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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.
Mounting evidence showed that insula contributed to the neurobiological mechanism of suicidal behaviors in bipolar disorder (BD). However, no studies have analyzed the dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) of insular Mubregions and its association with personality traits in BD with suicidal behaviors. Therefore, we investigated the alterations of dFC variability in insular subregions and personality characteristics in BD patients with a recent suicide attempt (SA).
Thirty unmedicated BD patients with SA, 38 patients without SA (NSA) and 35 demographically matched healthy controls (HCs) were included. The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate whole-brain dFC for each insular subregion seed. We assessed between-group differences of psychological characteristics on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2. Finally, a multivariate regression model was adopted to predict the severity of suicidality.
Compared to NSA and HCs, the SA group exhibited decreased dFC variability values between the left dorsal anterior insula and the left anterior cerebellum. These dFC variability values could also be utilized to predict the severity of suicidality (r = 0.456, p = 0.031), while static functional connectivity values were not appropriate for this prediction. Besides, the SA group scored significantly higher on the schizophrenia clinical scales (p < 0.001) compared with the NSA group.
Our findings indicated that the dysfunction of insula–cerebellum connectivity may underlie the neural basis of SA in BD patients, and highlighted the dFC variability values could be considered a neuromarker for predictive models of the severity of suicidality. Moreover, the psychiatric features may increase the vulnerability of suicidal behavior.
Evidence of couples’ BMI and its influence on birth weight is limited and contradictory. Therefore, this study aims to assess the association between couple’s preconception BMI and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA)/large for gestational age (LGA) infant, among over 4·7 million couples in a retrospective cohort study based on the National Free Pre-pregnancy Checkups Project (NFPCP) between December 1, 2013 and November 30, 2016 in China. Among the live births, 256,718 (5·44%) SGA events and 506,495 (10·73%) LGA events were documented, respectively. After adjusting for confounders, underweight men had significantly higher risk [OR 1·17 95%CI (1·15-1·19)] of SGA infants compared with men with normal BMI, while a significant and increased risk of LGA infants was obtained for overweight and obese men [OR 1·08 (95% CI: 1·06-1·09); OR 1·19 (95%CI 1·17-1·20)] respectively. The restricted cubic spline (RCS) result revealed a non-linearly decreasing dose-response relationship of paternal BMI (less than 22·64) with SGA. Meanwhile, a non-linearly increasing dose-response relationship of paternal BMI (more than 22·92) with LGA infants was observed. Moreover, similar results about the association between maternal preconception BMI and SGA/LGA infants were obtained. Abnormal preconception BMIs in either women or men were associated with increased risk of SGA/LGA infants, respectively. Overall, couple’s abnormal weight before pregnancy may be an important preventable risk factor for SGA/LGA infants.
Previous studies have demonstrated structural and functional changes of the hippocampus in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, no studies have analyzed the dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) of hippocampal subregions in melancholic MDD. We aimed to reveal the patterns for dFC variability in hippocampus subregions – including the bilateral rostral and caudal areas and its associations with cognitive impairment in melancholic MDD.
Forty-two treatment-naive MDD patients with melancholic features and 55 demographically matched healthy controls were included. The sliding-window analysis was used to evaluate whole-brain dFC for each hippocampal subregions seed. We assessed between-group differences in the dFC variability values of each hippocampal subregion in the whole brain and cognitive performance on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Finally, association analysis was conducted to investigate their relationships.
Patients with melancholic MDD showed decreased dFC variability between the left rostral hippocampus and left anterior lobe of cerebellum compared with healthy controls (voxel p < 0.005, cluster p < 0.0125, GRF corrected), and poorer cognitive scores in working memory, verbal learning, visual learning, and social cognition (all p < 0.05). Association analysis showed that working memory was positively correlated with the dFC variability values of the left rostral hippocampus-left anterior lobe of the cerebellum (r = 0.338, p = 0.029) in melancholic MDD.
These findings confirmed the distinct dynamic functional pathway of hippocampal subregions in patients with melancholic MDD, and suggested that the dysfunction of hippocampus-cerebellum connectivity may be underlying the neural substrate of working memory impairment in melancholic MDD.
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.
