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Trinucleotide repeats have been associated with schizophrenia, but the evidence, based on cross-sectional clinical information, is equivocal.
To examine the relationship between genomic CAG/CTG repeat size and premorbid development in schizophrenia.
Early development and premorbid functioning of 22 patients with DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia were assessed by parental interviews. Repeat expansion detection (RED) technique was used to measure genomic CAG/CTG repeat size, and PCR for CAG repeat size at the ERDA-1 and CTG 18.1 loci.
There was an inverse association between CAG/CTG size and perinatal complications. Patients with speech and motor developmental delay had larger repeats. The results were not due to expansion in the ERDA-1 and CTG 18.1 genes.
CAG/CTG repeat expansion is associated with speech and motor developmental delay in schizophrenia. We propose that the developmental model may be useful for research into the genetics of schizophrenia.
Previous microarray analysis of gene expression in frontal cortex showed differential expression of genes associated with synaptic function in schizophrenia compared to matched-controls in two independent cohorts. One of these genes validated in both cohorts, SLC30A3, which encodes the Zinc Transporter 3 (ZNT3), is localised to synaptic vesicles in glutamate synapses and known to be involved in cognitive function. In view of the robust depletion of SLC30A3 mRNA in two independent studies and the importance of this gene in cognitive function, we investigated whether single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) associations with schizophrenia could be detected in a UK case controlled schizophrenia cohort. Four SNPs were selected across this gene and genotyped in a cohort of cases and controls from East UK. We found significant associations with schizophrenia at the allelic (ORs: 1.51 to 1.57), genotype (ORs: 1.46 to 1.53) and haplotype level (P = 2.15 × 10−4). These associations proved to be gender-specific with significant effects of allele (ORs: 1.74 to 2.11), genotype (ORs: 1.78 to 2.14) and haplotype (P = 3.51 × 10−5) observed in female schizophrenia cases but not males, when split by gender. In conclusion, SNPs in SLC30A3 showed a gender-specific association with schizophrenia in this East UK cohort, which merits further investigation in other population samples.
Globally, grandparents are the main informal childcare providers with one-quarter of children aged ≤5 years regularly cared for by grandparents in Australia, the UK and USA. Research is conflicting; many studies claim grandparents provide excessive amounts of discretionary foods (e.g. high in fat/sugar/sodium) while others suggest grandparents can positively influence children’s diet behaviours. The present study aimed to explore the meaning and role of food treats among grandparents who provide regular informal care of young grandchildren.
Qualitative methodology utilising a grounded theory approach. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and focus groups, then thematically analysed.
Participants were recruited through libraries, churches and playgroups in South Australia.
Grandparents (n 12) caring for grandchild/ren aged 1–5 years for 10 h/week or more.
Three themes emerged: (i) the functional role of treats (e.g. to reward good behaviour); (ii) grandparent role, responsibility and identity (e.g. the belief that grandparent and parent roles differ); and (iii) the rules regarding food treats (e.g. negotiating differences between own and parental rules). Grandparents favoured core-food over discretionary-food treats. They considered the risks (e.g. dental caries) and rewards (e.g. pleasure) of food treats and balanced their wishes with those of their grandchildren and parents.
Food treats play an important role in the grandparent–grandchild relationship and are used judiciously by grandparents to differentiate their identity and relationship from parents and other family members. This research offers an alternative narrative to the dominant discourse regarding grandparents spoiling grandchildren with excessive amounts of discretionary foods.
Mesophotic ecosystems have been relatively poorly studied in the Indo-Pacific and in particular within the Coral Triangle region. Here we used a mini-ROV to explore the changes in major benthic groups at two sites (~200 m apart) in the Wakatobi Marine National Park, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia spanning shallow water coral reefs (5 m) to deeper water mesophotic ecosystems (80 m). We found very similar patterns at both sites where coral cover peaked at 15 m, declined rapidly by 30 m, and was virtually absent at 50 m. As coral declined there was a marked increase in sponges, soft corals and other encrusting organisms (including ascidians, bryozoans, tubeworms, gorgonians and molluscs). Importantly, our results differ from most previous studies in other geographic locations where hard corals extend much deeper. It is unclear what drives this difference but it may be related to higher levels of turbidity and therefore reduced light penetration in the Wakatobi compared with other areas, which limits the vertical extent of coral development.
