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In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
To describe the body size and weight, and the nutrition and activity behaviours of sexual and gender minority (SGM) students and compare them with those of exclusively opposite-sex-attracted cisgender students. Male and female SGM students were also compared.
Data were from a nationally representative health survey.
Secondary schools in New Zealand, 2012.
A total of 7769 students, 9 % were SGM individuals.
Overall, weight-control behaviours, poor nutrition and inactivity were common and, in many cases, more so for SGM students. Specifically, male SGM students (adjusted OR; 95 % CI) were significantly more likely to have tried to lose weight (1·95; 1·47, 2·59), engage in unhealthy weight control (2·17; 1·48, 3·19), consume fast food/takeaways (2·89; 2·01, 4·15) and be physically inactive (2·54; 1·65, 3·92), and were less likely to participate in a school sports team (0·57; 0·44, 0·75), compared with other males. Female SGM students (adjusted OR; 95 % CI) were significantly more likely to engage in unhealthy weight control (1·58; 1·20, 2·08), be overweight or obese (1·24; 1·01, 1·53) and consume fast food/takeaways (2·19; 1·59, 3·03), and were less likely to participate in a school sports team (0·62; 0·50, 0·76), compared with other females. Generally, female SGM students were more negatively affected than comparable males, except they were less likely to consume fast food/takeaways frequently (adjusted OR; 95 % CI: 0·62; 0·40, 0·96).
SGM students reported increased weight-control behaviours, poor nutrition and inactivity. Professionals, including public health nutritionists, must recognize and help to address the challenges facing sexual and gender minorities.
The objectives of the research described here were to describe the persistence of intramammary infections (IMI) caused by coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) in goats using strain-typing, and to evaluate the relationship between species-specific CNS IMI and somatic cell score (SCS) at the udder-half level. Udder-half milk samples were collected from all 909 lactating goats (1817 halves; 1 blind half) in a single herd. Milk samples were cultured on Columbia blood agar, and 220 goats with at least one half yielding a single colony type CNS were enrolled for two additional half-level samplings at approximately 1-month intervals. Isolates were identified to the species level by matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry or PCR amplification and partial sequencing of tuf or rpoB. An IMI was defined as persistent when ≥1 follow-up sample yielded the same species and strain as on Day 0 based on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. A generalised mixed linear model was used to evaluate the odds of persistence as a function of CNS species. A mixed linear model was used to evaluate the relationship between IMI status on a given day and SCS. Among 192 IMI, 69.8% were persistent based on species and strain-type. Staphylococcus simulans IMI had higher odds of persistence than Staphylococcus arlettae IMI. In primiparous goats, Staphylococcus epidermidis IMI was associated with higher SCS than S. arlettae, Staphylococcus xylosus and ‘other CNS’ IMI. The differences detected in the present study between CNS species, with regard to persistence of IMI and association with SCS, highlight the need to study CNS at the species and strain level to understand the pathogenicity and epidemiology of CNS in goats.
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is perhaps the most important grain legume in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) smallholder systems for food security and household income. Although a wide choice of varieties is available, smallholder farmers in western Kenya realize yields that are low and variable since they operate in risky production environments. Significant seasonal variations exist in rainfall and severity of pests and diseases. This situation is worsened by the low and declining soil fertility, coupled with low capacity of farmers to purchase production inputs such as fertilizers, fungicides and insecticides, and land scarcity. The objective of this study was to investigate whether growing multiple-bean varieties instead of a single variety can enable farmers enhance yield stability over seasons and ensure food security. Five common bean varieties were evaluated in multiple farms for 11 seasons at Kapkerer in Nandi County, western Kenya. Data were collected on grain yield, days to 50% flowering and major diseases. In addition, daily rainfall was recorded throughout the growing seasons. The five varieties were combined in all possible ways to create 31 single- and multiple-bean production strategies. The strategies were evaluated for grain yield performance and yield stability over seasons to determine the risk of not attaining a particular yield target. Results indicated that cropping multiple-bean varieties can be an effective way for reducing production risks in heterogeneous smallholder systems. Yield stability can be greatly enhanced across diverse environments, leading to improved food security, especially for the resource-poor smallholder farmers operating in risk-prone environments. Although the results show that some of the single-bean variety strategies were high yielding, their yield stability was generally lower than those of multiple strategies. Resource-poor risk averse farmers can greatly increase the probability of exceeding their yield targets by cropping multiple-bean varieties with relatively low yields but high grain yield stability. Trading-off high grain yield for yield stability might be an important strategy for minimizing bean production risks.
