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The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The authors demonstrate that gold-binding peptides displayed on the outer membrane of Escherichia coli enhance bioelectrochemical charge transfer by binding gold nanoparticles. Microbial fuel cells were run with different gold-binding peptides displayed and with different nanoparticle sizes, and the results were correlated with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging of nanoparticle binding. When a gold-binding peptide is displayed and 5 nm gold nanoparticles are present, up to 4× power generation over E. coli not displaying a gold-binding peptide is observed. While an enhanced current is observed using the previously published M6G9, the largest enhancement is observed when a new longer peptide named M9G18 is used.
Neighbourhood greenness or vegetative presence has been associated with indicators of health and well-being, but its relationship to depression in older adults has been less studied. Understanding the role of environmental factors in depression may inform and complement traditional depression interventions, including both prevention and treatment.
This study examines the relationship between neighbourhood greenness and depression diagnoses among older adults in Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA.
Analyses examined 249 405 beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, a USA federal health insurance programme for older adults. Participants were 65 years and older, living in the same Miami location across 2 years (2010–2011). Multilevel analyses assessed the relationship between neighbourhood greenness, assessed by average block-level normalised difference vegetative index via satellite imagery, and depression diagnosis using USA Medicare claims data. Covariates were individual age, gender, race/ethnicity, number of comorbid health conditions and neighbourhood median household income.
Over 9% of beneficiaries had a depression diagnosis. Higher levels of greenness were associated with lower odds of depression, even after adjusting for demographics and health comorbidities. When compared with individuals residing in the lowest tertile of greenness, individuals from the middle tertile (medium greenness) had 8% lower odds of depression (odds ratio 0.92; 95% CI 0.88, 0.96; P = 0.0004) and those from the high tertile (high greenness) had 16% lower odds of depression (odds ratio 0.84; 95% CI 0.79, 0.88; P < 0.0001).
Higher levels of greenness may reduce depression odds among older adults. Increasing greenery – even to moderate levels – may enhance individual-level approaches to promoting wellness.
Introduction: Given the current opioid crisis, caregivers have mounting fears regarding use of opioid medication in their children. Since caregivers are often the gatekeepers to their children's pain management, understanding their perspectives on analgesics is essential. For caregivers of children with acute injury presenting to the pediatric emergency department (PED), we aimed to determine caregivers’: a) willingness to accept opioids from emergency care providers, b) reasons for refusing opioids, and c) past experiences with opioids. Methods: A novel 31-item electronic survey was offered, via tablet device, to caregivers of children aged 4-16 years who had a musculoskeletal injury <7 days old and presented to one of two Canadian PEDs between March and November 2017. Primary outcome was caregiver willingness to accept opioids for moderate pain for their children. Results: 517 caregivers completed the survey; mean age was 40.9 +/−7 years with 70.0% (362/517) being mothers. Children included 62.2% (321/516) males with an overall mean age of 10 +/−3.6 years. 49.6% of caregivers (254/512) reported willingness to accept opioids for moderate pain that persisted after non-opioid analgesia, while 37.1% (190/512) were unsure what they would do. Only 33.2% (170/512) of caregivers stated they would accept opioid analgesia upon discharge while 45.5% (233/512) were unsure about at-home use. Caregivers were primarily concerned about side effects, overdose, addiction, and masking of diagnosis. Caregiver fear of addiction (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01-1.25) and side effects (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.11-1.42) increased the odds of rejecting opioids in the emergency department, while fears of addiction (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.07-1.32) and overdose (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.04-1.27) increased the odds of rejecting opioids for at-home use. Conclusion: Only half of caregivers reported that they would accept opioids for moderate pain, despite ongoing pain following non-opioid analgesics. Caregiver fears of addiction, side effects, overdose, and masking their child's diagnosis influence their behaviours. These findings are a first step in understanding caregiver decision-making and can guide healthcare providers in their conversations about acute pain treatment with families.
All-printed electronics is the key technology to ultra-low-cost, large-area electronics. As a critical step in this direction, we demonstrate that femtosecond laser processing (sintering and ablation) of solution deposited metal nanoparticles enables direct metal patterning at low-temperature with ultra high resolution (∼300nm) to overcome the resolution limitation of the current inkjet direct writing processes.
This could be explained by the combined effects of novel properties of metal nanoparticles such as melting temperature drop, strong absorption of the incident laser beam at surface plasmon mode, lower conductive heat transfer loss, and the relatively weak bonding between nanoparticles. Local thermal control of the laser sintering process could minimize the heat-affected zone and the thermal damage to the substrate and further enhance the resolution of the process. This local nanoparticle deposition and energy coupling enable an environmentally friendly and cost-effective process as well as a low-temperature manufacturing sequence to realize large-area, flexible electronics on polymer substrates.
