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Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
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.
Studies have shown that specific cognitions and behaviours play a role in maintaining chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). However, little research has investigated illness-specific cognitive processing in CFS. This study investigated whether CFS participants had an attentional bias for CFS-related stimuli and a tendency to interpret ambiguous information in a somatic way. It also determined whether cognitive processing biases were associated with co-morbidity, attentional control or self-reported unhelpful cognitions and behaviours.
A total of 52 CFS and 51 healthy participants completed self-report measures of symptoms, disability, mood, cognitions and behaviours. Participants also completed three experimental tasks, two designed specifically to tap into CFS salient cognitions: (i) visual-probe task measuring attentional bias to illness (somatic symptoms and disability) v. neutral words; (ii) interpretive bias task measuring positive v. somatic interpretations of ambiguous information; and (iii) the Attention Network Test measuring general attentional control.
Compared with controls, CFS participants showed a significant attentional bias for fatigue-related words and were significantly more likely to interpret ambiguous information in a somatic way, controlling for depression and anxiety. CFS participants had significantly poorer attentional control than healthy individuals. Attention and interpretation biases were associated with fear/avoidance beliefs. Somatic interpretations were also associated with all-or-nothing behaviour and catastrophizing.
People with CFS have illness-specific biases which may play a part in maintaining symptoms by reinforcing unhelpful illness beliefs and behaviours. Enhancing adaptive processing, such as positive interpretation biases and more flexible attention allocation, may provide beneficial intervention targets.
It is well established that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with controls. However, the role of these as risk factors is less clearly established. The aims of this systematic review were to investigate: (1) whether anxiety and/or depression predict IBS onset; (2) the size of the relative risk (RR) of anxiety versus depression in IBS onset. Subgroup analyses explored if methodological factors affected the overall findings.
Prospective cohort or case–control studies were included if they: (1) focused on the development of IBS in population-based or gastroenteritis cohorts; (2) explored the effects of anxiety and/or depression at baseline as predictors of IBS onset at a future point. In all, 11 studies were included of which eight recruited participants with a gastrointestinal infection. Meta-analyses were conducted.
The risk of developing IBS was double for anxiety cases at baseline compared with those who were not [RR 2.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.58–3.60]. Similar results were found for depression (RR 2.06, 95% CI 1.44–2.96). Anxiety and depression seemed to play a stronger role in IBS onset in individuals with a gastrointestinal infection although this could be attributed to other differences in methodology, such as use of diagnostic interviews rather than self-report.
The findings suggest that self-reported anxiety and depression provide a twofold risk for IBS onset. There is less support for the role of anxiety or depressive disorder diagnosed using clinical interview. These findings may have implications for the development of interventions focused on IBS prevention and treatment.
The late-type stellar population in the Galactic Center was first predicted to reside in a dynamically relaxed cusp (power law slope ranging from 3/2 to 7/4). However, other works - which rely on models to correct for projection effects - have suggested a flat distribution instead. The need for this correction is due to the lack of information regarding the line-of-sight distances. With a two decade long baseline in astrometric measurements, we are now able to measure significant projected radial accelerations, six of which are newly reported here, which directly constrain line-of-sight distances. Here we present a statistical approach to take advantage of this information and more accurately constrain the shape of the radial density profile of the late-type stellar population in the Galactic Center.
A K-band (18-25 GHz) reflected-wave ruby maser (Moore and Clauss 1979) has been borrowed from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory for radio astronomy use on the NASA 64-m antenna of the Deep Space Network at the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station, near Canberra. The purpose of the installation is to provide additional sensitive spectral line, continuum, and VLBI capabilities in the southern hemisphere. Previous measurements at 22.3 GHz (λ = 13.5 mm) determined that the Tidbinbilla 64-m antenna has a peak aperture efficiency of ˜22%, a well-behaved beam shape and consistent pointing (Fourikis and Jauncey 1979). Before installing the maser on the antenna a cooled (circulator) switch was added to provide a beam-switching capability, and a spectral line receiver following the maser was incorporated. The system was assembled and tested at JPL in late 1980 and installed at Tidbinbilla early in 1981. We give here a brief description and present some of the first line observations made in February and March 1981. Extensive line and continuum observations are planned with the present system and a program is under way to determine the telescope pointing characteristics.
Iodine-129 is a high-yield fission product formed in nuclear reactors and is a risk-driving radionuclide in both contaminated land and radioactive waste disposal due to its high mobility and long half-life. Here, the bioreduction behaviour of iodate was investigated by tracking iodine speciation and concentration in solution during the development of progressive anoxia in sediment microcosm experiments incubated at neutral pH. Experiments with acetate added as an electron donor showed the expected cascade of terminal electron-accepting processes. Analysis of solution chemistry showed reduction of iodate to iodide during the early stages of metal (Mn(IV) and Fe(III)) reduction, but with no significant retention of iodine species on solids. There was, however, a net release of natural iodine associated with the sediments to solution when robust iron reduction / sulfate reduction had developed. In addition, over 210 days, the controls with no electron donor and the sterile controls showed no Mn(IV) or Fe(III) reduction but displayed modest sorption of iodate to the sediments in the absence of bioreduction. Overall these results show that under oxic conditions iodate may be partially sorbed to sediments over extended periods but that development of mildly reducing conditions leads to the reductive release of iodine to solution as iodide.
