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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.
La3+-doped BaSnO3 microtubes (La3+–BaSnO3) have been synthesized by electrospinning method, and the influence of La3+ content on the sensing properties of BaSnO3 for detection of formaldehyde vapor has been investigated. The as-prepared materials have been characterized using XRD, SEM, DSC, XPS, and UV-Vis. The La3+–BaSnO3 sample doped with 4 wt% La exhibited a response as high as 220 to formaldehyde vapor (1000 ppm concentration) along with a very low detection limit of 0.1 ppm at 270 °C, whereas at 140 °C, it exhibited a response of 80 and detection limit of 1 ppm. In addition, the sensor showed excellent selectivity of 57 to formaldehyde at 140 °C when compared with other vapors. Further, the sensor also showed good repeatability and stability over a long period of time suggesting its strong potential as a commercial formaldehyde sensor.
This study investigated Echinococcus genotypes in patients with hydatidosis that reside in Inner Mongolia, Tibet or Qinghai Province by partially sequencing the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and NADH dehydrogenase 1 (nad1) genes. Cyst fluids were collected from 23 patients with hydatidosis and DNA was extracted. Portions of the cox1 and nad1 genes were amplified and subsequently sequenced. Sequencing analysis determined that one of the isolates contained Echinococcus multilocularis, and the other 22 isolates contained E. granulosus sensu lato. The isolates were then further classified based on genotype, and E. granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.) G1 (n = 20), E. granulosus s.s. G3 (n = 1) and E. canadensis G6/7 (n = 1) were identified. Additionally, the sequences were concatenated (pcox1 + pnad1) and 11 haplotypes were identified among the E. granulosus s.s. isolates (G1 and G3), with a shared common haplotype (H1) identified. Overall, these findings provide further understanding of the genetic patterns of Echinococcus in western and northern China.
Environment can impact the wear behavior of metals and alloys substantially. The tribological properties of Al0.6CoCrFeNi high-entropy alloys (HEAs) were investigated in ambient air, deionized water, simulated acid rain, and simulated seawater conditions at frequencies of 2–5 Hz. The as-cast alloy was composed of simple face-centered cubic and body-centered cubic phases. The wear rate of the as-cast HEA in the ambient air condition was significantly higher than that in the liquid environment. The wear resistance in seawater was superior to that in ambient air, deionized water, and acid rain. Both the friction coefficient and wear rate in seawater were the lowest due to the formation of oxidation film, lubrication, and corrosion action in solution. The dominant wear mechanism in the ambient air condition and deionized water was abrasive wear, delamination wear, and oxidative wear. By contrast, the wear mechanism in acid rain and seawater was mainly corrosion wear, adhesive wear, abrasive wear, and oxidative wear.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Gut microbes, especially those in the large intestine, are actively involved in nutrient metabolism; however, their impact on host nitrogen (N) metabolism remains largely unknown. This study was designed to investigate the effects of feeding a cocktail of antibiotics (AGM) (ampicillin, gentamycin and metronidazole) on intestinal microbiota, N utilization efficiency, and amino acid (AA) digestibility in cannulated pigs, with the aim of exploring the impact of gut microbiota on host N metabolism. In total, 16 piglets were surgically fitted with a simple distal ileal T-cannula and a jugular venous catheter. The pigs were fed a basal diet without antibiotics (control; CON) or with antibiotics (antibiotic; ANTI), for 2 weeks. The results showed that feeding AGM did not affect weight gain or digestive enzyme activity. The antibiotics increased the concentration of urea N (P<0.05). However, they reduced N utilization, and the total tract apparent digestibility of isoleucine, methionine, valine, tyrosine and total AA (P<0.05). Furthermore, the antibiotics increased the terminal ileum apparent digestibility of CP, phenylalanine, valine, alanine, tyrosine and total AA (P<0.05). AGM markedly altered the composition of the microbiota in the ileum and feces, with a reduction in populations of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Ruminococcus, and an increase in the abundance of Escherichia coli (P<0.05). The antibiotics also significantly increased the concentration of cadaverine and ammonia, both in ileal digesta and feces (P<0.05), suggesting a marked impact on N metabolism in the intestine. The analyses indicated that the alteration of gut microbiota was correlated with the apparent digestibility of CP and AA in the intestine. These findings suggest that the AGM-induced alteration of gut microbiota may contribute to the change in intestinal N metabolism, and consequently, N excretion from the body. These results also suggest that antibiotics could have a significant effect on host N metabolism. The present study contributes to our understanding of the effects of antibiotics and provides a rational scientific basis for diet formulation during AGM use.
