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The causes of the beaching and death of sea turtles have not been fully clarified and continue to be studied. Mild, moderate and severe lesions caused by spirorchiidiosis have been seen for decades in different organs and were recently defined as the cause of death of a loggerhead turtle. In the present study, eyes and optic nerves were analysed in green sea turtles with spirorchiidiosis and no other debilitating factors. Injuries to the optic nerve and choroid layer were described in 235 animals (90%) infected with spirorchiids. Turtles with ocular spirorchiidiosis are approximately three times more likely to be cachectic than turtles with spirorchiidiosis without ocular involvement.
Pathological worry is a hallmark feature of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), associated with dysfunctional emotional processing. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is involved in the regulation of such processes, but the link between vmPFC emotional responses and pathological v. adaptive worry has not yet been examined.
To study the association between worry and vmPFC activity evoked by the processing of learned safety and threat signals.
In total, 27 unmedicated patients with GAD and 56 healthy controls (HC) underwent a differential fear conditioning paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging.
Compared to HC, the GAD group demonstrated reduced vmPFC activation to safety signals and no safety–threat processing differentiation. This response was positively correlated with worry severity in GAD, whereas the same variables showed a negative and weak correlation in HC.
Poor vmPFC safety–threat differentiation might characterise GAD, and its distinctive association with GAD worries suggests a neural-based qualitative difference between healthy and pathological worries.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
A significant minority of people presenting with a major depressive episode (MDE) experience co-occurring subsyndromal hypo/manic symptoms. As this presentation may have important prognostic and treatment implications, the DSM–5 codified a new nosological entity, the “mixed features specifier,” referring to individuals meeting threshold criteria for an MDE and subthreshold symptoms of (hypo)mania or to individuals with syndromal mania and subthreshold depressive symptoms. The mixed features specifier adds to a growing list of monikers that have been put forward to describe phenotypes characterized by the admixture of depressive and hypomanic symptoms (e.g., mixed depression, depression with mixed features, or depressive mixed states [DMX]). Current treatment guidelines, regulatory approvals, as well the current evidentiary base provide insufficient decision support to practitioners who provide care to individuals presenting with an MDE with mixed features. In addition, all existing psychotropic agents evaluated in mixed patients have largely been confined to patient populations meeting the DSM–IV definition of “mixed states” wherein the co-occurrence of threshold-level mania and threshold-level MDE was required. Toward the aim of assisting clinicians providing care to adults with MDE and mixed features, we have assembled a panel of experts on mood disorders to develop these guidelines on the recognition and treatment of mixed depression, based on the few studies that have focused specifically on DMX as well as decades of cumulated clinical experience.
The possibility that life, primitive or advanced, might exist in other places of the Universe has occupied the minds of scientists and lay-people for thousands of years. It is only in the last 25 years, however, that we have finally begun to search for answers to this profound question using experimental techniques. The goal of Astronomy is to understand the origin and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies and of the Universe as a whole. The appearance of life is an integral part of this whole process and our picture of the Universe will never be complete until we will comprehend also the significance of life in the process of Cosmic Evolution.
We present a new algorithm to derive the mass-ratio distribution of an observed sample of spectroscopic binaries. The algorithm replaces each binary of unknown inclination by an ensemble of virtual systems with a distribution of inclinations. We show that contrary to a widely held assumption the orientations of each virtual ensemble should not be distributed randomly in space. A few iterations are needed to find the true mass-ratio distribution. Numerical simulations clearly demonstrate the advantage of the new algorithm over the classical method. We have applied the new algorithm to the recent large sample of G-dwarf spectroscopic binaries, and got a uniform or perhaps a slightly rising linear mass-ratio distribution. This result suggests that the mass-ratio distributions of short-period and long-period binaries are substantially different. It also indicates that the mass distribution of the secondary stars is not the same as that of the single stars.
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.
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.
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England and Wales recommends the combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy for the treatment of moderate to severe depression. However, the cost-effectiveness analysis on which these recommendations are based has not included psychotherapy as monotherapy as a potential option. For this reason, we aimed to update, augment and refine the existing economic evaluation.
