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Smoking prevalence is higher amongst individuals with schizophrenia and depression compared with the general population. Mendelian randomisation (MR) can examine whether this association is causal using genetic variants identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
We conducted two-sample MR to explore the bi-directional effects of smoking on schizophrenia and depression. For smoking behaviour, we used (1) smoking initiation GWAS from the GSCAN consortium and (2) we conducted our own GWAS of lifetime smoking behaviour (which captures smoking duration, heaviness and cessation) in a sample of 462690 individuals from the UK Biobank. We validated this instrument using positive control outcomes (e.g. lung cancer). For schizophrenia and depression we used GWAS from the PGC consortium.
There was strong evidence to suggest smoking is a risk factor for both schizophrenia (odds ratio (OR) 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.67–3.08, p < 0.001) and depression (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.71–2.32, p < 0.001). Results were consistent across both lifetime smoking and smoking initiation. We found some evidence that genetic liability to depression increases smoking (β = 0.091, 95% CI 0.027–0.155, p = 0.005) but evidence was mixed for schizophrenia (β = 0.022, 95% CI 0.005–0.038, p = 0.009) with very weak evidence for an effect on smoking initiation.
These findings suggest that the association between smoking, schizophrenia and depression is due, at least in part, to a causal effect of smoking, providing further evidence for the detrimental consequences of smoking on mental health.
Identifying risk factors of individuals in a clinical-high-risk state for psychosis are vital to prevention and early intervention efforts. Among prodromal abnormalities, cognitive functioning has shown intermediate levels of impairment in CHR relative to first-episode psychosis and healthy controls, highlighting a potential role as a risk factor for transition to psychosis and other negative clinical outcomes. The current study used the AX-CPT, a brief 15-min computerized task, to determine whether cognitive control impairments in CHR at baseline could predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up.
Baseline AX-CPT data were obtained from 117 CHR individuals participating in two studies, the Early Detection, Intervention, and Prevention of Psychosis Program (EDIPPP) and the Understanding Early Psychosis Programs (EP) and used to predict clinical status at 12-month follow-up. At 12 months, 19 individuals converted to a first episode of psychosis (CHR-C), 52 remitted (CHR-R), and 46 had persistent sub-threshold symptoms (CHR-P). Binary logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression were used to test prediction models.
Baseline AX-CPT performance (d-prime context) was less impaired in CHR-R compared to CHR-P and CHR-C patient groups. AX-CPT predictive validity was robust (0.723) for discriminating converters v. non-converters, and even greater (0.771) when predicting CHR three subgroups.
These longitudinal outcome data indicate that cognitive control deficits as measured by AX-CPT d-prime context are a strong predictor of clinical outcome in CHR individuals. The AX-CPT is brief, easily implemented and cost-effective measure that may be valuable for large-scale prediction efforts.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
We studied the genetic diversity and the population structure of human isolates of Histoplasma capsulatum, the causative agent of histoplasmosis, using a randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) assay to identify associations with the geographic distribution of isolates from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia and Argentina. The RAPD-PCR pattern analyses revealed the genetic diversity by estimating the percentage of polymorphic loci, effective number of alleles, Shannon's index and heterozygosity. Population structure was identified by the index of association (IA) test. Thirty-seven isolates were studied and clustered into three groups by the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Group I contained five subgroups based on geographic origin. The consistency of the UPGMA dendrogram was estimated by the cophenetic correlation coefficient (CCCr = 0.94, P = 0.001). Isolates from Mexico and Colombia presented higher genetic diversity than isolates from Argentina. Isolates from Guatemala grouped together with the reference strains from the United States of America and Panama. The IA values suggest the presence of a clonal population structure in the Argentinian H. capsulatum isolates and also validate the presence of recombining populations in the Colombian and Mexican isolates. These data contribute to the knowledge on the molecular epidemiology of histoplasmosis in Latin America.
Transoral laser microsurgery is an increasingly common treatment modality for glottic carcinoma. This study aimed to determine the effect of age, gender, stage and time on voice-related quality of life using the Voice Handicap Index-10.
Primary early glottic carcinoma patients treated with transoral laser microsurgery were included in the study. Self-reported Voice Handicap Index testing was completed pre-operatively, three months post-operatively, and yearly at follow-up appointments.
Voice Handicap Index improvement was found to be dependent on age and tumour stage, while no significant differences were found in Voice Handicap Index for gender. Voice Handicap Index score was significantly improved at 12 months and 24 months. Time versus Voice Handicap Index modelling revealed a preference for non-linear over linear regression.
