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The meat quality of chicken is an important factor affecting the consumer’s health. It was hypothesized that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) could be effectively deposited in chicken, by incorporating antioxidation of soybean isoflavone (SI), which led to improved quality of chicken meat for good health of human beings. Effects of partial or complete dietary substitution of lard (LA) with linseed oil (LO), with or without SI on growth performance, biochemical indicators, meat quality, fatty acid profiles, lipid-related health indicators and gene expression of breast muscle were examined in chickens. A total of 900 males were fed a corn–soybean meal diet supplemented with 4% LA, 2% LA + 2% LO and 4% LO and the latter two including 30 mg SI/kg (2% LA + 2% LO + SI and 4% LO + SI) from 29 to 66 days of age; each of the five dietary treatments included six replicates of 30 birds. Compared with the 4% LA diet, dietary 4% LO significantly increased the feed efficiency and had no negative effect on objective indices related to meat quality; LO significantly decreased plasma triglycerides and total cholesterol (TCH); abdominal fat percentage was significantly decreased in birds fed the 4% LO and 4% LO + SI diets. Chickens with LO diets resulted in higher contents of α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3), EPA (C20:5n-3) and total n-3 PUFA, together with a lower content of palmitic acid (C16:0), lignoceric acid (C24:0), saturated fatty acids and n-6:n-3 ratio in breast muscle compared to 4% LA diet (P < 0.05); they also significantly decreased atherogenic index, thrombogenic index and increased the hypocholesterolemic to hypercholesterolemic ratio. Adding SI to the LO diets enhanced the contents of EPA and DHA (C22:6n-3), plasma total superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione and muscle GSH content, while decreased plasma total triglyceride and TCH and malondialdehyde content in plasma and breast muscle compared to its absence (P < 0.05). Expression in breast muscle of fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), FADS2, elongase 2 (ELOVL2) and ELOVL5 genes were significantly higher with the LO diets including SI than with the 4% LA diet. Significant interactions existed between LO level and inclusion of SI on EPA and TCH contents. These findings indicate that diet supplemented with LO combined with SI is an effective alternative when optimizing the nutritional value of chicken meat for human consumers.
Porphyromonas gingivalis has been linked to the development and progression of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and is considered to be a high-risk factor for ESCC. Currently, the commonly used methods for P. gingivalis detection are culture or DNA extraction-based, which are either time and labour intensive especially for high-throughput applications. We aimed to establish and evaluate a rapid and sensitive direct quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) protocol for the detection of P. gingivalis without DNA extraction which is suitable for large-scale epidemiological studies. Paired gingival swab samples from 192 subjects undergoing general medical examinations were analysed using two direct and one extraction-based qPCR assays for P. gingivalis. Tris-EDTA buffer-based direct qPCR (TE-direct qPCR), lysis-based direct qPCR (lysis-direct qPCR) and DNA extraction-based qPCR (kit-qPCR) were used, respectively, in 192, 132 and 60 of these samples for quantification of P. gingivalis. The sensitivity and specificity of TE-direct qPCR was 95.24% and 100% compared with lysis-direct qPCR, which was 100% and 97.30% when compared with kit-qPCR; TE-direct qPCR had an almost perfect agreement with lysis-direct qPCR (κ = 0.954) and kit-qPCR (κ = 0.965). Moreover, the assay time used for TE-direct qPCR was 1.5 h. In conclusion, the TE-direct qPCR assay is a simple and efficient method for the quantification of oral P. gingivalis and showed high sensitivity and specificity compared with routine qPCR.
