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The Rhynchonellida is a major group of brachiopods that survived the “big five” mass extinctions and flourished after the Permian/Triassic (P/Tr) crisis. However, phylogenetic and character evolution in the Rhynchonellida across the P/Tr transition is poorly understood. In view of the widespread homoplasy across this order, we employ a tip-dated Bayesian analysis to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships for late Permian–Triassic rhynchonellides. The same data were also analyzed using three other methods: undated Bayesian, equal-weighting, and implied-weighting parsimony. Compared with trees generated by other methods, those constructed by tip-dating best account for the homoplasy in this group and are closer to previous assumptions on the evolution of this order. Based on the analyses of multiple trees, the major increase in lineage richness occurred in the Early and early Middle Triassic. Also, richness in the Anisian almost reached the highest level seen in the Triassic. According to fossil records, a pronounced reduction in shell size and in the development of ornamentation occurred after the P/Tr extinction, which is largely due to the loss of large and highly sculptured genera and the diversification of small-sized and weakly ornamented genera. Ancestral-state estimation of shell size and development of ornamentation, coupled with comparisons of other characters, indicate that the Early–Middle Triassic mature “small-sized taxa” may have characters displayed by juveniles of their ancestors. This suggests that for these genera, paedomorphosis was possibly a strategy to survive and diversify in the harsh environment after the P/Tr extinction.
Previously reported associations between oral contraceptives (OCs) use and depression have been conflicting. Insight into the impact of analytical choices on the association may help to reconcile previous heterogeneous findings.
We aimed to examine the association between adolescent OC use and subsequent depression risk in early adulthood analyzing all theoretically justifiable models.
Women from the prospective cohort study Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS) were included in this study. All justifiable associations between adolescent OC use (ages 16-19 years) and major depressive disorder (MDD) in early adulthood (ages 20-25 years) as assessed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV oriented Lifetime Depression Assessment Self-Report and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview were tested.
A total of 818 analytical models were analyzed in 534 adolescent OC users and 191 nonusers. Overall, there was a tentative association of adolescent OC use and an episode of MDD in early adulthood (median odds ratio [OR] median=1.41; ORmin=1.08; ORmax=2.18, permutation testing p-value 1 = .052, and p-value 2 = .046), which was primarily driven by the group of young women with no history of MDD (ORmedian=1.72; ORmin=1.21; ORmax=2.18, both permutation testing p-values = .02).
Adolescent OC use was associated with an increased risk for experiencing an episode of MDD, but only among women with no history of MDD in adolescence. Understanding the potential side effects of OCs will help women and their doctors make informed choices when deciding among possible methods of birth control.
A study of 1,558 US households in June 2020 evaluated utilization of online grocery shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, influences on utilization, and plans for future online grocery shopping. Nearly 55 percent of respondents shopped online in June 2020; 20 percent were first-timers. Cragg model estimates showed influences on online shopping likelihood and frequency included demographics, employment, and prior online shopping. Illness concerns increased likelihood, while food shortage concerns increased frequency of online shopping. A multinomial probit suggested 58 percent respondents planned to continue online grocery shopping regardless of pandemic conditions.
Due to lack of data on the epidemiology, cardiac, and neurological complications among Ontario visible minorities (Chinese and South Asians) affected by coronavirus disease (COVID-19), this population-based retrospective study was undertaken to study them systematically.
From January 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 using the last name algorithm to identify Ontario Chinese and South Asians who were tested positive by PCR for COVID-19, their demographics, cardiac, and neurological complications including hospitalization and emergency visit rates were analyzed compared to the general population.
Chinese (N = 1,186) with COVID-19 were found to be older (mean age 50.7 years) compared to the general population (N = 42,547) (mean age 47.6 years) (p < 0.001), while South Asians (N = 3,459) were younger (age of 42.1 years) (p < 0.001). The 30-day crude rate for cardiac complications among Chinese was 169/10,000 (p = 0.069), while for South Asians, it was 64/10,000 (p = 0.008) and, for the general population, it was 112/10,000. For neurological complications, the 30-day crude rate for Chinese was 160/10,000 (p < 0.001); South Asians was 40/10,000 (p = 0.526), and general population was 48/10,000. The 30-day all-cause mortality rate was significantly higher for Chinese at 8.1% vs 5.0% for the general population (p < 0.001), while it was lower in South Asians at 2.1% (p < 0.001).
