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Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
It is not really known how low and intermediate mass stars eject mass to form PNs. We present preliminary results from a programme of near–IR imaging, in which we study a sequence of objects, from extreme AGB stars through proto–planetaries to young, compact PNs. We aim to study the sequence of morphologies, to see where the onset of bipolar shaping occurs, and to use the IR molecular hydrogen lines to map neutral regions around ionized nebulae.
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.
The incidence of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) has increased worldwide with great regional variability. Infections caused by these organisms are associated with crude mortality rates of up to 70%. The spread of CRE in healthcare settings is both an important medical problem and a major global public health threat. All countries are at risk of falling victim to the emergence of CRE; therefore, a preparedness plan is required to avoid the catastrophic natural course of this epidemic. Proactive and adequate preventive measures locally, regionally, and nationally are required to contain the spread of these bacteria. The keys to success in preventing the establishment of CRE endemicity in a region are early detection through targeted laboratory protocols and containment of spread through comprehensive infection control measures. This guideline provides a strategic roadmap for infection control measures based on the best available evidence and expert opinion, to enable preparation of a multifaceted preparedness plan to abort epidemics of CRE.
We have detected the central star of NGC 7027 by imaging the nebula through a narrow band ‘continuum’ filter onto the IPCS detector at the 2.5m Isaac Newton Telscope. We obtain an apparent visual magnitude for the central star of mv = 17.7 ± 0.5 mags.
Assuming that the central star radiates approximately as a blackbody, which is reasonable for the case of a hot star, then Zanstra temperatures for the central star can be calculated. We find TZ(H) = 3.9 × 105K and Tz(HeII) = 2.6 × 105K. Using the correction due to Stasinska & Tylenda (1986) we estimate the central star of NGC 7027 to have a temperature, Teff = 3.1 × 105K.
The luminosity and radii are found assuming a distance of d=1.2 kpc., giving L = 12,600 L⊙ and R = 0.039 R⊙. Placing the central star on the Log L - Log T diagram and comparing with evolutionary tracks for central stars with various masses from Wood & Faulkner (1986), indicates that the central star of NGC 7027 must have a mass, M ≥ 0.8 M⊙.
Radio observations of NGC 7027 have been taken using the Westerbork Radio Synthesis Telesocpe at 21cm. Self calibration techniques have been employed to give a radio continuum map of high dynamic range. These observations are being compared with a deep optical Hβ map to study the nature of the faint halo seen around NGC 7027 (Atherton et al. 1979)
We report observations of the v = 1-0 S(1) line of molecular hydrogen in the high excitation Planetary Nebula NGC 2440. The emission is particularly strong at the positions of the two bright condensations which lie well within the H II region and close to the position of the very hot T = 350,000 K central star. The emission is consistent with an excited molecular hydrogen mass of 2–4 × 10−5 M⊙ in the condensations, and we estimate the total mass of excited molecular hydrogen associated with the H II region to be 6 × 10−3 M⊙. We show that the radiation pressure from the central star is insufficient to excite the S(1) line emission. We also show that a stellar wind driven shock would imply a mass loss rate of 3 × 10−7 M⊙ yr−1 if we adopt a wind velocity of 2000 km s−1.
We present the results of a spectroscopic study of planetary nebulae (PN) in the Magellanic Clouds. The optical survey of He, N, O, and Ne abundances by Monk et al. (1988) has been updated by higher S/N AAT optical data. In addition, carbon and other elemental abundances have been derived from the IUE spectra of 38 PN. Ionized nebular masses have been derived for 80 PN. The ionised mass versus nebular electron density plot shows that planetary nebulae become optically thin when their electron densities drop below 4500 cm--3. Below this density, the mean nebular hydrogen mass found for non-Type I PN is 0.22±0.08 M⊙. Using Zanstra and energy-balance methods, the mean central star mass found for 14 SMC and LMC PN is 0.59±0.02 M⊙.
As the nearest large elliptical galaxy, NGC 5128 is ideal for planetary nebula studies. Its size, favourable aspect, small distance and reddening allow low mass stellar evolution in a whole galaxy to be surveyed. The surface density and properties of the PN can be compared with stars of various ages, metallicities and components (bulge, halo). The PN provide the α-element abundances whilst stellar photometry is calibrated against Fe/H; applied to the same stellar population, the PN abundances can be related to those of the stars. Gradients and non-radial trends in the abundance can be mapped using spectral observations of a large number of PN, allowing star formation history to be studied.
The Local Group Census is a narrowband survey of all the galaxies of the Local Group (LG) with Dec ≥ −30°, being carried out as part of the Isaac Newton Group's Wide Field Survey programme. Observations are being obtained with the Wide Field Camera at the 2.5m Isaac Newton telescope, equipped with a mosaic of four 2k x 4k EEV CCDs covering a field of view of 34′ x 34′.
The [O II]3726,3729Å doublet is sensitive to electron densities in the range 100 to 104 cm–3, typical of planetary nebulae, and thus provides an ideal tool for mapping the projected density structure. The first use of the imaging Fabry-Perot TAURUS-II to observe both the [O II] doublet lines, and hence map the electron density, is reported for NGC 6826. If sufficient spectral resolution is achieved both the [O II] lines can be resolved into separate components, opening the way to full 3-D density mapping of PN. Given the low finesse of the etalon and the low expansion velocity in NGC 6826 (10-15 kms–1), this original hope could not be fulfilled. However, a restricted aim of seeing-limited electron density mapping was accepted.
The Abell catalogue of planetary nebulae (PN) are distinguished by their large size, low surface brightness and generally faint central stars. They are thought to be old PN approaching the White Dwarf cooling track. A number have evidence for late thermal pulses (H-poor ejecta near the central star, e.g. A78) and binary central stars.
TAURUS-II imaging Fabry-Perot data in the emission lines of Ha, He II, [O I], [O III] and [N II] have been obtained to study the kinematics of NGC 3242. By studying the kinematic structure in lines of a range of ionization, the expansion of the nebula from close to the central star to the low ionization outer regions can be explored.
The high angular resolution and dynamic range of VLA radio continuum mapping of planetary nebulae has raised expansion parallax measurement to the most sensitive method for determining PN distances (Hajian et al 1995). In order to derive the distance, the proper motion in the plane of the sky must be compared to the expansion velocity measured from emission line profiles. For a spherical PN with a measured line of sight expansion velocity, the comparison is simple. However most PN are not spherical, and their axisymmetric structures may be tilted to the line of sight; the line of sight expansion velocity cannot therefore be used for distance estimation from expansion proper motion. 3-D kinematic modelling is required in order to determine the expansion velocity in the plane of the sky.
Abundances in early-type galaxies are measured from the analysis of stellar spectra (e.g. colour indices, Peletier et al, 1990). The presence of many planetary nebulae (PN) in early-type galaxies provides an independent measure of abundances for the old stellar population and allows the spread in abundances to be sampled at a range of galacto-centric distances. PN are feasible for this project since the nebular O, Ne and S abundances in most PN reflect that of the progenitor star.
The Gaia Photometric Science Alerts (GSA) group is the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) unit responsible for releasing alerts on Gaia transient candidates from a daily flow of initially reduced data. In preparation for obtaining the rates for different transient families with Gaia, one of the main goals of GSA is to reliably identify and characterize the candidates. In this article, we describe the simulations used to understand and predict possible selection effects and the techniques used to identify the nature of the transient alerts provided by Gaia.
This paper gives a brief overview of the Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training (GREAT) network, including a description of the GREAT-ESF Research Network Programme and the GREAT Initial Training Network (GREAT-ITN). Scientific highlights from the GREAT-ITN are noted.
The Gaia Science Alerts project (GSA) aims to augment a precision survey of the Milky Way with a controlled, precision survey of all classes of transient phenomena. While onboard BP/RP spectra from Gaia will ultimately allow us to classify many Gaia Alerts based on Gaia data alone, in the initial phases of the GSA project it is necessary to verify and classify discoveries with ground-based spectroscopic followup. In this article, we describe a subset of the ongoing Gaia Alerts followup programmes, and some of the initial science results from this work.