The modelling of edge carbon transport and emission on EAST tokamak under resonant magnetic perturbation (RMP) fields has been conducted with the three-dimensional edge transport code EMC3-EIRENE. The measured vertical distribution of CVI emission by the extreme ultraviolet spectrometer system for the perturbed case shows a reduction in the CVI emission by 20 % compared to the equilibrium case. The chord-integrated CVI emission can be reconstructed by EMC3-EIRENE modelling, which presents an increase in the CVI emission with RMP fields. The discrepancy between experiments and simulations has been investigated by parameter study to examine the sensitivity of the simulation results on the edge plasma conditions and the impurity perpendicular transport. It is found that the variation of edge plasma conditions for the equilibrium case cannot resolve the discrepancy in the CVI emission between simulations and measurements. The simulations with enhanced impurity perpendicular transport coefficient allows a reasonable agreement with the measured reduction of CVI emission.
The emergence of commercial electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) equipment ushered in an era of information rich maps produced by determining the orientation of user-selected crystal structures. Since then, a technological revolution has occurred in the quality, rate detection, and analysis of these diffractions patterns. The next revolution in EBSD is the ability to directly utilize the information rich diffraction patterns in a high-throughput manner. Aided by machine learning techniques, this new methodology is, as demonstrated herein, capable of accurately separating phases in a material by crystal symmetry, chemistry, and even lattice parameters with fewer human decisions. This work is the first demonstration of such capabilities and addresses many of the major challenges faced in modern EBSD. Diffraction patterns are collected from a variety of samples, and a convolutional neural network, a type of machine learning algorithm, is trained to autonomously recognize the subtle differences in the diffraction patterns and output phase maps of the material. This study offers a path to machine learning coupled phase mapping as databases of EBSD patterns encompass an increasing number of the possible space groups, chemistry changes, and lattice parameter variations.
Ovarian follicle selection is a natural biological process in the pre-ovulatory hierarchy in birds that drives growing follicles to be selected within the ovulatory cycle. Follicle selection in birds is strictly regulated, involving signaling pathways mediated by dietary nutrients, gonadotrophic hormones and paracrine factors. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that dietary Ca may participate in regulating follicle selection in laying ducks through activating the signaling pathway of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), possibly mediated by gonadotrophic hormones. Female ducks at 22 weeks of age were initially fed one of two Ca-deficient diets (containing 1.8% or 0.38% Ca) or a Ca-adequate control diet (containing 3.6% Ca) for 67 days (depletion period), then all birds were fed the Ca-adequate diet for an additional 67 days (repletion period). Compared with the Ca-adequate control, ducks fed 0.38% Ca during the depletion period had significantly decreased (P < 0.05) numbers of hierarchical follicles and total ovarian weight, which were accompanied by reduced egg production. Plasma concentration of FSH was decreased by the diet containing 1.8% Ca but not by that containing 0.38%. The ovarian content of cAMP was increased with the two Ca-deficient diets, and phosphorylation of PKA and ERK1/2 was increased with 0.38% dietary Ca. Transcripts of ovarian estradiol receptor 2 and luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) were reduced in the ducks fed the two Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05), while those of the ovarian follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) were decreased in the ducks fed 0.38% Ca. The transcript abundance of ovary gap junction proteins, A1 and A4, was reduced with the Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05). The down-regulation of gene expression of gap junction proteins and hormone receptors, the increased cAMP content and the suppressed hierarchical follicle numbers were reversed by repletion of dietary Ca. These results indicate that dietary Ca deficiency negatively affects follicle selection of laying ducks, independent of FSH, but probably by activating cAMP/PKA/ERK1/2 signaling pathway.
