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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
The current review aimed to synthesise the literature on food literacy interventions among adolescents in secondary schools, the attitudes and perceptions of food literacy interventions in secondary schools, and their effects on dietary outcomes.
The systematic review searched five electronic databases from the earliest record to present.
The studies selected for the review were from sixteen countries: Australia (n 10), Canada (n 1), China (n 1), France (n 1), Greece (n 2), Iran (n 1), South Africa (n 1), South India (n 1), Kenya (n 1), Norway (n 2), Portugal (n 1), Denmark (n 1), Northern Ireland (n 1), USA (n 17), UK (n 1) and Sweden (n 2).
Adolescents aged 10–19 years.
Forty-four studies were eligible for inclusion. Adolescents with greater nutritional knowledge and food skills showed healthier dietary practices. Studies found a mixed association between food literacy and long-term healthy dietary behaviour. Two studies showed an improvement in adolescents’ cooking skills and food safety knowledge; six studies showed an improvement in overall food safety knowledge; six studies showed an improvement in overall food and nutritional knowledge; and two studies showed an improvement in short-term healthy dietary behaviour.
Food literacy interventions conducted in a secondary-school setting have demonstrated a positive impact on healthy food and nutritional knowledge. However, there appears to be limited evidence supporting food literacy interventions and long-term dietary behaviours in adolescents. More evidence-based research is required to adequately measure all domains of food literacy and more age-specific food literacy interventions.
Marteilia refringens causes marteiliosis in oysters, mussels and other bivalve molluscs. This parasite previously comprised two species, M. refringens and Marteilia maurini, which were synonymized in 2007 and subsequently referred to as M. refringens ‘O-type’ and ‘M-type’. O-type has caused mass mortalities of the flat oyster Ostrea edulis. We used high throughput sequencing and histology to intensively screen flat oysters and mussels (Mytilus edulis) from the UK, Sweden and Norway for infection by both types and to generate multi-gene datasets to clarify their genetic distinctiveness. Mussels from the UK, Norway and Sweden were more frequently polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive for M-type (75/849) than oysters (11/542). We did not detect O-type in any northern European samples, and no histology-confirmed Marteilia-infected oysters were found in the UK, Norway and Sweden, even where co-habiting mussels were infected by the M-type. The two genetic lineages within ‘M. refringens’ are robustly distinguishable at species level. We therefore formally define them as separate species: M. refringens (previously O-type) and Marteilia pararefringens sp. nov. (M-type). We designed and tested new Marteilia-specific PCR primers amplifying from the 3’ end of the 18S rRNA gene through to the 5.8S gene, which specifically amplified the target region from both tissue and environmental samples.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
We evaluate the variability in basal friction for Kronebreen, Svalbard, a fast-flowing tidewater glacier. We invert 3 years (2013–15) of surface velocities at high temporal resolution (generally 11 days), to estimate the changing basal properties of the glacier. Our results suggest that sliding behaviour of Kronebreen within a year is primarily influenced by changes in water input patterns during the meltwater season and basal friction is highly variable from a year to another. At present, models usually employ parameterisations to encompass the complex physics of glacier sliding by mathematically simulate their net effect. For such ice masses with strong seasonal variations of surface melt, the spatio-temporal patterns of basal friction imply that it is neither possible nor appropriate to use a parameterisation for bed friction that is fixed in space and/or time, at least in a timescale of a few years. Basal sliding may not only be governed by local processes such as basal topography or summer melt, but also be mediated by factors that vary over a larger distance and over a longer time period such as subglacial hydrology organisation, ice-thickness changes or calving front geometry.
Arterial wall thickening, stimulated by low-grade systemic inflammation, underlies many cardiovascular events. As diet is a significant moderator of systemic inflammation, the dietary inflammatory index (DIITM) has recently been devised to assess the overall inflammatory potential of an individual’s diet. The primary objective of this study was to assess the association of the DII with common carotid artery–intima-media thickness (CCA–IMT) and carotid plaques. To substantiate the clinical importance of these findings we assessed the relationship of DII score with atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD)-related mortality, ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVA)-related mortality and ischaemic heart disease (IHD)-related mortality more. The study was conducted in Western Australian women aged over 70 years (n 1304). Dietary data derived from a validated FFQ (completed at baseline) were used to calculate a DII score for each individual. In multivariable-adjusted models, DII scores were associated with sub-clinical atherosclerosis: a 1 sd (2·13 units) higher DII score was associated with a 0·013-mm higher mean CCA–IMT (P=0·016) and a 0·016-mm higher maximum CCA–IMT (P=0·008), measured at 36 months. No relationship was seen between DII score and carotid plaque severity. There were 269 deaths during follow-up. High DII scores were positively associated with ASVD-related death (per sd, hazard ratio (HR): 1·36; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·60), CVA-related death (per sd, HR: 1·30; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·69) and IHD-related death (per sd, HR: 1·40; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·75). These results support the hypothesis that a pro-inflammatory diet increases systemic inflammation leading to development and progression of atherosclerosis and eventual ASVD-related death.