Chinese and South Asians in Ontario affected by COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic were found to have a significant difference in their demographics, cardiac, and neurological outcomes.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) led to a significant disease burden and disruptions in health systems. We describe the epidemiology and transmission characteristics of early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Bavaria, Germany. Cases were reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, reported from 20 January−19 March 2020. The incubation period was estimated using travel history and date of symptom onset. To estimate the serial interval, we identified pairs of index and secondary cases. By 19 March, 3546 cases were reported. A large proportion was exposed abroad (38%), causing further local transmission. Median incubation period of 256 cases with exposure abroad was 3.8 days (95%CI: 3.5–4.2). For 95% of infected individuals, symptom onset occurred within 10.3 days (95%CI: 9.1–11.8) after exposure. The median serial interval, using 53 pairs, was 3.5 days (95%CI: 3.0–4.2; mean: 3.9, s.d.: 2.2). Travellers returning to Germany had an important influence on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Bavaria in early 2020. Especially in times of low incidence, public health agencies should identify holiday destinations, and areas with ongoing local transmission, to monitor potential importation of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Travellers returning from areas with ongoing community transmission should be advised to quarantine to prevent re-introductions of COVID-19.
Over recent decades, Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. have declined dramatically across much of their range. Overexploitation and habitat degradation have been widely cited as the cause of these declines. To investigate the relative contribution of each of these factors in driving the declines, we carried out standardized ecological and questionnaire surveys at 98 sites across the range of giant salamanders in China. We did not find any statistically significant differences between water parameters (temperature, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, alkalinity, hardness and flow rate) recorded at sites where giant salamanders were detected by survey teams and/or had been recently seen by local respondents, and sites where they were not detected and/or from which they had recently been extirpated. Additionally, we found direct and indirect evidence that the extraction of giant salamanders from the wild is ongoing, including within protected areas. Our results support the hypothesis that the decline of giant salamanders across China has been primarily driven by overexploitation. Data on water parameters may be informative for the establishment of conservation breeding programmes, an initiative recommended for the conservation of these species.
It is uncertain if long-term levels of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) affect cognition in middle age. We examined the association of LDL-C levels over 25 years with cognitive function in a prospective cohort of black and white US adults.
Lipids were measured at baseline (1985–1986; age: 18–30 years) and at serial examinations conducted over 25 years. Time-averaged cumulative LDL-C was calculated using the area under the curve for 3,328 participants with ≥3 LDL-C measurements and a cognitive function assessment. Cognitive function was assessed at the Year 25 examination with the Digit Symbol Substitution Test [DSST], Rey Auditory Visual Learning Test [RAVLT], and Stroop Test. A brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sub-study (N = 707) was also completed at Year 25 to assess abnormal white matter tissue volume (AWMV) and gray matter cerebral blood flow volume (GM-CBFV) as secondary outcomes.
There were 15.6%, 32.9%, 28.9%, and 22.6% participants with time-averaged cumulative LDL-C <100 mg/dL, 101–129 mg/dL, 130–159 mg/dL, and ≥160 mg/dL, respectively. Standardized differences in all cognitive function test scores ranged from 0.16 SD lower to 0.09 SD higher across time-averaged LDL-C categories in comparison to those with LDL-C < 100 mg/dL. After covariate adjustment, participants with higher versus lower time-averaged LDL-C had a lower RAVLT score (p-trend = 0.02) but no differences were present for DSST, Stroop Test, AWMV, or GM-CBFV.
Cumulative LDL-C was associated with small differences in memory, as assessed by RAVLT scores, but not other cognitive or brain MRI measures over 25 years of follow-up.
Family carers supporting an individual with psychosis often experience poorer mental health, however, little is known about specific risk factors among these carers. We investigated the associations between demographic, caregiving characteristics and mental health outcomes in family carers supporting an individual with psychosis and compared carers' outcomes with general population norms.
