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Trematodes of the genus Ogmocotyle are intestinal flukes that can infect a variety of definitive hosts, resulting in significant economic losses worldwide. However, there are few studies on molecular data of these trematodes. In this study, the mitochondrial (mt) genome of Ogmocotyle ailuri isolated from red panda (Ailurus fulgens) was determined and compared with those from Pronocephalata to investigate the mt genome content, genetic distance, gene rearrangements and phylogeny. The complete mt genome of O. ailuri is a typical closed circular molecule of 14 642 base pairs, comprising 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 2 non-coding regions. All genes are transcribed in the same direction. In addition, 23 intergenic spacers and 2 locations with gene overlaps were determined. Sequence identities and sliding window analysis indicated that cox1 is the most conserved gene among 12 PCGs in O. ailuri mt genome. The sequenced mt genomes of the 48 Plagiorchiida trematodes showed 5 types of gene arrangement based on all mt genome genes, with the gene arrangement of O. ailuri being type I. Phylogenetic analysis using concatenated amino acid sequences of 12 PCGs revealed that O. ailuri was closer to Ogmocotyle sikae than to Notocotylus intestinalis. These data enhance the Ogmocotyle mt genome database and provide molecular resources for further studies of Pronocephalata taxonomy, population genetics and systematics.
Previous studies have found negative ageing narratives in the media during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, few have focused on compassionate ageism and how the news responded to the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated (a) media themes of negative and compassionate ageism and (b) their relationships with COVID-19 parameters and the public health response. The sample included 1,197 articles relevant to COVID-19 and older people in Hong Kong published between January and December 2020. We used thematic analysis to identify themes from the news articles and structural equation modelling to explore these themes' relationship with the number of older people infected, effective reproduction number, number of COVID-19 deaths and public health response parallel in time. Pandemic-related variables were lagged for a day – the time needed to be reflected in the news. Two negative ageism themes portrayed older people as vulnerable to COVID-19 but counterproductive in combating the pandemic. Two compassionate ageism themes depicted older people as a homogenous group of passive assistance recipients. The theme blaming older people was associated with the number of confirmed infections (β = 0.418, p = 0.002) but vulnerability of older people was not associated with pandemic-related variables. The theme helping older people was negatively associated with the percentage of older people in confirmed infections (β = −0.155, p = 0.019). The theme resources available was negatively associated with confirmed infections (β = −0.342, p < 0.001) but positively associated with the Containment and Health Index (β = 0.217, p = 0.005). Findings suggested that negative and compassionate ageism were translated into narratives about older people in the media as the pandemic evolved but did not address the actual risk they faced. Media professionals should be aware of the potential negative and compassionate ageism prompted by the news agenda and promote adequate health behaviours and responses.
Increased access to defensible material wealth is hypothesised to escalate inequality. Market integration, which creates novel opportunities in cash economies, provides a means of testing this hypothesis. Using demographic data collected from 505 households among the matrilineal and patrilineal Mosuo in 2017, we test whether market integration is associated with increased material wealth, whether increased material wealth is associated with wealth inequality, and whether being in a matrilineal vs. patrilineal kinship system alters the relationship between wealth and inequality. We find evidence that market integration, measured as distance to the nearest source of tourism and primary source of household income, is associated with increased household income and ‘modern’ asset value. Both village-level market integration and mean asset value were associated negatively, rather than positively, with inequality, contrary to predictions. Finally, income, modern wealth and inequality were higher in matrilineal communities that were located closer to the centre of tourism and where tourism has long provided a relatively stable source of income. However, we also observed exacerbated inequality with increasing farm animal value in patriliny. We conclude that the forces affecting wealth and inequality depend on local context and that the importance of local institutions is obscured by aggregate statistics drawn from modern nation states.
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between depression in older nursing home residents and family caregivers’ (FCGs) depressive status and reasons for involvement with residents.
This study employed a cross-sectional design.
Eight nursing homes in northern Taiwan.
A total of 139 older resident–FCG pairs were recruited.
Depression was measured with the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form for nursing home residents and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale-Short Form for family members. Depression and demographic data were collected with face-to-face interviews. The meaning ascribed to caregivers’ nursing home visits was calibrated using the Family Meaning of Nursing-Home Visits scale. Multiple logistic regression was used to understand the factors related to residents’ depressive symptoms.
Depressive symptoms were present in 58.3% of the nursing home residents (n = 81). Depressive status of family members (Chi-square = 1.46, p = 0.23) or family’s visiting frequency (Chi-square = 1.64, p = 0.44) did not differ between residents with or without depressive symptoms. Factors associated with an increased risk of residents having depressive symptoms were age, self-perceived health status, and having a caregiver motivated to visit to assuage their guilt.
