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Determination of antibodies against ToRCH antigens at the beginning of pregnancy allows assessment of both the maternal immune status and the risks to an adverse pregnancy outcome. Age-standardised seroprevalences were determined in sera from 1009 women of childbearing age residing in Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Turkey or China using a multiparametric immunoblot containing antigen substrates for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1, HSV-2), Bordetella pertussis, Chlamydia trachomatis, parvovirus B19, Treponema pallidum and varicella zoster virus (VZV). Seroprevalences for antibodies against HSV-1 were >90% in samples from Brazil and Turkey, whereas the other four countries showed lower mean age-adjusted seroprevalences (range: 62.5–87.9%). Samples from Brazilian women showed elevated seroprevalences of antibodies against HSV-2 (40.1%), C. trachomatis (46.8%) and B. pertussis (56.6%) compared to the other five countries. Seroprevalences of anti-T. gondii antibodies (0.5%) and anti-parvovirus B19 antibodies (7.5%) were low in samples from Chinese women, compared to the other five countries. Samples from German women revealed a low age-standardised seroprevalence of anti-CMV antibodies (28.8%) compared to the other five countries. These global differences in immune status of women in childbearing age advocate country-specific prophylaxis strategies to avoid infection with ToRCH pathogens.
Previous research indicates that prisoners have severe psychological distress. To assess their distress level and potential need for treatment, the present study compared the subjective psychological distress of long- and short-term prisoners with that of psychiatric and forensic patients.
Long- (n = 98) and short-term prisoners (n = 94) and forensic (n = 102) and psychiatric (n = 199) patients completed the German versions of the Symptom Checklist Revised (SCL-90-R) and Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI).
In general, long-term prisoners showed the same level of mental distress as psychiatric patients and more than that reported by forensic patients. Short-term prisoners reported the least level of distress. Long- but not short-term prisoners showed clinically significant results on the scales for depression, paranoid ideation, and psychosis.
The improvements in psychiatric treatment for inmates demanded by many stakeholders need to differentiate between long- and short-term prisoners. Because depression seems to cause the most psychological distress among inmates, suicide prevention seems to be an important issue in prisons.
Stress and its associations with psychopathic traits have been widely studied. However, recent research suggests the distinction between psychological and physiological symptoms of subclinical stress experience. Possible differences regarding these two dimensions of stress and their relations to psychopathy factors have not been investigated yet. Hence, this is the first study on psychological and physiological subclinical stress levels of forensic patients with psychopathic personality traits. We expected to find distinct associations between stress dimensions and psychopathy factors. Therefore, we examined 164 forensic patients with a substance use disorder regarding their psychopathy scores and current stress levels, using the Psychopathy Personality Inventory (PPI) and the Subclinical Stress Questionnaire (SSQ). Our results indicate that only the experience of psychological stress and not physiological stress is predicted by psychopathy. More precisely, the psychopathy factor “Impulsive Antisociality” is a positive predictor of subclinical psychological stress symptoms, while the factor “Fearless Dominance” is a negative predictor. Thereby, gender has an influence as females are more likely to experience psychological and physiological stress. In conclusion, these results imply that forensic patients scoring high on the psychopathy factor “Impulsive Antisociality” experience high levels of psychological distress. This is in line with previous findings describing Impulsive Antisociality as a generally maladaptive trait manifesting in low adaptability and insufficient coping strategies.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Across psychopathologies, trauma-exposed individuals suffer from difficulties in inhibiting emotions and regulating attention. In trauma-exposed individuals without psychopathology, only subtle alterations of neural activity involved in regulating emotions have been reported. It remains unclear how these neural systems react to demanding environments, when acute (non-traumatic but ordinary) stress serves to perturbate the system. Moreover, associations with subthreshold clinical symptoms are poorly understood.
The present fMRI study investigated response inhibition of emotional faces before and after psychosocial stress situations. Specifically, it compared 25 women (mean age 31.5 ± 9.7 years) who had suffered severe early life trauma but who did not have a history of or current psychiatric disorder, with 25 age- and education-matched trauma-naïve women.
Under stress, response inhibition related to fearful faces was reduced in both groups. Compared to controls, trauma-exposed women showed decreased left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) activation under stress when inhibiting responses to fearful faces, while activation of the right anterior insula was slightly increased. Also, groups differed in brain–behaviour correlations. Whereas stress-induced false alarm rates on fearful stimuli negatively correlated with stress-induced IFG signal in controls, in trauma-exposed participants, they positively correlated with stress-induced insula activation.
