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Recently, the antibacterial properties of oestrogen and progestogen were discovered. The aim of this study was to find the cross-sectional association between oral contraceptive use and Helicobacter pylori seroprevalence. Data were obtained from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The H. pylori immunoglobulin G (IgG) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to categorise participants as seropositive or seronegative. The study population included 799 female participants who had information on H. pylori seroprevalence and all other covariates and had not been taking any medications (except oral contraceptives). The bivariate Rao–Scott chi-square test indicated a significant association between H. pylori seroprevalence and contraceptive use (P < 0.01). The variables of race, education, poverty income ratio, smoking, and blood lead and cadmium levels were also significantly associated with H. pylori seroprevalence (P < 0.01). Multiple logistic regression analysis of the age-adjusted model revealed that contraceptive users are 65% less likely of being H. pylori seropositive as compared to non-contraceptive users (odds ratio (OR): 0.35, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.18–0.68). This association is stronger with the final multivariate model (OR: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.23–0.89). Conclusions: This finding reveals the potential protective effect of oral contraceptives against H. pylori infection and serves as a foundation study for further investigations.
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.
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.
Porphyromonas gingivalis has been linked to the development and progression of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and is considered to be a high-risk factor for ESCC. Currently, the commonly used methods for P. gingivalis detection are culture or DNA extraction-based, which are either time and labour intensive especially for high-throughput applications. We aimed to establish and evaluate a rapid and sensitive direct quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) protocol for the detection of P. gingivalis without DNA extraction which is suitable for large-scale epidemiological studies. Paired gingival swab samples from 192 subjects undergoing general medical examinations were analysed using two direct and one extraction-based qPCR assays for P. gingivalis. Tris-EDTA buffer-based direct qPCR (TE-direct qPCR), lysis-based direct qPCR (lysis-direct qPCR) and DNA extraction-based qPCR (kit-qPCR) were used, respectively, in 192, 132 and 60 of these samples for quantification of P. gingivalis. The sensitivity and specificity of TE-direct qPCR was 95.24% and 100% compared with lysis-direct qPCR, which was 100% and 97.30% when compared with kit-qPCR; TE-direct qPCR had an almost perfect agreement with lysis-direct qPCR (κ = 0.954) and kit-qPCR (κ = 0.965). Moreover, the assay time used for TE-direct qPCR was 1.5 h. In conclusion, the TE-direct qPCR assay is a simple and efficient method for the quantification of oral P. gingivalis and showed high sensitivity and specificity compared with routine qPCR.
Post-stroke depression (PSD) is the most common psychiatric complication facing stroke survivors and has been associated with increased distress, physical disability, poor rehabilitation, and suicidal ideation. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PSD remain unknown, and no objective laboratory-based test is available to aid PSD diagnosis or monitor progression.
Here, an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomic approach was performed to identify differentially expressed proteins in plasma samples obtained from PSD, stroke, and healthy control subjects.
The significantly differentiated proteins were primarily involved in lipid metabolism and immunoregulation. Six proteins associated with these processes – apolipoprotein A-IV (ApoA-IV), apolipoprotein C-II (ApoC-II), C-reactive protein (CRP), gelsolin, haptoglobin, and leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein (LRG) – were selected for Western blotting validation. ApoA-IV expression was significantly upregulated in PSD as compared to stroke subjects. ApoC-II, LRG, and CRP expression were significantly downregulated in both PSD and HC subjects relative to stroke subjects. Gelsolin and haptoglobin expression were significantly dysregulated across all three groups with the following expression profiles: gelsolin, healthy control > PSD > stroke subjects; haptoglobin, stroke > PSD > healthy control.
Early perturbation of lipid metabolism and immunoregulation may be involved in the pathophysiology of PSD. The combination of increased gelsolin levels accompanied by decreased haptoglobin levels shows promise as a plasma-based diagnostic biomarker panel for detecting increased PSD risk in post-stroke patients.
Persistent gaming, despite acknowledgment of its negative consequences, is a major criterion for individuals with Internet gaming disorder (IGD). This study evaluated the adaptive decision-making, risky decision, and decision-making style of individuals with IGD.
