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Two common approaches to identify subgroups of patients with bipolar disorder are clustering methodology (mixture analysis) based on the age of onset, and a birth cohort analysis. This study investigates if a birth cohort effect will influence the results of clustering on the age of onset, using a large, international database.
The database includes 4037 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar I disorder, previously collected at 36 collection sites in 23 countries. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to adjust the data for country median age, and in some models, birth cohort. Model-based clustering (mixture analysis) was then performed on the age of onset data using the residuals. Clinical variables in subgroups were compared.
There was a strong birth cohort effect. Without adjusting for the birth cohort, three subgroups were found by clustering. After adjusting for the birth cohort or when considering only those born after 1959, two subgroups were found. With results of either two or three subgroups, the youngest subgroup was more likely to have a family history of mood disorders and a first episode with depressed polarity. However, without adjusting for birth cohort (three subgroups), family history and polarity of the first episode could not be distinguished between the middle and oldest subgroups.
These results using international data confirm prior findings using single country data, that there are subgroups of bipolar I disorder based on the age of onset, and that there is a birth cohort effect. Including the birth cohort adjustment altered the number and characteristics of subgroups detected when clustering by age of onset. Further investigation is needed to determine if combining both approaches will identify subgroups that are more useful for research.
Acifluorfen is a nonsystemic PPO-inhibiting herbicide commonly used for POST Palmer amaranth control in soybean, peanut, and rice across the southern United States. Concerns have been raised regarding herbicide selection pressure and particle drift, increasing the need for application practices that optimize herbicide efficacy while mitigating spray drift. Field research was conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2018 in Mississippi and Nebraska to evaluate the influence of a range of spray droplet sizes [150 μm (Fine) to 900 μm (Ultra Coarse)], using acifluorfen to create a novel Palmer amaranth management recommendation using pulse width modulation (PWM) technology. A pooled site-year generalized additive model (GAM) analysis suggested that 150-μm (Fine) droplets should be used to obtain the greatest Palmer amaranth control and dry biomass reduction. Nevertheless, GAM models indicated that only 7.2% of the variability observed in Palmer amaranth control was due to differences in spray droplet size. Therefore, location-specific GAM analyses were performed to account for geographical differences to increase the accuracy of prediction models. GAM models suggested that 250-μm (Medium) droplets optimize acifluorfen efficacy on Palmer amaranth in Dundee, MS, and 310-μm (Medium) droplets could sustain 90% of maximum weed control. Specific models for Beaver City, NE, indicated that 150-μm (Fine) droplets provide maximum Palmer amaranth control, and 340-μm (Medium) droplets could maintain 90% of greatest weed control. For Robinsonville, MS, optimal Palmer amaranth control could be obtained with 370-μm (Coarse) droplets, and 90% maximum control could be sustained with 680 μm (Ultra Coarse) droplets. Differences in optimal droplet size across location could be a result of convoluted interactions between droplet size, weather conditions, population density, plant morphology, and soil fertility levels. Future research should adopt a holistic approach to identify and investigate the influence of environmental and application parameters to optimize droplet size recommendations.
Herbicide applications performed with pulse width modulation (PWM) sprayers to deliver specific spray droplet sizes could maintain product efficacy, minimize potential off-target movement, and increase flexibility in field operations. Given the continuous expansion of herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth populations across the southern and midwestern United States, efficacious and cost-effective means of application are needed to maximize Palmer amaranth control. Experiments were conducted in two locations in Mississippi (2016, 2017, and 2018) and one location in Nebraska (2016 and 2017) for a total of 7 site-years. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of a range of spray droplet sizes [150 (Fine) to 900 μm (Ultra Coarse)] on lactofen and acifluorfen efficacy for Palmer amaranth control. The results of this research indicated that spray droplet size did not influence lactofen efficacy on Palmer amaranth. Palmer amaranth control and percent dry-biomass reduction remained consistent with lactofen applied within the aforementioned droplet size range. Therefore, larger spray droplets should be used as part of a drift mitigation approach. In contrast, acifluorfen application with 300-μm (Medium) spray droplets provided the greatest Palmer amaranth control. Although percent biomass reduction was numerically greater with 300-μm (Medium) droplets, results did not differ with respect to spray droplet size, possibly as a result of initial plant injury, causing weight loss, followed by regrowth. Overall, 900-μm (Ultra Coarse) droplets could be used effectively without compromising lactofen efficacy on Palmer amaranth, and 300-μm (Medium) droplets should be used to achieve maximum Palmer amaranth control with acifluorfen.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Accurate models of X-ray absorption and re-emission in partly stripped ions are necessary to calculate the structure of stars, the performance of hohlraums for inertial confinement fusion and many other systems in high-energy-density plasma physics. Despite theoretical progress, a persistent discrepancy exists with recent experiments at the Sandia Z facility studying iron in conditions characteristic of the solar radiative–convective transition region. The increased iron opacity measured at Z could help resolve a longstanding issue with the standard solar model, but requires a radical departure for opacity theory. To replicate the Z measurements, an opacity experiment has been designed for the National Facility (NIF). The design uses established techniques scaled to NIF. A laser-heated hohlraum will produce X-ray-heated uniform iron plasmas in local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) at temperatures
eV and electron densities
. The iron will be probed using continuum X-rays emitted in a
diameter source from a 2 mm diameter polystyrene (CH) capsule implosion. In this design,
of the NIF beams deliver 500 kJ to the
mm diameter hohlraum, and the remaining
directly drive the CH capsule with 200 kJ. Calculations indicate this capsule backlighter should outshine the iron sample, delivering a point-projection transmission opacity measurement to a time-integrated X-ray spectrometer viewing down the hohlraum axis. Preliminary experiments to develop the backlighter and hohlraum are underway, informing simulated measurements to guide the final design.
