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The current COVID-19 pandemic has caused the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) where improvised manufacturing in particular 3D printing has addressed many needs. This prospective discusses the current global crisis, then follows the wide interest in addressing the shortage of medical devices and PPEs used for treatment and protection against pathogens. An overview of the 3D printing process with polymer materials is given followed by the different 3D printing projects of PPEs and medical devices that emerged for the pandemic (including validation/testing). The potential for rapid prototyping with different polymer materials and eventual high-throughput production is emphasized.
Larger protests are more likely to lead to policy changes than small ones are, but whether or not attendance estimates provided in news or generated from social media are biased is an open question. This letter closes the question: news and geolocated social media data generate accurate estimates of protest size variation. This claim is substantiated using cellphone location data from more than 10 million individuals during the 2017 United States Women’s March protests. These cellphone estimates correlate strongly with those provided in news media as well as three size estimates generated using geolocated tweets, one text-based and two based on images. Inferences about protest attendance from these estimates match others’ findings about the Women’s March.
The development of childhood anxiety disorders (CADs) is likely to depend on pathways that can be programmed by early-life risk factors. We test the hypothesis that early-life maternal factors can predict this programming effect on CAD.
Data were obtained from 198 women and children from the Mercy Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing Study (MPEWS), a cohort study with data collected across pregnancy, postpartum and until 4 years of age. Maternal antenatal depression was measured using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-IV), together with antenatal hair cortisol concentrations, maternal childhood trauma and parenting stress at 6 months postpartum. CAD was assessed with the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment and the Child Behaviour Checklist.
Antenatal depression, a history of maternal childhood trauma and lower gestational age at birth were each associated with anxiety disorders at 4 years of age in their children. A multivariate binary logistic model with these early predictors explained approximately 9% of variance in CAD outcome at 4 years of age; however, only maternal trauma and gestational age were significant predictors in the model. The effect of early parenting stress on CAD was found to vary by the concentration of maternal antenatal hair cortisol, whereby postpartum parenting stress was associated with CAD only when there were higher maternal antenatal cortisol levels.
This study suggests the importance of maternal factors pre-conception, pregnancy and in the postnatal period, which predict CADs and this is consistent with a developmental programming hypothesis for CAD.
We describe transmission of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli sequence type (ST) 1193 in a group home. E. coli ST1193 is an emerging multidrug-resistant clone not previously shown to carry carbapenemases in the United States. Our investigation illustrates the potential of residential group homes to amplify rare combinations of pathogens and resistance mechanisms.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
Anthrax is a potential biological weapon and can be used in an air-borne or mail attack, such as in the attack in the United States in 2001. Planning for such an event requires the best available science. Since large-scale experiments are not feasible, mathematical modelling is a crucial tool to inform planning. The aim of this study is to systematically review and evaluate the approaches to mathematical modelling of inhalational anthrax attack to support public health decision making and response.
A systematic review of inhalational anthrax attack models was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) criteria. The models were reviewed based on a set of defined criteria, including the inclusion of atmospheric dispersion component and capacity for real-time decision support.
Of 13 mathematical modelling studies of human inhalational anthrax attacks, there were six studies that took atmospheric dispersion of anthrax spores into account. Further, only two modelling studies had potential utility for real-time decision support, and only one model was validated using real data.
