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Strong associations between neural tube defects (NTDs) and monozygotic (MZ) twinning have long been noted, and it has been suggested that NTD cases who do not present as MZ twins may be the survivors of MZ twinning events. We have recently shown that MZ twins carry a strong, distinctive DNA methylation signature and have developed an algorithm based on genomewide DNA methylation array data that distinguishes MZ twins from dizygotic twins and other relatives at well above chance level. We have applied this algorithm to published methylation data from five fetal tissues (placental chorionic villi, kidney, spinal cord, brain and muscle) collected from spina bifida cases (n = 22), anencephalic cases (n = 15) and controls (n = 19). We see no difference in signature between cases and controls, providing no support for a common etiological role of MZ twinning in NTDs. The strong associations therefore continue to await elucidation.
There has been increasing interest in the association between childhood trauma and psychosis. Proposals for potential mechanisms involved include affective dysregulation and appraisals of threat, yet few large-scale clinical studies exist in affective psychosis.
We hypothesise that within bipolar disorder (BD), childhood events will show a significant association with psychosis, and in particular with symptoms driven by dysregulation of mood or with a persecutory content.
2019 participants were recruited as part of our programme of research into the genetic and non-genetic determinants of BD (www.bdrn.org). Data on lifetime ever presence of psychosis and specific psychotic symptoms were determined by detailed structured interview with case note review. Childhood events were recorded after self-report questionnaire and case note information.
There was no relationship between childhood events, or childhood abuse, and psychosis per se. Childhood events were not associated with increased risk of persecutory or other delusions. Significant associations were found between childhood abuse and auditory hallucinations, strongest between sexual abuse and mood congruent or abusive voices. These relationships remain significant after controlling for lifetime ever cannabis misuse.
Within affective disorder, the relationship between childhood events and psychosis appears to be relatively symptom-specific. It is possible that the pathways leading to psychotic symptoms differ, with delusions and non-hallucinatory symptoms being influenced less by childhood or early environmental experience.
1. Upthegrove R, Chard C, Jones, L, Gordon –Smith K, Forty L, Jones I and Craddock N. Adverse Childhood Events and Psychosis in Bipolar Affective Disorder. BJPsych In press BJP/2014/152611
Four experiments examine how lack of awareness of inequality affect behaviour towards the rich and poor. In Experiment 1, participants who became aware that wealthy individuals donated a smaller percentage of their income switched from rewarding the wealthy to rewarding the poor. In Experiments 2 and 3, participants who played a public goods game – and were assigned incomes reflective of the US income distribution either at random or on merit – punished the poor (for small absolute contributions) and rewarded the rich (for large absolute contributions) when incomes were unknown; when incomes were revealed, participants punished the rich (for their low percentage of income contributed) and rewarded the poor (for their high percentage of income contributed). In Experiment 4, participants provided with public education contributions for five New York school districts levied additional taxes on mostly poorer school districts when incomes were unknown, but targeted wealthier districts when incomes were revealed. These results shed light on how income transparency shapes preferences for equity and redistribution. We discuss implications for policy-makers.
Play behavior, commonly seen in zoos and aquariums, especially when animals are well housed, is fascinating to visitors, and zoos and aquariums are a potentially rich source of both basic and applied knowledge about this often mysterious behavior. Here, we provide some background on recognizing and studying play, as well as the diversity of the types and manifestations of play one can observe and study in exhibit facilities. The role of play in the psychological well-being of captive animals and the habitat and environmental provisions are discussed, along with play as an adjunct in animal training procedures. Opportunities for research on the role of play in development, adaptation to captivity, and comparative studies are great and greatly important.
With the growing human population, and their improving wealth, it is predicted that there will be significant increases in demand for livestock products (mainly meat and milk). Recent years have demonstrated that the growth in livestock production has generally had significant impacts on wildlife worldwide; and these are, usually, negative. Here I review the interactions between livestock and wildlife and assess the mechanisms through which these interactions occur. The review is framed within the context of the socio-ecological system whereby people are as much a part of the interaction between livestock and wildlife as the animal species themselves. I highlight areas of interaction that are mediated through effects on the forage supply (vegetation) – neutral, positive and negative – however, the review broadly analyses the impacts of livestock production activities. The evidence suggests that it is not the interaction between the species themselves but the ancillary activities associated with livestock production (e.g. land use change, removal of predators, provision of water points) that are the major factors affecting the outcome for wildlife. So in future, there are two key issues that need to be addressed – first, we need to intensify livestock production in areas of ‘intensive’ livestock production in order to reduce the pressure for land use change to meet the demand for meat (land sparing). And second, if wildlife is to survive in areas where livestock production dominates, it will have to be the people part of the socio-ecological system that sees the benefits of having wildlife co-exist with livestock on farming lands (land sharing and win-win).
In this paper, first results comparing modified Longin and ninhydrin collagen extraction methodologies are presented. The goal of this study is to investigate the bones of several species with different ages, preservation conditions, and collagen contents to determine the most suitable preparation method. Different types of samples are used such as VIRI samples, previously dated bones, and background samples. Each bone has undergone elemental analysis, infrared analysis, and 14C measurement. The results are presented and the advantages and disadvantages of each preparation method are discussed. In general, results obtained by the two methods are in accordance with the consensus value for 2σ uncertainty. For VIRI I and a mammoth bone, the ninhydrin preparation gives, respectively, 8450±70 BP and 14,870±60 BP whereas the modified Longin process gives 8365±45 BP and 14,750±100 BP in agreement with the expected values. From the experimental point of view, the modified Longin process is easier to implement than the ninhydrin protocol. From this approach, we can conclude that the modified Longin process could be preferred in most cases and particularly when the amount of bone is small and the sample is not too contaminated.
The Nevado de Toluca is a stratovolcano located in the southwest of the Toluca Valley in central Mexico. At a height of around 4200 m there are two crater lakes: El Sol and La Luna. Since Precolumbian times, people in the surrounding valleys carried out rituals and deposited offerings into the lakes. After the Spanish conquest, these rituals were kept alive clandestinely. Currently, reminiscent of Mesoamerican rituals subsist. Due to the long duration of the ritual at the Nevado de Toluca, it is important to date the materials recovered in the underwater and terrestrial archaeological explorations. This article proposes a chronology of Prehispanic ritual activities performed in the Nevado de Toluca based on the characterization and radiocarbon (14C) dating performed to materials from the volcano’s lakes.
Sugarcane is an important forage resource in sub-tropical and tropical areas as it is used during the winter or dry season when the growth rate of pastures is significantly reduced. The current research study assessed the effect of four vertical sections of sugarcane in a pen trial and the level of sugarcane utilization in a grazing trial on the ingestive behaviour and forage intake of two age groups of steers (1 and 2 years old). The pen trial was comprised of two simultaneous 4 × 4 balanced Latin square designs (one for each age group of animals) of four periods, four animals and four feeding treatments, which consisted of four equal vertical sections of sugarcane. Dry matter (DM) and digestible DM (DDM) intake per kilogram of metabolic weight declined gradually from top to bottom of the sugarcane, with no significant differences between the age groups of steers. This difference in intake was associated with a decline in intake of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) as a proportion of the liveweight of the animal and an increase of total chewing time per kilogram of DM or NDF from top to bottom of the sugarcane. It was concluded that the toughness of plant material played a significant role regulating intake, which was higher for the top sections of sugarcane. In the grazing trial, steers of both age groups grazed down sugarcane in three plots over 9 days. Steers grazed up to four distinctive grazing strata. Digestible DM intake (DDM intake) was high at low levels of horizontal utilization of the top grazing stratum but DDM intake started to decline sharply when this stratum was removed in 0·92 of paddock area (i.e. equivalent to 0·08 of the pasture area remaining un-grazed). It was concluded that the proportion of un-grazed area of the pasture can be used as a grazing management strategy to control forage intake for sugarcane.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
The relic “the sack of Saint Francesco” has for the first time been investigated by scientific means. The sack is kept at the Franciscan Friary of Folloni near Montella in southern Italy. According to legend, the sack appeared on the doorstep of the Friary in the winter of 1224 containing bread sent from St Francesco (St Francis of Assisi), who at that time was in France. The bread was allegedly brought to the friary by an angel. We analyzed samples of the sack to obtain a radiocarbon (14C) date and to search for any remaining traces of bread. The 14C date yielded a calibrated age range of AD 1220–1295 (2σ), which places the textile in the right timeframe according to the legend. Chemical analysis by gas-chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS) revealed the presence of ergosterol (5, 7, 22-ergostatrien-3b-ol), a known biomarker of brewing, baking, or agriculture. In this paper we have further substantiated the validity of ergosterol as a biomarker for the past presence of bread. It appears that there is a fine correspondence between the Franciscan legend and the two most decisive scientific methods relevant for analyzing the sack. Although it is not proof, our analysis shows that the sack indeed could be authentic.
This paper discusses the chronology of burial grounds containing specific Seima-Turbino type bronze weaponry (spears, knives, and celts). The “transcultural” Seima-Turbino phenomenon relates to a wide distribution of specific objects found within the sites of different Bronze Age cultures in Eurasia, not immediately related to each other. The majority of the Seima-Turbino objects represent occasional findings, and they are rarely recovered from burial grounds. Here, we present a new set of 14C dates from cemeteries in western Siberia, including the key Asian site Rostovka, with the largest number of graves containing Seima-Turbino objects. Currently, the presented database is the most extensive for the Seima-Turbino complexes. The resulting radiocarbon (14C) chronology for the western Siberian sites (22nd–20th centuries cal BC) is older than the existing chronology based on typological analysis (16th–15th centuries BC) and some earlier 14C dates for the Seima-Turbino sites in eastern Europe. Another important aspect of this work is 14C dating of complexes within specific bronze objects—daggers with figured handles—which some researchers have related to the Seima-Turbino type objects. These items are mostly represented by occasional finds in Central Asia, however, in western Siberia these have been recovered from burials, too. The 14C dating attributes these daggers to the end of the 3rd millennium cal BC, suggesting their similar timing to the Seima-Turbino objects. Further research into freshwater reservoir offsets in the region is essential for a more reliable reconstruction of the chronology of the Seima-Turbino phenomenon and the daggers with figured handles.
These lecture notes and example problems are based on a course given at the University of Cambridge in Part III of the Mathematical Tripos. Fluid dynamics is involved in a very wide range of astrophysical phenomena, such as the formation and internal dynamics of stars and giant planets, the workings of jets and accretion discs around stars and black holes and the dynamics of the expanding Universe. Effects that can be important in astrophysical fluids include compressibility, self-gravitation and the dynamical influence of the magnetic field that is ‘frozen in’ to a highly conducting plasma. The basic models introduced and applied in this course are Newtonian gas dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) for an ideal compressible fluid. The mathematical structure of the governing equations and the associated conservation laws are explored in some detail because of their importance for both analytical and numerical methods of solution, as well as for physical interpretation. Linear and nonlinear waves, including shocks and other discontinuities, are discussed. The spherical blast wave resulting from a supernova, and involving a strong shock, is a classic problem that can be solved analytically. Steady solutions with spherical or axial symmetry reveal the physics of winds and jets from stars and discs. The linearized equations determine the oscillation modes of astrophysical bodies, as well as their stability and their response to tidal forcing.
Sand waves are well known indicators of a mobile seabed. What do we expect of these features in terms of migration rates and seabed scour? We discuss these effects on seabed structures, both for the Oil and Gas and the Windfarm Industries, and consider how these impact on turbines and buried cables. Two case studies are presented. The first concerns a windfarm with a five-year gap between the planning survey and a subsequent cable route and environmental assessment survey. This revealed large-scale movements of sand waves, with the displacement of an isolated feature of 155 m in five years. Secondly, another windfarm development involved a re-survey, again over a five-year period, but after the turbines had been installed. This showed movements of sand waves of ∼50 m in five years. Observations of the scour effects on the turbines are discussed. Both sites revealed the presence of barchans. Whilst these have been extensively studied on land, there are few examples of how they behave in the marine environment. The two case studies presented show that mass transport is potentially much greater than expected and that this has implications for choosing turbine locations, the effect of scour, and the impact these sediment movements are likely to have on power cables.
In a uniformly rotating fluid, inertial waves propagate along rays that are inclined to the rotation axis by an angle that depends on the wave frequency. In closed domains, multiple reflections from the boundaries may cause inertial waves to focus onto particular structures known as wave attractors. These attractors are likely to appear in fluid containers with at least one boundary that is neither parallel nor normal to the rotation axis. A closely related process also applies to internal gravity waves in a stably stratified fluid. Such structures have previously been studied from a theoretical point of view, in laboratory experiments, in linear numerical calculations and in some recent numerical simulations. In the present paper, two-dimensional direct numerical simulations of an inertial wave attractor are presented. By varying the amplitude at which the system is forced periodically, we are able to describe the transition between the linear and nonlinear regimes as well as the characteristic properties of the two situations. In the linear regime, we first recover the results of the linear calculations and asymptotic theory of Ogilvie (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 543, 2005, pp. 19–44) who considered a prototypical problem involving the focusing of linear internal waves into a narrow beam centred on a wave attractor in a steady state. The velocity profile of the beam and its scalings with the Ekman number, as well as the asymptotic value of the dissipation rate, are found to be in agreement with the linear theory. We also find that, as the beam builds up around the wave attractor, the power input by the applied force reaches its limiting value more rapidly than the dissipation rate, which saturates only when the beam has reached its final thickness. In the nonlinear regime, the beam is strongly affected and becomes unstable to a subharmonic instability. This instability transfers energy to secondary waves possessing shorter wavelengths and lower frequencies. The onset of the instability of a narrow inertial wave beam is investigated by means of a separate linear analysis and the results, such as the onset of the instability, are found to be consistent with the global simulations of the wave attractor. The excitation of such secondary waves described theoretically in this work has also been seen in recent laboratory experiments on internal gravity waves.
Multi-functionalization of catalytically-active nanomaterials provides a valuable tool for enhancing reaction yield by shifting reaction equilibrium, and potentially also by adjusting reaction-diffusion kinetics. For example, multi-functionalization of mesoporous silica to make the interior pore surface hydrophobic can enhance yield in dehydration reactions. Detailed molecular-level modeling to describe the pore environment, as well as the reaction and diffusion kinetics is challenging, although we briefly discuss current strategies. Our focus, however, is on coarse-grained stochastic modeling of the overall catalytic process for highly restricted transport within narrow pores (with single-file diffusion), while accounting for a tunable interaction of the pore interior with reaction products. We show that making the pore interior unfavorable to products can significantly enhance yield due to both thermodynamic and kinetics factors.