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Previous research suggests recovery from cannabis-related deficits in verbal learning and memory functioning after periods of cannabis abstinence in adolescents. Here, we examine how cannabis cessation affects cognitive performance over 2 weeks of monitored abstinence compared to controls in adolescents and young adults.
Seventy-four participants (35 cannabis users) aged 16–26 ceased all cannabis, alcohol, and other illicit substance consumption for a 2-week period; abstinence was monitored via weekly urinalysis, breath, and sweat patch testing. Starting at baseline, participants completed weekly abbreviated neuropsychological batteries. Measures included tests of attention, inhibition, verbal working memory, and learning. Repeated measures assessed within and between subject effects for time and group status, while controlling for past year alcohol and nicotine use.
Cannabis users showed increased performance compared to controls on sustained attention tasks after 2 weeks of cannabis use.
Deficits in attention, but not verbal learning and memory, recovered after 2 weeks of monitored abstinence. This differs from previous literature, suggesting that other cognitive domains may show signs of recovery after periods of cannabis cessation in adolescents and young adults.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects at some point in their lives a tenth of the world's population with a higher incidence in females than males. Like all clinical disorders encountered in adult psychiatry, a diagnosis of MDD is symptom-based and has not been externally validated. Eye movement dysfunctions (EMDs) in the functional psychoses have been extensively reported and their potential as biomarkers highlighted but it is unclear whether there are patterns of EMDs specific to MDD. Abnormal EMs in bipolar affective cases have been observed during face and picture viewing, saccadic control and smooth pursuit tasks. However most studies reporting EMs in affective disorders, have not distinguished between unipolar/MDD and bipolar cases. to address this problem we have compared performance on a broad range of EM tests in patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for MDD with identical measures made in a large sample of bipolar, schizophrenia and undiagnosed individuals. Remarkably a network classifier was able to delineate controls and each patient group using EM performance measures with exceptional sensitivity (94%) and specificity (98%). What is more, probability of illness category was not associated with demographic, symptom, neuropsychological or medication variables. It therefore appears that a unique multivariate eye movement phenotype may be associated with MDD. If verified in further MDD cases these findings could be an enormous advance in helping to assess and/or diagnose individuals with symptoms of MDD or at risk of developing MDD.
Objectives: The high rate of cannabis (CAN) use in emerging adults is concerning given prior research suggesting neurocognitive deficits associated with CAN use in youth. Regular CAN use downregulates endocannabinoid activity, while aerobic exercise upregulates cannabinoid receptor 1 activity and releases endocannabinoids. Here we investigate the influence of regular CAN use on neuropsychological performance, and whether aerobic fitness moderates these effects. Methods: Seventy-nine young adults (37 CAN users) aged 16–26 participated. Groups were balanced for aerobic fitness level. Exclusion criteria included: left-handedness, past-year independent Axis-I disorders, major medical/neurologic disorders, prenatal issues, or prenatal alcohol/illicit drug exposure. After 3 weeks of abstinence, participants completed a neuropsychological battery and a maximal oxygen consumption test (VO2 max). Multiple regressions tested whether past-year CAN use, VO2 max, and CAN*VO2 max interaction predicted neuropsychological performance, controlling for past-year alcohol use, cotinine, gender, and depression symptoms. Results: Increased CAN use was associated with decreased performance on working memory and psychomotor tasks. High aerobic fitness level was related to better performance on visual memory, verbal fluency, and sequencing ability. CAN*VO2 max predicted performance of psychomotor speed, visual memory, and sequencing ability. Conclusions: Following monitored abstinence, increased CAN use was associated with poorer performance in working memory and psychomotor speed. Higher aerobic fitness level moderated the impact of CAN on visual memory, executive function and psychomotor speed, as more aerobically fit CAN users demonstrated better performance relative to low-fit users. Therefore, aerobic fitness may present an affordable and efficacious method to improve cognitive functioning in CAN users. (JINS, 2019, 25, 134–145)
