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Maternal systemic inflammation during pregnancy may restrict embryo−fetal growth, but the extent of this effect remains poorly established in undernourished populations. In a cohort of 653 maternal−newborn dyads participating in a multi-armed, micronutrient supplementation trial in southern Nepal, we investigated associations between maternal inflammation, assessed by serum α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein, in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, and newborn weight, length and head and chest circumferences. Median (IQR) maternal concentrations in α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein in the first and third trimesters were 0.65 (0.53–0.76) and 0.40 (0.33–0.50) g/l, and 0.56 (0.25–1.54) and 1.07 (0.43–2.32) mg/l, respectively. α1-acid glycoprotein was inversely associated with birth size: weight, length, head circumference and chest circumference were lower by 116 g (P = 2.3 × 10−6), and 0.45 (P = 3.1 × 10−5), 0.18 (P = 0.0191) and 0.48 (P = 1.7 × 10−7) cm, respectively, per 50% increase in α1-acid glycoprotein averaged across both trimesters. Adjustment for maternal age, parity, gestational age, nutritional and socio-economic status and daily micronutrient supplementation failed to alter any association. Serum C-reactive protein concentration was largely unassociated with newborn size. In rural Nepal, birth size was inversely associated with low-grade, chronic inflammation during pregnancy as indicated by serum α1-acid glycoprotein.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
We present results from a multiwavelength study of the blazar PKS 1954–388 at radio, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray energies. A RadioAstron observation at 1.66 GHz in June 2012 resulted in the detection of interferometric fringes on baselines of 6.2 Earth-diameters. This suggests a source frame brightness temperature of greater than 2 × 1012 K, well in excess of both equipartition and inverse Compton limits and implying the existence of Doppler boosting in the core. An 8.4-GHz TANAMI VLBI image, made less than a month after the RadioAstron observations, is consistent with a previously reported superluminal motion for a jet component. Flux density monitoring with the Australia Telescope Compact Array confirms previous evidence for long-term variability that increases with observing frequency. A search for more rapid variability revealed no evidence for significant day-scale flux density variation. The ATCA light-curve reveals a strong radio flare beginning in late 2013, which peaks higher, and earlier, at higher frequencies. Comparison with the Fermi gamma-ray light-curve indicates this followed ~ 9 months after the start of a prolonged gamma-ray high-state—a radio lag comparable to that seen in other blazars. The multiwavelength data are combined to derive a Spectral Energy Distribution, which is fitted by a one-zone synchrotron-self-Compton (SSC) model with the addition of external Compton (EC) emission.
A number of laser facilities coming online all over the world promise the capability of high-power laser experiments with shot repetition rates between 1 and 10 Hz. Target availability and technical issues related to the interaction environment could become a bottleneck for the exploitation of such facilities. In this paper, we report on target needs for three different classes of experiments: dynamic compression physics, electron transport and isochoric heating, and laser-driven particle and radiation sources. We also review some of the most challenging issues in target fabrication and high repetition rate operation. Finally, we discuss current target supply strategies and future perspectives to establish a sustainable target provision infrastructure for advanced laser facilities.
The Herschel Space Observatory was the fourth cornerstone mission in the European Space Agency (ESA) science programme with excellent broad band imaging capabilities in the sub-mm and far-infrared part of the spectrum. Although the spacecraft finished its observations in 2013, it left a large legacy dataset that is far from having been fully scrutinised and still has a large potential for new scientific discoveries. This is specifically true for the photometric observations of the PACS and SPIRE instruments. Some source catalogues have already been produced by individual observing programs, but there are many observations that risk to remain unexplored. To maximise the science return of the SPIRE and PACS data sets, we are in the process of building the Herschel Point Source Catalogue (HPSC) from all primary and parallel mode observations. Our homogeneous source extraction enables a systematic and unbiased comparison of sensitivity across the different Herschel fields that single programs will generally not be able to provide. The catalogue will be made available online through archives like the Herschel Science Archive (HSA), the Infrared Science Archive (IRSA), and the Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center (CDS).
The current study examines the impact of a nutrition rating system on consumers’ food purchases in supermarkets.
Aggregate sales data for 102 categories of food (over 60 000 brands) on a weekly basis for 2005–2007 from a supermarket chain of over 150 stores are analysed. Change in weekly sales of nutritious and less nutritious foods, after the introduction of a nutrition rating system on store shelves, is calculated, controlling for seasonality and time trends in sales.
One hundred and sixty-eight supermarket stores in the north-east USA, from January 2005 to December 2007.
Consumers purchasing goods at the supermarket chain during the study period.
