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Suicidal acts may cluster in time and space and lead to community concerns about further imitative suicidal episodes. Although suicide clusters have been researched in previous studies, less is known about the clustering of non-fatal suicidal behaviour (self-harm). Furthermore, most previous studies used crude temporal and spatial information, e.g., numbers aggregated by month and residence area, for cluster detection analysis. This study aimed to (i) identify space–time clusters of self-harm and suicide using daily incidence data and exact address and (ii) investigate the characteristics of cluster-related suicidal acts.
Data on emergency department presentations for self-harm and suicide deaths in Taipei City and New Taipei City, Taiwan, were used in this study. In all-age and age-specific analyses, self-harm and suicide clusters were identified using space–time permutation scan statistics. A cut-off of 0.10 for the p value was used to identify possible clusters. Logistic regression was used to investigate the characteristics associated with cluster-related episodes.
A total of 5,291 self-harm episodes and 1,406 suicides in Taipei City (2004–2006) and 20,531 self-harm episodes and 2,329 suicides in New Taipei City (2012–2016) were included in the analysis. In the two cities, two self-harm clusters (n [number of self-harm episodes or suicide deaths in the cluster] = 4 and 8 in Taipei City), four suicide clusters (n = 3 in Taipei City and n = 4, 11 and 4 in New Taipei City) and two self-harm and suicide combined clusters (n = 4 in Taipei City and n = 8 in New Taipei City) were identified. Space–time clusters of self-harm, suicide, and self-harm and suicide combined accounted for 0.05%, 0.59%, and 0.08% of the respective groups of suicidal acts. Cluster-related episodes of self-harm and suicide were more likely to be male (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26, 3.89) and young people aged 10–29 years (aOR = 2.72, 95% CI 1.43, 5.21) than their cluster-unrelated counterparts.
Space–time clusters of self-harm, suicide, and self-harm and suicide combined accounted for a relatively small proportion of suicidal acts and were associated with some sex/age characteristics. Focusing on suicide deaths alone may underestimate the size of some clusters and/or lead to some clusters being overlooked. Future research could consider combining self-harm and suicide data and use social connection information to investigate possible clusters of suicidal acts.
Mechanical metamaterials have attracted extensive attention. This paper reports a metamaterial with tunable elastic wave bandgaps based on bistable buckling structure. First, we find that deformation of two symmetric buckling shells is intrinsically asymmetric, which blocks the realisation of robust tunability. Based on an analytical model, we clarify that the mechanisms for this intrinsic asymmetricity are the bifurcations on force–deformation curves. Then we propose a superposition method of buckling shells, which can realise the symmetric deformation for robust tunable stiffness. Using this variable-stiffness oscillator, we design a metamaterial sandwich beam, and numerically and experimentally demonstrate its tunable bandgap for vibration suppression. This paper presents the unusual deformation process of buckling elements widely used for constructing metamaterials, and provides a robust way to realise metamaterials with tunable vibration bandgaps.
The application scopes of two different reductive perturbation methods to derive the Korteweg–de Vries (KdV) equation and coupled KdV (CKdV) equation in two-temperature-ion dusty plasma are given by using the particle-in-cell (PIC) numerical method in the present paper. It suggests that the reductive perturbation method (RPM) is valid if the amplitude of the CKdV solitary wave is small enough. However, for the KdV solitary wave, RPM is valid not only if the amplitude of the KdV solitary wave is small enough, but also if the nonlinear coefficient of the KdV equation is not tending to zero.
In vitro rearing of honey bee larvae is ideal for bioassay studies; no honey bee stable cell lines are available. Inconsistency of internal development staging of reared larvae and a susceptibility to contamination are common problems encountered. Standardized protocols on rearing larvae in vitro to make the larvae growth and development more similar to that of natural colonies are necessary to ensure the accuracy of experimental results and promote honey bee research as a model organism. Here, we concluded that when larval fasting weight was >160 mg, the time point of gut emptying can be defined as the critical point separating the larval and prepupal stages. In this way, we can conduct precise studies on the prepupal stage, such as organ remodeling during metamorphosis. Simultaneously, we further verified that recombinant AccApidaecin in genetic engineered bacteria added to the larval diet upregulated antibacterial peptide gene expression, and did not stimulate the stress response in larvae, nor did it affect the pupation rate or eclosion rate. This demonstrated that feeding recombinant AccApidaecin can enhance the individual antibacterial ability at the molecular level.
