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To investigate risk factors and psychological stress of health care workers (HCWs) with COVID-19 in a non-frontline clinical department.
Data of 2 source patients and all HCWs with infection risk were obtained in a department in Wuhan from January to February 2020. A questionnaire was designed to evaluate psychological stress of COVID-19 on HCWs.
The overall infection rate was 4.8% in HCWs. 10 of 25 HCWs who contacted with 2 source patients were diagnosed with confirmed COVID-19 (8/10) and suspected COVID-19 (2/10). Other 2 HCWs were transmitted by other patients or colleagues. Close care behaviours included physical examination (6/12), life nursing (4/12), ward rounds (4/12), endoscopic examination (2/12). Contacts fluctuated from 1 to 24 times and each contact was short (8.1 min ± 5.6 min). HCWs wore surgical masks (11/12), gloves (7/12), and isolation clothing (3/12) when providing medical care. Most HCWs experienced a mild course with 2 asymptomatic infections, taking 9.8 days and 20.9 days to obtain viral shedding and clinical cure, respectively. Psychological stress included worry (58.3%), anxiety (83.3%), depression (58.3%), and insomnia (58.3%).
Close contact with COVID-19 patients and insufficient protection were key risk factors. Precaution measures and psychological support on COVID-19 is urgently required for HCWs.
Teenagers are important carriers of Neisseria meningitidis, which is a leading cause of invasive meningococcal disease. In China, the carriage rate and risk factors among teenagers are unclear. The present study presents a retrospective analysis of epidemiological data for N. meningitidis carriage from 2013 to 2017 in Suizhou city, China. The carriage rates were 3.26%, 2.22%, 3.33%, 3.53% and 9.88% for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively. From 2014 to 2017, the carriage rate in the 15- to 19-year-old age group (teenagers) was the highest and significantly higher than that in remain age groups. Subsequently, a larger scale survey (December 2017) for carriage rate and relative risk factors (population density, time spent in the classroom, gender and antibiotics use) were investigated on the teenagers (15- to 19-year-old age) at the same school. The carriage rate was still high at 33.48% (223/663) and varied greatly from 6.56% to 52.94% in a different class. Population density of the classroom was found to be a significant risk factor for carriage, and 1.4 persons/m2 is recommended as the maximum classroom density. Further, higher male gender ratio and more time spent in the classroom were also significantly associated with higher carriage. Finally, antibiotic use was associated with a significantly lower carriage rate. All the results imply that attention should be paid to the teenagers and various measures can be taken to reduce the N. meningitidis carriage, to prevent and control the outbreak of IMD.
No studies have reported on how to relieve distress or relax in medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The study aimed to establish which relaxation technique, among six, is the most feasible in first-line medical health workers wearing medical protective equipment.
This was a two-step study collecting data with online surveys. Step 1: 15 first-line medical health workers were trained to use six different relaxation techniques and reported the two most feasible techniques while wearing medical protective equipment. Step 2: the most two feasible relaxation techniques revealed by step 1 were quantitatively tested in a sample of 65 medical health workers in terms of efficacy, no space limitation, no time limitation, no body position requirement, no environment limitation to be done, easiness to learn, simplicity, convenience, practicality, and acceptance.
Kegel exercise and autogenic relaxation were the most feasible techniques according to step 1. In step 2, Kegel exercise outperformed autogenic relaxation on all the 10 dimensions among the 65 participants while wearing medical protective equipment (efficacy: 24 v. 15, no space limitation: 30 v. 4, no time limitation: 31 v. 4, no body position requirement: 26 v. 4, no environment limitation: 30 v. 11, easiness to learn: 28 v. 5, simplicity: 29 v. 7, convenience: 29 v. 4, practicality: 30 v. 14, acceptance: 32 v. 6).
Kegel exercise seems a promising self-relaxation technique for first-line medical health workers while wearing medical protective equipment among COVID-19 pandemic.
Although it is well known that maternal ageing causes reduced oocyte quality and fertility, little information is known about its effect on germ cell epigenetics. In the present study, we compared the gene expression and DNA methylation profiles in germinal vesicle oocytes from young (8-week-old) and aged (18-month-old) mice using single-cell RNA-sequencing and single-cell whole-genome DNA methylation sequencing. We found significant differences in the data from the two groups. Oocytes from aged mice showed significant changes in the expression of some metabolism-related genes, such as mitochondria-associated genes, that was in line with our expectations. Expression of some genes associated with reproduction also showed significant differences. DNA methylation levels were also changed in oocytes from aged mice. The two groups had significant gaps in hypermethylation and hypomethylation levels on each chromosome. These data provide useful information for further understanding the mechanisms of oocyte ageing.
