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Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
Soybean meal is rich in soybean isoflavones, which exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer functions in humans and animals. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soybean isoflavones on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and antioxidative properties in pigs. A total of 72 weaned piglets (7.45 ± 0.13 kg; 36 males and 36 females) were allocated into three treatments and fed corn-soybean meal (C-SBM), corn-soy protein concentrate (C-SPC) or C-SPC supplemented with equal levels of the isoflavones found in the C-SBM diet (C-SPC + ISF) for a 72-day trial. Each treatment had six replicates and four piglets per replicate, half male and half female. On day 42, one male pig from each replicate was selected and euthanized to collect intestinal samples. The results showed that compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had higher BW on day 72 (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM diet had significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) during days 14 to 28 (P < 0.05), with C-SPC + ISF being intermediate; pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P = 0.063), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P < 0.05). Moreover, compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have greater villus height (P = 0.092), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly greater villus height (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had significantly increased villus height-to-crypt depth ratio (P < 0.05). Compared with the C-SPC diet, dietary C-SPC + ISF tended to increase plasma superoxide dismutase activity on days 28 (P = 0.085) and 42 (P = 0.075) and reduce plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) content on day 42 (P = 0.089), as well as significantly decreased jejunal mucosa MDA content on day 42 (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference in the expression of tight junction genes among the three groups was found (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a long-term exposure to soybean isoflavones enhances the growth performance, protects the intestinal morphology and improves the antioxidative properties in pigs.
Many institutions are attempting to implement patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures. Because PROs often change clinical workflows significantly for patients and providers, implementation choices can have major impact. While various implementation guides exist, a stepwise list of decision points covering the full implementation process and drawing explicitly on a sociotechnical conceptual framework does not exist.
To facilitate real-world implementation of PROs in electronic health records (EHRs) for use in clinical practice, members of the EHR Access to Seamless Integration of Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Consortium developed structured PRO implementation planning tools. Each institution pilot tested the tools. Joint meetings led to the identification of critical sociotechnical success factors.
Three tools were developed and tested: (1) a PRO Planning Guide summarizes the empirical knowledge and guidance about PRO implementation in routine clinical care; (2) a Decision Log allows decision tracking; and (3) an Implementation Plan Template simplifies creation of a sharable implementation plan. Seven lessons learned during implementation underscore the iterative nature of planning and the importance of the clinician champion, as well as the need to understand aims, manage implementation barriers, minimize disruption, provide ample discussion time, and continuously engage key stakeholders.
Highly structured planning tools, informed by a sociotechnical perspective, enabled the construction of clear, clinic-specific plans. By developing and testing three reusable tools (freely available for immediate use), our project addressed the need for consolidated guidance and created new materials for PRO implementation planning. We identified seven important lessons that, while common to technology implementation, are especially critical in PRO implementation.
Monolayer (ML) molybdenum disulfide (MoS₂) is a novel 2-dimensional (2D) semiconductor whose properties have many applications in devices. Despite its potential, ML MoS₂ is limited in its use due to its degradation under exposure to ambient air. Therefore, studies of possible degradation prevention methods are important. It is well established that air humidity plays a major role in the degradation. In this paper, we investigate the effects of substrate hydrophobicity on the degradation of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) grown ML MoS2. We use optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and Raman mapping to investigate the degradation of ML MoS2 grown on SiO2 and Si3N4 that are hydrophilic and hydrophobic substrates, respectively. Our results show that the degradation of ML MoS₂ on Si3N4 is significantly less than the degradation on SiO2. These results show that using hydrophobic substrates to grow 2D transition metal dichalcogenide ML materials may diminish ambient degradation and enable improved protocols for device manufacturing.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a major public health concern all over the world. Little is known about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population. This study aimed to assess the mental health problems and associated factors among a large sample of college students during the COVID-19 outbreak in China.
This cross-sectional and nation-wide survey of college students was conducted in China from 3 to 10 February 2020. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess psychosocial factors, COVID-19 epidemic related factors and mental health problems. Acute stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms were measured by the Chinese versions of the impact of event scale-6, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, respectively. Univariate and hierarchical logistic regression analyses were performed to examine factors associated with mental health problems.
Among 821 218 students who participated in the survey, 746 217 (90.9%) were included for the analysis. In total, 414 604 (55.6%) of the students were female. About 45% of the participants had mental health problems. The prevalence rates of probable acute stress, depressive and anxiety symptoms were 34.9%, 21.1% and 11.0%, respectively. COVID-19 epidemic factors that were associated with increased risk of mental health problems were having relatives or friends being infected (adjusted odds ratio = 1.72–2.33). Students with exposure to media coverage of the COVID-19 ≥3 h/day were 2.13 times more likely than students with media exposure <1 h/day to have acute stress symptoms. Individuals with low perceived social support were 4.84–5.98 times more likely than individuals with high perceived social support to have anxiety and depressive symptoms. In addition, senior year and prior mental health problems were also significantly associated with anxiety or/and depressive symptoms.
