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The study aimed to monitor parasite and host gene expression during the early stages of Eimeria tenella infection of chicken cells using dual RNA-Seq analysis. For this, we used chicken macrophage-like cell line HD11 cultures infected in vitro with purified E. tenella sporozoites. Cultures were harvested between 2 and 72 h post-infection and mRNA was extracted and sequenced. Dual RNA-Seq analysis showed clear patterns of altered expression for both parasite and host genes during infection. For example, genes in the chicken immune system showed upregulation early (2–4 h), a strong downregulation of genes across the immune system at 24 h and a repetition of early patterns at 72 h, indicating that invasion by a second generation of parasites was occurring. The observed downregulation may be due to immune self-regulation or to immune evasive mechanisms exerted by E. tenella. Results also suggested pathogen recognition receptors involved in E. tenella innate recognition, MRC2, TLR15 and NLRC5 and showed distinct chemokine and cytokine induction patterns. Moreover, the expression of several functional categories of Eimeria genes, such as rhoptry kinase genes and microneme genes, were also examined, showing distinctive differences which were expressed in sporozoites and merozoites.
Childhood trauma is a vulnerability factor for the development of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Empirical findings suggest that trauma-related alterations in brain networks, especially in thalamus-related regions, have been observed in OCD patients. However, the relationship between childhood trauma and thalamic connectivity in patients with OCD remains unclear. The present study aimed to examine the impact of childhood trauma on thalamic functional connectivity in OCD patients.
Magnetic resonance imaging resting-state scans were acquired in 79 patients with OCD, including 22 patients with a high level of childhood trauma (OCD_HCT), 57 patients with a low level of childhood trauma (OCD_LCT) and 47 healthy controls. Seven thalamic subdivisions were chosen as regions of interest (ROIs) to examine the group difference in thalamic ROIs and whole-brain resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC).
We found significantly decreased caudate-thalamic rsFC in OCD patients as a whole group and also in OCD_LCT patients, compared with healthy controls. However, OCD_HCT patients exhibited increased thalamic rsFC with the prefrontal cortex when compared with both OCD_LCT patients and healthy controls.
Taken together, OCD patients with high and low levels of childhood trauma exhibit different pathological alterations in thalamic rsFC, suggesting that childhood trauma may be a predisposing factor for some OCD patients.
This chapter is concerned with the measurement of an individual’s capability or freedom of choice in the functioning space. We discuss the link between the problem of measuring an individual’s freedom of choice and the problem of how we formulate the notion of such freedom. We present several approaches to the problem of measuring capability and freedom of choice, and discuss the issue of interpersonal comparisons of capability. In the process, we also clarify the concept of capability.
At an estimated US$19 billion, the illicit wildlife trade is a serious threat to global conservation efforts. This criminal enterprise is now digital, expanding its footprint to consumers internationally by using the Internet and social media platforms. Recent studies have detected illegal wildlife selling posts on the popular social networking site Facebook in several different languages, including Chinese. In order to further explore this challenge to conservation, this study used big data approaches to identify and characterize wildlife trading activity in Chinese language on Facebook using an automated web scraper. We focused on keywords associated with elephants, rhinos and hawksbill turtles. We collected 10 303 unique Facebook posts over a 45-day period and were able to identify 639 posts from 268 unique users, which we suspect of directly marketing the sale of wildlife products. We also identified other species including Tibetan antelope, bears and African spurred tortoises. Facebook community pages appeared to have the highest percentage (48.2%) of wildlife selling posts. We also identified 14 different countries and regions with suspected wildlife-selling users, most located in Taiwan. Furthermore, we observed that the language used by some sellers changed from descriptive text to emojis and other code words. Collective action is needed from governments, law enforcement, civil society and technology companies leveraging big data approaches to better detect and interdict online Chinese-language wildlife trafficking.