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Temporary excavations during the construction of the Glendoe Hydro Scheme above Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland exposed a clay-rich fault gouge in Dalradian Supergroup psammite. The gouge coincides with the mapped trace of the subvertical Sronlairig Fault, a feature related in part to the Great Glen and Ericht–Laidon faults, which had been interpreted to result from brittle deformation during the Caledonian orogeny (c. 420–390 Ma). Exposure of this mica-rich gouge represented an exceptional opportunity to constrain the timing of the gouge-producing movement on the Sronlairig Fault using isotopic analysis to date the growth of authigenic (essentially synkinematic) clay mineralization. A series of fine-size separates was isolated prior to K–Ar analysis. Novel, capillary-encapsulated X-ray diffraction analysis was employed to ensure nearly perfect, random orientation and to facilitate the identification and quantification of mica polytypes. Coarser size fractions are composed of greater proportions of the 2M1 illite polytype. Finer size fractions show increasing proportions of the 1M illite polytype, with no evidence of 2M1 illite in the finest fractions. A series of Illite Age Analysis plots produced excellent R2 values with calculated mean ages of 296 ± 7 Ma (Late Carboniferous–Early Permian) for the oldest (2M1) illite and 145 ± 7 Ma (Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous) for the youngest (1M) illite. The Late Carboniferous–Early Permian (Faulting event 1) age may represent resetting of earlier-formed micas or authigenesis during dextral displacement of the Great Glen Fault Zone (GGFZ). Contemporaneous WNW(NW)–ESE(SE) extension was important for basin development and hydrocarbon migration in the Pentland Firth and Moray Firth regions. The Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous (Faulting event 2) age corresponds with Moray Firth Basin development and indicates that the GGFZ and related structures may have acted to partition the active extension in the Moray Firth region from relative inactivity in the Pentland Firth area at this time. These new age dates demonstrate the long-lived geological activity on the GGFZ, particularly so in post-Caledonian times where other isotopic evidence for younger tectonic overprints is lacking.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.
Islands are widely considered to be model systems for studying fundamental questions in ecology and evolutionary biology. The fundamental state factors that vary among island systems – geologic history, size, isolation and age – form the basis of mature phenomenological and predictive theory. In this review, we first highlight classic lines of inquiry that exemplify the historical and continuing importance of islands. We then show how the conceptual power of islands as ‘natural laboratories’ can be improved through functional classifications of both the biological properties of, and human impact on, insular systems. We highlight how global environmental change has been accentuated on islands, expressly because of their unique insular properties. We review five categories of environmental perturbation: climate change, habitat modification, direct exploitation, invasion and disease. Using an analysis of taxonomic checklists for the arthropod biotas of three well-studied island archipelagos, we show how taxonomists are meeting the challenge of biodiversity assessment before the biodiversity disappears. Our aim is to promote discussion on the tight correlations of the environmental health of insular systems to their continued importance as singular venues for discovery in ecology and evolutionary biology, as well as to their conservation significance as hotspots of endemism.
Shorter telomere length (TL) has found to be associated with lower birth weight and with lower cognitive ability and psychiatric disorders. However, the direction of causation of these associations and the extent to which they are genetically or environmentally mediated are unclear. Within-pair comparisons of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins can throw light on these questions. We investigated correlations of within pair differences in telomere length, IQ, and anxiety/depression in an initial sample from Brisbane (242 MZ pairs, 245 DZ same sex (DZSS) pairs) and in replication samples from Amsterdam (514 MZ pairs, 233 DZSS pairs) and Melbourne (19 pairs selected for extreme high or low birth weight difference). Intra-pair differences of birth weight and telomere length were significantly correlated in MZ twins, but not in DZSS twins. Greater intra-pair differences of telomere length were observed in the 10% of MZ twins with the greatest difference in birth weight compared to the bottom 90% in both samples and also in the Melbourne sample. Intra-pair differences of telomere length and IQ, but not of TL and anxiety/depression, were correlated in MZ twins, and to a smaller extent in DZSS twins. Our findings suggest that the same prenatal effects that reduce birth weight also influence telomere length in MZ twins. The association between telomere length and IQ is partly driven by the same prenatal effects that decrease birth weight.
In the summer of 2009, an outbreak of verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli O157 (VTEC O157) was identified in visitors to a large petting farm in South East England. The peak attack rate was 6/1000 visitors, and highest in those aged <2 years (16/1000). We conducted a case-control study with associated microbiological investigations, on human, animal and environmental samples. We identified 93 cases; 65 primary, 13 secondary and 15 asymptomatic. Cases were more likely to have visited a specific barn, stayed for prolonged periods and be infrequent farm visitors. The causative organism was identified as VTEC O157 PT21/28 with the same VNTR profile as that isolated in faecal specimens from farm animals and the physical environment, mostly in the same barn. Contact with farm livestock, especially ruminants, should be urgently reviewed at the earliest suspicion of a farm-related VTEC O157 outbreak and appropriate risk management procedures implemented without delay.
