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The extent to which exposure to childhood sexual and physical abuse increases the risk of psychotic experiences in adulthood is currently unclear.
To examine the relationship between childhood sexual and physical abuse and psychotic experiences in adulthood taking into account potential confounding and time-dynamic covariate factors.
Data were from a cohort of 1265 participants studied from birth to 35 years. At ages 18 and 21, cohort members were questioned about childhood sexual and physical abuse. At ages 30 and 35, they were questioned about psychotic experiences (symptoms of abnormal thought and perception). Generalised estimating equation models investigated covariation of the association between abuse exposure and psychotic experiences including potential confounding factors in childhood (socioeconomic disadvantage, adverse family functioning) and time-dynamic covariate factors (mental health, substance use and life stress).
Data were available for 962 participants; 6.3% had been exposed to severe sexual abuse and 6.4% to severe physical abuse in childhood. After adjustment for confounding and time-dynamic covariate factors, those exposed to severe sexual abuse had rates of abnormal thought and abnormal perception symptoms that were 2.25 and 4.08 times higher, respectively than the ‘no exposure’ group. There were no significant associations between exposure to severe physical abuse and psychotic experiences.
Findings indicate that exposure to severe childhood sexual (but not physical) abuse is independently associated with an increased risk of psychotic experiences in adulthood (particularly symptoms of abnormal perception) and this association could not be fully accounted for by confounding or time-dynamic covariate factors.
A robust biomedical informatics infrastructure is essential for academic health centers engaged in translational research. There are no templates for what such an infrastructure encompasses or how it is funded. An informatics workgroup within the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network conducted an analysis to identify the scope, governance, and funding of this infrastructure. After we identified the essential components of an informatics infrastructure, we surveyed informatics leaders at network institutions about the governance and sustainability of the different components. Results from 42 survey respondents showed significant variations in governance and sustainability; however, some trends also emerged. Core informatics components such as electronic data capture systems, electronic health records data repositories, and related tools had mixed models of funding including, fee-for-service, extramural grants, and institutional support. Several key components such as regulatory systems (e.g., electronic Institutional Review Board [IRB] systems, grants, and contracts), security systems, data warehouses, and clinical trials management systems were overwhelmingly supported as institutional infrastructure. The findings highlighted in this report are worth noting for academic health centers and funding agencies involved in planning current and future informatics infrastructure, which provides the foundation for a robust, data-driven clinical and translational research program.
Despite global deterioration of coral reef health, not all reef-associated organisms are in decline. Bioeroding sponges are thought to be largely resistant to the factors that stress and kill corals, and are increasing in abundance on many reefs. However, there is a paucity of information on how environmental factors influence spatial variation in the distribution of these sponges, and how they might be affected by different stressors. We aimed to identify the factors that explained differences in bioeroding sponge abundance and assemblage composition, and to determine whether bioeroding sponges benefit from the same environmental conditions that can contribute towards coral mortality. Abundance surveys were conducted in the Wakatobi region of Indonesia on reefs characterized by different biotic and abiotic conditions. Bioeroding sponges occupied an average of 8.9% of available dead substrate and variation in abundance and assemblage composition was primarily attributed to differences in the availability of dead substrate. Our results imply that if dead substrate availability increases as a consequence of coral mortality, bioeroding sponge abundance is also likely to increase. However, bioeroding sponge abundance was lowest on a sedimented reef, despite abundant dead substrate. This suggests that not all forms of coral mortality will benefit all bioeroding sponge species, and sediment-degraded reefs are likely to be dominated by a few resilient bioeroding sponge species. Overall, we demonstrate the importance of understanding the drivers of bioeroding sponge abundance and assemblage composition in order to predict possible impacts of different stressors on reefs communities.
To examine the association of both perceived and geographic neighbourhood food access with food security status among households with children.
This was a cross-sectional study in which participants’ perceptions of neighbourhood food access were assessed by a standard survey instrument, and geographic food access was evaluated by distance to the nearest supermarket. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to examine the associations.
The Midlands Family Study included 544 households with children in eight counties in South Carolina, USA. Food security status among participants was classified into three categories: food secure (FS), food insecure (FI) and very low food security among children (VLFS-C).
