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Tree-ring chronologies encode interannual variability in forest growth rates over long time periods from decades to centuries or even millennia. However, each chronology is a highly localized measurement describing conditions at specific sites where wood samples have been collected. The question whether these local growth variabilites are representative for large geographical regions remains an open issue. To overcome the limitations of interpreting a sparse network of sites, we propose an upscaling approach for annual tree-ring indices that approximate forest growth variability and compute gridded data products that generalize the available information for multiple tree genera. Using regression approaches from machine learning, we predict tree-ring indices in space and time based on climate variables, but considering also species range maps as constraints for the upscaling. We compare various prediction strategies in cross-validation experiments to identify the best performing setup. Our estimated maps of tree-ring indices are the first data products that provide a dense view on forest growth variability at the continental level with 0.5° and 0.0083° spatial resolution covering the years 1902–2013. Furthermore, we find that different genera show very variable spatial patterns of anomalies. We have selected Europe as study region and focused on the six most prominent tree genera, but our approach is very generic and can easily be applied elsewhere. Overall, the study shows perspectives but also limitations for reconstructing spatiotemporal dynamics of complex biological processes. The data products are available at https://www.doi.org/10.17871/BACI.248.
To analyse the treatment results of bilobed flap reconstruction performed for skin defects after parotid carcinoma surgery.
Ten patients who underwent bilobed flap reconstruction for skin defects after parotid carcinoma surgery in our hospital, from 2014 to 2020, were retrospectively enrolled.
All patients underwent bilobed flap reconstruction for skin defects after parotid carcinoma surgery. The size of the skin defect was 2.7 × 2.2 cm in the smallest dimension and 9.0 × 6.3 cm in the largest dimension. All bilobed flaps except one healed without any problems. One patient developed partial flap necrosis in the retroauricular region, and was treated with skin grafts after removal of the necrotic tissue under local anaesthesia. All bilobed flaps, including the cases in which skin grafts were performed, survived after post-operative radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
A bilobed flap is a good reconstruction option for skin defects after parotid carcinoma surgery in some cases.
As design research expands its horizon, there has been a recent rise in studies on nontraditional designers. Previous studies have noted the positive effect of diversity in generating ideas. Among different sources of influence, peers outside the design team have been noted for their positive impact on the design process, yet the research on this topic is still in its early stages. Using qualitative data from 40 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the American and Finnish food and beverage industries, the current study examines their interactions with other SMEs, shedding light on the influence of peers on creating new design solutions. The findings suggest that peer companies can act as a frequent and impactful source of inspiration for product design ideas. The most prevalent forms of interaction were co-creating products, sharing information, and sharing ingredients. Furthermore, the interactions were voluntary, organic, and improvisational in nature, and physical proximity or previous connections often initiated the interactions. Taken together, a great number of peer influences contributed towards creative new solutions.
Understanding and applying consumers' needs in product development is key to success across various industries. The failure rate of new products, however, remains high because consumer demands are not adequately addressed. To investigate the role of consumers in the product development processes of small ventures, we conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews of 40 packaged food and beverage small ventures in California and Finland. Our findings showed that consumers rarely drove the design of new products, but rather functioned as a source of validation or feedback for small improvements of existing products. Consumer feedback was often unstructured and concentrated in the latter stages of the product development process. However, even though customer involvement in the small ventures' product development was more restricted than recommended in cocreation literature their influence still brought meaningful changes to the products. Given the small ventures' lack of resources, future research on creative, low-cost ways to co-create is called for.
Immobilization of the cervical spine by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel is a standard procedure. In most EMS, multiple immobilization tools are available.
The aim of this study is the analysis of residual spine motion under different types of cervical spine immobilization.
In this explorative biomechanical study, different immobilization techniques were performed on three healthy subjects. The test subjects’ heads were then passively moved to cause standardized spinal motion. The primary endpoints were the remaining range of motion for flexion, extension, bending, and rotation measured with a wireless human motion detector.
