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The prevalence of many diseases in pigs displays seasonal distributions. Despite growing concerns about the impacts of climate change, we do not yet have a good understanding of the role that weather factors play in explaining such seasonal patterns. In this study, national and county-level aggregated abattoir inspection data were assessed for England and Wales during 2010–2015. Seasonally-adjusted relationships were characterised between weekly ambient maximum temperature and the prevalence of both respiratory conditions and tail biting detected at slaughter. The prevalence of respiratory conditions showed cyclical annual patterns with peaks in the summer months and troughs in the winter months each year. However, there were no obvious associations with either high or low temperatures. The prevalence of tail biting generally increased as temperatures decreased, but associations were not supported by statistical evidence: across all counties there was a relative risk of 1.028 (95% CI 0.776–1.363) for every 1 °C fall in temperature. Whilst the seasonal patterns observed in this study are similar to those reported in previous studies, the lack of statistical evidence for an explicit association with ambient temperature may possibly be explained by the lack of information on date of disease onset. There is also the possibility that other time-varying factors not investigated here may be driving some of the seasonal patterns.
At a time when authoritarian regimes are on the rise around the world, higher education in general and political science in particular are facing declining support and sharper political pressures in many places. Political scientists have long promised that their discipline can add to knowledge about politics and educate citizens. However, doubts have grown about whether our increasingly pluralistic discipline collectively generates useful knowledge and communicates it effectively in teaching and in broader public communications. Political scientists need to do more to place their particular studies within big pictures of how politics and the world work, and to synthesize their results. They must focus more on the politics of identity formation that has generated resurgent nationalisms and deep social divisions. They must strengthen their understanding and their community contributions through civically engaged research. They must also place greater emphasis on improving teaching. In these ways, modern scholars can show there is much good that political science can do.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Aging is associated with numerous stressors that negatively impact older adults’ well-being. Resilience improves ability to cope with stressors and can be enhanced in older adults. Senior housing communities are promising settings to deliver positive psychiatry interventions due to rising resident populations and potential impact of delivering interventions directly in the community. However, few intervention studies have been conducted in these communities. We present a pragmatic stepped-wedge trial of a novel psychological group intervention intended to improve resilience among older adults in senior housing communities.
A pragmatic modified stepped-wedge trial design.
Five senior housing communities in three states in the US.
Eighty-nine adults over age 60 years residing in independent living sector of senior housing communities.
Raise Your Resilience, a manualized 1-month group intervention that incorporated savoring, gratitude, and engagement in value-based activities, administered by unlicensed residential staff trained by researchers. There was a 1-month control period and a 3-month post-intervention follow-up.
Validated self-report measures of resilience, perceived stress, well-being, and wisdom collected at months 0 (baseline), 1 (pre-intervention), 2 (post-intervention), and 5 (follow-up).
Treatment adherence and satisfaction were high. Compared to the control period, perceived stress and wisdom improved from pre-intervention to post-intervention, while resilience improved from pre-intervention to follow-up. Effect sizes were small in this sample, which had relatively high baseline resilience. Physical and mental well-being did not improve significantly, and no significant moderators of change in resilience were identified.
This study demonstrates feasibility of conducting pragmatic intervention trials in senior housing communities. The intervention resulted in significant improvement in several measures despite ceiling effects. The study included several features that suggest high potential for its implementation and dissemination across similar communities nationally. Future studies are warranted, particularly in samples with lower baseline resilience or in assisted living facilities.
Infants undergoing stage 1 palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome may have post-operative feeding difficulties. Although the cause of feeding difficulties in these patients is multi-factorial, residual arch obstruction may affect gut perfusion, contributing to feeding intolerance. We hypothesised that undergoing arch reintervention following stage 1 palliation would be associated with post-operative feeding difficulties.
This was a retrospective cohort study. We analysed data from the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative, which maintains a multicentre registry for infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome discharged home following stage 1 palliation. Patients who underwent arch reintervention (percutaneous or surgical) prior to discharge following stage 1 palliation were compared with those who underwent non-aortic arch interventions after stage 1 palliation and those who underwent no intervention. Median post-operative days to full enteral feeds and weight for age z-scores were compared. Predictors of post-operative days to full feeds were identified.
Among patients who underwent arch reintervention, post-operative days to full enteral feeds were greater than for those who underwent non-aortic arch interventions (25 versus 16, p = 0.003) or no intervention (median days 25 versus 12, p < 0.001). Arch intervention, multiple interventions, gestational age, and the presence of a gastrointestinal anomaly were predictors of days to full feeds.