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2 virus) has been sustained in China since December 2019, and has become a pandemic. The mental health of frontline medical staff is a concern. In this study, we aimed to identify the factors influencing medical worker anxiety in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of anxiety among medical staff in China from 10 February 2020 to 20 February 2020 using the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) to assess anxiety, with the criteria of normal (⩽49), mild (50–59), moderate (60–70) and severe anxiety (⩾70). We used multivariable linear regression to determine the factors (e.g. having direct contact when treating infected patients, being a medical staff worker from Hubei province, being a suspect case) for anxiety. We also used adjusted models to confirm independent factors for anxiety after adjusting for gender, age, education and marital status. Of 512 medical staff in China, 164 (32.03%) had had direct contact treating infected patients. The prevalence of anxiety was 12.5%, with 53 workers suffering from mild (10.35%), seven workers suffering from moderate (1.36%) and four workers suffering from severe anxiety (0.78%). After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics (gender, age, education and marital status), medical staff who had had direct contact treating infected patients experienced higher anxiety scores than those who had not had direct contact (β value = 2.33, confidence interval (CI) 0.65–4.00; P = 0.0068). A similar trend was observed in medical staff from Hubei province, compared with those from other parts of China (β value = 3.67, CI 1.44–5.89; P = 0.0013). The most important variable was suspect cases with high anxiety scores, compared to non-suspect cases (β value = 4.44, CI 1.55–7.33; P = 0.0028). In this survey of hospital medical workers during the COVID-19 outbreak in China, we found that study participants experienced anxiety symptoms, especially those who had direct clinical contact with infected patients; as did those in the worst affected areas, including Hubei province; and those who were suspect cases. Governments and healthcare authorities should proactively implement appropriate psychological intervention programmes, to prevent, alleviate or treat increased anxiety.
Tooth enamel, the outermost layer of human teeth, is a complex, hierarchically structured biocomposite. The details of this structure are important in multiple human health contexts, from understanding the progression of dental caries (tooth decay) to understanding the process of amelogenesis and related developmental defects. Enamel is composed primarily of long, nanoscale crystallites of hydroxyapatite that are bundled by the thousands to form micron-scale rods. Studies with transmission electron microscopy show the relationships between small groups of crystallites and X-ray diffraction characterize averages over many rods, but the direct measurement of variations in local crystallographic structure across and between enamel rods has been missing. Here, we describe a synchrotron X-ray-based experimental approach and a novel analysis method developed to address this gap in knowledge. A ~500-nm-wide beam of monochromatic X-rays in conjunction with a sample section only 1 μm in thickness enables 2D diffraction patterns to be collected from small well-separated volumes within the enamel microstructure but still probes enough crystallites (~300 per pattern) to extract population-level statistics on crystallographic features like lattice parameter, crystallite size, and orientation distributions. Furthermore, the development of a quantitative metric to characterize relative order and disorder based on the azimuthal autocorrelation of diffracted intensity enables these crystallographic measurements to be correlated with their location within the enamel microstructure (e.g., between rod and interrod regions). These methods represent a step forward in the characterization of human enamel and will elucidate the variation of the crystallographic structure across and between enamel rods for the first time.
We investigate the phased evolution and variation of the South Asian monsoon and resulting weathering intensity and physical erosion in the Himalaya–Karakoram Mountains since late Pliocene time (c. 3.4 Ma) using a comprehensive approach. Neodymium and strontium isotopic compositions and single-grain zircon U–Pb age spectra reveal the sources of the deposits in the east Arabian Sea, and show a combination of sources from the Himalaya and the Karakoram–Kohistan–Ladakh Mountains, with sediments from the Indian Peninsula such as the Deccan Traps or Craton. We interpret shifts in the sediment sources to have been forced by sea-level changes that correlate with South Asian monsoon rainfall variation since late Pliocene time. We collected 908 samples from the International Ocean Discovery Program Hole U1456A, which was drilled in the east Arabian Sea. Time series of hematite content and grain size of the sediments were examined downcore. We found South Asian monsoon precipitation and weathering intensity experienced three phases from late Pliocene time. Lower monsoon precipitation, with a lower variability and strong weathering intensity, occurred during 3.4–2.4 Ma; an increased and more variable South Asian monsoon rainfall, along with strengthened but fluctuating weathering intensity, occurred at 1.8–1.1 Ma; and a reduced rainfall with lower South Asian monsoon precipitation variability and moderate weathering intensity marked the period 1.1–0.1 Ma. Maximum entropy spectral analysis and wavelet transform show that there were orbital-dominated cycles of periods c. 100 and c. 41 ka in these proxy-based time series. We propose that the monsoon, sea level, global temperature and insolation together forced the weathering and erosion in SW Asia.
