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The longstanding association between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) locus and schizophrenia (SZ) risk has recently been accounted for, partially, by structural variation at the complement component 4 (C4) gene. This structural variation generates varying levels of C4 RNA expression, and genetic information from the MHC region can now be used to predict C4 RNA expression in the brain. Increased predicted C4A RNA expression is associated with the risk of SZ, and C4 is reported to influence synaptic pruning in animal models.
Based on our previous studies associating MHC SZ risk variants with poorer memory performance, we tested whether increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with reduced memory function in a large (n = 1238) dataset of psychosis cases and healthy participants, and with altered task-dependent cortical activation in a subset of these samples.
We observed that increased predicted C4A RNA expression predicted poorer performance on measures of memory recall (p = 0.016, corrected). Furthermore, in healthy participants, we found that increased predicted C4A RNA expression was associated with a pattern of reduced cortical activity in middle temporal cortex during a measure of visual processing (p < 0.05, corrected).
These data suggest that the effects of C4 on cognition were observable at both a cortical and behavioural level, and may represent one mechanism by which illness risk is mediated. As such, deficits in learning and memory may represent a therapeutic target for new molecular developments aimed at altering C4’s developmental role.
Identifying youth who may engage in future substance use could facilitate early identification of substance use disorder vulnerability. We aimed to identify biomarkers that predicted future substance use in psychiatrically un-well youth.
LASSO regression for variable selection was used to predict substance use 24.3 months after neuroimaging assessment in 73 behaviorally and emotionally dysregulated youth aged 13.9 (s.d. = 2.0) years, 30 female, from three clinical sites in the Longitudinal Assessment of Manic Symptoms (LAMS) study. Predictor variables included neural activity during a reward task, cortical thickness, and clinical and demographic variables.
Future substance use was associated with higher left middle prefrontal cortex activity, lower left ventral anterior insula activity, thicker caudal anterior cingulate cortex, higher depression and lower mania scores, not using antipsychotic medication, more parental stress, older age. This combination of variables explained 60.4% of the variance in future substance use, and accurately classified 83.6%.
These variables explained a large proportion of the variance, were useful classifiers of future substance use, and showed the value of combining multiple domains to provide a comprehensive understanding of substance use development. This may be a step toward identifying neural measures that can identify future substance use disorder risk, and act as targets for therapeutic interventions.
We present a route for direct growth of boron nitride via a polyborazylene to h-BN conversion process. This two-step growth process ultimately leads to a >25x reduction in the root-mean-square surface roughness of h-BN films when compared to a high temperature growth on Al2O3(0001) and Si(111) substrates. Additionally, the stoichiometry is shown to be highly dependent on the initial polyborazylene deposition temperature. Importantly, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) graphene transferred to direct-grown boron nitride films on Al2O3 at 400 °C results in a >1.5x and >2.5x improvement in mobility compared to CVD graphene transferred to Al2O3 and SiO2 substrates, respectively, which is attributed to the combined reduction of remote charged impurity scattering and surface roughness scattering. Simulation of mobility versus carrier concentration confirms the importance of limiting the introduction of charged impurities in the h-BN film and highlights the importance of these results in producing optimized h-BN substrates for high performance graphene and TMD devices.
Phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) plays an important role in energy metabolism, and it is documented that PGI exhibits an extensive polymorphism which can affect insects' fitness and adaptation. In this paper, we studied the structural characteristics and polymorphism of pgi gene in the fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea), an important invasive pest in some European and Asian countries. A 2110-bp pgi full-length cDNA encoding a polypeptide of 556 amino acids was obtained from H. cunea. The pgi full-length in the H. cunea genomic DNA was 14,332 bp with 12 exons and 11 introns, similar to the structures of pgi in other Lepidoptera species. We compared the structures of pgi in different insect species. Moreover, thirteen pgi genotypes comprised of five alleles were identified in the Chinese population. Genotypes pgi-cd, pgi-cc and pgi-ce were the most prevalent with over 70% of individuals allocated to them. Four out of five alleles were sequenced the cDNA full-length. Thirty stably variable sites were found among them with five non-synonymous mutation sites. The frequencies of alleles and genotypes were variable in different Chinese geographic subpopulations. Moreover, comparison of pgi mRNA expression levels in each stage of the moth's lifecycle showed that a high expression level was in the 6th instar larval stage, followed by that in the egg and adult stages. The results will provide a basis for further study of the role of different alleles and genotypes of PGI on fitness and adaptation of the moth H. cunea.
The seventh annual Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from February 5 to 7, 2010, with 224 attendees onsite. The theme for the meeting was “Advancing Excellence in Teaching Political Science.” Using the working-group model, the TLC track format encourages in-depth discussion and debate on research dealing with the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Effective primary prevention of congenital toxoplasmosis requires up to date information on locally relevant risk factors for infection in pregnant women. In Naples, risk factors for toxoplasma infection were compared in recently infected women (as assessed by detection of specific IgM in serum) and susceptible, IgG negative women. Recent infection was strongly associated with frequency of consumption of cured pork and raw meat. Eating cured pork or raw meat at least once a month increased the risk of toxoplasma infection threefold.