Repeat arch intervention is associated with a longer time to achieve full enteral feeding in patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome after stage 1 palliation. Further investigation of this association is needed to understand the role of arch obstruction in feeding problems in these patients.
Because they are highly mineralised, teeth are one of the best preserved and most commonly recovered elements in archaeological and fossil assemblages. They have inspired more than a century of comparative studies of hominin tooth size and shape (e.g., Bailey 2002; Brace et al. 1991; Dubois 1892; Hanihara 2008; Hanihara and Ishida 2005; Hooijer 1948; Irish and Guatelli-Steinberg 2003; Keith 1913; Le Gros Clark 1950; Weidenreich 1937; Wolpoff 1971; Wood et al. 1991). Additional valuable information is recorded on outer surfaces and inner aspects of the dental hard tissues (enamel, dentine, and cementum) that make up tooth crowns and roots, providing a permanent record of growth. Initial study of dental histology, or microscopic tooth structure, predates the fields of archaeology and evolutionary biology by several centuries. The innovative microscopist Anthony Leeuwenhoeck first described the structure of enamel in the 1600s, noting that it was made of longitudinal “pipes” (enamel prisms) that appeared as “globules” when viewed end-on (Leeuwenhoeck 1677–1678). During the 1800s and early 1900s, microscopic investigations revealed the tubular nature of dentine and the presence of successive temporal lines in enamel and dentine (reviewed in Dean 1995; Smith 2006). By the 1940s, American and Japanese teams had experimentally demonstrated the presence of circadian structural features, as well as the neonatal (birth) line, which allows one to relate developmental time to chronological (calendar) age in juvenile dentitions. These incremental features form the basis of a growing area of anthropological study that is illuminating aspects of human evolutionary developmental biology, as well as the health and demography of past human populations.
Palmer amaranth is the most common and troublesome weed in North Carolina sweetpotato. Field studies were conducted in Clinton, NC, in 2016 and 2017 to determine the critical timing of Palmer amaranth removal in ‘Covington’ sweetpotato. Palmer amaranth was grown with sweetpotato from transplanting to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 wk after transplanting (WAP) and maintained weed-free for the remainder of the season. Palmer amaranth height and shoot dry biomass increased as Palmer amaranth removal was delayed. Season-long competition by Palmer amaranth interference reduced marketable yields by 85% and 95% in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Sweetpotato yield loss displayed a strong inverse linear relationship with Palmer amaranth height. A 0.6% and 0.4% decrease in yield was observed for every centimeter of Palmer amaranth growth in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The critical timing for Palmer amaranth removal, based on 5% loss of marketable yield, was determined by fitting a log-logistic model to the relative yield data and was determined to be 2 WAP. These results show that Palmer amaranth is highly competitive with sweetpotato and should be managed as early as possible in the season. The requirement of an early critical timing of weed removal to prevent yield loss emphasizes the importance of early-season scouting and Palmer amaranth removal in sweetpotato fields. Any delay in removal can result in substantial yield reductions and fewer premium quality roots.
Leafy spurge, a noxious perennial weed, is a major threat to the prairie ecosystem in North America. Strategic planning to control leafy spurge requires monitoring its spatial distribution and spread. In this study, the ability to detect flowering leafy spurge at two biological control sites in southern Saskatchewan, Canada was investigated using an unmanned aerial vehicle system (UAVs). Three flight missions were conducted on June 30, 2016 during the leafy spurge flowering period. Imagery was acquired at four flight heights and one or two acquisition times depending on the site. The sites were re-flown on June 28, 2017 to evaluate the change in flowering leafy spurge over time. Mixed Tuned Match Filtering (MTMF) and Hue, Intensity and Saturation (HIS) threshold analyses were used to determine flowering leafy spurge cover. The results showed the flight height of 30 m was optimal as the strongest relationships between UAV and ground estimates of both leafy spurge cover (r2=0.76 to 0.90, NRMSE=0.10 to 0.13) and stem density (r2=0.72 to 0.75) were observed. The flowering leafy spurge detection was not significantly affected by the image analysis method (p>0.05). Flowering leafy spurge cover estimates were similar using HIS (1.9% to 14.8%) and MTMF (2.1% to 10.3%) and were in agreement with the ground estimates (r2=0.64 to 0.93, NRMSE=0.08 to 0.25 using HIS and r2 =0.64 to 0.90, NRMSE=0.10 to 0.27 using MTMF). The reduction in flowering leafy spurge cover between 2016 and 2017 detected using the UAV images and HIS (8.1% at site 1 and 2.7% at site 2) was consistent with that based on ground digital photographs (10% at site 1 and 1.8% at site 2). This study shows UAV imagery is a useful tool for accurately detecting flowering leafy spurge and could be used for routine monitoring purposes in a biological control program.