Our current global food system – from food production to consumption, including manufacture, packaging, transport, retail and associated businesses – is responsible for extensive negative social and environmental impacts which threaten the long-term well-being of society. This has led to increasing calls from science–policy organizations for major reform and transformation of the global food system. However, our knowledge regarding food system transformations is fragmented and this is hindering the development of co-ordinated solutions. Here, we collate recent research across several academic disciplines and sectors in order to better understand the mechanisms that ‘lock-in’ food systems in unsustainable states.
Detrital zircon U–Pb ages in 37 sandstones from late Early – Late Cretaceous marine and non-marine successions across southern Zealandia indicate a provenance from local basement within present-day Zealandia. Samples from Taranaki Basin were derived from Median and Karamea batholith granitoids with transport directions from west to east. Samples from West Coast, Western Southland and Great South basins contain components derived more locally and more variably from Median Batholith and Rahu Suite granitoids and/or the Palaeozoic Buller Terrane. West Coast Basin samples have more plutonic contributions and Great South Basin localities have more Albian-aged (c. 110–100 Ma) zircons. Samples from Canterbury Basin were sourced from Torlesse Composite Terrane basement. The provenance variations are present in both marine and non-marine sandstones and suggest localized watersheds. This fits an interpretation of Late Cretaceous deposition in rift-controlled basins across southern Zealandia during pre-Gondwana break-up regional extension. More speculatively, some additional source areas may have been created at the rifted margins of Zealandia during this break-up.
HPA is updating and consolidating its advice on radiation emergencies and recovery.
Current advice was published in 1997. Since 2007, the ICRP has issued a set of
recommendations to elaborate its guidance for emergency exposure and existing exposure
situations. It is expected that the European Basic Safety Standards, when published, will
also reflect the ICRP recommendations. The new ICRP guidance represents a marked change in
approach, with emphasis placed on optimisation of whole protection strategies using
reference levels of residual dose. These new concepts as well as the relevant lessons
identified following the Fukushima accident will be included in the new UK advice
document. The scope of the UK advice includes reactor and transport accidents as well as
releases from waste stores, reprocessing and defence activities. The revised advice will
consider the initiation of emergency countermeasures based on averted dose criteria and
optimisation of the subsequent protection strategy based on reference levels of residual
dose. The advice will illustrate that the type of protection strategy selected depends on
the contribution of different exposure pathways over time to projected dose, and this will
vary according to the scenarios considered as reasonably foreseeable. Due to the potential
impact of the advice, a wide range of stakeholders are being consulted. In particular,
feedback will be required on the potential for adapting current practices for sheltering
and stable iodine prophylaxis to situations involving longer duration releases or those
with a prolonged threat phase. The advice document will contain guidance for emergency
planning and response, criteria for the withdrawal of emergency countermeasures, factors
to consider during the transition to an existing exposure situation and the management of
long term contaminated areas. It is the first time that the whole spectrum of advice will
be presented in a single publication, which is expected to be published in 2013, following
a public consultation process.
