233 research outputs found

    Contributions of phonological and verbal working memory to language development in adolescents with fragile X syndrome

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    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability. Although language delays are frequently observed in FXS, neither the longitudinal course of language development nor its cognitive predictors are well understood. The present study investigated whether phonological and working memory skills are predictive of growth in vocabulary and syntax in individuals with FXS during adolescence. Forty-four individuals with FXS (mean age = 12.61 years) completed assessments of phonological memory (nonword repetition and forward digit recall), verbal working memory (backward digit recall), vocabulary, syntax, and nonverbal cognition. Vocabulary and syntax skills were reassessed at a 2-year follow-up. In a series of analyses that controlled for nonverbal cognitive ability and severity of autism symptoms, the relative contributions of phonological and working memory to language change over time were investigated. These relationships were examined separately for boys and girls. In boys with FXS, phonological memory significantly predicted gains in vocabulary and syntax skills. Further, verbal working memory was uniquely associated with vocabulary gains among boys. In girls with FXS, phonological and working memory skills showed no relationship with language change across the 2-year time period. Our findings indicate that, for adolescent boys with FXS, acquisition of vocabulary and syntax may be constrained by the ability to maintain and manipulate phonological representations online. Implications for the identification and treatment of language disorders in this population are discussed. The present study is the first to identify specific cognitive mechanisms contributing to language growth over time in individuals with FXS

    The L 98-59 System: Three Transiting, Terrestrial-size Planets Orbiting a Nearby M Dwarf

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    We report the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) discovery of three terrestrial-size planets transiting L 98-59 (TOI-175, TIC 307210830)—a bright M dwarf at a distance of 10.6 pc. Using the Gaia-measured distance and broadband photometry, we find that the host star is an M3 dwarf. Combined with the TESS transits from three sectors, the corresponding stellar parameters yield planet radii ranging from 0.8 R ⊕ to 1.6 R ⊕. All three planets have short orbital periods, ranging from 2.25 to 7.45 days with the outer pair just wide of a 2:1 period resonance. Diagnostic tests produced by the TESS Data Validation Report and the vetting package DAVE rule out common false-positive sources. These analyses, along with dedicated follow-up and the multiplicity of the system, lend confidence that the observed signals are caused by planets transiting L 98-59 and are not associated with other sources in the field. The L 98-59 system is interesting for a number of reasons: the host star is bright (V = 11.7 mag, K = 7.1 mag) and the planets are prime targets for further follow-up observations including precision radial-velocity mass measurements and future transit spectroscopy with the James Webb Space Telescope; the near-resonant configuration makes the system a laboratory to study planetary system dynamical evolution; and three planets of relatively similar size in the same system present an opportunity to study terrestrial planets where other variables (age, metallicity, etc.) can be held constant. L 98-59 will be observed in four more TESS sectors, which will provide a wealth of information on the three currently known planets and have the potential to reveal additional planets in the system

    A framework for human microbiome research

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    A variety of microbial communities and their genes (the microbiome) exist throughout the human body, with fundamental roles in human health and disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Human Microbiome Project Consortium has established a population-scale framework to develop metagenomic protocols, resulting in a broad range of quality-controlled resources and data including standardized methods for creating, processing and interpreting distinct types of high-throughput metagenomic data available to the scientific community. Here we present resources from a population of 242 healthy adults sampled at 15 or 18 body sites up to three times, which have generated 5,177 microbial taxonomic profiles from 16S ribosomal RNA genes and over 3.5 terabases of metagenomic sequence so far. In parallel, approximately 800 reference strains isolated from the human body have been sequenced. Collectively, these data represent the largest resource describing the abundance and variety of the human microbiome, while providing a framework for current and future studies

    Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome

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    Author Posting. © The Authors, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of Nature Publishing Group. The definitive version was published in Nature 486 (2012): 207-214, doi:10.1038/nature11234.Studies of the human microbiome have revealed that even healthy individuals differ remarkably in the microbes that occupy habitats such as the gut, skin and vagina. Much of this diversity remains unexplained, although diet, environment, host genetics and early microbial exposure have all been implicated. Accordingly, to characterize the ecology of human-associated microbial communities, the Human Microbiome Project has analysed the largest cohort and set of distinct, clinically relevant body habitats so far. We found the diversity and abundance of each habitat’s signature microbes to vary widely even among healthy subjects, with strong niche specialization both within and among individuals. The project encountered an estimated 81–99% of the genera, enzyme families and community configurations occupied by the healthy Western microbiome. Metagenomic carriage of metabolic pathways was stable among individuals despite variation in community structure, and ethnic/racial background proved to be one of the strongest associations of both pathways and microbes with clinical metadata. These results thus delineate the range of structural and functional configurations normal in the microbial communities of a healthy population, enabling future characterization of the epidemiology, ecology and translational applications of the human microbiome.This research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grants U54HG004969 to B.W.B.; U54HG003273 to R.A.G.; U54HG004973 to R.A.G., S.K.H. and J.F.P.; U54HG003067 to E.S.Lander; U54AI084844 to K.E.N.; N01AI30071 to R.L.Strausberg; U54HG004968 to G.M.W.; U01HG004866 to O.R.W.; U54HG003079 to R.K.W.; R01HG005969 to C.H.; R01HG004872 to R.K.; R01HG004885 to M.P.; R01HG005975 to P.D.S.; R01HG004908 to Y.Y.; R01HG004900 to M.K.Cho and P. Sankar; R01HG005171 to D.E.H.; R01HG004853 to A.L.M.; R01HG004856 to R.R.; R01HG004877 to R.R.S. and R.F.; R01HG005172 to P. Spicer.; R01HG004857 to M.P.; R01HG004906 to T.M.S.; R21HG005811 to E.A.V.; M.J.B. was supported by UH2AR057506; G.A.B. was supported by UH2AI083263 and UH3AI083263 (G.A.B., C. N. Cornelissen, L. K. Eaves and J. F. Strauss); S.M.H. was supported by UH3DK083993 (V. B. Young, E. B. Chang, F. Meyer, T. M. S., M. L. Sogin, J. M. Tiedje); K.P.R. was supported by UH2DK083990 (J. V.); J.A.S. and H.H.K. were supported by UH2AR057504 and UH3AR057504 (J.A.S.); DP2OD001500 to K.M.A.; N01HG62088 to the Coriell Institute for Medical Research; U01DE016937 to F.E.D.; S.K.H. was supported by RC1DE0202098 and R01DE021574 (S.K.H. and H. Li); J.I. was supported by R21CA139193 (J.I. and D. S. Michaud); K.P.L. was supported by P30DE020751 (D. J. Smith); Army Research Office grant W911NF-11-1-0473 to C.H.; National Science Foundation grants NSF DBI-1053486 to C.H. and NSF IIS-0812111 to M.P.; The Office of Science of the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 for P.S. C.; LANL Laboratory-Directed Research and Development grant 20100034DR and the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency grants B104153I and B084531I to P.S.C.; Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) grant to K.F. and J.Raes; R.K. is an HHMI Early Career Scientist; Gordon&BettyMoore Foundation funding and institutional funding fromthe J. David Gladstone Institutes to K.S.P.; A.M.S. was supported by fellowships provided by the Rackham Graduate School and the NIH Molecular Mechanisms in Microbial Pathogenesis Training Grant T32AI007528; a Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada Grant in Aid of Research to E.A.V.; 2010 IBM Faculty Award to K.C.W.; analysis of the HMPdata was performed using National Energy Research Scientific Computing resources, the BluBioU Computational Resource at Rice University

    Genomic Relationships, Novel Loci, and Pleiotropic Mechanisms across Eight Psychiatric Disorders

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    Genetic influences on psychiatric disorders transcend diagnostic boundaries, suggesting substantial pleiotropy of contributing loci. However, the nature and mechanisms of these pleiotropic effects remain unclear. We performed analyses of 232,964 cases and 494,162 controls from genome-wide studies of anorexia nervosa, attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and Tourette syndrome. Genetic correlation analyses revealed a meaningful structure within the eight disorders, identifying three groups of inter-related disorders. Meta-analysis across these eight disorders detected 109 loci associated with at least two psychiatric disorders, including 23 loci with pleiotropic effects on four or more disorders and 11 loci with antagonistic effects on multiple disorders. The pleiotropic loci are located within genes that show heightened expression in the brain throughout the lifespan, beginning prenatally in the second trimester, and play prominent roles in neurodevelopmental processes. These findings have important implications for psychiatric nosology, drug development, and risk prediction.Peer reviewe

