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The Lifeways study is novel in having information on three generations of the same families. It is well established that infant birth weight (IBW) predicts individuals’ risk of adult chronic disease and more recently studies report cross-generation transmission of risk patterns. The aims of this analysis were to examine whether adults’ birth weights were associated with measures of own health status or social position and to relate adults’ birth weights to that of the index child’s IBW. Finally, we assessed whether birth weight of either adults or children was associated with adult body mass index (BMI) of parents and grandparents. We included 1075 children whose IBW was recorded at recruitment from hospital records and 2546 adult cohort members followed from 2001 until 2014. At baseline, a sub-group of 920 adults had reported own birth weight (RBW). Results showed male adults’ RBW were significantly higher than females’ (P=0.001). Mothers’ RBW was significantly correlated with IBW (r=0.178, P<0.001). In mixed effects linear models with BMI as the outcome variable, of all adults, and in sub-groups of adults with RBW and of mothers only, the IBW was associated with adult BMI adjusting for other predictors. Adults’ BMI was positively associated with age (P=0.013), index child’s IBW (P=0.001), gender (P<0.001) but not own RBW, adjusting for family identification number. When mothers were removed from the adult models however, IBW ceased to be associated with BMI, a final model showed RBW being associated with adult BMI (P=0.04). There are cross-generational associations in the Lifeways cohort, the maternal association being stronger.
Angus and Hereford beef is marketed internationally for apparent superior meat quality attributes; DNA-based breed authenticity could be a useful instrument to ensure consumer confidence on premium meat products. The objective of this study was to develop an ultra-low-density genotype panel to accurately quantify the Angus and Hereford breed proportion in biological samples. Medium-density genotypes (13 306 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)) were available on 54 703 commercial and 4042 purebred animals. The breed proportion of the commercial animals was generated from the medium-density genotypes and this estimate was regarded as the gold-standard breed composition. Ten genotype panels (100 to 1000 SNPs) were developed from the medium-density genotypes; five methods were used to identify the most informative SNPs and these included the Delta statistic, the fixation (Fst) statistic and an index of both. Breed assignment analyses were undertaken for each breed, panel density and SNP selection method separately with a programme to infer population structure using the entire 13 306 SNP panel (representing the gold-standard measure). Breed assignment was undertaken for all commercial animals (n=54 703), animals deemed to contain some proportion of Angus based on pedigree (n=5740) and animals deemed to contain some proportion of Hereford based on pedigree (n=5187). The predicted breed proportion of all animals from the lower density panels was then compared with the gold-standard breed prediction. Panel density, SNP selection method and breed all had a significant effect on the correlation of predicted and actual breed proportion. Regardless of breed, the Index method of SNP selection numerically (but not significantly) outperformed all other selection methods in accuracy (i.e. correlation and root mean square of prediction) when panel density was ⩾300 SNPs. The correlation between actual and predicted breed proportion increased as panel density increased. Using 300 SNPs (selected using the global index method), the correlation between predicted and actual breed proportion was 0.993 and 0.995 in the Angus and Hereford validation populations, respectively. When SNP panels optimised for breed prediction in one population were used to predict the breed proportion of a separate population, the correlation between predicted and actual breed proportion was 0.034 and 0.044 weaker in the Hereford and Angus populations, respectively (using the 300 SNP panel). It is necessary to include at least 300 to 400 SNPs (per breed) on genotype panels to accurately predict breed proportion from biological samples.
Psychotic symptoms, also termed psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) in the absence of psychotic disorder, are common in adolescents and are associated with increased risk of schizophrenia-spectrum illness in adulthood. At the same time, schizophrenia is associated with deficits in social cognition, with deficits particularly documented in facial emotion recognition (FER). However, little is known about the relationship between PLEs and FER abilities, with only one previous prospective study examining the association between these abilities in childhood and reported PLEs in adolescence. The current study was a cross-sectional investigation of the association between PLEs and FER in a sample of Irish adolescents.
The Adolescent Psychotic-Like Symptom Screener (APSS), a self-report measure of PLEs, and the Penn Emotion Recognition-40 Test (Penn ER-40), a measure of facial emotion recognition, were completed by 793 children aged 10–13 years.
