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This study estimates the incubation period of COVID-19 among locally transmitted cases, and its association with age to better inform public health measures in containing COVID-19. Epidemiological data of all PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases from all restructured hospitals in Singapore were collected between 23 January 2020 and 2 April 2020. Activity mapping and detailed epidemiological investigation were conducted by trained personnel. Positive cases without clear exposure to another positive case were excluded from the analysis. One hundred and sixty-four cases (15.6% of patients) met the inclusion criteria during the defined period. The crude median incubation period was 5 days (range 1–12 days) and median age was 42 years (range 5–79 years). The median incubation period among those 70 years and older was significantly longer than those younger than 70 years (8 vis-à-vis 5 days, P = 0.040). Incubation period was negatively correlated with day of illness in both groups. These findings support current policies of 14-day quarantine periods for close contacts of confirmed cases and 28 days for monitoring infections in known clusters. An elderly person who may have a longer incubation period than a younger counterpart may benefit from earlier and proactive testing, especially after exposure to a positive case.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
Understanding the pattern of middle-ear cholesteatoma becomes pertinent with the rise of endoscopic surgery as surgeons decide on the optimal approach to visualise and extirpate disease. With modifications to the Telmesani attic–tympanum–mastoid staging system, this study aimed to evaluate the commonest patterns of middle-ear cholesteatoma and their implications for surgical approach.
A retrospective study was conducted in a single tertiary institution in Singapore. All patients undergoing cholesteatoma surgery between January 2012 and June 2015 were included. Staging of cholesteatoma was based on clinical assessment corroborated by radiological findings.
Out of the 55 ears included, 98.2 per cent had cholesteatoma involving the attic. The disease extended into the mastoid antrum and beyond in 43 cases (78.2 per cent). The facial recess and/or sinus tympanum was affected in 26 cases (47.3 per cent).
The majority of cholesteatoma cases present with extensive attic disease and significant mastoid involvement. In these cases, endoscopes may be best suited to adjunctive rather than exclusive use in surgery.
Patients with severe mental disorders in low-resource settings have limited access to services, resulting in overwhelming caregiving burden for families. In extreme cases, this has led to the long-term restraining of patients in their homes. China underwent a nationwide initiative to unlock patients and provide continued treatment. This study aims to quantify household economic burden in families after unlocking and treatment, and to identify factors associated with increased burden due to schizophrenia.
A total of 264 subjects were enrolled from three geographically diverse provinces in 2012. Subjects were patients with schizophrenia who were previously put under restraints and had participated in the ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention. The primary outcome was the current household economic burden, obtained from past year financial information collected through on-site interview. Patient disease characteristics, treatment, outcomes and family caregiving burden were collected as well. Univariate and multivariate linear regression were used to construct risk factor models for indirect economic burden.
After participating in the intervention, 85% of patients continued to receive mental health services, 70% used medication as prescribed and 80% were never relocked. Family members reported significantly decreased caregiving burden after receiving the intervention. Mean direct and indirect household economic burdens were CNY963 (US$31.7) and CNY11 724 (US$1670) per year, respectively, while family total income was on average CNY12 108 (US$1913) per year. Greater disease severity and poorer patient psychosocial function at time of study were found to be independent factors related to increased indirect burden.
The ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention has improved the lives of patients and families. Indirect burden due to disease is still a major economic issue that needs to be addressed, potentially through improving treatment and patient functioning. Our findings contribute to the unravelling and eventual elimination of chronic restraining of mentally ill patients in low-resource settings.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
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.
To observe the five-year efficacy of standardised specific subcutaneous immunotherapy for house dust mite allergy in monosensitised and polysensitised children with persistent allergic rhinitis.
From January 2007 to August 2009, 236 children with persistent allergic rhinitis were divided into 2 groups: 1 group received standardised specific subcutaneous immunotherapy using house dust mite extract; the other received pharmacotherapy with intranasal corticosteroids and oral antihistamines. A total of 193 patients (106 in the immunotherapy group and 87 in the pharmacotherapy group) completed treatment. Scores for symptoms, total medication and quality of life were evaluated.
The subcutaneous immunotherapy group demonstrated a significant reduction in visual analogue scale scores, Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores and total medication scores (p < 0.05) compared with the pharmacotherapy group. No significant differences in the visual analogue scale and Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores were found between the polysensitised and monosensitised subgroups (p > 0.05). No serious adverse events occurred.
Standardised subcutaneous immunotherapy has long-term efficacy for children with persistent allergic rhinitis. Single-allergen subcutaneous immunotherapy was appropriate for allergic rhinitis caused by multiple allergens, including house dust mites, in the paediatric population.
Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) play a fundamental role in insect olfaction. In recent years, Galeruca daurica (Joannis) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) has become one of the most important insect pests in the Inner Mongolian grasslands of China. This pest only feeds on the species of Allium plants, implying the central role of olfaction in its search for specific host plants. However, the olfaction-related proteins have not been investigated in this beetle. In this study, we identified 29 putative OBP genes, namely GdauOBP1–29, from the transcriptome database of G. daurica assembled in our laboratory by using RNA-Seq. All 29 genes had the full-length open reading frames except GdauOBP29, encoding proteins in length from 119 to 202 amino acids with their predicted molecular weights from 12 to 22 kDa with isoelectric points from 3.88 to 8.84. Predicted signal peptides consisting of 15–22 amino acid residues were found in all except GdauOBP6, GdauOBP13 and GdauOBP29. The amino acid sequence identity between the 29 OBPs ranged 8.33–71.83%. GdauOBP1–12 belongs to the Classic OBPs, while the others belong with the Minus-C OBPs. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that GdauOBPs are the closest to CbowOBPs from Colaphellus bowringi. RT-PCR and qRT-PCR analyses showed that all GdauOBPs were expressed in adult antennae, 11 of which with significant differences in their expression levels between males and females. Most GdauOBPs were also expressed in adult heads (without antennae), thoraxes, abdomens, legs and wings. Moreover, the expression levels of the GdauOBPs varied during the different development stages of G. daurica with most GdauOBPs expressed highly in the adult antennae but scarcely in eggs and pupae. These results provide insights for further research on the molecular mechanisms of chemical communications in G. daurica.
Theory predicts that capping brokers’ compensation exacerbates the exploitation of retail investors. We show that regulated caps on mutual fund 12b-1 fees, effectively sales commissions, are associated with negative equity fund performance, but only after a structural shift toward maximum permitted levels of the fees around 2000. Past this break point, flow–performance sensitivity shifts from the middle- to the highest-performing funds, suggesting that the fee cap increases performance-chasing behavior by constraining brokers’ incentives to learn about lower-ranked funds. The policy implication is that regulators must reevaluate the efficacy of caps on brokerage fees.
Kalicephalus is a genus of strongylid nematodes infecting snakes and causing serious diseases and even death when it is complicated with secondary bacterial infections. The infection of snakes with Kalicephalus has been reported in many countries in the world. However, little information is available on the prevalence of Kalicephalus in snakes in China. In the present study, the prevalence of Kalicephalus in snakes was investigated. The worms were examined, counted and identified to species according to existing keys and descriptions. Three species of Kalicephalus, namely K. indicus, K. bungari and K. brachycephalus, were found in six species of snakes (Elaphe carinata, Zaocys dhumnade, Naja najaatra, Elaphe taeniura, Bungarus multicinctus and Dinodon rufozonatum). The total prevalence of Kalicephalus in snakes in Hunan Province was 39.7%. The most common species was K. indicus, with the highest prevalence 72.8%, followed by K. bungari (24.0%). The prevalence of K. brachycephalus was 0.9%. This is the first report on the prevalence of Kalicephalus species in snakes in China, and the findings have important implications for the control of Kalicephalus infections in snakes in China.