The limited modelling studies available use widely varying methods, assumptions, and data. Estimation of attack size using different models may be quite different, and is likely to be under-estimated by models which do not consider weather conditions. Validation with available data is crucial and may improve models. Further, there is a need for both complex models that can provide accurate atmospheric dispersion modelling, as well as for simpler modelling tools that provide real-time decision support for epidemic response.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common childhood rheumatologic disease childhood and a cause of pain and potential disability. JIA has a strong genetic component and no known cure. The goal of this study is to evaluate allele-dependent effects of a novel JIA risk variant at 1q24.3. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: JIA patients meeting criteria for the two most common disease subtypes (oligoarticular and RF neg polyarthritis) were genotyped using the Immunochip, an Illumina array with dense coverage of the HLA region and 186 other loci previously reported in autoimmune diseases. Phase I association findings (Hinks, 2013) and Phase II analysis (unpublished) of an expanded cohort (4,271 JIA and 14,390 controls) identified new risk loci, including rs78037977 at 1q24.3. We prioritized rs78037977 and predicted possible impacted mechanisms based on Bayesian predictions of attributable risk, the surrounding chromatin landscape, and transcription factor binding data. A luciferase reporter assay was used to assess allele-dependent enhancer activity. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: rs78037977 is located between FASLG and TNFSF18 at chromosome 1q24.3 is associated with JIA (p = 6.3x10−09), and explains 94% of the posterior probability at this locus; no other SNPs in linkage disequilibrium (r2>0.6). The chromatin landscape around rs78037977 contains H3K4Me1 and H3K27Ac marks, which are indicative of enhancer activity. Further, >160 transcription factors have chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) peaks overlapping rs78037977 in various cellular contexts. In luciferase reporter assays, the region around rs78037977 containing the reference A allele had ~2-fold increased enhancer activity compared to the non-reference allele. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: This work provides in vitro evidence to support allele-dependent enhancer activity of a novel JIA-risk variant at 1q24.3. Our ongoing work investigates the effect of the DNA-containing region of rs78037977 on gene expression and differential transcription factor binding at rs78037977.
Ovarian follicle selection is a natural biological process in the pre-ovulatory hierarchy in birds that drives growing follicles to be selected within the ovulatory cycle. Follicle selection in birds is strictly regulated, involving signaling pathways mediated by dietary nutrients, gonadotrophic hormones and paracrine factors. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that dietary Ca may participate in regulating follicle selection in laying ducks through activating the signaling pathway of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), possibly mediated by gonadotrophic hormones. Female ducks at 22 weeks of age were initially fed one of two Ca-deficient diets (containing 1.8% or 0.38% Ca) or a Ca-adequate control diet (containing 3.6% Ca) for 67 days (depletion period), then all birds were fed the Ca-adequate diet for an additional 67 days (repletion period). Compared with the Ca-adequate control, ducks fed 0.38% Ca during the depletion period had significantly decreased (P < 0.05) numbers of hierarchical follicles and total ovarian weight, which were accompanied by reduced egg production. Plasma concentration of FSH was decreased by the diet containing 1.8% Ca but not by that containing 0.38%. The ovarian content of cAMP was increased with the two Ca-deficient diets, and phosphorylation of PKA and ERK1/2 was increased with 0.38% dietary Ca. Transcripts of ovarian estradiol receptor 2 and luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) were reduced in the ducks fed the two Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05), while those of the ovarian follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) were decreased in the ducks fed 0.38% Ca. The transcript abundance of ovary gap junction proteins, A1 and A4, was reduced with the Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05). The down-regulation of gene expression of gap junction proteins and hormone receptors, the increased cAMP content and the suppressed hierarchical follicle numbers were reversed by repletion of dietary Ca. These results indicate that dietary Ca deficiency negatively affects follicle selection of laying ducks, independent of FSH, but probably by activating cAMP/PKA/ERK1/2 signaling pathway.
The risk factors of criminal behavior in patients with schizophrenia are not well explored. This study is to explore the risk factors for criminal behavior in patients with schizophrenia in rural China.
