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This study of loneliness across adult lifespan examined its associations with sociodemographics, mental health (positive and negative psychological states and traits), subjective cognitive complaints, and physical functioning.
Analysis of cross-sectional data
340 community-dwelling adults in San Diego, California, mean age 62 (SD = 18) years, range 27–101 years, who participated in three community-based studies.
Loneliness measures included UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3 (UCLA-3), 4-item Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Social Isolation Scale, and a single-item measure from the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CESD) scale. Other measures included the San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE) and Medical Outcomes Survey- Short form 36.
Seventy-six percent of subjects had moderate-high levels of loneliness on UCLA-3, using standardized cut-points. Loneliness was correlated with worse mental health and inversely with positive psychological states/traits. Even moderate severity of loneliness was associated with worse mental and physical functioning. Loneliness severity and age had a complex relationship, with increased loneliness in the late-20s, mid-50s, and late-80s. There were no sex differences in loneliness prevalence, severity, and age relationships. The best-fit multiple regression model accounted for 45% of the variance in UCLA-3 scores, and three factors emerged with small-medium effect sizes: wisdom, living alone and mental well-being.
The alarmingly high prevalence of loneliness and its association with worse health-related measures underscore major challenges for society. The non-linear age-loneliness severity relationship deserves further study. The strong negative association of wisdom with loneliness highlights the potentially critical role of wisdom as a target for psychosocial/behavioral interventions to reduce loneliness. Building a wiser society may help us develop a more connected, less lonely, and happier society.
Identifying factors that influence the functional outcome is an important goal in schizophrenia research. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a unique genetic model with high risk (20–25%) for schizophrenia. This study aimed to identify potentially targetable domains of neurocognitive functioning associated with functional outcome in adults with 22q11DS.
We used comprehensive neurocognitive test data available for 99 adults with 22q11DS (n = 43 with schizophrenia) and principal component analysis to derive four domains of neurocognition (Verbal Memory, Visual and Logical Memory, Motor Performance, and Executive Performance). We then investigated the association of these neurocognitive domains with adaptive functioning using Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales data and a linear regression model that accounted for the effects of schizophrenia status and overall intellectual level.
The regression model explained 46.8% of the variance in functional outcome (p < 0.0001). Executive Performance was significantly associated with functional outcome (p = 0.048). Age and schizophrenia were also significant factors. The effects of Executive Performance on functioning did not significantly differ between those with and without psychotic illness.
The findings provide the impetus for further studies to examine the potential of directed (early) interventions targeting Executive Performance to improve long-term adaptive functional outcome in individuals with, or at high risk for, schizophrenia. Moreover, the neurocognitive test profiles may benefit caregivers and clinicians by providing insight into the relative strengths and weaknesses of individuals with 22q11DS, with and without psychotic illness.
Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a non-steroidal estrogen that was commonly prescribed during pregnancy from the late 1940s to 1971. A potent endocrine disruptor, prenatal DES exposure has been linked with reproductive tract malformations, adverse pregnancy outcomes, cancer, infertility and earlier menopause. DES was used for years as a growth promoter in animal production. Some animal studies suggest that prenatal DES exposure is associated with obesity and metabolic disturbances. Using data from the National Cancer Institute DES Follow-Up Study, we evaluated the association between DES and adult obesity, weight gain from age 20 to mid-life, central adiposity and height among 2871 prenatally exposed and 1352 unexposed women between 23 and 52 years of age (median 41.5) at baseline in 1994. DES exposure status was confirmed by prenatal medical record review. We used multivariable log-binomial models to calculate risk ratios (RRs) for obesity in 2006, and linear regression to calculate mean differences in body mass index, weight gain, waist circumference and height. The adjusted RR for DES and obesity was 1.09 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.97, 1.22], and RRs were 1.23 (CI: 1.07, 1.42) and 1.05 (CI: 0.91, 1.20) for low and high estimated total DES dose, respectively, compared with no exposure. DES-exposed women gained slightly more weight than unexposed women [mean difference, 0.70 kg (CI: −0.27, 1.66)]. This study suggests that prenatal DES exposure may be associated with a small increase in adult obesity.