Age and stage are important factors, as younger patients with more advanced tumours show greater voice improvement post-operatively. Patient's Voice Handicap Index is predicted to have 95 per cent of maximal improvement by 5.5 months post-operatively.
We assessed whether paternal demographic, anthropometric and clinical factors influence the risk of an infant being born large-for-gestational-age (LGA). We examined the data on 3659 fathers of term offspring (including 662 LGA infants) born to primiparous women from Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE). LGA was defined as birth weight >90th centile as per INTERGROWTH 21st standards, with reference group being infants ⩽90th centile. Associations between paternal factors and likelihood of an LGA infant were examined using univariable and multivariable models. Men who fathered LGA babies were 180 g heavier at birth (P<0.001) and were more likely to have been born macrosomic (P<0.001) than those whose infants were not LGA. Fathers of LGA infants were 2.1 cm taller (P<0.001), 2.8 kg heavier (P<0.001) and had similar body mass index (BMI). In multivariable models, increasing paternal birth weight and height were independently associated with greater odds of having an LGA infant, irrespective of maternal factors. One unit increase in paternal BMI was associated with 2.9% greater odds of having an LGA boy but not girl; however, this association disappeared after adjustment for maternal BMI. There were no associations between paternal demographic factors or clinical history and infant LGA. In conclusion, fathers who were heavier at birth and were taller were more likely to have an LGA infant, but maternal BMI had a dominant influence on LGA.
Psychosocial stress during childhood and adolescence is associated with alterations in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and with heightened inflammation, both of which are implicated in poor health; however, factors that may protect against these effects relatively early in life are not well understood. Thus, we examined whether psychosocial resources protect against stress-related alterations in the HPA axis and heightened inflammation in a sample of 91 late adolescents. Participants completed measures of various stressors (major life events, daily interpersonal stress, early adversity), and psychosocial resources (mastery, optimism, self-esteem, and positive reappraisal). They also completed the Trier Social Stress Test and provided saliva and blood samples for the assessment of cortisol and interleukin-6 reactivity. Each of the stressors was associated with lower cortisol reactivity. Additionally, associations with major life events and daily stress were moderated by psychological resources, such that more life events and daily stress were associated with decreased HPA reactivity among adolescents with lower levels of psychological resources, but not among those with higher levels of psychological resources. This pattern of findings was observed only for cortisol reactivity and not for interleukin-6 reactivity. Findings suggest that psychological resources may counteract the effects of certain adversity-related decreases in cortisol reactivity.
We investigated risk factors for severe acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) among hospitalised children <2 years, with a focus on the interactions between virus and age. Statistical interactions between age and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, adenovirus (ADV) and rhinovirus on the risk of ALRI outcomes were investigated. Of 1780 hospitalisations, 228 (12.8%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). The median (range) length of stay (LOS) in hospital was 3 (1–27) days. An increase of 1 month of age was associated with a decreased risk of ICU admission (rate ratio (RR) 0.94; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.91–0.98) and with a decrease in LOS (RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.95–0.97). Associations between RSV, influenza, ADV positivity and ICU admission and LOS were significantly modified by age. Children <5 months old were at the highest risk from RSV-associated severe outcomes, while children >8 months were at greater risk from influenza-associated ICU admissions and long hospital stay. Children with ADV had increased LOS across all ages. In the first 2 years of life, the effects of different viruses on ALRI severity varies with age. Our findings help to identify specific ages that would most benefit from virus-specific interventions such as vaccines and antivirals.
We consider one misconception of those who currently reject the general validity of radiocarbon (14C) age determinations older than, at most, 10,000 BP. There is an allegation that the presence of 14C reported by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratories in their measurements of 14C infinite age (>100,000 years) organics used to define background levels, support their point of view. This article has been written for a general audience, primarily for those who have questions about the validity of these arguments. However, they may not be familiar with the literature relevant to providing a clear response to the claims of these individuals. We conclude that, in our view, of all of the possible explanations for the reports of the presence of 14C in these background samples, the least probable explanation has been advanced by those rejecting the validity of the 14C time scale in excess of, at most, 10,000 BP.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) represent a disease continuum with common genetic causes and molecular pathology. We recently identified mutations in the T-cell restricted intracellular antigen-1 (TIA1) protein as a cause of ALS +/− FTD. TIA1 is an RNA-binding protein containing a low complexity domain (LCD) that promotes the assembly of membrane-less organelles, such as stress granules (SG). Whole exome sequencing of two family members with fALS/FTD revealed a novel missense mutation in the TIA1 LCD (P362L). Subsequent screening identified five more TIA1 mutations in six additional ALS patients, but none in controls. All mutation carriers presented with weakness, behavioral abnormalities or language impairments and had a final diagnosis of ALS +/− FTD. Autopsy on five TIA1 mutation carriers showed widespread neurodegeneration with TDP-43 pathology. Round eosinophilic inclusions in lower motor neurons were a consistent feature. Cellular assays revealed abnormal SG dynamics in the presence of TIA1 mutations. In summary, missense mutations in the LCD of TIA1 are a newly recognized cause of ALS/FTD with TDP-43 pathology and strengthen the role of RNA metabolism in the pathogenesis in this disease.
