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Systemic inflammation has been linked with mood disorder and cognitive impairment. The extent of this relationship remains uncertain, with the effects of serum inflammatory biomarkers compared to genetic predisposition toward inflammation yet to be clearly established.
We investigated the magnitude of associations between C-reactive protein (CRP) measures, lifetime history of bipolar disorder or major depression, and cognitive function (reaction time and visuospatial memory) in 84,268 UK Biobank participants. CRP was measured in serum and a polygenic risk score for CRP was calculated, based on a published genome-wide association study. Multiple regression models adjusted for sociodemographic and clinical confounders.
Increased serum CRP was significantly associated with mood disorder history (Kruskal–Wallis H = 196.06, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.002) but increased polygenic risk for CRP was not (F = 0.668, p = 0.648, η2 < 0.001). Compared to the lowest quintile, the highest serum CRP quintile was significantly associated with both negative and positive differences in cognitive performance (fully adjusted models: reaction time B = −0.030, 95% CI = −0.052, −0.008; visuospatial memory B = 0.066, 95% CI = 0.042, 0.089). More severe mood disorder categories were significantly associated with worse cognitive performance and this was not moderated by serum or genetic CRP level.
In this large cohort study, we found that measured inflammation was associated with mood disorder history, but genetic predisposition to inflammation was not. The association between mood disorder and worse cognitive performance was very small and did not vary by CRP level. The inconsistent relationship between CRP measures and cognitive performance warrants further study.
Recent drilling successes on Rutford Ice Stream in West Antarctica demonstrate the viability of hot water drilling subglacial access holes to depths >2000 m. Having techniques to access deep subglacial environments reliably paves the way for subglacial lake exploration beneath the thick central West Antarctic Ice Sheet. An ideal candidate lake, overlain by ~2650 m of ice, identified by Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECs), Chile, has led to collaboration with British Antarctic Survey to access Subglacial Lake CECs (SLCECs). To conform with the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research code of conduct, which provides a guide to responsible scientific exploration and stewardship of these pristine systems, any access drilling must minimise all aspects of contamination and disturbance of the subglacial environment. To meet these challenges, along with thicker ice and 2000 m elevation, pumping and water treatment systems developed for the Subglacial Lake Ellsworth project, together with new diesel generators, additional water heating and longer drill hose, are currently being integrated with the BEAMISH hot water drill. A dedicated test season near SLCECs will commission the new clean hot water drill, with testing and validation of all clean operating procedures. A subsequent season will then access SLCECs cleanly.
In recent years, a variety of efforts have been made in political science to enable, encourage, or require scholars to be more open and explicit about the bases of their empirical claims and, in turn, make those claims more readily evaluable by others. While qualitative scholars have long taken an interest in making their research open, reflexive, and systematic, the recent push for overarching transparency norms and requirements has provoked serious concern within qualitative research communities and raised fundamental questions about the meaning, value, costs, and intellectual relevance of transparency for qualitative inquiry. In this Perspectives Reflection, we crystallize the central findings of a three-year deliberative process—the Qualitative Transparency Deliberations (QTD)—involving hundreds of political scientists in a broad discussion of these issues. Following an overview of the process and the key insights that emerged, we present summaries of the QTD Working Groups’ final reports. Drawing on a series of public, online conversations that unfolded at www.qualtd.net, the reports unpack transparency’s promise, practicalities, risks, and limitations in relation to different qualitative methodologies, forms of evidence, and research contexts. Taken as a whole, these reports—the full versions of which can be found in the Supplementary Materials—offer practical guidance to scholars designing and implementing qualitative research, and to editors, reviewers, and funders seeking to develop criteria of evaluation that are appropriate—as understood by relevant research communities—to the forms of inquiry being assessed. We dedicate this Reflection to the memory of our coauthor and QTD working group leader Kendra Koivu.1
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
We performed a prospective study of 501 patients, regardless of symptoms, admitted to the hospital, to estimate the predictive value of a negative nasopharyngeal swab for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At a positivity rate of 10.2%, the estimated negative predictive value (NPV) was 97.2% and the NPV rose as prevalence decreased during the study.
The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures are likely to have a marked effect on mental health. It is important to use longitudinal data to improve inferences.
To quantify the prevalence of depression, anxiety and mental well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, to identify groups at risk of depression and/or anxiety during the pandemic.
Data were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) index generation (n = 2850, mean age 28 years) and parent generation (n = 3720, mean age 59 years), and Generation Scotland (n = 4233, mean age 59 years). Depression was measured with the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire in ALSPAC and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 in Generation Scotland. Anxiety and mental well-being were measured with the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment-7 and the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
Depression during the pandemic was similar to pre-pandemic levels in the ALSPAC index generation, but those experiencing anxiety had almost doubled, at 24% (95% CI 23–26%) compared with a pre-pandemic level of 13% (95% CI 12–14%). In both studies, anxiety and depression during the pandemic was greater in younger members, women, those with pre-existing mental/physical health conditions and individuals in socioeconomic adversity, even when controlling for pre-pandemic anxiety and depression.
These results provide evidence for increased anxiety in young people that is coincident with the pandemic. Specific groups are at elevated risk of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is important for planning current mental health provisions and for long-term impact beyond this pandemic.
Cleaning mutualisms are important interactions on coral reefs. Intraspecific variation in cleaning rate and behaviour occurs geographically and is often attributed to local processes. However, our understanding of fine-scale variation is limited, but would allow us to control for geography and region-specific behavioural patterns. Here, we compare the cleaning activity of Pederson's cleaner shrimp (Ancylomenes pedersoni) on two neighbouring, yet ecologically dissimilar, reef systems in Honduras: Banco Capiro, an offshore bank close to significant land runoff with high coral cover but a depleted fish population, and an oligotrophic fringing reef around the island of Utila, with lower coral cover but high fish abundance and diversity. The proportion of realized to potential fish clientele was <60% at both sites, and the composition of clientele was neither reflective of the demographics of the resident assemblages at each site nor similar between sites. Parrotfishes represented 13–15% of total fish abundance at both sites yet accounted for >50% (Banco Capiro) and 10% (Utila) of all cleans. Conversely, the schoolmaster snapper (Lutjanus apodus) represented ~1% of total fish abundance at both sites yet accounted for 40% (Utila) and 1% (Banco Capiro) of all cleans. After standardizing our cleaning rate data by clientele abundance, we find that clientele at Banco Capiro engage in over four times as many cleaning encounters per hour with A. pedersoni than at Utila. Our study highlights the variable nature of coral reef cleaning interactions and the need to better understand the ecological and environmental drivers of this biogeographic variation.
Basal melt of ice shelves is not only an important part of Antarctica's ice sheet mass budget, but it is also the origin of platelet ice, one of the most distinctive types of sea ice. In many coastal Antarctic regions, ice crystals form and grow in supercooled plumes of Ice Shelf Water. They usually rise towards the surface, becoming trapped under an ice shelf as marine ice or forming a semi-consolidated layer, known as the sub-ice platelet layer, below an overlying sea ice cover. In the latter, sea ice growth consolidates loose crystals to form incorporated platelet ice. These phenomena have numerous and profound impacts on the physical properties, biological processes and biogeochemical cycles associated with Antarctic fast ice: platelet ice contributes to sea ice mass balance and may indicate the extent of ice-shelf basal melting. It can also host a highly productive and uniquely adapted ecosystem. This paper clarifies the terminology and reviews platelet ice formation, observational methods as well as the geographical and seasonal occurrence of this ice type. The physical properties and ecological implications are presented in a way understandable for physicists and biologists alike, thereby providing the background for much needed interdisciplinary research on this topic.
Pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) refers to the transfer of genetic information (alleles) from one plant to another compatible plant. With the evolution of herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds, PMGF plays an important role in the transfer of resistance alleles from HR to susceptible weeds; however, little attention is given to this topic. The objective of this work was to review reproductive biology, PMGF studies, and interspecific hybridization, as well as potential for herbicide resistance alleles to transfer in the economically important broadleaf weeds including common lambsquarters, giant ragweed, horseweed, kochia, Palmer amaranth, and waterhemp. The PMGF studies involving these species reveal that transfer of herbicide resistance alleles routinely occurs under field conditions and is influenced by several factors, such as reproductive biology, environment, and production practices. Interspecific hybridization studies within Amaranthus and Ambrosia spp. show that herbicide resistance allele transfer is possible between species of the same genus but at relatively low levels. The widespread occurrence of HR weed populations and high genetic diversity is at least partly due to PMGF, particularly in dioecious species such as Palmer amaranth and waterhemp compared with monoecious species such as common lambsquarters and horseweed. Prolific pollen production in giant ragweed contributes to PMGF. Kochia, a wind-pollinated species can efficiently disseminate herbicide resistance alleles via both PMGF and tumbleweed seed dispersal, resulting in widespread occurrence of multiple HR kochia populations. The findings from this review verify that intra- and interspecific gene flow can occur and, even at a low rate, could contribute to the rapid spread of herbicide resistance alleles. More research is needed to determine the role of PMGF in transferring multiple herbicide resistance alleles at the landscape level.
The scarcity of Romano-British human remains from north-west England has hindered understanding of burial practice in this region. Here, we report on the excavation of human and non-human animal remains1 and material culture from Dog Hole Cave, Haverbrack. Foetal and neonatal infants had been interred alongside a horse burial and puppies, lambs, calves and piglets in the very latest Iron Age to early Romano-British period, while the mid- to late Roman period is characterised by burials of older individuals with copper-alloy jewellery and beads. This material culture is more characteristic of urban sites, while isotope analysis indicates that the later individuals were largely from the local area. We discuss these results in terms of burial ritual in Cumbria and rural acculturation. Supplementary material is available online (https://doi.org/10.1017/S0068113X20000136), and contains further information about the site and excavations, small finds, zooarchaeology, human osteology, site taphonomy, the palaeoenvironment, isotope methods and analysis, and finds listed in Benson and Bland 1963.
It is not clear to what extent associations between schizophrenia, cannabis use and cigarette use are due to a shared genetic etiology. We, therefore, examined whether schizophrenia genetic risk associates with longitudinal patterns of cigarette and cannabis use in adolescence and mediating pathways for any association to inform potential reduction strategies.
Associations between schizophrenia polygenic scores and longitudinal latent classes of cigarette and cannabis use from ages 14 to 19 years were investigated in up to 3925 individuals in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Mediation models were estimated to assess the potential mediating effects of a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral phenotypes.
The schizophrenia polygenic score, based on single nucleotide polymorphisms meeting a training-set p threshold of 0.05, was associated with late-onset cannabis use (OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.08,1.41), but not with cigarette or early-onset cannabis use classes. This association was not mediated through lower IQ, victimization, emotional difficulties, antisocial behavior, impulsivity, or poorer social relationships during childhood. Sensitivity analyses adjusting for genetic liability to cannabis or cigarette use, using polygenic scores excluding the CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster, or basing scores on a 0.5 training-set p threshold, provided results consistent with our main analyses.
Our study provides evidence that genetic risk for schizophrenia is associated with patterns of cannabis use during adolescence. Investigation of pathways other than the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral phenotypes examined here is required to identify modifiable targets to reduce the public health burden of cannabis use in the population.
Recent work suggests that antihypertensive medications may be useful as repurposed treatments for mood disorders. Using large-scale linked healthcare data we investigated whether certain classes of antihypertensive, such as angiotensin antagonists (AAs) and calcium channel blockers, were associated with reduced risk of new-onset major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar disorder (BD).
Two cohorts of patients treated with antihypertensives were identified from Scottish prescribing (2009–2016) and hospital admission (1981–2016) records. Eligibility for cohort membership was determined by a receipt of a minimum of four prescriptions for antihypertensives within a 12-month window. One treatment cohort (n = 538 730) included patients with no previous history of mood disorder, whereas the other (n = 262 278) included those who did. Both cohorts were matched by age, sex and area deprivation to untreated comparators. Associations between antihypertensive treatment and new-onset MDD or bipolar episodes were investigated using Cox regression.
For patients without a history of mood disorder, antihypertensives were associated with increased risk of new-onset MDD. For AA monotherapy, the hazard ratio (HR) for new-onset MDD was 1.17 (95% CI 1.04–1.31). Beta blockers' association was stronger (HR 2.68; 95% CI 2.45–2.92), possibly indicating pre-existing anxiety. Some classes of antihypertensive were associated with protection against BD, particularly AAs (HR 0.46; 95% CI 0.30–0.70). For patients with a past history of mood disorders, all classes of antihypertensives were associated with increased risk of future episodes of MDD.