We discuss the use of seeing-limited near-IR spectroscopic imaging combined with high resolution millimeter and submillimeter wave observations, as a diagnostic in the study of the nuclear interstellar medium in starburst galaxies and active galactic nuclei. As an example, recent near-IR spectroscopic imaging of the starburst galaxy NGC 253 is analyzed. It is shown that the central ~ 100 pc of NGC 253 contains a number of giant star forming complexes, the stellar content of which is at least as large as that of the 30 Dor region in the LMC. We suggest the use of the [FeII]/Brγ ratio as an approximate age indicator for such complexes. The warm component of the nuclear molecular medium in NGC 253 detected in submillimeter CO spectra and in near-IR rovibrational lines of H2 is probably heated by stellar UV radiation or slow shocks in star forming regions, rather than by supernova remnant shocks. There are indications that molecular material is being removed from the nuclear region by the “superwind” observed in optical emission lines.
Higher fruit intake is associated with lower risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality. However, data on individual fruits are limited, and the generalisability of these findings to the elderly remains uncertain. The objective of this study was to examine the association of apple intake with all-cause and disease-specific mortality over 15 years in a cohort of women aged over 70 years. Secondary analyses explored relationships of other fruits with mortality outcomes. Usual fruit intake was assessed in 1456 women using a FFQ. Incidence of all-cause and disease-specific mortality over 15 years was determined through the Western Australian Hospital Morbidity Data system. Cox regression was used to determine the hazard ratios (HR) for mortality. During 15 years of follow-up, 607 (41·7 %) women died from any cause. In the multivariable-adjusted analysis, the HR for all-cause mortality was 0·89 (95 % CI 0·81, 0·97) per sd (53 g/d) increase in apple intake, HR 0·80 (95 % CI 0·65, 0·98) for consumption of 5–100 g/d and HR 0·65 (95 % CI 0·48, 0·89) for consumption of >100 g/d (an apple a day), compared with apple intake of <5 g/d (Pfor trend=0·03). Our analysis also found that higher apple intake was associated with lower risk for cancer mortality, and that higher total fruit and banana intakes were associated lower risk of CVD mortality (P<0·05). Our results support the view that regular apple consumption may contribute to lower risk of mortality.
Twin pairs discordant for disease may help elucidate the epigenetic mechanisms and causal environmental factors in disease development and progression. To obtain the numbers of pairs, especially monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs, necessary for in-depth studies while also allowing for replication, twin studies worldwide need to pool their resources. The Discordant Twin (DISCOTWIN) consortium was established for this goal. Here, we describe the DISCOTWIN Consortium and present an analysis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) data in nearly 35,000 twin pairs. Seven twin cohorts from Europe (Denmark, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) and one from Australia investigated the rate of discordance for T2D in same-sex twin pairs aged 45 years and older. Data were available for 34,166 same-sex twin pairs, of which 13,970 were MZ, with T2D diagnosis based on self-reported diagnosis and medication use, fasting glucose and insulin measures, or medical records. The prevalence of T2D ranged from 2.6% to 12.3% across the cohorts depending on age, body mass index (BMI), and national diabetes prevalence. T2D discordance rate was lower for MZ (5.1%, range 2.9–11.2%) than for same-sex dizygotic (DZ) (8.0%, range 4.9–13.5%) pairs. Across DISCOTWIN, 720 discordant MZ pairs were identified. Except for the oldest of the Danish cohorts (mean age 79), heritability estimates based on contingency tables were moderate to high (0.47–0.77). From a meta-analysis of all data, the heritability was estimated at 72% (95% confidence interval 61–78%). This study demonstrated high T2D prevalence and high heritability for T2D liability across twin cohorts. Therefore, the number of discordant MZ pairs for T2D is limited. By combining national resources, the DISCOTWIN Consortium maximizes the number of discordant MZ pairs needed for in-depth genotyping, multi-omics, and phenotyping studies, which may provide unique insights into the pathways linking genes to the development of many diseases.
The bran and particularly the aleurone fraction of wheat are high in betaine and other physiological methyl donors, which may exert beneficial physiological effects. We conducted two randomised, controlled, cross-over postprandial studies to assess and compare plasma betaine and other methyl donor-related responses following the consumption of minimally processed bran and aleurone fractions (study A) and aleurone bread (study B). For both studies, standard pharmacokinetic parameters were derived for betaine, choline, folate, dimethylglycine (DMG), total homocysteine and methionine from plasma samples taken at 0, 0·5, 1, 2 and 3 h. In study A (n 14), plasma betaine concentrations were significantly and substantially elevated from 0·5 to 3 h following the consumption of both bran and aleurone compared with the control; however, aleurone gave significantly higher responses than bran. Small, but significant, increases were also observed in DMG measures; however, no significant responses were observed in other analytes. In study B (n 13), plasma betaine concentrations were significantly and substantially higher following consumption of the aleurone bread compared with the control bread; small, but significant, increases were also observed in DMG and folate measures in response to consumption of the aleurone bread; however, no significant responses were observed in other analytes. Peak plasma betaine concentrations, which were 1·7–1·8 times the baseline levels, were attained earlier following the consumption of minimally processed aleurone compared with the aleurone bread (time taken to reach peak concentration 1·2 v. 2·1 h). These results showed that the consumption of minimally processed wheat bran, and particularly the aleurone fraction, yielded substantial postprandial increases in plasma betaine concentrations. Furthermore, these effects appear to be maintained when aleurone was incorporated into bread.