We analysed baseline data from the COPe-support randomised controlled trial of online psychoeducation and peer support for adult carers supporting an individual with psychosis between 2018 and 2020. We collected carers' demographic and health outcome data, including wellbeing using Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS as primary outcome), quality of life using EQ-5D-5L and caregiving experience assessed with Experience of Caregiving Inventory. We tested associations between carers' demographic and caregiving characteristics for each outcome in turn and meta-analysed carers' WEMWBS and EQ-5D-5L with Health Survey England (HSE) general population data from 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The 407 carers of people with psychosis had a mean WEMWBS score of 42.2 (s.d. 9.21) and their overall weighted pooled WEMWBS score was 7.3 (95% confidence interval (CI) −8.6 to −6.0, p < 0.01) lower than the HSE general population sample, indicating carers have poorer mental wellbeing by more than double the minimum clinically important difference of 3 points on WEMWBS. Among all caring relationships, partners had poorer wellbeing compared to parents with lower WEMWBS score (−6.8, −16.9 to 3.3, p = 0.03). Single carers had significantly poorer wellbeing (−3.6, −5.6 to −1.5, p < 0.01) and a more negative caregiving experience than those who were cohabiting. Spending more than 35 h per week caregiving increased carers' negative experience significantly (p = 0.01).
Carers of people with psychosis have poorer mental health than non-carers. Partners, lone carers and those spending more than 35 h per week on caring were found to be most at risk of poor mental health. Based on the results, we advocate that the details of carers for individuals with psychosis should be added to the existing carers or severe mental illness registers at all general practitioner surgeries and for their wellbeing screened routinely. Future large-scale prospective studies are needed to develop a predictive model to determine risk factors, hence to aid early identification of carers' support needs. Such understandings are also useful to inform tailored intervention development.
Brief measurements of the subjective experience of stress with good predictive capability are important in a range of community mental health and research settings. The potential for large-scale implementation of such a measure for screening may facilitate early risk detection and intervention opportunities. Few such measures however have been developed and validated in epidemiological and longitudinal community samples. We designed a new single-item measure of the subjective level of stress (SLS-1) and tested its validity and ability to predict long-term mental health outcomes of up to 12 months through two separate studies.
We first examined the content and face validity of the SLS-1 with a panel consisting of mental health experts and laypersons. Two studies were conducted to examine its validity and predictive utility. In study 1, we tested the convergent and divergent validity as well as incremental validity of the SLS-1 in a large epidemiological sample of young people in Hong Kong (n = 1445). In study 2, in a consecutively recruited longitudinal community sample of young people (n = 258), we first performed the same procedures as in study 1 to ensure replicability of the findings. We then examined in this longitudinal sample the utility of the SLS-1 in predicting long-term depressive, anxiety and stress outcomes assessed at 3 months and 6 months (n = 182) and at 12 months (n = 84).
The SLS-1 demonstrated good content and face validity. Findings from the two studies showed that SLS-1 was moderately to strongly correlated with a range of mental health outcomes, including depressive, anxiety, stress and distress symptoms. We also demonstrated its ability to explain the variance explained in symptoms beyond other known personal and psychological factors. Using the longitudinal sample in study 2, we further showed the significant predictive capability of the SLS-1 for long-term symptom outcomes for up to 12 months even when accounting for demographic characteristics.
The findings altogether support the validity and predictive utility of the SLS-1 as a brief measure of stress with strong indications of both concurrent and long-term mental health outcomes. Given the value of brief measures of mental health risks at a population level, the SLS-1 may have potential for use as an early screening tool to inform early preventative intervention work.
Although testing is widely regarded as critical to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, what measure and level of testing best reflects successful infection control remains unresolved. Our aim was to compare the sensitivity of two testing metrics – population testing number and testing coverage – to population mortality outcomes and identify a benchmark for testing adequacy. We aggregated publicly available data through 12 April on testing and outcomes related to COVID-19 across 36 OECD (Organization for Economic Development) countries and Taiwan. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated between the aforementioned metrics and following outcome measures: deaths per 1 million people, case fatality rate and case proportion of critical illness. Fractional polynomials were used to generate scatter plots to model the relationship between the testing metrics and outcomes. We found that testing coverage, but not population testing number, was highly correlated with population mortality (rs = −0.79, P = 5.975 × 10−9vs. rs = −0.3, P = 0.05) and case fatality rate (rs = −0.67, P = 9.067 × 10−6vs. rs = −0.21, P = 0.20). A testing coverage threshold of 15–45 signified adequate testing: below 15, testing coverage was associated with exponentially increasing population mortality; above 45, increased testing did not yield significant incremental mortality benefit. Taken together, testing coverage was better than population testing number in explaining country performance and can serve as an early and sensitive indicator of testing adequacy and disease burden.
An acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak caused by a norovirus occurred at a hospital in Shanghai, China, was studied for molecular epidemiology, host susceptibility and serological roles. Rectal and environmental swabs, paired serum samples and saliva specimens were collected. Pathogens were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Histo-blood group antigens (HBGA) phenotypes of saliva samples and their binding to norovirus protruding proteins were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The HBGA-binding interfaces and the surrounding region were analysed by the MegAlign program of DNAstar 7.1. Twenty-seven individuals in two care units were attacked with AGE at attack rates of 9.02 and 11.68%. Eighteen (78.2%) symptomatic and five (38.4%) asymptomatic individuals were GII.6/b norovirus positive. Saliva-based HBGA phenotyping showed that all symptomatic and asymptomatic cases belonged to A, B, AB or O secretors. Only four (16.7%) out of the 24 tested serum samples showed low blockade activity against HBGA-norovirus binding at the acute phase, whereas 11 (45.8%) samples at the convalescence stage showed seroconversion of such blockade. Specific blockade antibody in the population played an essential role in this norovirus epidemic. A wide HBGA-binding spectrum of GII.6 supports a need for continuous health attention and surveillance in different settings.
Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) wanes over the course of a temperate climate winter season but little data are available from tropical countries with year-round influenza virus activity. In Singapore, a retrospective cohort study of adults vaccinated from 2013 to 2017 was conducted. Influenza vaccine failure was defined as hospital admission with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed influenza infection 2–49 weeks after vaccination. Relative VE was calculated by splitting the follow-up period into 8-week episodes (Lexis expansion) and the odds of influenza infection in the first 8-week period after vaccination (weeks 2–9) compared with subsequent 8-week periods using multivariable logistic regression adjusting for patient factors and influenza virus activity. Records of 19 298 influenza vaccinations were analysed with 617 (3.2%) influenza infections. Relative VE was stable for the first 26 weeks post-vaccination, but then declined for all three influenza types/subtypes to 69% at weeks 42–49 (95% confidence interval (CI) 52–92%, P = 0.011). VE declined fastest in older adults, in individuals with chronic pulmonary disease and in those who had been previously vaccinated within the last 2 years. Vaccine failure was significantly associated with a change in recommended vaccine strains between vaccination and observation period (adjusted odds ratio 1.26, 95% CI 1.06–1.50, P = 0.010).
We describe here efforts to create and study magnetized electron–positron pair plasmas, the existence of which in astrophysical environments is well-established. Laboratory incarnations of such systems are becoming ever more possible due to novel approaches and techniques in plasma, beam and laser physics. Traditional magnetized plasmas studied to date, both in nature and in the laboratory, exhibit a host of different wave types, many of which are generically unstable and evolve into turbulence or violent instabilities. This complexity and the instability of these waves stem to a large degree from the difference in mass between the positively and the negatively charged species: the ions and the electrons. The mass symmetry of pair plasmas, on the other hand, results in unique behaviour, a topic that has been intensively studied theoretically and numerically for decades, but experimental studies are still in the early stages of development. A levitated dipole device is now under construction to study magnetized low-energy, short-Debye-length electron–positron plasmas; this experiment, as well as a stellarator device that is in the planning stage, will be fuelled by a reactor-based positron source and make use of state-of-the-art positron cooling and storage techniques. Relativistic pair plasmas with very different parameters will be created using pair production resulting from intense laser–matter interactions and will be confined in a high-field mirror configuration. We highlight the differences between and similarities among these approaches, and discuss the unique physics insights that can be gained by these studies.
