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There is an overabundance of microswimmers in nature, including bacteria, algae, mammalian cells and so on. They use flagellum, cilia or global shape changes (amoeboid motion) to move forward. In the presence of confining channels, these swimmers exhibit often non-trivial behaviours, such as accumulation at the wall, navigation and so on, and their swimming speed may be strongly influenced by the geometric confinement. Several numerical studies have reported that the presence of walls either enhances or reduces the swimming speed depending on the nature of the swimmer, and also on the confinement. The purpose of this paper is to provide an analytical explanation of several previously obtained numerical results. We treat the case of amoeboid swimmers and the case of squirmers having either a tangential (the classical situation) or normal velocity prescribed at the swimmer surface (pumper). For amoeboid motion we consider a quasi-circular swimmer which allows us to tackle the problem analytically and to extract the equations of the motion of the swimmer, with several explicit analytical or semi-analytical solutions. It is found that the deformation of the amoeboid swimmer as well as a high enough order effect due to confinement are necessary in order to account for previous numerical results. The analytical theory accounts for several features obtained numerically also for non-deformable swimmers.
Evidence on long-term influences of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency or concentrations on infant cognition is limited. We examined associations between maternal plasma vitamin B12 and cognitive development in 24-month-old infants. Maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations were measured at 26–28 weeks’ gestation; infant cognitive development was assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III at 24 months, for 443 mother–infant pairs from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes cohort. Linear regressions adjusted for key confounders examined associations of maternal vitamin B12 with cognitive, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor subscales. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamin B12 with folate or vitamin B6 insufficiencies on child’s cognition was explored. Average maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations was 220·5 ± 80·5 pmol/l; 15 % and 41 % of mothers were vitamin B12 deficient (<148 pmol/l) and insufficient (148–220·9 pmol/l), respectively. Infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency had 0·42 (95 % CI −0·70, −0·14) sd lower cognitive scores, compared with infants of mothers with sufficient vitamin B12. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamins B12 and B6 insufficiencies was associated with 0·37 (95 % CI −0·69, −0·06) sd lower cognitive scores in infants compared with infants of mothers sufficient in both vitamins. No significant associations were observed with other subscales. Study findings suggest the possible need to ensure adequate vitamin B12 during pregnancy. The impact of co-occurrence of maternal B-vitamins insufficiencies on early cognitive development warrants further investigation.
Nasal irrigation is commonly performed in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. This study systematically assessed the clinical efficacy of nasal irrigation from the medical literature.
The PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases were searched using a comprehensive strategy, limited to English-language articles, published from October 1971 to March 2017, and comprising human subjects.
A total of 824 trials were identified, 5 of which, involving 331 participants, were included in this systematic review. After selection, only three trials were eligible for inclusion in a meta-analysis. Nasal irrigation using normal saline and various solutions was found to be effective in reducing symptom scores and endoscopic scores for chronic rhinosinusitis patients after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Comparison of outcome measures, such as eosinophil count reduction, revealed that various solutions are more effective than normal saline alone; however, no statistical significance was found in terms of reduced symptom or endoscopic scores.
Based on the current limited evidence, nasal irrigation is an effective therapy for chronic rhinosinusitis patients after functional endoscopic sinus surgery. However, when comparing various solutions with normal saline, no significant difference was found in symptom scores or endoscopic scores.
Using elementary means, we improve an explicit bound on the divisor function due to Friedlander and Iwaniec [Opera de Cribro, American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, 2010]. Consequently, we modestly improve a result regarding a sieving inequality for Gaussian sequences.
Diarrhea is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and the incidence of diarrhea in the world has changed little over the past four decades. To assess the prevalence of and healthcare practices for diarrhea, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Pudong, Shanghai, China. In October 2014, a total of 5324 community residents were interviewed. Respondents were asked if they had experienced diarrhea (defined as ⩾3 passages of watery, loose, bloody, or mucoid stools within a 24-h period) in the previous month prior to the interview. The monthly prevalence of diarrhea was 4·1% (95% CI: 3·3–4·8), corresponding to an incidence rate of 0·54 episodes per person-year. The proportion of individuals with diarrhea who sought healthcare was 21·2% (95% CI: 13·4–29·0). Diarrhea continues to impose a considerable burden on the community and healthcare system in Pudong. Young age and travel were identified as predictors of increased diarrhea occurrence.