Leptospirosis is a globally important zoonotic infection caused by spirochaetes of the genus Leptospira. It is transmitted to humans by direct contact with infected animals or indirectly via contaminated water. It is mainly a problem of the resource-poor developing countries of the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world but outbreaks due to an increase in travel and recreational activities have been reported in developed and more industrialized areas of the world. Current methods of diagnosis are costly, time-consuming and require the use of specialized laboratory equipment and personnel. The purpose of this paper is to report the validation of the ‘Leptorapide®’ test (Linnodee Ltd, Northern Ireland) for the diagnosis of human leptospirosis. It is a simple one-step latex agglutination assay performed using equal volumes of serum sample and antigen-bound latex beads. Evidence of leptospiral antibodies is determined within minutes. Agglutination is scored on a scale of 1–5 and the results interpreted using a score card provided with the kit. Validation has been performed with a large sample size obtained from individuals originating from various parts of the world including Brazil and India. The test has shown sensitivity and specificity values of 97·1% and 94·0%, respectively, relative to the microscopic agglutination test. The results demonstrate that Leptorapide offers a cost-effective and accurate alternative to the more historical methods of antibody detection.
We report the results of a successful 7-hour 1.4 GHz Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) experiment using two new stations, ASKAP-29 located in Western Australia and WARK12M located on the North Island of New Zealand. This was the first geodetic VLBI observing session with the participation of these new stations. We have determined the positions of ASKAP-29 and WARK12M. Random errors on position estimates are 150–200 mm for the vertical component and 40–50 mm for the horizontal component. Systematic errors caused by the unmodeled ionosphere path delay may reach 1.3 m for the vertical component.
We describe the current, 9-spacecraft Interplanetary Network (IPN). The IPN detects about
325 gamma-ray bursts per year, of which about 100 are not localized by any other missions.
We give some examples of how the data, which are public, can be utilized.
The Southern Hemisphere SHCal04 radiocarbon calibration curve has been updated with the addition of new data sets extending measurements to 2145 cal BP and including the ANSTO Younger Dryas Huon pine data set. Outside the range of measured data, the curve is based upon the ern Hemisphere data sets as presented in IntCal13, with an interhemispheric offset averaging 43 ± 23 yr modeled by an autoregressive process to represent the short-term correlations in the offset.
Two pregnancy cohorts were used to investigate the association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes within the insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-axis and antenatal and postnatal growth from birth to adolescence. Longitudinal analyses were conducted in the Raine pregnancy cohort (n = 1162) using repeated measures of fetal head circumference (HC), abdominal circumference (AC) and femur length (FL) from 18 to 38 weeks gestation and eight measures of postnatal height and weight (1–17 years). Replications of significant associations up to birth were undertaken in the Generation R Study (n = 2642). Of the SNPs within the IGF-axis genes, 40% (n = 58) were associated with measures of antenatal growth (P ⩽ 0.05). The majority of these SNPs were in receptors; IGF-1R (23%; n = 34) and IGF-2R (13%; n = 9). Fifteen SNPs were associated with antenatal growth (either AC or HC or FL) in Raine (P ⩽ 0.005): five of which remained significant after adjusting for multiple testing. Four of these replicated in Generation R. Associations were identified between 38% (n = 55) of the IGF-axis SNPs and postnatal height and weight; 21% in IGF-1R (n = 31) and 9% in IGF-2R (n = 13). Twenty-six SNPs were significantly associated with both antenatal and postnatal growth; 17 with discordant effects and nine with concordant effects. Genetic variants in the IGF-axis appear to play a significant role in antenatal and postnatal growth. Further replication and new analytic methods are required in order to better understand this key metabolic pathway integrating biologic knowledge about the interaction between IGF-axis components.
