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We aimed to fully review the association of empirical dietary patterns with the risk of noncommunicable chronic diseases and to rate the quality of the evidence. Published meta-analyses of observational studies investigating the association of empirically-derived dietary patterns with the risk of chronic diseases were identified by searching PubMed and Scopus till September, 2019. Two independent reviewers extracted the information and rated the quality of the evidence by NutriGrade score. For each meta-analysis, cross-sectional and case-control studies were excluded and then, summary relative risk (SRR) was recalculated by using a random-effects model. Sixteen meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies, reporting 18 SRRs for healthy dietary patterns and 16 SRRs for unhealthy patterns obtained from 116 primary prospective cohort studies with 4.8 million participants, were included. There was moderate quality of evidence for the inverse association of healthy dietary patterns with the risk of type 2 diabetes, fracture, and colorectal and breast cancers. There was also low quality evidence for the inverse relation between healthy dietary patterns and the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, depression, and coronary heart and respiratory diseases. There was moderate quality of evidence for a positive association between unhealthy dietary patterns and the risk of type 2 diabetes, fracture, and metabolic syndrome. Adopting a healthy dietary pattern may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and premature death. More research is needed for outcomes for which the quality of the evidence was rated low, such as respiratory disease, mental illness, and site-specific cancers.
The concept of al-wala’ wa-l-bara’ (loyalty and disavowal) has become the ideology of modern Salafism; it is used to justify unfriendly relationships with non-Muslims. This concept is usually implemented by reserving love only for fellow Muslims and showing insularity towards non-Muslims. What is the ideological concept that guides some Muslims in their relationship with groups that are considered heretics? This article intends to scrutinize the theological matrix used by vigilante groups in their anti-heresy campaign or attacks on the Ahmadiyya. It also aims to determine why some people believe that persecuting the Ahmadiyya is a theologically justifiable idea. What theological and ideological reasons can be used to justify attacks against the Ahmadiyya community? How do they cope with the conflict between divine law and human/state law? This article argues that instead of feeling guilty, the perpetrators of faith-based violence often feel they have just fulfilled a good religious duty. Committing violence against religious groups deemed heretics is believed to be more than al-amr bi al-màrūf wa al-nahy `an al-munkar (“commanding right and forbidding wrong”)—it is a jihad. Violence is seen not as an illegal act, but as a “virtue” or an effort to save them from the punishment of God in Hell. In justifying the breaching of state law, the idea of a hierarchy in the law is constructed, i.e. state/human law is hierarchically lower than divine law, so attacking the Ahmadiyya is seen as a transgression of human law for the sake of upholding the divine view.
In this article, I make the claim that the time has come to re-situate the Gulf historically as part of the Indian Ocean world rather than the terrestrial Middle East. I explore the historical potential of thinking “transregionally” – of what it means to more fully weave the history of the Gulf into that of the Indian Ocean, and what the ramifications are for orienting it away from the terrestrially-grounded literature in which it has long been situated. The promise of an oceanic history, I argue, is both academic and political: first, it opens up the possibilities of new narratives for the Gulf’s past, suggesting new periodizations, fruitful avenues of historical inquiry, and new readings of old sources. But more than that, an oceanic history of the Gulf allows historians to push against the discourses of nativism that have pervaded the public sphere in the Gulf States.
Phase retrieval algorithm is an effective method to reconstruct the surface distortions for reflector antennas. As the traditional Fourier iterative algorithms usually stagnate at local minima, we previously proposed a global phase retrieval algorithm, named CMAES-HIO, based on the hybridization of hybrid-input-output algorithm and covariance matrix adaptation evolution strategy. We address the problem of selection of the Zernike order used in the phase parameterization for CMAES-HIO algorithm in this paper. By introducing a hybrid evaluation parameter, which combines the algorithm accuracy and time consumption, we utilize the Monte-Carlo method to simulate the algorithm performance under different random surface distortions. Simulation results show that for an unknown surface distortion, a Zernike order of 5 or 6 is probably the optimum for the comprehensive algorithm performance with respect to time and accuracy.
Penetrating abdominal trauma is one of the injuries that could affect civilians in wartime. This retrospective study investigates the commonly injured abdominal organs, and the impact of multiple injured organs on mortality.
We reviewed the operating room (OR) logs of patients who presented to the surgical emergency department (SED) at Al-Mouwasat University Hospital with war-related abdominal penetrating trauma requiring exploratory laparotomy between April 1, 2011 and December 31, 2017.
Of 7826 patients with traumatic injuries, 898 patients (11.5%) required exploratory laparotomy. Of all patients who had an exploratory laparotomy (n = 898), 58 patients (6.5%) died in the perioperative period. Regarding complete laparotomies (n = 873 patients), small intestines, large intestines, and liver were the most commonly affected organs (36.4%, 33%, 22.9%, respectively). A total of 92 patients (10.2%) had negative laparotomy in which all the abdominal organs were not injured. The perioperative mortality rate (POMR) increased when more organs/organ systems were injured per patient reaching a peak at 3 organs/organ systems injuries with a POMR of 8.3%. POMR was highest in patients with musculoskeletal injuries (18.2%), followed by vascular injuries (11.8%), and liver injuries (7%).
