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Electronic skins are critical for many applications in human-machine-environment interactions. Tactile sensitivity over large areas can be especially applied to prosthetics. Moreover, the potential for wearables, interactive surfaces, and human robotics have propelled research in this area. In this Element, we provide an account and directional atlas of the progress in materials and devices for electronic skins, in the context of sensing principles and skin-like features. Additionally, we give an overview of essential electronic circuits and systems used in large-area tactile sensor arrays. Finally, we present the challenges and provide perspectives on future developments.
Successful management of an event where healthcare needs exceed regional healthcare capacity requires coordinated strategies for scarce resource allocation. Publications for rapid development, training, and coordination of regional hospital triage teams manage the allocation of scarce resources during COVID-19 are lacking. Over a period of 3 weeks, over 100 clinicians, ethicists, leaders, and public health authorities convened virtually to achieve consensus on how best to save the most lives possible and share resources. This is referred to as population-based crisis management. The rapid regionalization of 22 acute care hospitals across 4500 square miles in the midst of a pandemic with a shifting regulatory landscape was challenging, but overcome by mutual trust, transparency, and confidence in the public health authority. Because many cities are facing COVID-19 surges, we share a process for successful rapid formation of healthcare care coalitions, Crisis Standard of Care, and training of Triage Teams. Incorporation of continuous process improvement and methods for communication is essential for successful implementation. Utilization of our regional healthcare coalition communications, incident command system, and the crisis care committee helped mitigate crisis care in the San Diego and Imperial County region as COVID-19 cases surged and scarce resource collaborative decisions were required.
This study aimed to investigate the benefit of Bonebridge devices in patients with single-sided deafness.
Five patients with single-sided deafness who were implanted with Bonebridge devices were recruited in a single-centre study. Participants’ speech perception and horizontal sound localisation abilities were assessed at 6 and 12 months post-operatively. Speech intelligibility in noisy environments was measured in three different testing conditions (speech and noise presented from the front, speech and noise presented from the front and contralateral (normal ear) side separately, and speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side). Sound localisation was evaluated in Bonebridge-aided and Bonebridge-unaided conditions at different stimuli levels (65, 70 and 75 dB SPL).
All participants showed a better capacity for speech intelligibility in quiet environments with the Bonebridge device. The speech recognition threshold with the Bonebridge device was significantly decreased at both short- and long-term follow up in the speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side condition (p < 0.05). Additionally, participants maintained similar levels of sound localisation between the Bonebridge-aided and unaided conditions (p > 0.05). However, the accuracy of localisation showed some improvement at 70 dB SPL and 75 dB SPL post-operatively.
The Bonebridge device provides the benefit of improved speech perception performance in patients with single-sided deafness. Sound localisation abilities were neither improved nor worsened with Bonebridge implantation at the follow-up assessments.
This work examines the μ(I) relation that describes the effective friction coefficient μ of a dense granular flow as a function of flow inertial number I, at the center of a rotating drum from its flow onset to steady state using DEM. We want to see how the internal friction coefficient of an accelerating flow may be predicted so that the associated tangential stress can be estimated with the proper knowledge of the normal stress. Under the three investigated drum speeds (3, 4.5 and 6 rpm), the bulk normal stress, σn(y), is found to be a consistent linear depth profile throughout the flow development with a slope degraded from the hydrostatic value, Ph(y), due to lateral wall friction. With the discovery of a non-constant depth-decaying effective wall friction coefficient, we derive analytically a wall-degradation factor K(h) to give σn(y)= K(h)Ph(y). The depth profile of tangential stress, however, varies in time from a concave shape upon acceleration, τa(y), to a more linear trend at the steady state, τss(y). Hence, the μa-Ia profile (with μa=τ/σn) upon flow acceleration offsets from the steady μss(Iss) relation. A pseudo-steady acceleration modification number, ΔI, is proposed to shift the inertial number in the acceleration phase to I* = Ia+ΔI so that the μa-I* data converge to μss(Iss). This finding shall allow us to predict a transient tangential stress by τa(y) = μss(I*)K(y)Ph(y) using the well-accepted knowledge of steady flow rheology, hydrostatic pressure, and the currently developed wall-degradation factor.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common pathogen associated with nosocomial infections and is characterised serologically by capsular polysaccharide (K) and lipopolysaccharide O antigens. We surveyed a total of 348 non-duplicate K. pneumoniae clinical isolates collected over a 1-year period in a tertiary care hospital, and determined their O and K serotypes by sequencing of the wbb Y and wzi gene loci, respectively. Isolates were also screened for antimicrobial resistance and hypervirulent phenotypes; 94 (27.0%) were identified as carbapenem-resistant (CRKP) and 110 (31.6%) as hypervirulent (hvKP). isolates fell into 58 K, and six O types, with 92.0% and 94.2% typeability, respectively. The predominant K types were K14K64 (16.38%), K1 (14.66%), K2 (8.05%) and K57 (5.46%), while O1 (46%), O2a (27.9%) and O3 (11.8%) were the most common. CRKP and hvKP strains had different serotype distributions with O2a:K14K64 (41.0%) being the most frequent among CRKP, and O1:K1 (26.4%) and O1:K2 (17.3%) among hvKP strains. Serotyping by gene sequencing proved to be a useful tool to inform the clinical epidemiology of K. pneumoniae infections and provides valuable data relevant to vaccine design.
