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Alcoholism has a high prevalence and impacts on morbidity, mortality, life quality, and the economy. Heritability estimates of alcohol dependence are 50-61%. Putative psychological, cultural, and genetic susceptibilities to alcoholism have been identified but understanding of the genetic components is still underdeveloped.
Identify genetic vulnerabilities predisposing individuals to alcoholism and co-morbid psychiatric disorders in the largest study of its kind.
12 centres including 10 trainees are currently collecting blood and clinical samples. Nearly 1700 of 2000 cases of ICD-10/DSM-IV alcohol dependence have been collected; 500 with standardized assessments of alcohol use and comorbdity; and 2000 ancestrally-matched supernormal controls from UCL/collaborators. Genomic DNA will be isolated following standard procedures. Genotyping will be performed using the Affymetrix Gene Chip Human Mapping 1M Array to type up to 1 million single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and copy number variant (CNV) markers. Chi-square analysis of allelic association for the alcoholic sample versus controls will occur.
n=65; 57% male; mean age 45years; mean age onset harmful alcohol use 19years; mean age onset withdrawals 32y; mean alcohol intake 21 units; primary depression 27%; secondary depression 49%; antisocial personality disorder 14%. The candidate gene approach in this sample has shown that the GABA receptor B1 (GABRB1) and the tachykinin receptor 1 (TACR1) are involved in genetic susceptibility to alcoholism. The D2 dopamine receptor is next.
Preliminary data suggests high psychiatric comorbidity in a clinical alcohol dependence sample and implicated candidate genes. Next is genomewide analysis of markers, sequencing and biological pathway/systems alterations.
In this study, we estimate the burden of foodborne illness (FBI) caused by five major pathogens among nondeployed US Army service members. The US Army is a unique population that is globally distributed, has its own food procurement system and a food protection system dedicated to the prevention of both unintentional and intentional contamination of food. To our knowledge, the burden of FBI caused by specific pathogens among the US Army population has not been determined. We used data from a 2015 US Army population survey, a 2015 US Army laboratory survey and data from FoodNet to create inputs for two model structures. Model type 1 scaled up case counts of Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella spp., Salmonella enterica non-typhoidal and STEC non-O157 ascertained from the Disease Reporting System internet database from 2010 to 2015. Model type 2 scaled down cases of self-reported acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) to estimate the annual burden of Norovirus illness. We estimate that these five pathogens caused 45 600 (5%–95% range, 30 300–64 000) annual illnesses among nondeployed active duty US Army Service members. Of these pathogens, Norovirus, Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella enterica non-typhoidal were responsible for the most illness. There is a tremendous burden of AGI and FBI caused by five major pathogens among US Army Soldiers, which can have a tremendous impact on readiness of the force. The US Army has a robust food protection program in place, but without a specific active FBI surveillance system across the Department of Defence, we will never have the ability to measure the effectiveness of modern, targeted, interventions aimed at the reduction of specific foodborne pathogens.
Throughout history, acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) has been a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among US service members. We estimated the magnitude, distribution, risk factors and care seeking behaviour of AGI among the active duty US Army service members using a web-based survey. The survey asked about sociodemographic characteristics, dining and food procurement history and any experience of diarrhoea in the past 30 days. If respondents reported diarrhoea, additional questions about concurrent symptoms, duration of illness, medical care seeking and stool sample submission were asked. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression were used to identify the factors associated with AGI and factors associated with seeking care and submitting a stool sample. The 30-day prevalence of AGI was 18.5% (95% CI 16.66–20.25), the incidence rate was 2.24 AGI episodes per person-year (95% CI 2.04–2.49). Risk factors included a region of residence, eating at the dining facility and eating at other on-post establishments. Individuals with AGI missed 2.7–3.7 days of work, which costs approximately $ 847 451 629 in paid wages. Results indicate there are more than 1 million cases of AGI per year among US Army Soldiers, which can have a major impact on readiness. We found that care-seeking behaviours for AGI are different among US Army Service Members than the general population. Army Service Members with AGI report seeking care and having a stool sample submitted less often, especially for severe (bloody) diarrhoea. Factors associated with seeking care included rank, experiencing respiratory symptoms (sore throat, cough), experiencing vomiting and missing work for their illness. Factors associated with submitting a stool sample including experiencing more than five loose stools in 24 h and not experiencing respiratory symptoms. US Army laboratory-based surveillance under-estimates service members with both bloody and non-bloody diarrhoea. To our knowledge, this is the first study to estimate the magnitude, distribution, risk factors and care-seeking behaviour of AGI among Army members. We determined Army service members care-seeking behaviours, AGI risk factors and stool sample submission rates are different than the general population, so when estimating burden of AGI caused by specific foodborne pathogens using methods like Scallan et al. (2011), unique multipliers must be used for this subset of the population. The study legitimises not only the importance of AGI in the active duty Army population but also highlights opportunities for public health leaders to engage in simple strategies to better capture AGI impact so more modern intervention strategies can be implemented to reduce burden and indirectly improve operational readiness across the Enterprise.