Detrital zircon U-Pb ages for 30 Late Jurassic and Cretaceous sandstones from the Eastern Province of eastern New Zealand, combined with previously-published geochronological and palaeontological data, constrain the time of deposition in the Pahau and Waioeka terranes of the Cretaceous accretionary margin of Zealandia, and their adjacent cover strata. The zircon age patterns also constrain possible sediment source areas and mid-Cretaceous geodynamic models of the transition from basement accretionary wedge to passive-margin cover successions. Pahau Terrane deposition was mainly Barremian to Aptian but continued locally through to late Albian time, with major source areas in the adjacent Kaweka and Waipapa terranes and minor inputs from the inboard Median Batholith. Waioeka Terrane deposition was mainly Albian, with distinctive and exclusive sediment sources, principally from the Median Batholith but with minor inputs from the Western Province. Alternative tectonic models to deliver such exclusive Median Batholith and Western Province-derived sediment to the mid-Cretaceous Zealandia continental margin are: (1) the creation of a rift depression across Zealandia or (2) sinistral displacement of South Zealandia with respect to North Zealandia, to expose Western Province rocks directly at the Zealandia margin. Detrital zircon age patterns of Cretaceous cover successions of the Eastern Province of eastern New Zealand demonstrate purely local sources in the adjacent Kaweka and Waipapa terranes. Cretaceous zircon components show a decline in successions of late Early Cretaceous age and disappear by late Late Cretaceous time, suggesting the abandonment or loss of access to both the Median Batholith and Western Province as sediment sources.
The microsporidian parasite Thelohania contejeani causes porcelain disease and has been implicated in mass mortalities in populations of the endangered European crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes. However, the route of parasite transmission is not known. This paper investigates the horizontal transmission of T. contejeani between A. pallipes hosts as well as its transmissibility to the invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus). Field collected juvenile A. pallipes and P. leniusculus were assigned to 1 of 3 experimental treatments; fed heavily infected A. pallipes tissue, exposed to water from tanks housing heavily parasitized A. pallipes, and a control group to provide an estimate of the baseline infection levels in the field. After 26 weeks, abdominal muscle samples were screened by PCR for T. contejeani. Infection was significantly higher in the treatment groups (83% in the cannibalism treatment, 42% in the water exposure treatment) than in the control group (4%), providing evidence for horizontal transmission of the parasite between A. pallipes hosts. Cannibalism and scavenging are common amongst crayfish, providing transmission opportunities in the field. The study also provides the first direct evidence for transmission of the parasite from an indigenous European crayfish species to the invasive signal crayfish, with 50% of P. leniusculus in each treatment, and 8% of control animals infected. We discuss the possibility that high density populations of the invasive signal crayfish may serve either as reservoirs or sinks for the parasite.
Detrital zircon U–Pb ages are reported for 14 sandstones of mainly Cretaceous age from the Northland Allochthon, Houhora Complex and Waipapa Terrane of northern North Island, New Zealand. Results from the Waipapa Terrane samples, selected from sequences in the Bay of Plenty, Coromandel Peninsula and Great Barrier Island, show that deposition continued into late Early Cretaceous time and, as in the Torlesse Composite Terrane, finally waned at c. 110–114 Ma. Upper Lower Cretaceous and Upper Cretaceous sedimentary successions in the Houhora Complex and Northland Allochthon have dominant sediment sources derived from local, contemporary volcanism, with a minor older contribution from the Murihiku Terrane to the west. As in eastern North Island, upper Upper Cretaceous sandstones lack major Albian magmatic components and their sources are solely in the Murihiku Terrane, and possibly the Western Province. We propose a Cretaceous palaeogeographic model that invokes a recently extinct orogen and a partially submerged continental borderland, dissected by rivers supplying submarine fans.
To evaluate the suitability of 80 patients referred for assertive outreach treatment (AOT) and their treatment outcomes, by comparing clinical and social data during the treatment period with data before treatment began. To control for service development across the board, patients on ordinary community treatment were identified and matched to patients undergoing AOT for age, gender, clinical diagnosis and duration, and data acquired for the same time period as the patients on AOT. This was a retrospective mirror-image evaluation with contemporaneous controls.
The patients referred for AOT were more socially disadvantaged and had used more clinical resources than the control patients. Overall, AOT reduced resource uptake markedly following referral, while resource uptake by control patients during the same period remained static or increased; AOT, however, did not lessen most aspects of social disadvantage.
