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Many factors, including pathogens, environmental change and breeding techniques, affect honeybee immunity/resistance, so substances and natural supplements that enhance it are desired. To eliminate the impact of unknown external factors, in 2016 a cage experiment was conducted under constant laboratory conditions (35 °C, 65% relative humidity). Bees in the control group were fed with sugar dissolved in water at ratio 1:1 ad libitum with no additives, while the other group was fed with sugar syrup (1:1) supplemented with piperine (3 µg/ml) ad libitum. The piperine-treated workers lived 9 days longer compared to the control group. In the piperine-consuming group, protein concentration and the activities of antioxidative enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT) and glutathione S-transferase (GST), were higher than in the control group. The activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were also higher in the piperine-treated group. Neutral and acidic proteases inhibitors, as well as neutral protease activities, were higher in the haemolymph of the piperine-treated workers than in untreated bees. Acidic protease activities in the haemolymph were higher in untreated workers only on days 18 and 32. Alkaline protease activities in the control bees were higher from day 10. From 10 days old, the total antioxidant capacity level was significantly higher in the haemolymph of piperine-treated workers. Piperine decreased DNA methylation levels significantly in the older bees. The compound could have the potential to be a natural diet supplement increasing apian resistance to stress factors.
The electrical reliability of multilayer high density interconnection printed circuit boards (HDI-PCBs) is mainly affected by the thermo-mechanical stability of stacked micro via interconnections. Here, a critical failure mode is the stress related crack between the electrolytically filled via and the target pad, commonly known as target pad separation. The junction includes two Cu-Cu-interfaces, one between the target Cu pad and the thin electroless Cu layer and the second between electroless Cu and electrolytic Cu. In this paper we will show that state-of-the-art electroless Cu plating processes are able to provide solid, completely recrystallized and highly reliable stacked via junctions. Defect free interfaces were achieved by using ionic Pd-activators and electroless Cu baths with a cyanide based stabilizer system. Cyanide free electroless Cu baths tend more to the formation of nanometer sized defects, discovered via Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). In this case a precise adjustment of single stabilizer components is mandatory to achieve defect free layers. The defects are hollow and were identified as “nano voids”. A critical density of these nano voids weakens the interface, predefines the crack path and reduces the overall reliability of the junction. A precise localization of the nano voids within the junction was enabled by detecting the Ni-containing electroless Cu layer via TEM-Ni mapping. Slower volume exchange of the electroless Cu solution within the blind micro via (BMV) substantially increases the nano void density. The ability of nano voids to migrate and coalesce at elevated temperatures was investigated as well.
Cir X-1 is a young X-ray binary exhibiting X-ray flux changes of four orders of magnitude over several decades. It has been observed many times since the launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory with high energy transmission grating spectrometer and each time the source gave us a vastly different look. At its very lowest X-ray flux we found a single 1.7 keV blackbody spectrum with an emission radius of 0.5 km. Since the neutron star in Cir X-1 is only few thousand years old we identify this as emission from an accretion column since at this youth the neutron star is assumed to be highly magnetized. At an X-ray flux of 1.8×10−11 erg cm−2 s−1 this implies a moderate magnetic field of a few times of 1011 G. The photoionized X-ray emission line properties at this low flux are consistent with B5-type companion wind. We suggest that Cir X-1 is a very young Be-star binary.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
We present results from a multiwavelength study of the blazar PKS 1954–388 at radio, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray energies. A RadioAstron observation at 1.66 GHz in June 2012 resulted in the detection of interferometric fringes on baselines of 6.2 Earth-diameters. This suggests a source frame brightness temperature of greater than 2 × 1012 K, well in excess of both equipartition and inverse Compton limits and implying the existence of Doppler boosting in the core. An 8.4-GHz TANAMI VLBI image, made less than a month after the RadioAstron observations, is consistent with a previously reported superluminal motion for a jet component. Flux density monitoring with the Australia Telescope Compact Array confirms previous evidence for long-term variability that increases with observing frequency. A search for more rapid variability revealed no evidence for significant day-scale flux density variation. The ATCA light-curve reveals a strong radio flare beginning in late 2013, which peaks higher, and earlier, at higher frequencies. Comparison with the Fermi gamma-ray light-curve indicates this followed ~ 9 months after the start of a prolonged gamma-ray high-state—a radio lag comparable to that seen in other blazars. The multiwavelength data are combined to derive a Spectral Energy Distribution, which is fitted by a one-zone synchrotron-self-Compton (SSC) model with the addition of external Compton (EC) emission.
