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Choline plays a crucial role in lipid metabolism for fish, and its deficiency in aquafeed has been linked to compromised health and growth performance. A 56-d experiment was conducted to examine the effects of dietary choline on lipid composition, histology, and plasma biochemistry of yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi; YTK; 156 g initial body weight). The dietary choline content ranged from 0.59 to 6.22 g/kg diet. Three grams of 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP)/kg was added to diets, except for a control diet, to limit de novo choline synthesis. The results showed that the liver lipid content of YTK was similar among diets containing AMP and dominated by free fatty acids (FFA). In contrast, fish fed the control diet had significantly elevated liver triacylglycerol (TAG). Generally, the saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) content of liver lipid in fish fed diets containing AMP was not influenced by choline content. The SFA and MUFA of liver lipid in fish fed the control diet was similar to other diets except for a decrease in PUFA. The linear relationship between lipid digestibility and plasma cholesterol was significant, otherwise most parameters were unaffected. When AMP is present, higher dietary choline reduced the severity of some hepatic lesions. This study demonstrated that choline-deficiency affects some plasma and liver histology parameters in juvenile YTK which might be useful fish health indicators. Importantly, this study elucidated potential reasons for lower growth in choline-deficient YTK and increased the knowledge on choline metabolism in the fish.
This study aimed to investigate the benefit of Bonebridge devices in patients with single-sided deafness.
Five patients with single-sided deafness who were implanted with Bonebridge devices were recruited in a single-centre study. Participants’ speech perception and horizontal sound localisation abilities were assessed at 6 and 12 months post-operatively. Speech intelligibility in noisy environments was measured in three different testing conditions (speech and noise presented from the front, speech and noise presented from the front and contralateral (normal ear) side separately, and speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side). Sound localisation was evaluated in Bonebridge-aided and Bonebridge-unaided conditions at different stimuli levels (65, 70 and 75 dB SPL).
All participants showed a better capacity for speech intelligibility in quiet environments with the Bonebridge device. The speech recognition threshold with the Bonebridge device was significantly decreased at both short- and long-term follow up in the speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side condition (p < 0.05). Additionally, participants maintained similar levels of sound localisation between the Bonebridge-aided and unaided conditions (p > 0.05). However, the accuracy of localisation showed some improvement at 70 dB SPL and 75 dB SPL post-operatively.
The Bonebridge device provides the benefit of improved speech perception performance in patients with single-sided deafness. Sound localisation abilities were neither improved nor worsened with Bonebridge implantation at the follow-up assessments.
Pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) refers to the transfer of genetic information (alleles) from one plant to another compatible plant. With the evolution of herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds, PMGF plays an important role in the transfer of resistance alleles from HR to susceptible weeds; however, little attention is given to this topic. The objective of this paper was to review reproductive biology, PMGF studies, and interspecific hybridization as well as potential for herbicide resistance alleles to transfer in the economically important broadleaf weeds including common lambsquarters, giant ragweed, horseweed, kochia, Palmer amaranth, and waterhemp. The PMGF studies involving these species reveal that transfer of herbicide resistance alleles routinely occurs under field conditions and is influenced by several factors such as reproductive biology, environment, and production practices. Interspecific hybridization studies within Amaranthus and Ambrosia spp. show that herbicide resistance allele transfer is possible between species of the same genus, but at relatively low levels. The widespread occurrence of HR weed populations and high genetic diversity is at least partly due to PMGF, particularly in dioecious species such as Palmer amaranth and waterhemp compared with monoecious species such as common lambsquarters and horseweed. Prolific pollen production in giant ragweed contributes to PMGF. Kochia, a wind pollinated species can efficiently disseminate herbicide resistance alleles via both PMGF and tumbleweed seed dispersal, resulting in widespread occurrence of multiple HR kochia populations. The review conducted for the aforementioned species verifies that intraspecific and interspecific gene flow can occur, and even at a low rate, could contribute to the rapid spread of herbicide resistance alleles. Further research is needed to determine the role of PMGF in transferring multiple herbicide resistance alleles at the landscape level.
A magnetic field configuration of an island divertor for a quasi-axisymmetric stellarator (CFQS) is proposed. The configuration incorporates large islands surrounding the core confinement region. The interface between the core region and the peripheral region of the island divertor is a clear magnetic separatrix similar to a tokamak divertor. The structure of divertor magnetic field lines is very regular without stochasticity and the connection length is sufficiently long for good divertor performance. Such a divertor configuration is produced in the magnetic field configuration for the CFQS device, which is now under construction in China.
