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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
The ventricular assist device is being increasingly used as a “bridge-to-transplant” option in children with heart failure who have failed medical management. Care for this medically complex population must be optimised, including through concomitant pharmacotherapy. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic alterations affecting pharmacotherapy are increasingly discovered in children supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, another form of mechanical circulatory support. Similarities between extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and ventricular assist devices support the hypothesis that similar alterations may exist in ventricular assist device-supported patients. We conducted a literature review to assess the current data available on pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics in children with ventricular assist devices. We found two adult and no paediatric pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies in ventricular assist device-supported patients. While mechanisms may be partially extrapolated from children supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, dedicated investigation of the paediatric ventricular assist device population is crucial given the inherent differences between the two forms of mechanical circulatory support, and pathophysiology that is unique to these patients. Commonly used drugs such as anticoagulants and antibiotics have narrow therapeutic windows with devastating consequences if under-dosed or over-dosed. Clinical studies are urgently needed to improve outcomes and maximise the potential of ventricular assist devices in this vulnerable population.
Many studies have identified changes in the brain associated with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), but few have examined the relationship between genetic determinants of OCD and brain variation.
We present the first genome-wide investigation of overlapping genetic risk for OCD and genetic influences on subcortical brain structures.
Using single nucleotide polymorphism effect concordance analysis, we measured genetic overlap between the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of OCD (1465 participants with OCD, 5557 controls) and recent GWASs of eight subcortical brain volumes (13 171 participants).
We found evidence of significant positive concordance between OCD risk variants and variants associated with greater nucleus accumbens and putamen volumes. When conditioning OCD risk variants on brain volume, variants influencing putamen, amygdala and thalamus volumes were associated with risk for OCD.
These results are consistent with current OCD neurocircuitry models. Further evidence will clarify the relationship between putamen volume and OCD risk, and the roles of the detected variants in this disorder.
Declaration of interest
The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Background: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic scaffolding gene SHANK2 are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, their impact on the function of human neurons is unknown. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from affected individuals permits generation of live neurons to answer this question. Methods: We generated iPSCs by reprogramming dermal fibroblasts of neurotypic and ASD-affected donors. To isolate the effect of SHANK2, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to knock out SHANK2 in control iPSCs and correct a heterozygous nonsense mutation in ASD-affected donor iPSCs. We then derived cortical neurons from SOX1+ neural precursor cells differentiated from these iPSCs. Using a novel assay that overcomes line-to-line variability, we compared neuronal morphology, total synapse number, and electrophysiological properties between SHANK2 mutants and controls. Results: Relative to controls, SHANK2 mutant neurons have increased dendrite complexity, dendrite length, total synapse number (1.5-2-fold), and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency (3-7.6-fold). Conclusions: ASD-associated heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in SHANK2 increase synaptic connectivity among human neurons by increasing synapse number and sEPSC frequency. This is partially supported by increased dendrite length and complexity, providing evidence that SHANK2 functions as a suppressor of dendrite branching during neurodevelopment.
A 36C1 peak has been found at about 37 ka BP in the Guliya ice core, drilled from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. This peak is indicative of enhanced cosmogenic isotope production in the atmosphere, rather than a change in accumulation rate. Comparison with the records of 10Be and 36C1 in ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland indicates that peaks of the cosmogenic isotopes are global, and that they can be used as time markers for dating ice cores. Interestingly, the 37 ka BP global event coincided with a cold period.
Ortles mountain (3905 m a.s.l.), South Tyrol, Italy, is the highest mountain of the Eastern European Alps, and its upper glacier, Alto dell’Ortles, presents a unique opportunity to obtain the first paleoenvironmental record from an ice core in this area. To study the suitability of this glacier as a drilling site, in 2009 we performed the first preliminary study of its glaciological characteristics at ˜3830 m a.s.l. The maximum thickness is ˜75 m, and lamination of the exposed ice layers is excellent down to bedrock. Firn and ice lenses were observed in a 10 m shallow core, and the firn/ice transition was below ˜24m. The seasonal chemical signal is clearly preserved only within the uppermost 2008 and 2009 snow/firn. A simple mass-balance model, the incipient ‘smoothing’ of the chemical record, and the observed ice lenses provide evidence that melting, infiltration and refreezing cycles occurred within the firn layers formed before 2008. Nevertheless, the mass balance of the upper part of Alto dell’Ortles was positive (˜800mma_1) during the last few years. We suggest that an environmental history is likely to be well preserved only within the ice layers formed before ˜1980, when summer air temperature was ˜2°C colder than today in this area. Clearly the continued warming trend predicted to occur over the next few decades, and the consequent increase in frequency and/or intensity of infiltration processes, will endanger the preservation of the glacial archive conserved in the deep ice layers of Ortles mountain.
Depression and pain are leading causes of global disability. However, there is a paucity of multinational population data assessing the association between depression and pain, particularly among low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where both are common. Therefore, we investigated this association across 47 LMICs.