We recruited 87 individuals with IGD and 87 without IGD (matched controls). All participants underwent an interview based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Edition) diagnostic criteria for IGD and completed an adaptive decision-making task; the Preference for Intuition and Deliberation Scale, Chen Internet Addiction Scale, and Barratt Impulsivity Scale were also assessed on the basis of the information from the diagnostic interviews.
The results demonstrated that the participants in both groups tend to make more risky choices in advantage trials where their expected value (EV) was more favorable than those of the riskless choice. The tendency to make a risky choice in advantage trials was stronger among IGD group than that among controls. Participants of both groups made more risky choices in the loss domain, a risky option to loss more versus sure loss option, than they did in the gain domain, a risky option to gain more versus sure gain. Furthermore, the participants with IGD made more risky choices in the gain domain than did the controls. Participants with IGD showed higher and lower preferences for intuitive and deliberative decision-making styles, respectively, than controls and their preferences for intuition and deliberation were positively and negatively associated with IGD severity, respectively.
These results suggested that individuals with IGD have elevated EV sensitivity for decision-making. However, they demonstrated risky preferences in the gain domain and preferred an intuitive rather than deliberative decision-making style. This might explain why they continue Internet gaming despite negative consequences. Thus, therapists should focus more on decision-making styles and promote deliberative thinking processes to mitigate the long-term negative consequences of IGD.
Involuntary hospitalization in those presumed to be mentally ill has been a common practice. Although some patients are hospitalized for aggression, two-thirds of the patients are hospitalized because of the threat they pose to themselves. Although these patients require risk assessment and evaluation for possible presence of mental illness, the question is how much these patients will benefit from involuntary admission and what the long-term outcome would be.
All patients admitted involuntary to the psychiatric ward in Kingston, Canada, and psychiatrists involved in their care were interviewed to see whether they think the involuntary admission was helpful. All patients were asked to fill-out MacArthur AES to assess their satisfaction with hospitalization.
Although psychiatrists frequently reported that the admission was justified, only 29 out of 81 patients reported being explained to why they had been admitted involuntarily. Also, there was a significant difference in AES scores between those who were and were not given an explanation for admission. In addition, psychiatrists more often reported that the involuntary admission worsened the therapeutic relationship which was significantly associated with involuntary admission that was not explained to patients.
The results of our study shows that patients admitted involuntarily often feel disappointed with staff and mental health system. It could lead to feeling of hopelessness, frustration and low self-esteem. If explained, some patients who present with risk to self might accept voluntary admissions, that will improve therapeutic alliance with psychiatrists and increase satisfaction from hospitalization. Result of this study could improve the decision making process for involuntary admissions.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned large radio interferometer designed to operate over a wide range of frequencies, and with an order of magnitude greater sensitivity and survey speed than any current radio telescope. The SKA will address many important topics in astronomy, ranging from planet formation to distant galaxies. However, in this work, we consider the perspective of the SKA as a facility for studying physics. We review four areas in which the SKA is expected to make major contributions to our understanding of fundamental physics: cosmic dawn and reionisation; gravity and gravitational radiation; cosmology and dark energy; and dark matter and astroparticle physics. These discussions demonstrate that the SKA will be a spectacular physics machine, which will provide many new breakthroughs and novel insights on matter, energy, and spacetime.
We study star formation and metallicity enrichment histories of 24 massive galaxies at 1.6 < z < 2.5. Deep slitless spectroscopy + imaging data set collected from multiple HST surveys allows robust determination of their SEDs. Our new SED modeling with no functional assumptions on star formation histories revels that 1. most of the sample galaxies have already formed >50% of their extant masses ∼1.5 Gyr before the time of observed redshifts, with a trend where more massive galaxies form earlier, 2. most of our galaxies already have stellar metallicities compatible with those of local early-type galaxies, and 3. inferred metallicities are on average ∼ 0.25 dex higher than observed gas-phase metallicities of star forming galaxies at the time of their formation. Continuation of low-level star formation, rather than abrupt termination of star forming activity, may explain the observed gap of metallicities.