A number of laser facilities coming online all over the world promise the capability of high-power laser experiments with shot repetition rates between 1 and 10 Hz. Target availability and technical issues related to the interaction environment could become a bottleneck for the exploitation of such facilities. In this paper, we report on target needs for three different classes of experiments: dynamic compression physics, electron transport and isochoric heating, and laser-driven particle and radiation sources. We also review some of the most challenging issues in target fabrication and high repetition rate operation. Finally, we discuss current target supply strategies and future perspectives to establish a sustainable target provision infrastructure for advanced laser facilities.
In Germany tularemia is a re-emerging zoonotic disease. Therefore, we investigated wild animals and environmental water samples for the presence and phylogenetic diversity of Francisella tularensis in the poorly studied Berlin/Brandenburg region. The phylogenomic analysis of three isolates from wild animals revealed three new subclades within the phylogenetic tree of F. tularensis [B.71 from a raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides); B.74 from a red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and B.75 from a Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber albicus)]. The results from histological, PCR, and genomic investigations on the dead beaver showed that the animal suffered from a systemic infection. Indications were found that the bacteria were released from the beaver carcass into the surrounding environment. We demonstrated unexpectedly high and novel phylogenetic diversity of F. tularensis in Germany and the fact that the bacteria persist in the environment for at least one climatic season. These findings support a broader host species diversity than previously known regarding Germany. Our data further support the assumption derived from previous serological studies of an underestimated frequency of occurrence of the pathogen in the environment and in wild animals. F. tularensis was isolated from animal species not previously reported as natural hosts in Germany.
This study examines the independent effects of neighbourhood context (i.e. neighbourhood poverty) and exposure to perceived discrimination in shaping risk of obesity over time. Weighted three-level hierarchical linear regression models for a continuous outcome were used to assess the independent effects of neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination on obesity over time in a sample of 157 non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic White and Hispanic adults in Detroit, USA, in 2002/2003 and 2007/2008. Independent associations were found between neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination with central adiposity over time. Residents of neighbourhoods with high concentrations of poverty were more likely to show increases in central adiposity compared with those in neighbourhoods with lower concentrations of poverty. In models adjusted for BMI, neighbourhood poverty at baseline was associated with a greater change in central adiposity among participants who lived in neighbourhoods in the second (B=3.79, p=0.025) and third (B=3.73, p=0.024) poverty quartiles, compared with those in the lowest poverty neighbourhoods. The results from models that included both neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination showed that both were associated with increased risk of increased central adiposity over time. Residents of neighbourhoods in the second (B=9.58, p<0.001), third (B=8.25, p=0.004) and fourth (B=7.66, p=0.030) quartiles of poverty were more likely to show greater increases in central adiposity over time, compared with those in the lowest poverty quartile, with mean discrimination at baseline independently and positively associated with increases in central adiposity over time (B=2.36, p=0.020). The results suggest that neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination are independently associated with a heightened risk of increase in central adiposity over time. Efforts to address persistent disparities in central adiposity in the USA should include strategies to reduce high concentrations of neighbourhood poverty as well as discrimination.
Data on gender-specific profiles of cognitive functions in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) are rare and inconsistent, and possible disease-confounding factors have been insufficiently considered.
The LANDSCAPE study on cognition in PD enrolled 656 PD patients (267 without cognitive impairment, 66% male; 292 with mild cognitive impairment, 69% male; 97 with PD dementia, 69% male). Raw values and age-, education-, and gender-corrected Z scores of a neuropsychological test battery (CERAD-Plus) were compared between genders. Motor symptoms, disease duration, l-dopa equivalent daily dose, depression - and additionally age and education for the raw value analysis - were taken as covariates.
Raw-score analysis replicated results of previous studies in that female PD patients were superior in verbal memory (word list learning, p = 0.02; recall, p = 0.03), while men outperformed women in visuoconstruction (p = 0.002) and figural memory (p = 0.005). In contrast, gender-corrected Z scores showed that men were superior in verbal memory (word list learning, p = 0.02; recall, p = 0.02; recognition, p = 0.04), while no difference was found for visuospatial tests. This picture could be observed both in the overall analysis of PD patients as well as in a differentiated group analysis.
Normative data corrected for gender and other sociodemographic variables are relevant, since they may elucidate a markedly different cognitive profile compared to raw scores. Our study also suggests that verbal memory decline is stronger in women than in men with PD. Future studies are needed to replicate these findings, examine the progression of gender-specific cognitive decline in PD and define different underlying mechanisms of this dysfunction.
In the first part of this article, we extend the formal upscaling of a diffusion–precipitation model through a two-scale asymptotic expansion in a level set framework to three dimensions. We obtain upscaled partial differential equations, more precisely, a non-linear diffusion equation with effective coefficients coupled to a level set equation. As a first step, we consider a parametrization of the underlying pore geometry by a single parameter, e.g. by a generalized “radius” or the porosity. Then, the level set equation transforms to an ordinary differential equation for the parameter. For such an idealized setting, the degeneration of the diffusion tensor with respect to porosity is illustrated with numerical simulations. The second part and main objective of this article is the analytical investigation of the resulting coupled partial differential equation–ordinary differential equation model. In the case of non-degenerating coefficients, local-in-time existence of at least one strong solution is shown by applying Schauder's fixed point theorem. Additionally, non-negativity, uniqueness, and global existence or existence up to possible closure of some pores, i.e. up to the limit of degenerating coefficients, is guaranteed.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
Objectives: One of the most prominent features of schizophrenia is relatively lower general cognitive ability (GCA). An emerging approach to understanding the roots of variation in GCA relies on network properties of the brain. In this multi-center study, we determined global characteristics of brain networks using graph theory and related these to GCA in healthy controls and individuals with schizophrenia. Methods: Participants (N=116 controls, 80 patients with schizophrenia) were recruited from four sites. GCA was represented by the first principal component of a large battery of neurocognitive tests. Graph metrics were derived from diffusion-weighted imaging. Results: The global metrics of longer characteristic path length and reduced overall connectivity predicted lower GCA across groups, and group differences were noted for both variables. Measures of clustering, efficiency, and modularity did not differ across groups or predict GCA. Follow-up analyses investigated three topological types of connectivity—connections among high degree “rich club” nodes, “feeder” connections to these rich club nodes, and “local” connections not involving the rich club. Rich club and local connectivity predicted performance across groups. In a subsample (N=101 controls, 56 patients), a genetic measure reflecting mutation load, based on rare copy number deletions, was associated with longer characteristic path length. Conclusions: Results highlight the importance of characteristic path lengths and rich club connectivity for GCA and provide no evidence for group differences in the relationships between graph metrics and GCA. (JINS, 2016, 22, 240–249)
Cardiopulmonary exercise testing helps prognosticate and guide treatment in adults with pulmonary hypertension. Concerns regarding its feasibility and safety limit its use in children with pulmonary hypertension. We aimed to assess the feasibility and safety of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in a large paediatric pulmonary hypertension cohort.
We reviewed all consecutive cardiopulmonary exercise tests performed between March, 2004 and November, 2013. The exclusion criteria were as follows: height <120 cm, World Health Organization class IV, history of exercise-induced syncope, or significant ischaemia/arrhythmias. Significant events recorded were as follows: patient-reported symptoms, arrhythmias, electrocardiogram abnormalities, and abnormal responses of arterial O2 saturation.
A total of 98 children underwent 167 cardiopulmonary exercise tests. The median age was 14 years (inter-quartile range 10–15 years). Peak oxygen uptake was 20.4±7.3 ml/kg/minute, corresponding to 51.8±18.3% of the predicted value. Peak respiratory quotient was 1.08±0.16. All the tests except two were maximal, being terminated prematurely for clinical reasons. Baseline Oxygen saturation was 93.3±8.8% and was 81.2±19.5% at peak exercise. A drop in arterial O2 saturation >20% was observed in 23.5% of the patients. Moreover, five patients (3.0%) experienced dizziness, one requiring termination of cardiopulmonary exercise testing; five children (3.0%) experienced chest pain, with early cardiopulmonary exercise test termination in one patient. No significant arrhythmias or electrocardiogram changes were observed.
Exercise testing in non-severely symptomatic children with pulmonary hypertension is safe and practical, and can be performed in a large number of children with pulmonary hypertension in a controlled environment with an experienced team. Side-effects were not serious and were resolved promptly with test termination.
The Herschel Space Observatory was the fourth cornerstone mission in the European Space Agency (ESA) science programme with excellent broad band imaging capabilities in the sub-mm and far-infrared part of the spectrum. Although the spacecraft finished its observations in 2013, it left a large legacy dataset that is far from having been fully scrutinised and still has a large potential for new scientific discoveries. This is specifically true for the photometric observations of the PACS and SPIRE instruments. Some source catalogues have already been produced by individual observing programs, but there are many observations that risk to remain unexplored. To maximise the science return of the SPIRE and PACS data sets, we are in the process of building the Herschel Point Source Catalogue (HPSC) from all primary and parallel mode observations. Our homogeneous source extraction enables a systematic and unbiased comparison of sensitivity across the different Herschel fields that single programs will generally not be able to provide. The catalogue will be made available online through archives like the Herschel Science Archive (HSA), the Infrared Science Archive (IRSA), and the Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center (CDS).