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Toxoplasma gondii infections are common in humans and animals worldwide. Wild and domestic avian species are important in the epidemiology of T. gondii infections because felids prey on them and excrete millions of oocysts in the environment, disseminating the infection. Herbivorous birds are also excellent sentinels of environmental contamination with T. gondii oocysts because they feed on the ground. Toxoplasma gondii infections in birds of prey reflect infections in intermediate hosts. Humans can become infected by consuming undercooked avian tissues. Here, the authors reviewed prevalence, persistence of infection, clinical disease, epidemiology and genetic diversity of T. gondii strains isolated from turkeys, geese, ducks, ratites and avian species (excluding chickens) worldwide 2009–2020. Genetic diversity of 102 T. gondii DNA samples isolated worldwide is discussed. The role of migratory birds in dissemination of T. gondii infection is discussed.
Toxoplasma gondii infections are common in humans and animals worldwide. Domestic free-range chickens (Gallus domesticus) are excellent sentinels of environmental contamination with T. gondii oocysts because they feed on the ground. Chickens can be easily infected with T. gondii; however, clinical toxoplasmosis is rare in these hosts. Chickens are comparatively inexpensive and thus are good sentinel animals for T. gondii infections on the farms. Here, the authors reviewed prevalence, the persistence of infection, clinical disease, epidemiology and genetic diversity of T. gondii strains isolated from chickens worldwide for the past decade. Data on phenotypic and molecular characteristics of 794 viable T. gondii strains from chickens are discussed, including new data on T. gondii isolates from chickens in Brazil. This paper will be of interest to biologists, epidemiologists, veterinarians and parasitologists.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Young women (18 – 45 years of age) with breast cancer have complex medical and psychosocial needs. Educational materials are often used as tools in patient-centered communication. However, these materials disseminate complex health information in print-heavy formats and can be difficult to understand for women with varying health literacy levels. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In the first phase of this study, the principal investigator (PI) will recruit 40 diverse women to participate in four focus groups (FG) to explore the perceived usefulness of the most frequently used cancer educational materials. The PI will also obtain demographics and heath literacy levels of the FG participants using the Newest Vital Sign. In the second phase, the PI will assess the literacy demands of the ten most frequently used cancer educational print materials and five most frequently used websites described by the FG participants. The perceptions of the usefulness of materials and the literacy demands will then be used to appraise the effectiveness of materials within patient-centered cancer communication. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Results from this study will provide a patient-centered blueprint that will be used to design more effective educational materials that treatment centers can incorporate into their patient-centered cancer communication process. The next step of this research will be to determine providers’ perceptions of cancer education materials used to exchange information within the patient-centered communication process. This will complement the patient findings and inform the development of the provider aspect of a communication intervention centered on designing educational materials for women with various health literacy levels within the patient-centered cancer communication process. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Detecting the usefulness of cancer educational materials, as perceived by young women with breast cancer, is foundational to developing communication interventions that improve cancer outcomes. This study will identify how materials can be improved in the critical informational-exchange component of the patient-communication process.
Electromagnetic scattering from the sea surface is of great significance in radar detection, target recognition, ocean remote sensing, etc. By introducing the action spectrum, the modified spatio-temporal variation wave spectrum is used to establish a nonlinear sea surface with currents in this paper. Traditional capillary wave modification facet scattering model (CWMFSM) can only calculate the backscattering from the wind-driven sea surface. By using the new spatio-temporal variation wave spectrum to modify the scattering amplitude of every facet, the new CWMFSM can be used to calculate the nonlinear sea surface scattering with surface currents. Therefore, the model simultaneously considers the modulation of sea surface wind and currents to the radar back echo. The dependence of backscattering coefficient from nonlinear sea surface on the incident angle and the polarization are discussed. The results verify that the nonlinear model is more consistent with the measurement data. This paper also investigates the Doppler spectrum characteristics of the sea with currents. It is found that the effect of wave–current interaction on Doppler spectra is weaker than that of wave–wave interaction. The SAR images of nonlinear sea surfaces are also simulated and different bands, polarizations, and baseline length effects on sea current detection performance of along-track interference SAR are analyzed.