As part of our ongoing research on Peltigera, we recognize a morphologically and phylogenetically distinct new species, Peltigera shennongjiana L. F. Han & S. Y. Guo, from the Shennongjia region of Central China. It is distinguished from other members of the P. canina-group by the presence of abundant phyllidia and flat, branched lobules along the margin or laminal cracks, short lobes, and a pruinose, usually greyish upper surface. The various populations sampled share identical ITS nr DNA sequences, of which the ITS2 regions are characterized by a unique secondary structure. Furthermore, we provide a detailed comparison of the characteristics of P. shennongjiana with morphologically similar species and a key to Peltigera species reported from China.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe psychiatric disorder associated with a high risk of suicide. This meta-analysis examined the prevalence of suicide attempts (SA) in patients with BD and its associated factors.
A systematic literature search was conducted in the PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE and Web of Science databases from their inception to 11 June 2018. The prevalence of SA in BD was synthesised using the random-effects model.
The search identified 3451 articles of which 79 studies with 33 719 subjects met the study entry criteria. The lifetime prevalence of SA was 33.9% (95% CI 31.3–36.6%; I2 = 96.4%). Subgroup and meta-regression analyses revealed that the lifetime prevalence of SA was positively associated with female gender, BD-I, BD Not Otherwise Specified and rapid cycling BD subtypes, income level and geographic region.
This meta-analysis confirmed that SA is common in BD and identified a number of factors related to SA. Further efforts are necessary to facilitate the identification and prevention of SA in BD. Long-term use of mood stabilisers coupled with psycho-social interventions should be available to BD patients to reduce the risk of suicidal behaviour.
The pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) remains unclear despite extensive neuroimaging work on the disorder. Exposure to medication and comorbid mental disorders can confound the results of OCD studies. The goal of this study was to explore differences in brain functional connectivity (FC) within the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) loop of drug-naïve and drug-free OCD patients and healthy controls (HCs).
A total of 29 drug-naïve OCD patients, 22 drug-free OCD patients, and 25 HCs matched on age, gender and education level underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning at resting state. Seed-based connectivity analyses were conducted among the three groups. The Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale and clinical inventories were used to assess the clinical symptoms.
Compared with HCs, the drug-naïve OCD patients had reduced FC within the limbic CSTC loop. In the drug-naïve OCD participants, we also found hyperconnectivity between the supplementary motor area and ventral and dorsal putamen (p < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparisons).
Exposure to antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may affect the function of some brain regions. Future longitudinal studies could help to reveal the pharmacotherapeutic mechanisms in these loops.
We recently reported Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao in Tang et al., 2019, from the early Cambrian Hetang Formation in South China and interpreted it as a problematic animal fossil, possibly related to either sponges or bivalved arthropods (Tang et al., 2019). Slater and Budd (2019) contested our taxonomic identification and phylogenetic interpretation; instead, they claimed that Cambrowania ovata is a large acritarch referable to morphotaxon Leiosphaeridia Eisenack, 1958, and thus is not an animal. Here we refute their criticisms, clarify the differences between Cambrowania and Leiosphaeridia and other acritarchs, and reiterate why an animal affinity for Cambrowania cannot be ruled out.
The lower-middle Hetang Formation (Cambrian Stage 2–3) deposited in slope-basinal facies in South China is well known for its preservation of the earliest articulated sponge fossils, providing an important taphonomic window into the Cambrian Explosion. However, the Hetang Formation also hosts a number of problematic animal fossils that have not been systematically described. This omission results in an incomplete picture of the Hetang biota and limits its contribution to the understanding of the early evolution of animals. Here we describe a new animal taxon, Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, new genus new species, from the middle Hetang Formation in the Lantian area of southern Anhui Province, South China. Specimens are preserved as carbonaceous compressions, although some are secondarily mineralized. A comprehensive analysis using reflected light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and micro-CT reveals that the new species is characterized by a spheroidal to fusoidal truss-like structure consisting of rafter-like crossbars, some of which are secondarily baritized and may have been internally hollow. Some specimens have aperture-like structures that are broadly similar to oscula of sponges, whereas others show evidence of a medial split reminiscent of gaping carapaces. While the phylogenetic affinity of Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, n. gen. n. sp. remains problematic, we propose that it may represent carapaces of bivalved arthropods or more likely sponges in early life stages. Along with other problematic metazoan fossils such as hyolithids and sphenothallids, Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao, n. gen. n. sp. adds to the diversity of the sponge-dominated Hetang biota in an early Cambrian deepwater slope-basinal environment.
