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Studies of ‘food globalisation’ have traced the dispersal of cereals across prehistoric Eurasia. The degree to which these crops were accompanied by knowledge of soil and water preparation is less well known, however. The authors use stable isotope and archaeobotanical analyses to trace long-term trends in cultivation practices on the Loess Plateau (6000 BC–AD 1900). The results indicate that ancient farmers cultivated grains originating in South-west Asia and used distinct strategies for different species. Barley was integrated into pre-existing practices, while wheat was grown using novel soil and water management strategies. These distinct approaches suggest that the spread of prehistoric crops and knowledge about them varied by local context.
Caregiver-mediated intervention (CMI), based on parent skills training, is a family-mediated intervention model for children with neurodevelopmental disorders, in particular autism spectrum disorder. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of CMI.
Thirty-three children (aged 22–69 months from our department) and their caregivers participated in a two-week training course of ten 90-minute lessons. Caregivers were encouraged to try their best to apply intervention skills in both home routines and play routines to encourage the development of cognition, motion, social adaptability, and behavior of children. Demographic information, video-recorded data, and diagnostic scales were collected at two key time points: baseline and post-training (PT – within six months).
Three aspects were assessed – primary variables, secondary variables, and correlation analyses. Results showed an improvement in PT in (1) Adult/Child Interaction Fidelity Rating (P < 0.01) and (2) adaptability of Gesell Developmental Scale and stereotyped behaviors and limited interests of Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). Moreover, a negative correlation occurred between caregiver skill improvement and parent education (P < 0.05), but without correlations with other demographics.
As an efficacious family intervention for both children and their caregivers, CMI is worth being generalized widely.
Electronic skin (e-skin) is playing an increasingly important role in health detection, robotic teleoperation, and human-machine interaction, but most e-skins currently lack the integration of on-site signal acquisition and transmission modules. In this paper, we develop a novel flexible wearable e-skin sensing system with 11 sensing channels for robotic teleoperation. The designed sensing system is mainly composed of three components: e-skin sensor, customized flexible printed circuit (FPC), and human-machine interface. The e-skin sensor has 10 stretchable resistors distributed at the proximal and metacarpal joints of each finger respectively and 1 stretchable resistor distributed at the purlicue. The e-skin sensor can be attached to the opisthenar, and thanks to its stretchability, the sensor can detect the bent angle of the finger. The customized FPC, with WiFi module, wirelessly transmits the signal to the terminal device with human-machine interface, and we design a graphical user interface based on the Qt framework for real-time signal acquisition, storage, and display. Based on this developed e-skin system and self-developed robotic multi-fingered hand, we conduct gesture recognition and robotic multi-fingered teleoperation experiments using deep learning techniques and obtain a recognition accuracy of 91.22%. The results demonstrate that the developed e-skin sensing system has great potential in human-machine interaction.
Numerous studies of resting-state functional imaging and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) have revealed differences in specific brain regions of patients with bipolar disorder (BD), but the results have been inconsistent.
A whole-brain voxel-wise meta-analysis was conducted on resting-state functional imaging and VBM studies that compared differences between patients with BD and healthy controls using Seed-based d Mapping with Permutation of Subject Images software.
A systematic literature search identified 51 functional imaging studies (1842 BD and 2190 controls) and 83 VBM studies (2790 BD and 3690 controls). Overall, patients with BD displayed increased resting-state functional activity in the left middle frontal gyrus, right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) extending to the right insula, right superior frontal gyrus and bilateral striatum, as well as decreased resting-state functional activity in the left middle temporal gyrus extending to the left superior temporal gyrus and post-central gyrus, left cerebellum, and bilateral precuneus. The meta-analysis of VBM showed that patients with BD displayed decreased VBM in the right IFG extending to the right insula, temporal pole and superior temporal gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus extending to the left insula, temporal pole, and IFG, anterior cingulate cortex, left superior frontal gyrus (medial prefrontal cortex), left thalamus, and right fusiform gyrus.