Honeybees cannot synthesize arachidonic acid (ARA) themselves, only obtain it from food. Most pollen is deficient or contains a small amount of ARA. The necessity of supplementary ARA in bees’ diet has not been studied. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary ARA levels on the growth and immunity of Apis mellifera ligustica. A total of 25 honeybee colonies were randomly assigned to five dietary groups which were fed basic diets supplemented with 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8% of ARA. The diet with 4% ARA improved the body weight of newly emerged worker bees compared with the control group. Supplement of ARA in honeybee diets changed the fatty acid composition of honeybee body. SFA and MUFA contents of bees’ body declined, and PUFA content rised in the ARA group. Compared with the control group, the supplement of ARA in honeybee diets increased the contents of ARA, C22:6n-3 (DHA) and C18:3n-6 in bees’ body significantly, but decreased the contents of C16:1 and C18:3n-3. The diet supplied with 4% ARA reduced the mortality rate of honeybee infected with Escherichia coli. The activity of immune enzymes (phenoloxidase, antitrypsin, and lysozyme) and the mRNA expression levels of immune genes (defensin-2, toll, myd88, and dorsal) were improved by ARA diets to varying degrees depending on the ARA levels, especially 4% ARA. These results suggested that dietary ARA could improve the growth, survival, and immune functions of honeybees. Supplement of ARA in bees’ diet would be valuable for the fitness of honeybees.
To explore and develop effective treatments is crucial for patients with Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). In pathology, the amyloid deposits of AD result in disruption of the balance between long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) of neuronal cells and synaptic plasticity. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been proposed to affect long-term synaptic plasticity through LTP and LTD, thereby improving cognitive ability. Although an increasing number of studies have been concluded a positive therapeutic effect on cognition in AD, tDCS studies to date are limited on exploring the duration of its efficacy. In this pilot study, we investigate the effects of tDCS in AD and verify its extending beneficial effects for 3 months follow-up period after the end of stimulation.
34 AD participants aged 55-90 years (mean age 75.9 (66-86)) were included in a double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled crossover study. All participants were randomly assigned to receive 10 consecutive daily sessions of active tDCS (or sham) and switched groups 3 months later. The anodal electrode was on the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and the cathodal electrode was on the right supraorbital area. In each active session, we applied a current intensity of 2 mA and an electrode size of 25 cm2 for 30 min in the active group. All subjects received a series of neuropsychological assessments including CDR, MMSE, CASI and WCST at baseline and in 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks post-tDCS (or sham) 10 sessions. Chi-square tests, Wilcoxon signed rank tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to assess the differences in participant demographic characteristics and to compare the differences of test scores between groups.
The active tDCS group showed significant improvements on CASI total scores from baseline to 2-weeks, 1-month and 3-months after active stimulations, though the improvement declined over time. There are also different presentations in total correct items, conceptual level responses, failure to maintain sets of WCST between active tDCS and sham groups. There is no difference in MMSE, CASI and WCST scores in the sham groups.
These results suggest a long term-beneficial effects of tDCS in AD.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), this second most common form of degenerative dementia, presents more functional disability, more potentially fatal complication, more impaired quality of life than Alzheimer’s dementia. There is no FDA-proved medication can slow, stop or improve the progression of cognitive declines in DLB. Identifying effective treatments is a critical issue for DLB. In neuropathology, extracelluar α-syn oligomers interfere with the expression of long-term potentiation, and influence memory and learning. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been proposed to affect long-term synaptic plasticity through LTP and LTD, thereby improving cognitive ability. So far, only two researches assess the effect of tDCS in DLB. In this pilot study, we investigate the effects of tDCS in DLB.
Using a double-blind, randomized, sham- controlled and crossover trial design, 11 DLB aged 55-90 years (mean age 77.8) were included in the study. DLB diagnostics is according to DSM-5 criteria. The CDR ratings of DLB participants ranged from 0.5 to 2. The active tDCS (or sham) process includes consecutive daily sessions of active tDCS (or sham) for 10 days. The anodal electrode was over the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the cathodal electrode on the right supraorbital area. In each session, we applied a current intensity of 2 mA and an electrode size of 25 cm2 for 30 min in the active group. All subjects received a series of neuropsychological tests, which included CDR, MMSE, CASI, NPI and WCST, before and after these treatment sessions. Chi-square tests, Wilcoxon signed rank tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to assess the differences in participant demographic characteristics and to compare the differences among groups.
On CASI, MMSE, NPI and WCST, there were no statistically significant differences between pre- and post the 10-session course for the active and the sham groups. No side effects reported during or immediately after active tDCS stimulation.
These results suggest that left DLPFC anodal, and right deltoid cathodal tDCS, do not improve cognition, behavioral and psychological symptoms in DLB. Larger-scale trials are needed to confirm the effect of tDCS in DLB.
Ebselen is a well-known synthetic compound mimicking glutathione peroxidase (GPx), which catalyses some vital reactions that protect against oxidative damage. Based on a large number of in vivo and in vitro studies, various mechanisms have been proposed to explain its actions on multiple targets. It targets thiol-related compounds, including cysteine, glutathione, and thiol proteins (e.g., thioredoxin and thioredoxin reductase). Owing to this, ebselen is a unique multifunctional agent with important effects on inflammation, apoptosis, oxidative stress, cell differentiation, immune regulation and neurodegenerative disease, with anti-microbial, detoxifying and anti-tumour activity. This review summarises the current understanding of the multiple biological processes and molecules targeted by ebselen, and its pharmacological applications.
