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Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with reduced life expectancy in patients with affective disorders, however, whether MetS also plays a role before the onset of affective disorder is unknown. We aimed to investigate whether MetS, inflammatory markers or oxidative stress act as risk factors for affective disorders, and whether MetS is associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress.
We conducted a high-risk study including 204 monozygotic (MZ) twins with unipolar or bipolar disorder in remission or partial remission (affected), their unaffected co-twins (high-risk) and twins with no personal or family history of affective disorder (low-risk). Metabolic Syndrome was ascertained according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Inflammatory markers and markers of oxidative stress were analyzed from fasting blood and urine samples, respectively.
The affected and the high-risk group had a significantly higher prevalence of MetS compared to the low-risk group (20% v. 15% v. 2.5%, p = 0.0006), even after adjusting for sex, age, smoking and alcohol consumption. No differences in inflammatory and oxidative markers were seen between the three groups. Further, MetS was associated with alterations in inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress was modestly correlated with inflammation.
Metabolic syndrome is associated with low-grade inflammation and may act as a risk factor and a trait marker for affective disorders. If confirmed in longitudinal studies, this suggests the importance of early intervention and preventive approaches targeted towards unhealthy lifestyle factors that may contribute to later psychopathology.
We present the second data release (DR2) of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, using six optical filters: u, v, g, r, i, z. DR2 is the first release to go beyond the
) limit of the Shallow Survey released in the first data release (DR1), and includes portions of the sky at full survey depth that reach
mag in g and r filters. The DR2 photometry has a precision as measured by internal reproducibility of 1% in u and v, and 0.7% in griz. More than 21 000
have data in some filters (at either Shallow or Main Survey depth) and over 7 000
have deep Main Survey coverage in all six filters. Finally, about 18 000
have Main Survey data in i and z filters, albeit not yet at full depth. The release contains over 120 000 images, as well as catalogues with over 500 million unique astrophysical objects and nearly 5 billion individual detections. It also contains cross-matches with a range of external catalogues such as Gaia DR2, Pan-STARRS1 DR1, GALEX GUVcat, 2MASS, and AllWISE, as well as spectroscopic surveys such as 2MRS, GALAH, 6dFGS, and 2dFLenS.
We present the first data release of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Here, we present the survey strategy, data processing, catalogue construction, and database schema. The first data release dataset includes over 66 000 images from the Shallow Survey component, covering an area of 17 200 deg2 in all six SkyMapper passbands uvgriz, while the full area covered by any passband exceeds 20 000 deg2. The catalogues contain over 285 million unique astrophysical objects, complete to roughly 18 mag in all bands. We compare our griz point-source photometry with Pan-STARRS1 first data release and note an RMS scatter of 2%. The internal reproducibility of SkyMapper photometry is on the order of 1%. Astrometric precision is better than 0.2 arcsec based on comparison with Gaia first data release. We describe the end-user database, through which data are presented to the world community, and provide some illustrative science queries.
Fossil tree resins preserve a wide range of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms in microscopic fidelity. Fossil organisms preserved in an individual piece of amber lived at the same time in Earth history and mostly even in the same habitat, but they were not necessarily parts of the same interacting community. Here, we report on an in situ preserved corticolous community from a piece of Miocene Dominican amber which is composed of a lichen, a moss and three species of leafy liverworts. The lichen is assigned to the extant genus Phyllopsora (Ramalinaceae, Lecanoromycetes) and is described as P.magna Kaasalainen, Rikkinen & A. R. Schmidt sp. nov. The moss, Aptychellites fossilis Schäf.-Verw., Hedenäs, Ignatov & Heinrichs gen. & sp. nov., closely resembles the extant genus Aptychella of the family Pylaisiadelphaceae. The three leafy liverworts comprise the extinct Lejeuneaceae species Cheilolejeunea antiqua (Grolle) Ye & Zhu, 2010 and Lejeunea miocenica Heinrichs, Schäf.-Verw., M. A. M. Renner & G. E. Lee sp. nov. and the extinct Radulaceae species Radula intecta M. A. M. Renner, Schäf.-Verw. & Heinrichs sp. nov. The presence of five associated extinct cryptogam species, four of which belong to extant genera, further substantiates the notion of a stasis in morphotype diversity, but a certain turnover of species, in the Caribbean since the early Miocene.