    A global experiment on motivating social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic

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    Finding communication strategies that effectively motivate social distancing continues to be a global public health priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. This cross-country, preregistered experiment (n = 25,718 from 89 countries) tested hypotheses concerning generalizable positive and negative outcomes of social distancing messages that promoted personal agency and reflective choices (i.e., an autonomy-supportive message) or were restrictive and shaming (i.e., a controlling message) compared with no message at all. Results partially supported experimental hypotheses in that the controlling message increased controlled motivation (a poorly internalized form of motivation relying on shame, guilt, and fear of social consequences) relative to no message. On the other hand, the autonomy-supportive message lowered feelings of defiance compared with the controlling message, but the controlling message did not differ from receiving no message at all. Unexpectedly, messages did not influence autonomous motivation (a highly internalized form of motivation relying on one’s core values) or behavioral intentions. Results supported hypothesized associations between people’s existing autonomous and controlled motivations and self-reported behavioral intentions to engage in social distancing. Controlled motivation was associated with more defiance and less long-term behavioral intention to engage in social distancing, whereas autonomous motivation was associated with less defiance and more short- and long-term intentions to social distance. Overall, this work highlights the potential harm of using shaming and pressuring language in public health communication, with implications for the current and future global health challenges

    Analysis of shared heritability in common disorders of the brain

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    ience, this issue p. eaap8757 Structured Abstract INTRODUCTION Brain disorders may exhibit shared symptoms and substantial epidemiological comorbidity, inciting debate about their etiologic overlap. However, detailed study of phenotypes with different ages of onset, severity, and presentation poses a considerable challenge. Recently developed heritability methods allow us to accurately measure correlation of genome-wide common variant risk between two phenotypes from pools of different individuals and assess how connected they, or at least their genetic risks, are on the genomic level. We used genome-wide association data for 265,218 patients and 784,643 control participants, as well as 17 phenotypes from a total of 1,191,588 individuals, to quantify the degree of overlap for genetic risk factors of 25 common brain disorders. RATIONALE Over the past century, the classification of brain disorders has evolved to reflect the medical and scientific communities' assessments of the presumed root causes of clinical phenomena such as behavioral change, loss of motor function, or alterations of consciousness. Directly observable phenomena (such as the presence of emboli, protein tangles, or unusual electrical activity patterns) generally define and separate neurological disorders from psychiatric disorders. Understanding the genetic underpinnings and categorical distinctions for brain disorders and related phenotypes may inform the search for their biological mechanisms. RESULTS Common variant risk for psychiatric disorders was shown to correlate significantly, especially among attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder (MDD), and schizophrenia. By contrast, neurological disorders appear more distinct from one another and from the psychiatric disorders, except for migraine, which was significantly correlated to ADHD, MDD, and Tourette syndrome. We demonstrate that, in the general population, the personality trait neuroticism is significantly correlated with almost every psychiatric disorder and migraine. We also identify significant genetic sharing between disorders and early life cognitive measures (e.g., years of education and college attainment) in the general population, demonstrating positive correlation with several psychiatric disorders (e.g., anorexia nervosa and bipolar disorder) and negative correlation with several neurological phenotypes (e.g., Alzheimer's disease and ischemic stroke), even though the latter are considered to result from specific processes that occur later in life. Extensive simulations were also performed to inform how statistical power, diagnostic misclassification, and phenotypic heterogeneity influence genetic correlations. CONCLUSION The high degree of genetic correlation among many of the psychiatric disorders adds further evidence that their current clinical boundaries do not reflect distinct underlying pathogenic processes, at least on the genetic level. This suggests a deeply interconnected nature for psychiatric disorders, in contrast to neurological disorders, and underscores the need to refine psychiatric diagnostics. Genetically informed analyses may provide important "scaffolding" to support such restructuring of psychiatric nosology, which likely requires incorporating many levels of information. By contrast, we find limited evidence for widespread common genetic risk sharing among neurological disorders or across neurological and psychiatric disorders. We show that both psychiatric and neurological disorders have robust correlations with cognitive and personality measures. Further study is needed to evaluate whether overlapping genetic contributions to psychiatric pathology may influence treatment choices. Ultimately, such developments may pave the way toward reduced heterogeneity and improved diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders

    Finishing the euchromatic sequence of the human genome