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Two common approaches to identify subgroups of patients with bipolar disorder are clustering methodology (mixture analysis) based on the age of onset, and a birth cohort analysis. This study investigates if a birth cohort effect will influence the results of clustering on the age of onset, using a large, international database.
The database includes 4037 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, previously collected at 36 collection sites in 23 countries. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to adjust the data for country median age, and in some models, birth cohort. Model-based clustering (mixture analysis) was then performed on the age of onset data using the residuals. Clinical variables in subgroups were compared.
There was a strong birth cohort effect. Without adjusting for the birth cohort, three subgroups were found by clustering. After adjusting for the birth cohort or when considering only those born after 1959, two subgroups were found. With results of either two or three subgroups, the youngest subgroup was more likely to have a family history of mood disorders and a first episode with depressed polarity. However, without adjusting for birth cohort (three subgroups), family history and polarity of the first episode could not be distinguished between the middle and oldest subgroups.
These results using international data confirm prior findings using single country data, that there are subgroups of bipolar I disorder based on the age of onset, and that there is a birth cohort effect. Including the birth cohort adjustment altered the number and characteristics of subgroups detected when clustering by age of onset. Further investigation is needed to determine if combining both approaches will identify subgroups that are more useful for research.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Predicting breed-specific environmental suitability has been problematic in livestock production. Native breeds have low productivity but are thought to be more robust to perform under local conditions than exotic breeds. Attempts to introduce genetically improved exotic breeds are generally unsuccessful, mainly due to the antagonistic environmental conditions. Knowledge of the environmental conditions that are shaping the breed would be needed to determine its suitability to different locations. Here, we present a methodology to predict the suitability of breeds for different agro-ecological zones using Geographic Information Systems tools and predictive habitat distribution models. This methodology was tested on the current distribution of two introduced chicken breeds in Ethiopia: the Koekoek, originally from South Africa, and the Fayoumi, originally from Egypt. Cross-validation results show this methodology to be effective in predicting breed suitability for specific environmental conditions. Furthermore, the model predicts suitable areas of the country where the breeds could be introduced. The specific climatic parameters that explained the potential distribution of each of the breeds were similar to the environment from which the breeds originated. This novel methodology finds application in livestock programs, allowing for a more informed decision when designing breeding programs and introduction programs, and increases our understanding of the role of the environment in livestock productivity.
The EPIET Alumni Network (EAN) is an association of professionals who have completed field epidemiology or public health microbiology training programmes in the European Union. In 2013, we conducted a survey of EAN members to investigate this network's role within European public health. We distributed an online questionnaire to members registered at the time, collecting data on demographics, professional background, and attitudes towards EAN. Out of 362 registered members, 189 (52%) responded; 97% were from Europe; 65% were female. Their mean age was 39 years. The highest academic qualification was PhD for 44% and Master's degree for 55%. The majority (60%) worked in public health institutes. They were especially satisfied with having access to job offers and professional networking via EAN, but requested more learning opportunities and knowledge-sharing between members. EAN is a unique platform where highly skilled professionals can connect to control infectious diseases locally and internationally. Having a network of professionals that know each other, speak the same ‘language’, and can easily access each other's expertise, represents an important resource for European and global public health, which should be nurtured by encouraging more collaborations devoted to professional development.