We performed a new series of measurements on samples that were part of early measurements on radiocarbon (14C) dating made in 1948–1949. Our results show generally good agreement to the data published in 1949–1951, despite vast changes in technology, with only two exceptions where there was a discrepancy in the original studies. Our new measurements give calibrated ages that overlap with the known ages. We dated several samples at four different laboratories, and so we were also able to make a small intercomparison at the same time. In addition, new measurements on samples from other Egyptian materials used by Libby and co-workers were made at UC Irvine. Samples of tree rings used in the original studies (from Broken Flute Cave and Centennial Stump) were obtained from the University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research archive and remeasured. New data were compared to the original studies and other records.
Non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) present in wheat and barley can act as anti-nutrients leading to an increase in digesta viscosity and a reduction in nutrient digestibility. Xylanase, an NSP-degrading enzyme, has been shown to increase nutrient digestibility in pigs. The objectives of this study were: (1) to identify the optimum inclusion level of xylanase in grower pig diets by measuring the effect of increasing enzyme levels on growth performance, the concentration of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and peptide YY concentration in portal and peripheral blood of grower pigs and (2) to increase our understanding of the interrelationships between xylanase inclusion, VFA production and peptide YY secretion. A total of 512 grower pigs ((Large White×Landrace)×MAXGRO) were allocated to pens creating 32 replicates of four pigs per pen per treatment. Pigs were allocated to trial weighing 14.2±0.31 kg and remained on trial until ~41.5±3.31 kg. The experiment was a dose response design with four inclusion levels (0, 8000, 16 000 or 32 000 BXU/kg) of xylanase (Econase XT). Diets were cereal-based wheat, barley mix formulated to meet or exceed the nutrient requirements of grower pigs. Body weight and feed intake were recorded to calculate growth performance. Pen faecal samples were collected to estimate DM, organic matter (OM) and crude fibre (CF) apparent total-tract digestibility. At the end of the trial 16 pigs per treatment were euthanised by schedule 1 procedures. Peripheral and portal blood samples were collected for peptide YY and VFA analysis. The addition of xylanase to the diet had no effect on growth performance, DM, OM or CF total-tract digestibility; however, xylanase tended to have a quadratic effect on ileum pH with higher pH values recorded for pigs fed a diet supplemented with 8000 and 16 000 BXU/kg xylanase (P<0.1). Xylanase had no effect on peptide YY levels or VFA concentration. Total VFA concentration was higher in portal compared with peripheral blood (P<0.05). In conclusion, the addition of xylanase had no effect on grower pig performance, nutrient digestibility, VFA concentration or peptide YY concentration when fed up to 32 000 BXU/kg over a 35-day period. Pig performance was good for all treatments throughout the trial suggesting that diet quality was sufficient thus there were no beneficial effects of adding xylanase.
To assess general medical residents’ familiarity with antibiograms using a self-administered survey
Cross-sectional, single-center survey
Residents in internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics at an academic medical center
Participants were administered an anonymous survey at our institution during regularly scheduled educational conferences between January and May 2012. Questions collected data regarding demographics, professional training; further open-ended questions assessed knowledge and use of antibiograms regarding possible pathogens, antibiotic regimens, and prescribing resources for 2 clinical vignettes; a series of directed, closed-ended questions followed. Bivariate analyses to compare responses between residency programs were performed.
Of 122 surveys distributed, 106 residents (87%) responded; internal medicine residents accounted for 69% of responses. More than 20% of residents could not accurately identify pathogens to target with empiric therapy or select therapy with an appropriate spectrum of activity in response to the clinical vignettes; correct identification of potential pathogens was not associated with selecting appropriate therapy. Only 12% of respondents identified antibiograms as a resource when prescribing empiric antibiotic therapy for scenarios in the vignettes, with most selecting the UpToDate online clinical decision support resource or The Sanford Guide. When directly questioned, 89% reported awareness of institutional antibiograms, but only 70% felt comfortable using them and only 44% knew how to access them.
