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Michael Weekes

and 11 more

Nick K. Jones1,2*, Lucy Rivett1,2*, Chris Workman3, Mark Ferris3, Ashley Shaw1, Cambridge COVID-19 Collaboration1,4, Paul J. Lehner1,4, Rob Howes5, Giles Wright3, Nicholas J. Matheson1,4,6¶, Michael P. Weekes1,7¶1 Cambridge University NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK2 Clinical Microbiology & Public Health Laboratory, Public Health England, Cambridge, UK3 Occupational Health and Wellbeing, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, UK4 Cambridge Institute of Therapeutic Immunology & Infectious Disease, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK5 Cambridge COVID-19 Testing Centre and AstraZeneca, Anne Mclaren Building, Cambridge, UK6 NHS Blood and Transplant, Cambridge, UK7 Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK*Joint first authorship¶Joint last authorshipCorrespondence: UK has initiated mass COVID-19 immunisation, with healthcare workers (HCWs) given early priority because of the potential for workplace exposure and risk of onward transmission to patients. The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has recommended maximising the number of people vaccinated with first doses at the expense of early booster vaccinations, based on single dose efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 disease.1-3At the time of writing, three COVID-19 vaccines have been granted emergency use authorisation in the UK, including the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech). A vital outstanding question is whether this vaccine prevents or promotes asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, rather than symptomatic COVID-19 disease, because sub-clinical infection following vaccination could continue to drive transmission. This is especially important because many UK HCWs have received this vaccine, and nosocomial COVID-19 infection has been a persistent problem.Through the implementation of a 24 h-turnaround PCR-based comprehensive HCW screening programme at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUHNFT), we previously demonstrated the frequent presence of pauci- and asymptomatic infection amongst HCWs during the UK’s first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.4 Here, we evaluate the effect of first-dose BNT162b2 vaccination on test positivity rates and cycle threshold (Ct) values in the asymptomatic arm of our programme, which now offers weekly screening to all staff.Vaccination of HCWs at CUHNFT began on 8th December 2020, with mass vaccination from 8th January 2021. Here, we analyse data from the two weeks spanning 18thto 31st January 2021, during which: (a) the prevalence of COVID-19 amongst HCWs remained approximately constant; and (b) we screened comparable numbers of vaccinated and unvaccinated HCWs. Over this period, 4,408 (week 1) and 4,411 (week 2) PCR tests were performed from individuals reporting well to work. We stratified HCWs <12 days or > 12 days post-vaccination because this was the point at which protection against symptomatic infection began to appear in phase III clinical trial.226/3,252 (0·80%) tests from unvaccinated HCWs were positive (Ct<36), compared to 13/3,535 (0·37%) from HCWs <12 days post-vaccination and 4/1,989 (0·20%) tests from HCWs ≥12 days post-vaccination (p=0·023 and p=0·004, respectively; Fisher’s exact test, Figure). This suggests a four-fold decrease in the risk of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst HCWs ≥12 days post-vaccination, compared to unvaccinated HCWs, with an intermediate effect amongst HCWs <12 days post-vaccination.A marked reduction in infections was also seen when analyses were repeated with: (a) inclusion of HCWs testing positive through both the symptomatic and asymptomatic arms of the programme (56/3,282 (1·71%) unvaccinated vs 8/1,997 (0·40%) ≥12 days post-vaccination, 4·3-fold reduction, p=0·00001); (b) inclusion of PCR tests which were positive at the limit of detection (Ct>36, 42/3,268 (1·29%) vs 15/2,000 (0·75%), 1·7-fold reduction, p=0·075); and (c) extension of the period of analysis to include six weeks from December 28th to February 7th 2021 (113/14,083 (0·80%) vs 5/4,872 (0·10%), 7·8-fold reduction, p=1x10-9). In addition, the median Ct value of positive tests showed a non-significant trend towards increase between unvaccinated HCWs and HCWs > 12 days post-vaccination (23·3 to 30·3, Figure), suggesting that samples from vaccinated individuals had lower viral loads.We therefore provide real-world evidence for a high level of protection against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection after a single dose of BNT162b2 vaccine, at a time of predominant transmission of the UK COVID-19 variant of concern 202012/01 (lineage B.1.1.7), and amongst a population with a relatively low frequency of prior infection (7.2% antibody positive).5This work was funded by a Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellowship to MPW (108070/Z/15/Z), a Wellcome Principal Research Fellowship to PJL (210688/Z/18/Z), and an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship (MR/P008801/1) and NHSBT workpackage (WPA15-02) to NJM. Funding was also received from Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre. We also acknowledge contributions from all staff at CUHNFT Occupational Health and Wellbeing and the Cambridge COVID-19 Testing Centre.

