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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Background: Canadian Stroke Guidelines recommend that Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) patients at highest risk of stroke recurrence should undergo immediate vascular imaging. Computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the head and neck is recommended over carotid doppler because it allows for enhanced visualization of the intracranial and posterior circulation vasculature. Imaging while patients are in the emergency department (ED) is optimal for high-risk patients because the risk of stroke recurrence is highest in the first 48 hours. Aim Statement: At our hospital, a designated stroke centre, less than 5% of TIA patients meet national recommendations by undergoing CTA in the ED. We sought to increase the rate of CTA in high risk ED TIA patients from less than 5% to at least 80% in 10 months. Measures & Design: We used a multi-faceted approach to improve our adherence to guidelines including: 1) education for staff ED physicians; 2) agreements between ED and radiology to facilitate rapid access to CTA; 3) agreements between ED and neurology for consultations regarding patients with abnormal CTA; and 4) the creation of an electronic decision support tool to guide ED physicians as to which patients require CTA. We measured the rate of CTA in high risk patients biweekly using retrospective chart review of patients referred to the TIA clinic from the ED on a biweekly basis. As a balancing measure, we also measured the rate of CTA in non-high risk patients. Evaluation/Results: Data collection is ongoing. An interim run chart at 19 weeks shows a complete shift above the median after implementation, with CTA rates between 70 and 100%. At the time of submission, we had no downward trends below 80%, showing sustained improvement. The CTA rate in non-high risk patients did also increase. Disucssion/Impact: After 19 weeks of our intervention, 112 (78.9%) of high risk TIA patients had a CTA, compared to 10 (9.8%) in the 19 weeks prior to our intervention. On average, 10-15% of high risk patients will have an identifiable lesion on CTA, leading to immediate change in management (at minimum, an inpatient consultation with neurology). Our multi-faceted approach could be replicated in any ED with the engagement and availability of the same multi-disciplinary team (ED, radiology, and neurology), access to CTA, and electronic orders.
Sodium and chloride are the key factors maintaining normal osmotic pressure (OSM) and volume of the extracellular fluid, and influencing the acid–base balance of body fluids. The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary Na+ and Cl− level on growth performance, excreta moisture, blood biochemical parameters, intestinal Na+–glucose transporter 1 (SGLT1) messenger RNA (mRNA), and Na+–H+ exchanger 2 (NHE2) mRNA, and to estimate the optimal dietary sodium and chlorine level for yellow-feathered chickens from 22 to 42days. A total of 900 22-day-old Lingnan yellow-feathered male chickens were randomly allotted to five treatments, each of which included six replicates of 30 chickens per floor pen. The basal control diet was based on corn and soybean meal (without added NaCl and NaHCO3). Treatments 2 to 5 consisted of the basal diet supplemented with equal weights of Na+ and Cl−, constituting 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3% and 0.4% of the diets. Supplemental dietary Na+ and Cl− improved the growth performance (P<0.05). Average daily gain (ADG) showed a quadratic broken-line regression to increasing dietary Na+ and Cl− (R2=0.979, P<0.001), and reached a plateau at 0.1%. Supplemental Na+ and Cl− increased (P<0.05) serum Na+ and OSM in serum and showed a quadratic broken-line regression (R2=0.997, P=0.004) at 0.11%. However, supplemental Na+ and Cl− decreased (P<0.05) serum levels of K+, glucose (GLU) and triglyceride. Higher levels of Na+and Cl− decreased duodenal NHE2 transcripts (P<0.05), but had no effect on ileal SGLT1 transcripts. The activity of Na+ /K+-ATPase in the duodenum decreased (P<0.05) with higher levels of dietary Na+ and Cl−. In conclusion, the optimal dietary Na+ and Cl− requirements for yellow-feathered chickens in the grower phase, from 22 to 42 days of age, to optimize ADG, serum Na+, OSM, K+ and GLU were 0.10%, 0.11%, 0.11%,0.17% and 0.16%, respectively, by regression analysis.
