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The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
Cognitive deficits in depressed adults may reflect impaired decision-making. To investigate this possibility, we analyzed data from unmedicated adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and healthy controls as they performed a probabilistic reward task. The Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Model (HDDM) was used to quantify decision-making mechanisms recruited by the task, to determine if any such mechanism was disrupted by depression.
Data came from two samples (Study 1: 258 MDD, 36 controls; Study 2: 23 MDD, 25 controls). On each trial, participants indicated which of two similar stimuli was presented; correct identifications were rewarded. Quantile-probability plots and the HDDM quantified the impact of MDD on response times (RT), speed of evidence accumulation (drift rate), and the width of decision thresholds, among other parameters.
RTs were more positively skewed in depressed v. healthy adults, and the HDDM revealed that drift rates were reduced—and decision thresholds were wider—in the MDD groups. This pattern suggests that depressed adults accumulated the evidence needed to make decisions more slowly than controls did.
Depressed adults responded slower than controls in both studies, and poorer performance led the MDD group to receive fewer rewards than controls in Study 1. These results did not reflect a sensorimotor deficit but were instead due to sluggish evidence accumulation. Thus, slowed decision-making—not slowed perception or response execution—caused the performance deficit in MDD. If these results generalize to other tasks, they may help explain the broad cognitive deficits seen in depression.
Internal gravity wave energy contributes significantly to the energy budget of the oceans, affecting mixing and the thermohaline circulation. Hence it is important to determine the internal wave energy flux
is the pressure perturbation field and
is the velocity perturbation field. However, the pressure perturbation field is not directly accessible in laboratory or field observations. Previously, a Green’s function based method was developed to calculate the instantaneous energy flux field from a measured density perturbation field
, given a constant buoyancy frequency
. Here we present methods for computing the instantaneous energy flux
for an internal wave field with vertically varying background
, as in the oceans where
typically decreases by two orders of magnitude from the pycnocline to the deep ocean. Analytic methods are presented for computing
from a density perturbation field for
varying linearly with
. To generalize this approach to arbitrary
, we present a computational method for obtaining
. The results for
for the different cases agree well with results from direct numerical simulations of the Navier–Stokes equations. Our computational method can be applied to any density perturbation data using the MATLAB graphical user interface ‘EnergyFlux’.
A majority of transplanted organs come from donors after brain death (BD). Renal grafts from these donors have higher delayed graft function and lower long-term survival rates compared to living donors. We designed a novel porcine BD model to better delineate the incompletely understood inflammatory response to BD, hypothesizing that adhesion molecule pathways would be upregulated in BD.
Animals were anesthetized and instrumented with monitors and a balloon catheter, then randomized to control and BD groups. BD was induced by inflating the balloon catheter and animals were maintained for 6 hours. RNA was extracted from kidneys, and gene expression pattern was determined.
In total, 902 gene pairs were differently expressed between groups. Eleven selected pathways were upregulated after BD, including cell adhesion molecules.
These results should be confirmed in human organ donors. Treatment strategies should target involved pathways and lessen the negative effects of BD on transplantable organs.
The proopiomelanocortin (POMC) molecule has been implicated in models of self-injurious behavior (SIB) in neurodevelopmental disorders, but it has never been specifically sequenced in search of base specific polymorphisms. The empirical focus of this preliminary study was to sequence the POMC gene in 11 children (mean age = 41.8 months, range = 12–60 months; 73% male) with clinical concerns regarding global developmental delay, 5 with reported self-injury. Genomic DNA was extracted from blood samples, and the POMC gene was amplified by specific oligonucleotide primers via polymerase chain reaction. The amplified gene products were sequenced by the University of Minnesota Genomic Center, and the results were analyzed using Sequencher software. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), 1130 C>T, was found in the 3’ untranslated region (UTR) of two samples (one of whom had SIB). The program TargetScanHuman was used to predict the function of this mutation. Variant c.1130 C<T was predicted to be located in the target site of two microRNAs (miRNAs; hsa-mir-3715 and hsa-mir-1909), and the variant allele T may result in an increased minimum free energy for the two miRNAs. Further work with much larger samples is needed to continue the investigation of POMC’s possible function as a risk factor for the development of SIB in children with developmental delay/disability. The findings presented in this study show that the SNP found in the 3’ UTR could alter the binding of miRNAs to POMC 3'UTR, thus, increasing POMC expression and affecting several biological systems with high relevance to the biology of self-injury. There was a significant difference in β-endorphin levels between SIB (M = 169.25 pg/mL) and no SIB (M = 273.5 pg/mL, SD = 15.2) cases (p < .01). Intervention implications are tied to prior observations of individual differences among SIB responders and nonresponders to treatment with the opioid antagonist naltrexone. Stratifying individuals with SIB by POMC mutation status may provide a potential tailoring-like variable to guide the selection of who is more (or less) likely to respond to opiate antagonist treatment. Currently, opioid antagonistic treatment for SIB is empiric (trial and error).