Guangming Wang

and 4 more

Tam Hunt

and 1 more

Tam Hunt [1], Jonathan SchoolerUniversity of California Santa Barbara Synchronization, harmonization, vibrations, or simply resonance in its most general sense seems to have an integral relationship with consciousness itself. One of the possible “neural correlates of consciousness” in mammalian brains is a combination of gamma, beta and theta synchrony. More broadly, we see similar kinds of resonance patterns in living and non-living structures of many types. What clues can resonance provide about the nature of consciousness more generally? This paper provides an overview of resonating structures in the fields of neuroscience, biology and physics and attempts to coalesce these data into a solution to what we see as the “easy part” of the Hard Problem, which is generally known as the “combination problem” or the “binding problem.” The combination problem asks: how do micro-conscious entities combine into a higher-level macro-consciousness? The proposed solution in the context of mammalian consciousness suggests that a shared resonance is what allows different parts of the brain to achieve a phase transition in the speed and bandwidth of information flows between the constituent parts. This phase transition allows for richer varieties of consciousness to arise, with the character and content of that consciousness in each moment determined by the particular set of constituent neurons. We also offer more general insights into the ontology of consciousness and suggest that consciousness manifests as a relatively smooth continuum of increasing richness in all physical processes, distinguishing our view from emergentist materialism. We refer to this approach as a (general) resonance theory of consciousness and offer some responses to Chalmers’ questions about the different kinds of “combination problem.”  At the heart of the universe is a steady, insistent beat: the sound of cycles in sync…. [T]hese feats of synchrony occur spontaneously, almost as if nature has an eerie yearning for order. Steven Strogatz, Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos in the Universe, Nature and Daily Life (2003) If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.Nikola Tesla (1942) I.               Introduction Is there an “easy part” and a “hard part” to the Hard Problem of consciousness? In this paper, we suggest that there is. The harder part is arriving at a philosophical position with respect to the relationship of matter and mind. This paper is about the “easy part” of the Hard Problem but we address the “hard part” briefly in this introduction.  We have both arrived, after much deliberation, at the position of panpsychism or panexperientialism (all matter has at least some associated mind/experience and vice versa). This is the view that all things and processes have both mental and physical aspects. Matter and mind are two sides of the same coin.  Panpsychism is one of many possible approaches that addresses the “hard part” of the Hard Problem. We adopt this position for all the reasons various authors have listed (Chalmers 1996, Griffin 1997, Hunt 2011, Goff 2017). This first step is particularly powerful if we adopt the Whiteheadian version of panpsychism (Whitehead 1929).  Reaching a position on this fundamental question of how mind relates to matter must be based on a “weight of plausibility” approach, rather than on definitive evidence, because establishing definitive evidence with respect to the presence of mind/experience is difficult. We must generally rely on examining various “behavioral correlates of consciousness” in judging whether entities other than ourselves are conscious – even with respect to other humans—since the only consciousness we can know with certainty is our own. Positing that matter and mind are two sides of the same coin explains the problem of consciousness insofar as it avoids the problems of emergence because under this approach consciousness doesn’t emerge. Consciousness is, rather, always present, at some level, even in the simplest of processes, but it “complexifies” as matter complexifies, and vice versa. Consciousness starts very simple and becomes more complex and rich under the right conditions, which in our proposed framework rely on resonance mechanisms. Matter and mind are two sides of the coin. Neither is primary; they are coequal.  We acknowledge the challenges of adopting this perspective, but encourage readers to consider the many compelling reasons to consider it that are reviewed elsewhere (Chalmers 1996, Griffin 1998, Hunt 2011, Goff 2017, Schooler, Schooler, & Hunt, 2011; Schooler, 2015).  Taking a position on the overarching ontology is the first step in addressing the Hard Problem. But this leads to the related questions: at what level of organization does consciousness reside in any particular process? Is a rock conscious? A chair? An ant? A bacterium? Or are only the smaller constituents, such as atoms or molecules, of these entities conscious? And if there is some degree of consciousness even in atoms and molecules, as panpsychism suggests (albeit of a very rudimentary nature, an important point to remember), how do these micro-conscious entities combine into the higher-level and obvious consciousness we witness in entities like humans and other mammals?  This set of questions is known as the “combination problem,” another now-classic problem in the philosophy of mind, and is what we describe here as the “easy part” of the Hard Problem. Our characterization of this part of the problem as “easy”[2] is, of course, more than a little tongue in cheek. The authors have discussed frequently with each other what part of the Hard Problem should be labeled the easier part and which the harder part. Regardless of the labels we choose, however, this paper focuses on our suggested solution to the combination problem.  Various solutions to the combination problem have been proposed but none have gained widespread acceptance. This paper further elaborates a proposed solution to the combination problem that we first described in Hunt 2011 and Schooler, Hunt, and Schooler 2011. The proposed solution rests on the idea of resonance, a shared vibratory frequency, which can also be called synchrony or field coherence. We will generally use resonance and “sync,” short for synchrony, interchangeably in this paper. We describe the approach as a general resonance theory of consciousness or just “general resonance theory” (GRT). GRT is a field theory of consciousness wherein the various specific fields associated with matter and energy are the seat of conscious awareness.  A summary of our approach appears in Appendix 1.  All things in our universe are constantly in motion, in process. Even objects that appear to be stationary are in fact vibrating, oscillating, resonating, at specific frequencies. So all things are actually processes. Resonance is a specific type of motion, characterized by synchronized oscillation between two states.  An interesting phenomenon occurs when different vibrating processes come into proximity: they will often start vibrating together at the same frequency. They “sync up,” sometimes in ways that can seem mysterious, and allow for richer and faster information and energy flows (Figure 1 offers a schematic). Examining this phenomenon leads to potentially deep insights about the nature of consciousness in both the human/mammalian context but also at a deeper ontological level.

