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Social cognition has not previously been assessed in treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia, in patients over 60 years of age, or in patients with less than 5 years of schooling.
We revised a commonly used measure of social cognition, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), by expanding the instructions, using both self-completion and interviewer-completion versions (for illiterate respondents), and classifying each test administration as ‘successfully completed’ or ‘incomplete’. The revised instrument (RMET-CV-R) was administered to 233 treatment-naive patients with chronic schizophrenia (UT), 154 treated controls with chronic schizophrenia (TC), and 259 healthy controls (HC) from rural communities in China.
In bivariate and multivariate analyses, successful completion rates and RMET-CV-R scores (percent correct judgments about emotion exhibited in 70 presented slides) were highest in HC, intermediate in TC, and lowest in UT (adjusted completion rates, 97.0, 72.4, and 49.9%, respectively; adjusted RMET-CV-R scores, 45.4, 38.5, and 34.6%, respectively; all p < 0.02). Stratified analyses by the method of administration (self-completed v. interviewer-completed) and by education and age (‘educated-younger’ v. ‘undereducated-older’) show the same relationship between groups (i.e. NC>TC>UT), though not all differences remain statistically significant.
We find poorer social cognition in treatment-naive than in treated patients with chronic schizophrenia. The discriminant validity of RMET-CV-R in undereducated, older patients demonstrates the feasibility of administering revised versions of RMET to patients who may otherwise be considered ineligible due to education or age by changing the method of test administration and carefully assessing respondents' ability to complete the task successfully.
The main aim of the present studies is to determine whether, or to some extent, specific cognitive domains could differentiate the main subtypes of mood disorder in the depressed and clinically remitted status respectively.
Three groups of bipolar I (n = 92), bipolar II (n = 131) and unipolar depression patients (n = 293) were tested with a battery of neuropsychological tests at baseline and after 6 weeks of treatment, contrasting with 202 healthy controls on cognitive performance.
At the acute depressive state, the three patients groups (bipolar I, bipolar II and unipolar depression) showed cognitive dysfunction in processing speed, memory, verbal fluency and executive function but not attention compared with controls. And post comparisons revealed that bipolar I patients performed significantly worse in these impaired cognitive domain than bipolar II and unipolar depression patients in verbal fluency and executive function. After treatment, clinically remitted bipolar I and bipolar II patients only displayed cognitive impairment in processing speed and visual memory in relative to controls, while remitted unipolar depression patients showed cognitive impairment in executive function in addition to processing speed and visual memory.
Bipolar I, bipolar II and unipolar depression patients have a similar pattern of cognitive impairment during the state of acute depressive episodes. At the clinically remission, still both bipolar disorder and unipolar depression patients showed cognitive deficits in processing speed and visual memory, and executive dysfunction might be a status-maker for bipolar disorder, but a trait-marker for unipolar depression
The main aim of this study is to investigate the capacity of a number of variables from four dimensions (clinical, psychosocial, cognitive and genetic domains) to predict the antidepressant treatment outcome, and combined the predictors in one integrate regression model with the aim to investigate which predictor contributed most.
In a semi-naturalistic prospective cohort study with a total of 241 fully assessed MDD patients, decrease in HAM-D scores from baseline to after 6 weeks of treatment was used to measure the antidepressant treatment outcome.
The clinical and psychosocial model (R2 = 0.451) showed that HAM-D scores at baseline and MMPI-2 scale paranoia was the best clinical and psychosocial predictor of treatment outcome respectively. The cognitive model (R2 = 0.502) revealed that combination of better performance on TMT-B test and worse performance on TOH and WAIS-R Digit Backward testes could predict decline in HAM-D scores. The genetics analysis only found median of percent improvement in HAM-D scores in G-allele of GR gene BclI polymorphism carriers (72.2%) was significant lower than that in non-G allele carriers (80.1%). The integrate model showed that three predictors, combination of HAM-D scores at baseline, MMPI-2 scale paranoia and TMT-B test, explained 57.1% of the variance.
Three markers, HAM-D scores at baseline, MMPI-2 scale paranoia and TMT-B test, might serve as predictor of antidepressant outcome in daily psychiatric practice.