Chickenpox is a common acute and highly contagious disease in childhood; moreover, there is currently no targeted treatment. Carrying out an early warning on chickenpox plays an important role in taking targeted measures in advance as well as preventing the outbreak of the disease. In recent years, the infectious disease dynamic model has been widely used in the research of various infectious diseases. The logistic differential equation model can well demonstrate the epidemic characteristics of epidemic outbreaks, gives the point at which the early epidemic rate changes from slow to fast. Therefore, our study aims to use the logistic differential equation model to explore the epidemic characteristics and early-warning time of varicella. Meanwhile, the data of varicella cases were collected from first week of 2008 to 52nd week of 2017 in Changsha. Finally, our study found that the logistic model can be well fitted with varicella data, besides the model illustrated that there are two peaks of varicella at each year in Changsha City. One is the peak in summer–autumn corresponding to the 8th–38th week; the other is in winter–spring corresponding to the time from the 38th to the seventh week next year. The ‘epidemic acceleration week’ average value of summer–autumn and winter–spring are about the 16th week (ranging from the 15th to 17th week) and 45th week (ranging from the 44th to 47th week), respectively. What is more, taking warning measures during the acceleration week, the preventive effect will be delayed; thus, we recommend intervene during recommended warning weeks which are the 15th and 44th weeks instead.
This paper presents a novel balanced-to-balanced power divider (PD) based on a simple and compact three-line coupled structure for the first time. By bisecting the proposed symmetrical structure, the differential mode (DM) and the common mode (CM) equivalent circuits can be obtained for analysis. The DM equivalent circuit exhibits a three-line in-phase power dividing response, and then a resistor is added between the two outputs for achieving good isolation. Meanwhile, the CM equivalent circuit shows a three-line all-stop response so that the CM suppression in this design does not need to be considered. Accordingly, the detailed design procedure of the DM PD is given. For demonstration, a prototype centered at 1.95 GHz is designed, fabricated, and measured. The simulated and measured results with good agreement are presented, showing low DM loss and wideband CM suppression.
The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo degradation mechanism and the mechanical properties of poly(lactide-co-glycolide)/beta-tricalcium phosphate (PLGA/β-TCP) composite anchors. Anchors composed of PLGA and β-TCP were implanted in the dorsal subcutaneous tissue of beagle dogs for 6, 12, 16, and 26 weeks. The degradation of the materials was evaluated by measuring the changes in thermal behavior, crystallinity, and mechanical properties. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe the surface and longitudinal section of the material. The evaluation of mechanical strength retention and degradation properties suggest that the addition of β-TCP particles efficiently enhances their mechanical properties and thermal characteristics and delays their degradation rate. By analyzing the results of SEM, X-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry, we can infer that after 12 weeks, the connection between β-TCP and PLGA becomes less compact, which accelerates the decline of mechanical strength.
Low-field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) has mood-elevating effect, and the increase of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with antidepressant treatment. We evaluated the effects and association with BDNF of rhythmic LFMS in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).
A total of 22 MDD patients were randomized to rhythmic alpha stimulation (RAS) or rhythmic delta stimulation (RDS), with 5 sessions per week, lasting for 6 weeks. Outcomes assessments included the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD–17), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA), and the Clinical Global Impressions–Severity scale (CGI–S) at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Serum BDNF level was measured at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, and 6.
HAMD–17, HAMA, and CGI–S scores were significantly reduced with both RAS and RDS. RAS patients had numerically greater reductions in HAMD–17 scores than RDS patients (8.9 ± 7.4 vs. 6.2 ± 6.2, effect size [ES]=0.40), while RDS patients had greater improvement in HAMA scores (8.2 ± 8.0 vs. 5.3 ± 5.8, ES=0.42). RAS was associated with clinically relevant advantages in response (54.5% vs. 18.2%, number-needed-to-treat [NNT]=3) and remission (36.4% vs. 9.1%, NNT=4). BDNF increased significantly during the 6-week study period (p<0.05), with greater increases in RAS at weeks 4 and 6 (ES=0.66—0.76) and statistical superiority at week 2 (p=0.034, ES=1.23). Baseline BDNF in the 8 responders (24.8±9.0 ng/ml) was lower than in the 14 nonresponders (31.1±7.3 ng/ml, p=0.083, ES=–0.79), and BDNF increased more in responders (8.9±7.8 ng/ml) than in nonresponders (1.8±3.5 ng/ml, p=0.044). The change in BDNF at week 2 was the most strongly predicted response (p=0.016).
Rhythmic LFMS was effective for MDD. BDNF may moderate/mediate the efficacy of LFMS.
