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Cognitive impairments in childhood are associated with increased risk of schizophrenia in later life, but the extent to which poor academic achievement is associated with the disorder is unclear.
Major databases were searched for articles published in English up to 31 December 2019. We conducted random-effects meta-analyses to: (1) compare general academic and mathematics achievement in youth who later developed schizophrenia and those who did not; (2) to examine the association between education level achieved and adult-onset schizophrenia; and, (3) compare general academic achievement in youth at-risk for schizophrenia and typically developing peers. Meta-regression models examined the effects of type of academic assessment, educational system, age at assessment, measurement of educational level attained, school leaving age, and study quality on academic achievement and education level among individuals with schizophrenia.
Meta-analyses, comprising data of over four million individuals, found that: (1) by age 16 years, those who later developed schizophrenia had poorer general academic (Cohen's d = −0.29, p ⩽ 0.0001) and mathematics achievement (d = −0.23, p = 0.01) than those who did not; (2) individuals with schizophrenia were less likely to enter higher education (odds ratio = 0.49, p ⩽ 0.0001); and, (3) youth reporting psychotic-like experiences and youth with a family history of schizophrenia had lower general academic achievement (d = −0.54, p ⩽ 0.0001; d = −0.39, p ⩽ 0.0001, respectively). Meta-regression analyses determined no effect modifiers.
Despite significant heterogeneity across studies, various routinely collected indices of academic achievement can identify premorbid cognitive dysfunction among individuals who are vulnerable for schizophrenia, potentially aiding the early identification of risk in the population.
This report is on the synthesis by electrospinning of multiferroic core-shell nanofibers of strontium hexaferrite and lead zirconate titanate or barium titanate and studies on magneto-electric (ME) coupling. Fibers with well-defined core–shell structures showed the order parameters in agreement with values for nanostructures. The strength of ME coupling measured by the magnetic field-induced polarization showed the fractional change in the remnant polarization as high as 21%. The ME voltage coefficient in H-assembled films showed the strong ME response for the zero magnetic bias field. Follow-up studies and potential avenues for enhancing the strength of ME coupling in the core–shell nanofibers are discussed.
We present the construction of an expert system (ES) for the diagnosis of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD). It concerns an artificial intelligence tool, in Lisp language compatible with any personal computer (PC) with a hard disk. The ES asks the user 50 questions in natural language, on the patient or on a clinical history. It is provided with 115 rules of reasoning. Using single or multivaluate variables, the ES reaches the diagnosis of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders or the recommendations of differential diagnosis with related patterns or involucred with obsessive pathology: phobic, affective, schizophrenic and Gilles de la Tourette disorders. Finally, the perspectives for the utilisation of the ES in psychopathology are disscussed, in conjunction with the 2 serious problems created, design difficulty and user acceptance.
Tuberculosis (TB) is generally considered a disease that principally afflicts the low-income segments of a population. In the Nanshan District of Shenzhen, China, with the economic transformation and a new Headquarters Economy (HE) emerging, there are now more cases in office workers than in manufacturing workers. To illustrate this trend, we describe a small TB outbreak in an office building located in the centre of the rapidly growing HE district. Two active pulmonary tuberculosis cases were found in workers who shared an office, and whole genome sequencing showed that the genetic distance between the strains of the two cases was just one single nucleotide polymorphism, consistent with intra-office transmission. Investigation of 30 other workers in the same or adjacent offices with interviews, interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) and chest X-rays, identified one new TB case and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in 40.0% (12/30) of the contacts. The offices were under-ventilated. None of the IGRA positive, asymptomatic contacts agreed to receive treatment for LTBI, presumably due to TB stigma, and over the next 2 years 69.0% (20/29) of the contacts were lost to follow-up. Treatment for LTBI and stigma of TB remain challenges here. Office workers in the HE of rapidly economic developing areas should be targeted with increased vigilance by TB control programmes.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
