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Racial and ethnic groups in the USA differ in the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent research however has not observed consistent racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic stress in the early aftermath of trauma, suggesting that such differences in chronic PTSD rates may be related to differences in recovery over time.
As part of the multisite, longitudinal AURORA study, we investigated racial/ethnic differences in PTSD and related outcomes within 3 months after trauma. Participants (n = 930) were recruited from emergency departments across the USA and provided periodic (2 weeks, 8 weeks, and 3 months after trauma) self-report assessments of PTSD, depression, dissociation, anxiety, and resilience. Linear models were completed to investigate racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic dysfunction with subsequent follow-up models assessing potential effects of prior life stressors.
Racial/ethnic groups did not differ in symptoms over time; however, Black participants showed reduced posttraumatic depression and anxiety symptoms overall compared to Hispanic participants and White participants. Racial/ethnic differences were not attenuated after accounting for differences in sociodemographic factors. However, racial/ethnic differences in depression and anxiety were no longer significant after accounting for greater prior trauma exposure and childhood emotional abuse in White participants.
The present findings suggest prior differences in previous trauma exposure partially mediate the observed racial/ethnic differences in posttraumatic depression and anxiety symptoms following a recent trauma. Our findings further demonstrate that racial/ethnic groups show similar rates of symptom recovery over time. Future work utilizing longer time-scale data is needed to elucidate potential racial/ethnic differences in long-term symptom trajectories.
The prevalence of obesity among preschool-aged children in the United States remains unacceptably high. Here we examine the impact of Healthy Caregivers-Healthy Children (HC2) Phase 2, a child care center (CCC)-based obesity prevention intervention on changes in the CCC nutrition and physical activity environment over two school years.
This was a cluster randomized trial with 12 CCC receiving the HC2 intervention arm and 12 in the control arm. The primary outcome was change in the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) tool over two school years (Fall-2015, Spring-2016 and Spring-2017). Changes in EPAO physical activity and nutrition score were analyzed via a (1) random effects mixed models and (2) mixed models to determine the effect of HC2 versus control.
The study was conducted in 24 CCCs serving low-income, ethnically diverse families in Miami-Dade County.
Intervention CCCs received (1) teachers/parents/children curriculum; (2) snack, beverage, physical activity, and screen time policies; and (3) menu modifications.
Two-year EPAO nutrition score changes in intervention CCCs were almost twice that of control CCCs. The EPAO physical activity environment scores only slightly improved in intervention CCCs versus control CCCs. Intervention CCCs showed higher combined EPAO physical activity and nutrition scores compared to control CCCs over the 2-year study period (β=0.09, P=0.05).
Obesity prevention programs can have a positive impact on the CCC nutrition environment and can promote healthy weight in early childhood. CCCs may need consistent support to improve the physical activity environment to ensure the policies remain intact.
To examine associations between maternal characteristics and feeding styles in Caribbean mothers.
Participants were mother–child pairs enrolled in a cluster randomised trial of a parenting intervention in three Caribbean islands. Maternal characteristics were obtained by questionnaires when infants were 6–8 weeks old. Items adapted from the Toddler Feeding Behaviour Questionnaire were used to assess infant feeding styles at the age of 1 year. Feeding styles were identified using factor analysis and associations with maternal characteristics assessed using multilevel linear regression.
Health clinics in St. Lucia (n 9), Antigua (n 10) and Jamaica (n 20).
A total of 405 mother–child pairs from the larger trial.
Maternal depressive symptoms were associated with uninvolved (β = 0·38, 95 % CI (0·14, 0·62)), restrictive (β = 0·44, 95 % CI (0·19, 0·69)) and forceful (β = 0·31, 95 % CI (0·06, 0·57)) feeding and inversely associated with responsive feeding (β = −0·30, 95 % CI (−0·56, −0·05)). Maternal vocabulary was inversely associated with uninvolved (β = −0·31, 95 % CI (−0·57, −0·06)), restrictive (β = −0·30, 95 % CI (−0·56, −0·04)), indulgent (β = −0·47, 95 % CI (−0·73, −0·21)) and forceful (β = −0·54, 95 % CI (−0·81, −0·28)) feeding. Indulgent feeding was negatively associated with socio-economic status (β = −0·27, 95 % CI (−0·53, −0·00)) and was lower among mothers ≥35 years (β = −0·32, 95 % CI (−0·62, −0·02)). Breast-feeding at 1 year was associated with forceful feeding (β = 0·41, 95 % CI (0·21, 0·61)). No significant associations were found between maternal education, BMI, occupation and feeding styles.
