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Gastrointestinal and mental disorders are highly comorbid, and animal models have shown that both can be caused by early adversity (e.g., parental deprivation). Interactions between the brain and bacteria that live within the gastrointestinal system (the microbiome) underlie adversity–gastrointestinal–anxiety interactions, but these links have not been investigated during human development. In this study, we utilized data from a population of 344 youth (3–18 years old) who were raised with their biological parents or were exposed to early adverse caregiving experiences (i.e., institutional or foster care followed by international adoption) to explore adversity–gastrointestinal–anxiety associations. In Study 1, we demonstrated that previous adverse care experiences were associated with increased incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms in youth. Gastrointestinal symptoms were also associated with concurrent and future anxiety (measured across 5 years), and those gastrointestinal symptoms mediated the adversity–anxiety association at Time 1. In a subsample of children who provided both stool samples and functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain (Study 2, which was a “proof-of-principle”), adversity was associated with changes in diversity (both alpha and beta) of microbial communities, and bacteria levels (adversity-associated and adversity-independent) were correlated with prefrontal cortex activation to emotional faces. Implications of these data for supporting youth mental health are discussed.
Early institutional rearing is associated with increased risk for subsequent peer relationship difficulties, but the underlying mechanisms have not been identified. Friendship characteristics, social behaviors with peers, normed assessments of social problems, and social cue use were assessed in 142 children (mean age = 10.06, SD = 2.02; range 7–13 years), of whom 67 were previously institutionalized (PI), and 75 were raised by their biological families. Anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, often elevated among PI children, were examined as potential mediators of PI status and baseline social functioning and longitudinal follow-ups (2 and 4 years later). Twenty-seven percent of PI children fell above the Child Behavior Checklist Social Problems cutoff. An examination of specific social behaviors with peers indicated that PI and comparison children did not differ in empathic concern or peer social approach, though parents were more likely to endorse aggression/overarousal as a reason that PI children might struggle with friendships. Comparison children outperformed PI children in computerized testing of social cue use learning. Finally, across these measures, social difficulties exhibited in the PI group were mediated by ADHD symptoms with predicted social problems assessed 4 years later. These findings show that, when PI children struggle with friendships, mechanisms involving attention and behavior regulation are likely contributors.
Institutional caregiving is associated with significant deviations from species-expected caregiving, altering the normative sequence of attachment formation and placing children at risk for long-term emotional difficulties. However, little is known about factors that can promote resilience following early institutional caregiving. In the current study, we investigated how adaptations in affective processing (i.e., positive valence bias) and family-level protective factors (i.e., secure parent–child relationships) moderate risk for internalizing symptoms in previously institutionalized (PI) youth. Children and adolescents with and without a history of institutional care performed a laboratory-based affective processing task and self-reported measures of parent–child relationship security. PI youth were more likely than comparison youth to show positive valence biases when interpreting ambiguous facial expressions. Both positive valence bias and parent–child relationship security moderated the association between institutional care and parent-reported internalizing symptoms, such that greater positive valence bias and more secure parent–child relationships predicted fewer symptoms in PI youth. However, when both factors were tested concurrently, parent–child relationship security more strongly moderated the link between PI status and internalizing symptoms. These findings suggest that both individual-level adaptations in affective processing and family-level factors of secure parent–child relationships may ameliorate risk for internalizing psychopathology following early institutional caregiving.
In the context of a rapidly growing energy demand and concerns about global climate change, renewable energies and in particular photovoltaic (PV) power are considered long-term solutions towards secured energy supply and for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, is solar PV a truly sustainable solution? Climate change will certainly not be the only environmental issue we will have to deal with. Regarding the issue of mineral resources, current research efforts aim at reducing raw material consumption in the manufacturing of PV panels. But, how do we assess the environmental efficiency of a panel, especially concerning the raw material consumption? Moreover, the PV industry consumes raw materials which are principally produced in non-EU countries such as Cadmium (Cd), Gallium (Ga) and Indium (In). How do we consider the issue of critical substance and accessibility? Required materials for PV modules may also be used in other applications (for example Gallium and Indium in electrical appliance production). Should competitiveness between applications be taken into account in a sustainability assessment? Are we going to valorize the PV module ability to use substitute substances? In addition to responsible resource management indicators, many other aspects have to be taken into account in order to achieve a complete sustainability assessment, especially recyclability, viability of PV industry, equilibrium along the value chain or social indicators such as social acceptability... Designing sustainability metrics is a new and complex research field. The whole value chain has to be evaluated and all dimensions (environmental, economic, and social) need to be explored. The paper will discuss the issues in defining sustainability metrics and propose some methodologies and a system of indicators to lassess the sustainability of a PV module.
