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Shoulder exoskeletons (SEs) can assist the shoulder joint of workers during overhead work and are usually passive for good portability. However, current passive SEs face the challenge that their torque generators are often attached to the human arm, which adds a significant amount of weight to the user’s arms, resulting in additional energy consumption of the user. In this paper, we present a novel passive SE whose torque generator is attached to the user’s back and assists the shoulder joint through Bowden cables. Our approach greatly reduces the weight on the user’s arms and can accommodate complex shoulder joint movements with simple and lightweight mechanical structure based on Bowden cables. In addition, to match the nonlinear torque requirements of the shoulder joint, a unique spring-cam mechanism is proposed as the torque generator. To verify the effectiveness of the device, we conducted a usability test based on muscle activations of 10 healthy subjects. When assisting overhead work, the SE significantly reduced the mean and maximum electromyography signals of the shoulder-related muscles by up to 25%. The proposed SE contributes to further research on passive SE design to improve usability, especially in terms of reducing weight on human arms.
COVID-19 has long-term impacts on public mental health, while few research studies incorporate multidimensional methods to thoroughly characterise the psychological profile of general population and little detailed guidance exists for mental health management during the pandemic. This research aims to capture long-term psychological profile of general population following COVID-19 by integrating trajectory modelling approaches, latent trajectory pattern identification and network analyses.
Longitudinal data were collected from a nationwide sample of 18 804 adults in 12 months after COVID-19 outbreak in China. Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 and Insomnia Severity Index were used to measure depression, anxiety and insomnia, respectively. The unconditional and conditional latent growth curve models were fitted to investigate trajectories and long-term predictors for psychological symptoms. We employed latent growth mixture model to identify the major psychological symptom trajectory patterns, and ran sparse Gaussian graphical models with graphical lasso to explore the evolution of psychopathological network.
At 12 months after COVID-19 outbreak, psychological symptoms generally alleviated, and five psychological symptom trajectories with different demographics were identified: normal stable (63.4%), mild stable (15.3%), mild-increase to decrease (11.7%), mild-decrease to increase (4.0%) and moderate/severe stable (5.5%). The finding indicated that there were still about 5% individuals showing consistently severe distress and approximately 16% following fluctuating psychological trajectories, who should be continuously monitored. For individuals with persistently severe trajectories and those with fluctuating trajectories, central or bridge symptoms in the network were mainly ‘motor abnormality’ and ‘sad mood’, respectively. Compared with initial peak and late COVID-19 phase, aftermath of initial peak might be a psychologically vulnerable period with highest network connectivity. The central and bridge symptoms for aftermath of initial peak (‘appetite change’ and ‘trouble of relaxing’) were totally different from those at other pandemic phases (‘sad mood’).
This research identified the overall growing trend, long-term predictors, trajectory classes and evolutionary pattern of psychopathological network of psychological symptoms in 12 months after COVID-19 outbreak. It provides a multidimensional long-term psychological profile of the general population after COVID-19 outbreak, and accentuates the essentiality of continuous psychological monitoring, as well as population- and time-specific psychological management after COVID-19. We believe our findings can offer reference for long-term psychological management after pandemics.
Microorganisms can efficiently navigate in anisotropic complex fluids, but the precise swimming mechanisms remain largely unexplored. Their dynamics is determined by the interplay between multiple effects, including the fluid's orientation order, swimmer's undulatory gait and the finite length. Here, we extend the numerical study of the two-dimensional undulatory motions of a flexible swimmer in lyotropic liquid-crystalline polymers (LCPs) by Lin et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 921, 2021, p. A25) to the scenario of arbitrary swimming directions with respect to the nematic director. The swimmer is modelled as a nearly inextensible yet flexible fibre with imposed travelling-wave-like actuation. We investigate the orientation-dependent swimming behaviours in nematic LCPs for an infinitely long sheet (i.e. Taylor's swimming sheet model) and finite-length swimmers. We demonstrate that the swimmer must be sufficiently stiff to produce undulatory deformations to gain net motions. Moreover, a motile finite-length swimmer can reorient itself to swim parallel with the nematic director, due to a net body torque arising from the asymmetric distribution of the polymer force along the body.
