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The vacuum-exhausted isolation locker (VEIL) provides a safety barrier during the care of COVID-19 patients. The VEIL is a 175-L enclosure with exhaust ports to continuously extract air through viral particle filters connected to hospital suction. Our experiments show that the VEIL contains and exhausts exhaled aerosols and droplets.
The Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus is one of South-East Asia’s most threatened songbirds due to relentless demand for the regional cage-bird trade. The species was recently uplisted from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Critically Endangered’ only two years after its previous uplisting. Intriguingly, populations in highly urbanised Singapore appear relatively secure. However, the last Singaporean density estimates, derived from traditional census methods, were obtained nearly two decades ago in 2001. A recent population estimate in 2016 was derived from the census work in 2001 coupled with relative abundance indices from population trends. We thus performed systematic field surveys using the distance sampling method, estimating 573 ± 185 individuals nation-wide, with a break-down of 217 ± 81 on the main island of Singapore and 356 ± 104 birds on the satellite of Pulau Ubin. Taken together, the total population estimate reported here comprises 22.9–57.3% of the global wild population, underscoring the importance of Singapore as a stronghold for the species. In spite of its apparently secure status in Singapore, the species remains susceptible to local and foreign trapping pressures. Based on our assessment, we propose a number of local and regional conservation measures to ensure the continued survival of populations in Singapore.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Multiple neurotrophic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2, nerve growth factor (NGF) and insulin-like growth factor(IGF)-1, have been shown to play important roles in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. However, insufficient clinical data supporting the importance of these neurotrophic factors in mood disorders, especially manic episode, have made inconclusive to make a connection between these factors and the disorder.
This study intended to investigate possible peripheral biomarkers in serum of manic episode of bipolar disorder.
We aimed to investigate whether or not serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 varied in manic state.
Serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were examined in 70 drug-naïve patients with manic episode of bipolar disorder (BM) as well as 50 healthy controls, using an ELISA method.
The mean serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were 168.13±225.61pg/ml, 279.09±378.62pg/ml, 61.38±171.67pg/ml and 162.01±72.00ng/ml in BM patients, and 140.80±143.71pg/ml, 275.46±235.29pg/ml, 36.34±15.14pg/ml and 138.90±80.11ng/ml in healthy controls, respectively. Serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in patients were significantly higher than those in healthy controls (Z=−2.896, P=0.004; Z=− 2.050, P=0.040; Z=−2.188, P=0.029; respectively), although there was no statistical difference in the serum levels of VEGF between two groups (Z=-0.468, P=0.639). Moreover, serum levels of NGF in patients correlated with the duration of disorder (rs=−0.241, P=0.044).
The increase in serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in manic state may reflect a neuroprotective role for these factors, and these factors may be considered biological markers for manic episode.
Observational studies have linked elevated homocysteine to vascular conditions. Folate intake has been associated with lower homocysteine concentration, although randomised controlled trials of folic acid supplementation to decrease the incidence of vascular conditions have been inconclusive. We investigated determinants of maternal homocysteine during pregnancy, particularly in a folic acid-fortified population.
Data were from the Ottawa and Kingston Birth Cohort of 8085 participants. We used multivariable regression analyses to identify factors associated with maternal homocysteine, adjusted for gestational age at bloodwork. Continuous factors were modelled using restricted cubic splines. A subgroup analysis examined the modifying effect of MTHFR 677C>T genotype on folate, in determining homocysteine concentration.
Participants were recruited in Ottawa and Kingston, Canada, from 2002 to 2009.
Women were recruited when presenting for prenatal care in the early second trimester.
In 7587 participants, factors significantly associated with higher homocysteine concentration were nulliparous, smoking and chronic hypertension, while factors significantly associated with lower homocysteine concentration were non-Caucasian race, history of a placenta-mediated complication and folic acid supplementation. Maternal age and BMI demonstrated U-shaped associations. Folic acid supplementation of >1 mg/d during pregnancy did not substantially increase folate concentration. In the subgroup analysis, MTHFR 677C>T modified the effect of folate status on homocysteine concentration.