Differential susceptibility theory (DST) posits that individuals differ in their developmental plasticity: some children are highly responsive to both environmental adversity and support, while others are less affected. According to this theory, “plasticity” genes that confer risk for psychopathology in adverse environments may promote superior functioning in supportive environments. We tested DST using a broad measure of child genetic liability (based on birth parent psychopathology), adoptive home environmental variables (e.g., marital warmth, parenting stress, and internalizing symptoms), and measures of child externalizing problems (n = 337) and social competence (n = 330) in 54-month-old adopted children from the Early Growth and Development Study. This adoption design is useful for examining DST because children are placed at birth or shortly thereafter with nongenetically related adoptive parents, naturally disentangling heritable and postnatal environmental effects. We conducted a series of multivariable regression analyses that included Gene × Environment interaction terms and found little evidence of DST; rather, interactions varied depending on the environmental factor of interest, in both significance and shape. Our mixed findings suggest further investigation of DST is warranted before tailoring screening and intervention recommendations to children based on their genetic liability or “sensitivity.”
Hydrogen lithography has been used to template phosphine-based surface chemistry to fabricate atomic-scale devices, a process we abbreviate as atomic precision advanced manufacturing (APAM). Here, we use mid-infrared variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry (IR-VASE) to characterize single-nanometer thickness phosphorus dopant layers (δ-layers) in silicon made using APAM compatible processes. A large Drude response is directly attributable to the δ-layer and can be used for nondestructive monitoring of the condition of the APAM layer when integrating additional processing steps. The carrier density and mobility extracted from our room temperature IR-VASE measurements are consistent with cryogenic magneto-transport measurements, showing that APAM δ-layers function at room temperature. Finally, the permittivity extracted from these measurements shows that the doping in the APAM δ-layers is so large that their low-frequency in-plane response is reminiscent of a silicide. However, there is no indication of a plasma resonance, likely due to reduced dimensionality and/or low scattering lifetime.
Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
Our research group demonstrated that vitamin A restriction affected meat quality of Angus cross and Simmental steers. Therefore, the aim of this study is to highlight the genotype variations in response to dietary vitamin A levels. Commercial Angus and Simmental steers (n = 32 per breed; initial BW = 337.2 ± 5.9 kg; ~8 months of age) were fed a low-vitamin A (LVA) (1017 IU/kg DM) backgrounding diet for 95 days to reduce hepatic vitamin A stores. During finishing, steers were randomly assigned to treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of genotype × dietary vitamin A concentration. The LVA treatment was a finishing diet with no supplemental vitamin A (723 IU vitamin A/kg DM); the control (CON) was the LVA diet plus supplementation with 2200 IU vitamin A/kg DM. Blood samples were collected at three time points throughout the study to analyze serum retinol concentration. At the completion of finishing, steers were slaughtered at a commercial abattoir. Meat characteristics assessed were intramuscular fat concentration, color, Warner-Bratzler shear force, cook loss and pH. Camera image analysis was used for determination of marbling, 12th rib back fat and longissimus muscle area (LMA). The LVA steers had lower (P < 0.001) serum retinol concentration than CON steers. The LVA treatment resulted in greater (P = 0.03) average daily gain than the CON treatment, 1.52 and 1.44 ± 0.03 kg/day, respectively; however, there was no effect of treatment on final BW, DM intake or feed efficiency. Cooking loss and yield grade were greater and LMA was smaller in LVA steers (P < 0.05). There was an interaction between breed and treatment for marbling score (P = 0.01) and percentage of carcasses grading United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Prime (P = 0.02). For Angus steers, LVA treatment resulted in a 16% greater marbling score than CON (683 and 570 ± 40, respectively) and 27% of LVA Angus steers graded USDA Prime compared with 0% for CON. Conversely, there was no difference in marbling score or USDA Quality Grades between LVA and CON for Simmental steers. In conclusion, feeding a LVA diet during finishing increased marbling in Angus but not in Simmental steers. Reducing the vitamin A level of finishing diets fed to cattle with a high propensity to marble, such as Angus, has the potential to increase economically important traits such as marbling and quality grade without negatively impacting gain : feed or yield grade.
