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Quantitative plant biology is an interdisciplinary field that builds on a long history of biomathematics and biophysics. Today, thanks to high spatiotemporal resolution tools and computational modelling, it sets a new standard in plant science. Acquired data, whether molecular, geometric or mechanical, are quantified, statistically assessed and integrated at multiple scales and across fields. They feed testable predictions that, in turn, guide further experimental tests. Quantitative features such as variability, noise, robustness, delays or feedback loops are included to account for the inner dynamics of plants and their interactions with the environment. Here, we present the main features of this ongoing revolution, through new questions around signalling networks, tissue topology, shape plasticity, biomechanics, bioenergetics, ecology and engineering. In the end, quantitative plant biology allows us to question and better understand our interactions with plants. In turn, this field opens the door to transdisciplinary projects with the society, notably through citizen science.
ABSTRACT IMPACT: As newborn screening is now available for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, there is a need to establish meaningful disease markers to detect the onset of the severe demyelinating cerebral form of this disease at the earliest possible stage, and to quantify early disease progression to evaluate the relative efficacy of therapies. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Longitudinal testing of neurocognitive and motor function using smartphone and tablet-based applications holds promise for early detection and quantification of brain white matter changes in patients with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) and other rare demyelinating diseases, but this methodology requires validation in pediatric populations. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We developed an iPad application with a game-like interface to assess interhemispheric transfer across the corpus callosum, the brain structure where cerebral demyelinating disease typically begins in patients with ALD. Feasibility data from remote test administrations with healthy children were collected to analyze and speed and timing of finger tapping movements requiring bimanual coordination on a touchscreen. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Among our pilot sample of healthy school-aged children, age-related improvements in finger tapping speed were observed in both single-hand and alternating-hand conditions. Results indicate that remote testing using iPad applications is a viable way to collect psychometric testing data rapidly in pediatric populations and is feasible during a pandemic. Next steps in this research project will be: (1) evaluating the stability of repeated test administrations (test-retest reliability), (2) assessing agreement between performance on our iPad application and validated measures of interhemispheric transfer and fine motor function, and (3) comparing performance of children with known corpus callosum white matter abnormality to performance of healthy children. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: Brief neurocognitive tests that can be frequently administered may have the ability to capture subtle brain changes in developing children. Approaches enabling remote (virtual) testing will facilitate research during the covid-19 pandemic and are especially well-suited for data collection in rare disease populations.
This work investigated the photophysical pathways for light absorption, charge generation, and charge separation in donor–acceptor nanoparticle blends of poly(3-hexylthiophene) and indene-C60-bisadduct. Optical modeling combined with steady-state and time-resolved optoelectronic characterization revealed that the nanoparticle blends experience a photocurrent limited to 60% of a bulk solution mixture. This discrepancy resulted from imperfect free charge generation inside the nanoparticles. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and chemically resolved X-ray mapping showed that enhanced miscibility of materials did improve the donor–acceptor blending at the center of the nanoparticles; however, a residual shell of almost pure donor still restricted energy generation from these nanoparticles.
The existing literature on chronic pain points to the effects anxiety sensitivity, pain hypervigilance, and pain catastrophizing on pain-related fear; however, the nature of the relationships remains unclear. The three dispositional factors may affect one another in the prediction of pain adjustment outcomes. The addition of one disposition may increase the association between another disposition and outcomes, a consequence known as suppressor effects in statistical terms.
This study examined the possible statistical suppressor effects of anxiety sensitivity, pain hypervigilance and pain catastrophizing in predicting pain-related fear and adjustment outcomes (disability and depression).
Chinese patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain (n = 401) completed a battery of assessments on pain intensity, depression, anxiety sensitivity, pain vigilance, pain catastrophizing, and pain-related fear. Multiple regression analyses assessed the mediating/moderating role of pain hypervigilance. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to evaluate suppression effects.
Our results evidenced pain hypervigilance mediated the effects of anxiety sensitivity (Model 1: Sobel z = 4.86) and pain catastrophizing (Model 3: Sobel z = 5.08) on pain-related fear. Net suppression effect of pain catastrophizing on anxiety sensitivity was found in SEM where both anxiety sensitivity and pain catastrophizing were included in the same full model to predict disability (Model 9: CFI = 0.95) and depression (Model 10: CFI = 0.93) (all P < 0.001) (see Figs. 3 and 4, Figs. 1 and 2).
