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Background: Hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis a hereditary, multi-systemic and life-threatening disease resulting in neuropathy and cardiomyopathy. In the APOLLO study, patisiran, an investigational RNAi therapeutic targeting hepatic TTR production resulted in significant improvement in neuropathy and QoL compared to placebo and was generally well tolerated. Methods: APOLLO, a Phase 3 study of patisiran vs. placebo (NCT01960348) prespecified a cardiac subpopulation (n=126 of 225 total) that included patients with baseline left ventricular (LV) wall thickness ≥ 13mm and no medical history of aortic valve disease or hypertension. Cardiac measures included structure and function by electrocardiography, changes in NT-proBNP and 10-MWT gait speed. Results: At 18 months, patisiran treatment resulted in a mean reduction in LV wall thickness of 1 mm (p=0.017) compared to baseline, which was associated with significant improvements relative to placebo in LV end diastolic volume (+8.31 mL, p=0.036), global longitudinal strain (-1.37%, p=0.015) and NT-proBNP (55% reduction, p=7.7 x 10-8) (Figure 1). Gait speed was also improved relative to placebo (+0.35 m/sec, p=7.4 x 10-9). Rate of death or hospitalization was lower with patisiran. mNIS+7 results in the cardiac subpopulation will also be presented. Conclusions: These data suggest patisiran has the potential to halt or reverse cardiac manifestations of hATTR amyloidosis.
The flow of an electrified liquid film down an inclined plane wall is investigated with the focus on coherent structures in the form of travelling waves on the film surface, in particular, single-hump solitary pulses and their interactions. The flow structures are analysed first using a long-wave model, which is valid in the presence of weak inertia, and second using the Stokes equations. For obtuse angles, gravity is destabilising and solitary pulses exist even in the absence of an electric field. For acute angles, spatially non-uniform solutions exist only beyond a critical value of the electric field strength; moreover, solitary-pulse solutions are present only at sufficiently high supercritical electric-field strengths. The electric field increases the amplitude of the pulses, can generate recirculation zones in the humps and alters the far-field decay of the pulse tails from exponential to algebraic with a significant impact on pulse interactions. A weak-interaction theory predicts an infinite sequence of bound-state solutions for non-electrified flow, and a finite set for electrified flow. The existence of single-hump pulse solutions and two-pulse bound states is confirmed for the Stokes equations via boundary-element computations. In addition, the electric field is shown to trigger a switch from absolute to convective instability, thereby regularising the dynamics, and this is confirmed by time-dependent simulations of the long-wave model.
Moringa oleifera seeds are currently being used as a livestock feed across tropical regions of the world due to its availability and palatability. However, limited knowledge exists on the effects of the raw seeds on ruminant metabolism. As such, the rumen stimulation technique was used to evaluate the effects of substituting increasing concentrations of ground Moringa seeds (0, 100, 200 and 400 g/kg concentrate dry matter (DM)) in the diet on rumen fermentation and methane production. Two identical, Rusitec apparatuses, each with eight fermenters were used with the first 8 days used for adaptation and days 9 to 16 used for measurements. Fermenters were fed a total mixed ration with Urochloa brizantha as the forage. Disappearance of DM, CP, NDF and ADF linearly decreased (P<0.01) with increasing concentrations of Moringa seeds in the diet. Total volatile fatty acid production and the acetate to propionate ratio were also linearly decreased (P<0.01). However, only the 400 g/kg (concentrate DM basis) treatment differed (P<0.01) from the control. Methane production (%), total microbial incorporation of 15N and total production of microbial N linearly decreased (P<0.01) as the inclusion of Moringa seeds increased. Though the inclusion of Moringa seeds in the diet decreased CH4 production, this arose from an unfavourable decrease in diet digestibility and rumen fermentation parameters.
