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The present study examines whether neuroticism is predicted by genetic vulnerability, summarized as polygenic risk score for neuroticism (PRSN), in interaction with bullying, parental bonding, and childhood adversity. Data were derived from a general population adolescent and young adult twin cohort. The final sample consisted of 202 monozygotic and 436 dizygotic twins and 319 twin pairs. The Short Eysenck Personality questionnaire was used to measure neuroticism. PRSN was trained on the results from the Genetics of Personality Consortium (GPC) and United Kingdom Biobank (UKB) cohorts, yielding two different PRSN. Multilevel mixed-effects models were used to analyze the main and interacting associations of PRSN, childhood adversity, bullying, and parental bonding style with neuroticism. We found no evidence of gene–environment correlation. PRSN thresholds of .005 and .2 were chosen, based on GPC and UKB datasets, respectively. After correction for confounders, all the individual variables were associated with the expression of neuroticism: both PRSN from GPC and UKB, childhood adversity, maternal bonding, paternal bonding, and bullying in primary school and secondary school. However, the results indicated no evidence for gene–environment interaction in this cohort. These results suggest that genetic vulnerability on the one hand and negative life events (childhood adversity and bullying) and positive life events (optimal parental bonding) on the other represent noninteracting pathways to neuroticism.
We present new data from the debris-rich basal ice layers of the NEEM ice core (NW Greenland). Using mineralogical observations, SEM imagery, geochemical data from silicates (meteoric 10Be, εNd, 87Sr/86Sr) and organic material (C/N, δ13C), we characterize the source material, succession of previous glaciations and deglaciations and the paleoecological conditions during ice-free episodes. Meteoric 10Be data and grain features indicate that the ice sheet interacted with paleosols and eroded fresh bedrock, leading to mixing in these debris-rich ice layers. Our analysis also identifies four successive stages in NW Greenland: (1) initial preglacial conditions, (2) glacial advance 1, (3) glacial retreat and interglacial conditions and (4) glacial advance 2 (current ice-sheet development). C/N and δ13C data suggest that deglacial environments favored the development of tundra and taiga ecosystems. These two successive glacial fluctuations observed at NEEM are consistent with those identified from the Camp Century core basal sediments over the last 3 Ma. Further inland, GRIP and GISP2 summit sites have remained glaciated more continuously than the western margin, with less intense ice-substratum interactions than those observed at NEEM.
We evaluated the added value of infection control-guided, on demand, and locally performed severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomic sequencing to support outbreak investigation and control in acute-care settings.
Design and setting:
This 18-month prospective molecular epidemiology study was conducted at a tertiary-care hospital in Montreal, Canada. When nosocomial transmission was suspected by local infection control, viral genomic sequencing was performed locally for all putative outbreak cases. Molecular and conventional epidemiology data were correlated on a just-in-time basis to improve understanding of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission and reinforce or adapt control measures.
Between April 2020 and October 2021, 6 outbreaks including 59 nosocomial infections (per the epidemiological definition) were investigated. Genomic data supported 7 distinct transmission clusters involving 6 patients and 26 healthcare workers. We identified multiple distinct modes of transmission, which led to reinforcement and adaptation of infection control measures. Molecular epidemiology data also refuted (n = 14) suspected transmission events in favor of community acquired but institutionally clustered cases.
SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing can refute or strengthen transmission hypotheses from conventional nosocomial epidemiological investigations, and guide implementation of setting-specific control strategies. Our study represents a template for prospective, on site, outbreak-focused SARS-CoV-2 sequencing. This approach may become increasingly relevant in a COVID-19 endemic state where systematic sequencing within centralized surveillance programs is not available.
An insurance policy may not only affect the consequences for victims but also for perpetrators. In six experiments we find that people recommend milder punishments for perpetrators when the victim was insured, although people believe that a sentence should not depend on the victim’s insurance status. The robustness of this effect is demonstrated by showing that recommendations can even be more lenient for crimes that are in fact more serious but in which the victim was insured. Moreover, even when harm was possible but did not materialize, people still prefer to punish crimes less severely when the (potential) victim was insured. The final two experiments suggest that the effect is associated with a change in (1) compassion for the victim and (2) perceived severity of the transgression. Implications of this phenomenon are briefly discussed.
Microbiological activities can be detected in various extreme environments on Earth, which suggest that extraterrestrial environments, such as on Mars, could host life. There have been proposed a number of biomarkers to detect extant life mostly based on specific molecules. Because terrestrial organisms have catalytic proteins (enzymes), enzymatic activity may also be a good indicator to evaluate biological activities in extreme environments. Phosphatases are essential for all terrestrial organisms because phosphate esters are ubiquitously used in genetic molecules (DNA/RNA) and membranes. In this study, we evaluated microbial activity in soils of the Atacama Desert, Chile, by analysing several biomarkers, including phosphatase activity. Phosphatases extracted with Tris buffer were assayed fluorometrically using 4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate as a substrate. The horizontal distribution of phosphatase activity and other parameters in soils from the Atacama Desert showed that phosphatase activity was positively correlated with amino acid concentration and colony-forming units and negatively correlated with precipitation amount. We found consistent that biochemical indicators including phosphatase significantly decreased in the extreme hyper-arid zone where rainfall of <25 mm year−1. The results were compared with phosphatase activities detected in extreme environments, such as submarine hydrothermal systems and Antarctic soils, as well as soils from ordinary environments. Overall, our results suggested that phosphatase activity could be a good indicator for evaluating biological activities in extreme environments.