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The Comprehensive Assessment of Neurodegeneration and Dementia (COMPASS-ND) cohort study of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) is a national initiative to catalyze research on dementia, set up to support the research agendas of CCNA teams. This cross-country longitudinal cohort of 2310 deeply phenotyped subjects with various forms of dementia and mild memory loss or concerns, along with cognitively intact elderly subjects, will test hypotheses generated by these teams.
The COMPASS-ND protocol, initial grant proposal for funding, fifth semi-annual CCNA Progress Report submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research December 2017, and other documents supplemented by modifications made and lessons learned after implementation were used by the authors to create the description of the study provided here.
The CCNA COMPASS-ND cohort includes participants from across Canada with various cognitive conditions associated with or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases. They will undergo a wide range of experimental, clinical, imaging, and genetic investigation to specifically address the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions in the aging population. Data derived from clinical and cognitive assessments, biospecimens, brain imaging, genetics, and brain donations will be used to test hypotheses generated by CCNA research teams and other Canadian researchers. The study is the most comprehensive and ambitious Canadian study of dementia. Initial data posting occurred in 2018, with the full cohort to be accrued by 2020.
Availability of data from the COMPASS-ND study will provide a major stimulus for dementia research in Canada in the coming years.
The term ‘adventure’ has been applied to ‘a series of events, partly but not wholly accidental, in settings remote from the domestic and probably from the civilised’ (Green 1979, 23). The breadth of this definition indicates the scope and volume of travel and travel writing that can be read through the lens of adventure.
Adventure is now associated with a branch of tourism, a niche in a growing and crowded market for travel, in a world where few geographical stones appear to remain unturned and where a premium is accordingly placed on the apparently undiscovered and unpredictable. As one anthology and guidebook puts it, ‘Do something different. Escape the everyday. That's the essence of adventure travel – whether you set your sights on the summit of Everest or spend an hour or two wafting about in a hot-air balloon’ (Gray 2008, 6). Adventure travel, encompassing ecotourism and active vacations, has spawned literatures of its own, including guidebooks and niche travelogues such as Online Adventure (http://www.adventure-travel-hut.co.uk/). Adventure travelogues – ranging from chronicles to coffee table books – are exemplified by Mary Dinan's (2014) interviews with ‘intrepid’ travel writers and extracts from their work and Colin Cox's (2009) collection of ‘true adventure stories’ which depict ‘close encounters with armed guards, the Greenland ice cap’ and ‘the Arctic Ocean’.
Modern mass-market adventure literature, though stronger on anecdote than analysis, does sometimes gesture towards its literary history and cultural tradition (Laing 2014). Fodor's Adventure Travel introduces a number of adventurers, ranging from television celebrities to explorers such as Christopher Columbus, Ibn Battuta (1304–68), the ‘amazingly widely travelled Muslim geographer’ (Gray 2008, 6), and Xuanzang (602–44), the ‘Buddhist pilgrim and pioneer of travel writing’ (6).
Some of the diversity of adventure travel is also illustrated through the inclusions on a list of modern British adventure stories, compiled by Arthur Ransome, the author of one such work, Swallows and Amazons (1930). Titles on the list ranged across the spectrum from fiction to non-fiction, encompassing action tales, moral fables, survival stories and psychological adventures. The collection included Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe's 1719 classic), Robert Ballantyne's The Coral Island (1858), ‘the works of Joseph Conrad’ and Richard Hakluyt's compilation of exploration narratives, The Voyages (1598–1600).
Curiosity is entangled with travel and travel writing in two ways, which reflect the double meaning of this term. On the one hand, travel writing can express curiosity, a mental or emotional state comprising ‘a strong desire to know or learn something’ (Pearsall 2002, 351). On the other, a curiosity is an idea or thing, which is deemed to be curious.
