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Noninvasive brain stimulation methods, including high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS) and theta burst stimulation (TBS) have emerged as novel tools to modulate and explore brain function. However, the relative efficacy of these newer stimulation approaches for modulating cognitive functioning remains unclear. This study investigated the cognitive effects of HD-tDCS, intermittent TBS (iTBS) and prolonged continuous TBS (ProcTBS) and explored the potential of these approaches for modulating hypothesized functions of the left posterior parietal cortex (PPC).
Twenty-two healthy volunteers attended four experimental sessions in a cross-over experimental design. In each session, participants either received HD-tDCS, iTBS, ProcTBS or sham, and completed cognitive tasks, including a divided attention task, a working memory maintenance task and an attention task (emotional Stroop test).
The results showed that compared to sham, HD-tDCS, iTBS and ProcTBS caused significantly faster response times on the emotional Stroop task. The effect size (Cohen’s d) was d = .32 for iTBS (p < .001), .21 for ProcTBS (p = .01) and .15 for HD-tDCS (p = .044). However, for the performance on the divided attention and working memory maintenance tasks, no significant effect of stimulation was found.
The results suggest that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation techniques, including TBS, may have greater efficacy for modulating cognition compared with HD-tDCS, and extend existing knowledge about specific functions of the left PPC.
Seasonal autoregressive-integrated moving average (SARIMA) has been widely used to model and forecast incidence of infectious diseases in time-series analysis. This study aimed to model and forecast monthly cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in China. Monthly incidence HFMD cases in China from May 2008 to August 2018 were analysed with the SARIMA model. A seasonal variation of HFMD incidence was found from May 2008 to August 2018 in China, with a predominant peak from April to July and a trough from January to March. In addition, the annual peak occurred periodically with a large annual peak followed by a relatively small annual peak. A SARIMA model of SARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 1)12 was identified, and the mean error rate and determination coefficient were 16.86% and 94.27%, respectively. There was an annual periodicity and seasonal variation of HFMD incidence in China, which could be predicted well by a SARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 1)12 model.
The evidence linking low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) to CVD is controversial, and results from epidemiological studies are inconsistent. We aimed to assess the relationship between LCD patterns and coronary artery Ca (CAC) scores from computed tomography in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis cohort. Our sample included 5614 men and women free of clinical CVD at baseline (2000–2002), who had a FFQ, a baseline measure and ≥1 measure of CAC during follow-up. We excluded those with implausible energy intake or daily physical activity. The overall, animal-based and plant-based LCD scores were calculated based on intakes of macronutrients. Relative risk regression and robust regression models were used to examine the cross-sectional and longitudinal relationship between LCD score quintile and CAC outcomes, after adjustment for multiple cardiovascular risk factors. The mean age of participants was 63 years. The median intakes of total carbohydrate, fat and protein were 53·7, 30·5 and 15·6 % energy/d, respectively. Among 2892 participants with zero CAC scores at baseline, 264 developed positive scores during 2·4-year follow-up (11–59 months). Among those with positive scores at baseline, the median increase in CAC was 47 units over the course of follow-up. The overall, the animal-based and the plant-based LCD scores were not associated with CAC prevalence, incidence and progression. In conclusion, diets low in carbohydrate and high in fat and/or protein, regardless of the sources of protein and fat, were not associated with higher levels of CAC, a validated predictor of cardiovascular events, in this large multi-ethnic cohort.
Starch digestion in the small intestines of the dairy cow is low, to a large extent, due to a shortage of syntheses of α-amylase. One strategy to improve the situation is to enhance the synthesis of α-amylase. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway, which acts as a central regulator of protein synthesis, can be activated by leucine. Our objectives were to investigate the effects of leucine on the mTOR signalling pathway and to define the associations between these signalling activities and the synthesis of pancreatic enzymes using an in vitro model of cultured Holstein dairy calf pancreatic tissue. The pancreatic tissue was incubated in culture medium containing l-leucine for 3 h, and samples were collected hourly, with the control being included but not containing l-leucine. The leucine supplementation increased α-amylase and trypsin activities and the messenger RNA expression of their coding genes (P <0.05), and it enhanced the mTOR synthesis and the phosphorylation of mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (P <0.05). In addition, rapamycin inhibited the mTOR signal pathway factors during leucine treatment. In sum, the leucine regulates α-amylase and trypsin synthesis in dairy calves through the regulation of the mTOR signal pathways.
Muons produced by the Bethe–Heitler process from laser wakefield accelerated electrons interacting with high
materials have velocities close to the laser wakefield. It is possible to accelerate those muons with laser wakefield directly. Therefore for the first time we propose an all-optical ‘Generator and Booster’ scheme to accelerate the produced muons by another laser wakefield to supply a prompt, compact, low cost and controllable muon source in laser laboratories. The trapping and acceleration of muons are analyzed by one-dimensional analytic model and verified by two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation. It is shown that muons can be trapped in a broad energy range and accelerated to higher energy than that of electrons for longer dephasing length. We further extrapolate the dependence of the maximum acceleration energy of muons with the laser wakefield relativistic factor
and the relevant initial energy
. It is shown that a maximum energy up to 15.2 GeV is promising with
on the existing short pulse laser facilities.
Seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) has been used to model nationwide tuberculosis (TB) incidence in other countries. This study aimed to characterise monthly TB notification rate in China. Monthly TB notification rate from 2005 to 2017 was used. Time-series analysis was based on a SARIMA model and a hybrid model of SARIMA-generalised regression neural network (GRNN) model. A decreasing trend (3.17% per years, P < 0.01) and seasonal variation of TB notification rate were found from 2005 to 2016 in China, with a predominant peak in spring. A SARIMA model of ARIMA (0,1,1) (0,1,1)12 was identified. The mean error rate of the single SARIMA model and the SARIMA–GRNN combination model was 6.07% and 2.56%, and the determination coefficient was 0.73 and 0.94, respectively. The better performance of the SARIMA–GRNN combination model was further confirmed with the forecasting dataset (2017). TB is a seasonal disease in China, with a predominant peak in spring, and the trend of TB decreased by 3.17% per year. The SARIMA–GRNN model was more effective than the widely used SARIMA model at predicting TB incidence.
We propose a 3D-printable soft, stretchable, and transparent hydrogel-elastomer device that is able to detect simulated ‘nerve’ signals. The signal is passed to a conductive hydrogel electrode through a non-contact method of capacitive coupling through polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). We demonstrate that the device is able to detect sinusoidal waveforms passed through a simulated ‘nerve’ made from conductive hydrogel over a range of frequencies (1 kHz – 1 MHz). Analysis of signal detection showed a correlation to the electrode contact area and a Vin/Vout of larger than 10%. This provides the framework for the future development of a soft, 3D-printable, capacitive coupling device that can be used as a cuff electrode for detecting peripheral nerve signals.
Little is known about the combined use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants in older psychiatric patients. This study examined the prescription pattern of concurrent benzodiazepines in older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia, and explored its demographic and clinical correlates.
The data of 955 older adults with any type of psychiatric disorders were extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) project. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The proportion of benzodiazepine and antidepressant combination in this cohort was 44.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that higher doses of antidepressants, younger age (<65 years), inpatients, public hospital, major comorbid medical conditions, antidepressant types, and country/territory were significantly associated with more frequent co-prescription of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
Nearly, half of the older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia are prescribed concurrent benzodiazepines. Given the potentially adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the rationale of benzodiazepines and antidepressants co-prescription needs to be revisited.
Violators of cooperation norms may be informally punished by their peers. How such norm enforcement is judged by others can be regarded as a meta-norm (i.e., a second-order norm). We examined whether meta-norms about peer punishment vary across cultures by having students in eight countries judge animations in which an agent who over-harvested a common resource was punished either by a single peer or by the entire peer group. Whether the punishment was retributive or restorative varied between two studies, and findings were largely consistent across these two types of punishment. Across all countries, punishment was judged as more appropriate when implemented by the entire peer group than by an individual. Differences between countries were revealed in judgments of punishers vs. non-punishers. Specifically, appraisals of punishers were relatively negative in three Western countries and Japan, and more neutral in Pakistan, UAE, Russia, and China, consistent with the influence of individualism, power distance, and/or indulgence. Our studies constitute a first step in mapping how meta-norms vary around the globe, demonstrating both cultural universals and cultural differences.
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.
Cytochrome P450s (CYPs or P450s) have been long recognized as very important enzymes in the metabolism of xenobiotic and endogenous compounds, but only a few CYPs have been functionally characterized in insects. The effort in functional characterization of insect P450s is heavily hindered by technical difficulties in preparing active, individual P450 enzymes directly from the target insect. In this paper, we describe the functional expression of two additional pyrethroid resistance-associated CYP9A genes (CYP9A12 and CYP9A17) from the polyphagous pest Helicoverpa armigera in the facile Escherichia coli. The functionality of E. coli produced CYP9A12, CYP9A14, and CYP9A17 was investigated and activities of these CYP9As were compared against three probe substrates after reconstitution with NADPH-dependent cytochrome P450 reductase. The results showed that active forms of CYP9A12 and CYP9A17 were expressed in E. coli with a content of about 1.0–1.5 nmol mg−1 protein in membrane preparations. In vitro assays showed that CYP9A14 was capable of catalyzing O-dealkylation of methoxyresorufin (MROD), ethoxyresorufin (EROD), and benzyloxyresorufin (BROD), while CYP9A12 and CYP9A17 exhibited only MROD and EROD activities. Kinetic studies demonstrated that CYP9A14 had the greatest kcat/Km value for MROD, and CYP9A17 for EROD, while the lowest kcat/Km values for both MROD and EROD were observed for CYP9A12. The distinct biochemical traits suggest that the three paralogous CYP9As may play different roles in xenobiotic metabolism in this important pest.
Using the spectroscopic distances of over 0.12 million A-type stars selected from the LAMOST Spectroscopic Survey of the Galactic Anti-center (LSS-GAC), we map their three-dimensional number density distributions in the Galaxy. These stellar number density maps allow an investigation of the Galactic young age thin disk structure with no a priori assumptions about the functional form of its components. The data show strong evidence for a significant flaring young disk. A more detail analysis show that the stellar flaring have different behaviours between the Northern and the Southern Galactic disks. The maps also reveal spatially coherent, kpc-scale stellar substructure in the thin disk. Finally, we detect the Perseus arm stellar overdensity at R ~ 10 kpc.
We present some Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations for supernova remnants (SNRs), which hints the thicknesses of SNRs’ shells are likely related to the density and density distribution of surrounding interstellar medium (ISM). The simulations show clear formation and evolution of reverse shocks. In addition, we find that stellar winds can blow a bubble around the progenitor stars then lead to weaker radio emission at the center of SNRs.
Reliable distances to Galactic Supernova remnants (SNRs) are essential to constrain parameters that reveal the evolutional process of SNRs. We carry out a project to measure SNRs’ distances in the first quadrant of the Galaxy. In this project, red clump stars (RCS) are used as standard candle to build the optical extinction (AV)-(D) distance relation in each direction of extinction-known SNRs. Here, G5.7-0.01, G54.1+0.3 and G78.2+2.1 are taken as typical examples. We obtain the distance of 3−0.3+0.4 kpc for G5.7-0.01, the lower limit of 5.8 kpc for G54.1+0.3, the upper limit of 2 kpc for G5.7-0.01. The results are consistent with distances from kinematic measurements. Hence, we highlight the RCS method can independently trace the distance to the SNRs.
The study aimed to evaluate the effect of a patient-to-patient communication model on dysphagia in laryngeal cancer patients after total laryngectomy.
Sixty-five patients who had undergone total laryngectomy were randomly divided into three groups: a routine communication group, a patient communication group (that received the patient-to-patient communication model) and a physician communication group. Questionnaires were used to compare quality of life and swallowing problems among all patient groups.
The main factors causing dysphagia in total laryngectomy patients were related to fear and mental health. The patient communication group had improved visual analogue scale scores at one week after starting to eat. Quality of life in swallowing disorders questionnaire scores were significantly higher in the patient communication and physician communication groups than in the routine communication group. In addition, swallowing problems were much more severe in patients educated to high school level and above than in others.
The patient-to-patient communication model can be used to resolve swallowing problems caused by psychological factors in total laryngectomy patients.
We explore photometric redshift estimation of quasars with the SDSS DR12 quasar sample. Firstly the quasar sample is separated into three parts according to different redshift ranges. Then three classifiers based on Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) are created in the three redshift ranges. Finally k-Nearest Neighbor (kNN) approach is applied on the three samples to predict photometric redshifts of quasars with multiwavelength photometric data. We compare the performance with different input patterns by ELM-KNN with that only by kNN. The experimental results show that ELM-KNN is feasible and superior to kNN (e.g. rms is 0.0751 vs. 0.2626 for SDSS sample), in other words, the ensemble method has the potential to increase regressor performance beyond the level reached by an individual regressor alone and will be a good choice when facing much more complex data.
20-Hydroxyecdysone (20E) is a key hormone which regulates growth, development and reproduction in insects. Although cytochrome P450 enzymes (P450s) participating in the ecdysteroid biosynthesis of 20E have been characterized in a few model insects, no work has been published on the molecular entity of their orthologs in the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera, a major pest insect in agriculture worldwide. In this study, four cytochrome P450 homologs, namely HarmCYP302A1, HarmCYP306A1, HarmCYP314A1 and HarmCYP315A1 from H. armigera, were identified and evolutional conservation of these Halloween genes were revealed among lepidopteran. Expression analyses showed that HarmCYP302A1 and HarmCYP315A1 were predominantly expressed in larval prothoracic glands, whereas this predominance was not always observed for HarmCYP306A1 and CYP314A1. The expression patterns of Halloween genes indicate that the fat bodies may play an important role in the conversion of ecdysone into 20E in larval–larval molt and in larval–pupal metamorphosis, and raise the possibility that HarmCYP315A1 plays a role in tissue-specific regulation in the steroid biosynthesis in H. armigera. These findings represent the first identification and expression characterization of four steriodogenic P450 genes and provide the groundwork for future functional and evolutionary study of steroid biosynthesis in this agriculturally important pest.
Using data from the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) study, we aimed to present the rates and clinical correlates of suicidal thoughts/acts in patients recruited from a total of 40 centres in 10 Asian countries/areas: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Data from 1122 patients with depressive disorders in the REAP-AD study were used. The ICD-10 was employed to diagnose depressive episodes and recurrent depressive disorder. The presence or absence of suicidal thoughts/acts and profile of other depressive symptoms was established using the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines for depression. Country/area differences in rates of suicidal thoughts/acts were evaluated with the χ2 test. In addition, depressive symptom profiles, other clinical characteristics, and patterns of psychotropic drug prescription in depressed patients with and without suicidal thoughts/acts were compared using analysis of covariance for continuous variables and logistic regression analysis for discrete variables to adjust the effects of covariates.
The rates of suicidal thoughts/acts in 10 countries/areas varied from 12.8% in Japan to 36.3% in China. Patients with suicidal thoughts/acts presented more persistent sadness (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=2.64, p<0.001), loss of interest (aOR=2.33, p<0.001), fatigue (aOR=1.58, p<0.001), insomnia (aOR=1.74, p<0.001), poor concentration (aOR=1.88, p<0.001), low self-confidence (aOR=1.78, p<0.001), poor appetite (aOR=2.27, p<0.001), guilt/self-blame (aOR=3.03, p<0.001), and use of mood stabilisers (aOR=1.79, p<0.001) than those without suicidal thoughts/acts.
Suicidal thoughts/acts can indicate greater severity of depression, and are associated with a poorer response to antidepressants and increased burden of illness. Hence, suicidal thoughts/acts can provide a clinical index reflecting the clinical status of depressive disorders in Asians.