Expose is a multi-user instrument for astrobiological and astrochemical experiments in space. Installed at the outer surface of the International Space Station, it enables investigators to study the impact of the open space environment on biological and biochemical test samples. Two Expose missions have been completed so far, designated as Expose-E (Rabbow et al. 2012) and Expose-R (Rabbow et al. this issue). One of the space-unique environmental factors offered by Expose is full-spectrum, ultraviolet (UV)-rich electromagnetic radiation from the Sun. This paper describes and analyses how on Expose-R, access of the test samples to Solar radiation degraded during space exposure in an unpredicted way. Several windows in front of the Sun-exposed test samples acquired a brown shade, resulting in a reduced transparency in visible light, UV and vacuum UV (VUV). Post-flight investigations revealed the discolouration to be caused by a homogenous film of cross-linked organic polymers at the inside of the windows. The chemical signature varied per sample carrier. No such films were found on windows from sealed, pressurized compartments, or on windows that had been kept out of the Sun. This suggests that volatile compounds originating from the interior of the Expose facility were cross-linked and photo-fixed by Solar irradiation at the rear side of the windows. The origin of the volatiles was not fully identified; most probably there was a variety of sources involved including the biological test samples, adhesives, plastics and printed circuit boards. The outer surface of the windows (pointing into space) was chemically impacted as well, with a probable effect on the transparency in VUV. The reported analysis of the window contamination on Expose-R is expected to help the interpretation of the scientific results and offers possibilities to mitigate this problem on future missions – in particular Expose-R2, the direct successor of Expose-R.
A number of studies have pointed out that stuttering-like disfluencies could be the result of failures in central and linguistic processing. The goal of the present paper is to analyze if stuttering implies deficits in the lexical and phonological processing in visual word recognition. This study compares the performance of 28 children with and without stuttering in a standard lexical decision task in a transparent orthography: Spanish. Word frequency and syllable frequency were manipulated in the experimental words. Stutterers were found to be considerably slower (in their correct responses) and produced more errors than the non- stutterers (χ(1) = 36.63, p < .001, η2 = .60). There was also a facilitation effect of syllable frequency, restricted to low frequency words and only in the stutterers group (t1(10) = 3.67, p < .005; t2(36) = 3.10, p < .001). These outcomes appear to suggest that the decoding process of stutterers exhibits a deficit in the interface between the phonological-syllabic level and the word level.
The late Miocene Gatun Formation of northern Panama contains a highly diverse and well sampled fossil marine assemblage that occupied a shallow-water embayment close to a purported connection between the Pacific and Atlantic (Caribbean) oceans. However, the diverse chondrichthyan fauna has been poorly documented. Based on recent field discoveries and further analysis of existing collections, the chondrichthyan fauna from this unit comprises at least 26 taxa, of which four species are extinct today. The remaining portion of the total chondrichthyan biodiversity has affinities with modern taxa and is therefore comprised of long-lived species. Based on known records of the modern geographic distribution range of the Gatun chondrichthyans, the fauna has mixed biogeographic affinities suggesting that around 10 million yr ago, a connection likely occurred between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Given the known habitat preferences for modern chondrichthyans, the Gatun fauna was primarily adapted to shallow waters within the neritic zone. Finally, comparisons of Gatun dental measurements with other faunas suggest that many of the taxa have an abundance of small individuals, in agreement with previous studies that proposed this area as a paleonursery habitat for the species Carcharocles megalodon.
In pediatric radiology, radiological protection is
of vital importance due to the great radio-sensitivity of body tissues
in childhood, which can come to present stochastic effects as children
have a longer life expectancy. The objective of this research is
to establish diagnostic reference levels in chest exam pediatric
patients. The study, carried out in one of the largest pediatric
centers of the city of Medellin, the capital of the Department of
Antioquia, consisted of the calculation of the Entrance Skin Dose
(ESD) for a sample of 814 chest radiographic studies in the anteroposterior
(AP) and left lateral (L LAT) projections, and it was compared with
the doses obtained with the computational program PCXMC 2.0. For
the estimate of the Entrance Skin Dose, data were collected from the
exams, including the size of the radiation field, mAs and kVp. The
ESD in chest exams for 5-year-old children was the only one that
exceeded the international reference levels, giving evidence of
the need to optimize the techniques used in this type of study in
the institution under evaluation.
