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Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
Composite nanostructured foams consisting of a metallic shell deposited on a polymeric core were formed by plating copper via electroless deposition on electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) fiber mats. The final structure consisted of 1000-nm scale PCL fibers coated with 100s of nm of copper, leading to final core-shell thicknesses on the order of 1000-3000 nm. The resulting open cell, core-shell foams had relative densities between 4 and 15 %. By controlling the composition of the adjuncts in the plating bath, particularly the composition of formaldehyde, the relative thickness of copper coating as the fiber diameter could be controlled. As-spun PCL mats had a nominal compressive modulus on the order of 0.1 MPa; adding a uniform metallic shell increased the modulus up to 2 MPa for sub-10 % relative density foams. A computational materials science analysis using density functional theory was used to explore the effects pre-treatment with Pd may have on the density of nuclei formed during electroless plating.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Fusarium wilt of watermelon, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum, is one of the limiting factors for watermelon production in Taiwan. In recent research, the phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) gene expressed in the shoot base of the Fusarium wilt resistant line JSB was related to Fusarium wilt resistance. Phenylalanine ammonia lyase is the key regulatory enzyme in the phenylpropanoid metabolic pathway. The downstream products of phenolic compounds are considered to be involved in the complicated plant defence mechanisms. They could act as signal molecules, antimicrobial substances and/or structural barriers. To study the resistant mechanisms of Fusarium wilt, the resistant JSB line was examined for comparison of F. oxysporum-watermelon interactions with the susceptible Grand Baby (GB) cultivar. Unlike infected GB, which was seriously colonized by F. oxysporum in the whole plant, the pathogen was limited below the shoot base of inoculated JSB, suggesting that the shoot base of JSB may contribute to Fusarium resistance. The data indicated that a significant increase in PAL activity was found in shoot bases of the resistant JSB line at 3, 9, 12 and 15 days after inoculation (DAI). Shoot bases of resistant watermelons accumulated higher amounts of soluble and cell wall-bound phenolics at 3–9 DAI; the susceptible GB cultivar, however, only increased the cell wall-bound phenolics in shoot bases at 3 DAI. High lignin deposition in the cell walls of vascular bundles was observed in the shoot bases of JSB but not of GB seedlings at 6 and 9 DAI. In the roots and shoot bases of JSB seedlings at 6 DAI, peroxidase enzyme activity increased significantly. In summary, the results suggest that accumulation of cell wall-bound phenolics and increase of peroxidase activity in shoot bases of JSB seedlings during F. oxysporum inoculation, together with the rapid deposition of lignin in the cell walls of vascular bundles, may have provided structural barriers in resistant JSB line to defend against F. oxysporum invasion.
We investigated lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme patterns in the cyst fluid of auricular pseudocysts and autogenous blood, to assist the diagnosis of auricular pseudocyst.
Twenty patients with auricular pseudocysts participated in this study conducted in Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital between February 2007 and June 2010. Patterns of lactate dehydrogenase in cyst fluid and autogenous blood were analysed.
Levels of lactate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 were lower in auricular pseudocysts than in autogenous blood, whereas levels of lactate dehydrogenase 4 and 5 were higher; this difference was statistically significant (p < 0.001).
Lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme patterns in auricular pseudocyst fluid indicated higher percentage distributions of lactate dehydrogenase 4 and 5 and lower percentage distributions of lactate dehydrogenase 1 and 2. An effective laboratory method of evaluating the different lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme components was developed; this method may improve the accuracy of auricular pseudocyst diagnosis.
All bacterial isolates from 7058 patients admitted to haemato-oncology wards at National Taiwan University Hospital between 2002 and 2006 were characterized. In total 1307 non-duplicate bloodstream isolates were made from all patients with haematological malignancy; 853 (65%) of these were from neutropenic patients. Gram-negative bacteria predominated (60%) in neutropenic isolates with Escherichia coli (12%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (10%), Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-baumannii complex (6%), and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (6%) the most frequent. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (19%) and Staphylococcus aureus (4%) were the most common Gram-positive pathogens. Resistance to ciprofloxacin was found in 50% of E. coli and 20% of K. pneumoniae isolates from neutropenic patients. Extensively drug-resistant A. calcoaceticus-baumannii complex and vancomycin-resistant enterococci were also found during the study period. Emerging antimicrobial resistant pathogens are an increasing threat to neutropenic cancer patients.
Knowledge of the control of the musculoskeletal system in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) during gait is helpful for the development of intervention programs in the management of these patients. The current study aimed to investigate the leg and joint stiffness, aswell as the associated joint kinematics and kinetics, in patients with bilateral medial knee OA during gait. Joint angles, moments and stiffness, as well as leg stiffness from fifteen patients with bilateral knee OA and fifteen normal controls during level walking, were obtained and their values at the beginning and end of single leg stance were compared using a t-test.
Patients with knee OA were found to modulate their leg and joint stiffness through acquired specific biomechanical strategies in order to maintain normal temporal-spatial patterns of gait. During weight acceptance, they increased their leg stiffness with increased knee stiffness but unalterd hip and ankle stiffness. During weight release, they modulated their hip and ankle kinetics with increased knee and ankle stiffness to improve the control stability of the limb with unaltered leg stiffness. It is suggested that muscle strengthening exercise intervention and/or rehabilitation for patients with knee OA should focus on activities that develop and/or maintain functions not only of the knee, but also of the overall lower extremity.
AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) with a polarized Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) film coated on the gate area exhibited significant changes in channel conductance upon exposure to different ambient pressures. The PVDF thin film was deposited on the gate region with an inkjet plotter. Next, the PDVF film was polarized with an electrode located 2 mm above the PVDF film at a bias voltage of 10 kV and 70 °C. Variations in ambient pressure induced changes in the charge in the polarized PVDF, leading to a change of surface charges on the gate region of the HEMT. Changes in the gate charge were amplified through the modulation of the drain current in the HEMT. By reversing the polarity of the polarized PVDF film, the drain current dependence on the pressure could be reversed. Our results indicate that HEMTs have potential for use as pressure sensors.