To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Nearly 1 in 5 children in the United States lives in a household whose income is below the official federal poverty line, and more than 40% of children live in poor or near-poor households. Research on the effects of poverty on children's development has been a focus of study for many decades and is now increasing as we accumulate more evidence about the implications of poverty. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently added “Poverty and Child Health” to its Agenda for Children to recognize what has now been established as broad and enduring effects of poverty on child development. A recent addition to the field has been the application of neuroscience-based methods. Various techniques including neuroimaging, neuroendocrinology, cognitive psychophysiology, and epigenetics are beginning to document ways in which early experiences of living in poverty affect infant brain development. We discuss whether there are truly worthwhile reasons for adding neuroscience and related biological methods to study child poverty, and how might these perspectives help guide developmentally based and targeted interventions and policies for these children and their families.
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.
We implemented universal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing of patients undergoing surgical procedures as a means to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). The rate of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was <0.5%, which suggests that early local public health interventions were successful. Although our protocol was resource intensive, it prevented exposures to healthcare team members.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by alterations of brain function that are identifiable also during the brain's’resting state’. One functional network that is disrupted in this disorder is the default mode network (DMN), a set of large-scale connected brain regions that oscillate with low-frequency fluctuations and are more active during rest relative to during a goal-directed task. Recent studies support the idea that the DMN is not a unitary system, but rather is composed of smaller and distinct functional subsystems that interact with each other. The functional relevance of these subsystems in depression, however, is unclear. Here, we investigate the functional connectivity of distinct DMN subsystems and their interplay in depression using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). We show that patients with MDD exhibit increased within-network connectivity in posterior, ventral and core DMN subsystems along with reduced interplay from the anterior to the ventral DMN subsystems. These data suggest that MDD is characterized by alterations of subsystems within the DMN as well as their interactions. Our findings highlight the critical role of DMN circuitry in the pathophysiology of MDD, thus suggesting these subsystems as potential therapeutic targets.
There is no evidence on influence of HBV/HCV co-infection on survival characteristics in population with dual disorders.
To determine the impact of HBV/HCV co-infection on the long-term survival of schizophrenic patients with co-occurring substance use disorders.
Charts of 223 subjects admitted from January 1, 2002 to May 31, 2006 were assessed. The Kaplan–Meier survival analysis was used to estimate the cumulative survival rates. The association between HBV/HCV and mortality was estimated using the Cox proportional-hazard regression models, with adjustments for potential confounders. The main outcome was all-cause mortality. Median observation time was 10.3 years.
Total all-cause 11 year, unadjusted mortality was 18.0% in population with no viral hepatitis (VH) infection (n = 185; 83.0%), 66.7% in population with HBV monoinfection (n = 3; 1.3%), 50.0% in population with HCV monoinfection (n = 28; 12.6%), and 64.3% in population with HBV/HCV co-infection (n = 7; 3.1%), P < 0.00001. In Cox regression, the adjusted hazard ratio was 4.22 (95% CI: 1.00–18.63; P < 0.05) for the HBV, 4.24 (95% CI: 2.13–8.47; P < 0.00001) for the HCV, 6.18 (95% CI: 2.01–19.01; P < 0.0015) for the HBV/HCV, all vs. no VH-infection.
The high mortality of schizophrenic dual disorders patients with HBV/HCV necessitates new approaches to secondary and tertiary prevention to reduce the burden of chronic liver disease and to improve survival. The strong adverse effect of HBV/HCV on survival should encourage clinical trials including schizophrenic dual disorders patients on whether patients benefit from treatment choices. It is essential that adequate resources and strategies are targeted to the schizophrenic dual disorders patients with HBV/HCV.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Current approaches to assess violence risk in secure hospitals are resource intensive, limited by accuracy and authorship bias and may have reached a performance ceiling. This study seeks to develop scalable predictive models for violent offending following discharge from secure psychiatric hospitals.
We identified all patients discharged from secure hospitals in Sweden between January 1, 1992 and December 31, 2013. Using multiple Cox regression, pre-specified criminal, sociodemographic, and clinical risk factors were included in a model that was tested for discrimination and calibration in the prediction of violent crime at 12 and 24 months post-discharge. Risk cut-offs were pre-specified at 5% (low vs. medium) and 20% (medium vs. high).
