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The past few decades have seen the burgeoning of wide-field, high-cadence surveys, the most formidable of which will be the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) to be conducted by the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. So new is the field of systematic time-domain survey astronomy; however, that major scientific insights will continue to be obtained using smaller, more flexible systems than the LSST. One such example is the Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) whose primary science objective is the optical follow-up of gravitational wave events. The amount and rate of data production by GOTO and other wide-area, high-cadence surveys presents a significant challenge to data processing pipelines which need to operate in near-real time to fully exploit the time domain. In this study, we adapt the Rubin Observatory LSST Science Pipelines to process GOTO data, thereby exploring the feasibility of using this ‘off-the-shelf’ pipeline to process data from other wide-area, high-cadence surveys. In this paper, we describe how we use the LSST Science Pipelines to process raw GOTO frames to ultimately produce calibrated coadded images and photometric source catalogues. After comparing the measured astrometry and photometry to those of matched sources from PanSTARRS DR1, we find that measured source positions are typically accurate to subpixel levels, and that measured L-band photometries are accurate to $\sim50$ mmag at $m_L\sim16$ and $\sim200$ mmag at $m_L\sim18$. These values compare favourably to those obtained using GOTO’s primary, in-house pipeline, gotophoto, in spite of both pipelines having undergone further development and improvement beyond the implementations used in this study. Finally, we release a generic ‘obs package’ that others can build upon, should they wish to use the LSST Science Pipelines to process data from other facilities.
We describe here efforts to create and study magnetized electron–positron pair plasmas, the existence of which in astrophysical environments is well-established. Laboratory incarnations of such systems are becoming ever more possible due to novel approaches and techniques in plasma, beam and laser physics. Traditional magnetized plasmas studied to date, both in nature and in the laboratory, exhibit a host of different wave types, many of which are generically unstable and evolve into turbulence or violent instabilities. This complexity and the instability of these waves stem to a large degree from the difference in mass between the positively and the negatively charged species: the ions and the electrons. The mass symmetry of pair plasmas, on the other hand, results in unique behaviour, a topic that has been intensively studied theoretically and numerically for decades, but experimental studies are still in the early stages of development. A levitated dipole device is now under construction to study magnetized low-energy, short-Debye-length electron–positron plasmas; this experiment, as well as a stellarator device that is in the planning stage, will be fuelled by a reactor-based positron source and make use of state-of-the-art positron cooling and storage techniques. Relativistic pair plasmas with very different parameters will be created using pair production resulting from intense laser–matter interactions and will be confined in a high-field mirror configuration. We highlight the differences between and similarities among these approaches, and discuss the unique physics insights that can be gained by these studies.
Adults with significant childhood trauma and/or serious mental illness may exhibit persistent structural brain changes within limbic structures, including the amygdala. Little is known about the structure of the amygdala prior to the onset of SMI, despite the relatively high prevalence of trauma in at-risk youth.
Data were gathered from the Canadian Psychiatric Risk and Outcome study. A total of 182 youth with a mean age of 18.3 years completed T1-weighted MRI scans along with clinical assessments that included questionnaires on symptoms of depression and anxiety. Participants also completed the Childhood Trauma and Abuse Scale. We used a novel subfield-specific amygdala segmentation workflow as a part of FreeSurfer 6.0 to examine amygdala structure.
Participants with higher trauma scores were more likely to have smaller amygdala volumes, particularly within the basal regions. Among various types of childhood trauma, sexual and physical abuse had the largest effects on amygdala subregions. Abuse-related differences in the right basal region mediated the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms, even though no participants met criteria for clinical diagnosis at the time of assessment.
The experience of physical or sexual abuse may leave detectable structural alterations in key regions of the amygdala, potentially mediating the risk of psychopathology in trauma-exposed youth.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of acute respiratory infection. There is an excess of respiratory infections and deaths in schizophrenia, a condition where vitamin D deficiency is especially prevalent. This potentially offers a modifiable risk factor to reduce the risk for and the severity of respiratory infection in people with schizophrenia, although there is as yet no evidence regarding the risk of COVID-19. In this narrative review, we describe the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in schizophrenia, report the research examining the relationship between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 and discuss the associations between vitamin D deficiency and respiratory infection, including its immunomodulatory mechanism of action.