Carrion in the form of dead seal pups and algal mats placed on soft bottom habitats at Explorers Cove and Salmon Bay, McMurdo Sound, attract scavenging invertebrates that are driven away by hydrogen sulphide produced by sulphate-reducing bacteria sequestered below a layer of Beggiatoa/Thioploca-like filamentous bacteria. This system is usually found for lipid-rich marine mammal carrion, but also occurred with natural algal mats.
Getting a better understanding of the evolution and nucleosynthetic yields of the most metal-poor stars (Z ≲ 10−5) is critical because they are part of the big picture of the history of the primitive universe. Yet many of the remaining unknowns of stellar evolution lie in the birth, life, and death of these objects. We review stellar evolution of intermediate-mass Z ≤ 10−5 models existing in the literature, with a particular focus on the problem of their final fates. We emphasise the importance of the mixing episodes between the stellar envelope and the nuclearly processed core, which occur after stars exhaust their central He (second dredge-up and dredge-out episodes). The depth and efficiency of these episodes are critical to determine the mass limits for the formation of electron-capture SNe. Our knowledge of these phenomena is not complete because they are strongly affected by the choice of input physics. These uncertainties affect stars in all mass and metallicity ranges. However, difficulties in calibration pose additional challenges in the case of the most metal-poor stars. We also consider the alternative SN I1/2 channel to form SNe out of the most metal-poor intermediate-mass objects. In this case, it is critical to understand the thermally pulsing Asymptotic Giant Branch evolution until the late stages. Efficient second dredge-up and, later, third dredge-up episodes could be able to pollute stellar envelopes enough for the stars to undergo thermal pulses in a way very similar to that of higher initial Z objects. Inefficient second and/or third dredge-up may leave an almost pristine envelope, unable to sustain strong stellar winds. This may allow the H-exhausted core to grow to the Chandrasekhar mass before the envelope is completely lost, and thus let the star explode as an SN I1/2. After reviewing the information available on these two possible channels for the formation of SNe, we discuss existing nucleosynthetic yields of stars of metallicity Z ≤ 10−5 and present an example of nucleosynthetic calculations for a thermally pulsing Super-Asymptotic Giant Branch star of Z = 10−5. We compare theoretical predictions with observations of the lowest [Fe/H] objects detected. The review closes by discussing current open questions as well as possible fruitful avenues for future research.
Geochemical and related studies have been made of near-surface sediments from the River Clyde estuary and adjoining areas, extending from Glasgow to the N, and W as far as the Holy Loch on the W coast of Scotland, UK. Multibeam echosounder, sidescan sonar and shallow seismic data, taken with core information, indicate that a shallow layer of modern sediment, often less than a metre thick, rests on earlier glacial and post-glacial sediments. The offshore Quaternary history can be aligned with onshore sequences, with the recognition of buried drumlins, settlement of muds from quieter water, probably behind an ice dam, and later tidal delta deposits. The geochemistry of contaminants within the cores also indicates shallow contaminated sediments, often resting on pristine pre-industrial deposits at depths less than 1m. The distribution of different contaminants with depth in the sediment, such as Pb (and Pb isotopes), organics and radionuclides, allow chronologies of contamination from different sources to be suggested. Dating was also attempted using microfossils, radiocarbon and 210Pb, but with limited success. Some of the spatial distribution of contaminants in the surface sediments can be related to grain-size variations. Contaminants are highest, both in absolute terms and in enrichment relative to the natural background, in the urban and inner estuary and in the Holy Loch, reflecting the concentration of industrial activity.
It has been proposed that vascular disease is the mechanism linking depression and cognition, but prospective studies have not supported this hypothesis. This study aims to investigate the inter-relationships between depressive symptoms, cognition and cerebrovascular disease using a well-characterised prospective cohort.
Data came from waves 1 (2005–2007) and 2 (2007–2009) of the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study (n = 462; mean age = 78.3 years).
At wave 1, there was an association between depressive symptoms and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume [b = 0.016, t(414) = 2.34, p = 0.020]. Both depressive symptoms [b = −0.058, t(413) = −2.64, p = 0.009] and WMH volume [b = −0.011, t(413) = −3.77, p < 0.001], but not stroke/transient ischaemic attack (TIA) [b = −0.328, t(413) = −1.90, p = 0.058], were independently associated with lower cognition. Prospectively, cerebrovascular disease was not found to predict increasing depressive symptoms [stroke/TIA: b = −0.349, t(374.7) = −0.76, p = 0.448; WMH volume: b = 0.007, t(376.3) = 0.875, p = 0.382]. Depressive symptoms predicted increasing WMH severity [b = 0.012, t(265.9) = −3.291, p = 0.001], but not incident stroke/TIA (odds ratio = 0.995; CI 0.949–1.043; p = 0.820). When examined in separate models, depressive symptoms [b = −0.027, t(373.5) = −2.16, p = 0.032] and a history of stroke/TIA [b = −0.460, t(361.2) = −4.45, p < 0.001], but not WMH volume [b = 0.001, t(362.3) = −0.520, p = 0.603], predicted declines in cognition. When investigated in a combined model, a history of stroke/TIA remained a predictor of cognitive decline [b = −0.443, t(360.6) = −4.28, p < 0.001], whilst depressive symptoms did not [b = −0.012, t(359.7) = −0.96, p = 0.336].
