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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Depression frequently co-occurs with disorders of glucose and insulin homeostasis (DGIH) and obesity. Low-grade systemic inflammation and lifestyle factors in childhood may predispose to DGIH, obesity and depression. We aim to investigate the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations among DGIH, obesity and depression, and to examine the effect of demographics, lifestyle factors and antecedent low-grade inflammation on such associations in young people.
Using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children birth cohort, we used regression analyses to examine: (1) cross-sectional and (2) longitudinal associations between measures of DGIH [insulin resistance (IR); impaired glucose tolerance] and body mass index (BMI) at ages 9 and 18 years, and depression (depressive symptoms and depressive episode) at age 18 years and (3) whether sociodemographics, lifestyle factors or inflammation [interleukin-6 (IL-6) at age 9 years] confounded any such associations.
We included 3208 participants. At age 18 years, IR and BMI were positively associated with depression. These associations may be explained by sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. There were no longitudinal associations between DGIH/BMI and depression, and adjustment for IL-6 and C-reactive protein did not attenuate associations between IR/BMI and depression; however, the longitudinal analyses may have been underpowered.
Young people with depression show evidence of DGIH and raised BMI, which may be related to sociodemographic and lifestyle effects such as deprivation, smoking, ethnicity and gender. In future, studies with larger samples are required to confirm this. Preventative strategies for the poorer physical health outcomes associated with depression should focus on malleable lifestyle factors.
X-ray microscopy is a field that has developed rapidly in recent years. Two different approaches have been used. Zone plates have been employed to produce focussed beams with sizes as low as 0.07 pm for x-ray energies below 1 keV. Images of biological materials and elemental maps for major and minor low Z have been produced using above and below absorption edge differences. At higher energies collimators and focussing mirrors have been used to make small diameter beams for excitation of characteristic K— or L-x rays of all elements in the periodic
While beneficial for sow reproductive efficiency and biosecurity, segregated early weaning (SEW) leads to a systemic immune response that adversely affects the digestive physiology and post-weaning growth of pigs. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of a glucocorticoid receptor agonist (GA) on growth performance, measures of immune function and intestinal integrity of SEW pigs. In both experiments, pigs were fed corn-soybean meal-based starter diets. In the first experiment, 48 pigs (initial BW 4.8 ± 0.7 kg) were weaned at 21 ± 1 days and randomly assigned to three GA treatment groups: 0, 0.2 and 0.6 mg GA/kg of BW injected intramuscularly. Treatments were administered one day before weaning. Pigs in the 0 mg GA group received sterile saline in place of GA. Body weight was measured daily from one day before to 7 days post-weaning, and then weekly until 28 days post-weaning. Piglets treated with 0.2 mg GA had a higher BW than piglets in other treatment groups during the 28-day course of the study (P <0.02). To further explore the mechanisms behind this result, a second experiment was performed in which a total of 18 gilts (BW 5.6 ± 0.85 kg) were randomly assigned into three treatment groups: suckling plus saline (UWS), weaned treated with GA (WGA; 0.2 mg GA/kg BW) and weaned plus saline (CON). Treatments were administered one day before and 3 days post-weaning. The WGA and CON groups were weaned at 23 ± 2 days, while the UWS group remained with sow for the duration of the study. Body weight was measured daily and blood plasma was collected at 0, 1, 4 and 5 days post-weaning. All gilts were euthanized 5 days after weaning and jejunum samples were collected for mucosal scrapings, histomorphological analysis and gene expression analysis. Plasma levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and haptoglobin were lower in WGA pigs compared with CON (P <0.02), while plasma total antioxidant capacity was higher in WGA pigs compared with both CON and UWS groups (P <0.01). Relative to CON, GA downregulated IL-18 gene expression in the jejunum, as assessed by both tissue homogenate and mucosal scrapings, but it upregulated claudin-IV gene expression only in the tissue homogenate (P <0.01). These results suggest that GA treatment improves the growth performance of SEW pigs in part by mitigating the negative effects of systemic inflammation. However, the effect of GA on barrier integrity requires further investigation.
