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Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder with high heritability. Consortia efforts and technological advancements have led to a substantial increase in knowledge of the genetic architecture of schizophrenia over the past decade. In this article, we provide an overview of the current understanding of the genetics of schizophrenia, outline remaining challenges, and summarise future directions of research. World-wide collaborations have resulted in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in over 56 000 schizophrenia cases and 78 000 controls, which identified 176 distinct genetic loci. The latest GWAS from the Psychiatric Genetics Consortium, available as a pre-print, indicates that 270 distinct common genetic loci have now been associated with schizophrenia. Polygenic risk scores can currently explain around 7.7% of the variance in schizophrenia case-control status. Rare variant studies have implicated eight rare copy-number variants, and an increased burden of loss-of-function variants in SETD1A, as increasing the risk of schizophrenia. The latest exome sequencing study, available as a pre-print, implicates a burden of rare coding variants in a further nine genes. Gene-set analyses have demonstrated significant enrichment of both common and rare genetic variants associated with schizophrenia in synaptic pathways. To address current challenges, future genetic studies of schizophrenia need increased sample sizes from more diverse populations. Continued expansion of international collaboration will likely identify new genetic regions, improve fine-mapping to identify causal variants, and increase our understanding of the biology and mechanisms of schizophrenia.
Agricultural by-products could be used as alternative raw materials in rabbit nutrition as they have been found to be highly nutritious and low cost feeding sources. The aim of this study was to estimate the nutritive value and potential use of bilberry pomace (BP) for growing rabbits. A total of 144 Grimaud rabbits (35 days old) were allotted to four groups and fed with a diet containing increasing level of BP: BP0 (basal diet), BP5, BP10 and BP15 containing 0, 50, 100 and 150 g/kg respectively. Growth trial lasted 48 days; apparent digestibility was evaluated, starting at 46 days of age, over 4 consecutive days. The nutritive value of BP was measured using the mean digestibility of the experimental diets. At 83 days of age, rabbits were slaughtered: blood, and liver and kidney samples were collected in order to determine the blood parameters and the antioxidant enzyme activities of the tissues. Moreover, caecal content was sampled and gut microbiota assessed by means of amplicon-based high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The digestible protein was estimated to 104 g/kg of DM while digestible energy to 9.44 MJ/kg DM for incorporation rate up to 150 g/kg. During the finishing period, average daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio showed linear response to BP increase (P=0.008 and <0.001, respectively). During all the period, both parameters decreased linearly and quadratically with increasing BP inclusion levels (P<0.001) up to 100 g/kg of BP. A significant effect of the antioxidant status was found in the kidneys and liver (P<0.05) where the glutathione peroxidase activity increased as the BP increased. As far as gut microbiota is concerned, BP increased the relative abundance of the Clostridium, Oscillospira, Ruminococcus and Ruminococcaceae species which were clearly associated with the BP inclusion level. In conclusion, BP showed a potential use as an alternative protein and fibre sources for growing rabbits.
The Kabwe Zn-Pb deposit (central Zambia) consists of a cluster of mixed sulfide and non-sulfide orebodies. The sulfide ores comprise sphalerite, galena, pyrite, chalcopyrite and accessory Ge-sulfides (±Ga and In). The non-sulfide ores comprise: (1) willemite-dominated zones encasing massive sulfide orebodies and (2) oxide-dominated alteration bands, overlying both the sulfide and Zn-silicate orebodies. This study focuses on the Ge, In and Ga distribution in the non-sulfide mineralization, and was carried out on a suite of Kabwe specimens, housed in the Natural History Museum Ore Collection (London). Petrography confirmed that the original sulfides were overprinted by at least two contrasting oxidation stages dominated by the formation of willemite (W1 and W2), and a further event characterized by weathering-related processes. Oxygen isotopic analyses have shown that W1 and W2 are unrelated genetically and furthermore not related to supergene Zn-Pb-carbonates in the oxide-dominated assemblage. The δ18O composition of 13.9–15.7‰ V-SMOW strongly supports a hydrothermal origin for W1. The δ18O composition of W2 (−3.5‰ to 0‰ V-SMOW) indicates that it precipitated from groundwaters of meteoric origin in either a supergene or a low-T hydrothermal environment. Gallium and Ge show a diversity of distribution among the range of Zn-bearing minerals. Gallium has been detected at the ppm level in W1, sphalerite, goethite and hematite. Germanium occurs at ppm levels in W1 and W2, and in scarcely detectable amounts in hemimorphite, goethite and hematite. Indium has low concentrations in goethite and hematite. These different deportments among the various phases are probably due to the different initial Ga, In and Ge abundances in the mineralization, to the different solubilities of the three elements at different temperatures and pH values, and finally to their variable affinities with the various minerals formed.
Adults with CHD often exhibit complex cardiac abnormalities, whose management requires specific clinical and surgical expertise. To enable easier access of these patients to highly specialised care, we implemented a collaborative programme that incorporates medical and surgical specialists belonging to both paediatric and adult cardiovascular institutions.
