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UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
Maudsley International was set up to help improve people's mental health and well-being around the world. A variety of programmes have been developed by Maudsley International over the past 10 years, for planning and implementing services; building capacity; and training and evaluation to support organisations and individuals, professionals and managers to train and develop health and social care provisions. Maudsley International's model is based on collaboration, sharing expertise and cultural understanding with international partners.
Catalan's constant, named after E. C. Catalan (1814-1894) and usually denoted by G, is defined by
It is, of course, a close relative of
The numerical value is G ≈ 0.9159656. It is not known whether G is irrational: this remains a stubbornly unsolved problem. The best hope for a solution might appear to be the method of Beukers  to prove the irrationality of ζ (2) directly from the series, but it is not clear how to adapt this method to G.
Higher education institutions have an unavoidable responsibility to address the looming economic, environmental and social crises imperilling humans and ecosystems by placing ‘education for sustainability’ at the heart of their concerns. Yet, for over three decades, the practice of ‘higher education for sustainability’ (HEfS) has encountered significant barriers to implementation, begging the question as to why. Drawing on a diverse, interdisciplinary literature, we identify four structural impediments to implementing HEfS: (1) disciplinary contestation, which creates confusion over what ‘sustainability’ means; (2) institutional fragmentation, which prevents the interdisciplinary dialogue that sustainability demands; (3) economic globalisation, which transforms higher education into just another market opportunity; and (4) ‘fast and frugal’ habits of reasoning, which steer time-pressed academics towards poorly integrated decisions and unsustainable positions. Our analysis highlights that wider structural change within and beyond the academy will be required if higher education institutions are to meet their responsibilities and drive the necessary social transformation.
Buildings are key to a sustainable future because their design, construction, operation, and the activities in buildings are significant contributors to energy-related sustainability challenges – reducing energy demand in buildings can play one of the most important roles in solving these challenges. More specifically:
The buildings sector and people's activities in buildings are responsible for approximately 31% of global final energy demand, approximately one-third of energy-related CO2 emissions, approximately two-thirds of halocarbon, and approximately 25–33% of black carbon emissions.
Several energy-related problems affecting human health and productivity take place in buildings, including mortality and morbidity due to poor indoor air quality or inadequate indoor temperatures. Therefore, improving buildings and their equipment offers one of the entry points to addressing these challenges.
More efficient energy and material use, as well as sustainable energy supply in buildings, are critical to tackling the sustainability-related challenges outlined in the GEA. Recent major advances in building design, know-how, technology, and policy have made it possible for global building energy use to decline significantly. A number of lowenergy and passive buildings, both retrofitted and newly constructed, already exist, demonstrating that low level of building energy performance is achievable. With the application of on-site and community-scale renewable energy sources, several buildings and communities could become zero-net-energy users and zero-greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters, or net energy suppliers.
Recent advances in materials and know-how make new buildings that use 10–40% of the final heating and cooling energy of conventional new buildings cost-effective in all world regions and climate zones.
This chapter sets out four energy scenarios for Great Britain in 2050 that are intended, as a set, to provide insight, assist strategic planning and promote discussion on future electricity networks and the electricity system as a whole. These scenarios were originally prepared by members and associates of the SuperGen FlexNet consortium for Ofgem in the context of their Long-Term Electricity Network Scenarios (LENS) project and benefited from several rounds of stakeholder consultation, workshops and peer review (Ofgem, 2007b, c, d).
The published LENS scenarios included comprehensive narrative sections that, in two parts, described the high-level energy context for networks and then a more specific description of the role of networks and the associated network technologies. In this chapter the scenarios have been distilled from their original form to reduce the detailed focus on networks and draw out implications for electricity demand. However, no new material has been added – there has simply been a reduction in the quantity of detailed narrative. In addition, LENS included a fifth scenario (multi-purpose networks) that explored the effect of see-sawing trends. This scenario brought out interesting implications for investment in network infrastructure and technology; however, within the context of this book's objectives, and in the interests of space, it has not been included here. The four scenarios presented provide an ample set for exploring future electricity demand. Readers interested in the original set of scenarios are referred to the LENS final report (Ofgem, 2008a).