National Security Technologies (NSTec) has developed calibration procedures for X-ray imaging systems. The X-ray sources that are used for calibration are both diode type and diode/fluorescer combinations. Calibrating the X-ray detectors is a key to accurate calibration of the X-ray sources. Both energy dispersive detectors and photodiodes measuring total flux were used. We have developed calibration techniques for the detectors using radioactive sources that are traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The German synchrotron at Physikalische Technische Bundestalt (PTB) was used to calibrate the silicon photodiodes over the energy range from 50 to 60 keV. The measurements on X-ray cameras made using the NSTec X-ray sources included quantum efficiency averaged over all pixels, camera counts per photon per pixel, and response variation across the sensor. The instrumentation required to accomplish the calibrations is described. The X-ray energies ranged from 720 to 22.7 keV. The X-ray sources produce narrow energy bands, allowing us to determine the properties as a function of X-ray energy. The calibrations were done for several types of imaging devices. There were back and front illuminated CCD (charge-coupled device) sensors, and a CID (charge injection device) type camera. The CCD and CID camera types differ significantly in some of their properties that affect the accuracy of the X-ray intensity measurements. All the cameras discussed here are silicon based. The measurements of the quantum efficiency variation with the X-ray energy are compared to the models for the sensor structure. The cameras that are not back-thinned are compared to those that are.
Fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene variants are associated with childhood and adult obesity; however, the influence of FTO polymorphisms on foetal growth is unknown. Associations between the FTO variant rs9939609 and the foetal growth trajectories, maternal pregnancy weight gain, anthropometric measures at birth and body mass index (BMI) at age 14 years were assessed in 1079 singleton-birth Australian Caucasians. Analyses were repeated in 3512 singleton-birth Dutch Caucasians. The rs9939609 obesity-risk AA genotype was associated with symmetrical intrauterine growth restriction; an effect reversed in mothers who smoked during pregnancy. The effect increased over time and was modified by maternal smoking for head circumference (P = 0.007), abdominal circumference (P = 0.007), femur length (P = 0.02) and estimated foetal weight (P = 0.001). The modification of the association between the AA genotype and birth anthropometrics by maternal smoking was consistent across birth weight (P = 0.01) and birth length (P = 0.04) and neonatal day 2 anthropometry. Consistent associations were replicated in the Generation R cohort. Maternal pregnancy weight gain matched the pattern of birth weight and was independent of placental weight. In adolescents, the AA genotype was associated with increased BMI-adjusted-for-age in males (P = 0.00009), but no effect was detected in females. A variant in the FTO gene influences foetal growth trajectories in the third trimester, early postnatal growth and adiposity in adolescence. Maternal smoking during pregnancy reversed the direction of association of rs9939609 on foetal growth, which was probably mediated by maternal energy intake. The detection of genetic variants associated with foetal growth has the potential to identify novel molecular mechanisms underlying growth and targeted early life intervention.
This study assesses the relationship of social desirability response bias with self-reported physical, mental and cognitive health, successful ageing, and socio-demographic attributes among 1,860 older women at the University of California, San Diego's Clinical Center for the Women's Health Initiative and the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging. The women were aged between 57 and 91 years and lived in the San Diego community. Measures included a ten-item Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale, and self-report scales of physical, mental and cognitive health, successful ageing and wellbeing, as well as standard socio-demographic attributes. Bivariate correlation and multiple regression models indicated that social desirability scores negatively associated with self-reported levels of hostility, anxiety, perceived stress and self-reported cognitive failures, and that they predicted additional variance in multiple regression analyses above models containing socio-demographic predictors alone. On the other hand, even the strongest associations were what are generally considered ‘small effects’ (r<0.30). Overall, while the findings support the general validity of most of the self-report measures in studies of normal and successful ageing, consideration of social desirability response bias in the interpretation of self-reports of low levels of some key constructs (anxiety, hostility, stress, self-perceived cognitive deficits) is warranted.
