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In an effort to optimize patient outcomes, considerable attention is being devoted to identifying patient characteristics associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) and its responsiveness to treatment. In the current study, we extend this work by evaluating whether early change in these sensitivities is associated with response to antidepressant treatment for MDD.
Participants included 210 patients with MDD who were treated with 8 weeks of escitalopram and 112 healthy comparison participants. Of the original 210 patients, 90 non-responders received adjunctive aripiprazole for an additional 8 weeks. Symptoms of depression and anhedonia were assessed at the beginning of treatment and 8 weeks later in both samples. Reward and punishment sensitivity were assessed using the BIS/BAS scales measured at the initiation of treatment and 2 weeks later.
Individuals with MDD exhibited higher punishment sensitivity and lower reward sensitivity compared with healthy comparison participants. Change in reward sensitivity during the first 2 weeks of treatment was associated with improved depressive symptoms and anhedonia following 8 weeks of treatment with escitalopram. Similarly, improvement in reward responsiveness during the first 2 weeks of adjunctive therapy with aripiprazole was associated with fewer symptoms of depression at post-treatment.
Findings highlight the predictive utility of early change in reward sensitivity during antidepressant treatment for major depression. In a clinical setting, a lack of change in early reward processing may signal a need to modify a patient's treatment plan with alternative or augmented treatment approaches.
Epigenetic DNA modifications in genes related to the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis are discussed as a mechanism underlying the association between prenatal depression and altered child HPA activity. In a longitudinal study, DNA methylation changes related to prenatal depressive symptoms were investigated in 167 children aged 6 to 9 years. At six candidate genes, 126 cytosine–guanine dinucleotides were considered without correcting for multiple testing due to the exploratory nature of the study. Further associations with the basal child HPA activity were examined. Children exposed to prenatal depressive symptoms exhibited lower bedtime cortisol (p = .003, ηp2 = 0.07) and a steeper diurnal slope (p = .023, ηp2 = 0.06). For total cortisol release, prenatal exposure was related to lower cortisol release in boys, and higher release in girls. Furthermore, prenatal depressive symptoms were associated with altered methylation in the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1), the mineralocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C2), and the serotonin receptor gene (SLC6A4), with some sex-specific effects (p = .012–.040, ηp2 = 0.03–0.04). In boys, prenatal depressive symptoms predicted bedtime cortisol mediated by NR3C2 methylation, indirect effect = –0.07, 95% confidence interval [–0.16, –0.02]. Results indicate relations of prenatal depressive symptoms to both child basal HPA activity and DNA methylation, partially fitting a mediation model, with exposed boys and girls being affected differently.
Modern geoinformatic techniques allow the automated creation of detailed glacier inventory data from glacier outlines and digital terrain models (DTMs). Once glacier entities are defined and an appropriate DTM is available, several methods exist to derive the inventory data (e.g. minimum, maximum and mean elevation; mean slope and aspect) for each glacier from digital intersection of both datasets. Compared to the former manual methods, the new grid-based statistical calculations are very fast and reproducible. The major aim of this contribution is to help in standardizing the related calculations to enhance the integrity of the Global Land Ice Monitoring from Space (GLIMS) database. The recommendations were prepared by a working group and also contribute to the European Space Agency project GlobGlacier. The document follows the former UNESCO manual for the production of the World Glacier Inventory published in 1970, identifies the potential pitfalls, and describes the differences from the former methods of compilation. The online background material for this paper (see http://www.glims.org) contains example scripts for calculation of each parameter and will be updated when required.
Field data from Stillberg (Switzerland), provided by SFISAR, have been analysed in order to understand the spatial distribution of snow transported by wind in avalanche-starting zones. The results have been used to develop a new empirical model for snowdrift distribution. This model constitutes the “snow-wind module” of the knowledge-based computer system called ELSA.
The model is based on an empirical parameter called the wind or “aeolien” coefficient. It represents the relation between two snow heights at a given place: the snow accumulated at the end of a wind period (or wind episode) and the snow available for transport at the beginning of the wind period. The wind coefficient has been established using field data from the Stillberg site.
We report on new measurements extending the spectral range of our earlier photometry (Frey et al. 1974) to the near ultraviolet. The residual extinction caused by atmospheric ozone was found to be 0.m25 ± 0.m13 (2950 Å) and 0m36 ± 0m13 (2150 Å) at 41.5 km float altitude. Within the errors of 10-30% arising from calibration and the reduction procedure our measurements at 5000, 3450, and 2950 Å are compatible to a colour of the zodiacal light not different from that of the sun. Our result obtained at 2150 Å is an upper limit, since no reduction of airglow and integrated starlight has been done yet at that wavelength. This upper limit is 30% above a solar-like spectrum. This result is not in contradiction to the 0A0-2 measurements (Lillie 1972). The strong intensity increase he found occurs at wavelengths below 2150 Å.