Cell confluence is an important metric in cell culture, as proper timing is essential to maintain cell phenotype and culture quality. To estimate cell confluence, transparent cells are observed under a phase-contrast or differential interference contrast microscope by a biologist, whose estimations are error-prone and subjective. To overcome the necessity of using the phase-contrast microscope and reducing intra- and inter-observer errors, we have proposed an algorithm that automatically measures cell confluence by using a commonly used brightfield microscope. The proposed method consists of a transport-of-intensity equation-based brightfield microscopic image processing, an image reconstruction method, and an adaptive image segmentation method based on edge detection, entropy filtering, and range filtering. Experimental results have shown that our method has outperformed several popular algorithms, with an F-score of 0.84 ± 0.07, in images with various cell confluence values. The proposed algorithm is robust and accurate enough to perform confluence measurement with various lighting conditions under a low-cost brightfield microscope, making it simple and cost-effective to use for a fully automated cell culture process.
This study reports the evaluation of the original 31-item Quality of Dying and Death Questionnaire (QODD) using a sample of caregivers of recently deceased older adults in China, and the validation of a shortened version (QODD-C) derived from the original scale.
The translation was performed using a forward and back method. The full scale was tested with 212 caregivers of decedents in four regions of China. Confirmatory factor analysis tested the model fit between the full Chinese version and the original conceptual model and generated the QODD-C. The psychometric analysis was performed to evaluate the QODD-C's internal consistency, content validity, construct validity, and discriminant validity.
A five-domain, 18-item QODD-C was identified with excellent internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's α = 0.933; split-half Pearson's value = 0.855). The QODD-C total score was significantly associated with constructs related to five domains. The caregiver's relationship with the decedent, the decedent's age at death, death reason, and death place was significantly associated with the QODD-C total score.
Significance of results
The QODD-C is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing the quality of dying and death among the Chinese populations.
Parasitoid wasps are key agents for controlling insect pests in integrated pest management programs. Although many studies have revealed that the behavior of parasitic wasps can be influenced by insecticides, the strategies of patch time allocation and oviposition have received less attention. In the present study, we forced the endoparasitoid Meteorus pulchricornis to phoxim exposure at the LC30 and tested the foraging behavior within patches with different densities of the host, the larvae of the tobacco cutworm Spodoptera litura. The results showed that phoxim treatment can significantly increase the patch-leaving tendency of female wasps, while host density had no impact. The number of oviposition and the number of previous patch visits also significantly influenced the patch time allocation decisions. The occurrence of oviposition behavior was negatively affected by phoxim exposure; however, progeny production was similar among patches with different host densities. Phoxim exposure shaped the offspring fitness correlates, including longer durations from cocoon to adult wasps, smaller body size, and shorter longevity. The findings of the present study highlight the sublethal effects that reduce the patch residence time and the fitness of parasitoid offspring, suggesting that the application of phoxim in association with M. pulchricornis should be carefully schemed in agroecosystems.
The findings regarding the associations between red meat, fish and poultry consumption, and the metabolic syndrome (Mets) have been inconclusive, and evidence from Chinese populations is scarce. A cross-sectional study was performed to investigate the associations between red meat, fish and poultry consumption, and the prevalence of the Mets and its components among the residents of Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, China. A total of 4424 participants were eligible for the analysis. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the OR and 95 % CI for the prevalence of the Mets and its components according to red meat, fish and poultry consumption. In addition, the data of our cross-sectional study were meta-analysed under a random effects model along with those of published observational studies to generate the summary relative risks (RR) of the associations between the highest v. lowest categories of red meat, fish and poultry consumption and the Mets and its components. In the cross-sectional study, the multivariable-adjusted OR for the highest v. lowest quartiles of consumption was 1·23 (95 % CI 1·02, 1·48) for red meat, 0·83 (95 % CI 0·72, 0·97) for fish and 0·93 (95 % CI 0·74, 1·18) for poultry. In the meta-analysis, the pooled RR for the highest v. lowest categories of consumption was 1·20 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·35) for red meat, 0·88 (95 % CI 0·81, 0·96) for fish and 0·97 (95 % CI 0·85, 1·10) for poultry. The findings of both cross-sectional studies and meta-analyses indicated that the association between fish consumption and the Mets may be partly driven by the inverse association of fish consumption with elevated TAG and reduced HDL-cholesterol and, to a lesser extent, fasting plasma glucose. No clear pattern of associations was observed between red meat or poultry consumption and the components of the Mets. The current findings add weight to the evidence that the Mets may be positively associated with red meat consumption, inversely associated with fish consumption and neutrally associated with poultry consumption.