Introduction: Physician metrics extracted from an electronic medical records (EMR) system can be utilized for practice improvement. One key metric analyzed at many emergency departments (EDs) is ‘patients per hour’ (pts/hr), a proxy for physician productivity. It is often believed that early-career physicians experience rapid growth in efficiency as they acclimatize to a hospital system and develop clinical confidence. This is the first study to evaluate the following question: Do early-career ED physicians increase their productivity when beginning practice? Methods: We performed a retrospective review of EMR data of early-career ED physicians working at one or more urban, academic centers. Early-career physicians must have started practice within three months of residency completion, and were identified by privileging records and provincial medical college registration. Physicians were excluded if they did not have at least 36 months of continuous data. Monthly productivity data (pts/hr) was extracted for each physician for their first 36-months of practice. A ‘performance curve’ or graph with a trendline of productivity as a moving average was created for each physician. Each performance curve was visually evaluated by two independent reviewers to qualitatively identify the general trend as upward, downward, or stable, with disagreements resolved by conference. Each physician's first and third year average productivity was compared quantitatively as well, with a significant upward or downward trend defined as a difference of at least 0.2 pts/hr. Results: A total of 41 physicians met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Overall monthly pts/hr averages ranged from 1.08 to 7.65. Upon visual inspection, six (14.6%) physicians had upward trends, five (12.2%) had downward trends, and 30 (73.2%) had no discernable pattern. The quantitative analysis comparing first year to third year productivity matched the qualitative inspection exactly, with the same six physicians showing increased productivity, five with decreased, and 30 without significant change. Notably, the majority (30/41) of physicians demonstrated radical productivity variations over short periods with no discernable long-term trends. Conclusion: The majority of early career physicians do not demonstrate sustained early-career productivity changes. Of those that do, an approximately equal number will become faster and slower.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) flow is a strong predictor of patient safety, quality of care and provider satisfaction. Throughput interventions have been shown to improve flow metrics, yet few studies have considered MD leadership roles and evaluated provider experience. Our objective was to evaluate the emergency physician lead (EPL) role, a novel MD staffing initiative. Methods: This mixed-method observational time series analysis evaluated ED metrics at two tertiary EDs including ED length of stay (LOS), EMS Park LOS and physician initial assessment (PIA) time as well as 72-hour readmit and left without being seen (LWBS) rates. Data was collected from the ED information system database for control (Dec 6, 2017-Feb 28, 2018 SITE1 and Mar 1–May 31, 2018 SITE2), pre (Sept 3-Nov 30, 2018 SITE 1 and Dec 3, 2018-Feb 28, 2019 SITE2) and post (Dec 3, 2018 –Feb 28, 2019 SITE1, Mar 1- May 31, 2019 SITE2) periods for adult patients presenting to each site. Site data was analyzed independently using descriptive and inferential statistics to calculate differences in means, and means were compared using t-tests. A survey elicited provider feedback from ED physicians, nurses, and EMS professionals on the effect of the EPL on throughput, timeliness of admissions and discharges, provider workload, and the EPL as a resource to other professionals. Results: The number of ED visits at SITE1 were 13136 (Ctrl), 13236 (Pre) and 13137 (Post), and at SITE2 were 14371(Ctrl), 13866 (Pre) and 14962 (Post). Mean ED LOS was decreased by 17 min in post vs control and 20 min vs pre at SITE1 (p < 0.01). SITE2 saw an increase in ED LOS by 7 min vs control and 8 min vs pre (p < 0.01). EMS LOS at SITE1 was decreased by 21 min vs control and 22 min vs pre (p < 0.01), but was increased at SITE2 by 2 min vs control (p = 0.09) and 14 min vs pre (p < 0.01). PIA time at SITE1 was decreased by 15 min vs control (p < 0.01) and 13 min vs pre and increased by 5 min vs control and 12 min vs pre at SITE2 (p < 0.01). 72 hour readmit and LWBS rates were unchanged at both sites. Qualitative feedback from ED providers highlighted the early provision of treatments and investigations by the EPL, and many felt the EPL was an important resource. Conclusion: The inclusion of both quantitative and qualitative data in this study provided a robust analysis of the impact of the EPL role and demonstrated modest but important improvements. A site-dependent, carefully considered implementation of the EPL role may improve ED metrics and provider experiences.
