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Irrigation according to reliable estimates of crop water requirements (CWR) is one of the key strategies to ensure long-term sustainability of irrigated agriculture. In southern Mediterranean regions, during the irrigation season, CWR is almost totally controlled by the potential evapotranspiration of the irrigated crop. An innovative system for forecasting crop potential evapotranspiration (ETp) has been implemented recently in the Campania region (southern Italy). The system produces ETp forecasts with a lead time of up to 5 days, by coupling the visible and near-infrared crop imagery with numerical weather prediction outputs of a limited area model. The forecasts are delivered to farmers with a simple and intuitive web app interface, which makes daily real-time ETp maps accessible from desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. Forecast performances were evaluated for maize fields of two farms in two irrigation seasons (2014–2015). The mean absolute bias of the forecasted ETp was <0.3 mm/day and the RMSE was <0.6 mm/day, both for lead times up to 5 days.
The existence of multiple subclasses of type Ia supernovae (SNeIa) has been the subject of great debate in the last decade. In this work, we show how machine learning tools facilitate identification of subtypes of SNe Ia. Using Deep Learning for dimensionality reduction, we were capable of performing such identification in a parameter space of significantly lower dimension than its principal component analysis counterpart. This is evidence that the progenitor system and the explosion mechanism can be described with a small number of initial physical parameters. All tools used here are publicly available in the Python package DRACULA (Dimensionality Reduction And Clustering for Unsupervised Learning in Astronomy) and can be found within COINtoolbox (https://github.com/COINtoolbox/DRACULA).
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
In his Tanner Lecture of 1979 called Equality of What? Amartya Sen asked what metric egalitarians should use to establish the extent to which their ideal is realised in a given society. In this study I comment on answers to Sen’s question in recent philosophical literature. I describe and criticize what a number of authors (and notably Rawls and Sen) of egalitarian persuasion have said about the dimension(s) or respect(s) in which people should be made more equal, when the price in other values of moving towards greater equality is not intolerable.
Patients with dementia may be unable to describe their symptoms, and caregivers frequently suffer emotional burden that can interfere with judgment of the patient's behavior. The Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Clinician rating scale (NPI-C) was therefore developed as a comprehensive and versatile instrument to assess and accurately measure neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in dementia, thereby using information from caregiver and patient interviews, and any other relevant available data. The present study is a follow-up to the original, cross-national NPI-C validation, evaluating the reliability and concurrent validity of the NPI-C in quantifying psychopathological symptoms in dementia in a large Brazilian cohort.
Two blinded raters evaluated 312 participants (156 patient-knowledgeable informant dyads) using the NPI-C for a total of 624 observations in five Brazilian centers. Inter-rater reliability was determined through intraclass correlation coefficients for the NPI-C domains and the traditional NPI. Convergent validity included correlations of specific domains of the NPI-C with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Index (CMAI), the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), and the Apathy Inventory (AI).
Inter-rater reliability was strong for all NPI-C domains. There were high correlations between NPI-C/delusions and BPRS, NPI-C/apathy-indifference with the AI, NPI-C/depression-dysphoria with the CSDD, NPI-C/agitation with the CMAI, and NPI-C/aggression with the CMAI. There was moderate correlation between the NPI-C/aberrant vocalizations and CMAI and the NPI-C/hallucinations with the BPRS.
The NPI-C is a comprehensive tool that provides accurate measurement of NPS in dementia with high concurrent validity and inter-rater reliability in the Brazilian setting. In addition to universal assessment, the NPI-C can be completed by individual domains.
We assessed the heritability of head circumference, an approximation of brain size, in twin-sib families of different ages. Data from the youngest participants were collected a few weeks after birth and from the oldest participants around age 50 years. In nearly all age groups the largest part of the variation in head circumference was explained by genetic differences. Heritability estimates were 90% in young infants (4 to 5 months), 85–88% in early childhood, 83–87% in adolescence, 75% in young and mid adulthood. In infants younger than 3 months, heritability was very low or absent. Quantitative sex differences in heritability were observed in 15- and 18-year-olds, but there was no evidence for qualitative sex differences, that is, the same genes were expressed in both males and females. Longitudinal analysis of the data between 5, 7, and 18 years of age showed high genetic stability (.78 > RG > .98). These results indicate that head circumference is a highly heritable biometric trait and a valid target for future GWA studies.