The advantages of AOT include much reduced use of services but not the resolving of social exclusion. Some ordinary community provision may fail to afford the quality of AOT and thus suffer by comparison. The demise of AOT may be premature in such services.
Branchiobdellidans or crayfish worms are clitellate annelids and ectosymbionts of freshwater crayfish. An investigation of branchiobdellidan infestation was undertaken in a population of endangered white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) in the river Aire, UK. Thirty two percent of animals were infested either by the adult parasite or their cocoons (n=107). Parasite burden increased with host size, but did not differ with sex. Observations of crayfish gill tissue revealed a strong positive relationship between melanization of filaments and parasite prevalence and burden. Taxonomic identification revealed that 1 species of branchiobdellidan was present, Branchiobdella astaci. The first sequences were generated for this species and phylogenetically analysed alongside published sequences for 5 other branchiobdellidan species in Europe. The position of B. astaci within the genus Branchiobdella was confirmed, and it was found to cluster as a sister group to B. parasita.
The USDA Forest Service is sued more often than any other federal agency under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This analysis examines Forest Service land management cases initiated from 1989 to 2008 to understand how the agency fared in NEPA cases. Of the 1,064 completed cases, 671 (63.1%) involved a NEPA challenge. The agency won the final outcome of 343 cases (51.1%), lost 176 (26.2%), and settled 152 (22.7%). Case characteristic analyses indicate that case decisions peaked at the end of the 1990s, occurred mostly in the Ninth Circuit, and predominately involved vegetative management, forest planning, roads, recreation, and wildlife management activities. In addition to these general case outcomes, we conducted an in-depth analysis of the 411 cases where a judge or panel of judges specifically ruled on a NEPA challenge. The agency won the NEPA claim in 69.3% of these cases. The Forest Service was most successful litigating supplemental environmental impact statement cases and least successful in categorical exclusion cases. Most challenges to Forest Service NEPA implementation were based on environmental assessments (EAs) and environmental impact statements (EISs). The agency was more likely to win a direct and indirect effects EA challenge and a range of alternatives EIS challenge. Since the Forest Service accounts for a large portion of all NEPA litigation, this research enhances understanding of legal challenges to NEPA's implementation.
Radial haemolysis (RH) was used to test sera for immunity to rubella from 1317 patients attending a general practice. One hundred and forty-one (10·7%) were treated as susceptible and offered an attenuated virus vaccine (RA 27/3). Pre-immunization sera from 43% of these patients were reactive at low levels in RH (< 15 international units rubella antibody per ml).
Pre- (S1) and post- (S2) immunization sera from 66 vaccinees were studied in detail. Antibody was detected by RH, haemagglutination inhibition (HI) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and the specific IgM response was measured by a solid-phase M-antibody capture radioimmunoassay (MACRIA). The vaccine-induced IgM response was only detected if the S1 serum was non-reactive by all tests for rubella antibody. It was weaker than that seen following wild virus infection. It could be detected reliably for six weeks, and in most cases for nine weeks, after immunization. In contrast, patients with S1 specimens reactive by RH, HI or ELISA never showed an IgM response in the S2 specimen despite ‘significant’ antibody rises often being present.
It was considered that an IgM response to RA 27/3 was the best indicator of pre-immunization susceptibility to rubella. The failure of many vaccinees to make an IgM response implied that a significant proportion were already immune. It is suggested that the threshold for a report of immunity to rubella could be lowered from 15 i.u. antibody per ml and so fewer women immunized without vaccine being withheld from those who need it.
Radioimmunoassay (RIA) tests for anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV) IgM were carried out on 728 sera: 382 were tested by both a method using an anti-μ serum bound to a solid phase and a method involving preliminary separation of IgM by sucrose density gradient (SDG) centrifugation, 354 by the anti-μ method alone and two by the SDG method alone. Similar proportions of sera were found to be positive by each method (42·5%, 41·7%), but equivocal results were commoner by the SDG method (4·7% compared with 1·5%). There were 21 (5·5%) discrepant results from the sera tested by both methods, 20 of which could have been due to the higher sensitivity of the anti-μ method.