Visiting a family member to assuage their guilt was the only caregiver variable associated with depressive symptoms for nursing home residents. This finding suggests that developing interventions to improve personal relationships between nursing home residents and family members might facilitate the emotional support of caregivers and psychological support for older nursing home residents in Taiwan.
Although the relationship between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and transport accidents has been shown, there is limited information on the relationship between medication and dose–response effects and transport accident risk. This study aims to determine whether young people with ADHD, including adolescents, are more prone to transport accidents than those without, and the extent to which methylphenidate (MPH) prescription in these patients reduces the risk.
We identified 114 486 patients diagnosed with ADHD from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database from 1997 to 2013. Using a Cox regression model, we compared the risk of transport accidents between ADHD and non-ADHD groups and estimated the effect of MPH on accidents. Furthermore, we applied a self-control case-series analysis to compare the risk of accidents during the medication periods with the same patients' non-medication periods.
Male ADHD patients had a higher risk of transport accidents than non-ADHD individuals (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 1.24, [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10–1.39]), especially for those comorbid with epilepsy, oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD), and intellectual disabilities (ID). Female ADHD patients showed no relationship, except for comorbid with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or ID. We found a reduced risk of transport accidents in patients with ADHD with MPH medication than those without MPH, with a plausible dose–response relationship (aHR of 0.23 to 0.07). A similar pattern was found in self-controlled case-series analysis.
Male patients with ADHD, especially those comorbid with epilepsy, ODD/CD, or ID, were at high risk of transport accidents. Female patients, when comorbid with ASD or ID, also exhibited a higher risk of accidents. MPH treatment lowered the accident risk with a dose–response relationship.
While deceptive behaviors are a natural part of human life, it is well known that human is generally bad at detecting deception. In this study, we present an automatic deception detection framework by comprehensively integrating prior domain knowledge in deceptive behavior understanding. Specifically, we compute acoustics, textual information, implicatures with non-verbal behaviors, and conversational temporal dynamics for improving automatic deception detection in dialogs. The proposed model reaches start-of-the-art performance on the Daily Deceptive Dialogues corpus of Mandarin (DDDM) database, 80.61% unweighted accuracy recall in deception recognition. In the further analyses, we reveal that (i) the deceivers’ deception behaviors can be observed from the interrogators’ behaviors in the conversational temporal dynamics features and (ii) some of the acoustic features (e.g. loudness and MFCC) and textual features are significant and effective indicators to detect deception behaviors.
Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is an abundant and important presynaptic vesicle protein that binds Ca2+ for the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Our previous study reported its localization and function on spindle assembly in mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. The present study was designed to investigate the function of Syt1 during mouse oocyte activation and subsequent cortical granule exocytosis (CGE) using confocal microscopy, morpholinol-based knockdown and time-lapse live cell imaging. By employing live cell imaging, we first studied the dynamic process of CGE and calculated the time interval between [Ca2+]i rise and CGE after oocyte activation. We further showed that Syt1 was co-localized to cortical granules (CGs) at the oocyte cortex. After oocyte activation with SrCl2, the Syt1 distribution pattern was altered significantly, similar to the changes seen for the CGs. Knockdown of Syt1 inhibited [Ca2+]i oscillations, disrupted the F-actin distribution pattern and delayed the time of cortical reaction. In summary, as a synaptic vesicle protein and calcium sensor for exocytosis, Syt1 acts as an essential regulator in mouse oocyte activation events including the generation of Ca2+ signals and CGE.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
We consider the second order nonlinear ordinary differential equation u″ (t) = u1+α (α > 0) with positive initial data u(0) = a0, u′(0) = a1, whose solution becomes unbounded in a finite time T. The finite time T is called the blow-up time. Since finite difference schemes with uniform meshes can not reproduce such a phenomenon well, adaptively-defined grids are applied. Convergence with mesh sizes of certain smallness has been considered before. However, more iterations are required to obtain an approximate blow-up time if smaller meshes are applied. As a consequence, we consider in this paper a finite difference scheme with a rather larger grid size and show the convergence of the numerical solution and the numerical blow-up time. Application to the nonlinear wave equation is also discussed.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
Several previous cross-sectional studies have shown that vegetarians have a better metabolic profile than non-vegetarians, suggesting that a vegetarian dietary pattern may help prevent chronic degenerative diseases. However, longitudinal studies on the impact of vegetarian diets on metabolic traits are scarce. We studied how several sub-types of vegetarian diets affect metabolic traits, including waist circumference, BMI, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol (TC), HDL, LDL, TAG and TC:HDL ratio, through both cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs. The study used the MJ Health Screening database, with data collected from 1994 to 2008 in Taiwan, which included 4415 lacto-ovo-vegetarians, 1855 lacto-vegetarians and 1913 vegans; each vegetarian was matched with five non-vegetarians based on age, sex and study site. In the longitudinal follow-up, each additional year of vegan diet lowered the risk of obesity by 7 % (95 % CI 0·88, 0·99), whereas each additional year of lacto-vegetarian diet lowered the risk of elevated SBP by 8 % (95 % CI 0·85, 0·99) and elevated glucose by 7 % (95 % CI 0·87, 0·99), and each additional year of ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet increased abnormal HDL by 7 % (95 % CI 1·03, 1·12), compared with non-vegetarians. In the cross-sectional comparisons, all sub-types of vegetarians had lower likelihoods of abnormalities compared with non-vegetarians on all metabolic traits (P<0·001 for all comparisons), except for HDL and TAG. The better metabolic profile in vegetarians is partially attributable to lower BMI. With proper management of TAG and HDL, along with caution about the intake of refined carbohydrates and fructose, a plant-based diet may benefit all aspects of the metabolic profile.
