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Cigarette smoking is strongly associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, any genetic etiology of such comorbidity and causal relations is poorly understood, especially at the genome-wide level.
In the present in silico research, we analyzed summary data from the genome-wide association study of the Psychiatric Genetic Consortium for MDD (n = 191 005) and UK Biobank for smoking (n = 337 030) by using various biostatistical methods including Bayesian colocalization analysis, LD score regression, variant effect size correlation analysis, and Mendelian randomization (MR).
By adopting a gene prioritization approach, we identified 43 genes shared by MDD and smoking, which were significantly enriched in membrane potential, gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor activity, and retrograde endocannabinoid signaling pathways, indicating that the comorbid mechanisms are involved in the neurotransmitter system. According to linkage disequilibrium score regression, we found a strong positive correlation between MDD and current smoking (rg = 0.365; p = 7.23 × 10−25) and a negative correlation between MDD and former smoking (rg = −0.298; p = 1.59 × 10−24). MR analysis suggested that genetic liability for depression increased smoking.
These findings inform the concomitant conditions of MDD and smoking and support the use of self-medication with smoking to counteract depression.
Healthcare personnel (HCP) were recruited to provide serum samples, which were tested for antibodies against Ebola or Lassa virus to evaluate for asymptomatic seroconversion.
From 2014 to 2016, 4 patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 1 patient with Lassa fever (LF) were treated in the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU) at Emory University Hospital. Strict infection control and clinical biosafety practices were implemented to prevent nosocomial transmission of EVD or LF to HCP.
All personnel who entered the SCDU who were required to measure their temperatures and complete a symptom questionnaire twice daily were eligible.
No employee developed symptomatic EVD or LF. EVD and LF antibody studies were performed on sera samples from 42 HCP. The 6 participants who had received investigational vaccination with a chimpanzee adenovirus type 3 vectored Ebola glycoprotein vaccine had high antibody titers to Ebola glycoprotein, but none had a response to Ebola nucleoprotein or VP40, or a response to LF antigens.
Patients infected with filoviruses and arenaviruses can be managed successfully without causing occupation-related symptomatic or asymptomatic infections. Meticulous attention to infection control and clinical biosafety practices by highly motivated, trained staff is critical to the safe care of patients with an infection from a special pathogen.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia (CBTi) has emerged as the first-line treatment for insomnia where available. Clinical trials of digital CBTi (dCBTi) have demonstrated similar efficacy and drop-out rates to face-to-face CBTi. Most patients entering clinical trials are carefully screened to exclude other sleep disorders. This is a case series review of all those referred to a dCBTi within an 18-month time period. Those initially screened, accepted after exclusion of other sleep disorders, commencing and completing therapy were assessed to understand patient population referred from general practice in the UK. 390 patient referrals were analysed. 135 were suitable for dCBTi with a high rate of other sleep disorders detected in screening. 78 completed therapy (20.0%) and 44.9% had significant improvement in sleep outcomes, achieving ≥20% improvement in final sleep efficiency. dCBTi can be used within the UK NHS with good benefit for those who are selected as having insomnia and who then complete therapy. Many referrals are made with those likely to have distinct primary sleep disorders highlighting the need for education regarding sleep and sleep disorders prior to dCBTi therapy.
Key learning aims
(1)The use of unsupported digital cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (dCBTi) requires proper patient selection.
(2)There are many insomnia mimics and also previously unrecognized sleep and psychiatric disturbances that are under-diagnosed in the primary care setting that are contraindications for unsupported dCBTi.
(3)The use of a stepped care approach similar to the UK’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) model using dCBTi could be feasible in the public health setting.
