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Submarine melting of tidewater glaciers is proposed as a trigger for their recent thinning, acceleration and retreat. We estimate spring submarine melt rates (SMRs) of Kangiata Nunaata Sermia in southwest Greenland, from 2012 to 2014, by examining changes in along-fjord freeboard and velocity of the seasonal floating ice tongue. Estimated SMRs vary spatially and temporally near the grounding line, with mean rates of 1.3 ± 0.6, 0.8 ± 0.3 and 1.0 ± 0.4 m d−1 across the tongue in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. Higher melt rates correspond with locations of emerging subglacial plumes and terminus calving activity observed during the melt season using time-lapse camera imagery. Modelling of subglacial flow paths suggests a dynamic system capable of rapid re-routing of subglacial discharge both within and between melt seasons. Our results provide an empirically-derived link between the presence of subglacial discharge plumes and areas of high spring submarine melting and calving along glacier termini.
Subjective reports of insomnia and hypersomnia are common in bipolar disorder (BD). It is unclear to what extent these relate to underlying circadian rhythm disturbance (CRD). In this study we aimed to objectively assess sleep and circadian rhythm in a cohort of patients with BD compared to matched controls.
Forty-six patients with BD and 42 controls had comprehensive sleep/circadian rhythm assessment with respiratory sleep studies, prolonged accelerometry over 3 weeks, sleep questionnaires and diaries, melatonin levels, alongside mood, psychosocial functioning and quality of life (QoL) questionnaires.
Twenty-three (50%) patients with BD had abnormal sleep, of whom 12 (52%) had CRD and 29% had obstructive sleep apnoea. Patients with abnormal sleep had lower 24-h melatonin secretion compared to controls and patients with normal sleep. Abnormal sleep/CRD in BD was associated with impaired functioning and worse QoL.
BD is associated with high rates of abnormal sleep and CRD. The association between these disorders, mood and functioning, and the direction of causality, warrants further investigation.
Being physically assaulted is known to increase the risk of the occurrence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms but it may also skew judgements about the intentions of other people. The objectives of the study were to assess paranoia and PTSD after an assault and to test whether theory-derived cognitive factors predicted the persistence of these problems.
At 4 weeks after hospital attendance due to an assault, 106 people were assessed on multiple symptom measures (including virtual reality) and cognitive factors from models of paranoia and PTSD. The symptom measures were repeated 3 and 6 months later.
Factor analysis indicated that paranoia and PTSD were distinct experiences, though positively correlated. At 4 weeks, 33% of participants met diagnostic criteria for PTSD, falling to 16% at follow-up. Of the group at the first assessment, 80% reported that since the assault they were excessively fearful of other people, which over time fell to 66%. Almost all the cognitive factors (including information-processing style during the trauma, mental defeat, qualities of unwanted memories, self-blame, negative thoughts about self, worry, safety behaviours, anomalous internal experiences and cognitive inflexibility) predicted later paranoia and PTSD, but there was little evidence of differential prediction.
Paranoia after an assault may be common and distinguishable from PTSD but predicted by a strikingly similar range of factors.
Large-lecture introductory astronomy courses for undergraduate, non-science majors present numerous problems for faculty. As part of a systematic effort to improve the course learning environment, a series of small-group, collaborative learning activities were implemented in an otherwise conventional lecture astronomy survey course. These activities were used once each week during the regularly scheduled lecture period. After eight weeks, ten focus group interviews were conducted to qualitatively assess the impact and dynamics of these small group learning activities. Overall, the data strongly suggest that students enjoy participating in the in-class learning activities in learning teams of three to four students. These students firmly believe that they are learning more than they would from lectures alone. Inductive analysis of the transcripts revealed five major themes prevalent among the students' perspectives: (1) self-formed, cooperative group composition and formation should be more regulated by the instructor; (2) team members' assigned rolls should be less formally structured by the instructors; (3) cooperative groups helped in learning the course content; (4) time constraints on lectures and activities need to be more carefully aligned; and (5) gender issues can exist within the groups. These themes serve as a guide for instructors who are developing instructional interventions for large lecture courses.