Various treatments are found to be moderately effective in managing Demodex-related diseases except tea tree oil (TTO) and terpinen-4-ol (T4O), which showed superior miticidal and anti-inflammatory effects in numerous clinical studies. Their possible effects include lowering mite counts, relieving Demodex-related symptoms, and modulating the immune system. This review summarizes the current clinical topical and oral treatments in human demodicosis, their possible mechanisms of action, side-effects and resistance in treating this condition. TTO (especially T4O) is found to be the most effective followed by metronidazole, ivermectin and permethrin in managing the disease. This is because TTO has anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing effects. Furthermore, nanoTTO can even release its contents into fungus and Pseudomonas biofilms. Combinations of different treatments are occasionally needed for refractory cases, especially for individuals with underlying genetic predisposal or are immuno-compromised. Although the current treatments show efficacy in controlling the Demodex mite population and the related symptoms, further research needs to be focused on the efficacy and drug delivery technology in order to develop alternative treatments with better side-effects profiles, less toxicity, lower risk of resistance and are more cost-effective.
In São Paulo, Brazil, the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (CoViD-19) was confirmed on 26 February, the first death due to CoViD-19 was registered on 16 March, and on 24 March, São Paulo implemented the isolation of persons in non-essential activities. A mathematical model was formulated based on non-linear ordinary differential equations considering young (60 years old or less) and elder (60 years old or more) subpopulations, aiming to describe the introduction and dissemination of the new coronavirus in São Paulo. This deterministic model used the data collected from São Paulo to estimate the model parameters, obtaining R0 = 6.8 for the basic reproduction number. The model also allowed to estimate that 50% of the population of São Paulo was in isolation, which permitted to describe the current epidemiological status. The goal of isolation implemented in São Paulo to control the rapid increase of the new coronavirus epidemic was partially succeeded, concluding that if isolation of at least 80% of the population had been implemented, the collapse in the health care system could be avoided. Nevertheless, the isolated persons must be released one day. Based on this model, we studied the potential epidemiological scenarios of release by varying the proportions of the release of young and elder persons. We also evaluated three different strategies of release: All isolated persons are released simultaneously, two and three releases divided in equal proportions. The better scenarios occurred when young persons are released, but maintaining elder persons isolated for a while. When compared with the epidemic without isolation, all strategies of release did not attain the goal of reducing substantially the number of hospitalisations due to severe CoViD-19. Hence, we concluded that the best decision must be postponing the beginning of the release.
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.
Robust personal protective equipment is essential in preventing the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 to head and neck surgeons who are routinely involved in aerosol generating procedures.
This paper describes the collective experience, across 3 institutes, of using a reusable half-face respirator in 72 head and neck surgery cases.
Cost analysis was performed to demonstrate the financial implications of using a reusable respirator compared to single-use filtering facepiece code 3 masks.
The reusable respirator is a cost-effective alternative to disposable filtering facepiece code 3 respirators. Supplying reusable respirators to individual staff members may increase the likelihood of them having appropriate personal protective equipment during their clinical duties.
Previous work led to the proposal that the precision feeding of a high-concentrate diet may represent a potential method with which to enhance feed efficiency (FE) when rearing dairy heifers. However, the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying this approach remain unclear. This study used metabolomics analysis to investigate the changes in plasma metabolites of heifers precision-fed diets containing a wide range of forage to concentrate ratios. Twenty-four half-sib Holstein heifers, with a similar body condition, were randomly assigned into four groups and precision fed with diets containing different proportions of concentrate (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% based on DM). After 28 days of feeding, blood samples were collected 6 h after morning feeding and gas chromatography time-of-ﬂight/MS was used to analyze the plasma samples. Parameters of oxidative status were also determined in the plasma. The FE (after being corrected for gut fill) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing level of dietary concentrate. Significant changes were identified for 38 different metabolites in the plasma of heifers fed different dietary forage to concentrate ratios. The main pathways showing alterations were clustered into those relating to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism; all of which have been previously associated with FE changes in ruminants. Heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher (P < 0.01) plasma total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase but lower (P ≤ 0.02) hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide than heifers fed with a low-concentrate diet, which might indicate a lower plasma oxidative status in the heifers fed a high-concentrate diet. Thus, heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher FE and antioxidant capacity but a lower plasma oxidative status as well as changed carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide a better understanding of how forage to concentrate ratios affect FE and metabolism in the precision-fed growing heifers.
