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We describe the design and deployment of GREENBURST, a commensal Fast Radio Burst (FRB) search system at the Green Bank Telescope. GREENBURST uses the dedicated L-band receiver tap to search over the 960–1 920 MHz frequency range for pulses with dispersion measures out to
. Due to its unique design, GREENBURST is capable of conducting searches for FRBs when the L-band receiver is not being used for scheduled observing. This makes it a sensitive single pixel detector capable of reaching deeper in the radio sky. While single pulses from Galactic pulsars and rotating radio transients will be detectable in our observations, and will form part of the database we archive, the primary goal is to detect and study FRBs. Based on recent determinations of the all-sky rate, we predict that the system will detect approximately one FRB for every 2–3 months of continuous operation. The high sensitivity of GREENBURST means that it will also be able to probe the slope of the FRB fluence distribution, which is currently uncertain in this observing band.
Hendra virus (HeV) continues to cause fatal infection in horses and threaten infection in close-contact humans in eastern Australia. Species of Pteropus bats (flying-foxes) are the natural reservoir of the virus. We caught and sampled flying-foxes from a multispecies roost in southeast Queensland, Australia on eight occasions between June 2013 and June 2014. The effects of sample date, species, sex, age class, body condition score (BCS), pregnancy and lactation on HeV antibody prevalence, log-transformed median fluorescent intensity (lnMFI) values and HeV RNA status were assessed using unbalanced generalised linear models. A total of 1968 flying-foxes were sampled, comprising 1012 Pteropus alecto, 742 P. poliocephalus and 214 P. scapulatus. Sample date, species and age class were each statistically associated with HeV RNA status, antibody status and lnMFI values; BCS was statistically associated with HeV RNA status and antibody status. The findings support immunologically naïve sub-adult P. alecto playing an important role in maintaining HeV infection at a population level. The biological significance of the association between BCS and HeV RNA status, and BCS and HeV antibody status, is less clear and warrants further investigation. Contrary to previous studies, we found no direct association between HeV infection and pregnancy or lactation. The findings in P. poliocephalus suggest that HeV exposure in this species may not result in systemic infection and virus excretion, or alternatively, may reflect assay cross-reactivity with another (unidentified) henipavirus.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
Here, we present initial results from the ALFABURST radio transient survey, which is currently running in a commensal mode with the ALFA receiver at the Arecibo telescope. We observed for a total of 1400 hours and have detected single pulses from known pulsars but did not detect any FRBs. The non-detection of FRBs is consistent with the current FRB sky rates.
Traumatic events are common globally; however, comprehensive population-based cross-national data on the epidemiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the paradigmatic trauma-related mental disorder, are lacking.
Data were analyzed from 26 population surveys in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. A total of 71 083 respondents ages 18+ participated. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed exposure to traumatic events as well as 30-day, 12-month, and lifetime PTSD. Respondents were also assessed for treatment in the 12 months preceding the survey. Age of onset distributions were examined by country income level. Associations of PTSD were examined with country income, world region, and respondent demographics.
The cross-national lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 3.9% in the total sample and 5.6% among the trauma exposed. Half of respondents with PTSD reported persistent symptoms. Treatment seeking in high-income countries (53.5%) was roughly double that in low-lower middle income (22.8%) and upper-middle income (28.7%) countries. Social disadvantage, including younger age, female sex, being unmarried, being less educated, having lower household income, and being unemployed, was associated with increased risk of lifetime PTSD among the trauma exposed.
PTSD is prevalent cross-nationally, with half of all global cases being persistent. Only half of those with severe PTSD report receiving any treatment and only a minority receive specialty mental health care. Striking disparities in PTSD treatment exist by country income level. Increasing access to effective treatment, especially in low- and middle-income countries, remains critical for reducing the population burden of PTSD.
Hendra virus (HeV) was first described in 1994 in an outbreak of acute and highly lethal disease in horses and humans in Australia. Equine cases continue to be diagnosed periodically, yet the predisposing factors for infection remain unclear. We undertook an analysis of equine submissions tested for HeV by the Queensland government veterinary reference laboratory over a 20-year period to identify and investigate any patterns. We found a marked increase in testing from July 2008, primarily reflecting a broadening of the HeV clinical case definition. Peaks in submissions for testing, and visitations to the Government HeV website, were associated with reported equine incidents. Significantly differing between-year HeV detection rates in north and south Queensland suggest a fundamental difference in risk exposure between the two regions. The statistical association between HeV detection and stockhorse type may suggest that husbandry is a more important risk determinant than breed per se. The detection of HeV in horses with neither neurological nor respiratory signs poses a risk management challenge for attending veterinarians and laboratory staff, reinforcing animal health authority recommendations that appropriate risk management strategies be employed for all sick horses, and by anyone handling sick horses or associated biological samples.
Considerable research has documented that exposure to traumatic events has negative effects on physical and mental health. Much less research has examined the predictors of traumatic event exposure. Increased understanding of risk factors for exposure to traumatic events could be of considerable value in targeting preventive interventions and anticipating service needs.
General population surveys in 24 countries with a combined sample of 68 894 adult respondents across six continents assessed exposure to 29 traumatic event types. Differences in prevalence were examined with cross-tabulations. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine whether traumatic event types clustered into interpretable factors. Survival analysis was carried out to examine associations of sociodemographic characteristics and prior traumatic events with subsequent exposure.
Over 70% of respondents reported a traumatic event; 30.5% were exposed to four or more. Five types – witnessing death or serious injury, the unexpected death of a loved one, being mugged, being in a life-threatening automobile accident, and experiencing a life-threatening illness or injury – accounted for over half of all exposures. Exposure varied by country, sociodemographics and history of prior traumatic events. Being married was the most consistent protective factor. Exposure to interpersonal violence had the strongest associations with subsequent traumatic events.
Given the near ubiquity of exposure, limited resources may best be dedicated to those that are more likely to be further exposed such as victims of interpersonal violence. Identifying mechanisms that account for the associations of prior interpersonal violence with subsequent trauma is critical to develop interventions to prevent revictimization.
Historically, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations have suffered excess morbidity and mortality from influenza. We investigated the risk factors for death from 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) in persons residing in five states with substantial AI/AN populations. We conducted a case-control investigation using pandemic influenza fatalities from 2009 in Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming. Controls were outpatients with influenza. We reviewed medical records and interviewed case proxies and controls. We used multiple imputation to predict missing data and multivariable conditional logistic regression to determine risk factors. We included 145 fatal cases and 236 controls; 22% of cases were AI/AN. Risk factors (P < 0·05) included: older age [adjusted matched odds ratio (mOR) 3·2, for >45 years vs. <18 years], pre-existing medical conditions (mOR 7·1), smoking (mOR 3·0), delayed receipt of antivirals (mOR 6·5), and barriers to healthcare access (mOR 5·3). AI/AN race was not significantly associated with death. The increased influenza mortality in AI/AN individuals was due to factors other than racial status. Prevention of influenza deaths should focus on modifiable factors (smoking, early antiviral use, access to care) and identifying high-risk persons for immunization and prompt medical attention.
Animal production and health (APH) is an important sector in the world economy, representing a large proportion of the budget of all member states in the European Union and in other continents. APH is a highly competitive sector with a strong emphasis on innovation and, albeit with country to country variations, on scientific research. Proteomics (the study of all proteins present in a given tissue or fluid – i.e. the proteome) has an enormous potential when applied to APH. Nevertheless, for a variety of reasons and in contrast to disciplines such as plant sciences or human biomedicine, such potential is only now being tapped. To counter such limited usage, 6 years ago we created a consortium dedicated to the applications of Proteomics to APH, specifically in the form of a Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action, termed FA1002 – Proteomics in Farm Animals: www.cost-faproteomics.org. In 4 years, the consortium quickly enlarged to a total of 31 countries in Europe, as well as Israel, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. This article has a triple purpose. First, we aim to provide clear examples on the applications and benefits of the use of proteomics in all aspects related to APH. Second, we provide insights and possibilities on the new trends and objectives for APH proteomics applications and technologies for the years to come. Finally, we provide an overview and balance of the major activities and accomplishments of the COST Action on Farm Animal Proteomics. These include activities such as the organization of seminars, workshops and major scientific conferences, organization of summer schools, financing Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) and the generation of scientific literature. Overall, the Action has attained all of the proposed objectives and has made considerable difference by putting proteomics on the global map for animal and veterinary researchers in general and by contributing significantly to reduce the East–West and North–South gaps existing in the European farm animal research. Future activities of significance in the field of scientific research, involving members of the action, as well as others, will likely be established in the future.
Associations between specific parent and offspring mental disorders are likely to have been overestimated in studies that have failed to control for parent comorbidity.
To examine the associations of parent with respondent disorders.
Data come from the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Surveys (n = 51 507). Respondent disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and parent disorders with informant-based Family History Research Diagnostic Criteria interviews.
Although virtually all parent disorders examined (major depressive, generalised anxiety, panic, substance and antisocial behaviour disorders and suicidality) were significantly associated with offspring disorders in multivariate analyses, little specificity was found. Comorbid parent disorders had significant sub-additive associations with offspring disorders. Population-attributable risk proportions for parent disorders were 12.4% across all offspring disorders, generally higher in high- and upper-middle- than low-/lower-middle-income countries, and consistently higher for behaviour (11.0–19.9%) than other (7.1–14.0%) disorders.
Parent psychopathology is a robust non-specific predictor associated with a substantial proportion of offspring disorders.
Research on the structure of co-morbidity among common mental disorders has largely focused on current prevalence rather than on the development of co-morbidity. This report presents preliminary results of the latter type of analysis based on the US National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A).
A national survey was carried out of adolescent mental disorders. DSM-IV diagnoses were based on the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) administered to adolescents and questionnaires self-administered to parents. Factor analysis examined co-morbidity among 15 lifetime DSM-IV disorders. Discrete-time survival analysis was used to predict first onset of each disorder from information about prior history of the other 14 disorders.
Factor analysis found four factors representing fear, distress, behavior and substance disorders. Associations of temporally primary disorders with the subsequent onset of other disorders, dated using retrospective age-of-onset (AOO) reports, were almost entirely positive. Within-class associations (e.g. distress disorders predicting subsequent onset of other distress disorders) were more consistently significant (63.2%) than between-class associations (33.0%). Strength of associations decreased as co-morbidity among disorders increased. The percentage of lifetime disorders explained (in a predictive rather than a causal sense) by temporally prior disorders was in the range 3.7–6.9% for earliest-onset disorders [specific phobia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)] and much higher (23.1–64.3%) for later-onset disorders. Fear disorders were the strongest predictors of most other subsequent disorders.
Adolescent mental disorders are highly co-morbid. The strong associations of temporally primary fear disorders with many other later-onset disorders suggest that fear disorders might be promising targets for early interventions.
With the development of applications involving high sensitivity ferromagnetic-ferroelectric laminates, a systematic analysis of the noise floor for magneto-electric (ME) laminated sensor has become crucial. We report and discuss the results of such an analysis on the noise floor of magnetostrictive-piezoelectric laminates in terms of the magnetic noise spectral density at room temperature. The noise floor of highly sensitive ME laminates with a JFET charge amplifier detection method has been studied. A good correlation was found between the theoretical and experimental noise curves within the measurement bandwidth. The dominating noise sources were found to include the dielectric loss noise, mechanical loss noise of the magneto-electric laminates and the noise sources of the charge amplifier. By using an appropriate low noise JFET charge amplifier, the noise contributions from the amplifier can be made negligible, enabling the measurement of the intrinsic noise of the ME laminates sensor. Thus, we have shown that at low frequencies, below the resonant frequency, the dielectric loss noise predominates with a one-per-root-frequency dependence whereas, around the resonance, the mechanical loss noise prevails over all other noise sources as expected from our theoretical analysis.
Simplicity of construction and operation are advantages of iTMC (ionic transition metal complex) OLEDs compared with multi-layer OLED devices. Unfortunately, lifetimes do not compare favorably with the best multi-layer devices. We have previously shown for Ru(bpy)3(PF6)2 based iTMC OLEDs that electrical drive produces emission-quenching dimers of the active species. We report evidence here that a chemical process may also be implicated in degradation of devices based on Ir(ppy)2(dtb-bpy)PF6 albeit by a very different mechanism. It appears that degradation of operating devices made with this Ir-based complex is related to current-induced heating of the organic layer, resulting in loss of the dtb-bpy ligand. (The dtb-bpy ligand is labile compared with the cyclometallated ppy ligands.) Morphological changes observed in electrically driven Ir(ppy)2(dtb-bpy)PF6 OLEDs provide evidence of substantial heating during device operation. Evidence from UV-vis spectra in the presence of an electric field as well as MALDI-TOF mass spectra of the OLED materials before and after electrical drive add support for this model of the degradation process.
Given that numerous amphibians are suffering population declines, it is becoming increasingly important to examine the relationship between disease and environmental disturbance. Indeed, while many studies relate anthropogenic activity to changes in the parasitism of snails and fishes, little is known of the impact on the parasites of amphibians, particularly from agriculture. For 2 years, the parasite communities of metamorphic northern leopard frogs from 7 agricultural wetlands were compared with those from 2 reference wetlands to study differences in parasite community diversity and abundance of various species under pristine conditions and 3 categories of disturbance: only agricultural landscape, only pesticides, and agricultural landscape with pesticides. Agricultural (and urban) area was negatively related to species richness, and associated with the near absence of adult parasites and species that infect birds or mammals. We suggest that agriculture and urbanization may hinder parasite transmission to frogs by limiting access of other vertebrate hosts of their parasites to wetlands. The only parasite found at all localities was an unidentified echinostome infecting the kidneys. This parasite dominated communities in localities surrounded by the most agricultural land, suggesting generalist parasites may persist in disrupted habitats. Community composition was associated with dissolved organic carbon and conductivity, but few links were found with pesticides. Pollution effects may be masked by a strong impact of land use on parasite transmission.