A cross-sectional survey study of inpatient prescribers in a university health system was performed to assess the importance they place on different clinical risk factors when making empiric antibiotic decisions. Our findings show that these clinical risk factors were weighted differently based on the clinical scenario and the type of prescriber.
Although Britain's electrification started with considerable technological and market advantages, it proceeded remarkably slowly and hesitantly. Using share-price data, this study investigates the conventional explanations for this disappointing outcome: notably, perverse regulation and competition from entrenched gas-light providers. It finds that these oft-cited factors had an imperceptible impact on the course of the British electrical industry's turbulent market launch in 1882. However, we show that, owing to the fledgling electrical industry's need for incessant experimentation, short-sighted, self-serving decisions by the management of the early British industry's most prominent firm squandered a well-funded start, with long-lasting adverse consequences.
Welfare and management of calves is of increasing interest and also influences performance of these animals in later life. The aim of this study was to assess management and environmental conditions under which pre-weaned dairy calves are reared on commercial Irish dairy farms. We included 47 spring-calving, pasture-based herds in this study. Herd and animal-specific data, such as mortality rate, age and breed, were gathered from all participants via the HerdPlus® database. Information pertaining to management practices was collected by conducting an interview with the principal calf rearer, while an assessment of calf housing facilities was conducted to identify conditions calves were reared in. The environmental assessment included measurements of space allowance per calf, as well as feeding equipment hygiene. To assess calf behaviour video observations were used, while accounting for the number of calves present in a group and the space available per calf. Faecal samples were also collected to determine the presence of enteric pathogens among calves. To compare calf space allowance, group size and presence of enteric pathogens early and late in the calving season each farm was visited twice. Calf mortality was not associated with either herd size, space allowance per calf or post-colostrum feeding practices. Higher calf mortality was identified among herds which reported experiencing an on-set of calf pneumonia during weeks 8 to 10 of the calving season. This study demonstrates that factors associated with calf welfare on commercial Irish dairy farms (e.g. space allowance, mortality rate) are independent of herd size. Some management practices however, such as methods used for treating health issues can affect rates of calf mortality experienced. Calf mortality, for example, was lower in herds which treated diarrhoea cases by administering electrolytes, while continuing to offer milk. Behavioural observations indicate that smaller group sizes could promote expression of positive behaviours, potentially resulting from an overall improvement in welfare. Space allowance per calf was not associated with observed behaviour frequencies. We also identified that similar rates of calf mortality are experienced across herds of different sizes.
The lack of radiation knowledge among the general public continues to be a challenge for building communities prepared for radiological emergencies. This study applied a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to the results of an expert survey to identify priority risk reduction messages and challenges to increasing community radiological emergency preparedness.
Professionals with expertise in radiological emergency preparedness, state/local health and emergency management officials, and journalists/journalism academics were surveyed following a purposive sampling methodology. An MCDA was used to weight criteria of importance in a radiological emergency, and the weighted criteria were applied to topics such as sheltering-in-place, decontamination, and use of potassium iodide. Results were reviewed by respondent group and in aggregate.
Sheltering-in-place and evacuation plans were identified as the most important risk reduction measures to communicate to the public. Possible communication challenges during a radiological emergency included access to accurate information; low levels of public trust; public knowledge about radiation; and communications infrastructure failures.
Future assessments for community readiness for a radiological emergency should include questions about sheltering-in-place and evacuation plans to inform risk communication.
Amazon's Mechanical Turk is widely used for data collection; however, data quality may be declining due to the use of virtual private servers to fraudulently gain access to studies. Unfortunately, we know little about the scale and consequence of this fraud, and tools for social scientists to detect and prevent this fraud are underdeveloped. We first analyze 38 studies and show that this fraud is not new, but has increased recently. We then show that these fraudulent respondents provide particularly low-quality data and can weaken treatment effects. Finally, we provide two solutions: an easy-to-use application for identifying fraud in the existing datasets and a method for blocking fraudulent respondents in Qualtrics surveys.