Cover crop–based, organic rotational no-till (CCORNT) corn and soybean systems have been developed in the mid-Atlantic region to build soil health, increase management flexibility, and reduce labor. In this system, a roller-crimped cover crop mulch provides within-season weed suppression in no-till corn and soybean. A cropping system experiment was conducted in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware to test the cumulative effects of a multitactic weed management approach in a 3-yr hairy vetch/triticale–corn–cereal rye–soybean–winter wheat CCORNT rotation. Treatments included delayed planting dates (early, intermediate, late) and supplemental weed control using high-residue (HR) cultivation in no-till corn and soybean phases. In the no-till corn phase, HR cultivation decreased weed biomass relative to the uncultivated control by 58%, 23%, and 62% in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, respectively. In the no-till soybean phase, HR cultivation decreased weed biomass relative to the uncultivated treatment planted in narrow rows (19 to 38 cm) by 20%, 41%, and 78% in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, respectively. Common ragweed was more dominant in soybean (39% of total biomass) compared with corn (10% of total biomass), whereas giant foxtail and smooth pigweed were more dominant in corn, comprising 46% and 22% of total biomass, respectively. Common ragweed became less abundant as corn and soybean planting dates were delayed, whereas giant foxtail and smooth pigweed increased as a percentage of total biomass as planting dates were delayed. At the Pennsylvania location, inconsistent termination of cover crops with the roller-crimper resulted in volunteer cover crops in other phases of the rotation. Our results indicate that HR cultivation is necessary to achieve adequate weed control in CCORNT systems. Integration of winter grain or perennial forages into CCORNT systems will also be an important management tactic for truncating weed seedbank population increases.
The herd dynamic milk (HDM) model is a dynamic model capable of simulating the performance of individual dairy animals (from birth to death), with a daily time step. Within this study, the HDM model is described and evaluated in relation to milk production, body condition score (BCS) and BCS change throughout lactation by comparing model simulations against data from published experimental studies. The model’s response to variation in genetic potential, herbage allowance and concentrate supplementation was tested in a sensitivity analysis. Data from experiments in Ireland and France over a 3-year period (2009–11) were used to complete the evaluation. The aim of the Irish experiment was to determine the impact of different stocking rates (SRs) (SR1: 3.28 cow/ha, SR2: 2.51 cow/ha) on key physical, biological and economic performance. The aim of the French experiment was to evaluate over a prolonged time period, the ability of two breeds of dairy cows (Holstein and Normande) to produce and to reproduce under two feeding strategies (high level and low level) in the context of compact calving. The model evaluation was conducted at the herd level with separate evaluations for the primiparous and multiparous cows. The evaluation included the two extreme SRs for the Irish experiment, and an evaluation at the overall herd and individual animal level for the different breeds and feeding levels for the French data. The comparison of simulation and experimental data for all scenarios resulted in a relative prediction error, which was consistently <15% across experiments for weekly milk production and BCS. In relation to BCS, the highest root mean square error was 0.27 points of BCS, which arose for Holstein cows in the low feeding group in late lactation. The model responded in a realistic fashion to variation in genetic potential for milk production, herbage allowance and concentrate supplementation.
