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The East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) is one of the most dynamic components of the global climate system. Although poorly understood, knowledge of long-term spatial differences in EAWM variability during the glacial–interglacial cycles is important for understanding the dynamic processes of the EAWM. We reconstructed the spatiotemporal characteristics of the EAWM since the last glacial maximum (LGM) using a comparison of proxy records and long-term transient simulations. A loess grain-size record from northern China (a sensitive EAWM proxy) and the sea surface temperature gradient of an EAWM index in sediments of the southern South China Sea were compared. The data–model comparison indicates pronounced spatial differences in EAWM evolution, with a weakened EAWM since the LGM in northern China but a strengthened EAWM from the LGM to the early Holocene, followed by a weakening trend, in southern China. The model results suggest that variations in the EAWM in northern China were driven mainly by changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, whereas orbital insolation and ice sheets were important drivers in southern China. We propose that the relative importance of insolation, ice sheets, and atmospheric CO2 for EAWM evolution varied spatially within East Asia.
A simple and effective strategy is proposed for fabricating honeycomb-patterned ethyl cellulose (EC) films via a combination of the dip-coating and breath figure methods under a wide humidity range (40–90%). A mixture of toluene and methanol as a volatile solvent/nonsolvent pair was used to effectively control the surface morphology. Additionally, honeycomb patterns were successfully formed via dip-coating under a low humidity (relative humidity less than 40%), when water was directly added into the mixed solution. The important factors that influenced the morphology of EC honeycomb-patterned films were investigated, such as the humidity, solution concentration, and the withdrawal speed during dip-coating. The pore sizes could be controlled by changing the film-formation conditions. Water contact angle enables a transition from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. The possible mechanisms of honeycomb pattern formation are discussed. The fabrication of an ordered honeycomb-patterned film in a cost-effective and convenient manner will have broad application potential in the future.
Supported by (1) medical research grants CMRPG3C0041/42 from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and NRRPG2H0031 from Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan to Chemin Lin (2) NMRPG3G6031/32 from Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan to Shwu-Hua, Lee (3) the KKHo International Charitable Foundation to Tatia Lee.
Suicide rate tends to peak in old age, and major depression is the most salient risk factor for late-life suicide. However, few studies have focused on the neuroscientific facet of suicide in the context of late-life depression (LLD).
We recruited 114 participants of LLD (28 with history of suicide attempt and 86 without) and 47 elderly controls. They received MRI scanning and behavioral assessment. White matter hyperintensity (WMH) was quantified by an automated segmentation algorithm and graph theoretical analysis was applied to resting-state fMRI. We used ANCOVA to compare group difference in WMH loading and multivariate generalized linear model to compare global and local topological parameters in fMRI signals, controlling for demographics. Partial correlation was conducted between imaging parameters and behavioral data in group of suicide attempters.
We found significant higher WMH in suicide attempters than those of LLD without suicide attempts and elderly controls (F =7.091; p = 0.001). Suicide attempters also had increased betweenness centrality (BC) in right superior occipital gyrus (SOG) (Bonferroni corrected), right precuneus (False positive corrected) and right superior temporal gyrus (uncorrected) and decreased BC in left hippocampus (uncorrected). In suicide attempters, higher BC in right SOG correlated with higher WMH, higher depression severity, higher illness awareness and insight, and lower cognitive function (digit backward), while higher BC in right precuneus correlated with higher decrease awareness and insight and higher cognitive function (digit backward).
Resonating with the vascular hypothesis in LLD, higher WMH was found in those having history of suicide attempts. However, the re-organized brain topology changes are related with divergent cognitive function and convergent heightened disease insight.
Studies have suggested an association between metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases and major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the risk of metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases in the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD remains uncertain. Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 22,438 unaffected siblings of patients with MDD and 89,752 age-/sex-matched controls were selected and followed up from 1996 to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases during the follow-up period were identified. Compared with the controls, the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD had a higher prevalence of metabolic diseases, such as hypertension (5.0% vs. 4.5%, p = 0.007), dyslipidemia (5.6% vs. 4.8%, p < 0.001), and obesity (1.7% vs. 1.5%, p = 0.028), and cerebrocardiovascular diseases, such as ischemic stroke (0.6% vs. 0.4%, p < 0.005) and ischemic heart disease (2.1% vs. 1.7%, p < 0.001). Logistic regression analyses revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with MDD were more likely to develop hypertension, dyslipidemia, ischemic stroke, and ischemic heart diseases during the follow-up period than the controls. Our study revealed a familial coaggregation between MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of MDD and metabolic and cerebrocardiovascular diseases.