The objective of this study was to review the experience gained and to analyse the surgical outcome of major cardiac surgery.
We retrospectively reviewed all consecutive patients admitted for major cardiac surgery using our network between January, 2010 and December, 2013. Analysis of surgical outcome was performed in patients selected for major cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Early and late outcomes were evaluated.
Out of a total of 433 inward patients, 86 were selected for surgery. The median age was 25.5 years, –64 patients (74.4%) had previously undergone heart surgery, and –55 patients (64%) had been subjected to at least one sternotomy. Abnormalities of the left ventricular and right ventricular outflow tract were the most frequent (37.2% and 30.2%, respectively), and despite high-surgical complexity only one death occurred (in-hospital mortality 1.1%). On a median follow-up time of 4 years no deaths and no heart-failure events have occurred; one patient underwent further cardiac surgery programmed at the time of discharge.
Low mortality and morbidity rates can be obtained in high-surgical complexity adults with CHD populations when paediatric and adult cardiac specialists operate in the same multidisciplinary environment.
Olfactory dysfunction is a possible side effect of chemo-radiotherapy performed in patients affected by nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Self-rating measurements and olfactory event-related potentials were used and compared in order to evaluate the impact of this treatment on the olfactory system.
Nine patients underwent subjective evaluation of olfactory function (using visual analogue scales for olfactory symptoms and quality of life, and a six-item Hyposmia Rating Scale), and a quantitative and objective measurement (olfactory event-related potentials).
Spearman's rank correlation analyses highlighted significant relationships between the clinical scales and olfactory event-related potentials. Inter-group analyses showed significant differences in the latency and in the amplitude of olfactory event-related potentials between patients and controls.
Taking into account the small sample size and the lack of pre-treatment assessment, olfactory event-related potentials seemed to allow a more objective diagnosis of unilateral and bilateral olfactory loss. Moreover, olfactory event-related potentials and subjective scales results were concordant.
The air sacs of free-ranging birds of prey (n= 652) from southern Italy, including 11 species of Accipitriformes and six of Falconiforms, were examined for infections with Serratospiculumtendo (Nematoda: Diplotriaenoidea). Of the 17 species of birds examined, 25 of 31 (80.6%) peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) from Calabria Region and a single northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) from Campania Region were infected with S. tendo, suggesting a strong host specificity for the peregrine falcon. The northern goshawk and 18 of 25 infected peregrine falcons showed cachexia and all infected birds had bone fractures. At gross examination, air sacculitis and pneumonia were the most common lesions in infected birds. Microscopically, the air-sac walls showed thickening of the smooth muscle cells, resulting in a papillary appearance, along with hyperplasia of the mesothelium and epithelium, and foci of plasma cell infiltration and macrophages associated with several embryonated eggs and adult parasites. Extensive areas of inflammation were found in the lungs, characterized by lymphocytes, macrophages and fibroblasts surrounding embryonated eggs. The northern goshawk also had detachment of the dextral lung with several necrotic foci. In this case, the death of the bird was directly attributed to S. tendo infection. Lesions and pathological changes observed here suggest that S. tendo can cause disease.
In cancer care, the burden of psycho-emotional elements involved on the patient–healthcare provider relationship cannot be ignored. The aim of this work is to have an impact on the level of burnout experienced by European Institute of Oncology (IEO) gynecologic oncology nurses (N = 14) and on quality of multidisciplinary team work.
We designed a 12 session multimodal training program consisting of a 1.5 hour theoretical lesson on a specific issue related to gynecologic cancer patient care, 20 minute projection of a short film, and 1.75 hours of role-playing exercises and experiential exchanges. The Link Burnout Questionnaire (Santinello, 2007) was administered before and after the completion of the intervention. We also monitored the number of patients referred to the Psycho-oncology Service as an indicator of the efficacy of the multidisciplinary approach.
After the completion of the program, the general level of burnout significantly diminished (p = 0.02); in particular, a significant decrease was observed in the “personal inefficacy” subscale (p = 0.01). The number of patients referred to the Psycho-oncology Service increased by 50%.
Significance of results:
Nurses are in the first line of those seeing patients through the entire course of the disease. For this reason, they are at a particularly high risk of developing work-related distress. Structured training programs can be a valid answer to work-related distress, and feeling part of a multidisciplinary team helps in providing patients with better psychosocial care.
In this preliminary analysis we discuss on a statistical inversion method applied to the
measured stellar Vrot sin i. Our goal is to
obtain the Vrot of the cluster stars which is a key parameter
of stellar evolution computations. We estimate rotation impact on the age determination of
cluster stars using the Maeder-Zahn’s theory of stellar rotation in the Cesam2k code.