Investigate short- and long-term effects of Superstorm Sandy on multiple morbidities among the elderly.
We examined emergency department visits; outpatient visits; and hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory disease, and injury among residents residing in 8 affected counties immediately, 4 months, and 12 months following Superstorm Sandy. Control groups were defined as visits/admissions during the identical time window in the 5 years before (2007-2011) and 1 year after (2013-2014) the storm in affected and nonaffected counties in New York. We performed Poisson regression to test whether there was an association of increased visits/admissions for periods following Superstorm Sandy while controlling for covariates.
We found that the risk for CVD, respiratory disease, and injury visits/admissions was more than twice as high immediately, 4 months, and 12 months after the storm than it was in the control periods. Women were at greater risk at all time periods for CVD (risk ratio [RR], 2.04) and respiratory disease (RRs: 1.89 to 1.92). Whites had higher risk for CVD, respiratory disease, and injury than other racial groups during each period.
We observed increases in CVD, respiratory disease, and injury up to a year following Superstorm Sandy. Findings demonstrate the need to incorporate short- and long-term health effects into public health recovery. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:28-32)
In resource-constrained facilities or during resuscitation, immediate paediatric weight estimation remains a fundamental challenge. We aimed to develop and validate weight estimation models based on ulna length and forearm width and circumference measured by simple and portable tools; and to compare them against previous methods (advanced paediatric life support (APLS), Theron and Traub–Johnson formulas).
Cross-sectional analysis of anthropometric measurements. Four ulna- and forearm-based weight estimation models were developed in the training set (n 1016). Assessment of bias, precision and accuracy was examined in the validation set (n 457).
National Children’s Study-Formative Research in Anthropometry (2011–2012).
Multi-racial/ethnic infants and children aged <6 years (n 1473).
Developed Models 1–4 had high predictive precision (R2=0·91–0·97). Mean percentage errors between predicted and measured weight were significantly smaller across the developed models (0·1–0·7 %) v. the APLS, Theron and Traub–Johnson formulas (−1·7, 9·2 and −4·9 %, respectively). Root-mean-squared percentage error was overall smaller among Models 1–4 v. the three existing methods (range=7·5–8·7 v. 9·8–13·3 %). Further, Models 1–4 were within 10 and 20 % of actual weight in 72–87 and 95–99 % of the weight estimations, respectively, which outperformed any of the three existing methods.
Ulna length, forearm width and forearm circumference by simple and portable tools could serve as valid and reliable surrogate measures of weight among infants and children aged <6 years with improved precision over the existing age- or length-based methods. Further validation of these models in physically impaired or non-ambulatory children is warranted.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology is a promising method for bone tissue engineering applications. For enhanced bone regeneration, it is important to have printable ink materials with appealing properties such as construct interconnectivity, mechanical strength, controlled degradation rates, and the presence of bioactive materials. In this respect, we develop a composite ink composed of polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), and hydroxyapatite particles (HAps) and 3D print it into porous constructs. In vitro study revealed that composite constructs had higher mechanical properties, surface roughness, quicker degradation profile, and cellular behaviors compared to PCL counterparts. Furthermore, in vivo results showed that 3D-printed composite constructs had a positive influence on bone regeneration due to the presence of newly formed mineralized bone tissue and blood vessel formation. Therefore, 3D printable ink made of PCL/PLGA/HAp can be a highly useful material for 3D printing of bone tissue constructs.
Introduction: Inadequate pain management in children is ubiquitous in the emergency department (ED). As the current national opioid crisis has highlighted, physicians are caught between balancing pain management and the risk of long term opioid dependence. This study aimed to describe pediatric emergency physicians (PEPs) willingness to prescribe opioids to children in the ED and at discharge. Methods: A unique survey tool was created using published methodology guidelines. Information regarding practices, knowledge, attitudes, perceived barriers, facilitators and demographics were collected. The survey was distributed to all physician members of Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC), using a modified Dillmans Tailored Design method, from October to December 2017. Results: The response rate was 49.7% (124/242); 53% (57/107) were female, mean age was 43.6 years (+/− 8.7), and 58% (72/124) had pediatric emergency subspecialty training. The most common first line ED pain medication was ibuprofen for mild, moderate and severe musculoskeletal injury (MSK-I)-related pain (94.4% (117/124), 89.5% (111/124), and 62.9% (78/124), respectively). For moderate and severe MSK-I, intranasal fentanyl was the most common opioid for first (35.5% (44/124) and 61.3% (76/124), respectively) and second line pain management (41.1% (51/124) and 20.2% (25/124), respectively). 74.8% (89/119) of PEPs reported that an opioid protocol would be helpful, specifically for morphine, fentanyl, and hydromorphone. Using a 0-100 scale, physicians minimally worried about physical dependence (13.3 +/−19.3), addiction (16.6 +/−19.8), and diversion of opioids (32.8+/−26.4) when prescribing short-term opioids to children. They reported that the current opioid crisis minimally influenced their willingness to prescribe opioids (30.0 +/−26.2). Physicians reported rarely (36%; 45/125) or never (28%; 35/125) completing a screening risk assessment prior to prescribing opioids. Conclusion: Ibuprofen remains the most common medication recommended for MSK-I pain in the ED and at discharge. Intranasal fentanyl was the top opioid for all pain intensities. PEPs are minimally concerned regarding dependence, addiction, and the current opioid crisis when prescribing short-term opioids to children. There is an urgent need for robust evidence regarding the dependence and addiction risk for children receiving short term opioids in order to create knowledge translation tools for ED physicians. Opioid specific protocols for both in the ED and at discharge would likely improve physician comfort in responsible and adequate pain management for children.
Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
The study investigated whether dietary methionine (Met) affects egg weight and antioxidant status through regulating gene expression of ovalbumin (OVAL), nuclear factor erythroid 2 like 2 (Nrf2) and haem oxygenase 1 (HO-1) in laying duck breeders. Longyan duck breeders (n 540, 19 weeks) were randomly assigned to six treatments with six replicates of fifteen birds each. Breeders were fed diets with six Met levels (2·00, 2·75, 3·50, 4·25, 5·00 and 5·75 g/kg) for 24 weeks. The egg weight (g), egg mass (g/d), feed conversion ratio, hatchability, 1-d duckling weight, albumen weight, albumen proportion and OVAL mRNA level improved with dietary Met levels, whereas yolk proportion decreased (P<0·05). The weight of total large yellow follicles increased linearly (P<0·001) and quadratically (P<0·05) with dietary Met concentration, and their weight relative to ovarian weight showed a linear (P<0·05) effect. Dietary Met level had a linear (P<0·05) and quadratic (P<0·001) effect on the gene expression of glutathione peroxidase (GPX1), HO-1 and Nrf2, and quadratically (P<0·05) increased contents of GPX and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) in liver of duck breeders. In addition, maternal dietary Met enhanced gene expression of GPX1, HO-1 and Nrf2, increased contents of GPX and T-AOC and reduced carbonylated protein in the brains of hatchlings. Overall, dietary Met concentration affected egg weight and albumen weight in laying duck breeders, which was partly due to gene expression of OVAL in oviduct magnum. A diet containing 4·0 g Met/kg would achieve optimal hepatic GPX1 and Nrf2 expression, maximise the activity of GPX and minimise lipid peroxidation.
It has not been well established whether dietary folate intake reduces the risk of diabetes development. We aimed to clarify the prospective association between dietary folate intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk among 7333 Korean adults aged 40 years or older who were included in the Multi-Rural Communities Cohort. Dietary folate intake was estimated from all 106 food items listed on a FFQ, not including folate intake from supplements. Two different measurements of dietary folate intake were used: the baseline consumption and the average consumption from baseline until just before the end of follow-up. The association between folate intake and T2D risk was determined through a modified Poisson regression model with a robust error estimator controlling for potential confounders. For 29 745 person years, 319 cases of diabetes were ascertained. In multivariable analyses, dietary folate intake was inversely associated with risk of T2D for women, not for men. For women, the incidence rate ratio of diabetes in the third tertile compared with the first tertile was 0·57 (95 % CI 0·38–0·87, Pfor trend=0·0085) in the baseline consumption model and 0·64 (95 % CI 0·43–0·95, Pfor trend=0·0244) in the average consumption model. These inverse associations was found in both normal fasting blood glucose group and impaired fasting glucose group among women. Among non-users of multinutrients and vitamin supplements, the significant inverse association remained. Thus, higher dietary intake of folate is prospectively associated with lower risk of diabetes for women.