Starchy grain is usually supplemented to diets containing low-quality forage to provide sufficient energy for ruminant animals. Ruminal degradation of grain starch mainly depends on the hydrolysis of the endosperm, which may be variable among grain sources. This study was conducted to investigate the influence of endosperm structure of wheat and corn on in vitro rumen fermentation and nitrogen (N) utilization of rice straw. The 3×4 factorial design included three ratios of concentrate to forage (35:65, 50:50 and 65:35) and four ratios of wheat to corn starch (20:80, 40:60, 60:40 and 80:20). The endosperm structure was detected by scanning electronic microscopy and a confocal laser scanning microscopic. An in vitro gas test was performed to evaluate the rumen fermentation characteristics and N utilization. Starch granules were embedded in the starch–protein matrix in corn, but more granules were separated from the matrix in the wheat endosperm. With the increasing ratio of wheat, rate and extent of gas production, total volatile fatty acids, and ammonia N increased linearly (P<0.01), but microbial protein concentration decreased (quadratic, P<0.01), with the maximum value at a ratio of 40% wheat. The efficiency of N utilization decreased linearly (P<0.01). Rumen fermentation and N utilization were significantly affected by the concentrate-to-forage ratio (P<0.01). Significant interactions between the concentrate-to-forage ratio and the wheat-to-corn ratio were detected in total volatile fatty acids and the efficiency of N utilization (P<0.01). In summary, the starch–protein matrix and starch granules in the wheat and corn endosperm mixture play an important role in the regulation of rumen fermentation and N utilization under low-quality forage.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Extensive insecticide use has led to the resistance of mosquitoes to these insecticides, posing a major barrier to mosquito control. Previous Solexa high-throughput sequencing of Culex pipiens pallens in the laboratory has revealed that the abundance of a novel microRNA (miRNA), miR-13664, was higher in a deltamethrin-sensitive (DS) strain than a deltamethrin-resistant (DR) strain. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that the miR-13664 transcript level was lower in the DR strain than in the DS strain. MiR-13664 oversupply in the DR strain increased the susceptibility of these mosquitoes to deltamethrin, whereas inhibition of miR-13664 made the DS strain more resistant to deltamethrin. Results of bioinformatic analysis, quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, luciferase assay and miR mimic/inhibitor microinjection revealed CpCYP314A1 to be a target of miR-13664. In addition, downregulation of CpCYP314A1 expression in the DR strain reduced the resistance of mosquitoes to deltamethrin. Taken together, our results indicate that miR-13664 could regulate deltamethrin resistance by interacting with CpCYP314A1, providing new insights into mosquito resistance mechanisms.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the deadliest brain tumor with an approximate 14 month survival rate after diagnosis and treatment. Temozolomide (TMZ), the chemotherapeutic drug of choice for GBM, is an alkylating agent that causes DNA damage. TMZ treatment results in the induction of apoptosis in GBM cells, however, it induces autophagy and consequently chemoresistance. Statins are mevalonate (MEV) cascade inhibitors with beneficial effects on the enhancement of the survival rate of patients with different types of cancer. Here, we determined the effect of simvastatin (Simva), a blood brain barrier permeable statin, on the sensitization of GBM cells to TMZ induced apoptosis through inhibition of autophagy flux. We pretreated two GMB cell lines, U251 and U87 cells, with low doses of Simva (1 and 2.5 M, respectively) with or without different intermediates of the mevalonate cascade and then treated cells with TMZ (100 M) for 48-96 hrs. A signficiantly reduced viability and increased in the population of apoptotic dead cells were observed in GBM cells treated with the Simva-TMZ compared to cells treated with TMZ alone. Addition of MEV, Farnesyl pyrophosphate, Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate and cholesterol did not attenuate these effects significantly. Sima-TMZ treatment did not alter the total cholesterol pool in U87 and U251 cells compared to controls. Western blot analysis, immunocytochemistry and transmission electron microscopy revealed that Simva-TMZ inhibited autophagic flux. Overall, the results suggest that sensitization of GBM cells to TMZ-induced apoptosis by Simva is independent on the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway but may involve inhibition of autophagy.
Compulsory admission can be experienced as devaluing and stigmatising by people with mental illness. Emotional reactions to involuntary hospitalisation and stigma-related stress may affect recovery, but longitudinal data are lacking. We, therefore, examined the impact of stigma-related emotional reactions and stigma stress on recovery over a 2-year period.
Shame and self-contempt as emotional reactions to involuntary hospitalisation, stigma stress, self-stigma and empowerment, as well as recovery were assessed among 186 individuals with serious mental illness and a history of recent involuntary hospitalisation.
