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Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto is regarded to have the highest zoonotic potential of all Echinococcus taxa. Globally, human infection due to this species constitutes over 88.44% of the total cystic echinococcosis (CE) burden. Here, we report a CE infection in a Nigerian camel caused by E. granulosus G1 genotype. To the best of our knowledge, this report is the first encounter of the G1 genotype in the West Africa sub-region where the G6 genotype is reportedly prevalent, suggesting that the epidemiology of this highly zoonotic group could have a wider host range and distribution in the sub-region, and emphasizes the need for further investigation into the genetic diversity of Echinococcus spp. in Nigeria and across the sub-region.
Proximal environments could facilitate smoking cessation among low-income smokers by making cessation appealing to strive for and tenable.
We sought to examine how home smoking rules and proximal environmental factors such as other household members' and peers' smoking behaviors and attitudes related to low-income smokers' past quit attempts, readiness, and self-efficacy to quit.
This analysis used data from Offering Proactive Treatment Intervention (OPT-IN) (randomized control trial of proactive tobacco cessation outreach) baseline survey, which was completed by 2,406 participants in 2011/12. We tested the associations between predictors (home smoking rules and proximal environmental factors) and outcomes (past-year quit attempts, readiness to quit, and quitting self-efficacy).
Smokers who lived in homes with more restrictive household smoking rules, and/or reported having ‘important others’ who would be supportive of their quitting, were more likely to report having made a quit attempt in the past year, had greater readiness to quit, and greater self-efficacy related to quitting.
Adjustments to proximal environments, including strengthening household smoking rules, might encourage cessation even if other household members are smokers.
The biological domain has the potential to offer a rich source of analogies to solve engineering design problems. However, due to the complexity embedded in biological systems, adding to the lack of structured, detailed, and searchable knowledge bases, engineering designers find it hard to access the knowledge in the biological domain, which therefore poses challenges in understanding the biological concepts in order to apply these concepts to engineering design problems. In order to assist the engineering designers in problem-solving, we report, in this paper, a web-based tool called Idea-Inspire 4.0 that supports analogical design using two broad features. First, the tool provides access to a number of biological systems using a searchable knowledge base. Second, it explains each one of these biological systems using a multi-modal representation: that is, using function decomposition model, text, function model, image, video, and audio. In this paper, we report two experiments that test how well the multi-modal representation in Idea-Inspire 4.0 supports understanding and application of biological concepts in engineering design problems. In one experiment, we use Bloom's method to test “analysis” and “synthesis” levels of understanding of a biological system. In the next experiment, we provide an engineering design problem along with a biological-analogous system and examine the novelty and requirement-satisfaction (two major indicators of creativity) of resulting design solutions. In both the experiments, the biological system (analogue) was provided using Idea-Inspire 4.0 as well as using a conventional text-image representation so that the efficacy of Idea-Inspire 4.0 is tested using a benchmark.
It is well-known that creativity is crucial for sustaining a product against competition. Many factors have been proposed in the literature as indicators of creativity, among which outcome-characteristics-based factors are considered the most reliable; among these, the creativity of an outcome is often indicated by two major factors: novelty and usefulness. Only a few studies address as to how creativity assessment methods and their results can be used during the design process. To systematically address the issue of how to influence creativity of design solutions, the following questions have been framed. (1) Which factors should be used as indicators of creativity consistently across different phases of the engineering design process? (2) How can creativity be assessed in terms of these factors during the engineering design process? In this work, we consider novelty and usefulness as the necessary factors for creativity. It is found, however, that it is not possible to directly assess the usefulness of outcomes during the design process. Therefore, requirement satisfaction is used as a proxy for usefulness. We propose a creativity assessment method that uses novelty and requirement satisfaction as indicators for creativity; the method can be used for assessing not only complete products but also ideas or concepts, as they evolve through the phases of the design process. The application of the method in design is explained using a detailed example from a case study.