Neural facilitation of emotion inhibition during stress appears to be altered in trauma-exposed women, even without a history of or current psychopathology. Decreased activation of the IFG in concert with heightened bottom-up salience of fear related cues may increase vulnerability to stress-related diseases.
Study of the composition from diverse sources of the Universe helps to us to understand their evolution. Molecular spectroscopy provides detailed information of the observed objects. We present a small study of the starburst NGC 253 with ALMA at 1mm. We detect the prebiotic molecules NH2CHO, and CNCHO. We obtain the integrated intensity maps and abundances of HNCO, CH3OH, H3O+ and CH3C2H. We propose the use of Artificial Intelligence for big data to find prebiotic molecules in galaxies.
An excellent laboratory for studying large scale magnetic fields is the grand design face-on spiral galaxy M51. Due to wavelength-dependent Faraday depolarization, linearly polarized synchrotron emission at different radio frequencies gives a picture of the galaxy at different depths: Observations at L-band (1 – 2 GHz) probe the halo region while at C- and X-band (4 – 8 GHz) the linearly polarized emission probe the disk region of M51. We present new observations of M51 using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) at S-band (2 – 4 GHz), where previously no polarization observations existed, to shed new light on the transition region between the disk and the halo. We discuss a model of the depolarization of synchrotron radiation in a multilayer magneto-ionic medium and compare the model predictions to the multi-frequency polarization data of M51 between 1 – 8 GHz. The new S-band data are essential to distinguish between different models. Our study shows that the initial model parameters, i.e. the total regular and turbulent magnetic field strengths in the disk and halo of M51, need to be adjusted to successfully fit the models to the data.
Objectives: Patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) demonstrate deficits in cross-cortical feature binding distinct from age-related changes in selective attention. This may have consequences for driving performance given its demands on multisensory integration. We examined the relationship of visuospatial search and binding to driving in patients with early AD and elderly controls (EC). Methods: Participants (42 AD; 37 EC) completed search tasks requiring either luminance-motion (L-M) or color-motion (C-M) binding, analogs of within and across visual processing stream binding, respectively. Standardized road test (RIRT) and naturalistic driving data (CDAS) were collected alongside clinical screening measures. Results: Patients performed worse than controls on most cognitive and driving indices. Visual search and clinical measures were differentially related to driving behavior across groups. L-M search and Trail Making Test (TMT-B) were associated with RIRT performance in controls, while C-M binding, TMT-B errors, and Clock Drawing correlated with CDAS performance in patients. After controlling for demographic and clinical predictors, L-M reaction time significantly predicted RIRT performance in controls. In patients, C-M binding made significant contributions to CDAS above and beyond demographic and clinical predictors. RIRT and C-M binding measures accounted for 51% of variance in CDAS performance in patients. Conclusions: Whereas selective attention is associated with driving behavior in EC, cross-cortical binding appears most sensitive to driving in AD. This latter relationship may emerge only in naturalistic settings, which better reflect patients’ driving behavior. Visual integration may offer distinct insights into driving behavior, and thus has important implications for assessing driving competency in early AD. (JINS, 2018, 24, 486–497)
We infer the absolute time dependence of kinematic gas temperature along a proposed orbit of molecular clouds in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) of the Galactic Center (GC). Ammonia gas temperature maps are one of the results of the “Survey of Water and Ammonia in the Galactic Center” (SWAG, PI: J. Ott); the dynamical model of molecular clouds in the CMZ was taken from Kruijssen et al. (2015). We find that gas temperatures increase as a function of time in both regimes before and after the cloud passes pericenter on its orbit in the GC potential. This is consistent with the recent proposal that pericenter passage triggers gravitational collapse. Other investigated quantities (line width, column density, opacity) show no strong sign of time dependence but are likely dominated by cloud-to-cloud variations.
We present NH3 and H64α+H63α VLA observations of the Radio Arc region, including the M0.20 – 0.033 and G0.10 – 0.08 molecular clouds. These observations suggest the two velocity components of M0.20 – 0.033 are physically connected in the south. Additional ATCA observations suggest this connection is due to an expanding shell in the molecular gas, with the centroid located near the Quintuplet cluster. The G0.10 – 0.08 molecular cloud has little radio continuum, strong molecular emission, and abundant CH3OH masers, similar to a nearby molecular cloud with no star formation: M0.25+0.01. These features detected in G0.10 – 0.08 suggest dense molecular gas with no signs of current star formation.