The illegal killing and taking of wild birds remains a major threat on a global scale. However, there are few quantitative data on the species affected and countries involved. We quantified the scale and scope of this issue in Northern and Central Europe and the Caucasus, using a diverse range of data sources and incorporating expert knowledge. The issue was reported to be widespread across the region and affects almost all countries/territories assessed. We estimated that 0.4–2.1 million birds per year may be killed/taken illegally in the region. The highest estimate of illegal killing in the region was for Azerbaijan (0.2-1.0 million birds per year). Out of the 20 worst locations identified, 13 were located in the Caucasus. Birds were reported to be illegally killed/taken primarily for sport and food in the Caucasus and for sport and predator/pest control in both Northern and Central Europe. All of the 28 countries assessed are parties to the Bern Convention and 19 are also European Union Member States. There are specific initiatives under both these policy instruments to tackle this threat, yet our data showed that illegal killing and taking is still occurring and is not restricted to Mediterranean European countries. Markedly increased effort is required to ensure that existing legislation is adequately implemented and complied with/enforced on the ground. Our study also highlighted the paucity of data on illegal killing and taking of birds in the region. It is a priority, identified by relevant initiatives under the Bern Convention and the European Union, to implement systematic monitoring of illegal killing and taking and to collate robust data, allowing stakeholders to set priorities, track trends and monitor the effectiveness of responses.
Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia have exhibited declines in marine survival over the last 40 years. While the cause of these declines is unknown, multiple factors, acting cumulatively or synergistically, have likely contributed. To evaluate the potential contribution of a broad suite of drivers on salmon survival, we used qualitative network modelling (QNM). QNM is a conceptually based tool that uses networks with specified relationships between the variables. In a simulation framework, linkages are weighted and then the models are subjected to user-specified perturbations. Our network had 33 variables, including: environmental and oceanographic drivers (e.g., temperature and precipitation), primary production variables, food web components from zooplankton to predators and anthropogenic impacts (e.g., habitat loss and hatcheries). We included salmon traits (survival, abundance, residence time, fitness and size) as response variables. We invoked perturbations to each node and to suites of drivers and evaluated the responses of these variables. The model showed that anthropogenic impacts resulted in the strongest negative responses in salmon survival and abundance. Additionally, feedbacks through the food web were strong, beginning with primary production, suggesting that several food web variables may be important in mediating effects on salmon survival within the system. With this model, we were able to compare the relative influence of multiple drivers on salmon survival.
Perinatal and later postnatal adversities have been shown to adversely affect socioeconomic trajectories, while enhanced early cognitive abilities improve them. However, little is known about the combined influence of these exposures on social mobility. In this study, we examined if childhood IQ moderated the association between four different types of postnatal adversity (childhood socioeconomic disadvantage, childhood sexual abuse, lifetime psychiatric disorder, and trait neuroticism) and annual earnings at 30–35 years of age in a sample of 88 extremely low birth weight survivors. Our results suggested that higher childhood IQ was associated with greater personal income at age 30–35. Extremely low birth weight survivors who did not face psychological adversities and who had higher childhood IQ reported higher income in adulthood. However, those who faced psychological adversity and had higher childhood IQ generally reported lower income in adulthood. Our findings suggest that cognitive reserve may not protect preterm survivors against the complex web of risk factors affecting their later socioeconomic attainment.
Undergraduate research is rightfully viewed as a valuable educational endeavor, yet few students have the time or incentive to avail themselves of the opportunity. Those students who do obtain research experience typically do so during their senior year, at a time too late to best benefit from the experience. Finally, requiring students to conduct independent research can be unsustainable, drawing on limited resources and faculty time. We have developed a collaborative undergraduate research model that unites students as a research team in their standard courses. The method is applicable to all course levels, from introductory science courses to upper-division, discipline-specific courses. At the introductory level, students work on longer-term research problems that require regular monitoring, with each successive class adding to an iterative database. Students in upper-division classes design group projects that are completed in the course of the semester. The benefits of the model are numerous. Students develop a sense of ownership and stewardship; they obtain a thorough experience practicing science while their curriculum is applied to real problems; and students learn to work cooperatively. Results from many of these experiences are of a high enough quality to be presented at scientific meetings and eventually published. Projects often help students focus their discipline-based interests and spawn senior theses, and faculty members have a vehicle to vicariously increase their research productivity. Examples from an upper division paleobiology course are presented. Overall, this model has been highly successful, especially when employed at the upper-division levels.
