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Diverse and abundant fossil taxa have been described in the lower Cambrian Shipai Formation in the Three Gorges area of Hubei Province, South China, but the taxonomy and diversity of the co-occurring brachiopod fauna are still far from clear. Here we describe the brachiopod fauna recovered from the Shipai Formation in the Three Gorges area of South China, including representatives of the subphylum Linguliformea: linguloids (Lingulellotreta ergalievi, Eoobolus malongensis, and Neobolidae gen. indet. sp. indet.), and an acrotretoid (Linnarssonia sapushanensis); and representatives from the subphylum Rhynchonelliformea: the calcareous-shelled Kutorginates (Kutorgina sinensis, Kutorgina sp., and Nisusia liantuoensis). This brachiopod assemblage and the first occurrence of Linnarssonia sapushanensis shell beds permit correlation of the Shipai Formation in the Three Gorges area of Hubei Province with the Stage 4 Wulongqing Formation in the Wuding area of eastern Yunnan. This correlation is further strengthened by the first appearance datum (FAD) of the rhynchonelliform brachiopod Nisusia in the upper silty mudstone of both the Shipai and Wulongqing formations. The new well-preserved material, derived from siliciclastic rocks, also gives critical new insights into the fine shell structure of L. sapushanensis. Microstructural studies on micromorphic acrotretoids (like Linnarssonia) have previously been restricted to fossils that were acid-etched from limestones. This is the first study to carry out detailed comparative ultrastructural studies on acrotretoid shells preserved in siliciclastic rocks. This work reveals a hollow tube and solid column microstructure in the acrotretoid shells from the Shipai Formation, which is likely to be equivalent of traditional column and central canal observed in shells dissolved from limestones.
It is uncertain if long-term levels of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) affect cognition in middle age. We examined the association of LDL-C levels over 25 years with cognitive function in a prospective cohort of black and white US adults.
Lipids were measured at baseline (1985–1986; age: 18–30 years) and at serial examinations conducted over 25 years. Time-averaged cumulative LDL-C was calculated using the area under the curve for 3,328 participants with ≥3 LDL-C measurements and a cognitive function assessment. Cognitive function was assessed at the Year 25 examination with the Digit Symbol Substitution Test [DSST], Rey Auditory Visual Learning Test [RAVLT], and Stroop Test. A brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sub-study (N = 707) was also completed at Year 25 to assess abnormal white matter tissue volume (AWMV) and gray matter cerebral blood flow volume (GM-CBFV) as secondary outcomes.
There were 15.6%, 32.9%, 28.9%, and 22.6% participants with time-averaged cumulative LDL-C <100 mg/dL, 101–129 mg/dL, 130–159 mg/dL, and ≥160 mg/dL, respectively. Standardized differences in all cognitive function test scores ranged from 0.16 SD lower to 0.09 SD higher across time-averaged LDL-C categories in comparison to those with LDL-C < 100 mg/dL. After covariate adjustment, participants with higher versus lower time-averaged LDL-C had a lower RAVLT score (p-trend = 0.02) but no differences were present for DSST, Stroop Test, AWMV, or GM-CBFV.
Cumulative LDL-C was associated with small differences in memory, as assessed by RAVLT scores, but not other cognitive or brain MRI measures over 25 years of follow-up.
Potential secondary influences on titanium distribution should be evaluated when using ash beds as volcanic source indicators and for correlation purposes. In this study, well-correlated altered ash beds in Permian–Triassic boundary (PTB) successions of various facies in South China were investigated to better understand their use in source discrimination and stratigraphic correlation. The ash beds deposited in lacustrine and paludal facies contain significantly more Ti relative to deposits in marine facies. Neoformed anatase grains nanometres to micrometres in size are associated closely with clay minerals, whereas detrital anatase was observed in the remnants of altered ash beds of terrestrial facies. Extraction of the clay fraction of altered ash beds may exclude significantly detrital accessory minerals such as anatase and rutile added during sediment reworking, and the concentrations of immobile elements in the clay fraction may therefore be used to interpret more effectively their source igneous rocks.
