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Here we provide an update of the 2013 report on the Nigerian Twin and Sibling Registry (NTSR). The major aim of the NTSR is to understand genetic and environmental influences and their interplay in psychological and mental health development in Nigerian children and adolescents. Africans have the highest twin birth rates among all human populations, and Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. Due to its combination of large population and high twin birth rates, Nigeria has one of the largest twin populations in the world. In this article, we provide current updates on the NTSR samples recruited, recruitment procedures, zygosity assessment and findings emerging from the NTSR.
Bloodstream infection (BSI) is a serious complication in immunocompromised hosts. This study compares epidemiological, clinical and microbiological characteristics of BSI among children with haematological malignancies (HM) and solid tumours (ST). The study was conducted from October 2012 through to November 2015 at a referral hospital for cancer care and included the first BSI episode detected in 210 patients aged 18 years or less. BSI cases were prospectively detected by daily laboratory-based surveillance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions for primary or secondary BSI were used. A higher proportion of use of corticosteroids (P = 0.02), chemotherapy (P = 0.01) and antibiotics (P = 0.05) before the BSI diagnosis; as well as of neutropenia (P < 0.001) and mucositis (P < 0.001) at the time of BSI diagnosis was observed in patients with HM than with ST. Previous surgical procedures (P = 0.03), mechanical ventilation (P = 0.01) and bed confinement (P < 0.001) were more frequent among children with ST. The frequency of use of temporary (P = 0.01) and implanted vascular lines (P < 0.01) was significantly higher in children with ST than with HM while the tunnelled line (P = 0.01) use was more frequent in children with HM as compared to ST. Most (n = 181) BSI cases were primary BSI. BSI associated with a tunnelled catheter was more frequent in children with HM (P < 0.01), whereas BSI associated with an implanted (P < 0.01) or temporary central line (P < 0.02) was more common in patients with ST. BSI associated with mucosal barrier injury was more frequent (P = 0.01) in children with HM. Indication for intensive care was more frequent in children (P = 0.05) with ST. Mortality ratio was similar in children with ST and HM, and length of hospital stay after BSI was higher in patients with HM than with ST (median of 19 vs. 13 days; P = 0.02). Infection caused by Gram-negative bacteria (P = 0.04) and polymicrobial infections (P = 0.05) due to Gram-positive cocci plus fungus was more common in patients with HM. These findings suggest that the characteristics of BSI acquisition and mortality can be cancer-specific.
To examine the relationship between unit-wide Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) susceptibility and inpatient mobility and to create contagion centrality as a new predictive measure of CDI.
Retrospective cohort study.
A mobility network was constructed using 2 years of patient electronic health record data for a 739-bed hospital (n = 72,636 admissions). Network centrality measures were calculated for each hospital unit (node) providing clinical context for each in terms of patient transfers between units (ie, edges). Daily unit-wide CDI susceptibility scores were calculated using logistic regression and were compared to network centrality measures to determine the relationship between unit CDI susceptibility and patient mobility.
Closeness centrality was a statistically significant measure associated with unit susceptibility (P < .05), highlighting the importance of incoming patient mobility in CDI prevention at the unit level. Contagion centrality (CC) was calculated using inpatient transfer rates, unit-wide susceptibility of CDI, and current hospital CDI infections. The contagion centrality measure was statistically significant (P < .05) with our outcome of hospital-onset CDI cases, and it captured the additional opportunities for transmission associated with inpatient transfers. We have used this analysis to create easily interpretable clinical tools showing this relationship as well as the risk of hospital-onset CDI in real time, and these tools can be implemented in hospital EHR systems.
Quantifying and visualizing the combination of inpatient transfers, unit-wide risk, and current infections help identify hospital units at risk of developing a CDI outbreak and, thus, provide clinicians and infection prevention staff with advanced warning and specific location data to inform prevention efforts.
Describe and validate the CHROME (CHemical Restraints avOidance MEthodology) criteria.
Observational prospective longitudinal study.