Four distinct fossil turtle assemblages (Chelonia) are recognized from the Panama Canal Basin. The oldest, from the late Eocene–early Oligocene Gatuncillo Formation, is dominated by podocnemidid pleurodires. The early Miocene Culebra Formation includes both podocnemidids and trionychids. The early to middle Miocene Cucaracha Formation includes taxa classified in Geoemydidae (including Rhinoclemmys panamaensis n. sp.), Kinosternidae (represented by Staurotypus moschus n. sp.), large testudinids, trionychids, and podocnemidids, and finally, the late Miocene Gatun Formation records cheloniid sea turtles. These fossils include the oldest known representatives of Rhinoclemmys, the oldest record of kinosternids in Central America with a more extensive southern paleodistribution for Staurotypus and staurotypines in general, early occurrences of giant tortoises in the Neotropics, the oldest occurrence of soft-shell turtles in the tropics, the oldest late Eocene–early Oligocene Neotropical occurrences of podocnemidids. The Panamanian fossil turtles represent clades that are primarily endemic to North America, showing their very early arrival into the Neotropics prior to the complete emergence of the Isthmus of Panama, as well as their first contact with Caribbean-South American pleurodires by the early Miocene.
To raise awareness of nasal malignant melanoma, a rare tumour, and to highlight the difficulty associated with its optimum management.
Case report and literature review.
A 71-year-old, Caucasian man was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the right nasal cavity, after presenting with right-sided epistaxis. He underwent endoscopic medial maxillectomy; histological analysis confirmed that the resection margins were clear. However, within six months he re-presented with a metastatic deposit of malignant melanoma in his right external auditory canal, for which he underwent right temporal bone resection. There was no evidence of distant metastasis on radiological studies. Unfortunately, within a month the tumour recurred in the right nasopharynx. A multidisciplinary team decision was made to offer the patient palliative chemoradiotherapy.
Mucosal malignant melanoma of the nose is very rare, and aural metastasis from this primary site has not previously been reported. Optimum management must involve a multidisciplinary team.
Human adenoviruses (HAdV) cause a broad spectrum of diseases including acute respiratory infection (ARI), and are responsible for 5% of cases requiring hospitalization in children aged <5 years in Colombia; however, little is known about the circulating types, partly due to the lack of reliable typing tests. In order to evaluate a VA gene PCR-sequencing approach for identification of HAdV circulating types in a Colombian population, 52 nasopharyngeal aspirates/swabs from children with ARI were processed. After a BLAST analysis, matches with species B (41/48, 85·42%), C (6/48, 12·5%), and D (1/48, 2·08%) were found; and at the type level, type 3 (22/48, 45·83%) was the most frequent. This initial effort to expand our knowledge about the molecular epidemiology of HAdV circulating in Bogota, Colombia, showed that HAdV-B was the predominant circulating species in the study period and reports, for the first time in Colombia, the presence of HAdV-D in a respiratory sample.
Recently collected specimens of the extinct tayassuine peccary “Cynorca” occidentale (and another indeterminant tayassuid) are described from new excavations along the southern reaches of the Panama Canal. Fossil peccaries were previously unknown from Panama, and these new tayassuid specimens therefore add to the extinct mammalian biodiversity in this region. “Cynorca” occidentale occurs in situ in the Centenario Fauna (new name) from both the upper part of the Culebra Formation and overlying Cucaracha Formation, thus encompassing a stratigraphic interval that includes both of these formations and the previously described and more restricted Gaillard Cut Local Fauna. “Cynorca” occidentale is a primitive member of the clade that gives rise to modern tayassuines in the New World. Diagnostic characters for “C.” occidentale include a retained primitive M1, reduced M3, and shallow mandible, and this species is small relative to most other extinct and modern tayassuine peccaries. Based on the closest biostratigraphic comparisions (Maryland, Florida, Texas, and California), the presence of “C.” occidentale indicates an interval of uncertain duration within the early Hemingfordian (He1) to early Barstovian (Ba 1) land mammal ages (early to middle Miocene) for the Centenario Fauna, between about 19 and 14.8 million years ago. Based on what is known of the modern ecology of tayassuines and previous paleoecological interpretations for Panama, “C.” occidentale likely occupied a variety of environments, ranging from forested to open country habitat mosaics and fed on the diverse array of available plants.
Photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting for hydrogen production is a promising technology that uses sunlight and water to produce renewable hydrogen with oxygen as a by-product. In the expanding field of PEC hydrogen production, the use of standardized screening methods and reporting has emerged as a necessity. This article is intended to provide guidance on key practices in characterization of PEC materials and proper reporting of efficiencies. Presented here are the definitions of various efficiency values that pertain to PEC, with an emphasis on the importance of solar-to-hydrogen efficiency, as well as a flow chart with standard procedures for PEC characterization techniques for planar photoelectrode materials (i.e., not suspensions of particles) with a focus on single band gap absorbers. These guidelines serve as a foundation and prelude to a much more complete and in-depth discussion of PEC techniques and procedures presented elsewhere.
This contribution presents the results obtained by a Mexican laboratory in the Asia-Pacific Economy Cooperation Interlaboratory Comparison (IC) on mechanical properties by nanoindentation from 2008 using fused silica and polycarbonate as samples. Reduced modulus and indentation hardness are the parameters asked to be measured and compared. The aim for this paper is to show and to discuss the so called “indentation size effect” (ISE) on the indentation hardness of fused silica. Using the spherical formulation of the ISE model for crystalline materials, the macroscopic hardness and material length scale of fused silica are determined as (7.34 ± 0.085) GPa and (166.36 ± 14) nm, respectively.
The effects of ultra-high pressure homogenization (UHPH) on skim milk yogurt making properties were investigated. UHPH-treated milk was compared with conventionally homogenised (15 MPa) heat-treated skim milk (90°C for 90 s), and to skim milk treated under the same thermal conditions but fortified with 3% skim milk powder. Results of the present study showed that UHPH is capable of reducing skim milk particle size which leads to the formation of finer dispersions than those obtained by conventional homogenisation combined with heat treatment. In addition, results involving coagulation properties and yogurt characteristics reflected that, when increasing UHPH pressure conditions some parameters such as density of the gel, aggregation rate and water retention are improved.
The first analyses of biological components in glaciers of the Chilean lake district are presented based on microalgae biovolume, pollen and other microorganisms detected in shallow (∼10 m) firn/ice cores. Three cores were retrieved, two at Volcán Mocho-Choshuenco (39°55′ S, 72°02′ W; summit at 2422 m a.s.l; east glacier at 2000 m a.s.l.), and one at the summit of Volcán Osorno (41°06′ S, 72°30′ W; 2652 m a.s.l.). Microalgae, protozoa and pollen quantified in the samples obtained from the two summit cores show clear fluctuations interpreted as seasonal signs. In contrast, δD and many chemical species from the summit cores show strong dampening at depth, probably due to water percolation. The limited information provided by isotopic and chemical analyses is used to support the seasonal interpretation of biological parameters from the summit cores, with microorganism maxima inferred to occur in summer and pollen maxima in spring. A good comparison is found between mass-balance estimations from the Volcán Mocho-Choshuenco summit core and values obtained near that site by means of the stake method. It is concluded that biological analyses of firn/ice cores provide reliable estimations of annual and seasonal markers from these temperate glaciers.
Biological N fixation by symbiotic micro-organisms plays a key role in making atmospheric N largely available to other organisms and nodule formation by rhizobia in roots of many legume species represents a very important pathway (Postgate 1998). Estimates of the contribution of symbiotic fixation to total N content in soils range from 44 to 200 Tg y−1 (Bøckman 1997).
The coffee berry borer Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) is the most serious pest of the world's most valuable tropical export crop. Since the last review on this insect was published six years ago, many new studies have contributed to an improved insight into the biology and ecology of the beetle, and have indicated new avenues for integrated and biological control. The latest developments in research, both laboratory and field, on the pest, its natural enemies and their implications for integrated control of H. hampei are summarized, with a particular focus on the situation in The Americas. Lately, the global coffee industry has changed radically; it has suffered a long cycle of lowest-ever world market prices caused by overproduction and technological change. At the same time, the advent of sustainable certification schemes has had a major impact on the industry. The role of integrated pest management and biological control of H. hampei in an era of changes in the coffee industry is discussed.