Studies on microbial biohydrogenation of fatty acids in the rumen are of importance as this process lowers the availability of nutritionally beneficial unsaturated fatty acids for incorporation into meat and milk but also might result in the accumulation of biologically active intermediates. The impact was studied of adsorption of 22:6n-3 (DHA) to particulate material on its disappearance during 24 h in vitro batch incubations with rumen inoculum. Four adsorbants were used in two doses (1 and 5 mg/ml of mucin, gum arabic, bentonite or silicic acid). In addition, the distribution of 22:6n-3 in the pellet and supernatant of diluted rumen fluid was measured. Bentonite and silicic acid did not alter the distribution of 22:6n-3 between pellet and supernatant nor increased the disappearance of 22:6n-3 during the incubation. Both mucin and gum arabic increased the recovery of 22:6n-3 in the supernatant, indicating that these compounds lowered the adsorption of the fatty acid to ruminal particles. This was associated with an increased disappearance of 22:6n-3, when initial 22:6n-3 was 0.06 or 0.10 mg/ml, and an increased formation of 22:0, when initial 22:6n-3 was 0.02 mg/ml, during the 24 h batch culture experiment. Addition of gum arabic to pure cultures of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens or Butyrivibrio proteoclasticus did not negate the inhibitory effect of 22:6n-3 on growth. As both mucin and gum arabic provide fermentable substrate for ruminal bacteria, an additional experiment was performed in which mucin and gum arabic were replaced by equal amounts of starch, cellulose or xylan. No differences in disappearance of 22:6n-3 were observed, suggesting that the stimulatory effect of mucin and gum arabic on disappearance of 22:6n-3 most probably is not due to provision of an alternative site of adsorption but related to stimulation of bacterial growth. A relatively high proportion of 22:6n-3 can be reduced to 22:0 provided the initial concentration is low.
The present study aimed to evaluate the precision, ease of use and likelihood of future use of portion size estimation aids (PSEA).
A range of PSEA were used to estimate the serving sizes of a range of commonly eaten foods and rated for ease of use and likelihood of future usage.
For each food, participants selected their preferred PSEA from a range of options including: quantities and measures; reference objects; measuring; and indicators on food packets. These PSEA were used to serve out various foods (e.g. liquid, amorphous, and composite dishes). Ease of use and likelihood of future use were noted. The foods were weighed to determine the precision of each PSEA.
Males and females aged 18–64 years (n 120).
The quantities and measures were the most precise PSEA (lowest range of weights for estimated portion sizes). However, participants preferred household measures (e.g. 200 ml disposable cup) – deemed easy to use (median rating of 5), likely to use again in future (all scored either 4 or 5 on a scale from 1=‘not very likely’ to 5=‘very likely to use again’) and precise (narrow range of weights for estimated portion sizes). The majority indicated they would most likely use the PSEA preparing a meal (94 %), particularly dinner (86 %) in the home (89 %; all P<0·001) for amorphous grain foods.
Household measures may be precise, easy to use and acceptable aids for estimating the appropriate portion size of amorphous grain foods.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and postnatal catch-up growth confer an increased risk of adult-onset disease. Overnourishment of adolescent ewes generates IUGR in ∼50% of lambs, which subsequently exhibit increased fractional growth rates. We investigated putative epigenetic changes underlying this early postnatal phenotype by quantifying gene-specific methylation at cytosine:guanine (CpG) dinucleotides. Hepatic DNA/RNA was extracted from IUGR [eight male (M)/nine female (F)] and normal birth weight (12 M/9 F) lambs. Polymerase chain reaction was performed using primers targeting CpG islands in 10 genes: insulin, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)1, IGF2, H19, insulin receptor, growth hormone receptor, IGF receptors 1 and 2, and the glucocorticoid receptor. Using pyrosequencing, methylation status was determined by quantifying cytosine:thymine ratios at 57 CpG sites. Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of IGF system genes and plasma IGF1/insulin were determined. DNA methylation was independent of IUGR status but sexual dimorphism in IGF1 methylation was evident (M<F, P=0.008). IGF1 mRNA:18S and plasma IGF1 were M>F (both P<0.001). IGF1 mRNA expression correlated negatively with IGF1 methylation (r=−0.507, P=0.002) and positively with plasma IGF1 (r=0.884, P<0.001). Carcass and empty body weights were greater in males (P=0.002–0.014) and this gender difference in early body conformation was mirrored by sexual dimorphism in hepatic IGF1 DNA methylation, mRNA expression and plasma IGF1 concentrations.
The IAU Commission 4 Working Group on Standardizing Access to Ephemerides recommends the use of the Spacecraft and Planet Kernel (SPK) format to provide a uniform format for the position ephemerides of planets and other natural solar system bodies, and the use of the Planetary Constants Kernel (PCK) for the orientation of these bodies. These formats are used by the SPICE system, developed by the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The working group's final report is currently undergoing final preparations for publication. A long version of this report will be available at the IAU Commission 4: Ephemerides (or its successor) web site. This long version will contain a full description of that portion of the SPK and PCK formats required to duplicate these file types for this application.