Introduction: The mortality of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and its associated risk factors among clinically definite PD patients in China has been rarely investigated. Our study aimed to identify the mortality rates and predictors of death in PD patients in China. Methods: 157 consecutive, clinically definite PD patients from the urban area of Shanghai were recruited from a central hospital based movement disorder clinic in 2006. All patients were regularly followed up at the clinic until December 31, 2011, or death. Mortality and associations with baseline demographics, health and medical factors were then determined within the cohort. Results: After 5 years, 11(7%) patients had died. The standardised mortality ratio was 0.62 (95% CI 0.32 to 1.07, P=0.104). The main causes of death were pneumonia (54.5%, 6/11) and digestive disorders (18.2%, 2/11), respectively. Age at onset, independent living, the mini mental state examination score, the Parkinson’s disease sleep scale score and the Epworth sleepiness scale score at baseline were statistically significantly different between the survival group and the deceased group (P<0.05). Across all participants, risk factors for death included low mini mental state examination score, and high Epworth sleepiness scale score according to a binary variable logistic regression analysis. Conclusions: This study confirms the similar survival of patients with PD to the control population up to a follow-up of 5 years. Interventions tailored to potential risk factors associated with death may offer further benefits.
Unawareness of deficits is common and is associated with poor outcomes in Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, little is known about correlated neurobiochemical changes.
Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to examine neurobiochemical correlates of unawareness of deficits as assessed by the Dementia Deficit Scale in 36 patients with AD. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy spectra were acquired from the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. Concentrations of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), total creatine, and other neurometabolites were calculated.
Nineteen (52.8%) participants had relative unawareness of deficits. This condition was negatively correlated with NAA/creatine in the anterior cingulate area (β = −0.36, p = 0.025) and positively correlated with NAA/creatine in the right orbitofrontal area (β = 0.41, p = 0.009) after controlling for dementia severity.
These findings suggest unawareness of deficits in AD was associated with the altered neurochemical metabolites in the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. However, the two areas might have opposite neuronal functions in unawareness of deficits.
The outcome of Plasmodium yoelii 17XL-infected BALB/c and DBA/2 mice, ranging from death to spontaneous cure, respectively, depends largely on the establishment of effective pro-inflammatory type 1 responses during the early stages of infection and associates with CD4+CD25+Foxp3+regulatory T cells (Tregs). Here, effects of Tregs were analysed on early P. yoelii 17XL infection in BALB/c and DBA/2 mice. In vivo depletion of Tregs significantly reversed the inhibited establishment of effective pro-inflammatory type 1 responses in BALB/c mice, indicating that this cell population contributed to the suppression of T-cell function in malaria. Moreover, the proportion and absolute numbers of IL-10-secreting Tregs in BALB/c mice were significantly higher than that found in DBA/2 mice by intracytoplasmic staining, and IL-10 production was correlated with the Tregs population. In addition, in vivo Tregs depletion decreased the production of IL-10 and the apoptosis of CD4+ T cells. Consistently, IL-10R blockade also had the same effect as that of Tregs depletion in P. yoelii 17XL-infected BALB/c mice. Our data demonstrate that Tregs perhaps have an important role in regulating pro-inflammatory type 1 responses in an IL-10-dependent manner and induce CD4+ T cell apoptosis during the early stage of P. yoelii 17XL infection.