The feasibility of non-destructive detection and classification of in-shell insect-infested almonds was examined by using multispectral imaging (MSI) technology combined with chemometrics. Differentiation of reflectance spectral data between intact and insect-infested almonds was attempted by using analytical approaches based on principal component analysis and support vector machines, classification accuracy rates as high as 99.1% in the calibration set and 97.5% in the prediction set were achieved. Meanwhile, the in-shell almonds were categorized into three classes (intact, slightly infested and severely infested) based on the degree of damage caused by insect infestation and were characterized quantitatively by the analysis of shell/kernel weight ratio. A three-class model for the identification of intact, slightly infested and severely infested almonds yielded acceptable classification performance (95.6% accuracy in the calibration set and 93.3% in the prediction set). These results revealed that MSI technology combined with chemometrics may be a promising approach for the non-destructive detection of hidden insect damage in almonds and could be used for industrial applications.
Scholars have consistently shown that learning of successful policies in other states leads to higher likelihood of policy adoption. This study extends this finding two ways. First, policy learning can also lead to more comprehensive adoption of successful policies. Second, the effect of policy learning on policy comprehensiveness is conditional on lobbying by interest groups, an alternative source of information about policy success. To test these hypotheses, we conduct a directed dyad-year analysis using a dataset on American state drunk driving regulations from 1983 to 2000. The results show that more comprehensive policy adoption by states is positively related to policy success in other states when lobbying by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is relatively low. Moreover, lobbying by MADD increases policy comprehensiveness when policy success is relatively low. This study advances the literature by examining the conditional effects of lobbying on the relationship between policy learning and policy reinvention.
A stable reference gene is a key prerequisite for accurate assessment of gene expression. At present, the real-time reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction has been widely used in the analysis of gene expression in a variety of organisms. Neoseiulus barkeri Hughes (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is a major predator of mites on many important economically crops. Until now, however, there are no reports evaluating the stability of reference genes in this species. In view of this, we used GeNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder software tools to evaluate the expression stability of 11 candidate reference genes in developmental stages and under various abiotic stresses. According to our results, β-ACT and Hsp40 were the top two stable reference genes in developmental stages. The Hsp60 and Hsp90 were the most stable reference genes in various acaricides stress. For alterations in temperature, Hsp40 and α-TUB were the most suitable reference genes. About UV stress, EF1α and α-TUB were the best choice, and for the different prey stress, β-ACT and α-TUB were best suited. In normal conditions, the β-ACT and α-TUB were the two of the highest stable reference genes to respond to all kinds of stresses. The current study provided a valuable foundation for the further analysis of gene expression in N. barkeri.
Carotid artery aneurysm is a potentially fatal complication of skull base osteomyelitis. It is important to know the warning signs for this complication, as early diagnosis is of great importance. This report aimed to determine whether the pattern of cranial nerve involvement may predict the occurrence of aneurysm involving the internal carotid artery in skull base osteomyelitis.
Two diabetic patients with skull base osteomyelitis were incidentally diagnosed with pseudo-aneurysm of the petrous internal carotid artery on follow-up magnetic resonance imaging. They presented with lower cranial nerve palsy; however, facial nerve function was almost preserved in both cases. Computed tomography angiography confirmed aneurysms at the junction of the horizontal and vertical segments of the petrous carotid artery.
Internal carotid artery trapping was conducted using coil embolisation. Post-coiling magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated no procedure-related complications. Regular follow up has demonstrated that patients’ symptoms are improving.
One should be mindful of this potentially fatal complication in skull base osteomyelitis patients with lower cranial nerve palsies, with or without facial nerve involvement, especially in the presence of intracranial thromboembolic events or Horner's syndrome.
