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Previous studies have revealed associations of meteorological factors with tuberculosis (TB) cases. However, few studies have examined their lag effects on TB cases. This study was aimed to analyse nonlinear lag effects of meteorological factors on the number of TB notifications in Hong Kong. Using a 22-year consecutive surveillance data in Hong Kong, we examined the association of monthly average temperature and relative humidity with temporal dynamics of the monthly number of TB notifications using a distributed lag nonlinear models combined with a Poisson regression. The relative risks (RRs) of TB notifications were >1.15 as monthly average temperatures were between 16.3 and 17.3 °C at lagged 13–15 months, reaching the peak risk of 1.18 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.35) when it was 16.8 °C at lagged 14 months. The RRs of TB notifications were >1.05 as relative humidities of 60.0–63.6% at lagged 9–11 months expanded to 68.0–71.0% at lagged 12–17 months, reaching the highest risk of 1.06 (95% CI 1.01–1.11) when it was 69.0% at lagged 13 months. The nonlinear and delayed effects of average temperature and relative humidity on TB epidemic were identified, which may provide a practical reference for improving the TB warning system.
For advanced operational aircraft, the two-dimensional (2-D) thrust-vectoring (TV) nozzle effectively improves the flight mobility and post-stall manoevrability. However, its flow capacity decreases when deflecting and cooling air is injected, which impacts the engine’s operating state, including decreasing the fan surge margin and increasing the turbine inlet temperature. Therefore, in order to improve engine performance in the whole flight envelope, this paper studies the matching mechanism of the engine and the cooled 2-D TV nozzle, performance characterisation and control schedule of the nozzle, and an integrated aeroengine/nozzle modeling method is put forward. Based on these, an engine performance simulation model is modified to include a cooled 2-D TV nozzle. The testing results show that applying the nozzle control schedules recommended in this paper avoids the performance degradation when the nozzle deflects. This work advances the field of engine/nozzle integrated modeling, and helps to instruct the simulation and experimentation to better fit the needs of engine modeling and engineering applications.
This study aimed to evaluate the benefits of betahistine or vestibular rehabilitation (Tetrax biofeedback) on the quality of life and fall risk in patients with Ménière's disease.
Sixty-six patients with Ménière's disease were randomly divided into three groups: betahistine, Tetrax and control groups. Patients’ Dizziness Handicap Index and Tetrax fall index scores were obtained before and after treatment.
Patients in the betahistine and Tetrax groups showed significant improvements in Dizziness Handicap Index and fall index scores after treatment versus before treatment (p < 0.05). The improvements in the Tetrax group were significantly greater than those in the betahistine group (p < 0.05).
Betahistine and vestibular rehabilitation (Tetrax biofeedback) improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of falling in patients with Ménière's disease. Vestibular rehabilitation (Tetrax biofeedback) is an effective management method for Ménière's disease.
Families facing end-stage nonmalignant chronic diseases (NMCDs) are presented with similar symptom burdens and need for psycho-social–spiritual support as their counterparts with advanced cancers. However, NMCD patients tend to face more variable disease trajectories, and thus may require different anticipatory supports, delivered in familiar environments. The Life Rainbow Programme (LRP) provides holistic, transdisciplinary, community-based end-of-life care for patients with NMCDs and their caregivers. This paper reports on the 3-month outcomes using a single-group, pre–post comparison.
Patients with end-stage NMCDs were screened for eligibility by a medical team before being referred to the LRP. Patients were assessed at baseline (T0), 1 month (T1), and 3 months (T2) using the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS). Their hospital use in the previous month was also measured by presentations at accident and emergency services, admissions to intensive care units, and number of hospital bed-days. Caregivers were assessed at T0 and T2 using the Chinese version of the Modified Caregiver Strain Index, and self-reported health, psychological, spiritual, and overall well-being. Over-time changes in outcomes for patients, and caregivers, were tested using paired-sample t-tests, Wilcoxon-signed rank tests, and chi-square tests.
