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The concept of fractals (or fractional dimensions), although known earlier, was formalized theoretically and given that name in 1967 by Mandelbrot. A fractal is some object, whether mathematically constructed or observed in the physical world, that exhibits scale in variance—that is, it looks essentially the same at all scales, or over some range of scales. Objects that exhibit fractal geometry and that are measured in the same units in both the x and y directions are said to be self-similar; geologic examples of self-similar fractals are a rocky coastline and a topographic contour, for which the east-west and north-south coordinates of any point are expressed in, say, meters or kilometers. Objects that exhibit fractal geometry but which are measured in different units along x and y are said to be selfaffine fractals; an example of a self-affine fractal is a topographic profile, in which the horizontal dimension is measured in kilometers and the vertical dimension is measured in meters.
Although maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) are related to fetal growth, there is a paucity of data regarding how offspring sex affects the relationship between maternal BMI in underweight mothers (pre-pregnancy BMI <18.5 kg/m2) and size for gestational age at birth. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of offspring sex on the relationships among maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, GWG and size for gestational age at birth in Japanese underweight mothers. Records of women with full-term pregnancies who underwent perinatal care at Kawasaki Municipal Hospital (Kawasaki, Japan) between January 2013 and December 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. The study cohort included underweight (n=566) and normal-weight women (18.5 kg/m2⩽pre-pregnancy BMI<25 kg/m2; n=2671). The incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) births in the underweight group was significantly higher than that in the normal-weight group (P<0.01). Additionally, SGA incidence in the underweight group was significantly higher than that in the normal-weight group (P<0.01) in female, but not male (P=0.30) neonates. In the women with female neonates, pre-pregnancy underweight was associated with a significantly increased probability of SGA (odds ratio [OR]: 1.80; P<0.01), but inadequate GWG was not (OR: 1.38; P=0.11). In contrast, in women with male neonates, inadequate GWG was associated with a significantly increased probability of SGA (OR: 1.53; P=0.03), but not with pre-pregnancy underweight (OR: 1.30; P=0.10). In conclusion, the present results suggest that pre-pregnancy underweight is associated with SGA in female offspring but not in male offspring.
The study aimed at assessing stunting, wasting and breast-feeding as correlates of body composition in Cambodian children. As part of a nutrition trial (ISRCTN19918531), fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were measured using 2H dilution at 6 and 15 months of age. Of 419 infants enrolled, 98 % were breastfed, 15 % stunted and 4 % wasted at 6 months. At 15 months, 78 % were breastfed, 24 % stunted and 11 % wasted. Those not breastfed had lower FMI at 6 months but not at 15 months. Stunted children had lower FM at 6 months and lower FFM at 6 and 15 months compared with children with length-for-age z ≥0. Stunting was not associated with height-adjusted indexes fat mass index (FMI) or fat-free mass index (FFMI). Wasted children had lower FM, FFM, FMI and FFMI at 6 and 15 months compared with children with weight-for-length z (WLZ) ≥0. Generally, FFM and FFMI deficits increased with age, whereas FM and FMI deficits decreased, reflecting interactions between age and WLZ. For example, the FFM deficits were –0·99 (95 % CI –1·26, –0·72) kg at 6 months and –1·44 (95 % CI –1·69; –1·19) kg at 15 months (interaction, P<0·05), while the FMI deficits were –2·12 (95 % CI –2·53, –1·72) kg/m2 at 6 months and –1·32 (95 % CI –1·77, –0·87) kg/m2 at 15 months (interaction, P<0·05). This indicates that undernourished children preserve body fat at the detriment of fat-free tissue, which may have long-term consequences for health and working capacity.
The status of Asian populations of the Eurasian otter Lutra lutra is largely unknown. Since its designation as a Natural Monument (in 1983) and as Endangered (in 1997) in South Korea the authorities there have been trying to conserve and recover the species. We conducted a national otter survey by standard methods in 2017 and compared the current otter distribution to those recorded in a previous survey (2010). We found otter signs in 84.5% of 1,105 10 × 10 km grid cells, with the highest sprainting intensity in the south-west in the Yeongsan River Basin and on the south coast, where we recorded 7.05 and 6.26 spraints/site, respectively. Despite relatively low spraint densities, the otter has expanded its range since 2010 by colonizing urban areas. This trend suggests that South Korea could be a source area for the recovery of the Eurasian otter in East Asia.
