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Immune system markers may predict affective disorder treatment response, but whether an overall immune system marker predicts bipolar disorder treatment effect is unclear.
Bipolar CHOICE (N = 482) and LiTMUS (N = 283) were similar comparative effectiveness trials treating patients with bipolar disorder for 24 weeks with four different treatment arms (standard-dose lithium, quetiapine, moderate-dose lithium plus optimised personalised treatment (OPT) and OPT without lithium). We performed secondary mixed effects linear regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, smoking and body mass index to investigate relationships between pre-treatment white blood cell (WBC) levels and clinical global impression scale (CGI) response.
Compared to participants with WBC counts of 4.5–10 × 109/l, participants with WBC < 4.5 or WBC ≥ 10 showed similar improvement within each specific treatment arm and in gender-stratified analyses.
An overall immune system marker did not predict differential treatment response to four different treatment approaches for bipolar disorder all lasting 24 weeks.
Society is undergoing a shift in gender politics. Science and medicine are part of this conversation, not least as women's representation and pay continue to drop as one progresses through more senior academic and clinical levels. Naming and redressing these inequalities needs to be a priority for us all.
Background: Vestibular Schwannomas (VS) have a well- documented response to Gamma Knife® Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). However, there is limited data available regarding the volumetric response of cystic tumors. This report correlates the radiographic appearance of VS before radiosurgery with the delayed volumetric response. Methods: This study reviewed 219 VS patients between 2003 and 2013. Patients were treatment naïve and had a significant extracanalicular tumor volume. MRI at SRS identified; 42 contrast enhancing macrocystic tumors, 45 contrast enhancing microcystic tumors, and 132 homogeneously enhancing tumors with no intra-tumoral cyst formation. The median follow-up was 49.1 months. The median tumor volume was 2.6cm3 (0.70-16.1cm3) and the median dose was 12.5Gy (11-13Gy). Results: The actuarial tumor control rate was 99.4% at 2-years and 96.4% at 5-years. A volumetric reduction of >20% occurred in 85.4% of macrocystic tumors, 76.1% of microcystic tumors and 62.8% of homogeneously enhancing VS. The median volume decrease per year for macrocystic, microcystic and homogenous tumors was 17.2%, 7.5% and 7.9% per year respectively (p<0.001). Serviceable hearing was maintained in 61.5% of patients that had Gardner-Robertson grade I-II hearing. Conclusions: SRS provided VS tumor control in >95% of patients, regardless of radiographic characteristics. Tumor volume regression was most evident in patients with cystic tumors.
Complex oxides and semiconductors exhibit distinct yet complementary properties owing to their respective ionic and covalent natures. By electrically coupling complex oxides to traditional semiconductors within epitaxial heterostructures, enhanced or novel functionalities beyond those of the constituent materials can potentially be realized. Essential to electrically coupling complex oxides to semiconductors is control of the physical structure of the epitaxially grown oxide, as well as the electronic structure of the interface. Here we discuss how composition of the perovskite A- and B-site cations can be manipulated to control the physical and electronic structure of semiconductor—complex oxide heterostructures. Two prototypical heterostructures, Ba1−xSrxTiO3/Ge and SrZrxTi1−xO3/Ge, will be discussed. In the case of Ba1−xSrxTiO3/Ge, we discuss how strain can be engineered through A-site composition to enable the re-orientable ferroelectric polarization of the former to be coupled to carriers in the semiconductor. In the case of SrZrxTi1−xO3/Ge we discuss how B-site composition can be exploited to control the band offset at the interface. Analogous to heterojunctions between compound semiconducting materials, control of band offsets, i.e., band-gap engineering, provides a pathway to electrically couple complex oxides to semiconductors to realize a host of functionalities.
Observational associations between cannabis and schizophrenia are well documented, but ascertaining causation is more challenging. We used Mendelian randomization (MR), utilizing publicly available data as a method for ascertaining causation from observational data.
We performed bi-directional two-sample MR using summary-level genome-wide data from the International Cannabis Consortium (ICC) and the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC2). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with cannabis initiation (p < 10−5) and schizophrenia (p < 5 × 10−8) were combined using an inverse-variance-weighted fixed-effects approach. We also used height and education genome-wide association study data, representing negative and positive control analyses.