First, some travel writing can be seen as an expression of curiosity. Curiosity inspires some people to write travel books or articles and others to read them (Leask 2002; Stagl 1995). Of course, not all travellers – in life or literature – are curious about where they are going; many tourists are simply in search of a break from routine and a place to relax, and many migrants have more pressing concerns. But an important strand of travel and travel writing can be described as curiosity-driven. This literature takes a number of different forms. Curiosity-driven non-fiction travel writing draws upon – does not necessarily chronicle – travel experiences, which may reflect the curiosity of the author and/or that attributed to their audiences, which include the book-buying public. For example, Elizabeth Banks (1895, 4), an American journalist who visited London in the 1890s, claimed to have been ‘seized with a womanly curiosity’ to learn about the lives of different women. Some other non-fiction travel writers, identifying curiosity as their starting point, present themselves as more scholarly or scientific, their curiosity as more disciplined. Michael Bravo (1999, 162) traces ‘precision and curiosity in scientific travel’ of the early modern period (see also Naylor and Ryan 2010; Thomas 1994). In travel fiction, similarly, curiosity plays an important role. Jules Verne's fictional adventure story, Around the World in 80 Days (1872), depicts curiosity through its narrative and characters. Though the famous protagonist Phileas Fogg is decidedly incurious, interested only in train and steamer timetables and in getting back to London within 80 days, his servant and travelling companion, Jean Passepartout, is curious about everywhere he goes and everything he sees (Clout 2008; Phillips 1997).
In travel writing, as elsewhere, the term ‘curiosity’ also refers to things and other objects. Histories of travel and travel writing are closely related to those of collecting.
Some of the most compelling moments in travel literature occur when things go wrong, when the journey or the traveller breaks down. The term ‘breakdown’ has a series of meanings relevant to travel: most obviously, the breakdown of the travelling vehicle; more interestingly, that of the traveller, through a collapse in mental or physical health; and the breakdown of some wider cultural or social order, perhaps ‘due to widespread transgression of the rules’ (Oxford English Dictionary). In each case, breakdown is not necessarily an end point; it may be a point of departure.
In travel, the most literal form of breakdown is associated with the failure or refusal of a vehicle, mechanical or otherwise, which may be brought on by external pressures such as storms, difficult surface conditions or human interference or noncooperation. Shipwrecks, for example, take place in a wide range of travel chronicles and fictions, including such classics as Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719) and more recent titles like Jonathan Raban's Hunting Mister Heartbreak (1990). Other literary journeys are broken by the failure of trains, depicted in travel fictions such as Jules Verne's classic Around the World in Eighty Days (1872), and in non-fiction such as the personal memoirs of the unreliable Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which were recorded by passengers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Baker 2013). Journeys also break down when horses, elephants and other beasts of burden, human operatives and carriers fail or refuse to cooperate, as, for example, in British India, when elephants strayed and rebelled, and when palanquin carriers asserted themselves in similar ways (Baker 2016). More recently, travels have been punctuated and sometimes terminated by the failure of car or aircraft engines, as, for example, in Colin Cox's book Short Hops across the Atlantic (2009).
The mechanics of breakdown are rarely the whole story. Breakdown gives the author something interesting to write about, providing otherwise smooth and potentially dull stories with ‘somewhere to go’. Though some travel writers have been content to describe comfortable journeys through pleasant places (Guerts 2014), their smooth journeys may be in the minority, since interrupted and broken journeys can be more interesting to read and challenging. At very least, breakdown can draw travellers out of their own comfortable passage, prompting deeper engagement with the places through which they are travelling and the lives they are leading (see Trentmann 2009).
Short-term feeding studies have highlighted a phenomenon in Ca regulation that raises concerns around Ca absorption in dogs that may make an impact on commercial diets near to the maximum recommended level. A recent study to determine responses in dogs fed one of two diets differing in dietary Ca over 40 weeks found no evidence to suggest a concern across a range of biological parameters hypothesised to be affected by Ca. Unforeseen consequences of dietary Ca could have occurred and metabolic profiling was deemed a suitable data-driven approach to identify effects of dietary Ca. The objectives were to compare the fasted plasma metabolome (sampled at 8-week intervals over 40 weeks) of dogs fed one of two diets, near to the minimum and maximum recommended levels of dietary Ca. Comparisons with the control diet were also investigated across the postprandial time course (1–4 h) following acute (1 d) and long-term (24 weeks) feeding of the test diet. Comparing fasted plasma samples at each time point, no significant effect (adjusted P < 0·05) of diet on metabolites was observed. In the postprandial state, only phosphate was consistently different between diets and was explained by additional dietary P to maintain Ca:P. Metabolic profiling analysis supports the view that the dietary Ca upper limit is safe. Additionally, the canine plasma metabolome was characterised, providing insights into the stability of individual profiles across 40 weeks, the response to consumption of a nutritionally complete meal over a 4 h postprandial time course and different kinetic categories of postprandial absorption.
