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Recent findings highlight that there are prenatal risks for affective disorders that are mediated by glucocorticoid mechanisms, and may be specific to females. There is also evidence of sex differences in prenatal programming mechanisms and developmental psychopathology, whereby effects are in opposite directions in males and females. As birth weight is a risk for affective disorders, we sought to investigate whether maternal prenatal cortisol may have sex-specific effects on fetal growth. Participants were 241 mothers selected from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study (WCHADS) cohort (n=1233) using a psychosocial risk stratifier, so that responses could be weighted back to the general population. Mothers provided saliva samples, which were assayed for cortisol, at home over 2 days at 32 weeks gestation (on waking, 30-min post-waking and during the evening). Measures of infant birth weight (corrected for gestational age) were taken from hospital records. General population estimates of associations between variables were obtained using inverse probability weights. Maternal log of the area under the curve cortisol predicted infant birth weight in a sex-dependent manner (interaction term P=0.029). There was a positive and statistically significant association between prenatal cortisol in males, and a negative association in females that was not statistically significant. A sex interaction in the same direction was evident when using the waking (P=0.015), and 30-min post-waking (P=0.013) cortisol, but not the evening measure. There was no interaction between prenatal cortisol and sex to predict gestational age. Our findings add to an emerging literature that suggests that there may be sex-specific mechanisms that underpin fetal programming.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) is a globally complete collection of digital outlines of glaciers, excluding the ice sheets, developed to meet the needs of the Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for estimates of past and future mass balance. The RGI was created with limited resources in a short period. Priority was given to completeness of coverage, but a limited, uniform set of attributes is attached to each of the ~198 000 glaciers in its latest version, 3.2. Satellite imagery from 1999–2010 provided most of the outlines. Their total extent is estimated as 726 800 ± 34 000 km2. The uncertainty, about ±5%, is derived from careful single-glacier and basin-scale uncertainty estimates and comparisons with inventories that were not sources for the RGI. The main contributors to uncertainty are probably misinterpretation of seasonal snow cover and debris cover. These errors appear not to be normally distributed, and quantifying them reliably is an unsolved problem. Combined with digital elevation models, the RGI glacier outlines yield hypsometries that can be combined with atmospheric data or model outputs for analysis of the impacts of climatic change on glaciers. The RGI has already proved its value in the generation of significantly improved aggregate estimates of glacier mass changes and total volume, and thus actual and potential contributions to sea-level rise.
Background: Hyperacute stroke is a time-sensitive emergency for which outcomes improve with faster treatment. When stroke systems are accessed via emergency medical services (EMS), patients are routed to hyperacute stroke centres and are treated faster. But over a third of patients with strokes do not come to the hospital by EMS, and may inadvertently arrive at centres that do not provide acute stroke services. We developed and studied the impact of protocols to quickly identify and move “walk-in” patients from non-hyperacute hospitals to regional stroke centres (RSCs). Methods and Results: Protocols were developed by a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional working group and implemented across 14 acute hospital sites within the Greater Toronto Area in December of 2012. Key metrics were recorded 18 months pre- and post-implementation. The teams regularly reviewed incident reports of protocol non-adherence and patient flow data. Transports increased by 80% from 103 to 185. The number of patients receiving tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) increased by 68% from 34 to 57. Total EMS transport time decreased 17 minutes (mean time of 54.46 to 37.86 minutes, p<0.0001). Calls responded to within 9 minutes increased from 34 to 59%. Conclusions: A systems-based approach that included a multi-organizational collaboration and consensus-based protocols to move patients from non-hyperacute hospitals to RSCs resulted in more patients receiving hyperacute stroke interventions and improvements in EMS response and transport times. As hyperacute stroke care becomes more centralized and endovascular therapy becomes more broadly implemented, the protocols developed here can be employed by other regions organizing patient flow across systems of stroke care.