Virtual teams, whose members may be engaged in interdependent tasks while geographically dispersed, are highly prevalent workgroups within organizations today. Because these global virtual teams must rely on technology to fulfill team goals across time and space, they may warrant unique meeting styles and structure. This chapter reviews the literature on virtual team meetings, providing evidence regarding the factors that may aid in the facilitation of such meetings based on existing research, and offers practitioners and professionals guidelines for successfully facilitating virtual team meetings. Drawing on previous meeting and global virtual team research, we make the following recommendations: select a facilitator, select appropriate information and communication technology, set meeting norms, set and reinforce team roles, acknowledge time zone and cultural differences, and follow up with action items.
Ventenata dubia is an exotic winter annual grass that has invaded Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands, improved pastures, intensively managed hay fields, and rangelands within the Intermountain Pacific Northwest (PNW). Currently, producers are attempting to develop V. dubia management strategies with little knowledge of its life history traits. We conducted several studies to characterize V. dubia life history patterns. Preliminary germination trials were completed to describe primary and secondary dormancy characteristics. Field studies were conducted to evaluate (1) seed bank persistence patterns, (2) seedling emergence patterns under V. dubia litter, and (3) seedling emergence and phenological development patterns within timothy hay, CRP, and rangeland habitats. Preliminary germination trials suggest that the after-ripening period required for loss of dormancy does not exceed 30 d and that dormancy breakdown peaks at approximately 90 d, after which germination occurs over a wide range of temperatures (9 to 29 C). A small fraction (< 1%) of the seed bank remained germinable up to 3 yr after burial at 2 cm depth in a grassland habitat. Seedling emergence and survival was significantly greater under high V. dubia litter layers (100% cover) compared with bare surface during the drier study year because of higher soil moisture levels maintained under litter. Across habitat types, mean seedling emergence (50% of total) occurred between 33 and 94 growing degree days (GDD) after soil moisture rose above the permanent wilting point in the fall. Seedling emergence periodicity varied among habitat types in relation to spring seedling emergence, ranging from 0 to 13% of total emergence per year. Phenological development differed across sites and years by up to several hundred GDDs but was closely aligned to Julian days. This collection of studies improves our understanding of V. dubia life history traits and will aid integrated weed management strategies in the Intermountain PNW.
The bran and particularly the aleurone fraction of wheat are high in betaine and other physiological methyl donors, which may exert beneficial physiological effects. We conducted two randomised, controlled, cross-over postprandial studies to assess and compare plasma betaine and other methyl donor-related responses following the consumption of minimally processed bran and aleurone fractions (study A) and aleurone bread (study B). For both studies, standard pharmacokinetic parameters were derived for betaine, choline, folate, dimethylglycine (DMG), total homocysteine and methionine from plasma samples taken at 0, 0·5, 1, 2 and 3 h. In study A (n 14), plasma betaine concentrations were significantly and substantially elevated from 0·5 to 3 h following the consumption of both bran and aleurone compared with the control; however, aleurone gave significantly higher responses than bran. Small, but significant, increases were also observed in DMG measures; however, no significant responses were observed in other analytes. In study B (n 13), plasma betaine concentrations were significantly and substantially higher following consumption of the aleurone bread compared with the control bread; small, but significant, increases were also observed in DMG and folate measures in response to consumption of the aleurone bread; however, no significant responses were observed in other analytes. Peak plasma betaine concentrations, which were 1·7–1·8 times the baseline levels, were attained earlier following the consumption of minimally processed aleurone compared with the aleurone bread (time taken to reach peak concentration 1·2 v. 2·1 h). These results showed that the consumption of minimally processed wheat bran, and particularly the aleurone fraction, yielded substantial postprandial increases in plasma betaine concentrations. Furthermore, these effects appear to be maintained when aleurone was incorporated into bread.