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Cysticercosis caused by the metacestode larval stage of Taenia hydatigena formerly referred to as Cysticercus tenuicollis is a disease of veterinary importance that constitutes a significant threat to livestock production worldwide, especially in endemic regions due to condemnation of visceral organs and mortality rate of infected young animals. While the genetic diversity among parasites is found to be potentially useful in many areas of research including molecular diagnostics, epidemiology and control, that of T. hydatigena across the globe remains poorly understood. In this study, analysis of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of adult worms and larval stages of T. hydatigena isolated from dogs, sheep and a wild boar in China showed that the population structure consists of two major haplogroups with very high nucleotide substitutions involving synonymous and non-synonymous changes. Compared with other cestodes such as Echinococcus spp., the genetic variation observed between the haplogroups is sufficient for the assignment of major haplotype or genotype division as both groups showed a total of 166 point-mutation differences between the 12 mitochondrial protein-coding gene sequences. Preliminary analysis of a nuclear protein-coding gene (pepck) did not reveal any peculiar changes between both groups which suggests that these variants may only differ in their mitochondrial makeup.
Gosan-ri-type pottery (GTP) is a unique plant-fiber-tempered pottery from Korea and has only been found in Early Neolithic sites on Jeju Island. In this study, we conducted radiocarbon (14C) dating for one GTP sample and 10 charcoal samples collected from archaeological structures in which GTP was found in 2012. The measurement conditions, the internal quality assurance test, and the reliability test indicate that each 14C date is very reliable. However, the 14C dates of the charcoal samples were more accurate than that of the GTP sample due to contamination from younger humic acids. From the summary of all 14C dates of charcoal samples using the KDE model, we finally conclude that GTP was manufactured and utilized throughout the period 9610–9490 cal BP (7670–7550 BC) with 95.4% confidence level. This age corroborates the inference that GTP is the oldest known Korean Neolithic pottery.
To alert policy makers early about emerging health technologies that could significantly impact the healthcare system at the clinical, financial and organizational levels, the Agency for Care Effectiveness (ACE) in Singapore established a horizon scanning system (HSS) in 2019. This paper describes the development of the ACE HSS and showcases its application with cell and gene therapy products as the first example.
A literature review of existing HSS methods, including the processes of the EuroScan International Network and other overseas horizon scanning agencies, was done to inform the development of our horizon scanning framework. The framework was first applied to the new and emerging cell and gene therapies.
Identification sources, filtration and prioritization criteria, and horizon scanning outputs for the HSS were developed in alignment to international best practices, with recommendations for technology uptake represented by a traffic light system. For the first horizon scanning exercise on cell and gene therapies, forty therapies passed the filtration step, of which eight were prioritized for further assessment. The few early reports developed were used to inform and prepare the healthcare system for their potential introduction, particularly in terms of the need to develop health and funding policies.
Early assessment of prioritized topics has provided support for strategic efforts within the Ministry of Health. Given that ACE's horizon scanning program is still in its infancy, the framework will continue to evolve to ensure relevance to our stakeholders so that it remains fit for purpose for our healthcare system.
Primary liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Most patients are diagnosed at late stages with poor prognosis; thus, identification of modifiable risk factors for primary prevention of liver cancer is urgently needed. The well-established risk factors of liver cancer include chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), heavy alcohol consumption, metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and aflatoxin exposure. However, a large proportion of cancer cases worldwide cannot be explained by current known risk factors. Dietary factors have been suspected as important, but dietary aetiology of liver cancer remains poorly understood. In this review, we summarised and evaluated the observational studies of diet including single nutrients, food and food groups, as well as dietary patterns with the risk of developing liver cancer. Although there are large knowledge gaps between diet and liver cancer risk, current epidemiological evidence supports an important role of diet in liver cancer development. For example, exposure to aflatoxin, heavy alcohol drinking and possibly dairy product (not including yogurt) intake increase, while intake of coffee, fish and tea, light-to-moderate alcohol drinking and several healthy dietary patterns (e.g. Alternative Healthy Eating Index) may decrease liver cancer risk. Future studies with large sample size and accurate diet measurement are warranted and need to consider issues such as the possible aetiological heterogeneity between liver cancer subtypes, the influence of chronic HBV or HCV infection, the high-risk populations (e.g. cirrhosis) and a potential interplay with host gut microbiota or genetic variations.