When selecting empiric antibiotics, many residents are not comfortable using antibiograms as part of treatment decisions. Efforts to improve antibiotic use may benefit from residents being given additional education on both infectious diseases pharmacotherapy and antibiogram utilization.
This paper discusses a pulse electroplating method for preparing copper (Cu)-coated gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) for the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to hydrocarbons such as ethylene. Ionomer coating and air-plasma surface pre-treatments were explored as means of hydrophilizing the carbon surface to enable adhesion of electrodeposited material. The pulsed-current electrodeposition method used successfully generated copper and copper oxide micro- and nano-particles on the prepared surfaces. Copper(I) species identified on the ionomer-treated GDEs are presumed to be highly active for the selective generation of ethylene as compared to other gaseous byproducts of CO2 reduction. Conversely, copper catalysts deposited onto plasma-treated GDEs were found to have poor activity for hydrocarbon production, likely due to substantial metallic character. Of note, plasma treatment of an ionomer-treated GDE after copper plating yielded further improvements in catalytic activity and durability towards ethylene production.
The Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis suite of binary stellar evolution models and synthetic stellar populations provides a framework for the physically motivated analysis of both the integrated light from distant stellar populations and the detailed properties of those nearby. We present a new version 2.1 data release of these models, detailing the methodology by which Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis incorporates binary mass transfer and its effect on stellar evolution pathways, as well as the construction of simple stellar populations. We demonstrate key tests of the latest Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis model suite demonstrating its ability to reproduce the colours and derived properties of resolved stellar populations, including well-constrained eclipsing binaries. We consider observational constraints on the ratio of massive star types and the distribution of stellar remnant masses. We describe the identification of supernova progenitors in our models, and demonstrate a good agreement to the properties of observed progenitors. We also test our models against photometric and spectroscopic observations of unresolved stellar populations, both in the local and distant Universe, finding that binary models provide a self-consistent explanation for observed galaxy properties across a broad redshift range. Finally, we carefully describe the limitations of our models, and areas where we expect to see significant improvement in future versions.
Paliperidone palmitate is one of the most widely prescribed long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics in the UK. However, it is relatively expensive and there are few data comparing its effectiveness to that of other LAI antipsychotics. We sought to address this issue by analyzing a large anonymized electronic health record (EHR) dataset from patients treated with LAI antipsychotics.
EHR data were obtained from 1281 patients in the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) who started treatment with a LAI antipsychotic between 1 April 2011 and 31 January 2015. The number of days spent as a psychiatric inpatient and the number of admissions to a psychiatric hospital were analyzed in each of the 3 years before and after LAI prescription.
Patients treated with paliperidone palmitate (n = 430; 33.6%) had a greater number of inpatient days and a greater number of admissions in the year prior to treatment than those treated with other LAI antipsychotics. Nevertheless, in the 3 years after initiation there were no significant differences between paliperidone and the other LAI antipsychotics in the number of days as an inpatient (B coefficient 5.4 days, 95% confidence interval (CI) −57.3 to 68.2, p = 0.86) or number of hospital admissions (Incidence rate ratio 1.07, 95% CI 0.62 to 1.83, p = 0.82).
Paliperidone palmitate was more likely to be prescribed in patients with more frequent and lengthy hospital admissions prior to initiation. However, the absence of differences in outcomes after initiation indicates that paliperidone palmitate was not more effective than other cheaper LAI antipsychotics.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing has expanded beyond the mere patterned deposition of melted solids, moving into areas requiring spatially structured soft matter—typically materials composed of polymers, colloids, surfactants, or living cells. The tunable and dynamically variable rheological properties of soft matter enable the high-resolution manufacture of soft structures. These rheological properties are leveraged in 3D printing techniques that employ sacrificial inks and sacrificial support materials, which go through reversible solid–fluid transitions under modest forces or other small perturbations. Thus, a sacrificial material can be used to shape a second material into a complex 3D structure, and then discarded. Here, we review the sacrificial materials and related methods used to print soft structures. We analyze data from the literature to establish manufacturing principles of soft matter printing, and we explore printing performance within the context of instabilities controlled by the rheology of soft matter materials.