While genome-wide association analysis and related multi-omic strategies have in recent years dominated the field of complex disorders including mental health and addictions, in pharmacogenomics, drug metabolizing enzymes show Mendelian patterns of inheritance with correspondingly large effect sizes. Consistent with this, genes encoding these enzymes make up the majority of the genes for which the strength of the association with clinical effect of psychiatric medications is sufficient to recommend clinical utility (Bousman et al., 2018). Moreover, such enzymes are expressed in the brain (Aitchison et al., 2010; Kalow & Tyndale, 1992). We herein provide a comprehensive review of the relevance of drug metabolizing enzyme and transporter genes to mental health and addictions.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
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.
A 2-year fertilization experiment was conducted to study the effect of different ratios of organic (pig) manure on wheat yield and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). The four treatments were no nitrogen (N) (CK); 100% chemical fertilizer N (urea; T1); 70% chemical fertilizer N + 30% organic manure N (T2) and 50% chemical fertilizer N + 50% organic manure N (T3), with the same amount of applied nitrogen (120 kg/ha). The results showed the maximum grain yield (3049 kg/ha), crop nitrogen uptake (216 kg/ha), NUE (65.4%) and accumulated nitrate nitrogen (NO3−-N in 0–200 cm, 142 kg/ha) were observed in the T1 among all treatments in the first year. However, the largest grain yield (5074 kg/ha), crop nitrogen uptake (244 kg/ha) and NUE (82.5%) were under T2 treatment in the second year. Furthermore, T2 had the maximum NO3−-N content in 0–100 cm layer (116 kg/ha), especially 0–40 cm layer, and the lowest NO3−-N content in 100–200 cm (58.8 kg/ha). However, 50% organic manure N in T3 increased apparent nitrogen loss by 39.0% compared to that in T2. Therefore, 30% organic manure N application was more conducive for enhancing wheat yield and NUE and promoting environmental safety after 1-year fertilization time.
The aim of this study was to examine whether the presence of risk alleles of the norepinephrine transporter gene (SLC6A2) polymorphisms is associated with differences in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) measured by 99mTc-HMPAO single photon emission computerized tomography in a Korean sample of ADHD.
The present study included 24 children with ADHD (9.5±2.4 years), consisting of 20 boys and 4 girls, aged 6-16 years. We investigated the G1287A and -3081(A/T) polymorphisms of the SLC6A2. The rCBF was compared between the ADHD subjects with and without risk alleles at the G1287A polymorphism and at the -3081(A/T) polymorphism. Image analyses were performed with voxelwise t-statistics using SPM2.
1) The ADHD subjects with the A allele (risk allele) at the G1287A polymorphism showed reduced perfusion in the left middle frontal gyrus, left inferior parietal lobule, precuneus, right superior frontal gyrus, and right superior parietal lobule as compared with ADHD subjects without the A allele (p< 0.001).
2) The ADHD subjects with the A allele at the G1287A polymorphism showed increased perfusion in the right middle frontal gyrus, right middle temporal gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, right fusiform gyrus, right precentral gyrus, and right anterior lobe of cerebellum as compared with ADHD subjects without the A allele (p< 0.001).
3) No significant perfusion differences were found between ADHD subjects with and without the T allele (risk allele) at the -3081(A/T) polymorphism.
Our findings suggest that the SLC6A2 G1287A polymorphism might exert differential effects on rCBF in children with ADHD.
To assess healthy-related quality of life and psychosocial adjustment in children with newly diagnosed cancer and their parents immediately and 6 months after diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
A prospective, case control study was conducted on eighty-nine children with newly diagnosed cancer, aged between 6 months to 16.7 years (mean, 8.2 years), and ninety healthy children of matched age group and social background. The children were assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), and the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) and the SF-36 questionnaire were administered to their parents immediately after diagnosis of cancer, 3 months after chemotherapy, and 6 months after chemotherapy.
No matter at the period immediately after diagnosis of cancer, 3 months or 6 months after starting chemotherapy, the parents of children with cancer scored significantly worse on every domains of SF-36 except body pain and every subscales of PSI except distractibility/hyperactivity and attachment when compared with the control group. The cancer group scored consistently lower on all CBCL syndrome scales than the control group, with anxiety, depression and body pain being significantly different. After starting chemotherapy, the parents reported improved scores on quality of life and decreasing parenting stress in both parent and child domains since 3 months or 6 months after starting chemotherapy.
Considerable distress was experienced by both children with newly diagnosed cancer and their parents during the period immediately after diagnosis. However, parents can adjust gradually since 3 months after starting chemotherapy and experience improved quality of life.
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.