To investigate the association of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and early neurodevelopment in the first 2 years of life, adjusting for maternal sociodemographic and psychosocial factors, in the Drakenstein Child Health Study (DCHS), a South African birth cohort study.
The DCHS comprises a population-based birth cohort of 1143 children, of which, a subsample completed the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III (BSID-III) at 6 (n = 260) and 24 months of age (n = 734). A subset of alcohol exposed, and unexposed children was included in this analysis at age 6 months (n = 52 exposed; n = 104 unexposed) and 24 months (n = 92 exposed; n=184 unexposed). Multiple hierarchical regression was used to explore the associations of PAE with motor and language development.
PAE was significantly associated with decreased gross motor (OR = 0.16, 95%CI 0.06-0.44, p = 0.001) or fine motor (OR = 0.16, 95%CI 0.06-0.46, p = 0.001) functioning after adjusting for maternal sociodemographic and psychosocial factors at 6 months of age only. No significant effects were found in either receptive or expressive communication and cognitive outcomes at either time point.
PAE has potentially important consequences for motor development in the first 2 years of life, a period during which the most rapid growth and maturation occurs. These findings highlight the importance of identifying high-risk families in order to provide preventive interventions, particularly in antenatal clinics and early intervention services.
Topical nasal decongestants are frequently used as part of the medical management of symptoms related to Eustachian tube dysfunction.
This study aimed to assess the effect of topical xylometazoline hydrochloride sprayed in the anterior part of the nose on Eustachian tube active and passive opening in healthy ears.
Active and passive Eustachian tube function was assessed in healthy subjects before and after intranasal administration of xylometazoline spray, using tympanometry, video otoscopy, sonotubometry, tubo-tympano-aerodynamic-graphy and tubomanometry.
Resting middle-ear pressures were not significantly different following decongestant application. Eustachian tube opening rate was not significantly different following the intervention, as measured by all function tests used. Sonotubometry data showed a significant increase in the duration of Eustachian tube opening following decongestant application.
There remains little or no evidence that topical nasal decongestants improve Eustachian tube function. Sonotubometry findings do suggest that further investigation with an obstructive Eustachian tube dysfunction patient cohort is warranted.
Deep learning using convolutional neural networks represents a form of artificial intelligence where computers recognise patterns and make predictions based upon provided datasets. This study aimed to determine if a convolutional neural network could be trained to differentiate the location of the anterior ethmoidal artery as either adhered to the skull base or within a bone ‘mesentery’ on sinus computed tomography scans.
Coronal sinus computed tomography scans were reviewed by two otolaryngology residents for anterior ethmoidal artery location and used as data for the Google Inception-V3 convolutional neural network base. The classification layer of Inception-V3 was retrained in Python (programming language software) using a transfer learning method to interpret the computed tomography images.
A total of 675 images from 388 patients were used to train the convolutional neural network. A further 197 unique images were used to test the algorithm; this yielded a total accuracy of 82.7 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval = 77.7–87.8), kappa statistic of 0.62 and area under the curve of 0.86.
Convolutional neural networks demonstrate promise in identifying clinically important structures in functional endoscopic sinus surgery, such as anterior ethmoidal artery location on pre-operative sinus computed tomography.
Propagating inhomogeneous electromagnetic waves called surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) can be excited by free-space beams on corrugated conducting surfaces at resonance angles determined by corrugation period, permittivity, and optical frequency. SPPs are coupled to and co-propagate with surface charge displacements. Complete electrical isolation of individual conducting corrugations prevents the charge displacement necessary to sustain an SPP, such that excitation resonances of traveling SPPs are absent. However, SPPs can be excited via electric induction if a smooth conducting surface exists below and nearby the isolated conducting corrugations. The dependence of SPP excitation resonances on that separation is experimentally investigated here at long-wave infrared wavelengths. We find that excitation resonances for traveling SPPs broaden and disappear as the dielectric’s physical thickness is increased beyond ∼1% of the free-space wavelength. The resonance line width increases with refractive index and optical thickness of the dielectric.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is highly heritable and is associated with lower educational attainment. ADHD is linked to family adversity, including hostile parenting. Questions remain regarding the role of genetic and environmental factors underlying processes through which ADHD symptoms develop and influence academic attainment.
This study employed a parent-offspring adoption design (N = 345) to examine the interplay between genetic susceptibility to child attention problems (birth mother ADHD symptoms) and adoptive parent (mother and father) hostility on child lower academic outcomes, via child ADHD symptoms. Questionnaires assessed birth mother ADHD symptoms, adoptive parent (mother and father) hostility to child, early child impulsivity/activation, and child ADHD symptoms. The Woodcock–Johnson test was used to examine child reading and math aptitude.