In this large-scale survey of college students in China, acute stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms are prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple epidemic and psychosocial factors, such as family members being infected, massive media exposure, low social support, senior year and prior mental health problems were associated with increased risk of mental health problems. Psychosocial support and mental health services should be provided to those students at risk.
Three-dimensional printing is a revolutionary technology that is disrupting the status quo in surgery. It has been rapidly adopted by otolaryngology as a tool in surgical simulation for high-risk, low-frequency procedures. This systematic review comprehensively evaluates the contemporary usage of three-dimensional printed otolaryngology simulators.
A systematic review of the literature was performed with narrative synthesis.
Twenty-two articles were identified for inclusion, describing models that span a range of surgical tasks (temporal bone dissection, airway procedures, functional endoscopic sinus surgery and endoscopic ear surgery). Thirty-six per cent of articles assessed construct validity (objective measures); the other 64 per cent only assessed face and content validity (subjective measures). Most studies demonstrated positive feedback and high confidence in the models’ value as additions to the curriculum.
Whilst further studies supported with objective metrics are merited, the role of three-dimensional printed otolaryngology simulators is poised to expand in surgical training given the enthusiastic reception from trainees and experts alike.
The sense of bitter taste is critical for chickens to acquire and select feeds. It is important to understand the roles and mechanisms of bitter taste transduction in chickens. Denatonium is extensively used as a bitter taste receptor agonist to activate bitter taste receptors in recent studies. The objective of this study was to investigate the physiological effects and the potential molecular mechanisms of dietary exposure to a strong bitter taste receptor agonist on the jejunal epithelial cells of yellow-feathered chickens. A total of 240 yellow-feathered chickens were divided into four treatments receiving a normal diet (Control), a low-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 5 mg/kg denatonium), a middle-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 20 mg/kg denatonium) and a high-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 100 mg/kg denatonium) for 56 days, respectively. The results showed that dietary denatonium reduced (P < 0.05) the growth performance of chickens. High-dose denatonium damaged the morphology of the jejunal epithelium and decreased (P < 0.05) the activities of Ca2+-ATPase, sucrase and maltase after 56 days of exposure. Meanwhile, high-dose denatonium increased (P < 0.05) mRNA expressions of bitter taste receptors, which resulted in enhanced apoptosis in jejunal epithelial cells after 56 days of exposure. Furthermore, middle-dose and high-dose denatonium exhibited increased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of claudin 2 and decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of occludin after 28 days of exposure. Only high-dose denatonium decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of occludin after 56 days of exposure. In conclusion, denatonium manifested deleterious effects on the jejunum of chickens in a dose–effect manner via damaging the morphology of the jejunal epithelium, and inducing apoptosis associated with bitter taste receptors. Our data suggest that bitter-tasting feed additives may have side effects on the growth and development of intestines in chickens.
Advanced lightweight materials, including high-strength steels, aluminum, magnesium, plastics, and reinforced polymer composites, are increasingly used in industry. Combinations of mixed materials are becoming commonplace in the design of structures. Adhesives can be used to join a wide range and combinations of materials. However, joining of materials depends on their specific characteristics. The choice of adherend material is one particular and important parameter that influences adhesively bonded joint performance, and its effect should be taken into consideration in the design of adhesive joints. This article overviews experimental and modeling investigations on the influence of adherend properties on the strength of adhesively bonded joints.
Patient-reported outcomes and preferences rely on reports of the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation or qualification by clinicians or investigators. Patient-reported outcomes and preferences have become an accepted approach in drug development. As part of this effort, we assessed the relative importance to patients with schizophrenia of trying a new antipsychotic that might improve symptoms in the context of common antipsychotic side effects, especially weight gain. Information from surveys such as this one can provide pilot guidance about what might be acceptable versus unacceptable trade-offs when considering new therapies for schizophrenia.
We prospectively administered a cross-sectional survey to 250 patients with clinical diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, aged ≥18 years, from five US outpatient community clinics, regarding the importance of efficacy and side effects on treatment decisions involving medications. Sixty-four percent (n=160) of the patients were male; mean age was 43 years (range: 18–72 years); mean weight was 91 kg (range: 49–182 kg); and mean body mass index was 30.3 kg/m2 (range: 15.3–63.3 kg/m2).