Retrospective data evaluated increases in advanced medical support for children with medically attended acute respiratory illness (MAARI) during influenza outbreak periods (IOP). Advanced support included hospitalisation, intensive care unit admission, or mechanical ventilation, for children aged 0–17 years hospitalised in Maryland's 50 acute-care hospitals over 12 influenza seasons. Weekly numbers of positive influenza tests in the Maryland area defined IOP for each season as the fewest consecutive weeks, including the peak week containing at least 85% of positive tests with a 2-week buffer on either side of the IOP. Peak IOP (PIOP) was defined as four consecutive weeks containing the peak week with the most number of positive influenza tests. Off-PIOP was defined as the ‘shoulder’ weeks during each IOP. Non-influenza season (NIS) was the remaining weeks of that study season. Rate ratios of mean daily MAARI-related admissions resulting in advanced medical support outcomes during PIOP or Off-PIOP were compared with the NIS and were significantly elevated for all 12 study seasons combined. The results suggest that influenza outbreaks are associated with increased advanced medical support utilisation by children with MAARI. We feel that this data may help preparedness for severe influenza epidemics or pandemic.
This paper presents the design of all dielectric non-absorptive phase gradient reflective surfaces that can be used to manipulate the reflected electromagnetic waves at millimeter-wave regime. Compared with a bare perfect electrical conductor reflector which obeys the classical Snell's law of reflection, the presented design can effectively alter both the shape and level of the backscattered energy and thus radar cross section (RCS) reduction is achieved in the specular direction. One- and two-dimensional phase gradient reflective dielectric surfaces of phase change about 72° across their apertures are designed and their ability to manipulate the reflected waves under normal incidence are investigated both by means of full-wave simulations and experimentally tested for validation. More than 6 dB of specular RCS reduction is achieved from about 66.5–78.2 GHz.
Human cystic echinococcosis is a widespread, chronic, endemic, helminthic zoonosis caused by larval tapeworms of the species Echinococcus granulosus. At present, there is no rational and effective therapy for patients with echinococcosis. The present study evaluated whether the combination of alkaloids from Sophora moorcroftiana seeds (SMSa2) and Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) was effective in the treatment of experimental echinococcosis. After 20 weeks of secondary infection with protoscoleces, mice were randomly allocated to five groups and treated for 6 weeks by daily intragastric administration of albendazole (ABZ, 100 mg/kg), SMSa2 (100 mg/kg), BCG (abdominal subcutaneous injection at 5 × 106 CFU), SMSa2 + BCG (100 mg/kg SMSa2 and 5 × 106 CFU BCG) or normal saline (untreated group), respectively. The results indicated a significant reduction in the weight of hydatid cysts in the SMSa2 + BCG group compared with the untreated, SMSa2 and BCG groups. The rate of inhibition of hydatid cyst growth in the SMSa2 + BCG group (76.1%) was obviously increased compared with that in the SMSa2 (25.7%) and BCG (26.6%) groups, respectively. Compared with the untreated control, the SMSa2 + BCG group showed a non-significant increase in serum interleukin-4 (IL-4). Furthermore, the serum levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) between the untreated and SMSa2 + BCG groups were not statistically different. Therefore, the combination of alkaloids from S. moorcroftiana seeds and BCG can reduce cyst burden and is an effective therapeutic regimen against echinococcosis.