Antibiotics are designed to affect gut microbiota and subsequently gut homeostasis. However, limited information exists about short- and long-term effects of early antibiotic intervention (EAI) on gut homeostasis (especially for the small intestine) of pigs following antibiotic withdrawal. We investigated the impact of EAI on specific bacterial communities, microbial metabolites and mucosal immune parameters in the small intestine of later-growth-stage pigs fed with diets differing in CP levels. Eighteen litters of piglets were fed creep feed with or without antibiotics from day 7 to day 42. At day 42, pigs within each group were offered a normal- or low-CP diet. Five pigs per group were slaughtered at days 77 and 120. At day 77, EAI increased Enterobacteriaceae counts in the jejunum and ileum and decreased Bifidobacterium counts in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). Moreover, tryptamine, putrescine, secretory immunoglobulin (Ig) A and IgG concentrations in the ileum and interleukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA and protein levels in the jejunum and ileum were decreased in pigs with EAI (P < 0.05). At day 120, EAI only suppressed Clostridium cluster XIVa counts in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). These results suggest that EAI has a short-term effect on specific bacterial communities, amino acid decarboxylation and mucosal immune parameters in the small intestine (particularly in the ileum). At days 77 and 120, feeding a low-CP diet affected Bifidobacterium, Clostridium cluster IV, Clostridium cluster XIVa and Enterobacteriaceae counts in the jejunum or ileum (P < 0.05). Moreover, feeding a low-CP diet increased the concentrations of Igs in the jejunum and decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines levels in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). At day 120, feeding a low-CP diet increased short-chain fatty acid concentrations, reduced ammonia and spermidine concentrations and up-regulated genes related to barrier function in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). These results suggest that feeding a low-CP diet changes specific bacterial communities and intestinal metabolite concentrations and modifies mucosal immune parameters. These findings contribute to our understanding on the duration of the impact of EAI on gut homeostasis and may provide basis data for nutritional modification in young pigs after antibiotic treatment.
The etiology of suicide is complex in nature with both environmental and genetic causes that are extremely diverse. This extensive heterogeneity weakens the relationship between genotype and phenotype and as a result, we face many challenges when studying the genetic etiology of suicide. We are now in the midst of a genetics revolution, where genotyping costs are decreasing and genotyping speed is increasing at a fast rate, allowing genetic association studies to genotype thousands to millions of SNPs that cover the entire human genome. As such, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are now the norm. In this article we address several statistical challenges that occur when studying the genetic etiology of suicidality in the age of the genetics revolution. These challenges include: (1) the large number of statistical tests; (2) complex phenotypes that are difficult to quantify; and (3) modest genetic effect sizes. We address these statistical issues in the context of family-based study designs. Specifically, we discuss several statistical extensions of family-based association tests (FBATs) that work to alleviate these challenges. As our intention is to describe how statistical methodology may work to identify disease variants for suicidality, we avoid the mathematical details of the methodologies presented.
The purpose of this study was to predict quality of life (QoL) and associated factors in patients with chronic mental illness (CMI) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Patients (N = 2,023; 52.9% male, 47.1% female) were recruited using cross-sectional and convenience sampling. Structured questionnaires, including a living conditions questionnaire, a psychotic symptom assessment scale, the Caregiver Burden Scale, the 5-item Brief Symptom Rating Scale (BSRS-5), and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 (MOS SF-12) were used to collect data.
Single-factor analyses showed that those who were single, employed, and younger had better QoL. Additionally, patients who had fewer psychological problems and lower levels of psychological distress reported better QoL. Current psychotic symptoms, especially positive symptoms, were negatively correlated with QoL. For disease factors, schizophrenic patients and hospitalized patients reported better QoL than both bipolar patients and community patients. For family factors, caregiver's attitude and caregiver's burden were negatively correlated with QoL. For social factors, unstable housing and community social dysfunction were negatively correlated with QoL. The results showed that all four dimensions (social, family, disease and personal factors) were significant predictors of the mental component summary (MCS) and physical component summary (PCS) dimensions of QoL.
Personal factors and disease factors were the most important predictors of QoL in CMI patients of this sample. Family factors were more important than social factors in the MCS dimension, but social factors were more important than family factors in the PCS dimension.
IntimatePartner violence (IPV) against women is an international public health concern. Evidence of the association between IPV and morbidity and mortality of women and child abuse is substantial. Primary health care workers play a critical role in detection and management of IPV.
The aim of this survey was to assess the primary care nurses' preparedness to identify and provide nursing care to women exposed to IPV.
A cross-sectional survey was carried out in all primary health care centers in rural communities in one county of southern Taiwan. This survey involved all available nurses (280) in these centers. The response rate was 94.6%. A self- administrative questionnaire was used for data collection.