The aim of this study is to determine the effects of early and mid-gestation nutrient restriction on maternal metabolites and foetal growth. Primiparous Angus cows were synchronized and inseminated with semen from one sire. Dietary treatments were: control to gain 1 kg/week (CON) or 0.55% maintenance energy and CP requirements (nutrient restricted; NR). A subset of dams was fed NR (n=8) or CON (n=8) from days 30 to 110 of gestation. Another group was fed CON (n=8), days 30 to 190; NR (n=7), days 30 to 110 followed by CON days 110 to 190; or CON, (n=7) days 30 to 110 followed by NR days 110 to 190. Cows were harvested at days 110 or 190 of gestation, when foetal measurements and samples were collected. Cows that were NR during days 30 to 110 or 110 to 190 of gestation lost significant BW and body condition score (P<0.001), this was associated with reduced plasma glucose during NR (P<0.002). Foetal weights, empty foetal weights, abdominal and thoracic circumferences were all reduced (P<0.03) in day 110 NR animals. Foetal perirenal adipose as a percentage of empty foetal weight was increased (P=0.01) in NR day 110 female foetuses compared with CON foetus. Maternal serum triglycerides at day 110 of gestation were decreased (P<0.05) in NR dams, whereas foetal serum triglycerides were increased (P<0.05) in response to maternal NR. Foetal weights tended to be reduced (P=0.08) in NR/CON and CON/NR v. CON/CON cattle at day 190 of gestation. Empty foetal weights, abdominal and thoracic circumferences were reduced (P⩽0.03) in NR/CON and CON/NR v. CON/CON cattle. Brain weight as a percentage of empty foetal weight was increased (P<0.001) in NR/CON and CON/NR v. CON/CON cattle. Foetal perirenal adipose as a percentage of empty foetal weight was increased (P=0.003) in NR/CON and CON/NR v. CON/CON cattle. Maternal serum triglycerides at day 190 of gestation were decreased (P<0.05) in association with maternal NR. Foetal serum triglycerides at day 190 of gestation were increased (P<0.05) in response to maternal NR during early gestation but decreased by NR in mid gestation compared with CON foetuses. The data show that maternal nutrient restriction during early or mid-gestation cause’s asymmetrical foetal growth restriction, regardless if the restriction is preceded or followed by a period of non-restriction.
While the North American archaeological record signals the presence of early humans along the northeastern Pacific coast by the Late Pleistocene, we know little about the technological systems employed by these coastally oriented colonizing groups. We here report the discovery of the earliest unequivocal evidence for the use and manufacture of shell fishhooks in the western hemisphere. Four single-piece shell fishhooks dating to the terminal Pleistocene/early Holocene transition (between ~11,300 and 10,700 cal B.P.) have been excavated on Isla Cedros, Baja California, Mexico. One hook is directly dated at 9495 ± 25 B.P. with a marine reservoir–corrected age of 11,165–9185 cal B.P. Radiocarbon ages associated with three other shell fishhooks range between 8900 ± 25 B.P. and 10,415 ± 25 B.P, while median ages for the earliest contexts confirm occupation of the island by at least 12,600–12,000 cal B.P. The stratigraphic levels from which the fishhooks were recovered contained a diverse assemblage of fish remains, including deepwater species, indicative of boat use. Thus, some of the earliest known inhabitants of the Pacific coast of the Americas employed shell hook and line technology for offshore marine fishing at least by the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, if not earlier.
Capturing service users’ perspectives can highlight additional and different concerns to those of clinicians, but there are no up to date, self-report psychometrically sound measures of side effects of antipsychotic medications.
To develop a psychometrically sound measure to identify antipsychotic side effects important to service users, the Maudsley Side Effects (MSE) measure.
An initial item bank was subjected to a Delphi exercise (n = 9) with psychiatrists and pharmacists, followed by service user focus groups and expert panels (n = 15) to determine item relevance and language. Feasibility and comprehensive psychometric properties were established in two samples (N43 and N50). We investigated whether we could predict the three most important side effects for individuals from their frequency, severity and life impact.
MSE is a 53-item measure with good reliability and validity. Poorer mental and physical health, but not psychotic symptoms, was related to side-effect burden. Seventy-nine percent of items were chosen as one of the three most important effects. Severity, impact and distress only predicted ‘putting on weight’ which was more distressing, more severe and had more life impact in those for whom it was most important.
MSE is a self-report questionnaire that identifies reliably the side-effect burden as experienced by patients. Identifying key side effects important to patients can act as a starting point for joint decision making on the type and the dose of medication.