Single nursing home in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.
288 residents; mean age: 81.6 (SD 10.6). 77.4% had dementia.
Multicomponent training and consultancy program to eliminate physical and chemical restraints and promote overall quality care. Clinicians were trained in stringent diagnostic criteria of neuropsychiatric syndromes and adequate psychotropic prescription.
Psychotropic prescription (primary study target), neuropsychiatric syndromes, physical restraints, falls, and emergency room visits were semi-annually collected from December 2015 to December 2017. Results are presented for all residents and for those who had dementia and participated in the five study waves (completer analysis, n=107).
For the study completers, atypical neuroleptic prescription dropped from 42.7% to 18.7%, long half-life benzodiazepines dropped from 25.2% to 6.5%, and hypnotic medications from 47.7% to 12.1% (p<0.0005). Any kind of fall evolved from 67.3 to 32.7 (number of falls by 100 residents per year). Physicians’ diagnostic confidence increased, while the frequency of diagnoses of neuropsychiatric syndromes decreased (p<0.0005).
Implementing the CHROME criteria reduced the prescription of the most dangerous medications in institutionalized people with dementia. Two independent audits found no physical or chemical restraint and confirmed prescription quality of psychotropic drugs. Adequate diagnosis and independent audits appear to be the keys to help and motivate professionals to optimize and reduce the use of psychotropic medication. The CHROME criteria unify, in a single compendium, neuropsychiatric diagnostic criteria, prescription guidelines, independent audit methodology, and minimum legal standards. These criteria can be easily adapted to other countries.
Vaccination coverage (VC) against pertussis can increase when management practices and policies at primary care centres (PCCs) are reinforced. From 2011 to 2015, we performed a case–control study to evaluate VC among pertussis patients treated at PCCs in Barcelona, Spain. We recorded pertussis in patients from 8- to 16-year-olds at 52 PCCs. Pertussis cases had laboratory diagnostic and controls were healthy outpatients visiting the same facility for reasons other than cough. DTaP/dTap VC was recorded as either proper vaccination status (five doses recorded) or improper vaccination status (<5 doses recorded). We used a logistic regression model to estimate OR and 95% CI. We included 229 cases and 576 controls. VC was higher in cases (mean 5.01, s.e.: 0.57) than in controls (4.89, s.e.: 0.73). Around 69% of the cases had received DTaP primary immunisation after 2–5 years and 31.4% of cases had the dTap booster immunisation after 7–10 years. The 87% of children 5–9 years were properly vaccinated. We found no protection from becoming ill among properly vaccinated children (OR 1.87; 95% CI 1.22–2.85). The highest VC was observed in patients with confirmed pertussis, which was likely due to a more exhaustive follow-up of the VC in these patients. Being properly vaccinated against pertussis will probably not increase VC.
Twin registries often take part in large collaborative projects and are major contributors to genome-wide association (GWA) meta-analysis studies. In this article, we describe genotyping of twin-family populations from Australia, the Midwestern USA (Avera Twin Register), the Netherlands (Netherlands Twin Register), as well as a sample of mothers of twins from Nigeria to assess the extent, if any, of genetic differences between them. Genotyping in all cohorts was done using a custom-designed Illumina Global Screening Array (GSA), optimized to improve imputation quality for population-specific GWA studies. We investigated the degree of genetic similarity between the populations using several measures of population variation with genotype data generated from the GSA. Visualization of principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the Australian, Dutch and Midwestern American populations exhibit negligible interpopulation stratification when compared to each other, to a reference European population and to globally distant populations. Estimations of fixation indices (FST values) between the Australian, Midwestern American and Netherlands populations suggest minimal genetic differentiation compared to the estimates between each population and a genetically distinct cohort (i.e., samples from Nigeria genotyped on GSA). Thus, results from this study demonstrate that genotype data from the Australian, Dutch and Midwestern American twin-family populations can be reasonably combined for joint-genetic analysis.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Typically concrete words are learned better than abstract words (Kaushanskaya & Rechtzigel, 2012), and nouns are learned better than verbs (Kauschke & Stenneken, 2008). However, most studies on concreteness have not manipulated grammatical class (and vice versa), leaving the relationship between the two unclear. Therefore, in two experiments we examined the effects of grammatical class and concreteness simultaneously in foreign language vocabulary learning. In Experiment 1, English speakers learned ‘foreign language’ words (English pseudowords) mapped to concrete and abstract nouns and verbs. In Experiment 2, English speakers learned German words with the same procedure. Overall, the typical advantages for concrete words and nouns were observed. Hierarchical regression analyses provided evidence that the grammatical class effect is separable from the concreteness effect. This result challenges a strict concreteness-based source of noun/verb differences. The results also suggest that the influences of concreteness and grammatical class may vary across language measures and tasks.