The subduction model of the Neo-Tethys during the Early Cretaceous has always been a controversial topic, and the scarcity of Early Cretaceous magmatic rocks in the southern part of the Gangdese batholith is the main cause of this debate. To address this issue, this article presents new zircon U–Pb chronology, zircon Hf isotope, whole-rock geochemistry and Sr–Nd isotope data for the Early Cretaceous quartz diorite dykes with adakite affinity in Liuqiong, Gongga. Zircon U–Pb dating of three samples yielded ages of c. 141–137 Ma, indicating that the Liuqiong quartz diorite was emplaced in the Early Cretaceous. The whole-rock geochemical analysis shows that the Liuqiong quartz diorite is enriched in large-ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and light rare-earth elements (LREEs) and is depleted in high-field-strength elements (HFSEs), which are related to slab subduction. Additionally, the Liuqiong quartz diorite has high SiO2, Al2O3 and Sr contents, high Sr/Y ratios and low heavy rare-earth element (HREE) and Y contents, which are compatible with typical adakite signatures. The initial 87Sr/86Sr values of the Liuqiong adakite range from 0.705617 to 0.705853, and the whole-rock ϵNd(t) values vary between +5.78 and +6.24. The zircon ϵHf(t) values vary from +11.5 to +16.4. Our results show that the Liuqiong adakite magma was derived from partial melting of the Neo-Tethyan oceanic plate (mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) + sediment + fluid), with some degree of subsequent peridotite interaction within the overlying mantle wedge. Combining regional data, we favour the interpretation that the Neo-Tethyan oceanic crust was subducted at a low angle beneath the Gangdese during the Early Cretaceous.
Listeriosis is a rare but serious foodborne disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. This matched case–control study (1:1 ratio) aimed to identify the risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits for the occurrence of sporadic listeriosis in Beijing, China. Cases were defined as patients from whom Listeria was isolated, in addition to the presence of symptoms, including fever, bacteraemia, sepsis and other clinical manifestations corresponding to listeriosis, which were reported via the Beijing Foodborne Disease Surveillance System. Basic patient information and possible risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits were collected through face-to-face interviews. One hundred and six cases were enrolled from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020, including 52 perinatal cases and 54 non-perinatal cases. In the non-perinatal group, the consumption of Chinese cold dishes increased the risk of infection by 3.43-fold (95% confidence interval 1.27–9.25, χ2 = 5.92, P = 0.02). In the perinatal group, the risk of infection reduced by 95.2% when raw and cooked foods were well-separated (χ2 = 5.11, P = 0.02). These findings provide important scientific evidence for preventing infection by L. monocytogenes and improving the dissemination of advice regarding food safety for vulnerable populations.
There is increasing research examining excess mortality in people with bipolar disorder using life expectancy and related measures, which quantify the disease impact on survival. However, there has been no meta-analysis to date summarising existing data on life expectancy in those with bipolar disorder.
To systematically review and quantitatively synthesise estimates of life expectancy and years of potential life lost (YPLL) in people with bipolar disorder.
We searched Embase, Medline, PsycINFO and Web of Science databases up to 31 March 2021. We generated pooled life expectancy using random-effects models, and derived YPLL summary estimate by calculating averaged values weighted by sample size of individual studies. Subgroup analyses were conducted for gender, geographical region, study period, a given age (set-age) for lifespan estimation and causes of death. The study was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021241705).
Eleven and 13 studies were included in the review for life expectancy (n = 96 601) and YPLL (n = 128 989), respectively. Pooled life expectancy was 66.88 years (95% CI 64.47–69.28; I2 = 99.9%, P < 0.001), was higher in women than men (70.51 (95% CI 68.61–72.41) v. 64.59 (95% CI 61.16–68.03); z = 2.00, P = 0.003) and was lowest in Africa. Weighted average YPLL was 12.89 years (95% CI 12.72–13.07), and was greatest in Africa. More YPLL was observed when lifespan was estimated at birth than at other set-age. YPLLs attributable to natural and unnatural deaths were 5.94 years (95% CI 5.81–6.07) and 5.69 years (95% CI 5.59–5.79), respectively.
Bipolar disorder is associated with substantially shortened life expectancy. Implementation of multilevel, targeted interventions is urgently needed to reduce this mortality gap.
