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A new fossil site in a previously unexplored part of western Madagascar (the Beanka Protected Area) has yielded remains of many recently extinct vertebrates, including giant lemurs (Babakotia radofilai, Palaeopropithecus kelyus, Pachylemur sp., and Archaeolemur edwardsi), carnivores (Cryptoprocta spelea), the aardvark-like Plesiorycteropus sp., and giant ground cuckoos (Coua). Many of these represent considerable range extensions. Extant species that were extirpated from the region (e.g., Prolemur simus) are also present. Calibrated radiocarbon ages for 10 bones from extinct primates span the last three millennia. The largely undisturbed taphonomy of bone deposits supports the interpretation that many specimens fell in from a rock ledge above the entrance. Some primates and other mammals may have been prey items of avian predators, but human predation is also evident. Strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) suggest that fossils were local to the area. Pottery sherds and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates with cut and chop marks indicate human activity in previous centuries. Scarcity of charcoal and human artifacts suggests only occasional visitation to the site by humans. The fossil assemblage from this site is unusual in that, while it contains many sloth lemurs, it lacks ratites, hippopotami, and crocodiles typical of nearly all other Holocene subfossil sites on Madagascar.
Previous research showed that automatic emotion regulation is associated with activation of subcortical areas and subsequent feedforward processes to cortical areas. In contrast, cognitive awareness of emotions is mediated by negative feedback from cortical to subcortical areas. Pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) is essential in the modulation of both affect and alexithymia. We considered the interplay between these two mechanisms in the pgACC and their relationship with alexithymia.
In 68 healthy participants (30 women, age = 26.15 ± 4.22) we tested associations of emotion processing and alexithymia with excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance represented as glutamate (Glu)/GABA in the pgACC measured via magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 7 T.
Alexithymia was positively correlated with the Glu/GABA ratio (N = 41, p = 0.0393). Further, cognitive self-awareness showed an association with Glu/GABA (N = 52, p = 0.003), which was driven by a correlation with GABA. In contrast, emotion regulation was only correlated with glutamate levels in the pgACC (N = 49, p = 0.008).
Our results corroborate the importance of the pgACC as a mediating region of alexithymia, reflected in an altered E/I balance. Furthermore, we could specify that this altered balance is linked to a GABA-related modulation of cognitive self-awareness of emotions.
This study identified underlying career orientation types of clinical research coordinators (CRCs) using cluster analysis. Select career (satisfaction, engagement, and planning) and competency-related (perceived competence) information was used to identify four distinct career orientation types.
A web-based survey was administered to CRCs employed in one of four research institutions affiliated with a National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Research Award (CTSA) in the southeastern USA. Each respondent completed a survey containing questions about personal background, individual attributes, perceived professional competence, and career orientation.
The first CRC type (35.2%) possessed a positive, knowledge-seeking orientation, characterized by high career-related scores but a conservative assessment of perceived competence. The second CRC type (18.6%) represented an optimistic and confident career orientation reflected in moderate to high scores on each of the four identifying factors. The third CRC type (27.6%) reflected an inconsistent career orientation highlighted by lowered perceived competence. The final CRC type (18.6%) reflected a disengaged orientation characterized by negative responses to all career and competence factors.
Understanding the career orientation of CRCs can be helpful to institutional administrators and clinical investigators as they seek to support the professional development of CRCs through tailored training efforts or work-related supports. Knowledge of career orientation may also inform individual CRCs as they manage their personal career paths by assessing current levels of functioning, career-related strengths or weaknesses, and training needs.
The purpose of this work was to develop accurate calibration standards which were fully characterized in terms of uniformity and concentration using fundamental measuring methods. Three similar sets of vacuum deposits were commercially made, each set containing the single deposits CuS, KCl, CaF2, Cr, Fe, Cu, RbNO3, SrF2, MoO3 , BaF2, and Pb. Thickness variations in each deposit were measured with PIXEA (proton induced x-ray excitation analysis) measurements taken at 6 to 8 positions along the deposit diameters. Relative elemental concentrations on corresponding deposits from each set were measured using multiple XRF intercomparisons. One set of deposits was destructively analyzed at the National Bureau of Standards with isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (IDMS) in order to calibrate the remaining sets of vacuum deposits. The calibrated deposits were compared with standards from two commercial sources. For seven elements heavier than chlorine there was an average deviation of 13.5% between the calibrated deposits and the commercial standards. Disagreements as large as 15% were observed between standards from the two commercial suppliers.
Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
Self-screening using an electronic version of the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (‘MUST’) has been developed but its implementation requires investigation. A total of 100 outpatients (mean age 50 (sd 16) years; 57 % male) self-screened with an electronic version of ‘MUST’ and were then screened by a healthcare professional (HCP) to assess concurrent validity. Ease of use, time to self-screen and prevalence of malnutrition were also assessed. A further twenty outpatients (mean age 54 (sd 15) years; 55 % male) examined preference between self- screening with paper and electronic versions of ‘MUST’. For the three-category classification of ‘MUST’ (low, medium and high risk), agreement between electronic self-screening and HCP screening was 94 % (κ=0·74, se 0·092; P<0·001). For the two-category classification (low risk; medium+high risk) agreement was 96 % (κ=0·82, se 0·085; P<0·001), comparable with the previously reported paper-based self-screening. In all, 15 % of patients categorised themselves ‘at risk’ of malnutrition (5 % medium, 10 % high). Electronic self-screening took 3 min (sd 1·2 min), 40 % faster than previously reported for the paper-based version. Patients found the tool easy or very easy to understand (99 %) and complete (98 %). Patients that assessed both tools found the electronic tool easier to complete (65 %) and preferred it (55 %) to the paper version. Electronic self-screening using ‘MUST’ in a heterogeneous group of hospital outpatients is acceptable, user-friendly and has ‘substantial to almost-perfect’ agreement with HCP screening. The electronic format appears to be as agreeable and often the preferred format when compared with the validated paper-based ‘MUST’ self-screening tool.
Footprints in Time: The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC) is a national study of 1759 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living across urban, regional and remote areas of Australia. The study is in its 11th wave of annual data collection, having collected extensive data on topics including birth and early life influences, parental health and well-being, identity, cultural engagement, language use, housing, racism, school engagement and academic achievement, and social and emotional well-being. The current paper reviews a selection of major findings from Footprints in Time relating to the developmental origins of health and disease for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Opportunities for new researchers to conduct further research utilizing the LSIC data set are also presented.
An internationally approved and globally used classification scheme for the diagnosis of CHD has long been sought. The International Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Code (IPCCC), which was produced and has been maintained by the International Society for Nomenclature of Paediatric and Congenital Heart Disease (the International Nomenclature Society), is used widely, but has spawned many “short list” versions that differ in content depending on the user. Thus, efforts to have a uniform identification of patients with CHD using a single up-to-date and coordinated nomenclature system continue to be thwarted, even if a common nomenclature has been used as a basis for composing various “short lists”. In an attempt to solve this problem, the International Nomenclature Society has linked its efforts with those of the World Health Organization to obtain a globally accepted nomenclature tree for CHD within the 11th iteration of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The International Nomenclature Society has submitted a hierarchical nomenclature tree for CHD to the World Health Organization that is expected to serve increasingly as the “short list” for all communities interested in coding for congenital cardiology. This article reviews the history of the International Classification of Diseases and of the IPCCC, and outlines the process used in developing the ICD-11 congenital cardiac disease diagnostic list and the definitions for each term on the list. An overview of the content of the congenital heart anomaly section of the Foundation Component of ICD-11, published herein in its entirety, is also included. Future plans for the International Nomenclature Society include linking again with the World Health Organization to tackle procedural nomenclature as it relates to cardiac malformations. By doing so, the Society will continue its role in standardising nomenclature for CHD across the globe, thereby promoting research and better outcomes for fetuses, children, and adults with congenital heart anomalies.
22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) is associated with a high risk of childhood as well as adult psychiatric disorders, in particular schizophrenia. Childhood cognitive deterioration in 22q11.2DS has previously been reported, but only in studies lacking a control sample.
To compare cognitive trajectories in children with 22q11.2DS and unaffected control siblings.
