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The proopiomelanocortin (POMC) molecule has been implicated in models of self-injurious behavior (SIB) in neurodevelopmental disorders, but it has never been specifically sequenced in search of base specific polymorphisms. The empirical focus of this preliminary study was to sequence the POMC gene in 11 children (mean age = 41.8 months, range = 12–60 months; 73% male) with clinical concerns regarding global developmental delay, 5 with reported self-injury. Genomic DNA was extracted from blood samples, and the POMC gene was amplified by specific oligonucleotide primers via polymerase chain reaction. The amplified gene products were sequenced by the University of Minnesota Genomic Center, and the results were analyzed using Sequencher software. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), 1130 C>T, was found in the 3’ untranslated region (UTR) of two samples (one of whom had SIB). The program TargetScanHuman was used to predict the function of this mutation. Variant c.1130 C<T was predicted to be located in the target site of two microRNAs (miRNAs; hsa-mir-3715 and hsa-mir-1909), and the variant allele T may result in an increased minimum free energy for the two miRNAs. Further work with much larger samples is needed to continue the investigation of POMC’s possible function as a risk factor for the development of SIB in children with developmental delay/disability. The findings presented in this study show that the SNP found in the 3’ UTR could alter the binding of miRNAs to POMC 3'UTR, thus, increasing POMC expression and affecting several biological systems with high relevance to the biology of self-injury. There was a significant difference in β-endorphin levels between SIB (M = 169.25 pg/mL) and no SIB (M = 273.5 pg/mL, SD = 15.2) cases (p < .01). Intervention implications are tied to prior observations of individual differences among SIB responders and nonresponders to treatment with the opioid antagonist naltrexone. Stratifying individuals with SIB by POMC mutation status may provide a potential tailoring-like variable to guide the selection of who is more (or less) likely to respond to opiate antagonist treatment. Currently, opioid antagonistic treatment for SIB is empiric (trial and error).
Access to transition-related medical interventions (TRMIs) for transgender veterans has been the subject of substantial public interest and debate. To better inform these important conversations, the current study investigated whether undergoing hormone or surgical transition intervention(s) relates to the frequency of recent suicidal ideation (SI) and symptoms of depression in transgender veterans.
This study included a cross-sectional, national sample of 206 self-identified transgender veterans. They self-reported basic demographics, TRMI history, recent SI, and symptoms of depression through an online survey.
Significantly lower levels of SI experienced in the past year and 2-weeks were seen in veterans with a history of both hormone intervention and surgery on both the chest and genitals in comparison with those who endorsed a history of no medical intervention, history of hormone therapy but no surgical intervention, and those with a history of hormone therapy and surgery on either (but not both) the chest or genitals when controlling for sample demographics (e.g., gender identity and annual income). Indirect effect analyses indicated that lower depressive symptoms experienced in the last 2-weeks mediated the relationship between the history of surgery on both chest and genitals and SI in the last 2-weeks.
Results indicate the potential protective effect that TRMI may have on symptoms of depression and SI in transgender veterans, particularly when both genitals and chest are affirmed with one's gender identity. Implications for policymakers, providers, and researchers are discussed.
We present wide-field, spatially and highly resolved spectroscopic observations of Balmer filaments in the northeastern rim of Tycho’s supernova remnant in order to investigate the signal of cosmic-ray (CR) acceleration. The spectra of Balmer-dominated shocks (BDSs) have characteristic narrow (FWHM ~ 10 km s−1) and broad (FWHM ~ 1000 km s−1) Hα components. CRs affect the Hα-line parameters: heating the cold neutrals in the interstellar medium results in broadening of the narrow Hα-line width beyond 20 km s−1, but also in reduction of the broad Hα-line width due to energy being removed from the protons in the post-shock region. For the first time we show that the width of the narrow Hα line, much larger than 20 km s−1, is not a resolution or geometric effect nor a spurious result of a neglected intermediate (FWHM ~ 100 km s−1) component resulting from hydrogen atoms undergoing charge exchange with warm protons in the broad-neutral precursor. Moreover, we show that a narrow line width ≫ 20 km s−1 extends across the entire NE rim, implying CR acceleration is ubiquitous, and making it possible to relate its strength to locally varying shock conditions. Finally, we find several locations along the rim, where spectra are significantly better explained (based on Bayesian evidence) by inclusion of the intermediate component, with a width of 180 km s−1 on average.
To characterize health professional schools by their vaccination policies for acceptable forms of evidence of immunity and exemptions permitted.
