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Topical nasal decongestants are frequently used as part of the medical management of symptoms related to Eustachian tube dysfunction.
This study aimed to assess the effect of topical xylometazoline hydrochloride sprayed in the anterior part of the nose on Eustachian tube active and passive opening in healthy ears.
Active and passive Eustachian tube function was assessed in healthy subjects before and after intranasal administration of xylometazoline spray, using tympanometry, video otoscopy, sonotubometry, tubo-tympano-aerodynamic-graphy and tubomanometry.
Resting middle-ear pressures were not significantly different following decongestant application. Eustachian tube opening rate was not significantly different following the intervention, as measured by all function tests used. Sonotubometry data showed a significant increase in the duration of Eustachian tube opening following decongestant application.
There remains little or no evidence that topical nasal decongestants improve Eustachian tube function. Sonotubometry findings do suggest that further investigation with an obstructive Eustachian tube dysfunction patient cohort is warranted.
The use of statistical/machine learning (ML) approaches to materials science is experiencing explosive growth. Here, we review recent work focusing on the generation and application of libraries from both experiment and theoretical tools. The library data enables classical correlative ML and also opens the pathway for exploration of underlying causative physical behaviors. We highlight key advances facilitated by this approach and illustrate how modeling, macroscopic experiments, and imaging can be combined to accelerate the understanding and development of new materials systems. These developments point toward a data-driven future wherein knowledge can be aggregated and synthesized, accelerating the advancement of materials science.
Microsupercapacitors (MSCs) are miniaturized energy storage devices that can be integrated in an on-chip platform as a component of a power supply for Internet of things’ sensors. Integration of these on-chip MSCs require them to be fabricated through CMOS compatible fabrication techniques such as spin coating. One of the biggest challenges in spin coated MSCs is the poor surface adhesion. In this work, we present a CMOS compatible electrode deposition process with enhanced adhesion and retention for reduced graphene oxide (rGO) using spin coating. In order to improve the adhesion and surface uniformity of the deposited electrode material, the surface of Si/SiO2 wafers was subjected to roughening through Fe nanoparticle formation. A 4 nm thick Fe layer deposition substantially magnified the average mean surface roughness of the substrates. In comparison with substrates without the Fe deposition, the treated ones have more than 300% improvement in surface coverage and rGO mass retention after sonication testing. These results suggest that the surface roughening has a positive influence on electrode deposition via a spin-coating method.
We observed pediatric S. aureus hospitalizations decreased 36% from 26.3 to 16.8 infections per 1,000 admissions from 2009 to 2016, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) decreasing by 52% and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus decreasing by 17%, among 39 pediatric hospitals. Similar decreases were observed for days of therapy of anti-MRSA antibiotics.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
The mid-infrared range contains many spectral features associated with large molecules and dust grains such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and silicates. These are usually very strong compared to fine-structure gas lines, and thus valuable in studying the spectral properties of faint distant galaxies. In this paper, we evaluate the capability of low-resolution mid-infrared spectroscopic surveys of galaxies that could be performed by SPICA. The surveys are designed to address the question how star formation and black hole accretion activities evolved over cosmic time through spectral diagnostics of the physical conditions of the interstellar/circumnuclear media in galaxies. On the basis of results obtained with Herschel far-infrared photometric surveys of distant galaxies and Spitzer and AKARI near- to mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of nearby galaxies, we estimate the numbers of the galaxies at redshift z > 0.5, which are expected to be detected in the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon features or dust continuum by a wide (10 deg2) or deep (1 deg2) blind survey, both for a given observation time of 600 h. As by-products of the wide blind survey, we also expect to detect debris disks, through the mid-infrared excess above the photospheric emission of nearby main-sequence stars, and we estimate their number. We demonstrate that the SPICA mid-infrared surveys will efficiently provide us with unprecedentedly large spectral samples, which can be studied further in the far-infrared with SPICA.
The element boron belongs, together with lithium and beryllium, to a known trio of important elements for the study of evolutionary processes in low mass stars. Because B is the least fragile of this trio to be destroyed in the stellar interiors, it can be used to test if the Li enrichment is of planetary origin. Here, for the first time, boron lines are examined in the UV for four giants with different degrees of large Li enrichment by means of observations with the Hubble telescope. Two main results are found in our study. One is that to first approximation B abundances appear not to be in excess, invalidating the planet engulfment mechanism. The second one is that the two stars with very large Li abundances present emission lines indicating that quite strong active chromospheres are acting in these very Li-rich giants. These new results obtained from the UV complement our recent studies in the mid-IR (de la Reza et al. 2015) where strong emission-line features of organic material were found in the spectra of some Li-rich stars.
In August 2015 a gastroenteritis outbreak occurred following a wedding. An outbreak investigation was undertaken and a cohort study was conducted using an online survey. Of 140 guests, 134 received the survey and 113 responded (84·3% response rate). Seventy respondents met the case definition of vomiting and/or diarrhoea within 72 h of the wedding (61·9% attack rate). Fifteen exposures were associated with illness; on stratification, all were confounded by the ham hock starter. Multivariable analysis showed a significant association with exposure to ham hock (risk ratio 6·62, 95% confidence interval 2·19–20·03). Eight guests and two catering staff submitted stool samples. All tested positive for norovirus GI-6 infection, including a food handler who had vomiting less than 48 h before the wedding. A single genotype was detected among all samples, suggesting a single source of contamination. The transmission pattern suggested point-source exposure. The most plausible cause of the outbreak was transmission from an infected food handler via contaminated food. This highlights the importance of appropriate exclusions for symptomatic food handlers. Additionally, the food handler's stool sample was submitted 7 days after symptom resolution. The potential for extended viral excretion, and the extremely low infective dose of norovirus, may mean that current exclusion guidelines are not of sufficient duration.
In an effort to better understand the consequences of early weaning (EW) for replacement beef heifers, a two-phase experiment was conducted investigating the impact on metabolic function and documenting reproductive characteristics. In phase 1, Angus×Simmental heifers (n=35) were stratified by BW and sire, and randomly assigned to either a normal weaning (NW, n=18) or EW (n=17) treatment. EW heifers were weaned at 107±3 days of age and provided access to a concentrate-based ration ad libitum with limit-fed mixed grass hay. NW heifers remained with their dams until 232±3 days of age, at which point heifers from both treatments were comingled and grazed on mixed summer pasture. Following NW, weekly blood samples were collected from all heifers for progesterone analyses used to determine the onset of puberty. Pelvic and ovarian size was measured before breeding. All heifers were subjected to an estrous synchronization protocol with timed artificial insemination (AI) at 437±4 days of age. During phase 2 of the experiment, a subset of pregnant heifers (n=16) were divided into two replicates and subjected to a glucose tolerance test, epinephrine challenge and progesterone clearance analysis. Neither age nor BW at puberty differed between EW and NW heifers. Likewise, no differences in pelvic area or ovarian size were observed. Thus, it appears that the reproductive maturity of EW and NW heifers was similar. Heifers studied during phase 2 of the experiment were restricted to those that had become pregnant to their first AI. Within this cohort, EW heifers tended to have lower overall circulating progesterone concentrations than those that were NW (P=0.14). Aspects of glucose and insulin dynamics were also altered, as EW heifers tended to have lower baseline glucose concentrations (P=0.10) despite similar baseline insulin concentrations. Compared with NW heifers, EW heifers had lower insulin area under the curve (P<0.05), which was partly the result of a tendency for lower peak insulin concentrations (P=0.11). Results of the glucose tolerance test indicate that a lesser insulin response was necessary to properly clear the glucose in the EW heifers, suggesting enhanced insulin sensitivity. Collectively, these results indicate that EW is not detrimental for the growth or reproductive development of replacement beef heifers, although some differences in glucose and insulin dynamics persist into adulthood.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
It is unclear which potentially modifiable risk factors best predict post-trauma psychiatric disorders. We aimed to identify pre-trauma risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression (MD) that could be targeted with resilience interventions.
Newly recruited paramedics (n = 453) were assessed for history of mental disorders with structured clinical interviews within the first week of their paramedic training and completed self-report measures to assess hypothesized predictors. Participants were assessed every 4 months for 2 years to identify any episodes of PTSD and MD; 386 paramedics (85.2%) participated in the follow-up interviews.
In all, 32 participants (8.3%) developed an episode of PTSD and 41 (10.6%) an episode of MD during follow-up. In all but nine cases (2.3%), episodes had remitted by the next assessment 4 months later. At 2 years, those with episodes of PTSD or MD during follow-up reported more days off work, poorer sleep, poorer quality of life, greater burn-out; and greater weight-gain for those with PTSD. In line with theories of PTSD and depression, analyses controlling for psychiatric and trauma history identified several pre-trauma predictors (cognitive styles, coping styles and psychological traits). Logistic regressions showed that rumination about memories of stressful events at the start of training uniquely predicted an episode of PTSD. Perceived resilience uniquely predicted an episode of MD.
Participants at risk of developing episodes of PTSD or depression could be identified within the first week of paramedic training. Cognitive predictors of episodes of PTSD and MD are promising targets for resilience interventions.
Our knowledge of the universe comes from recording the photon and particle fluxes incident on the Earth from space. We thus require sensitive measurement across the entire energy spectrum, using large telescopes with efficient instrumentation located on superb sites. Technological advances and engineering constraints are nearing the point where we are recording as many photons arriving at a site as is possible. Major advances in the future will come from improving the quality of the site. The ultimate site is, of course, beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, such as on the Moon, but economic limitations prevent our exploiting this avenue to the degree that the scientific community desires. Here we describe an alternative, which offers many of the advantages of space for a fraction of the cost: the Antarctic Plateau.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
Obesity is a growing problem in India, the dietary determinants of which have been studied using an ‘individual food/nutrient’ approach. Examining dietary patterns may provide more coherent findings, but few studies in developing countries have adopted this approach. The present study aimed to identify dietary patterns in an Indian population and assess their relationship with anthropometric risk factors.
FFQ data from the cross-sectional sib-pair Indian Migration Study (IMS; n 7067) were used to identify dietary patterns using principal component analysis. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to examine associations with obesity and central obesity.
The IMS was conducted at four factory locations across India: Lucknow, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
The participants were rural-to-urban migrant and urban non-migrant factory workers, their rural and urban resident siblings, and their co-resident spouses.
Three dietary patterns were identified: ‘cereals–savoury foods’ (cooked grains, rice/rice-based dishes, snacks, condiments, soups, nuts), ‘fruit–veg–sweets–snacks’ (Western cereals, vegetables, fruit, fruit juices, cooked milk products, snacks, sugars, sweets) and ‘animal-food’ (red meat, poultry, fish/seafood, eggs). In adjusted analysis, positive graded associations were found between the ‘animal-food’ pattern and both anthropometric risk factors. Moderate intake of the ‘cereals–savoury foods’ pattern was associated with reduced odds of obesity and central obesity.
Distinct dietary patterns were identified in a large Indian sample, which were different from those identified in previous literature. A clear ‘plant food-based/animal food-based pattern’ dichotomy emerged, with the latter being associated with higher odds of anthropometric risk factors. Longitudinal studies are needed to further clarify this relationship in India.
This second segment of the two-part review summarises several modern high-throughput methods in genomics, epigenetics and molecular biology. Many principles from nucleotide sequencing and transcriptomics can be applied to other high-throughput molecular biology techniques. Specifically, this manuscript reviews: array comparative genome hybridisation; single nucleotide polymorphism arrays; microarray technology, used to study epigenetics; and methodology applied in proteomics. Finally, the review describes current methods for the integration of multiple molecular biology platforms.
Progress in treating human disease in general will require close collaboration with experts in bioinformatics. Improved understanding, by clinicians and physician-scientists in our field, of the concepts presented in both parts of this review will advance diagnosis and therapy for diseases of the head and neck.
Advances in high-throughput molecular biology, genomics and epigenetics, coupled with exponential increases in computing power and data storage, have led to a new era in biological research and information. Bioinformatics, the discipline devoted to storing, analysing and interpreting large volumes of biological data, has become a crucial component of modern biomedical research. Research in otolaryngology has evolved along with these advances.
This review highlights several modern high-throughput research methods, and focuses on the bioinformatics principles necessary to carry out such studies. Several examples from recent literature pertinent to otolaryngology are provided. The review is divided into two parts; this first part discusses the bioinformatics approaches applied in nucleotide sequencing and gene expression analysis.
This paper demonstrates how high-throughput nucleotide sequencing and transcriptomics are changing biology and medicine, and describes how these changes are affecting otorhinolaryngology. Sound bioinformatics approaches are required to obtain useful information from the vast new sources of data.