Community-based data on 273 952 individuals from 47 LMICs were analysed. Multivariable logistic and linear regression analyses were performed to assess the association between the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision depression/depression subtypes (over the past 12 months) and pain in the previous 30 days based on self-reported data. Country-wide meta-analysis adjusting for age and sex was also conducted.
The prevalence of severe pain was 8.0, 28.2, 20.2, and 34.0% for no depression, subsyndromal depression, brief depressive episode, and depressive episode, respectively. Logistic regression adjusted for socio-demographic variables, anxiety and chronic medical conditions (arthritis, diabetes, angina, asthma) demonstrated that compared with no depression, subsyndromal depression, brief depressive episode, and depressive episode were associated with a 2.16 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.83–2.55], 1.45 (95% CI 1.22–1.73), and 2.11 (95% CI 1.87–2.39) increase in odds of severe pain, respectively. Similar results were obtained when a continuous pain scale was used as the outcome. Depression was significantly associated with severe pain in 44/47 countries with a pooled odds ratio of 3.93 (95% CI 3.54–4.37).
Depression and severe pain are highly comorbid across LMICs, independent of anxiety and chronic medical conditions. Whether depression treatment or pain management in patients with comorbid pain and depression leads to better clinical outcome is an area for future research.
Arterial wall thickening, stimulated by low-grade systemic inflammation, underlies many cardiovascular events. As diet is a significant moderator of systemic inflammation, the dietary inflammatory index (DIITM) has recently been devised to assess the overall inflammatory potential of an individual’s diet. The primary objective of this study was to assess the association of the DII with common carotid artery–intima-media thickness (CCA–IMT) and carotid plaques. To substantiate the clinical importance of these findings we assessed the relationship of DII score with atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD)-related mortality, ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVA)-related mortality and ischaemic heart disease (IHD)-related mortality more. The study was conducted in Western Australian women aged over 70 years (n 1304). Dietary data derived from a validated FFQ (completed at baseline) were used to calculate a DII score for each individual. In multivariable-adjusted models, DII scores were associated with sub-clinical atherosclerosis: a 1 sd (2·13 units) higher DII score was associated with a 0·013-mm higher mean CCA–IMT (P=0·016) and a 0·016-mm higher maximum CCA–IMT (P=0·008), measured at 36 months. No relationship was seen between DII score and carotid plaque severity. There were 269 deaths during follow-up. High DII scores were positively associated with ASVD-related death (per sd, hazard ratio (HR): 1·36; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·60), CVA-related death (per sd, HR: 1·30; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·69) and IHD-related death (per sd, HR: 1·40; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·75). These results support the hypothesis that a pro-inflammatory diet increases systemic inflammation leading to development and progression of atherosclerosis and eventual ASVD-related death.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
During May 2015, an increase in Salmonella Agona cases was reported from western Sydney, Australia. We examine the public health actions used to investigate and control this increase. A descriptive case-series investigation was conducted. Six outbreak cases were identified; all had consumed cooked tuna sushi rolls purchased within a western Sydney shopping complex. Onset of illness for outbreak cases occurred between 7 April and 24 May 2015. Salmonella was isolated from food samples collected from the implicated premise and a prohibition order issued. No further cases were identified following this action. Whole genome sequence (WGS) analysis was performed on isolates recovered during this investigation, with additional S. Agona isolates from sporadic-clinical cases and routine food sampling in New South Wales, January to July 2015. Clinical isolates of outbreak cases were indistinguishable from food isolates collected from the implicated sushi outlet. Five additional clinical isolates not originally considered to be linked to the outbreak were genomically similar to outbreak isolates, indicating the point-source contamination may have started before routine surveillance identified an increase. This investigation demonstrated the value of genomics-guided public health action, where near real-time WGS enhanced the resolution of the epidemiological investigation.
A 480 year record of the oxygen-isotope ratios, dust content, chemical species and net accumulation from ice cores drilled in 1989 90 on Dyer Plateau in the Antarctic Peninsula is presented. The continuous analyses of small (sub-annual) samples reveal well-preserved annual variations in both sulfate content and δ18O, thus allowing an excellent time-scale to be established.
This history reveals a recent pronounced warming in which the last two decades have been among the warmest in the last five centuries. Furthermore, unlike in East Antarctica, on Dyer Plateau conditions appear to have been fairly normal from AD 1500 to 1850 with cooler conditions from 1850 to 1930 and a warming trend dominating since 1930. Reconstructed annual layer thicknesses suggest an increase in net accumulation beginning early in the 19th century and continuing to the present. This intuitive conflict between increasing net accumulation and depleted δ18O (cooler climate) in the 19th century appears widespread in the peninsula region and challenges our understanding of the physical relationships among moisture sources, air temperatures and snow accumulation. The complex meteorological regime in the Antarctic Peninsula region complicates meaningful interpretation of proxy indicators and results in a strong imprint of local high-frequency processes upon the larger-scale climate picture.