Rubber seed oil (RO) that is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA) can improve milk production and milk FA profiles of dairy cows; however, the responses of digestion and ruminal fermentation to RO supplementation in vivo are still unknown. This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of RO and flaxseed oil (FO) supplementation on nutrients digestibility, rumen fermentation parameters and rumen FA profile of dairy cows. Forty-eight mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows were randomly assigned to one of four treatments for 8 weeks, including basal diet (CON) or the basal dietary supplemented with 4% RO, 4% FO or 2% RO plus 2% FO on a DM basis. Compared with CON, dietary oil supplementation improved the total tract apparent digestibility of DM, neutral detergent fibre and ether extracts ( P < 0.05). Oil treatment groups had no effects on ruminal digesta pH value, ammonia N and microbial crude protein ( P > 0.05), whereas oil groups significantly changed the volatile fatty acid (VFA) profile by increasing the proportion of propionate whilst decreasing total VFA concentration, the proportion of acetate and the ratio of acetate to propionate ( P < 0.05). However, there were no differences in VFA proportions between the three oil groups (P > 0.05). In addition, dietary oil supplementation increased the total unsaturated FA proportion in the rumen by enhancing the proportion of trans-11 C18:1 vaccenic acid (VA), cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) ( P < 0.05). These results indicate that dietary supplementation with RO and FO could improve nutrients digestibility, ruminal fermentation and ruminal FA profile by enhancing the VA, cis-9, trans-11 CLA and ALA composition of lactating dairy cows. These findings provide a theoretical basis for the application of RO in livestock production.
Estimating the feed intake of grazing herbivores is critical for determining their nutrition, overall productivity and utilization of grassland resources. A 17-day indoor feeding experiment was conducted to evaluate the potential use of Medicago sativa as a natural supplement for estimating the total feed intake of sheep. A total of 16 sheep were randomly assigned to four diets (four sheep per diet) containing a known amount of M. sativa together with up to seven forages common to typical steppes. The diets were: diet 1, M. sativa + Leymus chinensis + Puccinellia distans; diet 2, species in diet 1 + Phragmites australis; diet 3, species in diet 2 + Chenopodium album + Elymus sibiricus; and diet 4, species in diet 3 + Artemisia scoparia + Artemisia tanacetifolia. After faecal marker concentrations were corrected by individual sheep recovery, treatment mean recovery or overall recovery, the proportions of M. sativa and other dietary forages were estimated from a combination of alkanes and long-chain alcohols using a least-square procedure. Total intake was the ratio of the known intake of M. sativa to its estimated dietary proportion. Each dietary component intake was obtained using total intake and the corresponding dietary proportions. The estimated values were compared with actual values to assess the estimation accuracy. The results showed that M. sativa exhibited a distinguishable marker pattern in comparison to the other dietary forage species. The accuracy of the dietary composition estimates was significantly (P < 0.001) affected by both diet diversity and the faecal recovery method. The proportion of M. sativa and total intake across all diets could be accurately estimated using the individual sheep or the treatment mean recovery methods. The largest differences between the estimated and observed total intake were 2.6 g and 19.2 g, respectively, representing only 0.4% and 2.6% of the total intake. However, they were significantly (P < 0.05) biased for most diets when using the overall recovery method. Due to the difficulty in obtaining individual sheep recovery under field conditions, treatment mean recovery is recommended. This study suggests that M. sativa, a natural roughage instead of a labelled concentrate, can be utilized as a dietary supplement to accurately estimate the total feed intake of sheep indoors and further indicates that it has potential to be used in steppe grassland of northern China, where the marker patterns of M. sativa differ markedly from commonly occurring plant species.