This study aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics and to analyse the epidemiological features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients during convalescence. In this study, we enrolled 71 confirmed cases of COVID-19 who were discharged from hospital and transferred to isolation wards from 6 February to 26 March 2020. They were all employees of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University or their family members of which three cases were <18 years of age. Clinical data were collected and analysed statistically. Forty-one cases (41/71, 57.7%) comprised medical faculty, young and middle-aged patients (aged ⩽60 years) accounted for 81.7% (58/71). The average isolation time period for all adult patients was 13.8 ± 6.1 days. During convalescence, RNA detection results of 35.2% patients (25/71) turned from negative to positive. The longest RNA reversed phase time was 7 days. In all, 52.9% of adult patients (36/68) had no obvious clinical symptoms, and the remaining ones had mild and non-specific clinical symptoms (e.g. cough, sputum, sore throat, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract etc.). Chest CT signs in 89.7% of adult patients (61/68) gradually improved, and in the others, the lesions were eventually absorbed and improved after short-term repeated progression. The main chest CT manifestations of adult patients were normal, GGO or fibre streak shadow, and six patients (8.8%) had extrapulmonary manifestations, but there was no significant correlation with RNA detection results (r = −0.008, P > 0.05). The drug treatment was mainly symptomatic support therapy, and antibiotics and antiviral drugs were ineffective. It is necessary to re-evaluate the isolation time and standard to terminate isolation for discharged COVID-19 patients.
We perform a numerical study of the heat transfer and flow structure of Rayleigh–Bénard (RB) convection in (in most cases regular) porous media, which are comprised of circular, solid obstacles located on a square lattice. This study is focused on the role of porosity
in the flow properties during the transition process from the traditional RB convection with
(so no obstacles included) to Darcy-type porous-media convection with
approaching 0. Simulations are carried out in a cell with unity aspect ratio, for Rayleigh number
and varying porosities
, at a fixed Prandtl number
, and we restrict ourselves to the two-dimensional case. For fixed
, the Nusselt number
is found to vary non-monotonically as a function of
; namely, with decreasing
, it first increases, before it decreases for
approaching 0. The non-monotonic behaviour of
originates from two competing effects of the porous structure on the heat transfer. On the one hand, the flow coherence is enhanced in the porous media, which is beneficial for the heat transfer. On the other hand, the convection is slowed down by the enhanced resistance due to the porous structure, leading to heat transfer reduction. For fixed
, depending on
, two different heat transfer regimes are identified, with different effective power-law behaviours of
, namely a steep one for low
when viscosity dominates, and the standard classical one for large
. The scaling crossover occurs when the thermal boundary layer thickness and the pore scale are comparable. The influences of the porous structure on the temperature and velocity fluctuations, convective heat flux and energy dissipation rates are analysed, further demonstrating the competing effects of the porous structure to enhance or reduce the heat transfer.
Introduction: Patients with poorly-controlled diabetes often visit the emergency department (ED) for treatment of hyperglycemia. While previous qualitative studies have examined the patient experience of diabetes as a chronic illness, there are no studies describing patients’ perceptions of ED care for hyperglycemia. The objective of this study was to explore the patient experience regarding ED hyperglycemia visits, and to characterize perceived barriers to adequate glycemic control post-discharge. Methods: This study was conducted at a tertiary care academic centre in London, Ontario. A qualitative constructivist grounded theory methodology was used to understand the experience of adult patient partners who have had an ED hyperglycemia visit. Patient partners, purposively sampled to capture a breadth of age, sex, disease and presentation frequency were invited to participate in a semi-structured individual interview to probe their experiences. Sampling continued until a theoretical framework representing key experiences and expectations reached sufficiency. Data were collected and analyzed iteratively using a constant comparative approach. Results: 22 patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes were interviewed. Participants sought care in the ED over other options because of their concern of having a potentially life-threatening condition, advice from a healthcare provider or family member, or a perceived lack of convenient alternatives to the ED based on time and location. Participants’ care expectations centred around symptom relief, glycemic control, reassurance and education, and seeking referral to specialist diabetes care post-discharge. Finally, perceived system barriers that challenged participants’ glycemic control included affordability of medical supplies and medications, access to follow-up and, in some cases, the transition from pediatric to adult diabetes care. Conclusion: Patients with diabetes utilize the ED for a variety of urgent and emergent hyperglycemic concerns. In addition to providing excellent medical treatment, ED healthcare providers should consider patients’ expectations when caring for those presenting with hyperglycemia. Future studies will focus on developing strategies to help patients navigate some of the barriers that exist within our current limited healthcare system, enhance follow-up care, and improve short- and long-term health outcomes.