Increasing evidence suggests that symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could persist into adult life in a substantial proportion of cases. The aim of the present study is to investigate the impact of 1) adverse events, 2) personality traits and 3) genetic variants chosen on the basis of previous findings and 4) their possible interactions on adult ADHD severity in a sample of 110 Caucasian patients.
One hundred and ten individuals diagnosed with adult ADHD were evaluated for occurrence of adverse events in childhood and adulthood, and personality traits by the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Common polymorphisms within a set of nine important candidate genes (SLC6A3, DBH, DRD4, DRD5, HTR2A, CHRNA7, BDNF, PRKG1 and TAAR9) were genotyped for each subject. Life events, personality traits and genetic variations were analyzed in relationship to severity of current symptoms, evaluated by the Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS).
Genetic variations were not significantly associated with severity of ADHD symptoms and life stressors displayed only a minor effect as compared to personality traits. Indeed, symptoms’ severity was significantly correlated with the temperamental trait of Harm avoidance and the character trait of Self directedness.
The results of the present work are in line with previous evidence of a significant correlation between some personality traits and adult ADHD. However, several limitations such as the small sample size and the exclusion of patients with other severe comorbid psychiatric disorders could have influenced the significance of present findings.
Childhood Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology persists in a substantial proportion of cases into adult life. ADHD is highly heritable but the etiology of ADHD is complex and heterogeneous, involving both genetic and non-genetic factors. In the present paper we analyzed the influence of both genetics and adverse life events on severity of ADHD symptoms in 110 adult ADHD patients. Subjects were genotyped for the norepinephrine transporter (NET), the Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), the serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism (SERTPR) and the more rare A/G variant within SERTPR. Three main outcomes were obtained: (1) adverse events showed a small but positive correlation with current ADHD severity; (2) NET, COMT and the A/G variant within SERTPR were not associated with ADHD severity; (3) taking into account stressors, the long (L) SERTPR variant showed a mild effect on ADHD, being associated with an increased severity, particularly as regard affective dysregulations; on the other hand, in subjects exposed to early stressors, it showed a protective effect, as compared to the S variant (see table). In conclusion, our data support the role of environmental factors in adult ADHD symptomatology. SERTPR may be involved in some features of the illness and act as a moderator of environmental influences in ADHD.
Serotonin receptors blockade is the major basis for the action of atypical antipsychotic drugs. Genetic factors affecting the density and/or function of serotonergic receptors, transporters and enzymes may therefore affect antipsychotic response. This exploratory study investigates the effect of ten polymorphisms from HTR1A, HTR1D, HTR2A, HTR3A, HTR3B, HTR4, HTR6, SLC6A4, TPH1, TPH2 genes on antipsychotic response in a sample of 289 patients with DSM-diagnosis of schizophrenia. Clinical Response was assessed using Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). Response was determined as 20% reduction improvement of BPRS compared to baseline. Selection of the biological relevant interactions, regardless the phenotype was performed using different statistics strategies regardless the phenotype to investigate epistasis within the serotonin system. the test for relevant interaction selection showed that 5HT4 and 5HT6 can be in epistatic relationship. the single locus analysis of these two receptor polymorphisms showed no significant results and the logistic regression model incorporating both genes, the clinical and demographic variables was not significant. Even this result is not significant, this strategy aimed to investigate the epistatic effect among genes could be useful for finding relevant biological interaction among genetic variants. Furthermore we are currently analyzing the methylation level of HTR2A in responders and non-responders, this epigenetic analysis will be very valuable in adding more information to the classic pharmacogenetic studies.