An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of supplementing different amounts of daidzein in a diet on the growth performance, blood biochemical parameters and meat quality of finishing beef cattle. Thirty finishing Xianan steers were distributed in three groups equilibrated by weight and fed three different dietary treatments (concentrate ratio = 80%): (1) control; (2) 500 mg/kg daidzein and (3) 1000 mg/kg daidzein, respectively. Steers were slaughtered after an 80-day feeding trial. Results showed that daidzein supplementation had no effect on the final body weight, average daily gain and feed conversion rate of steers. Steers fed with 1000 mg/kg daidzein had greater dry matter intake than those fed with control diets. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group had a higher fat thickness, lower shear force and lightness. The pH, drip loss, cooking loss, redness (a*), yellowness (b*), moisture, ash, crude protein and intramuscular fat of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were unaffected by daidzein supplementation. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentrations of insulin, free fatty acid and Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase. The 500 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentration of tetraiodothyronine compared with the control group. Supplemental daidzein did not affect the blood antioxidant ability and blood immune parameters in serum. In conclusion, daidzein supplementation above 500 mg/day modifies feed intake and metabolic and hormonal profile, with positive and negative effects on meat quality.
We investigated the ecology and paleoecology of testate amoebae in peatlands of the Colombian páramo to assess the use of testate amoebae as paleoenvironmental indicators. Objectives were to (1) identify environmental controls on testate amoebae, (2) develop transfer functions for paleoenvironmental inference, and (3) examine testate amoebae in a Holocene peat core and compare our findings with other proxy records. Results from 96 modern samples indicate that testate amoebae are sensitive to pH and surface moisture, and cross-validation of transfer functions indicates potential for paleoenvironmental applications. Testate amoebae from the Triunfo Peatland in the Central Cordillera provided a proxy record of pH and water-table depth for the late Holocene, and inferred changes were correlated with peat C/N measurements during most of the record. Comparison with a lake-level reconstruction suggests that at least the major testate amoeba–inferred changes were driven by climate. Our work indicates that testate amoebae are useful paleoenvironmental indicators in high-elevation tropical peatlands.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a type of pathogenic bacteria that cause diarrhea in piglets through colonizing pig small intestine epithelial cells by their surface fimbriae. Different fimbriae type of ETEC including F4, F18, K99 and F41 have been isolated from diarrheal pigs. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study to map the loci associated with the susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 using 39454 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 667 F2 pigs from a White Duroc×Erhualian F2 cross. The most significant SNP (ALGA0022658, P=5.59×10−13) located at 6.95 Mb on chromosome 4. ALGA0022658 was in high linkage disequilibrium (r2>0.5) with surrounding SNPs that span a 1.21 Mb interval. Within this 1.21 Mb region, we investigated ZFAT as a positional candidate gene. We re-sequenced cDNA of ZFAT in four pigs with different susceptibility phenotypes, and identified seven coding variants. We genotyped these seven variants in 287 unrelated pigs from 15 diverse breeds that were measured with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype. Five variants showed nominal significant association (P<0.05) with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype in International commercial pigs. This study provided refined region associated with susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 than that reported previously. Further works are needed to uncover the underlying causal mutation(s).
Ear cartilage piercing is increasingly popular and has a significant complication rate. Contrary to popular belief, there are no minimum qualifications required to practice ear piercing. This study evaluated ear cartilage piercing practices in London, UK.
Practitioners at 25 piercing parlours completed a telephone questionnaire assessing piercing practice.
Ninety-six per cent of practitioners were aware of the risk of infection post-piercing. Four per cent, 12 per cent and 0 per cent of practitioners were aware of keloid scarring, hypertrophic scarring and cauliflower ear respectively. No practitioners were aware of any other complications. Their consent forms did not document any ear cartilage complications. Twenty-eight per cent of participants advised clients to seek medical attention following a complication. Forty per cent did not provide written post-piercing guidance.
Piercing practitioners were insufficiently aware of ear cartilage piercing complications. It is unlikely that informed consent was obtained prior to piercing. The post-piercing practice of the majority of parlours did not follow published national guidance.