This report is on the synthesis by electrospinning of multiferroic core-shell nanofibers of strontium hexaferrite and lead zirconate titanate or barium titanate and studies on magneto-electric (ME) coupling. Fibers with well-defined core–shell structures showed the order parameters in agreement with values for nanostructures. The strength of ME coupling measured by the magnetic field-induced polarization showed the fractional change in the remnant polarization as high as 21%. The ME voltage coefficient in H-assembled films showed the strong ME response for the zero magnetic bias field. Follow-up studies and potential avenues for enhancing the strength of ME coupling in the core–shell nanofibers are discussed.
We aimed to assess the incidence of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in people with schizophrenia, to explore clinical associates with OSA and how well OSA screening tools perform in this population.
All patients registered in a community outpatient Clozapine clinic, between January 2014 and March 2016, were consecutively approached to participate. Participants were screened for OSA using at home multichannel polysomnography (PSG) and were diagnosed with OSA if the apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI) was >10 events/hr. Univariate comparison of participants to determine whether AHI > 10 events/hr was associated with demographic factors, anthropometric measures and psychiatric symptoms and cognition was performed. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the commonly used sleep symptoms scales and OSA screening tools were also determined.
Thirty participants were recruited, 24 men and 6 women. Mean age was 38.8 (range: 25–60), and mean body mass index (BMI) was 35.7 (range 19.9–62.1). The proportion of participants with OSA (AHI > 10 events/hr) was 40%, 18 (60%) had no OSA, 4 (13%) had mild OSA (AHI 10.1–20), zero participants had moderate OSA (AHI 20.1–30) and 8 (27%) had severe OSA (AHI > 30). Diagnosis of OSA was significantly associated with increased weight, BMI, neck circumference and systolic blood pressure. Diagnosis of OSA was not significantly associated with Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale, Montgomery Asperger’s Depression Rating Scale, Personal and Social Performance scale or Brief Assessment of Cognition for Schizophrenia scores. All OSA screening tools demonstrated poor sensitivity and specificity for a diagnosis of OSA.
OSA was highly prevalent in this cohort of people with schizophrenia and was associated with traditional anthropometric OSA risk factors.
Thermal barrier coating is a high-temperature protective technology widely used in industrial gas turbines. However, the failure of coating peeling because of the generation of thermally grown oxide (TGO) at the interface during service hinders its further application. In this study, Raman spectroscopy and wedge indentation are used to determine the TGO residual stress and the interface energy release rate, respectively. The effect of TGO on the interfacial fracture toughness during the growth process was discussed. Raman spectroscopy test results show that the residual stress of TGO is about 0.5 GPa. Wedge indentation test results illustrate that high-temperature heat treatment could accelerate the interface degradation of thermal barrier coatings. Stress analysis and test research demonstrate that the microcracks induced by compressive stress of TGO will propagate with increasing heating time, ending with failure of barrier coatings.
A recent metanalysis has demonstrated that there are differences in efficacy and acceptability of commonly prescribed anti-depressants (Cipriani et al. 2009). Escitalopram, sertraline, venlafaxine and mirtazapine were the most effective.
We wished to find out whether the data from our own practice corresponded with the data from the metanalysis.
To compare the efficacy of anti-depressant monotherapies in patients with unipolar depression at Bedford Hospital, using discharge rates as the outcome measure.
We included all patients with unipolar depression on an antidepressant monotherapy in Bedford hospital in our analysis (145 in total). We examined the clinical notes for each patient to assess whether they had been discharged from the out-patient clinic after being prescribed the antidepressant. This allowed us to calculate discharge rates for each antidepressant monotherapy.
A higher percentage of patients prescribed Escitalopram were discharged from clinic compared to theother anti-depressant monotherapies.
Our results support the findings of the meta-analysis. The discharge rates from Bedford hospital suggest that Escitalopram in particular is the most efficacious.
This audit in a small group of patients suggests that Escitalopram leads to the highest discharge rate compared to the other monotherapies prescribed.