We used data from a 14-year prospective follow-up study (1994-2008) of criminal behavior among a cohort (n=510) of patients with schizophrenia in Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
There were 489 patients (95.9%) who were followed up from 1994 to 2008. The rate of criminal behavior was 13.5% among these patients with schizophrenia during the follow-up period. Compared with female subjects (6 cases, 20.0%), male patients had significantly higher rate of violent criminal behavior (e.g., arson, sexual assault, physical assault, and murder) (24 cases, 80.0%) (p< 0.001). Bivariate analyses showed that the risk of criminal behavior was significantly associated with being unmarried, of younger age, previous violent behavior, homelessness, lower family economic status, no family caregivers, and higher scores on measures (PANSS) of positive, negative, and total symptoms of illness. In multiple logistic regression analyses being unmarried and previous violent behavior were identified as independent predictors of increased criminal behavior in persons with schizophrenia.
The risk factors for criminal behavior among patients with schizophrenia should be understood within a particular social context. Criminal behavior may be predicted by specific characteristics of patients with schizophrenia in rural community. The findings of risk factors for criminal behavior should be considered in planning community mental health care and interventions for high-risk patients and their families.
There seems to be geographical differences in decisions about breast conserving surgery (BCS) in breast cancer patients. This study was to evaluate patients’ attitude to BCS and to assess the factors affecting cancer practice in West China.
A structured questionnaire was distributed to 184 patients, eliciting information about the patients’ characteristics, occupation, education, family life, recognition of illness, knowledge about BCS, the main means of gaining surgery information, selecting surgery approaches, preferences to breast reservation.
In all, 163 patients completed the questionnaire. The results indicated that only 7.4% of patients received BCS and 23% of the remaining patients desired to have BCS and the affecting factors were significantly associated with their family life, recognition of illness and the main means of gaining surgery information (P < 0.05). No associations were between BCS selecting and the other variables studied. The most frequent reasons for selecting BCS were keeping the female shape and improving quality of life (71%), the second most were postoperative recovery, minimal influence of physical function (47%) and patients’ knowledge about BCS (42%). The most frequent reasons for not selecting BCS were uncertainty about BCS results and worry about recurrence (81%), the second most was the elderly age unnecessary for BCS (40%).
The findings indicate that breast cancer patients in West China do not take BCS as the first choice as the best treatment method. It is warranted that further study of more patients, attitude of patients’ partners and physicians to BCS.
Growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43) was critical for initial establishment or reorganization of synaptic connections, a process thought to be disrupted in schizophrenia. Abnormal GAP-43 expression has been linked to this disorder in numerous postmortem brain studies. The purpose of this study was to investigate the involvement of the gene encoding GAP-43 in the susceptibility to schizophrenia.
We searched for genetic variants in the promoter region and 3 exons (including both UTR ends) of the GAP-43 gene using direct sequencing in a sample of Han Chinese schizophrenic patients (n = 354) and non-psychotic controls (n = 338) from Taiwan, and conducted a case-control association study.
We identified 11 common SNPs in the GAP-43 gene. SNP and haplotype-based analyses showed no association with schizophrenia. Besides, we identified 4 rare variants in 4 out of 354 patients, including 1 variant located at the promoter region, 1 synonymous and 2 missense variants located at exon 2. No rare variants were found in the control subjects. Collectively, these rare variants were significantly overrepresented in the patient group (1.1% v.s 0; p value of Fisher’s exact test = 0.02), suggesting they may increase the genetic burden in schizophrenia.
Although the functional significance of these rare variants remained to be characterized, our study lent support to the hypothesis of multiple rare mutations in schizophrenia, and provided genetic clues to indicate the involvement of neurodevelopment defect in this disorder.
White matter abnormalities have been repeatedly reported in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD) diseases from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies respectively, while the empirical evidences about the diagnostic specificity of white matter abnormalities in these disorders are still limited.
25 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and 18 patients with bipolar mania were recruited from the in-patient unit of the Mental Health Centre, West China Hospital, China.
Patients were diagnosed according to the criteria of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Version IV (DSM- IV). 30 healthy controls were recruited from the community by means of leaflets distributed throughout Chengdu city.
This study sought to investigate the alterations in fractional anisotropy (FA) in white matter throughout the entire brain of patients from Chengdu, China with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar mania.