Data were collected between September 2011 and April 2012 using an Internet-based survey e-mailed to selected types of accredited health professional programs. Schools were identified through accrediting associations for each type of health professional program. Analysis was limited to schools requiring ≥1 vaccine recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP): measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, varicella, pertussis, and influenza. Weighted bivariate frequencies were generated using SAS 9.3.
Of 2,775 schools surveyed, 75% (n=2,077) responded; of responding schools, 93% (1947) required ≥1 ACIP-recommended vaccination. The proportion of schools accepting ≥1 non–ACIP-recommended form of evidence of immunity varied by vaccine: 42% for pertussis, 37% for influenza, 30% for rubella, 22% for hepatitis B, 18% for varicella, and 9% for measles and mumps. Among schools with ≥1 vaccination requirement, medical exemptions were permitted for ≥1 vaccine by 75% of schools; 54% permitted religious exemptions; 35% permitted personal belief exemptions; 58% permitted any nonmedical exemption.
Many schools accept non–ACIP-recommended forms of evidence of immunity which could lead some students to believe they are protected from vaccine preventable diseases when they may be susceptible. Additional efforts are needed to better educate school officials about current ACIP recommendations for acceptable forms of evidence of immunity so school policies can be revised as needed.
An enormous effort is underway worldwide to attempt to detect gravitational waves. If successful, this will open a new frontier in astronomy. An essential portion of this effort is being carried out in Australia by the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy (ACIGA), with research teams working at the Australia National University, University of Western Australia, and University of Adelaide involving scientists and students representing many more institutions and nations. ACIGA is developing ultrastable high-power continuous-wave lasers for the next generation interferometric gravity wave detectors; researching the problems associated with high optical power in resonant cavities; opening frontiers in advanced interferometry configurations, quantum optics, and signal extraction; and is the world's leader in high-performance vibration isolation and suspension design. ACIGA has also been active in theoretical research and modelling of potential astronomical gravitational wave sources, and in developing data analysis detection algorithms. ACIGA has opened a research facility north of Perth, Western Australia, which will be the culmination of these efforts. This paper briefly reviews ACIGA's research activities and the prospects for gravitational wave astronomy in the southern hemisphere.
Hybrid silicon laser is a promising solution to enable high-performance light source on large-scale, silicon-based photonic integrated circuits (PICs). As a compact laser cavity design, hybrid microring lasers are attractive for their intrinsic advantages of small footprint, low power consumption and flexibility in wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), etc. Here we review recent progress in unidirectional microring lasers and device thermal management. Unidirectional emission is achieved by integrating a passive reflector that feeds laser emission back into laser cavity to introduce extra unidirectional gain. Up to 4X of device heating reduction is simulated by adding a metal thermal shunt to the laser to “short” heat to the silicon substrate through buried oxide layer (BOX) in the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrate. Obvious device heating reduction is also observed in experiment.
The Cygnus Loop supernova remnant serves as an excellent laboratory for the study of radiative and non-radiative shocks with speeds in the 150–450 km s−1 range. We present results on shock-excited emission and dust destruction based on Spitzer Space Telescope observations of two well-studied regions in the remnant, (i) a non-radiative shock filament along the NE limb, and (ii) the XA region, characterized by emission from bright radiative shocks.
Recently there have been a number of reports indicating concern relating to the effect of porosity, pore size distribution, and pore interconnectivity on the integration of highly porous ultra low-k organosilicate glasses (OSGs) as back-end-of-line (BEOL) interconnect dielectrics. In an effort to address these concerns a number of options to control the skeleton and pore structure of OSGs have been proposed, from adding alternative OSG precursors to alternative porogen precursors. In all these options there is a need to balance pore structure modification with critical film properties such as dielectric constant and mechanical strength. In this context, this paper examines porosity and its impact on film properties for highly porous ultra low dielectric constant films. A series of PDEMS® porous OSG films were deposited by plasma enchanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) from DEMS® precursor (diethoxymethylsilane) and porogen ATRP (alpha-terpenine). The percent porosity and pore interconnectivity of these films relative to the dielectric constant were measured by ellipsometric porosimetry (EP) and positron annihilation spectroscopy (PALS) respectively. Porosity and pore-size distribution for films deposited using several different species (structure former or porogen precursors) were examined using EP in an effort to understand the impact of the chemical nature of the precursor on pore morphology. Results from these depositions show that it is possible to deposit films with smaller pores using alternative structure formers (ASFs) with bulky organic groups, although there are tradeoffs with respect to other film characteristics. The addition of a separate porogen (ATRP) to the ASF lowered the dielectric constant and the addition of DEMS® precursor to the ASF/ATRP mix gave the films added structural integrity and mechanical strength. Such a fundamental understanding of structure-property relationships will help support successful integration of these porous OSG films.