The assumptions involved in the use of chemically based mixing models for analysis of flow routing of meltwaters in glacierized basins are critically evaluated. The assumption that glacial drainage systems consist of only two primary flow components is arbitrary and must be supported by independent evidence. Recent studies of the processes by which meltwaters acquire solute indicate that the assumption that flow components have unique and constant chemical compositions is unlikely to be correct. Source-water composition and weathering potential will vary over the course of a melt season, and the extent of subglacial weathering is strongly dependent upon such factors as meltwater residence time and the availability of reactive sediment, both of which are known to vary on diurnal to seasonal time-scales. Mixing of flow components does not appear to be confined to the terminal regions of glaciers and is therefore unlikely to be conservative as assumed. A multi-parameter mixing model is applied to the analysis of data on the chemistry of waters sampled from boreholes drilled through Haut Glacier d’Arolla, Switzerland, to demonstrate the range of dissolved species for which the assumption of conservative mixing is violated. The consequences of this violation for quantitative hydrograph separation are shown to be highly significant. The utility of mixing models as a tool for the investigation of glacier hydrological systems is questionable and the results of previous studies are unreliable.
This paper determines the provenance of solute in bulk meltwaters draining Haut Glacier d’Arolla, Valais, Switzerland, during the 1989 ablation season. Dissolved species are partitioned into components derived from sea salt, acid aerosol, dissolution of atmospheric CO2, and lithogenic sources, namely carbonates, sulphides and aluminosillicates. A major conclusion is that trace geochemically reactive minerals in the bedrock contribute the bulk of the solute found in runoff. Seasonal changes in solute provenance and in the dominant chemical weathering process are observed. Whereas the chemical weathering of aluminosillicate minerals by carbonation reactions remains relatively constant during the ablation season, the chemical erosion of carbonates shows distinct seasonal variations, reflecting changes in the nature of the subglacial drainage system. Subglacial drainage structure and bedrock type are key controls on the extent of subglacial chemical weathering.
Victimisation by the police is purported to be widespread in cities in the USA, but there is limited data on police–public encounters from community samples. This is partly due to an absence of measures for assessing police violence exposure from the standpoint of civilians. As such, the demographic distribution and mental health correlates of police victimisation are poorly understood. The aims of this study were to present community-based prevalence estimates of positive policing and police victimisation based on assessment with two novel measures, and to test the hypotheses that (1) exposure to police victimisation would vary across demographic groups and (2) would be associated with depression and psychological distress.
The Survey of Police–Public Encounters study surveyed adults residing in four US cities to examine the prevalence, demographic distribution and psychological correlates of police victimisation. Participants (N = 1615) completed measures of psychological distress (K-6 scale), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire 9) and two newly constructed measures of civilian-reported police–public encounters. Both measures were developed to assess police victimisation based on the WHO domains of violence, which include physical violence (with and without a weapon, assessed separately), sexual violence (inappropriate sexual contact, including public strip searches), psychological violence (e.g., threatening, intimidating, stopping without cause, or using discriminatory slurs) and neglect (police not responding when called or responding too late). The Police Practices Inventory assesses lifetime history of exposure to positive policing and police victimisation, and the Expectations of Police Practices Scale assesses the perceived likelihood of future incidents of police victimisation. Linear regression models were used to test for associations between police–public encounters and psychological distress and depression.
Psychological violence (18.6%) and police neglect (18.8%) were commonly reported in this sample and a substantial minority of respondents also reported more severe forms of violence, specifically physical (6.1%), sexual (2.8%) and physical with a weapon (3.3%). Police victimisation was more frequently reported by racial/ethnic minorities, males, transgender respondents and younger adults. Nearly all forms of victimisation (but not positive policing) were associated with psychological distress and depression in adjusted linear regression models.
Victimisation by police appears to be widespread, inequitably distributed across demographic groups and psychologically impactful. These findings suggest that public health efforts to both reduce the prevalence of police violence and to alleviate its psychological impact may be needed, particularly in disadvantaged urban communities.
N- and p-type filled-skutterudite materials prepared for thermoelectric power generation modules were analyzed by neutron diffraction at the POWGEN beam line of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The skutterudite powders were processed by melt spinning, followed by ball milling and annealing. The n-type material consists of Ba–Yb–Co–Sb and the p-type material consists of Di–Fe–Ni–Sb or Di–Fe–Co–Sb (Di = didymium, an alloy of Pr and Nd). Powders for prototype module fabrication from General Motors and Marlow Industries were analyzed in this study. XRD and neutron diffraction studies confirm that both the n- and p-type materials have cubic symmetry. Structural Rietveld refinements determined the lattice parameters and atomic parameters of the framework and filler atoms. The cage filling fraction was found to depend linearly on the lattice parameter, which in turn depends on the average framework atom size. This knowledge may allow the filling fraction of these skutterudite materials to be purposefully adjusted, thereby tuning the thermoelectric properties.
Before the space era, Mars was thought to be like the earth; after Mariner 4, Mars seemed to be like the moon; Mariners 6 and 7 have shown Mars to have its own distinctive features, unknown elsewhere within the solar system.
The successful flyby of Mariner 4 past Mars in July 1965 opened a new era in the close-range study of planetary surfaces with imaging techniques. In spite of the limited return of data, Mariner 4 established the basic workability of one such technique, which involved use of a vidicon image tube, on-board digitization of the video signal, storage of the data on magnetic tape, transmission to the earth at reduced bit rate by way of a directional antenna, and reconstruction into a picture under computer control. Even though the Mariner 4 pictures covered only about 1% of Mars's area, they contributed significantly to our knowledge of that planet's surface and history [1, 2, 15, 17].
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
It is well known that the solution of the mathematical problem of the motion of liquid arising from the motion through it of solids has been effected in comparatively few instances, and in these, such as the sphere and the ellipsoid, the surface is defined by a single equation. In the following investigation, however, we seem naturally to come across cases where the solid might be described as “a compound body,” consisting as it does of parts defined by different equations. It is possible that the method employed might lead to the solution of analogous problems in Sound, Heat, or Electricity.
Mothers' self-reported stroking of their infants over the first weeks of life modifies the association between prenatal depression and physiological and emotional reactivity at 7 months, consistent with animal studies of the effects of tactile stimulation. We now investigate whether the effects of maternal stroking persist to 2.5 years. Given animal and human evidence for sex differences in the effects of prenatal stress we compare associations in boys and girls.
From a general population sample of 1233 first-time mothers recruited at 20 weeks gestation we drew a random sample of 316 for assessment at 32 weeks, stratified by reported inter-partner psychological abuse, a risk indicator for child development. Of these mothers, 243 reported at 5 and 9 weeks how often they stroked their infants, and completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) at 2.5 years post-delivery.
There was a significant interaction between prenatal anxiety and maternal stroking in the prediction of CBCL internalizing (p = 0.001) and anxious/depressed scores (p < 0.001). The effects were stronger in females than males, and the three-way interaction prenatal anxiety × maternal stroking × sex of infant was significant for internalizing symptoms (p = 0.003). The interactions arose from an association between prenatal anxiety and internalizing symptoms only in the presence of low maternal stroking.
The findings are consistent with stable epigenetic effects, many sex specific, reported in animal studies. While epigenetic mechanisms may be underlying the associations, it remains to be established whether stroking affects gene expression in humans.
Novel field emission (FE) devices are introduced employing lateral architecture. Ultrathin multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) sheet were utilized to fabricate the emitter. Effects of basic configuration of sheets, including the orientation of CNTs and sheet thickness were examined. The novel device achieved the threshold field (the electric field at which current density reach 1 mA/cm2) of 0.67 V/µm and enhancement factor larger than 20,000.
Pain is a common symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). We investigated the effects of the treatments used in the PACE trial [cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), graded exercise therapy (GET), adaptive pacing therapy (APT) and specialist medical care (SMC)] on pain in CFS.
We compared pain outcomes including individual painful symptoms, taken from the CDC criteria for CFS and co-morbid fibromyalgia. We modelled outcomes adjusting for baseline variables with multiple linear regression.
Significantly less frequent muscle pain was reported by patients following treatment with CBT compared to SMC (mean difference = 0.38 unit change in frequency, p = 0.02), GET versus SMC (0.42, p = 0.01) and GET versus APT (0.37, p = 0.01). Significantly less joint pain was reported following CBT versus APT (0.35, p = 0.02) and GET versus APT (0.36, p = 0.02). Co-morbid fibromyalgia was less frequent following GET versus SMC (0.03, p = 0.03). The effect sizes of these differences varied between 0.25 and 0.31 for muscle pain and 0.24 and 0.26 for joint pain. Treatment effects on pain were independent of ‘change in fatigue’.
CBT and GET were more effective in reducing the frequency of both muscle and joint pain than APT and SMC. When compared to SMC, GET also reduced the frequency of co-morbid fibromyalgia; the size of this effect on pain was small.