Susanne Schilling*^

and 9 more

Jessica mead

and 6 more

The construct of wellbeing has been criticised as a neoliberal construction of western individualism that ignores wider systemic issues including increasing burden of chronic disease, widening inequality, concerns over environmental degradation and anthropogenic climate change. While these criticisms overlook recent developments, there remains a need for biopsychosocial models that extend theoretical grounding beyond individual wellbeing, incorporating overlapping contextual issues relating to community and environment. Our first GENIAL model \cite{Kemp_2017} provided a more expansive view of pathways to longevity in the context of individual health and wellbeing, emphasising bidirectional links to positive social ties and the impact of sociocultural factors. In this paper, we build on these ideas and propose GENIAL 2.0, focusing on intersecting individual-community-environmental contributions to health and wellbeing, and laying an evidence-based, theoretical framework on which future research and innovative therapeutic innovations could be based. We suggest that our transdisciplinary model of wellbeing - focusing on individual, community and environmental contributions to personal wellbeing - will help to move the research field forward. In reconceptualising wellbeing, GENIAL 2.0 bridges the gap between psychological science and population health health systems, and presents opportunities for enhancing the health and wellbeing of people living with chronic conditions. Implications for future generations including the very survival of our species are discussed.  

Mark Ferris

and 14 more

IntroductionConsistent with World Health Organization (WHO) advice [1], UK Infection Protection Control guidance recommends that healthcare workers (HCWs) caring for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) should use fluid resistant surgical masks type IIR (FRSMs) as respiratory protective equipment (RPE), unless aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) are being undertaken or are likely, when a filtering face piece 3 (FFP3) respirator should be used [2]. In a recent update, an FFP3 respirator is recommended if “an unacceptable risk of transmission remains following rigorous application of the hierarchy of control” [3]. Conversely, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that HCWs caring for patients with COVID-19 should use an N95 or higher level respirator [4]. WHO guidance suggests that a respirator, such as FFP3, may be used for HCWs in the absence of AGPs if availability or cost is not an issue [1].A recent systematic review undertaken for PHE concluded that: “patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection who are breathing, talking or coughing generate both respiratory droplets and aerosols, but FRSM (and where required, eye protection) are considered to provide adequate staff protection” [5]. Nevertheless, FFP3 respirators are more effective in preventing aerosol transmission than FRSMs, and observational data suggests that they may improve protection for HCWs [6]. It has therefore been suggested that respirators should be considered as a means of affording the best available protection [7], and some organisations have decided to provide FFP3 (or equivalent) respirators to HCWs caring for COVID-19 patients, despite a lack of mandate from local or national guidelines [8].Data from the HCW testing programme at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUHNFT) during the first wave of the UK severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic indicated a higher incidence of infection amongst HCWs caring for patients with COVID-19, compared with those who did not [9]. Subsequent studies have confirmed this observation [10, 11]. This disparity persisted at CUHNFT in December 2020, despite control measures consistent with PHE guidance and audits indicating good compliance. The CUHNFT infection control committee therefore implemented a change of RPE for staff on “red” (COVID-19) wards from FRSMs to FFP3 respirators. In this study, we analyse the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in HCWs before and after this transition.

