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In 785 mother–child (50% male) pairs from a longitudinal epidemiological birth cohort, we investigated associations between inflammation-related epigenetic polygenic risk scores (i-ePGS), environmental exposures, cognitive function, and child and adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems. We examined prenatal and postnatal effects. For externalizing problems, one prenatal effect was found: i-ePGS at birth associated with higher externalizing problems (ages 7–15) indirectly through lower cognitive function (age 7). For internalizing problems, we identified two effects. For a prenatal effect, i-ePGS at birth associated with higher internalizing symptoms via continuity in i-ePGS at age 7. For a postnatal effect, higher postnatal adversity exposure (birth through age 7) associated with higher internalizing problems (ages 7–15) via higher i-ePGS (age 7). Hence, externalizing problems were related mainly to prenatal effects involving lower cognitive function, whereas internalizing problems appeared related to both prenatal and postnatal effects. The present study supports a link between i-ePGS and child and adolescent mental health.
Rapid weight gain in infancy and low levels of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) at birth are associated with increased adiposity later in life. The association between placental LCPUFA delivery and weight gain in infancy is poorly understood. We sought to determine the relationships between maternal phenotype, placental fatty acid transporter expression and offspring growth patterns over the first 6 months. Placental tissue and cord blood were collected at term delivery from women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Offspring body composition measurements were recorded 1 day and 6 months after birth. Body mass index (BMI) z-scores were determined using World Health Organization 2006 reference data. Body phenotype patterns were compared among offspring who had an increase in BMI z-score and those who had a decrease. High skinfold thickness at birth and positive change in BMI z-scores during infancy were associated with low neonatal n-3 LCPUFA plasma levels (r=−0.46, P=0.046) and high saturated fatty acids levels (r=0.49, P=0.034). Growth of skinfolds over 6 months of age was associated with placental fatty acid transporter gene expression. Change in BMI z-score in the first 6 months of life correlated with arm muscle area growth, a measure of lean mass (r=0.62, P=0.003), but not with growth in skinfold thickness. Early infancy weight gain was associated with poor plasma LCPUFA status at birth, and fat deposition in infancy was related to changes in placental lipid handling. Thus, neonatal fatty acid profiles may influence the trajectory of infant growth and fat and lean mass deposition.
Although repeatedly associated with white matter microstructural alterations, bipolar disorder (BD) has been relatively unexplored using complex network analysis. This method combines structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to model the brain as a network and evaluate its topological properties. A group of highly interconnected high-density structures, termed the ‘rich-club’, represents an important network for integration of brain functioning. This study aimed to assess structural and rich-club connectivity properties in BD through graph theory analyses.
We obtained structural and diffusion MRI scans from 42 euthymic patients with BD type I and 43 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Weighted fractional anisotropy connections mapped between cortical and subcortical structures defined the neuroanatomical networks. Next, we examined between-group differences in features of graph properties and sub-networks.
Patients exhibited significantly reduced clustering coefficient and global efficiency, compared with controls globally and regionally in frontal and occipital regions. Additionally, patients displayed weaker sub-network connectivity in distributed regions. Rich-club analysis revealed subtly reduced density in patients, which did not withstand multiple comparison correction. However, hub identification in most participants indicated differentially affected rich-club membership in the BD group, with two hubs absent when compared with controls, namely the superior frontal gyrus and thalamus.
This graph theory analysis presents a thorough investigation of topological features of connectivity in euthymic BD. Abnormalities of global and local measures and network components provide further neuroanatomically specific evidence for distributed dysconnectivity as a trait feature of BD.
There is now a well-established link between childhood adversity (CA) and schizophrenia. Similar structural abnormalities to those found in schizophrenia including alterations in grey-matter volume have also been shown in those who experience CA.
We examined whether global estimates of cortical thickness or surface area were altered in those familial high-risk subjects who had been referred to a social worker or the Children's Panel compared to those who had not.
We found that the cortical surface area of those who were referred to the Children's Panel was significantly smaller than those who had not been referred, but cortical thickness was not significantly altered. There was also an effect of social work referral on cortical surface area but not on thickness.
Cortical surface area increases post-natally more than cortical thickness. Our findings suggest that CA can influence structural changes in the brain and it is likely to have a greater impact on cortical surface area than on cortical thickness.
Interpretations of ancient wall-technologies in the Libyan pre-desert are briefly reviewed. The forms, patterns, distributions and geological/geomorphic/hydrologic relationships of walls in a series of study areas are described and interpreted with the aid of a new, non-genetic, ‘wall-technology’ classification. The remarkable hydrological and geomorphic insights of their constructors are clear. Several wall types are shown to have been primarily concerned with functions other than water control, although this aspect is usually dominant. In some cases the location of the walls appears to have been likely to exacerbate the perennial problems of soil erosion and gullying, in others walls appear to have been constructed specifically to control soil erosion. These data have implications for reconstructing past land use and evaluating the degree of success or failure experienced in particular situations.
This article describes the interdisciplinary methods developed by the UNESCO Libyan Valleys Survey in connection with the study of ancient agriculture. These methods combine the techniques of settlement archaeology with those of the earth sciences and palaeoeconomics. The interactive nature of the enquiry does not resolve all the questions, but it can help to re-shape those questions and suggest new lines of enquiry. The example of the Wadi Mansur is used here to demonstrate the application of both conventional and new techniques and the contribution this can make to our appreciation of ancient land use in an arid zone. This provisional statement of results describes the geomorphology of the wadi, the settlement archaeology, ceramic dating evidence, palaeoeconomic data (including palynological evidence), wadi wall technology and typology.
Digital image data from the Landsat satellite Multispectral scanner have been analysed using a Dipex Image Processor. The image data were classified by a clustering algorithm to produce a thematic map for trial use in areas of archaeological interest. The archaeological, pedological, geomorphic and geological importance of these new data are discussed in the context of ground data obtained during the UNESCO April 1984 field season.
The sedimentological properties of samples collected from exposures in wadi floors are reported. These studies emphasise the natural variability of erosional and depositional processes in this environment. Some of the sedimentological changes observed appear to be of archaeological significance. They indicate that in the recent geological past, either increased flooding occurring as a result of natural environmental fluctuations, or irrigation practice, has caused the elevation of saline groundwaters in the wadi floor sediments to levels which might have had deleterious effects on the contemporary agricultural system. Sites at the margins of the wadis are more sensitive to such changes than those more centrally located on the wadi floor. No evidence for significant climatic change at the times of the extensive Romano-Libyan occupation of the pre-desert region has been detected. There is, however, evidence of much wetter periods in the more distant past, which have left a legacy of mature soils on the basalt plateaus, which may have been extensively used in the Romano-Libyan period.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Late preterm births constitute the majority of preterm births. However, most evidence suggesting that preterm birth predicts the risk of mental disorders comes from studies on earlier preterm births. We examined if late preterm birth predicts the risks of severe mental disorders from early to late adulthood. We also studied whether adulthood mental disorders are associated with post-term birth or with being born small (SGA) or large (LGA) for gestational age, which have been previously associated with psychopathology risk in younger ages.
Of 12 597 Helsinki Birth Cohort Study participants, born 1934–1944, 664 were born late preterm, 1221 post-term, 287 SGA, and 301 LGA. The diagnoses of mental disorders were identified from national hospital discharge and cause of death registers from 1969 to 2010. In total, 1660 (13.2%) participants had severe mental disorders.
Individuals born late preterm did not differ from term-born individuals in their risk of any severe mental disorder. However, men born late preterm had a significantly increased risk of suicide. Post-term birth predicted significantly increased risks of any mental disorder in general and particularly of substance use and anxiety disorders. Individuals born SGA had significantly increased risks of any mental and substance use disorders. Women born LGA had an increased risk of psychotic disorders.
Although men born late preterm had an increased suicide risk, late preterm birth did not exert widespread effects on adult psychopathology. In contrast, the risks of severe mental disorders across adulthood were increased among individuals born SGA and individuals born post-term.
Cochlear implant surgery is increasingly being performed through a small incision because of the benefits associated with this technique, such as fewer wound complications. Efforts have been made to maximise surgical exposure in order to improve this evolving technique; this includes the development and use of new retractors. For instance, elasticated stay hooks can retract skin in a radial fashion and they are less bulky than traditional retractors. These hooks are usually attached directly to surgical drapes or to a disposable retractor ring; there are disadvantages to both of these methods.
This paper describes a technique using a laryngeal suspension bar in which the bar acts as a fixed structure to which these elasticated stay hooks can be attached.
This technique was found to be safer, cheaper and more effective for obtaining optimal surgical exposure compared with a technique whereby the stay hooks are attached directly to the drapes or to a disposable retractor ring.
White matter (WM) abnormalities are proposed as potential endophenotypic markers of bipolar disorder (BD). In a diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) voxel-based analysis (VBA) study of families multiply affected with BD, we previously reported that widespread abnormalities of fractional anisotropy (FA) are associated with both BD and genetic liability for illness. In the present study, we further investigated the endophenotypic potential of WM abnormalities by applying DTI tractography to specifically investigate tracts implicated in the pathophysiology of BD.
Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were acquired from 19 patients with BD type I from multiply affected families, 21 of their unaffected first-degree relatives and 18 healthy volunteers. DTI tractography was used to identify the cingulum, uncinate fasciculus (UF), arcuate portion of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF), corpus callosum, and the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC). Regression analyses were conducted to investigate the effect of participant group and genetic liability on FA and radial diffusivity (RD) in each tract.
We detected a significant effect of group on both FA and RD in the cingulum, SLF, callosal splenium and ILF driven by reduced FA and increased RD in patients compared to controls and relatives. Increasing genetic liability was associated with decreased FA and increased RD in the UF, and decreased FA in the SLF, among patients.
WM microstructural abnormalities in limbic, temporal and callosal pathways represent microstructural abnormalities associated with BD whereas alterations in the SLF and UF may represent potential markers of endophenotypic risk.
Maternal experience of childhood maltreatment and maternal antenatal depression
are both associated with offspring childhood maltreatment and offspring adjustment
problems. We have investigated the relative impact of maternal childhood
maltreatment and exposure to depression in utero on offspring
maltreatment and psychopathology.
The sample included 125 families from the South London Child Development Study. A
prospective longitudinal design was used. Data on maternal childhood maltreatment,
maternal antenatal depression (36 weeks of pregnancy), offspring childhood
maltreatment (age 11 years) and offspring adolescent antisocial behaviour and
depression (ages 11 and 16 years) were obtained from parents and offspring through
Mothers who experienced childhood maltreatment were significantly more likely to
be depressed during pregnancy [odds ratio (OR) 10.00]. Offspring of mothers who
experienced only childhood maltreatment or only antenatal depression were no more
at risk of being maltreated or having psychopathology; however, offspring of
mothers who experienced both maternal childhood maltreatment and antenatal
depression were exposed to significantly greater levels of childhood maltreatment
and exhibited significantly higher levels of adolescent antisocial behaviour
compared with offspring not so exposed. Furthermore, maternal childhood
maltreatment accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in offspring
childhood maltreatment in only those offspring exposed to depression in
Maternal childhood maltreatment and maternal antenatal depression are highly
associated. The co-occurrence of both insults significantly increases the risk of
offspring adversity. The antenatal period is an optimum period to identify
vulnerable women and to provide interventions.
The combination of lateral patterning techniques with refined molecular beam epitaxy methods will give considerable opportunities for the fabrication and study of extended nanostructures in the coming decade. A first target will be the understanding and exploitation of a host of quantum transport phenomena discovered in the last few years. The prospect of practicable quantum devices and circuits which utilise the coherent wave properties of the electron remains problematic but a range of new devices which exploit the Coulomb blockade is under investigation. The latter hold promise for high temperature operation and strong immunity against quantum fluctuations. The next decade should see the first exploration of the granular electronic limit in which one carrier might be expected to represent one bit of information. The granular electronic regime will provide an important arena for the resolution of fundamental controversies in quantum mechanics.
The mechanical behavior of non-metalized GaAs wafer material at different temperatures were evaluated. The material properties of GaAs, including the modulus of elasticity, the modulus of rupture, the critical value of stress intensity factor, and the coefficient of thermal expansion, were experimentally determined over various temperature ranges.