The broad-scale effects of salmon farming on benthic and epibenthic macrofaunal
communities of four Scottish sea lochs (Kishorn, Duich, Hourn and Nevis) with different
aquaculture loadings were investigated based on the first benthic surveys to be undertaken
in these lochs. Significant variation in the benthic communities was identified between
lochs, mainly related to differences in the abundance of echinoderms and polychaetes (the
dominant components of the benthic communities). Variance partitioning using partial
redundancy analysis suggested that approximately 9.6% of this variation could be related
to aquaculture activity in the lochs (as expressed through “production” and previously
modelled “impact” levels), as compared to 20.6% attributable to measured environmental
factors. Epibenthic communities were dominated by echinoderms and arthropods and there was
no significant between-loch variation in epibenthic community composition. No significant
differences were apparent in the benthic or epibenthic community assemblages between
samples taken within 2000 m of a fish farm and those taken beyond this distance. In
general, our results support previous studies suggesting a spatially limited impact of
salmon culture installations on the benthos, although impacts on the aquatic food web on a
wide spatial scale cannot be ruled out and the link between benthic community variation
and aquaculture variables identified through variance partitioning requires further
In 1948, the BBC broadcast a debate between Bertrand Russell and Father Frederick Copleston on the existence of God (Russell & Copleston 1957). In that debate, Copleston claims: (i) that the existence of God can be proved by a metaphysical argument from contingency; and (ii) that only the postulation of the existence of God can make sense of our religious and moral experience. Russell replies by giving diverse reasons for thinking that these two claims are incorrect: there are various ways in which Copleston's argument from contingency fails to be persuasive, and there are more plausible alternative explanations of our religious and moral experience. While there are many significant changes of detail, it is fair to say that the debate between Russell and Copleston typifies exchanges between theists and atheists in the second half of the twentieth century, and it is also fair to say that Russell's contribution to this debate typifies the approaches of late twentieth-century atheists.
Speaking very roughly, we might divide the activities of atheists in the following way. First, some atheists have been concerned to argue that religious talk fails to be meaningful: there is no serious discussion to be had about, for example, the existence of God because one cannot even meaningfully deny the existence of God. Secondly, many atheists have been concerned to develop alternative worldviews to the kinds of worldviews that are presented in the world's religions; and, in particular, many atheists have been concerned to develop naturalistic worldviews that leave no room for any kinds of supernatural entities.
In order to protect and sustainably manage fishery resource species, it is
essential to understand their movements and habitat use. To detect the
hypothesised migration of maturing veined squid Loligo forbesi from the west coast of
Scotland (UK) to the North Sea and identify possible inshore-offshore
movements, we analysed seasonal, spatial and environmental patterns in
abundance and size distribution, based on commercial fishery landings data
and trawl survey data from Scottish coastal waters (International Council
for the Exploration of the Sea, ICES areas IVa, IVb and VIa). A geographic
information system (GIS) was used to build monthly contour maps of
abundance. Generalised additive mixed models (GAMM) were used to quantify
patterns in size distribution and abundance. In most years, there was no
evidence of movement from the West to the East coast of Scotland. Evidence
of inshore-offshore movements during the life-cycle of the cohort that
recruits in autumn (winter breeders) was found instead. The winter breeding
cohort appears to spawn in inshore waters and some evidence suggests that
the spawning grounds of the summer breeders are also inshore. Across
seasons, higher abundance of L. forbesi can generally be found in the north of
Scotland at intermediate water depths and in warmer waters.
