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First-degree relatives of patients with psychotic disorder have higher levels of polygenic risk (PRS) for schizophrenia and higher levels of intermediate phenotypes.
We conducted, using two different samples for discovery (n = 336 controls and 649 siblings of patients with psychotic disorder) and replication (n = 1208 controls and 1106 siblings), an analysis of association between PRS on the one hand and psychopathological and cognitive intermediate phenotypes of schizophrenia on the other in a sample at average genetic risk (healthy controls) and a sample at higher than average risk (healthy siblings of patients). Two subthreshold psychosis phenotypes, as well as a standardised measure of cognitive ability, based on a short version of the WAIS-III short form, were used. In addition, a measure of jumping to conclusion bias (replication sample only) was tested for association with PRS.
In both discovery and replication sample, evidence for an association between PRS and subthreshold psychosis phenotypes was observed in the relatives of patients, whereas in the controls no association was observed. Jumping to conclusion bias was similarly only associated with PRS in the sibling group. Cognitive ability was weakly negatively and non-significantly associated with PRS in both the sibling and the control group.
The degree of endophenotypic expression of schizophrenia polygenic risk depends on having a sibling with psychotic disorder, suggestive of underlying gene–environment interaction. Cognitive biases may better index genetic risk of disorder than traditional measures of neurocognition, which instead may reflect the population distribution of cognitive ability impacting the prognosis of psychotic disorder.
In this work, a new concentric circles detection method for object detection is proposed. It has been applied to the images of a commercial radar, captured with a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) camera. The processing includes the detection of centres and concentric circles in the images and the identification of the radar scale. Several methods found in the literature have been applied and compared with our novel proposal for multiple concentric circles detection, called “Propagation Method based on Circular Regression”. This methodology has been validated with real radar images, proving its efficiency in obtaining the distance of any object to a marine vessel, with high accuracy and low computational cost, in real time. This system can not only be applied to most existing radars in the market by adjusting the parameters of each model but our proposal for concentric circle detection can be also applied to other sensing applications.
The aim of this research communication was to identify chromosome regions and genes that could be related to milk yield (MY), milk fat (%F) and protein percentage (%P) in Brazilian buffalo cows using information from genotyped and non-genotyped animals. We used the 90 K Axiom® Buffalo Genotyping array. A repeatability model was used. An iterative process was performed to calculate the weights of markers as a function of the squared effects of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) and allele frequencies. The 10 SNPs with the largest effects for MY, %F and %P were studied and they explained 7·48, 9·94 and 6·56% of the genetic variance, respectively. These regions harbor genes with biological functions that could be related to the traits analyzed. The identification of such regions and genes will contribute to a better understanding of their influence on milk production and milk quality traits of buffaloes.
The value of the nosological distinction between non-affective and affective psychosis has frequently been challenged. We aimed to investigate the transdiagnostic dimensional structure and associated characteristics of psychopathology at First Episode Psychosis (FEP). Regardless of diagnostic categories, we expected that positive symptoms occurred more frequently in ethnic minority groups and in more densely populated environments, and that negative symptoms were associated with indices of neurodevelopmental impairment.
This study included 2182 FEP individuals recruited across six countries, as part of the EUropean network of national schizophrenia networks studying Gene–Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) study. Symptom ratings were analysed using multidimensional item response modelling in Mplus to estimate five theory-based models of psychosis. We used multiple regression models to examine demographic and context factors associated with symptom dimensions.
A bifactor model, composed of one general factor and five specific dimensions of positive, negative, disorganization, manic and depressive symptoms, best-represented associations among ratings of psychotic symptoms. Positive symptoms were more common in ethnic minority groups. Urbanicity was associated with a higher score on the general factor. Men presented with more negative and less depressive symptoms than women. Early age-at-first-contact with psychiatric services was associated with higher scores on negative, disorganized, and manic symptom dimensions.
Our results suggest that the bifactor model of psychopathology holds across diagnostic categories of non-affective and affective psychosis at FEP, and demographic and context determinants map onto general and specific symptom dimensions. These findings have implications for tailoring symptom-specific treatments and inform research into the mood-psychosis spectrum.
Diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) is a leading cause of infectious diarrhoea worldwide. In recent years, Escherichia albertii has also been implicated as a cause of human enteric diseases. This study describes the occurrence of E. coli pathotypes and serotypes associated with enteric illness and haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) isolated in Brazil from 2011 to 2016. Pathotypes isolated included enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). PCR of stool enrichments for DEC pathotypes was employed, and E. albertii was also sought. O:H serotyping was performed on all DEC isolates. A total of 683 DEC and 10 E. albertii strains were isolated from 5047 clinical samples. The frequencies of DEC pathotypes were 52.6% (359/683) for EPEC, 32.5% for EAEC, 6.3% for ETEC, 4.4% for EIEC and 4.2% for STEC. DEC strains occurred in patients from 3 months to 96 years old, but EPEC, EAEC and STEC were most prevalent among children. Both typical and atypical isolates of EPEC and EAEC were recovered and presented great serotype heterogeneity. HUS cases were only associated with STEC serotype O157:H7. Two E. albertii isolates belonged to serogroup O113 and one had the stx2f gene. The higher prevalence of atypical EPEC in relation to EAEC in community-acquired diarrhoea in Brazil suggests a shift in the trend of DEC pathotypes circulation as previously EAEC predominated. This is the first report of E. albertii isolation from active surveillance. These results highlight the need of continuing DEC and E. albertii surveillance, as a mean to detect changes in the pattern of pathotypes and serotypes circulation and provide useful information for intervention and control strategies.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.
Direct polycondensation of L-lactic acid with a comonomer allows tailoring the properties of the product from the very first step. The viscous L-lactic acid co-oligomers with star-shaped architectures obtained were modified with three different acrylate monomers. Regardless the functionalization agent, UV curing was fast and all materials were cell compatible and promoted cell adhesion. The physical properties of the three star-shaped films exhibited a consistent trend as swelling capacity, hydrolytic instability, and gel content decreased simultaneously. A higher network density increased crosslinking degree and gel content among the films with an isocyanate group. The methacrylic end group functionalized material, lowest molecular weight, consistently exhibited the higher hydrolytic instability. Comparison of physical properties of these films with the corresponding linear materials reported previously confirmed the influence of precursor molecular architecture on the final material. The methodology developed herein is prone to scale-up and lead to the industrial production of new bioadhesives.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify whether the three main primary progressive aphasia (PPA) variants would show differential profiles on measures of visuospatial cognition. We hypothesized that the logopenic variant would have the most difficulty across tasks requiring visuospatial and visual memory abilities. Methods: PPA patients (n=156), diagnosed using current criteria, and controls were tested on a battery of tests tapping different aspects of visuospatial cognition. We compared the groups on an overall visuospatial factor; construction, immediate recall, delayed recall, and executive functioning composites; and on individual tests. Cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons were made, adjusted for disease severity, age, and education. Results: The logopenic variant had significantly lower scores on the visuospatial factor and the most impaired scores on all composites. The nonfluent variant had significant difficulty on all visuospatial composites except the delayed recall, which differentiated them from the logopenic variant. In contrast, the semantic variants performed poorly only on delayed recall of visual information. The logopenic and nonfluent variants showed decline in figure copying performance over time, whereas in the semantic variant, this skill was remarkably preserved. Conclusions: This extensive examination of performance on visuospatial tasks in the PPA variants solidifies some previous findings, for example, delayed recall of visual stimuli adds value in differential diagnosis between logopenic variant PPA and nonfluent variant PPA variants, and illuminates the possibility of common mechanisms that underlie both linguistic and non-linguistic deficits in the variants. Furthermore, this is the first study that has investigated visuospatial functioning over time in the PPA variants. (JINS, 2018, 24, 259–268)
This study aims to determine whether it is possible to modify executive function in stressed individuals by means of cognitive-behavioral therapy for stress management. Thirty-one people with high levels of perceived stress were recruited into the study (treatment group = 18; wait-list group = 13). The treatment group received 14 weeks of stress management program. Psychological and executive function variables were evaluated in both groups pre and post-intervention. The treatment group showed improved psychological variables of perceived stress (t = 5.492; p = .001), vulnerability to stress (t = 4.061; p = .001) and superstitious thinking (t = 2.961; p = .009). Likewise, the results showed statistically significant differences in personality variables related to executive function, positive urgency (t = 3.585; p = .002) and sensitivity to reward (t = –2.201; p = .042), which improved after the therapy. These variables showed a moderate to high effect size (oscillates between 1.30 for perceived stress and .566 for sensitivity to reward). The cognitive-behavioral therapy for stress management may be an appropriate strategy for improving personality construct components related to executive function, however effects of the therapy are not showed on performance on the tests of executive function applied, as presented studies previous.
The MentDis_ICF65+ Project is an epidemiological study of mental disorders in people 65 to 85 years old in several European cities, including Madrid. Its aim is to determine the lifetime, 12-month, and 1-month prevalence of the main mental disorders in the elderly. The relationship of age and sex with each mental disorder was examined. The sample was collected through random sampling of people over 65 in Madrid, and consisted of 555 persons between 65 and 85 years old. The CIDI65+ was administered. Estimates of prevalence and odds ratios (OR) were made using sample frequencies and according to sex and age. Excluding nicotine dependence, 40.12% of the sample was found to have suffered a mental disorder at some time in their lives, 29.89% in the past year, and 17.70% were currently suffering from a mental disorder. The disorders with the highest prevalence rates were anxiety disorders, alcohol-related disorders, and mood disorders. Elderly women had a higher risk of suffering an anxiety disorder (OR men/women 0.42; CI 0.25–0.68) with a significance level of p < .001, while elderly men were more affected by any substance-related disorder (OR men/women 3.96; CI 1.62–11.07) with a significance level of p < .001. Each disorder’s prevalence decreased with age (OR 65–74/75–85, 1.85; CI 1.25–2.75) with a significance level of p < .01. Results show higher prevalence rates than previous studies reported. The main implications of this study, and the need to adapt mental health services for people over 65, are highlighted.
Swordfish (Xiphias gladius) is heavily exploited in the Atlantic Ocean by several European fleets and age and growth studies are essential for the accomplishment of the stock assessments carried out by ICCAT. The present study aims to validate the periodicity of growth increments on swordfish fin spines and provide first estimates of the growth parameters of South Atlantic swordfish. A total of 502 (231 males and 271 females) spine samples were collected from swordfish specimens onboard commercial longline vessels, from 2006 to 2009. Estimated ages ranged between 0 and 12 years, with age groups 3 and 4 dominating the samples. Marginal increment analysis suggested that growth bands were deposited annually in mid-spring. Fitted standard von Bertalanffy growth parameters (sexes combined) were L∞ = 317.133, k = 0.085 and t0 = −2.488. Minor, but insignificant, growth differences were observed between sexes.
With the combination of worldwide landscape changes and the uncertainty about the impact on species abundance and distribution, the value of spatio-temporal modelling tools is increasingly obvious. The Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax breeds on low-intensity arable cultivation and pastoral land and is currently threatened by diverse landscape modifications. The aim of this research was to predict Little Bustard population trends in the face of realistic scenarios of land use and infrastructure changes, applying a recently developed spatially explicit framework, based on the stochastic dynamic methodology (StDM). The application of this approach provided some basis to analyse the responses of breeding populations’ spatial distribution and abundance to the scenarios implemented. Since some of these scenarios represent local and/or regional risks to the viability of Little Bustard breeding populations, the results obtained demonstrate the potential of the proposed framework for landscape planning in the scope of the conservation of this threatened species. This approach also provides a promising baseline to support ecological risk assessments for other species, derived from ecological models with increased predictive power and intuitiveness to decision makers and environmental managers.
This paper intends to analyze the microstructure of concrete with recycled aggregates (RA) from construction and demolition waste from various Portuguese recycling plants. To that effect, several scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses were performed. Various concrete mixes were evaluated in order to analyze the influence of the RA’s collection point and consequently of their composition on the mixes’ characteristics. Afterward all the mixes were subjected to the capillary water absorption test in order to quantitatively evaluate their porosity. Results from the SEM/EDS analysis were compared with those from capillary water absorption test. The SEM/EDS analysis showed that the bond capacity of aggregates to the new cement paste is greatly influenced by the RA’s nature. On the other hand, there was an increase in porosity with the incorporation of RA.
Galaxy outflows are a vital mechanism in the regulation of galaxy evolution through feedback and enrichment. NGC 2146, a nearby infrared luminous galaxy (LIRG), presents evidence for outflows along the disk minor axis in all gas phases (ionized, neutral atomic and molecular). We present new far-IR Herschel imaging and spectroscopy of this galaxy from the Key Insights on Nearby Galaxies: a Far-Infrared Survey with Herschel (KINGFISH) project, as well as new optical integral field unit spectroscopy, to map the kinematics and gas excitation in the central 5 kpc and trace the dust distribution (Kreckel et al.2014). We observe an increased velocity dispersion in the [OI] 62 um, [OIII] 88 um, [NII] 122 um and [CII] 158 um fine-structure lines that is spatially coincident with shocked gas above and below the disk.
This work presents the first results from an ESO Large Programme carried out using the OSIRIS instrument on the 10m GTC telescope (La Palma). We have observed a large sample of galaxies in the region of the Abell 901/902 system (z∼0.165) which has been extensively studied as part of the STAGES project. We have obtained spectrally and spatially resolved H-alpha and [NII] emission maps for a very large sample of galaxies covering a broad range of environments. The new data are combined with extensive multi-wavelength observations which include HST, COMBO-17, Spitzer, Galex and XMM imaging to study star formation and AGN activity as a function of environment and galaxy properties such as luminosity, mass and morphology. The ultimate goal is to understand, in detail, the effect of the environment on star formation and AGN activity.
Hooking (or “at-haulback”) fishing mortality was analysed in elasmobranchs captured by
Portuguese longliners targeting swordfish in the Atlantic Ocean. Information was collected
by on-board fishery observers who monitored 834 longline fishing sets between August 2008
and December 2011, and recorded information on 36 067 elasmobranch specimens from 21
different taxa. The hooking mortality proportions were species-specific, with some species
having relatively high percentages of live specimens at time of haulback (e.g., blue
shark, crocodile shark, pelagic stingray, manta, devil and eagle rays), while others had
higher percentages of dead specimens (e.g., smooth hammerhead, silky shark, bigeye
thresher). For the most captured species (Prionace glauca, Pseudocarcharias
kamoharai, Isurus oxyrinchus and Alopias superciliosus),
logistic generalized linear models (GLMs) were carried out to compare the mortality rates
between sexes, specimen sizes and the regions of operation of the fleet. The sex-specific
proportions of hooking mortality were significantly different for blue and crocodile
sharks, with the males of both species having higher proportions of hooking mortality than
the females. Specimen size was significant for predicting the hooking mortality for blue
and shortfin mako sharks: in both cases, the larger specimens had lower odds of dying due
to the fishing process. There were differences in the hooking mortality depending on the
region of operation of the fleet, but those differences were also species-specific. For
blue and crocodile sharks, the hooking mortality was higher in the Equatorial and southern
Atlantic areas (when compared to the NE Atlantic region), while the opposite was observed
for the shortfin mako, with lower mortality rates in the NE tropical area compared with
the other regions. The results presented in this paper can be integrated into future
ecological risk assessment analysis for pelagic elasmobranchs. Furthermore, the new
information can be used to evaluate the impact of recent recommendations prohibiting the
retention of some vulnerable elasmobranch species.
Tourism is a growing activity in Cape Verde, which can lead to more intensive and uncontrolled fishing and diving activities, affecting the quality of marine habitats. To mitigate this biodiversity problem, a private diving operator, supported by the local authorities, decided to deploy the first artificial reefs (ARs) in the Archipelago just off Santa Maria Bay (Sal Island). To evaluate the ARs capacity to promote marine fish biodiversity in Santa Maria Bay, the fish assemblages were compared to those from nearby natural reefs (NRs), located at the same depth (10 and 28 m depth), by means of visual census. All study sites were surveyed by visual census in August 2009. A total of 64 species were recorded, mostly consisting of sedentary and/or benthophagous demersal species, followed by highly-sedentary benthic cryptic species. ‘Tchuklassa’ NR showed the highest species richness (58 species), while the lowest was recorded at ‘Santo Antão’ AR (48 species). An overall positive relationship was observed between habitat rugosity and mean species richness. The results showed a high percentage of common species on both reef types. Higher mean values of community descriptors (number of species, Shannon–Weaver diversity index, Simpson dominance index and equitability) and fish density were found on the ARs, with slightly higher densities recorded on the deeper reefs. These results suggest that ARs can have an important role promoting the local fish biodiversity and supporting local sustainable development of diving tourism.
We obtain an integral representation of an energy for structured deformations of continua in the space of functions of bounded variation, as a first step to the study of asymptotic models for thin defective crystalline structures, where phenomena as slips, vacancies and dislocations prevent the effectiveness of classical theories.
Experimental studies on punishment have sometimes been over-interpreted not only for the reasons Guala lists, but also because of a frequent conflation of proximate and ultimate explanatory levels that Guala's review perpetuates. Moreover, for future analyses we may need a clearer classification of different kinds of punishment.
The bigeye thresher, Alopias supercilious,
is commonly caught as bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries targeting
swordfish. Little information is yet available on the biology of
this species, however. As part of an ongoing study, observers sent
aboard fishing vessels have been collecting set of information that
includes samples of vertebrae, with the aim of investigating age
and growth of A. supercilious. A total of 117 specimens
were sampled between September 2008 and October 2009 in the tropical
northeastern Atlantic, with specimens ranging from 101 to 242 cm
fork length (FL) (176 to 407 cm total length). The A. supercilious vertebrae
were generally difficult to read, mainly because they were poorly
calcified, which is typical of Lamniformes sharks. Preliminary trials
were carried out to determine the most efficient band enhancement
technique for this species, in which crystal violet section staining
was found to be the best methodology. Estimated ages in this sample
ranged from 2 to 22 years for females and 1 to 17 years for males.
A version of the von Bertalanffy growth model (VBGF) re-parameterised
to estimate L0, and a modified VBGF using a fixed L0 were fitted
to the data. The Akaike information criterion (AIC) was used to
compare these models. The VBGF produced the best results, with the
following parameters: Linf = 293 cm FL, k = 0.06 y–1 and L0 = 111 cm
FL for females Linf = 206 cm FL, k = 0.18 y–1 and L0 = 93 cm FL
for males. The estimated growth coefficients confirm that A. supercilious is
a slow-growing species, highlighting its vulnerability to fishing
pressure. It is therefore urgent to carry out more biological research
to inform fishery managers more adequately and address conservation