The Conceptual Change Model (CCM) is an instructional approach that helps students learn by deliberately targeting their misconceptions. The teaching of such paleontological topics as evolution, phylogenetics, and functional morphology—three concept-rich units that are components of any paleontology course—is confounded by ingrained misunderstandings. The inquiry-based CCM was developed to take into account current theories of brain function. It fully supports the National Research Council's standards for inquiry and follows their recommendations for teaching science. The CCM instructional process allows students to: identify their own preconceptions, recognize the wide variety of beliefs held by classmates, confront their misconceptions, revise and reconstruct their ideas, apply their knowledge, and, finally, ask new questions for further study and growth. Implementation of the model provides a socially safe and challenging environment that engages students in ways not possible in traditional lecture settings. The CCM is employed in the upper-division course in paleontology at Florida Gulf Coast University. The principles of the paleontology course supports our marine science, environmental studies, and biology undergraduate programs. At the introduction of each topical unit, a short inquiry-based exercise is implemented both to reveal preconceptions carried by the students and to demonstrate the inconsistencies and problems with those conceptions. This then provides an opportunity to cleanly present the correct rendition of the concept.
While the trajectory of self-esteem from adolescence to adulthood varies from person to person, little research has examined how differences in early developmental processes might affect these pathways. This study examined how early motor skill development interacted with preterm birth status to predict self-esteem from adolescence through the early 30s. We addressed this using the oldest known, prospectively followed cohort of extremely low birth weight (<1000 g) survivors (N = 179) and normal birth weight controls (N = 145) in the world, born between 1977 and 1982. Motor skills were measured using a performance-based assessment at age 8 and a retrospective self-report, and self-esteem was reported during three follow-up periods (age 12–16, age 22–26, and age 29–36). We found that birth weight status moderated the association between early motor skills and self-esteem. Stable over three decades, the self-esteem of normal birth weight participants was sensitive to early motor skills such that those with poorer motor functioning manifested lower self-esteem, while those with better motor skills manifested higher self-esteem. Conversely, differences in motor skill development did not affect the self-esteem from adolescence to adulthood in individuals born at extremely low birth weight. Early motor skill development may exert differential effects on self-esteem, depending on whether one is born at term or prematurely.
Composite magnetoelectrics implemented as thin film heterostructures are discussed in view of their applicability as highly sensitive magnetic field sensors. Here, either PZT or AlN served as piezoelectric component. The magnetostrictive phase consisted of layer systems based on FeCo or (Fe90Co10)78Si12B10. All functional layers were deposited with thicknesses of a few micrometers on Si cantilever structures with typical lateral dimensions of 25 mm by 2.2 mm. Magnetoelectric coefficients as large as 6900 V/cm Oe and a limit of detection as low as 1 pT/(Hz)1/2 were measured. Currently, the best result demonstrates a detection limit of 500 fT/(Hz)1/2 at 958 Hz frequency using a set of two sensors for external noise suppression. A frequency conversion technique is proposed to broaden the applicability of resonant magnetoelectric sensors to a wider frequency range. Finally, the achieved sensor performance is evaluated with regard to typical magnetic field amplitudes in medical applications.
This paper presents the first major data release and survey description for the ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme. ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme is an ongoing supernova spectroscopy campaign utilising the Wide Field Spectrograph on the Australian National University 2.3-m telescope. The first and primary data release of this programme (AWSNAP-DR1) releases 357 spectra of 175 unique objects collected over 82 equivalent full nights of observing from 2012 July to 2015 August. These spectra have been made publicly available via the WISEREP supernova spectroscopy repository.
We analyse the ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme sample of Type Ia supernova spectra, including measurements of narrow sodium absorption features afforded by the high spectral resolution of the Wide Field Spectrograph instrument. In some cases, we were able to use the integral-field nature of the Wide Field Spectrograph instrument to measure the rotation velocity of the SN host galaxy near the SN location in order to obtain precision sodium absorption velocities. We also present an extensive time series of SN 2012dn, including a near-nebular spectrum which both confirms its ‘super-Chandrasekhar’ status and enables measurement of the sub-solar host metallicity at the SN site.