Conopomorpha sinensis Bradley (Lepidoptera: Gracilariidae) is one of the major fruit borer pests of litchi and longan in Southern China. Although chemical control is effective, alternative, biorational strategies are preferable, and should be developed. Predators play an important role in the biological control of agricultural pests, but an accurate method for the evaluation of predation in agriculture has not yet been developed. Here, we report a new, specific primer pair to amplify a C. sinensis cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequence fragment that can be used to detect consumption of C. sinensis by its predators. C. sinensis DNA was found in several arthropods collected in the field, including the important C. sinensis predators Menochilus sexmaculata (Coccinellidae), Leucauge magnifica (Tetragnathidae), Propylea japonica (Coccinellidae), and Oxyopes sertatus (Oxyopidae). The detection rates of C. sinensis COI DNA in these predators were 39.3, 36.4, 27.3, and 27.2%, respectively. Laboratory consumption and hunting capacity analysis of M. sexmaculata and P. japonica adults indicated that they exhibit a Holling type II functional response on C. sinensis eggs under field temperatures. A polymerase chain reaction digestion analysis of M. sexmaculata and P. japonica adults after consumption of a single C. sinensis egg indicated that positive detection decreased with the extension of digestion time, and estimated prey DNA half-lives were 16.3 h in M. sexmaculata and 6.0 h in P. japonica. These data serve to characterize two major predators of C. sinensis with potential for biological control of C. sinensis in litchi orchards.
Productivity and water resource usage efficiency are crucial issues in sustainable agriculture. The aims of the present research were to compare and evaluate the soil moisture content (SMC), evapotranspiration (ETa), yield, water-use efficiency (WUE), and net return of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] under different plant population distribution patterns and to identify the possible ways to improve water utilization. Using the same plant population for a given crop, the experiments consisted of four spacings between rows (row spacings) for winter wheat (cvar Shannong 919) under both rainfed and irrigated conditions and five row spacings for summer soybean (cvar Ludou 4) under rainfed conditions. For winter wheat, the stem number with row spacing of 49 cm was the lowest in all treatments. The SMC was enhanced by irrigation, particularly at the 10–40 cm depth. The yield and WUE were negatively correlated with row spacing and were greater with narrower row spacing than with wider rows. For soybean, SMC in uniform distribution (spacing between plants) treatments was greater at lower depths than at shallower depths for each row spacing treatment. A high yield, WUE and net return of winter wheat and soybean can be achieved with narrower row spacing. Combining winter wheat row spacing of 14 cm with soybean row spacing of 18 cm and soybean row spacing of 27 cm is a highly suitable planting system for the plains of Northern China.
Using a piezoelectric unimorph vibrator with constraint-tuning modified-mode (CTMM) mechanism, a novel design of a thin-disc ultrasonic actuator was developed to drive an optical sled. The theoretical estimation of in-plane wave propagation on a thin disc is introduced to explain the novel actuating mechanism, via a modal expansion technique and modal participation factors. Furthermore, the approximate wave propagations could be illustrated by the practical estimated wave equations in this study. Applying four screws at the exact distribution of angles on the thin-disc vibrator, the actuating mechanism of ultrasonic modified modes is generated and propagated. The in-plane vibration modes could be tuned by these desired screw constraints on the piezoelectric vibrator. The ultrasonic actuator offers the output force to drive an optical sled by friction contact in bilateral motions. To implement the equilibrium structure force in bilateral directions, natural and forced analysis as well as impedance comparison of FEM software ANSYS are also introduced into the constrained design. Hence, there are two various modified modes chosen at the different resonant frequencies within the electromechanical coupling of piezoelectric material to pursue more efficiency in energy conversion. Experimental results have demonstrated consistency with the approximate theoretical approach of the in-plane wave propagation and simulations based on the concept of constrained-tuning modified modes.
The Dark Matter Time Projection Chamber collaboration recently reported a dark matter
limit obtained with a 10 liter time projection chamber filled with CF4 gas. The
10 liter detector was capable of 2D tracking (perpendicular to the drift direction) and 2D
fiducialization, and only used information from two CCD cameras when identifying tracks
and rejecting backgrounds. Since that time, the collaboration has explored the potential
benefits of photomultiplier tube and electronic charge readout to achieve 3D tracking, and
particle identification for background rejection. The latest results of this effort is
Fetal growth restriction is a risk factor for development of adulthood diseases, but the biological mechanism of this association remains unknown. Limited biomarkers have been studied in settings of preterm birth and maternal inflammation, but the relationship between a wide range of immune biomarkers and fetal growth has not been studied. The hypothesis of this study was that fetal growth restriction is associated with altered immune biomarker levels. We examined the relationship between small for gestational age (SGA) status and 27 umbilical cord blood immune biomarkers. This study was part of a large-scale cohort study of preterm birth and low birth weight conducted at Boston Medical Center, an inner city, predominantly minority patient population. Growth status was determined based on birth weight standardized to an internal reference. There were 74 SGA births and 319 appropriate for age (AGA) births with complete clinical and biomarker data. Adjusting for covariates and using AGA as reference, SGA births had lower levels of log IL-1β (ng/l; β −0.38, 95% CI −0.57, −0.19, P < 0.01), log BDNF (β −0.29, 95% CI −0.55, −0.03, P < 0.05) and log NT-3 (β −0.46, 95% CI −0.77, −0.15, P < 0.01). No associations were found between other biomarkers and SGA. In conclusion, three biomarkers were selectively associated with SGA status. Our results provide information that could be used to guide additional studied aimed at determining mechanisms that contribute to fetal growth.
