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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.
Music performance anxiety (MPA) is one of the most common disorders among professional musicians, nevertheless, little is known about the disease. With this systematic review, prevalence, risk factors and treatment procedures for MPA were assessed, and for the first time, quality assessments were carried out for all studies using standardized assessment tools. A systematic literature search was conducted via search algorithms in the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycArticles, PsycInfo and ERIC. Included were case reports, case–control, cohort, cross-sectional and intervention studies examining professional musicians with MPA. For quality assessment, adapted tools of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute were used. A total of 43 studies were included (10 case reports, 21 intervention, 11 cross-sectional, one cohort study). Quality ratings ranged from −11 to 6 out of a maximum of 15/16 points for cross-sectional/cohort studies and −4 to 11 out of 18 points for intervention studies. The prevalence of MPA was between 16.5% and 60%. More women than men were affected and musicians older than 45–50 years reported less MPA than younger musicians. Regarding treatment cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and β-blockers were most often researched with beneficial results for CBT. However, studies with adequate control groups for CBT interventions are needed to clarify its efficacy. Studies showed methodological weaknesses, especially in the selection of participants, recording of influencing factors, blinding of interventions, randomization of participants and analysis of comorbidity. Recommendations for further research are made.
Intake of the plant-derived n-3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid (ALA) has been associated with anti-atherosclerotic properties. However, information on the association between ALA intake and development of peripheral artery disease (PAD) is lacking. In this follow-up study, we investigated the association between dietary intake of ALA and the rate of PAD among middle-aged Danish men and women enrolled into the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort between 1993 and 1997. Incident PAD cases were identified through the Danish National Patient Register. Intake of ALA was assessed using a validated FFQ. Statistical analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazard regression allowing for separate baseline hazards among sexes and adjusted for established risk factors for PAD. During a median of 13·6 years of follow-up, we identified 950 valid cases of PAD with complete information on covariates. The median energy-adjusted ALA intake within the cohort was 1·76 g/d (95 % central range: 0·94–3·28). In multivariable analyses, we found no statistically significant association between intake of ALA and the rate of PAD (P = 0·339). Also, no statistically significant associations were observed in analyses including additional adjustment for co-morbidities and in sex-specific analyses. In supplemental analyses with additional adjustment for potential dietary risk factors, we found a weak inverse association of PAD with ALA intake above the median, but the association was not statistically significant (P = 0·314). In conclusion, dietary intake of ALA was not consistently associated with decreased risk of PAD.
In Central America, population and food demands are rising rapidly, while yields of staple crops, maize and beans, remain low. To identify the main factors limiting production, field trials were established in six maize- and bean-producing regions in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, representing about three-quarters of the maize-producing area. Potential yield-limiting factors were evaluated in 2017 and included: water stress, nutrient deficiency, pest and disease pressure, and/or inter-plant competition. When considering all sites, improved fertilization and pest and disease control significantly improved yields in maize by 11 and 16%, respectively but did not have a significant effect in beans. Irrigation had no effect due to good rainfall distribution over the growing season. Optimized planting arrangement resulted in an average 18% increase in maize yield, making it the most promising factor evaluated. The treatment and site combinations that increased both crop productivity and net profit included management changes that improved resource use efficiency. However, the contribution of each limiting factor to yield gaps varied across sites and no treatment was effective at increasing yield consistently across sites. Production constraints are highly dependent on local management practices and agroecological location. Therefore, public and private development efforts that seek to increase production should conduct multi-year, participatory experiments to identify limitations pertinent to the area in question. The next step is then to evaluate sustainable and profitable practices, to address those limitations and provide sound recommendations to farmers while decreasing the environmental and economic costs.
n-3 PUFA may exert favourable effects on several processes that may inhibit the atherosclerotic process. However, the role of n-3 PUFA in lowering the risk of atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) has been fiercely debated. In the present paper, we summarise the main findings from previous follow-up studies of intake and studies using adipose tissue as an objective biomarker to investigate exposure to n-3 PUFA in relation to ASCVD risk and discuss some perspectives for further research. The majority of previous studies investigating intake of marine- and plant-based n-3 PUFA have focused on CHD while other ASCVD such as ischaemic stroke and peripheral artery disease have been less studied. However, recent data from Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort suggest that marine n-3 PUFA may be inversely associated with risk of myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke and peripheral arterial disease caused by atherosclerosis. The effect of the plant-derived n-3 PUFA α-linolenic acid on ASCVD is less clear and several gaps in the literature remain to be explored.
