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The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
Introduction: Emergency Department (ED) visits related to substance use are rapidly increasing. Despite this, few Canadian EDs have immediate access to addiction medicine specialists or on-site addiction medicine clinics. This study characterized substance-related ED presentations to an urban tertiary care ED and assessed need for an on-site rapid-access addiction clinic (RAAC). Methods: This prospective enrollment, retrospective chart review was conducted from June to August 2018. Adult patients presenting to the ED with a known or suspected substance use disorder were enrolled by any member of their ED care team using a 1-page form. Retrospective chart review of the index ED visit was conducted and the Emergency Department Information System was used to extract information related to the visit. A multivariable logistic regression model was fit to examine factors associated with recommendation for referral to a hypothetical on-site RAAC.This prospective enrollment, retrospective chart review was conducted from June to August 2018. Adult patients presenting to the ED with a known or suspected substance use disorder were enrolled by any member of their ED care team using a 1-page form. Retrospective chart review of the index ED visit was conducted and the Emergency Department Information System was used to extract information related to the visit. A multivariable logistic regression model was fit to examine factors associated with recommendation for referral to a hypothetical on-site RAAC. Results: Of the 557 enrolment forms received, 458 were included in the analysis. 64% of included patients were male and 36% were female, with a median age of 35.0 years. Polysubstance use was seen in 23% of patients, and alcohol was the most common substance indicated (60%), followed by stimulants (32%) and opioids (16%). The median ED length of stay for included patients was 483 minutes, compared to 354 minutes for all-comers discharged from the ED during the study period. 28% of patients had a previous ED visit within 7 days of the index visit, and an additional 17% had a visit in the preceding 30 days. The ED care team indicated ‘Yes’ for RAAC referral from the ED for 66% of patients, for a mean of 4.3 patients referred per day during the study period. Multivariable analysis showed that all substances (except cannabis) correlated to a statistically significant increase in likelihood for indicating ‘Yes’ for RAAC referral from the ED (alcohol, stimulants, opioids, polysubstance; p < 0.05). Patients presenting to the ED with a chief complaint related to substance use were also more likely to be referred (p = 0.01). Conclusion: This retrospective chart review characterized substance-related presentations at a Canadian urban tertiary care ED. Approximately four patients per day would have been referred to an on-site RAAC had one been available. The RAAC model has been implemented in other Canadian hospitals, and collaborating with these sites to begin developing this service would be an important next step.
Introduction: Take Home Naloxone (THN) programs prevent death from opioid poisoning by training laypersons to recognize an overdose and administer naloxone. Dispensing THN through the emergency department (ED) is particularly critical because an ED visit for opioid poisoning strongly predicts future mortality. Many EDs have implemented THN programs, yet almost no literature examines the reach of such initiatives. To address this gap, we conducted a chart review of all patients presenting for opioid poisoning to an urban tertiary hospital, with a large ED-based THN program. This exploratory study hypothesized that more than 50% of ED patients presenting for opioid poisoning would be offered a THN kit. Methods: Data on demographics, clinical characteristics, and THN kit dispensing were extracted and analyzed from the charts of all ED patients presenting with a primary diagnosis of opioid poisoning between April 1 2016 and April 30 2017. Logistic regression analyzed predictors of being offered a THN kit. Results: A total of 347 ED visits for 301 unique patients occurred during the study period. The mean age ± SD of patients was 38 ± 14 years, and 69% were male. In 49% of ED visits, a THN kit was offered; 73% of these episodes had a THN kit dispensation. Patients who were male (AOR=1.94; 95% CI 1.11 - 3.40), and reported that their overdose was unintentional (AOR=2.95; 95% CI 1.04 8.35) and caused by illegal opioids (AOR=4.73; 95% CI 2.63 8.52) were significantly more likely to be offered a THN kit. Conclusion: ED-based THN programs have the potential to reach significant proportions of patients at high risk of mortality. However, these programs may have differential reach within the target population. Further research is needed to examine barriers and facilitators to offering all eligible ED patients a THN kit.
Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
It has not been well established whether dietary folate intake reduces the risk of diabetes development. We aimed to clarify the prospective association between dietary folate intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk among 7333 Korean adults aged 40 years or older who were included in the Multi-Rural Communities Cohort. Dietary folate intake was estimated from all 106 food items listed on a FFQ, not including folate intake from supplements. Two different measurements of dietary folate intake were used: the baseline consumption and the average consumption from baseline until just before the end of follow-up. The association between folate intake and T2D risk was determined through a modified Poisson regression model with a robust error estimator controlling for potential confounders. For 29 745 person years, 319 cases of diabetes were ascertained. In multivariable analyses, dietary folate intake was inversely associated with risk of T2D for women, not for men. For women, the incidence rate ratio of diabetes in the third tertile compared with the first tertile was 0·57 (95 % CI 0·38–0·87, Pfor trend=0·0085) in the baseline consumption model and 0·64 (95 % CI 0·43–0·95, Pfor trend=0·0244) in the average consumption model. These inverse associations was found in both normal fasting blood glucose group and impaired fasting glucose group among women. Among non-users of multinutrients and vitamin supplements, the significant inverse association remained. Thus, higher dietary intake of folate is prospectively associated with lower risk of diabetes for women.
Human cystic echinococcosis is a widespread, chronic, endemic, helminthic zoonosis caused by larval tapeworms of the species Echinococcus granulosus. At present, there is no rational and effective therapy for patients with echinococcosis. The present study evaluated whether the combination of alkaloids from Sophora moorcroftiana seeds (SMSa2) and Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) was effective in the treatment of experimental echinococcosis. After 20 weeks of secondary infection with protoscoleces, mice were randomly allocated to five groups and treated for 6 weeks by daily intragastric administration of albendazole (ABZ, 100 mg/kg), SMSa2 (100 mg/kg), BCG (abdominal subcutaneous injection at 5 × 106 CFU), SMSa2 + BCG (100 mg/kg SMSa2 and 5 × 106 CFU BCG) or normal saline (untreated group), respectively. The results indicated a significant reduction in the weight of hydatid cysts in the SMSa2 + BCG group compared with the untreated, SMSa2 and BCG groups. The rate of inhibition of hydatid cyst growth in the SMSa2 + BCG group (76.1%) was obviously increased compared with that in the SMSa2 (25.7%) and BCG (26.6%) groups, respectively. Compared with the untreated control, the SMSa2 + BCG group showed a non-significant increase in serum interleukin-4 (IL-4). Furthermore, the serum levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) between the untreated and SMSa2 + BCG groups were not statistically different. Therefore, the combination of alkaloids from S. moorcroftiana seeds and BCG can reduce cyst burden and is an effective therapeutic regimen against echinococcosis.
The neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
A cross-linked copolymer was designed and synthesized bythe imidation of poly(oxyethylene)-diamine and 4,4’-oxydiphthalic anhydride, and followed by a late-stage curing to generate the cross-linked gels. The copolymers consisting of crosslinking sites and multiple functionalities such aspoly(oxyethylene)-segments, amido-acids, imides, and amine termini, characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. After the self-curing at 80 °C, the gel-like material enabled to absorb liquid form of electrolytesin the medium of propylene carbonate(PC), dimethylformamide(DMF),and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone(NMP).By using a field emission scanning electronic microscope, we observed a 3D interconnected nanochannel microstructure, within which, the liquid electrolytes were absorbed. When the novel polymer gel electrolyte (PGE) was fabricated into a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC), an extremely high photovoltaic performance was demonstrated. The PGE, absorbed 76.7 wt% of the liquid electrolyte (soaking in the PC solution) based on the polymer’s weight gave rise to a power conversion efficiency of 8.31%, superior to that (7.89%) of the DSSC with liquid electrolytes. It was further demonstrated that the cell had a long-term stabilityduring the test of 1000hat-rest at room temperature or only slightly decreasing in efficiency of 5%.This is the first time demonstration for a PGE exhibiting a higher performance than its liquid counterpart cell. The observation is ascribed to the suppression of the back electron transfer through the unique morphology of the polymer microstructures.
We report on the progress of our on-going work to search for low-mass black holes (LMBHs) in active galactic nuclei. The masses of black holes are estimated using the broad line width and luminosity obtained from one-epoch optical spectra. As the first step, we fitted the spectra of 1263 objects in the quasar catalog of the SDSS DR10 and obtained accurate measurement of the emission lines. Two AGNs are found to have MBH ~ 106 M⊙. The next step is to analyze the spectra of the DR10 galaxy sample, from which a much larger sample of low-mass AGNs is expected to be obtained.
Recent studies of active galactic nuclei (AGN) found a statistical inverse scaling between the X-ray normalized excess variance σrms2 (variability amplitude) and the black hole mass spanning over MBH = 106 − 109M⊙. We present a study of this relation by including AGN with MBH = 105 − 106M⊙. It is found that the relation is no longer a simple extrapolation of the known inverse proportion, but starts to flatten around 106M⊙. This behavior can be understood by the shape of the power spectrum density of AGN and its dependence on the black hole mass.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
Flexible electronics and microsystems are an emerging technology with a tremedous impact to the future electronics and information technology and widespread applications. Various devices and microsystems have been developed. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices are a type of essential device for electronics, microsensors and microsystems; however there is no activity on the development of flexible SAW devices yet. This paper reports the development of flexible SAW devices on cheap, bendable and disposable plastic films. Flexible SAW devices with resonant frequency of 198.1 MHz and 447 MHz for the Rayleigh and Lamb waves respectively have been obtained with a large transmission signal up to 18dB. The flexible SAW devices have also demonstrated their ability for acoustic streaming with a velocity up to 3.4 cm/s and for particle concentration. The results have clearly demonstrated that the flexible SAW devices have great potential for applications in electronics and microsystems.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.