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In accounts of Chinese history, the Western Zhou period has been lionized as a golden age of ritual, when kings created the ceremonies that underlay the traditions of imperial governance. In this book, Paul Nicholas Vogt rediscovers their roots in the vagaries of Western Zhou royal geopolitics through an investigation of inscriptions on bronze vessels, the best contemporary source for this period. He shows how the kings of the Western Zhou adapted ritual to create and retain power, while introducing changes that affected later remembrances of Zhou royal ritual and that shaped the tradition of statecraft throughout Chinese history. Using ritual and social theory to explain Western Zhou history, Vogt traces how the traditions of pre-modern China were born, how a ruling dynasty establishes and holds on to power, how religion and politics can support and restrain each other, and how ancient peoples made, used, and assigned meaning to art and artifacts.
East of England is considered the “bread basket” of the UK, supplying domestic and global food markets but it is under pressures from policy, economic and environmental challenges. This chapter studies with a mixed-method approach the risks affecting the arable farming sector in the East of England, describing the role of knowledge networks and learning for resilience.
Praziquantel (PZQ) remains the only drug of choice for the treatment of schistosomiasis, caused by parasitic flatworms. The widespread use of PZQ in schistosomiasis endemic areas for about four decades raises concerns about the emergence of resistance of Schistosoma spp. to PZQ under drug selection pressure. This reinforces the urgency in finding alternative therapeutic options that could replace or complement PZQ. We explored the potential of medicinal plants commonly used by indigenes in Kenya for the treatment of various ailments including malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhoea for their antischistosomal properties. Employing the Soxhlet extraction method with different solvents, seven medicinal plants Artemisia annua, Ajuga remota, Bredilia micranta, Cordia africana, Physalis peruviana, Prunus africana and Senna didymobotrya were extracted. Qualitative phytochemical screening was performed to determine the presence of various phytochemicals in the plant extracts. Extracts were tested against Schistosoma mansoni newly transformed schistosomula (NTS) and adult worms and the schistosomicidal activity was determined by using the adenosine triphosphate quantitation assay. Phytochemical analysis of the extracts showed different classes of compounds such as alkaloids, tannins, terpenes, etc., in plant extracts active against S. mansoni worms. Seven extracts out of 22 resulted in <20% viability against NTS in 24 h at 100 μg/ml. Five of the extracts with inhibitory activity against NTS showed >69.7% and ≥72.4% reduction in viability against adult worms after exposure for 24 and 48 h, respectively. This study provides encouraging preliminary evidence that extracts of Kenyan medicinal plants deserve further study as potential alternative therapeutics that may form the basis for the development of the new treatments for schistosomiasis.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
In view of the increasing complexity of both cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) and patients in the current era, practice guidelines, by necessity, have become increasingly specific. This document is an expert consensus statement that has been developed to update and further delineate indications and management of CIEDs in pediatric patients, defined as ≤21 years of age, and is intended to focus primarily on the indications for CIEDs in the setting of specific disease categories. The document also highlights variations between previously published adult and pediatric CIED recommendations and provides rationale for underlying important differences. The document addresses some of the deterrents to CIED access in low- and middle-income countries and strategies to circumvent them. The document sections were divided up and drafted by the writing committee members according to their expertise. The recommendations represent the consensus opinion of the entire writing committee, graded by class of recommendation and level of evidence. Several questions addressed in this document either do not lend themselves to clinical trials or are rare disease entities, and in these instances recommendations are based on consensus expert opinion. Furthermore, specific recommendations, even when supported by substantial data, do not replace the need for clinical judgment and patient-specific decision-making. The recommendations were opened for public comment to Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) members and underwent external review by the scientific and clinical document committee of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), the science advisory and coordinating committee of the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC). The document received endorsement by all the collaborators and the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS), the Indian Heart Rhythm Society (IHRS), and the Latin American Heart Rhythm Society (LAHRS). This document is expected to provide support for clinicians and patients to allow for appropriate CIED use, appropriate CIED management, and appropriate CIED follow-up in pediatric patients.
We estimated the annual bed days lost and economic burden of healthcare-associated infections to Singapore hospitals using Monte Carlo simulation. The mean (standard deviation) cost of a single healthcare-associated infection was S$1,809 (S$440) [or US$1,362 (US$331)]. This translated to annual lost bed days and economic burden of 55,978 (20,506) days and S$152.0 million (S$37.1 million) [or US$114.4 million (US$27.9 million)], respectively.
To assess the association between dietary diversity and development among children under 24 months in rural Uganda and to establish other factors that could be associated with development among these children.
A secondary data analysis of a cluster-randomised controlled maternal education trial (n 511) was conducted on a sub-sample of 385 children. We used adjusted ORs (AORs) to assess the associations of dietary diversity scores (DDS) and other baseline factors assessed at 6–8 months with child development domains (communication, fine motor, gross motor, personal–social and problem solving) at 20–24 months of age.
Rural areas in Kabale and Kisoro districts of south-western Uganda.