To evaluate the aptness of a navigation system in a particular application, the designer needs to assess its performance over typical trajectories travelled by the vehicle itself. Moreover, he or she may be required to judge which components of the kinematics state may be better estimated (and which will not). The main contributions of this work are two novel and complementary performance measures that, in concert, allow for the assessment of a navigation system within the actual context of its application over specific trajectories. For a given on board instrumental configuration, the “excitability metric” permits the isolation of the contribution of the information conveyed by the vehicle's motion itself, while, the “sensability metric” measures the resultant overall quality of the kinematics state estimation. The same tools could help the designer planning appropriate vehicles manoeuvres in order to obtain a required precision for each estimated component. While emphasis is given on the mathematical justification of those metrics, their use is also illustrated with real flight data recorded from a sounding rocket.
The aim of the 25 and Up (25Up) study was to assess a wide range of psychological and behavioral risk factors behind mental illness in a large cohort of Australian twins and their non-twin siblings. Participants had already been studied longitudinally from the age of 12 and most recently in the 19Up study (mean age = 26.1 years, SD = 4.1, range = 20–39). This subsequent wave follows up these twins several years later in life (mean age = 29.7 years, SD = 2.2, range = 22–44). The resulting data set enables additional detailed investigations of genetic pathways underlying psychiatric illnesses in the Brisbane Longitudinal Twin Study (BLTS). Data were collected between 2016 and 2018 from 2540 twins and their non-twin siblings (59% female, including 341 monozygotic complete twin-pairs, 415 dizygotic complete pairs and 1028 non-twin siblings and singletons). Participants were from South-East Queensland, Australia, and the sample was of predominantly European ancestry. The 25Up study collected information on 20 different mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, substance use, psychosis, bipolar and attention-deficit hyper-activity disorder, as well as general demographic information such as occupation, education level, number of children, self-perceived IQ and household environment. In this article, we describe the prevalence, comorbidities and age of onset for all 20 examined disorders. The 25Up study also assessed general and physical health, including physical activity, sleep patterns, eating behaviors, baldness, acne, migraines and allergies, as well as psychosocial items such as suicidality, perceived stress, loneliness, aggression, sleep–wake cycle, sexual identity and preferences, technology and internet use, traumatic life events, gambling and cyberbullying. In addition, 25Up assessed female health traits such as morning sickness, breastfeeding and endometriosis. Furthermore, given that the 25Up study is an extension of previous BLTS studies, 86% of participants have already been genotyped. This rich resource will enable the assessment of epidemiological risk factors, as well as the heritability and genetic correlations of mental conditions.
A power MOSFET-based push–pull configuration nanosecond-pulse generator has been designed, constructed, and characterized to permeabilize cells for biological and medical applications. The generator can deliver pulses with durations ranging from 80 ns up to 1 µs and pulse amplitudes up to 1.4 kV. The unit has been tested for in vitro experiments on a medulloblastoma cell line. Following the exposure of cells to 100, 200, and 300 ns electric field pulses, permeabilization tests were carried out, and viability tests were conducted to verify the performance of the generator. The maximum temperature rise of the biological load was also calculated based on Joule heating energy conservation and experimental validation. Our results indicate that the developed device has good capabilities to achieve well-controlled electro-manipulation in vitro.