In the case of immobilization of the test person (TP) on a straight (0°) vacuum mattress, the remaining rotation of the cervical spine could be reduced from 7° to 3° by additional headblocks. Also, the remaining flexion and extension were reduced from 14° to 3° and from 15° to 6°, respectively. The subjects’ immobilization was best on a spine board using a headlock system and the Spider Strap belt system (MIH-Medical; Georgsmarienhütte, Germany). However, the remaining cervical spine extension increased from 1° to 9° if a Speedclip belt system was used (Laerdal; Stavanger, Norway). The additional use of a cervical collar was not advantageous in reducing cervical spine movement with a spine board or vacuum mattress.
The remaining movement of the cervical spine is minimal when the patient is immobilized on a spine board with a headlock system and a Spider Strap harness system or on a vacuum mattress with additional headblocks. The remaining movement of the cervical spine could not be reduced by the additional use of a cervical collar.
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) consist of highly preserved stress proteins that are expressed in response to stress. Two studies were carried out to investigate whether HSP genes in hair follicles from beef calves can be suggested as indicators of heat stress (HS). In study 1, hair follicles were harvested from three male Hanwoo calves (aged 172.2 ± 7.20 days) on six dates over the period of 10 April to 9 August 2017. These days provided varying temperature–humidity indices (THIs). In study 2, 16 Hanwoo male calves (aged 169.6 ± 4.60 days, with a BW of 136.9 ± 6.23 kg) were maintained (4 calves per experiment) in environmentally controlled chambers. A completely randomized design with a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement involving two periods (thermoneutral: TN; HS) and four THI treatment groups (threshold: THI = 68 to 70; mild: THI = 74 to 76; moderate THI = 81 to 83; severe: THI = 88 to 90). The calves in the different group were subjected to ambient temperature (22°C) for 7 days (TN) and subsequently to the temperature and humidity corresponding to the target THI level for 21 days (HS). Every three days (at 1400 h) during both the TN and HS periods, the heart rate (HR) and rectal temperature (RT) of each individual were measured, and hair follicles were subsequently collected from the tails of each individual. In study 1, the high variation (P < 0.0001) in THI indicated that the external environment influenced the HS to different extents. The expression levels of the HSP70 and HSP90 genes at the high-THI level were higher (P = 0.0120, P = 0.0002) than those at the low-THI level. In study 2, no differences in the THI (P = 0.2638), HR (P = 0.2181) or RT (P = 0.3846) were found among the groups during the TN period, whereas differences in these indices (P < 0.0001, P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively) were observed during the HS period. The expression levels of the HSP70 (P = 0.0010, moderate; P = 0.0065, severe) and HSP90 (P = 0.0040, severe) genes were increased after rapid exposure to heat-stress conditions (moderate and severe levels). We conclude that HSP gene expression in hair follicles provides precise and accurate data for evaluating HS and can be considered a novel indicator of HS in Hanwoo calves maintained in both external and climatic chambers.
The physics of a rotary wing in forward flight are highly complex, particularly when flow separation is involved. The purpose of this work is to assess the role of three-dimensional (3-D) vortex dynamics, with a focus on Coriolis forces, in the evolution of vortices in the reverse flow region of a rotating wing. High-fidelity numerical simulations were performed to recreate the flow about a representative rotating wing in forward flight. A vorticity transport analysis was performed to quantify and compare the magnitudes of 2-D flow physics, vortex tilting and Coriolis effects in the resulting flow fields. Three-dimensional vortex dynamics was found to have a very small impact on the growth and behaviour of vortices in the reverse flow region; in fact, the rate of vortex growth was successfully modelled using a simple 2-D vortex method. The small role of 3-D physics was attributed to the Coriolis and vortex tilting terms being approximately equal and opposite to one another. This ultimately lead to vortex behaviour that more closely resembled a surging wing as opposed to a conventional rotating wing, a feature unique to the reverse flow region.
