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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
There is a paucity of information on the cetacean fauna of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa. We compiled records published in the literature and novel unpublished sighting data (2008–2014) to examine the occurrence and distribution of cetacean species. At least 10 species were verified to occur in Guinea-Bissau waters, of which eight were documented from a small number of sightings, whaling captures or skeletal remains. By far the most frequently recorded species were the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) (N = 146) and the Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii) (N = 110). These two species were sympatric in distribution, both being found throughout coastal waters from the northern regions of Canal de Jeta and Rio Mansôa south to the Rio Cacine and around the Arquipélago dos Bijagós. However, differences were apparent in their finer-scale distribution and in the distance of sightings from shore, with bottlenose dolphin sightings generally occurring further from shore (and especially in the region of the Canal do Gêba) than Atlantic humpback dolphins. Sightings indicate that both species likely inhabit Guinea-Bissau waters throughout the year. Dedicated systematic cetacean survey work is urgently needed in coastal Bissau-Guinean waters in order to ascertain the abundance, spatio-temporal distribution, population structure and causes of mortality of bottlenose and Atlantic humpback dolphins, particularly given the Vulnerable conservation status of the latter species. Clarification of the status of cetaceans in offshore waters requires survey effort throughout the Guinea-Bissau EEZ.
Negotiating the boundaries of the secular and of the religious is a core aspect of modern experience. In mid-nineteenth-century Germany, secularism emerged to oppose church establishment, conservative orthodoxy, and national division between Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. Yet, as historian Todd H. Weir argues in this provocative book, early secularism was not the opposite of religion. It developed in the rationalist dissent of Free Religion and, even as secularism took more atheistic forms in Freethought and Monism, it was subject to the forces of the confessional system it sought to dismantle. Similar to its religious competitors, it elaborated a clear worldview, sustained social milieus, and was integrated into the political system. Secularism was, in many ways, Germany's fourth confession. While challenging assumptions about the causes and course of the Kulturkampf and modern antisemitism, this study casts new light on the history of popular science, radical politics, and social reform.