Recent studies indicate that early postnatal period is a critical window for gut microbiota manipulation to optimise the immunity and body growth. This study investigated the effects of maternal faecal microbiota orally administered to neonatal piglets after birth on growth performance, selected microbial populations, intestinal permeability and the development of intestinal mucosal immune system. In total, 12 litters of crossbred newborn piglets were selected in this study. Litter size was standardised to 10 piglets. On day 1, 10 piglets in each litter were randomly allotted to the faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and control groups. Piglets in the FMT group were orally administrated with 2ml faecal suspension of their nursing sow per day from the age of 1 to 3 days; piglets in the control group were treated with the same dose of a placebo (0.1M potassium phosphate buffer containing 10% glycerol (vol/vol)) inoculant. The experiment lasted 21 days. On days 7, 14 and 21, plasma and faecal samples were collected for the analysis of growth-related hormones and cytokines in plasma and lipocalin-2, secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), selected microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in faeces. Faecal microbiota transplantation increased the average daily gain of piglets during week 3 and the whole experiment period. Compared with the control group, the FMT group had increased concentrations of plasma growth hormone and IGF-1 on days 14 and 21. Faecal microbiota transplantation also reduced the incidence of diarrhoea during weeks 1 and 3 and plasma concentrations of zonulin, endotoxin and diamine oxidase activities in piglets on days 7 and 14. The populations of Lactobacillus spp. and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and the concentrations of faecal and plasma acetate, butyrate and total SCFAs in FMT group were higher than those in the control group on day 21. Moreover, the FMT piglets have higher concentrations of plasma transforming growth factor-β and immunoglobulin G, and faecal sIgA than the control piglets on day 21. These findings indicate that early intervention with maternal faecal microbiota improves growth performance, decreases intestinal permeability, stimulates sIgA secretion, and modulates gut microbiota composition and metabolism in suckling piglets.
Influenza is a long-standing public health concern, but its transmission remains poorly understood. To have a better knowledge of influenza transmission, we carried out a detailed modelling investigation in a nosocomial influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. We identified three hypothesised transmission modes between index patient and other inpatients based on the long-range airborne and fomite routes. We considered three kinds of healthcare workers’ routine round pathways in 1140 scenarios with various values of important parameters. In each scenario, we used a multi-agent modelling framework to estimate the infection risk for each hypothesis and conducted least-squares fitting to evaluate the hypotheses by comparing the distribution of the infection risk with that of the attack rates. Amongst the hypotheses tested in the 1140 scenarios, the prediction of modes involving the long-range airborne route fit better with the attack rates, and that of the two-route transmission mode had the best fit, with the long-range airborne route contributing about 94% and the fomite route contributing 6% to the infections. Under the assumed conditions, the influenza virus was likely to have spread via a combined long-range airborne and fomite routes, with the former predominant and the latter negligible.
Surface exfoliation was observed on single-crystal silicon surface under the action of compressed plasma flow (CPF). This phenomenon is mainly attributed to the strong transient thermal stress impact induced by CPF. To gain a better understanding of the mechanism, a micro scale model combined with thermal conduction and linear elastic fracture mechanics was built to analyze the thermal stress distribution after energy deposition. After computation with finite element method, J integral parameter was applied as the criterion for fracture initiation evaluation. It was demonstrated that the formation of surface exfoliation calls for specific material, crack depth, and CPF parameter. The results are potentially valuable for plasma/matter interaction understanding and CPF parameter optimization.
Previous studies showed that butyrate played benefit roles in the health and metabolism of animals. However, little information on the effects of butyrate on the metabolism of piglets at the extraintestinal level is available. The present study investigated transcriptomic and metabolomic responses in the livers of pigs to evaluate the effects of intravenous sodium butyrate (SB) on the body’s metabolism at the extraintestinal level. A total of 12 Duroc×Landrace×Large White growing barrows (60 days of age) fitted with jugular vein cannula were randomly allocated to either the SB group or the control (CO) group. Pigs in the SB group were intravenously infused with 10 ml SB (200 mmol/l) for 7 days, whereas pigs in the CO group were treated with the same amount of saline. The livers of pigs were collected for gene expression and metabolome analyses. The RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis showed that the mRNA expression of Acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 1 (ACSL1), carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A), acetyl-CoA acyltransferase 2 (ACAA2) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (PCK1) were downregulated (Q<0.05), whereas fatty acid binding protein 1 (FABP1) and cytochrome P450 family 7 subfamily A member 1 (CYP7A1) were upregulated (P<0.05) by SB treatment, indicating a decrease in fatty acid oxidation and gluconeogenesis and an increase in fatty acid transportation and cholesterol metabolism. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis showed that raffinose was enriched in the SB group compared with the CO group, indicating a decrease in metabolism of galactose. Moreover, SB treatment significantly decreased the concentration of blood cholesterol. The results suggest that a short-term intravenous infusion of SB could modulate hepatic lipid metabolism by decreasing fatty acid oxidation and increasing fatty acid transportation and cholesterol metabolism.
