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The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
Weed management is a major challenge in organic crop production, and organic farms generally harbor larger weed populations and more diverse communities compared with conventional farms. However, little research has been conducted on the effects of different organic management practices on weed communities and crop yields. In 2014 and 2015, we measured weed community structure and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] yield in a long-term experiment that compared four organic cropping systems that differed in nutrient inputs, tillage, and weed management intensity: (1) high fertility (HF), (2) low fertility (LF), (3) enhanced weed management (EWM), and (4) reduced tillage (RT). In addition, we created weed-free subplots within each system to assess the impact of weeds on soybean yield. Weed density was greater in the LF and RT systems compared with the EWM system, but weed biomass did not differ among systems. Weed species richness was greater in the RT system compared with the EWM system, and weed community composition differed between RT and other systems. Our results show that differences in weed community structure were primarily related to differences in tillage intensity, rather than nutrient inputs. Soybean yield was lower in the EWM system compared with the HF and RT systems. When averaged across all four cropping systems and both years, soybean yield in weed-free subplots was 10% greater than soybean yield in the ambient weed subplots that received standard management practices for the systems in which they were located. Although weed competition limited soybean yield across all systems, the EWM system, which had the lowest weed density, also had the lowest soybean yield. Future research should aim to overcome such trade-offs between weed control and yield potential, while conserving weed species richness and the ecosystem services associated with increased weed diversity.
High-intensity laser–plasma interactions produce a wide array of energetic particles and beams with promising applications. Unfortunately, the high repetition rate and high average power requirements for many applications are not satisfied by the lasers, optics, targets, and diagnostics currently employed. Here, we aim to address the need for high-repetition-rate targets and optics through the use of liquids. A novel nozzle assembly is used to generate high-velocity, laminar-flowing liquid microjets which are compatible with a low-vacuum environment, generate little to no debris, and exhibit precise positional and dimensional tolerances. Jets, droplets, submicron-thick sheets, and other exotic configurations are characterized with pump–probe shadowgraphy to evaluate their use as targets. To demonstrate a high-repetition-rate, consumable, liquid optical element, we present a plasma mirror created by a submicron-thick liquid sheet. This plasma mirror provides etalon-like anti-reflection properties in the low field of 0.1% and high reflectivity as a plasma, 69%, at a repetition rate of 1 kHz. Practical considerations of fluid compatibility, in-vacuum operation, and estimates of maximum repetition rate are addressed. The targets and optics presented here demonstrate a potential technique for enabling the operation of laser–plasma interactions at high repetition rates.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Background: SMA1 is a neurodegenerative disease caused by bi-allelic survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1) deletion/mutation. In the phase 1 study, SMN GRT onasemnogene abeparvovec (AVXS-101) improved outcomes of symptomatic SMA1 patients. We report preliminary data of STR1VE, a pivotal study (NCT03306277) evaluating efficacy and safety of a one-time intravenous AVXS-101 infusion. Methods: STR1VE is a phase 3, multicenter, open-label, single-arm study in SMA1 patients aged <6 months (bi-allelic SMN1 loss, 2xSMN2). Primary outcomes: independent sitting for ≥30 seconds (18 months) and survival (14 months). Secondary outcomes: ability to thrive and ventilatory support (18 months). Exploratory outcomes: CHOP-INTEND and Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development scores. Results: Enrollment is complete with 22 patients dosed. Mean age at symptom onset, genetic diagnosis, and enrollment was 1.9 (0–4.0), 2.1 (0.5–4.0), and 3.7 (0.5–5.9) months. At baseline, no patient required ventilatory/nutritional support, and all exclusively fed by mouth. Mean baseline CHOP-INTEND score was 32.6 (17.0–52.0), which increased 6.9 (-4.0–16.0, n=20), 10.4 (2.0–18.0, n=12), and 11.6 (-3.0–23.0, n=9) points at 1, 2, and 3 months; updates provided at congress. Conclusions: Preliminary data from STR1VE show rapid motor function improvements in SMA1 patients, paralleling phase 1 findings.
Infections due to Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Salmonella pose a significant health burden in Canada, resulting in major costs to the health care system and economic impacts due to lost productivity resulting from illness. Recent literature suggests that climate may play a role in the prevalence of these pathogens along the food chain. This study used integrated surveillance data to examine associations between weather variables, serving as a proxy for climate, in agricultural areas and Campylobacter, generic E. coli and Salmonella contamination on samples of beef, poultry and swine meat products in Canada. Various temperature metrics (average, maximum and variability) were correlated with Campylobacter prevalence along the food chain. The prevalence of E. coli and Salmonella was correlated with both precipitation and temperatures metrics; however, analysis for E. coli was limited to beef and swine meats at retail settings, because prevalence in other combinations approached 100%, which obviated further analysis. Campylobacter contamination in poultry and swine at abattoir and retail settings demonstrated a seasonal trend, with increased prevalence generally from June or July through November, compared to the baseline month of December. Based on these analyses, Campylobacter is the most likely foodborne bacteria studied whose occurrence in meat products is affected by climatic changes in Canada. An exploratory analysis of data at the provincial scale, using Ontario as an example, revealed similar directional relationships between climate and bacterial prevalence.
Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are common causes of respiratory tract infections and place a burden on health services each winter. Systems to describe the timing and intensity of such activity will improve the public health response and deployment of interventions to these pressures. Here we develop early warning and activity intensity thresholds for monitoring influenza and RSV using two novel data sources: general practitioner out-of-hours consultations (GP OOH) and telehealth calls (NHS 111). Moving Epidemic Method (MEM) thresholds were developed for winter 2017–2018. The NHS 111 cold/flu threshold was breached several weeks in advance of other systems. The NHS 111 RSV epidemic threshold was breached in week 41, in advance of RSV laboratory reporting. Combining the use of MEM thresholds with daily monitoring of NHS 111 and GP OOH syndromic surveillance systems provides the potential to alert to threshold breaches in real-time. An advantage of using thresholds across different health systems is the ability to capture a range of healthcare-seeking behaviour, which may reflect differences in disease severity. This study also provides a quantifiable measure of seasonal RSV activity, which contributes to our understanding of RSV activity in advance of the potential introduction of new RSV vaccines.
In Australia, there are two distinct populations, each with vastly disparate health outcomes: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and non-Aboriginal Australians. Aboriginal Australians have significantly higher rates of health and socioeconomic disadvantage, and Aboriginal babies are also more likely to be born low birth weight or growth restricted. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis advocates that a sub-optimal intrauterine environment, often manifested as diminished foetal growth, during critical periods of foetal development has the potential to alter the risk of non-communicable disease in the offspring. A better understanding of the role of the intrauterine environment and subsequent developmental programming, in response to both transgenerational and immediate stimuli, in Aboriginal Australians remains a relatively unexplored field and may provide insights into the prevailing health disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children. This narrative review explores the role of DOHaD in explaining the ongoing disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal People in today’s society through a detailed discussion of the literature on the association between foetal growth, as a proxy for the quality of the intrauterine environment, and outcomes in the offspring including perinatal health, early life development and childhood education. The literature largely supports this hypothesis and this review therefore has potential implications for policy makers not only in Australia but also in other countries that have minority and Indigenous populations who suffer disproportionate disadvantage such as the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
The wheat bZip transcription factor TaABF1 mediates both abscisic acid (ABA)-induced and ABA-suppressed gene expression. As levels of TaABF1 protein do not change in response to ABA, and TaABF1 is in a phosphorylated state in vivo, we investigated whether TaABF1 could be regulated at the post-translational level. In bombarded aleurone cells, a TaABF1 protein carrying phosphomimetic mutations (serine to aspartate) at four sites (S36D, S37D, S113D, S115D) was three to five times more potent than wild-type TaABF1 in activating HVA1, an ABA-responsive gene. The phosphomimetic mutations also increased the ability of TaABF1 to downregulate the ABA-suppressed gene Amy32b. These findings strongly suggest that phosphorylation at these sites increases the transcriptional regulatory activity of TaABF1. In contrast to the activation observed by the quadruple serine to aspartate mutation, a single S113D mutation completely eliminated the ability of TaABF1 to upregulate HVA1 or downregulate Amy32b. Thus phosphorylation of TaABF1 can either stimulate or inhibit the activity of TaABF1 in regulating downstream genes, depending on the site and pattern of phosphorylation. Mutation of S318 and S322 (in the bZIP domain) eliminated the ability of TaABF1 to activate HVA1, but had no effect on the ability of TaABF1 to downregulate Amy32b, suggesting that TaABF1 represses Amy32b expression through a mechanism other than direct DNA binding. An important step towards understanding how ABA and gibberellin (GA) signals are integrated through TaABF1 phosphorylation to regulate downstream gene expression is to clarify the effects of those hormones on the expression of specific genes. In contrast to some other ABA-induced genes, we found that HVA1 induction by ABA or TaABF1 is not inhibited by GA.
Metal–insulator–metal (MIM) resonant absorbers comprise a conducting ground plane, a dielectric of thickness t, and thin separated metal top-surface structures of dimension l. The fundamental resonance wavelength is predicted by an analytic standing-wave model based on t, l, and the dielectric refractive index spectrum. For the dielectrics SiO2, AlN, and TiO2, values for l of a few microns give fundamental resonances in the 8-12 μm long-wave infrared (LWIR) wavelength region. Agreement with theory is better for t/l exceeding 0.1. Harmonics at shorter wavelengths were already known, but we show that there are additional resonances in the far-infrared 20 - 50 μm wavelength range in MIM structures designed to have LWIR fundamental resonances. These new resonances are consistent with the model if far-IR dispersion features in the index spectrum are considered. LWIR fundamental absorptions are experimentally shown to be optimized for a ratio t/l of 0.1 to 0.3 for SiO2- and AlN-based MIM absorbers, respectively, with TiO2-based MIM optimized at an intermediate ratio.