The preparedness regarding IPV among nurses was weak. 10.2% of the nurses believed they were sufficiently prepared to deal with women exposed to IPV. 13.2% of the nurses have received education or training about dealing with IPV. The most frequently reported barriers to deal with battered women were lack of knowledge and skills about IPV.
These results suggest that an in-service training program need to be set up for nurses working in primary health care centers. This program would help the nurses prepare to intervene more effectively to promote the health of battered women.
With the widespread of atypical antipsychotics used among children and adolescents, the treatment effectiveness has been of great interest alongside with the efficacy and safety in this population. The study was designed to assess whether second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are associated with lower service costs in the real world. Factors associated with service costs were also examined.
The claim data (PIMC) of 1996-2008 from the National Insurance Plan of Taiwan was used. Patients aged less than 20 with an incident use of antipsychotics and last for 12 months during this period were included for analysis. Comparisons were made between 8 SGAs and 2 first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs). Changes in service costs were examined with 95% confidence interval. Multivariate regressions with propensity scores adjustment were performed to explore factors associated with psychiatric service costs.
A total of 343 treatment encounters were included and results showed no difference in psychiatric services costs in the SGAs group as the total service costs were offset to high antipsychotics costs of SGAs, though antiparkinsonian costs were not different between two groups. Factor positively associated with service costs were relapse (RR=4.0, p< 0.0001) and EPS incidence (RR=1.6, p< 0.008), while types of antipsychotics and diagnoses were not significant factors after adjusting for covariates.
Service costs were not different between FGAs and SGAs groups and medication costs were significantly higher in the SGAs group. Relapse and EPS incidence were factors of high costs among children and adolescents psychiatric patients treated with antipsychotics in Taiwan.
To assess the role of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus, WTD) in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis, we conducted a national survey of WTD across the USA for Toxoplasma gondii infection. To do this, we combined serology with parasite isolation to evaluate the prevalence and genetic diversity of T. gondii in this game species. From October 2012 to March 2019, serum and tissues were collected from 914 WTD across the USA. Serum samples were screened for antibodies to T. gondii, and then the tissues of seropositive WTD were bioassayed in mice. Antibodies were detected in 329 (36%) of 914 WTD tested by the modified agglutination test (positive reaction at 1:25 or higher). Viable T. gondii was isolated from the heart of 36 WTD from 11 states. Three of the 36 isolates were pathogenic but not highly virulent to outbred Swiss Webster mice and all 36 isolates could be propagated further in cell culture and were genotyped. For genotyping, DNA extracted from cell culture-derived tachyzoites was characterized by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) using the genetic markers SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico. Genotyping revealed seven ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotypes, including 24 isolates for genotype #5 (haplogroup 12), four isolates for #2 (type III, haplogroup 3), three isolates for genotypes #1 (type II, haplogroup 2), two isolates for genotypes #3 (type II, haplogroup 2) and one isolate each for #39, #221 and #224. Genotype #5 was the most frequently isolated, accounting for 66.6% (24 of 36) of the isolates. Combining the 36 isolates from this study with previously reported 69 isolates from WTD, 15 genotypes have been identified. Among these, 50.4% (53/105) isolates belong to genotype #5. Our results indicate moderate genetic diversity of T. gondii in WTD. The results also indicate that undercooked venison should not be consumed by humans or fed to cats.
Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
Feral swine are known reservoirs of various pathogens, including Toxoplasma gondii. Here, we report the first national survey of viable T. gondii in feral swine in the USA. We paired serological surveys with parasite isolation and bioassay to evaluate the prevalence and genetic diversity of these parasites. From 2012–2017, sera and tissues from 1517 feral swine across the USA were collected for the isolation of viable T. gondii. Serum samples were initially screened for antibodies to T. gondii, and then the tissues of seropositive feral swine were bioassayed in mice. Antibodies were detected in 27.7% of feral swine tested by the modified agglutination test (1:25 or higher). Antibody positive rates increased significantly with age, with 10.1% of juveniles, 16.0% of sub-adults and 38.4% of adults testing seropositive. Myocardium (50 g) from 232 seropositive feral swine was digested in pepsin and bioassayed in mice. Viable T. gondii was isolated from 78 feral swine from 21 states. Twelve of the 78 isolates were pathogenic to outbred Swiss Webster mice and 76 of the 78 isolates could be propagated further in cell culture and were genotyped. For genotyping, deoxyribonucleic acid extracted from cell culture-derived tachyzoites was characterized by polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism using the genetic markers SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico. Genotyping revealed 15 ToxoDB genotypes, including 43 isolates for genotype #5 (haplogroup 12), 11 isolates for #24, four isolates for #2 (haplogroup 3), two isolates for each of genotypes #3 (haplogroup 2), #4 (haplogroup 12), #216, #221, #289 and #297 and one isolate for each of genotypes #1 (haplogroup 2), #39, #66, #260, #261 and #299. Genotype #5 was the most frequently isolated, accounted for 57% (43/76) of the isolates, followed by #24, accounted for 14% (11/76). Genotypes #260, #289, #297 and #299 are new types. Genotype #289 was highly virulent to mice and originated from feral swine collected in Louisiana on the same day at the same location. Genotype #216 was previously demonstrated to be highly virulent to mice. Our results indicate moderate genetic diversity of T. gondii in feral swine in the USA, with the genotype #5 (haplogroup 12) dominant in the continental USA, whereas genotype #24 (10/14) was dominant in Hawaii, suggesting different population structures of the parasites among the two distinct geographical locations.
Precise bone cut is fundamental in total knee arthroplasty. However, notching of anterior femoral is not uncommon in clinical practice. Reviewing the article, notching and its complication may reach up to 30% and 2.5%, and there is scanty study of notching on the femoral strength. We therefore conduct the finite element analysis to elucidate the effect of notching on femoral mechanical strength. The computerized tomography images were used as the basis to develop the knee model, which was assumed mainly to consist of cortical and cancellous bones. For the implant joint, Zimmer data was considered partly as the basis to develop the model. This study investigated the femoral improper cut effect on the surgery with a static standing condition. The results show that the anterior femoral cut should be undercut 2 mm to overcut 1 mm during the surgery, in order to prevent bone materials from yielding. The exposure of the cancellous bone may cause bone materials to yield when the femur overcut was 2 mm; the cancellous bone may load too much and result in a fracture when the undercut was 3 mm. The effect of undercut, which was rarely discussed, was particularly addressed in our study. Precise femoral cut is crucial for the longevity of total knee arthroplasty.
Thermosonic wire bonding is a common fabrication process for connecting devices in electronic packaging. However, when the free air ball (FAB) is compressed onto the I/O pad of the chip during bonding procedure, chip cracking may occur if the contact pressure is too large. This study proposes an effective simulation technique that can predict the wire ball geometry after bonding in an accurate range. The contact force obtained in the simulation can be used for possible die cracking behavior evaluation. The simulation in this study used the explicit time integration scheme to deal with the time marching problem, and the second-order precision arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) algorithm was used to deal with the large deformation of the wire ball during the bonding process. In addition, the equilibrium smoothing algorithm in LS-DYNA can make the contact behavior and geometry of the bonding wire almost the same as the experiment, which can also significantly reduce the distortion of the mesh geometry after remeshing.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that genetic and environmental factors interact to influence alcohol problems. Yet prior research has primarily focused on samples of European descent and little is known about gene–environment interactions in relation to alcohol problems in non-European populations. In this study, we examined whether and how genetic risk for alcohol problems and peer deviance and interpersonal traumatic events independently and interactively influence trajectories of alcohol use disorder symptoms in a sample of African American students across the college years (N = 1,119; Mage = 18.44 years). Data were drawn from the Spit for Science study where participants completed multiple online surveys throughout college and provided a saliva sample for genotyping. Multilevel growth curve analyses indicated that alcohol dependence genome-wide polygenic risk scores did not predict trajectory of alcohol use disorder symptoms, while family history of alcohol problems was associated with alcohol use disorder symptoms at the start of college but not with the rate of change in symptoms over time. Peer deviance and interpersonal traumatic events were associated with more alcohol use disorder symptoms across college years. Neither alcohol dependence genome-wide polygenic risk scores nor family history of alcohol problems moderated the effects of these environmental risk factors on alcohol use disorder symptoms. Our findings indicated that peer deviance and experience of interpersonal traumatic events are salient risk factors that elevate risk for alcohol problems among African American college students. Family history of alcohol problems could be a useful indicator of genetic risk for alcohol problems. Gene identification efforts with much larger samples of African descent are needed to better characterize genetic risk for alcohol use disorders, in order to better understand gene–environment interaction processes in this understudied population.