To investigate the prevalence of allergic rhinitis among elementary and middle school students and examine its impact on their quality of life.
Stratified sampling and cluster sampling surveys were performed among 10–17-year-old students in Changsha city from June 2011 to April 2012.
In the stratified sampling survey, the self-reported allergic rhinitis rate was 42.5 per cent. Further examination demonstrated that the average prevalence of allergic rhinitis was 19.4 per cent. The cluster sampling survey demonstrated that 214 of 814 students appeared to be atopic (26.3 per cent). The prevalence of allergic rhinitis and asthma was 17.2 and 2.1 per cent, respectively. In total, 71 atopic individuals (8.7 per cent) were without any symptoms of allergic disease. Further analysis showed that allergic rhinitis influenced the students' sleep, emotions and memory (p < 0.001).
The prevalence of allergic rhinitis was 15.8 –19.4 per cent, showing an increase with age. Allergic rhinitis affected students' sleep, emotions and memory.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have long been considered potential endophenotypes for schizophrenia. However, few studies have investigated the heritability and familiality of NSS. The present study examined the heritability and familiality of NSS in healthy twins and patient–relative pairs.
The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory was administered to 267 pairs of monozygotic twins, 124 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 75 pairs of patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic first-degree relatives.
NSS were found to have moderate but significant heritability in the healthy twin sample. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia correlated closely with their first-degree relatives on NSS.
Taken together, the findings provide evidence on the heritability and familiality of NSS in the Han Chinese population.
Asians exhibit larger glycaemic response (GR) and insulin response (IR) than Caucasians, predisposing to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We aimed to determine the GR and IR as well as the glycaemic index (GI) and insulinaemic index (II) of two rice varieties among three ethnic groups in Singapore. A total of seventy-five healthy males (twenty-five Chinese, twenty-five Malay and twenty-five Asian-Indians) were served the available equivalent carbohydrate amounts (50 g) of test foods (Jasmine rice and Basmati rice) and a reference food (glucose) on separate occasions. Postprandial blood glucose and plasma insulin concentrations were measured at fasting ( − 5 and 0 min) and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 min after food consumption. Using the trapezoidal rule, GR, IR, GI and II values were determined. The GR did not differ between ethnic groups for Jasmine rice and Basmati rice. The IR was consistently higher for Jasmine rice (P= 0·002) and Basmati rice (P= 0·002) among Asian-Indians, probably due to compensatory hyperinsulinaemia to maintain normoglycaemia. The GI and II of both rice varieties did not differ significantly between ethnicities. The overall mean GI for Jasmine rice and Basmati rice were 91 (sd 21) and 59 (sd 15), respectively. The overall mean II for Jasmine rice was 76 (sd 26) and for Basmati rice was 57 (sd 24). We conclude that the GI values presented for Jasmine rice and Basmati rice were applicable to all three ethnic groups in Singapore. Future studies should include deriving the II for greater clinical utility in the prevention and management of T2DM.
Pin/pin “micromorph” tandem solar cells were manufactured by the industrial production line of Hunan Gongchuang PV Science & Technology Co., Ltd. Based on this kind of solar cells, a n-doped amorphous silicon layer deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique (PECVD) was inserted between the microcrystalline silicon intrinsic layer and n-doped layer. The result showed that the introduced n-type amorphous silicon layer well improved the solar cells performance by reducing the bad effects caused by microcrystalline silicon growth defects. Compared with the solar cells without inserting the n-doped amorphous silicon layer, the open voltage and efficiency increased remarkably. When the thickness of n-doped amorphous silicon layer is 8nm, the open voltage increased from 72.9V to 73.6V and efficiency increased from 10.63% to 10.74%.
