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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
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.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally
written up for the volume.
Upconverting nanoparticles (UCNs) are modified nanometer-sized composites
which generate higher energy visible light from lower energy radiation
(usually near-infrared (NIR)) by non-radiative transfer of photons
between transition metal, lanthanide, or actinide ions doped into a
solid-state host. These nanoparticles offer several advantages as imaging
probes for live cells and tissues: high sensitivity of detection due to
absence of autofluorescence from tissues, sharp emission peaks, less
toxic components (than quantum dots (QDs)) and high depth of penetration
and low phototoxicity of NIR light. Although the use of upconverting
phosphors in nucleic acid assays, immunohistochemistry and immuno-assays
have been demonstrated, no reports exploiting the advantages of these
labels in live mammalian cell and tissue imaging have been demonstrated.
Moreover, these assays usually utilize large sized reporters (>400nm).
In this report, we present the synthesis and characterization of UCN and
explore their effectiveness as live cellular and tissue labels.
Nanoparticles with a nanocrystalline NaYF4 core doped with Yb3+ and Er3+
and coated with high molecular weight (25 kDa) PEI as surfactant was
synthesized using a simple ‘one pot’ hydrothermal method. After
characterization and biocompatibility tests, the UCN were conjugated to
folic acid and targeted to mammalian breast carcinoma cells. To
demonstrate tissue imaging, UCN were injected into live mouse and rat
tissues and excited using a simplified NIR laser set-up. The
nanoparticles obtained were spherical, about 50nm in diameter and with a
narrow size distribution. They demonstrated sharp emission peaks at 653nm
and 540nm when excited with a 980nm laser, and excellent stability when
stored in phosphate buffered saline or incubated with complete serum at
37 deg C. The particles were found to be biocompatible with different
cell types at different concentrations when incubated over varying time
periods. Upon incubation, mammalian cancer cells took up the UCN and were
imaged with high signal-to-background ratios. Continuous imaging of live
cells could be performed without cell damage or death. UCN was injected
into mouse skin and leg muscles and excited with NIR laser set at low
power to prevent tissue damage. Visible phosphorescence was recorded from
both sites. Phosphorescence could also be seen when UCN was injected in
the skin and to a small depth of penetration in some muscles of rats.We
conclude that these upconverting nanoparticles are promising labels for
use in live cell and tissue imaging.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
Salvia daiguii Y.K.Wei & Y.B.Huang, a new species from China, is described. Salvia daiguii belongs to Salvia subg. Glutinaria (Raf.) G.X.Hu, C.L.Xiang & B.T.Drew, sect. Sobiso (Raf.) G.X.Hu, A.Takano & B.T.Drew, and is distinguished from morphologically similar species by differences in its habit, leaves, inflorescences and flowers. It has a narrow distribution in a karst region of Yongding District, Hunan Province, central China. A key to the Chinese species of section Sobiso is also presented.
Determine the effectiveness of a personal protective equipment (PPE)-free zone intervention on healthcare personnel (HCP) entry hand hygiene (HH) and PPE donning compliance in rooms of patients in contact precautions.
Quasi-experimental, multicenter intervention, before-and-after study with concurrent controls.
All patient rooms on contact precautions on 16 units (5 medical-surgical, 6 intensive care, 5 specialty care units) at 3 acute-care facilities (2 academic medical centers, 1 Veterans Affairs hospital). Observations of PPE donning and entry HH compliance by HCP were conducted during both study phases. Surveys of HCP perceptions of the PPE-free zone were distributed in both study phases.
A PPE-free zone, where a low-risk area inside door thresholds of contact precautions rooms was demarcated by red tape on the floor. Inside this area, HCP were not required to wear PPE.
We observed 3,970 room entries. HH compliance did not change between study phases among intervention units (relative risk [RR], 0.92; P = .29) and declined in control units (RR, 0.70; P = .005); however, the PPE-free zone did not significantly affect compliance (P = .07). The PPE-free zone effect on HH was significant only for rooms on enteric precautions (P = .008). PPE use was not significantly different before versus after the intervention (P = .15). HCP perceived the zone positively; 65% agreed that it facilitated communication and 66.8% agreed that it permitted checking on patients more frequently.
HCP viewed the PPE-free zone favorably and it did not adversely affect PPE or HH compliance. Future infection prevention interventions should consider the complex sociotechnical system factors influencing behavior change.
Nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) are widely used for antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), but real-world data on treatment patterns and long-term clinical outcomes are not always available. Using data from electronic medical records between January 2011 and December 2016 in Shanghai, China, we evaluated patient characteristics, treatment patterns and clinical outcomes in patients with CHB. There were 6688 patients in the study cohort. The incidences of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were 41.0‰ and 6.8‰ person-years, respectively. There were more cirrhosis and HCC cases among patients who had shorter NA treatment duration (<365 days), or who were less compliant (<80%). In addition, increased risk of cirrhosis and HCC was observed in patients who did not achieve hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) loss/seroconversion. Moreover, patients with cirrhosis developed after antiviral treatments had a higher incidence of HCC (adjusted hazard ratio 15.86, 95% confidence interval 7.35–34.24). Good compliance with treatment and longer treatment duration significantly decreased the risk of developing cirrhosis and HCC. HBsAg loss seemed to be a protective factor for cirrhosis/HCC in NAs-treated patients with CHB, and cirrhosis was a confirmed risk factor for HCC development as expected.
Optimizing the dietary calcium (Ca) level is essential to maximize the eggshell quality, egg production and bone formation in poultry. This study aimed to establish the Ca requirements of egg-type duck breeders from 23 to 57 weeks of age on egg production, eggshell, incubation, tibial, plasma and ovary-related indices, as well as the expression of matrix protein-related genes. Totally, 450 Longyan duck breeders aged 21 weeks of age were allotted randomly into five treatments, each with six replicates of 15 individually caged birds. The data collection started from 23 weeks of age and continued over the following 35 weeks. The five groups corresponded to five dietary treatments containing either 2.8%, 3.2%, 3.6%, 4.0% or 4.4% Ca. The tested dietary Ca levels increased (linear, P <0.01) egg production and egg mass, and linearly improved (P <0.01) the feed conversion ratio (FCR). Increasing the dietary Ca levels from 2.8% to 4.4% increased (P <0.01) the eggshell thickness and eggshell content. The tested Ca levels showed a quadratic effect on eggshell thickness and ovarian weight (P <0.01); the highest values were obtained with the Ca levels 4.0% and 3.6%, respectively. Dietary Ca levels affected the small yellow follicles (SYF) number and SYF weight/ovarian weight, and the linear response (P <0.01) was significant vis-à-vis SYF number. In addition, dietary Ca levels increased (P <0.05) the tibial dry weight, breaking strength, mineral density and ash content. Plasma and tibial phosphorus concentration exhibited a quadratic (P <0.01) response to dietary Ca levels. Plasma calcitonin concentration linearly (P <0.01) increased as dietary Ca levels increased. The relative expression of carbonic anhydrase 2 in the uterus rose (P <0.01) with the increment of dietary Ca levels, and the highest value was obtained with 3.2% Ca. In conclusion, Longyan duck breeders fed a diet with 4.0% Ca had superior eggshell and tibial quality, while those fed a diet with 3.6% Ca had the heaviest ovarian weights. The regression model indicated that the dietary Ca levels 3.86%, 3.48% and 4.00% are optimal levels to obtain maximum eggshell thickness, ovarian weight and tibial mineral density, respectively.
Late-life depression has become an important public health problem. Available evidence suggests that late-life depression is associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among older adults living in the community, although the associations have not been comprehensively reviewed and quantified.
To estimate the pooled association of late-life depression with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among community-dwelling older adults.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies that examine the associations of late-life depression with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in community settings.
A total of 61 prospective cohort studies from 53 cohorts with 198 589 participants were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. A total of 49 cohorts reported all-cause mortality and 15 cohorts reported cardiovascular mortality. Late-life depression was associated with increased risk of all-cause (risk ratio 1.34; 95% CI 1.27, 1.42) and cardiovascular mortality (risk ratio 1.31; 95% CI 1.20, 1.43). There was heterogeneity in results across studies and the magnitude of associations differed by age, gender, study location, follow-up duration and methods used to assess depression. The associations existed in different subgroups by age, gender, regions of studies, follow-up periods and assessment methods of late-life depression.
Late-life depression is associated with higher risk of both all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among community-dwelling elderly people. Future studies need to test the effectiveness of preventing depression among older adults as a way of reducing mortality in this population. Optimal treatment of late-life depression and its impact on mortality require further investigation.
The second Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS) – a nationwide, cross-sectional, epidemiological survey - was initiated in 2016 with the intent of tracking the state of mental health of the general population in Singapore. The study employed the same methodology as the first survey initiated in 2010. The SMHS 2016 aimed to (i) establish the 12-month and lifetime prevalence and correlates of major depressive disorder (MDD), dysthymia, bipolar disorder, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) (which included alcohol abuse and dependence) and (ii) compare the prevalence of these disorders with reference to data from the SMHS 2010.