This work is concerned with waves propagating on water of finite depth with a constant-vorticity current under a deformable flexible sheet. The pressure exerted by the sheet is modelled by using the Cosserat thin shell theory. By means of multi-scale analysis, small amplitude nonlinear modulation equations in several regimes are considered, including the nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLS) which is used to predict the existence of small-amplitude wavepacket solitary waves in the full Euler equations and to study the modulational instability of quasi-monochromatic wavetrains. Guided by these weakly nonlinear results, fully nonlinear steady and time-dependent computations are performed by employing a conformal mapping technique. Bifurcation mechanisms and typical profiles of solitary waves for different underlying shear currents are presented in detail. It is shown that even when small-amplitude solitary waves are not predicted by the weakly nonlinear theory, we can numerically find large-amplitude solitary waves in the fully nonlinear equations. Time-dependent simulations are carried out to confirm the modulational stability results and illustrate possible outcomes of the nonlinear evolution in unstable cases.
The Lung Cam expanded stratigraphic succession in Vietnam is correlated herein to the Meishan D section in China, the GSSP for the Permian–Triassic boundary. The first appearance datum of the conodont Hindeodus parvus at Meishan defines the Permian–Triassic boundary, and using published graphic correlation, the Permian–Triassic boundary level has been projected into the Lung Cam section. Using time-series analysis of magnetic susceptibility (χ) data, it is determined that H. parvus arrived at Lung Cam ∼18 kyr before the Permian–Triassic boundary. Data indicate that the Lung Cam section is expanded by ∼90 % relative to the GSSP section at Meishan. Given the expanded Lung Cam section, it is possible to resolve the timing of significant events during the Permian–Triassic transition with high precision. These events include major stepped extinctions, beginning at ∼135 kyr and ending at ∼110 kyr below the Permian–Triassic boundary, with a duration of ∼25 kyr, followed by deposition of Lung Cam ash Bed + 13, which is equivalent to Siberian Traps volcanism is graphically correlated to a precession Time-series model, placing onset of this major volcanic event at ~242 kyr before the PTB. The Meishan Beds 25 and 26, at ∼100 kyr before the Permian–Triassic boundary. In addition, the elemental geochemical, carbon and oxygen isotope stratigraphy, and magnetostratigraphy susceptibility datasets from Lung Cam allow good correlation to other Permian–Triassic boundary succession. These datasets are helpful when the conodont biostratigraphy is poorly known in sections with problems such as lithofacies variability, or is undefined, owing possibly to lithofacies exclusions, anoxia or for other reasons. The Lung Pu Permian–Triassic boundary section, ∼45 km from Lung Cam, is used to test these problems.
Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
Solid inorganic and polymeric electrolytes have the potential to enable rechargeable batteries with higher energy densities, compared to current lithium-ion technology, which uses liquid electrolyte. Inorganic materials such as ceramics and glasses conduct lithium ions well, but they are brittle, which makes incorporation into a battery difficult. Polymers have the flexibility for facile use in a battery, but their transport properties tend to be inferior to inorganics. Thus, there is growing interest in composite electrolytes with inorganic and organic phases in intimate contact. This article begins with a discussion of ion transport in single-phase electrolytes. A dimensionless number (the Newman number) is presented for quantifying the efficacy of electrolytes. An effective medium framework for predicting transport properties of composite electrolytes containing only one conducting phase is then presented. The opportunities and challenges presented by composite electrolytes containing two conducting phases are addressed. Finally, the importance and status of reaction kinetics at the interfaces between solid electrolytes and electrodes are covered, using a lithium-metal electrode as an example.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Background: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic scaffolding gene SHANK2 are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, their impact on the function of human neurons is unknown. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from affected individuals permits generation of live neurons to answer this question. Methods: We generated iPSCs by reprogramming dermal fibroblasts of neurotypic and ASD-affected donors. To isolate the effect of SHANK2, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to knock out SHANK2 in control iPSCs and correct a heterozygous nonsense mutation in ASD-affected donor iPSCs. We then derived cortical neurons from SOX1+ neural precursor cells differentiated from these iPSCs. Using a novel assay that overcomes line-to-line variability, we compared neuronal morphology, total synapse number, and electrophysiological properties between SHANK2 mutants and controls. Results: Relative to controls, SHANK2 mutant neurons have increased dendrite complexity, dendrite length, total synapse number (1.5-2-fold), and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency (3-7.6-fold). Conclusions: ASD-associated heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in SHANK2 increase synaptic connectivity among human neurons by increasing synapse number and sEPSC frequency. This is partially supported by increased dendrite length and complexity, providing evidence that SHANK2 functions as a suppressor of dendrite branching during neurodevelopment.