We investigated risk factors for severe acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) among hospitalised children <2 years, with a focus on the interactions between virus and age. Statistical interactions between age and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, adenovirus (ADV) and rhinovirus on the risk of ALRI outcomes were investigated. Of 1780 hospitalisations, 228 (12.8%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). The median (range) length of stay (LOS) in hospital was 3 (1–27) days. An increase of 1 month of age was associated with a decreased risk of ICU admission (rate ratio (RR) 0.94; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.91–0.98) and with a decrease in LOS (RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.95–0.97). Associations between RSV, influenza, ADV positivity and ICU admission and LOS were significantly modified by age. Children <5 months old were at the highest risk from RSV-associated severe outcomes, while children >8 months were at greater risk from influenza-associated ICU admissions and long hospital stay. Children with ADV had increased LOS across all ages. In the first 2 years of life, the effects of different viruses on ALRI severity varies with age. Our findings help to identify specific ages that would most benefit from virus-specific interventions such as vaccines and antivirals.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
In ewe lambs, acceleration of growth and accumulation of both muscle and fat leads to earlier sexual maturity and better reproductive performance. The next stage in the development of this theme is to test whether these aspects of growth in young ewes affect milk production in their first lactation and the growth of their first progeny. We studied 75 young Merino ewes that had known phenotypic values for depth of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT), and known Australian Sheep Breeding Values for post-weaning weight (PWT) and depths of eye muscle (PEMD) and fat (PFAT). They lambed for the first time at 1 year of age. Their lambs were weighed weekly from birth to weaning at 10 weeks to determine live weight gain and weaning weight. Progeny birth weight was positively associated with live weight gain and weaning weight (P<0.001). The PWT of the mothers was positively associated with birth weight (P<0.01), live weight gain and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.05); however, these progeny traits were not influenced by EMD, FAT, PEMD, PFAT of the mothers (P>0.05). The PWT of the sire was positively associated with live weight gain (P<0.05) and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.01). At around day 20 postpartum, we measured milk production and milk composition (fat, protein, lactose, total solids). Milk production was influenced positively by birth type (single or twin; P<0.05) and negatively by birth weight (P<0.05), but not by mother phenotype or genotype, sire genotype of the mother or the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). The concentrations of fat, protein, lactose and total solids in the milk were not affected by the phenotype or genotype of the mothers or of the sires of the mothers, or by the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). We conclude that selection of young Merino ewes for better growth, and more rapid accumulation of muscle and fat, will lead to progeny that are heavier at birth, grow faster and are heavier at weaning. Moreover, milk production and composition do not seem to be affected by the genetic merit of the mother for post-weaning live weight or PEMD or PFAT. Therefore, Merino ewes can lamb at 1 year of age without affecting the production objectives of the Merino sheep industry.
With across-flock genetic evaluations, the extent of genetic links or connectedness between animals in separate flocks affects the reliability of selection decisions. As connectedness improves, error in comparing breeding values among flocks falls. Connectedness is thought more important when founder animals (i.e. unknown parentage) of separate flocks differ genetically. The prediction error variance (PEV) of differences in estimated breeding values (EBV) between animals is considered an appropriate measure of connectedness (Kennedy and Trus, 1993). In this study the level of connectedness, and its consequence, in breeding schemes that differ in the extent of ancestral relationships between flocks, and in which founder animals of these flocks differ genetically, was assessed by stochastic simulation.
Central nervous system infections (CNSI) are a leading cause of death and long-term disability in children. Using ICD-10 data from 2005 to 2015 from three central hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, we exploited generalized additive mixed models (GAMM) to examine the spatial-temporal distribution and spatial and climatic risk factors of paediatric CNSI, excluding tuberculous meningitis, in this setting. From 2005 to 2015, there were 9469 cases of paediatric CNSI; 33% were ⩽1 year old at admission and were mainly diagnosed with presumed bacterial CNSI (BI) (79%), the remainder were >1 year old and mainly diagnosed with presumed non-bacterial CNSI (non-BI) (59%). The urban districts of HCMC in proximity to the hospitals as well as some outer districts had the highest incidences of BI and non-BI; BI incidence was higher in the dry season. Monthly BI incidence exhibited a significant decreasing trend over the study. Both BI and non-BI were significantly associated with lags in monthly average temperature, rainfall, and river water level. Our findings add new insights into this important group of infections in Vietnam, and highlight where resources for the prevention and control of paediatric CNSI should be allocated.
A 36C1 peak has been found at about 37 ka BP in the Guliya ice core, drilled from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. This peak is indicative of enhanced cosmogenic isotope production in the atmosphere, rather than a change in accumulation rate. Comparison with the records of 10Be and 36C1 in ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland indicates that peaks of the cosmogenic isotopes are global, and that they can be used as time markers for dating ice cores. Interestingly, the 37 ka BP global event coincided with a cold period.
