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We present the elements required to construct two devices used in an undergraduate plasma physics laboratory. The materials and construction costs of the sources, the vacuum systems and probe drives and electrical circuits are presented in detail in the text and the first appendix. We also provide the software for probe motion and data acquisition as well as the electrical schematics for key components. Experiments which have been performed are listed and two (resonance cones and whistler waves) are described in greater detail. The machines are flexible and original research is possible.
From 2011 through 2018, there was a notable increase in sporadic Legionnaires' disease in the state of Minnesota. Sporadic cases are those not associated with a documented outbreak. Outbreak-related cases are typically associated with a common identified contaminated water system; sporadic cases typically do not have a common source that has been identified. Because of this, it is hypothesised that weather and environmental factors can be used as predictors of sporadic Legionnaires' disease. An ecological design was used with case report surveillance data from the state of Minnesota during 2011 through 2018. Over this 8-year period, there were 374 confirmed Legionnaires' disease cases included in the analysis. Precipitation, temperature and relative humidity (RH) data were collected from weather stations across the state. A Poisson regression analysis examined the risk of Legionnaires' disease associated with precipitation, temperature, RH, land-use and age. A lagged average 14-day precipitation had the strongest association with Legionnaires' disease (RR 2.5, CI 2.1–2.9), when accounting for temperature, RH, land-use and age. Temperature, RH and land-use also had statistically significant associations to Legionnaires' disease, but with smaller risk ratios. This study adds to the body of evidence that weather and environmental factors play an important role in the risk of sporadic Legionnaires' disease. This is an area that can be used to target additional research and prevention strategies.
The risk factors of criminal behavior in patients with schizophrenia are not well explored. This study is to explore the risk factors for criminal behavior in patients with schizophrenia in rural China.
We used data from a 14-year prospective follow-up study (1994-2008) of criminal behavior among a cohort (n=510) of patients with schizophrenia in Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
There were 489 patients (95.9%) who were followed up from 1994 to 2008. The rate of criminal behavior was 13.5% among these patients with schizophrenia during the follow-up period. Compared with female subjects (6 cases, 20.0%), male patients had significantly higher rate of violent criminal behavior (e.g., arson, sexual assault, physical assault, and murder) (24 cases, 80.0%) (p< 0.001). Bivariate analyses showed that the risk of criminal behavior was significantly associated with being unmarried, of younger age, previous violent behavior, homelessness, lower family economic status, no family caregivers, and higher scores on measures (PANSS) of positive, negative, and total symptoms of illness. In multiple logistic regression analyses being unmarried and previous violent behavior were identified as independent predictors of increased criminal behavior in persons with schizophrenia.
The risk factors for criminal behavior among patients with schizophrenia should be understood within a particular social context. Criminal behavior may be predicted by specific characteristics of patients with schizophrenia in rural community. The findings of risk factors for criminal behavior should be considered in planning community mental health care and interventions for high-risk patients and their families.
The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of animals is capable of sensing various kinds of nutrients via G-protein coupled receptor-mediated signaling transduction pathways, and the process is known as ‘gut nutrient chemosensing’. GPR40, GPR41, GPR43 and GPR119 are chemoreceptors for free fatty acids (FFAs) and lipid derivatives, but they are not well studied in small ruminants. The objective of this study is to determine the expression of GPR40, GPR41, GPR43 and GPR119 along the GIT of kid goats under supplemental feeding (S) v. grazing (G) during early development. In total, 44 kid goats (initial weight 1.35±0.12 kg) were slaughtered for sampling (rumen, abomasum, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, colon and rectum) between days 0 and 70. The expression of GPR41 and GPR43 were measured at both mRNA and protein levels, whereas GPR40 and GPR119 were assayed at protein level only. The effects of age and feeding system on their expression were variable depending upon GIT segments, chemoreceptors and expression level (mRNA or protein), and sometimes feeding system × age interactions (P<0.05) were observed. Supplemental feeding enhanced expression of GPR40, GPR41 and GPR43 in most segments of the GIT of goats, whereas G enhanced expression of GPR119. GPR41 and GPR43 were mainly expressed in rumen, abomasum and cecum, with different responses to age and feeding system. GPR41 and GPR43 expression in abomasum at mRNA level was greatly (P<0.01) affected by both age and feeding system; whereas their expression in rumen and abomasum at protein level were different, feeding system greatly (P<0.05) affected GPR41 expression, but had no effect (P>0.05) on GPR43 expression; and there were no feeding system×age interactions (P>0.05) on GPR41 and GPR43 protein expression. The expression of GPR41 and GPR43 in rumen and abomasum linearly (P<0.01) increased with increasing age (from days 0 to 70). Meanwhile, age was the main factor affecting GPR40 expression throughout the GIT. These outcomes indicate that age and feeding system are the two factors affecting chemoreceptors for FFAs and lipid derivatives expression in the GIT of kids goats, and S enhanced the expression of chemoreceptors for FFAs, whereas G gave rise to greater expression of chemoreceptors for lipid derivatives. Our results suggest that enhanced expression of chemoreceptors for FFAs might be one of the benefits of early supplemental feeding offered to young ruminants during early development.