Previous studies have shown conflicting findings regarding the relationship between maternal vitamin D deficiency (VDD) and fetal growth restriction (FGR). We hypothesised that parathyroid hormone (PTH) may be an underlying factor relevant to this potential association. In a prospective birth cohort study, descriptive statistics were evaluated for the demographic characteristics of 3407 pregnancies in the second trimester from three antenatal clinics in Hefei, China. The association of the combined status of vitamin D and PTH with birth weight and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA) was assessed by a multivariate linear and binary logistic regression. We found that declined status of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with lower birth weight (for moderate VDD: adjusted β = −49·4 g, 95 % CI −91·1, −7·8, P < 0·05; for severe VDD: adjusted β = −79·8 g, 95 % CI −127·2, −32·5, P < 0·01), as well as ascended levels of PTH (for elevated PTH: adjusted β = −44·5 g, 95 % CI −82·6, −6·4, P < 0·05). Compared with the non-VDD group with non-elevated PTH, pregnancies with severe VDD and elevated PTH had the lowest neonatal birth weight (adjusted β = −124·7 g, 95 % CI −194·6, −54·8, P < 0·001) and the highest risk of SGA (adjusted risk ratio (RR) = 3·36, 95 % CI 1·41, 8·03, P < 0·01). Notably, the highest risk of less Ca supplementation was founded in severe VDD group with elevated PTH (adjusted RR = 4·67, 95 % CI 2·78, 7·85, P < 0·001). In conclusion, elevated PTH induced by less Ca supplementation would further aggravate the risk of FGR in pregnancies with severe VDD through impaired maternal Ca metabolism homoeostasis.
To investigate the impacts of depression screening, diagnosis and treatment on major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) in acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Prospective cohort study including a nested 24-week randomised clinical trial for treating depression was performed with 5–12 years after the index ACS. A total of 1152 patients recently hospitalised with ACS were recruited from 2006 to 2012, and were divided by depression screening and diagnosis at baseline and 24-week treatment allocation into five groups: 651 screening negative (N), 55 screening positive but no depressive disorder (S), 149 depressive disorder randomised to escitalopram (E), 151 depressive disorder randomised to placebo (P) and 146 depressive disorder receiving medical treatment only (M).
Cumulative MACE incidences over a median 8.4-year follow-up period were 29.6% in N, 43.6% in S, 40.9% in E, 53.6% in P and 59.6% in M. Compared to N, screening positive was associated with higher incidence of MACE [adjusted hazards ratio 2.15 (95% confidence interval 1.63–2.83)]. No differences were found between screening positive with and without a formal depressive disorder diagnosis. Of those screening positive, E was associated with a lower incidence of MACE than P and M. M had the worst outcomes even compared to P, despite significantly milder depressive symptoms at baseline.
Routine depression screening in patients with recent ACS and subsequent appropriate treatment of depression could improve long-term cardiac outcomes.
The Wulanba granite, consisting of biotite monzogranite and syenogranite, is located in the southern part of the Great Xing’an Range, NE China. Whole-rock major- and trace-element geochemistry suggests the Wulanba granite is a high-K–shoshonitic, slightly peraluminous and highly differentiated I-type granite. The Sr–Nd–Hf isotopes indicate that it originated from partial melting of juvenile crust derived from the depleted mantle with a minor input of old crust. The relatively young T2DM and tDM2 ages indicate it was most likely derived from a Late Neoproterozoic to Early Palaeozoic source. We have demonstrated that the biotite monzogranite is the ore-related intrusion of the Haobugao Zn–Fe mineralization based on the following geological, geochronological and geochemical evidence: (1) the chalcopyrite/pyrite in the biotite monzogranite and the continuous mineralization of drill core ZK2508; (2) the consistence of the emplacement age of the biotite monzogranite (~141–140/138 Ma) with the skarn mineralization age (~142 Ma); and (3) the presence of rich ore-forming elements (Fe–Zn–Cu) in the biotite monzogranite, and the similar Pb compositions of the sulfides from the Haobugao deposit and the biotite monzogranite. Compared to the barren syenogranite, the fertile biotite monzogranite is more oxidized, while the edges of the apatite grains in the biotite monzogranite are more oxidized than the centres. The average F/Cl ratio of the fertile biotite monzogranite (~123.45) is much higher than that of the barren syenogranite (~73.98). We conclude that these differences reflect unique geochemical signatures, and the geochemical composition of the apatite can be used to infer the economic potential of granites.