We identified determinants of maternal homocysteine relevant to the lowering of homocysteine in the post-folic acid fortification era, characterised by folate-replete populations. A focus on periconceptional folic acid supplementation and improving health status may form an effective approach to lower homocysteine.
Patients with severe mental disorders in low-resource settings have limited access to services, resulting in overwhelming caregiving burden for families. In extreme cases, this has led to the long-term restraining of patients in their homes. China underwent a nationwide initiative to unlock patients and provide continued treatment. This study aims to quantify household economic burden in families after unlocking and treatment, and to identify factors associated with increased burden due to schizophrenia.
A total of 264 subjects were enrolled from three geographically diverse provinces in 2012. Subjects were patients with schizophrenia who were previously put under restraints and had participated in the ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention. The primary outcome was the current household economic burden, obtained from past year financial information collected through on-site interview. Patient disease characteristics, treatment, outcomes and family caregiving burden were collected as well. Univariate and multivariate linear regression were used to construct risk factor models for indirect economic burden.
After participating in the intervention, 85% of patients continued to receive mental health services, 70% used medication as prescribed and 80% were never relocked. Family members reported significantly decreased caregiving burden after receiving the intervention. Mean direct and indirect household economic burdens were CNY963 (US$31.7) and CNY11 724 (US$1670) per year, respectively, while family total income was on average CNY12 108 (US$1913) per year. Greater disease severity and poorer patient psychosocial function at time of study were found to be independent factors related to increased indirect burden.
The ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention has improved the lives of patients and families. Indirect burden due to disease is still a major economic issue that needs to be addressed, potentially through improving treatment and patient functioning. Our findings contribute to the unravelling and eventual elimination of chronic restraining of mentally ill patients in low-resource settings.
The co-occurrence of hepatic cystic echinococcosis (CE) and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is extremely rare. Here, we present the clinical manifestations and treatment outcomes of three cases with co-occurring CE and AE in the liver. Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging and 18FFluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography-CT were used for preoperative diagnosis. Specimens were taken intraoperatively and sent for pathological studies to confirm the coexistence of CE and AE by laminated membrane, daughter cysts or germinal layer and infiltration structure. Albendazole was prescribed after operation for 12 months. All patients were completely recovered and showed no recurrence at last follow-up. Therefore, surgical intervention and postoperative application of albendazole are recommended for patients with concurrence of hepatic AE and CE.
The crystal plastic theory was used to examine the effect of film-cooling hole arrangements on mechanical properties of cooled turbine blade. The finite element method was used to analyze the maximum von Mises stress and resolved shear stress of an octahedral slip system considering the number of rows, diameter, spacing, and tangential-to-longitudinal hole spacing (h/l) ratio. The different arrangements were found to have a significant influence on the maximum von Mises stress and resolved shear stress. For the triangular arrangement, the von Mises stress and resolved shear stress were highest with double rows, followed by a single row and then triple rows. For the quadrilateral arrangement, the stresses were highest with double rows, followed by triple rows and then a single row. Increasing the spacing or decreasing the diameter reduced the maximum von Mises stress and weakened the multi-hole interference effect. Both the maximum von Mises stress and resolved shear stress decreased with the h/l ratio.
This paper presents the design of an elliptical shape ultra-wide band antenna for imaging of wood. The antenna is constructed comprising an elliptical shape of patch loaded by a stub to resonate at lower bands, strip loading at the back, and chamfered ground. Despite having miniaturized dimensions of 20 mm × 20 mm, the proposed antenna shows better results compared to recent studies. The simulation results depict a good ultra-wide bandwidth from 2.68 to 16 GHz, and 18.2–20 GHz. Besides, the proposed antenna has two low-frequency bands at 0.89–0.92 and 1.52–1.62 GHz, maximum gain of 5.48 dB, and maximum directivity of 6.9 dBi. The measurement outcomes are performed in air, plywood, and high-density wood and show a good agreement with the simulated results done using electromagnetic simulator CST. In addition to that, the measurement results of S-parameters, transmitted and received signals show a good agreement with the simulated results. Besides, the measured results illustrate a good isolation and uniform illumination among arrays as well as the received signals' shapes do not change in different environments, but only the amplitude. Hence, the proposed antenna seems to be adequate for microwave imaging of wood.