For the industrial application of silicon thin film solar cells, the current focus is on how to realize high-efficiency low-cost production process and minimize light-induced degradation effect, thus effectively reducing the balance-of-system (BOS) costs of system integration. In this paper, a brief introduction based on our development and application in this area is presented, highlighting in the achievement of some layers in a-Si:H/μc-Si:H tandem solar cell by optimizing the property of single layers, such as amorphous intrinsic layer, intermediate reflective layer and microcrystalline intrinsic layer. After transferring the process achievement to the industrial production line, we obtained the low-cost thin-film silicon solar cells with high photovoltaic conversion efficiency of 10.2%.
Thermo-camera is employed here to analyze kinds of quality abnormal and improve production process during manufacture procedure of silicon-based thin-film solar modules. It shows that thermo-camera device can help engineers to solve problem of production line quickly and accurately, and save the manpower and financial resources at the same time.
To evaluate the therapeutic effects of functional endoscopic sinus surgery in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis who were unresponsive to medical treatment.
A total of 232 patients were divided into 2 groups: a functional endoscopic sinus surgery group (n = 162) and a conservative therapy group (n = 70). Efficacy was assessed in terms of Lund–Kennedy endoscopy scores and Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20 symptom scores.
In the functional endoscopic sinus surgery group, Lund–Kennedy and Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20 scores were significantly lower at 3, 6 and 12 months post-surgery compared with baseline scores. In the conservative therapy group, both sets of scores were significantly lower at 3 months, but not at 12 months. In this latter group, the Lund–Kennedy scores decreased only slightly and the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20 scores significantly decreased at six months compared with initial scores, indicating disparity between the subjective and objective measures. Patient-reported symptom improvement was better in the functional endoscopic sinus surgery group than in the medication group at 12 months (p < 0.001).
These findings suggest that functional endoscopic sinus surgery has better efficacy over a longer period compared with conservative therapy.
Most knowledge regarding the effects of antidepressant drugs is at the receptor level, distal from the nervous system effects that mediate their clinical efficacy. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), this study investigated the effects of escitalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), on resting-state brain function in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Fourteen first-episode drug-naive MDD patients completed two fMRI scans before and after 8 weeks of escitalopram therapy. Scans were also acquired in 14 matched healthy subjects. Data were analyzed using the regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach.
Compared to controls, MDD patients before treatment demonstrated decreased ReHo in the frontal (right superior frontal gyrus), temporal (left middle and right inferior temporal gyri), parietal (right precuneus) and occipital (left superior occipital gyrus and right cuneus) cortices, and increased ReHo in the left dorsal medial prefrontal gyrus and left anterior lobe of the cerebellum. Compared to the unmedicated state, ReHo in the patients after treatment was decreased in the left dorsal medial prefrontal gyrus, the right insula and the bilateral thalamus, and increased in the right superior frontal gyrus. Compared to controls, patients after treatment displayed a ReHo decrease in the right precuneus and a ReHo increase in the left anterior lobe of the cerebellum.
Successful treatment with escitalopram may be associated with modulation of resting-state brain activity in regions within the fronto-limbic circuit. This study provides new insight into the effects of antidepressants on functional brain systems in MDD.
The false thyroid capsule is an important anatomical structure involved in thyroidectomy, yet it is rarely studied. This study aimed to define the anatomy of the false thyroid capsule, and its clinical significance.
A prospective study was performed involving 151 patients with goitre who underwent thyroid lobectomy. The anatomy of the false thyroid capsule was carefully documented intra-operatively.
The false thyroid capsule enclosed the inferior and middle thyroid veins and the superior thyroid vessels, forming a mesentery-like structure by attaching to the gland. Once the unilateral lobe had been removed, the thyroid mesentery could be seen to have a C-shaped edge. The recurrent laryngeal nerve, inferior thyroid artery and parathyroid glands were located beneath the C-shaped edge of the thyroid mesentery.
The thyroid mesentery is a distinctive structure that can be used as a guide for surgical dissection.