We identified 2248 patients with 2933 discharges into community settings. We developed a 12-item model with good measures of calibration and discrimination (area under the curve = 0.77 at 12 and 24 months). At 24 months post-discharge, using the 5% cut-off, sensitivity was 96% and specificity was 21%. Positive and negative predictive values were 19% and 97%, respectively. Using the 20% cut-off, sensitivity was 55%, specificity 83% and the positive and negative predictive values were 37% and 91%, respectively. The model was used to develop a free online tool (FoVOx).
We have developed a prediction score in a Swedish cohort of patients discharged from secure hospitals that can assist in clinical decision-making. Scalable predictive models for violence risk are possible in specific patient groups and can free up clinical time for treatment and management. Further evaluation in other countries is needed.
Wellcome Trust (202836/Z/16/Z) and the Swedish Research Council. The funding sources had no involvement in writing of the manuscript or decision to submit or in data collection, analysis or interpretation or any aspect pertinent to the study.
Postoperative cognitive impairment is among the most common medical complications associated with surgical interventions – particularly in elderly patients. In our aging society, it is an urgent medical need to determine preoperative individual risk prediction to allow more accurate cost–benefit decisions prior to elective surgeries. So far, risk prediction is mainly based on clinical parameters. However, these parameters only give a rough estimate of the individual risk. At present, there are no molecular or neuroimaging biomarkers available to improve risk prediction and little is known about the etiology and pathophysiology of this clinical condition. In this short review, we summarize the current state of knowledge and briefly present the recently started BioCog project (Biomarker Development for Postoperative Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly), which is funded by the European Union. It is the goal of this research and development (R&D) project, which involves academic and industry partners throughout Europe, to deliver a multivariate algorithm based on clinical assessments as well as molecular and neuroimaging biomarkers to overcome the currently unsatisfying situation.
Psychotropic prescription rates continue to increase in the United States (USA). Few studies have investigated whether social-structural factors may play a role in psychotropic medication use independent of mental illness. Food insecurity is prevalent among people living with HIV in the USA and has been associated with poor mental health. We investigated whether food insecurity was associated with psychotropic medication use independent of the symptoms of depression and anxiety among women living with HIV in the USA.
We used cross-sectional data from the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a nationwide cohort study. Food security (FS) was the primary explanatory variable, measured using the Household Food Security Survey Module. First, we used multivariable linear regressions to test whether FS was associated with symptoms of depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression [CESD] score), generalised anxiety disorder (GAD-7 score) and mental health-related quality of life (MOS-HIV Mental Health Summary score; MHS). Next, we examined associations of FS with the use of any psychotropic medications, including antidepressants, sedatives and antipsychotics, using multivariable logistic regressions adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, income, education and alcohol and substance use. In separate models, we additionally adjusted for symptoms of depression (CESD score) and anxiety (GAD-7 score).
Of the 905 women in the sample, two-thirds were African-American. Lower FS (i.e. worse food insecurity) was associated with greater symptoms of depression and anxiety in a dose–response relationship. For the psychotropic medication outcomes, marginal and low FS were associated with 2.06 (p < 0.001; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.36–3.13) and 1.99 (p < 0.01; 95% CI = 1.26–3.15) times higher odds of any psychotropic medication use, respectively, before adjusting for depression and anxiety. The association of very low FS with any psychotropic medication use was not statistically significant. A similar pattern was found for antidepressant and sedative use. After additionally adjusting for CESD and GAD-7 scores, marginal FS remained associated with 1.93 (p < 0.05; 95% CI = 1.16–3.19) times higher odds of any psychotropic medication use. Very low FS, conversely, was significantly associated with lower odds of antidepressant use (adjusted odds ratio = 0.42; p < 0.05; 95% CI = 0.19–0.96).
Marginal FS was associated with higher odds of using psychotropic medications independent of depression and anxiety, while very low FS was associated with lower odds. These complex findings may indicate that people experiencing very low FS face barriers to accessing mental health services, while those experiencing marginal FS who do access services are more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medications for distress arising from social and structural factors.
