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Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Considering a potential exercise-drug interaction, we investigated whether exercise training could improve the efficacy of specific antiparasitic chemotherapy in a rodent model of Chagas disease. Wistar rats were randomized into five groups: sedentary and uninfected (CT); sedentary and infected (SI); sedentary, infected and treated (SIT); trained and infected (TI); trained, infected and treated (TIT). After 9-weeks running training, the animals were infected with T. cruzi and followed up for 4 weeks, receiving 100 mg kg−1 day−1 benznidazole. No evidence of myocarditis was observed in CT animals. TI animals exhibited reduced parasitemia, myocarditis, and reactive tissue damage compared to SI animals, in addition to increased IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, heart non-protein antioxidant (NPA) levels and glutathione-s transferase activity (P < 0.05). The CT, SIT and TIT groups presented similar reductions in parasitemia, cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-10, IL-17 and MCP-1), inflammatory infiltrate, oxidative heart damage and antioxidant enzymes activity compared to SI and TI animals, as well as reduced heart microstructural remodeling (P < 0.05). By modulating heart inflammation and redox metabolism, exercise training exerts a protective effect against T. cruzi infection in rats. However, the antiparasitic and cardioprotective effects of benznidazole chemotherapy are more pronounced, determining similar endpoints in sedentary and trained T. cruzi-infected rats.
We explored the role of lipid accumulation products and visceral adiposity on the association between red meat consumption and markers of insulin resistance (IR) and inflammation in US adults. Data on red meat consumption, and health outcome measurements were extracted from the 2005-2010 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Overall 16,621 participants were included in the analysis (mean age = 47.1 years, 48.3% men). Analysis of co-variance and “conceptus causal mediation” models were applied, while accounting for survey design. In adjusted models, a lower red meat consumption was significantly associated with a cardio-protective profile of IR and inflammation. Body mass index (BMI) had significant mediation effects on the associations between red meat consumption and C-reactive protein (CRP), Apolipoprotein-B, fasting glucose (FBG), insulin, homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) IR and β-cell function, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), triglyceride to high density lipoprotein (TG:HDL) ratio and triglyceride-glucose (TyG) index (all p < 0.05). Both waist circumference and anthropometrically predicted visceral adipose tissue (apVAT) mediated the association between red meat consumption with CRP, FBG, HbA1c, TG: HDL ratio and TyG index (all p < 0.05). Our findings suggest that adiposity, particularly the accumulation of abdominal fat, accounts for a significant proportion of the associations between red meat consumption IR and inflammation.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
Recently, the telecommunication market experiences an explosion in the subscribers of emergent high-debit services which require bandwidth that exceeds the one provided by actual copper based access networks . To cope with these demands and keep competitive, great efforts have been done to develop access networks based on optical technology, such as passive all-optical networks due to their intrinsic low cost . Sol-gel processing is suitable for the development of organic-inorganic hybrid (OIH) materials for the production of functional integrated optic (IO) devices in a cost effective way. Urea cross-linked OIH show acceptable transparency, mechanical flexibility and thermal stability [3-6]. The control over the refractive index is achieved by zirconium (IV) n-propoxide (ZPO) doping stabilized with methacrylic acid (MA) [3-5]. The combination in a single material of urea cross-linked OIH and ZPO allowed the preparation of UV written low losses planar waveguides  and low rugosity diffraction grating [4,5]. It has been demonstrated that MA acts not only as ZPO stabilizer but impacts directly on the photopolimerization properties as it contains a photopolymerizable group making the OIH easily UV patterned without photoinitiator . Moreover, it also impacts on the OHIs local structure as it forms a complex with ZPO, that originate ordered clusters dispersed within the OIH host [4,5]. Besides the potential of this OIH as IO components, the hybrid hosts are room-temperature efficient white light emitters lacking metal activator ions, presenting quantum yields as higher as 20 % . In this work, a series of OIH, so called di-ureasils, formed of a siliceous skeleton to which oligopolyether chains of different lengths are covalently grafted by means of urea bridges and modified by ZPO and MA will be prepared and characterized by X-ray and small angle X-ray diffractions, Raman, infrared, atomic force and photoluminescence spectroscopies. The use of the proposed OIH in the development of IO functionalities such as optical filters will be evaluated based on waveguide numerical simulation methods (beam propagation method). Waveguides will be written and characterized using the OIH aforementioned. The recording of a Bragg grating in the waveguides allow the implementation of a wavelength discrimination device with applications on optical filtering. The relevant properties of the devices, such as spectral rejection and insertion losses will be characterized.  S-J Park et al. Journal of Lightwave Tech. 22, 2004.  D.J. Shin et al., Journal of Lightwave Tech. 23, 2005.  C. Molina et al., J. Mater. Chem. 15, 3937, 2005.  R.A. Sá Ferreira et al., Proceedings of the International Conference on Telecomunications, 2006.  P.S. André et al. Proceedings ICTON, 1, We.C1.6, 223, 2006.  a) L.D. Carlos et al., Adv. Func. Mater. 11, 111, 2001; b) J. Chem. Phys. B. 108, 14924, 2004. Siemens SA and FCT (POCTI/CTM/59075/2004) is gratefully acknowledged.
