risk alleles, en masse, significantly discriminate between individuals with bipolar disorder with and without psychotic features. The primary sample included 1829 participants with bipolar disorder and the replication sample comprised 506 people with bipolar disorder.
The subset of participants with Research Diagnostic Criteria schizoaffective bipolar disorder (n = 277) were significantly discriminated from the remaining participants with bipolar disorder (n = 1552) in both the primary (P = 0.00059) and the replication data-sets (P = 0.0070). In contrast, those with psychotic bipolar disorder as a whole were not significantly different from those with non-psychotic bipolar disorder in either data-set.
Genetic susceptibility influences at least two major domains of psychopathological variation in the schizophrenia–bipolar disorder clinical spectrum: one that relates to expression of a ‘bipolar disorder-like’ phenotype and one that is associated with expression of ‘schizophrenia-like’ psychotic symptoms.
We analyzed the spin-dependent conductivity in the system of paramagnetic quantum dots embedded in semi-insulating matrix, which is due to bound magnetic polaron (BMP) inter-dot hopping. If such a system is characterized by wide distributions of the “bare” electron energies and BMP shifts, variable-range and variable-polaron-barrier hopping can be observed at low temperaturesT. It results in the giant magnetoresistance,ρ(H, T ) governed by a non-activation law, lnρ /α [T0(H)/T ]p, whereT0(H) drops with magnetic field,H. Depending on the conditions, parameters of the material, and the dimensionality of the system, the exponent 0.25 < p < 0.75. This type ofT -dependence has been observed in GaMnAs and MnGe magnetic semiconductors.
Extent of Mn diffusion to the plasma-oxidized AlOx tunnel barrier of magnetic tunnel junction was examined using Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). A magnetic film stack consisting of Ta/AlOx/CoFe/IrMn/NiFe/Ta was deposited with the AlOx layer treated under different plasma oxidation durations. AES depth profiles showed that Mn diffusion to the AlOx/CoFe interface increased with increasing oxidation after annealing at 300°C. XPS analysis indicated that Mn found at the CoFe/AlOx interface in the over-oxidized electrode was in the form of MnO2. Our research suggests that Mn diffusion was accelerated by preferential oxidation of Mn at the CoFe/AlOx interface.
Ion beam sputter deposition (IBSD) techniques for deposition of giant magnetoresistance (GMR) films have been studied using an automated IBSD system designed and built in-house. We have studied the properties of Fe/Cr multilayers deposited using either Ar or Xe ions with the primary ion beam energy varying from 500 eV to 1100 eV. The films were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), magnetization measurements, and magnetoresistance measurements. The maximum value of GMR obtained was 49% (measured at 10K). For the Cr spacer thickness layer chosen, this GMR ratio is larger than the values reported for polycrystalline Fe/Cr multilayers deposited by magnetron sputtering. In general, we have found that GMR ratios for the Fe/Cr multilayers increase with decreasing primary ion beam energy, and are greater for films deposited using Xe ions than for films deposited using Ar ions. We explain the observed effects on the basis of energy distributions of sputtered atoms and backscattered working gas atoms (neutrals). The energy distributions were calculated using TRIM (Transport of Ions in Matter) software based on the Monte Carlo method.
The photogalvanic effects, which require a system lacking inversion symmetry, become possible in SiGe based quantum well (QW) structures due to their built-in asymmetry. We report on observations of the circular and linear photogalvanic effects induced by infrared radiation in (001)-and (113)-orientedp–Si/Si1–xGex QW structures and analyse these observations in view of the possible symmetry of these structures. The circular photogalvanic effect arises due to optical spin orientation of free carriers in QWs with band splitting in k-space which results in a directed motion of free carriers in the plane of the QW. We discuss possible mechanisms that give rise to spin-splitting of the electronic subband states for different symmetries.
It is shown that monopolar optical spin orientation of free carriers in zinc-blende structure based quantum wells (QWs) causes an electric current which reverses its direction upon changing the helicity of the radiation from left to right circular polarization resulting in a circular photogalvanic effect. The monopolar non-equilibrium population of spin-up and spin-down states has been achieved by far-infrared optical excitation ofp- andn-type GaAs/AlGaAs QWs structures. Two methods are introduced allowing to determine spin relaxation times. One is based on the Hanle effect in magnetic field induced circular photogalvanic effect, the other is spin sensitive bleaching of absorption. In contrast to usually applied methods of optical spin orientation, in the present case of terahertz excitation only one kind of charge carriers is involved in spin orientation and relaxation processes.