Many accretion disks surrounding supermassive black holes in nearby AGN are observed to host 22 GHz water maser activity. We have analyzed single-dish 22 GHz spectra taken with the GBT to identify 32 such “Keplerian disk systems,” which we used to investigate maser excitation and explore the possibility of disk reverberation. Our results do not support a spiral shock model for population inversion in these disks, and we find that any reverberating signal propagating radially outwards from the AGN must constitute <10% of the total observed maser variability. Additionally, we have used ALMA to begin exploring the variety of sub-mm water megamasers that are also predicted, and in the case of the 321 GHz transition found, to be present in these accretion disks. By observing multiple masing transitions within a single system, we can better constrain the physical conditions (e.g., gas temperature and density) in the accretion disk.
To describe our finding of increased ossification of the modiolus in paediatric patients with auditory neuropathy who met criteria for cochlear implantation.
A retrospective case series with a comparison group at a tertiary referral centre is described. Seven paediatric patients with auditory neuropathy who met criteria for and underwent cochlear implantation were identified. Fifteen paediatric implantees with bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss were included as the comparison group. All patients underwent pre-operative computed tomography. Attenuation at the modiolus was measured in all subjects by a neuroradiologist blinded to clinical information.
Attenuation values in the modiolus in the auditory neuropathy patients (mean ± standard deviation = 796.2 ± 53.0 HU) was statistically significantly higher than in the comparison sensorineural hearing loss patients (267.1 ± 45.6 HU; p < 0.05, t-test).
Patients with auditory neuropathy who meet criteria for cochlear implantation demonstrate significantly higher modiolar attenuation on computed tomography imaging, consistent with increased ossification at the modiolus.
Halo distribution is a key topic for background study. This paper has developed an analytical method to give an estimation of beam halo distribution in storage rings. This is a creative new theory. As an example, the equilibrium particle distribution of the beam tail in the Accelerator Test Facility damping ring is calculated analytically with different emittance and different vacuum degree. The analytical results agree the measurements very well. This is a general method, which can be applied to any electron rings.
The role of the global curvature on the structure and propagation of cylindrical detonations is studied allowing and without allowing the development of cellular structures through two-dimensional (2-D) and 1-D simulations, respectively. It is shown that as the detonation transitions from being overdriven to the Chapman–Jouguet (CJ) state, its structure evolves from no cell, to growing cells and then to diverging cells. Furthermore, the increased dimension of the average structure of the cellular cylindrical detonation, coupled with the curved transverse wave, leads to bulk un-reacted pockets as the cells grow, and consequently lower average propagation velocities as compared to those associated with smooth fronts. As the global detonation front expands and its curvature decreases, the extent of the un-reacted pockets diminishes and the average velocity of the cellular cylindrical detonation eventually degenerates to that of the smooth fronts. Consequently, the presence of cellular instability renders detonation more difficult to initiate for weakly unstable detonations.
To study the operational impact of process improvements on emergency department (ED) patient flow. The changes did not require any increase in resources or expenditures.
This was a 36-month pre- and post-intervention study to evaluate the effect of implementing process improvements at a community ED from January 2010 to December 2012. The intervention comprised streamlining triage by having patients accepted into internal waiting areas immediately after triage. Within the ED, parallel processes unfolded, and there was no restriction on when registration occurred or which health care provider a patient saw first. Flexible nursing ratios allowed nursing staff to redeploy and move to areas of highest demand. Last, demand-based physician scheduling was implemented. The main outcome was length of stay (LOS). Secondary outcomes included time to physician initial assessment (PIA), left-without-being-seen (LWBS) rates, and left-against-medical-advice (LAMA) rates. Segmented regression of interrupted time series analysis was performed to quantify the impact of the intervention, and whether it was sustained.
Patients totalling 251,899 attended the ED during the study period. Daily patient volumes increased 17.3% during the post-intervention period. Post-intervention, mean LOS decreased by 0.64 hours (p<0.005). LOS for non-admitted Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale 2 (-0.58 hours, p<0.005), 3 (-0.75 hours, p<0.005), and 4 (-0.32 hours, p<0.005) patients also decreased. There were reductions in PIA (43.81 minutes, p<0.005), LWBS (35.2%, p<0.005), and LAMA (61.9%, p<0.005).
A combination of process improvements in the ED was associated with clinically significant reductions in LOS, PIA, LWBS, and LAMA for non-resuscitative patients.
Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) has been reported to rapidly reduce psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. This has the potential to revolutionize treatment for schizophrenia. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that SNP leads to a reduction in psychotic symptoms and an improvement in spatial working memory (SWM) performance in patients with schizophrenia.
This was a single-centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial performed from 27 August 2014 to 10 February 2016 (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02176044). Twenty patients with schizophrenia aged 18–60 years with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were recruited from psychiatric outpatient clinics in the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London, UK. Baseline symptoms were measured using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the 18-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS-18), and SWM was assessed using the CANTAB computerized test. Participants received either an infusion of SNP (0.5 μg/kg per min for 4 h) or placebo and were re-assessed for symptoms and SWM performance immediately after the infusion, and 4 weeks later.
SNP did not lead to any reduction in psychotic symptoms or improvement in SWM performance compared to placebo.
Although this study was negative, it is possible that the beneficial effects of SNP may occur in patients with a shorter history of illness, or with more acute exacerbation of symptoms.
Serum thyroglobulin is used as a surrogate marker for well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma recurrence. This study investigates whether thyroglobulin measured at the time of ablative radioactive iodine therapy predicts disease-free survival.
A retrospective review was conducted of patients with well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma presenting from 1989 to 2010 at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, New South Wales, Australia. Disease-free survival of patients with a significantly elevated stimulated thyroglobulin level (27.5 µg/l or higher) at the time of ablative radioactive iodine therapy was compared to that of patients without a significantly elevated thyroglobulin level using univariate analysis.
Patients with a thyroglobulin level of 27.5 µg/l or higher had an increased relative risk of disease recurrence of 4.50 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.35–15.04). If lateral neck dissection was required at the time of surgery, patients also had an increased relative risk of macroscopic disease recurrence of 4.94 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.47–16.55).
An elevated thyroglobulin level of 27.5 µg/l or higher at the time of ablative radioactive iodine therapy is a prognostic indicator for macroscopic disease recurrence in well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma.
The NbCr2 Laves phase was fabricated by spark plasma sintering (SPS) using spherical Nb and Cr powders. The experimental results revealed that increasing the sintering temperature to 1773 K can result in the formation of NbCr2 Laves phase as major phase, but it always appeared with trace amounts of Nb and Cr solid solutions. Based on the theoretical calculations, the residual of Nb and Cr solid solutions was attributed to the inhomogeneous distribution of temperature increase from the particle-contacting surface to the center of particle when pulsed current passed through. Moreover, the hardness and fracture toughness of the SPS-processed NbCr2 attained 14.05 ± 0.67 GPa and 8.9 MPa·m1/2, which were 1.6 and 7.4 times of the as-cast NbCr2 Laves phase (1.2 MPa·m1/2). The formation of ductile Nb and Cr solid solutions and fine grains were considered to be the reason for the remarkable enhancements in mechanical properties.
This study aimed to comprehensively evaluate factors that influence the likelihood of syphilis infection from risk-taking behaviours and medical conditions. A retrospective case-control study was conducted by enrolling 664 syphilis inpatients (excluding 11 congenital syphilis patients) and 800 sex- and age-matched controls. Medical histories, clinical data and patient interview data were collected and subjected to logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of syphilis in the study population was 3·9% (675/17 304). By univariate analysis, syphilis infection was associated with migration between cities, marital status, smoking, reproductive history, hypertension, elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) (P < 0·05). A high rate of syphilis-HBV co-infection was observed in HIV-negative patients and further research revealed an association between syphilis and specific HBV serological reactivity. Syphilis was also associated with the frequency, duration and status of tobacco use. Multivariate analysis indicated that syphilis infection was independently associated with migration between cities [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1·368, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·048–1·785], current smoking (aOR 1·607, 95% CI 1·177–2·195), elevated BUN (aOR 1·782, 95% CI 1·188–2·673) and some serological patterns of HBV infection. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases, inpatients and blood donors should be tested for HIV, syphilis, HBV and HCV simultaneously.