A heterophase polydomain structure has been recently discovered in BiFeO3 epitaxial ferroelectric films, which provides large electromechanical responses. In this work, the formation of such a microstructure is explained by theory of elastic domains. The thermodynamics of the heterophase polydomain microstructure is analyzed to predict the equilibrium volume fraction of domains at different film-substrate lattice misfits. Extrinsic mechanical and piezoelectric properties are discussed for the heterophase polydomains. It is shown that an applied electric field, which increases electrostatic interaction between domains, may lead to dramatic increase of piezo response. The results of this work are in good agreement with experimental data for BiFeO3.
Hybrid actuation systems consist of two types of motors: constant velocity (CV)
motor and servo (SV) motor. The CV motor can produce a large power but with a
poor task flexibility. On the other hand, the SV motor has an excellent task
flexibility but with a small power capacity. Combination of these two types of
motors into a coherent driver architecture for machine systems is extremely
promising, because they complement each other. Existing studies on the hybrid
actuation or machine system usually employ two servo motors, one of which
substitutes the CV motor. This treatment compromises the control accuracy for
the trajectory tracking at the end-effector. This paper presents a study on a
new controller for the hybrid machine that considers one SV motor and one CV
motor and for trajectory tracking at the end-effector level. A comparison of
this new controller with the controller we developed previously is provided. A
five-bar mechanism with two degrees of freedom is employed for the illustration
Miniature pigs have been recognized as valuable experimental animals in medical research. However, porcine models related to gene knockout of human diseases are not widely available. The objective of this study was to establish Mx1-Cre pigs using somatic cell nuclear transfer. In this study, we created transgenic pigs using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Transfer of 210, 230, 250 and 215 zygotes to four surrogates produced 10 piglets. The Cre recombinase expression in transgenic pigs was studied using reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Mx1-Cre swine were shown to harbor the Cre gene in their genomic DNA using the PCR. In conclusion, Mx1-Cre transgenic piglets were successfully produced by SCNT. These transgenic swine, in conjunction with inducible systems for controlling Cre expression and function, are likely to have a profound impact on the study of human diseases.
Bunched and multi-circularly wrapped carbon nanotubes (CNT) are
observed to grow on alloy substrates based on iron group metals and copper
by a microwave enhanced hot-filament method with a dilute gas of ammonia at
a proper RF self-bias. The grown size of CNTs embodied in the grain sizes of
conducting bulk alloy catalysts such as Cu-Ni, Cu-Fe, Cu-Co, and Cu-Ni-Fe-Co
are controlled by a precursor time of hydrogen plasma etching. Species with
different structural features and homogenization of CNTs samples are
produced crucially attributed to various reactant gases and self-bias
induced by the radio frequency field.
The converse piezoelectric response of a thin film constrained by a substrate is analyzed in different geometries under various boundary conditions. We considerthe effects of elastic deformation of the substrate on the total displacement of thefilm surface induced by the electric field. The change of film thickness and the bending curvature of a film/substrate couple are calculated. For a thin film island clamped on a large thick substrate, the theoretical estimation of the piezoresponse, including a local bending in the vicinity of the island/substrate interface, is in agreement with the finite element calculation.
Erasable optical storage on an organic complex thin film m-nitrobenzal malononitrile and diamine benzene (m-NBMN/DAB) has been demonstrated. High contrast pattern can be produced by 780 nm laser pulses and can be erased by heating. The static optical recording characteristics were studied by the homemade static characterizer, and the structural properties of the thin films were investigated by the high resolution scanning electron microscope (HRSEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM).