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Analysis of a recent surge of Morsnevbreen, Svalbard, is used to test predictions of the enthalpy balance theory of surging. High-resolution time series of velocities, ice thickness and crevasse distribution allow key elements of the enthalpy (internal energy) budget to be quantified for different stages of the surge cycle. During quiescence (1936–1990), velocities were very low, and geothermal heat slowly built-up enthalpy at the bed. Measurable mass transfer and frictional heating began in 1990–2010, then positive frictional heating-velocity feedbacks caused gradual acceleration from 2010 to 2015. Rapid acceleration occurred in summer 2016, when extensive crevassing and positive air temperatures allowed significant surface to bed drainage. The surge front reached the terminus in October 2016, coincident with a drop in velocities. Ice plumes in the fjord are interpreted as discharge of large volumes of supercooled water from the bed. Surge termination was prolonged, however, indicating persistence of an inefficient drainage system. The observations closely match predictions of the theory, particularly build-up of enthalpy from geothermal and frictional heat, and surface meltwater, and the concomitant changes in ice-surface elevation and velocity. Additional characteristics of the surge reflect spatial processes not represented in the model, but can be explained with respect to enthalpy gradients.
Accumulating evidence shows that a propensity towards a pro-inflammatory status in the brain plays an important role in schizophrenia. Anti-inflammatory drugs might compensate this propensity. This study provides an update regarding the efficacy of agents with some anti-inflammatory actions for schizophrenia symptoms tested in randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
PubMed, Embase, the National Institutes of Health website (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov), and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were systematically searched for RCTs that investigated clinical outcomes.
Our search yielded 56 studies that provided information on the efficacy of the following components on symptom severity: aspirin, bexarotene, celecoxib, davunetide, dextromethorphan, estrogens, fatty acids, melatonin, minocycline, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), pioglitazone, piracetam, pregnenolone, statins, varenicline, and withania somnifera extract. The results of aspirin [mean weighted effect size (ES): 0.30; n = 270; 95% CI (CI) 0.06–0.54], estrogens (ES: 0.78; n = 723; CI 0.36–1.19), minocycline (ES: 0.40; n = 946; CI 0.11–0.68), and NAC (ES: 1.00; n = 442; CI 0.60–1.41) were significant in meta-analysis of at least two studies. Subgroup analysis yielded larger positive effects for first-episode psychosis (FEP) or early-phase schizophrenia studies. Bexarotene, celecoxib, davunetide, dextromethorphan, fatty acids, pregnenolone, statins, and varenicline showed no significant effect.
Some, but not all agents with anti-inflammatory properties showed efficacy. Effective agents were aspirin, estrogens, minocycline, and NAC. We observed greater beneficial results on symptom severity in FEP or early-phase schizophrenia.
Background: The Endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA) has become increasingly popular in the treatment of suprasellar meningiomas, which often cause visual symptoms due to compression of the anterior optic apparatus. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review on patients who underwent EEA optic nerve decompression and resection of suprasellar meningiomas between January 1st 2005 and December 1st 2018 at McMaster University. Results: The mean age of our patients was 59.8 years. We treated 9 male and 23 female patients, with a mean follow up of 6.29 years. 23 patients (71.9%) presented with visual symptoms, with a mean duration of 8.65 months. In our patient cohort, 95.5% had stable or improved visual acuity postoperatively. Less than six months of visual decline was more likely to be associated with postoperative improvement of visual acuity, with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.0222 (95% CI: 0.0017–0.289, p<0.05); as well as visual field (OR:0.0625; 95% CI, 0.0042–0.915, p<0.05). Additionally, the absence of RAPD was associated with improved postoperative visual acuity (OR: 0.0675; 95% CI, 0.0354–0.706, p<0.05). Conclusions: Endoscopic endonasal approach can achieve good visual outcome in patients harboring suprasellar meningiomas. Symptom duration of less than six months and absence of RAPD were positive predictor of postoperative visual outcome.