While much research has focused on crop damage following foliar exposure to auxin herbicides, reports documenting the risk posed by exposure via root uptake of irrigation water are lacking. Herbicide residues circulated in tailwater recovery systems may pose threats of cross-crop impacts to nonresistant cultivars with known sensitivity to auxins. An auxin-susceptible soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] cultivar was grown in a controlled growth chamber environment and exposed to dicamba dissolved in irrigation water applied to the soil surface, simulating furrow irrigation. Five herbicide treatment concentrations, ranging from 0.05 to 5.0 mg L−1 and encompassing estimated field doses of 3.1 to 310g ha−1, were applied to the soil of potted soybean plants at V3/V4 or R1 growth stages. Plant injury (0% to 100%), dry mass, height, number of pods, and number of pod-bearing nodes were measured. Kruskal-Wallis and logistic regression analyses were performed to determine treatment differences and examine dose effects. Yield losses were projected using (1) 14 d after treatment plant injury assessments based on injury–yield relationships described for foliar exposures and (2) pod counts. Dicamba concentration was the main significant factor affecting all growth response metrics, and growth stage was a significant explanatory variable only for the height response metric. A nonlinear response to dicamba dose was observed, with the threshold response dose required to affect 50% of plants being three times greater for 40% crop injury compared with 20% injury. Yield projections derived from plant response to root uptake compared with foliar exposure indicate that soybean may express both magnitude of injury and specific symptomology differently when exposure occurs via root uptake. Drift exposure–based models may be incompatible to predict soybean yield loss when injury results from irrigation. Data are needed to develop correlations for predicting yield losses based on field-scale exposure to dicamba in irrigation water, as well as assessment of real-world concentrations of herbicide residues in tailwater recovery systems.
Given that only a subgroup of patients with schizophrenia responds to first-line antipsychotic drugs, a key clinical question is what underlies treatment response. Observations that prefrontal activity correlates with striatal dopaminergic function, have led to the hypothesis that disrupted frontostriatal functional connectivity (FC) could be associated with altered dopaminergic function. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between frontostriatal FC and striatal dopamine synthesis capacity in patients with schizophrenia who had responded to first-line antipsychotic drug compared with those who had failed but responded to clozapine.
Twenty-four symptomatically stable patients with schizophrenia were recruited from Seoul National University Hospital, 12 of which responded to first-line antipsychotic drugs (first-line AP group) and 12 under clozapine (clozapine group), along with 12 matched healthy controls. All participants underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and [18F]DOPA PET scans.
No significant difference was found in the total PANSS score between the patient groups. Voxel-based analysis showed a significant correlation between frontal FC to the associative striatum and the influx rate constant of [18F]DOPA in the corresponding region in the first-line AP group. Region-of-interest analysis confirmed the result (control group: R2 = 0.019, p = 0.665; first-line AP group: R2 = 0.675, p < 0.001; clozapine group: R2 = 0.324, p = 0.054) and the correlation coefficients were significantly different between the groups.
The relationship between striatal dopamine synthesis capacity and frontostriatal FC is different between responders to first-line treatment and clozapine treatment in schizophrenia, indicating that a different pathophysiology could underlie schizophrenia in patients who respond to first-line treatments relative to those who do not.
Previous studies have shown that the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) is affected by adverse maternal nutrition during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a maternal low-protein diet on proinflammatory cytokines, reactive oxygen species and RAS components in kidney samples isolated from adult male offspring. We hypothesized that post-weaning losartan treatment would have beneficial effects on RAS activity and inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in these animals. Pregnant Sprague–Dawley rats were fed with a control (20% casein) or low-protein diet (LP) (6% casein) throughout gestation. After weaning, the LP pups were randomly assigned to LP and LP-losartan groups (AT1 receptor blockade: 10 mg/kg/day until 20 weeks of age). At 20 weeks of age, blood pressure levels were higher and renal RAS was activated in the LP group. We also observed several adverse effects in the kidneys of the LP group, including a higher number of CD3, CD68 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells and higher levels of collagen and reactive oxygen species in the kidney. Further, our results revealed that post-weaning losartan treatment completely abolished immune cell infiltration and intrarenal RAS activation in the kidneys of LP rats. The prevention of augmentation of angiotensin (Ang II) concentration abolished inflammatory and fibrotic events, indicating that Ang II via the AT1 receptor is essential for pathological initiation. Our results suggest that the prenatal programming of hypertension is dependent on the up-regulation of local RAS and presence of immune cells in the kidney.