The multimodal meta-analyses suggested that BD showed similar patterns of aberrant brain activity and structure in the insula extending to the temporal cortex, fronto-striatal-thalamic, and default-mode network regions, which provide useful insights for understanding the underlying pathophysiology of BD.
To investigate the association between folate levels and the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) risk during the whole pregnancy.
In this retrospective cohort study of pregnant women, serum folate levels were measured before 24 gestational weeks (GW). GDM was diagnosed between 24th and 28th GW based on the criteria of the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups. General linear models were performed to examine the association of serum folate with plasma glucose (i.e. linear regressions) and risk of GDM (i.e. log-binomial regressions) after controlling for confounders. Restricted cubic spline regression was conducted to test the dosage–response relationship between serum folate and the risk of GDM.
A sigle, urban hospital in Shanghai, China.
A total of 42 478 women who received antenatal care from April 2013 to March 2017 were included.
Consistent positive associations were observed between serum folate and plasma glucose levels (fasting, 1-h, 2-h). The adjusted relative risks (RR) and 95 % CI of GDM across serum folate quartiles were 1·00 (reference), 1·15 (95 % CI (1·04, 1·26)), 1·40 (95 % CI (1·27, 1·54)) and 1·54 (95 % CI (1·40, 1·69)), respectively (P-for-trend < 0·001). The positive association between serum folate and GDM remained when stratified by vitamin B12 (adequate v. deficient groups) and the GW of serum folate measurement (≤13 GW v. >13 GWs)
The findings of this study may provide important evidence for the public health and clinical guidelines of pregnancy folate supplementation in terms of GDM prevention.
The mitochondrial genome provides important information for phylogenetic analysis and an understanding of evolutionary origin. In this study, the mitochondrial genomes of Ilisha elongata and Setipinna tenuifilis were sequenced, which are typical circular vertebrate mitochondrial genomes composed of 16,770 and 16,805 bp, respectively. The mitogenomes of I. elongata and S. tenuifilis include 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA (tRNA), two ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes and one control region (CR). Both two species' genome compositions were highly A + T biased and exhibited positive AT-skews and negative GC-skews. The genetic distance and Ka/Ks ratio analyses indicated that 13 PCGs were affected by purifying selection and the selection pressures were different from certain deep-sea fishes, which were most likely due to the difference in their living environment. Results of phylogenetic analysis support close relationships among Chirocentridae, Denticipitidae, Clupeidae, Engraulidae and Pristigasteridae based on the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of 13 PCGs. Within Clupeoidei, I. elongata and S. tenuifilis were most closely related to the family Pristigasteridae and Engraulidae, respectively. These results will help to better understand the evolutionary position of Clupeiformes and provide a reference for further phylogenetic research on Clupeiformes species.
Resistant starch (RS) has received increased attention due to its potential health benefits. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of dietary corn RS on immunological characteristics of broilers. A total of 320 broiler chicks were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments: normal corn–soyabean (NC) diet group, corn starch diet group, 4 %, 8 % and 12 % RS diet groups. This trial lasted for 42 d. The relative weights of spleen, thymus and bursa, the concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) and IL-4 in plasma at 21 d of age, as well as the activities of total nitric oxide synthase (TNOS) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in plasma at 21 and 42 d of age showed positive linear responses (P < 0·05) to the increasing dietary RS level. Meanwhile, compared with the birds from the NC group at 21 d of age, birds fed 4 % RS, 8 % RS and 12 % RS diets exhibited higher (P < 0·05) relative weight of bursa and concentrations of NO and interferon-γ in plasma. Birds fed 4 % RS and 8 % RS diets showed higher (P < 0·05) number of IgA-producing cells in the jejunum. While compared with birds from the NC group at 42 d of age, birds fed 12 % RS diet showed higher (P < 0·05) relative weight of spleen and activities of TNOS and iNOS in plasma. These findings suggested that dietary corn RS supplementation can improve immune function in broilers.