Building on a previous study (Harold et al., 2013, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(10), 1038–1046), heritable influences were found: birth mother ADHD symptoms predicted child impulsivity/activation. In turn, child impulsivity/activation (4.5 years) evoked maternal and paternal hostility, which was associated with children's ADHD continuity (6 years). Both maternal and paternal hostility (4.5 years) contributed to impairments in math but not reading (7 years), via impacts on ADHD symptoms (6 years).
Findings highlight the importance of early child behavior dysregulation evoking parent hostility in both mothers and fathers, with maternal and paternal hostility contributing to the continuation of ADHD symptoms and lower levels of later math ability. Early interventions may be important for the promotion of child math skills in those with ADHD symptoms, especially where children have high levels of early behavior dysregulation.
We have detected 27 new supernova remnants (SNRs) using a new data release of the GLEAM survey from the Murchison Widefield Array telescope, including the lowest surface brightness SNR ever detected, G 0.1 – 9.7. Our method uses spectral fitting to the radio continuum to derive spectral indices for 26/27 candidates, and our low-frequency observations probe a steeper spectrum population than previously discovered. None of the candidates have coincident WISE mid-IR emission, further showing that the emission is non-thermal. Using pulsar associations we derive physical properties for six candidate SNRs, finding G 0.1 – 9.7 may be younger than 10 kyr. Sixty per cent of the candidates subtend areas larger than 0.2 deg2 on the sky, compared to < 25% of previously detected SNRs. We also make the first detection of two SNRs in the Galactic longitude range 220°–240°.
This work makes available a further
of the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array (GLEAM) survey, covering half of the accessible galactic plane, across 20 frequency bands sampling 72–231 MHz, with resolution
. Unlike previous GLEAM data releases, we used multi-scale CLEAN to better deconvolve large-scale galactic structure. For the galactic longitude ranges
$345^\circ < l < 67^\circ$
$180^\circ < l < 240^\circ$
, we provide a compact source catalogue of 22 037 components selected from a 60-MHz bandwidth image centred at 200 MHz, with RMS noise
and position accuracy better than 2 arcsec. The catalogue has a completeness of 50% at
, and a reliability of 99.86%. It covers galactic latitudes
towards the galactic centre and
for other regions, and is available from Vizier; images covering
for all longitudes are made available on the GLEAM Virtual Observatory (VO).server and SkyView.
We examined the latest data release from the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array (GLEAM) survey covering 345° < l < 60° and 180° < l < 240°, using these data and that of the Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer to follow up proposed candidate Supernova Remnant (SNR) from other sources. Of the 101 candidates proposed in the region, we are able to definitively confirm ten as SNRs, tentatively confirm two as SNRs, and reclassify five as H ii regions. A further two are detectable in our images but difficult to classify; the remaining 82 are undetectable in these data. We also investigated the 18 unclassified Multi-Array Galactic Plane Imaging Survey (MAGPIS) candidate SNRs, newly confirming three as SNRs, reclassifying two as H ii regions, and exploring the unusual spectra and morphology of two others.
Smoking prevalence is higher amongst individuals with schizophrenia and depression compared with the general population. Mendelian randomisation (MR) can examine whether this association is causal using genetic variants identified in genome-wide association studies (GWAS).
We conducted two-sample MR to explore the bi-directional effects of smoking on schizophrenia and depression. For smoking behaviour, we used (1) smoking initiation GWAS from the GSCAN consortium and (2) we conducted our own GWAS of lifetime smoking behaviour (which captures smoking duration, heaviness and cessation) in a sample of 462690 individuals from the UK Biobank. We validated this instrument using positive control outcomes (e.g. lung cancer). For schizophrenia and depression we used GWAS from the PGC consortium.
There was strong evidence to suggest smoking is a risk factor for both schizophrenia (odds ratio (OR) 2.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.67–3.08, p < 0.001) and depression (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.71–2.32, p < 0.001). Results were consistent across both lifetime smoking and smoking initiation. We found some evidence that genetic liability to depression increases smoking (β = 0.091, 95% CI 0.027–0.155, p = 0.005) but evidence was mixed for schizophrenia (β = 0.022, 95% CI 0.005–0.038, p = 0.009) with very weak evidence for an effect on smoking initiation.
These findings suggest that the association between smoking, schizophrenia and depression is due, at least in part, to a causal effect of smoking, providing further evidence for the detrimental consequences of smoking on mental health.