This paper outlines the extensive range of public programs offered by the Carter Observatory, including ‘public nights’, new planetarium and audio-visual shows, displays, the Carter Memorial Lectures, the annual Astronomical Handbook and other publications, a monthly newspaper column and three monthly radio programs. It also deals with the Observatory’s involvement in undergraduate and postgraduate astronomy at Victoria University of Wellington, various adult education training programs, ‘Overnight Extravaganzas’, holiday programs, and the recent development of the Education Service in response to the introduction of an astronomy curriculum into schools throughout New Zealand. Some possible future developments in the public astronomy and education areas are also discussed.
A brief description of astronomy in New Zealand both amateur and professional, past and present is given, with particular emphasis on the work carried out by the two professional establishments; the Carter Observatory, Wellington and the Mt John University Observatory of the University of Canterbury.
An outline is given of the main research programs currently in progress at the Carter Observatory. These include: the establishment of a set of standard star magnitudes and colours in the Vilnius seven-colour photometric system; the study of galactic and extragalactic star clusters using Vilnius and broadband photometries; binary stars and the development of APTs; and the history of Australasian astronomy. The role of Carter Observatory Honorary Research Associates is described and mention is made of the joint New Zealand/Japan program to observe gravitational microlensing effects, discover variable stars and patrol selected clusters of galaxies for supernovae.
Observations of the large-scale organisation of matter in the Universe are of great importance in present day astronomy. In the visible part of the spectrum such observations are mainly of the distribution of galaxies on the plane of the sky.
Direct and objective prism plates obtained using large Schmidt telescopes form the bulk of the material used. The direct plates provide the observations from which the surface distribution of galaxies may be determined and the prism plates and FLAIR, via redshifts, yield extragalactic distances and hence the three dimensional distribution of galaxies.
For large-scale surveys the measuring machines used need to be multi-purpose and fast such as COSMOS and SUPER-COSMOS at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. More specific programs can make use of smaller, slower machines such as iris photometers and microdensitometers.
The method of analysing the data produced rely on seeking density enhancements in the general field of galaxies for cluster detection or using correlation techniques for analysis of the galaxy distribution.
A description is given of a southern sky catalogue containing 109 objects recently completed and an outline of some of the extragalactic projects underway using this large body of data.
The distribution of faint galaxies in a deep sample, down to a limiting magnitude of B ~ 21.5 in a region of some 30 square degrees of sky at the South Galactic Pole, is investigated. The sample was obtained from objective measurements made with the COSMOS automatic plate-scanning machine. The two-point angular correlation function shows positive correlation on scales out to ~1.5° and thereafter positive correlations on scales ~ 2.5° and ~ 5° indicating the presence of clustering in this sample on linear scales out to ~ 8h-1 Mpc and at ~ 13h-1 and ~ 27h-1 Mpc. On application of an algorithm for the detection of filamentary structure in the distribution of the galaxies, a negative result is obtained.
People with Down syndrome (DS) are at high risk for developing dementia and early diagnosis is vital in enhancing quality of life. Our aim was to compare our practice to consensus recommendations on evaluation, diagnosis and pharmacological treatment of individuals with DS who develop dementia. We also aimed to establish the average time taken to make a diagnosis of dementia and to commence pharmacotherapy, and to assess tolerability to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
Retrospective chart review in an exhaustive sample containing all current service users attending our service with DS and a diagnosis of dementia (n=20).
The sample was 75% female and 70% had a moderate intellectual disability. The average age at diagnosis of dementia was 52.42 years old. The average time to diagnosis from first symptom was 1.13 years and the average time to commence pharmacotherapy was 0.23 years. A total of 17 patients commenced on acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, and of these seven discontinued medication due to side-effects or lack of efficacy.
The results on anticholinesterases add to the limited pool of data on treatment of dementia in DS. There was an identified need to improve the rates of medical, vision and hearing assessments, and prospective screening. Deficiencies in screening and diagnosis may be addressed by implementing a standardised dementia assessment pathway to include prospective screening and longitudinal assessment using easily administered scales. We highlight the importance of improving the diagnostic process, as a vital window of opportunity to commence a comprehensive care plan may be lost.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
Piglet neonatal diarrhoea is an important issue in modern pig production and is linked to increased mortality and poor growth rates, affecting long-term pig health, increasing use of medication and cost of production. Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii (SB) is a probiotic yeast with documented clinical efficacy in the prevention and treatment of diarrhoeal diseases in humans. The objectives of the current study were to evaluate the effect of SB on occurrence and severity of neonatal diarrhoea in piglets, mortality and growth rate. Forty-six litters (606 piglets) were randomly allocated to a control or SB treatment (n=23 per treatment). Within 24 h of farrowing, piglets assigned to the SB treatment received a single oral dose of a paste containing 3.3×109 CFU of SB CNCM I-1079. Piglets from the control litters received a placebo paste. Piglet weight, mortality and diarrhoea were recorded up to day 7 of age. It was shown that numbers of diarrhoea days were significantly correlated with increased mortality rate and reduced weight gain (P<0.05). SB treatment had no effect on growth or mortality in diarrhoeic litters. However, SB-supplemented litters had significantly lower faecal scores, indicating firmer faeces (P<0.01) and fewer numbers of diarrhoeic days (P<0.01) during the 1st week of life. Reduction in the number of diarrhoeic litters compared with the control group was observed following the probiotic administration (P<0.05). These results highlight the detrimental effects of neonatal diarrhoea on pre-weaning performance and suggest that SB, by reducing diarrhoea duration and severity, has the potential of improving enteric health in the early stages of life in pigs.
The objective of this study was to determine the genetic parameters of methane (CH4) emissions and their genetic correlations with key production traits. The trial measured the CH4 emissions, at 5-min intervals, from 1225 sheep placed in respiration chambers for 2 days, with repeat measurements 2 weeks later for another 2 days. They were fed in the chambers, based on live weight, a pelleted lucerne ration at 2.0 times estimated maintenance requirements. Methane outputs were calculated for g CH4/day and g CH4/kg dry matter intake (DMI) for each of the 4 days. Single trait models were used to obtain estimates of heritability and repeatability. Heritability of g CH4/day was 0.29 ± 0.05, and for g CH4/kg DMI 0.13 ± 0.03. Repeatability between measurements 14 days apart were 0.55 ± 0.02 and 0.26 ± 0.02, for the two traits. The genetic and phenotypic correlations of CH4 outputs with various production traits (weaning weight, live weight at 8 months of age, dag score, muscle depth and fleece weight at 12 months of age) measured in the first year of life, were estimated using bivariate models. With the exception of fleece weight, correlations were weak and not significantly different from zero for the g CH4/kg DMI trait. For fleece weight the phenotypic and genetic correlation estimates were −0.08 ± 0.03 and −0.32 ± 0.11 suggesting a low economically favourable relationship. These results indicate that there is genetic variation between animals for CH4 emission traits even after adjustment for feed intake and that these traits are repeatable. Current work includes the establishment of selection lines from these animals to investigate the physiological, microbial and anatomical changes, coupled with investigations into shorter and alternative CH4 emission measurement and breeding value estimation techniques; including genomic selection.
The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is prevalent worldwide and can infect a remarkably wide range of hosts despite felids being the only definitive host. As cats play a major role in transmission to secondary mammalian hosts, the interaction between cats and these hosts should be a major factor determining final prevalence in the secondary host. This study investigates the prevalence of T. gondii in a natural population of Apodemus sylvaticus collected from an area with low cat density (<2·5 cats/km2). A surprisingly high prevalence of 40·78% (95% CI: 34·07%–47·79%) was observed despite this. A comparable level of prevalence was observed in a previously published study using the same approaches where a prevalence of 59% (95% CI: 50·13%–67·87%) was observed in a natural population of Mus domesticus from an area with high cat density (>500 cats/km2). Detection of infected foetuses from pregnant dams in both populations suggests that congenital transmission may enable persistence of infection in the absence of cats. The prevalences of the related parasite, Neospora caninum were found to be low in both populations (A. sylvaticus: 3·39% (95% CI: 0·12%–6·66%); M. domesticus: 3·08% (95% CI: 0·11%–6·05%)). These results suggest that cat density may have a lower than expected effect on final prevalence in these ecosystems.
Livestock selection programmes have progressed from visual assessments to the use of quantitative information from multiple sources. More recently genetic markers have been used to incorporate information from quantitative trait loci (QTL) into selection decisions. The uptake this technology has been slow due to the cost and difficulty of discovering and using QTL. For a number of livestock species single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-chips are becoming available. These have the ability to genotype 10,000s of SNP markers in a single assay. This opens up the possibility of ‘genome wide selection’ (GWS) to ‘tag’ most of the genetic variants contributing to trait differences. This paper discusses what impact GWS might have in the main NZ livestock breeding industries (dairy, beef, sheep and deer).