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Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the etiology 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 (HRs) as well as 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8.96 years (interquartile range 8.29 to 9.53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that 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 to 0.85; P<0.001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HRs for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0.84 (0.73 to 0.96), 0.84 (0.77 to 0.92), and 0.71 (0.62 to 0.80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (P for interaction=0.078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14% to 84% through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation
Despite the fact that social deficits among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are lifelong and impact many aspects of personal functioning, evidence-based programs for social skills training were not available until recently. The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) has been shown to effectively improve social skills for adolescents on the spectrum across different social cultures. However, the effectiveness for young adults beyond North America has yet to be examined. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the PEERS intervention in Taiwanese young adults with ASD, and examine its durability and clinical correlates.
We recruited 82 cognitively-able young adults with ASD, randomized to the PEERS treatment or treatment-as-usual.
Following treatment, significant improvement was found in aspects of social deficits, autism severity, social interaction anxiety, empathy, and social skills knowledge either by self-report or coach-report. Additionally, communicative behaviors rated by observers improved throughout the sessions, showing a trend toward more appropriate eye contact, gestures, facial expression during conversation, and appropriate maintenance of conversation and reciprocity. Most effects maintained at 3-month and 6-month follow-ups. The improvement of social deficits was positively correlated with baseline severity, while gains in social skills knowledge were positively correlated with IQ. The improvement of social deficits, autism severity, and empathy were positively correlated with each other.
Overall, the PEERS intervention appears to effectively improve social functioning in Taiwanese young adults with ASD. Improvement of social response and knowledge may be predicted by baseline severity and intelligence respectively.
The aim of this study was to present the clinical characteristics and dynamic changes in laboratory parameters of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Guangzhou, and explore the probable early warning indicators of disease progression.
We enrolled all the patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital. The patients’ demographic and epidemiologic data were collected, including chief complaints, lab results, and imaging examination findings.
The characteristics of the patients in Guangzhou are different from those in Wuhan. The patients were younger in age, predominately female, and their condition was not commonly combined with other diseases. A total of 75% of patients suffered fever on admission, followed by cough occurring in 62% patients. Comparing the mild/normal and severe/critical patients, being male, of older age, combined with hypertension, abnormal blood routine test results, raised creatine kinase, glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, D-dimer, fibrinogen, activated partial thromboplastin time, and positive proteinuria were early warning indicators of severe disease.
The patients outside epidemic areas showed different characteristics from those in Wuhan. The abnormal laboratory parameters were markedly changed 4 weeks after admission, and also were different between the mild and severe patients. More evidence is needed to confirm highly specific and sensitive potential early warning indicators of severe disease.
The debate about extending working lives in response to population ageing often overlooks the lack of employment opportunity for older adults with disabilities. Without work, their living standards depend heavily on government transfers. This study contributes to the literature on health inequalities by analysing the sources of income and poverty outcomes for people aged 50 to 64 in two liberal democratic countries yet with contrasting disability benefit contexts – Canada and the United Kingdom. This choice of countries offers the opportunity to assess whether the design of benefit systems has led the most disadvantaged groups to fare differently between countries. Overall, disabled older persons without work faced a markedly higher risk of poverty in Canada than in the UK. Public transfers played a much greater role in the UK, accounting for two-thirds of household income among low-educated groups, compared with one-third in Canada. The average benefit amount received was similar in both countries, but the coverage of disabled people was much lower in Canada than in the UK, leading to a high poverty risk among disabled people out of work. Our findings highlight the importance of income support systems in preventing the widening of the poverty-disability gap at older ages.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
Improvement of environmental cleaning in hospitals has been shown to decrease in-hospital cross transmission of pathogens. Several objective methods, including aerobic colony counts (ACCs), the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay, and the fluorescent marker method have been developed to assess cleanliness. However, the standard interpretation of cleanliness using the fluorescent marker method remains uncertain.
To assess the fluorescent marker method as a tool for determining the effectiveness of hospital cleaning.
A prospective survey study.
An academic medical center.
The same 10 high-touch surfaces were tested after each terminal cleaning using (1) the fluorescent marker method, (2) the ATP assay, and (3) the ACC method. Using the fluorescent marker method under study, surfaces were classified as totally clean, partially clean, or not clean. The ACC method was used as the standard for comparison.
According to the fluorescent marker method, of the 830 high-touch surfaces, 321 surfaces (38.7%) were totally clean (TC group), 84 surfaces (10.1%) were partially clean (PC group), and 425 surfaces (51.2%) were not clean (NC group). The TC group had significantly lower ATP and ACC values (mean ± SD, 428.7 ± 1,180.0 relative light units [RLU] and 15.6 ± 77.3 colony forming units [CFU]/100 cm2) than the PC group (1,386.8 ± 2,434.0 RLU and 34.9 ± 87.2 CFU/100 cm2) and the NC group (1,132.9 ± 2,976.1 RLU and 46.8 ± 119.2 CFU/100 cm2).
The fluorescent marker method provided a simple, reliable, and real-time assessment of environmental cleaning in hospitals. Our results indicate that only a surface determined to be totally clean using the fluorescent marker method could be considered clean.