Our findings evidenced that pain hypervigilance mediated the relationship of two dispositional factors, pain catastrophic cognition and anxiety sensitivity, with pain-related fear. The net suppression effects of pain catastrophizing suggest that anxiety sensitivity enhanced the effect of pain catastrophic cognition on pain hypervigilance.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
A body of evidence has accrued supporting the Fear-Avoidance Model (FAM) of chronic pain which postulated the mediating role of pain-related fear in the relationships between pain catastrophizing and pain anxiety in affecting pain-related outcomes. Yet, relatively little data points to the extent to which the FAM be extended to understand chronic pain in Chinese population and its impact on quality of life (QoL).
This study explored the relationships between FAM components and their effects on QoL in a Chinese sample.
A total of 401 Chinese patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain completed measures of three core FAM components (pain catastrophizing, pain-related fear, and pain anxiety) and QoL. Cross-sectional structural equation modeling (SEM) assessed the goodness of fit of the FAM for two QoL outcomes, Physical (Model 1) and Mental (Model 2). In both models, pain catastrophizing was hypothesized to underpin pain-related fear, thereby influencing pain anxiety and subsequently QoL outcomes.
Results of SEM evidenced adequate data-model fit (CFI30.90) for the two models tested (Model 1: CFI = 0.93; Model 2: CFI = 0.94). Specifically, pain catastrophizing significantly predicted pain-related fear (Model 1: stdb = 0.90; Model 2: stdb = 0.91), which in turn significantly predicted pain anxiety (Model 1: stdb = 0.92; Model 2: stdb = 0.929) and QoL outcomes in a negative direction (Model 1: stdb = −0.391; Model 2: stdb = −0.651) (all P < 0.001) (Table 1, Fig. 1).
Our data substantiated the existing FAM literature and offered evidence for the cross-cultural validity of the FAM in the Chinese population with chronic pain.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Epidemiological studies indicate that individuals with one type of mental disorder have an increased risk of subsequently developing other types of mental disorders. This study aimed to undertake a comprehensive analysis of pair-wise lifetime comorbidity across a range of common mental disorders based on a diverse range of population-based surveys.
The WHO World Mental Health (WMH) surveys assessed 145 990 adult respondents from 27 countries. Based on retrospectively-reported age-of-onset for 24 DSM-IV mental disorders, associations were examined between all 548 logically possible temporally-ordered disorder pairs. Overall and time-dependent hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models. Absolute risks were estimated using the product-limit method. Estimates were generated separately for men and women.
Each prior lifetime mental disorder was associated with an increased risk of subsequent first onset of each other disorder. The median HR was 12.1 (mean = 14.4; range 5.2–110.8, interquartile range = 6.0–19.4). The HRs were most prominent between closely-related mental disorder types and in the first 1–2 years after the onset of the prior disorder. Although HRs declined with time since prior disorder, significantly elevated risk of subsequent comorbidity persisted for at least 15 years. Appreciable absolute risks of secondary disorders were found over time for many pairs.
Survey data from a range of sites confirms that comorbidity between mental disorders is common. Understanding the risks of temporally secondary disorders may help design practical programs for primary prevention of secondary disorders.
To identify and synthesise the literature on the cost of mental disorders.
Systematic literature searches were conducted in the databases PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, EconLit, NHS York Database and PsychInfo using key terms for cost and mental disorders. Searches were restricted to January 1980–May 2019. The inclusion criteria were: (1) cost-of-illness studies or cost-analyses; (2) diagnosis of at least one mental disorder; (3) study population based on the general population; (4) outcome in monetary units. The systematic review was preregistered on PROSPERO (ID: CRD42019127783).
In total, 13 579 potential titles and abstracts were screened and 439 full-text articles were evaluated by two independent reviewers. Of these, 112 articles were included from the systematic searches and 31 additional articles from snowball searching, resulting in 143 included articles. Data were available from 48 countries and categorised according to nine mental disorder groups. The quality of the studies varied widely and there was a lack of studies from low- and middle-income countries and for certain types of mental disorders (e.g. intellectual disabilities and eating disorders). Our study showed that certain groups of mental disorders are more costly than others and that these rankings are relatively stable between countries. An interactive data visualisation site can be found here: https://nbepi.com/econ.
This is the first study to provide a comprehensive overview of the cost of mental disorders worldwide.