rTMS is an emerging treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) refractory to medications and psychotherapy. The conventional target for rTMS in MDD is the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). However, convergent evidence from lesion, stimulation, and neuroimaging studies suggests that the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) may play a more central role in emotion regulation. We have recently demonstrated robust and potentially superior antidepressant properties for excitatory rTMS of the DMPFC. However, one of the enduring limitations of rTMS is the long duration of each treatment session under conventional protocols, which require ~40 minutes per day over 20-30 sessions for maximum efficacy using conventional 10 Hz stimulation. More recent studies have suggested that theta-burst stimulation (TBS) protocols can achieve stronger and more durable effects in markedly less time. Intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) generates robust and long-lasting excitatory effects with 600 pulses over ~3 min. Pilot studies have previously reported antidepressant effects with TBS over the DLPFC. However, TBS over the DMPFC has not previously been studied. Here we report robust antidepressant effects for a 7 min course of iTBS, administered bilaterally over the DMPFC with MRI-guidance at 120% resting motor threshold, over 20-30 sessions, in an open-label series of 40 patients with refractory MDD. Safety, efficacy, and tolerability are comparable to a 10 Hz rTMS protocol requiring 30-40 min of treatment. iTBS of the DMPFC may effectively reduce the duration (and cost) of rTMS >4-fold, thus increasing patient capacity per clinic and improving the overall accessibility of rTMS in refractory MDD.
One of the great Reformation debates during Shakespeare’s lifetime focused on the nature of “repentance” as represented in the Bible. The Biblical concept embraced the idea of a turn away from error and a return to righteousness (mostly as interpreted in later translations of the Hebrew Testament) and the idea of an interior change of mind or revision of one’s attitude toward patterns of behavior (mostly in the Christian Testament likewise as interpreted in later translations). Shakespeare dramatized these ideas in histories, comedies, tragedies, and romances throughout his career. This essay focuses on the dynamics of repentance in King Lear, where turning away and changes of mind engage with competing – but also sometimes complementing and mutually reinforcing – claims of ancient pagan Stoicism and Epicureanism in regard to fate, destiny, free will, and random change.
There is considerable variation in the prevalence of breastfeeding, which allows for investigation of factors that influence the initiation and duration of breastfeeding and its association with well being of the mother infant dyad.
To better understand factors that influence (1) maternal breastfeeding status and (2) the “effects” of breastfeeding on mothers and infants.
Participants (n = 170) derive from a longitudinal Canadian study “Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN)”, a project designed to understand the pre- and postnatal influences on maternal health and child social-emotional development. Mothers provided data on breastfeeding status, early life adversity, oxytocin gene and oxytocin gene receptor polymorphisms, depression/anxiety, infant temperament and maternal sensitivity.
Early life adversity associated with a shorter breastfeeding duration and higher maternal depression levels. The relation between mothers’ early adversity and the duration of breastfeeding was mediated by mothers’ depression level, but only in women carrying one variant of the oxytocin rs2740210 gene marker (CC genotype). Mothers who breastfeed at 3 months acted more sensitively towards their infants when they were 6 months old and they in turn had infants who at 18 months showed reduced negative affectivity.
Women who have been exposed to early adversity are “living with the past” and they are, to certain extent, protected or more vulnerable to depression, depending on their genotype. Breastfeeding associated with higher maternal sensitivity, which associated with decreased negative emotionality in the infant at 18 months. Our results help to clarify associations between early life experiences, breastfeeding, and the mother-infant relationship.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The study report on Vanadium dioxide thin films of about 100nm thickness deposited using pulsed laser deposition on Si (100). The novel phase change reported is attributed to the post-treatment of the films via ion implantation with 25 KeV C+ ion beam at varying particle fluence (1E15, 1E16, and 1E17 /cm2). At the initial fluence, the preferred phase is retained while amorphization and recrystallization of the film is observed as the fluence increase to 1E16 ions/cm2and 1E17 ions/cm2, respectively. The phase transition of the samples is observed to occur at a temperature below 320 K while stabilization of the low phase structure is observed for the middle fluence. Further increase restores the SMT behaviour/trend that occurred at elevated temperatures.