The smr and qacA/B genes in Staphylococcus aureus confer tolerance to antiseptics and are associated with nosocomial acquisition of infection and underlying medical conditions. Such antiseptic tolerance (AT) genes have also been reported in coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) and enterococci, however, few data are available regarding their prevalence. We sought to describe the frequency of AT genes among bloodstream isolates of S. aureus, CoNS and enterococci at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH).
Banked CoNS, S. aureus and enterococci isolated from blood cultures collected bewteen October 1, 2016, and October 1, 2017, were obtained from the TCH clinical microbiology laboratory. All isolates underwent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the qacA/B and smr genes. Medical records were reviewed for all cases.
In total, 103 CoNS, 19 Enterococcus spp, and 119 S. aureus isolates were included in the study, and 80.6% of the CoNS possessed at least 1 AT gene compared to 37% of S. aureus and 43.8% of E. faecalis isolates (P < .001). Among CoNS bloodstream isolates, the presence of either AT gene was strongly associated with nosocomial infection (P < .001). The AT genes in S. aureus were associated with nosocomial infection (P = .025) as well as the diagnosis of central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI; P = .04) and recent hospitalizations (P < .001). We found no correlation with genotypic AT in E. faecalis and any clinical variable we examined.
Antiseptic tolerance is common among bloodstream staphylococci and E. faecalis isolates at TCH. Among CoNS, the presence of AT genes is strongly correlated with nosocomial acquisition of infection, consistent with previous studies in S. aureus. These data suggest that the healthcare environment contributes to AT among staphylococci.
Studies investigating the underlying mechanisms of hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia suggest that an imbalance in top-down expectations v. bottom-up processing underlies these errors in perception. This study evaluates this hypothesis by testing if individuals drawn from the general population who have had auditory hallucinations (AH) have more misperceptions in auditory language perception than those who have never hallucinated.
We used an online survey to determine the presence of hallucinations. Participants filled out the Questionnaire for Psychotic Experiences and participated in an auditory verbal recognition task to assess both correct perceptions (hits) and misperceptions (false alarms). A hearing test was performed to screen for hearing problems.
A total of 5115 individuals from the general Dutch population participated in this study. Participants who reported AH in the week preceding the test had a higher false alarm rate in their auditory perception compared with those without such (recent) experiences. The more recent the AH were experienced, the more mistakes participants made. While the presence of verbal AH (AVH) was predictive for false alarm rate in auditory language perception, the presence of non-verbal or visual hallucinations were not.
The presence of AVH predicted false alarm rate in auditory language perception, whereas the presence of non-verbal auditory or visual hallucinations was not, suggesting that enhanced top-down processing does not transfer across modalities. More false alarms were observed in participants who reported more recent AVHs. This is in line with models of enhanced influence of top-down expectations in persons who hallucinate.
Important ear problems can affect the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Globally, the greatest burden of disease is due to ear conditions that are associated with otorrhoea and hearing loss.
This study reviewed the literature on the prevention and treatment of common ear conditions that are most relevant to settings with high rates of ear disease and limited resources. The grading of recommendations assessment, development and evaluation (‘GRADE’) approach was utilised to assess interventions.
Accurate diagnosis of ear disease is challenging. Much of the preventable burden of ear disease is associated with otitis media. Nine otitis media interventions for which there is moderate to high certainty of effect were identified. While most interventions only provide modest benefit, the impact of treatment is more substantial in children with acute otitis media with perforation and chronic suppurative otitis media.
Disease prevention through good hygiene practices, breastfeeding, reducing smoke exposure, immunisation and limiting noise exposure is recommended. Children with acute otitis media with perforation, chronic suppurative otitis media, complications of otitis media, and significant hearing loss should be prioritised for medical treatment.