Previous studies have suggested that motivational aspects of executive functioning, which may be disrupted in schizophrenia patients with negative symptoms, are mediated in part by the striatum. Negative symptoms have been linked to impaired recruitment of both the striatum and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Here we tested the hypothesis that negative symptoms are associated primarily with striatal dysfunction, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Working-memory load-dependent activation and gray matter volumes of the striatum and DLPFC were measured using a region-of-interest (ROI) approach, in 147 schizophrenia patients and 160 healthy controls. In addition to testing for a linear relationships between striatal function and negative symptoms, we chose a second, categorical analytic strategy in which we compared three demographically and behaviorally matched subgroups: patients with a high burden of negative symptoms, patients with minimal negative symptoms, and healthy subjects.
There were no differences in striatal response magnitudes between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls, but right DLPFC activity was higher in patients than in controls. Negative symptoms were inversely associated with striatal, but not DLPFC, activity. In addition, patients with a high burden of negative symptoms exhibited significantly lower bilateral striatal, but not DLPFC, activation than schizophrenia patients with minimal negative symptoms. Working memory performance, antipsychotic exposure and changes in gray matter volumes did not account for these differences.
These data provide further evidence for a robust association between negative symptoms and diminished striatal activity. Future work will determine whether low striatal activity in schizophrenia patients could serve as a reliable biomarker for negative symptoms.
Objective. The Babesia bovis genome encodes a rap-1 related gene denominated RAP-1 related antigen (RRA). In this study, we analysed the pattern of expression, immunogenicity and functional relevance of RRA. Methods. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the program Phylip. Expression of rra was analysed by Northern blots, RT-PCR, immunoprecipitation, Western blots and immunofluorescence. RRA antigenicity was tested by T-cell proliferation and Western blot analysis, and functional relevance was determined in an in vitro neutralization assay. Results. RRA is more closely related to RAP-1b of Babesia bigemina than to B. bovis RAP-1, and it is highly conserved among distinct strains. Transcriptional analysis suggests lower numbers of rra transcripts compared to rap-1. Immunoprecipitation of metabolically labelled B. bovis proteins with antibodies against synthetic peptides representing predicted antigenic regions of RRA confirmed the expression of a ∼43 kDa RRA in cultured merozoites. Antibodies present in B. bovis hyperimmune sera, but not in field-infected cattle sera, reacted weakly with recombinant RRA, and no significant stimulation was obtained using recombinant RRA as antigen in T-cell proliferation assays, indicating that RRA is a subdominant antigen. Antibodies against RRA synthetic peptides reacted with merozoites using immunofluorescence, and were able to significantly inhibit erythrocyte invasion in in vitro neutralization tests, suggesting functional relevance for parasite survival. Conclusion.B. bovis express a novel subdominant RAP-1-like molecule that may contribute to erythrocyte invasion and/or egression by the parasite.
Samples of yellow-fever vaccine prepared from homogenized chick embryos, and of an experimental measles vaccine prepared from chick embryo cells, have each been shown to contain a contaminant virus similar in properties to an avian leukosis virus. Young adult males injected with the yellow-fever vaccine did not develop neutralizing antibodies for Rous sarcoma virus.
Six weed control programs with and without irrigation were investigated in a newly established pecan orchard. Irrigation increased crown diameter growth in only one of seven growing seasons but increased nut yield an average of 35% in the first two bearing years. Weed control program significantly influenced crown diameter beginning in the fourth growing season and continued through season six while also impacting final crown diameter. The use of postemergence (POST) herbicides increased crown diameter a minimum 4 mm vs. preemergence (PRE) herbicides. Mowing neither increased nor decreased crown diameter when used with herbicides; however, when used solely, crown diameter was 29% less. Highest growth rates were obtained with a combination PRE plus POST weed management system. Nut yields were closely linked to growth data. No differences in nut yield were observed between PRE- or POST-herbicide programs alone or in combination with mowing. Mowing alone decreased nut yield 57% vs. herbicide-based approaches. A combination PRE- plus POST-weed control program increased yield 38% vs. all other treatments.