Renal disease has a high incidence in cats, and some evidence implicates dietary P as well. To investigate this further, two studies in healthy adult cats were conducted. Study 1 (36 weeks) included forty-eight cats, stratified to control or test diets providing 1·2 or 4·8 g/1000 kcal (4184 kJ) P (0 or approximately 3·6 g/1000 kcal (4184 kJ) inorganic P, Ca:P 1·2, 0·6). Study 2 (29 weeks) included fifty cats, stratified to control or test diets, providing 1·3 or 3·6 g/1000 kcal (4184 kJ) P (0 or approximately 1·5 g/1000 kcal (4184 kJ) inorganic P, Ca:P 1·2, 0·9). Health markers, glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and mineral balance were measured regularly, with abdominal ultrasound. Study 1 was halted after 4 weeks as the test group GFR reduced by 0·4 (95 % CI 0·3, 0·5) ml/min per kg, and ultrasound revealed changes in renal echogenicity. In study 2, at week 28, no change in mean GFR was observed (P >0·05); however, altered renal echogenicity was detected in 36 % of test cats. In agreement with previous studies, feeding a diet with Ca:P <1·0, a high total and inorganic P inclusion resulted in loss of renal function and changes in echogenicity suggestive of renal pathology. Feeding a diet containing lower total and inorganic P with Ca:P close to 1·0 led to more subtle structural changes in a third of test cats; however, nephrolithiasis occurred in both diet groups, complicating data interpretation. We conclude that the no observed adverse effects level for total dietary P in adult cats is lower than 3·6 g/1000 kcal (4184 kJ), however the effect of inorganic P sources and Ca:P require further investigation.
Phosphorus is present in diets as naturally occurring P from raw materials or added as an inorganic salt. However, little is known about postprandial kinetics of P absorption in cats. Here, we describe several studies quantifying postprandial kinetics following the ingestion of diets of varying composition. Briefly, cats were fed a meal consisting of 50 % of their metabolic energy requirement in a randomised crossover design. A pre-meal baseline blood sample was taken via cephalic catheter and repeated measurements taken regularly up to 6 h post-meal to assess the whole blood ionised Ca, plasma P and parathyroid hormone concentrations. A diet containing 4·8 g total P/4184 kJ (1000 kcal), 3·5 g P from sodium dihydrogen phosphate (NaH2PO4)/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) and Ca:P 0·6 caused a marked increase in plasma P from baseline to a peak of 1·976 (95% CI 1·724, 2·266) mmol/l (P <0·001), whereas a diet containing 3·38 g total P/4184 kJ (1000 kcal), no added inorganic P and Ca:P 1·55 resulted in a postprandial decrease in plasma P (P = 0·008). Subsequent data indicate that added inorganic P salts in the diet above 0·5 g P/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) cause an increase in plasma P in cats, while diets below this do not. The data presented here demonstrate that sources of added inorganic P salts cause a temporary postprandial increase in plasma P in a dose-dependent manner, prolonged in diets with Ca:P <1·0. Dietary P derived from natural food ingredients (e.g. meat or vegetable matter) does not appear to have any effect on postprandial plasma P.
The relationship between depression and sexual behaviour among men who have sex with men (MSM) is poorly understood.
To investigate prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥10) and the relationship between depressive symptoms and sexual behaviour among MSM reporting recent sex.
The Attitudes to and Understanding of Risk of Acquisition of HIV (AURAH) is a cross-sectional study of UK genitourinary medicine clinic attendees without diagnosed HIV (2013–2014).
Among 1340 MSM, depressive symptoms (12.4%) were strongly associated with socioeconomic disadvantage and lower supportive network. Adjusted for key sociodemographic factors, depressive symptoms were associated with measures of condomless sex partners in the past 3 months (≥2 (prevalence ratio (PR) 1.42, 95% CI 1.17–1.74; P=0.001), unknown or HIV-positive status (PR 1.43, 95% CI 1.20–1.71; P<0.001)), sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis (PR 1.46, 95% CI 1.19–1.79; P<0.001) and post-exposure prophylaxis use in the past year (PR 1.83, 95% CI 1.33–2.50; P<0.001).