The purpose of this study was to analyse the clinical characteristics of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) PCR re-positivity after recovering from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Patients (n = 1391) from Guangzhou, China, who had recovered from COVID-19 were recruited between 7 September 2021 and 11 March 2022. Data on epidemiology, symptoms, laboratory test results and treatment were analysed. In this study, 42.7% of recovered patients had re-positive result. Most re-positive patients were asymptomatic, did not have severe comorbidities, and were not contagious. The re-positivity rate was 39%, 46%, 11% and 25% in patients who had received inactivated, mRNA, adenovirus vector and recombinant subunit vaccines, respectively. Seven independent risk factors for testing re-positive were identified, and a predictive model was constructed using these variables. The predictors of re-positivity were COVID-19 vaccination status, previous SARs-CoV-12 infection prior to the most recent episode, renal function, SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM antibody levels and white blood cell count. The predictive model could benefit the control of the spread of COVID-19.
In this paper, we study the asymptotic profiles of positive solutions for diffusive logistic equations. The aim is to study the sharp effect of linear growth and nonlinear function. Both the classical reaction-diffusion equation and nonlocal dispersal equation are investigated. Our main results reveal that the linear and nonlinear parts of reaction term play quite different roles in the study of positive solutions.
This paper presents systematic molecular dynamics modelling of Na-montmorillonite subjected to uniaxial compression and unidirectional shearing. An initial 3D model of a single-cell Na-montmorillonite structure is established using the Build Crystal module. The space group is C2/m, and COMPASS force fields are applied. Hydration analysis of Na-montmorillonite has been performed to validate the simulation procedures, where the number of absorbed water molecules varied with respect to the various lattice parameters. A series of uniaxial compression stress σzz and unidirectional shear stress τxy values are applied to the Na-montmorillonite structure. It is shown that the lattice parameter and hydration degree exhibit significant influence on the stress–strain relationship of Na-montmorillonite. The ultimate strain increases with increases in the lattice parameter but decreases in the number of water molecules. For saturated Na-montmorillonite, more water molecules result in a stiffer clay mineral under uniaxial compression and unidirectional shearing.
We seek the best stroke sequences of a finite-size swimming predator chasing a non-motile point or finite-size prey at low Reynolds number. We use optimal control to seek the globally optimal solutions for the former and reinforcement learning (RL) for general situations. The predator is represented by a squirmer model that can translate forward and laterally, rotate and generate a stresslet flow. We identify the predator's best squirming sequences to achieve the time-optimal (TO) and efficiency-optimal (EO) predation. For a point prey, the TO squirmer executing translational motions favours a two-fold $L$-shaped trajectory that enables it to exploit the disturbance flow for accelerated predation; using a stresslet mode expedites significantly the EO predation, allowing the predator to catch the prey faster yet with lower energy consumption and higher predatory efficiency; the predator can harness its stresslet disturbance flow to suck the prey towards itself; compared to a translating predator, its compeer combining translation and rotation is less time-efficient, and the latter occasionally achieves the TO predation via retreating in order to advance. We also adopt RL to reproduce the globally optimal predatory strategy of chasing a point prey, qualitatively capturing the crucial two-fold attribute of a TO path. Using a numerically emulated RL environment, we explore the dependence of the optimal predatory path on the size of prey. Our results might provide useful information that help in the design of synthetic microswimmers such as in vivo medical microrobots capable of capturing and approaching objects in viscous flows.