This study is contrasted with previous prospective studies which indicate that depressive symptoms predict cognitive decline independently of vascular disease. Future research should focus on further exploring the vascular mechanisms underpinning the relationship between depressive symptoms and cognition.
Prion diseases are rare dementias that most commonly occur sporadically, but can be inherited or acquired, and for which there is no cure. We sought to understand which prion disease symptoms are most problematic for carers, to inform the development of outcome measures.
Self-completed questionnaire with follow-up of a subset of participants by structured interview.
A nested study in the UK National Prion Monitoring Cohort, a longitudinal observational study.
Participants and measurements:
71 carers, of people with different prion diseases with a wide range of disease severity, identified 236 of their four most problematic symptoms by questionnaire which were grouped into ten domains. Structured interviews were then done to qualitatively explore these experiences. Eleven family carers of people with prion disease were selected, including those representative of a range of demographics and disease subtypes and those who cared for people with prion disease, living or recently deceased. Interviews were transcribed and formally studied.
The six most problematic symptom domains were: mobility and coordination; mood and behavior; personal care and continence; eating and swallowing; communication; and cognition and memory. The prevalence of these symptoms varied significantly by disease stage and type. A formal analysis of structured interviews to explore these domains is reported.
We make suggestions about how healthcare professionals can focus their support for people with prion disease. Clinical trials that aim to generate evidence regarding therapies that might confer meaningful benefits to carers should consider including outcome measures that monitor the symptomatic domains we have identified as problematic.
Paleoecological data from the Quaternary Period (2.6 million years ago to present) provides an opportunity for educational outreach for the earth and biological sciences. Paleoecology data repositories serve as technical hubs and focal points within their disciplinary communities and so are uniquely situated to help produce teaching modules and engagement resources. The Neotoma Paleoecology Database provides support to educators from primary schools to graduate students. In collaboration with pedagogical experts, the Neotoma Paleoecology Database team has developed teaching modules and model workflows. Early education is centered on discovery; higher-level educational tools focus on illustrating best practices for technical tasks. Collaborations among pedagogic experts, technical experts and data stewards, centered around data resources such as Neotoma, provide an important role within research communities, and an important service to society, supporting best practices, translating current research advances to interested audiences, and communicating the importance of individual research disciplines.
Background: Despite the global impact of bipolar disorder (BD), treatment success is limited. Challenges include syndromal and subsyndromal mood instability, comorbid anxiety, and uncertainty around mechanisms to target. The Oxford Mood Action Psychology Programme (OxMAPP) offered a novel approach within a cognitive behavioural framework, via mental imagery-focused cognitive therapy (ImCT). Aims: This clinical audit evaluated referral rates, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction with the OxMAPP service. Method: Eleven outpatients with BD received ImCT in addition to standard psychiatric care. Mood data were collected weekly from 6 months pre-treatment to 6 months post-treatment via routine mood monitoring. Anxiety was measured weekly from start of treatment until 1 month post-treatment. Patient feedback was provided via questionnaire. Results: Referral and treatment uptake rates indicated acceptability to referrers and patients. From pre- to post-treatment, there was (i) a significant reduction in the duration of depressive episode relapses, and (ii) a non-significant trend towards a reduction in the number of episodes, with small to medium effect size. There was a large effect size for the reduction in weekly anxiety symptoms from assessment to 1 month follow-up. Patient feedback indicated high levels of satisfaction with ImCT, and underscored the importance of the mental imagery focus. Conclusions: This clinical audit provides preliminary evidence that ImCT can help improve depressive and anxiety symptoms in BD as part of integrated clinical care, with high patient satisfaction and acceptability. Formal assessment designs are needed to further test the feasibility and efficacy of the new ImCT treatment on anxiety and mood instability.
This article describes the well-developed and long-standing medical ethics teaching programs in both of New Zealand’s medical schools at the University of Otago and the University of Auckland. The programs reflect the awareness that has been increasing as to the important role that ethics education plays in contributing to the “professionalism” and “professional development” in medical curricula.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.