Most reports on the outcome of children who present with heart failure, due to heart muscle disease, are from an era when ventricular assist devices were not available. This study provides outcome data for the current era where prolonged circulatory support can be considered for most children.
Methods & Results:
Data was retrieved on 100 consecutive children, who presented between 2010 – 2016, with a first diagnosis of unexplained heart failure. Hospital outcome was classified as either death, transplantation, recovery of function or persistent heart failure. Median age at presentation was 24 months and 58% were < 5 years old. Hospital mortality was 12% and 59% received a heart transplant. Most, 79%, of the transplants were carried out on patients with a device. Recovery of function was observed in 18% and 10% stabilised on oral therapy. Eighty-four percent of the deaths occurred in the <5 year old group. Shorter duration of support was associated with survival (34 days in survivors versus 106 in non-survivors, p = 0.01) and 72% were on an assist device at time of death.
Heart failure in children who require referral to a transplant unit is a serious illness with a high chance of either transplantation or death. Modifications in assist devices will be required to improve safety, especially for children < 5 years old where the donor wait may be prolonged. The identification of children who may recover function requires further study.
Streaks have been found to be an important part of wall-turbulence dynamics. In this paper, we extend the analysis for unbounded shear flows, in particular a Mach 0.4 round jet, using measurements taken using dual-plane, time-resolved, stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (PIV) taken at pairs of jet cross-sections, allowing the evaluation of the cross-spectral density of streamwise velocity fluctuations resolved into azimuthal Fourier modes. From the streamwise velocity results, two analyses are performed: the evaluation of wavenumber spectra (assuming Taylor’s hypothesis for the streamwise coordinate) and a spectral proper orthogonal decomposition (SPOD) of the velocity field using PIV planes in several axial stations. The methods complement each other, leading to the conclusion that large-scale streaky structures are also present in turbulent jets where they experience large growth in the streamwise direction, energetic structures extending up to eight diameters from the nozzle exit. Leading SPOD modes highlight the large-scale, streaky shape of the structures, whose aspect ratio (streamwise over azimuthal length) is approximately 15. The data were further analysed using SPOD, resolvent and transient growth analyses, good agreement being observed between the models and the leading SPOD mode for the wavenumbers considered. The models also indicate that the lift-up mechanism is active in turbulent jets, with streamwise vortices leading to streaks. The results show that large-scale streaks are a relevant part of the jet dynamics.
