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The Children of the Twins Early Development Study (CoTEDS) is a new prospective children-of-twins study in the UK, designed to investigate intergenerational associations across child developmental stages. CoTEDS will enable research on genetic and environmental factors that underpin parent–child associations, with a focus on mental health and cognitive-related traits. Through CoTEDS, we will have a new lens to examine the roles that parents play in influencing child development, as well as the genetic and environmental factors that shape parenting behavior and experiences. Recruitment is ongoing from the sample of approximately 20,000 contactable adult twins who have been enrolled in the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) since infancy. TEDS twins are invited to register all offspring to CoTEDS at birth, with 554 children registered as of May 2019. By recruiting the second generation of TEDS participants, CoTEDS will include information on adult twins and their offspring from infancy. Parent questionnaire-based data collection is now underway for 1- and 2-year-old CoTEDS infants, with further waves of data collection planned. Current data collection includes the following primary constructs: child mental health, temperament, language and cognitive development; parent mental health and social relationships; parenting behaviors and feelings; and other socioecological factors. Measurement tools have been selected with reference to existing genetically informative cohort studies to ensure overlap in phenotypes measured at corresponding stages of development. This built-in study overlap is intended to enable replication and triangulation of future analyses across samples and research designs. Here, we summarize study protocols and measurement procedures and describe future plans.
The SCN5A gene is implicated in many arrhythmogenic and cardiomyopathic processes. We identified a novel SCN5A variant in a family with significant segregation in individuals affected with progressive sinus and atrioventricular nodal disease, atrial arrhythmia, dilated cardiomyopathy, and early sudden cardiac arrest.
A patient pedigree was created following the clinical evaluation of three affected individuals, two monozygotic twins and a paternal half-brother, which lead to the evaluation of a paternal half-sister (four siblings with the same father and three mothers) all of whom experienced varying degrees of atrial arrhythmias, conduction disease, and dilated cardiomyopathy in addition to a paternal history of unexplained death in his 50s with similar autopsy findings. The index male underwent sequencing of 58 genes associated with cardiomyopathies. Sanger sequencing was used to provide data for bases with insufficient coverage and for bases in some known regions of genomic segmental duplications. All clinically significant and novel variants were confirmed by independent Sanger sequencing.
All relatives tested were shown to have the same SCN5A variant of unknown significance (p. Asp197His) and the monozygotic twins shared a co-occurring NEXN (p. Glu575*). Segregation analysis demonstrates likely pathogenic trait for the SCN5A variant with an additional possible role for the NEXN variant in combination.
There is compelling clinical evidence suggesting that the SCN5A variant p. Asp197His may be re-classified as likely pathogenic based on the segregation analysis of our family of interest. Molecular mechanism studies are pending.
Analysis of human remains and a copper band found in the center of a Late Archaic (ca. 5000–3000 cal BP) shell ring demonstrate an exchange network between the Great Lakes and the coastal southeast United States. Similarities in mortuary practices suggest that the movement of objects between these two regions was more direct and unmediated than archaeologists previously assumed based on “down-the-line” models of exchange. These findings challenge prevalent notions that view preagricultural Native American communities as relatively isolated from one another and suggest instead that wide social networks spanned much of North America thousands of years before the advent of domestication.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
Chemical bonding in native oxides of GaAs, before and after etching, is detected by X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). It is correlated with surface energy engineering (SEE), measured via Three Liquid Contact Angle Analysis (3LCAA), and oxygen coverage, measured by High Resolution Ion Beam Analysis (HR-IBA).
Before etching, GaAs native oxides are found to be hydrophobic with an average surface energy, γT, of 33 ± 1 mJ/m2, as measured by 3LCAA. After dilute NH4OH etching, GaAs becomes highly hydrophilic and its surface energy, γT, increases by a factor 2 to a reproducible value of 66 ± 1 mJ/m2. Using HR-IBA, oxygen coverage on GaAs is found to decrease from 7.2 ± 0.5 monolayers (ML) to 3.6 ± 0.5 ML. The 1.17 ratio of Ga to As, measured by HR-IBA, remains constant after etching.
XPS is used to measure oxidation of Ga and As, as well as surface stoichiometry on two locations of several GaAs(100) wafers before and after etching. The relative proportions of Ga and As are unaffected by adventitious carbon contamination. The 1.16 Ga:As ratio, measured by XPS, matches HR-IBA analysis. The proportions of oxidized Ga and As do not change significantly after etching. However, the initial ratio of As2O5 to As2O3, within the oxidized As, significantly decreases after etching from approximately 3:1 to 3:2.
Absolute oxygen coverage, as a function of surface processing, is determined within 0.5 ML by HR-IBA. XPS offers insight into these modifications by detecting electronic states and phase composition changes of GaAs oxides. The changes in surface chemistry are correlated to changes in hydro-affinity and surface energies measured by 3LCAA.
Workforce shortages in psychiatry are common worldwide. The international literature provides insights into factors influencing decisions to train in psychiatry but is predominately survey based. This national cohort study aimed to identify the characteristics of doctors who were most likely to apply to psychiatry training programmes. The sample comprised doctors who entered UK medical schools in 2007/8 and who made first-time specialty training applications in 2015. The association between application to psychiatry and doctors' sociodemographic and educational characteristics was examined using multivariable logistic regression.
Those most likely to apply were White, privately educated older doctors with below average performance at medical school.
To reduce workforce shortages, psychiatry must make itself more attractive to all doctors, especially those from underrepresented groups such as state-educated Black and minority ethnic individuals. Otherwise, national policies to widen participation in the study of medicine by such groups may exacerbate the current recruitment crisis.
Introduction: When presenting to the Emergency Department (ED), the care of elderly patients residing in Long Term Care (LTC) can be complicated by threats to patient safety created by ineffective transitions of care. Though standardized inpatient handover tools exist, there has yet to be a universal tool adopted for transfers to the ED. In this study, we surveyed relevant stakeholders and identified what information is essential in the transitions of care for this vulnerable population. Methods: We performed a descriptive, cross sectional electronic survey that was distributed to physicians and nurses in ED and LTC settings, paramedics, and patient advocates in two Canadian cities. The survey was kept open for a one month period with weekly formal reminders sent. Questions were generated after performing a literature review which sought to assess the current landscape of transitional care in this population. These were either multiple choice or free text entry questions aimed at identifying what information is essential in transitional periods. Results: A total of 191 health care providers (HCP) and 22 patient advocates (PA) responded to the survey. Within the HCPs, 38% were paramedics, 38% worked in the ED, and 24% were in LTC. In this group, only 41% of respondents were aware of existing handover protocols. Of the proposed informational items in transitional care, 100% of the respondents within both groups indicated that items including reason for transfer and advanced care directives were essential. Other areas identified as necessary were past medical history and baseline functional status. Furthermore, the majority of PAs identified that items such as primary language, bowel and bladder incontinence and spiritual beliefs should be included. Conclusion: This survey demonstrated that there is a need for an improved handover culture to be established when caring for LTC patients in the ED. Education needs to be provided surrounding existing protocols to ensure that health care providers are aware of their existence. Furthermore, we identified what information is essential to transitional care of these patients according to HCPs and PAs. These findings will be used to generate a simple, one page handover form. The next iteration of this project will pilot this handover form in an attempt to create safer transitions to the ED in this at-risk population.