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Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) swarm coverage is one of the key technologies for multi-UAV cooperation, which plays an important role in collaborative investigation, detection, rescue and other applications. Aiming at the coverage optimisation problem of UAV in the target area, a collaborative visual coverage control method under positioning uncertainty is presented. First, the visual perception area with imprecise localisation, UAV model and sensor model are created based on the given task environment. Second, a regional division algorithm for the target task area is designed based on the principle of Guaranteed Voronoi (GV) diagram. Then a visual area coverage planning algorithm is designed, in which the task area is allocated to the UAV according to the corresponding weight coefficient of each area, and the input control law is adjusted by the expected state information of the UAV, so that the optimal coverage quality target value and the maximum coverage of the target area can be achieved. Finally, three task scenarios for regional division and coverage planning are simulated respectively, the results show that the proposed area coverage planning algorithm can realise the optimal regional distribution and can obtain more than 90% coverage in different scenarios.
The great demographic pressure brings tremendous volume of beef demand. The key to solve this problem is the growth and development of Chinese cattle. In order to find molecular markers conducive to the growth and development of Chinese cattle, sequencing was used to determine the position of copy number variations (CNVs), bioinformatics analysis was used to predict the function of ZNF146 gene, real-time fluorescent quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used for CNV genotyping and one-way analysis of variance was used for association analysis. The results showed that there exists CNV in Chr 18: 47225201-47229600 (5.0.1 version) of ZNF146 gene through the early sequencing results in the laboratory and predicted ZNF146 gene was expressed in liver, skeletal muscle and breast cells, and was amplified or overexpressed in pancreatic cancer, which promoted the development of tumour through bioinformatics. Therefore, it is predicted that ZNF146 gene affects the proliferation of muscle cells, and then affects the growth and development of cattle. Furthermore, CNV genotyping of ZNF146 gene was three types (deletion type, normal type and duplication type) by Real-time fluorescent quantitative PCR (qPCR). The association analysis results showed that ZNF146-CNV was significantly correlated with rump length of Qinchuan cattle, hucklebone width of Jiaxian red cattle and heart girth of Yunling cattle. From the above results, ZNF146-CNV had a significant effect on growth traits, which provided an important candidate molecular marker for growth and development of Chinese cattle.
Background: Chordomas are rare malignant skull-base/spine cancers with devastating neurological morbidities and mortality. Unfortunately, no reliable prognostic factors exist to guide treatment decisions. This work identifies DNA methylation-based prognostic chordoma subtypes that are detectable non-invasively in plasma. Methods: Sixty-eight tissue samples underwent DNA methylation profiling and plasma methylomes were obtained for available paired samples. Immunohistochemical staining and publicly available methylation and gene expression data were utilized for validation. Results: Unsupervised clustering identified two prognostic tissue clusters (log-rank p=0.0062) predicting disease-specific survival independent of clinical factors (Multivariable Cox: HR=16.5, 95%CI: 2.8-96, p=0.0018). The poorer-performing cluster showed immune-related pathway promoter hypermethylation and higher immune cell abundance within tumours, which was validated with external RNA-seq data and immunohistochemical staining. The better-performing cluster showed higher tumour cellularity. Similar clusters were seen in external DNA methylation data. Plasma methylome-based models distinguished chordomas from differential diagnoses in independent testing sets (AUROC=0.84, 95%CI: 0.52-1.00). Plasma methylomes were highly correlated with tissue-based signals for both clusters (r=0.69 & 0.67) and leave-one-out models identified the correct cluster in all plasma cases. Conclusions: Prognostic molecular chordoma subgroups are for the first time identified, characterized, and validated. Plasma methylomes can detect and subtype chordomas which may transform chordoma treatment with personalized approaches tailored to prognosis.
To study the effectiveness of unilateral cochlear implantation, binaural-bimodal hearing devices, and bilateral cochlear implantation in children with inner-ear malformation.