Patients rated both efficacy and side effects as important attributes of medication for schizophrenia treatment, with 88.5% identifying the ability to think more clearly as an important property of their medication. Patients identified efficacy and side effects as important drivers to take their prescribed medicine (endorsed as very or most important by 94.3% and 84.0% of patients, respectively). Patients identified weight gain, physical restlessness and somnolence as significant side effects of current treatments for schizophrenia (very/most important by 61.5%, 60.4%, and 58.9%, respectively). When asked about willingness to change antipsychotics, anticipated weight gain had a strong negative influence on willingness to try a new antipsychotic, with 44.9% of patients declining to try a medication that would lead to a weight gain of 3–5 kg, and 70.8% of patients declining for an anticipated weight gain of 5–9kg.
Patients living with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder are influenced by many factors when considering whether to take their prescribed medication, including efficacy and side effects. It is important for clinicians to assess patient-specific concerns and develop a comprehensive treatment plan to maximize adherence to prescribed therapies.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was funded by Alkermes, Inc.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
To report a novel management strategy for mixed hearing loss in advanced otosclerosis.
A 50-year-old male was referred to St Thomas’ Hearing Implant Centre with otosclerosis; he was no longer able to wear conventional hearing aids because of recurrent otitis externa. The patient underwent short process incus vibroplasty (using the Med-El Vibrant Soundbridge device), followed at a suitable interval (six weeks) by stapes surgery. The main outcome measures were: pure tone audiometry, functional gain and monosyllabic word recognition scores.
Post-operative pure tone audiometry showed a reduction of the mean air–bone gap from 55 dB HL to 20 dB HL. The residual mixed hearing loss was rehabilitated with the Vibrant Soundbridge, with an average device gain of 32 dB. The monosyllabic word recognition scores in quiet at 65 dB improved from 37 to 100 per cent when using the Vibrant Soundbridge at six months after switch-on of the device.
Stapedotomy in conjunction with incus short process vibroplasty (i.e. inner-ear vibroplasty) is a safe and promising procedure for managing advanced otosclerosis with mixed hearing loss in selected patients.
The coronal field typically reorganizes itself to attain a force-free field configuration. We have evaluated the power law index of the energy distribution f(E) = f0E−α by using a model of relaxation incorporating different profile functions of winding number distribution f(w) based on braided topologies. We study the radio signatures that occur in the solar corona using the radio data obtained from the Gauribidanur Radio Observatory (IIA) and extract the power law index by using the Statistic-sensitive nonlinear iterative peak clipping (SNIP) algorithm. We see that the power law index obtained from the model is in good agreement with the calculated value from the radio data observation.
The properties of the acoustic modes are sensitive to magnetic activity. The unprecedented long-term Kepler photometry, thus, allows stellar magnetic cycles to be studied through asteroseismology. We search for signatures of magnetic cycles in the seismic data of Kepler solar-type stars. We find evidence for periodic variations in the acoustic properties of about half of the 87 analysed stars. In these proceedings, we highlight the results obtained for two such stars, namely KIC 8006161 and KIC 5184732.
The Solar Mean Magnetic Field (SMMF) is generally defined as the disc-averaged line-of-sight (LOS) magnetic field on the sun. The role of the active regions and the large-scale magnetic field structures (also called the background) has been debated over the past few decades to understand whether the origin of the SMMF is either due to the active regions or the background. We, in this paper have investigated contribution of sunspots, plages, networks and the background towards the variability of the SMMF using the datasets from the SDO-AIA & HMI, and found that 89% of the SMMF is due to the background whereas the remaining 11% originates from the active regions and the networks.
Sunspots are the most obvious and high contrast observable feature of solar magnetic activity in the photosphere. The morphological and kinematic behavior of sunspots on the solar surface need to be studied over a long time period to understand solar magnetic activity. For this, it is important to understand the long term emergence patterns, and developments, decay of the sunspots on the solar surface over many cycles. The long time sequence of the Kodaikanal white-light images provide a consistent data set for this study. The digitized images were calibrated for relative plate density and aligned in such a way that the solar north is in upward direction. A sunspot detection technique was used to identify the sunspots on the digitized images. In addition to describing the calibration procedure and availability of the data, we here present results on the sunspot, umbral and penumbral area measurements and their variation with time.
We have analyzed the data on yearly mean international sunspot number (RZ) during the period 1610 – 2015 and orbital positions (ecliptic longitudes) of the giant planets in each 10-day interval during the period 1600 – 2099. We determined mean absolute difference (
) of the orbital positions of the giant planets in each interval. We find that there exits a good correlation between cycle amplitude (RM, i.e. the maximum value of RZ) and the value of
at cycle maximum, suggesting that on longer time scales low/high solar activity associated with less/large spread in orbital positions of the giant planets (i.e. with a low/high value of