It has been demonstrated that there are differences in efficacy and acceptability of commonly prescribed anti-depressants (Cipriani et al. 2009). Escitalopram, sertraline, venlafaxine and mirtazapine were the most effective.
We wished to see whether our own data showed similar outcomes to the data from the metanalysis using decrease in suicidality as an outcome measure.
To compare the efficacy of anti-depressant monotherapies in patients with unipolar depression at Bedford Hospital, using suicidality (suicidal ideation and behaviour) as the outcome measure.
We included all patients with unipolar depression on an antidepressant monotherapy in Bedford hospital in our analysis (145 in total). We examined the clinical notes for each patient to assess whether they demonstrated suicidality after being prescribed the antidepressant. This allowed us to calculate rates of suicidality for each antidepressant monotherapy.
The prescription of sertraline was associated with the greatest reduction in suicidality, closely followed by citalopram.
Our results support the findings of the meta-analysis. None of the patients on Escitalopram expressed suicidality, so a reduction in suicidality rates could not be demonstrated for this monotherapy.
This audit in a small group of patients suggests that sertraline is associated with the greatest reduction in suicidality compared to the other monotherapies prescribed.
There seems to be geographical differences in decisions about breast conserving surgery (BCS) in breast cancer patients. This study was to evaluate patients’ attitude to BCS and to assess the factors affecting cancer practice in West China.
A structured questionnaire was distributed to 184 patients, eliciting information about the patients’ characteristics, occupation, education, family life, recognition of illness, knowledge about BCS, the main means of gaining surgery information, selecting surgery approaches, preferences to breast reservation.
In all, 163 patients completed the questionnaire. The results indicated that only 7.4% of patients received BCS and 23% of the remaining patients desired to have BCS and the affecting factors were significantly associated with their family life, recognition of illness and the main means of gaining surgery information (P < 0.05). No associations were between BCS selecting and the other variables studied. The most frequent reasons for selecting BCS were keeping the female shape and improving quality of life (71%), the second most were postoperative recovery, minimal influence of physical function (47%) and patients’ knowledge about BCS (42%). The most frequent reasons for not selecting BCS were uncertainty about BCS results and worry about recurrence (81%), the second most was the elderly age unnecessary for BCS (40%).
The findings indicate that breast cancer patients in West China do not take BCS as the first choice as the best treatment method. It is warranted that further study of more patients, attitude of patients’ partners and physicians to BCS.
To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of once-daily quetiapine XR monotherapy in outpatients with moderate-to-severe GAD without major depressive disorder.
10-week (8-week active treatment, randomised phase; 2-week post-treatment drug-discontinuation/tapering phase), multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group comparison with paroxetine study (D1448C00011). 873 patients were randomised to receive quetiapine XR 50mg/day (n=221), 150mg/day (n=218), paroxetine 20mg/day (n=217) or placebo (n=217). Primary endpoint: change from baseline to Week 8 in HAM-A total score. Secondary outcomes included: change from baseline to Week 8 in HAM-A psychic and somatic clusters.
Mean HAM-A total score (overall baseline mean, 26.98) was significantly reduced at Week 8 by quetiapine XR 50mg/day (-13.95, p<0.05), 150mg/day (-15.96, p<0.001) and paroxetine (-14.45, p<0.01) versus placebo (-12.30).
At Week 8, mean HAM-A psychic cluster score (overall baseline mean, 14.40) was significantly reduced by quetiapine XR 50mg/day (-7.42, p<0.01), 150mg/day (-8.64, p<0.001) and paroxetine (-7.70, p<0.001) versus placebo (-6.27). Mean HAM-A somatic cluster score (overall baseline mean, 12.58) was significantly reduced by quetiapine XR 150mg/day (-7.37, p<0.001) versus placebo (-6.00), but not quetiapine XR 50mg/day (-6.54, p=0.15) or paroxetine (-6.74, p=0.05).
The incidence of serious AEs was low (<2%) in all treatment groups. During Weeks 1-8, most common AEs (>10%) were dry mouth, somnolence, fatigue, dizziness and headache with quetiapine; headache with placebo; and somnolence, dizziness, headache and nausea with paroxetine.
Once-daily oral treatment with quetiapine XR (50 and 150mg/day) was well tolerated and significantly reduced anxiety symptoms, demonstrating effects on both somatic and psychic symptoms, in patients with GAD.