We describe the new species ognitite, NiBiTe, and a Co-rich variety of maucherite, hitherto unreported; both were discovered in the Ognit ultramafic complex of Neoproterozoic age in Eastern Sayans, Russia. The mean composition of ognitite (n = 7) is: Ni 17.05, Fe 0.07, Cu 0.14, Pd 0.14, Te 32.53, Bi 49.64, total 99.57 wt.%, corresponding to: (Ni1.11Cu0.008Fe0.005Pd0.005)Σ1.13Bi0.90Te0.97 (Σ atoms = 3 apfu). Ognitite is trigonal, space group P3m1 [R1 = 0.0276 for 81 reflections with Fo > 4σ(Fo)]. The unit-cell parameters derived from the single-crystal X-ray diffraction data are: a = 3.928(1) Å, c = 5.385(1) Å and V = 71.95(4) Å3, with Z = 1. The c:a ratio is 1.37. The powder X-ray diffraction data obtained on the same fragment used for the single-crystal study are: a = 3.9332(4) Å, c = 5.3920(6) Å and V = 72.24(1) Å3. Ognitite exhibits the brucite-type structure with edge-sharing NiTe3Bi3 octahedra forming sheets parallel to (0001). It is related to melonite, but is distinct compositionally by the extreme Bi-enrichment (melonite and its synthetic analogue contain <0.4 Bi apfu), and structurally as Bi and Te are ordered at two distinct sites, leading to the loss of the centre of symmetry in ognitite.
At more than 9 wt.% Co, or ~2 apfu Co, the core of Co-rich maucherite [(Ni,Co)11As8] in a zoned crystal, which is surrounded by Co-depleted orcelite, far surpasses the norm (≤1 and up to 3.9 wt.% Co). The unit-cell parameters of the Co-rich maucherite are: a = 6.85(2) and c = 21.83(5) Å, which are based on results of synchrotron micro-Laue diffraction.
The host rock consists of serpentine, clinochlore (Mg# 95–97) and skeletal chromite. We favour the metastable crystallisation of fluid-saturated globules of a sulfide–arsenide melt to explain the anomalous compositions of ore minerals at Ognit. These anomalies seem consistent with rapid cooling in a fluid-enriched system, possibly related to late-stage degassing of the magma, as reflected in a prominent metasomatic aureole at the contact with the enclosing gneissic rocks.
The near-threatened Lilian’s Lovebird Agapornis lilianae is a small parrot endemic to the Zambezi basin in south-east Africa. The species has a fragmented distribution predominantly within mopane woodlands and is widely referred to as a mopane specialist. The harvesting of mopane trees for charcoal production and timber are having widespread impacts on this woodland habitat, raising concerns over its capacity to support biodiversity. This study aimed to understand the key drivers determining the occurrence of Lilian’s Lovebird in the mopane woodlands of Zambia, focusing particularly on aspects of woodland structure, including the size and density of trees. We used a MaxEnt species distribution model based on historical species occurrence data, to inform selection of 116 survey plots in the Luangwa, Luano and Zambezi valleys. Each plot was sampled for Lilian’s Lovebirds and woodland structure described. Occurrence of Lilian’s Lovebird was found to be positively associated with the size of mopane trees (both height and diameter at breast height) suggesting that large ‘cathedral’ mopane trees provide a key resource for the species and that conservation efforts should focus on the protection of sites containing large trees. No Lilian’s Lovebirds were recorded in areas where they previously occurred to the west of Lower Zambezi National Park, and there was an absence of ‘cathedral’ mopane habitat in this area.