Children who reported PLEs performed significantly more poorly on FER (β=−0.03, p=0.035). Recognition of sad faces was the major driver of effects, with children performing particularly poorly when identifying this expression (β=−0.08, p=0.032).
The current findings show that PLEs are associated with poorer FER. Further work is needed to elucidate causal relationships with implications for the design of future interventions for those at risk of developing psychosis.
Adaptation, speciation and extinction
A. Donnelly, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
A. Caffarra, Istituto Agrario San Michele all'Adige, Italy,
E. Diskin, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
C. T. Kelleher, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland,
A. Pletsers, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
H. Proctor, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
R. Stirnemann, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
M. B. Jones, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
J. O'Halloran, University College Cork, Ireland,
B. F. O'Neill, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland,
J. Peñuelas, Campus Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain,
T. Sparks, Technische Universität München, Germany and Institute of Zoology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK
The impact of climate change, in particular increasing spring temperatures, on life-cycle events of plants and animals has gained scientific attention in recent years. Leafing of trees, appearance and abundance of insects, and migration of birds, across a range of species and countries, have been cited as phenotrends that are advancing in response to warmer spring temperatures. The ability of organisms to acclimate to variations in environmental conditions is known as phenotypic plasticity. Plasticity allows organisms to time developmental stages to coincide with optimum availability of environmental resources. There may, however, come a time when the limit of this plasticity is reached and the species needs to adapt genetically to survive. Here we discuss evidence of the impact of climate warming on plant, insect and bird phenology through examination of: (1) phenotypic plasticity in (a) bud burst in trees, (b) appearance of insects and (c) migration of birds; and (2) genetic adaptation in (a) gene expression during bud burst in trees, (b) the timing of occurrence of phenological events in insects and (c) arrival and breeding times of migratory birds. Finally, we summarise the potential consequences of future climatic changes for plant, insect and bird phenology.
The recent resurgence of interest in phenology (the timing of recurring life-cycle events in plants and animals) has stemmed from research on the impact of climate change, in particular, global warming.
The paper deals with a specific aspect of a general survey, that is being carried out during last ten years in several regions of Serbia (former Yugoslavia, former Serbia and Montenegro) to assess population exposure to natural radioactivity based on geochemical and integrative pattern research approach. The originality regarding this work is related to the facts such as follows: the first identification and assessment of high areas of natural radiation in Serbia which provides insight into its regional characteristics, the interpretation of the results in terms of geological aspects, building types and human habits, the first introduction and field applicability of both (surface and volume trap) retro techniques in Serbia and assessment of doses and risks to the population in investigated high natural radiation rural communities.
Retropharyngeal space swelling is a rare occurrence following minor head and neck trauma. Upper airway obstruction is a potentially life-threatening sequela. The authors present a case of retropharyngeal space haematoma following minor blunt head and neck trauma. Management was conservative with gradual spontaneous resolution of the haematoma. The literature is reviewed and the management and treatment principles presented.
We report the case of a 72-year-old male presenting with a papillary adenocarcinoma of the middle ear. He had had a similar tumour excised from the ipsilateral nasopharynx seven years previously with no evidence of local recurrence. We conclude that this middle ear lesion possibly represents a second tumour. No record of such a case has been reported previously in the literature. We discuss presentation and management and highlight the need for close follow-up of these patients.
The existence of genotype by environment interaction (G*E) can cause a change in the ranking of bulls tested in one environment when their daughters are subsequently milked in another environment. If the degree of re-ranking is large, the genetic correlation between milk production in the two environments will be substantially less than 1.0, with the implication that proofs made in one environment may not be reliable predictors of proofs in the second environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of increasing the difference between environments, defined on the basis of herd average milk yield, on the genetic correlation (rg) for milk, fat and protein yield in Holstein Friesian dairy cattle in Ireland.
An experimental study of cadmium substitution into AgXS2 phases (X = As, Bi, Sb) indicates significant amounts of cadmium can be incorporated in the structure by the mechanism 2Cd ⇌ Ag + X. The limit of substitution of Cd in the high-temperature polymorph of miargyrite, β-AgSbS2 is 6.2 at.%, whereas the low-temperature polymorph, α-AgSbS2, can accommodate at least 12 at.% cadmium. Substitution of Cd into the cubic β-AgSbS2 induces a small monoclinic distortion and the unit cell becomes pseudo-cubic. The α ⇌ β transition in Cd-substituted miargyrites is modified by the solute ions, with both a reduction of Tc and transition smearing evident. Similar effects are also recorded in Cd-substituted AgAsS2 and AgBiS2.