We study the evolution of G2 in a Compact Source Scenario, where G2 is the outflow from a low-mass central star moving on the observed orbit. This is done through 3D AMR simulations of the hydrodynamic interaction of G2 with the surrounding hot accretion flow. A comparison with observations is done by means of mock position-velocity (PV) diagrams. We found that a massive (Ṁw = 5× 10−7M⊙ yr−1) and slow (vw = 50 km s−1) outflow can reproduce G2’s properties. A faster outflow (vw = 400 km s−1) might also be able to explain the material that seems to follow G2 on the same orbit.
SWAG (“Survey of Water and Ammonia in the Galactic Center”) is a multi-line interferometric survey toward the Center of the Milky Way conducted with the Australia Telescope Compact Array. The survey region spans the entire ~400 pc Central Molecular Zone and comprises ~42 spectral lines at pc spatial and sub-km/s spectral resolution. In addition, we deeply map continuum intensity, spectral index, and polarization at the frequencies where synchrotron, free-free, and thermal dust sources emit. The observed spectral lines include many transitions of ammonia, which we use to construct maps of molecular gas temperature, opacity and gas formation temperature (see poster by Nico Krieger et al., this volume). Water masers pinpoint the sites of active star formation and other lines are good tracers for density, radiation field, shocks, and ionization. This extremely rich survey forms a perfect basis to construct maps of the physical parameters of the gas in this extreme environment.
With the help of 3D AMR hydrodynamical simulations we aim at understanding G2’s nature, recent evolution and fate in the coming years. By exploring the possible parameter space of the diffuse cloud scenario, we find that a starting point within the disc of young stars is favoured by the observations, which may hint at G2 being the result of stellar wind interactions.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have long been considered potential endophenotypes for schizophrenia. However, few studies have investigated the heritability and familiality of NSS. The present study examined the heritability and familiality of NSS in healthy twins and patient–relative pairs.
The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory was administered to 267 pairs of monozygotic twins, 124 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 75 pairs of patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic first-degree relatives.
NSS were found to have moderate but significant heritability in the healthy twin sample. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia correlated closely with their first-degree relatives on NSS.
Taken together, the findings provide evidence on the heritability and familiality of NSS in the Han Chinese population.
In the past decade, various astrobiological studies on different lichen species investigated the impairment of viability and photosynthetic activity by exposure to simulated or real space parameters (as vacuum, polychromatic ultraviolet (UV)-radiation and monochromatic UVC) and consistently found high post-exposure viability as well as low rates of photosynthetic impairment (de Vera et al. 2003, 2004a; 2004b; de la Torre et al. 2010; Onofri et al. 2012; Sánchez et al. 2012, 2014; Brandt et al. 2014). To achieve a better understanding of the basic mechanisms of resistance, the present study subdued isolated and metabolically active photobionts of two astrobiologically relevant lichens to UVC254 nm, examined its effect on photosynthetic activity by chlorophyll a fluorescence and characterized the UVC-induced damages by quantum yield reduction and measurements of non-photochemical quenching. The results indicate a strong impairment of photosynthetic activity, photoprotective mechanisms and overall photobiont vitality when being irradiated in the isolated and metabolically active state. In conclusion, the present study stresses the higher susceptibility of photobionts towards extreme environmental conditions as UVC-exposure, a stressor that does not occur on the Earth. By comparison with previous studies, the present results highlight the importance of protective mechanisms in lichens, such as morphological–anatomical traits (Meeßen et al. 2013), secondary lichen compounds (Meeßen et al. 2014) and the symbiont's pivotal ability to pass into anhydrobiosis when desiccating.
Antidepressants reduce depressive symptoms in patients with coronary heart disease, but they may be associated with increased mortality. This study aimed to examine whether the use of tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) is associated with mortality in patients with coronary heart disease, and to determine whether this association is mediated by autonomic function.
A total of 956 patients with coronary heart disease were followed for a mean duration of 7.2 years. Autonomic function was assessed as heart rate variability, and plasma and 24-h urinary norepinephrine.