Human cystic echinococcosis is a widespread, chronic, endemic, helminthic zoonosis caused by larval tapeworms of the species Echinococcus granulosus. At present, there is no rational and effective therapy for patients with echinococcosis. The present study evaluated whether the combination of alkaloids from Sophora moorcroftiana seeds (SMSa2) and Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) was effective in the treatment of experimental echinococcosis. After 20 weeks of secondary infection with protoscoleces, mice were randomly allocated to five groups and treated for 6 weeks by daily intragastric administration of albendazole (ABZ, 100 mg/kg), SMSa2 (100 mg/kg), BCG (abdominal subcutaneous injection at 5 × 106 CFU), SMSa2 + BCG (100 mg/kg SMSa2 and 5 × 106 CFU BCG) or normal saline (untreated group), respectively. The results indicated a significant reduction in the weight of hydatid cysts in the SMSa2 + BCG group compared with the untreated, SMSa2 and BCG groups. The rate of inhibition of hydatid cyst growth in the SMSa2 + BCG group (76.1%) was obviously increased compared with that in the SMSa2 (25.7%) and BCG (26.6%) groups, respectively. Compared with the untreated control, the SMSa2 + BCG group showed a non-significant increase in serum interleukin-4 (IL-4). Furthermore, the serum levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) between the untreated and SMSa2 + BCG groups were not statistically different. Therefore, the combination of alkaloids from S. moorcroftiana seeds and BCG can reduce cyst burden and is an effective therapeutic regimen against echinococcosis.
Suicide-related behaviours are common in schizophrenia and are significantly associated with premature death. The objective of this meta-analysis study was to estimate the pooled prevalence of suicide-related behaviours in schizophrenia patients in China.
The relevant literature was searched systematically via the relevant electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wanfang Databases and Chinese Biological Medical Literature Database) from their inception until 14 September 2016. Only original studies that reported the prevalence of suicide-related behaviours including suicidal ideation (SI), suicide plan, suicide attempt (SA) and completed suicide were selected.
Nineteen articles met the inclusion criteria and were analysed. The pooled lifetime prevalence of SI and SA were 25.8% (95% CI 14.7–41.1%) and 14.6% (95% CI 9.1–22.8%), respectively. The 1-month prevalence of SI was 22.0% (95% CI 18.2–26.4%). Subgroup analyses of lifetime SI and SA showed that gender, sample size, survey year, study location and source of patients have no significant mediating effects on the results.
Suicide-related behaviours are common in Chinese schizophrenia patients. Due to the high mortality risk, regular screening and effective suicide prevention programmes are warranted.
South China has become the most important area to establish a global stratigraphic framework of the Wuchiapingian Stage because complete Wuchiapingian sequences include the GSSPs for the base and top of the stage. As the markers of the Wuchiapingian GSSP, conodonts are the most important fossil group to establish the Wuchiapingian biostratigraphic framework. However, few documents have investigated in detail the conodont biostratigraphic succession through the entire Wuchiapingian Stage. Furthermore, the conodont taxonomy of several Wuchiapingian Clarkina species is still debated. Therefore, we here review all Wuchiapingian Clarkina species from South China and figure ontogenetic growth series from juvenile to adult individuals for each valid and important species in order to revise both Wuchiapingian conodont taxonomy and the biostratigraphic succession. Based on the Penglaitan, Dukou, and Nanjiang sections, seven conodont zones (Clarkina postbitteri postbitteri, C. dukouensis, C. asymmetrica, C. leveni, C. guangyuanensis, C. transcaucasica, and C. orientalis) are recognized. The Wuchiapingian Clarkina species lineage is also reviewed to confirm the conodont biostratigraphic framework. The Guadalupian-Lopingian boundary (GLB) interval represents a sequence boundary. The time framework of the pre-Lopingian extinction interval indicates that the beginning of the end-Guadalupian regression is in the upper part of the Jinogondolella postserrata Zone, and the beginning of the early Lopingian transgression is in the lower part of the Clarkina dukouensis Zone in South China.
The role of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the pathogenesis of liver disease has recently gained much interest. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in patients with liver disease from three cities in Shandong and Henan provinces, China. A case–control study was conducted from December 2014 to November 2015 and included 1142 patients with liver disease and 1142 healthy controls. Serum samples were collected from all individuals and were examined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies. Information on the demographics, clinical, and lifestyle characteristics of the participants was collected from the medical records and by the use of a questionnaire. The prevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG was 19·7% in patients with liver disease compared with 12·17% in the controls. Only 13 patients had anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies compared with 12 control individuals (1·14% vs. 1·05%, respectively). The highest seroprevalence was detected in patients with liver cancer (22·13%), followed by hepatitis patients (20·86%), liver cirrhosis patients (20·42%), and steatosis patients (20%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that consumption of raw meat (odds ratio (OR) = 1·32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·01–1·71; P = 0·03) and source of drinking water from wells (OR = 1·56; 95% CI 1·08–2·27; P = 0·01) were independent risk factors for T. gondii infection in liver disease patients. These findings indicate that T. gondii infection is more likely to be present in patients with liver disease. Therefore, efforts should be directed toward health education of populations at high risk of T. gondii infection and measures should be taken to protect vulnerable patients with liver disease.