Glycosylation variants of the virulent Leishmania major clone VI21 were generated by mutagenesis with N-methyl-N-nitroso-N-nitroguanidine and selected using the galactose-specific lectin Ricinus communis II (RCA II). Three mutants, 4B9, 1D1 and 1C12, which failed to bind RCA II, were found to have an altered expression of lipophosphoglycan (LPG), a molecule implicated in the attachment to host macrophages and survival within the phagolysosome. There were differences in the antigenicity, molecular weight and localization of LPG from mutant parasites as compared to V121. Expression of gp63, a surface molecule also implicated in attachment to macrophages, was unaltered. All 3 mutants caused disease when injected into genetically susceptible BALB/c mice but lesions developed at a much slower rate than those caused by the virulent V121 clone. This slow rate of lesion development did not correlate with promastigotes' ability to invade macrophages in vitro. Karyotype analysis showed that there was a reduction in the size of chromosome band number 2 in all 3 mutants. The differences in LPG and chromosome band 2 were retained by mutant clones following passage through mice, suggesting that these phenotypes are stable. Although the mutant parasites were infective and caused lesions, the changed structure of the LPG appeared to influence the virulence of the parasites.
The electromigration drift velocity of Al in Al(3wt.% Si), Al(2wt.%Cu), and Al(2wt.%Cu,3wt.%Si) was measured in a temperature range 133 to 220 °C with current densities of 1.0 to 1.5×106A/cm2. In Al(3wt.% Si), a significant Al depletion at the cathode end and accumulation at the anode end of stripe were observed within a few hours at 1.5×106A/cm2 and 200°C. In addition, local hillocks and voids along the metal lines were observed. For Al(Cu,Si), the Al drift velocity was slowed down by Cu addition. The majority of hillocks started to grow at a distance about 6 μm away from the cathode end with current density of 1.5×106 A/cm2. The drift velocity of Al in Al(Cu,Si) was found to be a function of time starting with an initial low value and increasing to a an final steady-state value. The behavior was attributed to the migration of Cu and dissolution of Al2Cu precipitates. The activation energies of the depletion 3 Aμm of Al(2%,Cu, 3%Si) was determined to be 0.90±02 eV. The dissolution and growth of A12Cu in the tested samples of Ti/Al(2%Cu)/Ti/TiN were observed using the scanning electron microscope and an electron microprobe.
A 53-year-old female patient who presented with recurrent meningitis as a result of a meningioma, is reported. The meningioma was found to be wholly contained within the left mastoid antrum. To our knowledge this is the first reported case of a meningioma localised to the mastoid antrum. The patient had been assessed in the ENT department on two separate occasions, 17 years and 19 years previously for nebulous symptoms related to the left ear which had cleared spontaneously. Following a second episode of pyogenic meningitis, both of which were associated with aural symptoms, radiological examination suggested an intramastoid pathology which prompted mastoid exploration. Histological examination of the mass confined to the mastoid antum provided the diagnosis of meningioma. There was no clinical or radiological evidence of extratemporal spread of tumour.
A computerised diagnosis, AGECAT, is applied to data from random community samples of the elderly in New York and London in order to examine the prevalence of mental illness in the two cities, especially the result reported from the same study, using a different diagnostic procedure, that the proportion of dementia was higher in New York. The greater proportion of dementia in New York is confirmed for all AGECAT's levels of diagnostic confidence, for both sexes and at all half-decades over 65 years. Provided that this difference is upheld and genetic differences can be discounted, these findings would seem to support a contributory environmental cause for dementia. Proportions of depression as a whole are similar in both cities. Syndrome case and sub-case levels of neurotic disorder are generally higher in London.
We studied 27 patients who complained of pain, for which no organic basis could be found, and 11 patients without pain. All patients were depressed according to clinical diagnosis and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores. Plasma β-endorphin levels were found not to differ between the two groups or across other variables. The patients who complained of pain had significantly higher scores on the BDI.