To assess the outcome of conservative management of vestibular schwannoma.
Tertiary referral centre.
Four hundred and thirty-six patients with vestibular schwannoma (490 tumours), including 327 sporadic tumours and 163 tumours in 109 patients with neurofibromatosis type two.
Main outcome measures:
The relationship of tumour growth to tumour size at presentation, and to certain demographic features.
The initial tumour size was significantly larger in the neurofibromatosis type two group (11 mm) than in the sporadic vestibular schwannoma group (5.1 mm). In both groups, 68 per cent of tumours did not grow during follow up (mean 3.6 years; range one to 14 years). The mean growth rate was 1.1 mm/year (range 0–15 mm/year) for sporadic tumours and 1.7 mm/year (range 0–18 mm/year) for neurofibromatosis type two tumours. The tumour growth rate correlated positively with tumour size in the sporadic tumour group, and correlated negatively with age in the neurofibromatosis type two group.
Two-thirds of vestibular schwannomas did not grow. Radiological surveillance is an acceptable approach in carefully selected patients. Once a sporadic vestibular schwannoma reaches 2 cm in intracranial diameter, it is likely to continue growing. We do not recommend conservative management for sporadic tumours with an intracranial diameter of 1.5 cm or more. Vestibular schwannoma management is more complex in patients with neurofibromatosis type two.
The effects of temperature on reported cases of a number of foodborne illnesses in England and Wales were investigated. We also explored whether the impact of temperature had changed over time. Food poisoning, campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, Salmonella Typhimurium infections and Salmonella Enteritidis infections were positively associated (P<0·01) with temperature in the current and previous week. Only food poisoning, salmonellosis and S. Typhimurium infections were associated with temperature 2–5 weeks previously (P<0·01). There were significant reductions also in the impact of temperature on foodborne illnesses over time. This applies to temperature in the current and previous week for all illness types (P<0·01) except S. Enteritidis infection (P=0·079). Temperature 2–5 weeks previously diminished in importance for food poisoning and S. Typhimurium infection (P<0·001). The results are consistent with reduced pathogen concentrations in food and improved food hygiene over time. These adaptations to temperature imply that current estimates of how climate change may alter foodborne illness burden are overly pessimistic.
Systematic national surveillance of outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease (IID) was introduced in England and Wales in 1992 to provide comprehensive information on causative organisms, sources or vehicles of infection and modes of transmission. We compared information from this system with that published in the peer-reviewed literature between 1 January 1992 and 31 January 2003 to assess the potential effect of publication bias on food-safety policy. During the study period 1763 foodborne outbreaks of IID were reported to national surveillance. Fifty-five were published in the peer-reviewed literature. The peer-reviewed literature overestimated the impacts of milk/milk products, miscellaneous foods (e.g. sandwiches) and desserts and underestimated those of poultry, fish and shellfish, red meat/meat products and eggs/egg products. Without systematic surveillance, knowledge of causative organisms, sources or vehicles of infection and modes of transmission, as gleaned from the peer-reviewed literature, would potentially distort food-safety policy.
Foodborne outbreaks of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis phage type 4 (PT4) infection (n=497), reported to the Health Protection Agency Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre between 1992 and 2002, were compared with other pathogens (n=1148) to determine factors (season, setting, food vehicles, food safety faults) associated with this pathogen. Logistic regression was applied to control for potential confounding. Foodborne general outbreaks of S. Enteritidis PT4 infection were more likely to occur in the spring and summer, and were more often linked to schools, private residences and residential institutions. Eggs, egg products and the use of raw shell egg were strongly associated with this pathogen. Most outbreaks were linked to cross-contamination and inadequate heat treatment. This paper describes the decline in the S. Enteritidis PT4 epidemic, providing evidence that control measures introduced, e.g. improved biosecurity and vaccination, have worked. Continued surveillance of human and veterinary salmonellosis is essential to detect future problems.
We have rated eye color on a 3-point scale (1 = blue/grey, 2 = hazel/green, 3 = brown) in 502 twin families and carried out a 5–10 cM genome scan (400–757 markers). We analyzed eye color as a threshold trait and performed multipoint sib pair linkage analysis using variance components analysis in Mx. A lod of 19.2 was found at the marker D15S1002, less than 1 cM from OCA2, which has been previously implicated in eye color variation. We estimate that 74% of variance in eye color liability is due to this QTL and a further 18% due to polygenic effects. However, a large shoulder on this peak suggests that other loci affecting eye color may be telomeric of OCA2 and inflating the QTL estimate. No other peaks reached genome-wide significance, although lods > 2 were seen on 5p and 14q and lods >1 were additionally seen on chromosomes 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 17 and 18. Most of these secondary peaks were reduced or eliminated when we repeated the scan as a two locus analysis with the 15q linkage included, although this does not necessarily exclude them as false positives. We also estimated the interaction between the 15q QTL and the other marker locus but there was only minor evidence for additive [.dotmath] additive epistasis. Elaborating the analysis to the full two-locus model including non-additive main effects and interactions did not strengthen the evidence for epistasis. We conclude that most variation in eye color in Europeans is due to polymorphism in OCA2 but that there may be modifiers at several other loci.