To identify chronological changes in the marine reservoir effect in southwest Japan, the radiocarbon ages of eight pairs of marine shells and terrestrial plants were measured from the same horizons of one core of Holocene sediments. This core was obtained from the northern part of the Sukumo Plain in southwestern Shikoku Island, which faces the warm Kuroshio Current. The drilling site is located in an area of subsidence associated with the convergence of the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate. On analyses of lithology, molluscan assemblages, and radiocarbon dating, we interpreted, from oldest to youngest, nine units: basement rock, a braided river channel, a meandering river channel, an estuary, a transgressive inner bay, Kikai-Akahoya volcanic ash, a deltaic inner bay, a tidal flat, and artificial soil. Changes in the depositional environment were mainly associated with sea-level rise after the end of the last glaciation. The reservoir ages of the eight pairs, 330 ± 70 yr, were obtained from a transgressive inner bay to deltaic inner bay sediments, formed during 4100–9200 cal BP. The chronological change in the reservoir effect allows us to correlate the Sukumo Core sediments with previous results from southwestern Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and Taiwan Island.
To investigate the relationship between paleoenvironmental changes and marine reservoir effects, the radiocarbon ages of marine bioclasts and terrestrial plants from the same horizons of a sediment core in the Holocene Epoch were measured. This core, with a length of approximately 9 m, was obtained from the southern part of the Miyazaki Plain southeast of Kyushu Island, which faces the Kuroshio warm current. This drilling site is located in an uplift area associated with the subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate. Based on analyses of lithology, molluscan and foraminifera assemblages, and radiocarbon dating, we interpreted four sedimentary units in order of age: tidal flat, inner bay, Kikai-Akahoya volcanic ash, and delta plain. These paleoenvironmental changes were mainly associated with the sea-level rise during the deglacial period. The reservoir ages of nine pairs from the tidal flat to inner bay facies were found to be from the time span of 7300–8200 cal BP. The chronological changes in the reservoir effect are correlated with those seen in Holocene sediments of the other coastal area in East Asia.
Flexible electrode is an indispensable component of emerging portable, flexible, and wearable electronic devices. Although various flexible electrodes with different dimensions and functions have been explored, developing a new electrode material with excellent mechanical reliability and superior electrical performance remains a challenge. Here, a graphene-covered Cu composite electrode film with a total thickness of ∼100 nm is successfully fabricated onto a flexible polyimide substrate by means of a series of assembly methods including physical vapor deposition, chemical vapor deposition, and transfer technique. The composite electrode film on the flexible substrate exhibits evidently enhanced tensile strength, monotonic bending, and repeatedly bending fatigue reliability as well as electrical performance compared with that of the bared Cu film electrode. Such excellent mechanical performances are attributed to the role of the graphene coating in suppressing fatigue damage formation and preventing crack advance. It is expected that the chemical vapor-deposited graphene-covered Cu composite electrode would extend the potential ultrathin metal film electrode as the innovative electrode material for the next-generation flexible electronic devices.
The modern antiquities market uses radiocarbon (14C) dating to screen for forged objects. Although this fact shows the potential and power of the method, the circumstances where it is applied can be questionable and call for our attention. Here we present an outline of a call to radiocarbon laboratories for due diligence and best practice approaches to the analysis of antique objects requested by non-research clients.
