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Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with reduced life expectancy in patients with affective disorders, however, whether MetS also plays a role before the onset of affective disorder is unknown. We aimed to investigate whether MetS, inflammatory markers or oxidative stress act as risk factors for affective disorders, and whether MetS is associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress.
We conducted a high-risk study including 204 monozygotic (MZ) twins with unipolar or bipolar disorder in remission or partial remission (affected), their unaffected co-twins (high-risk) and twins with no personal or family history of affective disorder (low-risk). Metabolic Syndrome was ascertained according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Inflammatory markers and markers of oxidative stress were analyzed from fasting blood and urine samples, respectively.
The affected and the high-risk group had a significantly higher prevalence of MetS compared to the low-risk group (20% v. 15% v. 2.5%, p = 0.0006), even after adjusting for sex, age, smoking and alcohol consumption. No differences in inflammatory and oxidative markers were seen between the three groups. Further, MetS was associated with alterations in inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress was modestly correlated with inflammation.
Metabolic syndrome is associated with low-grade inflammation and may act as a risk factor and a trait marker for affective disorders. If confirmed in longitudinal studies, this suggests the importance of early intervention and preventive approaches targeted towards unhealthy lifestyle factors that may contribute to later psychopathology.
This article provides the first comparative reading of the minutes of the General Assemblies of three iconic Occupy camps: Wall Street, Oakland and London. It challenges detractors who have labelled the Occupy Wall Street movement a flash-in-the-pan protest, and participant-advocates who characterised the movement anti-constitutional. Developing new research into anarchist constitutional theory, we construct a typology of anarchist constitutionalising to argue that the camps prefigured a constitutional order for a post-sovereign anarchist politics. We show that the constitutional politics of three key Occupy Wall Street camps had four main aspects: (i) declarative principles, preambles and documents; (ii) complex institutionalisation; (iii) varied democratic decision-making procedures; and (iv) explicit and implicit rule-making processes, premised on unique foundational norms. Each of these four was designed primarily to challenge and constrain different forms of global and local power, but they also provide a template for anarchistic constitutional forms that can be mimicked and linked up, as opposed to scaled up.
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.
Reports of changes in patients’ social behavior during deep brain stimulation (DBS) raised the question whether DBS induces changes in personality. This study explored if (1) DBS is associated with changes in personality in patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression (TRD), (2) how personality dimensions and depression are associated, and (3) if TRD patients’ self-ratings of personality are valid.
TRD patients were assessed before DBS (n = 30), 6 months (t2, n = 21), 2 (t3, n = 17) and 5 years (t4, n = 11) after the initiation of DBS of the supero-lateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle (slMFB-DBS). Personality was measured with the NEO-Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), depression severity with Hamilton (HDRS), and Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS).
Personality dimensions did not change with slMFB-DBS compared with baseline. Extraversion was negatively correlated with HDRS28 (r = −0.48, p < 0.05) and MADRS (r = −0.45, p < 0.05) at t2. Inter-rater reliability was high for the NEO-FFI at baseline (Cronbach's α = 0.74) and at t4 (α = 0.65). Extraversion [t(29) = −5.20; p < 0.001] and openness to experience [t(29) = −6.96; p < 0.001] differed statistically significant from the normative sample, and did not predict the antidepressant response.
slMFB-DBS was not associated with a change in personality. The severity of depression was associated with extraversion. Personality of TRD patients differed from the healthy population and did not change with response, indicating a possible scar effect. Self-ratings of personality seem valid to assess personality during TRD.
Since the publication of Heinrich von Sybel's Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzugs in 1841, partially translated into English by Lady Duff Gordon in 1861 within her compilation The History and Literature of the Crusades, the critical interrogation of literary texts has been at the heart of scholarly approaches to the crusading movement. This stems from the prevalence of ‘crusade texts’ in the medieval world; the expeditions associated with the crusading movement, particularly those to the East, are among the best evidenced events in the Middle Ages. For contemporaries, the cultural phenomenon of crusading, constantly adapting and shifting in definition and scope, was an attractive subject for oral, poetic, and literary composition. Thus, modern scholars of the crusades, following in the disciplinary footsteps of von Sybel, have been forced to engage with a daunting corpus of diverse accounts and responses to the blend of pilgrimage, holy war, and penitential activity which characterized the medieval crusading movement. But in the process of this, historians have often been guilty of inheriting elements of the same mid-nineteenth century theoretical approach – grounded in a dedication to empirical objectivity – determined to disregard elements of the text which are seemingly less useful for establishing the past, in von Sybel's mentor Leopold von Ranke's words, ‘wie es eigentlich gewesen’, ‘as it essentially was’. Whole texts have been misguidedly excluded from the historiographical mainstream for decades on grounds of being ‘unreliable’. For this reason, an arbitrary methodological divide between ‘history’ and ‘literature’ has often been evident. Literary scholars have enthusiastically taken up the challenge of analyzing less prosaic texts neglected by historians, but, with some exceptions, their findings have been slow to be reincorporated into historical understanding of the crusading movement and its cultural significance. A further contributing factor in this process has been the divide imposed by the disciplinary categorization of vernacular languages into ‘national’ literatures, whilst Latin texts have been conceptually distanced from their context of vernacular accounts, with which they clearly interacted. This volume is, in large part, intended to redress these shortcomings.
