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Fossil crayfish are typically rare, worldwide. In Australia, the strictly Southern Hemisphere clade Parastacidae, while ubiquitous in modern freshwater systems, is known only from sparse fossil occurrences from the Aptian–Albian of Victoria. We expand this record to the Cenomanian of northern New South Wales, where opalized bio-gastroliths (temporary calcium storage bodies found in the foregut of pre-moult crayfish) form a significant proportion of the fauna of the Griman Creek Formation. Crayfish bio-gastroliths are exceedingly rare in the fossil record but here form a remarkable supplementary record for crayfish, whose body and trace fossils are otherwise unknown from the Griman Creek Formation. The new specimens indicate that parastacid crayfish were widespread in eastern Australia by middle Cretaceous time, occupying a variety of freshwater ecosystems from the Australian–Antarctic rift valley in the south, to the near-coastal floodplains surrounding the epeiric Eromanga Sea further to the north.
TwinsUK is the largest cohort of community-dwelling adult twins in the UK. The registry comprises over 14,000 volunteer twins (14,838 including mixed, single and triplets); it is predominantly female (82%) and middle-aged (mean age 59). In addition, over 1800 parents and siblings of twins are registered volunteers. During the last 27 years, TwinsUK has collected numerous questionnaire responses, physical/cognitive measures and biological measures on over 8500 subjects. Data were collected alongside four comprehensive phenotyping clinical visits to the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London. Such collection methods have resulted in very detailed longitudinal clinical, biochemical, behavioral, dietary and socioeconomic cohort characterization; it provides a multidisciplinary platform for the study of complex disease during the adult life course, including the process of healthy aging. The major strength of TwinsUK is the availability of several ‘omic’ technologies for a range of sample types from participants, which includes genomewide scans of single-nucleotide variants, next-generation sequencing, metabolomic profiles, microbiomics, exome sequencing, epigenetic markers, gene expression arrays, RNA sequencing and telomere length measures. TwinsUK facilitates and actively encourages sharing the ‘TwinsUK’ resource with the scientific community — interested researchers may request data via the TwinsUK website (http://twinsuk.ac.uk/resources-for-researchers/access-our-data/) for their own use or future collaboration with the study team. In addition, further cohort data collection is planned via the Wellcome Open Research gateway (https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/gateways). The current article presents an up-to-date report on the application of technological advances, new study procedures in the cohort and future direction of TwinsUK.
We investigate the link between genes, psychological traits, and political engagement using a new data set containing information on a large sample of young German twins. The TwinLife Study enables us to examine the predominant model of personality, the Big Five framework, as well as traits that fall outside the Big Five, such as cognitive ability, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the underpinnings of political engagement. Our results support previous work showing genetic overlap between some psychological traits and political engagement. More specifically, we find that cognitive ability and openness to experience are correlated with political engagement and that common genes can explain most of the relationship between these psychological traits and political engagement. Relationships between genes, psychological traits, and political engagement exist even at a fairly young age, which is an important finding given that previous work has relied heavily on older samples to study the link between genes, psychological traits, and political engagement.
Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
Leucites are silicate framework structures with some of the silicon framework cations partially replaced by divalent or trivalent cations. A monovalent extraframework alkali metal cation is also incorporated to balance the charges. We have previously reported Pbca leucite structures with the stoichiometries Cs2X2+Si5O12 (X = Mg, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd) and Rb2X2+Si5O12 (X = Mg, Mn, Ni, Cd). These orthorhombic leucite structures have all the silicon and non-silicon framework cations completely ordered onto separate crystallographic sites. This structure has five distinct Si sites and 1 X site; there are also two distinct sites for the extra-framework Cs or Rb. We have recently synthesised leucite analogues with two different extra-framework cations, these have the stoichiometry RbCsX2+Si5O12 (X = Mg, Ni, Cd). The initial Rietveld refinements assumed 50% Cs and 50% Rb on each of the two extra-framework cation sites. The refined structures for X = Ni and Cd have (within error limits) complete extra-framework cation site disorder. However, for X = Mg there is partial ordering of the extra-framework cation sites, the site occupancies are:- Cs1 0.37(3), Rb1 0.63(3), Cs2 0.63(3), Rb2 0.37(3).