In September 2016, the annual meeting of the International Union for Quaternary Research’s Loess and Pedostratigraphy Focus Group, traditionally referred to as a LoessFest, met in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA. The 2016 LoessFest focused on “thin” loess deposits and loess transportation surfaces. This LoessFest included 75 registered participants from 10 countries. Almost half of the participants were from outside the United States, and 18 of the participants were students. This review is the introduction to the special issue for Quaternary Research that originated from presentations and discussions at the 2016 LoessFest. This introduction highlights current understanding and ongoing work on loess in various regions of the world and provides brief summaries of some of the current approaches/strategies used to study loess deposits.
Abnormalities in reward learning in psychotic disorders have been proposed to be linked to dysregulated subcortical dopaminergic (DA) neurotransmission, which in turn is a suspected mechanism for predisposition to psychosis. We therefore explored the striatal dopaminergic modulation of reward processing and its behavioral correlates in individuals at familial risk for psychosis.
We performed a DA D2/3 receptor [18F]fallypride positron emission tomography scan during a probabilistic reinforcement learning task in 16 healthy first-degree relatives of patients with psychosis and 16 healthy volunteers, followed by a 6-day ecological momentary assessment study capturing reward-oriented behavior in the everyday life.
We detected significant reward-induced DA release in bilateral caudate, putamen and ventral striatum of both groups, with no group differences in its magnitude nor spatial extent. In both groups alike, greater extent of reward-induced DA release in all regions of interest was associated with better performance in the task, as well as in greater tendency to be engaged in reward-oriented behavior in the daily life.
These findings suggest intact striatal dopaminergic modulation of reinforcement learning and reward-oriented behavior in individuals with familial predisposition to psychosis. Furthermore, this study points towards a key link between striatal reward-related DA release and pursuit of ecologically relevant rewards.
Processing and measurement of 200 biomedical samples has provided an opportunity to better understand the characteristics of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) analysis of such samples. We have utilized established procedures (Vogel 1992) and developed new methods for handling various biological samples. We have included secondary standards of known isotope ratio for all assays. A method of determining maximum precision for each unknown sample value is also reported. The presented data are an update of the ongoing radiocarbon AMS biomedical program at Purdue University.
Flat radio spectrum quasars from the Parkes half-Jansky survey show an enormous range of optical to near-IR colors. The spectra of these quasars suggest that this diversity is probably due to variable amounts of dust somewhere along the line of sight.
We have measured proper motions for fast, oxygen-rich knots in Puppis A, which we demonstrate are probably uncontaminated ejecta from the progenitor star’s core. Typical fast knots show motions of 0.1-0.2 arcsec yr-1 diverging from a point 4’ northeast of the center of the radio shell. A model assuming constant expansion fits the data well and gives an age of 3700 ± 300 yr for Puppis A. We also present new spectra which indicate the presence of neon along with oxygen in the fast knots.
Little is known about predictors of recovery from bipolar depression.
We investigated affective instability (a pattern of frequent and large mood shifts over time) as a predictor of recovery from episodes of bipolar depression and as a moderator of response to psychosocial treatment for acute depression.
A total of 252 out-patients with DSM-IV bipolar I or II disorder and who were depressed enrolled in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) and were randomised to one of three types of intensive psychotherapy for depression (n = 141) or a brief psychoeducational intervention (n = 111). All analyses were by intention-to-treat.
Degree of instability of symptoms of depression and mania predicted a lower likelihood of recovery and longer time until recovery, independent of the concurrent effects of symptom severity. Affective instability did not moderate the effects of psychosocial treatment on recovery from depression.
Affective instability may be a clinically relevant characteristic that influences the course of bipolar depression.