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Concept: Initiation


Recent reports show that fewer adolescents believe that regular cannabis use is harmful to health. Concomitantly, adolescents are initiating cannabis use at younger ages, and more adolescents are using cannabis on a daily basis. The purpose of the present study was to test the association between persistent cannabis use and neuropsychological decline and determine whether decline is concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Participants were members of the Dunedin Study, a prospective study of a birth cohort of 1,037 individuals followed from birth (1972/1973) to age 38 y. Cannabis use was ascertained in interviews at ages 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38 y. Neuropsychological testing was conducted at age 13 y, before initiation of cannabis use, and again at age 38 y, after a pattern of persistent cannabis use had developed. Persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education. Informants also reported noticing more cognitive problems for persistent cannabis users. Impairment was concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users, with more persistent use associated with greater decline. Further, cessation of cannabis use did not fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Findings are suggestive of a neurotoxic effect of cannabis on the adolescent brain and highlight the importance of prevention and policy efforts targeting adolescents.

Concepts: Cohort study, Age, Neurocognitive, Adolescence, Initiation, Neuropsychology, The Adolescents, Neuropsychological test


In the HPTN 052 study, transmission between HIV-discordant couples was reduced by 96% when the HIV-infected partner received suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). We examined two transmission events where the newly infected partner was diagnosed after the HIV-infected partner (index) initiated therapy. We evaluated the sequence complexity of the viral populations and antibody reactivity in the newly infected partner to estimate the dates of transmission to the newly infected partners. In both cases, transmission most likely occurred significantly before HIV-1 diagnosis of the newly infected partner, and either just before the initiation of therapy or before viral replication was adequately suppressed by therapy of the index. This study further strengthens the conclusion about the efficacy of blocking transmission by treating the infected partner of discordant couples. However, this study does not rule out the potential for HIV-1 transmission to occur shortly after initiation of ART, and this should be recognized when antiretroviral therapy is used for HIV-1 prevention.

Concepts: Antiretroviral drug, HIV, AIDS, Diagnosis, Initiation, Index, Art, The Conclusion


Recognizing the intention of others is important in all social interactions, especially in the service domain. Enabling a bartending robot to serve customers is particularly challenging as the system has to recognize the social signals produced by customers and respond appropriately. Detecting whether a customer would like to order is essential for the service encounter to succeed. This detection is particularly challenging in a noisy environment with multiple customers. Thus, a bartending robot has to be able to distinguish between customers intending to order, chatting with friends or just passing by. In order to study which signals customers use to initiate a service interaction in a bar, we recorded real-life customer-staff interactions in several German bars. These recordings were used to generate initial hypotheses about the signals customers produce when bidding for the attention of bar staff. Two experiments using snapshots and short video sequences then tested the validity of these hypothesized candidate signals. The results revealed that bar staff responded to a set of two non-verbal signals: first, customers position themselves directly at the bar counter and, secondly, they look at a member of staff. Both signals were necessary and, when occurring together, sufficient. The participants also showed a strong agreement about when these cues occurred in the videos. Finally, a signal detection analysis revealed that ignoring a potential order is deemed worse than erroneously inviting customers to order. We conclude that (a) these two easily recognizable actions are sufficient for recognizing the intention of customers to initiate a service interaction, but other actions such as gestures and speech were not necessary, and (b) the use of reaction time experiments using natural materials is feasible and provides ecologically valid results.

Concepts: Interaction, Sociology, Hypothesis, Initiation, Necessary and sufficient condition, Customer service, Bar association, Passing By


The mammalian heartbeat is thought to begin just prior to the linear heart tube stage of development. How the initial contractions are established and the downstream consequences of the earliest contractile function on cardiac differentiation and morphogenesis have not been described. Using high-resolution live imaging of mouse embryos, we observed randomly distributed spontaneous asynchronous Ca(2+)-oscillations (SACOs) in the forming cardiac crescent (stage E7.75) prior to overt beating. Nascent contraction initiated at around E8.0 and was associated with sarcomeric assembly and rapid Ca(2+) transients, underpinned by sequential expression of the Na(+)-Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX1) and L-type Ca(2+) channel (LTCC). Pharmacological inhibition of NCX1 and LTCC revealed rapid development of Ca(2+) handling in the early heart and an essential early role for NCX1 in establishing SACOs through to the initiation of beating. NCX1 blockade impacted on CaMKII signalling to down-regulate cardiac gene expression, leading to impaired differentiation and failed crescent maturation.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Gene expression, Evolution, Function, Developmental biology, Cellular differentiation, Initiation


The use of inhaled glucocorticoids for persistent asthma causes a temporary reduction in growth velocity in prepubertal children. The resulting decrease in attained height 1 to 4 years after the initiation of inhaled glucocorticoids is thought not to decrease attained adult height.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Glucocorticoid, Human height, Child, Childhood, Initiation, Preadolescence


People often fail to muster the motivation needed to initiate goal pursuit. Across five laboratory experiments, we explored occasions when people naturally experience enhanced motivation to take actions that facilitate goal pursuit and why certain dates are more likely to spur goal initiation than others. We present causal evidence that emphasizing a temporal landmark denoting the beginning of a new time period increases people’s intentions to initiate goal pursuit. In addition, we propose and show that people’s strengthened motivation to begin pursuing their aspirations following such temporal landmarks originates in part from the psychological disassociation these landmarks induce from a person’s past, imperfect self.