Among pathogens shed by cattle, Escherichia coli O157 ranks highest in those causing human illness. To date, prevalence and risk factors for O157 shedding have been assessed in feedlot, but not dairy cattle. The study aimed to determine prevalence levels and risk factors for O157 atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (aEPEC) and enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) shedding in dairy cattle. Dairy cattle (n = 899) within the first 21 days of lactation were sampled monthly over the course of 1 year, on three dry lot dairies surrounding Fort Collins, CO. During visits multiple factors were measured (disease history, pharmaceutical use, climate measures, etc.), and cattle faeces were collected and assessed for presence of O157 and virulence genes. Logistic regression analysis was performed using O157 outcomes and measured factors. Prevalence of O157 aEPEC was 3·7%, while EHEC was 3·0%. Many potential risk factors were highly correlated, and used to build separate multivariable models. An increase in humidity was positively associated with aEPEC, while fluid faeces and history of disease showed a negative association. Meanwhile, an increase in temperature and antibiotic treatment was positively associated with EHEC, while more days in milk, higher hygiene score and cow contact were negatively associated. These results may guide mitigation strategies that reduce O157 shedding, and contamination of the human food chain.
We present the results of an analysis of the spectra obtained for a sample of 27 Am stars. We find evidence for the presence of groups amongst these stars and argue that all Am stars exhibit a pseudo–luminosity effect.
Objectives: One of the most prominent features of schizophrenia is relatively lower general cognitive ability (GCA). An emerging approach to understanding the roots of variation in GCA relies on network properties of the brain. In this multi-center study, we determined global characteristics of brain networks using graph theory and related these to GCA in healthy controls and individuals with schizophrenia. Methods: Participants (N=116 controls, 80 patients with schizophrenia) were recruited from four sites. GCA was represented by the first principal component of a large battery of neurocognitive tests. Graph metrics were derived from diffusion-weighted imaging. Results: The global metrics of longer characteristic path length and reduced overall connectivity predicted lower GCA across groups, and group differences were noted for both variables. Measures of clustering, efficiency, and modularity did not differ across groups or predict GCA. Follow-up analyses investigated three topological types of connectivity—connections among high degree “rich club” nodes, “feeder” connections to these rich club nodes, and “local” connections not involving the rich club. Rich club and local connectivity predicted performance across groups. In a subsample (N=101 controls, 56 patients), a genetic measure reflecting mutation load, based on rare copy number deletions, was associated with longer characteristic path length. Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of characteristic path lengths and rich club connectivity for GCA and provide no evidence for group differences in the relationships between graph metrics and GCA. (JINS, 2016, 22, 240–249)
To determine if total lifetime physical activity (PA) is associated with better cognitive functioning with aging and if cerebrovascular function mediates this association. A sample of 226 (52.2% female) community dwelling middle-aged and older adults (66.5±6.4 years) in the Brain in Motion Study, completed the Lifetime Total Physical Activity Questionnaire and underwent neuropsychological and cerebrovascular blood flow testing. Multiple robust linear regressions were used to model the associations between lifetime PA and global cognition after adjusting for age, sex, North American Adult Reading Test results (i.e., an estimate of premorbid intellectual ability), maximal aerobic capacity, body mass index and interactions between age, sex, and lifetime PA. Mediation analysis assessed the effect of cerebrovascular measures on the association between lifetime PA and global cognition. Post hoc analyses assessed past year PA and current fitness levels relation to global cognition and cerebrovascular measures. Better global cognitive performance was associated with higher lifetime PA (p=.045), recreational PA (p=.021), and vigorous intensity PA (p=.004), PA between the ages of 0 and 20 years (p=.036), and between the ages of 21 and 35 years (p<.0001). Cerebrovascular measures did not mediate the association between PA and global cognition scores (p>.5), but partially mediated the relation between current fitness and global cognition. This study revealed significant associations between higher levels of PA (i.e., total lifetime, recreational, vigorous PA, and past year) and better cognitive function in later life. Current fitness levels relation to cognitive function may be partially mediated through current cerebrovascular function. (JINS, 2015, 21, 816–830)