Introduction: Calgary's introduction of rentable electronic scooters (e-scooters) in July of 2019 was met with wild popularity, representing the third most popular launch after Tel-Aviv and Paris. The present study aims to characterize the injury burden seen in all Calgary Emergency Departments (EDs) and Urgent Care Centres (UCCs) attributable to e-scooters since their 2019 introduction. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all electronic medical records of patients presenting to Calgary EDs or UCCs with the term “scooter” in the triage note, where exclusion criteria are considered for non e-scooter injuries (e.g: non-motorized scooters). Trends in scooter injuries will be compared between April - October 2018 (control arm preceding e-scooter introduction) and April - October 2019. Injury incidence, types, patient demographics, and relative risk compared to bicycle-related injuries will be determined. Descriptive statistics will be calculated. Moreover, 33 ED visits were brought in by EMS and provide information about injury types and locations of injuries involving EMS transport. Results: Preliminary data reveals 540 scooter-related visits (3.10% admitted/transferred) between July 8th and September 30th 2019 (mean age of 28, 56.30% male). Conversely, the number of bicycle-related visits and motor vehicle related injuries were 1482 and 586 (9.90% and 9.70% admitted/transferred) respectively over the same time period suggesting a greater burden but likely a lower per-ride incidence of injury requiring ED or UCC care. Moreover, between July 8th to October 1st 2019, 33 e-scooter presentations involved EMS (21.21% admitted to hospital), where 12.12% involved upper extremity injury, 21.21% were lower extremity injuries, and 6.06% were head injuries (mean age of 34, 48.48% male). Conversely, estimated EMS transfers to EDs or UCCs for bicycle injuries and motor vehicle injuries were 197 and 463 respectively over the same time period. ICU admissions or fatality were not recorded. Conclusion: Representing the most comprehensive study of e-scooter injury patterns in Canada to date, we here demonstrate a significant injury burden attributable to e-scooters following their introduction in Calgary in 2019. Bicycle-related and motor vehicle injuries were both more prevalent in this time period, and required more EMS visits. Further characterization of injury types, injuries and comparison with injury patterns prior to e-scooter introduction is yet to be determined.
Background: Traditionally, radiologists have routinely recommended oral contrast agents (such as Telebrix®) for patients undergoing a computed tomography of the abdomen/pelvis (CTAP), but recent evidence has shown limited diagnostic benefits for most emergency department (ED) patients. Additionally, the use of oral contrast has numerous drawbacks, including patient nausea/vomiting, risk of aspiration and delays to CTAP completion and increased ED length of stay (LOS). Aim Statement: The aim was to safely reduce the number of ED patients receiving oral contrast prior to undergoing CTAP and thereby reduce ED length of stay. Measures & Design: An evidence-based ED protocol was developed in collaboration with radiology. PDSA cycle #1 was implementation at a pilot site to identify potential barriers. Challenges identified included the need to change the electronic order sets to reflect the new protocol, improved communication with frontline providers and addition of an online BMI calculator. PDSA cycle #2 was widespread implementation across all 4 ED's in the Calgary zone. The protocol was incorporated into all relevant electronic ED order sets to act as a physician prompt. Using administrative data, we extracted and analyzed data using descriptive and inferential statistics for the outcomes and balancing measures from a period of 12 months pre- and 12 months post-intervention. Evaluation/Results: A total of 14,868 and 17,995 CTAP exams were included in the pre and post periods, respectively. There was a reduction in usage of oral contrast from 71% to 30% (P < 0.0001) in the pre- and post-study period, respectively. This corresponded to a reduction in average time of CT requisition to CT report completed from 3.30 hours to 2.31 hours (-0.99 hrs, P = 0.001) and a reduction in average ED LOS from 11.01 hours to 9.92 hours (-1.08 hrs, P < 0.0001). The protocol resulted in a reduction of 19,434.6 patient hrs in the ED. Run charts demonstrate change was sustained over time. Our protocol did not demonstrate an increase in rates of repeat CTAP (P = 0.563) at 30 days, nor an increase in patient re-admission within 7 days (P = 0.295). Discussion/Impact: Successful implementation of an ED and radiology developed protocol significantly reduced the use of oral contrast in patients requiring enhanced CTAP as part of their diagnostic work up and, thereby, reduced overall ED LOS without increasing the need for repeat examinations within 30 days or re-admission within 7 days.
