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We summarize some of the past year's most important findings within climate change-related research. New research has improved our understanding of Earth's sensitivity to carbon dioxide, finds that permafrost thaw could release more carbon emissions than expected and that the uptake of carbon in tropical ecosystems is weakening. Adverse impacts on human society include increasing water shortages and impacts on mental health. Options for solutions emerge from rethinking economic models, rights-based litigation, strengthened governance systems and a new social contract. The disruption caused by COVID-19 could be seized as an opportunity for positive change, directing economic stimulus towards sustainable investments.
A synthesis is made of ten fields within climate science where there have been significant advances since mid-2019, through an expert elicitation process with broad disciplinary scope. Findings include: (1) a better understanding of equilibrium climate sensitivity; (2) abrupt thaw as an accelerator of carbon release from permafrost; (3) changes to global and regional land carbon sinks; (4) impacts of climate change on water crises, including equity perspectives; (5) adverse effects on mental health from climate change; (6) immediate effects on climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for recovery packages to deliver on the Paris Agreement; (7) suggested long-term changes to governance and a social contract to address climate change, learning from the current pandemic, (8) updated positive cost–benefit ratio and new perspectives on the potential for green growth in the short- and long-term perspective; (9) urban electrification as a strategy to move towards low-carbon energy systems and (10) rights-based litigation as an increasingly important method to address climate change, with recent clarifications on the legal standing and representation of future generations.
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Stronger permafrost thaw, COVID-19 effects and growing mental health impacts among highlights of latest climate science.
There are no data relating to gambling advertisements shown during live sporting events in Ireland. The aim of the present study was to analyze gambling advertisements shown during live sporting events broadcast in Ireland and to assess these advertisements for responsible gambling (RG) practices.
Sixty-five live televised sporting events comprising Association Football (soccer), Rugby Union, and Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) matches broadcast in Ireland were analyzed. Pre-match (up to 30 minutes before kick-off), half-time, and post-match (up to 30 minutes after the match has ended) advertisement breaks were analyzed for gambling advertisements, including in-game fixed (static advertising) and dynamic (electronic advertisements changing at regular intervals) pitch-side advertising. Gambling advertisements were studied for evidence of RG practices.
A total of 3602 television advertisements, 618 dynamic advertisements, and 394 static advertisements were analyzed. Gambling advertisements were shown in 75.4% (n = 49) games and were the seventh most commonly televised advertisement shown overall. Gambling advertising was more common in football (fourth most common advertisement) compared to rugby (12th most common) and GAA (13th most common). Static and dynamic gambling advertising were common during football matches (second and first most common advertisements, respectively). The majority of advertisements contained RG messaging, an age limit, and an RG organization. No advertisements showing responsible gambling tools were observed.
Gambling advertisements are commonly shown during live televised sporting broadcasts in Ireland, especially during live football matches and typically before the adult television watershed. Gambling legislation is required to minimize harm to vulnerable groups including children.
Cognitive impairment has been identified as an important aspect of major depressive disorder (MDD). We tested two theories regarding the association between MDD and cognitive functioning using data from longitudinal cohort studies. One theory, the cognitive reserve hypothesis, suggests that higher cognitive ability in childhood decreases risk of later MDD. The second, the scarring hypothesis, instead suggests that MDD leads to persistent cognitive deficits following disorder onset. We tested both theories in the Dunedin Study, a population-representative cohort followed from birth to midlife and assessed repeatedly for both cognitive functioning and psychopathology. We also used data from the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study to test whether childhood cognitive functioning predicts future MDD risk independent of family-wide and genetic risk using a discordant twin design. Contrary to both hypotheses, we found that childhood cognitive functioning did not predict future risk of MDD, nor did study members with a past history of MDD show evidence of greater cognitive decline unless MDD was accompanied by other comorbid psychiatric conditions. Our results thus suggest that low cognitive functioning is related to comorbidity, but is neither an antecedent nor an enduring consequence of MDD. Future research may benefit from considering cognitive deficits that occur during depressive episodes from a transdiagnostic perspective.