Mumps outbreaks in recent years have given rise to questions about the effectiveness of the mumps vaccine. This study examined the epidemiological data from a recent mumps outbreak in Israel and from outbreaks in other countries with high vaccination coverage, and considered whether long-established vaccination policies designed to protect against mumps are in need of revision. Of over 5000 case patients in the Israeli outbreak, half of whom were in the Jerusalem health district, nearly 40% were aged ⩾15 years and, of those whose vaccination status was known, 78% had been fully vaccinated for their age – features similar to those in recent mumps outbreaks in Europe and North America. The epidemiological and laboratory evidence suggests that many previously vaccinated adolescents and young adults are now susceptible to mumps because their vaccine-based immunity has waned. Booster vaccination programmes for those at high risk of infection during mumps outbreaks – particularly those in congregate living environments – merit priority consideration.
Tests designed to be similar to the unsaturated and oxidizing conditions expected in the candidate repository at Yucca Mountain are in progress with spent fuel at 90°C. The similarities and the differences in release behavior for 137Cs during the first 2.6 years and the actinides during the first 1.6 years of testing are presented for tests done with (1) water dripped on the fuel at a rate of 0.075 and 0.75 mL every 3.5 days and (2) in a saturated water vapor environment.
Apatite-type oxides, La10-x(Si/Ge)6O26+z, have been attracting significant interest recently due to their high oxide ion conductivities. Most of the work so far has focused on the Si based systems, since the Ge based systems suffer from problems attributed to Ge loss. In this paper we show that doping divalent cations on the La site or B on the Ge site helps to stabilise the hexagonal apatite lattice for these Ge based systems. These doped phases show high oxide ion conductivities, although results from extended sintering studies suggest that Ge loss is still a problem. In order to limit Ge loss, we have also examined Bi doping to lower the sintering temperature and preliminary results for the novel Bi containing apatite-type phases, La6Bi2M2Ge6O26 (M=Mg, Sr, Ba) and La8-xBi2Ge5GaO26+y, are also reported.
Impaired flexibility in the use of substrates for energy production in the heart is implicated in cardiomyopathy. We investigated the effect of maternal protein restriction during pregnancy in rats on the transcription of key genes in cardiac lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in the offspring. Rats were fed protein-sufficient or protein-restricted (PR) diets during pregnancy. Triacylglycerol concentration in adult (day 105) heart was altered by maternal protein intake contingent on post-weaning fat intake and sex. mRNA expression of peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 was increased by the maternal PR diet in adult, but not neonatal, offspring. PPARα promoter methylation was lower in adult and neonatal heart from PR offspring. These findings suggest that prenatal nutrition alters the future transcriptional regulation of cardiac energy metabolism in the offspring through changes in epigenetic regulation of specific genes. However, changes in gene functional changes may not be apparent in early life.
Bird songs are among the most beautiful, complex sounds produced in the natural world and have inspired some of our greatest poets and composers. Whilst biologists are equally impressed, their curiosity is also aroused. How and why has such an elaborate form of communication developed among birds? Charles Darwin was one of many who struggled to attempt an answer, and the elaborate songs of male birds such as nightingales clearly influenced his thinking as he developed the theory of sexual selection. Since then, biologists from many different disciplines, ranging from molecular biology to ecology, have found bird song to be a fascinating and productive area for research. The scientific study of bird song has made important contributions to such areas as neurobiology, ethology and evolutionary biology. In doing so, it has generated a large and diverse literature, which can be frustrating to those attempting to enter or survey the field. At the moment, the choice is largely between wrestling with the original literature or tackling advanced, multi-author volumes. Although our book is aimed particularly at students of biology, we hope that our colleagues in different branches of biology and psychology will find it a useful introduction. We have also tried to make it accessible to the growing numbers of ornithologists and naturalists who increasingly want to know more about the animals they watch and study.