This study evaluated the association between inflammatory diets as measured by the Dietary Inflammatory index (DII), inflammation biomarkers and the development of preeclampsia among the Chinese population. We followed the reporting guidelines of the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology statement for observational studies. A total of 466 preeclampsia cases aged over 18 years were recruited between March 2016 and June 2019, and 466 healthy controls were 1:1 ratio matched by age (±3 years), week of gestation (±1 week) and gestational diabetes mellitus. The energy-adjusted DII (E-DII) was computed based on dietary intake assessed using a seventy-nine item semiquantitative FFQ. Inflammatory biomarkers were analysed by ELISA kits. The mean E-DII scores were −0·65 ± 1·58 for cases and −1·19 ± 1·47 for controls (P value < 0·001). E-DII scores positively correlated with interferon-γ (rs = 0·194, P value = 0·001) and IL-4 (rs = 0·135, P value = 0·021). After multivariable adjustment, E-DII scores were positively related to preeclampsia risk (Ptrend < 0·001). The highest tertile of E-DII was 2·18 times the lowest tertiles (95 % CI = 1·52, 3·13). The odds of preeclampsia increased by 30 % (95 % CI = 18 %, 43 %, P value < 0·001) for each E-DII score increase. The preeclampsia risk was positively associated with IL-2 (OR = 1·07, 95 % CI = 1·03, 1·11), IL-4 (OR = 1·26, 95 % CI = 1·03, 1·54) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) (OR = 1·17, 95 % CI = 1·06, 1·29). Therefore, proinflammatory diets, corresponding to higher IL-2, IL-4 and TGF-β levels, were associated with increased preeclampsia risk.
The parasite Fasciola hepatica is an important zoonotic parasite. The development of an animal model of F. hepatica's life cycle is critical for studying the biological characteristics of the parasite in snails and mammals. Eggs of F. hepatica of bovine origin were cultured, and metacercariae were obtained after infection of Galba pervia snails. The life cycle system of F. hepatica was initiated in 2 different animals by orally infecting rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice with the metacercariae. The animals' survival after infection, parasite migration in the animals and pathological damage to the liver were observed. We discovered that rabbits died due to acute suppurative hepatitis 60–69 days after infection, and eggs were found in the feces on day 63 of infection. The liver of SD rats showed punctate lesions on day 3 of infection, and further changes occurred as the infection progressed. However, liver repair was observed at week 9. SD rats survived for more than a year after infection and continued the F. hepatica life cycle. The liver lesions in Kunming mice after infection were similar but more severe than those in SD rats. Death was observed on the 31st post-infection day. We discovered that while rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice can all be used as animal models of F. hepatica, SD rats are more suitable experimental animals in terms of tolerance and pathological response.
Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the aetiology and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glucosamine is widely used in many countries and may have anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to prospectively evaluate the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD risk and explore whether such association could be modified by smoking in the UK Biobank cohort, which recruited more than half a million participants aged 40–69 years from across the UK between 2006 and 2010. Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounding factors were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) as well as 95 % CI for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8·96 years (interquartile range 8·29–9·53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that the regular use of glucosamine was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident COPD with multivariable adjusted HR of 0·80 (95 % CI, 0·75, 0·85; P < 0·001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HR for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0·84 (0·73, 0·96), 0·84 (0·77, 0·92) and 0·71 (0·62, 0·80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (Pfor interaction = 0·078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14 % to 84 % through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation.
The effect of vitamin D (VD) on the risk of preeclampsia (PE) is uncertain. Few of previous studies focused on the relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk. Therefore, we conducted this 1:1 matched case–control study to explore the association of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk in Chinese pregnant women. A total of 440 pairs of participants were recruited during March 2016 to June 2019. Dietary information was obtained using a seventy-eight-item semi-quantitative FFQ. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem MS. Multivariate conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI. Restricted cubic splines (RCS) were plotted to evaluate the dose–response relationship of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the OR of the highest quartile were 0·45 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·71, Ptrend = 0·001) for VD dietary intake and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·11, 0·60, Ptrend = 0·003) for serum levels after adjusting for confounders. In addition, the RCS analysis suggested a reverse J-shaped relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). A similar association was also found between serum concentrations of total 25(OH)D and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). In conclusion, this study provides evidence that higher dietary intake and serum levels of VD are associated with the lower risk of PE in Chinese pregnant women.
