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We present the rare case of lipomatous atrial septal hypertrophy associated with adrenocorticotropin hormone therapy in an infant with West syndrome, highlighting their relatively benign nature and good prognosis in children, and the relevance of the differential diagnosis with more dangerous cardiac masses in order to avoid aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
Early life stress has been associated with emotional dysregulations and altered architecture of limbic-prefrontal brain systems engaged in emotional processing. Serotonin regulates both, developmental and experience-dependent neuroplasticity in these circuits. Central serotonergic biosynthesis rates are regulated by Tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) and transgenic animal models suggest that TPH2-gene associated differences in serotonergic signaling mediate the impact of aversive early life experiences on a phenotype characterized by anxious avoidance.
The present study employed an imaging genetics approach that capitalized on individual differences in a TPH2 polymorphism (703G/T; rs4570625) to determine whether differences in serotonergic signaling modulate the effects of early life stress on brain structure and function and punishment sensitivity in humans (n = 252).
Higher maltreatment exposure before the age of 16 was associated with increased gray matter volumes in a circuitry spanning thalamic-limbic-prefrontal regions and decreased intrinsic communication in limbic-prefrontal circuits selectively in TT carriers. In an independent replication sample, associations between higher early life stress and increased frontal volumes in TT carriers were confirmed. On the phenotype level, the genotype moderated the association between higher early life stress exposure and higher punishment sensitivity. In TT carriers, the association between higher early life stress exposure and punishment sensitivity was critically mediated by increased thalamic-limbic-prefrontal volumes.
The present findings suggest that early life stress shapes the neural organization of the limbic-prefrontal circuits in interaction with individual variations in the TPH2 gene to promote a phenotype characterized by facilitated threat avoidance, thus promoting early adaptation to an adverse environment.
In order to elucidate the physical connection between the propulsive performance and the unsteadiness of jet flow, the transient development of the impulse and thrust of laminar starting jets with finite fluid discharged is investigated numerically for cases with different velocity programmes and jet stroke ratios. The simulation quantitatively demonstrates that the impulse and thrust generated are highly sensitive to the jet kinematics and its near-wake dynamics. The momentum flux contribution to the jet impulse is found to be significant and is associated closely with the jet kinematics. On the other hand, although the over pressure effect at the jet initiation stage has been identified previously as the main reason for the enhanced propulsive performance of the starting jet, the current results indicate that its contribution is in fact weakened by the negative local pressure, induced by the formation of the leading vortex ring as well as jet development during the deceleration stage. Contrary to the effects of the leading vortex ring, the stopping vortex formed near the nozzle exit plane during the jet deceleration stage is found to contribute positively to the pressure impulse production, albeit it is relatively small. By augmenting the over pressure effect and mitigating the negative-pressure effect, the cases with the fast acceleration and slow deceleration velocity programme is capable of producing the maximum pressure impulse, leading to additional impulse production over what would be expected from the jet momentum flux alone.
A 6-week growth trial was conducted to evaluate the influences of dietary valine (Val) levels on growth, protein utilisation, immunity, antioxidant status and gut micromorphology of juvenile hybrid groupers. Seven isoenergetic, isoproteic and isolipidic diets were formulated to contain graded Val levels (1·21, 1·32, 1·45, 1·58, 1·69, 1·82 and 1·94 %, DM basis). Each experimental diet was hand-fed to triplicate groups of twelve hybrid grouper juveniles. Results showed that weight gain percentage (WG%), protein productive value, protein efficiency ratio, and feed efficiency were increased as dietary Val level increased, reaching a peak value at 1·58 % dietary Val. The quadratic regression analysis of WG% against dietary Val levels indicated that the optimum dietary Val requirement for hybrid groupers was estimated to be 1·56 %. Gut micromorphology and expression of growth hormone in pituitary, insulin-like growth factor 1, target of rapamycin and S6 kinase 1 in liver were significantly affected by dietary Val levels. In serum, fish fed 1·58 % dietary Val had higher superoxide dismutase, catalase, lysozyme activities and IgM concentrations than fish fed other dietary Val levels. Fish fed 1·58 % dietary Val had higher expression of NF-E2-related factor 2 in head kidney than fish fed other dietary Val levels. Generally, the optimum dietary Val requirement for maximal growth of hybrid groupers was estimated to be 1·56 % of DM, corresponding to 3·16 % of dietary protein, and dietary Val levels affected growth, protein utilisation, immunity and antioxidant status in hybrid groupers.
We describe 14 yr of public data from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), an ongoing project that is producing precise measurements of pulse times of arrival from 26 millisecond pulsars using the 64-m Parkes radio telescope with a cadence of approximately 3 weeks in three observing bands. A comprehensive description of the pulsar observing systems employed at the telescope since 2004 is provided, including the calibration methodology and an analysis of the stability of system components. We attempt to provide full accounting of the reduction from the raw measured Stokes parameters to pulse times of arrival to aid third parties in reproducing our results. This conversion is encapsulated in a processing pipeline designed to track provenance. Our data products include pulse times of arrival for each of the pulsars along with an initial set of pulsar parameters and noise models. The calibrated pulse profiles and timing template profiles are also available. These data represent almost 21 000 h of recorded data spanning over 14 yr. After accounting for processes that induce time-correlated noise, 22 of the pulsars have weighted root-mean-square timing residuals of
in at least one radio band. The data should allow end users to quickly undertake their own gravitational wave analyses, for example, without having to understand the intricacies of pulsar polarisation calibration or attain a mastery of radio frequency interference mitigation as is required when analysing raw data files.
The temperature dependence of the dielectric parameters of tissues and tissue-mimicking phantoms is very important for non-invasive temperature measurement in medical applications using microwaves. We performed measurements of this dependence in the temperature range of 25–50°C using distilled water as a reference liquid commonly used in dielectric property studies. The results were compared with the literature model in the frequency range of 150–3000 MHz. Using this method, the temperature dependence of dielectric parameters of a new muscle tissue-mimicking phantom based on agar, polyethylene powder, and polysaccharide material TX-151 was measured in the temperature range of 25–50°C. The temperature dependence of the dielectric properties of this new muscle phantom was fitted to that of the two-pole Cole–Cole model and the deviation of the results between measured and modeled data was quantified.
As an important dimensionless parameter for the vortex formation process, the general form of the formation time defined by Dabiri (Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech., vol. 41, 2009, pp. 17–33) is refined so as to provide better normalization for various vortex generator configurations. Our proposed definition utilizes the total circulation over the entire flow domain rather than that of the forming vortex ring alone. It adopts an integral form by considering the instantaneous infinitesimal increment in the formation time so that the effect of temporally varying properties of the flow configuration can be accounted for properly. By including the effect of buoyancy, the specific form of the general formation time for the starting forced plumes with negative and positive buoyancy is derived. A theoretical prediction based on the Kelvin–Benjamin variational principle shows that the general formation time manifests the invariance of the critical time scale, i.e. the formation number, under the influence of a source–ambient density difference. It demonstrates that the general formation time, based on the circulation production over the entire flow field, could take into account the effect of various vorticity production mechanisms, such as from a flux term or in a baroclinic fluid, on the critical formation number. The proposed definition may, therefore, serve as a guideline for deriving the specific form of the formation time in other types of starting/pulsatile flows.
Childhood obesity is considered one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. Obesity-associated inflammation could be one of the mechanisms that triggers insulin resistance that could drive systemic alterations such as metabolic disorder. Recently, circulating levels of S100A4 has been associated with insulin resistance and subcutaneuous white adipose tissue inflammation independently of body mass index (BMI) in a cohort of obese adults. Nonetheless, the link between S100A4 and insulin resistance in children is still not known yet. Thus, the aim of the study was to determine if S100A4 plasma levels were associated with insulin resistance status in a cohort of prepuberal children.
Material and methods:
In this case-control multicentre study, 250 prepuberal children took part and were stratified in six groups according to sex, obesity stage and insulin resistance status. Blood samples were withdrawn in resting conditions after an overnight fasting. Anthropometric measurements and a routine biochemical analyses were performed. Homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) was calculated using fasting plasma glucose and insulin values. S100A4 plasma levels were determined by ELISA CSBEL02032HU (Cusabio Biotech, Wuhan, China).
A lineal multiple regresión (α = 0.05) identified a significative association between S100A4 plasma levels and HOMA-IR in the cohort; each HOMA-IR increasing unit correlated with an increase of 0.008mg/dL in S100A4 plasma levels. (SE = 0.003 and p = 0.02). Moreover, we also observed a positive significative association between S100A4 plasma levels and glucose blood levels (p = 0.005) and BMI (p = 0.008). Inter-group comparations analyses revealed significative differences between normal-weight and insulino-resistant obese boys (p = 0.024). The same result was obtained between normal-weight and insulino-resistant obese girls (p = 0.04), finding a higher S100A4 concentration in insulino- resistant children. As expected, plasma S100A4 levels were also higher in obese children versus normal-weight children (p = 0.02).
These data could be clinical relevant due to the possible potential of S100A4 protein as a new circulating biomarker of resistance insulin in a cohort of prepuberal children. These results are supported by other studies in obese adults and adolescents. In conclusion, these results suggest that S100A4 is associated with obesity and insulin resistance in prepuberal children. However, more studies are needed to study the implication and mechanism of this protein in the development of insulin resistance.
Childhood obesity is associated with multiple cardio-metabolic abnormalities. A sensitive hypothesis underlying these alterations is oxidative stress, shown to be present in obesity, often accompanied by a diminished antioxidant defense. Specifically, plasma vitamin concentrations have been observed to be associated with obesity in adults and children. However, their association with cardio-metabolic alterations in children is less clear.
Materials and Methods
985 children (49.2% males, 71.7% prepubertal, 71.9% excess weight) were recruited in a case-control study of obesity in three Spanish hospitals. Pubertal status was assessed and anthropometry (weight, height), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP) and serum glucose, insulin, triacylglycerols (TAG) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were measured. Plasma concentrations of tocopherols and carotenes were determined with HPLC-MS and referred to TAG. Children were classified as MU if showing one or more of these criteria: SBP or DBP ≥ 90th percentile (age, sex, height), serum TAG > 90th percentile (age, sex), HDL-C < 10th percentile (age, sex), glucose ≥ 100 mg/dL or elevated HOMA-IR (≥ 2.5 prepubertal, ≥ 3.38 pubertal males, ≥ 3.905 pubertal females). Non-fulfillment was indicative of MH status. General linear models adjusted for sex, age, recruitment center and BMI were used to evaluate differences in vitamins between MH and MU children.
Prepubertal and pubertal children with excess weight showed lower tocopherols (Pre: 0.133 ± 0.061 vs 0.165 ± 0.065, P < 0.001; Pub: 0.120 ± 0.057 vs 0.163 ± 0.066, P < 0.001) and carotenes (Pre: 15.63 ± 13.72 vs 30.31 ± 26.04, P < 0.001; Pub: 12.34 ± 9.86 vs 22.98 ± 19.25, P < 0.001) plasma concentrations than normal-weight children. MU prepubertal and pubertal children showed lower tocopherols (Pre: 0.120 ± 0.056 vs 0.165 ± 0.064, P < 0.001; Pub: 0.111 ± 0.051 vs 0.154 ± 0.066, P < 0.001) and carotenes (Pre: 14.07 ± 12.61 vs 25.97 ± 21.94, P < 0.001; Pub: 10.90 ± 8.54 vs 19.03 ± 14.58, P < 0.001) plasma concentrations than MH children, independently of BMI. Individual MU components analyses showed similar associations between tocopherols and carotenes and insulin resistance, low HDL-C values and hypertriglyceridemia in prepubertal children; and between tocopherols and carotenes and elevated SBP, hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia in pubertal children.
Our findings agree with previous studies that showed decreased plasma concentrations of tocopherols and carotenes in children with obesity. However, we observe further implications of low circulating concentrations of non-enzymatic antioxidants in terms of their negative association with cardio-metabolic alterations such as insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in prepubertal and pubertal children, independently of BMI. These results must be considered when designing prevention and treatment strategies of obesity and its complications.
Insulin resistance (IR) is the major driver for the development of obesity-associated metabolic and cardiovascular complications. It is well known that IR increase physiologically during puberty; hence, pubertal maturation might favour this metabolic risk in obese children. Recently, a study carried out in adult women with obesity has identified a new adipokine, known as S100A4, strongly associated with IR and inflammation in adipose tissue. On the contrary, little is known about the implication of S100A4 in the development of such metabolic disturbances during the onset and course of pubertal development.
Materials and methods:
A longitudinal study was conducted on 53 Spanish girls distributed in six experimental conditions according to their obesity and IR status (before (T0) and after (T1) the onset of puberty). Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were evaluated in all samples and time points. Classification of pubertal stage was made according to the Tanner scale. S100A4 protein levels were quantified by ELISA CSB-EL02032HU in plasma samples (Cusabio Biotech, Wuhan, China). The statistical analysis of the results was carried out with the “nlme” package in R v3.4.4, using a mixed-effects linear model with random intercept and slope.
At a significance level of alpha = 0.05, a linear mixed-effects model reported a significant association (P = 0.03) between the interaction term “time*experimental group” and S100A4 levels. Post-hoc pairwise comparisons between experimental groups revealed a strong association between a worsening/improvement of the IR status and the increase/decrease of S100A4 levels (yielding significant results for 5 of the 15 comparisons (P = 0.008, P = 0.04, P = 0.02, P = 0.04 and P = 0.02)). Furthermore, a multiple linear regression model reported a positive correlation between the increase in S100A4 levels and the increase in HOMA values during the course of puberty (B = 6.03, SE = 2.66 and P = 0.028).
The S100A4 protein is strongly associated with the development of IR in girls with childhood obesity and this association is accentuated during pubertal development. Increase in S100A4 levels could be one of the molecular mechanisms by which pubertal maturation favour an increased metabolic risk in children with obesity.
This study used data from 12 cultural groups in 9 countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and United States; N = 1,315) to investigate bidirectional associations between parental warmth and control, and child externalizing and internalizing behaviors. In addition, the extent to which these associations held across mothers and fathers and across cultures with differing normative levels of parent warmth and control were examined. Mothers, fathers, and children completed measures when children were ages 8 to 13. Multiple-group autoregressive cross-lagged structural equation models revealed that evocative child-driven effects of externalizing and internalizing behavior on warmth and control are ubiquitous across development, cultures, mothers, and fathers. Results also reveal that parenting effects on child externalizing and internalizing behaviors, though rarer than child effects, extend into adolescence when examined separately in mothers and fathers. Father-based parent effects were more frequent than mother effects. Most parent- and child-driven effects appear to emerge consistently across cultures. The rare culture-specific parenting effects suggested that occasionally the effects of parenting behaviors that run counter to cultural norms may be delayed in rendering their protective effect against deleterious child outcomes.
The association between schizophrenia and decreased vitamin D levels is well documented. Low maternal and postnatal vitamin D levels suggest a possible etiological mechanism. Alternatively, vitamin D deficiency in patients with schizophrenia is presumably (also) the result of disease-related factors or demographic risk factors such as urbanicity.
In a study population of 347 patients with psychotic disorder and 282 controls, group differences in vitamin D concentration were examined. Within the patient group, associations between vitamin D, symptom levels and clinical variables were analyzed. Group × urbanicity interactions in the model of vitamin D concentration were examined. Both current urbanicity and urbanicity at birth were assessed.
Vitamin D concentrations were significantly lower in patients (B = −8.05; 95% confidence interval (CI) −13.68 to −2.42; p = 0.005). In patients, higher vitamin D concentration was associated with lower positive (B = −0.02; 95% CI −0.04 to 0.00; p = 0.049) and negative symptom levels (B = −0.03; 95% CI −0.05 to −0.01; p = 0.008). Group differences were moderated by urbanicity at birth (χ2 = 6.76 and p = 0.001), but not by current urbanicity (χ2 = 1.50 and p = 0.224). Urbanicity at birth was negatively associated with vitamin D concentration in patients (B = −5.11; 95% CI −9.41 to −0.81; p = 0.020), but not in controls (B = 0.72; 95% CI −4.02 to 5.46; p = 0.765).
Lower vitamin D levels in patients with psychotic disorder may in part reflect the effect of psychosis risk mediated by early environmental adversity. The data also suggest that lower vitamin D and psychopathology may be related through direct or indirect mechanisms.
Thermal imaging diagnostics was used as a surface temperature mapping tool to characterize the energy density distribution of a high-intensity pulsed ion beam. This approach was tested on the TEMP-6 accelerator (200–250 kV, 150 ns). The beam composition included carbon ions (85%) and protons, and the energy density in the focus was 5–12 J/cm2. Targets of stainless steel, titanium, brass, copper, and tungsten were examined. Our observations show that the maximum energy density measured with the thermal imaging diagnostics considerably exceeds the ablation threshold of the targets. An analysis of the overheating mechanisms of each target was carried out, including metastable overheating of the target to above its boiling temperature during rapid heating; formation, migration, and the subsequent annealing of fast radiation-induced defects in the target under ion beam irradiation. This expands the range of energy density measurement for this thermal imaging diagnostics from 2–3 J/cm2 up to 10–12 J/cm2 but introduces error into the results of measurement. For a stainless steel target, this error exceeds 15% at an energy density of more than 4 J/cm2. A method of correcting the results of the thermal imaging diagnostics is developed for a pulsed ion beam under conditions of intense ablation of the target material.
Copy number variations (CNVs), as an important source of genetic variation, can affect a wide range of phenotypes by diverse mechanisms. The somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) gene plays important roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Recently, this gene was mapped to a CNV region, which encompasses quantitative trait loci of cattle economic traits including body weight, marbling score, etc. Therefore, SSTR2 CNV may exhibit phenotypic effects on cattle growth traits. In the current study, distribution of SSTR2 gene CNVs was investigated in six Chinese cattle breeds (XN, QC, NY, JA, LX and PN), and the results showed higher CNV polymorphisms in XN, QC and NY cattle. Next, association analysis between growth traits and SSTR2 CNV was performed for XN, QC and NY cattle. In NY, individuals with fewer copies showed better performance than those with more copies. Further, the effects of SSTR2 CNV on the SSTR2 mRNA level were also investigated, but revealed no significant correlation in either muscle or adipose tissue of adult NY cattle. The results suggested the potential for use of SSTR2 CNV as a marker for the molecular breeding of NY cattle.
We study the shape and motion of gas bubbles in a liquid flowing through a horizontal or slightly inclined thin annulus. Experimental data show that in the horizontal annulus, bubbles develop a unique ‘tadpole-like’ shape with a semi-circular cap and a highly stretched tail. As the annulus is inclined, the bubble tail tends to vanish, resulting in a significant decrease of bubble length. To model the bubble evolution, the thin annulus is conceptualised as a ‘Hele-Shaw’ cell in a curvilinear space. The three-dimensional flow within the cell is represented by a gap-averaged, two-dimensional model, which achieved a close match to the experimental data. The numerical model is further used to investigate the effects of gap thickness and pipe diameter on the bubble behaviour. The mechanism for the semi-circular cap formation is interpreted based on an analogous irrotational flow field around a circular cylinder, based on which a theoretical solution to the bubble velocity is derived. The bubble motion and cap geometry is mainly controlled by the gravitational component perpendicular to the flow direction. The bubble elongation in the horizontal annulus is caused by the buoyancy that moves the bubble to the top of the annulus. However, as the annulus is inclined, the gravitational component parallel to the flow direction becomes important, causing bubble separation at the tail and reduction in bubble length.
Using multilevel models, we examined mother-, father-, and child-reported (N = 1,336 families) externalizing behavior problem trajectories from age 7 to 14 in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States). The intercept and slope of children's externalizing behavior trajectories varied both across individuals within culture and across cultures, and the variance was larger at the individual level than at the culture level. Mothers’ and children's endorsement of aggression as well as mothers’ authoritarian attitudes predicted higher age 8 intercepts of child externalizing behaviors. Furthermore, prediction from individual-level endorsement of aggression and authoritarian attitudes to more child externalizing behaviors was augmented by prediction from cultural-level endorsement of aggression and authoritarian attitudes, respectively. Cultures in which father-reported endorsement of aggression was higher and both mother- and father-reported authoritarian attitudes were higher also reported more child externalizing behavior problems at age 8. Among fathers, greater attributions regarding uncontrollable success in caregiving situations were associated with steeper declines in externalizing over time. Understanding cultural-level as well as individual-level correlates of children's externalizing behavior offers potential insights into prevention and intervention efforts that can be more effectively targeted at individual children and parents as well as targeted at changing cultural norms that increase the risk of children's and adolescents’ externalizing behavior.
The present study extends prior research on the link between neighborhood disadvantage and chronic illness by testing an integrated model in which neighborhood characteristics exert effects on health conditions through accelerated cardiometabolic aging. Hypotheses were tested using a sample of 408 African Americans from the Family and Community Health Study. Using four waves of data spanning young adulthood (ages 18–29), we first found durable effects of neighborhood disadvantage on accelerated cardiometabolic aging and chronic illness. Then, we used marginal structural modeling to adjust for potential neighborhood selection effects. As expected, accelerated cardiometabolic aging was the biopsychosocial mechanism that mediated much of the association between neighborhood disadvantage and chronic illness. This finding provides additional support for the view that neighborhood disadvantage can influence morbidity and mortality by creating social contexts that becomes biologically embedded. Perceived neighborhood collective efficacy served to buffer the relationship between neighborhood disadvantage and biological aging, identifying neighborhood-level resilience factor. Overall, our results indicate that neighborhood context serves as a fundamental cause of weathering and accelerated biological aging. Residing in a disadvantaged neighborhood increases biological wear and tear that ultimately leads to onset of chronic illness, but access to perceived collective efficacy buffers the impact of these neighborhood effects. From an intervention standpoint, identifying such an integrated model may help inform future health-promoting interventions.
Using data from 1,177 families in eight countries (Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States), we tested a conceptual model of direct effects of childhood family adversity on subsequent externalizing behaviors as well as indirect effects through psychological mediators. When children were 9 years old, mothers and fathers reported on financial difficulties and their use of corporal punishment, and children reported perceptions of their parents’ rejection. When children were 10 years old, they completed a computerized battery of tasks assessing reward sensitivity and impulse control and responded to questions about hypothetical social provocations to assess their hostile attributions and proclivity for aggressive responding. When children were 12 years old, they reported on their externalizing behavior. Multigroup structural equation models revealed that across all eight countries, childhood family adversity had direct effects on externalizing behaviors 3 years later, and childhood family adversity had indirect effects on externalizing behavior through psychological mediators. The findings suggest ways in which family-level adversity poses risk for children's subsequent development of problems at psychological and behavioral levels, situated within diverse cultural contexts.
In this paper, we describe the development of an International Space Station experiment, BioRock. The purpose of this experiment is to investigate biofilm formation and microbe–mineral interactions in space. The latter research has application in areas as diverse as regolith amelioration and extraterrestrial mining. We describe the design of a prototype biomining reactor for use in space experimentation and investigations on in situ Resource Use and we describe the results of pre-flight tests.
To study the clinical effect of lens cleaning paper patching on traumatic eardrum perforations.
A total of 122 patients were divided into 2 groups, of which 56 patients were treated with lens cleaning paper patching and 66 acted as controls. The closure rate and healing time were compared between the two groups.
The healing rate of small perforations was 96.4 per cent (27 out of 28) in the patching group and 90 per cent (27 out of 30) in the control group. The difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The healing rate of large perforations was 89.3 per cent (25 out of 28) and 80.6 per cent (29 out of 36) in the two groups, respectively. The difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The healing time of large perforations was shorter in the patching group than in the control group (p < 0.01).
Patching with lens cleaning paper under an endoscope can accelerate the closure of large traumatic eardrum perforations.