Human mesenchymal stem cells were reseeded in decellularized human bone subject to a controlled mechanical loading to create a bone-on-chip that was cultured for over 26 months. The cell morphology and their secretome were characterized using immunohistochemistry and in situ immunofluorescence under confocal microscopy. The presence of stem cell derived osteocytes was confirmed at 547 days. Different cell populations were identified. Some cells were connected by long processes and formed a network. Comparison of the MSCs in vitro reorganization and calcium response to in situ mechanical stimulation were compared to MLOY4 cells reseeded on human bone. The bone-on-chip produced an ECM of which the strength was nearly a quarter of native bone after 109 days and that contained calcium minerals at 39 days and type I collagen at 256 days. The cytoplasmic calcium concentration variations seemed to adapt to the expected in vivo mechanical load at the successive stages of cell differentiation in agreement with studies using fluid shear flow stimulation. Some degree of bone-like formation over a long period of time with the formation of a newly formed matrix was observed.
We analyse unsteady cavity dynamics, cavitation patterns and instability mechanisms governing partial cavitation in the flow past a sharp convergent–divergent wedge. Reproducing a recent reference experiment by numerical simulation, the investigated flow regime is characterised by large-scale cloud cavitation. In agreement with the experiments, we find that cloud shedding is dominated by the periodic occurrence of condensation shocks, propagating through the two-phase medium. The physical model is based on the homogeneous mixture approach, the assumption of thermodynamic equilibrium, and a closed-form barotropic equation of state. Compressibility of water and water vapour is taken into account. We deliberately suppress effects of molecular viscosity, in order to demonstrate that inertial effects dominate the flow evolution. We qualify the flow predictions, and validate the numerical approach by comparison with experiments. In agreement with the experiments, the vapour volume fraction within the partial cavity reaches values
for its spanwise average. Very good agreement is further obtained for the shedding Strouhal number, the cavity growth and collapse velocities, and for typical coherent flow structures. In accordance with the experiments, the simulations reproduce a condensation shock forming at the trailing part of the partial cavity. It is demonstrated that it satisfies locally Rankine–Hugoniot jump relations. Estimation of the shock propagation Mach number shows that the flow is supersonic. With a magnitude of only a few kPa, the pressure rise across the shock is much lower than for typical cavity collapse events. It is thus far too weak to cause cavitation erosion directly. However, by affecting the dynamics of the cavity, the flow aggressiveness can be significantly altered. Our results indicate that, in addition to classically observed re-entrant jets, condensation shocks feed an intrinsic instability mechanism of partial cavitation.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
The present study examined food and beverage distributors’ sourcing, placement and promotion of obesogenic (energy-dense, nutrient-poor) product categories from the perspective of small food store owners/managers. The obesogenic product categories of interest were savoury snacks, sugary beverages, sweet snacks, confectionery and frozen treats. Specifically, we examined how frequently distributors sourced these products, and the types of agreements and expectations they had for their placement and promotion. Differences were explored by store size and ethnicity. Fresh produce was used as a comparison when examining differences in frequency of sourcing only, with implications for healthy food access.
Survey research involving in-person interviews.
Four urban areas in the USA: Baltimore, MD; Durham, NC; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; and San Diego, CA.
Seventy-two small food store owners/managers, 65 % consent rate.
Most distributors sourced obesogenic products weekly. Agreements to place products were predominantly informal (e.g. handshake) with sweet snack, confectionery and frozen treat distributors, and formal (e.g. contract) with savoury snack and sugary beverage distributors. Free-standing displays were the most common incentive provided by distributors and they expected some control over their placement and pricing. Free/discounted products and signage were also common incentives but slotting fees were not. Smaller stores and ethnic stores were less likely to receive various incentives, but among sweet snack distributors, they were more likely to control the price in ethnic v. non-ethnic stores.
Obesogenic products are ubiquitous. Influencing what is made available to consumers in the retail food environment needs to consider the distributor.