Family coaggregation of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and schizophrenia have been presented in previous studies. The shared genetic and environmental factors among psychiatric disorders remain elusive.
This nationwide population-based study examined familial coaggregation of major psychiatric disorders in first-degree relatives (FDRs) of individuals with ASD. Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database was used to identify 26 667 individuals with ASD and 67 998 FDRs of individuals with ASD. The cohort was matched in 1:4 ratio to 271 992 controls. The relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of ADHD, ASD, BD, MDD and schizophrenia were assessed among FDRs of individuals with ASD and ASD with intellectual disability (ASD-ID).
FDRs of individuals with ASD have higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders compared with controls: ASD 17.46 (CI 15.50–19.67), ADHD 3.94 (CI 3.72–4.17), schizophrenia 3.05 (CI 2.74–3.40), BD 2.22 (CI 1.98–2.48) and MDD 1.88 (CI 1.76–2.00). Higher RRs of schizophrenia (4.47, CI 3.95–5.06) and ASD (18.54, CI 16.18–21.23) were observed in FDRs of individuals with both ASD-ID, compared with ASD only.
The risk for major psychiatric disorders was consistently elevated across all types of FDRs of individuals with ASD. FDRs of individuals with ASD-ID are at further higher risk for ASD and schizophrenia. Our results provide leads for future investigation of shared etiologic pathways of ASD, ID and major psychiatric disorders and highlight the importance of mental health care delivered to at-risk families for early diagnoses and interventions.
We aimed to describe the clinical features in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. We studied 134 critically ill COVID-19 cases from 30 December 2019 to 20 February 2020 in an intensive care unit (ICU) at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital. Demographics, underlying diseases, therapy strategies and test results were collected and analysed from patients on admission, admission to the ICU and 48 h before death. The non-survivors were older (65.46 (s.d. 9.74) vs. 46.45 (s.d. 11.09)) and were more likely to have underlying diseases. The blood group distribution of the COVID-19 cases differed from that of the Han population in Wuhan, with type A being 43.85%; type B, 26.92%; type AB, 10% and type O, 19.23%. Non-survivors tend to develop more severe lymphopaenia, with higher C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, procalcitonin, D-dimer levels and gradually increased with time. The clinical manifestations were non-specific. Compared with survivors, non-survivors more likely to have organ function injury, and to receive mechanical ventilation, either invasively or noninvasively. Multiple organ failure and secondary bacterial infection in the later period is worthy of attention.
A novel ionic liquid/α-ZrP (C16MIM/α-ZrP) lamellar nanocomposite was fabricated via the electrostatic self-assembly deposition technique by using exfoliated α-ZrP nanosheets and guest molecules (1-hexadecyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide) as building blocks under mild conditions. C16MIM/α-ZrP nanocomposite was characterized by various analytical techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and synchronous thermal analyzer. The net interlayer spacing of α-ZrP determined by XRD confirmed that the C16MIM cations formed a monolayer arrangement between the α-ZrP nanosheets. The morphology and microstructure of C16MIM/α-ZrP composite were observed using SEM and TEM. The C16MIM/α-ZrP modified glass carbon electrode exhibited excellent electrocatalytic activity toward the oxidation of nitrite in weak base media. The results obtained with differential pulse voltammetry demonstrated that the C16MIM/α-ZrP hybrid detected nitrite linearly in the concentration range from 7.3 μM to 1.25 mM with the detection limit of 1.26 μM (S/N = 3). Additionally, the prepared sensor showed outstanding reproducibility, high stability, and anti-interference capability.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the impact of dietary fully oxidised β-carotene (OxBC, C40H60O15) supplementation during the perinatal period on immune status and productivity in a sow model. At day 85 of pregnancy, 150 sows were allocated to one of three dietary treatments with fifty sows per treatment. The three experimental diets were supplemented with 0, 4 or 8 mg/kg OxBC in the basal diet. The feeding trial was conducted from gestation day 85 until day 21 of lactation. Dietary OxBC supplementation greatly enhanced colostrum IgM, IgA and IgG levels, and the IgM and IgG content of 14-d milk. Dietary OxBC supplementation decreased the TNF-α and IL-8 levels in colostrum, as well as the TNF-α and IL-18 levels in 14-d milk. There was also a tendency towards an increase in the soluble CD14 level in 14-d milk. Although dietary treatments did not affect average daily feed intake nor backfat thickness loss during lactation, dietary OxBC supplementation tended to enhance litter weight and individual piglet weight at weaning. There was a trend towards increased lactose concentration in 14-d milk with increasing dietary OxBC. It is concluded that dietary supplementation with OxBC during the perinatal period enhances the lactose concentration of sow milk and the immune status of sows, which is reflected by improved cytokine status and immunoglobulin concentrations in colostrum and milk, and thus tending to increase litter weight and individual piglet weight at weaning. The results also provide a scientific nutritional reference for perinatal mothers due to the biological similarity between pigs and humans.