Of 956 patients, 44 (4.6%) used TCA, 89 (9.3%) used SSRI, and 823 (86.1%) did not use antidepressants. At baseline, TCA users exhibited lower heart rate variability and higher norepinephrine levels compared with SSRI users and antidepressant non-users. At the end of the observational period, 52.3% of the TCA users had died compared with 38.2% in the SSRI group and 37.3% in the control group. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for TCA use compared with non-use was 1.74 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.12–2.69, p = 0.01]. Further adjustment for measures of autonomic function reduced the association between TCA use and mortality (HR = 1.27, 95% CI 0.67–2.43, p = 0.47). SSRI use was not associated with mortality (HR = 1.15, 95% CI 0.81–1.64, p = 0.44).
The use of TCA was associated with increased mortality. This association was at least partially mediated by differences in autonomic function. Our findings suggest that TCA should be avoided in patients with coronary heart disease.
In 2011, we discovered a compact gas cloud (“G2”) with roughly three Earth masses that is falling on a near-radial orbit toward the massive black hole in the Galactic center. The orbit is well constrained and pericenter passage is predicted for early 2014. Our data beautifully show that G2 gets tidally sheared apart due to the massive black hole's force. During the next months, we expect that in addition to the tidal effects, hydrodynamics get important, when G2 collides with the hot ambient gas around Sgr A*. Simulations show that ultimately, the cloud's material might fall into the massive black hole. Predictions for the accretion rate and luminosity evolution, however, are very difficult due to the many unknowns. Nevertheless, this might be a unique opportunity in the next years to observe how gas feeds a massive black hole in a galactic nucleus.
The origin of the dense gas cloud “G2” discovered in the Galactic center (Gillessen et al. 2012) is still a debated puzzle. G2 might be a diffuse cloud or the result of an outflow from an invisible star embedded in it. We present here detailed simulations of the evolution of winds on G2's orbit. We find that the hydrodynamic interaction with the hot atmosphere present in the Galactic center and the extreme gravitational field of the supermassive black hole must be taken into account when modeling such a source scenario. We also find that in this scenario most of the Brγ luminosity is expected to come from the highly filamentary densest shocked wind material. G2's observational properties can be used to constrain the properties of the outflow and our best model has a mass outflow rate of Ṁw=8.8 × 10−8 M⊙ yr−1 and a wind velocity of vw = 50 km s−1. These values are compatible with those of a young TTauri star wind, as already suggested by Scoville & Burkert (2013).
We present a radio survey of molecules in a sample of Galactic center molecular clouds, including M0.25 + 0.01, the clouds near Sgr A, and Sgr B2. The molecules detected are primarily NH3 and HC3N; in Sgr B2-N we also detect non-metastable NH3, vibrationally-excited HC3N, torsionally-excited CH3OH, and numerous isotopologues of these species. 36 GHz Class I CH3OH masers are ubiquitous in these fields, and in several cases are associated with new NH3 (3,3) maser candidates. We also find that NH3 and HC3N are depleted or absent toward several of the highest dust column density peaks identified in submillimeter observations, which are associated with water masers and are thus likely in the early stages of star formation.
Although livestock production accounts for a sizeable share of global greenhouse gas emissions, numerous technical options have been identified to mitigate these emissions. In this review, a subset of these options, which have proven to be effective, are discussed. These include measures to reduce CH4 emissions from enteric fermentation by ruminants, the largest single emission source from the global livestock sector, and for reducing CH4 and N2O emissions from manure. A unique feature of this review is the high level of attention given to interactions between mitigation options and productivity. Among the feed supplement options for lowering enteric emissions, dietary lipids, nitrates and ionophores are identified as the most effective. Forage quality, feed processing and precision feeding have the best prospects among the various available feed and feed management measures. With regard to manure, dietary measures that reduce the amount of N excreted (e.g. better matching of dietary protein to animal needs), shift N excretion from urine to faeces (e.g. tannin inclusion at low levels) and reduce the amount of fermentable organic matter excreted are recommended. Among the many ‘end-of-pipe’ measures available for manure management, approaches that capture and/or process CH4 emissions during storage (e.g. anaerobic digestion, biofiltration, composting), as well as subsurface injection of manure, are among the most encouraging options flagged in this section of the review. The importance of a multiple gas perspective is critical when assessing mitigation potentials, because most of the options reviewed show strong interactions among sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The paper reviews current knowledge on potential pollution swapping, whereby the reduction of one GHG or emission source leads to unintended increases in another.