Development of a representative and well-diversified core with minimum duplicate accessions and maximum diversity from a larger population of germplasm is highly essential for breeders involved in crop improvement programmes. Most of the existing methodologies for the identification of a core set are either based on qualitative or quantitative data. In this study, an approach to the identification of a core set of germplasm based on the response from a mixture of qualitative (single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping) and quantitative data was proposed. For this purpose, six different combined distance measures, three for quantitative data and two for qualitative data, were proposed and evaluated. The combined distance matrices were used as inputs to seven different clustering procedures for classifying the population of germplasm into homogeneous groups. Subsequently, an optimum number of clusters based on all clustering methodologies using different combined distance measures were identified on a consensus basis. Average cluster robustness values across all the identified optimum number of clusters under each clustering methodology were calculated. Overall, three different allocation methods were applied to sample the accessions that were selected from the clusters identified under each clustering methodology, with the highest average cluster robustness value being used to formulate a core set. Furthermore, an index was proposed for the evaluation of diversity in the core set. The results reveal that the combined distance measure A1B2 – the distance based on the average of the range-standardized absolute difference for quantitative data with the rescaled distance based on the average absolute difference for qualitative data – from which three clusters that were identified by using the k-means clustering algorithm along with the proportional allocation method was suitable for the identification of a core set from a collection of rice germplasm.
Crop biofortification is increasingly being recognized as a cost-effective and sustainable approach to address the widespread micronutrient malnutrition arising from Fe and Zn deficiencies. Pearl millet as a cereal crop species has higher Fe density than all other major cereals. Earlier studies in pearl millet have shown that breeding lines, hybrid parents, improved populations and composites having high Fe and Zn densities were often based largely or entirely on iniadi pearl millet germplasm. In an attempt to identify additional sources of high Fe density in this group of germplasm, 297 accessions were screened using Perl's Prussian Blue staining, of which 191 accessions (118 from Togo, 62 from Ghana and 11 from Burkina Faso) were re-evaluated during the 2010 rainy and 2012 summer seasons using the inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy method. On the basis of the mean performance over the two seasons (environments), large variability was observed for both Fe (51–121 mg/kg) and Zn (46–87 mg/kg) densities. There was a highly significant and positive correlation between the two micronutrients (r= 0.77, P< 0.01). Of these re-evaluated accessions, 49% had higher Fe density than the high-Fe control commercial cultivar ICTP 8203 (81 mg/kg), and most of these accessions also had Zn density ≥ 61 mg/kg (59 mg/kg for ICTP 8203). A total of 27 accessions (20 from Togo and seven from Ghana) having a Fe density of 95–121 mg/kg (1 standard error of difference above that for ICTP 8203) and a Zn density of 59–87 mg/kg were selected as a valuable germplasm resource for genetic improvement of these two micronutrients in pearl millet.
Fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) are major pests worldwide. The sterile insect technique, where millions of flies are reared, sterilized by irradiation and then released, is one of the most successful and ecologically friendly methods of controlling populations of these pests. The mating behaviour of irradiated and non-irradiated flies has been compared in earlier studies, but there has been little attention paid to the anti-predator behaviour of mass-reared flies, especially with respect to wild flies. Tephritid flies perform a supination display to their jumping spider predators in order to deter attacks. In this study, we evaluated the possibility of using this display to determine the anti-predator capabilities of mass-reared irradiated, non-irradiated flies, and wild flies. We used an arena setup and observed bouts between jumping spiders (Phidippus audax Hentz) and male Mexican fruit flies (Anastrepha ludens Loew). We show that although all flies performed a supination display to their predator, wild flies were more likely to perform a display and were significantly more successful in avoiding attack than mass-reared flies. We suggest that this interaction can be used to develop a rapid realistic method of quality control in evaluating anti-predator abilities of mass-reared fruit flies.
