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Alcohol use is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. We examined the interactive effects between genome-wide polygenic risk scores for alcohol use (alc-PRS) and social support in relation to alcohol use among European American (EA) and African American (AA) adults across sex and developmental stages (emerging adulthood, young adulthood, and middle adulthood). Data were drawn from 4,011 EA and 1,274 AA adults from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism who were between ages 18–65 and had ever used alcohol. Participants completed the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism and provided saliva or blood samples for genotyping. Results indicated that social support from friends, but not family, moderated the association between alc-PRS and alcohol use among EAs and AAs (only in middle adulthood for AAs); alc-PRS was associated with higher levels of alcohol use when friend support was low, but not when friend support was high. Associations were similar across sex but differed across developmental stages. Findings support the important role of social support from friends in buffering genetic risk for alcohol use among EA and AA adults and highlight the need to consider developmental changes in the role of social support in relation to alcohol use.
The intensity of an antibiotic stewardship intervention to achieve clinical impact is not known. We conducted a multisite dissemination project of an intervention to reduce treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) and studied: (1) the association between implementation metrics and clinical outcomes and (2) the cost of implementation.
A central site facilitated a multimodality intervention to decrease unnecessary urine cultures and antibiotic treatment in patients with ASB at 4 Veterans Affairs medical centers.
The intervention consisted of a decision support aid algorithm and interactive teaching cases that provided in the moment audit and feedback on how to manage ASB. Implementation outcomes included minutes spent in intervention delivery, number of healthcare professionals reached, and number of sessions delivered. Clinical outcomes included days of antibiotic therapy (DOT), length of antibiotic therapy (LOT), and number of urine cultures ordered per 1000 bed days. Personnel reported weekly time logs.
Minutes spent in intervention delivery were inversely correlated with two clinical outcomes, DOT (R −0.3, P = .04) and LOT (R −0.3, P = .02). Number of healthcare professionals reached and number of sessions delivered were not correlated with clinical outcomes of DOT (R –0.003, P = .98, R = −0.059, P = .69) or LOT (R +0.073, P = .62, R −0.102, P = .49). Physician champions spent an average of 3.8% of effort on the intervention. The implementation cost was USD 22,299/year per site on average.
The amount of time local teams spent in delivery of an antibiotic stewardship intervention was correlated with the desired decrease in antibiotic use. Implementing this successful antibiotic stewardship intervention required minimal time.
Researchers have identified genetic and neural risk factors for externalizing behaviors. However, it has not yet been determined if genetic liability is conferred in part through associations with more proximal neurophysiological risk markers.
Participants from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, a large, family-based study of alcohol use disorders were genotyped and polygenic scores for externalizing (EXT PGS) were calculated. Associations with target P3 amplitude from a visual oddball task (P3) and broad endorsement of externalizing behaviors (indexed via self-report of alcohol and cannabis use, and antisocial behavior) were assessed in participants of European (EA; N = 2851) and African ancestry (AA; N = 1402). Analyses were also stratified by age (adolescents, age 12–17 and young adults, age 18–32).
The EXT PGS was significantly associated with higher levels of externalizing behaviors among EA adolescents and young adults as well as AA young adults. P3 was inversely associated with externalizing behaviors among EA young adults. EXT PGS was not significantly associated with P3 amplitude and therefore, there was no evidence that P3 amplitude indirectly accounted for the association between EXT PGS and externalizing behaviors.
Both the EXT PGS and P3 amplitude were significantly associated with externalizing behaviors among EA young adults. However, these associations with externalizing behaviors appear to be independent of each other, suggesting that they may index different facets of externalizing.
The purpose of this study was to examine possible pathways by which genetic risk associated with externalizing is transmitted in families. We used molecular data to disentangle the genetic and environmental pathways contributing to adolescent externalizing behavior in a sample of 1,111 adolescents (50% female; 719 European and 392 African ancestry) and their parents from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism. We found evidence for genetic nurture such that parental externalizing polygenic scores were associated with adolescent externalizing behavior, over and above the effect of adolescents’ own externalizing polygenic scores. Mediation analysis indicated that parental externalizing psychopathology partly explained the effect of parental genotype on children’s externalizing behavior. We also found evidence for evocative gene-environment correlation, whereby adolescent externalizing polygenic scores were associated with lower parent–child communication, less parent–child closeness, and lower parental knowledge, controlling for parental genotype. These effects were observed among participants of European ancestry but not African ancestry, likely due to the limited predictive power of polygenic scores across ancestral background. These results demonstrate that in addition to genetic transmission, genes influence offspring behavior through the influence of parental genotypes on their children’s environmental experiences, and the role of children’s genotypes in shaping parent–child relationships.