Introduction: Rapid diagnostic algorithms using high-sensitivity cardiac troponin can rapidly diagnose or exclude acute myocardial infarction (MI). However, multiple algorithms have been proposed and it is unclear if some outperform others. The objective of this study was to prospectively compare the diagnostic performance of 1- and 2-hour algorithms in clinical practice in a Canadian population. Methods: Emergency department patients with chest pain had high-sensitivity cardiac troponin-T (hs-cTnT) collected on presentation and 1- and 2-hours later at a single academic tertiary hospital and regional percutaneous coronary intervention site over a 2-year period. The primary outcome was index MI, the secondary outcome was 30-day major adverse cardiac events (MACE). All outcomes were 2 physician adjudicated. Results: We enrolled 1,167 patients with hs-cTnT collected on ED presentation. Of these, 350 had a valid 1-hour and 550 had a 2-hour hs-cTnT sample. Index MI prevalence was ~11%. Sensitivity of the 1- and 2-hour algorithms for index MI was 97.3% (95% CI 85.8-99.9%) and 100% (95% CI 91.6-100%) and for 30-day MACE was 80.9% (95% CI 66.7-90.9%) and 83.3% (95% CI 73.2-90.8%), respectively. The 1-hour algorithm was 96.3% specific for index MI (95% CI 93.8-98.2%) whereas specificity for the 2-hour algorithm was 97.9% (95% CI 96.3-100%). Both algorithms classified about one-quarter of patients in an indeterminate observational zone with an ~11% MI prevalence. Conclusion: Both the 1- and 2-hour algorithms were highly sensitive and specific for MI, but were less sensitive for 30-day MACE. However, the 2-hour algorithm trended toward better performance, likely because its larger delta cutoffs reduce the risk of misclassification owing to analytic variability. These findings suggest algorithms using larger delta cutoffs may provide a greater margin of safety. Further comparative evaluation of rapid diagnostic algorithms using different cutoffs and characterization of patients in the observational zone is warranted.
Background: Ketorolac has long been used to manage pain in the Emergency Department and has the advantage of being the only parenteral NSAID formulation. Despite multiple studies demonstrating an analgesic ceiling dose of 10mg for intravenous ketorolac, higher doses (30-60mg) are commonly ordered. Use of optimal doses of ketorolac (10mg) has the advantage of lower side effects and cost. Aim Statement: The aim of this project was to increase the usage of the optimal dose parenteral ketorolac (10mg) without increasing the use of additional, concomitant or rescue opioids (balancing measures). Measures & Design: This pre-/post-intervention comparison study (May 1, 2016 to April 30, 2018) included all patients ≥18 years of age that received parenteral ketorolac at one of 4 EDs in the Calgary zone. All data was captured via administrative data records. Stakeholders (ED leadership, analgesia committee, nursing and pharmacy) provided feedback and support for the project. Our multi-modal intervention included modifying all ED computerized order sets such that the default parenteral ketorolac dose was 10mg (post-intervention) from 30mg (pre-intervention), education (dissemination of evidence to support the changes to clinicians) and our pharmacy securing 10mg vials of ketorolac. At their discretion, physicians’ were still able to order other doses of ketorolac. Evaluation/Results: During the 2 year study period, 19290 patient records were identified where parenteral ketorolac was administered during the ED visit. Baseline characteristics were similar between the pre/post periods. Prior to the change in default dosing, 10.5% of orders were for ketorolac 10mg compared to 87% in the post-intervention period (p < 0.000). Statistical process charts support the above results and demonstrate that the changes have been sustained. There were no differences in patients receiving ketorolac as the only analgesic between the pre/post periods (42% vs 42%, p = 0.396), nor where there significant changes in concomitant opioid usage (46% vs 46%, p = 0.817), or rescue analgesia (11% vs 12%, p = 0.097). Discussion/Impact: In this large cohort, our multi-modal intervention, resulted in a significant increase in optimal ketorolac parenteral dosing without a significant change in additional opioid use. The results support the utility of computerized order set changes as the cornerstone of an effective and rapid knowledge translation strategy to align physician practice with best evidence.