Seventy-four patients and 36 caregivers participated in this research study. Patients reported significant improvements in all IPOS domains at both 1 and 3 months [ranging from Cohen's d = 0.495 (nausea) to 1.793 (depression and information needs fulfilled)]. Average hospital bed-days in the previous month fell from 3.50 to 1.68, comparing baseline and 1 month (p < 0.05). At 3 months, caregiver strain was significantly reduced (r = 0.332), while spiritual well-being was enhanced (r = 0.333).
After receiving 3 month's LRP services, patients with end-stage NMCDs and their caregivers experienced significant improvements in the quality of life and well-being, and their hospital bed-days were reduced.
In the treatment of psychosis, agitation and aggression in Alzheimer's disease, guidelines emphasise the need to ‘use the lowest possible dose’ of antipsychotic drugs, but provide no information on optimal dosing.
This analysis investigated the pharmacokinetic profiles of risperidone and 9-hydroxy (OH)-risperidone, and how these related to treatment-emergent extrapyramidal side-effects (EPS), using data from The Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness in Alzheimer's Disease study (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00015548).
A statistical model, which described the concentration–time course of risperidone and 9-OH-risperidone, was used to predict peak, trough and average concentrations of risperidone, 9-OH-risperidone and ‘active moiety’ (combined concentrations) (n = 108 participants). Logistic regression was used to investigate the associations of pharmacokinetic biomarkers with EPS. Model-based predictions were used to simulate the dose adjustments needed to avoid EPS.
The model showed an age-related reduction in risperidone clearance (P < 0.0001), reduced renal elimination of 9-OH-risperidone (elimination half-life 27 h), and slower active moiety clearance in 22% of patients, (concentration-to-dose ratio: 20.2 (s.d. = 7.2) v. 7.6 (s.d. = 4.9) ng/mL per mg/day, Mann–Whitney U-test, P < 0.0001). Higher trough 9-OH-risperidone and active moiety concentrations (P < 0.0001) and lower Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores (P < 0.0001), were associated with EPS. Model-based predictions suggest the optimum dose ranged from 0.25 mg/day (85 years, MMSE of 5), to 1 mg/day (75 years, MMSE of 15), with alternate day dosing required for those with slower drug clearance.
Our findings argue for age- and MMSE-related dose adjustments and suggest that a single measure of the concentration-to-dose ratio could be used to identify those with slower drug clearance.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
To evaluate the impacts of guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) and coated folic acid (CFA) on growth performance, nutrient digestion and hepatic gene expression, fifty-two Angus bulls were assigned to four groups in a 2 × 2 factor experimental design. The CFA of 0 or 6 mg/kg dietary DM folic acid was supplemented in diets with GAA of 0 (GAA−) or 0·6 g/kg DM (GAA+), respectively. Average daily gain (ADG), feed efficiency and hepatic creatine concentration increased with GAA or CFA addition, and the increased magnitude of these parameters was greater for addition of CFA in GAA− diets than in GAA+ diets. Blood creatine concentration increased with GAA or CFA addition, and greater increase was observed when CFA was supplemented in GAA+ diets than in GAA− diets. DM intake was unchanged, but rumen total SCFA concentration and digestibilities of DM, crude protein, neutral-detergent fibre and acid-detergent fibre increased with the addition of GAA or CFA. Acetate:propionate ratio was unaffected by GAA, but increased for CFA addition. Increase in blood concentrations of albumin, total protein and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) was observed for GAA or CFA addition. Blood folate concentration was decreased by GAA, but increased with CFA addition. Hepatic expressions of IGF-1, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, protein kinase B, mammalian target of rapamycin and ribosomal protein S6 kinase increased with GAA or CFA addition. Results indicated that the combined supplementation of GAA and CFA could not cause ADG increase more when compared with GAA or CFA addition alone.
A disruption database characterizing the current quench of disruptions with ITER-like tungsten divertor has been developed on EAST. It provides a large number of plasma parameters describing the predisruptive plasma, current quench time, eddy current, and mitigation by massive impurity injection, which shows that the current quench time strongly depends on magnetic energy and post-disruption electron temperature. Further, the energy balance and magnetic energy dissipation during the current quench phase has been well analysed. Magnetic energy is also demonstrated to be dissipated mainly by ohmic reheating and inductive coupling, and both of the two channels have great effects on current quench time. Also, massive gas injection is an efficient method to speed up the current quench and increase the fraction of impurity radiation.