The first recognized outbreak of haemorrhagic colitis due to Escherichia coli O 157. H7 in the United Kingdom affected at least 24 persons living in East Anglia over a 2-week period. Theillnesses were characterized by severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea of short duration. Eleven patients were admitted to hospital and there was one death. Patients were mainly adult women who had not eaten out of the home in the 2 weeks before onset. Unlike previously reported outbreaks hamburgers were not the vehicle of infection, and a case-control study suggested that handling vegetables, and particularly potatoes, was the important risk factor.
Spray carrier pH affects the solubility of sulfonylurea herbicides and, therefore, could affect absorption and subsequent translocation of these compounds in weeds. Trifloxysulfuron is a sulfonylurea herbicide developed for POST weed control in cotton, sugarcane, and turfgrass with a pKa of 4.81. The objective of this study was to evaluate the absorption and translocation of foliar-applied 14C-trifloxysulfuron in Palmer amaranth and Texasweed at pH 5, 7, and 9 over a period of 4 to 72 h after treatment (HAT). For absorption, effects of time, species, and pH were significant. Absorption averaged over species and pH increased logarithmically from 4 to 72 HAT. Absorption was greater for Palmer amaranth (88%) than for Texasweed (29%) when averaged over time and pH. Absorption averaged over species and time increased in the order of pH 5 (52%) < pH 9 (60%) = pH 7 (61%). Consequently, this translated into greater translocation of 14C-trifloxysulfuron in Texasweed when sprayed with the higher pH spray solutions. These data indicate that absorption and translocation of trifloxysulfuron in some weed species may be enhanced by increasing the pH of the spray solution by 2 pH units above the pKa.
The Keck Interferometer Nuller (KIN) is one of the major scientific and technical precursors to the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer (TPF-I) mission. KIN's primary objective is to measure the level of exo-zodiacal mid-infrared emission around nearby main sequence stars, which requires deep broad-band nulling of astronomical sources of a few Janskys at 10 microns. A number of new capabilitites are needed in order to reach that goal with the Keck telescopes: mid-infrared coherent recombination, interferometric operation in “split pupil” mode, N-band optical path stabilization using K-band fringe tracking and internal metrology, and eventually, active atmospheric dispersion correction. We report here on the progress made implementing these new functionalities, and discuss the initial levels of extinction achieved on the sky.
Under the appropriate in vitro culture conditions, anthers and isolated microspores of higher plants develop haploid embryos by a process referred to as androgenesis. Embryo development can be a direct recapitulation of the developmental stages characteristic of zygotic embryos, or it can be preceded by a callus stage.
There are a number of factors governing pollen embryogenesis, but genotype, donor plant physiology, stage of microspore development, and in vitro culture conditions are the most important. Some characteristics of embryogenie microspores have been identified, and late uninucleate to early binucleate cells are the most responsive. Under inductive culture conditions, uninucleate microspores divide symmetrically to initiate embryogenesis, whereas binucleate pollen exhibits sustained cell division of the vegetative or generative cell. High carbohydrate levels and an initial period at high temperature are conducive to pollen embryogenesis in some species.
Pollen embryos are developmentally similar to zygotic embryos and, under the appropriate culture conditions, they can mature and accumulate seed-specific storage products in a comparable manner. Such embryos develop directly into plants, although plants may arise from secondary structures. Double haploid plants are produced through chromosome doubling techniques. These homozygous plants are useful in plant breeding and genetic studies. In addition, haploid embryos are used in mutant isolation, gene transfer, studies of storage product biochemistry, and physiological aspects of embryo maturation.
The occurrence of haploid embryos in plants was first reported by Blakeslee et al. in 1922. Other reports indicated the recovery of haploids, probably pollen derived, as a consequence of interspecific hybridization and embryo development without fertilization (Kostoff 1934).