Door-to-door household surveys were conducted with adult Singapore residents aged 18 years and above from 2016 to 2018 (n = 6126) which yielded a response rate of 69.0%. The subjects were randomly selected using a disproportionate stratified sampling method and assessed using World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (WHO-CIDI 3.0). The diagnoses of lifetime and 12-month selected mental disorders including MDD, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, GAD, OCD, and AUD (alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence), were based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria.
The lifetime prevalence of at least one mood, anxiety or alcohol use disorder was 13.9% in the adult population. MDD had the highest lifetime prevalence (6.3%) followed by alcohol abuse (4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of any DSM-IV mental disorders was 6.5%. OCD had the highest 12-month prevalence (2.9%) followed by MDD (2.3%). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of mental disorders assessed in SMHS 2016 (13.8% and 6.4%) was significantly higher than that in SMHS 2010 (12.0% and 4.4%). A significant increase was observed in the prevalence of lifetime GAD (0.9% to 1.6%) and alcohol abuse (3.1% to 4.1%). The 12-month prevalence of GAD (0.8% vs. 0.4%) and OCD (2.9% vs. 1.1%) was significantly higher in SMHS 2016 as compared to SMHS 2010.
The high prevalence of OCD and the increase across the two surveys needs to be tackled at a population level both in terms of creating awareness of the disorder and the need for early treatment. Youth emerge as a vulnerable group who are more likely to be associated with mental disorders and thus targeted interventions in this group with a focus on youth friendly and accessible care centres may lead to earlier detection and treatment of mental disorders.
We analyse the vorticity production of lake-scale circulation in wind-induced shallow flows using a linear elliptic partial differential equation. The linear equation is derived from the vorticity form of the shallow-water equation using a linear bed friction formula. The features of the wind-induced steady-state flow are analysed in a circular basin with topography as a concave paraboloid, having a quadratic pile in the middle of the basin. In our study, the size of the pile varies by a size parameter. The vorticity production due to the gradient in the topography (and the distance of the boundary) makes the streamlines parallel to topographical contours, and beyond a critical size parameter, it results in a secondary vortex pair. We compare qualitatively and quantitatively the steady-state circulation patterns and vortex evolution of the flow fields calculated by our linear vorticity model and the full, nonlinear shallow-water equations. From these results, we hypothesize that the steady-state topographical vorticity production in lake-scale wind-induced circulations can be described by the equilibrium of the wind friction field and the bed friction field. Moreover, the latter can also be considered as a linear function of the velocity vector field, and hence the problem can be described by a linear equation.
Imprinted genes uniquely drive and support fetoplacental growth by controlling the allocation of maternal resources to the fetus and affecting the newborn’s growth. We previously showed that alterations of the placental imprinted gene expression are associated with suboptimal perinatal growth and respond to environmental stimuli including socio-economic determinants. At the same time, maternal psychosocial stress during pregnancy (MPSP) has been shown to affect fetal growth. Here, we set out to test the hypothesis that placental imprinted gene expression mediates the effects of MPSP on fetal growth in a well-characterized birth cohort, the Stress in Pregnancy (SIP) Study. We observed that mothers experiencing high MPSP deliver infants with lower birthweight (P=0.047). Among the 109 imprinted genes tested, we detected panels of placental imprinted gene expression of 23 imprinted genes associated with MPSP and 26 with birthweight. Among these genes, five imprinted genes (CPXM2, glucosidase alpha acid (GAA), GPR1, SH3 and multiple ankyrin repeat domains 2 (SHANK2) and THSD7A) were common to the two panels. In multivariate analyses, controlling for maternal age and education and gestational age at birth and infant gender, two genes, GAA and SHANK2, each showed a 22% mediation of MPSP on fetal growth. These data provide new insights into the role that imprinted genes play in translating the maternal stress message into a fetoplacental growth pattern.
X-ray diffraction topography is the name given to several x-ray diffraction techniques where large area x-ray beams diffracted from a crystal provide detailed information about the surface structure and internal perfection of crystal microstructures. Since x-ray topographic techniques are based on Bragg (reflection) or Laue (transmission) diffraction from a crystal lattice, they are extremely sensitive to any atomic lattice imperfections and strains. Alterations of the interplanar spacing as small as one part in ten thousand extending over a reasonable number of atomic ce11 lengths can be recorded as a corresponding change in the diffracted beam intensity. Line Modified-Asymmetric Crystal Topography (LM-ACT) is one such reflection technique that shows particular promise in Che field of microelectronics. The LM-ACT system is designed with low angular divergence in the x-ray beam probe. Low probe beam divergence allows details of device geometries on the order of microns to be resolved in the recorded x-ray intensity variation of the diffracted beam.
The LM-ACT system was applied here to the study of integrated circuits (IC) after specific processing steps were accomplished during IC fabrication and in the final product condition. Topographs obtained from specular crystal surfaces that were implanted through a patterned mask showed contrast variations between the implanted and non-implanted regions; details of the mask patterns have been resolved on the order of a few microns. LMACT topographs from annealed, and unannealed, Implanted specimens showed marked differences and as a result it is suggested that LM-ACT would be beneficial in optimizing the processing schedule for a particular wafer/electronic system. A significant feature of the LM-ACT technique is the capability for producing high resolution stereo-pair topographs that provide quantitative information through the depth of individual process layers in an integrated circuit.
The aim of the study was to investigate any association between extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) and intestinal flora of <30-week-old preterm infants. A total of 59 preterm infants were assigned to EUGR (n=23) and non-EUGR (n=36) groups. Intestinal bacteria were compared by using high-throughput sequencing of bacterial rRNA. The total abundance of bacteria in 344 genera (7568 v. 13,760; P<0.0001) and 456 species (10,032 v. 18,240; P<0.0001) was significantly decreased in the EUGR group compared with the non-EUGR group. After application of a multivariate logistic model and adjusting for potential confounding factors, as well as false-discovery rate corrections, we found four bacterial genera with higher and one bacterial genus with lower abundance in the EUGR group compared with the control group. In addition, the EUGR group showed significantly increased abundances of six species (Streptococcus parasanguinis, Bacterium RB5FF6, two Klebsiella species and Microbacterium), but decreased frequencies of three species (one Acinetobacter species, Endosymbiont_of_Sphenophorus_lev and one Enterobacter_species) compared with the non-EUGR group. Taken together, there were significant changes in the intestinal microflora of preterm infants with EUGR compared to preterm infants without EUGR.
The tachinid fly Drino inconspicuoides (Diptera: Tachinidae) is an ovolarviparous endoparasitoid whose larvae develop in the host haemocoel and avoids the host immune system. In this study, we investigated the immune evasion mechanisms of this species during infestation in the host Mythimna separata (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). We discovered a unique ‘cloak’ that surrounded D. inconspicuoides larvae that penetrated into the host and determined through genomic polymerase chain reaction analysis that this structure originated from the host rather than the tachinid. The ‘cloak’ contained both haemocytes and fat body cells from the host, with the haemocytes assembling around the larvae first and the fat body cells then covering the haemocyte layer, following which the two mixed. Living D. inconspicuoides larvae that were wrapped in the ‘cloak’ were not melanized whereas encapsulated dead larvae were melanized, suggesting that this structure contributes to the avoidance of host immune reactions.
To investigate a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak event involving multiple healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; to characterize transmission; and to explore infection control implications.
Cases presented in 4 healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a tertiary-care hospital, a specialty pulmonary hospital, an outpatient clinic, and an outpatient dialysis unit.
Contact tracing and testing were performed following reports of cases at 2 hospitals. Laboratory results were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and/or genome sequencing. We assessed exposures and determined seropositivity among available healthcare personnel (HCP) cases and HCP contacts of cases.
In total, 48 cases were identified, involving patients, HCP, and family members across 2 hospitals, an outpatient clinic, and a dialysis clinic. At each hospital, transmission was linked to a unique index case. Moreover, 4 cases were associated with superspreading events (any interaction where a case patient transmitted to ≥5 subsequent case patients). All 4 of these patients were severely ill, were initially not recognized as MERS-CoV cases, and subsequently died. Genomic sequences clustered separately, suggesting 2 distinct outbreaks. Overall, 4 (24%) of 17 HCP cases and 3 (3%) of 114 HCP contacts of cases were seropositive.
We describe 2 distinct healthcare-associated outbreaks, each initiated by a unique index case and characterized by multiple superspreading events. Delays in recognition and in subsequent implementation of control measures contributed to secondary transmission. Prompt contact tracing, repeated testing, HCP furloughing, and implementation of recommended transmission-based precautions for suspected cases ultimately halted transmission.
In this paper, we investigate the degree profile and Gini index of random caterpillar trees (RCTs). We consider RCTs which evolve in two different manners: uniform and nonuniform. The degrees of the vertices on the central path (i.e., the degree profile) of a uniform RCT follows a multinomial distribution. For nonuniform RCTs, we focus on those growing in the fashion of preferential attachment. We develop methods based on stochastic recurrences to compute the exact expectations and the dispersion matrix of the degree variables. A generalized Pólya urn model is exploited to determine the exact joint distribution of these degree variables. We apply the methods from combinatorics to prove that the asymptotic distribution is Dirichlet. In addition, we propose a new type of Gini index to quantitatively distinguish the evolutionary characteristics of the two classes of RCTs. We present the results via several numerical experiments.