Clozapine treatment increases the risk of agranulocytosis, but findings on the epidemiology of agranulocytosis have been inconsistent. This meta-analysis examined the prevalence of agranulocytosis and related death in clozapine-treated patients.
A literature search in the international (PubMed, PsycINFO, and EMBASE) and Chinese (WanFang, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Sinomed) databases was conducted. Prevalence estimates of agranulocytosis and related death in clozapine-treated patients were synthesized with the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis program using the random-effects model.
Thirty-six studies with 260 948 clozapine-treated patients published between 1984 and 2018 were included in the meta-analysis. The overall prevalence of agranulocytosis and death caused by agranulocytosis were 0.4% (95% CI 0.3–0.6%) and 0.05% (95% CI 0.03–0.09%), respectively. The prevalence of agranulocytosis was moderated by sample size, study quality, year of publication, and that of data collection.
The prevalence of clozapine-associated agranulocytosis is low. Agranulocytosis-related death appears rare.
Neural electrodes have been widely used to monitor neural signals and/or deliver electrical stimulation in the brain. Currently, biodegradable and biocompatible materials have been actively investigated to create temporary electrodes that could degrade after serving their functions for neural recording and stimulation from days to months. The new class of biodegradable electrodes eliminate the necessity of secondary surgery for electrode removal. In this study, we created biodegradable, biocompatible, and implantable magnesium (Mg)-based microelectrodes for in vivo neural recording for the first time. Specifically, conductive poly-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (PEDOT) was first deposited onto Mg microwire substrates by electrochemical deposition, and a biodegradable insulating polymer was subsequently sprayed onto the surface of electrodes. The tip of electrodes was designed to be conductive for neural recording and stimulation, while the rest of electrodes was insulated with a polymer that is biocompatible with neural tissue. The impedance of Mg-based microelectrodes and their performance during neural recording in the auditory cortex of a mouse were studied. The results first demonstrated the capability of Mg-based microelectrodes for in vivo recording of multi-unit stimulus-evoked activity in the brain.
The mechanical properties of thin-walled plate with close-packed film cooling holes are studied based on the equivalent solid material concept. The equivalent principals of the method of equivalent strain energy, homogenization theory and uniform static deformation are considered. A simplification method of square penetration pattern for pitch and diagonal direction loading is presented. The goodness of fit is calculated to determine the optimal method. The tensile deformation, bending deflection, rotation displacement and maximum Mises equivalent stress of simplification plate models are in good agreement with plate models with close-packed film cooling holes. For square penetration pattern for pitch direction loading, the equivalent errors of Mises equivalent stress are all less than 10% when the ligament efficiency is more than 0.6.
Superior and inferior rice grains have different weights and are located on the upper primary branch and lower secondary branches of the panicle, respectively. To study differences in germination vigour of these two types of grain, a number of factors were investigated from 0 to 48 h of germination. The present study demonstrated that in inferior grains the starch granule structure was looser at 0 h, with full water absorption at 48 h, while in superior grains the structure was tight and dense. Relative water content increased, and dry matter decreased, more rapidly in inferior grains than in superior ones. Abscisic acid and gibberellin levels, as well as α-amylase activity, also changed more rapidly in inferior grains, while soluble sugar content and amylase coding gene expression increased more rapidly in inferior than superior grains during early germination. The expression of OsGAMYB was higher in inferior grains at 24 h but higher in superior grains at 48 h. The phenotypic index of seedlings was higher in seedlings from superior grains at the two-leaf stage. However, the thousand-grain weight and yield per plant in superior and inferior plants showed no significant difference at harvest. The present study indicates that inferior grains germinate faster than superior ones in the early germination stage. Although inferior grains produced weaker seedlings, it is worthwhile using them in rice production due to their comparative yield potential over that of superior grains.