Poor utilisation efficiency of carbohydrate always leads to metabolic phenotypes in fish. The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in carbohydrate degradation. Whether the intestinal bacteria could alleviate high-carbohydrate diet (HCD)-induced metabolic phenotypes in fish remains unknown. Here, a strain affiliated to Bacillus amyloliquefaciens was isolated from the intestine of Nile tilapia. A basal diet (CON), HCD or HCD supplemented with B. amy SS1 (HCB) was used to feed fish for 10 weeks. The beneficial effects of B. amy SS1 on weight gain and protein accumulation were observed. Fasting glucose and lipid deposition were decreased in the HCB group compared with the HCD group. High-throughput sequencing showed that the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria was increased in the HCB group relative to the HCD group. Gas chromatographic analysis indicated that the concentration of intestinal acetate was increased dramatically in the HCB group compared with that in the HCD group. Glucagon-like peptide-1 was also increased in the intestine and serum of the HCB group. Thus, fish were fed with HCD, HCD supplemented with sodium acetate at 900 mg/kg (HLA), 1800 mg/kg (HMA) or 3600 mg/kg (HHA) diet for 8 weeks, and the HMA and HHA groups mirrored the effects of B. amy SS1. This study revealed that B. amy SS1 could alleviate the metabolic phenotypes caused by HCD by enriching acetate-producing bacteria in fish intestines. Regulating the intestinal microbiota and their metabolites might represent a powerful strategy for fish nutrition modulation and health maintenance in future.
The aim of this study was to investigate risk factors and psychological stress of health-care workers (HCWs) with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a nonfrontline clinical department.
Data of 2 source patients and all HCWs with infection risk were obtained in a department in Wuhan from January to February 2020. A questionnaire was designed to evaluate psychological stress of COVID-19 on HCWs.
The overall infection rate was 4.8% in HCWs. Ten of 25 HCWs who contacted with 2 source patients were diagnosed with confirmed COVID-19 (8/10) and suspected COVID-19 (2/10). Other 2 HCWs were transmitted by other patients or colleagues. Close care behaviors included physical examination (6/12), life nursing (4/12), ward rounds (4/12), endoscopic examination (2/12). Contacts fluctuated from 1 to 24 times and each contact was short (8.1 min ± 5.6 min). HCWs wore surgical masks (11/12), gloves (7/12), and isolation clothing (3/12) when providing medical care. Most HCWs experienced a mild course with 2 asymptomatic infections, taking 9.8 d and 20.9 d to obtain viral shedding and clinical cure, respectively. Psychological stress included worry (58.3%), anxiety (83.3%), depression (58.3%), and insomnia (58.3%).
Close contact with COVID-19 patients and insufficient protection were key risk factors. Precaution measures and psychological support on COVID-19 is urgently required for HCWs.
Multiple neurotrophic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2, nerve growth factor (NGF) and insulin-like growth factor(IGF)-1, have been shown to play important roles in the pathophysiology of mood disorders. However, insufficient clinical data supporting the importance of these neurotrophic factors in mood disorders, especially manic episode, have made inconclusive to make a connection between these factors and the disorder.
This study intended to investigate possible peripheral biomarkers in serum of manic episode of bipolar disorder.
We aimed to investigate whether or not serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 varied in manic state.
Serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were examined in 70 drug-naïve patients with manic episode of bipolar disorder (BM) as well as 50 healthy controls, using an ELISA method.