Introduction: Very low concentrations of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin can rule-out myocardial infarction (MI) at ED arrival in patients with chest pain. However, this single troponin rule-out strategy works poorly in patients with renal impairment and elevated baseline troponin levels. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a troponin adjustment strategy to accurately rule-out MI with a single hs-cTnTmeasurement in patients with kidney dysfunction. Methods: We used data from three cohorts of ED chest pain patients to develop an adjustment score for a high-sensitivity troponin T (hs-cTnT) assay in patients with kidney dysfunction. The derivation cohort (n = 8846) used administrative and registry data. Two validation cohorts (n = 1187 and 1092) were prospectively-collected. The score assigned points for increasing hs-cTnT levels and subtracted points for lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). In the derivation cohort, hs-cTnT concentrations achieving 98.5% sensitivity in of patients with eGFR ≥60, 45-59, 30-44, 15-29 and <15 were assigned ascending positive integer values. Negative integer values were assigned to eGFR values 45-59, 30-44, 15-29 and <15. The scpres for troponin and eGFR were summed for each patient, with scores ranging from −4 to +5. The proportion of patients with 7-day MI ruled out by a score ≤0, sensitivity, NPV, negative likelihood ratio (LR-) and area under the curve (AUC) were quantified in each study cohort. Results: The derivation and validation cohorts had 7-day MI rates of 5.7, 8.6 and 9.1%. In the derivation cohort, a score ≤0 ruled out MI in 35% of patients, with a sensitivity for 7-day MI of 99.5% (95% CI 98-100), NPV of 99.9% (95% CI 98.4-99.9), LR- of 0.02 (95% CI 0.01-0.05) and AUC of 0.88. In the first validation cohort, a score ≤0 ruled out MI in 45% of patients, with a sensitivity for 7-day MI of 97% (95% CI 90-100%), NPV of 99% (95% CI 98-100%), LR- 0.06 (0.02-0.18) and AUC of 0.89. In the second validation cohort, a score ≤0 ruled out MI in 20% of patients, with a sensitivity for 7-day MI of 96% (95% CI 93-99%), NPV of 98% (95% CI 96-100%), LR- of 0.16 (95% CI 0.07-0.39) and AUC of 0.78. Conclusion: We developed and validated a simple scoring system to adjust hs-cTnT concentrations for a patient's kidney function that enables MI to be ruled out in a large proportion of chest pain patients using a single measurement on ED presentation.
Globally, the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease is higher in males. This study examined the effect of sex and age on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Demographic and exposure data were collected on household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients in Brazil. Contacts with tuberculin skin test induration ⩾10 mm at baseline or 12 weeks were considered Mtb infected. The study enrolled 917 household contacts from 160 households; 508 (55.4%) were female, median age was 21.0 years (range 0.30–87.0) and 609 (66.4%) had Mtb infection. The proportion infected increased with age from 63.3% in girls <5 years to 75.4% in women ⩾40 years and from 44.9% in boys <5 years to 73.6% in men ⩾40 years. Multivariable modelling showed the odds of infection increased between age 5 and 14 years among female contacts (OR 1.5 per 5-year age increase; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.02) and between ages 0–4 and 15–39 years among male contacts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 0.83–8.9 and 1.1, 95% CI 0.99–1.3 per 5-year age increase; P = 0.10, 0.07, respectively). The study suggests that the age at which Mtb infection increases most is different in females compared with males. Studies are needed to explore whether these findings are due to differences in host susceptibility, exposure outside the household or other factors.
The present study looks into the unifying and divisive effects of ethnopolitical and religious social identities, and an emerging superordinate Bangsamoro identity of Muslims in the southern region of the Philippines. We surveyed 394 Muslims with a mean age of 32.6 and standard deviation of 13.3 from the Tausug, Maranao, and Maguindanaoan ethnopolitical affiliations using various measures of social identities. Findings showed that the Muslims in our sample identify themselves more strongly with their religious identity over their ethnopolitical affiliations. Religious identity may thus be a unifying element in the conflict-ridden context of Mindanao, as a significant correlation was also found between their Muslim identity and attitudes toward the superordinate Bangsamoro identity. Qualitative data on the meaning of Bangsamoro were also analysed and revealed that Bangsamoro means a fusion of Mindanao, Islam, and peace/unity. However, data also reveal the divisive effects of ethnic identity. A moderately high overlap was found between their own ethnic identity and the Bangsamoro identity. The Tausugs, the low-power group in the peace talks, showed lesser overlap compared to Maguinanaons, suggesting that ethnopolitical, or what observers of Mindanao conflict have referred to as ‘tribal’ relations, implicates the respondent's perception of a superordinate Bangsamoro identity.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The assessment of inter-regional functional connectivity (FC) has allowed for the description of the putative mechanism of action of treatments such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus accumbens in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Nevertheless, the possible FC alterations of other clinically-effective DBS targets have not been explored. Here we evaluated the FC patterns of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) in patients with OCD, as well as their association with symptom severity.
