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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.
Early-onset conduct problems (CP) are a key predictor of adult criminality and poor mental health. While previous studies suggest that both genetic and environmental risks play an important role in the development of early-onset CP, little is known about potential biological processes underlying these associations. In this study, we examined prospective associations between DNA methylation (cord blood at birth) and trajectories of CP (4–13 years), using data drawn from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Methylomic variation at seven loci across the genome (false discovery rate < 0.05) differentiated children who go on to develop early-onset (n = 174) versus low (n = 86) CP, including sites in the vicinity of the monoglyceride lipase (MGLL) gene (involved in endocannabinoid signaling and pain perception). Subthreshold associations in the vicinity of three candidate genes for CP (monoamine oxidase A [MAOA], brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF], and FK506 binding protein 5 [FKBP5]) were also identified. Within the early-onset CP group, methylation levels of the identified sites did not distinguish children who will go on to persist versus desist in CP behavior over time. Overall, we found that several of the identified sites correlated with prenatal exposures, and none were linked to known genetic methylation quantitative trait loci. Findings contribute to a better understanding of epigenetic patterns associated with early-onset CP.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
In Ontario, Canada, the number of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) cases increased over the years 2005–2010. A population-based case-control study was undertaken from January to August 2011 for the purpose of identifying risk factors for acquiring illness due to SE within Ontario. A total of 199 cases and 241 controls were enrolled. After adjustment for confounders, consuming any poultry meat [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2·24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·31–3·83], processed chicken (aOR 3·32, 95% CI 1·26–8·76) and not washing hands following handling of raw eggs (OR 2·82, 95% CI 1·48–5·37) were significantly associated with SE infection. The population attributable fraction was 46% for any poultry meat consumption and 10% for processed chicken. Poultry meat continues to be identified as a risk factor for SE illness. Control of SE at source, as well as proper food handling practices, are required to reduce the number of SE cases.
This study examined whether there were associations between individual measures of socio-economic status (SES) and the 12-month prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) in representative samples of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Whites in the USA.
The data used were from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Studies (CPES).
There was an association between household income and MDD among Whites. However, the association was not statistically significant. Statistically significant associations were present between educational attainment and MDD among Whites. Among both Whites and Latinos, being out of the labor force was significantly associated with MDD. In analyses by nativity, being out of the labor force was significantly associated with MDD among US-born and foreign-born Latinos.
Significant associations between various measures of SES and MDD were consistently observed among White and, in some cases, Latino populations. Future studies should continue to examine sociopsychological factors related to SES that increase the risk of MDD among people from racial-ethnic communities.
An observer of the United Kingdom financial services scene over the last few years will have noticed the rising numbers of closed with-profits funds and final salary schemes closed to new entrants. Closed funds were not previously unheard of, but until recently most life insurance and pensions actuaries would not have come across them in their daily work.
There can be no doubt that, when compared to open funds, the closed variety have different characteristics and their financial management requires different approaches. Life and pensions actuaries tend to operate in their own separate fields, largely oblivious to what their fellow actuaries in other practice areas are doing. The growth of closed funds gives the two major branches of the U.K. actuarial profession an ideal opportunity to explore what we can learn from each other.
I am very grateful to the authors for tackling this subject on behalf of the profession and hope that it will be the first of many examples of useful cross-fertilisation of ideas.
The Local Group Census is a narrowband survey of all the galaxies of the Local Group (LG) with Dec ≥ −30°, being carried out as part of the Isaac Newton Group's Wide Field Survey programme. Observations are being obtained with the Wide Field Camera at the 2.5m Isaac Newton telescope, equipped with a mosaic of four 2k x 4k EEV CCDs covering a field of view of 34′ x 34′.
The ability to fabricate sensitive and stable gas sensors which can detect low concentrations of gaseous species is necessary for many critical applications such as environmental safety monitoring. Although highly sensitive gas sensors have been produced by dispersion of catalytic metals on oxide sensing films, fouling of catalysts can cause instability in sensor performance. We have examined an approach which involves fine tuning the microstructure of tin oxide sensing films by vapor depositing an ultra-thin film of seed layer metals prior to tin oxide deposition. Metals including Fe, Sn and Pt have been investigated for their influence on tin oxide growth. Systematic studies of the growth mechanism and microstructure of CVD tin oxide using four-element arrays of “microhotplates” have revealed a number of different film morphologies which result from seeding. Enhancements in sensitivity for seeded growth relative to unseeded growth suggest a method of producing sensitive gas sensors which may not require the addition of surface catalytic layers. In this study we also demonstrate the use of microhotplates not only as sensing devices, but as excellent platforms for materials research.