5-AZA-2′-deoxycytidine (5-AZA-CdR) is a demethylating, teratogenic agent and a mutagen, which causes defects in the developing mouse and rat after implantation. Our previous data indicated that 5-AZA-CdR (0.2 and 1.0 μM) inhibited the development of mouse preimplantation embryos. Pronuclear embryos exposed to 5-AZA-CdR at the pronuclear stage were unable to form 8-cell embryos, while 2-cell-stage embryos exposed to 5-AZA-CdR only developed into uncompacted 8-cell-stage embryos. And there was no formation of blastocysts when 4-cell embryos cultured in 5-AZA-CdR. In our present study, we detected Dnmt1o protein and some developmental gene expression in order to find the reasons for the developmental arrest. Dnmt1o could not traffic to 8-cell nuclei as control when embryos were exposed to 5-AZA-CdR. Dnmt1o was in cytoplasm at 2-cell and 4-cell stages before and after treated with 5-AZA-CdR. Gene expression changes were also detected in this research. Our data indicated that connexin 31 (Cx31), connexin 43 (Cx43), connexin 45 (Cx45), E-cadherin (Cdh1) and β-catenin (Ctnnb1) were all downregulated by 5-AZA-CdR. Cx31, Cx43 and Cx45 are members of connexins family, which have a central role in gap junctions. Cdh1 and Ctnnb1 are necessary for the foundation of tight junctions. Therefore, developmental arrest induced by 5-AZA-CdR may be caused by the failure of Dnmt1o cytoplasmic–nuclear traffic and the down-regulation of developmental gene expression. Normal compaction and blastocoel cavitation need Dnmt1o traffic to 8-cell nuclei and the right gene expression, especially the correlative genes in gap junctions and tight junctions.
Betel-nut use is associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity. However, the association between betel-nut chewing and risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) is unknown. The present study was conducted to determine the association between betel-nut chewing and CKD in men.
We retrospectively reviewed health-check records of 3264 men in a hospital-based cross-sectional screening programme from 2003 to 2006. CKD was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 ml/min/1·73 m2 calculated by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula. Risk factors for CKD including diabetes, hypertension, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption and age were also considered.
A total of 677 (20·7 %) men were found to have CKD and 427 (13·1 %) participants reported a history of betel-nut use. The prevalence (24·8 %) of CKD in betel-nut users was significantly higher than that (11·3 %) of participants without betel-nut use (P = 0·026). In multivariate logistic regression analysis with adjustments for age, hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia, betel-nut use was independently associated with CKD (P < 0·001). The adjusted odds ratio for betel-nut use was 2·572 (95 % CI 1·917, 3·451).
Betel-nut use is associated with CKD in men. The association between betel-nut use and CKD is independent of age, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption, hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia.
Here we developed a new method to prepare the liquid crystal particles by first synthesizing the monodisperse hollow inorganic spheres and then allowing the liquid crystals to infiltrate into the hollow spheres. The resulting liquid crystal colloidal particles have a diameter of 285nm with a low polydispersity of 0.03. DSC thermograms showed a clear peak at around 30 degree, indicating the isotropic-nematic transition of liquid crystals encapsulated in the silica shells. The inorganic shells can prevent liquid crystals inside from leaking out and also hold the spherical shape of colloidal particles after the evaporation of the dispersant. A thin film assembled by the liquid crystal colloidal particles was also prepared in this report.
Genetic diversity and genetic variation of 240 adult plants of four tea populations in Hunan – Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, C. sinensis var. assamica cv. Duntsa, C. ptilophylla and C. sinensis var. assamica cv. Jianghua – were studied by rapid amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. The results showed 226 loci using 21 random primers (10 bp), of which 201 (88.9%) were polymorphic. The genetic diversity analysis indicated that Shannon's index was 0.43; 74.7% of which was within-population genetic diversity while 25.3% was among-population variation. The gene diversity indexes of total populations (HT), within populations (HS) and among populations (HST) were, respectively, 0.37, 0.28 and 0.09. The coefficient of gene differentiation (GST) among populations was 0.23, indicating a 76.7% variation within populations and 23.3% among populations. These results displayed a rich within-population genetic variation, as in Shannon's diversity index. Interpopulation gene flow (Nm) was 0.74, which indicates the limited genetic exchange between populations.
We investigated a cluster of postoperative febrile episodes and episodes of Acinetobacter baumannii bacteremia in obstetrics and gynecology wards after an electrical blackout and loss of the water supply. The use of patient-controlled analgesia was the only independent risk factor associated with postoperative fever, and A. baumannii isolates recovered from the blood of patients who had received patient-controlled analgesia were genetically related to an isolate recovered from the diluted morphine solution used for this procedure. After inappropriate preparation of the morphine solution was identified and stopped, the outbreak ended.