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Breastfeeding may reduce obesity risk, but this association could be confounded by breastfeeding families’ characteristics. We investigated if body composition differs at birth among infants who were either exclusively breast- or formula-fed. We hypothesized the two groups would differ in body composition, even at birth, prior to their post-natal feeding experience. Healthy primiparous carrying singleton pregnancy were recruited at 15 weeks’ gestation. PEA POD® measured body composition within 72 hours of delivery and infant feeding was prospectively captured. Out of the 1,152 infants recruited, 117 (10.2%) and 239 (20.7%) went on to be either exclusively breast- or formula-fed, respectively. Breastfed infants were heavier at birth, but their percentage fat mass (FM) was lower than that of exclusively formula-fed infants (covariate adjusted β = −1.91 percentage points of FM; 95% CI −2.82 to −1.01). Differences in intra-uterine exposures, irrespective of early diet, may partly explain an infant’s obesity risk.
The north-west European population of Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii declined by 38% between 1995 and 2010 and is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the European Red List of birds. Here, we combined information on food resources within the landscape with long-term data on swan numbers, habitat use, behaviour and two complementary measures of body condition, to examine whether changes in food type and availability have influenced the Bewick’s Swan’s use of their main wintering site in the UK, the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens. Maximum number of Bewick’s Swans rose from 620 in winter 1958/59 to a high of 7,491 in winter 2004/05, before falling to 1,073 birds in winter 2013/14. Between winters 1958/59 and 2014/15 the Ouse Washes supported between 0.5 and 37.9 % of the total population wintering in north-west Europe (mean ± 95 % CI = 18.1 ± 2.4 %). Swans fed on agricultural crops, shifting from post-harvest remains of root crops (e.g. sugar beet and potatoes) in November and December to winter-sown cereals (e.g. wheat) in January and February. Inter-annual variation in the area cultivated for these crops did not result in changes in the peak numbers of swans occurring on the Ouse Washes. Behavioural and body condition data indicated that food supplies on the Ouse Washes and surrounding fens remain adequate to allow the birds to gain and maintain good body condition throughout winter with no increase in foraging effort. Our findings suggest that the recent decline in numbers of Bewick’s Swans at this internationally important site was not linked to inadequate food resources.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
The northern New England region includes the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine and encompasses a large degree of climate and edaphic variation across a relatively small spatial area, making it ideal for studying climate change impacts on agricultural weed communities. We sampled weed seedbanks and measured soil physical and chemical characteristics on 77 organic farms across the region and analyzed the relationships between weed community parameters and select geographic, climatic, and edaphic variables using multivariate procedures. Temperature-related variables (latitude, longitude, mean maximum and minimum temperature) were the strongest and most consistent correlates with weed seedbank composition. Edaphic variables were, for the most part, relatively weaker and inconsistent correlates with weed seedbanks. Our analyses also indicate that a number of agriculturally important weed species are associated with specific U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones, implying that future changes in climate factors that result in geographic shifts in these zones will likely be accompanied by changes in the composition of weed communities and therefore new management challenges for farmers.
The U.K. 1.2 metre Schmidt Telescope acquired its first full aperture objective prism in 1975. This was a very low dispersion prism (2400 Å/mm at 4300 Å) which has been found to be particularly useful in searching for faint QSO’s.
Individuals with a mental health disorder appear to be at increased risk of medical illness.
To examine rates of medical illnesses in patients with bipolar disorder (n = 1720) and to examine the clinical course of the bipolar illness according to lifetime medical illness burden.
Participants recruited within the UK were asked about the lifetime occurrence of 20 medical illnesses, interviewed using the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) and diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria.
We found significantly increased rates of several medical illnesses in our bipolar sample. A high medical illness burden was associated with a history of anxiety disorder, rapid cycling mood episodes, suicide attempts and mood episodes with a typically acute onset.
Bipolar disorder is associated with high rates of medical illness. This comorbidity needs to be taken into account by services in order to improve outcomes for patients with bipolar disorder and also in research investigating the aetiology of affective disorder where shared biological pathways may play a role.
Communication between emergency department (ED) staff and parents of children with asthma may play a role in asthma exacerbation management. We investigated the extent to which parents of children with asthma implement recommendations provided by the ED staff. Method: We asked questions on asthma triggers, ED care (including education and discharge recommendations), and asthma management strategies used at home shortly after the ED visit and again at 6 months.
A total of 148 children with asthma were recruited. Thirty-two percent of children were not on inhaled corticosteroids prior to their ED visit. Eighty percent of parents identified upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) as the primary trigger for their child’s asthma. No parent received or implemented any specific asthma strategies to reduce the impact of URTIs; 82% of parents did not receive any printed asthma education materials. Most (66%) parents received verbal instructions on how to manage their child’s future asthma exacerbations. Of those, one-third of families were told to return to the ED. Parents were rarely advised to bring their child to their family doctor in the event of a future exacerbation. At 6 months, parents continued to use the ED services for asthma exacerbations in their children, despite reporting feeling confident in managing their child’s asthma.
Improvements are urgently needed in developing strategies to manage pediatric asthma exacerbations related to URTIs, communication with parents at discharge in acute care, and using alternate acute care services for parents who continue to rely on EDs for the initial care of mild asthma exacerbations.
We present an analysis of the parsec-scale jet structure of the quasar 4C+21.35 with a resolution of 0.1 milliarcseconds based on 63 epochs of Very Long Baseline Array observations at 43 GHz from 2007 June to 2014 May along with the Fermi LAT γ-ray light curve and multi-frequency optical photometric and polarimetric data. We find that the innermost jet of the quasar consists of a very compact core of size ~0.03 mas, as well as feature A1 located 0.16 ± 0.03 mas from the core. The distance of A1 remains fairly stable, but its position angle with respect to the core changes from -10 to +10 deg. We detect 4 superluminal knots in the inner jet with apparent speeds ranging from 10c to 20c. The first two components appeared in the jet during the high γ-ray state of the quasar from mid-2010 to early 2011, while the fourth knot appears to be connected with the γ-ray active state in late 2013 - early 2014. The first knot can be associated with the dramatic VHE flare in 2010 June and possesses an extreme Doppler factor ~60. We find that maxima in the γ-ray light curve coincide with epochs of interaction between the moving knots and the core and feature A1. This suggests that the core and A1 are recollimation shocks where γ-ray flares occur. The Chandra 0.5-6 keV image reveals the existence of X-ray emission in the kiloparsec scale jet of the quasar that can be explained via inverse Compton scattering off the cosmic microwave background by relativistic electrons if no deceleration occurs between the parsec- and kiloparsec-scale jets.