The extent to which exposure to childhood sexual and physical abuse increases the risk of psychotic experiences in adulthood is currently unclear.
To examine the relationship between childhood sexual and physical abuse and psychotic experiences in adulthood taking into account potential confounding and time-dynamic covariate factors.
Data were from a cohort of 1265 participants studied from birth to 35 years. At ages 18 and 21, cohort members were questioned about childhood sexual and physical abuse. At ages 30 and 35, they were questioned about psychotic experiences (symptoms of abnormal thought and perception). Generalised estimating equation models investigated covariation of the association between abuse exposure and psychotic experiences including potential confounding factors in childhood (socioeconomic disadvantage, adverse family functioning) and time-dynamic covariate factors (mental health, substance use and life stress).
Data were available for 962 participants; 6.3% had been exposed to severe sexual abuse and 6.4% to severe physical abuse in childhood. After adjustment for confounding and time-dynamic covariate factors, those exposed to severe sexual abuse had rates of abnormal thought and abnormal perception symptoms that were 2.25 and 4.08 times higher, respectively than the ‘no exposure’ group. There were no significant associations between exposure to severe physical abuse and psychotic experiences.
Findings indicate that exposure to severe childhood sexual (but not physical) abuse is independently associated with an increased risk of psychotic experiences in adulthood (particularly symptoms of abnormal perception) and this association could not be fully accounted for by confounding or time-dynamic covariate factors.
Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and severity. They cause widespread hardship and are associated with detrimental effects on mental health.
Our aim is to provide the best estimate of the effects of natural disasters on mental health through a systematic review and meta-analysis of the rates of psychological distress and psychiatric disorder after natural disasters.
This systematic review and meta-analysis is limited to studies that met predetermined quality criteria. We required included studies to make comparisons with pre-disaster or non-disaster exposed controls, and sample representative populations. Key studies were identified through a comprehensive search of PubMed, EMBASE and PsycINFO from 1980 to 3 March 2017. Random effects meta-analyses were performed for studies that reported key outcomes with appropriate statistics.
Forty-one studies were identified by the literature search, of which 27 contributed to the meta-analyses. Continuous measures of psychological distress were increased after natural disasters (combined standardised mean difference 0.63, 95% CI 0.27–0.98, P = 0.005). Psychiatric disorders were also increased (combined odds ratio 1.84, 95% CI 1.43–2.38, P < 0.001). Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression were significantly increased after disasters. Findings for anxiety and alcohol misuse/dependence were not significant. High rates of heterogeneity suggest that disaster-specific factors and, to a lesser degree, methodological factors contribute to the variance between studies.
Increased rates of psychological distress and psychiatric disorders follow natural disasters. High levels of heterogeneity between studies suggest that disaster variables and post-disaster response have the potential to mitigate adverse effects.