This simple study design for determining locally relevant sources of toxoplasma infection is the first report of cured pork as a risk factor for infection. Further research is required to determine cyst viability in cured pork products. Our findings suggest that in southern Italy, cured pork and raw meat should be avoided by susceptible pregnant women.
Millions of people seek emergency department (ED) care for injuries each year, the majority for minor injuries. Little is known about the effect of psychiatric co-morbid disorders that emerge after minor injury on functional recovery. This study examined the effect of post-injury depression on return to pre-injury levels of function.
This was a longitudinal cohort study with follow-up at 3, 6 and 12 months post-injury: 275 adults were randomly selected from those presenting to the ED with minor injury; 248 were retained over the post-injury year. Function was measured with the Functional Status Questionnaire (FSQ). Psychiatric disorders were diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR disorders (SCID).
During the post-injury year, 18.1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 13.3–22.9] were diagnosed with depression. Adjusting for clinical and demographic covariates, the depressed group was less likely to return to pre-injury levels of activities of daily living [odds ratio (OR) 8.37, 95% CI 3.78–18.53] and instrumental activities of daily living (OR 3.25, 95% CI 1.44–7.31), less likely to return to pre-injury work status (OR 2.37, 95% CI 1.04–5.38), and more likely to spend days in bed because of health (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.15–5.07).
Depression was the most frequent psychiatric diagnosis in the year after minor injury requiring emergency care. Individuals with depression did not return to pre-injury levels of function during the post-injury year.
Over the last 25 years, the perception of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has changed; where once it was seen as a rare refractory disorder, it is now viewed as a fairly prevalent, but treatable, medical condition responding to two main therapeutic strategies–serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Given the emergence of new results with SRIs, more data on the role of augmentation strategies with second-generation antipsychotics, and recent genetic and neuroimaging findings with potential for advancing the understanding of the pathogenesis of OCD, it was thought appropriate to revisit OCD in order to identify key developments in this field and examine how they might be translated into the clinical arena. This consensus statement is the product of the International Anxiety Disorders Conference that took place in Cape Town in February 2006, and is referred to as the Cape Town Consensus (CTC).
In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) system, OCD has been classified as an anxiety disorder. However, in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) system, OCD is separated from these conditions. This is consistent with several findings. OCD can begin before puberty, whereas other anxiety disorders, particularly generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), have a later age of onset. OCD is similarly prevalent in men and women, as opposed to depressive and anxiety disorders, which are more common in women. Pharmacologic challenges in some (but not all) studies show exacerbation of symptoms to 5-HT receptor agonists (eg, mCPP, sumatriptan), but not to other anxiogenic challenges such as yohimbine, sodium lactate, caffeine, CO2, cholecystokinin, and pentagastrin, which are known to elicit anxiety symptoms in anxiety disorders.
A unique process of fabricating a strained layer GexSi1−x on insulator is demonstrated. Such strained heterostructures are useful in the fabrication of high-mobility transistors. This technique incorporates well-established silicon processing technology e.g., ion implantation and thermal oxidation. A dilute GeSi layer is initially formed by implanting Ge+ into a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrate. Thermal oxidation segregates the Ge at the growing oxide interface to form a distinct GexSi1−x thin-film with a composition that can be tailored by controlling the oxidation parameters (e.g. temperature and oxidation ambient). In addition, the film thickness can be controlled by the implantation fluence, which is important since the film forms pseudomorphically below 2×1016 Ge/cm2. Continued oxidation consumes the underlying Si leaving the strained GeSi film encapsulated by the two oxide layers, i.e. the top thermal oxide and the buried oxide. Removal of the thermal oxide by a dilute HF etch completes the process. Strain relaxation can be achieved by either of two methods. One involves vacancy injection by ion implantation to introduce sufficient open volume within the film to compensate for the compressive strain. The other involves spontaneous relaxation of the film, which may depend, in part, upon the formation of GeO. If Ge is oxidized in the absence of Si, it evaporates as GeO(gas). Conditions under which this occurs will be discussed.
Results of quantitative spectroscopic analysis of packaging-induced
strain in In0.06Ga0.86Al0.08As/Ga0.7Al0.3As/GaAs
high-power ‘cm-bars’ diode laser arrays are presented. Theoretically,
the influence on the results of particular device structure properties,
such as intrinsic strain, is analyzed. We compare these theoretical
results, which are based on a unaxial stress model, with photocurrent
data. For In-soldered devices on copper heatsinks, we find a strain
difference of (0.050 ± 0.015)% between edge and center of the
device. Almost complete strain-relaxation toward the device edges is
experimentally demonstrated. The general approach is also applicable
to the analysis of all data that refer to changes of the electronic
bandstructure, such as absorption and photoluminescence.