Studies have shown that the reduction in serum TAG concentrations with long-chain n-3 fatty acid supplementation is highly variable among individuals. The objectives of the present study were to compare the proportions of individuals whose TAG concentrations lowered after high-dose DHA and EPA, and to identify the predictors of response to both modalities. In a double-blind, controlled, crossover study, 154 men and women were randomised to three supplemented phases of 10 weeks each: (1) 2·7 g/d of DHA, (2) 2·7 g/d of EPA and (3) 3 g/d of maize oil, separated by 9-week washouts. As secondary analyses, the mean intra-individual variation in TAG was calculated using the standard deviation from the mean of four off-treatment samples. The response remained within the intra-individual variation (±0·25 mmol/l) in 47 and 57 % of participants after DHA and EPA, respectively. Although there was a greater proportion of participants with a reduction >0·25 mmol/l after DHA than after EPA (45 υ. 32 %; P < 0·001), the mean TAG reduction was comparable between groups (–0·59 (sem 0·04) υ. –0·57 (sem 0·05) mmol/l). Participants with a reduction >0·25 mmol/l after both DHA and EPA had higher non-HDL-cholesterol, TAG and insulin concentrations compared with other responders at baseline (all P < 0·05). In conclusion, supplementation with 2·7 g/d DHA or EPA had no meaningful effect on TAG concentrations in a large proportion of individuals with normal mean TAG concentrations at baseline. Although DHA lowered TAG in a greater proportion of individuals compared with EPA, the magnitude of TAG lowering among them was similar.
Trypanosoma cruzi is the causative agent of Chagas disease, a vector-borne disease. The parasite molecules involved in vector interaction have been little investigated. Metallopeptidases and gp63 molecules have been implicated in parasite adhesion of several trypanosomatids to the insect midgut. Although gp63 homologues are highly expanded in the T. cruzi genome, and are implicated in parasite–mammalian host interaction, its role in the insect vector has never been explored. Here, we showed that divalent metal chelators or anti-Tcgp63-I antibodies impaired T. cruzi adhesion to Rhodnius prolixus midgut. Parasites isolated after insect colonization presented a drastic enhancement in the expression of Tcgp63-I. These data highlight, for the first time, that Tcgp63-I and Zn-dependent enzymes contribute to the interaction of T. cruzi with the insect vector.
There has been a significant transformation in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms (IAs) over the past century, with the most pivotal changes occurring in the past three decades. To characterize this evolution, we assessed the number of articles published on various procedures for the treatment of IA as a measure of their interest and usage over time. We separated our analysis into two main areas: surgical and endovascular approaches. We further subdivided these two main categories into clipping and bypass for surgery, and coiling, flow diversion, and liquid material embolization for endovascular approaches. We found 5956 publications on open surgical approaches in the 70-year period from 1947 to 2017, with papers on clipping (n = 4204), being the most common. We found 8602 endovascular publications beginning in 1964, with most of the activity taking place in the late 1990s and beyond. Coiling had the most publications of the endovascular approaches (n = 5436). In 1999, the number of annual publications on endovascular treatments surpassed those of open surgery, signaling a crossover point in the IA literature. The same trend continues to this date.
Wearable devices are fast evolving to address mobility and autonomy needs of elderly people who would benefit from physical assistance. Recent developments in soft robotics provide important opportunities to develop soft exoskeletons (also called exosuits) to enable both physical assistance and improved usability and acceptance for users. The XoSoft EU project has developed a modular soft lower limb exoskeleton to assist people with low mobility impairments. In this paper, we present the design of a soft modular lower limb exoskeleton to improve person’s mobility, contributing to independence and enhancing quality of life. The novelty of this work is the integration of quasi-passive elements in a soft exoskeleton. The exoskeleton provides mechanical assistance for subjects with low mobility impairments reducing energy requirements between 10% and 20%. Investigation of different control strategies based on gait segmentation and actuation elements is presented. A first hip–knee unilateral prototype is described, developed, and its performance assessed on a post-stroke patient for straight walking. The study presents an analysis of the human–exoskeleton energy patterns by way of the task-based biological power generation. The resultant assistance, in terms of power, was 10.9% ± 2.2% for hip actuation and 9.3% ± 3.5% for knee actuation. The control strategy improved the gait and postural patterns by increasing joint angles and foot clearance at specific phases of the walking cycle.
Three methods are evaluated to estimate the streamwise velocity fluctuations of a zero-pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layer of momentum-thickness-based Reynolds number up to
, using as input velocity fluctuations at different wall-normal positions. A system identification approach is considered where large-eddy simulation data are used to build single and multiple-input linear and nonlinear transfer functions. Such transfer functions are then treated as convolution kernels and may be used as models for the prediction of the fluctuations. Good agreement between predicted and reference data is observed when the streamwise velocity in the near-wall region is estimated from fluctuations in the outer region. Both the unsteady behaviour of the fluctuations and the spectral content of the data are properly predicted. It is shown that approximately 45 % of the energy in the near-wall peak is linearly correlated with the outer-layer structures, for the reference case
. These identified transfer functions allow insight into the causality between the different wall-normal locations in a turbulent boundary layer along with an estimation of the tilting angle of the large-scale structures. Differences in accuracy of the methods (single- and multiple-input linear and nonlinear) are assessed by evaluating the coherence of the structures between wall-normally separated positions. It is shown that the large-scale fluctuations are coherent between the outer and inner layers, by means of an interactions which strengthens with increasing Reynolds number, whereas the finer-scale fluctuations are only coherent within the near-wall region. This enables the possibility of considering the wall-shear stress as an input measurement, which would more easily allow the implementation of these methods in experimental applications. A parametric study was also performed by evaluating the effect of the Reynolds number, wall-normal positions and input quantities considered in the model. Since the methods vary in terms of their complexity for implementation, computational expense and accuracy, the technique of choice will depend on the application under consideration. We also assessed the possibility of designing and testing the models at different Reynolds numbers, where it is shown that the prediction of the near-wall peak from wall-shear-stress measurements is practically unaffected even for a one order of magnitude change in the corresponding Reynolds number of the design and test, indicating that the interaction between the near-wall peak fluctuations and the wall is approximately Reynolds-number independent. Furthermore, given the performance of such methods in the prediction of flow features in turbulent boundary layers, they have a good potential for implementation in experiments and realistic flow control applications, where the prediction of the near-wall peak led to correlations above 0.80 when wall-shear stress was used in a multiple-input or nonlinear scheme. Errors of the order of 20 % were also observed in the determination of the near-wall spectral peak, depending on the employed method.
Congenital and acquired heart diseases are highly prevalent in developing countries despite limited specialised care. Namibia established a paediatric cardiac service in 2009 with significant human resource and infrastructural constraints. Therefore, patients are referred for cardiac interventions to South Africa.
To describe the diagnoses, clinical characteristics, interventions, post-operative morbidity and mortality, and follow-up of patients referred for care.
Demographics, diagnoses, interventions, intra- and post-operative morbidity and mortality, as well as longitudinal follow-up data of all patients referred to South Africa, were recorded and analysed.
The total cohort constituted 193 patients of which 179 (93%) had CHD and 7% acquired heart disease. The majority of patients (78.8%) travelled more than 400 km to Windhoek before transfer. There were 28 percutaneous interventions. Palliative and definitive surgery was performed in 27 and 129 patients, respectively. Out of 156 patients, 80 (51.3%) had post-operative complications, of which 15 (9.6%) were a direct complication of surgery. Surgical mortality was 8/156 (5.1%, 95% confidence interval 2.2–9.8), with a 30-day mortality of 3.2%. Prolonged ICU stay was associated with a 5% increased risk of death with hazard ratio 1.05, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.08, p=0.001. Follow-up was complete in 151 (78%) patients for more than 7 years.
Despite the challenges associated with a cardiac programme for referring patients seeking intervention in a neighbouring country and the adverse characteristics of multiple lesions and complexity associated with late presentation, we report good surgical and interventional outcomes. Our goal remains to develop a comprehensive sustainable cardiac service in Namibia.
A diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder (DID) is controversial and prone to under- and misdiagnosis. From the moment of seeking treatment for symptoms to the time of an accurate diagnosis of DID individuals received an average of four prior other diagnoses and spent 7 years, with reports of up to 12 years, in mental health services.
To investigate whether data-driven pattern recognition methodologies applied to structural brain images can provide biomarkers to aid DID diagnosis.
Structural brain images of 75 participants were included: 32 female individuals with DID and 43 matched healthy controls. Individuals with DID were recruited from psychiatry and psychotherapy out-patient clinics. Probabilistic pattern classifiers were trained to discriminate cohorts based on measures of brain morphology.
The pattern classifiers were able to accurately discriminate between individuals with DID and healthy controls with high sensitivity (72%) and specificity (74%) on the basis of brain structure. These findings provide evidence for a biological basis for distinguishing between DID-affected and healthy individuals.
We propose a pattern of neuroimaging biomarkers that could be used to inform the identification of individuals with DID from healthy controls at the individual level. This is important and clinically relevant because the DID diagnosis is controversial and individuals with DID are often misdiagnosed. Ultimately, the application of pattern recognition methodologies could prevent unnecessary suffering of individuals with DID because of an earlier accurate diagnosis, which will facilitate faster and targeted interventions.
Declaration of interest
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Rumen microbiome profiling uses 16S rRNA (18S rRNA, internal transcribed spacer) gene sequencing, a method that usually sequences a small portion of a single gene and is often biased and varies between different laboratories. Functional information can be inferred from this data, but only for those that are closely related to known annotated species, and even then may not truly reflect the function performed within the environment being studied. Genome sequencing of isolates and metagenome-assembled genomes has now reached a stage where representation of the majority of rumen bacterial genera are covered, but this still only represents a portion of rumen microbial species. The creation of a microbial genome (bins) database with associated functional annotations will provide a consistent reference to allow mapping of RNA-Seq reads for functional gene analysis from within the rumen microbiome. The integration of multiple omic analytics is linking functional gene activity, metabolic pathways and rumen metabolites with the responsible microbiota, supporting our biological understanding of the rumen system. The application of these techniques has advanced our understanding of the major microbial populations and functional pathways that are used in relation to lower methane emissions, higher feed efficiencies and responses to different feeding regimes. Continued and more precise use of these tools will lead to a detailed and comprehensive understanding of compositional and functional capacity and design of techniques for the directed intervention and manipulation of the rumen microbiota towards a desired state.
To understand how foraging decisions impact individual fitness of herbivores, nutritional ecologists must consider the complex in vivo dynamics of nutrient–nutrient interactions and nutrient–toxin interactions associated with foraging. Mathematical modeling has long been used to make foraging predictions (e.g. optimal foraging theory) but has largely been restricted to a single currency (e.g. energy) or using simple indices of nutrition (e.g. fecal nitrogen) without full consideration of physiologically based interactions among numerous co-ingested phytochemicals. Here, we describe a physiologically based model (PBM) that provides a mechanistic link between foraging decisions and demographic consequences. Including physiological mechanisms of absorption, digestion and metabolism of phytochemicals in PBMs allows us to estimate concentrations of ingested and interacting phytochemicals in the body. Estimated phytochemical concentrations more accurately link intake of phytochemicals to changes in individual fitness than measures of intake alone. Further, we illustrate how estimated physiological parameters can be integrated with the geometric framework of nutrition and into integral projection models and agent-based models to predict fitness and population responses of vertebrate herbivores to ingested phytochemicals. The PBMs will improve our ability to understand the foraging decisions of vertebrate herbivores and consequences of those decisions and may help identify key physiological mechanisms that underlie diet-based ecological adaptations.
The influence of the concentration of carbon black nanoparticles on the mechanical behavior of a structural adhesive was studied to evaluate and understand the stiffness, strength, and deformation behavior of a reinforced epoxy adhesive. Two carbon black nanoparticles with different dielectric properties and sizes (Monarch® 120 and Vulcan® XC72R) were studied. A bi-component structural epoxy adhesive was selected. Specimens with different concentrations of carbon black were manufactured (0, 5, 10, and 20% on volume of resin) for each type of nanoparticle. The specimens were cured in a hydraulic hot-plates press machine. The mechanical behavior of the adhesives was found not to vary significantly as a function of carbon black nanoparticles amount. A scanning electron microscopy analysis was performed to evaluate the fracture surface. The fracture surfaces of specimens were correlated with the mechanical response obtained through tensile tests.
We study the complexity of the topological isomorphism relation for various classes of closed subgroups of the group of permutations of the natural numbers. We use the setting of Borel reducibility between equivalence relations on Borel spaces. For profinite, locally compact, and Roelcke precompact groups, we show that the complexity is the same as the one of countable graph isomorphism. For oligomorphic groups, we merely establish this as an upper bound.