There was some evidence consistent with a causal effect of cannabis initiation on risk of schizophrenia [odds ratio (OR) 1.04 per doubling odds of cannabis initiation, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–1.07, p = 0.019]. There was strong evidence consistent with a causal effect of schizophrenia risk on likelihood of cannabis initiation (OR 1.10 per doubling of the odds of schizophrenia, 95% CI 1.05–1.14, p = 2.64 × 10−5). Findings were as predicted for the negative control (height: OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.99–1.01, p = 0.90) but weaker than predicted for the positive control (years in education: OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.97–1.00, p = 0.066) analyses.
Our results provide some that cannabis initiation increases the risk of schizophrenia, although the size of the causal estimate is small. We find stronger evidence that schizophrenia risk predicts cannabis initiation, possibly as genetic instruments for schizophrenia are stronger than for cannabis initiation.
To examine overall micronutrient intake periconceptionally and throughout pregnancy in a population-based cohort of Australian women.
In a prospective cohort study, micronutrient dosages were extracted from self-reported maternal supplement use, recorded pre-conception, and for each trimester of pregnancy. A food frequency scale (DQESv2) captured usual maternal diet for gestational weeks 14–26. The influence of sociodemographic and lifestyle factors associated with supplement use was examined using logistic regression, and changes in micronutrient intakes prior to and throughout pregnancy were assessed using repeated-measures ANOVA analyses.
Metropolitan hospital sites in Melbourne, Australia.
Women with a viable singleton pregnancy were recruited at less than 19 weeks’ gestation (n 2146).
Compared with non-users, women using supplements during pregnancy were more likely to have planned their pregnancy, be >25 years old, primiparous, Caucasian, non-smokers, have a tertiary education and be consuming a folate-rich diet. Intakes of folate, Fe and Zn were significantly lower in the periconceptional period, compared with other periods (P<0·001). Intakes below Recommended Daily Intake levels were common both periconceptionally and throughout pregnancy, with 19–46 % of women not meeting the Recommended Daily Intake for folate, 68–82 % for Fe and 17–36 % for Zn. Conversely, 15–19 % of women consumed beyond the recommended Upper Limit for folate and 11–24 % for Fe.
The study highlights the need for improved public health education on nutritional needs during pregnancy, especially among women with lower educational achievements and income.
Complex oxides and semiconductors exhibit distinct yet complementary properties
owing to their respective ionic and covalent natures. By electrically coupling
oxides to semiconductors within epitaxial heterostructures, enhanced or novel
functionalities beyond those of the constituent materials can potentially be
realized. Key to electrically coupling oxides to semiconductors is controlling
the physical and electronic structure of semiconductor – crystalline
oxide heterostructures. Here we discuss how composition of the oxide can be
manipulated to control physical and electronic structure in
Ba1-xSrxTiO3/ Ge and
SrZrxTi1-xO3/Ge heterostructures. In the
case of the former we discuss how strain can be engineered through composition
to enable the re-orientable ferroelectric polarization to be coupled to carriers
in the semiconductor. In the case of the latter we discuss how composition can
be exploited to control the band offset at the semiconductor - oxide interface.
The ability to control the band offset, i.e. band-gap engineering, provides a
pathway to electrically couple crystalline oxides to semiconductors to realize a
host of functionalities.