The particular environment with high temperature and low plasma density in the corona results to the formation of some forbidden emission lines, in which the well-known green line at 530.3 nm has been utilized to diagnose the corona for a few decades. For the green line, besides its contribution on revealing the long-term coronal cycles as well as their relationship to the other solar phenomena, it is also helpful to detect limb coronal waves and ejections originated from the lower corona which seems not to be paid close attention to. Suggestions are presented that we not only need to keep the green line observation as a routine task for current coronagraph observations, but need to develop larger coronagraphs with advanced technology.
The coronal is the origins of large-scale solar activity and disastrous space weather, it contains extremely rich information and various physical processes. The coronal loop is a kind of bright structure with hot plasma which is bounded by magnetic field in the coronal, it is a good reflection of the magnetic structure that we can hardly observe directly. It is also the energy channel between the photosphere and coronal, and the study of coronal loop is helpful for us to understand the magnetic line foot movement.
Fermented soybean meal (FSM), which has lower anti-nutritional factors and higher active enzyme, probiotic and oligosaccharide contents than its unfermented form, has been reported to improve the feeding value of soybean meal, and hence, the growth performance of piglets. However, whether FSM can affect the bacterial and metabolites in the large intestine of piglets remains unknown. This study supplemented wet-FSM (WFSM) or dry-FSM (DFSM) (5% dry matter basis) in the diet of piglets and investigated its effects on carbon and nitrogen metabolism in the piglets’ large intestines. A total of 75 41-day-old Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire piglets with an initial BW of 13.14±0.22 kg were used in a 4-week feeding trial. Our results showed that the average daily gain of piglets in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 27.08% and 14.58% and that the feed conversion ratio improved by 18.18% and 7.27%, respectively, compared with the control group. Data from the prediction gene function of Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) based on 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing showed that carbohydrate metabolism function families in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 3.46% and 2.68% and that the amino acid metabolism function families decreased by 1.74% and 0.82%, respectively, compared with the control group. These results were consistent with those of other metabolism studies, which showed that dietary supplementation with WFSM and DFSM increased the level of carbohydrate-related metabolites (e.g. 4-aminobutanoate, 5-aminopentanoate, lactic acid, mannitol, threitol and β-alanine) and decreased the levels of those related to protein catabolism (e.g. 1,3-diaminopropane, creatine, glycine and inosine). In conclusion, supplementation with the two forms of FSM improved growth performance, increased metabolites of carbohydrate and reduced metabolites of protein in the large intestine of piglets, and WFSM exhibited a stronger effect than DFSM.
To investigate the effectiveness and usability of automated procedural guidance during virtual temporal bone surgery.
Two randomised controlled trials were performed to evaluate the effectiveness, for medical students, of two presentation modalities of automated real-time procedural guidance in virtual reality simulation: full and step-by-step visual presentation of drillable areas. Presentation modality effectiveness was determined through a comparison of participants’ dissection quality, evaluated by a blinded otologist, using a validated assessment scale.
While the provision of automated guidance on procedure improved performance (full presentation, p = 0.03; step-by-step presentation, p < 0.001), usage of the two different presentation modalities was vastly different (full presentation, 3.73 per cent; step-by-step presentation, 60.40 per cent).
Automated procedural guidance in virtual temporal bone surgery is effective in improving trainee performance. Step-by-step presentation of procedural guidance was engaging, and therefore more likely to be used by the participants.
The human retina is supplied by two vascular systems: the highly vascular choroidal, situated behind the retina; and the retinal, which is dependent on the restriction that the light path must be minimally disrupted. Between these two circulations, the avascular retinal layers depend on diffusion of metabolites through the tissue. Oxygen supply to these layers may be threatened by diseases affecting microvasculature, for example diabetes and hypertension, which may ultimately cause loss of sight.
An accurate model of retinal blood flow will therefore facilitate the study of retinal oxygen supply and, hence, the complications caused by systemic vascular disease. Here, two simple models of the blood flow and exchange of hydrogen with the retina are presented and compared qualitatively with data obtained from experimental measurements. The models capture some interesting features of the exchange and highlight effects that will need to be considered in a more sophisticated model and in the interpretation of experimental results.
