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Several studies suggest significant relationships between migration and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but there are discrepant results. Given that no studies to date have included a pathological control group, the specificity of the results in ASD can be questioned.
To compare the migration experience (premigration, migratory trip, postmigration) in ASD and non-ASD pathological control groups, and study the relationships between migration and autism severity.
Parents’ and grandparents’ migrant status was compared in 30 prepubertal boys with ASD and 30 prepubertal boys without ASD but with language disorders, using a questionnaire including Human Development Index (HDI)/Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) of native countries. Autism severity was assessed using the Child Autism Rating Scale, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised scales.
The parents’ and grandparents’ migrant status frequency did not differ between ASD and control groups and was not associated with autism severity. The HDI/IHDI values of native countries were significantly lower for parents and grandparents of children with ASD compared with the controls, especially for paternal grandparents. Furthermore, HDI/IDHI levels from the paternal line (father and especially paternal grandparents) were significantly negatively correlated with autism severity, particularly for social interaction impairments.
In this study, parents’ and/or grandparents’ migrant status did not discriminate ASD and pathological control groups and did not contribute either to autism severity. However, the HDI/IHDI results suggest that social adversity-related stress experienced in native countries, especially by paternal grandparents, is potentially a traumatic experience that may play a role in ASD development. A ‘premigration theory of autism’ is then proposed.
Previous genetic association studies have failed to identify loci robustly associated with sepsis, and there have been no published genetic association studies or polygenic risk score analyses of patients with septic shock, despite evidence suggesting genetic factors may be involved. We systematically collected genotype and clinical outcome data in the context of a randomized controlled trial from patients with septic shock to enrich the presence of disease-associated genetic variants. We performed genomewide association studies of susceptibility and mortality in septic shock using 493 patients with septic shock and 2442 population controls, and polygenic risk score analysis to assess genetic overlap between septic shock risk/mortality with clinically relevant traits. One variant, rs9489328, located in AL589740.1 noncoding RNA, was significantly associated with septic shock (p = 1.05 × 10–10); however, it is likely a false-positive. We were unable to replicate variants previously reported to be associated (p < 1.00 × 10–6 in previous scans) with susceptibility to and mortality from sepsis. Polygenic risk scores for hematocrit and granulocyte count were negatively associated with 28-day mortality (p = 3.04 × 10–3; p = 2.29 × 10–3), and scores for C-reactive protein levels were positively associated with susceptibility to septic shock (p = 1.44 × 10–3). Results suggest that common variants of large effect do not influence septic shock susceptibility, mortality and resolution; however, genetic predispositions to clinically relevant traits are significantly associated with increased susceptibility and mortality in septic individuals.
To describe the pattern of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during 2 nosocomial outbreaks of COVID-19 with regard to the possibility of airborne transmission.
Contact investigations with active case finding were used to assess the pattern of spread from 2 COVID-19 index patients.
A community hospital and university medical center in the United States, in February and March, 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two index patients and 421 exposed health care workers.
Exposed staff were identified by analyzing the EMR and conducting active case finding in combination with structured interviews. Staff were tested for COVID-19 by obtaining oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal specimens, with RT-PCR testing to detect SARS-CoV-2.
Two separate index patients were admitted in February and March 2020, without initial suspicion for COVID-19 and without contact or droplet precautions in place; both patients underwent several aerosol generating procedures in this context. A total of 421 health care workers were exposed in total, and the results of the case contact investigations identified 8 secondary infections in health care workers. In all 8 cases, the staff had close contact with the index patients without sufficient personal protective equipment. Importantly, despite multiple aerosol generating procedures, there was no evidence of airborne transmission.
These observations suggest that, at least in a healthcare setting, a majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is likely to take place during close contact with infected patients through respiratory droplets, rather than by long-distance airborne transmission.
Modelling paleo-glacier networks in mountain ranges on the millennial timescales requires ice flow approximations. Hybrid models calculating ice flow by combining vertical shearing (shallow ice approximation) and longitudinal stretching (shallow shelf approximation) have been applied to model paleo-glacier networks on steep terrain, yet their validity has not yet been assessed quantitatively. Moreover, hybrid models consistently yield higher ice thicknesses than Last Glacial Maximum geomorphological reconstructions in the European Alps. Here, we compare results based on the hybrid Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM) and the Stokes model Elmer/Ice on the Rhine Glacier, a catchment of the former European Alpine Icefield. For PISM, we also test two magnitudes of flux limitation in a scheme that reduces shearing velocities. We find that the flux limitation typically used in PISM yields significantly reduced shearing speeds and increases ice thicknesses by up to 500 m, partly explaining previous overestimations. However, reducing the ice flux limitation allows the hybrid model to minimize this mismatch and captures sliding speeds, ice thicknesses, ice extent and basal temperatures in close agreement with those obtained with the Stokes model.
Depression and obesity are highly prevalent, and major impacts on public health frequently co-occur. Recently, we reported that having depression moderates the effect of the FTO gene, suggesting its implication in the association between depression and obesity.
To confirm these findings by investigating the FTO polymorphism rs9939609 in new cohorts, and subsequently in a meta-analysis.
The sample consists of 6902 individuals with depression and 6799 controls from three replication cohorts and two original discovery cohorts. Linear regression models were performed to test for association between rs9939609 and body mass index (BMI), and for the interaction between rs9939609 and depression status for an effect on BMI. Fixed and random effects meta-analyses were performed using METASOFT.
In the replication cohorts, we observed a significant interaction between FTO, BMI and depression with fixed effects meta-analysis (β=0.12, P = 2.7 × 10−4) and with the Han/Eskin random effects method (P = 1.4 × 10−7) but not with traditional random effects (β = 0.1, P = 0.35). When combined with the discovery cohorts, random effects meta-analysis also supports the interaction (β = 0.12, P = 0.027) being highly significant based on the Han/Eskin model (P = 6.9 × 10−8). On average, carriers of the risk allele who have depression have a 2.2% higher BMI for each risk allele, over and above the main effect of FTO.
This meta-analysis provides additional support for a significant interaction between FTO, depression and BMI, indicating that depression increases the effect of FTO on BMI. The findings provide a useful starting point in understanding the biological mechanism involved in the association between obesity and depression.
This study explored effects of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) on language in aging. MetS is a constellation of five vascular and metabolic risk factors associated with the development of chronic diseases and increased risk of mortality, as well as brain and cognitive impairments. We tested 281 English-speaking older adults aged 55–84, free of stroke and dementia. Presence of MetS was based on the harmonized criteria (Alberti et al., 2009). Language performance was assessed by measures of accuracy and reaction time on two tasks of lexical retrieval and two tasks of sentence processing. Regression analyses, adjusted for age, education, gender, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, demonstrated that participants with MetS had significantly lower accuracy on measures of lexical retrieval (action naming) and sentence processing (embedded sentences, both subject and object relative clauses). Reaction time was slightly faster on the test of embedded sentences among those with MetS. MetS adversely affects the language performance of older adults, impairing accuracy of both lexical retrieval and sentence processing. This finding reinforces and extends results of earlier research documenting the negative influence of potentially treatable medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension) on language performance in aging. The unanticipated finding that persons with MetS were faster in processing embedded sentences may represent an impairment of timing functions among older individuals with MetS. (JINS, 2015, 21, 116–125)
A sensor which detects mechanical stresses and stores the position and the strength of these loads by color change of embedded quantum dots (QDs) is presented. The top and bottom electrodes of the sensor are inkjet-printed which leads to a fast and accurate deposition of thin (approx. 50 - 300 nm) and conductive layers. The used silver and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythio-phene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) inks are optimized in terms of printability and opportunities of functionality forming without influencing the active layer of the sensor. The active layer of the sensor is spin-coated and consists of the QDs embedded in semi-conducting poly(9-vinylcarba-zole) (PVK). The hole transport characteristic of PVK and the band level alignment of the used materials ensures the preferred injection of only one type of charge carrier into the QDs. As a result the mechanical stress is visualized by a decreasing in photoluminescence (PL) of the QDs.
We propose a theory of political parties in which interest groups and activists are the key actors, and coalitions of groups develop common agendas and screen candidates for party nominations based on loyalty to their agendas. This theoretical stance contrasts with currently dominant theories, which view parties as controlled by election-minded politicians. The difference is normatively important because parties dominated by interest groups and activists are less responsive to voter preferences, even to the point of taking advantage of lapses in voter attention to politics. Our view is consistent with evidence from the formation of national parties in the 1790s, party position change on civil rights and abortion, patterns of polarization in Congress, policy design and nominations for state legislatures, Congress, and the presidency.
Oxide-metal-oxide structures are an alternative to single material transparent electrical contacts. Among other advantages, these multilayer systems provide good conductivity and transmittance, even when fabricated at room temperature. Low temperature processing is a requirement for silicon thin-film solar cells on various flexible substrates. The design and fabrication of oxide-metal-oxide structures based on ZnO:Al and Ag are investigated in this work. Further the integration of an optimized multilayer electrode into an amorphous silicon solar cell in substrate configuration was performed. Measurement results and possible loss mechanisms are discussed.
Intermediate layers between silicon and borosilicate glass are investigated for compatibility with a diode laser crystallization technique for fabrication of thin-film polycrystalline silicon solar cells. SiCx, SiNx and SiOx layers or multilayer stacks of these materials have allowed silicon films of 10μm thickness to be successfully crystallized by diode laser irradiation without dewetting, with each option offering different advantages. SiCx allows the most robust crystallization process, while SiOx is the best barrier to contamination and the most stable layer. SiNx offers the best anti-reflection coating for superstrate configured solar cells. Presently, best device performance is achieved with a SiOxintermediate layer with cells achieving up to ∼540 mV open-circuit voltage.
Light trapping due to rough transparent conductive oxide (TCO) surfaces is a common and industrially applied technique in thin film silicon solar cells. In this study, we demonstrate a novel light trapping solution using electrochemically deposited, highly doped zinc oxide (ZnO) nanorod arrays which goes beyond standard light management concepts. The n-doped ZnO rods enable the application as front electrode in superstrate configuration. We explain our experimental results by multidimensional solar cell simulations and show how the nanorod array geometry influences the cell performance. The requirement is demonstrated to choose an appropriate average nanorod distance which strongly influences the electrical cell characteristics. The results clearly outline the potential of TCO nanorod technology for enhanced light trapping.
A new method to form high quality crystalline silicon thin films on cheap glass substrates is developed using a single pass of a line-focus cw diode laser in air. The laser process results in the formation of large high-quality crystals as they grow laterally in the scan direction – seeded by the previously crystallised region. Grains 10 μm in thickness, up to millimetres in length and hundreds of microns in width have been grown with virtually zero detectable intragrain defects. Another mode is found which results in much smaller crystals grown by partial melting. The dominant grain boundaries identified are Σ3 <111> 60° twins. Hall mobilities as high as 470 cm2/Vs have been recorded. A diffused emitter is used to create a p-n junction at the rear of the films which produces open-circuit voltages as high as 539 mV.