This study analyses the anti-proliferative effect of lemongrass essential oil and its main constituent (citral) on all 3 evolutive forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. Steam distillation was used to obtain lemongrass essential oil, with chemical composition determined by gas chromatography (GC) and GC coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The IC50/24 h (concentration that reduced the parasite population by 50%) of the oil and of citral upon T. cruzi was determined by cell counting in a Neubauer chamber, while morphological alterations were visualized by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Treatment with the essential oil resulted in epimastigote growth inhibition with IC50=126·5 μg/ml, while the IC50 for trypomastigote lysis was 15·5 μg/ml. The IC50/48 h for the Association Index (% macrophage infection×number of amastigotes per cell) was 5·1 μg/ml, with a strong inhibition of intracellular amastigote proliferation. Ultrastructural analysis demonstrated cytoplasmic and nuclear extraction, while the plasma membrane remained morphologically preserved. Our data show that lemongrass essential oil is effective against T. cruzi trypomastigotes and amastigotes, and that its main component, citral, is responsible for the trypanocidal activity. These results indicate that essential oils can be promising anti-parasitic agents, opening perspectives to the discovery of more effective drugs of vegetal origin for treatment of parasitic diseases. However, additional cytotoxicity experiments on different cell lines and tests in a T. cruzi-mouse model are needed to support these data.
Limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2A (LGMD2A), caused by calpain 3 deficiency, is currently diagnosed through the immunodetection of muscle protein by Western blot (WB) analysis . However, WB may provide normal results in patients with LGMD2A. The case of a female (3y 6mo of age) is described. She was found to be affected by asymptomatic hypercreatine-kinaesaemia during routine biochemical analysis at 10 months of age and had developed myopathic signs at the last neurological assessment. The WB of muscle biopsy performed at 28 months of age showed a normal quantity and pattern of bands for calpain 3. Despite this finding, on molecular analysis she was found to be a compound heterozygote for two mutations of the calpain 3 (CAPN3) gene (R110X and G222R). Autocatalytic activity assay showed a loss of function of calpain 3. This is the first genetically confirmed case of very early onset calpainopathy with a normal amount of protein at WB. Molecular analysis is also suggested in very young patients with normal WB.
Field studies in conventional and vertical-tilled soybeans were conducted in 1992/93 and 1993/94 at four locations in Argentina to compare the efficacy of imazethapyr and haloxyfop for johnsongrass control. Control was evaluated by measuring frequency of johnsongrass-infested areas at the beginning of the 1992/93 and 1993/94 growing seasons. Relative johnsongrass leaf area and number of rhizome phytomers within infested areas also was evaluated. Herbicide application reduced frequency of infested areas in the 1992/93 growing season. Frequency of infested areas increased in check plots. No differences were found among herbicide treatments, suggesting that the effect of imazethapyr was as high as that observed for specific graminicides. Reduction in frequency of infested areas caused by herbicide treatments was accompanied to some extent by a decrease in intensity of infestation within infested patches assessed by measuring johnsongrass relative leaf area. Phytomer population levels, on the other hand, were reduced only after two consecutive years of herbicide application. No differences were found among herbicide treatments in terms of impact on both measures of weed abundance. Johnsongrass responded similarly to all treatments regardless of tillage system.
Two new zeolitic crystalline phases with stoichiometry,
CS2TiSi6O15, have been discovered.
CSTiSi2O6.5 has a crystal structure isomorphous to
the mineral pollucite, CsAlSi2O6, with Ti+4
replacing Al+3. This replacement requires a mechanism for charge
compensation. A combination of techniques including neutron diffraction,
single crystal x-ray diffraction and x-ray absorption spectroscopy have
revealed that eight extra oxygens are present per unit cell
Cs2TiSi2O6.5 as compared to pollucite.
As a result of the extra oxygen, the titanium coordination geometry is
five-fold. Pentacoordinate titanium and tetrahedral silicon form a network
structure with Cs residing in cages formed by the network. The crystal
structure of Cs2TiSi6O15 is unique, with
titanium octahedra and silicon tetrahedra forming an open framework
structure with the Cs residing in large cavities. The largest covalently
bonded ring opening to the Cs cavities in both compounds are smaller than a
Cs ion, revealing that the Cs ion has minimal mobility in the structure.
Cesium leach rates for both compounds are lower than or comparable to
Spray pyrolysis offers a number of opportunities for the synthesis of either solid or hollow spherical particles. As predicted by the evaporation model, particles with different shell thicknesses can be obtained depending on the concentration gradient at the onset of precipitation. If the precipitate shell has a sufficiently high permeability for removal of the remaining solvent, then the shell can be preserved and a hollow particle obtained. By drying at a lower temperature solid particles are readily formed from precursor salts but hollow particle formation by SP at these low temperatures imposes demanding heating rate requirements.
We report data on 3 members of a family affected by a dominantly inherited disorder closely resembling Roussy-Levy syndrome (RLS). Electrophysiological findings showed a marked decrease of motor and sensory conduction velocities and EMG signs of mild neurogenic damage. Light and electron microscopy of sural nerve biopsy showed a hypertrophic neuropathy with diffuse onion-bulb formations and marked decrease of large size fibers. Teased fiber preparations evidenced reduced internodal lengths and segmental demyelination. Other data from the literature on RLS are reviewed and discussed. The hypothesis that RLS is not a disease entity but a hypertrophic-type of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease with essential tremor (HMSN type 1) is strongly supported.
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