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to assess white matter integrity in patients with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar mania, as well as in normal controls. The differences in FA were measured by use of voxel-based analysis.
Reduced FA was found in the left posterior corona radiate (PCR) in patients with bipolar mania and paranoid schizophrenia compared to the controls. Patients with bipolar mania also showed a significant reduction in FA in right posterior corona radiate and in right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR).
Common abnormalities in the left PCR might imply an overlap in white matter pathology of both diseases and might be related to the shared risk factors for both disorders.
To examine genetic influences the anatomy of the Corpus Callosum (CC) in Bipolar Disorder (BD) by examining first-degree relatives in addition to BD patients.
We compared CCl size and shape in 180 individuals: 70 with BD, 45 of their unaffected first-degree relatives, and 75 healthy controls. The CC was extracted from a mid-sagittal slice from T1-weighted magnetic resonance images; its total area, length and curvature were compared across groups. A non-parametric permutation method was used to examine for alterations in width of the callosum along 39 points.
Validating our previous findings, a significant global reduction in CC thickness was seen in BD patients, with a disproportionate thinning in the anterior body. First-degree relatives did not differ in CC size or shape from controls. Duration of illness was associated with thinning in the anterior body, whereas Lithium treatment associated with thicker anterior CC midbody.
Global and regional CC thinning is a disease related feature of BD and may not represent a marker of familial disposition.
Although the deviations of brain volume deficits in sporadic and familial first-episode schizophrenia patients (FEP) had been presented, the difference of brain asymmetries remained unidentified.
To assess the potential differences of volumetric asymmetries of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) between groups.
To find out the different injury alteration of sporadic FEP and familial FEP.
42 sporadic and 30 familiar drug-naïve FEP with and 72 matched normal controls (NC) were recruited. Participants were assessed with neuropsychological tests and scanned by a 3.0T MRI to obtain T1-weighted and DTI images. Lateralization distribution maps of GM and WM volume were generated by employing optimized voxel-based morphometry. The asymmetries were analyzed by comparing calculating Laterality Index (LI) voxel by voxel.
All three groups showed similar overall brain torque. Familiar FEP have more regional extensive GM asymmetry brain lesions compared to sporadic FEP. There was no shared regional lesion between two groups. LIGM and LIWM in right superior temporal were negatively correlated. Significant negative correlations were also found between LIGM of left superior parietal lobule and LIWM of right superior parietal lobule, and between LIGM of right inferior parietal lobule and LIWM of left inferior parietal lobule. The asymmetry in distinct brain regions were related to cognitive deficits especially in the domains of language and memory.
The two patient groups had different alteration in injuries of brain asymmetry. Familiar FEP has more GM extensive asymmetry brain region, which may correlate with their high genetic burdens.
Previously the GABA(A) receptor beta-2 subunit gene GABRB2 was found to be associated with schizophrenia (SCZ). for SNPs and haplotypes in GRBRB2, the associations with bipolar disorder (BPD), the functional consequences on GABRB2 expression and their relationship to demographic and clinical characteristics in BPD and SCZ remain to be elucidated.
Case-control analysis was performed for association study of GABRB2 with BPD, and its mRNA expression in postmortem BPD brains was examined using quantitative real-time PCR. Quantitative trait analysis was subsequently employed to assess the covariate effects of demographic and clinical characteristics on genotypic correlation of GABRB2 expression in SCZ and BPD.
Significant association of GABRB2 with BPD and reduction in GABRB2 mRNA expression in BPD brains were observed in the present study. Duration of illness (DOI) was found to be a significant covariate for the correlation of the disease-associated SNPs rs1816071, rs1816072 and rs187269 with GABRB2 expression in both SCZ and BPD. for individuals with homozygous major genotypes of these SNPs, while GABRB2 expression increased with age in the controls, it decreased with DOI and age in SCZ, and with DOI in BPD. with age of onset as covariate, these three SNPs were significantly correlated with antipsychotic dosage in SCZ.