In recent years, men who have sex with men (MSM) constitute a major group of HIV transmission in China. High primary drug-resistance (PDR) rate in MSM also represents a serious challenge for the Chinese antiretroviral therapy (ART) program. To assess the efficiency of ART in controlling HIV/AIDS infection among MSM, we developed a compartmental model for the annually reported HIV/AIDS MSM from 2007 to 2019 in the Zhejiang Province of China. R0 was 2.3946 (95% CI (2.2961–2.4881)). We predict that 90% of diagnosed HIV/AIDS individuals will have received treatment till 2020, while the proportion of the diagnosed remains as low as 40%. Even when the proportion of the diagnosed reaches 90%, R0 is still larger than the level of AIDS epidemic elimination. ART can effectively control the spread of HIV, even in the presence of drug resistance. The 90-90-90 strategy alone may not eliminate the HIV epidemic in Chinese MSM. Behavioural and biologic interventions are the most effective interventions to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic among MSM.
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.
Schizophrenia puts a significant burden on caregivers.
To explore the effects of two long-acting treatments (LAT), paliperidone palmitate 1-month and 3-month formulations on caregiver burden (CGB) in European patients with schizophrenia using the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire (IEQ)
To conduct a subgroup analysis of two randomized, double-blind studies (NCT01515423 and NCT01529515).
Caregivers (≥ 1 h of contact/week with the patients) were offered to complete the IEQ (31 items, each scoring: 0–4; total score: sum of 27 items [0–108]).
Among 756 European caregivers (53% parents, 18% spouse/partner or girl/boyfriend, 10% sister/brother), 60% reported a CGB of ≥ 32 hours/week at open-label baseline (BL-OL). CGB reduced significantly for patients with both BL-OL and at least one double-blind IEQ sum-score (n = 433): mean improvement [SD] (9.9 [12.66], P < 0.001) from BL-OL (mean [SD] 26.0 [13.30]) to study end (16.0 [10.47]); (reduction in burden associated with worrying [2.9 points] and urging [4.3 points]). CGB significantly improved in patients on prior oral antipsychotics post-switching to LAT with less leisure days impacted and less hours spent in caregiving (P < 0.001). There was significant relationship between improvements and relapse status, patient age (P < 0.001), age at diagnosis (P < 0.002), and number of prior psychiatric hospitalizations in the last 24 months (P < 0.05). Prior use of long-acting antipsychotics other than paliperidone palmitate 1-month or 3-month formulations at BL-OL and duration of prior psychiatric hospitalizations in the last 24 months did not show significant effect on improvements.
Switching from an oral antipsychotic to an LAT can provide a meaningful and significant improvement in caregiver burden.
Disclosure of interest
All authors are employees of Janssen Research & Development, LLC and hold stocks in the company.
Although alienation toward parents is important for children (for current mental health status or later interpersonal relationships in adulthood), it is undervalued and even lacks a standardized tool of assessment. Moreover, the large number of left-behind children in China is a cause of public concern. However, their experienced alienation toward their parents remains unclear, which may be important for early detection or intervention for behavioral problems in this population. Hence, the current study aimed to develop an alienation inventory for children and then use it to investigate the experienced alienation toward parents in Chinese left-behind children.
Two studies were carried out. Study 1 was designed to develop a standard inventory of alienation toward parents (IAP). In study 2, 8361 children and adolescents (6704 of them were left-behind status) of the Chongqing area, aged between 8 and 19 years old, were recruited for investigation. All participants were surveyed with a standard sociodemographic questionnaire, children's cognitive style questionnaire, children's depression inventory, adolescent self-rating life events checklist, and newly built IAP in study 1.