To investigate the influences of dietary riboflavin (RF) addition on nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, eight rumen cannulated Holstein bulls were randomly allocated into four treatments in a repeated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Daily addition level of RF for each bull in control, low RF, medium RF and high RF was 0, 300, 600 and 900 mg, respectively. Increasing the addition level of RF, DM intake was not affected, average daily gain tended to be increased linearly and feed conversion ratio decreased linearly. Total tract digestibilities of DM, organic matter, crude protein (CP) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) increased linearly. Rumen pH decreased quadratically, and total volatile fatty acids (VFA) increased quadratically. Acetate molar percentage and acetate:propionate ratio increased linearly, but propionate molar percentage and ammonia-N content decreased linearly. Rumen effective degradability of DM increased linearly, NDF increased quadratically but CP was unaltered. Activity of cellulase and populations of total bacteria, protozoa, fungi, dominant cellulolytic bacteria, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus increased linearly. Linear increase was observed for urinary total purine derivatives excretion. The data suggested that dietary RF addition was essential for rumen microbial growth, and no further increase in performance and rumen total VFA concentration was observed when increasing RF level from 600 to 900 mg/d in dairy bulls.
Carotenoids are increasingly being implicated to have an important role in brain and eye development. This study aimed to quantify the content and profile of carotenoids in human breast milk, maternal plasma and neonatal umbilical cord plasma in Chengdu, an urban area in Southwest China. In this study, fifty-four healthy mothers were enrolled. Maternal blood, umbilical cord blood, colostrum, transitional milk and mature milk were collected. Concentrations of carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, β-carotene and lycopene) were analysed by HPLC. We found that carotenoid concentrations decreased from colostrum to mature milk. Hydrocarbon carotenoids with weaker polarity decreased more than the polar carotenoids. Lycopene concentrations dropped by 99 %, β-carotene by 92 %, β-cryptoxanthin by 83 %, lutein by 32 % and zeaxanthin by 22 %. Lycopene and β-carotene accounted for 70 % of the total carotenoids in colostrum, and lutein predominated amongst carotenoids in transitional milk and mature milk (51–55 %). Carotenoid concentrations in maternal plasma were much higher than that in cord plasma. Lutein predominated in cord plasma. The concentrations of all carotenoids in maternal plasma were correlated with those of cord plasma and human milk. These results are consistent with selective transport mechanisms in the mammary gland related to the polarity of carotenoids, and each carotenoid has its own implications, which may have different priorities in the early life development of infants. These findings may help guide dietary recommendations for carotenoid inclusion in infant formulas.
Family carers supporting an individual with psychosis often experience poorer mental health, however, little is known about specific risk factors among these carers. We investigated the associations between demographic, caregiving characteristics and mental health outcomes in family carers supporting an individual with psychosis and compared carers' outcomes with general population norms.
We analysed baseline data from the COPe-support randomised controlled trial of online psychoeducation and peer support for adult carers supporting an individual with psychosis between 2018 and 2020. We collected carers' demographic and health outcome data, including wellbeing using Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS as primary outcome), quality of life using EQ-5D-5L and caregiving experience assessed with Experience of Caregiving Inventory. We tested associations between carers' demographic and caregiving characteristics for each outcome in turn and meta-analysed carers' WEMWBS and EQ-5D-5L with Health Survey England (HSE) general population data from 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The 407 carers of people with psychosis had a mean WEMWBS score of 42.2 (s.d. 9.21) and their overall weighted pooled WEMWBS score was 7.3 (95% confidence interval (CI) −8.6 to −6.0, p < 0.01) lower than the HSE general population sample, indicating carers have poorer mental wellbeing by more than double the minimum clinically important difference of 3 points on WEMWBS. Among all caring relationships, partners had poorer wellbeing compared to parents with lower WEMWBS score (−6.8, −16.9 to 3.3, p = 0.03). Single carers had significantly poorer wellbeing (−3.6, −5.6 to −1.5, p < 0.01) and a more negative caregiving experience than those who were cohabiting. Spending more than 35 h per week caregiving increased carers' negative experience significantly (p = 0.01).