Chromitite zones associated with ultramafic units of the Lysanskiy layered complex of dunite–peridotite–gabbro composition could well represent the primary source for the placers bearing platinum-group minerals (PGM) of the entire drainage of the River Sisim and its tributaries, the rivers Ko and Seyba, eastern Sayans. Alluvial gold present in the placers of River Seyba, as elsewhere in the Sisim Placer Zone, reflects mineralisation during a recent period of tectonic activity. We focus on the PGM in the Seyba suite, and in particular on the attributes of pentlandite enriched in platinum-group-elements (PGE) and the compositionally similar and recently defined ferhodsite, which were trapped in host grains of Os–Ir–Ru alloy. Both minerals formed from small volumes of fractionated Fe–Ni–Cu melt considerably enriched in the PGE. In the Seyba suite, as in several others, the amounts of PGE in ferhodsite exceeds that in pentlandite, which results in a greater proportion of vacancies than in pentlandite.
Four experiments examine how lack of awareness of inequality affect behaviour towards the rich and poor. In Experiment 1, participants who became aware that wealthy individuals donated a smaller percentage of their income switched from rewarding the wealthy to rewarding the poor. In Experiments 2 and 3, participants who played a public goods game – and were assigned incomes reflective of the US income distribution either at random or on merit – punished the poor (for small absolute contributions) and rewarded the rich (for large absolute contributions) when incomes were unknown; when incomes were revealed, participants punished the rich (for their low percentage of income contributed) and rewarded the poor (for their high percentage of income contributed). In Experiment 4, participants provided with public education contributions for five New York school districts levied additional taxes on mostly poorer school districts when incomes were unknown, but targeted wealthier districts when incomes were revealed. These results shed light on how income transparency shapes preferences for equity and redistribution. We discuss implications for policy-makers.
Tetraspanins, such as CD81, can form lateral associations with each other and with other transmembrane proteins. These interactions may underlie CD81 functions in multiple cellular processes, such as adhesion, morphology, migration, and differentiation. Since CD81's role in neuronal cells’ migration has not been established, we here evaluated effects of CD81 on the migratory phenotype of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. CD81 was found enriched at SH-SY5Y cell's membrane, co-localizing with its interactor filamentous-actin (F-actin) in migratory relevant structures of the leading edge (filopodia, stress fibers, and adhesion sites). CD81 overexpression increased the number of cells with a migratory phenotype, in a potentially phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)–Ak strain transforming (AKT) mediated manner. Indeed, CD81 also co-localized with AKT, a CD81-interactor and actin remodeling agent, at the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. Pharmacologic inhibition of PI3K, the canonical AKT activator, led both to a decrease in the acquisition of a migratory phenotype and to a redistribution of intracellular CD81 and F-actin into cytoplasmic agglomerates. These findings suggest that in neuronal-like cells CD81 bridges active AKT and actin, promoting the actin remodeling that leads to a motile cell morphology. Further studies on this CD81-mediated mechanism will improve our knowledge on important physiological and pathological processes such as cell migration and differentiation, and tumor metastasis.
Research suggests intergenerational links between childhood abuse and neglect and subsequent parenting quality, but little is known about the potential mechanisms underlying intergenerational continuities in parenting. Adult romantic functioning may be one plausible mechanism, given its documented associations with both adverse caregiving in childhood and parenting quality in adulthood. The present study used data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation to (a) investigate prospective associations between childhood experiences of abuse and neglect and multiple parenting outcomes in adulthood, and (b) evaluate the degree to which adult romantic functioning mediates those associations. Information regarding childhood abuse and neglect was gathered prospectively from birth through age 17.5 years. Multimethod assessments of romantic functioning were collected repeatedly through early adulthood (ages 20 to 32 years), and parenting quality was assessed as participants assumed a parenting role (ages 21 to 38 years). As expected, childhood abuse and neglect experiences predicted less supportive parenting (observed and interview rated) and higher likelihood of self-reported Child Protective Services involvement. The association with interview-rated supportive parenting was partially mediated by lower romantic competence, whereas the association with Child Protective Services involvement was partially mediated by more relational violence in adult romantic relationships. Implications of these novel prospective findings for research and clinical intervention are discussed.