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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, with its impact on our way of life, is affecting our experiences and mental health. Notably, individuals with mental disorders have been reported to have a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Personality traits could represent an important determinant of preventative health behaviour and, therefore, the risk of contracting the virus.
We examined overlapping genetic underpinnings between major psychiatric disorders, personality traits and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to explore the genetic correlations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) susceptibility with psychiatric disorders and personality traits based on data from the largest available respective genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In two cohorts (the PsyCourse (n = 1346) and the HeiDE (n = 3266) study), polygenic risk scores were used to analyse if a genetic association between, psychiatric disorders, personality traits and COVID-19 susceptibility exists in individual-level data.
We observed no significant genetic correlations of COVID-19 susceptibility with psychiatric disorders. For personality traits, there was a significant genetic correlation for COVID-19 susceptibility with extraversion (P = 1.47 × 10−5; genetic correlation 0.284). Yet, this was not reflected in individual-level data from the PsyCourse and HeiDE studies.
We identified no significant correlation between genetic risk factors for severe psychiatric disorders and genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility. Among the personality traits, extraversion showed evidence for a positive genetic association with COVID-19 susceptibility, in one but not in another setting. Overall, these findings highlight a complex contribution of genetic and non-genetic components in the interaction between COVID-19 susceptibility and personality traits or mental disorders.
The three-dimensional characterization of distributed particle properties in the micro- and nanometer range is essential to describe and understand highly specific separation processes in terms of selectivity and yield. Both performance measures play a decisive role in the development and improvement of modern functional materials. In this study, we mixed spherical glass particles (0.4–5.8 μm diameter) with glass fibers (diameter 10 μm, length 18–660 μm) to investigate a borderline case of maximum difference in the aspect ratio and a significant difference in the characteristic length to characterize the system over several size scales. We immobilized the particles within a wax matrix and created sample volumes suitable for computed tomographic (CT) measurements at two different magnification scales (X-ray micro- and nano-CT). Fiber diameter and length could be described well on the basis of the low-resolution micro-CT measurements on the entire sample volume. In contrast, the spherical particle system could only be described with sufficient accuracy by combining micro-CT with high-resolution nano-CT measurements on subvolumes of reduced sample size. We modeled the joint (bivariate) distribution of fiber length and diameter with a parametric copula as a basic example, which is equally suitable for more complex distributions of irregularly shaped particles. This enables us to capture the multidimensional correlation structure of particle systems with statistically representative quantities.
Pathological gambling is a behavioural addiction with negative economic, social, and psychological consequences. Identification of contributing genes and pathways may improve understanding of aetiology and facilitate therapy and prevention. Here, we report the first genome-wide association study of pathological gambling. Our aims were to identify pathways involved in pathological gambling, and examine whether there is a genetic overlap between pathological gambling and alcohol dependence.
Four hundred and forty-five individuals with a diagnosis of pathological gambling according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders were recruited in Germany, and 986 controls were drawn from a German general population sample. A genome-wide association study of pathological gambling comprising single marker, gene-based, and pathway analyses, was performed. Polygenic risk scores were generated using data from a German genome-wide association study of alcohol dependence.
No genome-wide significant association with pathological gambling was found for single markers or genes. Pathways for Huntington's disease (P-value = 6.63 × 10−3); 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase signalling (P-value = 9.57 × 10−3); and apoptosis (P-value = 1.75 × 10−2) were significant. Polygenic risk score analysis of the alcohol dependence dataset yielded a one-sided nominal significant P-value in subjects with pathological gambling, irrespective of comorbid alcohol dependence status.
The present results accord with previous quantitative formal genetic studies which showed genetic overlap between non-substance- and substance-related addictions. Furthermore, pathway analysis suggests shared pathology between Huntington's disease and pathological gambling. This finding is consistent with previous imaging studies.