Services to identify and assist mothers with depressive symptoms may benefit infant feeding style. Interventions to promote responsive feeding may be important for less educated, younger and socio-economically disadvantaged mothers.
We present an overview of the SkyMapper optical follow-up programme for gravitational-wave event triggers from the LIGO/Virgo observatories, which aims at identifying early GW170817-like kilonovae out to
distance. We describe our robotic facility for rapid transient follow-up, which can target most of the sky at
to a depth of
. We have implemented a new software pipeline to receive LIGO/Virgo alerts, schedule observations and examine the incoming real-time data stream for transient candidates. We adopt a real-bogus classifier using ensemble-based machine learning techniques, attaining high completeness (
) and purity (
) over our whole magnitude range. Applying further filtering to remove common image artefacts and known sources of transients, such as asteroids and variable stars, reduces the number of candidates by a factor of more than 10. We demonstrate the system performance with data obtained for GW190425, a binary neutron star merger detected during the LIGO/Virgo O3 observing campaign. In time for the LIGO/Virgo O4 run, we will have deeper reference images allowing transient detection to
Brief measurements of the subjective experience of stress with good predictive capability are important in a range of community mental health and research settings. The potential for large-scale implementation of such a measure for screening may facilitate early risk detection and intervention opportunities. Few such measures however have been developed and validated in epidemiological and longitudinal community samples. We designed a new single-item measure of the subjective level of stress (SLS-1) and tested its validity and ability to predict long-term mental health outcomes of up to 12 months through two separate studies.
We first examined the content and face validity of the SLS-1 with a panel consisting of mental health experts and laypersons. Two studies were conducted to examine its validity and predictive utility. In study 1, we tested the convergent and divergent validity as well as incremental validity of the SLS-1 in a large epidemiological sample of young people in Hong Kong (n = 1445). In study 2, in a consecutively recruited longitudinal community sample of young people (n = 258), we first performed the same procedures as in study 1 to ensure replicability of the findings. We then examined in this longitudinal sample the utility of the SLS-1 in predicting long-term depressive, anxiety and stress outcomes assessed at 3 months and 6 months (n = 182) and at 12 months (n = 84).
The SLS-1 demonstrated good content and face validity. Findings from the two studies showed that SLS-1 was moderately to strongly correlated with a range of mental health outcomes, including depressive, anxiety, stress and distress symptoms. We also demonstrated its ability to explain the variance explained in symptoms beyond other known personal and psychological factors. Using the longitudinal sample in study 2, we further showed the significant predictive capability of the SLS-1 for long-term symptom outcomes for up to 12 months even when accounting for demographic characteristics.
The findings altogether support the validity and predictive utility of the SLS-1 as a brief measure of stress with strong indications of both concurrent and long-term mental health outcomes. Given the value of brief measures of mental health risks at a population level, the SLS-1 may have potential for use as an early screening tool to inform early preventative intervention work.
The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium, a network of academic health care institutions with CTSA hubs, is charged with improving the national clinical and translational research enterprise. The CTSA Consortium and the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences implemented the Common Metrics Initiative comprised of standardized metrics and a shared performance improvement framework. This article summarizes hubs’ perspectives on its value during the initial implementation.
The value was assessed across 58 hubs. Survey items assessed change in perceived ability to manage performance and advance clinical and translational science. Semi-structured interviews elicited hubs’ perspectives on meaningfulness and value-added of the Common Metrics Initiative and hubs’ recommendations.
Hubs considered their abilities to manage performance to have improved, but there was no change in perceived ability to advance clinical and translational science. The initiative added value by providing a formal structured process, enabling strategic conversations, facilitating improvements in processes, providing an external impetus for improvement, and providing justification for funds invested. Hubs were concerned about the usefulness of the metrics chosen and whether the value-added was sufficient relative to the effort required. Hubs recommended useful benchmarking, disseminating best practices and promoting peer-to-peer learning, and expanding the use of data to inform the initiative.
Implementing Common Metrics and a performance improvement framework yielded concrete short-term benefits, but concerns about usefulness remained, particularly considering the effort required. The Common Metrics Initiative should focus on facilitating cross-hub collaboration around metrics that address high-priority impact areas for individual hubs and the Consortium.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Consortium, about 60 National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported CTSA hubs at academic health care institutions nationwide, is charged with improving the clinical and translational research enterprise. Together with the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), the Consortium implemented Common Metrics and a shared performance improvement framework.