Ice cores recently drilled to bedrock on the col of Huascarán (9°06′ S, 77°36′ W, 6047 m a.s.l.) offer the potential for a long, annually resolved climate record from tropical South America. This paper presents the record from 1950 to 1993 preserved in microparticle and nitrate concentrations and oxygen-isotopic ratios. Average monthly temperatures from a satellite-linked automatic weather station installed on nearby Hualcán in 1991 are presented. Annual temperatures from local high-altitude meteorological stations, along with the annual Huascarán isotopic record, show a warming trend over the last two decades. The marked preservation of the climate record in oxygen-isotopic ratios on Huascarán is absent at lower-elevation sites, which have been affected by the recent warming. This paper demonstrates the establishment of a time-scale for the Huascarán core, the preservation of the climatic signal with depth and the linkage of the ice-core “proxy-climate” parameters with measured climatic variations.
The quality and utility of the records of oxygen-isotopic abundances, dust concentrations and anionic concentrations preserved in the ice at Siple Station (75°55′ S, 84° 15′ W) are assessed from four shallow (20 m) cores. The combination of high accumulation (0.56 m a−1 w.e.) and low mean annual temperature (—24°C) preserves the prominent seasonal variations in δ18Ο which are very spatially coherent. Sulfate concentrations vary seasonally and, in conjunction with δ18Ο, will allow accurate dating of deeper cores from Siple Station. The concentrations of insoluble dust are the lowest measured in Antarctica, making Siple Station an excellent location to examine large increases in atmospheric tubidity.
The seasonal variations and annual fluxes of the anions are examined for the last two decades (AD 1966–85) with regard to probable sources. An unusually high sulfate flux in 1976 may reflect the February 1975 eruption of Mount Ngauruhoe, New Zealand. No annual signal in nitrate concentration is confirmed and no unusually high nitrate fluxes support the suggestion of nitrate production by large solar flares. However, nitrate flux is higher for the latter half of the 1970s and early 1980s, possibly reflecting the recent loss of stratospheric ozone.
Finally, comparison of the δ18O record with available surface-temperature data (AD 1957–85) reveals that multi-year trends along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula are recorded at Siple. More importantly, comparison with areally weighted temperature reconstructions suggests that the δ18Ο record may reflect larger-scale, persistent trends in the high southern latitudes. The strong spatial coherence of the preserved records, the potential for accurate dating, and possible relevance to larger-scale processes make Siple Station an excellent site for paleoenvironmental reconstruction from ice cores.
During the 1978 and 1979 field seasons, ice thicknesses on the Quelccaya ice cap were determined using a Worden geodetic gravity meter along a west–east traverse and using a mono–pulse ice radar sounder along a north–south traverse. The maximum ice thickness measured was 180 ± 10 m. Based upon the known thickness of the ice cap and the net accumulation, depth–age calculations indicate that an ice core record covering at least the past 600 years and perhaps 1 300 years could be obtained from this tropical ice cap.
A topographic map of the Qori Kalis glacier (the largest outlet glacier from the Quelccaya ice cap) has been compiled at a scale of 1:6 000 from 1963 aerial photography. Terrestrial photography of the glacier was obtained in 1978 and coordinates of the edge of the glacier were determined photogrammetrically. Comparison of these two shows that over this 15 year period the glacier has thinned with the terminus retreating more than 100 m. The retreat measured for the Qori Kalis glacier is consistent with the behavior of other tropical glaciers.
The present study investigated whether parent/child pairs would select more healthful foods when: (i) products were labelled with front-of-package (FOP) nutrition labels relative to packages without labels; (ii) products were labelled with colour-coded Multiple Traffic Light (MTL) FOP labels relative to monochromatic Facts up Front (FuF) FOP labels; and (iii) FOP labels were explained via in-aisle signage v. unexplained.
Participants were randomly assigned to one of five conditions: (i) FuF labels with in-aisle signs explaining the labels; (ii) FuF labels, no signage; (iii) MTL labels with in-aisle signage; (iv) MTL labels, no signage; (v) control group, no labels/signage. Saturated fat, sodium, sugar and energy (calorie) content were compared across conditions.
The study took place in a laboratory grocery aisle.
Parent/child pairs (n 153) completed the study.
Results did not support the hypothesis that MTL labels would lead to more healthful choices than FuF labels. The presence of FOP labels did little to improve the healthfulness of selected foods, with few exceptions (participants with v. without access to FOP labels selected lower-calorie cereals, participants with access to both FOP labels and in-aisle explanatory signage selected products with less saturated fat v. participants without explanatory signage).
Neither MTL nor FuF FOP labels led to food choices with significantly lower saturated fat, sodium or sugar. In-aisle signs explaining the FOP labels were somewhat helpful to consumers in making more healthful dietary decisions. New FOP labelling programmes could benefit from campaigns to increase consumer awareness and understanding of the labels.