The German Twin Family Panel (TwinLife) is a German longitudinal study of monozygotic and dizygotic same-sex twin pairs and their families that was designed to investigate the development of social inequalities over the life course. The study covers an observation period from approximately 2014 to 2023. The target population of the sample are reared-together twins of four different age cohorts that were born in 2009/2010 (cohort 1), in 2003/2004 (cohort 2), in 1997/1998 (cohort 3) and between 1990 and 1993 (cohort 4). In the first wave, the study included data on 4097 twin families. Families were recruited in all parts of Germany so that the sample comprises the whole range of the educational, occupational and income structure. As of 2019, two face-to-face, at-home interviews and two telephone interviews have been conducted. Data from the first home and telephone interviews are already available free of charge as a scientific use-file from the GESIS data archive. This report aims to provide an overview of the study sample and design as well as constructs that are unique in TwinLife in comparison with previous twin studies — such as an assessment of cognitive abilities or information based on the children’s medical records and report cards. In addition, major findings based on the data already released are displayed, and future directions of the study are presented and discussed.
Map-matching is widely used in automotive navigation systems to locate vehicle positions on a given digital road map. Various map-matching algorithms have been developed focusing on different application needs. Within the Ghosthunter project, a weighting-function-based map-matching algorithm has been developed for detecting wrong-way driving in order to improve road safety, particularly in Autobahn entrance and exit areas. This paper aims at exploring the potential use of lane-level attributes and height data in improving the success rate of the previously presented algorithm. This algorithm performs well in entrance and exit areas to the Autobahn, with a high success rate of 99.5% in identifying the road on which the vehicle is actually travelling. In the enhanced algorithm presented in this paper the weight coefficients used for computing the total weighting score of candidate roads are adjusted with the aid of one or both kinds of these precise data. The results confirmed that the usage of these precise data can effectively help to detect and correct mismatches at junctions and overpasses.
In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at $z\sim7$ has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
Birds that are long-distance migrants partition their annual cycle among a number of locations over a large spatial range. The conservation of these species is particularly complex because it requires attention to a number of different and distant habitats based on knowledge of migratory phenology, routes and staging areas. In the case of the globally threatened Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola, a habitat specialist that breeds in Europe and spends the boreal winter in sub-Saharan Africa, non-breeding staging areas were widely unknown until recently. We applied light-level geolocators to adult male Aquatic Warblers at breeding sites in Belarus and Ukraine. Data from eight retrieved geolocators confirmed a south-west and then westward migration route through Europe via the northern Mediterranean with staging sites on the Iberian Peninsula and occasionally France and north-west Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, final staging areas were in Mali, either in the Inner Niger Delta or at (presumably) small water bodies in the desert, with one bird most likely staying in the north of Ivory Coast south of the previously assumed range. The birds probably stayed in the final staging areas for most of the non-breeding season, but the logger on only one bird provided data throughout the entire migration cycle. Pre-nuptial migration of the latter was by a more easterly route than the southward migration. Our study suggests that conservation strategies for Aquatic Warbler north of the Sahara should include consideration of unknown staging sites in the northern Mediterranean as well as on the Iberian Peninsula and in north-west Africa. South of the Sahara, our study demonstrates the importance of the Sahel for the conservation of the Aquatic Warbler, including both the major floodplains of the Niger River and small Sahelian wetlands that are under pressure from human development.
We present a novel bonding process for gallium nitride-based electronic devices on diamond heat spreaders. In the proposed technology, GaN devices are transferred from silicon (Si) onto single (SCD) and polycrystalline diamond (PCD) substrates by van der Waals bonding. Load-pull measurements on Si and SCD heat spreaders at 3 GHz and 50 V drain bias show comparable power-added-efficiency and output power (Pout) levels. A thermal analysis of the hybrids was performed by comparison of 2 × 1mm2 AlGaN/GaN Schottky diodes on Si, PCD, and SCD, which exhibit a homogeneous field in the channel in contrast to gated transistors. Significantly different currents are observed due to the temperature dependent mobility in the 2DEG channel. These measurements are supported by a 3D thermal finite element analysis, which suggests a large impact of our transfer technique on the thermal resistance of these devices. In summary, we show a promising new GaN-on-diamond technology for future high-power, microwave GaN device applications.