This study comprised 261 patients who were allocated to inner-ear malformation or control groups. Twenty-four months after surgery, aided sound-field thresholds were tested, and the Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale, Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale, Meaningful Use of Speech Scale, Categories of Auditory Performance scale and Speech Intelligibility Rating test were completed.
Aided sound-field thresholds were significantly better for bilateral cochlear implantation patients than for unilateral cochlear implantation or binaural-bimodal hearing device patients. There was no significant difference in Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale, Infant-Toddler Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale, or Categories of Auditory Performance scores among the three groups. The binaural-bimodal hearing device patients outperformed unilateral cochlear implantation patients on both Meaningful Use of Speech Scale and Speech Intelligibility Rating scores. No statistical difference was observed between the two subgroups.
Children who received bilateral cochlear implants have the best auditory awareness in a quiet environment. Children with binaural-bimodal hearing devices have better voice control and verbal skills than unilateral cochlear implantation patients, and people are more likely to understand them. Children with inner-ear malformations benefit from cochlear implantation.
We report the experimental results of the commissioning phase in the 10 PW laser beamline of the Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser Facility (SULF). The peak power reaches 2.4 PW on target without the last amplifying during the experiment. The laser energy of 72 ± 9 J is directed to a focal spot of approximately 6 μm diameter (full width at half maximum) in 30 fs pulse duration, yielding a focused peak intensity around 2.0 × 1021 W/cm2. The first laser-proton acceleration experiment is performed using plain copper and plastic targets. High-energy proton beams with maximum cut-off energy up to 62.5 MeV are achieved using copper foils at the optimum target thickness of 4 μm via target normal sheath acceleration. For plastic targets of tens of nanometers thick, the proton cut-off energy is approximately 20 MeV, showing ring-like or filamented density distributions. These experimental results reflect the capabilities of the SULF-10 PW beamline, for example, both ultrahigh intensity and relatively good beam contrast. Further optimization for these key parameters is underway, where peak laser intensities of 1022–1023 W/cm2 are anticipated to support various experiments on extreme field physics.
The aim of the present study was to perform a retrospective review of the lesion sites in congenital middle-ear cholesteatoma and any accompanying ossicular defects, as well as to explore the possible aetiology of congenital middle-ear cholesteatoma associated with such ossicular chain defects.
The clinical characteristics and pathogenic mechanisms of ossicular chain defects were investigated in 10 patients with early-stage congenital middle-ear cholesteatoma confirmed by surgery, from August 2011 to February 2019.
Monofocal cholesteatoma was located in the anterosuperior quadrant in 3 cases and in the posterosuperior quadrant in 7 cases; all 10 cases showed an absence of the long crus of incus, and 8 cases showed a complete or partial absence of stapes superstructure. The lesions were confined to the vestibular window and the stapes region and had no contact with the long crus of the incus or stapes in nine cases. None of the 10 patients had any recurrence of cholesteatoma.
Although cholesteatoma can cause erosion of ossicles, the present cases suggest that residual epithelium of the cholesteatoma may coexist with ossicular malformations. Therefore, the aetiology of the clinical characteristics in these patients may derive from residual epithelial hinderance of ossicle development.
This study investigates water waves generated by a bottom obstacle translating at a subcritical speed in constant water depth, using a combination of analytical and numerical approaches. The newly derived analytical solutions reveal two types of waves – the transient free waves that propagate radially outwards, and the trapped wave that stays on top of the translating bottom obstacle. Closed-form asymptotic solutions for both the free surface and the flow velocities are derived in the far field, and near the leading wave or in the shallow water limit. The far-field leading waves are mathematically shown to be insensitive to the exact shape of the obstacle. Numerical long-wave models are employed to examine effects unaccountable by the linear analytical solutions. Nonlinear effects are found to cause only small deviations from the linear solutions. The effects of the obstacle's acceleration and deceleration are also examined numerically. Overall, the idealised linear analytical solutions predict well the characteristics of water waves generated by a bottom obstacle, and therefore can serve as the cornerstone of a theory-based model for quickly predicting the tsunamis generated by a submarine landslide.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination effectiveness in healthcare personnel (HCP) has been established. However, questions remain regarding its performance in high-risk healthcare occupations and work locations. We describe the effect of a COVID-19 HCP vaccination campaign on SARS-CoV-2 infection by timing of vaccination, job type, and work location.