Eighty-six patients with OCD and 104 healthy participants were recruited. A resting-state image was acquired for each participant and a seed-based analysis focused on our two regions of interest was performed using statistical parametric mapping software (SPM8). Between-group differences in FC patterns were assessed with two-sample t test models, while the association between symptom severity and FC patterns was assessed with multiple regression analyses.
In comparison with controls, patients with OCD showed: (1) increased FC between the left STN and the right pre-motor cortex, (2) decreased FC between the right STN and the lenticular nuclei, and (3) increased FC between the left BNST and the right frontopolar cortex. Multiple regression analyses revealed a negative association between clinical severity and FC between the right STN and lenticular nucleus.
This study provides a neurobiological framework to understand the mechanism of action of DBS on the STN and the BNST, which seems to involve brain circuits related with motor response inhibition and anxiety control, respectively.
We investigated the first presence of qnrA among Shigella sonnei clinical isolates in Jiangsu Province, China. The qnrA-positive isolates coexisted with the mutation in gyrA at codon 83, these isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and 22·2% (2 of 9) of them were resistant to norfloxacin.
Lithium sulfur (Li–S) batteries have the potential to provide higher energy storage density at lower cost than conventional lithium ion batteries. A key challenge for Li–S batteries is the loss of sulfur to the electrolyte during cycling. This loss can be mitigated by sequestering the sulfur in nanostructured carbon–sulfur composites. The nanoscale characterization of the sulfur distribution within these complex nanostructured electrodes is normally performed by electron microscopy, but sulfur sublimates and redistributes in the high-vacuum conditions of conventional electron microscopes. The resulting sublimation artifacts render characterization of sulfur in conventional electron microscopes problematic and unreliable. Here, we demonstrate two techniques, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and scanning electron microscopy in air (airSEM), that enable the reliable characterization of sulfur across multiple length scales by suppressing sulfur sublimation. We use cryo-TEM and airSEM to examine carbon–sulfur composites synthesized for use as Li–S battery cathodes, noting several cases where the commonly employed sulfur melt infusion method is highly inefficient at infiltrating sulfur into porous carbon hosts.
Much can be learned from terrestrial planets that appear to have had the potential to be habitable, but failed to realize that potential. Mars shows evidence of a once hospitable surface environment. The reasons for its current state, and in particular its thin atmosphere and dry surface, are of great interest for what they can tell us about habitable zone planet outcomes. A main goal of the MAVEN mission is to observe Mars’ atmosphere responses to solar and space weather influences, and in particular atmosphere escape related to space weather ‘storms’ caused by interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs). Numerical experiments with a data-validated MHD model suggest how the effects of an observed moderately strong ICME compare to what happens during a more extreme event. The results suggest the kinds of solar and space weather conditions that can have evolutionary importance at a planet like Mars.
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a common disease in premature infants characterised by intestinal ischaemia and necrosis. The only effective preventative strategy against NEC is the administration of breast milk, although the protective mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesise that an abundant human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) in breast milk, 2′-fucosyllactose (2′FL), protects against NEC by enhancing intestinal mucosal blood flow, and we sought to determine the mechanisms underlying this protection. Administration of HMO-2′FL protected against NEC in neonatal wild-type mice, resulted in a decrease in pro-inflammatory markers and preserved the small intestinal mucosal architecture. These protective effects occurred via restoration of intestinal perfusion through up-regulation of the vasodilatory molecule endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), as administration of HMO-2′FL to eNOS-deficient mice or to mice that received eNOS inhibitors did not protect against NEC, and by 16S analysis HMO-2′FL affected the microbiota of the neonatal mouse gut, although these changes do not seem to be the primary mechanism of protection. Induction of eNOS by HMO-2′FL was also observed in cultured endothelial cells, providing a link between eNOS and HMO in the endothelium. These data demonstrate that HMO-2′FL protects against NEC in part through maintaining mesenteric perfusion via increased eNOS expression, and suggest that the 2′FL found in human milk may be mediating some of the protective benefits of breast milk in the clinical setting against NEC.