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Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
Competing theories on the aetiology of eating disorders originate from a diverse set of disciplines. One such discipline is Evolutionary Psychology which assumes that the human mind has been shaped by natural and sexual selection. Most evolutionary theories on eating disorders limit themselves to the causation of anorexia nervosa only. The Sexual Competition Hypothesis (SCH), based on the Darwinian theory of sexual selection, provides an explanatory framework for the whole spectrum of eating disorders. It contends that intense female intrasexual competition (ISC) is the ultimate cause of eating disorders. The SCH explains the phenomenon of the pursuit of thinness as an adaptation to ISC in the modern environment. It argues that eating disorders are pathological phenomena that arise from the mismatch between the modern environment and the inherited female adaptations for ISC.
To test predictions from a novel evolutionary hypothesis for eating disorders.
i) To examine the relationship between disordered eating behaviour (DEB) and ISC in a sample of female undergraduates.
ii) To establish whether there is any relationship between DEB and Life History (LH) strategy.
A group of 206 female undergraduates were recruited. A structural equation model was constructed to analyse the data.
ISC for mates was significantly associated with DEB, as predicted by the SCH. DEB was found to be predicted by fast LH strategy, which was only partially mediated by the SCH.
The results of this study are supportive of the SCH and justify research on a clinical sample.
Developing the ability to regulate one's emotions in accordance with
contextual demands (i.e., emotion regulation) is a central developmental task of
early childhood. These processes are supported by the engagement of the
autonomic nervous system (ANS), a physiological hub of a vast network tasked
with dynamically integrating real-time experiential inputs with internal
motivational and goal states. To date, much of what is known about the ANS and
emotion regulation has been based on measures of respiratory sinus arrhythmia, a
cardiac indicator of parasympathetic activity. In the present study, we draw
from dynamical systems models to introduce two nonlinear indices of cardiac
complexity (fractality and sample entropy) as potential indicators of these
broader ANS dynamics. Using data from a stratified sample of preschoolers living
in high- (i.e., emergency homeless shelter) and low-risk contexts
(N = 115), we show that, in conjunction with
respiratory sinus arrhythmia, these nonlinear indices may help to clarify
important differences in the behavioral manifestations of emotion regulation. In
particular, our results suggest that cardiac complexity may be especially useful
for discerning active, effortful emotion regulation from less effortful
regulation and dysregulation.
Gut symbionts can augment resistance to pathogens by stimulating host-immune responses, competing for space and nutrients, or producing antimicrobial metabolites. Gut microbiota of social bees, which pollinate many crops and wildflowers, protect hosts against diverse infections and might counteract pathogen-related bee declines. Bumble bee gut microbiota, and specifically abundance of Lactobacillus ‘Firm-5’ bacteria, can enhance resistance to the trypanosomatid parasite Crithidia bombi. However, the mechanism underlying this effect remains unknown. We hypothesized that the Firm-5 bacterium Lactobacillus bombicola, which produces lactic acid, inhibits C. bombi via pH-mediated effects. Consistent with our hypothesis, L. bombicola spent medium inhibited C. bombi growth via reduction in pH that was both necessary and sufficient for inhibition. Inhibition of all parasite strains occurred within the pH range documented in honey bees, though sensitivity to acidity varied among strains. Spent medium was slightly more potent than HCl, d- and l-lactic acids for a given pH, suggesting that other metabolites also contribute to inhibition. Results implicate symbiont-mediated reduction in gut pH as a key determinant of trypanosomatid infection in bees. Future investigation into in vivo effects of gut microbiota on pH and infection intensity would test the relevance of these findings for bees threatened by trypanosomatids.
Identifying factors that influence the functional outcome is an important goal in schizophrenia research. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is a unique genetic model with high risk (20–25%) for schizophrenia. This study aimed to identify potentially targetable domains of neurocognitive functioning associated with functional outcome in adults with 22q11DS.
