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Preliminary evidence has suggested that high-fat diets (HFD) enriched with SFA, but not MUFA, promote hyperinsulinaemia and pancreatic hypertrophy with insulin resistance. The objective of this study was to determine whether the substitution of dietary MUFA within a HFD could attenuate the progression of pancreatic islet dysfunction seen with prolonged SFA-HFD. For 32 weeks, C57BL/6J mice were fed either: (1) low-fat diet, (2) SFA-HFD or (3) SFA-HFD for 16 weeks, then switched to MUFA-HFD for 16 weeks (SFA-to-MUFA-HFD). Fasting insulin was assessed throughout the study; islets were isolated following the intervention. Substituting SFA with MUFA-HFD prevented the progression of hyperinsulinaemia observed in SFA-HFD mice (P < 0·001). Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from isolated islets was reduced by SFA-HFD, yet not fully affected by SFA-to-MUFA-HFD. Markers of β-cell identity (Ins2, Nkx6.1, Ngn3, Rfx6, Pdx1 and Pax6) were reduced, and islet inflammation was increased (IL-1β, 3·0-fold, P = 0·007; CD68, 2·9-fold, P = 0·001; Il-6, 1·1-fold, P = 0·437) in SFA-HFD – effects not seen with SFA-to-MUFA-HFD. Switching to MUFA-HFD can partly attenuate the progression of SFA-HFD-induced hyperinsulinaemia, pancreatic inflammation and impairments in β-cell function. While further work is required from a mechanistic perspective, dietary fat may mediate its effect in an IL-1β–AMP-activated protein kinase α1-dependent fashion. Future work should assess the potential translation of the modulation of metabolic inflammation in man.
Aging is associated with numerous stressors that negatively impact older adults’ well-being. Resilience improves ability to cope with stressors and can be enhanced in older adults. Senior housing communities are promising settings to deliver positive psychiatry interventions due to rising resident populations and potential impact of delivering interventions directly in the community. However, few intervention studies have been conducted in these communities. We present a pragmatic stepped-wedge trial of a novel psychological group intervention intended to improve resilience among older adults in senior housing communities.
A pragmatic modified stepped-wedge trial design.
Five senior housing communities in three states in the US.
Eighty-nine adults over age 60 years residing in independent living sector of senior housing communities.
Raise Your Resilience, a manualized 1-month group intervention that incorporated savoring, gratitude, and engagement in value-based activities, administered by unlicensed residential staff trained by researchers. There was a 1-month control period and a 3-month post-intervention follow-up.
Validated self-report measures of resilience, perceived stress, well-being, and wisdom collected at months 0 (baseline), 1 (pre-intervention), 2 (post-intervention), and 5 (follow-up).
Treatment adherence and satisfaction were high. Compared to the control period, perceived stress and wisdom improved from pre-intervention to post-intervention, while resilience improved from pre-intervention to follow-up. Effect sizes were small in this sample, which had relatively high baseline resilience. Physical and mental well-being did not improve significantly, and no significant moderators of change in resilience were identified.
This study demonstrates feasibility of conducting pragmatic intervention trials in senior housing communities. The intervention resulted in significant improvement in several measures despite ceiling effects. The study included several features that suggest high potential for its implementation and dissemination across similar communities nationally. Future studies are warranted, particularly in samples with lower baseline resilience or in assisted living facilities.
Traditional decision rules have limitations when a new technology is less effective and less costly than a comparator. We propose a new probabilistic decision framework to examine non-inferiority in effectiveness and net monetary benefit (NMB) simultaneously. We illustrate this framework using the example of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for treatment-resistant depression.
We modeled the quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) associated with the new intervention (rTMS), an active control (ECT), and a placebo control, and we estimated the fraction of effectiveness preserved by the new intervention through probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA). We then assessed the probability of cost-effectiveness using a traditional cost-effectiveness acceptability curve (CEAC) and our new decision-making framework. In our new framework, we considered the new intervention cost-effective in each simulation of the PSA if it preserved at least 75 percent of the effectiveness of the active control (thus demonstrating non-inferiority) and had a positive NMB at a given willingness-to-pay threshold (WTP).
rTMS was less effective (i.e., associated with fewer QALYs) and less costly than ECT. The traditional CEAC approach showed that the probabilities of rTMS being cost-effective were 100 percent, 39 percent, and 14 percent at WTPs of $0, $50,000, and $100,000 per QALY gained, respectively. In the new decision framework, the probabilities of rTMS being cost-effective were reduced to 23 percent, 21 percent, and 13 percent at WTPs of $0, $50,000, and $100,000 per QALY, respectively.