Radiocarbon dating of charcoal in soils is commonly used to reconstruct past environmental processes. Also microcharcoal that is chemically isolated from soil organic matter by high-energy UV photo-oxidation can be dated with 14C accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). We compared the 14C AMS ages of 13 pairs of hand-picked macrocharcoals and microcharcoal samples separated via the UV oxidation method; both charcoal fractions were taken from the same soil samples (prehistoric pit fillings). We found that in most cases, the microcharcoal fraction yielded older ages than the single macrocharcoal pieces, and that the differences between the ages are not systematic. A reason for these age differences might be that the microcharcoal fraction consists of more stable components than macrocharcoals and thus yields older ages. Dating of microcharcoal would give a mean age of charred organic matter in soil material and the ages of the more stable compounds. Thus, 14C data obtained from the microcharcoal fraction in soils is not comparable to macrocharcoal ages and should not be used to complement existing macrocharcoal data sets.
Extremely low birth weight (ELBW; <1000 g) infants have been exposed to stressful intrauterine and early postnatal environments. Even greater early adversity has been experienced by ELBW survivors who were also born small for gestational age (SGA; <10th percentile for GA) compared to those born appropriate for GA (AGA). ELBW survivors, particularly those born SGA, face increased risk for internalizing problems compared to normal BW (NBW; ≥2500 g) controls. Internalizing problems are related to allelic variations in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region gene (5-HTTLPR). We followed the oldest longitudinal cohort of ELBW survivors to adulthood. Participants provided buccal cells and reported on internalizing problems, using the Young Adult Self-Report when they were in their mid-20s (ELBW/SGA, N = 28; ELBW/AGA, N = 60; NBW, N = 81) and mid-30s (ELBW/SGA, N = 27; ELBW/AGA, N = 58; NBW, N = 76). The findings indicate that ELBW/SGAs carrying the 5-HTTLPR short allele reported increased internalizing problems, particularly depression, during the third and fourth decades of life. This is the first known report on gene–environment interactions predicting psychopathology among ELBW survivors. Our findings elucidate putative neurobiological pathways that underlie risk for psychopathology.
Several studies have investigated the potential benefits of marine n-3 PUFA in CVD, generally suggesting a lower risk of CHD. However, recent trials have questioned these results. This study investigated the association of fish consumption with dietary intake of marine n-3 PUFA with incident myocardial infarction (MI). In a Danish cohort study, 57 053 subjects between 50 and 64 years of age were enrolled from 1993 to 1997. From national registries, we identified all cases of incident MI. Dietary fish consumption was assessed using a semi-quantitative food questionnaire, including twenty-six questions regarding fish intake. In addition, we calculated the intake of total and individual marine n-3 PUFA. During a median follow-up of 17·0 years, we identified 3089 cases of incident MI. For both men and women, a high intake of fatty fish was inversely related to incident MI. Thus, when comparing the highest and the lowest quintile of fatty fish intake, we found a 12 % lower relative risk of MI in men (hazard ratio (HR) 0·88; 95 % CI 0·77, 1·00) and a 22 % lower relative risk in women (HR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·63, 0·96) after adjustments. For women, similar associations were observed for individual and total marine n-3 PUFA. In contrast, intake of lean fish was not associated with MI. In conclusion, incident MI was inversely related to a high intake of fatty fish, but not lean fish. However, test for trends across quintiles was not statistically significant. In general, this study supports the view that consumption of fatty fish may protect against MI.
We have used a sample of 263 Parkes half-Jansky flat-spectrum radio sources to measure the spatial correlation function of radio galaxies and radio-loud quasars on scales up to 1000 h−1 Mpc. We do not detect any clustering in the sample. If any undetected clustering is described by a power-law spatial correlation function [ξ(r) = (r/r0)−1·8], we can rule out clustering with scales r0 ≥ 50 h−1 Mpc at the 99·9% confidence level. We have also used the sample to test for the ‘possible’ large concentration of quasars in the direction of the microwave background dipole found by Shaver (1987). There is no evidence for such a concentration in our data and we show that the earlier result was probably biased by the use of non-uniform image classifications.