Atmospheric emissions of nitrogen (N) from New Zealand dairy farms are significant but have the potential to be affected by manure management prior to land application. The current work examined whether reducing cattle manure dry matter (DM) from 0.16 high DM (HDM) to 0.06 low DM (LDM), to enhance infiltration and reduce ammonia (NH3) emissions when applied to grassland, would affect nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Pasture was cut, simulating grazing, and either amended with HDM (173 kg N/ha) or LDM manure (48 kg N/ha) or left unamended. Ammonia emissions from HDM manure were higher than from LDM manure, as a flux or as a percentage of total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN, i.e. NH3 + NH4+) applied, due to more TAN being retained near the soil surface and the higher soil surface pH under HDM manure treatment. Cumulative N2O emissions over 37 days from HDM plots were higher than from the control but not from the LDM plots. After 5 days, the daily N2O emission rate was larger from HDM plots than from LDM and control plots. The N2O fluxes from LDM and HDM treatments did not differ, either as a proportion of TAN applied or as a proportion of total-N applied. Increasing DM contributed to reductions in both oxygen (O2) availability and relative gas diffusivity, and thus potentially N2O production. Under the conditions of the current study, lower manure DM content reduced NH3 emissions but did not increase cumulative losses of N2O.
Subglacial hydrology plays a key role in many glaciological processes, including ice dynamics via the modulation of basal sliding. Owing to the lack of an overarching theory, however, a variety of model approximations exist to represent the subglacial drainage system. The Subglacial Hydrology Model Intercomparison Project (SHMIP) provides a set of synthetic experiments to compare existing and future models. We present the results from 13 participating models with a focus on effective pressure and discharge. For many applications (e.g. steady states and annual variations, low input scenarios) a simple model, such as an inefficient-system-only model, a flowline or lumped model, or a porous-layer model provides results comparable to those of more complex models. However, when studying short term (e.g. diurnal) variations of the water pressure, the use of a two-dimensional model incorporating physical representations of both efficient and inefficient drainage systems yields results that are significantly different from those of simpler models and should be preferentially applied. The results also emphasise the role of water storage in the response of water pressure to transient recharge. Finally, we find that the localisation of moulins has a limited impact except in regions of sparse moulin density.
In a large and comprehensively assessed sample of patients with bipolar disorder type I (BDI), we investigated the prevalence of psychotic features and their relationship with life course, demographic, clinical, and cognitive characteristics. We hypothesized that groups of psychotic symptoms (Schneiderian, mood incongruent, thought disorder, delusions, and hallucinations) have distinct relations to risk factors.
In a cross-sectional study of 1342 BDI patients, comprehensive demographical and clinical characteristics were assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I) interview. In addition, levels of childhood maltreatment and intelligence quotient (IQ) were assessed. The relationships between these characteristics and psychotic symptoms were analyzed using multiple general linear models.
A lifetime history of psychotic symptoms was present in 73.8% of BDI patients and included delusions in 68.9% of patients and hallucinations in 42.6%. Patients with psychotic symptoms showed a significant younger age of disease onset (β = −0.09, t = −3.38, p = 0.001) and a higher number of hospitalizations for manic episodes (F11 338 = 56.53, p < 0.001). Total IQ was comparable between groups. Patients with hallucinations had significant higher levels of childhood maltreatment (β = 0.09, t = 3.04, p = 0.002).
In this large cohort of BDI patients, the vast majority of patients had experienced psychotic symptoms. Psychotic symptoms in BDI were associated with an earlier disease onset and more frequent hospitalizations particularly for manic episodes. The study emphasizes the strength of the relation between childhood maltreatment and hallucinations but did not identify distinct subgroups based on psychotic features and instead reported of a large heterogeneity of psychotic symptoms in BD.
Similar to visual hallucinations in visually impaired patients, auditory hallucinations are often suggested to occur in adults with hearing impairment. However, research on this association is limited. This observational, cross-sectional study tested whether auditory hallucinations are associated with hearing impairment, by assessing their prevalence in an adult population with various degrees of objectified hearing impairment.
Hallucination presence was determined in 1007 subjects aged 18–92, who were referred for audiometric testing to the Department of ENT-Audiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. The presence and severity of hearing impairment were calculated using mean air conduction thresholds from the most recent pure tone audiometry.
Out of 829 participants with hearing impairment, 16.2% (n = 134) had experienced auditory hallucinations in the past 4 weeks; significantly more than the non-impaired group [5.8%; n = 10/173; p < 0.001, odds ratio 3.2 (95% confidence interval 1.6–6.2)]. Prevalence of auditory hallucinations significantly increased with categorized severity of impairment, with rates up to 24% in the most profoundly impaired group (p < 0.001). The corrected odds of hallucination presence increased 1.02 times for each dB of impairment in the best ear. Auditory hallucinations mostly consisted of voices (51%), music (36%), and doorbells or telephones (24%).