Objectives: Huntington’s disease (HD) is a debilitating genetic disorder characterized by motor, cognitive and psychiatric abnormalities associated with neuropathological decline. HD pathology is the result of an extended chain of CAG (cytosine, adenine, guanine) trinucleotide repetitions in the HTT gene. Clinical diagnosis of HD requires the presence of an otherwise unexplained extrapyramidal movement disorder in a participant at risk for HD. Over the past 15 years, evidence has shown that cognitive, psychiatric, and subtle motor dysfunction is evident decades before traditional motor diagnosis. This study examines the relationships among subcortical brain volumes and measures of emerging disease phenotype in prodromal HD, before clinical diagnosis. Methods: The dataset includes 34 cognitive, motor, psychiatric, and functional variables and five subcortical brain volumes from 984 prodromal HD individuals enrolled in the PREDICT HD study. Using cluster analyses, seven distinct clusters encompassing cognitive, motor, psychiatric, and functional domains were identified. Individual cluster scores were then regressed against the subcortical brain volumetric measurements. Results: Accounting for site and genetic burden (the interaction of age and CAG repeat length) smaller caudate and putamen volumes were related to clusters reflecting motor symptom severity, cognitive control, and verbal learning. Conclusions: Variable reduction of the HD phenotype using cluster analysis revealed biologically related domains of HD and are suitable for future research with this population. Our cognitive control cluster scores show sensitivity to changes in basal ganglia both within and outside the striatum that may not be captured by examining only motor scores. (JINS, 2017, 23, 159–170)
We have assembled a new sample of some of the most FIR-luminous galaxies in the Universe and have imaged them in 1.1 mm dust emission and measured their redshifts 1 < z < 4 via CO emission lines using the 32-m Large Millimeter Telescope / Gran Telescopio Milimétrico (LMT/GTM). Our sample of 31 submm galaxies (SMGs), culled from the Planck and Herschel all-sky surveys, includes 14 of the 21 most luminous galaxies known, with LFIR > 1014L⊙ and SFR > 104M⊙/yr. These extreme inferred luminosities – and multiple / extended 1.1 mm images – imply that most or all are strongly gravitationally lensed, with typical magnification μ ~ 10 × . The gravitational lensing provides two significant benefits: (1) it boosts the S/N, and (2) it allows investigation of star formation and gas processes on sub-kpc scales.
To our knowledge, there are no universal screening tools for substance dependence that (1) were developed using a population-based sample, (2) estimate total risk briefly and inexpensively by incorporating a relatively small number of well-established risk factors, and (3) aggregate risk factors using a simple algorithm. We created a universal screening tool that incorporates these features to identify adolescents at risk for persistent substance dependence in adulthood.
Participants were members of a representative cohort of 1037 individuals born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972–1973 and followed prospectively to age 38 years, with 95% retention. We assessed a small set of childhood and adolescent risk factors: family history of substance dependence, childhood psychopathology (conduct disorder, depression), early exposure to substances, frequent substance use in adolescence, sex, and childhood socioeconomic status. We defined the outcome (persistent substance dependence in adulthood) as dependence on one or more of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, or hard drugs at ⩾3 assessment ages: 21, 26, 32, and 38 years.
A cumulative risk index, a simple sum of nine childhood and adolescent risk factors, predicted persistent substance dependence in adulthood with considerable accuracy (AUC = 0.80).
A cumulative risk score can accurately predict which adolescents in the general population will develop persistent substance dependence in adulthood.
Data drawn from the in-home subsample of the PROSPER intervention dissemination trial were used to investigate the moderation of intervention effects on underage alcohol use by maternal involvement and candidate genes. The primary gene examined was dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4). Variation in this gene and maternal involvement were hypothesized to moderate the influence of intervention status on alcohol use. The PROSPER data used were drawn from 28 communities randomly assigned to intervention or comparison conditions. Participating youth were assessed in five in-home interviews from sixth to ninth grades. A main effect of sixth-grade pretest maternal involvement on ninth-grade alcohol use was found. Neither intervention status nor DRD4 variation was unconditionally linked to ninth-grade drinking. However, moderation analyses revealed a significant three-way interaction among DRD4 status, maternal involvement, and intervention condition. Follow-up analyses revealed that prevention reduced drinking risk, but only for youth with at least one DRD4 seven-repeat allele who reported average or greater pretest levels of maternal involvement. To determine if this conditional pattern was limited to the DRD4 gene, we repeated analyses using the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region site near the serotonin transporter gene. The results for this supplemental analysis revealed a significant three-way interaction similar but not identical to that found for DRD4.
We describe two cases of infant botulism due to Clostridium butyricum producing botulinum type E neurotoxin (BoNT/E) and a previously unreported environmental source. The infants presented at age 11 days with poor feeding and lethargy, hypotonia, dilated pupils and absent reflexes. Faecal samples were positive for C. butyricum BoNT/E. The infants recovered after treatment including botulism immune globulin intravenous (BIG-IV). C. butyricum BoNT/E was isolated from water from tanks housing pet ‘yellow-bellied’ terrapins (Trachemys scripta scripta): in case A the terrapins were in the infant's home; in case B a relative fed the terrapin prior to holding and feeding the infant when both visited another relative. C. butyricum isolates from the infants and the respective terrapin tank waters were indistinguishable by molecular typing. Review of a case of C. butyricum BoNT/E botulism in the UK found that there was a pet terrapin where the infant was living. It is concluded that the C. butyricum-producing BoNT type E in these cases of infant botulism most likely originated from pet terrapins. These findings reinforce public health advice that reptiles, including terrapins, are not suitable pets for children aged <5 years, and highlight the importance of hand washing after handling these pets.
Four rates of aminopyralid (30, 60, 90, and 120 g ae ha−1 [0.4, 0.9, 1.3, and 1.8 oz ae acre−1]) were compared for their ability to reduce abundance of nonnative dicot species and favor native species in an invaded Cascade Mountain meadow near Trout Lake, WA. Treatments were applied in two replicated studies (June 2009 and 2010), and foliar cover and species richness were monitored for two years. First-year control of nonnative dicots from application of 30 g ae ha−1 of aminopyralid (69%) was greater than that of native dicots (29%); whereas, significant control of both species groups occurred at the higher rates. By the second year after treatment, absolute differences in cover between treated and non-treated plots averaged −17% and −21% for native and nonnative dicots, respectively, and +1% and +27% for native and nonnative monocots, respectively. First-year control of Canada thistle and oxeye daisy was greater after treatment in 2009 (88% and 90%, respectively) than after treatment in 2010 (56% and 55%, respectively), probably because lower spring temperatures in 2010 limited vegetation development and plant susceptibility to aminopyralid. Cover of Kentucky bluegrass and sheep fescue averaged 20% and 6% greater, respectively, in treated plots than in non-treated plots. Application of 30 g ae ha−1 of aminopyralid had no detectable effect on second-year richness of native and nonnative species relative to non-treated plots; however, higher rates caused 24% to 43% reductions in richness of each species group. Research results suggest that application of aminopyralid at 30 g ae ha−1 has the potential to reduce abundance of nonnative dicot species in similar meadow communities of the Pacific Northwest with little or no negative impacts to abundance and richness of native species. As a potential strategy to limit the subsequent spread of Kentucky bluegrass, a grass herbicide, such as fluazifop or sethoxydim, could be added to the treatment.
To date evidence of the relationship between cognition and Aβ amyloid during the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) has been inconsistent. This study aimed to describe the nature and magnitude of the relationship between Aβ amyloid and cognitive performance of individuals without dementia.
Composite cognitive measures were developed from the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle study neuropsychological test battery using data from 768 healthy older adults and 133 adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A subgroup of this sample (174 healthy, 53 MCI) underwent neuroimaging for Aβ amyloid.
Within the MCI group individuals with high Aβ amyloid showed selective impairment for memory compared with those with low Aβ amyloid; however, this difference was not evident in the healthy group.
The current findings provide further evidence of the relationship between Aβ amyloid and cognition, with memory impairment being the primary symptom of the underlying disease during the prodromal phases of AD.