We conducted a retrospective review of COVID-19 vaccination acceptance, incidence of postvaccination COVID-19, hospitalization, and mortality among 16,156 faculty, students, and staff at a large academic medical center. Data were collected 8 weeks prior to the start of phase 1a vaccination of frontline employees and ended 11 weeks after campaign onset.
The COVID-19 incidence rate among HCP at our institution decreased from 3.2% during the 8 weeks prior to the start of vaccinations to 0.38% by 4 weeks after campaign initiation. COVID-19 risk was reduced among individuals who received a single vaccination (hazard ratio [HR], 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40–0.68; P < .0001) and was further reduced with 2 doses of vaccine (HR, 0.17; 95% CI, 0.09–0.32; P < .0001). By 2 weeks after the second dose, the observed case positivity rate was 0.04%. Among phase 1a HCP, we observed a lower risk of COVID-19 among physicians and a trend toward higher risk for respiratory therapists independent of vaccination status. Rates of infection were similar in a subgroup of nurses when examined by work location.
Our findings show the real-world effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in HCP. Despite these encouraging results, unvaccinated HCP remain at an elevated risk of infection, highlighting the need for targeted outreach to combat vaccine hesitancy.
This study aimed to examine the association between caloric asymmetry and response to treatment in patients with vestibular migraine.
Dizziness Handicap Inventory scores were compared between patients with less than and more than 25 per cent asymmetry (using Cohen effect size) in a cohort of definite vestibular migraine patients who underwent caloric testing between August 2016 and March 2019.
A total of 31 patients (mean age: 48.7 ± 20.0 years; mean follow up: 9.1 ± 8.1 months) were included. Mean caloric asymmetry was 15.1 ± 15.6 per cent, with 6 (19.4 per cent) patients having asymmetry more than 25 per cent. Overall, patients experienced significant improvement in Dizziness Handicap Inventory total (d = 0.623 (95 per cent confidence interval, 0.007, 1.216)), emotional domain (d = 0.635 (95 per cent confidence interval, 0.019, 1.229)) and functional domain (d = 0.769 (95 per cent confidence interval, 0.143, 1.367)) but not physical domain (d = 0.227 (95 per cent confidence interval, −0.370, 0.815)) scores. Patients with more than 25 per cent asymmetry had no significant improvement in Dizziness Handicap Inventory scores, whereas those with less than 25 per cent asymmetry had significant improvement in Dizziness Handicap Inventory functional domain scores only (d = 0.636 (95 per cent confidence interval, 0.004, 1.244)).
Vestibular migraine patients with peripheral vestibular weakness on caloric testing may be less likely to improve after treatment compared with those without.
This study was a retrospective multicentre cohort study of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnosed at 24 hospitals in Jiangsu province, China as of 15 March 2020. The primary outcome was the occurrence of acute respiratory failure during hospital stay. Of 625 patients, 56 (9%) had respiratory failure. Some selected demographic, epidemiologic, clinical and laboratory features as well as radiologic features at admission and treatment during hospitalisation were significantly different in patients with and without respiratory failure. The multivariate logistic analysis indicated that age (in years) (odds ratio [OR], 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03–1.10; P = 0.0002), respiratory rate (breaths/minute) (OR, 1.23; 95% CI: 1.08–1.40; P = 0.0020), lymphocyte count (109/l) (OR, 0.18; 95% CI: 0.05–0.69; P = 0.0157) and pulmonary opacity score (per 5%) (OR, 1.38; 95% CI: 1.19–1.61; P < 0.0001) at admission were associated with the occurrence of respiratory failure. Older age, increased respiratory rate, decreased lymphocyte count and greater pulmonary opacity score at admission were independent risk factors of respiratory failure in patients with COVID-19. Patients having these risk factors need to be intensively managed during hospitalisation.