Results are presented from our ongoing studies of Titan using ALMA during the period 2012-2015, including a confirmation of the previous detection of vinyl cyanide (C2H3CN), as well as the first spatial map for this species on Titan. Simultaneous mapping of HC3N, CH3CN and C2H5CN reveal characteristic abundance patterns for each species that provide insight into their individual photochemical lifetimes, and help inform our understanding of Titan’s unique, time-variable atmospheric chemistry and global circulation. A time-sequence of HC3N maps covering 38 months reveals a dramatic change in the distribution of this gas consistent with high-altitude photochemical production followed by advection towards the southern (winter) pole, combined with rapid loss in the north after Titan’s 2009 seasonal equinox. The 2015 C2H3CN and C2H5CN maps show abundance peaks in Titan’s southern hemisphere, similar to those observed for the short-lived HC3N molecule. The longer-lived CH3CN, on the other hand, remains more concentrated in the north.
Emails constitute an important genre of online communication. Many of us are often faced with the daunting task of sifting through increasingly large amounts of emails on a daily basis. Keywords extracted from emails can help us combat such information overload by allowing a systematic exploration of the topics contained in emails. Existing literature on keyword extraction has not covered the email genre, and no human-annotated gold standard datasets are currently available. In this paper, we introduce a new dataset for keyword extraction from emails, and evaluate supervised and unsupervised methods for keyword extraction from emails. The results obtained with our supervised keyword extraction system (38.99% F-score) improve over the results obtained with the best performing systems participating in the SemEval 2010 keyword extraction task.
In long-term care facilities (LTCFs), the elderly are apt to be infected because those with latent tuberculosis infections (LTBIs) are at an increased risk for reactivation and post-primary TB disease. We report an outbreak of TB in staff and residents in a LTCF. An outbreak investigation was conducted after two TB cases were reported from the LTCF. A tuberculin skin test (TST), bacteriological examination and chest radiograph were administered to all facility staff and residents. An outbreak is defined as at least two epidemiologically linked cases that have identical Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotype isolates. This outbreak infected eight residents and one staff member, who were confirmed to have TB in a LTCF between September 2011 and October 2012. Based on the Becker method, the latent and infectious periods were estimated at 223·6 and 55·9 days. Two initial TST-negative resident contacts were diagnosed as TB cases through comprehensive TB screening. Observing elderly people who have a negative TST after TB screening appears to be necessary, given the long latent period for controlling a TB outbreak in a LTCF. It is important to consider providing LTBI treatment for elderly contacts.
This multicentre surveillance study was conducted to investigate the trends in incidence and aetiology of healthcare-associated bloodstream infections (HCA-BSIs) in Taiwan. From 2000 to 2011 a total of 56 830 HCA-BSIs were recorded at three medical centres, and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) were the most common pathogens isolated (n = 9465, 16·7%), followed by E. coli (n = 7599, 13·4%). The incidence of all HCA-BSIs in each and all hospitals significantly increased over the study period owing to the increase of aerobic Gram-positive cocci and Enterobacteriaceae by 4·2% and 3·6%, respectively. Non-fermenting Gram-negative bacteria, Bacteroides spp. and Candida spp. also showed an increase but there was a significant decline in the numbers of methicillin-resistant S. aureus. In conclusion, the incidence of HCA-BSIs in Taiwan is significantly increasing, especially for Enterobacteriaceae and aerobic Gram-positive cocci.
Mycobacterial bone marrow (BM) infection is the most common diagnosis established by BM examinations for fever of unknown origin. In this study, clinical features and outcomes of patients who fulfilled the criteria for BM infection due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) at a medical centre in Taiwan from 2001 to 2009 were investigated. The BM histopathological findings were also analysed. A total of 24 patients (16 men, eight women) with mycobacterial BM infections were found. Of these, nine (38%) were positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and six (25%) had no pre-existing immunocompromised conditions. MTB isolates were obtained from 11 (46%) patients and NTM species were isolated from 10 (42%) patients, including M. avium complex (MAC, n = 7) and M. kansasii (n = 3). Patients with MTB infections were significantly older than those with NTM infections (60·5 vs. 47·7 years, P = 0·043) and were less likely to have a positive BM culture (45% vs. 100%, P = 0·012). The 90-day survival rates for MTB and NTM BM infections were 68% and 60%, respectively (P = 0·61). In addition, the presence of BM granulomas was significantly more common in patients with MTB BM infections than in those with NTM infections (82% vs. 30%, P = 0·030). In Taiwan, the importance of NTM was not inferior to MTB and besides MAC, M. kansasii might be an important pathogen in non-HIV-infected patients. The presence of BM granulomas and caseation provides valuable information regarding early treatment pending culture results.
We report on a program to delineate magnetic field structure inside molecular clouds by optical and infrared polarization observations. An ordered magnetic field inside a dense cloud may efficiently align the spinning dust grains to cause a detectable level of optical and near-infrared polarization of otherwise unpolarized background starlight due to dichroic extinction. The near-infrared polarization data were taken by SIRPOL mounted on IRSF in SAAO. Here we present the SIRPOL results in RCW 57, for which the magnetic field is oriented along the cloud filaments, and in Carina Nebula, for which no intrinsic polarization is detected in the turbulent environment. We further describe TRIPOL, a compact and efficient polarimer to acquire polarized images simultaneously at g', r', and i' bands, which is recently developed at Nagoya University for adaption to small-aperture telescopes. We show how optical observations probe the translucent outer parts of a cloud, and when combining with infrared observations probing the dense parts, and with millimeter and submillimeter observations to sutdy the central embedded protostar, if there is one, would yield the magnetic field structure on different length scales in the star-formation process.
Weekly (August 2003–December 2008) numbers of five common paediatric diseases and the incidence of respiratory viruses were obtained from a children's hospital in Singapore and correlated with climate data using multivariate time-series techniques. Upper respiratory tract infections were positively correlated with the incidences of influenza A, B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza viruses (types 1–3 combined). Lower respiratory tract infections were positively correlated with only the incidence of RSV. Both upper and lower respiratory tract infections were negatively correlated with relative humidity. Asthma admissions were negatively correlated with maximum temperature and positively correlated with the incidence of influenza B and increasing hours of sunshine. Although sporadic cases of adenovirus infection were identified, not enough cases were available for a more detailed analysis. Gastroenteritis and urinary tract infections, included as control diseases, were not correlated significantly with any climate parameters. These correlations are compatible with current understanding of respiratory virus survival under certain climate conditions and may assist the prediction of disease burdens and hospital resource planning in such tropical environments.
In contrast to bacteraemic pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), there is a paucity of data on the clinical characteristics and outcomes of non-bacteraemic pneumococcal CAP. This retrospective study compared the outcome of hospitalized patients with bacteraemic and non-bacteraemic pneumococcal CAP treated at a medical centre from 2004 to 2008. Data on clinical outcomes including all-cause mortality, length of hospital stay, need for intensive-care unit admission and extrapulmonary involvement were analysed. In all, 221 patients with pneumococcal pneumonia (87 bacteraemic, 134 non-bacteraemic) were included. Patients with bacteraemic pneumococcal pneumonia (BPP) were older than those with non-BPP (46·2±30·7 years vs. 21·7±30·8 years, P<0·001) and were more likely to have underlying medical diseases (66·7% vs. 33·6%, P<0·001). The overall mortality rates at 7, 14, and 30 days were significantly higher in BPP than non-BPP patients (12·6% vs. 2·2%, 14·9% vs. 3·7%, 19·5% vs. 5·1%, all P<0·01). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that pneumococcal bacteraemia was correlated with extrapulmonary involvement (odds ratio 5·46, 95% confidence interval 1·97–15·16, P=0·001). In conclusion, S. pneumoniae bacteraemia increased the risk of mortality and extrapulmonary involvement in patients with pneumococcal CAP.
The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical, microbiological, and pathological characteristics and the outcomes of skin and soft-tissue infection (SSTI) caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). Medical records of 50 patients with SSTI caused by NTM identified from 2005 to 2008 and 63 patients previously reported in a medical centre from 1997 to 2004 were reviewed. The annual incidence (per 100 000 outpatients and in-patients) ranged from 0·57 in 2005, 0·38 in 2007, to 1·1 in 2008, with an average of 0·62/100 000. From 1997 to 2008, the average incidence was 1·39/100 000 patients. The average annual incidence of SSTI caused by NTM was 0·62/100 000 outpatients and in-patients during 2005 and 2008. Of the total of 113 patients identified during the 12-year period, patients infected with Mycobacterium fortuitum and M. marinum were younger than those infected with M. avium-intracellulare complex (MAC) (36 and 44 years vs. 55 years, P=0·004 and P=0·056, respectively), and were more likely to have previous invasive procedures than those infected with MAC and M. abscessus (81·8% and 72·0% vs. 27·8% and 54·8%, P=0·007), and less likely to have associated immunosuppression (9·1% and 24% vs. 66·7% and 45·2%, P=0·006). Granuloma was more often observed in immunocompetent patients (60·1% vs. 40%, P=0·019), and in M. marinum-infected specimens (78·3%). There were significant differences in the demographic and clinical features of patients with NTM SSTI, including immunosuppression, trauma experience, and depth of tissue infections.
Corrugated structures offer a potential solution for morphing wing skin applications due to their anisotropic behaviour that allows chordwise camber and length changes. Aerofoils with corrugated skins in the aft 1/3 of the chordwise section have been studied experimentally and computationally using various corrugation shapes and forms (sinusoidal, trapezoidal and triangular) at different Reynolds numbers. The study showed that the aerodynamic performance is highly dependent on corrugation amplitude, wavelength, gradient (combination of amplitude and wavelength) and Reynolds number. Evidence is given highlighting that penalties for having a non-smooth surface in the aft 1/3 of the chordwise section of an aerofoil can be eliminated for the lift curve slope and minimised for the zero lift drag coefficient.
We present a novel, simple, and accurate approach based on low frequency voltage fluctuations to determine the averaged carrier lifetime in semiconductor materials and devices. This technique serves to address the limitations faced by existing techniques that use light as the excitation source for lifetime measurement. In this paper, the minority carrier lifetime is inferred from the 1/f low frequency noise profile exhibited by the device during low current operation. The current dependence of the power spectral density and its relation to minority carrier lifetime is modeled and derived directly giving a current dependent carrier lifetime. This technique is solely based on the electrical noise and no light source is required for excitation. The low frequency noise can be easily acquired without significant distortion via a signal analyzer as long as there is a sufficiently good Ohmic contact between the probe and the device under test, and that the device is sufficiently shielded from the influence of EMI. This technique has lower crosstalk, fewer fitting parameters, is low cost and allows the lifetime to be extracted directly from data collected at lower frequencies. These characteristics make our method useful in encapsulated devices, applicable on wafers and devices in
This work reports high resolution SMA polarimetric observations toward NGC 2024 FIR 5, a magnetized core previously found to harbour protostars. Our 345 GHz data indicates the presence of an extended dust emission associated with the dense core where the protostars are embedded. The 3σ polarized intensity shows depolarization toward the peak of Stokes I emission. This diminishing polarized flux implies that the alignment efficiency of the core dust grains is low within higher column densities where grain properties are likely different. The derived magnetic field geometry exhibits pinched field lines which are typical in evolved supercritical clouds where the magnetic field no longer support the core from collapsing. As a consequence for protostars, the gravitational pulling along the disk's long axis makes an equatorial bend to the field lines that, in turn, results in a hourglass shape. The SMA field structure agrees perfectly with the BIMA map. However, models are still necessary to provide a complete description of the evolutionary scenario of FIR 5.