A china clay sample from Jharkhand State, India, containing 65.0 wt.% SiO2, 22.7% Al2O3, 1.77% Fe2O3 and 9.10% LOI was subjected to physical beneficiation and acid leaching studies to improve its quality. The clay was characterized by optical microscopy, XRD, and wet chemical analysis methods. Quartz and goethite are the two major impurities. High intensity magnetic separation removed only 10% of the total iron. Experiments with oxalic acid were carried out to establish the leaching kinetics of iron and the effects of acid concentration, time and temperature on iron leaching were also examined. The study demonstrated that ∼90% of total iron could be removed using 5% oxalic acid. The dissolution of iron from clay is best described by diffusion of ions through the product layer of constant size spherical particles. The activation energy of the leaching process over the temperature range was calculated to be 51.14 kJ/mol.
The protein-rich non-conventional detoxified karanja cake (dKC) can be used in place of conventional protein supplements like soybean meal (SBM), groundnut meal, etc. in livestock feed. The present study was conducted to assess the effect of two levels of dKC by replacing SBM on testicular architecture, semen quality and expressions of mRNAs encoding luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in testes of ram lambs. Eighteen ram lambs were randomly divided into three groups (n = 6) and fed different levels (%) of karanja cake (0% replacement – control; 50% replacement – dKC-50 and 75% replacement – dKC-75) for 140 days. After 120 days of feeding, the semen from the animals was collected and analysed. The testes samples were collected on day 140 of feeding for transcripts expression studies. The dKC-50 group had no change in BW, whereas dKC-75 group showed decreased (P < 0.05) BW as compared with control. The number of animals ejaculated semen in dKC-75 group was lower (P < 0.05) than the control group. A reduction (P < 0.05) in LHR expression in dKC-75 was observed, whereas a reduction in IGF-I expression (P < 0.05) was observed in dKC-50 and dKC-75 as compared with control group. The study reveals that in ram lambs, long-term feeding of dKC at 50% replacement of SBM may not affect BW. However, long-term feeding of dKC as a replacement of SBM may affect testicular function.
To study the natural recovery from sports concussion, 12 concussed high school football athletes and 12 matched uninjured teammates were evaluated with symptom rating scales, tests of postural balance and cognition, and an event-related fMRI study during performance of a load-dependent working memory task at 13 h and 7 weeks following injury. Injured athletes showed the expected postconcussive symptoms and cognitive decline with decreased reaction time (RT) and increased RT variability on a working memory task during the acute period and an apparent full recovery 7 weeks later. Brain activation patterns showed decreased activation of right hemisphere attentional networks in injured athletes relative to controls during the acute period with a reversed pattern of activation (injured > controls) in the same networks at 7 weeks following injury. These changes coincided with a decrease in self-reported postconcussive symptoms and improved cognitive test performance in the injured athletes. Results from this exploratory study suggest that decreased activation of right hemisphere attentional networks mediate the cognitive changes and postconcussion symptoms observed during the acute period following concussion. Conversely, improvement in cognitive functioning and postconcussive symptoms during the subacute period may be mediated by compensatory increases in activation of this same attentional network. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–10)
Investigation of optical absorption in ∼25μm thick, monocrystalline silicon (Si) substrates obtained from a novel exfoliation technique is done by fabricating solar cells with single heterojunction architecture (without using intrinsic amorphous silicon layer) with diffused back junction and local back contact. The ease of process flow and the rugged and flexible nature of the substrates due to thick metal backing enables use of various light-trapping and optical absorption enhancement schemes traditionally practiced in the industry for thicker (>120μm) substrates. Optical measurement of solar cells using antireflective coating, texturing on both surfaces, and back surface dielectric/metal stack as mirror to reflect the long wavelength light from the back surface show a very low front surface reflectance of 4.6% in the broadband spectrum (300nm-1200nm). The illuminated current voltage (IV) and external quantum efficiency (EQE) measurement of such solar cell shows a high integrated current density of 34.4mA/cm2, which implies significant internal photon reflection. Our best cell with intrinsic amorphous silicon (i-a-Si) layer with only rear surface textured shows an efficiency of 14.9%. EQE data shows improved blue response and current density due to better front surface passivation. Simulations suggest that with optimized light trapping and surface passivation, such thin c-Si cells can reach efficiencies >20%.