Introduction: Very low high-sensitivity troponin-T (hs-cTnT) concentrations on presentation can rule out acute myocardial infarction (AMI), but the ability to identify patients at low risk of 30-day major adverse cardiac events (MACE) is less clear. This study examines the sensitivity of low concentrations of hs-cTnT on presentation to rule out 30-day MACE. Methods: This prospective cohort study enrolled emergency department chest pain patients with non-ischemic ECGs who underwent AMI rule-out with an hs-cTnT assay. The primary outcome was 30-day MACE; secondary outcomes were individual MACE components. Because guidelines recommend using a single hs-cTnT strategy only for patients with more than 3-hours since symptom onset, a subgroup analysis was performed for this population. Outcomes were adjudicated based on review of medical records and telephone follow-up. Results: Of 1,167 patients enrolled, 125 (10.7%) experienced 30-day MACE and 97 (8.3%) suffered AMI on the index visit. More than one-third (35.6%) had presenting hs-cTnT concentrations below the limit of detection (5ng/L), which was 94.4% (95%CI 88.8-97.7%) sensitive for 30-day MACE and 99.0% (95%CI 94.5-100%) sensitive for index AMI. Of 292 (25.0%) patients with hs-cTnT < 5ng/L and at least 3-hours since symptom onset, only 3 experienced 30-day MACE (sensitivity 97.6%, 95%CI 93.2-100%) and none suffered AMI within 30-days (sensitivity 100%, 95%CI 96.3-100%). Conclusion: Among patients with non-ischemic ECGs and >3-hours since symptom onset, low hs-cTnT concentrations on presentation confer a very low risk of 30-day MACE. In the absence of a high risk clinical presentation, further risk stratification is likely to be low yield.
We present a long-term seasonal tree ring cellulose oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) time series created by analyzing four segments (S1, S2, S3, and S4) per year during the period of 1951–2009 from southeastern Tibetan Plateau. This intraseasonal δ18Oc reveals the onset and mature phase of the summer monsoon precipitation in this region. Analysis indicates that the δ18Oc of S1 has the strongest correlation with precipitation during the regional monsoon onset (29–33 pentads, May 21–June 10, r = −0.69), and the δ18Oc values for S2, S3, and S4 correlate strongly with June, July, and August precipitation, respectively. Combined δ18Oc of S2, S3, and S4 shows the most robust correlation (r = −0.82) with the mature-phase monsoon precipitation (June-July-August, JJA), passing rigorous statistical tests for calibration and verification in dendroclimatology. These results demonstrate the feasibility in using long-term intraseasonal δ18Oc to reconstruct the Asian summer monsoon's intraseasonal variations.
Se can enhance lactation performance by improving nutrient utilization and antioxidant status. However, sodium selenite (SS) can be reduced to non-absorbable elemental Se in the rumen, thereby reducing the intestinal availability of Se. The study investigated the impacts of SS and coated SS (CSS) supplementation on lactation performance, nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation and microbiota in dairy cows. Sixty multiparous Holstein dairy cows were blocked by parity, daily milk yield and days in milk and randomly assigned to five treatments: control, SS addition (0.3 mg Se/kg DM as SS addition) or CSS addition (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg Se/kg DM as CSS addition for low CSS (LCSS), medium CSS (MCSS) and high CSS (HCSS), respectively). Experiment period was 110 days with 20 days of adaptation and 90 days of sample collection. Dry matter intake was higher for MCSS and HCSS compared with control. Yields of milk, milk fat and milk protein and feed efficiency were higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Digestibility of DM and organic matter was highest for CSS addition, followed by SS addition and then control. Digestibility of CP was higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Higher digestibility of ether extract, NDF and ADF was observed for SS or CSS addition. Ruminal pH decreased with dietary Se addition. Acetate to propionate ratio and ammonia N were lower, and total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentration was greater for SS, MCSS and HCSS than control. Ruminal H ion concentration was highest for MCSS and HCSS and lowest for control. Activities of cellobiase, carboxymethyl-cellulase, xylanase and protease and copies of total bacteria, fungi, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus amylophilus increased with SS or CSS addition. Activity of α-amylase, copies of protozoa, Ruminococcus albus and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and serum glucose, total protein, albumin and glutathione peroxidase were higher for SS, MCSS and HCSS than for control and LCSS. Dietary SS or CSS supplementation elevated blood Se concentration and total antioxidant capacity activity. The data implied that milk yield was elevated due to the increase in total tract nutrient digestibility, total VFA concentration and microorganism population with 0.2 or 0.3 mg Se/kg DM from CSS supplementation in dairy cows. Compared with SS, HCSS addition was more efficient in promoting lactation performance of dairy cows.
Accretionary orogens contain key evidence for the conversion of oceanic to continental crust. The late tectonic history and closure time of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean are recorded in the Mazongshan subduction–accretion complex in the southern Beishan margin of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. We present new data on the structure, petrology, geochemistry and zircon U–Pb isotope ages of the Mazongshan subduction–accretion complex, which is a tectonic mélange with a block-in-matrix structure. The blocks are of serpentinized peridotite, basalt, gabbro, basaltic andesite, chert and seamount sediments within a matrix that is mainly composed of fore-arc-trench turbidites. U–Pb zircon ages of two gabbros are 454.6 ± 2.5 Ma and 434.1 ± 3.6 Ma, an andesite has a U–Pb zircon age of 451.3 ± 3.5 Ma and a tuffaceous slate has the youngest U–Pb zircon age of 353.6 ± 5.1 Ma. These new isotopic ages, combined with published data on ophiolitic mélanges from central Beishan, indicate that the subduction–accretion of Beishan in the southernmost Central Asian Orogenic Belt lasted until Late Ordovician – Early Carboniferous time. Structure and age data demonstrate that the younging direction of accretion was southwards and that the subduction zone dipped continuously to the north. Accordingly, these results record the conversion of oceanic to continental crust in the southern Beishan accretionary collage.
There is an urgent need for vaccines to the 2019 coronavirus (COVID19; SARS-CoV-2). Vaccine development may not be straightforward, due to antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Antibodies against viral surface proteins can, in some cases, increase infection severity by ADE. This phenomenon occurs in SARS-CoV-1, MERS, HIV, Zika, and dengue virus infection and vaccination. Lack of high-affinity anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG in children may explain the decreased severity of infection in these groups. Here, we discuss the evidence for ADE in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection and how to address this potential translational barrier to vaccine development, convalescent plasma, and targeted monoclonal antibody therapies.
To evaluate the upper airway morphology changes associated with ageing in adult Chinese patients with obstructive sleep apnoea.
A total of 124 male patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea by overnight polysomnography, who underwent upper airway computed tomography, were enrolled. The linear dimensions, cross-sectional area and volume of the upper airway region and the surrounding bony frame were measured. The association between ageing and upper airway morphology was analysed.
Soft palate length, minimum cross-sectional area of the retroglossal region, lateral dimensions at the minimum cross-sectional area of the retropalatal and retroglossal regions, nasopharyngeal volume, and average cross-sectional area of the nasopharyngeal region were found to significantly increase with ageing in all patients, while the upper airway shape flattened with ageing. The volume of the retropalatal region increased with ageing among the patients with a body mass index of less than 24 kg/m2. The volume of parapharyngeal fat pad increased with ageing among patients with a body mass index greater than 28 kg/m2.