This study is performed to figure out how the presence of diabetes affects the infection, progression and prognosis of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and the effective therapy that can treat the diabetes-complicated patients with COVID-19. A multicentre study was performed in four hospitals. COVID-19 patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) or hyperglycaemia were compared with those without these conditions and matched by propensity score matching for their clinical progress and outcome. Totally, 2444 confirmed COVID-19 patients were recruited, from whom 336 had DM. Compared to 1344 non-DM patients with age and sex matched, DM-COVID-19 patients had significantly higher rates of intensive care unit entrance (12.43% vs. 6.58%, P = 0.014), kidney failure (9.20% vs. 4.05%, P = 0.027) and mortality (25.00% vs. 18.15%, P < 0.001). Age and sex-stratified comparison revealed increased susceptibility to COVID-19 only from females with DM. For either non-DM or DM group, hyperglycaemia was associated with adverse outcomes, featured by higher rates of severe pneumonia and mortality, in comparison with non-hyperglycaemia. This was accompanied by significantly altered laboratory indicators including lymphocyte and neutrophil percentage, C-reactive protein and urea nitrogen level, all with correlation coefficients >0.35. Both diabetes and hyperglycaemia were independently associated with adverse prognosis of COVID-19, with hazard ratios of 10.41 and 3.58, respectively.
There is increasing attention on the association of socioeconomic status and individual behaviors (SES/IB) with mental health. However, the impacts of SES/IB on mental disorders are still unclear. To provide evidence for establishing feasible strategies on disease screening and prevention, we implemented Mendelian randomization (MR) design to appraise causality between SES/IB and mental disorders.
We conducted a two-sample MR study to assess the causal effects of SES and IB (dietary habits, habitual physical activity, smoking behaviors, drinking behaviors, sleeping behaviors, leisure sedentary behaviors, risky behaviors, and reproductive behaviors) on three mental disorders, including bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. A series of filtering steps were taken to select eligible genetic instruments robustly associated with each of the traits. Inverse variance weighted was used for primary analysis, with alternative MR methods including MR-Egger, weighted median, and weighted mode estimate. Complementary methods were further used to detect pleiotropic bias.
After Bonferroni correction and rigorous quality control, we identified that SES (educational attainment), smoking behaviors (smoking initiation, number of cigarettes per day), risky behaviors (adventurousness, number of sexual partners, automobile speeding propensity) and reproductive behavior (age at first birth) were causally associated with at least one of the mental disorders.
MR study provides robust evidence that SES/IB play broad impacts on mental disorders.
How often, and in what contexts, have archaeologists discussed racism over the last four decades? Do societal events lead to sustained discussions of racism among the academic community? Here, the authors seek to answer these questions by applying computational text analysis methods to 68176 abstracts from 41 meetings of the Society for American Archaeology. Discussions of racism are found to be rare—usually a passing mention in the context of broader social issues. Historical archaeologists have addressed racism more frequently than other archaeologists. The results form a baseline against which the discipline's engagement with racism as a research theme and with anti-racist strategies might be tracked.
Subthreshold depression (sD) negatively impacts well-being and psychosocial function and is more prevalent compared with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, as adults with sD are less likely to seek face-to-face intervention, internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (ICBT) may overcome barriers of accessibility to psychotherapy. Although several trials explored the efficacy of ICBT for sD, the results remain inconsistent. This study evaluated whether ICBT is effective in reducing depressive symptoms among Chinese adults with sD.
A randomized controlled trial was performed. The participants were randomly assigned to 5 weeks of ICBT, group-based face-to-face cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or a waiting list (WL). Assessments were conducted at baseline, post-intervention and at a 6-month follow-up. The primary outcome measured depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Outcomes were analyzed using a mixed-effects model to assess the effects of ICBT.