The mean serum levels of VEGF, FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 were 168.13±225.61pg/ml, 279.09±378.62pg/ml, 61.38±171.67pg/ml and 162.01±72.00ng/ml in BM patients, and 140.80±143.71pg/ml, 275.46±235.29pg/ml, 36.34±15.14pg/ml and 138.90±80.11ng/ml in healthy controls, respectively. Serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in patients were significantly higher than those in healthy controls (Z=−2.896, P=0.004; Z=− 2.050, P=0.040; Z=−2.188, P=0.029; respectively), although there was no statistical difference in the serum levels of VEGF between two groups (Z=-0.468, P=0.639). Moreover, serum levels of NGF in patients correlated with the duration of disorder (rs=−0.241, P=0.044).
The increase in serum levels of FGF-2, NGF and IGF-1 in manic state may reflect a neuroprotective role for these factors, and these factors may be considered biological markers for manic episode.
Findings for the roles of dairy products, Ca and vitamin D on ovarian cancer risk remain controversial. We aimed to assess these associations by using an updated meta-analysis. Five electronic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase) were searched from inception to 24 December 2019. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated. A total of twenty-nine case–control or cohort studies were included. For comparisons of the highest v. lowest intakes, higher whole milk intake was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk (RR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59), whereas decreased risks were observed for higher intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96), dietary Ca (RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·60, 0·84) and dietary vitamin D (RR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·95). Additionally, for every 100 g/d increment, increased ovarian cancer risks were found for total dairy products (RR 1·03; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) and for whole milk (RR 1·07; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·11); however, decreased risks were found for 100 g/d increased intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·95; 95 % CI 0·91, 0·99), cheese (RR 0·87; 95 % CI 0·76, 0·98), dietary Ca (RR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·98), total Ca (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99), dietary vitamin D (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) and increased levels of circulating vitamin D (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·97). These results show that whole milk intake might contribute to a higher ovarian cancer risk, whereas low-fat milk, dietary Ca and dietary vitamin D might reduce the risk.
The head-on collision between two dust-acoustic solitary waves in a non-magnetized, collisionless and strongly coupled dust plasma has been studied. The application scope of the analytical solution of the head-on collision is given in the present paper by using the particle-in-cell simulation method. It is noted that the analytical results are valid if the amplitudes of both of the solitary waves are small enough. The effects of the coupling parameters on both the head-on collision and the waveform are also studied in the present paper.
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. As the threat of terrorism develops, the China-Eurasia Expo held in Ürümqi, China is attracting fewer potential visitors. A nationwide survey of 2034 residents from 31 provinces and municipalities in China was conducted to examine the relation between the distance to respondents’ city of residence from Ürümqi and their levels of concern for safety and security concerning the Expo. The two were found to be positively related: the closer the respondents lived to Ürümqi, the less concerned they were with the safety and security of the Expo. This is consistent with the “psychological typhoon eye” effect, which states that people living closer to the center of an unfortunate event (whether natural or man-made hazards) are less concerned with the event’s negative consequences. This effect appears to hold for terrorism. There are implications of this finding for international counter-terrorism practice, tourism, and research.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Altered heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system function, has been reported in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but the results have been mixed. Thus, the present study, using a large sample size and better methodology, aims to examine whether GAD is associated with impaired HRV, both at rest and in response to posture challenges.
In total, 1832 participants were recruited in this study, consisting of 682 patients with GAD (including 326 drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients) and 1150 healthy controls. Short-term HRV was measured during the supine-standing-supine test (5-min per position). Propensity score matching (PSM), a relatively novel method, was used to control for potential confounders.
After PSM algorithm, drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients had reductions in resting (baseline) high-frequency power (HF), an index for parasympathetic modulation, and increases in the low-frequency/HF ratio (LF/HF), an index for sympathovagal balance as compared to matched controls. Furthermore, the responses of HF and LF/HF to posture changes were all attenuated when compared with matched controls. Effect sizes, given by Cohen's d, for resting HF and HF reactivity were 0.42 and 0.36–0.42, respectively.
GAD is associated with altered sympathovagal balance, characterized by attenuation in both resting vagal modulation and vagal reactivity, with an almost medium effect size (Cohen's d ≈ 0.4), regardless of medication use or comorbidity status.