The association between methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation and/or infection with increased morbidity and mortality among hospital patients has long been recognised. We sought to build on previous studies to identify modifiable risk factors associated with the acquisition of MRSA colonisation and infection by conducting a retrospective cohort study on patients admitted through the Emergency Department of an acute tertiary-care general hospital in Singapore which implemented universal on-admission MRSA screening. Patients were assigned to the acquisition or non-acquisition group depending on whether they acquired MRSA during their admission. We used logistic regression models with a patient being in the acquisition group as the binary outcome to identify factors associated with MRSA acquisition. A total of 1302 acquisition and 37 949 non-acquisition group patients were analysed. Fifteen variables were included in the multivariate model. A dose–response relationship between length of stay and odds of MRSA acquisition was observed, with a length of stay 3 weeks or more (Adj OR 11.78–57.36, all P < 0.001) being the single biggest predictor of MRSA acquisition. Other variables significantly associated with MRSA acquisition were: male gender, age 65 or greater, previous MRSA colonisation or infection, exposure to certain antibiotics and surgery, and history of diabetes.
The Working Party has produced this report in order to prompt readers to engage at an early stage in InsurTech projects, through considering (i) the full range of risks associated with InsurTech developments, (ii) the lifecycle of an InsurTech venture and how any risk considerations may vary over this lifecycle and (iii) the extent to which InsurTech ventures align with risk strategy and risk appetite.
The report contains practical guidance for actuaries, risk professionals, insurance companies and their Boards on these considerations, and can be used to facilitate appropriate questioning, to help ensure that InsurTech-related business decisions are fully cognisant of the risk management issues and to help ensure the success of projects.
The Working Party developed this guidance having carried out an industry survey on a number of risk management topics relating to InsurTech, as well as having carried out interviews with a number of relevant senior stakeholders across the insurance industry, in order to better understand current sentiment and how risk management plays a part when considering opportunities in InsurTech. The Working Party views on the findings from these activities are summarised in the report.
Traumatic events are associated with increased risk of psychotic experiences, but it is unclear whether this association is explained by mental disorders prior to psychotic experience onset.
To investigate the associations between traumatic events and subsequent psychotic experience onset after adjusting for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental disorders.
We assessed 29 traumatic event types and psychotic experiences from the World Mental Health surveys and examined the associations of traumatic events with subsequent psychotic experience onset with and without adjustments for mental disorders.
Respondents with any traumatic events had three times the odds of other respondents of subsequently developing psychotic experiences (OR=3.1, 95% CI 2.7–3.7), with variability in strength of association across traumatic event types. These associations persisted after adjustment for mental disorders.
Exposure to traumatic events predicts subsequent onset of psychotic experiences even after adjusting for comorbid mental disorders.
Although specific phobia is highly prevalent, associated with impairment, and an important risk factor for the development of other mental disorders, cross-national epidemiological data are scarce, especially from low- and middle-income countries. This paper presents epidemiological data from 22 low-, lower-middle-, upper-middle- and high-income countries.
Data came from 25 representative population-based surveys conducted in 22 countries (2001–2011) as part of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys initiative (n = 124 902). The presence of specific phobia as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition was evaluated using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
The cross-national lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of specific phobia were, respectively, 7.4% and 5.5%, being higher in females (9.8 and 7.7%) than in males (4.9% and 3.3%) and higher in high- and higher-middle-income countries than in low-/lower-middle-income countries. The median age of onset was young (8 years). Of the 12-month patients, 18.7% reported severe role impairment (13.3–21.9% across income groups) and 23.1% reported any treatment (9.6–30.1% across income groups). Lifetime co-morbidity was observed in 60.5% of those with lifetime specific phobia, with the onset of specific phobia preceding the other disorder in most cases (72.6%). Interestingly, rates of impairment, treatment use and co-morbidity increased with the number of fear subtypes.
Specific phobia is common and associated with impairment in a considerable percentage of cases. Importantly, specific phobia often precedes the onset of other mental disorders, making it a possible early-life indicator of psychopathology vulnerability.
Although there is robust evidence linking childhood adversities (CAs) and an increased risk for psychotic experiences (PEs), little is known about whether these associations vary across the life-course and whether mental disorders that emerge prior to PEs explain these associations.
We assessed CAs, PEs and DSM-IV mental disorders in 23 998 adults in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. Discrete-time survival analysis was used to investigate the associations between CAs and PEs, and the influence of mental disorders on these associations using multivariate logistic models.
Exposure to CAs was common, and those who experienced any CAs had increased odds of later PEs [odds ratio (OR) 2.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9–2.6]. CAs reflecting maladaptive family functioning (MFF), including abuse, neglect, and parent maladjustment, exhibited the strongest associations with PE onset in all life-course stages. Sexual abuse exhibited a strong association with PE onset during childhood (OR 8.5, 95% CI 3.6–20.2), whereas Other CA types were associated with PE onset in adolescence. Associations of other CAs with PEs disappeared in adolescence after adjustment for prior-onset mental disorders. The population attributable risk proportion (PARP) for PEs associated with all CAs was 31% (24% for MFF).