Management of mental health may play a role in HIV and STI prevention.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Timing of weed emergence and seed persistence in the soil influence the ability to implement timely and effective control practices. Emergence patterns and seed persistence of kochia populations were monitored in 2010 and 2011 at sites in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Weekly observations of emergence were initiated in March and continued until no new emergence occurred. Seed was harvested from each site, placed into 100-seed mesh packets, and buried at depths of 0, 2.5, and 10 cm in fall of 2010 and 2011. Packets were exhumed at 6-mo intervals over 2 yr. Viability of exhumed seeds was evaluated. Nonlinear mixed-effects Weibull models were fit to cumulative emergence (%) across growing degree days (GDD) and to viable seed (%) across burial time to describe their fixed and random effects across site-years. Final emergence densities varied among site-years and ranged from as few as 4 to almost 380,000 seedlings m−2. Across 11 site-years in Kansas, cumulative GDD needed for 10% emergence were 168, while across 6 site-years in Wyoming and Nebraska, only 90 GDD were needed; on the calendar, this date shifted from early to late March. The majority (>95%) of kochia seed did not persist for more than 2 yr. Remaining seed viability was generally >80% when seeds were exhumed within 6 mo after burial in March, and declined to <5% by October of the first year after burial. Burial did not appear to increase or decrease seed viability over time but placed seed in a position from which seedling emergence would not be possible. High seedling emergence that occurs very early in the spring emphasizes the need for fall or early spring PRE weed control such as tillage, herbicides, and cover crops, while continued emergence into midsummer emphasizes the need for extended periods of kochia management.
Although the implications of long-term high Ca intakes have been well documented in growing dogs, the health consequences of Ca excess in adult dogs remain to be established. To evaluate the impact of feeding a diet containing 7·1 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) Ca for 40 weeks on Ca balance and health parameters in adult dogs, eighteen neutered adult Labrador Retrievers, (nine males and nine females) aged 2·5–7·4 years were randomised to one of two customised diets for 40 weeks. The diets were manufactured according to similar nutritional specifications, with the exception of Ca and P levels. The diets provided 1·7 and 7·1 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) (200(SD26) and 881(SD145) mg/kg body weight0·75 per d, respectively) Ca, respectively, with a Ca:P ratio of 1·6. Clinical examinations, ultrasound scans, radiographs, health parameters, metabolic effects and mineral balance were recorded at baseline and at 8-week intervals throughout the study. Dogs in both groups were healthy throughout the trial without evidence of urinary, renal or orthopaedic disease. In addition, there were no clinically relevant changes in any of the measures made in either group (all P>0·05). The high-Ca diet resulted in a 3·3-fold increase in faecal Ca excretion (P<0·001), whereas apparent Ca digestibility (%) and net Ca balance (g/d) did not significantly change from baseline or differ between the groups at any time point (both P>0·05). Ca intakes of up to 7·1 g/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) are well tolerated over a period of 40 weeks, with no adverse effects that could be attributed to the diet or to a high mineral intake.
We investigated the physiology of two closely related albatross species relative to their breeding strategy: black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) breed annually, while grey-headed albatrosses (T. chrysostoma) breed biennially. From observations of breeding fate and blood samples collected at the end of breeding in one season and feather corticosterone levels (fCort) sampled at the beginning of the next breeding season, we found that in both species some post-breeding physiological parameters differed according to breeding outcome (successful, failed, deferred). Correlations between post-breeding physiology and fCort, and links to future breeding decisions, were examined. In black-browed albatrosses, post-breeding physiology and fCort were not significantly correlated, but fCort independently predicted breeding decision the next year, which we interpret as a possible migratory carry-over effect. In grey-headed albatrosses, post-breeding triglyceride levels were negatively correlated with fCort, but only in females, which we interpret as a potential cost of reproduction. However, this potential cost did not carry-over to future breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses. None of the variables predicted future breeding decisions. We suggest that biennial breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses may have evolved as a strategy to buffer against the apparent susceptibility of females to negative physiological costs of reproduction. Future studies are needed to confirm this.