Curcumin has been attributed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial activities, and has shown highly protective effects against enteropathogenic bacteria and mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the major intestinal pathogenic mycotoxins. The possible effect of curcumin on the alleviation of enterotoxicity induced by OTA is unknown. The effects of dietary curcumin supplementation on OTA-induced oxidative stress, intestinal barrier and mitochondrial dysfunctions were examined in young ducks. A total of 540 mixed-sex 1-day-old White Pekin ducklings with initial BW (43.4±0.1 g) were randomly assigned into controls (fed only the basal diet), a group fed an OTA-contaminated diet (2 mg/kg feed), and a group fed the same OTA-contaminated feed plus 400 mg/kg of curcumin. Each treatment consisted of six replicates, each containing 30 ducklings and treatment lasted for 21 days. There was a significant decrease in average daily gain (ADG) and increased feed : gain caused by OTA (P<0.05); curcumin co-treatment prevented the decrease in BW and ADG compared with the OTA group (P<0.05). Histopathological and ultrastructural examination showed clear signs of enterotoxicity caused by OTA, but these changes were largely prevented by curcumin supplementation. Curcumin decreased the concentrations of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α and malondialdehyde, and increased the activity of glutathione peroxidase induced by OTA in the jejunal mucosa of ducks (P<0.05). Additionally, curcumin increased jejunal mucosa occludin and tight junction protein 1 mRNA and protein levels, and decreased those of ρ-associated protein kinase 1 (P<0.05). Notably, curcumin inhibited the increased expression of apoptosis-related genes, and downregulated mitochondrial transcription factors A, B1 and B2 caused by OTA without any effects on RNA polymerase mitochondrial (P<0.05). These results indicated that curcumin could protect ducks from OTA-induced impairment of intestinal barrier function and mitochondrial integrity.
The study investigated whether different dietary energy and protein sources affect laying performance, antioxidant status, fresh yolk fatty acid profile and quality of salted yolks in laying ducks. In all, 360 19-week-old Longyan ducks were randomly assigned to four diets in a factorial arrangement (2×2). The four diets consisted of two energy sources, corn (CO) or sorghum (SO) and two protein sources, soybean meal (SM) and rapeseed meal with corn distillers dried grains with solubles (RMD), and each treatment contained six replicates of 15 birds each. The experimental diets were isocaloric (metabolizable energy, 10.84 MJ/kg) and isonitrogenous (CP, 17%). The results showed that egg production, average egg weight, egg mass and feed conversion ratio were not affected by diets (P>0.05). Plasma contents of reduced glutathione (GSH), GSH/oxidized glutathione and total antioxidant capacity were lower (P<0.05) in ducks fed the RMD diets compared with those fed SM diets with a substantial increase (P=0.006) in plasma content of malondialdehyde (MDA). Egg yolks from ducks fed SO diets had higher proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and lower saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids compared with CO diets (P<0.001). Similarly, ducks fed RMD diets had a higher content of PUFA and n-6/n-3 ratio in fresh yolks (P<0.001), and increased salted yolk MDA, carbonylated proteins content and incidence of hard salted yolks (P<0.05) compared with SM diets. Scanning electron microscopy showed that salted yolks contained rougher polyhedral granules and fewer fat droplets, and were surrounded with a layer of bunchy fibers in ducks fed SO+RMD than those fed CO+SM diet. In conclusion, the current study showed that feeding laying ducks with diets containing SO or RMD reduced antioxidant capacity and increased egg yolk concentrations of PUFA. It appeared that egg yolks from ducks fed these diets were more sensitive to lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation during salting, and reduced the quality of salted yolks.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
To explore the effects of maternal nutrition on offspring muscle characteristics, a total of 56 sows were assigned to one of the four dietary groups during gestation: control (CON), or control diets supplemented with methyl donor (MET), bisphenol A (BPA), and combined BPA and MET (BPA+MET). Compared with CON offspring, MET offspring showed a higher meat redness value, but lower glycogen content in the longissimus thoracis (LT). Moreover, compared with CON offspring, MET offspring showed lower LT glycogen synthase (GS) mRNA levels at birth and the finishing stage, and increased methylation at the GS promoter. Prenatal BPA exposure reduced the pH and redness value of meat, but increased the lightness value, lactate content, glycolytic potential and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme activity in the LT muscle. Prenatal BPA exposure increased LDH mRNA levels in the LT muscle at birth and the finishing stage, and reduced methylation at the LDH promoter. Thus, maternal MET affects muscle GS and LDH expression via DNA methylation, thereby resulting in persistent effects on pork quality.