Carers of people with psychosis have poorer mental health than non-carers. Partners, lone carers and those spending more than 35 h per week on caring were found to be most at risk of poor mental health. Based on the results, we advocate that the details of carers for individuals with psychosis should be added to the existing carers or severe mental illness registers at all general practitioner surgeries and for their wellbeing screened routinely. Future large-scale prospective studies are needed to develop a predictive model to determine risk factors, hence to aid early identification of carers' support needs. Such understandings are also useful to inform tailored intervention development.
There is compelling evidence for gradient effects of household income on school readiness. Potential mechanisms are described, yet the growth curve trajectory of maternal mental health in a child's early life has not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to examine the relationships between household incomes, maternal mental health trajectories from antenatal to the postnatal period, and school readiness.
Prospective data from 505 mother–child dyads in a birth cohort in Singapore were used, including household income, repeated measures of maternal mental health from pregnancy to 2-years postpartum, and a range of child behavioural, socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes from 2 to 6 years of age. Antenatal mental health and its trajectory were tested as mediators in the latent growth curve models.
Household income was a robust predictor of antenatal maternal mental health and all child outcomes. Between children from the bottom and top household income quartiles, four dimensions of school readiness skills differed by a range of 0.52 (95% Cl: 0.23, 0.67) to 1.21 s.d. (95% CI: 1.02, 1.40). Thirty-eight percent of pregnant mothers in this cohort were found to have perinatal depressive and anxiety symptoms in the subclinical and clinical ranges. Poorer school readiness skills were found in children of these mothers when compared to those of mothers with little or no symptoms. After adjustment of unmeasured confounding on the indirect effect, antenatal maternal mental health provided a robust mediating path between household income and multiple school readiness outcomes (χ2 126.05, df 63, p < 0.001; RMSEA = 0.031, CFI = 0.980, SRMR = 0.034).
Pregnant mothers with mental health symptoms, particularly those from economically-challenged households, are potential targets for intervention to level the playing field of their children.
Previous studies have revealed associations of meteorological factors with tuberculosis (TB) cases. However, few studies have examined their lag effects on TB cases. This study was aimed to analyse nonlinear lag effects of meteorological factors on the number of TB notifications in Hong Kong. Using a 22-year consecutive surveillance data in Hong Kong, we examined the association of monthly average temperature and relative humidity with temporal dynamics of the monthly number of TB notifications using a distributed lag nonlinear models combined with a Poisson regression. The relative risks (RRs) of TB notifications were >1.15 as monthly average temperatures were between 16.3 and 17.3 °C at lagged 13–15 months, reaching the peak risk of 1.18 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.35) when it was 16.8 °C at lagged 14 months. The RRs of TB notifications were >1.05 as relative humidities of 60.0–63.6% at lagged 9–11 months expanded to 68.0–71.0% at lagged 12–17 months, reaching the highest risk of 1.06 (95% CI 1.01–1.11) when it was 69.0% at lagged 13 months. The nonlinear and delayed effects of average temperature and relative humidity on TB epidemic were identified, which may provide a practical reference for improving the TB warning system.
Although testing is widely regarded as critical to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, what measure and level of testing best reflects successful infection control remains unresolved. Our aim was to compare the sensitivity of two testing metrics – population testing number and testing coverage – to population mortality outcomes and identify a benchmark for testing adequacy. We aggregated publicly available data through 12 April on testing and outcomes related to COVID-19 across 36 OECD (Organization for Economic Development) countries and Taiwan. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated between the aforementioned metrics and following outcome measures: deaths per 1 million people, case fatality rate and case proportion of critical illness. Fractional polynomials were used to generate scatter plots to model the relationship between the testing metrics and outcomes. We found that testing coverage, but not population testing number, was highly correlated with population mortality (rs = −0.79, P = 5.975 × 10−9vs. rs = −0.3, P = 0.05) and case fatality rate (rs = −0.67, P = 9.067 × 10−6vs. rs = −0.21, P = 0.20). A testing coverage threshold of 15–45 signified adequate testing: below 15, testing coverage was associated with exponentially increasing population mortality; above 45, increased testing did not yield significant incremental mortality benefit. Taken together, testing coverage was better than population testing number in explaining country performance and can serve as an early and sensitive indicator of testing adequacy and disease burden.