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Xingwen Loy

and 5 more

The timing of life history events is being altered by climate change and other anthropogenic environmental changes, with potential functional consequences. Such changes may be particularly important in mutualisms, such as plant-pollinator interactions, where timing mismatches can impact fitness in both plants and pollinators. Numerous studies have examined how changes in flowering phenology could impact the seed set of individual species, yet it is the changes to relative fitness among species that shape coexistence and community composition. To understand how phenological change can affect plant community seed set, we conducted a large-scale snowmelt acceleration experiment to advance flowering phenology in eight montane meadow communities across two valleys in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA. Each snowmelt acceleration plot (10 m x 14 m) was paired with an adjacent control plot without snowmelt manipulation (16 plots total). In six plots and their adjacent controls, we measured how phenological change altered the fecundity of eight co-occurring plant species, evaluating pollen limitation in five species using hand pollination treatments. Although accelerating flowering phenology resulted in lower overall fecundity and greater pollen limitation in the examined assemblage of focal species, these changes occurred in different directions depending on the species. Species-dependent responses were also reflected in a significant change in the relative proportions of seeds produced by different plants. Our results suggest potential impacts on future plant community composition resulting from early snowmelt, and underscore the importance of studying the impacts of phenological change at a community level.
Coral reef health is tightly connected to the coral microbiome. Coral bleaching and disease outbreaks have caused an unprecedented loss in coral cover worldwide, particularly correlated to a warming ocean. Coping mechanisms of the coral holobiont under high temperatures are not completely described, but the associated microbial community is a potential source of acquired heat-tolerance. The relationship between stress and stability in the microbiome is key to understanding the role that the coral microbiome plays in thermal tolerance. According to the Anna Karenina Principle (AKP), stress or disease will increase instability and stochasticity among animal microbiomes. Here we investigate whether heat stress results in microbiomes that follow the AKP. We used shotgun metagenomics in an experimental setting to understand the dynamics of microbial taxa and genes in the surface mucous layer (SML) microbiome of the coral Pseudodiploria strigosa under heat treatment. The metagenomes of corals exposed to heat stress showed high similarity, indicating a deterministic and stable response of the coral microbiome to disturbance, in opposition to the AKP. We hypothesize that this stability is the result of a selective pressure towards a coral microbiome that is assisting the holobiont to withstand heat stress. The coral SML microbiome responded to heat stress with an increase in the relative abundance of taxa with probiotic potential, and functional genes for nitrogen and sulfur acquisition. These consistent and specific microbial taxa and gene functions that significantly increased in proportional abundance in corals exposed to heat are potentially beneficial to coral health and thermal resistance.

Boyang Liu

and 6 more

Ephemeral gully erosion is a primary mode of soil erosion that is highly visible, affecting soil productivity and restricting land use. Watershed is the basic unit of soil erosion control; existing research has focused on several typical ephemeral gullies or slopes, which do not fully display changes in ephemeral gullies at a watershed scale. This study analyzed the spatial-temporal evolution and development rate of ephemeral gully erosion at the watershed scale on the Loess Plateau from 2009 to 2021 using remote sensing images (0.5 m resolution), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and field investigations. The results revealed that: (1) most ephemeral gullies occurred in southwestern parts of the watershed, with many hills and large slope gradients; (2) average growth rates of each ephemeral gully frequency, length, density, dissection degree, and width were 2.87 km 2 y –1, 1.66 m y –1, 0.12 km km –2 y –1, 0.0125% y –1, and 0.04 m y –1 , respectively; (3) ephemeral gully erosion volume ( V) and length ( L) had a good power function relationship: V = 0 . 0842 L 1 . 1932   ( R 2 = 0 . 80 ) . The root mean square error (RMSE) and coefficient of determination (R 2) between the measured and predicted ephemeral gully volumes suggest that the V–L relationship has a good predictive ability for ephemeral gully volume. Thus, the V–L model was used to evaluate the development rate of ephemeral gully erosion volume in small watersheds from 2009 to 2021, revealing an average value of 743.20 m 3 y –1. This study proposed a feasible model for assessing ephemeral gully volume and volume changes at a watershed scale using high-resolution remote sensing images, providing a reference for understanding the development of ephemeral gully erosion in small watersheds over time.