Initial implementation across hubs was assessed using quantitative and qualitative methods over a 19-month period. The primary outcome was implementation of three Common Metrics and the performance improvement framework. Challenges and facilitators were elicited.
Among 59 hubs with data, all began implementing Common Metrics, but about one-third had completed all activities for three metrics within the study period. The vast majority of hubs computed metric results and undertook activities to understand performance. Differences in completion appeared in developing and carrying out performance improvement plans. Seven key factors affected progress: hub size and resources, hub prior experience with performance management, alignment of local context with needs of the Common Metrics implementation, hub authority in the local institutional structure, hub engagement (including CTSA Principal Investigator involvement), stakeholder engagement, and attending training and coaching.
Implementing Common Metrics and performance improvement in a large network of research-focused organizations proved feasible but required substantial time and resources. Considerable heterogeneity across hubs in data systems, existing processes and personnel, organizational structures, and local priorities of home institutions created disparate experiences across hubs. Future metric-based performance management initiatives across heterogeneous local contexts should anticipate and account for these types of differences.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) by infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort study examined associations between SSB intake at 18 months and 5 years of age, with adiposity measures at 6 years of age. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by FFQ at 18 months of age (n 555) and 5 years of age (n 767). The median for SSB intakes is 28 (interquartile range 5·5–98) ml at 18 months of age and 111 (interquartile range 57–198) ml at 5 years of age. Association between SSB intake (100 ml/d increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (sd units), sum of skinfolds (SSF)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intake at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intake when modelled as 100 ml/d increments were associated with higher BMI by 0·09 (95 % CI 0·02, 0·16) sd units, higher SSF thickness by 0·68 (95 % CI 0·06, 1·44) mm and increased risk of overweight/obesity by 1·2 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·23) times at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intake modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programmes targeted at young children.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
Family-based strategies to reduce the risk of overweight in childhood are needed in the Caribbean.
To investigate the associations between parental characteristics and risk of overweight and explore possible mechanisms.
Data from a parenting intervention were analysed. Parental characteristics were obtained by questionnaire at enrolment. At 18 months, 501 infants (82.9% of cohort) had weight and length measured using standardized methods. The association of parents’ characteristics with risk of infant overweight was assessed using random-effects logistic regression. Four focus groups among mothers in Jamaica were conducted to explore mechanisms.
Overall, 20.6% of infants were ‘at risk of overweight’. Fathers were present in 52% of households. Fathers’ presence [OR (95% CI) 0.60 (0.37–0.96)] was associated with reduced risk of overweight independent of socioeconomic status. Mothers reported that fathers encouraged healthier practices.
Fathers may be important agents of change in intervention strategies to prevent childhood overweight.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) is adopted to compute two and three-dimensional lid driven cavity flows to examine the influence of memory management on the computational performance using Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). Both single and multi-relaxation time LBM are adopted. The computations are conducted on nVIDIA GeForce Titan, Tesla C2050 and GeForce GTX 560Ti. The performance using global memory deteriorates greatly when multi relaxation time (MRT) LBM is used, which is due to the scheme requesting more information from the global memory than its single relaxation time (SRT) LBM counterpart. On the other hand, adopting on chip memory the difference using MRT and SRT is not significant. Also, performance of LBM streaming procedure using offset reading surpasses offset writing ranging from 50% to 100% and this applies to both SRT and MRT LBM. Finally, comparisons using different GPU platforms indicate that Titan as expected outperforms other devices, and attains 227 and 193 speedup over its Intel Core i7-990 CPU counterpart and four times faster than GTX 560Ti and Tesla C2050 for three dimensional cavity flow simulations respectively with single and double precisions.
Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci (Lindeman), is a prominent species infesting onion and tomato in the northern highlands of Tanzania. It causes considerable leaf damage by direct feeding and also transmits the Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV). Hence, one of the objectives of this study was to identify the most resistant onion entries against T. tabaci. One highly resistant (VI038552) and two resistant onion entries (VI038512 and AVON 1067) were identified against T. tabaci. Besides thrips resistance, the bulb size of VI038512 was also equivalent to one of the commercial varieties, Texas. The highly resistant VI038552 recorded the highest yield, followed by the resistant entry, VI038512. However, the yield of AVON 1067 was significantly lower. Elucidation of the biophysical bases of resistance revealed that there was a significant negative correlation between leaf angle as well as leaf toughness and thrips damage. The total epicuticular wax content in the leaves had a weak and non-significant negative relationship with thrips damage. The scanning electron microscopic study confirmed that the wax crystals occurred as filaments, rods, platelets, tubes and complex dendritic structures, and that they were densely arranged in resistant or moderately resistant entries. Studies on the biochemical basis of resistance confirmed that there was a significant negative relationship between total phenol content and thrips damage. Similarly, the relationship between total foliar amino acids or total sugars and thrips damage was inversely correlated and non-significant. Hence, entries VI038552 and VI038512 could be promising candidates for breeding programmes aimed at developing onion varieties that are resistant to thrips and that are high yielding, which will help to enhance the productivity of onions in sub-Saharan Africa.
