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In this study, we examined the relationship between polygenic liability for depression and number of stressful life events (SLEs) as risk factors for early-onset depression treated in inpatient, outpatient or emergency room settings at psychiatric hospitals in Denmark.
Data were drawn from the iPSYCH2012 case-cohort sample, a population-based sample of individuals born in Denmark between 1981 and 2005. The sample included 18 532 individuals who were diagnosed with depression by a psychiatrist by age 31 years, and a comparison group of 20 184 individuals. Information on SLEs was obtained from nationwide registers and operationalized as a time-varying count variable. Hazard ratios and cumulative incidence rates were estimated using Cox regressions.
Risk for depression increased by 35% with each standard deviation increase in polygenic liability (p < 0.0001), and 36% (p < 0.0001) with each additional SLE. There was a small interaction between polygenic liability and SLEs (β = −0.04, p = 0.0009). The probability of being diagnosed with depression in a hospital-based setting between ages 15 and 31 years ranged from 1.5% among males in the lowest quartile of polygenic liability with 0 events by age 15, to 18.8% among females in the highest quartile of polygenic liability with 4+ events by age 15.
These findings suggest that although there is minimal interaction between polygenic liability and SLEs as risk factors for hospital-treated depression, combining information on these two important risk factors could potentially be useful for identifying high-risk individuals.
Clarifying the relationship between depression symptoms and cardiometabolic and related health could clarify risk factors and treatment targets. The objective of this study was to assess whether depression symptoms in midlife are associated with the subsequent onset of cardiometabolic health problems.
The study sample comprised 787 male twin veterans with polygenic risk score data who participated in the Harvard Twin Study of Substance Abuse (‘baseline’) and the longitudinal Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (‘follow-up’). Depression symptoms were assessed at baseline [mean age 41.42 years (s.d. = 2.34)] using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, Version III, Revised. The onset of eight cardiometabolic conditions (atrial fibrillation, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, myocardial infarction, sleep apnea, and stroke) was assessed via self-reported doctor diagnosis at follow-up [mean age 67.59 years (s.d. = 2.41)].
Total depression symptoms were longitudinally associated with incident diabetes (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.07–1.57), erectile dysfunction (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.10–1.59), hypercholesterolemia (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.04–1.53), and sleep apnea (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.13–1.74) over 27 years after controlling for age, alcohol consumption, smoking, body mass index, C-reactive protein, and polygenic risk for specific health conditions. In sensitivity analyses that excluded somatic depression symptoms, only the association with sleep apnea remained significant (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.09–1.60).
A history of depression symptoms by early midlife is associated with an elevated risk for subsequent development of several self-reported health conditions. When isolated, non-somatic depression symptoms are associated with incident self-reported sleep apnea. Depression symptom history may be a predictor or marker of cardiometabolic risk over decades.
Experience-dependent cortical plasticity observed during post-training sleep has been hypothesized to be part of the global process of memory consolidation. Combining the temporal resolution of microstructure detectors and the spatial resolution of low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) makes it possible to investigate when and where the experience-dependent reactivation occurs under normal (undisturbed) sleeping conditions.
After an adaptation night, in the 2nd and 3rd night 48 young healthy volunteers were randomly assigned either to a control condition or to an experimental condition (declarative memory task: paired-associate word list or procedural memory task: mirror tracing). Sleep stages and sleep microstructures (slow waves, spindles and theta bursts) were detected automatically by means of the Somnolyzer 24x7. Changes in LORETA sources (experimental minus control night) were correlated with changes in memory performance (morning minus evening recall).
Overnight improvements in the mirror tracing task were correlated with increased slow-wave sources in the right posterior parietal cortex (r = .70,p < 0.01) during NREM sleep and with desynchronized (r = −.76,p < 0.01) and synchronized (r = .62,p < 0.01) rolandic mu rhythm sources during periods with theta bursts in REM sleep. Overnight improvements in the declarative memory task were significantly correlated with increased spindle sources (r = .52, p < .01) in frontal, temporal and cingulate brain regions.