Ortles mountain (3905 m a.s.l.), South Tyrol, Italy, is the highest mountain of the Eastern European Alps, and its upper glacier, Alto dell’Ortles, presents a unique opportunity to obtain the first paleoenvironmental record from an ice core in this area. To study the suitability of this glacier as a drilling site, in 2009 we performed the first preliminary study of its glaciological characteristics at ˜3830 m a.s.l. The maximum thickness is ˜75 m, and lamination of the exposed ice layers is excellent down to bedrock. Firn and ice lenses were observed in a 10 m shallow core, and the firn/ice transition was below ˜24m. The seasonal chemical signal is clearly preserved only within the uppermost 2008 and 2009 snow/firn. A simple mass-balance model, the incipient ‘smoothing’ of the chemical record, and the observed ice lenses provide evidence that melting, infiltration and refreezing cycles occurred within the firn layers formed before 2008. Nevertheless, the mass balance of the upper part of Alto dell’Ortles was positive (˜800mma_1) during the last few years. We suggest that an environmental history is likely to be well preserved only within the ice layers formed before ˜1980, when summer air temperature was ˜2°C colder than today in this area. Clearly the continued warming trend predicted to occur over the next few decades, and the consequent increase in frequency and/or intensity of infiltration processes, will endanger the preservation of the glacial archive conserved in the deep ice layers of Ortles mountain.
Leibovich et al.'s theory neither accounts for the deep connections between whole numbers and other classes of number nor provides a potential mechanism for mapping continuous magnitudes to symbolic numbers. We argue that focusing on non-symbolic ratio processing abilities can furnish a more expansive account of numerical cognition that remedies these shortcomings.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Counts by Shane and Wirtanen detected a cloud of Galaxies - the Hercules Supercluster - centered at about α = 16h02m; δ = 17°00m. It is unclear whether there is a physical connection with another cloud located to the south for which no radial velocities are yet available and with the system A2197/A2199 located to the north. the latter is at slightly smaller redshift (velocities between 8000–11,000 km sec−1) than the Hercules cluster.
A 480 year record of the oxygen-isotope ratios, dust content, chemical species and net accumulation from ice cores drilled in 1989 90 on Dyer Plateau in the Antarctic Peninsula is presented. The continuous analyses of small (sub-annual) samples reveal well-preserved annual variations in both sulfate content and δ18O, thus allowing an excellent time-scale to be established.
This history reveals a recent pronounced warming in which the last two decades have been among the warmest in the last five centuries. Furthermore, unlike in East Antarctica, on Dyer Plateau conditions appear to have been fairly normal from AD 1500 to 1850 with cooler conditions from 1850 to 1930 and a warming trend dominating since 1930. Reconstructed annual layer thicknesses suggest an increase in net accumulation beginning early in the 19th century and continuing to the present. This intuitive conflict between increasing net accumulation and depleted δ18O (cooler climate) in the 19th century appears widespread in the peninsula region and challenges our understanding of the physical relationships among moisture sources, air temperatures and snow accumulation. The complex meteorological regime in the Antarctic Peninsula region complicates meaningful interpretation of proxy indicators and results in a strong imprint of local high-frequency processes upon the larger-scale climate picture.
Ice cores recently drilled to bedrock on the col of Huascarán (9°06′ S, 77°36′ W, 6047 m a.s.l.) offer the potential for a long, annually resolved climate record from tropical South America. This paper presents the record from 1950 to 1993 preserved in microparticle and nitrate concentrations and oxygen-isotopic ratios. Average monthly temperatures from a satellite-linked automatic weather station installed on nearby Hualcán in 1991 are presented. Annual temperatures from local high-altitude meteorological stations, along with the annual Huascarán isotopic record, show a warming trend over the last two decades. The marked preservation of the climate record in oxygen-isotopic ratios on Huascarán is absent at lower-elevation sites, which have been affected by the recent warming. This paper demonstrates the establishment of a time-scale for the Huascarán core, the preservation of the climatic signal with depth and the linkage of the ice-core “proxy-climate” parameters with measured climatic variations.
This article aims to give a comprehensive view of the distribution patterns for natural and artifical radionuclides over Antarctica. We focus this study on 137Cs, 210Pb and tritium. Applying various statistical methods, we show that the deposition of radionuclides reveals a structured distribution, although local drift redistribution and the snow-surface roughness disturb the representativeness of samples and produce a “noise” effect. The deposition of 137Cs over Antarctica (885 TBq) represents 0.09% of the total deposition of this radionuclide in the world and the correlation between 137Cs fluxes and accumulation shows two sub-populations. For the stations with a mean annual temperature above −21° C, a strong correlation is found, whereas the correlation is lower for locations with temperatures below −21° C. The flux of 210Pb varies from 0.9 to 8.2 Bq m −1 a−1 with values strongly correlated with the accumulation and a well-defined spatial structure. The same mechanism governs the deposition of artificial and natural tritium but it clearly differs from that of other radionuclides associated with particulate material. The “dry fall-out” accounts for between 60 and 80% of the total fall-out for the artificial radionuclides and around 40% for 210Pb. This difference is likely related to a tropospheric fraction for 210Pb. Despite its isolated location, the radioactive fall-out of artificial long-lived radionuclides over Antarctica has been ten times greater than for natural radionuclides.