A longitudinal study of neurocognitive functioning (IQ, executive function, processing speed and attention) was conducted in children with 22q11.2DS (n = 75, mean age time 1 (T1) 9.9, time 2 (T2) 12.5) and control siblings (n = 33, mean age T1 10.6, T2 134).
Children with 22q11.2DS exhibited deficits in all cognitive domains. However, mean scores did not indicate deterioration. When individual trajectories were examined, some participants showed significant decline over time, but the prevalence was similar for 22q11.2DS and control siblings. Findings are more likely to reflect normal developmental fluctuation than a 22q11.2DS-specific abnormality.
Childhood cognitive deterioration is not associated with 22q11.2DS. Contrary to previous suggestions, we believe it is premature to recommend repeated monitoring of cognitive function to identifying individual children with 22q11.2DS at high risk of developing schizophrenia.
Paralana is an active, radon-containing hot spring situated in a region of South Australia's Flinders Ranges with a long history of hydrothermal activity. Gas bubbling into the pool is composed of radon (from the radioactive decay of radium), nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and trace helium and hydrogen. The microbial composition of mat and biofilm samples from Paralana was determined using culture-independent 16S rRNA techniques. We have previously demonstrated that the hot spring contains a diverse bacterial community. Here we summarise these findings and report on the Archaea identified in Paralana. Archaeal inhabitants include members of the Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota kingdoms.
Using the first 12 months of HIPPARCOS mission data already reduced, a synthesis solution was obtained by both CERGA and ARI teams. The reduction includes two steps. In the first one the origins of individual reference circles are determined, thus constituting the HIPPARCOS celestial reference frame. This solution uses a subset of some 30 000 bright and evidently single stars in order to minimize possible corruptive effects on the system. In the second step, the abscissa measurements of all observed stars are substituted in the system and then processed star by star in a least squares adjustment providing the astrometric parameters (positions and parallaxes).
The results of sphere solution and astrometric parameter determination are discussed. In this context error ellipses and internal errors are calculated. External errors are derived by comparison with suitable astrometric catalogues. Especially, for estimating the external errors of the HIPPARCOS measured FK5 stars the instrumental system was tied to the FK5 system by rigid rotations followed by comparisons of the positions with those of FK5. The mean internal errors of the HIPPARCOS positions of FK5 stars is 1.5 milliarcseconds (mas) while the standard deviation of the differences HIPPARCOS minus FK5 reaches 90 mas. For the 5022 measured parallaxes the mean internal and external errors are 3.8 mas and 16.7 mas, respectively. — The results of precision and comparisons with external data show that the accuracy predicted for the final catalogue can be reached.
Astrobiology seeks to understand the limits of life and to determine the physiology of organisms in order to better assess the habitability of other worlds. To successfully achieve these goals we require microorganisms from environments on Earth that approximate to extraterrestrial environments in terms of physical and/or chemical conditions. The most challenging of these environments with respect to sample collection, isolation and cultivation of microorganisms are anoxic environments. In this paper, an approach to this challenge was implemented within the European Union's MASE (Mars Analogues for Space Exploration) project. In this review paper, we aim to provide a set of methods for future field work and sampling campaigns. A number of anoxic environment based on characteristics that make them analogous to past and present locations on Mars were selected. They included anoxic sulphur-rich springs (Germany), the salt-rich Boulby Mine (UK), a lake in a basaltic context (Iceland), acidic sediments in the Rio Tinto (Spain), glacier samples (Austria) and permafrost samples (Russia and Canada). Samples were collected under strict anoxic conditions to be used for cultivation and genomic community analysis. Using the samples, a culturing approach was implemented to enrich anaerobic organisms using a defined medium that would allow for organisms to be grown under identical conditions in future physiological comparisons. Anaerobic microorganisms were isolated and deposited with the DSMZ (Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH) culture collection to make them available to other scientists. In MASE, the selected organisms are studied with respect to survival and growth under Mars relevant stresses. They are artificially fossilized and the resulting biosignatures studied and used to investigate the efficacy of life detection instrumentation for planetary missions. Some of the organisms belong to genera with medical and environmental importance such as Yersinia spp., illustrating how astrobiology field research can be used to increase the availability of microbial isolates for applied terrestrial purposes.