The population dynamics of shrimp Pleoticus muelleri was used as a model to verify if the trend of continuous reproduction periodicity, shorter body size and longevity, and early sexual maturity found in tropical regions is corroborated in upwelling regions. Shrimps were sampled in a region under the influence of upwelling (northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil). Characteristics of bottom water were registered, and shrimps were measured (carapace length – CL) and classified by sex and gonadal development stages. Reproduction was seasonal, from September to December, and favoured by water mass intrusions of low temperatures and high chlorophyll concentrations. The greatest number of reproductive females preceded periods with the highest chlorophyll concentrations in the water column (cross-correlation; P < 0.05, lag (month) = −3, r = 0.50), suggesting greater developmental success of larval stage due to increase of food availability. Von Bertalanffy growth models resulted in asymptotic carapace length estimates of CL∞ = 40.21 mm and CL∞ = 36.78 mm for females and males, respectively. The reproductive and growth characteristics of the P. muelleri population studied herein were similar to that of populations from higher latitudes, demonstrating that the latitudinal pattern rule cannot be applied in regions influenced by an upwelling phenomenon.
Pulmonary hypertension is a complex and progressive condition that is either idiopathic or heritable, or associated with one or multiple health conditions, with or without congenital or acquired cardiovascular disease. Recent developments have tremendously increased the armamentarium of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in children and young adults with pulmonary hypertension that is still associated with a high morbidity and mortality. These modalities include non-invasive imaging, pharmacotherapy, interventional and surgical procedures, and supportive measures. The optimal, tailored diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for pulmonary hypertension in the young are rapidly evolving but still face enormous challenges: Healthcare providers need to take the patient’s age, development, disease state, and family concerns into account when initiating advanced diagnostics and treatment. Therefore, there is a need for guidance on core and advanced medical training in paediatric pulmonary hypertension. The Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology working group “pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and transplantation” has produced this document as an expert consensus statement; however, all recommendations must be considered and applied in the context of the local and national infrastructure and legal regulations.
Broad-spectrum antibiotic de-escalation before and after implementation of a 72-hour antibiotic time-out alert within the electronic medical record was analyzed. De-escalation occurred significantly more often after the implementation of the alert (55.0% vs 35.1%; 95% confidence interval, −0.3491 to −0.0488; P < .01).
We present a numerical methodology for construction of reduced-order models (ROMs) of fluid flows through the combination of flow modal decomposition and regression analysis. Spectral proper orthogonal decomposition is applied to reduce the dimensionality of the model and, at the same time, filter the proper orthogonal decomposition temporal modes. The regression step is performed by a deep feedforward neural network (DNN), and the current framework is implemented in a context similar to the sparse identification of nonlinear dynamics algorithm. A discussion on the optimization of the DNN hyperparameters is provided for obtaining the best ROMs and an assessment of these models is presented for a canonical nonlinear oscillator and the compressible flow past a cylinder. Then the method is tested on the reconstruction of a turbulent flow computed by a large eddy simulation of a plunging airfoil under dynamic stall. The reduced-order model is able to capture the dynamics of the leading edge stall vortex and the subsequent trailing edge vortex. For the cases analysed, the numerical framework allows the prediction of the flow field beyond the training window using larger time increments than those employed by the full-order model. We also demonstrate the robustness of the current ROMs constructed via DNNs through a comparison with sparse regression. The DNN approach is able to learn transient features of the flow and presents more accurate and stable long-term predictions compared to sparse regression.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The purpose of the present secondary data analysis was to examine the effect of moderate-severe disturbed sleep before the start of radiation therapy (RT) on subsequent RT-induced pain. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Analyses were performed on 676 RT-naïve breast cancer patients (mean age 58, 100% female) scheduled to receive RT from a previously completed nationwide, multicenter, phase II randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of oral curcumin on radiation dermatitis severity. The trial was conducted at 21 community oncology practices throughout the US affiliated with the University of Rochester Cancer Center NCI’s Community Oncology Research Program (URCC NCORP) Research Base. Sleep disturbance was assessed using a single item question from the modified MD Anderson Symptom Inventory (SI) on a 0–10 scale, with higher scores indicating greater sleep disturbance. Total subjective pain as well as the subdomains of pain (sensory, affective, and perceived) were assessed by the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire. Pain at treatment site (pain-Tx) was also assessed using a single item question from the SI. These assessments were included for pre-RT (baseline) and post-RT. For the present analyses, patients were dichotomized into 2 groups: those who had moderate-severe disturbed sleep at baseline (score≥4 on the SI; n=101) Versus those who had mild or no disturbed sleep (control group; score=0–3 on the SI; n=575). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Prior to the start of RT, breast cancer patients with moderate-severe disturbed sleep at baseline were younger, less likely to have had lumpectomy or partial mastectomy while more likely to have had total mastectomy and chemotherapy, more likely to be on sleep, anti-anxiety/depression, and prescription pain medications, and more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety disorder than the control group (all p’s≤0.02). Spearman rank correlations showed that changes in sleep disturbance from baseline to post-RT were significantly correlated with concurrent changes in total pain (r=0.38; p<0.001), sensory pain (r=0.35; p<0.001), affective pain (r=0.21; p<0.001), perceived pain intensity (r=0.37; p<0.001), and pain-Tx (r=0.35; p<0.001). In total, 92% of patients with moderate-severe disturbed sleep at baseline reported post-RT total pain compared with 79% of patients in the control group (p=0.006). Generalized linear estimating equations, after controlling for baseline pain and other covariates (baseline fatigue and distress, age, sleep medications, anti-anxiety/depression medications, prescription pain medications, and depression or anxiety disorder), showed that patients with moderate-severe disturbed sleep at baseline had significantly higher mean values of post-RT total pain (by 39%; p=0.033), post-RT sensory pain (by 41%; p=0.046), and post-RT affective pain (by 55%; p=0.035) than the control group. Perceived pain intensity (p=0.066) and pain-Tx (p=0.086) at post-RT were not significantly different between the 2 groups. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: These findings suggest that moderate-severe disturbed sleep prior to RT is an important predictor for worsening of pain at post-RT in breast cancer patients. There could be several plausible reasons for this. Sleep disturbance, such as sleep loss and sleep continuity disturbance, could result in impaired sleep related recovery and repair of tissue damage associated with cancer and its treatment; thus, resulting in the amplification of pain. Sleep disturbance may also reduce pain tolerance threshold through increased sensitization of the central nervous system. In addition, pain and sleep disturbance may share common neuroimmunological pathways. Sleep disturbance may modulate inflammation, which in turn may contribute to increased pain. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and whether interventions targeting sleep disturbance in early phase could be potential alternate approaches to reduce pain after RT.
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.
The SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: This study will assess the effect of essential amino acid (EAA) supplementation on plasma triglyceride (TG) in elderly adults. We will also explore the mechanisms mediating EAA mediated changes in fat metabolism and to suggest promising routes to refine therapy of hypertriglyceridemia. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In total, 7 nondiabetic male and female subjects ages 50–75 years with elevated plasma TG levels (130–500 mg/dL) were recruited to participate in an acute (5 h) and long-term (8 wk) EAA supplementation study. We measured changes in regional and whole body fat metabolism, including changes in body composition, plasma TG levels, whole body fat metabolic rates, tissue mitochondrial respiratory capacity, and metabolomic profiles before and after supplementation. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Long-term EAA supplementation decreased fasted plasma TG levels by 19% (p<0.01). Metabolomics of skeletal muscle found acute EAA supplementation resulted in increased EAA metabolic products while long-term supplementation resulted in increased anaplerosis [flux into the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) intermediate pool] and anaplerotic substrates [propionyl (p<0.01) and succinyl (p<0.01) carnitine] and intermediates of long-chain fatty acid metabolism [stearoyl (p<0.01) and myristoyl (p<0.05) carnitine]. However, tissue level respiratory capacity appeared to be unaffected by EAA supplementation. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: EAA supplementation has potential to improve lipid metabolism and plasma TG levels in non-diabetic older adults. Mitochondrial metabolomics suggest that insufficient TCA pool size may limit tissue fatty acid oxidation and may provide an additional route for nutritional therapy.
The SkyMapper 1.3 m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory has now begun regular operations. Alongside the Southern Sky Survey, a comprehensive digital survey of the entire southern sky, SkyMapper will carry out a search for supernovae and other transients. The search strategy, covering a total footprint area of ~2 000 deg2 with a cadence of ⩽5 d, is optimised for discovery and follow-up of low-redshift type Ia supernovae to constrain cosmic expansion and peculiar velocities. We describe the search operations and infrastructure, including a parallelised software pipeline to discover variable objects in difference imaging; simulations of the performance of the survey over its lifetime; public access to discovered transients; and some first results from the Science Verification data.