The SDG method generally gave unequivocal results on sera collected within six weeks of the onset of jaundice. Separation of the IgM fraction by re-orientation centrifugation was quick, but otherwise offered no special advantage over separation on a swing-out rotor. The use of 2 mercaptoethanol (2 ME) reduction to assess the purity of the IgM fraction increased confidence in the specificity of the test. It led, however, to the exclusion of 16 reactive sera (4·2%), all of which were found to be positive in the anti-μ test.
The anti-μ method gave better discrimination between positive and negative sera than the SDG method and detected IgM both earlier and later in infection. The results of tests designed to check the specificity of the anti-μ procedure were satisfactory. As it is potentially cheaper and easier to perform, the anti-μ method seems, in all respects, to be superior to the SDG method.
Monoclonal antibodies to the serum parovirus-like virus (SPLV) were prepared by the hybridoma technique. They provided an antibody reagent which was used to develop solid phase antibody-capture assays for anti-SPLV IgM and IgG and for SPLV antigen. These assays were more sensitive than those based on human convalescent antibody as a reagent, and were more economical in the use of SPLV antigen. Their use enabled the serological responses to SPLV to be studied more fully and their sensitivity revealed the extent of SPLV infection.
SPLV antigen was detected in four patients by both counter-immuno electrophoresis (CIE) and radioimmunoassay (RIA) and in two others by RIA alone. Parvovirus particles were seen in all six by electron microscopy. The anti-SPLV IgM response was measured in patients infected by SPLV. It was strong 5–18 days after the onset of illness, then declined and was only detectable in trace amounts after 6 months. Anti-SPLV IgG was also formed early, and persisted for at least 6 months. In a survey of 310 blood donors anti-SPLV was detected in 134 (43%) by CIE, but in 190 (61 %) by IgG antibody capture RIA.
Hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) synthesised in Escherichia coli by recombinant DNA techniques was compared with HBcAg prepared from infected livrer tissue. The two antigens were used in radioimmunoassays (RIA) to detect antibody to HBcAg (anti-HBc) in sera from patients attending a clinic for sexually transmitted diseases. Out of 2151 sera tested, 260 were anti-HBc positive with both HBcAg preparations but seven were positive with the liver-derived antigen alone. Reasons for these discrepant results are discussed. The slight loss of sensitivity of the anti-HBc RIA using E. coli HBcAg was not considered significant when compared with the potential advantages of a synthetic antigen.
The presence of other hepatitis B markers in the 267 anti-HBc positive sera was determined: 25 contained HBsAg, 220 anti-HBs and, of the 22 that were HBsAg/anti-HBs negative, 12 contained anti-HBe. In the 10 remaining sera, anti-HBc was the only hepatitis B marker that could be found.
Rubella vaccination histories were taken from 333 young women working in the head office of a retail organization: 29% said they had had vaccine and 47% said they had not. The remainder did not know. Forty-six per cent of those ≤ 25 years old (who should have been offered vaccine at school), and 6% of those > 25 years old, said they had been vaccinated. When screened for immunity to rubella by radial haemolysis (RH) 3% had a low level of antibody (< 15 i.u./ml) and 11% had no antibody. After immunization with Cendevax the specific rubella IgM response was measured by an IgM antibody capture radioimmunassay (MACRIA). It was only detectable in the group without RH antibody, and was present in 26/31 of them. The Ig M response to Cendevax was strongest in specimens taken 20–39 days after immunization, but in 10 out of 11 cases tested was still present at around 71 days. The specific Ig M responses to Cendevax were very similar to those in women given Almevax in an earlier study, when measured in parallel tests.
Taking both vaccines together, specific Ig M was present in 35 out of 36 vaccinees without pre-existing antibody tested between 40 and 77 days post-immunization. Detection of specific IgM by MACRIA would therefore be an effective means of determining susceptibility retrospectively in rubella vaccinees found to be pregnant.