Little is known about the combined use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants in older psychiatric patients. This study examined the prescription pattern of concurrent benzodiazepines in older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia, and explored its demographic and clinical correlates.
The data of 955 older adults with any type of psychiatric disorders were extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) project. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The proportion of benzodiazepine and antidepressant combination in this cohort was 44.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that higher doses of antidepressants, younger age (<65 years), inpatients, public hospital, major comorbid medical conditions, antidepressant types, and country/territory were significantly associated with more frequent co-prescription of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
Nearly, half of the older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia are prescribed concurrent benzodiazepines. Given the potentially adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the rationale of benzodiazepines and antidepressants co-prescription needs to be revisited.
A model of Twin-cell Composite Box Beam (TCCBB), which is composed of concrete plate and thin-walled steel box beam with twin-cell, is proposed in this paper. Combined with structural features, longitudinal interfacial slip mode (LISM) and related shear hysteresis functions (SHFS) of this TCCBB model are defined respectively; analytical formulation describing combination effect between interfacial slip and shear lag is launched for this TCCBB model under even load. Based on established governing differential equations and its relative boundary conditions (calculated with compatible mechanism of interfacial slip and shear lag effect), closed form solutions of normal stress and shear stress are derived for this TCCBB model, as well as effective shear-lag coefficient and effective coupled behavior coefficient. To obtain more accurate computational results of specific coupled mechanism of this TCCBB model, numerical example is carried out to analyze and predict coupled mechanism of interfacial slip and shear lag effect for this type of composite structures.
Diarrhea is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and the incidence of diarrhea in the world has changed little over the past four decades. To assess the prevalence of and healthcare practices for diarrhea, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Pudong, Shanghai, China. In October 2014, a total of 5324 community residents were interviewed. Respondents were asked if they had experienced diarrhea (defined as ⩾3 passages of watery, loose, bloody, or mucoid stools within a 24-h period) in the previous month prior to the interview. The monthly prevalence of diarrhea was 4·1% (95% CI: 3·3–4·8), corresponding to an incidence rate of 0·54 episodes per person-year. The proportion of individuals with diarrhea who sought healthcare was 21·2% (95% CI: 13·4–29·0). Diarrhea continues to impose a considerable burden on the community and healthcare system in Pudong. Young age and travel were identified as predictors of increased diarrhea occurrence.
Patients with cardiovascular diseases are common in the emergency department (ED), and continuity of care following that visit is needed to ensure that they receive evidence-based diagnostic tests and therapy. We examined the frequency of follow-up care after discharge from an ED with a new diagnosis of one of three cardiovascular diseases.
We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients with a new diagnosis of heart failure, atrial fibrillation, or hypertension, who were discharged from 157 non-pediatric EDs in Ontario, Canada, between April 2007 and March 2014. We determined the frequency of follow-up care with a family physician, cardiologist, or internist within seven and 30 days, and assessed the association of patient, emergency physician, and family physician characteristics with obtaining follow-up care using cause-specific hazard modeling.
There were 41,485 qualifying ED visits. Just under half (47.0%) had follow-up care within seven days, with 78.7% seen by 30 days. Patients with serious comorbidities (renal failure, dementia, COPD, stroke, coronary artery disease, and cancer) had a lower adjusted hazard of obtaining 7-day follow-up care (HRs 0.77-0.95) and 30-day follow-up care (HR 0.76-0.95). The only emergency physician characteristic associated with follow-up care was 5-year emergency medicine specialty training (HR 1.11). Compared to those whose family physician was remunerated via a primarily fee-for-service model, patients were less likely to obtain 7-day follow-up care if their family physician was remunerated via three types of capitation models (HR 0.72, 0.81, 0.85) or via traditional fee-for-service (HR 0.91). Findings were similar for 30-day follow-up care.
Only half of patients discharged from an ED with a new diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and hypertension were seen within a week of being discharged. Patients with significant comorbidities were less likely to obtain follow-up care, as were those with a family physician who was remunerated via primarily capitation methods.