To improve the endurance performance of long-endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), a smart morphing method to adjust the UAV and flight mode continuously during flight is proposed. Using this method as a starting point, a smart morphing long-endurance UAV design is conducted and the resulting improvement in the endurance performance studied. Firstly, the initial overall design of the smart morphing long-endurance UAV is carried out, then the morphing form is designed and various control parameters are selected. Secondly, based on multi-agent theory, an architecture for the smart morphing control system is built and the workflow of the smart morphing control system is planned. The morphing decision method is designed in detail based on the particle swarm optimisation algorithm. Finally, a simulation of the smart morphing approach in the climb and cruise stages is carried out to quantitatively verify the improvement in the endurance performance. The simulation results show that the smart morphing method can improve the cruise time by 4.1% with the same fuel consumption.
‘Recurrence’ of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has triggered numerous discussions of scholars at home and abroad. A total of 44 recurrent cases of COVID-19 and 32 control cases admitted from 11 February to 29 March 2020 to Guanggu Campus of Tongji Hospital affiliated to Tongji Medical College Huazhong University of Science and Technology were enrolled in this study. All the 44 recurrent cases were classified as mild to moderate when the patients were admitted for the second time. The gender and mean age in both cases (recurrent and control) were similar. At least one concomitant disease was observed in 52.27% recurrent cases and 34.38% control cases. The most prevalent comorbidity among them was hypertension. Fever and cough being the most prevalent clinical symptoms in both cases. On comparing both the cases, recurrent cases had markedly elevated concentrations of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (P = 0.020) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (P = 0.007). Moreover, subgroup analysis showed mild to moderate abnormal concentrations of ALT and AST in recurrent cases. The elevated concentrations of ALT and AST may be recognised as predictive markers for the risk of ‘recurrence’ of COVID-19, which may provide insights into the prevention and control of COVID-19 in the future.
A magnetic field configuration of an island divertor for a quasi-axisymmetric stellarator (CFQS) is proposed. The configuration incorporates large islands surrounding the core confinement region. The interface between the core region and the peripheral region of the island divertor is a clear magnetic separatrix similar to a tokamak divertor. The structure of divertor magnetic field lines is very regular without stochasticity and the connection length is sufficiently long for good divertor performance. Such a divertor configuration is produced in the magnetic field configuration for the CFQS device, which is now under construction in China.
This study aimed to investigate the benefit of Bonebridge devices in patients with single-sided deafness.
Five patients with single-sided deafness who were implanted with Bonebridge devices were recruited in a single-centre study. Participants’ speech perception and horizontal sound localisation abilities were assessed at 6 and 12 months post-operatively. Speech intelligibility in noisy environments was measured in three different testing conditions (speech and noise presented from the front, speech and noise presented from the front and contralateral (normal ear) side separately, and speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side). Sound localisation was evaluated in Bonebridge-aided and Bonebridge-unaided conditions at different stimuli levels (65, 70 and 75 dB SPL).
All participants showed a better capacity for speech intelligibility in quiet environments with the Bonebridge device. The speech recognition threshold with the Bonebridge device was significantly decreased at both short- and long-term follow up in the speech presented from the ipsilateral (implanted Bonebridge) side and noise from the contralateral side condition (p < 0.05). Additionally, participants maintained similar levels of sound localisation between the Bonebridge-aided and unaided conditions (p > 0.05). However, the accuracy of localisation showed some improvement at 70 dB SPL and 75 dB SPL post-operatively.
The Bonebridge device provides the benefit of improved speech perception performance in patients with single-sided deafness. Sound localisation abilities were neither improved nor worsened with Bonebridge implantation at the follow-up assessments.