Highly variable climates induce large variability in the supply of forage for livestock and so farmers must manage their livestock systems to reduce the risk of feed gaps (i.e. periods when livestock feed demand exceeds forage supply). However, mixed crop-livestock farmers can utilise a range of feed sources on their farms to help mitigate these risks. This paper reports on the development and application of a simple whole-farm feed-energy balance calculator which is used to evaluate the frequency and magnitude of feed gaps. The calculator matches long-term simulations of variation in forage and metabolisable energy supply from diverse sources against energy demand for different livestock enterprises. Scenarios of increasing the diversity of forage sources in livestock systems is investigated for six locations selected to span Australia’s crop-livestock zone. We found that systems relying on only one feed source were prone to higher risk of feed gaps, and hence, would often have to reduce stocking rates to mitigate these risks or use supplementary feed. At all sites, by adding more feed sources to the farm feedbase the continuity of supply of both fresh and carry-over forage was improved, reducing the frequency and magnitude of feed deficits. However, there were diminishing returns from making the feedbase more complex, with combinations of two to three feed sources typically achieving the maximum benefits in terms of reducing the risk of feed gaps. Higher stocking rates could be maintained while limiting risk when combinations of other feed sources were introduced into the feedbase. For the same level of risk, a feedbase relying on a diversity of forage sources could support stocking rates 1.4 to 3 times higher than if they were using a single pasture source. This suggests that there is significant capacity to mitigate both risk of feed gaps at the same time as increasing ‘safe’ stocking rates through better integration of feed sources on mixed crop-livestock farms across diverse regions and climates.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), located in Western Australia, is one of the low-frequency precursors of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. In addition to pursuing its own ambitious science programme, it is also a testbed for wide range of future SKA activities ranging from hardware, software to data analysis. The key science programmes for the MWA and SKA require very high dynamic ranges, which challenges calibration and imaging systems. Correct calibration of the instrument and accurate measurements of source flux densities and polarisations require precise characterisation of the telescope’s primary beam. Recent results from the MWA GaLactic Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array (GLEAM) survey show that the previously implemented Average Embedded Element (AEE) model still leaves residual polarisations errors of up to 10–20% in Stokes Q. We present a new simulation-based Full Embedded Element (FEE) model which is the most rigorous realisation yet of the MWA’s primary beam model. It enables efficient calculation of the MWA beam response in arbitrary directions without necessity of spatial interpolation. In the new model, every dipole in the MWA tile (4 × 4 bow-tie dipoles) is simulated separately, taking into account all mutual coupling, ground screen, and soil effects, and therefore accounts for the different properties of the individual dipoles within a tile. We have applied the FEE beam model to GLEAM observations at 200–231 MHz and used false Stokes parameter leakage as a metric to compare the models. We have determined that the FEE model reduced the magnitude and declination-dependent behaviour of false polarisation in Stokes Q and V while retaining low levels of false polarisation in Stokes U.
Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) and belongs to a category of incurable diseases that include BSE in cattle. An association exists between the Prion-Protein (PrP) genotype of an animal and the risk of developing disease after exposure (Tongue et al., 2004). This PrP genetic information is the basis of the National Scrapie Plan (NSP) which aims, through genotyping, to eradicate those individuals which have the susceptible alleles. Studies into scrapie risk (Jeffrey et al., 2002) have highlighted several alleles which confer scrapie susceptibility. The NSP have used these alleles to categorise individuals according to risk with group one being most scrapie resistant to group five being least resistant. VRQ alleles are synonymous with infection however the ARQ affords susceptibility but not the disease itself. Genotype may however not be the sole indicator of scrapie risk. There is an inference of a relationship between phenotypic characteristics (hornedness, coat colour) and scrapie risk. These alternative indicators of scrapie risk may affect the final choice of susceptible individuals. Scrapie risk studies carried out on the Shetland Isles (Jeffrey et al., 2002) investigated the alleles concerned with scrapie infection. Results confirmed that VRQ alleles are synonymous with scrapie infection however the ARQ alleles, even though they afford susceptibility, do not necessarily confer disease, the animal still has to be exposed to the scrapie agent. Using survey-type questionnaires, the study investigated any potential relationship between the PrP gene, coat colour and hornedness.
Recent theories suggest that poor working memory (WM) may be the cognitive underpinning of negative symptoms in people with schizophrenia. In this study, we first explore the effect of cognitive remediation (CR) on two clusters of negative symptoms (i.e. expressive and social amotivation), and then assess the relevance of WM gains as a possible mediator of symptom improvement.
Data were accessed for 309 people with schizophrenia from the NIMH Database of Cognitive Training and Remediation Studies and a separate study. Approximately half the participants received CR and the rest were allocated to a control condition. All participants were assessed before and after therapy and at follow-up. Expressive negative symptoms and social amotivation symptoms scores were calculated from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. WM was assessed with digit span and letter-number span tests.