More shame, self-contempt and stigma stress at baseline were correlated with increased self-stigma and reduced empowerment after 1 year. More stigma stress at baseline was associated with poor recovery after 2 years. In a longitudinal path analysis more stigma stress at baseline predicted poorer recovery after 2 years, mediated by decreased empowerment after 1 year, controlling for age, gender, symptoms and recovery at baseline.
Stigma stress may have a lasting detrimental effect on recovery among people with mental illness and a history of involuntary hospitalisation. Anti-stigma interventions that reduce stigma stress and programs that enhance empowerment could improve recovery. Future research should test the effect of such interventions on recovery.
Compared with conventional identification methods, DNA-based genetic approaches such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and satellites are much more reliable for pig identification and meat traceability. In this study, multiallelic amplification fragments with multiple SNPs, incorporating the advantages of both SNPs and microsatellites, were explored for the first time for pig identification and meat traceability. Primer pairs for multiallelic fragments and their optimal SNPs were successfully selected and used for identification of individuals from Suzhong and Duroc populations. Meanwhile, the combined panel of the above mentioned primer pairs together with their optimal SNPs for Suzhong and/or Duroc pigs were validated for identification of the hybrids (Suzhong×Duroc). Therefore, we have successfully selected multiallelic amplification fragments with multiple SNPs to identify pigs and their meat samples from Suzhong, Duroc or their hybrids. Our study demonstrates that our method is more powerful for pig identification or meat traceability than SNPs or microsatellites.
With the aim to overcome the problems of climatic changes and rising ocean levels, one option is to produce large-scale sustainable energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen and other very light nuclei similar to the energy source of the sun. Sixty years of worldwide research for the ignition of the heavy hydrogen isotopes deuterium (D) and tritium (T) have come close to a breakthrough for ignition. The problem with the DT fusion is that generated neutrons are producing radioactive waste. One exception as the ideal clean fusion process – without neutron production – is the fusion of hydrogen (H) with the boron isotope 11B11 (B11). In this paper, we have mapped out our research based on recent experiments and simulations for a new energy source. We suggest how HB11 fusion for a reactor can be used instead of the DT option. We have mapped out our HB11 fusion in the following way: (i) The acceleration of a plasma block with a laser beam with the power and time duration of the order of 10 petawatts and one picosecond accordingly. (ii) A plasma confinement by a magnetic field of the order of a few kiloteslas created by a second laser beam with a pulse duration of a few nanoseconds (ns). (iii) The highly increased fusion of HB11 relative to present DT fusion is possible due to the alphas avalanche created in this process. (iv) The conversion of the output charged alpha particles directly to electricity. (v) To prove the above ideas, our simulations show for example that 14 milligram HB11 can produce 300 kWh energy if all achieved results are combined for the design of an absolutely clean power reactor producing low-cost energy.
Over the last decade, DNA origami has matured into one of the most powerful bottom-up nanofabrication techniques. It enables both the fabrication of nanoparticles of arbitrary two-dimensional or three-dimensional shapes, and the spatial organization of any DNA-linked nanomaterial, such as carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, or proteins at ∼5-nm resolution. While widely used within the DNA nanotechnology community, DNA origami has yet to be broadly applied in materials science and device physics, which now rely primarily on top-down nanofabrication. In this article, we first introduce DNA origami as a modular breadboard for nanomaterials and then present a brief survey of recent results demonstrating the unique capabilities created by the combination of DNA origami with existing top-down techniques. Emphasis is given to the open challenges associated with each method, and we suggest potential next steps drawing inspiration from recent work in materials science and device physics. Finally, we discuss some near-term applications made possible by the marriage of DNA origami and top-down nanofabrication.
To explore the effects of maternal nutrition on offspring muscle characteristics, a total of 56 sows were assigned to one of the four dietary groups during gestation: control (CON), or control diets supplemented with methyl donor (MET), bisphenol A (BPA), and combined BPA and MET (BPA+MET). Compared with CON offspring, MET offspring showed a higher meat redness value, but lower glycogen content in the longissimus thoracis (LT). Moreover, compared with CON offspring, MET offspring showed lower LT glycogen synthase (GS) mRNA levels at birth and the finishing stage, and increased methylation at the GS promoter. Prenatal BPA exposure reduced the pH and redness value of meat, but increased the lightness value, lactate content, glycolytic potential and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme activity in the LT muscle. Prenatal BPA exposure increased LDH mRNA levels in the LT muscle at birth and the finishing stage, and reduced methylation at the LDH promoter. Thus, maternal MET affects muscle GS and LDH expression via DNA methylation, thereby resulting in persistent effects on pork quality.