Epitaxial growth of the ferromagnetic semiconductors GaMnP:C and GaMnN has been investigated by Gas Source Molecular Beam Epitaxy (GSMBE). GaMnP:C films grown with 9.4% Mn are found to be p-type with hysteretic behavior to room temperature. GaMnN films grown at 700 °C with 2.8% Mn show hysteresis at 300 K, while temperature-dependent magnetization measurements indicate that the magnetism may persist to much higher temperatures (> 325 K). Samples of AlGaMnN have also been prepared for the first time that show improved surface morphology compared to GaMnN but which show only paramagnetic behavior.
We propose a new electronic device utilizing resonant tunneling between two magnetic materials. The device is comprised of a semiconductor quantum well sandwiched between two insulating barriers and two ferromagnetic electrodes. The situation in which a resonant level fits in the energy interval where the minority density of states of a ferromagnetic emitter is zero can be considered as an almost ideal spin valve and leads to a great enhancement of magnetoresistance. This situation can be achieved by tuning the width of the quantum well. As an example we will consider GaMnAs/AlAs/GaAs/AlAs/GaMnAs double-barrier heterostructure. We can demonstrate that at a certain thickness of the quantum well and the barriers this system can significantly outperform conventional tunneling junctions comprised of one insulating barrier sandwiched between two ferromagnetic electrodes.
The domains of antiferromagnetic order in elemental chromium can be observed with spatial resolution that is improved by orders of magnitude in comparison with previous techniques using magnetic x-ray scattering with an incident x-ray beam focused to a submicron spot. This use of magnetic x-ray microscopy takes advantage of the incommensurate spin density wave order in Cr to isolate magnetic scattering. The spin polarization dependence of the magnetic x-ray scattering cross section allows the first order spin-flip transition near 120 K to be imaged directly.
The Brillouin light scattering technique is used for the investigation of structural relaxations in glass-forming liquids at high temperatures. From the analysis of the line shapes of Rayleigh and Brillouin peaks, the friction coefficients, which are associated with the atomic scale mechanisms of the structural relaxations in these systems, are determined. Results for a series of K2O-SiO2 compositions, which were chosen as model substances, are reported. As a function of temperature, maxima in the Brillouin line widths were observed, which reflect resonant conditions of molecular scale structural motions, where the relaxation time is of the order of the reciprocal Brillouin frequency shift. Due to thermal activation of the component mobilities, different relaxation mechanisms couple at different temperatures. Typically, at least one strongly absorbing regime is observed in between the glass transition and the equilibrium melting temperatures. The prominence of this regime decreases with increasing silica concentration. The friction coefficients approach the hydrodynamic viscosity in the high temperature limit, when the relaxation times become short in comparison with the time scale of the Brillouin shift.
Increasing circuit densities produce higher metal wiring aspect ratios, and more difficult feature fill for damascene processing. One method of extending the use of sputter deposition to challenging aspect ratios is to collimate the sputtered flux using a collimator plate, and to avoid randomizing the collimated flux by using low process pressures corresponding to long sputtered atom mean free paths. In this paper, we discuss our fabrication of damascene AI-0.5Cu-2Si and AI-2Mg wiring using both collimated and uncollimated sputtering, and our observations of collimation-induced changes in Al alloy electromigration and microstructure. Our experiments show that collimation has only a small effect on AlCuSi, but a large effect on AIMg. Specifically, the median time to electromigration failure for collimated AIMg was ∼10X the value for uncollimated AlMg and ∼6X the values for collimated and uncollimated AlCuSi. Transmission electron microscope and x-ray diffraction analyses of these films show that the collimation-induced improvement in AIMg t50 is associated with the formation of smaller, lower strain grains which are clustered in very well-oriented (111) domains. We propose that the advantageous AlMg microstructure results from enhanced texture produced by aspects of the collimated deposition active in the absence of incoherent precipitates.