This study was conducted to investigate the protective effects of l-threonine (l-Thr) supplementation on growth performance, inflammatory responses and intestinal barrier function of young broilers challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). A total of 144 1-d-old male chicks were allocated to one of three treatments: non-challenged broilers fed a basal diet (control group), LPS-challenged broilers fed a basal diet without l-Thr supplementation and LPS-challenged broilers fed a basal diet supplemented with 3·0 g/kg l-Thr. LPS challenge was performed intraperitoneally at 17, 19 and 21 d of age, whereas the control group received physiological saline injection. Compared with the control group, LPS challenge impaired growth performance of broilers, and l-Thr administration reversed LPS-induced increase in feed/gain ratio. LPS challenge elevated blood cell counts related to inflammation, and pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations in serum (IL-1β and TNF-α), spleen (IL-1β and TNF-α) and intestinal mucosa (jejunal interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and ileal IL-1β). The concentrations of intestinal cytokines in LPS-challenged broilers were reduced by l-Thr supplementation. LPS administration increased circulating d-lactic acid concentration, whereas it reduced villus height, the ratio between villus height and crypt depth and goblet density in both jejunum and ileum. LPS-induced decreases in jejunal villus height, intestinal villus height:crypt depth ratio and ileal goblet cell density were reversed with l-Thr supplementation. Similarly, LPS-induced alterations in the intestinal mRNA abundances of genes related to intestinal inflammation and barrier function (jejunal toll-like receptor 4, IFN-γ and claudin-3, and ileal IL-1β and zonula occludens-1) were normalised with l-Thr administration. It can be concluded that l-Thr supplementation could attenuate LPS-induced inflammatory responses and intestinal barrier damage of young broilers.
Forty-eight different Ag–Al–Zr ternary alloys were prepared in various compositions to determine the metallic glass region in the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system. Experimental results indicated that the metallic glass region in the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system is Ag20–30Al10–30Zr50–60. The Ag20Al30Zr50 and Ag30Al20Zr50 alloys are supposed to have the best glass-forming ability in the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system. The phase equilibria of the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system at 773 K (500 °C) were investigated and compared with the metallic glass region results in the Ag–Al–Zr ternary system. Ternary isothermal sections of the Ag–Al–Zr system at 773 K (500 °C) were established and two ternary intermetallic phases were observed in this isothermal section.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
Polyaniline nanofiber (PANF) was synthesized using interfacial polymerization and was mixed with aqueous solution of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) to form PANF–PVA binaries. The PANF suspension in water could be stabilized by PVA for more than 3 months due to the hydrogen bonding interaction between PANF and PVA. The specific characteristics of PANF–PVA films was checked by scanning electron microscopy, conductivity measurement, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry. The composite film contained 25 wt% PVA (PANF–PVA25) casting at 105 °C was found to have a porous structure and good conductivity. The presence of hydrogen bonding interaction between PANF and PVA improves the electroactivity and electroactive stability of PANF–PVA25 for electrochemical applications. However, an ether linkage between PANF and PVA polymer chain was also found as casting the PANF–PVA film at 200 °C, which is unfavorable for electrochemical applications.
Signal-In-Space Error (SISE) is important for the system integrity of GNSS. Real-time monitoring SISE has been one of the effective solutions used for improving GNSS system-level integrity. As one of the typical solutions, the Galileo integrity concept uses Signal-In-Space Accuracy (SISA) and Signal-In-Space Monitoring Accuracy (SISMA) respectively to transmit the quality of SIS and the integrity alarming information to users. As an important component of the Galileo Integrity Concept, Worst User Location (WUL) is of great importance for the computation of SISA and SISMA. An improved WUL algorithm based on a geometrical model is given in this paper, which needs no iterative search and is simple when compared with the existing models. The WUL accuracy requirement is discussed based on an analysis of the magnitude of the orbit errors and SIS ranging resolution and error. The conclusion is that, considering the metre-level orbital error observed in the orbit determination process, as long as the orientation error of the WUL is less than three degrees, the projection error of SISE can be kept to centimetre levels. This will satisfy the requirements of most users. The algorithm is further optimised to omit the non-linear iterative parts based on the above assumption. The optimisation reduces computation load and enhances the real-time capability. GPS raw measurements are used to validate the correctness and reliability of the algorithms.
The interfacial reactions in Sn-0.7wt%Cu/ENIG SUS304 couples at 240, 255, and 270 °C are examined in this study. The Ni-containing ternary Cu6Sn5 phase is formed at the Ni/liquid interface in the early reaction stage then it detaches massively from the SUS304 substrate and splits into two layers in the molten solder as the reaction time increases. This phase finally disintegrates and disappears. The square pillar-shaped FeSn2 phase is found on top of the SUS304 substrate when the Cu6Sn5 layer detaches. The reaction phase formation, detachment, and split mechanisms are proposed. The spalling phenomenon is reviewed and discussed. The growth mechanism of the FeSn2 phase obeys the parabolic law, and the activation energy is determined to be 112.5 KJ/mol.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
At heterojunctions between different oxide perovskite phases both lattice and electronic structure is modified by the junction. One interesting question that several groups have studied is just how far into the neighboring materials these perturbations extend. We have studied this for insulating phases as well as conducting phases. For insulating phases it appears that the lattice distortions are healed in a layer about one unit cell thick. By stacking different materials each of which is only a single unit cell thick we have obtained materials that exhibit new properties determined by the stacking architecture. For example, superlattices that lack inversion symmetry have a built-in polarization that is controlled by the direction of the strain asymmetry. For conducting phases, the electronic structure also seems to be modified mainly in a layer only a few unit cells thick. We have studied this in superlattices of SrTiO3 and LaMnO3 in which we vary the thickness of the layers. We use optical conductivity to probe the electronic structure in the near infrared to near ultraviolet spectral region. The conductivity is close to the average of the two constituents, but differs in certain spectral regions, especially for the films with the thinnest supercells.This work was supported by the Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences program at the Fredrick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.