Introduction: Foreign patients often do not receive appropriate treatment in the emergency room as compared to locals. This is due to various causes such as language, insurance, and cultural differences. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there is a wide range of health inequalities among foreigners who visited the emergency room with injury and to find out what causes it. Methods: We analyzed clinical data from the National Emergency Department Information System(NEDIS) database, which visited the emergency room from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015, in all age groups. Foreigners are classified based on the personal information described in the NEDIS. We analyzed the number of injuries, serious cases(death, operation, ICU admission), length of stay in ER, and transfer ratio. Results: A total of 4,464,603 cases of injured patients were included, of whom 67,683 were foreign patients. The incidence rate per 100,000 people per year was 2960.5 from locals and 1659.8 from foreigners. Serious outcomes were higher for foreigners than for locals(31.0% versus 23.2%, p<0.001). There was a further difference in the rural region. Length of stay was longer for foreigners(72 versus 69 minutes, median, p<0.001). The transfer rate was also higher for foreigners(1.9% versus 1.6%, p<0.001). Daegu had the highest ratio of foreigners’ injury compared to locals(ratio=0.998). Jeonnam(0.073) was the highest serious outcome rate in Korea, and Jeonbuk(0.070) was the second. The area with the longest length of stay in the Emergency department was the median 139 minutes for locals and 153 minutes for foreigners in Daegu. The more patients per day, the shorter the time spent in the emergency rooms(Spearman correlation coefficient=-0.388). This phenomenon was more prominent in locals(-0.624 versus -0.175). Multivariable logistic regression was used as a dependent variable for the serious outcomes of foreign patients. The foreign patients(OR=1.413, p<0.001), intention, no insurance, age, sex, urban area, low blood pressure, decreased consciousness, transfer, acuity, and length of stay were statistically significant. Conclusion: This study showed that there is a health inequality for foreigners who came to the emergency room due to injury in Korea. Also, serious outcomes from injury in foreigners have been shown to be related to various causes including factors of the foreigner.
Maternal vitamin B12 (B12) status has been inversely associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and positively with fetal growth and infant development. South Asians, Canada’s largest ethnic minority, are prone to B12 deficiency. Yet, data are lacking on B12 status in South Asian pregnant women in North America. We sought to determine B12 status, using multiple biomarkers, in 1st and 2nd trimester pregnant women of South Asian and, for comparison, European ethnicity living in Vancouver, Canada. In this retrospective cohort study, total B12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), methylmalonic acid (MMA), and total homocysteine concentrations were quantified in two routinely collected (mean gestational week: 11·5 (range 8·3–13·9) and 16·5 (range 14·9–20·9)), banked serum samples of 748 healthy pregnant South Asian (n 371) and European (n 377) women. South Asian pregnant women had significantly lower B12 status than European pregnant women at both time points, as indicated by lower serum total B12 and holoTC concentrations, and higher MMA concentrations (all P≤0·001). The largest difference, which was substantial (Cohen’s d≥0·5), was observed in mean serum total B12 concentrations (1st trimester: 189 (95 % CI 180, 199) v. 246 (95 % CI 236, 257) pmol/l; 2nd trimester: 176 (95 % CI 168, 185) v. 226 (95 % CI 216, 236) pmol/l). Further, South Asian ethnicity was a significant negative predictor of B12 status during pregnancy. South Asian women living in Vancouver have substantially lower B12 status during early pregnancy. Future research identifying predictors and health consequences of this observed difference is needed to allow for targeted interventions.
Several studies have suggested that the neuropeptide oxytocin may enhance aspects of social communication in autism. Little is known, however, about its effects on nonsocial manifestations, such as restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. In the empathizing–systemizing theory of autism, social deficits are described along the continuum of empathizing ability, whereas nonsocial aspects are characterized in terms of an increased preference for patterned or rule-based systems, called systemizing. We therefore developed an automated eye-tracking task to test whether children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) compared to matched controls display a visual preference for more highly organized and structured (systemized) real-life images. Then, as part of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, we examined the effect of intranasal oxytocin on systemizing preferences in 16 male children with ASD, compared with 16 matched controls. Participants viewed 14 slides, each containing four related pictures (e.g., of people, animals, scenes, or objects) that differed primarily on the degree of systemizing. Visual systemizing preference was defined in terms of the fixation time and count for each image. Unlike control subjects who showed no gaze preference, individuals with ASD preferred to fixate on more highly systemized pictures. Intranasal oxytocin eliminated this preference in ASD participants, who now showed a similar response to control subjects on placebo. In contrast, control participants increased their visual preference for more systemized images after receiving oxytocin versus placebo. These results suggest that, in addition to its effects on social communication, oxytocin may play a role in some of the nonsocial manifestations of autism.