Composite nanostructured foams consisting of a metallic shell deposited on a polymeric core were formed by plating copper via electroless deposition on electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) fiber mats. The final structure consisted of 1000-nm scale PCL fibers coated with 100s of nm of copper, leading to final core-shell thicknesses on the order of 1000-3000 nm. The resulting open cell, core-shell foams had relative densities between 4 and 15 %. By controlling the composition of the adjuncts in the plating bath, particularly the composition of formaldehyde, the relative thickness of copper coating as the fiber diameter could be controlled. As-spun PCL mats had a nominal compressive modulus on the order of 0.1 MPa; adding a uniform metallic shell increased the modulus up to 2 MPa for sub-10 % relative density foams. A computational materials science analysis using density functional theory was used to explore the effects pre-treatment with Pd may have on the density of nuclei formed during electroless plating.
In the present paper, the low-velocity impact of an elastic rod with a flat end upon a viscoelastic Timoshenko type beam has been considered. Viscoelastic properties of the beam out of the contact zone are described by the standard linear solid model with integer derivatives, while inside this zone they are governed by the fractional derivative standard linear solid model. The contact force for a concrete target has been defined experimentally at the concrete age of 7, 14, 28, 56, and 91 days. It has been found that an average maximum of the contact force increases with concrete age, whereas the contact duration decreases. Moreover, the most remarkable changes of both, contact force and contact time, occur at the concrete age earlier than 14 days, after that the rate of changes slows down. Experimental results have a good coincidence with theoretical expectations.
Relapse is distressingly common after the first episode of psychosis, yet it is poorly understood and difficult to predict. Investigating changes in cognitive function preceding relapse may provide new insights into the underlying mechanism of relapse in psychosis. We hypothesized that relapse in fully remitted first-episode psychosis patients was preceded by working memory deterioration.
Visual memory and verbal working memory were monitored prospectively in a 1-year randomized controlled trial of remitted first-episode psychosis patients assigned to medication continuation (quetiapine 400 mg/day) or discontinuation (placebo). Relapse (recurrence of positive symptoms of psychosis), visual (Visual Patterns Test) and verbal (Letter–Number span test) working memory and stressful life events were assessed monthly.
Remitted first-episode patients (n = 102) participated in the study. Relapsers (n = 53) and non-relapsers (n = 49) had similar baseline demographic and clinical profiles. Logistic regression analyses indicated relapse was associated with visual working memory deterioration 2 months before relapse [odds ratio (OR) 3.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–7.92, P = 0.02], more stressful life events 1 month before relapse (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.20–3.72, P = 0.01) and medication discontinuation (OR 5.52, 95% CI 2.08–14.62, P = 0.001).
Visual working memory deterioration beginning 2 months before relapse in remitted first-episode psychosis patients (not baseline predictor) may reflect early brain dysfunction that heralds a psychotic relapse. The deterioration was found to be unrelated to a worsening of psychotic symptoms preceding relapse. Testable predictors offer insight into the brain processes underlying relapse in psychosis.
A nationwide population-based cohort was used to examine the severity of liver cirrhosis and risk of mortality from oral cancer.
The cohort consisted of 3583 patients with oral cancer treated by surgery between 2008 and 2011 in Taiwan. They were grouped on the basis of normal liver function (n = 3471), cirrhosis without decompensation (n = 72) and cirrhosis with decompensation (n = 40). The primary endpoint was mortality. Hazard ratios of death were also determined.
The mortality rates in the respective groups were 14.8 per cent, 20.8 per cent and 37.5 per cent at one year (p < 0.001). The adjusted hazard ratios of death at one year for each group compared to the normal group were 2.01 (p = 0.021) for cirrhotic patients without decompensation, 4.84 (p < 0.001) for those with decompensation and 2.65 (p < 0.001) for those receiving chemotherapy.
Liver cirrhosis can be used to predict one-year mortality in oral cancer patients. Chemotherapy should be used with caution and underlying co-morbidities should be managed in cirrhotic patients to reduce mortality risk.