It is not alone in so doing. Recent years have seen a significant growth in research which makes innovative inquiries of this extensive corpus of texts, poems, and songs as works of literature, with their own artistic and semiotic rationale, rather than as repositories of defective source material representing an external historical reality.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
From 1999 to 2001 a 724 m deep ice core was drilled on Akademii Nauk ice cap, Severnaya Zemlya, to gain high-resolution proxy data from the central Russian Arctic. Despite strong summertime meltwater percolation, this ice core provides valuable information on the regional climate and environmental history. We present data of stable water isotopes, melt-layer content and major ions from the uppermost 57 m of this core, covering the period 1883–1998. Dating was achieved by counting seasonal isotopic cycles and using reference horizons. Multi-annual δ18O values reflect Eurasian sub-Arctic and Arctic surface air-temperature variations. We found strong correlations to instrumental temperature data from some stations (e.g. r = 0.62 for Vardø, northern Norway). The δ18O values show pronounced 20th-century temperature changes, with a strong rise about 1920 and the absolute temperature maximum in the 1930s. A recent decrease in the deuterium-excess time series indicates an increasing role of the Kara Sea as a regional moisture source. From the multi-annual ion variations we deduced decreasing sea-salt aerosol trends in the 20th century, as reflected by sodium and chloride, whereas sulphate and nitrate are strongly affected by anthropogenic pollution.
Although randomized interventions trials have been shown to reduce the incidence of disorganized attachment, no studies to date have identified the mechanisms of change responsible for such reductions. Maternal sensitivity has been assessed in various studies and shown to change with intervention, but in the only study to formally assess mediation, changes in maternal sensitivity did not mediate changes in infant security of attachment (Cicchetti, Rogosch, & Toth, 2006). Primary aims of the current randomized controlled intervention trial in a high-risk population were to fill gaps in the literature by assessing whether the intervention (a) reduced disorganization, (b) reduced disrupted maternal communication, and (c) whether reductions in disrupted maternal communication mediated changes in infant disorganization. The results indicated that, compared to controls (n = 52), both infant disorganization and disrupted maternal communication were significantly reduced in the intervention group (n = 65) that received regular home-visiting during pregnancy and the first year of life. Furthermore, reductions in disrupted maternal communication partially accounted for the observed reductions in infant disorganization compared to randomized controls. The results are discussed in relation to the societal cost effectiveness of early attachment-informed interventions for mothers and infants, as well as the importance of formally assessing underlying mechanisms of change in order to improve and appropriately target preventive interventions.
The presence of interfaces and geometrical confinement can have a strong influence on the structure and morphology of thin films of semicrystalline polymers. Using surface-sensitive grazing incidence wide angle X-ray scattering and atomic force microscopy to investigate the vertical structure of thin films of poly(3-hexylthiophene) crystallized from the melt, we show that highly oriented crystallites are induced at the air/polymer interface and not as sometimes assumed at the interface to the substrate. These crystallites are oriented with their crystallographic a-axis perpendicular to the plane of the film. While the corresponding orientation dominates in thinner films, for sufficiently thick films (>60 nm) a layer containing unoriented crystals is present below the surface layer. Due to the anisotropic charge transport properties, the observed effects are expected to be of special relevance for potential applications of semiconductor polymers in the field of organic photovoltaics for which vertical transport in thicker films plays an important role.
The article deals with the practice of phenomenological archaeological fieldwork, which is concerned with sensory experience of landscapes and locales. Phenomenological approaches in archaeology have cast light on aspects of past human experience not addressed by traditional archaeological methods. So far, however, they have neither developed explicit methodologies nor a discussion of methodological practice and have laid themselves open to accusations of being ‘subjective’ and ‘unscientific’. This article describes and explores three experiments in phenomenological archaeology developed in the context of the Tavoliere–Gargano Prehistory Project and carried out on Neolithic settlement sites of the type known as villaggi trincerati. Our aims are both to develop explicit methods for this type of fieldwork and to combine phenomenology with other more traditional approaches, such as those concerned with technological, economic and environmental aspects of landscapes and sites. Our work also differs from other phenomenological archaeology in its concern with familiar, everyday experience and domestic contexts, rather than exceptional, special experience in ritual contexts. We consider how our particular approach might be used to further understandings of past lives.