Participants who received CR had a significant improvement in WM scores (d = 0.27) compared with those in the control condition. Improvements in social amotivation levels approached statistical significance (d = −0.19), but change in expressive negative symptoms did not differ between groups. WM change did not mediate the effect of CR on social amotivation.
The results suggest that a course of CR may benefit behavioural negative symptoms. Despite hypotheses linking memory problems with negative symptoms, the current findings do not support the role of this cognitive domain as a significant mediator. The results indicate that WM improves independently from negative symptoms reduction.
Megafossils and macrofossils of terrestrial plants (trees, leaves, fruiting bodies, etc.) are found in sedimentary and pyroclastic units interbedded with lavas in many ancient lava fields worldwide, attesting to subaerial environments of eruption and the establishment of viable plant communities during periods of volcanic quiescence. Preservation within lava is relatively rare and generally confined to the more robust woody tissues of trees, which are then revealed in the form of charcoal, mineralised tissue or as trace fossil moulds (tree moulds) and casts of igneous rock (tree casts, s.s.).
In this contribution, we document several such fossil trees (s.l.), and the lavas with which they are associated, from the Palaeocene Mull Lava Field (MLF) on the Isle of Mull, NW Scotland. We present the first detailed geological account of a unique site within the Mull Plateau Lava Formation (MPLF) at Quinish in the north of the island and provide an appraisal of the famous upright fossil tree – MacCulloch's Tree – remotely located on the Ardmeanach Peninsula on the west coast of the island, and another large upright tree (the Carsaig Tree) near Malcolm's Point in the district of Brolass, SW Mull; both occurring within the earlier Staffa Lava Formation (SLF). The taphonomy of these megafossils, along with palynological and lithofacies assessments of associated strata, allows speculation of likely taxonomic affinity and the duration of hiatuses supporting the establishment of forest/woodland communities. The Ardmeanach and Carsaig specimens, because of their size and preservation as upright (? in situ) casts enveloped by spectacularly columnar-jointed basaltic lava, appear to be unique. The aspect of these trees, the thickness of the enveloping lavas and the arrangement of cooling joints adjacent to the trees, implies rapid emplacement, ponding and slow, static cooling of voluminous and highly fluid basaltic magma. The specimens from Quinish include two prostrate casts and several prostrate moulds that collectively have a preferred orientation, aligning approximately perpendicular to that of the regional Mull Dyke Swarm, the putative fissure source of the lavas, suggesting local palaeo-flow was directed towards the WSW. The Quinish Lava is an excellent example of a classic pāhoehoe (compound-braided) type, preserving some of the best examples of surface and internal features so far noted from the Hebridean Igneous Province (HIP) lava fields.
These Mull megafossils are some of the oldest recorded examples, remarkably well preserved, and form a significant feature of the island's geotourism industry.
The current generation of experiments aiming to detect the neutral hydrogen signal from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) is likely to be limited by systematic effects associated with removing foreground sources from target fields. In this paper, we develop a model for the compact foreground sources in one of the target fields of the MWA’s EoR key science experiment: the ‘EoR1’ field. The model is based on both the MWA’s GLEAM survey and GMRT 150 MHz data from the TGSS survey, the latter providing higher angular resolution and better astrometric accuracy for compact sources than is available from the MWA alone. The model contains 5 049 sources, some of which have complicated morphology in MWA data, Fornax A being the most complex. The higher resolution data show that 13% of sources that appear point-like to the MWA have complicated morphology such as double and quad structure, with a typical separation of 33 arcsec. We derive an analytic expression for the error introduced into the EoR two-dimensional power spectrum due to peeling close double sources as single point sources and show that for the measured source properties, the error in the power spectrum is confined to high k⊥ modes that do not affect the overall result for the large-scale cosmological signal of interest. The brightest 10 mis-modelled sources in the field contribute 90% of the power bias in the data, suggesting that it is most critical to improve the models of the brightest sources. With this hybrid model, we reprocess data from the EoR1 field and show a maximum of 8% improved calibration accuracy and a factor of two reduction in residual power in k-space from peeling these sources. Implications for future EoR experiments including the SKA are discussed in relation to the improvements obtained.