Two broad aims drive weed science research: improved management and improved understanding of weed biology and ecology. In recent years, agricultural weed research addressing these two aims has effectively split into separate subdisciplines despite repeated calls for greater integration. Although some excellent work is being done, agricultural weed research has developed a very high level of repetitiveness, a preponderance of purely descriptive studies, and has failed to clearly articulate novel hypotheses linked to established bodies of ecological and evolutionary theory. In contrast, invasive plant research attracts a diverse cadre of nonweed scientists using invasions to explore broader and more integrated biological questions grounded in theory. We propose that although studies focused on weed management remain vitally important, agricultural weed research would benefit from deeper theoretical justification, a broader vision, and increased collaboration across diverse disciplines. To initiate change in this direction, we call for more emphasis on interdisciplinary training for weed scientists, and for focused workshops and working groups to develop specific areas of research and promote interactions among weed scientists and with the wider scientific community.
The utility of biological control for weed management in agroecosystems will increase with a greater understanding of the relationships between common weed and granivore species. Giant foxtail is an introduced, summer annual grass weed that is common throughout the United States and problematic in numerous crops. Harpalus pensylvanicus (DeGeer) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) is a common, native, omnivorous carabid beetle with a range that overlaps giant foxtail. In 2004 and 2005, H. pensylvanicus was captured from farm fields in Centre County, PA, and subjected to laboratory feeding trials to test the preference of giant foxtail and other species on predation by H. pensylvanicus. Weed species seed preference experiments that included “Choice” and “No Choice” treatments were conducted using giant foxtail, common lambsquarters, and velvetleaf. When given a choice amongst the three weed species, H. pensylvanicus preferred giant foxtail and common lambsquarters seeds equally compared to velvetleaf seeds. When given the choice, H. pensylvanicus preferred newly dispersed giant foxtail seeds over field-aged seeds. Phenology of giant foxtail seed shed relative to H. pensylvanicus activity density was also quantified in field experiments in 2005 and 2006. Giant foxtail seed rain was determined by collecting shed seeds from August through October using pan traps. Activity density of H. pensylvanicus was monitored for 72-h periods using pitfall traps from June to October. Peak activity density of H. pensylvanicus occurred at the onset of giant foxtail seed shed in both years; however, giant foxtail seed shed peaked approximately 30 to 50 d after H. pensylvanicus activity density. Future research should focus on management practices that enhance and support H. pensylvanicus populations later in the growing season to maximize suppression of giant foxtail and other weeds that shed palatable seeds later in the season.
Recent developments in instrumentation mean that chemical analysis of large drill cores taken for geological purposes can be performed rapidly at sub-millimetre scales using core scanners equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometers. The present study describes the development of a calibration for the Itrax Core Scanner (Cox Analytical, Sweden), intended for whole cores of coal-seam sections, without the need for sample preparation. The calibration was developed for key major elements (Al, Si, P, S, K, Ca, Ti, and Fe) based on pressed pellets of reference coals, allowing semi-quantitative and, at times, quantitative analyses. The influence of core curvature and surface roughness compared with an ideal flat-surface was also examined using model samples, and their influence on the apparent sample composition evaluated.
Blood culture collection practices that reduce contamination, such as sterile blood culture collection kits and phlebotomy teams, increase up-front costs for collecting cultures but may lead to net savings by eliminating downstream costs associated with contamination. The study objective was to compare overall hospital costs associated with 3 collection strategies: usual care, sterile kits, and phlebotomy teams.
This analysis was conducted from the perspective of a hospital leadership team selecting a blood culture collection strategy for an adult emergency department (ED) with 8,000 cultures drawn annually.
Total hospital costs associated with 3 strategies were compared: (1) usual care, with nurses collecting cultures without a standardized protocol; (2) sterile kits, with nurses using a dedicated sterile collection kit; and (3) phlebotomy teams, with cultures collected by laboratory-based phlebotomists. In the base case, contamination rates associated with usual care, sterile kits, and phlebotomy teams were assumed to be 4.34%, 1.68%, and 1.10%, respectively. Total hospital costs included costs of collecting cultures and hospitalization costs according to culture results (negative, true positive, and contaminated).
Compared with usual care, annual net savings using the sterile kit and phlebotomy team strategies were $483,219 and $288,980, respectively. Both strategies remained less costly than usual care across a broad range of sensitivity analyses.
EDs with high blood culture contamination rates should strongly consider evidence-based strategies to reduce contamination. In addition to improving quality, implementing a sterile collection kit or phlebotomy team strategy is likely to result in net cost savings.