The following paper investigates the prevalence and characteristics of asymptomatic norovirus infection in the population living around oyster farm sites. Two consecutive surveys were conducted from January 2014 to December 2014 and 4549 stool samples were screened during the same time period. The total asymptomatic infection rate was 4.04% (184/4549). Norovirus infection rate was 5.20% in oyster farming population which was significantly higher compared with non-farming population where the infection rate was 3.65% (χ2 = 5.49, P < 0.05). A total of 184 NoV positive samples were identified by real time-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and semi-nested RT-PCR and 136 sequences were obtained. The sequences were clustered into 14 genotypes. GI strains were clustered into six genotypes, including GI.2, GI.3, GI.5, GI.6, GI.8 and GI.9; while GII strains were clustered into GII.2, GII.3, GII.4, GII.5, GII.6, GII.8 and GII.13. GI.9 and GII.17 were the predominant and most prevalent genotypes, respectively. The GII.17 genotype replaced GII.4 becoming the dominant genotype in the oyster farming area in 2014. To sum up, long-term monitoring of asymptomatic infection is crucial for the detection of new variant strains and for identifying outbreaks during the early stage.
Nacre-mimetic (PE/TiO2)4 nanolayered composites (NLCs) with the nanocrystalline TiO2 layer thickness less than 30 nm and different thickness ratios of inorganic/organic layers were successfully prepared by using layer-by-layer self-assembly and chemical bath deposition method. Mechanical properties, especially fatigue properties of the NLCs with different thickness ratios were evaluated. The elastic modulus, hardness and fracture toughness, strain amplitude to fatigue limits of the NLCs reached 27.78 ± 5.69 GPa, 1.33 ± 0.31 GPa, and 4.16 ± 0.20 MPa m1/2, respectively. Fatigue performance of the NLCs in the high and low cycle fatigue regimes was optimized by tailoring the thickness ratio of the TiO2/PE layers. The PE/TiO2 NLCs with the larger thickness ratio of ∼3 has the high fatigue limit (the critical strain amplitude of 0.0853%) in the high-cycle fatigue regime, while that with the smaller thickness ratio of ∼1 and ∼0.5 are of the good fatigue strength in the low-cycle fatigue regime. The basic mechanism for the enhanced fatigue performance is elucidated.
Beppu Bay is located on east-central Kyushu, southwest Japan, and is characterized by hydrothermal activity, tectonic deformation, and recent volcanism under the influence of convergence of the Philippine Sea plate. This area, occupying the western portion of an arc-bisecting dextral fault system, is a tectonic depression that has existed since ca. 5 Ma. Sedimentary facies, mollusk assemblages, and radiocarbon (14C) ages of 25 terrestrial plant fragments and 16 marine carbonate shells from a 70-m drill core were determined to estimate the activity of the Funai Fault, which consists of normal faults along the southern margin of the tectonic basin. Based on the analysis, six sedimentary facies, namely braided river channel, estuary, prodelta, delta front, delta plain, and artificial soil, were identified. The vertical slip rate was calculated as 2.6–2.7 mm/yr based on displacements of the braided river channel sediments of the last glacial period and the base of Kikai-Akayoya tephra in the Holocene highstand sediments of this area. Reservoir ages during 6180–10,410 cal BP were determined from marine shell and terrestrial plant pairs from the sediments of the estuary, prodelta and delta front facies, and were correlated with values from a northern coast of Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula.
Despite recent interest in community-based screening programs to detect undiagnosed cognitive disorder, little is known about whether screening leads to further diagnostic evaluation, or the effects of such programs in terms of actual changes in patient or caregiver behavior. This study followed up informants of older adults (i.e. caregivers of patients who completed informant-based screening regarding the patient) following participation in a study screening for undiagnosed memory problems, to explore uptake of further diagnostic evaluation or treatment, advance planning or preparations, lifestyle changes, medication adherence, and use of support services.
A total of 140 informants of older adult patients were surveyed four to fifteen months following participation in a cognitive screening study. The informants were interviewed with a study-specific survey about cognitive assessment, advance planning, lifestyle changes, and use of support services and general medication adherence.
A minority of patients and informants had engaged in advance planning or made relevant lifestyle changes following cognitive screening. Those assessed as being at higher risk of memory problems were more likely to have attended a full diagnostic evaluation, engaged in support services and experienced medication adherence difficulties.
Only a small proportion of patients participating in cognitive screening subsequently engaged in diagnostic evaluation, advance planning, or lifestyle changes. However, those with higher risk of cognitive impairment were generally more likely to take some action following cognitive screening. Those at higher risk were also more vulnerable due to greater difficulties with medication adherence.