Major progress has recently been made regarding the biostratigraphy, lithostratigraphy and isotope chemostratigraphy of the lower Cambrian successions in South Australia, in particular of the Arrowie Basin, which has facilitated robust global stratigraphic correlations. However, lack of faunal and sedimentological data from the lower Cambrian Normanville Group in the eastern Stansbury Basin, South Australia – particularly the transition from the Fork Tree Limestone to the Heatherdale Shale – has prevented resolution of the age range, lithofacies, depositional environments and regional correlation of this succession. Here we present detailed sedimentologic, biostratigraphic and chemostratigraphic data through this transition in the eastern Stansbury Basin. Three lithofacies are identified that indicate a deepening depositional environment ranging from inner-mid-shelf (Lithofacies A and B) to outer shelf (Lithofacies C). New δ13C chemostratigraphic data capture global positive excursion III within the lower Heatherdale Shale. Recovered bradoriid Sinskolutella cuspidata supports an upper Stage 2 (Micrina etheridgei Zone). The combined geochemistry and palaeontology data reveal that the lower Heatherdale Shale is older than previously appreciated. This integrated study improves regional chronostratigraphic resolution and interbasinal correlation, and better constrains the depositional setting of this important lower Cambrian package from the eastern Stansbury Basin, South Australia.
An acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak caused by a norovirus occurred at a hospital in Shanghai, China, was studied for molecular epidemiology, host susceptibility and serological roles. Rectal and environmental swabs, paired serum samples and saliva specimens were collected. Pathogens were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Histo-blood group antigens (HBGA) phenotypes of saliva samples and their binding to norovirus protruding proteins were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The HBGA-binding interfaces and the surrounding region were analysed by the MegAlign program of DNAstar 7.1. Twenty-seven individuals in two care units were attacked with AGE at attack rates of 9.02 and 11.68%. Eighteen (78.2%) symptomatic and five (38.4%) asymptomatic individuals were GII.6/b norovirus positive. Saliva-based HBGA phenotyping showed that all symptomatic and asymptomatic cases belonged to A, B, AB or O secretors. Only four (16.7%) out of the 24 tested serum samples showed low blockade activity against HBGA-norovirus binding at the acute phase, whereas 11 (45.8%) samples at the convalescence stage showed seroconversion of such blockade. Specific blockade antibody in the population played an essential role in this norovirus epidemic. A wide HBGA-binding spectrum of GII.6 supports a need for continuous health attention and surveillance in different settings.
Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) wanes over the course of a temperate climate winter season but little data are available from tropical countries with year-round influenza virus activity. In Singapore, a retrospective cohort study of adults vaccinated from 2013 to 2017 was conducted. Influenza vaccine failure was defined as hospital admission with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed influenza infection 2–49 weeks after vaccination. Relative VE was calculated by splitting the follow-up period into 8-week episodes (Lexis expansion) and the odds of influenza infection in the first 8-week period after vaccination (weeks 2–9) compared with subsequent 8-week periods using multivariable logistic regression adjusting for patient factors and influenza virus activity. Records of 19 298 influenza vaccinations were analysed with 617 (3.2%) influenza infections. Relative VE was stable for the first 26 weeks post-vaccination, but then declined for all three influenza types/subtypes to 69% at weeks 42–49 (95% confidence interval (CI) 52–92%, P = 0.011). VE declined fastest in older adults, in individuals with chronic pulmonary disease and in those who had been previously vaccinated within the last 2 years. Vaccine failure was significantly associated with a change in recommended vaccine strains between vaccination and observation period (adjusted odds ratio 1.26, 95% CI 1.06–1.50, P = 0.010).