N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) regulates oocyte-to-embryo transition and the reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. However, the role of m6A methylation in porcine early embryonic development and its reprogramming characteristics in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos are yet to be known. Here, we showed that m6A methylation was essential for normal early embryonic development and its aberrant reprogramming in SCNT embryos. We identified a persistent occurrence of m6A methylation in embryos between 1-cell to blastocyst stages and m6A levels abruptly increased during the morula-to-blastocyst transition. Cycloleucine (methylation inhibitor, 20 mM) treatment efficiently reduced m6A levels, significantly decreased the rates of 4-cell embryos and blastocysts, and disrupted normal lineage allocation. Moreover, cycloleucine treatment also led to higher levels in both apoptosis and autophagy in blastocysts. Furthermore, m6A levels in SCNT embryos at the 4-cell and 8-cell stages were significantly lower than that in parthenogenetic activation (PA) embryos, suggesting an abnormal reprogramming of m6A methylation in SCNT embryos. Correspondingly, expression levels of m6A writers (METTL3 and METTL14) and eraser (FTO) were apparently higher in SCNT 8-cell embryos compared with their PA counterparts. Taken together, these results indicated that aberrant nuclear transfer-mediated reprogramming of m6A methylation was involved in regulating porcine early embryonic development.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
A 71-year-old man was admitted for gradually difficult walking for 3 years along with memory impairment and urinary incontinence for 1 year. At first, this patient just complained of weakness while walking and dizziness. He was treated for arterial hypertension; however, no relief was obtained. He experienced more difficulties in walking and initiating steps. Besides these symptoms, his memory and thinking ability declined. His wife found that he responded slowly with personality change from a talkative and considerative gentleman to a silent man with apathy. The patient often felt urinary urgency, sometimes with incontinence. It was considered as symptoms of prostate hypertrophy. He was referred to a neurologist and MRI reported some lacunar infarctions and brain atrophy (retrospectively, lateral ventricles enlargement already existed). His Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was 18 points. Lumbar puncture (LP) was performed and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) results were normal. The patient was diagnosed as having vascular dementia, hypertension and treated with neuroprotective agents and antihypertensives. After hospitalization, his symptoms were temporarily and partially relieved. His MMSE score was improved to 24 points when he was discharged.
A high-carbohydrate diet could achieve a protein-sparing effect, but it may cause negative impacts on the growth condition of fish due to their poor utilisation ability of carbohydrate. How to reduce the adverse effects caused by a high-carbohydrate diet is important for the development of aquaculture. In the present study, we aimed to identify whether inulin could attenuate the metabolic syndrome caused by a high-carbohydrate diet in fish. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) (1·19 (sd 0·01) g) were supplied with 35 % carbohydrate (CON), 45 % carbohydrate (HC) and 45 % carbohydrate + 5 g/kg inulin (HCI) diets for 10 weeks. The results showed that addition of inulin improved the survival rate when fish were challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila, indicating that inulin had an immunostimulatory effect. Compared with the HC group, the HCI group had lower lipid accumulation in liver and the gene expression analyses indicated that addition of inulin down-regulated genes related to lipogenesis and up-regulated genes relevant to β-oxidation significantly (P < 0·05). Higher liver glycogen and glucose tolerance were found in the HCI group compared with the HC group (P < 0·05). These results indicated that inulin could alleviate the metabolic syndrome induced by a high-carbohydrate diet. Furthermore, addition of inulin to a high-carbohydrate diet changed the intestinal bacterial composition and significantly increased the concentration of acetic acid and propionic acid in fish gut which have the potential to increase pathogen resistance and regulate metabolic characteristics in fish. Collectively, our results demonstrated a possible causal role for the gut microbiome in metabolic improvements induced by inulin in fish.
Eurasian steppes experienced frequent cultural transfers, human migration, and diffusion of techniques during the Bronze Age. The Hami Oasis is one of the most dynamic areas and has attracted multiple cultural flows. It is an important area that connects various routes of the Tianshan Corridor with the Hexi Corridor in western China. The Tianshanbeilu cemetery is the largest Bronze Age cemetery in Hami. Thirty-seven new radiocarbon dates allowed us to establish a new and more accurate chronology for Tianshanbeilu. Our results showed that the Tianshanbeilu cemetery was used from approximately 2022–1802 cal BC and remained in use from 1093–707 cal BC. This indicates that Tianshanbeilu is the earliest and longest-used known cemetery in eastern Xinjiang. By incorporating the typology of artifacts and stratigraphic relationships, the development of the Tianshanbeilu cemetery was divided into four phases. The first phase was from 2011–1672 cal BC, the second phase was from 1660–1408 cal BC, the third phase was from 1385–1256 cal BC, and the fourth phase was from 1214–1029 cal BC.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an autosomal dominant hereditary disease characterised by left ventricular asymmetry hypertrophy. However, our knowledge of the genetic background in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy cases is limited. Here, we aimed to evaluate pathogenic gene mutations in a family with high-risk hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and analyse the genotype/phenotype relationships in this family.
The proband, her parents, and her niece underwent whole-exome sequencing, and the genotypes of family members were identified using Sanger sequencing. mRNA expression was detected using reverse transcription sequencing. Structural impairments were predicted by homologous modelling. A family survey was conducted for patients with positive results to obtain information on general clinical symptoms, electrocardiography, ambulatory electrocardiography, echocardiography, and 3.0T cardiac magnetic resonance findings. Regular follow-up was performed for up to 6 months.
Five family members, including the proband, carried a cleavage site mutation in the MYBPC3 gene (c.2737+1 (IVS26) G>T), causing exon 26 of the MYBPC3 gene transcript to be skipped and leading to truncation of cardiac myosin-binding protein C. Family survey showed that the earliest onset age was 13 years old, and three people had died suddenly at less than 40 years old. Three pathogenic gene carriers were diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and all showed severe ventricular septal hypertrophy.
