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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has serious physiological and psychological consequences. The long-term (>12 weeks post-infection) impact of COVID-19 on mental health, specifically in older adults, is unclear. We longitudinally assessed the association of COVID-19 with depression symptomatology in community-dwelling older adults with metabolic syndrome within the framework of the PREDIMED-Plus cohort.
Participants (n = 5486) aged 55–75 years were included in this longitudinal cohort. COVID-19 status (positive/negative) determined by tests (e.g. polymerase chain reaction severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, IgG) was confirmed via event adjudication (410 cases). Pre- and post-COVID-19 depressive symptomatology was ascertained from annual assessments conducted using a validated 21-item Spanish Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Multivariable linear and logistic regression models assessed the association between COVID-19 and depression symptomatology.
COVID-19 in older adults was associated with higher post-COVID-19 BDI-II scores measured at a median (interquartile range) of 29 (15–40) weeks post-infection [fully adjusted β = 0.65 points, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.15–1.15; p = 0.011]. This association was particularly prominent in women (β = 1.38 points, 95% CI 0.44–2.33, p = 0.004). COVID-19 was associated with 62% increased odds of elevated depression risk (BDI-II ≥ 14) post-COVID-19 when adjusted for confounders (odds ratio; 95% CI 1.13–2.30, p = 0.008).
COVID-19 was associated with long-term depression risk in older adults with overweight/obesity and metabolic syndrome, particularly in women. Thus, long-term evaluations of the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and preventive public health initiatives are warranted in older adults.
This study examined the incorporation of benzalkonium chloride into palygorskite and montmorillonite, assessing their potential as drug carriers. The aim was to evaluate the use of both clay minerals as viable options for antibacterial drug delivery. Various amounts (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 times the cation-exchange capacity) of benzalkonium chloride were incorporated into both clay minerals, and the resulting materials were characterized using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction and elemental analysis using both CHNS-O elemental analysis and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and elemental analysis results indicate that benzalkonium chloride was incorporated successfully into the clay minerals. The X-ray diffraction traces of organo-montmorillonite indicate that the d-value increased as benzalkonium chloride content increased, confirming the intercalation of benzalkonium chloride within the montmorillonite interlayer space. By contrast, this behaviour was not observed for palygorskite. For the benzalkonium chloride-release studies, an initial burst release was found within the first 5 h, followed by a sustained release of benzalkonium chloride during the remaining testing time (24 h). Drug-release profiles were similar for modified palygorskite or montmorillonite during the testing time (24 h). Both clay minerals modified with benzalkonium chloride are promising materials for use as antibacterial fillers for several applications, including in the dental care industry.
As of September 2019, the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) had a curated collection of 117,449 chondrichthyan specimens from Florida, spanning the Eocene through the Pleistocene. Herein, I evaluate the completeness of the chondrichthyan fossil record from Florida based on the FLMNH collection, while analyzing patterns in taxonomic and ecomorphological diversity. At least 70 chondrichthyan taxa were recognized, representing 10 orders, 26 families, and 42 genera; of which, 20 taxa represent first occurrences from Florida. A sample of 107,698 specimens was organized into 12 time bins to analyze taxonomic and ecomorphological diversity, with an expectation that diversity patterns would correspond with global climate events (e.g., the Eocene–Oligocene transition and the middle Miocene climatic optimum). However, diversity patterns were obscured by pervasive sampling bias, attributable to variable collection methods, research prioritizations, and regional lithologic controls. Sampling is particularly poor for smaller specimens and older geologic units (e.g., the Paleogene). Despite incomplete sampling of the Florida chondrichthyan fossil record, there was an apparent turnover along the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains from a lamniform- to carcharhiniform-dominated chondrichthyan fauna that occurred during the Eocene. This turnover corresponded with the extinction of many lamniform taxa with grasping-dominated dentition types (e.g., Brachycarcharias, Jaekelotodus, and Macrorhizodus). Selachian taxa that survived the late Eocene extinctions were predominantly represented by cutting-dominant dentition types. As cutting aids in the dismemberment of prey, this may reflect a macroevolutionary trend toward active predation and scavenging on larger prey, such as marine mammals, teleost fish, and other sharks.
This newly described chondrichthyan fauna from the late Miocene Chucunaque Formation of Lago Bayano reveals a prolific and highly diverse assemblage from Panama, and one of the richest shark faunas from the Neotropics. Strontium geochronology indicates an age of 10–9.5 Ma for the chonrichthyan-bearing strata. Field efforts resulted in 1429 identifiable specimens comprising at least 31 taxa, of which at least eight are new to the documented fossil record of Panama. With this information an analysis of functional diversity was conducted, indicating ecosystems dominated by generalist species feeding upon a wide range of organisms, from plankton to marine mammals. A probabilistic approach of paleobathymetric estimation suggests a neritic environment. Previous studies based on foraminifera have suggested that the Chucunaque Formation had a greater Pacific Ocean affinity, making this the first Miocene chondrichthyan fauna described from the Pacific shelf of Panama. However, our geographic comparisons show that this fauna has mixed Caribbean and Pacific biogeographic affinities, which likely supports the previously purported connection between chondrichthyan faunas during the late Miocene.