Most patients with World Federation of Neurological Surgeons (WFNS) grade 5 subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) have poor outcomes. Accurate assessment of prognosis is important for treatment decisions and conversations with families regarding goals of care. Unjustified pessimism may lead to “self-fulfilling prophecy,” where withdrawal of life-sustaining measures (WLSM) is invariably followed by death.
We performed a cohort study involving consecutive patients with WFNS grade 5 SAH to identify variables with >= 90% and >= 95% positive predictive value (PPV) for poor outcome (1-year modified Rankin Score >= 4), as well as findings predictive of WLSM.
Of 140 patients, 38 (27%) had favorable outcomes. Predictors with >= 95% PPV for poor outcome included unconfounded 72-hour Glasgow Coma Scale motor score <= 4, absence of >= 1 pupillary light reflex (PLR) at 24 hours, and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) score of >= 20 (volume >= 54.6 ml). Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) volume >= 53 ml had PPV of 92%. Variables associated with WLSM decisions included a poor motor score (p < 0.0001) and radiographic evidence of infarction (p = 0.02).
We identified several early predictors with high PPV for poor outcome. Of these, lack of improvement in motor score during the initial 72 hours had the greatest potential for confounding from “self-fulfilling prophecy.” Absence of PLR at 24 hours, IVH score >= 20, and ICH volume >= 53 ml predicted poor outcome without a statistically significant effect on WLSM decisions. More research is needed to validate prognostic variables in grade 5 SAH, especially among patients who do not undergo WLSM.
Objective: We evaluated whether memory recall following an extended (1 week) delay predicts cognitive and brain structural trajectories in older adults
Clinically normal older adults (52–92 years old) were followed longitudinally for up to 8 years after completing a memory paradigm at baseline [Story Recall Test (SRT)] that assessed delayed recall at 30 min and 1 week. Subsets of the cohort underwent neuroimaging (N = 134, mean age = 75) and neuropsychological testing (N = 178–207, mean ages = 74–76) at annual study visits occurring approximately 15–18 months apart. Mixed-effects regression models evaluated if baseline SRT performance predicted longitudinal changes in gray matter volumes and cognitive composite scores, controlling for demographics.
Worse SRT 1-week recall was associated with more precipitous rates of longitudinal decline in medial temporal lobe volumes (p = .037), episodic memory (p = .003), and executive functioning (p = .011), but not occipital lobe or total gray matter volumes (demonstrating neuroanatomical specificity; p > .58). By contrast, SRT 30-min recall was only associated with longitudinal decline in executive functioning (p = .044).
Memory paradigms that capture longer-term recall may be particularly sensitive to age-related medial temporal lobe changes and neurodegenerative disease trajectories. (JINS, 2020, xx, xx-xx)
Many studies demonstrate that marriage protects against risky alcohol use and moderates genetic influences on alcohol outcomes; however, previous work has not considered these effects from a developmental perspective or in high-risk individuals. These represent important gaps, as it cannot be assumed that marriage has uniform effects across development or in high-risk samples. We took a longitudinal developmental approach to examine whether marital status was associated with heavy episodic drinking (HED), and whether marital status moderated polygenic influences on HED. Our sample included 937 individuals (53.25% female) from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism who reported their HED and marital status biennially between the ages of 21 and 25. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were derived from a genome-wide association study of alcohol consumption. Marital status was not associated with HED; however, we observed pathogenic gene-by-environment effects that changed across young adulthood. Among those who married young (age 21), individuals with higher PRS reported more HED; however, these effects decayed over time. The same pattern was found in supplementary analyses using parental history of alcohol use disorder as the index of genetic liability. Our findings indicate that early marriage may exacerbate risk for those with higher polygenic load.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
In preparation for a multisite antibiotic stewardship intervention, we assessed knowledge and attitudes toward management of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) plus teamwork and safety climate among providers, nurses, and clinical nurse assistants (CNAs).
Prospective surveys during January–June 2018.
All acute and long-term care units of 4 Veterans’ Affairs facilities.
The survey instrument included 2 previously tested subcomponents: the Kicking CAUTI survey (ASB knowledge and attitudes) and the Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ).