After the introduction of the nutrition ratings, overall weekly food sales declined by an average of 3637 units per category (95 % CI –5961, –1313; P<0·01). Sales of less nutritious foods fell by 8·31 % (95 % CI –13·50, –2·80 %; P=0·004), while sales of nutritious foods did not change significantly (P=0·21); as a result, the percentage of food purchases rated as nutritious rose by 1·39 % (95 % CI 0·58, 2·20 %; P<0·01). The decrease in sales of less nutritious foods was greatest in the categories of canned meat and fish, soda pop, bakery and canned vegetables.
The introduction of the nutrition ratings led shoppers to buy a more nutritious mix of products. Interestingly, it did so by reducing purchases of less nutritious foods rather than by increasing purchases of nutritious foods. In evaluating nutrition information systems, researchers should focus on the entire market basket, not just sales of nutritious foods.
Relatively lower executive functioning is characteristic of individuals with schizophrenia. As low socio-economic status (SES) early in life (i.e. parent SES) has been linked with lower executive skills in healthy children, we hypothesized that parental SES (pSES) would be more strongly related to executive functioning in individuals with schizophrenia than in controls and have a greater impact on prefrontal cortical morphology.
Healthy controls (n = 125) and individuals with schizophrenia (n = 102) completed tests assessing executive functioning and intelligence. The groups were matched on pSES, which was evaluated with the Hollingshead–Redlich scale. A principal components analysis (PCA) was conducted on 10 variables from six executive tests, yielding three specific components (fluency, planning and response inhibition). Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to evaluate effects of pSES on gray matter (GM) concentration.
Lower pSES was associated with lower scores across the three executive functioning components, and a significant group by pSES interaction was observed such that low pSES, in particular, affected individuals with schizophrenia. These effects remained significant when intellectual ability, education and self-SES (sSES) were added as covariates. VBM revealed that lower pSES was associated with reduced GM volume in several anterior brain regions, especially the superior frontal gyrus, in patients but not in controls.
These findings suggest that individuals with schizophrenia may be particularly vulnerable to the adverse impact of low pSES, in terms of both lower executive skills and reduced anterior GM volumes.
Renewable energy sources – including biomass, geothermal, ocean, solar, and wind energy, as well as hydropower – have a huge potential to provide energy services for the world. The renewable energy resource base is sufficient to meet several times the present world energy demand and potentially even 10 to 100 times this demand. This chapter includes an in-depth examination of technologies to convert these renewable energy sources to energy carriers that can be used to fulfill our energy needs, including their installed capacity, the amount of energy carriers they produced in 2009, the current state of market and technology development, their economic and financial feasibility in 2009 and in the near future, as well as major issues they may face relative to their sustainability or implementation.
Present uses of renewable energy
Since 1990 the energy provided from renewable sources worldwide has risen at an average rate of nearly 2% a year, but in recent years this rate has increased to about 5% annually (see Figure 11.1.) As a result, the global contribution of renewables has increased from about 74 EJ in 2005 to about 89 EJ in 2009 and represents now 17% of global primary energy supply (528 EJ, see Figure 11.2). Most of this renewable energy comes from the traditional use of biomass (about 39 EJ) and larger-scale hydropower (about 30 EJ), while other renewable technologies provided about 20 EJ.
Previous studies have suggested that motivational aspects of executive functioning, which may be disrupted in schizophrenia patients with negative symptoms, are mediated in part by the striatum. Negative symptoms have been linked to impaired recruitment of both the striatum and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Here we tested the hypothesis that negative symptoms are associated primarily with striatal dysfunction, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Working-memory load-dependent activation and gray matter volumes of the striatum and DLPFC were measured using a region-of-interest (ROI) approach, in 147 schizophrenia patients and 160 healthy controls. In addition to testing for a linear relationships between striatal function and negative symptoms, we chose a second, categorical analytic strategy in which we compared three demographically and behaviorally matched subgroups: patients with a high burden of negative symptoms, patients with minimal negative symptoms, and healthy subjects.
There were no differences in striatal response magnitudes between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls, but right DLPFC activity was higher in patients than in controls. Negative symptoms were inversely associated with striatal, but not DLPFC, activity. In addition, patients with a high burden of negative symptoms exhibited significantly lower bilateral striatal, but not DLPFC, activation than schizophrenia patients with minimal negative symptoms. Working memory performance, antipsychotic exposure and changes in gray matter volumes did not account for these differences.
These data provide further evidence for a robust association between negative symptoms and diminished striatal activity. Future work will determine whether low striatal activity in schizophrenia patients could serve as a reliable biomarker for negative symptoms.