To investigate the influences of dietary riboflavin (RF) addition on nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, eight rumen cannulated Holstein bulls were randomly allocated into four treatments in a repeated 4 × 4 Latin square design. Daily addition level of RF for each bull in control, low RF, medium RF and high RF was 0, 300, 600 and 900 mg, respectively. Increasing the addition level of RF, DM intake was not affected, average daily gain tended to be increased linearly and feed conversion ratio decreased linearly. Total tract digestibilities of DM, organic matter, crude protein (CP) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF) increased linearly. Rumen pH decreased quadratically, and total volatile fatty acids (VFA) increased quadratically. Acetate molar percentage and acetate:propionate ratio increased linearly, but propionate molar percentage and ammonia-N content decreased linearly. Rumen effective degradability of DM increased linearly, NDF increased quadratically but CP was unaltered. Activity of cellulase and populations of total bacteria, protozoa, fungi, dominant cellulolytic bacteria, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus increased linearly. Linear increase was observed for urinary total purine derivatives excretion. The data suggested that dietary RF addition was essential for rumen microbial growth, and no further increase in performance and rumen total VFA concentration was observed when increasing RF level from 600 to 900 mg/d in dairy bulls.
Lifestyle interventions are an important and viable approach for preventing cognitive deficits. However, the results of studies on alcohol, coffee and tea consumption in relation to cognitive decline have been divergent, likely due to confounds from dose–response effects. This meta-analysis aimed to find the dose–response relationship between alcohol, coffee or tea consumption and cognitive deficits.
Prospective cohort studies or nested case-control studies in a cohort investigating the risk factors of cognitive deficits were searched in PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane and Web of Science up to 4th June 2020. Two authors searched the databases and extracted the data independently. We also assessed the quality of the studies with the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Stata 15.0 software was used to perform model estimation and plot the linear or nonlinear dose–response relationship graphs.
The search identified 29 prospective studies from America, Japan, China and some European countries. The dose–response relationships showed that compared to non-drinkers, low consumption (<11 g/day) of alcohol could reduce the risk of cognitive deficits or only dementias, but there was no significant effect of heavier drinking (>11 g/day). Low consumption of coffee reduced the risk of any cognitive deficit (<2.8 cups/day) or dementia (<2.3 cups/day). Green tea consumption was a significant protective factor for cognitive health (relative risk, 0.94; 95% confidence intervals, 0.92–0.97), with one cup of tea per day brings a 6% reduction in risk of cognitive deficits.
Light consumption of alcohol (<11 g/day) and coffee (<2.8 cups/day) was associated with reduced risk of cognitive deficits. Cognitive benefits of green tea consumption increased with the daily consumption.
Maternal migraine may contribute to mental heath problems in offspring but empirical evidence has been available only for bipolar disorders. Our objective was to examine the association between maternal migraine and the risk of any and specific psychiatric disorders in offspring.
This population-based cohort study used individual-level linked Danish national health registers. Participants were all live-born singletons in Denmark during 1978–2012 (n = 2 069 785). Follow-up began at birth and continued until the onset of a psychiatric disorder, death, emigration or 31 December 2016, whichever came first. Cox proportional hazards model was employed to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs) of psychiatric disorders.
Maternal migraine was associated with a 26% increased risk of any psychiatric disorders in offspring [HR, 1.26; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.22–1.30]. Increased rates of psychiatric disorders were seen in all age groups from childhood to early adulthood. Increased rates were also observed for most of the specific psychiatric disorders, in particular, mood disorders (HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.39–1.67), neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders (HR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.37–1.52) and specific personality disorders (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.27–1.70), but not for intellectual disability (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71–1.00) or eating disorders (HR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.93–1.29). The highest risk was seen in the offspring of mothers with migraine and comorbid psychiatric disorders (HR, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.99–2.28).
Maternal migraine was associated with increased risks of a broad spectrum of psychiatric disorders in offspring. Given the high prevalence of migraine, our findings highlight the importance of better management of maternal migraine at childbearing ages for early prevention of psychiatric disorders in offspring.
Glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate synthase (GOGAT) play a central role in plant nitrogen (N) metabolism. In order to study the effect of powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici, Bgt) on N metabolism, field experiments were carried out to evaluate GS and GOGAT activity, GS expression and grain protein content (GPC) in susceptible (Xi'nong 979) and resistant (Zhengmai 103) wheat cultivars under three treatments. The three treatments were no inoculation (CK), inoculated once with Bgt (MP) and inoculated nine times with Bgt (HP). For Xi'nong 979, the activities of GS and GOGAT in grains as well as GS activity in flag leaves increased at 10–15 days after anthesis (DAA), and decreased significantly at 15 or 20–30 DAA in HP and MP. However, GS activity in grains decreased from 20 DAA, which was later than that of flag leaves (15 DAA). At the same time, GS expression in grains was up-regulated at early stage, with GS1 at 10 DAA and GS2 at 15 DAA, followed by a continuous down-regulation. This result indicated that GS and GOGAT activity as well as GS expression were inhibited by powdery mildew, indicating that N metabolism in grains was inhibited at 20–30 DAA. The current study also found out that the yield of the susceptible cultivar decreased significantly, while its GPC increased obviously in HP. It was shown that the increase of GPC was not due to the enhancement of N metabolism, but due to the passive increase caused by yield reduction.
Late-life depression has substantial impacts on individuals, families and society. Knowledge gaps remain in estimating the economic impacts associated with late-life depression by symptom severity, which has implications for resource prioritisation and research design (such as in modelling). This study examined the incremental health and social care expenditure of depressive symptoms by severity.
We analysed data collected from 2707 older adults aged 60 years and over in Hong Kong. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Client Service Receipt Inventory were used, respectively, to measure depressive symptoms and service utilisation as a basis for calculating care expenditure. Two-part models were used to estimate the incremental expenditure associated with symptom severity over 1 year.
The average PHQ-9 score was 6.3 (standard deviation, s.d. = 4.0). The percentages of respondents with mild, moderate and moderately severe symptoms and non-depressed were 51.8%, 13.5%, 3.7% and 31.0%, respectively. Overall, the moderately severe group generated the largest average incremental expenditure (US$5886; 95% CI 1126–10 647 or a 272% increase), followed by the mild group (US$3849; 95% CI 2520–5177 or a 176% increase) and the moderate group (US$1843; 95% CI 854–2831, or 85% increase). Non-psychiatric healthcare was the main cost component in a mild symptom group, after controlling for other chronic conditions and covariates. The average incremental association between PHQ-9 score and overall care expenditure peaked at PHQ-9 score of 4 (US$691; 95% CI 444–939), then gradually fell to negative between scores of 12 (US$ - 35; 95% CI - 530 to 460) and 19 (US$ -171; 95% CI - 417 to 76) and soared to positive and rebounded at the score of 23 (US$601; 95% CI -1652 to 2854).
The association between depressive symptoms and care expenditure is stronger among older adults with mild and moderately severe symptoms. Older adults with the same symptom severity have different care utilisation and expenditure patterns. Non-psychiatric healthcare is the major cost element. These findings inform ways to optimise policy efforts to improve the financial sustainability of health and long-term care systems, including the involvement of primary care physicians and other geriatric healthcare providers in preventing and treating depression among older adults and related budgeting and accounting issues across services.
Previous studies have revealed associations of meteorological factors with tuberculosis (TB) cases. However, few studies have examined their lag effects on TB cases. This study was aimed to analyse nonlinear lag effects of meteorological factors on the number of TB notifications in Hong Kong. Using a 22-year consecutive surveillance data in Hong Kong, we examined the association of monthly average temperature and relative humidity with temporal dynamics of the monthly number of TB notifications using a distributed lag nonlinear models combined with a Poisson regression. The relative risks (RRs) of TB notifications were >1.15 as monthly average temperatures were between 16.3 and 17.3 °C at lagged 13–15 months, reaching the peak risk of 1.18 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.35) when it was 16.8 °C at lagged 14 months. The RRs of TB notifications were >1.05 as relative humidities of 60.0–63.6% at lagged 9–11 months expanded to 68.0–71.0% at lagged 12–17 months, reaching the highest risk of 1.06 (95% CI 1.01–1.11) when it was 69.0% at lagged 13 months. The nonlinear and delayed effects of average temperature and relative humidity on TB epidemic were identified, which may provide a practical reference for improving the TB warning system.