A total of 534 surveys were completed, with an overall response rate of 65%. Cognitive biases impacting management of ASB were identified. For example, providers presented with a case scenario of an asymptomatic patient with a positive urine culture were more likely to give antibiotics if the organism was resistant to antibiotics. Additionally, more than 80% of both nurses and CNAs indicated that foul smell is an appropriate indication for a urine culture. We found significant interprofessional differences in teamwork and safety climate (defined as attitudes about issues relevant to patient safety), with CNAs having highest scores and resident physicians having the lowest scores on self-reported perceptions of teamwork and safety climates (P < .001). Among providers, higher safety-climate scores were significantly associated with appropriate risk perceptions related to ASB, whereas social norms concerning ASB management were correlated with higher teamwork climate ratings.
Our survey revealed substantial misunderstanding regarding management of ASB among providers, nurses, and CNAs. Educating and empowering these professionals to discourage unnecessary urine culturing and inappropriate antibiotic use will be key components of antibiotic stewardship efforts.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: This study aims to first describe the unique cytokine profile and TGFbeta levels of young children with CF, then understand the pathologic effects of TGFbeta on lung function in a CF animal model. These powerful translational studies linking observations in clinical disease with a transgenic mouse model allow us a unique opportunity to investigate the role of TGFbeta in early CF lung disease. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Cytokine levels (TGFbeta, TNFalpha, IL-8, IL-6, HNE, and IL-1beta) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from CF patients (n = 15) and non-CF control patients (n = 21) under 6 years old were determined by ELISA and Luminex assay. Tracheotomized patients without significant underlying lung disease were chosen as non-CF inflamed control patients, as they had similar levels of neutrophilic inflammation and infection as CF patients. The percentage of BAL neutrophils (% PMNs) in each sample was assessed. The relationships between cytokines were analyzed using linear regression and principal components analysis. In animal studies, CF and non-CF mice (n = 4-5 per group) were treated with intratracheal adenoviral TGFbeta1 vector, an empty vector control, or PBS. After one week, animals were collected; lung function, response to the bronchoconstrictor methacholine, and rescue with albuterol were measured utilizing a FlexiVent machine. Lungs were collected for histology. Immunohistochemistry for alpha-SMA was performed and pictures of all cross-sectional airways were obtained. Burden of ASM was assessed by dividing the square root of alpha-SMA stained airway smooth muscle by the basement membrane perimeter length of each airway. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Patient characteristics of CF and non-CF inflamed control patients were similar in terms of age (3.6 yrs vs 3.3 yrs respectively, p = 0.49), positive BAL culture (13% vs 14%, p = 0.94), and % PMNs (65% vs 56%, p = 0.64). Despite these similarities, TGFbeta levels were 2-fold higher in CF versus non-CF BAL (p = 0.034). Analysis of BAL cytokines from both patient groups showed that three principal components describe 86% of total variance across the cytokine variables. These components represent different contributions from the cytokines, with TGFbeta, IL6, and % PMNs comprising one component of similarly regulated inflammatory markers. These components can distinguish CF versus non-CF patients with 77% accuracy (area under the curve: 0.77). TGFbeta concentrations were uniquely associated with increased IL-6 in CF samples (r = 0.74; p = 0.0015) but did not demonstrate association with other cytokines. After TGFbeta exposure, CF mice demonstrated greater abnormalities in airway resistance than non-CF mice, with heightened response to methacholine. Importantly, this increase in airway obstruction in CF mice was reversible with albuterol treatment, indicating airway smooth muscle dysfunction as a principal driver of lung function abnormalities. Furthermore, TGFbeta induced an increased ASM burden on lung histology in both CF and non-CF mice (p<0.05). IL-6 levels in the BAL of CF mice showed greater increases after TGFbeta treatment compared to non-CF mice (p<0.05). Empty vector control treatment did not cause lung pathology. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Young children with CF have a unique pattern of pulmonary inflammation compared to inflamed non-CF control patients. In CF, TGFbeta pulmonary levels are uniquely associated with IL-6, a driver of ASM dysfunction in other pulmonary diseases. We followed up this clinical observation study by investigating the effect of TGFbeta on pulmonary disease in a mouse model. CF mice demonstrate increased pulmonary IL-6, airway obstruction, and ASM dysfunction after TGFbeta exposure. This study provides evidence that TGFbeta is associated with a distinct cytokine pattern that may promote ASM dysfunction in early CF lung disease. Understanding the mechanism of early CF pathophysiology will be critical in developing targeted therapeutics that can prevent early lung damage.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: (1) Identify current barriers to coordinated care between behavior consultation and PCIT services. (2) Identify current facilitators to coordinated care between behavior consultation and PCIT services. (3) Utilize this knowledge to create and pilot a coordinated care model that will enhance PCIT and behavior consultation service outcomes. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Objectives 1 and 2: Two focus groups consisting of 8–10 behavior consultants will be conducted to gather initial information on barriers and facilitators to coordinated care. Participants will be recruited from the state-funded behavior consultation team, to represent consultation occurring in rural and urban settings. All focus groups will be recorded and transcribed to capture questions and comments. Focus groups will be provided with an initial 10-minute overview of PCIT, including theory, prescribed strategies, and mode of intervention. A grand tour question will then be asked to elicit consultant perceptions of PCIT (e.g., “What are your thoughts on the compatibility between PCIT and behavior consultation services”), followed by probe questions deigned to elicit more detailed information about any perceived differences based on philosophical approach; differences in what is recommended in childcare settings Versus at home, etc.; and perceived barriers to coordinated care between school and outpatient services (e.g., “What factors make coordinating care with outpatient providers challenging?). Participants will be asked about their willingness to participate in a second focus group to review materials created to enhance coordinated care, based on their feedback. Objective 3. Based on feedback from the focus groups and quantitative data regarding factors associated with PCIT outcomes, we will develop an enhanced childcare component(s) for eventual implementation. To confirm our approach, we will invite the members of both focus groups back for a second session, in which we provide them with the created materials and elicit their feedback. We will start with a grand tour question (e.g., “How do you think parents and teachers would react to these materials?”) and then follow-up with probe questions related to feasibility (e.g., “How do you anticipate using these tools?”), appropriateness (e.g., “How adequately do you feel these materials address concerns with coordinated care?”), and acceptability (e.g., “How likely are you to begin using these tools within your consultation?”). Both focus groups will be recorded and transcribed to capture questions and comments. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: (1) Barriers and facilitators to coordinated care will include individual (e.g., acceptability of PCIT framework) and system-level factors (e.g., ease of communication between providers). (2) There will be significant overlap in coordination between the first phase of PCIT (which focuses on positive parenting strategies) and what is prescribed by behavior consultants. (3) There will be less compatibility between the second phase of PCIT (which focuses on disciplinary strategies) and what is prescribed by behavior consultants. (4) A coordinated are model will be rated as more feasible, appropriate, and acceptable to behavior consultants than PCIT services as currently prescribed. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Childhood disruptive behaviors are among the most frequent reasons for referral to outpatient child/adolescent mental health clinics (Sukhodolsky et al., 2016). Disruptive and aggressive behaviors are problematic, not only for victims of children who are aggressive but also for aggressive children as they age. Although effective treatments exist, families are often provided with conflicting strategies for behavior management by outpatient clinicians and behavior consultants in the daycare setting, thus providing children inconsistent feedback which will delay their attainment of new skills. These data will provide the initial foundation for the development of a coordinated care model that promotes treatment efficacy by improving the compatibility between clinic-based PCIT and daycare-based behavior consultation services.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) is a genetic modifier of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. TGFβ’s pulmonary levels in young CF patients and its mechanism of action in CF are unknown. We examined TGFβ levels in children with CF and investigated responses of human airway epithelial cells (AECs) and mice to TGFβ. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: TGFβ levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from CF patients (n=15) and non-CF control patients (n=21)<6 years old were determined by ELISA. CF mice and non-CF mice were intratracheally treated with an adenoviral TGFβ1 vector or PBS; lungs were collected for analysis at day 7. Human CF and non-CF AECs were treated with TGFβ or PBS for 24 hours then collected for analysis. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Young CF patients had higher bronchoalveolar lavage fluid TGFβ than non-CF controls (p=0.03). Mouse lungs exposed to TGFβ demonstrated inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, and decreased CFTR expression. CF mice had greater TGFβ-induced lung mechanics abnormalities than controls; both CF human AECs and CF mice showed higher TGFβ induced MAPK and PI3K signaling compared with controls. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: For the first time, we show increased TGFβ levels very early in CF. TGFβ drives CF lung abnormalities in mouse and human models; CF models are more sensitive to TGFβ’s effects. Understanding the role of TGFβ in promoting CF lung disease is critical to developing patient specific treatments.
Genetic predispositions play an important role in the development of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Understanding the mechanisms through which genetic risk unfolds to influence these developmental outcomes is critical for developing prevention and intervention efforts, capturing key elements of Irv's research agenda and scientific legacy. In this study, we examined the role of parenting and personality in mediating the effect of genetic risk on adolescents’ major depressive disorder and conduct disorder symptoms. Longitudinal data were drawn from a sample of 709 European American adolescents and their mothers from the Collaborative Studies on Genetics of Alcoholism. Results from multivariate path analysis indicated that adolescents’ depressive symptoms genome-wide polygenic scores (DS_GPS) predicted lower parental knowledge, which in turn was associated with more subsequent major depressive disorder and conduct disorder symptoms. Adolescents’ DS_GPS also had indirect effects on these outcomes via personality, with a mediating effect via agreeableness but not via other dimensions of personality. Findings revealed that the pattern of associations was similar across adolescent gender. Our findings emphasize the important role of evocative gene–environment correlation processes and intermediate phenotypes in the pathways of risk from genetic predispositions to complex adolescent outcomes.