The German twin family study ‘TwinLife’ was designed to enhance our understanding of the development of social inequalities over the life course. The interdisciplinary project investigates mechanisms of social inequalities across the lifespan by taking into account psychological as well as social mechanisms, and their genetic origin as well as the interaction and covariation between these factors. Main characteristics of the study are: (1) a multidimensional perspective on social inequalities, (2) the assessment of developmental trajectories in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood in a longitudinal design by using (3) a combination of a multi-cohort cross-sequential and an extended twin family design, while (4) capturing a large variation of behavioral and environmental factors in a representative sample of about 4,000 German twin families. In the present article, we first introduce the theoretical and empirical background of the TwinLife study, and second, describe the design, content, and implementation of TwinLife. Since the data will be made available as scientific use file, we also illustrate research possibilities provided by this project to the scientific community.
In this study, the interfacial adhesion of Cu and TiN on an annealed borophosphosilicate glass (BPSG) in a multilayer material stack was investigated. The two material systems, Cu/BPSG and TiN/BPSG, are representatives for weak and strong interfaces, respectively. A weak and a strong interface was chosen to identify possible differences in the fracture path selection for the multilayer material systems. To investigate this, in situ 4-point-bending experiments were performed under an optical microscope and in a scanning electron microscope. Complementary ex situ 4-point-bending experiments were carried out on the identical material systems. These tests revealed that for the two analyzed systems there is a large discrepancy in the success rate of failure along the interface of interest, which is a prerequisite for determining the corresponding interface energy release rate. This phenomenon can be understood by using theoretical findings of earlier studies reported in the literature, which are in agreement with the experimental outcome of the in situ 4-point-bending measurements presented here.
We discuss the interplay between the axiomatic and the semantic approach to truth. Often, semantic constructions have guided the development of axiomatic theories and certain axiomatic theories have been claimed to capture a semantic construction. We ask under which conditions an axiomatic theory captures a semantic construction. After discussing some potential criteria, we focus on the criterion of ℕ-categoricity and discuss its usefulness and limits.
A description of the new mineral innsbruckite, Mn33(Si2O5)14(OH)38, a hydrous manganese phyllosilicate found in Tyrol, Austria is given. The crystal structure was determined by singlecrystal synchrotron radiation diffraction experiments at the X06DA beamline at the Swiss Light Source (Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen, Switzerland). The space group is Cm and lattice parameters are a = 17.2760(19), b = 35.957(5), c = 7.2560(8) Å , β = 91.359(7)º, V = 4506.1(10) Å3, Z = 2. Innsbruckite belongs to the group of modulated 1:1 layer silicates and is chemically and structurally quite closely related to bementite, Mn7(Si2O5)3(OH)8. The chemical analysis revealed a close to ideal composition with only minor amounts of Al, Fe and Mg. Using Liebau’s nomenclature for silicate classification the silicate anion can be described as an unbranched siebener single layer. Innsbruckite shows a complex topology of the silicate sheet, exhibiting 4-, 5-, 6- and 8-membered rings. The silicate sheet is fully characterized using vertex symbols, and its topology is compared to those in other complex sheet silicates. Furthermore, the structural investigation is complemented with Raman spectroscopic studies.
We study the statistical inference of the cosmological dark matter density field from non-Gaussian, non-linear and non-Poisson biased distributed tracers. We have implemented a Bayesian posterior sampling computer-code solving this problem and tested it with mock data based on N-body simulations.
Two compact H-band (220–325 GHz) low-noise millimeter-wave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC) amplifiers have been developed, based on a grounded coplanar waveguide (GCPW) technology utilizing 50 and 35 nm metamorphic high electron mobility transistors (mHEMTs). For low-loss packaging of the circuits, a set of waveguide-to-microstrip transitions has been realized on 50-μm-thick GaAs substrates demonstrating an insertion loss of <0.5 dB at 243 GHz. By applying the 50 nm gate-length process, a four-stage cascode amplifier module achieved a small-signal gain of 30.6 dB at 243 GHz and more than 28 dB in the bandwidth from 218 to 280 GHz. A second amplifier module, based on the 35-nm mHEMT technology, demonstrated a considerably improved gain of 34.6 dB at 243 GHz and more than 32 dB between 210 and 280 GHz. At the operating frequency, the two broadband low-noise amplifier modules achieved a room temperature noise figure of 5.6 dB (50 nm) and 5.0 dB (35 nm), respectively.