Bycatch in longline fisheries is a major contributor to the global decline of albatrosses. Sexual segregation at sea often leads to unequal overlap with different fisheries, resulting in sex-biased bycatch, exacerbating the impact on a population level. In great albatrosses (Diomedea spp.), males (the larger sex) tend to spend more time at higher latitudes than females, attributed to competitive exclusion or differences in flight performance mediated by the pronounced sexual size dimorphism (SSD). Consequently, larger numbers of females are bycaught in pelagic longline fisheries in subtropical and temperate areas. Although this has been shown for Diomedea exulans, it has not been confirmed for all great albatross species. Here we examined the degree of SSD and developed discriminant functions to determine species and sex in D. epomophora and D. sanfordi; species that are often killed in several fisheries in the Southern Hemisphere. Based on a large sample of albatrosses bycaught off Uruguay, both species showed substantial SSD. Discriminant functions assigned species and sex to otherwise indeterminate individuals with 90–100% accuracy. Based on all birds identified (n=128), bycatch in the pelagic longline fishery was female-biased, indicating sexual segregation at sea. The discriminant functions presented enable species and sex to be identified, providing critical data for future bycatch assessments.
The Full-sky Astrometric Mapping Explorer (FAME) is designed to perform an all-sky, astrometric survey with unprecedented accuracy. It will create a rigid astrometric catalog of 4 × 107 stars with 5 < mV < 15. For bright stars, 5 < mV < 9, FAME will determine positions and parallaxes accurate to < 50 μas, with proper motion errors < 50 μas/yr. For fainter stars, 9 < mV < 15, FAME will determine positions and parallaxes accurate to < 500 μas, with proper motion errors < 500 μas/yr. It will also collect photometric data on these 4 × 107 stars in four Sloan Digital Sky Survey colors. NASA selected FAME to be one of five MIDEX missions funded for a concept study. In October 1999, NASA selected FAME for launch in 2004 as the MIDEX-4 mission in its Explorer program.
The Fishguard Volcanic Group represents an excellently preserved example of a volcanic sequence linked to the closure of the Iapetus Ocean. This study re-examines the petrogenesis and proposed tectonic setting for the Llanvirn (467–458 Ma) Fishguard Volcanic Group, South Wales, UK. New major and trace element geochemical data and petrographic observations are used to re-evaluate the magma chamber processes, mantle melting and source region. The new data reveal that the Fishguard Volcanic Group represents a closely related series of basalts, basaltic andesites, dacites and rhyolites originating from a spinel lherzolite source which had been modified by subduction components. The rocks of the Fishguard Volcanic Group are co-genetic and the felsic members are related to the more primitive basalts mainly by low-pressure fractional crystallization. The geochemistry of the lavas was significantly influenced by subduction processes associated with a coeval arc, while significant amounts of assimilation of continental crust along with fractional crystallization appear to have contributed to the compositions of the most evolved lavas. The Fishguard Volcanic Group was erupted into a back-arc basin where extensive rifting but no true seafloor spreading had occurred.
The history of biological invasions, and of attempts to combat them, is dominated by stories of futility. Especially in the case of invasive species that have a high public profile, like the cane toad (Rhinella marina) in Australia, the voices of scientists often have been drowned out in the roar of populist political debate. There have been many failures by science as well, beginning with the initial importation of toads for biocontrol, and extending through failed attempts to predict future patterns of toad colonisation and impact, or to devise practical means to ameliorate that impact. In our (highly biased) opinion, progress in understanding such issues and in developing effective means of toad control emerged only from detailed ecological research on toad biology, rather than enthusiastic but poorly informed attempts to find better ways to slaughter toads. The story of cane toad science in Australia is a cautionary tale for our ability to predict the future, because, to date, we have done an abysmal job of doing so.
‘In the biological control of insect pests, … perhaps more than in any other [field], the path to successful achievement is strewn with the remains of optimistic attempts which have ended in abject failure. … Such a project is not to be embarked upon lightheartedly, but only after the most mature consideration, since a false step may have most disastrous … consequences through the upsetting of the whole biological balance.’ R. W. Mungomery (1934, p. 5), written the year before he brought cane toads to Australia.