Children under 24 months.
After multivariable analysis, DDS at 6–8 months were positively associated with normal fine motor skills development at 20–24 months (AOR = 1·18; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·37; P = 0·02). No significant association was found between DDS and other development domains. Children who were not ill at 6–8 months had higher odds of developing normal communication (AOR = 1·73; 95 % CI 1·08, 2·77) and gross motor (AOR = 1·91; 95 % CI 1·09, 3·36) skills than sick children. Girls had lower odds of developing normal gross motor skills compared with boys (AOR = 0·58; 95 % CI 0·33, 0·98). Maternal/caregiver nutritional education intervention was positively associated with development of gross motor, fine motor and problem-solving skills (P-values < 0·05).
We found an association between child DDS at 6–8 months and improvement in fine motor skills development at 20–24 months. Child illness status, maternal/caregiver nutritional education intervention and sex were other significant baseline predictors of child development at 20–24 months.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
To address appropriateness of antibiotic use, we implemented an electronic framework to evaluate antibiotic “never events” (NEs) at 2 medical centers. Patient-level vancomycin administration records were classified as NEs or non-NEs. The objective framework allowed capture of true-positive vancomycin NEs in one-third of patients identified by the electronic strategy.
Mortality risk is known to be associated with many physiological or biochemical risk factors, and polygenic risk scores (PRSs) may offer an additional or alternative approach to risk stratification. We have compared the predictive value of common biochemical tests, PRSs and information on parental survival in a cohort of twins and their families. Common biochemical test results were available for up to 13,365 apparently healthy men and women, aged 17−93 years (mean 49.0, standard deviation [SD] 13.7) at blood collection. PRSs for longevity were available for 14,169 study participants and reported parental survival for 25,784 participants. A search for information on date and cause of death was conducted through the Australian National Death Index, with median follow-up of 11.3 years. Cox regression was used to evaluate associations with mortality from all causes, cancers, cardiovascular diseases and other causes. Linear relationships with all-cause mortality were strongest for C-reactive protein, gamma-glutamyl transferase, glucose and alkaline phosphatase, with hazard ratios (HRs) of 1.16 (95% CI [1.07, 1.24]), 1.15 (95% CI 1.04–1.21), 1.13 (95% CI [1.08, 1.19]) and 1.11 (95% CI [1.05, 1.88]) per SD difference, respectively. Significant nonlinear effects were found for urea, uric acid and butyrylcholinesterase. Lipid risk factors were not statistically significant for mortality in our cohort. Family history and PRS showed weaker but significant associations with survival, with HR in the range 1.05 to 1.09 per SD difference. In conclusion, biochemical tests currently predict long-term mortality more strongly than genetic scores based on genotyping or on reported parental survival.
The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures are likely to have a marked effect on mental health. It is important to use longitudinal data to improve inferences.
To quantify the prevalence of depression, anxiety and mental well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, to identify groups at risk of depression and/or anxiety during the pandemic.
Data were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) index generation (n = 2850, mean age 28 years) and parent generation (n = 3720, mean age 59 years), and Generation Scotland (n = 4233, mean age 59 years). Depression was measured with the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire in ALSPAC and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 in Generation Scotland. Anxiety and mental well-being were measured with the Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment-7 and the Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale.
Depression during the pandemic was similar to pre-pandemic levels in the ALSPAC index generation, but those experiencing anxiety had almost doubled, at 24% (95% CI 23–26%) compared with a pre-pandemic level of 13% (95% CI 12–14%). In both studies, anxiety and depression during the pandemic was greater in younger members, women, those with pre-existing mental/physical health conditions and individuals in socioeconomic adversity, even when controlling for pre-pandemic anxiety and depression.
These results provide evidence for increased anxiety in young people that is coincident with the pandemic. Specific groups are at elevated risk of depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is important for planning current mental health provisions and for long-term impact beyond this pandemic.
The Late Triassic fauna of the Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation (LSF) from the Elgin area, Scotland, has been pivotal in expanding our understanding of Triassic terrestrial tetrapods. Frustratingly, due to their odd preservation, interpretations of the Elgin Triassic specimens have relied on destructive moulding techniques, which only provide incomplete, and potentially distorted, information. Here, we show that micro-computed tomography (μCT) could revitalise the study of this important assemblage. We describe a long-neglected specimen that was originally identified as a pseudosuchian archosaur, Ornithosuchus woodwardi. μCT scans revealed dozens of bones belonging to at least two taxa: a small-bodied pseudosuchian and a specimen of the procolophonid Leptopleuron lacertinum. The pseudosuchian skeleton possesses a combination of characters that are unique to the clade Erpetosuchidae. As a basis for investigating the phylogenetic relationships of this new specimen, we reviewed the anatomy, taxonomy and systematics of other erpetosuchid specimens from the LSF (all previously referred to Erpetosuchus). Unfortunately, due to the differing representation of the skeleton in the available Erpetosuchus specimens, we cannot determine whether the erpetosuchid specimen we describe here belongs to Erpetosuchus granti (to which we show it is closely related) or if it represents a distinct new taxon. Nevertheless, our results shed light on rarely preserved details of erpetosuchid anatomy. Finally, the unanticipated new information extracted from both previously studied and neglected specimens suggests that fossil remains may be much more widely distributed in the Elgin quarries than previously recognised, and that the richness of the LSF might have been underestimated.