Iron oxides resulting from the corrosion of large quantities of steel that are planned to be installed throughout a deep geological disposal facility (GDF) are expected to be one of the key surfaces of interest for controlling radionuclide behaviour under disposal conditions. Over the lengthy timescales associated with a GDF, the system is expected to become anoxic so that reduced Fe(II) phases will dominate. Batch experiments have therefore been completed in order to investigate how a model reduced Fe-oxide surface (wüstite, Fe1–xO) alters as a function of exposure to aqueous solutions with compositions representative of conditions expected within a GDF. Additional experiments were performed to constrain the effect that highly alkaline solutions (up to pH 13) have on the adsorption behaviour of the uranyl (UO22+) ion onto the surfaces of both wüstite and portlandite [Ca(OH)2; representative of the expected cementitious phases]. Surface co-ordination chemistry and speciation were determined by ex situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements (both X-ray absorption near-edge structure analysis (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure analysis (EXAFS)). Diffraction, elemental analysis and XANES showed that the bulk solid composition and Fe oxidation state remained relatively unaltered over the time frame of these experiments (120 h), although under alkaline conditions possible surface hydroxylation is observed, due presumably to the formation of surface hydroxyl complexes. The surface morphology, however, is altered significantly with a large degree of roughening and an observed decrease in the average particle size. Reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) occurs during adsorption in almost all cases and this is interpreted to indicate that wüstite may be an effective reductant of U during surface adsorption. This work also shows that increasing the carbonate concentration in reactant solutions dramatically decreases the adsorption coefficients for U on both wüstite and portlandite, consistent with U speciation and surface reactivity determined in other studies. Finally, the EXAFS results include new details about exactly how U bonds to this metal oxide surface.
We carried out large–scale (4 × 2 degree) CO multi–line observations toward the central molecular zone (CMZ) in the Galactic center (GC) with the NANTEN2 4m telescope and mapped several diffuse molecular features located at relatively high Galactic latitudes above 0°.6. These high–latitude features are composed of diffuse molecular halo gas and molecular filaments according to their morphological aspects. Their high velocities and high intensity ratios between 12CO J = (2−1) and J = (1−0) clearly indicate their location in the GC, and their total mass amount to ∼10% of that of the CMZ. We discuss that magnetic field is a possible mechanism of these high–latitude molecular features lifting up toward high galactic latitude.
We give an update of the observations and analysis of G2 – the gaseous red emission-line object that is on a very eccentric orbit around the Galaxy's central black hole and predicted to come within 2400 RS in early 2014. During 2013, the laser guide star adaptive optics systems on the W. M. Keck I and II telescopes were used to obtain three epochs of spectroscopy and imaging at the highest spatial resolution currently possible in the near-IR. The updated orbital solution derived from radial velocities in addition to Br-γ line astrometry is consistent with our earlier estimates. Strikingly, even ∼ 6 months before pericenter passage there is no perceptible deviation from a Keplerian orbit. We furthermore show that a proposed “tail” of G2 is likely not associated with it but is rather an independent gas structure. We also show that G2 does not seem to be unique, since several red emission-line objects can be found in the central arcsecond. Taken together, it seems more likely that G2 is ultimately stellar in nature, although there is clearly gas associated with it.
We discuss observations of Sagittarius A* with NACO@VLT in K-band and recent synchronous observations with NIRC2@Keck II and OSIRIS@Keck I in L′-band and H-band, respectively. The variability of Sagittarius A* in the near infrared is a continuous one-state process that can be described by a pure red-noise process having a timescale of a few hours. We describe this process and its properties in detail. Our newest observations with the Keck telescopes represent the first truly synchronous high cadence data set to test for time variability of the spectral index within the near infrared. We discovered a time-variable spectral index that might be interpreted as a time lag of the L′-band with respect to the H-band.
Polarimetry of the far infrared emission from magnetically-aligned interstellar grains is one of the best ways of studying the magnetic field at the Galactic center. We describe the HAWC+ instrument, under development for flight on SOFIA starting in 2015, which will provide a major advance in capability for these critically important measurements.
An experimental technique has been developed and applied to the problem of determining effective diffusion coefficients and partition coefficients of Sr in low permeability geological materials. This technique, the micro-reactor simulated channel method (MRSC), allows rapid determination of contaminant transport parameters with resulting values comparable to those determined by more traditional methods and also creates product surfaces that are amenable for direct chemical analysis. An attempt to further constrain mass flux was completed by detailed ion beam analysis of polished tuff surfaces (tuff is a polycrystalline polyminerallic aggregate dominated by silicate phases) that had been reacted with Sr solutions at concentrations of 10−5, 10−3 and 10−1 mol l−1. Ion beam analysis was carried out using beams of both protons (using particle induced X-ray emission and elastic backscattering spectrometry or EBS) and alpha-particles (using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry). The ion beam analyses showed that increased solution concentrations resulted in increased surface concentrations and that in the highest concentration experiment, Sr penetrated to at least 4 μm below the primary interface. The Sr surface concentrations determined by EBS were 0.06 (±0.05), 0.87 (±0.30) and 2.40 (±1.0) atomic weight % in the experiments with starting solution concentrations of 10−5, 10−3, and 10−1 mol l−1, respectively.
We present experimental results supporting physics-based ejecta model development, where our main assumption is that ejecta form as a special limiting case of a Richtmyer–Meshkov (RM) instability at a metal–vacuum interface. From this assumption, we test established theory of unstable spike and bubble growth rates, rates that link to the wavelength and amplitudes of surface perturbations. We evaluate the rate theory through novel application of modern laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) techniques, where we coincidentally measure bubble and spike velocities from explosively shocked solid and liquid metals with a single LDV probe. We also explore the relationship of ejecta formation from a solid material to the plastic flow stress it experiences at high-strain rates () and high strains (700 %) as the fundamental link to the onset of ejecta formation. Our experimental observations allow us to approximate the strength of Cu at high strains and strain rates, revealing a unique diagnostic method for use at these extreme conditions.