Turning international agreement into national law has never been rapid or simple. Each country has its own parliamentary procedures, its own legal system and its own cultural interpretation of what the words in the international agreement actually mean. Last but not least, the importance attached to implementing Treaty law is clearly different between countries, as the amazingly patchy implementation of existing Treaty Recommendations shows.
C60 Cl6 can be phenylated and arylated to give derivatives of the type C60Ar5Cl, which may be readily converted to C60Ar5. The compounds C60Ar5 and various other phenylated derivatives have been isolated from the product of reaction of fullerene with bromine/ferric chloride/benzene, and partially characterised.
With the financial services industries in the member countries of the European Union coming under increasing attention resulting in relaxation of cross border controls, this paper addresses some pensions matters in this European context and how they may relate to the U.K. The main theme of the paper is the book reserve approach to pensions provision. Details of the German book reserve method are provided before developing possible ways in which this philosophy could be introduced into the U.K. These possibilities are assessed and consideration given to the effect they may have on the economy, commerce, the pension fund industry and, not least, the actuarial profession in the U.K.
In 1985, Buckminsterfullerene (fullerene-60) C60 was discovered serendipitously during graphite laser vaporisation experiments designed to simulate the chemistry in a red giant carbon star. The molecule was isolated for the first time in macroscopic amounts in 1990, a breakthrough which triggered an explosion of research into its chemical and physical properties. The fullerenes hold great potential for material science applications, such as semiconductors and microscopic engineering, and as new compounds for pharmaceuticals, polymers and the chemical industry. In October 1992, a Discussion Meeting of the Royal Society entitled A Post-Buckminsterfullerene View of the Chemistry, Physics and Astrophysics of Carbon, organised by H. W. Kroto, A. L. Makay, G. Turner and D. R. M. Walton, was held to celebrate this exciting advance. The scientists who played key roles in the discovery and who are currently uncovering fascinating problems and the implications of this elegant molecule presented the papers published in this book.
The synthesis and microwave study of linear cyanopolyynes, HC5N and HC7N, in the mid-1970s was followed by the unanticipated detection of these, and longer chains (HC9N and HC11N), in space. To gain insight into the way in which such species and carbon clusters in general might form, an experiment was devised in 1985 to simulate conditions in carbon stars, involving the laser vaporization of graphite in a supersonic nozzle and detection of the resulting carbon species by mass spectrometry. This initiative resulted in the serendipitious discovery of an entirely new allotrope of carbon, C60, named buckminsterfullerene after the inventor of the geodesic dome.
Acetylenes continue to provide a seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of novel materials, with extended conjugated systems embodied in polyynes, polyenes (polyacetylenes), enynes, cumulenes and various combinations thereof featuring prominently. Researches into conducting polymers are a case in point (Masuda & Higashimura 1984; Wegner 1981), as is the quest for natural products (Bohlmann et al. 1973; Jones & Thaller 1978) and their derivatives, some of which display high levels of pharmacological activity. A set of unique circumstances, which augur well for synthesis is partly responsible for this situation; notably the relatively high acidity of the alkynyl hydrogen (facilitating substitution and oxidative coupling) and the ease with which the triple bond can be induced to polymerize or participate in cycloadditions. The ubiquitous C2 unit also acts as a focus for combustion studies and, for example, for investigations into the nature of soot. The results of such work often turn out to be wholly unexpected and this is particularly true in the way fullerenes were discovered.
As Antarctic Science enters its fifth year, it is time to assess progress and review the opportunities for Antarctic research in the coming years. The journal appears to have filled a useful niche, established arange of regular (and irregular!) contributors, and is taken by the majority of major polar libraries world-wide. Quality of production has improved with new equipment but rate of publication has fallen with increasing numbers of acceptable contributions. Cross-disciplinary papers have been few — but perhaps that is because few Antarctic scientists have undertaken the challenge of cross-disciplinary studies? Glaciology and most aspects of atmospheric sciences are still under-represented.
Our first special issue on the palynology of James Ross Island has been well received and a second, on a Southern Ocean cephalopod symposium, is planned for 1994. These special issues are a bonus to subcribers who get the extra pages free. The editors are keen to receive proposals for other special issues with offers of appropriate funding.