These results have thus revealed correlations of GABRB2 SNPs and expression not only with the occurrence of SCZ and BPD, but also with the clinical characteristics of patients, therefore providing support for a shared etiological role played by the gene in both diseases.
Personality has been proposed as having a possible effect on the reaction that patients have toward auditory hallucination. However, this factor has not been studied previously. Thus, this study investigated the relationship among demographics, personality, cognition and emotional response in schizophrenics with persistent auditory hallucination. One-hundred and fourteen subjects with persistent auditory hallucination completed the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, the revised Beliefs about Voices Questionnaire and the Chinese-version Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Structural equation model showed that personality had an effect on beliefs about the hallucination (malevolent or benevolent), which then affected the reaction of patients toward these voices (engages or resists). Their reaction will further affect the anxious or depressed state of the patients. When these hallucinations were categorized into the three levels of omnipotence, beliefs and reactions, the model was more significant than that of one-level model. Persistent auditory hallucination only accounted for a portion of the emotional distress when malevolent or benevolent voices were perceived, and personality characteristics accounted for the remaining emotional distress in schizophrenics. This model helped us understand the relationship between personality, cognition and affective symptoms, such that, when therapists decide what “trait” to change, they can determine at which point to intervene.
Many family characteristics were reported to increase the risk of bipolar disorder (BPD). The development of BPD may be mediated through different pathways, involving diverse risk factor profiles. We evaluated the associations of family characteristics to build influential causal-pie models to estimate their contributions on the risk of developing BPD at the population level. We recruited 329 clinically diagnosed BPD patients and 202 healthy controls to collect information in parental psychopathology, parent-child relationship, and conflict within family. Other than logistic regression models, we applied causal-pie models to identify pathways involved with different family factors for BPD. The risk of BPD was significantly increased with parental depression, neurosis, anxiety, paternal substance use problems, and poor relationship with parents. Having a depressed mother further predicted early onset of BPD. Additionally, a greater risk for BPD was observed with higher numbers of paternal/maternal psychopathologies. Three significant risk profiles were identified for BPD, including paternal substance use problems (73.0%), maternal depression (17.6%), and through poor relationship with parents and conflict within the family (6.3%). Our findings demonstrate that different aspects of family characteristics elicit negative impacts on bipolar illness, which can be utilized to target specific factors to design and employ efficient intervention programs.
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have more cognitive impairments. However, the etiologies are not fully clear. Plasma homocysteine levels and vascular burden rise in CKD; meanwhile, high homocysteine levels and vascular factors are known risk factors of dementia in non-CKD patients. Thus, we aimed to investigate the association between homocysteine, vascular burden and cognitive impairment in CKD and to see if the effect of elevated homocysteine on cognitive impairment mediated by vascular factor.
146 patients with CKD and 69 normal comparisons were recruited. Cognitive function was evaluated by comprehensive neuropsychological tests assessing processing speed, executive function, language, visuospatial function, memory, and attention domains. Vascular burden was assessed by Framinghan cardiovascular risk scale (FCRS) which indicates risk of atherosclerotic diseases including stroke.
In controlled analysis, patients with CKD had lower scores in all cognitive domains, and had higher homocysteine levels (18.5±6.4 vs. 9.8±2.9, p< 0.0001) and FCRS(17.0±4.7 vs. 14.0±4.7, p< 0.0001). Among patients with CKD, higher homocysteine levels (p=0.026) were associated with lower score on digit symbol task which is related to processing speed and executive function with controlling for age, sex, education and stage of CKD. The association persisted (p=0.047) after controlling for vascular risks.
Patients with CKD had extensive cognitive impairments. Elevated homocysteine levels may be an risk factor, which is independent of vascular burden, of cognitive impairment on processing speed and executive function. Further studies to investigate if normalization of homocysteine can improve cognitive function will be suggested.