Recent work in the Upper Cretaceous of northeastern Mexico has produced a diversity of vertebrate remains. For specimens referable to Squamata, both old and new, an annotated catalogue is here provided, wherein are summarised the geological context and morphological features of each specimen. All specimens appear to represent marine squamates, including an aigialosaur-like reptile preserving integumentary structures, several vertebrae possibly representing mosasauroids, the first Mexican mosasaur known from significant cranial material, an isolated mosasaur mandibular fragment, and the holotype of Amphekepubis johnsoni (considered to belong to Mosasaurus). These discoveries are auspicious and should deepen our understanding of palaeobiogeographic and evolutionary patterns
Surface digital elevation models (DEMs) and slope-related estimates of glacier thickness enable modelling of glacier-bed topographies over large ice-covered areas. Due to the erosive power of glaciers, such bed topographies can contain numerous overdeepenings, which when exposed following glacier retreat may fill with water and form new lakes. In this study, the bed overdeepenings for ~28 000 glaciers (40 775 km2) of the Himalaya-Karakoram region are modelled using GlabTop2 (Glacier Bed Topography model version 2), in which ice thickness is inferred from surface slope by parameterizing basal shear stress as a function of elevation range for each glacier. The modelled ice thicknesses are uncertain (±30%), but spatial patterns of ice thickness and bed elevation primarily depend on surface slopes as derived from the DEM and, hence, are more robust. About 16 000 overdeepenings larger than 104m2 were detected in the modelled glacier beds, covering an area of ~2200 km2 and having a volume of ~120km3 (3-4% of present-day glacier volume). About 5000 of these overdeepenings (1800 km2) have a volume larger than 106m3. The results presented here are useful for anticipating landscape evolution and potential future lake formation with associated opportunities (tourism, hydropower) and risks (lake outbursts).
In 1802, several “country ships” arrived in London from Bengal, their lascar crews having suffered severe casualties due to fatigue, exposure, and starvation. Aboard the Union, the officers’ treatment of the crew was so bad that the lascars and a sympathetic English sailor alerted the East India Company. Their testimony, recorded by the Company's Committee of Shipping, provides new insights into lascar living and working conditions – in particular the problem of undermanning ships – reminding us how the management–labour dynamic aboard a ship at sea always favoured owners and officers rather than workers.
We use a WISE-2MASS-Pan-STARRS1 galaxy catalog to search for a supervoid in the direction of the Cosmic Microwave Background Cold Spot. We obtain photometric redshifts using our multicolor data set to create a tomographic map of the galaxy distribution. The radial density profile centred on the Cold Spot shows a large low density region, extending over 10's of degrees. Motivated by previous Cosmic Microwave Background results, we test for underdensities within two angular radii, 5°, and 15°. Our data, combined with an earlier measurement by Granett et al. 2010, are consistent with a large Rvoid=(192 ± 15)h−1 Mpc (2σ) supervoid with δ ≃ −0.13 ± 0.03 centered at z=0.22 ± 0.01. Such a supervoid, constituting a ∼3.5 σ fluctuation in the ΛCDM model, is a plausible cause for the Cold Spot.
We demonstrate improved compatibility of poly(ethylene dioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) hole transport layer with acid-sensitive materials by addition of a simple base, NaOH or NH4OH, to the aqueous suspension to increase pH. Addition of NaOH to the acidic PEDOT:PSS allowed the deposition of PEDOT:PSS on top of an inverted poly(3-hexylthiophene):ZnO nanoparticle blend hybrid photovoltaic device, and improved device performance due to preservation of the ZnO electron acceptor. To quantitatively investigate the impact of base addition to hole transport layer properties and device performance, we deposited PEDOT:PSS with different pH values on inverted poly(3-hexylthiophene):[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester bulk heterojunction devices. We find that NaOH modification results in a substantial work function decrease and series resistance increase. In contrast, the volatile NH4OH leaves PEDOT:PSS with minimal changes in film properties and device performance.