Cecilia He

and 8 more

Background School-aged children and school reopening dates have important roles in community influenza transmission. Although many studies evaluated the impact of reactive closures during seasonal and pandemic influenza outbreaks on medically attended influenza in surrounding communities, few assess the impact of planned breaks (i.e., school holidays) which coincide with influenza seasons, while accounting for differences in seasonal peak timing. Here, we analyze the effects of winter and spring breaks on influenza risk in school-aged children, measured by student absenteeism due to influenza-like illness (a-ILI). Methods We compared a-ILI counts in the two-week periods before and after each winter and spring break over five consecutive years in a single school district. We introduced a “pseudo-break” of 9 days’ duration between winter and spring break each year when school was still in session to serve as a control. The same analysis was applied to each pseudo-break to support any findings of true impact. Results We found strong associations between winter and spring breaks and a reduction in influenza risk, with a nearly 50% reduction in a-ILI counts post-break compared to the period before break, and the greatest impact when break coincided with increased local influenza activity. Conclusions These findings suggest that brief breaks of in-person schooling, such as planned breaks lasting 9-16 calendar days, can effectively reduce influenza in schools and community spread. Additional analyses investigating the impact of well-timed shorter breaks on a-ILI may determine an optimal duration for brief school closures to effectively suppress community transmission of influenza.

Taihei Yamada

and 2 more

Considering the spatial omnipresence of the threat to biodiversity and limited resources and time for conservation and restoration, it is crucial to prioritize conservation and restoration activities to maximize benefits. By transporting marine-derived nutrients to freshwater and surrounding ecosystems, anadromous salmonids contribute greatly to biodiversity maintenance; however, their abundance has been decreased by human activities in many regions. Salmon populations are mainly governed by their productivity in the freshwater life stage; therefore, freshwater productivity, namely, the number of juveniles migrating to the ocean per reproducing parent, should be investigated to maintain healthy populations. Given that productivity decreases dramatically in response to flooding, the flood disturbance intensity controlled by hydrogeomorphology at a watershed scale may strongly influence the freshwater productivity of salmonids. In this study, we evaluated the effect of watershed hydrogeomorphology on the productivity of pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). We surveyed the escapement and number of fry migrants of pink salmon and measured environmental factors, including the average watershed slope and stream power index, as parameters of hydrogeomorphology. The freshwater productivity of pink salmon differed among the streams investigated and was negatively affected by average watershed slope, stream power, and average watershed maximum daily precipitation. These results indicated that flood disturbance reduces the freshwater productivity of pink salmon and that salmon productivity in an individual stream can be predicted by watershed hydrogeomorphology. Our approach can be applied to other anadromous salmonids that have spawning behaviour similar to that of pink salmon, which bury eggs in gravel. Predicting highly productive habitats based on the present study can contribute to planning and prioritizing habitat conservation and restoration for anadromous salmonids.

Nicole Gorman

and 4 more

Spatial behavior, including home-ranging behaviors, habitat selection, and movement, can be extremely informative in estimating how animals respond to landscape heterogeneity. Responses in these spatial behaviors to factors such as human modification and resources on the landscape can highlight a species' spatial strategy to maximize fitness and minimize risk. These strategies can vary on spatial, temporal, and individual scales, and the combination of behaviors on these scales can lead to very different strategies among species. Harnessing the variation present at these scales, we developed a framework for predicting how species may respond to changes in their environments on a gradient ranging from generic, where a species exhibits broad-stroke spatial responses to their environment, to nuanced, in which a species uses a combination of temporal and spatial strategies paired with functional responses in selection behaviors. Using 46 GPS-tracked bobcats and coyotes inhabiting a landscape encompassing a range of human modification, we evaluated where each species falls along the generic-to-nuanced gradient. Bobcats and coyotes studied occupied opposite ends of this gradient, using different strategies in response to human modification in their home ranges, with bobcats broadly expanding their home range with increases in human modification and clearly selecting for or avoiding features on the landscape with temporal consistency. Meanwhile, coyotes did not expand their home ranges with human modification, but instead displayed temporal and spatial adjustments in their functional responses to human modification. These differences in response to habitat, resources, and risk between the two species highlighted the variation in spatial behaviors animals can use to exist in anthropogenic environments influenced by interspecific variation in behavioral plasticity. Categorizing animal spatial behavior based on the generic-to-nuanced gradient can help in predicting how a species will respond to future change based on their current spatial behavior.

Anna Maria Csergo

and 10 more

Spatial isolation is a key driver of population-level variability in traits and genotypes worldwide. Geographical distance between populations typically increases isolation, but organisms face additional environmental barriers when dispersing between suitable habitat patches. Despite the predicted universal nature of the causes of isolation, global comparisons of isolation effects across taxa and geographic systems are few. We assessed the strength of isolation due to geographic and macroclimatic distance for paired marine island and paired mainland populations within the same species. Our meta-analysis included published measurements of phenotypic traits and neutral genetic diversity from 1832 populations of 112 plant and animal species at a global scale. As expected, phenotypic differentiation was higher between marine islands than between populations on the mainland, but spatial patterns of neutral genetic diversity did not vary between the two systems. Geographic distance had comparatively weak effects on the spatial patterns of phenotypes and neutral genetic diversity, but only phenotypic trait variability showed signal of system-dependence. These results suggest that spatial patterns of phenotypic variation are determined by system-dependent eco-evolutionary pressures, while the spatial variability of neutral genetic diversity might be universal. Our approach demonstrates that global biodiversity models that include island biology studies may progress our understanding of the interacting effects of spatial habitat structure, geographic- and environmental distances on biological processes underlying spatial population variability. We formulate future research directions for empirical tests and global syntheses in the field.

Bart Geerling

and 5 more

Background Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe mental illness characterised by recurrent manic, hypomanic and depressive episodes alternating with euthymic periods. The burden of BD is vast, and many patients have unmet needs in their treatment. To better support patients in their personal recovery and well-being, positive psychology interventions (PPIs) have shown to be a promising tool. Recently, a mobile application has been developed to offer PPIs: the WELLBE BD-app. Aim The current study was designed to study the acceptability of the WELLBE BD-app and evaluate the feasibility of the design for use in a larger controlled trial (CT). We also studied the potential effects on mental health. Method This pilot-study used a mixed-methods quantitative and qualitative approach in which participants were randomly assigned to an intervention- or a treatment-as-usual control group, each with 20 participants with BD. The study sample consisted of a seven weeks during intervention. To assess acceptability, we held semi-structured interviews in the intervention group and collected log data and questionnaire data on the actual use of the app and perceived value of the accompanying exercises. Feasibility was determined by the number of completers of the intervention in both the intervention and control groups. Potential effects on mental health outcomes were measured using an extensive set of pre and post-intervention questionnaires. Results The intervention was fully completed by 52.7% (n = 11) of the participants and partly completed (1 to 4 modules) by 37.8% (n = 8). The post-test response rate was 73% in both groups. On average, the exercises were rated with a value of 7.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 ( SD = 1.2). Users found the application easy to use, useful for people with BD, and to have an attractive design. Problems with installation, technical problems, and lack of support were barriers to using the app. Guidance by an expert by experience (in videos before the exercises) was preferred by 80% of the participants instead of guidance by a professional. Effects on mental health outcomes were small and statistically non-significant, both between- and within groups. Although we found no significant results in the quantitative part of our study, the qualitative results show that people with BD appreciated the content and design of the intervention. The minimal effects on mental health may be partly explained by the small sample size and the relatively high levels of mental health of the participants at baseline. Conclusions and Implications for Practice Based on this study a larger trial on the effects of the WELLBE-app appears feasible and warranted. Next to minor modifications based on this pilot study, to create optimal impact including patients with lower levels of well-being is recommended and the guidance by experts or peers needs to be considered.

Guangpeng Wang

and 2 more

Landlocking is a process whereby a population of normally diadromous fish becomes limited to freshwater, potentially leading to behavioural, morphological, and genetic changes, and occasionally speciation. The study of recently landlocked populations can shed light on how populations adapt to environmental change, and how such life-history shifts affect population-genetic structure. Kōaro (Galaxias brevipinnis) is a facultatively diadromous Southern Hemisphere galaxiid fish that frequently becomes landlocked in inland lakes. This study compares seven landlocked kōaro populations to diadromous populations from main and offshore islands of New Zealand. Genotyping-by-sequencing was used to obtain genotypes at 18,813 single nucleotide polymorphism sites for each population. Analyses of population structure revealed that most landlocked populations were genetically highly distinct from one another, as well as from diadromous populations. A few particularly isolated island and lake populations were particularly strongly genetically differentiated. Landscape characteristics were measured to test whether lake elevation, size, or distance from the sea predicted genetic diversity or differentiation from diadromous kōaro. While there were no significant relationships indicating isolation-by-distance or isolation-by-environment, we detected a trend toward lower genetic diversity in lakes at higher elevations. Our findings illustrate the critical role that landlocking can play in the structure of intraspecific genetic diversity within and between populations.

Shahin Aliakbari

and 8 more

Background: Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies. Cardiovascular disease patients are also prone to this condition. Recently, a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular diseases has been suggested. This study aims to compare the relationship between ventricular systolic function and vitamin D deficiency. Methods: This study investigated patients without obvious coronary artery disease between 2020 and 2021. First, vitamin D levels were measured in the patients. Then, they were divided into two groups based on a 30 ng/dl cut-off point. All patients underwent echocardiography and ventricular systolic function parameters were evaluated and compared. Results: In this study, 27 patients with normal vitamin D levels and 47 patients with vitamin D deficiency entered the study. There was no significant difference in demographic variables and underlying diseases between these two groups. There was no significant difference between left ventricular (LV) systolic function parameters including ejection fraction (EF), and LV end-systolic/diastolic volume. No significant difference was also observed between right ventricular (RV) systolic function parameters including Tricuspid Annular Plane Systolic Excursion (TAPSE), RV fractional area change (RVFAC), Right ventricular systolic velocity (RVSM) in tissue Doppler echocardiography as well as RV diastolic parameters such as A, E, E´, deceleration time (DT), right atrial volume (RAVi) as a precursor of right ventricular systolic dysfunction groups. Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, there is no relationship between vitamin D levels and ventricular systolic dysfunction.

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Selim Polat

and 3 more

Objective: The aim of this research was to elucidate the effect of deep brain stimulation on apathy, and cognitive functions in the pre and post-operative period. Materials & Methods: This study was conducted in Adana City Training & Research Hospital, Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center between January to December 2022. Individuals were evaluated by a multidisciplinary commission consisting of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatrists. Thirty six, aged between 18–70 years who underwent Deep Brain Stimulation at the neurosurgery clinic were included in the study. Hamiltonanxiety and depression, apathy assessment, standard mini-mental test and Montreal Cognitive Assessment scales are applied to the patients. Results: The mean Apathy Score at the pre-op was 47.77±15.83 in patients who had undergone DBS operation while it was 30.83±13.59 in the post–op. This decrease was statistically significant (p<0.003) and indicated clinical improvement. The average Hamilton Anxiety scale scores at the pre–op was 11.50±5.14, and s 10.22±5.57 at the post-op with no clinical significance (p=0.28). The UPDRS-ON value was determined as 22.55±7.53 in the pre–op and 14.50±6.99 in the post–op significantly (p<0.001). UPDRS-OFF was found to be significant with pre–op 37.44±9.85, compared to post–op 23.44±7.86 (p<0.001). Conclusion: Regarding the results of this study, it was found that sub – thalamic stimulation led to stabilization of both motor and non-motor complications. Additionally DBS ameliorated apathy and Parkinson’s Disease symptoms of patients significantly. Future studies with larger sample size that focus on both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments might provide better clinical aspects.
This study presents the micro- and macrophysical cloud properties as a function of their surface coupling state with the sea ice during the wintertime of the MOSAiC field experiment. Cloud properties such as cloud base height, liquid- and ice water content have been previously found to have statistically distinguished features under the presence of sea ice leads (characterized by sea ice concentration, SIC) along downwind direction from the central observatory RV  Polarstern. Those findings are mainly in an increase of liquid water content, and favored occurrence of low level clouds as contrasted to situations when the clouds are thermodynamically decoupled.The present contribution is an update considering two recent developments in the liquid detection in clouds and in the detection of sea ice leads. First, radar and lidar-based cloud droplet detection approaches like Cloudnet (Illingworth et al. 2007, Tukiainen et al. 2020) using Arctic wintertime observations and applied to measurements by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement mobile facility (ARM) instrumental suite on-board the RV Polarstern during  MOSAiC.Secondly, we explore a new sea ice lead fraction product based on sea ice divergence. Sea ice divergence is estimated from sequential images of space-borne synthetic aperture radar with a spatial resolution of 700 m. The lead divergence product, being independent of cloud coverage, offers the unique advantage to detect opening leads at high spatial resolution.Statistics for the wintertime cloud properties based on the coupling state with the sea ice concentration and sea ice lead fraction will be presented as an approach to study Arctic clouds and their interaction with sea ice.