Ag3O was synthesized by jet-milling magnetron-sputtered Ag–Ag2O thin films. Heating the jet-milled powders in air and N2 from 40 to 148 °C at ambient pressure produced Ag3O-rich powders. The phase composition and unit-cell parameters of the jet-milled powders were measured as a function of temperature with in situ X-ray powder diffraction experiments from −186 to 293 °C. Ag3O was also produced by ball milling and sonicating jet-milled films at ambient conditions. The phase composition, unit-cell parameters, and thermal-reaction rates indicate nonstoichiometric Ag3O was produced from the reaction of metastable, nonstoichiometric Ag2O (cuprite structure) and ccp Ag. The thermal expansion of Ag3O is anisotropic; below 25 °C, the a-axis expansion is about twice the c-axis expansion resulting in a negative slope of c/a(T). The reversal of the sign of c/a(T) near 25 °C is dramatic. The thermal reaction is arrested when the temperature is rapidly increased from ambient to 130 °C. Ag3O is metastable and decreases its unit-cell volume during kinetic decomposition to Ag when heated above ambient temperature in air and nitrogen. The relative volume expansion of Ag3O is about 80% less than Ag at room temperature and below. The suite of nonstoichiometric Ag3O produced by heating displays a linear relation between c/a and unit-cell volume at room temperature. The c/a and unit-cell volume of a hydrothermally grown Ag3O single crystal reported in a published structure determination was the Ag-rich, low-volume end member of the linear series. The c/a and unit-cell volume are sensitive indicators of the oxygen content and state of disorder.
The criteria for objective memory impairment in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are vaguely defined. Aggregating the number of abnormal memory scores (NAMS) is one way to operationalise memory impairment, which we hypothesised would predict progression to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia.
As part of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing, 896 older adults who did not have dementia were administered a psychometric battery including three neuropsychological tests of memory, yielding 10 indices of memory. We calculated the number of memory scores corresponding to z ≤ −1.5 (i.e., NAMS) for each participant. Incident diagnosis of AD dementia was established by consensus of an expert panel after 3 years.
Of the 722 (80.6%) participants who were followed up, 54 (7.5%) developed AD dementia. There was a strong correlation between NAMS and probability of developing AD dementia (r = .91, p = .0003). Each abnormal memory score conferred an additional 9.8% risk of progressing to AD dementia. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for NAMS was 0.87 [95% confidence interval (CI) .81–.93, p < .01]. The odds ratio for NAMS was 1.67 (95% CI 1.40–2.01, p < .01) after correcting for age, sex, education, estimated intelligence quotient, subjective memory complaint, Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) score and apolipoprotein E ϵ4 status.
Aggregation of abnormal memory scores may be a useful way of operationalising objective memory impairment, predicting incident AD dementia and providing prognostic stratification for individuals with MCI.
Methods that include the time-varying nature of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) avoid biases when estimating increased risk of death and excess length of stay. We determined the excess mortality risk and length of stay associated with HAIs among inpatients in Singapore using a multistate model that accommodates the timing of key events.
Analysis of existing prospective cohort study data.
Seven public acute-care hospitals in Singapore.
Inpatients reviewed in a HAI point-prevalence survey (PPS) conducted between June 2015 and February 2016.
We modeled each patient’s admission over time using 4 states: susceptible with no HAI, infected, died, and discharged alive. We estimated the excess mortality risk and length of stay associated with HAIs, with adjustment for the baseline characteristics between the groups for mortality risk.
We included 4,428 patients, of whom 469 had ≥1 HAI. Using a multistate model, the expected excess length of stay due to any HAI was 1.68 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15–2.21 days). Surgical site infections were associated with the longest excess length of stay of 4.68 days (95% CI, 2.60–6.76 days). After adjusting for baseline differences, HAIs were associated with increased hazards of in-hospital mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.32; 95% CI, 1.09–1.65) and decreased hazards in being discharged (aHR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.67–0.84).
HAIs are associated with increased length of hospital stay and mortality in hospitalized patients. Avoiding nosocomial infections can improve patient outcomes and free valuable bed days.
A previously healthy 42-year-old male developed a fever and cough shortly after returning to Canada from overseas. Initially, he had mild upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and a cough. He was aware of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and the advisory to self-isolate and did so; however, he developed increasing respiratory distress over several days and called 911. On arrival at the emergency department (ED), his heart rate was 130 beats/min, respiratory rate 32 per/min, and oxygenation saturation 82% on room air. As per emergency medical services (EMS) protocol, they placed him on nasal prongs under a surgical mask at 5 L/min and his oxygen saturation improved to 86%.