This new framework provides a different perspective for decision making with considerations of both non-inferiority and WTP thresholds.
This study of loneliness across adult lifespan examined its associations with sociodemographics, mental health (positive and negative psychological states and traits), subjective cognitive complaints, and physical functioning.
Analysis of cross-sectional data
340 community-dwelling adults in San Diego, California, mean age 62 (SD = 18) years, range 27–101 years, who participated in three community-based studies.
Loneliness measures included UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3 (UCLA-3), 4-item Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Social Isolation Scale, and a single-item measure from the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CESD) scale. Other measures included the San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE) and Medical Outcomes Survey- Short form 36.
Seventy-six percent of subjects had moderate-high levels of loneliness on UCLA-3, using standardized cut-points. Loneliness was correlated with worse mental health and inversely with positive psychological states/traits. Even moderate severity of loneliness was associated with worse mental and physical functioning. Loneliness severity and age had a complex relationship, with increased loneliness in the late-20s, mid-50s, and late-80s. There were no sex differences in loneliness prevalence, severity, and age relationships. The best-fit multiple regression model accounted for 45% of the variance in UCLA-3 scores, and three factors emerged with small-medium effect sizes: wisdom, living alone and mental well-being.
The alarmingly high prevalence of loneliness and its association with worse health-related measures underscore major challenges for society. The non-linear age-loneliness severity relationship deserves further study. The strong negative association of wisdom with loneliness highlights the potentially critical role of wisdom as a target for psychosocial/behavioral interventions to reduce loneliness. Building a wiser society may help us develop a more connected, less lonely, and happier society.
Plant height and lodging resistance can affect rice yield significantly, but these traits have always conflicted in crop cultivation and breeding. The current study aimed to establish a rapid and accurate plant type evaluation mechanism to provide a basis for breeding tall but lodging-resistant super rice varieties. A comprehensive approach integrating plant anatomy and histochemistry was used to investigate variations in flexural strength (a material property, defined as the stress in a material just before it yields in a flexure test) of the rice stem and the lodging index of 15 rice accessions at different growth stages to understand trends in these parameters and the potential factors influencing them. Rice stem anatomical structure was observed and the lignin content the cell wall was determined at different developmental stages. Three rice lodging evaluation models were established using correlation analysis, multivariate regression and artificial radial basis function (RBF) neural network analysis, and the results were compared to identify the most suitable model for predicting optimal rice plant types. Among the three evaluation methods, the mean residual and relative prediction errors were lowest using the RBF network, indicating that it was highly accurate and robust and could be used to establish a mathematical model of the morphological characteristics and lodging resistance of rice to identify optimal varieties.
Background: Down syndrome is the most common inherited disorder. Some patients develop craniocervical instability. Existing screening guidelines were developed prior to direct imaging of the neuraxis. We present parameters for potential instability using dynamic MRI of the craniocervical junction. Methods: A retrospective review from 2001 – 2015 was carried out. Patients were symptomatic if they had myelopathy or signal changes at the craniocervical junction. Radiographic measurements were taken. Data analysis was performed with SPSS. Results: 36 patients were included. Symptomatic patients had smaller CCD (9.4 mm vs 13.8 mm; p=0.003) and greater ADI (4.4mm vs 3.0 mm; p=0.01) on resting MRI . During dynamic imaging, symptomatic patients had greater changes in CCD (5.2 vs 2.7 mm; p <0.001) and ADI (2.8 vs 1.3 mm; p=0.04). These patients were also more likely to have a bony anomaly (0.5 vs 0.13; p=0.03). Conclusions: This study identifies parameters that can be used to distinguish unstable patients. A CCD of less than 5 mm or ADI greater than 4.4 mm on static MRI; change greater than 3 mm in ADI or 5mm on CCD during dynamic MRI; or any bony abnormality warrants further investigation. Asymptomatic patients should be followed although most do not progress.
We report a novel approach to the instantaneous photoinitiated synthesis of mixed anatase-rutile nanocrystalline TiO2 thin films with a three-dimensional nanostructure through pulsed white light irradiation of photosensitive Ti-organic precursor films. Pulsed photoinitiated pyrolysis accompanied by instantaneous self-assembly and crystallization occurred to form graphitic oxides-coated TiO2 nanograins. Subsequent pulsed light irradiation working as in situ pulsed photothermal treatment improved the crystalline quality of TiO2 film despite its low attenuation of light. The non-radiative recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes in TiO2 nanograins, coupled with inefficient heat dissipation due to low thermal conductivity, produces enough heat to provide the thermodynamic driving force for improving the crystalline quality. The graphitic oxides were reduced by pulsed photothermal treatment and can be completely removed by oxygen plasma cleaning. This photoinitiated nanofabrication technology opens a promising way for the low-cost and high-throughput manufacturing of nanostructured metal oxides as well as TiO2 nanocrystalline thin films.
