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The aim of the study was to investigate any association between extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) and intestinal flora of <30-week-old preterm infants. A total of 59 preterm infants were assigned to EUGR (n=23) and non-EUGR (n=36) groups. Intestinal bacteria were compared by using high-throughput sequencing of bacterial rRNA. The total abundance of bacteria in 344 genera (7568 v. 13,760; P<0.0001) and 456 species (10,032 v. 18,240; P<0.0001) was significantly decreased in the EUGR group compared with the non-EUGR group. After application of a multivariate logistic model and adjusting for potential confounding factors, as well as false-discovery rate corrections, we found four bacterial genera with higher and one bacterial genus with lower abundance in the EUGR group compared with the control group. In addition, the EUGR group showed significantly increased abundances of six species (Streptococcus parasanguinis, Bacterium RB5FF6, two Klebsiella species and Microbacterium), but decreased frequencies of three species (one Acinetobacter species, Endosymbiont_of_Sphenophorus_lev and one Enterobacter_species) compared with the non-EUGR group. Taken together, there were significant changes in the intestinal microflora of preterm infants with EUGR compared to preterm infants without EUGR.
The Main Karoo Basin of South Africa contains a near-continuous sequence of continental deposition spanning ~80 Myr from the mid-Permian to the Early Jurassic. The terrestrial vertebrates of this sequence provide a high-resolution stratigraphic record of regional origination and extinction, especially for the mid–late Permian. Until now, data have only been surveyed at coarse stratigraphic resolution using methods that are biased by nonuniform sampling rates, limiting our understanding of the dynamics of diversification through this important time period. Here, we apply robust methods (gap-filler and modified gap-filler rates) for the inference of patterns of species richness, origination rates, and extinction rates to a subset of 1321 reliably-identified fossil occurrences resolved to approximately 50 m stratigraphic intervals. This data set provides an approximate time resolution of 0.3–0.6 Myr and shows that extinction rates increased considerably in the upper 100 m of the mid-Permian Abrahamskraal Formation, corresponding to the latest part of the Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone (AZ). Origination rates were only weakly elevated in the same interval and were not sufficient to compensate for these extinctions. Subsampled species richness estimates for the lower part of the overlying Teekloof Formation (corresponding to the Pristerognathus and Tropidostoma AZs) are low, showing that species richness remained low for at least 1.5–3 million years after the main extinction pulse. A high unevenness of the taxon abundance–frequency distribution, which is classically associated with trophically unstable postextinction faunas, in fact developed shortly before the acme of elevated extinction rates due to the appearance and proliferation of the dicynodont Diictodon. Our findings provide strong support for a Capitanian (“end-Guadalupian”) extinction event among terrestrial vertebrates and suggest that further high-resolution quantitative studies may help resolve the lack of consensus among paleobiologists regarding this event.
Background: A need exists to characterise the long-term cognitive outcomes in patients who recovered from autoimmune encephalitis and to identify the modifiable factors associated with improved outcomes. Methods: We retrospectively analysed data from patients diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis in our outpatient autoimmune encephalitis clinic over a 5-year period, where the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is routinely administered. Results: In total, 21 patients met the inclusion criteria, of whom 52% had persistent cognitive impairment at their latest follow-up (median delay to testing=20 months, range 13-182). Visuospatial and executive abilities, language, attention, and delayed recall were predominantly affected. Patients with status epilepticus at presentation had lower total MoCA scores at their last follow-up (median total score 21, range 15-29) compared with patients without status epilepticus at presentation (median total score 27.5, range 21-30; r2=0.366, p=0.004). Patients who experienced delays of more than 60 days from symptom onset to initiation of treatment (either immunosuppression or tumour removal) were more likely to have a MoCA score compatible with cognitive impairment at their last follow-up (r2=0.253, p=0.0239; z-score=−2.01, p=0.044). Conclusions: Our study suggests that the MoCA may be used to evaluate cognition in recovering patients with autoimmune encephalitis. Delays to treatment shorter than 60 days and absence of status epilepticus at onset were associated with better performance on the MoCA obtained more than 1 year after symptom onset, and may predict better long-term cognitive outcomes.
In vivo and in vitro trials were conducted to assess the effects of tributyrin (TB) supplementation on short-chain fatty acid (SFCA) concentrations, fibrolytic enzyme activity, nutrient digestibility and methanogenesis in adult sheep. Nine 12-month-old ruminally cannulated Small Tail ewes (initial body weight 55 ± 5.0 kg) without pregnancy were used for the in vitro trial. In vitro substrate made to offer TB at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 g/kg on a dry matter (DM) basis was incubated by ruminal microbes for 72 h at 39°C. Forty-five adult Small Tail ewes used for the in vivo trial were randomly assigned to five treatments with nine animals each for an 18-d period according to body weight (55 ± 5.0 kg). Total mixed ration fed to ewes was also used to offer TB at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 g/kg on a DM basis. The in vitro trial showed that TB supplementation linearly increased apparent digestibility of DM, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre, and enhanced gas production and methane emissions. The in vivo trial showed that TB supplementation decreased DM intake, but enhanced ruminal fermentation efficiency. Both in vitro and in vivo trials showed that TB supplementation enhanced total SFCA concentrations and carboxymethyl cellulase activity. The results indicate that TB supplementation might exert advantage effects on rumen microbial metabolism, despite having an enhancing effect on methanogenesis.
Rural-to-urban migrant workers are a large marginalised population in urban China. Prevalence estimates of common mental health problems (CMHPs) in previous studies varied widely and very few studies have investigated migration-related factors of CMHPs in migrant workers. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of CMHPs among Chinese migrant workers.
A random sample of 3031 migrant workers of ten manufacturing factories in Shenzhen, China, completed a standardised questionnaire containing socio-demographic and migration-related variables and the Chinese 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). A GHQ-12 score of three or higher was used to denote the presence of CMHPs.
The prevalence of CMHPs was 34.4% in Chinese migrant workers. In multiple logistic regression, risk factors for CMHPs included being 16–25 years old (odd ratio [OR] 1.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28, 2.12), being 26–35 years old (OR 1.36, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.75), low monthly income (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.04, 1.92), poor living condition (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.22, 2.54), physical illness in the past 2 weeks (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.43, 2.05), having worked in many cities (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.03, 1.74), infrequently visiting hometown (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.22, 1.99), poor Mandarin proficiency (OR 1.51, 95%CI 1.13, 2.01), a low level of perceived benefits of migration (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.14, 1.55) and working more than 8 h/day (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.14, 1.70).
CMHPs are very prevalent among Chinese migrant workers. Given the large number of Chinese migrant workers, there is an urgent need to address the mental health burden of China's migrant worker population.
A truthful snapshot of horse welfare conditions is a prerequisite for predicting the impact of any actions intended to improve the quality of life of horses. This can be achieved when welfare information, gathered by different assessors in diverse geographical areas, is valid, comparable and collected in a harmonized way. This paper aims to present the first outcomes of the Animal Welfare Indicators (AWIN) approach: the results of on-farm assessment and a reliable and harmonized data collection system. A total of 355 sport and leisure horses, stabled in 40 facilities in Italy and in Germany, were evaluated by three trained assessors using the AWIN welfare assessment protocol for horses. The AWINHorse app was used to collect, store and send data to a common server. Identified welfare issues were obesity, unsatisfactory box dimensions, long periods of confinement and lack of social interaction. The digitalized data collection was feasible in an on-farm environment, and our results suggest that this approach could prove useful in identifying the most relevant welfare issues of horses in Europe or worldwide.
Based on a refined dynamical model, afterglows from jetted γ-ray burst (GRB) remnants are investigated numerically. Measuring of GRB beaming by using orphan afterglow surveys is addressed. The possible existence of a kind of cylindrical jets is also discussed.
Various environmental factors have been associated with the timing of eruption of primary dentition, but the evidence to date comes from small studies with limited information on potential risk factors. We aimed to investigate associations between tooth emergence patterns and pre-conception, pregnancy and postnatal influences. Dentition patterns were recorded at ages 1 and 2 years in 2915 children born to women in the Southampton Women’s Survey from whom information had been collected on maternal factors before conception and during pregnancy. In mutually adjusted regression models we found that: children were more dentally advanced at ages 1 and 2 years if their mothers had smoked during pregnancy or they were longer at birth; mothers of children whose dental development was advanced at age 2 years tended to have poorer socioeconomic circumstances, and to have reported a slower walking speed pre-pregnancy; and children of mothers of Asian ethnicity had later tooth development than those of white mothers. The findings add to the evidence of environmental impacts on the timing of the eruption of primary dentition in indicating that maternal smoking during pregnancy, socio-economic status and physical activity (assessed by reported walking speed) may influence the child’s primary dentition. Early life factors, including size at birth are also associated with dentition patterns, as is maternal ethnicity.
The Middle Permian tetrapod fauna of the South African Beaufort Group is taxonomically diverse and includes representatives of all major therapsid groups, including the earliest records of Eutheriodontia. In the Middle Permian, eutheriodonts are represented mainly by large therocephalians, which made up a large proportion of the vertebrate predators in these faunas. Here we describe the skull and partial skeleton of a large therocephalian from the uppermost Tapinocephalus Assemblage Zone (AZ) of South Africa. A combination of features, including the short snout, presence of three to four upper postcanines and presence of teeth on the pterygoid processes, indicates that the new specimen belongs to the earliest-diverging therocephalian family, Lycosuchidae. The presence of a well-developed midline ridge on the ventral surface of the vomer indicates that the new specimen can be referred to Simorhinella baini, a species previously represented only by a tiny juvenile skull. The new specimen forms the basis for a taxonomic re-evaluation of the Lycosuchidae as well as of the geographic and stratigraphic range of the family. We recognize two valid species within the Lycosuchidae: the type species Lycosuchus vanderrieti represented by five specimens and Simorhinella baini represented by two specimens, with an additional 22 specimens currently identifiable as Lycosuchidae incertae sedis. Lycosuchid specimens range throughout the Tapinocephalus and Pristerognathus AZs; specimens of Simorhinella are restricted to the Tapinocephalus AZ, whereas Lycosuchus specimens are documented in both the Tapinocephalus and Pristerognathus AZs.
The excavation of a large circular dished earthwork near Carnforth,
North Lancashire, in 1982, has revealed a substantial Bronze Age funerary
monument. The earliest structure was a sub-rectangular enclosure of
limestone boulders dated to c. 1740–1640 BC cal. and
associated with parts of two poorly preserved inhumation burials lying on
the previously cleared ground surface. Both burials were accompanied by
typologically early metalwork. The central inhumation was associated with
a flat axe and dagger, suggesting an individual of high status as well as
providing an important link between the early stages of development of
both bronze types. The subsequent overlying cairn of smaller stones
included eleven fairly discrete concentrations of inhumed bone, and seven
of cremated bone and pottery. All this material was extremely
fragmentary, and was probably derived from later re-use of the
Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of developing a psychotic disorder but the temporal relationship between cannabis use and onset of illness is unclear. The objective of this study was to assess prospectively the influence of cannabis use on transition to psychosis in people at ultra-high risk (UHR) for the disorder.
Lifetime and continued cannabis use was assessed in a consecutively ascertained sample of 182 people (104 male, 78 female) at UHR for psychosis. Individuals were then followed clinically for 2 years to determine their clinical outcomes.
Lifetime cannabis use was reported by 134 individuals (73.6%). However, most of these individuals had stopped using cannabis before clinical presentation (n = 98, 73.1%), usually because of adverse effects. Among lifetime users, frequent use, early-onset use and continued use after presentation were all associated with an increase in transition to psychosis. Transition to psychosis was highest among those who started using cannabis before the age of 15 years and went on to use frequently (frequent early-onset use: 25%; infrequent or late-onset use: 5%; χ21 = 10.971, p = 0.001). However, within the whole sample, cannabis users were no more likely to develop psychosis than those who had never used cannabis (cannabis use: 12.7%; no use: 18.8%; χ21 = 1.061, p = 0.303).
In people at UHR for psychosis, lifetime cannabis use was common but not related to outcome. Among cannabis users, frequent use, early-onset use and continued use after clinical presentation were associated with transition to psychosis.
Interpersonal sensitivity is a personality trait described as excessive awareness of both the behaviour and feelings of others. Although interpersonal sensitivity has been found to be one of the vulnerability factors to depression, there has been little interest in its relationship with the prodromal phase of psychosis. The aims of this study were to examine the level of interpersonal sensitivity in a sample of individuals with an at-risk mental state (ARMS) for psychosis and its relationship with other psychopathological features.
Method. Sixty-two individuals with an ARMS for psychosis and 39 control participants completed a series of self-report questionnaires, including the Interpersonal Sensitivity Measure (IPSM), the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ), the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ) and the Depression and Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS).
Individuals with an ARMS reported higher interpersonal sensitivity compared to controls. Associations between interpersonal sensitivity, positive psychotic symptoms (i.e. paranoid ideation), avoidant coping and symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress were also found.
This study suggests that being ‘hypersensitive’ to interpersonal interactions is a psychological feature of the putatively prodromal phase of psychosis. The relationship between interpersonal sensitivity, attenuated positive psychotic symptoms, avoidant coping and negative emotional states may contribute to long-term deficits in social functioning. We illustrate the importance, when assessing a young client with a possible ARMS, of examining more subtle and subjective symptoms in addition to attenuated positive symptoms.
Iron-based amorphous alloys are hard and highly corrosion resistant, which make them desirable for salt water and other applications. These alloys can be produced as powder and can be deposited as coatings on any surface that needs to be protected from the environment. It was of interest to examine the behavior of these amorphous alloys in the standard salt-fog testing ASTM B 117. Three different amorphous coating compositions were deposited on 316L SS coupons and exposed for many cycles of the salt fog test. Other common engineering alloys such as 1018 carbon steel, 316L SS and Hastelloy C-22 were also tested together with the amorphous coatings. Results show that amorphous coatings are resistant to rusting in salt fog. Partial devitrification may be responsible for isolated rust spots in one of the coatings.
High resolution far infrared absorption measurements were carried out for single walled and double walled carbon nanotubes samples (SWCNT and DWCNT) encased in a polyethylene matrix to investigate the temperature and bundling effects on the low frequency phonons associated with the low frequency circumferential vibrations. At a temperature where kBT is significantly lower than the phonon energy, the broad absorption features as observed at room temperature become well resolved phonon transitions. For a DWCNT sample whose inner tubes have a similar diameter distribution as the SWCNT sample studied, a series of sharp features were observed at room temperature at similar positions as for the SWCNT samples studied. The narrow linewidth is attributed to the fact that the inner tubes are isolated from the polyethylene matrix and the weak inter-tubule interactions. More systematic studies will be required to better understand the effects of inhomogeneous broadening and thermal-excitation on the detailed position and lineshape of the low frequency phonon features in carbon nanotubes.
The diameter of individual single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) was successfully modulated along their axes by instant temperature control in a laser-assisted chemical vapor deposition (LCVD) process. SWNTs were grown using different temperature profiles to investigate the effects of temperature variation on their growth. Due to the inverse relationship between SWNT diameter and growth temperature, SWNTs with ascending diameters were obtained by reducing the LCVD temperature from high to low. The diameter-modulated SWNTs were grown across a pair of Mo electrodes to form field-effect transistors (FETs) for investigation of their electronic transport properties. Fabricated devices demonstrated properties similar to Schottky diodes, implying different bandgap structures at the ends of the SWNTs. Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and electronic transport characteristics were studied to investigate the influence of temperature variation on the structural and electronic characteristics of SWNTs.
Quasi-phase matching in AlxGa1−xAs heterostructure optical waveguides can be used for efficient second-harmonic (SH) generation. The efficiency of these devices depends on the linear and nonlinear optical properties of the component materials. We present measurements of the SH susceptibility variation in AlxGa1−xAs with Al concentration, for fundamental light at λ = 1.06 μ. The measured SH susceptibility decreases by an order of magnitude as the Al concentration is varied from x = 0 to x = 0.97. These measurements are used to evaluate the SH generation efficiency of AlxGa1−xAs heterostructures as the structural and material parameters are varied.
Solid solubility limits of U, Pu, and the neutron absorbers Hf and Gd have been measured for zircon (ZrSiO4), monazite (CePO4), titanite (CaTiSiO5), perovskite (CaTiO3), apatite (Ca10(PO4)6O), in almost all cases where these limits were not known beforehand. The method used was to oversaturate the host phase with the dopant, using a nominated substitutional scheme, and then establish the dopant content of the host phase by microanalysis/scanning electron microscopy. Tetravalent U has limited solid solubilities in titanite, perovskite and apatite. X-ray absorption near-edge and diffuse reflectance spectroscopies were used to show that U was tetravalent in U-doped perovskite prepared in both argon and hydrogen-nitrogen atmospheres, with different charge compensating schemes. Tetravalent Pu has solubilities of 0.13 and 0.02 formula units (f.u.) in perovskite and titanite respectively. Trivalent Pu has a solubility of 0.05 f.u. in titanite. Pu3+ dominates tetravalent Pu in monazite fired in air at 1400°C. At least 0.5 and < 0.1 f.u. of Hf are soluble in titanite and monazite respectively.Hf solubility in apatite is estimated as < 0.1 f.u. Approximately 0.3 and < 0.1 f.u. of Gd are soluble in titanite and zircon respectively
A direct-write approach to fabricate high precision resistors is reported. Special attention is paid to the effect of print thickness on the resistance value of buried resistors after a low temperature co-firing process. The results show that the direct-write approach provides a superior line definition and thickness control over a traditional screen printing process. Microstructural analysis indicates that there is an interdiffused layer developed between the resistor material and the low temperature co-fired ceramic substrate. These observations are consistent with electrical measurements which show that resistance increases as the effective cross-sectional area is reduced. The resistance data show that the standard deviations for resistors printed on a 6” × 6” area are 5% and 15% for the direct-write and the screen-printed patterns, respectively.