Given the challenges in accurately identifying unexposed controls in case–control studies of diarrhoea, we examined diarrhoea incidence, subclinical enteric infections and growth stunting within a reference population in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study, Kenya site. Within ‘control’ children (0–59 months old without diarrhoea in the 7 days before enrolment, n = 2384), we examined surveys at enrolment and 60-day follow-up, stool at enrolment and a 14-day post-enrolment memory aid for diarrhoea incidence. At enrolment, 19% of controls had ⩾1 enteric pathogen associated with moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (‘MSD pathogens’) in stool; following enrolment, many reported diarrhoea (27% in 7 days, 39% in 14 days). Controls with and without reported diarrhoea had similar carriage of MSD pathogens at enrolment; however, controls reporting diarrhoea were more likely to report visiting a health facility for diarrhoea (27% vs. 7%) or fever (23% vs. 16%) at follow-up than controls without diarrhoea. Odds of stunting differed by both MSD and ‘any’ (including non-MSD pathogens) enteric pathogen carriage, but not diarrhoea, suggesting control classification may warrant modification when assessing long-term outcomes. High diarrhoea incidence following enrolment and prevalent carriage of enteric pathogens have implications for sequelae associated with subclinical enteric infections and for design and interpretation of case–control studies examining diarrhoea.
To evaluate the relationships between maternal fish consumption and pregnancy outcomes in a large, population-based sample of women in the USA.
We collected average fish consumption prior to pregnancy using a modified version of the semi-quantitative Willett FFQ. We estimated adjusted OR (aOR) and 95 % CI for associations between different levels of fish consumption and preterm birth (<37 weeks), early preterm birth (<32 and <35 weeks) and small-for-gestational-age infants (SGA; <10th percentile).
The National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS).
Control mother–infant pairs with estimated delivery dates between 1997 and 2011 (n 10 919).
No significant associations were observed between fish consumption and preterm birth or early preterm birth (aOR = 0·7–1·0 and 0·7–0·9, respectively). The odds of having an SGA infant were elevated (aOR = 2·1; 95 % CI 1·2, 3·4) among women with daily fish consumption compared with women consuming fish less than once per month. No associations were observed between other levels of fish consumption and SGA (aOR = 0·8–1·0).
High intake of fish was associated with twofold higher odds of having an SGA infant, while moderate fish consumption prior to pregnancy was not associated with preterm or SGA. Our study, like many other studies in this area, lacked information regarding preparation methods and the specific types of fish consumed. Future studies should incorporate information on nutrient and contaminant contents, preparation methods and biomarkers to assess these relationships.
The present study aimed to identify the factors that affect immediate (within 24 h after farrowing onset) postnatal piglet mortality in litters with hyperprolific sows, and investigate their associations with behaviour of postpartum sows in two different farrowing housing systems. A total of 30 sows were housed in: (1) CRATE (n=15): the farrowing crate closed (0.80×2.20 m) within a pen (2.50×1.70 m), and (2) OPEN (n=15): the farrowing crate open (0.80×2.20×1.80 m) within a pen (2.50×2.40 m) with a provision of 20 ls of hay in a rack. A total of 518 live born piglets, produced from the 30 sows, were used for data analyses during the first 24 h after the onset of parturition (T24). Behavioural observations of the sows were assessed via video analyses during T24. Total and crushed piglet mortality rates were higher in OPEN compared with CRATE (P<0.01, for both). During T24, the OPEN sows tended to show higher frequency of postural changes (P=0.07) and duration of standing (P=0.10), and showed higher frequencies of bar-biting (P<0.05) and piglet trapping (P<0.01), when compared with the CRATE sows. During T24, the mortality rates caused by crushing were correlated with the piglet trapping event (r=0.93, P<0.0001), postural changes (r=0.37, P<0.01), duration of standing (r=0.32, P<0.01) and frequency of bar-biting behaviour (r=0.51, P<0.01) of the sows (n=30). In conclusion, immediate postnatal piglet mortality, mainly due to crushing, may be associated with potential increases in frequency of postural changes, duration of standing and incidence of piglet trapping in postpartum sows in the open crate system with large litters.
Emerging adulthood is a peak period of risk for alcohol and illicit drug use. Recent advances in psychiatric genetics suggest that the co-occurrence of substance use and psychopathology arises, in part, from a shared genetic etiology. We sought to extend this research by investigating the influence of genetic risk for schizophrenia on trajectories of four substance use behaviors as they occurred across emerging adulthood.
Young adult participants of non-Hispanic European descent provided DNA samples and completed daily reports of substance use for 1 month per year across 4 years (N = 30 085 observations of N = 342 participants). A schizophrenia polygenic score was included in two-level hierarchical linear models designed to test associations between genetic risk for schizophrenia, participant age, and four substance use phenotypes.
Participants with a greater schizophrenia polygenic score experienced greater age-related increases in the likelihood of using substances across emerging adulthood (p < 0.005). Additionally, our results suggest that the polygenic score was positively associated with participants’ overall likelihood to engage in illicit drug use but not alcohol-related substance use.
This study used a novel combination of polygenic prediction and intensive longitudinal methods to characterize the influence of genetic risk for schizophrenia on patterns of age-related change in substance use across emerging adulthood. Results suggest that genetic risk for schizophrenia has developmentally specific effects on substance use behaviors in a non-clinical population of young adults.
Objectives: Although the spacing effect has been investigated extensively in a variety of populations, few studies have focused on individuals with hippocampal amnesia and none, to our knowledge, have investigated differences in performance as a function of spacing schedule in these cases. In the current study, we investigated the benefit of expanding and equal-interval, compared to massed, spacing schedules in a developmental amnesic person, H.C., who shows congenitally based abnormal development of the hippocampal memory system. Methods: Given the possibility of plasticity and reorganization in the developing brain, we investigated whether H.C. would benefit more from an expanding versus equal-interval schedule using a continuous recognition paradigm, even though this task has been shown to recruit structures within the medial temporal lobe, including the hippocampus. Results: H.C. and matched controls both showed a clear spacing effect, although neither group benefited more from an equal-interval or expanding spacing schedule. Conclusions: The results of the current study show that the spacing effect is an effective and clinically meaningful memory intervention technique that may be applied to clinical conditions known to affect hippocampal function and episodic memory early in life. (JINS, 2018, 24, 1003–1012)
The dynamics of two rectangular, flexible plates of low aspect ratio
(height/width = 4) was experimentally investigated in tandem arrangements under uniform flows at various Cauchy numbers
is the fluid density,
is the incoming flow velocity,
is the Young’s modulus and
is the second moment of the area) and spacings
, 1 and 2. Planar particle image velocimetry (PIV) and particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) were used to characterize the surrounding flow field and oscillations of the wall-mounted structures. Results show that the oscillations of the upstream plate were dominated by its natural frequency. However, the motions of the downstream plate were significantly modulated by the induced flow and coherent motions shed from the upstream structure. Such modulation led to highly correlated motions between the plates with similar amplitude in the case
, to comparatively larger oscillation amplitude of the downstream plate in the intermediate separation
, and roughly decoupled interaction for
. Despite that the intensity of the oscillations of the upstream plate increased monotonically with
, this was not the case for the downstream plate at
and 2 due to flow fluctuations, vortex shedding and large structure deformation; as a result, it exhibited a local minimum. Supported with measurements, a mathematical model was derived to quantitatively explain this behaviour.
Background: In RRMS patients with inadequate response to prior therapy, 2 alemtuzumab courses (12 mg/day; baseline: 5 days; 12 months later: 3 days) significantly improved outcomes versus SC IFNB-1a over 2 years (CARE-MS II [NCT00548405]). Efficacy remained durable in a 4-year extension (NCT00930553); patients could receive as-needed alemtuzumab retreatment (≥12 months apart) for disease activity, or another disease-modifying therapy (DMT). Through Year 6, 88% remained on study; 50% received neither alemtuzumab retreatment nor another DMT; 16% received ≥4 courses; 3% received ≥5 courses. We evaluated Course 4 (C4) efficacy in patients receiving ≥4 courses. Methods: Annualized relapse rate (ARR); improved/stable Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score (versus baseline); 6-month confirmed disability improvement (CDI). 11% of patients met inclusion criteria: ≥4 courses within 60 months of baseline; no DMT. Those receiving C5 were censored at that time. Results: ARR decreased after C4 (12 months pre-C4 [-12M]: 0.75; 12 months post-C4 [+12M]: 0.19; P<0.0001), remaining low (0.23) at Year 3 post-C4. More patients had stable/improved EDSS scores +12M (67.5%) versus at C4 administration (53.5%). Percentage with CDI increased post-C4 (-12M: 10.0%; +12M: 26.7%). Conclusions: C4 reduced relapses and stabilized/improved disability in patients with disease activity after initial treatment (C1, C2) plus one additional course (C3).