We have studied oxidation of various Si samples including: Ge implanted Si, CVD and MBE grown Si(0.4–4% Ge) alloys, and MBE grown Si-Si(Ge) superlattices. The samples were oxidized in pyrogenic steam (800–1000°C, atmospheric pressure) and at low temperature and high pressure (740°C, 205 atm of dry O2). The oxidized samples were analyzed with RBS/channeling and ellipsometry.
An enhanced oxidation rate was seen for all Ge doped samples, compared with rates for pure Si. The magnitude of the enhancement increased with decreasing oxidation temperature. For steam oxidations the Ge was segregated from the oxide and formed an epitaxial layer at the Si-SiO2 interface; the quality of the epitaxy was highest for the highest oxidation temperatures. For high pressure oxidation the Ge was trapped in the oxide and the greatest enhancement in oxidation rate (>100%) was observed.
Selective-area epitaxy was investigated by Cl-transport VPE growth of GaxIn1-xAs in features etched in a (001) InP wafer through windows of an SiCO2 mask. Growth was conducted simultaneously on masked samples with grooves oriented along the  and the  directions and a planar InP wafer oriented 3° off (001). The structures were studied with optical and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction, photoluminescence (PL), and cathodoluminescence (CL). Excellent surface morphology, luminescence, and near-lattice-matching were simultaneously achieved for all samples. TEM cross-sections demonstrate that the  and even the  dove-tail grooves are filled in a wellordered manner without visible defects or undue strain. CL imaging in crosssection and planview demonstrates the trend in both samples for lower bandgap material to be found in the upper center portion of the groove.
Pores in single crystalline semiconductors can be produced in a wide range of geometries and morphologies, including the “nano” regime. Porous semiconductors may have properties completely different from the bulk, and metamaterials with e.g. optical properties not encountered in natural materials are emerging. Possible applications of porous semiconductors include various novel sensors, but also more “exotic” uses as, e.g. high explosives or electrodes for micro fuel cells. The paper briefly reviews pore formation (including more applied aspects of large area etching), properties of porous semiconductors and emerging applications.
An understanding of dielectric breakdown mechanisms is critical for continued oxide scaling. Although working transistors have been demonstrated with sub-2nm SiO2 gate dielectrics, the manufacturability of such devices hinges on the reliability of the oxide. As oxides become thinner and operating voltages become lower, a fundamentally different mode of dielectric breakdown occurs. This has been called soft breakdown and is considered to be the formation of a small, localized tunneling path through a dielectric. For transistors with 2-nm gate oxides, threshold voltage and maximum transconductance are not affected by soft breakdown, implying that circuits may continue to operate after soft breakdown. The increase in gate current or voltage noise associated with soft breakdown is not a limiting factor for many applications. However, some cases will be shown in which soft breakdown does degrade device function.
In order to make comparisons of ultra-thin oxide quality, it is important to be able to reliably detect soft breakdown. J-ramp, a commonly used ramped-current measurement to determine oxide quality, is unable to detect soft breakdown in ultra-thin oxides. We will demonstrate the incorporation of noise measurements in a commercial J-ramp algorithm.
There is a lack of knowledge about the genetic background of eczema due to insect bite hypersensitivity, also called summer eczema, in horses. The condition is known in several horse breeds and countries and it causes reduced welfare of the horse and economic losses to the owner. The aim of this study was to estimate genetic parameters for summer eczema in Swedish-born Icelandic horses. A questionnaire was sent to owners of horses sired by stallions with more than 50 offspring born in Sweden between 1991 and 2001. Variance components of summer eczema classified as healthy, mild, moderate or severe were estimated using the threshold methodology with sire models. In addition, summer eczema was analysed as a binary trait (healthy v. affected). The analyses included 1250 horses sired by 33 stallions. The prevalence of summer eczema was 8%, with a range of 0% to 30% in different paternal half-sib groups. Offspring of dams suffering from eczema had a higher risk of developing eczema. The heritability for severity of summer eczema was estimated at 0.3 (s.d. < 0.2) with a threshold sire model. In contrast to the age of the horse, different geographic areas and gender were significantly associated with severity of the eczema. We conclude that genetic selection could decrease the prevalence of summer eczema among Swedish-born Icelandic horses. The amount and quality of data are, however, crucial for the possibility to introduce a genetic evaluation of summer eczema. The symptoms should be classified in several classes according to severity, and this classification could be made by the horse owner.
Eberhard Dino Frey, Geowissenschaftliche Abteilung, Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe, Erbprinzenstrasse 13, D-76133 Karlruhe, Germany,
Steven W. Salisbury, School of Integrative Biology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia