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Trematodes of the genus Ogmocotyle are intestinal flukes that can infect a variety of definitive hosts, resulting in significant economic losses worldwide. However, there are few studies on molecular data of these trematodes. In this study, the mitochondrial (mt) genome of Ogmocotyle ailuri isolated from red panda (Ailurus fulgens) was determined and compared with those from Pronocephalata to investigate the mt genome content, genetic distance, gene rearrangements and phylogeny. The complete mt genome of O. ailuri is a typical closed circular molecule of 14 642 base pairs, comprising 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and 2 non-coding regions. All genes are transcribed in the same direction. In addition, 23 intergenic spacers and 2 locations with gene overlaps were determined. Sequence identities and sliding window analysis indicated that cox1 is the most conserved gene among 12 PCGs in O. ailuri mt genome. The sequenced mt genomes of the 48 Plagiorchiida trematodes showed 5 types of gene arrangement based on all mt genome genes, with the gene arrangement of O. ailuri being type I. Phylogenetic analysis using concatenated amino acid sequences of 12 PCGs revealed that O. ailuri was closer to Ogmocotyle sikae than to Notocotylus intestinalis. These data enhance the Ogmocotyle mt genome database and provide molecular resources for further studies of Pronocephalata taxonomy, population genetics and systematics.
Social functioning is crucial for daily living and is an essential indicator of dementia in patients with Parkinson's disease. The pattern of social functioning in patients with Parkinson's disease without dementia (i.e. those who are cognitively intact or have mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI)) and its determinants are unclear.
In exploring the heterogeneity of social functioning among patients with Parkinson's disease-associated dementia, we determined the optimal cut-off score of the Parkinson's Disease Social Functioning Scale (PDSFS) for patients with PD-MCI, and the variables influencing patients’ social functioning.
A total of 302 participants underwent the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and PDSFS; 120 patients with Parkinson's disease completed the measurements (MMSE, Activities of Daily Living Scale and Neuropsychiatric Inventory). Group comparisons, receiver operating characteristic curves, Spearman correlation and multiple and hierarchical regression analyses were conducted.
The PD-MCI group scored the lowest on the PDSFS (F = 10.10, P < 0.001). The PDSFS cut-off score was 53 (area under the curve 0.700, sensitivity 0.800, specificity 0.534). The MMSE (β = 0.293, P = 0.002), Activities of Daily Living Scale (β = 0.189, P = 0.028) and Neuropsychiatric Inventory (β = −0.216, P = 0.005) scores predicted the PDSFS score. Further, there was an interaction effect between the Activities of Daily Living Scale and Neuropsychiatric Inventory scores on the PDSFS score (β = 0.305, P < 0.001).
We determined a PDSFS cut-off score for detecting PD-MCI and found that patients with PD-MCI have social dysfunction. Future research should focus on the effects of neuropsychiatry symptoms and activities of daily living on social functioning, and tailor the intervention programme for patients with Parkinson's disease.
We consider a birth–death process with killing where transitions from state i may go to either state
or an absorbing state (killing). Stochastic ordering results on the killing time are derived. In particular, if the killing rate in state i is monotone in i, then the distribution of the killing time with initial state i is stochastically monotone in i. This result is a consequence of the following one for a non-negative tri-diagonal matrix M: if the row sums of M are monotone, so are the row sums of
This study aimed to describe outcomes in four women aged 28–34 years with central cytoplasmic granulation (CCG) of the oocytes who underwent in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) using gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist to replace human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) as a trigger of final oocyte maturation. The initial ICSI procedure showed that all four women had CCG of the ooplasm and poor quality embryos. Subsequent ICSI used an antagonist protocol with a GnRH agonist trigger replacing the agonist protocol, plus hCG triggered ovulation. Ooplasm and embryo quality were improved in all four patients. All four became pregnant and gave birth to live infants. This study provides GnRH agonist triggering that may improve ooplasm granularity and embryo quality.
The spiritual well-being of terminally ill cancer patients is an important indicator of the quality of their lives and of the quality of hospice care, but no validated tools are available for assessing this indicator in Taiwan.
The present cross-sectional study validated the Spiritual Well-Being Scale–Mandarin version (SWBS–M) by testing its psychometric properties in 243 cancer patients from five teaching hospitals throughout Taiwan. Construct validity was tested by factor analysis and hypothesis testing. Patients' spiritual well-being and quality of life were assessed using the SWBS–M and the McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire (MQoL), respectively.
Overall, the SWBS–M had an internal consistency/reliability of 0.89. Exploratory factor analysis showed that the SWBS–M had an underlying two-factor structure, explaining 46.94% of the variance. SWBS–M scores correlated moderately with MQoL scores (r = 0.48, p < 0.01). Terminally ill cancer patients' spiritual well-being was inversely related to their average pain level during the previous 24 hours (r = –0.183, p = 0.006). Cancer patients' spiritual well-being also differed significantly with their experience of pain (t = –3.67, p < 0.001); terminally ill cancer patients with pain during the previous 24 hours had a lower sense of spiritual well-being than those without pain.
Significance of results:
Our findings support a two-factor model for the SWBS–M in terminally ill Taiwanese cancer patients. We recommend testing the psychometric properties of the SWBS–M in different patient populations to verify its factorial structure in other Asian countries.
Findings from observational studies have suggested a possible relation between Ca and breast cancer risk. However, the results of these studies are inconclusive, and the dose–response relationship between Ca intake and risk of breast cancer remains to be determined. A meta-analysis of prospective studies was conducted to address these issues. PubMed and Embase databases were searched for relevant studies concerning the association between Ca intake and breast cancer up to March 2016. The summary relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated with a random-effects model. The final analysis included eleven prospective cohort studies involving 26 606 cases and 872 895 participants. The overall RR of breast cancer for high v. low intake of Ca was 0·92 (95 % CI 0·85, 0·99), with moderate heterogeneity (P=0·026, I2=44·2 %). In the subgroup analysis, the inverse association appeared stronger for premenopausal breast cancer (RR 0·75; 95 % CI 0·59, 0·96) than for postmenopausal breast cancer (RR 0·94; 95 % CI 0·87, 1·01). Dose–response analysis revealed that each 300 mg/d increase in Ca intake was associated with 2 % (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·96, 0·99), 8 % (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·98) and 2 % (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99) reduction in the risk of total, premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, respectively. Our findings suggest an inverse dose–response association between Ca intake and risk of breast cancer.
Accumulating evidence suggests that altered immunity contributes to the
development of major depressive disorder (MDD).
To examine whether complement factor H (CFH), a regulator of activation
of the alternative pathway of the complement cascade, confers
susceptibility to MDD.
Expression analyses were tested in 53 unmedicated people with MDD and 55
healthy controls. A two-stage genetic association analysis was performed
in 3323 Han Chinese with or without MDD. Potential associations between
CFH single nucleotide polymorphisms and age at MDD
onset were evaluated.
CFH levels were significantly lower in the MDD group at
both protein and mRNA levels (P = 0.009 and
P = 0.014 respectively). A regulatory variant in the
CFH gene, rs1061170, showed statistically significant
genotypic and allelic differences between the MDD and control groups
(genotypic P = 0.0005, allelic P =
0.0001). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed that age at onset of MDD
was significantly associated with the C allele of
rs1061170 (log rank statistic χ2 = 6.82, P =
0.009). The C-allele carriers had a younger age at onset
of MDD (22.2 years, s.d. = 4.0) than those without the C
allele (23.6 years, s.d. = 4.3).
CFH is likely to play an important role in the
development of MDD. rs1061170 has an important effect on age at onset of
MDD in Han Chinese and may therefore be related to early pathogenesis of
MDD, although further study is needed.
Mussels are typical macrofouling organisms in the world. In this study, the interaction between the settlement of Mytilus coruscus plantigrades and bacterial community on coloured substrata was determined. Bacterial communities in biofilms developed on seven coloured substrata were analysed by Illumina Miseq sequencing. The mussel settlement response to coloured substrata with no biofilms was also examined. Flavobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were the first, second and third most dominant groups in seven biofilm samples. The results suggest that the inducing activities of these biofilms on plantigrade settlement varied with coloured substrata and the lowest percentage of settlement was observed on biofilms on the green substratum. High-throughput sequencing showed that bacterial community in biofilms also changed with the substratum colour. No significant difference in the inducing activity on plantigrade settlement was observed between the coloured substrata with no biofilms. Thus, difference in plantigrade settlement response may be correlated to the changes in bacterial community on coloured substrata. This finding extends current knowledge of interaction among mussel settlement and bacterial community variability.
To assess the relative validity and reproducibility of the quantitative FFQ used in the Tzu Chi Health Study (TCHS).
The reproducibility was evaluated by comparing the baseline FFQ with the 2-year follow-up FFQ. The validity was evaluated by comparing the baseline FFQ with 3 d dietary records and biomarkers (serum folate and vitamin B12). Median comparison, cross-classification and Spearman correlation with and without energy adjustment and deattenuation for day-to-day variation were assessed.
TCHS is a prospective cohort containing a high proportion of true vegetarians and part-time vegetarians (regularly consuming a vegetarian diet without completely avoiding meat).
Subsets of 103, seventy-eight and 1528 TCHS participants were included in the reproducibility, dietary record-validity and biomarker-validity studies, respectively.
Correlations assessing the reproducibility for repeat administrations of the FFQ were in the range of 0·46–0·65 for macronutrients and 0·35–0·67 for micronutrients; the average same quartile agreement was 40%. The correlation between FFQ and biomarkers was 0·41 for both vitamin B12 and folate. Moderate to good correlations between the baseline FFQ and dietary records were found for energy, protein, carbohydrate, saturated and monounsaturated fat, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A, K, Ca, Mg, P, Fe and Zn (average crude correlation: 0·47 (range: 0·37–0·66); average energy-adjusted correlation: 0·43 (range: 0·38–0·55); average energy-adjusted deattenuated correlation: 0·50 (range: 0·44–0·66)) with same quartile agreement rate of 39% (range: 35–45%), while misclassification to the extreme quartile was rare (average: 4% (range: 0–6%)).
The FFQ is a reliable and valid tool to rank relative intake of major nutrients for TCHS participants.
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the impact of a lifestyle intervention programme, combined with a daily low-glycaemic index meal replacement, on body-weight and glycaemic control in subjects with impaired glucose regulation (IGR). Subjects with IGR were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n 46) and a control group (n 42). Both groups received health counselling at baseline. The intervention group also received a daily meal replacement and intensive lifestyle intervention to promote healthy eating habits during the first 3 months of the study, and follow-up visits performed monthly until the end of the 1-year study. Outcome measurements included changes in plasma glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c), plasma lipids, body weight, blood pressure and body composition (such as body fat mass and visceral fat area). The results showed that body-weight loss after 1 year was significant in the intervention group compared with the control group ( − 1·8 (sem 0·35) v.− 0·6 (sem 0·40) 2·5 kg, P< 0·05). The 2 h plasma glucose concentration decreased 1·24 mmol/l in the intervention group and increased 0·85 mmol/l in the control group (P< 0·05) compared with their baseline, respectively. A 5 kg body-weight loss at 1 year was associated with a decrease of 1·49 mmol/l in 2 h plasma glucose (P< 0·01). The incidence of normal glucose regulation (NGR) in the two groups was significantly different (P= 0·001). In conclusion, the combination of regular contact, lifestyle advice and meal replacement is beneficial in promoting IGR to NGR.