To investigate the morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique computed tomography images.
The computed tomography temporal bone scans of 112 patients were retrospectively evaluated. Midpoint and opercular measurements were performed using axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images. Morphometric analyses were also conducted. The vestibular aqueduct sizes on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images were compared.
At the midpoint, the mean (± standard deviation) vestibular aqueduct measured 0.61 ± 0.23 mm, 0.74 ± 0.27 mm and 0.82 ± 0.38 mm on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the vestibular aqueduct measured 0.91 ± 0.30 mm, 1.11 ± 0.45 mm and 1.66 ± 1.07 mm on the respective images. The co-efficients of variation of the vestibular aqueduct measured at the midpoint were 37.4 per cent, 36.5 per cent and 47.5 per cent on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the measurements were 33.0 per cent, 40.5 per cent and 64.5 per cent. Regarding morphology, the vestibular aqueduct was fissured (33.5 per cent), tubular (64.3 per cent) or invisible (2.2 per cent).
The morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct were highly variable among axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images.
Chondrules contain ferromagnetic minerals that may retain a record of the magnetic field environments in which they cooled. Paleomagnetic experiments on separated chondrules can potentially reveal the presence of remanent magnetization from the time of chondrule formation. The existence of such a magnetization places quantitative bounds on the frequency of interchondrule collisions, while the intensity of magnetization may be used to infer the strength of nebular magnetic fields and thereby constrain the mechanism of chondrule formation. Recent advances in laboratory instrumentation and techniques have permitted the isolation of nebular remanent magnetization in chondrules, providing the potential basis to probe the formation environments of chondrules from a range of chondrite classes.
In North America, the raccoon-associated variant of rabies virus (RRV) is of special concern, given its relatively rapid spread throughout the eastern USA and its potential public health impact due to high raccoon host densities in urban areas. Northward expansion of this epizootic included an outbreak in the Canadian province of Quebec in 2006–2009 due to trans-border spread from the State of Vermont. To inform a more proactive approach to future control efforts, this study uses phylogenetic analyses to explore the role of geography and alternative carnivore hosts in the dynamics of RRV spread within Vermont. Specifically, we sought to examine whether striped skunks, a species frequently infected by RRV, could be part of the maintenance host community. Whole genome sequencing of 160 RRV samples from Vermont and neighbouring US states were used for fine-scale phylogeographic analyses. Results, together with the complete surveillance record of raccoon rabies since its entry into Vermont in 1994, document incursions by two distinct viral lineages and identify topographical features of the landscape which have significantly influenced viral spread, resulting in a complex distribution pattern of viral variants throughout the state. Results of phylogenetic cluster analysis and discrete state reconstruction contained some evidence of skunk-to-skunk and skunk-to-raccoon transmission but overall failed to support a role for skunks as alternative maintenance hosts.
Cucumber powdery mildew is a destructive foliar disease caused by Podosphaera xanthii (formerly known as Sphaerotheca fuliginea) that substantially damages the yield and quality of crops. The control of this disease primarily involves the use of chemical pesticides that cause serious environmental problems. Currently, numerous studies have indicated that some plant extracts or products potentially have the ability to act as natural pesticides to control plant diseases. It has been reported that turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) and its extract can be used in agriculture due to their insecticidal and fungicidal properties. However, the most effective fungicidal component of this plant is still unknown. In the current study, the crude extract of C. longa L. was found to have a fungicidal effect against P. xanthii. Afterwards, eight fractions (Fr.1–Fr.8) were gradually separated from the crude extract by column chromatography. Fraction 1 had the highest fungicidal effect against this pathogen among the eight fractions. The active compound, (+)-(S)-ar-turmerone, was separated from Fr 1 by semi-preparative high-performance liquid chromatography and identified based on its 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and 13C NMR spectrum data. The EC50 value of (+)-(S)-ar-turmerone was found to be 28.7 µg/ml. The compound also proved to have a curative effect. This is the first study to report that the compound (+)-(S)-ar-turmerone has an effect on controlling this disease. These results provide a basis for developing a new phytochemical fungicide from C. longa L. extract.
An experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of acetate treatment on lipid metabolism in rabbits. New Zealand Rabbits (30 days, n=80) randomly received a subcutaneous injection (2 ml/injection) of 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 g/kg per day body mass acetate (dissolved in saline) for 4 days. Our results showed that acetate induced a dose-dependent decrease in shoulder adipose (P<0.05). Although acetate injection did not alter the plasma leptin and glucose concentration (P>0.05), acetate treatment significantly decreased the plasma adiponectin, insulin and triglyceride concentrations (P<0.05). In adipose, acetate injection significantly up-regulated the gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), differentiation-dependent factor 1 (ADD1), adipocyte protein 2 (aP2), carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1), CPT2, hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), G protein-coupled receptor (GPR41), GPR43, adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase α1 (AMPKα1), adiponectin receptor (AdipoR1), AdipoR2 and leptin receptor. In addition, acetate treatment significantly increased the protein levels of phosphorylated AMPKα, extracellular signaling-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (P38 MAPK) and c-jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK). In conclusion, acetate up-regulated the adipocyte-specific transcription factors (PPARγ, C/EBPα, aP2 and ADD1), which were associated with the activated GPR41/43 and MAPKs signaling. Meanwhile, acetate decreased fat content via the upregulation of the steatolysis-related factors (HSL, CPT1 and CPT2), and AMPK signaling may be involved in the process.
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism Met allele exacerbates amyloid (Aβ) related decline in episodic memory (EM) and hippocampal volume (HV) over 36–54 months in preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the extent to which Aβ+ and BDNF Val66Met is related to circulating markers of BDNF (e.g. serum) is unknown. We aimed to determine the effect of Aβ and the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on levels of serum mBDNF, EM, and HV at baseline and over 18-months.
Non-demented older adults (n = 446) underwent Aβ neuroimaging and BDNF Val66Met genotyping. EM and HV were assessed at baseline and 18 months later. Fasted blood samples were obtained from each participant at baseline and at 18-month follow-up. Aβ PET neuroimaging was used to classify participants as Aβ– or Aβ+.
At baseline, Aβ+ adults showed worse EM impairment and lower serum mBDNF levels relative to Aβ- adults. BDNF Val66Met polymorphism did not affect serum mBDNF, EM, or HV at baseline. When considered over 18-months, compared to Aβ– Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Val homozygotes showed significant decline in EM and HV but not serum mBDNF. Similarly, compared to Aβ+ Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Met carriers showed significant decline in EM and HV over 18-months but showed no change in serum mBDNF.
While allelic variation in BDNF Val66Met may influence Aβ+ related neurodegeneration and memory loss over the short term, this is not related to serum mBDNF. Longer follow-up intervals may be required to further determine any relationships between serum mBDNF, EM, and HV in preclinical AD.
Consecutive, adult, non–intensive care unit (non-ICU) inpatients triggering an institutional clinical sepsis pathway from May to August 2015.
All patients reviewed by an ID Fellow within 24 hours of sepsis pathway trigger underwent case review and clinic file documentation of recommendations. Those not reviewed by an ID Fellow were considered controls and received standard sepsis pathway care. The primary outcome was antibiotic appropriateness 48 hours after sepsis trigger.