A number of dimensional, cross-sectional and volumetric parameters of the pharynx increased with age, indicating that non-anatomical factors may play a more important role in the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnoea in aged patients.
Health anxiety is an under-recognised but a frequent cause of distress. It is particularly common in general hospitals.
We carried out an 8-year follow-up of medical out-patients with health anxiety (hypochondriasis) enrolled in a randomised-controlled trial in five general hospitals in London, Middlesex and Nottinghamshire. Randomisation was to a mean of six sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy adapted for health anxiety (CBT-HA) or to standard care in the clinics. The primary outcome was a change in score on the Short Health Anxiety Inventory, with generalised anxiety and depression as secondary outcomes. Of 444 patients aged 16–75 years seen in cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology and respiratory medicine clinics, 306 (68.9%) were followed-up 8 years after randomisation, including 36 who had died. The study is registered with controlled-trials.com, ISRCTN14565822.
There was a significant difference in the HAI score in favour of CBT-HA over standard care after 8 years [1.83, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.25–3.40, p = 0.023], between group differences in generalised anxiety were less (0.54, 95% CI −0.29 to 1.36), p = 0.20, ns), but those for depression were greater at 8 years (1.22, 95% CI 0.42–2.01, p < 0.003) in CBT-HA than in standard care, most in standard care satisfying the criteria for clinical depression. Those seen by nurse therapists and in cardiology and gastrointestinal clinics achieved the greatest gains with CBT-HA, with greater improvement in both symptoms and social function.
CBT-HA is a highly long-term effective treatment for pathological health anxiety with long-term benefits. Standard care for health anxiety in medical clinics promotes depression. Nurse therapists are effective practitioners.
Tuberculosis (TB) is generally considered a disease that principally afflicts the low-income segments of a population. In the Nanshan District of Shenzhen, China, with the economic transformation and a new Headquarters Economy (HE) emerging, there are now more cases in office workers than in manufacturing workers. To illustrate this trend, we describe a small TB outbreak in an office building located in the centre of the rapidly growing HE district. Two active pulmonary tuberculosis cases were found in workers who shared an office, and whole genome sequencing showed that the genetic distance between the strains of the two cases was just one single nucleotide polymorphism, consistent with intra-office transmission. Investigation of 30 other workers in the same or adjacent offices with interviews, interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) and chest X-rays, identified one new TB case and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in 40.0% (12/30) of the contacts. The offices were under-ventilated. None of the IGRA positive, asymptomatic contacts agreed to receive treatment for LTBI, presumably due to TB stigma, and over the next 2 years 69.0% (20/29) of the contacts were lost to follow-up. Treatment for LTBI and stigma of TB remain challenges here. Office workers in the HE of rapidly economic developing areas should be targeted with increased vigilance by TB control programmes.
We formulate a model for the dynamic growth of a membrane developing in a flow as the result of a precipitation reaction, a situation inspired by recent microfluidic experiments. The precipitating solid introduces additional forces on the fluid and eventually forms a membrane that is fixed in the flow due to adhesion with a substrate. A key challenge is that, in general, the location of the immobile membrane is unknown a priori. To model this situation, we use a multiphase framework with fluid and membrane phases; the aqueous chemicals exist as scalar fields that react within the fluid to induce phase change. To verify that the model exhibits desired fluid–structure behaviours, we make simplifying assumptions to obtain a reduced form of the equations that is amenable to exact solution. This analysis demonstrates no-slip behaviour on the developing membrane without requiring fluid–membrane interface boundary conditions. The model has applications towards precipitate reactions where the precipitate greatly affects the surrounding flow, a situation appearing in many laboratory and geophysical contexts including the hydrothermal vent theory for the origin of life. More generally, this model can be used to address fluid–structure interaction problems that feature the dynamic generation of structures.