Phenomenological archaeologists and GIS scholars have turned much attention
to visibility—who can see whom, and what can be seen—across ancient
landscapes. Visible connections can be relatively easy to identify, but they
present challenges to interpretation. Ancient peoples created intervisible
connections among sites for purposes that included surveillance, defense,
symbolism, shared identity, and communication. In the American Southwest,
many high places are intervisible by virtue of the elevated topography and
the open skies. The Chaco phenomenon, centered in northwestern New Mexico
between A.D. 850 and 1140, presents an ideal situation for visibility
research. In this study, we use GIS-generated viewsheds and viewnets to
investigate intervisible connections among great houses, shrines, and
related features across the Chacoan landscape. We demonstrate that a Chacoan
shrine network, likely established during the mid-eleventh century,
facilitated intervisibility between outlier communities and Chaco Canyon. It
is most likely that the Chacoans created this network to enable meaningful
connections for communication and identity. We conclude that the boundaries
of the Chaco phenomenon are defined in some sense by intervisibility.
The Reverse Engineering Road to Computing Life
Philip K. Maini, Mathematical Institute, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK,
Thomas E. Woolley, Mathematical Institute, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK,
Eamonn A. Gaffney, Mathematical Institute, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK,
Ruth E. Baker, Mathematical Institute, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK
Elucidating the mechanisms underlying the formation of structure and form is one of the great challenges in developmental biology. From an initial, seemingly spatially uniform mass of cells, emerge the spectacular patterns that characterise the animal kingdom – butterfly wing patterns, animal coat markings, skeletal structures, skin organs, horns etc. (Figure 9.1). Although genes obviously play a key role, the study of genetics alone does not tell us why certain genes are switched on or off in specific places and how the properties they impart to cells result in the highly coordinated emergence of pattern and form. Modern genomics has revealed remarkable molecular similarity among different animal species. Specifically, biological diversity typically emerges from differences in regulatory DNA rather than detailed protein coding sequences. This implicit universality highlights that many aspects of animal development can be understood from studies of exemplar species such as fruit flies and zebrafish while also motivating theoretical studies to explore and understand the underlying common mechanisms beyond a simply descriptive level.
However, when Alan Turing wrote his seminal paper, ‘The chemical basis of morphogenesis’ (Turing, 1952), such observations were many decades away. At that time biology was following a very traditional classification route of list-making activities. Indeed, there was very little theory regarding development other than D'Arcy Thompson's classic 1917 work (see Thompson, 1992, for the abridged version) exploring how biological forms arose, though even this was still very much at the descriptive rather than the mechanistic level.
Undeterred, Turing started exploring the question of how developmental systems might undertake symmetry-breaking and thus create and amplify structure from seeming uniformity. For example, if one looks at a cross-section of a tree trunk, it has circular symmetry which is broken when a branch starts to grow outwards. Turing proposed an underlying mechanism explaining how asymmetric structure could emerge dynamically, without innate hardwiring. In particular, he described how a symmetric pattern, for instance of a growth hormone, could break up so that more hormone was concentrated on one part of the circle, thus inducing extra growth there.
In order to achieve such behaviour Turing came up with a truly ingenious theory. He considered a system of chemicals reacting with each other and assumed that in the well-mixed case (no spatial heterogeneities) this system exhibited an equilibrium (steady) state which was stable.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
The Fezzan Project is investigating the last 10,000 years of human settlement, landscape evolution and climatic change in the Germa region in southern Libya. The second season in February–March 1998 comprised interdisciplinary research in archaeology and geography, centred around excavation and survey work carried out at the site of Old Germa. To date, three phases of mud brick buildings have been partially explored. In addition, wider geomorphological study and archaeological survey and fieldwalking were carried out elsewhere in the Germa/Twesh oasis and around el-Hatiya. Numerous sites were discovered, including a new hillfort of Zinchecra type and several valley centre ‘villages’ of Garamantian/Roman date. Artefactual studies were carried out on pottery and lithics, animal bones and seeds. Further work on the subterranean irrigation features, the foggaras, have confirmed their pre-Islamic origins.
This report summarises the work of the third season of the Fezzan project which took place in January 1999. The main environmental findings of the project team of specialist geographers are providing confirmation of dramatic climatic and environmental change over the last 100,000 years and give more precise dates for some of these changes. The excavations in Old Germa (ancient Garama) have continued through Islamic levels, with elements of five main phases of buildings now having been recorded. Additional standing structures, including one of Germa's main mosques, have been surveyed. Field survey around Germa has revealed further new settlement sites of prehistoric, Garamantian and Islamic date. Of particular importance is a series of lithic and pottery scatters relating to neolithic occupation along the edge of the Ubari Sand Sea, to the north of Germa. Further investigation of the irrigation channels (foggaras) has revealed significant new information about their size, construction and probable date. The report concludes with a brief preliminary analysis of changing settlement patterns over time.