CNT arrays were synthesized by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and spun into ribbons, which were coated using Atmospheric Pressure Microwave Plasma system. Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) characterization of CNT ribbons indicated the presence of polymer films with CF2 as a repeat unit. Atomic concentration of C, F and O in the coated films was estimated from X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) data. Types of bonding between the elements in the coated films was studied by curve fitting of C 1s XPS spectra.
The aim of this study was to determine the potential association between housing type and multiple drug resistance (MDR) in Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis isolates recovered from 283 laying-hen flocks. In each flock, a cloacal swab from four hens was collected and produced 1102 E. coli and 792 E. faecalis isolates. Broth microdilution was used to test susceptibility to antimicrobials. Country and housing type interacted differently with the MDR levels of both species. In the E. coli model, housing in a raised-floor system was associated with an increased risk of MDR compared to the conventional battery system [odds ratio (OR) 2·12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·13–3·97)]. In the E. faecalis model the MDR levels were lower in free-range systems than in conventional battery cages (OR 0·51, 95% CI 0·27–0·94). In Belgium, ceftiofur-resistant E. coli isolates were more numerous than in the other countries.
Auditory P50 sensory gating deficits correlate with genetic risk for schizophrenia and constitute a plausible endophenotype for the disease. The well-supported role of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neuregulin 1 (NRG1) genes in neurodevelopment and cognition make a strong theoretical case for their influence on the P50 endophenotype.
The possible role of NRG1, COMT Val158Met and BDNF Val66Met gene polymorphisms on the P50 endophenotype was examined in a large sample consisting of psychotic patients, their unaffected relatives and unrelated healthy controls using linear regression analyses.
Although P50 deficits were present in patients and their unaffected relatives, there was no evidence for an association between NRG1, COMT Val158Met or BDNF Val66Met genotypes and the P50 endophenotype.
The evidence from our large study suggests that any such association between P50 indices and NRG1, COMT Val158Met or BDNF Val66Met genotypes, if present, must be very subtle.
Recent advances in ion microprobe instrumentation and techniques have enabled the mapping of C isotope ratios across the whole of a polished plate of a natural diamond from Guaniamo, Venezuela. The resultant map of C isotope variation closely matches the cathodoluminescence image of the growth structure of the diamond and, therefore, indicates an extremely limited scale of diffusion of C atoms sincethetimeof diamond formation. This result is compatible with thelimite d mobility of N atoms shown by theIaAB aggregation stateof thediamond. Inclusions in thediamond aree clogitic, in common with many Guaniamo diamonds with temperatures of formation of around 1200ºC. At such temperature the IaAB aggregation state indicates a mantle residence time on the order of 1 Ga. Such temperatures of formation and mantle residence times are common to many natural diamonds; thus the extremely limited diffusion of C isotopes shown by the mapping indicates that many diamonds will retain the C isotope compositions of their initial formation.
The surface of freshly etched silicon nanoparticles (Si-NPs) was covalently bonded with alkyl groups and esters via thermally induced hydrosilylation. The surface chemistry of functionalized Si-NPs was analyzed at different air exposure time by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). We observed that the stability of functionalized Si-NPs significantly depends on the type of organic ligands attached to their surface. Ester-terminated Si-NPs exhibit higher stability compared to that are bonded with alkyl groups. We show that the use of esters with large spatial configuration causes a lower surface coverage of Si-NPs but at the same time offers better protection against surface oxidation.
An on-farm trial was conducted in the northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria, over a period of five years, with the objectives of quantifying the effects on maize of applying cattle manure in combination with synthetic fertilizer with regard to soil characteristics, yield, plant nutrition and profitability. Maize grain yield was significantly increased by the annual application of cattle manure, compared to maize receiving an equal amount of N through synthetic fertilizer, but only from the third year of the experiment. The application of manure resulted in higher soil Kjel N, Bray-I P and exchangeable K values, and an increased N utilization efficiency by maize, suggesting that yield-limiting factors other than N deficiencies were of lesser importance than in the treatment receiving sole inorganic fertilizer. Nutrients other than N applied via the manure, particularly P, K and/or B, may have contributed to the higher grain yields in treatments receiving manure. A partial budgeting analysis revealed that, over a 5-year period, investments in the application of manure, in combination with synthetic fertilizer, resulted in higher margins than the application of fertilizer alone. However, analyses of marginal rates of return of changes from low urea N to high urea N or additional manure applications suggested that it was more profitable to invest in additional urea than in organic manure in the first two years of the experiment. The results suggested that manure applications, even when applied at relatively high rates, did not serve as a quick fix to on-farm soil fertility problems, but over a longer period, manure applied in combination with synthetic fertilizers did provide a significant and profitable contribution to enhanced cereal production.