Influenza is a long-standing public health concern, but its transmission remains poorly understood. To have a better knowledge of influenza transmission, we carried out a detailed modelling investigation in a nosocomial influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. We identified three hypothesised transmission modes between index patient and other inpatients based on the long-range airborne and fomite routes. We considered three kinds of healthcare workers’ routine round pathways in 1140 scenarios with various values of important parameters. In each scenario, we used a multi-agent modelling framework to estimate the infection risk for each hypothesis and conducted least-squares fitting to evaluate the hypotheses by comparing the distribution of the infection risk with that of the attack rates. Amongst the hypotheses tested in the 1140 scenarios, the prediction of modes involving the long-range airborne route fit better with the attack rates, and that of the two-route transmission mode had the best fit, with the long-range airborne route contributing about 94% and the fomite route contributing 6% to the infections. Under the assumed conditions, the influenza virus was likely to have spread via a combined long-range airborne and fomite routes, with the former predominant and the latter negligible.
Introduction: Accurate identification of children with a concussion by emergency department (ED) physicians is important to initiate appropriate anticipatory guidance and management. In children meeting international criteria for concussion, we aimed to determine the proportion who were provided this diagnosis by the ED physician and which variables were associated with a physician-diagnosed concussion. We also compared persistent symptoms in concussion cases versus those with alternative diagnoses. Methods: This was a planned secondary analysis of a prospective, multicenter cohort study. Participants were children aged 5 through 17 years and met Zurich/Berlin International Consensus Statement criteria for concussion. The primary outcome was the proportion of study participants who were assigned a diagnosis of concussion by the treating ED physician. Based on available evidence, between 50% and 90% of children meeting international concussion criteria are also diagnosed by an ED physician as having a concussion. Assuming a worst case scenario that 50% of physicians would diagnose concussion, our anticipated study sample size of 2946 would be accompanied by a +2% margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the primary outcome. Results: Among the 2946 eligible children, 2340 [79.4% (95% CI 78.0, 80.8)] were diagnosed with a concussion by an ED physician. Twelve variables were associated with this ED diagnosis, five of which had an odds ratio (OR) > 1.5: older age (13-17 vs 5-7 years, OR=2.9), longer time to presentation (>16 vs. <16 hours, OR=2.1), nausea (OR=1.7), sport mechanism (OR=1.7), and amnesia (OR=1.6). In those with physician-diagnosed concussion versus no concussion, the frequency of persistent symptoms was 62.5% vs. 38.8% (p<0.0001) at one week, 46.3% vs. 25.8% (p<0.0001) at two weeks and 33.0% vs. 23.0% (p<0.0001) at four weeks. Conclusion: Most children meeting international criteria for concussion were provided this diagnosis by the ED physician. There were five variables which increased the odds of this diagnosis by at least 1.5-fold. Relative to international criteria, the more selective assignment of concussion by ED physicians was associated with a greater frequency of persistent concussion symptoms. Nevertheless, many patients with alternative diagnoses exhibited persistent concussive symptoms at all time points. Clinicians should therefore weigh the benefits and risks of strictly applying the Zurich/Berlin international criteria versus individual discretion.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
The effects of high-Z dopant on the laser-driven ablative Richtmyer–Meshkov instability (RMI) are investigated by theoretical analysis and radiation hydrodynamics simulations. It is found that the oscillation amplitude of ablative RMI depends on the ablation velocity, the blow-off plasma velocity and the post-shock sound speed. Owing to enhancing the radiation at the plasma corona and increasing the radiation temperature at the ablation front, the high-Z dopant in plastic target can significantly increase the ablation velocity and the blow-off plasma velocity, leading to an increase in oscillation frequency and a reduction in oscillation amplitude of the ablative RMI. The high-Z dopant in plastic target is beneficial to reduce the seed of ablative Rayleigh–Taylor instability. These results are helpful for the design of direct drive inertial confinement fusion capsules.
An outbreak of gastroenteritis affected 453 attendees (attack rate 28·5%) of six separate events held at a hotel in Singapore. Active case detection, case-control studies, hygiene inspections and microbial analysis of food, environmental and stool samples were conducted to determine the aetiology of the outbreak and the modes of transmission. The only commonality was the food, crockery and cutlery provided and/or handled by the hotel's Chinese banquet kitchen. Stool specimens from 34 cases and 15 food handlers were positive for norovirus genogroup II. The putative index case was one of eight norovirus-positive food handlers who had worked while they were symptomatic. Several food samples and remnants tested positive for Escherichia coli or high faecal coliforms, aerobic plate counts and/or total coliforms, indicating poor food hygiene. This large common-source outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis was caused by the consumption of contaminated food and/or contact with contaminated crockery or cutlery provided or handled by the hotel's Chinese banquet kitchen.
We present a scheme of electron beam radiography to dynamically diagnose the high energy density (HED) matter in three orthogonal directions simultaneously based on electron Linear Accelerator. The dynamic target information such as, its profile and density could be obtained through imaging the scattered electron beam passing through the target. Using an electron bunch train with flexible time structure, a very high temporal evolution could be achieved. In this proposed scheme, it is possible to obtain 1010 frames/second in one experimental event, and the temporal resolution can go up to 1 ps, spatial resolution to 1 µm. Successful demonstration of this concept will have a major impact for both future inertial confinement fusion science and HED physics research.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of maternal protein or energy restriction on hormonal and metabolic status of pregnant goats during late gestation and their postnatal male kids. Forty-five pregnant goats were fed a control (CON), 40% protein-restricted (PR) or 40% energy-restricted (ER) diet from 90 days of gestation until parturition. Plasma of mothers (90, 125 and 145 days of gestation) and kids (6 weeks of age) were sampled to determine metabolites and hormones. Glucose concentration for pregnant goats subjected to PR or ER was less (P<0.001) than that of CON goats at 125 and 145 days of gestation. However, plasma nonesterified fatty acids concentration was greater (P<0.01) at 125 and 145 days for PR and ER than CON. Protein restriction increased (P<0.01) maternal cortisol concentration by 145 days of gestation, and ER decreased (P<0.01) maternal insulin concentration at 125 days of gestation. Moreover, maternal amino acid (AA) concentrations were affected by nutritional restriction, with greater (P<0.05) total AA (TAA) and nonessential AA (NEAA) for PR goats but less (P<0.05) TAA and NEAA for ER goats at 125 days of gestation. After 6 weeks of nutritional recovery, plasma concentrations of most metabolic and hormonal parameters in restricted kids were similar to CON kids, except for reduced (P<0.05) insulin concentration in ER, and reduced (P<0.05) Asp concentration in PR and ER kids. These results provide information on potential metabolic mechanisms responsible for fetal programming.
Batch cultures of mixed rumen micro-organisms were used to evaluate varying enzyme products with high xylanase activity (EPX), four of which were recombinant single xylanase activity developmental enzyme products (EPX1–EPX4, products of xylanase genes derived from Trichoderma harzianum, Trichoderma reesei, Orpinomyces and Aspergillus oryzae, respectively), for their potential to improve in vitro ruminal fermentation of three forages [maize (Zea mays) stover (MS), rice (Oryza sativa) straw (RS) and Guimu No. 1 grass (Pennisetum americanum×Pennisetum purpureum, GM)]. The enzyme product EPX5, derived from Trichoderma longibrachiatum, was used as a positive control that could improve in vitro fermentation of forages. Enzymes were supplied at dose rates of 0 (control), 20 (low), 50 (medium) and 80 (high) enzymic units of xylanase/g of dry matter (DM). There were no interactions between EPX and dose for the fermentation characteristics evaluated. Increasing EPX dose linearly increased gas production (GP) kinetic characters [i.e. asymptotic GP (VF), half time when GP is half of the theoretical maximum GP (t0·5), and initial fractional rate of degradation (FRD0)] and methane (CH4) production from RS and GM at 24 h, and increased degradability of DM at 24 h for MS and RS. A linear increase in degradability of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) of the three forages at 24 h was observed with increasing dose of EPX, but at 48 h only NDF degradability of RS was increased. There were differences in the effects of EPX on degradability of DM and NDF from RS at 24 h, with EPX4 having the highest and EPX1 having the lowest. In addition, increasing EPX dose linearly increased acetate proportion at 24 h and total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) at 48 h in MS. Increasing EPX dose linearly increased TVFA at 24 h, and ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) concentration at 48 h in RS. For GM, linear or quadratic effects of dose on acetate and butyrate concentration were observed at 24 and 48 h. The present study indicates that applying EPX to low-quality forages has the potential to improve rumen degradability and utilization. Furthermore, EPX from different sources differed in their effects when applied at the same dose rate, with the responses being forage-specific. For RS, the EPX derived from A. oryzae showed the greatest positive effects on forage degradation; whereas for MS and GM, the source of micro-organism where EPX gene was derived did not affect the degradation, with little difference among the EPX evaluated.
To systematically summarise the peer-reviewed literature relating to the aetiology, clinical presentation, investigation and treatment of geniculate neuralgia.
Articles published in English between 1932 and 2012, identified using Medline, Embase and Cochrane databases.
The search terms ‘geniculate neuralgia’, ‘nervus intermedius neuralgia’, ‘facial pain’, ‘otalgia’ and ‘neuralgia’ were used to identify relevant papers.
Fewer than 150 reported cases were published in English between 1932 and 2012. The aetiology of the condition remains unknown, and clinical presentation varies. Non-neuralgic causes of otalgia should always be excluded by a thorough clinical examination, audiological assessment and radiological investigations before making a diagnosis of geniculate neuralgia. Conservative medical treatment is always the first-line therapy. Surgical treatment should be offered if medical treatment fails. The two commonest surgical options are transection of the nervus intermedius, and microvascular decompression of the nerve at the nerve root entry zone of the brainstem. However, extracranial intratemporal division of the cutaneous branches of the facial nerve may offer a safer and similarly effective treatment.
The response to medical treatment for this condition varies between individuals. The long-term outcomes of surgery remain unknown because of limited data.
This study aimed to investigate the validity and feasibility of cervical oesophagostomy as a treatment for patients with severe dysphagia after radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
The study retrospectively analysed the clinical data, symptoms, physical signs, treatment and outcomes of 12 patients treated with cervical oesophagostomy for severe dysphagia after radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, from 2006 to 2010.
In all 12 cases, the oesophageal stoma remained stable, without any complications such as pharyngeal fistula or inflammation. No oesophageal stricture or granuloma growth was observed. All patients reported significant improvement in their nutritional status and quality of life after the oesophagostomy surgery.
Cervical oesophagostomy is a valid and feasible method of treating severe dysphagia following radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Oesophagostomy shows specific advantages over nasogastric tubing, gastrostomy and jejunostomy. Patients' nutrition and quality of life can be improved significantly if cervical oesophagostomy is executed in a timely fashion, especially in cases with severe trismus and multiple radiation-induced cranial nerve palsies unresponsive to rehabilitation.
In recent years, human leptospirosis has been reported in Jinping and Liping counties, Guizhou province, but the leptospires have never been isolated. To track the source of infection and understand the aetiological characteristics, we performed surveillance for field mice carriage of leptospirosis in 2011. Four strains of leptospire were isolated from Apodemus agrarius. PCR confirmed the four isolates as pathogenic. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) showed that the four strains were closely related to serovar Lai strain 56601 belonging to serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae, which is consistent with the antibody detection results from local patients. Furthermore, the diversity of leptospiral isolates from different hosts and regions was demonstrated with MLVA. Our results suggest that A. agrarius may be the main carrier of Leptospira in Jinping and Liping counties, and the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae serovar may be the epidemic serogroup of Leptospira. This will contribute to the control and prevention of leptospirosis in these localities.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia. Its relationship with duration of untreated psychosis (DUP), a potentially malleable prognostic factor, has been less studied, with inconsistent findings being observed in the literature. Previous research investigating such a relationship was mostly cross-sectional and none of those prospective studies had a follow-up duration beyond 2 years.
A total of 93 Hong Kong Chinese aged 18 to 55 years presenting with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorder were studied. DUP and pre-morbid adjustment were measured using a structured interview incorporating multiple sources of information. Psychopathological evaluation was administered at intake, after clinical stabilization of the first psychotic episode, and at 12, 24 and 36 months. Cognitive functions were measured at clinical stabilization, and at 12, 24 and 36 months.
DUP exerted differential effects on various cognitive domains, with memory deficits being the most related to DUP even when potential confounders including pre-morbid adjustment and sex were adjusted. Prolonged DUP was associated with more severe impairment in visual memory at clinical stabilization and verbal memory at 24 and 36 months. Further, patients with a long DUP were found to have worse outcomes on negative symptoms at 36 months. The effects of DUP on verbal memory remained significant even when negative symptoms were taken into consideration.
Our findings provided further supportive evidence that delayed treatment to first-episode psychosis is associated with poorer cognitive and clinical outcomes. In addition, DUP may specifically affect memory function and its adverse impact on verbal memory may only become evident at a later stage of the recovery process.