For advanced operational aircraft, the two-dimensional (2-D) thrust-vectoring (TV) nozzle effectively improves the flight mobility and post-stall manoevrability. However, its flow capacity decreases when deflecting and cooling air is injected, which impacts the engine’s operating state, including decreasing the fan surge margin and increasing the turbine inlet temperature. Therefore, in order to improve engine performance in the whole flight envelope, this paper studies the matching mechanism of the engine and the cooled 2-D TV nozzle, performance characterisation and control schedule of the nozzle, and an integrated aeroengine/nozzle modeling method is put forward. Based on these, an engine performance simulation model is modified to include a cooled 2-D TV nozzle. The testing results show that applying the nozzle control schedules recommended in this paper avoids the performance degradation when the nozzle deflects. This work advances the field of engine/nozzle integrated modeling, and helps to instruct the simulation and experimentation to better fit the needs of engine modeling and engineering applications.
Families facing end-stage nonmalignant chronic diseases (NMCDs) are presented with similar symptom burdens and need for psycho-social–spiritual support as their counterparts with advanced cancers. However, NMCD patients tend to face more variable disease trajectories, and thus may require different anticipatory supports, delivered in familiar environments. The Life Rainbow Programme (LRP) provides holistic, transdisciplinary, community-based end-of-life care for patients with NMCDs and their caregivers. This paper reports on the 3-month outcomes using a single-group, pre–post comparison.
Patients with end-stage NMCDs were screened for eligibility by a medical team before being referred to the LRP. Patients were assessed at baseline (T0), 1 month (T1), and 3 months (T2) using the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale (IPOS). Their hospital use in the previous month was also measured by presentations at accident and emergency services, admissions to intensive care units, and number of hospital bed-days. Caregivers were assessed at T0 and T2 using the Chinese version of the Modified Caregiver Strain Index, and self-reported health, psychological, spiritual, and overall well-being. Over-time changes in outcomes for patients, and caregivers, were tested using paired-sample t-tests, Wilcoxon-signed rank tests, and chi-square tests.
Seventy-four patients and 36 caregivers participated in this research study. Patients reported significant improvements in all IPOS domains at both 1 and 3 months [ranging from Cohen's d = 0.495 (nausea) to 1.793 (depression and information needs fulfilled)]. Average hospital bed-days in the previous month fell from 3.50 to 1.68, comparing baseline and 1 month (p < 0.05). At 3 months, caregiver strain was significantly reduced (r = 0.332), while spiritual well-being was enhanced (r = 0.333).
After receiving 3 month's LRP services, patients with end-stage NMCDs and their caregivers experienced significant improvements in the quality of life and well-being, and their hospital bed-days were reduced.
This study aimed to evaluate the benefits of betahistine or vestibular rehabilitation (Tetrax biofeedback) on the quality of life and fall risk in patients with Ménière's disease.
Sixty-six patients with Ménière's disease were randomly divided into three groups: betahistine, Tetrax and control groups. Patients’ Dizziness Handicap Index and Tetrax fall index scores were obtained before and after treatment.
Patients in the betahistine and Tetrax groups showed significant improvements in Dizziness Handicap Index and fall index scores after treatment versus before treatment (p < 0.05). The improvements in the Tetrax group were significantly greater than those in the betahistine group (p < 0.05).
Betahistine and vestibular rehabilitation (Tetrax biofeedback) improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of falling in patients with Ménière's disease. Vestibular rehabilitation (Tetrax biofeedback) is an effective management method for Ménière's disease.