We compare the turn-on voltage, P-I, and EL responses between the MISLEDs made by Si-rich SiNx and SiOx films. Active layer thickness enlarged from 120 to 360 nm is achieved by lengthening deposition time from 10 to 30 min, which inevitably increases the forward turn-on voltage from 3 to 41 V. We observe that the forward turn-on voltage of SiNx based MISLED is only 10.43 V and that of SiOx based one is 69 V with the same film thickness of 100 nm. The tunneling-based carrier transport mechanism is dominated due to the exponential like V-I behavior, while the tunneling probability is strongly dependent on the height of the barriers between metal/dielectric and dielectric/nc-Si matrices. The P-I slope of SiNx and SiOx based MISLEDs are 1.6 and 115.2 mW/A, respectively. The SiNx MISLED reveals threshold current and voltage of only 4 A and 12 V due to lower barrier height of both ITO/SiNx and SiNx/nc-Si, whereas the threshold current and voltage of SiOx based MISLED are 400 A and 78 V, respectively. In comparison, the higher tunneling current through the SiNx MISLED fails to promote the larger external quantum efficiency of the MISLED, indicating that such lower barriers are not beneficial to the confinement of tunneling carriers and the enhancement of light-emission efficiency.
In the subfair red-and-black gambling problem, a gambler can stake any amount in his possession, winning an amount equal to the stake with probability w and losing the stake with probability 1 − w, where 0 < w < ½. The gambler seeks to maximize the probability of reaching a fixed fortune (to be normalized to unity) by gambling repeatedly with suitably chosen stakes. In their classic work, Dubins and Savage (1965), (1976) showed that it is optimal to play boldly. When there is a house limit of l (0 < l < ½), so that the gambler can stake no more than l, Wilkins (1972) showed that bold play remains optimal provided that 1 / l is an integer. On the other hand, building on an earlier surprising result of Heath, Pruitt and Sudderth (1972), Schweinsberg (2005) recently showed that, for all irrational 0 < l < ½ and all 0 < w < ½, bold play is not optimal for some initial fortune. The purpose of the present paper is to present several results supporting the conjecture that, for all rational l with 1 / l not an integer and all 0 < w < ½, bold play is not optimal for some initial fortune. While most of these results are based on Schweinsberg's method, in a special case where his method is shown to be inapplicable, we argue that the conjecture can be verified with the help of symbolic-computation software.
In the classic Dubins-Savage subfair primitive casino gambling problem, the gambler can stake any amount in his possession, winning (1 − r)/r times the stake with probability w and losing the stake with probability 1 − w, 0 ≤ w ≤ r ≤ 1. The gambler seeks to maximize the probability of reaching a fixed fortune (the goal) by gambling repeatedly with suitably chosen stakes. This problem has recently been extended in a unifying framework to account for limited playing time as well as future discounting, under which bold play is known to be optimal provided that w ≤ ½ ≤ r. This paper is concerned with a further extension of the Dubins-Savage gambling problem involving time-dependent parameters, and shows that bold play not only maximizes the probability of reaching the goal, but also stochastically minimizes the number of plays needed to reach the goal. As a result, bold play also maximizes the expected utility, where the utility at the goal is only required to be monotone decreasing with respect to the number of plays needed to reach the goal. It is further noted that bold play remains optimal even when the time-dependent parameters are random.
A pair of mutant mice with a first sparse coat appeared spontaneously in the production stock of
BALB/c mice with a normal coat. After being sib-mated, they produced three phenotypes in their
progeny: mice with normal hair, mice with a first sparse coat and then a fuzzy coat, and
uncovered mice. Genetic studies revealed the mutants had inherited an autosomal monogene that
was semi-dominant. By using 11 biochemical loci – Idh, Car2,
Mup1, Pgm1, Hbb, Es1, Es10, Gdc,
Ce2, Mod1 and Es3 – as genetic markers, two-point linkage tests were made. The results showed
the gene was assigned to chromosome 11. The result of a three-point test with Es3 and D11Mit8
(microsatellite DNA) as markers showed that the mutation was linked to Es3 with the
recombination fraction 7·89±2·19%, and linked to D11Mit8 with the recombination fraction
26·30±3·57%. The recombination fraction between Es3 and D11Mit8 was 32·90±3·81%. It is
suggested that the mutation is a new genetic locus that affected the skin and hair structure of the
mouse. The mutation was named uncovered, with the symbol Uncv. Further studies showed the
mutation affected not only the histology of skin and hair but also the growth and reproductive
performance of the mice. The molecular characterization of the Uncv locus needs to be further
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