Crop yields can be similar in organic and conventional systems even when weed biomass is greater in organic systems. Greater weed tolerance in organic systems may be due to differences in management-driven soil fertility properties. The goal of this experiment was to determine whether soil collected from a long-term organic cropping system with a diverse crop rotation and organic fertility inputs would support higher soil nitrogen (N) resource partitioning, as indicated by overyielding of corn–weed mixtures, than a cropping system with a less diverse crop rotation and inorganic N inputs. A replacement series greenhouse experiment was conducted using corn : smooth pigweed and corn : giant foxtail proportions of 0 : 1, 0.25 : 0.75, 0.5 : 0.5, 0.75 : 0.25, and 1 : 0 and harvested at 29, 40, or 48 d after experiment initiation (DAI). The monoculture density of corn was 4 plants pot−1 and the monoculture density of each weed species was 36 plants pot−1. Corn was consistently more competitive than both weed species at 40 and 48 DAI when soil inorganic N was limiting to growth. Corn–smooth pigweed mixtures had greater shoot biomass and shoot N content than expected based on the shoot biomass and shoot N content of monocultures (i.e., overyielding) at the onset of soil inorganic N limitation, providing some evidence for N resource partitioning. However, soil management effects on overyielding were infrequent and inconsistent among harvest dates and corn–weed mixtures, leading us to conclude that management-driven soil fertility properties did not affect corn–weed N resource partitioning during the early stages of corn growth.
Context: The detection and replication of genes involved in psychiatric outcome has been notoriously difficult. Phenotypic measurement has been offered as one explanation, although most of this discussion has focused on problems with binary diagnoses. Objective: This article focuses on two additional components of phenotypic measurement that deserve further consideration in evaluating genetic associations: (1) the measure used to reflect the outcome of interest, and (2) the developmental stage of the study population. We focus our discussion of these issues around the construct of impulsivity and externalizing disorders, and the association of these measures with a specific gene, GABRA2. Design, Setting, and Participants: Data were analyzed from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism Phase IV assessment of adolescents and young adults (ages 12–26; N = 2,128). Main Outcome Measures: Alcohol dependence, illicit drug dependence, childhood conduct disorder, and adult antisocial personality disorder symptoms were measured by psychiatric interview; Achenbach youth/adult self-report externalizing scale; Zuckerman Sensation-Seeking scale; Barratt Impulsivity scale; NEO extraversion and consciousness. Results: GABRA2 was associated with subclinical levels of externalizing behavior as measured by the Achenbach in both the adolescent and young adult samples. Contrary to previous associations in adult samples, it was not associated with clinical-level DSM symptom counts of any externalizing disorders in these younger samples. There was also association with sensation-seeking and extraversion, but only in the adolescent sample. There was no association with the Barratt impulsivity scale or conscientiousness. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the pathway by which GABRA2 initially confers risk for eventual alcohol problems begins with a predisposition to sensation-seeking early in adolescence. The findings support the heterogeneous nature of impulsivity and demonstrate that both the measure used to assess a construct of interest and the age of the participants can have profound implications for the detection of genetic associations.
The discovery of a pulsar or pulsars orbiting near the Galactic Center (GC) could offer an unprecedented probe of strong-field gravity, the properties of our galaxy's supermassive black hole and insights into the paradoxical star formation history of the region. However, searching for pulsars near the GC is severely hampered by the large electron densities along our line of sight and the scattering-induced pulse broadening of the pulsar emission observed through it. As the broadened pulse length approaches the pulsar period, the periodicity in pulsar emission becomes nearly undetectable. Searches extended to higher frequencies, in an effort to reduce scattering, suffer from reduced intrinsic flux, higher system temperatures and increased atmospheric opacity. We are currently attempting to mitigate the challenges associated with searching for pulsars near the GC by employing new wide bandwidth receivers, upgraded IF distribution systems and novel digital spectrometers in a GC pulsar search campaign at the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, USA.
Our search will cover two frequency bands, from 12-15 GHz (Ku Band) and 18-26 GHz (K Band), during a total of approximately 30 hours of observations, with expected characteristic 10-sigma sensitivities between 5-10 micro-Jy. Our first observations are scheduled for mid-March 2012. Here we will present the status of our observations and initial results.