The low-frequency unsteadiness in the direct numerical simulation of a Mach 2.9 shock wave/turbulent boundary layer interaction with mean flow separation is analysed using dynamic mode decomposition (DMD). The analysis is applied both to three-dimensional and spanwise-averaged snapshots of the flow. The observed low-frequency DMD modes all share a common structure, characterized by perturbations along the shock, together with streamwise-elongated regions of low and high momentum that originate at the shock foot and extend into the downstream flow. A linear superposition of these modes, with dynamics governed by their corresponding DMD eigenvalues, accurately captures the unsteadiness of the shock. In addition, DMD analysis shows that the downstream regions of low and high momentum are unsteady and that their unsteadiness is linked to the unsteadiness of the shock. The observed flow structures in the downstream flow are reminiscent of Görtler-like vortices that are present in this type of flow due to an underlying centrifugal instability, suggesting a possible physical mechanism for the low-frequency unsteadiness in shock wave/turbulent boundary layer interactions.
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.
We investigated the prevalence, diversity, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) profiles of non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) and associated risk factors on 341 pig, chicken, and duck farms in Dong Thap province (Mekong Delta, Vietnam). Sampling was stratified by species, district (four categories), and farm size (three categories). Pooled faeces, collected using boot swabs, were tested using ISO 6575: 2002 (Annex D). Isolates were serogrouped; group B isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction to detect S. Typhimurium and (monophasic) serovar 4,,12:i:- variants. The farm-level adjusted NTS prevalence was 64·7%, 94·3% and 91·3% for chicken, duck and pig farms, respectively. Factors independently associated with NTS were duck farms [odds ratio (OR) 21·2], farm with >50 pigs (OR 11·9), pig farm with 5–50 pigs (OR 4·88) (vs. chickens), and frequent rodent sightings (OR 2·3). Both S. Typhimurium and monophasic S. Typhimurium were more common in duck farms. Isolates had a high prevalence of resistance (77·6%) against tetracycline, moderate resistance (20–30%) against chloramphenicol, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, ampicillin and nalidixic acid, and low resistance (<5%) against ciprofloxacin and third-generation cephalosporins. Multidrug resistance (resistance against ⩾3 classes of antimicrobial) was independently associated with monophasic S. Typhimurium and other group B isolates (excluding S. Typhimurium) and pig farms. The unusually high prevalence of NTS on Mekong Delta farms poses formidable challenges for control.
Lifecourse trajectories of clinical or anthropological attributes are useful for identifying how our early-life experiences influence later-life morbidity and mortality. Researchers often use growth mixture models (GMMs) to estimate such phenomena. It is common to place constrains on the random part of the GMM to improve parsimony or to aid convergence, but this can lead to an autoregressive structure that distorts the nature of the mixtures and subsequent model interpretation. This is especially true if changes in the outcome within individuals are gradual compared with the magnitude of differences between individuals. This is not widely appreciated, nor is its impact well understood. Using repeat measures of body mass index (BMI) for 1528 US adolescents, we estimated GMMs that required variance–covariance constraints to attain convergence. We contrasted constrained models with and without an autocorrelation structure to assess the impact this had on the ideal number of latent classes, their size and composition. We also contrasted model options using simulations. When the GMM variance–covariance structure was constrained, a within-class autocorrelation structure emerged. When not modelled explicitly, this led to poorer model fit and models that differed substantially in the ideal number of latent classes, as well as class size and composition. Failure to carefully consider the random structure of data within a GMM framework may lead to erroneous model inferences, especially for outcomes with greater within-person than between-person homogeneity, such as BMI. It is crucial to reflect on the underlying data generation processes when building such models.
The crystal structure of a-plane GaN/ZnO heterostructures on r-plane sapphire was investigated by using the XRD and TEM measurment. It was found the formation of (220) ZnGa2O4 and crystal orientation of semipolar (10
3) GaN at GaN/ZnO interface. The epitaxial relation of normal surface direction are the sapphire (1
02) // a-GaN (11
0) and ZnGa2O4 (220) // semi-polar GaN (10
). Beside, the emission peak energy of ZnO appears shift about 60 meV in the GaN/ZnO/GaN heterostructures due to the re-crystallization of ZnO layer with Ga or N atom and the formation of the localized state.
A series solution based on the mild-slope equation is produced in this study of wave scattering produced by a circular cylindrical island mounted on an axi-symmetrical shoal. The solution is presumed to be a Fourier cosine expansion with variable coefficients in the radial direction on account of the symmetric scattering field, which translates the original 2-D boundary-value problem to a 1-D one in which an ordinary differential equation is in effect treated. Approximations to the coefficients of the governing equation with the Taylor expansions enable the use of the Frobenius method, and consequently the solution is obtained in a combined Fourier and power series. For verification, the present method is mainly compared with Zhu and Zhang's  analytical solution of the linearised shallow water equation for a conical shoal, and with a different analytical solution of the mild-slope equation developed by Liu et al.  for a paraboloidal shoal. Fine agreements are achieved. The present method is then used to investigate the variation pattern of the wave run-up when the shoal profile varies from conical to paraboloidal, and some interesting phenomena are observed.
For the gate last approach of a high K metal gate scheme used in advanced CMOS technology, various materials were tested as wetting layers to allow Aluminum (Al) gap fill at gate widths of10 to 45 nanometers. In this study, Titanium (Ti) and Cobalt (Co) were investigated as a wetting layer for Al gap fill. It was discovered that Al-Ti and Al-Co alloys were formed during high temperature Al deposition. Alloys were characterized using XRD. Alloy’s impacts on line resistivity and subsequent Al Chemical Mechanical Polish (Al CMP) were also investigated. In addition, a model was established to predict the alloy type and alloy mole% with respect to feature size. The predicted Al mole% by this model correlated very well with 1) line resistivity trend and 2) morphologies. The model also predicted that due to Al lower electro-chemical potential than Ti, Co or its alloys, galvanic corrosion could take place depending on the chemical environment in the Al CMP slurry. Different slurry or cleaning chemical may reduce or increase the risk of galvanic corrosion. The knowledge gained with the help of the model provides clear directions on selection criteria for wetting layers, optimization for deposition processes and Al CMP consumable design to meet the challenges.
We describe an experiment to interface and characterize silver nanoparticle (AgNPs) aggregates that are self-assembled and plastically deformable on a thin gold (Au) film deposited on glass substrate. The electrical characterization is done using an electrical nanoprobe attached to a nano-manipulator inside a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Electrical current-voltage (I-V) measurements are made between the electrical nanoprobe in contact with the nanoparticle and the Au film. The Ag nanoparticles have diameters ranging between ~200-800nm and are self-assembled on a thiolated 100nm Au film. Application of a contact force via the nanoprobe even after substantial particle deformation reveals initially a small non-linear current. Upon current annealing through Joule heating, significant improvement in the electrical contact at the AgNP/substrate interface was observed. This is most likely based on bonding of the AgNPs to the Au film after passage of a high current. The need for such an annealing/sintering step will be critical in forming good ohmic contacts at ambient conditions during transfer printing of semiconductor micro/nanopillars.
We report an experimental investigation on employing Ag nanoparticles to provide electrical and mechanical contacts between transfer-printed semiconductor devices in the shape of micro/nano- wires and pillars. The Ag nanoparticles have diameters ranging between 200-800nm and are assembled on a 200nm Au film deposited on glass substrates. With a customized tool, an ensemble of silicon pillars were brought into contact with the silver (Ag) nanoparticles (AgNPs) by precisely controlling the displacement and applied force (pressure). Current-voltage measurements were done at force resolution of ~0.2N. The test method aims to illuminate the pillar-particle contact mechanism using the nanoparticles as conductive fillers for the next generation of high performance heteroepitaxial device transfer-printing applications.
This study describes an outbreak of rabies in a flock of 110 sheep in Yangqu county, Shanxi province, China, in 2010. The flock, housed in a cave being used as a sheepfold, was attacked by a rabid dog, which resulted in 36 deaths over the following 2 days from the crushing and trampling caused by panic, and some 15 further deaths from rabies 2 weeks later. Rabies in the sheep was confirmed by the fluorescent antibody test (FAT) and RT–PCR. Rabies virus was isolated from the index dog brain and its N gene was partially sequenced (nucleotides 77-880). Results showed that the canine isolate (SXTYD01) was rabies virus with the N gene fragment 100% identical to that of the virus isolated from rabid sheep. This is the first confirmed sheep rabies outbreak in China. The clinical presentation of the disease is also described.