Preferential flow that leads to non-uniform displacement, especially in heterogeneous porous media, is usually unwelcome in most practical processes. We propose a self-adaptive preferential flow control mechanism by using dispersed polymers, which is supported strongly by experimental and numerical evidence. Our experiments are performed on a microchip with heterogeneous porous structures where oil is displaced by dispersed polymer microsphere particles. Even though the size of the particles is much smaller than the pore-throat size, the diversion effect by the dispersed microspheres is still proved. Therefore, the plugging effect is not the major mechanism for preferential flow control by dispersed polymers. The mechanisms are further investigated by pore-scale modelling, which indicates that the dispersed polymers exhibit an adaption ability to pressure and resistance in the porous flow field. In such an intelligent way, the displacing fluid with dispersed polymers smartly controls the preferential flow by inducing pressure fluctuations, and demonstrates better performance in both efficiency and economic aspects than the traditional method by simply increasing the viscosity. These insights can be applied to improve techniques in the field, such as enhanced oil recovery and soil wetting.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Cardiac tumours are relatively uncommon, particularly in children. Myofibroma is an extremely rare variety of cardiac tumour, which nearly always arises in the context of infantile myofibromatosis. Herein, we present a case of a solitary cardiac myofibroma causing right ventricular outflow tract obstruction in a 2-month-old male infant.
A disruption database characterizing the current quench of disruptions with ITER-like tungsten divertor has been developed on EAST. It provides a large number of plasma parameters describing the predisruptive plasma, current quench time, eddy current, and mitigation by massive impurity injection, which shows that the current quench time strongly depends on magnetic energy and post-disruption electron temperature. Further, the energy balance and magnetic energy dissipation during the current quench phase has been well analysed. Magnetic energy is also demonstrated to be dissipated mainly by ohmic reheating and inductive coupling, and both of the two channels have great effects on current quench time. Also, massive gas injection is an efficient method to speed up the current quench and increase the fraction of impurity radiation.
‘Recurrence’ of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has triggered numerous discussions of scholars at home and abroad. A total of 44 recurrent cases of COVID-19 and 32 control cases admitted from 11 February to 29 March 2020 to Guanggu Campus of Tongji Hospital affiliated to Tongji Medical College Huazhong University of Science and Technology were enrolled in this study. All the 44 recurrent cases were classified as mild to moderate when the patients were admitted for the second time. The gender and mean age in both cases (recurrent and control) were similar. At least one concomitant disease was observed in 52.27% recurrent cases and 34.38% control cases. The most prevalent comorbidity among them was hypertension. Fever and cough being the most prevalent clinical symptoms in both cases. On comparing both the cases, recurrent cases had markedly elevated concentrations of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (P = 0.020) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (P = 0.007). Moreover, subgroup analysis showed mild to moderate abnormal concentrations of ALT and AST in recurrent cases. The elevated concentrations of ALT and AST may be recognised as predictive markers for the risk of ‘recurrence’ of COVID-19, which may provide insights into the prevention and control of COVID-19 in the future.
The Order Spiriferinida spanning the latest Ordovician to Early Jurassic is a small group of brachiopods overshadowed by other taxon-rich clades during the Paleozoic. It diversified significantly after the end-Permian extinction and became one of the four major clades of Triassic brachiopods. However, the phylogeny and recovery dynamics of this clade during the Triassic still remain unknown. Here, we present a higher-level parsimony-based phylogenetic analysis of Mesozoic spiriferinids to reveal their evolutionary relationships. Ecologically related characters are analyzed to indicate the variances in ecomorphospace occupation and disparity of spiriferinids through the Permian–Triassic (P-Tr) transition. For comparison with potential competitors of the spiriferinids, the pre-extinction spiriferids are also included in the analysis. Phylogenetic trees demonstrate that about half of the Mesozoic families appeared during the Anisian, indicating the greatest phylogenetic diversification at that time. Triassic spiriferinids reoccupied a large part of the ecomorphospace released by its competitor spiriferids during the end-Permian extinction; they also fully exploited the cyrtiniform region and developed novel lifestyles. Ecomorphologic disparity of the spiriferinids dropped greatly in the Early Triassic, but it rebounded rapidly and reached the level attained by the pre-extinction spiriferids in the Late Triassic. The replacement in ecomorphospace occupation between spiriferids and spiriferinids during the P-Tr transition clearly indicates that the empty ecomorphospace released by the extinction of Permian spiriferids was one of the important drivers for the diversification of the Triassic spiriferinids. The Spiriferinida took over the empty ecomorphospace and had the opportunity to flourish.