Concepts: Time, Causality, Experiment, Initiation, Past, Past tense, Periodization, Landmark


BACKGROUND: This study investigated circumstances of initiating new-type drug use among adult new-type drug users and differences among those who first used methamphetamine, ecstasy and ketamine. METHODS: A total of 276 participants were recruited, using respondent-driven sampling (RDS) from nine seeds recruited through NGOs, social workers and outreach workers in Shanghai, China. RESULTS: Methamphetamine was the most frequently reported first new-type drug used (37.1%), followed by ecstasy (35.6%) and ketamine (20.0%). 38.7% of participants initiated new-type drug use before the age of 21 years. 47.8% knew at initiation that club drugs can be harmful. Most were introduced to new-type drug use by friends, spouses or boy/girlfriends. The three most common reasons for initiation were curiosity, peer influence, and wishing to dull one’s emotions. Those first using methamphetamine were more likely to be female, have a monthly individual income less than 3000 Yuan (approx. $476), initiate use at 21 years or older and at private setting than those first using ecstasy and ketamine. CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need for drug education efforts in China to raise awareness of the harms of new-type drugs, as well as to increase knowledge about the paradox of new-type drug effects. Drug prevention and intervention programs should be tailore to target populations and their social context.

Concepts: Drug addiction, Initiation, Mircea Eliade, Baptism, Hazing


Micropropagation is the most appropriate method for large-scale production of Rubus and Ribes spp. The proliferation rate of Rubus spp. differs in shoot tips and nodal segments. The culture media used for raspberry and blackberry propagation are MS-based supplemented with different combination and ratio of plant growth regulators, depending on the stage of culture. The initiation medium containing 0.4 mg L(-1) BA and 0.1 mg L(-1) IBA is used to stabilize shoot cultures. In multiplication media, concentration of cytokinin is doubled. In vitro rooting of shoots is achieved on media supplemented with 1.0 mg L(-1) IBA. Ribes spp. cultures are initiated from shoot tips, meristem, or dormant buds on MS medium supplemented with 2.0 mg L(-1) BA, 0.5 mg L(-1) IBA, and 0.1 mg L(-1) GA(3.) After stabilization of shoot cultures in 3-4-week time, shoot multiplication is carried out on MS medium containing 1.0 mg L(-1) BA and 0.1 mg L(-1) IBA. Shoots 2 cm long are cultured to rooting on a medium amended with 2.0 mg L(-1) IBA and 5.0 mg L(-1) IAA. Rooted plantlets are transferred to universal peat substrate and acclimatized in the greenhouse.

Concepts: Bud, Culture, Initiation, Plant stem, The Culture, Shoot, BlackBerry, Rubus


Attack transients of harmonium-type reeds from American reed organs have been studied in a laboratory setting with the reeds mounted on a wind chamber. Several methods were used to initiate the attack transients of the reeds, and the resulting displacement and velocity waveforms were recorded using a laser vibrometer system and electronic proximity sensors. The most realistic procedure had a pallet valve mechanism simulating the initiation of an attack transient that depressing an organ key would provide. Growth rates in vibrational amplitude were then measured over a range of blowing pressures. Although the fundamental transverse mode is dominant in free reed oscillation, the possibility of higher transverse modes and torsional modes being present in transient oscillation was also explored. The reeds studied are designed with a spoon-shaped curvature and a slight twist at the free end of the reed tongue, intended to provide a more prompt response, especially for larger, lower-pitched reeds for which a slow attack can be a problem. The effectiveness of this design has been explored by comparing these reeds with equivalent reeds without this feature. [Work supported by National Science Foundation REU Grant PHY-1004860.].

Concepts: Laser, Initiation, Clarinet, Saxophone, Accordion, Free reed aerophone, Reed organ, Bassoon


There is increasing evidence and case reports regarding proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-induced hypomagnesemia. Our study aimed to clarify the relationship between PPI use and serum magnesium levels and to specify high-risk patients. We retrospectively studied 112 consecutive patients aged 20 years or older who were treated with PPI for ≥30 days and whose serum magnesium levels were available for the PPI treatment period. We compared the mean level of serum magnesium of the enrolled patients with PPI treatment with matched controls. There were no significant differences between the matched PPI users (n = 105) and nonusers (n = 210) in the magnesium levels (0.85 ± 0.09 vs. 0.86 ± 0.16 mM, P = 0.297). In a subgroup analysis of a PPI user group, hypomagnesemia could be observed in 32 patients but not in 80 patients. In multivariate analyses, PPI use for >1 year, age less than 45 years, and concurrent cisplatin or carboplatin use were significantly associated with PPI-induced hypomagnesemia {P = 0.042, odds ratio [OR; 95% confidence interval (CI)]: 5.388 [1.056-27.493]; P = 0.007, OR [95% CI]: 4.710 [1.523-14.571]; P = 0.007, OR [95% CI]: 13.404 [2.066-86.952], respectively} after adjusting for confounders. This study shows that long-term PPI use is associated with hypomagnesemia in hospitalized adult patients. Therefore, serum magnesium levels should be checked before the initiation of PPI treatment and during the treatment period in patients, particularly those concurrently using platinum-based chemotherapy or who are expected to use PPI for long periods.

Concepts: Proton, Multivariate statistics, Arithmetic mean, Initiation, Period, Odds, Hypomagnesemia, Hypermagnesemia