Mycobacterium marinum, a bacterium found in freshwater and saltwater, can infect persons with direct exposure to fish or aquariums. During December 2013, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene learned of four suspected or confirmed M. marinum skin or soft tissue infections (SSTIs) among persons who purchased whole fish from Chinese markets. Ninety-eight case-patients with non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) SSTIs were identified with onset June 2013–March 2014. Of these, 77 (79%) were female. The median age was 62 years (range 30–91). Whole genome sequencing of clinical isolates revealed two main clusters and marked genetic diversity. Environmental samples from distributors yielded NTM though not M. marinum. We compared 56 case-patients with 185 control subjects who shopped in Chinese markets, frequency-matched by age group and sex. Risk factors for infection included skin injury to the finger or hand (odds ratio [OR]: 15·5; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 6·9–37·3), hand injury while preparing fish or seafood (OR 8·3; 95% CI 3·8–19·1), and purchasing tilapia (OR 3·6; 95% CI 1·1–13·9) or whiting (OR 2·7; 95% CI 1·1–6·6). A definitive environmental outbreak source was not identified.
A compact hybrid rocket motor design that incorporates a dual-vortical-flow (DVF) concept is proposed. The oxidizer (nitrous oxide, N2O) is injected circumferentially into various sections of the rocket motor, which are sectored by several solid fuel “rings” (made of hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene, HTPB) that are installed along the central axis of the motor. The proposed configuration not only increases the residence time of the oxidizer flow, it also implies an inherent “roll control” capability of the motor. Based on a DVF motor geometry with a designed thrust level of 11.6 kN, the characteristics of the turbulent reacting flow within the motor and its rocket performance were analyzed with a comprehensive numerical model that implements both real-fluid properties and finite-rate chemistry. Data indicate that the vacuum specific impulse (Isp) of the DVF motor could reach 278 s. The result from a preliminary ground test of a lab-scale DVF hybrid rocket motor (with a designed thrust level of 3,000 N) also shows promising performance. The proposed DVF concept is expected to partly resolve the issue of scalability, which remains challenging for hybrid rocket motors development.
We report the temperature dependence of Er optical centers in GaN epilayers prepared by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition under the resonant excitation (4I15/2 → 4I9/2) excitation using a Ti:Sapphire laser (λexc = 809 nm). High resolution infrared spectroscopy and temperature dependence measurements of photoluminescence intensity from Er ions in GaN have been performed to identify the crystal filed splitting of the first excited state, 4I13/2. Here, we have employed a simple approach to determine activation energies which are related to the thermal population of electrons from the lowest level to the higher level of the crystal field splitting of the first excited state.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder, yet the search for definite genetic etiologies remains elusive. Delineating ASD endophenotypes can boost the statistical power to identify the genetic etiologies and pathophysiology of ASD. We aimed to test for endophenotypes of neuroanatomy and associated intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) via contrasting male youth with ASD, their unaffected brothers and typically developing (TD) males.
The 94 participants (aged 9–19 years) – 20 male youth with ASD, 20 unaffected brothers and 54 TD males – received clinical assessments, and undertook structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging scans. Voxel-based morphometry was performed to obtain regional gray and white matter volumes. A seed-based approach, with seeds defined by the regions demonstrating atypical neuroanatomy shared by youth with ASD and unaffected brothers, was implemented to derive iFC. General linear models were used to compare brain structures and iFC among the three groups. Assessment of familiality was investigated by permutation tests for variance of the within-family pair difference.
We found that atypical gray matter volume in the mid-cingulate cortex was shared between male youth with ASD and their unaffected brothers as compared with TD males. Moreover, reduced iFC between the mid-cingulate cortex and the right inferior frontal gyrus, and increased iFC between the mid-cingulate cortex and bilateral middle occipital gyrus were the shared features of male ASD youth and unaffected brothers.
Atypical neuroanatomy and iFC surrounding the mid-cingulate cortex may be a potential endophenotypic marker for ASD in males.
Imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) are sensitive to rare gamma-ray photons, buried in the background of charged cosmic-ray (CR) particles, the flux of which is several orders of magnitude greater. The ability to separate gamma rays from CR particles is important, as it is directly related to the sensitivity of the instrument. This gamma-ray/CR-particle classification problem in IACT data analysis can be treated with the rapidly-advancing machine learning algorithms, which have the potential to outperform the traditional box-cut methods on image parameters. We present preliminary results of a precise classification of a small set of muon events using a convolutional neural networks model with the raw images as input features. We also show the possibility of using the convolutional neural networks model for regression problems, such as the radius and brightness measurement of muon events, which can be used to calibrate the throughput efficiency of IACTs.
The study investigates three-dimensional kinematics of lower limb for female Chinese population during normal squatting activity. 25 young female and 25 elder female Chinese subjects were recruited. With each subject's data collected, the means of three-dimensional rotation angles of knee, hip, and ankle joints of those two groups were calculated and analyzed. Measured results showed that the maximal eccentric range of hip flexion/extension of 128.6° for the young female group (P < 0.05) was compared with that of 158.8° for the elder female group. Thus, the elder female undergoes more hip flexion/extension angles than the young female in the posture of squatting. The mean range of motion (ROM) of knee flexion/extension was 140.2° for the young female group and 138.7° (significant level P > 0.05) for the elder female group. The mean ROM of ankle flexion/extension was 47.90° for the young female group and 31.9° (P > 0.05) for the elder female group. The ROMs obtained in the experiment during squatting were greater than the reported ones achieved after joint arthroplasty. These data may be invaluable in providing designers of lower limb prosthesis with basic mechanical parameters, and assessing the effect of kinematics of low limb on rehabilitation for the Chinese population.
Late-life depression (LLD) in the elderly was reported to present with emotion dysregulation accompanied by high perceived loneliness. Previous research has suggested that LLD is a disorder of connectivity and is associated with aberrant network properties. On the other hand, perceived loneliness is found to adversely affect the brain, but little is known about its neurobiological basis in LLD. The current study investigated the relationships between the structural connectivity, functional connectivity during affective processing, and perceived loneliness in LLD.
The current study included 54 participants aged >60 years of whom 31 were diagnosed with LLD. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data and task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data of an affective processing task were collected. Network-based statistics and graph theory techniques were applied, and the participants’ perceived loneliness and depression level were measured. The affective processing task included viewing affective stimuli.
Structurally, a loneliness-related sub-network was identified across all subjects. Functionally, perceived loneliness was related to connectivity differently in LLD than that in controls when they were processing negative stimuli, with aberrant networking in subcortical area.
Perceived loneliness was identified to have a unique role in relation to the negative affective processing in LLD at the functional brain connectional and network levels. The findings increas our understanding of LLD and provide initial evidence of the neurobiological mechanisms of loneliness in LLD. Loneliness might be a potential intervention target in depressive patients.
This study aimed to evaluate the association of chronic rhinosinusitis with sudden sensorineural hearing loss using a population-based database.
Sampled subject data were obtained from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000. A total of 3325 patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss were identified and 9975 controls were randomly selected. A conditional logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio for having been previously diagnosed with chronic rhinosinusitis, for cases and controls.
Results and conclusion:
The adjusted odds ratio of having prior chronic rhinosinusitis among cases compared to controls was 1.36 (95 per cent confidence interval = 1.16–1.60). The significant relationship between sudden sensorineural hearing loss and chronic rhinosinusitis was most pronounced among those patients aged 44 years or less (compared to controls) (odds ratio = 2.18; 95 per cent confidence interval = 1.63–2.92). However, the significant relationship between sudden sensorineural hearing loss and prior chronic rhinosinusitis was not sustained for patients older than 60 years compared to controls.
Taiwan is a young and seismically active mountain belt, where a series of strong earthquakes (M>7) have occurred over the past hundred years. Identifying historical earthquakes around Taiwan is a key to better constrain the geodynamic of this active region. Sedimentological and geochemical analyses of surface sediments from one station offshore east Taiwan revealed the presence of coarse-grained layers interpreted as turbidites. The age of these layers have been determined by 210Pb, 137Cs, and 241Am chronology. Dating of the three most recent turbidites provides ages of AD 2001±3, AD 1950±5, and AD 1928±10. The results show striking temporal correspondence of turbidite layers to large (M≥6.8) earthquakes recorded in the region since the 20th century. The chronologies of sediment layers lead us to believe that turbidites resulted from the 2003 Taitung earthquake (M 6.8), the 1951 Chengkong earthquake (M 7.1), and the 1935 Lutao earthquake (M 7.0), respectively. Such a good correlation between turbidites and high-magnitude (M≥6.8) historical and instrumental seismic events suggests that turbidite paleoseismology constitutes a valuable tool for earthquake assessment in the eastern Taiwan margin. Moreover, the modern reservoir radiocarbon age and the regional marine reservoir correction (ΔR) of the Kuroshio Current off Taiwan were estimated by comparing accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C ages with ages derived from corrected 210Pb profiles and historical accounts of identifiable seismic events. Such a determination is important to calibrate the 14C ages of marine materials for accurate comparison of marine and continental geological records. Our calculated mean ΔR value of 232±54 14C yr (n=2) is higher than its modern value of 86±40 14C yr. This high value can be explained by the presence of local upwelling cells and turbulence in the Kuroshio Current, north of Green Island. These upwelling cells bring 14C-depleted water to the surface, resulting in an increase of the modern ΔR value in this portion of the Kuroshio Current.
In order to analyze the boiling and capillary limitations of two-phase heat transport devices, the existing models developed by Chi and Peterson and the existing experimental data carried out with various micro channel wick structures from literature were collected for benchmark. It was found that the dominant parameters for boiling and capillary limitations were the nucleation sites and structure geometries of the micro channels, and important parameters were considered to modify the models empirically. It was also found that for micro channel structures the inclined angle is sensitive to the capillary limitations and not to boiling limitations. By properly estimating the nucleation sites and empirical coefficients for micro channels needed by the newly modified models, the boiling and capillary limitations can be accurately predicted, and hence the applicability of the modified models is confirmed. Based on this, a numerical analysis was then carried out to investigate the trends of boiling and capillary limitations of the micro channel wick structures. Effects of the channel geometries and arrangement were taken into account, including the aspect ratio and structure size of the micro channels. Furthermore, the effects of inclined angle and contact angle were also analyzed. The present results can provide a design reference of performance trends of micro channel wick structures.
This study aimed to comprehensively evaluate factors that influence the likelihood of syphilis infection from risk-taking behaviours and medical conditions. A retrospective case-control study was conducted by enrolling 664 syphilis inpatients (excluding 11 congenital syphilis patients) and 800 sex- and age-matched controls. Medical histories, clinical data and patient interview data were collected and subjected to logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of syphilis in the study population was 3·9% (675/17 304). By univariate analysis, syphilis infection was associated with migration between cities, marital status, smoking, reproductive history, hypertension, elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) (P < 0·05). A high rate of syphilis-HBV co-infection was observed in HIV-negative patients and further research revealed an association between syphilis and specific HBV serological reactivity. Syphilis was also associated with the frequency, duration and status of tobacco use. Multivariate analysis indicated that syphilis infection was independently associated with migration between cities [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1·368, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·048–1·785], current smoking (aOR 1·607, 95% CI 1·177–2·195), elevated BUN (aOR 1·782, 95% CI 1·188–2·673) and some serological patterns of HBV infection. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases, inpatients and blood donors should be tested for HIV, syphilis, HBV and HCV simultaneously.