Background: Among patients with schizophrenia, there is evidence of a negative association between self-stigma and subjective quality of life (SQoL), and self-esteem was an important mediator in the association. We attempted to use a longitudinal study to investigate the aforementioned mediation on a sample with schizophrenia. Methods: We used longitudinal data retrieved from medical records of a psychiatric centre between June 2014 and December 2015. In the data, we retrieved information of self-stigma using the Self-Stigma Scale — Short; SQoL, using the WHO questionnaire on the Quality of Life — Short Form; and self-esteem, using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. All the measures were evaluated five times. Linear mixed-effect models accompanied by Sobel tests were used to tackle the mediating effects. Results: Data from 74 patients (57 males) with schizophrenia were eligible for analysis; their mean (SD) age was 39.53 (10.67); mean age of onset was 22.95 (8.38). Self-esteem was a mediator for patients in physical (p = .039), psychological (p = .003), and social SQoL (p = .004), but not in environment SQoL (p = .051). Conclusion: Based on our findings, mental health professionals could tailor different programs to patients with schizophrenia, such as self-stigma reduction and self-esteem improvement programs. However, treatment as a whole should be sensitive to both self-stigma and self-esteem. Also, we should consider individuals’ health and wellbeing from social perspectives of disability rather than the medical model of disability emphasising symptoms and medications.
In this paper, a new formulation is proposed to evaluate the origin intensity factors (OIFs) in the singular boundary method (SBM) for solving 3D potential problems with Dirichlet boundary condition. The SBM is a strong-form boundary discretization collocation technique and is mathematically simple, easy-to-program, and free of mesh. The crucial step in the implementation of the SBM is to determine the OIFs which isolate the singularities of the fundamental solutions. Traditionally, the inverse interpolation technique (IIT) is adopted to calculate the OIFs on Dirichlet boundary, which is time consuming for large-scale simulation. In recent years, the new methodology has been developed to efficiently calculate the OIFs on Neumann boundary, but the Dirichlet problem remains an open issue. This study employs the subtracting and adding-back technique based on the integration of the fundamental solution over the whole boundary to develop a new formulation of the OIFs on 3D Dirichlet boundary. Several problems with varied domain shapes and boundary conditions are carried out to validate the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed scheme in comparison with the SBM based on inverse interpolation technique, the method of fundamental solutions, and the boundary element method.
Bacillary dysentery continues to be a major health issue in developing countries and ambient temperature is a possible environmental determinant. However, evidence about the risk of bacillary dysentery attributable to ambient temperature under climate change scenarios is scarce. We examined the attributable fraction (AF) of temperature-related bacillary dysentery in urban and rural Hefei, China during 2006–2012 and projected its shifting pattern under climate change scenarios using a distributed lag non-linear model. The risk of bacillary dysentery increased with the temperature rise above a threshold (18·4 °C), and the temperature effects appeared to be acute. The proportion of bacillary dysentery attributable to hot temperatures was 18·74% (95 empirical confidence interval (eCI): 8·36–27·44%). Apparent difference of AF was observed between urban and rural areas, with AF varying from 26·87% (95% eCI 16·21–36·68%) in urban area to −1·90% (95 eCI −25·03 to 16·05%) in rural area. Under the climate change scenarios alone (1–4 °C rise), the AF from extreme hot temperatures (>31·2 °C) would rise greatly accompanied by the relatively stable AF from moderate hot temperatures (18·4–31·2 °C). If climate change proceeds, urban area may be more likely to suffer from rapidly increasing burden of disease from extreme hot temperatures in the absence of effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.