The present study supports the hypotheses of (1) a use-dependent reset of synaptic plasticity during slow-wave sleep (restorative function), (2) an experience-dependent reactivation during spindle episodes (stabilizing function) and (3) an off-line neuronal reprocessing during REM sleep (improvement without further training for novel tasks).
Selenium (Se) is an essential element for human health. However, our knowledge of the prevalence of Se deficiency is less than for other micronutrients of public health concern such as iodine, iron and zinc, especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Studies of food systems in SSA, in particular in Malawi, have revealed that human Se deficiency risks are widespread and influenced strongly by geography. Direct evidence of Se deficiency risks includes nationally representative data of Se concentrations in blood plasma and urine as population biomarkers of Se status. Long-range geospatial variation in Se deficiency risks has been linked to soil characteristics and their effects on the Se concentration of food crops. Selenium deficiency risks are also linked to socio-economic status including access to animal source foods. This review highlights the need for geospatially-resolved data on the movement of Se and other micronutrients in food systems which span agriculture–nutrition–health disciplinary domains (defined as a GeoNutrition approach). Given that similar drivers of deficiency risks for Se, and other micronutrients, are likely to occur in other countries in SSA and elsewhere, micronutrient surveillance programmes should be designed accordingly.
Three collated geochemical surveys of surface water in the Clyde catchment have established the spatial variability in water composition, primarily under baseflow conditions. The waters are broadly pH-neutral to alkaline (maximum pH 8.7) in the lowlands, but mildly acidic in uplands on the catchment periphery. Electrical conductance is relatively high in lowland streams (maximum 8320μgL–1), with lower values in the uplands. Dissolved chromium (Cr; <0.05–971μgL–1) and lead (Pb; <0.05–19.4μgL–1) are of importance due to recognised pollution sources within the catchment. High aqueous Cr concentrations (>5μgL–1) are recorded in urban areas associated with the disposal of alkaline industrial chromite ore processing residue. Under such conditions, Cr probably occurs as Cr(VI). Numerous relatively high Pb values occur in the upland and urban areas. These are likely to be associated with a combination of soil reactions, diffuse pollution and contamination from Pb mineralisation/mining. Pb has a stronger correlation with water pH than with stream sediment Pb content, suggesting that pH has a greater control on Pb mobility than host-rock Pb. Exceedances of water-quality standards are <1% for both Cr and Pb across the catchment. Absolute exceedances are more extreme for Cr than for Pb, highlighting the scale of the Cr pollution problem for urban surface water within the catchment.
The South African coast contains abundant estuaries and lagoons, most of which originated as river valleys incised during Quaternary sea-level fall and subsequently drowned and/or infilled during rising interglacial sea levels. This chapter discusses these changes and highlights the geomorphological and sedimentological evolution of several southern African estuaries during the Pleistocene to present. The development, infilling and positioning of incised valley systems is mainly controlled by sea-level variation as well as fluvial and marine sediment supply. Most contemporary estuaries in southern Africa show dramatic responses to shorter term sea-level fluctuations and sediment supply during the Holocene. Barring anthropogenic interference, the dynamic behaviour of estuaries, dictated by their transient position and geomorphic character within an incised valley, is considered to fluctuate on centennial to millennial timescales.
The Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is a new ground-based survey for transiting exoplanets. Our primary goal is to find the first statistically-significant sample of Neptunes and super-Earths that are bright enough for radial velocity confirmation. By measuring precise masses and radii we will constrain the bulk composition and internal structure of planets that span the transition between the gas giants and terrestrial planets. Our brightest exoplanets will also be suitable for atmospheric characterisation with large facilities such as the VLT, JWST and the E-ELT. NGTS construction began in June 2013, and the survey is due to commence in 2014.
Brain white matter changes (WMC) and depressive symptoms are linked, but the directionality of this association remains unclear.
To investigate the relationship between baseline and incident depression and progression of white matter changes.
In a longitudinal multicentre pan-European study (Leukoaraiosis and Disability in the elderly, LADIS), participants aged over 64 underwent baseline magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinical assessments. Repeat scans were obtained at 3 years. Depressive outcomes were assessed in terms of depressive episodes and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Progression of WMC was measured using the modified Rotterdam Progression scale.
Progression of WMC was significantly associated with incident depression during year 3 of the study (P = 0.002) and remained significant after controlling for transition to disability, baseline WMC and baseline history of depression. There was no significant association between progression of WMC and GDS score, and no significant relationship between progression of WMC and history of depression at baseline.
Our results support the vascular depression hypothesis and implicate WMC as causal in the pathogenesis of late-life depression.
Understanding the genetic and environmental contributions to measures of brain structure such as surface area and cortical thickness is important for a better understanding of the nature of brain-behavior relationships and changes due to development or disease. Continuous spatial maps of genetic influences on these structural features can contribute to our understanding of regional patterns of heritability, since it remains to be seen whether genetic contributions to brain structure respect the boundaries of any traditional parcellation approaches. Using data from magnetic resonance imaging scans collected on a large sample of monozygotic and dizygotic twins in the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging, we created maps of the heritability of areal expansion (a vertex-based area measure) and cortical thickness and examined the degree to which these maps were affected by adjustment for total surface area and mean cortical thickness. We also compared the approach of estimating regional heritability based on the average heritability of vertices within the region to the more traditional region-of-interest (ROI)-based approach. The results suggested high heritability across the cortex for areal expansion and, to a slightly lesser degree, for cortical thickness. There was a great deal of genetic overlap between global and regional measures for surface area, so maps of region-specific genetic influences on surface area revealed more modest heritabilities. There was greater inter-regional variability in heritabilities when calculated using the traditional ROI-based approach compared to summarizing vertex-by-vertex heritabilities within regions. Discrepancies between the approaches were greatest in small regions and tended to be larger for surface area than for cortical thickness measures. Implications regarding brain phenotypes for future genetic association studies are discussed.
Thin Me-DLC films with different metal contents have been deposited by ECR-CVD (Electron Cyclotron Resonance Chemical Vapour Deposition). Before the growth process, metal nanoparticles were scattered over the substrate surface by dipping it into a dispersion previously sonicated. The concentration of the dispersion (150, 300, 500 and 5000 ppm) controls the metal content into the carbon coating. The morphology of the deposited samples was analysed by SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy). The metal content in the carbon films has been evaluated by SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy). The incorporation of low amounts of metal nanoparticles into the hard carbon coating produces an outstanding improvement in the durability of the layer, as detected by pin-on-disc tests. For an optimum chromium content of 300 ppm of nanoparticles in the dispersion, the grown layer exhibits a noteworthy higher wear resistance respect to that of the DLC reference film. More precisely, in this case, the Cr-DLC coating undergoes ten times longer wear process than the reference DLC coating. However, it is important to indicate that in samples grown using more concentrated dispersions (> 300 ppm), a rapid deterioration of the coating is produced and short lifetimes have been detected, attributed to the large contribution of metal to the transfer layer.
A study is presented on nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) growth on different substrates, including silicon with and without different metallic interlayers, on aluminum nitride (AlN), and on a Si/AlN-based cantilever. It is shown that non-diamond substrate treatment prior to NCD growth is important for achieving high nucleation densities. AFM measurements reveal that an additional Si surface pretreatment with hydrogen plasma increases the nucleation density by a factor of four. A similar effect was indirectly demonstrated with acidic pretreatment of AlN. In both cases it is believed that the surface roughening is the key factor for explaining this phenomenon.
The use of Voltage Waveform Tailoring (VWT) – that is the use of non-sinusoidal waveforms with a period equivalent to RF frequencies – is shown to be effective in modifying the electric field distribution in a parallel plate, capacitively coupled laboratory plasma deposition reactor, and thus in changing the growth mode of silicon thin films from amorphous to nanocrystalline. The use of the VWT technique allows one to decouple the power injected into the plasma from the ion-bombardment energy at the film surface without changing any other deposition parameters, such as pressure or gas mixture. Material results are presented for an H2/SiH4 gas composition. A “peaks” type waveform increases the ion-bombardment energy at the RF electrode and reduces it at the substrate, resulting in more nanocrystalline growth. The use of a “valleys”-type waveform has the opposite effect, and results in more amorphous growth. We show the dependence of the process on silane dilution and pressure, including results on changes to the deposition rate when changing the excitation voltage waveform.
Laser interference patterning-induced microstructural modifications have been investigated in two noble metal-incorporated oxide thin film systems: Pd0.25Pt0.75Ox and gold-incorporated yttria-stabilized zirconia - Au-YSZ. Transmission electron microscopy was used to investigate the influence of the laser treatment on the microstructure of the samples. In the case of Pd0.25Pt0.75Ox, the formation of a nanocomposite arrangement resulted from the precipitation of metal nanograins in the oxide matrix triggered by laser irradiation. In Au-YSZ, the starting microstructure consisted of gold nanograins embedded in a YSZ matrix. A noticeable growth and coalescence of gold nanograins occurred near the surface in the region of maximum interference. Simultaneously, a foamy morphology, mostly consisting of gold crystals, was formed at the film surface. In contrast to thermal annealing, the laser treatment proposed here is a fast procedure to partially relocate gold at the film surface and provide a local solid lubrication.
Thick (>150 μm) beryllium coatings are studied as an ablator material of interest for fusion fuel capsules for the National Ignition Facility (NIF). As an added complication, the coatings are deposited on mm-scale spherical substrates, as opposed to flats. DC magnetron sputtering is used because of the relative controllability of the processing temperature and energy of the deposits. We used ultra small angle x-ray spectroscopy (USAXS) to characterize the void fraction and distribution along the spherical surface. We investigated the void structure using a combination focused ion beam (FIB) and scanning electron microscope (SEM), along with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Our results show a few volume percent of voids and a typical void diameter of less than two hundred nanometers. Understanding how the stresses in the deposited material develop with thickness is important so that we can minimize film cracking and delamination. To that end, an in-situ multiple optical beam stress sensor (MOSS) was used to measure the stress behavior of thick Beryllium coatings on flat substrates as the material was being deposited. We will show how the film stress saturates with thickness and changes with pressure.
CNT arrays were synthesized by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and spun into ribbons, which were coated using Atmospheric Pressure Microwave Plasma system. Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) characterization of CNT ribbons indicated the presence of polymer films with CF2 as a repeat unit. Atomic concentration of C, F and O in the coated films was estimated from X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) data. Types of bonding between the elements in the coated films was studied by curve fitting of C 1s XPS spectra.
We demonstrate the possibilities of plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and solid phase epitaxy to obtain germanium on silicon with excellent crystalline properties, even for very thin layers (< 100 nm). Amorphous germanium layers are deposited by PECVD on silicon substrates. Deposition of an amorphous layer, without the presence of crystalline seeds, is critical. Crystalline inclusions must be avoided to obtain high crystal quality and a smooth surface after crystallization. PECVD is well suited for deposition of amorphous layers because low temperature deposition and high growth rates are possible. Additional experiments with molecular beam epitaxy show that it is not mandatory to have hydrogen present inside the germanium layer to obtain highly crystalline germanium. Atomic hydrogen plays, however, an important role during deposition by lowering the surface adatom mobility and consequently increasing the disorder of the deposited layer. Synchrotron X-ray diffraction shows no germanium diffraction, indicating that the layer does not contain crystalline seeds. Crystallization can be performed at limited temperatures: Raman measurements show crystallization between 400 and 425 °C. Another important advantage of the proposed method is the scalability: germanium layers of larger diameter can be obtained by simply using larger silicon substrates.
Statistical studies involving the fracture behavior of coatings can play an important role in the mechanical analysis of films employed in the hard coating industry. In this study, Nanoimpact tests using a cube corner indenter were carried out in various CrAl(Si)N coatings for the quantitative assessment of properties of coatings like non-catastropic failure time and catastrophic failure time. These parameters decrease in value as silicon is incorporated in coatings, showing that this addition results in a decrease in ductility. Scanning electron microscope images were taken to the analyzed coatings exhibiting the residual imprints after nanoimpact test that were correlated with the fracture behavior of CrAl(Si)N coatings.