The c.2737+1 (IVS26) G>T mutation in the MYBPC3 gene led to exon 26 skipping, thereby affecting the structure and function of cardiac myosin-binding protein C and leading to severe ventricular hypertrophy and sudden death.
Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.
This rapid review aimed to determine the effectiveness of Sustained Low Efficiency Dialysis (SLED) when compared to Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) and Continuous Veno-Venous Hemofiltration (CVVH) in the treatment of acute renal failure (ARF) with a view to implementing SLED in a tertiary hospital in 2014.
A rapid review was performed on the effect of SLED for patients with ARF compared with CRRT or CVVH. The outcomes of interest were mortality, hemodynamic stability, reduced utilization of intensive care unit (ICU) and cost-effectiveness. The search terms ("sustained low-efficiency dialysis[MESH]”) were used to search PubMed, the Cochrane Library, UK NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination databases and the US National Guidelines Clearinghouse for relevant articles until 2014.
Four observational and two randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies were found. The results showed that 90-day mortality, was similar between groups (SLED: 49.6 percent versus CVVH: 55.6 percent, p = .43). Hemodynamic stability did not differ between SLED and CVVH and between SLED and CRRT. Patients in the SLED group had significantly fewer days of mechanical ventilation (17.7 ± 19.4 versus 20.9 ± 19.8, p = .047) and fewer days in the ICU (19.6 ± 20.1 versus 23.7 ± 21.9, p = .04). Patients treated with SLED needed fewer blood transfusions (1,375 ± 2,573 ml versus 1,976 ± 3,316 ml, p = .02) and had a substantial reduction in nursing time (p < .001). The hospital weekly costs were CAD1,431 for SLED, CAD2,607 for CRRT with heparin, and CAD 3,089 for CRRT with citrate. Dialysis using SLED was associated with higher first post-dialysis mean arterial pressure (p = .003) than those treated with CVVH, which led to lower mortality.
The evidence suggests that SLED can be used as an alternative to CRRT, as the outcomes were similar. SLED provides solute removal equivalent to CRRT at significantly lower cost.
We investigate the defect structures around a spherical colloidal particle in a cholesteric liquid crystal using spectral method, which is specially devised to cope with the inhomogeneity of the cholesteric at infinity. We pay particular attention to the cholesteric counterparts of nematic metastable configurations. When the spherical colloidal particle imposes strong homeotropic anchoring on its surface, besides the well-known twisted Saturn ring, we find another metastable defect configuration, which corresponds to the dipole in a nematic, without outside confinement. This configuration is energetically preferable to the twisted Saturn ring when the particle size is large compared to the nematic coherence length and small compared to the cholesteric pitch. When the colloidal particle imposes strong planar anchoring, we find the cholesteric twist can result in a split of the defect core on the particle surface similar to that found in a nematic liquid crystal by lowering temperature or increasing particle size.
A series of oxidation experiments were carried out on these novel γ/γ′-strengthened cobalt-based alloys of the systems Co–9Al–10W and Co–9Al–10W–0.02X (X = La, Ce, Dy, Y) at 900 °C. The appropriate amounts’ addition of rare earth elements leads to improved oxidation properties at 900 °C, especially La elements show the best oxidation resistance (129.008 mg/cm2). However, the base Co–9Al–10W alloy shows the worst oxidation performance (151.544 mg/cm2). Multilayer oxide layers formed during the oxidation process, the outer were mainly CoO and Co3O4 oxides, and the middle layer contained complex oxides (containing Co, Al, and W). The inner layer consists of little discontinuous oxides, included few Al2O3 oxides. There existed a different crack width and the base alloy had the widest crack. Moreover, there exists a phase transformation (γ/γ′ to γ/Co3W) at the interface between oxide film and substrate.
The isothermal oxidation experiments were carried out on several new γ/γ′-strengthened cobalt-base alloys Co–Al–W–4Cr–0.02X (X = La, Ce, Dy, Y) at 900 and 800 °C. Due to an appropriate content of additional elements, the change in the morphology occurred and it significantly improved the oxidation resistance compared with those without Cr, among which the one with La elements shows the best oxidation resistance. Multiple oxide layers are also formed during the oxidation process, with CoWO4 and CoAl2O4 phases in the outer layer, and Cr, Al, W, and Co (e.g., Cr2O3) in the middle layer. The inner layer consists of some Al2O3 oxides, while more protective Al2O3 oxide was formed, esp. at the temperature of 800 °C. Both Cr2O3 and Al2O3 oxides were effectively protective oxides, which can prevent the intrusion of oxygen into the alloy substrate. Moreover, a phase transformation (γ/γ′ to γ/Co3W) was observed at the interface between oxide layer and substrate.