The use of chemical solution routes to form inorganic thin films is a relatively new method which represents an alternative to vapor phase routes. The present study involves the use of a chemical solution route, the decomposition of metal carboxylates, to prepare bismuth thin films of controlled porosity. Such morphologies offer the opportunity to disrupt phonon transport without greatly affecting electrical conductivity and bismuth represents a well known system in which to investigate these effects. Porous bismuth thin films have been prepared using bismuth 2-ethylhexanoate (Bi[OOCCH(C2H5)C4H9]3) as the precursor in a solvent of 2-methyl- 1-propanol. The solution is deposited on glass, Kapton, silicon, alumina or magnesia substrates by spin coating and heated to between 250 – 300°C in hydrogen. Heat treatment temperature and time are important for controlling film microstructure as both pore volume (25 to 50%) and preferred orientation depend upon heat treatment conditions. Bismuth films (62 nm thick) with 32% porosity exhibit conductivities in the range of 150 S/cm with Seebeck coefficients comparable to that of bulk materials.
The use of the atomic force microscope (AFM) to measure surface forces has been developed to optimize its operation as a surface imaging tool. This capability can potentially be extended to evaluate nanoscale material response to indentation. In this paper, a novel technique is used to probe local property changes in multi-component polymer systems. Changes in indentation response in interphase regions are investigated for an adhesive system involving a diffuse polymer-polymer bond and for two composite systems. To date, diamond-tipped probes with effective spring constants of 150 and 310 N/m have been used to investigate polyimide and epoxy resin matrices reinforced by carbon fibers.
The atomic force microscope (AFM) has become a popular tool for characterizing surfaces of many different types of materials. In this paper, an AFM is used to probe the mechanical properties of polymer samples through examination of force curves produced during tip-sample contact and indentation. Three types of cantilever probes with spring constants estimated to be 1–5 N/m, 20–100 N/m, and 400–500 N/m respectively, were used to study different polymer samples with known modulus values ranging from 20 MPa to 3 GPa. A technique is developed that relates the measured sample response to elastic modulus, and illuminates the importance of the relative stiffnesses of the cantilever probe and the sample to the material response.
Thin films (∼1000 Å) of LaxCa1−xMnOδ (x=0.67) were deposited onto LaA1O3 (100) substrates at of 600 and 700°C. Varying the oxygen deposition pressure between 15 and 400 mTorr systematically changed the oxygen concentrations in the as deposited films. Asdeposited films exhibited an orthorhombic structure with an oxygen pressure dependent lattice parameter. The films were highly oriented as characterized by narrow x-ray ω-scans (FWHM ≤ 0.16 −0.70°). At low pressures, the films were preferentially (202) oriented while at high pressures deposited films had a (040) preferred orientation. A 900°C anneal in flowing oxygen for a film deposited at low oxygen pressures resulted in a decrease in the lattice parameter (associated with an increase in δ) and a change in the preferred orientation from (202) to (040). The resistivity as a function of temperature (R(T)) showed a significant variation as a function of growth conditions. At 600°C, the peak in the resistivity curve (Tm) varied between 73 and 93 K for P(O2) = 15 to 400 mTorr, while at 700°C, Tm was ∼150 K. For films deposited at 600°C, the resistivity was reduced by a factor of 103 for H = 9T and Tm was shifted to 150 K. The activation energy associated with the semiconducting phase was approximately the same for all as-deposited films (∼100 meV).
The female-produced sex pheromone Cheimophila salicella (Hbn.) was found to be a mixture of E-11-tetradecenyl acetate, E-11-tetradecen-1-ol, tetradecyl acetate and E-11-tetradecenal, as determined by chemical analyses and field-trapping results. Capillary gas-liquid chromatography of individual female tip washes indicated relative ratios of 100:15:10:2. Field-trapping experiments showed the E-11 acetate to be essential and the E-11 aldehyde to be a powerful synergist for trapping of male moths.
This study compared the effects of social-skills training, remedial drama and group discussion on the conversation skills of chronic schizophrenic patients. After 16 one-hour treatment sessions only the social-skills training resulted in significant improvement, which was maintained at two-month follow-up. Although there was little evidence to support generalisation, the results are seen as indicating the usefulness of social-skills training in improving the performance level of chronic schizophrenic inpatients and in maintaining their social functioning. The implications for future rehabilitation practice are discussed.