Previous neuroimaging studies demonstrated that retinal detachment (RD) subjects were associated with abnormal spontaneous brain activities; however, whether the altered interhemispheric functional connectivity (FC) occurred in RD patients remains unknown. The current study tried to explore the alternations of interhemispheric FC of the whole brain in unilateral RD patients using the voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) method and their connections to clinical features. Methods: We recruited 30 patients with RD (16 males and 14 females) and 30 healthy controls (HCs) (16 males and 14 females) whose age and sex were closely matched. All subjects underwent the rs-fMRI scans. The VMHC method was applied to directly assess the hemispheres’ functional interaction. The VMHC in these brain areas, which could be used as biomarkers to differentiate RD from HC, was identified by the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses. The relations between these patients’ clinical features and their mean VMHC signal values in multiple brain regions were calculated by Pearson correlation analysis. Results: RD patients had significantly lower VMHC values than HCs in the bilateral occipital lobe (Brodmann areas, BA 18), bilateral superior temporal gyrus (BA 39), and bilateral cuneus (BA 19). Moreover, the mean VMHC signal values of the bilateral cuneus were in positive correlation with the duration of the RD (r = 0.446, P = 0.013). Conclusion: Our results provided an evidence of disturbed interhemispheric FC in the visual area occurred in RD patients, which might provide some useful information to understand the neural mechanism of RD patients with acute vision loss. Furthermore, the VMHC values might indicate the progress of the RD.
A coupled mathematical system of four quasi-linear partial differential equations and the initial-boundary value conditions is presented to interpret transient behavior of three dimensional semiconductor device with heat conduction. The electric potential is defined by an elliptic equation, the electron and hole concentrations are determined by convection-dominated diffusion equations and the temperature is interpreted by a heat conduction equation. A mixed finite element approximation is used to get the electric field potential and one order of computational accuracy is improved. Two concentration equations and the heat conduction equation are solved by a fractional step scheme modified by a second-order upwind difference method, which can overcome numerical oscillation, dispersion and computational complexity. This changes the computation of a three dimensional problem into three successive computations of one-dimensional problem where the method of speedup is used and the computational work is greatly shortened. An optimal second-order error estimate in L2 norm is derived by prior estimate theory and other special techniques of partial differential equations. This type of parallel method is important in numerical analysis and is most valuable in numerical application of semiconductor device and it can successfully solve this international famous problem.
The high-cycle fatigue (HCF) behavior is significantly affected by surface roughness, especially for high strength metal FV520B-I. However, with surface roughness effect, neither the fatigue property, nor the high-cycle fatigue life model about FV520B-I with surface roughness has been reported. In this paper, designed fatigue experiment using the specimen with different surface roughness is presented to study the effectiveness of the roughness to the fatigue. The observations of the fatigue crack initiation sites and the crack propagation. Then the high cycle fatigue behavior of FV520B-I affected by surface roughness is analyzed. The existing very-high-cycle fatigue life model is not well-fit for high-cycle fatigue model of FV520B-I. A NEW high-cycle fatigue life prediction model of FV520B-I, taking surface roughness as a main effective variable is proposed. The model is built up by a comprehensive use of experimental data and the traditional fatigue modeling theory. The new finding between the fatigue strength coefficient and stress amplitude, with surface roughness, is adopted, leading to a NEW modified life prediction model. Study on fatigue model of FV520B-I with surface roughness is a very beneficial effort in fatigue theory and fatigue engineering development.
By using a combination of experiments and molecular dynamics simulations, our studies show that the elastic response of silica glass to initial compression gradually changes from abnormal to normal with increasing quench pressure, helium content or alkali modifier added in the glass matrix. We uncovered the structural origin of the elastic anomaly in silica glass as localized structural transitions between motifs of different stiffness that are similar to those found in its crystalline counterparts. Pressure-quenching, helium-stuffing, or alkali-modifying plays a different role in changing the structure of silica glass, but all of the resulting structures reduce the propensity for such local structural transitions to take place, thus the degree of elastic anomaly. Our studies demonstrate that by processing in ways that gradually eliminates the elastic anomaly, the degree of silica glass to undergo irreversible densification can be eventually eradicated. This provides a solid foundation for the bottom-up design of new glasses with tunable structure and properties.
The lithium ion battery is the most promising battery candidate to power battery electric vehicles. For these vehicles to be competitive with those powered by conventional internal combustion engines, significant improvements in battery performance are needed, especially in the energy density and power delivery capabilities. Promising substitutes for graphite as the anode material include silicon, tin, germanium, and various metal oxides that have much higher theoretical storage capacities and operated at slightly higher and safer potentials. In this critical review, metal oxides-based materials for lithium ion battery anodes are reviewed in detail together with the progress which is made in my lab on that topic. Their advantages, disadvantages, and performance in lithium ion batteries are discussed through extensive analysis of the literature, and new trends in materials development are also reviewed. Two important future research directions are proposed and performed in my lab, based on results published in the literature: the development of composite and nanostructured metal oxides to overcome the major challenge posed by the high capacity of metal oxide anodes.