Background: To determine whether exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) in CSF of patients with FTD can serve as diagnostic biomarkers, we assessed miRNA expression in the Genetic FTD Initiative (GENFI) cohort and in sporadic FTD. Methods: GENFI participants were either carriers of a pathogenic mutation or at risk of carrying a mutation because a first-degree relative was a symptomatic mutation carrier. Exosomes were isolated from CSF of 23 -pre-symptomatic and 15 symptomatic mutation carriers, and 11 healthy non-mutation carriers. Expression of miRNAs was measured using qPCR arrays. MiRNAs differentially expressed in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers were evaluated in 17 patients with sporadic FTD, 13 patients with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and 10 healthy controls (HCs). Results: In the GENFI cohort, miR-204-5p and miR-632 were significantly decreased in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers. Decrease of miR-204-5p and miR-632 revealed receiver operator characteristics with an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.79-0.98] and 0.81 [90% CI: 0.68-0.93], and when combined an area of 0.93 [90% CI: 0.87-0.99]. In sporadic FTD, only miR-632 was significantly decreased compared to sporadic AD and HCs. Decrease of miR-632 revealed an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.80-0.98]. Conclusions: Exosomal miR-204-5p and miR-632 have potential as diagnostic biomarkers for genetic FTD and miR-632 also for sporadic FTD.
Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec) is an investigational, conditionally lytic, retroviral replicating vector (RRV). RRVs selectively infect cancer cells due to innate and adaptive immune response defects in cancers that allow virus replication, and the requirement for cell division for virus integration into the genome. Toca 511 spreads through tumors, stably delivering an optimized yeast cytosine deaminase gene that converts the prodrug Toca FC (investigational, extended-release 5-FC) into 5-FU within the tumor microenvironment. 5-FU kills infected dividing cancer cells and surrounding tumor, myeloid derived suppressor cells, and tumor associated macrophages, resulting in long-term tumor immunity in preclinical models. Data from a Phase 1 resection trial showed six durable CRs and extended mOS compared to historical controls. The FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Toca 511 & Toca FC in the treatment of patients with rHGG. Toca 5 is an international, randomized, open-label Phase 3 trial (NCT02414165) of Toca 511 & Toca FC versus SOC in patients undergoing resection for first or second recurrence of rHGG. Patients will be stratified by IDH1 status, KPS, and geographic region. Primary endpoint is OS, and secondary endpoints are durable response rate, durable clinical benefit rate, duration of durable response, and 12-month survival rate. Key inclusion criteria are histologically proven GBM or AA, tumor size ≥1cm and ≤5cm, and KPS ≥70. Immune monitoring and molecular profiling will be performed. Approximately 380 patients will be randomized. An IDMC is commissioned to review the safety and efficacy data which includes 2 interim analyses. Enrollment is ongoing.
Introduction: Patients with Heart failure (HF) experience frequent decompensation necessitating multiple emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. If patients are able to receive timely interventions and optimize self-management, recurrent ED visits may be reduced. In this feasibility study, we piloted the application of home telemonitoring to support the discharge of HF patients from hospital to home. We hypothesized that TEC4Home would decrease ED revisits and hospital admissions and improve patient health outcomes. Methods: Upon discharge from the ED or hospital, patients with HF received a blood pressure cuff, weight scale, pulse oximeter, and a touchscreen tablet. Participants submitted measurements and answered questions on the tablet about their HF symptoms daily for 60 days. Data were reviewed by a monitoring nurse. From November 2016 to July 2017, 69 participants were recruited from Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), St. Pauls Hospital (SPH) and Kelowna General Hospital (KGH). Participants completed pre-surveys at enrollement and post-surveys 30 days after monitoring finished. Administrative data related to ED visits and hospital admissions were reviewed. Interviews were conducted with the monitoring nurses to assess the impact of monitoring on patient health outcomes. Results: A preliminary analysis was conducted on a subsample of participants (n=22) enrolled across all 3 sites by March 31, 2017. At VGH and SPH (n=14), 25% fewer patients required an ED visit in the post-survey reporting compared to pre-survey. During the monitoring period, the monitoring nurse observed seven likely avoided ED admissions due to early intervention. In total, admissions were reduced by 20% and total hospital length of stay reduced by 69%. At KGH (n=8), 43% fewer patients required an ED visit in the post-survey reporting compared to the pre-survey. Hospital admissions were reduced by 20% and total hospital length of stay reduced by 50%. Overall, TEC4Home participants from all sites showed a significant improvement in health-related quality of life and in self-care behaviour pre- to 90 days post-monitoring. A full analysis of the 69 patients will be complete in February 2018. Conclusion: Preliminary findings indicate that home telemonitoring for HF patients can decrease ED revisits and improve patient experience. The length of stay data may also suggest the potential for early discharge of ED patients with home telemonitoring to avoid or reduce hospitalization. A stepped-wedge randomized controlled trial of TEC4Home in 22 BC communities will be conducted in 2018 to generate evidence and scale up the service in urban, regional and rural communities. This work is submitted on behalf of the TEC4Home Healthcare Innovation Community.
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.