Adverse pregnancy outcomes including prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) have been associated with life-long chronic disease risk for the infant. Stress during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Many studies have reported the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Indigenous populations and a smaller number of studies have measured rates of stress and depression in these populations. This study sought to examine the potential association between stress during pregnancy and the rate of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Australian Indigenous women residing in rural and remote communities in New South Wales. This study found a higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy than the general population. There was also a higher incidence of prematurity and LBW deliveries. Unfortunately, missing post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptomatology data impeded the examination of associations of interest. This was largely due to the highly sensitive nature of the issues under investigation, and the need to ensure adequate levels of trust between Indigenous women and research staff before disclosure and recording of sensitive research data. We were unable to demonstrate a significant association between the level of stress and the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes at this stage. We recommend this longitudinal study continue until complete data sets are available. Future research in this area should ensure prioritization of building trust in participants and overestimating sample size to ensure no undue pressure is placed upon an already stressed participant.
With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
There are no estimates of the heritability of phenotypic udder traits in suckler sheep, which produce meat lambs, and whether these are associated with resilience to mastitis. Mastitis is a common disease which damages the mammary gland and reduces productivity. The aims of this study were to investigate the feasibility of collecting udder phenotypes, their heritability and their association with mastitis in suckler ewes. Udder and teat conformation, teat lesions, intramammary masses (IMM) and litter size were recorded from 10 Texel flocks in Great Britain between 2012 and 2014; 968 records were collected. Pedigree data were obtained from an online pedigree recording system. Univariate quantitative genetic parameters were estimated using animal and sire models. Linear mixed models were used to analyse continuous traits and generalised linear mixed models were used to analyse binary traits. Continuous traits had higher heritabilities than binary with teat placement and teat length heritability (h2) highest at 0.35 (SD 0.04) and 0.42 (SD 0.04), respectively. Udder width, drop and separation heritabilities were lower and varied with udder volume. The heritabilities of IMM and teat lesions (sire model) were 0.18 (SD 0.12) and 0.17 (SD 0.11), respectively. All heritabilities were sufficiently high to be in a selection programme to increase resilience to mastitis in the population of Texel sheep. Further studies are required to investigate genetic relationships between traits and to determine whether udder traits predict IMM, and the potential benefits from including traits in a selection programme to increase resilience to chronic mastitis.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Objectives: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with cognitive impairment but the relationships between specific biomarkers and neurocognitive domains remain unclear. The present study examined the influence of common health comorbidities on these relationships. Adults with suspected OSA (N=60; 53% male; M age=52 years; SD=14) underwent neuropsychological evaluation before baseline polysomnography (PSG). Apneic syndrome severity, hypoxic strain, and sleep architecture disturbance were assessed through PSG. Methods: Depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, CESD), pain, and medical comorbidity (Charlson Comorbidity Index) were measured via questionnaires. Processing speed, attention, vigilance, memory, executive functioning, and motor dexterity were evaluated with cognitive testing. A winnowing approach identified 9 potential moderation models comprised of a correlated PSG variable, comorbid health factor, and cognitive performance. Results: Regression analyses identified one significant moderation model: average blood oxygen saturation (AVO2) and depression predicting recall memory, accounting for 31% of the performance variance, p<.001. Depression was a significant predictor of recall memory, p<.001, but AVO2 was not a significant predictor. The interaction between depression and AVO2 was significant, accounting for an additional 10% of the variance, p<.001. The relationship between low AVO2 and low recall memory performance emerged when depression severity ratings approached a previously established clinical cutoff score (CESD=16). Conclusions: This study examined sleep biomarkers with specific neurocognitive functions among individuals with suspected OSA. Findings revealed that depression burden uniquely influence this pathophysiological relationship, which may aid clinical management. (JINS, 2018, 28, 864–875)
Salmonella prevalence in UK pigs is amongst the highest in Europe, highlighting the need to investigate pig farms which have managed to maintain a low Salmonella seroprevalence. A total of 19 pig farms that had a consistently low (<10%) seroprevalence over 4 years (named Platinum farms) were compared against 38 randomly selected Control farms, chosen to match the same distribution of production types and geographical distribution of the Platinum farms. Each farm was visited and floor faeces and environmental samples were collected. It was shown that Control farms had a significantly higher median percentage of pooled faecal samples positive for Salmonella compared with the Platinum farms (12.1% and 0.4% for pooled faecal samples, respectively) and were more likely to have serovars of public health importance detected (S. Typhimurium/ monophasic variants or S. Enteritidis). Considering the comprehensive on-farm sampling, the identification of farms negative for Salmonella, along with the identification of those that had maintained low prevalence over a long period is important. The risk factor analyses identified pelleted feed, feed deliveries crossing farm perimeter and regular antibiotic use as associated with being a Control farm. Performance data indicated that Platinum farms were performing better for slaughter live weight than Controls. Limited assessments of available pig movement records suggested that the source of pigs was not key to Platinum status, but further study would be needed to confirm this finding. These results emphasise that maintaining very low prevalence on UK farms is achievable.
A previous study (Mauricio et al., 1998) with 12 forage substrates (straw, hay and dried grasses) showed a high correlation between rumen liquor and faeces for total gas production and in vitro organic matter digestibility (OMD). However parameters estimated using faecal inoculum were generally lower man when using rumen liquor. To confirm this observation, a second study was conducted using maize silage and silages made from maize plant fractions.