In total, 164 patients triggered the sepsis pathway: 6 patients were excluded (previous sepsis trigger); 158 patients were eligible; 106 had ID intervention; and 52 were control cases. Of these 158 patients, 91 (58%) had sepsis, and 15 of these 158 (9.5%) had severe sepsis. Initial antibiotic appropriateness, assessable in 152 of 158 patients, was appropriate in 80 (53%) of these 152 patients and inappropriate in 72 (47%) of these patients. In the intervention arm, 93% of ID Fellow recommendations were followed or partially followed, including 53% of cases in which antibiotics were de-escalated. ID Fellow intervention improved antibiotic appropriateness at 48 hours by 24% (adjusted risk ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–1.47; P=.035). The appropriateness agreement among 3 blinded ID staff opinions was 95%. Differences in intervention and control group mortality (13% vs 17%) and median length of stay (13 vs 17.5 days) were not statistically significant.
Sepsis overdiagnosis and delayed antibiotic optimization may reduce sepsis pathway effectiveness. Early ID AMS improved antibiotic management of non-ICU inpatients with suspected sepsis, predominantly by de-escalation. Further studies are needed to evaluate clinical outcomes.
Macdunnoughia crassisigna Warren (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a highly destructive herbivore that poses a serious risk to cotton, maize, soybean, and cruciferous vegetables in East Asia. Examining the effects of various biotic and abiotic factors on the flight performance of M. crassisigna is crucial for a better understanding of its trans-regional migration. In this study, the flight activity of M. crassisignai moths of different ages, under different temperatures and relative humidity (RH) levels, was evaluated by tethering individuals to computerized flight mills for a 24-h trial period. The results showed that M. crassisignai had the capacity for sustained flight and the flight ability was strongest in 3-day-old individuals, and then their flight performance decreased significantly in older moths. For both sexes, temperature had a significant effect on their flight performance, and the flight activity was relatively higher at 24–28°C than other temperatures. There was a significant effect of RH on all flight parameters of the tested moths, and the flight activity was relatively higher at RH of 60–75% than other RH levels. For 3-day-old moths under the optimum conditions (24°C and 75% RH) throughout the 24 h scotophase, their mean flight distance reached 66 km, and the mean flight duration reached 13.5 h, suggesting M. crassisigna possess strong potential to undertake long-distance migration. These findings will be helpful for developing sound forecasting systems of this pest species.
In this study, a series of numerical experiments are performed on supersonic/hypersonic flows over an adiabatic flat plate with transitionally and fully rough surfaces. The Mach numbers simulated are 4, 5, 6, and 7; the flight heights considered are 20, 24, 28, 32, and 36 km. First, a modified roughness correction is proposed and validated with the measured data for low-speed flat-plate cases. It is verified that for the equivalent sand grain heights in the intermediate and fully rough regimes, there is a good agreement with the semi-empirical formula available in the open literature. Then, this roughness correction is applied to high-speed flow regime to investigate the effects of flight heights and Mach numbers on drag for rough-wall flat-plate cases. It is found that within the roughness measured in real flight, the roughness height change has little effect on drag compared to the variations of both flight heights and Mach numbers. The drag coefficient derivation between rough-wall and smooth-wall conditions, achieves the maximum value of 0.79% for the 60 cases selected.
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) play a regulatory role in various physiological processes in mammals and act as endogenous ligands for the G protein-coupled receptors (GPR) 41 and 43. The role of GPR41 and GPR43 in mediating SCFA signaling in the rabbit remains unclear. The present study was to investigate the sequence of the GPR41 and GPR43 messenger RNA (mRNA) and their expression pattern in different tissues and developmental stages in New Zealand rabbit. Comparison of genomic sequences in GenBank using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool program suggested that the New Zealand rabbit GPR41 mRNA has high similarities with the human (84%), bovine (84%) and Capra hircus (84%) genes. Similarly, GPR43 mRNA has high similarity with the rat (84%) and mouse (84%) genes. Real-time PCR results indicated that GPR41 and GPR43 mRNA were expressed throughout rabbit’s whole development and were expressed in several tissues. G protein-coupled receptor 41 and GPR43 mRNA were most highly expressed in pancreas (P<0.05) and s.c. adipose tissue (P<0.05), respectively. The expression levels of GPR41 mRNA was down-regulated in duodenum, cecum (P<0.05) and pancreas and up-regulated in jejunum, ileum, adipose tissue and spleen during growth. G protein-coupled receptor 43GPR43 mRNA was highly expressed in the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, colon, cecum and lung at 15th day (P<0.05), whereas the expression levels in the pancreas and spleen increased later after birth, with the highest expression at 60th day (P<0.05).
Studies of schizophrenia at drug-naive state and on antipsychotic medication have reported a number of regions of gray-matter (GM) abnormalities but the reports have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to conduct multimodal meta-analysis to compare the cross-sectional voxel-based morphometry studies of brain GM in antipsychotic-naive first-episode schizophrenia (AN-FES) and those with antipsychotic treatment within 1 year (AT-FES) to determine the similarities and differences in these groups. We conducted two separate meta-analyses containing 24 studies with a sample size of 801 patients and 957 healthy controls. A multimodal meta-analysis method was used to compare the findings between AN-FES and AT-FES. Meta-regression analyses were done to determine the influence of different variables including age, duration of illness, and positive and negative symptom scores. Finally, jack-knife analyses were done to test the robustness of the results. AN-FES and AT-FES showed common patterns of GM abnormalities in frontal (gyrus rectus), superior temporal, left hippocampal and insular cortex. GM in the left supramarginal gyrus and left middle temporal gyrus were found to be increased in AN-FES but decreased in AT-FES, whereas left median cingulate/paracingulate gyri and right hippocampus GM was decreased in AN-FES but increased in AT-FES. Findings suggest that both AN-FES and AT-FES share frontal, temporal and insular regions as common anatomical regions to be affected indicating these to be the primary regions of GM abnormalities in both groups.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
Previous studies on maternal nutrition and childhood leukaemia risk have focused on the role of specific nutrients such as folate and have not considered broader measures of diet quality, which may better capture intake of diverse nutrients known to impact fetal development. We examined the relationship between maternal diet quality before pregnancy, as summarised by a diet quality index, and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in a case–control study in California. Dietary intake in the year before pregnancy was assessed using FFQ in 681 ALL cases, 103 AML cases and 1076 matched controls. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI for diet quality continuous score and quartiles (Q1–Q4). Higher maternal diet quality score was associated with reduced risk of ALL (OR 0·66; 95 % CI 0·47, 0·93 for Q4 v. Q1) and possibly AML (OR 0·42; 95 % CI 0·15, 1·15 for Q4 v. Q1). No single index component appeared to account for the association. The association of maternal diet quality with risk of ALL was stronger in children diagnosed under the age of 5 years and in children of women who did not report using vitamin supplements before pregnancy. These findings suggest that the joint effects of many dietary components may be important in influencing childhood leukaemia risk.
Association mapping based on linkage disequilibrium is an effective approach for dissecting the inheritance of complex multi-gene traits. In the present study, association mapping was performed for yield traits based on 172 popular Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) cultivars in China and 331 polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The gene diversity index of 331 markers ranged from 0·0387 to 0·7799 with an average of 0·4002, and the polymorphism information content ranged from 0·0379 to 0·7473 with an average of 0·3375. A total of 93 significantly associated markers for seven yield traits were identified across more than one environment, among which 11 were for seed cotton yield, 12 for lint yield, 11 for boll number per plant, 13 for boll weight, 21 for lint percentage, 14 for lint index and 11 for seed index. The corresponding ranges in phenotypic variation explained by markers across four environments for these seven traits were 1·75–10·49, 1·75–9·34, 2·84–11·80, 2·59–9·89, 2·38–13·97, 2·73–14·82 and 2·50–11·88%, respectively. Some of the yield-associated markers detected were found to be linked to or associated with the same traits identified in previous studies. Furthermore, elite alleles for yield traits were also mined. The present study can provide useful information for further understanding the genetic basis of yield traits, and facilitate high-yield breeding by molecular design in Upland cotton.