Twin pairs discordant for disease may help elucidate the epigenetic mechanisms and causal environmental factors in disease development and progression. To obtain the numbers of pairs, especially monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs, necessary for in-depth studies while also allowing for replication, twin studies worldwide need to pool their resources. The Discordant Twin (DISCOTWIN) consortium was established for this goal. Here, we describe the DISCOTWIN Consortium and present an analysis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) data in nearly 35,000 twin pairs. Seven twin cohorts from Europe (Denmark, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) and one from Australia investigated the rate of discordance for T2D in same-sex twin pairs aged 45 years and older. Data were available for 34,166 same-sex twin pairs, of which 13,970 were MZ, with T2D diagnosis based on self-reported diagnosis and medication use, fasting glucose and insulin measures, or medical records. The prevalence of T2D ranged from 2.6% to 12.3% across the cohorts depending on age, body mass index (BMI), and national diabetes prevalence. T2D discordance rate was lower for MZ (5.1%, range 2.9–11.2%) than for same-sex dizygotic (DZ) (8.0%, range 4.9–13.5%) pairs. Across DISCOTWIN, 720 discordant MZ pairs were identified. Except for the oldest of the Danish cohorts (mean age 79), heritability estimates based on contingency tables were moderate to high (0.47–0.77). From a meta-analysis of all data, the heritability was estimated at 72% (95% confidence interval 61–78%). This study demonstrated high T2D prevalence and high heritability for T2D liability across twin cohorts. Therefore, the number of discordant MZ pairs for T2D is limited. By combining national resources, the DISCOTWIN Consortium maximizes the number of discordant MZ pairs needed for in-depth genotyping, multi-omics, and phenotyping studies, which may provide unique insights into the pathways linking genes to the development of many diseases.
The Roman and Byzantine port of Butrint, situated on the SW coast of Albania directly opposite the island of Corfu, has been the focus of a major research project since 1994. The investigation of the site and its hinterland commenced with excavations within the walled town and a survey of sites and monuments in the region (Hodges et al 1997). Despite a brief hiatus caused by civil unrest in Albania in 1997, work continued with excavation and study seasons in 1998 and 1999. The results of the first five years of the project are due to be published shortly (Hodges, Bowden and Lako, forthcoming).
The second phase of the Butrint project, starting in 2000, has encompassed a wide variety of research aims. They have included extensive research on the archives of the Italian mission that conducted large-scale excavations between 1928 and 1942. Among other finds, this resulted in the discovery of the manuscript of L. Ugolini's Albania antica vol. 4, the hitherto unpublished results of the Italian excavation of the Hellenistic and Roman theatre (Gilkes, forthcoming). Other archival research has focussed on the records of the communist-period archaeological investigations, and has resulted in a much better understanding of the aims and results of these projects, which in some cases are almost wholly unpublished. Our project is also concerned with the controlled development of the site for tourism. This has resulted in the expansion of the UNESCO World Heritage site to 2900 ha and the creation of a National Park with the intent of protecting the archaeological and natural landscape around Butrint (Hodges and Martin 2000; Martin 2001). The present report is a synthesis of the first results of the major excavations of 2000 and 2001. While it is possible (and indeed likely) that interpretations may change as excavations continue, it was felt that the material was of sufficient interest to justify an interim statement.
The poor survival rate of immature northern bald ibises Geronticus eremita during their first years spent outside the natal site is driving the last known wild colony of the migratory eastern population to extinction. To inform emergency conservation action for this Critically Endangered species we investigated the distribution range and behaviour of immature birds in passage and wintering areas, and the threats to which they are subject. We integrated recent satellite telemetry data with visual observations spanning 130 years. We assessed threats across the range, using satellite tracking and field surveys. Our results show that during the years before they return to the natal site in Syria, immature northern bald ibises reside away from the recently identified adult wintering site in the central Ethiopian highlands. They occur mainly across the northernmost 70–80% of the adult migratory range. Historical records suggest that immature birds spend more time along the western Arabian Peninsula now than in the past. This range shift exposes them for longer periods to threats, such as hunting and electrocution on power lines, which are absent from the wintering site used by adult birds. We suggest that other threatened and declining bird species sharing the same flyway probably face the same threats during migration.
Cadmium sulfide mineralization occurs in grey-black shales of the late Mesoproterozoic Stoer Group, Torridonian Supergroup, northwest Scotland. Cadmium is strongly redox-controlled, and normally concentrated in anoxic marine sediments or epigenetic mineralization involving organic matter. However the Stoer Group was deposited in a terrestrial environment, including lacustrine deposits of shale. At the limited levels of atmospheric oxygenation in the Mesoproterozoic (∼10% of present), the near-surface environment could have fluctuated between oxic and anoxic, allowing fractionation of Cd from Zn, and the formation of Cd sulfide rather than Cd-bearing sphalerite. This occurrence emphasizes the importance of the Stoer Group as a record of the Mesoproterozoic terrestrial environment.