In study 1, we developed a two-component (communication and emotional distance) and 18-item (9 items for maternal or paternal form, respectively) IAP questionnaire. In study 2, exploratory factor analysis indicated an expected two-factor structure of IAP, which was confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients showed a good reliability (0.887 and 0.821 for maternal and paternal form, respectively). Children with absent mother experienced the highest alienation toward parents. Boys as well as children aged 8–10 years old experienced higher alienation toward parents. Poor communication with parents (sparse or no connection), level of left-behind condition (parents divorced, been far away from parents), and psychosocial vulnerability (stressful life events, negative cognitive style) were risk factors of alienation toward parents.
The current study develops a two-factor (communication and emotional distance) IAP, which offers a reliable tool to assess experienced alienation of affection toward parents in children aged between 8 and 19 years old. Our result is the first investigation of experienced alienation and potential influential factors in Chinese left-behind children. The findings that children with absent mother experience higher alienation toward parents, as well as three recognized risk factors for alienation of affection toward parents (poor communication with absent parents, worse left-behind condition, and psychosocial vulnerability), give valuable guidance for parents who intend to leave or who are already leaving as well as for government policymaking.
The coronal heating problem is a long-standing perplexing issue. In this study, 13 solar activity indexes are used to investigate their phase relation with the sunspot number (SSN). Only three of them are found to statistically significantly lag the SSN (large-scale magnetic activity) by about one solar rotation period; the three indexes are total solar irradiance (TSI), the modified coronal index, and the solar wind velocity; the former two indexes may represent the long-term variation of energy quantity of the heated photosphere and corona, respectively. The Mount Wilson Sunspot Index (MWSI) and the Magnetic Plage Strength Index (MPSI), which reflect the large- and small-scale magnetic field activities, respectively, are also utilised to investigate their phase relations with the three indexes. The three indexes are found to be much more intimately related to MPSI than to MWSI, and MWSI statistically significantly leads TSI by about one rotation period. The heated corona is found to pulse perfectly in step with the small-scale magnetic activity rather than the large-scale magnetic activity; furthermore, combined with observations, our statistical evidence should thus attribute coronal heating firmly to small-scale magnetic activity phenomena, such as spicules, micro-flares, nano-flares, and others. The photosphere and the corona are synchronously heated, which should seemingly prefer magnetic reconnection heating to wave heating. In the long term, such a coronal heating way is inferred effective. Statistically, it is also small-scale magnetic activity phenomena that produce TSI enhancement. Coronal heating and solar wind acceleration are found to be synchronous, as standard models require.
Healthcare personnel (HCP) were recruited to provide serum samples, which were tested for antibodies against Ebola or Lassa virus to evaluate for asymptomatic seroconversion.
From 2014 to 2016, 4 patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 1 patient with Lassa fever (LF) were treated in the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU) at Emory University Hospital. Strict infection control and clinical biosafety practices were implemented to prevent nosocomial transmission of EVD or LF to HCP.
All personnel who entered the SCDU who were required to measure their temperatures and complete a symptom questionnaire twice daily were eligible.
No employee developed symptomatic EVD or LF. EVD and LF antibody studies were performed on sera samples from 42 HCP. The 6 participants who had received investigational vaccination with a chimpanzee adenovirus type 3 vectored Ebola glycoprotein vaccine had high antibody titers to Ebola glycoprotein, but none had a response to Ebola nucleoprotein or VP40, or a response to LF antigens.
Patients infected with filoviruses and arenaviruses can be managed successfully without causing occupation-related symptomatic or asymptomatic infections. Meticulous attention to infection control and clinical biosafety practices by highly motivated, trained staff is critical to the safe care of patients with an infection from a special pathogen.
Patients with severe mental disorders in low-resource settings have limited access to services, resulting in overwhelming caregiving burden for families. In extreme cases, this has led to the long-term restraining of patients in their homes. China underwent a nationwide initiative to unlock patients and provide continued treatment. This study aims to quantify household economic burden in families after unlocking and treatment, and to identify factors associated with increased burden due to schizophrenia.