Our findings reveal that auditory hallucinations are common among patients with hearing impairment, and increase with impairment severity. Although more research on potential confounding factors is necessary, clinicians should be aware of this phenomenon, by inquiring after hallucinations in hearing-impaired patients and, conversely, assessing hearing impairment in patients with auditory hallucinations, since it may be a treatable factor.
Decline in cognitive functioning precedes the first psychotic episode in the course of schizophrenia and is considered a hallmark symptom of the disorder. Given the low incidence of schizophrenia, it remains a challenge to investigate whether cognitive decline coincides with disease-related changes in brain structure, such as white matter abnormalities. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is an appealing model in this context, as 25% of patients develop psychosis. Furthermore, we recently showed that cognitive decline also precedes the onset of psychosis in individuals with 22q11DS. Here, we investigate whether the early cognitive decline in patients with 22q11DS is associated with alterations in white matter microstructure.
We compared the fractional anisotropy (FA) of white matter in 22q11DS patients with cognitive decline [n = 16; −18.34 (15.8) VIQ percentile points over 6.80 (2.39) years] to 22q11DS patients without cognitive decline [n = 18; 17.71 (20.17) VIQ percentile points over 5.27 (2.03) years] by applying an atlas-based approach to diffusion-weighted imaging data.
FA was significantly increased (p < 0.05, FDR) in 22q11DS patients with a cognitive decline in the bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculus, the bilateral cingulum bundle, all subcomponents of the left internal capsule and the left superior frontal-occipital fasciculus as compared with 22q11DS patients without cognitive decline.
Within 22q11DS, the early cognitive decline is associated with microstructural differences in white matter. At the mean age of 17.8 years, these changes are reflected in increased FA in several tracts. We hypothesize that similar brain alterations associated with cognitive decline take place early in the trajectory of schizophrenia.
The SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
Auditory Hallucinations (AH) are nowadays regarded as symptoms following a continuum; from a (transient) phenomenon in healthy individuals on one end to a symptom of (psychiatric) illnesses at the other. An accumulating number of epidemiological studies focused on the prevalence of AH in the general population, but results vary widely. The current meta-analysis aims to synthesize existing evidence on lifetime prevalence of AH across the lifespan.
We conducted a quantitative review and meta-analysis according to PRISMA guidelines. Studies were combined to calculate a mean lifetime general population AH prevalence rate. Moreover, prevalences were calculated for four age groups: children (5–12 years), adolescents (13–17 years), adults (18–60 years) and elderly (⩾60 years).
We retrieved 25 study samples including 84 711 participants. Mean lifetime prevalence rate of AH was 9.6% (95% CI 6.7–13.6%). The mean lifetime prevalence was similar in children (12.7%) and adolescents (12.4%), but these two groups differed significantly from the adults (5.8%) and the elderly (4.5%). Significant heterogeneity indicated that there is still dispersion in true prevalence rates between studies, even within the different age categories.
Current meta-analysis shows that AH are quite common (up to one in ten individuals) in the general population during lifetime, with children and adolescents reporting these experiences significantly more often compared with adults and elderly. Large follow-up studies on the longitudinal course of AH are needed to reveal associated risk and resilience factors.
Auditory hallucinations (AH) are often considered a sign of a psychotic disorder. This is promoted by the DSM-5 category of Other Specified Schizophrenia Spectrum And Other Psychotic Disorder (OSSSOPD), the diagnostic criteria for which are fulfilled with the sole presence of persistent AH, in the absence of any other psychotic symptoms. And yet, persistent AH are not synonymous with having a psychotic disorder, and should therefore not be uncritically treated as such. Many people who seek treatment for persistent AH have no other psychotic symptoms, have preserved reality-testing capacities, and will never develop a schizophrenia spectrum disorder. Instead, hallucinations may be the result of many different causes, including borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hearing loss, sleep disorders or brain lesions, and they may even occur outside the context of any demonstrable pathology. In such cases, the usage of the DSM-5 diagnosis of OSSSOPD would be incorrect, and it may prompt unwarranted treatment with antipsychotic medication. We therefore argue that a DSM-5 diagnosis of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder (or any other type of psychotic disorder) characterized by AH should require at least one more symptom listed under the A-criterion (i.e. delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior or negative symptoms). Adhering to these more stringent criteria may help to distinguish between individuals with persistent AH which are part of a psychotic disorder, for whom antipsychotic medication may be helpful, and individuals with AH in the absence of such a disorder who may benefit from other approaches (e.g. different pharmacological interventions, improving coping style, trauma-related therapy).
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
During the last two decades, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has established itself as an important new branch for the study of evolutionary patterns and processes. Evo-devo can provide insight into the mechanistic changes that result in evolutionary novelty. Besides the many successful applications of evo-devo in animals and plants there is, however, a need for a better integration of evo-devo with population genetics and evolutionary ecology (Sommer 2009). Work at the interface between these disciplines requires an interdisciplinary toolkit and can bring different research traditions closer together. Here, I argue that NGS approaches will play a pivotal role in bridging the different research traditions in contemporary evolutionary biology.
Evolutionary developmental biology: the missing link between development and evolution
Evolution is the change of the heritable characteristics of organisms over time. All biological systems evolve and they do so continuously, making evolution one of the most important properties of biology. The relationship between evolution and the ‘rest of biology’ is twofold: on the one hand, everything in biology has to be considered in the light of evolution (Dobzhansky 1964). On the other hand, our understanding about evolution and the historical processes associated with it depend heavily on the general knowledge available within the biological sciences. Therefore, progress in biology will always affect our understanding of evolutionary patterns and processes.
One recent example that indicates how evolutionary theory depends on progress in the biological sciences is the case of developmental biology. Developmental biology is a classical discipline within biology that has always been at the forefront of research and teaching, simply because all multicellular organisms go through ontogenesis. Until the 1980s, developmental biology was largely a descriptive discipline with a strong focus on cellular and histological mechanisms rather than genes (Amundson 2005). This has changed tremendously with the application of genetic tools and the establishment of selected model organisms. Initiated in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, embryonic development, and in particular segmentation, was dissected with a careful genetic analysis aiming for the identification of genes involved in the segmentation process (Nüsslein-Volhard 1995). Similar unbiased genetic approaches have also been used in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans and the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, providing mechanistic insight into various developmental processes, all of which has resulted in textbook knowledge (e.g. Wolpert 2007).
The mass and distribution of baryons in galaxies is closely related to the inferred structure of the dark halo. A robust estimate of the baryon content requires knowledge of the typical mass–to–light (M/L) ratio of the stellar component. Various arguments favour a low M*/LI < 1 for late–type spirals. We show that “bottom-light” Initial Mass Functions (IMFs) favoured by recent literature do yield so low M/L ratios, for Sbc/Sc discs. We also predict the stellar M/L ratio, and hence the zero–point of the Tully–Fisher relation, to vary significantly with Hubble disc type. Finally, we provide colour–M/L relations to derive the stellar M/L ratio from the observed photometry, for different IMFs.
We present a new estimate of the mass of the Milky Way, making use of a large sample of 955 field horizontal-branch (FHB) stars from the Early Data Release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This sample of stars has been classified on the basis of an automated analysis approach, in combination with other methods, in order to obtain estimates of the physical parameters of the stars, i.e., Teff, log g, [Fe/H], and should be relatively free of contamination from halo blue stragglers. the stars all have measured radial velocities and photometric distance estimates, and the sample includes objects as distant as ~ 75 kpc from the Galactic center. Application of a Bayesian likelihood method, for a specific model of the Galaxy, indicates that the total mass of the Galaxy lies in the range 1.5 − 4.0 × 1012 M⊙. Our sample appears to reveal a clear signature of a dual halo population of FHB stars, with the boundary between the inner and outer halo around 20 kpc, and the possibility of rather striking differences in the rotational properties of the Galaxy at low metallicity.