There was no evidence that antihypertensive medications prevented new episodes of MDD but AAs may represent a novel treatment avenue for BD.
Numerous contemporary examples attest to the continued political salience of ethnic identification. This is the case even in multi-ethnic societies bound together by a strong overarching sense of patriotism, but it is most especially so in contexts where ethnicity has historically functioned as the building block of modern nations (Rudolph 2006). Since today’s world contains many more ethnoculturally defined nations than it does states, a tension persists between the principle of self-determination of peoples and the principle of territorial integrity of existing polities (Dembinska, Máracz, and Tonk 2014). The almost invariable overlapping of different ethno-national populations within the same territorial space renders the nation-state concept inherently problematic as a modality for ethnically based self-determination, for while all nation-state projects dictate cultural uniformity, all must contend with differing degrees of pluralism. Within the nation-state frame, those who do not profess belonging to the dominant ethnocultural community are consigned to the category of “national minority” and thereby deemed an anomaly and a barrier to the creation of a “good political order.”1 In this context, claims by minority national and ethnic communities for recognition of collective rights can be easily construed as a threat to the security of the state and its dominant ethno-national group, leading to situations of tension and—in the worst case—open conflict.
This paper provides an up-to-date review of the problems related to the generation, detection and mitigation of strong electromagnetic pulses created in the interaction of high-power, high-energy laser pulses with different types of solid targets. It includes new experimental data obtained independently at several international laboratories. The mechanisms of electromagnetic field generation are analyzed and considered as a function of the intensity and the spectral range of emissions they produce. The major emphasis is put on the GHz frequency domain, which is the most damaging for electronics and may have important applications. The physics of electromagnetic emissions in other spectral domains, in particular THz and MHz, is also discussed. The theoretical models and numerical simulations are compared with the results of experimental measurements, with special attention to the methodology of measurements and complementary diagnostics. Understanding the underlying physical processes is the basis for developing techniques to mitigate the electromagnetic threat and to harness electromagnetic emissions, which may have promising applications.
This article explores how the concept of minority national-cultural autonomy (NCA) has been defined and practiced in contemporary Estonia, combining data from interviews and previously unanalyzed archival sources to trace debates and policymaking processes back to 1988 and ascertain: why (and for whom) NCA was adopted; the functions ascribed to NCA institutions; and the effectiveness and legitimacy of the model in the eyes of different “noncore” ethnic communities. In so doing, the article uses NCA as a fresh lens for analyzing the more general politics of post-Soviet state and nation-building in the country, situating this case within the “Quadratic Nexus” framework. Estonia’s NCA law is generally viewed as irrelevant to ongoing issues of diversity governance in the country. However, Finnish and Swedish minority autonomies have been established and, in recent years, there have been three applications to establish a Russian NCA. None have been approved, and yet some authors see them as evidence that NCA could (and should) have a role to play in bringing about a more meaningful accommodation of ethnic diversity. Having reviewed the evidence, however, the article concludes that this claim is misplaced.
Major depressive disorder and neuroticism (Neu) share a large genetic basis. We sought to determine whether this shared basis could be decomposed to identify genetic factors that are specific to depression.
We analysed summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of depression (from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, 23andMe and UK Biobank) and compared them with GWAS of Neu (from UK Biobank). First, we used a pairwise GWAS analysis to classify variants as associated with only depression, with only Neu or with both. Second, we estimated partial genetic correlations to test whether the depression's genetic link with other phenotypes was explained by shared overlap with Neu.
We found evidence that most genomic regions (25/37) associated with depression are likely to be shared with Neu. The overlapping common genetic variance of depression and Neu was genetically correlated primarily with psychiatric disorders. We found that the genetic contributions to depression, that were not shared with Neu, were positively correlated with metabolic phenotypes and cardiovascular disease, and negatively correlated with the personality trait conscientiousness. After removing shared genetic overlap with Neu, depression still had a specific association with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, coronary artery disease and age of first birth. Independent of depression, Neu had specific genetic correlates in ulcerative colitis, pubertal growth, anorexia and education.
Our findings demonstrate that, while genetic risk factors for depression are largely shared with Neu, there are also non-Neu-related features of depression that may be useful for further patient or phenotypic stratification.