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.
Over the past 8 years, human enteroviruses (HEVs) have caused 27 227 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Xiamen, including 99 severe cases and six deaths. We aimed to explore the molecular epidemiology of HFMD in Xiamen to inform the development of diagnostic assays, vaccines and other interventions. From January 2009 to September 2015, 5866 samples from sentinel hospitals were tested using nested reverse transcription PCR that targeted the HEV 5′ untranslated region and viral protein 1 region. Of these samples, 4290 were tested positive for HEV and the amplicons were sequenced and genotyped. Twenty-two genotypes were identified. Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackieviruses A16, A6 and A10 (CA16, CA6 and CA10) were the most common genotypes, and there were no changes in the predominant lineages of these genotypes. EV71 became the most predominant genotype every 2 years. From 2013, CA6 replaced CA16 as one of the two most common genotypes. The results demonstrate the vast diversity of HFMD pathogens, and that minor genotypes are able to replace major genotypes. We recommend carrying-out long-term monitoring of the full spectrum of HFMD pathogens, which could facilitate epidemic prediction and the development of diagnostic assays and vaccines.
Suicide rates are increased among unemployed individuals and mental illness stigma can contribute to both unemployment and suicidality. Persons with mental illness perceive negative attitudes among the general public and experience discrimination in their everyday life (=public stigma components) potentially leading to self-stigma and anticipated discrimination (=individual stigma components). Previous research found evidence for an association between aspects of mental illness stigma and suicidality, but has not yet clarified the underlying pathways explaining how different stigma components interact and contribute to suicidal ideation.
Public and individual stigma components and their association with suicidal ideation were examined among 227 unemployed persons with mental illness. A path model linking public stigma components (experienced discrimination, perceived stigma) with suicidal ideation, mediated by individual stigma components (anticipated discrimination, self-stigma), was examined using structural equation modelling within Mplus.
Our sample was equally split in terms of gender, on average 43 years old and about half reported no suicidal ideation during the past 30 days. In bivariate analyses all stigma components were significantly associated with suicidal ideation. In the path model and controlling for symptoms, the association between experienced discrimination and suicidal ideation was fully mediated by anticipated discrimination and self-stigma. Perceived stigma's contribution to suicidal ideation was fully mediated by anticipated discrimination, but not by self-stigma.
In general, programmes addressing multiple stigma components seem to be most effective in improving suicide prevention. Besides interventions targeting negative attitudes and discriminating behaviours of the general public, programmes to support persons with mental illness in coping with perceived and experienced stigma could improve suicide prevention. Future studies should test the short- and long-term effects of such interventions on suicidality and further investigate the role of stigma coping (e.g. secrecy) and emotional consequences (e.g. hopelessness and loneliness) for the association between stigma components and suicidality.
Insect defensins, are cationic peptides that play an important role in immunity against microbial infection. In the present study, an anionic defensin from Plutella xylostella, (designated as PxDef) was first cloned and characterized. Amino acid sequence analysis showed that the mature peptide owned characteristic six-cysteine motifs with predicted isoelectric point of 5.57, indicating an anionic defensin. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that PxDef was significantly induced in epidermis, fat body, midgut and hemocytes after injection of heat-inactivated Bacillus thuringiensis, while such an induction was delayed by the injection of live B. thuringiensis in the 4th instar larvae of P. xylostella. Knocking down the expression of nuclear transcription factor Dorsal in P. xylostella by RNA interference significantly decreased the mRNA level of PxDef, and increased the sensitivity of P. xylostella larvae to the infection by live B. thuringiensis. The purified recombinant mature peptide (PxDef) showed higher activity against Gram-positive bacteria, with the minimum inhibition concentrations of 1.6 and 2.6 µM against B. thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report about an anionic PxDef, which may play an important role in the immune system of P. xylostella against B. thuringiensis.