Simultaneous observations of 8 Seyfert 1 type AGN (Fairall-9, Mrk 590, NGC 4051, 3C 273, NGC 5548, Mrk 841, Q 1821+643 and 3C 390.3) obtained with ROSAT and IUE (RIASS program), and for 5 sources (Fairall-9, NGC 4051, 3C 273, Mrk 841 and Q 1821+643) with Ginga, have been analysed with the aim of describing the UV to soft X-ray spectral component in these sources.
We made preliminary AMS measurements of 41Ca/Ca ratios in bone and limestone specimens with the Argonne Tandem-Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS). We were able to avoid pre-enrichment of 41Ca used in previous experiments due to a substantial increase in Ca-beam intensity. Most of the measured ratios lie in the 10-14 range, with a few values below 10-14. In general, these values are higher than the ones observed by the AMS group at the University of Pennsylvania. We discuss possible implications of these results. We also present the current status of half-life measurements of 41Ca and discuss 41Ca production processes on earth.
The Commission again subscribes to a number of the good resolutions it has made in the past, for example, to follow the almost universal practice of counting the observed times, either in decimals of a day or in hours and minutes, from Greenwich mean noon, even though one is convinced that the rest of the world should adopt U.T.; and to prepare a chart, identifying the variable and the comparison stars, to form a part of the discovery announcement of a variable which cannot be easily identified through a Durchmusterung number and which is bright enough to invite further observation.
In response to the increasing demand for 14C analysis of samples containing less than 25 μg C, ultra-small graphitization reactors with an internal volume of ∼0.8 mL were developed at NOSAMS. For samples containing 6 to 25 μg C, these reactors convert CO2 to graphitic carbon in approximately 30 min. Although we continue to refine reaction conditions to improve yield, the reactors produce graphite targets that are successfully measured by AMS. Graphite targets produced with the ultra-small reactors are measured by using the Cs sputter source on the CFAMS instrument at NOSAMS where beam current was proportional to sample mass. We investigated the contribution of blank carbon from the ultra-small reactors and estimate it to be 0.3 ± 0.1 μg C with an Fm value of 0.43 ± 0.3. We also describe equations for blank correction and propagation of error associated with this correction. With a few exceptions for samples in the range of 6 to 7 μg C, we show that corrected Fm values agree with expected Fm values within uncertainty for samples containing 6–100 μg C.
The effect of Hybrid stage 1 palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome on right ventricular function is unknown. We sought to compare right ventricular function in normal neonates and those with hypoplastic left heart syndrome before Hybrid palliation and to assess the effect of Hybrid palliation on right ventricular function, using the right ventricular myocardial performance index and the ratio of systolic and diastolic durations.
We carried out a retrospective review of echocardiographic data on 23 infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome who underwent Hybrid palliation and 35 normal controls. Data were acquired before Hybrid and after Hybrid palliation – post 1, 0–4 days; post 2, 1 week; post 3, 2–3 weeks; post 4, 1–1.5 months following Hybrid palliation.
Myocardial performance index and ratio of systolic and diastolic durations were higher in the pre-Hybrid hypoplastic left heart syndrome group (n=23) – 0.47±0.16 versus 0.25±0.07, p<0.001; 1.59±0.44 versus 1.09±0.14, p<0.0001 – compared with controls (n=35). There was no significant change in the myocardial performance index at any of the post-Hybrid time points. Ratio of systolic and diastolic durations increased significantly 2 weeks after Hybrid – post 3: 2.08±0.62 and post 4: 2.21±0.45 versus pre: 1.59±0.44, p=0.043 and 0.003. There were no significant differences in parameters between sub-groups of infants who died (n=10) and survivors (n=13).
Right ventricular myocardial performance index and ratio of systolic and diastolic durations were significantly higher in infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome before intervention compared with controls. The ratio of systolic and diastolic durations increased significantly 2 weeks after Hybrid palliation. Our data suggest that infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome have right ventricular dysfunction before intervention, which worsens over 2 weeks after Hybrid palliation.