The management of civilians’ abdominal injuries remains a challenge for general and trauma surgeons, especially the civilian trauma team. The number and type of injured organs and their correlation with mortality should be considered during surgical management of penetrating abdominal injuries.
Our present genetic data of Acanthocephala, especially the mitochondrial (mt) genomes, remains very limited. In the present study, the nearly complete mt genome sequences of Sphaerirostris lanceoides (Petrochenko, 1949) was sequenced and determined for the first time based on specimens collected from the Indian pond heron Ardeola grayii (Sykes) (Ciconiiformes: Ardeidae) in Pakistan. The mt genome of S. lanceoides is 13 478 bp in size and contains 36 genes, including 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNAs) and two ribosomal RNA genes (rRNAs). Moreover, in order to clarify the phylogenetic relationship of the genera Centrorhynchus and Sphaerirostris, and to test the systematic position of S. lanceoides in the Centrorhynchidae, the phylogenetic analyses were performed using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods, based on concatenated nucleotide sequences of 12 PCGs, rRNAs and tRNAs. The phylogenetic results further confirmed the monophyly of the order Polymorphida and the paraphyly of the order Echinorhynchida in the class Palaeacanthocephala. Our results also challenged the validity of the genus Sphaerirostris (Polymorphida: Centrorhynchidae) and showed a sister relationship between S. lanceoides and S. picae (Rudolphi, 1819).
The possibilities of surface plasma wave (SPW) on a metal-vacuum interface in semiconductor quantum plasma by considering the effects of Coulomb exchange (CE) interaction and the spin-polarization has been explored. The dispersion for the SPW has been setup using the modified quantum hydrodynamic (QHD) model taking into account the Fermi pressure, the quantum Bohm force, the CE, and the electron spin. The optical gain of SPW has been evaluated. It is found that CE effects and spin-polarization increases the wave frequency and enhances the gain during the stimulated emission.
Selective laser melting (SLM) is a state-of-the-art technology in the additive manufacturing field. This study focuses on the influence of scanning speed on the fabrication of Ti6Al4V samples produced by SLM. This article contributes to the effect of SLM scanning speed parameters on micropores, surface morphology, and roughness. The detailed characterizations for the parts produced by the SLM process are evaluated. An SLM scanning speed of 695, 775, or 853 mm/s was selected. The findings show that a high quality of surface morphology and microstructure is obtained at a scanning speed of 775 mm/s. In addition, the maximum surface roughness values for both upper and side surfaces are approximately 0.460 µm and 0.592 µm, respectively. Furthermore, surface defect characteristics regarding the speed mechanism parameter for the SLM system are also discussed, and the challenges to the part quality, and potential for numerous industries (e.g., aerospace, automotive, and biomedical), creating microstructures, are observed.
As the number of proton therapy facilities has steadily increased, the need for the tool to provide precise dose simulation for complicated clinical and research scenarios also increase. In this study, the treatment head of Mevion HYPERSCAN pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy system including energy modulation system (EMS) and Adaptive Aperture™ (AA) was modelled using TOPAS (TOolkit for PArticle Simulation) Monte Carlo (MC) code and was validated during commissioning process.
Materials and methods:
The proton beam characteristics including integral depth doses (IDDs) of pristine Bragg peak and in-air beam spot sizes were simulated and compared with measured beam data. The lateral profiles, with and without AA, were also verified against calculation from treatment planning system (TPS).
All beam characteristics for IDDs and in-air spot size agreed well within 1 mm and 10% separately. The full width at half maximum and penumbra of lateral dose profile also agree well within 2 mm.
The TOPAS MC simulation of the MEVION HYPERSCAN PBS proton therapy system has been modelled and validated; it could be a viable tool for research and verification of the proton treatment in the future.
A compact dual-polarized monostatic antenna (single radiator for transmit and receive modes) is presented with differential receive mode operation to achieve excellent interport isolation for 2.4 GHz single frequency full-duplex or in-band full-duplex applications. The presented antenna comprises three ports radiating element (patch) and a simple 3 dB/180o ring hybrid coupler has been utilized for differentially excited receive mode operation. The 3 dB/180o ring hybrid coupler acts as a self-interference cancellation (SIC) circuit for effective suppression of RF leakage from the transmit port to provide very high interport decoupling between transmit and receive ports. A compact antenna structure has been realized by using two-layered printed circuit board through vias interconnections of both receive ports of the antenna with inputs of SIC circuit. The validation model of proposed antenna offers more than 95 dB peak interport isolation. Moreover, the experimentally measured interport isolation is better than 70 dB throughout the antenna's 10 dB return-loss impedance bandwidth (BW) of 50 MHz (2.38–2.43 GHz). Furthermore, the recorded isolation is more than 80 dB in 20 MHz BW. The implemented antenna has good radiation characteristics including nice gain and low cross-polarization levels as endorsed by measurements. Same antenna structure with microstrip-T feeds can provide DC isolated ports with same interport RF isolation performance for active antenna applications. Such antenna with DC interport isolation will avoid the requirements of additional series capacitors on transmit and receive ports of antenna.