We used comprehensive neurocognitive test data available for 99 adults with 22q11DS (n = 43 with schizophrenia) and principal component analysis to derive four domains of neurocognition (Verbal Memory, Visual and Logical Memory, Motor Performance, and Executive Performance). We then investigated the association of these neurocognitive domains with adaptive functioning using Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales data and a linear regression model that accounted for the effects of schizophrenia status and overall intellectual level.
The regression model explained 46.8% of the variance in functional outcome (p < 0.0001). Executive Performance was significantly associated with functional outcome (p = 0.048). Age and schizophrenia were also significant factors. The effects of Executive Performance on functioning did not significantly differ between those with and without psychotic illness.
The findings provide the impetus for further studies to examine the potential of directed (early) interventions targeting Executive Performance to improve long-term adaptive functional outcome in individuals with, or at high risk for, schizophrenia. Moreover, the neurocognitive test profiles may benefit caregivers and clinicians by providing insight into the relative strengths and weaknesses of individuals with 22q11DS, with and without psychotic illness.
Heritability estimates from twin studies of the multi-faceted phenotype of nicotine dependence (ND) range from moderate to high (31–60%), but vary substantially based on the specific ND-related construct examined. The current study estimated the aggregate role of common genetic variants on key ND constructs.
Genomic-relationship-matrix restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) was used to decompose phenotypic variance across multiple ND indices using 796 125 polymorphisms from 2346 unrelated ‘lifetime ever smokers’ of European ancestry. Measures included DSM-IV ND and Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) summary measures and constituent constructs (e.g. withdrawal severity, tolerance, heaviness of smoking and time spent smoking). Exploratory and confirmatory factor models were used to describe the covariance structure across ND measures; resulting factor(s) were the subject(s) of GREML analyses.
Factor models indicated highly correlated DSM-IV and FTND factors for ND (0.545, 95% confidence interval 0.50–0.60) that could be represented as a higher-order factor (NIC DEP). Additive genetic influence on NIC DEP was 33% (s.e. = 0.14, p = 0.009). Post-hoc analyses indicated moderate genetic effects on the DSM-IV (34%, s.e. = 0.14, p = 0.008) and FTND (26%, s.e. = 0.14, p = 0.032) factors, both of which were influenced by the same genetic effects (rG-SNP = 1.00, s.e. = 0.09, p < 0.00001).
Overall, common single nucleotide polymorphisms accounted for a large proportion of the genetic influences on ND-related phenotypes that have been observed in twin studies. Genetic contributions across distinct ND scales were largely influenced by shared genetic factors.
There are now significant data to support the hypothesis that early life nutrition in the fetus, infant and young child can have profound effects on long-term health. This review considers some of this evidence with specific reference to the current burden of disease in Australia and New Zealand. As the findings of further research become available, recommendations on optimizing early life nutrition should be formulated and made widely available as part of the preventative health policy agenda in both Australia and New Zealand.
We describe the current, 9-spacecraft Interplanetary Network (IPN). The IPN detects about
325 gamma-ray bursts per year, of which about 100 are not localized by any other missions.
We give some examples of how the data, which are public, can be utilized.
The Southern Hemisphere SHCal04 radiocarbon calibration curve has been updated with the addition of new data sets extending measurements to 2145 cal BP and including the ANSTO Younger Dryas Huon pine data set. Outside the range of measured data, the curve is based upon the ern Hemisphere data sets as presented in IntCal13, with an interhemispheric offset averaging 43 ± 23 yr modeled by an autoregressive process to represent the short-term correlations in the offset.
Human campylobacteriosis exhibits a distinctive seasonality in temperate regions. This paper aims to identify the origins of this seasonality. Clinical isolates [typed by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST)] and epidemiological data were collected from Scotland. Young rural children were found to have an increased burden of disease in the late spring due to strains of non-chicken origin (e.g. ruminant and wild bird strains from environmental sources). In contrast the adult population had an extended summer peak associated with chicken strains. Travel abroad and UK mainland travel were associated with up to 17% and 18% of cases, respectively. International strains were associated with chicken, had a higher diversity than indigenous strains and a different spectrum of MLST types representative of these countries. Integrating empirical epidemiology and molecular subtyping can successfully elucidate the seasonal components of human campylobacteriosis. The findings will enable public health officials to focus strategies to reduce the disease burden.
Introduction of pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPV23) and conjugate vaccine (PCV7) programmes were expected to change the epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and pneumonia in the UK. We describe the epidemiology of IPD and hospitalization with pneumonia using high-quality surveillance data over an 8-year period, 2002–2009. Although PPV23 uptake increased from 49% to 70% and PCV7 uptake reached 98% by 2009, the overall incidence of IPD increased from 11·8/100 000 to 16·4/100 000 (P=0·13), and the incidence of hospitalization with pneumonia increased from 143/100 000 to 207/100 000 (P<0·001). Although a reduction in the proportion of IPD caused by PCV7 serotypes was observed, concurrent increases in PPV23 and non-vaccine serotype IPD contributed to an increased IPD burden overall. Marked inequalities in the geographical distribution of disease were observed. Existing vaccination programmes have, so far, not been sufficient to address an increasing burden of pneumococcal disease in our locality.
During a 15-month period in Scotland a small but important number of human Campylobacter cases (3·2%) arose from 91 putative household outbreaks. Of the 26 outbreaks with known strain composition, 89% were composed of the same MLST which supports the potential use of MLST in public health epidemiology. The number of cases associated with household outbreaks is much larger than general outbreaks and there is some evidence to indicate that there may be secondary transmission, although this is relatively rare.
The incidence of hospital-diagnosed human hydatid disease acquired in the UK was estimated from a survey based on Hospital Activity Analysis data for the period 1974–83. The average annual incidence in Wales was 0·4 per 100000 population compared with 0·02 per 100000 in England. Within Wales, Powys, and particularly Brecknock, had the highest incidence (7 per 100000 per year). Compared with the period 1953–62, the average annual incidence for Wales fell by half (from 0·8 to 0·4 per 100000 per year), but in Powys the incidence did not decline, and in Brecknock and Montgomery there was a marginal increase. In comparison with 1953–62, the age-specific incidence in Wales and Powys decreased in each age group with the notable exception of children < 15 years of age. This finding emphasizes that transmission of Echinococcus granulosus to humans is still occurring at hyper-endemic levels in parts of England and Wales and that control efforts should be intensified.
Swabs and water samples from a hospital water system were cultured for legionellae over an extended period. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, including outbreak associated strains, were isolated in small numbers from approximately 5% of these samples despite implementation of the current DHSS/Welsh Office regulations. No cases of nosocomial legionnaires' disease were proven during the study. Physical cleaning and chemical sterilization of taps, and replacement of washers with ‘approved’ brands did not eradicate the organisms. Eradication of legionellae in hospital water supplies appears to be unnecessary in preventing nosocomial legionnaires' disease provided the current DHSS/Welsh Office recommendations are implemented.
A common source outbreak of small round structure virus (SRSV) gastroenteritis affected 81 patients and 114 staff in four hospitals served by one central hospital kitchen. Eating salad items was found to be significantly associated with illness. In a cohort study of a staff buffet function eating turkey salad sandwiches was associated with illness (relative risk = 2·4; 95% CI = 1·4–4·1; P = 0·003), and a case control study of patients in one hospital showed an odds ratio of 6·6 (95% CI = 1·0–71·6; P = 0·04) for eating tuna salad and becoming ill. One of two food handlers who prepared the salads became ill the day following food preparation; she also had a young child at home who had been ill with a gastrointestinal illness during the previous two days. Contamination of food by mechanical transmission of the virus from the child via clothes and hands of the mother, or pre-symptomatic faecal excretion in the mother are possible explanations of contamination of food.