Using carbon and oxygen isotopic relationships from dental enamel, diet and habitat were inferred for both mesomammals and megamammals that lived in Cedral (San Luis Potosi, north-central México) during Late Pleistocene time. δ13C and δ18O values show that bison, some horses and mammoth were eating C4 plants and lived in open areas, while tapir, camel and some llamas ate C3 plants and inhabited closed areas. All other studied herbivores (pronghorn, glyptodont, mylodont ground sloth, javelina, mastodon, and other llamas, horses and mammoth) had a C3/C4 mixed diet, living in areas with some percentage of tree coverage. On the other hand, American lion and dire wolf ate either C4 or mixed-diet herbivores, and short-faced bear ate C3 herbivores. At Cedral, more humid conditions existed than presently, allowing the presence of a forested area near the grassland.
Fossils and the science of paleontology provide a charismatic gateway to integrate STEM teaching and learning. With the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), as well as the exponentially increasing use of three-dimensional (3-D) printing and scanning technology, it is a particularly opportune time to integrate a wider variety of fossils and paleontology into K–12 curricula. We describe a curricular prototype that integrates all four components of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) into authentic research using dentitions of the Neogene giant shark Megalodon (Carcharocles megalodon Agassiz, 1843). This prototype has been implemented in two middle and two high schools in California and Florida. Consistent with prior evidence-based research, student engagement increases when they have hands-on experiences with fossils, particularly with a charismatic species such as Megalodon. Access to museum specimens helps students understand big ideas in ‘Deep Time.’ In addition to engaging students in authentic STEM practices and scaffolding development of content knowledge, paleontology is an integrative science that connects and informs socially relevant topics, including long-term (macro-) evolution and climate change. The application of 3-D printing and scanning to develop curricula using fossils has immense potential in K–12 schools in the U.S.
This paper presents a systematic approach to compute the angularity and the axiality indices for a Schönflies parallel manipulator. Angularity index may be considered as a measure of the sensitivity of the mobile platform to changes in rotation, while axiality index can be used to measure the sensitivity of the OP of the mobile platform to changes in translation. Since both indices were inspired by very fundamental concepts of classical kinematics (angular velocity vector and helicoidal velocity field), they offer a clear and simple physical meaning, which may be useful to the designer of parallel manipulators. Moreover, both dexterity indices do not require obtaining a dimensionally homogeneous Jacobian matrix, nor do they depend on having similar types of actuators in each manipulator's leg. Detailed numerical examples are given in order to illustrate the computation of the dexterity indices.
This paper focuses on the impact of process parameters of gas metal arc welding (GMAW) on the mechanisms of fail and wear present in the contact tips (CT), component located in the welding gun, when high strength low alloy (HSLA) steel is welded with ER70S - 0.045” copper coated electrode in manual mode. By means of chemical analysis the alloy was identified as C12200. It was also identified that the maximum temperature reached by the CT is 850° C. 30 samples were obtained that had different lifetime, which were analyzed by stereoscope and its behavior against wear was determined by using an equation of relative wear. Microstructural changes as recrystallization and grain growth undergone by these CT were also evidenced by light microscopy. In addition the changes in their mechanical properties such as decrease in their hardness to about of half that initially had. Finally some significant samples were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM); microanalysis was used to identify the exchange of matter leaving from the electrode in the CT and spatter into the hole of the component.
Heteroacanthella ellipsospora is described as new to science. It is the only known lichenicolous Heteroacanthella, always found parasitizing apothecia and the surrounding thallus of the crustose epiphytic lichen Lecanora carpinea. The new parasite has so far only been found in two Spanish provinces, Jaén and Madrid. The shape and size of its basidiospores, the basidia with acanthoid ornamentation, acanthohyphidia, as well as its parasitic lichenicolous habitat, with a replacement of host tissues by the parasite hymenium, are useful diagnostic characters.
Findings of brain structural changes in major depressive disorder are still inconsistent, partly because some crucial clinical variables have not been taken into account.
To investigate the effect of major depressive disorder on grey matter volumes.
Voxel-based morphometry was used to compare 66 patients with depression at different illness stages (22 each with first-episode, remitted-recurrent and treatment resistant/chronic depression) with 32 healthy controls. Brain volumes were correlated with clinical variables.
Voxel-based morphometry showed a significant group effect in right superior frontal gyrus, left medial frontal gyrus and left cingulate gyrus (P<0.05, family wise error-corrected). Patients whose condition was treatment resistant/chronic exhibited the smallest volumes in frontotemporal areas. Longer illness duration was negatively correlated with decreases in right medial frontal cortex and left insula.
Frontotemporolimbic areas are smaller in the patients with severe depression and are associated with duration of illness, but not with medication patterns, suggesting negative effects of long-lasting major depressive disorder on grey matter.
Tremella macrobasidiata is a proposed new species for a lichenicolous heterobasidomycete strictly parasitizing the hymenium of Lecanora chlarotera. It is reported from Spain, and is characterized by large and particularly variable basidia, rather large basidiospores and the production of asteroconidia, forming brownish to dark green galls in the specific host apothecia. The presence of asteroconidia is discussed. Comparisons with closely related lichenicolous Tremella species are also provided.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may be useful in the treatment of depression but results from trials have been inconclusive to date.
To assess the efficacy of rTMS in treating depression.
We conducted a systematic review of randomised controlled trials that compared rTMS with sham in patients with depression. We assessed the quality of design of all studies and conducted a metaanalysis of data from trials with similar rTMS delivery.
We included a total of 14 trials. The quality of the included studies was low. Pooled analysis using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression showed an effect in favour of rTMS compared with sham after 2 weeks of treatment (standardised mean difference=–0.35; 95% CI –0.66 to –0.04), but this was not significant at the 2-week follow-up (standardised mean difference= — 0.33; 95% CI —0.84 to 0.17).
Current trials are of low quality and provide insufficient evidence to support the use of rTMS in the treatment of depression.
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