Compared with FS households, VLFS-C households had lower odds of reporting easy access to adequate food shopping. VLFS-C households also had lower odds of reporting neighbourhood access to affordable fruits and vegetables compared with FS households and reported worse selection of fruits and vegetables, quality of fruits and vegetables, and selection of low-fat products. FI households had lower odds of reporting fewer opportunities to purchase fast food. None of the geographic access measures was significantly associated with food security status.
Caregivers with children who experienced hunger perceived that they had less access to healthy affordable food in their community, even though grocery stores were present. Approaches to improve perceived access to healthy affordable food should be considered as part of the overall approach to improving food security and eliminating child hunger.
Experimental removals of the dominant canopy-forming kelp Ecklonia radiata were conducted at two sites on rocky walls in New Zealand and monitored for approximately 1.5 years. We hypothesized that the removal of the E. radiata canopy would affect the structure of subcanopy assemblages, such that there would be a reduction in sponge species richness and abundance. Furthermore, we investigated the biological and physical (predictor) variables that best explained variability in sponge assemblages after canopy removal. Canopy removal led to a community dominated by turf algae, which corresponded with a decrease in sponge abundance and richness. Our results suggest that the Ecklonia canopy may positively influence the presence of sponge species such as Crella incrustans; we propose that the canopy may allow its coexistence with turf algae underneath the canopy by altering the light regime and other environmental factors, which may be detrimental for some species. Our results highlight how any loss of canopy-forming species might have negative effects on sponge assemblages, which could affect the energy flow and the overall biodiversity found in these habitats.
Streams draining the Cypress Hills support unique and understudied macroinvertebrate communities in Saskatchewan, Canada. Here, we report the discovery of a species of caddisfly new to the Cypress Hills and Saskatchewan, Neophylax splendens Denning (Trichoptera: Thremmatidae). Larvae were collected early in May 2012, and are found to enter pre-pupal diapause in mid-June until mid-September. Larvae were identified as N. splendens by morphological characters and verified with genetic analysis. Its occurrence strengthens the biogeographical link between the montane regions in British Columbia, Canada and Utah, United States of America with the southwest corner of Saskatchewan. This study highlights the importance of seasonal sampling, resolute species level identifications in biological surveys and the use of genetic analyses to obtain this level of identification.
In the present study, salmon products available from UK retailers were analysed to determine the levels of n-3 long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA), a key determinant of nutritional quality. There was a wide variation in the proportions and absolute contents of EPA and DHA in the products. Relatively high contents of 18 : 1n-9, 18 : 2n-6 and 18 : 3n-3, characteristic of vegetable oils (VO), were found in several farmed salmon products, which also had generally lower proportions of EPA and DHA. In contrast, farmed salmon products with higher levels of 16 : 0 and 22 : 1, characteristic of fish oil (FO), had higher proportions of EPA and DHA. Therefore, there was a clear correlation between the levels of VO and FO in feeds and the proportions of n-3 LC-PUFA in products. Although wild salmon products were characterised by higher proportions of n-3 LC-PUFA (20–40 %) compared with farmed fish (9–26 %), they contained lower total lipid contents (1–6 % compared with 7–17 % in farmed salmon products). As a result, farmed salmon products invariably had higher levels of n-3 LC-PUFA in absolute terms (g/100 g fillet) and, therefore, delivered a higher ‘dose’ of EPA and DHA per portion. Overall, despite the finite and limiting supply of FO and increasing use of VO, farmed salmon continue to be an excellent source of and delivery system for n-3 LC-PUFA to consumers.
A simple hydrothermal route to the eulytite phase of bismuth germanium oxide (E-BGO: Bi4(GeO4)3) that required no post-processing has been developed. The E-BGO material was isolated from a mixture of bismuth nitrate pentahydrate and a slight excess of germanium oxide in water under hydrothermal conditions (185 °C for 24 h). The resultant materials were characterized by powder x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and luminescence measurements to verify the particle's phase (eulytite), morphology, size, and response to a variety of excitation energy sources, respectively. Photoluminescence spectroscopic response from E-BGO pellets indicated that the samples exhibited a strong emission peak consistent with an x-ray induced luminescence of a E-BGO single crystal (500 nm excited at 285 nm). Cathodoluminescent properties of the E-BGO displayed a broadband spectrum with a maximum at 487 nm. The growth process was consistent with a standard Oswald ripening and LaMer growth processes.
The monoclinic-to-tetragonal phase transition (~70 °C) in vanadium dioxide (VO2) strongly impacts the infrared properties, which enables its use in applications such as smart window devices. Synthesis of VO2 can be challenging due to the variability of vanadium oxide phases that may be formed. We have employed high-temperature X-ray diffraction (HTXRD) to monitor the reaction process of vanadium oxide precursor powders to form the desired tetragonal VO2 phase. Single-phase tetragonal VO2 was formed within 30 min at 420 °C in flowing N2 gas (~50 ppm O2). The monoclinic-to-tetragonal phase transformation was observed via HTXRD at ~70 °C with the typical ~10 °C hysteresis (i.e. approached from above or below the transition).
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will give us an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the transient sky at radio wavelengths. In this paper we present VAST, an ASKAP survey for Variables and Slow Transients. VAST will exploit the wide-field survey capabilities of ASKAP to enable the discovery and investigation of variable and transient phenomena from the local to the cosmological, including flare stars, intermittent pulsars, X-ray binaries, magnetars, extreme scattering events, interstellar scintillation, radio supernovae, and orphan afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. In addition, it will allow us to probe unexplored regions of parameter space where new classes of transient sources may be detected. In this paper we review the known radio transient and variable populations and the current results from blind radio surveys. We outline a comprehensive program based on a multi-tiered survey strategy to characterise the radio transient sky through detection and monitoring of transient and variable sources on the ASKAP imaging timescales of 5 s and greater. We also present an analysis of the expected source populations that we will be able to detect with VAST.
It is well accepted that n-3 long-chain PUFA intake is positively associated with a range of health benefits. However, while benefits have been clearly shown, especially for CVD, the mechanisms for prevention/benefit are less understood. Analysis of plasma and erythrocyte phospholipids (PL) have been used to measure the status of the highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA), especially EPA (20 : 5n-3) and DHA (22 : 6n-3), although the time and complexity of the process places limitations on the sample numbers analysed. An assay has been developed using whole blood, collected by finger prick, and stored on absorbant paper, subjected to direct methylation and fatty acids quantified by automated GC. Tests on fatty acid stability show that blood samples are stable when stored at − 20°C for 1 month although some loss of HUFA was seen at 4°C. A total of fifty-one patients, including twenty-seven who consumed no fatty acid supplements, provided a blood sample for analysis. Concentrations of all major fatty acids were measured in erythrocyte PL and whole blood. The major HUFA, including EPA, DHA and arachidonic acid (ARA; 20 : 4n-6), as well as the ARA:EPA ratio and the percentage n-3 HUFA/total HUFA all showed good correlations, between erythrocyte PL and whole blood. Values of r2 ranged from 0·48 for ARA to 0·95 for the percentage of n-3 HUFA/total HUFA. This assay provides a non-invasive, rapid and reliable method of HUFA quantification with the percentage of n-3 HUFA value providing a potential blood biomarker for large-scale nutritional trials.
The erythrocyte and plasma fatty acid compositions of children with autism were compared in a case–control study with typically developing (TD) children and with children showing developmental delay (DD). Forty-five autism subjects were age-matched with TD controls and thirty-eight with DD controls. Fatty acid data were compared using paired t tests. In addition, blood fatty acids from treatment-naive autism subjects were compared with autism subjects who had consumed fish oil supplements by two-sample t tests. Relatively few differences were seen between erythrocyte fatty acids in autism and TD subjects although the former had an increased arachidonic acid (ARA):EPA ratio. This ratio was also increased in plasma samples from the same children. No changes in n-3 fatty acids or ARA:EPA ratio were seen when comparing autism with DD subjects but some SFA and MUFA were decreased in the DD subjects, most notably 24 : 0 and 24 : 1, which are essential components of axonal myelin sheaths. However, if multiple comparisons are taken into account, and a stricter level of significance applied, most of these values would not be significant. Autism subjects consuming fish oil showed reduced erythrocyte ARA, 22 : 4n-6, 22 : 5n-6 and total n-6 fatty acids and increased EPA, 22 : 5n-3, 22 : 6n-3 and total n-3 fatty acids along with reduced n-6:n-3 and ARA:EPA ratios. Collectively, the autism subjects did not have an underlying phospholipid disorder, based on erythrocyte fatty acid compositions, although the increased ARA:EPA ratio observed suggested that an imbalance of essential highly unsaturated fatty acids may be present in a cohort of autism subjects.