ICBT participants reported greater reductions on all the outcomes compared to the WL group at post-intervention. The ICBT group showed larger improvement on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) at post-intervention (d = 0.12) and at follow-up (d = 0.10), and with CES-D at post-intervention (d = 0.06), compared to the CBT group.
ICBT is effective in reducing depressive symptoms among Chinese adults with sD, and improvements in outcomes were sustained at a 6-month follow-up. Considering the low rates of face-to-face psychotherapy, our findings highlight the considerable potential and implications for the Chinese government to promote the use of ICBT for sD in China.
The present study aimed to explore the association between healthy lifestyle pattern and childhood early onset of puberty. Based on a cohort study in Xiamen of China, a total of 1294 children was followed for three and a half years. Children’s lifestyles, including dietary behaviour, physical activity, sleep duration, smoking and drinking behaviour and sedentary behaviour, were collected by questionnaires. Healthy lifestyle pattern was determined mainly according to the recommendations by the Dietary Guidelines for Chinese school-age children and Canadian Guidelines for children and youth. The pubertal development was assessed by clinical examination according to Tanner stages. The association between pre-pubertal lifestyle and early onset of puberty was estimated using linear regression and log-binomial regression. We found that children who adhered to a healthy lifestyle had a 0·36-year delay of the age of puberty onset (coef = 0·36, 95 % CI (0·08, 0·65)) and 53 % lower risk of early onset of puberty (risk ratio = 0·47, 95 % CI (0·27, 0·80)), compared with those who had a poor lifestyle. However, the beneficial effect of favourable lifestyles on the early onset of puberty was found only in boys with normal weight. Boys who adhered to active physical activity and low sedentary behaviour had a relatively delayed age of puberty onset (coef = 0·49, 95 % CI (0·26, 0·72)). This is the first time to find that healthy lifestyle pattern was associated with a substantially lower risk of early onset of puberty, especially in boys with normal weight. Advocating an integrated healthy lifestyle is essential for the development of children.
We aimed to investigate the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related knowledge and practices of cancer patients and to assess their anxiety- and depression-related to COVID-19 during the early surge phase of the pandemic.
An online questionnaire survey of cancer patients was conducted from February 10-29, 2020. Knowledge and practices related to COVID-19 were assessed using a custom-made questionnaire. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used to assess the presence of anxiety and depression, with scores beyond 7 indicating anxiety or depressive disorder. Univariate and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify the high-risk groups according to the level of knowledge, practices, anxiety, and depression scores.
A total of 341 patients were included. The rate of lower level of knowledge and practices was 49.9% and 18.8%, respectively. Education level of junior high school degree or lower showed a significant association with lower knowledge score (β: −3.503; P < 0.001) and lower practices score (β: −2.210; P < 0.001) compared to the education level of college degree and above. The prevalence of anxiety and depression among the respondents was 17.6% and 23.2%, respectively. A higher depression score was associated with older age, marital status of the widowed, and lower level of education, knowledge score, and practices score (P < 0.05).
Targeted COVID-19-related education interventions are required for cancer patients with a lower level of knowledge to help improve their practices. Interventions are also required to address the anxiety and depression of cancer patients.
Previously reported wearable systems for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have been focused on the detection of abnormal gait. They suffered from limited accuracy, large latency, poor durability, comfort, and convenience for daily use. Herewith we report an intelligent wearable system (IWS) that can accurately detect abnormal gait in real-time and provide timely cueing for PD patients. The system features novel sensitive, comfortable and durable plantar pressure sensing insoles with a highly compressed data set, an accurate and fast gait algorithm, and wirelessly controlled timely sensory cueing devices. A total of 29 PD patients participated in the first phase without cueing for developing processes of the algorithm, which achieved an accuracy of over 97% for off-line detection of freezing of gait (FoG). In the second phase with cueing, the evaluation of the whole system was conducted with 16 PD subjects via trial and a questionnaire survey. This system demonstrated an accuracy of 94% for real-time detection of FoG and a mean latency of 0.37 s between the onset of FoG and cueing activation. In questionnaire survey, 88% of the PD participants confirmed that this wearable system could effectively enhance walking, 81% thought that the system was comfortable and convenient, and 70% overcame the FoG. Therefore, the IWS makes it an effective, powerful, and convenient tool for enhancing the mobility of people with PD.