To understand the fate and impact of gas produced within a repository for radioactive waste, a series of laboratory and field scale experiments have been performed on the Callovo-Oxfordian claystone (COx), the proposed host rock for the French repository. Results show the movement of gas is through a localized network of pathways, whose properties vary temporarily and spatially within the claystone. Significant evidence exists from detailed laboratory studies for the movement of gas along highly unstable pathways, whose aperture and geometry vary as a function of local stress, gas and porewater pressures. The coupling of these parameters results in the development of significant time-dependent effects, impacting on all aspects of COx behaviour, from gas breakthrough time, to the control of deformation processes. Variations in gas entry, breakthrough and steady-state pressures are indicative of microstructural heterogeneity which exerts an important control on the movement of gas. The localization of gas flow is also evident in preliminary results from the large scale gas injection test (PGZ) where gas flow is initially focussed within the excavation damaged zone (EDZ), which acts as a preferential pathway for gas. Numerical models based on conventional two-phase flow theory are unable to adequately describe the detailed observations from laboratory tests.
A new data analysis toolkit which is suitable for the analysis of large-scale, long-term datasets and the phenomenon/anomalies they represent is described. The toolkit aims to expose and quantify scientific information in a number of forms contained within a time-series based dataset in a quantitative and rigorous manner, reducing the subjectivity of observations made, thereby supporting the scientific observer. The features contained within the toolkit include the ability to handle non-uniform datasets, time-series component determination, frequency component determination, feature/event detection and characterization/parameterization of local behaviours. An application is presented of a case study dataset arising from the 'Lasgit' experiment.
The significance of the potential impacts of microbial activity on the transport properties of host rocks for geological repositories is an area of active research. Most recent work has focused on granitic environments. This paper describes pilot studies investigating changes in transport properties that are produced by microbial activity in sedimentary rock environments in northern Japan. For the first time, these short experiments (39 days maximum) have shown that the denitrifying bacteria, Pseudomonas denitrificans, can survive and thrive when injected into flow-through column experiments containing fractured diatomaceous mudstone and synthetic groundwater under pressurized conditions. Although there were few significant changes in the fluid chemistry, changes in the permeability of the biotic column, which can be explained by the observed biofilm formation, were quantitatively monitored. These same methodologies could also be adapted to obtain information from cores originating from a variety of geological environments including oil reservoirs, aquifers and toxic waste disposal sites to provide an understanding of the impact of microbial activity on the transport of a range of solutes, such as groundwater contaminants and gases (e.g. injected carbon dioxide).
Intraspecific genetic variation may contribute significantly to invasiveness and control problems, but has been characterized to date in relatively few invasive weed species. We examined 56 intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) loci in 220 individuals from 11 invading populations of yellow toadflax sampled across five western states. All populations showed high levels of genetic diversity. Estimated values for Shannon's diversity measure ranged from 0.217 to 0.388, and for expected heterozygosity from 0.178 to 0.260. Nei's total gene diversity index (HT), on the basis of all individuals across all populations, was 0.267. Partitioning of genetic variance using analysis of molecular variance revealed 1.7% of genetic variation among regional population groups, 29.1% among populations within groups, and 69.2% within populations, consistent with expectations for an outcrossing species but suggesting little geographic differentiation. Pairs of adjacent individuals identical at all ISSR loci that appeared to be ramets of a single clone were detected in only one population. This indicates that patch expansion in yellow toadflax is driven more by sexual reproduction via seed than by rhizomatous clonal spread, at least at the spatial scale of sampling for this study. Eight populations had significant values for Mantel's R at P = 0.05, suggesting some fine-scale positive genetic structuring, possibly from restricted gene flow. Population clustering on the basis of Nei's genetic distance between populations and unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean did not reflect geographic location. It is likely that multiple introductions of this species have occurred across the Intermountain West, followed by extensive genetic recombination. High levels of genetic diversity within yellow toadflax populations pose management challenges, as already seen in reports of variable response to herbicide application and limited impacts of biocontrol agent releases.
The impact of anxiety disorders has not been well delineated in prospective studies of bipolar disorder.
To examine the association between anxiety and course of bipolar disorder, as defined by mood episodes, quality of life and role functioning.
A thousand out-patients with bipolar disorder were followed prospectively for 1 year.
A current comorbid anxiety disorder (present in 31.9% of participants) was associated with fewer days well, a lower likelihood of timely recovery from depression, risk of earlier relapse, lower quality of life and diminished role function over 1 year of prospective study. The negative impact was greater with multiple anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders, including those present during relative euthymia, predicted a poorer bipolar course. The detrimental effects of anxiety were not simply a feature of mood state. Treatment studies targeting anxiety disorders will help to clarify the nature of the impact of anxiety on bipolar course.