We constructed a decision analytic model with a 27-month time horizon. We compared pharmacotherapy with cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) and combination treatment for moderate to severe depression in secondary care from a healthcare service perspective. We reviewed the literature to identify relevant evidence and, where possible, synthesized evidence from clinical trials in a meta-analysis to inform model parameters.
The model suggested that CBT as monotherapy was most likely to be the most cost-effective treatment option above a threshold of £22 000 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). It dominated combination treatment and had an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £20 039 per QALY compared with pharmacotherapy. There was significant decision uncertainty in the probabilistic and deterministic sensitivity analyses.
Contrary to previous NICE guidance, the results indicated that even for those patients for whom pharmacotherapy is acceptable, CBT as monotherapy may be a cost-effective treatment option. However, this conclusion was based on a limited evidence base, particularly for combination treatment. In addition, this evidence cannot easily be transferred to a primary care setting.
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.
Self-report questionnaires are frequently used in clinical and epidemiologic studies to assess post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A number of studies have evaluated these scales relative to clinician administered structured interviews; however, there has been no formal evaluation of their performance relative to non-clinician administered epidemiologic assessments such as the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). We examined the diagnostic performance of two self-report PTSD scales, the PTSD checklist (PCL) and the Vietnam Era Twin Registry (VET-R) PTSD scale, compared to the CIDI.
Data were derived from a large epidemiologic follow-up study of PTSD in 5141 Vietnam Era Veterans. Measures included the PCL, VET-R PTSD scale and CIDI. For both the PCL and VET-R PTSD scale, ROC curves, areas under the curve (AUC), sensitivity, specificity, % correctly classified, likelihood ratios, predictive values and quality estimates were generated based on the CIDI PTSD diagnosis.
For the PCL and VET-R PTSD scale the AUCs were 89.0 and 87.7%, respectively. Optimal PCL cutpoints varied from the 31–33 range (when considering sensitivity and specificity) to the 36–56 range (when considering quality estimates). Similar variations were found for the VET-R PTSD, ranging from 31 (when considering sensitivity and specificity) to the 37–42 range (when considering quality estimates).
The PCL and VET-R PTSD scale performed similarly using a CIDI PTSD diagnosis as the criterion. There was a range of acceptable cutpoints, depending on the metric used, but most metrics suggested a lower PCL cutpoint than in previous studies in Veteran populations.
It is paramount to understand the epidemiology of chronic hepatitis B to inform national policies on vaccination and screening/testing as well as cost-effectiveness studies. However, information on the national (Scottish) prevalence of chronic hepatitis B by ethnic group is lacking. To estimate the number of people with chronic hepatitis B in Scotland in 2009 by ethnicity, gender and age, the test data from virology laboratories in the four largest cities in Scotland were combined with estimates of the ethnic distribution of the Scottish population. Ethnicity in both the test data and the Scottish population was derived using a name-based ethnicity classification software (OnoMAP; Publicprofiler Ltd, UK). For 2009, we estimated 8720 [95% confidence interval (CI) 7490–10 230] people aged ⩾15 years were living with chronic hepatitis B infection in Scotland. This corresponds to 0·2% (95% CI 0·17–0·24) of the Scottish population aged ⩾15 years. Although East and South Asians make up a small proportion of the Scottish population, they make up 44% of the infected population. In addition, 75% of those infected were aged 15–44 years with almost 60% male. This study quantifies for the first time on a national level the burden of chronic hepatitis B infection by ethnicity, gender and age. It confirms the importance of promoting and targeting ethnic minority groups for hepatitis B testing.
In this paper, a novel set of macros with line/space width from 128nm/128nm, 64nm/64nm to 32nm/32nm was designed and installed on 20nm technology-node hardware. The pitch-dependent pad erosion post Cu CMP was studied by atomic-force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) quantitatively on these macros. Two methods were investigated to reduce the difference between pitch- and density-induced CMP non-uniformity. The first is using new scheme of partial Cu plating process followed by SiCNH insulator deposition and then CMP. The second is through the selection of slurries and pads. Both results are discussed in this paper.