To clarify the concept of disruptive technologies in health care, provide examples and consider implications of potentially disruptive technologies for health technology assessment (HTA).
We conducted a systematic review of conceptual and empirical papers on healthcare technologies that are described as “disruptive.” We searched MEDLINE and Embase from 2013 to April 2019 (updated in December 2021). Data extraction was done in duplicate by pairs of reviewers utilizing a data extraction form. A qualitative data analysis was undertaken based on an analytic framework for analysis of the concept and examples. Key arguments and a number of potential predictors of disruptive technologies were derived and implications for HTA organizations were discussed.
Of 4,107 records, 28 were included in the review. Most of the papers included conceptual discussions and business models for disruptive technologies; only few papers presented empirical evidence. The majority of the evidence is related to the US healthcare system. Key arguments for describing a technology as disruptive include improvement of outcomes for patients, improved access to health care, reduction of costs and better affordability, shift in responsibilities between providers, and change in the organization of health care. A number of possible predictors for disruption were identified to distinguish these from “sustaining” innovations.
Since truly disruptive technologies could radically change technology uptake and may modify provision of care patterns or treatment paths, they require a thorough evaluation of the consequences of using these technologies, including economic and organizational impact assessment and careful monitoring.
Wood vinegar, a product of pyrolysis, can induce phytotoxicity on plants when applied at an adequate rate and concentration. The objective of this research was to investigate wood vinegar obtained from the pyrolysis of apple tree branches for weed control in dormant zoysiagrass. In environment-controlled growth chambers, white clover visual injury and shoot mass reduction were evaluated and compared to the nontreated control after wood vinegar application at 1,000, 2,000, or 4,000 L ha−1 under 10 C or 30 C temperature conditions. Averaged across rates, wood vinegar rapidly desiccated white clover and caused 83% and 71% visual injury at 10 C and 30 C, respectively, at 1 d after treatment (DAT). Averaged across temperatures, wood vinegar at 1,000, 2,000, and 4,000 L ha−1 reduced white clover shoot mass by 56%, 81%, and 98% from the nontreated control at 10 DAT, respectively. In field experiments, weed control increased as wood vinegar rates increased from 1,000 to 5,000 L ha−1 in dormant zoysiagrass. The effective application dose of wood vinegar required to provide 90% control (ED90) of annual fleabane, Persian speedwell, and white clover was determined to be 2,450, 2,300, and 4,020 L ha−1, respectively, at 2 wk after treatment. Turf quality did not differ among the wood vinegar treatments and the nontreated control when zoysiagrass completely recovered from dormancy. Overall, results illustrate that wood vinegar resulting from the pyrolysis of apple tree branches can be used as a nonselective herbicide in dormant turfgrass, offering a new nonsynthetic herbicide option for weed control in managed turf.
We characterized the proteome profile of mid-lactation small-tailed Han (STH) and DairyMeade (DM) ovine milk in order to explore physiological variation and differences in milk traits between the two breeds. Methodology combined a tandem mass tag (TMT) proteomic approach with LC-MS/MS technology. A total of 656 proteins were identified in STH and DM ovine milk, of which 17and 29 proteins were significantly upregulated (P < 0.05) in STH and DM, respectively. Immune-related proteins and disease-related proteins were highly expressed in STH milk, whereas S100A2 and AEBP1 were highly expressed in DM milk, which had beneficial effects on mammary gland development and milk yield. Our results provide a theoretical basis for future breeding of dairy sheep.