Margaret L Duffy

and 1 more

The response of the Pacific Walker circulation (WC) to long-term warming remains uncertain. Here, we diagnose contributions to the WC response in comprehensive and idealized general circulation model (GCM) simulations. We find that the spread in WC response is substantial across both the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6) and the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) models, implicating differences in atmospheric models in the spread in projected WC strength. Using a moist static energy (MSE) budget, we evaluate the contributions to changes in the WC strength related to changes in gross moist stability (GMS), horizontal MSE advection, radiation, and surface fluxes. We find that the multimodel mean WC weakening is mostly related to changes in GMS and radiation. Furthermore, the spread in WC response is related to the spread in GMS and radiation responses. The GMS response is potentially sensitive to parameterized convective entrainment which can affect lapse rates and the depth of convection. We thus investigate the role of entrainment in setting the GMS response by varying the entrainment rate in an idealized GCM. The idealized GCM is run with a simplified Betts-Miller convection scheme, modified to represent entrainment. The weakening of the WC with warming in the idealized GCM is dampened when higher entrainment rates are used. However, the spread in GMS responses due to differing entrainment rates is much smaller than the spread in GMS responses across CMIP6 models. Therefore, further work is needed to understand the large spread in GMS responses across CMIP6 and AMIP models. 

Monique Weemstra

and 3 more

Root traits and functioning: from individual plants to ecosystemsFine roots, the most distal portions of the root system, are responsible for the uptake of water and nutrients by plants, represent the main type of plant tissue contributing to soil organic matter accrual, and are key drivers of mineral weathering and soil microbial dynamics (Bardgett et al. 2014). Despite the overwhelming importance of fine root traits for plant and plant community functioning and biogeochemical cycles, basic information about their ecology is lacking, particularly compared to the wealth of information developed for leaves and stems. Testing hypotheses on how root traits underlie these ecosystem processes has been particularly hampered due to (1) a paucity of systematically collected data and (2) the complexity of the relationships between root traits and root, plant and ecosystem functioning. Nonetheless, the development of the field of root ecology in the last two decades has been outstanding, in particular in the compilation of belowground trait datasets (Iversen et al. 2017), methodological root ecological handbooks (Freschet et al. 2021b), novel conceptual frameworks to describe root trait diversity (Bergmann et al. 2020), its connection with belowground plant and community function (Bardgett et al. 2014, Freschet et al. 2021a), species’ distributions (Laughlin et al. 2021), and scaling up traits from the individual root to the ecosystem level (McCormack et al. 2017). The papers that feature in this Special Issue on Root traits and functioning: from individual plants to ecosystems cover different climate regions, taxonomic and spatial scales, and a diversity of traits (Table 1) and form perfect examples of this upward moment of the belowground component in plant ecology.

Maria Hieta

and 15 more

Suoya Fan

and 7 more

Between 81º30’ E and 83ºE the Himalayan range’s “perfect” arcuate shape is interrupted by an embayment. We hypothesize that thrust geometry and duplexing along the megathrust at mid-lower crustal depths plays a leading role in growth of the embayment as well the southern margin of the Tibetan plateau. To test this hypothesis, we conducted thermokinematic modeling of published thermochronologic data from the topographic and structural embayment in the western Nepal Himalaya to investigate the three-dimensional geometry and kinematics of the megathrust at mid-lower crustal depths. Models that can best reproduce observed cooling ages suggest that the megathrust in the western Nepal Himalaya is best described as two ramps connected by a long flat that extends further north than in segments to the east and west. These models suggest that the high-slope zone along the embayment lies above the foreland limb of an antiformal crustal accretion zone on the megathrust with lateral and oblique ramps at mid-lower crustal depths. The lateral and oblique ramps may have initiated by ca. 10 Ma. This process may have controlled along-strike variation in Himalayan-plateau growth and therefore development of the topographic embayment. Finally, we analyze geological and morphologic features and propose an evolution model in which landscape and drainage systems across the central-western Himalaya evolve in response to crustal accretion at depth and the three-dimensional geometry of the megathrust. Our work highlights the importance of crustal accretion at different depths in orogenic-wedge growth and that the mid-lower crustal accretion determines the location of plateau edge.

Wasja Bloch

and 9 more

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