Maternal antenatal depression strongly influences child mental health but with considerable inter-individual variation that is, in part, linked to genotype. The challenge is to effectively capture the genotypic influence. We outline a novel approach to describe genomic susceptibility to maternal antenatal depression focusing on child emotional/behavioral difficulties. Two cohorts provided measures of maternal depression, child genetic variation, and child mental health symptoms. We constructed a conventional polygenic risk score (PRS) for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (PRSADHD) that significantly moderated the association between maternal antenatal depression and internalizing problems at 60 months (p = 2.94 × 10−4, R2 = .18). We then constructed an interaction PRS (xPRS) based on a subset of those single nucleotide polymorphisms from the PRSADHD that most accounted for the moderation of the association between maternal antenatal depression and child outcome. The interaction between maternal antenatal depression and this xPRS accounted for a larger proportion of the variance in child emotional/behavioral problems than models based on any PRSADHD (p = 5.50 × 10−9, R2 = .27), with similar findings in the replication cohort. The xPRS was significantly enriched for genes involved in neuronal development and synaptic function. Our study illustrates a novel approach to the study of genotypic moderation on the impact of maternal antenatal depression on child mental health and highlights the utility of the xPRS approach. These findings advance our understanding of individual differences in the developmental origins of mental health.
This study aimed to evaluate the benefits of betahistine or vestibular rehabilitation (Tetrax biofeedback) on the quality of life and fall risk in patients with Ménière's disease.
Sixty-six patients with Ménière's disease were randomly divided into three groups: betahistine, Tetrax and control groups. Patients’ Dizziness Handicap Index and Tetrax fall index scores were obtained before and after treatment.
Patients in the betahistine and Tetrax groups showed significant improvements in Dizziness Handicap Index and fall index scores after treatment versus before treatment (p < 0.05). The improvements in the Tetrax group were significantly greater than those in the betahistine group (p < 0.05).
Betahistine and vestibular rehabilitation (Tetrax biofeedback) improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of falling in patients with Ménière's disease. Vestibular rehabilitation (Tetrax biofeedback) is an effective management method for Ménière's disease.
We present here the first study on the stability of plane Poiseuille flow when the fluid is stratified in density perpendicularly to the plane of horizontal shear. Using laboratory experiments, linear stability analyses and direct numerical simulations, we describe the appearance of an instability that results from a resonance of internal gravity waves and Tollmien–Schlichting waves carried by the flow. This instability takes the form of long meanders confined in thin horizontal layers stacked along the vertical axis.
We describe here efforts to create and study magnetized electron–positron pair plasmas, the existence of which in astrophysical environments is well-established. Laboratory incarnations of such systems are becoming ever more possible due to novel approaches and techniques in plasma, beam and laser physics. Traditional magnetized plasmas studied to date, both in nature and in the laboratory, exhibit a host of different wave types, many of which are generically unstable and evolve into turbulence or violent instabilities. This complexity and the instability of these waves stem to a large degree from the difference in mass between the positively and the negatively charged species: the ions and the electrons. The mass symmetry of pair plasmas, on the other hand, results in unique behaviour, a topic that has been intensively studied theoretically and numerically for decades, but experimental studies are still in the early stages of development. A levitated dipole device is now under construction to study magnetized low-energy, short-Debye-length electron–positron plasmas; this experiment, as well as a stellarator device that is in the planning stage, will be fuelled by a reactor-based positron source and make use of state-of-the-art positron cooling and storage techniques. Relativistic pair plasmas with very different parameters will be created using pair production resulting from intense laser–matter interactions and will be confined in a high-field mirror configuration. We highlight the differences between and similarities among these approaches, and discuss the unique physics insights that can be gained by these studies.
Understanding the drivers of health care utilization patterns following disasters can better support health planning. This study characterized all-cause hospitalizations among older Americans after eight large-scale hurricanes.
The objective of this study was to characterize all-cause hospitalizations for any cause among older Americans in the 30 days after eight large-scale hurricanes.
A self-controlled case series study among Medicare beneficiaries (age 65+) exposed to one of eight hurricanes was conducted. The predicted probability of sociodemographic factors associated with hospitalization using logit models was estimated.
Hurricane Sandy (2012) had the highest post-hurricane admission rate, a 23% increase (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.22-1.24), while Hurricane Irene in 2011 had only a 10% increase (IRR = 1.10; 95% CI, 1.09-1.11). Higher likelihood of hospitalization occurring after hurricanes included being 85 or older (36.8% probability of hospitalization; 95% CI, 34.7-39.0) and being dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (62.8%; 95% CI, 60.7-64.9).
Planning to address the surge in hospitalization for a longer time period after hurricanes and interventions targeted to support aging Americans are needed.
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.