Longan is an economically important sub-tropical fruit tree native to southern China and southeast Asia. Its production has been affected significantly by climate change, but the underlying reasons remain unclear. Herein, the potential growing areas of longan were simulated by the Maxent model under current and future conditions. The results showed excellent prediction performance, with an area under curve of >0.9 for model training and validation. The key environmental variables identified were mean temperature of the coldest quarter, minimum temperature of the coldest month, annual mean temperature and mean temperature of the driest quarter. The optimum suitable areas of longan were found to be concentrated mainly in south-western, southern and eastern China, with a slight increase in optimum suitable areas under two different emission scenarios of three global climatic models. However, its future potential growing areas were predicted to differ among provinces or cities. Suitable growing areas in Sichuan, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Chongqing will first increase and then remain approximately unchanged between the 2050s and 2070s; those in Yunnan, Guangdong and Hainan will remain approximately unchanged from the present to the 2070s; those in Fujian and Guizhou will fluctuate slightly from the present to the 2050s and then increase to the 2070s; those in Taiwan will first decrease and then increase. In summary, the major future production areas of longan will be Guangdong, Hainan and Guangxi provinces, followed by Chongqing, Yunnan, Fujian and Taiwan. Thus, this study serves as a useful guide for the management of longan.
Coated copper sulphate (CCS) could be used as a Cu supplement in cows. To investigate the influences of copper sulphate (CS) and CCS on milk performance, nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, fifty Holstein dairy cows were arranged in a randomised block design to five groups: control, CS addition (7·5 mg Cu/kg DM from CS) or CCS addition (5, 7·5 and 10 mg Cu/kg DM from CCS, respectively). When comparing Cu source at equal inclusion rates (7·5 mg/kg DM), cows receiving CCS addition had higher yields of fat-corrected milk, milk fat and protein; digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF); ruminal total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration; activities of carboxymethyl cellulase, cellobiase, pectinase and α-amylase; populations of Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Fibrobacter succinogenes; and liver Cu content than cows receiving CS addition. Increasing CCS addition, DM intake was unchanged, yields of milk, milk fat and protein; feed efficiency; digestibility of DM, OM, NDF and acid-detergent fibre; ruminal total VFA concentration; acetate:propionate ratio; activity of cellulolytic enzyme; populations of total bacteria, protozoa and dominant cellulolytic bacteria; and concentrations of Cu in serum and liver increased linearly, but ruminal propionate percentage, ammonia-N concentration, α-amylase activity and populations of Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus decreased linearly. The results indicated that supplement of CS could be substituted with CCS and addition of CCS improved milk performance and nutrient digestion in dairy cows.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed serious challenges. It is vitally important to further clarify the epidemiological characteristics of the COVID-19 outbreak for future study and prevention and control measures. Epidemiological characteristics and spatial−temporal analysis were performed based on COVID-19 cases from 21 January 2020 to 1 March 2020 in Shandong Province, and close contacts were traced to construct transmission chains. A total of 758 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported in Shandong. The sex ratio was 1.27: 1 (M: F) and the median age was 42 (interquartile range: 32–55). The high-risk clusters were identified in the central, eastern and southern regions of Shandong from 25 January 2020 to 10 February 2020. We rebuilt 54 transmission chains involving 209 cases, of which 52.2% were family clusters, and three widespread infection chains were elaborated, occurring in Jining, Zaozhuang and Liaocheng, respectively. The geographical and temporal disparity may alert public health agencies to implement specific measures in regions with different risk, and should attach importance on how to avoid household and community transmission.
Given the lack of evidence on patients with medically refractory vestibular migraine, this study aimed to identify factors associated with pharmacotherapy failure and progression to botulinum toxin injection in vestibular migraine.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted on definite vestibular migraine patients from September 2015 to July 2019 who completed the Dizziness Handicap Inventory at least six weeks apart..
The study comprised 47 patients (mean age = 50.2 ± 15.8 years), with a mean follow-up time of 6.0 ± 6.0 months. The mean pre-treatment Dizziness Handicap Inventory score was 57.5 ± 23.5, with a mean reduction of 17.3 ± 25.2 (p < 0.001) at last follow up. Oscillopsia (r = 0.458, p = 0.007), failure of first medication (r = 0.518, p = 0.001) and pre-treatment Dizziness Handicap Inventory question 15 (an emotional domain question) score (r = 0.364, p = 0.019) were the only variables significantly correlated with progression to botulinum toxin injection.
Motion hypersensitivity, failure of first medication, and fear of social stigmatisation suggest a decreased treatment response. These symptoms may require more aggressive treatment at an earlier stage.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.