Persistent tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are major public health concerns worldwide. Both alcohol and nicotine dependence (AD, ND) are genetically influenced complex disorders that exhibit a high degree of comorbidity. To identify gene variants contributing to one or both of these addictions, we first conducted a pooling-based genomewide association study (GWAS) in an Australian population, using Illumina Infinium 1M arrays. Allele frequency differences were compared between pooled DNA from case and control groups for: (1) AD, 1224 cases and 1162 controls; (2) ND, 1273 cases and 1113 controls; and (3) comorbid AD and ND, 599 cases and 488 controls. Secondly, we carried out a GWAS in independent samples from the Netherlands for AD and for ND. Thirdly, we performed a meta-analysis of the 10, 000 most significant AD- and ND-related SNPs from the Australian and Dutch samples. In the Australian GWAS, one SNP achieved genomewide significance (p < 5 x 10-8) for ND (rs964170 in ARHGAPlOon chromosome 4, p = 4.43 x 10”8) and three others for comorbid AD/ND (rs7530302 near MARK1 on chromosome 1 (p = 1.90 x 10-9), rs1784300 near DDX6 on chromosome 11 (p = 2.60 x 10-9) and rs12882384 in KIAA1409 on chromosome 14 (p = 4.86 x 10-8)). None of the SNPs achieved genomewide significance in the Australian/Dutch meta-analysis, but a gene network diagram based on the top-results revealed overrepre-sentation of genes coding for ion-channels and cell adhesion molecules. Further studies will be requirec before the detailed causes of comorbidity between AC and ND are understood.
The cervico-oculo-acoustic syndrome comprises Klippel-Feil anomaly, sensorineural deafness and Duane's retraction syndrome. Polygenic, autosomal dominant, and X-linked inheritance have been hypothesized. The disorder has rarely been reported in males.
A 42-year-old male, born of consanguineous parents, presented with Duane's syndrome, mixed hearing loss, C2-C3 fusion, neck stiffness, and right facial palsy. A variety of cardiac, neurological and urogenital anomalies occurred in his relatives. The electro-oculographic studies showed impaired abduction and adduction of the right eye and impaired abduction of the left eye. Vergence, vertical eye movements and peripheral vestibular responses were normal. Somatosensory evoked potentials showed absence of the N13 peak and brainstem auditory evoked potentials bilateral delay of the I-III interpeak latencies.
Consanguinity of the patient's parents, not previously reported, suggests autosomal recessive inheritance, but autosomal dominant inheritance is indicated by the family history. The pattern of the oculomotor deficit is consistent with bilateral dysplasia of the abducens nuclei with preserved internuclear neurons in the right abducens nucleus. Neurophysiological investigations revealed lower brainstem and cervical cord involvement.
Amajor component of variation in body height is due to genetic differences, but environmental factors have a substantial contributory effect. In this study we aimed to analyse whether the genetic architecture of body height varies between affluent western societies. We analysed twin data from eight countries comprising 30,111 complete twin pairs by using the univariate genetic model of the Mx statistical package. Body height and zygosity were self-reported in seven populations and measured directly in one population. We found that there was substantial variation in mean body height between countries; body height was least in Italy (177 cm in men and 163 cm in women) and greatest in the Netherlands (184 cm and 171 cm, respectively). In men there was no corresponding variation in heritability of body height, heritability estimates ranging from 0.87 to 0.93 in populations under an additive genes/unique environment (AE) model. Among women the heritability estimates were generally lower than among men with greater variation between countries, ranging from 0.68 to 0.84 when an additive genes/shared environment/unique environment (ACE) model was used. In four populations where an AE model fit equally well or better, heritability ranged from 0.89 to 0.93. This difference between the sexes was mainly due to the effect of the shared environmental component of variance, which appears to be more important among women than among men in our study populations. Our results indicate that, in general, there are only minor differences in the genetic architecture of height between affluent Caucasian populations, especially among men.