The white-beaked dolphin, Lagenorhynchus albirostris, is commonly found throughout the North Sea and shelf waters of the North Atlantic. Little is known about the behaviour and ecology of this species, especially in British coastal waters. In this paper we present details of the seasonal and geographical distribution of white-beaked dolphins around the UK, along with new information on their diet and habitat use. Analysis of historical stranding records show a segregation of the sexes, with a significant difference between when males and females strand in UK waters. There has been a steady decline in reported strandings since the 1970s and seasonal differences in the distribution of strandings suggest that sea temperature may limit white-beaked dolphin distribution around the British coast. Stomach contents' analysis, from dolphins stranded mainly on the Scottish east coast, identified haddock and whiting as the predominant fish species being taken. Boat surveys were performed along the north-east Scottish coast to examine relationships between topography, environmental conditions, dolphin presence and group size. Dolphin presence was related to seabed slope and aspect while variation in temperature explained almost 45% of variation in observed group size, with smaller groups associated with higher sea temperatures.
This paper describes the development of a computer simulation tool, NEOSim, capable of modelling small NEO impacts and their effect on the global population. The development of the tool draws upon existing models for the atmospheric passage and impact processes. Simulation of the land and ocean impact effects, combined with a population density model, leads to casualty estimation at both a regional and global level. Casualty predictions are based upon the intensity of each impact effect on the local population density, with consideration given to the population inside or outside local infrastructure. Two case studies are presented. The first evaluates the potential threat to the UK, and highlights coastal locations as being at greatest risk. Locations around Cornwall demonstrate an increase in casualties above the local average. The second case study concerns the potential impact of asteroid (99942) Apophis in 2036. Propagation of the possible orbits along the line of variance leads to an extensive path of risk on the Earth. Deflection of the asteroid, by a variety of means, will move the projected impact site along this path. Results generated by NEOSim for the path indicate that South American countries such as Colombia and Venezuela are at a greatest risk with estimated casualty figures in excess of 10 million. Applications of this software to the NEO threat are discussed, along with the next stage of NEO impact simulation development.
Recruitment variability is commonly attributed to variation in spawning
stock size and environmental variability. Here, the abundance of Loligo forbesi in the
English Channel was estimated using cohort analysis. Environmental and adult
biomass effects on recruitment variation were then tested. A stochastic
length-age key was included in the cohort analysis, considering
inter-individual variability in age at length. The number of recruits and
parental stock biomass per monthly age-class were computed for a series of
13 fishing seasons (1989-2002). Recruitment was examined in relation to
adult biomass and environmental parameters (sea surface temperature, SST,
and the North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO) at the time of hatching. Recruits
were approximately 7 months old and recruitment for each annual cohort
occurred between April and August. Squid bigger than the length at maturity
were assumed to be spawners. In the spawning season (September December),
spawners were 11–13 months old. Parametric stock-recruitment curves (Ricker,
Beverton and Holt, Shepherd, etc.) fitted poorly, while SST was negatively
correlated with recruitment in a simple linear model. Recruitment was
unrelated to NAO. A model combining SST and adult biomass showed that
recruitment is probably density-dependent when stock size is high, and
negatively correlated with temperature. The study did not indicate obvious
recruitment overfishing in the English Channel L. forbesi population.
The loliginid squid Loligo forbesi has a flexible life-cycle,
involving variable size and
age at maturity, presence of summer and winter breeding populations, and
extended periods of breeding and recruitment. This paper reviews life
history data collected since 1983 from the commercial fishery in Scottish
(UK) waters, alongside fishery data collected since 1970, and examines
(a) the relationship between body size and timing of maturation, (b) evidence
for shifts in the relative abundance of the summer and winter breeding
populations, and (c) the possible role of environmental signals in
determining the timing of breeding. Evidence from fishery data suggests
that, since the 1970s, the summer breeding population has declined while the
winter breeding population now dominates and breeds later than was
previously the case. Length-weight relationships and size at maturity showed
significant inter-annual and seasonal variation during the period 1983-2001.
Males are shown to decline in relative weight as they mature while females
increase in relative weight; possible interpretations are discussed. High
autumn/winter temperatures (high winter NAO values) were associated with
high squid abundance and precocious maturation and tended to favour high
abundance in the following year, along with increased body weight at length
and a decrease in the proportion of animals breeding in December. High
abundance in summer, conversely, leads to a fall of body weight at length in
the following year. Thus there may be alternation of precocious and slow
maturation, and/or summer and winter breeding, driven by a combination of
environmental conditions and intraspecific competition.