A total of 264 subjects were enrolled from three geographically diverse provinces in 2012. Subjects were patients with schizophrenia who were previously put under restraints and had participated in the ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention. The primary outcome was the current household economic burden, obtained from past year financial information collected through on-site interview. Patient disease characteristics, treatment, outcomes and family caregiving burden were collected as well. Univariate and multivariate linear regression were used to construct risk factor models for indirect economic burden.
After participating in the intervention, 85% of patients continued to receive mental health services, 70% used medication as prescribed and 80% were never relocked. Family members reported significantly decreased caregiving burden after receiving the intervention. Mean direct and indirect household economic burdens were CNY963 (US$31.7) and CNY11 724 (US$1670) per year, respectively, while family total income was on average CNY12 108 (US$1913) per year. Greater disease severity and poorer patient psychosocial function at time of study were found to be independent factors related to increased indirect burden.
The ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention has improved the lives of patients and families. Indirect burden due to disease is still a major economic issue that needs to be addressed, potentially through improving treatment and patient functioning. Our findings contribute to the unravelling and eventual elimination of chronic restraining of mentally ill patients in low-resource settings.
We present a new low-cost, high-throughput method for converting many types of organic carbon samples into graphite for radiocarbon (14C) measurements by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The method combines sample combustion and reduction to graphite into a single procedure. In the Single Step method, solid samples are placed directly into Pyrex containing zinc, titanium hydride and iron catalyst. The tube is evacuated, flame sealed, and placed in a muffle furnace for 7 hr. A variety of organic samples have been tested including oxalic acid, sucrose, wood, peat, collagen, humic acid, and contamination swipe samples. The method significantly reduces the time required to produce a graphite sample for 14C measurement, with analytical precision and accuracy approaching that of traditional two-step combustion and hydrogen reduction methods. The details and applicability of the method are presented.
The work described in this research communication aimed to investigate whether rumen-protected methionine (Met) supplementation during the periparturient period would affect the expression of galectins in blood-derived neutrophils, and secretion of galectins, IL (interleukin)-1β, IL-6, myeloperoxidase (MPO), and glucose in plasma. Because supplementation of rumen-protected Met would alleviate inflammation and oxidative stress during the peripartal period, we hypothesized that enhancing Met supply would benefit the innate immune response at least in part by altering the expression of galectin genes associated with neutrophil activity and inflammation. Galectins (Gal) have an immuno-modulating effect acting like cell-surface receptors whose activation often results in signaling cascades stimulating cells such as neutrophils. This study revealed an association between Met supplementation and galectin expression and secretion. This implies that galectin expression and secretion can be modulated by Met supplementation. Further studies are needed to evaluate the regulation of galectin gene expression for therapeutic and dietary intervention in the peripartal cow.
Planetary material in the atmospheres of white dwarfs is thought to be scattered inwards from outer planetary systems. Dusty emission in the infrared traces the accretion. As the scattering of many small asteroids is a stochastic process, variability in the infrared emission is predicted. We report a 3 year near-infrared (J, H and K) monitoring campaign of 34 dusty, polluted white dwarfs which aims to search for dust emission variability. We find all white dwarfs have consistent near-infrared fluxes, implying the excess emission is stable. This suggests tidal disruption events which lead to large variabilities are rare and quick (<1 year) and become stable within a few years. For WD 0408–041, the system that shows both increases and decreases in dust emission over 11 years, our K band data suggest a potential colour change associated with the dust emission that needs further confirmation.
Replicate radiocarbon (14C) measurements of organic and inorganic control samples, with known Fraction Modern values in the range Fm = 0–1.5 and mass range 6 μg–2 mg carbon, are used to determine both the mass and radiocarbon content of the blank carbon introduced during sample processing and measurement in our laboratory. These data are used to model, separately for organic and inorganic samples, the blank contribution and subsequently “blank correct” measured unknowns in the mass range 25–100 μg. Data, formulas, and an assessment of the precision and accuracy of the blank correction are presented.