Compound-specific radiocarbon analysis (CSRA) of benzene polycarboxylic acids (BPCAs) yields molecular-level, source-specific information necessary to constrain isotopic signatures of pyrogenic carbon. However, the purification of individual BPCAs requires a multistep procedure that typically results in only microgram quantities of the target analyte(s). Such small samples are highly susceptible to contamination by extraneous carbon, which needs to be minimized and carefully accounted for in order to yield accurate results. Here, we undertook comprehensive characterization and quantification of contamination associated with molecular radiocarbon (14C) BPCA analyses through systematic processing of multiple authentic standards with both fossil and modern 14C signatures at various concentrations. Using this approach, we precisely apportion the contribution of extraneous carbon with respect to the four implemented subprocedures. Assuming a constant source and quantity of extraneous carbon we correct and statistically evaluate uncertainties in resulting 14C data. Subsequently, we examine the results of triplicate analyses of reference materials representing four different environmental matrices (sediment, soil, aerosol, riverine natural organic matter) and apportion their BPCA sources in terms of carbon residues derived from biomass or fossil fuel combustion. This comprehensive approach to CSRA facilitates retrieval of robust 14C data, with application in environmental studies of the continuum of pyrogenic carbon.
The SkyMapper 1.3 m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory has now begun regular operations. Alongside the Southern Sky Survey, a comprehensive digital survey of the entire southern sky, SkyMapper will carry out a search for supernovae and other transients. The search strategy, covering a total footprint area of ~2 000 deg2 with a cadence of ⩽5 d, is optimised for discovery and follow-up of low-redshift type Ia supernovae to constrain cosmic expansion and peculiar velocities. We describe the search operations and infrastructure, including a parallelised software pipeline to discover variable objects in difference imaging; simulations of the performance of the survey over its lifetime; public access to discovered transients; and some first results from the Science Verification data.
Targets have been developed to measure supersonic radiation transport in aerogel foams using absorption spectroscopy. The target consists of an aerogel foam uniformly doped with either titanium or scandium inserted into an undoped aerogel foam package. This creates a localized doped foam region to provide spatial resolution for the measurement. Development and characterization of the foams is a key challenge in addition to machining and assembling the two foams so they mate without gaps. The foam package is inserted into a beryllium sleeve and mounted on a gold hohlraum. The target is mounted to a holder created using additive manufacturing and mounted on a stalk. The manufacturing of the components, along with assembly and metrology of the target are described here.
Exotic weed propagules (seeds or fruits) often contaminate goods intended for import into Australia. Biosecurity officers must identify such propagules to manage risks, prevent incursions, and decide on potentially costly actions such as cleaning, treating, or destroying cargo. According to observations made by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, more than 20% of the propagules found by biosecurity officers currently cannot be identified. By far the most important weed families contributing to seed load of imported goods are the grass family (Poaceae) and the daisy family (Asteraceae), accounting together for approximately 80% of cases. To facilitate fast and secure identification, increase the capabilities of biosecurity staff, and reduce the risk of weed incursions, we have developed an interactive digital identification key to the propagules of an initial priority list of 43 species of Asteraceae.
The dependency of the Hβ-index on two physical parameters is briefly discussed. The previous calibration of Mv(β) (Fernie, 1965 or Crawford, 1971) is confirmed for main sequence O and B stars; however, the β-values of the later B-supergiants tend to be too large for their absolute magnitudes. The problem of filtering out stars with marginal emission is emphasized.
Olfactory neuroblastoma is a rare sinonasal malignancy, with poorly defined treatment protocols. Management at a tertiary centre was retrospectively evaluated to inform future treatment and follow up.
Cases treated with curative intent (2000–2014) were included. Data were collected, and overall and disease-free survival rates were calculated.
Eleven cases were identified, with a median follow up of 87 months. One patient was Kadish stage A, one was stage B, eight were stage C and one was stage D. The latter patient underwent chemoradiotherapy alone. The remaining patients proceeded to: endoscopic-assisted wide local excision (n = 2), anterior craniofacial resection (n = 4) or endoscopic craniofacial resection (n = 4). No patients had primary nodal disease or elective neck treatment. One patient had neoadjuvant chemoradiation. Six patients had post-operative radiotherapy; three received adjuvant chemotherapy. Two patients had late cervical node failure, and proceeded to neck dissection and post-operative radiotherapy. Two patients had late local recurrence. Ten-year overall and disease-free survival rates were 68.2 and 46.7 per cent, respectively.
Longer-term follow up is supported given the incidence of late regional and local recurrence. Prophylactic treatment of cervical nodes in locally advanced disease is an area for further investigation.