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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Paediatric hearing loss rates in Ghana are currently unknown.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in peri-urban Kumasi, Ghana; children (aged 3–15 years) were recruited from randomly selected households. Selected children underwent otoscopic examination prior to in-community pure tone screening using the portable ShoeBox audiometer. The LittlEars auditory questionnaire was also administered to caregivers and parents.
Data were collected from 387 children. After conditioning, 362 children were screened using monaural pure tones presented at 25 dB. Twenty-five children could not be conditioned to behavioural audiometric screening. Eight children were referred based on audiometric screening results. Of those, four were identified as having hearing loss. Four children scored less than the maximum mark of 35 on the LittleEars questionnaire. Of those, three had hearing loss as identified through pure tone screening. The predominant physical finding on otoscopy was ear canal cerumen impaction.
Paediatric hearing loss is prevalent in Ghana, and should be treated as a public health problem warranting further evaluation and epidemiology characterisation.
Immune system markers may predict affective disorder treatment response, but whether an overall immune system marker predicts bipolar disorder treatment effect is unclear.
Bipolar CHOICE (N = 482) and LiTMUS (N = 283) were similar comparative effectiveness trials treating patients with bipolar disorder for 24 weeks with four different treatment arms (standard-dose lithium, quetiapine, moderate-dose lithium plus optimised personalised treatment (OPT) and OPT without lithium). We performed secondary mixed effects linear regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, smoking and body mass index to investigate relationships between pre-treatment white blood cell (WBC) levels and clinical global impression scale (CGI) response.
Compared to participants with WBC counts of 4.5–10 × 109/l, participants with WBC < 4.5 or WBC ≥ 10 showed similar improvement within each specific treatment arm and in gender-stratified analyses.
An overall immune system marker did not predict differential treatment response to four different treatment approaches for bipolar disorder all lasting 24 weeks.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
Although cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depression, less than half of patients achieve satisfactory symptom reduction during treatment. Targeting known psychopathological processes such as rumination may increase treatment efficacy. The aim of this study was to test whether adding group rumination-focused CBT (RFCBT) that explicitly targets rumination to routine medical management is superior to adding group CBT to routine medical management in treating major depression.
A total of 131 outpatients with major depression were randomly allocated to 12 sessions group RFCBT v. group CBT, each in addition to routine medical management. The primary outcome was observer-rated symptoms of depression at the end of treatment measured on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Secondary outcomes were rumination at post-treatment and depressive symptoms at 6 months follow-up (Trial registered: NCT02278224).
RFCBT significantly improved observer-rated depressive symptoms (Cohen's d 0.38; 95% CI 0.03–0.73) relative to group CBT at post-treatment on the primary outcome. No post-treatment differences were found in rumination or in depressive symptoms at 6 months follow-up, although these secondary analyses may have been underpowered.
This is the first randomized controlled trial providing evidence of benefits of RFCBT in major depression compared with CBT. Group RFCBT may be a beneficial alternative to group CBT for major depression.
Millions of people across the world suffer from disabling hearing loss. Appropriate interventions lead to improved speech and language skills, educational advancement, and improved social integration. A major limitation to improving care is identifying those with disabling hearing loss in low-resource countries.
This review article summarises information on currently available hearing screening platforms and technology available from published reports and the authors’ personal experiences of hearing loss identification in low-resource areas of the world. The paper reviews the scope and capabilities of portable hearing screening platforms, including the pros and cons of each technology and how they have been utilised in low-resource environments.
Portable hearing screening tools are readily available to assess hearing loss in low-resource areas. Each technology has advantages and limitations that should be considered when identifying the optimal methods to assess needs in each country.
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.
Recent grazing preference studies show that sheep offered a choice between large adjacent monocultures of perennial ryegrass and white clover choose a diet that is a mixture of the two species (ca. 0·7 white clover) (Parsons et al., 1994). One possible hypothesis to explain this is that animals need to sample different areas to know what is located there or the different plant species to know what eating each species represents and because of this include apparently less desirable foods (here ryegrass) in the diet (see Parsons et al., 1994). Edwards et al., (1996) showed that sheep can use spatial memory and so may not need to sample on an area basis. In this study, we tested directly whether sheep could distinguish between ryegrass and white clover without grazing them and whether they can form associations between the appearance of the vegetation and the food reward it represents.
Plant species or vegetation characteristics (e.g. sward height) are often distributed in patches within a background of continuous vegetation. Grazing animals exploit this spatial heterogeneity by concentrating their foraging in patches that are of preferred species or in patches that offer high rates of intake (Bazely, 1988). However, little is known of the mechanisms or individual behaviours that animals use to accomplish this preferential patch use. One hypothesis proposed to account for the preferential patch use is that animals remember information about the spatial distribution of the patches they encounter and use this information on subsequent foraging bouts to increase the rate at which they encounter preferred food patches (Bell, 1991). In this study, we tested whether sheep could remember the spatial location of patches in simple and complex environments or whether they needed continually to sample to know what was located in each area.
We report the results of Long Baseline Array observations made in 2001 of ten southern sources proposed by Mattox et al. as counterparts to EGRET >100 MeV gamma-ray sources. Source structures are compared with published data where available and possible superluminal motions identified in several cases. The associations are examined in the light of Fermi observations, indicating that the confirmed counterparts tend to have radio properties consistent with other identifications, including flat radio spectral index, high brightness temperature, greater radio variability, and higher core dominance.
The re-emergence of debates on the decolonisation of knowledge has revived interest in the National Question, which began over a century ago and remains unresolved. Tensions that were suppressed and hidden in the past are now being openly debated. Despite this, the goal of one united nation living prosperously under a constitutional democracy remains elusive. This edited volume examines the way in which various strands of left thought have addressed the National Question, especially during the apartheid years, and goes on to discuss its relevance for South Africa today and in the future. Instead of imposing a particular understanding of the National Question, the editors identified a number of political traditions and allowed contributors the freedom to define the question as they believed appropriate – in other words, to explain what they thought was the Unresolved National Question. This has resulted in a rich tapestry of interweaving perceptions. The volume is structured in two parts. The first examines four foundational traditions: Marxism-Leninism (the Colonialism of a Special Type thesis); the Congress tradition; the Trotskyist tradition; and Africanism. The second part explores the various shifts in the debate from the 1960s onwards, and includes chapters on Afrikaner nationalism, ethnic issues, black consciousness, feminism, workerism and constitutionalism. The editors hope that by revisiting the debates not popularly known among the scholarly mainstream, this volume will become a catalyst for an enriched debate on our identity and our future.