Diamond films were implanted with C+, Si+ or Sn+ ions at multiple energies in order to generate a uniform region of implantation-induced disorder. Analysis of the C+ implanted surfaces by micro-Raman spectroscopy has shown only minor increase in the proportion of nondiamond or sp2-bonded carbon at doses of 5 × 1013 - 5 × 1015 ions/cm2. In comparison, an amorphization of the structure was evident after implantation with either Si+ ions at a dose of 5 × 1015 ions/cm2 or with Sn+ ions at >5 × 1014 ions/cm2. At a given implantation dose, the etch rate of the diamond film in a CF4/O2 plasma increased with the mass of the implanted species in the order of C+, Si+ and Sn+. For a given implant species, the etch rate was directly proportional to vacancy concentration as controlled by the dose or the implantation-induced disorder.
We present a heuristic model for the collisional evolution of material in a debris disk. This is used to consider the probability that the 2-3% brightness clump observed in the sub-mm Fomalhaut disk is caused by stochastic collisions between large planetesimals. While this simple model finds that the probability that the clump is caused by collisions is low (about 1 in 80,000), a more detailed model is required to ascertain its true likelihood.
New photometry of main-sequence debris discs has been carried out at 850 and 450/μm; the derived SEDs indicate that the dust can lie in either thin rings or radially-extended discs, as seen directly in the few nearby objects which are resolvable. All such objects are consistent with a long wavelength opacity index β of 1.0±0.2 - similar to T Tauri stars, but significantly lower than embedded objects.
We describe the novel application of light coupling masks (LCM) in the lithographic patterning of fine structures in diamond films. A PDMS mask was used in the exposure of complex patterns of gratings in AZP 1205 resist on a substrate of Al/ diamond. The profiles of these grating patterns were then modified on a localized scale by a process of reflow of the resist. We report on the transfer of the patterns formed in resist by the LCMs into the diamond film using a sputtered Al layer as a mask. The two-stage process comprised etching of the pattern into the Al followed by transfer into the diamond film using CF4/ O2 and CHF3/ O2 gases. The presence of O2 in the CF4/ O2 and CHF3/ O2 gas mixtures produced Al oxides on the surface of the mask. The etch selectivity of the mask was greater in CF4/ O2 than in CHF3/ O2 gases and was only weakly dependent on the concentration of O2 (0-12 sccm).
The aim of this paper was to test the hypothesis that when the 2 species of Acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus laevis and Acanthocephalus clavula are found concurrently within the intestine of brown trout under field conditions, they have the potential to interact negatively. Evidence has shown that Acanthocephala are more likely to exhibit negative interactions with their own and other species, under both field and experimental conditions. Furthermore, the likelihood of these interactions is increased in Ireland because of the absence of certain definitive hosts and the fact that concurrent infections by two or more species of Acanthocephala are more commonly observed in fish. Data collected from wild and stocked brown trout and from 2 lakes provided an opportunity to compare the 2 potentially interacting helminth species in their fundamental and realized niche and several pieces of convincing evidence are provided here to support the hypothesis. A significant negative association between the numbers of each species found in individual fish was reported and this was consistent for both wild and stocked trout. Furthermore, an analysis of the proportions of low, moderate and high intensity infections in single and concurrent infections revealed a significant reduction in increasing intensities in concurrent infections compared to single infections. Finally, strikingly different patterns of niche inhabitation were observed, particularly for P. laevis in the presence of A. clavula in wild trout. Results from the niche width analysis also support the observations on average position in single and concurrent infections. The niche width of P. laevis when it co-occurred with A. clavula decreased markedly in high intensity infections compared to low intensity infections.
Proliferative kidney disease (PKD) is a parasitic infection of salmonid fish characterized by an apparently abnormal immune response to the presence of the myxozoan parasite, Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae. In order to examine the nature of the immune response at the molecular level, the expression of a range of immune regulatory genes, including cytokines and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 was examined in naive unexposed fish and in naive fish exposed to parasite-infected water at three points during the course of a natural outbreak of PKD. Since fish with advanced PKD pathology generally exhibit increased susceptibility to secondary infections which is typical of stress/cortisol-mediated immune suppression, a further aim of this work was to examine in vitro the influence of the glucocorticoid cortisol on the bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced expression of the trout cytokine genes studied. Two weeks after the initial sampling, naive exposed fish showed a specific profile of up-regulated tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α2, COX-2 and, to a lesser extent, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 expression. As the disease pathology increased, TNF-α2 and COX-2 expression returned to normal levels. Stress levels of cortisol suppressed the LPS inducibility of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes, although TGF-β1 and TNF-α2 appeared to be refractory. These data demonstrate that specific immune responses at the molecular level are affected during PKD infection, with the cortisol suppression of cytokine expression in vitro providing a possible link to PKD-mediated cytokine down-regulation and immune suppression.