Studies in North America and Europe indicate that the prevalence of blood-borne viruses (BBVs) is elevated in individuals with severe mental illness; there are no comparable data for the UK. We offered routine testing for HIV, and hepatitis B and C in an inner-London in-patient psychiatric unit as a service improvement. Of the patients approached 83% had mental capacity to provide informed consent for testing and 66% of patients offered testing accepted. Although it was not our objective to establish the prevalence of BBVs, 18% of patients had serological evidence of a current or previous BBV infection, we found that offering routine testing in an in-patient psychiatric setting is both practical and acceptable to patients.
The one-dimensional 1×1 and 1×2 tunnel structures of manganese dioxides, pyrolusit(β-MnO2) and ramsdellite (R-MnO2), respectively, were chemically intercalated with LiI. Two 7Li resonances were observed in lithiated pyrolusite. One isotropic resonance arising at 110 ppm shows a short spin-lattice relaxation time (T1 ∼ 3 ms) and was assigned to Li+ ions in the 1×1 tunnel structure. The other isotropic resonance arising at 4 ppm shows a long spin-lattice relaxation time (T1 ∼ 100 ms) and was assigned to Li+ ions in diamagnetic local environments in the form of impurities such as Li2O or on the surface of the MnO2 particles. Three 7Li resonances were observed in lithiated ramsdellite at very different frequencies (600, 110 and 0 ppm). The resonance at 600 ppm, which is observed at low lithium intercalation levels, is assigned toLi+ ions coordinated to both Mn(III) and Mn(IV) ions in the 1×2 tunnels, while the resonanceat 110 ppm is due to Li+ ions coordinated to Mn(III) ions and appears at higher Li levels. The resonance at 0 ppm is associated with a long spin-lattice relaxation time (T1 ∼ 100 ms) and is also assignedto Li+ ions in diamagnetic impurities.
This paper gives details of microwave firing experiments carried out with a large 17.6kW 2450 MHz microwave kiln on a range of ceramic materials.
The design of the large kiln is discussed, together with results of large batches of ceramic products. The design of successful heating experiments in terms of thermal insulation and microwave susceptors is discussed in relationship to the dielectric properties of the material to be fired.
Results are given of the fired properties from batches of products fired in the kiln, and the uniformity of the fired properties of large batches is discussed.
Raman microscopy, using a novel line focus configuration, has been used here to study boron concentration distributions and depth profiles in silicon for two different sources of dopant. Changes in the Raman phonon peak frequency for boron doped silicon have been calibrated against concentration by comparison with SIMS data and a relationship between Raman shift and lattice strain has been obtained.
Advances in microlithographic resist materials have been a key enabler of the unabated productivity gains in the electronics industry and are continuing to help push the ultimate limits of optical lithography. The challenges posed by the introduction of new optical lithography technologies that use smaller wavelengths have been successfully met by the materials community through the design of chemically amplified resist technologies and 193 nm resist materials based on aliphatic polymers and dissolution inhibitors. With continued advances in resist materials, exposure systems and resolution enhancement and mask technologies, optical lithography will be capable of patterning ≤ 0.1 μm design rule devices in future fabs.
The as-deposited passivation quality of amorphous silicon films on crystalline silicon surfaces is dependent on deposition conditions and resulting hydrogen bonding structure. However the initial surface passivation can be significantly improved by low temperature post-deposition anneal. For example an improvement in effective lifetime from 780 μsec as-deposited to 2080 μsec post-anneal is reported in the present work. This work probes the hydrogen bonding environment using monolayer resolution Brewster angle transmission Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of 100 Å thick films. It is found that there is significant restructuring at the a-Si:H / c-Si interface upon annealing and a gain of mono-hydride bonding at the c-Si surface is detected. Calculations show an additional 3.56 − 4.50 × 1014 cm−2 mono-hydride bonding at c-Si surface due to annealing. The estimation of the surface hydride oscillator strength in transmission mode is reported for the first time to be 7.2 × 10−18 cm on Si (100) surface and 7.5 × 10−18 cm on Si (111).