To measure chronological changes in the marine reservoir effect in western Japan, 47 marine shells and 35 terrestrial plants from the same horizons in two cores of Holocene sediments were radiocarbon dated by the KIGAM AMS facility. These cores were obtained from the central and northern parts of Hakata Bay using a Geoslicer device. This drilling tool provided us continuous coverage and many samples. In order to determine the species effects on the marine reservoir effect, both filter feeders and a deposit feeder were selected for study. Based on the analysis of lithology, mollusk assemblage, and 14C dating, two sedimentary units were determined: the upper bay floor sediment and lower estuarine sediment. Reservoir ages of 280±150 yr (n=17) and 340±140 yr (n=18) were obtained from the central and northern parts of Hakata Bay during 2000 to 10,000 cal BP, respectively. Based on these results, it is clear that a paleoenvironmental change occurred here as a result of sea-level rise during the deglacial period.
A radiocarbon (14C) dating technique with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) was applied to estimate the year of death and the year of birth of unidentified human remains. Because many of the samples have been preserved in formaldehyde, it was necessary to evaluate the influence of formaldehyde on carbon ages. Samples intentionally preserved in formaldehyde during the known period were measured, and their Δ14C values were compared with results obtained from fresh samples. The influence of formaldehyde on soft tissue was 14 times larger than that on cortical bone. Unfortunately, an effective method for removing the influence of formaldehyde has not yet been found. 14C ages could be obtained only from the samples not preserved in formaldehyde. The years of birth were determined by the ages of the dentin samples, while the years of death were determined by the ages of the bone and soft tissue samples. Multiple sampling from a body provides an advantage in determination of one of two possible ages of a sample obtained using the bomb peak. Victims of the Korean War were ascertained by the year of death. The year of death and the age at death of unidentified bodies were also determined for forensic investigation.
Environmental filtering and competitive interactions are important ecological processes in community assembly. The contribution of the two processes to community assembly can be evaluated by shifts in functional diversity patterns. We examined the correlations between functional diversity of six traits (leaf chlorophyll concentration, dry matter content, size, specific leaf area, thickness and wood density) and environmental gradients (topography and soil) for 92 species in the 20-ha Dinghushan forest plot in China. A partial Mantel test showed that most of the community-weighted mean trait values changed with terrain convexity and soil fertility, which implied that environmental filtering was occurring. Functional diversity of many traits significantly increased with increasing terrain convexity and soil fertility, which was associated with increased light and below-ground resources respectively. These results suggest that co-occurring species are functionally convergent in regions of strong abiotic stress under the environmental filtering, but functionally divergent in more benign environments due to resource partitioning and competitive interactions. Single-trait diversity and multivariate functional diversity had different relationships with environmental factors, indicating that traits were related to different niche axes, and associated with different ecological processes, which demonstrated the importance of focusing niche axes in traits selection. Between 9% and 41% of variation in functional diversity of different traits was explained by environmental factors in stepwise multiple regression models. Terrain convexity and soil fertility were the best predictors of functional diversity, which contributed 30.5% and 29.0% of total R2 to the model. These provided essential evidence that different environmental factors had distinguishing impacts on regulating diversity of traits.
Poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/graphene oxide (GO) nanocomposites were prepared by solution mixing. Differential scanning calorimetry results indicated that GO was an effective nucleating agent. The size of spherulites decreased, the density of spherulites increased with increasing GO and the crystallinity of PLA increased from 4.34 to 49.01%. For isothermal crystallization, the crystallization rates of PLA/GO nanocomposites were significantly higher than that of neat PLA, in which t0.5 reduced from 9.0 to 2.8. Spindle-like nanopores (about 100–200 nm) that arranged like spherulites were prepared by low temperature foaming. It was found that the crystallization rate increase and spherulite morphology change were insignificant when the content of GO exceeded 0.5 wt%, because the excessive GO increased the number of nucleation sites while restricting the PLA crystal growth. Thus, the arrangement of nanopores did not mimick the spherulites because of imperfect crystal morphology.