For the first time, we estimated the population sizes of two swan species and four goose species from observations during the non-breeding period in East Asia. Based on combined counts from South Korea, Japan and China, we estimated the total abundance of these species as follows: 42,000–47,000 Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus; 99,000–141,000 Tundra Swans C. columbianus bewickii; 56,000–98,000 Swan Geese Anser cygnoides; 157,000–194,000 Bean Geese A. fabalis; 231,000–283,000 Greater White-fronted Geese A. albifrons; and 14,000–19,000 Lesser White-fronted Geese A. erythropus. While the count data from Korea and Japan provide a good reflection of numbers present, there remain gaps in the coverage in China, which particularly affect the precision of the estimates for Bean, Greater and Lesser White-fronted Geese as well as Tundra Swans. Lack of subspecies distinction of Bean Geese in China until recently also limits our ability to determine the true status of A. f. middendorffii there, but all indications suggest this population numbers around 18,000 individuals and is in need of urgent attention. The small, highly concentrated and declining numbers of Lesser White-fronted Geese give concern for this species, as do the major declines in Greater White-fronted Geese in China (in contrast to numbers in Japan and Korea, considered to be a separate flyway). In the absence of any demographic data, it is impossible to interpret the causes of these changes in abundance. Improved monitoring, including demographic and tracking studies are required to provide the necessary information to retain populations in favourable conservation status.
Measurement error in self-reported total sugars intake may obscure associations between sugars consumption and health outcomes, and the sum of 24 h urinary sucrose and fructose may serve as a predictive biomarker of total sugars intake.
The Study of Latinos: Nutrition & Physical Activity Assessment Study (SOLNAS) was an ancillary study to the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) cohort. Doubly labelled water and 24 h urinary sucrose and fructose were used as biomarkers of energy and sugars intake, respectively. Participants’ diets were assessed by up to three 24 h recalls (88 % had two or more recalls). Procedures were repeated approximately 6 months after the initial visit among a subset of ninety-six participants.
Four centres (Bronx, NY; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; San Diego, CA) across the USA.
Men and women (n 477) aged 18–74 years.
The geometric mean of total sugars was 167·5 (95 % CI 154·4, 181·7) g/d for the biomarker-predicted and 90·6 (95 % CI 87·6, 93·6) g/d for the self-reported total sugars intake. Self-reported total sugars intake was not correlated with biomarker-predicted sugars intake (r=−0·06, P=0·20, n 450). Among the reliability sample (n 90), the reproducibility coefficient was 0·59 for biomarker-predicted and 0·20 for self-reported total sugars intake.
Possible explanations for the lack of association between biomarker-predicted and self-reported sugars intake include measurement error in self-reported diet, high intra-individual variability in sugars intake, and/or urinary sucrose and fructose may not be a suitable proxy for total sugars intake in this study population.
This paper presents a new cooperative object transportation technique using parallel line formation with a circular shift. Typical areas of research in relation to object transportation are grasping, pushing, and caging techniques, but these require precise grasping behaviors, iterative motion correction according to the object pose, and the real-time acquisition of the object shape, respectively. In this paper, the proposed technique does not need to consider the shape or the pose of objects, and equipped tools are not necessary for object transportation because objects are transported by pushing behavior only. Multiple robots create parallel line formation using a virtual electric dipole field and then push multiple objects into the formation. This parallel line is extended to the goal using cyclic motion by the robots and the objects are transported to the goal by pushing behavior. The above processes are decentralized and activated based on the finite state machine of each robot. Simulations and practical experiments are presented to verify the proposed technique.