Parthenium weed is an invasive species in a growing number of countries where it infests numerous crop fields, including sorghum. Two field studies were conducted to quantify the effect of parthenium weed on the performance of grain sorghum at different weed densities (0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 plants m−2) and durations of weed-crop competition (season-long weed-free, weed-free after 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks, and season-long weedy). Our aim was to identify the density threshold and ideal duration to control parthenium weed in sorghum fields. Both field experiments were planned in a randomised complete block design each with three replications in 2016 and were repeated in 2017. Parthenium weed biomass increased significantly with increasing density and competition duration. The increasing parthenium weed density had a linear negative effect on sorghum growth, yield and yield-contributing traits. The highest yield loss, of up to 66%, was recorded at the highest parthenium weed density of 20 plants m−2 when compared to weed-free treatment. In addition, the season-long competition of this weed with sorghum caused 81% reduction in grain yield over weed-free treatment. According to our results, parthenium weed should be managed below a density of 5 plants m−2 and throughout the crop growth duration in grain sorghum fields as it can cause serious yield losses even at low densities and through strong competition at early as well as late growth stages of the crop.
More than seventy years after the end of the Second World War, atrocities committed under the National Socialist regime still continue to occupy the courts in Germany. The recent case of Oscar Gröning raised a number of highly relevant legal issues, particularly with regard to the degree of participation in criminal offenses in general, and more specifically, with regard to the possible level of criminal liability of individuals who, as part of a large-scale “killing machinery”, were acting under the command of superiors and, as such, not directly involved in the acts of homicide which were perpetrated. Different theories pertaining to the level of participation are analyzed, and the German Federal Court’s decision in the Gröning case is dealt with in detail.
All sperm accrue varying amounts of DNA damage during maturation and storage, a process that appears to be mediated through oxidative stress. The clinical significance of genetic damage in the male germ line depends upon severity and how that damage is distributed among the sperm population. In human reproduction, the embryo is capable of significant DNA repair, which occurs prior to the first cleavage event. However, when the magnitude of genomic damage reaches pathologic levels, reproductive outcomes begin to be affected. Evidence now exists linking excessive sperm DNA fragmentation with time to pregnancy for natural conception, pregnancy outcomes of intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization, and miscarriage rates when intracytoplasmic sperm injection is employed. This review will discuss the pathophysiology of sperm DNA damage, the studies linking it to impaired reproductive outcomes, and how clinicians may render treatment to optimize the chance of paternity for their patients.
Obstructive azoospermia (OA) is a common presenting condition of male infertility, resulting from either congenital or acquired blockage of the reproductive tract. Men facing a diagnosis of OA now have an array of treatment options, including definitive reconstruction and various forms of sperm retrieval. The optimum treatment decision for OA will depend on the goals, values, and expectations of the patient and his partner. In this review we will discuss the therapeutic approach to OA, stressing the requirement of a clear and thoughtful plan for staged intervention. Any proposed treatment strategy should optimize the chances of paternity while minimizing damage to the male genitourinary system. Special attention will be paid to the role of microdissection testicular sperm extraction (microTESE), as it is a useful and often underutilized rescue procedure for OA. Specifically, the advantages and disadvantages of microTESE will be evaluated, with particular focus on success rates and safety.
Bioremediation has been proposed as a means of dealing with oil spills on the continent. However, the introduction of non-native organisms, including microbes, even for this purpose would appear to breach the terms of the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty. This study therefore aimed to optimize the growth conditions and diesel degradation activity of the Antarctic native bacteria Arthrobacter spp. strains AQ5-05 and AQ5-06 through the application of a one-factor-at-a-time (OFAT) approach. Both strains were psychrotolerant, with the optimum temperature supporting diesel degradation being 10–15°C. Both strains were also screened for biosurfactant production and biofilm formation. Their diesel degradation potential was assessed using Bushnell–Haas medium supplemented with 0.5% (v/v) diesel as the sole carbon source and determined using both gravimetric and gas chromatography and mass spectrophotometry analysis. Strain AQ5-06 achieved 37.5% diesel degradation, while strain AQ5-05 achieved 34.5% diesel degradation. Both strains produced biosurfactants and showed high biofilm adherence. Strains AQ5-05 and AQ5-06 showed high cellular hydrophobicity rates of 73.0% and 81.5%, respectively, in hexadecane, with somewhat lower values of 60.5% and 70.5%, respectively, in tetrahexadecane. Optimized conditions identified via OFAT increased diesel degradation to 41.0% and 47.5% for strains AQ5-05 and AQ5-06, respectively. Both strains also demonstrated the ability to degrade diesel in the presence of heavy metal co-pollutants. This study therefore confirms the potential use of these cold-tolerant bacterial strains in the biodegradation of diesel-polluted Antarctic soils at low environmental temperatures.