Exposure to CAs is associated with PE onset throughout the life-course, although sexual abuse is most strongly associated with childhood-onset PEs. The presence of mental disorders prior to the onset of PEs does not fully explain these associations. The large PARPs suggest that preventing CAs could lead to a meaningful reduction in PEs in the population.
This is the first cross-national study of intermittent explosive disorder (IED).
A total of 17 face-to-face cross-sectional household surveys of adults were conducted in 16 countries (n = 88 063) as part of the World Mental Health Surveys initiative. The World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0) assessed DSM-IV IED, using a conservative definition.
Lifetime prevalence of IED ranged across countries from 0.1 to 2.7% with a weighted average of 0.8%; 0.4 and 0.3% met criteria for 12-month and 30-day prevalence, respectively. Sociodemographic correlates of lifetime risk of IED were being male, young, unemployed, divorced or separated, and having less education. The median age of onset of IED was 17 years with an interquartile range across countries of 13–23 years. The vast majority (81.7%) of those with lifetime IED met criteria for at least one other lifetime disorder; co-morbidity was highest with alcohol abuse and depression. Of those with 12-month IED, 39% reported severe impairment in at least one domain, most commonly social or relationship functioning. Prior traumatic experiences involving physical (non-combat) or sexual violence were associated with increased risk of IED onset.
Conservatively defined, IED is a low prevalence disorder but this belies the true societal costs of IED in terms of the effects of explosive anger attacks on families and relationships. IED is more common among males, the young, the socially disadvantaged and among those with prior exposure to violence, especially in childhood.
We present an overview of the survey for radio emission from active stars that has been in progress for the last six years using the observatories at Fleurs, Molonglo, Parkes and Tidbinbilla. The role of complementary optical observations at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Mount Burnett, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories and Mount Tamborine are also outlined. We describe the different types of star that have been included in our survey and discuss some of the problems in making the radio observations.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
This design study applied parameterisation to rotor blade for improved performance. In the design, parametric equations were used to represent blade planform changes over the existing rotor blade model. Design variables included blade twist, sweep, dihedral, and radial control point. Updates to the blade structural properties with changes in the design variables allowed accurate evaluation of performance objectives and realistic structural constraints – blade stability, steady moments (flap bending, chord bending, and torsion), and the high g manoeuvring pitch link loads. Performance improvement was demonstrated with multiple parametric designs. Using a parametric design with advanced aerofoils, the predicted power reduction was 1·0% in hover, 10·0% at μ = 0·30, and 17·0% at μ = 0·40 relative to the baseline UH-60A rotor, but these were obtained with a 35% increase in the steady chord bending moment at μ = 0·30 and a 20% increase in the half peak-to-peak pitch link load during the UH-60A UTTAS manoeuvre Low vibration was maintained for this design. More rigorous design efforts, such as chord tapering and/or structural redesign of the blade cross section, would enlarge the feasible design space and likely provide significant performance improvement.
Metabarcoding, the coupling of DNA-based species identification and high-throughput sequencing, offers enormous promise for arthropod biodiversity studies but factors such as cost, speed and ease-of-use of bioinformatic pipelines, crucial for making the leapt from demonstration studies to a real-world application, have not yet been adequately addressed. Here, four published and one newly designed primer sets were tested across a diverse set of 80 arthropod species, representing 11 orders, to establish optimal protocols for Illumina-based metabarcoding of tropical Malaise trap samples. Two primer sets which showed the highest amplification success with individual specimen polymerase chain reaction (PCR, 98%) were used for bulk PCR and Illumina MiSeq sequencing. The sequencing outputs were subjected to both manual and simple metagenomics quality control and filtering pipelines. We obtained acceptable detection rates after bulk PCR and high-throughput sequencing (80–90% of input species) but analyses were complicated by putative heteroplasmic sequences and contamination. The manual pipeline produced similar or better outputs to the simple metagenomics pipeline (1.4 compared with 0.5 expected:unexpected Operational Taxonomic Units). Our study suggests that metabarcoding is slowly becoming as cheap, fast and easy as conventional DNA barcoding, and that Malaise trap metabarcoding may soon fulfill its potential, providing a thermometer for biodiversity.
In this work, LiFePO4 (LFP) particles were synthesized through an ionic liquid medium. Through the fabrication of LFP particles, we observed the formation of quasi-1−dimensional (1D) structures. The characterization of phases found in the reaction, through time-dependent studies, have led us to propose a possible scheme for particle formation.
Synthesized material was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and x-ray diffraction (XRD). We also report our analysis on particle morphology and crystallinity of LFP particles synthesized through an ionic liquid−mediated process.