A Fast Ice Prediction System (FIPS) was constructed and is the first regional land-fast sea-ice forecasting system for the Antarctic. FIPS had two components: (1) near-real-time information on the ice-covered area from MODIS and SAR imagery that revealed, tidal cracks, ridged and rafted ice regions; (2) a high-resolution 1-D thermodynamic snow and ice model (HIGHTSI) that was extended to perform a 2-D simulation on snow and ice evolution using atmospheric forcing from ECMWF: either using ERA-Interim reanalysis (in hindcast mode) or HERS operational 10-day predictions (in forecast mode). A hindcast experiment for the 2015 season was in good agreement with field observations, with a mean bias of 0.14 ± 0.07 m and a correlation coefficient of 0.98 for modeled ice thickness. The errors are largely caused by a cold bias in the atmospheric forcing. The thick snow cover during the 2015 season led to modeled formation of extensive snow ice and superimposed ice. The first FIPS operational service was performed during the 2017/18 season. The system predicted a realistic ice thickness and onset of snow surface melt as well as the area of internal ice melt. The model results on the snow and ice properties were considered by the captain of R/V Xuelong when optimizing a low-risk route for on-ice transportation through fast ice to the coastal Zhongshan Station.
This study investigated the development of character transposition effects during Chinese compound word recognition via computer mouse movements instead of the conventional key presses. Empirical evidence to reveal the impacts of vocabulary knowledge, grade level, and whole word frequency on Chinese transposed-character effect is lacking. In the present study, we measured the transposed-character effect in two groups of Taiwanese children (second and fourth graders) in a mouse-tracking lexical-decision task including nonwords derived from real words by transposing two characters (e.g., “習學” from “學習” [learning]) and control nonwords in which two characters are replaced (e.g., “以修”). Our results indicate that participants showed longer mouse movement times and larger spatial attraction in recognizing transposed-character nonwords than in replaced-character nonwords, suggesting that the dominant role of whole-word representation in processing Chinese compound words. Our results also further demonstrate that how the degree of character transposition was affected by vocabulary knowledge, grade level, and word frequency.
Studies have suggested the detrimental effects of obesity and systemic inflammation on the cognitive function of patients with bipolar or major depressive disorder. However, the complex associations between affective disorder, obesity, systemic inflammation, and cognitive dysfunction remain unclear.
Overall, 110 patients with affective disorder (59 with bipolar I disorder and 51 with major depressive disorder) who scored ≥61 on the Global Assessment of Functioning and 51 age- and sex-matched controls were enrolled. Body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 was defined as obesity or overweight. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines—including interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and C-reactive protein (CRP)—were measured, and cognitive function was assessed using various methods, including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and go/no-go task.
Patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder were more likely to be obese or overweight, had higher CRP and TNF-α levels, and had greater executive dysfunction in the WCST than the controls. TNF-α level (P < .05) but not affective disorder diagnosis or obesity/overweight was significantly associated with cognitive function deficits, although obesity/overweight and diagnosis were significantly associated with increased TNF-α level.
Our findings may indicate that proinflammatory cytokines, but not obesity or overweight, have crucial effects on cognitive function in patients with bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder, although proinflammatory cytokines and obesity or overweight were found to be strongly associated. The complex relationships between affective disorder diagnosis, proinflammatory cytokine levels, obesity or overweight, and cognitive function require further investigation.
Since December 2019, China has experienced a widespread outbreak of COVID-19. However, at the early stage of outbreak, investigations revealed a variety of patterns resulting in the transmission of COVID-19. Thus, it is essential to understand the transmission types and the potential for sustained human-to-human transmission. Moreover, the information regarding the characteristics of transmission helps in coordinating the current screening programme, and controlling and containing measures, and also, helps in deciding the appropriate quarantine duration. Thus, this investigation reports an outbreak of COVID-19 in a family residing in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China during the month of January−February 2020.
The antidepressant effect of low-dose ketamine infusion on Taiwanese patients with anxious vs nonanxious treatment-resistant depression (ANX-TRD vs NANX-TRD) has remained unknown.
In total, 71 patients with TRD were randomized to three groups. Each group had participants who received saline infusions mixed with 0 (a normal saline infusion), 0.2, and 0.5 mg/kg of ketamine. Participants were followed up for 2 weeks. Anxious depression was defined as major depressive disorder with a total score of 7 or more on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Anxiety-Somatization factor. Generalized estimating equation models were used to investigate the effects of treatment (ketamine vs placebo) and depression type (ANX-TRD vs NANX-TRD) in the reduction of depressive symptoms during the follow-up period.
Patients with ANX-TRD were less likely to respond to a single low-dose ketamine infusion than those with NANX-TRD. Among patients with NANX-TRD, low-dose ketamine infusion was significantly superior to placebo for reducing depressive symptoms. However, among patients with ANX-TRD, ketamine was not superior to placebo; nonetheless, approximately 30% of the patients responded to ketamine infusion compared to 13% who responded to the placebo.
Low-dose ketamine infusion was effective for Taiwanese patients with NANX-TRD but not so effective for those with ANX-TRD. A higher level of anxiety severity accompanying depression was related to greater depression severity. This may confound and reduce the antidepressant effect of ketamine infusion.
Despite mounting evidence that non-injury-related factors have an important role in recovery from injury; specific variables associated with surgery outcomes are poorly understood. This lack of knowledge complicates efforts to improve the care of work-related hand injury (WRHI) patients. However, substantial research and investigation have still not clarified these underlying relationships, which merit further attention.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) outcome for WRHI patients after the impact of event and to investigate the moderated mediation analysis associated with their decision trust and regret.
A cross sectional study design was used to investigate the impact of event and the associated HRQL in 53 WRHI patients following severe and major hand injury. All consenting patients completed the Impact of Event Scale Revised, the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, Decisional Trust scale, Decisional Regret scale and Short Form-36.
In the result of mediation analysis, patients affected HRQL via decisional trust and decisional regret, respectively. In addition, our data suggest that certain decisional trust and decisional regret (partial) characteristics significantly moderate this association. These findings may aid in the development of clinical interventions to enhance HRQL for WRHI patients. Overall, it is important for clinicians to consider the notion that more decisional trust or less decisional regret may sometimes, but not always, be better.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The effect of holly polyphenols (HP) on intestinal inflammation and microbiota composition was evaluated in a piglet model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced intestinal injury. A total of twenty-four piglets were used in a 2 × 2 factorial design including diet type and LPS challenge. After 16 d of feeding with a basal diet supplemented with or without 250 mg/kg HP, pigs were challenged with LPS (100 μg/kg body weight) or an equal volume of saline for 4 h, followed by analysis of disaccharidase activities, gene expression levels of several representative tight junction proteins and inflammatory mediators, the SCFA concentrations and microbiota composition in intestinal contents as well as proinflammatory cytokine levels in plasma. Our results indicated that HP enhanced intestinal disaccharidase activities and reduced plasma proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α and IL-6 in LPS-challenged piglets. Moreover, HP up-regulated mRNA expression of intestinal tight junction proteins such as claudin-1 and occludin. In addition, bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that HP altered hindgut microbiota composition by enriching Prevotella and enhancing SCFA production following LPS challenge. These results collectively suggest that HP is capable of alleviating LPS-triggered intestinal injury by improving intestinal disaccharidase activities, barrier function and SCFA production, while reducing intestinal inflammation.
The fatty acid composition of chicken’s meat is largely influenced by dietary lipids, which are often used as supplements to increase dietary caloric density. The underlying key metabolites and pathways influenced by dietary oils remain poorly known in chickens. The objective of this study was to explore the underlying metabolic mechanisms of how diets supplemented with mixed or a single oil with distinct fatty acid composition influence the fatty acid profile in breast muscle of Qingyuan chickens. Birds were fed a corn-soybean meal diet supplemented with either soybean oil (control, CON) or equal amounts of mixed edible oils (MEO; soybean oil : lard : fish oil : coconut oil = 1 : 1 : 0.5 : 0.5) from 1 to 120 days of age. Growth performance and fatty acid composition of muscle lipids were analysed. LC-MS was applied to investigate the effects of CON v. MEO diets on lipid-related metabolites in the muscle of chickens at day 120. Compared with the CON diet, chickens fed the MEO diet had a lower feed conversion ratio (P < 0.05), higher proportions of lauric acid (C12:0), myristic acid (C14:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1n-7), oleic acid (C18:1n-9), EPA (C20:5n-3) and DHA (C22:6n-3), and a lower linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) content in breast muscle (P < 0.05). Muscle metabolome profiling showed that the most differentially abundant metabolites are phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholines (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), which enriched the glycerophospholipid metabolism (P < 0.05). These key differentially abundant metabolites – PC (14:0/20:4), PC (18:1/14:1), PC (18:0/14:1), PC (18:0/18:4), PC (20:0/18:4), PE (22:0/P-16:0), PE (24:0/20:5), PE (22:2/P-18:1), PE (24:0/18:4) – were closely associated with the contents of C12:0, C14:0, DHA and C18:2n-6 in muscle lipids (P < 0.05). The content of glutathione metabolite was higher with MEO than CON diet (P < 0.05). Based on these results, it can be concluded that the diet supplemented with MEO reduced the feed conversion ratio, enriched the content of n-3 fatty acids and modified the related metabolites (including PC, PE and glutathione) in breast muscle of chickens.
Whether the first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have an increased risk of the major psychiatric disorders, namely schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database with the whole population sample size (n = 23 258 175), 89 500 FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with OCD.
FDRs of patients with OCD had higher RRs of major psychiatric disorders, namely OCD (RR 8.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 7.68–8.57), bipolar disorder (RR 2.85, 95% CI 2.68–3.04), MDD (RR 2.67, 95% CI 2.58–2.76), ASD (RR 2.38, 95% CI 2.10–2.71), ADHD (RR 2.19, 95% CI 2.07–2.32), and schizophrenia (RR 1.97, 95% CI 1.86–2.09), compared with the total population. Different familial kinships of FDRs, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins consistently had increased risks for these disorders. In addition, a dose-dependent relationship was found between the numbers of OCD probands and the risk of each major psychiatric disorder.
The FDRs, including parents, offspring, siblings, and twins, of patients with OCD have a higher risk of OCD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, MDD, ADHD, and ASD. The familial co-aggregation of OCD with OCD and other major psychiatric disorders was existent in a dose-dependent manner. Given the increased risks of psychiatric disorders, medical practitioners should closely monitor the mental health of the FDRs of patients with OCD.
The earliest colonisation of oceanic islands by Homo sapiens occurred ~50 000–30 000 years ago in the Western Pacific, yet how this was achieved remains a matter of debate. With a focus on East Asia, the research presented here tests the hypothesis that bamboo rafts were used for these early maritime migrations. The authors review the evidence for Palaeolithic seafaring in East Asia as the context for an experimental archaeology project to build two bamboo watercraft. Sea trials demonstrate the unsuitability of bamboo, at least in East Asia, indicating that more sophisticated and durable vessels would have been required to traverse the Kuroshio Current.
The condition of caregivers is important to the quality of care received by people with Parkinson’s disease (PD), especially at the late disease stages. This study addresses the distress placed on caregivers by participants’ neuropsychiatric symptoms at different stages of PD in Taiwan
This prospective study enrolled 108 people with PD. All participants were examined with the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. Caregiver distress was measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Caregiver Distress Scale (NPI-D). Statistical analysis was used to explore the PD-related factors that contribute to caregiver distress.
The mean follow-up interval in the 108 PD participants were 24.0 ± 10.2 months with no participant lost to follow-up due to death. NPI-distress (the sum of NPI caregiver distress scale across the 12 domains of the NPI) was positively correlated with NPI-sum (the total score across the 12 domains of the NPI) (r = 0.787, p < 0.001), CDR (r = 0.403, p < 0.001), UPRDS (r = 0.276, p = 0.004), and disease duration (r = 0.246, p = 0.002), but negatively correlated with CASI (r = −0.237, p = 0.043) and MMSE (r = −0.281, p < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that only NPI-sum and disease duration were independently correlated with NPI-distress.
The disease duration and NPI-sum are independent predictors of caregiver distress in Taiwanese populations with PD. Early detection and reduction of neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with PD can help decrease caregiver distress.