We have used the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope to observe 11 lines of SiCC with excitation energies up to 330 K above the ground state in IRC 10216. An excitation analysis indicates Trot = 43 ± 5 K within a given Ka ladder and Texc = 160 ± 50 K between Ka ladders. The column density of SiCC is estimated to be 3 × 1015 cm−2, more than an order of magnitude higher than previous estimates.
We analyze the benefits of incorporating climate change into land conservation decisions using wetland migration under rising sea-levels as a case study. We use a simple and inexpensive decision method, a knapsack algorithm implemented in Excel, with (1) simulation data to show that ignoring sea-level rise predictions lead to suboptimal outcomes, and (2) an application to land conservation in Phippsburg, Maine to show the real-world applicability. The simulation shows an 11-percent to almost 30-percent gain in increased benefits when accounting for sea-level rise. The results highlight that it is possible to, and important to, incorporate sea-level rise into conservation planning.
Recovery Ice Stream has multiple branches reaching far into the East Antarctic ice sheet. We use new airborne and ground-based geophysics to give the first comprehensive overview of the upper catchment and, by constraining the physical setting, to advance our understanding of the controlling mechanisms for the onset of fast flow. The 400 km wide ice stream extends towards the Recovery Subglacial Lakes, a region characterized by a crustal boundary, a change in bed roughness, a bedrock topographic step and four topographic basins (A–D), three of which (A–C) contain subglacial water. All these characteristics are considered potential causal mechanisms that contribute to the onset of fast flow. In Lakes B and C the subglacial water is located in basins with sharp downstream ridges, in contrast to the gently sloping ridge on the downstream margin of Lake A. The fastest-flowing branch of the ice stream emanates from Lake A. The presence of multiple causal mechanisms along the four Recovery Lakes allows us to identify basal water as a dominant factor for the onset of fast flow, but only if it is stored in a shallow-sided basin where it can lubricate the flow downstream. Relatively minor topographic barriers appear to inhibit streaming.
Application of chicken manure is commonly practiced in the horticultural industry due to its value as a fertiliser, ability to improve soil properties and relatively low cost. An unpleasant odour is inherently associated with poultry manure and is considered one of the major limitations in applying chicken manure to production land. Odours originating from chicken manure result from a combination of up to 150 compounds including volatile fatty acids, mercaptans, esters, carbonyls, aldehydes, alcohols, ammonia and amines. Odours are mainly generated by decomposition of chicken faeces, feathers, spilled feed, dust and bedding materials. Issues related to odour from chicken manure are associated with three main locations: sites of production and land application and storage areas. Many strategies have been tested for odour management at production sites, however, odour control, associated with storage and land application, are yet to be addressed. Since odour management is one of the major elements of overall environment management in crop production, this review provides an assessment of odour issues associated with use of chicken manure in the horticultural industry with special reference to minimising odour at storage and land application sites.
Two-sided oxidation experiments were recently conducted at 1000-1200°C in flowing steam with samples of sponge-based Zr-1Nb alloy E110. Although the old electrolytic E110 tubing exhibited a high degree of susceptibility to nodular corrosion and experienced breakaway oxidation rates in relatively short time, the new sponge-based E110 has demonstrated steam oxidation behavior comparable to Zircaloy-4. The sponge-based E110 followed the parabolic law, and the derived oxidation rate constant is in good agreement with the Cathcart-Pawel (CP) correlation at 1100-1200°C. For 1000°C oxidation, the weight-gain of sponge-based E110 is much lower than Zircaloy-4. No breakaway oxidation was observed at 1000°C up to 8000 s. Ring compression tests were conducted to evaluate the residual ductility of oxidized samples at room temperature and at 135°C. All sponge-based E110 specimens were still ductile at 135°C after being oxidized up to 20% equivalent cladding reacted at 1000-1200°C. Metallographic examinations were performed on oxidized E110 specimens to correlate material performance with microstructure.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.